Through our struggles…

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Our struggles give us the character of God

“If Jesus Christ learned obedience and endurance through what he suffered, why would we expect our lives to be different? Through our struggles and pain, we are being offered perseverance, the character of God. Hardships are intended to give us a spiritual makeover. Therefore, when God encourages us to persevere, he is not stumbling for encouraging words, He is teaching us how to look like Him.”

Edward Welch from Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness chapter 10

This says so much to me. We want OUT of the suffering…but if we are to be true followers of Christ, where will we follow Him? To the cross. He suffered. For us. God is making us more like Himself when we endure and persevere. As hard as it is to acknowledge that in the midst of the pain, on the other side of it, we can often learn to be thankful for the struggles.

When we allow ourselves to be made into the image of Christ, which is our ultimate goal as believers, we are placing ourselves into the hands of a loving Father who has our best interest in mind. That best, though, often includes suffering and pain. Remember, He is making us to be more like Jesus. Think about the life Jesus led…He was misunderstood, He was mistreated, ultimately He gave His very life in a very painful way for my heart.

Do we want to be more like Jesus or not?

More posts from this book

He Calls Me Out Upon the Waters {My Summer in the Word}

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{gorgeous mug from Kristin’s shop}

My summer has been so blessed. Looking back over the past 2 months I see a constant that I believe has made a huge difference. The slow, summer mornings where I’ve had TIME to read my Bible, pray, journaling, the study I’m doing at church…it has been just what my soul needed.

A few things had to happen for this to work…

I had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and put God first.

I had to let go of my to-do list and put God first.

So, one thing I have learned is that when I put God first in my morning ~ not even that I get up early, but that I put him before the list in my head of things I SHOULD be doing ~ He is filling me up.  I’ve seen this before in my own life, but this summer I saw such a drastic change in my heart that I was reminded that time in His Word really is more important than getting those dishes in the dishwasher!

When I wake up in the morning my mind is already racing. My to-do list looms. My calendar is open and on the counter for me to glance at. Household chores that need to be done are very obvious. It’s so hard for me to sit and read and listen for His voice when the house is a mess, anyone else?

I have to be proactive and intentional about setting aside that to-do list and opening my Bible instead. I have to practice saying to the Lord, “You matter more than a clean kitchen.” Ouch. When you say it like that it stings. But, it’s truth.

As you know if you’ve been around here this summer, we have a lot of big changes happening in our home. After 12 years of every single day devoted to the education of my children, our children will be attending a small private school in our town. I am beginning to teach piano lessons with 16 students so far. Smaller changes like getting rid of our chickens. A crazy month of July this summer. All of these things add up to unrest in my soul. Just looking at my calendar was causing waves of panic.

The Lord knows me intimately. He knew I desperately needed this time with Him like I needed nothing else in my life. He enabled me to have this time. He is the one that put that intentionality there. He is the one that drew me to Himself every morning.

Oceans by Hillsong United 

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

[6x]
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

You call me out upon the waters ~ Lessons in faith and trusting HIM more! mercyisnew.com

Jesus calls each of us out onto the water. Maybe that water is school after homeschooling for many years. Maybe that water is starting a new job. Maybe that water is quitting an old job. Maybe that water is trusting Him to work a miracle in a broken relationship in your life. Maybe that water is taking the next step in recovering from an addiction i your life.

The thing about the water is…it’s unknown. It’s full of waves. It’s not predictable. The great unknown…where our feet may actually fail us! Failure isn’t bad when we fail into His arms and He catches us. Sometimes what we need most is to fail so that we will learn to trust God instead of ourselves. 

Where our own feet may fail us? That is where we find Christ. That is where the mystery of the sovereignty of God takes over. That is where we learn to trust. And when we learn to trust Him more and more…that is where our faith grows. Failure in our own strength leads to leaning not on our own understanding and trusting Him more with each passing day.

Where is Jesus calling you to step out onto the water right now?  

Join me in this prayer, the cry of my heart:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Book on Anxiety {cheap on kindle}

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When I find a deal, especially on a book I think you will enjoy, I try to come and share it. :) As you know, I've been sharing about Edward Welch's book on depression in several posts recently. I have mentioned that I think his book, Depression: … [Continue reading]

Purposeful in 2014: July

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  In order to help keep myself accountable the goals I set at the beginning of 2014, I'm going to try to post monthly with updates! If you have any updates on your goals or word of the year, I would love to see them! Don't forget about my … [Continue reading]

My Beach Reads

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My Beach Reads 2014 mercyisnew.com

We were very, very blessed to get a {free} trip to the beach this year when we thought we wouldn't be taking a vacation at all! So, of course, being the book nerd that I am, as soon as I realized we were getting a WEEK AT THE BEACH {squeal} I started … [Continue reading]

Monday Morning Mercies {Daybook}

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Everyone loves new kitten pictures, right!? :) God's Glory Outside My Window We are at the BEACH. We were so, so blessed to receive a free week at the beach and oh how my heart and soul have needed this time!! God is so good and so faithful. Such … [Continue reading]

Freedom

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It is for freedom

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Memory Work Made Easy: December

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Isaiah 96 copywork

Find each month of memory work linked here. Scripture: Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 96 copywork Poem: Christmas Bells Here is a printable PDF of this poem for you to hang in your school room or dining room! This poem is long, you can choose one or … [Continue reading]

Memory Work Made Easy: November

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Psalm 100 copywork

Find each month of memory work linked here. Scripture: Psalm 100 Psalm 100 copywork Poem: Here is a printable PDF of this poem for you to hang in your school room or dining room! Come Ye Thankful People Come    Hymn: Count Your … [Continue reading]

Plan Your Year {Ebook recommendation}

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About Plan Your Year Pam, from Everyday Snapshots has done it again! This girl is on a roll and such a busy bee! If you're in the throes of planning your upcoming homeschooling year OR you are contemplating homeschooling but think you aren't … [Continue reading]