When you are in what seems like a bottomless pit, and you are left feeling devalued, worthless and unloved, it is hard to keep sight of God and friends and family.
And that is exactly where I was on Tuesday evening, that is where I had been left.
It hurts, it really, really hurts when people turn against you, when they do everything they can to hurt you, to stand in your way, and I was left feeling lost, and powerless, and so very confused.
I was completely exhausted too, which didn't help.
The truth brought light into what was complete darkness. I was so blinded by the blackness of the dark, I didn't know what to do. My friends spoke truths to me, slowly restoring me, slowly showing me again that I am loved, and as they did I remembered the truths that God speaks to me.
I remembered how valued I am by God, how complete and everlasting His love for me is.
And as truth was spoken into the darkness, I saw a way forward. I understood that I wasn't fighting people, this was not a war between me and another person. This was God's battle between Him and Satan, and He was ready. he is always ready, in fact, He has already won. Death is beaten and all is conquered.
And there is so, SO much hope to be found in all the truth.
When real, complete truth is spoken into your life, transformation comes, hope is restored, and your outlook is so much brighter.
"The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." - Exodus 14:14. One friend spoke these words to me, and wow, I felt so blessed.
I panicked, I flipped out, I started waving my arms frantically trying to find something to grab hold of, to feel comforted by.
But actually it was ok, everything was ok, God was there, ready, fighting for me. I just needed to keep calm.
Scary, scary stuff goes on, and if we're not careful we can be left feeling frightened and alone.
Surrounding ourselves with people who are ready to speak truth, and love, and hope back into our lives when we feel ready to give up, is so, so important But even more so is remembering God, never losing sight of the love He has for us, because even the smallest glimpse of His love will bring hope, and restoration into every situation.
God never wants, or creates, bad things. But He does always make the best of every situation if we let Him.
He doesn't like seeing us get hurt, but He helps us to let our experiences shape us, and make us stronger.
After sleeping for 14 hours, I awoke with a different feeling, peace had entered my heart, and I felt ready to start moving forward.
I don't really know where to go, because the darkness is still there, but what I do know is that love is the first step. Receiving, and accepting love, and then giving it too.
And this dark room is being filled with a light like no other, and I feel ready to carry on.
This battle is not mine, this battle is already won, but still it is not mine, all I must do is love, and love, and love, and trust. Trust that God has it covered, He's got everything sorted out, and His plan is perfect.
"Finding freedom and release in love: worthlessness to completeness, devalued to wholeness, unloved to loved. I was glum and now I am smiling again."
Saturday is the debrief day for the mission trip I went on to the Dominican Republic. The team leader has flown over for it from the DR, and I really can NOT wait. In many ways it marks a significant end for what has been an incredible, life-changing adventure, but actually, more importantly, it is a reminder of this new adventure that has begun. This next step in my journey looks different to what I thought it would be a year or two ago, but I am learning to dare to live (safely (in His arms)) and dream bigger, and head for His beautiful. Because ALL is grace. It is scary, but it is worth it, and I am so excited to carry on this adventure, especially when I know I have such incredible people by my side!