Tag Archives: happiness

Wonders Beyond Words

Oh Lord, the work You are doing in this life is so powerful and needs to be shared, but the words I possess cannot even begin to express it all. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.  As I continue to turn this life over, I can see You work. It boils down to trust and obedience on my part. As I let go and stop trying to control, You work miracles. You are putting my brokenness back together and it is a beautiful mosaic. Pieces of me were shattered and You have the ability to take those shards that cut me so deep and make them into a work of art. Why did I hold onto them for so long? I would clutch them so hard that I would bleed. I would think to myself, why would Jesus want these pieces of me? Doesn’t He know how ugly they are? How much pain did they cause to anyone that would dare try to hold them? I would convince myself that it would be wrong to unload these things upon You. Oh, how wrong I was.

I bought into a lie that I shouldn’t “over spiritualize everything” in this life. It has struck me that all things are spiritual in nature as You have created ALL things. You created this all out of nothing and yet I was taught to believe that the spiritual and the physical are somehow separate. One cannot be without the other. We are all Yours; there are no exceptions. Every ounce of this universe is God-breathed, and I can bring it all to You. Oh and the wonders that come when I do.

Thank You for showing me how powerfully You can move in the smallest of spaces I give over to You. And yet these are only small glimpses of what is possible in You. Lord, please continue to break down these walls and work through me, I beg. I give You permission and am so thankful that You wait for me to do so. How much we would miss out on otherwise.  The stories we can share and the beautiful pieces of art we can show others and to let them know that they too can know the Great Artist. Those miracles happen every day. That His work is all around us. That His love is pure and good and healing. That complete healing and complete deliverance are possible. We only need to be willing.

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” –  Philippians 2:13

 

An Amazing Year

I sit here and ponder the last year or so of this life. The path traveled was a windy and unexpected one. I left the field of hospice care and accepted a position offered to me that I clearly saw Your hand in. I knew for a fact that You meant for me to take that position, even though it meant leaving a field I had spent eight years in. It meant leaving a company I working with from the day they opened their doors here in CT. It meant walking away from the known and into the unknown. So I did, knowing that You had a plan and this was just a step towards something. I took that position, knowing that it would not be a position I would be in forever. It was scary, exciting and freeing in so many ways. The job was great, I was able to work from home and that allowed me to be there each morning to get my kids on the bus. It meant I no longer stressed on snow days, delays and when sickness hit. It allowed me to flex my time and get more involved in my church. It was great.

After working in this new place for six months, layoffs began and I knew that my position would be one of them. I began to apply to some jobs I found I qualified for, but I hated the thought of having to give up my work at the church and my flexibility around my family. Then I lost my job. I was let go during the second wave of layoffs and went on unemployment. The only other time I have ever been on unemployment was ten years ago. It was a shock and yet I heard You telling me that this was all part of Your plan. You told me to trust You and I did. Between the pay I received “in lieu of notice” and the unemployment, we never skipped a beat financially. You just kept on providing. I was blown away each time. I adjusted my budget and saw the negatives glowing red. It brought me anxiety and instead of panicking, I rested on Your promises and handed them over to You. Our finances are not our own, they are Yours and I knew You would ensure that we were taken care of. I was blown away, week by week. You met us in those places of uncertainty every time. I am so blessed to see You move in my life. I am still amazed as I write about it.

The layoff came just three days before my step-daughters were coming to stay for the summer. I was able to be present. I was able to do more around my house and that allowed my husband to do less as he worked a ton of over-time. The over-time that was not supposed to be, the over-time that You provided. The over-time that filled those red spaces in our budget. As we walked in faith, You filled the gaps. We walked knowing that You were there and that You were working, but not knowing how. It is so freeing to be in that place once you let go of the fear.

As I continued to try to pick up more side jobs and applied to other “real jobs”, I was never called in for an interview. This is a first for me! I have always worked and have never had trouble finding a job. I took this to be You telling me that I was to continue to do what I was doing at the church I loved and with the family I adored. I kept walking blindly, just knowing in my heart that this was all going to be great. I also had moments of complete anxiety and fear, those became fewer and fewer. You brought me to a place of immense peace. You reminded me that I have always desired for more and that You were bringing me to that place. You reminded me that what seems like less to the world is so much more to You.

As my professional world lessened, my husband’s expanded. As I had more time to give, I gave it to the church I adore. I was able to serve the people there and use the skills You have given me through time. I never really thought I was “good enough” to serve as a volunteer coordinator at any church, yet my heart has desired it for so long. Here I was, volunteer coordinator at Your church. Crazy. Seriously. I knew I wanted it, but there was always this part that whispered to me of how unqualified I was. There was this part of me that didn’t think I deserved it. I mean, I don’t. The thing is, none of that matters. I knew God was calling me to a different place and I followed and just kept giving Him all my worries and doubts. He is so kind and gentle, He would remind me of who He is and what He was calling me to in so many ways. He used His people to speak just the right words at just the right time and blew me away every time.

As we approached the end of the year, so came the end of my unemployment. I was unsuccessful in finding a job that would offer what I needed to continue my work at the church and allow me to be available for my kids in the same manner that I have been. So now I am working at Your church part-time as I was able to grow into this position You called me to. You gave me this space and told me what to do with it. It was frightening, completely different from anything I have ever done before, yet I just knew that it was exactly where You wanted me.

So now I start a new year as a part-time volunteer coordinator in Your church, I am still with my kids before and after school, I am tending to my home more than I was ever able to before. There has been this huge shift in my life, but everyone here is happy and things haven’t really changed all that much. It’s difficult to explain. Walking in faith is hard, it’s a struggle. There is no easy way to follow You blindly, oh but the rewards are great. The things You have brought me through have hit my core. You have truly transformed this soul in ways that I couldn’t even begin to explain. The peace, the joy, the healing and the light that You have brought in this life are amazing.

I sit here in amazement of You. The path You have brought me through still boggles my mind. To know that so much more is still unseen is impossible to comprehend. Your vast love and kindness must never be forgotten. The freedom You have provided me is incomprehensible, yet I know I only taste a small portion of it. I know I have struggles to go through still and that each brings me closer to You. Each trial offers true strength, true peace, and unspeakable love. The weight being lifted, the pain I hardly know knew was there. Even as I struggle physically, my Soul shines brightly. The enemy may slow me down from time to time, but You’re always there. You lift me up, You patiently wait and You never waver.

To know that You truly want me to be happy, that walking in the way You asked me to would seem so irresponsible to me, yet brought such miracles. How I blindly followed You and it brought me to a place that I cannot describe. My words fail, but my heart sings to You. My gratitude pours out of me. You’ve met me at every step and I know that You always will.

Thank You Lord

Day 10 – Steadfast

Seeking counsel and fellowship are important. Seeking God’s face is most important of all.

God is good and that is all that matters.

The walk is long, hard and backbreaking at times. The great thing is that we are never alone.

I lean on You most of all. A war is waging all around me and only You can protect me. All too often we walk around blind to the damage, pain and brokenness that surrounds us on all sides. Jesus is beginning to open my eyes to it and for that I am thankful.

I live in a place that is hardened against Jesus and I must remember that He has put me here for a reason. When God brought me into existence, He did so with a purpose. It is so easy to lose sight of that and just go through the motions.

I don’t want to take this life for granted. I don’t want to fall. I don’t want to curl up and fade away. These are the whispers of the enemy. He tells me that I am no good, that all I want to do is not worth it. The darkness creeps in and tries to render me useless. I will not succumb.

The burden is heavy at times, but all I have to do is remember that Jesus us by my side sharing it.

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I am learning to be ok with being weary and heavy-laden at times. It is alright to acknowledge it so long as I bring it before Christ. In all I have been challenged with, I have seen that it is deepening my understanding and strengthening my faith. I can feel Jesus lifting the burdens off of me and showing me the way to walk.

I am not perfect in the struggle. My emotions have been all over the place as my heart has been tested. I have lashed out and I am not proud of that. The great thing is that I am seeing where it is coming from, I am learning to pull it back and open it up before the throne. I am using this time as a place to be still before the Almighty and to ask Him to heal the places that are ripping apart inside.

Every moment is an opportunity and a lesson. God moves in all things. God uses everything for His greater good if I allow Him to.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28

This verse reminds me that I have a responsibility in all things. We live in a broken world and in the center of a spiritual war. Bad things will happen. Spiritual attacks will push us to the edge. It’s ok to struggle, it’s ok to fall apart, and it’s ok to not have the answers. I must always remember to turn back and bring it before Jesus so that He can turn it all around. He will bring all things to a place of goodness and love, it’s up to us to allow Him the room He needs to do this work. He will not force Himself into our lives, we must invite Him in.

Day 7 – Trust

Do you trust in all that you see, hear and feel? I believe I do at times. Other times I begin to see that it is all so temporary and always changing.

15 “For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16 “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. – 1 Chronicles 29:15-16

Today I am reminded to keep my eyes on eternity and not to be too distracted by the world around me. This will all fade away and be a distant memory. This is how I should be living every day.

I have been in a place of uncertainty and sadness these past few weeks. I have been wondering, wandering and struggling to understand. I know that God is at work and the He will never allow me to be brought anywhere other than where I am meant to be, but it has still been hard.

Tonight I was reminded that He is in control. He is so faithful and has brought all these “coincidence”s before me as a way of showing me that He is right there. This I know for sure. Today is the first day in a while that I have felt that peace sweeping over me. I was allowing anxiety to creep in where it does not belong.

I cannot say for sure that I will not be anxious over this again, but I can say that right now I am so thankful that Jesus is there for me. I am blown away by the way things all line up and point to Him. The timing of all things at once, from places that don’t seem to connect, and they all point to Him being in control.

My place in all this is to be obedient. Look for the work that is being done and trust in all the unknowns. Trust. Trust in the one who is eternal, not in the temporary things that are of this world. We are only passing through. This is not where we will land. This is not the end. This is the beginning.

Will I choose to get wrapped up and emotional over the things that will no longer be in the blink of an eye? No, I will choose to look past it all and see the bigger picture. I am a citizen of Heaven and a child of the Almighty Creator, the great I AM. He is for me in all things. He has protected me and guided me through so many things, how could I even think that He would not be in something so important to me?

His will is my focus. His plans are my desires. I crave to be lead by His Spirit, so why am I worried in the least?

Today I choose to trust more deeply. Today I choose to be thankful for the struggle so that I can grow in ways not possible otherwise. I lift it all up and lay it at the His feet. My Lord will always work my life to bring Him Glory and that is all that matters.

Can You Relate?

I truly love this life. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s painful and I wouldn’t change it. My early years were full of love, abandonment, pain, healing, drugs, alcohol and destruction. I led a hard life for quite a while and then I lived in the regret when I came out of it. Can any of you relate?

When I was in those hard years, I was proud of it, although not proud of the circumstances I would find myself in. I had secrets. I was a wrecking ball and did not care who I trampled while fulfilling my current desired. I was selfish and greedy. I felt entitled and thought I was strong. Can any of you relate?

I was dead against Christianity and the hypocrisy that came along with it. I threw many a Bible away and actively sought to challenge these so-called Christians before me. Most Christians I came across were shallow and were not actual followers of Jesus. They could not answer my questions, they fumbled when I confronted them, they did not know what it meant to be a Christian. Christian was a term they just threw out there, empty and meaningless. Others were knowledgeable and judgmental. These were the ones that showed me why I would never want to be a Christian. Fake, narrow, shallow, manipulative. Can any of you relate?

What about those that walk around pretending that life is perfect now that they have Jesus? Just read the Bible, go to church, tithe appropriately and swear your allegiance to us and all the pain of this world will disappear. These scared me most of all. I swore off Christianity. I believed there was a Jesus that walked this earth, I couldn’t dispute history. I had no interest in being that fake, that disillusioned, that blind. There is no escape from the harshness of this world, I have tried. Can any of you relate?

Jesus has a funny way of showing up when you want nothing to do with Him. When I look back at my story, I can see how He was trying to get my attention all along. He was right there with me, every step of the way. When I first came to believe in the Living Savior, I was ashamed. I knew how I treated Christianity, I knew how stupid it would sound to those around me……Melissa is a Christian? Her? Seriously? Was the church struck by lightning when she entered? Do they know the kind of life she has led? Would they still accept her if they did? Can any of you relate?

Not only did everyone I ever knew think and say these things, I did too. Was I crazy? Why would this Jesus dude want anything to do with me? I was a hot mess and breaking all the rules. How could I possibly clean my life up enough to do this thing called Christianity? Can any of you relate?

Today I can say that I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus. I have learned to push past the fakes, the hypocrites, the judgmental people and the doubt. I stopped looking to people and submitted to Jesus. You see, nothing else matters. Words, intentions, pasts and pain mean nothing. Jesus loves every single person who ever existed and who will come into existence. No exceptions. None. Everyone is able to be real before our mighty Creator, all we need to do is give Him a chance. Be open, be real, be accepting. Let Him love you. Life will not magically be pain-free, it will probably be harder at times, but in different ways. He does make it easier to deal with the pains of this broken world. He offers a peace that words cannot describe. He breathes life into the most broken of lives. He truly saves your very soul and offers an eternity in His presence. I hope you can relate.

Lay it all down

Last week I wrote about where I believe the Lord is bringing me in terms of places to grow. We talked a bit about the guilt and shame we can all carry around with us and how we are not meant to do so. Jesus loves us more than we could ever imagine. Even when we are in a place of finally accepting that love, we still are not able to fathom the depths of it.

Did you take the time to write out all your failures, your guilt, your shortcomings? I would encourage you all to do so. Write them all out and bring them before the throne. Let our Mighty Yahweh wipe that slate clean.

When I choose to hold onto the baggage from past pains, I am stifling the Holy Spirit’s power in my life. I want all that Jesus has for me in the life He has granted me. I want the power of our Creator to shine through each day. I deeply desire for His love and compassion to pour out of me.

I want these desires to outweigh and overcome anything that gets in the way of that happening.

Lord, as I look over this list created, I ask You to show me how to let it all go. I give them all to You, they are Yours. I don’t need any of this. Wash them away, cleans me and free me. Break these chains Lord. You are might to save and I live for You. There are parts of me that I closed off long ago and today I ask You to break down those walls and to allow me to become whole again. Let me be as You created me to be. Shine Your precious light into those dark places that scare me so. You are stronger than anything. You spoke our entire universe into creation, how much more can You do in me when I give up control!

Where do you find it most difficult to go? Are you willing to allow Jesus into those places? Have you felt a release as you bring these desires before God’s throne?

Where do you come from guilt?

As I begin to delve into this guilt I deal with, I wonder where it comes from. My feelings of inadequacy certainly play a part. Past pains I have endured and caused. Feeling like I have to be everything to everybody. Generally speaking, I believe my high standards play a significant role in my guilt.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

So I take this before Jesus and ask Him what his standard is. How do I measure up Lord? How do I please You, for that is truly all that matters. When I am focused on pleasing Yahweh, the rest follows and my burden is lifted. This I can testify to and long to do more.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

When I allow myself to be consumed by guilt and anxiety, I am to confess it to Jesus. He forgives me and cleanses me. This is permanent! He does not keep a list of past failures to remind me of. So why do I?

Today I will take the time to sit down and make the list of failures I still hold onto. Once I feel like I am done, I will bring them before Jesus and ask Him to wash them away. I must repent and allow Jesus to cleanse me of these burdens I am not meant to bare. I must release these to our Lord so that He can break the chains. I must give them up in order for Him to take them away. I need to be willing to release and to accept the healing that Jesus offers. If I don’t take the first step, if I don’t allow the space, I will be stuck right where I am.

Our God is a wonderful God. He will not force anything and waits for us to go before Him with our messes. Today I will pour out all the guilt and shame I carry each day. Today I accept the promise of Jesus and lay it all down before Him. Today I ask Him to replace the guilt withe the joy, peace and love that He offers. I beg for the exchange to take place in the deepest parts of me.

Will you allow him to work in your hearts today? Will you dare to lay it all down for Him to take away? Will you give God the space to work miracles in you?

Let’s walk in this together.

Fulfillment

Aren’t we all looking for some kind of fulfillment in this life? Where do you go for it? The TV? Relationships? Food? Alcohol? Our society inundates us with these empty promises. False fulfillment. Temporary satisfaction that leaves us feeling the emptiness deepening. Our very foundations begin to crack when we rely on the things of this world.

Take a moment to stop right where you are and think about where you look to for relief in the midst of the storms.

How do we handle the unknown, the pain, the suffering, the injustices that are all around us? Who do we look to? Where can we find true peace?

Psalm 29

1 A psalm of David. Give honor to the LORD, you angels; give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. 2 Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts. 8 The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake; the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” 10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. 11 The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.   

 

The voice of the Lord is mightier than anything this world brings to us. He created this world, why would I think anything could be bigger than Him? How easily we forget who watches over us, who created the very air we breathe. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is mightier than the circumstances we face.

Today I choose to pause in my stressors and anxieties and bring them before my God. I choose to smile in the face of adversity, knowing that I have a mighty force before me, behind me and within me. All of this will pass, all will come to an end, but I have an eternity before me that I can look forward to. I will be in the very presence of our great Creator and will bow before Him full of joy.

All of this is temporary, I cannot stress that enough. We all know our time here is short and that we need to make the most of it, but what does that mean exactly? What am I to make the most of? Simple pleasures? Physical fulfillment? Drowning away my sorrows and numbing myself? What does God say? What is the meaning of life?

Romans 12 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Living Sacrifice to God

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

Read this, study this and apply it to your lives. Let the Lord work through you and you will truly be amazed at what comes out it. Stop searching and look to the Creator of all things. He will always lead you to a place of true fulfillment.

May God bless you today.

Proverbs Study Day 9

Thank you all for coming along this journey with me and hearing how God’s word is working in my life. I truly hope that you too are being impacted with this study.


Proverbs 9
Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.
But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
Folly Calls for a Hearing
The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business. “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.

 What have I taken away from this chapter today:
Again God reminds us that fearing Him is a good thing. A healthy fear of the Lord leads to a life full of peace and joy. When we fear the Lord and accept His invitation to have a personal relationship with Him, we begin to see just how empty our lives were before Him. Prior to accepting Christ into my life, I knew that I was missing something but had no idea just how empty my life was. Even today, as my relationship deepens, I am blown away with the fruits being produced. God is so good and once you truly taste the salvation offered, you will never want to go back to that place of emptiness and selfishness. Success and true Godly fulfillment are not the same.
When I reflect upon my life before Jesus, I can see how many times He was right there calling out to me. I refused to accept His invitation to the feast of life He offers to us all. I allowed misconceptions and human errors to keep me from digging deeper. I actually hated Christianity for the better part of my life. I laugh when I think of all the reasons and the uneducated statements I would make on a regular basis.
Part of me wishes I listened to God’s call earlier and part of me is thankful that I can truly understand where people are coming from when they are rejecting Jesus and attacking me as a believer. I get it and I can share with them from that place.
My prayer for today:
Jesus, You are truly amazing. I thank You for never giving up and for Your unconditional love. Thank You for walking with me, even when I was Your true enemy. I ask that You continue to work in this life You have given to me and to use me as You see fit. Let me be a light in the darkness that surrounds us all. Let all who read this be changed and look to You for more. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Endurance

Growth can be painful, there is no doubt about that. I would even go so far as to say that all growth involved a level of discomfort. Some journeys are more painful than others.

I have been walking with the Lord for quite a few years now and He has been gracious. He knows what I can handle and what I cannot. I tend to think that surviving the tragedies in my life is enough. I came out of it, I survived and that is all that needs to be done. I found Jesus, I am forgiven, isn’t that enough? Well, of course it is. I can rest in the peace He has given me through the years. He certainly is not holding my past against me, only I do that. He does however bring me back to the places of extreme pain in order to bring me healing. This is not comfortable. Whenever past pains surface, I try to push them aside and move on. This has always been my preference. What is the point of rehashing past hurts? Well my friends, the thing is, if these pains continue to surface than true healing has not taken place.

I have come to a place where I am beginning to see that when true healing has taken place, I can look back upon these experiences with acknowledgement and am able to share with the sole intent of helping others. The way I know that I still need healing in these places is when they surface with anxiety, depression, when I feel me closing off to not feel all that goes along with those memories. When there is still pain. When I am tired from the effort that it takes to keep that part hidden, I know it is time to allow God to work there.

All too often we try to keep parts of our selves separate. Sometimes this is necessary for survival, but cannot be a long-term solution. Compartmentalization  can be a great way to survive the tragedy, shame should not be the reason we keep those feelings and memories locked away. We can become prisoners of what may have started out as a survival technique. The funny thing is that we can become so used to this state that we forget how heavy a burden we carry. I carry many burdens and God has been moving in these places. It is not easy.

Personally, I would prefer that these parts of me would just die and disappear. I don’t want to delve back into the wounds that seem so far away. Yet they are ever near the surface and come out in the anger, anxiety, impatience and coldness that comes out of me. I must feel, acknowledge and replace lies with truth in order to heal.

The problem is that if I feel too much at once, it will cripple me. If I try to face my past without Jesus, it will make me crazy. This is why I chose to lock up those parts of me. It was easier. Safer. Just the thought of it makes my heart ache as I type these very words. Acknowledging, feeling, allowing these places to once again become part of me scares me more than words can describe. How can I allow such horrors to become reality again?

There is another side to this that I struggle with, guilt. I look at all I endured and compare it to others in this world and begin to shame myself for even feeling the way I do. I begin to look at the horrors people face that make mine look like nothing. There is a lie that I have come to believe, I have no right to feel this pain because it is not as bad as what other’s endure at this very moment in time. I have no right to feel this pain or to experience healing because the horrors I face were due to choices I made. I tell myself that it could have been worse, I should be thankful. What right do I have to mourn when others are enduring far worse than my wildest dreams?

The truth is that I can very easily become tangled in the lies of this world. Yes, there are people suffering through terrible terrors in this world. However, this should not keep me from feeling my own pain. Yes, I have made horrible decisions that have left deep scars, but that doesn’t take away my right to mourn and to find healing.

As I struggle through these things, I begin to think that I cannot be the only one. I am certain that some, if not all of you, can relate to this in some way. As I begin to see that I need to be healed in these places, I want to share it with all of you. We have the right to mourn, we have the right to work through the pain, we do not need to live with it locked away somewhere. When we try to keep portions of ourselves buried we set our selves up for failure. In an essence we are telling God that we don’t need Him in these places. We cannot hide anything from our Lord, He knows everything.

Today I decide to give it all up to God. Today I lay it all down and give up control. I cannot manage the pain on my own. No longer can I continue to bury my past in hopes that I will never have to face it again. Today I choose life. I know that when I allow Jesus to do the work He wants to do in me, I will find true freedom. Only then will I experience true healing and peace, not this made up contentment I keep trying to manifest and convince myself of.

I encourage you to look deep inside and ask The Holy Spirit to show you where He wants to heal you today. We do not need to manifest issues or to create problems where there are none, that is not useful. We do need to allow God to do the work in us that He desires. Allow him to free you from the pain, the lies and the wounds left festering. You and I are not worthy in and of ourselves, but Jesus has made us so. All we have to do is turned to Him, confess our failures and our sin, He will do the work if we allow Him the space to.

Love you all.