THERE are many people I know personally who have stories where they were losing hope in a situation and finally saw that breakthrough happen, reigniting the hope in their hearts to keep going. But, I think that we're in a season where people are holding their breath—eyes peeled wide open—waiting for either the other shoe to fall or for a miracle to restore what they've lost. There's this current of angst and defensiveness electrifying the air, and in a reflexive action to shield ourselves from what may come next people are narrowing their focus to what is happening right in front of them. They've put blinders on. They're unable to look behind them and see the times that change has happened for the better.
I mean... I can very well put myself in that category at this moment. I'm sitting here, racking my brain, looking for stories in my life where I've had breakthrough just so that I can add another article to our few. And the cloudy, pessimistic shroud enveloping my mind as of late keeps whispering, "You're already so tired. Why waste your time and energy trying to find something to write about. It won't make a difference anyway. This is just a small-scale publication. It won't matter if you take time out of your busy schedule to sit down and write for it." I try to fight listening to that voice by telling it to be quiet and pushing through to another thought.
Then, I remembered that I have a digital journal. There's a chronicle of some happenings located in there that I could pull from. So... I'm took some time to browse through my entries to see where God has stepped in and handed my hope back to me after I've thrown it out the window.
Lo and behold, the entry I had typed up on March 9, 2017 sent me into a fit of awed laughter as I read over those words again...
Lucy’s journey and character development throughout Voyage of the Dawn Treader (which so happens to be my favorite book in “The Chronicles of Narnia” series) has been quite relatable to me. We find Lucy in a home where she is uncomfortable, struggling with insecurities, feeling as if she’s missing what’s going on in the United States with the rest of her family, facing adversity by a family member who belongs in the house she has to stay in too, and longing for past experiences in Narnia.
The part that breaks my heart is how Lucy continuously compares herself to her older sister, Susan, in looks and place in life. She loses sight of her individual beauty, strength, heart, and faith—all qualities that are phenomenally and uniquely hers—to the point where Aslan intervenes, reminding her of who she is. She is a “lioness”, no matter how small and insignificant she sees herself at that moment.
I am Lucy Pevensie in this story. And I have been reminded lovingly by the Lord that I am not a cat, but a lion. My “roar” is more powerful than I have realized. I carry more authority than I believe. I have reduced myself to the faith of a kitten when I am in fact a full-grown lion with cubs of my own and a pride that is mine. My voice renders fear in the enemy, paralyzing them in their tracks.
I am not meant to be anyone other than me. There may be days when I feel like I give the world nothing, am too “young” or “inexperienced”, or people have no confidence in or care for what I have to say; but the truth is that no one else can provide in this life what I individually can, and I have to acknowledge that. Without Lucy, her family would have never experienced or impacted Narnia. Without me, there would be many, many people who would not reach the destiny they are meant for…
So, I must shake off this lie that I am nothing more than a house cat—someone’s pet and convenient companion—and believe once again the reality that I am a lion.
It’s wonderfully beautiful when God brings voices into your life to speak on His behalf. It’s overwhelmingly exhilarating when you’ve been talking to and hearing the Lord on certain things about yourself, and He takes that extra step, just because He loves us, to confirm what He said through a group of strangers. That happened to me this past Thursday. The whole “lion” conversation was just one part of it. There were 6 individuals who spoke prophetically to me during a very-much-needed, short ministry time.
What I found to be quite humorous then sobering within a couple of minutes actually had to do with Doctor Who. There was a Tardis reference in correlation with a word about a door I’m going to walk through soon, being “bigger on the inside” and the “adventure of a lifetime.” That was exciting. Then, there was the Doctor reference… a direct calling out to a fear I have of getting sick and dying early, before I am able to do all I’m meant to do. The phrase that stood out to me was, “He’s the Doctor, and He’s going to be with you through the whole adventure. When you travel with the Doctor, you don’t have to worry about getting sick.” You have no idea how much that made me pay attention to what was being said. Although my physical body says one thing, I do not have to fear. I don’t have to listen to those lies about being too old either.
Then, there was the tree. The vision was of me sitting under a tree, and then of me as a tree. That was more real than any of the other words, honestly, because it addressed all my current circumstances and inner dealings in one. It talked about God having planted me where I am on purpose, that I am soaking up so much knowledge and learning from the spiritual authority I have
been placed under. The person attached Psalm 92:12 to the vision, explaining that I am like the palm tree, bending when the winds (adversity) come but not breaking.
Later, I went back and read over that full verse, and the Lord began to speak to me more in depth about it. That, as often as I find myself in discontent about being planted where I am because I am looking for more, for the future, rather than living in the purpose I have here, He has planted me here to learn and then to teach. I am both the palm tree and the cedar. I am able to bend to withstand the storms but I will not break; and I am strong and resilient like the cedars of Lebanon. Because of that “soaking up” of experience and knowledge gained under the “tree” I’ve been sat under, I am able to be that tree for others.
The “others” are specific people that applies to, and He showed them to me as those cubs that He mentioned before… those cubs who know and listen to the authority in my voice. It blows my mind, honestly, that God would use me to be an authority over anyone. I’m such a reluctant leader, and it wears me out to be in a position of leadership. But, I know that God will sustain me and give me the strength that I need in order to do what He has asked of me.
So comes the healing part. Much like the character Much Afraid in the book “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard, I must take the opportunity to build an altar and place upon it my self-doubt, my discontent, my stubborn will, and my selfishness. I will take on the attributes on Love, Acceptance with Joy, and Bearing the Cost (which is Forgiveness). I am asking the Lord, the Great Physician, to heal my heart and my mind; help me to become who I am meant to be; and, moreso, help me to know and learn the lessons of this season.
I want to grow.
I want to be whole.
I want my life to point people to Jesus.
The Lord has brought me through each and every single one of those prophetic words since then. He’s shown me what each one meant and how He alone could make them happen. I can’t explain to you what looking back and seeing His hand on my life has done for my heart.
I’ve found my hope again.