Thursday, May 24, 2012

God's Help Is Not Limited...

A few months ago, someone really close to me was pressed upon my heart. Though I clearly heard the Lord telling me to call and check on my friend, because I wasn't feeling very well, I decided that I'd just say a prayer for her and make contact the following morning.

Within a matter of seconds after praying for her, I noticed the indicator light blinking on my phone.  I had a text message.  When I opened it, my heart sank.  It was a message from my friend saying that she wanted her life to be over, and was struggling with harming herself, and worse, taking her own life.  She had been in a vicious fight for a really long time, and felt that the pain and torment in her mind was too much to handle.  She was having a hard time believing that her life would ever be more than it was at that moment.

I immediately began to go into spiritual warfare for my friend, and did all I could to convince her to hold on.  Thankfully, she did not succomb to the demons in her mind, and made it through a very difficult moment. 

God is a keeper.

There are so many people out there like my friend, who are so overwhelmed by life's problems that they feel they may be better off dead.  That's a lie from the enemy.  God desires that you live, and abundantly so. (John 10:10)

A while ago, I wrote an article in EEW Magazine about how our problems are not meant to be the death of us, and how we must declare that we will not die, but live. (Psalm 118:17)

But what do you do when the pain is too much?  When the demons in your mind are so loud?  When the more you pray the worse you feel?  When the tears won't stop, and nothing seems to help? When you want to cut yourself to relieve the pain?  When you struggle with commiting suicide? When you want to drink the hurt away? When you want to go to sleep and never wake up? When there's so much anger bottled up inside of you that you want to hurt someone else?  What do you do?

You know, as Christians, we're taught to "take your burdens to the Lord, and leave them there." We're taught to pray about our problems, our struggles, our issues, and just trust the Lord to heal, deliver, and set free. Although Jesus is indeed our "Balm in Gilead", and is well capable of healing any and every manner of sickness and disease (Physically or Psychologically), I believe there are times when He extends His grace through tangible sources. There are Doctors, Counselors, Psychiatrists, and Psychologists that He anoints to aid us in working through our problems.

I firmly believe in the power of prayer, because I've seen it work in my life.  But you know what, although I never sought "professional help" to help me work through my issues, the Lord definitely led me to people that I could talk to, and were ordained by Him to assist me in tackling my demons.

By ALL means, pray and trust God. But, there is help beyond the pulpit; beyond the altar; beyond your prayer closet.  And if you find that the things that torment you are extremely overwhelming, and you struggle with thoughts of suicide, or abuse to yourself or others, it's perfectly okay to seek help. God is such a big God, and He's not limited in the ways He helps us. 

Christians struggle.  Christians are self-harming.  Christians are abusing others.  Christians are commiting suicide.  But there's hope, and there's help.  Don't be ashamed or afraid to ask for it.

If you need help, pray and ask the Lord to lead you to a Christian professional who will be beneficial in helping you to work through whatever your problem(s) may be. 

I don't know who this is for, but this was so pressed upon my heart today.  I don't know who you are, where you are, or how tough your struggle is, but God does. Know that your life is so valuable to Him, and He loves you deeply.

Lord, today I pray for those dealing with issues that seem too much for them to handle, and are struggling with harming themselves or others, or commiting suicide. I pray that you'd give them peace in their minds, and help them find healthy ways of coping with the demons that consume their thoughts.  Lord, help them to see their value in you, and assure them that there is no pain you are incapable of healing.  Comfort them, and wrap them in your loving arms.  I bind the spirit of death that hovers over them, and I declare that according to Psalm 118:17, they shall live and not die. Help them to find strength in Romans 8:37, which declares that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. If they need help beyond their prayers and faith, I ask that you'd lead them to kind-hearted, compassionate, God-loving professionals that will act as your mouthpiece, and help to bring healing in their lives.  I thank you in advance for preserving their lives, and leading them along the path to victory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

~May you live in His love.~

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inspiration & Video Blog

Lately, I’ve found myself in a bit of a battle with the enemy.  He has been trying to reclaim a space that he no longer has possession of – my mind.  I evicted him a couple of years ago, and for some reason he thinks he can just come back and set up homestead again. 
It seems that the more I submit myself to the Lord and the plans He has for my life, here comes that old raggedy devil trying to throw a monkey wrench into the works.  Well I’m not having it.
Our relationship is over, and the space he once occupied in my mind has been filled with soundness.  I’m free, and I intend to remain that way.  
Read the rest here.
Watch the video below for a quick message from me. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Believe I'll Testify...

I have a few special days coming up next week. Sunday is Mother's Day; Monday is my 30th birthday; and Friday my husband and I will celebrate 6 years of marriage.  I love the month of May!

I am so excited about my week of celebrations, but more than the exuberance I feel on the inside, my heart is overflowing with gratitude.  You see, I've been reflecting over the last decade of my life for the past few weeks, and if I never knew that God's hand and favor were upon my life, I definitely know now.  During my twenties, life hit me extremely hard and I believed that I wouldn't make it through.  Without God...let's just say I would not be typing this post today. Oh, but God!!

Over the past 10 years I have been challenged in every area that I'm preparing to celebrate next week. I believe I'll testify...

In motherhood, I was challenged when my oldest son was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus as an infant.  For the first two years of his life, the hospital had basically become our home.  I thought I'd lose my son, but God has completely healed him.  I was further challenged when, after three years of hoping to conceive, my husband and I had no success.  Just when I'd given up on having more children, the Lord opened my womb and has since blessed us with two sons.

Marriage has definitely had its challenges.  Just two years ago, my husband and I were contemplating divorce.  We came so close to calling it quits.  But God restored our relationship, and did not allow us to go asunder.  Now we're stronger than ever, and committed to continuously grow in love.

If you follow the blog or my column in EEW Magazine, then you know about some of the challenges I've faced.  Life for me has not at all been a crystal stair.  I've battled deep depression, loss of identity, suicidal thoughts, sexual immorality, addictions, insecurity, low self-esteem, brokenness, hopelessness...and the list could go on, and on, and on.  But you know what?  God has delivered me; healed me; set me free; restored me; validated me; given me new identity and purpose...and again, the list could go on, and on.

Nothing but the grace of God...

My heart is so full right now, because I know what could have been, and what probably should have been...but God.  He's so merciful; He's so loving; He's so faithful.

When it looked like my life would fall to pieces, God said No, my child; I will hold you up with my right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

When it seemed that the enemy would destroy me with everything that came against me, God said No, my child; these weapons won't prosper against you. (Isaiah 54:17)

When all my strength had gone, and I thought I'd faint, God said No, my child. My strength is perfect in your weakness; my grace is all you need. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

When I thought I'd die in my sorrow, God said, No, my child.  You will not die, but live and proclaim what I have done. (Psalm 118:17)

When I believed that my marriage would fail, God said, No, my child; nothing will separate what I have put together. (Mark 10:9)

When I thought my son's sickness would overtake him, God said, No, my child; with Jesus' stripes, he is healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

When I was convinced that nothing good was meant for my life, God said, No, my child; I have good plans for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

For every negative, God gave me a positive affirmation through His word.  Oh, how I love Him!  He took the worst of my life, and turned it into something beautiful.  I am so grateful for all that He's done, and I'm even more thankful for the fact that He's going to continue to perfect everything that concerns me...and you.  (Psalm 138:8)

Just as He has shown Himself strong and mighty in my life, He will show Himself strong and mighty in your life.  I don't care how bad it seems, God, the All-Powerful One, is able to make it better.  I am a living witness!  So don't you dare be discouraged.  Lift up your head; lift up your praise; lift up your prayers; lift up your worship; and the King of glory will come in.  He will come in, and heal; He will come in, and restore; He will come in, and deliver; He will come in, and make all things new.

That's reason enough to celebrate. Glory to God!