A couple weeks ago I did some cleaning and reorganizing. I moved a small bookshelf from upstairs and brought it down to the basement where my office is. I had a bunch of books and movies stacked under my clothes in our closet and they needed a proper home. It’s nice having everything in its place now. The photo above is my little den where I write my blog. I am sitting in that chair right now typing this to you. The reason I am telling you this is because I found an old note inside one of the books I had been reading when I was struggling through depression three years ago. The Lord put it on my heart that the note could help others, so I want to share it with you.
Before I get to that, please take some time to read the titles of the books and movies. Here is a close up:
I love doing research and I read a lot. One of the coolest books on the shelf (second to the Bible which is #1) is “The Exodus Case: New Discoveries of the Historical Exodus.” All I can say is there is definitive proof of the Exodus beneath the ocean just off the Beach of Nuweiba in the Gulf of Aqaba part of the Red Sea between Egypt and Saudi Arabia (which was ancient Midian). I’m talking historical artifacts of chariot wheels and bones strewn all the way across on a perfect under water land bridge! Yeah, way bigger discovery than the Titanic, yet the world hides it! They don’t want you to know that everything in the Bible is true! Praise God for the team of people that dove down in the Red Sea to find it!
They also found the real Mt. Sinai (Mount Horeb) in Saudi Arabia and all the Biblical markers are still there perfectly preserved. The huge rock where water came out, the altar where they worshiped the golden calf, the huge grave site where 3,000 Jews died for worshiping the golden calf, and the top of the mountain is charred black from when God descended on it to speak with Moses. They found the true route of the Exodus and all of that amazing archaeological evidence and more simply by following the Bible. The real Mt. Sinai is NOT on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula! That was Egyptian held territory at the time of the Exodus and Pharaoh had soldiers down there. I could go on, but just read it! It is awesome and it confirms what is said in God’s Word! Yes, the Lord really did part the Red Sea for Moses and the fleeing Israelites and there is plenty of ancient physical evidence to back it up! God’s Word is truth!
So, about that old note from three years ago. At that time I was reading a book by Larry Crabb called “Shattered Dreams.”
Larry is a well known Christian author and he wrote the book while dealing with cancer. It helped me get a better perspective on Celiac disease and all the suffering I’ve been through. At one point while reading it, the Lord impressed upon me to write a note to myself. The Lord was speaking these things to my heart as I was learning what He wanted me to learn from the book. Here is the note I found inside the book:
This note was written sometime in late 2016. It’s not dated, but it has been 22 years (23 in October) that I have followed the Lord now, and I said 20 in the note. This was before I wrote my book and before I started blogging. I was having a very difficult time with Celiac and I was, for lack of a better term, stuck. The Lord was showing me that He was still with me and that He loved me. He was showing me that He wasn’t done with me and He had good plans for me. He also showed me that I was on a different path and that was okay because He was for me and He would work it all out for good. I had forgotten about this note and I’m really glad I found it.
If you can’t read my writing, here is what it says:
“You are on a different path. Always felt like God needed me to be tougher–series of experiences that shaped me. Silent protector/warrior sometimes means suffering. God is my shield.
God is for you working everything out for good.
God is not against you.
He is still with you. He is doing a work in you to help you mature.
It may feel like He is against you and He is not with you in the same way, but He is–just in a way now that is helping you continue to mature after walking with Him for 20 years.
He is walking with you in the knowledge and growth you have now. Even if it doesn’t feel the same, you can rely on what you know from all that God has revealed to you.
You know the Truth. Rest and be at peace in it.”
-Ryan’s old note to self
It seems the Lord was reminding me of His goodness and love for me and He wanted me to write it out, so I could see it spelled out plainly. He was also reminding me of all the amazing things He has done in my life. I know many of you are suffering and you live with chronic pain and illness. Please know that God loves you and He has not abandoned you! Press into Jesus and let Him comfort you. Give Him your heart and all your pain. I know it is not easy. I live with chronic illness and I have suffered depression too. Don’t ever give up!
I had no idea what kind of work the Lord was doing in me. I had no idea that I was going to write and publish a book about my testimony and open up about all the supernatural events I have lived through. I really had no idea that the Lord would start this blog and have me out here preaching the Gospel to the world. I thought I was done and my life was over. At the time I wrote that note, I was broken and unable to move forward. All I could see was Celiac disease and the suffering it was causing. Now here I am three years later in 2019 sharing that note of brokenness, which has become a note of victory in Christ!
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
It is so awesome that the Lord knew I would tuck that note away and forget about it until now. I truly hope it helps someone who might be suffering today and wanting to give up. Please don’t give up! Run to Jesus like I did and fall in His arms. He will lift you up and lead you forward, so that you soar above your troubles even as they try to bring you down. I survived Celiac and the darkness of depression through the power of Jesus Christ inside of me and He can do the same for you!
If you are suffering today, please know that you are not alone. I still fight this disease every day, but I can testify that the Lord has lifted me up and sustained me. He has shown me that nothing can snatch me out of His hand and His love is more powerful than any of us could ever imagine!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus speaking in John 14:27
“The Lord is my strength
and my shield;
my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to
him in song.”
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
Jesus speaking in John 10:27-28
Give Jesus your pain and illness and He will lift you up! If you believe in Jesus, He will never leave you! Even if you are on a different path that includes suffering like me, Jesus will always guide us to the good plans He has for us. We are not forgotten and His love for us will never end!
Grace and peace to you all!