Monthly Archives: October 2018

Trials and Tribulation

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

Hello, friends!  As I mentioned in my last post, the Lord is doing some deep work in me these days, but I’m still not ready to detail it.  I am in the midst of trials and tribulation on many fronts.  It makes me think of 2 Corinthians 4:8-9We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  He is teaching me things through trials that I can’t learn while on the mountain top.

In my spiritual immaturity, I used to ask the Lord, “Why me, God?” when trials would hit my life.  Friends would point me to verses in the Bible that talked about rejoicing that trials had come.  What???  That made no sense to me.  I especially disliked the often-quoted Romans 5:3-5Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame…  I’m pretty pain-averse, and I just wasn’t sure that hope was worth all the suffering that it apparently took to get it.

I also couldn’t reconcile why I was facing trials when Jeremiah 29:11 promises that His plan is “to prosper you, not to harm you”.  The trials were causing me pain and anxiety and I did not understand how that was going to prosper me and not harm me.  It sure felt a lot like harm and a lot less like prospering.  I just kind of gritted my teeth until I got through it.  I didn’t grow a lot during those times, I’m sure.

I guess I must have grown some, at least, since those days, because now I don’t spend nearly as much time saying, “Why me, God?” and whining to Him about my circumstances.  Now I’m more apt to ask Him, “What do you want me to learn through this, God?  How is this shaping me to look more like You?”  I certainly don’t do this perfectly, but I’m growing in it.  He’s definitely teaching me to keep my eyes on Him in the midst of the storm.  (Read more about that in this post.)

I had a light bulb moment when I recently read over this passage in 1 Peter:

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Wow, did that ever strike me.  The trials have come so that my faith can be proven to be genuine.  Not only that, but it will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  That’s amazing!

Yes, I’m going through a very difficult time right now, and I can’t yet say that I’m fully rejoicing in those trials.  However, I have His peace and I have His hope to get me through it.  I know that He is bringing some Isaiah 61:3 beauty from things that look like ashes right now, and I look forward to seeing it.

How about you?  Are you facing a trial or a storm in your life?  One of my spiritual gifts is that of intercession, or prayer, and I would deeply cherish the opportunity to pray for you.  Just comment below with as much or as little detail as you would like, and I will lift you up as you go through it.  May all the glory and praise and honor go to our Lord Jesus Christ!


A Post About Friends :)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.  Proverbs 17:17

Do you have friends?  I mean REAL friends – the ones who stick by you through thick and thin.  The ones who know all your faults but love you anyway.  The ones who know all your secrets and will never tell a soul.  I am blessed to have several friends who meet that description.

Recently I took a break from a really crazy period of life and went on a weekend getaway with three of my very most dear friends, Valerie, Stephanie and Jenny.  We have been friends for 40 years or more.  Valerie and Jenny still live in Georgia where we all grew up, but life has taken Stephanie to California and me to Kentucky.  In spite of the distance, when we get together it’s like we were never apart from each other.

So, as I was saying, we took a break and made a long weekend getaway to Savannah, Georgia.  I had been through Savannah before, but I had never stopped and explored the city before that weekend.  It was lovely.  We had a great time on Saturday doing a hop-on, hop-off tour through the city and learning about its incredible history.  We did some shopping on River Street.  We ate a fantastic Italian dinner at Bella Napoli and finished up with ice cream at Leopold’s.

On Sunday, we went to Tybee Island.  The beach is my happy place, and I was glad that the others wanted to go there also.  Even though it was October, the weather was cooperative enough for us to swim and wade in the water.  We then had a wonderful mid-afternoon lunch on Tybee.  When we got back to our hotel, we spent the afternoon at the pool.  That evening we had a great seafood dinner before retiring to the hotel to spend a precious last little bit of time together before I had to leave early on Monday.  (It’s a 10 hour drive from my home in Lexington to Savannah.)

The best part of the weekend was just being with people who really “get” me.  We laughed and cried with each other and shared intimate parts of ourselves.  We talked about dreams and plans that we have, and dreams and plans that have fallen apart.  We encouraged each other and were encouraged by each other.  It was a great time of lifting of spirits.  I have found that their kind of friendship is a rare commodity in this world.

Do you know who else really gets me?  Like, better than anybody else?  Jesus does.  Just look at the opening verses of Psalm 139:

 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

I added emphasis to the word “know” to illustrate all the ways that the Lord knows me and knows you.  Isn’t it mind-boggling to think that He knows literally everything about us?  And with this knowledge of us — all of our proclivities and passions, our weaknesses and our strengths, our hopes and our dreams — He loves us more deeply than we can ever fathom.  WOW.   That just blows me away to think that the God of the universe would even want to know me that well.

I pray that you have friends who are as loved and treasured as my friends are to me.  More importantly, I pray that you have the Friend Who will never leave you nor forsake you.  Please comment below or message me if you would like to know Him more.


And now for a quick update.  I haven’t written as much lately because I have been SUPER busy.  The pace at my regular job really increases during the last quarter of each year.  In addition, I’ve picked up a second job, one that will just be seasonal before life returns to normal, ha ha.  The main reason I haven’t written, though, is that I’m going through a lot of stuff right now on spiritual and emotional levels.  The Lord is doing some deeper work in me, for which I’m grateful.  I will write about it once I’m on the other side of this, but right now any thoughts that I have would just be half-baked.  I appreciate your patience with me, though, and if you’re so inclined, I would appreciate your prayer that the Lord will complete this work at the deepest levels He wants to take me to in it.  Thank you, and blessings to all!