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 – 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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Praise, Updates, and Waiting for God Book Giveaway

Waiting for God - Callie at ODB - Aug 7, 2019“My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:1-2 (NIV)

So much has happened since I’ve the last time we met here, Blog Family.

I’ve wrestled with God and my jumbled emotions through prayer after my doctor said, “This could be your life. Pain management may be all we can do.”

I pouted with pity-party sobs and praised Jesus from wah-wah-whining to worship-filled tears as He lifted my eyes toward hope and breathed a little faith into my prayers.

My last test procedure intended to help manage my severe back, neck, and shoulder pain worked better than my doctor expected, so we submitted a request to the insurance. In hopes of a successful treatment, I planned to enroll Callie into the service dog training program with Jacob Guell at Tails for Life.

Within weeks, reality dashed my high hopes.

The insurance refused to pay for the procedure that had given me more pain relief than any other procedure I endured over the last seven years. The treatment fell under what they dubbed as experimental. So, I would have to pay out of pocket.

Imagining six-figure bills in my mind, I feared calling to find out how much the procedure would cost.

To my delight, the money we’d earmarked for Callie’s training would cover the costs. Hallelujah!

But I would not be able to pay for Callie’s program with Tails for Life.

Disappointment stirred in my heart as I surrendered the situation to the Lord and called to cancel Callie’s training. But Jake encouraged me to consider a fundraiser.

I requested help through my blog and social media on May 26, 2019.

Within four days, sponsors paid for Callie’s training in full.

 Thank You, Jesus!

I’d like to give a shout-out to the generous sponsors who have joined me as ministry partners by investing in Callie’s service training.

Callie started training at Tails for Life on July 9, 2019 and she already did a fabulous job at her first official ministry event.

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, we celebrated the release of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace and shared a message at the Our Daily Bread Ministries chapel.

You can join us for worship and watch the video at Behold: The Power of Living with Holy Vision (Facebook).

MEME - Waiting for God Available Now - Love Neighbor - Aug 7, 2019Through this awesome launch party and the help of my wonderful group of Praying-Peeps who have shared Waiting for God online and through in-person encounters, the Lord has been placing copies of Waiting for God into the hands of readers.

God’s wonderful people have pre-ordered so many books that Amazon was out of stock the day after we launched the Waiting for God!

And at 4 pm on August 11th (four days after our release date), Amazon posted this message under Waiting for God: Only 16 copies in stock (more on the way).

Thank You, Lord!

Please join me in spreading the word about Waiting for God so that Amazon will place multiple orders for more books.

Waiting for God is also available at Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, and Discovery House Publishers.

And you can bless this writer by leaving a review of Waiting for God on one or more of these sites. Reviews make a difference!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord! The good news is not over.

 I’m excited to announce that I’ve been working with a talented designer who has given my website a makeover. After the reveal, scheduled for next week, this website will look different . . . better . . . and be easier to navigate!

Current subscribers will continue automatically receiving new posts and will be invited to request the free gift I’m offering new subscribers.

I’ll be posting new encouragement devotions and prayers weekly and will add a quarterly newsletter that will include exciting updates, upcoming events, and exclusive new projects that will not be available online.

For the first thirty-three days after we reveal the new website, I’ll release behind-the-scenes stories, photos, and reader testimonies as I share my answers to the end-of-chapter questions and invite you to join the conversation.

Subscribers will receive special invitations during this celebration month to participate in fun giveaway opportunities exclusively designed to show my appreciation for you‒my blog family.

In my next post, I’ll invite you to return to this cyber-spot and explore the new website.

I hope you’ll join me for the adventure as we rejoice with Spirit-empowered courage and confidence while Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

 But today, I want to thank you for being a part of my blog family.

BOOK GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away one copy of Waiting for God to one person in the continental U.S. on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 8 p.m. (CST).

To participate in this giveaway, leave a comment under this blog post. I’d love to hear more about your waiting season so we can pray together as we trust daily in God’s plan and pace.

I’ll randomly choose one person who lives in the continental United States to receive a signed copy of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

Even if you already have a copy or have already ordered copies of Waiting for God, don’t worry.

After reading a few chapters of Waiting for God, some readers have emailed me to let me know they are loving their neighbors by ordering extra copies to give as gifts.

 To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

I’m looking forward to growing with you!

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Congratulations, Rebecca Grabill! I’m looking forward to sending you a signed copy of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. Please email me your mailing address.

I appreciate everyone who took time to leave a comment. I’ll be sharing more giveaway opportunities soon!

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Announcing the Winners of the God Hears Her Book Giveaway

God Hears Her with Swag pic for giveawayI thank the Lord for each and every one of the amazing members of my blog family. Yes, that means you!

Thanks for subscribing to my blog, for showering me with God’s love wrapped in kind words of encouragement, and for joining me as we dig deeper into His Word and draw closer to His heart. Thanks for being radiant lights for Christ in my life and for allowing me to encourage you by sharing what the Lord teaches me in my day-to-day walk with Him.

Today was a great day, as I rejoiced in another unexpected and exciting ministry opportunity. God is working on the details. I can hardly wait to share more as He reveals His perfect will in His perfect timing during this day-by-day adventure.

Today was also a rough day, as I struggled with pain management and the frustration of caring for our 15-year-old senior dog battling arthritis and losing her “housetrained” status.

Isn’t the Lord so wonderful, as He gently reminds us that each day is filled with reasons to worship Him, surrender to Him, and rely on Him?

He gives us countless opportunities to trust Him and welcomes us to cry out to Him in prayer and praise Him with reckless abandon.

What a blessing it is to know that God is keenly aware of our weaknesses. He understands when we get frustrated.

God . . . gets . . . us.

Our patient Lord isn’t surprised or disappointed when we fall short or fall flat on our faces.

Our loving Father simply remains constant and true to His Word, fully prepared to wrap us in mercy as He loves us unconditionally.

Our Almighty Maker and Sustainer refreshes our spirits and strengthens us with compassion that exceeds all expectations.

Our Good Shepherd extends grace freely and consistently, waiting for us to realize we can count on Him time and time again.

Our faithful Redeemer and Restorer gave me so many reasons to shout praises of joy today. So, why did I focus on shaming myself every time I got upset because I was stumbling again, struggling again, and failing again?

As I grumbled my way through another fumble, after losing my cool when my faithful old dog made life a bit more inconvenient, I prayed.

That’s when I realized the time had slipped away from me. I was late in choosing the winners of the books I was scheduled to give away on my blog.

Just as I started with the self-inflicted forehead-slapping guilt trips, our gracious and generous Father overwhelmed me with His all-encompassing grace and a healthy serving of gratitude.

I thanked Him, in awe of how His love flowed through your beautiful souls as I read your comments.

God’s grace was more than sufficient . . . again. His power was made perfect in my weaknesses . . . again. And His perfect peace, His eternal hope, and His endless joy prevailed . . . again and again and again.

Hallelujah!

I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for us as we continue nurturing our relationships with Him and others.

The responses to this post blessed my heart beyond measure. So, I decided to give away an extra copy of God Hears Her with that sweet swag.

I am pleased to announce our three winners and am already looking forward to planning another book giveaway.

Today’s winners are Judy Picton, Jana Engelmann, and Patricia Kohn.

Congratulations!

Please email your complete mailing addresses to Xochi@xedixon.com at your earliest convenience.

Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement.

I hope you’ll return to join me in praising our Almighty Lord and Savior, as we seek Him in His Holy Word and rest in the peace of His constant presence.

Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement. It is my pleasure and privilege to serve You as we grow in love for Him and others.

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Lord, we’re so grateful for Your everlasting love. Thanks for affirming that You hear our heart cries, even before we can manage to whimper or utter an incoherent word.

Thanks for assuring us that You’re already ahead of the game, already prepared for the unexpected twists and turns that will often punch us in the gut and bring us to our knees.

Thanks for confirming You are delighting us, rejoicing with us, and working in and through us, sweet Savior.

Make our praise genuine and infectious as You make Your name glorious!

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

“Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.'” (Psalm 16:1-2, NIV)

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God Hears Her - Discovery House - 2017 - Book CoverYou can purchase more copies of God Hears Her on the Discovery House Publishers website. This beautiful Our Daily Bread 365-Day Devotional includes devotions written by my fellow ODBM sisters in Christ. I’m grateful that eleven of my devotions are included in this book, which is the perfect size for a stocking stuffer and a lovely just-because gift. Thanks for supporting Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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God is Moving in the Wait (And a Book Giveaway, too!)

MEME - Lamentations 3 vv 21-24 - Nov 11 2018During the last three months of blogging-silence, life has been anything but quiet. My husband and I followed God from California to Wisconsin . . . yep . . . Wisconsin.

As native Californians, we should have been freaking out when Alan received the job offer in July.

But we’d been praying for years, waiting for God to show us the next step He wanted us to take after Alan graduated. We anticipated a move, but never imagined the Lord would provide my husband with a job he never applied for . . . at a university we’d never heard of . . . in a little midwestern town we never knew existed.

Well, God did all of those things.

Filled with an unexplainable peace, we packed with the help of our two grown sons and said goodbye to friends and family in less than a month.

20181109_132527The Lord provided a home with a fenced yard, an oh-so-rare amenity in our area but perfect for our senior dog, Jazzy (pictured here), and the new pup we adopted the day after I arrived in Wisconsin, Callie (see photo below).

We waited for blessings upon blessings to flow after such a big step of obedience.

A few days after our move-in date, nine tornados touched down in our new small-town.

For the first two months of our Wisconsin life, the Lord gave us plenty of opportunities to get used to midwestern thunderstorms. While He spared our home from flooding (Thank You, Lord!), a few of our neighbors didn’t fare so well.

The torrential rains transformed the creek next to our yard into a river and, for the first few months of our residency, Wisconsin experienced the worst infestation of mosquitos in over a decade.

During this life-altering adventure, my chronic pain has been constant and often difficult to manage. My husband is still recovering from his back surgery, so his pain levels often cause complications. We’re still living in totes and, after our first snow-day on Thursday, realizing California-Winter clothes are not Wisconsin-Winter clothes.

This move has challenged us physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually.

But every time frustration bubbles up, every time we begin to wonder if we heard the Lord’s direction correctly, He reminds us He’s moving in the wait.

20181109_102543The Lord blessed us with Wisconsin friends who welcomed us before we even stepped over the threshold of our new home. My husband loves his new job and his colleagues. I’m grateful for the great team of doctors who are working to help me begin to manage my pain again. We can’t thank God enough for our fabulous veterinarian, who happens to be an Our Daily Bread reader with a staff that loves both of our doggy-daughters.

So, we’re at peace as we adjust to Wisconsin Life.

We’re waiting expectantly for the Lord’s purpose to prevail as He works in and through our new experiences and helps me finish my book.

What book?

Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace will be published by Discovery House Publishers in the fall of 2019.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise . . . praise . . . praise!

Though we’ve faced many obstacles, our heavenly Father has been faithful and good through every moment of our transition.

As we face changes or delays in life, we’ll encounter tough times. We’ll grow weary, grieve great losses, suffer from afflictions, and maybe even battle bitterness in the wait. But we can count on God to be with us and for us . . . no matter what’s behind us or ahead of us.

In Lamentations, traditionally ascribed to the prophet Jeremiah, the writer admits his bitterness over past afflictions, confesses his wandering ways and recalls his disheartenment, but calls to mind the countless reasons for his hope (Lamentations 3:19-20).

Whether we’re moving into new territories or stuck at a stand-still during the seemingly endless waiting seasons in life, God’s love will strengthen our resolve.

His compassions never fail . . . never. When we feel we have nothing left to give, the Lord’s mercy revives us. (vv. 21-24)

“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (vv. 25-26).

God’s loving care isn’t dependent on our feelings of worthiness or our check-list of good deeds. He remains faithful because He is God in all His perfection and goodness.

When we’re right smack-dab in the middle of a waiting season battling trials left and right, we may begin to question ourselves. Did we hear God correctly?

We may feel misguided or cast aside, but we can be sure that we are far from forgotten.

“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone” (vv. 31-33).

We don’t need to fear change or hesitate when God calls us to move toward the unknown. Our loving Master goes before us, remains with us, and stays true to His word.

Lord, thanks for assuring us that You will never lead us in the wrong direction. Give us wisdom and discernment as we seek You and courageous faith as we follow You. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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Why is it tempting to fear change or hesitate when God calls you to move toward the unknown?

 In what situation did the Lord seem silent, but later proved to be moving in the wait?

BOOK GIVEAWAY:

God Hears Her with Swag pic for giveawayAs I prepare for the Fall 2019 release of Waiting for God, I’m giving away a copy of God Hears Her, an Our Daily Bread 365-day devotional that includes eleven of my devotions.

You can purchase copies of God Hears Her, along with some sweet swag, on the Discovery House Publishers website today!

To enter for your chance to win a copy of God Hears Her with this beautiful swag (a notepad and pen), please comment below. (Winner will be announced at 8 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, November 15, 2018, and must live in the United States.)                                                                                                                                                         —–