If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. (2 Timothy 2:13 NLT) June 17th was my 26th birthday. I have spent my birthdays in some of the least desirable places and in the least desirable state of mind. When my birthday comes around now a days, I am so grateful for being free, both physically and spiritually, that I could really be doing anything and I would be happy. So much so that a couple years ago I picked up at couple of shifts at the restaurant I was working at and worked a double. The week leading up to my birthday was probably the hardest week I have had since the day I was in my accident. It started off with getting a crippling migraine. It was so bad that I threw up a couple times and made me delusional amongst other things. I have only gotten a migraine once before and I knew that they are not very pleasurable. It really took me out of commission and the effects or the migraine lasted a few days. My week continued to get harder. I don't want to get into a long list of every little thing that happened. I want to stay away from self-pity as much as possible. Things continued to go wrong. My body continued to act up. I was having issues that I haven't had in months. Relationships were strained and there were a lot of confrontational conversations that offenses were taken. Things added up. It felt like I was being hit with a barrage of "fiery darts" from the enemy. To be honest I was growing extremely weary, so much so that putting on the armor of God was becoming tiresome. I didn't think I could fight one more day, I wanted to tap out, but such is life. I can't just tap out or say to the devil, "this is getting pretty hard bud. Do you think you could just give me a break for a couple days and we can get right back to this spiritual war, thanks". All these thing accumulated into me sitting in my living room with my parents weeping. To be honest my mind was asking The Lord questions like, "where are you? I thought you were supposed to be my protector? Why all this God? Isn't being in a chair enough." Since i have gotten hurt i have never came to the point where I was asking him questions like this. I don't know if they were always there and that week brought them up or if it was a new battle I was in. My heart however, knew the truth. That he is faithful, unconditionally faithful. My mind would ask these questions and m heart would answer with experiences that God had remained faithful through this accident. My heart was hurting because I was asking God, my creator and savior, these questions in my head. It had been a battle all week and I was in the middle of an epic one. It would be a turning point in this spiritual war I am in. My parents and I cried, prayed, and declared truth that we knew in our heart of hearts. I am so grateful that I was able to express with God the gut-wrenching honesty of where I was at. I have learned that that is so important. I went to bed that night with not a lot of answers, but I felt lighter. I went to bed, after I cried all my tears and vomited all my feelings and emotions to God, deciding to believe truth, his truth. I have written before about not letting circumstances or feelings control me and how they are facts and sometimes facts get in the way of truth. This night was a very intense opportunity to practice that. The next day was my birthday. It was a beautiful day and my heart was in a totally different place. My birthday was full of amazingness, ha. I wont list everything but the quicker run down of the day started with one of my best friends having the day off and being able to come over in the morning to hang. My hospital bed was delivered. IT RECLINES!!! I went to St. Luke's for my first pool session. I grew up hanging out on the lakes and not being able to get in the water and a boat was in the front of my mind when I got hurt. If felt soooo good being in water again! I got a great cardio workout, which is hard now. I learned a ton of stuff about being in the water, both recreationally and to workout. It was great and gave me a sense of being more independent. After, I went kayaking with a few of my closest friends. Again on water in the most beautiful area on earth, the promise land, ha. I came home to have a little BBQ with friends and my new car had the hand controls installed. So great and not hard to get used to. I have been driving around since, I could write an entire book with how great it is, the sense of independence, and how grateful I am. The BBQ was great! I had a lot of the people I really love there and some I haven't gotten to spend time with in a long time. The day was amazing. I couldn't have asked for much to make it better (only Erika being here would have made it perfect. I at least got to talk to her all through out the day and share in my day with her). Since my birthday there have been a lot more great things and not so great. After my birthday and the past couple days I have been asking The Lord about the week leading up to it. He was the same God during the suck week as he was during my birthday and the same God today. What was the deal then? I know that being honest with God about what i was feeling made it possible for revelation and clarity to come. He knows everything and I can't keep anything from him. It's for myself that I need to be honest with him. If I am not, he only has so much to work with because I am unwilling to give him all of myself. What I have been starting to see is that those questions I was asking The Lord are totally normal questions if my hope is in this world. The Lord reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:8-18 : We are pressed on every side by troubles, BUT WE ARE NOT CRUSHED. We are perplexed, BUT NOT DRIVEN TO DESPAIR. We are hunted down, BUT NEVER ABANDONED BY GOD. We get knocked down, BUT WE ARE NOT DESTROYED. THROUGH SUFFERING, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has RESULTED in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. ALL OF THIS IS FOR YOUR BENEFIT. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we NEVER give up. Though our bodies are dying, OUR SPIRITS ARE BEING RENEWED EVERY DAY. For our present troubles are SMALL and WONT'T last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that VASTLY outweighs them and will last FOREVER! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, WE FIX OIR GAZE ON THINGS THAT CANNOT BE SEEN. For the things we see now will SOON be gone, but the things we cannot see will last FOREVER. My hope is not in this world. These promise show no matter how much the enemy attacks or "life" happens I will survive. This passage gives me purpose, shows me what it's for. One of the hardest things during, what I now call "suck week" was "why?" It's for, by his grace, his glory can be shown brightly to everyone and the good news can be proclaimed. My life is not my own, it is his. I don't believe for a second that Jesus did all those hurtful things to make himself look good. It's just when those things happen, and they will, He is there to carry us through. I just need to keep my gaze on him. That's it! That's what it is about, keeping my gaze on him. No matter what the enemy tries to pull or what life tries to throw at me to take me down,,I KEEP MY EYES FIXED ON HIM. It's so simple but not necessarily easy. I was questioning God's faithfulness when in fact I was the one who was loosing faith and not being faithful "If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. (2 Timothy 2:13 NLT)" A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For WE ARE NOT fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor SO THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RESIST THE ENMEY in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be STANDING FIRM. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. (Ephesians 6:10-20 NLT) I feel like this passage is a good example of the battle of "truth and facts", not of flesh and blood-circumstances or life, but on things in heavenly places- promises and truth. The battle is hard but we have the answer. Keep our gaze on Jesus and put on the ENTIRE armor of God.this passage often says "stand". Don't give up, stand firm, fight to keep your eyes on Jesus. In the ESV, verse 13 says, "Therefore take up the WHOLE armor of God, that you may be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day, AND HAVING DONE ALL, to STAND FIRM". During this battle we are in there are going to be times where it will feel easy to keep our gaze on him and there are times where we are going to "have to do all". Thank you all for all your support and prayers. As you can read, I need it. Thank you for taking the time to read my heart and what God has been teaching me, in spite on length ha. I hope this in some way has encouraged you. I know there is more revelation The Lord wants to give me. Just like with everything with him, there is more.