Monday, January 2, 2017

once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!

Once upon a time, there was a girl.  A girl, who at a young age, lost her beloved father to poor health - enduring years of sickness, blindness, pain.

Later, the same girl (along with her mother and older brother) became a verbal punching bag to a new, harsher, head-of-household.  Afterwhich, horrible behavior escalated.  Hearts were held hostage.  Dreams were trampled upon and almost completely snuffed out.

Once upon a time, a broken-hearted girl ran away from a worn-out household, started over, and trusted her Savior to get by.  She worked hard and prayed harder.  She made good choices and foolish mistakes.  Broke.  Hungry.  Emotionally introverted.  She was comforted by beloved pets and betrayed by false friends.  Ultimately, she fell in love, married a kind-hearted man, and faithfully licked her wounds - seeking after all things calm, quiet, good.  Seeking Jesus.  Seeking His peace.  Seeking His love!!!  Then one day, this same girl (alongside her new husband) rescued her weary mother from harms way.  Together, they collectively decided to trust in the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, strength.

Time passed.  Events passed.  Loved one's passed.  Daily mending became regime.  But sadly, the girl found herself still beaten down again and again by new, unforeseen hardships and circumstances.  Every limb in her body was damaged and/or broken.  Every muscle bruised.  Every nerve struck.  Every feeling tarnished.

Yes, once upon a time, there was a broken-down girl who recently found herself sharing much of her life's story with another.  She wept.  She shook nervously as she outlined her history in greater depth.  She swallowed back the hollow clump of gasped-in air... pushing it to the back of her throat... feeling it lodge deep within the pit of her stomach while also tasting the salty tears newly laid atop her tongue.  It was then that the girl took further note.  She realized the majority of her personal story was shadowed with the horrors of sickness, sadness, sorrow, disappointment.  She was quite aware of the abuse.  (Sometimes blatant.  Sometimes subtle.)  She is still quite aware of the abuse.  (Sometimes blatant.  Sometimes subtle.)  And she knows that she is no exception or exclusion of persons.  For like so many others, the true enemy continues to slither outside her door, waiting to strike with his venomous bite... waiting to sink his razor-sharp teeth in deep.  Like a lion on the prowl, his roar intimidates and attempts to persuade her to believe that she is nothing except his pathetic prey.  He is a spiritual bully leading his gang of demonic thugs. All who linger nearby.  All who are ready to gang rape and maul.  All who wish to chain down this girl and hold her hostage forever.  Indeed, they want her to give up.  They want her to fall hard into their pit so that she is too hurt... so that she won't ever try to get up again.  Yes, everyday they scheme to kill and destroy her.  Every moment they seek to devour her life...  Slowly. Painfully. Monstrously.

Once upon a time, there was a girl typing out today's DW Blog... reminiscing over many hard moments in her past as she planned for a new year... understanding that so many others have also faced similar (if not worse) dismay, rejection, violence, persecution within their own days.  Yes, today this girl is fully aware of the spiritual war lines that have been drawn into every personal experience.  She can attest to the struggles, the sadness, the stress, the terrorism, the hopelessness that tries to invade every breath gasped down her throat.

But strangely, this girl... this woman... has hope as she looks ahead.
Miraculously, even as the storm clouds swirl above her head, she stands confident, secure.
For this lowly girl has learned (and continues to learn) how to live, to survive, to endure, to conquer!  Yes, conquer... in Jesus' Name!  (Who's intimidated now, Satan?)

Once upon a BRAND NEW DAY (on January 2, 2017 to be exact), there was a girl... a WOMAN... who decided to live DEVOTED.  You see, she chooses THIS DAY to rejoice and be glad.  She chooses NOW to LOVE!  For no matter her past circumstances... no matter her current hardships... THIS DAY she believes the freedom found in GOD'S LOVE!!!  Today, she knows she can win the battle because her Savior has already won the war!  WOO HOO!

Yes, on this new day, there is a devoted woman bowing her head in reverence while quietly reciting several truthful decrees promised from the Mightiest of Kings  - the ONE whom she has sworn her full allegiance!!!

Perhaps you would like to know what this woman whispers?
Well... allow me to share her hope (MY future) with you this "once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!"

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35 & 37-39)

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

So... Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11)

Why?

Because... Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child (a girl, once upon a time), I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a (wo)man (devoted... once upon a BRAND NEW DAY!), I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

Hallelujah!  This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Once upon a BRAND NEW DAY, the Savior has been sought to overcome Satan's abuse, and a choice has been made to LOVE LOVE LOVE like the King of kings... DEVOTED! Always trusting, always hoping, always persevering, always conquering in Jesus' Holy Holy Holy Name! In God's Victorious, Everlasting Name!

Blessings to all who believe in the secure and unchanging Name of Jesus!
Let us step forward in His confidence this brand new day!!!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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