Am I being faithful in the small? Am I taking on those kingdom assignments that involve just one or two other people? Is this a season of preparation? Am I willing to allow for interruptions? (I’m not sure if we really have a choice on this one.) Am I willing to take a long obedience in the same direction even when the destination seems unclear? This is all part of hearing the calling on our lives as believers and those who follow after Jesus.
Listen for that still small voice
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice.
(I Kings 19:11-12 NKJV)
When God spoke to Elijah, it was not the sky parting, booming voice of overwhelming power, it was the still small voice that came after a demonstration of God’s power. Am I listening for that voice closely or allowing the noise of the world to drown it out?
Let your words be small (few)
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few.
(Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 ESV)
Am I so eager to tell God how it is that I miss out on His message for me? Can I be willing to wait to hear His voice? It simply takes time to hear from God. For some of us, it takes time to reach a point of being able to be quiet long enough to hear from Him, rather than the voice inside our head that keeps barking out directions. Take five minutes to sit in silence, ask the Lord to speak, and really listen. Set a timer if necessary
Take Small Steps
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 ESV)
Small steps in obedience in pace with God is a demonstration of humility. Am I willing to wander as I travel with Him? I can’t all be so hyper-focused on the destination that I miss the journey. How often have I missed some of the gifts God had for me by rushing ahead to what I thought was the finish line? Staying in step with God may appear to be small progress to the others but walking close is most essential.
Join me on the journey in being faithful in the small,
Blessings from Brokenness: Five Scriptures to Cling to in the Dark
by Baylee Dunn
Many people love the summer time –the sun is shining, children are laughing, and there are memories to be made. For me, summer brings with it joy and sorrow interwoven into one. It is as if the summer breeze brings a palpable heaviness.
Yet, there is so much joy to be found in that space.
I remember the date as if it were yesterday – July 20th, 2018. I laid still in bed unable to stop the spiral of thoughts from encircling in my mind. “Why can’t I just sleep?” I wondered. It had been sixteen days without it, and, unfortunately, I would soon discover the consequences of stress, sadness, and grief when coupled with such drastic sleep deprivation. For me, this cycle of sleeplessness, delusions, paranoia, and panic would ultimately lead to two psychiatric hospitalizations over the course of that summer, and an eventual diagnosis the next fall. “You have Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features,” are words that I will not soon forget. They are etched into my memory and with every breath I take, I carry them. That is my clinical diagnosis, but my identity lies deep within the scriptures. You see, I am not my diagnosis. I am a daughter of the king
Here are five scriptures that I clung to during this season.
I hope and pray that each one of them encourages you in your walk with the Lord. May you always know that whatever you face, you are never alone. May the Lord shine his light upon you today and every day! Friend, you are loved.
Isaiah 26:3-4 “ 3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Hey y’all, I am Baylee Dunn. I write on faith and the struggles that we face in life from a Biblical perspective. I am a college student, daughter, sister, friend, and lover of Chick Fil A.
Blessings From Brokenness
So excited to welcome Baylee Dunn to By His Grace as an intern! I met Baylee through Hopewriter’s and instantly fell in love with her. She is a precious young woman with a huge heart for the Lord. If you don’t know Baylee, you should she is a ray of sunshine! Baylee is a college student who will be working with me as she pursues her dreams of one day writing a book.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! This weekend I participated in my first 5K and had a great time in support of Shield Bearer Counseling centers.
Shield Bearer has been on the front lines championing healthy relationships, strong marriages, healthy families and strong communities. Shield Bearer promotes individual growth and development, preserves and enriches marriages and strengthens and unites families.
They believe that strong communities are built by healthy families. Shield Bearer focuses on restoring broken relationships and building on the strengths of existing relationships.Their trauma specialists work with survivors of human trafficking. veterans, crime victims and their families and disaster survivors (such as Hurricane Harvey survivors.
Today, I would love for y’all to check out my post on my writing sister’s Kelley Ivey Johnson’s blog in her series on What Being Brave Looks Like!
While you are there be sure to check out, her newly released book on Being Brave: A 40- Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You!
Every day I am getting one step closer to my own book becoming a reality. This week I am crafting a book proposal that I will be sharing with some publishing industry experts this Spring and later this summer. Later in the week, I will be attending the Well Summit – Launch Well Publishing Event in Dallas, Texas, and can’t wait to tell y’all about it when I return next week!
Later in the week, I will be attending the Well Summit – Launch Well Publishing Event in Dallas, Texas, and can’t wait to tell you all about it when I return next week!
Also, I am collaborating with some amazing writing sisters on a new project, and can’t wait to share it with you very soon! Until then…
Coming soon! I have another book review and give away on Lies Moms Believe: And How The Gospel Refutes Them by Rebekah Hargraves, along with the Companion Bible Study! I just got these in the mail and can’t wait to dig into them and let you know what I think.
One last thing, would y’all mind doing me a favor? If you like what I am doing here on the By His Grace Blog would you mind sharing it with your friends or posting about it on Social Media to help me spread the word? That would mean the world to me!
Life is a lot like a roller coaster ride filled with excitement a little scary and when you least expect it you soar sky high then plunge down into great depths followed by a series of twists and turns. Last week was quite a ride for me!
My week began at a gathering of women to pray, worship and hear a word of encouragement. The evening was orchestrated intentionally to invite us into the presence of the Lord in a very tangible way. Between praising with my arms outstretched wide and my soul eager for a touch from God, I hit the floor and cried out to Jesus to do what only he could do for me. Little did I know at the time how desperately I needed that time.
Valentine’s day is sandwiched in between my mom’s birthday and Peter’s mom’s birthday which made it super convenient to remember their birthdays when they were alive. But now that they are gone it makes for a somber week of remembrance.
On Valentine’s Day, I sent my first manuscript off to the editor for review. Releasing a book to someone is much like birthing a baby. It is a labor of love filled but comes with all kinds of emotions. Since my manuscript was due on Wednesday, we decided to celebrate on Friday evening. My husband Peter and I had a transcendent evening gazing at one another in love celebrating 25 years of Valentine’s Days together, complete with the best meal I think I have ever eaten in my entire life.
Thrown in with the gamut of highs and lows this week was regular life stuff, like dishes, laundry, school, work, grocery shopping, meals, exercise and shuttling kids.
Sometimes it is hard to find space to grieve or rest in this crazy world we live in, but it is crucial for our souls to find peace and solace to make sense of life. Making time to escape the daily grind and get alone with God to pray is imperative. Even Jesus had to break away from the crowds and get alone so he could pray.
But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:16 ESV
Rounding out the end of this week I had the pleasure of gathering with a group of women in my home who are walking through different seasons in life, some are going through deep waters and others who feel like a mess and are in need of a special touch from the Lord. We have all been there. We are all busy, so we compartmentalize the problematic stuff and keep moving on. Life is hard and at times it can be soul crushing!
I looked one woman straight in the eyes and told her what I wish someone would have been brave enough to say to me at various times in my life when things were spinning out of control and I felt like a complete mess. “Go get flat on your face before the Lord and pray and don’t get up until you have peace because He is the only one who can change you!”
As women, we lead hectic lives often caring for everyone but ourselves. Although, we can’t care for anyone else well if we don’t first make time to get alone to a quiet place and do the soul work necessary to care for ourselves.
We are in the second week of the second month of the year. How are you doing so far with your dreams, goals, and aspirations for 2018? I am amazed at how God is showing up in my life and new and refreshing ways through the lens of my focus word Presence so far this year!
Today I would like to talk to y’all about being intentional. What does being intentional in our callings mean, and what does that even look like?
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. -Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
It will probably look different for each of us because we are all at different stages in our life. We have different challenges and responsibilities with our home, our families, and our careers. We also have varying degrees of giftings and talents. But I think there are some similarities and principals that we can all use to help us be intentional in our callings, and that is what I want to talk to you about today.
Intentionality is your secret weapon in a war against mediocrity. – – Brian P. Morgan The 12 week Year
Since I am a word nerd lets begin with a few simple definitions.
If we are to be intentional in our callings, then we are doing things on purpose. They are deliberate. We are not being tossed about from one thing to the other. Instead, we are purpose-filled and make conscious decisions on how to plan our day, weeks, month and year.
If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10 ESV
God has specific work for each of us to do, and those things are good things. He has specific things planned for each of us, that only we can do.
The premise of the book is that anyone can explain what they do, and some people can explain what differentiates them from others, but very few people can articulate why they do what they do. Why is what we believe, at our core and when we can articulate that in a meaningful way we inspire those around us. This is why knowing our why will also drive our what and how. However, if we know our core beliefs and our why we can motivate ourselves and others in radical ways.
If you have a free 15 minutes watch his TED Talk on start with why, or if you have longer read the book or listen to it on audible. This concept is taking off like wildfire in corporate America, and I think we can learn a lot about ourselves and our calling if we truly understand our why.
As Christians, we all have a similar why. We have a calling on our life to make Jesus known and to shine our lights to an increasingly dark world. God has called us to love him and love others, and that is our why. Our purpose is to love God with all our mind, soul and strength, and love others.
It is Valentine’s week and love is in the air, but when God tells us to love others it is not a romantic type of love, it is a love that is patient and kind. This kind of love serves others and doesn’t insist on its own way.
Last year I reviewed Karen Ehman’s book and Bible Study Listen, Love, Repeat! This book is jammed packed full of ways that we can live aware of those around us and serve them in love.
1 Corthinians 13 is our Christian roadmap that show us the way we should go, and what love looks like.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part,but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthinians 13
So as we plan and prepare for all of the wonderful things, we would like to do this year let’s be intentional with our time, talents, and resources, and choose to love and serve others well!
What are some ways that you and your family are living intentionally this year? How are you loving and serving the Lord and others? I would love to know how God is using you to shine His light! Leave me a comment below and let me know what good things you are doing!
This past weekend I went to meet up with His Girls Gather, a group of authors, bloggers, speakers, social media marketing and technical support girls from Texas and Louisana. Many of us are members of Compel, a writer’s training program which is part of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
We had a wonderful time of prayer, fellowship, and training. While I was there I met an adorable millennial Jesus girl named Shelby Howe. We struck up a conversation about how to impact the millennial culture for Jesus.
Many faith communities and Christian organizations are struggling with how to make space for Millennials—not just appealing space in their buildings and gathering places, but also space in their institutional culture, ministry models and leadership approach. – Barna
If we want to impact future generations for Christ then we need to know how to reach them. I have asked Shelby Howe to share her thoughts with you on today’s blog concerning what the Lord has put on her heart in regards to reaching millennials.
10 ways to reach Millennials
We’re a generation connected in all the wrong places. Consumed with what’s happening on a screen, the majority of millennials miss the richness of real life. Being one of them, and living the struggle of screen-time versus face-time, I’ve often been asked – how do you reach millennials? What gets us off our phones and listening intently to the person before us? I hope it’s to your delight to know it’s not another piece of tech or a silly video.
Speak my language
When my phone rings, I automatically think something’s wrong. Phone calls are for dire situations, just send me a text. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Once I forget what you told me, I can go back and read it again. Friend me on Facebook, follow my Instagram, that’s where you can keep up with what’s going on with me. Speak my language.
Meet me on my terms
Unfortunately, I struggle with accountability so if we’re going to meet face to face, it’s got to be on my terms. Be prepared to cancel and reschedule ten times before we actually meet. Once I know that you’re committed, I’ll get committed too, but I need grace at first.
Don’t ask me what I’m doing, ask me what I want to do.
The first thing people always ask is, “So what do you do?” What I’m doing right now is not what I want to be doing, and it just reminds me of that when you ask. Start with “What do you want to do with your life?” then follow up with “So what are you doing now?” This tells me that you care about my dreams, but it’s okay that I’m not there yet.
Don’t tell me what I should do unless you’re going to help me.
I don’t respond well to “you should do this” or “have you tried this?” Someone has probably already suggested that and I probably have some lame excuse you don’t want to hear anyway. If you think of something that I should do, help me do it. If I need to study for a certain test, schedule a time to study with me. If I need to make a resume, sit down with me and show me how which leads to our next one…
Show me instead of telling me.
It’s one thing to throw words at me just for them to bounce off the rim like basketball, but if you actually practice what you preach, I’ll take notice. If you want me to read the Bible, let me see you living it. I’m a newlywed, and I want to cook made-from-scratch meals for my husband, but I don’t know how. Invite me over one day and show me how you make homemade biscuits. I need to see it. Let me see you do real life and I’ll want to live it with you.
My world is fast paced and ever changing, having a constant helps keep me grounded. If I know when you’re available, I’m more likely to turn to you. When you respond quickly to my call for help, I’ll remember. The next time I’m in a sticky situation, I’ll crave that relief and look to you. Then, hopefully, I’ll work to avoid sticky situations.
Hold me accountable.
Remember when I said I struggle with accountability? Once I’ve seen that you’re consistent, I’ll answer your call for accountability. The next time I cancel or reschedule our meetup, I’ll care about your frustration, and it won’t make me feel good. Give me some time to get to this point, but hold me accountable for my actions.
Be real, transparent, honest.
Talk is cheap, and I know it. I don’t sugarcoat things, and I don’t want things sugarcoated. If you’re upset with me, let me know why. If you’re having issues with something in your own life, don’t hide it from me. I need to see you solve problems, so I know what to do when I face them.
Cover me in prayer.
I’m probably not doing this for myself so cover me in prayer. Pray with me before we eat or when we’re talking about a hard situation. Let me see and hear you pray so I can take note. Pray for me until I know how to pray for myself.
Don’t give up on me.
Please, please, please don’t give up on me. If you give up on me, I give up on me. Speak life to me, encourage me at my lowest point, reach out your hand when I’ve fallen down. I will fall, time and time again. I will let you down. Love me anyway. Show me, Jesus.
The overarching theme here is love. Love me like Jesus. I’m not so different from his followers when you think about it. Learn my love language and speak it back to me. Walk the hard road with me, and I’ll meet you on the other side. But most of all… Love me like Jesus.
Hey, Y’all! Just another Millennial here and one southern raised, Bible-believing Christian. The soil I call home is in Shreveport, Louisiana. I know the love of a good family but was transformed by the love of a Savior. The love I receive from him I try to duplicate to others. A passion for God’s word and advancing his kingdom is what compels me to write. Growing in the knowledge of Him is what I hope you, and I accomplish. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.
Please like and share this post if it ministers to you, and make sure to visit Shelby on her social media channels. I would love to hear if you have other ideas about how to reach millennials for Christ. Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.
Life can be so complicated and unpredictable. Today has been one of those days for me. My day started off with three MRIs: one for my brain, one for my neck and one for my back. My dear sweet husband took the morning off from work to hold my hand, comfort me, and pray for me because he knows that I am claustrophobic and that MRIs cause me great anxiety! Today was one of those days when I just needed my husband’s presence. As I went further into the MRI tube, he held my leg, and just knowing he was there brought me tremendous comfort. While sitting in the waiting room before my MRI and filling out my paperwork, I realized that today is February 13, my mom’s birthday. If my mom were still alive today, she would have turned 77!
We think we have to do something, but presence is a powerful action of its own. – Sarah Beckman
I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately. She died a few years ago after she was taken off of life support just days after Christmas. Family relations and emotions were all running high. Many friends called, texted and offered support. Whenever anyone offered to help I would simply ask for prayer. I would say that I was alright when in reality I wasn’t.
In trying times, people tend to say they are okay and don’t need anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I will never forget the loving kindness of a friend who offered to stop by the hospital to bring food, and she would not take no for an answer. Not only did she bring me food, but she also took the time to listen to me. We prayed, we sang, and she sat with me as the Lord called my mom home. Her presence at that moment in my life was powerful and it is a gift that I will forever cherish.
How do we walk alongside someone in the midst of trying circumstances?
There’s a unique opportunity to love our neighbor when they experience a time of trial in their life. – Sarah Beckman
We all experience difficult trials in life, and we know people close to us that suffer hardships. How do we love and care for others well in their crisis? The answer to this question is the purpose of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial. This must-read book is an invaluable resource for walking alongside those in need.
This book is filled with questions to consider. It offers practical ways to love people through the storms of life and will help you figure out the best way to respond to the individual’s needs. You will learn to know your place in relationship to the person in need, and what you should do accordingly. It will also give a good understanding of possible needs and how people may be feeling, including general guidelines to consider and questions to help prepare for the journey ahead.
Part 2 of the book is dedicated to taking action. Know when to go, and when to pray. When I went to the hospital to give birth to my son whose heart had stopped beating in my womb, my sweet friends wanted to come to the hospital. While having my friends at the hospital that day was a kind gesture, what I needed most was time to grieve alone with my family. There is a chapter dedicated to respecting the person’s journey and includes information on privacy and dignity, and other chapters offer specific help, including being present, showing love through food, listening well and much more.
Finally, the book concludes with chapters on special circumstances, including: messy situations, when faith isn’t shared, when you’ve been there, when someone is aging, and terminal illness. In the appendix, there are scriptures for loving your neighbor which are divided into categories and a list of websites, books, and other helpful resources like meal coordination and online fundraising.
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
I have one autographed copy of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial to give away!
From now until February 28th, leave a comment below with either a way that you have come alongside someone in need or how someone has blessed you in a difficult time, to be eligible to win. Also, if you enjoyed reading this blog post please share with a friend.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic week!
You know who you are! My right-brained people who just need to create. Our Heavenly Father is the original creative! In the beginning, God created the heavens and filled the earth with such Majestic beauty! Even the Heavens declare the glory of God!
We do not serve an in-the-box one-size-fits-all God.
So why not communicate with God in creative ways?
God is always ready to connect with us, and we have access to throne room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can boldly approach the throne at any time, no matter where we are! No longer do we need a High Preist to offer sacrifices or atone for our sins. Jesus is our mediator and great High Priest. Have you ever thought about communicating with God through your art or another innovative way?
You have got to get a copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God: Designed to Pray!
Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray is not your typical prayer book! This little gem is filled with both wisdom and fun ingenious ways to connect with God in a visually stunning way. Creative Ways to Engage With God takes you on an eight-week journey that includes quotes, Scriptures, reflection questions, prayers, and songs. Whether you are new to prayer, have been praying for years, or just want to infuse new life into your prayer time, this book is for you, especially if you appreciate both art AND the importance of prayer!
Explore, Play, Pray
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
This week one lucky person will win a copy of this inspirational prayer book! There are two easy ways to be eligible to win your very own copy of Creative Ways to Engage With God – Designed to Pray:
Have you seen the television show This is Us? I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I love it, but I bawl like a massive baby through each episode! One episode really hit home. Dr. K comes out to give Jack the sad news that one of his triplet babies is stillborn. Jack is entirely stunned and is trying to process what has just happened. Dr. K tells Jack that he and his late wife lost a child when they were first married and how he thinks of that baby every day.
He encourages Jack by saying if “you can take the sourest lemon that life hands you, and make something out of it that resembles lemonade, then maybe one day you can provide another man hope.” Wow! I bawled as I watched this… I sobbed uncontrollably.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”8k0m_” via=”yes” ]We all experience tragedy, grief and difficult seasons in life. We don’t all have the same hard, but we all go through difficult seasons.[/ctt]
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)
This week, a picture popped up on my facebook memories from 7 years ago. I took a look at this picture and the smile on my face and thought, “I can’t believe all that has happened in my life in the 7 years since this photo was taken.”
When this picture was taken, I was in my 30’s and I have a huge smile on my face, not knowing what the years ahead would hold. My husband had just bought me a BMW. We were living the American Dream with our home in the suburbs, our 3 kids, and a dog. We were surrounded by family and friends, and life was good.
I was homeschooling my boys, living life, and the future was bright. Much to my surprise a few weeks before my 40th birthday, I found out that I was pregnant!
I birthed and buried my baby that following year.
My long-awaited son was stillborn. Within a short period of time, I went from living life on the mountaintop of life to quickly descending into years of agonizing, soul-crushing pain.
Life didn’t stop and I didn’t slow down. I pushed the pain down, put on a happy face and just kept going. In between my days of intense grief, there were happy times too. I helped Jacob start a Model NATO debate league for high schoolers, and host conferences and workshops. Most of my days were filled living life to the fullest loving my sweet husband, homeschooling the boys, going to church, doing Bible Study, cooking tons of meals and washing a million loads of laundry, traveling across the country with Jacob and Ian for Speech and Debate, and driving Connor back and forth to therapy and school.
Jacob later graduated from our homeschool, took a gap year, and it was during this time that the health of my mom rapidly declined. We spent our Christmas that year going back and forth to the hospital. My mom was put on life support, and after many years of pain and suffering and battling illness, she died a few days after Christmas. After her death, I cried nearly every day for almost a year and I was consumed with grief. In between my days of intense grief, there were good times, but this season was marked by agony and major life transitions. We were in a serious transition period. We moved for the first time in 15 years, Jacob started college, and Peter changed jobs!
After we moved, I struggled to get our life back to normal, although I am not really sure our life has ever been “normal.” We moved into our home 2 weeks before the new school year started. On top of that, we began renovations on our home immediately. Things were pretty chaotic.
A few months after we moved into our home, and eleven months after the death of my mom, my dear sweet Mother-in-Law suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. This sent rippling effects through our immediate and extended family. Once again we found ourselves devasted by loss and heartbroken in the valley of the shadow of death.
Fall turned to Winter and Winter turned to Spring.
We found ourselves out of the valley and back on the mountaintop of life again. We continued our home renovations, bought new furnishings, and put in a pool. Things were finally looking up, and it looked like 2015 was going to be a great year, and it was until spring break came, and I broke both of my arms in a bicycle accident and was incapable of doing anything for myself for weeks on end. My guys had to feed me, dress me, brush and floss my teeth, fix my hair and do my makeup. They literally had to do EVERYTHING for me! During my recovery, God was very near and taught me many things. After months of healing and therapy, I was finally beginning to get my life back.
Soon after we discovered that Connor was not Autistic, but that he was suffering from PANDAS and Auto-Immune Encephalitis. Which began months of intense medical inventions and therapies.
Most recently, I hit my head and suffered a concussion, and was laid flat on my back in complete darkness and silence as I healed. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and for weeks I suffered the effects of that concussion. I spent hours in my room by myself in the dark completely overwhelmed by sight and sound. I am still feeling some of the side effects of my concussion today, and hope that the symptoms soon reside.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”SXRd2″ via=”yes” ]Life is uncertain.[/ctt]
It is filled with both personal victories and mountaintop experiences in between the valleys. Life has continued to give us some of the most bitter pills we have ever had to swallow, but through it all, we have become stronger as a family. We have become closer to our Saviour. We have learned that life is hard, but God is good. He gives us beauty for ashes, and His Love for us incomprehensible! It is not just about taking lemons and making lemonade.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”GBklS” via=”yes” ]It is about trusting Jesus with our life and our circumstances.[/ctt]
With Jesus, the scripture says, we can do all things! No matter what the future holds, for those who are in Christ, we are clothed with strength and dignity and do not need to fear the future. We know God is with us and that he loves us and wants good for us. He has given us a hope and a future, no matter what comes our way!
My friend, I don’t know what lemons life has given you. Your hard is not my hard but hard comes in all shapes and sizes. The road ahead may be uncertain, but I am here today to tell you that no matter what you are going through today, it is temporary and cannot be compared with the glory that awaits us in heaven! Press on, and continue to fight the good fight of faith.