I’ve been reading the book of Joshua. It’s taken me about six months to get there.
I am attempting to read the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation this year. Things are not looking great. Shake. My. Head.
Anyway as I was saying I’ve been reading the book of Joshua and what’s funny is that before I even got there, The Lord was impressing upon my heart to read that book. I didn’t realise it came straight after Deuteronomy, which was the book I was mid way through when The Lord began to pull me towards Joshua, needless to say, His unction gave me the motivation to continue reading at a steady pace and get to where I needed to be…..
…..the book of Joshua….
….so anyway when I got there I was blown away by how timely these anointed words were. I mean it’s ridiculous that I say this because as a believer I know that God’s word is alive and active, yet still I stand amazed when His spirit leads me to scripture that completely reflects my current situation. Of course not in the literal sense, because I am not in a physical battle with a physical enemy, or maybe I am. Wow, the Holy Spirit is bringing more revelation as I write. I am indeed in a physical as well as a spiritual battle and the book of Joshua opened itself up to me and hit me square between the eyes.
Last September I got quite ill, and a thyroid condition I had under control, got so bad that I had to leave my job. I believe a combination of things contributed to this. The breakdown of my relationship with my children’s father, him moving on and creating a new family so quickly. Me navigating full time work and raising three children as a single Mother. I was and continue to be completely stripped of everything I held remotely dear to me.
I then found myself becoming a slave to anxiety and for almost a year I haven’t been on the underground. The thought alone sent me into a mild panic. Last November I tried to make my way into Central London to meet my sister for her birthday, but a quarter way into the journey my heart started racing and my mind became flooded with thoughts of impending disaster which I just couldn’t shake, so I made my way back home. Much to my despair. Who was this person I had become?
I was an active and independent woman. I’d travelled everyday on tubes and trains for most of my life. From the age of 13 I travelled across London, on my own (this journey took an hour and a half) to weekly dance classes. Flown to New York and back on my own in my early twenties. Gone on numerous flights with family and friends, taken my children out and about to places far from home without batting an eyelid and now even driving somewhere considered careful planning and psyching myself up for the journey ahead. I hated it. I had a become a prisoner within my own mind. Fear had taken a hold of me.
I knew where it stemmed from. Having the thyroid condition come back so viciously and plague me for months really brought to my attention my mortality. Coupled with the fact that I am responsible for three little lives that depend on me for their every need, with no godly father or husband to partner with me in one of life’s most important tasks. I honestly felt the weakest I ever had at the very point I needed to be at my strongest. For the first time ever I understood that my life is not in my control and so the only way I felt I could control things was by steering well clear of situations which caused my body to go into panic mode. Cue no more going on the train.
The enemy was truly having a field day with me.
That was until I read the book of Joshua.
Joshua was a mighty man of God, who took over the mantle from Moses when he died. Joshua was the man who led the Israelites into the promised land and defeat the enemy strongholds that sought to annihilate God’s plan. Joshua’s faith and obedience earned Him favour with God and enabled him to overcome the many years of bondage that his predecessors struggled to conquer.
The Lord repeatedly instructed Joshua to be of good courage to go forth and possess the land because He was with Joshua. God Himself would fight for His faithful servant. All Joshua had to do was to trust and obey.
‘Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’
The Lord really spoke to me so clearly through this book and His words led me to action on Saturday.
My Mum wanted to take my three children and my nephew into London to see Buckingham Palace and visit the Royal Parks. She wanted to give me some ‘me time’, but I was worried that four children would be a bit much for her to handle on her own. The thought of me doing it on my own fills me with dread, let alone my Mum having to navigate London Underground and four highly excitable kiddo’s.
It wasn’t going to happen.
I tried to think up a number of excuses why maybe they shouldn’t go, but my Mum had made up her mind and she was adamant she was going. I was nervous. But I felt God saying that I should go along with them all and support. It was time for me to bury this ridiculous fear that had held me captive for almost a year, trust God and GO!
And so I went. And God was with me. Hallelujah! My friend called me a few stops into the journey and I asked him to pray for me. He said he wasn’t going to pray, but he was going to praise God for bringing me through. The very fact I was on a train and going into London meant that prayers had already been answered and the breakthrough was HERE!! COME ON SOMEBODY!!
I have to say, when I first got on the train, my mind became flooded with thoughts of what if the train got stuck in a tunnel and the tunnel collapsed. Feelings of claustrophobia and entrapment tried to plague my mind, but I cast them down in the name of Jesus and I preoccupied myself with talking to my children and deleting photos off of my phone to make room for the photos of our London jaunt. Woohoo there is POWER IN THE BLOOD!
The children were a real distraction especially as they kept on asking: ‘How many stops until we get there Mum?’
Twenty two stops later and we were in Central London, enjoying the great weather and great sights. We were back home in no time at all too. I really had to praise God for getting me through this. What I have experienced over this past year in terms of these irrational thoughts and anxiety have shaken me and I never thought I would be reduced to this.
I know people who avoid the underground and certain situations and I could never understand it. Now I do. There are so many reasons people become bound. Life is so intricate and so complex, we can never know what can trigger someone to draw deeply within themselves, but as believers, what we do know is that THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST has the power to break every chain of depression, anxiety, addiction, worthlessness. He is Jehovah Rapha, my God who HEALS and He is well able to restore to you what the enemy has taken. Hallelujah!!
I am convinced this is why the Lord allows us to walk difficult and painful paths. So we can provide love, support and hope for those who are bound, for those who are in the midst of the storm. I love how He uses brokenness to bring forth wholeness. You are amazing God.
My crew and Buckingham Palace in the distance.