The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

Desperate for Jesus

Today, I am reminded that I have allowed my tendency of running away to affect how I pray about and handle my emotions and grief. I have allowed these things to go deeper into my spirit and even unintentionally cultivate my own emotional storage place – just for untouched emotions and grief.

If we were honest, we could say we all have one. But, how are we willfully beginning to “spring clean” in our hearts by the power of Jesus Christ – our great Redeemer?

While emotions and grieving come from living as a human in a fallen world, these are things God wants to help us process. He wants to help us to experience His peace, as we move through the darkest valleys of our lives.

I am reminded of the Mark 5 man who had many needs, and became desperate for Jesus. He knew there was only One who could help him. And, this man’s testimony is one I always need to hear.

Desperately Seeking

We have countless biblical examples of people who became sick of their circumstances and became desperate for Jesus. That’s where we need to be. At that very moment of becoming desperate for Jesus and turning to Him, their lives changed for eternity.

. . . And I doubt they ever looked back – except to say, “Look what Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, has done for me!”

I am finding myself desperate and coming to Jesus. I am letting go of this pretending nature that I am somehow fine with the way my health has acted these past several months.

After my cry of desperation, I am met with peace. The kind that only Jesus can provide. While He promises us that life will be hard, just as it was for Him, we are also reminded that He goes with us. He promises to be our Comforter (see Jn 14:16, 26; 16:33).

God’s Comfort

During today’s infusion, I was able to just sit and read the words of Isaiah 40:1-9.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, . . . she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. . . You who bring good news. . . lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say . . . , “Here is your God!” (Isa. 40:1-2, 9; NIV)

God calls out for His people to be comforted! God wants us to know that He is coming back and making all things new. He is offering to us forgiveness of our sins, through His Son Jesus Christ – the Messiah!

Through Jesus Christ, we all can find our way back to God! My friends, let us rejoice in this. . . as we desperately run to Jesus!

As we run to Jesus, we will see God do such a renewal in our lives. He will make us new in many ways, as we bask in our new relationship with Him. Relationships restored. Shear joy and peace. Overwhelmed by His goodness. Completely satisfied in Him.

Lord Jesus, please fix us. We are all falling apart, and in desperate need of You!

Walking with you,

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How Will You Prepare for this Transition?

This past week, we have had a great deal of emotions related to the election alone. Some happy. Some sad. Some resolving to be content in a discontented situation. A wide array of emotions. Our actions are just as varied. Complaints. Protests. Violence. Self-isolation. Deleting facebook friends, who are in favor of a different candidate than you are.

We and our world are in dire need of intervention. We need to remember our hope that extends beyond any of today’s politicians’ promises for a better tomorrow. It is time to remember the hope, assurance, and peace that only God can give!

I don’t know (nor do I want to) where you stand in relation to the election. I don’t know anyone’s opinions on the election. But I do want us to do something intentional. There are ten weeks before our next president begins his four year term (along with his cabinet of advisers).

Let’s devote ourselves to search the heart of God intentionally, and just give to God our hearts and our country.

When we give ourselves fully to God, that is when He is going to move mountains like never before! I am setting up a reading plan for myself, over these next ten weeks. I am sharing it, in case this is stirring anyone else’s heart to join me in this pursuit.

I want to see God move mountains.

I want to see God perform miracles like never before.

I want to see what my God can do!

… It all begins with prayer and studying His Word!

… Its starts with us turning from sin and turning our lives fully toward God!

I know God is deeply concerned about our nation, too. God sees everything going on, and He is in tears about everything going on too. He cares about what is going on in the nation, because He lovingly and passionately cares for us. He wants us to begin seeking Him and to start inviting Him to be involved in our lives and our nation as well.

The question is, how will we prepare for our next president?

While we could use this as an opportunity to breed discontentment, gossip, and strife, we have another choice too. And, that is to seek after the heart of God. While I cannot promise you that your deepest fears won’t come true, I can promise you that God loves you personally, deeply concerned for you, and wants to work in your life. And, He is not going to leave your side. He is waiting for us, to begin seeking after Him and allowing Him to be our Faithful Companion and Source of Hope.

You can view the reading plan below –

Citizen of Heaven / / Resident of Earth Reading Plan

~ Stacey

IIWK ’16: The Questions

I have chosen something ambitious, crazy, and therapeutic to do. Invisible Illness Week begins tomorrow! Initially, my goal was to set aside seven daily posts – to help shed some light on invisible illness, my struggles, and what has helped me. Sounds good, right?

… But, sometimes, plans change.

While I am still pursuing ideas and blog posts related to invisible illness, I am going to refrain from the daily posts on this particular blog. Here’s why –

I want to try and blog on invisible illness much more often. Originally, the idea was to blog on it for a month, but I created a free space to talk about the high’s and low’s of chronic illnesses.

A while back, I made a promise to not send more than one blog post per a day. There have been exceptions to this rule of thumb, at times. So, this was my initial reason to make a separate blog for talk chronic illness.

The new blog series is still comn. It just might last much longer than a month. My list of questions is long, a lot of much needed questions arising to the surface. There is soo much about invisible illness that is left in the dark. Friends, we have to talk ab struggles of invisible illness. We have to be able to talk freely about it.

Otherwise, how do we expect to find support and win the battle against our enemy – chronic illness?

So, I am making this challenging adventure separate from what I do on Gracefully Overcoming. It is the same author. The same me. Just sharing a bit more about my life with invisible illness – for those who want to see how I tackle those things  and use it as an opportunity to allow my faith to be stretched – too.

So, meet me over at “Chronically Overcoming” to join me for this journey! But, before I let you go… I need to ask you a HUGE favor!

I am currently compiling a list of questions to answer on a regular basis, and the answers will be shared along with any insight, struggles, hope, joy, sadness, tears, grief, etc, that I have to offer up too.

But, I need something from you- my friend!

Comment Below with a question about…

Invisible illness.

My struggles.

How my faith plays a role in my health issues.

 

… Anything you want.

You can also email your questions directly to me at gracefully.overcoming@gmail.com. I am on a break from social media for the month of October, so please refrain from sending over any questions using those avenues. I would hate to miss your question//message!

Pray for me. I am looking forward to seeing what God decides to do in my life, during this season.

~ Stacey

Introvert Speaks: Fatten Up Before a Race

Growing pains are hard.

Currently, I am in the process of releasing the ways I once coped with the excess stimuli. See, as an introvert, a highly sensitive introvert at that, I tend to run myself down – A LOT. I do my favorite and least favorite tasks, and yet I don’t take the necessary time to just “recharge”.

Recharging Problems

At times, I just let TV become my core program for “recharging”. Okay, here’s the problem. Depending on various factors connected with the TV habit you have, that may just overwhelm your spirit THAT.Much.More.

At least, I know it does for me.

I can’t speak for every single introvert or highly sensitive person.

Just me.

So currently, I am in the process of switching up things. My typical routine includes watching TV. Especially at night. Especially if I am having an unwell day. Especially if I have had a busy day. Certain triggers increase this habit-forming behavior.

Coping Mechanisms

But,

IF I am watching TV, I am not…

→ Having peace and shear quietness.

→ Spending time writing, which helps me process excess stimuli (sound, experiences, etc).

→ Getting my “Jesus” on (spending time in the Word of God (the Bible) and prayer, arming up my spirit with my God – given Armor).

Those are three very big things. They are my coping mechanism, for dealing with a spirit that is at times…. intolerable regarding sights, sounds, conversations, and so much more that drags my spirit down.

Anti-Coping-Mechanisms

I have a lot of coping mechanisms that are actually anti-coping mechanisms. They are things I absolutely love to do, but they don’t exactly help my spirit to be at its best. They don’t help me to experience the abundant life that God has designed for me to have. Thus, this service message. At 12:26 AM.

I just finished my work for the day. Of just different stuff. I watched kids. I cleaned. I am currently staring down a dirty kitchen, because I didn’t get to wash dishes after dinner. Now, I know why folks are pro clean-the-kitchen-and-wash-dishes-after-dinner. *Ehem* Anyway, I am learning how to cope differently.

I am learning to process LIFE, really, and take time now – so I don’t have to take time later.

Normally, I would run and turn on the TV – and just zone out. But, it would be nice to wake up with a less-weighed-down spirit than I went to bed with.

Fatten Up Before a Marathon?

No one would knowingly weigh down their clothes with heavy bricks before a full on marathon (initially, I wrote “purse”… But, who wears a purse to run a marathon anyway?). Well, I wouldn’t. Why make a long difficult journey – even more difficult and long and draining? Right?!?

Another example is fattening up before a marathon. Who would want to run a marathon out-of-nowhere after gaining 100 pounds. To go from couch potato to marathon in one day. Not too thrilling, am I right?

We need the ability to run a marathon.

We need to get in shape.

We need to ditch whatever weight we can.

Whatever burdens, we can.

So…

If we wouldn’t fatten up before a big race, why would I choose a coping thing that isn’t really an effective way of coping?

My routines need to change, so they reflect this abundant life I want to pursue.

I need to pursue the peace.

The God-given peace.

God wants that for me.

I want that for me.

Jesus came to be my Prince of Peace.

Ditch Every Weight (& Burden)

Lately, I have been thinking about Hebrews 12:1-2a.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”

We are called to run this race. We need to let go of everything that gets in the way. This means, unlearning habits that are the antagonist to my personality type.

Quite honestly.

I don’t need a loud TV.

I don’t need to try and process a stressful scenario dealing with my favorite characters. That isn’t going to somehow help me tackle tomorrow’s challenges. It’s not going to help me process the day I just had. It’s not going to help me to process the past week or day any faster. It will just give my spirit more to process.

I have enough to process anyway, that’s why it feels like everything overwhelms my spirit.

I just need quiet.

I just need rest.

I don’t know what this life looks like, but knowing I want to reach my God-given abundant life is more than enough.