Tag Archives: prayer

Addiction, depression, eating disorders….and complete freedom

30 Aug

 

Addiction, depression, eating disorders… for some of you, one or more of those words will stand out, screaming at you from the screen. You know more about that word than you have let the world know – you know it inside out. It’s your secret.

These topics, these words, lie heavy on my heart today. Why? Because I believe God wants me to share this message with you –

COMPLETE freedom is attainable

Those first three words hold so much weight for me. Each of them is a part of my story, my testimony. I sit here today a different girl to the Anna everyone knew 18 months ago… or maybe more accurately – the Anna people didn’t know. I have been on a journey of freedom that at times I never thought possible. And you know what makes me sad? What breaks my heart? What breaks God’s heart? Is that the world says: manage it….. take this tablet, go on this course, read this book… and just learn how to manage it.

Take the tablet, read the book, do the course… but in doing that alone, we relinquish our responsibility in managing and guarding our thoughts. For we underestimate the power of our thoughts and where they can take us if we allow them to. We get into habits of negative thinking, which like a cancer can invade every aspect of our lives – making it a dark and negative place to be. God can easily get cut out of being the answer.

Eventually, after years, I got to a place where I gave up trying to do it on my own. I went to the GP, got help, got tablets…came home and had a revelation. I reached the end of myself and have never stood at such a clear crossroads before: Be ‘fixed’ by the world – or jump into my counsellor God’s arms – someone who knows and loves me intimately and who has paid for my freedom – total freedom. I put down the antidepressants and picked up the bible (disclaimer: please talk to your doctor and mentor before stopping any medication). I reached up, and I reached out. I said “God, I can’t do this day, this hour, this minute without your help”. And day by day, minute by minute, he faithfully saved me.

Man it’s a lot of work – changing thought patterns, learning what it means to truly be loved and love myself. It’s a lot easier to pop a pill. But – it’s worth it. To live in, to taste, to know true God ordained, God desired freedom.

And it’s there for you.

Freedom is a decision, it’s a process. You are loved into it. Freedom is about holding your thoughts captive and trusting God for the strength not to go down certain roads in your mind. Freedom is about clinging on to God and trusting his promises. It’s about community – letting others in on your struggles, letting people stand beside you in the fight against lies. Letting people pray for you and with you.

So, are you ready to let go? Are your ready to be loved into freedom?

Here are some verses for you:

– ‘Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ Romans 15:13 NKJV

– ‘Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead you live under the freedom of God’s grace’ Romans 6:14 NLT

– ‘For the Lord is the spirit, and wherever the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ 2 Corinthians 3:17

– ‘We have escaped like a bird out of the fowlers snare; the snare has been broken and we have escaped’ Psalm, 124:7

 

Botch-jobs and fast-food

10 May

Botch jobs go wrong – sooner or later. TV programs are devoted to lazy surgeons operating without truly knowing what they’re doing, and cowboy builders doing jobs worthy of announcing your home as a hazard.

Your God isn’t a God of the botch job

I apologise lads, this is about to get a tad girly. Because what better picture of the anti-botch job exists than a Pearl? I have lots of ‘pearls’; my current favourite are huge – the size of sweetshop gobstoppers. Most people own cultured, processed, farmed or plastic pearls, but very few people own real, natural pearls.

Real pearls are expensive and rare (1 in 10,000 oysters) and cherished. So cherished in fact that in Matthew 13:44 a man sold all he had to buy a field containing one.

How many of us want fast-food-style responses to our prayers. Prayers quickly answered with obvious effect.  Botch-job answers.  We pray for those we love, our students, our campus and we want answers NOW.  If we don’t see the fruits of our prayers in days, weeks, months, we begin to ask questions of God. Is he listening? Does he care? Surely our prayers are in line with him

The natural pearl is formed over ten years; layer upon layer is built around an irritant or a tiny speck of sand, encased in a fleshy oyster in the secret depths of the seas. And God works in those secret places, in the depths of identities and spiritual strongholds. He works in people from the inside out, from the secret depths, moving through to the outside behaviors that we see and often use as a measure of ‘where people are at’.

I want to encourage you in your prayers – prayers for your friends, your situations, your campuses. Prayers that you might not have seen answers to yet and perhaps you are disheartened about. Keep praying – trust that your prayers are that speck of sand that form the irritant for the change, habit or the heart behind the campus. An irritant that provokes dis-ease, and questioning at the very core, questions that shake foundations and shine lights into dark places.

Plastic pearls loose their value and shine, real pearls are of value throughout. Just as quick change can loose it’s shine if the real groundwork and foundations aren’t there, deep, timely change can last a life time.

It’s in the discomfort of the process, the confusion of the patience and the gentleness of the Father that true pearls are formed, and true, deep change comes about.

‘We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised’ Hebrews 6:12