Taking your own advice
So, I’ve been doing this blog for a while now, and have found it so incredible, how many times, I’ve needed to read my own blog. Like, while my kid was having his outbreak, and I was stressing out, my mom said, “Go read your blog.” (which was this post.) Or, there have been a few times where I just read it, and I pull a little piece of insight that I didn’t have before. It’s been quite the incredible little item of retrospection. And, we all need to do that sometimes don’t we? Take a moment to listen to ourselves, and maybe even let the Holy Spirit help you pick up on some additional insight that you didn’t realize you needed or already had.
So, I said a couple weeks ago, I was going to be sharing about some major life events that would never leave me the same. My biggest and most recent one, was “The Year of Great Loss.” Sometimes when my husband and I go through major life events or stories that we’ll never forget, we give them nicknames. This is a snapshot of what happened to us in 2017. I don’t feel like dragging the story out because a lot of it was Satan, but after I handed it over to God, he’s used it all for good.
The Year of Great Loss
December 2016: my friend is falsely jailed for a crime they didn’t commit
January 2017: My landlord sold our house out from under us. And, the person he sold it to, is a Scrooge.
February (All in 2017): my friend’s wife moves in because he’s in jail until the trial and she needs help; my husband’s grandpa passed
March: friend gets let out on bail, but isn’t allowed to move in with us, wife has to move out
April: life long friend is hospitalized for alcoholism, we inherit the dog, who is very sick (eye infection, skin infection, and some cancer)
May: friend from alcoholism passes, another friend moves in because he moved from far away & needs help (and is suffering from health problems), we continue to try to help the dog-they won’t operate on the cancer until the other problems clear-up
June: finally get the dog “ok” for surgery
July: full of family birthdays (good stress <3)
August: serious fighting with some of our live-in friends and family members, also was notified that our house is going to get demolished – we have 45 days to move out, trial for my friend begins, the wife that lived with us – her dad passes
September: my uncle’s house burned down, he’s in the ICU with his whole family, we’re packing and moving into another house, my friend is found guilty for a crime he didn’t commit
October: we find out the house we just moved into is owned by a crazy person who now tries to triple the rent, my uncle is working on getting out of ICU – everyone else has been released, we find a new place (we have just moved an entire house worth of stuff twice, in less than 30 days), both roommates move out when we do
November: my uncle is finally released from ICU, and my dad passes away from a massive heart attack
I don’t remember much after that.
I literally got to a point during all this, where if I wasn’t keeping you in the loop, I just didn’t even bother trying to explain what was happening. I had a few people tell me that I reminded them of Job. And, the best part of that, is that Job got everything back twice-over. Now, I will say, some of that you really can’t get back – losing loved ones, but in the aftermath of losing loved ones, you really change your perspective on life. That was probably one of the bigger benefits of all this. Also, when I’m looking back on it, I realized, that just a little before EVERYTHING started, I really started praying. Like really praying. Down on my hands and knees, worshiping God for his greatness, being thankful for everything, and praying for others and myself, for more than 3 minutes, sometimes I would lose track of time I was praying so long. And, as Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (ESV)
Somewhere around August, between fighting with friends, and getting told that we needed to move out, Satan showed his hand. I had this epiphany moment, where I realized that there was no way that all of this was coincidence. That Satan didn’t like what I was up to, and where I was going in my life, and began to take me down a notch (or five :P). Which only caused me to double-down for a while there. And, as you can see between August and November – it only climaxed into a whirlwind of madness, because Satan and I both knew who we were dealing with. And, then I believe that God stepped in, and took my dad home, and said, “Enough”. Because everything stopped after that. And, it was exactly what our entire family needed to begin healing, to put things in perspective, to draw us closer to Him. I couldn’t have made it through that year without God.
He’s used a lot of those things for good.
The dog needed someone who could care for her, so she ended up with us, and we got her back to being all better, cancer-free and able to live out a few more years. The house we lived in originally, wasn’t the best, and with the weather we’ve had this year, we would probably be suffering for it. My husband and I finally moved into a house that doesn’t allow roommates, which had been a big part of our lives for almost 15 years. We always lived in places that had an “extra” room, and it always seemed to be filled with someone in need. But, God finally closed that chapter of our lives, which has allowed the two of us to grow closer again. My friend who is still falsely imprisoned right now, has started a ministry within the prison, and using this to glorify God. His wife stays strong in the Faith, and helps keep people updated out here, and also shares his ministry information with us – we continue to fight the charges – more info another time here. My uncle’s house burned down, and he was released just in time to be here with us when my dad passed. He’s also been on a journey since then of adjustment and a self-discovery of sorts. And, although it was and is hard, my dad passing has allowed much of my family to grow closer to each other, and to God. We stepped into new roles, we’ve taken on different responsibilities, and we’ve grown as people and as followers in Christ, which is exactly the kind of legacy my dad would want. So, although, 2017 was a Year of Great Loss, it’s been gain since. Just as God promises. Satan tried to take me down, to steal, kill, and destroy. But, when I leaned on God, he lifted me up with his mighty right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) And, currently, I feel like I’m winning life. (Luke 21:19) Which is a far cry from just 2 years ago.
Now, I hope you all know that I didn’t share this story to gain pity, but to encourage you. Although our circumstances are different, God will help you win. It’s a promise. He is the Victor. And he wants us to have the Victory. No matter how big your problems seem, God’s handled them all before, you just need to let him. Also, always remember who you’re fighting. You’re not fighting a diagnosis, or a coworker, or a family member, or a circumstance, you’re fighting Satan. But, we’re on the winning team, we just have to remember that.
Dear Heavenly Father, you are amazing. You are our Victor. You are our strength, encouragement, and comforter. You are everything we could ever need. May your blessings pour out upon us. May your face shine upon us, and may we find ourselves always in your arms. Help us to grow our Faith, that we may recognize Satan’s attacks for what they are, and let you handle them. That you use everything in our lives for your good. That you equip us for these battles, that you help us keep our hearts and eyes focused on you. That you give us your supernatural strength and wisdom to win at life. That we may be servants that make you proud. That we can share our testimonies with those around us, to encourage them and give them strength and understanding to win their battles. May we do this all for your glory and honor. In JESUS’ NAME. AMEN!!