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Lift Your Head

Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
Captive Jerusalem;
Release yourself from the chains around your neck,
Captive daughter of Zion.

Isaiah 52:2

I have been sitting in the dust for a while now. It feels like I have been flattened deep into the gravel, overwhelmed by all the noise and strained by the heaviness the world seems to have placed upon my shoulders. I have spent months now off and on in a battle for my heart, my time, my energy, and my focus. I am only making it through one step at a time and on His strength, not my own. Last week I wrote about being tired and learning to seek rest and understanding. This week, as I breathe in the words of Isaiah 52, I hear God leading me to rise out from under this immense weight. To shake off the dust, to remove the chains that are holding me, and to prepare to be captive no more. As I keep reading the words of this passage, hope builds within me as it speaks of good news to come. I am strengthened to stand and reach high for Him as I read these words of encouragement. He has heard my cry. He always hears my cry.

Today, I will lift my head.

How I wish I could hold on to this recognition of the light He placed within me. This humanity of mine will likely once again be distracted by the worries of this world. Despite what I know to be true, this will not be the last time I am left sitting in the dust of what feels like a deserted road. This will not be the last time that I feel the weight of weariness and struggle against the chains that bind me. Sometimes I will even be the one that puts those chains in place. I will again face heartache and battles beyond my control that leave me feeling overpowered and helpless.

But the words will still be there telling me to stand up. This was a season. I may see another. And He will tell me to rise again.

I am thankful today that these words are here to remind me. I am thankful for the light He gives me to shine. I am thankful He loves me enough to call me to emerge from this darkness, to shake loose of what weighs me down, and to rise like the daughter of a King that I am. He loves you that much too. Dust yourself off and join me.

Lord, thank you for the moments when my eyes are opened to how you lift me from hard times and encourage me to keep going. May I cherish your words as a reminder to get back up every time I fall.

VP GRAVATAR TWO 500

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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