My 40 Hour Solo – Tess Sangree

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40 hours in the middle of the woods by yourself sounds initially frightening and intimidating. Each of us were encouraged to spend these moments in prayer, meditation by scripture memorization, and reading God’s words. During my solo the LORD spoke so clearly to me on several different areas of my life that I needed to give to Him in full surrender. I would like to take this time to share these lessons with you too.

The first was that I needed to have a healthy fear of the LORD, I never understood what this was until now and might I add, I’m still learning. God hates sin, He can’t look at it, and He is just so He must punish it. Jesus took the full wrath of God’s punishment of sin in my place. Why then do I sin deliberately without true grievance for what I’ve done against God. I’ve come to a place where I too hate sin because I know God hates sin, to which the outcome is obedience without question. This is a huge lesson He has taught me.

I also began to learn that I must be transformed, not just slightly altered, or I must think differently. No! Completely transformed by the renewal of my mind. This means also taking every thought captive to Christ. When a caterpillar turns into a butterfly it is completely transformed. It is still the same creature within but no part of it is recognizable to the former. This semester and honestly for as long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with anxiety, fear, and depression. I was worried about how I was perceived and felt like an outsider looking in. Lies in my head told me I wasn’t truly accepted in the group, that I was a burden for others. Depression held me captive to my pillow in the morning, and I put up walls that guarded my heart from any hurt ever again thus preventing trust. But God (…which is always where freedom begins) revealed to me that ultimately I was being selfish in my thinking. I was no longer praying for others. I was focused on pitying myself on things that were lies from Satan to begin with. He showed me too that I was attempting to battle this war within my head on my own. I was fighting with a dull wooden sword against fiery arrows of the enemy, each time tasting defeat. I needed to no longer rely on my own strength but allow the LORD, my Abba, Father, to fight with me and for me. The battle is still hard because arrows still fly and lies still come but now they are obliterated in the name of Jesus. Anxiety, Fear, and Depression have no place in my life when Faith, Trust, and Love live within me, theres just simply no room. So when these struggles come knocking at my door I will rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit within me and set them aflame. Amen!

The last thing that really struck me was the call to be joyful. “Rejoice in all things, and again I say rejoice!” I allowed my joy to be stolen from me after Garth my older bother died a little under two years ago. Which is reasonable but never the less through those tears joy can still shine through. I’m joyful in the 18 years I got to spend with my brother, all the memories I get to keep, and I rejoice in the steadfast hope to see Garth again! Though suffering and pain is real we can rejoice in all things and still praise our Father for He alone is sovereign!

All in all my time alone out in the wilderness God showed me things that transformed me. I am no longer submitting to lies that may try to take captive and take root in my mind. I am able to rejoice even through the tears knowing God is LORD. I am ready to do the hard things and face the this war with confidence that Yahweh is LORD over all.

-Tess Sangree

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