Gelato, Carnies, and Bob Jones
Emily Pierson - Violin
Emily was born and raised in Indiana and came to IHOP in July of 2008. She desires that 24-7 prayer would not only be a corporate reality, but that constant communion with the Holy Spirit would be within her. She wants to spend her life overwhelmed by the goodness of God with a grateful and thankful heart as she pursues loving Him with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength.
When I asked fellow team-mate and friend Michelle what I should write, she suggested, knowing my fondness for carnival food like funnel cakes and corn dogs, that I tell a story about circus Carnies and then end the story with one sentence that began with the phrase, “And that’s how the Lord taught me about…” Michelle has been, as Anne from Green Gables would say, a “bosom friend.” Besides the fact that Michelle has a great laugh which sounds like a bleating goat on fast forward, introduced me to Paciugo, my favorite gelato “treat-er-y,” and was one of the first gals I met when I came to IHOP in August 2008, she has been faithful to speak truth over me in times when I wanted to abandon my calling, complained about my appearance or faults, or flirted with the resignation of risky dreams for a more practical road. Everyone needs a friend like Michelle.
At our last staff meeting, Mike Bickle’s message was a call to persevere, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. It had been a hard month, and I broke down into tears several times during that week as challenge after challenge seemed to pile up. Mike reminded us of several Bob Jones’ prophesies related to IHOP, re-aligning us with a greater goal and purpose for our community than our current, individual urgencies. In one of his visions , Bob Jones saw himself as a sort of protector of a white horse, keeping it in the middle of a dried up river bed away from mad dogs on either side. Bob Hartley often uses the phrase “barking dogs of doubt,” all those voices in your head and in the natural that make you doubt your calling, your choices, and ultimately the goodness of God. During the staff meeting, I prayed in my heart, “Lord, send me a Bob Jones right now; I need someone to protect me.” I was fighting with barking, mad dogs in the spiritual and natural, and I was tired.
The next morning, I was in the prayer room, declaring who God is in the different situations of my life, and I got the impression of a roaring lion in me. I felt that this lion was “the protector.” I know the Lord is my protector, but I felt that the Lord was preparing me, giving me the courage “to protect” someone that day. Was I going to have to stand up for someone at my meeting, was I going to have rescue a cat at the side of the road, or push a pedestrian out of the way of a crazed driver?
After hanging out with Michelle later that evening, I realized that a good friend is that lion that roars when the enemy crinkles around. A friend loves you enough to keep you out of your funk and self-pity, and they manifest the nature of God to you when you are licking your wounds. Like the Bobs, they tell you to quit listening to the dogs, and the truth of who God is roars out of them like a lion, silencing the rabid, hungry beasts that want to devour you. A good friend kicks you in the butt when you need it, discerning the clouds of despair, and reminds you that your God is really big. They also buy you gelato and coffee. JHere’s to you, my friend Michelle.
© 2011 Emily Pierson
© 2011 Emily Pierson