Write 31 Days – Day 29: What’s the Problem?

Write 31 Days – Day 29: What’s the Problem?

“The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t doing the right things, I wasn’t believing the right things.” 

~Marie Sheets~

As believers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the doing. There are lots of good things to do.

But when we’re not finding victory or freedom in life, we need to re-evaluate what our belief system looks like.

Asking the Lord to help us believe and think like He does will lead to living life abundantly and victoriously!

(To read a full article on this quote, click HERE.)

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This is Day 29 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

Pain and Escapism

Pain and Escapism

Though my journey of encountering the Lord and seeing into the heavenly realms began before my miscarriage last May, my encounters with the Lord are one of the main things that gave me grace through such a traumatic time. And out of that season I decided to write and publish my first book, Journey Through the Door, which is all about encountering the Lord.

In this journey of sadness, any time I have been grieved to the point of despair, I have told the Lord, “I need to see my son.” He has so graciously opened up my heavenly eyes to see in His realm and I have seen my son – usually playing with his big brother, or Jesus or even interacting with angels. A few times my Malachi has even spoken to me. Without these moments, my heart would still be a broken mess. Instead, though my heart was broken by losing my son last year, there has been tremendous healing that has taken place.

Just a couple months ago, the Lord spoke the word “escapism” to me. I didn’t even really know what it meant so I looked it up,

“the avoidance of reality by absorption of the mind in entertainment or in an imaginative situation, activity, etc.”

The Lord began to speak to me about how even encounters and seeing His realm could become escapism if one didn’t bring the grace and revelation of the encounters back into the life they were living right here and right now.

Experiencing heavenly realms has been a healing experience for me but He gave warning that experiencing heaven was not to remove any one from the reality of living on earth. He has created us human and placed us on this planet. It is our realm for this moment in history.

This realm – our realm – of life will bring trauma, loss, heartache and misfortune, and humanity is forever looking to numb the pain of these things. Pain hurts. We don’t like to hurt. When we begin to hurt, our immediate response is to get rid of the pain.

But Jesus was different than us. He endured the most painful and traumatic death of the Cross yet when He was offered a pain-killer, He refused.

“Arriving at Golgotha, the place they call ‘Skull Hill’, they offered him a mild painkiller  (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when he tasted it he wouldn’t drink it.” Matthew 27:34 (The Message)

Jesus wanted to feel everything. And the ‘everything’ was brutal and hellish. But for YOU, He embraced the pain.

As we walk through painful experiences in life, it’s easy to walk in denial or compartmentalize or just stuff things away in the back closet of our hearts. Honestly, I think Believers are some of the highest offenders. We know the ‘right’ way to feel, to respond, to pray… so instead of embracing what is in front of us, we babble off a Scripture and move on. And, in doing so, we embrace a lifestyle of escapism.

We don’t want to feel the pain. So we find something to numb it and pretend it’s not there. Some of us have done this so long, we honestly don’t remember it’s there, until someday, there’s so much pain stuffed, that we pop. And some sort of sinful behavior displays itself. It could be fits of anger, drinking too much, busyness is popular in Christian circles, even immersing ourselves into constant ministry… any thing to silence and numb the pain.

But escaping pain is never what Jesus intended. He told us we would face pain. But He always intended on us truly overcoming and finding healing for the wounds that are causing the pain.

“I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.” ~John 16:33 (The Voice)

And so He wants us to bring our pain to Him. To walk through it with Him. He wants us to face it, never alone, but with Him and to let Him minister to our hearts. He wants to heal the wound that is causing us pain.

But He will never have access to healing that wound, if we continue to “avoid reality” in escapism.

If you are ready to quit trying to escape and numb your pain and ready to face it head on with Jesus, I highly recommend the book, “Heart Made Whole”,  by Christa Black-Gifford. This book releases in just 3 short weeks, and as I have had the honor of having an early release copy, I cannot say enough good things about this book. It will help you take the journey to having your heart truly healed. It will help you quit trying to escape the pain and give you the tools to find the path to freedom. There truly is freedom – from pain, from trauma, from hurts and wounds. Holy Spirit wants to take us there – if only we will give up all our methods of escapism and let Him minister to our hearts.

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” ~John 10:10 (The Voice)

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Make Sure You Laugh Enough

Make Sure You Laugh Enough

Last May, when I found out the son I was carrying in my belly had no heartbeat, a dear friend and spiritual mama in my life, gave me the best advice…. Make sure you cry enough. In that advice, I heard Jesus speaking to me. I think it is imperative to cry enough in life and I also think it is vital that we laugh enough. When you are in a happy moment, the laughs come easy but when life is tough is when I find that I must be intentional about laughing.  Laughing is part of the healing, part of the breakthrough and part of the victory.

A few years ago, we were in a miserable and discontented season. Every believer (probably every person) goes through these times because the tension of ‘being grateful for where you’re at, but dreaming of and knowing that God has more’ is a huge part of the believers life. He’s calling us to not be stagnant but live big and beautiful lives. The paradox of this is the fact that we also need to be grateful and find contentment right where we’re at as well.

Back to the story… We were in a place we knew God had brought us to but knew that it was only a temporary season and when we found ourselves already 2 years in, I was so ready for the next season. We also were beginning the most strangling financial bondage we have ever know. Life was beginning to feel a bit like hell. We were in – but slugging through – the proverbial ‘valley of the shadow of death’. By the Grace of Jesus and the faithfulness of His promise, we are now on the other side. We have crossed through and found ourselves in a ‘promised land’ season.

There’s really only one reason I survived that season, the joy of the Lord. He gave us several ‘joy escapes’ in that season…

First, we were traveling in ministry and were having some beautiful services, full of His glory. He would refresh me often before I had to immerse myself back into the reality of where we were.

Second, He gave us our surprise baby – Journey Joy – who truly brought joy to our entire family in the midst of the heaviness.

And third, He taught me to laugh.

Laughter is not breakthrough but it is the most significant numbing agent to the pain and heaviness I felt. It was what kept me sane and moving forward. If you’re in one of those tough or, maybe even hellish seasons, I encourage you to find things to make you laugh. Laughter can trigger joy, it can numb the pain and it will give you hope that “this too shall pass and I will be in a different season of life”. Because you know what? You will! Keep moving, keep laughing… there is another side!

Here’s a few things I found that made me LOL in the midst of dark times. Maybe they can help you find your own laugh!

  • Seinfeld. Pick your own sitcom, YouTube videos, or movies but ours was reruns of Seinfeld. My husband and I would put our kiddos to bed and laugh hysterically at the ridiculousness of this show. Others I know, have watched old episodes of Friends or the comedian Jim Gaffigan. Just find something to watch that makes you laugh!
  • Babies and Grammas. After nearly 9 years of no new babies, Jesus gave us the most wonderful surprise right in the midst of those stormy years. As my baby grew and changed every day, I was reminded how much FUN they are! So many giggles. And grammas… my Grandma is a down-to-earth, 80-something woman who doesn’t take herself too serious. She can laugh at herself and tell stories on herself. She makes me happy. And makes me laugh.
  • Myself. By nature, I am a more serious person. But over the last few years, the Lord has broken me out of my rigidness and given me a sense of humor. Honestly, I maybe have swung too far – sarcasm and lightheartedness outweigh my desire to have a serious conversation most of the time now. But not taking myself as seriously has brought such a freedom to my soul, not to mention lots of laughter!