You can stand with hands raised in worship one day and kneel with hands over your face in frustration hours later.

It is entirely possible to sing and smile on Sunday only to lay awake Sunday night with tears trickling into your ears, eyes staring straight upward, asking God once again to be near.

I don’t care if you’ve gone to church every Sunday since you were still in your mother’s womb – darkness is real and it spares no one.

Even Jesus? Yes – even Him.

Everything can be fine on the outside and you can be completely un-fine on the inside.

It’s pretty hard to explain that one to the people around you. “What’s wrong? What’s going on?”

“I don’t know” is the only response you can manage and I just want you to know, friend, that it’s okay.

It’s okay to not know where the heaviness has come from as long as you know Who can carry it.

It’s okay to be frustrated when you can’t find the answers if you can hold tight to the only Answer.

It’s okay to wrestle and fight if you lay there each night knowing He is fighting for you.

It’s okay to not be fine when everything around you is fine as long as you remember the Truth.

It’s okay to not know how to answer the people around you if you know the only way to answer back to the darkness is to say one name: Jesus.

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Whisper it when you’re scared, when you’re tired, and when you’ve got nothing left but Him.

Shout it when you’re angry, when you’re passionate, and when you’ve got everything to fight for.

Sing it when you’re still, when you’re in the battle, and when you’ve gotten through another day.

There isn’t always a reason for the sadness or the heaviness. Sometimes walls go up and there’s simply no explanation.

Don’t fight alone. Take the risk and let someone behind those walls. Allow them to help you tear them down and choose to fight together. Ask the ones you trust to bring your name before the throne daily until you’re no longer drowning. But if that’s too hard and you simply don’t know how to manage any of it, not even one more thing, then this is what you’ve got to know:

Just say Jesus.

Repeat what you believe not because you’ve stopped believing but because there is power in the name. He is light and darkness must flee. Whisper how much you love the Father, offer praise to His Son who was crucified and then raised to life, and gratefully ask the Holy Spirit to intercede when you have nothing left to give.

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Go ahead – talk to the darkness. Tell it what you believe and feel free to mention how the battle has already been won. Jesus comes out victorious, so keep on whispering that name, friend.

And it’s okay if you wake up tomorrow and the burden hasn’t lifted. It’s alright if you find yourself weeping an hour from now, completely unsure what has upset you so much.

Sometimes Goliath looks more like getting out of bed in the morning than a giant looming. Sometimes Goliath looks less like an enemy and more like letting someone into your lane without waving your arms. Sometimes Goliath looks more like a waiting blog post than a battle waiting to be waged.

Today we will simply stand. We will choose for today to pick up the Sword and to be prepared.

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Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

It’s funny, all this armor of God that is listed out for us to wear. The one thing that will pierce, the one weapon we are to wield, is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. And I can’t help but wonder why God would ask us to put on armor when we already feel so weighed down.

The tip of Goliath’s spear weighed close to 15 pounds and his armor was likely 125 pounds. David, completely armor-less and fighting with a sling and five stones, killed the giant with one shot.

Could it be that the armor of God carries the weight for us, lifting it off and placing it in His hands? Is it possible that David was wearing the armor of God and that as we open His Word each day we are sharpening the tip of an invisible sword?

You don’t have to win the fight – that’s already been taken care of.

All you’ve got to do is stand.

Some days that feels too hard to manage, but it is possible. He brings beauty from ashes, light from dark, and life from death. Put on the only armor that will be a relief instead of a burden.

This is why we can stand with hands raised in worship. It is why you can whisper His name until sleep comes and the darkness must take a step back. And it is why it’s okay to not be fine even when you keep on fighting.

Today, we’re simply going to stand.

I’m joining this week with several women I admire, offering encouragement and telling His Story through the words just say Jesus.¬†Feel¬†free to join the link-ups at Holley’s, Jennifer’s, Beth’s, and Holly’s each Wednesday morning, and by all means happily pin and share these images!