Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 KJV
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Recently I moved to the beautiful northern California mountains. While I’m loving the views and the cute deer with their babies that love to wander in and out of my yard, the reception in my neck of the woods is almost non-existent. I have been listening to Air1 since my kids were very little. I was very sad to learn that the station doesn’t come in very well at all with a lot more static than music. To the point that it’s not worth trying to even turn on.
Trying to complete my last two classes online was challenging and took me asking for grace from my professors to let me zip files and turn them in through an unconventional manner. In the scope of life these were only minor little bumps in my road. Because of these challenges, it led me to discover the Focus on the Family station and I have grown to love their daily podcast as much as my beloved Air1. The internet issues also allowed us to meet our local librarian where my daughter is going to start volunteering and be writing her children’s book. So a lot of good is coming out of these trying minor challenges that we may never have discovered had things worked perfectly from the start.
I know that some of you may be facing major challenges today that look to be endless and unbearable, so I just want to encourage you today to stay strong. Whatever God may be taking you through will end and you will be stronger than ever before. Studying God’s word so that I have scriptures on the tip of my tongue to quote when the enemy starts lying to me is essential. I love devotion books like Kay Harms, “A Taste of Satisfaction,” or free bible studies online through http://www.womenlivingwell.org. They help me to sort out what I’m reading in scripture and feel like they give me a place to start with my bible reading.
Having a strong support system through church bible study groups and my mom & sisters whom I can call or text 24/7 just to receive advice and encouragement is also invaluable. Find someone you can confide in that you trust completely and can look to for advice you know will line up with God’s word. Remember when your road gets long and bumpy to praise God along the way for what’s in store. Even when you can’t see the end don’t give up. Stay courageous just like Joshua in Jericho. Keep walking around those walls singing the loudest praises and before you know it those walls will fall and whatever you may be facing will be conquered with the Lord’s help:)
Isaiah 40:31 Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint. NIV
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. NIV
I wish I could tell you I had all the answers as to why things sometimes turn out the way they do. I know as I was growing up and into my early adulthood, I had certain goals and plans that I aspired to make come to fruition. I was going to marry the man of my dreams, have healthy children and a great job. If I worked really hard then certainly things would go as planned. While I did meet my amazing husband from God that I’m thankful for everyday, my second pregnancy threw our lives into a whirlwind.
Little did I know that the years to come would bring year after year of doctor appointments, hospitals, counselors, centers and nutritionists. This affected my ability to work and help earn an income. Praise the Lord, I had a newspaper route that I could take my children along with me if I needed to and had a fairly flexible schedule. There were times I had no clue how to pay mounting hospital bills, hotels, medical supplies and on and on. Even then I wasn’t sure if all my efforts were going to be in vain. There were many nights when I would literally fall asleep on the living room floor with swollen teary eyes from crying out to God to please let my daughter actually wake up the next morning. When Stanford Children’s Hospital sent us home with feeding tubes it was my last hope from an outside source other than God. I learned how to insert them and had a schedule I followed to a tee. When she got sick and they all came up I was scared and hopeless. I called out to God and said, “Your will be done!” I literally had to give to God my worst and most painful fears and say that I gave Him all control. I couldn’t even as her mama give her the motivation and desire to work through the pain to make a conscious effort to want to live. Although her disabilities will never leave her with the ability to move out of our home on her own, I am praising God that I still have her with me. What I thought my life would be isn’t at all how I planned it out but I decided to change my happiness and outlook on life so that I’m perfectly happy with what God has given me.
We all have a story of pain or a life that threw us a major curve ball we never saw coming. I encourage whatever challenges you may be going through today to start praising God for the one small flower amidst a field of weeds. If you’ve lost a loved one then Praise Jesus they are now in heaven with no pain and that someday we’ll have a glorious reunion with them. If you are job searching then be thankful it’s almost the Holiday season and part-time jobs are coming available even if it’s not a high paying desirable full time job. If you’ve been hit by loneliness or divorce then be thankful for even a friend to hang out with. Instead of getting frustrated you’re not at what you think your ideal weight should be then start being grateful for even one pound lost or one centimeter lost. If you’re struggling with addiction then be so proud of yourself for even one day clean!
I have to do this myself daily and I encourage you to try it. And no matter what you’re facing today there’s a God in heaven who loves you so much and sees your weariness, pain and all your struggles. You are never alone!! If anyone has anything we could pray about please leave your requests below. My heart is to encourage you and help you through this journey we call life:) Blessings and rest to all on this beautiful Sunday.
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The older I get allows me to realize that God loves us just as we are in this moment in time. I tend to be a perfectionist and think that as soon as I achieve a certain thing in life or when I’m able to follow a certain set of rules in the bible then I can come to Jesus or talk to him. I’m learning though that it’s our hearts He wants and a relationship with us just as we are right now even if we are living a life of sin. The truth is we are always on this earth going to be dealing with something. Inside beauty will always reflect on your outer beauty. No outfits or fancy jewelry can ever outshine the smile on your face that comes from a peaceful heart by knowing a Savior who loves you more than you could ever imagine. I absolutely love this song by Blanca so wanted to share it with you all. Have a fabulous and restful Sunday. Blessings to you all!!