I Wish Life Turned Out Differently!

Image by Kelly Sikkema at Unsplash.

Sometimes, I want a do over for my life. Sometimes, I am discontent with my life. And sometimes, it extends to the relationships I have going on in my life. It isn’t romanticism I am chasing after.

Tonight as I reflect on a failed relationship, I am reminded that… I, too, have regrets. It sounds noble and goal oriented mature to say I have no regrets.

You hear people say that all the time, but how do we handle life’s misfortune and those regrets?

I am choosing to cling to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am choosing to believe the promise of Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20 – that it will all be used for good. Not only some of it, because I need the Lord to utilize every ounce of hurt I feel over failed relationships. I need Him to use it all for my future relationships and so so so much more!

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28, NLT).

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people (Genesis 50:20).

So tonight, I am accepting that I have regrets as I more wholeheartedly trust my Savior Jesus Christ. As I face many days of my unbalanced mental health, I choose Jesus Christ and His mighty promises that are eternally true. They are not only good for this moment of pain, but provide everlasting hope and promises. By the time Jesus Christ returns again, He will fulfill every single promise I am clinging to 

. . . and even though I am not clinging to.. Even the ones, I unknowingly am afraid to hold onto.

I Am A Chronic Illness Digital Missionary!

I will never step on foreign soil, in all likelihood. This place, right here, is my ministry… my way of serving… my missionary work. As I read “Kisses From Katie,” I am well aware that my life hasn’t turned out exactly as I hoped.

I had different plans for my life. I wanted to adopt and serve those around me. That’s not to say, I am not serving. I am serving and loving those around me. But, it is far different from anything I could ever dream.

I have a hard time, just grasping the place my physical body is in – especially lately, as I face flare ups whenever I have a few too many steps recorded on my fitness watch. I want to experience the Lord God in a far greater way than I am. I want to be able to write and walk, praising all the while I do so.

My life just looks different than I could ever dream. That’s not to say, I am not being called and used mightily through our Savior Jesus Christ. It just isn’t what I pictured in my head. I often share with my friend how I am “losing today at being a daughter and granddaughter”… And she reminds me that I am not. There is just something SO beautiful about having a Christ centered friend who is able to pray and encourage me – and who doesn’t face the multitude of emotions I do, so she can see things more clearly than I can. To have someone there to remind me that I am trying, and giving what I have as a fragrant offering unto the Lord.

In the book of Leviticus, it speaks of sacrifices and giving the Lord a fragrant offering. This is what we get to do, even when our lives don’t exactly turn out as we’d hoped.

Friends, I get the opportunity to sit with you, listen, and hopefully encourage you as well as pray for you. The fragrant offering is still, even when I don’t feel like I have a ton to give. It is still a fragrant offering, because the Lord KNOWS my heart and circumstances.

So I will choose to celebrate this opportunity as a chronically ill, digital missionary. Though it isn’t super often, I get the joy of encouraging you – dear friend!

Oh dear friend, hang in there! Keep leaning into our Savior Jesus and keep reaching out for Christian community who can help you stand especially on your most difficult days. You can always find me here on the website or on Facebook.

~ Stace

P.S. I just restarted my Reading Plan. I definitely don’t expect to have any type of consistency as my health is so bad right now. But at least, I am getting into the Word – even if I can’t manage to send off a quick message about it into cyberspace. I am cherishing that He is the God who sees me! (See Genesis 16:13)

The Many Nations [Genesis 10-11, 2021]

Genesis 10

“These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their lines of descent, within their nations. From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood (10:32).”

Look at the number of people in chapter 10. Remember how it was once only Noah and his three sons (and the wives)? The Lord God can make so much from so little. Our Lord is the One who is worthy of all praise. Look what He can do! He instructed this family to “be fruitful and multiply” (see 8:17) and they did!

The most important thing is to trust and obey the Lord. What is He asking you to do today? How is He inviting you to trust Him all the more?

Genesis 11

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech (11:1).”

The tower of Babel is the place, where one common speech would end. It isn’t until we reach Heaven, where we will understand every tribe. Today, there are many languages. We might wonder, “Why is there more than one language?” This is exactly why.

Humanity wanted to “make a name for themselves,” as we learn in verse 4. They wanted to be famous, to seek out their glory instead of living for the Lord’s.

So now, we are scattered in location and speech.

Sarai, Abram’s wife, is mentioned in this chapter of so-and-so was __ years old when he became a father. And, everything stops… when it states: “Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive (11:30). This would greatly affect Abram’s story. It prevents the next line, which should have read “Abram became a father at age 25-50.” All I know is, he was old when the MIRACLE of fatherhood came to him. And, it almost didn’t happen.

But, God…

Our God is far greater than we could ever imagine!

Terah kept his family close. He lost a son Haran and Nahor was now married… but he kept Lot (Haran’s son), Abram, and Sarai (Abram’s wife) close to himself. So, they sent out for a new adventure… to the land of Canaan where they settled.

God is working in the details. I don’t know who you are or what you are going through… but our Mighty God is in the details!

The Lord Remembers [Genesis 8-9, 2021]

Chapter 8

“But the Lord remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded (v.1, NIV).”

The Lord remembered Noah and his family. I am sure they wondered if/when they come stand on solid ground again. Would they ever smell a flower or walk by a fragrant tree again? If so, how much longer?

We can be so thankful for the Lord’s rescuing and still ask difficult questions like these. The Lord remembered Noah and his family, and the waters began to recede. It wouldn’t evaporate as quickly as a trip to a McDonald’s Drive Thru… but, the Lord remembered His people and they worshiped Him. That was the first thing they did, when everyone came out of the ark.

They worshiped the Lord!

“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done (v. 20-21).”

The Lord loved and favored Noah.
This was a man who sought the Lord God.
He wanted to please the One True God, rather than chase after worldly things.

The difference is found in their friendship. The Lord loved Noah. God as our Heavenly Father loves us. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. We have been saved by the blood of Jesus, and our Mighty God wants to spend quality time with us.

How are we investing in our relationship with the Lord like Noah might have done? Through worship, let us praise the Lord!

Chapter 9

The Lord blessed Noah and his family greatly! Just think about it: He chose this particular family to spare, to speak to, and to establish His covenant with them. But, this covenant is also made available to us. “With your descendants after you” reminds me that this covenant is also for us.

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life (v. 13-15).”

The rainbow isn’t solely for humanity. If you look at verse 16, we notice something else. The Lord will see it and remember the everlasting covenant He has made with His chosen people!

We do not have to fear that the Lord will repeat Genesis 7. Regardless of how sinful humanity is, the Lord promises to never again flood the whole earth. And, this is such a gift.

We get the opportunity to know our Mighty God and trust His Word in this place of an everlasting covenant. The rainbow is a sign of that promise. His promise is far better than any pot of gold, because His Word never ever fails! We can trust Him all the more, as we cling to His promises!

As we trust the Lord Jesus, how can we choose honorable and righteous living?

We learn quite a bit about honorable actions even in sticky situations, as we see how Noah’s sons handled the situation of a naked Noah. Instead of covering his father, Canaan went and told his brothers instead. And he was cursed because of it.

Noah and the Ark {Genesis 6-7, 2021}

Genesis 6

In verses 1-4, we are met with heroes and our sinful nature. God’s chosen people, sons of God, saw the appearance of women, married, and began to procreate.

This offers us a brief glmpse of our Lord’s heavy load. He regret all of the beautiful and very good creations He had made. He regretted creating the entire human race, which was bent toward evil living. They were choosing other things, putting the Lord in last place for their hearts and lives. Even so, the Lord found favor in Noah. Noah was an imperfect man who loved God and sought to pursue righteous living – regardless of the cost.

In verse 9, we meet Noah. We first meet his family and learn the temperature of that specific time period, where others are pursuing lust and not our heavenly Father.

Now, we get to see how Noah kept the faith and continued to trust and obey the Lord – even when it wouldn’t be the popular decision.

Our Father confided in Noah, regarding the human race and their chase to do what is evil. The flood wiped out all of Noah’s family, with the exception of his three sons. It must have been a hard, yet glorious experience for this family. On one hand they grieve all they lost, and another what they have gained. They received the opportunity to hear the Holy Spirit speak to His people! This is something money could never buy. The Holy Spirit and gifts of our Lord Jesus cannot be sold.

“Simon watched as the apostles placed their hands on them. He saw that the Spirit was given to them. So he offered money to Peter and John. He said, “Give me this power too. Then everyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter answered, “May your money be destroyed with you! Do you think you can buy God’s gift with money? You have no part or share in this holy work. Your heart is not right with God.”

Acts 8:18-21, NiRV

Genesis 7

In his generation Noah was found to be righteous, and so the Lord made a covenant between Himself and Noah. God kept His word to Noah, where many were wiped from the face of the earth. Only these few men and their wives remained. In total there were eight people who were welcomed to the ark, and used to restart the human race.

Accountability is the one word, which comes to mind. While the world around us is evil and keeps taking another step away from our King Jesus Christ, we must give an answer.

Will we choose to surrender all of our lives to Jesus Christ – the Lord and King? How will we step up to the plate, and respond to our loving Savior?