Tag Archives: need

Be Encouraged!

Image Last week I wrote about how difficult it can be to write honestly when I worry about people’s reactions.  I know that I shouldn’t care about that but I do. I want to be liked.  It’s important to me (sometimes too important) that people are happy and not offended and everyone plays nice together.  Plus, I really like “likes” on Facebook and hits on the blog and I can get wrapped up in numbers and all those outwardly ways we measure our importance.  And then I know better.  I know it’s not about me and I want to share God’s message of hope and love and I want to and need to let Him lead so then I feel guilty and selfish and I feel like I failed.  So there it is. Just laying it out there again in case you missed it.

God responded with these encouragements:

1: Post from Anne Lamott:  “This brings us back to the best riddle of all time. Q: What’s the difference between you and God? A: God NEVER thinks He’s you. So write what’s on your heart, even if your best friends won’t love it. We are in the striving business but God is in the results business, so the exact right people will read/like my book, and yours; and you know what? This is SOOO awful–the other’s won’t.”    (I bolded that sentence myself because it’s SO GOOD and spoke directly to me.  I have to say I was relieved to read that she struggles with these same issues.) Read the whole post here:   https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott

2: Post from Alisa Keeton with Revelation Wellness:   “Don’t look around to see who is following or listening. Keep looking ahead at the One who is leading you. For all leaders, He has to be enough.”    Read more from her here:  https://www.facebook.com/revelationwell

Isn’t He good?

When we lay our burdens and our shortcomings out on the table, he can transform those things.  We have to admit where we need grace.  First, we have to admit that we need grace at all.

We started a Bible study group at our church this week and it’s called Stuck.  Some people (okay, sometimes me)  don’t want to admit they are stuck or broken.  They don’t see themselves as sinners.  But we have to start there.  We have to admit we are in need of the good news.  The word “Gospel” means good news.  For something to be good news, it has to invade the broken spaces, the not so good spaces, the spaces where we are stuck.

Where are you stuck? Where are you broken?

Some of you may be cringing right now thinking that you are not broken.  Some of you are offended.  You have worked hard to build up your “goodness”, your “perfectness”, your face that you show the world.  Heck, you may have even convinced yourself.  But if we were not broken, if we are not sinners…why would we need a Savior?

For the good news to be “good”, we must need to hear it, right?

I did not experience the transformative power of God’s grace in my life until I admitted that I need it.

Lay it out there.  Speak it.  Write it.  Pray about it.  Bring Light to the ways you are struggling.

He will hear you.  He will respond.  Probably through others who have walked this path and heard His voice and courageously follow His lead.

Be encouraged friends, you are not alone.  We are all in this together and He is good!

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™ All Rights Reserved

Wander

I have been told I have “thought islands”.  My mind wanders.

When it comes to faith, my mind wanders too.  Sometimes it wanders to The Bible and books and blogs.  Sometimes to conversations I have with people about faith.  Sometimes to examples of people I know who have shown great faith in their lives.  Sometimes it wanders to the why? the who? the when? the what the heck? –  to all the questions.  Sometimes it settles on the truth and the promise.

Sometimes I wander into the Catholic church, sometimes I wander into the Evangelical church.  Sometimes I pray alone, sometimes I pray with my family or in my community.

Sometimes I choose a long walk over going to church.  Sometimes I meet God in Bible study and other days I decide to meet him in yoga.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for meditation and sometimes for raucous conversation.

I’ve been known to meet God on a beach with a beer.  I also like to meet him in the mountains in the silence.

I’ve found Him in neighbors offering help, offering food, offering understanding.  I’ve met Him in tragedy.  I’ve found Him in the forgiveness of friends.  I’ve found Him in the quiet acceptance of others.  I’ve met Him in the smiles and tears of my children.

I’ve encountered Him on vacation and then, as always, I have been greeted by Him on my safe arrival home.

He was there in my youth and my teens and my college years and my 20’s.  I wandered.  But was I lost?

I heard a preacher speak about the Prodigal Son again today on the radio.  He talked about the son who stayed home, who was mad when the prodigal son was welcomed home with embraces and kisses and a party.  He was jealous.  The preacher said something profound.  It really hit me.  He said, “The older brother was just as lost as the prodigal son.  He was just lost at home.”

Sometimes we are lost at home.  We are lost in our minds and we can’t get out.  Sometimes we are lost in our habits and our “need to be right” and our learned limitations.  Just because we are home, doing as we are told, following all the rules does not mean that we are on the right path.

Sometimes we need to wander.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved