Today I wept for you. My prayer time started in dancing and jumping and praising God for his faithfulness but I quickly found myself lying on my face, crying and screaming out to God for him to rescue you. “Oh God! Hear their cries! Come and rescue them. Oh God! Hear the cries of your people and draw near to them. Remove this burden from their lives. Help!”
As I was praying I heard the Spirit say to me – “I will bring them back from captivity.” Quickly my prayer changed from rescue them to – “Oh God! Give them the courage to endure. Give them boldness to take another step and press forward every day. Give them hope that no matter how much it hurts – the end is near. They will experience freedom.”
I sat up and heard the Spirit say – “What if I had just rescued you, April? You would be free from anxiety and depression but…” I finished his sentence – “But that’s it. I would only be free from anxiety and depression. I wouldn’t be free from a false identity. I wouldn’t be free from toxic friendships. I wouldn’t be free from counterfeit love. I wouldn’t be living in the freedom I have now… just free from anxiety and depression.”
Now I know the thought of being free from JUST anxiety and depression sounds pretty good to some of you but trust me. If God has more you don’t want less. Trust me on that. From one sister to another – don’t sell yourself short. When things get tough we want out. When our job gets annoying and overwhelming we start looking for new jobs. When our friends aren’t acting right we start looking for new friends. When our relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies we start contemplating divorce. We’re always looking to escape when things get uncomfortable. Maybe it’s time to start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and instead of falling a part and jumping ship – we hang in there! How about that?!!
Here’s something else I heard in my prayer time: Open Your Mouth. Stop holding the fear and doubt inside. Let it out! Speak out what you’re feeling and you’ll hear how ridiculous it is. Call out to God even if you don’t know how to pray. Say something! When you speak you will feel the freedom start to rush over you.
When we start to struggle we usually keep it locked up. We are analyzing what we’re feeling so we don’t put words to it. The next thing you know you’ve been hanging on to a fear that is controlling you instead of telling that fear to go back to hell where it came from and gettin’ on with your day.
The other day I had a horrible dream that Sway (my almost 2 year old) drowned. Dreams are weird so basically it was like this obstacle course thing and when I came around the corner I saw this ‘thing’ in the water. As I walked closer I could tell it was a little body. That feeling of dread came over me. It’s the same feeling that came over me when my mom got the call that her mother had died. Somehow you just know when something terrible has happened. So anyway – I got that feeling in my dream. It was so real. I walked closer and pulled the lifeless body out of the water. It was my sweet baby. Dead.
I saw him in my dream. I felt the emotions of what it would feel like. This dream happened during a nap on Saturday and it’s now Tuesday and the visual of my lifeless baby was haunting me even though I just dropped that little stinker off at daycare a couple of hours ago. Finally, I stopped and spoke out – “In the name of Jesus, I bind any fear and demonic attack on me. I cast out the lies of the enemy for God did not give me a spirit of fear but of love power and sound mind.”
Just like that – the fear left me. The reality is that my baby is alive. The reality is that my baby doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to God. The reality is that we are all going to die someday. We’re not made to live here forever. I want my babies to live to be a million years old (not really of course) but I know that even if they don’t – God’s got them. God’s got me. His grace is sufficient even though as I type this, the thought pains me.
The reality is that God doesn’t exist in my made up imaginations. That’s why they’re so dreadful and awful. When we let our minds drift to those unknown places where God doesn’t exist – it’s hopeless there. So open your mouth and speak against anything that is putting you in bondage today.
Be present. Don’t let these made up imaginations dictate you today. I know it’s hard. I know the thoughts don’t just turn off because you tell them to. I know the awful sensations you feel in your body once that fear trigger is pulled. It’s okay though. None of that changes who God is. Don’t you see – our feelings, fears, doubts, defeat … none of that changes who God is or his love for us.
So you can spin out of control and have your meltdown and God’s still going to be waiting there beside you with arms wide open.
You are on a journey. This is not your destination. Keep your head up, open your mouth and speak, and press forward.
I will leave you with these scriptures:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” – Jeremiah 29:11-14
You are dearly loved!