Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Finding My Joy Again

My joy was gone for about two to three weeks. Not on a vacation. It has been completely non-existent. I didn’t check my personal emails. I went to bed with a heaviness that often resulted in me being woken up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep because of a pounding heart beat.

That feeling of dread often carried over into the morning. I had things I needed to be working on, but I had ZERO desire to do anything.

How did this happen? I’ll tell you. It resulted from me carrying things I had no business carrying. Matthew 6:25-27 reminds us not to worry saying, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

I knew my joy was gone. I hated the way I felt. If my mind and emotions were not in turmoil, I was just in limbo. I wasn’t doing anything to move forward. I KNEW I needed to pray, but I couldn’t. I would read a few Scriptures in the Bible just to get some peace…for the moment. Sometimes I would start out quoting the Word with power and authority, but end up in tears.

I KNEW I needed to confess the Word over myself. I knew it, but the circumstances and overwhelming feelings were just too much. I would try to work on things and I would just go in circles, never really accomplishing anything.

I’d had people pray for me. The feelings would lift. Then, my mouth would get me into trouble. It’s like I had an overwhelming urge to say the wrong thing whenever something happened. I am usually never continually negative, but it seemed like nothing was right. I couldn’t write because I didn’t have anything to say. The words weren’t hanging out in my mind. They simply weren’t there.

Finally, I called a friend. I talked to her for five minutes, only sharing a little of what I was feeling. She started praying for me and God showed her almost everything…even things I had thought!

I slept better that night, but the next day was a struggle. Finally, my mom said, “Something’s got to give.” “I know,” I said. “You won’t pray. You used to listen to the Word. I don’t know what you do now.”

“It’s not that I quit listening all together. The sound of anything irritated me. I irritated myself.

Mama and I committed to start praying in tongues thirty minutes every morning. If I couldn’t do it all right then, I took Mama’s advice and prayed when I could, even if that meant just a few minutes at a time.

After a few days, weightiness and heaviness that had been so prevalent lifted. I felt lighter. I wasn’t as irritated. Before I got the breakthrough, each day I had to look for something to be happy about.

When my nephew and cousin came over, I made myself get excited and do silly faces. I told Mama I felt fake doing that, but she said, “Sometimes, you have to fake it until you make it.”

If things seem bad right now, they won’t stay that way. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD! Turn your eyes to Jesus! I promise you He’s there. The enemy wants to convince you that he’s won this round. He wants you to stay down. I am encouraging you to GET UP! With God, all things are possible! All you have to do is make a choice to let God be God! He’s got this!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Empty Me

I lay myself on Your altar and say, “Here am I, Lord. Take me and use me. Make something out of me that is more than a pile of flesh. Inhabit me. Consume me. I am Yours. I surrender.

Once I was broken. Wounded by people. Cut by words said and unsaid. You healed me. You put the broken pieces back together. You mended me.

I confess there are still some areas of my heart that need mending. There are still some areas that are not whole. I don’t want to be a half-healed person.

I know You are not a halfway God. I know that You are faithful to Your Word. I know that You have started a good work in me and You will be faithful to complete it.

Empty me of my selfishness
Empty me of my pride
Empty me of the desire to have the last word, to prove I am right

Empty me of criticisms
You said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Create in me a clean heart
I want to be pure
I don’t be full of hatred and bitterness
Anger and strife

Empty me of myself
So that You can dwell here
Empty me of my vanity
Empty me so I can clearly see

I want to see You fully 
Clothed in glory, strength, and power

I want to know Your wisdom
I want to comprehend Your ways
Know the depths of love
More than anything

Empty me so I can be filled
Empty me so I have something to give
Something of worth
Not riches or gold
Something that abides on the inside 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Forgiving Myself

Madison, I forgive you for wasting so much time

For going around in circles

Madison, I forgive you for fighting a battle that was never yours to begin with
Getting so wrapped in thoughts that you've neglected the present

You've been at a standstill
You've made yourself even more tired

I forgive you for being silent
You lost your voice for a time
You sank deeper in the mire

Fighting with yourself is utterly exhausting
Because you can't run away from yourself

Your thoughts are there
Your insecurities are there

There is no one there beating you up
You've done it to yourself

Madison, you are more than the lies the enemy tells
Madison, you hold the key to your freedom

Summon the strength within
The strength to fight the fight when life says, "Just quit."

You matter!
You are doing enough!

Believe in yourself
That is the difference between battles won and lost

Madison, there is more than what you see
There's more than what you feel

You can penetrate the noise
Rise up!

Friday, September 09, 2016

A Sudden Shift

A sudden shift

I pray for a sudden shift in your mind
I pray for a sudden shift in your heart

For so long you have labored under the burden
So many cares, so many hurts
Squeezing the life out of you
Stealing your joy
Robbing you of peace
You could find no tranquility

Try as you might
You couldn't escape
Though you changed your surroundings
Those thoughts lingered
Hanging like cobwebs in the corner of your mind
Looping on repeat
Taking you back in time

Taking you back to the bad memories
And words that should have never been said

Oh, what a sense of dread
What misery
Each time that unwelcome visitor came
He wedged himself into your innermost thoughts

You couldn't separate what was real 
You now believed that you didn't matter
You didn't exist anymore
You were always attached to someone
To that elusive dream they had

Now you are free
Instead of spreading your wings, you are like a baby learning to walk
Stand up. Stand tall.

You have something to offer
You have much to give
Find your voice
It may come out slowly at first, but soon it will ring loud and clear

Come toward the light
It is a new day
Let nothing or no one stand in your way

I know you are scared
You've been isolated so long
Put one foot in front of the other
Every step means you are getting stronger

I look at what you've accomplished in a short while
I smile
Because there is a phoenix rising from the ashes
Great good will come out of your pain