I love looking back on a year and rather than look at how awful (or great) a year was, I look back to reflect on how much I grew and what were the life takeaways.
2019 transformed me in more ways that I could have ever imagined.
In all my 30-something years on this earth, 2019 (next to 2013 when my older brother passed away) was the most difficult year I experienced. AND the craziest part is it had nothing to do with anything outside of me. Thank you, Lord, for a year of good health, no death, no broken friendships, no financial losses, no betrayal, divorce, or major things most of us equate to a bad year.
No, none of these things.
What made this year now my second hardest year of my life was the transformation done INSIDE me, not what was occurring outside of me. But sometimes the internal battles can far outweigh what’s going on around us.
THIS WAS A YEAR OF BATTLE WITHIN MYSELF.
In 2019, Satan tried to flex his power. He showed up. God’s called me to something big, I know that. Just as He has called you as followers of Him to something big. He says in his Word “many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) What does this mean? Some of us get trampled on by Satan and never step into our GREATEST calling or we try to do it all yourself which is a tactic of the enemy. Just as Saul did in the old testament. Saul was called to be king. King over all of Israel and rather than wait on the instruction of the Lord, he tried to do it himself. (1 Samuel 13:1-15) He therefore was overlooked as future king, and that’s when David took his place on the throne.
I don’t want to be overlooked for my major role in this life – my calling.
Sometimes God allows Satan and his army in our lives just as he did in Job’s story in the Bible. God actually “gave permission” (Job 1:12) to Satan to have his chance with Job. He allows things to happen to us to grow us. To strengthen us. To make us stronger than ever before preparing us for something bigger.
In the battle against the enemy, the key is to get stronger and to grow your faith muscle. Not to let the enemy take you out entirely. And for many of us, going through hardships end up discouraging us and taking us out before we ever had the chance to step into our calling. James 1:2-4 encourages us saying “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
In order for me to step into something bigger, I needed to go to battle and fight off things from my life that have been hindering me. To RELEASE them from my life. It was torturous. It felt at times very defeating. It felt like my whole world was taking a step back from all that I knew to be my comfort. But sometimes you must take a step back in order to plummet you that much further forward.
THIS WAS THE YEAR I FOUGHT THE LIES HOLDING ME BACK.
Lies from the enemy that I wasn’t good enough. Lies of the unknown. Lies that every time my husband would walk out the door and travel for work, that he might leave for something better and never come back and abandon me. Lies that I needed status clout from others in order to feel loved and purposeful. Lies that in order for my life to be satisfied and complete, I needed things to look a certain way. Lies that I should just go back to the way things were and forgo my calling because the way things were, were safe and known. Lies that just because other gals have found what I deemed as success, that there was no room for me at the table. Lies that I had nothing to offer.
These lies affected every area of my life.
In recent years, I left my career as a VP finance boss-babe to pursue God’s calling on my life to write and speak to women. A calling I felt on my heart from the time I was young. I’m blessed to have a husband who provides for me financially and supports my dreams and is consistently inspiring me and encouraging me to live them out.
My husband knows what I’m capable of and has believed in me from day 1.
However, Satan knows what I’m capable of too.
Therefore, he was active with distracting me, discouraging me and ultimately attempting to destroy me. He knows that once God’s power takes over me, that I can leave him trembling in fear and damage his plan for destruction. He knows the impact I can have on women and some women are just waiting to hear from me. The enemy knows that I am the kind of woman that when my feet hit the floor each morning, it will leave him saying “oh no, she’s up.”
Because of the calling on my life, the enemy tried taking me out this past year. And as I drew closer to God, Satan drew closer to me too.
This was a year of RELEASE.
But day by day, the more time I spent with God and in the truth of His word, the more confidence and wisdom I gained. Instead of believing the lies and having them dictate my actions, I began replacing those lies with the truth. I began filtering everything that came my way through the filter of truth not the filter of my hurt. And as I began replacing those lies, I began to experience more freedom.
What happens when you become free, is you become everything God has called you to be for Him.
Remember – Satan is already defeated. He is a defeated foe. When all is said and done, and our short life here on earth is over, Satan loses. Not us. This is why Jesus died on the cross for us. To give us the option of salvation. When God comes back one day to grab His followers, Satan will spend eternity in hell. But his mission while he is still roaming this earth is to “kill, steal, and destroy us”. (John 10:10)
He tried to destroy my dreams, my well-being, my relationships, my self-worth, and most importantly my trust in God. He will try every tactic to get me away from the Lord where he knows that with the Lord’s strength in my corner, I will have the most power and can make the most impact.
Do you know you have POWER and authority to break ANYTHING from your life?
Friends – God gave us authority and power to overcome ANY stronghold, anything holding us back. To break them, to master them, and walk in true freedom and victory. He promises us this in Luke 10:19 – “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
This year was the most challenging yet most defining. Most painful, yet most overcoming. Most defeating, yet most victorious. Satan is still out there to destroy me, but the wisdom the Lord has bestowed on me – I strive to apply to my life daily. Make no mistake, some days I still lose, but thankfully, God’s “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23) and we have the power and authority at our disposal whenever we choose to fight in any battle.
OUR GREATEST WEAPON IS THE BIBLE. BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THE TRUTH RESIDES.
All the lies that consumed me this year, dictating my actions or reactions, controlled me, and stole so many things from me was because I didn’t know how to fight the lies. But now I do. The only way to fight lies is with TRUTH. The very first temptation in history started with Adam and Eve. And do you know what caused the fall of man and sin to enter our world? A lie. A lie from the serpent, Satan himself.
What lies are you telling yourself? What are you believing from your past? What strongholds do you have that are binding you up “choking out the life of God in you?” (Matthew 13:22)
Let this be a year of RELEASE ladies. Trust me, there is freedom on the other side.
Many of us have been trying to go to the next level and trying to do the next thing, but we are tied down to things the enemy has strategically placed in your way to prevent you from taking off. Things that have grounded us to the ground. But God is trying to launch you higher. Those habits, lies, beliefs, insecurities, fears, unforgiveness, scars from your past…they are holding you back from where God is trying to take you.
God isn’t just calling us to fly up in the air and go from one place to the next place. He is calling us to launch us into a whole new atmosphere.
So, it’s time to release what’s holding you back. It might be painful as you face it, but I encourage you to go THROUGH it, not around it, not ignore it, nor try to manipulate it. Rather go through the pain of releasing what is holding you back. Why did Jesus spread mud all over the blind man’s eyes in order to heal his eyes? (John 9:1-12) His healing was MESSY (literally), just as mine was. Don’t let the method or pain of release prevent you from the miracle and freedom of release.
A year ago, today, I would never have believed the freedom that I feel in this moment. But I had to go to battle. I received some battle wounds and bruises along the way, but came out stronger. Girl, you’ve got this. Don’t let the enemy trip you and rip you to shreds any longer. You’re beautiful. You’re brave. You’re a chosen soldier in this horrific battle with a glorious ending.