Silence in our Trials
This year has felt nothing short of a bad roller coaster ride. One of those rides that somehow never ends. For the most part, I've been very proud with the way I've handled these trials. Through such tribulation I've been able to stay focused on my heavenly Father and just rely on his strength. As hard as this year has been it's also been extremely life-giving and eye-opening. I sit here today with wisdom I would not have had unless I had walked through the hard days. I continue to have the courage to keep walking down the long road ahead. That being said, I want to share with you about a couple days I had not so long ago... I woke up one morning to what seemed like a dark, draining cloud over my head. One that was incredibly uninvited, but somehow it was too comfortable to send away. It brought with it feelings of insecurity, doubt, jealousy, regret, and anger. It told me stories about how my future was hopeless, how I was being punished, and how I was never going to have all that I ever dreamed of. I was in a state of “woe is me."
This heart of mine that was so in love with Jesus was also completely fickle, and in all honesty, Satan had me exactly where he wanted me. I wallowed in this state for far to long; I got nice and cozy in its distraction. I started to compare my life to all the lives around me, and for some reason, everyone else was doing “amazing.” Poor, little, old me was just down in the dumps and having a major pity party.
Thankfully, I am a creature of habit and I have put into place some good spiritual habits in my life. I am active in my walk, not passive. And although going through this felt like a chore and the grip of the darkness felt a lot more inviting, I kept up with those spiritual habits anyway.
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen...
Just like climbing a mountain doesn't just happen. I had to trudge forward; I had to take back what was mine.
If I’m being perfectly honest with you, I was incredibly tempted to complain and talk about my problems, which I believe is exactly what the devil wanted me to do. He wanted me to not only give my problems power but give him glory for derailing me. But man, God is faithful and when we abide in him he really does work all things for our good.
God led me to John 14:30: Jesus was about to go into a time of great trial as the unfolding of his last days on earth would come to fruition, and he said to his disciples, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in me.”
Sometimes we have this fear of staying quiet...
We feel like we need to broadcast our hardships, dwell in it, and over-share about them. We even do this with God. We go around and around the same mountain of prayer, never really moving on.
I love Jesus’ wisdom to just stay quiet--to not give his pain power. To not feed into the devil's lies and walk blindly down his path. Sometimes we need to just flat out refuse to open our mouths until we are able to speak truth.
I believe the biggest spiritual weapon we have is our words. We have to take responsibility for our words and thoughts, or Satan will take that responsibility from us. He knows our weaknesses and as long as we allow it he will always--and I mean ALWAYS--use them against us.
Sometimes we can focus so much on our problems...
instead of what God can do through them. God wants to use our trials to make us better; Satan wants to use them to make us bitter. The choice is ours.
God sparked such a light in me with that scripture, so I refused to bring light to anything that was going on. Instead, I chose to drown myself in God's word. I started to pray out loud, “Lord, I come to you from victory, I will NOT be a victim. I TRUST you. Thank you for working in my life. I declare that you are working all things for my good. You are faithful and true and you will never forsake me.”
I started to quote scripture out loud anytime I felt these negative thoughts rise up: “Lord you alone are my cup, YOU make my lot secure." “Find rest oh my soul in God alone, my hope comes from him. Truly HE is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress I will not be shaken.”
Anytime the desire to compare my hardships to others lives came into my thoughts I cast them aside saying “My circumstances do not dictate my heart as a friend. I will be happy for those around me and celebrate all the Lord is doing in their lives.” Then I would pray and ask God to guide my heart where it needed to go.
Friends, we need to be proactive with our thoughts or we quickly jump down the rabbit hole Satan digs for us, running after the carrot he dangles in front of our noses.
I told the enemy: “My God is bigger, his plan is stronger, and you will never separate me from him. You have no place, no authority and I will not be shaken by you."
Can I share something with you?
Through this experience, my heart grew leaps and bounds. That cloud was dead and gone, and with it came a new sky--one I had never seen before. God gave me new perspective, new layers, and new hope. Our father is so GOOD!!
I share this not to bring glory to my name and show how “spiritual” I am. Lord knows I have such a long way to go, and I will die working to be better through Christ. I share this with you to bring glory to HIS name, because he always holds us in his hands.
He can ALWAYS deliver us from darkness. What Satan deemed for evil God made for GOOD. When Satan tried to derail, God PREVAILED. What Satan made to divide, God UNITED.
I sit here writing this, still in the biggest mess of my life, thick in the trenches, and I can tell you that I'm stronger than I’ve ever been, I trust God more than I ever have, and I am excited for what the future has in store.
A couple days ago I received a phone call from my husband with news that, quite honestly, would have sent me into a negative tail spin prior to this. Isn’t it funny when you think that surely you have hit the bottom, that there really can’t possibly be anything else that happens to us right now? But then reality just heaps more on that pile.
I truly believe that God knew that I needed to be in a better head space to receive this news, and because he is so faithful and loves us so much, he prepared me for more mess.
Where much is given, much is required. I'm declaring major favor over our family, and that God is just getting us ready for it. Come hell or high water, this heart of my mine will grow with God and His Will will be done!!!
What are you speaking over your life?
What are you speaking into your marriage? Friendships? Finances? Parenting? Let's not give the devil a foothold. God gave us all we need for this life, and it's up to us to press in to him, apply his truth, and have faith in him.
I want to let you know that you are not alone; life is tough, but God is tougher. The mark of spiritual maturity is how we walk through trials.
C.S Lewis writes in his book Mere Christianity: “If you want to get warm you have to stand near the fire, if you want to get wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, peace, power, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.”
Grab hold of your Father's hand and tell Satan to go take a hike. Don’t live one more day being bogged down by his nonsense.
Love to you sweet mommas,
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.