A New Season

Thursday, September 13, 2012  ::  

Sometimes a person can coast for awhile with light heartedness, smiles, and ease. These times are a sweet season of peace from the One who restores us with an extended sabbath for our bodies and our souls.

Sometimes a person must tighten up their boot straps, focus a little harder, furrow their brow a little deeper, and lean heavily on the Cornerstone for support, wisdom, and the ability to persevere. These times can often be a season of sweet sifting by the One who molds us through trials which hopefully produce the sweet fruit of dependance on the Sustainer of Life. 

As the sovereign God has seen fit, I've found myself in a season which demands a deeper dependance on Jesus. 

There have been days when fear knocked on my heart all day long. Taking my thoughts captive and submitting them to Jesus felt like I was doing mental squats with heavy weight and my mind fatigued at the end of the day. When fear would sometimes overtake my desire to trust in God, panic and anxiety stepped in to wreak havoc in my heart. The Spirit of God liberates me from these fears through the power of His word. 

Whom have I in heaven but you and the earth has nothing I desire besides you? My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

My heart and my flesh may fail, but God you are my strength. Thank you. 

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  

Be joyful and pray! Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to depend on you more fully. 

There have been days when self-centeredness tempted me to decorate for a pity party to throw in my own honor. Fighting the battle to look to Christ and care for others, even if only through prayer, took focus and determination. Sometimes I just sat right on down on the party bench, cut myself a big piece of pity cake, and held a few helium balloons shaped like my sad, weepy head. Jesus gently reminded me of His work in my life to make me more like Himself. 

What is more I consider everything a lost compared to the surpassing power of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. Phil 3:8-9

Nothing compares to knowing you, my Jesus. 

Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. 1 Pet 4:19-20 

This is for your glory, God. I won't be surprised by this trial, but I will focus on you. 

There have been days where it is difficult to focus, where I cannot find words, noise agitates my nerves, when my head just hurts. The temptation to believe the lie that I'm weak or even worse, faking, entices my thoughts. But, what is so bad about being weak? Struggling through strength vs. weakness are often ponderings of my heart. When I wonder about being the helper I want to be for Chad, He answers. When I wonder about investing in my kids, He answers. When I wonder about mentoring women, He answers. When I wonder about leading a retreat for the women I love so dearly, He answers. 

...there was given me a thorn in my flesh...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me, but He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me...For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7:10

I can more fully rely on You in my weakness. You are deepening my experiential understanding of allowing You to work and move and minister to, in, and through me by the power of your Spirit. Thank you. 

There have been days I have wanted to tell all of you what is going on in my life and other days I didn't want to tell a soul. Truth be told, I don't know the whys to the what just yet. However, I don't want to be a stinker and leave you to speculate. 

A few weeks ago, I had an incident before teaching my spin class. I had no idea what was happening because I am 39 and in excellent health. Because it didn't even occur to me I could be suffering from something significant, I taught my class. Now I have tangible proof that I am one tough, stubborn lady! 

After many tests and long days of waiting, it was determined that I had a moderate stroke. I do not have a single risk factor which has led the neurologist to refer me to a cardiologist to do some tests on my heart. We don't know why it happened. Very intelligent doctors will be working to figure out if there is a problem and the needed solutions. 

In the global scheme of things, this is small. People deal with unimaginable life circumstances every day. I've asked God to enable me to set my mind on things above where Christ is seated at His right hand, to teach me to pray for all kinds of people I personally know and do not know.

On a personal level, this is heavy. I'm taking a sabbatical from meeting with women. I'm going to need to allow my brain time to heal and rewire. Through all of this it has been thoroughly revealed that I have many amazing people in my life. I am prayed for, loved, and supported by you. The creative ways that people are supporting my family and me blesses me. 

The great God I worship has been gracious to me through His word which is alive and active in my very own heart.

Through this journey I pray I will depend on His grace that enables me to trust Him with all my heart, to not lean on my own understanding (which is pretty much no understanding), to acknowledge Him in all my ways, and to trust that He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 He is faithful. 

24 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I love you Angel!!
Forever and always,
MaMa

Caylin Stroupe said...

Thank you for sharing your heart...

Tamara Casady said...

I am definitely praying for you Angel. Thank you for posting some incredible verses and for sharing what you're going through <3

Anonymous said...

You know that song we sing that says, 'I WILL NOT FEAR, His promise is true, my God will come through, always!' I'm doing fist pumps for you as I pray this song for you! Love you!
Kelly T.

Angela DeSoto said...
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Angela DeSoto said...

I'm so glad you were able to push through and find the right words for this post. They are really powerful words. I'm so thankful for the power of His presence in your life. I love you dearly, friend.

Tia Edwards said...

I am so thankful for you! So thankful that the power of the living and active Word is alive in You in calm water and in stormy seas!

Love you much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your "moxie" with others, Angel. You are such an inspiration and wonderful example of how God works through us, when we allow him!

Alysa said...

I am so thankful for you and happy that you shared. I've been thinking about you a lot lately, and will keep praying for your heart, mind and body. Love you!

hannah singer said...

love you. so glad you shared here xo
and thanks for these scriptures, need to meditate on them as well! xo

Emily said...

It is so evident God is moving in and through you through this experience. These are many of the same verses I have been praying for you, and I'm sure many others have been too. Love you so much Friend. Thanks for sharing.

Jen Griffith said...
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Jen Griffith said...

Love you Angel and haven't stopped praying for you!! Thank you for sharing!! No doubt you have AMAZING peeps in your life and know that those of us that aren't in Tucson are loving on you from afar! Thankful for you, your wisdom, your vulnerability, your beauty and your all around awesomeness :)

Erin Fabry said...

Angel, you are so loved and appreciated. Thank you for sharing, you are inspiring many with your words and your perseverance. So many prayers are going up for you and the Haynes family! Thank you for all that you are. When we are weak, He is strong!

Kay Holcomb said...

Thank you, Angel, for sharing your heart. You have blessed me today with your thoughts and the Word
and encouraged me to practice His presence moment by moment. Praying for you and your family. What a privilege...

Anonymous said...

Angel,

Even in this rough time of growth, you are still helping others by sharing your story. Thank you. I will be praying for you.

Jennifer Coats

Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing your heart in what I can only imagine is a confusing time, your dependence on the word is inspirational and a reminder how important it is to know the TRUTH. Praying for you, your family, and the doctors!!

Alisa Wilhelm said...

Aw, love you Angel, and praying for you daily :)

April Englehart said...

Praying for you & your family! You are so stubborn. I can't believe that you still led the class, but knowing you I believe it. I pray that you will find answers but I know that from my personal experience that sometimes doctors are not able to give a conclusion. I think that is why I sometimes have chosen in my stubborness to no longer regularly go to doctors much to my family's dksmay & David's scoldings.
I had a similar occurrence when on a Discovery trip to California before I had Caleb. I was with Tyra & Wendy Preston & my whole right side went into a palsey state. Freaked Tyra out! It lasted about 5 min. & then I was fine. Had many tests done & the final conclusion was migranes & I was placed on heavy anti-depression meds that also work on migranes. I was younger than you are now, like 33. I stopped taking them when I realized that I was pregnant with Caleb & surprisingly have not had that happen since. Caleb was the cure! The doctor told me that being a mom of young children & my schedule as a church volunteer & college ministers wife was too stressful. She wanted to know if I could give up some of my stores!? What? Give up being a mom or stop helping David? I am pretty stubborn too, but I think that it is wise for you to stop a few things to just avoid another incident. I realize that this is like the pot calling the kettle black, but I try to help others with my weaknesses.
Hope this is helpful & that this is just a one time incident. I think I have more stress now being an 8th grade teacher, mom & college ministry wife, but I have learned to pay attention to my body when it tells me that I am on overload & not go to some things & I have stopped singing at church & teaching Sunday school as I know that I can't do it all much to my dismay!
It is okay to let someone else do some of the things you are doing for a season of rest! I am 50 & my extended family still continually scolds me to stop helping David with ministry, but I know my limits & my God knows my limits! Hope this helps! We love you & pray for a time of rest & that you will still know that you are being used by Him!
Eccl. 3:1-8 #atimeforeverything

laura k. moore said...

hearing your response to fears and thoughts and lies with hard core, specific remembered truth is probably one of the richest encouragements to 'hide his word in my own heart more.' While i hate watching the pain and frustration of it all, i LOVE seeing Jesus and Bible spill from the edges of honesty. i am glad to be part of a family that deeply desires to carry burdens...encourage in trials...and pray the dickens for bolstered faith and raw, raw dependency on Jesus...you are deeply cared for friend :)

Leslie @ top of the page said...

Oh sweet girl, what an unexpected trial. My first thought is that God is good. He is not surprised by these events. He is prepared and he is not slow to work as some understand slowness. You will not come out on the other side of this trial wishing it hadn't happened. You and I both know that the fruit of this season will be so sweet, fruit you could never witness or produce outside this trial, that only our sovereign God could ordain in His wisdom and loving plans. Expect revelation and expect His goodness, because you are anchored in love. And the last thing on my heart is grace. May his grace wash over you right now, and may you embrace it for yourself, adjusting your expectations and choosing rest. It's okay. Even if your body is feeling weak, I am most confident that Jesus is strengthening something in your heart and soul that couldn't be built up another way. Thanks for being transparent. You'll be in my prayers. Hug.

tracy said...

Wow, Angel. As others have said, thank you for sharing this. I can't imagine how scary and frustrating this must be, but at the same time, it is clear that in the midst of this, God is using you to bless others and reveal his truth about strength, weakness, and identity, among many other things. I pray for healing and that you would be able to truly and fully REST in Him.

Brian said...

on one hand I'm so sorry... on the other, I'm so happy that you will get to know Him in a way you have never known Him before! To want Christ more than comfort... more than health... or family... I know that is your desire (at least on some days!) Will be praying for you! He suffered for you... now He suffers with you... and you are sharing in His suffering.

Denise said...

God is using this for His glory- His glory in you and through you. I count on this. I count on this that there is a bigger picture we cannot see, but God allows things to make himself known.

This verse is my comfort and what i cling to-
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."
Isaiah 46:9-10

I HAVE to remember GOD IS GOD, and He's got this. Praying He will magnify himself to you, I know he will because that is his way,

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