May 7

SLL Week 5, Day 2 ~ Chapter 5

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zepheniah 3:17

I watched the story through tear filled eyes. What I had thought would be just another “training” went far beyond my expectations and touched my heart in places I had never known.

I went to this training so that I could learn more about the refugee population in my hometown of Amarillo, TX. We are one of the towns that refugees are sent to when they are resettled from persecution around the world. The trainer showed us portions of a movie called God Grew Tired of Us.  It was a documentary about 25,000 boys who traveled for 5 years, lost and orphaned in the dessert, as part of the Civil War in Sudan. They flollowed the boys from their time in the refugee camp to several years later as they were resettled in America. The clips captured my heart. When I came home that night, I had to learn more. I was quickly brought to tears again as I found an interview of one of the boys, John Dau, done by The 700 club. The link to the story is here…please take time to read it. 

His words still pierce my heart…

“Now I said, ‘This is when I have to put the Lord to the test, right now.  I have to see if I can survive this. Let me just do it.’  I ask, ‘Jesus Christ, You say that You are always everywhere. Wherever I go, You are with me.’  What can I do? I am now dying of thirst. I was just singing that song in my heart. I have no any other way, but that was just the last resort. And the last resort became the reality.”

“I think two hunters came, and they came with water in a gourd. I drank that water, and my life came back.”

To think of what this boy, now a man, had been through: starving – orphaned – and trekking through the war-torn famine filled Sahara, only to continue struggling in a refugee camp, and years later be resettled in the United States. When he got here, he didn’t even know how to use a toilet. And yet this man still praises God. He refused to let His circumstances dictate his trust in The Lord. And because He chose continued trust in Him, he was able to take back his life.

I can’t help but have my eyes filled with tears again and again as I think upon the greatness of our God. Oh how He is mighty to save…

Chapter 5 of Stressed Less Living is called Taking Back Your Life. I have read the entire book. This chapter is the one that impacted me the most. I know we are tempted to lose momentum in the middle part of the study, but sister do not lose heart. Keep on going. Read Chapter 5 with an open heart and mind. Prepare yourself to discover the depth of a God who rescues you from the grave…even when you feel lost and abandoned.

Also, take time to answer the questions in the back of the Chapter. The questions this week are challenging. You may not be able to answer them all today, and that’s okay. Just make sure you get through each one of them by the end of the week. And don’t forget to share your thoughts about this chapter in the comments section. This chapter is rich and loaded with scripture and Biblical wisdom. Share which parts resonated with you most, and how God is speaking to you and leading you to Take Back Your Life. 

I want to end this post with a few more words from John Dau…

“The Lord is always with you, and He is  watching  you. He’s listening to your next step. What are you going to do? If you praise Him, if you glorify His name, you will be completely rescued. You will live  forever. Your life will be better than before, like myself right now.” ~ John Dau

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Janet F says:

    Watched the video on John Dau on the CBN website, it was so moving. Thanks for sharing that Stephanie. Such faith he had as a little child. God is so good and we “CAN” rely on Him for everything!!!I Praise You Lord!!!

  2. Michele aka Mickie from St Hgts Michigan says:

    Gm all…just reading about John Dau makes me
    realize what we do have n how we need to be
    thankful to our awesome God everyday for what
    we have been blessed…before reading chapter 5
    I am going to go back n read his whole story and I
    am sure I will be more thankful today and everyday
    and hopefully less stressed as this has been a stressful
    week even thou we are on vacation at our family
    Fla home…but I feel less stressed already reading
    n understanding today’s scriptures…my God loves me
    and takes delight in me so how can I be stressed…time
    to ‘take back my life’ I’ve let get away not trusting Him
    the way I need to… Blessings to all…

  3. Tonya McCoy says:

    Reading about Hannah really touched me because I know I really need God to change my heart. As much as I have prayed for my situation to change I know I am the one that needs to be changed.

    • I am right there with you. My heart needs to change…& I believe He is working on it. But the story about Hannah was powerful. I need to cry out to Him vs whine to myself or others 😉
      Praying for our hearts!

    • Sweet sister, in most of our cases our hearts need to change. We are humans, we are imperfect, and even those of us who are filled with a HUGE love for Jesus have hearts that need to change in one way or another. I’ve been in a marriage that has had trials and tribulations for 20 years – My love runs deep for my husband but I’d like to strangle Him in many cases. But this week I heard Angela Thomas speak at a conference and she reminded us to let our Husbands off the hook, let our kids off the hook, let our girlfriends off the hook – because No one – NOT ANYONE – can fill us or make us whole but Jesus! Instead of praying others change or circumstances change – Pray that God will change US so that we handle those people or circumstances in with love and compassion – that we show joy. Our actions and our Godly lives is what will win others to Christ and bring peace to our lives. My pastor taught me a few years ago that I need to stop praying for God to ‘CHANGE’ other people and other circumstances and I need to pray that He change me.
      Isaiah 64:8 —-Dear God, you are the potter and I am the clay, mold us into the women you desire us to be so that we can live in ways that only bring you glory. Amen. HUGS Tonya!

      • Sondra Ratliff says:

        Amen! Help me JESUS!

        • Amen! So true, Kelley!
          Tonya, Gina and Sondra – I’m right there with you, too! Help me to change, Lord.

      • Michele aka Mickie from St Hgts Michigan says:

        Ty Kelley… Wow sthing I need to pray for
        n learn to change me n then one will see the
        change n in time they will follow…but we have
        trust God n let Him help us!!!

  4. Lynn Graham says:

    Page 111: spoke to me the most. the paragraph talking about being a Christian that it not only means serving God with our bodies but serving him with our hearts, souls, and minds. it means being totally sold-out to Christ in all aspects of our lives, surrendering all of our thoughts and actions to him. the reason I like this paragraph is because I find it hard sometimes to surrender my thoughts to God.to seek him intensity that places my need for help with myself. It says once I’m connected with Jesus, I’ll begin craving an daily portion of him to nourish my soul, fill my spirits with the peace I’m starving for.

    • Lynn – it’s a habit…..like anything else, to surrender to Him all of our thoughts and actions. Put an index card next to your bed and remind yourself to hit your knees first thing every morning and surrender all to Him. He knows what that “ALL” is. Pray that your heart is open wide to Him, then ask Him to take every burden, every pain – ask Him to work in your heart – to mold you into the woman He desires you to be (Isaiah 64:8). List out in your journal those things that you are surrendering – your prayer needs – date that journal entry and then just pray. In God’s perfect timing you will begin seeing your prayers answered and then you can go back to your journal and date the day that prayer was answered….you will see the work He is already doing in your life. HE IS WORKING or you would not be right here! Ask Him to open your eyes to the work that is already being done. You are here, in this bible study comments section and look at your last comment “I’ll be craving a daily portion of him to nourish my soul, fill my spirit with the peace I’m starving for” – – You are already CRAVING Him…. You are reaching out right here and now – and He sees that – He hears that. Even if you do not audibly surrender your thoughts to God in areas you know you need help – He already knows. He already has a plan. Philippians 4:6 says: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. All of this to say, you are doing just what you need to be doing – you are in the place sweet friend! <3

      • Thank you, I do this almost every day but maybe not enough -thanking him for everything and praying about everything in my life that is not right. Praying that I can change. I know change will come and for my best interests but still is difficult at times to believe when everything seems to go wrong.

  5. Linda G says:

    Page 106 gave me hope you can’t imagine. Tracy was surrounded by all these pieces of paper with scriptures written on them and God spoke to her letting her know she was sitting in His lap. This was a clear moment of the realization we all need God in our lives and he does listen. I have browsed the quiet time activity on page 116 and will make part of that my project for today to put my name amongst the verses and keep reminding myself I am important in God’s eyes. And, it is His eyes it only matters.

    • AMEN Linda!!!! AMEN! I lived 42 years before I began a relationship with Jesus – and what I now know is that HE WAS RIGHT THERE! Sitting right in my lap day in and day out – even when I didn’t know He was there! That is God’s amazing Grace and Mercy for our lives. YOU ARE SO IMPORTANT TO HIM. YOU ARE HIS CHILD. Psalm 139:14 says I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

      He’s there whether we know it or not – but what we do get when we know it is PEACE. Peace in Him. No one loves us more than He does. You were designed individually by Him and in Him you are WHOLE! Complete – and a precious, precious child of God.

      HUGS and LOVE

      • Sondra Ratliff says:

        WOW! Linda G., what a wonderful revelation. Thank you so very much. Just what I needed, just when I needed it most. Again, Thanks.

  6. jackie s says:

    it is not a change in our circumstances that gives us that gives us peace – it is a change within our heart that is changed by God (paraphrased from p. 93)

    yes!

    • Linda G says:

      Very true. That statement touched me as well when I read it. My circumstances haven’t changed any from when we started this bible study, but what has changed is within my heart which makes it all so much easier to deal with because God is walking beside me. He is with me changing me through my circumstances. What an awesome God!

    • TJ Conner says:

      Life will ALWAYS be chaotic, ever changing, and full of emotions. A fact I’ve strongly disliked for years, not that I could change that. During a bout of depression years ago, I learned that I have to be happy with me, the rest of the world will take care of itself. Its me and God that I have to worry about. This phrasing on page 93 is perfect and such a great reminder that God uses US to change the world. Each person who experiences our change of heart will see God. What a blessing and honor that God would use me, change my heart and attitude, to help others. That’s powerful.

      • TJ – I spent years going thru trials and tribulations, devastating ones – at 42 years old I finally realized that God had been with me thru each of those 42 years. I opened my heart and God grabbed me up and completed me, He made me whole! He changed my heart and my soul and now I have a love so big – so amazing that I now can share God’s love with others…He takes us AS WE ARE. Imperfect, lacking, needy, whiny, defeated, sinning, – He doesn’t care – but if we will let Him work in our lives, we will come to realize that WE are his hands and feet. – He will change us, mold us, and build us up. It’s already happening in your life – open your eyes and heart and watch Him work. Be aware of it. He works mightily and He’s got you right now! The bible is full of His promises and His desires for each of us. It is POWERFUL. Make sure you look out for our next bible study! It’s going to be a doozy – a GREAT one! “What Happens When You Say Yes to God”?

    • AMEN!

  7. Gena C says:

    i feel like I am struggling. I have been able to keep up with readings and questions and even remain calmer during stressful situations with my son. But I feel so tired and weary and drained. I am focusing on each week’s scripture and crying out to the Lord for rest and peace in my heart, mind and soul.
    I know this happens at midway point in studies – how do you keep motivated and keep going?

    • Paige Ward says:

      Dear Father, Thank You that Gena has been able to keep up with this study, but Lord, she is growing weary and struggling now that we are at the middle. I ask that You would lift her up and encourage her to keep going. Give her the motivation that she needs and give her eyes to see that the enemy doesn’t want her to gain the glory You have for her if she continues. In Jesus’ name, amen

      Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

    • TJ Conner says:

      I think we all have to find what works for us.
      I keep motivated because God has me in a holding pattern right now and I don’t have a whole lot else to do. Sounds bad, I know. But after reading the chapter this morning, I think that He has me here for really good reasons. One of which may be that I need to heal and rest more before the next section of the path. Another may be that I have always wanted and intended to daily devotions. Through Proverbs 31 I signed up to receive emailed daily devotions in addition to doing this study. I LOVE them. Each morning I start with my devotion. Not Facebook, not emails, not the world. I start with God and I love that. It makes it super easy. I make sure its is the first thing I do. Well, honesty I make my cup of coffee and then take it to my computer. All I have to do is read, pray and open my heart. And I can access them anywhere I can get email which nowadays is everywhere, even on my phone. Well, not my old phone, but you get what I am saying. I know that I need a daily does of God. I need God’s strength to wait. I am a Do’er. I don’t wait well at all. Even watching tv, my hands are busy working on some project. That’s just me. I enjoy being active and working. So waiting is especially hard.
      Staying motivated- I keep steppin’ in faith. I keep praying and seeking God. I don’t know what else to do. I BELIEVE, so I go to Him over and over and over. I KNOW God will roll out His plan for me in His time. So I go back to Him because its outta my hands. I have no other control. It’s hard not to have control.
      I know what it’s like to be so tired and worn out and exhausted that you’re breathing because your body just does it and you don’t have to think about it. I’ve been there. My eyes well with tears from typing this and remembering the pain of tiredness. I was so tired, I could do nothing but fall to my knees. I had nothing left. (Really I am sitting here crying, reliving that pain and empathizing with you.) I hurt that others go through that. I do. But it doesn’t last. Every storm runs out of rain (country song). Its true. When at the darkest hour, so tired I could no longer stand, I fell to my knees and called out to God like Hannah. (Just read Hannah’s story for the first time in this chapter- wished I had read it years ago!) I actually went to my church during the week, sat in a pew up front by myself and called out to God and sobbed until there was nothing left. I told God that I had nothing left, just my belief in Him and now was probably a really good time for Him to open that door. I had been angry but by that time I was just spent. I was good friends with the staff of the small church then and one came and sat with me, cried with me, prayed with me, and encouraged me. Left the church a lighter woman. I had laid it all at Christ’s feet because I couldn’t carry it. I was supposed to even though I thought I did. The darkness of that time and the circumstances, changed because my heart changed. It took time. Everything takes time! It took time for me to pick up all those extra burdens and it took time for me to let them all go. God carried ME through. There’s been more than once that I’ve used that experience to talk to friends about their situations. There’s more than once that I’ve remembered those dark times and praised God for his mercy, love, and unfailing promises.
      I hope, that once again, my experience can help someone else. Just ‘speaking’ of it reminds me of lessons learned.
      Blessings to you my sister in Christ.

      • Gena C says:

        TJ- thank you for sharing and for your encouragement!

        • Sondra Ratliff says:

          Gena C.
          As I read, discovering that many of GOD’s childrren have experienced “the pit”, I am reminded that it is not a once in a lifetime event. Our enemy, satan is prowling and seeking always alert to any opening. I ampraying for you to be able to recieve JESUS’ love and mercy. Pits are no fun!!! Much Love Through Christ our LORD.

      • Awesome encouragement. Thanks for sharing your heart. I have been in that place of just wanting to sit down and cry – just so tired – probably more than I care to make public – exhausted – but you’re right TJ – God gives us mercy, love and unfailing promises. – He saved me when I didn’t know He was even there…and on some days I have to remind myself of that – cause life is hard – but He’s got us. Thanks for that reminder!

      • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

        Hi TJ,
        All I can say is PRAISE GOD! What a powerful post! Thank you for sharing. Thank you!!!!

      • Thanks, this is really encouraging to me!

    • Gena, You sound like you are in a ‘pit’ – one of those pits that can take us down deep and be so difficult for us to climb out of. I wish I knew the answer to pull you out of that pit and motivate you and inspire you and renew you – but that comes from a power bigger than me. Are there other things going on in your life that are leaving you emotionally spent and tired? Spend time in the Word, Read those promises, pray that He opens your heart and renews your spirit – you will CRAVE Him and it will be the only motivation you need.

      bible.org has a post about being ‘in a pit’ (whatever that pit may be). Here’s an excerpt:

      If you’re going to persevere with Christ, you must know in advance that you will face times when you are in the pit, and you must know what to do when you’re there. Rather than turning away from the Lord, you must learn to turn to Him to rescue you from life’s pits.

      Psalm 40 is a song about the pits. It falls into two sections. In the first half (40:1-10), David tells how God got him out of one pit and he sings God’s praise for doing so. But he did not then live happily ever after. Rather, it is evident from the second half of the psalm (40:11-17) that he is in another pit, crying out to the Lord to deliver him from this one. Because David waited intently on the Lord to rescue him from the first pit, he knew how to wait on the Lord to get him out of the second pit. So it’s a psalm about what to do when you’re in the pit.

      http://bible.org/seriespage/psalm-40-when-you’re-pit

      Praying for you to find rest and peace in your heart!

      HUGS

      • Gena C says:

        thanks all! The Pit desribes it perfectly and my head knows that it is Satan prowling waiting for my weakness. I had some time to listen to praise music and talk with a christian friend today- I do feel revived and ready to dig into some scripture tonight. I know the prayers were so helpful as well. Thank you! Thank you! for your prayers and encouragement! I am lucky that I recognize the pit and do not spend lengthy time dwelling there as I used to and I also know the way out- sometimes I just have to find the moments to shut my mind off long enough to prepare my soul to get out…does that make sense?
        Again thank you!!

  8. This chapter had a huge impact on me too. Somehow I jumped ahead and read it last week, so yesterday I was completely confused about the memory verse. Then when i realized my mistake, I giggled. It wasn’t a mistake but Divine Intervention b/c HE knew I needed to read it last week. HE met me where I was & answered a prayer. It was a very sweet & tender moment for me to recognize my Savior’s (my Abba’s) presence & sense of humor. :)

  9. The chapter was amazing… but I confess to skipping the questions at the end. Thanks for the push! The rest of the week as I pray and digest the chapter and verses, I am going to make myself dig deeper and honestly answer those questions!
    Lisa :)

  10. Janet F says:

    The Part on Hannah in the chapter spoke to me. Page 95, she was in a place of complete dependence on God, because He was the only hope she had left. She wanted less of her and more of God. Why is it that sometimes God is my last resort instead of the first one I go to in stress and trouble. PRIDE- thinking I can handle it on my own!! Hannah was so desperate she dropped to her knees. Thanks for reminding us Stephanie to go to our knees daily!!
    I love the quote on pg98. God is never late, He is seldom early, but He is always right on time!! I also loved the section on Snuggled in God’s lap. I am going to print those verses off and do that. How wonderful to be snuggled in Daddy’s lap.

    • We definitely serve and On-Time God!!!! ahhhhh ‘to be snuggled in Daddy’s lap for sure!!!!’ – Love that!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Janet,
      You are exactly right. Why do we continuously go to God last???? Makes no sense. God is always ON TIME! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Question 1 was so good for me – to remember the times when my weight and how I looked and my performance did not dictate my joy as a child. God is so good to be working on my heart on this right now, but I do seem to get stuck on a frequent basis. I recognize that I am surrounded by the world’s lies that those things are the only ones that matter, but I pray to be changed and guided to know without doubt that I am cherished beyond anything I can comprehend – no matter what. And I pray that I can model and point my children to the same Abba who loves them just the same way in hopes there will know, as they navigate this same challenging world, this same truth.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

    • AMEN! We are fearfully and wonderfully made!!! LOVED in a way that is bigger than we can ever imagine – NOTHING we do or say can change our Father’s Love – no sin – NOTHING! He loves us and cherishes us like no other! You believe it sister, it’s TRUE!

  12. Andrea says:

    What caught my attention about John Dau’s story is all the blessings he now has. He said he didn’t know all of that would happen, but he still had faith in God. None of us know the future. But God does. It just reaffirms in my mind, my need to have trust and hope in the Lord. I can look back in my own life and see that there were times when things turned out far better than I could have imagined. That was God answering my prayers. Yet still I doubt. How is that possible? I guess the devil is good at what he does. Placing doubt in a mind that knows better. That just motivates me more to focus on the positive good things I have, so I don’t let myself forget how blessed I am.

    • Paige Ward says:

      So true!

    • Remember, we are human and we live in the flesh – we are always works in progress…..I spent 42 years not having a relationship with God – then I realized WOW, He was there the entire time. He kept me grounded at a time when I could have been a lost child out in the streets – in drugs and making bad choices – but it didn’t go down like that- He was there when I didn’t even know He was there…all have some doubt, it’s human – Satan plays a part in all that. He certainly takes any doubt (bit or small) and uses it against us. We have to just keep believing, reading the promises and putting Satan and His lies behind us! Just yesterday at an OBS dinner we talked about how we are still always so fascinated by God’s works – but why? We KNOW he does these things…..because they are just so amazing our minds cannot wrap around the fact that He IS there and He DOES answer prayers – sometimes not in our time – but He does. I love that this motivated you to take a step further and to focus on the positive – the more we do this, the less ammunition we give Satan to use! HUGS

  13. Paige Ward says:

    We are in the process of doing what God has asked us to do, but our journey has gotten long, and we have grown weary. This blog has been such an encouragement to me.

    “It is a difficult journey. If you give up, then you fall short of receiving the Lords glory.” John Dau. This reminded me of Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. And Stephanie’s words, “Refuse to let your circumstances dictate your trust in the Lord.” I don’t want us to fall short of God’s glory, I want to reap a harvest and not give up, and I don’t want to let our circumstances dictate my trust in God. Thank you for the reminder and lifting up of my soul today.

  14. Vanessa says:

    The story is amazing and it made me realize that when are in a hard place, we have to keep praising God and thanking Him for whatever we can find to be thankful for. I love page 110 the paragraph about the word of God is meant to do more than penetrate it is meant to activate. It can plant wondering feet of clay in places of divine purpose.
    God is showing His peace, His rest, His hope in the situations that I have no control over. I praise Him today for having me in this place, because I am totally relying on Him to show me the next action to take and the next movement to make. I have a career that is very demanding and I heard one time that if anything competes with God in our life we need to be ware. Well this career does this to me and so I have to be so careful not to let this compete in my heart with Who God is. I will praise Him because He has placed my feet of clay in this position so that I truly trust in Him. I cannot let go of Him when I feel my feet slipping down the slippery slop! I have to keep my feet standing firm on the solid rock of Jesus!!!

    Love
    Vanessa

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      What a powerful post! Thank you for sharing. We must always keep our feet firm on the solid rock of Jesus! Thank you sweet sister for this reminder!

  15. I was reading this verse this morning and needed to share . Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until all these calamities have passed by. I need this and will be sharing this with a dear sister in The Lord who is struggling right now too. Such a great study this is and to be with other ladies who are working through stress as well and yet seeking God’s face and for renewal to do it in Him. Lord Jesus bring us all to victory in You. Amen

  16. TJ Conner says:

    I can’t tell the number of different things in this chapter that spoke to me or reflected things that have happened in my life.
    Page 107- ‘I had to relinquish the hurt and ask for the strength to forgive.’ God has always been there even though times that others were not. The man whose seed helped create me walked away, signed and gave up his parental rights to me as a child (age 1-2). The woman who carried me in her womb and brought me into this world walked away. (age 6) God had me, protected me even then and years later when I learned how to forgive them and he started healing the pain. God blessed me at a very young age. He gave me an adopted (human) father who loved me as his own. When my mother walked away, he was there. He picked up the pieces, loved me, raised me, and continues to be the supportive dad that every father should be. He raised me in the church and led me with his example of Christ like living. God watched over and protected me as a child, before I understood who he was. My life could’ve been so very different. He LOVES me. Its sad that it took so many years for me to believe that. Its sad that those who hurt me at such a young age affected it for so many years and had me convinced that I was unloveable. If the woman who gave me life didn’t want me then there was something wrong with me. So sad and so NOT TRUE. God loves each and every one of us. Really loves us. God loves ME. The day I learned and believed that was a day of celebration. Every day I am thankful that God saved me before I knew I needed saving. I try to remember every day that the situation could be so much worse and I focus on what I am blessed with. I’ve been in Hannah’s shoes and its hard. I’ve been so tired the only thing left to do was fall to my knees. I didn’t have the strength to stand anymore. God has ALWAYS been there.
    Keep steppin’ in faith ladies.

    • Thank you for sharing your heart to every reader here!!!!! I have said this same thing many times EVEN TODAY! ‘Every day I am thankful that God saved me before I knew I needed saving.’ AMEN Sister! Celebrating with you! HUGS!

    • Sondra Ratliff says:

      TJ, I Praise JESUS, you are making it!

  17. Vanessa says:

    I was cleaning my sons room this morning and I noticed his bible laying on his night stand. So I took his bible and I looked at the verses Tracy gave in the back of chapter five where we insert a name. I highlighted Zephaniah 3:17. My son is 26 and he has severe adhd and has many addictions and is just not functioning well in his adult life. I’m praying this verse for him and I will high light a verse with his name daily. I know God can save his soul and that will improve his life…

    • That is a powerful and mighty thing to do, Vanessa. My son is only 9, but I am going to do the same. It is something we can DO while we fall on our knees in their behalf. Thank you for sharing this – it inspired me! Stay strong, Mama!

    • OH Vanessa – I am struggling with a 21 year old son – just did 30 days in jail for stupid stuff (traffic violations not taken care of and driving under suspension – stupid piddly stuff) – He’s now out and is back home with us after having been gone for a couple of years. He has ADHD and the accompanying learning disability – he has an addiction, it’s not crack or heroin or anything like that – but it’s enough. I am GREAT helping others, but struggling with Him. He read his bible in jail, He wrote verse after verse after verse and I think He is still reading it. I’m going to pull this out and highlight for Him and leave him a note tonight on his bed – I know God is working in His life! I believe. Praying for your son as well.

      • Sondra Ratliff says:

        Missy and Kelly,
        Dear sister, every addiction is serious because they have profound effects on our lives and every family member. Adding your babies to prayer chain (not names or information).

      • Vanessa says:

        Yes Kelly I understand about jail we’ve done that too. I have gotten those phone calls in the middle of the night that make your stomach sink. I will be praying for your son also. It’s a tough place to be in!!! But God has even this!!!

  18. This Chapter is the hardest.After reading this today, it makes me kneel on my knees and ask to really give it up to the Lord. Not take it back.
    What does he have plan for me? I need to trust that he hears me and is guiding me. Patience.

    • Patience is HARD! So HARD. Until He reveals His plans to you – work to make yourself the best Jesus girl possible, read His Word, Pray, and ask Him to mold you into the person He desires (Isaiah 64:8)….He has a plan and it’s bigger and better than you will ever imagine! Just turn it over and get out of the way – He’s got you and He’s going to show you…..His timing is perfect!!!! It’s been the greatest chapter so far for many!

  19. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    What abeautiful time to read John’s testimony. It leaves me humbled, and convicted. What excuse can I possibly have to lose trust in a God who is so mighty and loving?

    His faith made powerful things happen–literally saving his life. I am ready to take my life back!

    Carissa from eastern Iowa

  20. This chapter really spoke to my heart. We have been going through a very difficult four years with our son who suffers from bipolar and is an addict. He is in a very serious legal situation that will affect him for at least the next ten years of his life and that is if he stays out of trouble. As a parent, I trust God and know Arron is his child first, yet I struggle with the fears that enter my mind when I think of the impact this had on him, our family and especially my marriage. I realize I am not fully trusting God to take this situation and work his hand in it. The anxiety it causes each of us, I tend to take on. I want to fill a jar with the scriptures at the end of the chapter and find my time with God for direction in my home and my marriage. Thank you for this chapter. It helped me pray past my resentment and feelings I had buried about my marriage. I am a Christian in progress, trying to grow more each day.

    • Becky, you and me both! I am so grateful we are not called to be perfect. I pray God shows you Himself in just exactly the way and time that you can understand so that you will feel his peace in the midst of Arron’s struggles. Raising a child with special challenges can be exhausting. You hang in there and stay on your knees. (I’ll be kneeling right next to you for my own child.)

    • Becky (Missy you have already commented on the comment above) Vanessa made a comment above referencing Zephaniah 3:17. She too has a troubled son – I do as well. Much like yours, mine has pending legal issues along with an addiction – he’s 21. This verse is beautiful – highlight it for your son, and put His name within the verse. God’s got these boys – and He’s got plans for them. They may make his job difficult, but He already knows the outcome. Praying for you sister. B E L I E V E <3

  21. Stephanie W. says:

    I have not seen this movie, but have read clips and interviews about it and was deeply touched. Thanks for connecting this to chapter 5. And yes, this chapter has a big impact!! The promise that we have that no matter what God is with us is something that is difficult to remember in times of stress or trouble. I am amazed when I read personal stories of people that are able to go through such trials and hardships and still remember to praise the Lord. Such a powerful testimony and lesson for us more fortunate people to remember! Blessings!

  22. Vanessa says:

    Okay ladies I know I have already shared but I have to tell you God is working in this stressed less living study. Today I sent a text to all three of my boys and their two wives; God gave me the verse to insert their name in. I went totally out of my comfort zone to do this because sometimes as a mother-n-law we have to be careful. I sent them with prayer and love. I received a text back right away from one of my daughter-n-laws and she said thank you that’s exactly what I needed today, love you. She is finishing up dental school. Praise God for His great ideas He gives through His daughters in Christ… I can’t wait to see how the others respond.. Love you all!!

  23. Do you know what makes my heart feel encouraged? This sort of comment thread, right here. Stephanie, you have ignited a passion, it looks like, in so many of our hearts, to wait a little more patiently and a lot more gratefully for whatever the Lord will bring. Whether it be in the form of answers, or relief, or comfort. Thank you!

    Pg. 109 had me feeling mightily encouraged pretty much all the page through. But, there was one particular quote, that started at the bottom of pg. 108, that spoke into my heart: “Although Jesus would prefer that we trust him fully in all things, he understands our weaknesses and is available to help us persevere.” OH, AMEN to that! A little further on down the page, Tracie writes that, “He knows that we can never be just like him, but he encourages each of us to give it our best shot by following his lead.” I truly needed to read that, remember that, and let that just saturate my daily circumstances.

    This chapter was powerful. And chock FULL of helpful goodness. And Stephanie’s comparison to John Dau, and his own life story, just illustrated our need for complete dependence on our God beautifully.

    • I can’t seem to get off the Comment page today because I see ignited passion throughout as well! Praising God for all the work He is doing in this study for the many, many people here that are being touched. He is so good!

  24. Jackie says:

    This chapter is really a good one. One of my sons is going through a severe testing and the symptoms listed are pretty much what he is experiencing. He is not walking with God, so he has to deal with the consequences. I pray for him and I am sharing this book’s knowledge as it relates to him. He is not ready to make changes, but eventually God will make him change. This I know from experience. :)

    • Jackie – there are about 4 of us that have posted about our sons this morning, you are not alone girlfriend. My son just spent 30 days in jail and read the bible and made notes and read scripture, but I can’t tell now that he’s out (and home again after 2 years) if it has carried over since he has been home. But, it is my goal to BELIEVE and wait patiently while God works. It sure isn’t easy when our children are involved. Zephaniah 3:17 is the verse posted by one of the other moms with a son today. It’s beautiful. She shares above that she sent this text to her 3 sons and their wives and already God is working. Praying with you as well today! HUGS <3

    • I second that Kelley. My son is struggling too! He is only 10 and has Aspergers, or even has been diagnosed as intellectually disabled, we really don’t know, but we had an issue with him “shoplifting” a lego figurine the other day. It took me so far aback I didn’t even know how to get back up. We r getting him in some counseling. But y’all are encouraging me just by knowing I am not alone in this battle for our sons hearts.

      • Stephanie W. says:

        Praying for you all! I also have a son who I have been praying for. He is only 10, and appears to be following Jesus. We have no problems with him. He really is a great kid. But I wonder how much he is taking in and how much he is just going through the motions. I don’t want him to be riding on my shirt-takes for his faith. I want him to have his own faith. I have been concerned as two months ago he lost his Nana. This was heart-breaking for all of us, and he took it really hard. He seems to be okay, but keeps a lot inside. I am trying to keep the lines of communication open and have a great youth leader at the church that he has connected with. I think it’s just guilt of being the pastor and having him fall through the cracks as I am so busy with everyone else.

      • No sweet sister. Not alone! I wish I could tell you it got easier. Justin struggles with ADHD and a large learning disability. It all started years ago -we held him back in kindergarten even…..Now he’s 21. It’s been a lifetime of struggles for him – counseling, medicine, and everything we could possibly do. Now I have surrendered Him to God because that’s the only one that can change His life. Praying along side of you!

  25. All I can say is wow! Reading all your comments leave me in tears. Just seeing all the different and yet the same ways God is speaking to you! It’s amazing. And I bet John Dau never imagined his story impacting a bunch of women on the Internet when He was wandering in the desert. God has such great plans for all of us. Let us not lose heart, He’s so amazing and brings blessings beyond our wildest dreams!!! Love and hugs to you all!!!

    • Stephanie, God spoke through you today as you shared John Dau’s story – lives were touched and God is working through this study. Chapter 5 seems to be the breakthrough readers needed! Praise God for His continued love and work in our lives and thank you for being a vessel to be used to relay His messages to us. HUGS! <3 Sure wish you could have been with us yesterday!

      • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

        Stephanie,
        You rocked it BIG TIME today. God was working majorly through you today! This thread is intense, on fire, prayerful, and God-filled! Love you comments, Kelley. They are really encouraging too.

  26. I love the story of Hannah. While I never had to deal with having to share my husband or infertility, I know what it feels like to feel like God doesn’t care about my pain or remembers me. Her desperation in prayer, and God’s answer leave me in complete awe.

    I’m not sure I have ever prayed like that, and it makes me wonder how my walk with God would change if I stopped praying so robotically and really gave everything over to God. Something for me to pray about! :)

    Love you ladies!

    • GIRL, PRAY INTENSE – PRAY ON YOUR KNEES – WALK AND PRAY………One of the things I saw on my mission trips to Guatemala and Nicaragua was that these people from Third World countries that find Jesus – they worship and pray like I have never seen anyone before – they cry out to Abba – tears flowing and are so thankful to Him. It sure did make me think about my prayer (robotic is a good way to describe)! Sometime read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson – I believe your prayer life will be changed in BIG ways!

  27. So encouraging!!!

  28. TABITHA JONES says:

    I have really been touched through this chapter. I love Hannah story and on page 96 the part that stuck with me is that Hannah did not find peace because she left a stressful situation-she found peace because she learned to depend on God’s strength to rise above her stress. I can say now that I have learned this. It has took me many years to get to this point but I always think with God all things are possible. God wants us all to have the happy endings. It may not always be the ending we ask for, but when we trust that God’s ways ar always best we can feel confident in knowing that he’s got us covered.
    I have been a christian for 30 years but I can honestly say that I have never study God’s word like I have in the last year. It has been an amazing road that God has lead me through since I started digging deeper. I will confess I have never been one to fall to my knees to pray, I have always just sit in my chair and done my praying. After reading some of the other ladies post I feel that I would get so much more out of it to kneel so from now on I will be kneeling before the Lord.

    • Wear those knees out…..Our God is amazing and we should treat Him as such…cry out to Him – raise those arms – pray intensely! I believe this with all my heart. Prayer is powerful – light it on fire and let Him know we love Him, we need Him and praise Him in advance for His answered prayers! AMEN!

  29. thanks so much for the encouragement to hang in there in the middle of the study. So often that is when I let other things crowd out my study. I really needed that exhortation as it sounds like Chapter 5 is very challenging

  30. Amen Nancy! So many give up in the middle of a study – Chapter 5 is powerful and God is working in this group of thousands of ladies! It’s pretty amazing to watch and be a part of.

  31. The last couple of weeks have been busy and stressful due to a previous commitment; however, that commitment has ended and I am ready to keep pushing and keep learning. So many times in my life, I have had problems and now, looking back, I definitely see the “Hand of God” in those particular events. God is great and He is so good to me! Looking forward to continuing this study with all of you amazing women!

    My word for the year is prayer…I am going to definitely study prayer more and try to break free from being so robotic all the time!

  32. Courtney says:

    I loved Chapter 5! It gives me so much hope to release all the negative energy, past hurts, and past failure to take back my life. Once I let go of these things, I can fully serve God and receive all the many treasures He has stored for me. I first have to totally cry out and surrender to God.

    The story of Hannah really touched my heart. Not only did Hannah have to share her husband, Elkanah, she had to watch Peninnah with her husband’s children. Not only did she have to watch, Peninnah rubbed it in and often had hurtful things to say. However, Hannah hung in there and acted as if everything was okay. When she finally could not pretend anymore, she cried out to God. She was desperate and felt forgotten. In time, Hannah did give birth to a son. But, it was in God’s timing.. which never is our timing!

    The story touched be because I often have felt forgotten. And so often I put on a brave face to the world. I’m dying inside with a smile on my face. When I can’t take it anymore, I fall to my knees and cry out. I am still waiting on some prayers to be answered. While I am waiting, I am asking God what is it that I need to work on in me that will sustain me when he grants me my prayers. Like Hannah, I am waiting on a child. I have endometriosis and have been told that my husband and I would have to undergo fertility treatments. And, the treatments are not 100%. Me being human has decided that I’m just not going to have kids. I have prayed about it and after reading this story I truly believe when its my time He will grant my wish, like Hannah.

    And, I love the quiet time activity. I spent about 3 hours yesterday typing the verses, adding my name, and reading each bible verse. I felt warm and fuzzy all over. Like God was holding me and telling me everything is going to work out.

    I pray chapter 5 is a blessing to each of my OBS sister like it was for me.

    Hugs and Prayers!

    • This is an encouraging and beautiful post sister! thanks for sharing your heart and for being a part of healing for others that may read this today. God will answer your prayers – He has plans and they are going to be amazing. Those answers may not come today or tomorrow – but they will come! You will know and it will come in His perfect timing!!!

  33. I am reading all these comments with tears streaming down my face! I want to thank all of you who shared powerful scriptures! I have 3 adult kids & I want to start texting verses to them. Thanks for that awesome idea. I also am so touched by John’s story. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie. And TJ, thank you for sharing your story. I feel so ashamed for feeling sorry for myself because of my circumstances! But I know that God knows what He’s doing & will work things out. All I need to do is pray, praise, & trust! Please pray for me as I will pray for all of you! And let’s remember first of all to count our blessings!!!

    • Don’t be ashamed Rita! gosh, we are human and all have circumstances and pits of life that seem dooming…but we serve a powerful and sovereign God – if we turn to His word and reach out to others for encouragement and support – we will begin to trust and see that light. You my friend are in the right place with Melissa’s OBS. You’ve experienced some of the awesome’ness of God’s work today – these blogs ARE a tribute to that. I am praising God for his mighty work right here! My verse this year is Isaiah 64:8. Here’s a prayer similar to what I pray daily over my life related to this verse.

      Dear God, please mold me into the person you want me to be. Build me up so that I can be a vessel for you regardless of my circumstances. Fill me with love and compassion and allow me to reach out to others to encourage and support while I wait patiently for your Will to be done in my own life. I believe Father that you are doing amazing works through OBS and lives are being changed. Change Me. Mold Me. Thank you Father in advance for this work and for the work you are doing in the lives of our other sisters. Amen

  34. Wow, what a testimony! I am so glad that John Dau was able to share his story, and it sounds like he is doing so much with the life that God has given him. I want to be used that way. I want my testimony to glorify God. I want my testimony to lead others to their knees, to recognize and accept the power that God has over their lives. Use me, God.

  35. Carla Keller says:

    I haven’t made it through the whole chapter just yet, but WOW so many things in here were really speaking to me today!!! (1) God can change my circumstances at any time, but He is more interested in changing ME through the circumstances- oh my goodness what a powerful statement!!! (2) I could really relate to Hannah – being childless. People would make comments to me about how my friends were having children and “was I gonna let them beat me at having my first child” and then the real topper was the doctor that told me I was too fat to have a baby, lose weight and come back and we would talk about it (needless to say I never went back to him again). I remember so many times praying and asking God for children and oh I wanted them so bad. After 10 years of praying and waiting God blessed us with our first daughter and then 5 years later He blessed us again with another daughter!!! Now I am not really sure what His plan was for me to wait that long, but I know that I am so incredibly blessed to have them in my life and enjoy every moment I get to spend with them. They are celebrating birthdays today and tomorrow – I know – you are saying how in the world did you do that – God did it – He had a plan and I am along for the ride!!!!!

    • You now have a story of HOPE! HOPE is the word for our OBS study this year! HOPE! and your story gives hope to those that may be in the same situation! You have a testimony you can share with others. BEAUTIFUL! <3 thank you for sharing that!

  36. Been a little behind since my fiance had his motorcycle accident and all that was turned upside down due to his hospital stay and subsequent needs. But I am doing my best to get caught up this week. Lord knows more than ever I need less stress!

    • Jammie – not sure how far you are behind. But pick up with Chapter 5 and start with us this week! It’s an amazing chapter and so much good stuff is happening with this chapter. God is working and doing amazing things! Praying for you sister as you work on getting caught up! <3

  37. I went to the I went to the link for the 700 Club. It is a story of true faith in God the kind of faith I need. John Dua is such an inspiration to me and my journey with the the lord. It is wonderful how God sent him water. God will provide he has provided my family and I with really big requests.I pray that john gave everyone in this study the faith to go on. Like John God will rward us. Thank you Lord for Jons testomony and for all you have blessed me with. i pray that you will be with all the lost boys and that there faith in you will be as strong as Johns. I fill so guilty worrying about the things that I do when I listen to Jons story Amen

    • Miranda, thank you for sharing your story of faith. If you have guilt, give it away – let God take that. God is so good and you have seen His work….Now you too have given encouragement to others right here. Praise God! <3

  38. John dau’s story was very encouraging today! God does not give up on us even when we want to give up. He goes with us! I am reminded of Corrie Ten Boom’s quote “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have”

  39. I love the book Stressed – Less Living. It could be my story. I know there alot of others who feel the same way.

    The bible verse that touched my heart the most in stress busting scripture was Psalm 37: 3-5
    Trust in the lord Miranda and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.take delight In the Lord and he will give you your hearts desires.commit everything to the lord Trust him and he will help you.
    I always need the Lords help and I am so thankful for all the things he has given me

  40. Jeanne says:

    I too have a son who was in trouble. It is his two children that I am raising. He was in prison for over seven years and has been out for almost two now. He is visiting and I am supervisor for him. we are in the process of developing the relationship once again. The kids were very young when he was incarcerated and they hardly remembered him. the court has us slowly developing the family again. It is hard and so far the children are taking it in stride. My son is almost 43 and he is so not very mature. He is working, living on his own and is a Christian. He goes to church every week but because we don’t live in the same town we attend different churches. He seems so lost sometimes. He is living in the real world now and has to do things for himself. Seven years is a long, long time to be away from society. He was made to think of himself as no good, not worth anything and God forsook him so he thought. He is now developing a new relationship with God and realizing that God was always there with him in that cell. I am going to read the John Dou story next. I can hardly wait from hearing the comments about it. Have a great day ladies.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Jeanne,
      Praise God that He is working on your son. I know it must be difficult and stressful but He is with you. Most of the time when someone tries to rebuild their life the enemy is ready to tell them you can’t and you are still messed up. It is a lie. I pray that God will give your son the assurance that he is forgiven and that God is faithful. I pray that God breaks down every single wall that separates your son from God. The Lord has the power to help and overthrow. Praying for your family and especially those sweet children. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. Have a blessed week:-)

  41. I am so touced by John Dau’s story – thanks for sharing Melissa! To have such strong faith at such a young age – to refuse to let such dire circumstances dictate his trust in The Lord – what a wonderful testimony. I am in my 40s, and have only learned recently that peace does not come from our circumstances. Peace comes from The Lord. John Dau chose to continue to trust in The Lord despite his circumstances – I chose at a younger age to close my heart to Him because of the massive hurt I was feeling. But I always knew The Lord was there, and it has only been since I opened myself up to a personal relationship with Jesus that my hurting heart has stayed open and has begun to heal. God Bless John Dau and I hope he continues to share his testimony with others! <3

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Jean,
      You are exactly right! Peace has nothing to do with our circumstances but peace only comes from GOD! I praise God that you are opening your heart to our Lord and Savior. I pray that whatever your past hurt is that Jesus touches you and heals that area of your life. I pray that you feel God’s Presence in your life in a new and powerful way.

  42. saskia says:

    Question one was an eye opener for me. I had to deal with a lot as a child. There was a lot of fighting in our home, sadness and very often we (my siblings and I) just didn’t know how home would look like if we came home from school. My parents were very young, age 17 and 18, when I was born and although they were in love with eachother they hardly knew each other. With 25 there wer five children to take care of and it was just too much. Life at our home was loke riding a rollercoaster with your eyes closed… but….. pondering the first question a lot of memories came up. And they were so happy. The feeling of happiness when my mother read to me. The effort my dad put into teaching me the game of damen. Saturday afternoon sitting with the whole family around the small televisiontable, all freshly bathed, to eat home made french fries and watch our favourite show. The feeling of absolute happiness when I was allowed to accompany my father in his truck for a day. And so on and so on. I could not stop writing. It made tears come to my eyes and I was so thankful! I am determined to focus on this every time a less nice memorie comes up. A lot of things have been worked on through counselling but the nice memories were more or less suffocated. I think and feel that God wanted to show me something with that. I wrote everything down and more and more things are coming up. God is so good! I do not want to dwell on negative things anymore but only on the good and positive things!

  43. Karen L. says:

    I was particularly moved by the writing of Hannah’s story …and waiting on God. My daughter (and only child) has been struggling with infertility treatments for the past two years and it has been so difficult to watch her struggle with the emotional pain of this journey. Her and her husband would be such awesome parents. Her faith and trust in God are at an all time low. She had another infertility procedure last week…she will know the results on Mother’s Day and of course, she is afraid to be hopeful. I have asked her to download this book and read this chapter today for some insights, hope and trust in God. Learning and trying to trust Him in all circumstances!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Karen,
      I was also so touched by Hannah’s story. I have always been touched by it but it hit me in a new and intense way! Hannah was willing toaccept whatever God had in store for her. She prayed her heart out and in such desperation they thought she was drunk. I pray that we can all learn from Hannah. I can’t imagine the pain your daughter is going through. Infertility is such an exhausting trial for a woman. Please know that I am lifting your daughter up to our Father. Our Lord allows no suffering without purpose. I pray that if it is God’s will that He would allow your daughter to become pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. I thank Him for His grace and mercy. Praying for peace, joy, comfort, strength, and guidance for your daughter. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you:-)

      • Karen L says:

        Thank you, kindly, for your encouraging words and prayers, Kristie. It is so hard to see your child, even as adults, suffer so intensely when they have tried to be faithful and live a caring, Christian life. Even harder when all of their friends and family are having children w no difficulty. I am writing out so many Bible promises to claim and hang on to…..saying them even while mowing the lawn today! Thank u so much for remembering Tara in prayer….and for me to know how to support her best. Karen

  44. Teresa says:

    Chapter 5 is so good! Our family is completely blessed, and I never want to overlook those blessings. But our lives are not perfect, and for the last several years, we have dealt with issues with my husband’s job– lots of uncertainty. We have prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and God has not opened up another door. We sometimes feel desperate and discouraged and wonder if God is really working in this situation and really listening to our prayers, and it’s easy to go down the road of thinking maybe He’s not or that maybe we should try to “make” something happen. But God’s sweet promises come to mind– that He has plans for us, that He hears us, and that He is always with us. These things are settled, and it always comes down to whether or not I believe His promises. It is a constant process; I have to continue believing– keep on believing. And it is only when I believe and trust the Lord to fulfill His word and promises in my life that I find peace– sweet, sweet peace.

  45. Wow. I read this entire thread earlier today and was at work all I could think about was wow. Amazing Grace, Amazing Love, transformation, not just in my life but in the life of so many around me and some I know, some I do not not . I do know that we all have pain, sorrow, hurt, habits, love, hate, resentments, joy, fear, and issuses. My heart feels so soft and mushy these past few weeks, and for sure the past 5 weeks. I am doing more then reading, surface reading brings surface results, I am digging for the first time, to see the speck in my eye, not anyone else’s ( although I do sometimes ) still point fingers. Finger pointing is worthless, because it is not what happens, to me , or by who it happens, it is how I respond to it. Will I focus on God’s promise, and hope, or will I judge, condem, and with out even really being aware of it, hurt others, because I have acted instead of trusted God. I too have a special needs child , who is 22. Been down every road with him in the past 10 years, I might say that he is drug free, thank you Jesus. Yet , we have medicated, been in treatment, etc for him, you think it we signed up for it. It was not untill he started feeling the pain of his actions, and his IQ is 63 so to understand what he is feeling is hard, I help him, but I know he has found a GOD, and believes that He should behave and act right, to him right is whatever is loving and kind and honest and pure. That is good enough for me, We struggle, I stress, I accuse, I over re-act, in most things I do. I go overboard, and lately, I am aware of that over bearing , personality, and I am grateful for the lesson, this week, is only 2 days in, and I have seen so many things , that I have not seen before. Let me say that honesty is the antidote to stinking thinking, and its women, like you all, who are posting you heart, and taking a risk that allow me to do the same.. Scripture, personalized and written with my name, (PAM) … was like real powerful last night, the whole chapter was about living , and letting those around us live, letting them off the hook, as a women spoke about this weekend, Untill I create the universe , and all that is in it, I need to give them, to God, thats it, pray, for them and pray for my healing and for God to bring all of us through it. I have gotten to a point about a year ago, just like chapter 5 were there was nothing left but Jesus. Cried out, on my kness, and asked for forgivness, and I gave up the fight, I was tired of getting my butt kicked, in a certain area. However, I still loose the fight today, when I try and do it my way, When I am in the center of God’s will, there is no strife, chaos, stress, or troubles, he takes them, he sets them, free, and I am learning how to forgive myself, and forgive others, how to interact, respect and learn that we all are people with emotions, that waver in and out, up and down, GOD, is the same all the time, his ways, endure forever and ever. This has been a amazing couple days, and I am blessed to read, learn, share and be a part of a greater whole. First hand experience, trust in the lord with all your heart, and he will take care of your every need, all of them. Chapter 5 was one I will re- read, a few times, one more thought, Praising God is worship and the lord loves to hear our Voice Print, speaking out loud, the prayers of the heart, singing songs of praise…. WOW..

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Pam,
      What a beautiful and powerful comment. I loved everything you said. I am amazed at how much God is working in this OBS and particularly chapter 5. He is so good and so faithful. Thank you for sharing your heart! Lots of love and prayers:-)

  46. Lauren Beach(OBS Group Leader) says:

    Love Chapter 5 but completely eye opening! I am like Hannah today on my knees shedding it all to the Lord! I admit the questions are tough and I am praying over them as I go! It is time to surrender and to completely trust in God and I need to not try to do it all myself ~ I need him and his strength in my life. He is my PORTION and I need and want more of Him in my life <3

    Praying for you all

  47. Lauren says:

    As I’m sure many of us did, I really needed this chapter this week. It’s so easy to trust God and let go of stress when things are going well, but when life happens, things come up, I continue to allow doubt and worry to creep in. I will say that the amount of time I allow those things to stay has diminished over the last few weeks. The verse Mark 10:27 was such a great reminder for me today specifically as I shared something with my husband earlier today that we will just never get out of the financial hole we are in. We get a plan in place and then inevitably things happen that deter that plan. BUT as this verse says, while it is not possible humanly, with God all is possible. Then the part in the chapter where Tracie says “Rather than spending time pouting…we need to focus on believing that, in one way or another, his answer will come in his time.” The other thing that really stood out to me was “Peace is not a matter of life or circumstances, it’s a matter of the heart.” This is what I’ve been missing pretty much for the past 3 years. I get so caught up in the negativity of my circumstances, when regardless of the circumstances, God is who He says He is and he will never leave us or forsake us.

  48. Well, all I can say is WOWzah. What a chapter. I love life. I have a renewed contentment that I have longed for, for quite some time. Stuck in a place of lack, and worse – for a few years, this Joseph pit has tried to knock the life out of me, but God brings us / me to a place, a study, a word of confirmation through an author, a Sunday service that brings a special guest – who has a life transforming story to tell, and all rolled up together, becomes a heart change in my life, that I know is God ordained. Revelations of completion of past pains, lost childhood, to bring me to an even deeper knowledge of the sweetness of the Holy Spirit.

    Unashamedly sold out to an audience of ONE. My God. My main Man. My providential Maker, whom loves me with an intense love, so much He calls me by name, He is my friend. He desires wholeness, righteousness, and my whole mind, body and soul.
    Who am I? – a feeble, woman, who has lived through a lot of “stuff”, to not take him fully at His word. Every promise He offers IS mine. I receive it. Without reservation. To let go of all that I should not hold onto that has hindered me for far to long, is released. To live free. Freedom. Like a sparrow that flies and sings in the morning sun.
    I have even more than the sparrow. Because He created me in His image.
    Why have I waited so long to accept fully this gift? I let go of guilt, condemnation, and will no longer allow the enemy of my soul to affect my life with any negative connotations again – I am free.

    Thank you Tracie, for writing this book. With such deepness – with conviction and love, that we could see His intense love for us, that we can release, and live with dreams, passions, and His mighty purpose.

    I am blessed to be a part of this time and place. Praise God for all GOOD things he offers, and the realization that I can have fullness of life again.

  49. I was reminded through Hannah’s story on page 95, on really focusing and surrendering everything during prayer. I loved the reminder to get on our knees. There is something more respectful and honoring of God with praying that way. I remember our pastor one Sunday asking us to get on our knees and pray. People were uncomfortable at first, but we gained community through it and learned to really surrender.

    “She pored out her entire heart and held nothing back and Hannah accepted whatever plan God had for her. She prayed with gusto and enthusiasm”.

    It really is taking the time to pray before we get so tired and just say a few words – I have been guilty of that. God is so good and all he is asking for is a little bit more of my time. I am trying to now watch less TV and dwell in his word and pray. God Bless-:)

  50. Kim W. says:

    This is such a great chapter – so much to absorb and think about! I loved the line [Our happy ending] “may not always be the ending that we asked for, but when we trust that God’s ways are always best, we can feel confident in knowing that he’s got us covered.” I confess that I struggle with having the patience to wait for and to accept that. In the story of Hannah, her strong faith and her perseverance allowed God to work in her life and give her peace. Like Tracie, I have been in a place of struggle in my marriage. I haven’t always relied on and put God first in my marriage and it has caused a lot of pain for my husband and me and for our children. Today I realized that while I have prayed and prayed for God to change things in my marriage, I really needed to rely on God to repair and restore my relationships and to change MY heart. I have to trust that God’s timing is what is truly best for me.

    • Girl I will tell you for sure, when you work on YOU, God works on your marriage. I say it because I have been there. I came into our marriage with two armfuls overflowing with baggage. But when I finally went to individual counseling (even with me being a counselor) and Kevin started meeting with a mentor – and we both worked on us…God healed our marriage. WIll be praying for you and your hubs…God has such amazing plans for you as a couple.