Our Tami (Really mine, though)

I recently experienced a loss. It was the kind of loss that feels very alienating. At the same time, my husband has been away quite a bit, helping his dad, so, the temptation to feel alone has been great at times. Thankfully, I hear God well and often enough that it hasn’t been very difficult.

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on July 21st and I am looking forward to the intentional time with just the two of us. I need it. I have been missing him a lot.

Sometimes, our loved ones know what we need before we do. As one who has felt that I needed to anticipate and meet the needs of others without them saying a word, that foresight being turned towards me is absolutely… humbling.

My husband was to return home on Wednesday. When he came in the door, I was thrilled to see him and then was stunned to see my cousin Tami and her 4 daughters come in soon after.

Tami and I grew up together. When she was 8 and I was 13, she came to live with my mother and I. Tami and I have always been very close. We are more like sisters and best friends. Our lives are beautifully and traumatically interwoven. We love and seek to protect one another fiercely. She was the first person who I felt truly knew me. She can even taste food and know if I would like it. She has always been nothing but loving and accepting of me, no matter what, even when we don’t agree. She was the first to feel like home to me. She was the first person who I felt really saw me, understood me, and still genuinely liked me. I didn’t have to do anything to earn her love. It was a free gift. I have always and still feel extremely protective of her and our relationship.

From the moment she and her girls walked through the door, we enjoyed each other. We cooked, baked, laughed, shared memories, danced, skated, walked, shopped, did fireworks and more. At some point, she smiled and said wistfully, “I really needed this.” I did too. The three days went by too quickly.

We embraced and cried a little as she left. I told her and our girls that my husband said to me that bringing her here was a part of his anniversary gift to me. He said he wanted to make me happy. He knew that for me, Tami is happiness. She told me that he has more amazing things planned for me. If he did nothing else, this would be more than enough. He sought to bring me happiness and he did. Anything else he does will just be icing on the cake. I am so grateful.

For You Dear Reader, With Love

Last week, before I traveled to spend a few days with family and friends in DC and Maryland, I told the Lord that I wanted my next blog post to be centered around you.  I asked Him to give me ideas and thought naively that I would write this blog post while I was down there visiting.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  Here’s what has happened…  This morning, I looked at my Facebook newsfeed’s, “On This Day” section and saw the memories I made on this day, last year and years before, and I found the perfect thing for you!  It’s a prayer that I wrote.  Instead of just writing word for word though, I’m adding to it and changing it a bit, as I want to make it more of a declaration for you than a mere “wish list”. So, here it is, for you, with lots of love, my dear reader.

I speak peace and joy over you. No matter what is going on in your life and around you, may you always remember that you are never alone, never without options, fully surrounded, and deeply loved.  May every trial you face, push you further into the arms of your Father until the enemy refuses to waste any effort and/or resources targeting you.

I command healing over your body, from top to bottom.  His blood flows through your veins.  You are His family and because healing is the children’s bread, eat up and savor every morsel, dear one.  I decree that not only are you healed, but you are transitioning to walking in divine health because as a child of God, it is your right, your inheritance.  Jesus left no one sick.  His will is always that you be healed, so I declare that over you, in Jesus name.

I speak encounters with the Person of Love over you, knowing that perfect love casts out all fear and I pray that you would give the enemy nothing to agree with in your life, thereby giving him no room to enter in and run rampant.

I decree that all chains and strongholds over your life are broken and destroyed.  You are free.  You are free to be you without apology, fully being who you were called to be before the foundations of the earth.

I decree that your mind is being daily renewed in such a way that you don’t suffer from that old, ugly orphan spirit.  I decree that you walk in an ever increasing measure of revelation regarding who you are and Whose you are, so that you are free from being critical, bitter, depressed, worn down and out and lonely.  The truth is, you are loved with an everlasting love, fully surrounded and cherished, just for being.  There is nothing you can do to make God love or value you any more or less, so I declare that the religious spirit is not a part of your life, making you think you must do something in order to get something from the Lord.  Before you knew Him, He loved you, chose you, appointed and called you.  Before you were born, He died for you and gave you His all.  You did nothing to deserve or earn it, He did it because He loves you.

I declare that you are wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove.  You don’t easily fall for the enemy’s tricks to get your focus off God and onto yourself and your faults.  If your focus shifts to your faults and makes you feel like you are back to square one, “Just a sinner, saved by grace”,  I ask that Holy Spirit would pull you back from that religious way of thinking.  You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus now, no longer a sinner, no longer a slave to sin.  Your focus is ever on your Father and His immense love for you.  No distractions.  When you focus on you in this way, you’re missing out on what God has for you and what you are to give others around you. This is self-centered, not at all as holy as it seems.  The Father does not want us beating each other or ourselves up over sin.  He doesn’t do this to us.  He paid for every single one of our sins long before we were born.  Focusing on your shortcomings does not help you to get better, as what you focus on is what will grow in your life.  Focus on the Father, confess all to Him and allow Him to change your focus. Be filled and stay filled with all that He has for you.

I declare that wisdom and understanding be your closest companions.  I ask that you become adept in stepping back, outside of yourself, when things happen.  That you would climb into your Heavenly Father’s lap and see from a higher perspective, what is truly going on and behind every situation you face.  I pray that you take to heart the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I declare that you see with greater clarity than ever before and can have compassion and wisdom in every circumstance.  May your eyes be opened to the enemy at work so that you don’t fall for his tactics.  I speak a constant flow of Holy Intel over you, straight from Holy Spirit.  You won’t miss a thing.  You have the mind of Christ.

I declare that you are filled to overflowing with every good thing- so much that you can’t help but affect and infect others with the goodness of God.

I declare that you live, truly live, not just exist. You will not just reach your destiny, but you will enjoy the journey and help others do the same.

I declare a holy unrest over you that causes you to refuse to stay where you are forever, that you would be both content but also rise ever higher in life.

I declare all the best for you, as I want for myself. Let’s rise together. There’s no ceiling. There are no walls. If you have built any for yourself, my prayer is that you would break through them and be free.  I love you, dear reader.