Welcome to the Womens Bible Cafe™ and our Faith Dare study! We are reading and discussing The Faith Dare by Debbie Alsdorf.
Guest Blogger Debbie Alsdorf
These past dares probably hit home for most of you. The way we, as women, view ourselves is usually through a negative and faulty lens. This view breeds insecurity. Insecurity sneaks into all our relationships and daily situations. Insecurity even affects the way we view life, the way we handle change, and whether or not we surrender to God.
This has been the summer of surrender and change for me. I could kick, scream and fight my way through my circumstances or I could practice letting go and yield my pieces to the peace that is available to me through Christ. Most of us know how to throw a tantrum, but many of us need to practice living in a place of yielded peace. I am finding that it happens when I take my current circumstance and all it’s raw emotion and stop the train of negative thoughts. I exchange the negativity for a stream of praise and prayer. In this place I can practice embracing the good, and accepting the things that I can not change. I am having lots of practice rounds with this breast cancer piece. I can spend my days feeling terrible about my change in appearance and the way my body feels without its beloved estrogen—or, I can turn my thoughts to a place of embracing this life change and asking God to enable me to surrender more fully. My circumstances don’t have to define me.
Just when I thought I was handling disappointment pretty well, one more came across my path. My dear friend let me know her family was moving away. Emptiness. That is the emotion that wrapped around my heart. Off to Los Angeles they go, creating new memories, making new friends, and yes, following Jesus and His path for them. But for me, the emptiness hung like a cloud. Changes once again left me feeling insecure in the circumstance. Surrender to another change? Another disappointment? Is God big enough to be working in this? Yes!
Surrender is not a hugely popular subject. It sounds a bit barbaric but it is actually beautiful for those of us who are surrendering our lives more fully to Jesus. It’s only through surrender, the letting go of self, that we can become the woman that He had planned all along. These past dares have had much to do with surrender: not living for self, not thinking ugly things about ourselves, not fearing change, not looking at life through the wrong mirror, not letting our mind sit in the wrong stuff, and surrendering to the power of praise and thanks no matter what circumstance we are in.
Believe me, some powerful things can happen in our lives as we surrender, or yield to God’s way.
But, sometimes we don’t want to! We want to focus on the negative because we know how to do that, right? Learning to praise and turn our thoughts around takes energy, often energy that we don’t think we have left in us. The secret is this: when we turn our thoughts around to the good, we ARE energized in ways that we could never imagine.
Here’s truth again: Life is filled with hard times. Period. Jesus let us know. Paul reminded us through his teachings, James told us to count it all joy. Life is hard and we have the privilege of learning to surrender to the power and love of Jesus. This surrender is the only unchanging thing in this life.
How do we praise in hard life? We make a choice. We pray for the grace to learn to live above our circumstances. We open our mouths and repeat something positive. Scripture reading out loud helps, daily affirmations help, praising God that He is with us works. Whatever it takes for you to turn your mind around, refocusing on the good of God rather than focusing on the bad of your circumstance.
I am going to Hawaii in a week. I will sport a lopsided breast, a fluffier body thanks to the drop in estrogen, but my goal is to sport a positive attitude as I make sure that I bring my mind in focus to what really counts in life. When all is said and done, the most important things are what Christ said and what He has done to pave the way for freedom.
Dear friend, may we learn to live with a new surrender that is fueled by a security in His love for us. This love is a love that has planned for each of us from the beginning of time. This love is the foundation on which all else stands. This love can move mountains, heal the sick, raise the dead and give people new hearts. This love is calling out to us today.
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude v.20
Keep yourself in the love of God. It’s a choice to remember. It’s a choice to surrender to that love. As women unite in surrender to God, the ripple effect will change the world!
Practicing living as an overcomer…one day, one choice, one thought…at a time.
Assignment For This Week
- Read the daily dares in the Faith Dare book
- Join a small group at the Womens Bible Cafe™