This morning, fighting off some feelings but knowing what I needed to do, I walked up to the empty upstairs and prepared to do my Barre3 class streaming with those I used to spend time with in a room where just a few days ago, my daughters slept in. As God would have it, this beautiful song randomly started playing on my playlist. SURROUNDED by Bethel Music and Kari Jobe filled my soul as the words "This is how I fight my battles" filled my ears and I did feel I was fighting my battles the way I knew how at that very moment through worship and movement.
This pandemic has many people struggling with things that aren't often addressed. Depression and suicide rates are high right now. I want you to win this battle. I want you to know you matter. If I have one reader or one thousand.. I want that 1 or 1000 to feel loved. I want you to shake off any assignments or agreements the enemy is trying to place on you. I want you to know your peace blanket can come in the form of dressing yourself in battle gear. Imagine yourself putting on a cloak of God's full armor. Feel it like a warm blanket of comfort and joy. (My own coach left me a beautiful voicemail last night reminding me of these tools to cope).
At 13 and 18, I fought a really big battle and tried to take my own life but by the grace of God, I didn't succeed. The battles continued to follow me throughout my adult life and sometimes they tried to win again. You are out there. The one that feels this temporary feeling is permanent and I want to encourage you to fight your battles with God holding you in His arms until the feeling passes. For some of you, riding the wave of emotions until it passes is super duper hard. You've had reasons for wanting to give up. Satan lies to you. You are confused, torn, feel like you have no worth. You feel as if you won't be missed. You feel you have to DO to earn a ticket to be loved or honored or adored. See these stinking lies for what they are. Raise up your white flag to the enemy and simply say you are done with believing his lies. Sing your worth OUT LOUD. Demand that the enemy stands down, that all agreements he has tried to place on you are broken. Sing. Worship. Pray. Make a schedule and do it when you don't feel like it.
Do not make a permanent decision based on a non-permanent emotion.
The starfish parable reminds us..
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.
The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”
You matter to me, just like the person in the story that threw back one starfish at a time. If you are struggling or hurting, please believe me when I say I understand. I am here. I will listen and most of all, I will remind you of a savior who can breathe peace, joy and a sense of calm back into you as you ride it out.