I would like to start by telling you that I am somewhat of a pacifist. I think too many people around the world are reliant upon violence to get their way. I believe that love is the better, albeit less efficient, way to see the world change. With that being said, I am learning what it looks like for me to fight. A few months ago the Lord told me that he was moving me into a season where I would become a warrior and lead armies. For anyone who is stumbling upon this, you may be confused. I am not sure if you live with the awareness or not, but there is a battle that exists in the world today. Not something so simple as a physical battle, but rather a battle of the spiritual world. Evil is real, but more importantly, so is GOOD! I believe that FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE are on the side of good and those are the things that I am for. I am a warrior for love!
With all of that being said, I have been asking the Lord to show me what it looks like for me to fight for love. I’m not sure if I am the only one who feels this way, but often I feel like God is super practical with me. When I first asked Him how to fight, He brought to mind a simple truth: I have no problem loving other people but I am not good at receiving His love for me or love from the people who are around me. So first thing was first, He told me I needed to learn to love who He created me to be. This has been a very interesting journey, considering I spent so much time and energy feeling like I wasn’t good enough, but I have taken to the task of allowing God to rewire my thought process so I can see what He sees when He looks at me. It has not been an easy road, but it has been so good.
It is amazing what a simple change of perspective can do for you. Since I started to look for the things that are good in me, and to look at what God says about me, it has been a lot easier to make healthy choices. I have begun to eat healthier, and drink less soda (or pop if you’re from Michigan like I am). I have focused on having healthy and intimate friendships with the people that God has placed in my life. I have been more open and honest with my feelings even when it scares me half to death. Sometimes these things look like sacrifice, but they are mostly life-giving now that I actually care about myself. Before I would let myself get walked all over, now I walk a little taller. It’s amazing how life can change when you love yourself.
This season has also been marked by new challenges that God has placed before me that I have had to stand up to. I am working at a church and there are always new things that I am having to learn to do. You would think that all ministry would be similar and that two and a half years of missionary life would prepare me, but I am constantly in situations where I am asking the Lord for new ideas. I have also been learning what it looks like to intercede on behalf of the people that God puts on my heart. Intercession is something that has intimidated me for a long time, but the Father has been putting it in my heart to war in prayer and worship for the people in my community. I believe we need to stand in the gap for people who have no one standing for them. To mourn with the people who are mourning, to celebrate with those who celebrate and to do all of this to the glory of God.
It is so exciting to lean into the new things that God is doing in me and to really learn to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. This is what it looks like for me to fight! To be trained by the Lord and to walk in His ways. To stand up for the things that I am for, and to kneel when the weight of it all hits and trust that He will lift me up in the right timing. He has proven himself to be worthy of my trust, even in the dark nights, I know that His light will come like the dawn if I look towards Him. This week I spoke about the reality of darkness in the world with our junior high students and it struck me how powerful the light really can be. In the physical world, a dark room can’t help but brighten up when a light is turned on. In the same way, we who follow Jesus are given the light to carry around inside of us! I am a warrior of the LIGHT! The darkness of the world can’t stand against me! I am here and I will FIGHT!