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

Desperate Cry

While I may not remember what it is that I am reading, I am trusting the Lord God that His Word still is getting into my spirit – and changing me from the inside-out.

Even though I couldn’t tell you word for word Psalm 142:1-2 is about, I do know this chapter is about desperately crying out to the Lord God for mercy when it seems like no one cares. Such a Psalm is home hitting for so many of us. So, I just wanted to share this Psalm today. As I am broken and withdrawing from everyone, I just want to share this Psalm.

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord; I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him. Although my spirit is weak within me, You know my way. Along this path I travel they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and seeL no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me.

I cry You, Lord; I say, “You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Free me from prison so that I can praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because You deal generously with me.

This Psalm meets me where I am. I wish, I could explain where I am as far as my mental health. I can’t keep running from everything. And that’s what I have been doing. The Scripture I can hear most right now is: “Do not have other gods besides me (see Deuteronomy 6:14, Jeremiah 35:15).”

My Routine

I have allowed myself to get too comfortable for things within my control. I could spend time with our Lord Jesus Christ in other ways. Ways that do not “cost” a lot of energy –

  1. Worship music
  2. Enjoy His Presence
  3. Listen to the Bible
  4. Listen to a sermon

    Morning Routine is what comes to mind, so that’s where I want to start – as I confess my sins and repent. I want to start over, and make this a week of honestly seeking His beautiful face. I would like my morning routine to begin something like this:

  • Listen to chapter in Bible
  • Journal for few minutes
  • Pray. Really pray and spend time with the Lord asking for His help
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Take a short walk, as you give this day to the Lord
  • Participate as you listen to worship music

    Psalm 142 isn’t where we are in the Reading Plan today, but it’s where my heart is drawing me and I am going to allow the Word of our Lord to wash over my achy, depressed, anxious, PTSD heart.

Trust Habit #6

Welcome, my friends, to our sixth installment for our “Trust Habits” series!

A trust habit is anything that will build up my trust and intimacy in my relationship with my heavenly Father.


Be still, and know that I am God!

Psalm 46:10a, New Living Translation

Lately, I have been finding myself positioning toward a “meditation pose”. I have been enjoying it for a few weeks now. It is becoming a more habitual practice in my life, as I walk through difficult things in my family life.

Envision this: legs crossed. palms open and stretched out. Focusing on God and His Biblical truth.


Admittedly

I realize meditation doesn’t have a great reputation in the Christian community. While this is true, it reminds me to pause my life, breathe in and out, and direct my attention to the Lord.

Meditation for me means focusing on my relationship with God and His Biblical truths.

Isn’t that what truth habits are all about?

Gaining intimacy with our sweet Savior Jesus Christ and learning to trust Him right where we are.


Process, Over Product

In Child Development classes, we quickly learned that the process of learning and growing was far more important than a replica of a teacher’s painting. Likewise, our time and relationship with our Savior Jesus is what this time is about.

As long as our time is focused on God and His Biblical truth, that’s all that matters. It isn’t about a perfect twenty minutes of focused meditation, regardless of how much of an achievement that might be.

This idea into meditation helps me to meet with the Lord one-on-one, in the middle of my messy circumstances. It is about bringing my mess into His light – as I choose to focus on Him quietly and remember who the Bible teaches me that God is.

Biblical truths like:

  • God is holy.
  • God is full of love, justice, and power.
  • God is faithful, even when we are not.
  • God invites us into His presence.
  • Sin separates us from God.
  • God sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring salvation to all mankind.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

During my time, I am learning to put on worship music.

I have too many things going on in my brain. So the worship music does help me to give my mountain of circumstances to the Lord.

Life is hard. And the Lord God is the only Way that I will make it through this really-really-hard-stuff.

If I can just give my soul a moment to pause, to breathe, and to remember to “Be still and know [He] is God” – then I will be far better off.

Unsplash Photo by Lua Valentia.

In Christ,
Stacey

Trust Habits #5

A trust habit is anything that causes us to have greater intimacy and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Things have been challenging on my end. There has just been so much going on. Sometimes, we enter seasons of life that is like this. In this place, we learn how much we truly will trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.

There is plenty that I don’t know about life.
And, trials.

But, I think as I live in this new season of painfully experiencing life and relationship – being as close to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – is the most important thing I can do.

Only He can comfort my soul the way it needs.

Only He can give me a peace that surpasses understanding.

Only He can give me strength to keep going. Because let’s be real, some days – the whole “keep going” thing is hard.

Staying as close as I can to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is how I will get through this.

Running to Jesus Christ is the best of all trust habits. And it could mean many things to many people. Which is why this series is so fun. There is just sooo much we can sit and discuss over a cup of tea in the comment section.

So as we get back into our “Trust Habits,” what helps you trust the Lord more when you are in the thick of life?

Right now, here are my “go to” things:

  1. Allowing myself to seriously just cry and cry.
  2. Allow the Lord to enter those moments of hardcore grief.
  3. Praying. Today, my prayer is for Him to literally just carry me. Everything is just so hard right now.
  4. Allowing myself to rest, not do.
  5. And lastly, I try to put on worship music each day. Lately, I have been enjoying the Kari Jobe station through Amazon Prime.

This is just me, being real right now. I know today isn’t Tuesday. And I have no idea when I will post this.

And I know, my family isn’t the only ones going through the thick of life right now.

I just think, I need to discover what it means to really develop habits that help me trust our Mighty God soooo much more than I am.

On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Hymn: My Hope is Built on Nothing Else

Featured image by Toa Heftiba of Unsplash.

Seeking Jesus,

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