Category: The Overcomer Life

My Own Story: Strength in the Fight {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!

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are invited to lean on the Lord for strength. Today, I will be sharing my own story of facing difficult circumstances with God’s strength. This is part one, as we look at Ephesians 6:10 –

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides] (Eph. 6:10, AMPC).

We can be strong in the battle, because we are relying on our Lord Jesus for strength and protection. It brings us back to our need for a relationship with our King! As we come closer to Jesus, He provides all we need to face the storms of life.

My Own Battle –

Summer is my hard time, as I have shared before. I feel like everything within me, becomes greatly tested – during Summer time. This reminds me why I need Jesus Christ in my life. I cannot deal with the things of my life without Him. My strength is not nearly enough to tackle a small portion of the things I deal with.

Jesus Christ is my source of Strength, Deliverer, Companion, Savior, and even calls me His friend. He continues to show me who He is.

I am thankful He doesn’t ever leave my side. I can sit in His presence, and allow everything else fade into the background – as He equips me to carefully handle everything. This is where I am renewed and find healing, as I sit in His presence, talk with Him {prayer}, and read my Bible.

God’s Strength –

Even though this is my difficult time, I am constantly reminded that God’s strength is more than enough to get me through. The strength of my God is all I need.

Throughout Scripture, we are taught about the character of God – His goodness, love, justice, strength, etc. However, it is in these moments that I am able to experience who God honestly is. I am not alone in my battle.

Through the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to remind His followers they are saved, He stays with me regardless of my circumstances. He is my Constant in the midst of a very unpredictable storm. While I cannot do anything to earn His favor or love, He has chosen to love me and stay with me – simply because He wants to.

Because of Jesus Christ, who has saved me, I can enjoy an intimate relationship with my great God and my soul can literally burst with joy – regardless of how unwell I feel.

God’s Passionate Pursuit –

God reaches out to us in the midst of our troubling circumstances. Even though we cannot begin to figure out what is going on or why it is happening, God remains. He constantly pursues us.

Even though we have made ourselves God’s enemies through our choices to rebel against Him, He still loves us and sent His Son Jesus Christ – so we may be with Him again. We can experience forgiveness from our sins and a right relationship with our heavenly Father. All we need is Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price. He laid down His life, so we would be saved.

For many of us, we don’t have a father figure in our lives. This weekend can be difficult for that reason, but keep remembering how much God loves you and is pursuing a love relationship with you.

He wants a relationship with you. He wants to give you His strength among many other good gifts. He is simply waiting for you to respond to His love invitation.

In His Hands,

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Fighting Well When Weary

I have been sick for quite a while. Some days or weeks, are miraculously better than others. Then you have days like these, where there’s just debilitating weakness and nightmares (meaning: lack of sleep). Everything is snowballing. So, the question you habitually begin to ask is. . .

“Would someone else do a better job if they were placed in my shoes?”

You wonder if someone else would have more success, if they were in your exact shoes.  You begin to consider if it’s not your circumstances, as much as it is somehow you.

The Gift of God’s Grace –

Even as I wrestle with this question, there is something I know to be fully true.

I know, it’s by God’s grace that I have accomplished all I have. And I know that this same grace God gives, is why I can remain encouraged and endure through my circumstances. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I am not alone and He is carrying me and my grief.

I may struggle with how well of a job I am doing, but I am still here. I am still fighting. I am still staying where I am planted, and trying to be on the look out for something good to spring up from the ground of my circumstances – that makes it all worthwhile.

Even so, I still can’t help but wonder about that thing. That question. “Would someone else do a better job?” The question, I guess, we all find ourselves asking at one time or another. Even if it is not in sickness, we each face our own unique battles.

Let’s resolve to give this to God. May I give this to my God, with whom I have a relationship, because His knowledge and strength are far greater than my own!

I am what I am. I give what I give. I just need to keep my sword of intentionality nearby, so I fight this battle well. I need to be able to fight well.

Be Intentional –

I need to remember to be intentional. While I can’t break from my struggles, I can choose how I fight my battles. And some days, I will lose. But, I need to figure out how to win.

Our circumstances are not our choice, but how we fight is.

Many of us face circumstances, where we cannot pause our circumstances to regroup ourselves. There’s comfort in knowing I am not alone. The struggles are, as I said, unique for each of us.

I need to remember I am doing my best. Even when I am too weak to fight. Even when I am tired of fighting. I need to be careful in how I fight and learn to fight well.

The Tools –

And, fighting well means not giving up. Summer will be difficult on my body, but I can’t give up. I have to continue enduring and learning which weapons are best suited to fight my battles, which includes –

  1. Stay deep in the Word. As for this Summer, I am working toward reading through the book of Psalms and blogging as I go.
  2. Keep praying and fellowshipping with my Lord Jesus.
  3. Trusting myself and more importantly Jesus Christ. I need to trust that I am doing my best with what I have been given and that my Savior is well pleased with me – regardless of my sickness.

Following Perfection Versus Jesus

I have been feeling led to study 1 Timothy for quite a while. As I study, I generally blog about whatever it is – that I am studying. The Timothy study is tugging at my soul frequently these days, reminding me of where I need to be.

Why haven’t I committed to this study? I have perfectionist tendencies and set lofty expectations I cannot realistically meet. My heart and physical abilities are in two separate places, and must be able to meet.

Developing Courage

We miss so much when we put everything on hold – in case we can’t follow through as planned. Our expectations cannot be more important than God and relationships.

Here is the thing: Perfectionist level expectations can strain those relationships and hold us back, to the point where we won’t immerse in our friendships or read our Bibles without the promise of expectations being met.

The Real Question

How willing are we – to step out in faith, where we trust Jesus Christ to make us courageous people?

We have been called to be strong and courageous. Every little bit we give to God is a worship offering. Just because we miss our own expectations, does not mean that we somehow miss His or those of loved ones. We have to be willing to lay down our own expectations, and exchange it for time with Jesus and those we care about.

Allowing Ourselves to Worship

It goes back to the truth of being a living sacrifice. When we give ourselves to God, we become an acceptable offering.

Jesus Christ is the key ingredient. We need Jesus to be the One leading us, even in our expectations. He is the One who enables us to set reasonable expectations for ourselves and those around us. So, let’s make our lives about our relationship with Jesus Christ.

While my best efforts aren’t enough, I have a Father whose resources are unlimited. This Father of mine is willing to help out His sons and daughters in any and every way – as we call upon His name. We may not meet our own expectations, but this is the place where we meet the grace and amazing love of our great God.

Choosing Wisely

Standing in this place of  God’s love and grace is where we can allow ourselves to make a trade. We can trade in our high expectations, for the opportunity to stand in awe and worship God – as we trust Him to make a way.

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9, NRSV).

Friends, we must choose whether we want to follow our perfectionist tendencies or Jesus Christ – the Living God. Our lives are messy and out-of-control, which may lead the perfectionist march, but Jesus Christ is more than enough. He doesn’t have to try to be, for He is perfect!

As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure (Ps. 18:30-32, NIV).

Until next time,

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A Day at the Hospital {The Prayer Offering}

Last night, I wrote about the goal in trials. My goal, during hard times, is to remember I am a daughter of the Most High God and allow this crucial identity to shape my thoughts, words, and actions.

Today, I was given the opportunity to put this into practice. I had an appointment at the county hospital. Things went right. Things went wrong. But, the biggest achievement? It was simply remaining as quiet as possible, as Trigeminal Neuralgia talked to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

As long as I stay quieter on the rough days, I can avoid saying things that might hurt, rather than help, someone. My ability to control the kind of words – becomes harder, as the symptoms become more intense. The temptation to use hurtful words is definitely there.

The Heart-Felt Prayer

Today was a day of praying for God’s peace and presence. In my life, I have little control over how I feel on a given day (with the exception of my attitude).

What I can do is control how I respond to trials. So I responded, by “trying” to stay quiet. This was both easy and difficult. It was easy, until the moment of leaving the hospital to go home. Then, the overwhelming symptoms and impatience kicked into gear.

The good news is – I survived my long hospital day. I am preparing to have surgery in about 1.5 weeks. We had appointments scheduled for today and Friday, but by God’s grace and faithful prayers of others – I was able to get it all done today.

What We Need

The truth is. . . We need to pray over our souls for His peace and presence. This is what we need more than anything.

We can survive many things, but only with Jesus Christ leading the way. I don’t know about you, but nothing soothes my anxiety quite like the peace and presence of our great Savior, King Jesus, can.

If you are finding yourself in a rough spot tonight, begin praying over your souls for His peace and presence to overwhelm you. When we are overwhelmed by God, His presence, and unimaginable peace, we are in the best place possible to overcome our trials. They will not overcome us, but we will be able to overwhelm them with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, overwhelm our souls with Your peace and presence. We live in a difficult world. You remind us in John 16:33 that we will face troubles in this life, but You offer to us a peace that is nothing like this world’s. Overwhelm us with Your peace and presence. Thank You, Lord! Amen.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7, TLB).

I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Until next time,

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The Goal in Trials

Even on difficult days, I have chosen to operate my life from a place of priorities. I am a child of the Most High King. Even in these days, where life requires much more energy, I am still a child of God. This is what drives me through rainy weather and helps me to put brakes on unwholesome decisions.

And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:18).

As a Christian, someone who has been given their spiritual rebirth by the blood of Jesus Christ, I want to still be able to glorify God by continuing to live out my faith. As I undergo difficult life moments, God is reminding me of the pruning work He is doing.

God is taking the unfruitful layers of my life, like pride and self-sufficiency, and causes me to bear fruit, like love and kindness, that will draw others to Him.

In John 15, we are reminded of two things: abiding in Jesus and being pruned by the heavenly Father as proof we are His (see John 15:1-4; Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus Christ thinks we are worthy of His love and to be continually worked on, because He loves us (see Heb. 12).

Even while we were His enemies, because of our sin, Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again, and carried us to the Father to have our relationship restored.

I love the “feel good” aspects of being pruned, which is the spiritual fruit that grows in this famine season. Being pruned and hanging on for dear life is difficult, but the benefits make it a bit easier. Even so if I have my chance for a different life, I just might take it.

The Goal –

The goal I have is to act like a daughter of the King.

I want to be a light to the world, and not cause another to be hindered. I want others to see Jesus in me, and to protect my relationships from hurtful words spoken in the midst of suffering.

Being able to act like I belong to Christ is the greatest achievement there is, and it is something only Christ can accomplish in us! It requires us to draw near to Jesus, and keep growing in our relationship with Him. As a result, we become like Him. We become more loving, patient, and yes self-controlled. We act differently, in spite of our temptations and suffering.

When our goal is to continue in our relationship with Jesus, fruit of being His sons and daughters will bloom throughout our lives.

God can help us to act like Him, even in the midst of dark days. We may find ourselves in the midst of temptation and suffering, but we can overcome the opportunities to do evil – choosing to do good instead.

We may not overcome as gracefully as we’d like, but God is working on our behalf and displaying His power in our lives. At the end of the day, He is all that matters!

{{PSST: One of the most encouraging aspects of this blog is the trials section (or here). Get ready for whatever the Lord brings. When God is orchestrating it, things turn out very good}}

Until next time,

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