Encouragement from my own life experiences with mental illness, among other things. I hope to remind you that we are all precious to God, that none of us is ever forgotten or forsaken, and that truly all things in our lives are "worked together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes." (Rom. 8:28) I also hope to remind folks that God can and wants to be your Friend. And He does, indeed, still speak to His children.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Faith is a gift from God, not anything we come on of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). It flourishes as we hear His word (Romans 10:17) and allow it to renew and transform our minds (Romans 12:2). Any who desires faith should ask of God, who responds and rewards our us as we seek Him with all our hearts (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
How Faith Transforms My Mess into My Message...
This morning I woke up and my first thoughts were that I wanted to be done. DONE. Completely done.... with all of it.
Let me put this in context: I have lived with bipolar disorder all of my life. I am 36 years old.. And that is a long time.
So this morning, I went back to sleep hoping I would feel better when I woke up, knowing that there was no one in this world that I could tell that I had woken up with suicidal feelings who wouldn't freak out and call the cops or take it upon themselves... and I didn't want anyone else to carry this burden.
I knew God knew where I was. I knew wasn't totally alone with it. So I exhaled. And I went back to bed.
I woke up a couple hours later,
and it wasn't the first thing on my mind, but within a few moments of being awake, it settled back in on me... and instead of calling someone (because there is no one I could call with this & I knew I really needed to take the express lane to prayer central) I just started to talk to Papa God out loud. Tears welled up and streamed down my cheeks as I said "I know you're not mad, and it's not that I don't love this life because I do I love this life... I'm just so tired. And it's so hard when I have these thoughts. And I know, I KNOW that you will bring something beautiful of this. I know and treasure that you work everything together for my good and that your precious promises mean that you will use even this broken hard heart place for the greater glory for your kingdom..."
And even though it's scary to share this publicly, I know You allow us to go through these trials because they're part of something bigger. And I know it's important for folks to realize when we go through trials that You are not upset that we feel, and You aren't upset when we struggle... You just want us to come to You honest and open and candid.
And I wondered as I got my vitamins out when David was writing the Psalms did he ever feel this way when he was running from Saul for his life, did he ever cry out I just want to be done... This is not what I signed up for!! And then remind himself how great his God was and how wonderful..
Did he feel this way ever after he had committed such a great sin with Bathsheba? Did he ever cry out with these words and struggle just pleading for a break because it was so hard... knowing because his faith was so strong in his God that he could come honest, raw, totally bare, not covering up the truth of his emotions, not having to pretend that it was better than it was, but being viscerally real about how he felt...
I am so thankful especially in these moments of weakness to have a mature faith that understands that I don't have to put on "big girl panties" and pretend I'm fine for my faith to be proven. My faith is not shaken in these hard places - No, these are the places where my faith SHINES!! Where You uphold me... where it's nothing but You upholding me.
These are the places where Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. These are the moments that You take my mess and make it my message. You turn my tests into my testimony.
And I just praise you for giving me the ability to go beyond my own self, being so tired and worn down of this world.. to share this... Because I KNOW there's someone out there that needs to hear it.
That is OK to have a "day" - to have the moments where we just feel broken down... and that God, our great GOD does not need us to pretend for Him, and we don't need to pretend for one another in order to prove our faith.
Our faith is shown in that we keep going even when we're honest about how hard it is.
So yes, I'm still struggling, but my faith is SOLID. I know my God is with me in this very room. In all these dark moments. And on every mountaintop. And I know that He will walk with me in every hard heart place I face. He will not only redeem my story but deliver me victorious. In all things, in every way, He is for me and He will never, not ever, let go of His hold on me. And in that I stand firm.
"You have written and redeemed my story..." 🙌🏻
This message brought to you and made possible by faith, a gift from God.
P.S. Please let me assure all who read this, sharing my words is very healing. I no longer want to die. Or to leave. I have been there before. This is very different. I get these thoughts at times.. Trailing. They're complex, and it's heavy. And after writing all that, it's more than I have words for at the moment. But this morning when I woke up... Yes, it was all too much. Trust me, and thank you for your love and prayers. I am not going anywhere ❤️ God has so much left to do through this life... 🙌🏻 Sharing this candidly is just part of being faithful to the ministry He's growing in my life. God bless y'all. 💗
We are God's set apart people. We have been called to be in the world but not of it. Throughout scripture we find God's expressed longing for our hearts to be aligned with Him so that we can pour out His love as we walk, serve, and love others - persevering where we are planted - so that others may know this Jesus who gives us hope, who gives us life.
"God chooses the times & places we live."
We are intentionally planted with purpose to walks and serve and love others.. To persevere where we are placed so others can see Christ in us not because we are preaching but because we are loving - others will see the hope and be drawn in the spirit to God himself, and He is so pleased. Even if I never see the fruit, the results, God is faithful... I plant the seed - I'm the messenger of grace, and I trust God to see through every good work to completion (not just in me but in all that I sow). I can thereby let go of the worry & work and move in trust, knowing God is in control as I submit & come alongside and partner with Papa where He is already at work. ❤️
Oh, what joy! To know I don't have to wring my hands & worry or fret, but just be faithful to plant and tend as I go - stay tethered to and grafted in to my Jesus & His power will accomplish the *work* - the conviction, the changing of hearts... All of it. I just need to be faithful with what's in front of me, my part. I'm not meant to accomplish it all... Whenever I'm stressed or feeling strained (in my kingdom work, following through in my calling), I need to do a serious spirit check and make sure I'm not falling into working in the flesh & trying to make more happen than what God has put before me to do.
I do my part & let God be God. That's how it's designed. That's how it works best for all involved, including the recipients of this ministry... That's what pleases His heart.
I am a messenger of grace. I'm not the provider of it. I'm not the compeller to take hold of it... I'm just tasked to walk fully in it and share it freely wherever I go.