Because He is.

I found an old journal the other day. As far as old goes, it’s not that old, a little less than two years. But as far as life goes, it could have been written a millennia ago.

A mentor gave me a stack of stripes of paper, each one having a name or attribute of Jesus written on it. She instructed me to pick 7 and focus on one each day of the week.

The strips were all laid out and slowly seven were chosen. The ones that jumped out at me, the ones I heard Jesus whisper, “Pick that one!”, the ones that seemed significant.

And really which ones don’t?

It’s an act of Jesus grace that He slowly unfolds and unfurls Himself for us and to us. He doesn’t expect us to fully grasp Him all at once. He knows Himself and our heart so intimately He knows just which facet of His character, His life we need in that exact moment.

And He meets us there with Himself. He always meets us. Always meets us where are, with what we need. And what we always need is Him. More of Him.

We need our understanding broadened. Our scope widened. We don’t love and serve a one-dimensional God, just as we are not one-dimensional people.

Seven little strips of paper. One steno pad full of 100 blank pages. One small, hopeful woman and one Mighty God.

Oh Lord, help me choose. Which parts of You do I need to know more right here, right now?  Which one is first, Jesus? Then second?

Then on down the line, I asked with each one. Until my first month was complete. The steno pad was opened and on the first page, blank, but full of hope and promise, I wrote the week and the day. I recorded there in ink Who my Jesus was and what that meant I am. The verse He put in my mind was penned there too.

And then on each page my heart soared as my hand scribbled His truth whispered on my heart, shouted in my mind.

It’s been two years almost since I started that journal. I have nearly filled those 100 pages with His Life, His Truth.

They’ve been filled with Him. His presence. His grace.

Here’s the funny thing. He is still speaking the same things to my heart today. Two years and He’s saying the same things. Is it because I’ve failed a test? I’ve failed to grasp the truth of Him?

No. His repeated teaching does not mean we are stupid. It shows His faithfulness. His repeated teaching does not mean we’re being punished because we screwed it all up again and failed Him again. It shows His great patience and love. It shouts of His knowing how we are made and the very realness of our enemy.

His repeated teaching is an act of His grace. It shines like a beacon of the Light of His Life.

Dear soul, please take these words with you into your new year. His repeated teaching is not a punishment, it’s grace. It’s His gift.


That Sweet-sweet Spot

Yesterday our pastor opened up the service for people to share how they have found sweetness of life in and with Jesus. As those around me shared their thoughts, I cast about in my mind for one. What would I say was the sweetness I have found because of Jesus?

I was in a near panic when nothing really came to mind that I deemed worth sharing. Everything sound like a trite, pat answer. It sounded like I knew all the Christian-ese to make me look superior to everyone else.

But not only that. I’ve been attacked on social media and in my own personal life on planet earth. I’ve been walking a bit wounded and angry. Mostly wounded but the wounds come out in anger. I did not want to open myself up to anymore hurt, anymore angry feelings. I didn’t want to give anyone a chance to tell me how wrong I am about everything.

So I kept quiet. But I also kept praying. Because I really wanted to know and I really wanted to hear it straight from the lips of Jesus. I needed to know like I need coffee in the morning and like I need sleep at night. I needed to know He really loved me and we had a sweetness of relationship.

Because some relationships–dear relationships—relationships I love and need like air—-are still in difficulty. They are still broken. There is a still a very painful, misunderstood silence to them. The sweetness has for a time seemed to go out of those relationships, there is just an almost bitter sweetness to them. Sweet because of what they were and bitter because of wondering if we’ll ever get back to that.

There is one particular relationship that is broken, not beyond repair but still broken. This relationship was, no IS, so very dear to me. In this relationship I found a sweet place of acceptance.

“Hey! We fight like we’re brother and sister – awesome!”
“Why is that awesome?”
“Because it means we feel comfortable enough with each other to be real and argue.”
“I’m sorry I fought with you.”
“And me you.” 

That is also one of my sweet places of life with Jesus, or rather the sweetness of having His life living in and through me. Finally my heart finds a home, it finds the acceptance and place of belonging it has always looked for and eternally needed. I am fully heard, completely seen, always accepted, and so lavishly loved.

It means I have a family. It means I belong to someone. It means I don’t have to look to myself to meet my own needs. It means I don’t have to be in control. It means I’m not at fault for every sin since Eve ate the fruit in the garden. It is that I no longer have to feel condemnation because I can’t and don’t do it all.

The sweetness is this abandoned, abused little girl gets to belong to someone forever. It is knowing fully that even if everyone left me I would still have Jesus and He is enough, even for that.

That luscious sweet spot that says my needs are met fully by someone else and I don’t have to work and manipulate to get them met on my own and in my own strength.

It means I have a whole new life. The old is so completely gone. It means everything is made new. Old attitudes? They’re made new. Old thought patterns and heart attitudes? They don’t affect me anymore. They are dead and I’m, I’m more alive than ever.

The sweetness is I am free. I am free from; death, sin’s consequence, sin, sin’s power, the grave. But I am also free to live! To love. To have joy, peace, kindness.


Your Identity.

In a recent post I wrote the following words: “I am not my thoughts. I am not my sin. I am not my temptations. I am not my past reactions.” (You can find the whole post here.) I was chatting with a friend the other day and this post came up. I want to clear up what could possibly be some misunderstandings and misinterpretations of my words. I can only say those words because the life of Jesus lives in me. He is in control of my life. 

If you are not indwelt with the Life of Jesus, if He is not living in you doing all the doing through you, you are your thoughts (“as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7), you are your sin. You are your temptations and you are your reactions. Those are all components of your identity. 

It pains me to no end to say this, everything you believe about yourself, all the things you’ve been told are true if you are not indwelt with Jesus. Everyone of them is true about you, it is who you are and it is what you are. As long as you choose to stay there, rejecting Jesus and the power of His life, they will be true.

Dear reader, there is hope though! There is freedom. There is life, free and abundant in Jesus. There is forgiveness. You could have a whole new identity. Based not on what you’ve done, or thought, but because of what Jesus has done for you.  

The only way to ditch fear, say good-by to strongholds is in His power. It is in surrendering completely to Him, allowing His life to live in, through, and out of you.  The only way to change your identity, change who you are, is to submit to Jesus, lay down your weapons, accept His sacrificial death as payment for your sins, and walk in His steps. His life in you changes you from the inside out.

It is only because of His life, and His Spirit living in you that those things said about, your past, your thoughts, and your sins are no longer true. They become lies of the enemy, whispered in your mind to keep you chained. Jesus sets you free from all of that.

The Peace of Advent

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

The Prince of Peace brings peace because He is Peace, and where He reigns, peace reigns. The fruit of His life–of His presence–is Peace. Those who are in Him have peace, they might not always recognize it, might not always feel it, or appropriate it, but they can never be without it. 

Because they can never be without the Prince of Peace. 

Grace and peace are so often linked in Scripture. Those precious souls who are indwelt with the Life of Jesus are drowning in both. His grace rains on us and His Peace rules in us, both draw us to Him wild, wonderful ways. 

The life of one indwelt by Jesus is marked, not with times of peace, but the never-ending, always there, Presence of Peace.

The child of God is never without peace and never in darkness. There is no “fake it until you make it” with Jesus. We don’t walk as children of light until we are, or until we feel we are children of light. We are children of Light, now walk like it. It is your identity!

It’s who you are just as much as your name is. The lies of the enemy keep us from realizing that we are no longer darkness and in darkness. 

For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His Beloved Son.

Colossians 1:13

This isn’t a “slap a band-aid over that gaping wound of your soul so no one will see it” peace. This isn’t a “chant it until you believe it” peace.  This is a Believe It! No options. You either choose to simply believe it or you don’t. You can argue with it, but that is just arguing and not believing.  Arguing won’t change your life, believing will. Believing His never-ending, always on, always there, peace is for someone else but not for you is not believing it. 

Please, dear reader, hear my heart, you need to–no, you must–ditch the stronghold of “I am full of darkness!” or “I am darkness”. Admit and confess the lie of believing Jesus did not bring His Light and His peace to you. Then ask Him to speak His Truth, shine His Light on the stronghold and set your captive heart free. 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me…to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.

Isaiah 61:1

Now walk in the freedom and truth of who you are, A child of Light.

Hope of Advent

“Is this three?”, she asked holding up two fingers. 
“No, that’s two.” 
“Is this three?” This time she held up four fingers.
“Not quite. Here. Look. This is three.” I said as I held up three fingers. She giggled and said, “I’m three.”

This cute little girl, with the dark ringlets and impish grin, told me she wants a horse and a zebra for Christmas this year. She doesn’t think that’s too much. She very nicely told me she would put “coffee and chocolate” on my Christmas list when I told her that was what I wanted. 

My little friend has high hopes she’ll find a horse and zebra under her tree on Christmas morning. We all have high hopes this time of year. Some might hope to get a Christmas bonus big enough to cover their Christmas gifts, or Christmas dinner. Some might hope for a spouse, a child, a house, a new car, snow (or no snow), a new phone, a new computer or ______________________(insert your wish here). 

That isn’t the hope of Advent though. The hope of Advent is a sure hope. It’s a hope that says, “It’s a done deal!” In fact, the Greek word translated into English as hope means, “absolute future certainty.” 

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people.

Luke 1:68

This morning that verse fairly jumped off the page at me. This was penned before Jesus was born, before He lived His sinless life, before He died a cruel death that should have been ours, before He died to pay for our sins. The Holy Spirit told Zechariah that redemption had been accomplished. It wasn’t something yet in the future, it was seen in that moment as having been accomplished, completed, done. 

So what does that mean for us in this season of Advent? Simply. We can live as fully loved, fully blessed, fully redeemed children of God. Because our redemption is not in the future. It’s not when we get our life and act together, it’s not when we get married, or have a baby, or get a new car, or house. Our redemption is now. It’s completely now. It’s completely completed now. There is not one more thing that needs to be done to redeem us. 

You might be thinking, “But you don’t know what I’ve done…”. That’s true, I don’t. But Jesus does. And guess what? He’s not surprised by your sin, your ugliness. He died to redeem those sins, those sins you think put you beyond all hope of redemption. 

Those sins that make you cringe and say, “Not those sins.” The very ones that make you shudder to think of, and you say, “I just can’t forgive myself for that.”

Let me very lovingly tell your heart today, dear friend, you are not beyond redemption. You are not beyond forgiveness. You are not beyond God’s forgiveness. You, also, are not more powerful than God. His forgiveness is complete. You do not have to and you absolutely can not add anything to it. There is nothing you can do, nothing you have to do to earn your own redemption. You cannot help God redeem you, you can’t pick up any of God’s lack or slack, because, God has none. 

There is nothing lacking in God. He lacks nothing. So put down your anger, your bitterness, your unforgiveness. Put them down at the cross. And walk away free from all of that. 

Your redemption is accomplished! It has been accomplished for two thousand years. Please, dear friend, let’s choose to live like it this Advent. 

Rambling Rumbles of Advent

So it’s the season of Christmas. December 1. Outside my house is cloudy, dreary, and just plain ugly. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent.  I don’t remember ever hearing about Advent as a child. If I did it was probably in hushed tones, that I took for scandalous. I probably thought Advent, like Lent (another thing we didn’t take notice of), was a Pentecostal thing and not something good Baptist little girls partook in. Which is, in and of itself, quite laughable. I never was one to consider myself a good, little girl, Baptist or not. 

A few months ago I expressed on Facebook how much I wanted to approach this holiday season differently, with more intention, instead of in my usual haphazard way. I wanted to enjoy it more. I asked how my friends accomplished that monumental task. One friend brought me a book she had read, Loving My Actual Christmas. (If you’re looking for a review of that book, keep looking. That isn’t the point of this post. Chances are I will review the book some day, but that some day is not this day.) Alexandra Kuykendall wrote it to read much like a blog post. Maybe it started that way? I don’t know. But anyway, I’m digressing.  

As I was reading this book while selling honey at the Farmer’s Market this morning I had to sit back and wonder on some things. I pondered Mary. We have over the course of the last two thousand years made much of Mary. I we have elevated her to near God-hood. But think about this with me for a moment. 

She was ordinary. She was just an ordinary Jewish girl. There was nothing spectacular about her. Do you ever wonder why God chose her and not some other girl? Do you ever wonder what she was doing when the angel appeared to her? Did she have any idea what was about to come? Did she have a sense of something great looming on her horizon?

Because what was looming on her horizon was the greatest thing to ever loom on anyone’s horizon. That moment in time changed time, not only Mary but all of us and for all time. There had never been a moment just like before and there hasn’t been one since. 

I doubt Mary had any idea what was really happening and what it would mean to her and to all of us for all time. Did she think that two thousand years ago her story would be told? 

What happened to Mary changed not only her life, but He changed mine too. That moment in time changed the trajectory of the world. 

…And we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

For a brief moment, human eyes beheld the God who created the universe. The Most Holy God was clothed in the flesh of man, birthed by an ordinary girl. 

True Confessions

Something someone said, or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do, hurt my feelings and made me a bit mad. It hit me in just the wrong spot. The spot where a stronghold lives…still. 

And I was all up in arms. I was armed and ready to let them have it. My tongue was sarcastic, and acid dripped from every syllable of every word that I drug out as long as a I possibly could. In my mind. Because you see, sometimes I rehearse what I’ll say while I rehash their evil deeds so I’m justified in my hateful behavior. 

For the life of me I cannot remember what was said/not said, done/not done to me to get me all riled up with death on my heart. I can’t even remember who had me so angry I mentally treated them as if I wanted them dead.  

This is what happens to us and in us when our strongholds are bumped, or body slammed. We want to wish death on the offending party. That is what anger is. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at Matthew 5.

‘You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court, and whoever shall say to his brother ‘Raca’ shall be guilty before the supreme court, and whoever shall say, ‘You fool’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

Matthew 5:21-22

Suddenly we’re looking at strongholds in a whole new light, aren’t we? Suddenly they aren’t quite so cozy, are they? We need to stop making friends with them and take them to the cross. That is where we’ll find the healing we so desperately want, need, and search for.

The cross. The cross stands in staunch opposition to all strongholds and all of life, and the way things are. The way we are. It stands in a fixed moment in time for all time– 

For all of us.

But it stands. It doesn’t chase us down, it doesn’t run us down. It doesn’t run from us because we’re too evil. It stands and it is we that must run to it. Run with our backpacks and bags full of our garbage. We must run to it as fast as our sinful legs will allow us to run, and there in it’s shade we must fall to our knees, embrace the cross of suffering and say, “I’m all in because I’m all done. I’m giving in because I give up. Please take these bags, and the pack I’m carrying. Renew me, remake me into Your image.”  

Then we rise clothed, not in the dirty rags of a beggar, a sinner, but in the spotless robes of His righteousness, His holiness, His blamelessness. 

The cross stands in staunch opposition to all we were and we thought we had to be. The “Hound of Heaven” does not, and will not, chase us down alleyways and streets to beat us into submission with His cross. His cross is not our punishment–it is the proof of payment made for our sins. It is stamped “Paid In Full” because Jesus took all our sins and He became them on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21), all so He could pay our debt to God. 

The cross of Jesus is the most loving torture device ever conceived of by man. What man meant for evil–in making the cross–God meant for good. The weight of our suffering post-cross experience is nothing compared to the suffering we wallowed in pre-cross. Before we suffered without help and without hope. After we have both help and hope in our sufferings. 

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

So when things make your heart go thump in the night, and make you angrier than a wet hen, just stop. Stop and pray, “Jesus, is there any stronghold that is being bumped?” I can speak from personal experience of His complete faithfulness to reveal and heal it. But you have to run TO Him with the hurt. 

Taking The Guesswork out of the Will of God

It’s a few days before Thanksgiving. The day we in America set aside to remember our roots and to give thanks for all we have, all we’ve been through, and all we will go through. Many here no longer believe it’s right to celebrate the original meaning of the day and I’m certainly not here to debate it. If you want to debate the whole topic, get your own blog and debate away. For the purposes of this post, I’m simply going to say we should willing jump at the chance to spend one day in reflection and be thankful for all we have. My nation is a blessed nation. 

Personally speaking I have a lot to be thankful for, I have been blessed abundantly more than I could ever hope to deserve. My greatest blessing is life in Jesus. I am alive because of Him and only because of Him and His life lived out for me. 

When I sit back and reflect on my life, I am amazed at His faithfulness, His grace. He is not just in my life; He is not just a part of my life. He IS my life.  Even just sitting here, as the winter sun is setting out my window, reflecting on Him, I feel the quick sting of tears. 

When I was a little girl, I never dreamed about what I wanted to be, because I never thought I would live to be ten. Why waste time dreaming when surviving was more important? But when I allowed myself a few stolen moments to think what I would want to be if I lived to adulthood, a crybaby never made the cut. I never had the aspirations of being a crybaby, but here I am. A crybaby. But I’m His crybaby. 

A few days ago I was chatting about the will of God, what it was, how we could find it, know what it is.  The will of God was honestly not something I had ever spent a lot of time thinking about.  And even less time trying to figure out what His will for me was. I didn’t concern myself with following His will. 

Most of my life it was out of ignorance and selfishness. I really didn’t care all that much what His will for me was, I was sure it was nothing good and nothing I would ever want.

In the chat I realized one thing. My view of God’s will has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. It’s not something I sat down and studied out. I didn’t study verses pertaining to the will of God, I didn’t look them up in the Hebrew and Greek to see what was originally meant by those words. I didn’t read commentaries on the subject. 

I simply surrendered. Sounds intrinsically simple and it kind of is. 
I used to think if I only delighted in Him, whatever my heart wanted He would be obligated to give me. I mean, that’s what it says right? At one point I matured enough to know I could not claim to delight in Him just to get what my heart desired. 

” Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of  your heart.” 

Psalm 37:4

My thinking was skewed. No, it wasn’t skewed, it was wrong. As we walk surrendered to Him and in Him, He becomes our delight. In this His will becomes our desire. 

It is only when we surrender ourselves fully to Him that we find the answer to His will.  At the risk of sounding crazy (and really when has that risk ever stopped me before?), let me say, I don’t “follow” His will. I live surrendered to Him. Do I mis-hear Him? Yes. Do I misunderstand Him? Yes. But His will is not some some cosmic game of hide and seek. 

He is not sitting up there in heaven with a rubber mallet just waiting for us to pick the wrong door in trying to discern His will for our lives. He isn’t going to bop us on the head when we mess up. He isn’t waiting to zap us with lightning for choosing the wrong door. 

Because we don’t choose it! He is THE door! He knows exactly what He wants me to be for Him. I don’t have to worry and fret about it for one second. Do I have a lot of options? Maybe. I’m not that talented so probably not actually. But it’s not up to me to figure it out and then do it. 

The only thing I can do, is surrender. I die to self, I deny myself and He lives in me, working for His good pleasure. His will? He puts that desire on my heart.

We are so quick to see and believe that Jesus is some cosmic killjoy. Just waiting for us to want something so He can pounce on us and say, “NO! You got it wrong again!” He’s not like that! He is faithful to teach and prepare us for His will.

Please know, I struggle like everyone else. Surrender and trust, both are a must if we’re going to obey Him, are not at all easy for me. I can honestly say, however, that I am fully engaged because I’m fully surrendered.

We have cleaned my filter and I’m hearing His voice. It has been a long, long process to come to this point. The past 2.5 years have been hard as a lot of heart work has been done as He has worked in me to bring to the place of a full-nothing-held-back surrender. 

Please hear me, I have not arrived with Jesus and He does not owe me anything. There is something so sweet about our relationship now that I would not trade for anything. I didn’t have this sweetness of relationship before when I was trying so dang hard to please Him, to do everything right, to walk in His will, be perfect, my life was a wreck. He has freed me from so much self and self-effort. 

Maybe you’re like I was, striving, straining, trying so dang hard to be all we think we’re supposed to be. We think we have to delight ourselves in Him by our own force of will. We can’t. His life isn’t about straining to please Him. It isn’t about picking the right door, the right job, the right vocation. 

His life is simply about being His. 

So surrender yourself to Him.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it. 

Psalm 37:5

Strongholds and hard hearts

We all have strongholds. There is not a person alive who does not have strongholds. Whether or not we ever choose to acknowledge them or invite Jesus in to speak into our strongholds and set us free, we all have them. 

Mine are no worse than yours. And yours are no worse than mine. They all stem from sin. Every sin we commit comes straight from a stronghold. 

Remember all strongholds are lies. And we believe them. We choose to believe them over the truth of Jesus. All sin comes straight from our strongholds and all sin comes from and causes a hard heart. 

Strongholds harden our hearts against hearing the voice of Jesus. Strongholds keep us from hearing and obeying Him. We don’t, won’t and don’t want to hear His voice. 

I was reading the story of Moses before Pharaoh in Exodus 7:13-14. These verses say much the same thing, so you know it’s important to note that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. We know from this story that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart so His wonders, His power could be seen clearly. The Lord did this according to His will and purpose. It was for, according to and fit His plan. 

In my studying I began wondering what else causes a hard heart.  Jesus, ever faithful to speak to our hearts, directed my thoughts to see that our hearts are hardened because of the following:

  • Sin hardens our heart away from the things of Jesus.
  • A lack of trust. We don’t trust Him to know what He is doing. So we harden our hearts against His life in us. 
  • Pride. We think we don’t really need Him because we know better. We believe we’re smarter than Jesus.

Strongholds harden our hearts and they exchange the truth of God for a lie. (Romans 1:25). When we operate in our strongholds and hold tightly to them, we worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. (Romans 1:25)

Strongholds allow us to know God, but not to honor Him as God. Strongholds put us firmly in the driver’s seat and there is very little room for God in our lives. (One could say in this instance, very  little equals none.) We honor Him as best we can when the strongholds are not being pushed, but when they are, out goes the honor and in comes the anger and the futility of our speculations. Our heart gets a little darker and harder. 

We soon deem Christianity and Jesus a failure. We still go to church, we’re still doing the “right things” because “it’s the right thing to do”, and we hope it will all pass. We love the verses that say, “and it came to pass” and we cling to that while we shove every hurt down deep because “real Christians don’t do that, don’t feel that”. And we’re baptized in pickle juice. Because all of life hurts. And we’re sure we’ve missed the boat on the whole Jesus thing. Because life isn’t pain-free and easy.

This is not freedom! Freedom is taking all those heart and soul hurts to the cross of Jesus. Freedom is digging deep to find the lies we’re believing, asking Jesus to come and speak His life-giving, life-sustaining truth into the hurt, the lie. It is His voice alone that shatters the strongholds and sets us free to be who He created us to be and find our identity in Jesus. 

We don’t have to chant or memorize identity statements and declarations every day. We don’t have to try so hard. We don’t have to work and wonder. We don’t have to keep trying to fix ourselves and remember verses about who we are. We don’t have to slap half-believed Bible verses about who we are over our pain.

We get to run to Him with it. He is so faithful to speak truth to it and then we have the abundant, full life He promised. 

It is possible for someone to know God and choose not to honor Him as God and refuse to give thanks.This leads to a hardened-foolish heart and all our speculations become futile.

To not honor someone is to treat them as common. When we do not honor God we do not make Him glorious. We treat Him as common, we bring Him down to our level. 

In essence, we become our own god. To persist in this, hardens our heart, makes our thoughts worthless. 

We exchange His glory for our own. And He won’t share His glory with anyone. 

So, dear reader, take your hurts to His cross, confess them. Admit the lies you’ve believed about Him and allow Him to whisper His truth to your soul. 

As always, your comments are welcome. If you would rather not use the comment sections of this blog, you are free to email me. Simply use the Contact Me! link at the top. If you need help understanding strongholds more, or need prayer, feel free to contact me! I would love to help you!