Trusting God When Life Is Hard

Where do you turn when life is hard? What do you do when you pray and don’t get the answer you need? How do you find the courage to trust God in the worst of situations? 

It was the worst day of Catherine’s life. Her daughter was stillborn. Can you imagine? Ugh, the emptiness, the sorrow. Going home with a full diaper bag and an empty baby seat. Dealing with the hormones and milk filled breasts all the while avoiding a nursery filled with stuffed toys and rocking chairs.

In her grief Catherine was angry and instead of relying on God or leaning into him, she turned her back on him, convinced that God had deserted her and was cruel in a way she could not fathom. 

She became depressed and found sleep elusive so she drank at night to try to help her sleep and slept all day because she was tired and hungover.

She stopped going to church because it hurt too much to see pregnant women and young children. It took almost 6 months before she could even look to heaven. But when she let go of the offense she had against God and asked for his forgiveness and restoration, he flooded her brokenness with peace.

That’s when the healing finally began. She said, “It took a long time and I still don’t understand why it happened, but after I surrendered my anger to Jesus, my faith became and continues to grow stronger. I can trust that God has a plan, even if I don’t understand it.”

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Wondering how we’ll make it through this hardship or that trauma?

Read More

Are You Mad At God?

When a woman I’ll call Clarissa approached me, I could tell she was troubled.  I mean, really under it.

She whispered, “I have had several things happen to me and I am very mad at God. What should I do?”

My heart broke for her. I didn’t need to know the details of her life to know what to say to her. I’ve heard stories from so many other women to know that the specifics don’t matter as much as being heard matters.

If that’s where you are, can I tell you what I told Clarissa?

That’s a hard place to be. I’m so sorry this is your situation right now. It’s really important that you not try to handle this on your own. Find a church or a counselor or join a group that will help you process your hurt and get your life back.

Here are 5 keys that will get you on track. 

  1. Remember that God can handle your anger.
    If you need to stomp and storm at the heavens, he understands that.
  2. Acknowledge your pain and hurt.
    It’s real. It’s no lack of faith to be upset with your life or circumstances.
    King David demonstrates this throughout the Psalms. Here is just one example: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” -Psalm 22:1-3
  3. Take responsibility for any part of the mess that is yours.
    Is there anything you need to do, any apologies you need to make, or any restitution to repay?  Do that.
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. -2 Corinthians 5:10
  4. Forgive anyone and everyone who hurt you and caused you this pain and suffering – including yourself.
    The longer you hold onto it, the deeper the bitterness and longer it will take to get through.
    Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13
    Remember that forgiving someone does mean you have to spend time with them. Forgiveness does not have to mean restoration of relationship.
  5. Ask God to invade your thoughts and dreams.
    Ask him to reveal himself to you and demonstrate his love to you.
    Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – Jeremiah 33:3

Know that God does love you and is with you and wants so much more for you than you have right now.

Today, Clarissa is doing much better. She’s been working with me, and belongs to a community of believers who provided the prayer support and wise advice she needed to break free of the anger.

Now, she has her life back.

If you want yours back,  watch for the free workshop I’m offering on this topic and other aspects of the Christian faith starting Jan 10, 2019 on my Facebook page. 

What Big Mistake Is Taunting You?

 

 

Have you ever made such a big mistake or huge mess that you didn’t think you’d ever recover?

Everywhere I speak, without fail, women ask me how to recover from their BIG mistake. You know the kind, right? The awful, embarrassing, shameful, foolish kind of mistake that taunts you endlessly. The kind that makes you blush, shake your head at the memory of it or hang your head in shame.The kind of mistake that won’t let you go and won’t stop reminding you that you should have known better or should have resisted or should have run away.

I will never forget where I was when the (bleep) hit the fan and I was caught in my sin.

Read More

God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

Read More

Is God Enough?

When you search for meaning in trials and demand a reason for difficulties, the question we ask is, “Why is this happening?” 

The question you need to answer is, “Is God enough?”

When life is hard and plans change, when futures seem forfeit, and life shifts unexpectedly, the question you have to settle is, “Is God enough?”

In the time before YouTube and Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.

These volumes were called cookbooks.

Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called “Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Jen’s plan was to double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.

Jennifer thought it was genius. I thought it was harebrained.

Until I tried it.

Read More

Some Things You Keep

Is your house full of sentimental treasures?
Some things you have to keep, right? 

As I put the sewing box back in closet I spotted
three big white cardboard boxes tucked so far back,
I had to crawl in to drag them out.

Each of the dust covered, shrink wrapped boxes
had a large plastic window that displayed
a wedding dress bodice hermitically sealed inside.

The smallest of the boxes contained the wedding dress
I wore to marry, Jay or Hot & Hunky as I called him.

 

It was a high collared, lacy gown with long poofy lace sleeves.
Not the least bit sexy.  Zero sexy. I can only guess that
I was trying to get his mother to approve of me since Jay
married me just months after I quit my job as a Playboy Bunny.

Read More

What Does Mother’s Day Stir Up For You?


Do I say, “Happy Mother’s Day!” or is
“I’m sorry this day is on the calendar,” more appropriate?

Time has mitigated the intense pain of my mom’s death
but Mother’s Day is a sharp reminder of her earthly departure.
I miss her touch, her laugh, the smell of her perfume and
the way her hands enhanced every conversation. 

She never cooked or gardened or scrap-booked,
but she taught me how to solve problems,
contend for big dreams, and be kind to others.

She was my lifeline when I was discouraged and
my anchor when I was successful. 

She held me close when I was small and
she let me go when I was grown.

Now that she is gone, the very presence of her absence
is a constant reminder of how much I miss my mom.

Everywhere you turn, there are reminders of Mother’s Day.

Maybe your family makes a big production out of Mother’s Day.
There will be cards and chocolates and bouquets.
Your day will be full of people swapping stories, laughing and hugging. 

Read More

When Holidays Are Hard, Take Heart

It’s December.
That wonderful time of year … for many.

But for some, when it seems like the rest of world
is celebrating Merry and Bright lives,
you feel overwhelmed and alone in the dark.

When holidays are hard, take heart.
God is with you.

Marilyn* watched her husband pick at his dinner.
“I need to tell you something,” he said without looking up.

There was a long pause before he continued.

As she waited, she imagined all sorts of things.
Maybe he’d lost his job.
Maybe something had happened with one of the kids.
Maybe he was sick.

Read More

Your Questions, God’s Answers

Have you ever been desperate to hear God’s voice? 

Has daily life ever felt so demanding you weren’t sure what to do next? Has your phone rung in the middle of the night with unexpected news about a loved one? Has the diagnosis from the doctor brought a sense of fear or unrest? Have you wanted an answer from God, but didn’t know where to turn?

I’ve been there.  When my son was arrested for a serious crime after I’d tried to be the best mother I could be, I felt alone. Angry. Hurt. Fearful. Disappointed in God. Those feelings intensified following his conviction and sentencing. 

Here’s what I began to learn.  I needed to give myself time to grieve my losses.  Maybe you’ve been there, too. I discovered it’s okay with God to cry out my pain and hurt.  Our tears matter to Him.

Read More

A Most Unusual Present

 

What is the most unusual present you’ve ever received?

It was my birthday last week and I got some lovely traditional gifts.
Lots of cards.
Bouquets of flowers.
Boxes of chocolate.
Cake.
New mini blinds.

You’re probably thinking I’m going to rant about
how to be grateful when you get
mini-blinds or a vacuum cleaner for your birthday.

That will have to wait for another post.

Read More