Triggers. You are in a room and you hear a song or a word spoken, a smell catches your senses, a place…Triggers.  Most of our triggers are pleasant ones.  We smell apple pie and we think of fall.  I have this one school at a certain hallway and door that smells like my old elementary school and it takes me back.  Karen text me one day and said she hugged my dad and his Old Spice Cologne rubbed off on her.  She was reminded of her daddy who has been with Jesus for years now, and it create a flood of  sweet memories for her.

Some triggers take us back to places and situations that are painful.  What happens when that consumes us?  It can bring a physical response and we wear it on our bodies as heaviness and our minds are filled with agonizing thoughts. Do you remember the post Mirror, Mirror? (I think I posted that on Wednesday, October 24) that was one of those days for me.  As hard as the flooding thoughts were about insecurities, shame, and anger I was a warrior on a war path.  I felt weak for crying but tears are healing to the soul. Maybe I needed to wrestle with those thoughts so that God could work on them? Work on them He did.  This may seem so simple, and maybe you wont see the connections because you can’t hear my heart, but I pray God will be glorified.

I received a birthday card with a verse from Psalm 107 on it.  I went and read the entire chapter of 107.  There was this one part that caught my eye:

He got you out in the nick of time.
He spoke the word that healed you.

A word. One word that could heal?  How many situations have you’ve been rescued from in just the nick of time, but it’s the very grace filled situations that also carry weight or scars?  I had just dropped Vivian off at the bus stop and 6:15 a.m. and that was some heavy conversation with Jesus.  I prayed to Him about that one word.  What would it be?  Is it literally this one word.  Or would the word change for each person, and situation?   Part of my trigger stuff was this visualization in my heart of  wanting an apology letter.  It was not out of bitterness or arrogance, but just this simple, yet BIG need to read this letter sincerely given to me.  I thought maybe I could write the letter myself, and symbolically accept it, pray over it, and then let it go. So I began to write this apology letter from the person in my mind.  I think humans want a sincere apology, not because we deserve it, but I believe it’s because it creates in us this sense of truth and acceptance that a wrong has been done, and “I’m sorry.”

I never wrote the letter.

I prayed. I worshiped. I took care of the day’s activities with resolve to move forward and live in the NOW. I talked it out with Christian sisters.  I prayed. I worshiped.

One morning, I just had in my heart to listen to Mandisa  – Good Morning – and dance.  It was Parish’s birthday morning.  We danced.  Nina and I danced.  This put me in the mood to listen to Kirk Franklin and I stumbled upon his song -Help Me Believe.  I was putting on makeup, getting ready and these lyrics were prayed over me from the Spirit:

I wanna believe, if I never hear I’m sorry
I can let it go, gotta let you go
Cause it’s killing me, Jesus You know how it feels
Cause You’ve been hurt before, don’t wanna hurt no more

I’m trying to hear You speak
But my heart is growing weak
Take this cup from me

Help me believe, can I believe
Let me believe, I wanna believe
I’ve been here before
And can’t take that hurt again

I just started smiling and shouting “Yes!  Jesus!  Yes!”  for the Spirit was leading me through worship to validate my heartache and to help me say it out loud – IF I NEVER HEAR I’M SORRY HELP ME TO LET IT GO!

It’s one of those moments that truly you feel like God gets you, accepts you, and offers grace and mercy.  His grace is sufficient.  Perhaps the one word is believe.  I believe that God will sustain me on hard days.  I believe in a God that wants goodness for us. I believe that when we wrestle with God GREAT things happen.

God wrestled with Jacob and after the wrestling he walked with a cane.  That was another lesson I learned from a preacher on the radio last week. Timely.  Jacob received his blessing, promises, and calling after the wrestling and walked with a limp and cane to prove it. In his old age he leaned on his staff and worshiped.

Could I see the working out of the pain and hurt as a wrestling with God and His truth?  Would I be okay with walking with a limp and cane only to know that on the other side is beauty, blessings, ministry.  Could the wrestling help someone else and produce a work?  Something HAS to come out of this wrestling.  Jacob cried out to God and said he would not let God go and give up the wrestling until God blessed him. Cling to God.  He will bless you.  Although we don’t like to think of a loving God wrestling with us, its in the wrestling that greatness is produced.

A quote from Chelsea this morning:

“When you are willing to use your gifts and talents to your full potential, God will provide the place that maximizes them. He is also going to supernaturally provide unexpected opportunities and wonderful surprises.”

What if the very thing that causes hurt becomes your potential or talent? What if God puts you in places with unexpected opportunities and wonderful surprises surrounding the work or wrestling you’ve been involved in?  Take a look at this verse:

The presence of the Holy Spirit in us demonstrates the genuineness of our faith, proves that we are God’s children, and secures eternal life for us. His power works in us to transform us now, and what we experience now is a taste of the total change we will experience in eternity. Eph. 1:14

No total complete perfection here on earth.  Just saying that gives us permission to not beat ourselves up when we fail or wrestle, but to cling to His grace and begin the wrestling as a warrior ready for battle.  One thing you CAN count on – – it’s solid – – is HIS POWER WORKING IN US TO TRANSFORM US NOW!  There is a transformation and working out of our salvation by His power right now.  You may feel really insecure or hopeless, but God doesn’t.  He sees you AFTER the wrestling.  It’s beautiful! The word:  BELIEVE!

Cry…let the tears fall
Wrestle with a God and let Him hear your heart (He already knows it)
Worship Him and let Him speak to your soul and mind
Listen to the Spirit around you at work giving you direction and take a step
BELIEVE that right NOW He is transforming you
Know that Heaven will come – – our Hope, and all things will be made perfect

During my break today at school, I was so overjoyed to have a major presentation completed and a week of worship was still in my heart.  I went to the corner of a hallway for some alone time and saw this tree.  I wondered how long that tree had been there surviving in the city, and how majestic it was sitting between two rather dull buildings.  He seemed to have the beauty and age of a tree that should be hanging out on some mountain.  This beauty in the midst of two buildings, cramped, seemingly trapped was blooming and providing beauty for all of us.  The tree lived and is thriving, growing and providing, and survived all the many changes of the campus. I’ll let you decide how meaningful this picture and thoughts are in your heart… (I’d love to hear from you!)

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Tracey french says:

    Love you Anna!


    1. Tracey,
      I love you too! 🙂 You have always been for me a walking testimony of strength and God’s love. When I saw your name and “Love you Anna!” I got all warm and fuzzy. It was a Jesus hug! THANK YOU.


  2. Joan Riddick says:

    Though barriers and darkness mount up around me, I keep looking upward to You O Lord to give me strength and hope.


      • Good morning Joan,
        No matter what – Keep looking upward to YOU O Lord to give me strength. Do you know I’ve been to Cracker Barrel a million times and have NEVER noticed the ceiling of the gift shop? I decided to “look up” as a gesture to get me through some things going on in front of me and was an act of “prayer” when I saw all these beautiful, old equipment and tools. I asked everyone around me – “Have you ever seen these? Is it in all Cracker Barrels?” Everyone pretty much said yes. WOW! That was so profound for me. The world is so different when you lift your head UP, look around. So practicing pulling my shoulders back, head UP, and taking in the view! 🙂


  3. Charlene says:

    The tree reminds me that life always goes on, no matter what go on around us. The walls could be significant to the walls we build around our hearts – to protect us, but they don’t really serve us well. The walls don’t let us feel our emotions and to love with all we have, just like those walls around the tree don’t let it grow to its full potential. When you talk about “believing” in your comments, I like to replace the word “believe” with the word “know”. I KNOW there is a wonderful God directing my life and loving me. I KNOW God is in the process of transforming me..I could go on and on…but KNOWING just seems like a more powerful word to use. I KNOW God put you in my life for a reason:-) LOVE YOU ANNA!


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