Soul Care

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Recently, I had the immense pleasure and joy to return to a place I grew up visiting every summer. This remarkable place is quite honestly beyond words. When on the French River you find time to really soak in Gods creation. The diverse terrain, the drastically different climate that changes day-by-day and the wildlife you encounter here are just a few of the ways your mind and your heart can be restored and renewed on the French River. Growing up on the French River I met my first love, I prepared to say goodbye to my dying uncle, I made forever friends. With each passing year while my life was ever changing this beautiful piece of heaven on earth steadfastly went unchanged ready to embrace me once more.

For the first time in six long years, I went home to the French River. I call it home not because I ever lived on the river, but because the river is where I have found the most peace, joy and freedom on this earth. This summer I was able to bring my amazing little girl once more as well as introduce my remarkable husband and sweet 4 month old little man. The excitement I had in the opportunity to bring my entire family goes unrivaled.

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While on the river this year I began to experience many different unexpected emotions. I began to realize the need I had for forgiveness in my life. To say I experienced an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement. While processing through this emotional torture with Jesus I felt like he showed me there are two types of forgiveness and one release we face in life at one point or another.

Forgive and Release:

  • Forgiveness of self – the choices we make often have drastic effects on our lives. There are times we make decisions that are forever effects. Not only are there forever effects – – > but those effects then have ripple effects that have a piece of every aspect in our lives from that point forward.
  • Forgiveness of others – The question here isn’t IF somebody will hurt us, but WHEN somebody will hurt us. There is not one person that will go through life never being hurt by another. Its inevitable and our response to that hurt will have direct impact on our daily life, relationships (earthly and heavenly), and can even lead to impacting our bodies.
  • Releasing of bitterness towards God– There are things that happen in our lives sometimes that are completely 1000000% out of our control. We have no say, we have no solutions, we have no magical words that will fix these situations and make them right. This has the potential to turn our confusion and hurt into anger and bitterness towards God – when God didn’t have anything to do with it to begin with.

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While on the River, I felt I needed to work through each one of those processes. Upon this realization I began to feel frustrated. Thoughts of “Why am I here again?” “Why is this plaguing my heart right now?!” “I’m seriously such a loser” etc. all went through my head. Suddenly, while once more processing through what felt like the emotional scrambler (you know that ride at amusement parks that spins and shakes you aggressively while going around in a circle) for the umpteenth time – I felt like the Lord reminded me of this pivotal moment during the climax of The Shack by William P. Young.

During the climax of The Shack the main character, after spending the weekend with physical manifestations of the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), is walking down a mountain. He carries the body of his baby girl who was stolen from him and murdered. With every step he takes, tears rapidly stream down his face as he says the words “I forgive you”. Another step – “I forgive you.” Weeping “I forgive you”. Angry “I forgive you”. Over and over again. “I forgive you”.

The Lord reminded me that forgiveness isn’t a one and done deal. Forgiveness is a choice you make in the daily grind of life. As soon as feelings, memories, and thoughts begin to surface on the head and heart level – forgiveness must happen immediately. Failing to do so allows you to once more be consumed by the raw emotions and memories of whatever you have faced in the past. If you allow these thoughts, feelings, and memories to sit and bake in the emotional slow cooker of your heart, you set yourself up to allow a door to open which will soon have you housing a potluck of negative emotions strongholds once more. These feelings can resurface 2 days after forgiveness or 2 decades after forgiveness this can even resurface every day for the rest of your life. Whats imperative is that we make the choice to forgive as many times as it becomes necessary once more.

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Bitterness. Anger. Unrest. Sickness. Fear. Anxiety. Doubt. Timidness. Depression. Seclusion. Fatigue. Distance and disconnection from the Father.

All side effects of unforgiveness. When we are unable to forgive ourselves, others and let go of bitterness towards the Father we are allowing these to take hold of our lives and set up residence.

Satan LOVES when we are unable to forgive and move on – he loves the disconnection from the body and the Father that we experience when hurting. He uses past experiences and choices we have lived to plant seeds of fear, doubt, anger, bitterness, anxiety, depression etc.

These feelings, the sickness, the death- to relationships and our physical body, are all circumstances which are not bringing life and joy –> are not being blessed and brought forth by King Jesus.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

lets take that further though.

For God did not give us a spirit of Anger

For God did not give us a spirit of Bitterness

For God did not give us a spirit of Sickness

For God did not give us a spirit of Depression

For God did not give us a spirit of Regret

For God did not give us a spirit of Doubt

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

God is incapable of creating brokenness. He speaks and life comes forth. In Genesis 1 over and over again we read “God said __________ and saw that it was good“.

As I continued to process through these various emotions I was experiencing: frustration with myself, frustration with others, and frustration with Him (God) even – I felt like He told me “It is okay to process through it again. Cry. Journal. Scream. Mourn. Then get up, forgive yourself. Forgive these people and let go of any anger and bitterness. Its okay to feel. Its not okay to let those feelings define and control your life. Insecurity is not what I have for you. Feelings of not being enough are not what I have for you. Bitterness is not what I have for you. Depression is not what I have for you. Get up and fight this.”

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm, and you will see the deliverance of the Lord. {…..} The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” – Exodus 14: 13-14

“I sought the Lord and he answered me, and he delivered me of all my fears. Those who look to Him are RADIANT and their faces will never be put to shame.” – Psalm 34:4-5

“Do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” – Nehemiah 8:10

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The Ultimate Soul Care

Our identity and what we are called to is in this. We are called to love, to freedom, to shine light not be overcome by the shadows of the night (our pain, our fear, our regret). The Lord wants to fight for us and along side us! We just need to have the vulnerability and humility to allow him to the deepest parts –> to the pain, and uncertainty. He will take care of the rest. He is our healer, our provider and our deepest treasure.

20180708_175544.jpgHere (the red words) you will find My Warfare Playlist on Spotify! I listen to this playlist when its time to go to war with the enemy. I have said it once, I will say it a thousand times.. worship is one of the best ways to combat the enemy! As you process through forgiveness make sure you’re dialoguing back and forth and worshiping with the father! Don’t forget to ugly cry! its so, SO cleansing 🙂


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