Faith, Hardships and Trials

Faith and Healing Amid Turmoil

Robrenna-Heal Post Quote 1(1)

A year ago, as I sat in a church classroom, trying to learn how to heal my wounds, I thought about the woman who bled for twelve years. She went from doctor to doctor, draining her finances to find a cure to stop the bleeding. The woman knew Jesus’s reputation for healing hands, so when she heard He was traversing through town, she wedged her way through the crowd. He was out of reach, and the woman lowered her body to the ground and reached out to touch a piece of His robe. Jesus felt something. The book of Matthew tells her story: Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.  Matthew 9:20-22 (ESV)

The woman feels compelled to touch Jesus to receive healing of her physical — yet invisible — trauma. The woman had become a societal outcast: in her day, women who discharged blood other than or past the time of their period were considered unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27 NIV). Although her wound was physical, I can only imagine what she endured emotionally.

Her wounds were unseen, and so are mine. My emotional scars hide in day to day interactions. No one would suspect the hurt I carry. Some scars are from my choices; others are from the decisions of those around me. My recent wounds stem from living during a pandemic, economic uncertainty, racial tensions, and divisions in our country and the church, not to mention the loss of routine and ability to celebrate life events.

Recently, a friend and I discussed over video chat what to say these days when someone asks, “How are you?” The customary polite answer — “Fine, how are you?” — doesn’t seem entirely correct. The unnamed woman in this story taught me that she knew she wasn’t fine or okay. She knew and admitted to herself that she needed healing. After years of trying to find a remedy, she made it her mission to touch the cloak of Jesus (or, as other translations state, the hem of His robe). She knew that He was the one who could heal her: the One who could provide what she so desperately wanted. I can follow her example and admit these times are hard, and I’m not always okay.I can touch the cloak of Jesus by taking my wounds to him in prayer, worship, and praise. Click To Tweet

As I think back to the church classroom, I now understand the steps I need to take to start the healing process. I can grieve and lament the losses and uncertainty. To heal, I must admit these times are hard, and I’m not always okay. When we hurt, we can cry out to the Lord and touch Jesus’ cloak by taking our wounds to Him in prayer, worship, and praise. I have faith that He sees and hears me, and I can accept the help of those Jesus sends to minister to me. Like the bleeding woman, I have faith that He will turn to me, see me, and say, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has healed you.” Robrenna-Heal Post Quote

A question to ponder:

What are you grieving in these difficult times? Name them.

Lament over each loss, fear, or anxiety.

Offer a prayer of healing to the Lord.

Meet the Author!

Robrenna's Headshot

Robrenna is a real, raw, no-filters, kind of girl. She went from an army brat to a military veteran. A wife to Troy and mom of two teenagers, she has served in women’s, children’s, and middle school ministries.

Robrenna wrote a Bible study for middle school girls based on Identity in Christ. She is the executive administrative assistant for the anti-sex-trafficking organization I’ve Got A Name. Robrenna is the friend you call to walk alongside you in hard, painful places of life as well as the joyful ones. Her passions include mocha coffee, dark chocolate, time with family and friends, and telling others of God’s love, mercy, and grace.

 

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Cover for Anchored and Secure devotionalIf you’re seeking resources that will help you grow closer to Christ, make sure to grab a copy of our latest devotional, Anchored and Secure: 60 Days of Resting in Grace:

Thanks to Christ’s death and resurrection, we don’t have to stress, strive, or perform. We simply need to rest in what Christ has already done. That is when we begin to come alive and find the power and courage to live as He intended. That’s when we experience true and lasting freedom. This sixty-day devotional helps women reflect on God’s grace and the freedom of living deeply anchored in Him.

Find it HERE.

Wholly Loved Ministries is a non-profit organization that exists to help women live in Christ’s freedom. Donate now to support our mission or contact us to learn more.

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Wholly Loved Sponsor Interview

Interview With Sponsor Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller's headshotWe love freedom stories, and man, does our sponsor Kathy Collard Miller have a powerful story to share. We know God and does transform lives, but sometimes it can be easy to forget this. Sometimes when I look at our world, honestly, I see so much darkness. So much hurt. It may appear as if the darkness is winning. But then, through stories like Kathy shares below, I’m reminded that God is actively filling our world with life and light.

But first, fun news! Right now for a limited time, the Kindle version of God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature is available for 99 cents. Check it out HERE It’s perfect for an individual or couple devotional time.

How long have you been writing?

A long time! LOL. My first article was published in Moody Monthly Magazine in 1978. I wrote about how God delivered me from being an abusive mom. I requested they publish it anonymously, which they did, because I was still so ashamed of what I’d done.

But that initial confirmation of the importance of my story encouraged me to share. And when an invitation came to speak at the mom’s group for our church, God gave me the courage to say yes! With great fear, I shared my story with the 120 women who were there and their response let me know this was something important giving God glory.

Then I went to a writer’s conference in 1980 and four years later, my story was published as a memoir book. Today that book has been updated and it’s titled, No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom.

Of course everyone wants to know about your family now. Give us an update.

I love to tell of God’s healing work. One of the problems contributing to my anger was the unrealistic expectations I had that my husband, Larry, should meet all my needs. God changed my perspective and this year (2020), we’ll celebrate our 50th anniversary. We are more in love than I could have ever thought possible. And Larry actually wants to meet my needs as much as possible even if we both know only Jesus can do that.

As for my daughter who I abused when she was a toddler, we have a very close relationship and she supports my ministry and has aspirations of being a novelist! She is a loving wife of 20 years, mom of two (my grandkids!!!!), and ministry leader at her church. Amazing what God can do!

What would you say to someone who is currently struggling with anger?

God knows exactly His plan for your healing, and it will be a process. He loves to work through our Holy-Spirit-supplied strength because then we learn what we can share with others later. No matter what your struggle is, God is working more than you realize. There will be starts and delays and backups, but God is progressively working. He’d working not just for your benefit but because it gives Him glory.

I love 1 Timothy 4:15: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” The word “progress” is the idea of a pioneer cutting his way through the brushwood (Vine’s Dictionary). Little by little by little. We would prefer to have God’s instantaneous deliverance but then we would no longer need God’s help.

As we study parenting books, attend parenting classes, study God’s Word about parenting, and share vulnerably and ask for prayer, God will do a work deep in our hearts, not just make everything better. I also recommend getting counseling and spiritual support. I found all those avenues helped me.

What is the main message you believe God has given you and why?

At different times in my ministry of over 40 years, God has made different things especially important to me. Right now, I’m most passionate about Christians knowing God’s attributes in truth. As I’ve grown spiritually over the years, the Holy Spirit has spotlighted different lies I believed about who God is. I might say, “I know He’s trustworthy” but I still worried. Or “I know He’s leading those I care about,” but I still need to tell them what to do. We can subtly respond in ways that reveal our deeper beliefs and heart commitments. We’re acting out lies about who God is and may not realize it.

 

That’s why my two most recent books are devotionals which explore how God reveals Himself –His true nature–in the Bible. Kathy's book cover imagesInterestingly it’s through the questions He asks. In the Bible, God/Jesus asks more than 300 questions. Isn’t that fascinating? He doesn’t need information but He still asks people questions to help them examine their beliefs about Him and their own motives. Just think, why did God ask Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” and why did Jesus ask the sick man, “Do you want to be healed?” Both questions offer opportunities to delve into the longings and motives of the person He is addressing. God and Jesus are the expert question-askers with a purpose!

My husband, Larry, and I wrote these two books which are:

“God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature”

“God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 Old Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature”

Kathy, what is your favorite attribute of God?

For me, it’s His sovereignty. He is totally in control and in charge of everything that happens even as He doesn’t take away human choice. How that all works, I don’t know exactly. But I do know how much peace, confidence, and desire to obey God comes from my growth in knowing God is sovereign.

Find her author page HERE.

Visit her on YouTube HERE.

Do you have a freedom story to share? We’d love to hear it! Find out how to participate in our freedom challenge HERE. See what you could win HERE.

Also, make sure to visit us on Crosswalk to receive daily devotions sent directly to your inbox. You can find our devotions HERE.

Wholly Loved Ministries is a non-profit organization that exists to help women live in Christ’s freedom. Donate now to support our mission or contact us to learn more.

Heart Issues

The Redirection of An Emotional Heart attack

I cannot describe how outrageous 2019 actually was.  There were many days I felt I couldn’t breathe. I ended up in the emergency room because of the aching in my chest that I honestly believed was a heart attack. I’ve had all the tests; my physical heart is fine. It seemed that it was my emotional heart that was aching and broken. I felt I was endlessly searching for some truth and light in the midst of a torrential sea of darkness.  A shift came as I learned my need to be reconciled to the fact that things had to happen last year for me to become the woman God created me to be. Click To Tweet

I spent hours going over everything trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I released a friendship of five plus years for reasons I still don’t fully understand but have come to accept. I stepped out of leading ministry and a Bible study group, quit two jobs, was unemployed for several weeks, and felt a piercing loneliness.

Through all the pain, I found my comfort in God, spending hours immersing myself in His promises, searching Scripture for answers and direction for the future. Click To Tweet I’ve often encouraged friends when they found themselves in these places with verses I believed breathed life into them but none of those brought peace. The healing came as I breathed in grace-filled nuggets of truth I had not noticed before. Praise was on my lips day and night in an effort to reclaim all that I’d lost.

I found hope in verses such as “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Sermons that taught me about making dead things come alive. Genesis 28:16 says, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it!” Seriously, I did not recognize His intervening on my behalf and this verse helped me remember God is with me. There were songs that resonated with my heart cry of knowing who God says I am that gave me courage to keep moving forward.

In sweet surrender, I finally laid aside all the angst associated with past pain and began to progress towards healing. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit became more prevalent, teaching me to relinquish control. Click To Tweet I’m grateful I serve a God who gently yet consistently nudges me towards the path He has for me.

As I look forward to 2020, I am ready to resume actively pursuing my journey in Christ, hand in hand with my Savior. Won’t you join me?

Where are you at in 2020? Are you excited for what God has ahead or are you feeling discouraged and defeated? What can you do to today to find strength, anticipation, and encouragement in Christ? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Make sure to check out our latest Bible reading plan, available for free on the YouVersion Bible Reading App:

Grace Reading Plan ImageChrist’s grace has the power to change everything. We don’t have to strive, to compete or compare, or question whether or not we measure up. We’re enough because Christ in us in enough. The cross of Christ sets us free.

Find it HERE.

 

 

 

Relationships

How to Handle Disagreements in a Godly Manner — Guest Post, Kimi Miller

Picture of two women laughing and quote on conflict.Though most of us would likely wish to avoid this, we all experience conflict. When handled in a Christ-like manner, with equal parts love, truth, and grace, however, what initially feels like a fail can actually become a win. Our most difficult interactions and conversations can lead to growth, healing, and life-change. Click To Tweet

When It Doesn’t Feel Like Winning
By Kimi Miller

My anger was blazing, and I didn’t care who saw or heard. What mattered most was making sure the other person knew they were wrong and I was right. I’d rehearsed my response more than a dozen times–a few times in my head, and then alone out loud in my car just to be safe. No room for emotions; I intended to spew forth my words in a predetermined manuscript without a second thought. If I wanted to “win” the argument, I needed to be prepared.

That’s when I saw someone in the car next to me looking at me like I was crazy.

In that moment, I felt I might be.

As I sat there, trying to regain control, I felt more out of control than ever.

The move I was contemplating was straight out of Satan’s playbook:

Focus on self-defense.  Pick up the offense and tuck it under my arm and run straight at the other person–full force, and let them have it. All my anger, all my frustration, all my disappointment–don’t hold back! I was right, they were wrong, and all that matters is that they know it–that they feel it. Who cares how my words were communicated–in fact, the more I talked and the less I listened all the better. Winning was what matters.

But somehow, as I sat there in the intersection practicing yelling at the invisible offender in my car–with the guy next to me likely contemplating calling the cops-it didn’t feel like winning.

As much as I wanted the other person to experience every hurt they’d caused me, that choice no longer felt right. Each time I ran through my premeditated narrative, a warm, sick feeling arose in my gut. A physical reaction I’ve come to recognize as the Holy Spirit prompting me to stop and seek His wise counsel before I sin.

When I want to win by proving I’m right, I know something is out of alignment. Click To Tweet Because the truth is, I’m not right, and neither are you. When we seek our vengeance over God’s peace, no matter how convincing our argument might appear, if Christ isn’t in it, we lose.

This is why we must learn to retrain our thoughts. The world urges us to look out for self first. Contrarily,women holding hands and walking with paraphrased text of 1 Cor. 16:13-14 God’s Word challenges us to, “Do everything in love,” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV).

But how do you do that in the heat of an argument? How is it possible, as James writes, “to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry?” (James 1:5, NIV).

To invite love into our ugliest moments, we must make space for God. Click To Tweet

Step away from the conflict. Sometimes putting physical space between you and the offender is necessary to finding clarity and direction. Remember, it’s okay to be angry, but in our anger we must not sin. Sometimes distance prevents us from saying or doing things we cannot take back. Choose to step away from the argument by stepping into communion with God.

Once alone with Him, share your hurts and offenses with God. Express your thoughts to Him through prayer and/or journaling. Get it all out with God, putting everything on the table – casting your anxiety on Him because He cares for you, (1 Peter 5:7).

Next, trust God’s way over yours.

Set aside what you think is best and ask God for His best. What is He revealing to you about the condition of the hearts involved? Is there something the other person might be wrestling with that is influencing their behavior? What is it He wants to teach you through this struggle? Is there something missing in your own self-value or worth that’s driving a need to be right? To be heard? Why is “winning” so important?  And why does this hurt so much?

When you’ve surrendered your hardest hurts to God and experience His peace–when you no longer feel that warm sick feeling in your gut–ask the Lord to show you what to do next. Click To Tweet Do you need to forgive? Do you need to apologize? Are there still words to be spoken, or points to be understood? Take as much time as you need to work through these matters of the heart but resolve to move forward. Take your queue from His playbook: Respond in love.

I’m relieved to say I never had the opportunity to voice all the ugly things I’d wanted to throw at my offender. It wasn’t because I didn’t see them again, but because I’d talked it over with God and I no longer felt the need to say anything. I forgave them and release everything else to Jesus. God helped me choose peace over tension, joy over grief, and love over validation.

Following God felt like winning.

Let’s talk about this! What steps can you take today to seek God’s perspective and wisdom for a conflict you’ve experienced or are experiencing?

Inviting God into our arguments takes practice. What are some things you can do to help develop this discipline?

If today’s post encouraged you, make sure to grab a copy of Drawing Near: 90-Day Devotional:

Cover image for Bible study devotionalEach day, God beckons us to Himself, calling us to rest in His love and grace. As we do, He heals our hurts, overpowers our fears with love, and restores us to the women He created us to be. This 90-day devotional, written by women who are learning themselves to live anchored in God’s grace, will help you deepen your faith and grow your relationship with Christ.

Buy it HERE.

We also encourage you to grab a free copy of our Bible study, based on the life of Sara. You can find it HERE. You can watch the first week’s video HERE.

Get to know Kimi!

Kimi Miller lives in Papillion, Nebraska, with her husband and two teenage sons. She stays busy taking care of their home, their two high-strung cattle dogs, and working part-time as a secretary at the local police department. She is a United States Air Force veteran and former pastor of women’s ministry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a concentration in theology. One of her many God-sized dreams is to organize a free city-wide women’s ministry event that spreads the love and hope only found in Jesus. Her laughter is contagious, as is her passion for the Word of God. You can read more about Kimi at her blog www.kimimiller.com.

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