Jul 16, 2017

Fights give me a reason to have faith

I laid on the medical table in a room stuck in early 90's decor, you know the abstract shapes in mint green, baby pink, and sky blue. I turned my head to the left to see peeling wall paper starring back at me. She said it would sting and then burn a little. I didn't flinch or squirm, I've become accustomed to pain tolerance. I grit my teeth and take it because crying and stalling won't do any good. Multiple injections into my skin to numb the area to be removed. The first layer of dermis gone and cauterized, ointment applied followed by band-aids. I tell them I really want to watch; seeing something removed from the body isn't the same as getting stitches they explain. It's over, in and out in less than 45 minutes. Now the waiting game begins.

March of this year my boss noticed a rather large freckle above my right ear in my hair line. Who knows how long it'd been there but it didn't bother me. It mirrored a freckle on my right shoulder, light brown center with a dark border. As soon as it was discovered I knew in my spirit it was nothing. Gods peace washed over me and I knew this discolored flesh wouldn't be my demise. 

After hearing story after story of people my age diagnosed with cancer of various kinds, I made the appointment to get it checked out. Still, I knew what God placed in my spirit and I trusted him. It wasn't until after the procedure to have three freckles/moles removed that my old friend came knocking. 


It creeps up slowly, almost nonexistent until it lassos your chest like a vice grip. Did I mention I'm also a worrier? Every "what if" imaginable played through my mind and the anxiety heightens it times ten. My life is not my own when he comes to town. My only focus is survival, keeping myself from crumbling from condemnation and lies Satan spews in my ear. Because I've experienced this before I have an action plan, proof it can be overcome. 

So I preach to myself; constantly, violently. God does not give us a spirit of fear but of love. Satan is a liar. You are redeemed and his grace is sufficient for you. He is faithful and a promise keeper. You can trust him, he loves you and knows you. He calls you by name. 

Joshua 1:5 has been a verse I've clung to time after time. We're not promised a life free from stress and problems but he does promises to walk through the flames with us, to never leave or forsake us. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to immerse yourself in the Word. When attacks come, and they will come, you'll have the right tools in your tool box to fight back. It's all about muscle memory. I can still hear a shooting coach I had in high school, "if you want to make shots in a game, you have to practice those shots a thousand times" and I'm almost 30. Suffice to say, it's a thing and it's real. 

Almost two weeks had passed, finally a letter came from the doctor. A letter automatically meant everything was a-ok. I opened it, all three spots benign. Tears instantly flooded my eyes, which honestly kind of took me by surprise. I fell on my face and cried and worshiped and thanked Him. God never ceases to amaze me, I feel like I say that all the time but it's the truth. I text my brother in Christ the good news and his response was "...Satan tried to use your mom to bring you down...didn't work. He tried to use an unhealthy relationship with your ex...didn't work. Tried to use sexual temptation with that situationship...didn't work. I was like is he trying to use health now!!! Naw, won't work. God got too many people for you to impact for that to work." 

Satan knows what buttons to push, mine is anxiety. God is greater. Greater than anxiety, greater than any and all emotions and circumstances. I know what he's called me to and the promises he's made. No matter what comes at or against me, I've won. I've won because Jesus died to give me life. 

(If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, please reach out to someone who loves you. I thank God daily for the people around me who encourage and pray for me. If you need prayer, e-mail me.)

"Fights me give a reason to have faith." -Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts 

Jun 12, 2017

Radical Obedience

 “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson

. . .

2016 couldn't come to a close fast enough. 2017 felt different. I've never had a word for the year but this year two words kept nagging at me: radical obedience. Sounds good, right? But what does that look like? So far it's looked like me running from a calling God placed in my heart. I've been writing, poetry and prose, which is new to me and I love it. Writing or journaling really is cathartic but being vulnerable with strangers is scary. 

One day last week I was beaming with joy overflowing from my heart. I wrote it down because when you've faced hell and survived you document small moments of joy. Literally the next morning, anxiety crept it's ugly head back into my chest. Honestly I can't remember the last time I struggled with anxiety but the feeling is all too familiar just the same. Short honest declarations get me through however. You're loved. You're safe. He who promised is faithful. He's always made a way, this time will be no different. No coincidence this is happening now because it forces me to get back to my center; Jesus. To draw all my strength and peace from him and him alone.

 God's been harassing me, "do the thing Rachel, what's stopping you". If I'm truly honest with myself, it's fear. Fear is something I refuse to let hinder my life. When we're fearful, we're not fully trusting God. I'll get inspired but let the moment pass me by. I disqualify myself because of who I am or better yet, who I'm not. It's bigger than us however. My family and friends are tied to the decisions I make or stubbornly refuse to make. People I may never meet in person need to see Jesus shine through me, and through you too. 

"Somebody once told me the definition of hell:
“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”
 —  Anonymous

God has put too much inside me to let the above be my reality. My mentor frequently reminds me women need other women who are truth tellers. Women who keep Jesus as number one, over everything else. Single women in their 20's and 30's navigating dating with purpose and all the challenges that brings. So here I am, stripped and vulnerable, surrendering to Jesus; use me as you see fit.

Fear may visit but it will not unpack and live here any longer.     

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