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Reviving Joy! By: Stephanie Adams April 28, 2013 Revival began at Penny Road Community Church on Friday, April 26, and I was excited for it. I prayed so hard for this revival to be the thing that would awaken the hearts of the people in our church and our community… Little did I know that God was about to reveal some things to me about myself that I hadn’t even realized. On the first night, most of us went up front for a prayer of restoration. When the preacher came to me, he said, “Restore her joy, seven fold”. I thought, “Okay”. The second night, I went for prayer again. On this night it was rebuilding. Again, when it was my turn for prayer, he says, “Fill her with joy”. I couldn’t grasp why he kept saying this. Why was joy the thing he was praying for? I thought my joy was fine… But, our thoughts are not His thoughts; our ways are not His ways. I knew without any doubt that the Holy Spirit had led him to pray for me the way he did for a reason, but I had no idea what it was. I also knew that what he was saying was not what I wanted to hear. But in seeking the answer, God spoke very clearly to my heart, “The joy is not gone, but hidden behind old wounds and insecurities”. What old wounds? The wounds I had pushed so far to the back of my heart that my mind had forgotten. These wounds had caused a hurt so deep that I couldn’t touch them; wounds that eventually caused insecurities I have carried for far too long! Do you know what happens to a wound you don’t want to touch because it hurts too much? The wound will eventually become infected and that infection will spread to other areas and we will become so sick we need medication to heal the infection. Several years ago, I was in a multi vehicle accident and my leg was cut open severely. My body was in shock, so I didn’t even feel the cut. But the paramedic on the scene noticed the blood and wanted to check it out. First, he had to view the wound to determine the severity, second it had to be cleansed. Then he made the decision to take me to the hospital for stitches. During our ride he says to me, “you better be glad we noticed it now, or it could have gotten infected”. All of his actions were necessary for the healing process to begin. Wounds of the heart need the same attention. They have to be viewed, cleansed and stitched so they can heal. But if we become unwilling to go through the necessary steps for healing to take place, we become infected with things that are toxic to our hearts, minds and lives. My wounds of the past were many and not dealing with them back then led to some infection that had an effect on the way I viewed myself and others. These are the kind of wounds that have caused me to become hidden. I created a “safe zone” for myself and I didn’t allow anyone in. If someone got too close, I’d either push them away or run away myself. I made myself go numb in a way and surely unwilling to trust. I thought I’d rather not feel anything at all, than to ever feel that kind of pain ever again. Sure, I have relationships, friendships and family that are allowed inside this “safe zone”, but I had gotten to a point that most new people were never going to get that close. I could be friendly, but not personal. A few people have gotten through that wall I had built around myself, but not many. But this is not God’s best… This not the plan God has for my life. God used this man to pray the right thing for me at the exact right time. Now is the time to get rid of the infection. Now is the time to allow The Great Physician to view, cleanse and stitch the wounds of my past so healing can take place. This particular healing will be a process. It took time for this infection to grow, and it will take time for it to heal. But I’m ready. As God reveals these things to me, I’m working through them one at a time. God is tearing down the walls of the “safe zone” and I’m starting to realize, I’d rather feel something, even the pain than to live this life one more day and miss out on something great that He has for me. I don’t want to be numb anymore. I can’t go back and change the things of the past or my part in causing these wounds in the first place, but I can allow Him to expose things to me one at a time. That’s all I can handle is one at a time. I have said since the beginning of this year that this is going to be a year of breakthrough for me. I have to be obedient to His voice in this situation because this is the thing that is holding me in a place of I should not be. These wounds have kept me in a place where I couldn’t fully use the gift God has given me to write because I didn’t feel it would ever be good enough. The fullness of this gift can’t be poured into a vessel that is damaged. God revealed to me several months ago that this is the gift I’m meant to pursue. But He has to expose these wounds now, so He can use this vessel, this gift to give a testimony… To write the words that can tell the story of His love, His goodness, His mercy, His kindness etc. I know this vessel is being repaired by the potter’s hand, and will be filled to overflow with the abundance of the gift He has given to me. You see, it’s not about me… It’s all about Him! It’s about whom He wants to reach with the words He has given to me. I can’t write on my own… I have nothing to say… But when I think of all that He’s brought me through, all that He’s already done for me, I have to tell the story. It’s the story of how my Savior moved mountains to get me through the valley, and how He knocked down walls to heal my heart, and that’s a story worth telling. That’s the story that leads lost souls to this Jesus… That’s the story we’re all supposed to be telling!
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