What a WEEK.
Ever have those weeks where you can't even remember what you even did, simply because it was all just so full on? That was my week. At this stage, all I'm working is two days a week, but lately my weeks have been especially long and emotionally challenging. Unfortunately, by Wednesday this week (yes, only Wednesday), I needed a break. A retreat. An adventure! And an adventure is exactly what I took.
Adventures are just good for the heart. Maybe it's because I'm a 7 on the enneagram; I don't know. What I do know is that every-so-often, I MUST have an adventure away from home, exploring new things and seeing beautiful country-side. I love to encounter things that are pretty and I ADORE having new experiences. I especially love the mountains or oceans, or seeing lush, green grass that makes my heart race. Being an artist, colors and shapes really speak to me, and I totally refresh while exploring or seeing beautifully colored things in nature that I've never before seen.
Usually I go off and adventure with my amazing husband, but this time I went off with just my Bible, my journal, and Jesus. And it was the most amazing, heart-awakening little day trip!
In the middle of driving around the Glass House Mountains in Queensland (see some photos below), I was listening to a worship playlist on YouTube. One of my latest favorite songs came on, "Most Beautiful" by Maverick City Music. I meditating on God's goodness while the song played in the background, and I began crying out to God for breakthrough in a certain area of my life. Suddenly, my ears began to actually HEAR the words of the song, and what I heard was the following: "On Calvary, You looked at me....with just one look....EVERYTHING changes, I'm captivated, I'll never be the same...with just one look..."
As I meditated on the fact that while on the cross, Jesus was thinking about ME, I felt Him draw my attention to the part of the song that says "With just one look...EVERYTHING changes..." As Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I HAVE looked at Him, and my life HAS INEED changed, I actually truly AM different. My life has been transformed. I'll NEVER be the same because of the one look that I took at Him, as He shed His blood for me on Calvary. I'm a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), I'm dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11), and I am who HE says I am.
In those very moments, I was compelled to pull over to a lookout spot in the mountains while the Holy Spirit continued to remind me who I am. I realized that I had been so distracted by chasing after breakthrough and asking God to remove the emotional pain in my current situations, that I had just FORGOTTEN who I am. In forgetting who I actually am thanks to Jesus, my sword and shield were seeming to get heavier and heavier and I was beginning to put them down. That's when I heard the Spirit say again, "Remember that everything about you has changed; you are NOT the same. This is not a time to lay down and allow yourself to be beat up and bullied; remember who you are AND START TO FIGHT AGAIN!"
Start to fight again. What a wake-up call.
Have you ever, honestly, just stopped fighting – without realizing it? I think I’ve done that in the past few months. Through things like weariness, grief, disappointment…I just STOPPED. I just put my weapons down, and I don’t even remember when I did it. But one thing I realized – the moment you put your weapons down WITHOUT running to your Strong Tower for safety (Proverbs 18:10), you’ve pretty much just partnered with the lies of the enemy. Repentance, renunciation of agreements with the enemy and some declarations of truth reverse it all.
Praise Jesus for everything He’s done to make it possible for us to have victory, even when we partner with lies for a bit.
Thursday was a little more difficult than the rest of the week, but today is Friday and I’m fighting again. The good news is that I can fight FROM a place of victory (Ephesians 2:6) and not FOR victory. Victory is already mine, by faith in Jesus.
A few wonderful points from the week…..
….I was HEALED from a gluten intolerance! You’ll see in my photo that I got to enjoy DELICIOUS scones with jam and cream (for the first time in 4 years, might I add).
…I got to see the Glass House Mountains up close. WOW, what a sight!
…I had about 2 dozen yellow butterflies land on me in Montville while I was exploring the little mountain town. It was GLORIOUS!
…my friend blessed me with a DIAMOND RING for my (belated) birthday. A diamond ring, y’all. Just because the Lord spoke to her heart and let her know that I needed to know that I “sparkle” like that diamond. I was speechless (and crying, as you can imagine).
…If you live in Brisbane, check out Sichuan Bang Bang restaurant in Kenmore. BEST Chinese I’ve had in my life.
I hope you are encouraged today.
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
**huge shout out to my friend Christine Greenwood (https://christinegreenwood.com.au/), whose amazing articles have been inspiring me for a few years now, and whose rawness and true-to-life writing has inspired me to look at real life in my own posts instead of just being a teacher.