I see the fog lifting now, rays of light breaking through the clouds like glittering hope sent from Heaven, shimmering and beckoning newness – life. When it clears and light shines, and the cost’s are counted, the casualties realized, the miracles revealed, it urges you to look deep, to question, to choose, do I still believe that God is good, that He is for me and not against me, that He loves me.
The pain of death, betrayals, and abandonment has stripped me of my passion, my joyful trust in the Lord, my peace. Anger and pain have ripped through my heart and left me raw and on the edge of bitterness time and time again. While the Bible lay open on my table and the scriptures still true in my mind, they had been cut from my heart, a disconnect between a faith I once clung to and scriptures that now convicted me as I tried to process them against the memories, the pain, the endless nights of tears.
So I worked, I pushed, I ran, I hid, I cringed, and I rebelled, then, one day, I was still. Before bitterness could choke me out and kill the final spark of passion I had, I forgave. I forgave God for taking my sweet Papa from this world when I still needed him, for the family betrayals and abandonments, and for the death of the dreams I once had. Then, I forgave myself. I realized that all the unrelenting judgmental criticism’s I had thrown on myself, in ruthless anger, were destroying my family and me. While forgiving others seemed to come easy, forgiving myself has always been my greatest battle.
Once I began forgiving myself, the storm clouds began to lift and I realized that though I felt far from the Lord, he was near. The fog had blinded my vision, I felt alone, but I wasn’t, the Lord was beside me the entire time, I just couldn’t see clearly. I had allowed my pain, anger, and doubt to cloud my trust in the Lord. So, as I stood surveying the damage of the past year and asked, “What now Lord?” How do I get back to that place of ruthless passion – that Jesus Freak kind of unashamed love for my God that I used to have? I realized that although I didn’t feel passion for the scriptures in my head, they were still a life line of truth waging war on the enemies attack on my life.
- Start your day with scripture. Even if it’s 1 verse, read it.
- Get ready to conquer the day – makeup and all – put on some sassy shoes – smile 🙂 Seriously, even a forced smile starts to take effect on your inside’s – it’s amazing.
- Seek prayer, ladies there is incredible power in prayer – don’t minimize it! Be vulnerable, seek prayer from your brother’s and sister’s in Christ.
- Go to Church, no you don’t need to attend church to go to heaven but, community worship is powerful! The Holy Spirit does a special work in us when we are in the body of Christ worshiping.
- Find a hobby. Storms ignite our survival skills and they leave us drained when they end. Engaging the creative side of our brains can bring great rejuvenation and peace.
- Laugh and do something fun! Date your husband, play with your children, go out on a Girl’s Night, watch a funny movie, allow yourself to be silly and simple.
- Find an adventure! God has created some of the most incredible landscapes for us to enjoy. Go for a hike, bike ride, boating adventure, road trip, sky dive! Go be adventurous, God will restore your hope when you stand in awe of his beautiful creation.
- Rest – you know the kind of Pajama Day, cuddly, restfulness that we long for. No housework, no running errands, true messy hair relaxation.
- Serve – When we serve the Lord and others the focus is off us. It’s hard to focus on your own stuff when you’re serving a precious homeless child or a friend battling cancer. When we live sacrificially and focus on what we can give instead of receive we are caught up in a spirit of compassion and life giving love, it’s beautiful -it’s healing.
- Grace – How sweet it is! Forgive~ extend grace to yourself and others each day. Pray forgiveness over the generations of your family – it’s incredibly powerful. Grace – it’s a free gift, give it and receive it.