In her Melissa was diagnosed with a disease in her twenties that gave her a year and a half to live. She was miraculously healed, and after she had her first child the disease came back. She grew up in a charismatic circle where healing was normal. She was told if she does certain things then she would be healed, but wasn’t satisfied with that version of the Father. She began a search for the Father’s true nature. A friend asked her “Is this season of your life producing good fruit?” She realized that yes, this season was producing good fruit even though she wasn’t seeing the breakthrough in healing that she wanted.
Growing fruit takes time, pruning and seasons. Melissa’s twenty’s were about learning who the Father was, and through that an orchard was planted in her that generations after her would eat from.
That pursuit of the Father was so precious because it laid a solid foundation for tremendous suffering. So now she knows what her Father actually sounds like.
“You need to become obsessed with the tone of the Father’s voice, and you can only know his tone if you know his nature.”
God told Melissa “I didn’t give you the Holy Spirit to make your meetings better, but to swallow up your loneliness forever.”
“The Holy Spirit is the crescendo of the cross.”
While being a mother, leading schools, and leading worship in midst of being very sick, friendship with the Holy Spirit changed Melissa’s life. Even though pain was very lonely, she was never alone.
“Take a risk for the sake of connection with the Holy Spirit, learn how to be friends with the Him.”
“When tension rises, first thing we should go to is Holy Spirit.”
The Humanity of Jesus
“Jesus experiences every part of human emotion because He never separates Himself from the Father.”
“The more I open up my heart to grief and loss, what I met was Jesus.”
“Jesus is the only part of the triune God that wears our flesh and bone and has wept and laughed, and felt disappointment, betrayal, and pain.”
Melissa thought she had to separate herself from God when she grieved because it would hurt Jesus’ feelings.
“When we compartmentalize grief, we get further and further away from the humanity of Jesus.”
“Jesus feels out of reach because we haven’t learned how to fully embrace His humanity.”
“Your humanity is not a barrier, it’s a bridge. Your humanity is not a hindrance, it’s the meeting place.”
“When you read the Bible to not just honor the person of Jesus, but to embrace the humanity of Jesus, you feel incredibly seen and very well known.”
Mark 14:3-9 When the woman in this chapter opens up the bottle to pour out the perfume on Jesus’ feet, everyone in the room says it’s a waste. In that moment Jesus is actually basking in the beauty of what Mary has done, and when people said “What a waste,” Jesus was actually hurt by that and stood up to say “Leave her alone!” He wasn’t only defending her heart but also the sacrifice, that He was worthy of it.
“Jesus felt pain when he had to confront the disciples that one of them would betray Him. It was a tense moment, not void of emotion. Humanity is not void of emotion or tension.”
Philippians 2:6-11 “He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death-a criminal’s death by crucifixion! Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence.”
“Humanity is not void of heaven, its full of it.”
“Jesus got hungry, tired, frustrated, but never separated Himself from the Father.” Is frustration a sin? Only if it separates you from the Father.
In Mark chapter 14 when Jesus was went to the garden of Gethsemane, He was overwhelmed with sorrow and asked His three friends to stay with Him. Mark 14:35 says “And going a little farther, he fell on the ground.” He was still with them, so they could hear everything while He is groaning and weeping and asking for help.
“If Jesus asked the Father for help, how much more permission do you have to be needy?”
When we strip away the heart of Jesus and we make him mechanical, a Jesus we can’t actually ever be like, we make him emotionless.
“If you give Jesus back His humanity, He will give you back yours. And in it will be the meeting place. His skin is your meeting place, and His humility to put on us, so that you would feel known forever, seen and understood.” So that you wouldn’t go to the other side of the house and griv
Lamentations 3:1-26 I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath, he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away; he has broken my bones; he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones; he has made my paths crooked. He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; he bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow. He drove into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver; I have become the laughingstock of all peoples, the object of their taunts all day long. He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness[a] is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
“We would have never had the release without the bitter tension. We’re looking for the release, when we don’t want to walk through the tension.”
“The more I read about the life of Jesus the more I am tremendously impacted at the the way He cared for Himself.”
You have been given permission to actually ask your heart what it needs and practice self love.
“Self care is never a selfish act, it is simply a good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.” - Parker Palmer.
Melissa asks her body for permission before she does alot of physical activity while leading worship. “My responsibility in spirit and soul is to honor my body, because we’re in this together.”
Jesus had limitations, He was in the crowds for a time and then He separated Himself.
She was with Jesus in a dream that took place in an orchard. Jesus said to her “Melissa, this is the fruit of your life.” Then she sees a black spirit going up the trees and killing the fruit. Jesus said it was a spirit of self negativity, the inner narrative, and Melissa just needed to repent.
“When we’re practicing kindness without self kindness, we begin to become malnourished and starved, and everyone else is feasting on the fruit of our life.”
“The fruit of your life is first to feed you, and when you feast on it and grow the real fruit, you don’t have to shove it down people’s throats, they will just pick it off of your tree.”
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.“ The word “still” in this verse means “to slacken, to cease, to weaken, to show oneself slack.” The word “know” in this verse means “to be made known.” Wen we slacken, God is made known.
Melissa uses a yellow band that is being stretched out to demonstrate when we get upset or tense and loosened or slackened when we choose to be still.
“Being still is an action. To be still is to meditate on the goodness of God, not just saying it a million times trying to cope.”
You have to practice slackening.
The practice of purposely slackening sometimes looks like crying, laughing, taking a deep breath, or staying home.