Finding Purpose

(In exchange for my review, Chronic-Joy Ministries, publisher, provided this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. All opinions expressed are purely my own.)

 

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I am so thankful to be part of the launch team for another wonderful book in the “Thrive” series by Chronic-Joy Ministries!  And as I read through Cindee Snider Re’s newest book, Finding Purpose, Rediscovering Meaning in a life with Chronic Illness, I sensed that a season of “new” was before me.  Eagerly I cherished longings for what that “new” might mean.

 

Cindee has such a beautiful way of weaving Scripture with piercing thoughts and pointed questions that cause the reader to pause and truly spend time in God’s presence asking the hard questions.  I found such a soul respite and hope for the journey ahead of me as I read this book.

 

And in that hope, I thought that surely, God would strengthen my tired frame.

Surely He would help me to get up and get moving just enough so that I could actually walk forward in a new purpose.

 

But instead, He chose to allow the weakness to increase, more medications to fail, and the words “be patient” to echo in my heart.  And those are precisely the kind of words that Cindee and the team at Chronic Joy Ministry are accustomed to hearing also. The first chapter begins with thoughts of slowing down, and listening for the echo of God’s Presence. And each of the following chapters seemed to fit so well with the lessons God was working in my heart:

  • Presence
  • Lectio Divina
  • Willingness
  • Surrender
  • Love
  • Purpose
  • Refining
  • Attitude
  • Contentment
  • Choice

 

In all of the beautiful Scripture studies and heart probing questions, the two chapters that stood out to me the most were Purpose and Contentment.  Later this week, on Friday the 16th, I’ll have more to share about the results of the chapter on Contentment.  But that chapter on how to find a purpose within the days of chronic illness continued to stand out to me, long after I finished reading the draft that Chronic-Joy Ministries mailed out to the Feedback Team earlier this spring.

 

When I first read those words, I was in the midst of learning to “manage” my fibromyalgia, as my Rheumatologist had told me was possible. I changed my already improved diet, I added in several new supplements, I began increasing my indoor-power-walking.

 

What?! Power walking? . . . Well, yes, if you count 5 minutes of walking back & forth around my kitchen as “power walking,” then I was up there with the best of them.

 

But shortly after I finished that early reading, my body decided to spiral downwards, and the old Rheumatoid Arthritis dragon abruptly put an end to any more “power walking.”

 

I tucked away any thoughts of “new” purpose for my life.  It seemed to me that the same old struggles and resting times stretched ahead of me.  My hope in God was being refined yet again.

 

Before He could speak His new purpose more clearly, He had more heart-working to accomplish in me.

 

Have you watched those refining fires burn all around you?

Have you felt the furnace heating up next to you?

 

See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10

 

After long months of waiting, and another long season of patience, the words of the beginning of Chapter 10: Choice have finally fallen onto softened heart-soil:

 

“Choice is a journey –a choice every minute of every day. I can either choose God or I can choose me. I can choose to seek Him in the midst of the chaos or I can allow my circumstances to overwhelm me. I can choose to live in the power of His Spirit or I can choose to rely on my own strength.  But I can’t have it both ways. It’s either God or me.”

 

While His purposes were good for me, I needed to be in the place where my weaknesses were no longer the enemy.  I could not embrace His strength until I could rejoice in my own weaknesses.  HIS ways are always best.

 

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV

 

So, 10 months after first reading Cindee’s draft, the Lord brought His purpose home to me, and I could finally work through the Scriptures and the thoughts in that chapter to express the Purpose Statement that God has given to me in this new place:

 

Through all of my weaknesses, He is Sufficient in me, and my heart will Glorify Him there.

 

It’s not about me–it’s all about HIM, so that I can delight in HIS strength.

 

 

He wants to be that same source of strength for you, too, my friend. 

 

I have been so blessed by this book, and I am sure that you will be blessed also. You can find the book on Amazon here. Chronic-Joy Ministry is an excellent support group for anyone dealing with chronic health or mental illnesses, offering beautiful books, blog-posts, and gorgeous daily images with Scriptures and encouraging thoughts.  They are offering a give-away over on their site on the 14th, and would love to have you participate! Click here to visit them.

 

And, they were so gracious to offer me an extra book for a give-away too! If you leave a comment below, you, and those who have commented here during the launch of my new website, will be entered in the drawing. Come back here on Friday, February 16 to see who won, and to find out more about Chapter 9 and Contentment.

 

 

I am linking with:

#Glimpses

#Teaandword

#sittingamongfriends

 

 

23 thoughts on “Finding Purpose

  1. Dear Bettie, what a beautiful post! I have just come from reading Joy’s post on this same book. I think maybe God is trying to tell me something. 🙂 I appreciate all you have shared here. Whenever I read your words I come away inspired. I would love to win a copy of the book. It sounds really good! Blessings to you with hugs and much love! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl, Oh I am so hoping that you are able to read this book Gayl. I do think it would bring great encouragement to you, and your son also. You are a true encouragement and gift from God towards me, Gayl, so I am blessed and thankful to think that He would bring you inspiration here. Our God is so full of grace. Blessings, hugs and love to you also my friend! xoxo

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  2. Dear Bettie, this is such a beautiful, soul searching post! You are right in addressing the wrestling that needs to take place for us to see and sense God’s Holy purpose right here, right now, hidden within our very weakness and pain. These words spoke volumes to me because they echo my own struggles over the years: “While His purposes were good for me, I needed to be in the place where my weaknesses were no longer the enemy. I could not embrace His strength until I could rejoice in my own weaknesses. HIS ways are always best.” Oh yes, we definitely have to arrive at that point somehow! Thank you for sharing your faith journey. It’s good to see how God is working in your heart, my friend, making it soft and pliable, ready to receive the good things He desires to grow within. Much love and hugs to you, sweet sister/friend and companion in suffering! xoxo ❤

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    1. Dear Joy, It’s been so sweet joining you on the launch team for this book, and seeing your beautiful reflections at your site also! I am so grateful that God planted the words so deeply in me several months ago, knowing the wrestling that was ahead for me. I continue to pray that He takes me deeper into HIS purposes, and shows me more about how to embrace Him “right there, hidden within my very weakness and pain.” Even tonight, as I must take the injection that I would rather not, HE is the victory for me there. I am so blessed by your companionship on this road, dear sister and friend. Love & Hugs! xoxo

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  3. I’m so sorry you’re struggling, Bettie. This is a great review. I’m glad the lessons fit in with what God is actually teaching you. Bringing in your personal experience makes the book even more appealing. The question – “What if we are called to be instead of to do?” – already drew me in. I would love to win this book. 🙂 Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy, Oh yes, I would love it if you could read this book also. I know it would bless you too; so many of the Scriptures and thoughts that Cindee shared remind me of things that you have shared over at your own site. God’s Grace reaches so far to us, in our brokenness, and He longs to show us HIS purpose in the very midst of the struggles. Love and Hugs to you too my friend! xoxo

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  4. This book sounds wonderful and is such a blessing to many from what I am reading. When I read your quote about choice being a journey, I was nodding my head on agreement. I can either choose God or choose me. Let me say I do so much better when I choose God.

    I love the focus on purpose. I feel so many people struggle with this in their lives for many different reasons. Thank you for sharing Cindee’s book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary, Yes I am so grateful to be part of this book’s send-off into the world. I have appreciated the thoughts that she brought forward to address with Scriptural help. It seems this chaotic culture wants to label us with it’s own kind of purpose, doesn’t it? But what freedom comes when we choose to let God show us His purposes for us! Blessings and Hugs to you!

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  5. Bettie, I truly think that wasn’t a long time considering the huge surrender it entailed. For God to have brought you to this purpose statement in 10 months is truly amazing:

    “Through all of my weaknesses, He is Sufficient in me, and my heart will Glorify Him there.”

    It takes a lot of transformation to get there. You are an encouragement to me as I’m only really starting to learn this surrender – but then with mental illness. Thank you for sharing so openly. It reminds me that Cindee’s other book was one of the first times we connected if I remember correctly?! I remember I won a copy and sent it to a friend suffering from a chronic illness. I know it touched her deeply. Still in amazement how God connects us all – also you to Cindee and her books…and how you’ve then blessed those of us outside the chronic illness “family” too.

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    1. Dear Anna, I am so thankful for all of your encouragement and prayers through these days too. The Lord knows the help that we need along the way to surrender, doesn’t He? And it is such a daily process, as He continues to take it deeper for me. I know there is more to learn on this journey of embracing His strength in the midst of my weaknesses. And, yes what a blessing Cindee’s books have been! I think you are right that it was her first book that led us to deeper conversations and prayer with each other. I am so grateful that the Lord used that first book in your friend’s life! God’s connections and weavings together truly are so awesome. Much Love and Hugs to you dear friend!

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  6. Hi Bettie,
    Thank you for sharing this book review and adding your own story to it. You know firsthand how to be strong and courageous when your health is difficult but you know where your true strength lies — in God’s hands — and I love how you always point us to him for strength and courage and faith. Sending love to you (and always remembering you in my prayers!) this Valentine’s Day! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Valerie,
      I am always so blessed by your visits here! You and Trudy were my first connections when I began this blogging journey–always only leaning on Jesus to find His courage and strength. And you both were some of the most beautiful instruments of His Grace to keep me focused on Him! Isn’t that so amazing how God does that? We each have been allowed to keep pointing back to HIM! I pray that you could know how much your encouragement has meant to me! And on this Valentine’s Day I pray that you would feel such love surrounding you, as we all reflect HIS love to each other! xoxo

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  7. Bless your dear heart, sweet friend! It breaks my heart to think of how much you suffer! God uses you to minister to us right from the midst of your pain, and you are such a blessing and shining light! Praying for you often and believing God to heal and relieve you. Sending much love and many hugs to you today!

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I appreciate your prayers so much my friend! I think we don’t realize the depth of how important those prayers are for each other, until we are in a really hard place, do we? I know you understand the power of prayer, and I so appreciate how the Lord uses His Word to guide you in lifting your heart to Him for so many others! I pray that the Lord will make use of all these times of struggle that we go through, purifying us to join in His suffering as we express His Grace to each other! Much Love and Hugs and Blessings to you too my friend!

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  8. Bettie,

    I love you blog and this book review is profound. I believe the quote in the middle was just for me (ouch)! I, too often, try to rely on my own strength only to fold into God’s arms in the end anyway. I am learning more and more to go there in the first place! Thank you for this friend. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Meg, Thank you for your sweet words! Oh yes, I want to keep learning more about going to Him in the first place too. I know in my head that HIS strength is all I really need, so why do I insist on trying my way? Oh, He is so patient! May I trust Him more too! Love and Blessings to you too friend!

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  9. Wow! How beautiful. Don’t know how i missed this post earlier. Would have loved to win a book, especially since God is hiding me to present lessons on all the fruits of the spirit to our ladies group at church. I spoke on love this month (duh!). Was thinking joy for next month. “Spring into Joy” love you friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mandy, Oh, I have that same trouble with autocorrect! 🙂 It sounds like you are teaching a great Bible Study on the Fruit of the Spirit! Wish I could be a little mouse and “listen in!” “Spring into Joy” sounds wonderful, especially here in the gray, cold north! Blessings and Love to you friend!

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