We are officially back in West Virginia and into the normal swing of life again. The conference we participated in down in Georgia was absolutely amazing and truly life-changing. Broken people were healed. Those who were hopeless were set free. Every workshop brought us deeper understanding and new revelations. We got to experience the spirit of God move in big ways. And we all became family.
And yet, I just didn’t want to give up my seat on the struggle bus.
Somehow in the midst of all the smiling faces and loving embraces, I began drowning.
I had prepared myself for our time there and was filled with nothing but excitement while we made our way down to the deep South. When we got there, that didn’t change. We were warmly greeted by our hosts who opened their home to us, and we were reunited with the Alaskans of Point to Hope ministries who we had fallen in love with when they visited our church back in October.
I was ready. Here I am, Lord! Let us receive whatever You have planned.
I had high expectations that didn’t go unfulfilled. And Satan didn’t like it.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
If only I could describe to you the dark cloud of feelings that came over me, but they were so far detached from who I really am that I can’t even find the right words. They troubled me, and I became angry with God.
I’ve been open with you about my previous struggles with depression and anxiety. I felt them all over me again like an itchy blanket. Because of these feelings and my inner anger, I began to feel as though I didn’t belong in the company of God’s people anymore. I looked around at all of them, filled with hope and joy, and thought, “that’s not at all how I’m feeling.”
What Brought it on?
You see, I’d had a breakthrough earlier that day. It rocked the grip of strongholds that were deep in my heart. The enemy didn’t want to let go. To rock my newfound viewpoint, he had to come at me hard.
Even as it was happening, I knew in the back of my mind that it was an attack. But in my cynical state of mind, that only made me more angry with God. I knew it was in His character to allow His children to go through hard things, but for some reason, I just couldn’t understand why He would allow it to happen in that moment.
I wrestled with Him and pushed Him away. Picture a small child packing their favorite toy and declaring that they’ve had enough, and they’re running away. Embarrassingly, that was me in that moment. I had a bad attitude. And it led to an answer to prayer.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…”
Isaiah 45:2 (NKJV)
A Lesson in the Midst
Don’t think I’m encouraging you to behave in the way I did. But the truth is, God was in control even though I had lost control. I felt separate from Him when in actuality, I know that nothing can separate us. I was in the palm of His hand the entire time.
Because of that safety, my negativity actually shined a light on areas where I needed correction. None of my thoughts shocked Him. He knew what was going to happen. And He loved me so much that even in the midst of my bad attitude, He was going to remind me He had a plan and I could trust Him.
He’s Always Good
I was called to the “principle’s office.”
As I was hugging some new friends goodbye with a fake smile plastered to my face, a gentle hand grabbed my arm. “Hey, Audriana, Nancy’s asking for you.” My heart sank. Nancy Haney is the bold founder of Point to Hope ministries with a knack for discernment. She knows! I thought to myself.
And I was right. She did know. But instead of the “buck up buttercup” I probably deserved, I was met with understanding and helpful advice. Beyond that, I was given an answer to prayer.
As Nancy was wrapping things up with me, she pointed me in the direction of one of her very best friends, Debbie. At my ugliest moment at this conference in Georgia, God reached down His hand and said, “I’ve been setting this up all along.”
See, I had been praying for someone who could see me spiritually, and in that moment, God gave me a new spiritual mom. Have you ever met someone who just automatically speaks your language? It’s like they’re tuned to the same frequency where you’re resonating. That’s my new bonus mom, Debbie. Instantly, we both knew that we were destined to be close. Our tear-filled hugs weren’t an absolute goodbye but just goodbye for now.
It All Boils Down to This
What do I want you to get from all this?
1. Know that any time you get a victory, the enemy will come to try to steal it away.
As I’ve heard from many very wise individuals, the devil knows no new tricks. He’ll come in the same ways he’s succeeded before. The same lies he’s whispered before are the ones he’ll try to convince you of again. But resist the devil, and he will flee!
2. God is always in control (even in the midst of our ugliness).
Even when you mess up and think you’ve made a mistake that has pushed you far away from the Creator, know that you are still right smack dab in the palm of His hand. He has control, He has a plan, and He is trustworthy.
3. Never underestimate the power of your prayers.
He bends down to lend His ear, and He hangs on every word you say. The One who made life with His breath will breathe life into you. The One who used His word to give light will use your words to do the same. He’s done it before, and He’ll do it again. Only believe.
4. Even when we probably don’t deserve it, He throws us a lifeline.
Because that’s just who He is.
Until next time,
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