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Chronic Illness Devotions Journal The Overcomer Life

Devotion: Good Out of Bad

Life is hard.

How often do we allow ourselves to grieve with God about the difficulties of our lives?

We need to be able to weep with our Mighty God about our difficulties, so we can begin to see how He is working, with fresh eyes as we grieve with the reminded that our Savior Jesus is grieving too.

Confession: I don’t like being sick, but there is something very beautiful about how our Mighty God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead – can indeed bring good out of bad.

This is probably why I love hearing Genesis Joseph’s testimony!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Genesis 50:20, ESV

“My Verse” toward chronic illness has been Genesis 50:20.

When, like Joseph, we experience difficulties in our lives, we have to remind ourselves of the good things that can happen – even though we went (or are currently going) through a terrible thing

[This is not to advocate abuse. If you are being abused, call 9-1-1 and get out of that situation. If you are suicidal, call 9-1-1 and find support to find hope again as well as accountability if/when you need it or meds/therapy, because in both circumstances whether someone else is harming you or self harm is happening, you are worth getting out of that kind of situation or mindset. You are worthy of living and thriving. No judgment here. I am both on meds and see behavioral help, so that I don’t self-harm. I don’t want to even get to that point again in my mental health. ]

Jesus Christ cares for you so much, that He died on the cross to carry your sorrows and griefs as well as sins. And He rose on the third day to give you new life. New life, that you can begin living now!

Maybe for you, it is a trauma you wish never happened. Maybe, it’s a chronic illness that you have experienced for years and it hasn’t gone away. Maybe, it is the loss of your marriage. Or something completely different, but equally devastating.

I love the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He is the Reason I can get up in the morning.

Even in a sea of depressive thoughts and chronic illness, He remains my hope. And our God never changes, regardless of how horrible our circumstances become.

My goal today is simply begin sitting with you. I don’t know if it is your first time here or hundredth. Either way, welcome to Gracefully Overcoming!

You are very loved and treasured first and foremost by God, but by me as well – so if I can pray for you or offer emotional support…

Don’t be shy to leave a comment or head on over to Facebook or Instagram to find me (I don’t check Twitter enough). There is even a Gracefully Overcoming Facebook Group for additional support.

One way you can support this page is through using the affiliated links I use in social media for your any Amazon purchases. It is an affiliated link, which means my blog will benefit at no extra cost to you! Great, right?

Like this one (double donation, since it is my devotional).

Or this one. This link actually is the one recently used in Social Media. It is for a book I am reading about hoping again. Great read so far!

In Christ,
Stace

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Devotions

Fall QT Routine

There are several topics spiraling through my brain for future posts. But, I want to talk a bit about my current Quiet Time Routine. Since I leave for the doctor in 90 minutes, routines is a good place for today’s topic.

What Time?

Typically, I don’t use an alarm clock in deciding when to get up. It is dependent upon my body and different variables. It is sort of dependent upon:

  • Sleep needed
  • Fatigue/pain level
  • Brain fog
  • Distractions

My “Must Have’s”

While there is no “set time” due to illness, I do have my particulars for my Morning Routine. These are things I enjoy making as part of my Quiet Time and how I prepare my heart/mind/body for the day.

My Quiet Time isn’t as complex as it once was, when I was healthier and younger. My time with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is the key part to beginning my day. While there isn’t any set order for my day, I love to add three components to it:

  1. Prayer
  2. Bible Study (using index cards for notes to stick in my Bible)
  3. Worship music /// Read a Christ-centered book

Seasons of Life

I miss the amount of “in depth” studying that I once had the energy for. But, I love where I am right now, in terms of my relationship with Jesus Christ. As I come before Him each morning, I get the opportunity to talk with Him (and hopefully listen). As I make this time with Him a daily habit, I can find myself falling more in love with my Savior.

How do you find yourself falling more in love with Jesus Christ, with each day?

While my Morning Quiet Time isn’t where I would like it to be, I am in a wonderful place too. My index cards, made from construction paper, are a huge help in developing a passion for God’s Word and this time with Him. I have struggled to break in my new Bible, but having index cards tucked in my Bible is a huge help in creatively seeking God and His Word.

I need to creatively seek God and His Word!

While I am not who I hope to become, I am not who I used to be either. So, I am enjoying this season of worship. I have to enjoy this season, because we never know when life and/or health will take us somewhere else. This is one thing I know, as I have lived with chronic illness for the past 8 years.

My Quiet Times rarely look the same from year to year. This serves as a reminder to cling to Christ Jesus and not a particular study method. While our health may fail, God remains forever. He is strong and our Portion.

God is good, and able to help us through whatever difficult terrain we find ourselves walking through.

What do your mornings and quiet times look like? Do they vary from year to year? Or, have you been able to stay consistent?

Image: Aaron Burden

Categories
Trust Habits Truth in Trials

Trust Habits #8

Last week, I spoke about growing in consistently spending time with the Lord. This is such an important aspect in developing trust and intimacy in my relationship with Jesus Christ. If I want to see my relationship with our sweet Savior Jesus to experience growth, then, quality time with Him is a must.

I don’t know about you, but in my earthly relationships I can’t expect to have a relationship with others if I don’t speak to them (as well as listen when they speak to me). It is very much a two way street. We are urged to speak to our Lord as though we were speaking to a friend. Have you read Exodus 33:11?


Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.

Exodus 33:11, New Living Translation

God isn’t fearful of speaking to us. While He isn’t, we often might be fearful of speaking to the Lord. While we are invited, and urged even, to have a holy fear of the Lord, our fear might not be out of reverence for His holiness. It can often come from someplace else. This begs a question:

What do we need to do, in order to develop this kind of beautiful relationship with our Lord Jesus?

As we consider our relationship with the Almighty God, may we think about the quality of our conversations with the Most High God. May we think about the quality of our conversations with God, and give them to Him. God is good. God is holy. God is all powerful. God wants to be our Best Friend. God wants to have the kind of conversations with us, as we would have with our closest friends – but with even greater intimacy than we could ever hope to develop with close loved ones.

  • God spoke fearlessly to Moses.
  • Moses listened and responded, willingly.
  • Moses conducted business with the Lord.
  • Joshua stayed put, because Moses had a specific plan in place. First to meet with the Lord, and secondly to serve while Moses was gone.

How are you growing in talking with the Lord as one speaks to a friend? How could you grow deeper in this area?

My prayer life is an area where I desperately need to seek an abundance of grace and growth. As I seek our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to learn how to speak to the Lord as one speaks to a friend. My prayer life can grow much in this area. With each circumstance I face, it is a new opportunity to hear from God and develop the communication abilities to experience my Lord as the Best Friend I could ever have. Just as we do with each name for God, we can experience Him as our Best Friend. He is our Good Shepherd who wants to show us His amazing love and grace in our lives. He is our amazing heavenly Father who wants to intimately watch and communicate with us, as we enjoy the good gifts He gives to us.

Unsplash Photo: Emanuela Picone

In Him,
Stacey

Categories
Trust Habits

Trust Habits #2

I want to think of trust habits, as practical ways to live out what I am taught through the Bible. This week, I have been reminded of my shortcomings. And, just how desperately I need our Lord Jesus Christ. “I need thee every hour” to quote Annie Sherwood Hawks.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).


This week, may our goal be to draw near to the King over all kings. I realize, not all of you are committed followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you to come and join me on a journey of discovering who our God is. As I read the book of Mark, I am falling in love with Jesus. It excites me to see how our God loves. He doesn’t hold back. He honestly loves us, and is worthy of trust.

Sin has destroyed many lives and turned us into God’s enemies. But that’s not the end of the story: God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us. We can walk with hope, despite what we may face. Even in our circumstances, we can have joy as pure as a cut diamond that makes others “oooh” and “aww”.

The Lord God wants to help us.
He wants to walk us through the good and bad days.
He wants to show us what true love looks like.

Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better (1 John 4:7).


This week, my circumstances have been harder than I am accustomed to. Yet I am learning to simply enter His presence. I am trusting my Father and taking Him by the hand, knowing He will give me all the strength I need. He is enough. He is more than enough.

Assignment: Take 2, 5, 10 minutes to sit with the Lord. There are many ways to have a personal devotion or “quiet time”. However, for this assignment, I invite you to take this Bible verse and allow God to use it to speak to your heart.

Maybe, make a note card for this week’s verse. Then, take that notecard and go for a walk. The big thing is: I want you to allow yourself to open up to our great God – accepting what He has done for you through His suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. Let us allow our hearts to meet God and accept His truth.

“The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.”

Zephaniah 3:17, CEV

Featured Photo is by Fabiola Peñalba of Unsplash.

Categories
Truth in Trials

Fog of Depression

I have greatly struggled with depression this past month. I am not sure it could be narrowed down to any one specific factor. There are many things, which can cause one’s mental illness to “flare up”. When undergoing trials, the holidays can become a difficult season. The holidays can bring up many emotions, regardless of life circumstances.

Wherever you are, I see you. As I face my own struggles, I see you. I see you and I want to encourage each of you, so you don’t go through this time feeling isolated or alone.


Depression can become quite thick around this time of year. I don’t know where you are, but I want to encourage you to press on. All the while, I am trying to encourage my own self to press on.

How so? For myself, I just finished reading the book of Genesis. I seem to do well pressing on in my Bible reading right now. My prayer life is where I seriously need to see growth.

In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to give his son Isaac in sacrificial worship. His precious, long-awaited, son needed to be fully given to God. But, would Abraham trust God… love God, even here? Will you and I surrender?


‘Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.

. . . ”The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you . . . because you have obeyed me.”’

~ See Genesis 22


As I am reminded of Abraham’s great act of surrender, I know, there are many things I need to surrender to the Lord Jesus in my own life. When I willfully give my circumstances to our great God, He will take care of them. I need to give God each day and keep trying to dig into His Word – despite the trials I face. I have been talking a lot about that, in my daily Bible checkup time on Instagram | Facebook.

My goal behind the daily Bible checkup time is: to help each of us to fight back in our battles and read our Bible’s (and pray) – even when it is hard.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:2-3, New Living Translation

How about you – dear friend? What do you need to surrender to the Lord Jesus today? How are you struggling and in need of prayer or encouragement?

Featured image: Markos Mant

Forever His,
Stace