Journal Entry ~ 09/10/17

13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:13-14

We have freedom because He has taken us out of the darkness and brought us into the light. We no longer need to live with depression over our past mistakes, with fear about what may happen in our future, or with anger over people not meeting our expectations. Personally, I have wasted far too many hours in each of those camps - God forgive me. Christ died to free us from that darkness and He brought us into the light, yet we willingly walk back into the darkness all the time because we continually rely on our own strength. We must learn to lay our strongholds - our depression, our anxieties, our frustrations - down at the feet of the cross, and allow Him to transfer us to the kingdom of His beloved son. Christians are called to glorify God in all that we do - that means we are to live our lives out loud, sharing the freedom He has given us with others. We are to be that light in the world for others to see.  The reality is there is no greater time His light shines through us than when walking through a trial.  People are watching, and they take notice. Let your life be a testimony of His faithfulness and His love to the people around you. 

But...don't put on a fake smile in your suffering and act like everything is okay. Trials hurt, they bring tears and heartache, and generally mean there will be a significant shift in your life - in many trials, you will be saying goodbye to a comfort you enjoyed, to a constant that you knew, and walking into an unknown future, grieving the loss of something you treasured - a loved one, security, your health. It's okay to hate it, because it's all indicative that this isn't the way it's supposed to be.  Don't act like everything is fine...it's okay to cry out, why or when Lord will you take this?  Lord, how long?  You see, when we put that superficial smile on our face and say we're okay when we're not, it's indicative we're trying to walk through the trial in our own strength. That's not being His light, and it won't work. You have to surrender the trial to the One who is sovereign over all, and trust that He has a plan. You have to cling to Him when you're in a deep valley, constantly handing your fears and frustrations to Him.  

I hate my cancer diagnosis. I hate the pain I'm in, I hate the awful tests and procedures they've put me through, I hate the fact that I'm trapped on the couch for 2 weeks, I hate the fear that creeps up as I know I will be fighting this disease the rest of my life, I hate the fact that I can't hold my grandchildren, I hate the fact that I can't care for my family, I hate the fact that I can't run, I hate the fact that my perfectly good health has been compromised, I hate the treatment in front of me, I hate the fact that I will be fatigued by radiation, I hate the idea of chemo, I hate the fact that this disease has me out of my classroom and is impacting the lives of my students. There is so much about this trial that I don't like. I hate the fact that this world is so broken we have to deal with things like cancer. You see, I can't fight all that on my own.  Don't think for a second I can put a superficial smile on my face and act like it's all okay in my own power - if I did, it wouldn't last very long. Eventually, I would break. What I do know, what I have learned by walking through trials in my life, is how to lay every one one of those frustrations and fears at that feet of my King and let Him comfort me and reassure me He is sovereign in this and He has a plan. Christ died to free me from all those fears and frustrations, to rescue me from all the sin and darkness in this world. I am weak, my friends, He is strong. That is the only way to get through this, by allowing His strength to rescue me every time one of those thoughts creeps into my head. So many people have told me how strong I am, and how I will get through this. No, no, no - I am not strong. He is. My greatest desire in this trial is to magnify Him and to shine His light into the darkness  - not by showing people how strong I am, but by showing how He is my strength when I am weak. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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