Monday, March 22, 2010

A Broken Life Becomes A Beautiful Life


My prayers were answered when Kat, heart2heart, offered an opportunity to women to study online together using Sheila Walsh’s book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God. I am so amazed at how the Word of God parallels my current storm in life and it has been that way every week! Imagine that, the Word of God meeting me head on in everyday life! Why should I be surprised? I’m not, really! I admire Kat for taking on this project when she is in a battle of her own and facing surgery. I might have pulled the covers over my head were I in her shoes, and recoiled in my pain. Her witness is a strong one to me and although I have toyed with the idea of running away in my own emotional pain, I continue to fight as we Christians must. I stand with Kat today and run to God’s Word as my refuge.

Today’s emphasis in Study Four looks at Anna in the New Testament. Sheila calls her a woman who kept her focus, referring to Luke 2:36-38. Anna, a prophetess and a widow, waited patiently to behold the expected Messiah. Sheila parallels this passage with an Old Testament verse: Isaiah 40:25-31. I especially like this part of it:

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

The Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary

And His understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary,

And increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary

And young men stumble and fall

But those who hope in the Lord

Will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

They will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.

I see a powerful example here in scripture of the Lord’s encouragement to us who, like Anna, continue to wait on the Lord expectantly. A good question to journal about in these times is: “In What Area Do I Need Strength?" My heart is breaking when I think of the pain our prodigal is causing our family members. God gave me a promise and I’m fully persuaded what He has promised, he will do! Beautiful things happen when a woman trusts God! But the waiting....torture.

Sheila asks us to ponder: “What Dream Has God Planted Deep Inside You?” “What Prevents You From Realizing That Dream?”

I have a dream of serving the Lord as a family. I get sidetracked when I see the enemy stealing from our family unit and creating chaos and hurt. I realize God is bigger than any plan of the enemy. Standing on God’s Word is lonely at times. I am grateful for friends and many online bloggers who have prayed with me and encouraged me this past year. God has been faithful that way. I gaze at Anna, who waited 84 years for the promise! I wonder if she had any support, any fellowship as she waited. But the day came for her when she held baby Jesus in her arms! I’m asking God to keep me steady as I learn a deeper faith walk in this time of testing. I’m keeping a journal and documenting things God is saying to my heart and reminding myself that He is sovereign. Isn’t it amazing how a little trouble can come your way and it reels you in and makes God’s presence a priority? That’s where I’m at these days. Truly, I cannot wait to wake up in the morning to hear from Him and exchange my uncertainties for His rock-solid truth.

Kat ended her study today by sharing a personal Word from the Lord in her pain. I was encouraged.

I end my study reflecting on a personal experience I had with the Lord in Church yesterday when our pastor asked us if we needed direction from the Lord. We were asked to stand and seek Him for it…in silence! We are anything but quiet in our corporate body, so that was unusual for us. I did not get any words, but standing there I felt like God reached into my central core and lifted out my heart, holding it in His hand and massaging it. He placed it back and all anxiety left me. I’m now a floater! He wants me to trust Him. Beautiful things will, indeed, happen! I just know it.





14 comments:

Heart2Heart said...

Mary,

I have such inspiration when I read how this study has blessed you and brought you to a place of comfort. I too, as I sat and wondered about Anna and waiting for 84 years for the fulfillment of God's promise, what thoughts must have gone through her head on any given day.

I wonder how she picked herself back up when life got her down. I believe like you stated, that friends came along that God sent to her to encourage her, give her words of comfort and even walk through that part of their journey together.

That is what has brought you and I together is that we can lift one another up when we feel discouraged and need that human contact. God knows that and provides it just when we need it most. Remember that I am only ever an email away. I am here for you always except for Thursday and Friday, but I hope to have someone update my blog that day.

I love you and value your honesty and friendship and know that if you hold on to your faith with both hands and a trusting heart, God will not fail you! There is such a blessing if we don't lose heart. Hang in there.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Beth in NC said...

This is so wonderful Mary. I saw Sheila interviewed on James and Betty Robison's show the other day. I wondered if her book was good -- sounds like it is.

I love God's timing! He orchestrates it all for us.

(((hugs)))

Love!
Beth

Mari said...

Wow...that is some encouragement to us weary travelers! I too remember reading this in Sheila's book, but how you laid it out with your personal story about what God did for you is so very touching. Thanks for sharing. It has encouraged my heart too.

Denise said...

Such a wonderful post dear, love you.

Joan said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. I've missed "seeing" you on Spiritual Sundays for a couple of weeks.

Blessings & Joy,

Joan

Andrea said...

Both you and Kat are GOD's inspirations to each of us. HE is using each of you powerfully. GOD bless you, sweet friend as you follow GOD's will and way into family ministry.
Hugs, andrea

RCUBEs said...

Your Bible study is also a source of encouragement to us. Thank you for sharing what transpired this week for you and sister Kat. I can see already that His promises are fulfilled from both of you: having that strength that only comes from Him and you, two soaring like eagles, no matter what circumstances or storms of life are hitting you. God bless sister Mary and love to you sister.

Loren said...

Mary ~

Your Faith inspires me so! You transparency does as well....The Lord moves in such powerful ways and I love it when HE doesn't even have to speak....it is just HIS Presence...Oh HIS Presence! May you continue to float my friend and trust deeper and deeper still! I thank you for your encouraging words today and know the Lord will continue to provide those tangible ways of speaking straight to YOUR heart in ways that only HE can!
I love you

Silver said...

Mary, i have no doubt that God only always have our best interests in His heart.. and there is a time and season for all things to come. I know that His plans are always good.. it's the "wait" that we often find it hard to keep still. 84 years. Although with God, it is only a twinkle in the eye.

hugs,
~Silver

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

Mary, thank you for sharing. Sheila's words are always powerful. Blessings to you for sharing.

sonja said...

Mary:
I just clicked over to visit this morning and I'm so glad I did. It was a beautiful testimony to what God is teaching you, and His lessons are always the deepest in the midst of our own trials or pain, aren't they?

The study sounds so good, and the lessons from it have already been of value to you.

I really like the 'picture' of God holding your heart in His hands, and then restoring it. That's what He does.

Keep on trusting, there's no safer place to be.

Hugs & blessings,

Sonja

Jackie said...

Wonderful words Mary! I really needed to hear this today. And how powerful and precious the move of the Spirit upon you at church.....I'm taking this with me and leaning close to Him and let Him massage my heart, relax and float!

Continuing to pray for you and yours and believing with you that you will see the manifestation of serving the Lord as a complete and whole family!!

Love, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Sassy Granny ... said...

Isn't it absolutely mind-boggling to see how the Lord is building His Body, His Church, right here in cyberspace? I had no idea there'd be such inspiration and encouragement at the click of a keyboard.

Trust is huge! I believe it's a lesson for all of us, one that's renewed with the passing of seasons.

God's best to you and yours,
Kathleen

Dianna said...

I wanted to tell you what a joy it was to find you this morning! Thank you for the inspiration I received as I read over your post. Thank you for sharing! God is so AWESOME...I'm not really sure how it was I ended up on your blog, but I know it was all of His plan. Thank you for your obedience to pen what He is doing in your life.