July 20, 2011


Strength, how I long for it! Not physical strength necessarily as I'm quite content being my girly, generally incapable self. But strength of heart, strength of Spirit, strength where it matters...it haunts every moment of weakness and every fear that brings tears to my eyes. I lie awake at night crying out for the strength to heal the pain, to calm my worries, and to appease my doubt. It was in one of these moments that the realization came to me. Strength with any lasting substance cannot come from me, but must come from Him. Of course, I've heard this in Sunday School and have read it in the Word but it never really sunk in, this fact that deep within me there truly is no strength of my own. There is no well in my heart from which I can draw healing that I have digged myself. Rather, every drop of strength must come from the One who is waiting and willing to give it as soon as I let go of the tattered shreds that I have sown together with pride and the facade of solidity.

And then, that sweet voice whispers, "My child, remember? My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. If you were not so weak, you would never know how strong I alone can make you."

Is it not in the most painfully silent moment that we can so clearly hear that still small voice? When we cannot find it within us to lift up our head, our God promises, "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee!" The prayer of my heart has changed from "help me do this" to "Lord, be my very strength. Let no one see Beth in what I'm doing but truly let me shine with nothing but YOU." Since it cannot be my own strength that carries me through, my own strength can receive none of the glory.

Here's the nitty-gritty
. Okay, so all pretty words and end results aside, my real conversation with God left me feeling like Moses, always retorting back with an excuse and God, ever gentle to me, responding with a strong but sweet answer as clear as glass. This genuine conversation I cannot forget, I write it out only to remind myself and to encourage you all.

It was me saying, "God, do you even hear me? Can you see how difficult all this is for me?"
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, His ears are open unto their cry."

"God, it wasn't supposed be this way, I loved him and he disappointed me."
"I have loved thee with an everlasting love, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
"How can I go down there when I am still hurting?"

 "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart." 
"But God, I can't do this, I really don't think I can." 
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
"But, Lord, it's going to be so very hard."
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

And so after being gently scolded and once again put back into my place behind the shadow of His promises, the verse that my Lord gave to me when everything first fell apart held the promise for me that I will carry there in my heart. I pray it resounds clearly in everything I do, every word I speak, and every tear I'm certain to shed.
♥ Beth


July 11, 2011


What is courage? Often when I hear the word my mind pictures a battle-bruised soldier charging off across enemy lines, bullets soaring around him, a flag in hand, and determination in his eyes. But this isn't my kind of courage. This isn't the sort of courage God has called me to have. I have come to realize that my overly-cautious, ever-questioning personality and my tendency to always leave myself some form of escape route really is nothing but down-right fear. Often, that fear hinders my service for the King, especially because it is known that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." In light of recent circumstances, courage has been something my heart has been crying out to God for. In doing so, God has shown me that courage isn't necessarily some form of unabashed bravery but what it really is is an active sort of trust.

The nation of Israel in Numbers 14 begins to cry out to Moses and they express a desire to go back to Egypt. Egypt of all places! Why? Because they were afraid, they were lacking in courage. Sure, God had promised them wonderful things but they allowed what they could see now to affect their faith. The future was intimidating and hard. Everything inside wanted to go back to the ways things were because things had been comfortable that way for so long. This hasn't changed so much today. The future that is looming before me, before all of us, is unknown and what can be seen is confusing and well...scary. Yet, this story is a stark reminder that God knew what He was doing for Israel and He knows what He is doing for me too.

Judah demonstrated the sort of courage I long to have in II Chronicles 20. Surrounded by enemies and with no hope in sight, the nation turned to God with a faith that said,  "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee." And you know what? God delivered them! This courage says, "I'm afraid, I'm scared, and I don't understand, but GOD is in control and I will carry on with what He has called me to do because my Lord is bigger than my fear."

So as the pathway God is leading me down grows shadowed and fear begins to creep in and threatens to strangle my faith, may my eyes always be turned upward towards a Heavenly Father who knows what lies beyond the darkness. May my feet always press on through the fog and never falter in thought of going back. I pray my steps, and yours, will always be light in knowing that the God who carries us through these confusing times is the same God who will lead into "a land which floweth with milk and honey."


"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." - Deuteronomy 31:6

July 8, 2011

Dear Friend

As I sat there, trying desperately to console a friend who's even fresher heart-break reflected my own freshly broken heart, I found myself with little to say that could redeem the male race. Initially, my anger was toward any and all things male and spouted off the old female adages laced with bitterness, such as: "Who needs them." and "All guys are jerks." Better yet, I was about to warn her not to put her heart on the line so easily, to protect herself against a next time. But my words soured and I knew that such a thing simply was not possible. As women, we were created by God to be emotional creatures. Our make-up (the inside kind) makes it nigh impossible to separate those emotions from our decision-making, our hopes, and our dreams. As a dear friend reminded me, that's what makes true, Godly, femininity so very beautiful!

What are we to do then? Float through life hoping to stumble across another floater who might not hurt us? Certainly not. People disappoint, that's something unavoidable. But if God is our focus and we are whole-heartedly seeking to serve Him above even our emotions, hopes, and dreams, He will work everything out just how it is supposed to be, guiding our steps and gently leading us down the pathways of His will. Now, there may be a "valley of the shadow of death" along the way, but the beauty of the 23rd Psalm is that, along the way, there are also places beside the still waters.

So sweet friend, don't fret. Through my own recent experience God has shown me so very many things. This isn't a "to-do" list for getting over a relationship or for taping together shattered hearts, but rather, some promises that God has given to bring comfort to me during this time, and hopefully to you as well.

1. We aren't promised tomorrow, but God knows what is in the "tomorrows" we do have.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  ♥  Isaiah 55:8

2. If we truly, truly give our heart-break to Him, He WILL heal it. It doesn't make it easier, it doesn't make it all okay or right. But God will make all things beautiful in His time and tears that still trust Him become something precious in His sight.

 "He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can    find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." ♥  Ecc. 3:1

3. Remember, it doesn't really matter what "status" we are, where we are in life, or who we are at all. All that matters is that we are HIS. Beyond that, everything else will fall into place.

" Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." ♥ Isaiah 43:1

4. Be honest with others and with yourself.  This is a hard one, but the fact is with situations like these can either be filled with lies, false expectations, and disappointments that drag on, or with the painful truth that enables moving on.

"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." ♥ James 3:14,16

5. Rely on friends who will encourage you in the LORD and not fuel emotional fires. That's to say, seek counsel and comfort from those who want you to receive those things from God as well, who will point you to Him, the "God of all comfort."

"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

Oh, there is so much more I could write, but for now, know that I do understand what you're going through and the desire of my heart is that God will bring you the peace He has brought me. I don't understand why, I don't understand what happened, or why God allows these things to break us down. I do know, however, that my God is bigger than the circumstances we find ourselves in and that our lack of understanding is our opportunity to rely on a God that changes not.

♥ Beth

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
" - Psalm 55:22