July 26, 2013

Making Lemonade

If friends are the flowers bringing beauty into our lives, then the nectar has to be the sweet words of encouragement that they share. So many times a friend has shared words of wisdom that helped me in a particular situation. This time, the word was so profound, I asked my friend to share her story with us. 

Ever have nagging thoughts that persist in your mind, driving away your peace and shattering your self-confidence? Today my sweet friend Sharon Bloss shares her heartfelt story, and one very effective way she has found to quiet her mind. 

There’s an old proverb that says, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Life has been handing me lots of lemons lately: a trust betrayed, the breakup of a marriage, the upheaval of my life. And while I have been trying to make lemonade out of all these lemons, it’s coming out pretty sour.

It took me a long time to decide to leave my husband. In the many months that preceded this decision I spent a lot of time worrying. It seemed like my mind was constantly spinning. I couldn’t sleep very well because I would wake up in the middle of the night and instantly my mind would start to churn. I would be driving to and from work and all the while my mind would be churning, churning. Do I go, do I stay, where will I live? Even after I made the decision to leave, the worrying got worse. 

As a Christian, we are taught not to worry, not only about tomorrow, but as a rule in general.  We are to place our trust in God, casting our cares to Him. While this sounds easy enough in theory, in truth I wish someone would tell that to my churning mind. 

So I pray. I pray that God would take these cares from me and help me to make the right decisions. I pray that God would stop this churning mind of mine and give me some peace. In the midst of all this turmoil, God revealed a very simple solution.

I have this little book I read every night before I go to bed written by Sarah Young called, Jesus Calling.” Throughout this book there is a theme that suggests that any time you want to feel the presence of Jesus, speak His name.

I even wrote that on a post-it note and put it in the front inside cover of the book.  And then I found this scripture: "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13 NLT) Could it really be that simple? 

One day on my way to work as I found myself once again obsessing over things I couldn’t control I spoke His name: “Emmanuel”.  And, as an answer to a prayer, my mind went quiet. 

In the Hebrew language, Emmanuel literally means "God is with us". I have found that by speaking His name in times of trouble it has become a way for me to stop my obsessive thoughts and put my focus where it should be, on God. This one word, spoken in a moment when God is not in the forefront of my thoughts, puts God first and gives me the sweet calming that I so desperately need. It is the sugar to sweeten my sour lemonade, an answer to a prayer, a miracle. 

Throughout this difficult time I have traveled a path that I would have thought impossible only a few short months ago, and God has been there with me every step of the way. In the end I have learned that through the tough times the only thing I need to do is: breathe in and breathe out, put one foot in front of the other, and let God take care of the rest. God has answered many prayers for me and I have so much to be thankful for. These days I not only speak “Emmanuel” as a cry for help, but also as a word of thanksgiving. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of me.

Lemonade, anyone?

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