Here are some encouraging articles I've read recently. I hope that you will be blessed by them as well...
“‘How are you really doing?”
This is a question that has been asked of me during the past weeks since we discovered that I have a brain lesion. Each person who has asked me this question has the sincere desire to care for me and to give me the opportunity to share any concerns or issues that I have not expressed on my Facebook posts. I am so very grateful for these friends and the way that they are providing a safe place for me to be open and vulnerable.
I thank the Lord that I can honestly say that what you have been reading in my posts has been how I really am doing. “What you see is what you get” is a saying that can be applied to me, thus far.
That being said, allow me to tell you about the daily (often hourly) battle that I have been having in order to maintain the hope, peace, joy, and faith that God has given me during this trial. This is not an easy journey or a battle that does not need to be fought on a daily basis. Sometimes I think about the discussion that God and Abel had in Genesis 4:7 when God told Abel that “sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” I know that fear, despair, discontent, and anger are right outside my door and that if I don’t take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5), then I am “giving the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:27) and a foothold in my life.”
“While her lesbian sexuality still did not feel ‘unnatural’, it occurred to her that she didn’t have to feel it to believe it. ‘When we defend our right to a particular sin, we are cherishing it. Painfully I’ve come to believe homosexuality is a sin. But so is homophobia. For those who struggle with homosexuality, I know it is a heavy cross to bear.’
Christians need to be careful not to add an unbearable weight to the burden, Butterfield cautioned. ‘The solution for all sin is repentance’. Butterfield said that while Christians can struggle with homosexual temptations, they cannot just add Jesus to the mix and not repent. ‘Make no mistake. This is spiritual war. Our identity cannot be rooted in sin.’”
“Sometimes my faith is shaken when my dreams are shattered.
I wonder where God is in the midst of my suffering. I cannot sense his presence. I feel alone and afraid. My faith wavers.
I question what I have long believed. I wonder what is real, especially when my experience doesn’t match my expectations.
This wavering deeply troubles me. I have tasted God’s goodness, enjoyed close fellowship with him, rested in his tender care. I have known both his power and his love. Yet in the midst of profound struggle, I have no answers. Just questions.”
“It’s been 33 years since the Lord brought me to a place of healing from my abortion, but I remember the journey as if it were yesterday. I had been living with the secret sin of abortion for almost 10 years. Trapped in the middle of a culture war throughout the 1970s and 1980s, I felt I had no place to turn.
I was a pregnant, unmarried 18-year-old in 1972 when I walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Topeka, Kansas. They referred me to a clinic in New York City where abortion was legal at the time. (The next year’s Roe v. Wade ruling would legalize abortion throughout the whole country.)
In the years following my abortion, I began to witness two opposing sides lobbing personal insults like grenades. On one side of the street outside the abortion clinic, women demanded their reproductive “rights.” On the other side, pro-life protesters holding pictures of dead babies called women coming out of the clinic “baby killers.” Given my experience, I didn’t feel I belonged in either camp.”