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

Trusting the Artist {Trial Tuesday}

Some days, weeks, or months, life becomes increasingly difficult. To even foresee the next “thing” on our calendar can seem like a daunting task.

I found myself in this exact place, where… looking ahead seems almost impossible. The only way to explain my week is, well “bad week”. Do you ever have those days, where maybe mental illness (or another trial) is too overwhelming to look at what is even in front of you?

Life with chronic illness is hard, particularly during the holiday season. During this six week stretch, one becomes reminded of what they are (or aren’t).

One might even be asked, “Where do we go from here?” Or, “How am I supposed to face people, in the midst of this?”


Unfortunately. Life does not pause until we are well again. Life sort of stops for those of us living under the pressure of trials, while everyone else’s keeps going. All of our friends and relatives’ lives keep going. Maybe, they finally set a wedding date, have adopted their “bonus”  child, or some other absolutely joyous milestone.

Meanwhile, we try not to come unglued.

Maybe, we are too busy trying to just do that one thing: not come completely unglued.

We are deliberately attempting to find our new normal. It may not even be a version of normal we want, but it is what we have been given.

Life keeps going, even when we aren’t anywhere near a “happy normal.” Life keeps going, and we have to discover how to live the life we have been given – alongside the trials.

I know God uses everything in my life. Some days are fiercely more difficult than others. This week was one of those weeks, where there was a lot going on behind the scenes. Not even I know what God was doing behind the scenes during this week.

. . . But, I am choosing to trust Him anyway.


I am choosing to believe that He is working out all things for my ultimate good, even when I definitely don’t see it. My life is sort of like a painting. In the middle of the painted strokes, it may not look much like a masterpiece. But this Artist has an amazing reputation. Imagine if you saw a well loved painting before it was finished. Would you still see it as treasured before it was finished? We are so loved and cherished by our great God.

Even though the painting doesn’t look like a masterpiece right now, I can trust the Artist. The Creator has well proved His capabilities, so this is why I can trust Him.

I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted (Job 42:2, AMP).


We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (Romans 8:28).

FMF – Rush to Ask Our Friends {4 Questions}

: : Rush : :
A Sudden Movement

** While this post is designed for reaching our chronic illness friends, I believe these are questions to ask any one of our friends. All can benefit!**

Lately, I have been aware of my life and how isolating it can become. As I look at my life, I can’t help but think. . . Would I want to be my friend? Not particularly.

I honestly think it might be scary or intimidating to have a friend to someone like me. Chronic illness is scary. And it is so easy to be concerned that we might say something wrong to someone who is already in great pain – physically and emotionally.

But, what if we rushed to our friends’ aid anyway (obviously listening more than speaking)?

Our friends need us to rush toward them, so they aren’t alone!


What To Say

I want to share some things we can ask our friends who are hurting. These are questions I mentioned elsewhere, but they can help us meet our friends right where they are. These things can truly deepen our friendships.

How is God speaking to you right now?

This can open up many doors for our conversations with friends. Our Lord Jesus Christ can speak to us through so many things! Let’s begin asking this big question and grow – as we learn from one another!

How can I pray for you?

Ohhh, how our friends need us to ask this question. In all honesty? They probably aren’t asked this question, enough.

What are you watching on Netflix or YouTube? Or reading?

Chronic illness or not, many of us use one of these sources of entertainment. Even if we are not a TV watcher, we can share what we are reading.

If someone asked me this question, my answer would change depending on the day. While one day I may be a Gilmore Girls observer, the next I might be fully wrapped up in the book of Isaiah.

This is a very basic question that we can ask, even to a brand new friend. And, it opens doors to new shared interests.

What is on your mind?

This one, can open so many doors.
Our minds can wander to many places. Even if we may not feel well, our hearts might be focused on the Middle East or the homeless.

This question allows us to really meet our friends, and see what is on their hearts and maybe even breaking their hearts.

How is your mental health holding up, in spite of your trials?

This is such an important question. We need to check on our friends, so they aren’t fighting suicidal thoughts on their own. It is so easy to find ourselves in our own war. We need to join our friends, and help them however we can.

Featured image by Tim Foster (of Unsplash).

Blessings to you, my friends!

In Christ,

Signature

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

Connect with me on social media:

Facebook
Instagram

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.