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Conceived

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1 Samuel 1:12-18

In my last blog, called “You are Right Where You Should Be”, we talked about how Hannah came to a place of extreme distress, in which she was brought to her knees to align her desire with what God chose.

If you missed it, you can click here to read it.

Now we are at a place in 1 Samuel 1:12-18 where we read the depth of Hannah’s prayer. Remember Hannah is in the Temple praying to God and Eli the priest is standing a far watching Hannah. As she prays Eli thought she was drunk.

eucharist-body-of-christ-church-mass-161081.jpegImage you being a calm and peaceful man with not a lot of drama in your midst. Things are taken care of in an orderly fashion. Then here comes a person whose life has gotten the best of them. The pain makes him or her say things with extreme intensively. Not holding back what is going through their mind and heart. As they speak the words loud sounds and cries follow. The crying can be uncontrollable. A place where the person feels all the reasons for living has left and they have no strength to go on.

May I ask, what would your reaction be if a person came to you acting like this?

Has life every gotten to you like Hannah in 1 Samuel 12-18? While you wanted to do what Hannah did instead, you held it in. Or did you release it God?

Many times we want to hold it in. Not wanting others to see us not having it all together. Embarrassed to visibly fall apart. Pride having us believe there is nothing wrong with us.pexels-photo-568027.jpeg

Maybe you think, well I am at a place in my life where I am past that. Yea. I understand. Recently, I too thought the same thing. But then the pressure of deaths, both of my kids wanting to give up on life, and trying to just pay bills, weighed me down. For some weeks, I walked around portraying I had it all together. As the pressure built up inside of me it brought me to a place like Hannah. Crying fiercely for God to hear my prayers. Once I had gotten it all out, I was relieved.

I asked myself why don’t I do this more often? Why do I hold back?

What got me, out of everything that was happening, I noticed when I hold back I miss out on conceiving something much greater than me. Let’s look at Hannah’s prayer to understand what I am talking about.

Verse 17

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.”

When we come to a place where we cry out like Hannah, do we come to a place for God to conceive something new in our life? The only visible sign Hannah had to show contraception had taken place was she walked away in peace (vs 18) The same person the priest was asking how long are you going to make yourself drunk?pexels-photo-415380.jpeg

Did you catch how God took Eli from believing she was drunk to praying that God grant her request?

Sometimes what you are praying for that has not come through is not being answered because you have not become desperate enough and God has not put the person in your path to be the extra weight needed to get that prayer to God.

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One thing we can say from this story is that prayer moves obstacles that are bigger than us that we can do nothing about. Answer the questions below and response to someone else with a prayer for them.

  1. Are there desires in your life that you have been waiting a while for God to answer? Share one.
  2. Does the desire and your circumstances every make you get distress? How do you response to the distress?
  3. Have you ever considered that coming to a place of distress that led to you pouring your heart out to God is bringing your closer to your desire?
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Right Where You Should Be

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1 Samuel 1:1-11

1 Samuel 1:1-11 is the start of the story of Hannah. If you have not read this before click on 1 Samuel 1:1-11 above to read before going on.

As I was reading the story of Hannah, I could not stop thinking about how Hannah was right where God needed her to be, even though it seemed different with the difficulty of not conceiving a child. Her husband was married to two women. During that time you were not highly looked upon if you were not producing children. Her husband’s other wife was not having a problem at all producing children. While the reading does not say exactly how many children she had, it did state on the day of sacrifice the husband gave portions to “all her sons and daughters”.  family-outdoor-happy-happiness-160994.jpeg

Possibly, you might think…well the husband just wasn’t into her like the other wife. You know what I am saying? But verse 5 and 6 we are told he loved her and showed favor to her by giving her a double portion of the sacrifice over the other wife. It shows us it was not a connection problem at all between the husband and wife, it was God himself closing her womb.

Can you image being with a man that loved you like no other, desiring children, and you sit with what you feel like is nothing? What kind of feelings would that produce in you? Jealously, mad, sad, and in some sense that something is wrong with you. Society has taught us to look a certain way. When the image we hold does not match to the image society has, feelings of not being enough bombard our mind.

man-couple-people-woman.jpgWhat is amazing in this story is that in verse 6 it tells us her haters came after her bitterly. They did not just come at her saying, “ha ha you cannot have kids and I can”. These rivals went extreme with their attacks. It was not done in a calm manner, using kind words. It was forceful. Making sure their point was loud and clear. Using words that were considered harsh. Their motive to doing this was to irritate her. In that moment they wanted her to remember no matter how she displays serving the Lord, that same Lord closed her womb while they were living large in comparison to her.

Perhaps in your mind you are getting this idea that this was a one-time occurrence. This occurrence happened year after year. (verse 7)

Truth be told the occurrence got to Hannah. What human would it not? In the Bible there was this one time that it was noted how her husband noticed and asked her why are you letting this stuff get to you? Hannah never responded to her husband. In his moment of what I believe was frustration and hurt for his wife he asked her, “Aren’t I enough?”

In this one sentence of “Aren’t I enough?” I felt like Hannah in my problems and God saying to me, “Aren’t I enough, Wendy?”. “Wendy, don’t you have enough right where you are?” “Aren’t you thankful for what I have given you?”

Truthfully, I am. But there are times that a part of me is sad because what I have been desiring for years is not coming forth in my life.pexels-photo-127420.jpeg

There came a point in Hannah’s life the pain became too much. It was no longer just a desire, a thought, an ache, or want. A time had come where she became “greatly distressed”.

When I read what I am about to share at the end I found encouragement and hope in those moments when I get greatly distressed. The reason is because that is what brought Hannah on her knees with a heart that poured out to God. When she did it aligned her desire up with God’s desire so God was able to make reality a dream she had for years.

pexels-photo-725910.jpegGod wanted her first born son for something greater beyond Hannah. He had big plans already in place for a son she had not even conceived. But in order for His plans to come to fruition, He needed Hannah to consent to giving up her first born to the Lord first. When Hannah came to a place realizing it was no longer about her wants and desires but what God wanted, then God was able to proceed on with His plan and open Hannah’s womb.

I don’t know where you are in your walk with God or pain. Aside from where you are, I will share that when I read this text I was in pain like Hannah. I have people coming after me bitterly. I felt like my womb to dreams was closed. I ended up reading the passage several times. Each time tears were gushing out my eyes. I felt like Hannah. I found myself on my knees saying not my will but yours in what you have called me to do.

When I was done what I realized was that I carried guilt and shame for where I was. Replaying in my head if I had not agreed to this with that person, then I would not be here. If I did not do that or purchase that, then I would not be in this debt situation. If…that word that can be followed by all the reasons you would not be where you are. When we read Hannah what I realized was Hannah was right where God needed her to be. Had the years that led up to the prayer for a child never happened, then she would have never came to a place of being a part of God’s great story.

My friend I don’t know where you are. I don’t know what lies have been told to you about your situation. One thing is for sure God does not make mistakes and you are exactly where He wants you to be, to bring forth what He needs in your life.

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As we continue our journey on to a New Year New You there is no better way to encourage yourself in your faith walk like encouraging other believers. Share with others what you are going through by answering one of the following questions.

  1. What is one way you feel like God does not hear your prayers?
  2. Does no response from God make you feel like you are not in the right place? Explain.
  3. What type of growth do you see in your life from God not answering your prayer in where you are right now?

 

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New Year New You

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I don’t know what it is about a New Year starting, but it just feels like when those four digits switch from one year to the next, that I am given the right to leave whatever I did not like in the prior year and start things I do like in the new year.

It is crazy. In November, Thanksgiving is like the kick off for the family holidays. From that moment, all the way up to December 25, we spend planning grand events with family to make memories for years to come. Then immediately, the day after Christmas I wake up thinking about the New Year.

My mind immediate races with thoughts on what I want the New Year to hold for me personally. I donmental clutter stress overload overwhelm’t know about y’all but I am like a kid in the candy store with my ideas. As my ideas are fed by the sugar from the candy store I walk outside and go to the amusement park. At the amusement park my ideas jump on rides going all over the place.

I have a billion ideas running through my mind, okay maybe not a billion, I start to feel a little pressured due to time. I mean I have less than a week to get a plan in place to make these ideas reality.

By January 1 those ideas are usually not written down and surely not planned out.

How many of you do this? The excitement of the New Year has you busting at the seams. It makes you feel like you are going to be able to accomplish any and everything that you think of.

This year in this chaotic New Year mind game I do every year I caught myself. I had to ask myself, “Wendy, how many of those ideas are you really going to accomplish?” “How many of those are ideas towards the big goal you have?” “How many of those goals are just to say you did it?” But the one question that I asked myself that was the most important question was, “Wendy, how many of those ideas are part of God’s plan for your life?”

I could not answer.

a239715e10c34e3df5313612c16cb8f8--challenge-group-saving-moneySo here I am taking the month of January to seek after what God is saying He has for me and my family in 2018 so we can go after it with all our heart.

As I reflect in my own life, usually the goals I make for a new year that do not become reality are because they are not the ones God has for me. Instead of accomplishing just a couple of goals, I accomplished none of the goals. I am too busy chasing after all these other goals and trying to take on more than I can handle.

See when getting rid of the old and walking into the new it is easy to talk about. It is easy to even start. But to actually carry out what God has said He wants from you takes commitment. A commitment that requires discipline. Rejection. Missing out hanging with others because God is trying to work something new in you that takes your time to make the goals attained.

Truthfully, I knew what God wanted but fear held me back and all the other ideas that came were intriguing to pull me away from what I really wanted.

However, this year I have decided I will no longer chase after all the ideas that keep me running in circles that lead to nowhere. This year I am facing the fear and dread I have and going after what God has said to do.

Maybe you are someone that makes goals every year but they never happen. Then I ask you join this journey with us as we encourage and support one another to get us to our heart desires.

If you said YES then get your running shoes out, lace them up, tie a double knot, and get ready to chase after what you have dreamed of for years in 2018.

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Our first mission on this race is to take the time to open up so others know what they are going through there is someone else out there going through it to. So take a minute to answer just one question and response to one other person.

I can’t wait to read your responses.

  1. What is one New Year goal you really want to attain?
  1. How many of your New Year goals become reality?
  1. At the end of the year does it make you said that you did not accomplish what you set out to do in the beginning of the New Year?