One of the lesser know facts about being a Christian, is that as we step out in Faith to serve the Lord in our ministries, we have an adversary, the Devil, who is not happy with our progress, particularly when we have a huge Victory for Jesus. This was the case Halloween week which I shared on my blog how God gave me the Victory of raising money and advocates for She is Safe and the work they are doing around the world for abused and exploited women. (see Blessings, Paintings and Spooks….Oh My!)
Not only did I sell quite a few paintings, but my blog post on how people could help stop human trafficking went viral! I had over 100 views a day on my blog post and trafficking to my entire site was up well over 200 views. Now that might not seem like a lot, but it is for me! I only started this blog last summer and I have watched the Lord increasingly bring more traffic to my site and receive good feedback.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I came down with the flu/bronchitis/sinusitis with a vengeance, feeling like a bomb was dropped on me. The Devil loves to put illness on God’s Saints and I was down for the count. I had just started a holiday job at Sees Candies (another blessing) and had to stop in the middle of training.
Would I lose my job? Would I still be able to go to the Jews for Jesus Retreat the following weekend? All these thoughts rumbled around in my feverish head, at one point wondering if I was going to be called home when my fever spiked to 104 degrees. Getting this sick is scary for me as I am allergic to most antibiotics so it is a risk for me to take them. I dragged my body to my Zip car and drove to the doctors (one of the worst things about living alone is getting sick alone) where my doctor played a guessing game of which antibiotic to give me. “Let’s try Zithromax, I’ll give you a five day high dose that will last in your system for 10 days.” “Alright” I nervously replied, hoping and praying this one would attack the virus.
As I tossed in bed with my fever, the Scripture “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” ran through my Spirit. (Psalm 23:4) Yes, I was at a breaking point for either life and healing, or death and eternal life. I knew I was in God’s hands and was a peace with His outcome. I had the assurance that I wouldn’t taste death, that my soul would go straight to heaven, and in fact, Jesus would come get me as He promises He will do. (John 14:3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.)
As I slowly got better, I sat on the couch covered in my rail-fence pattern quilt I had made, slurping chicken noodle soup and sucking on sugar free popsicles, all spacy on the codeine cough syrup, yet coughing, coughing, coughing. I realized I was going to have to stay home from my retreat. I had so looked forward to hanging out with my Messianic Jewish friends at the Jews for Jesus retreat, singing to the Messianic music, eating wonderful meals at Missions Springs Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the divine appointments the Lord had for me. I was sensing that this might be the time that I would meet that Jewish believing husband I have been waiting patiently (o.k. not so patiently!) for. To hike in the beautiful redwoods, sit in on stimulating lectures and just be all around blessed and relaxed.
So it made me start wondering, Lord why does it appear you let the enemy win this round and keep me too sick to go to the retreat, which I know was your will for me? What He said to me surprised me: “You have been working too hard, and not having enough fun. I have been missing spending time with you and now we have all week to snuggle together on the couch as you watch movies and hold you at night so you rest comfortably.” To be honest, I much rather spend that time with Him at the retreat but He is Sovereign and knows best. I trust He can cross my path with that future husband another way very easily.
Last night, I asked Him to reveal what He would have done for me at the retreat. He showed me my low self esteem and the negative messages I tell myself, mostly about how unattractive I feel growing older, especially losing my neckline, which I laughingly tell my friends, is getting the “turkey neck”. “I want a neck job as a wedding present” I tell them, but I am serious! Having been a former beauty queen at age 18, Miss Belmont of 1979, my looks were always something that made me feel good about myself, as inside I felt such shame and ugliness from the abuse I suffered as a child.
I know Scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Psalm 139:14:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
So I asked the Lord to let me experience His love for me in a more deep and personal way as I recover this next week, before I return to work at Sees. Because this brokenness in me that let’s me see myself in this negative light, is my real sickness, my soul sickness. God can turn what the enemy meant for evil (this flu sickness) and work it for good, (healing me by allowing me to see His viewpoint of me). “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” – Genesis 50:20.
Will you pray that the God who made us and knew us before the foundation of the world, who brought us together in the dark places of the womb, would heal our souls of the lies and wounds of the enemy, giving us Victory today over our pasts? Do you need to ask God for this soul healing for yourself today? If so you can pray this prayer along with me:
“Dear Lord: I need to feel your love for me as your child. I know I have believed the lies of my family, friends and the Devil, who have spoken negative things into my life. I believe you created me in the innermost places and made me unique and like you. Help me to let go of the shame and self hatred I feel, and replace it with your love and the way you see me. Bright. Beautiful. Full of your Joy. Accepted and Loved in the Beloved. For this is truth and you are Truth and I ask you to pierce my heart with this truth today. Thank You Jesus, I love you.”
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