Passing through the Storm only to Find Another Cloud

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I’m not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was…ready to quit!

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my alarm at 6 am. I was exhausted from a long night of tossing and turning and my heart had been racing all night.

I have been having an irregular heartbeat on and off for a couple of weeks now and during these episodes my heart beats erratically and I get light headed.  Sometimes feel like I’m going to pass out. I really haven’t been feeling very well at all lately and the racing was really starting to frighten me a whole lot.  Last week I had lab testing done by my doctor and now I was going to see her for my lab results and so she could check me out some more.

Other than the crazy heartbeat it was a pretty routine morning of me getting ready to leave the house but then suddenly as I was walking down the hall  my knee just seemed to come out from under me sending me face first into the floor.

Ten minutes later I sat on my couch with ice bags on my face and both knees assessing the damage… I had a bloody nose, a small cut inside my top lip, a very swollen top lip and nose, a massive headache and both knees hurting and beginning to swell. Thankfully though I had no major injuries.

A couple of hours later I made it my doctor’s appointment where I received the news that my heart isn’t getting enough oxygen to my body and that I am diabetic and my blood pressure is high.

I left the doctor’s office as the owner of a new diet, a prescription for high blood pressure medicine, and an order to turn in for my very own heart monitor :'(

So like I said in the beginning of this post… I am not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was.

Ready to quit…

I felt like I needed a break from the day, or maybe it was the world.  Either way all I wanted to do was crawl in my bed, close my eyes, and hide under the covers forever. I seem to be having an overabundance of hard stuff anymore. I usually try my best to keep my head up and look to the good stuff, but today it was hard to see through the tears. I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining… seriously there is a whole lot that is good in my life…But…I do have to say though that in the middle of all that good stuff there also seems to be one hard thing right after another. When one thing stops it seems like something else always starts up. I’ve had one illness right after another for almost 5 years now. People around me are sick too and a whole lot of stuff is always happening in my family. If this is just a season it’s been way too long of a season and I’m ready to get on with a new one. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve passed through the storm and came out on the other side only to see the sun quickly being covered by another cloud.

Last night I think I may have finally hit my breaking point, crawled under the covers put my headphones on and lay there listening to Pandora hoping to fall asleep.

I heard two songs, both had words that just seemed picked out perfectly for me.
Praise you in This Storm and Eye of the Storm

Coincidence?

I think not.

After hearing those songs I felt at peace and went right to sleep. I finally got some rest last night and I woke up today in a way better mood.

Life isn’t always easy; the truth is sometimes it’s just plain hard.

I still have the same problems this morning when I woke up that I went to sleep with.

But I am so glad I got up and faced the day today, because today things seemed to not be as bad as they felt when I went to sleep last night.

I felt at peace and now I can see all that is good again.

Actually today was a really good day.

Oh and by the way since the fall yesterday I have not had any irregular heartbeats. When the doctor was checking me out yesterday and I told her that since I had fallen it hadn’t happened anymore she said that it is actually possible that the adrenaline rush shocked my heart back into a regular rhythm… Sounds crazy but its been over 24 hours and so far so good! Thank you God!

Before you leave today check out this song by Ryan Stevenson – Eye of the Storm

Music Monday – Chain Breaker

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It seems like we are living in a hurting world lately. The things I am seeing in the news and on social media are things that I have never ever seen in my lifetime. It just seems like there is so much more hate and anger with people hurting one another and turning to violence. People want a solution to whatever they feel angry about, but I just don’t see how turning against one another is going to solve anything.

The only real solution to anything that I can see is Jesus. If we don’t turn to him I think things are going to continue to get worse.

Maybe your not a Christian and when you saw what I just wrote you thought to yourself “Ya right! that woman is loony toons!”  Believe it or not, I actually understand that because I used to feel the same way when people told me that Jesus could help the world or help me.

I used to think he wasn’t real.

Now I think maybe I knew deep down that he was real but It was easier for me to tell myself he wasn’t real then to risk the rejection that I thought he might give me because I thought I wasn’t good enough for him.

What nobody ever told me or maybe I just somehow missed it, was that Jesus didn’t come just for the good people or the ones who had it all together.

The truth is this….He came for the liars, the cheaters, the thieves, the murderers, the drug addicts, the abusers and the abused.  

He came for the broken, the hurting.

Yes it’s true – He came for the good and the bad.

He came for Me and He came for you.

He came for us ALL.

Today’s music Monday song is Chain Breaker by Zach Williams.

This song brings me to tears every time I hear it because the words are so true!

If you’ve got pain, He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost, He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker (Chain Breaker lyrics by Zach Williams)

Can I get an AMEN?! 

He came, He died, He took the blame, He took the pain. He took it all so we could be free!  

I know this is true because my own life has changed because of Jesus.

Yes, I still get angry, I still get sad, and I still feel pain.  But now I don’t face any of life’s struggles alone anymore.

I take comfort in knowing that when things feel out of control that God is still in control.

I take comfort in his love and I am free from the things that used to weigh me down.

My chains are broken.

Freedom in Christ is a way better life.

We all can have that freedom.

All you have to do is ask and he will remove your chains.

If you’re in need of someone to tell you more about the freedom you can have in Jesus let me know in the comments below or contact me via the contact tab on the top of the blog.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert

 

The Easy Way Out

The Easy Way Out

Today I noticed that there are three Exit doors in my church’s sanctuary.

Actually, there are four doors in the sanctuary but only three of them have exit signs over them.

Why on earth am I talking about Exit doors??

Let me explain….

Today after work there wasn’t anyone at church except for me so I decided to sit in the sanctuary for a while before I went home. I had a lot of my mind and I felt like I just needed some time to breathe and also to just sit with and listen to God.

The sanctuary at my church is a wonderful place to sit in peace and for some reason when I am in there I feel somehow extra close to God.

For a while now I’ve been feeling called towards something a bit different than the path God’s had me on for the past few years.  Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about putting away my fear (I’m Not Afraid of What You Think of Me).  It was about surrendering my fear of what others think of me.  In the process of surrendering my fear, I also found out that surrendering the fear of what others thought of me was something I needed to do so I could move forward to do this new thing he’s asking me to do.

So I surrendered but now I found myself trying to figure out the how’s and the what do I need to do to get it all moving.

It began feeling just way too big and also hard. I actually really like my life the way it is now and things have actually become quite comfortable. I’m not sure I was ready for any new life changes.

I’ve known for quite some time now that all God stuff is usually somehow life changing. I also know that God has brought me to places that have felt way too big before, but I realize now that he was way bigger and most of those places that used to feel too big and seemed scary are now not scary at all.

So now that I am comfortable I also kept wondering why the sudden switch to something new? Why wouldn’t God just use me where he has me now? For once I finally feel like I know what I am doing.

questions – questions

and so there I sat…

Waiting…

Listening for God.

It was very quiet for a really long time and then I saw …  a red ‘Exit’ sign.

And then I saw another…

and another!

I’m not sure how it happened but suddenly I realized my mind had wandered to how many ways there were to exit this one room.

Four doorways to be exact. Three of which were clearly labeled with a bright lighted ‘Exit’ on top.

I tried to get my mind back to listening for God but then I began thinking about how with all of those exit doors just how easy it would be to get out of that room if someone were to need to get out in a hurry.

I was sitting there thinking about exits and when suddenly … Flashback to six years ago… I sat in the parking lot of this very building afraid to come in. Thank you to Jesus taking me by the hand and walking with me I managed to make my way into this same room.  I know this may sound silly but I was scared to be there that day.  All those Exit doors were there then too but I thankfully I didn’t use any of them. Somehow I knew that choosing to stay was truly my only way out that day. That day I didn’t need to escape the room, though instead what I needed to escape was the life I had been living, or maybe I should call it the life I had been dying…because the life I was living back then was not life.

I chose to not exit the room that day but I did make the choice to exit my old life. To exit my old life seems like it would be the easiest choice but now looking back I realized it may have actually been the harder choice because there was soon to be more feelings of uncomfortable to come.

New people entered my life and things had to change. It seemed hard at first but then but one day I realized life was really good now. So so GOOD.

I learned that in each new challenge or hard place something pretty cool always seemed to follow.

So today I sat in the dark sanctuary pondering another new path and pretty much knowing that it will most likely be uncomfortable and possibly hard… but I have a choice.

Do I take the new path or do I take the nearest exit?

This may sound weird but I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway… “I think God used exit signs to give me a sign today!“

I had a choice to make – I could take my exit or I could walk with him in faith.

The new path may seem scary and big but my GOD is way BIGGER!

So there was no exit for this lady today!

To be continued….

Have a great Friday!

Terri Siebert

I’m Not Afraid of What You Think of Me

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January 1, 2012…that was the day I started this blog.  I really had no idea what a blog was other than I felt like God wanted me to start one. What would I write about? I’m not a writer. Will anyone read what I write? Those were the kind of questions that kept filling my head but I did it anyway.

A shocker to me was that the readers came. As time went on I became more comfortable with sharing my thoughts, and oddly the readers still kept coming back.  Most of the time I never really paid much attention to the stats or how many people had actually read. People clicked the like button and people commented, over all the blog seemed to be going pretty well.

But then my worst fear happened….

More people I knew in my personal life started reading. People from my personal life had read the blog before but it was starting to get to the point that every time I posted someone would come up to me and say “I read your blog….”

Nothing bad was ever said to me, actually everyone always gave me very sweet and positive comments, but suddenly I found myself afraid to post. I feared that the people I knew in my real life would see what I wrote and think I was weird or something. It was like suddenly the inside of me was out there, exposed for everyone to see.

When people I had never met face to face read what I wrote I was brave but when my real life friends began reading I suddenly felt frozen with fear of what would they think of me.

I never stopped writing but found that t I couldn’t seem to post anything anymore. I would write, then read what I had written and then tell myselft it was too weird or not good enough. When I wasn’t posting I called it writers block but now I call it something else…FEAR.

Now let me tell you about my weekend.

Saturday… Lately God has been leading me in a new direction. It’s far from where I feel I have been since starting this journey with him but the crazy thing is that over the past few weeks…. Or make that months there have been many little poofs of eye opening things that he has sent me that have shown me this is for sure the direction he is sending me.  a few weeks ago I even had a moment that I realized WOW I was already there and didn’t even know it!  But now I feel as if he wants me to take it farther and that is pretty scary to me.  I am not sure how to start or where do I start… how do I do something I know nothing about???  I know this is probably not making any sense and I started this paragraph with Saturday but never started on Saturday uggh! If you could just hang with me a little bit longer I will try my best to spit this out.

Back to Saturday…Saturday morning I was praying… journal by my side… suddenly I find myself on my knees saying… “God how do I do this? What do you want me to do??”

Most of the time when I pray especially when I pray on my knees I lean over my bed and I have this cat that will come on the bed and stand in my face meowing while messing with my hair and stuff. This day as I prayed I heard the pages of my journal turning. I thought it was the cat at first but then I realized it sounded as if he was turning pages one page at a time like a person would turn them. Just as I was coming to the realization that this was not my cat and also that he was nowhere near me I heard the words “open your eyes!” I opened my eyes and right in front of me I see my journal laying open with one paragraph blaring out at me “Not only do you have to go through the door, sometimes you need to go up to it and put your hand on the knob. Don’t be afraid!” The crazy thing about this story is that my whole journal is written in pencil but that one paragraph written on March 10, was written in red ink! I have no idea why on March 10 I wrote one paragraph in red ink, but there it was blaring out at me. And That moment I knew the door to where God was leading me was there for me to go through but I hadn’t actually allowed myself to open the door because I had been afraid to open it!

Sunday…. Sunday I went to church. I’m sitting there and the band starts playing while they are collecting the offering. The words to the song started going through me.. words like, I was unworthy and Jesus you saved me… I really can’t remember the words very well but suddenly from my place in the back of the room I see the place I am in right now and I am in awe of God’s presence and how he has brought me to this place. Memories started pouring in… memories of me in the parking lot of that very church 5 years ago afraid to come in yet there now because Jesus had brought me here. As I sat there I realized I was a part of something way bigger than I could ever have imagined being part of and living a life so drastically different than it used to be.

Fast forward to the sermon. Our youth pastor was sharing his own story of God in his life and he was talking about surrendering. He started talking about how some of us had things that we needed to surrender to God. I felt myself trembling while he spoke and having tears but yet at the same time thinking I had nothing to surrender. At the end of the sermon he said that the alter was open for people to come up if they had something to surrender.  I heard God tell me to go up. I was like “go up for what? I have nothing to surrender” God said, “yes you do, your fear of what other people think of you.”

I was like, ”um God you must be mistaken, I don’t care what they think.”

He said, “yes you do, your trembling in fear…(I was) now go up there.

In my mind I was thinking, “oh God, I can’t go up there in front of all of those people…I’m too scared!”

The struggle went on for what seemed like forever but then the next thing I know I am blubbering at the altar.

I can’t explain how I felt after that but it sure felt good! Something inside of my seemed to break yesterday. Not broken in a bad way but broken somehow in a good sort of way. like a huge weight was lifted off of me.

Yesterday I surrendered my fear of what other people think of me to God.  I know today that as long as I carry the weight of that fear I can never ever accomplish anything He wants me to accomplish.

So today I am here fearless. No back reading, no changing words to make this post how I think you my readers and my friends may want to see me… Instead its just what it is… words I am writing for God. I am not quite sure why he wants me to share this stuff but because he wants me to do it I am going to do it. Also since today is Monday and on this blog on Monday it is Music Monday I am going to share a song that is playing while I write this that seems fitting to this post.

‘More of Me’ by Colton Dixon  I hope you enjoy it.

So today’s post was about giving away fear and surrendering to God’s will, who knows what it will be the next time, but I plan to keep writing here as long as God wants me to write.. no matter who is reading 😀

What do you need to surrender? Like me, maybe you can’t see it either. If you want to know just talk to God he’ll show ya.

Have a great week!

Terri Siebert