He is Risen!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's a God Thing {Book Review}

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's a God Thing
When Miracles Happen to Everyday People
by Don Jacobson

About the book:
Some things in life have no earthly explanation.
Miracles are not reserved for the characters in the Old and New Testaments; they happen to everyday people.
Series creator Don Jacobson and K-LOVE Radio have joined together to produce one of the most remarkable collections of modern-day miracles ever compiled. From angel appearances in hospital rooms to a mother saved from a would-be assailant in Hyde Park, from a young autistic girl becoming a beautiful ballerina overnight to a young backpacker who walked away from a terrorist attack, It's a God Thing presents some of the most amazing stories of God's hand on our lives.
Be motivated as never before to look for and witness the incredible ways that God is interacting in your life and the lives of those around you.
Once I started reading this book, I didn't want to put it down! I'm a crier, so most of the stories made me teary. But mostly, time and time again, I was reminded that God is good.

The book is a collection of 46 stories different people, written in their own words, of when they experienced something that they knew just had to be a God thing. The stories make you feel connected to the author. This book is an easy read, with each story only a few pages long, making it a good choice for moms who can only spare a few minutes here or there to dip into a book.

Miracles do happen and have happened in my life. I was reminded that miracles don't have to be on a grand scale. It can be as simple as God putting someone directly in your life to pray for you or giving you one last glorious day with the person you love.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Moment It All Changed

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

As I sat at my desk, the wind outside is whipping. First one way and then another. I look out my window and see the leaves flying through the air. They can’t seem to find a solid place to land. One moment our lawn is filled with leaves and when I look again, they are gone.

That is what this season in my life has felt like.

For months I've been craving a solid place to land but it felt as if everything was blowing and changing around me, preventing me from landing.

One day the sailing on the wind was too much and I knew it had to end. For months on end I had craved change, prayed about it, blogged about it and then tried to change it. Trying, time and time again, to put my feet down and land. Not realizing the power wasn't in me to change it, but in Him.

This was, until the day I decided to have coffee with Jesus. Later that morning I was heading to have testing done. Testing that mattered. Mentally the "what if's" were driving me crazy. Over coffee that morning, I gave it all to Him. Not just the testing, but everything. He knew my feet were ready to be firmly planted on the ground. That morning, over coffee, He planted the seed of resolve in my heart.

I've realized this season in my life was necessary. The whole only comes after broken. Healing only comes after wounds.

I am embracing the change. That in itself is a ridiculous statement. I'm Amy, the girl that gets all twitchy, cranky and nervous at the thought of giving up the known for the unknown. Which confirms again, it's not me but all Him. For the first time in months, I feel grounded and centered. I know in my heart that I am exactly where He wants me to be. And that, my friends, is an amazing feeling. A feeling that is so welcomed!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

For some reason, I've always been drawn to this verse.  I always thought the jars of clay reference was beautiful, but I didn't understand it.  In my mind, keeping treasure in a jar of clay was an odd place.  Clay pots are fragile and easily broken.  When I looked at the clay pots I have (crocks) they are full of flaws, chips and cracks.

That's when I got it.

We are simply empty jars of clay, fragile and full of flaws. Until we have God. Then kept inside that broken, fragile, ordinary jar of clay is a treasure, a priceless treasure of immeasurable worth!

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

As we travel through this messy, unsettled, always changing journey of life, God gives us the choice to become clay in His hands. I am so thankful that He loves us so much that He gently molds us and makes us into a vessel of honor. We can come to Him with our cracks and brokenness and He will meet us right where we are and love us. He will transform something beautiful out of our life. He doesn't wait for us to "clean up our act".  Thank goodness because this girl is a slow learner!  He can see into the deepest depths of our hearts and He knows exactly what it will take to restore Hope into it. He showers us with his amazing grace. With God we are never too spoiled, too cracked or too broken. With him there is always hope. With him there is always a another chance.

Spoken For {Book Review}

Monday, April 07, 2014

Spoken For
by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke

About the book:
Say Yes to the Love Story of Your Life
A great romance was set in motion before you were born. A relentless Lover is pursuing you, and He has made His intentions clear. He wants you to be His forever. How will you respond to the One who longs for you to be His with your whole heart?
In Spoken For, Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke speak to your heart about what it means for you to belong to Christ, who you are because of His love, and how that affects the way you live. Drawing on biblical promises and their personal experiences, these two friends share what it’s like to live out God’s unfolding love story.
You are not up for grabs. You are spoken for.
This book came at a time when I really needed to hear the message it held. God is pursuing me. He loves me. I'm not up for grabs. I am loved. I am His. I was made in His image. I am precious to Him. I am spoken for. Oh how I needed to hear that.

This book is told from both Robin and Alyssa's point of view. The reader goes back and forth between both women, like you're listening to their conversation. It's super easy to understand and pick up who is saying what.

The main purpose of this book is to tell women that they are deeply loved by God. It's easy in our society to forget that. We get rejected, lose our self worth and get wrapped up in things that don't really matter. Before we even realize it, we've lost our focus. We can easily become consumed by worldly things, hoping they'll fill the gap, but truly only one wants to fill the gap.

This was an amazing book. It's soul lifting, spirit rejuvenating and each chapter you walk away feeling like you were created uniquely. I think any woman, no matter her age, can relate to the need to feel loved, or wanted, or called. This is an easy-to-read, more simplistic format that everyone can enjoy.  And with each chapter ending with reflection questions, it could easily be adapted for a small group study.  

You can visit Robin's website HERE and Alyssa's website HERE to find out more about them.    

WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

Pray More, Worry Less {Thanking}

Friday, April 04, 2014

Welcome to the third week of the study Pray More, Worry Less. Sorry it's a few days late. I'm so super excited for this weeks subject, being thankful.

Throughout our lives, we've all faced struggles. We've all made a mess of our lives at times. We've all had seasons of storms when it seems you can't even see the shore. No matter what form this season of your life comes in, we all know what struggling feels like. Every single one of us. And it's not a good feeling. And normally (in my case), it's not pretty. What makes the struggles a little easier to bear? Knowing we have someone to lean on. It’s so comforting to know that during those times, we are never ever truly alone.

It is not easy to be thankful in every circumstance. But when we choose to thank God in the midst of difficulty, it defeats the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm. When we thank God for every gift He has given us even when things are hard, the enemy loses the battle against us. He is stopped in his tracks when we come to God with a thankful heart.

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound, Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and hungry, both to abound and suffer need.
Philippians 4:12

Most of us are familiar with the trials and tribulations of Apostle Paul as he traveled and spread the gospel. At one point, Apostle Paul was in prison along with Silas.

Even in this situation–jail–Apostle Paul still resounded with joy. He and Silas had a devotional service right in their prison cell. You see, Apostle Paul lived for Jesus and for no other reason! And, Paul was grateful–even while he was in prison. In the darkest days of his life, he wrote Philippians, the most positive book in the Bible.

Paul knew the power of a thankful life. He was thankful in good times and bad. He knew that God was conforming him to His image through every trial he faced, if he handled it correctly. He knew that a heart overflowing with thanksgiving could turn any situation around for good.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thanksgiving is defined as the expression of gratitude, especially to God. Giving thanks to God for all of His blessings should be something that sets believers apart. We can't allow a spirit of ingratitude to harden our heart or change our relationship with God.

Be thankful for where you are! Be thankful for the job that you do have! Your house may not be as fancy as some others, but it’s yours. You may not even own a house–be thankful that you have somewhere to live–a place of rest. If there is nothing else to be thankful for, be thankful you have Jesus! It’s not about getting things in life, it’s about having a relationship with Jesus!

No matter what this hard season is, throughout pain and despair and when things are at their worst, there is always always always something for which you can thank God.Paul had been through so much, more than we could ever imagine. Yet, he was thankful. When asked how he did it, Paul replied, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

We tend to forget how blessed we are and focus solely on the problems we have. We need to switch our focus to how much the Lord has done for us, how good it is to still have joy, how good it is to be alive and well.

Legacy of Love

Friday, March 28, 2014

Today is the 50th wedding anniversary of two pretty amazing people.  A couple I've been blessed to call Mom and Dad.  Fifty years is a long time y'all, especially in this day and age.  To honor their super special day, I'm re-posting a blog I did last year about their legacy of love.

Last week, as I was cleaning my new office space in my home, I came across a box. As I opened the lid and peeked inside, I saw it was filled with old pictures. Instantly my heart soared.

As I've said before, I am enamored with old photos. So much so that it sparked this insatiable craving to take pictures of people. To me, pictures are priceless treasures. I found a box full of moments, perfectly captured, allowing me to travel back in time.

I settled down on the floor, sitting indian style and pulling the box over in front of me. As I started rifling through the photos, I realized what I was actually looking at. A smile graced my lips. I was looking at love letters, in pictures, my parents had sent back and forth while they were dating. My dad was in the military and stationed across the country. So their only way of communication was through letters and pictures.

At first, I felt like I had barged into a secret diary. But I just couldn't stop looking, reading and smiling. This is where the legacy of love began. The legacy that was passed to me and now on to my children.

And now the tears begin.

These pictures, so innocent and hopeful, with no idea of the future. Thinking about all of the highs, lows, and wonderful things they've experienced together over the years brought me to tears. They had no sense of the struggles they would eventually face. They had no idea they would someday have to hold each other through cancer, the death of loved ones and lost jobs. That one day they would travel to another state and adopt the sweetest baby girl ever. They had one thing...love.

Through that love, and devotion to each other, they sat such an amazing example of marriage and parenting for me. Every day, they wrote more of their legacy together. A legacy that will be remembered in lives long past their days on this earth. When we say words like legacy or inheritance, money or heirlooms usually come to mind. But the legacy I’m speaking of is different. It’s a legacy of priceless and intangible things. They've built a legacy of loving God, loving others before yourself and having a selfless heart.

I was given directly by God a family with two parents who are still married. I was given a family where both sets of grandparents were married until their dying day.  A family that bonds closer together during tough times rather than throwing in the towel.  At times, I wonder how I got so lucky...to be hand-picked by God and placed into this amazing family. Like a whisper in the wind I’m reminded that luck had nothing to do with it. This is part of my story, the one He wrote long before I was born.

They are incredible parents, living out a legacy of love passed down from both of their parents! They have never tried to be perfect, but they have tried to love me and others well and show us the best example of Christ that they could. They know how to fight when the enemy brings the battle close to home and they know how to praise when another battle is won. They are my legacy of love. 

Pray More, Worry Less {Trusting}

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hey y'all, welcome to the second week of our Bible study on praying more and worrying less.  If you missed last week's lesson, you can check it out HERE.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:3-4

We all have needs, desires, worries and concerns.  Sometimes not knowing the difference between them.  We know what would make us happy and we pray for it with all our might, asking God to help us get it.  I mean surely because we prayed for it we should get it, right?  And really, since it's our life, we know what the right answer should be.  When we don't get it, we feel frustrated and disappointed.  Or we actually get what we want, but find it doesn't make us happy as we thought.  Then many times we blame God for not holding up His end of the deal.

It comes down to one thing...trusting God.  Trusting His timing, His answer, His plan and His heart.  The remedy for anxiety and worry is complete trust and confidence in God's ability to deal with anything that threatens us.

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19

God has promised peace of mind to those of us who are willing to commit our worries and anxieties to Him.  That's where we (read this as where I) mess up. We want to trust in anything rather than the Lord. We'll trust in our own abilities (hello diet failures), in peoples judgment of us, in our money or our doctor. But the Lord? Well…

Who do you trust more: yourself or God? When we trust that God will provide for us and we need not worry about anything, we are freed to love God and neighbor. When I trust that God will continue to bless me, as God has always done, it's absolutely freeing and the weight is lifted off my shoulders. When I trust God to be God, I don't have to be!

Sometimes it takes reminders...day after day or minute after minute, that God rules.  He is still in control of all the situations life throws at us.  He can take your troubles, hold them in His hands and create something beautiful {Isaiah 61:3}.  The enemy wants nothing more than to have the pain in your life destroy you. But thankfully, our God is bigger!  He can bring good out of any situation or hardship if we only put our trust in Him.

This week, take some time to consider where you put your trust.

Pray More, Worry Less {Understanding}

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome and thanks for joining me!  I am so delighted that you are here.  I am so so so excited about this new Bible study!  In this study we are going to learn all we can about how to pray more and worry less.  Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about it too!

As I said before, this girl right here is a worrier by nature. Ugh, any of y'all with me on that one? It's not one of my better qualities. I worry about paying the bills, about Joey driving, about my dog having arthritis, about Joe's work, my family's health, about my housework, about my business, blah blah blah on and on. My to-do lists keep me awake at night. Because clearly laying awake at night worrying will get my chores done, right? Questions like what if and should I have swirl around my mind, holding me hostage and keeping me chained to my worries and fears.

As we get started, let's first take a look at a few definitions:
Worry - to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.  It comes from an Old English word that means "to strangle". 
Anxiety - an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.  It's basically an emotion caused by fearful thoughts.
Now that we know what worry and anxiety mean, let's look at what God says about them.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:25-27

So why is worry wrong? Jesus gives us several reasons in the above verses.  

Worry causes us to lose sight of who we belong to.  God is more than capable of taking care of us.  We belong to a sovereign God.  The word sovereign means God has absolute control over everything, all the details of life.  God will take care of us and He knows just what we need at each point in our life.  And because God knows what we need, He will take care of His children. 

Worry is a sin. Would you categorize worry alongside lying, adultery or overindulging in alcohol? They are all sins. Sure, we can gloss over it, sweep it under the rug and call it a day. That's easy to do, isn't it? Or better yet, let's rename it. That way we won't feel guilty about it. Let's call it stress, anxiety or just concern. Worry has taken on the form of a acceptable sin. We all do it...so, why even call it a sin?

We can't trust God and then worry, those simply don't go together. When we worry, it shows we don't trust God. Period. Worrying is the absolute opposite of trusting God. Worry shows that we not only believe He isn't capable of knowing our needs, but He doesn't care. We all know neither of those are true. Worry really comes down to trusting Him.

~ Worry accomplishes nothing.  Honestly, worry is a waste.  It ruins your day, normally (if you're like me) it ruins the day of everyone around you, it causes you health issues and it just plain stinks.  There is nothing productive about worry and it leads to no where.

When we worry, often times our health suffers.  It can cause ulcers, high blood pressure, heart problems, colon distress and headaches.  Let's not forget one other thing worry causes...sass, grumbling, grouchiness and shortness.  We end up not sleeping well because of it. Which then adds to the sass and grouchiness. You know how God told us to be the light of the earth {Matthew 5:14}, worry will put that light out quicker than lightening.

When we replace worry with prayer, then we have trust. We need to faithfully turn to God in prayer. We are to give our worries to God in prayer, trusting Him with all our burdens and cares. As a result, we will receive in return the peace we long for. That feeling of doom will go away and a feeling of peace will wash over you.

Come back next week where we will take a closer look at how to trust God and give all our worries fully to Him.  This week, keep your eyes looking up :)

Kindness Matters

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

As we left the doctors office, I slipped my hand inside my husbands.  He is such an incredible man, my rock.  No matter what news we're given, he always resounds with a hand squeeze and "it will all be okay babe".  This visit was no different...chronic pain, nodules, testing, pain clinics...he still found the right words to comfort me.  It had been a rough day, no doubt.  But with him by my side, laughter in the air and a 4 hour drive ahead of us it was deemed a date day!  And we all know a date day isn't complete without going out to dinner.

He pulled into one of my favorite restaurants.  As we started walking towards the door, I again slipped my hand inside his.  Time with him can turn any day around.  We were seated in a semi-private area.  Nearby I noticed a meeting going on with the restaurant managers.  One voice consistently stood out above the rest of them.  I tried to tune it out but the repeated sass and demeaning tone was rather obnoxious.  We did our best to ignore it and just enjoy our time together.

When we stood to leave, Joe dropped a pen on the floor.  He's been having back/hip issues so I hurried to pick it up for him.  When I bent over, the obnoxious voice behind me erupted with the most ridiculous laughter.  When I turned to look, she covered her face and laughed so hard and loud, completely embarrassing everyone at the table.  Her point of laughter?  Me.

Why?  Why did she laugh?  Why? Why did she feel that was appropriate?  Why didn't the others stop her?  Why was she so blatant?  Why didn't she care?  If she had known the day I just had, would she still have laughed?  Question after question replayed in my mind.

Oh kindness, so powerful yet so underused. In today's society, it's so easy to come in contact with someone who is unkind. The person at the mall you hold the door open for, who walks right past you without saying thank you. The person you accidentally pulled out in front of who gives you an unkind gesture. Or the manager of a restaurant that blatantly and openly makes fun of you.

Kindness is honestly one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. As Christians, kindness is something He expects from us. It allows Christ's love to shine through us. He doesn't want us to be unkind, we are to be different.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

We need to learn to be tenderhearted. When we start being tenderhearted, it's easy to be kind. Having a heart that is easily touched and sensitive doesn't mean you’re weak. Although that's what the world would say. If we are sensitive to those around us, we start seeing their needs instead of our own. Have a loving, tenderhearted, compassionate attitude and let it shine for everyone to see. 

Do to others as you would have them do to you 

Luke 6:31 

Acts of kindness don't have to be huge, expensive, flashy ordeals. Smile at someone, hold the door for them, give them the 30 cents they are searching for their McDonald's order, help them carry their bags to the car, hug them when you can see they need one, take time to talk to them and pray with them and for them.

You can change lives with your actions.  You can change a day with your smile.  You can change lives with your kindness. You can change lives by allowing Christ's love to shine through you. You might be the one voice in their life at the moment that they need to hear. Your encouragement might be the one thing that keeps them going. Maybe you are the one who is to help them see Jesus.

Your actions, words, prayers and love matter. Your kindness matters. It matters to those who receive it and it matters to Him. You might not be able to help everyone, but you can help someone.

The Storm Inside {Book Review}

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Storm Inside
by Sheila Walsh

About the book:
No matter the storm, God knows, God cares, and He is always there. 
The chaos of life can be overwhelming, and women get a heavier dose than most. Each day comes with its own pressures, heartaches, and disappointments that slowly erode the joy, peace, and closeness to God every woman needs. Chaos always feels like the enemy as it rages around us and inside us. But there is hope! 
In The Storm Inside, best-selling author and Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh invites you into ten life-changing, hope-filled transformations where hurt and heartache are divinely redeemed into joy and faith. With insightful biblical teaching, intimate stories of her own storms and the chaos other women have faced and overcome, Walsh shows how:
  • Heartbreak can become strength
  • Shame can lead to love
  • Unforgiveness can find freedom
  • Restoration can undo rage
  • Courage overcomes insignificance
  • And so much more 
In The Storm Inside, you will find strength in the most profound truths—that you are always a child of God no matter how you feel. In these pages, you will learn to see yourself as God sees you, not as someone forever tossed by the waves but as a woman fully known, fully loved, and growing ever deeper in faith, hope, and love. 
It is time as daughters of God to take the chaos of how we feel, lay it at the feet of God, and stand strong in who we are in Him. This simple teaching will be the difference between a life of joy and one of despair. Sheila powerfully reminds us that God offers no guarantee of a life without storms, but He does provide the strength and grace to make it through them.
Throughout the last few years of my life, chaos has seemed to become a new member of this family. There were days where sun up to sun down felt drenched with chaos. And these last few months, ack, we won't even go there. To say I'm an emotional person is an understatement. So a book that would help me deal with chaos and the emotions that go along with them? Yes, please!

I thought this book was a great read! There were times I laughed with her and a few times some tears were shed. It's easy to get drawn into the conversation from the author. Each chapter addresses the storm topic and ends with a section on how to "stand through your storm" which included a few tips and a prayer. This is in no way a one-and-done book nor is our struggle. This is a book to read over and over, learning something new each time. This would be a great gift to someone you know is struggling.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Pray More, Worry Less

Friday, March 14, 2014

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Since December, God has been speaking to my heart about prayer. He made is clear that my word for this year should be prayer. And that my verse of the year should be 1 Thessalonians 5:17. I will admit, I was kinda sad that I didn't get a "cool kid" word at first, but quickly realized that was just my spoiled brat nature coming out in me.

Over the past few months, I've spent lots of time in prayer.  I've kept a prayer journal (which I LOVE) and I've been studying prayer.  If it's going to be my word for the year then I should know as much as I can about it.

And with that, our next Bible study here at Forever Beloved was born...simply titled Pray More, Worry Less.  And I am SUPER excited!!!!  

Let me share a little with y'all...

This girl right here is a worrier by nature.  Ugh, any of y'all with me on that one? It's not one of my better qualities. I worry about paying the bills, about Joey driving, about my dog having arthritis, about Joe's work, my family's health, about my housework, about my business, blah blah blah on and on. My to-do lists keep me awake at night. Because clearly laying awake at night worrying will get my chores done, right? Questions like what if and should I have swirl around my mind, holding me hostage and keeping me chained to my worries and fears.

The trouble with worry is that it doesn't seem all that harmful. It has taken on the form of a acceptable sin. We all do it...so, why even call it a sin? Come on, it's just a little thought in our mind that no one else can see or hear. Let's just gloss over it, sweep it under the rug and call it a day. Or better yet, let's rename it. That way we can not feel guilty about it. Let's call it stress, anxiety or just concern. Yes, glad we solved that one!
But wait, renaming it stress and pretending it's not a sin doesn't make me feel any better.  I still feel yucky and I still lay awake at night thinking about scrubbing my carpets.

Join us here each Friday as we discuss getting rid of that never-ending feeling of doom by handing all our worries (and dirty carpets) over to God.  Our study will wrap up on Good Friday.  We can either keep getting upset and feeling hopeless or face our problems in a more positive and faith-filled manner by continually seeking and trust in the Lord by giving Him our burdens continually.

A Lonely Battle

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For 14 years I worked outside of the home.  I was the social butterfly of the office, flitting from desk to desk to chat.  This girl never was at a loss for words.  I was surrounded daily with friends, laughter and fellowship.  And I loved it.  I super loved it.  God gave this girl a craving in her heart for social connections.

When I became sick a few years ago and required multiple surgeries, I was eventually forced to make a difficult decision.  The answer was early retirement.  In that instant, my world changed.  I was walking into a new season in my life.  My social interactions would be now limited, more than I ever imagined.

At first the transition didn't seem so bad.  I would still visit my old job and do my normal flitting around the office.  But through time, those visits got less and less.  Now they are virtually nonexistent.  I would fill the void with occasional "friend time" with non-work friends.  But that eventually got less and is now nonexistent as well.  Broken friendships.  Failed friendships.  Walls built.  Days spent only talking to my dog.  Lunches alone.  Walks alone.    

How is it even possible to be a lonely believer?  Sounds like such an oxymoron, doesn't it?  I know that Jesus is my best friend, so how am I still lonely?  I have my husband and children.  I have my parents next door.  I have a Mama I talk to daily.  I have two dogs and two cats.  I have a life that boarders on crazy from time to time.  How is it possible among all of that for me to feel lonely?  Why does it make me feel guilty to even admit loneliness?

David, “a man after God’s own heart”, was lonely. In Psalm 25:16 he said to the Lord, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” David was lonely!  Wow, so a man after God's own heart, a man who clearly wasn't afraid of anything, was lonely and felt isolated.

I'm not sure exactly what my soul is craving, but God knows. And in that gap between my longing and Him fulfilling the fellowship I desire, I'm choosing to trust His timing.  It might possibly be the hardest thing I've done.  

How can I find comfort?  How can I find patience?  Where do I look?  In the love story He wrote for us, in His word.  I have taken on three verses for the year and every hard situation I'm faced with, these verses comfort me.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

If we aren't careful, satan can use this time of loneliness to enter sinful thoughts into our minds such as self pity, self-centeredness, bitterness, anger and jealousy. We may attempt to put a band aid on the pain by turning to the television, alcohol, shopping, binge eating, or excessive computer time.  We need to find our comfort through releasing our needs to God in prayer and trusting Him and His timing.  

As I write this post through tears, many tears, I urge you to allow Him to fill the gap.  Trust in Him, delight in His timing and allow Him to fill the hole inside of you.

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