Faith for the Pessimistic Soul

I remember hearing people say that they had a specific word for their year or a verse for their year and kind of laughing it off as if it were some silly practice. A "word" for your year? A verse? 
I've never been much of a dreamer. I had things that I hoped for but I'm a natural pessimist so even in my dreaming, I always found the fault in it and the reason it would never really work. My faith in Jesus has been rooted deeply in my heart since childhood and yet my pessimistic attitude would often box my dreams into what I could see or imagine instead of seeing it through the lens of an Almighty, All Powerful, Un-boxable God. And to be totally honest, I think that I feared praying for something that might not happen. Like, if I prayed for a "word" or a verse, would He really give me one? So instead of  being humble in my approach, I more just laughed off the "silliness" of it all and never just stepped out in faith for something that I had no control of.  Does that make sense? I mean, maybe He wouldn't give me a word or verse BUT maybe He would and I never let myself believe for it. 
Now, I'm not saying that every christian needs to go ask God for a special word, BUT for myself, the area that I sort of mocked or thought was silly really was just an area that I feared the Lord wouldn't show up for me…. So it was easier to see it as crazy talk than being humble enough to get on my face and ask the Lord to speak truth over my heart. I let the pain of being hurt by too many other things effect my vision for the goodness of the Lord. 
I had a season recently that the Lord very clearly spoke to my heart to remove myself from social media and just seek His face without any distractions… It was preparation for what He saw approaching in my life. He saw my path ahead and in His grace and love for me, knew that I would need Him more than I've ever needed Him in all my life. That season was a gift. He spoke truth and hope and really transformed my heart and mind in such a beautiful way. I remember moments of working out in my bedroom, listening to worship music or a bible teaching and crying my face off as truth poured over my mind like anointing oil being poured over the priests heads in the bible that dripped down to their beards. I was overwhelmed. Have you ever had those moments that the Lord just washes over you like a wave and you can hardly breath? "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21) What we say, whether to others or to ourselves, brings life or death to our souls. It's so powerful. In my brokenness, I said a lot of death to myself. I believed too many lies. Way too many.
In God's beautiful goodness and love for me, He had a plan for my life and He wanted me to turn my ears from everything else and just listen to His voice. 
"Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice." (1 Kings 19:11-12)
In my time away, it was really the Lord preparing me for what He saw in my future. Just like when your child gets hurt, no matter how painful it is, if you get right in their face, eye to eye and they really see you, there is an instant calm to their heart. The Lord saw pain and crazy coming and, as a good Father, knew that I would need to be eye to eye with Him… His peace surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
And in that time, I was brave enough, vulnerable enough, to really ask in faith for the Lord to give me a word or a verse that I could hold fast too for the upcoming year. And He so faithfully did. I have it written on a little card and taped to my wall with washi tape to see it everyday and remind myself of truth, no matter how I feel that day. 
"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25)
My word was "JOY" and you guys, I have seen the Lord truly come through on all this. Someday I hope to share all that we have walked through but for now, just know that the Lord is so much bigger than anything you could ever face. He is the One that walks out to you in your greatest storm and holds out His hand and tells you to walk out with Him. He calls us out to hold His hand and do the impossible because ALL things are possible with the Lord!
I have been able to look back on everything that we have faced, and with confidence see that NOTHING was wasted. When I thought that all hope was lost, that was so far from the truth. It wasn't that hope was lost, it was that my eyes were blinded from all that the Lord was doing and working out behind the scenes. He is the Lord of my storms and He has brought such a beautiful calm just by His WORD.  He has done what I thought was impossible. He has brought JOY like I've never had. He's washed away so much pain and flooded my heart with HOPE, because He has flooded my heart with HIM! Nothing is hard for God. Nothing is impossible with God. 
I'm watching the Lord restore so much of my life and I'm so thankful that He gave me this verse and this word BEFORE the change so that, as it all started unfolding, I can point back to the Lord and lift my hands in total praise to Jesus for rocking my world and changing my life.
All glory and honor and praise to the One who can do anything!
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. "
Ephesians 3:20-21



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