Refining Stories: A Toxic Marriage

Refining Stories: A Toxic Marriage

I have two stories left to share to conclude the Refining Series.

I was especially touched by Debra’s story. She endured a toxic marriage for many years in hopes he would change. I believe God can restore any marriage if people are willing to change and partner with God. Unfortunately, there are toxic people who don’t want to change. Debra experienced years of pain in her marriage yet allowed God to refine her in the midst of her heartache. It is an honor to share Debra’s story today.

Debra’s Story:

Ten years into my marriage of 22 years, I became aware of my husband’s sexual addiction, same-sex attraction, and acting out.  Through it all, he had kept up an appearance of godliness while engaging in a pursuit of sinfulness. As a Christian, I know “God hates divorce”,  so I would not give up hope of restoring our marriage. I continued to offer grace and forgiveness while facing each disappointment. 

 As years passed, I persevered through the lies and deception.  I always wanted to believe my husband was getting the help he needed and making progress, desiring to heal the brokenness of our marriage. Each time I believed we were on the road to a restored marriage, I would discover more of his ongoing deception.  We continually needed to start over, rebuilding from “ground zero”.  

While attending counseling, small group sessions, marriage classes, and intensive weekend therapy sessions, my nightmare remained a well-kept secret from family and friends. Experiencing the hurt, pain, embarrassment, shame and betrayal of someone, who I thought loved me and loved God, was paralyzing. I remained isolated.  Bearing it alone was a heavy burden, but I continued believing God would heal and restore the marriage, keeping our family intact.  

 My kids were unaware of the issues. They were ages 3 and 8 when things began.  Feeling zombie-like from endless sleepless nights, I was determined to provide stability and wholeness for them.  I worked to keep up the facade of being a happy mom, while on the inside experiencing anxiety and depression. 

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Refining Series: The Power of Perseverance

Refining Series: The Power of Perseverance

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,”                                                                                                                                    -James 1:4

As we wrap up this series, I wanted to talk about one of the most important byproducts of refining: perseverance.  Perseverance does not come naturally, and it’s built into our character by the practice of not giving up. It’s a challenge to persevere because we long for a life of ease and comfort. It’s why we struggle with exercise, keeping our house clean, paying off debt, or working on broken relationships because they all require hard work and perseverance. We can learn to persevere through practice.

My husband and I had been in a health-related trial for many months. My husband was sick, and there was no cure in sight.  I was watching the news one evening and a report came on about pit bulls. The dog owner held up a braided rope with a large braided ball at the end.  The owner hovered it over the pit bulls head and it jumped up and latched onto the ball with its powerful jaws and did not let go. The pitbull hung mid-air latched on to the rope with all its might.  The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart at that moment and said, “I want you to be just like that pit bull. You hold on to Me and never let go.” It was a beautiful image of tenacity, and it would become the theme of my days.

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Refining Stories: We Don't Have to Hide Negative Emotions From God

Refining Stories: We Don't Have to Hide Negative Emotions From God

I have three more stories to share this month as we wrap up our Refining Series. My hope in sharing these stories is to help you not feel alone while being refined. The refining process is for all of God’s kids and it’s not meant to be seen as a punishment but rather training.

Ally talks about how it was difficult for her to bring negative emotions to God. I think we’ve all felt the need to tidy ourselves up a bit before we come to God, have we not? But she learned a valuable tool to help her move forward and to get a revelation about how God saw her. I’m honored to share Ally’s story today.

Ally’s Story

In 2006, I met a boy at a party. I was a freshman in the first week of college; he was a sophomore engineering student. A few days after we met, he asked if I want to go for a walk. We started walking every day. To class. To the Arboretum. To TCBYs. We were inseparable. He liked showing me off to his friends, telling them I was his perfect girl. His friends became my friends. He took months to kiss me- I remember thinking"This is what gentlemen do".

I don't know when the comments started. I did not notice at first because I read the world as black and white. The red flags I knew to beware were the obvious ones: are they pressuring you? Are they flat out mean to you? Those aren't your friends. His comments weren't like that, though. "You would look really good in that dress... If you lost like 5 pounds." "Do you really want to eat the whole cookie/the whole sandwich/the whole meal? I'm just looking out for you." "Do you really need to go spend time with your friend? I wanted to see you. I studied last night so I could keep tonight free for you". Always guilt. Always my fault. Always ways I could be better. 

Two years later, standing in the rain outside of his apartment after an argument, I broke up with him. For real this time.

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Refining Series: Fear Bows to God's Faithfulness

Refining Series: Fear Bows to God's Faithfulness

Today on the blog we’re going to address fear. First off let’s remove the shame because we all struggle with fear. Fear comes in many forms: anxiety, worry, alarm, panic, distress, dread, unease. The challenge is God wants to set us free from it and He will use trials to prove His faithfulness. Even when the worst-case scenario happens, God is near and able to help us in our distress.

They will not live in fear or dread of what may come, for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith. Steady and strong they will not be afraid, but will calmly face their every foe until they all go down in defeat.” Psalm 112:7-8

I had a recurring dream for most of my adult life.  I dreamt I’d given birth to a tiny, premature baby, and the helpless babe would evaporate in front of my eyes.

Gone. My baby was gone.  

I’d wake up after each nightmare convinced I had just delivered a baby. It was otherworldly and scared me to death and filled me with dread. 

Fear is like that: it lurks in our dreams.

Imagine my horror when I went into preterm labor at 31 weeks with our third child.  These were no Braxton Hicks contractions; it was the real deal, and I was terrified. I raced to the doctor's office, and they placed me on a monitor immediately.  The readings confirmed my deepest fear. I was going to deliver a tiny infant. It was too soon. Images from my nightmares flooded my head and paralyzed me. I had never told anyone about the nightmares, and that day I was sure they would come to pass.

I was hospitalized to be monitored and strong drugs were administered to stop the contractions.  The irony was that I was to remain still, while the medicine made my heart race like I was running a marathon.  

The doctors performed tests to see what was causing the extra amniotic fluid.  The Doctor spoke in hushed tones as serious potential outcomes were discussed about the health of our baby. I was sent home for six weeks of bed rest as the goal was to get me to 37 weeks gestation.

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Refining Stories: A Body to Worship

Refining Stories: A Body to Worship

As part of my Refining Series, I’m sharing Refining stories; stories of women who have wrestled with God, through difficult situations and let Him refine them. They felt the sting of disappointment and have run to God with their pain. In turn, God has revealed more of His character to them.

Today I share a story many are familiar with, the refining from an injury. As much as we wish we wouldn’t get injured or hurt, it happens because we live in a fallen world. But God offers us Himself in these seasons. I pray her words bring you comfort. I am honored to share Rebekah’s story with you.

Rebekah’s Story:

One day early in basketball season, during my junior year of college, a group of teammates talked about how awful an injury, especially a torn ligament, would be.

“That would be awful,” one said. “I don’t know how I’d keep going,” said another.

I don’t know how I’d respond, I thought to myself. I haven’t been injured longer than a day or two.

It wasn’t my experience yet, but it was coming, and I would have a lot to learn in the process.

Midway through that season, during our holiday tournament, I had played well in Game 1, and my performance early in Game 2 set me up well for all-tournament honors. Toward the end of the second game, however, I took one wrong step. No contact from another player, no accident. Just a step and my knee buckled.

I wanted to deny it, but my knee continued to swell, and all the telltale signs were there. I heard the results of my MRI the day after Christmas: I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my left knee.

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Refining Series: When You Feel Utterly Alone

Refining Series: When You Feel Utterly Alone

When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you, for I am your Savior, Yahweh, your mighty God, the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 43:2-3a

The sun was barely up as I plopped my weary body into my “Jesus Chair.”  My friend, Karen, named it that because it was the chair I sat in every morning to meet with Jesus.  It was a cozy space I created to pray and read the Word each day, but this day instead of feeling warm, I felt alone, utterly lost.  

Persistent Pain

The pain had kept me up again another night.  It wasn’t a new thing. The pain bore through my neck and upper back.  It was relentless in its pursuit. It persisted and was a result of a car accident I had years before.  I quit talking about pain. I quit asking others for prayer, and I quit asking God myself because honestly, it didn’t seem like my Jesus was interested.  I had gone through seasons of pouring over the healing scriptures, praying them, and believing for them, but still, the pain persisted. I was exhausted and spent.

I begged God to show me what He wanted me to learn? Was there something I was doing wrong?  The rule follower in me wanted to know what I could fix. My prayers looked like this: “Jesus, just tell me and I’ll fix it!  I’ll change! I’ll do whatever you want!” It all seemed desperate and futile. What was the point of all this physical pain?

Sweetly and gently, the Holy Spirit whispered, “You may feel alone, but you're actually not alone.  I’m right here with you. I’ve been with you every moment and I’ll be with you until the end of time.”

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Refining Stories: Lessons From the Sting of Rejection

Refining Stories: Lessons From the Sting of Rejection

As part of my Refining Series I will share Refining Stories. Stories of women who have wrestled with God and let difficult situations refine them. They’ve felt the sting on disappointment and have allowed God to refine them.

Today I’m excited to share Andrea’s story. It’s a story about the pain of rejection and haven’t we all felt it at one time or another? I pray her words bring your comfort. i am honored to share Andrea’s story with you.

Andrea’s Story:

My pulse raced with excitement as I walked into the sanctuary for the congregational meeting. Nerves were present, but it was mostly an alive sort of feeling. This vote could set me on the course of something I felt driven and called to do! This was forever going to change the trajectory of my life, my career and my faith! I just hadn’t imagined how much it would.

A couple months prior to that moment, I had found myself spending almost all of my free time serving as a worship leader and a youth leader for a little church in my town. Was I officially trained for any of that? Nope. Civil engineering was my full-time day job. Music was just a hobby, and teenagers were honestly kind of a mystery. However, music was what made my heart come alive and was what I could spend hours doing without fatigue. 

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Refining Series: God Implores Us to Relinquish Control

Refining Series: God Implores Us to Relinquish Control

“... yet not my will, but yours be done.” -Luke 22:42

My husband, the pastor, stepped to the platform on a regular Sunday morning following the music part of worship when the Holy Spirit whispered to his heart, “Your work here is done.”  He was stunned for a second at the timing of the statement, but he gathered his composure and proceeded to preach the message and wrap up the Sunday service. He didn’t tell me about the impression of God for two weeks.

We spent the previous seven years revitalizing a rural church.  God moved the church through a building project, stewardship campaign, implemented a thriving Kids ministry, and brought the Sunday attendance from 40 to 180 under our leadership. Our children were doing well, we had just received a raise, and the church changed the bylaws so we could stay indefinitely.  Our course was set, and we were content.

And just like that, God said we were done.

My husband didn’t tell me right away because he wanted time to process and pray.  I was shocked when he told me. All my dreams of the future were crushed. We would move and need to start all over again.  My heart was weary of starting over, but when we answered the call to full-time ministry, we knew our lives were no longer our own.  We desired to be in God’s will more than anything, and so we began to pray and wait, each day exchanging our plans for His.

Part of the refining process for most of us will involve dying to our wants.  And isn’t it this why refining is so painful? We have a vision, a plan, and a course set out and then suddenly it all changes. Why is change so jarring, and why is surrender so difficult?  Why is it so hard to trust the good plans of God?

How do we set aside our agendas and wants? 

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Refining Stories: Lessons From A Frantic Newborn

Refining Stories: Lessons From A Frantic Newborn

As part of my Refining Series, I will share Refining Stories: stories of women who have wrestled with God and have let difficult situations refine them. They’ve felt the sting of disappointment and have found God in the midst of pain.

Today meet Amanda , a mom who learned some valuable lessons from her newborn. I pray by reading her story, you’ll be able to recognize God at work in your life. I am honored to share Amanda’s story with you.

Amanda’s Story:

It was a black, warm night with no moon. The velvet darkness was being sliced to shreds by the wails of a two-month-old baby.

My baby.

I held him close as the volume and intensity of his cries increased. A sob wrenched my chest as I watched my child squirm and scream, his tears squeezing out from under tight eyelids.

This. This was a new kind of pain. A tiny baby, born of my own body, and part of my own soul, distressed and refusing to be consoled.

It was something that hurt worse than any pregnancy or labor pains ever had.

Even the best new motherhood experiences can lay the soul bare and break it into shards. 

Between the hours of lost sleep, the physical fatigue of continual feedings, and the emotional weight of the entire wellbeing of another human being resting solely on my shoulders, I was splitting at the seams. And no matter how much I tried to soothe and bless my baby, nothing seemed to make a difference.

He cried continuously, though all his needs were met. His voice rose and fell, then began climbing upward again in pitch. His eyes were closed, refusing to view my face.

I felt rejected. Helpless.

My tiny, tender one seemed to completely disregard the fact that he was being held in my arms—arms that would never let him fall. Arms that wanted to hold him and provide comfort.

His little fingers clenched, my baby flailed, limbs in the air, almost as if he were angrily shaking his fist in my face.

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Refining Series: Our View of God

Refining Series: Our View of God

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”-Job 2:10b

 The Refinement of Loss

We were married four years and our son was two when I took the next positive pregnancy test.  I was elated and raced to the clinic to have the blood test confirm the pregnancy, and it did. Baby #2 was on the way and I was especially thrilled because two of my closest friends had just announced their pregnancies.  It was a girlfriend's dream come true!

Just hours later I started to bleed.  I frantically called my doctor and he recommended bed rest for the weekend.  I sobbed and worried as my little toddler seemed confused by my sudden bed rest and my husband looked equally bewildered. We felt utterly helpless.

I willed myself to stay still, thinking perhaps if I didn’t move, the bleeding would stop.  I prayed, I begged, and I pleaded with God. I asked for a miracle but the bleeding never stopped. I returned to the clinic on Monday to check the levels in my blood and later in the afternoon, the Dr. confirmed my greatest fear.  Our baby was gone. As quickly as it came, it was gone. The experience left me crushed, broken and bewildered. I assumed God would rescue me, yet He didn’t.

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Refining Stories: Allison, A Special Needs Mom

Refining Stories: Allison, A Special Needs Mom

As part of my Refining Series, I’ll be sharing Refining Stories; stories of people who have wrestled with anger and disappointment with God.  People changed, rebuilt and rescued by God. Allison, is a special needs mom. I pray by reading her story you’ll be strengthened to continue your own refining season, with the confidence of how God works all the hard things together for good. I’m honored to have Allison share her story.

Allison’s Story

Sitting at the kitchen table, scrolling through Pinterest, I heard my husband Ben answer his phone. We’d been waiting on this call for a couple of weeks and my heart constricted tighter and faster listening to his end of the conversation. Though he was mostly nodding and scribbling notes, not saying much, I could tell the results showed something.

Hanging up the phone, he turned to tell me the results: a rare (1 in 100,000 boys) genetic disorder. Three extra chromosomes. A spectrum of possibilities but physical and intellectual difficulties guaranteed. Apraxia. Hypotonia. Possible heart issues. Anxiety. Recurring pneumonia. Of course, our pediatrician advised us not to Google the syndrome, and of course, I didn’t listen.

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Refining Series: What If God Is Up To Something?

“See I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”-Isaiah 48:10

The Refining Process

Refining is a process in which impurities are removed from oil, metals, and not surprisingly, Followers of Christ. The refining process begins with something in a crude state being turned into something useful. The impurities are extracted with chemicals or heat, resulting in the purest form.

So why do we need to be refined? Could it be our character and habits need to be purified? Is it because God has a wonderful plan for what we will become and a refining season will help us get there?

What does the refining process look like for a child of God? Most often He uses trials and setbacks, sickness and loss, pain and heartache. He often uses the people closest to us, including our spouse’s and children. Perhaps He’ll use our boss, coworker or neighbor.

Now you’re excited! Stay with me.

Most of us are cruising along in life, loving Jesus, going to church, growing in our faith and then BAM, something bad happens. When the trial comes, we’re stunned! We ask all the questions because we’re disappointed. We question our loving God.

  • “God, why?”

  • “God, if you are good, why is this bad thing happening?”

  • “God this is too hard! I can’t do this and why do you think I can?”

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Attitude Adjustment Series: The Power of Your Words

Attitude Adjustment Series: The Power of Your Words

”The tongue can bring death and life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” -Proverbs 18:21

There’s a story of two brothers. The older son was treated fair and could stand up the the emotional abuse of his father, but the younger brother was not so fortunate. He could do nothing right in his fathers eyes, and his father caused great damage with his harsh words. The father was critical of everything the younger son did, and the words left lasting wounds of insecurity, doubt, self-loathing. Because the father told him he could never do anything right, he believed it.

Have you ever been the recipient of cruel words? Most of us have. Perhaps a family member or an acquaintance in school, or the neighborhood bully. Their bitter words cut to the core and leave us wounded for years. And every time someone speaks harshly to us, we bleed all over again.

Have you ever considered the power of your words as you walk through a difficult season, and how they effect your attitude? When we’re under stress we often resort to blame, by being critical of others or God. Or we make declarations like, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard!” or “This will never get better!” or “This is impossible!” There is life or death in your words, and it takes diligence to control them.

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Attitude Adjustment Series: Complaining Doesn't Help

Attitude Adjustment Series:  Complaining Doesn't Help

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may be pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” -Philippians 2:14-15

I used to be such a good sleeper. I’d hit the pillow exhausted from chasing my five kids around and wake up refreshed early the next day ready to tackle the world again. I required eight hours of sleep for optimal productivity. But the past few years insomnia has become my unwelcome nightly companion.

Lately, I’ve been waking up at 3 am, and I lay there wide awake, flipping and flopping with thoughts rolling through my brain. “How’s this going to work?” “When am I going to get that done?” “What if…?” It usually lasts until 4:30 am and the alarm goes off at 5 am or 6 am depending on my work shift. I wake up frustrated from my lack of sleep, and I know I have a choice to make. I can choose to thank God the night is over and perhaps I’ll sleep better tonight, or I can complain and whine all day about how tired I am.

I wish I could say, I always choose the way of praise and thanksgiving. I do not. I can get pulled into the vortex of negativity, just like anyone else. But it doesn’t take long for me to be disgusted with myself as Holy Spirit whispers, “There’s a better way to handle your frustration and weariness.”

Do you ever notice when you complain, it invites everyone around you to join in too? People gather in their break rooms, near the water cooler, or over cups of coffee and try to convince each other who’s situation is worse. It’s all quite dismal when you think about it.

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Attitude Adjustment Series: A Godly Perspective

Attitude Adjustment Series: A Godly Perspective

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.” -Job 38:1-3

Our attitude is one thing we can control

We begin a new series for May about our attitudes. There is little we can do to control the circumstances or the people in our lives, and we aren’t supposed to control them anyways. The one thing we are in charge of is ourselves, our attitude, and our response to life. The surest way to survive a challenging season is to do it with an attitude that pleases God. This month we’ll be looking at the different ways to move past our bad attitudes and be able to recognize the goodness of God, even when life is hard.

I’m optimistic by nature and have the strength of positivity, but even I wrestle with an occasional bad attitude, whether it’s about work, family, or the difficult situation I’m facing. During one particularly challenging season, I remember being upset with how I perceived God was treating me. I didn’t find my situation fair or just. I was sucked into the “why me” realm of negativity and self-pity.

When believers go through difficult trials, they often compare their story to the life of Job in the Old Testament. Job was a devout man, who loved God, had impeccable integrity, a successful business, abundant wealth, a large family, and servants. He was well respected. Here’s some excerpts from Job’s story.

Satan is roaming the earth, and he asks God what is going on. God shows him Job and Satan says, ”Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face.” - Job 1:9-11

So, God allows it, and Satan takes everything from Job: his property, his servants, and his children. Job tore his clothing in grief and shaved his head, yet he did not curse God.

The next test for Job was when Satan covered his body with boils from his head to the tips of his toes. Satan thought he would surely curse God if his health was taken. Job cried out to God in anguish, and his friends who initially come to comfort him, encourage him to curse God and die. His wife also takes this harsh stance.

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Trusting God Series: Trust Grows With Time

Trusting God Series: Trust Grows With Time

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.”-Psalm 52:8

This is the last post in our series about trusting God. Aren’t we funny when it comes to trusting God? We berate ourselves when we don’t, we compare and say horrible things, like “why can’t I just trust Him, I’m the worst Christian ever.” We give up or throw fits at God like an unsettled toddler. Why can’t we just offer ourselves some grace with our frail humanity? Why can’t we be patient with the process?

Trust Requires Patience

I was reading Hebrews this week and these words spoke so powerfully to my spirit. “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”-Hebrews 6:15 If you’re familiar with the story, Abraham was waiting for a son. He waited and finally in his old age he received what was promised. So basically waiting patiently= waiting a lifetime. It’s a bit of a shocker, isn’t it?

I am kind of patient compared to, let’s say, my husband. He’s not patient at all, but compared to my daughter-in-law, she has amazing patience. I marvel at her as she parents our grandsons. Our oldest grandson is brilliant and strong-willed, but she is so gentle and patient with him. She stays calm while he carries on with lots of drama. She’s basically a saint.

God is interested in growing our character, which includes growing our trust in Him. He is abundantly patient with the process as we grope and struggle to find our barrings.

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Trusting God Series: God Is Trustworthy

Trusting God Series: God Is Trustworthy

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” -Psalm 145:13b

The best wisdom I can share about trust comes from God Himself. What He says about Himself in the Word has convinced me beyond the shadow of a doubt He is trustworthy. I’m tenacious enough that when God speaks, I long to listen and believe. Of course, we all struggle with unbelief, but there was a season of great testing where I learned about trust.

“Do you trust Me?” - God

My husband and I had been married for seven years and had three children under five when he became sick with Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Our newborn was two months old when the first paralysis took place. God had just brought us through an amazing miracle with our baby, so our faith was strong, but we had no idea the devastation we’d face in the next two-and-a-half years, as the disease progressed.

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Trusting God Series: Seeing Beyond Your Circumstances

Trusting God Series:  Seeing Beyond Your Circumstances

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”- 2 Corinthians 4:18

The Unseen Realm

One lesson we need to learn when it comes to trusting God is His work in the unseen realm. All He does and is, how He moves and shifts takes place in the unseen. We know Him and accept Him by faith, and He is always doing so much more than what we see. His unseen activity needs to be our focus.

The days leading up to speak at Women’s Conference in Arizona, I was depleted from the non-stop busyness of life at church and activities with our teenage daughters. I was crabby, exhausted, and my usual sunny disposition had up and left. My hubby even noticed. I landed late in Arizona and crawled into bed at my parent’s winter home. The next morning I got up early, found a cup of coffee and plopped myself in a comfy chair on the patio. The warmth enveloped me as I relaxed in the lounge chair. As I lifted my eyes, there were the Superstition Mountains, literally in my parents back yard. They stood strong, proud, and clothed in desert red.

The moment I settled back and looked at the mountain, the Spirit whispered these words from Psalms to my weary soul: “I will lift my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” -Psalm 121:1-2

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Trusting God Series: Knowing God

Trusting God Series: Knowing God

“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.”- Jeremiah 24:7

Do you know God?

I spent most of my childhood and teen years knowing about God, but I didn’t know Him at all. He seemed distant, aloof and uninterested. I knew He was holy and to be revered, but I didn’t understand how revering Him would impact me. My Grandma taught me to be quiet in the vestibule and sit still for everyone around me while at her little Lutheran church. We didn’t attend that often, so church always felt a little stiff and formal to me. There was singing songs with lots of verses, reading from the Word and praying, but I didn’t really know how it effected me personally; there was no awe for me. I recognized some stories from the Bible as learned on the flannel graph in Sunday School. I knew Easter was a big deal because we got up early for sunrise service and I got wear a new dress and head to my Grandmas with all my cousins.

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Trusting God Series: Hope Required

Trusting God Series:  Hope Required

Remarkable Hope

I had the privilege recently of helping a fellow Hope*Writer launch her second book, Remarkable Hope. I thought of you as I read her compelling book. She takes common Biblical stories and retells them as fiction then provides beautiful insights about hope. You’ll will find yourself breathless as you read her Biblical accounts, then so filled with hope by the wisdom she shares about people who’ve been disappointed, disillusioned, and running out of hope. I’ve been there, how about you? Welcome Shauna Lettellier to Be Encouraged!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” -Hebrews 6:19

Thomas Chisholm was not a formally educated man. But in 1941 he wrote in a letter, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness."*

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