She overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of her testimony…(Revelation 12:11 NIV, emphasis mine)
This past year hasn’t been easy. Honestly, I’m not sure I know anyone who’s had it easy. I’ve been dealing with chronic pain and fatigue. Throw in some chronic disappointment and you have the recipe for chronic discouragement and depression. Yuck. You see, I really believed that all this junk would have cleared up by now…that God would have answered my prayers and taken it all away. Although I know He has heard me, He has not removed these uncomfortable circumstances from me.
This is my first post in three months. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I stopped trusting that I had anything worthwhile to say. I like to offer encouraging, hopeful, hang in there, don’t give up words. Those words are hard to offer when doubt, shame, anger, resentment, self-pity, and disgust are the words most readily available.
Last weekend I got to spend some time at a Captivating Advanced retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado with John and Stasi Eldredge along with several members of the Ransomed Heart team. It wasn’t just a retreat, it was a rescue. If you have never been to one of their events, I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to get to one. I’m telling you, GO!!!
So much healing took place in those mountains, but before sending us on our merry little way John Eldredge spent some time teaching about the reality of pain and suffering this side of heaven. He challenged us to let suffering expose and access our deepest wounds because they expose where our hopes are primarily set. Ouch. Personally, I’m not a big fan of being exposed in any way, but God would not send me home without giving me a chance to allow Him to deal with this area in my life. Too much is at stake.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV
John warned us…”Don’t reject the comfort because you’re mad that it’s not the answer you want.”
Near the end of the session I spent some time quietly reflecting with a pen in one hand and Kleenex in the other…
I heard Jesus asking me:
“What if the current physical affliction you’ve been experiencing doesn’t go away? What will you do? How does that affect how you feel about Me?
You must choose.
Choose the idea of a pain free life without Me and the lie that you can make it happen. Or you can choose to trust Me and let Me love you and comfort you as much as you need. Your need is great.
You’ve been believing a lie that you can’t be effective in your calling while you’re suffering. It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not even biblical.
You have to choose.
Fight through the pain and follow Me on this path that I have chosen for you right now. You won’t always have this pain or be tired. No. One day we will be face to face and it will all melt away. I’ll wipe away every single tear and you will be free.
You have to let go of trying to understand why and just trust that My love is enough. My grace is enough to carry you. I’ll give you what you need to flourish and produce rich fruit to be refreshing to many thirsty souls. There’s a world that needs you. Don’t sit out any longer. They’re playing your favorite song and I’m asking you to dance with Me. Let Me guide you and lead you. Let Me hold you. Let Me teach you new steps. Let go of the way you thought the plan should work out. Let it go. Release your fear, doubt, and pain to Me. Open your hands and your heart to Me. Let Me fill you. This is where your healing begins.”
And so today I choose to re-engage here in this space. Too much is at stake.
Thanks for stopping by.
This Post Has 4 Comments
My Dear Friend Nichole,
I am so thankful for meeting you and sharing such an exhausting & cleansing weekend. Your blog is so encouraging and I am thankful for your words….stay strong my dear sister ..God is fighting for you & with you everyday. I also know you will not forever be in pain… He is going to heal you… So don’t stress or worry about that any longer..it’s no longer an issue… Continue to write your beautiful words because they are beautiful and encouraging . You are one courageous woman & I am honored to call you my friend & my sister!
Love & prayers,
Thank you so much! I am so glad God brought us together. He knew how much I needed you and the rest of our roommates. He loves us!
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Way to go, Jesus! So much hope here and I am thrilled to see you are taking up dancing again;) Such a perfect rescue, at the perfect time, in the perfect way. I love our Jesus and how He does that.
Thank you for being a friend and a prayer warrior. I’m so grateful.
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