Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Posts tagged truth
Marching Orders on Dark Days

sd Lord I read Your promises…I believe Your words…

A bruised reed He will not break Mt. 12:20

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit – a shattered heart placed before You – these You will not despise. Ps 51:17

He heals the wounds of every shattered heart – binds up their broken hearts. Ps 147:3

I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited.  Ezek 34:16

So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship…strengthen your weak knees for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths as all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed.  Heb 12:12-13

God is here, right here…He’s on His way…He will save you.  Isa 35:4

Promises made…promises kept.

Be still , and know that I am GodStep out of the traffic!  Take a long loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything. Ps 46:10

Keep your mouth shut and let your heart do the talking.  Isa 30:15

Let me sit in Your stillness and soak in Your love and dwell in Your words of promise.

The comfort we are so desperate for, especially in times of suffering, is not found in answers.  It is found in the abiding presence of God.

 Don’t stop marching on.

Lovingyougood…sd

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"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Hannah Nelson. First, she’s awesome (read more below to get a glimpse of the awesomeness). Second, she’s one of my heroes. A woman of great faith, and fearless resolve, Hannah speaks to my tender heart, and I hope she’ll speak to yours, too. She says below that she hopes her experience is relevant to each of us and where we are in life. I’m betting it will be. I know it’s true for me.

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Hannah

Realizing how much I have grown in the last couple of years accompanies the knowing that I still have so far to go. Two years ago, I was a very different person. You may not be able to see it, but I can certainly feel it. My faith, which I would have considered strong at the time, felt like it was barely enough to keep my head above the rising flood that is infertility. I try to talk openly about this struggle because I think it is so underdiscussed and because I know how immense the impact this toll can have.

For me, infertility is the great storm that I experienced that required me to ask a lot of questions of God. Maybe you think that you can’t relate to my experience, but I think that my experience is very relevant to yours. For you, it might be finding a spouse, experiencing divorce, struggling with addiction, losing a loved one, battling health issues... A variety of experiences pose the opportunity for us to question God. This might bring us closer, or it might pull us away. How could God let this happen? Where is God now? Why me?

Even though I thought I had put my faith in God, I really didn’t believe that God had my best interest in mind if He didn’t provide me with the blessing of children when He saw how much pain I was in without them. It was through this experience that God illustrated the growth that can come through suffering. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Even though life’s struggles may threaten to weaken us, our weakness makes us strong in Christ! I have been made completely dependent on God in my journey, because I sought Him for peace, strength, and hope. And I found it! Although I don’t believe that God sends suffering our way, I do believe that he can use these things for His glory and that His miracles often bring us through to the other side. Whether that answer to prayer looks as we hoped, or whether it looks a bit different, that is up to my Father in Heaven who is much wiser than I and He who has good, good plans for me.

I have spent a lot of time in the bible looking for answers to these questions, and some of the questions are still left unanswered, but I found many things I wasn’t looking for. I found hope, peace, confidence, and much more! I no longer wait in discouragement or in defeat, but with hope and expectation!

While I continue to wait for the blessing of children, I have received so many blessings that I didn’t ask for, such as a strengthened marriage, a positive attitude, and amazing friendships. Many of these amazing friendships came from an amazing group of women that are a part of the Moms in the Making small group in Whitsett, NC. Each week we laugh together, support one another, and participate in a bible study that allows us to lessen the burden of infertility and focus on our God that provides the ultimate comfort, hope, and guidance from His many promises that He has left in His word for us to uncover.

If you or someone you know is walking through infertility, please share this group with them so they might also be blessed by this amazing group of women. Reach out by email to hannahdnelson94@gmail.com for more information, or go to exploresmc.org to register (look for it under Groups, then Women, then Current Women’s Groups).  Regardless, I hope that whatever you are waiting on God for, that you can wait with expectation of God’s good plan for you and in fellowship with your community that loves you so much!

MOMS

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We lift you up, dear Reader, in whatever waiting you are in (or will be in). Amen.

~Jessica 

I'm So Done With You Devil!

Dear Satan – It’s only in the past several months, do I feel like I’ve REALLY gotten to know you better. In no way do I consider you a friend, and yet you are always around me in your very unwelcome presence.

Satan, (which means adversary, but I’m sure you already know this) you have been trying to walk with me step by step lately. I prefer our relationship how it’s been most of my life: you farther away. You used to stay on the periphery of my daily routine and happiness. Somewhere recently, you decided to change how you interact with me. You’ve come closer to my loves and heart than I ever imagined. And I’m really getting sick and tired of it.

I must have forgotten what a dirty fighter you are. I see you try to invade and destroy family and friends. At least you are treating us all the same and seem to be working equally hard on them. And I see how you aren’t limiting it to just people I know. You’re giving it your best with worldly endeavors also. I imagine one of your favorite things and best weapons right now is technology. Our cell phones are a wonderful distraction from face-to-face interaction and conversation. This device which allows us to contact others around the world is remarkable at isolating us and has become a superb way for you to manifest neglect. Social media has provided you such a clear avenue to distribute hatred and self-loathing which is really doing a number on us as suicide rates are at an all-time high.

Don’t even get me started on how pornography has given you a great foothold and seems to have allowed you to gain incredible momentum. It invades the nooks and crannies of nearly anything electronic. There is currently a significant problem with human trafficking – often right under our very noses.

I’m seeing how Christianity is treading water right now as hundreds of churches are closing daily. Neither have I lost sight that our nation is staring at an opioid crisis that threatens a generation. Addiction of all types and abuse on every level is ruining so many lives. Processed foods and drinks provide a perfect canvas to wreak havoc on our human bodies.

There might not be many people who see you as Lucifer, but I know you wear other clothes to disguise yourself. Some of your favorite outfits seem to be doubt; heartbreak and pain; shame, pride and fear. You wear these so well that we often hang out with you in these “garments” for an extraordinary amount of time. Years sometimes even and when we wear them with you, we become quite comfortable in them.

Over the past year or so you started to snake your way into my earthly treasures. Like the coward you are, you are taking cheap shots while I’m weak and grieving my father who died last summer. You are working extremely hard on my son. You’re trying to sneak into my marriage and I know you are working on my physical and mental well-being. I confess. I often get tired of constantly fighting this battle. You’re an expert at what you do and sometimes my best strong is merely weak.

I remember how in the Bible, you tried to convince God that Job would turn away from Him. God allowed you to test Job. You brought out some big guns and did some terrible things and took almost everything from him including his animals, farmhands, his house and his children. It was hard for him: “I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” Job 3:26 (NLT). Yes, in his weakness, Job questioned God. We all do that. But ultimately, Job didn’t break. He still praised God. No matter what you did, Job would not curse God or lose his faith. After all of it, God blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning!

Dude, I’m like Job! I refuse to curse my Savior! I’ve read the Book and know that light always illumines the darkness! Light. Always. Wins!

Yep, I know I might have moments or even days and weeks of weakness, but God has made me strong. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives INSIDE ME (and us)! “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11 (NLT)

Satan, you can’t defeat that! You might as well stop trying. I refuse to give up and lose my faith. “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” James 2:19 (NLT) I’m glad God scares you and that you don’t like hearing He is the One. Maybe that will send you away.

And just to be clear: going forward instead of pain, shame, fear, pride and doubt, my new wardrobe will consist of the armor of God. “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 (I encourage you to also read verses 12-18). I will be diving into the Bible to wear truth instead of listening to the lies you whisper in my ear.

So, devil, I know you’re out there. I know you’re lurking everywhere and are catching us off guard. But you’re on my radar now. You will begin to lose your power. The love of Christ came to save us. Jesus came and showed us how to live. Unlike you, He is nothing but love. “We have all been made as a wonderful masterpiece to do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10).

Love wins, we win. And you, Satan, will lose.

In Christ’s love and truth, Angela

**image above from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-sunbeam-illusion-or-crepuscular-rays-The-sun-shines-through-clouds-creating-regions_fig2_258857320