If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m journeying through a valley season. I’m fairly open about it because I sense my experience and what God is doing can encourage someone else.
I wrote this week that I feel like this is delayed grief. Not just from a real death, which has been our family experience, but other things, too. It started with my broken wrist and kept going. A church split. Family health issues. Loss. Change.
I went through a similar season in late 2003-2005 and the grief about did me in. But from it I learned so much about myself, Jesus, and our relationship. So much fruit came from that time, and I credit all God showed me then as training ground for my life as a praying person who believes God.
Yet these hard times stink.
But I want to grow and learn and take my relationship with the Lord to the next level. I never want to be satisfied. I’m ready for all the Holy Spirit downloads and whatever else may come my way.
And here is a snippet of what I’m learning.
It isn’t just me in this season. There is so much hurting going around, and it is hard. But, it has eternal purpose. As a friend once told me, I’m not going through this life to hand Jesus a Burger King crown. This is war. The defeated one grows desperate with each tick of the clock, and his job is to discourage, delay, deter, and yes, destroy. How? Whatever it takes. But I know his favorite way is through deceit, where you walk around feeling defeated.
With that, I’ve been reading verses and praying and this is what is coming together for me.
That no matter what my circumstance, and I’m going to be honest, there is enough going on right now that 99% of you have no clue what I’m writing about on FB. Don’t guess, it doesn’t matter. What’s important is what I’m learning and applying, and if it rings true for you, may it bless you.
These are the words I have seared on my heart as a battle plan to not just survive this season, but thrive. Because God ordered a lot of it, and that which He did not, He’s allowing. So I want to be armed and ready in His strength and knowledge for when it is an all out attack to make me feel defeated. Here are my fighting words:
-Choose. I can be bitter or better. I hate that I went through 12 weeks of cast wearing to learn my wrist didn’t heal right. I hate that the therapy probably made it worse, and it sure hurt. But this and other things are all about how I react to them. Chuck Swindoll said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
-Perspective. I look around, and I have, my husband and I have, and the one word we used to describe the last several months and what we feel are our surroundings is carnage. We keep our focus on us and we’re doomed. I’m intentional, although not perfect, about keeping my perspective on eternity. I want to finish strong, no matter if my end date is tomorrow or 60 years from now. I pray to live from a throne perspective, my eye on Jesus, always in expectation that there is a gem in the rough for me to embrace.
-Joy. This goes along with choose but joy is so much more than having a great hair day. Joy is that inner bubble that still sings when everything else is mute. I know this is an important fighting word because our daughter is a vessel of joy and she has suffered in this season. For a couple weeks that joy was stolen. And in Jesus’ name, no matter how tired I was, prayerfully we were going on the offensive and make sure she recovered that gift. And thank God, the joy is back for her. On the hardest day I still knew He was worth praising and I felt so loved by Him, and my heart was full of joy. No lie.
-Contend. This keeps coming back to me, so I think it is more important than I give it credit. I know who I am in Christ and what my purpose is. I know His Word has promises, and I know birthed in our children and family are promises. When our daughter was ill and her joy gone, I prayerfully went after those promises. That joy forwards God’s Kingdom and is used for His glory. I’ve seen it time and time again, and I knew I couldn’t sit and hope she felt better. I had to fight not just for her health, but go after those promises.
-Words. A lot of my fighting is through words. I listen closely to the Lord and He speaks. When it was chaotic and my emotions were all over the map, He told me to agree with His plan. No fancy prayers, just utter that I agreed with His plan. I spoke words of life over dead looking situations. Plans for people and ministries to prosper. One picture I kept seeing was from Independence Day, but instead of injecting a mother ship with a virus, I felt I was to “inject” people with God’s love. That meant being intentional with my words and actions. I can’t tell you how fast healing has come to me because of this.
But a spiritual battle is nothing without His word. The verse that keeps popping up in my reading, the radio, in conversation, on Facebook is–
Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God.
A friend sent me this treasure of a verse that I’m clinging to because it is full of such promise. Isaiah 35. How can I not get excited to think about flowers blooming in a wasteland?
And the last verse is 1 Samuel 30:8. This verse just nails everything above down, and gives the easiest three point sermon I know, that was in my inbox just when I needed it.
Amen and Amen!
Image courtesy acrostic.me