I’m starting to learn that living a life for Jesus is a lot about how well you walk in the valleys. Sometimes we just get stuck—stuck in between the crisis and the turning point where everything is okay. Sometimes we get stuck in the “I’m okay, but not good” point. Sometimes we are confident about being exactly where God has called us to be and can see there is so much beautiful in this season, but there are always the days where the enemy’s voice seems to clamor on extra loudly. When deep loss strikes, when families and friendships shatter, when the battles you thought you had conquered seem to be bigger than ever, when anxiety about the future or the need to “have it all together” press in, some days you just find yourself crying, and there are so many reasons that you’re not even sure which one of them is the cause.
Ugh, I’ve been there. And if I’m entirely honest, this season of life has had me there a lot, and I’ve been struggling to walk well through the valley. But I’ve been learning to speak my fighting words and to pick up my sword even when my arm is heavy. These four points are weapons that the Lord has been teaching me to wield as I fight my battles.
YOUR WORSHIP IS A WEAPON.
In my “meltdown moments,” when all the brokenness just becomes too much, and I’m not even sure what I’m feeling because I’m suddenly crying over five different things, I’ve started reaching for my worship music. And even when I don’t fully believe it or even understand it, I choose to sing truth over my heart.
One of my anthems has been Goodness of God by Jenn Johnson… especially these lines: “I love Your voice, You have led me through the fire. And in darkest night You are close like no other. I’ve known You as a Father, I’ve known You as a Friend and I have lived in the goodness of God.”
In those moments, I’m choosing to declare that He always been faithful. He’s a Father and a Friend. His goodness is my anchor. His kindness knows no end.
I cannot emphasize the beauty and the power of WORSHIP. Whether you’re sitting on your bedroom floor, driving in your car to work, or trying to make breakfast that will actually make it into your stomach, these are the spaces where you cultivate worship. You have to turn to worship before consulting your feelings because your worship is a weapon. It reminds you of what is most true—God’s unchanging and perfect nature. And the more you keep that truth in focus, the more clearly you’ll be able to stand against the shaking ground of the lies the enemy throws at you.
INVITE HIM IN TO THE RAW MESS.
I’m an internal processor, and it really takes me a while to feel like I can fully process things. As a result, I found myself feeling like I needed to process all the broken things before I could come to Jesus. I had this expectation that He was wanting me to say, “This is what is broken, and I need You to help fix it.” But the truth is, He already knows. I don’t have to figure it out on my own in order for Him to see the brokenness and work my healing. He wants to be in on the processing because that is actually the place where He begins to work. So, I’ve been learning to intentionally invite Him into the process. When I’m staring at a blank page in my journal, trying to figure out even where to start… I take a deep breath. “Jesus, I invite you into this.”
He already knows the brokenness. It’s not a matter of me wallowing in the suffering or brokenness but rather realizing that He feels that pain and my ignoring it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Your pain points are avenues to healing; you just have to embrace Him.
Get in the Word. I cannot emphasize it enough: this is your life source. This is your nourishment, your anchor, and the game changer. Learning to sink your roots deep into the Word of God is what makes the difference.
In this season of life, I’ve been all wrapped up in the book of Hebrews, specifically reading chapters 1-4 of Hebrews over and over and over. Sometimes it takes that repetition to get it into the deep ruts that pain have carved in our hearts.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s how I started digging into Hebrews and some truth I’ve been clinging too. Hebrews has a massive emphasis on Jesus, His life and His death, and why Jesus is the pinnacle of the Father’s plan. I grabbed a journal and wrote out everything it revealed about Jesus, His nature, His position, the honor He’s been given.
And then I connected the dots:
Yes, Jesus is all of these wonderful things, and He’s the One who has been given all the authority in heaven, yet…
“Now putting everything in subjection to Him [Jesus], He [God] left nothing outside of His [Jesus’] control. At present [right now in this brokenness] we do not see everything in subjection to Him [Jesus]. BUT we see HIM…” – Hebrews 2:8-9
That truth has been echoing in my soul. Nothing is left outside of His control, and even now— when brokenness is still present—I CAN SEE HIM.
I can see Him, present and working. I can see Him, faithful as the rising sun.
HEART POSTURE IS EVERYTHING.
In this season, it’s been taking a lot of extra reminders to remember Truth. So every day, I wake up, and before I even get out of bed, I take a deep breath and remind myself that…
1) Jesus is good.
2) He is sovereign.
3) this day is His.
And then, I choose to say “yes,” spend time with Him, make to-do lists for the day, and go live another day. I think it’s just a day-by-day (okay, let’s be real—sometimes it’s a minute-by-minute) process.
Melissa Helser once said: “When I look back on the seasons of my life, some of them have had tremendous pain, but maturity is being able to see His presence in every season of your life.”
And I think that is key. Each day, I’m choosing to see His presence.
So friend, take heart and pick up your weapon. Declare with confidence as David did in Psalm 27, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” He’s always been faithful. He’s always been faithful. He’s always been faithful.