Finding Strength in Our New Reality

I don’t know about you, but the soberness of this unique time in history started to sink in this week. After the initial adrenaline rush of preparing for quarantine living and social distancing, I think I have begun a new level of processing.

The newness of it all has worn off and living my own version of Groundhog Day is not nearly as comical or fun as I thought it might be. 🙂 

It sort of reminds me how the excitement of a new school year quickly wears off in the daily grind.

So what are we to do? How can we grow and make the most of this unique opportunity?

If I have learned anything through the challenges I have faced over the passed few years, it would be to be honest with myself about my feelings. I try to allow myself a time, often through journaling, where I process my frustrations, anger, disappointment, sadness, grief or any other combination of emotions.

I name what I am feeling and why to the best of my ability. Then I bring it to the Lord so we can share it and He can help bear my burden. I worship to my favorite song or wait and sit in silence, if necessary, or however I feel led in the moment.

I begin to feel a lightening in my heart and sometimes I can even sense the burden coming off of me. I thank the Lord for the gift of His presence and demonstrating how He is my burden bearer.

What a glorious God! He gives us salvation over and over, then daily he carries our burdens!   Pause in his presence

Psalm 68:19

I usually ask Him what else He wants me to know right now and take time to write down whatever I sense. I review my journals regularly for overarching messages or insights.

I really feel like the Lord wants us all to learn what it means that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” (Philippians 4:13) Many, if not all of us, are being challenged to live in a new way and do things we would not choose to do. But it’s our reality and we might as well give it our best and learn all we can.

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

All who are willing can be trained “in the secret of overcoming all things” and the key is “Christ’s EXPLOSIVE power” INFUSING me to conquer every difficulty!”

Catch that?

Every. Single. Difficulty.

There are no exceptions.

So let’s seize this opportunity to focus on Jesus and choose to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit to be more aware of HIs presence. Let’s not get lost in the monotony of our situation, but be infused with the strength of Christ’s resurrection power that is in us as Christ followers. 

Now is the time to receive the secret of overcoming ALL things for the honor and glory of Jesus so the world may see how real He is to us, His beloved children.

May Jesus be more real, now than ever, for you and your family!

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Provision: One Day at a Time

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My grandmother

This past weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday! What a milestone! She is the mother of 4, grandmother of 9 and great-grandmother of 4. She has modeled a life of prayer and service and is deeply loved by all who know her.

Already in a reflection mode, I retrieved some scrapbooks from the attic that I had recently rediscovered.  The other night we decided to look through them as a family. It was fun sharing our baby pictures and upbringing with our kids.

In addition to the scrapbooks, I also rediscovered letters I had handwritten to my kids during their first few years of life. They were labeled by name and age and included the date they were written.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read out loud the first letter I had written to each of my children. It detailed my love and joy of my firstborn at 3 months old. It shared what she was able to do, what she was learning and what she was discovering. It also shared my hopes for her relationship with Jesus and the future.

After not seeing them for over 13 years, it was so amazing to go back in time and be reminded of some things we had forgotten. We laughed at the similarities that were evident at such a young age and still very true today.

We did the same for my son, although his letters started at 6 months, and were just as amazed.  Again, we laughed and marveled at the time capsule gift from what feels like ages ago. The reminders stirred up more memories and stories. Of course the kids wanted me to keep reading letters, but we decided we would only read one letter a night.

While I enjoyed the letters for all the same reasons my family did, I was even more struck by the content and how each letter highlighted areas that each child is currently struggling with. The letters repeated key themes for each child that they needed to hear and be reminded of regularly.

woman doing hand heart sign

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I was amazed at the provision of the Lord to inspire me to write and address areas long before there were actual traumas to heal and challenges to overcome. I praised God for His care for my family! He knew we would NEED those letters on multiple levels. What I thought was just a neat idea (from somewhere) was actually His leading and showing His personal care for me and my family. While He didn’t prevent the heartaches and bad things from happening, He has walked closely with us through them and promises to continuing to do so: one day at a time.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.  Romans 8:28 TPT

May we all have the gift to see the ways the Lord has been present and made preparations ahead of time for the hard times we have walked through or may be walking through now. He truly IS in control, and has ALWAYS been in control, working ALL things for our good.

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Follow A Secret Spring on Facebook or Instagram for daily inspiration and encouragement. 

*****************************************

Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.

Receiving When You’re Not Okay

Every one of Your godly lovers receives even more than what they ask for. For You hear what their hearts really long for and You bring them Your saving strength. Psalm 145:19 (TPT)

When I first became sick, all I wanted was to get better. I seriously wanted nothing but the pain and anguish to stop. I wanted to feel okay. I wanted to BE okay.

However, I had symptoms and a diagnosis that reminded me, that for right now, I was not okay. I listened to my doctor, who was hopeful and positive, yet insistent about the gravity of my condition and the need to follow her directions.

Thankfully, between my weakness and the medicine I was given to help bring stability, and ultimately healing, I slept a lot.

I have been through some hard times in my life, but this was so much different than anything I had ever faced. I had never been this incapacitated in my life. I was totally dependent on my husband and those the Lord graciously sent to help care for me.

I had no choice but to receive.

I couldn’t read my Bible or pray or journal.

I had to receive the Lord’s love and acceptance just because He loves me. There was no striving, earning or performing.

It was uncomfortable in almost every way, but I was just too weak. I surrendered.

I had a very strong knowing of His presence with me in the lowest of lows. I felt His understanding of and compassion for my suffering. He sat with me IN my suffering. He comforted me IN my suffering. He loved me IN my suffering.

As time went by, I still wanted to feel better, but I was okay because He was with me. I valued His presence and felt His love and that anchored me in the midst of the storm. I began to value Him more than my own well being.

He loved me back to health and life and became my saving strength.

Let’s pray.

Lord, I thank You for Your faithfulness to me during my darkest days. Thank You for always being with me and comforting me. Thank You for understanding my suffering in a way no one else can. Please help me to continually find comfort in You and the depth of Your love for me. Lord, I lift up my brothers and sisters who may be suffering right now. I lift them into Your loving care and ask that You would surround them in songs of deliverance and help them to receive all You have for them. Please help them to know that You hear what their hearts really long for and You are bringing them Your saving strength for the honor and glory of Jesus. May it be so.

The Company You Keep During a Season of Hardship Matters

Even though the Lord may allow you to go through a season of hardship and difficulty, He Himself will be there with you. He will not hide Himself from you, for your eyes will constantly see Him as your Teacher.  Isaiah 30:20 (TPT)

I don’t like hardship and difficulty. I really don’t. However, if I’m honest, it has been through the most difficult and darkest times that I have grown the most. On several occasions, I have been brought to a breaking point where it felt like something inside of me was dying. It was scary, painfully scary. Yet, in the midst of the turmoil of my unraveling, my loving Heavenly Father held me close and affirmed me as His beloved daughter.

Jesus kept bringing me back to the Father’s love when I was disoriented and lost my way in a consuming darkness. The Holy Spirit comforted and taught me how to truly rest in the Father’s love and security when I was unable to care for my family or even myself.

It was through the death (of what needed to die) that resurrection of my true self began to slowly emerge in strength, deeply rooted in the goodness of Father God, who not only carried me through, but blessed me with a new depth of intimacy with Him. I learned He was truly all I needed when He was (virtually) all I had.

Perhaps you are facing a season of hardship that has pummeled you to such an extent that it has knocked the wind out of you and left you feeling helpless and vulnerable in ways you never imagined possible. I know how unsettling it is to feel like you are coming undone and not be able to do anything about it, but hope it doesn’t last forever.

It won’t. The end of the tunnel is closer than you realize.

In my experience, if you keep positioning your heart towards Him and giving Him your weakest “yes”, in the midst of all your fear or anger, I know He will meet you in the pain and bring healing as only He can. He will strengthen your foundations so you will find love and security in Him alone. 

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes I doubt Your presence and goodness because of the turmoil around me and in me. Please forgive me for blaming You for the bad and partnering with the lie that You don’t care about my suffering. Thank You for Your open arms of grace that console the deepest hurts in my heart and embrace me with a healing love that transforms me from the inside out. Thank You for Your grace and understanding and how You love me just as much on my good days as my bad ones. Thank You for carrying me in Your loving grace. Your grace is real. Please help me be just as much aware of Your grace as I am my suffering, and please take me to the place where I become more aware of Your love and grace THAN my suffering. Although it may be hard to see right now, I choose to believe that Your plans for me and my family are good. I choose to believe that You are good and You never change. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me and promising to be close to the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit. Please teach us who You are right now that you couldn’t be in any other season of our faith journey. We want Jesus to get the full reward of His suffering and death on the cross so we may experience a powerful resurrection, in our lives and circumstance, and walk as the new creation He destined us to be for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. May it be so.