Again and Again

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Recently I was in the waves of depression or grief I am not sure exactly which, but I was getting to where I  wanted to just isolate myself on most days.

I had lost my dad a year ago and my health struggles of the last few years hit another all-time high with no explanations, leading to walking away from my job I loved. Coming to grips with all the loss, I was truly trying to keep my head above water.

I had this heavy blanket over my mind often since childhood. When I was at Bethel Worship Music School this year, so much was revealed to me and was broken off of me.
I have been healed of the suicidal depression years ago. Jesus rescued me before. But this release was generational. This release will take deep roots in my family. God has brought me to a place of Joy that I had not felt since I was under 8 years old.

There with my heart open saying, God, why has this returned?  He said, “I will do it again. You want your release, here you go. I will do it again. I will meet you at every stage and every time. I will do it again! Don’t focus on the why, you know the why. Focus on the victory because it is here. ”

I just broke with my love from Him. I was valued and given the gift of LIFE.
When I let myself remember the work He had done before and I let myself be loved by Him in new ways, deeper relationship, it is then that He rescued me.
My heart was lifted with the knowledge that He will rescue me again and again from every situation. I do not need to return to the old. That one has been done with.
Anything else arises, He will be in that too, ready to save.

The funny thing is this time that I was rescued, it was much swifter then years past.
The days of deep depression did not linger long, as I was able to recognize them and remember where my help comes from. The maker of heaven and earth, my creator, my savior, my friend, my JESUS. He did it before and He will rescue me again and again. From each struggle, from each battle. He will rescue me again and again.

I am human, I may open the door to the same battle, but He is so faithful to reach in and pull me out of it. He is also faithful to give me the tools to not go there anymore.

I was at church Sunday and just heard…SOUND THE ALARM.

When you are struggling in life, sound your alarm!
Call out to Him and He will be quick to answer you.
Right there with you in your walk no matter where you are at, He comes.

In our natural life, if you are looking at a fire, you are going to sound that fire alarm. You will not just sit and watch it consume everything in front of you, you are going to call a rescuer. When you are struggling in the Spirit, SOUND your alarm.

He will meet you again and again. Give the song a listen 😉 This one blesses my heart to pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit of the Spirit part 2:

rotting apples

Part 2: The fruit is Rotting

The journey to writing about Spiritual Fruit, actually started because I knew I had produced fruit in my life at one point, but in the most recent season, I was not seeing the evidence. It was almost as if my Fruit of the Spirit was rotting away. 

Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Reasons your Spiritual Fruit may be rotting.

  1. You are leaving your harvest behind in your walk. You may have the Fruit of the Spirit at the moment, but when life gets hard or the world is tempting you have let it go and become buried in the mess.
  2. You have not shared the harvest with others by connecting with a community. You must USE your fruits of the Spirit. We cannot hold on to our fruits of the Spirit for our own gain. Our gifts are to bless and impact the Kingdom. It is then that we will see more fruit production because God’s math multiplies a good thing!
  3. Distraction is a killer of the fruit of the Spirit. When we are consumed with the weight of this world or the busy craziness of life, we are not focused on our God. He is the producer of our fruit. If we are disconnected from Him our fruit will rot.

 

Let’s look at the fruit of the Spirit and see how it may look when rotting. Now mind you, I am not talking about a once in a while I messed up, but if I am constantly walking in the ‘mess’ I am going to have rotting fruit.

*LOVE: Love your neighbor as yourself, love your family, love your church, love the stranger and love your enemy well!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I already failed at this one today, as I was not very patient or kind with my own husband.  I was tired and moody and failed. I was not showing the fruit of the Spirit within me. Now he was gracious and the Lord gives us grace, but how much more love will the Lord bless in my heart when I can actively obey his call to LOVE and love well?

*JOY: A feeling of great happiness. A source or cause of delight.

Psalm 47:1- 
Clap your hands all you nations; Shout to God with cries of Joy.

When I was grumbling and complaining to my husband about what I perceived as an offense, I was not shouting for Joy. I was not walking in joy. How many of us grumble and complain from the moment we see someone until we depart?
If we are grumbling and complaining we are not showing the fruit of the spirit, Joy.  If we are spending more being critical than we are walking in Joy, we are going to be sitting on the rotten fruit of the Spirit.

* PEACE: It is impossible to walk in stress and anxiety at the same time as peace.  I may begin my morning in peace, and by the afternoon of facing the daily stress, I often have chosen to let peace fall to the ground and rot. I must WALK in peace.

Isaiah 26: 12- 
LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

God has established His peace for me, I do not need to pick the garbage back up. He has done it and I have to share it.

 

*FOREBEARANCEHolding back or self-restraint. Specifically, a refraining from the enforcement of a punishment; holding back judgment.

Matthew 5:38-42
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Oh how I have wanted to retaliate, throw the stones back that was smacking me in the face. Even though I didn’t, my heart was so ugly with the thought of revenge. My Forbearance was undeveloped for sure. I don’t even think that one had a chance to rot. But now that I am aware of what it is and how to walk in it, Lord will give me the strength to sow that seed with HIS grace.

*KINDNESS- Friendly, thoughtful and considerate. 

Luke 6:35- But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

I think kindness is taking love into action by actually connecting. For myself, in the past, I could compare my kindness vs. others towards me and get disgruntled. But I must be kind to the ungrateful enemy as well as those that will sow back. I can’t expect anything in return, just sowing the kindness for the sake of being kind. Because the Lord has given me much, I must share much.

*GOODNESS- The quality of my character and conduct. For example; integrity, honesty, and uprightness.

Ephesians 4:29- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is so easy to tear down what we see as flaws, but the Lord directs us to build up. Edify others with our speech and conduct. He has called us to be faithful and honest. In my name of ‘sickness’, I have not walked in goodness but in despair and my character showed it. I affected the atmosphere around me and truly was giving off an offensive rotten fruit.

* FAITHFULNESS- Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion.

Matthew 5:7- When you make a promise, say only “Yes” or “No.” Anything else comes from the devil.

I am learning to take on less so that I can be faithful in my YES. There is nothing more frustrating to others in my life when I can not follow through. This area of study has me more thoughtful on what I am able to do.  

*GENTLENESS-  Walking in the tenderness of the Father. Choosing to use a soft word.

Proverbs 15:1- A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

So many times with my family I have been harsh and I have watched the anger stir up. I have also experienced the anger stirred up in myself from the harshness in others. At the same time, I have seen the hand of God move when I answer with a gentle and tender heart. Lord I am praying that my action of tenderness is my first and my fruit won’t fall from you and rot.

*SELF-CONTROL-   Controlling your emotions and desires or the expression of them in difficult situations. 

2 Timothy 1:7- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid; but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

God has given me the tools I need to be self-controlled. When I blow up in my emotion of the moment, I have not glorified His work in me. I have not turned to the creator with my emotion. I have let my spirtitual fruit is rotting.

I am still a work in progress, and I know the Lord gives me grace in my seasons of mistakes, but I have made up my mind to not WALK in this state, but rather in HIS POWER.


Intentional Connection

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John 14:26-

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. 

Let me start off with this thought… you can not theory your way into changing my heart of what I have experienced personally. You may not believe in the Holy Spirit in such a way, that is okay, but I have EXPERIENCED the Holy Spirit this way, and I will not be convinced otherwise.

The greatest gift is to be able to have an intentional connection with the Holy Spirit.

Where would my relationship be with my husband if I was walking through life, knowing he was there and hearing his voice from a closed door in another room but not have an intentional connection with him? I would be one with him, but not aware of him.
I can hear him trying to converse with me, but no clarity of what is being said. What kind of relationship would that be?

This is how we can walk through life with the Holy Spirit. When we are saved and baptized the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. He is our friend, our comforter and hopefully leads us in our walk as we let him. But there is a difference between the Holy Spirit being there and having an intentional connection with Him. He is our face to face encounter with the Father. Our opportunity to hear the Father’s heart towards us.

Just like my relationship with my husband (or anyone for that matter) the Holy Spirit needs and deserves intentional connection. He delights to hear from us. He delights to spend time with us. He delights to speak into our hearts.

So I am intentional, shutting off the noise around me and asking the Holy Spirit, what do you want to share with me today?  He has blown my mind with His goodness and love for me. He reminds me that I am loved and not forgotten. He reminds me of my purpose and call. He is every bit as intentional with me, as I am with Him.

So very thankful for the intentional connection with the Holy Spirit. To be able to say, Holy Spirit, I welcome You.

Two Voices

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This is a NEW day. I KNOW my call. I will HEAR his voice. I will SPEAK life to myself and walk in VICTORY all the days of my life.

There is a voice of TRUTH and the voice of a lie.

There is the Father’s TRUTH and there is the enemies lies.

What we speak over ourselves has value.
What we believe about ourselves has value.

Are you putting positive into your spirit or are you running on a deficit?

I am what He says I am.
I can do what He says I can do.

The key, getting into that word and seeing what He is saying ABOUT YOU.

Speak joy
Speak your dreams and desires
Speak love
Speak peace
Speak LIFE

It is time to start walking in the positive flow rather than a deficit in our hearts my friends.
God is a God of plenty. There is always more to fill your heart with!!

I will hear the VOICE OF MY FATHER GOD and I will speak His truth.

Inspired by THIS VIDEO today!

 

If You Let Them

 

 

I once thought I was beautiful until the others only looked at and mocked my flaws.
Then my flaws were all that I saw.
I once felt that I was meant to lead worship until the others pointed out every sour note, and left me embarrassed to open my mouth and continue trying.

The opinion of others can tear down all that the creator created us to be.

They can use half-truths and turn them into the ugliest of lies.

The opinion of others can
mar what you know to be beautiful… if you let them
tarnish what you once thought shined… if you let them
talk you out of what you know to be right… if you let them
Be careful of who you are listening to.
Ask yourself, does it line up with the Lord’s TRUTH?

You see, these individuals only view with their natural eye, not with the eye of the creator. The one that knew us from the beginning and KNOWS the plans He has for us. They only see our now, not our final destination.
God knows what He has for us to accomplish. The enemy is deceptive, with a goal to stop you doing what you are called to do. Will you listen to what is deep in your heart truth, or will you listen to the lies of the enemy? He only comes to distract and destruct, if you let him. Time to overcome and not let them!

Psalm 139:13

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 

 

 

 

Truth or just a Moment?

 

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In this season of rest, God has sweetly reminded me to look at the emotions that have plagued my every day.

Depression can cause such harsh, empty, hurtful thoughts. When in the midst of it all, we can begin to believe those thoughts. My spirit stirs to evaluate the thought that crosses my mind as it hits my heart and I can feel it in my gut. Is this thought truth or an emotion of the moment?

The enemy wants nothing more than to bog me down in my own thoughts. If he can hold me down with a lie and stir my emotions of despair, he has victory.

How can I know if a thought is a truth or just an emotion of the moment?

I must evaluate the thought according to what God’s word says about my situation or about me. I must look at the feelings that are stirring within me from a thought and ask, “do they bring despair or hope? Death or life?”

When God’s truth has the chance to minister to my emotion, my mind begins to line up with His truth as well. The hurtful emotion at the moment begins to clear and my mind is free to focus on what the Lord has on hand for me to accomplish rather than focusing on feelings of defeat.

I may not be an amazing artist, but I am HIS artist to use as He will.

I may not be the best singer, but I am HIS worshiper to use as He will.

I may not be the most beautiful, but I am HIS daughter and made in HIS image

I may not be the life of the party, but I am HIS companion and I hear His voice.
See how this works?  Look at the lie, identify it and address it with the truth.
Hey even if the thought has some truth in it I need to ask myself, “what is the truer truth?”

Go on, start asking yourself is this truth or the emotion of a moment?
You will begin to see light in the midst of darkness.

Psalm 25:5-

Guide me in your truth and teach me, For you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 

 

 

I HATE YOU

We were spending time with friends this weekend and my friend snapped a photo of my profile. Immediately I said, “Eeew I hate my profile, I look so snobby!”. To which my friend firmly replied, “Stop with that self hate.”

It was in that moment that I recalled time after time after time I had said, I HATE YOU, to myself!

I hate my nose, I hate my ears, I hate my waste, I hate my sickness, I hate my lack of talent, I hate my voice, I hate my attitude, I hate my thoughts and on and on it goes.
I hate, I hate, I hate. In essence, every single day, multiple times a day I was declaring I hate you Shaey ( and here seeing those words I am reminded,  I even hate my  name) !

It was STOP WITH THE SELF HATE, that made me realize, that was all I was leaving room for in my life. A constant look at what I see as failures and lack. Not the truth how God sees me or created me to be.

As the truth set in, I asked God, “Why do I hate myself?”
Clarity came swiftly!
I have hated my self for most of my life because of a biological father that didn’t want me. That with the many reminders from others that the father I knew was not my ‘real’ father and it was so very sad he never had children of his own.
Even though my dad was absolutley in every sense a real father, the words stung.

I have hated myself because of the constant declaration that I was a snob from as early as I can remember from family members, because I did not socialize the way they thought I needed to ( I did not like hugs).

I have hated myself because of the gossip that would come back to me, how little others thought of me and they loved to focus and laugh at everything they felt I did wrong.

I hated myself because as a teenager I was a snob and into my own world, not seeing others hurt around me.

But mostly glaring at my inner soul, I  have hated myself for nearly 20 years because of a terrible mistake that I had made, that I could not forgive myself over. I have said that I forgave myself. All those around me would tell me that it was not my fault and to not beat myself up over it. Yet the result is the same,  I have lived with the root of a lie that I was not worth loving. A lie that screamed at me that I was a failure of the greatest magnitude.

I did not want to look at those hurt-ful areas and deal with them. I wanted to stuff them down like I always had but my heavenly father wrapped me in His spirit and all of a sudden there was not a hate, but a great compassion that came over me.

I feel as if I am a bud after a long winter beginning to bloom. I pray that as the beauty of the Lords work unfolds, that others will be blessed and see their own beauty as well. A reflection of the work the father does in us if we let Him.

So today I will speak against my self hate. I will no longer say I hate you. I will say I am beautifully and wonderfully made.

After this divine revelation, the very next day in fact, my friend captured a picture of me full on laughing like a crazy woman. My first thought was EEEW delete it!  But the Lord caught me,  He is turning my heart to His truth, His joy in me IS beautiful and to be loved not hated.
SO I am getting over my own self and I am posting  a picture that I would have asked be destroyed in the past. I will look at the JOY this moment was, the laughter this picture captured and the great friends that are bringing new life into this tired and weary soul.

God is GOOD! ALL the work that He does  within me is GOOD and I will not deny this truth any longer. No longer will I partner with a lie.

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!!!

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Lord be the calm in this storm

 Psalm 107:29 –

He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

 

My body has taken a turn lately. While I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over ten years, the last two years something has been going on that I thought was related, only to find out that it is not. I cry out, Lord be the calm in this storm.

For two years I have allowed a doctor to shrug away many symptoms, only to find out I shouldn’t have. Lord be the calm in this storm.

While these new symptoms may be nothing too concerning, I am tired. I am tired and frustrated with the set back. I have had to cut out most activities and leave my jobs. Lord be the cam in this storm.

I physically am exhausted. But one thing that I am finding, that when I press in to praise and worship, for those moments with my eyes set on Jesus, all falls away. My symptoms fall away. My heartache falls away. My depression falls away. My eyes are the one whom created me and in Him I find my strength. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Yesterday I could hardly move when I woke up. Every part of my body was stiff and hurting. As I got up to get ready for Easter service, the dizziness was increased and the muscle weakness discouraging. I had to use my cane and I did not want to give in to that need. I walked into church with my cane. I stood worshiping holding on to my cane. As the worship continued I grew stronger and stronger. I started worshiping without my hand on the cane for balance. By the last song I was able to put the microphone down, and dance. Now my dance was limited in comparison to a time before all this, but the dance was there nevertheless. He was faithful to give me that gift in that moment. An encouragement that He still is my strength. He never fails. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I find each day in this trial that the Lord takes me deeper and brings me farther than I could ever imagined. He speaks into my inner being in a way that only my weakness would allow. I have developed such a compassion for others in similar struggles. I am learning how to step back and hear what they are going through. I am learning to use my time resting to still develop my giftings He has placed in me. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I will find beauty in this season. I will rest in Him and know that He already knows my every day and I can have peace in that.  Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Lord be the calm in this storm, as you faithfully always have been.

My song for this season that stirs my hope….may it bless you as well.
Do it again

 

 

Surrender

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I surrender my broken heart

I surrender my shame

I surrender my stubborn will

I surrender my pain

I surrender it all

my surrender is my gain

 

Mark 8:35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Surrender according to Strong’s concordance: Given over or delivered up.

 

 

The root of it

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Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!