Right now I'm sitting in my living room, looking at the time. There are only a few hours left in 2014. As I reflect back on this year I remember facing a lot of heartache. Actually, if I'm being honest the Lord allowed me to go through a series of events this summer that left my heart in shreds. It wasn't anything that I did wrong or could prevent from happening, it just happened. It was as if a fire came through my life and relentlessly destroyed just about everything. I want to be completely transparent and vulnerable because I know this will help someone. After my summer was all over with, I didn't want to get up out of the ashes. I didn't FEEL like doing anything. I didn't let the Lord in to heal me and help me to move on. Instead I surrounded myself with people and let the busy-ness of life take over. I just threw a rug over my shredded heart in hopes it would get better.
It was only until a couple of days ago that I sat at my Granny's house in total peace and quiet with no internet, no people, that the Lord was able to speak to me again. He said "Let it go and give it to me." I wanted to say, "Lord I'm not hurt. I'm fine." but the tears proved otherwise. Finally, in the quietness of my Granny's house, the Holy Spirit was able to speak to me. "Can we address this together?"
In October I attended a Christian conference where the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation. He showed me a picture of myself flattened out on the ground like a pancake under a 2 ton weight. It was very cartoonish. The Lord removed the weight but I was still squished on the ground. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that Jesus was the same way after he died. He was crushed by life. The weight of the world's sin was on him. Friends betrayed him. Strangers had it out for him. His heart was probably in shreds too. He probably felt like he couldn't back up from this. "How in the world will I be able to resurrect?" is something he might have thought. That's when the Holy Spirit showed me a vision of heaven. There was a huge race going on like as if someone was running a marathon. People were crowding around each side. All of heaven was cheering on Jesus saying "You can do it!! Get up, Jesus! Get up!" The Champion of Heaven was able to rise again and conquer death after everyone thought that he was defeated. In the same way all of heaven was cheering on Jesus to get back up after he had been knocked down, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me and say, "All of heaven is cheering you on. Get back up baby! I know you can do it!"
Some of you feel like 2014 just about crushed you as flat as a pancake and it's been hard to get up to keep going and to heal. I want you to know that in the same way all of heaven cheered Jesus on to resurrect, they are cheering you on too. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome and move beyond our past. People didn't expect Jesus to come back from all that he had been through. People may not expect you to bounce back from what you've been through, but because the champion of heaven got back up and conquered the grave through him we can also get back up. "…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33
For a while after I went through my fiery trials, I just wanted to sit in my ashes. Don't fall into the trap of not surrendering your ashes to the Lord. You may not understand why you had to lose that loved one, or why that relationship didn't work out, or why your family had to struggle, or why you had to go through health problems or circumstances that people still don't know you went through. That's okay. It's okay not to understand. Surrender the questions to the Lord. When we don't understand He is still good.
" I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth" Psalm 34:1
There is such a beautiful promise that we find in the Word. When we let go of our ashes, the Lord blesses us with beauty. "To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:3
Let’s trade in the hurt, the pain, the disappointment for something so much better.
I’m sure without a doubt that Jesus finished this race we call life because we are his joy. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t sit down. Get back up and finish strong. We can move forward because Christ is our joy and our reward. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14
Yes you went through a lot in 2014, but it’s time to get up and heal with the Lord. It’s time to let go of the questions and disappointments. Don’t let your past define your future. It’s a new year. I pray it’s full of beauty, joy, and festive praise for you. Welcome to 2015.
Much love in Christ,