X Close Menu

Transformation by Truth: Day 11

Day 11

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Great God in Heaven... Lord we stand in awe of You today. Thank You for continuing to pursue a people who constantly forget about You. Forgive us Father for treating You as something we could do with or without, because Lord it just isn't so. Today, I pray that You would make Your presence known in our lives. Open our ears to hear Your voice. Focus our eyes so that we might see Your face. Stir our hearts that we might feel Your love. Touch our bodies so that we might worship You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scripture Reference:

If the LORD delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Psalm 37:23-24

Today’s Message:

I gave my parents a run for their money when I was in high school.

My creative and rather brilliant (from my perspective) mind was used for things such as: keeping my spiked standing hair tall on windy days; figuring out how to use two Dixie cups and a piece of string to whisper to my friend on the other side of my algebra classroom, so technically I wasn’t breaking the teacher’s rules by talking; and doing as little school work as possible while remaining eligible to play on the basketball team.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t by choice—and it certainly didn’t take anyone by surprise—that I spent over two years at the local junior college before I could even apply to a four-year university. While I was in junior college, I changed my major midstream which added an additional semester of prerequisite classes.

So, instead of transferring to the University of California at Riverside in the fall like all of the other new students, I enrolled during the winter session. Anyone who has had to start a new school in the middle of the year can understand what it feels like to be the odd kid out.

All the students had already settled into their social groups. They knew when and where to eat and who they were going to eat with. They had someone to walk through campus with to get to their lecture halls. In the evenings, the dorms were full of clusters of friends talking and laughing together… except in my room. Don’t get me wrong—there was a party going on every night, but it was a pity party and there was only one partygoer.

One morning I made a commitment to stop feeling sorry for myself. I grabbed my basketball and headed to the court outside. I needed to remember my strengths instead of moping around in my insecurities. I worked on my ball handling, my jump shot and I practiced free throws with a strong follow-through. I ran sprint drills with speed and agility.

Within minutes I started I started to regain my confidence. Ahh! A breath of fresh air. I started to remember who I was. After a couple of hours, I went back to my room and spoke out loud, “I am changing my attitude and I’m going to be a ‘glass-is-half-full’ kind of girl no matter what.”

I decided to reward myself for taking such a positive step. In addition to my typical shower supplies, I decided to add a true piece of luxury to celebrate my victorious new mindset. The mud mask I splurged on at Christmastime was certainly a well-deserved spoiling.

My arms were full with bottles of my estrogen-spiked indulgences as I headed to the showers at the end of the hall. The stream of hot water on my back melted away my homesickness. I put on the bright blue mud mask and I could literally feel my stress levels and sadness come down in intensity. I thought my world was finally starting to rock. And then, I realized it really was rocking.

EARTHQUAKE!

I held onto both sides of the shower stall hoping the rolling waves would subside. It took all I had to keep my balance. There was a rumble of shouts and screaming in the hallway. And then the true magnitude hit me. I am naked with a fluorescent blue face and I only have a small gym towel to cover my body. Technically, I was supposed to be under the doorjamb in the hallway with the rest of the residents in this coed wing.

Did you catch that?

Coed, not girls’ wing.

I quietly turned off the water and became as still as possible. I heard yelling. It was our Residents’ Assistant (RA), “Is everyone accounted for?”

“Yes!” Phew! I thought. That was a close call. “Wait! What about the new girl?” Oh no, this wasn’t heading in the direction I had hoped. “I heard someone in the shower stall… could it be her?”

“Go check!” the RA directed.

You guessed it. The next thing I knew, I was escorted out in the hallway with sudsy hair, a neon blue face and a flimsy white towel which barely covered my body. “Who is that?” a voice whispered a few doorways down. I heard laughter, but I didn’t have the guts to look up and see where it came from.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Have you ever taken a giant step to get back on the right track only to fall in a pit?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

If the LORD delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Psalm 37:23-24

Certainly my steps to overcome my pity party were a delight to the Lord. Through the craziness of the earthquake and my emotional aftermath, I will be the first to admit I did stumble, but I didn’t fall. I stumbled by going right back down memory lane and returning to my pity party of one. I camped there for a few more days. But I soon realized that I had a big choice to make.

Would I let this stumble paralyze me? Would I be a full-time dorm hermit? Or would I let the Lord uphold me so I could regain my momentum and join the real party?

The stakes were actually greater than I realized at the time. What kind of representative would I have been for my faith had I gone into hiding from that day on because of a silly stumble? My knee-jerk reaction was to walk around wallowing in my misfortunes like Bad Luck Schleprock (please tell me you know the Flintstones circa 1971).

In Matthew 5:14-16,

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

You and I are lights of the world… Get up Schleprock! For me, I’ve learned to laugh at my stumbles. I actually shine a light on them and get others to laugh along with me. As I met new friends in the dorm, I introduced myself by saying, “Hi, I’m the new girl Noelle with the blue face. You might not recognize me because I decided to wear clothes today.”

There’s a sense of freedom that comes to us when we let go of perfection and instead reach up for God’s hand. We are human after all. After every stumble, we have a distinct opportunity to grow in character as we grab His hand and stand back up.

Describe your most recent stumble in your journal. It can be anything such as making a bad decision at work, losing your patience with your kids, choosing to hold a grudge against your spouse, or falling off the nutritional wagon and eating a hidden stash of junk food… the possibilities are endless every day.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

What steps do you need to take to stand back up?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Do you need to ask for forgiveness?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Should you rid your fridge, freezer and pantry of junk food?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Maybe you need to redo a project at work. Even though it takes effort, you’ll feel so amazing when you take the steps toward restoration.

How can you ensure that you will reach for God’s hand and let go of your pursuit of perfectionism when you stumble in the future? Write your ideas in your journal.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Mind:

Going back to basketball illustrations, check out this player’s stats, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Hmm, what? Wait… who is this? Joe Loser Schmo? No, it’s Michael Jordan, arguably the best player to ever play the game. What would have happened to the sport had he let those stumbles turn into a fall? Can you imagine the sport of basketball without the legendary name of Michael Jordan?

I think we’re all thankful that he took so many risks and endured the stumbles and never fell or quit. He revolutionized the game with his talent and his attitude!

Have you ever thought, “I knew I shouldn’t have made myself vulnerable… I’ll never do that again!”?

You may have taken a risk and entered into a new love relationship, trusted a friend, tried out a new church for the first time or maybe you decided to completely reinvent yourself physically… but then you hit a pothole and stumbled. If you think about it logically, isn’t it crazy that some of those instances can dictate lifetime of decision making?

That attitude, which says “I’ll never do that again,” points to a notable failure in your life.

What is it? You have one right? If not call me without large catastrophes.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

How have these failures dictated your decision making?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Have you become defensive?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Have you given up in certain areas of your life?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

How can you take that part of your life where you fell way short and turn it into Michael Jordan’s quote?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

How will that failure turn into a great success? Journal your brainstorming.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Body:

Does this situation sound like anything you’ve ever experienced?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

You determine once and for all that you are going to get healthy. Maybe it was a New Year’s resolution, or maybe it was a randomly inspired day when you drew a line in the sand.

After a week or so, you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock one too many times and slept in. You rationalized this pattern for a week because your body “needed the rest” and you were going to get back on track the following Monday. Of course, that Monday never came until the next year’s New Year’s resolution.

And, on that line-in-the-sand moment, you either had a family member or a friend say, “Oh gosh, here you go again. You do this every year. Let’s just fast forward to February first and save the money on the gym dues.”

Or, maybe there are no naysayers in your life, but you hear those thoughts in your head. Don’t forget, you have a real adversary. He just happens to be invisible to our human eyes. Of course it’s normal to have those thoughts in your head. But it is not mandatory to agree with them. In fact, you need to stand firm against the devil who would love nothing more than to have you live in an unfit body with a poor self-image.

Dust yourself off and reach for God’s hand if you have stumbled.

Call someone immediately who will let God work through him or her to pick you up. Maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a personal trainer, or maybe you need to get online and find a support group.

If this applies to you now, journal your action steps and check it off upon completion.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

If this doesn’t apply to you, chances are good it will at some point, so proactively journal your plan for those times when you will stumble.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Closing Prayer:

Precious Heavenly Father, thank You for being who You are. Thank You for proving Your worth. Lord, as we continue with this difficult journey, please give us the strength to pursue You with a healthier heart, mind and body. Allow us to prioritize our time so that we would have the time to complete our homework. And for those of us who are struggling to get up and get going… give us a desire to workout… to eat well… to indulge in Your word… and to trust You to keep us full and fueled. I ask these things in Jesus’ name amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Comment below!

Do You KNOW Him? If you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit this Link: Encouragement Extreme

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.