Who do you call on when you’re in need?

When something is troubling you, who do you call? Does it depend on the circumstance or situation? Is it always the same person? Who is the first person you think of? Is it God?

I’ve asked myself these same questions a time or two lately. Generally my first thought is to call my husband or my mom. Sometimes it’s a close family member or friend. There’s nothing wrong with having trusting relationships and being able to seek out advice. Having these relationships is very important. Others help us in our walk of life. God uses people to help us in our time of need.

Should other people be your first resort in time of need?

Honestly, many times in my life I have used others as my first resort. On many occasions it worked out in my favor, but on many more it didn’t. As I reflect, I see now that this was a time in my life that God seemed to be a last resort. I didn’t ask Him for much. Why would He want to be bothered with little ol’ me? He already knows my needs, what do I have to ask Him for?

You see, no request is silly to God. He wants to be our first resort in every area of our life. He wants us to call out to Him for help. There’s nothing too large or too small for God to work out. He’s always available. He’s always ready, willing, and able. Can you really say that about anyone else?

When we fail to reach out to Him first, we can lead ourselves astray. Not that the person giving you the advice doesn’t have good intentions. I’m sure that they have the best intentions for you. If not, you may want to evaluate your inner circle. The thing is, God may not of gave that person a word about you. They may be speaking from their heart or personal logic and reason, but do not know what God truly wants for your life. When you take their advice it could be leading you further off the path God is leading you down. When you take their help, it may be preventing you from learning a valuable lesson God is teaching and delay a blessing coming your way. He wants us to lean on Him.

In my experience, sharing too much information with others can also damage relationships. It opens the door to a rumor mill and for others to judge and gossip about your life. I came close to allowing this to happen yet another time tonight.

My husband is very ill, grumpy, and in need of lots of rest. After work I was just a little too wound up to say the least. We exchanged some ugly words out of anger. I was so offended, hurt and frustrated by what he said to me. It was very hard to hear these things after being verbally abused all day at work. I needed to talk to someone before I exploded.

I started to think about who I could call for advice. I stomped around the living room frantically sweeping the floor. I needed someone who I could trust to help me during my hurt and anger. I needed someone to side with me. To affirm me in my rage.

Then I heard a still small voice ask, why don’t you ask me? You’re right God. Why wouldn’t I come to you first? This was my chance to ask Him first. I started to pray and asked God why my husband would treat me that way. I asked Him what I did to deserve it. I was able to pour my heart out to Him. He understands. He listens. I asked him to help me change my heart. To let go of the anger. To change my husband and to change me so that I don’t provoke anger in our life. I repented for my anger.

Within minutes, before I was done talking to God, my sick husband crawled out of bed, came in the living room and apologized to me. He said that no matter how sick he is, I don’t deserve to be treated that way. He hugged me. He told me how precious I am to him. He then apologized to our daughter in case she heard him disrespect me. She says she didn’t, but he didn’t care. He told us both how much he loves us and that he is so sorry. He explained to her that a man doesn’t treat a woman that way. He asked for forgiveness. It was absolutely incredible. God is incredible.

If I would’ve called a family member or friend, I would’ve opened the door for them to pass judgment. They could assume he hasn’t changed from any of his old ways. They may think that he treats me poorly on a daily basis. That I deserve “better.” Whatever that is in their eyes. They are only human. It happens to all of us, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Blogging about the situation does open that door for anyone to place judgment, but I felt it was a relevant example. False judgment, gossip, and negative assumptions destroy relationships. There’s no reason for me to invite any of these things into my life. But I will never be afraid to share what I go through if it might help someone else.

Sometimes it’s best not to share so much of your personal life with others. Always use discretion and think twice before you speak. You may do more damage that would’ve been prevented if you would’ve just called on God first. If another person is needed to help, He will place them on your heart. When He does, make that call.

In this situation, I didn’t need to call on anyone but God. I’m so thankful that I did. God is the center of my marriage. He knows our hearts and only He can change them. We have to be willing to invite Him in when we need His help. Tonight He reconciled our issue and changed our hearts in a matter of minutes. All I had to do was ask.

What do you need to ask Him about?

Try it. Right now. Just ask. Reach out to Him.

He’s waiting for you.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. Psalm 50:15

In my trouble, I called out to the Lord and He answered me. Psalm 120:1

Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. Jeremiah 33:3

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you. Psalm 37:5

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Overcoming Insecurity

Have you ever felt insecure?

I know there’s been many times in my life that I have. This caused me to have very limiting belief in myself and my purpose. I wasn’t able to identify this on my own. It took reading a powerful book by Joyce Meyer to see that I am insecure in many areas of my life. Being insecure about myself has held me back too often.

I’ve also been very insecure because I’ve been self reliant for such a long time. I fail. Sometimes I need help. I’ve messed up so many times doing things on my own. As a result, I tend to become fearful to make big decisions or commitments because of my past failures. I have allowed them to make me insecure. To stop believing in myself.

I can’t do this life in my own strength. I need help and the things I need to do require supernatural strength. This is where Jesus has changed my life. We need a savior to help us. Some things we just can’t do on our own. With Him we can do all things if we just believe.

Why are we insecure?

I believe it comes from a lack of self worth. Of not knowing who you are. It’s a belief that you are not acceptable to others. When you are insecure, you are always seeking approval from others to validate for your lack of esteem. You are trying to prove your worth even though you really don’t believe it yourself. Seeking approval from others will never lead to fulfillment or joy.

Our purpose is not to please others. Our focus should be on pleasing God. We please God by allowing His will in our lives. When we learn to see ourselves through His eyes, we are able to walk in His will because we believe. Because we believe, we have hope and this gives us courage to move on despite our insecurities.

How do I overcome insecurity?

You have to choose to believe something different. You must change your thinking and believe what God says about you. You were created for a purpose. He gave you specific gifts to share with the world. You were designed to be unique. Not to follow behind someone else striving to be exactly like them.

Your story is supposed to be different. Remember that God is the author of that story. He’s writing a beautiful story and taking you on an amazing journey. Let go of what’s holding you back and trust Him. His plan is greater than you can even imagine. In the meantime, be you. The very best you. Let Him use you. You will overcome your insecurities when you trust and believe in Him.

Stephanie

What are you waiting for?

We all go through times in our life when we feel uncertainty. We know changes need to be made, but aren’t really sure how to begin. Possibly too afraid to even make a move. Change can be very scary. The enemy is right there telling us all of the possibilities of what might be. He reminds us of past failures to hinder us in our walk. This causes us to be motionless and prevents us from being who God called us to be.

I know I’m guilty of this. I’ve spent a big part of my life living in the “what ifs.” My days were filled with worry and fear of what might happen. I didn’t realize that most of the stuff in my mind wasn’t going to happen. I was allowing myself to live believing a lie and tormented by fear.

I’m so thankful for my husband to help keep me grounded in this area. I have to admit he’s had to course correct my thinking on many occasions. I remember one time specifically when I was in a fit of anxiety, he grabbed my hands and stopped me. Then he asked, “What if you walk in the front yard and a meteor falls out of the sky on you??” His point was that it’s not likely and that sometimes I do need to let things play out.

Simply meaning trust God.

I’m glad I can laugh about this story now. I’m sure I was angry when he first asked me. He was so right. Most of my worries were in my imagination. They weren’t real. I had a lot of anxiety and fear when all I needed to do was have faith.

This is still a battle I face. Some days are easier than others. But I know God is not done with me yet and He isn’t done with you either. Allow Him to finish His work in you. Have Faith. Don’t give up. Surrender all.

What are you waiting for?

Stephanie

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Why should I forgive?

“Admitting wrong will make you a better you.” Terri Brady

According to Webster’s Dictionary, to forgive means to stop feeling anger toward someone or something. It also means to stop blaming someone else for something that happened. Holding on to unforgiveness can lead to resentment and damaged relationships. It can also lead to a lot of personal emotional damage.

Why is it so hard for us to forgive?

Forgiving someone else is a conscious decision that we have to make. For many of us, it’s a level of maturity that we display when we are unable to forgive. We are unable to forgive because of something inside of us that has nothing to do with the other person. It’s usually because we can’t forgive ourselves.

Forgiveness does not mean that you condone the other persons behavior or offense. It also does not mean that you will be able to just forget it. Sometimes relationships aren’t restored. Forgiveness is freeing for the individual that chooses to practice it. It takes a weight off our shoulders and releases anger. It allows us to move forward from the hurt and heal in the process.

Saying I’m sorry and truly meaning it whether they deserve it or not, is genuine forgiveness. We are able to live happier, healthier lives when we practice forgiveness. Our relationships improve as well as our quality of life. This brings automatic peace to our lives.

After all, this is how God would have us to live. He gave the greatest sacrifice when His son, Jesus died for us on the cross. We were all forgiven for our sins when Jesus gave up his life for us. God forgives us daily because he loves us even when we sin (Romans 5:8). We must choose to forgive others whether we think they deserve it or not. Why? God forgives each of us, even when we least deserve it!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Looking for for more reasons to forgive? Dig deeper into His word. See what He has to say.

1. We forgive because God forgives us. Ephesians 4:32

2. We forgive because God said so. Be obedient. Matthew 6:14-15 and Romans 12:18

3. We forgive to prevent becoming bitter and destructive to others. Hebrews 12:14-15

Are you living with an identity crisis?

Who am I? No, really. Who are you? The real you.

Do you ever wonder? Do you really know?

Many of us ask ourselves the same questions. I think identity is something that many of us struggle with. When we live with an identity crisis it’s hard to enjoy life. When we don’t know who we are, or should I say who’s we are, it’s easy to lose sight of our purpose in life.

We may of become who someone else wanted us to be and we feel lost. Always searching for ourselves. Thankfully we don’t have to search hard. We have a source. We just have to look to Him for direction. God says that He has a plan for us. He’s going to prosper us and not harm us. He plans to give us a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He has so much in store for our lives.

So why don’t we believe Him?

So many of us get caught up in who we once were instead of who we are becoming. We get stuck in a rut in the same spot. When we come to Christ we are made over into new beings. When we allow God to change our hearts, we start to see who we really are, and walk in our giftings because we believe. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to become greater. Some of us it takes longer than others.

God created us in His own image. We were chosen by Him to do many great things. We have to believe this and encourage ourselves. We have to learn to strengthen ourselves in the Lord like David did. He had a heart after God’s own heart. This kind of faith allows us to be obedient to Him.

I want to please the Lord by doing His will and allowing Him to work in my life. I know the only way this can happen is if God changes my heart. I have to be completely open to Him to allow the transformation to take place in my life.

Being in tune with Him will allow you to see everything He’s calling you to be. Believing in Him allows you to BE everything He’s calling you to be. Take the time to listen to what He’s telling you today.

Stephanie

Faith or Fear?

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬ NASB

When we live in fear instead of by faith, we hold ourselves back from the lives we should be living. Joyce Meyer puts it simply that fear is the opposite of faith. She reminded me today that with faith I have nothing in this world to fear. There are so many of us that have lived many years of our lives crippled by fear.

Where does fear stem from? 

In this world, we have an enemy lurking around, seeking to destroy us. Satan loves to manipulate and trick us into living a life of fear. When we are afraid, we do not step out and be who we were created to be. God designed each of us unique and according to His purpose for our lives.

The devil does not want God’s people to fulfill their kingdom responsibility here on earth. He will do whatever it takes to prevent it. This includes torment and torture, deceit and lies. He will try to make us so miserable that we become discontent, quit, and fail. He will do anything he can to try and steal our joy.

Where does faith come in?

We must learn to resist the devil. We have to learn to replace our thoughts with the word of God. When we recite the word, the enemy has to flee. This allows us to withstand the devil and keep pressing on even when we are afraid. The word is our weapon of warfare.

We have to keep our minds on God instead of the things we are facing. Since the Lord is always with me, why should I be afraid?

Is anything too big for God?

Nothing is too big for God. When we trust Him, we can press on towards the calling He has placed on our lives. We won’t be crippled by fear because our hope is in Him. There’s nothing we can’t do with His help.

All things are possible to him who believes. Mark 9:23 NASB

Trust God and He will free you from all of your fears. Learn to have faith and to believe in God’s truth and unfailing character.

Stephanie

Need a friend? Be a friend

My daughter and I have some of the best talks in the morning together. I imagine one day those talks will be over coffee, long distance, and over the phone. I treasure these moments with her because I know we are discussing some of the most important matters of her heart and I’m thankful she chose me to share them with.

A lot of our heart to hearts have been about friendship lately. It’s a hard topic for me to talk with her about. To be honest, I know I don’t have the best fruit on the tree in this area, but I do know from my life experiences being a not so great friend, that I can help her be better. I’m also thankful for the awesome friends I have in my life to use as an example for her.

My daughter tends to be a lot like me. Go figure. It always seems to be the personality traits of mine that I wish would’ve skipped her. She tends to be a little shy and reserved unless she’s in her own environment and around people she knows. When she’s not comfortable, she’s very quiet and leaves herself unapproachable. This doesn’t make it very easy to make friends.

After church today, she mentioned that she just doesn’t have friends at church like I do. She sees me talk to my one friend all the time and she really doesn’t understand why she doesn’t have that. Usually her sisters are in class with her so she’s comfortable and doesn’t have to worry about making friends. Today was a rare occurrence where she was the only kid home and had to go to class by herself. She longs for friends and for everyone to like her, but it’s hard for her to approach others. She wonders why the other kids don’t want to be her friend. She’s expecting all the effort coming from the other person.

Before she spiraled off on a tangent and started feeling bad about herself, I had to intercede. I stopped her and reminded her that if she wants a friend, she has to be a friend. It’s as simple as that. People aren’t always going to go out of their way to smile or befriend you. Others may be just as shy as you are. You have to be friendly to other people to make them want to seek interest in befriending you. If you want something, you have to make it happen. Sometimes you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

It was one of those profound moments for her. The lightbulb turned on. The thing is, that word wasn’t just for her. It was for me and many of you reading this today. We have a choice to be lonely and depressed. We can feel left out and wondering why we don’t fit in. We also have a choice to go out and be a friend. To seek out someone else in need of a friend.

Sometimes being a friend is just showing up. Maybe it’s that lunch date you set or a last minute shopping trip. Maybe it’s to sit in the waiting room at that unexpected doctors visit. It could be that call or text after you’ve already put your phone on the charger. That gentle knock on the door after you laid down for the night. Just being there for someone in their time of need can be all it takes to be a friend. Your presence or words of encouragement is all they need. Don’t be afraid to step outside of yourself. Even when you don’t feel like it.

We were created for relationship. Not just with eachother, but with God. When we feel like we have no one else in the world, He is always here. He is our friend not just in time of need, but in all things. We need Him and we need eachother. We can’t get through this life on our own.

My daughter and I also talked about great qualities that friends have. Loyalty and honesty are very important. Also being kind and generous to one another. Telling each other the truth and never gossiping. Practicing forgiveness and always unconditional love.

My daughter’s most cherished friend also has similar values and is helping her grow into a better friend this school year. It’s been a struggle being separated from all of her close friends and having to make new ones. I’m very proud of her and how wise she is becoming. I know that she will have strong friendships because she loves so deeply and truly cares about others.

I love how God uses my kids to speak to me. I know I’m not the greatest friend, but I am working on becoming better. That’s all we can do. Become better.

Stephanie