Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Passing Through


"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

This year, my one word to focus on is: Strength. You can read about it HERE. I'm a 1/4 of the way into the year and I took a few moment to examine what this word has meant so far and how I've been progressing.

My life verse for this year is: Psalm 84:5-7.

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baca (means weeping), they make it a spring…" (parenthesis mine)

I've been feeling this. Journeying through the Valley of Weeping. I've shed many a tear so far in 2012. I've had disappointments, things didn't happen the way I thought they would, I missed what God was saying and watched a boat sail. I've struggled with physical pain and confusion over it.

I've been hurt. I've had to let hurt go.

I've faced fear. Fear of doing big things, taking big chances, dreaming big, fear of failing…again.

But in each of those things, I've learned so much more, I've grown closer to God and people. I've discovered things about myself that I never knew.

I'm enjoying this journey even during the valley times. I'm looking at things with a better attitude and kingdom perspective.

I'm working on being a God-pleaser and not a self-pleaser.

I’m getting stronger. Can't say I've arrived or I'm as strong in the areas of my life I should be, but I'm making progress.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24


How about you? Do you ever stop and examine where you are? Where you want to be? Are you focusing on one word this year? Did you make a resolution or vow? How are you fairing? What are you learning?

I'm hosting at Living By Grace today! Stop by and let's talk about moving forward! 

29 comments:

  1. I am constantly analyzing where I am at and where I want to go, to a fault sometimes. It's an area of my life where God is asking me to let go and let Him have control. I try not to make resolutions or vows, because I find that I set my mind so completely on something that if things don't work out how I intended (because God had a different plan), than I am left discontent and unhappy. For me I've found life is much better if I can say: not my will, but Your's be done - and sit back and enjoy the ride!

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    1. You make a great point about making vows/resolutions. I tend to beat myself up if I miss a goal I set.

      Here's to sitting back and enjoying the ride! :)

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  2. Beautifully said, Jessica. Thanks for the needed reminder to trust in Him... His timing, His purposes, His love.

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Amanda! You're welcome anytime, and thank you! :)

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  3. Good thoughts. I don't have a single word that I'm focus on but perhaps a thought - to remember to look for the path He wants me to follow instead of heading off on my own.

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    1. Great thought to have, I may borrow it!

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  4. I love that God gave you that word, knowing this was the year you'd need it. Preparing you, walking with you through it and through this year as you hit those valleys. Love His faithfulness.

    I have been examining a lot lately. Patiently waiting for Him to give some answers...and hanging out, resting in Him while I do. I'm not always a patient person, but my word was Time this year and He's found many, many ways to help me study that:)

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    1. You know, He is faithful! And He really has been turning the weeping valleys into springs of refreshing.

      I'm not the most patient person either! :)

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  5. Me and David, we're like this (see two fingers smashed together). I love this verse and am so familiar with this. Praying through the gunk. Love your honesty! Been here.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. "Praying through the gunk." I love that! :) It's always a comfort to know we're not alone--that others have been down the same "gunky" roads! :)

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  6. Love this, Jess. Sorry about the disappointments you've faced so far this year, but it's so cool to me to read about what God is doing in your heart and life through it all. And I hope you know how much you're impacting others. I love, love, love your Wednesday "strength" posts!

    I've been focusing (or, well, trying, I guess) on the word "love" this year. What I really want is to see God grow my love for Him...I'm realizing it's not something that just happens...it takes focus and intention...

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    1. Tagg, thank you for your encouraging words! Means SOOOO much to me.

      Agreed, loving God and others takes a some on-purpose living!

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  7. "I'm working on being a God-pleaser and not a self-pleaser."

    Your blog encourages me, Jessica. I needed to read that line. Also need to work on being a God-pleaser and not a people-pleaser.

    Thanks for blessing me this morning, friend.

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    1. Thank you, Katie. Your blog always encourages me too! You are so welcome! Your comment blessed me!

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  8. I self-examine ALOT. So much that sometimes I think I'm self-absorbed. I don't have a word I'm focusing on but I do want to be a God-pleaser and also, I have to work on letting hurt go. I'm great at clutching it to my chest and breathing it in. Heh.
    Thank you for the post, sweet lady. I hope the next tears you shed are happy ones. :-)

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    1. I'm a clutcher too. I just found this out though. I never realized it. LOL God's never done is He? lol

      Thank you! I'm looking forward to happy tears!

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  9. Beautiful thoughts and a wonderful verse. I can feel where you are as I've been in that place. 2011 was my year of tears but God brought beauty from the ashes as He always does :) Way to keep focusing on him! Hugs!

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    1. Needed those words, friend! Hugs back! :)

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  10. Thank you for this post, Jess.

    I've been going through something that I can't quite put my finger on. I feel drained and there is confusion over where I'm at, and where I'm going. I've also had some physical pain that was like a thorn in my side for over a month. It came on quickly and left -poof- just like that. It was scary until we found out what it was. It's also been extremely busy at work and family time. I feel as if I'm burning the candle at both ends. I've been weeping a lot...over what? I don't know.

    During this time, I find myself drawing closer to God. It just shows that our faith carries us through the valley.

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    1. That's how I feel about my pain! A thorn in my side. I'm glad yours is gone, PTL! I can relate to everything you're saying and feeling. And yes, I feel God closely. Thanks for sharing that with me...with all of us, Loree! Hugs!

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  11. I'm all over this post, Jessica. I want to give you a big hug right now, because I SO get this.

    My word is trust. And, as you know, God has really called me to trust him this year, and particularly this month!

    What's really cool is that earlier this year, I had a revelation about writing. I realized I put being published as the be-all, end-all in my aspirations, but God considers what I'm doing now as more important. I love reaching out to other writers, encouraging them, supporting them, and I know now that is part of my ministry. It's really freeing to understand I am making a difference in some small way.

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    1. Jill, I can SO relate to your comments! God's been doing the same thing with me. Things right here in my home, my community and my church need attention. Publishing isn't everything and while I can dream and should, it doesn't mean that's how it's gonna go down.

      Thanks so much! Hugs back, friend!!!!

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  12. Aw, friend, I'm sorry you've shed tears, but remember that the more pain, the more tightly we must hold to God. And the more tightly we hold to Him, the more beautiful the ride in the end.

    I often don't stop and examine where I'm at. I tend to go, go, go until I exhaust myself. Oftentimes, I realize that it's because I've been focusing too hard on a goal, and not on Him. My time with Him needs to be the priority. Without it, the rest is meaningless.

    Thanks for your support and friendship. It has meant so much to me and I'm sooooo glad God put you in my life! I admire you so.

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  13. Confession time: I'm not doing well at ALL with my "one word" for this year. I was just thinking the past few days that here it is May, and I'm letting the year slip by without focusing on what God gave me. Here's to doing better!

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  14. Way to go on your journey to strength, Jess! I don't have a particular word, but I'm trying to remember things like "savoring the good as gets" moments or trusting the Lord more on a daily basis or not stressing.

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  15. Contentment! I struggle with this everyday. I want a different job and am praying about it, but have to learn to be content with what God has given me.

    Great post!

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  16. Loved this phrase: "I'm working on being a God-pleaser and not a self-pleaser." That's often my biggest battle, truly dying to self to allow God to reign in me.

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  17. Great reminder that God is in control. My fav verse now is Psalm 68:19 "Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." In the midst of my own physical pain, I try to bear the burden myself, but it's all about surrender. It's a constant lesson to learn, over and over again.

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