He is the Lord who heals me

I told my sister this morning that being an adult is far harder than I thought it would be. Must we choose between our dreams and reason?

When I was younger, I watched my mom and dad do the things parents do. I never wondered if they had dreams, but I wonder now. They went to work, probably paid all the bills, cooked meals, cleaned the house, set healthy boundaries for us, and generally gave me a wonderful, wholesome, sheltered childhood. They argued, but they laughed too. I remember game nights (Scrabble from the vantage point of Dad’s lap, anyone?) and bacon waffles for dinner. I remember feeling safe. Loved. Unafraid.

Then I grew up and realized I had to do what they did. And I might have to choose between my dream or living responsibly.

I’ve been editing my second novel and trying to get started on the path of public speaking while taking care of two littles who are by nature demanding, loud, and cuter than anything I’ve ever seen. Is the responsible thing to continue pursuing my dream, believing God will show favor? Or am I to abandon it and the faith that I can do all things through Jesus Christ? Life is uncertain. I struggle with depression, discouragement, anger, and a boatload of disbelief.

But I don’t have to live with it.

Today’s confession is important because it proclaims the truth about God’s power and promise in light of my struggles. Exodus 15:26 says, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

The first part of that is important because it leads to the second part. It tells me what I have to do to get the promise. If I listen carefully to the voice of the Lord my God. Do what is right in His sight. Obeying His commands and keeping His decrees. The promise is protection. And today’s confession is deliverance.

He is the Lord who heals me.

Whatever my struggle, He is the Lord who heals me. Uncertainty, depression, discouragement, anger or doubt, none of these things are bigger than my God. He is the Lord who heals me. Whatever you fight today, know that God is capable and desires to heal you. Confess the truth and keep the faith that He loves you and wants to bring bountiful blessings to you. Then step out in that faith and expect them to happen.

What is your big dream? Are you doing something to make it happen?

The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy

I have trouble believing in myself. My abilities, however developed or natural, do not speak to my brain and convince me that I can accomplish much. It’s ridiculous to feel such self-pity and depression when I have so much to be thankful for, but the day can be wasted fighting for the slightest sliver of joy. It impacts my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of my littles.

I’m praying for that to change, and I think it begins with one word.

In searching for today’s confession, it seemed that one word jumped out at me over and over.

Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

Everlasting life (Galatians 6:8).

Everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Everlasting kingdom (Psalm 145:13), peace (Psalm 22:26), and joy (Isaiah 35:10).

According to the news reports, three people won the largest lottery in history this weekend. Over $200 million goes to each winner, and so much money must be hard to spend, right? But it’s not everlasting. It will come to an end.

Besides my own pity party, I look at the world around me, at the lives of people I love, and see heart-wrenching pain. Brokenness, confusion, isolation, and destruction seem to have no end. But they do end. They are not everlasting.

It gives me comfort and hope that something worthy in this life is everlasting. (The keyword there is worthy, by the way.) And two pieces of Scripture give me a window into a world that far exceeds this one.

Isaiah 40:28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

Isaiah 51:11 Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy.

That’s a powerful confession to me because I find joy hard to come by. When I feel defeated or hopeless, I’ll proclaim this truth. The everlasting God will crown me with everlasting joy, and I will move in the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t have to believe in myself as long as I believe in Him.

Do you struggle to find joy in your life?

I will be still… again

Gotta admit, sometimes I have to be still because I’m just speechless. It doesn’t happen often enough, but let’s take advantage of it while we can, yes?

Okay, moment’s over. Let me explain my reticence:

I’ve been lurking around on someone’s blog and her story struck such a chord that I can’t find words to even say anything to her. Like, “You have an awesome voice and an awesome blog.” Or, “Those voices you hear? They’re really Satan’s attempt to break you. Don’t let him.” Because those things seem to minimize what she goes through. And none of them lets her know that God is there through it all, even if she doesn’t feel Him or hear Him or want Him.

Maybe I’m speechless because I know some (a very little) of what she fights. Crippling fear. Can’t leave the house or tell even my best friend what’s going on inside me. Can’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror. Can’t beat back the mean little voices that scream inside my head that I’m not enough, can never be enough, should just stop trying. And suddenly I’m paralyzed in the middle of a bloodbath with arrows and swords and bullets slinging away, and I have no defense.

And yet I do.

To be still before God is a powerhouse of activity. Not my activity. This is not my battle, and the sooner I recognize it, the sooner I give Him room to fight, the sooner I will be delivered. The truth is that I’m a spoil of war. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says we are God’s masterpiece, so the attack on my well-being is meant for God. To realize the incredible weight of my prayers – or godly silence – takes the battle to another level entirely, and takes me out of the war zone.

I will be still and know that He is God.

He is love. He is mercy. He is grace. He is my strong tower, my refuge, my rock, and my redeemer. He is power. He is God. I will be still… again.

Will you confess it with me again? What do you hear when you’re still before God?

Christ is all that matters

What are you facing today? Depression? Insurmountable odds? Illness or pain or wounds? An abusive relationship?

What’s keeping you in that place? Fear? Physical impairments? Disbelief?

I want you to say today’s confession with me:

Christ is all that matters.

Say it again and again until it changes the way you view your life, your circumstances, the world. Yes, it’s important to address your situation, especially if there’s depression or abuse. Tell someone. Get help. But recognize that ultimately our help comes from God, the maker of heaven and earth. And in our struggles, Christ is all that truly matters. Sometimes we can’t avoid pain. Loss is a part of life. Living in this sinful world, we will face illness, brokenness, obstacles, and all manner of evil. But what are you doing in the midst of it?

The apostle Paul faced homelessness, hunger, cold, pain, and death every day, but he used his situation to press closer to Jesus and he found freedom from oppression. He spread the news of Jesus with every obstacle that seemed to rise up in front of him. Prison? Preach to the guards. Shipwreck? Lead the natives to salvation. A thorn in his flesh? Pray and spread the hope he received from God.

Because “Christ is all that matters, and He lives in each of us.” Colossians 3:11

Take your challenges today and use them to fight the good fight. Tell the enemy to get behind you and spread some healing hope to someone (to yourself!). Help them realize that Christ is all that matters, no matter what we face in this life. Jesus saves.

What is your challenge today? Leave a comment and let me pray with you!

I will hope in God

What – or who – do you put your hope in? Like the foundation of a house, your hope must be solid enough to hold everything together and withstand tremors. Like a good friend, it must be close enough to be heard in spite of the screams of a dying world. Like every girl’s hero, it must be strong enough to listen to your doubts and remain loving and faithful.

Today’s confession holds all those characteristics. Try it out loud:

I will hope in God.

Whether you face job loss, financial difficulty, health issues, broken relationships, or other troubles, you must decide your foundation. Fear or faith? Hope or depression? Surrender or soldiering on? It helps to choose your foundation before troubles come, but the important thing is to choose well no matter when you do it.

Though the mountains crumble and the waters rise,

Though the fires rage and my heart trembles within,

yet I will hope in God.

In His lovingkindness He rescues His beloved.

He rains mercy and deliverance on those who fear Him.

I say again: I will hope in God.

Yes, even my soul hopes in God.

I choose faith, hope, and soldiering on. I choose to say today’s confession loud and without hesitation. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11

What is your trouble and what is your foundation?

Changing my mind

Re-thinking this ground rule to be transparent. Definitely not the easiest thing to stick to.

It’s well known in my family that I over-think everything. What kind of cereal to buy, what book to read next, how to phrase this or that. Especially how to phrase something. But also what direction the Lord might want me to take. Not knowing and not wanting to disappoint Him – because, really, is there anything worse than disappointing GOD?? – keeps me from making any decision and taking any direction. Probably not the best approach. And in case anyone is wondering: yeah. My tendency toward melodrama annoys even me.

Work with me, people. I’m trying.

Confession: I procrastinate based on fear, doubt, and depression. (Hint: Procrastinate is a euphemism for ‘waste time.’) Realizing that time is a gift from God and I should be a good steward of these gifts, my thought patterns must change.

Truth: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Thing about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:16

Do you ‘procrastinate’ based on your emotions? What pulls you out of it and pushes you toward productivity?