3 minute read

A note from Amber

A Note From Amber~

As you begin, I pray over you a spirit of healing and openness, and against any spirit of guardedness or condemnation. I pray that you would ask Jesus to make His presence known to you as you walk through these chapters, strongholds, and scriptures.

The lyrics in my song 'Shatter the Strongholds' came out of a moment where I realized I didn’t want to do my life without Christ; in fact, I wanted him involved in all of it. One of the bridges says ‘My greatest shortcoming, my biggest downfall, is when I try to do life, without you at all’. Declaring those words was a turning point for me. With a glimpse of grace in my view, I knew I wanted to surrender my heart, mind, intentions, actions--my everything over to Jesus. The overwhelming love that surrounded me when I surrendered my heart this way is hard to describe. One thing I can say for certain is that it shows up in beautiful and life-changing ways daily.

So much joy—unfailing, unchanging joy—was added to my life when I found freedom in believing who Christ says I am. Even as my mom and I wrote these prayers and filled these chapters together, I found myself with more clarity and closure in all of these areas of my life. I continued to smile and joke that 'the whole writing process was like hanging out with Jesus and my mom.’

I haven’t always been so sure of the truths I shared above. I battled years of self-doubt, lies and allowed the world to determine and fluctuate my own value. In God's grace, love, mercy and kindness, I have found such a foundation in His Word and His promises. Ultimate peace is found in two truths for me: my humanness doesn't change my worth and I am found whole and wholly loved in the unfailing goodness and love of God.

Before this stage of life that I’m in now was a very long season of survival. I knew I was strong, resilient and confident in myself. All good things, right? They were until the battle was too hard, too long and I ran out of resource. I intentionally lived in isolation as I believed that was the only way to keep myself safe. These choices definitely kept me 'safe' from authentic relationships. I loved others, but never let anyone know me well enough to love me; I had built up the walls around me so high. I had faced so many rejections that I thought it would be better to be alone and never go through that hurt again than to risk the pain of another person loving me and leaving me.

Survival is amazing. I have heard and witnessed so many stories of those who have endured and overcome such great adversity. Whether they survived mental health challenges, physical trauma or dealing with severe loss—I’ve seen many courageous people fight and win hard battles. In the midst of that season, I didn’t realize that I fit into this category—of survival. I was surviving and not REALLY living. Jesus said that He came to give us life and that His message was good news. To this dry heart, I was so afraid to believe it. I am so thankful for the DNA of my church that says ‘You can belong before you believe’. From the moment I entered Grace Place, I knew I was experiencing something new for the first time. Very quickly, I realized in the deepest parts of my soul how much I needed this Jesus I had just met. There was still a season that followed where I had to walk through my doubt and find my place in everything. I will forever be grateful for the community that linked arms with me and surrounded me with love, encouragement, and grace while I found my footing.

I want to encourage you to seek out community; you were truly made to do life with others. In this journey, know I am here for you. I am cheering you on as you fight for your life and then as you seek to have joy in your life, again or maybe for the first time.

I want you to know that I feel for you in your time of pain, that I care for you in your time of growth and transition, and that I am praying for your heart to find Jesus’. I want you to know that finding your life in Christ will bring you many blessings, and a peace that surpasses understanding. I’m praying that no matter what the days ahead have for you, that you will find yourself closer to Him there.

Amber

December 9th, 2018 I wanted to let the world know that I find my truth and value in being a daughter of the highest King and that my hope is found in Jesus. I grew up in a Christian home, but this marks the day my mature heart made it's claim for Jesus-- that He knows me and He loves me, and that I am ready to live my life for Him.