I want to start this post by saying thank you for still being here. My commitment to writing is always to be as honest and open, transparent as is appropriate, and the last six or so months have been very dark for me. I have been battling through things with the Father and felt like I was underneath so much that I may not ever see the light of day again. I can’t even give words to how hard this season has been for my heart. Everything about our physical world was turned upside down when we decided to move, everything we knew to be normal was suddenly gone and we found ourselves very surprised by our new reality. Thank you for allowing me to be honest about that, and for sticking with me! I am beyond thankful to tell you that the clouds are starting to part, and the tone is changing. Read on and find out why.
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve struggled with my birthday — I think I’ve talked about that before. I’ve really struggled with disappointment, and with expecting to be disappointed. I don’t like surprises because I hate getting my hopes up thinking it’s going to be one thing and then being disappointed when it’s something else. I’d rather just be completely surprised — don’t even tell me it’s coming.
Well, it was my birthday this week, and one of those surprising realities we’ve had to face is that Rocky travels a lot now. I knew a few months ago that he was going to miss my birthday. I swallowed all of the feelings that tried to surface, and I told myself, “Just deal with it. It’s fine. It’s just another day.” I told myself that I would be okay, and that I would do something nice for myself and then not even give my birthday another thought. But the closer it got, the harder I knew it was going to be. With everything that has been going on behind the scenes of my life, I knew that being alone on my birthday was going to be the absolute worst thing for me. I just didn’t care enough about myself to do anything about it. I was too tired. When you’re worn down and believing lies, it’s so much easier to just lay down and take the beating that the enemy has for you than to struggle under the weight to stand up and fight. I expected April 8th, the beginning of my 33rd year to get swallowed up in tears and frustration, wine, chocolate, and back to back episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. I’d pick up the fight again on the 9th. Yeah, that was the plan.
My husband, however, had different plans, and he loves surprises — or well, he loves to surprise. He’s really good at them too. He is superb at knowing exactly what I need. He told me last week that my birthday present was being delivered on Monday morning between 9 and 12, that it wasn’t a regular delivery service, and they’d need to come into the house for a few minutes. So, on Monday morning I got dressed, straightened up the house and tried really hard not to get my hopes up about what I thought my present was (a bunny. I want a bunny so bad. Like, so so so bad. Too bad our dog would go insane.), and distracted myself with Netflix.
When I answered the door around 10 am, I received not only an immense outpouring of love from my husband, but from my Father, who is the inspiration behind every good gift. I got a message from the God who chose me as His own that said, “You. Are. Loved.” I opened the door and burst into tears. Relief washed over me. I mean, like a tidal wave. RELIEF. “Thank God” in the most sincere tone you can imagine.
Rocky had managed to fly out my pastor from Colorado to spend the next 24 hours with me, not only to have fun and celebrate a new year (which we did!), but to spend time praying through all of the junk that’s been plaguing me this year. That was the best gift he could have given me. We spent Tuesday morning asking the Holy Spirit to bring answers, and boy, did He ever show up. It’s all very deeply personal and fresh, and someday I will write about it, but here is what I really want to share right now: The Holy Spirit showed me a specific instance in my life where I received some very significant lies about myself. Lies that I have worn like heavy coats in the winter, for years and years. The most important directive that Robin gave me on Tuesday morning was this: “Ask Jesus where He was in that moment, and when He shows you, worship Him there.”
He showed me exactly where He was, and I knew exactly how to worship Him in that moment. As I was obedient to do it, the answers came rushing in. The lies had to leave because the presence of the truth was so completely overwhelming, there was no room for anything else. The Father answered the need I’ve had since I was a child, He put my heart back together, and He’s still holding it together. When the enemy comes to taunt me now, it’s like there is a foggy window between us and it gets foggier every day, and where I’ve been begging for the authority to shut him down, now I have it. Now he has to flee. Yes, he still tries, he still throws whatever he has at me, but when he does, I go back to that moment with Jesus, and I worship Him the way He showed me to, and the truth rises up again and again and again. It is one of the most amazing feelings in the world.
Wednesday morning I woke up and saw something that really surprised me, but at the same time, made complete sense. Remember my peace lily plant? The one that all of the sudden started flowering last year and then the Father spoke words of hope over me? That plant has had a really hard time adjusting to it’s new surroundings, aside from the fact that my son knocked it over and it had to be re-potted, it has been droopy ever since we moved. It’s still kind of droopy right now. But this is also happening:
Two flowers! Two new beacons of hope for me! I love that the Father is speaking through His creation, and that His promises are always true.
“And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, Father.” For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts, and tells us that we really are God’s children.” Romans 8:15,16 (TLB)
Without trying to sound like I’ve got it all figured out (I’m very much like that plant up there. Recovering.), I want to encourage you to ask Jesus where He was during your own painful moments, the ones that have stuck with you and shaped the way you think about yourself and others. When He reveals His presence in those moments, worship Him there, in the best way that you can, and then keep going to Him in that way. Hear his truth and break the agreements that you’ve made with the lies. It will absolutely change your life, and you will experience a level of relief that words can not describe. I also want to encourage your heart with the truth that the Father knows exactly what we need. His plans are to prosper us, to rescue us. He rescued me this week, in a big way. He knew that if left to my own devices, I would only harm myself. When you give Him the authority in your life, He will not let you go. We are His.