Six years ago, I went on my first ever overseas missions trip. Every week for 6 months a small group of us met together to encourage, challenge, and inspire each other to live ever more faithfully into the lives we are called to. Those months culminated in two weeks working alongside churches in Holland and Scotland.

On our last night in Delft, we worshipped with the church community we had joined. We worshipped, we gave thanks, and we waited. Our Dutch friends begin to pray for us, and the prophecies started coming…

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“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness…” [1 Tim 6:11]

As I was reading the Bible a few days ago, this verse grabbed me. I still so desperately seek tenderness in my life, and grieve for all the places I’ve not experienced it where I should have, not given it where I should have. So I ask the Father to make my heart more tender.

Do you really mean that Emma? Do you know what I’ve been doing? Do you know what it means to be made tender?

I know how much you love food, so think about tenderising meat… you take a mallet to it, and you pummel it into shape.

Is that what this has all been about? Is the pain God’s way of tenderising me? It’s like being pummelled by a mallet.

So I ask, make me strong to take those hits.

And then, I remember.
A prophecy spoken over me in that small room all those years ago:

“The LORD has made you strong! He has made you STRONG so that you can take the hits and he will make you stronger.”

God answered my prayer 6 years before I even prayed it!

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May you be encouraged by the faithfulness of a Father who knows our prayers long before we ever pray them.