What a journey! Seriously! I wrote off and on throughout 2016 about dealing with the hurt and pain that my mom's passing had brought. I have learned that this is an ongoing journey. This is something that has impacted me and will impact me for the rest of my life. I believe dealing with this is a life long journey for me. I think about my mom every day. I had feared that one day I may forget her voice or the embrace of her hug, but since I remember this everyday, I don't think that is possible. Because I do think of my mom everyday grief is something I deal with everyday. Just because I deal with it everyday does not mean I necessarily have to live in that pain everyday. THIS IS SO FREEING! At the close of 2016 I learned how to experience peace and joy. What did I learn in order to do this you ask? It's really quite simple unless you're stubborn just like me and the women in my family before me. Give the pain and hurt to God! In my fleshly state I want to harvest the pain and anger and play the victim. The spirit and the flesh are always conflicting one another, but when you give into the prompting of the spirit get ready to experience undescribable peace and joy. This peace and joy I experience is all thanks to God. Jesus died for our sins, yes, but He also sacrificed himself so that we can have relationship with Him. He died to bear my sin and all the hurt I bear in this fallen world and by raising on that third day He conquered it all for me. I made this very personal to me. The Greek word, tetelestai meaning "it is finished" the last words of Jesus became very powerful to me. IT IS FINISHED! Praise God that my hurt is not mine to deal with! Jesus deals with my pain; I can leave it all at the cross and that my fellow brothers and sisters is the biggest blessing in my life. My Jesus bears all of the hurt that the fallen world that Satan intends to break me. I have learned that Satan wants me to fail; He really does. Satan is not concerned about the unbeliever (which was made very clear in a dream I had, more on that in a later post), but is very concerned about the believer who is eager to build God's kingdom. Satan and his "army" want us to fail and put different trials in our life to try to make us give up. I, for one find this really encouraging. You think I'm crazy for saying that, don't you? I find this encouraging because I must be on the right track working towards God's plan for my life and Satan wants to see me fail. Last month I actually told Satan he can't have control over any aspect of my life and I don't appreciate him trying to weasle his way into my life. I have that kind of authority because of my identity in Christ. Satan has tried to harm my mind and other parts of my life and I am not going to allow him to steal my joy. Last month I was at a peak of happiness and he tried to take that away from me and um, no, I don't think so sweety. You see, what I learned from that is I must continue to rest in God's peace despite the fight Satan is trying to pick with me. I finally realized how my nana (my mom's mom) is able to continue to trust God and keep His joy in her life. I was in His Word and prayer and what a difference that made. I had so much peace and was so happy. I still am happy and I still have peace; the only thing disrupting it may be the all of the assignments I have to complete that I'm taking a break from in order to write this. (That's besides the point though.) I'm finally able to pray without sad tears. For the first time in a while last month I was able to pray to Him and I had grateful tears! Grateful tears! I was thanking Him for my faith foundation thanks to my mom. I laso began to talk towards heaven thanking my mom for introducing me to this faith that I have began to own as my own. I, finally understand how she was able to keep her smile and joy despite what she went through. I am so blessed that God gave me her as my mother. I am so blessed that God has given me all of this insight and new revelation. There si still so much more for me to experience and learn. This will be a journey for the rest of my life. I am so happy that I am experiencing this journey with my Savior and that He cared enough about me to bear this world on the cross. I pray that anyone reading this, that you will be able to claim your joy, peace, and authority no matter what situation you are in. I pray that God would give you the strength to resist Satan's life and believe the truth of God's Word. God has great plans for us that Satan wants to destroy, but we must resist him. Stay strong in your faith, friends I'm trying to take my own pieces of advice everyday. Blessings!