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2016 is here, and it’s going to be a great one! It has to be, I can’t take anymore ups and downs that plagued 2015. The year started on a high note, literally, which quickly became a very low note of self-destruction and pain. Yet I learned a lot walking in the wilderness last year.

Personal Update:

Two months ago God spoke to me, He told me my time in the wilderness was coming to an end and to get ready for what was to come. A number of things happened all at once. I switched to Valium (diazepam) from Ativan (lorazepam), and I ordered a Derek Prince book from Amazon I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Somehow I got five books sent to me of his, all on my list, so I figured it was a pretty strong sign I needed to get reading, so I did.

Through out everything I discovered a few things. First of all it is time to deal with some strongholds that have been lingering in the background for sometime. Last summer at Colour Conference London I picked up Beth Moore’s book “Breaking Free”, and the study that went with it, which I am beginning this week with a dear friend of mine. It hasn’t been the right time to start until now. It definitely sets the tone for where I am right now.

The second insight God has slammed me in the face with: One day, one moment, one second at a time. It’s not enough to rely on Him, I have to rely on God with each breath I take. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy thing. I am rebellious, stubborn, independent, intelligent, and wilfully prone to do my own thing regardless of anyone else. Yet to walk in Christ means exactly that: to walk where He is.

I feel like I am stuck in a loop. I have insights, I grow, I stumble, I have insights… I’ve been fighting for stability for almost 20 years. Fighting for control over my illness. I’ve done it without God and with Him and I’ve learned I triumph only when I am not alone.

The lessons I’ve learned recently are the same one’s God has been teaching me these last 20 years. In the last few years I have been disheartened, struggling with things I already know, wondering why I wasn’t getting anywhere. I spent many hours at the end of this last year taking inventory of myself, my life, and my decisions especially my spiritual ones.

Through hours of prayer and meditation God revealed just how far I had come. The struggles may seem to be the same -bipolar, depression, medication, erratic behaviour- but when I look closer they have subtly changed and so have the lessons.

Seven years ago God brought me to my knees, not only literally but figuratively in my life. When I felt my life tearing apart to the point I was afraid I could no longer cope I gave up. Not on my life, on trying to cope alone. I surrendered myself completely to God and let Him lead me, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, sometimes minute-by-minute.

The situation I was in didn’t change, in fact it got worse, but I gained a new strength unlike any I had ever experienced before. As a Christian, it sounds pretty cliché, even amongst Christian circles, just surrender your will to God and all will be ok! Well, that’s not exactly how it works. If you seek God long enough, eventually He will place you in a position where you will fall on your knees and that will be it.

I was 32 years old. I fought by myself for so long, knowing God was there, knowing His word, but still trying to do it myself, like a two year old, a spiritual two year old.

At 39 I begin the new year looking forward to my 40th birthday, a stronger relationship with Christ, an end of my 5 year battle with benzodiazepines, and a new found freedom to explore the calling God has placed on my heart. It starts here, now, today.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/124280874@N07/23723116809″>2016 Denmark Beach</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;