The Greater Song

Depositphotos_5228339_s-2015

Blog by Kristen Hicks

I am mad….YES, mad! I am fired up! And I am NOT going to apologize for it!

There has been this theme, this lie, this piece of crap idea, running rampant lately. The thing that I’ve noticed is that it isn’t just in me either. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people even in the last week and they have all had this common thread running through them.

Anxiety.

Ugh!!! In my head, I am kicking the dirt, and mumbling frustrations, possibly hinted with implied cuss words under my breath, at even the thought of this word. I am sick of it!!!

Let me clarify, by saying, I am NOT sick of the people dealing with this. That is not who I am calling out. NOPE! I am declaring war on the enemy! Yep, you heard me, mr. satan, himself. It’s on dude!! I’ve had enough!!! It’s hurting too many people that I care about! This has gone too far! It’s gone so far, that I’ve literally heard some of these amazing people say, “This is something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life.”

NO!!!!! HECK NO!!!!!!

That lie is coming straight up from the PIT OF HELL itself!!!!!!!

This isn’t some midlife crisis, a season to embrace, and it sure as heck isn’t coming from The Father that loves us. It’s coming from the false father, the father of lies. I’ve said it before, fear isn’t something to get comfortable with. It isn’t something to embrace, it isn’t something that is protecting you. All the enemy does is steal, kill and destroy. You know this! So what this fear is doing, is it is stealing your inheritance, it is killing your joy, and it is destroying your heart, your life, your worth and your destiny!!! Do you hear me?!? Do you understand? Can you see this?

This is not the time to lay down and retreat. Because the enemy is vicious. HE HATES YOU! He is trying to take you out. Not just for a moment, not just for a season, but FOR GOOD!!!! He wants you isolated, he wants you depressed, he wants you laid over in the fetal position, so that he can kick you again and again and again. He wants you to feel helpless, to feel alone, to feel dirty, disgusted with yourself—with your life. He wants you stressed, busy, so busy that you have no time to even notice what’s going on, or what he is doing. Business that blinds, that distracts, that takes over everything in your life so you have no time to be reminded of the Father’s love. So that you have no time to even hear the Holy Spirit, calling you, drawing you, singing over you. No, the only song he wants you to hear is the song of noise, the song of hate, the song of bitterness, the song of defeat. Over and over and over, this is what you hear, until finally one day, you begin to sing along with it. You come into agreement with it. You begin to believe it. To believe that it’s the only song out there, and therefore, it must be the truth.

This, THIS my sweet friends, is only a fraction of what we are up against. Here is the thing, what I just wrote about, is from my own experience, not someone else’s. Although, I am very much aware that the enemy has no original material. Therefore, you might be thinking, I am talking about you. Once again, we have found ourselves in only another deadly trap of comparison, of twisting, of envy, of self-centeredness. And the thought might have crossed your mind that I am “judging” you with this post. No…stop…just stop…

Stop, singing along to the song that that is literally killing you, as well as poisoning everyone around you. Stop, coming into agreement with the lie, that who you are right here, right now in this moment, is who you are going to be for the rest of your life. Stop, believing that where you are right here, right now, in this moment is where you are going to be for the rest of your life. Stop, buying into this culture that says that in order to be the “best you,” means that you have to be better than someone else. Stop, labeling people as the enemy and let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn within you against the true enemy.

COME INTO AGREEMENT WITH THE GREATER SONG!!!! 

This is the song that sing out one thing and one thing only. HOPE. Hope that at the end of the day, no matter what has been thrown at us, that we can stand firm in the TRUTH, that we are Sons and Daughters of the MOST HIGH GOD! Hope that sings out the song of a SAVIOR, JESUS, who NOT ONLY took our sin upon Himself and paid the price for it but also, stays WITH us throughout our own struggles, our own screw ups, and teaches us in the midst of the process. Hope that goes so freaking far beyond our own understanding, that it gives us the courage to even dream again. It gives us the courage to believe that we are made for more and that we have a destiny and a purpose. Hope sings of a Father that truly does love us more than we could ever understand. It sings of a friend that we have in the Holy Spirit, that was given as a gift to swallow up loneliness once and for all. This song is one of redemption, one of peace, one of power. It has the power to heal, ACTUALLY HEAL! It has the power to not just change your circumstance or situation, but it can actually change your perspective. It will wreck your heart and at the exact same time be putting it back together, the way it was meant to be. Hope sings of LOVE. Period. Do you hear me?!? Do you understand? Can you see this?

You can say no, to the lies! You can say no, to the exhausting banter within your mind that constantly tells you that you aren’t good enough. You can turn off the noise of the song of bitterness and defeat. This is YOUR life! Take it back from the enemy, and let the strength of the God who fights FOR YOU rise up within you as you choose to surrender to and worship HIM! You can choose to stand firm on the Word, choose to not just believe IN Jesus, but to actually, BELIEVE HIM!!! TRUST HIM!!!!! Find your HOPE IN HIM!!! Know that His grace is sufficient, no matter how many times you mess up! And come into agreement with THE GREATER SONG!!!! JESUS!!! OUR TRUE HOPE!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ni1DaRZbEhttp://

#DeeplyRooted

Trapped Concept

Blog by Kristen Hicks

Last week, I finally decided to use a gift certificate, my friend Kourtney had given me for my birthday, to get a massage. I called and made the appointment the week before, and I strategically made it for the Tuesday after Labor Day, so that I would have something to look forward to upon coming back from the mountains.

As usual, when I called the woman on the phone gave me the name of the person that would be giving me the massage: Amanda.

All of a sudden, my heart was full of encouragement with this information. Why? You might ask. Because during one really hard, ugly, terrible season in my life this name kept coming up. Over and over again; Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda on a Coke bottle, “Hey, I’m Amanda”, “this is my friend Amanda”…just again and again. Finally, one day I decided to look up what the name Amanda actually meant.

I was stunned, and overwhelmingly in awe at the fact that the meaning of this name would speak so fiercely against everything that I was going through in this particular season of my life. Everything the enemy was throwing at me, and dragging me through. Every lie that was being spoken to me (in the spirit and in the natural), every really bad situation I found myself in, the Father instead was speaking this name to me: Amanda…“Worthy of Love”

It’s humbling to me that the Father goes to such great lengths to speak to us. He knows how we humans can be so unsettled in our back and forth thinking. So He reminds us. And at times He has to do something drastic to get our attention.

Last Tuesday, when I got my massage was nothing less than simply a reminder. Going in, I thought it would be this gentle, relaxing, no stress kind of massage. Instead, it ended up being this painful, deep-tissue, get all the knots out kind of massage.

About a forth of the way into it, I started praying. Not because, I was trying to over-analyze this situation, but because I was in pain and I was praying for the grace to endure. HA!

What ended up happening, however, was the Lord began to remind me of a vision He had given me a couple years ago. The vision was His hands. He was holding me in the left hand, then He switched me to His right hand, then He put both of His hands together and pulled me into His heart.

He began to speak to me about this vision and how it paralleled with this massage I was enduring at that moment. I already knew what both hands represented. They both represented two major seasons in my life. I can tell you down to the day when He switched me to the other hand. However, realizing that I was now in the season of Him putting both of His hands together… that one was a little harder to recognize. And once I did, I found myself smack dab in the middle of nowhere; at least that’s how it seemed.

The wilderness. And if you’ve read any of my blogs lately, you already know this. The thing I wasn’t prepared for with this season was the pain. Are you now starting to see the parallel?

The thing that the Lord has said over and over and over about this season, is that I am to wrestle with Him. And I am understanding that this wrestling is getting ALL the knots out. It’s the refining fire, that gets out all the impurities. Basically, in this process of Him putting both of His hands together— which is essentially, the fullness of who He is, the fullness of His Love—He has to get out all the mess, all the the things that I picked up in both seasons of my life that aren’t true. That aren’t pure. That are not a part of who He is.

As I continued grudging through this massage— telling myself that the pain was worth it, that it was doing something, and that it was gonna get me somewhere—the Lord spoke so sweetly to me. He said, “The key to all of it, is to KNOW that you are ‘Worthy of Love.’ You are worthy of MY LOVE.”

I found that when I resisted to Amanda, as she worked to get the knots out of my back, as I tensed up, it hurt way worse. But if I yielded to the process, it didn’t hurt as bad, and the knots seemed to come out quicker. 

I know that I’ve complained about this season, good grief, so much already. I know, I’ve felt lost and confused, and found myself extremely frustrated with people (myself included), circumstances, and just the season itself. But today, I realized, I don’t want to complain anymore. It’s not getting me anywhere. If anything it’s making the pain worse. I keep trying to talk to someone, anyone who will listen, hoping that they can give the right answer. But coming out of those conversations, I find that they are my way of resisting and tensing up in this process. They are stirring up the pain and confusion.

I was briefly talking to a friend of mine today about worship, and I told him how much I just love to be wrecked. He responded with this, not having a clue with any of this going on in my heart: “I like to be wrecked, but definitely like to be put back together.” I needed to hear that even more than he knew, and in a completely different context than what he knew we were talking about.

I think when I am in a season that is uncomfortable, and painful, and I feel lost. I think it’s super easy to forget that it’s only just a season. Like the Israelites wandering through the desert. The Word is clear, they prolonged it. I think it’s easier to just complain, to doubt, to wander off, hoping that there’s maybe something else out there that can ease the tension. I think it’s easy to forget the worth of God, and who He is. Likewise, I think it is also, very easy to forget my own worth to Him and how much He loves me. And I think He tends to like to remind me of all this in the very moments that the enemy is throwing everything he’s got at me.

I forget that He is in the process. And that while being wrecked by Him can remind me of who He is, He is more concerned with putting me back together, to remind me of who I am, and that I am worth something to Him. I am worthy of Love. 

So today, I am beginning a new season, or rather embracing the one I’m already in. I’m gonna call it #DeeplyRooted. This is based on Ephesians 3:17-19 (NASB):

“That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the Love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

So, as I allow the “Invincible Summer” to live on within me, I hope to find myself, “Deeply Rooted” in life, in soul, in body, in mind, and in heart, to Jesus Christ, Himself. And I hope that I encourage you in the same way. So that we may know, and I do mean really, REALLY KNOW…LOVE.

Fear Doesn’t Lead To Freedom

Bird cage silhouette

Blog by Kristen Hicks

There has been a common theme that has been weaving its way in and out of my last couple weeks. Do you have words in your life that the thought of them makes you want to panic, rebel, or throw up a little in your mouth when you say them or hear them? (Sorry, I know that’s gross.) I have to concentrate on breathing when I think about these words. They are: success, routines, habits, systems, really anything that has to do with business, or money, you get the idea. Seriously, even in this moment I am trying not to freak out while typing them. Good grief Kristen, pull yourself together!!

A couple weeks ago, I was talking about these very things with my friend, Kayla. We agreed that routines, setting goals, and accomplishing them were a little bit of a struggle for both of us. For example, eating healthy, working out, you know, the typical stuff. I might be able to muster up some will power for about a week or so but as soon as I am faced with opposition, I quit. However, the opposition might look a little bit different than you might think.

I’m really more of the dreamer type. You know this, I already talked about my “Big Dream Notebook” (BLESS). I like to dream up things that are far beyond my capability. The more impossible, the more irrational, the more crazy, off-the-wall, get your hands dirty… the better!

As Kayla and I continued to talk about routines, or lack there of, I started to really examine and ask myself why I always feel the need to rebel against these things. It’s almost like when it comes to any of these words, the inner me, all of sudden, takes over in an attempt to self-sabotage. Do you see the opposition now? It’s me! My inner person! I rebel, not because I hate healthy food, I actually like most of it. I don’t rebel because I’m lazy, I actually love activity, playing sports, hiking, kayaking, pretty much anything outdoors or anything that has a sense of playing. I rebel because it involves a routine.

What I realized was that when I was growing up, I would see people have these habits, these set ways, and things always had to be done in that certain way. Like in the morning and at night, they had these routines that they did the same way, every single day. Now hear me out. I’m not saying that personal hygiene isn’t good. HA! And I’m not saying that these people that I saw having these certain routines were wrong by having them. Please don’t think that is what I am saying. Let me keep going.

Ok so I would see these things, and for me I dreamed of traveling all over the world, doing who knows what, and I never wanted to find myself so stuck in a routine that it would be hard for me to do what I wanted to do or to adjust to what to I needed to do for whatever situation I found myself in. For example, I wanted to get used to sleeping in my contacts. Because if I was camping somewhere in a slum and the only thing that I had to wash my hands was hand sanitizer, which would hurt like mess, then I wanted to be comfortable enough to “go with the flow” and sleep in my contacts. Makes sense? (Caution: You are entering into the dangerous territory of Kristen’s mind, be on guard.)

This has always been my mentality. Pretty sure it’s a soul wound to some extent. Because the root of it is fear. Fear of not being who I was made to be? Fear of being in fear? Fear of being stuck? Ooo that’s a hard one for me. I’ve always had that fear. Doing the same thing ever single day for the rest of my life. Back to the circles. I guess that’s what I equate routines with… circles, being stuck.

Ding, Ding, Ding! I think we have a winner. And in case you were wondering, yes, I am figuring this out as I’m writing at this moment.

Fear. Ugh I hate fear. I know that may seem like a duh kinda thing thing but I truly think some people like having it around. To some extent, they feel it gives them a sense of safety and security, some even mistake it for wisdom. That sounds so completely backwards to me. Because fear is NOT our friend. Fear does NOT keep us safe. God does!!! Fear is a lie. An eloquent, get all gussied up for a night on the town kinda lie. Meaning, it looks real good. (Not that getting all dressed up and going out is bad.) The enemy loves, I mean, LOVES for people to be in fear. Because fear keeps people from being and becoming who they were created to be. FREE.

I am learning in this moment, that I have mistaken fear for freedom when it comes to this particular subject. I have let the fear of being stuck and being pulled into particular circles keep me from just trusting the Lord and letting Him guard and guide my steps. I mistakenly, and subconsciously let fear try and drive me to freedom. Instead of allowing trust and surrender to Jesus be the driver to freedom.

I realize that this is kinda a roundabout way to get to this conclusion. It’s crazy how my brain works sometimes. But the funny thing is, the conclusion is actually the same as all the other conclusions the Lord has been bringing me to lately.

Trusting Jesus. Surrendering to Him. Needing Him. Letting Him love me. Just falling in love with Him for Him.

So I’m gonna trust Him, and let Him shift my mindset. I’m gonna lay down this fear of being stuck, and know that He knows me and loves me and the truth is, He doesn’t want me to be stuck in circles either. And know that even if He asks me to do something constantly for a season, there is a reason, there is something He wants me to learn, something He wants to open my eyes to. And I can’t do that if my inner man is constantly rebelling. Heck, He might even want to put me into a routine for a season, just to overcome this crazy fear. I know that His heart and His goal to set me completely FREE from ALL fear!!! And I’m pretty sure that anyone would chalk that up to be a complete and total success!

Stop Squirming

Blog by Kristen Hicks

I’ve had to make a pretty big decision lately. One that required quite a bit of wrestling. And I knew that in making this decision there would, without doubt, be repercussions.

Fear has been one of those repercussions. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what people will think. Fear that I made the wrong decision, even though I know I made the right one.

I’m not exactly sure where to go from here. I see myself in this open space. It’s like a field that I want to run in, do cart-wheels, roll around in the dirt, just be reconnected. However, my mind has went into overload about how to do this. Trying to figure it out. But then, I think what He is showing me tonight is that that is precisely the thing He doesn’t want me to do. Figure it out.

I don’t know what to do about this. It freaks me out. Because I know I have some walls. Or I at least know I have one big one, though I’m not exactly sure what it is. I just know it’s there. Even now, I’ve been making plans, composing mental lists about how in the world I can get this wall to come down. I need to read this book, and this book and this book, all at the same time. I need to go on a really long prayer walk. I need to write, to write out all my feelings, to write out everything. I need to dig into the Word for like an hour. I need to just sing. Maybe even write a song about all this.” The list could go on. However, what the Lord is showing me is that all of those plans and lists are all based on things I do.

But in this moment, I keep hearing one thing. “Just sit down. Just stop. Just be still. Just receive. Stop squirming.”

Sometimes, I am so completely broken and humbled by how much I don’t know the Lord. How much I don’t understand His ways. How much I don’t get it. Not Him, not His love, not His intentions. But then I am also humbled, by how much I need Him, how much I want Him.

I feel so helpless already in this season I’ve just stepped into. But I feel like that is a really, really good thing. Because it brings me back to surrender. Back to the things I did at first. Back to just simply needing Jesus.

Once again, the Father reminds me of a child. I see myself as this little kid, that is terrified. That is broken, and hurt, and confused, and has no idea what the heck is going on. And I am squirming big time. I have no idea how to receive anything. Love, affection, gifts, none of it. I am constantly trying to figure out everything, trying to understand, trying to piece it all together. Every time the Lord starts to pour Himself out, I feel uncomfortable, like Peter when Jesus was trying to wash His feet. “This is not how this should look.” I tell Him as I twist and turn in His lap. And in the most gentle, yet reassuring kind of way, I feel Him pull me closer. Closer to His heart. Closer to His breath. So I can hear His heart, so I can feel Him. And He just holds me so tightly, until I just stop. I stop squirming.

This…. This is what I have always longed for. This is what I’ve needed. This is what I was made for. This is where He breaks the walls down. This has nothing to do with what I can do. It has to do with what He can do. I can’t make myself understand or get it. I simply just have to wait on Him. He isn’t going to give me all the answers. Not because He enjoys withholding from me. But because He is a good Father. One that sees my heart and knows what I can and cannot handle. And sometimes you just have to sit there any let the Creator of the universe, wash your, dirty, stinky, smelling feet. You have to sit there and know that it’s ok to not understand, to not get it. You have to sit there and just receive from Him. Let Him hold you. Let Him whisper in your ear, the Truth of who He is, and who you are, and what you mean to Him. Let Him just be close. Embrace the warmth, the security, the sound of His heart. 

I have found myself listening to this song (above) on repeat. It’s just simple. But I feel like it’s the song of my heart right now. The song of this season.

Soo…

Just sit down. Just stop. Just be still. Just receive. And.. stop squirming. 

The Song I Want to Feast On

A man walking towards a cross with sunbeams

Blog by Kristen Hicks

Can we talk really quick about how many times I have written this first line and then erased it? It was a few. I am struggling. I know lately I’ve talked about how I am in this season of wrestling with the Lord… on everything, but the place I am finding myself in at this moment, is more like I’m just holding on. I’m not even trying to win anymore. Because I know I’m gonna lose. And deep down, I know that losing this insane wrestling match is actually a victory.

“I can’t do this anymore.” That is the phrase that keeps echoing in my head. It has so many layers to it, so many meanings, so many depths. “I just can’t, not like this. Not in this way.” Because truth be told, I’m not even sure if I believe this anymore. It seems to have gotten twisted, misinterpreted, become about something that it was never supposed to be about.

It feels like a crossroads, or rather a balancing act, like I’m walking on a type-rope and if I step to the left or the right, I will face sudden death. How did I get here? The more I wrestle, the more I realize how I have no idea who the One I’m wrestling with actually is, nor what He is doing. And that, I am learning, is exactly why I’m in this vulnerable position.

Have you ever been in this place? The place where you are begging the Lord to tear you down and then build you back up the right way. Or like I told Him yesterday, “Can you just cut me down and grow me back up the way I’m supposed to be?” I’m not sure one would even call it correction. Nope, I think the more suitable term is annihilation.

I can see the Light, the dawn that is breaking forth before me, behind me and inside me. And I am determined to hang on. I WILL NOT LET GO of the One that I know without a doubt in my mind, has the blessing on the tip of His tongue. Don’t misunderstand me, the blessing I am seeking is not greed, it is not power, it is not fame or fortune, in fact it has nothing to do with anything that this world can offer me.

It is simply an identity. A name change. Not for anyone else to know but me.

In the secret place, in the most Holy of Holy place, in the intimacy of where my spirit, soul, and body collide together and come into agreement with LOVE Himself. This is what I’m holding on to. This is what I’m seeking. I am staring intently at His face as I put one foot in front of the other, to make it across the threshold of death.

Hope. Hope is in His eyes. NOT fear. He is sure, He is certain that I will make it. The more I stare at Him I can feel His Spirit calling, whispering, singing into me. Trust is building within me. Confidence is surrounding me. Faith and Truth are holding onto me. The more I stare the more I know… I KNOW I AM HIS! 

With every step, my theology shifts, my perspective changes, my thoughts become clear, my heart beats louder, stronger because it can feel the Presence of the One in whom it beats for getting closer.

This is no ordinary encounter, this is different. You see, a couple days ago I asked the Lord to show me my convictions. You know, those things deep inside of me that I know, that I know, that I know.

It shocked me. It has nothing to do with doctrine or systems. It has nothing to do with what others around me believe. It isn’t complicated. It has nothing to do with the times we are in, nor what I think church should look like. It has nothing to do with the season even; nor whether or not I identify this place as a storm, a pit, a wilderness, or a cave. No, none of that really matters. It has nothing to do with authority, gifts, talents, or positions I might have. It’s not a puzzle, or something to figure out, or need an answer on. It has nothing to do with how much pain, tragedy, mistakes, sorrow, circumstance I have gone through. None of this matters when it comes to the conviction in my heart.

It is simple. So simple that a child understands it. And the truth is, I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!!! Not when LOVE IS STARING ME RIGHT IN THE FACE!!!!

The conviction is this: HE. LOVES. ME. Period. End of story. There is NO question to this statement. No confusion. No theology. No perspective. No doctrine. No person. NOTHING! Nothing can come against this!!!

I’m DONE making it about ME! Or making it about someone else. I’m done making it hard. I’m done making it complicated. Because HE is WORTHY of so much more than that!!! He is worthy of a Bride that is IN LOVE WITH HIM, just for WHO HE IS!!! Not one that is love with with what He can do! He is worthy of a Bride that sees His eyes. Sees His heart. Sees is intentions. And sees HIS WORTH and can’t help to inhale HIS LOVE and exhale HIS PRAISE!!!!!  Not one that lives in FEAR of what He might do. But believes, BELIEVES, whole-hearted that HE IS GOOD!!!! In ALL things!!!!

Can I please just stop making it about me? Can I please start knowing my place as a CHILD of God? And all that that means, all the promise that that holds, all the direction, all the hope, all the LOVE, all the intention and position of what that means.

I feel like Paul a little bit right now when he said:

“The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash- along with everything I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant- dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him. I didn’t want some petty inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from TRUSTING Christ- God’s righteousness.” 

-Philippians 3:7-9 MSG

Please hear my heart. I am not trying to vent, or hash out my feelings on a platform. I am simply just trying to remember!!! Remember my FIRST LOVE. Remember what it was like to JUST LOVE JESUS. Remember the simplicity of Him and His heart and what He came to do. I want to KNOW Him. More than I know anyone else in my entire life. And I want to love Him with ALL that I am. I want to be a part of His story, not fit Him into mine. This is my heart. This is the conviction I want to cultivate, to live out, to die for, and to live for. THIS IS THE SONG I WANT TO FEAST ON!

Trust is NOT a Suggestion

Depositphotos_48612283_s-2015

Blog by Kristen Hicks

Ugh…

Yep, that is the way I’m beginning this blog entry… you’re welcome. Because for lack of better words, that is how I feel about this particular subject at the moment.

I feel like this word “trust” has been the only answer I’ve received lately from the Lord when I have asked some of my million questions. However, it is also becoming one of my million questions. “How the heck do I trust You with this?”

So again I say, “UGH…”

One day, not too long ago I was getting in the shower, not really thinking about anything in particular, when all of a sudden I heard the Holy Spirt say… “Trust is NOT a suggestion.”

“Ok… thank you…. Lord, I appreciate that random word, even though I wasn’t really asking or looking for anything at this moment of getting in the shower”, I respond, a little caught off guard.

He continued, “Every single time I tell you to trust Me, and every single time it is spoken in scripture, I am not suggesting that you trust Me, I’m commanding it.”

“Oh…” at this point, still shocked that the Holy Spirit would choose this moment out of any moment to share this insightful revelation with me, I began to be baffled at the fact that when someone tells me to “trust God,” or even if I tell someone to “trust God”, subconsciously it’s really being spoken as more of a suggestion.

Several weeks later, I was at camp and we were talking about the story of Daniel and the lions’ den and something dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about. When Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, he prayed out of trust NOT fear. He had built such a deep relationship with the Lord that I imagine that even if his heart was heavy with the thought of being attacked and eaten by the lions, he prayed to God because he KNEW God and he TRUSTED Him. Not because he was afraid of the lions.

The amazing thing was that the rest of the week of camp, in every single story, I began to see this pattern, and it all came down to the same thing…Trust. Do I have such a deep, unmasked relationship with the Lord that no matter what is done to me, no matter what circumstance, situation, tragedy, danger, you name it, I find myself in, I TRUST HIM?

This is HARRRD stuff. This is no ordinary mindset. But then again the Lord never created any of us to be ordinary. We were created to be FREE.

I have found myself lately realizing that I have NO IDEA how to trust the Lord. Especially, when it comes to emotions of the heart. How in the world can I change the way that I feel? How can I not be in fear? How can I change my heart in disappointment, in rejection, in pain? What about struggles that won’t seem to go away, or heartbreak that I can’t seem to get over, or those stupid circles that I am still running? Is it ok to feel this way? Am I not trusting God if I feel this way?

Sometimes, I find my answer in the definition. I have realized over the years that although words are spoken, I don’t usually have a full understanding of what they mean. “Trust- n. Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. v. Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of. Synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance, rely on, depend on, bank on, count on, be sure of….” And I’m sure it could keep going.

As I’m sitting here reading this, all I can think is THIS IS THE GOSPEL!!! This is the very foundation of life itself! I used to think I was good at this trusting stuff. When it comes to finances, when it comes to protection, I have mostly trusted God. But not out of relationship, more so because I had to. Because if I didn’t I would fall flat on my face. But is that even really trust at all?

I think most of the time, I’ve misinterpreted trust with “going with the flow.” Having no expectations at all. Just going with, “Well God’s got this.” Only because I had no other option.  But I don’t think that that is what He’s calling me to with this. This is speaking of trusting God as a last resort kind of thing, not as THE FIRST!

I don’t know about you, but when I look at it like that, I find myself VERY humbled at the thought of how often I do this. It’s human nature to want to be in control of stuff, but that is also where we fall short. That is the very thing that needs to die within us. That is the very mindset that needs to change. The mindset that I only trust God when it’s out of MY control. Yea that sucker needs to die!

What if I did trust God as first resort not a last? How different would my life be? What does that even look like? I think it’s ok to have emotion. I think it’s ok to even doubt. Just as long that you bring it all to the feet of Jesus and work it out, and filter it through Him. Maybe that’s what trust really looks like.

When I woke up this morning, I felt like I was immediately met by mercy. What followed was the Lord keeping it simple. He said, “Just today, I want you to make a choice and choose to cling to Me in every single thing that you do. That’s it.”

I DO NOT have it figured out yet. I apologize if you were hoping that when you finally made it to the end of the forever long blog, that I would give you the answer. I don’t have it. The only thing that I have is a word, “love.” Trust is found in LOVE, itself. If it were an equation, I think that it would look like TRUST=LOVE.

On the way to lunch today, I was thinking about something I wrote in a past blog. It was this: “Fall in love with Jesus and find the courage to let Him love you back.” As I was talking this out with my friend, Ronda, at lunch, we came to the conclusion, that this statement isn’t exactly wrong. It’s just backwards. The truth is, we can only give back to God what He first gave us. We can’t love Him without first letting Him love us. So the statement is this:

Find the courage to LET JESUS LOVE YOU, then you will fall absolutely, head over heels, in love with Him back! 

So today, I’m not gonna try and complicate it. I’m not gonna even beat myself up for actions or the way I feel, or put restrains on my emotions to make myself get it, or get in line with it. I’m just gonna come before Jesus with it all. All my worries, all my emotions, all my heartache, struggles, pain, disappointments, and all the things that I don’t know how to deal with or have answers on, and just lay them down. Today, I’m going to make a choice, and choose to cling to the Father. As I was just writing that line, I saw myself literally hiding behind the Father, clinging to His shirt, like a child would, when they are unsure of someone or something. This is a process. It’s not meant to get in a day. But I do believe that this is the road to true FREEDOM! This is the road to SURRENDER!!!

My friend, Kourtney, send the this quote the other day that I want to end with because I feel like it fits. You might have to think about how it fits, but I am confident the Lord will show you. It

was this: “Do not wait for courage, LOVE alone can move you to jump- and courage will meet you there.” -ShePaintsTruth

Love you guys!