May 31

Our “Hidden Joy” Community :)

I just love our little Bible study community we have here!  You are amazing!  Thank you so much for being a part of this group!

If you are visiting for the first time and are looking for the Week 1 assignments for the Hidden Joy Bible study, they can be found HERE.

I was touched that so many of you commented and shared so openly and honestly in the first two days of our study. I was blessed by your encouragement for one another and moved by your prayers.  We are a little community here, population 3000.

Two weeks ago in church, my pastor taught about 3 excuses we often give instead of trusting God and being obedient to Him. I’m not going to go into details about the whole message, but these excuses are the same ones I used for years instead of moving forward.

“I’m not worthy.”

“It’s too hard.”

“Not now.”

Some of you may be feeling this way about this study.  You think that hope and healing aren’t for you.  Here’s what my pastor had to say about that:

“Holiness is not what God wants from me, it is what He wants for me.”  Worthiness not required. We don’t have it and God doesn’t need it.  It’s only because of Him in us that we can be called worthy in the first place.

“We go to the wrong sources to find fulfillment”   and when we get there we are still empty!  Sure it’s hard, but until we finally give into God, it’s never going to get easier or better.  We will be missing something.

“God doesn’t want to change you in the future, He wants to change you NOW.”  Like in today.

This community is here for you.  This community cannot save you, heal you, or fix your problems.  This community can encourage you, love you, support you, and pray for you.  As a part of this community, I ask you to take ownership of this Bible study.  Make friends, be real, and open your heart to God.

Monday, you were asked to write a prayer for yourself.  I hope you will make it a habit to prayer for yourself.  It’s important.  (Gotta put your oxygen mask on first before you can be of help to anyone else!)

Today I’d like for you to write/say a prayer for your sisters here in this community and in our Bible study group.  I encourage you to share your prayer with us in the comment section of this blog.  It will be such an encouragement to read how we are all lifting each other up.  Doesn’t it make you feel fantastic to know that someone is praying for you???  Imagine how you will feel to know that 3000 are praying for you???  Wow!

Here’s my prayer for you:

To My Loving Father,

I am overwhelmed and in awe of this group that you have brought together.  I celebrate the work You will do in their lives through the transforming power of Your Word.

Lord, for each and every person in this study, I pray:

*for hope to become real

*for her to believe that healing is possible for her

*for her to give You the control over her life

*that she know she is loved

*that she know she is valued

*that she open her heart, let You in

*that the walls of shame, fear, rejection, and unworthiness are broken down and remain down

*that she would turn to You for shelter and refuge and she will find You at every turn in her life

*that she feels Your love, acceptance, and sweet desire for her to have a full life

*that she finds her joy and will proceed through her life depending on You and living free.

In Jesus’ Sweet Precious Name, I pray, Amen.

 

You are a blessing to this group!   I am so thankful to be on this journey with EACH of you.  <3

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Dear Father,
    i thank you for guiding me to Wendy Blight several months ago. I have come a long way since the rape of my daughter. Through Wendy Blight I have found my sweet girlfriends. These women have given me great words of wisdom, I pray that the women in this study find the support that I did. Father please comfort these women as they relive their past and please help them find the tools that will help them heal. Please give them patience and strength as they start this journey. I also pray that I continue to get closer to you. Help me to keep the Holy Spirit alive. In your name I pray. Love, Jennifer

  2. Veronica H. says:

    alright after praying on it and having faith here is the link to my blog http://simplymemywalk.blogspot.com/ basically it’s my journal of this journey, it’s easier for me to type than to acutally write in a journal due to my hands hurting. If you have any suggestions to help make it better, please let me know. Thanks~

    • Donna C. says:

      Thank you, Veronica, for having the courage to share and open up your heart to others. This step you just took will be a blessing to so many. I saw your post yesterday on Melissa’s Bible Study facebook page about you trying to decide and I prayed for you. I loved your blog title and WOW!!!! when I first click on the link and then that picture came up, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It was like I was seeing Jesus in the beautiful sky starring back at me and felt such a wave of comfort around me.

      YOU ARE WORTHY! Feeling are so fickle. You have to decide what you believe, not what you feel. What you have been through is difficult, but it’s not who you are or what defines you. —– I got this statement from your blog and I must have read it five times. It’s hard for me to believe I’m worthy. I base so much of my thoughts on “feelings”. I need to stop that. Because they are fickle and take you no where. I have to believe I am worthy!!!! Because I am not saved because of anything I have or can do, I am saved by His grace and His grace alone and I am blessed by His unconditional love. So thanks for sharing that. Your blog has already helped me and will help others in their walk.
      I look forward to reading more on your blog every day. Thank you, my precious friend. I am going to lift you and everyone else up in prayer and then I am going to try to get some sleep.

      • Veronica H says:

        I am so glad you were able to gather some comfort from it…i am thankful for listening to and following the LORD on this! I just love that picture, it speaks something different each time I look at it, but always I feel a sense of calm and peace :)

        I hope you have a wonderful day my friend. It will be later in the day when I am able to update the blog, woke up late this morning:(

  3. Michele Caséca says:

    Dear friends,

    My heart cries out for you, beautiful women of God.
    I’ve been praying for each one of you, daily. Name by name, request by request, problem by problem, they all have been remembered in my prayers.

    I soooo wish I had the strength to answer each comment… but my body simply does not respond to my brain anymore. I don’t know which one is more exhausted. I have 2 jobs, and I’m moving to a new home this week, so I spend most of my “free” time packing and carrying stuff. Besides, I work during the weekends, I attend 2 churches, and I’m involved in some ministries.
    If there wasn’t for the help of my dear God, I couldn’t make it.

    I just would like you to know – All of you are in my heart. And in my prayers.

    God is moving in beautiful ways here in this study. I’m just delighting with the strength and desire to move, grow and change for the better, from most of you.

    God bless you, dear sisters!

    To bed and to rest!

    With all the love God has put in my heart for you,
    Michele Caséca

    • Donna C. says:

      Good morning, Michele. I hope you were able to get some much needed rest last night and will be refresh to start this beautiful day God has given us. Please be sure to take care of yourself. It definitely sounds like you have a lot going on and I will be praying for you. It is such a comfort to me to know you carry all of us in your heart and that you pray for us all by name. I’m sure you do not realize fully that impact your words and presence in this bible study has on these women of God, especially me. You have been such a blessing to me and I thank God for you. Have a great day, my precious friend. Love you.

      • Yes Michele, sounds like you have taken a “mighty” load! Praying you take good care of yourself in the midst of all your TO DO’s … I love the quote, “we are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS”… Be sure to set aside your time to just be. Hugs!

      • Hi carol! Thinking of you this morning and praying for you!!!

        • Just now starting to read through some of this. Thanks, Sue, for the thoughts and prayers! And thank you Michelle for your thoughts and prayer you posted yesterday for me! I’m definitely going through some testing right now as I wait on an oncology appointment I am nervous about tomorrow morning…..and I’m dealing with a lot of acid reflux that has not been a part of my life in the past…..thinking all of my treatments have wreaked havoc on my body and I am now struggling with other issues.

  4. Alma Vazquez says:

    Lord,
    Set us free from fear! Set us free from anything that is keeping us from living the abundant life you have for us. May this Bible study be a blessing to all of my sisters here! In Jesus Name, Amen!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Amen, Alma!

      Have a lovely day, dear one!

      Blessings,
      Michele Caséca

      • I stand in agreement with all the special prayers of alleges women in this study LORD! Praying we can all come to the full realization in our souls and minds of your amazing TRUTH of WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST!! Help us all to see that when we receive our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we receive a NEW heart and Spirit, but we don’t receive a new mind. This is why you tell us repeatably in Your Word that we must Re-NEW our minds…to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus Christ! Help us align our thoughts with Your Word so we are in agreement with who You say we are. Help us all to stop living our lives through our our own thoughts and perceptions based on the world, what we and others say and think about us and through our past history of traumas and difficult circumstances! Help us take the hard steps to see what really is the core of our own self identity. I thank you God for helping me see that my own core was based on a lifetime of being “sickie sue” that was tagged to me way back in school. I didn’t realize I carried that with me through my life, coloring everything grey, until I prayed and you answered that prayer and revealed this truth to me! You have given us tools to overcome these negative cores of identity and that is in Your Word! I pray each woman here will make a commitment to seek You and read Your Word for the treasures, the truths you have for them all.
        Amen
        Blessings over this new day!

        • Oh my! I post my comments and then see all the goofs! I am typing all this on my little iPhone keyboard and it will automatically make a word and if I don’t watch real careful while typing I get some strange stuff! So my apologies for the goofs! : )

          • Veronica H says:

            Right there with you sue, totally understand!! Love my iPhone but seriously they need to make the keyboard a lot better!!

          • POWER THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
            I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS I NEED TO DO TODAY THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH!!
            I encourage you to say this OUT LOUD so that you are speaking it INTO your mind and life!! You may not feel it at first, but I guarantee that when you say this during a difficult moment you will feel a glimpse of power in that statement and the more you say it out loud, the stronger you will FEEL!

  5. Sabrina says:

    Dear Jesus,

    Thank you for giving us the courage to face painful things from our past.
    Thank you for leading us all to this bible study.
    I pray that you will give us the strength to put all we have into this bible study and that you will do a great healing in each of our lives!
    In Jesus name, amen.

  6. I wanted to share the devotion I read last night. It’s from Beth Moore’s, Praying God’s word Day By Day.
    May 31st
    You are not defined by anything that happened to you or anything you’ve done. You are defined by who you are in Christ.

    Lord, I have no reason to be ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that you are able to guard what I have entrusted to you for that day (2 Timothy 1:12). Even when I’ve been Faithless, you’ve been faithful, for you cannot disown yourself (2 Timothy 2:13).
    Help me not to fall victim to the accusations of Satan, the accuser of believers. He is furious because he knows his time is short. I have received your salvation and I am in your kingdom, under the authority of your son, Jesus Christ. The enemy is overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimonies (Revelations 12:10-11). Help me never cease testifying of your mighty work in me.

    This devotion spoke to me last night & I wanted to share it with everyone here.

    • Last night was a rough one for me. I’ve made it a priority to spend quiet/prayer time with God every single night before going to bed. Lately, though, my quiet time has been turning into my “crying time” with God. I enter that quiet time with the best of intentions to not let my emotions get the best of me but that’s what ends up happening more often than not lately, my sadness just comes pouring out regardless. One little thought can set it off. So that leads me to the question of… Is it Ok for your quiet/prayer time with God to turn into a “crynig time:” with him so often. To me, I guess, it seems like I’m not trusting him when I’m crying with him so often during my quiet time. The crying usually subsides eventually & I then end up being able to get through my prayers & Bible reading. I feel bad though because I don’t seem to be able to get through a quiet time with God here lately without crying. I just don’t know if that’s what God really wants me to be doing during my quiet time with him. Baby steps is what I’m taking, one foot in front of the other. I know I’ll get there, it just takes time. Unfortunately for me patience is not one of my strong suits. Thanks!

      • Michele Caséca says:

        Dear Tricia,

        Evening times can be very hard for a person who fears and feels lonely. Some years ago I used to spend most of my evenings crying, as well. A verse that helped me go through this tough moments is found in Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the mornings.”
        Pray, sing, give praises, worship the Lord during these times! Ask Him out loud to help and comfort your heart. Save some messages, they will calm down you heart, and help you to rest until the joy comes in the mornings.
        I’m praying for you, lovely sister.

        Blessings,
        Michele Caséca

      • Hi Tricia,

        Your post touched me… something that I’ve struggled with in the past, feeling guilty for my tears. But I’ve learned (& found throughout the psalms) that He wants us & expects us to “cry out” to Him. He is tender to our hearts & that is when our tear-streaked faces turn to Him.

        I wanted to share this verse with you & let you know it is totally ok to cry thru your quiet time… with your heart open, let your heavenly Father to love you thru your tears. As it is written in His Word, “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

        This verse became such a treasured one to me when for the first time in a long time I found that rest in Him… no agenda, no “study” – Just His Love. It was when P31 featured a devo on this verse, I found it again here: http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2010/05/climb-up-in-his-lap.html
        And this is where I learned as the devo says: “Write out Deuteronomy 33:12 and carry it with you today. When you feel sadness trying to overtake you, pull out the verse and read it. Then shut your eyes and picture yourself crawling up into your Father God’s lap. I like to even picture Him stroking my hair, whispering His words of love to me.”

        XOXO in Christ’s love,
        Gwen

        • And Tricia ~ I am praying Deuteronomy 33:12 for you today & that all the women in this group will without guilt & with open hearts, bring their tears to Him – lay your head on the shoulder of your Father God. And as you do, Let the tears fall on His shoulder, letting you tears soak into the fabric of His Perfect loving kindness for YOU ~ His BELOVED DAUGHTER!!

          • Tricia, I have cried on occasion or came close to crying on occasion, and its then that what ever is troubling or hurting me can come out , and be gone forever. There have been nights when I would come to my Father and just cry because of what’s going on, and its then like Gwen said I see myself in my Fathers lap or at his feet with my head in his lap as his hand moves the hair from my face drying my tears. Its then that he can talk to me and comfort me. After I finish crying, and talking with my father I feel better. So don’t despair or give up. we are here for and with you.

          • Thank You Michele! I’ll write that verse down. I definately have trouble calming my anxiuos heart down & this always seems to happen during my prayer time. I’ll try your suggestions.
            Thank You Gwen! I clicked on your link above & signed up to receive the Daily Devotionals from Proverbs 31, I wasn’t getting devotions from there. I’m going to write down that verse & try your suggestions also. It’s good to know that God doesn’t mind my crying with him during our quiet time together. I do feel bad about it even though I know that it only means that I’m truly being open to baring my soul to him. There’s still pain there, he already knows that, but I do tend to feel better after crying it out with God.
            Thank You too Debi! I’m going to start picturing myself just like you both said whenever the crying comes. I do know that at least I’m being honest with God when I’m crying with him & I do tend to feel better afterward. I had a counseling appointment last night & those have been rough some weeks. Realizing just how much of an affect being sexually abused as a child has had on me even to this day is hard to look at. I know I’m doing the right thing by going to the counseling & also with this study. I’m getting stronger through it all somehow, so I won’t give up. I want the peace & I want the happiness, those are both things that I have denied myself for way too long because I felt that I didn’t deserve either one. I was wrong! Now I know that I do deserve them both. Thank You for the support. It’s so encouraging to hear from others that know what it is your feeling & going through. I could talk to friends but they can’t begin to understand what this is like. I think you just don’t understand unless you’ve been there. So everyones comments are a God send to me because we all are in a similar boat here. We’ve all been through similar struggles & so we understand one another a bit better because of that. We know where each other is coming from. That is a great comfort to me. Thanks everyone for your comments. I’m still choosing to believe!

        • Gwen, Thank you for sharing this devotional. I really needed it today. I lost my Dad unexpectedly 5 months ago and am really really missing him. I was very close to him and I am really feeling the loss of our relationship. I cry for him all the time, almost on a daily basis. I have been praying for God’s comfort and I know He will give it to me. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. love, Kim

      • Tricia I too have experienced this..I actually spent about 6 months getting up early and spending long times w the Lord and it ended up being a time of me asking Him to reveal areas in my mind that are holding me captive like unresolved bitterness, unforgiveness, abandonment, etc. he would then show me something particular and I would cry and cry…it was exhausting but SO CLEANSING! There were other times I would just sit before Him and weep…I see now that it was Gods timing and a season for me of self discovery and cleansing. I encourage you to see your time of crying with God as annointed moments that He is caring and loving you and He knows just what you need. He is your mighty counselor who loves you so much! Let the tears flow..it will only be for a time and JOY will come in the morning!!

        • Thanks for the encouragement Sue! I will try looking at those crying times like you suggested. I know God’s helping me to get to where I need to be (where he wants me to be) with my past. I’m not a fan of the pain & heartache involved in getting me there but I’m going to keep moving in the direction of healing regardless of it. Just knowing that I can get there & that I deserve to get there is so helpful when the hard times hit. I feel so very fortunate to have found this study. It came staight from God to my e-mail inbox at the exact time that I needed it most. God is good! He knows what I need & he knows when I need it & he’s Faithful to provide it for me.

        • joanna c says:

          Wow, praise God
          Yesterday I cried and cried around lunch time. I work from home so it was ok :)
          But I knew that when I feel like crying like that, it is that God is doing some healing. Thank You for being so open and for confirming that the Lord is healing us

          • Anonymous says:

            Dear Ladies, as I was reading about the tears that have been shed I thought of some verses that bring comfort to me.

            “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.” Is 25:8

            “The Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev 7:17

            “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything (everyone) new!'” Rev 21:3b-5a

            Won’t that be glorious! The day will come when we will have no need for tears…

            You know how touching it is when a trusted friend gently wipes away our tears? That is what our Father will do! But He won’t stop at wiping away our tears. He will wipe away our pain as well!

            What a day that will be! :)

      • Teresa C. says:

        Tricia,
        Your devotion post spoke to me and I appreciate you for sharing it!

        About your crying time, in my mind I picture Jesus holding you like a little child as you cry. He is our God. The Father wants to take care of you in your sadness. God wants us to lean on Him so don’t feel badly about crying. Letting him be with you when you are hurting is as important!!!

        God bless you!

    • Tricia
      That is a beautiful devotion and so true! Your prayer rings so true and I read it for myself.
      Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Rosa Perez says:

    I am so very grateful for the reflection and study. Answering those questions this morning really opened my eyes to areas that are still very much affected by what has taken place. I am grateful that Wendy wrote out such a beautiful prayer for all of us and that we have chosen to continue on this journey through healing. Praying for all of you women, that God will move in a might way in each of your hearts.

    In His Love,
    Rosa

  8. Shannon Sparrow says:

    Hello, I just wanted to say this is my very first bible-study online. Normally we have one in our church but I don’t get to go because I am a full time mother, spouse, and college student. Now that summer is coming the churches don’t do bible studies, and I have a little more time on my hands to what I like to call work with God time. However doing something alone is so hard to do. I have worked through the pains in my life already, I feel like this study will just be more of a review on how to get past my fears and anxieties that I have already over come however I want to get deeper with god and this seemed like the place for me at this time. Maybe it a refresher, or maybe it is to help someone else from all my past things that I had to go through to get to where I am today. I don’t have my book yet but I can do a prayer for you all. Dear Jesus, I pray that you will find us right where we are and help us cross the bridge that needs to be crossed with out fright. Help each one of us ladies right where we are step by step. Thank you for this bible study that you have put online to help so many people today. Teach us all lord! In your name Amen.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Amen, Shannon.

      God is always looking for a heart willing to participate in His activity throughout this world! I’m so happy to read you are saying YES to God.

      I’m praying for you.

      Blessings,
      Michele Caséca

  9. My Prayer: Lord, my stomach rolls with apprehension, or is it fear? Either way my intention is to continue with this study; to find lasting joy. To find light in that dark corner. I will daily seek You thru this study. I will daily ask you to draw me out of MY dark corner. Daily I will take Your hand until I am free! In my Saviours name, Jesus, Your Daughter Linda

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Amen, Linda!

      Pray this prayer every day, and seek our sweet Lord and He will do beautiful works in your life!

      I’ll be praying with you.

      Love,
      Michele Caséca

  10. KG (Kerrie) says:

    Lawana,
    Wow you put the biggest smile on my heart. Your words of encouragement blew me a way. Thank you I needed them….yours words of may satan flee when my feet hit the ground. I love to find words inside of words…ex. in JesUs is US and in your name is LAWana…I pray Dear Lord that when LAWana asks for help and prays for others along for yourself that her words become a LAW for her life and the others she prayers for. In JesUS’ name I pray this prayer. Amen

    Summer of Healing
    Kerrie

    • Veronica H says:

      Kerrie I loved that prayer you just prayed with LAW!!

      • Donna C. says:

        Hi Veronica H., how are you today? You have been in my thoughts and prayers today. I continue to remember and carry with me your words of encouragement and support from your blog and on this blog from last night. Thank you.

        • Veronica H. says:

          Oh Donna C ~ How wonderful of you to ask, you don’t know how uplifting it was to find you asking how I was when I came here tonight. I have to admit to being very overwhelmed tonight and I have been extremely tired, almost to the point of being able to do anything, I know it’s a mental exhaustion but I just want to throw my hands up and say FORGET EVERYTHING…..but I realize that’s how I coped with things before and I have never last more than 3-4 days at anything so i know this is an attack from the devil trying to get me to go back to my old ways and I am fighting it but oh I am a mess right now.

          Hope you are doing well this evening :)

          • Donna C. says:

            Veronica – I know exactly how you are feeling. I have a history of not completing things, which in turn makes me feel like a failure. Alot of times I’ll get so hyped up about a book and buy it and 50% of the time I won’t pick it up again and then the other 50% I will read some and then get distracted by life and won’t finish it. I am determined once I get this book, to not continue that cycle. Don’t get me started on my feelings of failure in staying on a diet to lose this extra 100lbs I carry around with me that is killing my knees/ankles (two surgeries already) but the extra weight is also killing me inside as far as my self image and confidence. Food is like my best friend, it’s always there for me no matter what kind of mood I am in. I’m so worried if I keep on this way, it’s going to effect my walking even more and my daughter tells me I make funny sounds when I walk alittle bit and when I sleep.
            But I’m doing ok. It amazes me how I can feel so good and positive for a few hours, most of the day or so and then something will trigger my mood/emotions to change and feel down and I think way too much about matters of the heart. So right now I’m feeling a bit down and feeling like I’m going to start crying any minute. Why do I let people affect how I feel. Why do I care how they feel about me? And most of the time they don’t even realize the affect they have on me. Guess alot of it comes from not feeling loved as a childed, not being touched or held. I have this great desire to be loved. But why do I care about anyone else love, instead I should focus on God’s love. His love is the grandest of them all. I just don’t know. Feeling mixed up right now. I’m praying I can get some sleep tonight. One good thing, I have two more days of work and then I will be off for the summer.
            Veronica, when you reach that state of exhaustion and want to give up. Just stop and close your eyes and rest for a moment and just think of how much God cares for YOU, he made you special and unique, there is only one you. And I am so glad to have met you.
            Veronica, hope you don’t mind but I did a search for you on facebook, would love to be your friend (well, already feel I’m your friend), but like to know you better and stay connected. But when I found your wall, it had no where to click to request you as a friend or even to send you a private message. I will also totally understand if you decline. Thanks.
            Well, it after 12;30pm, I should try to go to bed and get some sleep hopefully. Will be praying for you. Be blessed. – Donna C.

          • Veronica H says:

            Donna real quick just about the last sentence and then tomorrow I will comment on the rest if your post(heading to bed now) that’s odd about not being able to request or send me a private message I would love to accept your friend request…let’s talk tomorrow and figure it out :).

            Praying we both sleep well tonight :)

  11. Carol J – just saw your comment and SO glad you felt an awakening in you regarding replacing your negative loop of thoughts w positive powerful thoughts and scriptures!!! Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!

  12. Dear Heavenly Father:

    I pray that You will be with each of us as we take this journey together seeking You. Please keep our minds stayed on You and continue to help us to encourage one another. I feel so blessed to be able to go this community and see the marvelous works You have already done here. Thank you Lord for Your unconditional grace and mercy! I love you Lord! Be blessed all my sisters in Christ!

    With love,
    Liz

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Amen, Liz!

      You are precious in His sight!
      I’m praying for you,

      Michele Caséca

    • Veronica H. says:

      What a wonderful prayer and one I soooo needed right now. I am needing constant reminders today from others (it seems) to keep my mind on HIM!!!! It’s been a rough day. Thank you for your prayer.

      • Veronica I am so glad you were encouraged! I had a rough day yesterday myself. I got news that they were shipping my book back, so I was disappointed and almost said forget it I won’t be able to do this study. Then I get a call and was informed they’d send another (God’s 1st sign). Then I was leaving work, my truck wouldn’t start…. mind you I was planning to go to bible study. Anyway, got a new battery, the guy at the store put it in for me free of charge. Made it home still determined to get to bible study. Satan caused me to be a little late but I made it. I was blessed by my students last night. Got home and what do you know had arrived….My BOOK! God is real :)
        Have a blessed day!

  13. Dear Lord,
    Right now I pray for the ladies of this study that are struggling to even be able to start reading. I feel so loved by You and know that my purpose for being part of this study is to encourage just those ladies. Lord, thank you for blessing me through the pain. Father, I know you can do all things and that you often use ordinary people to accomplish your will. This is truly a joint effort among the group of ladies here. Bless this study, and keep your hand on all of us.

    I pray in the Holy name of Jesus….Amen and amen

    • Michele Caséca says:

      What a beautiful prayer from a greatful heart, Sandi!

      I seemed it was MY PRAYER!

      I make your prayer, MY prayer today!

      God bless you, dear sister.

      Michele Caséca

      • Thank you Michele for those kind words! I am so grateful to be reading the progress that people are making all ready. Hang in there everyone, Satan is defeated, he just doesn’t know it yet.
        Sandi

    • Veronica H. says:

      Again another beautiful wonderful prayer that I so needed tonight. Bless you :)

  14. Donna C. says:

    I still haven’t received my book yet, one minute I’m hoping it gets here soon but then in the next breath I’m thinking, oh, just take your time. I have anticipationn and fear at the same time. To stay involved in this bible study without the book, I been reading and rereading this blog everyday and I get new insight every time. I had another restless/sleepless night last night, but it’s ok. I know God is working and it will come. I decided to stop taking all the over the counter stuff that I been using to try to help me sleep because my abuse of them is now adding to the problem. I know and I continue to pray that God will give me peace of mind, especially at night, when it seems I let Satan just come in and take over. He assures me the my sinful transgressions are fine, don’t worry about it. But they are not. I am praying that I can overcome this stronghold of depression and weakness that seems to intensify at night. I want to put the shield of armor on so that as I grow in my personal relationship with God, it will protect me from Satan’s attack on my mind, heart and body. I turn to food and impure thoughts at night instead of turning to God. I want my body to be a temple of glory and honor, not of shame and disgrace.
    I am thankful for all the encouragement here and I am trying to take what I learn from each of you and put it to use. One baby step at a time as one of my new friends told me yesterday. I do alot of crying at night, for reasons I still don’t understand and normally the crying makes me feel even more down, because I feel weak, lonely, and confused. But after reading alot last night on here about crying, and when the tears started, I didn’t fall instantly into the cellar of saddness like I normally do. I prayed. I called out Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (thank you, Michele) and kept repeating His Holy name. Then I prayed some more. I continued to cry while praying but it was a different kind of crying if that makes sense. I felt God telling me, it’s ok to cry, my child, I made that emotion in you. I am not weak because I cry. God makes me strong.
    It is so comforting to feel like I belong and am loved by this wonderful group of sisters. No matter what I might reveal from my past or from my present or the feelings, fears and insecurities I face, it’s a nice feeling to know, it won’t be looked down upon or I won’t be rejected or laughed at or have it used against me, but I will be loved, supported and lifted up. And also given encouragement, compassion, words of wisdom and the truth. So I thank God for each one of you. You are a blessing.
    Well, I know I have written way to much and actually I feel like I have so much more to say and get out. You are all very special. I have and will continue to pray for all of you.

    • Veronica H. says:

      Oh Donna, you are struggling I know and I am praying for you as I am praying for all the ladies on our journey. But you know I have been recently told: It’s always darkest before the break through. You may be close to a wonderful breakthrough and if so then satan is attacking you even more to keep you away from that relationship with Jesus. The devil wants you to be miserable and lonely, when you are lonely its easier to attack you. When you stand in agreement and prayer with your community he knows he won’t win as easy, so the devil is increasing his attack on you. Just keep praying….

      Some suggestions that have helped me b/c I have been there many times: When I can’t sleep and those thoughts and feelings come at me full force, even though I don’t feel like it I turn on some Christian music and before long my thoughts are turned to HIM and I am praising HIM instead of being open to the devils attacks. Usually I will even fall asleep.

      I have phrases that I repeat to myself when I can’t listen to my music. My favorite one right now is “I will praise YOU in this storm”

      I am catholic so another one that I use when the emotions are really coming at me is I pray my Rosary and that is my favorite thing to do when I feel like I am going to lose it….as a matter of fact, I probably need to go pray my Rosary now, it’s been a trying day for me.

      And the last thing I do and have done for many many years is journaling….it is very theraputic I will only let myself spend 10 minutes writing about my troubles and then I have to spend 20 minutes writing affirmations to myself; example: You are a beloved daughter of God, You are valued, etc. even if I can’t think of more than one or two I will write those over and over and over for the next 20 minutes.

      Hope you can use one of my suggestions. And I don’t think anyone is going to look down on anyone for writing what they are going through, don’t worry about how long your post is ~ that’s why we are here! Praying for you dear friend ~ remember baby steps “you need to walk before you can run” don’t expect it all to happen in one day :)

      • Donna C. says:

        Thank you, Veronica. I thank you for caring about me. It means so much. I just wrote some other stuff a bit above this one replying to the other paragraph you wrote to me. I will write more maybe tomorrow, I just can’t right now, I am just overwhelmed. I’m just so confused. One step forward and two steps back………. :(

        • Veronica H says:

          I hear that Donna, I know that feeling well. No worries write when you can and want to, when you can’t that’s okay too :). Be well my friend our God LOVES us, we are HIS for all eternity :)

    • Kendra aka Pinks says:

      Donna,

      I’m still waiting on mine too! I don’t have words, but I wanted to share that your words touched my heart. I loved reading about the difference in your crying. I feel like that is where I am in my journey. I cried, then felt stupid for crying. Now, (i still cry daily) I cry and feel joy in the revelation that I am not alone or stupid or worthless or an of the other lies Satan tells. :)

      Kendra

  15. Just by putting my heart into this study I can tell things are going to get a little rough. Seems the more I work on my issues the more certain memories are surfacing. I want the freedom to express my emotions and feelings without the price of an unwanted memory.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Keep searching God. I can assure you the beautiful things He will do IN you, WITH you and THROUGH you will surpass the bad memories you have today. And these memories will become weaker and weaker, until it loses its strength and power to paralyse you.

      It seems you are a little hopeless today, just like Wendy at the end of this first chapter of her book.
      I wanna share a verse that speaks so deeply to my heart.
      It’s found in Job 14:7-9: “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.”

      There is hope for you, Lisa. Just like the tree, after being cut down, even when its root grow old in the earth and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will be like a young plant and its shoots will not cease.

      Jesus is the Living Water. Try the “scent” of the Living water, and you will feel like a young plant, fruitful, with new branches and your shoots will not cease.

      You can lean on us! We are here together!
      I’m praying for you, lovely sister.

      Blessings,
      Michele Caséca

      • Thankyou Michele, I will journal this verse so I can reflect on it throughout. You are correct about my feelings. I don’t want to feel helpless I want to feel strong. I haven’t slept well for a long time because of nightmares and memories. I am not as far along in my healing as I need to be. I know that I have to do my part before God can do his. For me I blocked everything out and now I am remembering things I need to forget. I don’t know what to do with it all. I can’t process them fast enough and I feel like it’s all coming at once and it hurts

  16. Michele Caséca says:

    Beautiful ladies,

    Have you done today’s assignment?
    If not, I suggest you to do.

    It’s amazing. It’s a guide for reflection and study for each chapter. Of course, the assignment for today is regarding the chapter we are working this week: # 1.
    Through this guide, Wendy leads us to a deep reflection of how our struggles have affected our lives today, if they have affected our faith, and what we have done to overcome the hurt. At the end, she prays for us!
    The prayer is simple, quick but so powerful and beautiful, and I think the guide will help many of you to understand you feelings.
    Remember, the easiest people to be treated and helped are the ones who recognize they are hurt and they need support.

    God bless you ladies!

    Much love always,

    Michele Caséca

    • Michele,
      I’m almost done with the questions for today. I’m on #5. I had to take a break to go to the single mom’s small group that I’m involved with at my Church. Even through the hard times I find it just so beautifully amazing to be able to see all the wonderful ladies that God has put in my path as I’ve gone on this Journey towards healing, to know that God has been looking out for me & strategically placing these people in my life, I feel so very loved. It’s so wonderful to have new friends too. It’s amazing what taking down some walls & letting people in to get to know you, can really do for your wellbeing & emotional health. I know I’m getting somewhere with my past when I can allow others in & then in turn open up with them & allow them to get to know me. I have remained walled off for so long. It’s just amazing. God is good! He wants us, all of us, to get through our individual struggles. That’s my prayer for tonight, for everyone here to realize the positive steps that they are taking towards healing. Even if they are little steps they’re still steps & they’ll get you where you need to go. You can do it. Trust in God, be in his word & be talking to him. I’m so thankful for all of the responses to my post today. I’ve realized that it’s Ok when I cry during my time with God. He wants me to be completely open & honest with him & that’s exactly what I’m doing by allowing myself to cry. See I’m a big never cries kind of person, at least never cry in front of anyone or let anyone see that I’m upset kind of person. I’ve always hated that & wished that I could be Ok with showing my emotion around others but that is one thing that I’ve always had a hard time doing. Now I’m thinking that God has his eyes set on that as one thing that’s in store for me to be changing as I’m going on this journey to healing from my past. I have let being sexually abused when I was yound be what defines me & I no longer want to let that define me. That is not who I am. That’s not who I am to God. He has great things in store for all of us! Believe that!

      • Michele Caséca says:

        Hey Tricia,

        Seems like our dear Lord is already molding you, like the potter works with the clay!
        “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

  17. Michele Caséca says:

    Carol Jackovich,

    Where are you? I haven’t heard from you for the last 2 days!
    I’m constantly praying for you and your girls.

    Love,
    Michele Caséca

    • Thank you, Michele. I’m here but haven’t been able to be here for a while. Yesterday I had doctor’s appointments ALL day. Tomorrow I have an early appointment with the oncologist that I am nervous about (nervous about any news on if my cancer is advancing and also nervous about next step a in treatment). And then I’ve just been very busy with my kids so I haven’t been able to connect and work on the assignments yesterday and today which I hate. Right now I don’t feel well and need to go to bed but I am here, SO appreciate your prayer and encouragement, and plan to be more back in the next few days…..at least over the weekend when I will have more time to devote to this. I’m so thankful for your cyber friendship. :-)

      Carol

      • Michele Caséca says:

        Oh dear Carol,

        I’m praying for tomorrow. Please, let me know how everything went.

        “Father God, please be with Carol at all times, specially tomorrow, when she is going to hear from her doctor how the disease is responding to the treatment. Comfort her heart as she is feeling nervous. Make her know You are with her, whether the news are good or bad.
        Give her strength, give her hope, wrap her in your loving arms, and let her know we are here for her. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”

        Carol, I have a special place in my heart for you and your girls.

        Praying always!
        Blessings,
        Michele Caséca

  18. I wanted to post this morning, but didn’t have enough time. I listened to a song this morning that I haven’t listened to in years. It reminded me of what I need to do. I wish I could post the song for you to hear it (it’s really beautiful) but since I can’t, I am posting it as a prayer.
    Father Knows Best
    Dear Lord sometimes its hard to understand the plan you’ve made for me. Trying to figure out everything so I can look ahead and see what’s going to happen, what I need to do. But I’m learning now I have to let go and leave it up to you. Because Father you know best about what lies ahead. Help me not to rely on me but lean on you instead. Please be my teacher and put me to the test. Help me put all my faith in you, cause Father, you know best. Sometimes it seems I fall trying to do things myself, not asking you to guide. Wanting to go out on my own, and take everything in stride. But I always realize what I need to do. And I’m learning now I have to let go, and leave it up to you. Because Father you know best about what lies ahead. Help me not to rely on me but lean on you instead. Please be my teacher, and put me to the test. Help me put all my faith in you, cause Father you know best. Father help me realize I need you no matter what I try. With your hand there to lead providing all I need.

    I just wanted to share. This is my prayer for you all today.

    • Veronica H. says:

      Beautiful prayer and it came at just the right time ~ Thank you :)

      • Veronica, You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped you. I had a rough day today also. I will be praying for you.

  19. Veronica H. says:

    Today has been a rough day for me.
    On the Facebook page for this study the question was asked “No one knew…my loneliness, my helplessness, my hopelessness.” ~ Wendy Blight, Hidden Joy, Ch. 1~ Anyone ever feel this way?have you ever felt the way Wendy?

    My answer: Yes, all my life….that sentence spoke volumes to me, I thought “wow, really someone was able to put into words what I have been trying to describe my whole life”. I felt like raising my hands almost in victory saying “YES!! Someone gets …IT”. I felt very excited and good about this study even after reading chapter 1, which was very difficult but today is a different story–I am tired beyond belief, emotionally and physically tired to the point I wonder if I can really truly do this?

    I wanted to give up this afternoon but I got some get encouragement from someone on FB and from Melissa and I knew I could not give up. Then I came on here tonight and one of my dear new friends had posted asking me how my day was, I about cried it was so sweet. Then someone was struggling and I decided to post some encouragement for her and in doing so I realized I have the tools to use, why wasn’t I putting those tools to work in my case today? In giving this friend encouragement I realized I was indeed giving myself the same encouragement. Why don’t I use the tools/advice that I know works for me immediately? Why do I discount them or ignore them and allow myself to fall into a depression? Why do I let tiredness come over me to a point I think I am drowning and yet I don’t grab ahold of the tools that work? Why do I lash out at my husband and children when they have done nothing but love me even when I am unlovable ~ they didn’t hurt me, they didn’t even exist when I was hurt, why do I turn my anger on them?

    • Kendra aka Pinks says:

      Veronica,
      I love your honesty. I too do this same thing. I see other’s pain, and I am quick to offer encouragement and remind them of how great, beautiful, precious they are, denying myself this same instantaneous response. Its funny how we only have guilt, shame, and negativity for ourselves… and then we beat ourselves up for it!

      Remember your humanity, and that God is committed to the good work He does in is until Christ’s return. I look forward to knowing you more and joining you as well as the others on this journey.

      Love,
      Kendra

  20. Diana R says:

    Dear Father God, I ask as we each lay our losses, hurts, and trials at your feet that you help us with your grace which is sufficient to meet our needs. I ask that each of us renouce any lies and we forgive those who have hurt us. Lord your mercies are new every morning and great is your faithfulness. Lord, give us a stonger faith. Heal the pain. In Jesus name I pray. Diana

  21. Jennifer says:

    HJ Girls,
    I love reading all of your post, each and every one of you are beautiful. We are all on the right path, Keep God first and drive the evil one away! Don’t give up when you are down, post on this page, open your Bible, read HJ, write in your journal and pray to our Father. It takes time. The holy spirt will lead you. Before long you will be flying like an eagle.
    I thank God for Wendy and Melissa. I also thank God for all the sweet girlfriends in this Bible study. I am praying for all of you. Much Love, Jennifer

  22. Anonymous says:

    Lord Jesus, please prepare our hearts for this study. Please prepare our minds. We are all coming into this wanting to be healed. We cannot heal if we don’t give everything we have and surrender ourselves to You. We are afraid of what we have to go through to become whole again. Looking back into our past can leave us feeling shame, guilt and a sense of hopelessness. But we know that You can bring us out of the pit. We know that You can heal us if we get up off our mat and surrender everything to You. It’s going to be a tough journey, but the reward of a heart that is healed will be indescribable. Thank you Jesus for the work You are about to do in each person’s life. May we never stop singing Your praises. Amen.

  23. Teresa C. says:

    Dear Lord Jesus,

    Please come into all of our hearts and spread the peace that only you can give us. Let each person know that you love them more than we can ever know. Please help with the healing that seems to come so slowly at times. Let each and every one of us see the blessing in our situation and how you can make good from bad. You can make everything new. We put our trust in You!
    In Jesus Name,
    Amen.

  24. Danielle of NC says:

    Hello,
    Everyone please pray…I just found out one of my close friends, Eden Smith, was just shot and killed. He was 28. Pray for the family. Thanks.

  25. I haven’t been able to hop on here for the last couple of days because of work, but can I just say WOW!!!! First of all each and every one of you ladies amaze me with your gifts of encouragement and wisdom. You all are amazing women of faith. No wonder Satan wants to drag you down! Because he is all to aware of how powerful each and every one of you are for Jesus!

    As I scrolled through the posts, I identified with so many of the hurts and pain. I remember the sleepless nights, in fact there were many nights that I slept with my bible open, my face on it like a pillow, soaking it with tears, just hoping that some of Jesus might seep through my face pores and make me feel better.

    People ask me all the time how I “healed”. What was the factor that “changed” things for me. What was the turning point? I wishI had some magical answer to that question, some step by step guide. But what I can tell you is this. Somehow in 2 years I went from the point of literally hating myself and wanting to die, to the point where I love life and see myself as the princess God has made me. It wasn’t like one day I woke up and got whammo-ed with a magic wand of healing. No…it was a PROCESS, slow at times, painful at times, BUT WORTH EVERY SINGLE STEP OF THE WAY! What I can tell is that some nights will be rough, some days will be hard, you may have times where you want to give up. But…a few months from now you will wake up and realize things are just a little bit better, and then a few years from now, and things will be a lot better. Jesus heals us. In His own way in His own time frame. Do not ever give up dearest sisters. He has plans for you and they stretch far higher deeper and wider than your wildest dreams!!!

    • Veronica H says:

      Thank you for that!!! I feel like I have been on this journey my whole life but in actuality it started 8 years ago with the death of my mother–I kept thinking okay still grieving but after 2 years I knew it was more than that and the next 6 years were very very tiny baby steps to get me here. In October of 2010 is when I have to say I KNOW without a doubt is when my journey truly began in earnest, I have had some starts and stops but you are right I look back and wouldn’t give up even one day in the last 8 months. I am not were I want to be but I am far from where I was in October ~ that is just the motivation I needed!!! Thank you and God bless you :)

    • Donna C. says:

      Thank you Stephanie for giving me hope.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Thank you for your words os wisdom Steph!
      And thank you for passing by. We miss you!

      Blessings,
      Michele Caséca

    • Kendra aka Pinks says:

      I’m moving throught the comments backwards. :)

      Steph, I TOTALLY identified with “in fact there were many nights that I slept with my bible open, my face on it like a pillow, soaking it with tears, just hoping that some of Jesus might seep through my face pores and make me feel better.”

      <3

  26. Jennifer says:

    Great Song – thought I would share.

    Matthew West

    from the album The Story of Your Life
    Buy on Amazon | iTunes
    Play sample
    You must, You must think I’m strong
    To give me what I’m going through

    Well forgive me
    Forgive me if I’m wrong
    But this looks like more than I can do
    On my own

    (Chorus)
    I know I’m not strong enough to be
    Everything that I’m supposed to be
    I give up
    I’m not stong enough
    Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
    Lord right now I’m asking you to be
    Strong enough
    Strong enough
    For the both of us

    Well, maybe, maybe that’s the point
    To reach the point of giving up
    Cause when I’m finally
    Finally at rock bottom
    Well, that’s when I start looking up
    And reaching out

    Chorus

    Cause I’m broken
    Down to nothing
    But I’m still holding on to the one thing
    You are God
    and You are strong
    When I am weak

    I can do all things
    Through Christ who gives me strength
    And I don’t have to be
    Strong enough
    Strong enough

    I can do all things
    Through Christ who gives me strength
    And I don’t have to be
    Strong enough
    Strong enough

    • Great song, funny how sometimes they seam to be written just at the perfect time. Sometimes God uses a song to deliver a message to me. I like to call it ministry in action, thanks for the reminder!!

    • Veronica H says:

      Yep one of my favorites!!!! And I agree there just seems to ALWAYS be the most perfect song for me no matter when I am going through something :)

    • Donna C. says:

      I felt the same way when I heard this song. Think yesterday or the day before (can’t remember which, it’s late), I posted the click to the video on youtube for it. Awesome video as well. Thanks for sharing the words.

      • Donna C. says:

        I meant link, not click. lol. I really get to go to bed. Good night everyone, hope you have a very blessed day tomorrow.

  27. To all the Hidden Joy participants: I was reading Chuck Swindoll’s “Day by Day” daily devotional this morning, and immediately thought of each of you. It was as if God Himself was talking to me. I just had to share: “All He asks of us is a willing heart. He doesn’t expect perfection. He doesn’t expect you to have all the answers, all the ability, or all the courage. He doesn’t even require you to spell out each detail of His call. He just asks you to be available and take that first step of faith in the direction He’s pointing.”

    • Veronica H says:

      Very powerful and exactly what I needed to hear tonight!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  28. Kendra aka Pinks says:

    WOW!!! “Power in #s.” I love that statement.

    Father God,

    Thank you so much for allowing me to experience Your awesomeness. I ask that you put your hand on each and every single individual in this HJ community. Bless them in a mighty way. Reveal youself and your perfect will to us in that we may follow. Thank you for continuously guiding us. It takes so much courage to go against the grain of this world, and having this kind of support makes it easier to boldly go where You ask us. WE LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU FIRST LOVED US!!!

    In Jesus’ name,
    Amen

  29. Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that you remove my fear and help me to trust again, especially in you. Please enable me to put my past behind me and look forward , in hope and not with fear.Help me to forgive those who have hurt me as you have forgiven me for hurting you.Father you know how scared I am and how much I struggle to want to live to see tomorrow. Please take away the nightmares and panic attacks. Take away the PTSD and help me to live a more quality life. Help me to use my pain to help others through my book. Thankyou for loving me and being there for me even when I doubt you. In Jesus precious name Amen.

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