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Transformation by Truth: Day 25

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Day 25

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Father, thank You for another day to live for You. As I go enter this time with You, I pray that You would still the distractions of this world. Silence Satan and his lies. Remind me of my place and my purpose here at Your feet. Cleanse me from the stains of my sin. Bring me out of the darkness into Your pure light. Fill me with Your precious Holy Spirit, so that I might understand and implement Your truths. For it’s in the name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

Scripture Reference:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9

Today’s Message:

I’ve heard so many stories about little girls dreaming of their wedding days. Most of them sound something like this: a precious girl dresses in an oversized white dress; a dish towel covers her head to mimic a veil; humming the wedding march, she walks down a hallway in her home holding a bouquet of daisies freshly picked from a neighbor’s yard; every detail is perfectly planned out. When I ask my friends, most of them say that they had similar fantasies of their own wedding days.

For me? Not so much. I never actually pictured my wedding day when I was little, but from the time I was six, I did know who my husband would be: either Shaun Cassidy or John Denver. Isn’t God funny? Ryan is incredibly handsome and makes my heart skip a beat just as Shaun Cassidy did singing “Da Doo Ron Ron.” And like John Denver, Ryan is a gifted musician, songwriter and vocalist. So God took my desires but gave me an even greater gift than what I thought I wanted.

The first time I actually started picturing what my wedding day would look like was shortly after Ryan and I got engaged. I didn’t dream about the typical details like decorations, location or food. We knew we would have a simple, family-only, sentimental ceremony. Ryan’s Mom had just died two months prior to our engagement and my parents were both losing their battles against cancer.

So the details we struggled with revolved around my parents’ presence or lack thereof at our ceremony. If we really rushed things, even my Mom, who we knew for sure was days away from dying, might be able to watch if we got married in their living room where her hospital bed was. For a handful of reasons, this was not what God had in store for us. She went home to heaven in February, four months after Ryan’s Mom.

We decided on a March wedding to ensure my Dad’s participation. I have always been a Daddy’s girl, so having him there to give me away was extremely important. But he was not well. His heart was completely shattered without my Mom. To add to that anguish, his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma took over his body immediately after she left this earth.

As our wedding day approached, my Dad was in isolation at the hospital enduring harsh treatments to prepare for a bone marrow transplant. Our pastor gave us an idea: he and his wife would go with us to my Dad’s bedside so he could officially give me to Ryan; and then we could go to the park to meet the rest of our family and complete our ceremony.

I was blown away by God’s plan. I played this through my mind for the few weeks that led to our big day. How perfect I thought. It was perfect until the day before our wedding when my Dad called me crying, “I am so sorry Noey. I cannot do this. My body just isn’t strong enough. You and Ryan should just get married at the park.” Calmly I replied, “Okay Dad, I understand. I love you, don’t feel bad.” As I hung up the phone, I melted down into a gut-wrenching cry.

How could God do this to me?

Our wedding was lovely. My in-laws transformed the gazebo at the park with flowers and charming decorations. I even had rose petals scattered on the aisle I walked down. My beautiful sister was there to stand next to me. Ryan was as handsome as handsome gets.

After we got married and celebrated at the park, our pastor and his wife went with me and Ryan to visit my Dad. You should have seen the smiles and teary-eyes that greeted us when people saw us coming down the hospital corridors. But, when we entered his room, it was like going from white to black.

My Dad’s eyes were closed. His face was swollen and pale. The room would have been silent if it weren’t for the beeps coming from the machines that he was hooked up to. Our pastor Don touched my Dad’s arm, put his face next to my Dad’s and told him that I just got married. We leaned in close and Don prayed over all of us.

And then it happened. I was given the most heart-warming gift from my Dad and God. With valiant effort, my Dad opened his eyes, focused on me and spoke three powerful words I will cherish for a lifetime, “You look beautiful.” His eyes shut and he fell back into his deep sleep.

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9

I’m sure you’ve found, like me, that things rarely go as planned. For the most part, I am okay with that. But there are times when I am convinced I am in the confines of God’s will, or times when I truly believe I’m hearing Him speak to my heart… and then I get hit by an unexpected curve ball like the day before my wedding. My knee-jerk reaction is to pout and wonder why God disappointed me.

Am I alone in my response?

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Can anyone shout “Amen!”?

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And then I look at the Apostle Paul’s life. He so badly desired to meet the Roman church to share his faith with them and to be encouraged by theirs. Certainly that must have been in God’s will. He repeatedly persisted in asking God to open a way for that visit.

I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

Romans 1:10

In my human understanding, I can’t imagine why God wouldn’t answer his prayers immediately. But, that wasn’t the case,

…I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now)…

Romans 1:13

Well, since God closed those doors and said “No” to Paul’s prayers, we have his written letter to the Romans which continues to teach and bless all of us today. God did eventually open the door and He did answer Paul’s prayer. But there was no red carpet rolled out for his travels.

Instead, look at how God answered his prayers,

My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.

Acts 28:17

So Paul did get to Rome, but it was as a prisoner! Even though he was completely innocent of the charges, this was the avenue God used to send him to Rome. Unlike my pouty way of doing things, Paul chose to thankfully embrace the opportunity that God gave him.

Under house arrest, Paul

…welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 28:30-31

Do you have areas in your life that are not going as planned?

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What will it take for you to submit to the fact that God’s ways are higher than your ways?

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How can you transform your frustrated energy into faith?

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Journal your responses.

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As for me, it’s been ten years since I got married. My sister got married five years after I did. Had God given me my dream of having my Dad give me away, I would have had something that my sister would have sorely missed on her wedding day, since our Dad died 62 days after our Mom. I am so grateful that God closed that door for me.

And those three words my Dad spoke? They still have an unexplainable, profound effect on my heart! I didn’t know then, but God’s ways truly were so far superior to mine.

Mind:

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.

Art Linkletter

What happens in your mind the moment your plans get derailed?

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Do you rebel by getting angry?

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If or when that occurs, where does your frustration take you? In other words, does it change the situation?

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If you cannot change the circumstances, all you have control of is your attitude. Picture someone running on a treadmill.

Do you think if they run faster they will get to a different destination?

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Obviously not. Think about that illustration if you get angry when things aren’t going your way. You can get furious inside, but it doesn’t change the facts. The circumstances still are what they are.

So, what can you do to make the best out of the way things turn out? Journal your answer… and the more you can relate to specific situations you face, the better off you will be.

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Body:

One of the curveballs I struggle with most is when I am in a strong groove with my fitness and nutrition and then I either get sick or injured. Ugh, those times can feel defeating. Why Lord? You have shown me the value of being healthy and physically fit. Why did you allow this to happen?

I was running in pain for about a year, absolutely fearful that if I went to the doctor I would be told I couldn’t workout. Obviously it was not a smart choice to neglect my pain. In fact, it eventually got so severe that I was struggling to walk, so I finally went in.

It was embarrassing to answer the question, “How long has this pain been going on?” I answered by saying, “I don’t want to lie to you, but at the same time, I think you’d be better off not knowing the truth.” Needless to say, I left that very day wearing a big ol’ boot—I was now living my greatest fear.

But, here was what happened and this is where I want to encourage you. My doctor said, “You can’t run. You can’t jump rope. You can’t do anything high-impact.” You can’t do this. You can’t do that.

After hearing his whole list, I asked, “So what can I do?” My doctor gave me a couple of ideas, and I got creative, researched and found for myself all the things I could do. I could still do upper-body resistance training and upper-body cardio. I did boxing videos minus the legs; I could still ride a stationary bike and use the elliptical machine. Focus on what you can do!

If you are limited in what you can do for your fitness and nutrition – whether it is your physical limitations, financial situation, time, children, or anything else – list those limitations in your journal.

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Next to each excuse… oops… did I say that out loud? Let me rephrase.

Next to each hurdle, brainstorm creative solutions.

If you need help, use Google or chat boards on health sites such as www.sparkpeople.com to get ideas.

Keep this list close for the times when you need it.

Commit today to not be upset when you face a turn in the road, but instead, enjoy the journey!

Closing Prayer:

Oh God, in today’s world it is so easy to focus on the things we can’t do. We are a people so determined for our fair share… an equal opportunity… and the fact of the matter is that there are certain things we can’t do. While some of them will be off-limits for a short-term, some of things we will never be permitted to do, and God I pray that You will give us a peace knowing that we aren’t missing out on anything.

We are given limitations for a reason… so that we may learn to depend on You. I pray that You will open our eyes to see the areas where we need to give in and allow our bodies room to heal. Open our eyes to see and take care of the things that are within our area of responsibility, and as far as everything else Lord, give us the strength to trust You to take care of those areas. For it’s in Jesus name I pray, 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.

1 Comment

"Do you have areas in your life that are not going as planned?"

I think we all can say we have come to things in our lives that were not how we envisioned them or originally wanted them to turn out. Looking back it is so easy to see now why those things happened for God's good, but when you are sometimes in the moment, it is hard to understand God's plan. That is the time God wants you to come to him with your honest feelings and tell him you need him to take control and guide you through these times.

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