Devotion: Good Out of Bad

Life is hard.

How often do we allow ourselves to grieve with God about the difficulties of our lives?

We need to be able to weep with our Mighty God about our difficulties, so we can begin to see how He is working, with fresh eyes as we grieve with the reminded that our Savior Jesus is grieving too.

Confession: I don’t like being sick, but there is something very beautiful about how our Mighty God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead – can indeed bring good out of bad.

This is probably why I love hearing Genesis Joseph’s testimony!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Genesis 50:20, ESV

“My Verse” toward chronic illness has been Genesis 50:20.

When, like Joseph, we experience difficulties in our lives, we have to remind ourselves of the good things that can happen – even though we went (or are currently going) through a terrible thing

[This is not to advocate abuse. If you are being abused, call 9-1-1 and get out of that situation. If you are suicidal, call 9-1-1 and find support to find hope again as well as accountability if/when you need it or meds/therapy, because in both circumstances whether someone else is harming you or self harm is happening, you are worth getting out of that kind of situation or mindset. You are worthy of living and thriving. No judgment here. I am both on meds and see behavioral help, so that I don’t self-harm. I don’t want to even get to that point again in my mental health. ]

Jesus Christ cares for you so much, that He died on the cross to carry your sorrows and griefs as well as sins. And He rose on the third day to give you new life. New life, that you can begin living now!

Maybe for you, it is a trauma you wish never happened. Maybe, it’s a chronic illness that you have experienced for years and it hasn’t gone away. Maybe, it is the loss of your marriage. Or something completely different, but equally devastating.

I love the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He is the Reason I can get up in the morning.

Even in a sea of depressive thoughts and chronic illness, He remains my hope. And our God never changes, regardless of how horrible our circumstances become.

My goal today is simply begin sitting with you. I don’t know if it is your first time here or hundredth. Either way, welcome to Gracefully Overcoming!

You are very loved and treasured first and foremost by God, but by me as well – so if I can pray for you or offer emotional support…

Don’t be shy to leave a comment or head on over to Facebook or Instagram to find me (I don’t check Twitter enough). There is even a Gracefully Overcoming Facebook Group for additional support.

One way you can support this page is through using the affiliated links I use in social media for your any Amazon purchases. It is an affiliated link, which means my blog will benefit at no extra cost to you! Great, right?

Like this one (double donation, since it is my devotional).

Or this one. This link actually is the one recently used in Social Media. It is for a book I am reading about hoping again. Great read so far!

In Christ,
Stace

Every Season

I know God can bring good things out of my pain. I just have to keep enduring.

Before tonight, I hadn’t been outside of our front door in nearly a week. I have Dysautonomia, and it has been absolutely brutal these past few weeks. My Summer goal was to not cancel appointments and to keep on. I wasn’t able to keep appointments, once June hit.

My physical body is just so done right now. I am holding on, but it is just… tired and worn. I want Summer to be over with, but I am reminded that. . . There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven… (Ecc. 3:1).”

We will go through seasons in life, that we have to fight — in order to get through. Life with chronic illness is like this. Some weeks, we have to give our all (and then some) to get through the things that are sent our way.

Friends, let us run to Christ Jesus with whatever we have to offer. When we are knocked down, we are out of our routine often times. Some times, we can barely muster up the courage to bathe or fix ourselves something simple to eat.

Jesus Christ wants to be our Source of strength to help us carry on.

My routine has been thrown out the window right now. Every time I stand up, my blood pressure dramatically drops, heart rate rapidly increases, lightheadedness, and nausea. Lately, my difficulties aren’t in standing alone. The symptoms can move forward, even with sitting up. Life definitely has a way of throwing us into difficulty, but what are we going to do with that difficulty? What are we going to do when we are thrown off our routine?

My last entry offered some things to run toward during our trials. Worship music, an audio Bible, prayer are all good things. But we have to come up with a “new routine” for those heavy trials days. Each of us are going to run toward our generous God in different ways during this time. It won’t all look the same way. Some of us are going to find it difficult to concentrate to read our Bible’s, but we will be able to reach out to Christ-loving friends to pray over us and to share with us His eternal truths.

I have found it really hard to have my quiet time with Jesus, while I am out of routine. My body is flaring and making it hard to do much. I haven’t done it today, but I tend to gravitate toward listening to the audio Bible. That is my Bible “study” time right now. It isn’t my usual way of being with the Lord, but it is good.

Just remember: God sent His Son Jesus Christ to love and carry us through these things. He is worthy, and will carry us. He can restore broken things, so we can keep pressing into Him.

Feature image by Kelly Neil.

Depression + Illness Morning Routine

Last few mornings, I have been enjoying my new morning routine. Morning routines and me haven’t always gone well together, especially when you add in chronic illness and heavy depression. They can seem absolutely impossible. Which is why I seldom have one.

Right now, the habit of intentionally setting my alarm and getting up when it goes off…

  • gives me joy in those moments.
  • helps me fight and not give up.

The depression is still heavy, and chronic illness is definitely still there. It just helps me meet with God and to not give up. Intentionally getting up in the morning, reminds me God is in this with me.


My Morning Routine –

With Summer’s temperatures arriving very soon, I have been setting my alarm (really early, 5:30-6 AM), just to try and get a few things done.

  • Coloring a pretty picture before my energy levels drop.
  • Read that Bible chapter, I keep saying I am going to read or write out.
  • Even taking a few moments to just move my body, however it allows for me to. This one is obviously the more challenging one. My body tends to suffer major levels of weakness || fatigue, with the majority of all exercise movements.

A Bit of Honesty?

The longer I suffer with chronic illness and deep depression, the harder everything is. So, I absolutely will celebrate these mornings of intentionally seeking the Lord and self care.

I don’t like the drowning feeling I have been getting with the deeper depression. It has been so hard to do the simplest of things. I, like others, need a reason to get up with each morning. It’s always been a struggle of finding that reason to get up, as I have wrestled with depression for most of my life.

Setting my alarm, doing some gentle movements, eating a well balanced (but easy to fix) breakfast, and reading my Bible is the perfect way to begin my day (even if I can’t do all those things).

Connecting with our sweet Savior at the beginning of my day – is exactly what my heart needs.

The truth is – our sweet Savior wants to meet each of us in the middle of our knee deep trials or busyness.

I am choosing to trust that He wants to meet me in the middle of my mess. And friends, I am choosing to let Him. We each need to find the morning routine that works for us in our circumstances. Today, I could do those things; but tomorrow, I may fail miserably at it.

The real “morning routine” (a thing I intentionally do each day) is learning to run to Jesus, living out Psalm 90:14. It’s connecting with Jesus each morning and seeking His peace in the middle of my mess.

What does your morning routine look like? How do you handle the days, when you aren’t quite as intentional in seeking Christ?

Featured image by Dan 7Kidz over at Unsplash.

In Him,

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Study Update & Prayer Need {{Trials}}

Our weather is changing, and I want to make sure my blog is “prepared” for the season ahead. So from now, we are entering “Summer” mode. Some chronic illness bloggers, simply cannot blog during the heat months. Myself? I have played around with the idea. I want to keep blogging, but our Corinthians study will change as a direct result (I am truly sorry about that, for those who are following along with me). See: I want to continue the Bible study on Corinthians, but I cannot be expected to follow any timetable or order.

Nice thing is – my manuscript journal is very flexible, where I can roam wherever. Thank you, Jesus!

My Goal –

I am looking at my word count thus far (to make sure I don’t “go over” like a preacher in a pulpit might), but can I be honest with you?

My goal is still this: to draw nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ, make disciples, and build up each other. That’s all I want. It’s a bigger vision than completing a Bible study “on time”.

The Lord can definitely use these Summer months to bring out hard lessons I won’t learn otherwise. I just hope, I can continue to be authentic in sharing these hard lessons. I want us to be able to have this place of community, so we aren’t going through difficulties without other Christians to comfort us and point us to Jesus.

Ladies: Don’t forget about the Facebook group we have available.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25).


My secret weapon for the Summer is always this: the book of PsalmsPsalms is always part of the “spiritual glue” that the Lord has used to hold me together.

I may blog about different things this Summer. I don’t know what is in store for me, but I do know that I need to keep drawing nearer to the Lord and stay plugged into my places of support that lead me straight to Him.


Prayer Request –

I have a fairly important appointment on Tuesday (5/1), and I would love your prayer support for that meeting. I have been facing more hard moments of depression (too intense to deal with solo), and so Tuesday is the beginning of reaching out to see what kind of help there is available with my health insurance.

In the meantime, I am going to sit here and begin diving into Psalms 139 – which has always been “my” Psalm when it comes to depression. It is the one God chose to use, to reach my heart many years ago.

Thank you for listening and taking the time to read my posts. I appreciate you all very much!

Featured image by Toa Heftiba of Unsplash.

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God: My Provider

I have been reading and writing out one particular chapter of the Bible lately. I cry the whole way through, as I write it out. In church on Sunday, literally, that was my actions. While the pastor preached on Isaiah, I wrote and cried through a Psalm {which is a result of God moving, because I rarely cry!}.

Okay. Before I go any further, I have to brag on God a bit.

I am thoroughly enjoying 1 Corinthians 3. God is teaching me so much in our Diving Into The Corinthians study!! I am so glad we are taking this one chapter at a time. The study will be pretty lengthy, but think about how much God is going to grow us during these next 26 or so weeks!

To be honest, I have been struggling with depression lately. There are tons of Scriptures that can be a healing balm to our souls during these difficult times, but Psalm 142 is the Scripture God has been using to draw my heart closer to His.

I don’t know if anyone has told you this recently, but chronic illness is hard!

Even as a follower of Jesus Christ, I have to admit there are still trying days. What I am holding onto is – The Lord’s love, ability to fight for me, and that He walks with me through the fire.

He chose us in him before the foundation of the world . . . for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4-5).

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).

Someone laughed at me recently when asked “What has God brought you that wasn’t planned or expected?” (not the exact question, but close enough), and it just crushed me. It’s funny how you can be thirty something, and something like that – gets to you (they are completely forgiven, because I need grace too).

But, the Lord sees that. He sees every hurt we have in our lives, even things we desperately try to ignore or hide.

No matter what happens, we can continue following our Lord Jesus Christ and trust that He will take care of us. God is our Rock. We need to trust He will truly take care of us. He is our forever Anchor, and keeps us safe.

Friends, keep trusting Him to take care of us. I know the road gets difficult, but He is the One Best Friend we can fully trust and He will never fail us. He may not give us the answers we want, but He will be our amazing Provider, Father, and so much more.

I cry aloud to the LordI lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. (Psalm 142:1-3)

Featured image by Samuel Martins.

Still learning to trust,

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