"I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again." - Philippians 1:23-26

This was the essence of my conversation with the Lord beginning December 2008. Better is one day with Him than thousands without. An entire lifetime wanting to be used by God to bless, love and encourage others yet here in this desolate place. While fear taunted me my whole life to think I wasn't good enough for Kingdom work, here in my weakened flesh I sat struggling with my hope that perhaps the end of any ministry was now the reality. 

Today marks the 12 year Anniversary of what would be the beginning of a pruning season that would lead to a life of Peace & Grace. A season of redefining, refining, and heavy sifting. It was an intense, painful and terrifying season but growth for a lifetime! In that season, I was madder than I had ever been at God in my life only to fall more in love with Him than I had ever known to be possible. December 2008 would be one of the times I am thankful God doesn't answer exactly what we ask, but chooses to allow what is for our good, that He may receive all the glory. 

Satan may be whispering in your ear...give up...you don't matter...no one will miss you if you're not here...you have nothing to offer...you're unqualified and average in every way...God doesn't really love you like He loves others...you won't ever get over "it"...God won't remain patient with you...you'll never be good enough...there's plenty of others more capable...etc. LIES!! These are lies from the Father of Lies, the great deceiver. 

You are loved, cherished, covered, forgiven, necessary and instrumental to the glory of God! He wants you, others need you!! God has planned a purposeful life for you and only He knows how many days that will be for each of us. It is not up to you to decide the number of those days. As His creation, we are called, designed and purposed to live each day fully, without regret, without fear, without worry. We are called to live victoriously! Even in trials, we are being refined and strengthened as we are walking through Fires which don't burn away our spirit. In fact, the fires refine the soul.

So today, especially, I count it all joy for the season of despair for while I would not have asked for it, it was there I walked out of the fiery prison without those chains of fear, and a heart refined. I learned the importance of Grace and Worship. Grace to set boundaries, Grace to worship with every breath, as my breath. Grace to set my mind on the things from above and not from earth. Grace to surrender and walk by faith and not by sight which was a tough one for this recovering perfectionist. It was this season God empowered me to walk away from the constant bullying of Goliath and his entire squad of troublemakers who taunt and tease, BUT GOD! I simply pick up my slingshot Cross and remind him he's already been defeated.

Oh how the blessings of seeing the heart of God these past years floods my soul with such humble joy and peace. So many Believers are suffocating in their perfectionism, anxiety, insecurity, enoughness, longing to be accepted and belong somewhere, not realizing they are part of such a Divine and Royal Family with a Kingdom no man can conquer or exclude them from. God's Kingdom is unshakable! 

I am forever grateful to know Real Peace. Peace hushes chaos. Peace settles trembles. Peace soothes aching bones. Peace regulates the heart and mind. Peace is beautiful.

Here's my challenge for you:  First get honest with yourself and have the courage to tell someone. Pray, Ask, Seek, Surrender and Praise! You are equipped for the battle. Fight the war with weapons unseen knowing Who stands fighting your battles with you. You cannot do this alone. Ask God to show you those He has placed in your path for such a time as this who are willing to walk through fire with you, courageously anticipating a beautiful refining when you're out the other side. You will rise up from the ashes stronger not weaker. Memorize and meditate on His promises and worship in all you say, do and think. Guard your heart and mind and worship! Praise is a powerful weapon to bear!

Many people don't talk about synergy healing but I do because that's what I had to do, maybe you don't need to look at all areas but be sure to look honestly a body, mind and spirit. Where are the areas of attack? Where is there massive pits and traps? Where are the fires simmering? We are looking for contained fires before the become raging out of control fires that take much longer to get under control. 

I know these extra things may sound impossible but they are not. Remember the enemy wants you trapped and chains. We are here to fight back in the name of love. Do an act of kindness. Get out of the house. Go for a walk, invite a friend to join you. Drink lots of water, eat a good meal and watch your caffeine intake. Do not just sit around and hear only your thoughts while trying to make sense of them. 

Most importantly, pray without ceasing and count your blessings!! When you pray, pray with expectation and in courage. Understand the Love your Father has for you!! Wrap your mind around the the fact He has created you to be His Light, His hands, His feet, His witness here on this side of Heaven. He sees you right where you are. Nothing escapes Him. Together, we are a city on a hill for the nations! Stay strong and rebuke the lies of the enemy. Satan is not for you. He wants to destroy you! God saves!! God is our joy, peace and hope forever! 

May every day be a day we count it a joy to be loved by The Great I Am, for His mercies are new every morning and His heart bleeds for ours. Rejoice always. Give thanks in all circumstances! May YES LORD, I AM HERE be our battle cry!!!
Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We are more than conquerers! We are His! 

Our healing and help begins with Love Himself. Seek Him. If you need more help, reach out to a Professional Christian Counselor or Pastor and ask for it! It's never too late. Mercies are new every day! 

Don't let today's pain keep you from all the tomorrows' blessings!! He's making all things new, opening and closing doors no man can control!! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!! Thanking God tonight for the grace that soothes our grief and His sovereignty that covers our sorrows.

God knows. God hears. God sees you and He is very near...even in the fire, He is the Fire. God loves you!

Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly more than we think or imagine.....Here's to another year of Grace upon Grace.

Thankful for Love!! God, You have my heart!!! Thank You for Yours for me!! In you I trust, rest and surrender, amen.

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,


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