Yes, [God] wants you to sense His Presence, but He’s more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feelings, please God -Rick Warren
Do you ever feel like God is hiding from you? Have you ever felt like you were going through the toughest time in your life, and He was no where to be found, or like your heartfelt prayers were unheard? If you’ve felt these or similar feelings, what were your responses?
I certainly have had times in my life where it seemed like God was silent. I have cried myself to sleep many nights, wondering if God was even listening to my intense pleas for comfort, clarity, and/or direction. These seasons in my life where God has seemed silent were some of the most challenging times in my faith journey. My responses have varied during these times. There have been times when God’s seeming distance made me shut down, and there have been times when His seeming distance made me pray more and continue to intentionally draw closer to Him. There have been times in these seasons when I have felt alone, depressed, lost, and even forgotten….
If you haven’t experienced these times of seeming distance, it is inevitable that you eventually will, You may even be enduring one of these seasons as you read this, and I want you to know that God has not forgotten you. In fact, it is impossible for Him to forget you. Your ability to inhale and exhale in this moment testifies that He hasn’t. Most importantly, your breath is evidence that you have not reached the end of your life’s story, so that means,
IT AIN’T OVER, and God’s goodness for your life is still ahead of you!
Victory comes through surrender. Surrender doesn’t weaken you; it strengthens you. Surrendered to God, you don’t have to fear or surrender to anything else
~Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life
As much as I’ve understood that “Surrender” is necessary in my personal relationship with God , I had never thought of surrender as being a position of continual VICTORY. Yet, when I read those words, they immediately resonated with me, and awakened me to a greater desire to be fully surrendered to God. Continue reading
Here we are 43 days into a brand new year. It is about this time, of any given year, that most people have completely sobered up from their #NewYearNewMe high. It’s the time of year when reality kicks most people in the butt, and they wonder, “Am I really able to achieve ALL of these goals I set in one year?” Or, “Do I really have what it takes,” or the all too common question, “Am I really enough?” This is the time when most people start to get into their own heads – worrying, stressing, and doubting. And, I’m not talking about those who haphazardly entered this new year, I am talking about the people who did the work! They spent the entire month of December, investing time, money, and energy into creating the Vision Board, writing the Vision statement, and deciding on their” buzz word” for the year. They’ve purchased the planner, filled it up with goals and plans galore, but NOW WHAT?!!!!!!!
I am entering 2018 joyfully sober.
Today, as I thought about the coming year, the word SOBER kept ringing in my ears, so much so that I looked up the definition. Of the many differing definitions, this is what stood out to me,
Quiet in demeanor, Free from exaggeration, showing self control
Going into a new year, we tend to be SO LOUD. There’s so much to prove because no matter how great, or how horrible the current year has been, the next year must be better, bigger, and greater. So we eagerly pop off to our friends, loved ones, and followers, proclaiming all of the many things we are going to accomplish in the coming year. Yet, today as I pondered my own desires for 2018, I challenged myself not to be intoxicated by the possibilities of a new year, without being disciplined enough to count up the cost of my goals. Jesus said, Continue reading
Welcome to the 4th Quarter of 2017! I don’t know about you, but I have spent a good portion of this year being shocked by its pace. At the beginning of each month, I have found myself stating, “Is it [insert month] already?!” Only to discover the same definitive answer each time, “Yes it is“! I can’t count the number of conversations I have had with loved ones, friends, coworkers, and others in passing, who have not only confirmed by sentiments about the pace of this year, but who have also shared in my anxiety laced fear that, THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!!!.
But, What if I told you that there IS enough time? Will you accept that? What if I told you that the culprit of your anxiety is something you and I have full control over? Will you, for the sake of this discussion, entertain the notion that the deficit has not been in seconds, minutes, hours, and days, but instead, that the true deficit, has been in your FOCUS? Does that encourage or discourage you? Continue reading
I recently read a quote that said, “Writing is somewhere between torture and fun.” I chuckled to myself because my initial thought was, “Ain’t that the truth!” I have been challenged to the max this year with actually PUBLISHING blog posts! Over the past 77 days, I have been pretty consistent with writing privately. I have even created complete outlines for blog posts, but the challenge has been actually getting those ideas from paper to a published blog! What I have realized is, I have been putting unnecessary pressure on myself to be “PERFECT.” Continue reading