Waiting for God . . . A Feel-Good Book? Chapter 8 – Deliberate Delays and Detours

How could I miss the warning signs?

When I read Chautona Havig’s review of Waiting for God, I couldn’t hold back my tears. She referred to Waiting for God as a feel-good book! A feel-good book?

She went on to describe her perspective of my spiritual journey. Her encouraging words blessed my weary soul.

After writing Waiting for God . . . after interviewing the brave faith-warriors who inspired me to remain steadfast with my gaze on Jesus . . . one would think I wouldn’t even try to do things in my own strength.

One would think I would recognize the symptoms of being a “do-it-yourself” disciple.

But I didn’t.

After the recent and tragic death of my friend’s son, grief overwhelmed me. I still break down when I think of him or pray for his beautiful mother . . . my friend.

I battled mental, emotional, and physical fatigue and fought discouragement as I forced myself to just get through each day. Then, my sweet pup started having digestive problems. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to help her get back on track with the vet’s help.

Getting up in the morning began to feel more and more difficult. So many people were hurting around me. So many situations were hard. So many things went wrong.

I started falling behind . . . barely making it at work . . . at life.

I even failed keeping up with the daily posts on the Waiting for God blog series.

A few days ago, I hit a wall.

I got tired of being tired. I shared my ongoing fight for energy and my dip into despair with my husband and a few praying friends, who encouraged me and prayed for me.

“I know what’s wrong,” I told my husband. “I’m not leaning on God. I’m not spending enough time letting Him refresh my spirit and strengthen my resolve. I need a spiritual retreat.”

I’d become so overwhelmed by the emotional turmoil invading my heart and mind. I’d become so frustrated with the physical depletion of my strength caused by my excessive fatigue and continual issues with pain management. I’d allowed myself to buckle under the weight of busyness, determined to check tasks off my list in a timely manner.

I’d slipped into do-it-yourself disciple mode without even realizing my mistake.

The Lord used Chautona to bring me back to chapter 8, the chapter I was working on when I fell behind on the series. (God’s timing is so perfect, isn’t it?)

When she shared a quote from chapter 8, I sobbed and thanked God for bringing me back, for adjusting my perspective, for renewing my prescription so I could see more clearly.

I had ended chapter 8 with the following verse:

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. (HEBREWS 12:1–2, ESV)

We can run with Spirit-empowered endurance, no matter what the path ahead entails, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, our hearts surrendered to Jesus, our ears tuned in to Jesus, our hearts saturated in the words of Jesus.

Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith, a faith we cannot have without Him.

After reading Chautona’s review of Waiting for God, after reading through the verse I had shared at the end of chapter 8, I read the end-of-chapter prayer one more time.

The weight of burdens God never intended me to carry fell from my shoulders.

Please join me in praying that prayer today:

Faithful Restorer and Deliverer, thanks for reminding us that we can do nothing—not even believe you—without your help. Please reveal when we’re trying to be do-it-yourself disciples and forgive us for falling into the temptation of self-sufficiency.

Please help us surrender to you as an act of faith in your unchanging character and your ability to do all things.

Help us come to you daily, so you can refill our souls with your heart-transforming Word before we’re physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained.

Give us the courage to kneel before you and bring our hurting loved ones before you with certainty in your limitless power.

We believe, Lord. But we confess that our faith is often weak. We know you are the one who establishes the foundation on which our faith is built. Only you can help us with our unbelief.

So help us, Lord. Enable us to live like we believe everything you say. Give us all we need to live like we know your promises will come to fruition as we trust daily in your perfect plan and pace.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

(excerpt from Waiting for God, Xochitl Dixon, p. 48)

To read Chautona’s review, enter for your chance to win a free signed copy of Waiting for God, a copy of God Hears Her, and a $25 Amazon gift card, please check out what the Lord is doing in and through Chautona’s writing on her blog.

Reflection Questions

1. In what situation are you trying to be a do-it-yourself disciple?

I shared my story in the blog post above.

2. Why does it seem harder to surrender and rely on God when we see no end to our suffering?

Weariness has a way of planting seeds of hopelessness in our hearts. Looking too far ahead, focusing on how hard life is, and griping about how hard the road feels, makes us forget that walking by faith requires us to take one step, one breath at a time as we rest in the surety of God’s constant presence . . . in the present! It’s hard to persevere when I’m overwhelmed by my weaknesses instead of submitted to God’s limitless strength.

3. In what area of your life do you need to cry out to the Lord and say, “I believe; help me with my unbelief”?

Every area! Lord, I need You. Period. I am Yours. Do what You will, Lord.

Oh, how I needed to declare that truth again as I deal with daily struggles in every aspect of my life. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

P.S. Thanks for helping me get back on track, Chautona.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the original post on my website.

If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting
Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me
Chapter 3 – Holy Vision
Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word
Chapter 5 – Resting in God’s Refuge
Chapter 6 – Enough for the Wait
Chapter 7 – F.R.O.G. Faith

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*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or negative comments so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.
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Spreading the Word about Waiting for God – Blog Tour and Special Giveaway!

Great things happen when God’s people get together to serve Him.

My awesome friends at Celebrate Lit Publicity Group are helping me spread the word about Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. I’ve included the list of bloggers who will be featuring Waiting for God on their blogs between September 2-15, 2019.

At the end of the tour, one reader who lives in the United States will receive a free copy of Waiting for God, a free copy of God Hears Her, and a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

When you visit the various blogs on the list, please pray for the blogger, leave a comment, and check out what the Lord is doing in and through the ministry He’s entrusted to them.

Thanks for your prayerful support and encouragement. I’m so glad you’re a member of my blog family!

Check out my page on the Celebrate Lit website to enter the giveaway.

I look forward to connecting with you over the next two weeks.

Here is the list of blogs and the dates they’ll be sharing Waiting for God:

Book Reviews from an Avid Reader, September 2

April Hayman, Author, September 3

Genesis 5020, September 4

A Diva’s Heart, September 4

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 5

AndreaChristenson, September 6

Kelly Harrel, September 7

Mary Hake, September 7

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 9

Just the Write Escape, September 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

Inklings and Notions, September 14

Cultivating Us, September 15

God is Love, September 15

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Please let me know if you enjoyed traveling through the blogosphere with me.

I look forward to hearing from you and connecting with you through the comment section on my website.

Click here to leave a comment under the original post on my blog.

 

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Waiting for God – Chapter 7 – F.R.O.G. Faith

“The Lord has established and fully intends to use every moment of the wait to refine us into His likeness, to bring glory to His name, and to magnify the persevering power of His promises” (Waiting for God, Xochitl Dixon, p. 42).

As I read this statement again, I’m praising the Lord! He has “established” every moment before He even created us. Hallelujah! God “fully intends to use every moment of the wait,” every moment. Not one second will be wasted as He works to bring glory to His name. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I can experience the fullness of His overflowing love for me as I soak up His infallible words. And when my feelings fail me, when my understanding or patience or wisdom wanes, I can follow Him faithfully and trust He will remain reliable. I can’t trust the ever-changing circumstances or feelings I face each day. But I can place my life in the hands of the One who created life itself, the one who determined all of my days before one of them came to be. Hallelujah!

As you read F.R.O.G. Faith in Waiting for God, I pray the Lord will encourage you through Bob and Betty’s story.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts as we prayerfully consider today’s reflection questions.

Reflection Questions

  1. How can considering God as creator and sustainer of all help us trust He won’t forget us, even when we forget Him in the wait?

When I think of how God manages the Universe day-to-day, it’s easier for me to remember that He can manage my life. I feel comforted when I focus on His sovereignty and limitless power. It sure beats gazing upon my never-ending weaknesses or my past, present, and inevitably future failings.

  1. What situation are you dealing with that seems to have no end in sight?

My healing journey. It’s often frustrating when I consider a lifetime of pain management and fatigue, a lifetime of not being able to help my husband, a lifetime of struggling. But it helps to know I can be fully reliant on God. I can count on His trustworthiness. God is using my experiences to help me grow closer to Him, to refine my character so I can be more like Him, and to serve others as I point to Him.

  1. What makes it most difficult to be fully reliant on God when your circumstances don’t seem to be improving on this side of eternity?

It’s difficult to confess my weaknesses. Fear and worry can make me focus on my limitations instead of God’s unchanging character and dependable faithfulness. To rely on God is to depend on Him with confidence, to bank on His trustworthiness, to hope in Him . . . completely. In order to accomplish this measure of faith, I need to surrender to the Holy Spirit, to allow Him to empower me to believe what God says is true, to invite Him to be all I need . . . my strength, my peace, my hope . . . even when my circumstances feel unbearable and the wait feels endless.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the original post on my website.

If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

Chapter 3 – Holy Vision

Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word

Chapter 5 – Resting in God’s Refuge

Chapter 6 – Enough for the Wait

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*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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Waiting for God – Chapter 6 – Enough for the Wait

Over the years, I’ve met several people on the brink of death. Though it’s natural to fear the unknown or struggle with grief and worry about leaving loved ones behind, those who had deep and personal relationships with Jesus and were well-seeped in Scripture seemed to handle facing death with a supernatural peace, like Ms. Patricia, Mr. Charles, Kim, and my mom.

My friend Louise, a new believer who wasn’t that familiar with God’s Word, became fearful during her cancer treatment and on her death bed. By God’s incredible grace, I was able to assure her that her feelings were proof of her humanity, not a lack in faith.

I pointed her to Scripture and affirmed God’s faithfulness as we prayed together in the hospital. Though I wasn’t with her the moment Jesus welcomed her into His loving arms, I’m sure He made His presence known.

Still, it’s hard to deal with loss, to face trials in life on this side of eternity, to come to terms with our frailty as humans, to admit our desperate need for total dependence on God, our Maker and Sustainer.

When life feels unbearable, when the pain feels impossible to endure, we can rest in the certainty of God’s sufficiency. But we can’t do this in our own strength, so it would be wise for us to learn to live and breathe this simple prayer: Oh, how we need You, Jesus!

I’m looking forward to reading your responses to today’s reflection questions.

Reflection Questions

  1. When is it hardest to remember that being in Jesus’s presence is enough?

When my loved ones are hurting. When I feel helpless to lift their burden or stop their pain. I’ve been asking the Lord to help me remember He is more enough for me, so He is definitely more than enough for anyone else.

  1. Why is it often hard to admit we need God?

When we admit we need God, we’re admitting our weaknesses and our total lack of control. It’s scary to feel vulnerable, to confess our desperate needs, to risk rejection or disappointment. When I’m afraid or hurt, I tend to puff up and pretend I’m stronger than I truly feel. Instead, I can ask the Lord to be my strength, to be my peace, to guide me and empower me to walk by faith and face my real emotions . . . and to help my loved ones do the same.

  1. Whose testimony has God used to help you place one more rock-solid stone of truth in the foundation of your faith?

Every single testimony I’ve read in the Bible, every snippet of a story I shared in Waiting for God, and every testimony a person shares with me becomes a rock-solid stone of truth in the foundation of my faith.

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Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

 End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

Chapter 3 – Holy Vision

Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word

Chapter 5 – Resting in God’s Refuge

***

Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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On September 25, 2019, I’ll return to sending you weekly encouragement and prayers. But to fulfill a commitment to readers of Waiting for God, from August 19, 2019 to September 20, 2019 I’ll be sharing daily posts with my answers to the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. I hope you’ll join the conversation at your own reading pace. I’m praying for you and looking forward to growing with you as we trust daily in God’s plan and pace.

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Waiting for God – Chapter 5 – Resting in God’s Refuge

Trusting God seems so much easier when we’re sitting on top of a heap of abundance. Losing our sense of security and our false sense of being in control breeds fear, doubt, and impatience.

I walked by faith with trembling and dropped to my knees when Alan lost his job, when my health took a nosedive, when our oldest son wandered away from the Lord. At the time, my shaky trust frustrated me. But as I look back, I see how the Lord used His Word and His people to deepen my faith as I leaned into Him.

I am so excited to hear your testimonies!

Please share your comments or your answers to the reflection questions in the comment section below.

Reflection Questions

  1. How has God helped you or a friend through a time of financial, physical, or emotional need?

The Lord has provided in so many ways over the years. But recently, I praised Him with grateful tears after He helped me with my financial, physical, and emotional needs.

After my doctor informed me that pain management “could be my life,” I grieved and considered the possibility of living with limited mobility. I called Jake and Amanda Guell at Tails for Life.

Though the cost for Callie’s service dog training would be an investment, my husband committed to making it happen . . . somehow. When my insurance denied my request for a procedure that would help me with pain management, I called Jake to cancel the training. He suggested I do a fundraiser. After prayer and discussion with my husband, I shared the story on my blog and on social media.

God’s people sponsored Callie’s training in four days!

Some people messaged me with stories about how the Lord moved in their hearts during prayer time. And when we were only $530.00 away from our goal, one woman messaged me and informed me that the Lord had nudged her to give $500.00 toward Callie’s training.

These amazing sponsors partnered in ministry with me, making it possible to Callie to serve with me at the Our Daily Bread chapel on August 7, 2019. We’re looking forward to sharing God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth . . . together . . . thanks to God’s faithfulness and the generous love of His beloved children. (You can watch the video of Callie and me sharing with the Our Daily Bread Ministry family during chapel on their Facebook page.)

And now, I have the privilege of helping Tails for Life raise funds to train a service dog for a child with autism!

Hallelujah!

If you want to make a difference in the life of a child in need of a service dog, you can join me in raising $5,000.00 for Tails for Life with a tax-deductible donation.

Please let Jake and Amanda you heard about the fundraiser on my blog . . . and be ready to praise the Lord as He provides above and beyond all we can even begin to imagine!

  1. How can sharing your testimony or hearing the testimonies of others increase the faith of those who are struggling with a lack of worldly security as they wait on God to provide?

As I interviewed people while writing Waiting for God, the Lord used their stories to strengthen my faith and refresh my spirit. As readers begin sharing how God is using Waiting for God to encourage them, the Lord is igniting a fire in me to share His truth and love with even more boldness and overflowing love for Him and His people.

  1. In what situation can you trust the Lord’s promised provision and protection this week?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve struggled with pain management and fatigue. Though dealing with chronic pain daily often exhausts me physically and emotionally, I am leaning into God and asking Him to help me trust Him. I know it sounds funny, but He’s even using this blog series to encourage me. As I read each chapter He helped me write and answer the end-of-chapter questions, God’s helping me walk through each day with Holy Vision. Hallelujah!

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If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

 End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

Chapter 3 – Holy Vision

Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word

*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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Waiting for God – Chapter 4 – Just Say the Word

When God blessed me with the opportunity to serve as Emma Mae’s writing coach, I never expected He would use her to ignite my faith and free me from the chains of unforgiveness I thought I had broken and left behind me.

Though I believed I had forgiven the people who hurt me in the past, I allowed their behavior to hinder me from moving forward in Spirit-empowered courage and confidence. When I forgave them . . . with all my heart . . . God wrapped me in peace and assured me that He would not be wasting the heartaches.

When I remain focused on the Lord and tuned into His Word, I won’t be so worried about my reputation or bound by what others think about me. Spiritual growth requires the ebbing and flowing of surrendering our wills so we can submit to His authority.

I’m ready to praise the Lord as you share your comments or your answers to the reflection questions in the comment section below.

Reflection Questions

  1. Why is it hard to wait for God to handle our reputations when we’re feeling attacked?

When I feel like I’m under attack, it’s not easy to remember that God is working behind the scenes. The Lord is working all things out for the good of all who love Him. But I don’t always want to care about the “good of all who love Him” when I’m the one hurting and waiting for Him to work things out. If I keep focusing on my feelings, I won’t be able to release my grip on my desire for my definition of justice. But when I focus on Jesus, He will help me cling to what I know is truth‒Scripture‒and help me shrug off the lies I’m tempted to believe.

  1. What lies or opinions of others have you chosen to believe about yourself?

Someone told me that “no one would ever love me” and that I was “useless.” When I first heard the Gospel, I struggled with the thought of Jesus dying for me because He loved me.

 

  1. How can knowing what God says about us help increase our confidence and courage as we wait for Him to work in and through our situations?

When we read the Bible, God plants seeds of truth in our hearts and minds. The more time we spend with Him, the more we get to know and trust Him, the more we will understand He does not lie. Through our intimate relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit can help us believe the unchanging words of Scripture. We can remember the God-breathed words of Scripture are God’s words, infallible and unchanging. Jesus is the Word and He is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hallelujah!

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To find out more about Emma Mae Jenkins, check out her Facebook page and her YouTube channel. You can read the article about Emma Mae’s response to being bullied on CBN.

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If you’re just joining the conversation and would like to share your thoughts on the previous chapters, I’ve posted the links below.

End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

Chapter 3 – Holy Vision

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*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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To order your copy of Waiting for God or to love your neighbor by ordering extra copies to share as gifts, please take a look at my book page.

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I look forward to having you join the conversation!

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Waiting for God – Chapter 3 – Holy Vision

When I met Diane, she was a newbie at a Christian writers’ conference. Her radiant smile made me forget my pain for a few seconds. Her contagious joy enthralled me. But her story . . . her story changed the way I thought about my attitude in the wait.

After she agreed to let me share a snippet of her story, I asked God to show me the verses He wanted me to study for the chapter message. The Lord changed my direction for the book as I studied Hannah’s story. He reminded me that my heart settled where my eyes landed. If I wanted to completely surrender my heart to the Lord, I needed to shift my focus.

I’m excited about the stories you’re going to share as we explore the life-transforming impact of Holy Vision.

Please share your comments or your answers to the reflection questions in the comment section below.

Reflection Questions

  1. How does focusing on the holiness of God increase our depth of trust in His motives and mercy?

To be holy is to be specially recognized as sacred, consecrated, entitled to worship. When I recognize God’s holiness, I can remember that He belongs first in my life. God deserves to feared (revered), honored and praised, as we stand in awe of His transcendent power and His intimate presence. He is reliable and trustworthy in every way, so He can be trusted to decide what’s best for me and everyone else. The Lord sees beyond what we can see and knows more than we’ll ever know, so we can count on His perfect will to encompass all we need and more.

  1. What aspects of God’s character affirm His reliability and feed our hope through the twists and turns we’ll encounter in the wait?

God is faithful, just, good, loving, eternal, and constantly present . . . God is with me! He is the way, the truth, and the life, not just one of the ways, or one of the truths, or one of the sources of life.

  1. What is God asking you to release your grip on this week?

I experienced a flare-up of nerve pain and muscle spasms in my back, shoulders, and neck while walking my service dog, Callie. She did a wonderful job caring for me until the pain became manageable enough for me to continue walking home. She stopped and leaned into me when I said, “Help Mama.” She remained still as I adjusted her leash and slowed her pace, stopping whenever I needed another break. My pain levels have increased since that day but are still less intense than they were before my last procedure. Praise the Lord!

Though I became discouraged when I missed a full day of work, the Lord reminded me that He is in control of my schedule. I can rest in the surety of God’s lovingkindness. I may not be able to work as fast as I used to work, but I’m always able to meet the deadlines God places before me. My mighty and merciful Father won’t allow the enemy to stop me from sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth. Every time I say “yes” to a writing project or a speaking event, the Lord always comes through and gives me all I need to do all He places before me.

Hallelujah!

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I pray the Lord used Diane’s story in chapter three of Waiting for God to encourage you.

Today’s Featured Author, Diane Dokko Kim, has served over twenty-five years in local church leadership. In 2004, her first son was diagnosed with autism and ADHD/ADD at age two, which triggered profound personal, professional and spiritual crises. Since 2008, she has served as a disability ministry consultant, and launched an online ministry in 2012 for special-needs families. Diane and her husband, Eddie, live and serve in the heart of Silicon Valley with their two young sons. She blogs on being wrecked, redeemed and repurposed.

In Unbroken Faith, Diane comes alongside you as a fellow special-needs parent to help you reconcile the premise of a good God with the devastating realities of raising a disabled child. Kim’s biblically-based encouragement will help you understand that you are not alone, that God gets it, and that God’s Word is entirely relevant to the raw and messy yet hallowed spaces of special-needs parenting.

For an extended excerpt of Unbroken Faith, free resources, and more, please connect with Diane on her website.

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If you’re just joining the conversation today, you may want to drop in and share your thoughts for Chapters 1-2.

End-of-Chapter Questions

Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

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Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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Waiting for God – Chapter 2 – It’s Not All About Me

Looking in the mirror can force us to see things we’d like to ignore . . . like our need for growth.

When I wrote chapter two of Waiting for God, I had to do some serious soul-searching. It wasn’t easy to admit my impatience or pride. But I felt a weight lifting when I decided to stop trying to control my life and the lives of those I loved. I didn’t have to do God’s job. Whew! What a relief!

I can hardly wait to hear what the Lord showed you during today’s reading.

Please share your comments or your answers to the reflection questions in the comment section below.

Reflection Questions

  1. How can considering how closely our lives are intertwined with the lives of others help change our perspective regarding trials and the time we spend in the wait?

When I’m struggling with relational conflicts, it helps me to remember that “God’s sovereignty and power cannot be thwarted by the actions or attitudes of the people He created” (Waiting for God, p. 15). But when I’m wrestling with private and personal affliction, the Lord helps me remember He’s not wasting the heartaches or pain. As I trust in Him and share the ways He’s working in and through my trials, He can use my mess to encourage others who are suffering . . . others who are looking for a purpose in the pain and hope in the wait. When I hear how He’s working in the lives of others, their testimonies ignite my faith, too.

 

  1. Why is it often tempting to ask God to change others quickly instead of focusing on the ways we need to change and accepting the time required to make those changes stick?

It’s so much easier to point out where others are needing growth. When someone hurts me, I don’t want to explore how I contributed to the issues. Looking into that mirror, facing my ugly or immature attitudes, and opening myself to the painful process of pruning can be scary. Growth takes time. Bad habits are hard to break. Sinful perspectives are difficult to face and even harder to surrender into God’s pruning hands. But when I remember God’s love for me results in His desire to make me more like Him, I have to trust He knows what He’s doing . . . even when the process hurts and seems endless.

 

  1. How has the Lord used the time you’ve spent in the wait to help prepare you for something you never expected?

Wow! When I picked up that piece of paper in September 2012 and dropped to the floor writhing in pain, I never expected the difficult road ahead and a life of chronic pain and fatigue would lead to ministry opportunities.

As I share how the Lord has held me close and changed me through this painful and ongoing healing journey, I’m in awe at how He uses each moment to point to His unfailing love and grace, to prove His unending faithfulness, to demonstrate His unlimited power, and bring comfort through His enduring hope.

Writing this book‒Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace‒has been a part of my healing process. Even when my current pain, fears, or frustration levels tempted me to feel alone, forgotten, and hopeless, God used the people I interviewed to help me hold on to His promises, to know what He says is true.

I expected Waiting for God to be a devotional about persevering through suffering. But by the time I wrote the last chapter, God showed me so much more . . . so much more.

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If you’re just joining the conversation today, you may want to drop in and share your thoughts for chapter 1.

*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

 

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Waiting for God – Chapter 1 – The Weight of Waiting

Welcome to the Waiting for God online discussion!

I started reading Waiting for God so I could seek the Lord with you. I know the Lord gave me the words to share with you, but He’s also using each chapter to remind me how much I need Him, how much I need His daily reminders, how much I need fellowship with His people.

In chapter one I shared a little bit about my healing journey. As I read the chapter today, I struggled with pain management and fatigue. Discouragement snuck up on me.

As my heart became “heavy from the weight of waiting,” the Lord lifted my chin and reminded me to look toward His unchanging and infallible Word.

I look forward to hearing what He revealed to you as you read through chapter one of Waiting for God. Please share your comments or your answers to the reflection questions in the comment section below.

Reflection Questions

1. How does remembering that God’s Word is eternal help us trust Him when our wait feels endless?

Though my life and my seemingly endless seasons of waiting are just blips on the radar of eternity, God’s Word was and is and always will be the same. So, when I’m weighed down by my ever-fluctuating circumstances or emotions, I can trust God’s unchanging truth will always be enough for me to stand firm no matter how long I have to wait for Him.

2. Return to Psalm 119 and read verses 92–93. How can delighting in God’s law preserve our lives and keep us from perishing in our affliction?

To delight in God’s law means to be content, satisfied, and joyful in the safety net of God’s loving commands, which are intended to guide us, secure us, and keep us walking and waiting with surefooted confidence in the center of His perfect will.

3. Which verses from the Bible help you focus on God’s power, love, and faithfulness instead of on the burdens in your personal walk through the wait?

There are so many verses that I run to when I need a reminder of God’s power, love, and faithfulness. However, the Lord anchors me to hope when I read Psalm 3:4-5 (NIV):

“I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me.”

These verses remind me that the Lord Almighty always hears me, cares for me, and watches over me as I rest in the surety of His all-sustaining power and constant presence.

 

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I’m looking forward to hearing how the Lord is working in your life. Please share your answers to the Chapter 1 questions below.

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***Join the Chapter 2 Discussion***

*** Thanks for joining me to discuss the Waiting for God end-of-chapter questions. Please remain focused on what God is doing in and through your life and refrain from sharing full names or personal information (yours or anyone else’s) so we can keep this blog family a safe place to share. All comments will be monitored and modified to maintain a loving and encouraging atmosphere that is glorifying to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to growing with you.

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Waiting for God – Welcome and Book Giveaway!

Some of you may notice my website looks different.

I’d like to thank Juanita Johnson for sponsoring the makeover and Marty Longe from Umbrella Graphics for working with me to create the new design.

Now that the brand-new website has been launched, I’ll be adding a quarterly newsletter that will include exclusive giveaway opportunities, ministry updates, and new content.

On September 25, 2019, I’ll return to sending you weekly encouragement and prayers.

But from August 19, 2019 to September 20, 2019, we’re going to rejoice in the Lord as we discuss the end-of-chapter questions on my blog.

Those who join the conversation and share their answers in the comment section under the daily posts will be included in the weekly giveaways.

“Together, we will inhale the truth of Scripture, exhale prayers of honesty and belief, and find rest in God’s enduring love . . . all while we’re still waiting and trusting daily in His plan and pace.” (Waiting for God, p. 7)

— Book Giveaway —

I’m grateful for every person who participated in last week’s book giveaway by leaving a comment or emailing encouraging notes.

Rebecca Grabill will receive the signed copy of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace with a free tote.

But to thank you for being a member of my blog family and to welcome new subscribers as we celebrate the release of Waiting for God, I’m also offering a FREE prayer book.

Please take a moment to download Wait Like a Warrior: 1-Minute Prayers to Refresh Your Spirit When the Wait Feels Endless (pdf) from the FREE GIFT section on my Homepage.

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If you know someone who will be encouraged by reading Waiting for God and joining our blog family, please invite them to subscribe today.

I look forward to growing with you!

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