So Much More Than Words 

  • ckstubbswrites

I have always been an introvert. For as long as I can remember, I enjoyed being alone; I enjoy spending time in my own company. I never minded being around other people, but I found that I could recharge and refuel whenever I was alone. Since I always enjoyed being alone, I developed the mindset that I didn’t truly need anybody else to be happy. Of course, I knew that I needed God and my family, but I never felt like I needed other people around me. I was content with just God and my family members. Although I had friends, it was always difficult for me to really open up to them about things in my life. As I grew in my relationship with God however, He has taught me about the importance of community--finding people that can do life with me. People that I can trust, rely on, confide in, and be myself around. Honestly, for the past three years, I feel like I have not only grown to appreciate community in my own life, but I’ve now realized that I can’t fully thrive without it.

Recently, Matthew 18:20 (NIV) has been on my heart. It reads, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." When God highlighted this verse to me, I thought about how important it is for us to gather together as believers. However, the more that I meditated on this verse, God helped me to think about it in relation to friendship and community. He kept reminding me of it over and over until I realized that He was trying to get me to understand the importance of “two”--the importance of not being alone in life. There is power in numbers. The verse says that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is in the midst! Community is essential. Forging genuine and lasting friendships is essential. Asking God to send genuine people in our lives to walk this journey with us is so important. I know this because there were many moments when I found myself in isolation. These were some of the darkest moments in my life. In these moments, I felt like I could overcome alone, but God showed me that I needed people to help me through it. Truthfully, I had to let go of my pride, and be willing to be transparent and let others that I trusted in.

I listened to a sermon a while back, and the speaker said something profound. He stated that the enemy wants us to remain in isolation because he knows that this is where he can do the most damage. When we are alone and isolated, we are prone to temptation and prone to believing the lies of the enemy. Yet, when we have people that we can confide in and rely on, it is easy for us to share our hearts and let them know the things we struggle with. We need each other. I never felt like I needed other people, but now, I realize that I do more than ever. Genesis 2:18 says that it is not good for man to be alone. We were meant for relationships. We were meant to forge friendships that can stand the test of time. We were meant to be there for one another.

If you find yourself feeling isolated, ask God to send people your way. People who can walk with you through life and encourage you. He will do it. If you want, you can even reach out to me. You are not alone, and you were never meant to live this life alone. We need each other. We need sisters and brothers that can pray with us, listen to us vent, pray for us, and just be there for us in this life.

We cannot do life alone, no matter how much we say that we can. We need each other.

  • ckstubbswrites

Life is what you make it.

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us. From the lockdowns, to the quarantines, to the loss of life, setbacks and delays, 2020 will definitely receive its own chapter in history books to come. Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, it has been easy for me to focus on everything that is wrong in the world. I focused so much on the loss and the delays and the setbacks, that I frequently found myself battling discouragement and anxiety. Finding joy was very hard, and I would honestly spend many days, wallowing in self-pity, moping around the house. However, after spending time with God, He helped me to realize that moping, and falling into discouragement was only causing me more harm than good. He reminded me that my joy and my peace comes from Him.

Even though I knew that my joy and peace comes from God, a few days ago, I found myself falling back into that same discouraging place. I was sitting on my bed, thinking about every hard thing that I had been facing, when the Holy Spirit reminded me of a simple truth: “Life is what you make it.” When the thought came to my mind, I began to think about what it really meant for my life. After I reflected on it some more and asked God, in that moment, I realized that it is up to me to decide how I want to live my life everyday. I can choose to wake up each day focusing on the bad, and walking around in self-pity, or, I can choose to wake up each day with gratitude, focusing on the good in my life. God reminded me that I can make it my goal each day to pinpoint everything that is wrong in the world, or, I can fix my eyes on things above (Colossians 3:2) and remember that He is still in control. Life is really what you make it.

After I had that revelation, I can say with all honesty, that I have never been happier. I have never felt more joy and peace this year than I do right now. This is because I’ve realized that I had to make a choice. Either I would continue walking through life being discouraged and bitter about what was wrong or what didn’t happen, or, I can see life for all of the beautiful possibilities that it holds. I went for a boat ride earlier today and ended up smiling the entire time. In the moment, I kept remembering that life is what I make it, so I took in everything around me. The water, the sky, the salty air, and even the people. I refused to take anything for granted, and I had so much fun. It’s amazing how much your life can change when you make the decision to choose joy. When I wake up in the morning now, I smile when I see the sunlight. When I go for a drive, I roll the windows down and allow the fresh breeze to cool my skin. When I look up at the sky, I smile at the clouds, because I’ve realized that life is what I make it. I’ve chosen to abandon the lie that I am destined to live a life of discouragement and constant disappointment. God has helped me to realize that life is what I make it, and guess what?

I choose to make it a joyful one. I pray that you do the same. Remember this truth as you go about your day: Life is what you make it.

  • ckstubbswrites

I’ve experienced many, many seasons of weariness in my life. Seasons where I felt overwhelmed to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed because I just felt tired. Tired of having to push through the difficulties and trials that came my way. Have you ever felt like that? If so, you’re not alone. I learned, over the years, that weariness is just a part of life. I had to learn this as I matured in my walk with God. Before He taught me that we all face weariness at some point, I would always condemn myself for feeling weary. I had developed the mindset that to feel weary meant that I was weak, and disappointing God in some way, since He commands us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9). However, God revealed to me that I shouldn’t condemn myself for feeling weary. I am human, and that means that I will struggle with weariness at some point in my life. I’m not a superhuman, and therefore, I should not expect to go through life feeling strong, every single moment of every single day. In fact, God reminds us, all throughout scripture, that strength is available to us. He would not remind us of this truth if He didn’t expect us to feel without strength and weary at some point. Isaiah 40:29 (NIV) reminds us that, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Whenever I find myself in a season of weariness, I find comfort in this verse, and I ask God for the strength that only He can give me.

Truthfully, most of the time I ask God for help in the midst of my weariness, I expect Him to pick me up out of my bed, but of course, this isn’t the case. Oftentimes, He gives me instructions on how to win the battle with weariness. Over the years, God has taught me three important strategies that have helped me overcome weariness whenever I experience it in my life.

  1. Believe God. Oftentimes, when I feel weary, I find myself plunging into unbelief. Because I feel overwhelmed and tired in these seasons of weariness, I struggle to hold onto the hope that things can change. I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced this, but I have, many, many times. I felt so weary of the battle that I was facing that it was hard to believe the promises of God. However, God reminds me every time that I must believe. I must hold on to His word in seasons of weariness and have faith that His promises are true, no matter how things may seem. So, believe in the midst of your weariness. Believe the promises of God. Believe that His word is true when He promises to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) and that He will complete the work that He began in our lives (Philippians 1:6).

  2. Worship God. I learned to worship my way out of weariness. There have been so many days when I would wake up and feel physically and emotionally weary. Days when I would wrestle with getting out of bed, or just laying down all day and succumbing to the weariness that I felt. But, God taught me that a way out of weariness is worship. So, whenever I feel weary now, I would go into my room, close the door, put on some worship music, and just sing. I would sing out to God, and weep, and weep some more. As I sing, I would pour out my heart to the Lord, and tell Him how weary I felt. Time would pass, and without even realising it, that weariness would lift, and I would feel so much peace and strength instead. Worship is a remedy for weariness as a believer. Use it.

  3. Pray. I’ve realized that it’s easy for us to take prayer for granted. At least, this is the case for me. However, in the midst of my weariness, I have learned that prayer is powerful and God hears us when we pray. Everytime. So, when I feel weary now, I ask the Lord for strength. I ask Him to help me overcome my weariness and find the strength that only He could provide. Sometimes, I even pray the Psalms when I find myself feeling so weary that I can’t muster up my own words to pray to God. In those moments, I would repeat Psalm 121, Psalm 23, Psalm 42, and many more. Praying the Psalms would always help me to not only find peace in the midst of my weariness, but I’m also reminded of the promises of God. If you’re battling weariness today, I encourage you to pray and ask your Heavenly Father for the help that you need to endure and overcome it.

Weariness is a part of life. We all struggle with it at some point; however, it’s up to us to decide whether or not we will succumb to it, or overcome it with God’s help. I’ve gotten to that place where I felt so weary of the fight that I didn’t want to keep going. I felt like I was on the verge of waving the white flag of surrender because life just felt like too much. However, God reminded me that He is with us in the midst of our weariness and instead of drawing away, we must take steps towards Him. I encourage you, if you’re battling weariness, to implement these strategies in your life. They work, every time, trust me. I’ve proven it.

Strength is available to you in the midst of your weariness. God will help you find that strength, once you ask Him.

© 2020 by Christna K. Writes