When I come out of darkness, I have this insatiable need to write. To let it out. To talk about it.
I desperately need to share what God has been speaking to my heart. My flesh just feels like it will burst some days!
For about two months, I have been in utter darkness. A season so dark I thought I would surely never see light again.
Here is the thing...nothing bad happened. There wasn't a colossal incident in my life that brought on this season of pitch black.
It came out of the blue and knocked me down like a ton of bricks.
It had been so long since I had been that desperate, and I do mean desperate for a Word from God. I needed to know that I was not forgotten. I needed to know that I was still on His radar. I needed to know that I was not alone in this battle. Oh, and battle it was.
If you have never had your heart beat so wildly that you thought for sure it would beat right out of your chest....
If you have never felt like the world was closing in on you...
If you have never had your head so filled with fear that you would rather die than open your eyes...
Then, this post will be hard to understand.
But, if you, like me, have had anxiety and panic attacks....you will be nodding your head in agreement.
I have prayed so many times that God would take these panic attacks from me and give me another weakness...ANYTHING but this.
Yet, the thorn has not been removed.
Let me say something here though...
This thorn is what drew me to Jesus. This thorn is what made me open God's word sitting on my shelf after sitting dusty and dormant for YEARS.
This thorn is the reason I have hidden scripture in my heart and can recite just about every verse on fear and anxiety. Not bragging here, just showing you the depth of this thorn.
I have been told that my faith wasn't strong enough. Or, I was not praying enough. Or, I just didn't read the Bible enough.
I have been told that I just need to think positive and retrain my thoughts.
I believe all of those things.
But, what if you are doing those things...what if it is not a prayer thing, or a faith thing at all?
What if it is just a thorn that the Lord is allowing for a greater purpose?
I sat happily eating my chicfila breakfast one morning last week. I glanced out the window and saw an elderly man with a severe handicap. He was by himself. Walking, more like limping his way into the restaurant. He used a walker. His steps were so small and so slow.
It took him 10 minutes to get into the restaurant.
I watched and my eyes filled with tears. Not tears of pity, but tears of joy.
In that moment, the Lord spoke so gently to my heart.....
Everyone has a thorn, Jill.
Suddenly, after weeks and weeks of being in utter darkness, I saw Light. The Light of His Truth shining deep inside my soul. Piercing my heart in a way that it had never been pierced.
I remembered Paul. He wrote this...
His Power is made perfect in our weakness. BAM.
If I had never had this thorn, I would have NEVER drawn close to Jesus. I would have had no use for Him.
Gosh, how clear this has become.
We all have thorns.
Sometimes God chooses to remove those thorns, and sometimes He doesn't.
Let me assure you though, BOTH scenarios reveal His Power.
He will either choose to reveal His Power by removing the thorn, or He will reveal His Power in spite of the thorn.
I cannot even tell you with mere words what this has meant to my walk with Jesus.
I have questioned Him for so long regarding this thorn...wondering why in the world I could not muster up enough faith to be free from it.
Could it be that this thorn is the very thing that keeps me in close fellowship with Him...
The very thing that brings me to my knees head over heels in love with His mercy, grace, and peace.
Despite the thorn, He comforts. Despite the thorn, He heals. Despite the thorn, He soothes me.
Oh, friend. I hope you will see God's great love for you despite your thorns.
I hope you will see that He loves you so much that He will stop at nothing to draw your heart to His. Instead of asking Him to remove your thorn, thank Him for allowing it to draw you close to Him.
If He chooses to remove it, then so be it.
But, if not, keep walking with that limp. The world will see His power magnified in your life.
Trust Him. He is Faithful.