When we forget to abide

I promise in the end this will be hopeful. But the beginning isn’t. I share because I wonder how many of us started off strong and then bad days became hard weeks. And hard weeks rolled into ‘when is this going to end.’ So here’s the truth about why it was getting so hard. I stopped abiding in God. And He told me so.

I wake up and I know exactly how the day will go. I know when the power struggle will start with the kids. I think about it before it even happens. I know that math will set my daughter off. That the internet won’t work on my son’s computer. I know that the littlest will play with his animals while I don’t have time to read him a story because school, laundry, endless dishes, deadlines.

I know I’ll feel trapped and unseen all day. And I know I will at some point want to get away from it all as my bad attitude gets the best of me.

So. That’s what forgetting to abide in Christ looks like in my life. And I’m so thankful to wake up joyful again today. Here’s how.

Last night I got a message from a loved one. She encouraged me to read Psalm 91. But before I did I angrily asked God why it’s been so hard. Lovingly, but truthfully He revealed that in all the social distancing, I’d decided to distance myself from Him. Not on purpose. But in disbelief that He is the One true powerful God.

Lovingly, but truthfully He revealed that in all the social distancing, I’d decided to distance myself from Him. 

I stopped reading my Bible and started sleeping in.

I stopped praying and starting running my mouth when frustrated.

I stopped trusting and started depending on my limited wisdom and power.

Yep. That’s who you’re following here! The girl who just stopped! But I think it’s important for you to know. That when you follow a person you’re following someone flawed. And all that person can do is point you to the flawless Jesus. Amen?

So as I read my Bible God was able to speak to my soul and comfort me. I soaked in the fact that I’m not alone. That my faith is real. That God has a proven track record of saving His people. And that when we distance ourselves from God, life is a lot harder internally than when we spend time with Him. You want God’s help? Make time for Him. Pray. Read. Be still and quiet before the Lord. Get up early. Stay up late. Do what you have to do because it’s what you need.

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Reading this morning in Psalm 13 and the Psalmist might as well be me. Starts off asking…

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2 ESV)

Truth is our God never forgets us. But it can feel that way when we stop abiding. When we choose to distance ourselves from Him. But the end it like waking up remembering the truth that God doesn’t move away from us. He is steadfast even when we waver.

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6 ESV)

Trust in His steadfast love again today. RE-joice. RE-new your faith. You get a RE-do as you come near to your Jesus. Today gets to be today and yesterday is in the past. And because of that you and I and all who call on the name of the Lord get to sing. Today let’s replace sadness with singing, bravely CHOOSING to rejoice in the Lord even when our circumstances may be the same.

-Andrea

How are you doing? Comment below or on Facebook, or Instagram. Until next time, sending you and yours love, blessings, and prayers for health and peace.

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood. You matter to me! I’m so glad to walk in faith with you.

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily Bread! And more with WhollyLoved Ministries on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk.

Fleeting Or Forever

Wedding season occupied my 20s. Divorces shake my 30s. It’s rocking homes in my neighborhood, friends, people I love. I bet you’ve witnessed the falling of relationships you were sure of, too. If we must endure the hurt of the fleeting, what can we learn from it? Where is the forever we long for?

Truth? We have the hope of forever, but we often put our faith in fleeting things and people.

My confession? I do this all the time and it continues to backfire. And I’m tired of it.

The only sure thing in life is…Facebook. Um, wait, no. Maybe Insta? Nope. I put my hope in them daily for approval, but they are like rabid raccoons someone let loose in my house. Putting my hope in my platform to make dreams come true left me totally deflated and hopeless. Some days everyone likes you, they think you’re witty and wise, and the next day–crickets! Fans and dreams cannot be my hope.

How about my family? My husband and kids? They can be my hope. Wrong again! When I put the weight of my identity and all my needs on them, their faults become unbearable, they can’t meet my every need and vice versa, and our relationships suffer. They cannot be the source of my hope. The best we can do for each other is build one another up on the true rock.

I could list 10 other things I’ve put my trust in…my ability to control, my body, my work ethic…but they only disappoint and distract from the only One worthy of my faith.

In Jesus, our hope is secure. He is forever everything good, unchangeable love, enduring relationship, abundantly for me and you.

Read Psalm 121. It’s short and so important. It was ringing in my head this morning as I thought of you and wondered what God wanted me to say. Where does my help come from? Jesus. Where does my everything come from? Jesus. He is our hope and He alone can handle our need. He never slumbers. He is constant in a world of chaos.

I don’t want to give my precious hope to the cheap attractions of the world anymore, or heap my need for a Savior on people who were not meant to be Jesus. Let’s stop making sandcastles, and build on solid rock. He is the forever we crave and He is enough to fill every part of our deepest need when people and things cannot.

How is God asking you to raise your eyes to Him instead of the world? What do you need to let go of in order to do so? Trade in the fleeting and let Jesus be your eternal hope. He’s up to the task.

Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook. P.S. Jesus is so incredible! I’m so excited for you as you get to know the One who wants to be your EVERYTHING!

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood, you matter to me, and I’m so grateful you let me serve you:)

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

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IT’S HERE! Intentional Holidays is the perfect devotional to keep you focused on Jesus this holiday season. It was so fun to write for this devo with such a talented and grace-filled group of women. We hope this brings you rest and rejoicing through the often chaotic seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Order yours on Amazon asap!

 

 

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We made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.