When Tears Fall {Trials Tuesday}

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11, NLT)

Today is one of those days, where tears fall easily. Over the last several months, I have become progressively worse in terms of my symptoms. Chronic illness is a tragic thing, but we have to find reason to keep going. We have to find hope that will help us rise above our circumstances, so we don’t despair.

There is hope, even when I wonder where it is.

My mistake in living chronic illness is this: I don’t think I have ever taken the time to truly grieve everything that has happened to me. The failed doctors appointments. The harsh judgments of others. The isolation. The symptoms. The limitations. None of it has been dealt with. Rather, I have sought to just avoid everything – as a way to cope.


Ohh friends, we can only live in avoidance for so long… before everything comes to hunt us down. I am not a medical professional, but it is not safe to live this way (in denial or avoidance) – or so I am learning.

It is a gradual process, but I am being reminded to tell God two things:

  • What I am thinking about.
  • How it makes me feel.

My prayer life is far from where I wish to be, but it is a start.

Opening up about the hard things, even with our Risen Lord, isn’t instant. It will take time and effort.


While our lives are turning out differently than planned, God has a mighty hope to share with us. He wants to continue giving our lives a great purpose. He wants to allow us to shine a bright light in a dark world. He wants to help us through this! ♥♥

Our Lord Jesus has come to save me. Each morning when I wake up, I have to remember He is choosing to dwell with me in the midst of my pain. This suffering isn’t for nothing. He continues to save me on a daily, even hourly, basis. God is forever faithful!


My struggle right now is finding ways to actually open my Bible and dig deep. I know, I am doing a 1 Corinthians study on our Facebook page. But, it is easy to read a verse once and move on. I need to find a better way to connect with our great God – in the midst of the hard stuff.

Today, having my physical Bible and supplies on my bed is what helped. I would pause and write out a Bible verse. As of the last few days, I have been utilizing Sweet to the Soul’s Bearing Fruit Reading List. This is helping me remember that suffering is part of a bigger process.

We are actually bearing fruit and allowing our faith to grow much more than we could ever imagine.

Unsplash photo by Johann Siemens.

Until next time,
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Fighting Purposeless(ness)

 

We each face seasons in our lives, where life gets. . . well, messed up. Maybe, you are there right at this very moment. And you find yourself wondering how you will fight. Oh friend, I have been there this week!! It is easier to think about giving up or the alternative to this life.

Esther is taught by Mordecai, her uncle and caretaker, that God made her for this precise moment.

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NLT)

While our dilemmas often aren’t life or death, God will meet us here regardless of our circumstances and give us a big glimpse of His purpose for our lives!


Many of us are there right now, where we are facing difficult days, trials, deep discouragement, depression, or feeling of purposelessness. We have all been there in some way.

Maybe even facing the reality of suicidal thoughts. So, I know some of us really have faced life or death decisions.


Friend, God created you with a divine purpose in mind, and no situation (or situations) can rob us of that!!

It has taken me 7 years to find some sort of God given purpose for this season of my life (living with life interfering chronic illness).

In all honesty, I think it was something He told me long ago. I just wrestled with it – and maybe even refused to accept its importance. Some days, I still don’t “feel” the purpose. I was there this week, but I think this is when Christian community really can show up. This is when it is the most important thing to seek our Risen Lord through the Bible and prayer.


Our great God, sent His precious son Jesus Christ to save us!

He came to deliver each and every one of us from difficult and frustrating things. And He came to give us hope and be with us through our pain. While sin destroyed our relationship with Him, Jesus came to reconcile us to our heavenly Father.

This is no ordinary thing to be reconciled to God. He is going to do amazing things through you, my friend!

Hang in there, and keep seeking His face. He will show you the purpose He has given you!


A few verses come to mind, as I write this blog.

And I want to share them to give hope. The Lord will hold onto you fiercely, because of His love for you. Come running to Him, while you still can. Even with the trials and desperation we face, God is going to do some marvelous things in our midst – if we will turn to Him!

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 16:11, ESV).

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).

Unsplash photo by Ivy Barn.

In Him,
Stacey

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Preserving Because Jesus Christ {VOTD}

One of my favorite ways to read, study, and blog is using the Verse of the Day feature on many “Bible sharing” websites I frequent. On Bible Gateway, our daily verse is the same as our VOTD from earlier. So, I hopped over to YouVersion, and it is one we desperately need.

Are Trials Bringing You Authentic Joy?

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, CSB).

On Netflix, I have been watching “In Lawfully Yours” lately. In the movie, there is a scene where a recently divorced young woman finds herself in church for the very first time and stands up to question the pastor’s message. She finds herself confronted with a biblical truth that we should consider trials pure joy. Many of us, like this main character, might want to question or argue through this scriptural truth.

Have you ever found yourself at odds with God’s truth considering trials pure joy?

Remembering This Eternal Reward?

Through trials God continues to produce His good work inside of us; our great God offers us His abundant, amazing, eternal life. Our faith in Him can stand strong, despite the winds of life’s trials. We don’t have to sacrifice our faith, in order to survive our trials. Instead, our great God wants to reveal Himself to us during these dark moments in life.

Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12, CSB).

This truth is exactly why we can consider trials to be something worthy of joy.

Pain in trials will not thrill our soul, but the joy is in experiencing God continuing His good work.

As we continue to willfully choose and prize our Lord Jesus Christ over everything else, the Lord is the reason why we can endure through all of the hard things.

It is entirely possible that the Lord has asked you to walk through fiery circumstances that no one around you – can fathom living through, and you can fully endure

. . . because of the One who goes before you and gives you every ounce of strength you will need.

Now this is what the Lord says— the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel—’Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.  I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.’ (Isaiah 43:1-2, emphasis mine)

This same God who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, is the very God who is going to help you with whatever you are facing.

Friends you can walk through this hard thing, because of this God you serve who has shown Himself to be all powerful! He has charted our life’s course, and gives us the victory to run this race.

Featured image by Cezanne Ali from Unsplash.

Seeking Him,

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Memorable Posts of 2017

As we prepare the new year and the many possibilities awaiting us, I invite us to reexplore five handpicked articles from Gracefully Overcoming. 

  1. The Most Humbling Worship Offering {Romans 12:1}
  2. The Shepherd Who Protects {From “Summer Psalms ’17” series}
  3. Finding Captivating Love
  4. Alone with God {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}
  5. Learning About His Love {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}

While I excluded the “Inspiring Women” post, every one of those posts seemed memorable or life impacting (at the very least). Each delivered some home hitting message, that influenced me as I poured out my soul in words. Here are just three from that meaningful series.

  1. Praise Before Panic
  2. Strength in the Fight {My Testimony}
  3. That One Compliment

There are soo many things that we can learn from. In 2018, my hope is for us to become more of a heartfelt community of Jesus followers and lovers.

My hope is. . .

to share more genuine words – helping us to draw near to the Lord and keep picking up our Bibles, but to weigh my words (Prov. 15:28) as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your eight week journal for our newest study! {It’s only $6.25 on Amazon} Starting January 15th, we will be studying the Timothys and Titus – using a brand new journal for our time together. Every ounce of support we receive, helps keep this blog running. And, we are so thankful for you all!

Image by Brigitte Tohm.

In Christ,

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Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?

Image by Andrew Krueger.