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I returned from the women’s retreat with our church, feeling sort of like an unwelcome spotlight shining in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping.

My light may disrupt the darkness, but isn’t that the point? God doesn’t shine light in my life so I can keep it inside. A lamp under a basket isn’t useful to anyone.

I do need to take care to use my light to illuminate paths rather than blinding eyes.

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God is in the air. God is the air, too, but recently I have felt His hand under my chin, beckoning my eyes upward.

And as my sight drifts higher, I begin to see that splendor and majesty and truth paint the skies.

Most of the time understanding comes through the Scriptures. But as I immersed myself in the Spirit this week, I started to see truth through the other book, the visual manuscript of God: Creation.

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The focus of the weekend was spiritual warfare. We as women are warrior-princesses, equipped by our Father to recognize and resist the attacks of the evil one and slay him with the truth. Friday night, our teacher referenced Ephesians 2:1-2:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience”

I closed my eyes Friday night after an awesome evening of girlfriend chats and sisterly bonding, and found myself consumed by fear.

I am the prinssse of the air

he seemed to be whispering in my ear. How could I ever flee from the air? I felt as if he was all around me, filling my lungs and brushing against my skin. The enemy we face is a formidable one. He even twists God’s own word, the perfect truth, into a fear-inciting lie.

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After a restless night I arose Saturday morning and went outside to meet with my Rabbi. The disenchantment of the chilly, biting air was far surpassed by the beckoning of the presunrise colors dancing across the sky. Bird songs pierced the silence and resonated through every molecule of the air.

As I sat and pondered and wrote and prayed, a peace washed over me. The truth flooded in, just as a cardinal sang loudly then abandoned his perch and soared directly overhead.

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I saw the brilliance of his colors in the morning sun, heard the fearlessness of his confident call, and felt his freedom. The birds certainly don’t fear the air. Words came then.

Satan may be the prince of the air for a little while, but I AM King of all that was and is and is to come.

Do not fear, daughter.

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Peace and joy washed over me and carried me through the rest of the morning, full of fellowship (don’t you all think there should be a word for fellowship exclusively between women? Dameship?), worship, and truth.

We had the afternoon free, to spend however we desired. My eyes were heavy from lack of sleep, but I felt God leading me to withdraw into the forest and meet Him there.

When the Spirit leads you into the wilderness, you go.

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As I walked, I was suddenly overcome by exhaustion. I turned my weary eyes to my left and found a clearing, alluring me from the trail. I bobbed and weaved through a bit of underbrush, then sat down in the clearing and began to write in my journal.

About two sentences in, I was overwhelmed by exhaustion, so I rested my head on my journal and closed my eyes.

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i awoke a short while later. Through groggy eyes, I saw a chickadee on the branch above me, staring intently at me.

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Photo credit: Bill Hubick Photography

As the chickadee fled, truth flooded in, again.

Daughter, I know your every need. If you seek Me first, I will take care of the rest.

““What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – ‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:6-7‬

I arose and continued walking. I came upon a sign reading “Chapel in the Pines.” Walking a bit further, I did not see a building, and thought perhaps I had taken a wrong turn.

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Suddenly my eyes feasted on an open-air chapel in the middle of the forest and my heart lept in my chest. I had found where I was being led.

He gave me the rest I needed to carry on, because He had more in store for me for that afternoon.

I knelt at the foot of that cross and prayed to my Lord for a long time. I found more on my heart than I even knew was there, and I abandoned it all at the foot of that cross.

My worries, my dreams, my fears, my questions all unloaded, no longer my burden to bear. I wept tears of joy and turned my bleary eyes to the cross, where wood meets wood and Heaven meets earth.

I believe that every believer needs this; not just once but often, whenever He calls. Jesus said His disciples must take up their crosses daily to follow Him. Sometimes I find myself bearing a larger burden than I was ever called to bear on my own, and it will crush me if I don’t give it up.

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Sunday morning I was beckoned again to the rose garden, filled with bird songs and fresh spring air. The fear no longer followed me, just overwhelming joy at the divine orchestration I was witnessing.

The same male cardinal was there, singing his song. How do I know it was the same one? Because it makes the story better!

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But then, high in the trees there was another cardinal with a slightly different call. I looked up from my journal and saw her–a female! My favorite bird!

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I did not have a camera with me to take her picture, so here are Kenneth and Garnet, the cardinals of Ryan Peak.
He flew over to her, and she did not flee. She acted disinterested, but entertained him and let him approach her. He nestled up close, then turned to her and fed her, beak to beak (and heart to heart, I imagine).

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Photo credit: National Wildlife Foundation

I picked my heart up from the ground and saw the truth in this gesture. She does not need him to feed her. For the majority of the year he does not perform this ceremony, and she is perfectly capable of feeding herself. But she depends on him and lets him serve her, not because she’s incapable on her own, but because it’s God’s design and she will flourish if she dances to His rhythm.

Depend on your husband and let him lead you. Not because you are inadequate, but because it is My design.

This one hit me hard. It was right before my eyes and made perfect sense. I pondered this truth the rest of the day, as I returned to my husband and my ordinary life.

These lessons from the air floated me through the week. I desperately needed the alone time with God to unveil my eyes from the shadow of little lies and restore my foundation in His truth.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
‭‭John‬ ‭8:32‬

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Shine on, warrior princess; you are free indeed.
April 19, 2016
May 17, 2016

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