While we work on getting her profile set up so you can filter for her posts, we have our monthly post from Dianna! I look forward to these each month because I not only get to support a friend in sharing what I believe is a gift, but I learn and grow from each one. This month, I relinquished some control and gave Dianna FULL CONTROL over her blog. I am reading it for the first time as I post it tonight and she did all the graphics herself. (I LOVE her graphics but we were trying to figure out if they should follow the blog color scheme. We decided no, as the idea is to build a community of writers, musicians, and artists who post blogs on their own and come under The Essential Creative umbrella.) I am really excited for you to see Dianna in all her natural self today without any editing. Please be sure to comment and let her know what you think! She reads the feedback and sees the comments as I forward them to her until we have her up and running fully! Without further ado!
Father God, I pray now that Your love, goodness and favor will fill the homes and lives of all reading these words. I pray that You will reach the hearts of those who need to hear this and those who are under pressure, even right now. Lord, I pray that during this time, Your children will find freedom in surrender and will gaze into Your face and not at the storms surrounding them. And Father, I pray that during this moment in time, Your peace and Truth will reach into the heart of humanity and that You will breathe the life of Your salvation and Spirit into these dry bones. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This world is constantly telling us to look inward to find peace. To work on “self-esteem,” “self-promotion,” “self-realization.” In our culture, we are taught to look inside to find our “true selves,” and so on.
But in my own personal journey, what I had found was the more I looked inward, the darker things got. The more I tried to fill the anxiety and emptiness that lingered over me like a dark cloud with things that never could fill them, the greater the anxiety and emptiness got (whether I recognized it then or not.) Nothing I ever did brought true peace. Nothing ever brought my mind to a place of rest, shut down the anxious thoughts or brought me out of the depression that threatened to swamp my life into oblivion.
Years ago, I thought happiness was found in intellectual pursuit. I thought it was found in the things that I bought. I thought it was found in trying to make myself feel better (and I used many means to try to pacify that goal) or by trying to make myself a better person. But my eyes have been opened to discover the most curious thing; life isn’t really about happiness or about self-realization or about me…but about the One who created this life in the first place and about loving those that He came to die for. When I came to that realization, I came to find something better than happiness: I came to find joy. And though life constantly sways and changes and there is pressure, we are never ever alone. There is a peace we are given the moment we lean into Jesus. It isn’t easy, and sometimes the trials are so hard, but peace is a promise He keeps and He is trustworthy.
First Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
It was not until I had surrendered my life to Christ…until I came to know what true love was…until I fell headlong into the arms of my Creator, and came into alignment with the Truth of who He is and who I am in Him…did I find true peace.
And as I write this, I know there are still parts of me the Lord is working on. There are still times when I lose sight of His promises or I am shaken to my core. And there are so many levels to the revelation of who our God is that, when I think I have Him all figured out, He opens my eyes to more. Deeper levels of revelation, deeper levels of love. He put it heavy on my heart this week to dig into how a diamond is created.
And isn’t the whole world under pressure right now?
In this time, we have choices but also opportunities. He spoke into my heart that I had the choice to allow the pressure to break me or submit to Him and come out of this shining and reflecting His light, on fire for Him and carrying His presence. I could either allow the weight of all that is happening around me to destroy me or I could allow Him to lift me up and allow Him to grow in me the fruit He desires to grow.
“Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One! Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”
Philippians 4:4-8 TPT
It’s a matter of perspective, choice, and surrender to His Spirit. It’s a matter of learning to let Him carry my burdens, even when I don’t know how to let them go or what that actually looks like. Nobody may know the pain or struggle that you are in, but I can promise you this, with every breath, Jesus is with you.
And there is a liberation in knowing that we don’t have to have all the answers.
Bill Johnson said, “If you want the peace that surpasses all understanding you have to give up your right to understand.”
I realize that surrender is such a strange term in today’s Western society. We are taught that we have to work hard, through our own efforts, if we are going to make it in this world. We are taught that we must be strong and self-sufficient and that we can, no we must, do things independently. We learn that the weight we must carry is just our lot in life. It’s “my life, ” “my burden,” “my story.” And that may very well be, but what if there was more? What if we were made for more? And what if “my story” is actually meant to be shared with Christ? What if it’s meant to be “our story?” A dear friend put it this way, that we are “co-creating the story of our lives with God,” but we have to let Him join us in the process, we have to let go of the control we long to possess. Afterall, His dreams for our lives are far grander than we could imagine for ourselves.
My heart is for every person who has not yet met Him, to come to know who Jesus truly is. My prayer is that every eye is opened and every heart is softened to the truth of the grace of God. How He came and died for each and every single person. How His desire for us to walk with Him is so reckless that He chases after us, puts people into our lives who will speak about Him, speak life over us, and who will pray fiercely for us. How He is constantly seeking the lost. And oh how He loves us!
And for those who are in Christ, my prayer is that He speaks to our hearts and brings us up higher. That we will receive deeper revelation and cultivate a stronger faith through submission. That we will sit at His feet through this time and open our ears to what He is speaking. There is a river of mercy and grace and a peace that surpasses all understanding that floods in the moment we surrender and stop looking inward or outward but instead look upward…when we let go of trying to control the outcome but instead surrender to the process, working with Him. And, Child of God, when the pressure is on and we don’t think we can take it, that weight is not meant to crush us, God is simply making diamonds.
Lean in and look up, Child 🔥💎
“No amount of enthusiasm will ever stand up to the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His servant. Only one thing will bear the strain, and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself—a relationship that has been examined, purified, and tested until only one purpose remains and I can truly say, “I am here for God to send me where He will.” Everything else may become blurred, but this relationship with Jesus Christ must never be.”
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition
Bonus: This song has truly blessed me this week and I felt to share it. He keeps hope alive!