His Touch in our Darkest Hour

Posted on

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

Gone.  In the blink of an eye.

Last January, we grieved the loss of my older cousin and her husband who were killed in a motorcycle accident.  I had no words.  No words for my sweet aunt grieving the loss of her oldest child a.k.a. “her rock”.  No words for my cousin’s children or grandchildren.  No words for those who face all their tomorrows without them.

Then last month, we lost another sweet friend to illness.  A young friend who should have had her whole life in front of her.  Again I had no words.  No words for her parents, for her brother.  No words for those who face all their tomorrows without them.

Are you too grieving the loss of someone?  Although I do not have words for you, God does.  Allow His Words in Psalm 139:16 to touch you in your grief, or to give you the power to touch someone else in their grief.

How so?  Sheila Walsh writes in her book The Storm Inside:  

Life can seem so random, so out of control,
but even while our hearts are broken,
there is a quiet confidence in knowing
that although their death seems too untimely to us,
to God they have finished their race
.”

Find comfort in God’s Word knowing that every moment of your loved one’s life was laid out before a single day had passed.  Yes, your loved ones have finished their race.

Why do bad things happen?  I don’t know, but the One I believe in does.  I believe His words in the Psalm above.  In my Women of Faith Study Bible, Sheila shares more words on Psalm 139, this time from her book Gifts for Your Soul:

God is faithful…
if in the darkest times in our lives we will learn
to keep turning our face toward him,
He is faithful.
Faithful to be with us,
faithful to watch over us,
faithful to work in us to make us
the men and women we are called to be.”

Let’s keep our faces turned toward God and allow the power of His touch to reach us in our darkest hour.

Now it’s your turn:  How do you experience the power of His touch, whether in your darkest hour, or on your brightest day?

Join me this week in linking up with Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday and other inspiring linkups:

LIVEFREETHURSDAY  Missional Women dancwithjesus  GraceTruth-600x800

What Joy Is Mine
purposefulfaith.com  Holly Barrett

Today’s post is an updated version of a January 2014 post.

 


Put Up Your Dukes

Posted on

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 (NIV)

Growing up, I always pretended to be Wonder Woman.

Week after week I watched and imitated Lynda Carter spinning into Wonder Woman to fight the bad guys.  She had all the armor she needed to defeat them:  her belt of strength, her bullet-dodging bracelets; her lasso of truth.

She was strong.  She was brave.  She was fearless.

But today there’s a real enemy and his attacks are far worse than what I saw Lynda Carter defeat on TV.

As I pursue my call to write, the enemy tells me “you’re not good enough”, and “this is too hard for you”.  As I struggle to put my thoughts on paper, I start believing what I’m hearing.   I start feeling weak.  I start feeling scared.

So I hide.  I stop writing.  And the enemy wins.

Can you relate?  Maybe you too are pursuing a calling that the enemy is attacking.  If so, it’s time to “put up our dukes” and fight back.  Like Wonder Woman did with her bullet-dodging bracelets.

But as cool as those bracelets were, we have something much stronger:  Our shield of faith.

We must be intentional to “take up the shield of faith“.  Fighting the enemy is never easy.  To stop his “flaming arrows of lies”, we must stop hiding and start seeking:

  • Let’s seek God by spending time with Him.
  • Let’s seek God by getting to know Him through His word.
  • Let’s seek God by talking with Him about our fears through prayer.

Let’s show the enemy we trust God, and His shield will help us win the battle.

Now it’s your turn:  Think about the battles you are facing today in your calling.  Share one way you “put up your dukes” to fight the enemy.

Be sure to join me and other amazing women writing on these linkups this week.
Put up your dukes” was this week’s writing prompt on Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday linkup.

LIVEFREETHURSDAY  Graced Simplicity   Missional Women dancwithjesus

Equipping Godly Women

GraceTruth-600x800 Spiritual Sundays countingmyblessings

What Joy Is Mine
purposefulfaith.com  Holly Barrett   titus2tuesdays Intentionally Pursuing Intentional Tuesday

 


Wednesday Coffee for Your {grieving} Heart

Posted on

I am excited to start Holley Gerth’s weekly challenge.  I love her writing inspiration!

coffeeforyourheart

This post is certainly not what I had originally planned to “intentionally encourage those I care about as they begin a new year”.  I imagined lots of inspiration to help make 2014 the year to become the women God wants us to be.

However, God had a different plan.  Last week, my older cousin and her husband were killed in a motorcycle accident.

Gone.  In the blink of an eye.  Together.

There are no words.  No words for my sweet aunt grieving the loss of her oldest child a.k.a. “her rock”.  No words for my cousin’s children or grandchildren who face all their tomorrows without them.  No words for other women facing grief today.

But I’ve been encouraged and hope you will be too.  I have the privilege to be reading Sheila Walsh’s new book “The Storm Inside” (releasing 2/11/14).  It’s amazing!  I just read one of her stories referencing God’s truth in Psalm 139:

You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
 
before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

Sheila writes:

“I often share this truth with those of us devastated by a tragic accident
that takes the life of someone they dearly loved.
Life can seem so random, so out of control,
but even while our hearts are broken,
there is a quiet confidence in knowing
that although their death seems too untimely to us,
to God they have finished their race.”
The Storm Inside, page 94

They have finished their race.  Yes, there are words for my grieving family.  And there are words for you too, sweet friends.  God’s Words.  And Sheila’s words He has given her.

Why do bad things happen?  I don’t know, but the One I believe in does.  I believe His words in the Psalm above.  I read the full text of Psalm 139 in my Women of Faith Study Bible.  And God delivered, again, through Sheila Walsh.  She is the author quoted for this Psalm (from her book Gifts for Your Soul).  Sheila writes:

“God is faithful…
if in the darkest times in our lives we will learn
to keep turning our face toward him,
He is faithful.
Faithful to be with us,
faithful to watch over us,
faithful to work in us to make us
the men and women we are called to be.”

So, it was God’s plan after all for this post to encourage you and I to become the women God wants us to be!  Let’s keep our faces turned toward Him.  Let’s follow Him.  Let’s be encouraged by His Word.