My sister Lisa was a 13-year-old blonde beauty with big blue eyes. With a heart of gold, she was so full of love and was one of the most caring, compassionate and courageous people I’ve ever met. While I was out blowing my allowance, Lisa saved hers all year to buy Christmas presents. She never thought of herself – she was always thinking of others.
I always felt it was my role to take care of my baby sister. And when the worst happened, I was riddled with guilt as I was supposed to be strong enough to save her. While her sickness and death was totally out of my control, the enemy heaped lie after lie upon me, and I believed every one.
After all, I was her older sister. At the age of 17 how could I let this happen? Even though I was just a young woman excited about the future, my shame would ultimately convince me I shouldn’t look to my future when she didn’t have a future. My world was changed forever with the loss of my precious sister.
The world lost one of the most amazing little girls God had ever created, and I just knew it was my fault. While the angels were rejoicing the day Lisa went to heaven I was drowning in tears. I didn’t understand God’s ways. I accused Him. Why God? Why?
Lisa’s death was one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure in my life. From the moment she drew her last breath, sadly I was never the same.
Has there been a time in your life you ever felt powerless or weak? Have you experienced a time when you didn’t know how you would make it one more minute, never the less one more day? I have, and it was only through God’s strength in me that I was able to endure and move past the mourning season. It wasn’t an easy time for me, but God was there every moment comforting me as only He could.
This was a season I learned the true meaning of Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I needed a refuge, and it was Elohim, the Father, Spirit and Son, that carried me through this most difficult time. I’ve heard it said time heals all wounds, but I have come to understand that time didn’t heal anything… it was Jesus Christ who brought be back to life!
Before this tragedy, I was a carefree, STRONG woman. Full of courage and vigor, I wasn’t afraid of anything. However, after her death, I went from being fearless to fearful. The enemy used my sister’s death to make me afraid and weak. I felt shame for having to go on without her.
Her death left a hole in my heart the enemy filled with lies. I felt lack, defeated and scared. Instability had set in, and I wondered if my life and my family member’s lives would be normal again.
In John 10:10 we are warned the enemy comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy. The enemy killed my sister, destroyed the family I’d known and stole my truth.
But the good news is God made a way for me to be victorious over the enemy when I was able to stand up and fight. Jesus encourages us in the scripture “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
My story didn’t end in demise after I found hope in Jesus Christ and bolstered my faith in His promises.
I’m so thankful for God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
This means because of His grace, there is nothing we have to work for. We can rely on His strength in our weakness. It took me a little while to grasp this scripture as I was used to relying on my own strength. When I finally came to the place that I could accept His grace and received it as a gift I grew strong again.
Gaining that strength required me to dig into the deep places in my heart to see the strongholds and lies I had been bought into. The Lord was faithful to protect me and help me every step of the way!
It happened just as 2 Timothy 4:17 described: …the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…
Years later, my daughter went through a traumatic time in her life. She needed a mom who could listen with no judgement, keep an open mind, and could love her no matter what she had to say and no matter how difficult it was to hear.
While I will not share the details of that time, what I can say is that it was the hardest conversation I ever had to hear and the greatest challenge of my life. It was such a blessing that I had learned how to lean on the strength of the Lord during the season of my sister’s death. It was only in His strength that I was able to support, prop up and comfort my daughter! I would be a force to reckon with. I would be strong for her. I would fight the enemy when she couldn’t.
She needed to know irrevocably that I believed in her and in the truth! We stood together, and with many prayers and God’s help we preserved through this time! I not only had strength for myself, but also was able to pour into my daughter the love that Jesus Christ had poured into me. It was beautiful, and today I can look at how she now pours that strength and love out to others as well.
2 Corinthians 12:10 says for when I am weak, then I am strong. It was in weakness I was able to access the strength that Jesus Christ provides. He is our strength if we will reach out and receive all He has for us.
I was never weak or powerless just as I was not responsible for the death of my sister. The truth then, the truth when my daughter needed me and the truth now is simple: I am courageous, a tower of strength and a child of the most high God. I am all He says I am!
The good news is that no matter what the enemy whispers in your ear, the truth is you are also strong, courageous and a child of the Most High. You are a force to reckon with!
Courageous one, if you have grown weary in a difficult season of your life, it’s time to receive God’s grace to strengthen you. It’s easy. Simply repeat the prayer below, have faith and trust God’s word will never condemn or harm you in anyway. Say out loud the following:
Father God, I thank you that you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I recognize I have come into agreement with lies. I take responsibility for believing that ______________ (fill in the blank). When I believed the lie, I felt _______________ (fill in the blank). I repent for entertaining negative thoughts and renounce the lie. Father God, I ask you to replace the lie with your truth. I thank you for your forgiveness and for your unfailing love. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I break any agreements I made with the enemy and ask for a fresh revelation of my identity in Christ. Amen.
Questions to pray and ponder over:
- Have you ever felt powerless or responsible for something that was not in your control? Repent and ask God to remove all spirits of accusation, false burden bearing, guilt and shame. And then give Him thanks and praise for setting you free.
- What are some things you can do to get the strength needed to get through a difficult time?
- Do you feel defeated in a situation right now? How can you replace the lie that the enemy hoisted upon you with God’s truth and find strength in Him?
Pray out loud and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to find a scripture then start meditating on it and let God’s truth take root in your heart. This is a good first step to start living free and victoriously!
If you want to learn more about finding strength through weakness, visit http://sonrisechurchandministries.sermon.net/main/main/20679990 to listen to a great teaching by John Aldridge, Senior Pastor of Son Rise Church and Ministries.