Do you ever ask yourself, “How in the world did I end up here?”
Or “How in the world did I get myself into this situation?”
Well, I have certainly asked myself these questions multiple times after failed attempts to “make myself better.”
The truth is that I thought I needed to “take care of myself,” and I thought I was in charge. I admit that I neglected taking good care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually last year. I stopped exercising, listened to negative thoughts about my life circumstances, beat myself up over past mistakes, and then tried to carry the load of my own guilt and shame. Doesn’t sound very fun, does it? I don’t recommend it.
After trying to fix my own problems without relying fully on God’s grace, I eventually landed myself in the hospital for a few days in the mental health unit. I was certainly not doing well.
Following the visit, I received a bill for over $8,000 that I could not pay. For months, I not only carried around the guilt and shame of the bad choices I made and how I neglected myself but also how I could not afford to pay the bill. I was discouraged, hopeless, and throwing myself a pity party.
Eventually, I asked/begged God to show me how I could pay for it, maybe get an extra job, sell something, etc. The truth is, I still wasn’t doing well, and I was still relying on myself. There’s only so much an earthly doctor can do. I needed our Divine Physician to step in for a heart transplant, a spiritual download, a mental renewal, and physical restoration.
Do you ever wonder why we need complete surrender and total desperation before God shows up and shows off? It took several months of crying out to God for His restoration before things started happening. Here is what I did and what He did.
|I recognized the lies I was believing||He showed me the Truth|
|I admitted I was wrong||He gave me His Mercy|
|I asked for help||He sent angels and saints to be with me|
|I surrendered everything||He provided|
|I let go of the past||He reminded me of my future|
|I finally decided to trust Him completely||I can’t even express the multiple ways He has proven his presence|
It was a process, a long process that seemed to last for an eternity. Here is what happened…
Instead of being in charge of my own “self-care plan,” I felt the Lord ask me to let him design it for me, like a trainer.
I had a deep knowing He wanted to restore me mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. I was so tired of being deceived, so I decided to start doing something differently. I read the Word of God out loud so I could hear myself say speak the words. It is powerful to hear your own voice proclaim God’s truth about your own life.
This was a key way our gentle, Divine Physician stepped in to heal me. His Word became my daily medicine rather than all the counterfeit selection.
OK, back to the bill. Oh, did I mention that I resigned from my position due to my overall “health” status? I really needed the Holy Spirit the step into my situation.
I read God’s word and found this…
I will change your shame into praise…At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes says the LORD.Zephaniah 3:20
After proclaiming God’s word to get me out of fear and self-pity, I picked up the phone and called the hospital to try to set up a payment plan. They basically told me the amount I was offering wasn’t enough, and it would take too long to pay it off. I could feel the heaviness of shame and helplessness coming back. The representative then paused and said, “but you might qualify for assistance.” She sent me the paperwork.
We filled it out and sent it back to her. I spoke with 2 of my sweet spiritual sisters, who prayed for me and prayed I would receive a phone call with good news of coverage, and somehow be able to receive insurance until I could gain employment.
A few days later, while walking my dog, the rep called me back to announce my bill was “PAID IN FULL,” – AND they were sending me a card to cover my insurance for 6 MONTHS! I cried and screamed. The representative was also emotional, and I couldn’t even tell her my address to send me the paperwork. After what sounded like shouting, hysterical laughter, crying, and a mumble of words, I was overcome with joy. Although I am so incredibly grateful my bill has been paid in full, I am even more overjoyed in God’s faithfulness. Our Heavenly Father who knows us, sees our pain, knows we are sometimes afraid, and sees our struggles and efforts…answers us. He is a Loving Father who meets all of our needs.
To top it off, I received the 2 letters in the mail a few days later.
- A letter from the Hospital notifying me that my bill was “paid in full” with a handwritten note at the bottom that said, “Showing you have a $0.00 Balance and your account has been paid in full. Ain’t God good ;-).”
- Another letter from a friend I met while I was in the hospital. She colored a picture for me on one side, on the other side was THE SAME SCRIPTURE from Zephaniah 3:9-20.
(See the picture and full scripture below)
Restoration of Israel’s Remnant
Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people,will bring me offerings.
On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me. because I will remove from you your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the Lord. They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.”
Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!Zephaniah 3:9-20
The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
“I will remove from you all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals, which is a burden and reproach for you.
At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you.I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.
At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the Lord.
In summary, I learned how God wants us to cry out to Him. He wants us to surrender and trust Him with everything. He wants to restore us, all of us, in every way possible. He is just waiting for us to agree to ask for help, surrender to Him, trust Him, and wait on Him.
So, together, friends, regardless of where you are as you are reading this, we trust the Lord knows you, sees you and wants to meet your every need.
Here are 5 steps that helped me in the restoration process. I htruope it helps you.
- Pray: Come Holy Spirit & ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth about your life/situation.
- Privately ask for the Lord to forgive you for your sins and wash you clean with His Precious Blood.
- Be quiet and listen to what He tells you.
- Go to Confession.
- Speak the Truth: Read the Word out loud over your life.
Let us proclaim the Word together below. Here is one I pray often.
I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”