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  Throughout Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection. Completion. Purification. After six days of creating, God rested on the seventh. Seven weeks after Passover began, Pentecost. And every fiftieth year, after seven times seven, it was the year of Jubilee. A year of celebration and release. Captives were set free and debts were forgiven. It was a year of rest. ******* This year is the seventh since my divorce. And God told me it is my year of Jubilee. ******* In the first moments after learning my marriage would end, I fell into a gulf of despair I have no words to describe. I was held captive by lies and condemning self-talk, a prisoner of my sadness and shattered dreams. I woke each morning to go through the steps of being alive, but I was not. I was sleep-walking through my days, oblivious to the world around me and consumed with the shame of who I now was. It has taken me years to admit the truth of what those years were like for me, but now that I am safely on the other side, I feel an obligation to share my truth and invite you to examine yours. I lived a prisoner of shame. Wounded and broken were...


  I wish I could remember where I first heard it, this truth that's been rocking my world. I don't know if it was on a podcast or in a book, on my TV or from my friend's mouth. All I know is that I somehow jotted it down as a note in my phone, and I've been looking at it ever since. Look for the lie. Why haven't I always done this? To have it spelled out like that makes it look like the most obvious thing to do. When you're feeling overwhelmed, identify the lie that says you have to do everything well and all at once. When you're feeling like a terrible mother, look at the lie that says feeding your kids fast food will ruin their health forever. When you become convinced you'll never succeed in your career, see the lie that says one bad day means a bad forever. Look for the lie. Because when you do, you'll begin to see lies everywhere. And here's why -- Satan is the prince of this world, and his native language is lies. He naturally spews untruths, and since this is his dominion, his lies are this world's language. Look for the lie. You think, "I'm...


  Satan taunts me through images. I've learned this about him over the years. Very distinct, very clear, very haunting images. He worms his way into my thought life by first showing me images of what he wants me to think about. He did so this morning. And because he is so cunning, he always does this when I'm vulnerable. This morning I was feeling sad about a situation that is part of my norm, a natural part of our rhythm. I don't like it but can't change it, so I pray each time it comes up for the strength to endure it. I was sad, but sad isn't sinful. Sad is, though, for me, a portal to destructive thoughts. A pathway to sin. Any time my emotions are front and center, my enemy tries to use them to distract me and destroy me. So this morning, in my sadness, he played connect the dots. He took my initial sadness that was not sinful and connected it to images he knew would hurt me. He showed me pictures of realities connected to this morning's sadness, connecting one feeling I had to multiple pictures he wanted me to see. He literally showed me images to...


  I know. I know that what looks easy in your life takes great planning and coordination and a whole lot of work plus a little bit of luck.  I know that your body may be still right now, but your mind is on overdrive. You’re thinking about your to-do list and your grocery list and that thing you wish you hadn’t said and that person from middle school who still has no idea how much they hurt you. I know your brain never stops. I know you need a break but can’t seem to find the time, and I know you perform a million little tasks that aren’t noticed unless they’re not done. I know, from one woman to another, the invisible weight you always carry. I might not know all of your specifics, but I think I know how you feel. I know you wonder sometimes if any of it matters at all, if the details of your days add up together to equal anything that’s making a difference. I know you wonder if anybody really sees you -- the real you, behind the put-together facade you show the world. I know you’re afraid that you’re messing it all up, and I know you regret what you...