On April 27th, 2015 I got up early to meet with Jesus, and then I headed to the gym; I started a 12-week workout challenge designed by Jamie Eason and the bodybuilder.com team. It was not easy, and results came slow, there were days where I had no interest in going but went anyway. Days when I text my workout partner words like “why am I up this early” and “Tell me its worth it” I pushed threw the weeks and hours at the gym, I made a few friends and started recognizing the regulars. I became one of them, 8 am Monday threw Friday I was walking threw the door and checking in.

When I went to bed last night I was feeling excited and a little sad that it was over, but I had already found my next workout, so I was feeling good…

Apparently, the joy snatcher that roams the earth seeking out souls to devour was out and ready to hunt me down and do his best to steel my celebration away from me.

I had a dream that made me wake feeling invaluable and lonely, I spent time with Jesus, and he said that’s not true and that I am loved beyond what I can comprehend. So I decided to fight for my joy, after all, I have been working for 12 weeks now for this accomplishment, and I wasn’t going to hand it over that easy. As I parked my car I said out load to the one nipping at my heels “you will not take this from me, I am going to finish, and I am going to celebrate, ” and so I did. I worked out hard, it was a shoulder workout, my shoulders are not very strong, so these are not my favorite days, go figure, anyway after shoulders I moved on to the elliptical and continued to complete my journey with pride as I pushed my body to its limits for 30 minutes. I listened to Rob Bell tell me again how there are times in life where we have to recognize the heavy, where we can’t pretend there is only light and fake happy all the time but that the heavy is to be moved threw not lived in.

There I am finishing a HUGE challenge and loving my results but feeling like I was a failure…

Wait, What? Yep a failure, I asked how, how dear joy snatcher have I failed? I got this over whelming “Now that it’s over you will give up, and you will lose everything you have worked so hard for, you will not workout next week and this whole no sugar thing is a fad you will fail at too.”

Well, isn’t that just kick you in the crotch spit down your neck fantastic. Hear I am leaving the gym having kicked butt for 12 weeks and he is trying to make me fear that my own ability to succeed is a ruse, a fluke, a one-time thing that can’t continue.

This is one aria I have not proven to be very good with in my past, and I know that’s why he is trying to use this method with me today. I am not what I consider to be a negative person when it comes to anyone else, and God created me with the Spirit of Encouragement. I am lead by the Holy Spirit on a regular basis to use words and actions to show people that they are loved and valuable and worth more then they know, however, this is not how I treat myself. In the past, I have spent days of my life tearing my self down like a wrecking ball slowly takes down a building one blow at a time. I use words to help heal others and use them to bury myself in bricks and rubble proving I don’t have what it takes and telling me to just stay down there under the wreckage because no one will miss you or notice your pain. This is the down side to being an introvert I guess, its how Satan uses my unique ways to be renewed against me when I’m not watching him very carefully. I need time alone I need time to breath and rest in Gods arms but when I start taring myself apart from the inside and hide from Gods love because I don’t think I deserve it all hell brakes loose and I lose myself within myself. God has been taking the ruble away and moving me from heavy to light threw the last couple of years, and I am so very grateful for his extraordinary love.

Today I am taking a stand for myself, and I am not going to let that little dark joy snatcher take what God has given me. I will celebrate and enjoy my journey because it’s the only one I want to be on. I choose my God plan, and I choose the one who knows the beginning middle and the end of this life I will live on earth. So I will set my coffee maker for tomorrow, and I will get up at 6:30 AM and I will be renewed by the word of God and let his love wash over me like a much-needed rain shower. I will enjoy my weekend celebrating not only my accomplishment but also our 13 year wedding anniversary. I will keep my hair appointment and shopping trip plans with my princes, and I will love every moment God blesses me with to fight for myself and for the freedom from toxic thinking. I will rest and let God renew my spirit and then come Monday morning at 8 am I will be back at the gym signing in starting my next make my life on earth better plan.

Rachel Platten has written a song that paints a picture of what I believe we should do in life. We can’t give up on who we are when something that completely brings joy to every part of our lives we can’t just give it up. We can’t let spiritual beings or human souls take away who we know we are. We have to fight for our purpose, and we have to fight to keep it.

I would like to challenge anyone who might be taking the time to read this to stand up for yourself, fight for who God created you to be and love the journey, it’s your journey to enjoy.

Let’s go to the mattresses, do you know what it means to go to the mattresses?