John 17:17- “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
So for the last 2 weeks I have been up in Pennsylvania visiting my family, doing some wedding planning with my cousin, and looking for jobs in the area. Since this is where I will be living this next year, I’m very thankful I got to spend some time familiarizing myself with the city. I could go into so much detail about the school up here and how tangible the spirit was from the moment I walked into the room. I have already spent several hours in the place where I will have prayer and worship each day before class. I have been prophesied over, prayed with, and encouraged by some of the greatest warriors of the kingdom I have ever met. But even in the midst of such spiritual overflow, I can find myself feeling weak, discouraged, and insecure. Why?
Well, for the past 3 days I have been propped up on the couch icing and elevating my badly sprained ankle; the unfortunate result of my first (and last) solo run in the park. As I sat cooped up with endless amounts of junk food and netflix for my only companions, enjoying the remainder of my trip seemed virtually impossible. Doing anything spiritual was the last thing on my mind, and I had begun to wish that I was back at home; doubting that there was anything I could possibly get from this. Episodes of The Office rolled by like miles on a back road, and the longer I sat; the worse I began to feel. Insecurities popped into my head and stayed there, growing ever so slightly with the passing hours and days. Doubts rose up, and instead of addressing and combating them, I left them there- content to sit in my growing misery. Lies surfaced; but instead of tossing them, I allowed them to sit until I started to believe them. Hurts that had been forgotten started to sting again. Emotions grew, and anger became visible in me. Even hopelessness was tangible at times. Yet still I sat. Still I remained. Discontent but doing nothing to change it. I knew I needed to get in the Word but made excuses. Afterall, I was hurt. I needed to rest and heal. I couldn’t be expected to dig into scripture at a time like this.
With the words “Be still” written on my shirt, I continued to sit in my insecurity; hoping that my binge watching would eventually help me laugh my way into a lighter mood. Finally, I got tired of letting myself be miserable without at least trying to combat it. Not really knowing what to read or where to begin, I prayed a forceful prayer that God would come in and help me fight off these insecurities that seemed to be eating me alive from within. I put on the only song I could think of at the time; “Reckless Love” by Steffany Gretzinger. Without the strength to sing I just let the words echo over me as I sat with Him; speaking whatever came to my mind in the hopes it would become a beautiful prayer on the way out. Then I remembered the words spoken over me just a few days earlier: “God is singing over you. He is dancing over your heart, and He wants you to know this.” So with those melodies still echoing in my mind, I took out my phone and also started playing “King of my Heart”. A very completely different song, with a very similar cry. I let the chords from both pieces wash over me, sitting in the middle of heavenly melodies. It was virtually impossible to sing one or the other; but that wasn’t the point. I sat there, saturated; literally captured between the two songs, letting the music penetrate my head and my heart. God didn’t ask me to sing to Him, He wanted to pour His words over me. It was no longer a band playing, but the Lord of All weaving a melody of truth into my soul. I couldn’t explain that moment if I tried. But it was beautiful, and it was what my heart needed all along. Not another laugh, another bag of chips, another show to entertain me. No. I needed time with the one who knows me and speaks truth over me. The one who can take all my fears and lies and replace them with His complete goodness and love. The one who encourages like no one can. I didn’t need another distraction, I needed to be brought back to the one my heart was made for.
As I sat in that room completely overwhelmed, I began looking up truths in the Word to speak over myself and rebuke the insecurities and pain. The line in the song “There’s no wall You won’t kick down, lie You won’t tear down, coming after me!” rang in my ears as I frantically google searched scriptures of my worth.
“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved.” -Ephesians 1:6
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” -Romans 8:17
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.” -Philippians 1:6
Then He gave me these truths to speak over myself:
I AM GOOD ENOUGH.
I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH.
I AM NOT THE PROBLEM IN MY LIFE.
I AM LOVED.
As I read and repeated these I allowed Him to remove the ideas of who I thought I was to be replaced by who He knows I am and has called me to be. I went to bed that night with a heart abandoned and woke up the next morning feeling so alive and loved. Yes, my ankle still hurt. No, I still couldn’t run and was forced to rest and ice it. But when my focus was in the right place, my circumstances seemed a whole lot brighter.
No, netflix isn’t bad and I completely condone those nights of junk food and movies. But if you find yourself with too much idle time, make sure you know how to spend it. I let my situation get the best of me, and leaving your thoughts unattended and unguarded is a recipe for disaster. Take some time for yourself to rest and relax; but don’t forget to give God the chance to say what you need to hear. Your mind will always have something to tell you, and what you allow yourself to think on will dictate the emotions and condition of your heart. Uncertainty grows when we give it room to roam. Don’t let yourself be captured by your insecurity and anger. Don’t let your hurt control your hope. Go to God and let His truth be louder than the lies.