If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome. We’ve been in a 30 Days to Life Shaking Study in the Word in this community. Today I invited five courageous friends to share how God is shaking them up . . . in a good way. I can’t wait to see what they have to say. ~ Suzie
You’re going to find this hard to believe (because I’m so young and all) but I’m the mother to three adult children and one teenager. Yikes! In the past several months God hasn’t just shaken my faith through my kids, He has rearranged it! I have one daughter making marriage plans, one applying to colleges (out of state!), and one who is stretching to find her independence in ways that make my momma heart ache. I’ll confess, I don’t even know how to pray for them anymore, and I’ve lost more hours of sleep than I care to admit.
Loving adult children is seriously hard, y’all!
Several months ago my counselor gave me an assignment. Whenever I was feeling overwhelmed I was supposed to ask God “Are you here with me right now?” and then sit in quiet until I was sure of the answer. Recently on my 40 minute commute to work I was worrying praying to Jesus about my girls when He quietly nudged my heart, “Keri, ask me the question.”
Are you here with me right now, God?
I asked and then paused to listen. His answer was clear, and shook me to the core. “You know I’m here with you, what you need to know is that I am also with each of your kids right now.” Since that day my heart has been settled. Is the future still unclear? Sure. Isn’t it always? But the worry that kept me up at night is gone. I may not have the answers my kids need, but He does. And He is with me… and them.
Meeting my now husband 6 weeks before I was scheduled to return to my home country started a new journey of faith. From the first yes I gave him, through all the unknowns and trials of immigration, through the multiple moves, including the most recent shake up of moving over Christmas weekend with 5 days notice, my peace has always rested in this simple statement:
Lord, I trust you for the ‘Yes’ and I have faith for the rest.
Isn’t that how we are with Christ! Through all the trials and changes life brings we look back and say, “Lord, I trusted You when I said ‘Yes’ to You as my Lord and Savior–and I have faith for the rest,” for we walk through this life by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Want to know more about beautiful Sarah? Click here.
I have been involved in bible study most of my life, but I have never taken the opportunity to really dig in and inhabit one particular chapter of the bible like we have been doing in this study. Allowing the first chapter of Ephesians to marinate over the course of two weeks has been powerful. I have written 35 pages in my journal since we started!
I have experienced a number of insights, but there are two things in particular which are continuing to shake up my faith. During this study, I have read Ephesians 1 in several different translations. In The Message translation, Paul says our adoption as children of God occurred because God “wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving.” The visual of God throwing a party all about generosity and inviting me to join Him has really stuck with me and I’ve continued to ponder how that might change the way I look at how I spend my time.
Several days after this shift and further into our chapter, we began talking about Paul’s prayer for us to receive “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we many know Him better.” I began to pray specifically for this spirit of wisdom and revelation, both for myself and for my family, truly believing this was something God wanted for us. Within a couple of days, I received clarity about some very specific questions I had concerning my ministry and work… answers and direction I have been wrestling with for 18 months!
Within a couple of days, I had clarity!
This 30 Days to Life Shaking Study in the Word has not only served to shake up my faith, it has given me insight and direction to share with others. For the past seven years, I have taught bible study on Tuesday afternoons at a day shelter for homeless and poor individuals in our community. Obviously, I had no choice but to take Ephesians Chapter 1 to the bible study last Tuesday!
I printed The Message translation to supplement our NIV versions and we had an incredible time of sharing and prayer together. My friends around the table, many living in the woods or in their cars during this cold weather, were particularly moved by the idea that God already sees them, through Jesus Christ, as holy and blameless in His sight. We also spent a great deal of time talking about what it means to be God’s child and what our inheritance might look like. We will spend time more time in Ephesians 1 this Tuesday and I anticipate another rich conversation full of “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” God promises when we join together and dig into His word.
Want to encourage Kelly? Check out her blog.
The dictionary definition of shaken is being frightened, scared, worried, or nervous. But is “shaken” a bad thing when it comes to my faith? I may feel a little nervous or worried, not knowing what He is doing or where He is taking me, but it grows my faith and makes me depend on Him all the more
Recently we moved to another state where we knew no one at all. I grew up in North Carolina and that is all I have ever known. At times it is lonely, even with the chaos of four kids running around. I am homeschooling for the first time, something I said I’d never do. My prayer life has increased as I ask God to take the wheel and help me in every aspect.
When my husband first told me they were shutting down his job site, I basically stomped my feet and cried. I told him and God that I was staying put. There were many restless nights. I didn’t know where we were going or if my husband would find another job. I wanted to change my feelings. I wanted a different attitude so I started praying the word “peace.” I began to feel God’s peace blanket my soul and comfort me.
I wanted a different attitude so I started praying the word “peace.”
Then I started to rest in it, that “peace that surpasses ALL understanding.” Even today, I don’t fully understand why we are here but God does and that’s enough for me. He’s been with us the entire time. I’m still learning lessons. Many times God takes us way out of our comfort zones for His purposes. I’m doing my best to bloom where God has planted me, to meet new people, to get involved in our new church, and to better homeschool my children. This is my prayer: Shake me up, Lord. Help me to continue to grow up and be firmly rooted in you and your amazing Word.
To connect with Julie Spearing, check out her blog.
For eleven years my husband and I began and ended our days alongside one another in our dream jobs. We built our identity, our family and our life goals around our place of employment. Years of dreaming, however, were turned to weeping on the day we were told our contracts were not being renewed. With fading hope and lost purpose I found myself completely shaken with no place to go but the arms of Jesus.
My faith took new form!
With my new place in His arms the Lord began transforming my thought patterns, erasing years of faulty beliefs and recreating me with His truth and freedom. My faith took new form. Abiding in Him was no longer just a phrase, but a place I didn’t want to leave.
Surrendering all, I determined in faith to rest in the Lord and release control. Today, I’ve never felt more alive in God. What began as a terrible day of loss brought me to a place of freedom and trust in Christ like I’ve never experienced before.
Now it’s your turn.
Share your story. I want to hear how God is shaking up your faith in a good way.
That’s our assignment today. Take a moment and journal what God is doing and how He’s shaking up your faith — in a good way.
Share it here as well. Discuss a time when God shook your faith. Tell us what He’s doing in and through you today. Let’s pray and celebrate as strong women of faith.
If the shaking that is going on in your heart or thoughts is not what you hope, let us circle around you and encourage you.
For those of you who haven’t been involved in the study, I offered a free gift. Today, a free gift, Six Scriptures to Help you Live Free.. Thank you for being a part of this circle of friends today.