It’s gonna be a bright…bright…sunshine-y day….

I’m here to tell you that there is light at the end of every dark tunnel. If you can’t see it, it’s either because you have a little farther to go or you’ve stopped in the middle.

I know, I holed up in a little dark alcove for awhile myself.

What makes me mad about that is I was like a rat, headed for the cheese in the same trap that got me so many times before. Yet, I blindly and ignorantly walked into it again.

Riddle: How do you get this author to get her Survivor torch snuffed out?

Answer: Get her sick.

It’s the devil’s go-to method with me and I’m sad to say it works 80% of the time. Maybe 90%.

One day I’ll learn that the joy and peace (and sanity) should RISE WITH a temperature, not go down.

Because after awhile, I’m in a vicious cycle. Am I still sick because I’m feeling so down and out? Or do I feel so down and out because I’m sick?

And this Covid-19 can really put you in a terrible head space: Is this an allergy cough? A corona cough? Who touched the gas pump before me? Does this Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer even kill germs? 

I’ll admit, I’m still a little freaked out. I have loved ones waiting on test results now and I am worried. But I also know that God is in control.

I had a revelation this morning. There are people on Facebook screaming “Come to God now!” “This is His judgment.” “You better turn.” And for the most part, people who believed, still believe. People who didn’t, still don’t. It baffles me.

I don’t know if this is the Lord’s judgment.

I do know this. He knew this was going to happen before it happened. And He can’t be very happy with the state of America. I mean, this is a country founded on Christian beliefs and that’s all but gone now.

So, yeah, maybe I’d be a little concerned and think, “Maybe we should look at this like we are doing something wrong.” But we don’t; none of us ever do.

We point fingers and lay blame and refuse to believe any opinion that’s not our own.

Quite like they did in the Old Testament.

“No, we don’t want to go into a land of milk and honey. We want to go back into bondage.” We are so scared of change and the fear of the unknown that we cling to what’s familiar, even if it is destroying us.

It’s time to let go of our crippling fears and anxieties. It’s time to push through the darkness and find that ray of light. It’s time to stand up and start moving toward that final prize, an eternity with the Savior.

Sick or well, alone or quarantining in a crowded house, rich or poor, essential or not, we ALL need to gravitate toward the hope that is in Christ. Only then will we be completely free.

I Gotta Be Honest…

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If there’s one thing I swore I’d always do in this blog, it would be to remain open and honest.

“Throwing open the closet door to all my skeletons” has been my claim and I haven’t shied away from revealing my darkness.

However, this blog is for inspiring and providing hope to those who are traveling through the darkness themselves, so I carefully write AFTER the battle has been won. I don’t like to write when I’m in the midst of a battle, finding commiseration to be more harmful than helpful.

So I’ve been careful. Always be positive. Always show victory, even when showing the defeat that came first. And ALWAYS post regularly. Three times a week, without fail, I posted.

If I was going on vacation, I scheduled posts. I kept a post or two ready in case I wasn’t feeling well or something came up that week. I made sure I had a week’s worth ready to go when the grandkids came to visit for sure!

But then the coronavirus came.

And I retreated.

I was the lone church member who WANTED to be around during the rapture to spread life and hope in a lively HYPOTHETICAL discussion we had a few years ago.

I was not prepared to put my money where my mouth was.

This pandemic has caused me to retreat faster than a turtle’s head as a car speeds by.

I wanted to lock down, lock my doors, and pull the covers over my head.

For the most part, I’ve done almost just that.

I’m scared. I’m anxious. And I’ve had nothing positive to say.

One week turned to two, three missed posts turned to 12, and I felt like I was neglecting my child. THIS, this blog, is my ministry. And I abandoned it.

The social distancing isn’t wrong. My husband has had symptoms of the virus, and unable to get tested, we’ve been self-isolating at home. There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, it is EXACTLY what we should be doing.

There are some benefits. We’ve gotten a lot of rest, and we’ve had some quality time together without the distractions of her usual busy daily routines.

But, even sick, he has continued to preach, holding four services online each week and studying working on a book on 1 John.

I’ve read four books, binge-watched series, and played games on my tablet.

The difference hasn’t escaped my attention.

I’ll have bouts of clarity and determination. I have a notebook with two pages of blog topics specifically about this time in our life. I’ll go to bed determined to write, and minister, and be positive the next day.

And I wake up…and pull the covers back over my head.

I don’t know why I’m so anxious. The pressure of others who are anxious to resume life as we once knew it weighs on me.   The fear that I’ll never want to resume life as it once was worries me too. What if I stay in this funk forever?

What if the Lord stops giving me revelation to share because I refuse to share it? How much more patience does He have to have with me? How much more will I have with myself?

Then the devil steps in. No one is reading your blog anyway. Who are you kidding? You’re not helping anyone. And I allow myself to be both wounded and comforted by the words.

My life means nothing. Oh well. Guess I don’t have to worry about writing after all.

But I know, when my own self-doubt and the devil’s darts are stripped away, that the voice of the Lord rings clear:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…  2 Corinthians 2:4-5

In another words, GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

Check back tomorrow for a NEW post and feel free to flood my inbox if you don’t see it!!!

 

A Reminder Tucked Away…

I found a note when cleaning out my wallet the other day. I have tons of these sweet memorabilia tucked away, from the tulip drawn by granddaughter Hollyn when she was four to the ticket stub from our last date night. I’m a sentimentalist and treasure these things above all other.

But this note held even more meaning because it was a message from the Lord.

It was a simple yet direct word that He gave shortly after we moved to the Coast, in my first few weeks of ministry.

Many will come bearing no fruit. Be not dismissive, neither waste your time.

I absolutely love how the Lord can say in 13 words what would take me two pages to explain. That short message was prophetic, warning, and encouraging at once.

Many will come:  Some were coming FOR help; some were coming TO help.

bearing no fruit: They were saying the right things but their actions didn’t line up. Some were deliberately deceitful; some truly believed they were in the right spirit. (This also alludes to the fact that some WILL come bearing fruit.)

Be not dismissive: Be compassionate. Don’t get mad at the blind man for not being able to see. Do what you can to help….

neither waste your time: ….but don’t spin your wheels. There are some you need to walk away from. There are others you must draw the line between helping and enabling. We offer a chance for a new life, the hope in Christ. We plant a seed; we sometimes stick around to water it. But we don’t plant, dig, replant, water, watch, fret, add fertilizer, water some more, pull the stem out of the ground…

It was a great message and it’s served me well. Looking back, I see many people who’ve come along to minister with us who’ve fallen by the wayside. They were on fire for the Lord and now they can’t be bothered to even get out of bed on Sunday mornings. I’ve seen others denounce Christ and begin practicing witchcraft. Others, ravenous wolves from the beginning, have had their sheep masks torn away.

But in the midst of it have been the ones who’ve bloomed much fruit. So much fruit that their fruit has poured over into our orchards! We’ve met some incredible people, many of whom are still in our lives today. There have been some whose journeys only briefly intersected with ours but we still shared the same goals.

Some of the ones I thought were great Christians were not. Some of the ones I thought were (um, shall we say…) “different” were actually wonderful servants of God.

I think this is why the Lord told me to be not dismissive. Because it wasn’t just about compassion, it was also about me not rushing to judgement. Sometimes it takes some time to see clearly.

But once you do, then you need to either grab on or go on.

But don’t waste your time!