Trade the Old for God’s New: Leave It Behind Series {Plus a Giveaway}

leave it behind series

As we continue the Leave It Behind series, I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Tiffany Parry. I discovered Tiffany by chance in the blogging world, and was instantly drawn to the way she expressed herself through words. She made me feel as though I was right there with her as she explored deep and often difficult topics, and over the past year I’ve watched her grow and develop her gift. It is truly an honor to watch a woman pursue the goals and dreams God has placed in her heart, and Tiffany has done just that.

Tiffany headshot - blog1

A lover of words, Tiffany purposes to use hers to speak truth and encourage others that while life can be messy, God is greater. She welcomes you to follow along as she pursues God on her word-by-word journey through the mountains and valleys of faith at her blog, Simply for One.

Blog: simplyforone.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/simplyforone

Twitter: @tiffparry

Trade the Old for God’s New

I rose to my feet in a place I’d stood hundreds of times before. Gripping the chair in front of me, I bowed my head and prayed I could make it through another day. The music came to life, the beat resounding in my chest. But it didn’t reach my heart.

A tear seeped to the corner of my eye and I discreetly wiped it away afraid to show any sign of weakness in this place. Lord, I’m not sure I can do this anymore.

“Love came down and rescued me.” The chorus carried through the sanctuary, but I couldn’t meet it with own worship. My words were stolen by sorrow.

I looked around the room at familiar faces, lives I held dear and others I was sure I would never understand. There was a distinct shift – a divide – as if I was watching through a plate glass window. The separation was tangible, a wall I could no longer scale.

One He was no longer asking me too. It’s time, God whispered to my heart.

“Love came down and set me free.” The clarity and certainty I had been wrestling for were delivered to me on the wings of a song. It was time to go.

For a year, God had been cutting heartstrings, one at a time, removing my attachment and redirecting my call. There was space to grieve, and question, and pray. There was grace upon grace as God cleared the path and gave me a broad place to walk.

He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:19 NIV

Sometimes God asks us to set aside the old in order to usher in the new. He calls us to leave behind that which we have held dear, and counted safe, in order to draw closer to Him. But, our sacrifice is wrapped in beautiful grace – we give up in order to gain.

God binds anguish with love – His Son is an expert at it.

There were days that stretched into weeks that made up that year where I stood knee deep in fear. Guilt mingled with determination as I juggled the next step. God wasn’t asking me to confess a sin. He didn’t want me to right a wrong.

He wanted me to follow Him – to leave a place behind.

He was rewriting our story; mine and my families. Out of pain and confusion He was bringing truth. He was asking us to trust Him and leave behind history, ministry, and memories. While I felt like I was fleeing, He reminded me that faith doesn’t set you running – it causes you to chase more of God.

Leave it Behind4

If you’re discontent where you are, if you’re struggling to make it fit, could it be because He’s moved ahead and you’ve stayed put? Are you clinging to past emotion, battling with the old excuses, fighting for a place you no longer belong? Are you calculating risk where you should be exercising faith? Are you holding tight what you ought to surrender?

God will wait. But we can’t stay where He isn’t. Sooner or later, we have to follow.

And we did. On a beautiful Easter morning, we welcomed brand new. With hope and relief in our rescue, we walked onto new ground. It wasn’t easy or simple – it was an act of obedience. A pursuit of truth – a pursuit of God. And He met us there, greeted us with confirmation, and seated us in beautiful expectation.

We found more of Him.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 ESV

 

Photo 1 credit (text added): kendoman26 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo Credit – Girl in Field

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

GIVEAWAY:

From my heart for more of God to yours, I’m excited to give away a copy of Chase Study by Jennie Allen – a faith challenging journey chasing after the heart of God…

Love,

Tiffany

“We rarely, in our busy lives, stop and see God, really see Him. We are so busy doing things for Him and for everyone else that we altogether miss Him. He wants us. As we chase after His heart together, we will explore the life of David. Whether you are running from God or working your tail off to please Him, David’s journey will challenge your view of God. He is invisible, and yet He is the only thing we can chase that won’t leave us feeling more empty.” Jennie Allen

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below. You can be entered a second time by sharing this post either on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Please let me know if you shared the post in your comment. I will announce the winner on Tuesday, June 9th.

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30 thoughts on “Trade the Old for God’s New: Leave It Behind Series {Plus a Giveaway}

  1. Love this, Tiffany! I do think my discontentment comes when I’m not following God where I need to be going. That Jennie Allen study sounds fabulous. I LOVED her “Restless.” So glad to see you here. xoxo

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    • Chase is a fabulous study and one that addresses a lot of those trigger areas, like discontent, where we tend to settle into rather than push through. So grateful that He is that constant that we can always follow after. Blessed you visited here today, Kristin. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful, Tiffany. Seeking after God and seeing where He is leading doesn’t always leave us with peace right away. I’ve found that unsettledness where I know He is getting ready to move us, but I’m comfortable where I am. Sometimes it’s definitely hard to let go and follow. But like you, when I do…then comes the peace in being right by His side.

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    • Oh, yes…letting go and moving out of those comfortable places is never easy. But in the restlessness, we lean into God and I believe that’s exactly what He wants – it allows Him to lead us to the place we need to go. You are so right, peace doesn’t usually come until we’ve followed, which makes it all the sweeter. Thank you for your thoughts and for being here, Sabra. Blessings!

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  3. Tiffany, I can relate to your story. God used discontent to prepare me for the changes He had for me. Some took more faith than others. But trusting God’s good heart in following Him into the unknown was my anchor.

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    • Hooray for our anchor! That discontent can leave us unsettled and out of sorts, but God is that anchor that we can trust to lead us into His very best for us. Blessings, Deb.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing, I really needed this one today! I’m at the point where I feel the tugging to move, but yet the fear is so overwhelming at times. He’s been moving in so many amazing ways the last few weeks, so I know beyond a doubt that He’s got something up his sleeve.

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    • I know that fear, Abby – it can tie us to the old and often hold us there. But God only asks us to take the first step to follow Him – we don’t travel the distance alone, He is with us. It’s a beautiful thing to know He’s stirring change then trust Him enough to take that first step (or often leap) into His plans. Hugs to you and praying for your journey ahead!

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  5. Tiffany,
    I appreciate your words, your walk – the way you gracefully write and draw the reader right to Him. This message takes courage – to leave behind the familiar in order to follow. Yet, to truly move forward, there are times we must “leave a place behind.” I’ve been met with strength through your testimony here and I’m praying to respond with unreserved surrender. You are truly blessed and a blessing!

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    • Thank you for your sweet and gracious words, Jessica. “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but obedience to God in spite of it.” <— One of the topics explored in the Chase study and yes, we have to overcome our security in our safe places and trust God with what is up ahead so that we follow with our whole heart. Praying for you and grateful for the God of grace who travels the road ahead of me, you, all of us. You are the blessing, friend – so glad to see you here.

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  6. Tiffany, you touch tender on thoughts God has spoken to me over this year – to relinquish what is good in order to embrace His best; to let go of busy and enter His rest. I’m not being called to move physically but to let go of what doesn’t fit His path for me, what weighs heavy in a soul when He’s asking us to live lightly and freely and embrace wholeness.
    Thank you for your honest, inspiring reflection, for sharing the deep truth you have learnt and insights gained as you obediently followed after God’s heart. Blessings on you and your family in this new season. 🙂 x

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    • Joy, I love what you’ve said here about the changes God asks us to go through internally – those things He calls us to set aside or lay down within, in order to pursue more of Him. There is such freedom when God cleans house, isn’t there. No it isn’t always easy or pleasant, but like you said it lifts that weight from our soul – that is a beautiful thing. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Be blessed, Joy!

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  7. Tiffany,
    If I didn’t know any better I would think you had first hand knowledge of the struggle I am walking through right now. Your words are like water to my parched soul. I don’t know what your struggle was, but perhaps you will understand when I use words like anguish and despair to describe how I feel. Those words are deep, but I think they are accurate description. Thank you for your passion for words and using them to minister to souls like mine. Sweetest blessingsto you, sister!

    And, Abby, thank you for leading this series… It’s valuable! Blessings to you as well!

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    • Oh, Leigh – I’m fixed on “anguish and despair” because I know how it feels to be sitting in those. They hold hands quite nicely with confusion and heartbreak, don’t they? If you haven’t heard these words before, let me speak them to you – I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’ve endured or the path you’ve traveled, but sweet sister, I’m sorry that you are hurting. I could easily say that I wouldn’t wish the pain or the parched soul on anyone, but from this end of the battle I can tell you there will be beauty from the ashes. God doesn’t ask our permission to transform us, but you can be sure that you will thank when His work in you is done. The refiners fire is at work and God’s story never ends in ashes. If I can ever be of more encouragement please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Holding you close in prayer and sending you hugs.

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  8. Tiffany, may I ditto Abby’s story of how she was drawn to your writing and, consequently, you? The Lord has given you words to say and the ability to string them together in such an elegant, yet easy to understand way. It’s exciting to see the two of you connected here on the blog, even more so that you’re connected to the One who strengthens each of us to “leave it behind.” Cheering for you girls.

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    • Kristi, I couldn’t have said this better. 🙂 I am excited God brought the two of us together too, and so blessed to be walking alongside you too, friend! Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    • So sweet, Kristi…thank you for your encouragement and to God be the glory. I’m so overjoyed by the community I’ve found through blogging, sisters really, who speak truth into my life. And yes, so glad that we are each pursuing more of Him. Hugs to you, sweet sister.

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  9. Tiffany,
    Sometimes we settle for a tootsie roll when God wants us to have a Godiva bar. It’s easy to stick with the old and the familiar, but takes great effort and even anguish to chase after God and the “new” that awaits us. Thank you for so poignantly expressing this in your post. Thanks to Abby, too, for the series.
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    • LOL! Love that analogy, Bev. 🙂 I love tootsie rolls but Godiva is oh-so-decadent. I’ll take one of those. Blessings to you, my friend.

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    • Oh Bev…now that you’ve added chocolate, it’s a whole new ballgame!! You’re right, pursuing new often takes great intention and purposeful steps. Thanking God that He is faithful to lead the way. Blessings!

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  10. Tiffany, your words ring true today! I’m a creature of habit, and change is hard for me to deal with! I’m sort of at a turning point myself lately, but not QUITE sure where God has me headed. It’s always good to hold on to things lightly and be ready to let go when He calls.

    Did I understand you right that you felt called to leave your church? Hard!

    Abby, what a great idea for a series. I love that beauty for ashes graphic.

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    • Yes, Betsy … we were called to leave our church of nearly 20 years. It was a bit like leaving home and hard was about layer one of the many I felt like we were mining through. But God, right?! He went before us with purpose and planning and it was quite evident after a lot of prayer that we had to follow. He’s confirmed that choice in so many beautiful ways and I stand in awe of Him. Praying for your turning point and believing Him to lead you faithfully towards the next thing. Hugs!

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  11. I tweeted and pinned it! I am part of the book launch team for Sarah Mae’s new book, Longing for Paris, and this post fits right in so very well! The only true way to rid ourselves of discontentment is to rest in God, knowing that He promised to LOVE us and to give us ‘every good thing’. When we are discontent with what we have, it’s a soul problem. Pray and ask for a spirit of thankfulness to wrap itself around you!

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    • Thank you for sharing the post, Beth. I agree, we do have to rest in God and exercise our faith often in big, scary steps and wide, daunting leaps as we trust Him to guide us. So glad that He is a lover of our souls and delights to give us those good – even amazing – things. Blessed by your thoughts here!

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  12. Tiffany, these words hit me hard in a beautiful way today. And Abby, what a beautiful series you have started here friend! I came to check it out and was pleasantly surprised to see Tiffany here. 🙂 I know this feeling so well..the waiting and the surrender to the wait. I love the thought that faith isn’t about fleeing a situation, it’s about fleeing to God. That is worth chewing on and leaning into. It’s a wonderful way to look at something that can seem so abstract at times. So thankful you and your family followed God’s lead and the way He is using you to draw others to Him through your words is beautiful. Love you both so very much. xo

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    • Thank you, dear friend. I’m just overwhelmed by what God has done, by what He continues to do. It can be so hard to discern His direction sometimes, especially when it’s coupled with our own fears, but yes … every step we take in moving ahead is just a step closer to Him. And oh, the places He takes us!! It’s just been like a sweet sister party here at Abby’s. So grateful to God for bringing us all together. xo

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  13. Oh Tiffany, this tugged at my heart: If you’re discontent where you are, if you’re struggling to make it fit, could it be because He’s moved ahead and you’ve stayed put?

    You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself! I agree with Kristi and Abby: your words are elegant, test easy to understand. Thank you for sharing!

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