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Monday, July 25, 2016

Thoughts on the pauses of life

Two years ago this week I began my blog, “Notes along the journey”. It doesn’t seem possible. So much has happened in those two years. I’ve enjoyed sharing my heart with you; especially encouraging you with God’s powerful Word. 

I kept plodding along with this blog. I may not post as often as I did in the beginning. I’ve just been too busy with life, as I’m sure you are. I hope my blog has been an encouragement to you. I pray it spoke to your heart. Perhaps I was able to speak just the right word to you. 

Every now and then on my Rambling Thursday’s edition, I’ll share something lighter, maybe even make you laugh. I also started an Instagram account. Check me out at: flowergirlluv2 

For today I thought I’d share my second blog, dated August 4, 2014. I thought it would be fitting as I been speaking on wilderness experiences the past two Sundays at church. This theme has been on my heart the past few weeks. 

Thank you friends for supporting my blog. I appreciate you all so much. 

“You have such a good attitude”. He looked at me sympathetically. Ordinarily, I would smile generously and feel warm, fuzzy thoughts that someone would take notice. But now, after a couple of months of struggling with the oncoming day when I would have to leave my job and move to another position, I didn’t take it so kindly. 

I grimaced a smile, muttered thanks, and turned away. “What good did it do me? This positive attitude?” It didn’t seem to do good at all. Yep I was indulging in a pity party. Please leave me alone while I retreat and lick my wounds in misery. You probably never been there right?? Yea, I thought so.

I was in complete shock when told I’d be transferred out of my present job. I didn’t see it coming. To be honest, it broke my heart. It was a dream job for me. I loved my job, loved my boss and my co workers. Now, my job would be to clean the office I previously worked in. No, I am not kidding! It was a hard pill to swallow. 

I spent the first month or so wallowing around in disbelief, hurt and anger. Then there came a point when I began to look outward instead of focusing on myself. I sought my Lord’s face, and enlisted my friends to pray. It wasn’t long before He lead me to Joseph. The Joseph in the book of Genesis. 

Joseph, Jacob’s favored son. The one who had a special, beautiful coat made for him. Who was doted on, at the expense of his other brothers. Who had vivid dreams given to him by God Almighty of a bright future ahead of him.  
This same Joseph now found himself sold as a slave material and is led along bound in a caravan heading for Egypt. Add to this misery the stabbing pain of betrayal committed by your own blood brothers, and you have all the material for a angry, bitter, hardened heart. 

Joseph’s life had shifted hugely. As he was led off in the distance, you had to feel that this was the end of the story. His life was over, the unknown stretched out ahead. And those dreams God gave him? Well, we all know that can’t happen now... And where was God while all these ugly things happened to him? 

You and I know how it ended. But when you find yourself helpless in the face of a dramatic change, it can be quite hard to see any silver linings. It’s oh so easy to feed upon those ominous thoughts that the enemy of our soul so eagerly puts before us.  The more we feast upon the tasty but sickly stuff, the worst we feel. 

On the long journey to Egypt Joseph had to struggle with all this. And probably continued to do so afterwords when he worked for Potipher. But how long does those raw emotions remain just below the surface? You’re okay now, and then something is a trigger point and you feel it all again.

How long before the raw wound is healed and we don’t feel the stabbing pain anymore? 

I guess what I’m saying is that ultimately it is a choice. Do we want to remain in our misery. Do we want to continue to wallow in the ugliness? Or do we choose to put that aside and turn to our God. Do we trust Him to give us what we have need of? Will He be enough? 

I have to choose daily sometimes to turn away from the ugly thoughts and turn to my God. I have to choose not to vent and whine. Because really, does it make it feel any better? 

I don’t want to walk around with a chip on my shoulder. It isn’t all about me and my issues. Other people are affected by my attitude. 

Joseph had to struggle with all of this. Somehow he settled it within himself. The Bible tells us clearly that God’s hand was upon Joseph and He granted him favor wherever he was. 

I want to encourage those of you that are in an ugly situation. God’s got this, and He has you. You will come through this stronger. You will once again testify to His faithfulness. His hand is still on your life. All is not gloom and doom. I can’t see beyond my nose, but my God sees it all. He’s got this!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I don't know what to do.

A great multitude came against Judah for battle. Overwhelming disaster seemed unavoidable.  How can Judah overcome? What to do?

King Jehoshaphat responded by seeking God’s face. Listen to his prayer that is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:
“O Lord, God, are You not God in heaven?”
“You rule over all”.
“Did you not, our God....?”
“We will stand before you...and cry out to You.”
“You will hear and save.”

I love how they stood in front of the temple and declared the promises of God. They reminded themselves of God’s power and provision.

How will we respond when our backs are against the wall? When life is chaotic? Tomorrow seems so uncertain. 

I want to encourage you today to stand and remind yourself of God’s promises. Declare to yourself His power and faithfulness. Hasn’t He been faithful to you? “He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:10 

 But look at what Jehoshaphat prays next:

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m well acquainted with this feeling powerless. 

I don’t know what to do. 

I’ve felt this just a few weeks ago. I had a bombshell lobbed at me concerning my job. I was transferred to another department.  And not where I wanted to be. I had no choice in the matter. 

I was wrenched emotionally. I could see change ahead on the horizon and I was afraid. 

I don’t know what to do.

But my eyes are on You. 

Oh yes, I am powerless. But my eyes are on my God. He will hear and save. My hope is in Him. “God is my refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

God spoke to Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah, “Don’t be afraid, Don’t be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”  Needless to say, God fought for Judah and a great victory was won. 

A month ago I sat in a meeting afraid, angry and shocked at what was happening. It was nowhere on my radar that all this was about to happen. Ironically, I was studying this chapter for my Sunday School class before all this went down. 

It was an ugly situation. But God...I love this. Insert Almighty God in the situation and watch what happens. I stood firm and sought His face. In a week after this meeting at work, I had a new job. My life is different and change can be a bit scary. 

He has been with me every step of the way. He kept me strong. 

Beloved take this to heart. He will not leave you. He will fight your battles. He is sufficient. Do you feel powerless today? Have no clue what to do? Look to your Almighty God. Trust Him to take care of you. 

Link your blog to: Throughtful Thursdays
Grace and Truth