Monday, October 27, 2014


Sometimes I am sad and yet I feel like sadness isn’t acceptable for a good Christian. I feel guilty for being sad. I feel like I am supposed to bury those feelings.

A good Christian always smiles in church, right? It would be unspiritual to do anything else. Doesn’t the Bible say to rejoice in all things and doesn’t it say the joy of the Lord is my strength.

So I feel like I am supposed to rejoice even when I am sad and not to do so is a sin. But isn’t that lying? That’s superficial. That’s pretending. That’s playing games. And I’m not good at that, but I try.

I pretend to have it all together. I don’t let anyone see my sadness, my grief, my pain, my hurt, my anger. I contain it. I suppress it. I don’t let it out. I stuff it. I try not to let anyone in. No one can see the real me.

I’m not afraid of it. I just feel like I’m not supposed to have those feelings. To be sad is to be weak. The joy of the Lord is my strength and so if I just had enough faith, I’d be strong. And then I wouldn’t be sad, would I?

The truth is I am sad. I miss my best friend. I miss talking to her. I miss sharing with her. We were supposed to grow old together. I hurt deeply. I have no one to talk to. I have no one to “hang out” with. No one to make me laugh. No one really understands how close we were and what losing her did to me.

I have other things going on in my life right now that make me sad and lonely. Things that hurt. Things that break my heart. I keep those to myself as well.

So what is a good Christian woman to do about this? Sadness is unacceptable but that’s what I feel. Do I continue to pretend? Do I allow everyone around me to believe that all is well?

There’s really no one who truly wants to know anything else. We ask each other, “How are you?” but we really don’t want the truth. Sometimes people don’t even wait for you to answer. It’s really just another way to say hello.

God knows my heart. I can be honest with him. I don’t have to pretend with him and it wouldn’t do any good because he knows the truth. That’s where I go. That’s where I pour out my heart. And then I wait. I wait for him to encourage me, lift me up, strengthen me, and get me going again. Time after time he does exactly that. He is faithful.

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart to him.” Psalm 62:8

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Courage was not something I thought I needed to learn and yet God has taught me a lot about it this year.  I’ve faced a lot of challenges, trials, pain, confusion, and more.  I had no choice – they were thrust upon me.  They seemed mountainous at times.  And, the enemy was right there in the midst of it all, amplifying my feelings of loss, fear, hurt.

The body of Christ is important when going through these kinds of trials. God created us with the ability to encourage and lift each other up .  We need to make sure we are doing that.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

We find strength when we stand together.  As the enemy continues his assault, turn to people you know can pray and let them help you.

James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

As I faced days, weeks, and even months of hurt and pain, I called on the Lord for courage to face my circumstances.  In the midst of the battle, God was right there beside me.  He provided the strength and courage that I desperately needed to keep going.  The courage that He taught me increased my faith and trust in Him.

The pain, confusion, loneliness that I experienced remained for months and I still feel it at times.  I pray daily for guidance, desperately asking God to show me what to do.  I pray for healing for my heart.  I pray for direction, wisdom, and just the strength to get through each day.

Psalm 28:7  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”

Sometimes I get impatient, wanting to see some answers to my prayers.  I can’t rush God.  I can’t get ahead of His plan no matter how hard I try.  During these times of impatience, God made it known to me that He was working and that I needed to trust and wait on Him. This was not what I wanted to hear, but was what I needed to hear.  He is at work. He is fulfilling His plan.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”

God is working, even when I can’t see it.  I needed to learn to trust and have faith. That takes courage.  I needed to learn courage because it takes courage to follow Him and Him alone.

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Finally, seven months later, I’m starting to see a crack of light in the darkness.  I needed to come to the place where all I wanted was God and all I needed was God.  He is completely sufficient for all my needs. 

2 Corinthians 12:9  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”

God continues to give me just a little more light.  The problem that caused the heartache and pain still exists but I am learning to walk in faith trusting God with each step.  I have learned courage and grown in my faith.  I am trusting God more each day.  I am thankful for the journey, despite the pain.  He has brought me to a place where I know that all my needs are being met by Him; all my strength is being provided by Him.

Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

Remembering things I’ve thought about in recent days …

"suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”  Romans 5:3-4

"“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”  Psalm 27:4

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:31 

Friday, October 3, 2014

A challenge is before me …

A few things I’ve been thinking through as I am feeling challenged this week to begin a new project.

My life is not a series of random events. My family background, education, and life experiences—even the most painful ones—all equip me to do some work that no one else can do.

Ephesians 2:10  “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do“

God knew me before I even existed.

Psalm 139:13  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.”

God will use all my life events, even the painful ones, for my good and His glory.

Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

God will finish what He started in me.

Romans 8:29-30  “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Philippians 1:6  “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

At some point in the future, if I complete this project, I will let you all know what it was… 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”    Philippians 4:10-13

Paul writes here about having no needs.  He has wants, but no needs.  Why – because he has Christ.  In Christ, I have no need for anything.  Can I handle that idea?

He goes on in verse 19 and says that God will supply all his needs according to his riches in glory.

We live in a world where contentment is hard to find.  If you don’t believe that, look at how many people stood in line for days to get the new iPhone 6.  4 million were sold in the first 24 hours!  Those weren’t needs – those were wants.

We (as Americans) are abundantly blessed and have everything a person can imagine and yet we are bored and frustrated.  Why – because things don’t bring happiness or contentment.

Paul says he learned to be content.  Contentment is not a natural thing.  We have to learn contentment.  We have to come to the realization that God is better than life.  Sounds a little like something Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”  Or how about what David wrote in Psalm 63:3 “Your steadfast love is better than life.”

God is better than anything this world has to offer.  He is better than life itself.

I pray that God will not let anything in this life satisfy me and that He will help me find my satisfaction in Him alone.  True satisfaction and contentment comes when I abide in Christ.

I need to remember that all I have belongs to God and allow Him to use it as He sees fit.  If He chooses to take something from my life, then rejoice in that.  If He chooses to bless me with things or finances, then not only rejoice but find a way to use it for the furthering of the kingdom. 

I need to trust God no matter what happens because He has promised to provide all I need.  Circumstances of life don’t really matter when I realize that God is sovereign and that He loves me. 

Live my life for Him.  Live my life with Him.  Live my life in Him.  He loves me and he will sustain me and get me through any and all circumstances that life can throw my way.