Wednesday, May 28, 2014

God's Perfect timing

Hello friends,
I've redesigned the look of my blog and created a new logo! So exciting...Praise the Lord!
Today I'd like to share with you about my experience with God's timing.  As my health condition "anniversary" is approaching, I've been thinking back about God's timing and plan.  As some of you know, June 2, 2009, is the day my life took a major turn from the plans I had set for myself.  I never planned to be put into the hospital 6 times in a year and a half with extra multiple visits to the ER and IV therapy.  I didn't plan to visit over 10 doctors all over the state in hopes of finding help for my newly discovered health condition.  I also did not plan to miss days and weeks of school, church, and activities during my last 3 years of high school. But God did.  He did, He had it all planned out.  To God be the glory, it's 5 years later and I'm almost in remission from Dysautonomia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome! And let me also share how on SO many occasions throughout the 3 years that I was very sick, God gave me strength to still go and enjoy many activities.  I remember weeks in advance of any big events approaching, I would ask people to pray I would be able to attend the event (for example, Jr/Sr banquet, homecoming court, etc.) and He gave me strength to go and have fun!  Just wanted to share that too! I do still suffer from different aspects of the disease and I am still on medication to help control symptoms, but praise God, I am SO much better!!!! To be completely honest, I cannot imagine going through what I went through again.  I can't imagine having the symptoms I experienced 5 years ago right now in my life.  I wasn't expecting to wake up one morning feeling weird, and have my life changed. But that's what happened.  Praise the Lord it was only Dysautonomia and not anything even more serious. (Not that Dysautonomia isn't serious, because it is, but I'm still thankful.  I know people in worse situations.)   So anyway, as I was thinking about some of the hard times I experienced throughout the 3 years that Dysautonomia heavily affected my life, I thought about how perfect God's timing is.  I mean, I worry a lot and when it comes down to it, no matter how much I analyze/think about a certain situation, it's not going to help the situation.  I had no idea my life was about to change, and no amount of worrying could have prepared me for it.  God prepared me for it. Matthew 6:27 says, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" That verse reminds us that no worry will help us!  I can't tell you the times that the peace of God was all over my life during those years.  The moments when life was shaking and yet it was all okay.  The moments when fear seemed to be knocking all around and yet God's presence was filling the room.  What I want you to grab from this is that when/if a negative situation comes your way, you can know that God will get you through.  I know that you can imagine a situation and think I have no idea how I would respond to that in my life. Let me tell you, if you ever have to respond to that situation, God will respond to it for you and carry you in His arms through the way.  Don't think up trouble before it happens, it won't turn out the way you planned anyway! Trust God and know that He is God and He keeps His promises. God's timing is always perfect.  When He's guiding you through something, you never have to worry. 
Psalm 46:10- " Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

Deuteronomy 31:6-"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Do I Need to Have Faith?

How real is your faith? What a question and one that is so important! I've been reminded lately that faith is our choice.  It's not easy to trust God at all times, it's easy to say we trust Him and deep down I know that we know He is always right and good. However trusting Him is something you must consciously choose to do every day, in every moment.  God cares about so many things in our lives, even the really simple things.  I love that He cares so much about me and you! He knows our favorite color, what we enjoy, and He enjoys blessing us.  It takes faith to believe that God cares, it takes faith to accept God's blessings, acknowledge that He was the Giver, and be thankful for the blessings. It also takes faith when things don't seem to go our way.  Recently, I've encountered a situation that didn't turn out the way I'd hoped, didn't go according to the way I would've written the script. Those are the moments when you must thank God in faith, knowing that His will and His way is better than ours.  Those are the moments when trust seems unnatural, but oh the feeling of relief when you just trust God! I've also noticed that bringing the situation to God, thanking Him for the good things, thanking Him for the way things turned out, and thanking Him for His sovereignty and perfect plan (even when the situation turned out not as you had hoped for) brings great relief and peace! He promises peace and He never forgets a promise.  God's got the master plan, while we can only see the here and the now.  God can see tomorrow, next week, next year, and into eternity.  He's not out to ruin your life, actually He's making it better and He wants our lives to be the best they can be! John 10:10 says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." I think as Christians, we know all of these things, and its easy to say "oh yeah, that's true, I believe that"! But really, we need to think in every situation about how much God cares and how perfect His way is! Another area I've been reminded of recently is thanking God in advance.  Almost like being so sure things are going to work out, that you are praying/praising in advance for the turnout.  That takes faith too, to believe God enough to praise Him for what you cannot see.  (Here's an example, let's say someone is having surgery.  You could praise God for His protection, peace, and the outcome, even before the surgery.) Of course, things do not always work the way we intended them to, and that's where we have to praise God for letting His will be done.  However, praying in advance will help bring peace and be a reminder that our God is able.  So why do you need to have faith? Well here's the simple solution, "It's impossible to please God without faith"(Hebrews 11:6).  How can you live without faith? Life would be so despairing without faith.  Trusting God is a major step in enjoying life to the fullest. So, how's your faith?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God's Plan is Perfect

Lately, I've been thinking back over the past few months of life and thanking God for His goodness.  It seems that He has been reminding me of His perfect timing, His perfect will, and His perfect plan.  I want to share a personal story with you today to just share how God's sovereignty and perfection has been shining in my life. Around last October, it was time to register for spring college classes.  I only had 2 core curriculum classes left and I could not take any upper level courses without completing those first.  So, for the first time in my college life, I would only be considered a "part-time" student because I was only taking 7 hours of credit (and that should not happen again as I can now take my upper classes).  I was happy in a couple ways about this, because I was hoping to get my class schedule on 2 days a week and only have to go to school those 2 days each week.  I was also looking forward to a lesser load for the first time! Well when class schedules were put up, the class I needed was being offered at night. The other class I ended up taking was online.  And the night class was on Monday and Wednesday nights...right during church on Wednesdays.  I was pretty upset about it at first and I was really, really questioning God as to what to do, and how this could be His plan for me to miss some of church on Wednesdays.  (I serve on Wednesday nights too, so not only was I missing church, but I had obligations.)  I struggled with the decision for a little while and ended up registering because I had to have the class.  I was not looking forward to being at school at night and just didn't think it would be good.  When I found out I would not have any day classes, I decided to look for a job.  Now I was praying about several different opportunities and decided to go for the substitute teaching route.  Since I am majoring in Elementary Ed, I thought subbing would be a great answer! But y'all, I am a planner really a planner. I write down EVERYTHING and plan my days.  As a substitute, you can't plan! You get called late at night sometimes, early in the morning, etc.  I have definitely been learning how to rearrange my days! :-) I was also concerned that subbing would not keep me busy enough.  I love to be busy, and wanted a job that was going to be consistent! All of this was uncertain when I got hired as a substitute at 2 different schools! However God in His sovereignty gave me 2 great schools to work at and kept me very busy and worked out my college schedule so that I could sub even on the days that I had class because my class was at night.  He also worked out my schedule at church, and I was able to go straight from class to church and still meet my biggest obligations for the ministry I serve in on Wednesdays! And this has been one of the best semesters yet in college! I have LOVED teaching! God has shown me so much and allowed me to gain experience that I needed! He has allowed me to substitute teach in 3 yr old classrooms all the way to 12th grade classrooms and everywhere in-between! I would have never chosen that schedule for myself, but it was wonderful! In this situation, God allowed me to see His plan very quickly.  A lot of times in life though, we don't see God's plan ever really span out. "Why did God choose to do this in my life?" is a question that we ask so often.  You may not see the end result yet, but be hopeful! It is coming! Remember He is Sovereign! His timing, His plan is perfect! I know my situation was very small and it shows how deeply God cares about the small things in life. If He cares that much about little things, remember how much He cares about all things! He's got the whole puzzle put together while you only have a piece!
Jeremiah 29:11-"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."