Apr 30

SLL Week 4, Day 2~Chapter 4

SLL Chapter 4 Graphic

Hey! It’s Jennifer Newsom, back for another day of this awesome study. Are you ready for change? Just the title of this chapter grabbed my attention. I scribbled so many notes in the book because I could see myself in so many situations that Tracie described–how about you? Right down to her call to quit work and stay home. You see, I got that same call almost four years ago. I fought it for almost a year. I won’t say that it was easy, in fact, for about five months it was almost more stressful than the job (RN in the Emergency Department). However, through this time, I have learned the value in:

Psalm 118:8~ it is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. (one of our Stress Busting Scriptures no less!)

God has a plan for our lives. The blessings that came from listening to and obeying Him, were far more than I ever could have hoped for or imagined. He didn’t have to, but He provided and showed up strong on our behalf.

Whatever He is asking you to do or to change during this study-please do it. See 1 Samuel 15:22 . He has your best interest at heart-He knows the future and He loves and cares for you. He isn’t being mean–He just loves you–see Jeremiah 31:3 –yeah, He loves you THAT much.

Maybe it’s not a call for you to stay home or change careers. Maybe He is calling you to find HIM and HIS peace wherever you are. You see, we can’t always ‘run’ from our problems. But whatever it is that He is laying on your heart to do or change, it is my prayer that during this study, He will use His words to speak peace and hope over you. Hope for change; hope for your future; hope for your relationships; and hope for your health. may He reach out to you wherever you are. I love the quote included in this chapter, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”~Martin Luther King, Jr.

2 Corinthians 4:7  tells us that we walk by faith and not by sight.

Your turn to share:

  • Read Chapter 4, Time for Change.
  • Do the reflection questions in the back of the chapter. (p.88-89). Question 4 is especially good-more Scripture searching and fear tackling verses.
  • Share with us your responses to the questions or tell us which Stress Busting Scripture(s) have impacted you the most. Return to the blog to comment.

Remember, each day you share, you are entered to win the prize of the week and the winner will be announced on Friday! I cannot wait to hear what the Lord has been speaking into your hearts! Praying for a blessed and peaceful week of study and asking Him to protect each one of us from the distractions that seem to hit when we try to spend time with Him.

Melissa

Comments

  1. I took this challenge 20 years ago to stop my college educations to home school our 5th grade daughter. Her 11th grade sister decided to stay in school until her senior year but to late. I home schooled our daughter till 12 th grade graduation. There were ups and downs but a true blessing. When she was 9th grade her old sister had a baby boy and when she went back to work our daughter cared for him until he was 9 months old. The six months of caring for her nephew was credit in child development for high school. I took over until he was 13 yrs old and also carried for his brother who then was 9 years old and autistic. Their father got played off and he started home schooling the boys a year and a half ago. It was a God moment as they moved to a farm and all have grown into a peaceful and healed family. It was then I went through the empty nest time and its taken awhile to know what to do with my life now. In November God said it’s time to stop all church leading except my co-lead a small grow called Fresh Start for everyone. Our last meeting was on April 19 th and will meet again on May 31 st which is unusual for our group. We started our group Jan. 2011 as a woman’s group then last June we became an anyone come group and we meet year around. So Susie, my co-lead and I and I are regrouping and I’ve been praying since November where do you want me to do your work? With seeing this Chapter title I’ve had a flutter in my spirit a positive change is finally coming. Last night’s conference call was truly eye opening as I listened to it this morning as I’ve wanted to know how to truly apply God’s Word to my life. Then it was mentioned “The Life Application Bible” helped her and I about fell out of my chair I have one! I’ve been in Study Bible learning so awhile but something was missing and now God gave me the renewed desire to apply this study in anew way. Thank you ladies! The conference’s are so worth more then the cost their true blessings!

    • Oh wow! What an amazing story Tracy! As you may know, I homeschool as well. It is so amazing to see people who have done it for the long haul which is my plan as well. it is wonderful to see how your daughter and her family grew into peace…thank you for sharing!!

  2. I read about how God can call you, even when you yourselve think you are not able / not “good enough“ to be called. I once made the most hardest decission ever. I was not a christian at that time. I prayed every now an then but that was more or less it. I made a terrible mistake, I took a decission based on hurt feelings and a broken heart. Even though I thought to do the right thing back then, the consequences were severe and nearly killed me. I thought that my relationship with God was forever destroyed. I felt bad, ashamed, guilty and lost. A very dark period started. But God fid not let me go so easily. I am sure he was very sad about my actions and way of live, but that did not stop him from loving me enough to keep pulling. He spoke to me through a book and through a dear friend of mine and I slowly started to see that God was love and that the bad turn my life had taken could be used to help other girls and women in the same situation. I had the feeling, and I still have that, in fact it is getting stronger recently, that God wants me to go out and use my past hurt to help heal others. I have a wonderful story of salvation to tell, about hope, about love and laughter which seemed to be lost forever but which were found again. God is urging me but I don’t know where to start and how I should start. I feel slightly terrified to go out and “tell it to the mountains“ . I hope that through this study, I will learn more about this.

    • Praying for His peace and His guidance. Often the very things that are used, seems to be the very things we try to hide. Who knows? Maybe someone will feel encouraged by your story. It is also so refreshing to me to read someone’s story of what was meant for harm turned into a beautiful story of God’s redemption and love. Bless you!

  3. Carol Bruntlett says:

    What I am learning is to be still and wait on God , currently I fill like I am in an up hill battle all the time , I feel like is this plane ever going to land , I feel like I have been on a full circle merry go round for the past 6 months at the age of 56 I thought my life would have been different at this age and not have to struggle so much, I just recentley got a job after being unemployed for 5 months and not having any income at all coming in , bills stacked up and rent behind but by God mercy and His grace I am still standing and holding on. In this bible study I am learning to wait on Him and His timing is perfect , one of the verses that I am doing verse mapping on is Psalm 63:3-5 Because your love is better than life my lips will glorify you 4- I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands 5- my soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods with singing lips my mouth will praise you ( NIV) I love those verses and I looked up the references and one leads to psalm 36:7 how priceless is your unfailing love , and as I read that I know He loves me and He has me in the palm of His hand and He will take care of me no matter what.

    • Hey Carol – I too am learning to be still (or at least try to do so) and wait on God. Ohhhh the waiting is sooooo hard for me. But, most of the time I feel like I’m in a pinball machine begin knocked around from point to point with no true direction and never finishing/accomplishing anything. I’m wearing myself out but feel all my efforts are futile in most instances. I haven’t yet tried the verse mapping, but your post reminded me to try it. Prayers for you in the “waiting”.

  4. Lynn Fincher says:

    Thank You God for this study..It has given me a new perspective. To be more. open and listening to you and between letting go and not giving in to the stress all around us that your peace is all I need..at all timesin my life..
    Amen..

  5. Answering the questions at the end of chapter 4 made me realize I have some issues with control; something that never occurred to me. As I read the verses in question 4, I came to realize it is actually how we speak to our children when they are afraid of something. I liken this to how God wants us all to think like a small child in acceptance of His word. I wrote those verses out and the common thread I saw was His speaking to us as children…don’t be afraid, I am with you, no one else can hurt you, do not fear, be courageous and strong.

  6. I looked up the words “conform” “transformed” and “Renew”.
    The one that hit me the most was “conform” . Which is do not resemble to the pattern of this world. I can not tell you how I just noticed how much I conform to earthly ways and not really be transformed by really renewing my mind and soul. Only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can renew my mind and soul. I need to really walk closer to our Lord and study his words more.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Deb,
      You are exactly right. It is so easy to fall in the ways of the world. The gate is narrow! I am praying for you to have a closer walk with God. I am praying for you to dwell in His Presence like never before. I am praying that you become the new person God created you to be. Thank you so much for sharing:-)

  7. 1.Changes I can make in my life that might eliminate stress, I can trust that God knows I am living with my mother in law. I can trust that God’s plan is for us to be here to take care of her. I can continue to work with the chiropractor to help me with my back pain. I can exercise to help get my back stronger and alleviate frustrations.
    2. The obstacle is my mother in law is sometimes paranoid. I am her daughter in law and not her daughter. I need to stay out of arguments, how can you argue with someone who is irrational. Proactively, I need to pray, stay in God’s word.
    3. Secret fears, insecurities, or past sins. I have always wanted her approval. I never thought I would live in her house. I have God’s approval for doing this. Perhaps if I accept that I am here because God wants me to be here. I have been forgiven of my past sins. I need to remember how valuable I am to God. In Psalms 139, his thoughts of me are as numerous as the sand on the seashore. I am accepted and loved by God. Secret fear is that I will regain my weight as I have done in the past. But I do not have to do my old habits which is to eat in relationship to stress.
    4. Steps to tackling my fears is to continue to stretch in the morning, add water aerobics when I have been cleared by the doctor. Remember I have not been given a spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:9
    5. My God sized dream is to write and be used of God.
    6. Daily I need to say yes to the Lord.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Diana,
      What an amazing post you have written. It sounds like you are on the right track and God is really working in your life. Keep trusting God. I am praying the chiropractor can ease your back pain and that exercise will become easy for you to do. Sometimes when we become discouraged we pull away from God…I am praying that you draw even closer and then He will draw close to you. You are so very valuable to God. He knows every hair on your head. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. I appreciate your raw honesty. I am praying for you, sister.

      • Thank you, today is a day of rest. I had a lumbar pain block on tne 30th for the sciatic pain. However today I would appreciate prayers for my mother in law, it would have been her 65th wedding anniversary, thanks for your kind words. Blessings Diana

  8. To the question “Has God ever prompted you to make a change in your life, and when you obeyed, you could see that his ways were best?”
    When I approached the info desk at church to ask about joinIng a small group the week after my husband and I fought over me wanting to attend church and a woman overheard me and said they had room in their group. Joined that group and made wonderful friends and starting understanding God’s word better.
    When that group was moving on being told I would make a good leader of a small group. While it didn’t happen immediately when it was time and the group was formed the blessings of women joining the group and God showing me what I didn’t realize I had the ability to do.
    Being baptized as an adult
    Getting back into a study after having a baby and being given the time I need to be in the study and glean from it ( this one ).
    I’m not sure what He may next ask of me, but I know I need to continue to understand and build on what His Word says.

  9. gina ball says:

    Wow this chapter hit home with me..I have been struggling with fear of change but I am getting closer to follow my heart. Thank you!!

  10. I love Ps 118:8… I have been known to put my trust in people rather than find my sense of worth, purpose, refuge, etc in God. Problem with that?… People will disappoint you. It’s inevitable they will eventually let you down. God is God. He is the only God, unchanging, trustworthy, dependable, loyal, & loving… God is unwavering. He is the only thing that remains constant when everything else around me fails or falls apart. Now… As far as change… Still looking, listening, praying, & waiting. Nothing jumps right out to me but I’m going to have open eyes, hears, & heart so when I do hear from God, I’ll be ready to say “Yes, Lord”. (referring to big changes- like in roles or jobs). Transformation … By renewing my mind… Looking at particular behaviors… I have room for growth & change: worrying, being a more godly “31” wife, talking to others about Jesus, even when it’s awkward, being a better steward (less hoarder of material items- where is my treasure?)… The list goes on. Is this the kind of change we are referring to?

  11. I’ve felt more stressed today, but I recognize the feeling and know why. It’s all because of my mind. I’m starting to worry about all the things I have to do, how am I going to get it done. My 2yr.old is being fussy and won’t go to bed. I went out on my front porch. I live in WI and it’s been a cold and rainy spring. It is finally a really nice day. So I just sat for a moment, watched the sun set, listened to all the birds chirping…and thought about how much I love spring. Life begins anew, or rather life is renewed, like my mind. I can start anew in my ways of thinking. I can renew my mind and have a fresh start. It’s so refreshing to know that is possible with God. Even better I walked back in the house and it was clear what I needed to do. It seems like a small step but I firmly believe this study is God’s way of leading me closer to Him, to building a stronger more lasting relationship with HIm. Praise God.

    • Kyndra (OBS Leader) says:

      Andrea, That is a wonderful step in being able to take a moment to refocus on God! He loves us and wants us to have a relationship with him. I love what Tracey says in SLL “God waited.” pg 86 It is wonderful to know that we have a loving caring Father that is waiting on us to come and take his hand. He gives us the spring weather, the wind through our hair, the rain on our face–everything-to draw us closer to Him!

  12. Roseanne says:

    Thank you ladies who have put this OBS together! The conference call last night was a mini lesson, great way to end the day.

  13. 2 Cor. 5:7 really speaks out to me- For we walk by faith, not by sight. I am in a transition in my life with my kids and work. I have been a particial stay-at-home mom with my kids and now my youngest is going to Kindergarten. I have recently turned in my notice to the preschool I work at and have applied to go back to teaching in the public school system with my kids. Change is something that is very hard for me. I get really nervous and anxious about starting something new. This verse reminds me that I am to walk by faith and I Sam 15:22 reminds me that I am to obey what the Lord is telling me to do. I need to trust Him that He has everything undercontrol and knows what is best for me and my family.

  14. Becky C. says:

    I love Psalm 56:3-4. People can’t harm me, my hope is in the Living Lord, the creator of heaven and earth. And while my hope is in the Lord, I guess I am harming myself. I feel like I’m living life on a treadmill. I’m running as fast as I can and getting no where. My struggles to catch a breath, clinching my teeth and a nervous stomach are all the result of this life on a treadmill I’m living. I don’t seem to worry about illness, loss of jobs — the things that would stress lots of people. I trust God for those things. But I stress about my adult children. I worry about their relationships with God. I know God loves them and I know I have to leave their relationship with Him up to Him, but somehow I just can’t let go of that worry.

  15. Pam Williamson says:

    God has definitely been at work in my life on “fear of change”. I have always had a hard time with big changes in my life (ie changing jobs & moving) Right now I am in the midst of both, but amazingly I feel at peace about both now. I am not worried, I am trusting that God has a good plan for me. Such a strange feeling of calm in the midst of this turmoil. This study has made a huge difference in my attitude. I have been afraid to leave the job that I am currently in and also make the decision to sell our home. Thankfully God put it in our hearts to put our house on the market about one month ago, then I received the news last Friday that my hours were cut in half and I had 90 days before being terminated. Amazing how he works in our lives for our good. Love the quote ” Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”
    Our house is showing tomorrow morning, please pray that we can get a good contract soon!

  16. These chapters have been great, but I am still left asking God, “what next.” I know God is preparing me for something, but what it is, He has not fully revealed. I am trying to be obedient, all the while trying not to get out in front of God. This is a tough balance for me. I am extremely happy with my situation in life, but I know that I am beginning to take steps with God again. The blog has been a major first step for me, but also being aware of moments of ministry throughout my life have been a huge breakthrough for me. You sometimes do not get to see the result of your small kindness, but I have seen lives transformed by little acts of love. So, for now, I will continue with these “small” things and know He will push me when it is time.

  17. Oh Lord, make a change in me! I am divorced and am remarried with a blended family of 5 children. My husband had one and I had four. My husband is wonderful to accept us all as we are! We have our share of communication issues – but each day is a new one. I am learning to find peace. Peace with my ex-family; peace with my ex-husband; peace with the fact that my ex-husband does not want to see all of the children together or at all sometimes. I have a very difficult time just not going psycho on him. How can he just not love these precious gifts!? How? Our oldest is 18 and is about to move forward into the next chapter of his life to college. My amazing son has opened the door of communication to his father and it is breaking my heart! My head knows that this is good, but my heart is so afraid that his father is going to hurt him again. This relationship is not mine to manage, but my son’s! Why can’t I get this lesson? It causes me so much stress and lack of sleep and STRESS!!!! Dawn, let it go!!! This man has caused me and these children so much pain, that I can’t (long story). I continually hand the situation over to the Lord, but I keep taking it back. It is time for a CHANGE!!! II Corinthians 4:7-9 is my new mantra! I am having faith that God is going to make the changes in me and in my family, not me. I can’t do it, only He can!! Change me, Lord.

  18. I’ve felt for a very long time that I am supposed to write and speak. Over the past few months the Lord has been speaking to me about getting prepared and ready so that He can use me. I believe that starting my blog and sharing on the blog hops, and digging in deep to this study and the previous ones I’ve been doing are some of the steps He is calling me to. This past weekend I spoke at our Ladies event at my church. He is so faithful to speak to our hearts what the steps are that He wants us to take. The key is listening and obeying. I don’t know what He has planned next, but I do know that I am to just keep pressing in to Him, and He will take me where I need to go.

  19. If God asked me to leave my job or my home and do what He calls me to do, would I? Would I do it immediately or eventually? I certainly hope so but I am not so sure. Am I so wrapped up in my own life that I wouldn’t heed God’s call.
    In my small group, we have been studying Amos. Amos was called by God to go to and warn the Israelites. God called him and he went. I pray that I would be like Amos and obey God.

  20. This week has been a real struggle for me. Satan must see what Jesus is doing with me because he has placed some stumbling blocks in my path! I am really having to work hard to stay focused….I have this week’s verses plastered in prominent places to keep me on track. I am having to practice diligently to stay in God’s graces, praying for strength and guidance. I am ready for what the rest of this week brings….I believe this is all part of the transformation. Praying for wisdom and understanding, freeing myself to allow God to bring all things into his plan for my life!

  21. Lee Roberts says:

    I am going back to TX where I have moved to a few months ago. I have been staying with my sister and her husband and have been helping them take care of our mom. During this time I have been recovering from compulsive overeating and also started this bible study. I realized that during this study I have begun to already let go of the stress that I had been eating over for the last 12 years. I am coming back to TX a different person than I was when I left. That person was so stressed out at everything. But today many of the same issues are the same but I am now dealing with it very differently. I can’t wait to see if my husband sees the major changes I have made in me.

  22. Stephanie says:

    This week was good! Just as much as the previous weeks have been. But when doing the questions and reading the verses, that were at the end, I was encouraged the most by Psalms 56:3-4. It made me realize that I don’t have to be afraid of what those in my life do to me because I don’t have to depend on Humanity to fulfill what I am looking for. And I do praise God’s word, and find that there is peace and power on that beyond what I alnowledged before. I just need to place my undivided trust there too!

  23. Gennie says:

    Truly love Romans 12:2. While mapping it I found that transformed always means in a Jesus or Godlike way. That truly is transformational.

  24. The scriptures from question 4 this week really put things into perspective. God is the one I need to be taking my cues from not looking around for others approval. With Him in my corner there is no reason to fear or struggle with self-doubts. Isaiah 54:4 stated to “not be afraid. You will not be put to shame anymore…people will no longer make fun of you.” It is time for me to start living!

  25. TJ Conner says:

    There have been dark times in my past where I ignored God’s instructions and ended up as low as I could go. They say when you hit bottom you should pray because you are already on your knees. I hit my knees in a new way. I learned what it means to truly give it all to God and I walked away from my long time boyfriend who I had thought would be my husband. I finally did what God asked and it was the hardest thing to do. There was nothing for me to do but keep praying and move one foot in front of the other. As I look back, I think that’s what God needed from me, to give it “all” up and trust in Him. I ended marrying that man later and I think I appreciate him more.
    I don’t think I am afraid anymore of what God might ask me to do next, but I am afraid of what other people can do to hurt me. I know that stems from a recent experience. Because I have faith, I am willing to move forward, where ever God wants to lead me even if I have to deal with hurt and betrayal again. I am just waiting. Maybe that’s my lesson this time- waiting, being patient, hold still through this study I have made an effort to enjoy the extra time I spend with my husband because I’m not working, enjoy the fact I can take care of him by packing his lunch daily, and cooking good meals nightly.
    I enjoy working and being busy, taking care of things, accomplishing whatever needs done.
    I DO. That’s me.
    Right now I just am. That’s so hard and goes against the grain of who I am. I guess I am learning to expand my skills.
    I don’t know if I have an God sized dreams but I am going to think about it. I can think of several things I’d like to do but I’m not sure if that’s just me. More prayer is needed.
    Verses for these chapters are fantastic!! I’m love to share them with my FB friends who are reposting- reaching more people.

  26. Michele says:

    The scripture I Chronicles 28:20 really spoke to me where it said “He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly” The Lord said to me that I don’t have to worry or be discouraged about my homeschooling because He is with me to help me and He will see to it that my kids have all that they need. This so totally freed me! I’ve been feeling like a failure, esp. with one of my children, but this scripture and the others in Question 4 just helped so much! And it is so funny In my devotion I read Luke 12:25-26 NIV and it said “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Thank you Lord for never leaving me, never giving up on me and you never ever stop loving me.
    Blessings,

  27. Kirstin says:

    I feel like I am definitely in a season of waiting on the Lord. I feel like the children of Israel wandering around in the wilderness – I’m definitely not in slavery in Egypt anymore (that was the horrendously stressful and demanding job I had in public accounting (so I can really identify with Tracy’s story!!), which I left about 18 months ago – it has its own great story of the Lord’s calling and provision), but I also feel somewhat adrift. I like my current job, but it’s not exactly my passion in life and I’m trying to discern what the Lord has planned for me. I have more than enough on my plate between a full-time job and night school for a master’s degree, and yet I continue to feel the pull of the world, with whisperings in my ear like, “Did you get promoted yet?” (a very unkind question from a former coworker who was not supportive of my decision to leave), “You could have your boss’ job, you know” (another comment from the same person), “They don’t know how lucky they are to have you”, “It’s your own fault if your career isn’t further along”, “You’re selling yourself short”, etc. And yet, I feel certain that the Lord provided this opportunity for me and that I am right where God wants me to be. I was praying about this last night and just pouring my heart out to God, and before I got halfway through I felt a nudge from him, “open your Bible.” So I did – and here is the page & verse that my eyes fell upon: Jeremiah 8:9 “The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?” I cannot tell you what reassurance this gave me and tears just started to pour down my face. I think the Lord has me in the wilderness right now because I need to learn to recognize and listen to his voice above all the noise of the world and lies of the enemy. And this study is teaching us the same thing – they key to peace is keeping our focus on Jesus. I hope this will provide some encouragement to someone else. Remember – God knows what he is doing (even if we don’t), and “the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight”! (1 Cor 3:19a)

  28. Jessica says:

    Wow, so many things! I guess I’m feeling a smidge discouraged because I *know* there must me SOME change He would have me to make, but it is still unclear to me what that might be. I have 2 ideas. Going to be a little personal here…

    One is that I have these 2 lingering projects that I hate and that have been hanging over my head for some time, but if I just grit my teeth and get them done, I will be able to move on, at least emotionally. The other has to do with family planning. My husband and I have been praying for a very long time about when/if we are to begin really trying to start our family. While it hasn’t been prohibited for years, we also have not been actively pursing having a baby. I’ve been afraid about what it might mean for my job (seriously, this chapter is very relevant to me). Well, I recently accepted a new job that God really opened the doors wide open for and will be moving from the Northeast back South in August. Unfortunately, FMLA won’t kick in until after 1 year. However, my husband and I are really feeling led to begin a family now. I’m scared and not sure what the next step is.

    The scripture that spoke to me most was 1 Chron 28:20 “…Be strong and of good courage and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee: he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou has finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”

    I pray that he would order my steps and that I would more clearly hear what he would have me to do next. Some days my anxiety is so bad, I loose hope of change. But I know that he does have a change for me to make. I long for the day when I hear him and pray to have the courage to take those faith steps.

  29. The scripture that impacted me the most this week is Isaiah 54:4, “Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth”. This verse reminds me that the things that have happened to me in the past no longer defines me. When I was younger, I often let the what other people said or thought about me impact how I felt about myself. At times I even felt ashamed of the person God created me to be. However, over time God has been helping me to see myself as He does and I am so thankful.

  30. Renee D. says:

    I wanted to post on this page because it seems to me to be a bit of a praise report! :-) I am not sure if it’s because I was re-reading chapter 4 and was praying for God to open all doors that need to be opened and close all doors that need to be shut, lock them up. This is in regards to where God is trying to lead me. I had a dream last night that I was in a maze, dungeon like (I am afraid of caves) and I kept trying to get out and kept hitting walls and no exit could be found. As I wandered around afraid, frantic and praying out loud. I prayed and asked “God which way do you want me to go???” I then felt the floor almost fall out and I am sitting on my bottom sliding down to something unknown and all the while crying. As I am sliding into a dark pit of nothingness, I hear a deep and very loud voice saying….”teach” and then a few seconds later “preach.” I knew it had to be God, but if anyone knows me I kept asking outloud “God, is that you?” I think it angered Him with my doubt so I continued to slide into the dark. When I finally made the declaration that I KNEW it was God, my scenery changed. I was in an open meadow full of flowers & the sun shining. Then I woke up! My story in a nutshell is that I didn’t go to college after high school, I started working and have been ever since. I am 35. But I always had the desire to teach, but I thought you are too old to go back to school & every other doubt you can think of! But at 30 something kept nudging me. I decided to go back to school and finished junior college in 4 years. With working full time & going to school part time. I am now at the present time 35 and scared of finishing my schooling. It was time for me to transfer last fall & I freaked & had a nervous breakdown. I am so undecisive if this is what God wants me to do. I believe I have my answer! I pray someone reads this and understands that I feel I now have confirmation :-) Be blessed, Ladies!

  31. I loved all the verses that you shared! Thank you!
    I haven’t done the questions yet, but I will soon! :)

  32. I am in prayerful consideration of some major changes in my life right now, being a stay-at-home mom is one of them. There are so many risks with making such big changes. I have made so many changes in the past without seeking God’s input, and I have suffered the consequences. I do not want to live like that any more, so I have been praying for God’s guidance. Now I am trying to wait patiently for His response. I look forward to reading this chapter and learning about Tracie’s experiences with change.

  33. I am an RN as well, and with completeing the questions, I realized that I need to take care of myself first (spiritually, physically, emottionally), which will allow me to better care for my husband, children, and patients!

  34. Ladies, I really enjoyed this chapter but am honestly struggling to answer #3. Yes, my secret fears hold me back in many ways and I know I have to trust God FULLY. My problem is, how do I do this? It’s like when I think about God, I totally have faith that He is big and capable of caring for me and my issues. Where I struggle is with thinking…why would He want to? What is so great about me? And, the biggest thing is thinking why wouldn’t He just allow some major problem to surface in my life? I think I am realizing that He doesn’t protect us from storms but through them. I really wish we could just live out this life free from storms but I guess that would be too boring right? So, help ladies….what CAN I do to start trusting God with my whole heart/life? I am at a loss. Thanks, Yvette

  35. Robin Schock says:

    I am very thankful for this study. We currently do not have any women’sministries happening at our church so this fills a real void in my spiritual life right now. #4’s answer for me is to begin to accept (continue prayer for healing) but truly accept living with a neuromuscular disease. One step Ih ave taken is to agree to be a support group facilitator for our reagion of Ontario Canada. This will force me to accept this, and to vocally speak about it woth others who have the same disease. I struggle with knowing how God made me and believing I am fearfuly and wonderfully made. I hate getting pity from people but realize my pride is also very strong and needs to be humbled to see maybe I have this in order to help others.
    Thank you tracie for sharing your stress-struggles and Melissa for encouragement each week!

  36. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    In general, this chapter came at a perfect time for me–He really does know best!

    This week, I had a door pretty much slammed shut in my face at work. I really do need something to change.

    As I read and looked at the reflection questions, I realized that I really was looking at my job as sort of a savior–I was expecting my huge corporation to be concerned, to have my best interst in mind, to look out for me. I would have never even thought this before–but it has been true. I have a JOB–for that I am grateful, but it cannot define me, and it certainly cannot take care of me.

    I do have some God-sized dreams that I want to pursue. I need to depend on my Savior, Jesus, to guide me in the right way, and I need to sow the seeds for these dreams to grow. Letting go of my unrealistic expexctations is already feeling a little better.

    I think I am going to enjoy getting to work on writing that novel I have always wanted to publish, and continuing to pursue ways to touch people through music. I don’t wnat these dreams to die.

    I need to learn to be content with my journey, too–stop fretting over what others may get, or how unfair it may seem. His way is best.

    This is really great stuff!!

    Carissa from eastern Iowa

  37. Mandi Eason says:

    Well ladies…with lots of sarcasm in my voice….Dr Oz is claiming Stress free in 21 days with Deepak Chopra’s meditation…..Just visioning the successes I want in my life and how to get in touch with my higher self….three minute meditations……..hmmmmm….I think most of us will say that only JESUS, the Highest Almighty, can help us become stress free….or at least Stressed Less!!!! This study and these chapters are really breaking it down for me and helping me cope and handle the stresses I have in my life….

  38. Have I ever said ‘no’ to God? yes…many times. I wanted to get out of my career and I felt God was leading me to be a photographer. I quit my job and stayed home with my son and launched into a business. It fell flat on it’s face. Door slammed. I was confused..i felt God was leading me that way. I started a charity photography business and have had some interest in it. I’m making no money. Is this God’s plan? I don’t know, but I’m pushing ahead. I’m pushing ahead as I face some health issues and deal with fear about many, many things in my life (mainly the health of my family members…especially my mom and my six year old son). I’m trying to trust Jesus with all I’m going through and honestly it has been a day by day journey. I have to keep reminding myself God has already been victorious.

  39. When I first started this study, God was speaking to my heart to serve Him while I waited for answers to my job. I had been in much prayer about my stressful nursing job,if I need to make a change or not. God wanted me to get busy focusing on Him instead of my job. I joined a small group at my church called 2nd Mile and it has me focusing on listening to God more. I’m also doing “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” in my Sunday School Class. So, the combination of these two studies have me saying “Yes” more to God. Just like question 4 on the reflection questions says; what steps can I take to begin moving forward in faith, I can get busy serving Him and saying Yes more often. Still praying about my job.

  40. Thank you Melissa for this Study!! It has helped so very much by focusing on God’s Word, going through the questions, verse mapping too. It’s a lot of soul searching and quiet time with our Mighty Lord God. Verse Isaiah 41:13 was beautiful when God takes hold of our hand. Can you beleive God is so patient waiting for us? Finding God’s peace is sweet, thank you again!!

  41. Isaiah 54:4 really hit me. I have a lot of shame about things I did when I was younger and some things I did a few years ago. I realize that I cannot forgive myself for these things until I ask for the Lord’s forgiveness and ACCEPT it! He is wiling to forgive and forget, the hard part is getting myself to do the same. The workbook questions at the end of chp 4 were hard for me. I don’t think I want to face what it is that I really need to do to lessen stressors in my life. I feel trapped and don;t feel that realistically I can drop anything. I guess my other option is to continue doing things but to change my attitude to one of acceptance, lower expectations of myself and my family and trust in the Lord, knowing that he has a plan for me and he will strengthen me and help me.

  42. amy black says:

    in this chapter , my favorite words are on page 78… “as I succumbed to lies from the enemy over a period of weeks..(for me , years) my insecurities and fears became more and more overwhelming. I had given the devil a foothold in my heart, and he was kicking me down as hard as he could..”

    I … me.. I gave him a foothold on my mind, in my heart thus giving him power over my thought life… and I still do… I want to know why I doubt Gods love , or His best for me….. and I intend to find out…

    the scripture that spoke to me this week is all of them..lol, but if I have to choos 1 , it would be joel 2:12-13…the “while there is still time” struck me… I love that He says , Give Me your heart, … I have never fasted, I don’t quite know how or what that means,, any help would be appreciated… but weeping and mourning about my sins… I definitely know about… so for me, this one hit home… but all of them speak to me … every week… I love Gods word, I have a passion for it… and a zeal that is relentless… and I thank Him for it… pray for me please as I start classes may 13, toward my bachelors in science and psychology in Christian counseling…. I am a bit scared… as I am 39 and have been out of school for quite some time,… love you .. and thank you for some awesome bible study…

  43. Thank you Tracie for this chapter! This is exactly where I am with my job situation right now. I have felt for awhile now that this is not where God wanted me to be, but I haven’t trusted him enought to lead the way. I have chosen the life of stress instead of the sweet life that God has designed for me. Her words speak strongly to me about stress resulting from not knowing God. I never thought of it that way, but now realize how true it is! Really working on building that relationship with Him, giving up control and letting Him lead the way. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for me.
    Thank you for such a wonderful study that is having a great impact on my life!

  44. Pamela Smyth says:

    Hello,
    I am getting so much out of this bible study. I listened to the phone conference last night and was amazed at Amanda’s and Jennifer’s testimony. Was really tired it was almost 9:00 , however stayed plugged in the hear Melissa give the lesson. i have done independent bible studies through my church for many years. I work, so I purchase the book and do the lessons. I never get to interact with anyone. Technology is great, I can express to you how I am feeling. Change is hard, My Dad had a stroke in 2009, and in an instant my life as I knew it changed. I did not adjust well to the change at first. I had a close relationship to the Lord, but I still wanted life to go the way I wanted, and when it didn’t i would get upset. the lord took me through that journey with my Dad to show me, that I needed to completely surrender my life to the lord. My Dad passed in February 2012, he was not a believer. I came away from that experience a different person, and even though it was hard to see my Dad slip away from me, had I not gone through the journey, I would still get upset when things do not go my way. Proverbs 31 ministries had been a blessing. Thank You Pam

  45. Changes I want to make in my life is to eliminate my depression and anxieties.
    My fears to be alone, my securities and frustations.
    I want to learn to say yes to God no matter what happen later. I need God in my heart and my soul on my entery body. I just want a close relationship with God. God took me through that journey with my life, is was not easy. God can hear my prayers. Sorry if I have a grammar mistakes but English is not my first language.

  46. Lord I thank you for the vessels and messages delivered. I am facing so many challenges and the enemy is attempting to use all means from financial to health, yet I am at peace as your word says Let my heart not be troubled. Lord I stand on the word of Romans 8:28 for all things work for the good… for your purpose. Lead me Lord to your purpose I trust you with all my heart and I do not lean on my understanding. I know that you prepare a table before my enemies and that my cup runs over. I thank you for the the inspired word of friends whom you connect us with this study. Lord thank you for I am not stress. I am fully BLESSED!!!! Amen

  47. Lee Roberts says:

    I have been reading the Bible verses that went with question 4 what steps can you take to begin moving in your faith. Well today I didn’t stress over the things that would have ordinarily put me over the edge. I have a great fear of econimic insecurity and I have started dealing with the things that I could control or do something about and letting go of the rest of them to God. That is the biggest change I have made so far. I really related to all the verses mentioned in this question but Psalms 56:3-4 really made me think because if I really trust in God like the verses said then I would have no fears in my life. Because trust is the opposite of fear. God is more powerful than any fear I could come up with. So I am going to start trusting in him more and more each day. Next week I am moving back to TX and will be starting my life with God there. I am retired and my one desire that I had was to be a missionary. My husband and I had talked about doing it earlier in our marriage but God told me then he was already using me as a missionary. I was teaching in public school then to Kindergarten and First graders. I am open to whatever God wants me to do next. I will be praying for that. Our family has done mission projects during the summers for a few years and we loved it. Who knows where God will lead. Just praying for his will for us and the power to carry it out.

  48. Debbie says:

    I was led by the Lord to change jobs. I liked and felt effective in the job I was doing..and the new job was actually less pay. However, I believed He was leading. The new job ended up not being what I expected and a lead was oppressive so the days were long and hard. Another Co worker was observing though and through what she saw began to ask me spiritual questions and soon after accepted the Lord as Savior and has found her life transformed! Soon after that, I was interviewed and hired for a new job in another department and it is my favorite job ever. I believe I was in the previous job to be used by God for a very specific purpose.

  49. Kimberly says:

    Change- Not something that I am good at. I am also not good at stepping out of my normal. I should be the bread winner too etc. I have been unemployed for 16 months. Collecting unemployment the whole time while looking for work. Not sure the plans God has for me, but lately it seems with everthing going on in my life, I dont have time to work, I need to be there for my kids and their activities. I am thinking I need to be their mom and be there for them. I am getting closer each day to the Lord- although the last 2 days I have prayed to Him, but not spent quality time. I did that this morning. Im ready to tackle this day.

  50. Susan Roberts says:

    Control. I am afraid to give it up because it may mean that I will surely fail and everyone will know that I have failed! Of course, I can never have control, so the pursuit of it is fruitless. Nonetheless, I find myself caught up in it and it stresses me out!

    A verse from chapter 4 that has captured my heart this week is Hebrews 13:5-6. I have been paying special attention to verse 5 where it says, “Be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”

    I pray that God will give me a fresh new perspective on what I am trying to control and show me how I can live in freedom. Be content!