There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Freedom and Healing.....

As I stand with arms raised high and heart surrendered I notice the tears welling up within my eyes and slowly creeping down my cheeks. My palms start to sweat, my heart starts beating quicker, and tightness in my chest begins to form as an array of emotions creep in. It’s as if the wind has been knocked from me and I stand hit with the realization that I am blessed beyond human comprehension and my life has been spared.

Everything about my past and childhood outlines a very different manuscript and story for my life. Just the fact that I’m standing in church on Sunday, married to a man that isn’t abusive and not on drugs or in prison is a change from the status quot of the cycle that my  I could have easily followed. I have been through a tough battle with health complications but the most desperate places I have searched for healing hasn’t been physically but instead those hidden places in my heart that the world has damaged and scarred. At a young age I learned that you fought to survive. You fought with everything in you always putting on a tough girl attitude. There came a point in my life though where desperation to be free from conforming to the patterns of what was comfortable and normal rang loudly in my heart.  It was a white flag moment, the moment in my life where time seemed to stand still my body and mind ached for freedom and instead of fighting to survive I fought to let go and surrender. 

My heart echoed the words to a beautiful song, “we raise our white flag the war is over and love has come, Your love has WON.”  It was a moment that the love and power of Jesus broke every chain that the enemy tried to keep me entangled to. It was a moment that the destructive whispers and reminders of the past were quieted by the tender voice of Jesus. It was in that moment, that deep wounds on my heart were penetrated by the hope of Jesus and traded for promises of healing and redemption. 

See standing in the middle of a beautiful worship center today it hit me like a ton of bricks that my life was spared. The world had given me every reason like so many of you to be chained to unhealthy relationships, poverty, violence, addictions, and crime but Jesus protested on my behalf and said “I will not allow my precious daughter to walk that path.” When you raise your white flag you throw your arms up in the air in surrender, you let go of the struggle of doing it on your own and you welcome freedom with open arms. When choosing freedom you decide that the world can and will no longer have a hold on your life, on your dreams, on your passions, on your joy and you hand over each piece of your story to the strong and mighty hands of Jesus to deliver you. I have sat cowering in a corner filled with disgrace from the ugliness of my reality and choices but through Christ I was set free! Through Him we are MORE than conquerors. 

Today I was overcome with emotion because I realized there isn’t something that makes me special and set apart or more deserving than a prostitute or drug addict. I don’t hold a resume of a glamorous past or accomplishments but the very things that qualify me instead is the messiness, the pain, the scars, the chaos and dysfunction. The only thing that separates me today is that Jesus saved me and spared my life because I could be sitting on the streets, broken, hurting and a prisoner to the enemy instead of free, saved and redeemed. We look around so often at the pain of the world and it’s dysfunction like “poor them” but really we should be saying “lucky me I am blessed.”

"You, with all your faults and imperfections; you, with your defects and failures; you, with your hang-ups and emotional scars; you, with your weaknesses and your defeats; you, with all of your blunders, brokenness, and floundering: you are God's beloved, God's favored, the disciple whose name God calls, the one Jesus prefers to hang with, eat with, play with, talk with, cry with, and laugh with. You are the one whom the holy God of heaven and earth longs to spend time with. You are all of this and more. You always have been. And you always will be." Mike Yaconelli 

I keep thinking “thank You Jesus, thank You because I didn’t deserve to have a life so blessed and with a happy ending but because of His grace I don’t have to follow the story that the enemy had for me but instead will fight against the odds because Jesus is my defender and shield. Romans 8:37 “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us.” It’s not enough just to break the chains and get by but to surpass our captivity and have a story redeemed by power and beauty. 

“In death and life I’m confident and covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love”
-One Thing Remains- Kristian Stanfill-

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