"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Backseat Sermons - The Beauty in the Back Roads

God really uses the strangest situations to speak right to us. The girls and I were on our way back from picking up lunch after church today, when Nevaeh straight up preached right to my heart with one comment. 

I am not a fan of interstate. I like back roads. Those who know me well, know I would rather take a scenic backroad to get somewhere over the monotony of interstate any day. So as we are driving one of those back roads home – here’s the conversation that went down:

Nevaeh: “Mama, do you take this road to work in the morning?”
Me: “Yes, most days.”
Nevaeh: “You like back roads don’t ya mama? They’re a lot prettier than interstate.”
Me: “Yeah. I like the scenery.”
Nevaeh: “Yeah. You get to see a lot more. I like it to. It’s almost like the pretty things are hidden. But you don’t get to see those things at all on interstate.”
Oh my! What a word!! When on the journey to the destination God has ordained for us – we often want to take the interstate route. The shortcut, straight through, easiest, fastest route there. But taking that route causes us to miss out on the beauty found on the back road, the hard path. The path with twists and turns and uncertainty. The path with hidden beauty, where it may take a little effort on our part to find the good stuff hidden.
The past 2 years of our life have been a drive down the back road. There have been hills we didn’t have the strength to climb. There have been more twists and turns than we would like to admit. There were times when I asked God “Are we there yet?” but oh the beauty we discovered along the way. We have joy in these trials because they have indeed produced perseverance. I am thankful for the strength our marriage has gained by taking these twists and turns together. I am thankful for the strengthened faith built by trusting the Lord when we couldn’t see where we were going.
Chris and I were just having a conversation the other day, about what a difference one year makes. Last year at this time – we were at one of our lowest points. But we were holding on to God with faith that He would stay true to His promises to us and see us through that storm and boy, did He ever. I could have never imagined we would be where we are today. What God has done for us over the past 2 years is nothing short of a miracle (that is a blog post for a different day.) But the wisdom we have gained, the blessings we have seen may not have been visible on the easy path.
So today I encourage you – if God has you on a tough road, have faith and look for the blessings all around you. They’re there!

Friday, March 24, 2017

When Heartache Hits...

This week has been a week of loss. We lost my grandmother, a dear friend lost a family member and the Christian blogging community lost a sweet, sold out to Jesus soul – that loss is still gripping me this morning.

Personally speaking – in the midst of my cries for peace and comfort have been shouts of “why” and “help me understand Lord.” Death is never easy…it’s a lighter blow when it comes at the end of lengthy, uphill health battle…but easier, NO. But when death comes unexpectedly – to a young mama of 4 kids or a teenager just starting to make their mark on this world – death becomes deeper. And if we’re not careful we’ll let that deep hurt seep in and become whispered lies of the enemy that our God is not faithful, our God is not good…or God is not an ever present help…

Yeah, the enemy likes to take times like this and use them to create a divide between us and the only One with the power to heal that deep hurt, to give peace in those moments of devastation – to bring about assurance where that doubt has sparked up.

Psalm 73:26 tells us:

“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

No – my ‘self’…my carnal mind will not understand…grief can be a catalyst for doubt and fear and worry…and that’s why we desperately need to cry out to the Father during these times of heartache – because our strength will never be enough and our flesh will deceive us.

The Geneva Study Bible says ‘portion’ means “God is our whole sufficiency, and ONLY contentment”.

God is our ONLY contentment! When the storms of life arise and bad, unjustifiable things happen to good people – the world would have us blame God – but the Word shows us God is the only comforter that will suffice. He is our whole sufficiency – meaning nothing apart from Him will be enough to fill that void left by loss in our lives.

I’ve often heard that noting in life is certain…but death. It’s a morbid truth that still doesn’t make the sting of life lost any less painful. And believe me – questioning God’s motives or lack thereof, having doubt in the goodness of God, allowing our faith to slip in times of troubling circumstances only further delays the comfort and peace God longs to give us during these times.

But…I can promise (because I have been there this week) – crying out to God, letting God take all that pain and turn it into peace, is possible. He hasn’t equipped us to live this life alone – to carry these burdens by ourselves. He absolutely will allow us to go through things that we can NOT bear on our own – because it drives us back to where we belong…at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to carry those burdens for us – and to give us strength to face each day that follows.

What do we do when devastating things happen? When heartache hits, when tragedy blindsides us; go to the Father. God tells us in Isaiah 41:10 He will “strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

And He will…He has given me comfort and strength this week – He has made grief and the pain of death more bearable…all I had to do was seek Him…and I found that our God IS faithful, our God IS good and our God IS a an ever-present help.


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