Sunday, August 4, 2013


Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Life is full of obstacles.  We can be happily strolling down the road of normalcy, when all of a sudden a hurdle appears.  What are you going to do? Gather strength and jump over it, or just sit there and hope it will disappear? We don’t know what the future holds for any of us, and what we consider normal can change in the blink of an eye.  God wants us to come to Him instead of being scared and discouraged.  We can only see that hurdle from our viewpoint.  God sees the whole thing from every angle, and from beginning to end.  Understanding the heart of who God is will make relinquishing control to Him much easier.  Giving it up to Him will require faith.
God will allow those hurdles to be put in our paths because just as our bodies need exercise to remain strong, so does our faith.  We have to use it to make it grow stronger.  It’s only in the most difficult times that we are challenged to put our faith into action.  He is able! He is good! He will hold you up! Read these testimonies about dealing with a chronic illness, unexpected changes, and trusting as a parent to help build your faith.
Dealing with a Chronic Illness
Chronic and unpredictable illness, since 2008, has truly tested my faith and continues to do so.  There are days (and weeks) that I could drop into the abyss of discouragement and never again rise up.  Things like:
·         Sending my family on our annual beach trip without me
·         Staying home instead of attending a 50th birthday celebration
·         Watching our small group Bible study disintegrate partially due to my unreliability
·         Cancelling, yet again, on friends for dinner
·         Missing church for the 7th week in a row
·         Turning down incredible jobs one after the other
·         Having yet another procedure/test prove nothing
·         Hearing the 8th doctor say, “I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do for you.”
Discouraging doesn’t even begin to cover it.  I could easily slip into the fear that I will be like this for the rest of my life…BUT God hold me up with His victorious right hand! He strengthens me and helps me every single day.  Through His presence, His word, and His people, He lifts me up and gives me faith that this isn’t the end of my story.  He is my portion and He sustains me.  I fear not!- Karen
I have pleaded with the Lord to take me home or take away the relentless pain.  I have felt like a drain and a burden on my family even though they have done nothing but love me unconditionally.  It is limiting in so many ways.  It requires using a pencil, not a pen, when writing in your planner. It changes your perspective.  He is never surprised- He goes before me! Even though I am limited, I have a Father who is limitless.- Jodi
Unexpected Changes
Rich and I had been married for five years when he felt he should go to Law School.  He already had a Masters Degree and was working full time.  In order for us to do this, we would have to pick up our life and move to Morgantown, WV.  We had two small boys (aged 4 and 1), and I was about to finish my teaching degree.  I was not happy about it.  When the notice came that he hadn’t gotten accepted within the first round of applications, I was thrilled on the inside.  I kept thinking, “God, why would you move us into the unknown when we are finally getting settled into our lives.”  Weeks passed, and a letter came in the mail.  I can still remember where I was standing, and where he was sitting when he stared at the letter from the Law School.  Before he opened it, I looked at him and said, “We are moving to Morgantown.”  He opened it and asked how I knew.  I told him that God had given me peace and the faith to know that everything would be okay.  He will provide the food, shelter, jobs, and anything we need.  Rich moved within two weeks, the boys and I followed within the month.  Doors opened there for great ministry opportunities for both of us and I never looked back- Tammy
Trusting as a Parent
I have always been gently reminded by my mother that I was the least likely one of her five children to be a parent due to my “self-interest”, but I pleasantly and surprisingly got over myself and have raised three children and helped with two nephews.  The struggles of parenthood are real.  God gave me an extra challenge when he blessed me with my second son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome.  His future has always been unknown, but it has been placed in God’s hands.  I am ecstatic to say that he will be returning to WVU this month for his senior year.  Hooray!  That accomplishment is monumental in my eyes.- Monica
Whether you are struggling with chronic illness, unexpected changes, problems in your family, infertility, job loss, or another hurdle in your life, know that He is victorious!  The same power that is in Christ is in us.  We just don’t always use it or believe it.  The Bible doesn’t say to live by writing out pros and cons, it says to live by faith.  Think how different life would be if you had the faith of a mustard seed. Jesus said that’s enough to move a mountain if we believe it!  That tiny mustard seed is the smallest of herbs, but it can grow up to 20 feet tall however, we won’t see the fruit of that mustard seed and see how far it can grow unless we sow it.  I would really like to move mountains, wouldn’t you?   The first step might be trusting Him to help get you over that hurdle in your life. Jump! He will hold you up. Believe it!
Passages to Ponder:
Lamentations 3:22-24 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him.”
Matthew 6:34- So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 17:20 You don’t have enough faith, Jesus told them.  I tell you the truth, if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain. ‘Move from here to there’, and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible.”
Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Monica Brown, Kathy Derda, Jodi Dunbar, Tammy Holtzapfel, Jamie Leary, Kim McClure, Sherri Payne and Kristy Tolley


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