March 31, 2012

UPDATED POST…A Message From My Friend Heather Bleier

Hey girls!

HIDDEN JOY UPDATE-PLEASE READ

IF YOU RECEIVED AN E-MAIL FROM ME ENTITLED HIDDEN JOY:WEEK ONE MARCH 30TH OR 31ST, DISREGARD IT PLEASE.  IT ACCIDENTALLY WENT OUT EARLY.  WE DO NOT BEGIN UNTIL APRIL 9TH.  SO SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION!

I am so excited (too excited I guess since the post went out!)for us to begin, and I cannot wait!!  It is not too late to sign up.  There are easy to follow instructions at the end of today’s post.

My friend Heather Bleier is my guest today.  She has become a dear friend through the on-line study journey we have been on over the last few years.  She is a talented writer filled with great wisdom and knowledge.  I pray you are blessed by her message below.

Message from Heather……

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:2-4

I once heard a story about a Florida man who owned an orange grove. Most of the farmers would water their trees abundantly so that the trees would mature faster and they would get a harvest more quickly, but not this man. Instead, he would only give his trees what they needed to survive, at times he starved their roots for the water they needed. It would take him much longer to get a harvest, but he had an even greater goal to achieve. As the trees grew, their roots had to dig deeper in search of water. The other farmers laughed at this man as they pulled in their harvest each year, but this man had faith in what he was doing was better for his trees in the long run.

You see, Florida has these occasional natural disasters called hurricanes; they sweep through with their high winds and torrential rains. Well, a particularly strong hurricane came through this man’s grove and the winds tore at the trees, stripping them of their leaves. The same was true for the groves in the surrounding area…with one major difference. Since this man’s trees had deep roots, they remained standing strong, maybe a broken branch or two, but as a whole, they were intact. As for the other groves, their trees had shallow roots; after all, they had no reason to dig any deeper since they received what they needed in abundance. Those trees were easily ripped from the ground and flung aside like pieces of driftwood, shattering them into pieces, destroying the tree. The end result, the man who took the time to allow his trees to grow deeper roots, despite having to starve them of water and wait longer for his trees to mature, was able to pull in bountiful harvests for years while the other farmers had to pick up the pieces and start fresh.

Well, we are not trees, but this story can still apply to how and why God allows bad things to happen in our lives. A very wise friend of mine once said, “God will never let the pain, surpass its purpose,” Stephanie Clayton. God isn’t out to punish His children; that is not what He is about, He is Love. Therefore, what He permits us to go through stems from that love. For some, it will take a hurricane experience and complete brokenness in order for Him to get us to a place where we will allow Him to complete His work in our lives. For others, it may only take glancing blows to help them dig their roots deep into His Word, taking shelter in His arms. Let me give you an example…

I have received glancing blows throughout my life. On more than one occasion, I have been sexually assaulted, but never raped. Each time, I had to press into God’s Word, even though at times, I felt so far from His presence, surrounded instead by grief, shame, and guilt. My parents divorced when I was in middle school. Though it was not mutual, they divorced peacefully, and they never made us feel like it was our fault. We could visit our father whenever we wanted to and were not bound by “visitation rights.” Once again, I found myself digging into God’s Word.

More recently, I lost my step-mother to suicide in the same week I miscarried our first child. Both were still only glancing blows. I loved my step-mother very much, but I moved away not too long after she and my father were married, so we did not build a strong relationship. When we lost our first child, it was very early in our pregnancy, only about five weeks along. They were both painful experiences, but once again…they could have been much worse. My step-mother and I could’ve had relationship that was strong and thriving. I could have carried our child full-term and lost him or her at birth. But neither was the case.

Now, I am not trying to downplay the pain I went through with those experiences, but neither will I turn them into something they are not. What I do see them as, are my Father’s way of helping me to dig my roots deeper into His Word. In this way, when a true hurricane comes along, {not that I’m inviting God to send one my way} though I may be blown about, stripped of my leaves, and maybe end up with a broken limb or two…I will be able to stand strong, because I’m standing firmly on His Word.

This may be the same for some of you; you have been going through life with blow after blow. You may be wondering why God keeps sending these storms your way and when they will end. But, these are opportunities for you to draw closer to what you need most…your heavenly Father. For others, glancing blows may not be enough to wake you up from your complacency, they may not be enough for you to surrender yourself fully into God’s hands. The thing is God knows what it will take to move your heart. Some of you may find yourself in the middle of a hurricane, or perhaps right now you are trying to piece together your brokenness because that hurricane has already blown through without mercy.

What I invite you to do is something that may actually sound frightening and counterintuitive. Leave your broken pieces on the ground and let God be the one to put you back together. Allow Him to use your broken pieces to make you a new creation. One that will mature to a place where even when another hurricane or just a glancing blow comes along, you will be able to stand firm on His Word.

As we prepare to begin Wendy’s study on her book Hidden Joy, you will discover the hurricane that swept through her life. There will be times when you think the pain is just too much. You will wonder why God could have possibly allowed this to happen. When you get to that point, I don’t want you to give up or put this book aside. Why? Because, where we find our dear Wendy in the beginning, is not where we will find her at the end. This is The Transforming Power of God’s Story and we will see how God took the broken pieces of Wendy’s life and created something beautiful and new. We will see how He used every aspect of this story, her story…His story to bring Wendy to a place of strength, compassion, forgiveness, and ultimate healing. This transformation is what is also offered to you. Yes, YOU! It doesn’t matter what you have done, what’s been done to you, how long ago it happened, if it’s happening right now, or whatever! God can and does bring healing. He has a purpose for what you have gone through. He has a purpose for what I have gone through and we can see the purpose He had for Wendy. She now stands firmly on His Word, fully using the gifts He gave her long ago. I pray that you will not give up on this study. I know God will use it to bring healing into your life. I know this because you are not here by accident. He brought you to this place and He will bring you through.

Heavenly Father,

There are times when we just don’t understand why you have allowed things to happen in our lives. Painful things. It’s at these times that we find it so hard to understand how anything good could possibly come out of what we’ve had to go through. And it’s during these times that we have to dig deep. We have to stop relying on what we are feeling, but instead rely on what we know. You experienced agony as You watched Your only Son hang painfully on a wooden cross. You had to stop Yourself from rescuing Him from the suffering He endured for hours as He hung there, struggling for breath. You knew the pain You and Your Son endured had a much greater purpose…it rescued us from sin, freed us from the fear of death, and from the clutches of the Evil One. Therefore, we must know and believe that even though we cannot yet understand; our pain always has a greater purpose. Jesus did not benefit from His own suffering, but He will allow us to benefit from ours. As we get ready to begin our journey through the story You offer us through Your daughter Wendy, strengthen us. Walk with us each step of the way. Be our strength, when we want to give up, to give in. We also ask You to be with Wendy and her family during this time. As she leads us, place a hedge of protection around her family so that the Evil One may not have any access to them. Surround their home once again with a wall of angels, standing guard against any scheme to bring harm or unrest in their home. We ask this all in the Name above all names, Your Son, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother. Jesus Christ. Amen.

So what about you? What brought you here and what is the one thing you hope to gain from digging into this study? Leave a comment, words of encouragement, or even a short prayer below. I will choose one winner who will receive a one year subscription to the Proverbs 31 Magazine. I look forward to hearing from each of you!

Information to sign up for Hidden Joy Study:

There is no cost to join the on-line studies. The only cost will be the purchase price of Hidden Joy. You will also need a Bible and a notebook or journal. We would love for you to purchase the book through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I will sign each book purchased from our P31 web site. But the book is also available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book stores. It is also available electronically.

To register for the study, simply visit the sidebar on my web site and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line Studies.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.” Doing this registers you for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies. If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.

If you would like to receive the weekly posts for the on-line study in your inbox every Monday, visit the side bar again. At the top of this sidebar, you will see “Subscribe to updates.” Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.” Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week. It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly. You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.

Blessings to you today,

Comments

  1. Thank you, Heather, for being transparent and encouraging.

  2. Angel Parnell says:

    THank you for sharing the story about the orange grove. That story is why I am joining this bible/book study. Life hits me with little things constantly. I have also endured several major storms. At times I thought I would break, but my roots in God kept me stable. After the storm, God would tenderly push me back upright and things would be ok again. Thanks again for sharing this story. I look forward to traveling this journel with all involved.

  3. Jennifer C. says:

    Heather, I love your post today, it spoke to me. You are such a wonderful person and God has given you such a gift.

    Wendy, Counting the days until April 9.

    Love you guys.

    Jennifer

    PS In the middle of planning Holly’s 2nd 5k, please pray that everything goes well.

  4. Peggy Clement says:

    I feel great need of this bible study as I need to dig deeper into Gods word and allow him to strengthen me with the storms I am in at this moment. Thanks and God bless you.

  5. Heather, Thank you for this post. It means alot. I was brought here today from your twitter feed. I am a very new christian and am just beginning my walk. I’ve dealt with so many glancing blows and have been goin around the same mountains for years. I know what the problem is now but tackling it and moving beyond my past is terrifying. I’m looking forward to diving into the word and moving beyond theses chains that are holding me captive. Thanks for the giveaway!

    God bless you both! Xoxo

    • Brooke,

      I am so glad you decided to join us! How amazing is God, that He used a Tweet to lead you to this place?! I look forward to seeing how God uses this opportunity to help strengthen your new faith! Welcome to the family sister!

      <3 Heather

      • Thanks Heather! I am excited to go deeper in my faith with this study. And I’ve been loving the stuff you write on your own blog. I just decided yesterday just what you wrote about…that I needed to stop relying on how I feel (which is totally fickle and dare I say toxic) and rely on what I know (God’s Word). You are an amazing lady and I look forward to interacting with you very soon! Best! B

  6. Jennifer Rasor says:

    I hope to gain a deeper relationship w/ God through this study and to become stronger…less able to be so easily moved by my emotions & circumstances. It seems that I often let both get the best of me and I fear even to the point of destroying my witness for Christ at times, which breaks my heart. I long to honor Him and to live victoriously no matter what comes my way.

  7. I am seeking healing through this study because my only sibling took his life in June 2011 while my family, and I and my parents were out of town for the weekend. My mind was so shocked that I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days even though I feel I have a strong relationship with Christ. I want to be even stronger and to be able to move forward with my life. It is hard having little ones who do not understand and therefore comment about my brother frequently. I wish I could just be glad that they loved him and remember him. It will be his birthday in May and I have been getting rather emotional.

    • Becky,
      My heart goes out to you. I am confident that this study will help bring you closer to Christ in a fresh new way and through that closeness with Him, bring you to a place of healing. I am praying for you.

      <3 Heather

  8. Thank you , Heather, for your post—it was very encouraging and thanks to Wendy for writing this book, for being able to put her story into words and drawing all of us together to study it. Heartbreaking, amazing and truly inspiring!! Yes, I have already read it all—just couldn’t put it down! Now I’m looking forward to really studying it and doing the homework and to hear how it will transform lives, because it most certainly will! You ask what brings me here to this study. I joined because I was part of Wendy’s online Hebrews study and gained so much insight from that and when she mentioned she was doing this study, her book intrigued me so I bought it. I have certainly had my share of glancing blows and some pretty devastating experiences, such as when my father passed away at the age of 49, the end of my 17 year marriage, and seeing one of my children go to prison. He has been out now for 7 years and has definitely turned his life around and my hopes and dreams for him are that he comes back to the church. God has definitely been with me through it all and I am truly blessed! I now find myself in a sort of transition. I have been alone for 6 years and now that my youngest has graduated from high school and is spreading his wings, going on his own he no longer needs me as he once did. I find myself wondering what my future holds. I am committed to digging deep into God’s word to find His will for me in life, whether a good man will someday come into my life or not, I lay it at His feet and ask that He guide me and strengthen me and lead me to where He wants me to be. God Bless!

    • Alma,

      I can only imagine what wonderful new things God has in store for you in this next season of your life! I will be praying that He will reveal Himself to you in a powerful way, giving you a clear direction for what is coming up next.

      <3 Heather

  9. Terrilynn says:

    Wonderful post. Every word took life in my hearts memory, and resonated truth in my minds eye. I’ve been teetering on whether to join the study because I have a habit of filling my plate with more than I can finish – but I feel drawn to participate, especially after reading this post. I have the book – in fact I purchased it several months ago after finishing up The Wounded Heart study. And that memory just reminded me of how frequently God has been bringing me back to what I learned in that study. Confirmation. Oh how I love the way He loves me!!

    Thank you for this post, and this opportunity to go deeper still.

    • terrilynn,

      i’m so curious where you did the wounded heart study? was it independently, or an organized study? just asking b/c i’ve recently been reading dan allender’s bold love (w/ is IN-credible!), & the bits & pieces i’ve gathered about the wounded heart (like excerpts on amazon) completely draws & calls out to my soul . . . so if you’d be amenable to sharing, i’d be curious to hear how your opp. came about.

      blessings to you as you embark on this study!
      - tanya

      • Terrilynn says:

        Hi Tanya,

        A group of ladies from our Sunday school class joined together to go through this study. It wasn’t easy – in fact, there were times I was crying the full 30 minute drive to where we met each week. But I had promised myself that no matter how I felt, I would go – and I did, every single time for several months. We decided from the first night that we would take as much time as we needed in each chapter – so our study group ran on several weeks beyond the actual chapter numbers, and I am so glad that we took the time that we did. One of the ladies in our group was led to teach our Sunday school class on “Pain” which was incredibly powerful and brought many women to share their testimonies. She died unexpectedly just days after completing her last lesson on Pain. It was her legacy to us, and something that she confessed that she could never have done without having gone through The Wounded Heart study. I share that to say, if you feel drawn and called to this study, please pray and follow His leading. We never know what God has in store for us, but we know that what He starts He ultimately finishes and through that study, He has changed so many lives beyond those sitting around that table each week. I’m praying for you!

  10. Brenda Schiesser says:

    I have read Wendy’s book and am looking forward to doing this study with her. I’ve had a few glancing blows in my life and a few direct hits. Losing 3 of my 6 siblings……..all of them in their early 50′s were direct hits. Hearing my Mom tell me that she never wanted me……I was the 5th child of 7……..was a direct hit. Through it all, I had the support of my loving husband and the presence of my Jesus. Now I am watching as my 3 remaining siblings are diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes and mental illness and my friends are diagnosed with breast cancer …..2 in the past 2 months. One has had a bi-lateral mastectomy…….the other will start her consults with surgeons on Monday. My prayer is that I will be able to help them emotionally. I am thinking this study may be in order for my friends. My siblings are another story altogether.

    Thank you for the chance to win the magazine subscription.

    • Brenda,

      It sounds like God has entrusted you with a great deal. I will be praying that God would continue to be your strength as you help others in need. Sounds like He has already given you the gift of a wonderful husband who loves and supports yo, God is good! I am so glad that you have chosen to join us for this study!

      <3 Heather

  11. Hi
    We are passing through a big time of the unknown. Our ministry position will be ending soon and we are seeking where God would have us serve next. I know He will care for us. Just feel it is a stressful time. Trying to TRUST! Would love to win the encouragement. Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. Susan Young says:

    I am going through a very tough thing in my life right now. I am so glad I am rooted in Christ and his love.

  13. Stephanie W says:

    I just came across this blog…so far my experience with Proverbs 31Ministries has been awesome! With that said…thank you for all you do!!

  14. As God always does, he led me to your website (which I’d never been to before) to read your post. I’ve been asking God “why” about the pain I’ve endured over the last two years. Your post is God’s answer to my “why”. Exactly what I needed to read today.

  15. “I have received glancing blows throughout my life.” I first have to say that I needed this MORE today than any other day. I deeply embrace who God is in my life and how he carries me through those hard times. I don’t always see in the midst of those “glancing blows” what God is doing, but I always know He is doing something.

    For the past couple of months the word that comes to my mind is “damaged”. I had two dear friends over last week asking how I was doing after a very hard time for me. I had to be honest and I said “I am damaged” Allowing that “glancing blow” to hold my heart captive.

    This afternoon, much emotion. My dear husband drawing a hot bath, going and buying my favorite chocolates and even a glass of my favorite wine, which had collected dust. A break from my typical Saturday of a busy mom of five, my dear husband giving me the time to just think through this “glancing blow”.

    I kind of laughed when I landed on this beautiful message of deepening roots. I am not an orange eater or orange juice drinker, so I almost stopped reading. We want the quick fix, the rewards that come, but the reality is as God’s children, if he is going to carry us through the storms we do need those deep roots. This storm is one in which I get and understand. I needed this reminder today and thank you so much for writing from God’s heart, your listening, and now into my heart. Thanks, Elizabeth

    • Elizabeth,

      I am definitely happy that you made it past the oranges to the rest of the devotion :)! God is so faithful to bring us what we need right when we need it most. It amazes me just how active God is in our lives, even when we can’t see Him through our struggles, He is there, using that struggle to make us strong and dependent on Him completely. I truly hope you will join us for the Hidden Joy study and I pray that you were able to gain some clarity with your most recent “glancing blow” you mentioned.

      <3 Heather

  16. Tanya Walker says:

    God is my help in daily joy & struggles. He seeks a relations
    hip with me as His child. Pain doesn’t come without purpose!

  17. Karen Doll says:

    Dear Wendy,
    What a wonderful way to share how God is with us even in the midst of the most horrendous situations- by teaching others what you yourself have experienced. Life unfortunately is choc full of struggles, disappointments, illnesses, losses, pain, and plain old everyday stresses. Thank you, Wendy, for sharing one of the most difficult times in your life with us to help us see and feel God underneath all of the mire in life. I lost my father when I was only 3 years old and watched my mother struggle to raise my 2 older brothers and I, I lost my oldest brother to heart disease shortly after my first child turned 1, only to have his wife disown our entire family and have never heard from her again. We are a homeschooling family, and our only source of income is my husband David’s Contractor business which has been extremely slow for a couple years and even though we do live a frugal lifestyle, stress creeps in as the bills outweigh the income more often than not. So, I hope to gain a more intimate relationship with my Creator through this Bible study and let Him be my strength as I encounter these difficulties in life.
    May God continue to bless your ministry Wendy,
    Karen Doll

  18. I am struggling to survive the storm I am going through. I truly hope this study will help me to move past my daily struggles and to a place of peace, contentment, and true happiness. Thank you Wendy for sharing your story and helping me!

  19. tricia marble says:

    For the past two months I have been hit with glancing blows…jan 28 th nh husband went into the hospital for severe abdominal pain he ended up having his fall bladder and appendix removed (ended up not being the problem) 2 asks later he was back on the hospital with blood clots that traveled to his spleen, one in each kidney, one in each lung. 90 % of his spleen died, after that he was in and out of the hospital for 4 more times. He even ended up addicted to the pain mess the hospital had him on. Due to nauseau (which no one treated) he lost 70 lbs. I have 2 boys and I teach so this has been extremely difficult for our family. He just came home from the hospital and needs to recover his strength.. God brought us thru this time and is making us stronger.

    • Tricia,

      I am lift you and your family in prayer. Asking the Great Physician to complete the healing in your husband and perfect provision for your family’s needs. I hope you will be able to join us in the Hudden Joy study!

      <3 Heather

  20. I have been going through a big change at work that has made me unhappy almost daily since September. I keep thanking God that I have a good job during a time when so many people don’t have a job at all. I have tried to see the purpose for this painful change and believe that good can come from it. I have really had to resist taking matters into my hands and asking the boss to remove this from me. But most importantly, I keep getting messages, like this one, encouraging me to wait for God’s timing. I would like to win the magazine subscription, but I’m just thankful for all of the encouragement I already receive from Proverbs 31 Ministries!

  21. Marilee Weeks says:

    Looking forward to adding another great way to study His word, and to grow more in Him. Thanks for providing this opportunity to me, and to many others. I will be praying for HIS hand to be on you throughout your series, and I will also be praying for our hearts to be open as we grow closer to Jesus. Asking God to bless you, and provide clarity and guidance, as you finalize details. Marilee

  22. Lisa Courter says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I particularly need that reminder today that what I’m going through right now is just temporary and will grow my roots in His Word. I am one of several leaders of a mommies group at our local church. As our group has grown in size and reached out to for sites of our church, all of us and our families have and are undergoing some painful spiritual warfare. This includes myself. I was just sharing with some friends last night the most recent attack from the enemy. He has hit me where it hurts the most, my children! Although painful to go through, it has not gotten me down but made me angry at him. I will not let the evil one have that stronghold in my life or my children’s!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder that our Lord will use this to grow me and bless me. I hope you will do this study again in the future! I have already committed to another online study through P31 ministries! Bless you for using your life’s trials to bless others.

    • Lisa,

      Wendy will leave this study up in the Archives, so if you ever want to do the study, you can come here and use the previous lessons at your convenience! Blessings to you as you and your leaders help moms grow in their faith!

      <3 Heather

  23. Heather, thank you so much for your post…it made me cry. Just yesterday I was in tears wondering why I am experiencing so many “glancing blows” all at once and I had never thought to call them that until I read the phrase and it is perfect! My husband I have been married for 13 years and I began miscarry our first child in August of last year while on a plane to visit my sister in another country to tell her the wonderful news that we were finally pregnant after all these years. During our connection in San Francisco we had to turn around and come back home (on the advice of my OB).

    A week after the miscarriage, my Dad was diasgnosed with pancreatic cancer and estimated to have 4-6 months to live. I hadn’t even had time to grieve and recover from one loss before I had was told of another impending loss. The day before my Dad died, we were informed at my job that our office would be closing and we would no longer have our jobs. I was still in shock form the news of the eventual unemployement when my Dad died at 3am the next morning.

    A month after he died I was involved in minor car accident. Thank God no one was hurt but I certainly was not in the right frame of mind to deal with all the hassle of the insurance and appraisals and estimates and repair arrangements.

    While dealing with all that our home computer contracted a nasty virus and we had to take in for repairs. The virus caused us to lose some data, another incovenience, though our hard-drive was not totally wiped out. The day after our computer virus, our bank account was one of the ones affected by the Mastercard database breach. The morning after we dropped off our computer for repairs we got a call from Mastercard informing us that suspicious charges were detected in other states (in which we do not live) and our bank account was compromised so our bank had frozen our account. So we had to go to the bank and fill out the forms to get reimbursed for the charges we had not made.

    All of these situations could have been much worse. The accident could have been much worse, we could have lost ALL our computer data, the hackers could have taken our life savings. Thank you SO much for your post, for your encouragement and for your prayer. God bless you for what felt like a bear hug assuring me.

    Yours in Christ,
    Sandra

    • Sandra,

      I am so happy that God brought you here and I know it was not by accident! I can identify with so many of your experiences, I am glad that you found encouragement from this devotion, and I hope you will join us for this study! I will be lift you and your husband up in prayer.

      <3 Heather

  24. I was so blessed from the message Heather shared!! I thank God for such talented people…filled with great wisdom and knowledge to share with others. I’m wanting to learn how to dig my roots deeper into God’s Word…to become more stable and to stand stronger…more firm in His Word. Sometimes I feel the storms I’m facing right now are just too much, but I want to see what transforming power God will do in my life…to help me become a new and stronger person in Him. How will He use all I am going through to glorify and honor Him. I want this complete healing and be able to stand firmly on His Word. Thanks for the magazine subscription giveaway…it sounds like an awesome magazine! Looking forward to this study…I’m having a hard time putting your book down, Wendy!! God Bless!!

  25. I had tried to start this study last year but couldn’t finish it due to crazy going on in my life (I had been separated from my soon to be x-husband for 2 months at that point), so much has happened since then. Which has been a blessing as I am finally at a point in my life where I have changed my order of thinking. God, Myself and the girls. I need true healing and I AM taking the time to get it. I have been really digging deep and I am so excited with the relationship I have been working on building with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I have accepted that this is a lifestyle change and I have literally changed my life around. I am looking to continue growing my relationship with God the rest of my life, I am so sick of giving everyone my joy and peace. I have realized it was never there’s to take and honestly I didn’t mean to give it away, who does ha ha. I’m just so excited and ready to dig deep and clean out my closets. I am so full of joy and peace right now yet I know I have deep wounds I need help healing so I can continue to shine and learn to share my story with others to help healing one day, if that is God’s will of course. That is what I plan on getting out of this bible study though,more healing. Learning to heal from some really deep stuff from childhood to this last year, any tools offered thru the study from this book, Wendy and the women going thru the study.

    I know that the evil spirit was working hard but I have learned some great news, I am learning to stomp the devil out. Turning to my word, praying so much through out the day, even when I think crazy thoughts, BAM, STOMP THE DEVIL OUT! I will pray the Holy Spirit forward every time I open this book and as we begin this study together. I’m ready to tackle the hurt and heal because God has made us so individually wonderful to do big things and I’m READY! I can’t wait to rock thru this with everyone in this study.

    Prayer: God I pray that you bless us all as we prepare to begin this study in a little over a week. I pray for our minds, our hearts and those around us as we prepare to dig deep into Wendy’s past hurt to learn and be taught how you guided Wendy thru her story to get healing. I pray for our strength, our courage, for the fear to dig deep to be pushed away because it is not of you. You are our strength, we can do all things thru Christ who strengthens us and I pray we hear you thru her study, so we can learn as Wendy did, to heal from our stories too. I love you so much Lord. Amen

  26. just moments before discovering this post, my husband felt my tears upon his chest as i was expressing my weariness from the toll that life’s hurricanes have taken on us. and then i came here, & read your powerful story about the farmers & their trees . . .

    “As the trees grew, their roots had to dig deeper in search of water” . . . oh how often f feel like parched roots in desperate need of Living Water for my soul. but did you say “as the trees grew?” they GREW?? oh, what encouragement to know that even though my soul may feel like it is surrounded by the cold, dark dry soil of circumstances, my all-wise Farmer is using my surroundings to draw my heart nearer to Him, to nurture deeper growth in me!

    as building 429 so wonderfully puts it, “I won’t keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find . . . take this world and give me Jesus.”
    yes, just give me Jesus . . .

    thank you so much for allowing the Lord to speak this powerful truth through you in this very hour.

    may the blessing return to you, dear one,
    tanya

  27. Wow!! Thank you for sharing your stories. We have such a deep and rich group forming for this study!! I cannot wait to study God’s Word with you through Hidden Joy.

    Heather, thank you for writing such a beautiful message that is touching hearts.

    See you girls in a week!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

  28. Cecily Bornemann says:

    Glad Proverbs 31 mentioned you on their Facebook page. Hope I win a free subscription to Proverbs 31. Will be definitely bookmarking your site and blog.

  29. i want to be the tree that needs to dig deeper to be come stronger in the lord .

  30. valery rhea says:

    i want to be the tree that the root have to dig deeper in the ground to be strong to stand in the strom.

  31. I’m so excited about this study!
    ~ Amy

  32. I have already read Wendy’s book, I to have been where Wendy has been. Yes, I struggle to survive the storms I am going through, but tackling the storms and moving forward beyond my past is ever so terrifying & hard. So I’m looking forward to diving into the word and moving beyond these chains that have held me captive for over 20 or so years. I just hope I don’t go running back into the valley of darkness as I have done so many times before…..

  33. Thanks Heather for the post and Wendy for doing this study again, for us. I actually read the book twice. It’s a book that is difficult to put down. it’s like an autobiography as it recounts many years of searching for God and how God reveal Himself to Wendy. Thank and praise God that Wendy is now living her life with purpose serving Him and reaching out to the women who were hurt and have gone through pain. Wendy’s journey of healing and a closer personal relationship with God would be a great encouragement to all who desire to seek Him. I have been very busy and also having health issues, and wondered I could keep up, as I have not completed the Hebrew study, yet I love to do all Wendy’s bible studies. Hmm.. I have decided to sign up, as it’s such a privilege to study His Word, and my share of glancing blows is another reason.

  34. This as perfect timing. I have been reflecting on this and then I read this blog and it was as if you were speaking to my heart. Thank YOU!

  35. Have decided enough is enough already. This year am working with God’s help to move beyond the abuse (from mom, date rape, & ex husband) and become the woman He made me to be.

  36. I am hoping for continued encouragement and strength through God’s word. I enjoy (and need) the constant contact of the amazing love that God has for me that I receive through these studies. As a very busy working Mom, it is vital to remain in the Word. I have been working at keeping my focus off my struggles and on God’s amazing blessings He has given to me.

  37. oh the joy studying GOD’S word. We all learn everyday. Thanks to Calvary We can face to tomorrow. Thank you ladies for sharing your Hidden Joys. May GOD’S richest blessing be upon each lady that is doing this lesson.
    Thank you again.

  38. I loved the visual about the orange trees. Thank you, Heather! The last three years have been the hardest for me in my 50+ years of life. I want to be able to find my joy, no matter what storms may come.

  39. hi Heather,

    Thank you for the devotion.
    I hope to learn how to turn to God in times of need and to place my trust in Him.
    Karen

  40. Vonnie Kronk says:

    I need This bible study as I need to dig deeper into Gods word and allow him to strengthen me during the storms I am in at this moment. I’ve had little storms before & He has brought me thru them BUT This One is So Slow & Big I think He’s Not there! Please Pray I don’t give Up OR doo something to end my life cause Waiting So Long Is Not My Experimence Or My Desire.

  41. Its amazing how this book and post came at the right time, just when I need it the most . Storms have been swirling around me and there are times that I feel like I just can on. I am so grateful to be serving a God who cares about me and will never let go, even when I feel like giving up. I believe with all my heart that God lead me to this study. Thank you Wendy and Heather!

  42. Heather, I wouldn’t have minded if I got the email( accidentally) I cant wait to start our new study either. My book and journal are already on my desk waiting. Since I didn’t get the email, I wonder if I should subscribe again- I don’t want to miss a thing., now to go back and read the rest of the post,

  43. The thing that brought me here was the chance to restudy and read God’s Word regarding the darkness and abuse I suffered as a child and never got over. It’s affecting my marriage and I want that to change. I am more then ready for this study. Thank you Heather and Wendy for all you do,

  44. I want to participate in this study because I want to become more rooted and anchored in God’s Word. I want to experience more fully God’s transformative power in my life through abiding in His Word. I was really encouraged by the working of God’s grace in Wendy’s life as she shared in her blog messages.

    God bless,
    Karen

  45. After coming from Heathers sight and reading her post ( which may be the same as the one here) I had to comment again. There have been times when I wondered why I went thru years of sexual abuse, just when one ended here came another person who would do the same thing. All the time making me wonder – I couldn’t have been born just to be someones “rag doll ” to be used and abused at someones whim. There has to be a purpose for my life. There HAS to be. When I was first abused, I didn’t know Jesus and was introduced to him in 3rd grade about the time the abuse began to intensify. it went from weekly to nightly with no relief in site just long nights of pain and tears. When it finally ended although I knew of God and occasionally had faith I didn’t know God fully. And when I got married the abuse effects entered into my marriage and caused issues that were not good because that marriage ended in divorce. Now re married I am still fighting unseen demons I am working to get rid of them and Give God the Glory and Power in my life to do that. I am learning what full surrender and faith in my father is all about.

    I did this study before but did not finish or get all I could have out of it. I cant wait til Monday. Thanks Heather and Wendy for all you are doing.

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