After watching I Still Believe tonight, I am in awe of the power of God, yet again!
I Still Believe
This movie is based on the true story of famous Christian singer, Jeremy Camp; of his rise to fame and his beautiful love story of him and his first wife.
My heart both hurts and is joyful. So full of the Holy Spirit, I can’t sleep without telling you all about it.
Our faith is strengthened by adversity and struggles, not cupcakes and unicorns- sorry to disappoint you.
This time in our lives is so unique in that everyone is struggling. Everyone is acknowledging a common struggle and banding together to find hope.
The problem is, anything they find that’s not Jesus will disappoint and fail them.
Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to share your faith. Time and resources are not an excuse in a quarantined world.
What are you waiting for?
Speak up and let your faith do the talking. Be real, be honest, be faithful.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
I have been doing a study lately, called “Habits” by Life Church, on the YouVersion Bible app.
Though it is a short, well written devotional, it is so convicting! A sword of the Spirit piercing right through my heart.
Yes, I did choose to read this on purpose, because I know I needed to hear truth about my habits from God’s Word.
Our habits don’t just happen – they are triggered by a desire or need we seek to meet.
Today’s devotional talked about the habit loop: cue, routine, and reward.
For example, you sit down to watch TV at night (cue), grab a tasty snack (routine), and your body feels better from positive chemicals released in your body (reward).
Ouch!! So convicting! This has been a constant struggle for me to break this habit.
Since our bodies store more fat from food we eat at night, and the food keeps me awake, I’ve been reminding myself of a different reward. Better sleep!
However, when I get the snack craving, mint gum works for me. It actually tricks my body into thinking I’m not hungry.
Also, sometimes you think you are hungry, you are really just tired or thirsty – same chemical in the body is so confusing sometimes!
Scriptures to Reflect
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.“
James 1:12-25 ESV
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.“
Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV
“…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.“
Psalms 26:2 NIV
“Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;“
Know you are not alone in having bad habits to break. Don’t be afraid to make the first step, just because you might mess up. Get back up, and try again. God is faithful to help you and give you a way out, to resist temptation.
Remember, life isn’t just the here and now – with Jesus, it’s forever.
Helps put your life in perspective and ask yourself,
“Will this affect my eternity?“
“Will this still matter to me later in life?”
Be wise with the time you have in this life – don’t waste it.
This may be an odd title for a post, but it is on my heart to share with you today.
How many times has God asked us to do something or tell someone something, we don’t follow through?
Lately, I have been feeling stuck. I have been praying and praying for direction, what to focus on in my life, but nothing clear.
Then I realized yesterday, it has been clear for a long time, but I was choosing to ignore God’s direction.
The Miscarriage Project
Most of you know of my recently published book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents of Who Found Hope in God.
Finally becoming a published author is a dream come true for me!
However, I didn’t expect the before, during, and after process to be so hard! To name a few challenges:
First, you have to write your manuscript. Short like a children’s book, or long like a novel, both take a lot of time to brainstorm, write, edit, rewrite, etc.
Next, finding a publisher willing to publish your work is the hardest part. This is something I had to do a lot of research to find.
The publishing process is such a waiting game and is necessary to have business and marketing knowledge (or know someone who does), I’ve had to learn most of this from scratch – research and asking others a lot of questions.
Once you are published (and beforehand), comes the marketing. This, for me, has been the most challenging part.
How do I help people find out about my book without breaking the bank? How do I convince them to then read it?
Asking the Wrong Questions
I will be the first to admit, it is so easy to get caught up in the ways of the world.
Be this way, and people will love you.
Make this sacrifice, and it will be worth it. Your family will understand.
You have to work 24/7 to make any dent in your business.
You will never make it in this business, unless you take shortcuts, compromise relationships for progress, and think of yourself first.
None of these statements are true, but we believe them so easily.
Instead of writing to make money or to sell books (to provide for my family), I am only effective if I use my gifts for God’s glory.
The world makes so many empty promises. Why do we continue to believe them?
Our true purpose of our existence is not to spend our lives afraid of insignificance, and striving for impossible perfection, according to the world’s ever-changing standards.
We have God-given purpose – to love God, to love others.
The world leads us to believe we deserve whatever we want. As long as we work hard enough, we can do or be anything we want.
This is faulty logic, when God really created us for a specific purpose.
No matter how hard I want to be perfect, only Christ is perfect. Only through Him can we be sanctified – continually made more and more like Christ in his attributes.
The God-Shaped Hole
When I think of this concept, I think of these song lyrics, “there’s a God-shaped hole in all of us.”
There is always this lingering emptiness in our hearts. A desire to matter, to be whole, to find peace.
The world offers so many counterfeits to fill this whole, but only our true Lord and Savior, Messiah and friend, can fill it and truly complete us.
We lost this fullness and unbroken connection with God when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Ever since then, we have lived lives of brokenness, sin, and chaos.
However, our story doesn’t end there. Jesus Christ made this connection possible yet again with his death on the cross, and resurrection to the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
Hope in the Struggle
The amazing news: God doesn’t leave us alone in our pain and struggles. We have hope of a new, eternal future:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Rev 21:4 NLT)
Now that is the true “happily ever after” you’ve been waiting for.
So I realized something today. I haven’t been using my voice.
I have been letting my insecurities and doubts and fears keep me from sharing my heart and letting my voice be heard; not letting my light shine, for the good of others.
Anyone else struggle the same way? You have so much to say, but are too afraid to say it?
Just last night, I was monologuing to my husband (I do this a lot, but he is so gracious to let me verbally process). At some point in the conversation, I asked him,
“Will there ever be a time when we don’t struggle?
Why is life so full when we try to keep it simple and slow paced?
Why is life so hard?”
The struggle is real. The struggle is constant. The struggle is exhausting. The struggle is depressing.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. …
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he hasstood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:2-8, 12 ESV)
Can I get an Amen on that one? This is my life right now! So much struggle, trial, testing and battering my faith from all sides.
Yet, I feel this inner strength I never had before.
Things that once shook me up or make me freak out, don’t get a rise out of me anymore. I’m able to show more grace, because I am more secure in the love and trustworthiness of God than I have been, for a long time.
You may be asking, really? Is that even possible? Yes it’s possible, but it takes time.
This is coming from a mama of five, miscarried one of them, and the other four are 5 yrs old and under. Trust me, the comments never end.
Again, this is coming from a woman who struggles with anxiety and depression after having said kids, but has probably struggled with it for much longer. I wish I could go back and tell me teenage self, “Don’t be so afraid to get help and admit you are struggling.”
People Need People
We are all human. This is not an excuse for our sin, it is the reason we sin, because we were born sinful, after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).
One thing I’ve learned through all of this – everyone struggles with something (or many things). We need friends and family who can help and support us through these rough times. We can’t do it alone, no matter how many times we may try (ME!).
Here’s your challenge: Share one struggle with someone you trust, someone who’s been there. It might be asking a lot of some of you, but we need people we can count on, especially Jesus.
But if you really don’t have anyone to talk to, God is always there, first and foremost. No excuses, be brave and use your voice!
You will be surprised how much weight will be lifted off your shoulders!
Don’t let your fear keep you from freedom. Don’t let your voice be silenced – you have something important to say. That something could be the life changing something someone else needs to hear.