i died at 33.

“Umm, Marissa, you’re 34 in 7 days! Come on. Seriously!?”

Yes. Seriously, it was a horrible death, preceded by the worst day in my life, in fact:

September 28th.

That day when one “perfect” season ended with a spiritual attack.

It was a season living partly from the flesh. Areas of my life just wouldn’t die…until it was strangled by truth…and put to rest.

A “good” scene of my life had ended. The Director knew the tombstone curtains would come.

As when He heard about the death of His friend Lazarus, I asked…”why’d He wait 2 more days plus one?” (John 11:6-7)


“Jesus, if you would have been here,” Martha said, “Lazarus wouldn’t have died.” (John 11:21)

“I am the resurrection. Even now, your brother can be revived! ~ Jesus (John 11:25, 43).

“Where were you Jesus? Why did you not step in the way? Why’d you allow me to make those decisions. I was close to you. Didn’t I pray?” ~ Marissa (@33)

“Sure, There were physical factors, but God…aren’t You in control? The enemy came in for the steal. What was Your ‘ever-present’ (Psalm 46:1) role?” ~ Marissa (@33)

So many questions swarmed through my mind, yet I would know God’s redemptive plan in time.

I was in my own garden of Gethsemane. “Lord, could there be another way? Does death have to be the way to be free?”

I know that it is…today!


Later I would come to understand why…why i at 33 had to die.

You see, I was at the height. “And the nomination of the year goes to her.” A healthy new baby boy, and opportunities to encourage and share from a heart deeply stirred.

I was at the top. My gaurd was then let down. Holy Spirit did warn me: Pride always comes before you hit the ground.

But pride never comes alone. It comes with a brood of vipers–with fear and strife as their hissing song.

Wounds from childhood had rose to the surface. Undealt with issues that still hadn’t healed. Make no mistake, the enemy doesn’t have authority: It is given to him when to his lies we do yield.

I bought into the lies. It snuck in when I was tired to my mothering core. One decision to yield to flesh gave way to an open door.

Operating in part Spirit and part flesh…you cannot serve two masters…so there HAD TO be a death!

🎶Out of the shadows

Bound for the gallows

A dead man walking…

‘Til love came calling🎶


I died that day! I was stripped of it all. I was a “dead [woman] walking,” until I heard His love’s call!

🎶Rise up (rise up)

Rise up (rise up)🎶

But first i had to die. Those wounds from my childhood were eventually healed, when after being revived God exposed the why:

“Marissa, you’ll always lose when you partner with fear. Pride can never listen…because it doesn’t have an ear. Your soul had been wounded, and you bought into the lie, but I am Your Great Defender. That’s why I chose to die.”

🎶Six feet under

I thought it was over

An answer to prayer

The voice of a Savior

Rise up (rise up)

Rise up (rise up)🎶


i had to die…too. He said those who love their life more than Him, their very soul they will lose. (Mark 8:34-38)

When I stopped picking up the cross, I gave the enemy place to rise. When I don’t change my mind, confusion clouds it with its lies.

It’s not that God isn’t a Good Shepherd. I resisted His staff and went astray. He waited until I was stripped of self, because then pride could not stand in His way!

He opposes the proud. Or perhaps pride opposes Him. The meek will inherit the Earth, because they know He will always win! (James 4:6) (Matthew 5:5)

🎶Six feet under

I thought it was over

An answer to prayer

The voice of a Savior

Rise up (rise up)

Rise up (rise up)🎶

i had to die, and when I believed…I saw the power of God. I felt Him pull me from the pit of despair, and comfort me with His staff and rod, (Psalm 23)

🎶I once was blinded

But now I see it

I’ve heard about the power

And now I believe it

Rise up (rise up)

Rise up (rise up)🎶


I finally said to fear, “You are a lie!” To come to that revelation, my pride had to first die! In humility, I rise up now each day, humbly asking Father, “Show me Your way.”


I thought that I was too far gone

For everything I’ve done wrong

Yeah I’m the one who dug this grave

But You called my name

You called my name.🎶


I rise up convinced of my new identity. I am who He says I am. He’s who He says He is IN me.

Marissa — “child longed for.” (Romans 8:18-25) That’s the meaning of my name. It used to be “sea of bitterness,” Mara, but like Peter&Paul, by the Living Branch I’ve been changed! (Zechariah 3:8; Exodus 15:22-27)

🎶I once was blinded

But now I see it

I’ve heard about the power

And now I believe it

Rise up (rise up)

Rise up (rise up)🎶

I’m not who I used to be. From death to NEW life…He’s 🎶STILL Rolling Stones🎶

In Christ I have the victory.


Unless a seed dies it remains just one.

That’s WHY i HAD TO DIE! To produce abundant fruit like Jesus, God’s Son!

He’s my reason WHY!

The Secret Place helped me to understand: the greatest harvest comes from death, so for the “joy set before” me–lost sheep/weary saints–I daily die to flesh. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus reinstated Peter saying, “Do you love me more than these?” Like Peter, my answer is, “Yes!” And Jesus responds, “Go then…feed My sheep.”

“Yes, Lord. By your grace and from a place of rest!” (John 21:15-19) Apart from You I can’t do, so You are Lord, I confess.” (John 15)

For the joy set before Him, Jesus died. i too die so I can truly live. i too die only to arise, bearing much abundant fruit to GIVE!

…Bearing much abundant fruit…

to give! (John 12:23-28)

🎶 [Chorus]

All at once I came alive

This beating heart, these open eyes

The grave let go

The darkness should have known

(You’re still rolling rolling, you’re still rolling rolling oh)

You’re still Rolling Stones

(You’re still rolling rolling oh)

You’re still rolling stone🎶

#stillJoyfullyAlive #weweremade2thrive


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Marissa Written by:

I am a passionate Jesus disciple, wife, mother, teacher, friend who's life mission is to "Reveal Christ to the lost, spur on the saints, and serve as a beckon of freedom through the edifying images I paint." My pen is my paintbrush, and words are my artistry. I plan to use them both to inspire us to live JoyfullyAlive, because WE WERE MADE TO THRIVE! "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." ~ Jesus (John 15:11)

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