I pray all of your Christmas Celebrations were successful - filled with love and family and friends... focused on the Lord and allowing His Fragrance to penetrate the atmosphere even for the briefest of moments!
We had the best Christmas ever... just so relaxed and amazed!
I have been sort of sitting on this post for awhile now... trying to find some balance and footing on what I have been feeling/battling/striving to understand. I am one of those people who will get a Word from the Lord, or a vision, or an insight - and I want to chew on it a bit and really examine it before I speak it out. I know, I know... God is not always wanting me to do that... and I am learning to follow His lead if it is a 'now' kind of thing... but - in my comfort zone - I have time and space to digest for myself what He has shared with me - before I speak it out. I know that God is trying to 'break' me out of this habit!
After receiving a word from the Elijah List not once, but twice... I suppose I will just poor out my heart here and pray that it will encourage and not cause anxiety or confusion. (Although - to be honest - it did do that for me...at first!?)
One overwhelming 'feeling' or awareness that has come to me this year - stronger than at any other time for me - was the fact that I live a Charmed Life. Honestly - I am blessed beyond measure and I live at peace with my family, and my friends. I am secure in my home and in my giftings and am growing in understanding of just how Abundantly the Lord desires for us to live! He came to give us Life, and Life ABUNDANTLY... He loves to bless His kids... I am sort of wired in that one "faith" way - although there is a balance in it all that is sometimes lost - but I have really had a year of feeling like - "Wow?! Why me, Lord?!" I am not rich, or a huge success by the World's standards... but by God's - I am in a good place!
For the past two months or so... that "Why me, Lord?!" feeling sort of shifted to a "What is going to happen... when is the other shoe going to fall?" sort of feeling? It was not heavy or 'present' much of the time - but just always back there in a corner of my mind. At first, it made me really thankful for all that I have and it also made me really drink in certain moments. I found myself really taking 'snapshots' of events or simple moments and thinking things like, "Lord - don't let me ever forget this!" or "Thank you Jesus for giving me this moment!" Gradually though - this feeling began to turn over to fear. My family would go sledding or my husband would be late coming home from work and I would give over to Fear that I had once been delivered from. I would recognize it, and battle it with the Word, and feel somewhat of a release.
I felt this "Doom" that was coming... and I felt like it was a personal thing... I couldn't really tell - however - if it was a warning from the Lord, or an attack from the enemy?! I honestly think it was both... at one point, a dear friend of mine felt that the Lord wanted to tell me that it is okay to be Broken. Brokenness is good... it is! ...I see the Beauty in Brokenness now from a healthier, I think Godlier perspective than what I first feared when she spoke those words! At first, due to the struggle I was going through - I assumed it confirmed that something horrible was coming... something dire... "I-better-hold-my-little-one-closer-and-tell-everyone-I-love-them" sort of fear. I prayed and fasted and prayed some more... I searched my heart and invited the Lord to break me if I was prideful or unwilling... I honestly felt like He and I were good... I found myself asking Job-like questions... pleading with Him to not test me in that way. As much as I love Him... in all honesty - I just don't know how I would pass? He is first - but my husband and daughter are a very close 2nd and 3rd!?
At any rate - I continued to pray for discernment and insight! I battled fear because I knew enough to know I did NOT want to become like Job and have what I greatly feared come upon me! I took Authority, I plead the Blood, I tried to stay in tune.
And then - comes this Word from the Elijah List... check it out if you have not read it... I will give a link at the end of this post! Anyway - it is about earthquakes and eruptions and being prepared. We have all heard and read the prophecies coming about impending earthquakes and volcanic eruptions through out the past years... it's almost like a dulled repetitious tune that keeps replaying - reminds me of the New Testament scripture about the return of the Lord... we can find our senses dulled and our belief teetering over to unbelief when it comes to the fulfillment of the Word. I began to pray about this feeling I was battling and wondering if I was given this burden for the purpose of intercession - and (once again!?) maybe it was not all about me?! It is hard not to read this word and not give over to fear... but I know that God has been preparing us for such a time as this for a long season. I began to feel like as long as I prayed in faith over my family and health and such - why would God all of the sudden not work for me?! Why would He turn His back on me!? I know the Word... and I will need to spend some more time in it - but I also believe now that the heaviness I was feeling was a warning to pray. The enemy simply took that old familiar spirit of fear and began to sow those dreaded "what if's" again! He twisted the warning and began to sow seeds in me that God did not intend. Once I began praying on a broader scale and interceding for my state and country... the heaviness began to lift. Does this mean that nothing bad will happen to me?! We know that bad things do happen to good people - but if we dwell on that and plan for it - we can rest assured that the enemy will take it and run with it! We must abide in a place of faith. We must trust in, lean, and rely on Him and Him alone to see us through!
So - I was getting a clearer picture of what I was being called to do in this season. Simply put - it is to continue to do what I have been doing... but with more intensity and urgency! at teh same time, I began reading this book, called Blue Like Jazz. There was one simple quote in the beginning of the book that gave me an Ah-Ha moment... Donald Miller talks about trying to fix a broken world while not realizing or acknowledging his own brokenness. He went on to write: "I think Jesus feels strongly about communicating the idea of our brokenness, and I think it is worth reflection. Nothing is going to change in the Congo until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror." (Blue Like Jazz, pg 23)
Then I stumbled back upon a Blog I used to visit more often and one of the posts asked, "What have you learned this year?" I got to thinking about that... and you know the single most important thing that I have learned this year? It is that God desires us to be REAL... to be transparent... (yes - to be Broken!) Does that mean to be BROKEN-broken... I pray not... but I think it means to be Honest with each other... no more masks and facades!? Brokenness means to be interrupted, to be disrupted due to change, to be damaged or altered by breaking. It seems as if all of these things may be upon us in the next days and months... whether spiritually, physically, or both! ...and yet, we can still run to Him and trust in His covering, His protecting, His provision. He is good... all the time... He is trustworthy and strong. In good times, and in bad times, He is our All Sufficient One! Believe me, I do not know what is coming - to my life or to yours - but I DO know that He is enough... and as long as we stayed tuned in to Him, and we follow His lead, He will cover us and speak to us. He is the Good Shepherd, and we know His voice. If we are called to pack up and leave, or to store up extra supplies, or to bow down and pray... we must trust that He will tell us... and we must be willing to be Broken and not pause and ponder and weigh what we are feeling - but to act on His prompting... to follow His lead! Then and There... because Timing will play a powerful part in all that is coming upon us in this next year!
I pray you will read through this post from Steve Schultz... pray over it - test it - if you find yourself battling fear... plead the Blood... study it out if you need to, read "The Blood and the Glory" by Billye Brim. I pray you have a truly Happy New Year and you will find yourself full of faith, and prepared in the coming days - for whatever it is the Lord has for you!
(Elijah List Word regarding coming http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/4853 )
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