Tuesday, March 24, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 1: When the Unthinkable Happens


First of all...this message is for all of you who left a comment for Alivia about her singing on the last post. She is on spring break this week and was at work with me and read the comments then left a comment for all of you. I thought I'd post it here too in case you didn't see it...

Hi I'm Alivia.

thank you sooo much for commenting on my song. I really appreciated it. You are all lovely. I love you all very much.

Have a God blessed day.



"Have a God blessed day" is what her Daddy always says...just thought that was so cute.

Well, here we go...the first day of the 5th study of our YES to GOD Tuesday's featuring

Micca Campbell of Proverbs 31 Ministries first book....

Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of the 1st blog post of the YES to GOD blog study when we did Lysa TerKeurst's awesome book,

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God?

Each author who has a had a book as part of our study has graciously donated a copy of her book and so the winner of Lisa Whittles' fabulous book

Behind Those Eyes



Alivia drew the name and I wasn't sure which Heather it was until I visited her blog and we just happen to go to the same church! Heather and her husband Dustin just welcomed child #2....a boy this time into our world!

Congrats on both the book and baby Heather!

E-mail me your address so Lisa Whittle can send the book to you. You will love this book and perhaps we can do it sometime with the women in the church. Give that baby a kiss for me...and his big sister too!

Okay...another drawing. Please leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Lysa TerKeurst's life changing book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?. I will announce the winner later this week and then we'll have one more drawing courtesy of Jennifer Rothschild with her incredible book Self Talk, Soul Talk that we just finished last week.

These authors are such a blessing...thank you to all of you for donating your book to giveaway in celebrating what God has done this last year with YES to GOD. Lives have been changed and your books have been the tools He has used to do what He does best.

Please visit their blogs if you haven't before

and ready? Let's get to it. If you have never done a study with us before, please know you are so welcome here. You will find this to be a very relaxed place to visit. If you can't blog on a Tuesday then post your thoughts later and still let us know you blogged by linking your post with Mr. Linky.
Let me warn you that life will get in the way so if you miss a week or two or three, do not stress about it, just get back in the groove when you can. The last study we did there were many challenges that kept me from blogging and I tell you, these women are not only filled with Jesus, they are filled with grace. As much as I wanted to blog, they just allowed me to put family first.

So...come when you come.
Just come as you are and get to know some of the ladies you will be spending eternity with!

CHAPTER 1: When the Unthinkable Happens

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

I'm sure we all had tears fill up our eyes as we read about Micca's loss of her newborn son's Daddy. I cannot even begin to pretend to know what she felt or feels about losing her first husband, Porter. This is not what I had planned.

When things happen in our life or in the life of someone we love that is so unexpected it is so hard to have understanding. That's where Jesus comes in.
Just as a mother runs to her screaming child who is in pain, God the Father ran to me. I didn't see Him with my eyes or touch Him with my hands, but I felt His presence consume me as if God poured Himself over my entire body.

I really loved how Micca shared with us her last moments with the man she had vowed to be faithful to till death do us part. Suddenly this young bride was forced to realize that she faced the parting and she didn't want to let go of her Porter. Not yet. Not ever. I cannot imagine God entrusting me with something so huge, so life changing at such a young age or even at the age of 38. At 21 years old, Micca suddenly found herself a lonely widow with a fatherless 3 month old baby boy.
I didn't know how, but I knew God was fully aware and involved in my circumstances.

When Porter met our Savior face to face, Jesus was not surprised. He was prepared to meet Micca's husband with open arms and embraced him with the promise that Porter's wife and Jesus' daughter would be okay. God vowed the same to Micca as He led her to read Psalm 139.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Ps. 139:7-10)

Even in the pit of death, God had come to say, "You are not alone. I am here."

When we found out our teenage daughter was pregnant with Amiyah back in August of 2007 a tornado of emotions swirled through my heart at once. Embarrassment, anger, hurt, confusion, fear, sadness and yet in the midst of the storm God took my emotions and changed them. No shame, forgiveness, healing, peace, thankfulness and joy is what I began to experience.

Then when our same teenage daughter told us in September 2008 that she was pregnant again by the same absent dad Amiyah has I have to admit that God was not the 1st One I turned to. Six months into her pregnancy I honestly couldn't tell you if I had prayed over this baby. Anger and fear consumed me. Two kids by a guy who has 3 other babies and takes care of none of them...could this be a problem too big for our God? Could my Prodigal be the one the Savior confesses to not being able to handle? How many more fatherless babies will she bring into this world?
Fears fears fears...God where are you????
God's answer to us when we are at a Psalm 139 child.

So how did Micca make it through such a deep loss in her life? My first step in learning to trust God again came when I chose to believe that I am never alone. God is always near me.

The author teaches us that no matter what fears we are facing in our life that God doesn't want us to go through the rest of our lives justifying our fears. God wants to teach us that it's safe to trust Him.

Probably my favorite Micca line from this chapter is when she wrote...The Lord is, indeed, attentive to our whereabouts and the circumstances we face on earth.
Okay, I lied there are two favorite truths in this chapter that Ms. Campbell pointed out to us, here is the other one I loved...God the Father will never leave us. He can't be torn away, led away, coaxed away, seduced away, or dragged away. You and I come to know and experience this truth by faith.

Just think of that promise for a second.
Human relationships can end.
They can be torn away by the pressure of problems, led away by addictions, coaxed away by wants instead of needs, seduced by an affair or drug away by an accident, but not our God.
Not our heavenly Father.
Not the One who endured the nail piercings of the cross for you and for me.
He's in it to win it.
He's the most faithful thing we will ever know.
Through sickness and in health...He remains.
Through our days of living sold out for Him...He celebrates.
Through our days of pure rebellion...He's not goin' anywhere.
Through the season of life that a Mom is desperate for her prodigal to return..He catches her tears.
Through the deep sorrow when a young wife instantly becomes a widow...He is her Groom.

He is in this relationship with us to stay.
No matter what comes our way.
Leaving us never crosses His holy mind, but faithfulness does.
And as He watches His child's fear turn to faith just because of Who He is...He breaths in the aroma of our trust that surrounds His throne and just takes it all in.

I want to encourage you to answer the Bible study questions at the end of each chapter called
Know It---Stow It----Show It.
In the comment section...answer this question from the study if you'd like to and if you have something to share on your own blog please sign up under Mr. Linky below.
Here is the question:
In Psalm 46:1 God tells us His help is ever present. How does knowing that God is your ever-present help comfort you and calm your fears? (Or if it doesn't comfort you, talk about why.)

Oh Ladies...this book is going to be a good one for our lives..IF we apply what we learn. If you are reading it because you are a book freak like I am, then when you put this book on the shelf when we are done you will remain unchanged. Allow God...and I am speaking in the mirror here...allow God to do His thing in our lives. Whatever fears we have in our lives let's learn from what Micca shares in this book so that the grip we have on our fears can be completely loosened and put into the scarred hands of Jesus Christ..the One who gives us peace instead of fear.

Have a blessed week and remember to answer the question above if you feel led to.
I'll be back the end of this week to announce the winner of Lysa's book and give away Jennifer's.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday, March 31st...chapter 2!


Lelia Chealey said...

The answer to that question for me is that it reassures me that I am NEVER alone and that no matter what He is with me. So comforting.

tiggerdaisy said...

Micca's story is a gut wrenching one. However, there is hope found in her ability to accept God's grace and be at peace simply by knowing that God is there with her. That He never once thought about forsaking her.

She is a gifted writer! I do believe I'm going to enjoy this study and learn a good deal about faith in the process! :)

Knowing God is with me always gives me a sense of security; a great sense of peace. You know, like you are facing "life" while your Daddy's arms are wrapped around you like a shield of protection unmatched by any foe that you might meet. Yeah, that's what God's ever present help is to me.

For me, I find great comfort in knowing that I am tatooed on God's palm. It can't be wiped away or is permanent. I am in His hands; He holds me always. He is my Father.

"Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands..." Isaiah 49:16

Prayers and blessings,

Heather said...

Oh Lelia,
This book is going to be so good!
I have to confess I read the second chapter today, and i think i am going to be living it this week as I wait to write about it next week! Some fears have overtaken me.
The part about Him being there, every time, all the time when I am in need... no matter where I am, that helps me so much. In the fears that I am struggling with now, in the triumphs and joys... in my fears of being alone... even if I can't see Him, or feel Him, no matter what my emotions or circumstances tell me, He is still there, holding me in His lap. He will help me through it all... hasn't he already done that this week, this year?

Love you,
Resting in His arms,

karen said...

I just love knowing that He is constantly available. No matter the circumstances, God is there for and with us. I can just start talking to him without even thinking. Like second nature. He is our constant help. There's no "Please hold while your call is connected." My fears in life involve loneliness - but this book will help me. God is with me ALWAYS, everywhere. I know it, I just have to remember it sometimes.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Yes, I was kind of surprised at how timely chapter one was for me. I don't know what the rest of the chapters will hold, but I'm sure they'll be great. I feel I was able to share more about how I could relate to Micca.

This is what I answered in my post about this question:

God is the best help we could ever need or hope for. He is in control of my troubles. He has the answers for any trouble we can encounter. He can do what I can't in my troubles. It brings much peace to know He's always there.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

This sure sounds like a great study! I think if we are honest we all have fears of one kind or another and it's so good to know that God is always there for us! I have been thinking the past few days of the song, "I Need Thee Every Hour" and of how very true it is in my life! I need HIM every hour!


Stacy said...

Lelia, I love what you wrote. The concept of God being ever present is a concept I am still learning to accept. My heart/soul is just learning to get past the defenses built by physical and emotional abandonment, and losses of relationships through choice or death. I find comfort in the thought; I'm just not sure yet that my heart has fully accepted that "the thought" is true.

My heart was racing and eyes were brimming when I read your words: "Just think of that promise for a second. Human relationships can end. They can be torn away by the pressure of problems, led away by addictions, coaxed away by an affair, but not our God. Not our heavenly Father. Not the One who endured the nail piercings of the cross for you and for me. He's in it to win it. He's the most faithful thing we will ever know in our lives..."

With Prayer and Love,

Anonymous said...

Hi Lelia! This sounds like yet another wonderful book to sink your teeth into. I will be following this study, for sure. I'm going away for a few weeks, but look forward to catching up on the gems that you and everyone posts.

I hope you don't mind that I do it this way, but my Husband is already wondering why I have 7 books on my nightstand, waiting to be read!!! I hope to be able to catch up with this one some day though.

I pray that you and your little little girl are feeling much better. I can see her gorgeous face as I type, and oh, my, I don't know how you stand it! She's just too cute!!!

God being ever-present affords us a sense of security that no one else can give us, and knowing that no matter what, we are NOT going to be rejected, we are NOT going to be left floundering, and we are NOT without hope - it is peace in abundance!

I pray you are having a beautiful day. Oh, and a letter is on it's way... Love to you... Naomi x

charis08 said...

As i read these words in Psalm 46:1 my plea is the plea of the father in Mark 9:24 when Jesus confronts him about his lack of faith, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!".


Wendy said...

Whoo! Girlfriends, God's timing is enough to knock your socks off, huh? I am so glad He brought me to this book when He did!!

I look foward to walking through Micca's powerful testimony and godly wisdom with you all!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a book - I am trying to get deeper in THE WORD and I really need this.
Nancy in North Carolina

Mari said...

Hi Lelia! I'm back :) How I missed you guys!!

This chapter made me blubber so much I began to think I was a whale! But it was fabulous and I am looking forward to the next chapter.

To answer your question: Knowing that God is ever present means that I don't have to worry. I do, sad to say but I know that if I stop, He's got it under control. And I know that if I feel alone, it's a lie :)


Sue said...

Hi Lelia,
I didn't read your post before writing mine, so didn't answer the question. Knowing God is ever present has helped me remember to talk to Him in prayer, and to trust Him. It is something that has been a process, though.

I was thankful to be able to pray as I was getting shots to numb my finger and face for surgery, and throughout the surgery the other day. God was right there, helping me cope.

Praise Him!

Paula said...

I've finally made it, and thank YOU so much for the opportunity! I was so excited when the book arrived, and so blessed to be able to sink my teeth into it straight away. In answer to the question I wrote - "Because I know that He won't let anything bad happen to me." A pretty simple answer, but it's a pretty simple reasoning as I know He won't. Even today I sat in traffic running late to get back to Jasmine's dancing lesson and worrying that she would panic as it was the first time I didn't stay for the lesson. So I prayed and asked Him to watch her and thanked Him for being the ever-present help that He is. It's amazing how through reading and meditating on Psalm 46:1 has opened up a whole new avenue of reassurance in my daily life. Much love always, P xo

Yolanda said...

For me, this causes me to reflect upon one of my fears as not having children of my own, and shunned by my birth family; Bill is really next to GOD, what matters most to me. And with that, the enemy comes roaring but as I learned from Esther....what ever I fear....but, BUT GOD.

I rest in these 5 little words....My God Is In Control.


Thank you Lelia for your insight and thank you Micca for sharing your walk with us.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So good to hear from you, friend! I've been thinking about you in recent days, wondering about your daughter and grandbaby to be. I haven't been here in a while, so I'm a bit out of it, but have loved reading everyone's participation in the recent Jennifer Rothschild study book. It's recently been made into a DVD driven study, and I'm thinking of doing this one with my girls in the Fall.

You are in my thoughts and prayers this day. Please let me know if there is anything specific I can be praying about for you.

Love you, precious friend. Our friend Joy has written a post to win the P31 scholarship from Lysa. It's wonderful. Go read it when you can.


Carol said...

Okay so I can see that I'm in need of a box ok tissues reading through your posts my friend. "He is in this relationship with us to stay.
No matter what comes our way.
Leaving us never crosses His holy mind, but faithfulness does.
And as He watches His child's fear turn to faith just because of Who He is...He breaths in the aroma of our trust that surrounds His throne and just takes it all in" Lelia this is beautiful.

This is my third study with you and the Yes to God ladies. God brought me to you in a time that I needed to be with my sisters in Christ but I couldn't get as a result of being home bound from my illness. I never expected the work He would do in me through the last two studies with Lisa and Jennifers books. I never expected God to bring me people who I can truly call friends even though I've never met them in the flesh. This time, reading the other womens thoughts and sharing with each other and these studies has been precious to me. Happy One Year!

I shared on my blog that this first chapter has already spoken into my heart. I'm so thankful that you brought this book to us Lelia.

So in answer to your question, I wrote The Lord creates stability in my life someone concrete, steady and constant. I rest in knowing that God will never abandon me and always love me for who I am, because He created me. He has shown me that no matter what comes my way He will be there to hold me up.


Heather said...

Hi, Lelia, Wow, i was so surprised to see my picture & that i had won a book! Thank you so much!! my addy is 16603 Patrick Ave., Omaha, NE 68116


Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Lelia, I love reading your posts and hearing from others how God is using these studies. I also love the chance to win any of them!

Shelley said...

Lelia, I'm over from a Teachable Heart. First study, so I'm just gonna jump in.
I believe that I was led to this blog on purpose.
I need to learn and to grow and to be able to do that with other women of faith is awesome.
For me, I need to grasp that I am never alone. I need to stop believing the lies that Satan would have me believe and instead of panicing when something bad happens, to first think of this verse and the promise He has given me. I'll be back next week. Thanks so much for your faithfulness

Tina said...

I just got my post done and up. One of these days I will be on time! My answer to the question is this. Knowing that God is my ever present help is really the ONLY thing I can truly count on. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His promises are true and steadfast. My life is so full of uncertainties these days it is good that there is nothing uncertain about my Heavenly Father. I live for that. You really have a gift in pulling wisdom from the study I loved reading your thoughts on the first chapter. God Bless,

Jeanies Heavenly Treasures said...

I am so thankful that our God is just a whisper away! If fear does crowd in and rip away at my faith, I am reassured that He is right there with me! My faith in our Lord is far greater than anything I fear or ever will fear! The Devil will not defeat me! I have one far greater than he living inside of me--JESUS!
Be Blessed!