Thursday, January 30, 2020

What's Your God Story?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Colossians‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

In so many ways, it’s been a very emotional week with the helicopter crash, an earthquake, the coronavirus, an impeachment trial, and so much more. If I watch the news for too long, I can easily become depressed and overwhelmed. Can I let you in on a little secret!?

In Jon’s family, whenever life gets tough and we’re really discouraged, we play a game called, “I remember when...”. The point of the game is to take turns, filling in the blank and finishing the sentence by sharing about a time in your life when you remember God’s goodness and faithfulness. You can share something about your own life or choose to share a story about someone else in our family to help jog their memory.

Honestly, it’s so encouraging to be reminded about God’s love for each of us!! That being said, I want us to take turns and share "remember whens" and stir up thankfulness in one another.

I’ll go first.

I remember Mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. On top of everything else, my family was scheduled to move to Hong Kong in one week. As if I didn’t have enough on my plate already. I didn’t understand how I could leave my Mom, never knowing if I would see her again.

My heart was torn.

As I prayed and poured out my heart to the Lord, He assured me, my Mom wouldn’t be alone, because my brothers and sisters would help her in my absence. So in faith, we left our home in East Texas and moved to Hong Kong.

Ultimately, God was so good and faithful to provide for my Mom!! The Lord took care of her when I couldn’t. As I was on the other side of the world, God comforted me when I was homesick and missing my family. He graciously brought healing to my Mom, who is now in remission and I’m praying God continues to be glorified through my Mom's story. Praise the Lord!!

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" 
- 1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV

Alright now it’s your turn...
What’s your God story? How have you seen God’s goodness and faithfulness manifested in your life?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

God's Comfort in Tragedy

I’m a pilot’s wife. Honestly, this week's helicopter crash is one of my worst nightmares and what I fear each time my husband leaves for work. As a result, the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death has left me more shaken than I expected. In the days following any type of airplane crash, I get nervous and filled with worry about what might happen to my own husband. I realize this is a very unhealthy default mode, but sometimes I can't help myself. As a result, I would like to take some time to remind all of us about the comfort God offers to all people during times of affliction.

Yesterday, I was holding back tears as my husband left for work and secretly scared he may never come home. Silently, I prayed and begged God to protect the love of my life and allow him to safely return to us.  

While Jon’s gone, I try my best to cling to Jesus. This is just a proper Christian Sunday school response, but the only thing that has worked for me while my love is gone. I spend time with Jesus in a variety of ways. Usually, I make time to read or listen to my Bible, recite scripture, and continue to pray for my husband. I must rely on God, because otherwise I drive myself crazy with worry, anxiety, fear, “what ifs” and unfortunately I can even become very angry.

As a busy Mom of five, I've been participating in "The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble" plan on the Bible app. Everyday I listen to the particular scripture and then finish by listening to a corresponding podcast, put out by "The Bible Recap". This is one of the first Bible reading plans I've been able to stick to, because I'm listening to it as I was dishes or make lunch. It's made such a difference in the few weeks, I've been listening to my Bible.

Also, one of my favorite Bible verses to recite during hard times is Psalm 34:18. Just for some context, let's start in verse 17.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
- Psalm 34:17-20 [NIV] 

What an incredible picture of God’s goodness to us, even when our lives are broken and shattered God is with us. Even when it feels like it's all too much and we might die under the weight of it all, we must remember these truths. The Lord will deliver us and not one of our bones will be broken under the weight of our crushing circumstances. I’m so thankful for this reminder!!

Thank you God for never leaving us alone and that we don’t need to have it all together before we can come to You. No matter what’s going on in your life, don’t forget to run to Jesus.

Finally, my heart is just broken for the loss of Kobe and Gianna Bryant; John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser; Ara Zobayan; and Payton and Sarah Chester. I will continue to pray for their families and friends as they mourn the loss of their most precious loved ones. Click here to learn more about all the helicopter accident victims. 

For anyone in need of a little more help as you process the loss of a loved one. Click the link to check out Emily P Freeman podcast called, “85: Hold Space When Someone Dies”.


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