It’s Your Choice, Life or Death

It amazes me that no matter what our circumstances are in our lives we actually get to choose how we are going to navigate through them. Like seriously, that seems almost imposible to comprehend to me. With so many decisions that have to be made on the daily, we are in control of our actions. Notice I said our actions!

Depression is a black misty fog monster. It swallows you up in the depths of it’s belly and it wants to keep you there hidden from the outside world. Depression doesn’t care if it’s your loved one’s Birthday, or vacation time. He usually comes with out warning, and over stays the uninvited welcome.

I know Depression, and because of my autoimmune disease and childhood trauma, I am extra sensitive to being snatched up by it.

If you are not familiar with it yourself, it can make you feel lifeless like a zombie, uninterested with life, emotionless, sad, afraid, hopeless, empty, angry, the list goes one, and it can manifest itself differently each time.

For me I have noticed a Cycle. It will start with extreme anxiety and panic attacks which make me feel helpless and out of control and them BAM…the Black Mist, and my emotions are high jacked, I can’t process words to describe what is going on in the inside, and then….. hope defered.

Last night I had hit that bottom of the rope. I was getting aggravated with myself. “Ash, you have already been healed of so much trauma in your life, why are you taking us into the deep end? We wont be able to keep our chins above water, and I don’t see any life savors floating out here.” I kept trying to remember how did I get to be mentally sound minded like I was just 12 months ago before this ms diagnosis?

And wouldn’t you know it, it all started with a surrender heart and a yielded spirit to the Lord. Joyce Meyer’s Battle Field of the Mind was the second book I read, Beauty from Ashes was the first.

Then it hit me. If I want to get well, if I want to be healed, if I want to be back to joyful me I WOULD HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE.

Dueteronomy 30:19

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against youthat I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Seeking the Lord for his grace and strength is part of choosing LIFE. Jesus is LIFE. His Word is Life. His Spirit is Life. Apart from him we are spiritually dead. Did you know you have a Spirit, Soul, and a Body? Did you know you are to align your Spirit to lead your Soul (mind, will, emotions)?

When we make the choice to be lead by our emotions, we are actually out of alignment and we are being lead by the flesh; our souls.

Depression is a Lying Spirit. Depression thrives on our emotions, our will. That is why it feels so real, because it was a weapon designed to smite us at our weakest part -the soul.

When you are saved, you get a new heart and your spirit is reborn with Christ. But, unfortunately you don’t get a new soul. However God didn’t leave us without help, and he tells us to renew the spirit of our minds. This is where discipline and self control come into play. Also where receiving salvation in Christ through grace and working it out through fear and trembling becomes priority. The Bible tells us that we are being transformed from Glory to Glory in Christ. So being human, and having this human experience has it’s cost. Sure we can bow down to the flesh and give it what it wants, but its a choice, and apart from God it is clear it leads to death.

What I realized was this was my formula I used in the past. 👇🏻

My surrendered heart, my faith and trust in God + God’s love and mercy over me, God’s sufficient Strength = Freedom to Heal

You make a choice then you let go of the fear and trust God to walk with you every day with this choice you have made. This choice means every day you get to walk with a Savior who is relational- a person- not just a statue on a shelf. Every day you get to walk in the Spirit, be lead by the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit through prayer and worship.

To not choose to Trust God to be your Sufficient Grace for the Hard things in life means you are Choosing yourself, trusting yourself, and your own strengths. I don’t know about you but I am glad I am not a God because I would be letting myself down all the time. Don’t even get me started on trusting my own flesh to make the right choices for all of us! No way Jose!

What negative circumstances have you been dealing with in your current season of life?

Father I pray that the person reading this would have faith the size of a mustard seed because that is all you require to trust you with their life and release their burdens to you. Renew their minds and strengthen them. Release them from the temptations to navigate life on their own! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Struggling with Identity after Diagnosis

⁉️🤨Have you been struggling with finding your new identity after your MS diagnosis?

🙋🏼‍♀️ I will go first! (Yeah, I have)
A lot has changed in my life in the past 12 months. I went from this emotionally stable, and joyful human being who knew her identity in Christ but was also a wife, mom, friend, and co worker for the school district.

After my relapse and diagnosis I started to experience extreme anxiety and depression that I hid from everyone but my husband. I also left my job at the end of my contracted school year. But….

There is beauty in new beginnings! (Even the ones that are not glamorous or desired).

The truth of the matter is eventually we have to pick the pieces back up and create a new masterpiece.

My True Identity, my inner Spirit man is a fighter, a survivor, victorious, and more then a conquer in Christ Jesus. Although my soul (mind, will, emotions) took a nose dive with life’s circumstances I’m able to pick myself up and remember who that Jesus girl is inside me. She won’t back down and she will not allow negative forms of identity to latch onto who she really is in her spirit.

We are tridimensional beings, we have a Spirit (eternal), a Soul (fickle as the wind blows), and a Body (temporary). We must tend to each part of us. When my body and my soul start feeling down, my Spirit has to rise up and remind Me… I got this! It can only do this is if I’m rooted and grounded in God’s love.

There is a bigger picture and a Bigger Plan! So I encourage you to do some some soul searching and ask yourself if it’s agreeing with your spirit? If Not… go to work!

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

I have started this post about a million times. I have thought about the words I would use to describe every detail of the harsh reality of those words spoken to me on December 10, 2020, but my heart isn’t there anymore to share just that. Maybe another day. Today I wanted to talk about the supernatural grace God has given me to live with this disease. I want to flip the script for just a second. I don’t want to come at this as unsympathetic, trust me I lived those initial days, and if I am being honest have to be careful not to slip back into the thoughts of fear that came during that season in my life. The Devil is always knocking, trying to get to me through those familiar thoughts and feelings. I tell him to get out of here with that mess.

The Devil is a liar.

This much I know to be true. The Bible even gives us forewarning. His only mission is to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came so we would have life abundantly. I had this crazy notion to hide my MS at first. The enemy came at me hard. You see I am in an intercessory ministry and praying for people to get healed is what we do. When I couldn’t feel my feet and could hardly stand for long periods of time (MS ATTACk) during one of these special ministry moments I felt so defeated and pathetic. What faith could I help bring to the table for God for these people. I am just a wounded bird who can’t even fly right now. The enemy wanted me silenced and definitely not helping advance God’s Kingdom here on Earth!

Let me explain where I stand in this matter. I believe that God will Heal me. I believe that. I believe that he does not want me sick. I believe that this was not from him. This was not a lesson to teach me, or nor was this done because I had done something wrong. LIES! And if you are reading this, and you have been believing these horrible things I urge you to stop and listen. God loves you! He would never punish us because of something we did wrong in the past. 1 John 1:9-He says that if we accept his son Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and we confess we our sinners; he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, erased forever, as if we never sinned at all. The devil wants you in a self pity, self defeated stage. He wants you isolated, and he wants you powerless, because he knows that if you ever got wind of a renewed mind and a promise from the Lord, his schemes and weapons would be dismantled over your life. Yes even with a chronic illness.

So as much as I hate to say this; yes I have ms, yes it is a chronic illness, and yes I am fighting a monster that hasn’t left me yet. It is hard for me to admit that because deep down inside my spirit I know it’s only temporary. I know that I am bound by this here in the flesh UNTIL Jesus heals me, but my spirit is not! Praise God, it is not my FOREVER eternal condition, and it is not your FOREVER/ eternity as well! Oh, and it sURE as HECK is NOT MY IDENTITY! I am always ready and available if he wants to heal me today! 🙂

With the Right mindset and the Right measure faith and grace to believe, we can live very Happy, Joyful, Exciting, Adventurous, looooooong lives with a chronic illness. Why do I say that? Because it is what I believe! It is almost like a ha ha slap in the face because the enemy tried to put something else on us, that has no power over us because we are children of God. Hallelujah!!

So we must activate our faith! How do you do that? The Bible tells us that Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 Pray and ask him for more faith to believe that we can still live free in him, no matter what medical labels are thrown on us, or terroist that try and high jack our immune system!

That sounds great, I know you are probably thinking, but I am not sure God has ever given me a promise. ?? That sounds new to me. If this is you I would encourage you to pray and ask the Lord for a Promise from him for this season.

In the mean time you can use the one he has given to me. He is a good Dad who shares with his children, and what he will do for me, he will do for you as well.

The morning before I went in for my very first MRI in October of 2020 I heard so clearly upon waking up to full consciousness. “My grace is sufficient for thee..”

I immediately got out my bible to find the scripture and read it allowed, tears flowing. I knew then I was about to hear the news I didn’t want to, as I had asked him to take this burden from me, and hope it wasn’t ms. I also knew he was with me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” There fore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Each and every day I wake up and I remind him of this Promise he made to me, and I also remind myself that he has my back, no matter what comes that day.

MS is not the mountain I wanted or even asked for, but with Faith to move mountains I will see the victory in the end, because I am more then a conqueror in Christ Jesus.

If you need some advice or someone to talk to please leave a comment. MS WARRIORS -You are not alone in your fight!