Welcome! Why I Chose a New Tagline

Welcome back to Week 2 for this new site’s launch!

(Remember to read through to the end of this post to find more details about the giveaway that I am hosting.)

 

I had been blogging for almost 2 years when I felt God nudging me to make the move over here to WordPress.  And in the process of setting things up, there were a myriad of questions to be considered. What color, what font, what title, and then what tagline? I wondered why I would need a tagline, and if I did, what could it possibly say? After all, wasn’t my main purpose here just to be obedient to tell the stories that God put on my heart?

 

ahhh there’s the kicker.  My heart . . .  It’s not the same as it was 2 years ago when I began this blogging journey. And it’s definitely not the same as it was before Chronic Illness joined me a little over 3 years ago. 

But I thought my heart was made new when I first began to live for Jesus all those decades ago as a little child?  How can this be?

 

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

 

There is a process that is supposed to be happening as we look at Jesus. We are not supposed to stay the same.  This new heart that is birthed within us, is soft and open, ready to be transformed as we contemplate HIM.  We are being made new every day.

 

At least that is how Jesus wants our hearts to be.

And that’s how I long for my heart to be.

 

But this journey into Chronic Illness has opened my eyes to see just how many hard and stony places have remained in my heart. Where I thought I was willing to be transformed, I have seen stubbornness and a hard-hearted turning away instead.

 

Perhaps you can relate? 

What hope is there for us, we who are the children of rocks and gravel?

 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;

I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

 

And I knew that it was actually JESUS who was asking me to choose a tagline for this site. I am not the one who is trying to manage these days with chronic illness. I am not the one who can even begin to know how to sort out which medications, which lifestyle change, which pain relievers, and which attitude needs to be mine.  Only He can keep changing this heart of stone into a tender heart of flesh, soft and open to His Love. Only He is sufficient for such a task as this.

 

~~~~~~~~

 

A few weeks ago, I was reading in Lisa Brittain’s wonderful devotional, 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth, and I came to the portion of Ruth’s story when Naomi’s next of kin gave over his right to redeem the land. (If you aren’t familiar with the story, I highly encourage you to read the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. You will not be disappointed.) While we normally focus on Boaz redeeming the land, someone else had to give over their right to the land first.

And Lisa’s questions for that chapter touched something deep in my heart:

“I am reminded of these words of King David in 1 Chronicles 21:24 NLT:

“No, I insist on buying it for the full price.  I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” 

1) Is there something Holy Spirit is stirring in you, as He is certainly stirring in me with regards to giving up first rights?”

(Brittain, Lisa. 31 Days of Gleaning With Ruth: Questioning My Way Through a Famine Season  Kindle Edition.)

 

And I knew what the Lord was asking me to give up.  After all this time of living for Jesus, I know what it feels like to surrender my own heart to the King of the Universe.  He gave up His own dear Son for me. And His Son gave up His life for me so that I could receive His Grace.   But there are still things in my life, things that are only mine to give, that I have held dear. There is something that I have felt I needed to watch over, to maintain, to try with all my being to make better somehow.

 

My health is what He is asking me to give.  It is wholly mine to give, but it is to be HOLY unto the Lord: given over totally to Him. And in that giving He wants to bring me to a place of sweet trust in Him.

 

All these days recently, when I have felt that I am living a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” kind of existence,  I take my little prednisone pill and find a measure of relief in this Rheumatoid Arthritis roller coaster, so I have a relatively “nice day.”  But then as the relief wears away, and nighttime approaches, the pain and the swelling cause me to feel “ugly and pitiful” as I realize that the new injections are not working at all. Every night it’s the same, and I hear myself crying out to Him,  “Jesus I need You!”  again & again.

 

But as I laid down my own rights to my health, I heard Him whisper:

 

“My daughter, you’ve had it all topsy-turvy. I look at your “nice days” and see your flesh taking over, getting by on your own. But those night-times, when you feel so ugly, those are the moments when you depend fully on me: your true sufficiency. I see no fault in you as you lean on me. You are beautiful to me.

 

 

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And I knew who the tagline was meant to define: this daughter of the King, walking a pathway that she would not have chosen on her own, but one that is bringing a refining that could not have been known any other way.

“Finding a new heart while walking through chronic illness”

 

Is there something that the King of Kings is putting His finger on in your life?

Is there a costly gift that only you can give to Him?

 

I found this old song from the 80s that reminded me of many other costly gifts He has asked of me.  But each one is now a milestone: one more place where Jesus brought softness to this cold, rocky heart.

 

 

If you hear the call of Jesus, will you join me in this prayer?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,  Will You put Your finger on those areas in my life where I am clinging to my own ways? Will you show me the beauty of surrendering to You? I confess that so often I am hard-hearted and stubborn. But I thank You that Your precious grace and mercy will drop like dew, softening my heart, as I offer myself back to You. Thank You that You count every tear that falls, and You are so pleased with every small gift that I bring to You. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

 

 

Please leave a comment or email me if you would like prayer for any area in your life that you feel you need to surrender.  I love to connect with you, my friends.

 

 

And, remember that next week I will be sharing my thoughts on Chronic-Joy Ministry’s latest book, Finding Purpose, by Cindee Snider Re.  If you leave a comment between now and February 16, I will enter your name in a giveaway that I’ll be sharing here then.

 

I am linking with:

#Glimpses

#Teaandword

#Sittingamongfriends

#Tuneinthursday

#Chasingcommunity

 

 

31 thoughts on “Welcome! Why I Chose a New Tagline

  1. I am joining you in prayer. I stopped and re-read when you described how Jesus longs to make us new over and over. Even so, He gave us free will and we choose whether we want to be made new. For me it is a process of dying to myself again and again. I’m so glad God convicted you to write but also how he is using you to teach us through your chronic illness. You are a blessing to me and to many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, yes, you are so right, that we must choose to be made new, every day! He sets before us life and death, and longs for us to choose life, to say “yes, even when our flesh wants to say, no” in the following after HIM. Your book has been a blessing to me in this process also, Mary! I am so grateful that God brings such sweet connections along the way, to help point us each to Him!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Ifeoma, I’m so happy to see you here! Yes that would be so wonderful if there was a “record a live comment” button here, wouldn’t it? Thank you for your sweet comments, and hearty blessings to you too, my dear friend! xoxo 🙂

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  2. This really resonates in my heart, Bettie. As I look back over it, I can’t even pick what especially moved me, because it all did, your struggles and longings, your prayer, the song, and Lisa’s question about giving up first rights. I relate to all of it. Oh, how we need that daily renewal, that softening of our hearts and surrendering our lives and hearts daily to Him! Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging mine! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy, Oh I am so grateful that Jesus spoke to your heart here Trudy. I know that you share some of the same refining fires that I have faced, and I appreciate the Lord’s connections here so much. His Grace towards us in these hard places is so overwhelming, isn’t it? I am thankful that we can keep praying for each other, asking God to help us to be willing to keep looking up to Him! Love and hugs and blessings to you dear friend! xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Bev,
      Thank you dear friend for your sweet encouragement! May the Lord indeed have His way with my heart, and bring more of His compassion to dwell here. Blessings, love and hugs to you dear friend!

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  3. I just read this blog and felt so intrigued with the depth of what you are saying. We try so often to make the Christian life about us and what we do to serve. God wants it to be about Him and what He is doing through us by cleaning out the old and replacing it with His presence, His thoughts, His reactions. No one can know the springs of contentment that can be found in resting in Him unless they have fully surrendered to Him. The danger comes when we take our eyes off our Savior and focus on our selves. Thank you for this reminder of our need to accept the road we have been given to walk with Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Linda, Oh thank you for sharing your insightful comments here! Yes, it’s so important that we keep our eyes on our Savior. He truly is our resting place when we surrender to Him. And I agree that we do so often put the focus on us–it’s so easy to do that isn’t it? But what peace He gives us when we lift our hearts back to Him, and let Him bring those springs to us again. I am so grateful that His arms are always open to us! Love and Hugs to you!

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  4. Dear Bettie, as I read your words I was convicted because I realise it has taken me so much longer than you to see that I needed a new heart attitude in learning how to live well with chronic illness. Too many years of trying to fix things by myself. Too much time spent struggling more than surrendering. Too little awareness that I am precious to Jesus in a state of yielded dependency rather than foolishly trying to keep going with my own limited and depleted energy. And now, as I still struggle on a daily basis to some extent and seek to share my journey too, I am awed and amazed by the way you have been able to gain this powerful insight at a relatively early stage of battling with health problems, and how it is helping to shape the wonderful friend, woman and writer you are becoming by God’s grace. It’s humbling and beautiful. Praying right beside you, sister. Blessings, love and hugs. xoxo
    PS: I nearly missed your words because the email didn’t arrive in my inbox, so I came over to see if you had posted this week, and I’ve resubscribed so I don’t miss a thing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy, I am so glad that you decided to check back in here today! Because of the journey that you yourself have taken, you are such an encouragement to me! I know that there is someone who understands what I feel. To me, it seems that the amount of time doesn’t matter, but just that you HAVE gone on with Jesus is what helps me in my own journey! There are so many stony places left in each of us, and it’s only the mercy of God that uncovers them. Left to my own ways, I would choose to let them lie there, and instead just focus on all the nice, soft touches that have already been developed. Oh, but Jesus just doesn’t work like that, does He? Oh! Look over here, under this nice shady nook that seems so easy on the surface: but underneath it’s rock hard! Oh, He keeps taking me right there. I am so thankful we can lift each other to Him. Thank you for your true friendship, my sister. Blessings, love, and hugs to you. xoox

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful testimony! I love what you said about how you still have hardness of heart in some areas, because it completely convicted me! It’s hard to admit, but I know I do too for certain things. Thanks so much for this conviction!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Emily,
      Oh, yes, I know that I would much rather look away from those hard-hearted areas that remain in my life, but it is truly the mercy of Jesus that calls us back to Himself right there! I’m so glad that you stopped by here today, and let the Lord speak to you! Blessings to you!

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  6. Thank you so much for continuing to share your story Bettie! You continue to be an encouragement to me on your health journey and I think of you/pray for you often. It’s an encouragement to know we are not alone when we live with chronic health conditions. I can completely relate to the “Jekyll and Hyde” feeling/day based on how we are doing that day. I so loved your comments, ““My daughter, you’ve had it all topsy-turvy. I look at your “nice days” and see your flesh taking over, getting by on your own. But those night-times, when you feel so ugly, those are the moments when you depend fully on me: your true sufficiency. I see no fault in you as you lean on me. You are beautiful to me.” and “Finding a new heart while walking through chronic illness,” The concept of that book looks incredibly interesting. Thank you for sharing that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Kristen, It’s so nice to see you here! I’m so thankful that you were encouraged here today. Yes, it is so good when Jesus sends others to us who are waking a similar to path to ours. He understands the lonely feeling in this chronic illness journey, and speaks such kindness over us! And, what a blessing to know that we can pray for each other, in these “roller-coaster days” that go up and down with pain. Hugs & Love to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for continuing to share your story Bettie! You continue to be an encouragement to me on your health journey and I think of you/pray for you often. It’s an encouragement to know we are not alone when we live with chronic health conditions. I can completely relate to the “Jekyll and Hyde” feeling/day based on how we are doing that day. I so loved your comments, ““My daughter, you’ve had it all topsy-turvy. I look at your “nice days” and see your flesh taking over, getting by on your own. But those night-times, when you feel so ugly, those are the moments when you depend fully on me: your true sufficiency. I see no fault in you as you lean on me. You are beautiful to me.” and “Finding a new heart while walking through chronic illness,” The concept of that book looks incredibly interesting. Thank you for sharing that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As someone who struggles with Fibromyalgia and pain every day, I can so relate to this post. I thought about thinking up a new tagline for my blog, but God is still teaching me to “Embrace Every Day” and find beauty in the ordinary, so that’s where I am. Praying for you friend!

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    1. Thank you so much Barbie! I love your updated new site, and I think your tagline to “Embrace Every Day” is beautiful. I think that is so important for those of us who struggle with chronic illness! I am so glad we can pray for each other, my friend!

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  9. Bettie, you sum the struggle up so well with these words: “There are so many stony places left in each of us, and it’s only the mercy of God that uncovers them.” Amen! I see now that I didn’t have the means to address adaptation to having chronic illness when it first caused such disruption in my life. Because God had me on a path of counselling for my painful past instead and that lasted for many years. Only He knows when we are ready to face what we need to. I’m so thankful for your companionship and true friendship too! xoxo 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Joy, you are so right when you say that “He knows when we are ready to face what we need to.” What a precious thought of God’s grace! And how much that thought lifts away the shame and pressure that we heap upon ourselves. At least that’s what I often do–I tend towards feeling so much pressure that I need to get it all right, when He is the only One who knows when it’s time to move forward into more freedom. Thank you so much for these encouraging comments today, my friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful testimony, Bettie. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with pain. ((Hug)) I’ll keep you in prayer. I think some folks in my essential oil group have mentioned gaining some RA relief. I’m not sure, but if you’d like me to find out, just shoot me an email and I’d be happy to ask. — Love the new tagline. — And, it’s fun to see our sites evolve with us over time, isn’t it? My site has changed with me over the years, too. I kind of like that it doesn’t have to be a stagnant thing…we grow and our writing and blogs change with us. 🙂 Thanks for sharing today, Bettie. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Brenda, Thank you so much for your kind support! I appreciate your prayers so much, and your thoughts about the essential oils are such a confirmation too. My daughter has been helping me sort through and find different oils that might help me, as she just became a wellness advocate herself. (Someday I hope to have her guest-post here to share her own story!) I am so grateful that in all the changes we go through, Jesus is here to help us. He knows our weaknesses, so much better than we do! Why do we think we have to be strong for Him? Thanks for your great link-up site also, Brenda! Bessings to you! xoxo

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  11. Dear friend, I am so sorry I missed this post. I am going to try to re-sign up again, I am not sure what is going on with our emails accepting the blog posts. This happens from time to time. May the dear Lord bless you and keep you. Praying for you every, single day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl, Oh I have had that happen to me also! This technology can be so frustrating, and yet so helpful too, right? Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Many blessings and hugs to you too!

      Like

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