Suffering My Thorn

To be honest, I haven’t been feeling much like myself lately. I’m falling back into a depressive slump, and I don’t like it, but I don’t know what to do to fix it. Of course, I don’t have to know. Why? Because me knowing is all about “me, me, me” when it’s not about me at all; I should be focused on “Him, Him, Him.” That’s my problem when I start stumbling. I focus on my feeling helpless, my feeling lost, and my inability to quell this monster on my own. The thing is it’s not my battle to win! If I try to destroy my depression and anxiety on my own, I will lose every time. I need to give it to Him.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says,

“. . . So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

My depression, my anxiety – they are my thorn. I have cried out to God over and over again to remove them from me, but He refuses. He keeps sending me these verses instead, and so I will boast of this thorn in my side and use it to serve God’s glory. Through my weakness, He makes me strong. I place my trust in His will and His hand in my life, on my mind, and on my body.

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
And there are no grapes on the vines;
Even though the olive crop fails,
And the fields lie empty and barren;
Even though the flocks dies in the fields,
And the cattle barns are empty,
Yet I will rejoice the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
Able to tread upon the heights.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19

No matter what seems to be going wrong, I will rejoice in the Lord my God and trust His path for my life. The road my not be easy, but I know it will be worth taking, even with all the valleys I must walk through. The darkness will not claim my life but give me a testimony to bring others to the Light.

“Though the sorrows my last for the night, joy comes sin the morning.”

Psalm 30:5b

Who can know how long the night will last, but the morning will come.

I suffer this thorn in my side, for I know that I am trading my sorrow for joy, my weakness for strength, my pain for comfort, and my past for my salvation – and each of you can do the same. Your thorn may be different from mine. Your story certainly is, but God can use your testimony to serve Him, if you let Him.

Don’t be ashamed of your journey; share it! Someone needs your story.

God bless!

Elizabeth

Finding Peace and Remembering to Rejoice: A Journey With Grief

“I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad…”

I Will Rejoice/There Is A River

Even when it’s hard, even when I don’t feel I can be, even when my heart is broken and my soul is hurting, I will rejoice, I will be glad, in the presence of the Lord.

He is El Sheddai. He rules over every part of my life, every part of my world. The pain and the darkness may last for the night, but the joy of the Lord – MY Lord – will last forever (See Psalms 30:5). He restores my soul, and I will praise Him – through the storm, through the fire, through it all (See Psalms 23:3).

It’s been a hard week for me and for my family. Tuesday morning, I lost my grandma. gmaThe possibility had been there – she had been sick – but she had been getting better, and I just wasn’t prepared. I’ve been fighting to keep myself together, and I have lost that fight and gone to pieces more than a few times. Sunday morning, I broke down during service when we sang “Wonderful Peace” because I just have not been able to find that God-given peace. I can’t understand why. I know she has finally reached her better, and I know she’d tell me not to worry because all is well now that’s she’s with the King, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how much I know these things, I also know that the pain of her loss is still heavy on my heart regardless of how much I know.

When I hit the altar yesterday morning, I told God how much I’m struggling to find His peace, and he reminded me:

“You are not in this fight alone. Lean on those who love you: your friends, your family, and especially your church. They are in place at my command to help you through.”

For these God-sent people, I am ever thankful.

My eyes are red and raw, but I will carry on with the strength of the Lord my God, my Keeper, my Provider, my ever-present help in times of need.

God bless!
Elizabeth

What does BREAKTHROUGH mean to me?

This was the question of the night from last week’s weekly devotion. Everyone who shared their answer on the call had fantastic and inspiring answers. I’d like to share mine with you:

To me breakthrough means…

Overcoming: Breaking into:
Fear Freedom
Self-consciousness Joy
Doubt Confidence
Lack of self-worth Strength
Loneliness Protection
Heartbreak Love
Anxiety Peace

Reaching my breakthrough took time and work. For the most part, I didn’t overcome all of these things with one swift movement of God. He worked slowly on me for some of them. That’s the funny thing about breakthroughs: everyone’s (and every one) is different. God may instantly deliver you from what you’re struggling to break through in one miraculous moment, or he may work piece-by-piece, chipping away at the chains holding you down or the walls holding you in. It all depends on what’s best for you.

I’ve had a few of those worked-in-an-instant breakthroughs, but then I squandered my joy when I stopped working in my breakthrough. I took for granted what God had done in me and didn’t change what I as doing that led to the chains and walls to begin with, so I found myself trapped again. That’s why my breakthroughs usually take slow steps of effort to reach that final “I’m free!” moment. I’ve needed the focus of working on myself to fully appreciate the wonders of what he’s doing in my life.

Now, will my breakthroughs always work that way? Not necessarily. It all depends on what God sees in me and what he wants to do for me for my good and for HIS purpose. Every blessing I’ve ever received has been so I could work in line with HIS will. As soon as I start focusing more on what I want to do and not what HE wants me to do, I’m in trouble.

God knows what he’s doing. He knows what works for me, and he knows what will work for you. All we need to do is keep our eyes on him and follow his will above our own. As soon as he’s your focus, amazing things will start happening – I guarantee it!

Now, what does BREAKTHROUGH mean to you?

God bless!
Elizabeth

Who Am I in Christ?

I am a daughter.

I am a seeker of souls.

I am a child still learning how to fully depend on my always dependable, always faithful, always present father – my Protector, my Leader, El Shaddai.

I am an imperfect person constantly humbling myself before my ruler who is forever thankful for the forgiving love of my Father.

I am an OVERCOMER of fear and life’s distractions who will no longer allow the business of my everyday world suffocate my walk in my faith and my calling.

I am a FIGHTER for my soul, a WARRIOR who will not give up, will not give in, will not surrender when the world tries to knock me down and knock me out. I will NOT be KO’d!

I will renew my identity as a writer of words to reach, teach, and motivate a generation of souls to follow Christ as I revive the calling my God placed on my life.

This is MY breakthrough.pj442try5pn169p-cropped

Have you found your breakthrough?
Share yours in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!
Tags: #breakthroughmovement #NCbreakthrough2015

God bless!
Elizabeth