October 14, 2009


Tuesdays have quickly become my favorite day of the week. I've only been three times, but I feel like I've gone there forever. The singing and shouting and prayer that fills the room is incredible. I have cried tears of gratitude for the joy that fills hearts. I leave completely at peace. I can't wipe the smile off my face. My God meets me there. He speaks to my soul. I leave feeling refreshed. It's an experience that I really can't describe. He has used it to free me from bondage. I don't think I'll ever be able to express to the people who make it happen how much it means to me. It's comfortable and it takes me completely out of my comfort zone. I raise my hands in worship. I've never done that before. I whisper prayers out loud. I've never done that before, either. The freedom is overwhelming. There is no judgement. It's incredible. Seriously. That's the only word I have to describe it.

I long for the assurance that I feel in that place every day of the week. Assurance that I am not crazy or alone. Assurance that my Jesus lives. I feel it. I feel Him. I needed a place like that. And I've been presented with one.On one hand, I want to share it with everyone, but on the other, I want it to remain a personal experience. I know a few of the people that go, but I don't ever want to be self conscious. That's not at all what it's about. In fact, it's about the complete opposite. The Exchange is about being God conscious. It's about being open to Him and what He wants from us. It's about being open with Him.

This is what I wrote in my journal this week. I don't have the right words to explain it. This is the best I could do.

The hugging begins before we get through the door. It is the accepted and expected greeting in this place. The room is dark and loud. Meaningful conversations are heard from every group. Little girls gather up front, ready to dance while little boys find a row to sit in together. College students hold babies while their parents sit and talk among themselves. 7:15. Music starts. Eyes close. Hands raise. Clapping. Jumping. Singing. Dancing. Praise. God is in this place. Everyone feels Him here. Hearts fill. Joy overwhelms. Laughter. Some whisper Jesus' name while other shout Amen. Babies crawl. Children dance. Adults fall to their knees in prayer. Freedom abounds in the place. Freedom from chains and freedom to worship in any way. Dancing, shouting, singing and clapping are acceptable here. It's like nothing we've ever experienced, but it feels like home.

October 1, 2009


For the past 72 hours, my heart has been calm. I have been overwhelmed with a peace that I can't understand. On Tuesday night, I was invited to The Exchange. I really don't even know how to describe it other than beautiful worship. I felt Jesus like I have never felt Him before. I walked through the door into a barely-lit room full of believers. I got chills. Before anything happened, I had goosebumps. And then we started singing. We sang beautiful, passionate songs. With tears in my eyes and raised hands, I praised my Jesus. Determined to hold it together, I stood quietly for a minute. We sang "How Great is Our God". I gave up. I was overcome with Jesus. I cried. The tears of rejection and worthlessness and loneliness ran hot down my cheeks. They fell to the floor. And so did the anxiety. I have never in my life worshipped like I did on Tuesday night. I have never known Jesus to be so real as I did in that place. We were free to sing and pray and praise however God asked us to. It was absolutely incredible. He was there. I felt Him. I begged him to help me remember the way that it felt to be in His presence. And He has.

After Tuesday night, I was convinced that this week was going to be rough. Satan is dumb. He likes to strike when we're ahead. And I was feeling great. I woke up yesterday morning with a feeling of calm. I was overwhelmed with peace. I looked at him, stared at him really, and felt nothing. My conversations with people were meaningful. I was calm. My attitude was great. I was happy and absolutely content.

Today, it is more of the same. I have been finding passages in my Bible that speak to me. Psalm 91, Psalm 18, Ephesians 6. Every time I open my Bible, God is revealing His love and promises for me. I am overwhelmed with Him. My journal entries for this week have been happy and refreshing. I have found it easier to pray to Him and ask Him to guide me. On Tuesday night, I begged Him to teach me to trust Him. I begged Him to remind me that He loves me regardless of the things in my past. He has been. This week has been incredible. After the frustration and loneliness of last week, this is exactly what my spirit needed.