I finished up the school year substitute teaching for a junior high class last week.
Beforehand, as the time grew closer to that particular sub day I thought to myself, “what on earth was I thinking taking that sub job? School lets out for summer break two days later and those kids are gonna be filled with anticipation!”
Alas my too-late-to-back-out-now teaching day arrived. I made sure my most optimistic attitude wouldn’t be counted absent and I shot up a prayer for a sweet day to take place…
As kids gradually trickled in for the morning to begin I was surprised to be met with a classroom full of quiet, ready to learn kids!!!
What!?? What is this??!!
I was grateful and humbled because this certain grade can be a bit unruly. God was offering His blessing over my simple but genuine prayer request.
After a few classes had rotated through a new one came in…
Amongst them a group of three boys sat at a table in their assigned seats. They quietly talked among themselves which I allowed because they were keeping busy on schoolwork all the while and no one else in the classroom seemed bothered by it.
One of the boys in that group of three is charming but also has somewhat of a bully reputation. I could hear their conversation and it grew intriguing as he made a comment that sounded very far-out and supernatural. Without delay the other two boys (who happen to come from Christian homes) spoke up, kindly disagreeing with him, and channeled straight into their faith and backed up their beliefs by defending the Bible and poured into this misled kid with so much truth…it was seriously a beautiful blessing to witness!! God was glorified!!
Afterwards, because we live in small town USA and everyone knows everyone, I reached out to the mamas of those young evangelists. I wanted them to know of their son’s bold but patient and caring words to this boy and it in turn blessed both moms to get a glimpse of their son’s faith in action.
1 Peter 3:15 is such a good reminder for us to ‘always be ready to give a reason for the hope in us.’
God can use any one of us at any moment, in the most unexpected of ways. Because of this we have so many opportunities to point others toward Jesus but we must be familiar with what we believe. We dig into the word with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn and grow. We come to love our God with a committed relationship and we speak to others sharing about His goodness. As we do so we fulfill our end to 1 Peter 3:15…just like those two boys did.
Our world is much like a classroom…just waiting for answers…let’s show and teach them Jesus.
I’m gonna waste no time and get straight to raw transparency here…I’ve been in a season of life that feels like perpetual nagging in my heart and mind—downward spiraling thoughts of inadequacy, brokenness, and just flat-out self-depreciation. And it’s been tough, so tough.
I’d love to blame Covid, from a week of being cooped up in my room, away from family over the Thanksgiving break, allowing my thoughts to trail…but I’m certain the overwhelming distress would’ve caught up to me at some point regardless of Covid-isolation…Satan and a fallen world are the real culprits.
In this struggle, however, God has lead me to and blessed me with the kindest, most patient, sense-talking therapist one could ever imagine; and (as a result) even though I’m still surrounded by deep waters I can feel God’s strong presence keeping me afloat.
I’m probably 30 years past-due on counseling sessions so the content of discussion with my therapist is wide and harsh. I’m thankful for my husband and mom to debrief with afterwards.
The encouragement is sincere and passionate and for that I am grateful. Though the shoreline is a far distance off yet, my hope is fixed on an anchor of faith.
Friend, maybe you too are facing waves of difficulty in some way, but I pray you’d join me—embracing the calming, reassuring reminders of ‘God-for-us.’ I’ve compiled 22 affirmations of God’s faithfulness backed by scripture, with the intention that the solidity of these words would become more than just simple phrases and all about rich, heartfelt truth and comfort.
Read into them, pray through them, allow every single word to embody you…I’ll be doing the same.
GOD LOVES ME.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16
God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
We love because God first loved us. —1 John 4:19
GOD HAS SAVED ME.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18
For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. —Romans 10:13
GOD FREES ME FROM FEAR.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1:7
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13
GOD PROVIDES ME WITH SAFETY.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
The righteous person may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all. —Psalm 34:19
The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:7-8
GOD HEALS ME.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. —Psalm 147:3
GOD IS MY HELPER.
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:2
So we say with confidence, the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? —Hebrews 13:6
GOD CARES ABOUT ME.
Give all your worries and your cares to God, for He cares about you. —1 Peter 5:7
GOD EQUIPS ME.
All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17
GOD POINTS ME TO TRUST IN HIM.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6
When I am afraid I put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. —Psalm 84:12
GOD DESIRES FOR ME TO REST IN HIM.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
Be still and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10a
GOD STRENGTHENS ME.
For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. —Philippians 4:13
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s scheme. —Ephesians 6:10-11
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. —Psalm 29:11
GOD COMFORTS ME.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. —Psalm 23:4
GOD FILLS ME WITH JOY AND HOPE.
You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. —Psalm 16:11
But 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 be faint. —Isaiah 40:31
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11
GOD LEADS ME.
In their heart humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. —Proverbs 16:9
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. —Psalm 119:105
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. —Psalm 23:2
GOD IS WITH ME.
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. —Joshua 1:9
The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” —Exodus 33:14
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. —Isaiah 41:10
GOD BLESSES ME.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. —2 Corinthians 9:8
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. —Psalm 84:5
GOD FORGIVES AND REDEEMS ME.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9
As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. —Psalm 103:12
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. —Ephesians 1:7-8a
GOD HAS MADE ME NEW.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. —2 Corinthians 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18-19
GOD GIVES ME PEACE.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23
GOD HAS CHOSEN ME.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. —Deuteronomy 14:2
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. —Ephesians 1:4
GOD DIRECTS ME TO LOVE OTHERS.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. —John 13:34
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
GOD WANTS ME TO LOVE MYSELF.
I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. —Psalm 139:14
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. —Proverbs 19:8
For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church. —Ephesians 5:29
In my kitchen, above my sink, hangs a hand-painted wooden sign that reads “farmhouse”. It’s perhaps the most prominent piece of my house stating it’s theme or style—a literal label to reinforce what I hope is the obvious.
There’s certain characteristics I’ve poured into this little haven of mine to encourage a farmhouse look—in all honesty it probably has more of a modern-farmhouse-look rather than the traditional-farmhouse-style but either way it feels like home—cozy and welcoming.
Our house has been an ongoing, slowly evolving project since we moved in five years ago.
The main rooms gradually went from a deep green wall color to a dramatically brighter atmosphere with the help of soft white paint, over the course of a few years.
And last year my husband and I added ceramic tile floor (with a wood look) in the living room, kitchen and dining areas.
Shiplap found its way into the pantry space, which kinda seems to be a staple concept to any newly renovated farmhouse.😆
Even my decor shifted from way too much to basic and uncluttered—requiring lots of trips to the second hand store and a yard sale or two!
All of these personal touches I’ve added for the sole purpose of visually bringing together a farmhouse vibe. Simply put, I just love the look of a farmhouse atmosphere and my guests seem to appreciate it too.
As Christians a similar concept should be true of us — our “spiritual fruit” characteristics should be noticeable to others through the work of the Holy Spirit indwelling within us. People should be able to tell we’re Christians as we share and show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)
When nonbelievers see or witness these things in us they experience Jesus’ example. We won’t get it right every time because sin longs to thrive but the goal is to be always arriving.
We need to be grounded in the sureness of what we’re aiming to convey. Getting into God’s word, listening to worship music, spending time in fellowship with other believers, and prayer—all of these things encourage us to know and love God. The outcome moves us to grow, nurture, and appreciate our relationship with the Holy Spirit and to expose the fruits of the spirit toward ourselves and in our interactions with others.
With my house, I’ve aimed to give it a farmhouse feel and I’m pretty confident most visitors get that idea when they step inside. With my faith, however, my hope is that I’m fixated on a Christian theme with the characteristics of spiritual fruit setting the tone, and pointing others to Christ.
In keeping with the analogy of this post we probably all have a bit of “housework” we could do. Let’s not waste another moment—our world is in desperate need of Christ-centered neighbors willing to open the doors of their heart to any and everyone.
If you have time go listen to the old hymn “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” for a little extra motivation!! I’ll be doing the same!
I thought since I’m just getting back into the swing of blogging again, today’s post will be light…but “sharp.”
Some of you may remember last summer, the post about mine and my oldest daughter’s brilliant idea to buy three hermit crabs when we vacationed at South Padre Island.
Wellllll…none of them made it to the new year. We tried. The accessories they required that amounted to well over a hundred dollars proves we tried.
But those things are high maintenance and apparently we weren’t doing something just right.
Sooooo…during January, when I was home and sick with the most ridiculous cold I’ve ever had, I started doing some thinking…about how we had an empty cage just sitting around not being used and how that perfectly fine cage should be getting some good use if it’s going to stay in my home.
Without wasting much time deciding what should occupy that space, I began doing some research on hedgehogs!! Man, Pinterest is not the place to look if you’re just in the beginning stages of entertaining an idea! It’ll leave you with a desperate yearning for whatever it is you may be searching over!!
Needless to say it didn’t take much convincing for myself or the rest of the family to decide this could very well be our next best mistake!!
After learning that the cage we already had would be too small we were too smitten over these little creatures to back out now!
We located six week old babies at a town about an hour from us, the kids evenly pitched in their money…$170 total and then Dad and I bought the newer, larger cage and necessary accessories.
My son named her Pixie.
She’s grown soooo much, probably double the size since we brought her home.
We have a lot of fun watching her explore and even her sassy attitude is quite entertaining. It takes her a bit to warm up when we take her out of her little home but she’s getting more used to us and is pretty motivated by her cat food pebbles! I’m convinced she’d do just about anything for her food.
It’s interesting how animals are so relatable to humans. Food, water, air, sleep, and then there’s also mannerism. The attitudes—humans have them and so do animals, especially hedgehogs!
When Pixie feels threatened those sharp quills standout in every direction; once she realizes we don’t want to harm her she relaxes but it takes some convincing.
And I get it.
I can be quite reluctant even in God’s care, and yet I know His intentions are for good but boy there are times I’m incredibly reserved in my trust.
Being Pixie’s caregiver, I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, I’m going to do everything I know is right and good to provide and nurture this prickly pet, but she isn’t always with me on that mindset.
When I compare this to my own relationship (with God as my caregiver) I think how silly I must seem to God when I hold tightly to that lack of trust.
Just like I want the best life for Pixie and I know I’m trustworthy to her, God knows and desires the same when it comes to He and I!
Check out Isaiah 26:3 with me, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” —Isaiah 26:3
I love the boldness and certainty in those words…no hesitation found there. No lack of trust. This is how I want my faith to align with our Lord and I pray you’d join me! No poking around, just smooth and comfortable trust in Him.❤️
I took quite a long and unexpected blogging break—in fact this is the first post I’ve written in this new year, the last was at Christmas time!
Toward the end of last year I received my cancer diagnosis, had surgery, worked on recuperating, got Covid, worked on recuperating from that, struggled with depression, and finally (with much gratitude) celebrated Christmas!!
The new year started with an obnoxious head-cold throughout most of January. It was probably worse than my experience with Covid.
Meanwhile I had begun radiation treatments which were every Monday through Friday morning at 8 AM. I had thirty-three treatments and typically was in and out of the clinic within 15 minutes.
The nursing staff at Anderson Radiation are some of the kindest, most caring women I’ve ever met! I would pray over them on my drive into town and thank God for His healing every morning and it became such a blessed part of my daily routine. I’m thankful to be on the other side of it but I miss seeing each one of those gals!
That break from blogging was so necessary as I felt I needed to step back, catch my breath and truly gather my health—both mentally and physically.
Radiation can be exhausting as the high-energy beams not only kill cancer cells but also affect healthy cells too. I had and still have a lot of fatigue especially toward the late afternoon but this will subside with a little more time.
I couldn’t help but notice as I’d walk into the radiation room each morning how incredibly thick the door is. It has to be close to two feet thick and operates by mechanically sliding open and closed in a side to side motion. After making a comment to the techs they explained that the walls of the radiation room are actually eight foot thick and since the door can’t possibly be that thick it’s made from very heavy material causing it to weigh 22,000 pounds!! This might seem drastic but it’s for protective measures to those outside of the treatment room.
When I’d go in for treatment they’d have me lay down on the table, adjust me with precise measurements, then exit the room (closing that 22,000 pound door behind them) and then using computer technology they’d operate the radiation machine to move around me and target the area needing treatment at just the right dose.
As I look back on that time the word protection so accurately describes what I saw and felt. Radiation was quick and painless but I was amazed at how much every little detail mattered— from the very thick walls, to the heavy door, down to a sliver of body placement being set just right…all of it points back to protection.
Protection for my best interest and for the medical staff.
I’m reminded of how much God’s protection is ultimately even greater and bigger than any of those necessary precautions though—how His protection stretches far beyond any of the thickest walls or heaviest doors in the world.
Psalm 32:7 says this, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
Protection. What a beautiful and filling hope and truth. I pray we take comfort in what the Lord’s word says and allow that peace to settle over our hearts and minds.
Sometimes things happen in our life where we might be prone to think “why didn’t God stop this or protect us from that?” And getting through those trials can be incredibly challenging BUT we also must be quick to believe and trust that God is protecting us from things (little and big) every single moment without us even recognizing or knowing it at all!!
He moves, works, and plans in His own perfect way all the time; and always with a divine purpose. We must be ever thankful for His protection—known and unknown.
God deserves our glory. As we’re living and breathing we have reason to praise Him no matter our circumstances. He is good.
Thank you for connecting with me again sweet friends. God willing I’ll get back on a regular blogging schedule!
Have a blessed weekend!!
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. —Nahum 1:7
I’m finally feeling back to myself again! Which is a good thing I hope!!
I had Covid over Thanksgiving and man I feel for anyone who battles Covid physically, but for myself it really messed with me mentally—and with my emotions as well.
It was the reality of being secluded from my family (in effort to keep them from getting sick) over a holiday that’s bent on togetherness—that’s what really got to me. And although I tried to stay focused and connected to God through reading His word, devotions, and prayer through it all, Satan managed to squeak his ridiculous way in to play mind-games with me.
I struggled with the realization that my kids are growing up so fast…I worried that I didn’t enjoy them enough as babies…I longed to hug each of them individually and apologize for my crazy mood swings over the years…I feared that I’ve messed them up for future parenting of their own one day…
Forget doctor’s orders to stay hydrated, instead I filled up on shame and regret, even digging up dirt on myself from pre-Christian years and settling on the messy memories I have of childhood trauma. My thoughts felt completely out of my control. A total downward spiral. It was absolutely miserable and ugly. I was devastated and I cried a lot. A lot!
Looking back I can only now see how silly this must seem but it truly felt smothering at the time.
When Satan has his way with our thoughts it can cause those valley-seasons to feel like we’re endlessly cratering. The sense of darkness can seem overwhelming and paralyzing.
BUT THERE’S HOPE WHEN WE REMEMBER JESUS—when we fix our eyes upward—when we cling to God’s faithfulness and we fill that somber void with His peace—when we remember seasons are only just simply seasons, and new ones are fixing to surface.
Several times during my depressive state, I would literally, pronounce, “get behind me Satan.” There is power in our words and putting Jesus in front of everything else makes a profound difference.
Recognizing the struggle and anguish I was experiencing, I focused on verses 4 & 5 from John 1, stating that the darkness has not overcome the light…
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Our tree is now up to celebrate the Christmas season, and goodness the golden-colored lights wrapped around it are such a reminder of the beautiful truth in those verses. It amazes me that such tiny little lights can put out such a bright illumination…at night they cut through the dark effortlessly with such a stark contrast.
What a wonderful portrayal of the very way Jesus operates…He longs to overflow our darkest days with the hope and energy of His light if we’ll allow ourselves that kind of power supply.
Maybe you can relate with me and sometimes experience what feels as if it’s a shortage every now and then but as we stay connected to the Light, the darkness will never, ever overcome…and that’s something worth brightening our outlook!
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” —John 8:12
This morning my oldest daughter, Paige, had asked if I’d braid her hair. She’s going out for girls’ wrestling this year and has practice today (even though it’s Thanksgiving break) so pulled back hair is her preference.
I found it interesting because at the time she asked, I was reading and studying over Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 which says this:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
When it comes to my daughter wanting her very long hair braided she always requests the help of either her sister or myself. It takes another set of hands to make it happen. It’s teamwork.
Today as I got the privilege of braiding her hair, with some new and fresh insight, I thought about the last part of the verses I’d just read, ‘a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’
Interesting given the fact I’d just woven three sections of hair together similar to a cord formation. The weaving and intertwining of the hair strands keeps it stronger and serves the purpose for which it was meant—to hold together.
Keeping these verses in mind we can circle the encouragement found here—there is strength when partnering up.
Last weekend I tested positive for Covid and to say I accepted the circumstances to follow with ease would be a huge falsity. I was not impressed and am still struggling. Plans were tossed and negative feelings pursued.
My “quarantine” time doesn’t end until Sunday evening. There’s nothing normal about being isolated from family over Thanksgiving break especially in my own home.
Out of respect for my husband and kids I’ve tried to stay to my room but I was really “wrestling” with depressive thoughts so I’ve graduated a bit more to the main areas of the house while wearing a mask. I know this probably doesn’t meet CDC recommendations but out of the personal health of my sanity it is what it is.
I admit this isn’t one of my most happy-go-lucky-post. Actually I always aim to just be as transparent as possible. I share all this though because I’ve been able to reflect on how much people matter to me.
God didn’t design us to be alone. In the beginning of His Word we read in Genesis 2:18, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God created woman in effort to reinforce that idea. We know sin ensued shortly after and humanity has suffered the results since. But God didn’t leave us without a Way to overcome…His name is Jesus.
When we include Jesus in our life, and in our relationships, that cord we read about in Ecclesiastes exist with the type of supernatural strength that points to Him.
Life is for us to do together. To lift one another up. To encourage. To cheer one another on. To smile. To hug. To laugh. To cry. To fellowship. To be in communion.
So even though Thanksgiving has definitely looked and felt very different and has not been my first choice of creating memories in this way, I can focus on the fact that I am blessed beyond measure—I know the importance (without a shadow of a doubt) of how beautiful life is when we are fulfilled by relationships. And the best is with Jesus laced right in the middle.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken…
I pray your Thanksgiving was blessed and (even if it may also look different like mine) that you can turn your focus to the positives with an attitude of gratitude. ❤️
Something that’s making me laugh at myself as I write this is that my post from last week—I changed it up—not even an hour after hitting publish. And I ended up changing not just some of the words but the title as well…
I’d written an analogy regarding T-Rex arms vs. chicken wings (weird, I know…you’d have to read it to get the full idea if you haven’t already). Anyway in the original published post I referred to chicken wings as chicken arms instead…not even thinking twice about it. A little later when I went back to read the posted copy I thought to myself, “Chicken arms? What in the world?”
We own chickens and never on God’s green earth have I ever said to my husband, “Hey honey, the chickens are flying out of the coop again, would you go clip their chicken arms?”
So I decided, rightfully that chicken WINGS could not be referred to as chicken arms…and therein lies the reason for my change-up with last week’s post!
Okay I’ll get to the point of today’s post…
…As the author of my blog I get to write how the story goes. I can go back and edit and make corrections or improvements if needed.
Authors do this quite often, it’s the reason we see books that sometimes have the words “updated edition” or “revised copy” across the cover. Alterations have been made or research has allowed for more thorough information or a better explanation so the author provides a modification of the original.
I’m reminded how God is the ‘Author of our Life’ when we choose to put our trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 that idea is worded like this— “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
At that moment we start becoming a better version of ourselves; and rather than trying to write our own stories we learn to surrender the pages of our life to God along with the publishing rights.
With that truth in mind, a plot twist happens within us. Suddenly our “character” is thinking and doing differently in accordance to God’s will. Ultimately, however, He controls and knows what may come or go, just the same way as an author of a book does.
As God continues to write our story He may include plot twists and turns that we weren’t or aren’t expecting—He has every right to do so, after all He is the one creating and we’re the characters in HIS story. When the unexpected comes up in our lives this doesn’t mean God made an error, rather God sees the climax and the purpose those trials, along the way, may serve.
As our character-being learns to trust and interact with God, our love for Him grows and we learn peace in the rising and falling action of life.
No matter the setting or theme of our current story, we can rest in the comfort of Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Such powerful, hope-filled truth for even the darkest of chapters.
Through scripture, we’re given the resolution (the ending of the story) —as God has revealed to us the beautiful promise of eternity spent in Heaven with Him when we choose to believe in His Son as our Saving Grace. Praise God that when we make that life-changing decision, we open the pages to a never ending sequel that’s perfectly written by the Author of Life and we get to be a part of it! The goodness of Heaven.
…In the meantime we can trust in the assurance of His flawless Word. All glory to Him!❤️
I’m a week and a half past surgery and as much as I want to move beyond writing or sharing about this chapter in my life, I’m not able to just yet because it’s not quite over. God is still providing teachable moments in this and I feel like it’s not for me to keep for (only) my own growth in faith.
For those who are reading this and missed my post a few weeks ago, I’ll do a quick update. The beginning of September I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. Appointments and treatment plans have moved along quickly and I’m now on the other side of surgery.
A friend asked me recently how I was feeling and I explained, “I’m ready to be past surgery limitations and be on the go but my body is so achy from some doctor restrictions that are in place…” After I finished my usual, overextended words she quickly drew up her own simple words, “so you’re feeling like you’re energy is back, but your strength isn’t?!”
“Exactly!!” …couldn’t have said it better myself.
And her words are spot on. My energy is there. I’m ready to lift some weights again, get back over to the nursing home to do hair, and take advantage (with a bike ride) of these 70 degree days we’re enjoying here in Nebraska currently.
But with my doctor’s orders (ten pound weight and range of motion restrictions) in place and his timeline in respect—the time is not yet.
I’m gonna give you a quick visual and you can thank me later for the image and laugh! …One of my most important restrictions is that I’m supposed to keep my arms tucked close to my body, no reaching out to the sides.
My doctor, and he’s hilarious, demonstrated how I should keep my arm movements within a limited range. Upon showing and explaining this to my husband to help get the point across of the importance the two of them then concluded that “I need to be using T-Rex arms!!”
So I’ve kept T-Rex arms in mind as I’ve went about my days…did you know you can actually sweep the house using T-Rex arms? Me neither but I learned that!!
Let me let you in on a little secret.
T-Rex arms are not natural. They make a person feel confined. They also leave you feeling stiff and sore from the waist up. Especially after a full night’s sleep in that position.
There’s a reason God allows chicken wing movements. It feels freeing and refreshing! And not so constrained.
Chicken wings aren’t in my care plan just yet though—therefore T-Rex arms it is.
It’s ironic to me just how symbolic this is of the Christian walk.
Chicken wings are like those beautiful moments in life where things feel on track. Our relationships are healthy and whole. Our jobs are appreciated and secure. Our bodies are nourished and thriving. Our faith is strong and vibrant. We feel we can confidently stretch and strut over God’s good blessings.
On the other hand, there are times in our life when our hope spirals out of control as we allow fickle, negative feelings to take root. Our prayers go up but sometimes we wrongly deem them as unnoticed. We feel tied down by undesired wrongs that have happened in our life and we’re just waiting to be released from the burden and trials. We feel trapped or restricted.
By analogy this describes T-Rex arms.
Here’s the solid truth though, over any and all things—God gives us restrictions for our own good and within His perfect timing He leads us to the other side of adversity.
For some of us that heavy load may not be lifted until we’re Heaven-bound. Likewise, for all of us, perfection in every single area and detail will come to fruition when we’re Heaven-bound as well.
The wonderful thing is, however, there’s taming available even in the midst of T-Rex arms…
Consider the way the arms are tucked in close at the sides, no flailing allowed. Now picture Jesus as He comes at your side, wrapping His caring arms around you. You’ve ached for so long that His gentle touch feels welcomed and comforting, merciful and grace-filled. His care is more than enough to sustain. No matter your mindset, His love is humbly fiercer than the pain. His steadfastness eases the harsh mentality. It’s His loyalty that calms the rigid edges.
No doubt, He is more than powerful enough to settle even the unruliest of all T-Rex’s.
Hope in Jesus is key.
And the beautiful thing is—hope is held in our hearts not our arms—whether we’re in a place relating to T-Rex arms…or chicken wings…