In the last few weeks I have been asking myself questions like “how do I stay strong in this fear driven world?” And “what if I get this virus?” And even “what if my income is affected by this shaky economy?” I’m sure you have found yourself asking the same questions. There is so much unknown and the ‘what ifs’ are constantly on my mind.
This is when talking to myself becomes a healthy thing to do.
I remind myself of other seasons of uncertainty that I have lived through (and survived) and have seen God provide for me and my family in miraculous ways. The Bible is full of these kinds of stories but they are even more real when they are your own and come out of real-life experiences.
When I was 16 I lived in war-torn Nigeria with my missionary parents and three brothers. We were in our third term when we found ourselves caught in the middle of civil war. There was a time when our area was taken over and we were cut off from all communication with the outside world for 6 weeks. (This was before computers and cell phones, so being cut off was really that.) Our families back home didn’t know if we were dead or alive. Altogether there were three families, consisting of 6 children (the youngest being four years old) and 8 adults. Stores were closed and food was scarce as there were no trucks bringing in supplies. The roads out of the area were blocked so we had no other recourse but to stay put.
My dad and several of the men decided to drive 30 miles into the nearest town. We knew there were some American oil bases in the area and we hoped that some of their people had remained to watch over their equipment.
When they arrived at the American oil base a large man in his Texan hat came out to greet them. When it was explained that we lived 30 miles away and there were children and more adults the man said: “If you guys are staying around then you need to come with me.” They got in his Land Rover and he drove them to a huge warehouse. As they drove up my dad said: “This is the warehouse I saw in my dream last night!”
Long story short, we were given as much food as we wanted and also given a movie projector and movies to watch (that was well before home movies were even heard of). I remember eating canned pie filling and steaks, food that was fit for a king (in my mind)!
Not only did God provide but He provided more than we needed. It was a miracle provision I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!
As a young adult, this made a huge impression on my life. I can honestly say that I have never doubted that the God I serve will ever let me down. I know He loves me and cares not only for my needs but goes above and beyond my needs to take care of me. He is a miracle-working God and it’s during seasons like we are living in that He shines. If we can trust Him and depend on Him and remind ourselves that He will take care of us, I believe we will see and hear miraculous stories of provision and healing come out of this season. The scripture below challenged me today.
PS. I would love to hear some of your stories of God’s goodness during this season of quarantine and self-distancing as we share with each other in the comments. Look for the good and let’s encourage each other!
Choosing a word, one word, to describe what I am anticipating for this new year is not an easy thing to do….usually. But this year it came to me in such a simple way that I couldn’t ignore it.
Change is alwayschallenging and these last four years have been all about navigating a lot of changes in my life. 2019 begins year number five and as it was nearing a close in December a lightness and anticipation began inside of me. There wasn’t any one thing I can identify that made me realize my “word” for the year but this “lightness” was so noticeable it made me pay attention to it. The last few years I have felt the exact opposite. A heaviness has seemed to envelope me in so many ways and affected my everyday life in a way I had never experienced before. So feeling “light” was such a change it was easy to notice. No one around me commented about it but it was something inside that made me realize there is a change in the air and I began to be excited about it.
Some people say it takes up to five years to begin to adjust to a lot of change and maybe that is true. I just know that I like it….whatever it is. I wouldn’t trade all that I have experienced, in 2018 especially. It wasn’t the easiest year, that is for sure. But easy isn’t always the best and I know I have benefited from the difficulties and have become a stronger, more secure person because of it. There is good in everything….especially when you trust God with your life. His faithfulness and goodness never ends and I experienced so much from those attributes last year.
This year I am excited to experience whatever He brings my way. My word for the year is ENJOY! Enjoy life, enjoy God, enjoy my family, enjoy my friends, just ENJOY. I know that isn’t deep or necessarily profound but in my practical, ordinary way it means so much to me. God has been so good to me and I have ignored His goodness because it wasn’t what I wanted or necessarily expected. There is so much enjoyment to be had in my everyday living and I have been one who has not taken the time to even consider enjoying them. Well, this year is different!
So….my word for 2019 is to ENJOY EVERYTHING THAT COMES MY WAY, EVERY DAY AND IN EVERY WAY I POSSIBLY CAN! This picture says it all!!
Fall (Autumn) is upon us. Summer of 2018 is gone. Here in Florida the leaves don’t change and even though it might look colder outside because it is raining, it is still hot and humid. Our Fall is our hurricane season and it was one year ago that we lived through Hurricane Irma. Every hurricane brings loss to those who go through it. We lost our electricity for 4 days and thus lost food in our fridge. Fortunately, we had no other loss but others in the path of that storm did.
Seasons of life experience their storms as well and this season of life seems to be full of storms that bring huge change. The hardest storm is experiencing the loss of close relationships. Loss is so difficult whether it’s your parents or your best friend. My husband and I have lost a father, a brother, very close friends and several people we looked to as mentors and advisors in the last six years. My heart breaks for the husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and friends who find themselves walking this road of loss. Trusting in God takes on a whole new meaning when you are faced with living in the season of loss.
How do you live in change when the familiar is gone? It seems to happen a lot in this season of life. Your job changes, you downsize your living space, your children leave home, you move away from familiar surroundings, and you lose loved ones. Sometimes you feel like you have been struck by a wave in the ocean of life and it took your feet out from under you. What do you do? How do you cope?
I’m learning that the best thing to do is to step into your tomorrow one day at a time. Don’t sit in the shadows but choose to step into the light. Every day brings a little more insight into the future. Each day God provides the hope that His plan for your life is still the same. His provision and care for you has not changed. In fact, I am convinced that since He is not surprised by the changes in your life, He has already gone ahead and made provision for you. He is ready to be what you need as you live in this new season. A friend of mine who recently lost her husband said it this way:
“I have to step out of my comfort zone so I can experience all that God has for me in the days ahead.”
This is my prayer for me and for anyone else who finds themselves in a season of change and loss:
“Lord, open my eyes and my heart to see Your goodness in this season. Give me a glimpse of the other side of this feeling of loss and sadness so I can live with joy all that you have for me. I don’t want to regret this time of my life. I trust you Lord!”
Remembering those we love, treasuring the memories and missing them every day!
Why blog? I guess I have a desire to begin writing about some of the things I have learned over my lifetime. I turned 60 this year and began to realize I actually might have something to share with others. The other reason I want to write some of my thoughts is to record them for my grandchildren. They are all pretty young at this point but there will come a day when they will have their own families and my words just might help give them some insight on how to live life to the fullest and embrace each challenge that comes their way. It would absolutely thrill me if they looked to the blog of their Nana and found a few words of wisdom to help them along life’s way.
Why make this blog public if it’s primarily for my grandchildren? Well, maybe, just maybe there is a young mom who needs to know she will survive to the next season of her life. Maybe there is another woman just like me who needs to know her thoughts and emotions are similar to mine and embracing them will give her the confidence and foundation she needs to get her into the next season of life.
What is the real reason? I need to tell my story. I know it will bring hope to others because it has brought hope to me. I have found that God is so good to prepare us for each season of life. He loves us so much and promises to be in the middle of the “good” and “bad” of our lives without judging us or condemning us but by teaching us as we embrace each season that comes our way.