An Open Letter to the Woman Who Thinks She’s Disappointed God

an open letter to the woman who thinks she's disappointed God

The Google search phrase makes me catch my breath: Is God disappointed in me?

I feel a stabbing in my chest. I want to grab the person by the shoulders, look her in the eyes and say, “No. No, sweet sister. You can’t disappoint God. You are his daughter. Once you are in Christ he clothes you. He takes off your rags and exchanges them for his robes of righteousness.”

But I can’t. I don’t know who you are or what your day holds. I don’t know if you are knee deep in laundry or diapers, wondering if you’ll ever feel like yourself again. Perhaps you’re holding on to the last fragment of hope in a marriage or wondering if your son will come home after the fight you had this morning.

I write this letter to you in hopes that the truth of this message will sink in. I pray it will trickle into your subconscious and you will recollect these words when the lies of the enemy threaten to overtake your thoughts.

First, let me say I have been where you are. All too recently.

I have felt like God was looking down at me saying, “Seriously? You expect me to still listen to you after that?” I have carried the weight of guilt on my shoulders for a harsh word uttered at my children and a shopping indulgence I knew I should have avoided. I could go on. He knows the entire list.

And yet despite my guilt, he beckons me. He sees the work he’s doing in me, and how far he’s brought me.

He sees me for the child I’m yearning to become. That I am becoming.

He who began a good work in me is faithful. (Philippians 1:6)

woman who thinks she's disappointed God

Yes, there are sometimes consequences and yes there is discipline but he never shuns. He welcomes me with open arms, the same way he welcomes you.

I’m in the second trimester of my third pregnancy, and I am consumed with all things baby. I’d forgotten how much it changes your perspective, knowing there is life being created inside you.

Last week I went in for a prenatal checkup and for a brief moment, the doctor had trouble finding the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. My heart sank. I silently pled with Jesus to bring that rapid, steady beat and after I changed my position on the table, there it was.

I could have cried. It gave my soul sweet rest and I wanted grasp the doctors hand, keeping the instrument on my belly a bit longer as I absorbed the rhythm.

His love is like that, you know. Like a steady heartbeat, beckoning us to come to him. 

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Malachi 3:6 ESV

Even when we can’t feel it or think he’s far away, he’s right there loving us through our doubt. It is constant like my miracle’s tiny heart, giving us rest. Giving us faith to trust in what we can’t understand.

As crazy as it may sound, I heart it last week. The swooshing, rhythmic beat that eluded me for a slow moment of panic gave me confidence in his unchanging adoration.

It was as though he was saying, “Even when you can’t see me or feel my presence, I’m right here. The love I have for you doesn’t change.”

Once you come to him, he has the same adoration for you. Despite your flaws. Despite your shortcomings.

Stop striving to gain his love and rest in knowing it is yours. Stop striving to serve him and delight in knowing him.

 

GIVEAWAY:

Congrats to Lorraine Reep! You are the winner of a copy of Suzanne Eller’s new book, Come With Me. I will be contacting you regarding shipping. Congrats!

2 Simple Truths That Can Help You Overcome Discouragement {A Guest Post}

life unstuck intro

Today I’m honored to be welcoming my friend Betsy de Cruz back to the blog. I met Betsy at the She Speaks conference in 2014, and she immediately welcomed me with a hug and a smile. She has been a continual source of encouragement through all the ups and downs on this writing journey, and I am beyond blessed to call her a friend. Her writing always brings me back to the truth of scripture, but in a fresh new way. I know you will be encouraged by her words today as we continue this journey of becoming unstuck and finding freedom in Christ.

Betsy de Cruz headshot

Betsy enjoys God, life with teenagers and dark roast coffee. She and her crazy nomad family are currently spending nine months in Dallas, Texas, but they look forward to returning to Turkey, their favorite home. Betsy’s passion is to encourage women to get God’s word in, so their faith can spill out, even during life’s bumpy moments. She writes about everyday faith at faithspillingover.com. You can also connect with Betsy on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

2 Simple Truths to Help You Overcome Discouragement

The stranger at the door probably wondered if I had a few screws loose or just needed hormone therapy. I’d rushed to make dinner for my family, put on something cute, and drive 20 minutes to join a new ladies Bible study. When I rang the doorbell, a confused man answered the door. The group was meeting somewhere else that night, but no one had let me know. The poor man looked even more confused when I started crying.

I overreacted, but the clincher was they’d changed the meeting night the week before without calling me, so I’d already missed the first study.

My family and I had just moved to a new city. We faced some tough transition issues, and I felt a desperate need for fellowship and encouragement. Now I wondered, “Do those ladies even want me in their group?” As I got back in my car, the weight of all my concerns came crashing down.

I felt stuck in discouragement.

During the drive home, I tried to regain perspective. Maybe the group leader had problems of her own and simply forgot to call me. God’s ability to renew my heart didn’t hinge on one Bible study.

As I told my husband the story later, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “I’m definitely not feeling the love from that group,” I said.

At that moment, I got a text message from my son. It said, “I love you, Mom.”

And I knew it was God speaking to me. That reminder of God’s love changed my outlook.

We all face tough circumstances.

Job challenges, houses that don’t sell, and kids who don’t act like we want them to can get us down. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, but God is always there to renew our minds and hearts when we turn to Him.

When I’m discouraged, it helps to return to the simple truths I already know. The Bible gives us a promise with two plain truths we can grab hold of:

“The LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” Ps. 32:10 NIV

2 Simple Truths Graphic

The Plain Truth that Overrides Discouragement:

  1. God Loves Me.

He loves me with an unfailing love. He loves you. Now before you roll your eyes at me, remember I told you it was the plain and simple truth. Most of us have heard this since we were kids. We sang “Jesus loves me” in Sunday school, but we often live as though we don’t believe it.

  1. I Can Trust Him.

With God’s love surrounding us, we’re in a safe place. He loves us perfectly. We can trust that He has good plans for us. The same all-powerful God who raised Jesus from the dead is working in our lives.

When life gets hard, we don’t have to stay stuck. God will help us move forward out of discouragement as we meditate on His truth, pray it, and declare it to ourselves. Some days I need to rehearse the simple truth over and over in my mind: “God loves me. I can trust Him.”

Friends, let’s move forward with God. Will you pray together with me? “Lord, I know you love me. Show me more of your love today.”

 

*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.

For the Discouraged Soul Who Can’t Carry the Weight

burdens

Before I had time to take my fighting stance, the enemy of my soul sat down and planted himself between me and the truth. His presence was firm. He wasn’t going anywhere.

Discouragement in every form took over my thoughts. My church, writing, friends, ministry and everything I held dear were a source of attack. Nothing was off limits.

I tried to hold onto to the words of life I knew lay planted in my soul. I remembered the Word said the enemy is a liar. I recalled verses which said no weapon formed against me would stand.

The tide was coming in and I needed a grip on solid ground. I longed to plant my feet firmly on the Rock I knew would prove stable and unmoving. I opened my Bible but nothing seemed to sink into my heart.

I saw the black and white on the page but I needed to put skin on it. I needed a real person with flesh and blood to speak life into my heart.

A few mornings passed and some friends shared prayer requests via voice text. Hearts were being opened and encouragement poured into the spaces which needed to be filled.

Should I tell them? I looked around at my home, my kids and many blessings God provided. Who was I to be discouraged? Why did I feel this way?

Giving words to my thoughts made them real. To speak them aloud gave them a life I wasn’t sure I wanted, and I hesitated for minutes, waiting and listening.

Something inside me spoke and I recognized the voice of life I’d been groping for.

We can never carry the burdens of others if we don’t release some of our own.

I spoke. I released all the thoughts of defeat and discouragement that followed me around for days upon weeks. Instantly, I felt lighter.

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And then, one after another, these sweet sisters of Christ spoke words of life and encouragement into my soul. They lifted me up in prayer and saw an inner strength I needed to be reminded was there.

I praised God and realized this was the body of Christ. This was the hands and feet of Christ extended, carrying my load when I couldn’t sustain it any longer.

In Galatians, Paul tells us,

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NIV

As I sat listening to my friends’ voices, I saw this law fulfilled. And it wasn’t the law of Moses. It wasn’t a burdensome law which no one could uphold.

It was the law of Christ: a law where we live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. A law where love is the embodiment of every command, and we love because He first loved us. Though we are weak, we are made strong through his power.

When we lift each other up in Christ, we lift up his Holy Name.

Self-sufficiency is a lie, friends. It leads us down a path of loneliness and regret.

 If you’re struggling today, can I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust? You weren’t made to carry all of that weight on your shoulders.

When we release it and allow others to carry it, we see a little bit if Heaven here on earth.

 

*Linking up with Kelly BalarieJennifer Dukes Lee and Holley Gerth. Come join us.