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For those who feel as though you are in the trenches of life right now. Encountering hard days that are lasting for weeks or even months. For those who are being faced with devastation, depression, anxiety and loneliness. Layers of hurt, the deep pain that you have suppressed over the years and suddenly it is all resurfacing, showing their ugly faces and you cannot run from it any longer, I pray I can offer you some hope today. 

The truth is walking through the trenches is not fun at all. The muck and the mud can be ridiculously thick and trying to sludge your way out of it, knowing you are going to get stuck can be overwhelming. Having moments you are paralyzed, feeling like you are cemented down into it, while trying to breathe and wipe your eyes off just SUCKS. It is hard, it is stretching and there are moments you do not think you can take another emotional hit. Knowing there is a large blooming onion at the core of your soul that needs to be peeled back, that it will take gut wrenching, turbulent work to strip the off layer upon layer, let’s just say I get why most people try to avoid it at any and all costs. I get it more than you know. I have been there and I have done that. I have suppressed, compressed, run marathons trying to avoid the rotted core of my damaged soul.  

BUT GOD. Because we are called to be free, free from brokenness, woundedness, and free from the pains and hurts of disappointment. Free from rejection, abandonment, and not feeling good enough, He brings us into the hope and freedom of His love. Knowing that I have encountered pretty much all of the above and knowing He was offering me this freedom, He stopped me in my tracks and positioned me so I could not run from His free gift of redemptive freedom any longer. Even though I have been working on my junk for years I knew I needed to launch deeper into the waters with Him. With some hesitation (being real here), I signed up and began an intense journey of the healing process over a year ago. Despite having moments, days and weeks of finding myself in a swamp, fighting to breathe, I will tell you this over and over and over again. I would not have it any other way.

Why? Because God meets us in it the trenches, in the mud, the muck and in the swamp. He begins to chisel a pathway for us to crawl or even walk through it and when needed, He picks us up and carries us through. We cannot loose hope in that. We cannot allow the darkness of the days to distort the illuminating light that is ahead. We cannot lose sight of the bigger prize, Jesus and Jesus alone. 

The enemy wants us to feel paralyzed by the trenches, giving up any fight we might have to continue to persevere. But God promises in His Word that He will turn our graves into gardens. Our mourning into dancing and He will make beauty from our ashes. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. That He will be a safe place to run. That He will protect us, guide us and be an ever present hope in times of trouble. He is our refuge, our Counselor, our Great Physician, Our Healer and He is The Great I Am. There is nothing you are trekking through that He does not already know about. It is not too big or too small for Him. He will meet you at your dried up well and He will drench you with His living water. He will meet you on the ground and He will speak to the broken, shattered and what you believe are the “unfixable” places of your soul. He will grab ahold of your hand time and time again and He will be faithful, meeting all of your needs. He says in Isaiah 43:1-3, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Take a moment and meditate on these verses. If you need to read and re-read them do it becasue in these words, He promises He will be there with us at all costs, doing whatever it takes to lead us out of the thickest storms. I do not know about you, but this brings me an indescribable hope.

Do you have to do hard work? Absolutely Yes. Are the storms fun? No. Is getting thrown overboard by forceful, unexpected hands preferred? No. Is feeling like you are trapped under a heavy anchor at the bottom of the ocean where we choose to be? Absolutely NOT. BUT when one or all of those scenarios tornado through my life I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will meet me in those places, in the dark depths of the ocean floor and HE will be my only source of survival. 

In those moments, when in those places, HE will take His anointed, healing hands and He will reach down for me, giving me the hope and the lifeline I need to just breathe. He will redeem, resurrect and He will love me in profound ways in and through it. I know I will never be the same but I am over the moon excited about that because I do not want to be the same. I want to be a better version of who He created me to be. That makes it worth it, at least to me it does. 

For those who need hope today. That need confirmation that God is listening to your prayers and hears the cries of your heart. For those who are face down on the ground and have no idea how on earth you are going to get up, let alone function, I want you to try and still your soul and breathe this in. Jesus is covering you. He is protecting you. He is right next to you and He is NOT leaving your side. He will meet you in your fight and flight chaos and He will shower you with His shalom peace as you get to a place of homeostasis. He will send angels your way and He will wait. But know this, He is offering you the most incredible gift. A free gift. A gift that breathes life. A gift that YES you have to put in some hard work but know He is fighting the battles with you and for you. He is offering you a gift of healing, of redemption, a gift to change your story. It is a a gift of victorious freedom. He is offering you Himself.  If you have not heard any good news lately I pray you hear this. God is the GOOD NEWS. God is the way, the truth and the light. He is the only way. 

Take that step today. Say yes to Him and the healing journey that lies ahead. Know you are not alone. There are so many that are hurting right now. Be the one that says yes and break the chains that have been holding you captive. I promise you this. You will not regret launching into the deep. You will not regret relinquishing your Jericho wall of protection around your soul because the taste and smell of freedom that awaits you will literally take your breath away. 

Remember His mercies are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness. Love you all. I am here for you, standing in the gap, on the frontlines of the battlefield, interceding and praying you through. 

Photo credit: Sasha Vorlicky