We all will go through various trials in this life. Some will be harder than others and there will be some that are excruciatingly painful. These are so hard to go through but we can make it. It is tempting during these times to focus on our feelings and our circumstances.
I myself have just come through one of these moments. I have been in a season where God has been digging up things that have needed to be dealt with, areas in my life that have needed healing. If you have been there, you know how hard and how painful it can be. It is easier to sweep things under the rug like so many before us have done. I have always been different so I have never been satisfied with settling or leaving things undealt with. Part of me feels like I have spent most of my life fighting to overcome things from so many generations before me. It is a blessing to see my children be free of things that I was bound up with as a child but it has not come easily. I decided a long time ago that I was going to leave them a legacy of faith and total freedom in Christ – no fear, no rejection, no insecurity, no addiction. This is why I fight like I do and why I choose to face my issues and bring them to the light of Jesus where He can set me free and heal every area that needs healing. I would rather face the pain of dealing with these things than ignore them and have my children pay for it later. This is what happens when we don’t choose to deal with our issues.
There is one thing that I have learned through this that I want to share. I had a moment recently when I felt so down and I was so overwhelmed with pain and disappointment. I literally felt like I was falling into a dark pit of hopelessness. I was on my way home and I felt that God wanted me to watch the movie, “The Shack”. Mind you, I have already seen it but I came home and turned it on when I was alone. There was one part of the movie that was the whole reason I knew He wanted me to watch it. In the movie, there is a scene where the main character is in a small rowboat and he is in the middle of a lake. All of a sudden, the water turns black and the boat starts to break and let the black water in and it looks like he is going to sink. Then you hear Jesus voice, telling him to listen to His voice. As he listens to Jesus’ voice, he realizes that all that he thought was going on, wasn’t real. When He chose to listen to the voice of Jesus over what He felt and what he saw, he was able to see clearly and come out of the boat and walk safely to the shore on the water with Jesus. This was part of his healing journey. I was literally weeping at this point. The Lord started speaking to me and He reminded me that this was where I was and that as I choose to keep my eyes on Him and listen to His voice over everything I felt, He would lead me out. It amazing how your perception can change in an instant when we shift our focus.
So if you are going through a hard time or a trial of any sort right now, I encourage you to look up and set your eyes on the One who can change your situation, heal you and set you free. Listen to His voice and let Him lead you through. Remember that He works in us through these moments even though we might not see it right now. He never said this life would be easy but He promised to be with us through it all. Hold on His hand with everything in you and never let go. No matter what, keep your eyes on Him. He’s got you and He loves you more than you can ever imagine.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 NIV
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. – Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
The picture you see here is a pendant that my husband bought for me about a year ago. I absolutely love dragonflies. I have learned to love them even more in the past few years. I was always fascinated at the way they move and the way they adjust to the winds and how they can maneuver through almost anything.
I am seer and God has always taught me and shown me things through out my life in different ways. Sometimes it is through dreams, visions or sometimes it is through something I see in the natural. Anyways, a couple years ago I was outside taking a walk and there were a few dragonflies flying around me. I stopped to watch them and one flew right on front of my face and just stayed there for a few seconds, just long enough for me to see it and laugh. I thought it was the cutest thing. So as I was watching them fly around me and then fly away, I heard the Lord tell me that the way they move and the way they can adjust quickly and maneuver through changing winds is what he has been cultivating in me through out my life. It was like I got a download at that moment as He showed me all the things He has brought me through and how He has been allowing so many things to break me out of my comfortable place to bring me to a place where I surrender total control to Him.
You see, I used to be a control freak. I didn’t realize it until I got married but I had to have everything planned out and know exactly what was going to happen all the time. If anything disrupted my plans or my flow I was not happy and neither was my family. There’s nothing wrong with planning but we have to be open to allow God to interrupt “our” plans if He wants to. There was a season in my life, about 4 – 5 years ago, when it felt like everything around me was being uprooted and so many things were changing all at the same time. It was so overwhelming at first because I still was struggling with the need to be in control. I had to leave the job I had because of health reasons and my husband who had been working 2 jobs for a long time got a new job. I was able to go to school after a door of opportunity opened for me. There was a lot more, but you get the picture. So much changed when I really learned to let go in this area. I became a better wife and a better mother. I used to be more rigid with my kids and expected so much more than I should have from them. As I grew in this area I learned that it was ok to let my kids be kids and to take things as they came and not freak out or get angry when accidents happened. I hadn’t realized how much this need to be in control had affected me and those around me until I was free from it. I can truly say I am a much happier person now than I was back then and I’m sure my husband and my kids are as well.
I had to learn through this time to submit and learn to be obedient to my Father’s leading. There were things that He asked of me that didn’t make sense in my natural mind but He was teaching me to trust Him and learn His voice. I also had to learn to be free from the opinions of man because there were many who did not understand but I knew that I was hearing from God and He continued to confirm His word. There were also many doors that opened as a result of our obedience. This was the start of a very long season for our family but it has been such an amazing learning process. My whole mindset changed as well. I used to get upset and worry when unexpected things happened and had to learn to let the worry and fear go and trust in God. Now my mindset is, “Ok, so what do we need to do or how do we need to adjust to make this work..” It is so liberating when you can learn to let go and learn to rides the winds of this life with total trust in the Father.
You see, control is based in fear and it is deceiving. You think you have control but you really never do. You are really in bondage and the only way you can be truly free is to surrender all to the Lord. If you think about it, He knows the future. Who better to trust in than Him. He is so faithful and will never let you down. If you choose to let go and take His hand, He will lead you every step of the way and will teach you more than you can imagine. Looking back at my life, I am so thankful for all that I have been through because it has helped to shape me and mold me into the woman that God has designed me to be. I am still a work in progress but I am so much further along than I was and now I can fly like a dragonfly.
Many of us live behind self made walls. Walls are supposed to protect us from harm but are these walls really protecting us or are they holding us captive? Are they keeping us distant from those who could love us or from the One who loves us most? What if we let our walls down and chose to trust again? It can be scary to come out from behind our walls. Some of us have lived behind them most of our lives. Some of us built them when we were small children, even before we knew what we were doing. We built them so we wouldn’t have to feel pain, hurt or rejection. We built them to hide from abuse or abandonment. We hid from our fears behind them.
Now that we are grown, how do we live outside of these walls? How do we allow ourselves to trust and risk feeling hurt or risk feeling that overwhelming pain that we have hid from for so long? What if the pain is too much? What if I allow someone to get close and they hurt me again? Like an animal who has lived in captivity all of it’s life has to learn how to survive when they are set free, we have to learn to live free. It can be down right hard and you will have moments when you run behind those walls again when someone hurts you or when you feel rejected. It’s those moments that you have to choose to face the pain and the rejection, work through it and lay it down. Learn to cast all your cares upon the Lord. Let Him heal those broken areas and heal those deep wounds that made you put up the walls long ago. We can never be truly free if we stay behind our walls. I lived most of my life behind these walls that I thought protected me. It became second nature to run behinds the walls when I was scared or hurt. Deep down I feared being rejected so I wouldn’t let people get too close. It was easier than risking being hurt or taken advantage of. God has had me in a process of healing some deep places in my life and has been digging up the roots. Now I am learning to tear down my walls piece by piece as I learn to walk in full trust and surrender and He teaches me that He can protect me better than I can protect myself. As I tear down these walls I get closer to Him than I ever imagined because those walls kept Him at a distance as well. I am learning to be free and stay free. It is a process like anything else but it is worth it. If you have a hard time trusting, remember that you can always trust in your Heavenly Father. He is not like man and He will never let you down. When all others reject you or cast you aside, He never will. He accepts you as you are, loves you more than anyone and He wants you to be free.
Have you ever stopped and listened to the words that people speak? How about the words that you speak? The Bible says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” I like the Message version – “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 MSG. Some people don’t realize how important their words are. If you are always speaking negatively, that’s what your life is going to be like. Don’t let your circumstances dictate what you speak or better yet, how you think. When our thoughts line up with what the Word tells us, we will speak in alignment with the Word and this is how you see circumstances turn around. Our words literally shape our world. Just think about the fact that God spoke this world and the universe into existence. He spoke and it became. He has given us this same power. It’s not for us to have whatever we want like a genie, but when we speak in line with His Word, things happen. This is why it is so important for us to know His Word. I can look back on my own life and testify of so many things that have turned around and changed because I chose to speak life even when a situation seemed dead and hopeless. My marriage, my husband, my children and my home and my life would not be what they are had I not learned this long ago.
It takes a change of mind to learn to change your speech as well but it is possible. I used to be very negative many years ago and I could find the downside of any situation. It was pretty bad. God started dealing with me back then with my thoughts and my confession. Joyce Meyer was a great help to me in this area of my life. People who know me now probably wouldn’t believe how negative I was because I have learned to be the complete opposite. I choose to be positive no matter what situation I am in. It’s not always easy and yes I do have my human moments, but I pull myself together and keep going. I say that I went through the Holy Spirit boot camp of transforming my mind and my mouth. It’s not something that you can just pray away but it takes discipline, determination and GOD. He will help you if you ask Him. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher. If you struggle in this area, ask Him to help you. Start to spend more time in His Word and meditate on it. Listen to teachings and read books on it. If I can do it, anyone can. It is a process and it takes work like any real change but it will change your life and it will change your world.
I want to talk about something that may not be too popular but it is something that we all need to hear. Those who know me know that I will always tell you the truth. I will tell it in love but I will give it to you straight. I have always said that a real friend speaks the truth to you even if it’s hard to hear or at the risk of you walking away. So I am going to talk to you as if I was talking to a friend. I wish someone had told me these things a long time ago. Face yourself and deal with your issues. Stop burying those things that you have been stuffing since you were a child. Take off your mask and stop pretending. Be honest with yourself and with God because He already knows anyways. He has been waiting for you to admit that you have issues so you can give them all over to Him and let Him heal you and set you free. Ok, I can just hear some people saying , “Oh I am free. The blood of Jesus has made me free.” Yes that’s true and there are some times when the Lord will do a quick work and set someone free in an instant but that’s not always the case. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Many times it takes a process and a renewal of your mind. I thank God that He didn’t do a quick work in me because I would not have learned all that I have. This process has been hard but so worth every moment. Sometimes it does feel like I have spent most of my adult life fighting my own issues as well as issues from generations before me. You see, when I became a mother almost 21 years ago it changed me and I was determined to overcome the things that had crippled me as a child so that my children would be free. I asked God to show me myself and to put me on His potter’s wheel and make me over. Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. Needless to say, that was the start of a long process and I am still in it. It was hard at first to see the mess that I was. It was so overwhelming. There were moments when I didn’t know how to handle it so I would stuff it and busy myself so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. But eventually my issues would resurface. I realized that they were not only affecting me, but they were affecting my marriage, my husband and my kids. I had to learn little by little to surrender as the Holy Spirit showed me another area that I needed to deal with. Fear held me back for many years and made it almost impossible to face myself but I was more determined to be free so I was willing to take the steps of faith that God put before me.
I have always been the type of person who likes to figure things out and fix whatever the problem is. I am a problem solver. I can see an issue and then see the resolution. So when things in my own life hadn’t been “fixed”, it really frustrated me. I know that the ultimate fixer is Jesus. That took me time to learn too. I got to a place in my life where I had to surrender this and everything else to my Father so He could do the fixing.
This has been a faith walk and I have had to learn to trust Him more than anything or anyone, even myself. How many of us are so self reliant that we don’t know how to truly let go and trust our Father?
So, getting back to talking about issues, I believe we are in a time where God wants to set His people free for real. There are multitudes of believers sitting in churches all over the world who have never learned how to face and deal with their issues. The generations before only taught them to be strong, keep going, praise it away or just shove it under the carpet and go on with life. What they don’t realize is that this doesn’t work and it doesn’t make you strong. We must deal with our stuff if we want to be everything that God has destined us to be.
I myself have come to a place in my own life where I will do whatever it takes to be whole, healed and set free. There are certain roots that have needed to be dug up and pulled out. I thought I had dealt with these things but they kept coming back around. I have come to learn that there are some things that you need to get help to deal with and that’s ok. For me it has been roots of rejection that I have needed to face, deal with and I have needed healing. I learned to recognize that this was there, but I had not allowed myself to really deal with it and let the Lord heal me. I am in that process right now and it is not easy. I feel like I have been on God’s operating table and He is going deep to get out these roots so I can finally heal. Facing the pain hurts but we need to allow ourselves to go there, feel the hurt and bring it before our Father so He can heal us. Stop trying to numb your pain or run from it. It WILL resurface and you will find yourself in this horrible cycle if you don’t face it. Yes, it is easier to avoid these things. It takes courage to face yourself and take honest inventory.
So I encourage you all no matter how old you are to deal with your issues. Maybe there are things passed down from your parents or grandparents or maybe you have roots of fear or rejection. Maybe you were sexually abused as a child and you never faced the pain. Maybe your father or mother was not in your life or maybe they were there but they were emotionally absent. Were you bullied as a child? Did you come from an abusive home? We could do this all day, but you get the picture. We need to be real and honest with ourselves if we are to ever be truly free. I don’t know about you but I want to be free. I pray that this helps someone today. You can do this and you can be free. Let God show you the areas that need to be dealt with and let Him walk you through your healing and freedom. If you are already on this journey, I am so happy for you and I encourage you to keep going and walk out your freedom. God has given you everything you need to make it and live a victorious life.