Faith, obedience, Uncategorized

Do I Trust Myself More Than God?

Do I Trust Myself More than God

Sometimes I put trust in dangerous places.

One day, my husband informed me he wanted to return to the Navy. I’d talked him out of this decision before and felt certain I could again. After all, he was pursuing his college degree, and going back into the military meant saying goodbye to nearly half our income and a comfortable civilian life. Nothing about it made sense, and I told him so.

But then God captured my attention. Has God ever grabbed yours?

When I relayed the situation to our pastor’s wife, she asked if I had prayed about it. Her words—more likely God speaking through her—shook me. I hadn’t. I trusted myself and my logic more than God.

However, seemingly obvious answers aren’t always fueled by God Almighty.

His ways are higher than ours, according to Isaiah 55:8-9. Wisdom finds us seeking our Father’s counsel.

Wisdom finds us seeking our Father's counsel. ~ @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet

After that divinely-led conversation, I went home and prayed. My strong-willed, rational self intentionally transferred trust to God in that moment. I asked the Lord to show me if He was behind Tony’s decision and to make His will undoubtedly clear.

God responded to that prayer within days.

The answer? Navy.

Day after day, those four letters grabbed my attention from their mount on buildings, signs, and vehicles. It was the wildest thing. Everywhere I turned, “navy” found me.

Soon after, Tony rejoined the Navy. In fact, he made a career of it, retiring in 2013. The Lord showed us much and crossed our paths with many wonderful people during those years. We wouldn’t exchange the journey for anything. God knew best after all!

Relying on ourselves, logical thinking, or statistics looks good on the outside, and trust set there often makes sense at first glance. But God’s ways are higher than ours. He woos and encourages us to rely on Him—the Maker of heaven and earth.

God's ways are higher than ours. ~ @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet

Proverbs 3:5-6 challenges us to trust in the Lord versus our own understanding. The Bible prompts us to acknowledge God, knowing He—not man—will make our paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 challenges us to trust in the Lord versus our own understanding. ~ @Kristi_Woods Click To Tweet

When we find ourselves placing confidence in ourselves or others, why not turn to our Father instead? What situations are you facing today that’d be safer set in prayer, relying on God versus man?

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fear, surrender

Fear of Missing Out

  • quote pulled from text with a purple background

My schedule had ballooned, leaving me fighting for air. Though I managed to juggle all the demands and responsibilities bombarding me each day, I made numerous errors. I epitomized the phrase, “Jack of all trades but master of none.”

Or perhaps that’d be better phrased as “Doer of all but proficient in few.”

My joy, peace, and relationship with Christ was suffering. In my constant rush to tackle one task after the other, my prayer time had shifted from treasured and protected soul care to something I squeezed into my already rushed day, out of guilt and obligation rather than a desire to genuinely connect with my Savior.

Though I claimed God’s sovereignty over my present and future, my schedule and mistakes—my choices, my will—became my God.

If I did X, Y would happen. If I failed to do C, D would never occur. And if I stepped down from a certain role that, potentially, led to promotion, my life’s dreams would be irrevocably derailed.

In other words, when I evaluated the root of my busyness, it came down to this: Fear of missing out. Fear that if I said no to a particular opportunity, I was potentially robbing myself of something good that could lead to something even better.

My fight for control and fear of missing out, of in some way hindering God’s very good plans for me, revealed deep-seated, faulty views of God.My fight for control and fear of missing out, of in some way hindering God’s very good plans for me, revealed deep-seated, faulty views of God. Click To Tweet

Either I believed He was sovereign or I didn’t. And if I did, then I didn’t need to stress over the small stuff or my ever-changing circumstances. Instead, I’d rest in the One who walks beside me, stands behind me, goes before me, and holds me secure.

Either I believed He was supreme and worthy of all my praise, or I didn’t. If I did, then I’d recognize that everything I engage in or pursue on earth is but a shadow of what God has prepared for me. I’d remember how insufficient temporary pleasures were in filling my deepest needs and heart’s desire.

My schedule revealed my priorities—my true gods. But perhaps most convicting, my stress and fears revealed what I truly believed about God, His heart, and ability to care for me.

That realization empowered me to make changes. I analyzed my thought processes and the things that caused anxiety in light of truth, and I asked God to center me in reality.

Text pulled from postHere’s reality—God is in control. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says , speaking of God, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” (ESV).

Because God is bigger than any obstacle or setback I might face, and no matter how things might appear today, in the end, He wins.Because God is bigger than any obstacle or setback I might face, and no matter how things might appear today, in the end, He wins. Click To Tweet

Let’s talk about this! Do you struggle with a fear of missing or disrupting God’s plans for you? How might focusing on obedience help you find peace in the uncertainties and abundance of opportunities assaulting you each day?

For those participating in our Becoming His Princess Bible study, if you’re on week four, which deals with overcoming fear, you can listen to the audio segment HERE. If you haven’t grabbed your free copy yet but would like to, you can do so HERE. You can watch the videos for sessions one and two HERE.

Fear of rejection

Developing Deep Friends–Video Devotion

I’ve been hurt, betrayed, and abandoned. I’ve had friends slander me and assume the worst. I’ve simultaneously craved relational intimacy and spurned it.

And I’m not alone in this. So many of us are maintaining surface level friendships, longing to go deeper, to unveil who we truly are and connect with those who love us, flaws and all, but fear of rejection continually gets in our way.

Can I just say, I get it. I understand your longing to be known fully and loved deeply, to find those people who not only get you but promise to stay.

I also know the fear that comes from past hurts. We all have scar tissue, and this distorts our perception. Makes us leery and self-protecting. So we step into new relationships with our running shoes on, ready to bolt at first sign of conflict.

But that only perpetuates the problem, adding hurt upon hurt, defensiveness upon defensiveness. Loneliness upon loneliness.

What if we did this whole friendship thing differently? What if we determined to stay? To push through the hard—to be the type of friend we ourselves long or?

On the night before His death, Jesus gathered His disciples together, and after having told them about all the difficulties that lay ahead—persecution, imprisonment, execution … He prayed that “they would be one” just as He and the Father were one. (John 17:21, ESV)

That’s deep, enduring unity—the kind that goes well beyond the casual friendships so many of us maintain.

To develop the type of unity Jesus prayed for, we need to love as He did. Less than twenty four hours before his execution, He washed the feet, an act normally performed by household servants, of Judas, the very one who would betray Him. Then, shortly after His brutal death, Jesus intentionally sought out Peter, the friend who’d denied and abandoned Him.

His love for them wasn’t dependent on their actions to Him. And He didn’t hold grudges or nurse wounds. When there was a rift, like with Peter, Jesus took the initiative to make things right.

That’s hard, especially when we’ve been hurt, but its oh, so necessary. If we don’t learn to do this, to press through the hard and hold tight to one another, we’ll never experience the deep connectedness our hearts long for.

The next time conflict arises and you’re tempted to self-protect and run away, press in—first to Jesus, and then into the friendship. Learn to hold tight. To work through the hard, surrendering your hurt and heart to Jesus, as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

And if this is an issue you struggle with and an area where you’d like to learn how to walk in deeper freedom, then join us for one of our upcoming Bold and Brave Conferences. You find out more HERE.

women friendsYou can register for our June conference (at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Lincoln on June 23rd) HERE.

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Uncategorized, Video Devotion

Fear Not! — Video Devotion


My foot edged out of the airplane door in preparation to jump, the cold wind slapping my face and screaming in my ears. As I leapt, I glanced down and realized that I wasn’t wearing a parachute. I was gripped with terror!

Ok, so that was obviously just a dream. But we face fear or anxiety almost daily, right?

In the Bible, God repeatedly commands us not to fear. In fact, fear is such a big deal that Scripture mentions it at least 365 times (one for each day of the year). It’s easy to understand why fear is bad. For one, it reveals a lack of trust that God’s in control.

But, feeling frightened is human instinct, right? God, how can we possibly just “not fear”?!

I don’t think God is threatening, “Don’t ever feel afraid again … or else!” Rather, through Scripture, He proves that Christ’s victory over death is the reason we no longer need to let fear control us and equips us to strip away its power.

In my dream, I was free-falling without the proper protection needed to land safely. Honestly, I would still be nervous even with a parachute strapped securely to my back. But, I could quiet my worry with the knowledge that I’d dressed myself appropriately for the situation.

God calls us to dress daily…in His armor. You’re probably saying … wait, armor is for battle. Why do I need that? Fighting fear is a battle, my friend. And failing to put on the armament He’s provided is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.

Ephesians 6:10-18 lists each part of God’s armor: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, boots of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, and how we can use it to stand victorious in Him each day.

Praying this protection over ourselves won’t stop bad things from happening or prevent us from feeling fear. But, fully dressed, we’ll have every weapon God provides us at the ready, so we can quickly recognize and put fear in its place….in His hands.

Are you controlled by fear? Don’t fight it alone. Instead, dress yourself in God’s armor and step into the battle alongside the One who will always win.

Do you struggle with fear? Want to learn how to learn how to live in greater freedom? Then join us for our next Bold and Brave conference, hosted by Good Shepherd Presbyterian in Lincoln, Nebraska. Find out more and register HERE.

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