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

Nothing To Prove {Blogging-For-Books}

Nothing-To-ProveLately, I have been enjoying the writings and teachings of Jennie Allen. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of her prior to this year when the women’s group at my church began a study using Chase (an amazing study).

Right now, I am enjoying Allen’s Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard. This is a book that will minister to many aching hearts, as we realize our Lord Jesus is enough. . . and we are enough for Him.

As the title says, we have nothing to prove. Our Mighty God has already taken care of it. It is time to remember our good Father is all we need, and is actively taking good care of us.

Allen is engaging, as she teaches the Word of God and shares her life experiences. There are many nuggets of biblical truths found in this book.

God will use this book to meet and minster to many whose hearts ache, because this is the God we serve. He revives and breathes new life into us.

With each page, I find another “something” that resonates with the weight my soul carries. And, it gives me peace as I walk through this book of being taught God’s Word. This is another reason to keep on reading. Friends, this is a book I really want to keep reading. My book is covered in highlights, because it is something I genuinely need to hear. Which, makes this an easy review to give.

We need more books like this one to spur us on, and help us to remember the truths of the Gospel. That our Savior is enough.

It is about our Lord Jesus and what He has done for us. We don’t have to keep trying so hard. We can learn to truly rest in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ who loves us anyway. He came to die on the cross and rose again, so we could be with Him – and enjoy Him.

As I read, I continue to learn that it is about being with Jesus. We can place our hope and dreams in our Lord, and know that we have all we need. We can rest, knowing Jesus has drawn us to Himself.

We don’t have to keep trying so hard, but we can take time to pause and celebrate the kind of relationship we have with Him. We can stop the chaotic rushing of doing, and meet with our King who loves us anyway.

Do I believe God can use this book in the lives of others? Absolutely.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes, I would.

Friends, be sure to pick up your copy of Nothing to Prove!

In Him,

Signature

Intense Craving {POTF}

Before we reach our “Intense Craving” post, let me first share this week’s memory verse.

“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Christ (2 Timothy 1:9, TLB).”


Paul “wished to see [Timothy], not only on account of the warm friendship which he had for him but because he would be useful to him in his present circumstances (Barnes, on 2 Timothy 1:4).”

I appreciate how the King James translates this verse:

[G]reatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy. . .

In the Strong’s Concordance, this emotion is described as longing for, pursuing with love, and even intensely craving. If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another?

It is fairly easy to feel like a fish out of water in today’s social circles. Others don’t seem to intensely crave deep-seated community like I do, or rather the way I do. This isn’t me coming down on others, but loving (versus hating) who God made me to be. Because in today’s passage, it is not only acknowledged – it is accepted to intensely desire Christian friendships and to be around those people.

I am tired of pretending and being silent, while this “violent craving” continues on in my soul. My deepest desire is to cultivate deeper relationships with my Christian brothers and sisters. I want things to finally “connect” – building these relational bridges that circumstances cannot destroy when the next wavy storm comes.

In passages such as this one, we are reminded of our need for deep Christian community – that goes beyond Sunday mornings. Paul craved to be with Timothy in a physical sense, so he could be with his friend. But, there was more. Paul knew through his friendship with Timothy, he had things to contribute – that would help his friend in his circumstances.

I want these kind of friendships. I want close, godly, friendships like this one we see in Scriptures. God wants to hold us and bring us friends who will help us draw nearer, regardless of the fires we might be walking through. We were never meant to live out our Christian life solo. We need our Christian brothers and sisters.

 If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another? (Click to Tweet)

Just as we have fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are wholeheartedly invited to have fellowship with other followers of our Savior Jesus Christ. These are the people who will build us up when we are close to giving up, read Scriptures to us in moments of depression, pray over us, text us as we fight through a health flare, and remind us of God’s reputation as the Perfect Healer. This is worship through godly friendships.

Fellowship and relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters is a perfect gift from God. Let’s prayerfully consider how He might be leading us to build closer Christian friendships.

Seeking Him,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg

Featured Image is by Clem Onojeghuo.

Sabbatical 2017 –

Hi friends!

I am currently on a sabbatical from the blogging world for the next few months (well, aside from book reviews). Honestly as resistant as I can be, this season of life is more needed than I could say.

Ways to stay connected, while I am away –

  • Gracefully Overcoming’s Facebook page is going through a study of its own. From now until Christmas, we are studying Psalm 119. Yes, that extremely long Psalm, you might have meant to study at some point.
  • And if that doesn’t grab your attention, Indoor Outreach is going through the book of Luke.

Feel free to pray for me, as I go through this season. I am loving my time away, but miss you all tremendously! Maybe, we can stay semi-connected on Facebook. =)

Image by Jordan Hile.

In Christ,

Signature

Tuesday Link-Up: Gracefully Overcoming – Our Testimonies

I have wanted Gracefully Overcoming to be a place, where we can vent, pray, and praise God – together. My story is a unique one. I began this blog, as the result of “coming down” with some health issues. This is “Testimony Tuesday”. I want us to be able to share how God is working in our midst. Maybe, it’s your own testimony, a Scripture you read, or song lyrics that encouraged your spirit. I invite you to share them with us.

Because the truth is, God is constantly on the move, working in our lives.

I invite you to share your story in our community of graceful overcomers. How is God moving in your life? I hope you will join me for “Testimony Tuesday”.