I am Chosen and So ARE You

 

What does it feel like to not be chosen? Or how about being chosen last?

How about picking teams in gym class when you were a child in school?

Were you the person who was chosen first? Or were you always chosen last?

When I was a child my family wasn’t much into sports. We didn’t play sports or watch them on TV and we didn’t go to football or baseball games either. I also didn’t have an athletic bone in my body or really even care to have an athletic bone in my body.

Because of my lack of athletic abilities, I was pretty much guaranteed to be chosen last in gym class for any type of team sport game.

Here’s a classic example of what usually happened when I played team sports.

I was in 5th-grade gym class and kickball was the game.

Most days when we played kickball and it was my turn, I would kick the ball and someone from the other team would catch it right away causing me to never make it to any base, I was usually an easy out.

This day was a little different though.

This day I actually kicked the ball so high that it went soaring over everyone’s heads into the outfield.

I was horrified.

Why was I horrified you ask?

Because I never got this far in a game so I wasn’t for sure what I was supposed to do next! Everyone on my team was yelling, “run! run! run!” So run is what I did. I ran as fast as I could go to first base, but I didn’t stop at first. When I got to first base I’d heard the kids yelling and clapping so I decided I would keep going. I finally stopped on second base.

I was so happy!

But that happiness was very short-lived when my teammate who was ALREADY on second base said, “What are you doing?! Go back to first base, you dummy!” just as someone from the other team threw the ball at me and yelled, “Out!”

By now the kids on the other team were laughing at me and my own team was super angry with me.

I really had no idea as I’d rounded first heading for second that two people weren’t supposed to be on the same base together. I was so embarrassed that I just wanted to melt into the ground and be invisible for the remainder of my school life!

As you can see sports were not my thing and if I could have had it my way, I would have been perfectly happy to have skipped the whole gym class thing. Had there been a reading team or and art team those would have been the teams for me.

Not to sound braggy but I may have even been the first pick for an art team or some sort of speed reading team.

The funny thing is… well… actually the not so funny thing is… that I never saw that I had an art talent as a child.  All I could see was the fact that nobody ever chose me to be on their team because I was terrible at sports.

Ephesians 1:3-14 says that we were chosen by God.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purposeof his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritanceuntil the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:3-14 NIV

It doesn’t say we were chosen because of our talent, our knowledge or how good we are.

What it does say is that He chose us long before He created the World and He chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight.  He predestined us for a relationship with him through JESUS!

How cool is that?? We don’t have to be good at anything at all. Because WE were already CHOSEN! Can you believe it God chose each one of us because he wants us on His team?

In the world, we live in its easy to focus on what we are not good at instead of what we ARE good at. We tend to focus on what our friends are chosen for when actually God gave us each our own special talents to use for what he chose US for.

God doesn’t want me doing things just because other people do them or like other people do them.  He chose ME to be me and I am good enough because he says I am already on the team. And what he gave me is what I will use to play the position he chose me for.

The same also goes for YOU.

You’ve already been chosen to be on ‘Team Jesus’.

So what do you say? Your spot is open waiting for you to fill it, nothing else required except that you believe in Him.

God chose YOU!

YAY TEAM!

 

 

Trusting is Believing, My One Word for 2016

20160102_202806-1In 2009 Compassion started a tradition that focused on one word  for the year. Two weeks ago I received a blog writing prompt that encouraged me to spend time with the Lord and ask for his guidance as to what word he would choose for me in the coming new year. Though I have never really chosen a word in advance usually by the end of each year I find that there was a particular theme that my year seemed to have taken on as the year progressed.

Even though I have not chosen a word for this year I do know without a doubt my theme and word for 2015 was ‘TRUST’

As 2015 started I began the year with a whole lot of new things on my plate. Now as I look back I can see I had many more things coming my way that I really had no idea were going to be coming. All of those things made way for a whole lot of times I found myself having to Trust the Lord in his guidance and his strength.

There were also many times this past year that He showed me that big things can happen if I just let go of myself and put ALL of my trust in him.


With that said now I will say this has probably been the hardest year in my Christian journey.


I started the year off full of excitement and ready to dive right in to whatever God had in store. But as the year progressed things seemed to get more and more confusing and I will admit it there were times I felt like he was far away, and also sometimes oddly silent.

At one point even though I knew God had led me in to the place I was, things didn’t seem to be going quite as well as I thought they would have been going. I also had conflict going on around me and many times found myself feeling as if I was caught in the middle and for some reason I began to feel as if somehow I was to blame for it. I know now it wasn’t my problem or my fault and also know I did not put myself in the middle of it at all. I can’t really go into detail here but will say that by the end of April my confidence in trusting to what and to where God was leading me was beginning to fall apart. Yet at the same time, he still kept showing time and time again that I was where he wanted me to be.

In April I went on a mission trip to Haiti. While I was there it was really good yet at the same time I had probably one of my worst times ever of feeling like I had somehow messed up and had heard God’s plan in this for me all wrong. Strangely even though I felt that way, at the very same time things happened while I was there that soon proved to me I was actually right where God wanted me to be….Ya I know it sounds totally confusing and weird. It’s a very long story I could never put into words, so I will just say as I now reflect back I can see God’s hand prints all over the place on that trip but at the same time it’s like the enemy somehow was able to distort my vision part of the time that I was there and make me feel really confused.  Another thing that happened while on that trip is I was notified that a really close friend of mine had died and I kept a lot of my emotions about her death bottled up until I returned back home.  I also think maybe the sadness I felt about her dying may have put a bit of a dark cloud over the trip too. I remember coming home knowing that I was supposed to have been on that trip yet also at the same time feeling even more discouraged.

But here is the cool part….

What I didn’t know at the time was that just a week after returning home from that trip I was going to be invited on another trip. On April 23 I received an email inviting me to attend a vision trip in El Salvador with Compassion International. I know this may sound crazy but even though I was at that time doubting my confidence in discerning what was God and what wasn’t God I clearly heard him say to me “GO on the trip.

So I signed up.

After I signed up for the trip my confidence still continued to plummet.

Yet God still kept throwing things out there that said I was in the right place but by then I was even more confused and feeling as if I was losing my ability to trust in what I heard from Him was really Him.

I also felt ashamed of my feelings and I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on so I spiraled through most of it feeling very alone.

Then to top off all those bad feelings in July I started having some serious knee issues and I realized I most likely would not be able to go on the El Salvador trip.

I sent an email to the trip leader explaining to her the situation and I told her that I would not be able to go on the trip. I knew from past experience of going on a trip like this that I may have to walk in places that I couldn’t walk such as rough terrain or long periods of walking which I knew I could not do. I figured most likely they wouldn’t let me go with my knees like they were anyway.

Once again I found myself doubting and I began to tell myself  that maybe I had made the decision to go in the first place because I had most likely heard God’s voice wrong.  Why would God tell me to sign up for something He knew I wasn’t going to be able to do?

After I sent the email I soon received a reply and a phone call from the trip leader. During the phone call we talked about a lot of things, including the fact that I could possibly have another trip coming up with my church to Haiti, (I forgot to mention that earlier) that I worried if happened the dates may conflict.  As we spoke I began to feel as if she was someone I had known forever even though it was my first time ever talking to her by phone. She told me that the trip would not be very physical and that I could still go with the knee problem if I wanted to. She also prayed with me for discernment I would be able to know what God wanted me to do.

We ended the conversation with me having a few more days to pray about my decision which I did and soon I knew without a doubt that God still wanted me to go to El Salvador!

So once again I said, “yes.”

I felt such relief once I made that decision and then suddenly at the end of July I found out that I would have the trip to Haiti but it was not going to be anywhere near the El Salvador trip dates.  It was so exciting to know God had worked out the dates!!

But suddenly I had another problem… There was no way I could afford to pay for a trip to El Salvador and also a trip to Haiti.

I felt a loyalty to my church, because I was the new Mission’s director plus I had been a part of setting this trip up. Suddenly I felt like I was torn between the two trips and found myself trying to choose once again.  I knew if I was going to have to choose I had to choose my church because I felt a loyalty to our mission there. But God still said to do both! Once again I began struggled with God because I knew I did not have the money to pay for both of these trips!

I made a decision on my own even though deep down I knew God wanted me in both places. I decided I was going to drop the El Salvador trip and I even went so far as to tell a couple of people I would not be going to El Salvador anymore.

As soon as I made that decision suddenly I could not rest.

And God still kept saying, “GO to El Salvador!”

I knew God wanted me to trust him.

I also knew I still had to go on that trip.

I changed my mind and I said, “OKAY, I will go!” but this time I did it differently and I finally gave up my own feelings on the matter.  This time placed it back into God’s hands where it belonged; And guess what happened the very next day????  I found out I would not have to pay for my trip to Haiti!  Wow! All I had to do was say yes and what I thought was going to be a problem was never a problem at all.  God had everything under control!


I know this story is getting really long so if you are still here thank you for hanging in there.  I will now try my best to finish this as quickly as possible.

We will fast forward to September….

Since July things had been going really great but then two days before I was supposed to leave for El Salvador something horrible happened.  I cannot say much about what happened here because I always try really hard not to put things on the blog that may tell something personal and could possible hurt others. What I will say is that what happened totally threw me for a loop and almost threw me back into my mode of not trusting my ability to truly know what God wanted me to do. I spent the whole next day and night in tears, doubting who I was now and for that matter also doubting who I had ever known myself to be. Its may sound crazy but sometimes old wounds can be opened and when they open you may find new ones you never even knew you had. In a matter of a couple of hours of time I went from feeling closer than I had ever been with God to suddenly feeling like a horrible person. At that point I wasn’t sure how on earth I would ever be able to get myself on that plane to El Salvador.

The day before the trip, I talked to God asking him if what had happened to make me feel that way was true?? I had searched my soul and honestly felt like what I had felt the day and night before was because of lies created by the enemy. But I still wanted and needed God’s input very much.

“Please just give me something to let me know I was truly where you wanted me to be!” I prayed.

As I prayed I opened my Bible and this is what I saw hi-lighted inside –  Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45  That caught my attention and as I recognized the rest of the story suddenly peace just wafted over me.

The next morning as my husband dropped me off at the airport I was still at peace and never one time did I ever find myself thinking that by going on this trip I was making a wrong decision.

A little while later shortly after the plane lifted off the ground I noticed the sun was rising. I remember trying my best to hold back the tears of joy because at that moment I knew like I’d never known anything before that I was exactly where God wanted me to be. I was so thankful that despite all the detours I had taken to get to this place he had never given up on me. I was so thankful that through all the mess I had said yes.20150912_063228

That trip ended up being one of the best times I have ever connected with God and while there he showed me I truly was exactly where he wanted me to be . Another thing about that trip was it was not just a vision trip it was also a spiritual retreat. I had never been on a spiritual retreat before and had no idea what a treat I was in for. Each evening we would all meet for a couple of hours and focus on knowing and just being with God. In the mornings we were encouraged to spend time with Him. we were encouraged to go where ever he took us by walking the grounds or sitting on our porches or whatever felt right. To just BE and connect with God was what we all seemed to do. Never in my life have I experienced something like the closeness I felt with him on that trip. The whole trip from start to finish was perfect. We were very busy yet at the same time it felt like it was the most relaxed time emotionally I ever remember having in my life.  It was like God had taken the worst parts of me and my life away for that week.

Another cool thing is that just as the trip had begun with the dawning of a new day and a beautiful sunrise, my trips last leg was finished with my plane taking off from Houston on the journey home with the sun just setting and it was beautiful too. I felt as if I had somehow come full circle and I also knew without a doubt that another chapter of my life was now closing because a new one had just begun.

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I knew from that moment on in order for me to do what I am supposed to do for God I had to fully get rid of myself and trust Him.

I also now knew that all the things that had seemed to be reasons for me not to go on the trip were actually all the more reason for me to Go.

Since the trip things have not always been easy but I do now know what God wants from me. I also knew I had to give up a few things that I felt like were getting in the way of what He wants me to do. Giving them up wasn’t easy but oddly once I made my decision and did what I know he wanted me to do I felt relieved and also that peaceful feeling once again.

So my word this past year was Trust

When I looked up the definition of trust it said – the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. “relationships have to be built on trust.”

I also found this part of the definition interesting, looking at the word trust used as in law. – “confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more – others.”

.As I started writing this blog post I had not looked up the definition of trust, though I knew what trust meant I hadn’t really ever thought of it that way. also as I started this post I had no idea what my word of 2016 would be. I had planned to stop this post with the definition of trust and tell you that I still had no idea what my word for 2016 was yet.

But as I read the definition from the perspective of setting up a ‘Trust’ I realized that another lesson I learned in El Salvador was from pastor Carlos when he talked about lending to the Lord (see blog post Casa de Pan Lending to the Lord) somehow seems to go with this definition. Suddenly it has occurred to me that though I place my confidence in God, he also has confidence in me and he has placed me where I am because that is where HE wants me to be. Could it be possible he has made me a nominal owner of HIS property, and now it is my job to use his property for the benefit of others?

As this revelation was flooding over me suddenly I looked up and saw a group of pictures hanging on the wall in my bedroom with the words Dream, Imagine, Love, Hope, Faith and Believe on them. The top word on the pictures is the word Believe. Now I can see that without believing He chose me I can never fully trust myself to do what he wants me to do.

I know God wants me to not only trust him but also to totally believe in his ability to make proper decisions and trust that he can and will make things go exactly as he has planned.

I plan to spend this year focusing on believing that God has my life in his hands and no matter what things may look like from the outside to me or anyone else, God knows the truth, he knows the plan and He is the only one I have to believe in.

I said in the beginning of this post that this has probably been one of my hardest years of my Christian journey. I also know, even though it has been a hard year, it has also been my best year on this journey so far.

I am pretty sure it was a good year.

Now I have a question for you.

Do you have a word you feel as if God has given you to focus on this year?

If so add your word to the comments or share your blog post in the link up below I would love to read it.

Thanks for reading my very long blog post and I wish you a blessed and wonderful new year!

Terri Siebert

P.S. Don’t forget to share your ‘One Word’ below.

 

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Music Monday ~ Cast My Cares and Believe!

music monday1Happy Music Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and are well on your way to having a great week.

I had a pretty good weekend.  I didn’t do a whole lot other than I spent my weekend relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having here in Missouri.

On Saturday my husband and I went for a drive to see the beautiful fall colored leaves. For lunch we stopped at a small pizza restaurant in Ste Genevieve call ‘Sirros‘  and then after lunch we went ‘Sweet Things‘ candy store for chocolate covered pretzels, some amazing caramel, and salt water taffy.  Ya I know it was a dieters nightmare, but well worth the extra calories!

After our day of driving and eating we came home and I turned on my TV. Me being not being much of a TV watcher I find it interesting that several hours later I realized that I had been sucked into the Hallmark channel and had watched one make that two ….well… um…. the truth is I watched THREE movies back to back!  And while I am at it I will go ahead and admit more truth… I really enjoyed just vegging’ out and watching movies all evening!

When it was bedtime, totally exhausted (sarcasm) from my busy day of relaxing I soon found that I went fast asleep… make that I found myself WIDE AWAKE.

All night long I lay in bed tossing and turning… wondering if I was ever going to go to sleep.  I think the last time I remember seeing the time before finally falling asleep was about 4:30 am.

In the morning when it was time to get up I was so tired I wanted to just stay home and sleep instead of going to church which I will admit I almost did but at the last minute I decided to drag myself out of bed and soon found myself in church about 10 minutes late..

I soon realized it was a good thing I decided to go to church, because the sermon was one of those sermons that I could tell God had hand picked out for me to hear.

Lately I have had a whole lot of big things going on in my life but I realized that this time last year I had a really big thing happen in my life.  Last year I had a macular hole in my eye and it was about this time last year that it went away… Healed with no medicine or surgery used, for the hole to go away all it took was the power of my amazing God.

When the hole first came in my eye it was sudden.  I was sitting on a beach and suddenly noticed I was missing the center of the vision in my left eye.  No matter how horrible or scary It seemed like I should have felt, I wasn’t scared. Instead I was at peace about it, because after the initial realization that I had part of my eyesight missing God spoke peace to me telling me that He had everything under control.  And  I BELIEVED with all of my heart that what He said was true and that everything really was going to be okay. In only a short amount of time I had a miracle when the hole went away. To the surprise of my doctor, God’s healing power is all it took to make my eyesight return.

The scripture for the sermon in our church this Sunday was

Matthew 9:27-31  As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”  But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

It was about believing in God’s power and suddenly in the middle of the sermon God reminded me of how much I had trusted and believed Him last year about my own blindness and suddenly it occurred to me that this year I should BELIEVE and trust Him even more because I had seen His power first hand! Somehow I had allowed worry about things in my life I have no control over to fill me full of anxiety instead.

Suddenly I realized I have no reason at all to have allowed those feelings to enter my thoughts and it was time to depend on what I know is true!

I BELIEVE and I am so glad I got out of bed and went to church!

After church I visited my parents and then I came back home and soon found myself sucked into another round of Hallmark movies. 😀

I have had a whole lot going on in my life lately and it just felt good to do nothing but spend a few days doing nothing. The troubles of this world can feel really big at times but my God is much bigger.

This week’s Music Monday song is ‘Cast My Cares’ by Finding Favour

I hope you enjoy the song, its a good one.

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steals my breath away
When my back pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on you
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control
I will cast my cares on you
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For your peace inside my soul

Do you have a song that moves you today?  If so write a blog post about it and come back and add your link to the link- up below. (make sure your link is to your song post or a song. I am sorry but all others will be removed)

And now Cast your cares on God today because He IS the one who is in control!

Have a wonderful week!

Terri Siebert

Don’t forget to add your link below!

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Clinging to Him as We look to the Light

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Our view of the sunrise over St. Louis from the window this morning © astorybyme.com

 

Death…
So close though I can’t see it I can still feel it lurking…
Standing by the edge of the room ready and waiting, ready to escort anyone through the door who may decide to walk through to the other side today…

As my eyes dart around the room they meet eyes looking back….everyone who is here whether they are sick or not are somehow in some way going through this together.  My eyes meet eyes of fear looking out right next to eyes full of determination and bravery.

This place feels like poison to me with its concoction of poison medicines, hanging from IV poles, dripping into the blood streams of the sick, killing off everything in their bodies to get rid of the real poison.

The unspoken poison…

The C word…

That word is on the mind of everyone here today though nobody says it…

Cancer…

The unspoken yet common bond between everyone who is in this place today.

they all also have another common bond…

That word is Hope

They all commonly hope.

Some hope for a cure and some just hope for one more day…

They all hope to get away from this disease that eats them inside.

Though it’s not me with this disease it still somehow eats at me today too.

I watch as the clear harmless looking medicine drips slowly from the bag into the arm of my friend as I think it seems ironic to me that something so poisonous is used to help someone get well. It poisons the cancer and along with it takes away her strength and makes her sick.

Father God, What is the purpose of all this? Today I feel as if I know nothing about anything anymore I feel so broken hearted inside for the people in this place and most of all for my friend because she has to go through this. I came as her guest today in the hopes of somehow helping yet I have no idea how I’m supposed to do that.  Sometimes life just does not come with instructions so I today I try to feel my way through it, trying my best to follow the lead of you the one who knows best.  I know that no matter how tough it is we can never give up on you.  I know you already know the outcome and the reason for all this I just wish I knew too.

I realized today that this is my friend’s life right now, every 3 weeks she has to come here to this place as do the rest of these people.They all continue to live life no matter how hard it is. They all know that they have to come to this awful place in order to continue living this life.

I wonder how do they view this room? Do they see it as I do?

I know my friend doesn’t like being here yet she keeps her chin up and takes all they do to her so bravely.  She knows this is what she has to do to keep this terrible disease at bay.

As for me I’m just the a person today who at times feels too much uncertainty.
Yet in my uncertainty I do see the reality that the only thing about this whole cancer thing that I am certain of is the fact that God is here.

As I look around I do see him.  I realize that he may seem absent to some of those who are here yet those who do see him are clinging tightly to his life rope.  When we first arrived here I met a lady who had no legs. Her legs were taken away by the cancer and yet she greeted everyone who came into the room with a smile, it was obvious who she clings to. Those people like her who choose to cling to him are the little bursts of light that are shining out in the darkness of this dreary place. They continue to shine on no matter what the outcome because they cling to the one who knows the outcome. They cling because they know He is the peace in this not so peaceful place.  They know that He is the one who will bring end to their suffering. I am so thankful for the light of Jesus that’s shining over this dark and dreary place this morning.

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Our view of the sunrise over St. Louis from the window this morning © astorybyme.com

 

You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

your strong right hand upholds me securely. Psalm 63:1-8

 

Last May a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.  She is only 50 years old and her doctor told her there is no cure but that with chemotherapy they can prolong her life so she goes every 3 weeks.  The chemo makes her very sick and she keeps having to have blood transfusions and fluids given to her intravenously almost weekly.  She has hopes that the chemo will work and that she will have a long future and I am asking you all to help with that today by praying for her. She is a fighter and I know with God’s help she can do this. Thank you for reading my blog and also for your prayers.

Blessings,

T

The Amazing Journey to Peace

romans 15 13I went for my recheck on the macular hole today.  The hole is healed and no surgery is needed at all.  I am amazed and so thankful!

I am not sure why God chose to give me this miracle, it’s not my first actually its one of many. Was this all to show me what he can do? Or was it just a normal thing planned from the beginning?

Worry… Worry is a word I used to know really well. All this eye stuff has taught me worry is a waste of time.  There is no need to worry. What will or will not happen, will happen, whether I worry or not.  So why not just believe that God has it covered and be thankful for all he has done..  That is what I hope to remember to do from now on.

This almost 4 years of eye stuff has been quit an amazing a journey for me.  Is it finally finished? ….Well… the macular hole is healed in my left eye yet I have some odd side affect is going on in my right eye now do to the Lucentis shot I had 3 years ago coupled with my arthritis.  She said that it is causing me to have a red eyes sometimes that look as if I have broken blood vessels in my eye.  I have to take a steroid drop for that now that may or may not cause glaucoma or cataracts. Am I worried?? NO.  A few years ago when a doctor gave me medicine I would skip it for fear of the side affects. To me it is the strangest thing if I think about it really hard….  Me at peace about stuff that used to scare me to death….

I think as long as I am on this earth there will always be something going on. If not eyes it would be something else.  All I know is we can chose to wallow in the problems or chose to rest in the peace of God.  I think I will chose to rest in the peace.

God is really good.  He took me the most messed up fraidy cat person and somehow managed to change that.  It is really nice to have this peace.

Have a blessed evening,

T

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Peace in Your Strength

isaiah 41;10Most of my life I have had panic attacks.  When I have a panic attack most of the time they come out of nowhere and most of the time they seem to be about nothing. At times they can be so strong they cause me to lose a grip on the reality that I am having a fear about nothing.  When a panic attack starts usually at first I will feel an overwhelming sense of doom, and then the fear will start to come in really fast eventually overwhelming me. Over the years I have learned how talk myself out of having a full blown panic attack. After Jesus came into my life they seemed to not be as severe anymore though I did still have them from time to time.

They came back pretty strong again when I woke up one morning almost 4 years ago with a bright glow in my eye due to a blood clot in my eye (story here). As I went through my eye issues over the next few years at first I spent a lot of the time in panic. Gradually over time God started really showing me how he was there with me during those times and eventually I noticed I did not have many panic attacks anymore and if I did they were very short lived.

Today I was driving my car and suddenly I noticed bright glow in my left eye…you know how when you look at the sun and then look away, how for several minutes you will see a glowing spot in your eyes??  What I saw looked like that.  Because that glow is what I saw the morning I woke up with the blood clot in my eye now sometimes a glare off the sun or a light bulb will send me into panic.  I know that sounds silly but that is how my mind works.  So as I was driving down the road today I must have been looking at something that caused the glow to happen. The minute I noticed it panic started to grip hold of me. But suddenly the words “Jesus please take this” came out of my mouth and then I began to thank him for all he has done for me.  Within a matter of second’s peace replaced the fear.

It took me a few minutes before I realized what had just happened.  I remember a time I would go and cower in fear at the first inkling of panic with it eventually turning into a full blown panic attack.  I realized today that I didn’t do that, I realized that somewhere along the line I have learned how to face my fear with strength in knowing God has it under control.  Wow it was so cool to realize that I now take security in the fact that panic does not own me because I chose to let go of it.

Over the years I have found out that a lot of people don’t understand my panic attacks and to some people a fear of nothing seems silly.  But to me the fear I feel in a panic attack is very real and is something way bigger than I can deal with.  I now know that the fear was never mine to deal with in the first place.

When God created us he did not give us fear instead he gave us strength. He gave us the strength that can only come from him.  All we have to do is call on him, trust in the fact that he is bigger than our fear.  Once we believe and trust him we can relax and live in his peace.

Dear Jesus
Thank you for the peace that you just gave me. I know that if not for you sometimes panic would overtake me. Thank you for giving me security in knowing that when I call out your name you will grab onto my hand and lead me back to peace. I trust you and I know you are faithful. I know that nothing here on this earth can separate me from the peace that I have in you. When anxiety and panic sneak in and try to grip me I know where to turn to find peace. When I turn to you, your peace wafts over me, and takes away my fear. Thank you for loving me and surrounding me with you power.
Love,
T

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My Broken Hallelujah

stormy

The events of this past week are running though my head tonight.  I keep thinking about how this time last week it felt like everything was whirling out of control and my heart was aching in sorrow for someone I love.  I felt so overwhelmed by it all that when I went to church last Sunday morning I just sat in the back row feeling like I was watching the service in slow motion.  Tears kept welling up in my eyes and I tried really hard not to let them escape.  Several times I didn’t succeed at stopping the flow of tears and I had to leave the sanctuary to compose myself.  I remember feeling like there was just no way things could ever be good again.

I spent the next two days trying desperately to make my world stop spinning so fast. I kept giving it all up to God and then a few hours later I would take it back. I have no idea how many times I did that before I finally excepted the fact that things were out of my control, had never been in my control, and were not mine to control.  There was nothing at all I could do to help except pray, give it to God, and then let him keep it!

I have been hearing a song on the radio a lot lately called “Broken Hallelujah” by the Afters.

This past week every time I turned on the radio it seemed like that song would be playing.  Each time I heard it I always found myself singing it to God. It may sound strange but I just felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness for who He is that I would find myself throwing my hands in the air and singing at the top of my lungs.  Each time I sang that song I found peace. God kept meeting me right there in the middle of a song turned into a prayer.

“Broken Hallelujah”

By, The Afters

I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down,
And I wonder where You are.

I try to find the words to pray.
I don’t always know what to say,
But You’re the one that can hear my heart.

Even though I don’t know what your plan is,
I know You’re making beauty from these ashes.

I’ve seen joy and I’ve seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here’s my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here’s my broken hallelujah.

You know the things that have brought me here.
You know the story of every tear.
‘Cause You’ve been here from the very start.

Even though I don’t know what your plan is,
I know You’re making beauty from these ashes.

I’ve seen joy and I’ve seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here’s my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here’s my broken hallelujah.

When all is taken away, don’t let my heart be changed.
Let me always sing Hallelujah
When I feel afraid, don’t let my hope be erased
Let me always sing Hallelujah.
Let me always sing Hallelujah.

I will always sing
I will always sing
Here’s my broken hallelujah.

THE AFTERS lyrics are property and copyright of their owners.
“Broken Hallelujah” lyrics provided for educational purposes and personal use only

Today it’s been exactly a week since everything seemed to go out of control, but now I can see that everything was always in control and things are also looking up now.  Though they are far from being over things are moving toward a place of healing for all of those involved and I know its all in God’s hands.

So once again I will sing, “Hallelujah!”

How about you?  will you join me as I praise God today?

Are things swirling out of control?

“Hallelujah!”

I know it may sound strange but why not praise God right there where you are?

“Hallelujah!”

Praise him for who he is.

“Hallelujah!”

Praise him just because he is God.

“Hallelujah!”

Praise him right there in the middle of the storm.

Praise him even when you feel so broken you think things could never be put together again.

Praise him knowing that your loved ones are safe in his arms.

Praise him and know  that he has everything under control.

“Hallelujah!”

No matter what you are feeling right now…you can trust God and believe he is right beside you because he is!

“Hallelujah!”

Get on your knees and pray or throw your arms in the air and sing.  However you choose to praise him He will be  there.

Give God your broken Hallelujah today.

“Hallelujah!”

Thanks for reading,

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Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:19-20