When All You Can Do Is Hang On, Reach For Hope.

When All You Can Do Is Hang On, Reach For Hope.

I’ve experienced a lot of heartache recently. There have been some days when I felt like I was drowning in it.

I’ve felt so lost and hopeless. How are we ever going to get through this? I feel like I have no future. Nobody cares what I’m going through. No one understands.

Then I remember what I prayed in the ICU waiting room.

“God whatever You are going to teach us through this, please let our hearts be opened to it. I know all things work together for good to those who love you”.

And when we got home from the hospital.. “God I don’t want to just get through this, I want to come out stronger. I want to learn and grow even in the most trying circumstances”.

In other words, I don’t want to just weather the storm, I want to dance in the rain.

I’ve repeated over and over to myself, this is just a moment. It’s not forever.

Sometimes pulling myself up from feeling so down is more than I can do in my own strength.

That’s when I turn to His promises.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. Romans 8:37.

I can be more than a conqueror. I can more than conqueror my despair. I can more than conqueror my fear. I can more than conqueror my weak human emotions that lead me astray. I can be more than a conqueror.

I don’t have to just hang on and weather this storm. I can rise above it. I can go beyond my own despair and reach out to someone else’s hurting heart.

I don’t have to spend my days sniffling about how no one cares, which is a lie anyway. I don’t have to whine to God that I feel like I have no future. When He clearly says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.         Jeremiah 29:11

I once heard a missionary from Haiti tell about the work they were doing among the people there. He told how the Haitian people have a saying.

“God knows”.

That’s it. God knows. And it’s enough. It’s enough that He knows my pain. It’s enough that He understands.

Nobody has to understand everything I’m going through. Because Christ chose to enter into my suffering. He knows.

Sometimes it’s hard to find that strength to rise. Sometimes you just want to wallow in your self pity and when that gets to hard, find something to distract yourself from everything going on around you. There is something that you, and I need to remind ourselves.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. Psalms 34:18

We don’t have to just hang on, because He is right there ready to save a broken heart. He’s ready to heal a crushed spirit. He’s especially close to the hurting.

If we let Him be our sustenance, we can go beyond our own pain and enter someone else’s.

“…Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”. 2 Corinthians 1:4.

As I’ve felt the sting of pain, I’ve found myself much more sensitive to the pain of others. I can be thankful for what I’ve been through because it has taught me so much. I want to point others to the hope that is in Christ, because this hope has done so much for me and I want others to experience it too.

I’ve learned that when I’m having a hard time, hanging in there, isn’t the answer. Growing and learning to thrive despite the circumstances, that’s the answer.

If you have dealt with something similar, or if you found this post encouraging please let me know in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make God Your Refuge.

Make God Your Refuge.

“God I don’t know what to do. I feel like my life is falling apart and I don’t know what to do. I know that You are everything I need, help me to trust you.”

I sat with my back against the water tower facing the woods as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I love sitting there and praying. It’s quiet and I can pour my heart out to God without worrying that anyone is going to hear me, but most of all because sitting with my back against that tall, strong tower serves as a reminder to me.

“The name of our Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it, and they are safe.”

That’s from Proverbs 18:10, but it is also a song that my family has been singing since I was a small child.

I remember the day my Dad taught it to us. I must have been about 6 or 7. I was sitting in the back of our old, tan, fifteen passenger van. I don’t remember now where we were going. I was goofing around with my brother when I noticed my parents and two older siblings singing a song I’d never heard before. I suddenly lost interest in playing with my brother, and moved up a few seats to hear what they were singing.

It didn’t take long for us to learn that song by heart and it became a family favorite. We were soon singing it at the top of our lungs. I loved that song, but I didn’t quite understand how you could run into a tower and be safe.

It just didn’t make sense to me. The only towers I had ever seen were cell phone towers or water towers. I couldn’t see how running into one of those could make you safe or how the name of God could be like one of those.

But now when I’m sitting with my back against that tower I take so much comfort in knowing that the name of the Lord is a strong tower that I can run to and be safe.

Knowing my heavenly Father is waiting for me to come and find comfort and safety in His loving arms.

As I’ve watched my Dad struggle to recover from a brain hemorrhage that nearly took his life, I’ve had to run to this strong tower quite often.

When I’m confused and afraid I find comfort and rest.

When the fear of what this world is coming to rises up in me, I run to the tower.

When I am lonely and feel empty inside running to the tower, I find all of the love I could ever ask for.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,                                                                                             Though the mountains shake with its swelling.”                                                                          
Therefore we will not fear, Psalm 46:1-3

The Psalms is full of the promises of God. We don’t have any reason to fear. It’s not that God is going to come in and make everything perfect and fix all of our problems.

It’s that in the face of the most difficult circumstance we can have peace.

When the storms of life are raging all around us, He is our refuge.

Psalms 61:2 says ” …When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

David said in Psalms 91, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.'”

Choose to make God your refuge.

Sometimes I catch myself running to other things to fill me up and give me the comfort I want. It’s like I try to distract myself from the problem at hand with something temporary.

I’m telling you, it never works.you-are-lovely

So choose to make God your refuge. Don’t run from your problems when there is a God waiting with open arms.

If you are going through something difficult take some time to be alone with your Maker.

Pour out your heart to Him. Tell Him exactly what you are feeling and seek His wisdom to know how to get through it.

If you’ve gone astray, confess it. Psalm 66:18 says “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”

Be open. You can’t hide anything from Him anyway.

Sometimes being a girl (and an emotional one at that) it feels like no one understands the things that hurt and upset me.

Do you ever feel this way?

What if I told you there was someone you could talk to with no fear of being judged or looked down on for your emotions?

What if I told you that you could pour your heart out to this person and He would understand you better than you understand yourself?

And what’s more, He cares.

He cares because He chose to enter into our suffering. He chose to feel our pain.

And not only that. He has the solution! Let me reword that. He IS the solution!

HE is the answer to your hurting heart.

He is the answer to your loneliness, your fear, your confusion and pain.

No earthly friend, no father, no mother, no sister, or brother, or any human can ever understand, care, or feel your pain the way He can. Because they are only human.

Why do we make Him our last resort?

Why do we let everything fall apart before we run to Him?

Why do we only look to our friends and family to understand and help us through life? Friends and family our very much needed and are very important.

But they will fail you. They’re only human.

I am very thankful for friends that have been so caring and understanding while my Dad has been sick, but they can’t heal a hurting heart.

While they have come alongside and sought to help carry this burden there is still only so much they can do. And expecting more of them is unfair on my part.

So I make Jesus my refuge. There is no better.

Is He yours?

Because if He isn’t, you’re missing out.

Don’t try to carry a burden that isn’t meant for you to carry.

I am so thankful for this refuge and also for having a huge water tower in our backyard to remind me of the shelter I have in Christ.

If this article has been a blessing or encouragement to you, let me know in the comment section below.

 

The Day I Will Never Forget.(And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 2

The Day I Will Never Forget.(And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 2

 

The hospital stay is a bit of a blur. That first night of sleeping in the waiting room left me completely drained. The next day dragged by. Friends came and went.

We found that my Dad had had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A bunch of small blood vessels burst in his brain, causing a pool of blood. We praised God that his sight came back after a few hours. Continue reading “The Day I Will Never Forget.(And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 2”

The Day I Will Never Forget. (And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 1

The Day I Will Never Forget. (And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 1

 

I don’t quite know how to begin this. I don’t know how to give a clear picture of what that day was like, and what all went on inside me, but I want to try. So here goes…

It was Thursday, June 30th around 2:30, when my Dad and five of my nine brothers walked into the house from work. My Dad has been doing construction for as long as I can remember, and runs his own construction business along with the boys. Or I guess I should say did run his own construction business.

They’d been getting up around 4:30 AM to head to work in order to beat the hot, humid, weather we have here in Kentucky. They usually come home around 3:00 o’clock or later, but that day they were early.

Everything seemed so normal. I can hardly believe how fast our lives changed. Continue reading “The Day I Will Never Forget. (And What It Taught Me To Almost Lose A Loved One.) Part 1”

When God Asked Me To Surrender.

When God Asked Me To Surrender.

 

My last post I told how I learned what it meant to pick up my cross and follow Christ. Where Is My Cross? It was a major turning point in my life.

From there Christ began to touch on other areas in my life, calling me to surrender to Him. One of the first and most major being my desire to be married.

Every girl knows how it feels. We’ve all been there. You’re in the store, school, or just with your friends and you see them. A couple walking together, talking together, maybe they’re holding hands, but you know they love each other, and something in you cries, “I want that”. Continue reading “When God Asked Me To Surrender.”

Where Is My Cross?

Where Is My Cross?

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24,25

 

This is a verse that I struggled to understand a few years ago. It’s something I had heard all my life, but when it came to living it out, I didn’t know how. When I asked someone, their response was to live in daily surrender to Christ. It was a good answer, but at that point in my life I was looking for more than just a verbal answer to my question. I wanted an example. I was struggling to understand what being a christian really was, and what it meant for me to live it out. Continue reading “Where Is My Cross?”

Not Your Typical Girl

Not Your Typical Girl

I am not your typical girl. I’m just a lot different than most in a lot more ways than one.

1. I have 13 siblings

2. I was homeschooled.

3. I was raised in a christian home, but not the typical christian home.
It was and still is much different.

4. When I was 14 my family sold everything we owned except for what fit Continue reading “Not Your Typical Girl”