WRITTEN BY KRISTIE DUNNIGAN FROM FORT COLLINS, COLORADO
I’m a family girl, I always have been. My three siblings are my world, my mom is my best friend, and my dad is my hero. My parents’ marriage is a marker I pray I’ll hit someday, and my home has been one where success is built and labored for, not something we’re entitled to. I could never express in words the gratitude I have in my heart for these things. Never! Truly, I don’t think the words exist and I don’t take these blessings lightly.
Five years ago I started praying a radical prayer. I opened my hands and asked God to wreck my life for His purposes alone. I asked that He’d take anything and everything that wasn’t from Him and that He’d fill my life with His blessings, assignments, tasks to steward, and calls alone. I made the decision anything less isn’t for me, and I still whisper this conscious prayer every single day. This may sound romantic, and it is, but I’ve learned before we may experience any romance - we must endure the wrecking. And almost exactly a year ago, God began radically teaching me that this “wrecking” isn’t meant to stop at me. It’s not designed to stop at my life, my dreams, my relationships, and my callings. No. God is a God of family. A God who honors heritage, builds legacy, and calls us to build lineage.
We know this because these very things are the things satan attacks. The enemy goes after marriage to break apart families, he goes after relationships to isolate and weaken his targets, and he goes after wombs to stop lineage. I love when he reveals his weak hand - because it points us in the direction of what’s most powerful for God - family, community, multiplication, lineage, and legacy! And because satan attacks destiny, I’ve learned not to waste any time looking for it, but to rather turn right towards the fire and contend in prayer with the one who already won. And quite honestly, nothing satisfies me more than making his schemes (and head!) a step stool to rest my feet upon.
On April 14, 2016, I was asleep on my aunt and uncle’s couch. This is the day everything changed.
My family was attending the funeral of my uncle who had just passed all too soon. My relationship with my dad was shakier than it has ever been, and I didn’t know how to be there for him because I honestly didn’t feel safe or known around him. My youngest sister was gallivanting around making her plans for college her religion. Her days were spent preparing for football games, boys, greek life, and designer items that would mark her as “cool” at a large southern university. I watched my mom as she felt alone and silenced in the battles. I stood in my family and I felt hollowness that had taken residency. I felt the disconnect. I felt the beat of every heart yearning to run - as far away from each other as we could. It was too tense, too shaky, and too painful to stand in the same room together - let alone in the same heartbeat for eternal purpose. I visibly saw and physically felt the places satan had come into my family. The night I slept on that couch, God would draw a line in the sand.
I was sound asleep and suddenly awakened. As I awoke, I saw light beaming all around me and felt the presence of God like I’ve never before known. Two angels spoke to me and gave me crystal clear blueprints for how I would contend for the healing and redemption of my family. I was living in Denver at the time, while my family lived a couple hours north in Fort Collins. I knew I was to leave Denver soon - and that God would make the day known. I knew I was to move in with my mom and dad to contend in prayer for the things to come. The angels told me they’d give me prayer strategies, graces, and that many things would be revealed in the season to come. They promised me my dad’s heart would break for the poor and for God in a new way. They promised me my youngest sister would be redirected towards her destiny. They told me God was preparing a home for me. They promised me that my family would be rebuilt and restored on holy ground, and the time to contend for the destiny of my family was now as they declared and sung - for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14, and I was visited by these angels on 4.14).
I laid awake in their presence for over three hours, and it was the holiest three hours I’ve ever known. I wish I could say my first response was, “Okay! Anything for Jesus!” but it wasn’t. At all! I laid there and literally out loud said, “No.” I was 26 and feared the judgment that would come from living with my mom and dad. 26 and single and living with my mom and dad… how illogical and far from idyllic that would be! I wept at the thought of living amongst the hollowness I felt when I stood in the same room as my family. I cried at the thought of being isolated away from the city, friends, church, and job I loved and had build a life upon in Denver. But I can’t lie to you. The tears couldn’t last.
In my borderline self pity and self induced fear - not even one single tear could last. The peace was overcoming. The peace was assuring and the assignment was crystal clear. The angels didn’t leave my presence and the light didn’t dim until they had all of me - my radical surrender and complete abandonment. How good is Jesus? That He doesn’t leave us to fear or to wallow in self pity. He always draws near until the peace comes. And then He relishes in its beauty with us and plants expectancy within us.
For the next two weeks, I walked around Denver like I had a holy, little secret. And it’s exactly what I had. I smiled inside every time I thought of it, because I knew Jesus entrusted great things to me. I already knew how the story would end. Jesus wins against the attacks on my family. I kept my eyes right on that promise because I wasn’t naive enough to think it’d be a cake walk.
On May 1st, I knew the day had come. I packed my car that morning and drove out of Denver. I obeyed a command from God that I didn’t fully understand, but I finally understood I had nothing to prove. I’ve learned life is not a show, it’s a holy assignment.
As I drove north, everything in me knew that nothing in my life would ever be the same. For the next 2 months, I woke up early and fell to my knees over my family. God gave me prayer strategies and deep revelation for the things He had coming. It amazed me. I saw us serving nations around the world. I saw us using our business backgrounds to strengthen God’s ministries around the globe. I saw all of our spouses stepping forward into and designed for global ministry (bold statements here guys - my siblings and I were all still single at the time and most of us still are.) I saw us walking in God’s dominion and authority to eradicate poverty and trafficking in nations - nations!? Come on! I saw my dad sitting with children in villages and my mom praying healing over crowds. I saw my little sister in ministry school. I saw us working together. I saw us strengthened and intimately walking hand in hand. I saw it. And when you see something of that kind of beauty, it’s so hard to have vision for anything else.
So I started fighting. And I continue to fight so hard to this day, because I saw the kind of family I want to walk in, serve in, marry in, bring babies into, grandbabies into - my sight was lifted. Not to circumstance, but to high and holy places of destiny. Not for myself, but for my family and for lineage to come.
I’ll never forget the day breakthrough began to make itself visible.
Last June, I was in Cambodia. There, God ushered in one of the biggest surprises and moments of healing in all my life. My dad, despite our pained and strained relationship, walked through the entry gate to the village where I was working. He crossed oceans to surprise me and walk through that gate. For days to come, I watched his heart break for the poor. I witnessed the utter beauty God wrote into my family before I was born. I watched my dad teach young boys how to sweep the school house, build a home for a mother in need, bandage the wounds of little girls, and fly kites and make kids laugh. I watched him step into family - God’s global family. It was the closest day to heaven I’ve ever known.
Shortly after I came home, I was burdened to be still living with my mom and dad with no sight for where I was to go next. I began pressing in so deeply in prayer, asking God if I could make my own moves. I was driving one night when I was completely halted by the still, small voice of God who whispered, “I will show you your home soon.” I was equally comforted and terrified - because how many of us know God’s “soon” is not our “soon”!? He reminded me the angels had promised my home was claimed and done, and peace fell on me. I heard the Holy Spirit speaking, “I am the Lord of the land.” I pressed in, and God revealed to me my home was on a lot of land, and that He was indeed my landlord. I laughed; I find God witty and endlessly showing me His humor. He then gave me more details I didn’t ask for, as I endlessly heard Him chant, “Red door, red door, red door.” I just concluded wherever this home was, it probably had a red door, but I hadn’t a clue why God wanted me to know that. This was an incredibly specific and insane word to carry, but God asked me to start claiming it.
Like Noah laboring over the arc before the flood, obeying God’s commands oftentimes leaves us subject to foolishness in the eyes of so many. I’ve learned, despite our limited capacity or the “foolishness” we may claim as ours, we must step out and obey anyway if we want to bear witness to the miraculous. We must. Try telling your friends and family you live with your parents because God told you, that He will give you a home soon, on a lot of land, with a red door! I was captain of the crazy train.
Just weeks later, on July 26th, my dad came home from work and took me on a motorcycle ride. He didn't tell me where we were going. He pulled off on a gorgeous hill in front of a 4 bedroom home, on 15 acres of land, with perhaps the largest red doors in northern Colorado on the property. My dad looked at me and said “I don’t get your life, kid, but someone wants to bless you with this property just like you said.” I think I actually began to black out. My dad shared that one of his clients from Florida came into my dad’s office that day and told him it was on her heart to bless someone with a property she owned, and she felt that person was me. The keys to the home were in my hand less than 12 hours later. To this day, I cannot believe this story exists and I only remember bits of that day - it was completely euphoric.
Well, I was still captain of the crazy train. Days later my brother was helping me move in. We were hauling my bed down the hallway into what was to be my room, but I felt God quickly interject and tell me to put the bed in the front room instead of mine. My brother looked at me and said, “Kris, what are you doing?” I earnestly replied, “I don’t know! I think I’m setting up Macy’s room?” (Macy is my sister, the one that was obsessing over greek life and becoming a southern belle). My brother responded, “Why? Macy is definitely moving to college next week?” and walked out of the room. He thought I had gone completely mad. And I kind of did too, to be honest. This was part of the “foolishness” God continually asked me to bear as my own until the day He’d be glorified. So I did it. I obediently set up my little sister’s room. She had no idea. And on the wall I later realized the only thing I hung was the bible verse, “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), the same scripture spoken over my family on 4.14 months prior when God sent the angels to wake me up.
Two weeks later, August 15th. I’ll never forget Macy driving away. God told me so clearly I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye on the promise that she wouldn’t actually go. Macy would not walk where God was not leading her. So I didn’t say goodbye, and I didn't say a word telling her not to go. I just prayed like I always did.
The next 48 hours were the most pivotal moments of Macy’s life and held the most radical miracle I had ever witnessed to the time. Just like me on the couch that night, God gave Macy clarity and wisdom and insight about her life, and our family’s life as she drove. He gently showed her she made her college decision in a spirit of rebellion. He asked her to radically surrender and turn her car around, having no idea where she’d go or where she’d live. Macy listened. She was ONE HOUR outside of Oxford, Mississippi where she was due to move, and she turned her car around. She called me sobbing, sharing of every revelation God had given her and asked where she was to go, that she couldn’t just live with our mom and dad. I cried and I laughed as I shared about the room God had already prepared for her. God went before her! He showed me this long ago and positioned me to help carry her into her destiny and out of her rebellion.
I couldn’t believe it. That summer, she had a sign above her bed that read “Ole Miss Bound!” and every day when I lived at home, I’d go in her room after she left the house and I’d pray over that very sign declaring she would be “Kingdom bound! Not bound to the world! Not bound to anything, but set free!” And God did it. You guys, God so radically did it. God turned her around completely and drew her back into her family.
Now, at just 19 years old, Macy is preparing to travel to the nation of Brazil to pray healing over the nation! And we’ve gotten to dwell in this sweet, rare season living together before we’re sent out to different nations. In the home God told me all about.
And those red doors!? God has ushered countless people into the home to receive prayer, healing, and refuge. It’s an anointed place He claimed so long ago! I have a new church family up the road, God is radically moving in my life over nations and ministry, and my family is praying over an enterprise we’re setting out to build in order to bring strength and strategy to God’s ministries around the globe. WHAT! You guys - God told me these things! And they are happening!
I want you to know this - God’s promises are real. And, He wants to reveal them to you. After He reveals them, He wants to teach you how to contend for them. He wants to make them happen, because He’s jealous for the glory. And He’s a good Father! A Father who teaches us the real work is in prayer and that it isn’t scary, but all joy, to say yes to surrender. He wants to build you into a family, literal and spiritual, that lives for His miraculous purposes. He wants to write the miraculous on your life and teach you to claim it before you see it - because that’s the very definition of faith!
Those who are willing to be “fools” for Christ glorify His name by shaking up normalcy and stomping on hell. Sign me up for that every single day because we are not called to walk an ordinary path! We’re just not.
One year after being awoken on that couch, I write these stories and I am left in awe of what God has done. There are definitely, definitely people that think I’m crazy - but I don’t care. Noah was so crazy building that arc! But those are the stories to behold. Because we didn’t write them, we’re just the pens in the hand of the most skillful writer there ever was and ever will be. These stories are proof of God’s love and power when we’re brave enough to say YES when He wakes us up on whatever couch we’re sleeping on. He pulls us from our slumber to simply say - there is more! Will you believe it? Will you go where I lead you? Will you do it, my child? So that I may orchestrate the story you couldn’t dream up - will you drop your plan and surrender to mine?
Do not fear satan’s schemes to isolate you, break you, or pull you from family. I pray you turn right towards the things satan is attacking and you trust in God. Because God is waiting right there to take your hand and show you He conquered evil long ago. He already won. And what a legacy He will build through your family as you walk like a “fool” for Him! And maybe we’ll all feel like we have a holy, little secret - because we know the truth. God always wins, and to Him, we’re not fools at all.
For more of Kristie's work, visit: kristiedunnigan.com