What Are You Doing With Your Story?

Sometimes when things get tough and we are challenged, it is good to remember that God  will use our pain to help another person. Whether that person is currently going through something similar to what we have experienced now, or unbeknownst to us, in the future, it is comforting to know that we will or have helped another person a long the way.

That is one of the reasons why I love God so much because I have seen it not only in my life, through numerous testimonies and conversations people have shared with me . God, does not waste one single tear or miss one unheard cry…. He uses it all, all of them, to help another hurting soul. There is no way that I would have survived the loss of my brother fourteen years ago without the stories and heart to heart conversations people shared with me, not from a textbook, or something they saw on television, but true everyday people who mysteriously crossed my path, that helped me along the way in my journey. I think life is a journey, a conscious, ever-changing process that is always changing, where time never stands still. Even though a person will meet thousands of people, have millions of interactions with others, it is all one systematic process that comes full circle.  I read somewhere, “we come into the world naked with our fists bawled up, and leave this world naked with our fists bawled up!

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[b] among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (Romans 8:28-30, NLT).

If you think about it, what would be the point of experiencing a trial in your life, if you thought there was no way out, nothing to believe in, and nobody to help? I know that there are some people who unfortunately believe that, I think as humans, we all can temporarily get caught up in that thinking, but it is nice to know there is a God. A real God that not to be clique,  will “make a way out of no way.” He really and truly does!

I can read research studies, and statistics about how people deal with life’s adversities, and that is good information to know, but I would rather have a friend put their hand on my shoulder and say, “Hey, I know, I have been there.” I do not believe there is any shame in sharing with others traumatic, tragic things that have happened to us in our lives. God warned us in His Word that trials would come to us.  What the real shame would be is when God brings you through something and you don’t share it with another person to help them along their way.

It is so amazing to know that we have a God that knows everything about us! From the number of hairs on our heads to our most inner being, he knows it all… I love Jeremiah 29:11-13,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Whatever your story is, share it! My mother has a cousin named Karen Perry who lost her oldest son to a drug overdose. I am sure that some would have tried to cover up that their child got “caught up in life” and unfortunately lost his life at a very young age, but she didn’t. Karen took her pain to the world and to the schools, law enforcement agencies and now operates full-time NOPE Task Force, (Narcotic Overdose Prevention & Education) http://www.nopetaskforce.org.  NOPE is in the schools, law enforcement agencies, churches, community educating and preventing other parents from having to bury their children and other loved ones.

 

I ask myself daily, and I recommend you do the same, “What am I doing with my story?”

 

Blessings,

Traci

For more information on NOPE Task Force and drug education and prevention, please visit http://www.nopetaskforce.org

 

nope mission
nope mural

 

Affliction and Addiction

Broken-ShacklesI was watching television this morning and Beth Moore was on Life Today. Her message this morning was talking about Overcoming Affliction in our lives. It was very interesting. Beth said, “Affliction can be defined or references as “to force, to try to force into submission. Affliction always involves submission.” Very interesting point, to be addicted to something means to submit to the desire of the subject. To allow it to overcome your will, your spirit, your being in a negative way. Then I thought more about it, and Beth referenced, “God can use an affliction”. If you are thinking of an addiction as something we submit too, He draws us to submit to him for delivery of that addiction.

Psalm 25:18 Consider my affliction and trouble, and take away all my sins.

Psalm 25:19 Consider my enemies; they are numerous, and they hate me violently.

Psalm 25:20 Guard me and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in You.

We always want to pray for deliverance of something other than God that has power over our lives. God can choose to deliver us in several different ways. He has the power of “Supremacy” and that is to completely deliver us from the addiction, take away the desire in use or remain in whatever our addiction was, or more often, use his sufficiency as a method of our recovery. What I mean is he may stop the addiction, but leave us with the desire or craving. If He choses to leave us with the craving, it can be used to draw us closer to Him. One way or another, if we know that without God’s help, we will never make it, or will never stay clean; then a person who desires abstinence will continually be drawn to God and always seek Him for our strength! I really like the point that Beth Moore made on the show. She said, ” If a person knows and cries out to God, I will never make it without you, I need you today, then the person will continuously seek out God day after day for healing! It makes sense, God’s desire is for us to know Him, to seek Him, to love Him. Why would he want to put us in a position of self-dependency? I truly believe that because God loves us and is full of His Grace and Mercy, He would not leave us in our own mess! What a disaster we would make if everything revolved around ourselves!

2 Corinthians 12:7 especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself.

2 Corinthians 12:8 Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

2 Corinthians 12:10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I Know There’s A God If I’m Still Here

You know I was thinking this morning about God, and the concept of life. I know that the title to this article is pretty out there, but then again, when I think of how God has carried me through this life, life is pretty out there too. I know for me, I do not stop and thank God enough for his Grace and Mercy, on a minute to minute basis! He has carried me, when I couldn’t walk, became my eyes when I couldn’t see, and my ears when I couldn’t hear, metaphorically speaking.

All the times that should have killed me, Thank you!
All the times, you kept my children safe, Thank You!
All the times you carried me through addiction, Thank You!
All the times you brought my husband home to us at night, Thank You!
All the times you kept us safe in cars and traveling, Thank You!
All the times you cured our sicknesses, Thank You!
All the times you kept me from losing my mind, Thank You!
All the times you wiped my tears, Thank You.
All the times you kept us with a roof over our heads, heat, and something to eat. Thank You!
All the times we were able to pay a bill, Thank You!
All the times you loved me, when I didn’t love myself. Thank You.

I know that every breath we take, is because of your Mercy and Grace! Every time I see my family at the end of the day, its because of You.

Thank You God For keeping us, and loving us, and giving us the ultimate sacrifice, no one could ever do, your own Son. Thank You!

Addiction and God’s Grace……

Let’s be real here, this is a very raw subject we often don’t want to talk about, bring up, or much less think about, but I feel I have to do it. This blog started out as “my” personal place to write and share with myself, (really?) the things that I had read, gathered, or learned about. I started noticing that people were reading it, and sharing the blog. That is great, but It made me realize, wow, other people are reading this, better watch what I write. I don’t think that is what God’s intention ever was…nor is it mine! So beware, some things you read are personal, honest, and could be a bit raw… but it is my hopes that other’s can apply what I write, line it up with God’s truth, most importantly!, and apply it, share it, or whatever you are called to do……
I read this morning, “Dance like no one is looking, Sing like no one can hear you, and Love like you can’t be hurt!” Isn’t that so awesome?!
OK, back to the topic of this post…. Addiction’s. There is a really good book, actual several Christian books out there that talk about Addictions, but the best one I have found is the Bible. One in particular that I am looking at right now is, “Stop the Madness, Finding Freedom from Addictions.” by Serendipity House. It is the Picking Up the Pieces Series.
I won’t make this too long, but I can tell you from experience, that addiction is not a fun place to be. It is a very long, lonely, isolating place, and if you are BLESSED enough to pull through it, it is only because of God’s Mercy and Grace! It is nothing that you did, or another person did for you, but only through the Grace of God, I repeat! God loves you, and will use other people to put in your path in helping your recovery, but please understand and give the credit to whom it is due!
The twelve steps are great, if taken with a Christian concept. The first step of Admitting your need,  of admitting your life is unmanageable! This is the time to get on your knee’s and pray for guidance from HIM! n Idolatry and addiction go hand in hand, putting the desire to get high, above Him and everything else, including yourself. Admitting this sin to him, is a first step to getting free!
A verse that I really like, is this….”It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1 NASB
I would love to share feedback with you on this topic, I can say that there is a life to live outside of this, for HIM to do His work. It is our responsibility to share with others, and to try and help by using our lives as an example. It’s not for us, to keep our experiences, both Good or Bad, to ourselves. So share your story….
Peace
I am here to share and help you along your way.