For two weeks, I have been posting about how I am choosing to navigate through the most challenging trial I have ever faced. I am resolved to steer clear of lamenting and wailing about my trial to those who read this blog. Let’s review a bit about what I am…what WE are…doing instead (feel free to click each green link to be taken to the post on that topic):
Step 1 is CHOOSING to do this trial differently. I can’t control my circumstances, but I can control my response to them. The first step has to be to CHOOSE to do this in a way that will glorify God. It is challenging, but He empowers us. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness, so I know he gives me what I need to make the right choice.
Have you made the choice to do your trial differently? It may be a choice you have to make many times each day.
Step 2 is to be proactive in CHANGING my thinking. I choose to trade thoughts that assault me–thoughts that often are lies, but definitely defeating slams against my character or God’s character–with truth. I suggested that you memorize Romans 12:1,2 or 2 Corinthians 10:5 or one of the statements that I put out there. Then, when you see that you are thinking a negative thought, take the thought captive and replace it with a thought or verse from Scripture.
Have you memorized the scriptures/statements suggested or come up with your own? How is it going using this as a strategy to change your thinking?
In Step 3, I asked you to Get Equipped for this journey. There are tools we need if we are going to think and act differently. Not everyone needs or uses the same tools, but I shared tools that I recommend for this journey. I have to ask myself if the tools might be worth what it takes to get them. For me, I stand to gain a whole lot by getting well equipped, so I don’t hesitate to do so.
Have you gathered your supplies? There is still time!
In Step 4 I suggested memorizing a song that proclaims a willingness to surrender. Even if you don’t have Lay Me Down on an mp3 player, you can play it each day on your computer (see the link) and memorize the words. I promise you if you do this, you will have the words to that song go through your mind at the best possible moment–right when you need it!
How is memorizing this song going? Are you singing it?
In Step 5, I challenged us to MAGNIFY THE LORD, rather than the dust mite. Each time we retell our story to yet another person, we are empowering our trial to wound us further, to establish us as a victim. When we select only a few (3 or less) special people to tell about our challenge who will exhort us in God’s truth and pray for us, we are refusing to exalt and magnify the dust mite. We can choose (there’s that word again!) to magnify our GOD and see our trial from his perspective.
If you have already shared your story with too many people, don’t fret. Share with them your desire to exalt God through this trial and to let God have his way with what HE intends. Ask them to pray for you.
Step 6 walked you through the beginning of creating a God List–the characteristics and behaviors of our wonderful God as found in Scripture, godly songs, hymns, sermons, and bible studies. You can keep this list for your entire life, adding to it a bit each day as part of a quiet time with God. This is one of the most transformative exercises I have experienced.
Have you started your God List? Could you begin it today? I promise it will encourage you!
Techie Tuesday #01 talked about my friend, Barb’s app for your Apple device. God can use this to help you walk through trials using truth.
Have you downloaded and tried using Barb’s app? I would love to hear about it!
Step 7 asked you to use our God Lists from Step 6 to Praise our God for who He is, what He is like. When I try not to think about something (like my trial and the pain it causes me), I seem to think even more about my trial! So, I have learned that thinking about my God gives my mind something good and wonderful and true to focus on. It diminishes the power of the trial to control me and gives God the glory he is due!
Did you use your God List to enjoy a Praise-Fest? It isn’t too late!
Then, finally (so far), in Step 8, I shared with you how I can use Scripture to pray for the person through whom my trial may come. I encouraged you to let the script of scripture direct your words as you lift them up to God. This changes something in our hearts, giving us a glimpse of God’s thoughts about our trial and the person(s) involved.
How is it going with praying for the person in your life who God is using to grow you?
I wanted not to just blow by these great tools and strategies. I am not ready to let you off the hook. I do want to say this: There is nothing about employing any of these strategies that could cause God to love you more than he does at this moment. It is important to me that you know that. It is true. There is nothing you could do to make God love you more or less than he does right now. His love for you is perfect.
Which of these 8 steps — 9 strategies, including the Techie Tuesday app–can you do today, right now? Which can you give another try to?
Level 1: Pick just one of the above steps or strategies and give it a try. You want to see your trial differently, right? You want to emerge victorious over the trial rather than be a victim of your circumstance, right? Me, too. So which ONE thing will we spend five minutes (or more) trying?
Level 2: Pick three things to do today of the above strategies. Put as little or as much time into each as you can.
Level 3: Blow the wad! Go the gamut! It is worth it! Do every one of them.
PLEASE: Please, oh please…I am groveling …share thoughts you have as you do this in the comments section. Is this stuff helpful? Or am I deluding myself thinking that God has a message for me to share with people that can help them navigate the murky waters of a Genesis 3 existence? LOL! If this stuff isn’t life-changing, I don’t want to waste my time writing it up, speaking about it to others, or my literary agent’s time either!