The Strength of my Heart

“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalms 73:26 NASB

Father,

A shift in one’s career, finances, lifestyle or even in a daily routine, whether it was planned or not, is laborious to accept at times!

Transitions are quite a challenge the older we get.

If you would ask me, how is the new season going? I would honestly say, “It is going well yet I am worn out with all of the changes I’ve recently experienced”. I even wonder if I made the right decision. “Is it normal to doubt in the midst of life-altering beginning?”

Life changes will undoubtedly stir mixed emotions and ‘letting go’ will bring a sense of loss that needs to be dealt with one day at a time. It is okay to rejoice about opportunities and cry when reminiscing on treasured moments from the past.

Jesus understands. He has wept.

Lord, I’ve been reminiscing about unforgettable moments, and I ’ve been recently melancholic. Help me and settle my heart once and for all! I need a shift in attitude so I can successfully overcome emotional distress. Grant me the courage, inner strength and joy to move forward with the new journey.

You are the strength of my heart when I am weak!

I’m trusting in you, Lord, you are my anchor of Hope. I know there is a purpose behind doubt, loss, and fear. ”The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” Psalm‬ ‭34:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

 

25D23A2B-C12E-47E3-8DA3-49FB8ABE2B5D Photo courtesy: Anastasiia Tarasova at Splasher

I may not like the uncertainties of today’s journey. But, I won’t be discouraged, anxious or distressed.

“Yes, living before your face is my saving grace!” (Psalms 43:5 TPT).

Take this heavy burden ‘off my shoulders’, doubt from my mind, and help me rest at night. Bring me joy in the morning, Lord.

I honor your celestial ways and will serve you faithfully one change at a time.

In Jesus’ name, I praise.

Amen

 

When Self-Care is Being Weak

When Self-Care is Being Weak

 

“I don’t want to live,” she said to me.

Her red stained pupils tried to hold back the tears from pouring onto her well-kept mascara. As the words spilled out, I saw the monster of despair weighing down upon her shoulders, whispering to her that she wasn’t going to win the battle she was facing.

She was doing well on the outside.

She had a roof over her head, food in the refrigerator, and her health was intact. She was checking off her list of self-care tips given to her by numerous 12 step meetings and self-care groups, but nothing was helping. No self-care steps would drown out the screams that lay within her.

She was weak. She had no more strength in her, no more fight.

Recently, Depression has been trying to get it’s nasty claws into those dear to me, and some days it seems to want to pick fights with me as well.

Have you ever seen that Facebook meme that says, “God gives His greatest battles to his toughest soldiers?” I think I might have re-posted that before. One day as I was sitting down just thinking and praying for others and myself,  I realized that the quote might not be entirely true. I say this because I know I have been weak many times. It was then that God decided to speak to me, to use me, to heal me, to encourage me, to strengthen me. So, I have come to the conclusion that being weak is a pre-qualification for being strong; not in our own strengths but in His strength. One favorite verse among many is

Matthew 11:28-29,“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Another great verse is Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. He writes to them a letter to help encourage them and help them understand that in his weaknesses, God makes him strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says, “ Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The National Institute of Mental Health defines Depression as a severe reaction/symptoms that affects everyday activities. For example; losing your appetite, persistent emptiness or sadness, not wanting to go out in public or go to work, easily being irritated, thoughts of suicide or death, and for some, it could be physical aches and pains. An online article in the Washington Post written by Amy Ellis Nutt entitled, “Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States, a new report shows.”  This article stated, “Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the US in 2016- more than twice the number of homicides- making it the 10th leading cause of death. Among people ages 15-34, suicide is the second- leading cause of death.”

That is huge!

I have lost friends and relatives to suicide. All of them had someone in their life that wanted them alive, that needed them to live, that still suffer greatly because of their absence. This is my plea to those who are struggling in their depression.

To my Beautiful Sister in Christ who said she did not feel like living anymore, and to those who’ve lost someone to suicide and are still struggling with weakness—it is okay to be weak.

Go to God and ask him to reveal to you His strength in your weakness. Know that many people love you and God can use you in your weakness.

Nutt quoted a medical director of the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention named Christine Moutier in her article. Moutier said this, “I think this gets back to what do we need to be teaching people- how to manage breakups, job stresses, what are we doing as a nation to help people to manage these things? Because anybody can experience those stresses. Anybody.”

We, at one point in our lives, will experience stresses that can lead to depression. In those times know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or think. According to the power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20-21). 

And part of us caring for ourselves is recognizing that it is okay to be weak, feel powerless and that it is okay to not be okay. I leave you with these two quotes I feel sums up how sometimes self-care is being weak and being weak is being strong. One is found in  1 Corinthians 1:27  “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” The other one was a Facebook Meme by TobyMac #SPEAKLIFE series.

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His Designed Purpose

I  know the fascinating works you are masterful of doing. I am trusting you, Lord,  in all circumstances whether I like them or not. I know there is purpose in the midst of heartbreak or unexpected loss. I know it will all work out at the end of the day.

I will wait patiently and observe closely how your divine plan unfolds. Just extend grace as I wrap my mind around these difficult circumstances!

“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”

Romans 8:28 TPT

Your unchanging character is the foundation of my Faith. 

I don’t need answers to ‘why’ questions but I do need a tight hug from you right now while I weep in love and hope.

I know time is limited on earth. Lord teach me how to live out my Faith fully amidst the sorrow and pain of these startling moments.

You are a revitalizing God in our defeats, and a festive God in our victories. I’m moving forward one step at a time.

You are my Sunrise who is about to do much more than I can ever envision. 

I am giving thanks to God, the Father for everything, and give you all the glory for what you are about to do in my life. (Ephesians  5:20 ) 

In Jesus’ name, I praise.

Amen.

F29260BC-8F22-4D39-87A4-48443BBE232CPhoto Courtesy: Emma Simpson @ UnSplash

Prized Treasure Chest.

“I consider your prophecies to be my greatest treasure, and I memorize them and write them on my heart to keep me from committing sin’s treason against you.” 

Psalms 119:11 TPT

Lord,

The devil is the father of lies and is quite crafty! He plants doubt in my mind when I’m vulnerable or in distress. John 8:44 describes the devil as a ‘murderer’ who never believed in your truth. I refuse to be his victim in his next crime scene. Help me get ready for everyday battle, Father. Let the enemy’s wicked schemes melt away once and for all!

The heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and cannot be fully trusted when there are confusion and mixed emotions. Help me not trust my emotions completely so I do not overreact,  and make hasty decisions in the midst of controversies or in the midst of persecution or never-ending temptations. I refuse to be taken into captivity or fall back on Satan’s trap or fall into empty deceit of human traditions (Colossians 2:8).

Help me stand strong in Faith. Help me listen to your whispers of revelation. Help me guard my tender heart. So, no bitterness, unforgiveness or hatred take root deep in my heart.

Jesus, you are my everyday sunrise and sunset,  the beginning and the end. You are Peace.

30239A5A-84DE-467D-BBB1-7DDFD8541E56Courtesy of: Aleksandr Ledogorov @ Splasher

Your Word is a priceless jewel in my treasure chest. Your Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Renew my mind at sunrise!

When I hide Truth in my heart’s treasure box, it is effortless to combat Satan’s tactics. Your living truth, sharper than any double-edged sword, makes an impact on one’s life.

Yes, Lord!

Help me focus on every Word you’ve carved in my mind, heart, and soul,

in Jesus’ name, I pray.

Amen.