- I will choose to rejoice in today!
In 2011, my son was healed after a challenging time of life threatening medical issues. We witnessed true miracles and at the amazement of doctors and nurses, he recovered and came home and we rejoiced! However, when the answer to our prayers came and true miraculous healing was given, rejoicing and relief was followed by a very dark, deep pit that almost engulfed me.
Once home, life went “back to normal” –my husband went back to work and family returned home—life as usual resumed. But what should have been a time of rejoicing and praise was marred by my inability to re-join normal everyday life. I had “shut down” during the hospital stays and near death experiences in ICU and had been going purely on adrenaline and auto-pilot. God’s strength had sustained me, but now I was home and I didn’t know how to fix what was now broken in me.
Thankfully, God lifted me not only out of that pit but took me high above it to a place of peace and rest in Him and I have been learning to enjoy the precious gift of every moment of life. He has deepened my faith and taught me to trust Him in much more deeper ways than I could ever have imagined!
It has not been easy though and I am now dealing with my own health issues due to fibromyalgia, and the ugly pit of depression is trying to rear its ugly head. Each and every day is a battle to focus on the positive and to allow God to continue holding me and teaching me through this– and this is a battle I must and will win! The grace of Christ truly is sufficient, and in my weakness I am made stronger through my dependence on Him– and for that I am so incredibly grateful!
We have known all along that since the doctors didn’t know what caused his previous medical problems, there was always the possibility that something could happen again. A few weeks ago, just after Thanksgiving, my son again faced life-threatening medical issues and spent 5 days in the hospital. But thankfully, through God’s grace and the selfless gift of blood donors, he is home and getting stronger by the day!
The doctors still do not know for sure what is going on in his body and we are trusting that God will give his doctors wisdom and lead them in the right direction. Thankfully, they do think they know the cause of his internal bleeding, have stopped it and think they know how to make sure it doesn’t happen again and for that we praise God! While the doctors don’t know the outcome, we know God does and He will sustain us and uplift us with His mighty hand!!
I know this without doubt or fear because I’ve already felt it and seen it! I know that no matter what, God is in control and will work all things for good. So while I know we have more tests and unknown trials ahead, I can stand strong knowing God is already there and He is shining His light on my path-He will direct my steps and allow me to not only see but to enjoy the beautiful, warmth of His light!
I realize I have a choice. I can focus on the fear, worry, anxiety, and doubt. I can allow my thoughts to take me to a dark place feeling lost and alone–but those are lies and there is a much better option! I can choose to silence the enemy and believe the words of my God who has been so faithful and has always been there for me- His Word reveals just how close He is and gives glimpses of the amazing light that is available for me– I CHOOSE LIGHT!
I will walk in the light that gives me strength, the light that gives me hope, and the light that gives life–and I will not just walk- I will dance and live to enjoy the light! Not because my circumstances have changed, but because Jesus, who holds my hand and never leaves me, says I can! The enemy will try and pull me back toward that dark pit, but I refuse to go. I refuse to listen to lies when I have the perfect truth to cling to–that is clinging to me and will never let me go!!
I pray for so many others who are facing pain and trials and approaching this Christmas with a heavy heart- I pray we will all learn to trust Jesus a little more and learn to live to enjoy the light! I pray for comfort and peace for every hurting heart!!
Thank You Jesus for always holding me close even when I am fearful, you are there. Help me walk, skip and dance in the light every moment of every day and help me enjoy Your light–enjoy You! I don’t just get to see in the light-I get to enjoy it! Thank You!! Teach me to enjoy Your light! As the sun warms my face may Your light warm my soul! I love You Jesus, I need You Jesus, and I thank You Jesus that You are my light!
It’s amazing how quickly small things can grow into big things and then instantly become huge. Worry can turn to fear which can quickly escalate into anxiety and then full-blown panic is just around the corner. This is not what Christ has for me. In fact, I’m not supposed to worry at all!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-9)
God, who is faithful and true, promises me peace beyond my understanding and He will guard my heart and mind in Christ. No more worry and no more fear! BUT, I have a responsibility first. In order to fully receive this gift of peace and protection, I must choose to not worry and I must turn to God in prayer. He already knows my heart but he wants me to talk with Him and give Him my worries, concerns and fears. THEN I will experience His peace.
In the moment of fear, this can be difficult. If I’m not careful, my mind spins and the “what-ifs” begin to attack and before I know it, I can jump to the worst possible outcome. I must let Christ take every thought captive and surrender my thoughts to Him. I must stop, choose, and pray. Stop the negative thoughts, choose to trust and obey my Lord, and pray to Him in truth and with thanksgiving. And every time, without fail, He fills me with His perfect peace- the peace that cannot be explained. The pain or trial is still there, but I have reassurance that my God is in control and He loves me.
So how do I turn my thoughts over to God in the crisis? How do I choose to trade worry and accept His peace? Our loving God tells us exactly how in the next few verses!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
I must fix my thoughts on Jesus! I must look to Him, focus on Him, and praise Him. When I do this, putting it into action, I have peace! I cannot wholeheartedly praise God in spirit and truth and be worried at the same time. I can’t be consumed with troubles and fear at the same time I am consumed with Holy passion and devotion. So I choose to praise Him and worship Him. I turn to Him with thanksgiving and He fills me with His peace, calm, and comfort.
Are you hurting right now? Are you scared? You are not alone. Left unchecked, my thoughts and fears can be all-consuming leading me down a very dark spiral. But, when I focus on my God and praise Him, I am consumed with an all-encompasing peace. I want His peace and its up to me to live in it. I can wallow in fear or I can soar in peace- I choose peace!
Father, help me to believe Your word and act on it, to live in the peace You and You alone can provide. Help me fix my thoughts on You and give You every anxious thought as You fill me with Your peace. Help me shout from the rooftops about Your unending love and be consumed with your complete and total peace. Thank You Jesus!