How to Find Healing in the Journey

I’m pretty open with you here on the blog. Often as I’ve bared my soul and pushed the publish button, the butterflies in my stomach turned to some kind of winged monster that tried to carry me off.

Being vulnerable isn’t something that comes easy to me and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Yet one of the things I really learned through this process of writing is that when we put ourselves out there it opens the door for other people to be honest with themselves.

Honesty is the start to healing.

This last year has been a little tough. I’m so grateful for the writing process as it’s helped me work through so many things with God. There are many times when it’s strictly between God, myself and my journal. Other times God makes it clear it’s something I’m to share with you.

healing in the journey

A year ago this month, August 2017, my health took a drastic turn south. I was running on a cup that had long since gone dry and was choking on the dust left behind.

God has so miraculously designed our bodies to work the way He intended for them to work. But so often we just grab the wheel and run it the way we want. Unfortunately, I ran mine right into the ground.

Health issues can often be a snowball effect.

What started out as endocrine/hormonal issues led to depression which led to weight gain which exasperated all the other issues. So I did what any rational person would do, right? I worked harder! (I really wish I could add a rolling eyes emoticon here!)

My body was trying desperately to tell me to slow down. Yet I fought it every step of the way! I figured if I could just work harder, try more and not let my body get the “upper hand” it all had to get better, right?

I put SO much pressure on myself not having a clue that what I was doing was adding to the problem!

Johnny Diaz - Just Breathe

Then to add insult to injury I went to several doctors and was told this was simply part of getting older and I better just get used to it. Not gonna lie, that sucked!!!

There’s a cool thing about our bodies though. God created them perfectly.

He has made each one of us to reflect His wonderful handiwork.

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. Psalm 139:14 (HCSB)

So when things are out of whack do we turn to Him for answers? I sure didn’t. I simply ran that much harder. There I was working out 2-3 hours a day on top of our daily ranch work, writing, household chores, youth ministry and life in general.

My body rebelled hardcore!

I tried the doctor’s suggestions to support my tanked adrenals and endometriosis. They helped temporarily but there were to many side effects so I had to cycle them and the crash in between was miserable.

It’s not fun to admit that it took so long but I finally fell on my face and said God I have no idea what to do, please help!

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10

We’re so blessed to serve a loving and patient God.

It’s not the first time He’s patiently waited for me to come to my senses and run to Him. I’m not sure if it’ll be the last but I pray it’s quicker each time now!

In typical God fashion, He had the best plan for me all along. When I finally submitted my will and listened to God I got to participate in my own miracle!

My body needed rest.

My emotions needed rest.

My spirit needed rest.

They all needed rest and support – not the punishment I was doling out!

God provided the steps I needed to take towards wellness. I simply needed to be willing to not run ahead or lag behind.

What started as a journey to help my body get the support it needed has impacted every area of my life. I’m excited to see where God leads and share with you as I follow Him!

healing in the journey

I’ve added a new page to share a little with you about what I’m doing to support my health. I don’t plan on changing the direction of the blog. But I can’t help but share a little about how God has blessed me so much through this journey! Check it out here.

Thank you for allowing me to bare my soul to you. It’s not always easy to share the less than stellar parts of your own life. I’ve lived a life of delayed obedience way to often in the past so when God says go, I’ll do it.

Even if it means doing it scared!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below.

~Laura~

 

Even if…will you still trust God?

Have you ever prayed for something and things didn’t turn out how you wanted? Did you question God’s ability afterwards?

Even if...will you still trust in God?

It’s okay to admit when we have our doubts. God’s shoulders are big enough to handle it. He already knows anyway so let’s stop hiding.

I’ve been through situations where I have prayed for deliverance and didn’t see an immediate response. In the middle of the storm it’s pretty hard to hold onto the kind of faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had.

Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up?  I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:14-18 (NLT)

I know it’s much easier to say “even if” once the storm is past. Yet there is peace that comes when we can say Lord I know you CAN do this, I know you WILL do this, but EVEN IF you don’t, I will still put my trust in You.

Throughout many of the storms I’ve had in my life I can’t say I’ve always run to God first thing. How I wish the first words out of my mouth would have been “even if…” but God is faithful and never left me.

Looking back, I know God had His hand on me throughout all the storms in my life. So now because of that refinement in the middle of the storms I can truly say Lord I know you can, I know you will, but even if you don’t You alone are the one I will worship and praise.

I have been praying for the salvation of a loved one for so many years I can hardly count now. To be honest there are days it’s hard to continue on with it but this is where our faith meets the rubber of the road.

Are we going to continue to put your faith in God?

Now I’m not saying it’s bad to question things and I sure don’t want to hide my doubts from God because we all know the enemy loves to make us feel ashamed of our feelings. He hopes we hide from God. Let’s not do that, let’s take them to Him.

When I was struggling with the news that I would not have children because of so much scar tissue it was pretty hard to say, “Even if you don’t I will still praise you God.”

There was a sweet release and a peace that washed over me when I finally said, “Lord I know this is possible through You but Lord even if it doesn’t I will still trust you alone.”

We need to know God’s hand is with us in the valley. He never abandons us. We unfortunately forget to reach out and grab God’s hand. Instead we try to do it all on our own.

Are you trying to do it all in your own ability? Let go and let God.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew full well what they were headed for and they knew it wasn’t possible to get through it on their own. Their only hope was God’s saving grace. Guess what? Our only hope in this life is God’s saving grace as well.

So today, will you make the choice to trust God EVEN IF…?

I’d love to know what your EVEN IF situation is right now. Let me know in the comments and I’d be honored to stand alongside you in prayer.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

God’s Word Gives Us Hope in the Good and the Bad

Have you ever struggled with spending time in God’s word? Your heart wants to but your head is fighting you with your ever growing to do list. Let me reassure you – you aren’t the only one.

I believe one reason so many of us struggle with spending time in God’s word is because we try to make sense of it through our own reasoning. Somehow leaving God out of the equation.What are we really trying to accomplish with that though?

The Bible is a great history book but it’s SO much more. God’s word is living and active.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

Do you want to simply know about God or do you want to know God? His word shows us the heart of God. When we spend time letting Him lead us through the truths in the Bible we can fully pursue God.

Wait quietly before God

It can be far too easy to let our time in God’s word slip away with the busyness of our lives. Really, I get it. Yet it’s so important to understand how important it truly is so we can guard our time in God’s word well.

God’s word is sufficient for all our needs. Everything we could ever need for our lives can be found in His word.

God’s word is truth. There aren’t any errors in the His word and it can be trusted.

God’s word is full of His promises. We need to know these promises so we can claim them!

God’s word equips us to serve Him. It gives us all the guidance we will ever need to do His work.

So you see, it’s vital we protect our Bible study time. We are created with a God sized vacuum in us and nothing else will fill it.

Free, Online Bible Study

As a way to compliment your time in God’s word I’d love to tell you about a free, online Bible study my friend Sarah Koontz created. I was blessed to get to read through it early and am excited about how much value Sarah is offering her reader’s.

“The powerful promises of Psalm 119 teach us how to commune with God in the good times and the bad, revealing the critical role God’s word is to play in our day-to-day lives.” Sarah Koontz

Free Online Bible Study

Sarah has kept each devotional the perfect length for our busy lives while still being in depth enough for transformation.

EVERYONE WHO PRE-REGISTERS WILL BE ENTERED INTO A DRAWING FOR A BEAUTIFUL STUDY BIBLE (RETAIL VALUE $35), SO DON’T DELAY!

The study begins February 15th so get signed up right away. While you’re at it invite some friends as well.

I’d love to hear if you’ll be joining in on this study of Psalm 119. Let me know either in the comments or send me an email.

I’m praying we’ll each hunger and thirst for God’s word above everything else this week. Blessings friend!

 

Are You Ready to Persevere this Year?

I love words!

Words in general but mainly God’s word. That wasn’t always the case though. There were many years of running from God’s word as well as utter confusion over it.

As my faith grew I decided to pray for a hunger and thirst for God’s word. I asked for my heart and mind to receive clarity and take it all in. As usual, God is faithful and I love to dig into His word now.

At different times I will read “wide” and devour a lot of words at one time. Other times I really dig “deep” and meditate on a verse or even one word.

The word I keep coming back to as for this new year is “persevere”. God is calling me to follow through on what I’ve started. I’ve let fear and perfectionism stifle me for way too long. I want to follow through on the dreams God has planted in my heart.

Are You Ready to Persevere this Year? Continue on your course even in the face of difficulty!

Of course I want to steadfastly persist in my God given purpose. Don’t you? It doesn’t mean it’s easy and we will face obstacles and difficulties.

As I studied the word persevere I discovered one of the definitions of it in Greek is endurance.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 3-4 (NLT)

Problems help us develop endurance. Endurance helps us develop character!

The work God has set before each of us calls for endurance. We can’t operate in our own power to will this endurance into being. We can try but it’s exhausting! I speak from experience.

This kind of endurance only comes through connecting with the power Jesus has promised us.

So how do we do this in a practical way?

We know struggles and setbacks will come. We know how easy it is to get discouraged and lose hope when they do. So how do we fight off the discouragement?

There’s no need to overthink it or write out our pro’s and con’s list. (Anyone else like a good list! Yes, that’s me raising my hand right here.) Just make the choice to grab hold of scriptures to remind us God is with us.

Are you ready to persevere this year? Don't give up. God is faithful and at the right time you will reap a harvest.

We have the choice to run to Him in prayer instead of trying to tackle it in our power. “Lord, I can’t do this without you. I’ve tried. Give me your strength to make the next right choice. Help me to trust You as I persevere in what you’ve called me to do. In the name of Jesus, amen.”

What we do in the here and now matters!

We need to persevere in living our lives in a way that glorifies God. Please hear me on this, I’m not saying striving to be good enough. It’s not possible. I’m saying our lives are often our best sermon so live it in a way that others will want to know where your hope comes from!

Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.1 Timothy 4:14-16 (NLT)

I’m praying with you friend. Through Christ we can continue to move forward this year in the call He’s put on each of our lives.

Where is God calling you to persevere this year? Share in the comments so we can hold each other up.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All

I’m excited to be sharing the following post over at www.wearehisdaughters.com

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:8-10 (ESV)

The good news of Jesus’ birth came to the shepherd’s first. Maybe this seems like something completely insignificant but nothing with God is without purpose.

I probably relate to this piece of information more than most as I am a shepherd. Not in the same exact way as the shepherds from the Bible, but still a shepherd. Thankfully I don’t need to live with them 24 hours a day but my whole livelihood is dependent on the animals we raise. It’s not a hobby I do on the side, ranching is our sole source of income.  Continue reading “Christmas is a Reminder of Hope for All”

Into the Deep End of Faith

Is it just me or does life feel messy sometimes?

I feel like I can be going along and life feels kind of simple for a while and then wham, hit with something else!
Not too long ago my youngest brother was living life pretty fast and hard. Some choices he made were not in alignment with God’s will for him.
He was in a pickup accident which almost took his life.
SO many broken bones along with serious head trauma! Just to name a few were his back, neck, face, ribs, sternum and one leg. The only thing not broken were his arms and they were full of glass. His lung was punctured and full of glass as well.
The phone call you get after an accident like that is kind of burned into your memory.
My dad was the first person to get the call. Before he called anyone else, he prayed the following verse for my brother.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
The doctors were giving our family the worst case scenario. They said there wasn’t much hope of him surviving let alone being restored to full health.
It was time to step out into the deep end of faith. As a family we could have crumbled and given in to the fear but we cried out for God’s mercy and stood firm on His word. We spent quite a bit of time in prayer reminding God of his promises.
We let the doctors do their job and we did ours as a family, 
standing in the gap for my brother.
I won’t lie and say it was easy. There were tears shed and frustrations vented. Many days of hearing the worst case scenarios could have threatened to steal our faith. The thief came to steal, kill and destroy. We were holding onto the promise that Jesus came to give us life abundant. (John 10:10)
We already knew God was in control and would never leave us. We also knew God is sovereign and His ways are higher than our ways.
Many times, well meaning friends would comment how nice it was to see us “hoping” he would be fully restored. It wasn’t just hope like we normally think of it. Not the wishful kind of hope anyway.
There are no shortcuts to faith. We must spend time in God’s word so we’re ready to do battle when the tough days come. Arm yourself with God’s promises so you too can cut down any attack from the enemy!
My brother is a living, breathing, fully restored, walking testament of God’s miracles. He will always have some scars to remind us of the battle God won!
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~