Categories
Chronic Illness Emotional Health Journal Uncategorized

Surviving Summer Struggles

Lately, I have profoundly struggled. It is in different areas, from mental health to Dysautonomia and others. Combine everything, and it can make or break my focus. By focus, I mean my special time with Jesus.

I feel the weight of my trials in my focus. I find myself in a whirl of distractions – keeping me from our Risen Lord. Things that keep my heart from wanting to seek Him. The sin? From wanting to seek Him. This realization is a big step – the most important one.

Confessing my sin to my Beloved Savior Jesus Christ and trusting Him – is what will bring forth the healing.

The Spiritual Truth Behind It

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you (1 Peter 1:7, NCV).

Our troubles will show us where our faith is. We each face this struggle of seeing how close our struggles bring us to Christ, or draw us away. How will our circumstances be impacted by our faith in Jesus Christ? Or vice versa?

As I pull my heart, mind, and body toward pursuing Christ, I want to share some of the best ways to fight through these Summer times. Each spiritual activity will help build up our faith when we need it the most.

How to Fight Through My Summer Struggles?

Being prayerful.

Prayer is essential. Connecting with God is the glue. When we pray, God absolutely shows up and touches everything. While He may not remove our situations, He will give us strength and peace to carry us through.

In this song, When We Pray, we are reminded that the world is changed by the Church’s prayers. Prayer is a needed ministry not only for others, but for our own lives too!

Listen to the Bible.

Let’s actively listen to God’s Word, making Him our “go to” for Someone to listen to. Many of us hate being alone, so listening to God’s Word is the perfect sound!

Using YouVersion has helped me to simply listen to the Bible. I am reminded that I can choose to listen to the Bible, versus Netflix for a hour or so. But as I listen, my heart is turned closer to my God.

Two recommended reading plans:

Listen to praise music.

Like many, I spend a lot of time on YouTube. and recently discovered some encouraging videos. This discovery helps me worship as I listen and utilize the on screen verses. Also: I have my own playlists.

Christian Support.

We need followers of Christ to confide in. We need people who will pray for us, and check on us. Understanding individuals who will love us where we are, and help us when we are weary.

Featured image by Aleksandr Eremin.

Categories
Truth in Trials

Graze On His Truths

Today cannot begin to compare with tomorrow. In Scripture, we are reminded that our future is incomparable with anything we have ever experienced.

Often times it can feel as though, our pain or trial will never end. But one day, it will. It can be so easy to focus on today, rather than tomorrow. To focus on our temporary pain, rather than our eternal riches found only in Jesus Christ – our Deliverer.

In Romans 8:18, we are reminded of God’s truth –

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (NKJV).

Even though we are facing pain others don’t understand, our great God knows our exact pain. Our great God is present with us.

Friends, I don’t know what you are facing. . . but you are not alone. Our great God knows our deep pain and walks with us. He has chosen to take on all our sufferings and go through the unimaginable – because we have been chosen by God to be His very own. He wants to be with us and be our strength!

Even though, our pain is great today. Something else, is even greater. . . and I want to share this truth with you.

Regardless of how great our pain is today, we can choose to trust our heavenly Father. Trust Him and focus on His promises.

  • Trust He loves you abundantly more than you could imagine (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4-5).
  • Trust He is in control (Rom. 8:28; Isa. 41:10).
  • Trust He is fully God (Deut. 6:4-5, 10:17).
  • Trust He sees your pain and grieves with you (Ex. 3:7-8; Gen. 3:3; Judg. 10:13; Ps. 34:18).
  • Trust that He knows exactly what you are going through (Ex. 3:7-8; Isa. 43:2).

You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this (Lucado, “You’ll Get Through This”).

A few years ago, I read an inspiring Max Lucado book (“You’ll Get Through This”) – which is on this topic. Highly recommend it to you, my friends. This is a resource my heart needs tonight, and it’s one of those books I wish I had purchased. But, there are ways to get nuggets from this book without purchasing it. There are quotes. There is a sermon (you can probably find more, where he has guest preached on this message).

The Lord is with us here. What God has is of more depth than the pain this world is giving us. There may be a variety of reasons for our pain and trials, but trust that the Lord Jesus is working and inviting us to worship our great God – knowing one day this promise will be lived out.

How are we living out our faith in this moment?

Keep seeking Him friends and crying out for His help.

Until next time,

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Image is by Quino Al.

Categories
Godly Living Updates

Memorable Posts of 2017

As we prepare the new year and the many possibilities awaiting us, I invite us to reexplore five handpicked articles from Gracefully Overcoming. 

  1. The Most Humbling Worship Offering {Romans 12:1}
  2. The Shepherd Who Protects {From “Summer Psalms ’17” series}
  3. Finding Captivating Love
  4. Alone with God {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}
  5. Learning About His Love {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}

While I excluded the “Inspiring Women” post, every one of those posts seemed memorable or life impacting (at the very least). Each delivered some home hitting message, that influenced me as I poured out my soul in words. Here are just three from that meaningful series.

  1. Praise Before Panic
  2. Strength in the Fight {My Testimony}
  3. That One Compliment

There are soo many things that we can learn from. In 2018, my hope is for us to become more of a heartfelt community of Jesus followers and lovers.

My hope is. . .

to share more genuine words – helping us to draw near to the Lord and keep picking up our Bibles, but to weigh my words (Prov. 15:28) as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your eight week journal for our newest study! {It’s only $6.25 on Amazon} Starting January 15th, we will be studying the Timothys and Titus – using a brand new journal for our time together. Every ounce of support we receive, helps keep this blog running. And, we are so thankful for you all!

Image by Brigitte Tohm.

In Christ,

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Categories
Inspiring Women (05/17)

Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

Screenshot_2017-06-24-00-55-29-2

I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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Categories
Chronic Illness Uncategorized

Life Gets Hard

For most of my life, I have lived with little outside support for my close knit family. We have always endured some challenging season in our lives. We each have our own unique set of complications. While Jesus promises to be there for us and help us through it all, I just hope for more emotional and spiritual support from those who are choosing to follow Him. I want to see Christ’s bride, the Church, step up and love others… the moment they need it.

How have you faced your own “low support” challenging days?

While often we can look strong, looks can be deceiving. In our lives, we choose to not dwell upon the whose of our lives. Who isn’t there for us? We choose to dwell upon the God Almighty that promises to dwell with us.

The Kind of Friend

While we do this, I know what kind of friend I want to be. While I cannot change what others do, I can choose what I do.

I can choose to be that friend who sends off a text or message into the world of cyberspace, to allow a hurting soul to know that they are not alone.

I can choose to pray for my friends, and let them know that I am thinking of them.

I can choose to do a lot of things differently, based on my experiences (or lackthereof) with people.

… And, often, I do choose to act differently.

The Temptation

While it is tempting to call others out, I am reminded that the Holy Spirit comforts and convicts (see John 14:24, 16:8). While my family faces a new position in our roller coaster ride, I can be assured of one thing – the Holy Spirit is the One who leads and will offer us His eternal comfort that can soothe even the most broken soul.

The Jesus We Come to Know

While the Holy Spirit comforts us, He may be convicting others. While it is possible others may never know what we endure or face, as we live our lives without deep community, Jesus knows and cares deeply about what we face.

Jesus cares, and He is listening to our petitions.

Jesus listens to our petitions, and He is drawing us near.

Jesus is going to work all things out for His ultimate good.

The Relationship Factor

While that is a good plan, sometimes, we all just need someone to come beside us and say “you know what, I am so sorry this is going on. Can I come sit with you? Can I make a run to the grocery store for you?”

While others stand aside as spectators in our lives, they get to see how Jesus uses this for His glory – to unite us to Himself. While others stand on the sidelines, we get the joy of seeing how God can teach us and spur us on toward whatever is next in our lives.

Perhaps if we all faced these “low support” seasons, we would be more compassionate towards those around us. Perhaps, we would have more patience for those who are enduring rough seasons. Perhaps, we would have more grace than judgment to offer. There are a lot of “perhaps” we could list.

In whatever season you find yourself, be gentle with those around you (see Eph. 4:2; Gal. 5:22-23). While we know it’s impossible to know others’ struggles fully, we are called to be there for them. They need you (see Gen. 2:18; Gal. 6:2).

As I conclude today’s message, I invite you to join me in fasting and praying for my mom – as she has an important procedure this Wednesday morning (July 20th).

Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace {{As an Amazon affiliate, one way you can support this blog is through using the above link. If you find yourself on Amazon, consider using the above link.}}