vine and branches -John 15Disappointment, Discouragement and Struggle are more a part of life than we like to admit.

Especially on social media. Everything is shiny, positive and wonderful!  No one posts pics of their family fighting, bad hair days, or the ugliness that can crowd our days.

Sometimes I hesitate to share or write about the reality of life…

Who wants to share…

  • How they struggled to get out of bed and face another day
  • Waited for answered to prayers that never came (“keep Waiting“:  is an answer- I know, but it still is oh so hard to lean into)
  • Snapped or even yelled at their kids for being kids
  • Numbed their feelings with a glass of wine and some Scandal or Revenge
  • Avoided people so they didn’t have to pretend to be fine or tell the truth and say, “I’m drowning… it hurts to be aware, think, breathe…

But this is the truth.

I have thought, felt, done all of these things as I wrestle with living in this broken world…As I cling to God for truth and strength to face the day.

In these moments, God whispers … come to Me and you will find rest for your soul.

ABIDE  was my word for 2014 and as I sunk deep into abiding in Christ I found a deeper peace in the midst of struggle, loss and disappointment.

I wrestled with God and wanted to not abide- but that only made me more angry and depressed. I have been a believer for over almost 40 years and what I know to be true in my head, helps me in the midst of dark and difficult days.   My faith:  stubborn, messy,  raw & doubting has me clinging to God when the tsumani of real life and its gamut of emotions threaten to take me under.

ABIDE... so being back I came- crawled sometimes… Begging God to end the desperation in my heart – to just take away my dreams of ministry. At last then I wouldn’t feel raw from longing with every passing day. But He didn’t. “ABIDE in Me” was all God said… “Bring your ravaged heart and weary soul to Me and Abide… I am pruning you, preparing you – Abide.

I read a quote once where a young girl paraphrased Psalm 23:  The Lord is my Shepherd, what more do I want.”

Since I have Jesus… what more could I want?

Sometimes a whole lot! The list is long and even filled with legitimate wants:  justice, hope, provision, growth–but other times it is just relief.  I want relief from the pain of living aware, all in, alive – in this fallen world.

God whispers Abide…I am the Vine- find your life, sustenance, meaning, purpose, ministry, peace, confidence, strength, perspective… even relief  in ME!  Apart from Me you can do nothing.

At these moments, I tell God, “okay, you win…”  (as if that makes a difference.) Somehow, this admission help me open my hands and heart to receive and just BE with God in the midst of whatever is going on.

abideI choose to ABIDE…in all the different seasons of life…And cling to the only One who can see me through, give my struggles meaning and use them for good.

How do you choose to Abide in Christ when life is hard, uncertain, disappointing, and beyond understanding?  What are some ways that Abiding has brought you peace, goodness, rest, resolution or strength to continue on?

**I started Bible Journaling this year!  What a delightful way to sink into God’s word.  I’ve been working on this for a few days. It is a first for me in terms of a whole page spread, using chalk pastels and the whole drawing thing! But it was Fun!! And I meditated on the verses while playing with art and color!

2 Responses to “Keeping it Real…”

  1. Linda

    Thank you for this post. During this past year I found myself reminding a favorite brother in law to move in faith to not only endure, but abide. A man of profound faith, he faced a diagnosis of cancer and a series of treatments and operations that left him in pain and weak. A very practical person, and one who had never experienced such pain or the real possibility of iminent death, he tetered on the brink of hopelessness and despair. He toyed with the idea of not having a needed surgery and not continuing with chemo. He decided it was unfair to his family to prolong the ‘inevitable’–all on his own. I wasn’t gentle with him; I wasn’t understanding; I didn’t tell him it was unfair. I told him to live into his faith and Abide and Endure. I told him to fight.
    It wasn’t easy for me because I love him and hated that he was in such pain. I wanted to be empathetic and soothing. I didn’t want to be brutal; I wanted to be firm. Life isn’t easy and some days are just over the top, but we can endure if we abide. And, if we can’t abide, what does it say about our faith?

    • Susie Miller

      Linda, I don’t know ho w i missed this comment. I’m sorry. I know this is a late reply, my apologies. I am sad to hear about your brother in law and hope he has found some strength and hope – you my friend are a beacon of both!


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