Being OK With Where You Are {Chapter 5}

summertime; woman in red dress standing on green field over blue sky

Do you feel a little broken down? Are you ready for a breath of fresh air?

Me, too.

From Chapter 5: {Standing on the Promises}

 

When God Tosses You a Lifeline Take It

I learned something last week while my girls were casually swimming at the pool.  My three year old needed to use the little girl’s room, so I took off her water wings for a minute to make the trip to the facilities easier. When we returned to the pool both she and I forgot to put them back on. I walked back to my chair and she unknowingly went in the water without them. It only seemed like a second when I turned around and saw her struggling to get to the side of the pool. Luckily, my ten year old was near her, grabbed her, and pulled her to safety. It happened so quickly. She went from bouncing in the pool, to quickly being in trouble.

Ironically, on the other side of the pool a certified life guard was conducting a water safety course for a group of boys who looked to be around twelve years old. How odd for them to be learning how to save someone and my struggling daughter was only a few feet from them. They had no idea.

After she was once again water-winged and I was sitting on the edge of the pool within two inches of her, I watched the class in action. One of the things I learned was when a person is in trouble and offered a lifeline, the life guard needs to say, “Take the ring.” In fact, when the boys would practice this task, he made them say it over and over. “Take the ring.” I suppose this is because the drowning person is so busy struggling, they don’t see the lifeline being tossed their way.

When we are not OK with where we are, we struggle just like my three year old did in the water that day. Sometimes, it happens so quickly we don’t even see it coming. One minute we are fine and the next minute we are in over our head and doing our best to make it on our own strength. Other times, we find ourselves struggling for days or even weeks and we miss the lifeline God has given us. We miss Him because we are overwhelmed by life. All the while He is throwing us our lifeline and saying, “Take the ring.” Gratefully, He is the ultimate life guard and keeps tossing it to us until we grab it.

God’s Word, His Promise, Our Lifeline

Several years ago, I was sitting at table waiting to sing with Travis Cottrell and Mandisa when God tossed me a particular lifeline for the second time.  Beth Moore invited my church choir to sing during one of her live events. I was so excited, because it was Beth Moore for crying out loud. I love her so much and this was a golden opportunity. I guess I was one of the only ones to feel this way, because only two of us showed up. We were also joined by the choir of the Second Baptist Church. They were very excited Beth called and had several members in attendance. The other woman from my choir was Jeana, and since I sort of  knew her, we sat together and swapped stories while we waited.

I hadn’t been in town long, maybe about a year and my heart was desperately lonely. I guess you could say, I was not OK with where I was in the lager picture of things. I mean I was very much OK with singing with Travis and Mandisa and meeting Ms. Beth Moore. I was not OK with being alone in my newish city where making friends was tough on this mid-western girl. Jeana was kind and for some reason I felt like I could pour out my pitiful tale of woe to her. She listened for a while and then leaned forward and said to me:

“What has God promised you?”

I sat back and thought about giving her an easy and obvious answer. When she leaned in and said it again using a bit different inflection:

Stacey, what has God promised YOU?”

It was at this point, I remembered the verse I had taped to my refrigerator door:

“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (NASB)

God tossed me a lifeline in this verse as we were packing to move to Florida the year before. I knew it was a promise for my heart. I believed it. But, somewhere in the process of relocating and the struggles of day to day life, I forgot. I would walk to the refrigerator, open it a million times each day with my promise taped to the front, and forget to let it be the balm my soul needed.

Jeana’s question was another lifeline for me. God used her to bring me to a powerful realization: I already had all I needed to move forward and find my way with Him. I had His Word. It was right in front of me every day. Foolishly, I had been content to drown in my own sea of misery instead of grabbing onto His lifeline. So, in all grace, He tossed it to me once again and called to my heart, “Stacey, take the ring.”

For the next hour I sang my heart out with the Second Baptist Choir, Jeana, Travis and Mandisa. I also sat and listened to Beth teach from the Word. I left that day, a different girl. I was determined to keep God’s Word not only in front of me, but in my heart as well.

How did I do this? I’ll tell you that verse and I became great friends. I memorized it frontwards and back. I talked to God about it a lot. I shared it with friends. It became my banner cry back to the One who made the promise mine in the first place.

He knew I was in a wilderness. (He knew right where I was.)

He knew I felt as though I was in the desert. (He understood my heart.)

His promise to me, BEFORE we moved, was to do a new thing. 

He would be the One to do a new thing. (I didn’t have to do it.)

The new thing would be a path straight through the wilderness of not being ok. (I just needed to follow.)  

The promise was ahead of me. (Before)

The promise was with me. (With)

Would I choose to see the lifeline? 

Yes, I would. 

Is this your lifeline? Has God tossed it to you before? Would you do me a favor today, and grab on with both hands? ”

***

Sweet friend, God has a promise for you, too. One of my all time favorites that I list later in this chapter is:

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31 (NLT)

Praise His name! He is for us! This gives me such hope, especially when I am discouraged.. Do you have a promise to share today? I’d love to hear it in the comments. I hope you come back next time for Chapter 6.

xo,

Stacey

 

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Comments

  1. I have no idea how I came across your site but it’s been an open tab on screen for a few days as I waited for a free moment to read it. Can I just say a big thank you.
    We’re waiting on some pretty big news about my son’s health and I needed the reminder today that God knows right where I am and He knows how I feel and He is leading!!
    Isn’t the Lord amazing how He can use you to be a blessing to me and we don’t even know each other?!?
    Jenn @ Beautiful Calling recently posted..Once Upon A Homeschooling June Day

    • stacey says:

      Jenn – your story touches my heart and I’m praying for you son right now, and for you, his mama, because nothing is harder than that. I’m grateful God led you hear and is using His Word to encourage your heart in this space!

  2. Amy Morgan says:

    I needed this post today. I am 1400 miles from friends and family. Got an email from my sister of my family at my nephew’s wedding and bawled like a nut. Some days it is like walking thru glue.
    Amy Morgan recently posted..Happy Father’s Day

  3. Lara says:

    I absolutely love this, sister. So encouraging. So inspired by Him. Keep on writing, my friend. Keep on. <3
    Lara recently posted..why does it matter what I wear? {a post-beach post}

    • stacey says:

      Lara – thanks for saying so! This week I leaned in very close and His Words were encouraging to my heart as well!

  4. Krystal says:

    :)

  5. Angie Elkins says:

    This rings so true. When I feel like there is NOTHING I can do to change my circumstance, looking for a lifeline is my only way to stay afloat! Throughout changes in my life, God has always been faithful to plant something bright shiny & beautiful in the midst of my sad & dark place. I heard a speaker say once, “This side of heaven, life is really only about a 4 on a scale of 1-10″. I expect life to be a 10 all the time!!!! But it’s just not…we have to stop and cherish the moments when we are pushing a 5 or 6 and long for heaven even more! Love this Stacey!
    Angie Elkins recently posted..I broke the fast on purpose

    • stacey says:

      Angie – love that quote! I’m totally going to borrow that!

      And also, I know you would have gone with me to sing if you had been here back then. Cause you are awesome like that!

  6. Karin says:

    Beautiful and encouraging. Just the words I needed today. Keep writing!
    Karin recently posted..The one where I have plans

  7. Crystal says:

    I had all kinds of fabulous comments to post but all I can think is “SHE MET BETH MOORE”…girl. Stop. I can’t sing a lick and would have snuck in with you to do that!!

    The promise I’ve been clinging to over the last several weeks is Ecclesiastes 3:11 ” He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God knows. He makes it beautiful. His timing is perfect. I’m not supposed to know all the answers.
    Crystal recently posted..What is a Virtual Assistant & Why Do You Need One?

    • stacey says:

      I know right? Beth Moore – love her!

      And I love that verse – what a beautiful promise Crystal. His timing is beautiful even when we don’t see the beginning from the end.

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  1. [...] have no idea how I stumbled across this blog post, How to Be OK with Where You Are (Chapter 5). God must have known that I needed the reminder that He knows where I am and He knows how I feel [...]

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