Stories: Abortion & the Loss of Motherhood

The other day I attended a small gathering of Christian men and women.   As the speaker started to talk about families she also started to talk about abortion.  Hearing that one word was a reminder of why Women in His Presence exists.

If you were to ask me the purpose of Women in His Presence, I would tell you that it is going to be a women’s ministry without walls.  It will be a ministry that any woman can participate in no matter what church she does or doesn’t attend.  It’s to provide a service that creates opportunities for women to gather, be encouraged, and use their gifting.   But the foundation will always point women back to the Bible because the decisions I made without it, scarred me forever. The Bible and Jesus eventually saved me and if I would have had this in my life in college, it would have saved my unborn baby.

It was my 3rd year in college, spring semester that I found out I was pregnant.  I remember being in the dorm restroom taking a test while my friend waited outside the stall.   The double line appeared quick and like that fear struck me.  “Crap, I’m pregnant.”

My mind had such quick thinking in that moment induced by fear.

  1. I can’t have this baby.
  2. I’ll lose my college softball scholarship.
  3. I won’t be able to play softball.
  4. My boyfriend is not the one. “Though he was 10 minutes before.”
  5. I don’t want to be a single parent.
  6. Who is going to want a girl with a baby unmarried.
  7. Will guys think I’m easy?
  8. I’m going to have to move back to Houston and go to school to be a teacher instead.
  9. I’m not the kind of girl who sleeps around.
  10. What will people think of me.
  11. I know not to get pregnant because my parents had me in high school.
  12. If I have this baby, I won’t be able to give it up for adoption.  I know the moment I would see it, I would want it.
  13. I’m going to be single forever and my dream is to be married and have kids.

This was not what I planned and it wasn’t a part of my dreams.  I was pro-life before, but when it happened to me I felt as if I needed a way out of this mistake…this accident.

My next step was to call my boyfriend and tell him I was pregnant and that I was not having it.   He didn’t say anything that day and I didn’t give him the chance to anyway.

I remember getting it scheduled pretty quickly.   That day, my boyfriend drove me to Corpus to an abortion clinic.  I cried the entire way up there.  Part of me wanted him to say something. Part of me wanted him to ask me to marry him so I wouldn’t have a baby in shame.  Once we got inside, I continued to cry a lot.  I remember a worker coming up next to me telling me that if I didn’t  stop crying the doctor wouldn’t do it.

Once I stopped crying enough, they took me back to the room.   It was determined I was almost 6 weeks. They explained the procedure and what would follow and then it happened. I mainly just remember the sound of the suction and thinking it was all just a clump.  I never thought it had a heartbeat.

After that, I remember filing it away pretty quickly and living life.  After that I had two serious relationships, in which there came a time it was appropriate to share that with the other person.

Each time, I was afraid they would no longer like me and each time the facial expression was of disappointment.

It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties, that the abortion came back and effected me emotionally and mentally.  As I started to become a follower of Jesus Christ and not just a believer and church attender, I began to know Jesus.  In reading the Bible I started to see how the Lord is a part of creation from the beginning.  I began to realize that my decision out of fear could have been given to the Lord.  If I knew the Lord, I would have known that life wasn’t perfect and that I can’t control my life and make decisions that aren’t mine to make.  Had I known the Word, I would of held on tight in the storm knowing that there would be a blessing waiting on the other side that I would treasure forever.  A treasure far more valuable than my career, relationship status, or myself.

The years to follow I struggled with infertility.  At first it was unexplainable and then low levels of endometriosis.  Not the best case scenario to conceive, but not impossible.  The infertility was a constant reminder that at one time I could, but it wasn’t happening now.  At church retreats or conferences, I would hear other women tell their stories of the after affects of abortion.  The emotional pain, regret, shame, and secrets.   Yet, they always testified, “But God gave me children.” So there I sat, wondering why I didn’t get a second chance.   

Divorcing in my 40’s brought another reality.  The opportunity to even attempt to have kids looked real impossible.   

So when I first moved back to Houston it hit me again.  “Here I am in Houston, single, and working in education (which I do love but didn’t plan).” And at the time of the abortion, the thing I was most trying to avoid was being unmarried,  working in education, and living in Houston.

I can’t begin to tell you how different I feel not having kids when around women my age.  I can’t tell you how many times I feel regret when a kid asks me, “Do you have kids?” The answer is, “I don’t,” but inside I’m saying I did.

The regret never goes away no matter how forgiven I am and grieving still comes for what should have been.  God’s will is always better than my will.  Sometimes, it’s a hard lesson to learn and live with.

This is my story of loss and the insight I gained when I became a follower of Jesus Christ and sought God’s truth and wisdom through scripture.

Erica Salazar

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

 

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Psalm 51:6

 

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Reading the Bible: Why Should I and Where Do I Start?

Attempting to read the Bible can be intimidating. This is because we have the misconception that it’s too hard, too long, and we really don’t understand why we should.  We think we are too busy, it’s not relevant, and it’s made up of stories that aren’t real. Most of all, we think it’s filled with a bunch of rules we must follow.

When it comes to attending a Bible study, we are afraid to participate.  We think reading the whole thing is a prerequisite for participation. We think we have to actually own a Bible. We think behind those church doors are really smart people engaging in this high level conversation.

But none of that is true.

However, just a little over ten years ago, I was there.  I believed in God and that Jesus died on the cross.  I had faith.  I wanted to start attending church regularly.  I tried to be a good person

Wasn’t that enough?

Well the problem that I ran into once I started reading the Bible was…..

  1.  I realized that prior, I didn’t know what it actually meant to be a follower of Christ?
  2. What I thought was good, ok, or not a big deal, did not line up with the Word of God.
  3. The “rules” were a protective covering that kept me feeling whole, loved, safe, and not lacking.

What I started to gain by reading the Bible….

  1. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. A desire to read the Bible out of enjoyment and not out of requirement.
  3. I started to feel alive and complete.
  4. It became my anchor in a storm.
  5. It gave me ability to heal, love, and forgive when I should naturally be bitter.
  6. Etc…..The list could go on forever.

Overall, it unlocked this whole new world that was better than before.  Sure, life still happened.  But, more and more instead of turning to outside solutions to make me feel good, I turned to my Bible.

It is the place where God guides me.   It’s the place where He speaks to me. In there is the truth about life, circumstances, and choices.

Its the only place I can go that gives me peace, comfort, excitement, adventure, purpose, and an understanding of the condition of my heart.

I encourage you in 2018 to give it try.  Journey with me, by reading a Proverb a day.   It’s a great place to start and very applicable to everyday life.

Don’t be afraid.   Be ready to be amazed.

 

In My Presence

My dogs Watson and Savannah love playing fetch, running off of the leash, and swimming. Today was one of those days they were able to do all three.

I took them to one of my favorite spots that has a pond that is nestled just enough away from the encroaching new subdivision.

When play time with me was over, I sat myself up against a tree, leaned back and closed my eyes. Now this transition into quite time wasn’t necessarily smooth. My dogs approached me expecting me to still play fetch. I had to repeatedly tell them no until they got the hint.

Today in particular, Watson scampered off to dip into the pond and run around while Savannah dropped her ball beside me and took a few steps back and waited.

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Savannah has always been obsessed with playing fetch. She will just stare at the ball intently while she waits. If I don’t get it, she picks it back up and tries again. She repeats this until she realizes that it “ain’t gonna happen.” At that point she takes her ball and leaves.

Today was different though. She didn’t leave me.

Instead, she let the ball stay and positioned herself at my feet and relaxed and stopped focusing on the ball.

I can’t explain the joy I felt to have her just want to be near me. It caused me to actually pay more attention to her.

I then realized this is how God feels.

We tend to want to be in His Presence when we have a prayer request. We drop the prayer and wait. When it’s not answered we pick it up and go about our business and then give it back the next day in prayer. How many times are we in His presence wanting something: a sign, answered prayer, encouraging word.

Those aren’t bad things to do or want, but do we ever just want Him?

Is HE really enough for you?
Or is he only enough because you know He can provide, bless, and answer prayers?

If he couldn’t do those things, would you still want a relationship with Him?

You see, God doesn’t need anything from us.
He doesn’t want a relationship with us so he can get something from us. And yet he still wants to be with us.

He doesn’t love us, based on our actions or displays of affections.

It’s about company and companionship. The feeling of joy, peace, and love that exists because we are near each other.

As I write this, he is speaking to me. The walk over to the pond, I was sharing with Him a bit of sadness. Last night I may have experienced some premenopausal symptoms: night sweats.

This saddened me, and I went into strategy mode. “Maybe I could get some of my eggs frozen,” I thought. Then I started thinking about God’s promises he gave me, and scriptures that confirmed I would have kids from me, and now it seems IMPOSSIBLE.

Forty, divorced, and being called by God to stand and wait for marriage restoration makes it all more disheartening.

But…..at the end of the day, God is enough for me so I just can’t focus on those things anymore. I just have to let go, relax, and sit at his feet.

One night crying I asked God, ” Why didn’t you save my marriage before divorce?”

He answered back, “Aren’t I enough?”

Luke 10:38-42 NASB

Martha and Mary
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.40 But Martha was distracted with [q]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

To God be the Glory

 

 

 

 

Week 2: Harvest

Three Harvest Times:

1. Barley Reaping (April/May)
2. Wheat Harvest (June/July)
3. In gathering of the Fruits -Tree/Vines (Sept/Oct)

Festivals occurring during each of those harvest times.
1. Passover
2. Pentecost
3. Tabernacles

Main Scripture

Galatians 6:7-10 NASB
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Monday: Get Your Ground Ready!

1. Read Proverbs 24:27
I’ve included three different translations.

New International Version
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

New Living Translation
Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.

English Standard Version
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

The first thing that needs to be done before you have a crop to harvest is to get a field ready. However, not just any field will work. Each plant grows best in a certain type of soil. Soils vary by region which have different climates and precipitation. Fields also need to be plowed and made ready. If a seed is not planted in the right type of soil or an unplowed field, then its growth is not fruitful or nonexistent.

It’s kind of like humans. We live in different places with different cultures. But, our heart and our minds are like fields. Everyday we see, hear, and experience things that are planted in our mind, vision, desires, and emotions.

Because of that, last week I asked, “Where do you plant your presence?” A blessed man plants himself in the Word God. However he chooses this. He is not being forced. Therefore it shows his heart/mind or field is ready for the seed of God to be planted. His field has been plowed and made ready

If he was being forced to be in the presence of the Lord or had minimal exposure, his heart/field isn’t plowed well enough for the seed to grow strong roots. Therefore the seed is received, but will fail to reach the maturity of being harvested.

We got to get our field ready so God’s seed grows and remains in us.

1 John 3:9 NIV
No one who is born of God will continue to sin,because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

So to start off today, I want to ask some questions that will have you reflect on the status of your field/heart before moving into the study.

1. How often to you plant yourself in Bible reading?
2. Answer only the question that pertains to you:

A. What keeps you from attempting to read the Bible? Explain any past attempts that did not succeed in becoming a Bible reader.

B. What keeps you from reading the Bible regularly? Think about how you can create some type of system that works around those challenges if they are not going to go away. Think about which challenges are actually distractions, therefore becoming a priority in your schedule over reading God’s Word.

C. If you are reading regularly, have you thought about deepening your understanding by incorporating Biblical resource books? What would you like to know more about?

Now read Galatians 6:7
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

A man reaps what he sows. The acting of sowing requires effort and energy.

A. The person has to physically take seed out and intentionally sow it somewhere.
B. The amount of harvest and the type of harvest depends on what the sower sowed.
C. The amount of seed sown depends on the size of the field.

Based on what has been written up to this point, reflect on Galatians 6:7.

1. Where do you sow your seed? Where do you invest your energy in besides work?
2. Reflect where do you sow into sin.

For me I sow into emotional eating. Eating is not bad, but when I eat to calm my emotions I’m sowing to the flesh. And trust me, my body will not be mocked. It shows!

3. How often are you sowing into your sin?

Tuesday: Sowing

Galatians 6:8 NASB
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 5 16-13 (NASB)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [d]factions,21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

1. Galatians 6:8 says if you sow to please the flesh then you will reap/harvest destruction. From Galatians 5, list the 15 things that are deeds of the flesh. List them straight down your paper leaving room to write on the side of them.
2. Next to each deed, give examples of ways that either you and/or others sow into that particular deed. (This is between you and God. Don’t be afraid to confront anything or even place a question mark on things you are not sure fall into that category but you think maybe do.)
3. Now, for each deed write whether or not the secular world thinks your examples will lead to destruction.
4. Now from Galatians 5, list the nine fruits of the Spirit in the same way you listed the deeds of the flesh.
5. Next to each fruit, express where you feel you are with that fruit. You can even give yourself a ranking using a 1-10 range. One meaning not there at all. Five is neutral, and 10 would represent as close to humanly possible at reflecting that fruit.
6. Can you think of any situations God has grown you in a specific fruit or is challenging you to grow in a specific fruit?

If you have time, reread Psalm 1:1-6 from last week. It reemphasizes these scriptures.

Wednesday: Sowing and Growing

Matthew 13:3-8 (NASB)
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [a]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

1. First notice there is one intentional action and three unintentional actions.
2. All the seeds are in the presence of the sower, but some have either slipped through or fallen out when others are intentionally being sown.

There are many things that can put us in the presence of God.
1. Going to church
2. Listening to Christian music
3. Listening to an online or radio sermon
4. Reading a devotional
5. Praying
6. Reading the Bible

However reading the Bible and prayer are the only two that require just you and God. It’s that 1:1 personal relationship and it is first hand information.

Remember in week one of this study, the Word says the blessed man meditates on the law of God day and night. Where is that first hand information? In the Bible!

In this parable, there are four types of ground.
1. Side of the road
2. Rocky places
3. Thorny ground
4. Good soil

Here is the danger. Every single person has a heart/ground. If it’s only being “plowed” with Christian music, online sermons, or just attending church, your heart will not be plowed to the point that your ground can get to the point of good soil. Good soil reaps a harvest    .

We usually start by going to church etc., but to never move to reading the word of God for ourselves, along with praying, leaves you missing out a great relationship. Plus, the Word transforms us from the inside out. It’s how God speaks to you directly to grow you to maturity. Maturity that can be harvested and multiplied. You don’t want to have stunted growth

This is why many people think that they will go to heaven because they attend church regularly, believe in Jesus, and try to be a good person. People think the activity is the relationship.

Let’s compare this to a real relationship.

If you spend time as a couple going to a movie, concerts, and believe the person is your spouse without talking or “listening” to what that person has to say to you first hand would that be a real relationship?

No.

You have to talk and share your thoughts, concerns, and beliefs. And these conversations need to happen with just you and your spouse. Not with a middle man or receiving second hand information.

So why do we think not having this intimacy with God is ok?

God shares his love, thoughts, character, beliefs through his Word. We have to read it for ourselves to get to know Him. We have to pray so we can share our thoughts with God. He wants to listen.

1. Out of the four ground types which one(s) do you most relate with?
2. Based on the parable, what is happening to God’s seed when it lands on your ground.

Notice that each ground type is receiving the seed just like many people hear about Jesus and are even believers of Jesus. But, do all the seeds reach the point of harvest?

3. The difference is the ground. Once you receive God’s seed, is your heart/ground able to provide an ENVIRONMENT for the seed to grow in you and transform you? Are you staying as a seedling or are you growing in Christ to point that your flesh is becoming dead?

A harvested plant is a dead plant.
1. Yet it’s in its death that it feeds others.
2. It’s nourishment that allows others to grow.
3. It also gets to a point where it is creating many seed. The plant must die for the new seeds to be planted.

All plants die, but not all make it to a mature enough state that reproduces, multiplies, and can be used for a service.

Thursday: Sowing and Growing Continued

Let’s flip the script. Yesterday we looked at the scripture as if you were the ground with the ground representing your heart and how it may or may not be getting plowed well enough for the seed to grow to the point of harvest.

Today let’s think about you being the seed. All people belong to God. Yet some choose by the depth of their relationship with HIM to stay in his presence. These are the ones that are in His hand the entire time and get sown in good soil. The other ones are falling out of his hand or coming out too soon.

1. If you are the seed falling onto the side of the road, what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
2. If you are the seed falling onto rocky ground, what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
3. If you are the seed falling onto thorny ground what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
4. If you are the seed being placed in the good soil, what real world situations could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?

Friday: Harvesting

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

1. For the barley and wheat harvest, “the corners of the fields were no to be reaped and the scatterings of the cut grain were not to be picked up.” (Zondervan Pictoral Bible Dictionary)
2. “With a new orchard or vineyard the fruit could not be gathered for three years, and the fourth year’s crop had the given entirely to the Lord. So the owner had to wait until the fifth year to get any fruit for himself. (Zondervan Pictoral Bible Dictionary)

For the grain fields, the instruction to leave the corners and not pick up what had fallen or scattered was to benefit the poor.

1. Putting on your business cap, why would this good deed be an inconvenience?

2. If you were the owner of a new vineyard or orchard, what would be difficult about your situation based on the information above?
3. How does that scripture impact you now knowing the harvesting customs of that time?
4. What situation/crop have you been investing yourself in through action and/or prayer that has not come into fruition yet?
5. Is there a blessing others are able to receive because you are working and tending to your situation/crop even though you don’t see your harvest?
6. What emotions does God acknowledge you are going to go through while you wait?

Let’s think back to the past two days. God knows we get weary. Maybe he does too?
However, he keeps sowing. He does not stop, because he wants everyone one of us to repent and grow in Him and into an image of Christ.

He wants a crop of Christians that can be harvested and sent out to “feed” the world and multiply.

Matthew 13:8
And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

7. How do you feel about your situation now?
8. What action steps will you take to either incorporate Bible reading, become more consistent, or gain a deeper knowledge?

Have a blessed week!

 

 

 

Surviving on Higher Ground

Today I went with my youngest sister for our daily walk in the rain. It’s a time we count our blessings that this little area has been spared so far. However, we take pictures of the increasing water behind the house as we toss a toy with the dogs. They have been the few to not mind the rain since it has given them plenty of off leash time and easy access swimming.

On our way back today, my sister noticed a bunch of empty snail shells in the crevices between the sidewalk and the landscaping off to the side.

We began to gather the empty shells and it reminded me of what is happening now during Harvey. So many empty homes whose inhabitants have had to flee. There the shells lay on the ground submerged under a thin layer of water surrounded by debris.

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We tried to rescue a few that were still alive but underwater. Like the rescue helicopters, our hands reached down to pluck the ones that had life. We then began to stick them to the trees to try and give them a chance to survive. My sister then realized, that other snails had made their way up those trees on their own clinging to higher ground.

I love when God reveals himself in nature.

What I was getting from this little observation is, how do we survive the storm? It doesn’t have to be an actual weather storm, but any major disruption in life that is unexpected and can be catastrophic. It upsets and challenges our soul and spirit. Emotionally we can be swept away or in a rage. Or we can rise above to higher ground and be an overcomer.

Again, the question is HOW?

Jesus Christ!

By constantly being in His Presence through the reading of the word and prayer, the Holy Spirit equips us to supernaturally survive when by the world’s view we should be drowning.

It gives you the ability to love unconditionally who you are rejected by.

It gives you the ability to forgive those who don’t even ask for forgiveness.

It gives you the ability to go outside yourself to be helping hands.

It also gives you the knowledge that you are not a victim of your circumstances. Instead you are a victor in Christ.

Matthew 7:24-27New International Version (NIV)
The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

To God be the Glory

Are You Empty?

This week while on the tollway, I heard a familiar yet rarely heard sound. It was a certain ring that politely alarmed me that something was wrong. Since I have heard it only one other time in my vehicle, my mind and eyes wondered, “What is that?”

Then of course it clicks.
I look down and see my gas tank warning.
Empty.

This alerted me not only that I was empty, but with perfect timing that I had just passed the nearest exit. Eventually, I was able to depart, but onto bumper to bumper traffic on the feter and the location of the nearest gas station unknown.

Once I pulled into a gas station, I began the search for my wallet. Of course, I found that I had left the wallet at home.

I was too far from home to risk driving back and I had no money.

What is a single girl to do?

Luckily, I could call mom and dad to save the day and use the wait time to read the Bible.

I tell this because it is a very relatable situation. However, in our day to day routine we can be so distracted that we start running on empty spiritually. Because God loves us, he gives us a warning sound, light, sign, or whatever when we are driving through life away from Him.

It is very important that we take heed to the warning and pull off, slow down, and stop. It is also important that we refuel. How do we do that? By opening up the Bible. That is where the Father is waiting for you to call on Him to save the day. Notice though, I said for YOU to call on Him.

I didn’t say read a book that a Christian author wrote after he/she called on Him.

I didn’t say, listen to your favorite pastor online or podcast after he called on God.

I also didn’t say for you to phone a friend and ask them to call on Him on your behalf.

None of the above things are bad. In fact I do all three. BUT, they cannot be your primary source of spiritual fuel. They are secondary sources.

Why depend on someone else when you can get it first hand?

You need to get it first hand because God wants to have a conversation with you directly. He has specific information for you. He longs to hear you submit your prayer requests to Him. His love for you is what refuels you authentically and intimately. He longs to come to your rescue when you are empty and weary.

Go beyond believing in God.

Open your Bible and be One with God. You will feel complete, refueled, ready and equipped to drive forward.

Dear God,

Thank you for your patience and your continual wooing of our hearts. We all fall short of going to you first for our source of fuel and satisfaction. Let us continually be aware of what steals our intimacy with you. I say no to counterfeits and yes to your authentic love, protection, and security. You are my hero.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Heart Transplant Bible Study: Week 2

Worship:
Lauren Daigle: Trust in You

Memory Verse:

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Day 1: What does it look like to be broken in spirit and yet receive God’s peace by going to him in prayer, conversation, and reading the Word.

Part 1

Part 2

Day 2: Cry Out and Pray

Read Psalm 141 three times.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+141-145&version=NIV

1. How would you describe David’s emotion in verses 1-2?

2. Describe your body position in times of unbelievable heartbreak, heartache, or hurt.

3. What kind of energy would be needed to lift up your head, chest, arms?

4. When we are experiencing brokenness, pain, and despair, what are we tempted to want to do to others or ourselves if it was self-inflicted pain?

5. Is David leaning on his own strength with this temptation?

Day 3 and 4: Read the Bible

Read Psalm 30 three times
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+30&version=NIV

1. In this chapter, there are three words that describe the situation: depths, realm of the dead, pit.

What times/situations have you been able to relate to this level of hurt, depression, and/or oppression?

2. In this chapter, there are several things that David said God did for him when he cried out: lifted me, healed me, brought me up, spared me, favored me, merciful to me (asked for this).

During our pits of despair, do you really believe that that God’s rescuing is available to you too? Explain why or why not or even if you feel it depends on the situation.

3. The Holy Spirit contradicts what is possible in the natural. It works at a supernatural level which seems impossible. Although a circumstance may not change, the ability to emotionally not be drug down into a pit forever is available to all.

This passage has the following natural reactions superseded by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Weeping to rejoicing
Wailing to dancing
Sack cloth to cloth of joy
Silent to singing

What attitudes or emotions are you dealing with that need a supernatural intervention, so you don’t remain under a cloud of despair, frustration, and/or worry?

Day 5: Reach out
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A9-12&version=NIV

1. In this passage Paul is talking to Timothy.

Categorize the people Paul named into the following category: (some may be used twice)
1. Deserted Paul
2. With Paul
3. On mission for Paul
4. Will be with Paul
5. Will drop everything to be there for Paul

In your own life, reflect on who has deserted you and pray to God to help you forgive that hurt and heal from that hurt.

2. Reflect on who can you reach out to for help when you need prayer or encouragement.

3. Reflect on who would drop everything to go and physically be with you?

The #2 and #3 category are very important. If you are struggling to identify people, let me encourage you to go beyond attending a church service and get involved in your church ministries and small groups.

If you are not currently attending church, then let me encourage you to take that step to grow a spiritual extended family who will be with you through thick and thin.

Prayer:
Lord I thank you for your companionship and comfort. It may not always be the way I think it will be or in my timing, but the Word says you make all things beautiful in your timing.

Let God be the Glory