Well . . . what a YEAR. For me, 2021 was a year filled with unexpected pain, grief, loss, and heartbreak. Over the last 10 months, I stumbled through seasons of brokenness, and found myself engaged in battles I never thought I would encounter. I cried more this past year than all other years of my life combined, and felt a depth of darkness I’ve never experienced. It was crippling and frightening, and at times, even torturing. Never in a million years, did I expect to walk through a year like this.
But – it was also a year full of divine sanctification, redemption, healing, hope, and revival. But God.
I never expected Him to show up in the ways that He did:
- The Lord gently taught me how vulnerability is not weakness – it’s strength.
- He transformed my tears of deep loss and grief – into tears of deep love and gratitude for God Himself.
- He dismantled my walls of perfection and pride – to help me become more human and holy.
- He took my shattered heart in His hands, and remolded it into a heart both softer and stronger.
- He set me free from a desire to control, and opened my eyes to the beautiful, holy breaking of falling-on-your-knees-arms-wide-open-tears-freely-flowing SURRENDER.
Over this past year, I acquired a better understanding of the darkness, which also brought a better understanding of His light. So I’m stepping back out of the shadows to declare Genesis 1:3 over my life and over your life. To take back the territory the enemy sought to possess. To proclaim the victory and freedom you and I already have over the darkness, not because of anything we’ve done – but because of what Jesus did for us!
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.Genesis 1:3
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.II Corinthians 5:17-18
To the broken-hearted, the hurting, the fearful, & the grieving:
I am so sorry for the pain you are walking through. You don’t have to put on a good face and have it all together. I understand how it feels when no one seems to understand what’s in your heart, and no one seems to say what you need to hear. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel.
Allow yourself to feel what you feel – while still knowing what you know. Which is this: You are not alone. When no one else seems to understand or bring the healing or comfort that your heart is aching for, the One who created your heart is with you – right here, right now, in your sorrow and suffering.
But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you . . .
. . . Fear not, for I am with you . . .”Isaiah 43:1-2;5
God promised you, “when you go through deep waters I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2). He is with you right here, in your raw, real emotions. He doesn’t send us on a game of Marco Polo for us to try to find Him.
Your circumstances may have changed — but His character hasn’t.
Your heart may be bruised — but you are not broken.
You may feel like no one understands your pain — but Jesus does.
Two weeks before my beloved grandfather recently went home to the Lord, God gave me my 2022 word of the year:
In Hebrew, “IMMANUEL” literally translates to, “the Mighty One who is with us.” He is WITH YOU in your pain. He is WITH YOU in your grief. He is WITH YOU in your uncertainty. He is WITH YOU in your waiting.
One day, dear friend, your pain will be a platform on which you can testify God’s goodness. Your brokenness will be a beacon to which His glory will be seen by people far and wide. Your hurt will be transformed into healing of His power at work in your life.
“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you . . . “Acts 18:9
Life with Jesus is not free of hurt & hardship — but it is full of healing & hope.
(More to come on all of the above. 🙂 )
HE IS WITH YOU. 🙌🏼