Hold On: Testimony Tuesday

Some of my most contemplative moments are when I’m on a plane…. which is pretty often when you work as a consultant.

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This song came on during my flight home and I had to hold back the tears. Holding on is HARD work. Especially when you can’t see where you’re going next and you don’t understand why you’re going through what you’re going through. If you’re in a similar place, I hope this post encourages you….

I’ve been in a season of serious growth. One day a few weeks ago, I was at home with my Husboo and he sensed something was wrong with me and asked what was going on/how he could help and I just cried. Nothing was “wrong” per se, in fact, things were going REALLY well (by general standards– Recognition at work, new assignments, expanding responsibility), but I feel a weight in my spirit. I KNEW something was coming. Call it an “attack” a “test” whatever– I understood that this next level would be HEAVY and HEAVY it has been.

Today, someone asked my thoughts on flying and if I ever feel nervous. Long ago, I reasoned that if I’m flying and there’s turbulence God is going to carry me through it and the plane will land or it’s just my time to go. That may sound morbid, but it’s a thought that brings me a lot of peace EVERY time I fly.

I considered that example against the thought of “holding on.” The enemy will try to convince us that holding on during those periods when life just feels overwhelming is a position of weakness, but it’s actually a position of STRENGTH. There IS strength in your surrender. When you realize that you CAN’T but God can, EVERYTHING changes. When you keep holding on,  you eventually look up and see JUST how God brought you through!

Keep holding on!

And keep encouraging yourself, even when it feels impossible to do so. I have worship playlists that I play on my good and bad days. When you make those lists in advance, you can just press play on the hard days. I made this playlist when I still lived in Mississippi, away from my husband, family and friends and listened to it daily. An added benefit of this particular playlist is that I can remember listening to this song during MONTHS of (what seemed like) endless job searching, so it’s encouraging but also serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and how He made a way for me. If He did it before, He CAN do it again!

Seeds of Faith Scriptures:

Psalms 116:6 NLT
The lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.

Matthew 11:28 NLT
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

2 Corinthians 5:4-7 NLT
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing.

Philippians 2:16 NLT
Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the lord ’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the lord is with you!”

2 Corinthians 12:6-10 NLT

If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Morning Inspiration

Last Sunday, I was talking to my youth about a couple of things and we got on the topic of “empathy” vs “sympathy.” I was thinking about that conversation just now and this thought came to mind. I pray it encourages you this morning.

We want God to only pour “good” things into us. Those things that make us happy and that are easy to bear.

That desire is shortsighted and overlooks the fact that our deepest burdens/moments of breaking equip us with a testimony that can empower someone’s breakthrough!

If you don’t get those good AND bad things poured into you–you won’t have anything to pour out. People aren’t just looking for someone that can “feel bad” for them, they need that person who understands the sting of defeat/discouragement, the pain of betrayl/failure, and the depth of sorrow/hurt.

It may not feel good, but God is equipping you for SO MUCH MORE! If you turn those broken places over, God will reveal their purpose to you. That’s my testimony. I see it every Sunday I share with my youth. In my day to day activities when a random exchange brings up a memory that no longer carries pain, but gives me an encouraging word to share.

Scriptures to meditate on:

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 ESV
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Genesis 50:20
As for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. .

Isaiah 55:9
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine….”

Romans 8:31-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

Philippians 3:7-14 ESV
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

#PURPOSE #BeautyforAshes #allthingsworktogether

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