Choosing to Live
Updated: Jan 3
So many people come to me saying that life is so hard, and they have decided that suicide is the only alternative. Or maybe you're telling me that a situation is so difficult to maneuver, that it's just easier to give up. Sound serious? It is! What if I told you that I might have an answer that you've never thought about? If this sounds like you, then read this blog.
Did you know that you actually have to choose to live? No one gives us a book on how to push through our lives when it gets overbearing. Our fragile house of cards will come tumbling down no matter how hard we try to control it. In fact as hard as we try to control our lives, downspirials are inevitable. Many times it's easier to just quit—especially in the midst of great loss and trauma. But God gave us our lives to live with joy. How does joy evade our very existence?
Nehemiah 8: 10
He continued, “Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!”
The Joy of God?
When we move into a difficult place in our lives, this scripture just doesn't make a lot of sense. It took me years to figure this out. When there is lack of joy there is no strength, only weakness. Depression can be so debilitating that we lose sight of where our emotion began. Joy is such a fragile place! It seems to run from us almost as soon as we touch it. It can cause fear and dread as well. We know that we know that whenever we feel joy that it won't last and pain is sure to follow. That place of fear really works in destroying who we were created to be!
The fact of this scripture is that God sees the big picture of you. He created you and knows your yesterday and tomorrow. He tells us that he won't give us anything that we can't handle in our lives. But that doesn't feel true in many of our seasons. When we are in this darker place, we hear a lot of thoughts come to us. We can choose to agree with them or throw them out. I went through a really dark season of my soul where joy and the light seemed unattainable. Some of my thoughts were, "You should end it all, it would be a lot easier. No one likes you anyway. If you die then it will be easier for everyone! If you die then you won't have to feel this pain anymore. You're no one! God made a mistake when he made you." Some of this sound familiar? The darker voices that come to us speak loudly. So we tend to listen and agree. We think it's our voice and our individual situation but whatever is bent on your destruction... it always comes from a dark source.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Sound scary? You may be saying, "But Lynn, this is just me. It's who I am. It's not anything spiritual. I'm just cursed! How can that be true for me?" It's like a broken record that plays in our brain every second. It is always bent on our destruction. Why? Because God loves you. That's really the only reason for the dark voices to be successful. Crazy right? Because God loves you, that's really the only reason the dark realms try to destroy you. So think about what you're agreeing with...
When I pray for my clients, I've had so many dark spirits come and tell me about how badly they want to destroy them. "Because God loves them," is the top answer. Think about this... God has a great life in store for you. He has a huge destiny that involves helping those around you in pain. But if you don't get to your destiny then the enemy camp wins. That means others won't heal and it will make the darkness stronger. If your asking, "Why me? There is no way I'm important to God" ... Everything you have walked through up until this point today has been for a reason. You have been in training and will remain in training until the day you die. (That means you haven't failed!) But you don't stop here. Your calling will continue in heaven and if you live in the Millenium then your skills will become an asset there as well. No one does what you do as well as you can do it. God made you with a high degree of creativity. Remember that you were a spirit, then God breathed your spirit into your body. When you die you will become a spirit again.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
God bought you with a price. He owns you! You do not belong to yourself but to God. For many of you that is a great comfort. That God has everything in control. But for most of you reading this, that thought can be really annoying because of certain life circumstances that are being allowed. Yes God created all of these emotions in you. But emotions can be irrational. So are you choosing to live a destructive life? Or has life itself gotten out of control? Sounds pretty sobering! Weather you know God or not, he still owns you. He created the cross so that you could be redeemed. Not so that you could die and escape this season. He gave you life so that you would live.
God created the cross because he didn't create us to be perfect people. That may be a huge revelation for some of you. You were not made to be perfect but beautifully imperfect. We sin and make mistakes everyday. We make bad choices, we are weak. If God made you to be perfect then you wouldn't need the cross. And congratulations! You would be the only perfect person made in all of history and creation! Since God can see the whole blueprint of you, then he knows your thoughts and your heart. He understands your desires and every struggle that has touched you. He knows your past, your future and your right now. And you know... there is grace in every step you've taken. It's ok.
If he gave you life and if your life belongs to him, then you don't have permission to take it away. You have permission to let God use you in whatever capacity he may. If that sounds impossible, I want to ask you if you have allowed God into the deeper parts of your heart? For many of you I hear you saying, "Yea but there is a trust issue there!" Remember that God is the kindest person you could ever know. If you think he is angry, mean and unapproachable, then consider if you're really communing with the right god? If he gave you life then there must be something better than what you're experiencing. There must be something better!
With such deep grief there is always a root. Can you identify the roots of your despair? If you take a few minutes and think about it... you will find it. The times in our lives when we feel the greatest amount of love are the times we function better, no matter the circumstance. Some of life-examples that cause a downspirial may look like this:
Loss of a loved one (pets included)
Loss of a job
Collapse of a marriage, or close relationship
Harsh words that felt true to your ears or bullying
Maybe someone from your early years continually made you feel bad about yourself
Communication breakdowns with loved ones
Drugs, prescription or other
Loneliness and isolation
Feeling a lack of love
Have you stopped achieving your goals?
Collapse of the stock market can create huge financial stresses
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become."
You wouldn't believe how many people I've talked to that feel God made a huge mistake when he made them. Let's look a little deeper at this. Most of you will agree that God doesn't make mistakes. Just look at creation. Look at the immense universe, the stars and planets. Look at the creativity in how he built man/woman. If you want to be wowed, study the human body and how it heals and survives. There are countless books on the mathematics of the universe and numbers within the scriptures. Study how the earth was formed. Science continually confirms the Bible. Every ancient archeological find aligns itself with the history of the Bible. You don't have to look hard to find truth. Nothing is random. So in the thousands of years of ancient history... you were God's big mistake?
Which voice do you listen to?
Our lives are a choice we make because God gave us a will. In our will we choose what we allow ourselves to listen to. When you're in a horrible downspirial, I know the difficulty in choosing to hear God's voice and wanting to live. Have you talked to God about your disparity? If you are having a difficult time hearing his voice, please contact me.
“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Choosing to live
Remember that your past doesn't define you. The past is in the past. It can't harm you or affect you anymore. The only thing that you allow yourself to be touched by, are your thoughts. You're not experiencing pain but only your thought process. Remember that your brain will always scan for things that it believes are true. What is true for you is what you believe to be true. The thoughts that come to you today are called, "New Pain." Your new pain is being kept alive by a recording of thoughts. The old pain is gone. The great news is that your current thoughts have no power over you. You can change how you think about your past situation and that will change how you feel about your past. Your past cannot define you unless you continue to think in negative circumstance. And that is not devaluing what happened to you. It's all very serious! How you choose to think now is your survival skill. You can tell me how horrible your past was and survive within the negative, or you can tell me the great things about your past and decide to live in the positive. You have two stories and you have a choice in which one you will make yours. This will reshape your, "right now." We all compare ourselves to others and most of the time it isn't on purpose. What if I told you that everything is supposed to happen exactly the way it was supposed to? What if I told you that your pre-destiny has included all of this upheaval? Does that seem unfair? No one has had a complete functional childhood and many of you who are reading this have had severe trauma. When we look at our past and think that it could've been different, "My parents should've..." then we become bitter so easily, right? How does that serve you?
“How we think will be our new survival skill.”
What if you had the perfect setup where you were required to think on your feet, to figure out challenges and to negotiate survival? I had to search for years feeling unbalanced and unsupported in order to figure it all out. I had to struggle to find my life everyday. If I hadn't had the opportunity of struggle and then to make a choice for God and die-to-self, then I wouldn't be here today. My, "Today Joy" comes from allowing my past to serve me and teach me new things. To recognize those places in my body and mind that held pain and negativity. From what I learned, I get to apply to my clients. I get to watch my clients find their peace again and stand strong in their lives for the first time. I'm so grateful that I decided to live so I can see so many people set free from their chains! How is your past serving you?
It's time to choose:
This next step may require you to take a leap of faith. If you're in a downspirial there could be a lack of trust with yourself, your circumstance and with God. In this process you are giving yourself permission to give a piece of your heart to God. You decide how big that piece is! If the piece is tiny that is fine. For many of you it has felt like a bomb exploded inside. You may feel like shrapnel has been blown to pieces and you may feel so torn apart that no one can find those fragments. But God knows where each piece is and he wants to put you back together. You have to make the choice to allow him to do this. You may look different on the other side. Is that ok? You may decide on a new identity. Is that ok? Maybe you will adopt a new mindset, a new way of thinking and doing. Is that ok?
The putting back together is similar to the potter's wheel. He molds us, paints us, allows us to dry out, then puts us in a hot kiln. Most of us explode under the pressure. So God gently picks up our pieces and molds us again, paints us again and then puts us in a higher fire! The refining fire can be a rough place. A pot next to you might explode and that causes you to explode again! When we are finally done we are an amazing glazed and shiney vessel. It's an adventure and a process. What does your vessel look like now? What does your vessel hold? Oil? Wine? If we are crushed by God and give God permission to crush us and use us, we will indeed create new wine!
For this exercise you might want to try a little worship and singing before. Go to your favorite music. This will help you get a little closer to God. Have a notepad close to you for any inner dialog. Closing your eyes will help your concentration. Breath in as slow as you can and then exhale slowly. Do this 4-5 times or until you feel relaxed. As you breath, feel the pen in your hand. Feel the chair or the blanket texture underneath you. Hear the sounds around you and be present with your environment. Let the cares and thoughts of the day float away from you. (tip - if your feeling too much chaos in your head, then write everything that is interrupting you on a piece of paper so you don't have to remember it. That way it won't trip you.) Ask the presence of God, Son or Holy Spirit/Angels to come close to you. Remember that God is a gentleman and won't come close to you unless he is invited. Our doubts and fears, even daily stress can cause a great distance from God.
Outloud, choose life over every aspect of your body. Don't rush this list. Be slow, serious and prayerful. (There is no exact order to this. If you want to add something or incorporate a different order to this, then please do!) Our organs hold negative memories and trauma from the past. They can also hold death, disease and many different illnesses. By proclaiming life and asking God to enter... we are giving our whole bodies permission to live.
"Lord I choose life in my....
Stomach (list your organs)
My bones and my bone marrow
DNA and chromosome structure
Heart (Your heart is the most important part of this process)
The deepest part of my heart
You may find that your heart is the hardest part of this whole process. Give yourself time. It's ok to be tearful. Listen for your emotions and any inner dialog you may hear. Yes it's scary to relinquish control and let God decide to work inside of you. Watch what God will do with the tiny part of your heart that you give to him. When you have watched God and tested him (Yes tested him!) then give him another tiny piece of your heart if you feel comfortable. It may feel scary but it won't hurt. If you yield to him and give him your heaviness and everything that is controlling you, then your burden will become less. If your having trouble getting to this place or if trusting is too difficult, then please contact me.
“My, 'Today Joy' comes from allowing my past to serve me and teach me new things. To recognize those places in my body and mind that held pain and negativity. When I allow my past to serve me, I start to get my joy back.”