Each year, numerous people endure an incredibly painful Thanksgiving. Some battle loneliness. Others anxiety related to severe financial challenges. Some of you may be grieving loved ones lost, relationships shattered, or trust broken. And deep in your soul, you might be crying out to God, asking, “Are You truly enough, even in this?”

If so, I hope this weeks Faith Over Fear podcast episode encourages you.

As you consider Thanksgiving, are you filled with joyful anticipation, anxiety, or a mixture of both? Are your thoughts of the special moments and memories you’ll share accompanied by reminders of past conflicts? We probably all have that one family member who seems adept at pricking at our insecurities, challenging our peace, and poking at our emotional bruises.

In response, it’s easy to self-protect, to pull away, or to fight back. And while some measure of self-protection may in fact be wise*, every tense encounter provides an opportunity and reminder to seek God’s heart and perspective, and then to “power up.”

Years ago, someone I interacted with seemed angered by me and everything for which I stood, only this individual never told me this directly. Instead, after each encounter, she’d flood social media with posts regarding the hypocrisy or “hatred” displayed by Christ-followers–whether or not we’d talked religion or discussed personal beliefs. Feeling as if this person was passive-aggressively attacking me, I shared my hurt with a mentor, who replied, “She’s not fighting with you. She’s wrestling with God.”

Her words reminded me of Ephesians 6:12-13, which states,

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Our struggle–every and any struggle–is not ultimately about us. Yes, our actions and reactions do affect others, but even those have a spiritual root. We, and everyone we encounter, is either living yielded to Christ or in opposition to Him. They’re (and we’re) either living in then living out His love and grace or we’re giving in to self-obsession.

As Scripture states in Galatians 5:19-26:

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

This reminds me to always examine my heart first. Which portion of that passage do I most resemble–the person who is easily offended, who feeds my bitterness, and easily loses my temper, or the one who speaks with gentleness, kindness, grace, and self-control?

If the former, God doesn’t want me to live in condemnation. Instead, He calls me to lean deeper into His grace. To prayerfully invite Him to search my soul for places where His love and grace, the only gifts with the power to transforming me in the core of my being, haven’t reached so that He can heal every wound, expel every lie, and illuminate every lurking shadow with His glorious light.

A light that will push back the darkness, within me and also around me.

This is a glorious, beautiful truth. Every time a Christ-follower enters a room, she carries with her the light of Christ-simply through her presence. She changes the dynamics, on a supernaturally spiritual level, whether she speaks or remains silent.

She amplifies that light, however, and becomes a strategic weapon against the evil seeking to devour her, the person who seems so opposed to her, and the joy and peace God wants for us, when she remains in step with His Spirit.

That’s our only assignment. God doesn’t ask us to change people’s minds or to convert their thinking. That’s His job, one He’s quite capable of, by the way. Nor do we need to defend ourselves. That’s His role as well, and in Christ, we have nothing to prove.

What God does invite us to do, however, is to live so filled with Him, with His love and acceptance and grace, that every precious gift Christ pours into our souls gushes from us and onto others.

Which brings me back to Ephesians 6:12-13, remembering that the struggle within us stems from the same over-arching battle. Scripture makes it clear, you and I have an enemy to our souls, and his desire is to tarnish and destroy everything good God created and to thwart God’s very good plans. But Christ is calling us to life. To hope. To healing and to freedom.

This means, whenever we resist Him, whether that means speaking up when He tells us to remain silent or remaining silent when He tells us to speak up, or plunging ahead when He asks us to quietly sit with Him, we are slipping toward increased dysfunction. Whenever we follow His lead, however, pushing past surface-level reactions to prayerfully evaluate what lies beneath those displayed by us and others and to accept His grace in those areas, we actively progress toward increased health, freedom, and vibrant life.

Let’s talk about this! As you anticipate Thanksgiving, are you doing so with joy, angst, or a bit of both? How is God speaking to you in regard to this? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another!

*Please note: I am not encouraging people to engage with abusive people. There are times when God does indeed encourage us to distance ourselves from others. I don’t know your story, your heart, or your hurts, but God does. Seek His guidance, because He knows the perfect, healthiest action for every scenario.

As you prepare for the holidays, specifically if they stir anxiety within you, I encourage you to listen to the latest Faith Over Fear Podcast episode on fighting anxiety through praise.

Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129 Faith Over Fear

When battling anxiety, fear, and depression, countless people have turned to the Psalms for comfort. In them, we read raw and honest emotion, soul-deep prayers, and about a God who sees, cares, and has the power to lead us to greater freedom. While fighting cancer, guest Becky Harling learned to use praise, often guided by what she read in the psalms, to fight her fear and increase her peace. In this episode, she shared her experiences and the Bible study God prompted her to write: The Extraordinary Power of Praise: A 6-Week Study of the Psalms for the Anxious Heart. (Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Becky Harling at: https://beckyharling.com/https://www.instagram.com/beckyharling/https://www.facebook.com/beckyharlingministriesFind Jennifer Slattery at:http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comhttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083247680572Find Wholly Loved, at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comFind Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion Questions:1.What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2.What Bible passages do you turn when you feel anxious or afraid?3.How does (or can) praising God in difficult seasons help to decrease our anxiety and increase our peace?4.What are some ways you remember God’s goodness and love in hard or frightening times?5.Why is important to understand God’s heart for us when we feel afraid—that He responds to us in love, not anger or frustration?6.How can prayer deepen your intimacy with Christ?7.How can memorizing Scripture help you fight anxiety and fear?8.What is one action step God might be asking you to take, having listened to this podcast episode?

I just left a conference full of tired and discouraged women leaders. Yes, some attendees came full and encouraged, but I suspect, based on the tears I saw and conversations I overheard, they were in the minority. And for many of them, it wasn’t the demands of ministry that most fatigued and disheartened them. These precious women felt beaten down by the hurtful actions of others. Words that cut straight to their most wounded placed, feeding the lies that whispered, “You can’t do this. You’re insufficient. Too broken. Too flawed and too weak.”

I imagine you can relate. We’ve all found ourselves on the receiving end of careless yet painful statements and verbal attacks. In those moments, if we’re not anchored firmly in Christ’s love and grace, we’ll crumble.

Some time ago, I felt as if I was hit on every side. Significant health challenges. Loss of sleep. Major technology issues that interfered with my ability to complete important and time sensitive responsibilities, which, unfortunately, had recently increased. Relational difficulties. All of this triggered anxiety that, in turn, fueled my insomnia, which only further hindered my productivity. Then came what felt like the verbal assault that poked at some already bruised areas.

For a while, I slipped into a vortex of condemnation.

I felt like a buoy tossed into a raging sea, thrown about with every wave.

But then I sensed God asking me, “Who will you live to please? Whose voice will you allow to become loudest in your life?”

He was calling me to close my ears to everything and everyone else except for Him, to soak in His truth, and to rest momentarily in His protective embrace. It was in that quiet sacred place that His voice, previously muted by my insecurities, became clearer. He told me I wasn’t insufficient or defected. In Him, I was holy, chosen, and adored. Flawed, oh my, yes, but also empowered and redeemed. Called by my Savior to growth, healing, and even in my broken state, to impact.

As God’s gentle Spirit nourished my hurting soul, I sensed Him saying, “I’m calling you to something beautiful.”

Our God of infinite beauty always brings the yielded heart beauty from their pain. Trusting this, I clung to that and deliberately surrendered to His will–even though I knew it led to a path of increased pain. But as I sat, quiet and yielded, filled and comforted by my God, I reflected upon the wounded people God was inviting me to reach. Those who were deeply hurting and aching to experience, through His flawed yet redeemed children, His love and grace.

Would I abandon those precious souls in self-obsession, in self-protection, or would I courageously keep stepping, in love?

Would I hold tight to the condemnation spoken over me or the truth of Christ coursing through me?

And would I lean on another leader who, at least temporarily, wasn’t slung about by a storm? Someone one step beyond me, someone who could uniquely speak encouragement to my bruised soul—because she’d been there and understood.

I knew I couldn’t stand firm on my own, and so I called in reinforcements. While I still fulfilled my responsibilities and met my deadlines, my world quickly narrowed to those who spoke life and strength into my soul. I carved out time in other places to increase time for Jesus, my husband, and Spirit-filled women who could hear my struggle, with compassion, but also with their gaze focused entirely on Christ. Ladies who recognized His call on my life, not just for ministry, but for personal wholeness, growth, and freedom.

You see, a lot of people can speak truth. And a lot of people can share love. The one who consistently reveals both is a priceless jewel. A gift sent from Christ to our weary souls.

And so, those were the individuals to whom I reached out, even if that meant allowing some things to slip, and trusting God in that. Living with opened hands, unburdened shoulders, a purified and filled heart, and a mind set on truth.

That is the only way to live—and love—freely.

Notice what Paul says in Philippians 2:1:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

“Therefore,” he wrote, pointing back to what he wrote regarding suffering for Christ. He wanted them, and by extension, us, to remember, even when hurled into a violent and choppy sea, we are still held firm by grace. Encouraged and united, and comforted by His tender, compassionate love (v. 1).

This understanding helps shift our focus off of the turmoil around us, and perhaps even raging within, and onto the God who remains sovereign over the storm.  

The God who invites us to cling to Him, surrender to Him, and to rest in Him, knowing He will always reveal our next step. He’ll teach us how to experience His strength when our knees feel ready to give way, resting in His inconceivable grace.

A grace that says:

Your sins are forgiven, their power broken.

Your weaknesses compensated for.

Your healing and growth, a process initiated, sustained, and one day fulfilled, by the One who bled and died to set us free.

A grace that anchors us so securely in Him, we can then become an anchor for others.

Let’s talk about this! When are you most tempted to yield to your feelings of insufficiency? How do you respond when you feel under attack? What are some ways you intentionally anchor yourself in Christ’s love and grace? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and make sure to connect with me on Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram.

Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131 Faith Over Fear

You may have heard someone say something to the effect of, “God will use your pain in your future ministry.” This doesn’t necessarily mean He will ask you to launch an organization or create a program within your social sphere or community, although He may. Rather, this stems from God’s promise to use you to comfort others with the same comfort He’s shown. You, whether that means listening with understanding as someone shares their hurts and struggles or walking beside someone seeking increased freedom. We hope today’s episode speaks to individuals in one of two places in their healing journey: 1) For those still in the thick of pain, hold tight to this—God longs to bring beauty from your pain by first healing you then giving you the strength and desire to help others heal. 2) For those who have experienced some degree of healing, prayerfully consider if God is asking you to walk alongside someone who is hurting or living enslaved. And finally, we hope this episode opens conversation on toxic versus healthy relationships.(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Carolyn Whitney and her ministry: https://sistersinchristkc.org/our-teamhttps://www.instagram.com/sistersinchristkc/https://www.facebook.com/sistersinchristkcFind Kelly Campbell and Wholly Loved, at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comFind Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.Have you ever felt like you were living in a "glass house" where things looked good from the outside but where circumstances or emotions felt chaotic, unpredictable, or unsafe, or uncertain? 3.When going through challenging or painful circumstances, how easily do you seek support from others, and what do you think impacts this?4.How would you describe the general health of your support system, and why would you describe it this way?5.What are some ways we can walk with family and friends through their mental health battles while still maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves (and our children)?6.How can healthy connections with others help one heal from traumatic experiences7.What are some important steps to take when faced with a big transition in your life?8.What is one action step God might be wanting you to take as a result of listening to this episode?
  1. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  2. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  3. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  4. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128
  5. Breaking Free from Generational Dysfunction (with Gina Birkemeier) – Ep. 127

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I’ve landed where I am after a series I don’t want tos—circumstances that felt beyond my control and left me wrestling with God. That’s not to say my life has been filled with hardships. In fact, I’ve experienced numerous blessings and steps forward from opportunities seized.

But I’ve also found myself at the end of what I’d previously determined to be a pointless detour or painful dead end, thanking God for His faithful guidance to lead me, when I wasn’t even aware I was being led.

Through it all, one truth has become clear—my vision is faulty and short-sighted, but God knows all, sees all, and is working in and through all to bring about His very best. Whether I see or understand His plan.

Quite frankly, most times I don’t. In those moments, surrender doesn’t come easily. I may even resist God’s leading for a bit, until I remember:

He’s good, even when life’s hard.

He’s true and unchanging, even when everything else shifts beneath me.

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He’s loving and attentive, even when I feel alone.

But here’s the thing: Though Scripture reveals all of these divine characteristics and more, they felt most real when God displayed each of those traits to me personally.

This almost always followed a particular pattern. Something unpleasant would hit, such as an illness or financial difficulty. I’d initially get upset, complained to God and told Him all the ways He could and should fix the situation. But after my prayer rant, His gentle whisper broke through, reminding me of what I most needed to hear—that He loved me, heard me, and was sovereign.

That He was God and I wasn’t.

Usually, circumstances that followed proved this to be true. When our family went through a period of unemployment and I feared for our future, God sold our house and brought my husband temporary contract work–at just the right time. When that contract work ended, and we weren’t sure where we’d land next, another offer came through. When daughter faced challenges that kept me up late in prayer and tears, He held both of us through and used the event to strengthen and grow us both.

Again and again, God’s proven just how trustworthy He is. That He truly is working all things out for my family and my good. That His plans are so much better than mine.

My brilliant solutions, more often than not, land me and others in messes.

In fact, I’ve often wondered where I’d be now, if God hadn’t guided me to surrender. If I’d chosen to disobey and pull away.

The relationships I would’ve missed out on, the memories I would’ve forfeited, the personal growth I would’ve prevented. The ministries I never would’ve started or served in, the personal encounters never made, the truths never spoken, the prayers never offered …

In 1 John 2:3, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” wrote, “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (ESV).

To know God is to love obey Him, and as we obey Him, we come to know Him more. It’s an ever-deepening cycle of increased intimacy and freedom.

Of increased trust, which results in increased obedience …

Let’s talk about this! When has obedience increased your trust for God? When has your trust led to obedience? Share your stories and examples with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.

 

The Power of Repentance (Jonah 3:10) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer: https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/ https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.com Follow Grace: Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/   Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise: Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/ Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfather Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. The Power of Repentance (Jonah 3:10)
  2. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  3. When God Comforts (2 Corinthians 13:4)
  4. Fight the Good Fight, Finish the Race, Keep the Faith (2 Timothy 4:7)
  5. How God Strengthens Us for Times of Crisis (Luke 22:10)

I sat there in church, the room darkened and the praise band’s thrumming set now just a soft, slow piano tune as our pastor spoke words over the congregation.

“Has the Lord turned your life around?” he asked us, raising his own hand to indicate God had done this for him, too. “Have you surrendered to Him and drawn close to Him? I invite you now to pray with me … and surrender.”

There in my seat, my head bowed and my palms upturned, my heart reached toward God. The prayers in my heart swirled—my daughter, my sister, my friend with heart issues, my friend with bleeding and pain, my friend recovering from shoulder surgery, an acquaintance just diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. So many prayers … for them and for others, for the world in general … circled around me, fleeting thoughts in my brain and tugs at my heart. I know God is big and powerful, mighty to save and capable of doing any miracle. I squeezed my eyes closed, opening myself to all of this. Please, God. Heal, save, protect, I whispered in my soul.

Quote from Woodrow Kroll on teal and blue water color background

And yet from somewhere, a little seed of doubt crept in. Would He?

Then I allowed my pastor’s words to register once more—surrender.

Surrender.

Surrender.

For a moment I was reminded of the desperate father’s plea to Jesus as told in the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus’s disciples could not drive out a demon that have plagued the man’s child.

The father doubted whether anyone could save his son, and he asked Jesus to do something “if you can.”

The word “if” was the word Jesus seized upon. If? Jesus, part of the Holy Trinity encompassing God—Father, Son, and Spirit—three in one, Word become flesh. This was Jesus standing before him, and the man was asking “if”? 

“‘If you can’? said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23-24 NIV).

Jesus did just that, driving out the demon and displaying the power and glory of God Almighty.

As I prayed in church, instantly I understood: In this moment I was the father of that boy. That little kernel of doubt creeping in, not wondering if he could but if he would, that too was “unbelief.”

Right there with my eyes squeezed shut, I prayed the prayer of that father in my own head: “I do believe. God, please help my unbelief.”

Immediately, I felt the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit shimmer down upon me like tiny drops of mist and sunshine.

God heard. God could. And God would shine His light into all of this.

God is always in command.

And that is my invitation to you today, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Wherever you are and whatever prayers are in your heart, I invite you now to join me and surrender to God. Let go of the doubts and pray the prayer of the desperate father: “Help my unbelief.”

God hears you, and God will respond in the way He knows is best.

Then go in peace, knowing God has heard you and felt you, for God knows the cries of your heart. He created you. You are not an exception, but rather you belong to Him.

And He holds you close. Amen and amen.

Grab a free copy of Jessica’s ebook A God-Centered Life

If today’s post encouraged you, you might also enjoy Wednesday’s Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode, When Your Faith Fails.

Get to Know Jessica Brodie:

Jessica is an award-winning Christian journalist, author, blogger, and editor. She is the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, which has won more than 118 journalism awards during her tenure. She is the author of two devotionals, Feed My Sheep (2019) and More Like Jesus (2018), and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening (2018) and Called by God (2020), all from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. 

Jessica also writes fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency, and her novel The Memory Garden won the 2018 Genesis contest for unpublished contemporary fiction from the American Christian Fiction Writers. A speaker and contributor to Crosswalk, Christianity.com, and the United Methodist News Service, she has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com. Subscribe to Jessica’s YouTube Channel HERE.

I also encourage you to catch the latest Faith Over Fear episode as well, titled Building a Faith that Stands.

(This first posted on October 4th, 2018.)

Sometimes it feels as if darkness has overpowered light, sorrow dominates joy, and confusion and fear infiltrate peace. Watching the news play out before me, or perhaps even sitting with a hurting friend, can make me feel powerless. Ineffectual.

But Scripture tells me this is a lie. In Christ, I–we–have the power to transform our world. Each day, with every word and action Image of a flower with words pulled from the text. we choose, every smile we offer, we can speak hope into despair, love into loneliness, and healing into the most broken and beaten down hearts.

We have the power of the risen, victorious, life-and-light bringing Savior residing within.

Here are six ways we can unleash that power:

Engage.

In our hyper-interactive culture, tweets, posts, and likes often replace face-to-face encounters. The result: Many feel unseen. Insignificant. Unvalued. Simply taking the time to engage others in conversation, even if but for a moment, can encourage a deflated heart. Because remember, we’re representatives and reflectors of El Roi, the God who sees. May we reflect Him well.
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Choose grace.

I mess up a hundred times each day. I respond with frustration instead of kindness. I behave selfishly instead of releasing my Father’s love. And many, many times I let my mouth (or keyboard) run when I should simply walk away. But though each unChristlike reaction breaks my heart and, often, lead me to confession, I’m also very quick to offer myself grace. I was tired, stressed, overwhelmed … perhaps caught off guard. Yet do I offer the same grace to others? Do I make allowances for their faults or “make much” of every blunder? Whenever I choose the former, I reveal a bit of Jesus and point others to Him.

Stand up.

I don’t want to get political here, and yet … even as I type, I have to ask myself: When did standing up for the oppressed, beaten down, discarded, and marginalized become a political act? Or at least, deemed as such? It’s not. Rather, it’s honoring the commands of the One who left heaven to rescue the oppressed–those burdened and enslaved by sin–who tells us to speak out for those who don’t have a voice.

Bring light into someone else’s darkness.

Did you ever make flashlight shadows when you were a kid? Did you ever try to do this in a well-lit room? Didn’t work, right? So what’d you do? Most likely you closed yourself in a darkened bathroom where the beams from your flashlight radiated strong and bright. Whenever we seek out, reach out, and intentionally walk beside those shrouded in darkness, we flood their world with light.

Show kindness.

Offer a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement, and open door. Never underestimate the power of a simple yet intentional kind act done for another. It can soothe anger, counter distrust, and open hearts to the love of Christ. In everything we do and every word we speak, may we remember it’s God’s kindness that leads people to repentance.

Pray.

May we see every act of darkness, ugly display of hate, and destructive outburst of anger as a reminder to turn to our unchanging, unconquerable power source—Jesus Christ. Those moments spent on our knees may feel … anticlimactic. We image of woman praying with text pulled from postmay be tempted to think our time doing—serving in ministry, feeding the hungry, typing out oodles and oodles of words for books and blog posts—holds more value. But Scripture promises this is far from true. Prayer isn’t meant to be something we do in random still moments before our real work begins. Prayer is our first and most important work, regardless the task, because ultimately, only Jesus can truly change a heart and a world. When we prioritize prayer, we’re acknowledging we believe this to be true.

Imagine if we each chose to do one of the above each day. Imagine how our families, relationships, neighborhoods—our world—might change.

What is one way you plan to be a world-changer today? Share your “I’m gonna!” thoughts along with anything else you’d add to my list in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another! And in Christ, we can change the world!

I recently joined Barb Reveling from the Christian Habits Podcast for a discussion on modern day idolatry. You can catch our conversation HERE.

I also encourage you to catch the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode:

 

 

Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131 Faith Over Fear

You may have heard someone say something to the effect of, “God will use your pain in your future ministry.” This doesn’t necessarily mean He will ask you to launch an organization or create a program within your social sphere or community, although He may. Rather, this stems from God’s promise to use you to comfort others with the same comfort He’s shown. You, whether that means listening with understanding as someone shares their hurts and struggles or walking beside someone seeking increased freedom. We hope today’s episode speaks to individuals in one of two places in their healing journey: 1) For those still in the thick of pain, hold tight to this—God longs to bring beauty from your pain by first healing you then giving you the strength and desire to help others heal. 2) For those who have experienced some degree of healing, prayerfully consider if God is asking you to walk alongside someone who is hurting or living enslaved. And finally, we hope this episode opens conversation on toxic versus healthy relationships.(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Carolyn Whitney and her ministry: https://sistersinchristkc.org/our-teamhttps://www.instagram.com/sistersinchristkc/https://www.facebook.com/sistersinchristkcFind Kelly Campbell and Wholly Loved, at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comFind Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.Have you ever felt like you were living in a "glass house" where things looked good from the outside but where circumstances or emotions felt chaotic, unpredictable, or unsafe, or uncertain? 3.When going through challenging or painful circumstances, how easily do you seek support from others, and what do you think impacts this?4.How would you describe the general health of your support system, and why would you describe it this way?5.What are some ways we can walk with family and friends through their mental health battles while still maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves (and our children)?6.How can healthy connections with others help one heal from traumatic experiences7.What are some important steps to take when faced with a big transition in your life?8.What is one action step God might be wanting you to take as a result of listening to this episode?
  1. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  2. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  3. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  4. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128
  5. Breaking Free from Generational Dysfunction (with Gina Birkemeier) – Ep. 127

Sometimes, hardship hits so hard, we’re not sure we have the strength to stand. Reeling from intense pain, we may struggle to hold tight to hope. Will God really turn our mourning to dancing? Did He truly mean it when He promised us joy?

These are valid questions we’ve probably all wrestling with at some point or another. But as my Kathy Howard, my guest today, shares, God has given us a powerful, immutable promise we can hold tight to the next time it feels as if the ground beneath us is about to give way.

Blog title graphic

The Power of God’s Unfailing Love

by Kathy Howard

She’s seen In August 2021, flash flood waters overwhelmed Waverly, Tennessee killing more than twenty people. Almost two feet of rain had fallen in 24 hours – nine inches in three hours alone. The area’s network of rivers and creeks, could not contain the deluge. A tidal wave of water barreled through the community like a freight train. One mother and her five children clung to a clothes line as the deep water roared through their home. But, the torrent ripped her two-year-old son from her arms and carried him away. The power of the water was stronger than the mother’s arms.

In the book of Romans, Paul beautifully assured those first-century believers – and believers today – that nothing can rip us away from God and His unconditional, unfailing love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39 NLT).

Quote from post on gray-blue background.

Yes, wickedness, hardships, and threats fill this life. Sometimes we fall into deep pits with no visible means of escape. We face enemies that gain ground and push us back. In those moments, we may feel as though God has forgotten us, that we stand outside His love. I’ve been there. During some heart-breaking times in my own life, I felt as though God had turned His back on me.

But then, He graciously and lovingly reminded me of His truth. it doesn’t matter how dire our circumstances appear. The strength of our enemies and the size of our problems are irrelevant in light of God’s power and the nature of His love. This wasn’t just intellectual knowledge for Paul. He spoke from experience. Paul had suffered imprisonment, beatings, a stoning, shipwrecks, persecution, hunger, and a myriad of dangers (1 Corinthians 11:23-27). Yet through it all God held him in His loving hands.

The Greek word translated as “love” in Romans 8 is “agape.” According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, agape is an act of the will, not an emotional feeling. God chooses to express His love to us. Agape is not based on the merit of the recipient. God’s love flows from His unchanging holy character. We cannot earn God’s love, but He gives it freely.

God’s love is unconditional because it depends on Himself and nothing else. Therefore, we can have complete assurance in God’s love for us. Nothing can dampen, derail, or defeat it. Nothing can separate us from God’s love – not even ourselves.

Quote from post on blue-gray background.

We see God’s love best demonstrated in our salvation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This ultimate act of agape love secures and guarantees our eternal salvation. God has declared us righteous through the saving work of Christ. Therefore, no one can accuse or condemn us. There is no court of appeals. God is the final and ultimate judge.

There will be times in our lives when we don’t sense God’s presence, seasons when we don’t see Him working. In those moments, let’s reflect on this incredible truth: Nothing can separate us from God and His love. Christ has already won the battle and victory is ours.

This post was adapted from Kathy’s upcoming devotional book “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Romans.

Book description:

Book cover for Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Romans

Have you lost the wonder of your salvation? Maybe you’ve forgotten the abundant riches of God’s grace. The Gospel isn’t just a statement of faith. It is more than hope for eternity. The Gospel of Jesus is the power of God for your life today. Recapture the awe of your life in Christ with this 40-day pilgrimage through the book of Romans. Like the rest of the Deep Rooted devotional series, the Romans volume uses the 4-R Bible study framework to help you learn how to interact with and respond to Scripture, not simply read it. These meaty, daily devotions will increase your hunger for God’s Word, encourage spiritual growth and stability, and lay the groundwork for a life-long, spiritually-healthy habit.

Get to Know Kathy:

Bio photo for Kathy Howard

Kathy Howard is a treasure hunter. She hunts for the creamiest chocolate, richest coffee, and cherished stories of faith. She also digs deep into Scripture, mining God’s eternal truths. Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education and has taught the Bible for more than 30 years in a wide variety of venues. Kathy is the author of 12 books, including “Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith” and the “meaty” devotional series “Deep Rooted.” Kathy and her husband live in north Texas. They have three married children, six grandchildren, and one accidental dog. Find free discipleship resources at www.KathyHoward.org.

Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131 Faith Over Fear

You may have heard someone say something to the effect of, “God will use your pain in your future ministry.” This doesn’t necessarily mean He will ask you to launch an organization or create a program within your social sphere or community, although He may. Rather, this stems from God’s promise to use you to comfort others with the same comfort He’s shown. You, whether that means listening with understanding as someone shares their hurts and struggles or walking beside someone seeking increased freedom. We hope today’s episode speaks to individuals in one of two places in their healing journey: 1) For those still in the thick of pain, hold tight to this—God longs to bring beauty from your pain by first healing you then giving you the strength and desire to help others heal. 2) For those who have experienced some degree of healing, prayerfully consider if God is asking you to walk alongside someone who is hurting or living enslaved. And finally, we hope this episode opens conversation on toxic versus healthy relationships.(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Carolyn Whitney and her ministry: https://sistersinchristkc.org/our-teamhttps://www.instagram.com/sistersinchristkc/https://www.facebook.com/sistersinchristkcFind Kelly Campbell and Wholly Loved, at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comFind Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.Have you ever felt like you were living in a "glass house" where things looked good from the outside but where circumstances or emotions felt chaotic, unpredictable, or unsafe, or uncertain? 3.When going through challenging or painful circumstances, how easily do you seek support from others, and what do you think impacts this?4.How would you describe the general health of your support system, and why would you describe it this way?5.What are some ways we can walk with family and friends through their mental health battles while still maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves (and our children)?6.How can healthy connections with others help one heal from traumatic experiences7.What are some important steps to take when faced with a big transition in your life?8.What is one action step God might be wanting you to take as a result of listening to this episode?
  1. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  2. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  3. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  4. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128
  5. Breaking Free from Generational Dysfunction (with Gina Birkemeier) – Ep. 127

Romans 12:25 on a teal and coral graphic

How do you respond when someone you care about hurts? Do you immediately feel an intense desire rise up to to fix their situation and in some way to alleviate their pain? That’s a tendency I’m learning to fight. I’m trying to get better at remaining present when those I love are experiencing pain.

That’s the topic, in fact, of the presentation I’ll be sharing with a group of women at the Carol Joy Holling Retreat Center: How God is growing me to love others well by fighting my aversion to discomfort. By learning, in fact, to walk with others through their “messy middle” as we wait, together, for the joy Christ promised is yet to come. And while contemplating all God is doing within me, as I seek to share what I believe He might want to do within these precious women, I stumbled upon the below post and asked the author, AC Williams, if I could share it with you. (Contact me here to book me for your next event.)

Title graphic for blog on coral and teal background

Why is it therapeutic to fix broken things? What is it that makes us feels better after we piece together fragments of something that used to be whole? I think part of it is being made in God’s image. He is the Master Fixer, after all.

So what happens when we encounter something that can’t be fixed? Where no act—physical, mental, or spiritual—can restore what has been lost? What do we do then?

I think often of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. We vilify them as examples of what not to do when someone you love is hurting, and rightly so. Job’s friends tried to fix the situation. They needed to understand, which meant they had to assign blame. And, frankly, I’m not sure assigning blame ever helps.

What we tend to forget, however, is that when they first arrived, they did it right (Job 2:11-13). They mourned with him. They grieved for his loss right alongside him, and they were silent. Because they could tell that his grief was too great for words, so they sat with him in his sorrow without speaking.

But after a week, they couldn’t be silent anymore.

Why do we think that a grief too great for words must endure only a short time? We think once the initial grieving period is done, it’s time to get down to business and figure out what went wrong. Whose fault is it? How do we fix it?

Friends, we don’t get to decide when someone else is done grieving. It’s not our responsibility to tell someone it’s time to move on.

Job’s friends eventually got tired of sitting with his sorrow and tried to fix his life for him. That’s where they went wrong (Job 42:7-9).

Sitting with sorrow isn’t fun. It’s not pleasant. And the longer it lasts, the more uncomfortable it gets. It’s frustrating. Heartbreaking. Exhausting in every sense of the word. We want to point fingers. We want to cheer people up. We want to do something.

And maybe there is something we can do, but it’s important to remember that sitting with sorrow isn’t about making ourselves feel better. Sitting with sorrow is the sacrifice we bring to support someone we love on their terms. Not ours.

Quote from post on coral and light mint graphic,

Part of being in Jesus’ big family is bearing the burdens of our brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:2). We offer a shoulder to cry on, a hand to steady them when their world is upside down, or a prayer when they are so broken they can’t pray for themselves.

I’m not saying people don’t need to eat or that they don’t need clean clothes or a clean house. There’s absolutely a need for practical support in the face of overwhelming grief. But in our compassionate drive to bless others, don’t forget that grief is a process that looks different for everyone.

Be willing to help, yes, but be patient. Then be available to help on their terms when they ask. If we’re with them in their moments of deepest grief, understand that we are in a place of privilege and trust. When they’re ready, they’ll tell us what they need.

We can’t fix grief. We can’t fix mourning and sorrow and trauma. Those are things that will never be fixed in this world, but they can be redeemed. It’s just not us who can do it.

***

Get to Know Amy C. Williams

Amy C. Williams loves cats, coffee, and sushi and not always in that order. An award-winning author and writing coach, she has fifteen published books in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a popular monthly contributor for two blogs ranked in Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 sites for authors, and she was named the 2022 Arise Daily Writer of the Year. Learn more at her website, www.amycwilliams.com, or subscribe to her daily devotionals at www.alwayspeachy.com

The Power of Repentance (Jonah 3:10) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/ Meet Our Hosts: JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com Follow Jennifer: https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/ https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ GRACE FOX has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren. Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517 Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.com Follow Grace: Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/   Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor QUINNISE PETTWAY is a writer, facilitator, Licensed Professional Counselor, wife, and mother whose mission is to help Christians encounter and embrace God as Father and walk boldly as His beloved children. She's the author of A Glimpse of Our Father: Lessons Parenthood Reveals for All of God's Children and hosts a weekly small group called “Gathering For A Glimpse” where she journeys with participants through the book to dive deeper into the heart of our heavenly Father. Follow Quinnise: Website- https://aglimpseofourfather.com/ Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aglimpseofourfather Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quinnisepettway/ Check out her YouVersion Bible App Devotional Plan (Inspired by full book) A Glimpse of Our Father: A 5-Day Devotional Plan for All of God's Children: http://bible.us/r/82J JOSHUA LILLIE is a passionate follower of Jesus, spreadsheet enthusiast, and lover of all kinds of art and music. Joshua has almost a decade of experience in music ministry, and has served both in house church and megachurch environments in pastoral and administrative roles, eager to see every man, woman, and child increasingly surrender their lives to King Jesus. He currently serves on staff with Christ Community Church in Omaha, NE, and as an ordained minister with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a global denomination of Jesus-followers making Him known among the nations.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. The Power of Repentance (Jonah 3:10)
  2. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  3. When God Comforts (2 Corinthians 13:4)
  4. Fight the Good Fight, Finish the Race, Keep the Faith (2 Timothy 4:7)
  5. How God Strengthens Us for Times of Crisis (Luke 22:10)

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

 

(The below first posted in the summer of 2016.)

Don’t Despise the Wildnerness
by Julie Arduini

It was 2003. I lived in Upstate NY and the financial consequences from 9/11 hit our small city hard. The main corporation in town, Corning Inc., let go 20% of their workforce. At the time, their stock was worth less than a slice of pizza at the local shop. Most businesses in town were somehow connected to Corning, including my husband’s employer. His work dried up to the point that the employer left the business and told his employees to keep it baby-1178539_640running—without salary or benefits.

Our baby came into our lives that August and I thought for sure my new role as a full-time mom would be the needed turn. Not long after her birth my husband realized he had to get another job. Our health insurance alone was a huge amount per month plus a 20% co-pay. On paper, we never had the amount. In reality, God provided. Yet, something had to give.

Once my husband started working as a temp to help make ends meet, we received news that our daughter’s newborn tests were abnormal. After hearing all was fine, we later learned the office made a mistake and our daughter was not fine. They sat me down and told me that because she lost 8 weeks of needed medicine, we were to prepare our child for mental retardation.

The hits became relentless. Our daughter got sick before Thanksgiving. Although we were changing doctors, we still hadn’t found one, so we went back. He prescribed a medicine with codeine, something I questioned for a three-month baby. He assured me he’d prescribed this for years.

Our daughter nearly died on Thanksgiving Eve.medic-563425_640

As she recovered, we learned my dad had lung cancer. I refused to believe it. He looked so good. They didn’t want anyone to know for fear he’d be treated differently. As Hannah battled RSV and pneumonia and my husband learned his second job was ending and that a company five hours away wanted to hire him—my dad wasn’t getting better. Three weeks after my husband moved to his new job knowing no one in an apartment the company found for him, my dad passed away.

I was grieving while taking care of two small ones, including a chronically sick baby. My mom was beside herself losing her husband and her daughter’s family. Once I sold the house and reunited with my husband, I remember sitting in Ohio, shell-shocked.

I felt completely abandoned by God.

It was in Ohio I found mentors and Bible studies that helped me. One day I was reading Beth Moore and she mentioned Hosea 2:14: 

That verse made this season almost feel like a gift.

A blessing.

As the grief subsided, I realized there were lessons I learned in the wilderness I never could have grasped in the clearing. I was introduced to opportunities that I never imagined I could have been prepared for. Those excruciating times were when God drew me close and taught me things. Showed me secrets and strategies. Most of all, loved me in an intimate way I’d never known.

The wilderness is scary and no one would voluntarily sign up for it. However, I don’t resist it anymore. I know a lot of fruit comes out of the wilderness. I wouldn’t be writing without those times. I hope my story encourages you. Don’t be afraid of your Hosea 2:14 wilderness.

***

“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

entangled2_editedCarla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Buy Entangled on Amazon.

***

profileJulie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the  re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.

Connect with Julie on her websiteFacebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Before you go, make sure to catch the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode: 

Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131 Faith Over Fear

You may have heard someone say something to the effect of, “God will use your pain in your future ministry.” This doesn’t necessarily mean He will ask you to launch an organization or create a program within your social sphere or community, although He may. Rather, this stems from God’s promise to use you to comfort others with the same comfort He’s shown. You, whether that means listening with understanding as someone shares their hurts and struggles or walking beside someone seeking increased freedom. We hope today’s episode speaks to individuals in one of two places in their healing journey: 1) For those still in the thick of pain, hold tight to this—God longs to bring beauty from your pain by first healing you then giving you the strength and desire to help others heal. 2) For those who have experienced some degree of healing, prayerfully consider if God is asking you to walk alongside someone who is hurting or living enslaved. And finally, we hope this episode opens conversation on toxic versus healthy relationships.(Scroll down to find the group discussion questions)Find Carolyn Whitney and her ministry: https://sistersinchristkc.org/our-teamhttps://www.instagram.com/sistersinchristkc/https://www.facebook.com/sistersinchristkcFind Kelly Campbell and Wholly Loved, at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comFind Wholly Loved Ministries at:WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Group Discussion Questions:1.What resonated with you most in this episode?2.Have you ever felt like you were living in a "glass house" where things looked good from the outside but where circumstances or emotions felt chaotic, unpredictable, or unsafe, or uncertain? 3.When going through challenging or painful circumstances, how easily do you seek support from others, and what do you think impacts this?4.How would you describe the general health of your support system, and why would you describe it this way?5.What are some ways we can walk with family and friends through their mental health battles while still maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves (and our children)?6.How can healthy connections with others help one heal from traumatic experiences7.What are some important steps to take when faced with a big transition in your life?8.What is one action step God might be wanting you to take as a result of listening to this episode?
  1. Freed From Toxic Relationships to Help Others Break Free (with Carolyn Whitney) – Ep. 131
  2. Thankfulness in Changing Seasons – Ep. 130
  3. Fighting Anxiety and Fear Through Praise (with Becky Harling) – Ep. 129
  4. When Self-Reliance Leads to Addiction (with Carol McCracken) – Ep. 128
  5. Breaking Free from Generational Dysfunction (with Gina Birkemeier) – Ep. 127