When I Am Not Okay

Do you ever look someone in the eye, say your good, and then realize you aren’t as good as you just said? That was my experience tonight at my small group.

Today was a considerably good day on a physical level. I even made it to Bible study tonight, and so when others asked how I was – the answer immediately came off as “oh, I am doing great today!”

As Bible study progressed, I remembered. I remembered that I have been plagued with depression all week long. I remembered that I have felt alone and found it hard to do simple tasks, because of it. I sat there, listening as they spoke tenderly, and awaited coming home. The Lord’s mighty hand held me together, as I sat there, because I just felt some of the weight that accompanies depression.

My Struggle –

All week long, it has been a struggle to reach for my Bible and journal. I had been doing so well on getting my daily reading of 1 Timothy and have enjoyed it so very much. This week, it was a hard week and so I am behind. I am behind on reading, but in sharing my heart with you all too.

Depression is just something that is hard. For this week, in particular, I have found myself just crying. For roughly two days, I just cried and cried. Which isn’t something you would typically find in my character.

Where Am I Turning?

My hope remains in our Lord Jesus Christ. My morning habits include turning on praise music and attempting to read my Bible. I may not journal, but if I can just read a verse – then I have something to meditate on throughout the day as I am resting or feeling motivated enough to clean.

The cloud of depression has days, where it is paralyzing and nothing gets done. Maybe, not even the simple act of turning on praise music. But even so, the Lord God Almighty is with me in the struggle.

No Shame –

Friends, I hope you are all doing well. But maybe, you are finding yourself in a depression fog too. The only (and best) advice I can give you is – to do whatever is necessary to draw nearer and nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

One more note, because I deeply care. If you continue to struggle with depression without relief, consider making an appointment with your family doctor. Depression can be very hard, and we all deserve support. We need to have a support system of others who help us fight it!

Also there are treatments out there, that might be able to help you. There is no shame in depression or seeking help from a medical professional. I have had to do it in the past – myself.

Honestly, there is soo much more to say on the topic of depression and I hope to address more of it in the coming weeks – but for now I want to just encourage you to keep drawing nearer to the Lord. Keep diving into the book of 1 Timothy. We will be starting 2 Timothy soon. Maybe, I will be caught by then.

God bless you, my friends!

Still seeking Him,

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COME As You Are, Friend!

Friends,

Welcome to Gracefully Overcoming! This blog started out, mainly just as an outlet to the things I was going through in my life. However, it has turned into much more. This has become a beautiful place to seek the Lord with friends – near and far. While this blog begun out of chronic illness, it is wholly about seeking the Lord Jesus with whatever we have to offer.

. . . Even our messes is absolutely acceptable offering to our great God!

Just Come, Friend!

“Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19-20, NCV).”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, NASB).”

“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit–O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject (Psalm 51:17, NET).”

In the Scriptures, we are reminded that we can just come. We don’t have to wait until our lives are picture perfect and oh-so-neat to meet (or even better experience) our gracious God. He is yearning to be with us, and allow us to see this new and abundant life He has created for us. While sin has messed up things, they are not beyond repair – because we have our amazing Savior Jesus Christ who has come to repair everything. All we have to do is come.

Maybe, you aren’t uber excited about doing a Bible study right now. I wasn’t either, but the Lord awoke that spiritual desire today when I began my time reading through Titus. So just know, the Lord will meet you. Wherever you are, the Lord will meet you.

Let’s just come and realize our deep need for our Savior Jesus Christ!
Let’s invite Him into our broken (and often messy) lives, and wait to see how the Lord will transform us, our circumstances, and entire lives.

 

The biggest thing we need, as believers, is to get closer to the Lord Jesus. Whether it is through this study or another one, the ultimate goal has to be just that – to get as close as you can to the Lord.

This weekend, I want for us to begin praying about possible goals. Rather, goal.

What is one goal you can set, to help you get closer to Jesus these next eight weeks?

Because God has wired us differently (personality, interests, etc), that goal is going to look differently for each of us. Now I am setting aside a separate post specifically to talk about goals, but I am not talking about a year long goal. You may have one. You may have five. If you do, I think that is fantastic! My goals never seem to stick, so my one goal I am fixed on – is to sit quietly before the Lord.

Just think about these next eight weeks. What is ONE goal you can set that will draw you nearer to the Lord?

There are a variety of ways to get involved in our Bible study. You can find an eight week journal on Amazon to use for this (or another) study. Also: You can follow my Facebook page. Or even join the women’s small group to dig deeper into this Bible study!

In Him,

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Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?

Praise Before Panic {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.

We can apply today’s Scripture to any area of life. While I was contemplating on if I was well enough prepared to write on this Scripture, I now know this is an important truth for any area of life.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). – Prov. 19:2, AMP

As I previously mentioned, I underwent a medical test. Any medical test can have the ability to be over-analyzed. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time considering my spiritual needs too. Before my big test, I sought out how to remain encouraged and Spirit-filled.

Typically, I prepare for specifics in regards to medical tests – by choosing a Scripture to focus on. Without this plan, I would be left in a dangerous spot. Without choosing to deliberately focus on our risen Lord, I might be unfriendly to the medical staff or inconsolable.

As I write this, I am in awe of what our God can do. Just as it is not good to act impulsively or fail to plan, we have to remember the goodness of our Lord. When I was placed into the MRI machine, I was not feeling very encouraged. To God be all glory, honor, and praise: He placed an ideal song on my heart. I didn’t belt out lyrics or move, but it encouraged my heart so much.

“Fearless” by Travis Ryan is likely one of the best songs to heart sing, in the midst of a medical test that is as tight in space as a coffin. It gets me a little bit emotional as I share this, because heart singing praise music isn’t something I would have expected. This was the best way God could have met me in the midst of my great need of remembering His presence and promise to stay with me.

Fearless, make us fearless | Give us courage for You are with us | Fearless, make us fearless | Come and mark us with Your boldness

God is in the details of our lives. While He was in total control during my medical test, I don’t want to consider my joy level had I not prepared.

Friends, let’s be lovers of Jesus who want to prepare and remember that we are forever His!

We need to seek His face and act wisely. Whenever we act impulsively, it can draw us away from our Lord and cause us to sin.

This is a testimony of how God meets us right where we are. Even in deep needs, God will meet us and act on our behalf – through His Holy Spirit.

Keeping Promises {Inspiring Women}

Starting Monday, July 24, the Facebook page for Gracefully Overcoming will begin reading and studying Psalm 119.

(Psst: This blog post is part of our series – Inspiring Women using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries.)

Psalm 119:1 reminds us of the truth that God’s people are called blessed (happy, fortunate, favored) when we enter a relationship with our risen Lord Jesus Christ and follow in His ways.

How happy (or blessed) are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! (CSB)

The Blameless

The blameless walk with personal integrity. As we consider and walk in an exclusive relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ, let us continue to think about how we live. Let us remember Ephesians 5, where we are reminded to follow the example of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Exemplary

In Psalm 15, we are given specific examples of living in a blameless way.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does. . . (Ps. 15:1-2a, ESV).

It is within this specific Psalm, where we find out what one who wholeheartedly follows the Lord does. For the “Inspiring Women” series, we are pointed to verse 4.

Let’s create our working definition for the “blameless” believer. It is a person who clings to and follows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord over their life, and strives to allow God to be proclaimed in the private and public aspect of their life.

in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change (ESV).

Friends, sisters, the life of inspiring others is seen as we hold to what we know about our risen Lord Jesus Christ and the life – to which we have been called.

The Transformation Life

While we are a work in progress until Christ’s return (see Phil. 1:6), let us strive to allow God to define what is right and wrong. Our moral compass isn’t determined by society or how likable the girl down the street is. Even when we are pressured to compromise, we need to hold onto what God says is right and wrong.

May we “keep [our] promises even when it hurts (NLT).”

Let’s choose today to remain faithful to our risen Lord, and remember His Word stands as absolute truth. Even if everyone is against the Bible and God’s truth, it has not changed. It will still be true and be our instructions for how to live.

Friends, our best way to inspire – comes from honoring what is right in God’s own eyes and exposing the lies we are confronted with.

Our risen Lord Jesus Christ – is what matters. It is the Bible and our own faith in Christ, that determines how we live. Let’s be Jesus girls who choose to trust and diligently obey Him, because we know He is worthy!

In Christ,

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