Tag Archives: darkness

Carnival Mirrors and Mocking

Pretty much any time we step out into new territory we are opposed.

If you haven’t experienced this, please let me know. I want your secret.

Several years ago I began a weekly devotional called Soul Scents. It wasn’t long before I got hate mail telling me all the reasons I wasn’t good enough or holy enough to write about spiritual things. After a few tears and lots of prayer I kept going. How? I clung to the truth. I didn’t have to be good enough. The only way anyone is that good is because they are covered by the blood of Jesus. That writing experience was one of the best of my life, and a few thousand came on the ride with me.

What if I’d listened to the critique?

Fast forward to now. I’d known for a long time I was supposed to offer videos on my blog. A few weeks ago I finally stepped up. I felt exposed and nervous, but that first Monday Makeover was a personal victory! It wasn’t perfect, but I said what I knew I was supposed to say. I DID it.

But after a day or two the opposition started.

This time it wasn’t from people; it was an oppression that became so tangible it was as though the very air I breathed cried out, “hopeless,” telling me there would never be true success, that I would never really influence this world for the better. Even the air around me seemed tinged gray.

I pushed through videoing my second Monday Makeover, sharing Truth I absolutely believed, but speaking out of a determination to move forward, not out of free-flowing joy.

That Monday was awful. Tuesday morning was not much better. I read my Advent devotional determined to embrace the beauty. While it shined pencil light into my darkness, I still felt I was suffocating.

I tried to journal, to talk to God, but instead of free-flowing conversation there was confusion and an overwhelming sense of condemnation. In my mind I saw a strong man standing before me, glaring at me, arms crossed. I cried out, “Lord, this is not the True You, the Loving God You’ve revealed to me.” I think the last thing I wrote in my journal is that I felt powerless and needed Him to rescue me.

I went on with my day, attending my critique group. When it was my turn for advice on my manuscript I asked for prayer instead. My friends surrounded me.

It wasn’t long before one spoke up. “I believe the Lord has given me a picture that reveals what you’re dealing with. I see a “fun” house full of a maze of distorted mirrors. Over a loud speaker comes mocking laughter, playing over and over. You’re fighting to look in a true mirror, but you can’t find it.”

She was right. Those three women began praying and before I went home that day the gray film no longer suffocated me.

I knew who I was. A daughter of the King.

Maybe I’ll tell you the whole story someday, but for now my message is simply this: You will be opposed when you move forward; but you will NOT be defeated.

Believe. Keep walking forward. Grab your friends for prayer and encouragement. Ask God to rescue you. Read TRUTH.

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The darkness wants to destroy all that is good in this world, to keep us captive to despair and doubt. To tell us we are unimportant, ineffective, and unable to succeed.

But the Good News is “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness does NOT overcome it.” (That’s from the Gospel of John.)

I hope to hang some lights later. If you happen to drive by my house know that I’m shouting victory to the world with their every twinkle.

The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it!

Victory over the Carnival Image

Weight Loss Journey Day 38

Lord of the rings - CopyAlong with my weight loss journey, I battle to regain my health from the accidents. Today I had another bout with head stuff while I tried to work on a proposal for a new book. Infuriating!!

(if you’re interested in the books I already have out, you can read about them on my author website.)

Still, I must be grateful for the healing I have experienced. There is much to be proud of, hopeful for, thankful about.

This journey to lose weight inside and out is not a one time push. It is a lifestyle change. It’s being willing to care about my health, to look life straight in the face. To prioritize choices that make me stronger.

I will not return to the darkness.

I’m reminded of one afternoon while I laid on my bed listening to an audio book. (It was all I could do for long hours last summer.) I immersed myself in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In one scene (which isn’t in the movie) the good guys have just won the great battle. Aragorn waits outside the city gates. He doesn’t want to enter as King until all is done properly. But there are wounded inside, in the healing rooms, who need him. He decides slips into the city under the cover of darkness, cloaked in a plain robe to hide his identity.

He goes to heal, not to rule.

Once there he calls for healing herbs, then lays hands on a wounded friend, drawing out the poison of the darkness. Those who have been closest to the enemy in the battle have the deepest wounds, and only the Healer can bring them back from despair.

I laid there and prayed to Jesus, “Draw out the darkness.”

He has.

Real Time Update:

The deep darkness is gone, but of course life still throws curve balls. The question is what do we do with the sucker punches? Drown them in calories? Climb in bed and pull the covers over our head?

Don’t get me wrong. I think there are times we HAVE to take a break, rest, refuel, heal. But in the normal curve balls of life, what choices heal instead of exacerbate the problem? How is caring for the physical self connected to the healing of the whole?

What Say You?

PS. I had a few people new the to blog the last few days. In case you’re confused, the main section of the blog is a revealing of my weight loss dairy, written about two months ago. The real time update is my commentary from today. (And the pictures on my blog yesterday show a weight loss of between 30 and 35 pounds, not the 20 I talked about in the main part of the blog.)