Silence…Solitude…Worship…

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We all live very busy lives.  I wear many hats, but not as many as some.  Some days trying to juggle 2 jobs, ministry activities, being a wife, cooking dinner, cleaning the house & doing laundry becomes very overwhelming, not to mention trying to cram in a moment  for devotion and quiet time with God; and let’s be honest we all want a little “ME” time; doing what we love to do.  Maybe a hobby, sitting by the fire with a hot cup of coffee, reading a favorite magazine or book, or soaking in a hot tub of water.  By the time I lay my head down at night I am exhausted and honestly, some nights I pray with tears in my eyes,  “God  I can’t do this anymore… I am tired!”  
 
Over the last  month I have been really struggling with time management. Trying to figure out what things in my life are important and what things I need to let go.  Digging deep into God’s word and crying out to Him to help me and to guide my every move, desperately pleading for God to speak to me and show me what to do.  
 
Today GOD spoke to me LOUD & CLEAR! It was amazing!  My answer came when finishing the last couple pages in a book I am reading.   I need to practice silence and solitude.  I enjoy being busy, helping others, and engaging with people. I feel awkward and uncomfortable when it is quiet. 
 
Luke 5:16 says,  And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.  Jesus knew He had to get away and spend time with his Father.  
 
God knows about the constant demands in our lives.  He wants us to spend that silent, solitude time with Him. A place of refreshment and release.  
 
I am challenging myself to spend silent time each day with my Heavenly Father, worshiping Him.  A time for me to regroup and refocus on my everyday demands in life.   I believe that is the answer to fixing that feeling of being overwhelmed with all of life’s demands.  I believe that this will help to lessen the anxiety, and tension that I can no longer bare. 
 
Matthew 11:28 says,   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 
God loves you! We must trust that He can and will handle every energy-zapping, life consuming event that comes our way.  This trust starts and grows in silence and solitude through worship. 

Thorns hurt…

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Most of us have a thorn or maybe thorns in our life. Some are small; others are gigantic . Some thorns are easy for others to see, some people hide their thorns. Regardless most everyone has a thorn in their flesh.

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

During a study that I am working through I was reading 2 Corinthians and was reminded of my thorn and how God has helped me work through this burden that I struggle with daily.

Almost nine years ago I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I went to many doctors who ran test after test and pumped me full of different medicines trying to help me be successful at having a child . I did all the at home remedies and followed all of the doctors orders. I wanted a child so bad and it completely took over my life. I became obsessed with trying to get pregnant. I was angry, hurt and devastated. I could not be around other ladies that were pregnant or had small children. I cried all the time and was very depressed.

After being stubborn and selfish for 2 years, thinking I was strong enough to handle this thorn on my own, I gave this thorn to God. Our God is powerful and if we are completely dependent on Him He will help us with our thorns.

I still struggle with not being able to have a child, but I have now realized that God has a plan for me. If I humble myself before Him and put all my trust in Him he will give me the strength to handle my thorn.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says:

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God’s power is made perfect in our weakness, and maybe God is asking us to take a different look at that thing that hurts us the most, so that His glory will be made perfect in us and through us.

A God of Much Grace

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I was raised in church and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 7, but at age 19  I turned my back on God.  I thought I could take care of everything on my own.  I had just married my highschool sweetheart, Jarrod,  and life could not be any better. 

We slowly stopped going to church, missing a service here and there. Eventually we were out of church all together.  Our excuse, “It is a 60 min round trip… We are looking for a church closer to home…”.  When mom would call and check on us I would lie and tell her we were visiting other churches. 

If missing church was not bad enough, we then started living above our means.  We bought the nice electronics, the nice cars, all the latest toys and gadgets; knowing that we could not afford any of it.  We continued spending  money that we did not have and had all these “things” that we did not need.  The bills continued to pile up and we were sinking fast.  However, at the time we did not see this.  We just pretended everything was okay.  We made new friends and partied hard every weekend; drinking, and living a sinful lifestyle. 

With the combination of being out of church, having no money and lots of debt, and living a sinful lifestyle our marriage begin to fall apart.  I threatened to leave Jarrod numerous times.  Jarrod and I were constantly arguing and angry with each other. The love and respect that we desired was nowhere to be found.  Our lives were in shambles and things kept getting worse. 

One late Saturday night in September, 2009 Jarrod informed me that we were going to church the next day.  So the next day, we got up, put on our “Sunday Best”,  and drove to a small church about 5 miles from our home in Troy, NC.  That Sunday I realized how far I had drifted away from God.  He broke my heart, showed me that what I was doing was wrong, and that I needed to repent and turn back to Him. 

With the love and help of our forgiving Lord and Savior, family, and church friends we turned our lives around and began serving our Mighty God.  We became involved in church activities and we never missed a service.  A year later Jarrod surrendered to the ministry.  We left our family, friends, and everything we knew to following the Lord’s calling.  We are now serving at Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, TN and I thank God daily for his mercy and grace.

I am so thankful that we serve a God that never leaves us even when we turn our back on Him.  We serve a forgiving God that is there with open arms ready to pick us up and brush us off when we mess up. 

It is not to late to turn your life around and start over.  If God can forgive and  use a sinner like me, who almost completely ruined her testimony, He can use you too.