His Words of Truth- Discussion

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“You Say”- Lauren Daigle

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, o-ooh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believe

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory, o-ooh

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe

How differently would we live our lives if we truly remembered what God calls us? How would your life change if you focused on how God sees you instead of how the world, others or what you think of yourself?

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In the Calm of the Storm

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He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” (Ps. 107:29)

These past five months have been a season of isolation, a famine of soul, and the hardest storms I have faced. Many nights I cried out to God, not hearing His gentle whispers as the rain pounded around me.

My eyes were blinded as I fought to bring to remembrance the simple truths I had known. My hands grew numb and worn as I struggled to hold onto the only steadfast thing in my life.

I don’t know what battles, discouragements, or barren land you are treading through. Yet, I hope and pray that these three truths are an anchor to your soul.

1. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)

Though He may seem so far away and as if His eyes are blind to your pain, know that He is ever near. He is with you and is faithful.

2. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. ” (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

No matter what you are going through; persecution, being in crushing pain, confused, or alone, know that you are held, protected, and safe in His arms.

3. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)

His love for us does not change. Whether you had a bad day and grew impatient with your child, failed a midterm, led someone to Christ, or spent two hours in prayer, His love has never and never will change for you. You are His child and He is madly in love with you.

 

Mountain Peaks and Valleys Low

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This post by Stephanie is full of truth and beauty. May it draw you closer to Jesus today!

I remember the mountains were the hardest thing to let go of. As their peaks faded into nothing, so did I. My car carried on for miles, with unfamiliar music, and unfamiliar land filling our eyes and ears. The only thing left of me were the two boxes bouncing around in my trunk—a box of books, a box of clothes, and a pair of sneakers.

Although the following days were filled with a million tears, fights with myself, and a desperate grasp for survival, I never fully grasped how much I lost in that car ride over the mountain. Not until today, anyway, when I opened four boxes full of pictures, writing assignments, and childhood mementos—most of those, things I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again.

For three years, I wasn’t allowed back in my house. We had Christmas in a Wendy’s once, and another time at a hotel. I was quarantined from every moldy building, humid atmosphere, and any public place that used chemical cleaning products. I was told to move to the desert and to make a new life because if I ever wanted to be healthy, then I was never coming home.

I have a disease few people believe in, but one that alters my life every single day.

Somehow, after those three years, I did become a miracle. Today I live in a humid climate in an old house on the edge of a mountain range. Last month I spent 30 minutes in my childhood home for the first time, and I went through my grandma’s old jewelry with my sister—just like a normal person. I’ve started a real office job that requires more physical and emotional energy than I ever thought I’d regain. I’m thriving in this healthy person world. And today, I opened those four contaminated boxes, and I remembered for a moment what used to be.

A friend of mine texted me recently about her husband’s recovery from a kidney donation. Something prompted me to answer her with these words: he’s making a stronger soul through having a weak body. I never thought about it that way before.

Life will never be the same for me—not after Lyme, and not after all the things I lost to it. I’ll never look back to the regular college experience, and I may never remember those stereotypical days in my early twenties when my body was indestructible. But there’s something I’ve been noticing about chronic patients—people like me, Eliza, and others.

We may live weak in body, but in our weakness, we are gifted with the amazing opportunity to become strong in spirit. My sick friends, though limited, are some of the most driven, hardworking, and resilient people I know. Their strength and endurance never ceases to inspire me, and their appreciation and contentment for the simple things in life is overwhelming for their age.

Perhaps God didn’t make a mistake when He picked out some of us to make stronger souls through having weaker bodies. Perhaps He didn’t choose this for us out of punishment, but out of a greater love. I’m thankful for Chronic Illness because by taking everything away, it’s given me more than I could have dreamed.

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Stephanie is a professional writer and former journalist who has a heart for sharing raw stories and encouraging authors to write for Jesus. Although she grew up reading books, writing them became her accidental passion. She’s currently pursuing publication for her first novel, Reaching Home, while working as a Junior Literary Agent for Cyle Young. Stephanie spends her quiet moments immersed in poetry, or blogging about her adventures with God. She’s is a believer in hard work, audiobooks, chocolate, and dreaming big. To connect with her, visit http://www.stephaniekehr.blogspot.com

I Have Returned

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Dear Faithful Readers,

Wow! Where has time gone? It has been three months since I last wrote, yet you all are still reading my blog. And for that, I thank you.

I am sorry for my disappearance. God had completely different plans for me and my summer, which I shall share more on next Wednesday.

This is simply a note to let you know that I am alive 🙂 and am ready to beginning writing again.

Thank you again for your faithfulness,

Liza D.

To Him I will Cling

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Today I am clinging to the fact that Christ is with us even in the darkest of times. The moments of our lives, when even time itself seems to stand still out of fear. When the eerie darkness seems to be the only next resting place. For the past six weeks, I have been attempting to follow Christ through a season of loneliness and questions. There have been moments where the silence of my surroundings seems to drown my soul. “Christ where are you?” I have often cried. Sobs fill the room, as I have searched my soul, trying to understand the “whys” to my many questions.
“Lord, why have you not allowed this cup to pass?”
“Father, where is the light? Where is the purpose in this endless suffering?”
“Jesus, have you forgotten your servant? Do you not see this pain?”
Yet, it has been in these moments of weeping and asking, that my precious Comforter has often come, not with answers, but with sympathy and acknowledgement of my suffering.
I am beginning to learn that true joy is not always a life of happiness. It is not attempting to act fine when everything is not okay. Joy is choosing, no matter the circumstance, to rest in the knowledge that I am not alone in this.
Jesus never told his disciples to put a fake face on and to get through their struggles. Jesus was seen crying, angry, laughing, and speaking life while he was on earth. He lived a life with emotion. 
I simply want to encourage you, that Christ is a comforter. He isn’t wanting you to put on an act of perfection and perfect happiness. He longs for the real you, the girl who sometimes cries because she is terrified of her diagnosis. The girl who is struggling with finishing a final paper. The girl who cries in anger at the circumstance she can’t change and that are wrong. 
Jesus longs for the real you. So run to Him. Run to Him with tears streaming down your face and frustration heavy on your soul. He is waiting, and longing to embrace and comfort you.

Who are you?- Discussion

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“You are Loved”- Ellie Holcomb

Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up
You see a girl who’s not enough
And you look in the mirror
Some nights all you wanna do is hide
Cause every time you look inside
You’re face to face with failure
But you are loved oh
Not because of what you’ve done no
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change his love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think your worth that kind of grace
Look into his face you’ll know that you are loved oh…
You’ve searched for something that will stir your soul
That’ll make you feel less alone
But nothing ever saves you
While he knew before you ever took a breath
There’d be days where you’d forget
How beautiful he made you
Dear Reader,
You are loved by Christ. You are wanted, not because of you or anything that you have done. It is simply because of His great work.
This week, a dear friend reminded me of the importance of speaking the truth of our identity over ourselves. With her encouragement, I created a list of who I am as a forgiven believer. It was a beautiful time spent praising God for all the gifts He bestows on us.
What is one part of your identity that is precious to your soul? For me, the very fact that I am loved and wanted by the God of the universe still leaves me in awe and wonder.
I can’t wait to read your thoughts,
Eliza

Thankfulness in the Little

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           “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”                 1 Thess 5:18

Growing up in a Christian home, I often belted the lyrics, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done!” throughout the house as I joyfully did my chores. As a child, thankfulness came easily to my young, carefree soul. I didn’t have any worries about the lack of shelter or food. I went to rest every night knowing that my parents love would never change for me and that my Father in heaven loved me in an even greater way.

Yet with time and maturity, the worries of life grew. Weighing my soul down and stealing the pure thankfulness that once reigned within. Selfishness began to fester as I expected things from the Lord. Believing that the gifts from Him were to be freely bestowed upon me and because of my “righteous” acts, after all, I deserved them. Did I not?

I sadly often forget, even to this day, the simple fact that our blessings are gifts from Him. I fail to remember one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

This past month, I took on the challenge to find one simple thing to be thankful for in each day. The littlest things, that I have often run past have now begun to show themselves in my life. The buds on a tree, are a gift from above. A steaming cup of coffee (yes, even coffee), is from my Father. A surprise snowfall, a smile from a child or an unexpected hug from a friend are all gifts from my Lord.

Would this post leave you counting your blessings? I would love to hear what you are most thankful for.