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Eight and a half months into this year that seems to be flying by at the speed of sound. At the beginning of each new year, I create a list of goals or "resolutions" if you will that I hope to achieve. I try to be as realistic as possible with these goals, and typically I do fairly well with accomplishing them. This year, I started off strong, as you would imagine. I got up early every morning and spent my regular time in God's word and studying my devotion. I also added to my list of "spiritual goals" that I would set aside at least one afternoon a week in private worship time with God; this was in addition to my worship time spent at church, and individual prayer time each day. I would simply come home one afternoon a week, sometimes turn on some worship music or sometimes just enjoy the silence, and simply raise my hands and being to worship Him. This new special time I was having with The Lord stirred something inside me. It made me fall even more in love with Him, and I feel my intimacy with God grow stronger each day.

In March of this year, I began my annual 21 day Daniel's Fast. This is something I look forward to every year. While it has its' ups and downs and some days I may dread it, I always love how refreshed I feel in my spirit when it is over. This year, however was quite different. The very first week of my fast, the spiritual attacks began. I woke up every morning so down trodden, for no reason whatsoever. My spirit was completely broken, I was discouraged everyday. My commutes to work became more and more difficult, as I would begin every day in tears. I had never experience anything like this before. The best way I know to describe it is, it felt as if I was nursing the worst broken heart I had ever had. By day 21, I was spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I was so relieved when the fast came to an end, and to be honest, I kinda gave up a little bit. I said to myself, "Thank God this is over. I have fought my fight, and now I am done". How naïve of me to think that just because my time of spiritual discipline was over, that I was done fighting?

The next few months began a whirlwind. A complete roller coaster of emotion overtook me on a daily basis. I was hit harder and by more things than I ever thought possible. I began battling loneliness and worthlessness. My mind was constant battlefield of thoughts, such as "you are forgotten", "your presence doesn't matter to others", "you no longer impact people in your work or ministry", etc. I was legitimately convinced that if I never fulfilled my work responsibilities (which I love), or never sang another song again, it would not matter.

On the days these thoughts did not overtake, I battled a life of insignificance; feeling as if I was living a dead end life. Nothing I did had purpose. I tried to tell myself every morning that I was destined for bigger and better things, with no clue as to what that may be. I craved a place where I could feel worthwhile. I was 100% completely and totally lost.

I began praying harder than ever before for God to give me the strength to overcome; to help me find my worth in Him, and to be confident in my worth in Him. Then one afternoon, after a very long, emotionally taxing day, I began singing this song that I had known for a while, but had forgotten. I was reminded of my true purpose in worship. God created each and every one of us so intricately and so special, with an innate drive to live a purposeful life. We were created by Him to worship Him. When I have questions, He has the answers. He heals all wounds, supplies every need, and His strength is made completely perfect in our weakest moment. I began to tell myself that I am defined by HIS greatness; not in the accomplishments or accolades I may or may not receive on the job or at school. I am DESTINED to live each day to love Him, and to show others His love through me, no matter the circumstance. I designed to pursue Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength; to know Him as I never have before. This is the greatest accomplishment anyone can achieve. It is my destiny today, and forever more to worship Him in spirit AND in truth, with a humble and broken spirit, so that each encounter with my Lord is one in which is molding me into who He wants me to be.

Ephesians 1:4-6
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise and glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.