I’ve got the Joy 

I saw a post on Facebook earlier today that is buzzing around different moms’ pages. It’s meant to be a sweet “list of rules” to one’s daughter, but within the encouraging words is the phrase “happiness is not a permanent state”..and something about that kind of bugged me.

Especially today. A day where I have felt that all too familiar spirit of mental unhealthiness sinking its claws in me.

See, recently I have been writing quite a bit about overcoming the battle of mental health.  Which, by the way, I don’t want it to ever seem like I am minimizing that struggle because it is a struggle that I face myself. However, we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelations 12:11). Jesus tells me, “It is finished”( John 19:30).

Regardless of how I feel or how my life appears, the battle is already won and done. I am an overcomer. I am victorious.

But recently, satan has craftily used circumstances and other people’s words to draw me back into the craziness. Over the past two days, I have been slowly withdrawing back into my shell without even realizing it. Isolating myself not just from God, but from everyone. I’ve still been socializing, I’ve still been reading the Bible, I’ve still been praying, but I haven’t been listening. I haven’t been receptive. I’ve kept God at arms length. And that makes all of the difference between winning and losing.

Believing God’s truth over my counterfeit version of truth makes all of the difference between living freely and being a slave.

Just two days, y’all. Two days of not holding my thoughts captive, and my head was  starting to become my “safe place” again…which is really nothing but a lie weaved by the author of confusion- he is disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The only safe place I have is in the arms of the Father. He is my One true refuge.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.”- (Psalms 46:1 NKJV)

Books are not my refuge, coffee is not my strength, and my husband is not my very present help in trouble.

My husband rocks, but putting him on a God-shaped pedestal is not fair to me or him. Only God can be all of that for me, and when He isn’t…well you can clearly see the mental/physical downward spirals that can quickly occur.

I was so thankful to walk into church with my family today and be reminded of that truth. God’s truth is like a glass of cold water in the heat of summer (or fall in Texas)- shocking, awakening, and refreshing.

As someone with a history in losing mental health battles, I have to be very intentional in holding every thought captive if I plan on continuing my forward path in freedom and victory through Jesus Christ.

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholdscasting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,“- (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV)

That scripture says it all.

So back to this mom/daughter “rules list”. It’s true. Happiness is shallow and temporary.

Joy on the other handjoy is depth-less.

Joyfrom the Holy Spirit is never-ending and eternal. I want my daughter to know that. I want my son to know that. I want my friends to know that. With Jesus, we don’t have to carry on through life with broken hearts. We don’t have to. We can. And we can still love Jesus while broken-hearted. I’d even go so far to say that we can still follow Jesus and carry depression. But we don’t have to. He died for our sin and our pain. Our guilt and our shame. He died to take all of our burdens, not just some.

Jesus is the healer of all, whether it be body or mind. We can have eternal and life-changing joy. We can. We can be sad and yet still have joy down in our hearts. We can laugh while we cry. Because we know the promise, “It is finished”.

When fighting the giants in this life, we can dance while we slay. We can smile while the battle rages on. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what accepting God’s peace offering looks like.

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