My heart pounded violently in my chest; this was going to be bad. Was the car going to get impounded? Was I going to get a ticket? Could they take my license away? What will my boss say? What will my mother think?
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All of these thoughts raced through my head as I slowly cruised past the Ford Explorer Interceptor. But the light turned green in my rearview mirror, and the officer just went on with his day. The car did, however, faze other people on the road. Lots of drivers honked at us, taking pictures and yelling out their windows—not in disgust, but out of genuine curiosity. The car, with its closures, fenders, and interior bits missing, probably weighed about pounds less than it did in stock form.
That made it a burnout king. Keeping the front wheels from spinning out meant very, very light touches of the throttle, but once that turbo kicked in, those cold, hard tires might as well have been on ice. Even when there were other cars around, and I was trying to act as civilized as possible, the loud remember, there are no doors squeal of a front tire would sometimes startle me. The handling was also exceptional. I felt super confident chucking this little featherweight into corners. Unsurprisingly, though, the coolest thing about driving this stripped Volkswagen was the view.
With no doors and no rear hatch, it felt like I was in a go-kart, cold wind blowing in my face, tons of visibility all the way around, and lots and lots of noises that closures and sound insulation were meant to hide.
This car was a pure, raw driving experience. It was a simple manual transmission bolted to a loud, rattly diesel engine pulling around a big tub of metal with two grinning passengers inside having the times of their lives.
[PDF] Stripped: When God's Call Turns From Yes! to Why Me? [PDF] Full Ebook
How can you hate that? He knows exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. In order to better remember to turn to the Lord and not give way to fear or any other distractions, I wear this bracelet daily, with the verse mentioned above.
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- Trust the Lord.
Coincidentally, my husband has this verse tattooed on his wrist! What awesome promises we receive when we turn to God in our trials! Being limited in this life by physical pain is so hard. I know many of you reading this can totally relate, probably to a much greater degree.
Not only is the pain itself agonizing, but the limitations the pain brings with it are almost worse. When I could no longer cook, clean, run errands, work on my food blog, etc. Unfortunately, we live in a fast-paced culture that places value on busy, successful, active, and having a lot to show for yourself. Each of us has a unique purpose. Each of us has value.
[PDF] Stripped: When God's Call Turns From Yes! to Why Me? [PDF] Full Ebook - video dailymotion
And sometimes it takes all being stripped away for us to see our true identity in Him. It was in my most immobile state that I found a closer relationship with the Lord. And in turn, He showed me NEW ways to live with purpose- through prayer, note writing, sharing encouraging words, and even simply in letting others help me.
I realized how pridefully I had been living, not wanting to show weakness or ask for help in hard times. But now, I can truly say that by sharing our weaknesses and struggles, we can make the deepest connections. My identity shifted from prideful to humbled. My purpose was no longer wrapped up in my daily tasks or achievements but in how well I could love Jesus and love others.
This truth is found often in the Bible, but my favorite example is in the Gospel of Mark. She probably felt isolated, ashamed, and purposeless. She tried for years to find the right doctors, the right medicines, the right healers, to no avail. And then she encountered Jesus and threw herself at his feet. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. Not only did Jesus physically heal her, but he reminded her of her true identity.
She saw herself as despised and worthless, but He saw her as His precious daughter with a life worth living. My answer, not surprisingly, is yes. Until this year, I had a really hard time grappling with the concept of suffering. The funny thing is, we actually had a chance at a pain-free life and messed it up pretty quickly! The problem with our hearts is that they crave more and more good things and less and less of our good God.
Adam and Eve wanted to be like God rather than be in relationship with Him. And although they and we deserved permanent death, our gracious God made a plan to redeem our sinfulness through sending His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place. It gives me a little more stamina to stay in my battle and suffer for Him, too. All good traits! And God can use our suffering and make good things come from it. Over the past several years, I can definitely see how God has changed my own heart through suffering. I can say with absolute certainty that my relationships with God, family, and friends are so much deeper.
The suffering has also allowed me to have new compassion for others going through difficult health concerns. And a period of suffering even led to the creation of this blog, to which I am so grateful. Even in the midst of suffering, God can still pour out His blessings on us. Sometimes we just have to see them through our tears. I experienced this firsthand when I was ready to give up because of the pain my body was in. I cried out to God, asking Him to heal my feet and allow me to walk. And then I opened my Bible and it just so happened fall open to a verse in Habakkuk.
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That same day, I saw a deer running up the hill in our neighborhood. That one day, He will heal my body and allow me to walk, run, jump, and dance again. Thank you for walking through this journey with me and for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support! This was such an encouragement for me to read. Thank you for the reminders. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you! Exactly what I needed today. Thank you for reading! Joanna, You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. My heart breaks for all the suffering you have had to endure at such a young age.
Jesus is stripped of his garments
May we pray for each other and for a future filled with God, Grace and Health……………you inspire me. Aw, Christy, your comment brought tears to my eyes! Thank you! Any illness is a struggle, no matter how great or small. I hope this is a year of healing for us! Thank you for sharing your journey. Blessings on all God has for you!! Thank you, Marci, for your kind words and prayers!! Thank you, Joanna. On bad lupus days, the arthritis in the hands, ankles, feet, wrists, and knees make it difficult to walk, write, drive, cook, etc… I still struggle with joint pain and fatigue.
I have questioned my value as a Christian and wondered if I had purpose. I felt useless. Your blog moved me to tears as I could relate to questioning my worth. It was such a beautiful message to share and has greatly encouraged me. I will pray for you. So glad you were encouraged by my post- God spoke through me and knew you needed to read it!
I am soo sorry to hear of your recent trials, but also encouraged by your testimony of what you are learning in the midst of these severe trials. Thank you for updating us, and prayers for you will definitely continue! Thank you so much, Wendy! I appreciate your support! Hello Joanna, Those verse were totally encouraging of the three verses. In my prays, Linda. I have been through some of this — look into low dose naltrexone LDN , it can really help with aches and pain, inflammation, peripheral neuropathy, etc.
Your functional doctor should be familiar with it.