Another week has passed and yet I still feel at a loss for words to write on my blog page. I suppose I need to just let my thoughts and feelings flow and share the deeper pulse of my heart. Yet, even that seems so difficult for me to do.
I’m reminded of the writings and the devotions that Ann Voskamp has shared (some her own, some are guest writers) on her blog, “A Holy Experience”. God had shown me so much whenever I read her daily posts. I’ve noticed over the years that she often poses questions (using the 5W’s and 1H) in the titles of each post. Those questions form a theme for the meat of the writing.
As summer quickly fades out and the fall season begins, I have been reflecting on not only what I have learned, but also what God is teaching me through some very difficult circumstances. Most of these lessons have been nothing short of excruciatingly difficult. Yet, as I have pulled through each of them, I come out renewed and so much wiser and stronger.
I noticed in Ann's blog, that the same has often taken place. I decided to share some lessons from some of her recent posts that I have also learned.
Here are the questions posed:
When…without explanation, I was accused and rejected, I felt helpless and had no strength to defend myself. I had not been anchored in Christ's Word.
My spirit was crumbling, but deep down there was a vapor of strength. I cried to God, “Rescue me, I cannot rescue myself.”
- · God rescues us to restore us. He frees us to cover us with grace — not control us with guilt. Trust more in Him than you trust in the oppression that has crushed and controlled you. (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/09/when-you-feel-a-bit-invisible/ )
What…do I do when I feel lost, alone, and am hurting?
There were times in my life when I was desperate for God’s presence. When I decided to spend more time in God’s presence He spoke to me.
- · God yearns to spend quiet moments with us and help us grow more and more aware of His presence as we seek Him. He says, “When no one else seems to understand you, simply draw closer to Me.” He has made Himself completely accessible to you and is waiting for you to come to Him. So accept His invitation, enter in, allow yourself to be overwhelmed by God — and then declare His glorious being to the world (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/08/your-invitation-to-exhale-all-the-stress/ )
Where…do I go when I have to make a decision? Where do I turn when the seasons of change in my life start taking place?
There were some days I needed wise words from an older, more experienced mentor. And some days I needed crazy laughter and long sunlight and to really just get outside and feel life and breathe… And there were days when change was painfully hard.
- · I thank God that as I lift up my foot to step into the next season, He is graciously placing it down exactly where it should fall, knowing I can only experience the true goodness of one season — because of the others I have gone through.
Who… is my hope, my anchor, my strength? Who do I give thanks to when I am tearing through what He has so graciously given me in this season of my life?
I’m very guilty of rushing about – from my house to work to my mom’s house, and back to my house again – and, all the while, my mind is racing, my blood pressure is rising and all I can think about is what’s next…And I forget that these days are gifts - Gifts given by a most gracious Father.
- · We need to stop racing – and start resting, to take a break – and just start listening, to stop worrying about what’s next and to be amazed by what’s right in front of us. Because His goodness, His grace and His glory – they’re all around. We just need to keep our eyes open and listen to a gentle beckoning : “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Ps. 39:4-7)
Why… now, this moment in history, is the world facing the worst crisis in decades?
I’ve heard and seen the heart-stopping stories. And I know that the Love of God, for such a time as now, will not be stopped.
- · The Church(capital C) has always been for the stranger, the Savior. In our time, in this moment of history, we get to be the hands of Jesus and have a part in the redemptive story that He wants to write through us, His people, the Church, for such a time as now. (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/09/why-now-is-the-churchs-moment-it-will-take-all-of-us-not-to-miss-it-wewelcomerefugees/ )
How…should I feel about the people who strike a difficult cord in my life? How do I respond to those who broke my heart and those who have been my rock?
I obsessed over pushy demands, angry words, and hurtful threats. From our summer vacation to moving my son up north, I learned that summer’s gifts are not always what I expect – but it’s everything I need.
- · In the midst of worried hearts and hopes and fears, Jesus meets us where we are. In the midst of our unexpected storms and beautiful miracles, we can feel His goodness surely. He goes before and behind and He is always faithful. (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/08/when-your-summer-was-a-bit-of-a-bust-and-not-at-all-what-you-hoped/ )