Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Secret Room...Where I Fight

"Is that door a different color again," asked the husband with his head cocked sideways and one eyebrow raised.

"Describe...different color..." - a wife diverting the conversation.

When we built this house in 2004 we designated an office space for my husband's business that housed his many files, franchise binders, and the dinosaur-sized-desktop-computer we then owned. As the years have moved on, he has digitized all his files onto a much smaller laptop, which has migrated downstairs to his "man cave" area.

This migration left this hidden office, that is tucked away behind our master closet, unused on a daily basis, and therefore inevitably becoming the "catch-all" of our busy lives.

In 2014 I wrote a blog that was the beginning of a journey to transform our home into something that better served who we are today as a family. My journey of transformation took-on a new meaning later that year and continuing until now; here we are on June 29, 2016 and I can tell you I'm just now getting to a place of completion with most of the house. My redecorating journey ended up serving as a grief counselor as last year I lost a total of seven people who were somehow a part of my life, and another co-worker last month. I've spent my extracurricular time attempting to design my grief away.

As I painted my front door a total of nine different times, bought a billion different chairs, rugs, accent pillows, and curtains, my husband just sat back and let me do whatever I felt like for the day. I think he knew it kept my mind busy, however, there were still times I just needed a place to collapse and cry.

As I found the energy to tackle this mound of junk covering what used to be our home office, I spent an entire day painting and trying to figure out what I would use this hidden room for. I considered a couple of options but decided I would just decorate it and let it become whatever it was to become.

I was drawn to this room. I had moved my prayer time to this area. My husband asked me if this was my war room...I guess it is. I prayed beside my bed before this, but I can tell you that having an area, wherever it may be, is healing for our souls.

I have encouraged my children to create a place in their rooms where they pray, meditate, read the Word of God, and lay down their cares for the day. We all need a place of refuge, and as our church sanctuary serves as a refuge for us in a corporate body setting, I have discovered a prayer closet (as the Word describes) is a gift to us from God. The power of praying out loud, speaking our cares and concerns, and just being in communion with our father is more healing than any other form of communication I have ever experienced. I spoke about Psalms 91 at Hope Group Monday evening, and how this Psalm describes a secret place with God, a place that protects us from the enemy, and gives us rest...that secret place is in prayer...the very shadow of his wing where he protects us.

As the rest of the nation/world is debating how to handle the ever present evil in this world, I learned a long time ago that I cannot fight this evil with my fist, more guns, or gun control, however, the Word says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so I fight this present darkness on my knees in prayer and worship: my most powerful weapons of warfare. How protected would we become if every home in America had a place of prayer that was used on a daily basis. Daniel prayed three times a day and interceded on behalf of his people and God delivered.

I watched God deliver a young man from anxiety attacks Monday evening in my living room. I saw his face and knew from experience what was happening...after talking him through some verses and explaining how to be set free from it, he looked at me and said, "It's gone!" I just grinned...He told me he hasn't had any anxiety since. This is from a young man who was struggling with 3-4 attacks a day, every day for over a year. My God is my refuge and strong tower, and I am overwhelmed he allows us to share his good news with others, and then watch him work in their lives. Watch him become their strong tower of refuge.

My favorite piece:

I adore decorating our home with items made for me by friends/family. I was scrolling through facebook one evening and came across a friend who had discovered a new talent. My heart was drawn to have her paint me an angel for my room. The first time I laid eyes on it I was overwhelmed with emotion, I knew it was perfect for this place that I would be carrying mine and so many other's needs to my father. And it is... (Thank you, Jennifer Carmine.) 
The yellow rose is from my daddy's casket spray...