Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prowling and Sifting

Deep breath...

Thank you all SO much for your encouraging words, your prayers, tears, emails, texts, phone calls and comments. You can't possibly know how they have helped me and ministered to me. Many of you chose verses that I know were hand picked by God for me. It would be almost impossible for me to walk this path without you.

I've spent a bit of time reading over my past several posts. Usually I don't read what I write. I hit publish often having no idea what I said. But I felt like I needed to see where God has taken me recently. There is an obvious pattern. Victory. Defeat. Bigger victory. Bigger defeat.

Choosing joy. Smacked with bad news. Choosing to set my face like flint. Having my faith rocked. Choosing to fight through any symptoms and go that conference. Having just one more unbelievable life circumstances thrown at us.

Coincidence? I think not.

I realized that I had titled my last post "Tearing". As in fabric being torn. God has shown me that the devil is also out to tear me apart. To tear my family apart. The devil is prowling around like a lion it says in 1 Peter. What do lions do to their prey? They tear them apart. Why is satan after ME and MY family? We must be a threat!!!

Being sifted. I think that's a season I am in right now. I don't know if satan has asked God's permission to sift me like he did with Job. (NO, I am not saying that I am Job) But I do know that it wouldn't be happening if God didn't allow it. I need to cling to what I know and what I believe. CLING!! With everything in me.

When we get good news like Ellie is healing and out of the danger zone. PRAISE HIM. When someone attacks and causes damage to my family. PRAISE HIM. When I am able to do an ordinary task. PRAISE HIM. When we don't know if we'll have enough money for the month. PRAISE HIM.

It's not about praising Him for the circumstances. It's just about praising Him because He is worthy of it and He deserves it.

Lord, please protect my family. Keep us firmly planted in what we KNOW about You. May our faith not be shaken but be strengthened. This season of tearing and sifting is hard and it's painful. Find us faithful!!


Diana said...

thinking of something I heard recently.... "thanking him when you have received from Him is gratitude, thanking Him before you have received is gratitude." What I see in you is determination to thank (and praise) Him no matter what, and that I am certain is the greatest of faith.... Your circumstances are not your reality, and continually you shine like a light on the hill, illuminating the faithfulness of God. I pray blessing and restoration upon you and your family.... Though at times it may seem He tarries, He does not. God's timing is perfect and He ALWAYS keeps His promises. May He continue to strengthen you as you wait upon Him in great faith.

C.C. and Double T said...

Amen! Keep trusting, sister... He IS faithful!

Deb said...

Amen Sheryl!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Yes PRAISE HIM! Keep on keepin' on girl:)

Anonymous said...

"To distinguish as if separating with a sieve."
That is my favorite of the definitions when I looked up "sifting". We are distinguished! We are chosen! And we can never go wrong w/just Praising Him! As the Casting Crowns song says "You are Who You are, no matter where I am"
Love ya' Sheryl!


The Blue Sparrow said...

This post reminded me of several things. First that Casting Crowns song, Praise you in the Storm and second of a series of books I read a few years back by Mary K Baxter. Its her Devine Revelations Series and she talks about this same thing in a few of them. About the devil attacking us when we are a threat. That when you grow closer to God a person tends to share that news with other people, bringin on an attack. And when your at your lowest, he will again attack hoping to finish you off spititually. Boy, maybe I should re-read these myself :)

UL Cards Fan said...

Our church service today was different from our normal pattern. It was called CONCERT of PRAYER. Instead of one message near the end of the service by Todd, he spoke all during the service with scripture, followed by applicable words, and then prayer. We had segments on Prayers for Missions, Prayers for our community, Prayers for reconciliation. A very moving part of the service for me was the way we handled prayer requests. Besides just turning them in on a card, as we usually do, Todd had anyone who wanted to STAND and say the name of the persons that you wanted prayer for. I said 6 names and 3 of them were Sheryl, Ellie, and David.
As HARD as I know this is for your family Sheryl, I believe with all my heart that God is right there with you, fighting for you, using you to be an encourager in the midst of your own pain, and giving us the priviledge of fighting Satan on your behalf. People who don't even know you but know your prayer warriors are praying for the three of you. Ther is absolutely NO WAY SATAN CAN WIN.
I love you. Linda

ShEiLa said...

a heartfelt thanks from me.

for sharing.


Laura said...

What words can I say?? Cause you have heard them all before but I want to say of how much your journey with the LORD is so encouraging to me.
I so honored to be apart of this journey called life with you. That is a wonderful thing.
Love ya,

Tracey said...

You sound pretty darn strong to me! Praise Him for that. You are strong in your faith and you CAN face anything!!!

:) T

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Beautiful. There is much to be gained from praising. Hard, at least for me, in the tough times...hard to thank Him for the less than good things that come but there is much to be gained from that position. You are right, we don't praise Him just for the circumstances but that He's worthy period.

You are so blessed with such a beautiful outlook.
Cling, cling, cling....

He & Me + 3 said...

I couldn't agree more. Praise Him Just because He is!

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Beautiful! How I needed to hear this. Praise Him no matter what the trial or blessing.


Kee said...

You amaze me, and I know you probably just made a face to that, but you do. And so does what God is doing in your life.
I've been listening to this song by Mercy Me lately, Undone
I love the song and it seems to say what I can't say to anyone right now about my life but when I heard this verse it reminded me of you.

Even in defeat
The face of tragedy
Still you'd have to say that
I found victory
In brokenness comes beauty
Divine fragility
Reminding me of nail scarred hands
Reaching out for me

In brokenness comes beauty
Hold on my friend, it's coming.

Michelle said...

Amen Sheryl! You GOT are so in line with God right are walking the straight and narrow and yes, you ARE a threat. Your faith and trust in the Lord is a HUGE testimony...and Satan doesn't like it when God gets any glory. But where you are concerned...God will ALWAYS get the glory because you know that He loves you and that He has your best interest at heart. You know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that when you and your family come out of this on the other will not be harmed. You will be refined. Isaiah 43 says it beautifully...though you walk through the fire you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze for I am the Lord, your God.

Thank you for sharing your heart...this walk with God isn't always easy. But it is always worth it. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog for the first times today and my heart goes out to you. Although I have only read back through 5 or 6 of your posts I can empathize so much with you. My husband left when my kids were teenagers and the hurt was crippling. Like you it seems that one bad circumstance followed another after he left. I felt like satan was trying his best to devour us. We are now 15 years on the other and God has been faithful to see us through all of our trials. I will be praying for you fervently.

Susan said...

Oh Sheryl,

I'm so sorry you are having to go through this.

I haven't walked a mile in your shoes, so I don't know the pain.

My sister who I am very close to has and I stood by her and her family and it was extremly difficult.

I've even sent her a link to your blog so she can read it knowing she is not alone in her pain.

You've been a great encouragement to her.

Anyhow, I'll continue to pray for you daily.

I know God is going to use all of this for HIS glory.

Thanks for being real and sharing your victories as well as defeats.

You are such an inspiration to many, especially me♥

Just recieved this word in an email, I pray it will bless you:

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. --Isaiah 46:4

-stephanie- said...

Keep leaning on the everlasting arms. Keep in mind what God has for you and your family's life. Sounds like it's going to be pretty amazing since satan wants to destroy it so bad. Praying for you.

Sharon said...

Remember HE Loves you very much!!!

I have been thinking about you, glad you have posted this.
I pray you are doing better, praise his Name.

Have a Blessed and Joyfilled day my friend :)

victoria said...

Wow; What a wonderful reminder of who God is and that He is worthy to be praised.

thank you!

Lissa said...