For the past five years, April 1st has been a pretty nostalgic day for me, but this year is different. Six years ago, today, I had brain decompression surgery that totally changed my life. I am still here because of that surgery and the miracle surrounding it, but in the years that followed, I struggled every day with the physical repercussions. Something has changed this year, though, because for the first time, I have been able to step into that miracle.
Many of the days, weeks, and sometimes months in the years after my surgery, I struggled just to keep going. I could put on a pretty good show. Most people knew nothing of the pain and suffering I endured, day after day. No one desires to be around someone who is downcast and I knew that. I created a false world where things looked great. I said the right things. I made people believe everything was fine, not because I was trying to deceive anyone, but because I desperately wanted to believe too. Pain has a way of knocking the hope right out of belief. That’s where the rubber meets the road and I allowed the pain to kill my hope.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” My husband often says that if you do not have a picture of where you are going, anywhere looks like it. Somewhere along the way, I stopped being able to see myself the way that I desired. As hopelessness set in, I all but lost any belief that I would be made whole. I know this sounds like a sad tale so far, but just as the celebration of Easter leaves us with an empty tomb and a risen King, so this story rises too!!!
Often times we are great at quoting scripture. We can throw a verse at almost any situation that comes our way. We may be able to offer words of encouragement to those around us and sound “super spiritual”. That is the truth of where I was. I wanted to be all of those things. I wanted to truly believe—to shine for Christ. My desires were pure, but I didn’t understand that there is a difference between knowing the Word of God and the Word of God knowing me. I didn’t realize when we talk about the Scriptures being a “living book” that it really is. I didn’t know that there is a journey that each believer must make, decisively and alone. That journey is the path where the Word of God travels from our head to our heart and takes residence there.
It is ONLY when the Word of God takes residence in your heart that it actually changes things. The Bible says in Psalm 119:11, “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.”
I want to encourage you if you are fighting pain or loss, that there is an answer. I want to tell you that no matter what it is that you’re facing, the answer you need is in the Word of God. Just as a soldier doesn’t go to war unprepared, you shouldn’t either. You need to find at least a couple Scriptures and use them, not as a hiding place, but as a sword. Hebrews 4:12 says, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from narrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” You need to know the Word and learn how to use the weapon that has been provided for you!
I will share with you a few of the Scriptures I take to battle on a regular basis and some steps that have helped me in this process:
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Psalm 147:3 – “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”
Proverbs 4:20-23 – “My child, be attentive to my words; in line your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Read itMy favorite verse is Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Dwell On ItPhilippians 4:8 – “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Proclaim It VerballyLuke 6:45 – “The good person out of the good treasure of the of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of the evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”
Thank God For What He Is Doing And What He has Promised1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Continue Until Peace Has Overtaken Your Heart!Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
You see, for the past five years, April 1st has been a pretty nostalgic day for me, but this year is different. I am not nostalgic about the surgery anymore. It isn’t because I have forgotten the miracle, but because I can no longer relate to the person I was for so long after it. I am a new creation. His mercies are new every morning! Today, I want to encourage you to spend time in God’s word, to change from who you are into the fullness of who God desires you to be. The miracle didn’t end six years ago with saving my life. The miracle is still happening. I am a miracle and I will continue to be one. You are too!