Sunday, December 23, 2007

Every person has a story

The longer I am on earth, the more convinced I am that every person has an incredible story to tell. Just today, I saw my friend's 3-ft scar (not kidding) where a football-size malignant tumor was removed a few days ago. My other friend was sick her entire 2007 pregnancy and had to quit work; now that the baby is one-month old, she and her husband are facing foreclosure on their CA home, because they haven't been able to sell it in this bad market. Another friend did the eulogy at her beloved grandmother's funeral a few days ago, and another watched her dad be hospitalized unexpectantly two weeks ago. One friend just revealed that she is $100k in debt by a sudden turn of the marketplace. Another is bitter and broken over a horrid argument that went downhill fast with relatives. And, most know that our dear author friend, Ken Blanchard, lost his home in our recent fires.

So...with this rendition of sorrowful situations am I trying to say that my 2008 New Year's message to you is that LIFE IS HARD? No! You are already well aware of that fact. You could curl my hair with your own stories and those of your friends, I'm sure!

My message to myself and to each one of us is to take good care of those who need encouragement and/or a helping hand in 2008. My message is BE KIND to one another. And, to do that, we must strive daily to be holy -- because Christ is holy and he calls us to be like him. My message is to remind people that God holds our story (his-story; history) in HIS HANDS!

I would love for you to BLOG a response to me of 3-4 sentences that is a PRAYER OF ENCOURAGEMENT to anyone who may be reading or for anyone with whom God plans to have you cross paths this month. What would you (hypothetically and literally) say to someone who doesn't understand that God cares deeply about his/her story? Does a favorite Scripture come to mind? (Hands down, mine has got to be Matthew 14:27 - "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.")

May God blessings be evident to you and all whose lives you touch this New Year, dear BLOGGER-FRIENDS!
Katieb

12 comments:

Peascod said...

Katie, I can truly say that Isaiah 43:2 is an accurate statement of God's presence in our lives. I would say to those who are experiencing challenges to hang on God is surely with us is ways we can't even see. This has been my truth this year as I battled illness, losing a job and being very limited in activity. God has changed me to the very core I have gotten to know him in ways that I never would have otherwise. I wouldn't change this year for anything!. We do serve an amazing, loving, and providing God. Jackie M

skweeks said...

"And we know in all things God works for good for those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Amidst the trials of my life, including ones I am currently in, this verse gives me comfort and strength. It helps me to center my world around my loving Father.

DK said...

Katie - how well I can relate to what you have written. My sister recently was diagnosed with a rare, hard-to-treat cancer called lipo sarcoma. A professing agnostic for most of her life, she has been re-examining what and who this God is that I claim to know so well. In her pain, I have been teaching her how to meditate, to calm herself, to think of the positive outcome that she wants, and to ask God to come into that self-conversation. I encourage her to ask for the peace that only he can provide, and that I know is possible cause he's given it to me through all of this. I am so certain that God will honor her willingness that I close my eyes each night confident that he will work good in her according to his purpose (as skweeks wrote in an early comment). I don't use scriptures with her (yet) as she never believed the Bible to be all that authentic, but I have shared my life lived on faith - it's a beginning and an end. Thanks for asking for comments as it gave me the first opportunity to pull my thoughts together. Bless you and your blog readers in this season of such immense joy and such real pain.

cward said...

"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) I say to myself and to everyone that our circumstances don't change Who God is. He will be (and is) exalted above any situation. That brings peace to my spirit. Carletha

sarahgtipton said...

Ps 121 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord..." He knows you. He knows what you're going thru. He is with you and will keep you in perfect peace if you keep you focus on Him. How we walk thru the trials in our lives is a witness and testimony to those around us. Is our faith real? Our actions and our words show what is in our heart. Only Jesus can satisfy all the deep longings in our heart and mind. Trust in the Lord. He is who He says He is; He is trustworthy. He can/will do what He says He can/ will do. Sarah G

Lakecia Harris said...

"Now to Him who is able to do exeedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, (Eph. 3:30)Katie, my handwritten note says that "when we limit God we limit our potential". I'm beginning training this month to become a Life Purpose Coach and am extremely excited and honored by God to be on this next leg of my journey of purpose. I'm praying for you to continue to be encouraged and strengthened in your mentoring efforts, writing , and speaking. Lakecia H.

Cindie said...

Katie,

It's been so long since I have been in touch... the last year has been a journey and lots going on in my life....mostly good!

This is a verse that I would share with others who might be losing hope ...Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This verse gives us so much hope... He does indeed renew our strength and give us far more than we can possibly imagine. For me, the change is knowing that I must come with empty hands and give it all to Him.

Thank you sweet sister in Christ for the difference that Life Coaching has made in my life.

I pray that He will continue to use all of His for His greater glory each and every day.

Garth Walker said...

Hi Katie, Today I read Luke 23:55-24:1 and connected some interesting dots - the women who were preparing the burial ointments took a Sabbath break before attempting to attend to Jesus' body. Wow! I took from this that no crisis is too big to ignore His Rest. What an encouragement to lay down our striving when we need to refuel. As a guy who makes things happen, that is so hard to do.

So God is making me rest. He has taken some of my physical strength away, so I have no choice but to learn to rest, and this is a good place to be. He is good.

PS. Thanks for the Character Makeover, even if it is written for gals!

Serving Him Together

Cathey said...

Hi Katie,
I am very excited to begin my first class on April 1. I simply can't wait.

I love the Hebrews passage that reminds us of the faith of those who have gone before us - Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. Verse after verse tells of how these great ones hung in there when things got tough. It is so compelling how these verses begin with: By faith so and so did such and such. These faithful ones are now our cheerleaders encouraging us to persevere and finish our race. When the race gets hard, extremely hard, it is so encouraging to know that such a group of witnesses are cheering for me personally and encouraging me not to grow weary or lose heart. At the end of my race, I want someone to be able to say: By faith Cathey...

Hebrews 12:2 tells us to:

Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its sham, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I just have to keep my eyes on Him!

Cathey

nicki said...

"Even when I feel I can't keep it all together, I declare that I can do all things through Christ. I am not alone, because He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am not a victim. I am a victor. I have committed my life, my body, my family, my money to God, THEREFORE, He will hold together the things that I have committed to Him.- Phill 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Natasha

Gibbs Family said...

Hi Katie, Jude 24-25 it's such a comfort to know that our Lord is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before our great God. All power and might and dominion and authority to the only Wise God. Forever and ever. Amen.

- Roxanne

Tom B. Bandy said...

The the title of this blog is a very powerful human truth. From my years of customer service, it is amazing what people will begin to tell you about their current personal or family problems. If you want to pick up "counseling" clients, just sit in a corner in an active self-storage business!!
The words of Andrew Peterson's song come to mind, "give us faith to be strong, give us strength to be faithful, this life isn't long, but it's hard". That is truly undeniable; but Philippians 1:6 just has to be a final truth for our lives!
Tom Bandy