For all of you podcast listeners, I don’t know if you have been able to hear it in my voice, but I’ve been feeling tired, somewhat defeated, and I always want to keep it real with you. I always want to be honest, and always want to be open, as transparent, and vulnerable as I can be…
With as much as makes sense and also, you know, keeps a healthy boundary for my family and myself.
So today, what I’m sharing with you is a little bit different. I’m just going to kind of share from my heart. So we’ll see how this goes, but I want to speak from my heart and really just tell you where I am and kind of some things I’ve been feeling.
I think you, as the listener or reader, may be feeling it too.
I put out a poll on Instagram stories on Wednesday and asked if you felt like life has just kind of been a lot lately. Like, it’s just felt really heavy.
I think it kind of felt the same way when the COVID shutdown started and we were all told to quarantine and schools went virtual, or we didn’t go back to school, and everything kind of shifted.
Part of it has to do with, you know, another school season and influx of this new variant (the new strain) and how this might potentially affect our lives, our kids’ lives, and just our world in general. I know locally for us, it is impacting families.
We have a lot of people who are sick and hurting and losing loved ones.
And it’s very scary. It’s also hit close to home for us as we’ve had sickness in our house as well. So this new COVID information is real. It’s something that is scary, and think it’s okay to feel scared.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
You don’t have to pretend like you’re okay, fun, and strong, when you really are scared. Or if you really are anxious or worried.
But if you feel like the life has just been getting sucked out of you, or like you keep getting knocked back down only to get back up, then knocked back down again.. I understand.
Maybe you’ve had to make some hard transitions and some hard decisions, with unexpected bumps in the road. Some things have come up that really either knocked you completely flat on your face, or just came out of nowhere.
I think a lot of us are feeling this way and dealing with that. And so that’s kind of just what I want to share today. I want to just speak from my heart and address some of these things I think we all are dealing with, and then talk about how to practically move forward.
Navigating New Waters
What can we do? What should we be doing? So let’s start with, well… kind of already addressed COVID, and you know, it’s a very real thing happening in our world and in our country. And like I said, our small community here, has been hit hard and a lot of people are facing a lot of heartbreak and loss from this virus and the sickness.
And it’s very scary. It’s very nerve wracking, especially whenever it hits close to home for you and someone in your family is tested positive with COVID.
It kind of gives you a whole new perspective of things. It makes things more real. All of the anxieties and the fears you’ve had, all of a sudden, become reality for you.
It becomes real. Whereas before I would worry about these things and I was anxious about these things, but it wasn’t something we were actually dealing with in real time. It was a risk, but it wasn’t a confirmed thing we were battling. But this is what we’ve had the past week in our home. It’s been a lot.
I haven’t shared about COVID in our home publicly, but I wanted to be able to share, hopefully at the beginning of the week, we will be in the clear… And that’s kind of the scary part. You just never know, and what I’ve had to realize with anxiety is how with anything, you never know.
There are always so many unknowns.
We Don’t Have Control
There are so many “what ifs” in life, and if you lived afraid of every single one of them, then you wouldn’t live.
And I know because I used to live from that place for years. I lived from a place of fear, a place of “what ifs,” and from all of the anxiety I used to carry.
So COVID actually really helped to awaken me to the fact that we can’t live our lives in fear.
It doesn’t mean we live recklessly. It just means we don’t live from a place of fear.
I know a lot of people have chosen to share a status on social media, or go on social media, and talk about what they are going through in real time.
I was hesitant to do that.
I don’t know why it made me nervous. I wanted to make sure we were all going to be okay first before sharing. But at the end of the day, I know that we are not in control, and so it doesn’t matter. When we share it doesn’t matter how we share.
It is what it is, at the end of the day.
All we can do is control what is in our control to build health at home, and do the things we know to do. Fueling our body and really nourishing our body. Getting outside and breathing in fresh air and sunshine. All of those things that are kind common sense.
But a lot of us don’t do because it’s not very convenient.
We’ve really been trying to hunker down on those things and make sure we’re being consistent. This is part of why I was hesitant to put out a post on Facebook or share a status. I really didn’t even tell all of our friends and family because… it makes it more real whenever you say it out loud.
The more people who knew our situation, I don’t know, it just felt like too much. So I wanted to wait to share the news, hoping it would be a mild case of COVID and everybody would be okay.
That’s what I’m praying, believing, and claiming over our household and family. But aside from that, there’s also been a lot of things going on in the world.
The Power of Prayer
A lot of you have heard about things going on in Afghanistan and seeing the heartbreaking images, videos, and things. I shared one on my Instagram stories and I’m sometimes hesitant to share things like that because I don’t ever want to be the cause of someone’s anxiety.
I don’t ever want to be a trigger for it, but at the same time, I am very much for acknowledging reality. Acknowledging what is and not turning a blind eye to something just because it makes us uncomfortable.
But instead, trying to be a part of the solution.
So what can we do? And of course in this situation, we feel very helpless. But if you are a fellow believer, if you’re a Christian, if you’re a sister in Christ, then there are a lot of things that we can do.
I think the most important thing we can do is pray.
It sounds so simple. It sounds so easy, but it’s actually really difficult to sit down and make that time.
It’s really difficult to make prayer a priority sometimes. So I want to challenge you, if you are a sister in Christ, to pray for Afghanistan. Pray for these families. Pray for the women and children. Pray for the Christians who are there, basically running for their lives and hiding.
The Taliban has said, in not so many words, they know where these Christians are and are coming to find them.
They’re basically hunting them down. And that is terrifying to think about.
And to think about how these fellow believers must feel… So, we just really need to be praying for them, and for that situation specifically.
Whenever these kinds of things happen and these situations come up, maybe it’s like a big world event, this kind of stuff can shake us to our core.
Do you know those kinds of things I’m talking about? The moments that just shake you and remind you what is important and what really matters. They remind you to cling to truth and hope.
I’m going to speak from a place of faith. It’s not a requirement that anybody be a Christian, or a believer, in order to follow me or listen to anything I do or put out. But I do know there are a lot of women who are Christians. They claim the Christian faith, and if that’s you, then you’re going to probably resonate with a lot of what I share.
I hope that it’s going to be encouraging and be a reminder for you. And if not, it’s okay. You’re still welcome here.
I’m Not Your Bible Teacher, But…
I hope this is still encouraging and you still take something from today’s episode and post, because it can be applied to your life. I hope what I share will remind you of truth and give you something you can cling to and hold onto throughout your days.
One of the reasons I’ve been so hesitant to share my faith, or share things faith-based is because I didn’t go to Bible college. I’m not a Bible teacher. I’m just a regular woman who reads the Bible.
Most of the time, because let’s be honest, I’ve been super inconsistent with my quiet times over the years. And have probably strayed, quote-unquote, many times.
There have been seasons when I’ve questioned whether God was with me. I’ve questioned whether or not He was all real.
Real life questions that, as a believer, you kind of face. So I don’t come at this and share from a place of knowing it all, or being a Bible scholar.
That’s not me. (I’ve just got to get that out there in the open.)
If you’re coming here for Bible teaching, I’m not the girl for that. But I am going to share some things the Lord has laid on my heart and some lessons I’ve taken from what He has shown me the past couple of weeks.
Especially this week. It is really hard to trust God is good, He is with us, and He is present and hands-on, and all the things we know are true about Him. But it’s not always easy to believe those things, especially whenever you don’t feel it.
When you don’t feel good or when you don’t feel churchy and nice and pretty, because sometimes that’s not life.
Level Up Your Faith in the Hard Times
Life is ugly. Life is messy, it’s nasty, it’s gross.
There are things that are hard and difficult and that hurt you, and it’s not always easy to believe that He’s still good through things that take different levels of faith.
I lived through different seasons where I have been required to sort of, level up in my faith if I want to truly believe God is good during all of the crazy.
Like what we’re experiencing right now, earlier in the week, I was reminded of a passage in Daniel.
It’s where the king is going to throw in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fire. And they say, “if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us.”
So they believe God is able to save them.
Then they say, “but even if he does not, we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods.We are never going to worship these golden statues that you’ve set up.”
They believe fully that the Lord can save them from this fiery furnace. But they say, even if he doesn’t, they will still worship only Him.
This is the kind of faith I feel like we need in today’s times. Because it’s not always easy, whenever it comes down to it.
Whenever it comes down to your household getting COVID, when your spouse gets COVID, when your family member passes from COVID. When your family member is a missionary over in Afghanistan. When your friends are living in Afghanistan and they are trapped and can’t get out.
When it comes down to it in your real life, everyday situations, are you able to say that God is still good?
This something I’ve had to wrestle with. This is something I’ve weeped over this week because I questioned and I asked God, “why?”
Why in the world is this happening? Why are things like this happening in our world?
It doesn’t feel fair, and I know logically, life is not fair. Regardless of whether or not you are a believer, life is not fair.
Life is just life. Things happen and it is what it is. We live in a fallen, broken world. We live in a place of our flesh.
Things are just not fair.
So we don’t always understand.
God is Still Good
I feel like what we, as Christians, are being called to always, but especially now, is difficult to live in. Even in faith, even if He doesn’t, even if this happens, He still good.
I’m going tell you when you face that for yourself.
With your own family members with your own loved ones, it changes things. It gives you a whole new perspective and it shakes you to your core because you think about the, what ifs, and then you ask, would I still have the faith to say and believe that God is so good. And that is really hard to do. I’m not going to sugar coat that I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know a hundred percent that I would just, you know, continue to be strong enough faith and believing that God is good.
But even through those times, I know that he is, he is good. And he always has a plan, even when we don’t understand it, even when we can’t see it. And I have found that to be a recurring theme in my life over and over and over when I was trying to conceive and I couldn’t get pregnant, whenever things happen in my life that I didn’t understand whenever extended family members hurt me in ways.
I did not understand when they hurt my other family members in ways that I didn’t understand whenever relationships were broken, when trust was broken, real life stuff that people go through that they’re not sharing with you on Instagram. They’re not posting that status on their Facebook, but our promise you that they’re going through it, they’re going through real stuff.
Just like you. Because I’ve been through it, you’ve been through it. We’ve all been through it because we’re humans. I don’t have to know your story. I don’t have to sit down with you and have a three hour long conversation, although I’d love to do that, but I don’t have to have those conversations with you to know that you’ve been through hard things in your life because we all have, and I’ve seen it played out every single time to where God shows me and reminds me that he’s got.
I don’t have to see the big picture. I don’t have to understand every single thing in a Y every single thing happens. I don’t have to know every single next step in order to trust him. I just have to do what I know to do the basics. You got to get back to the basics. So maybe that’s what you needed to hear today.
Just get back to the basics, do what, you know, stick to what you know, and take the next right step every single day, regardless of what that looks like for you, whatever it is. It’s going to be different for everybody, but do those things. There are so many ways that we can be proactive. There are so many ways that we have a choice in the ways that we can show up and the things that we can do every single day, we can control our mindset.
We can control our perspective. We control our reactions. We control the way we respond. We control the things we think about. It’s all in the word. There’s references for all of it. And I want to share more of this. I want to start sharing more of my faith because really it’s just a part of who I am. It’s just integrated into my identity.
It all blends the desire of my heart is that you always see light in that people recognize or see something different about me and my account and the content that I produce. I don’t always get it right, because I’m still human. But at the end of the day, my goal and my aim is to share the love of Christ.
Share a message of. And of light and of encouragement because I’ve truly believe we need more of that today. And if you cling to that truth that, you know, and you remind yourself of things that you know, to be true, that is your greatest weapon of defense. It’s how you fight back. And so I want to share more about how I do that practically in my life, because I lived for so long in a beat down stuck defeat.
Mentality. And I know Satan loved every single second of it. He did. He loved every single second because I wasn’t showing the light of Christ in a way that I could, it wasn’t as bright as it could have been because I had things. I was still in bondage to a lot of things. And so. Those things weighed me down.
It was heavy. And whenever I could finally deal with some of that, it’s like the flame got a little bit brighter. Things got a little bit clearer. I know that I can live in freedom and my outlook on life is just totally different. So I want to spend every single day that God gives me sharing that message with people.
So that’s why I shared that. I kind of have felt the shift and it’s been coming for a while and I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it looks like, but I’m definitely shifting into a place where I share more about faith and how it ties into practically. So I hope that that’s encouraging and maybe that’s something you’re interested in, you’ll stick around.
Um, and if not, that’s okay. There’s really no hard feelings around any of it. I want the people who need to be here and who want to hear the things that I have to say and to share to be here. And if that’s not you, then that’s okay. So I want to share one more thing, because this is kind of a longer episode than usual.
Okay. Two more things. Sorry. I forgot about one. The night that I shared, or the day that I shared on Instagram, I think it was Wednesday about questioning and struggling through wrestling with believing that God is so good. Even when all of this around me feels really heavy, it feels really dark. It feels questionable like an unknown.
I don’t know what’s going to happen that night. I was listening to some music. Typically do that in the shower, I’ll play my phone. And so I had worship music on and the song evidence by Josh Baldwin. I think that’s his name. It was the very first song that came on. These are what the lyrics say. Now you gotta, you gotta keep in mind the context here I had just shared about how we questioned the goodness of God when we only see our circumstances.
And when we are looking at our situations, these are some of the lyrics he says, all throughout my history, your faithfulness has walked beside. In every season from where I’m standing, I see the evidence of your goodness all over my life. I see your promises and fulfillment all over my life. Help me remember when I’m weak, fear may come, but fear will leave.
You lead my heart to victory. You are my strength and you always will be. And so he’s basically talking about seeing the evidence of God and his goodness in your life. And I think that that’s something that we really have to do, especially in these times. When it feels really dark when it feels really heavy, when it feels really hard to see the light, we have to be intentional in reminding ourselves of the goodness of God.
We have to intentionally remind ourselves of his faithfulness in the past and how he has always been there for. He’s never left us. He will not forsake us. And he is good regardless of what your immediate circumstances look like. So I wanted to share that. And then one final thing, because I opened up my Bible out this morning.
I don’t know if anybody else uses YouVersion, but today’s verse was Psalms 68, 19. It says, praise the Lord, praise God, our savior for each day, he carries us in his arms and I could have just wept right there whenever I read that because. So many times I get carried away. I get so worked up. I get so caught up in trying to have a plan or needing to know the outcome and feeling helpless and not knowing what to do.
And at the end of the day, all we need to do. All we should do is just to be still, we need to be, we just need less doing and more being because he is going to carry us. He bears our burdens. It says, depending on the version that you read. And so wherever this finds you, I hope that that encourages you, that he’s with you.
He’s carrying you. He’s carrying me. He’s carrying those and Afghanistan all over the world. If you’re belief. And you know him as your savior, then he’s carrying you. All we have to do is just trust and rest and be, and that’s the hard part. So remember that, remind yourself of these truths as you go about your day, as you go about your week, share this with a friend.
If you know that they’re struggling as well. Because like I said, I think a lot of us are struggling and we’re having a hard time with the things that are going on in our world and even our personal. So I hope that this meets you right where you are, and I trust that he’s going to speak in your life and moving your life.
And I’m praying that over you. I pray for peace. And until next time remember you’re made for more. He has so much for you. He wants you to live in a life of abundance and peace and joy and true peace and true joy and true abundance are found in him.