GooseberryFalls1

In my mind, there is no lack of words or ideas clamoring about. They wrestle their way to the forefront of my thoughts refusing to be silenced until placated, finally building up to the point of explosion. I acquiesce to its demands while something within me causes everything to come to a screeching halt. I can’t bring myself to do anything outside these walls.

My old “pal” fear comes a callin’. And I always seem to open the door, allowing it to steamroll over me, flattening me into a human pancake like in a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Only, I can’t blow on my thumb to plump me back to normal.

However…nowadays, it does take longer for me to surrender. Since fear and I are connected, it can counter my movements. It knows me. I bob, it bobs. I weave, it weaves. We dance like boxers in a ring waiting for the other to get tired. I get distracted and WHAM! sideswiped by the sucker punch. I’m out for the count. Again.

*heavy sigh*

The counter punches thrown my way are convincing. It starts with telling me no one really wants to hear about me, my life, my thoughts–SLAM! I’m not significant enough to warrant any positive attention–POW!–and if by chance I receive some, well, it’s just empty, insincere platitudes–KABLAM! And while we’re at it, don’t forget I gave up writing long ago which disqualifies me because too much time has passed and I don’t know how to write well anyway and I never went to college because I got pregnant as a teenager, and don’t even get me started on your mothering skills or should I say LACK of, so why bother and why would you even think God would be calling you to do something as banal as writing?! —ZOWIE! T.K.O.

Aaaand…end scene.

Ohfercryingoutloud, Traci. Really? 

Yeah actually. Only louder, longer. Think carpet bombing.

The only thing is, I’m in such a different place in my life now. I’ve never been this UNafraid in my life, and yet, here I am, once again, dealing with the same problems.

So, there’s actually an interesting dynamic going on here. I was once so blinded I couldn’t see how I was bound by my fears. I am now much more aware, much more free from its siren song, and yet, I continue to succumb to its enchanting lulls. BUT, it does take longer now and my fears have to work harder than ever before to win, SOOOOOooo…you know what? I’m going to count that as a WIN!

Wanna know how?

A victory is still a victory, it is not negated by its apparent size.

When in war, following a skirmish, a “winner” is declared, a victor is named. Even if they only advanced the line a few feet and the war continues, there is a still a determination of who is winning and for me, in my personal war with fear, I’m not where I used to be. The line that marks the starting point of this tête-à-tête is waaaaayyy, waaaayy back there. So the mere fact that I am A) alive B) still fighting C) aware of any of it and D) telling this all to you now? I’m claiming the right to invoke the use of the following social media hashtag:

#WINNING and while we’re at it, this: #TotallyWinning

I am totally counting this a victory, totally. ESPECIALLY if you are reading this, which means I actually followed all the way through and clicked that “publish” button. It’s one thing to get the gumption to make myself type all this out and a whole ‘nother to share it with you.

mybible

This reminds me of a Bible passage that has really given me courage to keep advancing over the years through each new battle:

“And they overcame him (the accuser of the brethren; Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”
~Revelation 12:11

When I read this powerful, emphatic statement, a couple of things stand out. Let’s start with the context of this chapter. It describes a major battle of epic, spiritual proportions: the final battle (to win the war) between God and Satan over the dominion, power and authority over mankind and the earth. (Spoiler alert: GOD WINS. But you knew that already, right?) It makes me think of how it’s as if they’re talking about me and the battles in my life that I am fighting to win over the enemy of my soul, my past and my sin nature. It reminds me that God is not some far off entity that I can’t relate to and that can’t relate to me. He completely understands what I’m going through so the compassion and mercy He extends to me is truly sincere.

Secondly, it points out the fact that ultimately the battle is the Lord’s, not mine. There are a lot of other places in the Bible (Deuteronomy 1, Nehemiah 4, Jeremiah 1, 2 Chronicles 20, etc.) that show how the Lord is constantly telling His children that HE will fight for them, HE will give the victory, HE will deliver them from their enemies, by HIS hand HE will cause His people to be victorious in their battles. In modern terms we could, in essence, say, “Keep calm, God has this.”

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
~Exodus 14:13-14

The blood of the Lamb is a powerful thing. When we claim it as true, and as the only thing that reconciles us to God, it clothes us in the righteousness of Christ and from the moment of salvation on, the enemy loses all claims he once had on us. He can accuse us and lie about us to God all he wants, but when we are clothed in righteousness the blood of Jesus has covered our sins, making us blameless before the throne of God, so when God looks at us all He sees is the perfect, redemptive blood of His Son and the new creations we have become in Christ. He does NOT see the things WE think are wrong with us. We’ve been washed clean, as pure and white as new fallen snow.

We overcome not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Christ has done for us.

By the spoken proclamation of our testimony we are declaring to both the natural and spiritual realms that we believe Jesus is Lord and all that He did to redeem mankind was complete and sufficient. We need to keep testifying out loud, for others to hear, then they too will know that the amazing power of the risen Christ can redeem them from the shackles of their sins and the lies of the enemy.

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
~Romans 10:14-15

Tell me what you’re #WINNING at today? Let’s enjoy the victory together!

~Soli Deo Gloria

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