Endurance: Follow up on “Painful” post

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Yesterday I had blogged on the issue that making a change is often painful or uncomfortable. The post can be found (here).
I now want to address maintaining our endurance when the pressure is on while making those changes. When we are hit from every side and when things become uncomfortable or we feel week there are tools that can help us keep us pressing on without giving in to defeat.

ENDURANCE: The power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.

I look at the strong athlete, able to overcome his opponent in victory and the sheer satisfaction on the face, the release of tension in the body and the knowledge that their endurance saw them through. They would not have become the victor over another seasoned athlete if they had not prepared for that victory and fought through the uncomfortable. We were created to be overcomers. We have it within us to overcome the things that are weighing us down and holding us back. We were built to be victorious.

How I will endure the difficult:

Desire: Do you really fully want that what you are working towards? Having the desire to overcome and obtain your victory will help you keep your mind on the reward rather than the struggle. If you want a change and if you want the victory, purpose to make it a desire of your heart that is bigger than the comfortable.
I’ve made sure my desire lines up with the word of God and His will for me. Then I can know with all my heart, soul and mind, that I can obtain my goal even in the midst of pain for the moment. He will go before me, as I stay steadfast on the path.

Psalm 37:5- Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Confidence: Being bold enough to know that you will see victory, in the end, as your flesh comforts rise up and you want to give in, having a deep knowledge that you can, will go a long way to keep your head in the race until the end. HE is my victory.

Philippians 1:6-Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Focus: Know what you want. Know the goal. Keep your eye on your victory. If I look at the here and now, I may give in to what is more comfortable. Yet, when I keep my eyes on being the overcomer in my present uncomfortable situation, my moment pales in comparison.
Know it, see it, and do it.
For me, I focus on the fact that God is faithful. His ways are higher than my ways. I know He will remain with me and I find my endurance in His truth for my life.

Colossians 3:2- Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Strength: Le’ts face it, we get weak. We want to give up. So building our strength in the downtime, keeps us ready to fight and walk-in endurance during the difficult process. We can build our self up physically but I also must remember that the true strength to endure the difficulties in this life, comes from my Lord. He is my strength and shield. Building myself up in the Spirit is very much as important as building up my physical self.

Colossians 1:11- being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

Philippians 4:13- I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
These are the few truths that I am thinking on today, as I face the race ahead of me. I desire the change, I desire the health and I desire the victory. I am confident that these desires, are the same desires of my God and He will remain faithful to strengthen me to reach the desires of my heart. I will remain steadfast and strengthened in my endurance despite the unpleasent. One day I will have that smile of victory on my face, the shoulders relaxed from a job well done and I will be able to say that I overcame.

 

A cancer of another kind

I was expecting the words, I was actually waiting to hear, “You have cancer.”
Yet, these words never came and as crazy as it seems, I was actually disappointed.

I know wanting cancer is beyond any normal rational, yet I was hoping thyroid cancer would be the diagnoses to begin to set me free.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 11 years ago. I have been on the roller coaster of flare days and a few good days. I have tried many medicine cocktails to eventually give up every time, as the side effects would take over any benefit. I remember falling asleep behind the wheel once while taking a new medicine. The doctors response was, “if you are so tired still, you probably won’t get over it, time to try a new one.”

Try a new one, and try I have, new diets and fads, new supplements, new oils,
new searches and new medicines.
I woke up one morning so dizzy I could not walk across the room. The dizziness had not improved so I decided to go off of all medications to make sure that they were not the culprit. Three weeks later still dizzy. This on top of leg and muscle fatigue for over two years I decided to visit the doctor, again.  Thus began the MRI’s, more blood work and ultrasounds all leading to the biopsy. 7 nodules in my thyroid, 2 were suspicious. I have seen a hematologist for blood issues, neurologist for the dizziness and muscle weakness, and now I need to see the endocrinologist and ENT specialist at the end of the summer, each answer has led to more questions.

I wanted to have the answer so bad, I didn’t care what the answer was. I wanted to have something with a hope of treating. Now I just have more questions. Thankfully none of my symptoms seem to be related but rather 5 different sources all messing with me at once. I am truly thankful nothing detrimental! However, I am still left with Fibromyalgia and symptoms unrelated and we are searching. Oh, how I was hoping for a misdiagnosis.

It is through this journey I realized I DID have cancer. I had a small depressive thought that this was my life now. This thought had grown and grown, until I had come to the point it was all I saw. This is how depression works. Just a moment, and we let it fester and fester and grow and grow just like a cancer of the body, it becomes a cancer of our mind.

I had let go of the very thing Writing For Joy became in my life. A place to focus on God’s truth and to have JOY despite my circumstances. I allowed that cancer of depression to rob me of my truths. I had been robbed of my peace, of my smile, of my hope and strength, it was slowly robbing my life.
I had allowed the infectious depression to grow rampit and it happened so strategically, just as the enemy had planned.

God’s word says that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. So swiftly  had let my physical body become the destruction to take my eyes off of the Lord’s truth to my heart situation. I am His daughter that HAS HOPE IN HIM. My situations do not dictate my joy meter. JOY despite my pain is not denial but a necessity, my necessity!

So in the Name of my MIGHTY Jesus I speak for the cancer of depression to be gone. I pray for His truths to rise in my spirit and in the spirit of others that battle. We will have peace  in the morning, His peace that surpasses all understanding to cover the depression in all trials and all circumstances. Infectious depression be gone and it its place the JOY OF THE LORD. For His JOY is our strength.

I will find my answers, I will have full healing, but in the meantime, I will walk with Him side by side as He takes me deeper into His truths. I have nothing to fear, I have no reason to slumber, He is calling me to new heights. Time to get ready.

 

Lord be the calm in this storm

 Psalm 107:29 –

He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

 

My body has taken a turn lately. While I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over ten years, the last two years something has been going on that I thought was related, only to find out that it is not. I cry out, Lord be the calm in this storm.

For two years I have allowed a doctor to shrug away many symptoms, only to find out I shouldn’t have. Lord be the calm in this storm.

While these new symptoms may be nothing too concerning, I am tired. I am tired and frustrated with the set back. I have had to cut out most activities and leave my jobs. Lord be the cam in this storm.

I physically am exhausted. But one thing that I am finding, that when I press in to praise and worship, for those moments with my eyes set on Jesus, all falls away. My symptoms fall away. My heartache falls away. My depression falls away. My eyes are the one whom created me and in Him I find my strength. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Yesterday I could hardly move when I woke up. Every part of my body was stiff and hurting. As I got up to get ready for Easter service, the dizziness was increased and the muscle weakness discouraging. I had to use my cane and I did not want to give in to that need. I walked into church with my cane. I stood worshiping holding on to my cane. As the worship continued I grew stronger and stronger. I started worshiping without my hand on the cane for balance. By the last song I was able to put the microphone down, and dance. Now my dance was limited in comparison to a time before all this, but the dance was there nevertheless. He was faithful to give me that gift in that moment. An encouragement that He still is my strength. He never fails. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I find each day in this trial that the Lord takes me deeper and brings me farther than I could ever imagined. He speaks into my inner being in a way that only my weakness would allow. I have developed such a compassion for others in similar struggles. I am learning how to step back and hear what they are going through. I am learning to use my time resting to still develop my giftings He has placed in me. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I will find beauty in this season. I will rest in Him and know that He already knows my every day and I can have peace in that.  Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Lord be the calm in this storm, as you faithfully always have been.

My song for this season that stirs my hope….may it bless you as well.
Do it again

 

 

The Lion within

25399027_10214870973832875_8040969796702007604_n                                                           Proverbs 28:1 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

There are so many battles we face moment by moment and day by day. I have had seasons where I just wanted to throw my hands up and take my place under the covers. But God said NO MORE. He has called me to fight my battles ahead and when I am weary He says, “discover your lion within and let out your war cry!”

“But God,” I say, “there is no strength in me, I see no lion but rather a kitten wanting to nap the days away.” To which He replies, ” NO MORE, I am in you, that is a lie, let out your war cry!”

I see a picture in my mind of Aslan. A soft and gentle lion. Loving to the children visiting Narnia, but the moment He is ready for battle he let’s out his powerful mighty roar.

There is a shifting in the atmosphere with that strength. That roar changes things!

I have begun to exercise my faith and let out my war cry. I am beginning to say “no more will I listen to lies. No more will I sit quietly while the enemy tries to steal my peace.”

I have a choice on where my mind focuses, I have a choice on letting my roars overtake the whispers of the enemy. I am bold, I am courageous, I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

Challenge this day my friends, will you let out your war cry? Will you take your stand in the battle and win your ground over your spiritual enemies.?

The Lord is mighty,  the Lion within.

 

 

Time to defrost

I have a person in my life that does not like others very much. This person is often judging and being hurtful with their critical views and lashing tongue. This person does not have much joy. This person was me.

As I began to reflect on my own self and how there was a season that I was so sick of people. I was so tired of being hurt. I was tired of being used or left behind. I often would tell my husband my new name should be ‘afterthought’.

I had a very long season where I had a hardened heart. I would not let others in. I would smile, but inside I was ice. I would not allow anyone beyond the smile on my face.

I noticed fewer and fewer people in my life, and I was okay with that. I didn’t want anyone there. Others just messed everything up anyway.

Then one day I noticed I had no feelings towards a rather catastrophic event. There was something wrong, my compassion was evaporating as quickly as the people in my life.

I realized in that moment that the joy was diminishing as well.

I had my self secluded in my own frozen shell and even though I was not raw and exposed for everyone to hurt me, I was not living either. I was not sharing, caring, being an example, loving and being loved.

I was loving with condition. I was not exposing my full self.

The Lord told me to stop gauging how I was going to love others, and to let my heart defrost and just love.

Love with no expectation, no judgement, no harshness, and fully without expecting a return.

That moment that I allowed the Lord to completely defrost my frozen heart, I noticed a change. I noticed I was open to Him even more. Now when someone hurts me, I can look at the situation with different eyes. The Lord comforts me, He is my shelter.

I no longer have a fear loving. I can see the same hardened heart in many around me. It often comes from being hurt, rejected, ignored, torn down, or abused in some way. To harden ourselves is the way we hope to preserve ourselves yet we are not producing life when we allow the enemy this ground.

I encourage you, if you hold others at arm’s length out of fear…. it is time to defrost.

If you are cold and harsh because of anger…. it is time to defrost.

If you are so busy judging your brother you do not see the sin in your own life… it is time to defrost.

Why defrost? Because you can not grow and develop if you are frozen and planted in one place. You can not move on, press on, move forward if you are grasping and clinging to winter. Let yourself experience all the seasons of life.

FULLNESS has arrived

I have begun my journey of blogging to encourage others to find joy, as well as my own pursuit of the fullness of joy of the Lord.

I am so gloriously happy to report that while things may get me down for a moment I do not stay there. I am no longer operating in fear or circumstances. It has been a rough journey and while I do not think the things that kept going wrong one after another were God’s doing, I do believe He used them to do a work in me. All things that are meant to harm us are used for the glory of God, for those who love Him.
I dug deeper into His word, I drew closer to Him, I sang out His praises when I did not feel like it and He used those opportunities to grow me. I never knew how much growing I needed to do, until I had true testing in my life. And test after test came, week after week.

I realized fresh that my fullness of joy was finally here, when I got devastating news about my moms health. While for a moment I was stunned and even saddened. I did not stay there. I know God already knows the plans He has for us and I know His promises for us.

Also in a matter of days I discovered my teen son was very seriously playing and toying with the idea of suicide. When I discovered this I was away from home and fear and panic could have taken hold of me a few months ago. But not this time, I laughed and declared, MY SON HAS A PURPOSE and nothing will deter that! I was concerned from time to time while I was away, and that prompted prayers of protection and covering over my sons heart as well as lots of texts to stay in touch…. but it did not lead me into a pattern of being frozen or overly consumed with it. I do not fear it! I have joy despite the circumstances around me.

Are home is to be listed for sale in a matter of months and we have NOTHING set aside for moving, and my husband still does not have a job, our credit score is horrid now and technically renting can be darn near impossible, but I do not care what ‘technically is’ God is bigger and  I am NOT letting that rob my joy.

Joy does NOT need to be based on our circumstances. It is a gift to us. The son has set us free from the bondage of worry, depression, fear and doubt. In my pursuit of Joy I decided to be a joy spreader, putting it out there all that I could. What happened then? BLESSED was the joy maker!

I will not walk in darkness but rather the light of the truth of what is MINE. Fullness of joy is mine!

Challenge this day my friend: Keep pursuing your victory over the concerns of the world. Keep pursuing the fullness of Joy. Get into the word, spend time in prayer and speak out against the things that want to pull you into the trap. Fullness of joy is ours to have in His presence, His presence dwells in the spirit of the believer, we need to practice walking in it 🙂
JOY is yours in the morning!

Acts 2: 25-28

David said about him:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

Grace in your face

 

Tonight was a whirlwind for my husband. Our friends were visiting from Idaho. They moved away five months ago and we were SO blessed to have a real hug in person, to visit and to sit at a meal together.

There was sharing and laughter and good eats. Then the guys decided to take our friends Subaru for a drive. Our friend had bought it six months ago, just before his move. My boys LOVE Subaru’s and everyone was excited to check it out. The first ride was a run with my sons in the car. They took it to back roads and on a gravel road did some showing off.

Then the guys brought the boys back and went out by themselves. Dan was driving our friends car. There was a little playing with the car on a straight away back road, but Dan had slowed down and was driving normal when a curve was coming up, that he knew was there.

Dan had not driven a stick in ages and this car had power. Dan slowed down before the curve and somewhere somehow,  that is when things changed quickly. He describes the moment as slow motion. The car left the road and rolled. There was no guard rail, there was no skidding, there was no wreckless driving, just a ditch to meet and it totalled the car.

The men were trapped, upside down. They unbuckled and dropped and had to break out the window to get out of the car. There is so much that was happening in their minds and in the process, I was not there, so I can not fully comprehend or relay the experience. But what I can relay is the reaction of a Godly friend.

Dan was panicked in that car. He is claustrophobic in normal situations, there was a moment he was trapped. The car had smoke coming in, our friend had a bloody nose, the airbags had went off, they were buckled in and it took breaking a window to get out of the car.

Our friend talked Dan through the panic and kept a level head.

Dan was beside himself to have destroyed a friends beautiful car. Our friend assured him  over and over that this possession was not more important than Dan. He was thankful to be with Dan. He was full of grace and kindness and forgiveness. There was nothing but assurance and an example of love.

This reminds me how the Lord is with His children. He is full of grace, full of love, full of assurance. He knows His children’s hearts and when we come to Him with a contrite heart, asking for forgiveness, our God offers it. Just in this way. No strings attached.

God also showed favor and grace in another way. Our finances are a mess. But we have enough set aside for the deductible of the accident. We were saving it for moving when the home is taken away, but we know that there will be a different provision if and when that time comes. Our God IS a supplier and full of mercy and grace.

There was no ticket, the police officer found no fault with Dan’s spotless driving record, and stated. ” usually, there would be a ticket, but I see no sign of reckless driving and a ticket will not help your situation so I am not going to give you one.” Again this is a sign of how unmerited grace works. We did not deserve that favor, it was just given.

Our friend Don  (Best friends dad) was over for dinner as well and  happened to not go on that drive .  He received the call and went to them. He did not give us women details to worry us, he went with a calm. He was saved from the experience of the wreck and I am so thankful for that. He was there to be a calm and a hand to aid the guys at the site. He was an encouraging and solid voice and I am SO blessed he was there. Another example of God’s grace!

My husband and our friend…. WALKED from the car. The fireman said they were extremely lucky to have no injuries. Again, this is a sign of grace.

Dan was angry at his fault at wrecking a friends car, he was furious, he felt bad, he felt foolish, we have a thousand different ways we would have rather this day have gone, but we have experienced grace in a way we never had before.

This friend, never once raised his voice or blamed Dan in the situation, but assured him and encouraged him instead. The wife (my best friend) was with me when we got the news and she was teary eyed, not over the vehicle or the disappointing concerns of what to do to fix it all, but she was teary eyed over knowing how bad my husband would feel. She was concerned for us and our finances. She was concerned for us and not themselves.

What have I learned from this example? Think twice where I would find fault with another, even if fault is theirs, I can find that as an opportunity to extend grace!  I can show love regardless of a situation. There are far more important things than what my small mind may see.

Thank you dear friends for being a living example on being a child of God that gives unmerited favor to others…. grace is an amazing gift to receive!!!

Challenge this day friends: Recognize areas in your life where you have experienced grace. Extend grace in new ways to others in your life. Be a living example of Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16-

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(NIV)

Thank you Lord for keeping your children safe in their time of need!!!!

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