Today I have been feeling stripped bare......because I am missing my wedding rings! No, I didn't lose them. They are at the jewelers getting a much needed cleaning and dipping. But look at my hand. All I could think of when I saw this picture was "It looks so old!" And also, "It looks just like my mom's hand!". But also notice the indent where my rings normally sit. I guess after wearing these for 41ish years, your body does adapt to them. I can't tell you how many times today I noticed that my rings were missing. And each time, there was just a hint of fear that those rings were gone. In the moment I would forget that I had taken them off. Isn't that silly?
Since Lucas died in November, I have been having that "Stripped bare" feeling quick often. My emotions have been brought to the surface and I have found my self breaking into tears at the oddest times. While I have expected the sadness, it is the times that I have been covered with heavy darkness that have surprised me. Often this odd feeling has hit me while I am driving. I can't explain this, and usually can't find any reason leading up to the attack. I am so thankful that I can find my way out of the darkness through music and that powerful presence of Jesus that I have been blogging about. In a previous blog I mentioned that the presence of Jesus has gotten me through these months. Today I was thinking about WHY the presence has been so important. It is because I have been hit with doubt and fear and disappointment and discouragement and darkness and pain and sadness and.....well the list goes on and on. Let's be honest here. In any crisis, all of those things happen to most people. It doesn't matter what the event is, when your world is shaken, this is when satan chooses to attack. Can't you just imagine how it might seem like the perfect time to cut down one of God's people?
Today I was reading in Proverbs 29:25 from the Passion Translation..
Fear and Intimidation is a trap that holds you back,
but place your confident trust in the Lord and you will be seated in the high place!
Yes, these feelings are a trap of the enemy. And I am so thankful that being in that powerful presence of Jesus breaks me out of that trap! Once you know that the trap is there, it is so much easier to avoid. I love that Jesus showed me this today, that I know that I was able to see this because of the presence of Jesus. When that really heavy feeling hits me, I know that I can ask Jesus to help me. Even when the feelings and emotions remain with me, I know that I am seated in that high place. And from that place I know that I am free from that trap and the peace and comfort of Jesus will work in me and bring me out of those feelings.
If you are in one of those really scary, crisis times and you are feeling stripped bare right now, I can assure you that Jesus will be there to lift you up. Look around and see that trap. Because once you know it is there, it can't surprise you. Sometimes all we need is to see the road ahead of us. Having that vision can change everything.
Proverbs 29:18 again from the Passion Translation....
When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray.
But when you follow the revelation of the Word, Heaven's bliss fills your soul!
Jesus, thank you for your revelation. Holy Spirit remind us of those traps that seek to hold us back. Help us to turn to you when our emotions surface. Thank you for knowing exactly what we need and where we are especially when we face that stripped bare feeling. Thank you for your joy and peace. Amen
PS One of the best things I have ever started is reading one chapter of Proverbs each day (the chapter that corresponds to the date!). There are 31 chapters so you will read the entire book every month. This has been such a blessing in my life. Try it out!