Fall has officially arrived and you may be feeling a little out of sorts, but you can't quite put your finger on anything. I want to encourage you to look a little further down the calendar months for a moment. Ah, now you see it! The upcoming holidays are right around the corner and it will be another reminder that your loved one(s) are not here to celebrate with you.
The truth of the matter is, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. It can be frustrating at times, but today was different. I went outside to sit on my patio at this time of unrest. I looked up and saw the brightest star shining right in front of where I was sitting. I was mezmerized at the way it twinkled, and how big, bright and resiliant it was. I could not stop staring at it, and then after about ten minutes, a soft cool breeze swept across my face.
I know this may sound insane, but I am going to share the fact that I have a corner on the patio, and I can sit outside and talk to God about anything. So I began to say my good morning to Him, and started thanking Him for all that he has done in my life. It was so quiet considering I live just North of an International Airport, and there were no planes taking off, or coming in for landing. I found that so odd for some reason.
I realized that the silence had actually brought back the trauma from 911. All flights were canceled for days and I really had a hard time trying to wrap my mind around the fact that terrorist actually came to our homeland and killed thousands of people. Our world changed that day and every year, there is a memorial to remind us all to remember them.
I sat there on the patio and I heard a voice in my spirit say, "Write the Book." Then silence. I was dumbfounded that those words came to me. I have had several people tell me I should write a book about grief. I have made a few attempts to write recently, but then I get blocked and struggle for the words to place on the paper. I believe it is because we all grieve in our own way. So I began to explain to God the reasons I was not writing the book.
I told him, "Some people are mad at you for not healing their loved one." - "There are so many who don't believe in you anymore." - "I don't even know how to start a book, Lord" - and the list went on.
My entire body trembled when the next phrase came to me. "I want you to expose the demons in grief. My people do not have the knowledge, and they are failing because of it." I instantly felt a weight hit me, and I believe God allowed it so I would be reminded that grief truly is a spiritual battle.
Many people do not pay any attention to the spiritual realm these days, and maybe that is why the world appears to be in the chaos we see each day. I felt this heaviness for the next few hours and once I prayed and asked the Lord to take this spirit of heaviness off of me, and give me the garmet of praise, and it instantly left.
I had this visual and was reminded that I have closed myself off recently because I can literally see the spirit of heaviness on just about everyone I come in contact with lately. I too, have been feeling the heaviness, and allowed it to attach itself onto me. I had not realized it had such a grip until this morning. I had to ask for it to be removed, and then replaced. Once it lifted, the joy inside of me returned, and I began to research the spiritual aspects of grief. Needless to say, I will be writing a book soon, and the thought of writing something so deep, scares me. Now did you just catch that? A spirit of fear just raised its ugly head and began to whisper an array of lies to me as I am writing this blog.
Fear is a big one for most of us who are grieving. We, in our mortal bodies, feel the dread of the holidays. A time that was once so joyous, celebratory, and traditional has appeared to been replaced with dread, sadness, depression or avoidance all together. I have known people who have literally canceled the traditional holiday celebrations due to the deep heaviness of grief. But this is the other part of this blog, and how to prepare when that heaviness hits.
I have come to see that life is a spiritual battle. We are warriors, but we also have warring angels who get their orders from the Kingdom of Heaven. We are a part of the battle, but its not our battle, it's HIS. He has already won over death, the enemy of our souls, disease, and so much more. Our world is so full of chatter, noise, distractions, and chaos, we place everything and everyone else above our time in the Word of God. We feel as if there is not enough time in our day to pray, war in the spirit for others, and seek his will for our lives. We fall back in to bondage of business, work, sleep, and routines and before we realize it, we just drift further away from our Creator.
We blame God for everything when this happens. His mercy endures forever, and he waits patiently for us to come to the end of ourselves, and he can handle our anger we are feeling. He understands we feel forsaken, he drank from the same cup of bitterness, rejection, hatred, and Jesus even questioned God, the Father. On the cross he yelled, "Abba - Abba - Why have thou forsaken me?" In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed, sweated droplets of blood due to the fear and anxiety that was trying to overtake him in that moment. He prayed and asked God to "Take this cup from me. Not my will to be done, but yours, Father."
I have studied spiritual warfare for many years. It's mind blowing to see, how much power we've been given to war, and take dominion over evil. I failed for many years at this due to a lack of knowledge, just like the Bible states. I want so much to see this world heal. The earth is literally moaning, and crying out during this time. The earth literally shook the moment Christ exhaled his last breath on the cross, and the storm raged as proof that the power of hell had been defeated. The earth soaked up his blood, and has continued to soak of the blood of trillions of people since the beginning of time. Our loved ones included.
The hope I want to leave with you today is we have a future with our loved ones. We will see them again when it's our time to step in to enternity. What a glorious day that will be! Grief can do one of two things, and we have the choice to choose. We can wear that spirit of heaviness, and feel the rejection of others who cannot bear to be around it, and then we isolate, and then a spirit of depression enters, along with fear of an unknown future, and the eventually a spirit of infirmity will come on us.
We can choose to cast off these horrific spirits, and bind/embrace that Spirit of Praise, the garment we are meant to wear every day. We need the garment of praise just to make it through the day. We all know the sadness that attaches itself to us when the holidays come each year. I feel it too, and I have to remind myself that this spirit of heaviness has return, once again, to try to dig its ugly claws and lead me down a dark path. I refuse/rebuke it when this happens.
It's not always easy being a Christian. We try to lean into our own understanding, and that never works for us. His ways are higher than our ways. I learned so much about death after reading Jesus' death on the cross. Not only the true meaning that it wasn't the nails that held him there, it was love.
He shed every droplet of blood a body could - he was bruised for our iniquites, by his stripes, we are healed. He was mocked even upon death, yet between the two sinners, one chose to be saved, the other rebuked him. The one that chose to be saved was told, "Today, I will see you in paradise." Which confirms that to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.
The most intriging part is when I read the words, "Then he surrended his spirit." That was huge to me because what I understood it to say is that we, the human race, all will have that opportunity one day. It's between us, and Him when that day comes. We all want to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to go today. Or do we?
I encourage you to lean into him, the God of Heaven as the holidays draw near. He sees ahead and he knows what you will be feeling. Ask Him for what you need, and according to His will, he will give it to you.
Fall is a beautiful season and it reminds us all, as we witness the changing of the colors of the leaves. The beautiful tapestry of colored leaves begin to fall to the ground, and that alone reminds us to shed off the old, in order for the season ahead to allow us all to grow, renew and be restored.
I normally end my writings with, "From my heart to yours" But today, I felt led to say,
From HIS Heart to YOURS.