So Much More Than Words 

  • ckstubbswrites

Healing is always a process.

Whether you are healing from a physical wound, or an emotional wound, it always takes time. As I spent time with God a while ago, I started to think about how difficult the healing process can be most of the time. For instance, since 2017, I have been praying to God to bring healing and wholeness into many areas of my life.The crazy thing is that since praying that prayer, I sometimes feel like everything in my life has gone haywire. There have been so many things that God brought to the surface in my life that were incredibly uncomfortable to confront. There have also been many days where I felt completely and totally in over my head. It felt as though there were too many things in my life that I needed healing from, so I began to wonder if the sort of healing that I desired for my life was possible.

As I wrestled with the thought of giving up on my healing process, I heard the Holy Spirit remind me to commit to healing. When I first heard it, I sort of shrugged it off; but, as I went about my day, I kept hearing that same phrase: Commit to healing. I knew that it was God reminding me to not give up on my journey and to stay the course, no matter how uncomfortable the journey feels at times. He reminded me that healing is a process--and it is not always a glamorous process. It can be very messy and uncomfortable; however, it is necessary. After I resolved to commit to the healing process that God had begun in my life, I began to think about how ridiculous it would have been to give up. Philippians 1:6 says that He who began the good work, will complete it. This means that if God started the healing process in my life, then, He will finish it. Yes, it is still hard. Yes, there are days when I feel more messed up now than I was before, but God always reminds me that I only feel that way because He is bringing to the surface those things that were once hidden in my life-- the toxic traits that were buried deep beneath pretense and pride. He reminded me that He is uprooting the roots that I refused to acknowledge in order for the healing that I desire to come. Healing will take time.

If you’re anything like me, and the process of healing feels too hard, I encourage you to commit to it. Do not give up. Continue to rely on the Lord and trust that He will complete the work that He’s begun in your life.

Commit to your healing process.

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  • ckstubbswrites

In the midst of an uncertain season in your life, have you ever wondered if God sees you? Have you ever been tempted to ask God the age old question, “Do you even care?” I have. When you’re walking through a hard season, it is very easy to believe that God has somehow abandoned you. It’s easy to believe that He has left you alone to fend for yourself amidst the difficulty and uncertainty. A few nights ago, I felt this way. I really struggled to believe that God saw me in the midst of my pain. I thought, if God did see me, then why am I still suffering? Surely, a good Father would bring the healing and wholeness that I desperately desired. In the midst of my questions, I prayed. I asked God not only for strength in the midst of my weakness, but to help me to have the right perspective in the midst of what felt like a wilderness season.

As I prayed, I was reminded of the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. Hagar fled from her mistress Sarai and ended up in the desert, or for the sake of this blog, in the wilderness. I’m sure she felt uncertain, abandoned and afraid during this time. The thing is, Hagar was technically the “other woman” in this scenario. She was actually Sarai’s slave, but Sarai encouraged Hagar to lay with her husband Abram, so that he could have a son. However, after Hagar became pregnant, as expected, issues arose between the two women within the household. Genesis 16:6 (NIV) says, “...Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.” Hagar left, probably scorned and broken. What I love most about Hagar’s story is the fact that even though she would have been shunned and ignored by most in the midst of her pain, God saw her. He saw her right in the midst of the wilderness that she found herself in. Genesis 16: 7-8 (NIV) says, “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” Hagar responded by telling Him that she was running away from Sarai; but, the angel of the Lord instructed her to return to where she had fled from because He would take care of her. He assured her that she was not alone and that He saw her in the midst of her pain. In response to these beautiful truths from God, Hagar said, in Genesis 16:13 (NIV), “‘You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.’” Isn’t that beautiful?

After I was reminded of this passage of scripture, God assured me that just like He saw Hagar in the midst of her pain, He sees me and most importantly, He cares. My pain never goes unnoticed in His eyes. He will never abandon me because I am loved by Him. I came here to remind you of the same thing. God sees you right where you are. You have not been abandoned. He did not leave you to fend for yourself in the midst of your pain. He sees you and He will rescue you. Continue to trust Him. Continue to hold on to His word. Continue to rest in Him, because He who began the good work will surely complete it in your life (Philippians 1:6).

Remember this truth as you face the remainder of this day and the days to come: God sees you.

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  • ckstubbswrites

Distractions. If you’re anything like me, when you hear that word, you flinch. Whenever someone speaks about distractions in church or even just in everyday life, I’m always reminded of the distractions in my own life. The things that often keep me away from spending the quality time with God that I know I should, or the things that keep me from working on projects that I know need to be completed. Do you struggle with distractions? If so, you’re not alone. I think if we’re all honest, we’d admit that we’ve all gotten distracted at some point in our lives. It’s a very real thing, especially in this day and age. We live in the world of Instagram, TikTok and so many other social media platforms, where there is always something going on—something vying for our attention.

Recently, I’ve been confronted with the reality of my own distractions. I realized that I have been allowing other things to occupy my time and energy, so much that when it was time to spend with God, I would give Him the bare minimum. I would still be reading my word and praying; however, I would often be thinking about what I have to do next during this time, or I would end up falling asleep because I had worn myself out doing other things. When the Holy Spirit made me aware of this, I mourned because I knew that God deserves so much more of me—my time, my energy, my attention, and my worship. The truth is, a lot of the things that often kept me from giving God the time that He deserves weren’t bad. In most cases, I was being productive, even sharing the gospel with others, but God helped me to realize that even those things can become a distraction, when it takes away from spending quality time with Him. He reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. In this, Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s home and during His visit, Martha was busy attempting to make Jesus’ visit more comfortable, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him. In the midst of her preparations, Martha became angry with Mary because Mary wasn’t helping her prepare; but, Jesus responded to Martha in Luke 10: 41-42 (NIV): “‘Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’.” Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen better. What Mary chose was to put all of those other things aside—the distractions—and sit at Jesus’ feet.

As believers, it’s easy for us to become caught up in the doing. We want to do things for God, and there’s nothing wrong with that; however, the problem arises when we’re more focused on the doing than actually being with Jesus. It’s dangerous when we’re more eager to go out and do things in Jesus’ name, without taking the time to know who Jesus really is by sitting at His feet, listening to Him, and just being still in His presence. I feel like God is calling us back to His feet in this new year. Like Mary, He wants us to sit at His feet and listen. He desires more for us to be with Him and learn about His ways and His heart, than to do things in His name without actually knowing Him personally. He wants us to put away the distractions, even if they aren’t necessarily bad, repent, and return to His feet. Since the Holy Spirit gave me the revelation of the distractions in my own life, I have been meditating on this passage of scripture, asking God to help me to have a heart like Mary in a Martha-like world. I have been praying to have a heart that desires more to know Jesus and be known by Him than to do things in His name.

Let’s all lay aside our distractions and return to the feet of Jesus. He will always welcome us with open arms.

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