Devotion: Honest, But Desperate

Can I be honest?

If walking out of a doctor’s appointment after 30 seconds wasn’t social Siberia, I would have today. There was just something about this appointment, that made it worse than the rest.

I say all that to say:

I understand having a bad day or the urge to walk out of a difficult situation.

I want to ask you something that my Uber driver asked me on my way home. “What’s next?” Maybe, you aren’t too sure what your next step ought to be in the physical and emotional realm of things.

I want to be that friend who sits and prays with you – as you wait for God’s directive toward what is next.

What’s Next?

” Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”

After we have grieved our situations with our Amazing God, we need to ask ourselves (or be asked by a loving friend) what is next for us. For myself, the next step(s) are clear. While I would love to run away from my life and ignore all responsibilities, I can’t do that. And, the odds are you cannot either. So instead of living in a fantasy world where I neglect all responsibility, I want to share what is next – for myself.

Your list may be completely different, depending on your circumstances, your relationship, and surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  1. Make the next appointment with someone new, and keep searching until I find someone who both listens and is compassionate.
  2. Spend the time praying.
  3. Dive into God’s Word – the Bible.
  4. Fellowship with other Christ followers.

Your answer to this question might look differently, I imagine, but this is my written response to such a question. But, I hope you include steps 2-4 in your plan of what’s next.

Choosing God’s Plan Over My Own

We desperately need to hear God’s Plan for what’s next!

Spending time in prayer, His Word, and fellowshipping with like-minded Christians are each important activities, which will help us discern God’s will for our lives!

And I am desperate for God’s direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

I have learned enough to stand on God’s promises, because He never leaves my side. He always is acting on my behalf and even working in ways I cannot see or understand. So, I want to remember the essential need to cling to His Word and Will.

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you, Amazon will allow you to shop and Gracefully Overcoming get a bit of a benefit from your shopping. It can be any purchase you make. But, I am still quite fond of this title by Charles Swindoll.

In Him,
Stace

Fall QT Routine

There are several topics spiraling through my brain for future posts. But, I want to talk a bit about my current Quiet Time Routine. Since I leave for the doctor in 90 minutes, routines is a good place for today’s topic.

What Time?

Typically, I don’t use an alarm clock in deciding when to get up. It is dependent upon my body and different variables. It is sort of dependent upon:

  • Sleep needed
  • Fatigue/pain level
  • Brain fog
  • Distractions

My “Must Have’s”

While there is no “set time” due to illness, I do have my particulars for my Morning Routine. These are things I enjoy making as part of my Quiet Time and how I prepare my heart/mind/body for the day.

My Quiet Time isn’t as complex as it once was, when I was healthier and younger. My time with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is the key part to beginning my day. While there isn’t any set order for my day, I love to add three components to it:

  1. Prayer
  2. Bible Study (using index cards for notes to stick in my Bible)
  3. Worship music /// Read a Christ-centered book

Seasons of Life

I miss the amount of “in depth” studying that I once had the energy for. But, I love where I am right now, in terms of my relationship with Jesus Christ. As I come before Him each morning, I get the opportunity to talk with Him (and hopefully listen). As I make this time with Him a daily habit, I can find myself falling more in love with my Savior.

How do you find yourself falling more in love with Jesus Christ, with each day?

While my Morning Quiet Time isn’t where I would like it to be, I am in a wonderful place too. My index cards, made from construction paper, are a huge help in developing a passion for God’s Word and this time with Him. I have struggled to break in my new Bible, but having index cards tucked in my Bible is a huge help in creatively seeking God and His Word.

I need to creatively seek God and His Word!

While I am not who I hope to become, I am not who I used to be either. So, I am enjoying this season of worship. I have to enjoy this season, because we never know when life and/or health will take us somewhere else. This is one thing I know, as I have lived with chronic illness for the past 8 years.

My Quiet Times rarely look the same from year to year. This serves as a reminder to cling to Christ Jesus and not a particular study method. While our health may fail, God remains forever. He is strong and our Portion.

God is good, and able to help us through whatever difficult terrain we find ourselves walking through.

What do your mornings and quiet times look like? Do they vary from year to year? Or, have you been able to stay consistent?

Image: Aaron Burden

Faith and Questions {Welcome 2019}

It has been two months since my last blog. Normally such a long break is intended. This one wasn’t, but maybe the Lord wanted to bless me with the break anyway.

When I anticipated returning to blogging, I never imagined it would be sitting with “grief” or “hard news”, wondering what might happen next. But today, most of us find ourselves sitting with something requiring deeper trust in our Lord Jesus.


There are a lot of questions playing around in my head, but isn’t that what trials do to us?


As I sit and pray, I am reminded of two things: (1) God is forever good. (2) Despite my trust history, I can trust the Lord. He is the One who is worthy of such trust.

 for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together [Col. 1:16-17, NLT].

Trusting Our God with Tomorrow

Have you heard the hymn “Because He Lives”, dear reader? In this hymn, it points out the essential for me. I am not sure what the future holds, but I know the One who is in full control of all things.

I can trust God.

I know my Savior Jesus lives.

And because of His amazing love and track record, I can face tomorrow.

Even when the prospect of tomorrow seems scary, I can have peace – knowing my soul and loved ones are kept safe. Our Lord Jesus is keeping my soul safe. Even when circumstances are beyond my control, there is still that peace that only our precious Lord can give to us.

What Does Trusting God Look Like?

For many of us, we aren’t even sure what trusting God should look like. We have been let down by many people, including those closest to us. Yet we know trusting our God and His Son Jesus Christ – is where we can find peace [& much more].

Trusting God is a step I must take each day. I am imperfect in the trusting area, but our God is holy and worthy of it.

Trust is a gradual process. Each day, we wake up, surrender [the act of giving something back to God], and choose to put forth the time and effort to make our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ – our priority.

Trusting Jesus Christ is a daily choice.

For myself, I am learning to take time for soul care where I can develop “trust habits” which are things that help me draw nearer to the Lord. Things like: Prayer | Bible reading | Worship music | Unplugging | Recognizing my emotions.

What would it look like for you to take one more step in trusting the Lord, in a Proverbs 3:5 way?

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding [Prov. 3:5].

Featured image by Orlova Maria of Unsplash.

My Heart’s Wreck {Trials Tuesday}

Today was the original day for our “Trials Tuesday” post, but something happened. My heart and mind were filled with many thoughts and emotions. Ever been there?

My heart was a wreck. And it took some untangling, before writing could begin.

Over the years, I have learned of my inability to emotionally handle certain kinds of trials. Most of the trials I have encountered have required me to emotionally mature. With each trial, I am required to adapt and grow through the trial. Like most growing, it hurts. . . 


Today, I am reminded we can control our attitudes in trials – even if we cannot control anything else. I may not be able to control how much of my week is devoted to resting. But, I can control my attitude about spending that time resting.

While resting may not be my favorite thing to do when dishes and laundry are piling up, I can celebrate the Lord God and this comfortable bed. Or, I can celebrate having online friends who love having conversations as much as I do. Or, having the ability to read my Bible or blog through the “stuff of my life” – much like I am doing now.

While there are many things I cannot control, I can control a few things such as: What I eat, if I read my Bible, and my attitude.


In James 1 and Romans 5, we are reminded about our attitude in trials. In both of these passages, we are reminded that God can work out some very amazingly good things for us – even when we are being pressed on all sides through a trial.

Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2, New Living Translation

It can seem like the impossible. However, in our lives, we can literally fight through our trials with the joy of the Lord as our strength! We don’t have to complain or become bitter, because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us – if we have chosen to repent and follow Jesus Christ as our Lord. With the Holy Spirit comes certain characteristics we see in God, things like self control, love, kindness, and gentleness,  But, here is the key ingredient: We need this relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ!

This relationship with our Lord Jesus can be the defining moment for our attitudes. I know, it has been for me.

We need our Lord Jesus! He is absolutely essential in our lives, and as we try to learn how to live despite trials.

There is no one like our God.
Amazing things occur when our Lord Jesus becomes the foundation for our lives.

We cannot control many things, but can choose to seek our Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis – and seek to have His attitude as we live for His glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. . .

Romans 5:3

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema through Unsplash.

In Christ,

Signature

His Nails {Stepping Into 1 Cor}

A few days ago, we wrapped up week 2 of our beloved study “Stepping into the Corinthians”. We looked at 1:10-17 over the course of the week.

What was your favorite part?
What did you struggle with?

Let’s take a moment to read it here.


For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed (Titus 2:11-13, NLT).

As I went through my week, I was reminded of these truths found in Titus. Our beloved God has brought salvation to all people. Regardless of our gender, nationality, lifestyle, etc, our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us to repent (confess and turn away from our sin) and make the decision to follow Him.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are (Rom. 3:22).

My favorite part about this passage is how it demonstrates that our Lord Jesus will help us, as we transform and made Christlike. Even though we have sinned against Him and even welcomed the distraction of division at times, His arms are wide open and ready to receive us. It doesn’t matter what we have done, because our great God and His grace is still greater.

God is amazingly holy, which scares me at times (erm, most of the time). Yet, we are allowed to walk into His holy presence – because of the work of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says we were given the righteousness of Christ. This gives us full access to God.

So while meeting with Him (or prayer) might scare us, it is the place we desperately need to be. Coming away from social media for the weekend – really helped me to get into a good rhythm of simply being with the Lord: Understanding our relationship is one on one.

Our great God is lovingly waiting for us to come to Him. He is waiting for us to realize that He has rescued us from sin, death, and will continue to rescue us from everything that gets in ours and His way. He is not going to abandon us.

For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Heb. 13:5b)

He is in this relationship with us for the long haul, because His pierced hands and feet remind us of His level of commitment toward us. He rose again to give us brand new life, and He wants this intimate relationship with Him to be the absolute center of our new life.

What are we waiting for, my friend?

Featured Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven.

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