I have been in such a funk lately, just down and I don't know why exactly. I have been going through a lot of changes and I have been dealing with what feels like ten thousand little things that I guess build up to one enormously horrific defeating burden. I know without a doubt that I can lay all my burdens at the feet of my savior. I do, or so I thought I did, but to honestly give all of those things to Him, I have to let them go. Yes, learn from the ones that I was directly involved in, but the others I can pray about them, but ultimately I have to leave those at His feet and I can't dwell on the fact that I can do nothing except turn to him to take care of all of it. Because He can and He will.

A couple weeks ago Caleb told us we were going to start studying Malachi. So me and Libby read it the day he told us about it and had a huge discussion about the Holy Spirit. We asked Lady B about all of our questions that we couldn't come to a conclusion to on our own. I remember reading it and thinking "What in the world were these people thinking and why would any of them think that bringing wounded or tattered offerings to God would be acceptable? Why would they ever think that was okay? Do they not love and fear God?" Then as I kept reading I started thinking and got this awful feeling in my gut. I started thinking about how many times have I done exactly what these people are doing? How many times have I said, "I give you my all God," but then when disaster strikes, I take it all up by myself and try to fix everything. How many times have I "given it all to Him" and the very next day find myself in the midst of trying to make decisions on my own with out going to Him first? How many times in everyday life do we all put God on the back burner?

The past few weeks have been extremely difficult to say the least. I have been in what feels like a constant battle. I know that being a Christian and a true follower of Christ doesn't mean life is going to be easy. I know that it means there are still mountains to climb and there are still battles to fight. But I also know that the war has been won and the enemy has been defeated and he can not defeat me when I am a child of God and my God is on my side and I take my burdens to God.

The reason I brought Malachi into this post is because I have been learning lately how to truly give everything to the Lord, all my worries, fears, burdens, etc. EVERYTHING. It's hard. I am one of those people that thinks I'm strong. I feel like I have had to be to, but the simple truth is that in my weakness is he made strong. So when I was reading Malachi for the third time the other night I FINALLY came to the conclusion that while I try and "give everything to God" until I truly do, and for me that sometimes means an all day for several days decision to constantly give it all to him, I am just like the people who gave him sacrifices of injured or sick animals. I am not giving him my absolute best, and all. I am only giving him what I don't want to handle, because for some ludicrous reason I have this idea that I can handle the hard stuff on my own. So with all that said. I am praising him today for showing me that while I think I'm strong, I am weak. HE IS STRONG IN ME.

Once I came to this conclusion the other night, I woke up the next day feeling like I could take on the world because, well, I wasn't doing it alone, and I for maybe the first time in my life I could firmly grasp that simple fact, more than ever. I then got bombarded by some junk from my past. My heart instantly sank. I thought I had dealt with all of this. I felt defeated and betrayed at first. Even though I knew there were people who cared about me, I didn't feel like any of them understood. When I got home I went straight to my room and I sat on my bed crying & talking to God, pleading with Him that I knew he was there with me, but I would sure like a brother or sister in Christ to talk to. My sister was in class and she couldn't talk and my brother was busy. So, after praying about it, I text a friend who knew about the situation. He called me after I text and I stopped crying to answer and talked to him for a min. The Lord is so good. He didn't have to give me that. HE is enough, but he did. After that phone call I started crying again, like a little baby, and I just sat in awe of how good our God is and how he answers prayers.

That night in choir practice, I think we literally only sang 3 songs, maybe 4, I don't remember exactly. After we sang we just talked and people shared some things and we talked about how the Lord is working in our church, in our choir, in the body, the whole body of Christ. It was just a time of lifting each other up and encouraging each other. We talked about all the hardships and the enemy who doesn't like that we are seeking to be a light for the Kingdom of God. It was a time of "realness" in our choir, to me, it was a beautiful time of worship through simply being the body and edifying one another.

As everyone was talking, I began thinking about one of the songs we sang and I don't remember the lyrics exactly, but I remember thinking afterwards that if I never had another prayer answered for what I felt like I needed or wanted or if I never felt the Lord move or felt him near to me ever again. If I never again in all my life feel God's presence. I will still praise him. HE is my rock and redeemer. He is the God over ALL THINGS. If I feel defeat every single day the rest of my life, I can still find joy in the hope of greater things to come. I will forever praise the Lord my God.

God's timing is so perfect, had He not revealed to me what He did through Malachi and few other scriptures and allowed me to genuinely embrace the understanding and wisdom He had for me, to prepare me for an even bigger blow than what I had been going through, I would have been completely crushed. I am so thankful for the ongoing growth in our Lord. He teaches new things every single day. I have been so encouraged the past few days by brothers and sisters in Christ who I perceive to have more "knowledge and understanding" than I do, but are still hungry and seeking more of our God. It is fresh and new every single day. I want to grow closer to my God. I want to have new knowledge and understanding in Him and who He is everyday. I want to know my God more and more and grow to become more of a woman who loves and fears the Lord. I am so thankful that I can be a woman who seeks out His kingdom first. There will never be a time of knowing it all. I can grow and be cultivated by the living word of God and through prayer every single day and I thank Him so much for that. I will sing praises all of my days till He calls me home (well I guess all my days, cause we'll definitely be singing in Heaven). I want to worship him, not only in song, but in life. I am so thankful for my JESUS, because in him, there is no defeat.

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