I’ve really wanted to throw in the towel the last couple of weeks. More than once. I’ve wanted to hang it up. Call it quits. Just stop trying to write and pursue all these things I know God put in me to do. Because, man, it got really tough.

Spiritually, emotionally, and just plain practically.

When Things Are Hard and Freedom Follows

Practically Hard

Technology has been challenging beyond what could be called normal. What began as a slow computer, after a week of trying to get my outlook calendar to sync with a new site for coaching calls, turned into a week without a working computer.

It ended with a system that should have a fresh start, but is just as slow, if not slower, than it was before. Along the way it seemed every step towards a fixed system was met with another obstacle.

Seriously. Deep breaths. In through the nose for four, hold for four, and out for eight. If you haven’t tried that relaxation technique, feel free to do so. Especially when feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed, as it does wonder for calming the body and brain.

For a couple of days, my writing files were not accessible. I backed them up on four places. Four places, y’all. One. Two. Three. Four. An external hard drive and three cloud options. Even so, they weren’t accessible in most places and when I opened the files from the place they were found in, the content didn’t transfer. My folder titles came in, but no words.

What in the world? Or, perhaps, what in the supernatural world? This was just one bizarre obstacle out of many, and not all were happening on the technology front.

Could it be that the enemy is just a little unhappy with the work I’m doing? With the freedom I’m experiencing? With the peace, joy, and freedom I believe others will experience through my soon-to-be-released tool? I think so.

Spiritually Hard

On the day my computer was finally back and the day I finally felt like maybe I could make progress in some way, I chose to go to community group. I really didn’t feel like it because I’d rather be home and either get work done, or veg out to the tune of Netflix harmonizing on a cozy bed. I was fighting doubts that it mattered or anyone cared. Sound familiar?

I’m glad I went despite my hesitations.

Those in my community prayed for me. They prayed for the litany of technology issues, for my heart, for other areas where I believe the enemy is attacking, and for any and all spiritual attacks in the supernatural realm. It was powerful, I felt refreshed, and my heart was grateful for our time together.

The next day, I tried to import my writing files again. Voila! The words and content were there again. Thank you, Jesus.

Today, there are still other battles and it isn’t all dramatically different, but I’ll tell you what is.

The level of peace, joy, and freedom I feel.

While all this was going on, my spirit was feeling the attack of the enemy in significant ways. Several days prior to going to community group I had to reach out to a few close friends and let them know I wasn’t doing well. I really needed prayer.

Emotionally Hard

I could hear the lies of the enemy like a non-stop train aimed for my heart and mind. I felt the weight of despair laying on me like an anchor when I wanted to stay afloat. While I wrestled through a number of emotions and negative thoughts, it was crucial to keep reminding myself of things I needed to cling to.

I cried, I prayed, wrestled with God, I journaled, I read (Stormie O’Martian’s “Lord, I Just Want to Be Whole”), and I worked through my own tool, Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets.

Let me tell ya’, it was powerful. Powerfully hard, utterly draining, and in the end, unbelievably freeing.

This is what happens when you let God rip away pride, fears, and areas of unforgiveness you didn’t even know were there. It’s painful at first, but the outcome is undeniably a thousand fold greater than the pain.

During these last few weeks God met me in more ways than one. He met me through ministering to my heart when I desperately needed it. He revealed more of his love for me in areas where I didn’t know I was not experiencing it, and he showed his love through community and the power of prayer.

While going through the Unleash care sheets and Stormie’s book, I wept. God took me through a few painful areas of hurt which had laid buried for some time. In God’s goodness, he allowed me to go back so that I could move forward.

Freedom Follows

God often allows painful circumstances to remind us of our great need for Him. He’ll also lead us through what our hearts need so we can live free. In doing so, he reveals lies which lay deep in our hearts. He exposes areas which need healing.

He is then faithful to bring the healing, right where we need it most.

When we don’t allow this work to happen, or when we refuse to continue when it gets tough, we end up missing out on so much more of God and all that he offers to each and every one of us.

I could have rejected any further work on my heart. Like I said above, it got tough. It’s why I reached out for prayer and clung to worship music while praying through tears.

If I had refused to allow myself to feel, if I’d have pushed away the reality and denied the existence of what was going on, I would have missed out on so much. As a result of not rejecting the painful cutting away, I soon felt lighter, freer, and stronger.

Every time we refuse God access to our hearts and every time we refuse the work He’s looking to do in and through us, we miss out on so much. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s tough. Yes, it can be so painful at times.

Even so, it is oh so worth it.

God always has more peace, joy, and freedom for us to know as we continue to know Him. He has it in abundance and it’s available every single day. Sometimes, we forget it’s there. Sometimes, we refuse it’s presence. Always, it’s like the fruit of long-waited seasons just waiting to be plucked.

Those moments of prayer, worship, and working through the hard heart things, they were the moments God used to release a new level of freedom. I can’t explain it, I can only proclaim it.

May it be today, that we would not push aside the hard things when God wants to use them as the heart things which show us more of Him.

 

If you’re finding this tough to do, I believe my new tool Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets will be helpful for you. I’m working hard to get it released soon, despite all these challenges. Would you pray with me for this release? Would you also pray for the work God’s going to do through these sheets?

I pray this site brings you encouragement and helps you cultivate a life well-lived.

 

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