2020 & how I learned to "Bloom"

Monday, January 4

Frantic and feeble, I waded into 2020 with a hope that THIS YEAR would be different, holding my breath that maybe, just maybe, there would be healing among the ashes. 2019 was probably one of the hardest years of my life, as I came face to face with a stronghold that had plagued me for most of my teenage and adult years.

Seeking the Lord in prayer for a special word for 2020, I secretly hoped it would drip with sentiments like FREEDOM, HEALING, or VICTORY. Instead, the word He so clearly and beautifully gave me was BLOOM. (I wrote a post on God giving the word to me a year ago here). It surprised me, I recoiled at how quickly it came, and how out of left field it seemed. 

But this year has been a BLOOMING year, in all senses. 

A flower doesn't bloom, unless it first dies. 

And oh friends, how last year felt like a death. 

But let me tell you something magnificent...

out of death comes the BLOSSOM of beauty and life, and even though 2020 has been a total dumpster fire to some, it has actually been one of my favorite years of growth. 

Real, tangible, rip the roots up and send down new ones, kind of growth! 

But it wasn't without work, intentionality, and of course, God's grace in revealing the root and source of the stronghold. 

The first half of this year God began to reveal and rip out the spiritual strongholds I was drowning in.  In January, my church offered a women's Bible Study on Beth Moore's Breaking Free curriculum. I sat at church grasping for ALL the reasons adding another commitment during the week would be too much, but as clear as day, God said GO. I cannot tell you how transformation that study was for me. 

I put in the WORK...doing the devotions every day, filling out all the exercises, etc. And WOW, God did a miracle in my heart. If you haven't done this Bible Study and work book, please do it now. God revealed so much about what a stronghold actually is and how by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can break it down! 

The second half of the year, God began to reveal to me the mental and biological aspects of my stronghold. As a therapist myself, someone who deals with and diagnoses clients weekly, I was constantly trying to analyze myself to figure out what was going on in my life. So much of my stronghold didn't exactly fit into a standard diagnosis. But one day, after an intense session with my mentor (who is a seasoned therapist herself), God smacked me in the face with exactly what was going on in my head, and He led me to the exact diagnosis, which is a newer subset category of a more common diagnosis. When I read it, I couldn't believe how accurately it was describing what was going on. (I promise to share more about this diagnosis later, but that is a whole other post in and of itself!) 

Because I deal with many clients who face this exact diagnosis, I knew how to treat it, and began using the treatment on myself. YOU GUYS...so so so so much healing. 

In fact, the first time I pulled out my toolbox and treated myself, I could NOT believe how helpful it was. In an instant, I found myself praising God for this breakthrough. It felt monumental. It felt HUGE. 

Like imagine having someone throw a boulder on you and because you are weak you have no idea how to throw it off you. And then you believe for certain that each time the boulder is thrown, you will be crushed by the weight of it. THIS TIME, though, I knew how to deal with it, and I was able to throw that boulder right off of me. I cannot describe the FREEDOM that came from this! 

So...here I stand at the end of 2020.

And truly, I have BLOOMED. 

I am a different person than who I was at the end of 2019. 

I feel light, I feel equipped, I feel AT PEACE (hallelujah!!), and I feel like ME! 

And for goodness sake, I feel ready to step into and live out the calling God has placed on my life. 

Friend, praying for you today. If you are struggling under the weight of a stronghold or diagnosis, THIS ONE'S FOR YOU! There is healing to be had, there is HOPE always. Yes, there will be pain and "death" but you too can BLOOM in the healing of the Lord, and I will hold that space for you. 

 I love you and I would love to pray for you, so please reach out to me!! 

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