It’s been some time since I’ve written on She Is Captivated. To be honest, it was hard to find the words, and more so, it wasn’t a time to teach. I quickly became the one in need, the one desperate for a move of God, the one who’s heart was completely broken. Here’s what I’ve journeyed through.
September of last year and up until this point, I have faced more than one can bear. I felt like life was moving into a beautiful adventure, but quickly shifted to me spending many nights crying. Tears releasing from the loss of a friend to suicide, to my mother potentially having cancer (healed completely before it started, thank you Jesus), no longer working at my dream job and feeling completely burned out. Without hesitation, I was already in a new job and not allowing myself a chance to process it all. By the end of September, I hit my head unexpectedly and was pretty much on bed rest and unable to see my friends for months. For an extrovert, that’s a bit much.
And what went from an outward affliction shifted to an inward one. No longer was it about the events that took place, but how broken my heart was. I longed for the peppy, extravagant, worry-free Stephanie I knew. The one who’s fire couldn’t be dimmed. Suddenly pain, anxiety and fear troubled me. I felt like I didn’t know who I was, where I was going, and why my life didn’t look like everyone else’s. My thoughts were attacked, my hope was bleak, and it was a mess. Mayday, Mayday!
In my pain, there were only two things I knew to do. Crack my bible open, and get myself around other faith-filled people no matter how bad the pain, depression and anxiety felt. I would end up at my church and crying while everyone was jumping around. I laid my bible on the floor beside my bed and would read it morning and night kneeling and crying, “Oh God, I am reading, but I want to feel the sparks of these words like I always did.”
Day by day, a new revelation, another mend on my broken heart, 100 made up songs sung into my voice memos on my phone, a prayer that physically healed me. The storm didn’t cease, but I learned how to get up fight back by the grace of God. I told fear that it had no place in my destiny and my anxiety lost its grasp. Anxiety can’t live where God’s word is declared.
It has been a journey since. I am at a complete loss for words when I look back at how far I traveled with God. He has done marvelous things. He has surrounded me with the most beautiful people. He carried me, He shielded me and advanced me. Today, I’ve been healed of much. It’s still a constant thought-war at times, but I have devoted myself to sit at the feet of Jesus. He defends my case. I don’t know how certain promises God has made will work out, but I have remembered to keep my promise to Him: remaining faithful, and serving those who are hurting or feel lost. In my remaining before Jesus, He produces strength on the inside to free anyone else who wants to be.
I’ve been studying Psalm 119 little by little and it has fueled my spirit. Today I read this verse and pondered it all day:
“I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,
And teach me Your judgments.”
– Psalm 119:17-108
I understand King David in this moment. He was in this time of conversation with God about his devotion, about healing, about the power of God’s word, and who He was as a son that belonged to the Lord. In this time, He was in sorrow. The beautiful thing is that even in his sorrow, it was a beautiful time of worship and God became magnified in his declaration.
Here’s what I learned during affliction of the soul:
- Those who embrace the call to advance the Kingdom of God will face this. Take heart. We aren’t alone. We will have these moments, but remember that even the greatest saints in the bible and Jesus himself (in the garden of Gethsemane) were troubled in their hearts as they prayed. But it was those who became the most impactful. Think it not strange if sometimes this be a moment in our lives. Let it produce courage and compassion in you.
- Remain. Even when you’re out of words, stay at the feet of Jesus. He’s already at work and nothing goes wasted. Replay all the miracles he has done, remember what He already saved you from. There is safety in His presence.
- Listen for God’s song. Do you know that God sings over us? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” God has something to sing over you. Why? Because He loves you and His song will bring peace and strength. His love brings courage. Listen for it.
- Boldly Declare. There is power to our words. David talks about freewill offerings of the mouth. Sometimes it’s hard to speak it out, but this is where a challenge comes, and this challenge makes the enemy CRINGE. It’s when we turn the worship music off and sing our own song, when we tell God that He’s STILL good even we don’t see the miracle we long for, that no matter what happens we believe He is in control, and that we’re going wherever He goes. It’s when we get around others and speak faith. What will be the confession of our lips? Will we be a tree that bears fruit or one that withers? Praise precedes the victory.
There is no way you can remain in this intimacy with Jesus and not see His power unleash in your life. I saw it in mine and I’m so moved by Jesus’ unwavering love. Healing might not be instant at times, but there will be many “suddenly” moments where it unfolds. I pray that as you read this, you can recall what Jesus did for you, remembering it is His promise to us to be healed and whole. May we hold fast to His love and truthful word. May we be swept in His grace. May we leap with faith and not order our lives by fear. We are free; it is finished; let’s keep running forward and see His Kingdom come. You are the saints.