Pride, prideful, temptation, forgiveness, prayer, humility, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Prideful: Resisting Temptation and Following Christ’s Example of Humility

To our core, humans find it easy to slip into prideful character traits. We must resist the temptation to wear pride and follow Christ’s example of humility.



My husband and I closed on our first home on June 7. It’s a beautiful fixer-upper, built in 1920. We knew going in this would be a lot of work, but I think we underestimated just how much work.

For weeks now, we’ve been cutting, drilling and demolishing in that house every spare minute we have. It’s been challenging and growing, to say the least. But I knew it would be. I knew we would be exhausted. I knew our communication as husband and wife would be challenged and given opportunity to flourish.

But what I didn’t expect was something inside of me to crawl its way to the surface, revealing an ugly, sinful aspect of my personality: pride.

Humans find it easy to slip into prideful character traits. We must resist the temptation to wear pride and follow Christ's example of humility. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #pride #humility #prayer #temptation

Doing vs. Hearing

I am a fairly independent creature. I love knowing how to get a job done and then just going and doing it. But I’m also a hands-on learner. Which means in order for the knowledge of how to do something to lodge in my brain, it’s a whole lot easier for me to physically walk through it than it is for me to listen to someone explain how to do it.

Let me tell you, when it comes to renovating a house, there’s a lot I don’t know. My husband has been gracious with me as I learn on the go, but I hate that I have to ask him so many questions. I hate that I have to wait for him to give a direction for certain things like roughing in the electric and creating framing for our new, beautifully-big kitchen window. 

But that’s not even where my pride has reared its ugly head. The situations where that sinful little character flaw reveals itself has been in my meeting with contractors. With male contractors, I should add.

Prideful Scream

Now, I’m not the person who is all up in arms over women’s rights. I believe women are equal in intelligence and value to men, that we should have equal opportunity, but I’m not going to be protesting or arguing that the world is out to devalue women.

But what I will take a stand against is men assuming I don’t know what I’m talking about in a male-dominated field. That just gets me! I’ve met with a few different contractors during the day by myself, as I work from home and have the flexibility to do so. 

What I’m realizing is that most of these men I speak with give my prideful nature a frustratingly simple path to the surface of my emotions. When they say things like, “You can have your husband call me if he has questions” or, “Do you know what I mean by this?” I simply want to scream.

And those are moments my pride sneers in success as I shrink back in failure.

“What Would Jesus Do?”

Allowing a prideful attitude to take control is something I know saddens the heart of Jesus. I could easily give excuses for why I feel the way I do. But to borrow from the old, Christian phrase, I must ask, “What would Jesus do?” 

Jesus, the King of the universe, the One who created heaven and earth with the breath of His lungs and the words of His mouth — this Jesus was mocked, scorned, beaten and put to death. Evil, nasty men hurled insults at Him… At the Son of the Almighty God.

And what did He do? Did He scream back at them? Did He defend His Name and His knowledge and His power? No, He didn’t. Jesus didn’t allow the pride of who He is to tempt Him into sin.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.

Isaiah 53:7, NIV

If Jesus didn’t feel the need to defend Himself against His accusers, why should I feel the need to defend my knowledge and experience?

I shouldn’t, is the simple answer.

But it’s never that simple for us mere mortals, is it?

God is Faithful

We can easily say “What would Jesus do?” Yet that’s a phrase easier said than put into practice. But if I desire to look more like Christ each day, if I desire to glorify God with every fiber of my being, then I must set aside the pride that rises each time people assume I don’t know something simply because I’m a woman.

I don’t know what circumstances you face that cause your prideful nature to flood your emotions, but one thing I do know: We can rise above this temptation. We can not only push back our pride, but we can pluck it from the very core of our being.

How? By remembering God is faithful.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV

Enduring Temptation

God has given us an amazing promise when it comes to the temptation of pride. We can know, because of His faithfulness, He will always provide a way out for us. He will help us to endure the temptation. 

But here’s the thing: We have to accept His help. Just because God provides a way doesn’t mean He pulls us kicking and screaming. We must acknowledge His faithfulness, take His hand, and accept His endurance.

We can do this through prayer and through repeating truth whenever faced with a temptation. Instead of allowing instant frustration at these men who assume I’m simply my husband’s puppet in regards to the renovation of our house, I need to ask God for help. I need to praise Him for His faithfulness. And I need to seek the way out that He will provide for me.

Christ’s Humility

I wish I could give you a step-by-step guide to what this looks like. But what I can do is promise you that the more you seek God, and the more you remember Christ’s humility, the more you will begin to reflect His character. And the more you reflect His character, the more your prideful nature will feel foreign and unneeded.

For God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But you must follow His lead when He provides a way out for you. At least that’s what I plan on doing tomorrow when I meet with another contractor. No more prideful screams. I’m following Jesus’ example this time.

The more we seek God, and the more we remember Christ’s humility, the more we will begin to reflect His character. The more we reflect His character, the more our prideful nature will feel foreign and unneeded. Click To Tweet

Humans find it easy to slip into prideful character traits. We must resist the temptation to wear pride and follow Christ's example of humility. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #pride #humility #prayer #temptation


Emily Saxe was born and raised on the east coast but currently resides in Indiana with her husband. Working as a full-time freelance writer and editor, her heart and her pen are drawn to stories of faith as she helps people share how God is working in their lives. Everyone has a story to tell, and Emily loves helping to give people a voice to share their own story.

Read more of Emily’s articles on her website, To Unearth. You can also find Emily here: Pinterest Instagram Facebook

unsplash-logoEvie S.
depression, anxiety, love, healing, faith, mental illness, patience, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Survival: Loving Someone with Severe Depression and Anxiety- A Guide

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. God holds us all through the peaks and valleys of depression.



Survival Guide Resume

Before I launch into this guide I first want to give you a glimpse at my resume, so you know that I know a little about what I’m talking about. For ten of the last twelve years of my marriage, I have been the husband of a wonderful woman who has had severe depression and anxiety. It started as postpartum depression after our second child was born and it has never gone away.

I will not go into the symptoms because chances are, if you clicked on the link to this article, you are very familiar with them. Instead, I am going to direct my comments to the depression newbie. The poor soul who has recently woken up to find their spouse (or someone they love) is no longer the happy, fun-loving person they married (or used to be). Who has found that their love has been brought low by some unseen, unimaginable malevolent force for which there seems to be no defense. This is your survival guide from a veteran of this fight. I hope to be able to save you some of the stumblings around in the dark that I have had to do.

Also, to make it fun, I have decided to put it in the form of a list! Because the internet loves lists right? Of course you do.

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

1.

It’s not about you.

Drop your ego. It’s not about you. Really. It’s not about you. Your spouse has a disease. Unless you are just being horrible to them, his or her depressive episodes are not the result of something you did or did not do. Along those same lines, there is nothing you can do to “fix” them or make the symptoms “go away.” Your spouse is on a rollercoaster.

It is a rollercoaster through a hell so terrifying that neither they nor you would ever have the words to adequately describe it. The only thing you can do during these moments is to honor your vows, board that roller coaster with them, hold their hand and ride that ride. Is it scary? You bet. Does your presence help? Sometimes. Sometimes not. But ride it anyway. It builds empathy in you and, when it is over, gratitude and trust for you in your spouse.

2.

Don’t hide. Be open about it.

Ok, listen. Unless the people in your lives are told what is going on, they can only speculate, and they can’t help. Depression is a terrible and lonely disease. Being married to a depressed person is equally lonely. There is a stigma to depression. Don’t pay attention to it. Your spouse has a disease. If they had cancer, you would tell people, and those people would gather around in a loving and supportive group to help your spouse through the difficult and painful process of treating their cancer.

So, pretend it is cancer. Be open with your friends and family about what is going on. Your spouse needs that extended support group, but almost as important, YOU need that extended support group. YOU CAN’T DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. Don’t try. Also, if you have children, be open with them about it. Explain the illness to them. Obviously, consider their ability to understand based on their age, but don’t exclude them. If they know WHY your spouse is behaving in this way, they will be less likely to blame the behavior on themselves. You need to include them. They have a right to know and to understand.

3.

Treat it.

I am going to keep saying it until you will never forget it. Your spouse has a disease. A disease that could kill them. A disease that continues to kill more and more people every year. Diseases are treated by doctors, specialists, and medicine. Don’t let your spouse tell you they can handle it on their own. They can’t. Get them a doctor or a counselor. The good news is, there are medicines that can help manage the symptoms. The bad news is: scientists know more about the surface of Mars than they do about how the brain actually functions.

So, there is no magic pill that will cure this disease, and treating the symptoms is more akin to throwing paint at the wall and seeing what sticks. You will likely try three or more medicines before finding one that works well for your spouse and manages the symptoms without unacceptable side-effects. After many years, we finally landed on one that gives my wife a semblance of normalcy in her life. There are those that will tell you to not ever use medicine. I disagree. From my experience, it helps immensely.

4.

You are not alone.

Again, being the spouse of someone with depression can be a terribly lonely experience. There will be times where you feel like you are the only one in the world going through this. Times when you feel like you can’t talk to a soul about what you are going through. There will be times when it gets so hard, so dark, so hellishly frustrating that you want to throw your hands up, walk away, and leave them to their own devices.

These are the moments that separate the wheat from the chaff. Stay. Fight. Dig deep. Find that reserve of strength inside of you and keep going. Your love is your spouses best hope of navigating the depths of the darkness inside of themselves and finding their way to the light of joy and happiness on the other side. For better or for worse. Well, this is one of those “worse” times. Ponder the following words:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? […]Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you…

Matthew 6:26-30, KJV

In more ways than one, you are never alone. Bring God along with you on this journey. Let Him give you comfort, let Him heal you. Surely the Author of all creation can and will soothe the open wounds of your despair with the healing balm of His majesty and love. Let Him. You are never alone. Believe it. Because after all the experiences I have had, I know it.

5.

This journey, if you let it, will strengthen you personally, and teach you what love really means.

When I married my wife, I thought I loved her. Of course, I did. But through this journey, I have learned the breadth and depth of what love really is. Is love, buying flowers for your wife on your anniversary? Yes. But more so, love is holding your trembling spouse as they sob and shake uncontrollably at 3 am due to some unseen and unassailable despair that gripped them suddenly and is making them say things as they would rather be dead than feel this way.

Love is canceling a trip you have been planning and looking forward to for months because your spouse is having a panic attack at the prospect of your absence. Love is enduring the verbal attacks of a spouse who is lashing out at you, not from any fault of your own, but because they are under an unbearable weight and have to let it out somewhere. Love is then forgiving them for that same act. 

A Gift

If you let it, this journey will teach you a lot about YOU. Is it scary? At times, it’s terrifying. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I now have an indescribably deep and abiding love for my spouse. It is so much more than fondness, friendship or physical desire. It is a love that binds our souls together and continually makes me more and more grateful for the gift of each day we get to spend with one another.

Through peaks and valleys, through better or worse, for now and extending into eternity with God, we walk together. And so can you. You can do it. Have patience, have faith, and never give up on them.

Let God give you comfort, let Him heal you. Surely the Author of all creation can and will soothe the open wounds of your despair with the healing balm of His majesty and love. Click To Tweet

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

Living with a loved one who has severe depression and anxiety can be disorienting. The key to survival and a strengthening love can be found in our Creator. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #depression #anxiety #love #healing

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
freedom, God’s love, identity, loved, truth, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Loved: Knowing God Desires Us for Who We Were Created to Be

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be!



I’m a pretty good driver. The only accident I’ve ever been in was entirely not my fault. I’ve never received a ticket. Never even been pulled over. So I really believe God intervened the night I ran over a raccoon and hit a deer within a 20-minute time span.

The few months leading up to that life-changing drive were some of the worst months of my life. I was working as the middle school director for a summer camp. A job I loved but caused me to endure some vicious slander from a young woman I lived with at the time. A sister in Christ.

Her verbal attacks made me believe maybe I wasn’t a good leader, a good friend, a good follower of Jesus. Her accusations wore me down emotionally and even spiritually.

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #freedom #identity #loved #truth

Attacked and Abused

Then our summer staff came to camp. I always enjoyed the weeks of training new staff and seeing how God brought us all together to teach His truth to campers. What I didn’t enjoy, though, were the two young men who flirted rather heavily with me. Two young men with girlfriends, I might add.

I remember the disgust I felt as I attempted to dissuade their flirtatious interactions. Here they were, men who claimed Christ as their Savior, using me for some fun without care for my feelings or, of course, their girlfriends’ feelings. 

The few weeks leading up to that fateful drive, my days consisted of listening to a fellow Christian attack my character and attempting to ward off flirting games.

I was sickened. I felt used and abused. 

The Ugly Anti-truth

From then on, I allowed Satan to take their words and actions and twist them into an ugly version of truth. This ugly anti-truth didn’t stop at crushing my character, though. It placed the words and actions I was receiving from sinful humans over God’s character. Before I realized what had happened, I began to struggle with believing the truth that God fully and uniquely loved me.

I knew Christ loves all people equally, but I struggled. If He truly loves us all the same, how was I special to Him? How was I unique to Him? How could I be loved by Him?

I prayed over this lie. My friends did, too. I sought wisdom from others. I saw Satan’s schemes for what they were. Yet I couldn’t move past the thought of, But what if he’s right? 

Freedom

It was on that drive when I found freedom. God revealed His answer to my prayers. I had tears threatening to spill as I drove home from Bible study. I cried out to God, asking Him why these fellow Christians were treating me like an afterthought. Why wouldn’t He remove this lie from my heart about who He was and how He loved me?

And that’s when I hit the raccoon. He had run out in front of me so quickly, I had barely seen him… I felt the thud, and I just burst into tears. This was not what I needed.

But as I wept, I decided enough was enough. So I numbed myself from the pain of my attackers. I took all my emotions and pushed them as far away from my heart as possible. I wiped my tears, set my jaw, and would fight back by simply not caring.

And that’s when I hit the deer. I remember looking at my speedometer for half a second. When I looked up, he was just standing there, right in front of me…

Overwhelmingly Loved

As the impact — physical and emotional — of what just happened tore through me, I once again began to weep. I cried out again and again, Why?? Why now? But instead of silence and my continued sobbing, I heard God’s answer…

He reminded me of the many ways He physically protects me. My love language is touch, and He had kept me safe from harm my whole life. There were different scenes that played out in my mind’s eye of moments when I should’ve been seriously injured — the current one included — but instead, I had not a scratch. 

For reasons I know as the Holy Spirit, my mind was released from the lie that God doesn’t love me perfectly and exactly the way I need love. The evidence overwhelmed me. 

His love overwhelmed me. 

I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Isaiah 41:9, NIV

The Only One

God reminded me how He knows every part of me, even the ugly parts, yet He still loves me. While human love will never satisfy, His will. While human love will always love flawed, His love never will. In fact, He rejoices over me.

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17, NIV

You might be facing this same lie or a number of other ugly anti-truths. But know, God has chosen you and not rejected you. He has engraved you on the palms of His hands. And if you were the only human on earth, He still would’ve sacrificed Himself for you. That’s how much He loves you.

No matter what others say about you or how people treat you, the perfect, unique love of our Savior is ready to wash you clean from your wounds. He is the only One who sees every aspect of you and loves you more than you can imagine.

Rejoicing in Truth

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV

His love surpasses our understanding and knowledge. Yet we can rest in the truth that His love is not measured in human standards. How we love one another should reflect God’s love for us, not the other way around. 

So whatever lie you face this day, continue to give it to Jesus. Continue to hold it up to the truth of Scripture, knowing He rejoices over you with singing. 

And my prayer is that it won’t take hitting a raccoon and a deer, for you to know the truth that will set you free.

God's love surpasses our understanding and knowledge. We can rest in the truth that His love is not measured in human standards. Click To Tweet

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #freedom #identity #loved #truth


Emily Saxe was born and raised on the east coast but currently resides in Indiana with her husband. Working as a full-time freelance writer and editor, her heart and her pen are drawn to stories of faith as she helps people share how God is working in their lives. Everyone has a story to tell, and Emily loves helping to give people a voice to share their own story. Read more of Emily’s articles on her website, To Unearth. You can also find Emily here: Pinterest Instagram Facebook

unsplash-logoAnita Austvika
fear, grace, trust, unafraid, surrender, control, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Unafraid: Trusting God to Take Control of Our Lives

Fear is crippling. We must surrender the reins of control to God. In order to live a trusting and unafraid life, we must accept His grace and mercy, daily.



Trust. Five letters. One simple concept. We utilize it on a daily basis…

We trust that our alarm clock will go off in the morning and wake us up. Trust that our coffee maker will brew the liquid gold that is such a necessity to many of us. We trust that our car will start. Hopefully!

With significantly more certainty, we trust that gravity will continue to keep us pinned to the earth. We trust that the Earth will continue its orbit around the Sun. On smaller scales, we trust for personal, daily needs. On a grand scale, we trust our needs to be continuously supported on this planet we call home.

So, if we so easily trust these small things for our continued existence, why do we find it so hard to trust the One? The One who allows for, and is in control of, all the aforementioned things and more, to happen?

Fear is crippling. We must surrender the reins of control to God. In order to live a trusting and unafraid life, we must accept His grace and mercy, daily. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #fear #control #grace #trust

Control

The reason is fear! Four letters. One powerful concept. It has the ability to make us fight, flee, or even freeze in our tracks. Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.” The key words in this definition are real or imagined.

Fear stems from a lack of control. The more we feel out of control, the more we are afraid, and the more we are afraid, the more we try and take matters into our own hands. In short, the more out of control we feel the more we try and control our life situations and the less we trust.

Let me tell you a secret…

Come close.

Closer.

Closer.

Right there…

Control is an illusion.

Trust is Peace

We have no control. We think we do because it keeps the fear at bay, but we really have precious little control over our circumstances. This is a lesson the Lord has been trying to teach me over the last five years. But here is another secret, the less I try to control my circumstances, and the more I trust God to take care of me, the more peace I feel.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7, NIV

Fear is easy. Being afraid comes naturally. We fight to keep something from happening or to keep someone or something safe. Or we freeze, unable to do anything. The wonderful thing is we don’t have to fight. The fight has already happened and God is the victor. Because we are His, we have nothing to run from, but Someone wonderful to run to.

‘Fear Not’

Staying unafraid is hard. It is an active choice we have to make almost every minute of every day. The phrase “fear not” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible.

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV
» «

Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.

Isaiah 43:1, NIV
» «

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3, NIV
» «

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4, NIV

To name a few and store in our memory banks.

Human Nature

God knew fear would be our natural fallen state. He knew we would need a daily reminder of our victory through Him. Even from the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and were afraid to approach Him, God knew. They had an intimate relationship with Him. They knew who He was and how He felt about them, yet they were afraid and ashamed of their sin. But, they couldn’t bring themselves to look at God.

The fall of Adam and Eve in Eden is the first instance of humans trying to take control. They were the first to feel shame, guilt, and the weight of fearful baggage. It is the first time humans tried to fight for themselves…

We have someone to fight for us. We have nothing to fear. In the absence of fear, there is trust. Psalm 20:7 says: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” When we have nothing and no one to fear, trust comes easier.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1, NIV

I am reminded of the words in Chris Tomlin’s song Whom Shall I Fear, “I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind. The God of Angel Armies is always by my side.” Romans 8:31 says: “More Than Conquerors. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” The Bible and worship songs are filled with reminders of the victory we have through Jesus.

Unafraid

Like being unafraid, trust is hard. We, unfortunately, mix our sinful human emotions and experiences with who God is. We mix our hurt and lack of trust with who God is. He has never let us down. He is not the boyfriend, fiancé, or husband who cheats and abandons. God is not the best friend who betrays trust or backstabs. He is not the mother or father who abandoned a helpless child. He is not the source of anyone’s pain, He is the healer.

We all have these experiences and hurts…baggage if you will…that we carry around with us. He not only wants to carry our baggage but dispose of it so we don’t have to carry it anymore.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 55:22, NIV

Trust and being unafraid are active, daily choices. To live a fearless life and to fully trust God, we must allow God to heal us and take the reins of our life.

I am so thankful that the Lord is patient and offers daily renewed grace and mercy.

Grace. Mercy. Two words. Five letters each. Concepts that are life-changing.

Like being unafraid, trust is hard. We mix our sinful human emotions and experiences with who God is. We mix our hurt and lack of trust with who God is. He has never let us down! Click To Tweet

Fear is crippling. We must surrender the reins of control to God. In order to live a trusting and unafraid life, we must accept His grace and mercy, daily. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #fear #control #grace #trust


At the age of 12, Rachel was called into ministry and dedicated her life to the Lord’s will. This led her to teach and work at a school in Korea for four years after college. Through the Lord’s help, Rachel has grown because of these experiences. She’s learned to solely rely on God and trust His provision for everything.

idols, heart, humility, prayer, affection, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Idols: Seating God on the Throne of our Hearts and Lives

Idols can surface in the most innocent of ways. Our lives can quickly revolve around things we love, but God must sit on the throne of our hearts and lives.



All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit nothing? People who do that will be put to shame; such craftsmen are only human beings. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.

Isaiah 44:9-11, NIV

Idols

God instructs us in one of the 10 Commandments to not make idols (Exodus 20:3-6). Likewise, Isaiah tells us to not make idols because they are worthless; those who worship them are ignorant and blind.

Tim Keller says, What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.

When my husband and I were on a mission trip in Thailand a year and a half ago, it was impossible to not see idols. Many homes have shrines in front of them where they worship ancestors or appease the evil spirits with offerings of food and money. We passed by Buddhist temple, after Buddhist temple. While these are blatant idols, you do not have to look too hard or too far in America (and other places in the world) to find idols of our own contrivance.

Idols can surface in the most innocent of ways. Our lives can quickly revolve around things we love, but God must sit on the throne of our hearts and lives. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #idols #humility #heart #affection

Misplaced Affection

When I was in high school, I developed and fed an idol. And you know what? The idol itself was not bad standing alone. It was what most would consider a good thing. But what made it an idol was that I put it above the Lord Jesus, my family, my friends, and my schoolwork. It replaced what should have been first in my life. And what was my idol? Running.

I was dedicating all of my energy and attention to my running. I ran every day, rain or shine, through each season. It seemed I was always running. I wanted to be the fastest and best runner on my very competitive, very driven cross country and track teams.

My mother very firmly and wisely spoke truth into my life one day. She saw how misplaced my affection was and that I was not putting Jesus first. She told me, “You had better change and honor the Lord first. He is a jealous God and will never bless you and your running if you put it before Him.

Humbled

Talk about a wake-up call! I knew she was right and the Holy Spirit convicted me. You know, it was not too much later that I developed tendonitis in my right knee in the middle of track season my junior year of high school. I was able to finish the season and then I immediately started physical therapy. But running was taken away from me. I spent all summer at therapy and did only deep water running and biking. Basically, it was low-impact cross-training that allowed me to keep up my cardio endurance.

God used my injury to humble me. He knew how conceited I had become and that it was only Him Who enabled me to run. After the summer of no running, I came back my senior year of cross country, feeling fitter and better rested than ever before. I ran consistently faster and stronger that year in both cross and track and I dedicated each race to my Grandpa, who was in declining health. Five days after the state cross country meet that year, he passed away. I had finally learned that running was a gift from the Lord and that I needed to use my talent to honor Him.

On the Throne

I do not know what idols you may have. Perhaps it is your job; your house; alcohol or substance abuse; your car; movies; your hobby; your spouse; or your children. As humans, we are idol making factories.

Believer Friends, ask the Lord to search your heart. We all have our blind spots. Ask God to illuminate those to you and pray that you would have the courage and humility to repent of any idols you have made. When godly counsel is given to you, like it was to me by my Mom, listen and heed. Always submit to the Lord Jesus and set Him back on the throne of your heart.

We all have blind spots that we need to ask God to illuminate. Submitting our idols over to the Lord invites Him back on the throne of our hearts. Click To Tweet

Idols can surface in the most innocent of ways. Our lives can quickly revolve around things we love, but God must sit on the throne of our hearts and lives. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #idols #humility #heart #affection


Meg Perron’s life runneth over with busyness chasing her husband, children, and three animal children around! This makes sense since she is an avid runner! Meg loves prophecy, reading and studying the Bible. Traveling to Israel to see where the Lord preached and taught brought immense inspiration.

Keila Hötzel

suffering, pain, freedom, praise, blessings, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Exchange: A Wonder-Full Trade of Beauty for Ashes

God calls us amidst our sorrow, pain, and despair. He invites us to exchange this life’s suffering, with His beautiful gift of freedom.



Excerpts From: Zimrah Dream Singer by Susan Valles

In the spring of my fourteenth year, Master Jesse came back from a long voyage at sea. I had not seen him since the leaves were falling from the trees the previous year. He strode into the courtyard still wearing his head covering held in place by two blue cords and a warm smile on his neatly bearded face. His linen robe was long and light in color against the heat of the sun with three small buttons at his high collar. Covering all, he wore a handsome mantle of a rich, dark blue. I noticed a small package enclosed in one of his long-fingered hands.

“Master Jesse! You’ve returned.” I stood in Nina’s herb garden, brushed soil from my hands and knees, and received his kiss on both my cheeks.

“Look at you! Little Zimrah, not so little anymore.” He pulled back to hold me at arm’s length, so he could look at me. “You’ve grown tall, and more beautiful than ever. You’re probably taller than other girls your age, by a head at least!”

God calls us amidst our sorrow, pain, and despair. He invites us to exchange this life's suffering, with His beautiful gift of freedom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #suffering #freedom #blessings #pain

Beautiful

I smiled but discounted the compliment. Beautiful? Me? I was too tall, too dark, and my eyes too strangely grey to be deemed beautiful. Instead, I considered the dusting of grey in his beard and gazed into his deep brown eyes. The skin wrinkled around them when he smiled back at me. I saw tenderness there, but also the old sadness that still lingered.

Perhaps he saw something of the loneliness in my eyes or the fear that tormented my nights and clouded my days, causing my dread of the inevitable setting sun. Perhaps what he saw had sparked the compliment. There was no beauty in me. 

He held out the package and I opened it, discovering a lovely, ivory comb carved in the shape of a butterfly.

“Thank you, my lord,” I whispered with emotion threatening to overwhelm me. I held back tears, not wanting to cry in front of my master and possibly have to explain what the matter was. How could I tell him how much this small token of love and consideration meant to me in contrast to all the fear?”

That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Slavery

Although my book is about a slave girl living in Judea at the time of Jesus, the battle portrayed within its pages is just as real today. Fear is a horrible, relentless slave master with no compassion or mercy. Like Zimrah, my younger years were plagued with slavery to a presence I couldn’t describe or shake. Fear. It followed me everywhere I went and whispered lies from the shadows whenever I was alone, which was often. 

Unlike Zimrah, who grew up in one, protected house, I lived in 13 houses, in four different states. I never stayed anywhere long enough to make any real friends and became as familiar with loneliness as I was to the inside of a moving van.

Now, (on the other side of years of healing prayer) I know that my parents were amazing, and like Master Jesse, gave me gifts and called me beautiful. But at the time, I couldn’t receive the truth enough to outweigh all the whispered lies in the darkness.

My parents…gifts from my heavenly Father. They gave me an upbringing in the word of God, and my dad…what he gave me was priceless…

Sparkle of Light

“I walked back through the sunbeams into the courtyard—the sunlight doing much to dispel the atmosphere of sadness that lingered—and crossed the shade of the almond blossoms. Their sweet aroma made me think of pressing oil with Nina when the fruits ripened in the summer. I walked into the cool entryway and then turned left into the library.

I loved this room. It was saturated with the memories of Silas sitting at the heavy cypress table with his scrolls, brushes and ink, teaching me Greek, Hebrew or Phoenician letters and their meanings. I ran my fingers on the familiar lines on the low table, imagining as I did when I was younger, little faces of animals or mythical woodland creatures in the scattered circles of darker wood made by the grain. Across the room, in one of the shelves built into the plastered wall, I pulled out Master Jesse’s ledger, right where I left it half a year ago. As I crossed the room to return it to him, something to my right caught my eye. It was a little sparkle of light coming from the adjacent storage chamber.

I hardly ever ventured into this chamber anymore. I had no reason except curiosity when I was much younger. It was full of Master Jesse’s family things, trunks full of old scrolls and maps of ancient boundary lines…But now by some trick of the sun coming in the windows at just the right angle, the bronze fittings on an old trunk resting on the back wall were highlighted. It drew my eye and awakened my curiosity.

Treasure

I knelt on the tattered and dusty carpet on the floor, which might have been brightly striped once, but was now so darkened with age that the original pattern was unrecognizable. I placed the ledger beside me and touched the bronze fitting that had caught my eye. I half expected it to burn my fingers as if it were truly hot from a fire. Blowing dust from the top of the ancient oak and undoing the clasp, I opened the cover.

It was full of what one might expect—musty smelling cloaks and folded cloth, but under a few layers of heavy fabric was something else. It was a case made of a dark wood that looked older than the trunk, though much better preserved. 

My curiosity flared. What could be in it? The carving on top of the wooden case was an outdoor scene, a meadow surrounded by lush trees on the side of a hill. I ran my fingers over the smoothness and marveled at the quality of the workmanship. The case was so beautiful in itself. I could not imagine what kind of treasure it contained. I placed it gently on my lap, so I could close the lid of the trunk and use it for a table. Moving up to my knees, I put the case on the lid and opened it. What I found would change my life forever.”

Exchange

What Zimrah found in the case was a lyre, an ancient instrument like Kind David played.  What my father gave me was based on that ancient musical device—the guitar. He taught me how to play and how to worship, and like King David, he taught me the power of singing the word of God. It is that word and learning to accept the love of the God who spoke it, that sets me free from slavery to fear. His words are true.

Because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you. Do not be afraid for I am with you. 

Isaiah 43:4-5

In the midst of my fear, He is calling. In the midst my loneliness, He is singing, “Daughter Mine, fair and fine, light in the morning sun. Come to me, sing to Me, before the day is done.” 

He is calling me to a wonderful exchange: freedom for slavery, beauty for ashes, joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.

What joy to hear His call every day and respond, “Thank you, My Lord.”

In the midst of fear, God is calling. He is calling us to a wonderful exchange: freedom for slavery, beauty for ashes, joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair! Click To Tweet

God calls us amidst our sorrow, pain, and despair. He invites us to exchange this life's suffering, with His beautiful gift of freedom. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #suffering #freedom #blessings #pain


If you would have asked me when I was eight what I wanted to do, I would have said, “Write.” God had a lot of other wonderful things planned for me first. Daughter, wife, mother of four, songwriter, worshipper. He knew they would all be used to tell a story of victory.

Zimrah Chronicles are an allegory for that story. I am constantly learning how to live the adventure Jesus spoke before I was born, to live from heaven to earth, and to bring as many with me as possible.

If you would like to connect with Susan more you can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, her lovely Podcast, or on her website

Yoni Kozminsi

peace, darkness, still, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Noise: Allowing the Lord to Carry Us Towards Ultimate Peace

It is difficult to truly find stillness with all the noise surrounding us. In the darkest of seasons, the Lord will carry us towards His ultimate peace. 



How I longed for the feeling of peace. To be able to sit in stillness and feel the Lords comforting arms wrap around me like a warm blanket. To have peace of mind, knowing that we can put all of our burdens at the feet of Jesus. Acknowledging He will carry me through the darkest of seasons, was something foreign to me.

It is a difficult task to find peace of mind with all the noise in today’s world. We are constantly being pulled in many directions, sometimes all at once. Our minds never quiet long enough and our bodies are never still enough to feel the full presence of peace.

It is difficult to truly find stillness with all the noise surrounding us. In the darkest of seasons, the Lord will carry us towards His ultimate peace. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #peace #stillness #darkness

Noise

I remember moving into our new home nestled on 3 acres away from the city noise. Once we were all moved in and the house was quiet, I heard this loud ringing in my ears. I couldn’t shake it. My husband couldn’t hear it, but it was loud as day to me.

Come to find out I have the condition called Tinnitus. Tinnitus is a chronic ringing in your ears and it affects 1 out of 5 people. The quieter it is the louder the ringing is. So, over the years, I consumed my days with being a self-proclaimed busybody. I overcommitted, overextended, and became overtired. I did everything to drown out the ringing in my ears.

Darkness

Then the ringing was replaced with anxiety, depression, and voices telling me that peace didn’t exist. So, I controlled my environment. I surrounded myself with validation that what I was doing was the norm. My family suffered, my health suffered, and I was truly suffering.

I had nothing left in my tank. My cabinet was filled with orange medicine bottles to help me stay overextended, but the Lord spoke to me and said, “It’s time for you to be still.”

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

Stillness

For someone like me who is wired to constantly keep moving, sitting still was not on my task list. He demanded it because His love for me was stronger than anything I had planned for the week. I had a hard choice to make. I felt like I had to slowly detox from the life I was living at the time.

There were days my anxiety was so overwhelming that I was literally on the floor. But I was determined to change. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew His plan for me was far greater.

Peace

I am learning that it’s not just about sitting still. It’s also about being present; ready to receive what the Lord has in store for me. He shows us every day the beauty that He created for us, but we often are too busy to see it. The more I sit and surrender control, the more peace I feel. The more peace I feel, the closer to the Lord I feel.

I remember the day that I felt it…

It was an unfamiliar calming feeling that washed over me. It was like I was looking through a lens and I could see the beauty in the sunrise. I felt a huge sense of gratitude for painful experiences that led me to new beginnings. Tasks that would have seemed daunting made me feel excited and hopeful. That is where I realized the Lord was showing me true peace; His peace.

God shows us every day the beauty He created for us, but we often are too busy to see it. The more we sit in stillness and surrender control, the more peace we will feel. Click To Tweet

It is difficult to truly find stillness with all the noise surrounding us. In the darkest of seasons, the Lord will carry us towards His ultimate peace. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #peace #stillness #darkness

Kari Shea


I am a mother of 2 amazing daughters, a wife, a friend, and the real deal. I am a child of God who is messy, honest, and loved. I am a firm believer in rewriting your story even if there is a ton of typos. 

-Nicole James, Artisan Director of Oh Lord Help Us

faith, perception, prayer, suffering, trust, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Assurance: When Having Faith Doesn’t Change Our Circumstances

Having big faith doesn’t always mean our circumstances change. We can have assurance in the promises of the Lord, even we do not see His plans. 



Just have faith…

Over time the phrase almost became offensive. Like the squealing of dull brakes. You knew it was coming, but the way each word came grinding upon your heart –every. single. time.– seemed as if you had been caught off guard.

It was a kind sentiment: faith changes things. Indeed, it does.

But, what happens when my faith is strong and my prayers are bold, but my painful circumstance remains unchanged? What happens when my belief is BIG, but it never comes to fruition?

Having big faith doesn't always mean our circumstances change. We can have assurance in the promises of the Lord, even we do not see His plans. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #faith #prayer #trust #suffering

Collision

I never really thought much about the topic, until it began colliding with my life. For me, this pertained to my baby. I had watched her suffer unimaginable pain, seizure after seizure. I had watched her endure testing, blood draws, and EEGS. I had watched the way in which her little body was wrecked each time a seizure took its course.

I had watched her countless times being rushed into an ambulance. I had watched as the life flight helicopter took off with my little person in tow. I had watched her stop breathing, the way in which the physicians grew panicked, though they tried their best not to. I had watched as a machine kept her alive. And, I had watched her little face for hours while seizures overtook her body. All the while I begged God to make it stop.

Just Have It…

When this all started, I would have uttered the same words… faith, just have faith.

And I did have faith, in fact, I still do.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1, NIV

After my child’s first seizure, I believed God would take this away from her. FAITH.

And after her doctors listed the horrendous potential diagnosis, I believed God would not allow it. FAITH.

And every moment of each seizure, I believed that at any time my God could make it stop. FAITH.

Yet, here we are.

True Faith

Some would say my faith isn’t great enough. In fact, some HAVE said this. –In case you’re wondering, that’s never helpful or appropriate for a grieving heart.– Anywaaaaaaayyys…

I tend to disagree. My concept of faith has changed. Through this journey, I have learned that true faith is having faith in the waiting. True faith is having faith when the circumstance remains unchanged. True faith is remaining sure that He can, even when He does not. And, somehow making peace with that.

Yes, true faith DOES change things, though perhaps the circumstance is not what’s changing.

True faith changes hearts.

True faith changes perspectives.

True faith changes my once shallow perception.

It’s somehow being OK with God when He doesn’t fix all my problems in this life. Though I may never understand why He doesn’t, I hold tight to His promise that one day it will ALL be better.

True faith does change things, though perhaps the circumstance is not what’s changing. True faith changes hearts, perspectives, and perceptions. It’s somehow being OK with God when He doesn’t fix all our problems in this life. Click To Tweet

Unchanging Assurance

Today, maybe your circumstance hasn’t changed, despite your desperate pleas. Perhaps your relationship hasn’t changed despite your faithful prayers. Or the healing hasn’t come despite your unwavering belief.

My friend, you are one with true faith. Cling to it all the more tightly, trusting that He has made a way, though we do not yet see it.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19, NIV

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I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20, ESV

Have you ever experienced a time when God did not change your circumstance? Although the circumstance was unchanged, what positive changes came from that? 

Having big faith doesn't always mean our circumstances change. We can have assurance in the promises of the Lord, even we do not see His plans. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #faith #prayer #trust #suffering


Sarah Lango is a momma of 3, wife, writer, speaker, Jesus follower, and coffee lover from small-town Missouri. She is the founder of Gracefilled Growth, where she writes about her faith, marriage, motherhood journey, and her new experience of being a “sick kids” mom.

Her passion is to inspire others to live authentic lives, learning together, and embracing the grace that God so lovingly offers. You can read more of Sarah’s writing at www.gracefilledgrowth.com or follow her on Facebook and Pinterest

"but God...", holiness, perfection, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Perfection: Accepting Our Limits to Pursue Holiness

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him…true perfection. 



Perfectionism. It’s a common lie indeed; one that plagues the lives of many women and has certainly not left my own life untouched. It’s a tricky little lie, often disguising itself as being ‘organized’ and ‘a good planner’; maybe even ‘studious’ or ‘determined’.

We convince ourselves and others that it’s a good thing, but little do we know that with each obsessive shift of the table centerpiece; each edit that we promise ourselves will be the last; each nagging remark about how messy his side of the bathroom sink is; and each overly-meticulous vacation itinerary…with each desperate attempt at perfection, this lie slowly but unabatedly tightens its grip.

And before we know it, we’re suffocating.

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him...true perfection. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Achieving Perfection

Though there was never really a beginning to this lie, I do recall a moment when my behavior started showing a tendency towards perfectionism. As a homeschool kid, I had the time and space to make perfect every single thing I set my mind to. I completed school work with precision. My room remained spotless and my workspace clean and organized.
I just liked things this way.

Little did I know that this quirky personality trait of mine was growing; building with each moment I allowed myself to allot all my time, energy, and devotion to this pursuit of perfection. Middle school, high school, and college all went by, feeding this lie and convincing me all the more that it was possible; that I could actually achieve perfection.

It wasn’t until I was on the flipside of a destructive season in life that had completely annihilated my self-image, self-confidence, and self-worth that I saw how what was once an innocent personality trait had morphed into a relentless, obsessive lifestyle.

Obsessive Rubble

Isn’t that how God so often works though; bringing forth from the rubble of our eradicated sin-filled, corrupt lifestyles the beauty of refinement and sanctification?

And so it was; from this place of emptiness and desperation, God opened my eyes to His truth. Where perfectionism had once told me that it was possible, God reminded me that it was not, because “to all perfection, there is a limit, but [His] commands are boundless” (Psalm 119:96, NIV). 

Perfectionism had convinced me that it was necessary, God reminded me of what was truly necessary, for “it is by grace that I have been saved, through faith – and this not from myself, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV).

Perfectionism had once said that I would never be good enough. God reminded me that I didn’t have to be, because “as for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; and he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30, NIV).

*insert a huge sigh of relief*

Battling Pride

If you’re anything like me though, it’s a constant battle to remind yourself of those ‘but God…’ truths, right? There is a persistence in each of us that finds tremendous pride in how meticulous and precise we can maintain the order of our lives. 

Seriously sister, let’s get real.

You find pride in it, don’t you?

You pride yourself in how organized your planner is; in how clean your house or apartment is; even in how precisely you maintain your daily schedule, down to the minute. These things by themselves aren’t inherently bad, but when we begin to take pride in getting as close to perfection as possible, even in the small things, we can begin to convince ourselves that it’s really not as bad as it may seem.

So let me tell you right now sister – it is a bad thing. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it is sinful because there is glory in perfection. There is beauty and splendor and majesty in it.

And we know this, so we desire it. But as our dedication and devotion remain committed to achieving that which was never intended to be ours, we rob the Lord of His rightful glory. This kind of majesty and beauty is only meant for God; it is His alone and as we continually convince ourselves that it’s attainable and daily strive for it, we rob Him of that glory.

Deficiency

So as painful as it is, the first step in identifying perfectionism for what it truly is, is to recognize our utter lack of perfection in light of the all-consuming perfection of God.

I am not what I ought to be – ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be – I abhor what is evil, and I want to cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be – soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.

John Newton, 1772

We must realize that who we are here on earth is nothing compared to God Almighty, “for who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly hosts,” much less here on earth (Psalm 89:6, NIV).

We all fall to imperfection and utter deficiency.

Therefore, we must completely annihilate any hope or desire of actually attaining perfection this side of eternity. We must pursue holiness and plant ourselves in the truth of God. Christ is the only example of complete perfection. So let me help you out with that a bit…

We must annihilate any hope or desire of actually attaining perfection this side of eternity. We must pursue holiness and plant ourselves in the truth of God. Christ is the only example of complete perfection. Click To Tweet

Pursuing Holiness

Are you an obsessive perfectionist?

“To all perfection, there is a limit,” (Psalm 119:96, NIV) so stop trying so hard.

Are you impulsively fixated on constant improvement?

“Apart from Christ you have no good thing within yourself,” (Psalm 16:2, NIV) so you alone will never be ‘good enough.’

That’s painful, isn’t it? The war between flesh and spirit always is. But there is hope sister! And this hope, found outside of ourselves and our own abilities, will never put us to shame (Romans 5:5).

Though we are not what we ought to be, nor what we wish to be, nor what we hope to be, we can truly say, we are not what we once were; slaves to sin and to Satan; and we can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge that “by the grace of God we are what we are” (John Newton, 1772).

Heirs of Promise

We are children of God; heirs to the promises given by He who is faithful.

Indeed, to all perfection, there is a limit but praise God that His perfect Word is limitless (Psalm 19:7; 119:96). It is true that without God we would have no good thing, but how joyful it is to know that we will never have to live a day apart from His goodness (Psalm 16:2; Deuteronomy 31:6).

So sister, rejoice! You will be made perfect one day.

But not yet.

Because today, you can rest in knowing that only He is.



Kristin Remm is a jeans and t-shirt wearing, passionate, jump-in-with-both-feet, entirely flawed but wholly loved by God kind of girl who is learning to embrace grace over perfection. Residing in Kearney, NE, Kristin is the grant writer and data analyst for a local nonprofit agency. Outside of her work, Kristin enjoys spending hours at the coffee shop reading and writing, competing on the community church softball league, and traveling with her family and friends.

Her passion for writing led her to create her blog, Walk on Water, where she shares her story of how God continues to invite her ‘to be eternally focused on Him rather than presently preoccupied by this world.’

You can also connect with Kristin on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeking perfection becomes an obsessive way of life. Striving for our own excellence robs the Lord of what is only meant for Him...true perfection. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

guide, rest, trust, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Guide: Resting Our Futures in the Hands of a God Who Cares

Life can throw many hardships and heartache at us. There are times it’s hard to trust in God, but He cares immensely for us and will guide us towards a hopeful future. 



It’s a Tuesday morning, and I’m at my ladies’ Bible study, sitting in a circle of wise women who are on average 30 years older than me.

“Does anybody know Jeremiah 29:11?” the leader asks.

Betty says, “I know the plans I have for you…”

I chime in, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,”

Someone in the circle finishes, “to give you a hope and a future.”

By the time I had spoken those words, my brother-in-law was already dead. That was the day I started to believe a lie…

Life can throw many hardships and heartache at us. It can be hard to trust in God, but He cares for us and will guide us towards a hopeful future. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

False Doctrine

Like all lies, this one seeped into my soul without my consent. I didn’t understand why my healthy, hard-working, funny brother-in-law was taken from us. He died of natural causes from an undiagnosed health issue, and it came as a complete shock to everyone.

I started to avoid Jeremiah 29:11. I knew, without a doubt, that my brother-in-law wasn’t meant to die so young. It felt as though the story of his life had ended mid-sentence, and we were left to flip through blank pages that would never be filled.

The only way I could reconcile my faith in God with this death was to unintentionally believe a lie. False doctrine filled my head in the guise of biblical truth.

I moved on to actively rolling my eyes at Jeremiah 29:11. I knew that God was good, that He truly wanted to rescue us, and that He loved us. But did He have plans for us? I didn’t think so anymore. I chose to believe that God’s design was for salvation, but anything other than that was beyond His intervention.

In my shock and sadness, I made God small, weak and unloving. Without even meaning to, I erased from my mind His care for us and His intentions for our lives. The very idea of God’s guidance made my heart hurt.

Simple Truth

I thank God I didn’t stay in that place. It was the simple truth of His words that removed the lies I believed…

With your unfailing love, you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home.

Exodus 15:13, NLT

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‘Go in peace’, the priest replied. ‘For the Lord is watching over your journey.’

Judges 18:6, NLT

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I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night, my heart instructs me.

Psalm 16:7, NLT

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The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’

Psalm 32:8, NLT

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You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.

Psalm 73:24, NLT

Peace for the Future

God used these verses to gently show me I was deceived about Him. And, friends, He was so kind to me. Instead of feeling shame about what I’d believed, I felt only peace and joy. The fact that He cared enough to show me the truth meant that He did, in fact, have plans for me.

I’ve come to a place of awe over the mystery of life and death, and I feel freedom in my limited understanding of God’s plans. I’m happily resting in the reign He has over my life, and I trust His guidance once again.

If you’re having trouble trusting in God or are questioning how much He cares, I’m praying you can come to know the truth. God has good things for you. He’s ready to guide you into a full, abundant life. You will face challenges, hardships, and unexpected loss, but take heart, because He has overcome the world.

God will Guide

The truth is that God has numbered the hairs on your head and collected each of your tears. A God who cares so infinitely for you hasn’t left you to navigate life alone. You might not be able to see it or understand it, but God has plans to prosper you and to give you hope.

God cares so infinitely for us that He hasn't left us to navigate life alone. God has plans to prosper us and to give us hope for the future. Click To Tweet

You can trust in His guidance, and He’ll forgive you even if you’ve rolled your eyes at His words, as I did. He’s waiting to fill you with truth, love, and hope. Just open His word and receive.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

John 16:13, NLT



Laura is a wife and stay-at-home mom who loves encouraging others and passing along grace out of her own flawed experiences.

She shares light-hearted words of inspiration and faith at her blog, Cheered on Mom, and she can’t wait to cheer you on.

You can also connect with Laura on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

Life can throw many hardships and heartache at us. It can be hard to trust in God, but He cares for us and will guide us towards a hopeful future. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional