A Quick Clarification of Feelings and Gut-reactions

I feel like I need to explain something about myself, because I’ve only recently begun to realize that people don’t think the same way I do. Surprise! Okay, I’m kind of kidding, because I do know that people think differently, but I didn’t realize they didn’t understand my way of thinking, and at the risk of sounding self-centered, I want to explain.

If you’ve known me for awhile or if we’ve had extended one-on-one conversations, you probably know some of my weaknesses. You have probably seen at least part of my struggles, and you probably know some of the doubts I wrestle with. That’s because I usually give out that information without hesitation, especially if you have showed a bit of your own vulnerability to me. But I realize some people might be confused as to why I so readily share those things. Here’s why–because I am encouraged when others share their own vulnerability, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

This will sound mean for a moment, but when I hear that others are struggling with the same things I do or in the same ways I struggle, my first thoughts are thoughts of encouragement (to myself, I mean.) I think things like, “I’m not alone.” “Other’s have been here too.” “This problem is defeat-able.” “We can do this together.” That is why when someone shows a piece of their heart to me, my gut reaction is to show a piece of my heart to them, and show the same struggle in my own life. I will say (or at least think) things like, “Yes, I’ve struggled along those lines.” “That happened to me too at this time and that time.” “I deal with this too.”

What I’m realizing is that this doesn’t always come across as an encouragement. It either comes across as 1) trying to one-up their pain with my own pain or 2) giving them an excuse not to deal with it. That’s not it at all! My pain is no more important than your own, and even though some trials seem so much larger than others, I know that while you’re in them–they are all painful! What might be a small deal for one person, is huge for another, so to each his own. Also, if you are dealing with sin, there is no excuse to let it sit and fester. I only want to be there to help you.

Before I close, I do also acknowledge that my feelings above are not always the case. Sometimes I am in a bout of self-pity, I am too self-centered, and I talk before I listen. That aside, I only want to understand and be understood.

I suppose all I would like to say is that I really do care, I want to fight with you, and I’m sorry if I’ve ever hurt you by talking about myself instead of letting you talk about yourself.


A Testimony from a Sister

I know an amazing woman who has struggled with debilitating pain for quite some time now. Her body has tremors and it is hard for her to do some things, but her attitude, smile, and testimony have blessed the entire church, particularly me. She isn’t shy of sharing her struggles, and she loves the Lord.

A while ago she wrote out some things to share with the church and for awhile I forgot that I had planned to post this to my blog. I found it extremely encouraging to read over again.

Some comforts the LORD has shown me:

1.  Lamentations 3:22-23His new mercies and loving kindness each morning and it is ok to feel depleted at the end of the days because He givith more grace…

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

I am learning so much more of the LORD.  That at the very right moment He gives us what we need.  He may not take away the trial and it may get even harder.  But at the right moment He whispers His love to me.  A visit from a saint, a letter in the mail, a faithful brother or sister interceding, a scripture of Truth, and just a peace that surpasses understanding that this place is where I have you be.  His faithfulness to draw me back to Him when I stop looking to Him.  And oh so much more each and every day…This trial our trials allows us to experience our Father at such a deeper level. His grace is sufficient

2.  the necessity of the saints

Oh How we need each other.  How family of God is a grace from God.  I would have stopped running this race if I was left on my own.  The LORD uses us to help each other press on and know Him more.  During this time knowing the saints were interceding when I was to weak, getting a letter that didn’t just say God is going to make you well keep on fighting.  But letters filled with Truth reminding that healed or not healed to keep my eyes on Christ.  To find rest in Him and Help from each and every moment.  The days when I could barely speak the saints that Traveled from Kirksville would read me the Word, pray, and sing praise.  Most of the time early on I would forget what Word they brought and feel like I was empty.  But they didn’t stop coming, they didn’t stop writing, they didn’t give up on me, Christ shown through them brightly.  They helped carry their sisters burden.  I was still part of the family even miles away. And then here the warm welcome from you all. Coming to visit and pray. To show much love and concern for a stranger. To welcome me in your homes and lives. To make me part of your fellowship. Oh what a grace from the LORD.

Through out the Bible it shows the necessity of loving each other and running the race together.  

3.  choosing to believe Christ and put to death the lies

 I remembering lying in the hospital bed early on.  Before I realized this was not going to be short lived.  And the LORD brought to mind that I must choose to believe His Word and stand on His promises no matter how messed up it seemed.  And it was a decission that was going to have to be made with each attack. That I didn’t need to try to figure out what was going on.  I just needed to keep my eyes fixed on Him.  Isaiah 55:8

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

  1. Over this time when I do not take every thought captive and Philippians 4:8

think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. When I neglect this I fall into sin I start looking at myself, my circumstances, and mans thoughts.  Which results in broken communion with the LORD, a soul that is in despair and weary.  At points I confess that I get tired of fighting the fight to have to stand firm but when I don’t stand on Christ alone my feet get knocked out from under me.  We are in battle and battle is not a breeze and relaxing. As children of God we must press on.  We must cry out daily for the LORD to show us more of Him and allow the Power we already have to flow out stronger.  Our hope and expectation must not be in a laid back, delightful time here on earth but in what’s to come.  When we are in heaven with no sin or consequences of sin, getting in the way of our fellowship with the LORD.  The LORD is kind and gives us seasons of refreshment but He is also kind and gives us what we need more affliction and trials to draw us more and more to .  Daily ask the LORD for help…when you fall repent, keep seeking, keep focusing on scripture, keep running, tell the LORD you cannot do it and for Him to move mightily and give you victory

4. We as Christians have all that we need.  We can have all our dreams and desires stripped away.  Our life we are comfortable with can come crashing down in a moment and we can have a peace because God is sovereign and He has the best plan for each of our life.  Christ is enough and He will complete the work He began in you.

I am not sharing this because I have mastered it because I still have much to learn but I do share this to encourage you with your trials and afflictions!! I encourage  that each of you will allow the LORD to use the trials to grow you in Him and for Him to make His Truths a testimony of His promises ALWAYS being true.  If you don’t hope in Christ.  Repent and believe search until you find the LORD.  Seek Him because today is the day of salvation.  Christ is all that satisfies.

I praise God for placing the doctor and church so close together, for Him knitting me amongst this flock, and all the love and kindness so many have shown me.  Oh how it blesses the saints in Kirksville to know that I am in good hands and surrounded by saints to help me carry this burden.  Praise the LORD!!

Praise the Lord indeed!