My War Room

Read the transcript or listen here:  Season 1 Episode 3  

Welcome back! I am so glad you are here with me.  Previously we touched base on how tough this past year has been.  So today I want to encourage you further with some thoughts and ideas to help you move forward and beyond. Today I want to share some experiences with you and also as promised my War Room creation.

First off I want to say that my past year feels a lot like I felt when I found myself stuck at the bottom of a well. In Orvieto Italy there is a place called "St. Patrick's Well." built between 1527 and 1537. The central well shaft with two spiral ramps in a double helix, accessed by two doors, which allowed mules to carry in empty and fill water vessels separately in downward and upward directions without obstruction. The cylindrical well is 174.4 ft deep with a base diameter of 43 ft. There are 248 steps and 70 windows provide illumination in the center encasing the staircase. 

I made it down just fine into this deep, dark, cold hole in the ground. But then it  was time to climb out on the steps really seemed wet, it was a long way up. I climbed down into this well with my two guys, my husband and our son, but once I got down there climbing back up really freaked me out.  And much like this past year of what seemed like one thing happening after another I was shocked how I made it down there and then suddenly froze when it came to going up. At one point I slipped but didn't fall and there were no hand rails and it was dark, wet and cool. 

Being closed in and seeing just how far I had to climb back up I think I got claustrophobic and I get fearful of heights. My son Calvin took my hand and said "Sometimes we need someone to take our hand and lead us out of those deep dark holes in life." And he hit the nail on the head and he took my hand. I have been down several of those deep dark holes in my life and I don't like them. They have never been easy for me to crawl out of and often times I have been stuck down in them for a long time. I love with all that I have so I hurt with all that I have as well. Recovery for me seems to take a bit longer. Sometimes I have felt like I have yelled for help for so long that either no one ever heard me or understood what I was going through.

So I was sure to tell my guys that if they were not there I would have been stuck down there in fear. Fear would have overcame me until I found the courage like I have before to slowly crawl out of there with God's strength within me. Like He has all the times before God would have heard me and He would have called my name. But I am so thankful that I had my two guys also by my side today. It shook me and drained me because it brought back some flash backs of feelings and memories that I don't want to ever want to experience. If you know what I mean, know that I understand.

So as we got about half way up Calvin's Oakley's fell off the top of his cap into the well and it took about 6 seconds for them to hit the bottom and that’s when I got pretty sick. So much happened in my life this past year so much, too fast and too much loss and in a household of 7 I found my closet to be my go to place. I moved my clothes around until I got things just the way I wanted them. And arranging my closet wasn’t a simple task because after making room in my house for my family to move in I had to do a lot of condensing. I do have a prayer closet and like anything else I have to be in the midst of something to get a real feel for it, so having done that I have found new ways to accommodate my prayer closet in a way it makes it truly my space and the place I want to be.

One morning my husband sent me a text asking me if I had listened to Dutch Sheets "Give Him 15" podcast entitled "Remember to Bring your Umbrella." He said it reminds me of you.  So I listened to it as Dutch talked about a little girl who brought an umbrella to a prayer meeting in a place that had not seen rain.  The umbrella was her instrument of faith as a testimony that it would rain if she believed and prayed. 

I will always remember the Lord telling me that my faith without my actions is dead. What He means is if I do not say and act as if those things I am believing for and praying for is happening, then its most likely not going to happen. He says He needs me to "show" Him I believe even before it happens.

As I looked around my prayer closet and thinking back over my life and my testimony which is in faith, I responded to my husband’s text with this: "Mine is not an umbrella but, a prayer staff in my hand I feel the mighty power of God as I recall the words the Lord said “Moses hold up your staff” and the Red Sea parted.  I got my prayer staff from one of your many walking sticks that you find on your walks. This one you sanded and made it just perfect for what I needed. Mine is the Tamborine in which the sound I make with it I had first heard that it hits satan right on the top of the head. So I had to have one. Mine is my shofar when the sound of my battle cry is heard in the heaven-lees. Mine is the covering of my prayer shawl. Mine is my little bottle of mustard seed reminding me that just one of those small seeds can move a mountain and the cross I hold in my hand, and the bottle of anointing oil sitting before me.  Another is the gavel souvenir from the Supreme Court given to me to pray for our nation, the Wonder Woman figurine that our daughter gave me reminding me that I can do anything and she believes in me, the cross necklace that my sweet Gabriel gave me, its all the printed and written declarations, decrees, prayers and promises pinned on the walls of my prayer room. Mine are the strands of hair of each of our children that I have saved and pray over and placed in our family bible. There are so many reminders I surround myself in to remind me of what my faith is believing for. 

But Love, it all began as a little girl looking out my window each night looking up at the stars asking God to send me you. It was that framed marriage license on our bedroom wall and that bible I laid on your pillow each night after we had separated. It was after being so mad and hurt I decided I had to make room in our dresser and in our closet for your clothes to come back too. It was what looked like a bad situation in your job which suddenly in my mind turned into an opportunity to go to Texas and look for a new life and here we are 32 years later."

Faith is my testimony but it is also at times my biggest struggle, but I am told that I am right on track, that it is suppose to be that way so I never forget Who my God is, where my help comes from. So each day when I scan over this prayer wall and thumb through my prayer journal just days ago I wondered if my prayers still matter. I know we do not always know how or when many of them get answered. But today was a gift. Today I was blessed with a major answer to some prayers over some people I had been praying for that I had lost touch with. Even thought I continued to not know any updates from them I continued to pray daily and today I received some beautiful news. It was such a rewarding and exciting feeling to me that encouraged me not to give up on waging the war in prayer. I encourage you keep going to God, keep asking.  And in His perfect timing He will answer. Remember it is not always the circumstances you see, God is working in areas you cannot see and He will complete His tasks in His timing of all of it.

In my prayer room I put in a power surge so I can plug up my little lamp, my heater/fan. All my things such as my phone, my laptop so I can listen to prayer soaking music. I moved shoes off some of the shelves to taller ones so I can put my Bible, books and prayer journals, notebooks and my box of pens, markers, index cards, tape, push pins. I like to use various colors of markers to write prayers with. Its a great recording studio with the carpet on the floor and even clothes hanging up and a small space just makes the sound so perfect for podcasting and YouTube videos. My sweet friends and family always question where I am when I send videos to them because I buy these fun backgrounds to put on one wall. They can’t believe I am in my closet.

But most importantly it is my go to space, its my war room where I go to fight my battles. First and foremost I come here to talk to God, to listen and to think. God cares about my heart, He cares about what I want as well. God  began to turn this troubling time of my life into utter beauty the way only God can do. Joy is who God is and I want that joy in my heart. I cried out in lament prayers. Lament is a tool that God's people use to navigate their pain and suffering. Lament is vital prayer for the people of God because it enables them to petition for God to help deliver them from distress, suffering, and pain. Lament prayer is designed to persuade God to act on the sufferer's behalf. He does care about us, our pain and suffering. He cares about what we want to. So pray.

So mighty warrior suit up and put on your armor of God and be aware that for war room strategies its vital to know who your enemy is when you are going to war. It is important to have a prayer strategy, a prayer plan. We Americans, we people of God from all over the world need to become active warriors in the spiritual realm just like Ephesians 6:12 describes how we war and what we war.  Its says "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."  There are also the enemies of our minds, our thoughts and our words that battle us. So these same strategies apply there as well.  There are more of us Godly believers than you think and we must go this extra mile and together our impact is stronger than any possible force coming against us. 

Matthew 6:6 says, When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  Isaiah 26:20 says Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. 

I love watching the movie War Room and if you haven’t seen it or even if you have watch it again. I watch it from time to time simply to remind me of what I need to do and to encourage my faith. Those who made this movie also have very good books and studies related to the topic. I will post a new updated version of my prayer closet maybe even my garden on YouTube since I found the way that works best for me. If you do not have a closet to create your war room, you can find any place that you may like, a corner in a room, a nook or a porch. Create a way to carry your things such as your journal, bible, pens, markers to take with you or keep in your special place.Its all up to you, its yours.

I also like going out into my garden. I once had chickens which we created a coop and yard all fenced in on the top as well.  With the chickens gone I decided to turn the area into a garden green house. I put Christmas lights in it for at night I can go to and enjoy. I love this space and growing things. It was something my Daddy loved to do, he was born to farm and with his passing this past year this place and this opportunity has really meant a lot to me. I had been pretty sick with my allergies and congestion and it had been relentless for two weeks delaying my podcast launching. I was really feeling tired from it, frustrated and down, but with the extreme heat we have I knew I had to get out and water my garden. I was blessed to see my plantings doing so well and so many blooms and other seedlings sprouting up everywhere. Then there was this bird who kept chirping away. I looked up to see a red cardinal sitting on the fence talking to me. I was so surprised. I immediately knew it was a gift. For there are several sayings that when you have a loved one pass away they visit you as a cardinal. And they are very rarely seen where I live. My Dad believed in me, he believed I could do anything.  This year has been so hard, so hard and I have needed to hear his words of encouragement and today I got them and in my garden at that and I couldn’t wait to share this with you.

I would love to hear about ways you have pressed forward towards overcoming the hardships of this past year or anytime. What things have helped you? Together we can encourage one another through this. Because remember "Sometimes we need someone to take our hand and lead us out of those deep dark holes in life.” I am so glad that you decided to come and spend some of your time listening to me. I look forward to spending time with you again. Until next time….   - Diana Hudgins


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