Purposeful Faith

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The Danger in Letting Others Define Who We Are

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

“Don’t ever say you’re just a mom.”

I spun around, startled at the realization that my conversation wasn’t private. I was talking to the cashier at a local toy store about school and pursuing a career in writing. Both my boys were tiny at the time, and before I knew it the statement that I was “just a mom” spilled out of my mouth.

It wasn’t that I didn’t think mothering was important. It had more to do with other’s perception. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

When I turned I saw an older man standing there. He looked me square in the eye and said words I desperately needed to hear during that season.

“What you’re doing is the most important job there is.”

I nodded and thanked him, not sure what else to say. I was amazed at God’s ability to use a complete stranger to encourage me during a time of my life when I felt lost and defeated. And in an instant, I knew I was where God wanted me. My doubt and apprehension was replaced with confidence and security.

But old habits have tendency to resurface, don’t they?

Eventually, I had more time to devote to things I loved and opportunities knocked at my door. I was filled with gratitude and awe at how God was using me.

Encouragement from other strangers came. Strangers who eventually became friends and confidants. I linked arms with others who shared a passion for communicating a message and pointing others toward the hope of Christ through words and stories.

But before I realized what was happening, gratitude turned to comparison. Awe turned to impatience. My timeline and God’s were not the same, and goals I thought would take months turned into years.

I fought for affirmation and approval. Sometimes it came, but when it didn’t my security blanket was ripped off like a band-aid. Rejections stung. Silence and waiting stung even worse.

If we let others define who we are, our security will change like the rising tide.

We will constantly lower our buckets into the well of compliments and accolades until we hit the bottom. And one day, the bucket will come up empty. Our source of sustenance will be parched.

But you want to know the good news? There is Living Water. It never runs dry. And his definition of who we are? It never changes, once we’ve received Him.

Friends, we don’t have to fight for our seat at his table.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:6 NIV

 Our status has nothing to do with our abilities, and everything to do with Christ’s finished work. It is because of his grace and love for us that he allows us to participate with him in his divine work.

Perception changes everything. So the next time we’re tempted to compare and fight for our seats at the table, let’s remember this:

Christ’s finished work = our eternal worth.

This world and the people in it do not determine who you are. The One who hung on a tree and paid a price more precious than pure gold does.

Never forget who claimed you as his. Take your seat, and remember your identity comes from him alone.

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

The Best Pause When Life Feels Frantic

Blog Post By  Angela Parlin

I love so many things about the month of December.

The memories, the gatherings, the excitement for what’s coming. Twinkle lights everywhere after dark. Remembering the story of Jesus’ birth with the angels and shepherds and a star leading souls toward a newborn King—the one who changed everything.

One of my favorite things is looking back to remember. Another favorite is looking forward. It’s the in-between that trips me up. Do you know what I mean?

I’m at that point in December—like every other year—where I feel buried by the schedule and all the many to-do’s. It’s like I have to keep running, running, running–to make this pick-up time and that deadline and those purchases and these events. None of it is too much, on its own. But add it all together, and I’m one frazzled Mom.  

Today, however, I read a passage that transformed my frantic feelings, and I wondered if you need this too. Do you need to press pause on all the things, in the middle of December, in order to behold the glory of God?   

I know a place where we can always go–not to hide from our lives but to find refuge instead.

I hope you’ll come with me. Let’s dig into the Word of God, and let Him do His beautiful thing in our hearts. Right now. Today. 

I hope you’ll spend some time reading these scriptures, and read the passages around them as well. I like to copy the words by hand, sometimes on a colored card or along the edges of my day planner…yes, I still use paper planners. 😊 You may want to read them repeatedly, even memorize them. Any time you spend focusing on the Lord will be a gift to you.

5 Places to Pause When Life Feels Frantic

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2 (NIV)

Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Exodus 15:11

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 2 Samuel 22:32

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2  

I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:5-6

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

When a Door that Seemed Open Is Slammed Shut

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

Flashing lights showed in our rear-view mirror and my husband pulled right, allowing the ambulance to pass. It turned on the street leading up to our house.

“Oh, Don. What did you do now?” my husband said in an exasperated tone.

He seemed certain the ambulance was headed toward our neighbor’s house. The middle-aged man’s health was deteriorating, and those lights were appearing next door more and more often.

“It could be someone else. There’s lots of homes in that direction,” I said.

It was true, but I wasn’t confident. Silently, I prayed for our neighbor’s safety.

But the further we drove, the more fleeting my hopes became. We arrived home and the paramedics drove past our house, parking in front of our neighbor’s. As we observed them from our driveway, we could tell they were familiar with our friend’s case. Frequent caller, nuisance, guy who uses first responders as a taxi service.

There weren’t many in our area who cared about this guy. He was single with no kids, quirky and odd. But months after following the ambulance to his house, my husband took him to Bible study. Despite previous invitations that were ignored or turned down, he went several times.

After his dad passed, we invited him to dinner. To be honest, I felt uncomfortable by some of his habits. But I held my tongue and he came to our home again a few weeks later.

I was sure God was paving the way for a change in this man’s life. We sensed his heart shifting and opening. And while it was just enough to shine a tiny light through, it was something.

But then, there was another shift. Another ambulance. Another trip to the hospital.

He died on a Monday morning. My husband received a text from a caretaker while at work.

I tried to be optimistic, but neither of us knew the state of his soul.

Even as a sit here writing this, questions race through my mind. Why would God allow the door to crack open just a little and then slam shut? Did he plant a seed that was never intended to yield fruit?

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know where this person’s spirit rests. But the same God who put this neighbor next door speaks to my anxious heart.

Most of us know John the Baptist as the bold, fearless one who paved the way for Jesus. The one who decreased so Jesus could increase.

But at the opening of Matthew 11, we get a different picture of this prophet. The man who cleared the way is now questioning. He’s hurting. He’s stuck in a prison, and perhaps waiting for the Messiah who performed miracles for everyone else to extend a miracle to him.

Messengers deliver this message from John to Jesus:

“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Matthew 11:3 ESV

Really? Is this even the same person? One moment he was literally shouting the name of Jesus from every platform, and now he’s not even sure he knows who Jesus is.

As much as we may like to see Jesus intervene, he doesn’t. Instead, he tells the messengers to tell John what they hear and see.

He concludes by saying,

“Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Matthew 11:6 ESV

Friends, our job is not to be the way or have all the answers. Our job is to point others to the way.

In his distress, John may have lost sight of this. He may have thought there was more he could do with his ministry, if given the opportunity.

But John’s job was to shine a light toward Jesus. Nothing more. Nothing less. And he achieved that goal.

When we question God’s motives, we lose sight of who he is.

Not only that, we lose sight of who we are. We are vessels he chooses to use and shine his Spirit through.

Sometimes, our opportunities only last for a moment. Others may last for years or even a lifetime. But when the vapor dissipates and an earthly life fades, let’s not lose hope. Though we mourn, let’s continue scattering those seeds.

Because we never know when that seed will burst forth and produce something beautiful.

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

Ask with Boldness, Walk with Wisdom

pray bold and unedited prayers quote by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith blog

Post By: Katie M. Reid

For a long time, I censored my prayers because I didn’t want to be disappointed if they were not answered in the way I hoped. But through a friend’s encouragement, I stopped editing my prayers and started boldly asking God for my heart’s desire. I knew that God would answer according to His will.

Praying uninhibited helped strengthen my faith as I declared that God could do the impossible and then waited to see how things would unfold.

King Solomon is an example of someone in the Bible who prayed with boldness and walked in wisdom. I want to do the same.

1 Kings 3:9 says: So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

As a new king, Solomon had the honorable yet daunting task of governing God’s chosen people. Although his earthly father was far from perfect, Solomon had big sandals to fill as he reigned on the heels of his dad, revered King David.

In 1 Kings 3:5, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said: Ask for whatever you want me to give you.

This almost seems like a genie in a bottle kind of moment, but it’s more like a loving father placing his hands on his child’s shoulders, “What is it that you want? Is there something I can do to help you?”

Solomon responded to God’s question by asking for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong. He asked for this so he could rule well and honor God in the process.

Solomon could have asked God for long life, wealth, victory over his enemies (or the latest, greatest model of chariot) but instead, he demonstrated humility and wisdom by asking for a discerning heart. Solomon was keenly aware that he had been called to a position that required more strength and insight than he currently possessed, so he asked God to provide what was needed for the task at hand.

Solomon’s prayer for wisdom pleased God and God gladly provided what was requested.

As we see in 1 Kings 3:3, Solomon was imperfect yet God still blessed him by answering his heartfelt plea.

Not long after Solomon received this gift of wisdom, he was presented with a perplexing situation of two harlots disputing over who was the rightful mother of a baby. Solomon’s verdict on this sticky situation caused all of Israel to be in awe as they observed the divine wisdom God gave their king to administer justice (1 Kings 3:28).

Solomon’s bold and unedited prayer for a discerning heart not only benefited himself but a whole nation.

Solomon did not just walk around saying, “Hey, I’m a wise guy,” he actually applied that wisdom to situations that arose, as we see demonstrated in the account of the two harlots (1 Kings 3:16-28).

As you face your own challenges, remember this faith-filled moment from King Solomon’s life: Ask boldly for what you need and act wisely as God leads.

Dear God, help me pray boldly and unedited like Solomon—asking for the very thing I desperately need. Help me to act wisely, according to Your Truth, knowing that you have my best interest in mind and deeply care for those around me. May I be a good steward of what You have entrusted to me and depend on Your insight to guide me. Thank You that You delight in answering my prayers and are able to help me navigate the trials I face. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is a bold and unedited prayer you have?

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next July with WaterBrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Exchanging Labels and Lies for His Truth

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

I went to the N.A. meeting with one goal. To get in and get out. The last thing I expected was for someone to give me a new label. I had too many of those already.

Sure, I wanted to support my loved one. I wanted him to get healthy, find release and healing. But I hoped by staying quiet and not making direct eye contact with the group leader, I could make my exit as soon as the meeting was over.

My strategy didn’t exactly work out as planned. The leader saw me right away, as it’s hard not to notice someone new when you’re sitting in a huge circle.

Once he learned who I was, he asked a series of questions. I didn’t know where he was leading and tried to be as vague as possible with my answers. Later, I learned he was trying to see if I met all the criteria for a term commonly used to describe the loved ones of addicts: codependent.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what the word meant. I had an idea, but I was nineteen years old at the time. Things like this didn’t enter my vocabulary. So, like any good college student, I did some research.

Codependency: (n) a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

I wasn’t willing to admit it out loud, but I knew I was a classic case. And without even realizing it, I took this label and added it to the list of other ones I allowed to define me through my college and early work years. Codependent, quiet one, underachiever, shy girl.

What’s ironic is that I hated stereotypes. When others tossed them around, I tried my best to avoid them.

“You can’t put me in a box,” I thought to myself.

What I didn’t see is that even though I wasn’t saying them aloud, I was listening. I was allowing these titles to limit me and hold me back.

When I had the opportunity to read my poetry aloud at the coffee shop, I quietly declined. When my professor told me I should enter a writing piece into the tribune, I let fear hold me back.

Staying in the shadows felt safe.

But by never venturing out and taking risks, I slowly lost little pieces of myself. I watched opportunities pass by and wondered why it was so hard for me to step out and be brave.

Years later, after graduating and acquiring my first couple of post-college jobs, I sat in a sanctuary trembling as the labels I’d adopted fell, one by one. I had new ones, and they weren’t names the world could give or take away.

Chosen. Worthy. Daughter. Beloved.

It took me years of searching and asking questions. Lord knows, I can be pretty hard-headed at times. But what I finally saw is that if I let the world define me with a finite label, I would never know who I was as an eternal being.

The world gives us labels based on appearance, but Jesus gives us names that stick.

Once we realize this, we can walk in freedom because we know that when he calls us to do something, it is his name we represent. Not our own.

So if he if he calls us to speak or share or move, what do we have to lose? Nothing but chains, dear daughters. Nothing but chains.

“My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10 ESV

 

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

God Can, But Will He?

God Can, But Will He quote by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith blog

Post by: Katie M. Reid

This man with leprosy believed that Jesus could make him clean, if He was willing.

Luke 5:12-13 “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, ‘I am willing’, he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”

Lord, if You are willing You can make me clean. 

Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego faced a fiery furnace. They knew that God was able to save them from it, but even if He did not they refused to bow down to another (see Daniel 3:16-18).

Lord, if You are willing You can save us from the fire. 

Jesus can do anything. He can do the impossible (see Matthew 19:26 & Luke 1:37).

Do you believe that?

He can rescue us from the fiery trials that we face. He can heal any kind of disease. He can restore broken marriages. He can free us from addictions. He can bring the dead to life.

Nothing is too difficult for Him (see Genesis 18:14 & Jeremiah 32:27).

Sometimes He doesn’t rescue, heal, restore, free or resurrect on this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean that He is unable to. 

What does it mean then?

The night before Jesus faced the fiercest trial of his life, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

Why was the Father not willing to let this cup pass from Jesus, His beloved child?

Was it because He was displeased with the one praying? Was God angry at him, ignoring him or apathetic towards him?

Not at all.

Jesus was His Son, the beloved of the Father. So why was He not willing to deliver His Son from the horrific, grave circumstances that He was facing?

It was love.

Not just love for Jesus but undying love for all of us. God allowed this suffering because He knew the end result would greatly impact the world forever; providing the way to a restored relationship with the Father and life everlasting with Him.

We have the privilege of knowing the rest of the story, but what if we were there in the Garden with Jesus or there at the foot of the cross as He hung upon it? Would we question God’s Sovereignty? Would we wonder why He wasn’t willing to save His Son?

Faith is being sure of what we do not see (see Hebrews 11:1) We choose to believe even when what we see seems contradictory to our beliefs. God is who He says He is or He is not.

I’m not trying to explain away your pain. I just know that sometimes our finite minds are limited and our eyes are short-sighted.

If God is not willing to let the cup pass in your life, I believe that it is for a greater purpose than what we can see at present.

God is Sovereign. Trust that He is Loving. Rest assured that He is Just.

You can take shelter in His Sovereignty and rest in His ability to cover you and keep you underneath the shelter of His wings. He cares deeply for you- so much so that He was unwilling to let the cup of His wrath pass from Jesus. He was willing to let His Son die so that you could live.

You are precious in His sight and loved beyond comprehension. You can be confident as you rest under the umbrella of His will, because He is faithful.

He is able to do anything. He is willing to make you clean through Jesus. He loves you that much. He did everything for you at the cross with arms spread wide open in love for you, that you may be saved.

I’ll leave you with a song declaring His power and His ability to do the impossible.

Nothing is impossible with God

Nothing is too hard for Him

He is able, more than able, to do anything.

He is Sovereign, He is Wise, He is Great, has limitless strength.

He’s the God who sees, the God who knows, the God Everlasting, the God of me.

Daniel 3:17-18 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker
Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next July with Waterbrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Encouragement When You Feel Like You’re Failing

no more striving it's already been done quote by katie m. reid for purposeful faith blog

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Dear Daughter:

I see you there…my try-hard girl, my striving for the “A” daughter—the one who handles it all.

You are My creation—painted with the brushstrokes of grace upon breathtaking landscape.

I know how hard you work…rising early, staying up late, constantly stirring thoughts around like stew, looking for the perfect blend to make it all right.

You are not an orphan, but an heir—privy to the inheritance that I died to give you.

Through each season, you strive to keep it all together—polished, shiny, bright. You do not like the idea of failing.

You strive to measure up. You scurry to keep up. You fear messing up. You dread fessing up.

Can I let you in on a little secret? You don’t have to be flawless.

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” –Psalm 18:32

Can I reassure and encourage you, this day? You don’t have to earn that which has been freely given.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23

I AM perfect, so you don’t have to be. I AM enough, so you don’t have to do more.

The easy A is yours. That which you are striving for has already been done.

Head over to Katie’s site, for the rest of this post and for the #RaRaLinkup…

 

Making Lists About God Will Change You

Post By: Angela Parlin

I read the Bible, looking for what it said about me.

Specifically, what did I need to DO—or not do? These are the things I wrote down. These are the things I prayed about and thought about. Then I wandered off to live my life each day. But I missed so much of the great, big, beautiful point of Scripture. The LORD.

I missed knowing Him more and growing in relationship with Him.

In a lot of ways, I was just doing religion.

It makes sense, because I’ve always wanted to get it all right. I don’t ever want to find myself in trouble. Getting in trouble never made sense to me. Just tell me all the rules and standards and expectations, and I’ll go to great lengths to follow them.

So I read the Bible like a rulebook. A guide for getting my life right. A tool to keep me from anyone’s disappointment.

By trying to avoid mistakes, I missed the glory and majesty of God Almighty.

But for several years now, I approach God and His Word in a different way, and it has changed me.

One day I realized I’d been reading the Bible as if it was a book about me–rather than a book about God. The light went on, and I started to come to these pages with a different mindset.

In her book, Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin says, “The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page.” (Page 23)

The Bible is a book about God. We all know that, but do we come to it, looking for God? I mean looking just for HIM, not for what we need from Him. Not for answers. Not for Do’s and Don’ts or explanations about ourselves. We find those there, but we find so much more if we come to the Bible looking for the Lord.

So now I make lists about God.

As I read through any book of the Bible, I write down each day what the text tells me about Him. When I pray, most days I start by telling God who His Word says He is. I often refer back to my lists. I worship Him with the ancient words of Scripture, ascribing to Him the glory due His name.

In worshiping God this way, I also benefit from reminding myself again and again who God is. Somehow, I no longer need to be told so often who I am.

Making lists about God {from Scripture} will change you.

It will change the way you think of God, the way you see Him, and how you relate to Him. It will change the way you think of yourself.

More than anything, it will fill your mind and heart with the truth about God. You won’t want to miss another opportunity to see Him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:3b, NLT

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.

For the Days When Your Soul Aches and You Feel Lonely

Seven Bible verses to help you when you're lonely and your soul aches

Post by: Katie M. Reid

The stale air of the subway felt like her closest companion. She was surrounded by people yet no one seemed to notice her. Some passengers looked straight ahead, others seemed to look through her, and most were on their phone. A few, very few, were engaged in conversation.

I’m hungry. She cried out.

And the passengers were unaware…or unmoved.

I’m hungry! She called out again.

I heard the cry. Not just from the mouth of this fellow passenger, but deep within my soul.

I have known hunger too: soul hunger.

And I wonder how many of us join in this refrain? I’m hungry. I’m hungry!

On the days when there’s nothing left in the cupboard. For the times when the house (or inbox) is devoid of life. In the aftermath of unexpected storms that barrel through. There is one who hears, who sees, who understands. One who has experienced loneliness (and hunger) in ways we can’t even imagine.

He answers our cries with Himself: the Bread of Heaven broken for us.

He doesn’t look through us, He lives in us. He invites us to feast as He provides soul manna that never runs out. He never runs out on us. Jesus. Not a trite answer but THEE answer for our deep soul ache.

Tried and true, tested and proven, His Love saturates lonely, aching places.

Here for us; always. When others ignore, when they overlook, or when they inadvertently hurry by…He remains.

Here are 7 verses to feast on when you’re feeling lonely:

  • Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35).
  • Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20).
  • Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16).
  • 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 (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).
  • Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139: 7-10).
  • For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
  • Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20, NLT).

There is a verse here for each day of the week. May you be comforted as you cry out to God and bring your loneliness to Him. Oh how He cares for you and is more than able to provide for the hunger of your soul.

Katie M. Reid Author and Speaker

Katie M. Reid is an author and speaker who encourages you to find grace in the unraveling of life (look for her first book coming out next summer with Waterbrook!). She inspires you to embrace your identity in Christ and live out your God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in the Midwest. She is a fan of cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea. Katie and her husband host the popular Facebook Live show, “Stop! Hammock Time” (which airs Wednesdays, 9pm EST). Join in the fun and unwind in this vibrant community.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

When Storms Come In Like Wrecking Balls

Post By: Angela Parlin

It was Jesus’ idea to row to the other side.

With His disciples, He left the crowd behind, and traveled by boat to a new place on the far side of the lake. A furious storm suddenly raged. Waves crashed over the boat, and they nearly drowned.

Meanwhile, Jesus slept on a cushion in the stern.

If you think about what he had been doing before this little boat ride, his deep sleep makes perfect sense. At least from my introverted (and sometimes-exhausted Mom) perspective. He had been teaching crowds of people, eating meals with people, and traveling about talking with them and healing them.

Mark 4 tells us the disciples took Jesus along in the boat, “just as He was.” And what He was, was completely exhausted. Fully human…

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