Jul 24

Hidden Joy~Week 9

As I write this post it’s very late Saturday night…or actually early Sunday morning.  I’m at the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. We wrap things up tomorrow. I’m especially blessed to be bringing Stephanie Clayton home with me for a few days. I don’t want to let her go back to Texas, but I’m thankful we have a few days left.  :)  We have another sweet amazing friend driving up to see us tomorrow and we are having a slumber party at Samantha Reed’s house. Not sure when I’m going to ever sleep again, but it’s so fun hangin out with God and girlfriends.  Wish all of us in this study could have a big ole slumber party! Wouldn’t that be fun?  Ok, let’s get on with this week’s schedule of assignments. It’s a big week, so get ready.

Congrats to Carol B!!!  You are the winner of the journal from Friday’s blog post!  Email me at Melissa@MelissaTaylor.org with your address!

This week will be a little different.  Get your “A” game on ladies, we are tackling 2 chapters!  Don’t be intimidated by this, it’s the only week we have to step it up a bit. We are preparing to finish strong! 

Words of the Week:

Prayer

Abide

 

Select one of the following to be your memory verse this week:

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

Monday- Read Chapter 9.  Write any comments you have about Chapter 9 on the blog.

Tuesday-Complete all of the Bible study questions on p. 199-201. 

Wednesday- Read Chapter 10.  Visit the blog to comment about it.

Thursday- Complete all the Bible study questions on p. 202-204.

Friday- Catch up day.  If you fell behind, use today to catch up.

Saturday- Visit my blog and share which verse you memorized. Let us know what this week’s verse means to you.

Forgive me for being so brief. It’s late and I need to go night night! LOL! 

Thank you all for working hard this week!  Check my blog and the online Bible studies facebook page for Chapter 9 and discussions this week.  I look forward to hearing about your prayer times and the ways you are abiding in Christ.

I’m so proud of you for making it this far! No matter where you are in the book, I’m really happy you continue to read and study. Don’t give up, even if you are behind. Keep moving at your own pace, that’s ok.  I’m praying you are experiencing the hope of Christ as you keep pressing on in our Hidden Joy study.

Love you!

Melissa

Comments

  1. Prayer request y’all. HJ has been such a blessing and has really sparked a fire and sense of urgency. My request: Intimacy with Jesus, clarity, direction, courage and boldness are all what I am desperate for. The last six years have been one fiery trial after the next. I’m thankful because I’ve pursued Jesus more than ever, as a result. But, it’s tough. I lost my precious Daddy to pancreatic cancer. It was a brief but gruesome six month battle. He was 60. My most difficult struggle is infertility. I found out one year after my Daddy’s death that natural conception was not possible. We’re slowly pursuing adoption but that takes lots of courage and has its own set of challenges. The guilt and shame due to the inability to give my precious husband a child is almost unbearable. In January, I walked away from a 13 year career with a 6 figure salary in public accounting. I could no longer tolerate the toxic environment, the anxiety and stress. But, I feel the tug of Jesus. I have my days, however, where I wonder if I’m delusional. If He truly cares. If my problems matter, especially with much worse human suffering in this world. I pray Ephesians 1:17-18 constantly. I want a revelation, a WORD in due season. I need an understanding of what “waiting” looks like. I desperately want to glorify God, no matter what.

    • Anonymous says:

      mrb, my heart aches for you. I can hear your plea. know that you are being prayed for. ~ I am new here, looking forward to participating in the studies – online bible study/community is just what I’m looking for and I’m grateful to find it exists!

      • Tracy Hays says:

        I, too, have been through some hard trials the past 15 years, but infertility is the worst one I struggle with. Too long a story here, but it was 11 years before God gave us our son. We adopted him 2 years ago at birth. I know each struggle is different, but I feel your pain. I really do. All I know to say to you is hold fast to God and He IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL. Even when we are faithless. You are NOT delusional. HE CARES!!!! Look up on YouTube the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. Anything that causes us to seek God more than the breath we breathe is worth the struggle. I can’t say your road with this will be easy, but I can PROMISE you Jesus cares & you will come through the fire of infertility & on the other side you will be better for it. Oh, how I wish I could hug you! Hang on sister, hang on!

      • Thank you so much for your prayers.

    • Mary Ann H. says:

      Mbr my heart aches for you. I was blessed with three children-the only good thing that came out of a 12 year marriage that should never have happened. Remember Wendy talking about a young woman by the name of Marti on pages 142-143 who struggled for years with infertility. She went boldly before God’s throne and asked HIM for what she wanted. I thought her prayer using Genesis 1 was amazing. I cried as I read it and imagined how she felt as she wrote those words and asked God for what she wanted. I pray the same for you and your husband. I pray that God will hear your cries and bless you as well. Trust your heart to the Lord.

      • Mary Ann, thank you. Thank you so much for the prayers and reminding me to trust God. I really cannot hear it enough.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words Melissa. We have had a busy summer including a gamily reunion, and while I had gotten behind, I have remained on the journey. I finally caught up on my reading and am back on track. Looking forward to finishing strong and praying for all those on this journey of hope and healing.

  3. I will try my best to keep up this week with doing two chapters. This is the week we will be packing everything up and putting it all in storage and moving in with my Dad. It will be an extremely busy week, but I will try to keep up.

    • CAROL BRUNTLETT says:

      Hi Lee Ann
      I will praying for you that God would restore your time so you will have time to be in the word and have joy and peace among all your moving this week.
      Lord I pray that you would give her the strength she needs and the peace and the joy and that there will be plenty of laughs along the journey Lord protect them and Lord redeem the time for her to be able to stay in your word. Lord pray for a hedge of protection fro them as they make this transtition Lord I do not kn ow the details but You do so go before them as You already have and prepare the way.
      Thank You Lord cannot wait to see how You will work In Lee Ann life this week.
      Carol

      • Carol, Thank you so much for your prayer! I really need all the prayers I can get right now. Our life has been turned upside down lately. With the cancer diagnosis of my sister-in-law, my husband losing his job, and us having to put everything in storage and move in with my Dad, it is a lot all at one time. Not to mention the emotional roller coaster I have been on with going through boxes of memories, especially the ones that hold memories of Mom that passed away almost ten years ago. I know that God will take care of us and that life will get back to “normal” again, and I know that it will be a good thing to spend some time with my Dad. I also know that God has a plan for us all, we just have to be patient and let His plan play out in His time.

        • Carol Bruntlett says:

          Hi Lee Ann
          I just read your reply I have been out of work for 2 yrs an apply every week online and fax over resumes never get no response , plus take care an elderly parent and it is ruff and it does get stressful but if I did not have the Lord in my lifeI would not be able to face the day I am not saying I know everything but God does ave a plan for my life and your life we may not see it now but later on we can look back and know It was God and that had to have been God and nobody else. I just lost my car because I was unable to keep up payments due to not working and awhile ago I looked out my window and thanked God for an 84 chevy van that sits in my drive way it’s big but it takes me where I need to go.it’s not what I wanted but that’s what God gave me to drive and I thank Him I have been looking everyday for something to be thankful for to keep my mind from stinkin thinkin thoughts.
          Anyway I will tie up the blog but I am praying that every corner you turn there will be joy.
          Carol

  4. Oh I am sad that we are doing two chapters this week, does that mean we are a week closer to the end :(. I am already sad that it’s coming to end but now it’s a week earlier :(

    Good thing the LORD pressed upon me to start early with chapter 9 bc I can barely handle one chapter a week with my life in complete chaos, but now 2 chapters!!!!

    Glad you are having an amazing time Melissa :)

  5. I am sad to see the study coming to an end as well. I’m also looking forward to the next one. I’m on board for the Confident Heart study. I’ve come so far in this study. I’m really starting to let go & trust God for everything. I’m really starting to see just how good God is & trustworthy he is. I can’t wait to see how far I will come in the next study too. Confidence is definately something that I lack. The seven day doubt diet was great, although I didn’t have the time I wanted to devote to it that week. I printed it all out for future use. It’s been a great journey to be on even when it’s been hard. That just means that I’m getting somewhere with everything that I’ve been needing to get a handle on. Now I believe that God does want this healing for me & that I do deserve to have it.
    Thanks so much for the Hidden Joy study Melissa & Wendy!

  6. oh sure! I finally get caught up and you throw two chapters at me- lol – just kidding! have a wonderful week All!!

  7. Tracy Hays says:

    This is Day 2 I’ve gotten up before the rest of the house. Such peace & quiet. Loving it. Pray I continue.

  8. Michele Caséca says:

    Dear Melissa.

    Thank you for the beautiful post.
    You are an amazing woman of God, and I’m so thankful God gave me a chance to meet you.
    I’m still reading chapter 5. I wasted some time, but I will catch up. I really need this in my life, and from now on I’ll read this with a total different perspective.
    Jesus has given me a new heart and a new life. And I know total and complete joy and healing are available to me.
    So much is gonna happen on the next months, I really need to prepare my heart for this.

    How can I say to you the sweetest Thank you? Thank you, dear sister. Thank you Jesus for using such special people to chisel my life.

    I need your prayers.

    In joyful tears and humble heart,
    Michele Caséca

    • Mary Ann H. says:

      Praise the Lord Michele. Congratulations on taking this journey with us and remember that Jesus always gives a new heart and a new life each and every day. I like to think of my life as a blank canvas each morning and it is up to me what colors I put on that canvas. Each day, God gives a clean slate/canvas and forgives us for our indiscretions. What more can we ask for!

  9. Hello to all you wonderful sister in God. Melissa I have found that every time I get ready to do another chapter in hidden Joy it is right where I am in my life. I have been trying to figure out how I can get closer to god and to fit in prayer in my life as I ready both chapter last night I realized that I don’t have to get on my knees every time I can pray in the car or while I am cleaning etc. I do not know why I never thought of that both. This has taken a lot of pressure of me. I just want you to know how grateful I am that you are doing this bible studied I don’t know if I have share this both I don’t get to get out of my house hardly at all unless someone comes and gets me I have a major back injury I have had a lot of operation on it . Just so everyone knows my husband and I are going to step out in faith this month we are going off all medinces going to try to go the natural way with herbs and other things instead of the way I have been going for 6 years it’s time to try something new and we are giving it all to god I am tired of living on pain killers we are trusting god with this. God Bless all of you Melissa I am sorry this is so long I need to share this. Love you all

    • Mary Ann H. says:

      Sharon, praying for you and your husband as you take a step in faith and try something else in your journey to better health. I pray for your strength as begin weaning yourself off of your meds and work with a good herbalist or naturapath who can help you on the road to better health. I also prefer the natural way and I find it a better fit for me and my body. Praying for strong body and mind for both of you. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

    • Don’t you just LOVE how God does that??? He knows exactly where we are in our lives and brings His Word in to speak right to our situation. He truly is ALL-KNOWING…EL ROI…OUR GOD WHO SEES ALL!!

      I will pray for you as you boldy step out in faith regarding your medicine and God’s healing in your life. He will be faithful!!! He is Jehovah Raphe…God the Healer…who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!!

      Love,

      Wendy

  10. I’m still on Strongholds, I guess I need to do some catch up work and focus on this study a little more. After all I only have one set meeting I have to attend and that is with my pastor. I can’t believe we are almost done as well.

  11. Teressa says:

    The section on the “breath prayer” really spoke to me. I also liked the idea of “praying the Scriptures”. And I will always remember now to end my prayers “in Jesus’ name”. To God be the Glory1!

  12. gretchen says:

    Melissa, I want to thank you for this wonderful opportunity of being part of this study. It has been a wonderful, enlightening experience. On the same hand, it has been a painful one as well. Opening the doors of yesterday aren’t always easy but once we realize that we can move forward, especially if we remember that God is with us on this journey, it becomes a little easier to take the steps necessary to healing. I just finished Chapter 9, of which really puts a bead on what it truly means to pray. Prayer is a powerful tool, one which can be as refreshing as taking a breath. It takes time to realize this, too. So much to discover when God reaches out to touch you and remind you of His presence. I feel truly blessed to have been touched, reminded, and encouraged to walk forward, keeping my eyes on Him; this has been a big part of my life in the last ten years, so I speak from experience and not boasting. Its been a hard climb to come to this part of my life’s journey, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world; we are colored by our experiences in life. I have chosen, or at least I should say that it spoke to me, John 15:5 for memory verse this week. I am also catching up on vlogs before the study closes, and realizing that although I may not have commented here as often as my study sisters, my thoughts have been on your postings and Wendy’s story, week by week. God is sovereign.

    • Praying God will continue to take you deeper still with Him in prayer as you seek to know Him more!!! God is sovereign, and He brought you to this study to show you more and more of Him.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  13. Hope V. says:

    Feeling disconnected honestly. I need intimacy with the Lord now more desperately than ever but today has been a very very difficult day. I was diagnosed with cancer on the 14th and have been wrapped in a cocoon of God’s love and mercy – but also a bit in shock. Things seem to have worn off today and it’s all hit me like a freight train. I just lost my mother in law to cancer on the 27th of May and the idea of going into surgery on the 11th of August and facing it all … all of it the pain the recovery the not being able to be there for my husband and children. The powerlessness of it all. It has hit me hard today.

    I know God has me in the palm of his hand. I KNOW I can trust him to bring us all through it but today … I’m just feeling overwhelmed.

    • Mary Ann H. says:

      Hope, Praying for you and asking our Mighty God to wrap his loving arms around you and your family as you embark on this stage in your life. Remember one of the strongholds was fear and we have nothing to fear but fear itself. HE does have a plan for you and HE already knows the outcome.

      • Joining Mary Ann in praying for God to wrap His loving arms around you. Asking Him to surround you with His ministering angels. May you sense His Peace and His Presence in very real and powerful ways!! Praying His perfect healing from the cancer.

        Blessings,

        Wendy

  14. Mary Ann H. says:

    After I read this chapter, I hurriedly called my sister in NY who I have not spoken too in two years. It’s not as if we were on bad terms, but we are so far away, I am in TX and she is in NY. We last saw each other two years ago at my oldest son’s wedding when I traveled back home with my son and daughter. I had to share what I had read so far, especially regarding prayer. She is a christian to the heart and she always talked about the power of prayer and how Satan is taking over our lives, family, etc. We were on the phone for two hours discussing what I had read. I went as far back in the book to the chapter on forgiveness and she asked me to forgive her for not being the older sister that she feels she should have been. We had such an outpouring of love, forgiveness and prayer and I felt so much lighter and hopeful. I have promised to stay in touch better with her and she said the same thing.

    I talked with her about the sexual abuse as a child of 6 with a male neighbor-something she knew nothing about. It was the first time I felt comfortable confiding in her. She asked about abuse with my ex-husband and I told her yes-again something she suspected but never knew for sure. She and I are 6 years apart but we were never close growing up. I always felt like I was growing up in her shadow and she had everything. She was pretty, popular, outgoing, etc-everything which I wasn’t. Or so I thought. She set the record straight on that one right away. She prayed with me when I told her about the sexual abuse and asked the Lord for protection. Again, something we had never done together. For the first time, I felt a closeness to her that I have longed for most of my life. Our God is an AWESOME God.

    I still have healing to do but it is coming. Isn’t that why we call it a “journey.” My heart is in the right place and receptive to our God. Praise the Lord.

    • That is so awesome, I am crying like a baby reading your post. I am so glad you responded to the LORDs leading you to call her and that you two connected in such a deep and loving way!!! How precious is that, treasure that moment forever!!!

    • That is awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      • Sabrina says:

        Praise God! That is a huge blessing!
        Thank you for sharing, that is so encouraging!

  15. What a wonderful story!! God is so good to redeem far more than we ever imagine when we begin a healing journey with Him!!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

  16. The chapter on praying was amazing for me as well as chapter 10 abiding…it has really opened my heart up! I am feeling things I haven’t felt in years, there are still areas that need work but I am not so hopeless about those areas anymore :)

    And even though I am very tired and only had 4 hours sleep, I was committed to my prayer time this morning (although I did sleep until 4:45 am instead of 4:00 am) and as ever God was very faithful and gave me exactly what I needed!!!!

    I don’t have the words to express how thankful I am to Wendy, Melissa, Stephanie and everyone of the ladies who made this a remarkable, life changing and God centered journey….it has done so much more than anyone can imagine. And I am sad that the book and study are almost finished!!!

    My breathe prayer is actually chapter 9 prayer “devote yourselves to praying being watchful and thankful” Colossians 4:2. The image of devoting myself to prayer was very peaceful and calming for me!!!

  17. Marilyn S. says:

    I have always had a heart for prayer and done several studies on it. This chapter has been so revealing to me. I can’t thank you enough for sharing prayer with us. It has been so amazing. Praying scripture back to God is something that I failed to do in the past. I realize I need to pray boldly before the Lord on our financial situation and take a positive attitude. I do caregiving for the elderly in their homes and each year it gets harder for me to lift, bath and change them. I want to retire but am not able to. I see myself at 80 taking care of someone younger than me and have to laugh. Thank you for showing me a new way to pray.

  18. I can relate to Wendy when it comes to praying out loud- I can talk all day to God (in my head) and I do but praying out loud in front of people just clams me up. It is something I will continue to work on going forward – but it’s nice to know that I am not alone.
    I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about prayer and I told her I just talk to God – sometimes it is a prayer of petition but often just a simple “thanks” or “help me” through out the day- it doesnt have to be a production. This was something that she was just learning and it was a neat conversation to have.
    Last week I had asked God to allow me more patience – I am a work from home mom with children ranging from 4-22 years old so patience is something I desperately need more of. I believe my breath prayer is going to be “love is patient”-
    Blessings to all today!

  19. Chapters 8-10 have to be my absolute faves! Each time I have read these chapters, I walk away learning something new, feeling refreshed, and even a bit convicted!

    What’s even more incredible, is that last week I started a new Bible study on Monday nights and I can’t tell how much I have incorporated these three chapters into the lessons already. (Of course I give credit where it’s due! I tell them all the time how God spoke through Wendy as she wrote Hidden Joy.) It’s just amazing how God gives us the tools we need at just the right time!!

  20. Wendy and Melissa I am loving this study and am learning more then I thought I would, but I have a comment or discovery that may have come from doing this study. I have a short attention span. Starting with Ch 7 I have been pushing to catch up and its only after I have gone back to re read am I finding things I missed the first time – Am I the only one ??? I’m not sure if its me or the chapters are getting longer. or am I just pushing myself to fast? I just started the chapter on payer. which i c

  21. CAROL BRUNTLETT says:

    Wow this chapter has spoken to me alot thank you Wendy and Melissa
    The part about praying scripture over ourselves and our family I was blown away by that and that God cares about the everyday events in our lifes and wants us to come to Him with all our needs But we need to be sure that we are not coming to Him with our greediness boy have I been there and done that
    Forgive me Lord.
    The other part was Pray in Jesus name for the strength to resist everything that exalts itself against the will and authority of God in your life. I had to stop in my tracks at that moment to ask God to stop me from wanting to go do a certain thing that I would have done today that would have exalted itself over God Thank You Lord for holding and keeping me from doing the thing.About the praying continually that God is not so much referring to the actual time we spend in praying but tto the attiude of our hearts , sometimes my attiude is not good so I will be sure and check my attiude at the door before I go to pray.
    Thank You Girls for all your work on this bible study.
    Carol

  22. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for all of your efforts in leadership during this study, Melissa! I’m only a day behind at this point, which is a miracle with everything that God has allowed to occur in my life recently. I was totally feeling prayed with my goals to “be still” from last week too, so thanks to anybody who jumped on that. I don’t know if I’m allowed to have a favorite chapter, but I’m definitely feelin’ this one on prayer. I have to hop over and tell Wendy that at some point too. Blessings to ya, girl!

  23. I am closer to God through this bible study than I have been in a long time. He has been trying to reach this stuborn, broken, hurt little girl for some time now. And through your story and His words He has my attention. Thank you so much for the sorrow and pain that I am feeling right now. Before I began this reading, I felt nothing but anger and bitterness. Now my heart is open to His word and His plan for my life. I prayed for Him to use whatever He needed to to get through to me. The way you present His word and message is clear to me. I get it. I understand it. I feel it. Thank you.

    With all my heart,
    Candace

  24. Sabrina says:

    I’m speechless on this chapter! It so spoke to me and I’m so thankful to Wendy for writing this! I love how she talks about the different forms of prayer- desperation prayers, prayers of confession, breath prayers, intercessory prayers.
    I learned a lot through this chapter.

  25. I thought chapter 9 was powerful chapter 10 opened me up to a whole new relationship with Jesus, I always knew something was missing but was unsure what exactly, this book has shown me how much was missing and chapter 10 shows me how I can have that deep, close friendship with Jesus that I long for!!! I am excited to begin Abiding in Him, I am excited to view Jesus as my dearest closest friend :)

  26. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE…LOVE…LOVE the chapter on Prayer!!! I truly believe prayer accomplishes much. And thank you Wendy for your suggestion on praying God’s Word back to Him and personalizing it with ourselves or loved ones. I hope you don’t mind I borrowed your prayer for your husband..for my husband and wrote it in my prayer journal!! It brought me to tears because it said everything that was in my heart and needed to pray about. Thank You. Now…looking forward to starting chapter 10. Have a blessed week everyone!

  27. Stephanie says:

    Almost forgot….my breath prayer is “I will trust in the Lord with all my heart”.

  28. Joanna c says:

    I haven’t been posting I am healing from emergency surgery , my appendix ruptured I was misdiagnosed so it was like that for 3 days and other organs got effected, surgery was a success only my Gods grace. I thank God I’m alive and this study helped me to trust, forgive, and know that God is ready to take over and use my weakness. I started having panic attacks after I came home but I surrendered to them with God. (meds if I had to) . I was so hard on myself thinking I shouldn’t feel anxious if God had saved me. God spoke to me and told me it’s ok to tell him I was weak.
    I told God I couldn’t do it and He helped me. God was preparing me for all this
    because Wendy showed me the importance of reading Gods word and I did day n night the weeks before my surg. I still struggle with a little survivers guilt BUT I know He wants to use this to help a lot of others, I will stay out of His way

    • Darlene says:

      I loved the chapter on prayer. It really opened my eyes to the POWER of His Word when prayed back to Him. I love the breath prayer – Thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me. Thanks again Melissa and Wendy for leading us into completeness in Him.

  29. After reading both chapter all I hear is Sharon stay with meread my words and trust me I will always be there with you no matter what Sharon I love you very much and I want you to heal in all areas of your life. from god. I cant believe that we are almost done with this studie .Is there a way we can set up something that all of us can put prayer request on I would love to be able to pray for all of you LOve you all my sister in god

  30. Forgive me if I am behind here. I just got my book recently – hard time getting it. Back to Chapter on Forgiveness…

    Been having some major breakthroughs in Strongholds and experiencing peace. However on page 192 Question 3 b. suggests contacting a person and ask for forgiveness…. I am really upset. Is it being suggested that I contact my attacker and ask for forgiveness? I am really struggling with this – can someone offer me some input? I have set boundaries and chosen to place myself in a “safe” place – away from emotional abuse. The abuser thinks I am hurting them by my boundaries – I do not seethe with anger or bitterness at all. So why I am asking for forgiveness? This brings me back to a place of feeling responsible, guilty, and “it’s all my fault”.

    • Hi Leah,
      There are some situations where a person may want to reconcile a relationship. In that case you would both ask forgiveness and move forward. In your case I don’t think you want a relationship with your attacker therefore you would most definitely not contact them. But be sure to completely forgive them and release them to the Lord. You don’t want unforgiveness eating away at your heart. I think you are doing right by having boundaries to protect yourself from them and keep your self safe. Hope this helps. Many blessings!!!

  31. Marilyn S. says:

    Chapter 10 was so informing, Thank you Wendy, Your explanation of abiding really spoke to my heart. Spending time with God, being honest with your feelings, share your dreams, confess your fears, and admit your insecurities, what freedom that brings. Thank you for those words. God truly wanted me in this study. I want to share it with everyone I come in contact with. Wow!!!

  32. I want to share with you ladies an experience I had recently…

    I have always struggled with knowing that God truly loves me and with trusting Him with my all. I have never felt worthy of anybody’s love… ANYbody!! And I have trouble trusting people – they have to earn my trust – it isn’t freely given…

    One recent day, I read a devotion that said for 7 days to sit quietly and enjoy being in the presence of God. So, I tried to do that. At first, I had to say a little prayer, but then I tried my best to empty my mind of everything but HIM. I have a picture of Jesus standing with His arms around a young girl. I put myself in that picture and could feel Him rocking me back and forth… back and forth. At one point, (and I was crying by this time – He was right here with me…) in my mind, I said to Him, “Do you know how very, very much I love You?” He rocked me back and forth a couple more times, then I felt His hands cup my face, one on each cheek… and He said to me, “The question is, My daughter – do your know how very much I love you?” and He continued to rock me back and forth… back and forth.

    It was so real… and as I sit here telling you about it, the tears are streaming down my face. This has been a very emotional study for me. There were days when I didn’t think I would make it through to the end. But when we got to chapter 7, things started to change. We were supposed to memorize 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” That verse assured me that, even though I am not “better” yet, I am working in the right direction. It may take some time, but I will get there… The best thing is that I am not alone – He is with me, holding me by the hand and leading the way through all that “stuff” so that one day, I will really know what coming into all He has for me is really all about. In the meantime, I am a “healing in process”, as I like to say. It will come… Just not overnight – I have some things to work on first…….

  33. Norma N says:

    Morning Ladies!!

    I have been doing the bible study, but have fallen behind!!

    Would like to request some prayer, I feel lost, and like I am wasting the time the Lord has given me.

    Back on Christmas Day 2007, with a house full of family and friends, I ended up in the hospital emergency room, with heart problems. After months of praying, hospital stays, and testing I ended up with a pacemaker and several medications to be taken daily. I have been off work since then and was medically retired from my job as a 911 operator with very large city here in California.

    I had always prayed for more time, so I could do more with the church and what God had planned for me to do. Now that I have the time I am volunteering in the church office and have started the meal ministry for the women’s ministry. But it just does not feel like I am where God wants me???? So I let depression and self doubt get so totally in the way!! Thank you so much for letting me share, I really do not have any really close heart felt friends to talk to, so this is such a blessing to be able to share.

    Again thank you, and I am praying for all you ladies!!

    N

  34. This chapter really challenges me. The essence of prayer is a conversation with God yet I struggle with the concept of praying for something, having faith, but having this underlying understanding that it may or may not happen regardless of how much faith you have…this stems from the hurt of faithfully praying without cease that my dad would be healed from cancer – he died after 4 months. I’ve made many bold steps towards God and I am very thankful to be back in his presence and be in the process of rebuilding my relationship but I still struggle with praying by faith for something that may or may not happen. I appreciate any insight on this…God Bless & Peace – Daphne

  35. Amy Ackerman says:

    The verse I chose to memorize this week was Colossians 4:2 — “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” I think at times I tend to pray only at specific points during the day (mealtimes, before bed, etc.) and don’t make prayer a continuous part of my day. I find that my days tend to run a lot smoother when I pray often throughout the day rather than just at a few set times. Since writing and beginning to use my breath prayer earlier this week, I have noticed a change in my attitude. The addition of a morning quiet time last week has also been helpful to me and has put me in a more prayerful state throughout the day.

  36. Kimberly says:

    I chose John 15:5 (NKJV)

    “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit. For without Me, you can do nothing.”

    In Him, every task, goal, endeavor takes on new meaning. My life becomes a praise to God. The Lord wants me to bear much fruit…abiding in Him. Meditating on this verse as I was memorizing (I actually dreamed it while I was sleeping!), drew me to Him and has given a new look at His infinite love. This and the breath prayer I’ve done have produced fruit, for sure–less fear, less anxiety, renewed hope. I couldn’t have done this on my own and the wonderful thing is I was never, ever intended to.

    I haven’t posted much, but I’ve been here every week with my Sisters, learning to walk free!

    In Jesus’ love and mine,
    Kimberly

  37. I just found your blog today and it was so uplifting, I need to know that God is enough. It has been 6 months since my husband passed away from cancer, he was only 49 and I just turned 50, I would just ask for your prayers as next week we would have been married 30 years. I know God is enough but sometimes I just don’t feel it. I love the verses Proverbs 3: 5-6. I am trusting God I am just not sure what He has planned for my future. Please pray that He will give me His wisdom. Also please pray for my little grandbaby Charlie he is 2 and has problems stemming from lack of oxygen at birth, he is physically delayed but Gods continues to work in his little life eeveryday, please pray for his healing.
    I am looking forward toour next study.

    Thanks Kelly Charleston SC

  38. A Confident Heart — sounds so good — something I could really benefit from.

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