Dancing in a Garment of Praise

Isaiah 61:3(NIV)

“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

I had been in a long season of grieving. As I read this scripture verse repeatedly, it was hard for me to see beauty coming out of these ashes. Or how joy could drench my soul while in mourning. And then imagining a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair? It was hard to comprehend.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. When picking out the header for my blog, my friend Bethany sent a series of designs. I saw this one and fell head over heals in love! I remember thinking, but what does a dress have to do with my blog?

I initially picked it because I love dresses. We picked the four colorful butterflies for our children in Heaven. If I didn’t live so far north, I would be wearing dresses every day. They just make me feel dainty. They make everyday ordinary moments feel special.

I finally realized why I picked it. The colors of the dress symbolize a watercolor swirl of emotions, but the dress itself represents a garment of praise! No matter what occasion I am in, I can’t help but put a dress on and not feel beautiful.

There is something about dressing up that makes you empowered and brave. Also, it makes you feel beautiful. Kings and Queens have been doing this for centuries!

I want to encourage you to find your “garment of praise.” What can you add to your daily wardrobe that makes you want to sing!? Maybe it’s scarves, hats, makeup, jackets, colorful socks, brightly colored leggings, or one of my all time favorites, shoes! (Shoes are right up there with dresses in my book!)

I realize these some of these are not actual garments but you get the idea!

I have a friend of mine who is always wearing stunning pieces of jewelry; she always looks glamorous! I have another friend who wears beautiful coats. And another who wears anything with Pugs! It makes them feel happy and they rock it!

Half of the fun of getting married is finding that perfect dress, veil, and jewelry to make you stand out and feel radiant! Everyone who is invited to the wedding gets decked out and it just makes the event magical. The joy becomes contagious!

We give babies and young children a pacifier, blanket, or special toy that help soothe them and bring comfort through any situation. As adults, depression and anxiety run rampant. We are bombarded with heavy schedules and the need to constantly go 24/7. It would make sense to find something that encourages us and reminds us to be full of praise.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The holidays are normally associated with joy and presents. But for many who are dealing with sickness, loss, or just not feeling it this year, it can be rough.

Maybe you are in a great spot right now and you don’t need that reminder. But you know someone who could use something to brighten their life. Think about what they love and bless them with something they can touch or wear and bring a smile to their face. Help them find their garment of praise!

It seems like such a simple and maybe silly thing to suggest. But if the Bible suggests it, I am all in! I have found that finding reasons to praise G-d really helps shift my focus to what is good instead of what may be bogging me down.  Trust me, praise goes a long way!

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What does your garment look like?

I challenge you to find something that makes you feel full of praise when you wear it. It will bring a smile to your face and a spring in your step!

Go ahead, put in on!

 

 

 

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This One Thing Changed My Whole Life

I remember the first time that I heard a song by U2 that completely captured my attention. The chorus still echoes often in my mind:

“But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.”

Admittedly, I have tried to find what I am looking for in so many things, only to come up empty. We all go through these phases continually through our lives.

I have poured hours into scripture wanting to find a way to have authentic joy.  I kept coming back to faith in action and pondered what that looked like.

I was waiting for the Lord to show up in my prayers with a loud booming voice and command me where I was supposed to go. I didn’t want to do it wrong, so I did nothing.

We see amazing people do spectacular things and think, wow if I just had their talent or money I would do something great like them.

Or we find ourselves begging the Lord for mercy for our suffering friends, feeling discouraged we can’t fix them.

But here’s the thing. I have found the most amazing thing that can change the way we live.  It will add a healing to your life that is unexplainable. It will open doors you didn’t know existed. Most of all, it will bring you hope and joy!

Some of us will have that magical moment where G-d intervenes in a miraculous way. But much of the time He is waiting for us to step out in faith.

So here is the one thing that has changed my whole life: giving.

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It can be our time, resources, or any way you feel led.

It’s just showing up for someone.

I remember sitting in my bed when I was so sick and close to death. In those weak moments, I realized that looking back on my life, I wasn’t successful. I am not talking about college degrees, a big house, or a big bank account. I am talking about realizing I hadn’t done much to really help anyone out unless it was easy for me.

A lot of the times I am finding out that true giving isn’t convenient. It’s stopping to help a person when you are in a hurry. It’s visiting someone who has no hope and entering willingly into their pain.  Most of all, helping those who can’t give anything back.

That moment I had that realization in bed I promised the Lord that if I got well, I would make sure to help others as much as I could. When I didn’t get well fast enough I would cry out to Him and say, “How am I supposed to help when I can’t leave my house!”

He ended up bringing people to me. Sometimes it was a phone call or sending/answering a message on the computer. While I couldn’t give them money or fix their problems, I could listen and pray for them.

It didn’t seem like much at first, but after a while, my eyes were opened to see there were so many  suffering all around me. As I have grown stronger he has me step out of my comfort zone to help meet other’s needs in unique ways.

Through each hardship we have experienced, the Lord sent many people in our lives to help us out in unique ways. We had people drop off clothes for the kids, meals, babysitting, taking my kids to school, helping clean our house, and so much more. Sometimes we didn’t even know who they were. All I know is each time they showed up, we were filled with gratitude and awe. It’s one thing to read about acts of kindess, but another to experience it. It was contagious and I wanted to pay it forward.

I have found my true fulfillment isn’t in what I gain, instead, it’s what I give.

We have been instructed to do these things in secret as much as possible. I think it just makes it that much more special when someone is standing there baffled wondering who it was and then it gets them thanking G-d while bringing hope to their hearts.

The simple act of showing up and giving has revolutionalized my family’s life. I have found on days where I am really depressed or frustrated, I stop and think about what I can do for someone else. Without fail, it always turns my day around.

Today, I want to challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and give. Whether it be dropping off something simple, taking the time to listen to a hurting heart, or whatever thought comes to mind. Each day, be intentional in trying to do something for someone you know can’t give anything back.

Just show up.

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3 (NLT)

Your life will never be the same.

Guess what, I found what I am looking for.

Is the Mess You Are In, Soon to Be Your Message For Him?

I dreaded the night like a child afraid of the dark. As the darkness of the night crept in, my fear of death overpowered my mind and I was afraid to close my eyes. Would tonight be the night where I would breathe my last breath?

Was I ready to meet my savior?

Why am I so afraid to let go?

I was down to eighty-something pounds and I felt my spirit growing dim. I prayed breath prayers and pleas to G-d to spare my life, or at least take the fear from my slow beating heart.

I had watched my daughter and my son die. I couldn’t help but wonder what they must have felt in their final moments here on earth. I remember staring at them as I helplessly watched their chest rise and fall for the last time.

Now it seemed as if it would be my turn. I didn’t want my kids to watch me wither away. Yet, I wanted to be with the ones that I loved and have the images of their faces forever branded in my soul for all of eternity.

It was a battle of the mind as well as in my body. Each day the enemy would throw fiery arrows of, “No one cares anymore. You are a burden. You are worthless. You being gone would be a relief. You don’t matter. You. Are. Finished,” the enemy hissed.

Every time I believed the vile lies he whispered, the sicker I got.

I tried hard to read scripture to combat the lies, but at that time I was too weak to read. I could barely concentrate on basic conversations.  The Lord sent people around us who would pray or call and check up on me.

One person had told my husband to put on Christian music and to play it 24/7. He said that praise music could help combat the depression. So my husband turned it on about four years ago, and it’s still on almost every single day.

I found myself weeping as the words of the songs came alive and soothed my soul.

Daily I listened to Joyce Meyer and Robert Morris (Gateway Church). I couldn’t get enough. Joyce Meyer shared many times over, about our messes becoming our message and our tests becoming our testimony.

I remember each time as she spoke these simple but true sayings, my heart would leap.  I wasn’t sure how my mess would ever be a message for G-d, but I wanted to walk these words out.

Often I think we get caught up in the idea of feeling worthy enough. We find ourselves asking, “Who would care about something in my life? How in the world would it impact others?”

Sure, we see the amazing people who do big things with big names and we stand back in awe to think, I could never do that. But those people aren’t amazing because of what they do. Rather, it’s the light of our Father that makes them so entrancing.

That same light can shine through you.

You see,  we have to remember that it’s not our light that we lend to the world, it is His. Anything good in this world, whether people believe it or not, comes from G-d. He is always moving in unique and amazing ways and He flows through even the harshest of situations to send hope.

I don’t know where you are in your life. Maybe you are at the end of your rope and you feel utterly trapped.  Whether it be because of the loss of a loved one, your own health, finances, relationships, or your dreams…   Know that G-d can take your broken life and transform it into something much greater than you could comprehend.

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I know it seems hopeless right now.  You feel like your life has shattered like pieces of glass, broken and dangerous.

broken and dangerous.

I get that.

Some of my favorite pieces of art are mosaics. I love the ones where they take something that at one time had been a flawless but fragile piece of glass/pottery.  It was broken and then carefully arranged into a brand new creation. Instead of it being one delicate piece, there are thousands of different facets, depths, and textures that are revealed. It’s more detailed and carefully pieced together.

I imagine the Lord to be holding each of our shattered messes that are broken beyond recognition, sitting at His stool leaning over and piecing the fragments of our lives together in a whole new piece of beauty.

We are going to fall down a lot during our lifetime. Father G-d is always there with his hand stretched forth waiting to help you back up.

I can tell you in my darkest hours, it was my loved ones who had experienced great suffering that encouraged me to keep on going. They made sure that I didn’t have to fight alone. Their survival reminded me that G-d can redeem anyone.

You too can be an inspiration to others. Whatever you have gone through or are going through, know that your suffering isn’t a waste. Ask G-d to redeem your broken life and keep praying in faith that your story isn’t over.  Know that He can make glory from anyone’s story and one day your hardships may be a lighthouse to a ship about to run into the shore.

Remember, your story is just being written and the best is yet to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When You are Betrayed by the One You Love

We all have been there.  It’s a scar that brands the soul. It changes the way we interact in that relationship, permanently.

Betrayal takes many forms, it might be in gossip, a secret, abandonment, and even rejection.

It’s a tricky beast. Once you have been betrayed it sets you out on high alert, because your heart just can’t take the pain of losing trust in someone you love so dearly.

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Did you notice I didn’t write love in a past tense?

That’s right, the ones that leave us marred, are those that are not only people we used to love, instead, we still do and always will.

I could list several stories where I have been betrayed. It would be tales of great abandonment and rejection but honestly, I love those people too much to even recant the details.

I could also list when I have been the one that betrayed my loved one. Like many other stories, it would start with a, “I never meant to..”

Most times it was not deliberate, in fact, many times I know it was purely unintentional, but the offense was cast and the more I tried to right the wrong, the more damage occurred.

It goes both ways. I think there are many times where when we just stepped out at the wrong time and to the other person it was rejection.

It’s hard living in a world where offense runs prevalent. Betrayal is often gossiped about but rarely confronted, which breeds contempt.

Why  do we do this to others and ourselves?

My greatest betrayals haven’t been what was said about me, rather it was more what wasn’t said. It’s that wounded elephant in the room that is so painfully obvious that everyone is afraid to send it stampeding.

We cringe at the thought of hurting the ones we love, but sometimes things happen that we just have no way of preparing for and we say or do things that we can’t take back.

This leads me to one of the most infamous betrayers of all time, Judas.

He was one of the twelve disciples and counted in the inner circle of Jesus. He broke bread with Jesus and listened to His words with great intent. Jesus loved him and called him friend and brother.We never hear about all of the good things he did, just his betrayal.

I always wondered what made him betray his mentor, his savior, the one he loved? While we all know it had to happen in some way shape or form, I can’t help but wonder did he grow jealous?

Did he feel abandoned, insecure, or rejected in some way that just got the best of him?

It’s easy to be angry at Judas when we read the story of his betrayal of Jesus. But how often have we done the same?

Maybe we haven’t lead our loved one to physical death or sold them for thirty pieces of silver. Instead, maybe it was the death of a relationship or we sold out our friendship for something we thought would be better?

Maybe we smiled and hugged the person then secretly inside we burned with anger at something we had allowed to penetrate our heart?

Luke 22:3 (NIV) gets straight to the point:

                                             “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”

It doesn’t say Judas did it on his own, it says Satan entered.

How often have we allowed Satan to enter our hearts when our feelings and thoughts overwhelm us?

Or let’s flip it.

Could these betrayals be a blessing in disguise? Could they help prepare us for our walk in life and teach us remorse, compassion, and controlling our tongue? Or how to withstand the horror as we helplessly watch our reputations become tarnished, with grace and forgiveness?

Maybe it could help us when we are standing in the face of the storm of rejection and abandonment and holding fast to trusting that G-d will reveal truth here on earth? Or maybe we will have to wait for our vindication to come when we stand face to face with our savior?

When we feel betrayed, more times than not we want to lash out for justice or shut down for self-preservation. I have been challenged to see rejection as beneficial. Without the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial, or the disciples (his inner circle) of Jesus that feel asleep when he asked them to pray in his hour of need, Jesus might never have been able to do what he came to do, to save us from ourselves and death.

He too felt rejected, abandoned, unworthy, and scarred.

The Bible says to not let the sun go down on our anger, I see why. It just festers and boils with each passing minute and we feel empowered by the anger instead of seeing it for the toxicity that it really is.

Each time that I have been betrayed I have had a part of me die to realize that person isn’t who I thought they were or that I thought I should be.

The truth is, after each betrayal we have a choice. Do we forgive as G-d does and release grace that we so desperately ask for?

Or do we harbor bitterness and hold to what we feel is right, when secretly it is suffocating our very spirit?

It’s a battle we wage at some point or another. To make the right choice often really hurts.

Whereas the wrong choice feels so good, while slowly destroying everything in its path.

What if we take that pain that was meant for evil and choose to bless instead of cursing?

Prayer.

Forgiveness.

Grace.

Freedom.

These simple words transform the way we live each day.

We all will be afflicted by betrayals in our lives. Some worse and harder to forgive than others.  How we respond to these rejections can alter the way we interact with others for the rest of our lives.

The very things that were meant to break us, when we allow G-d to heal and strengthen  to become the person He knows we can be. We can’t do it on our own, but with G-d anything is possible.

Let us lived as Jesus instructed us to and  pray for those who hurt us. May we lay down our hurts and keep on showing the love that we all desire.

Today is a fresh start, let us begin…

 

If this post has spoken to you today, please feel free to share, leave a comment, or hit a Like!  I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, to My Son in Heaven

Twelve years ago my husband and I were at our high-risk Neonatal doctor’s office.  Dr. B. looked at me and sighed as he pulled the ultrasound wand away from my pregnant belly. “No more amnio-infusions. There isn’t any more room to put the needles in and your little guy needs to get out of there.”

I stared at him wide-eyed.

“But we are barely thirty-six weeks along. He isn’t big enough. How big does he have to be for them to be ready to do dialysis?” I asked with grave concern.

“Six pounds. Anything less than that and he won’t be able to go to surgery.” He said matter of factly.

“But he’ll die.” I squeaked.

“Yes, he may. We don’t even know if his lungs will be developed. This hasn’t been done before. We have the whole team ready for you, they are excited to meet the baby with no kidneys.” He smiled and patted my hand.

Dr. B. and his office had become like family to us. He came in on his vacations and I could call him whenever I needed him, he did everything he could to help bring our little guy into the world. He knew how hard it was for us to lose our daughter.

We knew early on in our pregnancy that we weren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We were thankful to have made it to thirty-six weeks. We held onto faith that he would survive the delivery. Even after thirty-two weeks of strict bed rest, I just wanted him to stay a little while longer.

We went home to pack our bags feeling excited and terrified. We got his tiny premie outfit in case we had to say goodbye.

Still, we pressed into G-d praying for a miracle for our sweet little Elijah Praise. We knew the Lord was above anything, even the wisest doctor.

I barely slept that night knowing our whole world was about to change and kept on praying.

We got up before dawn and headed up to the hospital, I had on my yellow empire waisted pregnancy shirt. It reminded me of sunshine and gave me hope.

We saw Dr. B. and I instantly felt soothed. They got us ready to take the long walk down the hall. Elijah seemed to know something was up and wiggled around. I just loved his movements and did my best to reassure him everything would be alright.

Elijah Praise was born on September 30th, 2004. He weighed exactly six pounds. G-d had answered our prayers not only in his size but as he belted out his lungs and bleated like a baby sheep. The room was packed with labor and delivery and NICU staff, and everyone cheered as we sobbed.

Dr. B. held him up to me and said, “Six pounds! He is ready to go!”

He was gorgeous and looked perfect. I prayed the diagnosis was all a mistake.

I made my husband promise to stay with Elijah. I didn’t want him to be alone, especially if he passed away. Thirty-two weeks of bed rest had left me in poor condition and I could barely get out of bed.

I ached to be with my boy. I waited in prayer as my husband would call to tell me what he looked like and what all of the medical reports were saying.

Dr. B. later came in and told me, that the reason they had to deliver so soon was he had a knot in his cord. He didn’t want to worry me. I knew that G-d had spared him.

It felt like we had jumped from one roller-coaster to the next.

When I think back to that very special day, Psalm 139:16 (paraphrased) became his anthem, I knew that G-d had already ordained all the days of his life before one of them came to be.

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Remember Me This Way

Our sweet Elijah’s life was a gift. His story now lives on and he is still alive in my heart and as well as in Heaven.  He taught us compassion, empathy, to face our fears, to learn how to pray, to embrace every single moment, and to trust G-d with everything.

My husband and I have a heart for ministry because of his and Aurora’s brief life. We learned that every single child is sacred from the moment that life begins. They feel pain and joy just like you and me.  No matter how long a life is lived here on earth, they make a difference that forever alters history in ways we don’t begin to understand.

Birthdays are hard. Instead of running into my boy’s room and making him his favorite breakfast, we go to the mausoleum and run our hands across the cool marble headstone and sing songs to him that echo through the halls.  As my husband and I stand in the hall with tears in our eyes, our earthly children dance and sing for joy for their brother and sister in Heaven.

I love that they don’t fear death.

I love that they talk about them.

I love that they are as real to them as we are.

I love that they ask questions because they want to hear about them.

But I do have wishes…

I wish I could hold him for five more minutes.

I wish I could run my fingers through his hair and kiss his sweet cheeks and feel his skin.

I just wish I could see who he looks like and see his double dimples and soulful grey-blue eyes just five more minutes.

I miss my boy and I always will.

I don’t share my grief for pity or attention. Rather I am sharing my pearls to those of you who may be facing similar circumstances who feel so alone. Or for those who know someone and you want to understand why they are responding as they do.

I want others to understand that grief isn’t something you get through or get over. Instead, it is something that transforms your life. Our children are forever a part of us in life and in death. In some unique way, it is a sacred treasure that draws you into G-d’s arms and increases our faith, should we choose to believe. It helps us to fix our eyes on His promises and love all the more deeply with compassion that can only be learned by experience.

I am so glad that I get to celebrate my son’s birthday. We remember each blessed day we had with him and are beyond thankful.  The Lord has tenderly reminded me that his life hasn’t ended. Rather, it’s just begun.

I thank G-d that he used our son’s life to show us that He is always with us, to pray with great faith, and to teach us what it is to love with all of our heart no matter the cost.

Happy Birthday, Elijah. You softened my heart. Your bravery, sweetness, and life live on for eternity. You made our lives so much better. Hold your sister’s hand till I get there.

Love,

Mommy

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When You Have Too Much on Your Plate…

I remember going to my first fine dining restaurant. The place was beautifully decorated, gentle jazz piano music played quietly in the room, I felt awkward to be in such a fancy place.

The waiter gave me the menu and I was stunned by the prices. I went to read the description of each dish expecting there to be a plethora of food for how expensive everything was.

Instead, the descriptions were listing only three or four basic ingredients.

I ordered carefully, hoping to find something filling, but it all seemed too simple. I was hungry and wanted to dive into a big plate of deliciousness.

When they brought the food out, (this was before the Food Network) I was taken aback seeing the plate with three tiny portions of food.

 

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All I could think was how hungry I was and that this was not going to be enough. I could easily see what each item was and even though it was small, it looked rather beautiful.

I could easily see what each item was and even though it was small, it did look rather beautiful.

I found myself puzzled on how to attack my food. I couldn’t gobble it down because I couldn’t afford another order to go on the tab.

So I did what I wasn’t used to doing, I ate slowly. I savored each and every bite. The food was simple and exquisite. Because the portions were smaller so we took our time and actually talked. The pace of the night slowed down and it was an experience to remember.

Like Burger King’s old slogan, “Have it your way,” we expect things in life to be fast, our way, and a lot of times we end up feasting on filler that leaves us sick and wanting more. Sure it didn’t cost as much but did we really enjoy things or just move on to the next moment.

I am not just talking about food, but our schedules.

It’s a constant pull to divvy up our precious time.

When did success become about quantity versus quality?

Are we and our kids really getting better by getting more?

Life nowadays feels like an all you can eat buffet. Sports, school, church, house chores, classes, grocery shopping, volunteering, etc… Like a buffet as you heap each spoonful it quickly adds up and when you sit down to eat what you have committed to, it just loses its appeal. With every bite you take, you can’t really appreciate each dish/activity as it all becomes too much, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

After being sick for so long, I had been watching on the sidelines and I couldn’t wait to “load up my plate.” Instead of starting out with a couple of good basic schedule commitments, I loaded up our schedule and didn’t take into account how much energy we would need to exert. Before I knew it, we were burning out. We were racing from one thing to the next, not being able to be fully present in our moments because there was so much to do.

In a world where busy is associated with productive, it’s hard to find that healthy balance. We want to be involved in everything to get the most out of life, but then feel utterly drained and pulled as we hurry from one thing to the next.

In reality, we were all made run our own races. Each person’s pace will look different than another. I have had friends do missionary work where they come back finding out that the poorest of poor people are tightly in community and they feel bad for us because we are a slave to our things,time, and the need for approval. We are trained to do it all on our own rather than slow down and enjoy life and the people around us.

I find myself this summer prayerfully asking, what is it I am called to do?

Where?

With who?

I hate the thought of saying no to other experiences, but I am reminded of the decadent simple meal that I had at that restaurant. It was simple, basic, and  sustaining. I didn’t feel sick afterwards, just refreshed.

So I feel like G-d is giving me a fresh plate and giving me the choices on what I am going to fill up on.

It’s time to simplify and enjoy my life again while asking simple questions.

What will help feed and strengthen us?

What will help bring stress relief?

What joy can we bring to others in the time that we do have?

How can we be readily available for what G-d has called us to do?.

We need to be healthy to help others, even if that means doing less.

Less really is more, because we can fully enjoy our experiences around us rather than be running ourselves ragged.

I don’t want to have it all. I just want what G-d says is best for me. He doesn’t just suggest us to rest, He actually commands us to take a Sabbath each week. He also encourages us to trust that what He has for us is more than enough.

Just some food for thought…

When You are Ready to Throw in the Towel

It’s been a rough go in my body these past few weeks. I have been professing that I am being healed from this chronic illness that has been plaguing my tent for the last five years. I do believe that the Lord is healing me but my healing hasn’t been instantaneous, rather a process. As pain and nausea fill my body, I can’t help but feel my hope dwindling as I want to cry out in defeat.

The enemy whispers into my heart, “You were never healed you foolish woman. If you ask others to pray for you, they will think you want attention, or have little of your so-called faith.”

Chronic illness not only affects me and my family but also every relationship. I have been working tirelessly on being a woman of integrity and trying hard to keep my dates that I had planned. It hurts to have to cancel events I have been looking forward to and know that I have disappointed someone that I adore.

I hate letting people down.

I went up to my pastor for prayer. I seriously started to believe that I was too tired to go on. I felt like a huge burden to my dear family and just wanted to be free from this aching body.

I went up shaking and kept on thinking that I didn’t want to bother them, but I knew I needed to be brave.

As my husband gave them the backstory of what had been going on, his wife stepped forward and grabbed my hand. She looked into my eyes and gave me this passage:

“… until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 (KJ 2000 Bible)

Now there are many ways to read this scripture, but the way she explained it was those that seek out G-d are going to come into some mighty warfare. Instead of shaming me and asking what sin in my life caused this, she encouraged me with the truth.  She saw my faith.  She explained that the enemy attacks those who are faithful and tries to make them believe that they aren’t worth the fight. But in reality, we have to fight back to take what has been rightfully given to us.

At that moment I went from feeling like a helpless mouse caught in a trap, to a lioness ready to attack. While the enemy constantly bombards me with lies, I am reminded that all that matters is what Jesus himself said at the cross.

Jesus said, “It is finished.” John 19:30 (NLT)

This morning I woke up in great pain and sent out texts asking to pray for me. I was weeping as I felt this fear creep up on me of what I have gone through in the past.  Will I be able to keep homeschooling? Will I be able to eat normal again? Will I be able to stand firm and not be afraid and trust all will be well?

I know my G-d is full of mercy and grace.

He says to me, “When you are weak, I am strong.”

He never shames me for coming to Him worried, tired, and irritable. He loves me just as I am.

While I hate being sick in my body, it is times like this that I am reminded how much I truly need Him. It’s a gift to be reminded that my help comes from Him.  I know when I am feeling great, I tend to think I have everything under control.

It is in the trials and temptations of this world that we get to experience His grace and mercy in ways no human can explain.

I don’t believe He is giving me this pain, but I do believe that He will redeem it.

So when we all are at that point that we can’t take one more step for whatever is taking you down, let us remember that He is our:

Hope.

Peace.

Strength.

Protector.

Provider.

Healer.

Lord, I ask that you lift our pain today whether it be in our bodies or in our mind.

We ask for prayers and the help of others as we walk this difficult road to surrender to your will alone.

Please strengthen my siblings in Christ as only you can.  May you be praised in our tears and in our pain as we put our trust in you Abba Father. Y8CKB0O8C2