Monthly Archives: April 2016

When we are overwhelmed 

“But my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is is made perfect in weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”

 (2 Corinthians 12:9)

There are many situations that I feel overwhelmed by. Sometimes it’s just getting up in the morning. Sometimes it’s the thought of having to find work after the trauma of the last months. I feel overwhelmed in the night when I wake up because I have a knot in my stomach and can’t remember why. I have been overwhelmed living in a new place, going to a new church and not being in a good frame of mind to be engaging and sociable. I have been overwhelmed as my children go on this excruciating journey of working things through, and I have felt pained, and been in agony for them.

I have been overwhelmed by having to drive in a place I don’t know and that’s unfamiliar.

I’m realising that it’s ok to be overwhelmed and to feel like I’m not coping. If our faith is real, and God is who he says he is in his word, then however overwhelmed we feel about everything, he will eventually see us through. We may feel that our situation won’t right itself, but I know that God is using it to teach and to shape us to be more like himself.

So, we don’t need to fear, but we do need to trust in the one who knows all, and in doing this we will make Christ known. 

I love this hymn and I want it to be my prayer;


Pray without ceasing.

My life as I now know it has overwhelmed me. It has devastated me on every level and without God,  I don’t know what I would have done.

I have found that my only comfort has been talking to God. He has been my only constant and my only foundation. I have found myself talking to him continually.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. I have been unable to do anything else. I have muttered everywhere I’ve gone. When I have stopped talking to God, I have begun to sink into melancholy  and despair. I have felt like a small child in an unfamiliar situation, not looking at its surroundings, but never taking its eyes off  its mother, just in case all is lost. 

At my lowest, all I have managed to mutter is “God, help me!” I have been unable to say anything more than that.  It’s  been so hard at times, I began to wonder if I would be able to stand under the weight of it. The feelings of isolation and bereavement have sometimes been so acute, that I have wondered if I will cope.

But, in all of this, I have found treasures that are so rare and precious and valuable that it’s taken my breath away. Even amongst the devastation of my life, I have known God to be faithful and good and kind all of the time. By leaning on God  completely and utterly, my faith was in him and in no other. I found this to be liberating and beautiful because he is faithful and good and safe all of the time.  We are reading daily devotions on the psalms by Tim Keller. Today we read psalm 55 v 8, about David’s temptation to flee. Tim Keller says:

“But there is no shelter apart from God. We must continue to trust in him, because all other “shelters” will prove to be places of greater danger. There is no other place to go. He has the words of eternal life ( John 6:66 – 69)

My life had seemingly fallen apart. Friends failed, but God has stayed by my side. There is no situation too ugly for him to intervene. He is a precious and faithful God, full of mercy and abounding in love and will never fail.

I know I can go forward in the confidence that only God can give. If God is with me, I need not fear, it’s not the journey I would choose, but it’s the one that has been given me, and I have to believe that our Heavenly Father knows best. I pray that I won’t waste this situation that I am in, but God would shape and mould me so that I become more like him.

A  p.s.

As soon as I had written my last blog, I went to a ladies event at my church. There are many young mums who I have not yet got to know, and  I had a conversation that should have filled me with joy, but it actually filled me with unrest and unease and jealousy, and Satan was rattling his chains so loudly I could hardly hear anything else. 

My unrest was about how she spoke about her in-laws. They were Christians, and were wonderful, godly role models that had impacted their children by their godly living and  consistent prayer lives over many many years.

Rather than being happy to hear this, my thoughts went to my own children,  and I wanted this to be their experience of us as a couple, but it felt like that would never be. After writing my last post, in the light of my reaction to this situation, I felt very challenged, and I had to look to God and plead for his help to find contentment in my situation. 

I had to believe that God is sovereign over everything, and to understand that this isn’t his plan B for me. Rather, it is his plan that I go through this heartache in order to learn many things and to be willing  to lean hard upon him. 

I’ve had to take stock this morning and take time  to ask God  to help me with the triggers that I face on a regular basis. 

I pray for contentment with what God has now given me, that whatever burdens and distresses I am faced with, that I will carry them well for his honour and glory, and that Satan would not have the victory. 

I need the Holy Spirit’s  help and power every second of every day, without him my reactions and actions will be the opposite of what God desires of us, and Satan will win a victory.

I need to suit up today in God’s almighty armour and win that battle as David did with Goliath. It seemed unlikely that David would win, but David  went forward seeing  only God’s power and strength and not looking at his own failings and weaknesses. 

God makes a way when there isn’t a way. I am praying  for faith to believe, and to go God’s way. 

May God have the glory in our lives today. ❤️

The wisdom in listening to God. ❤️

I am slowly learning to recognise Satan’s lies. 


 He focuses on our weak areas and exploits them. 

It has taken me a fair while to understand  how Satan gets in and robs me of joy and peace. Last weekend I was robbed of everything that was good, which resulted in misery for everyone. I felt anger and bitterness and I was so taken up with “me” that I didn’t care about the impact on others. I was taking forgiveness back and deliberately causing hurt.

I am so thankful to  God that he broke through that bitterness in the small hours of sunday morning and that clarity was given. As I opened that book I was reminded yet again of the necessity to firstly forgive. It’s only when we do what’s right before God that He then begins to work in us, giving us peace and healing.

As the week has gone on, I have thought about this. Forgiveness is so huge and hard, that it doesn’t take much for Satan to get in and spoil our lives and relationships.  He loves to get in and cause friction and separation and damage. Satan wants us to take forgiveness back and nurse bitterness and resentment. We can be so easily sucked into this mind set where bitterness and unforgiveness reign, that it’s then very difficult to get onto the right path of doing the only thing that pleases God : a deliberate forgetfulness of those sins committed against us.  

So when we have been through a massive hurt or betrayal and we want to lash out because something has come to mind, what do we do?  It may be easy  in theory, but when these negative emotions arise how can we actually combat them? 

The bible says :

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you”    ( James 4:7 )

So this week at the first sign of unease,  I have been on my knees and prayed that I would listen to God and not the devil.

I have had a few situations where thoughts that are negative have come to mind. I have had to bat them away, and ask God to protect me from those fiery darts. I have told Satan that he can shake his chains, but he is bound and cannot harm me and I have told him to flee in the name of Jesus. I have known a wonderful peace this week that up till now I have not known. I thank God for his grace and his mercy in this,  and for many incidents this week that can only have come from God. Meeting new friends that I have seemed to really connect with, meeting lovely friends  that are discerning and give wise and godly counsel, unexpected phone calls and friends sending me scripture. 

Since Monday, it really feels like God has comforted and cared for me in ways that I can’t express, and most of my  worry and anxiety and fretting has abated. Wonderfully,  God has enabled me to leave it at the cross. I have felt a peace and a calm that can only come from him. 

I know so well that I need to be on my guard. That Satan is wandering around like a roaring lion seeking to rob me of  joy and peace. I can only rely and depend on God’s amazing goodness and grace.

I have been reading an article by Thomas Brooks. He says there are 10 ways to resist satan’s darts. They are:

  1. Be ruled by the word
  2. Beware of grieving the Holy Spirit
  3. Labour for wisdom
  4. Resist the first stirring of temptation
  5. Labour to be filled with the spirit
  6. Keep humble
  7. Be constantly on guard
  8. Continue communing with God
  9. Do not engage Satan in your own strength
  10. Pray constantly


Dear Lord,

Thank you that you have shown me many things about the importance of listening to you alone.  I need to look to you constantly for help and strength. I know that if I rely on my  own confidence I will drown. Help me to be completely dependant on you in every area of my life, and look to you for help and counsel constantly. It’s only by looking to you alone that I will know joy and peace. I pray that the Holy Spirit  will enable me to not listen to Satan, but listen to what your word tells me, and in so doing I will be aware  of satan’s tactics and resist them. keep me close to you.


Back to the cross I go.

Yesterday was an atrocious day. I felt bitterness in my heart from early on, and it went unchecked all day. It almost felt like I was feeling the full force of hurt and betrayal for the very first time. At 2:31 am, I had not slept a wink. The full force of bitterness was marching over my heart and taking up residence. Bitterness was occupying my heart like the enemy in war time.

In the small hours, I opened a book of daily readings at April 16. The book is called “a year’s journey with God” by Jennifer Rees Larcombe.

The verse was:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.”

She says:

” as Christians we feel we shouldn’t let things wind us up so we ignore the internal grazes and bruises and even pretend to ourselves that our hearts are not crushed by disapproval or unkindness or ripped open by betrayal. When Jesus said he had come to  “mend the broken- hearted”, surely He was promising to heal these wounds, but I honestly think He can’t do that without our willingness to forgive the person who has hurt us.”

I  have a close friend who often says to me, ” back to the cross you go then!” I have had to come to this place over and over again. When we let bitterness reign we allow Satan to take up residence in our hearts and minds and it produces nothing good and opposes all that Jesus says is right. 

The longer I leave bitterness, the harder it seems to hand ownership back to God. This causes strife and dissension and bitterness and hate. I was robbed of joy yesterday and in the early hours of this morning, and I found myself wondering if I had a relationship with God at all. I felt blackness and despair which was too awful to describe. 

 To react well  when we are feeling hurt is nigh on impossible. Reacting with ill grace is our natural bent. Sin from the beginning of time has manifested itself in blame and sulking. Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent.

 Sadly, very early on, we are often aware that we are going down a wrong path. We know how outrageous our behaviour is, and how unkind we are being, but getting off that road of destruction often hurts our pride too much, so we doggedly stay on it. The results are never good and never worth it. 

So the advice from my friend is key : ” back to the cross we go!”

Paul says in Romans 7:19 

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”

I am finding this process exhausting and overwhelming and discouraging and alarming. But its conclusion is always the same: back to the cross. 

Letting go of the past and accepting the now.

I have found it very difficult accepting that my past life has now gone.
 After many years in one place, friendships are formed and cemented.  To be able to walk in the community where you live, and meet  people that you’ve known over many years is wonderful – but I took it  for granted. I love the familiar and I hate change.  My church family was home too. It took a long time to really get to know people but the end result was that I loved them.  

My closest friends were  those I studied the bible with. I have found that my friendships have been the very best that they can be, when they have been fused around  the word of God.  But it takes years to cultivate friendships where honesty, accountability and transparency reign. I think that growing together around God’s word fosters  love and friendship  like nothing else can. These people become forever friends. 

To lose this without having any sort of forewarning or preparation devastated and traumatised me.

5 months on I am still struggling to accept loss of all.  I feel like I’ve gone through the stages of bereavement, but I’m still stuck at no 2 at times, and have not yet come to terms with no 5.

  1. Denial and isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining 
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

  Being torn from all I loved has been the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced. I have felt completely overwhelmed and disconnected. It has been very challenging working through how I should react to all of this. I have not yet arrived and I am struggling to accept the new life that has been given me.

A verse that was very precious to me is found in Jeremiah 29 v 11

” I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This was a tricky verse for me to grasp. I asked the Lord that we would be above reproach, and he gave me shame. 

I have been torn away from my life and  everything I know and love. And yet this verse has got to be true if we are in God’s kingdom. I don’t understand God’s plans, but I know that in this severe and overwhelming trial that has felt cruel and unpleasant, God has been at work in my life and he has taught me through it.


These are the things that I am learning ;

  1. That God is good all the time.
  2. That God never forsakes us, even though we may feel like we are in a psalm 46 situation,  and that the mountains have fallen into the heart of the sea.
  3. That through severe trials God is revealing my sinful reactions and actions and humbles me.
  4. That Im not in control and I can’t fix it.
  5. That Satan is far more subtle and devious than we can ever imagine and I need to pray constantly and suit up in God’s armour.
  6. I need to hand control over to God and leave it there without clawing it back.
  7. That I can choose how I react – I can choose joy over anxiety and calm over panic.
  8. That I can leave the ones I love to God and entrust them to him, and not fret over their welfare or spiritual growth.
  9. That forgiveness is a very hard thing, and this shows us the huge forgiveness God has shown us in Jesus.
  10. That marriage isn’t about fulfilling our hopes and dreams , but sanctifies us by showing us our selfishness and pride and prepares us for heaven.
  11. Understanding the importance of cultivating our relationship with the only person who ultimately matters. God is the only  person who truly satisfies.

So I need to accept that even though I don’t understand any of this, God does, and rather than looking back longingly at what I’ve lost, I need to look forward and accept what God has given me now. I know this in theory, but as yet, I have not worked it through in practice.

Paul says in Philippians 4:12

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength”

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you know all things. Help me to trust you when the path I am on is dark and unfamiliar. Help me to understand that although this has taken me by surprise, nothing comes as a surprise to you. Help me to accept and know contentment with what I now have, and not look back longingly to what has been taken away. Use me in the new life you have now given me for your glory.


The importance of right identity

“What do people think about us now?”  Is a thought that I often obsess over..


This is a very dangerous path to go on, especially if you have  an active imagination and a sensitive disposition as I have.  The right question to ask is this: “Does my identity lie in the opinion of others or is my identity in Christ?”

This is a massive challenge for me. How we like the good opinion of others, and if you’re like me, I often need validation from others in order  to feel good about myself. This is crippling,  as the opinion of others is flawed at best, and fluctuates, and is completely subjective and unreliable. Even so, my perception is that the opinion of others matter. 

I seem to be learning lots of lessons in the pit. It seems to me that God is teaching  me one hard lesson after another, with very little opportunity of taking a breath in between. There seems to be no let up, and as soon as one sin is sorted, another pops up ; a sort of spiritual “splat-the -rat.”

Genesis 1:27 says:

So God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

 I love the account of God creating man. He makes man in his image – with his attributes and his likeness. We see Adam and Eve in a loving relationship with one another, and with God. It’s such a beautiful picture of God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the day. There seems to be no awkwardness or fear, just a loving and transparent relationship between God and man. 

We were created to be in relationship with our maker and to walk with him and have fellowship with him. Sin has spoilt this open and transparent relationship, and has put the most awful barrier up between us and God. 

As Christians, that barrier has been removed. We are now in a restored relationship with our maker because of  Christ’s death and resurrection. We are where we should be, and our identity should be in him. He is our loving Heavenly Father, and he has written to us through his word, expressing how we should live our lives to the fullest because our identity hinges on the one who loves us best. 

Colossians 3:2,3  says:

Set your minds on things above , not on earthly things.For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God

when I look to the world for direction and identity it says :

 give him a hard time; Let him understand how much you’ve been hurt; don’t ever trust him again; remind him often to keep him humble; tell everyone how he’s hurt and spoilt everything ; humiliate him as he has  humiliated you;  leave him.

God says: 

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement ( Matt 5:22) ; love keeps no record of wrongs.  ( 1 cor 13 ) ;  hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs  (proverbs 10:12);  above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins ( 1 Peter 4:8 ) 

I find it very easy to be swayed by the reaction of others.

 I will give you an example : if I know someone is struggling  or hurting as a direct result of my husband’s actions, I can take back that forgiveness in my heart and take back the resentment I’ve left at the cross. It results in a bitter and accusing attitude. Can you imagine if Jesus did this every time we hurt him?  We need to ask God for huge amounts of help in seeing the huge debt we all owe. Our sins are vast and many, but God has forgiven them all through the Lord Jesus. They have been hurled into the depths of the sea and God has deliberately chosen to forget them. 

My identity has got to be in Christ,  and my view of my husband has got to be shaped by who he is in Christ .  When I am tempted to be influenced by what people think, or I am influenced by hurt caused to others, and I am tempted to take back that forgiveness,  I must fly to Christ, and remember that my forgiveness cannot fluctuate – Christ’s forgiveness is firm and absolute. However badly we behave, however many times we hurt and disgrace him, God’s forgiveness is complete and totally unconditional  – concrete!  I pray that I may respond to my husband and others in the way God has responded to me. 

Dear lord,

Help me to understand that when you forgive us, you never hold it against us. Help me  to forgive fully and completely, and not take that forgiveness back because I am swayed by the opinions of others. That my forgiveness would not come with caveats, but it would be full and complete as you have forgiven me. This is a very hard  thing to do, but I can do all things through you who gives me strength. Help me to really understand that if I don’t forgive, then you won’t forgive me when I sin again you. 

Thank you for your amazing example and your amazing forgiveness, and help us to honour you in all of our actions and reactions.

Lord help me in this,