Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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UPDATE + He’s All In!! {Trial Truths}

If there was anything I could say to those who feel lost, broken, or whose hearts feel like they might burst from all the stuff coming at them..,

it would be a simple yet significant reminder of our Risen LORD and the peace that comes from knowing and having a relationship with our Lord Jesus.

While I have endured things in my life, I know the one key difference maker in my life – has a name. His name is Jesus Christ. I have endured difficult things. Some of which I have kept hidden in the depth of my soul. But my Savior and my God knows those deep things. I don’t have to speak of them, in order for Him to see those things.

Eternal Gifts –

He is the One who makes circumstances feel and turn out differently. I can walk through the fiery road of chronic illness, and yet Christ gives me absolute peace and joy in the midst of these almost unbearable things. He offers His peace and presence to us – in the midst of what we are going through. We just have to keep holding on!

Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me [Jesus Christ]. . . I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:1, 27, TLB).”

A question I have the privilege of asking is – “Do you have peace about the circumstances of your lives?” We need to dig our heels in, and seek the Lord’s peace and presence in our circumstances. This is an important question, because the Lord promises us His peace and presence. When we seek Him and surrender, the Lord makes Himself available and will speak through the silence or harsh season.

By inviting Jesus into our situations, we are actually ushering in His incomparable peace that begins to heal our shattered hearts.

The Lord meets us in our difficult situations and cloudy days – and presents good, eternal gifts to us. 

He just knows exactly how to meet us where we are. In the midst of our brokenness.

Where Our Savior Meet Us –

Instead of staying away, that’s the place where He meets us the most. As Scripture says, He came for the lost (see Luke 19:10). He came for those whose hearts are breaking. He has come for us!

The Lord is our loving eternal Father who wants to carry us through the good and bad. He wants to absolutely love us through it, and remain faithful!

If you hear nothing else, hear this. The Lord, our great God, is all in and ready to dive into life with us!

Don’t forget to purchase your eight week study journal! Our Titus and 1-2 Timothy study BEGINS on January 15th. All proceeds go toward helping this ministry.

Also: Find out what Gracefully Overcoming is up to – on Facebook! Several good things going on: Our women’s small group is studying Mark before our new study begins, while the Facebook page is diving into a chronological reading plan!

In Christ,

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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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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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