be still, change, Chaos, concerns, difficulties, Dreams, Faith, family, Freedom, God, heart

Time Alone with God

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Do you have a place where you go to get away from the pressure, stress, and chaos of life? A special place where you can sit quietly without interruption, allowing yourself to unwind and be alone with God?  Can you sense an emotional siren pulsating through your body, alerting you to your need for a time out?

If this is you, don’t ignore the warning signs and your need to be alone with God as it can be hazardous to your health!  Our spiritual being was created for communion with our Creator. The hunger of our soul is to be quenched by God who supplies every need. He provides our strength and hope as we push through this life.

It’s hard to admit that there were fourteen years, (yes fourteen!)  where I spent too much time attempting to overcome all life had thrown at me in my own strength. It may sound pathetic and a little victimized, but I found myself wrestling to get through loss, pain, disappointment, and fear so I could finally say, “I made it, we made it!”  I desperately wanted to be done with all of the stress I had put myself under to try and save my family. I wanted everyone fixed so we could all start living life how I had always envisioned it. I had convinced myself it was my fierce determination and hope for a better tomorrow that got me through each day. However, that was not it at all!  My hope for better tomorrows and prayers for all that concerned me were right on, but my inability to release control and live life according to God’s way had become infectious to mind, body and spirit. My need to “fix” everybody and everything was hindering me from doing life God’s way, and it was His grace that brought me through and into each new day.

Somehow I believed my dreams would be the same dreams my family shared. Over the years the aspirations and expectations I envisioned for us had morphed into the goal behind every need to repair, save, cover up, and control.  Take that mentality and mix it with additional chaos, stress, and people behaving badly and I found myself in not such a good place.

(Divorce, troubled teen, son leaving for college, loss of a loved one to cancer, moving to a new home, and starting a new job)  All high on the stress bar! 

It was in my reflection time God was able to show me how I had allowed the behaviors of others to rob me from trusting Him in all things and for all things. I had surrendered to pressure and not God.

As pressure builds we can find ourselves breaking down, and if we don’t allow ourselves time to get away to reflect and pray we may find ourselves reacting instead of responding in wisdom, peace, gentleness and a spirit of truth and love. I came to realize it was under this pressure I was losing my way.

Many times throughout the New Testament you will find Jesus leaving everyone and everything to get away alone to pray. He has left us with the perfect example of what to do when life becomes overwhelming and we need a break!  Even if we’re praying throughout our day there are times when we will need to remove ourselves from all people and things so we can focus and listen to the still small voice inside warning, encouraging and instilling wisdom for the moment and days ahead.  It is imperative to take ourselves to a place where we can connect with God and listen without interruption.

Because God is a faithful and loving God, He graciously brought me to the place where I could see the light and love of His ways. He brought me to the end of myself where I was surrendered enough to move deeper into his purposes and plans for my life. His plan was and is to save us all but we need to make the choice to let Him. In my choice to surrender the family I held so dear to my heart God gently showed me how to leave all that concerns me, all that I love and cherish at His feet for His purposes. After all, God has not made me the savior of my family.  He already provided a Savior for us long ago!

We will find when taking time to be alone with God, we find freedom. The troubles invading our hearts, homes, families, careers, friendships, and every important part of our life become smaller and less frightening, and God becomes bigger.  His power and grace will take over as we relinquish control and surrender.

Today if you find yourself struggling I pray the Scripture below will help comfort you as you make your way to the other side:

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”  Mark 1:35

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”  Matthew 14:23

“Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7b

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Faith, God, Love, Religion, Trust

The Power of Trust

CAT-03-KH0053-01P[1]Have you heard the saying, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” For Years I had been looking for an escape route, a secret door to lead me out of the chaos and stress of what had become life. As I watched and prayed I began to see myself as the cat slipping slowly down the rope only to find myself hanging on by the knot tied at the bottom. No one person’s fault really, but more like a compilation of good intentions gone bad.

It appears most of us set out with the best of intentions and sometimes we experience a not so good ending. Things don’t always turn out the way we hoped, and sometimes for what we’ve prayed. However, I am a believer in prayer. I’ve experienced answered prayer and some I am still waiting on. It really is about God’s will and timing for us.  Because He is faithful to answer, I wait. My secret, continue to TRUST because the story is not over yet.

I want to be honest and let you know the past few weeks have been difficult in regards to my writing. I say this because I am truly happy and thankful for my new place in life, and I absolutely love So Cal! However, it’s been hard to write because a few weeks ago I received some news that has broken another piece of my heart.

As I was tapping into my emotion over this news I discovered I have been stuck because of a false belief I’ve had in that I would truly be happy once my family (meaning sons and their family) became reunited. You see, my older son and I have a tumultuous relationship with my younger son that has been wounded, traumatized, and then scabbed over only to be reopened again. It’s a convoluted story in need of multiple sessions with Billy Graham and Dr. Phil while being covered in prayer and Sozo. Oh, and let’s not forget getting rid of those who feel a need to plant seeds of division with their lies and need to divide.

Truth be told, a reunion and steps towards re-establishing healthy family relationships would leave me doing a happy dance, jumping for joy, and falling to my knees in thanksgiving! But it is not the key to what unlocks the door to my ability to trust and know true happiness.

In life we’re given choices and we always hope for the best outcome. No matter what the decision involves whether it is marriage, raising children, landing a career, owning a business or anything in life. We all hope for success. Sometimes those choices don’t lead us to the end of what we dreamed or hoped but instead they lead us to the end of our rope. This is where I was before God so graciously flung open the doors of opportunity and moved me to a place where I am surrounded by beautiful beaches, tropical weather, and gorgeous sunsets. And I love my job!

Throughout my journey I’ve gained nuggets of truth and most recently this one: Our ability to be happy and trust is going to come from stepping out and away from things holding us back from living our purpose. I am speaking of things in life that bring us down and pull us away from the purposes and plans of God. Now, we won’t always get it right and we may take detours along the way because of selfishness or ignorance. Let’s face it, we may come out beaten and bruised with a fear to trust or love again but that is when we take what we have and start over. The only people I know who have truly lost or the ones who have given up.

As I meditate on the Word I am reminded of God’s promises and one in particular:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Throughout my trust journey I have been able to hang on long enough through the tough times for God to get me back on the right path. This is where my blessings of a new job and home were able to come in.  Had I stayed fighting a battle that was not meant for me I would have missed where I am today. Now I want you to know none of this takes away from the love and desire I have to stand in the gap for my family. I have had people ask, “Do you think your son will ever be able to love and restore a relationship with you and his brother?”

All I can say is it can be done. I’ve heard and read stories of families learning to heal and trust one another again. Throughout the Bible I read stories about reconciliation and restoration. Battles have been won throughout the beginning of time but not without battle scars. These battle scars are what have made me who I am today. They’ve built a faith and strength in me that I am not sure would have been there had I not traveled down some painful roads.

In essence what good are we without the ability to trust and love? There is power in trusting someone and learning to love them. The power is within you and the decisions you make with the hope they will turn out well and be successful. I’ve decided to continue and step out in that power trusting whether I win or lose that I am not alone. There is someone bigger than I am watching over the entire plan and purpose for my life. Yes, there will be times I mess it up in my selfishness or maybe out of my ignorance. But I can be sure of one thing, He who began a good work in me will complete it to the end (Phil 1:6).

I believe He is trusting in me to take what I have and start again. (Psalm 84)

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