Tag Archives: results

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

Prayer

Prayer.

We talk about it.  We say we’ll do it as in “I’ll pray for you” or “Please pray for my (mom/daughter/sister/husband)” or “You are in my thoughts and prayers”.

This week has been interesting.  My mom had to go in for some tests and I prayed really hard for her.  I asked others to pray for her.  I prayed for nothing to be wrong and for her to be healthy and for her to live forever.  I know that last one is unrealistic but I might as well say it, God knows what’s in my heart.

Sometimes we pray for the impossible because we believe in miracles.  I believe in miracles.  I believe in prayer.

My mom had given me a book that I love and I turned to the page for the day of her tests and here’s what I found:

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”    -2 Corinthians 16-18

It was perfectly what I needed to read.  It changed the way I was looking at the situation.   God’s words changed me.

Today in church we learned of another young man in our community who has passed away.  He was the father of young children and it is a terrible tragedy.  We have been praying for him in his sickness and will continue to do so now.  We will pray for his family.

We pray because we believe that something eternal is going on.  We believe that something bigger than what we can see is happening.  We believe that we are not alone.

We pray for health, for freedom from addiction, for good results, for less sadness, for less loneliness, for forgiveness.  We pray for understanding and peace and comfort.

When we were younger, we may have prayed for the winning hit or the strike out or the good score on the ACT or the acceptance letter.  As we get older, we learn to pray for “acceptance of whatever comes our way” even if we lose the game or we fail the test.  We learn to aim higher – we learn to pray for more eternal things like grace and gratitude and wisdom.

We pray in gratitude and we pray in grief.  We “offer it up” because we can’t bear it alone.

We pray alone in bed at night and we pray in community.  We pray in cars on highways and country roads and alongside accident sites.  We pray before meals.

We pray for our leaders and our families and our friends.  We pray for our children and our marriages and our relationships.  We pray for ourselves.

We pray for transformation.

We pray when we don’t know what else to do.  We pray because we know He hears.

And if for a minute we doubt that He is hearing us at all, we pray for Him to remove that doubt, we pray for a sign, we pray for open eyes and ears and hearts so we can see and feel Him.  We pray.  And we are changed.

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