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

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.

Fog of Depression

I have greatly struggled with depression this past month. I am not sure it could be narrowed down to any one specific factor. There are many things, which can cause one’s mental illness to “flare up”. When undergoing trials, the holidays can become a difficult season. The holidays can bring up many emotions, regardless of life circumstances.

Wherever you are, I see you. As I face my own struggles, I see you. I see you and I want to encourage each of you, so you don’t go through this time feeling isolated or alone.


Depression can become quite thick around this time of year. I don’t know where you are, but I want to encourage you to press on. All the while, I am trying to encourage my own self to press on.

How so? For myself, I just finished reading the book of Genesis. I seem to do well pressing on in my Bible reading right now. My prayer life is where I seriously need to see growth.

In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to give his son Isaac in sacrificial worship. His precious, long-awaited, son needed to be fully given to God. But, would Abraham trust God… love God, even here? Will you and I surrender?


‘Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.

. . . ”The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you . . . because you have obeyed me.”’

~ See Genesis 22


As I am reminded of Abraham’s great act of surrender, I know, there are many things I need to surrender to the Lord Jesus in my own life. When I willfully give my circumstances to our great God, He will take care of them. I need to give God each day and keep trying to dig into His Word – despite the trials I face. I have been talking a lot about that, in my daily Bible checkup time on Instagram | Facebook.

My goal behind the daily Bible checkup time is: to help each of us to fight back in our battles and read our Bible’s (and pray) – even when it is hard.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:2-3, New Living Translation

How about you – dear friend? What do you need to surrender to the Lord Jesus today? How are you struggling and in need of prayer or encouragement?

Featured image: Markos Mant

Forever His,
Stace

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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Invisible Illness: Depression and Emotional Support

One thing I have noticed is, the way depression creeps in – when one battles a (or multiple) chronic invisible illness(es). Depression creeps in. The invisible illness may not mean you have an arm cast on your right arm, but its effects become evident. When the one you love faces an invisible illness, you begin to notice its effects.

For me, the really-bad-health-days are where I most notice that I am changing. I have defined it as, “wasting away” in a shear depression state. The things I used to care about and love, begin to dwindle.

The Changes We Face

It is a part of the invisible illness.

It is a part of the F-I-G-H-T!

The changes in mentality are one of the fights we face, when we come face-to-face with invisible illnesses. It is as much part of the struggle as the invisible illness(es) themselves.

Realization of this is the first step.

When we take notice that the one we love (or we ourselves) change as part of invisible illness, we can work on becoming what our loved ones need. It may be a shoulder to cry on, keeping in contact with them (and reassuring them that we care), and finding ways to minister to them.

For those reading this, who face a chronic invisible illness, our first step in receive the care we need – is speaking up. Let the world in, on your struggle. It may be texting a friend to let them know, “I am not doing alright right now.”

Reaching Out for Support

Finding the support we need is more important than our pride.

The hard part about speaking up about how I am doing, is the wondering about rejection. Will my plea for help be heard? Will I have to gather the strength to speak up louder?

Keep crying out, and being there for one another.

We are not alone in our affliction.

We have help.

If you don’t have support, feel free to email me (gracefully.overcoming@gmail.com).

Stay strong, by just keep letting your cry be known. Also, listening to the cries of those around you.

My Definition of True Emotional Support

I have looked to this Scripture before.

One of my favorite Bible passages on gathering the necessary strength from a God-seeking-community is found in Exodus 17. May God use this to reach you to do two things: (A) Ask for help (B) Be ready to offer help, even when they haven’t gotten up the courage to ask.

“As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset (vv. 11-12, NLT, emphasis mine).”