A Continuing Story: Abiding in Him

Many have asked me if there is a significant meaning in the cover photo of our new book. My answer has been yes, but once again it’s a story begging to be told. ☺️ In answer to those who have asked, here today is another gift of God’s choosing . . .

~~~~~~

I was waiting in the car while my husband finished a few errands after my clinic appointment. While the air was still chilly, the promise of spring and new life had been calling to me.

However, the beauty of the day was lost on me as I sat discouraged, trying not to give in to bitterness. The winter had been long. RA flares, allergic reactions, and a run-in with Covid had left me utterly depleted. And then there was the latest: the clinic had pronounced those sores on my arm a case of Shingles.

Instead of the promise of new life, I heard the nurse promising me new pain. My spring-time faith was edging into an area I did not want to face.

As I brushed away tears, movement outside the car caught my eye.

In the large open parking lot, one lone goose strutted bravely right next to my window. It was as if God was calling to me, speaking His own kind of bravery into my faltering heart. And the tears that had been from discouragement only moments before, now shifted to tears of gratitude.

When I spoke with my son later that night, he wondered if I had heard about the ancient Celtic tradition that spoke of the Holy Ghost being like a goose? I chuckled with him, but felt the nudge to research more deeply this history.

Indeed it had been the case. In the minds of the early church fathers they acknowledged not only the gentle dove-like trait that the Holy Spirit exhibited, but also the mystery and sometimes wildness that a goose displays. A story about geese being able to smell a human, and warning of impending intruders can be found in this article about the history of the wild and mysterious side of the Holy Spirit.

The weight of one more illness paled in comparison to the weight of glory I felt swelling in my heart. His Holy Spirit was stirring wildly in me, to keep watching for the mysteries of God’s goodness in the most unlikely of places.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV

So imagine my surprise just a few weeks later when an email from Chronic-Joy showed up in my inbox. I didn’t know that it was already time to choose the cover for our book. And Cindee Snider Re, author, and Chronic Joy’s co-founder and gifted graphic designer, did not know about the research I had found concerning the Goose-like qualities of the Holy Spirit.

Cindee had chosen three possibilities for us to look over. And there it was, so different than the other two, but such a gift from our mysterious and wild Holy Spirit: a whole family of geese, being watched over by one brave Daddy goose. Our heavenly Father knows how to send the gift of the Holy Spirit just when we need Him most.

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Luke 11:13 NIV

Are you facing tears of discouragement today?

I would love to pray with you and lift our eyes together toward the wild and mysterious gift of our dear Father.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for loving us far more than we could ever realize. Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, to redeem us and bring us back into Your family. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to show us what You are like. We admit that we so easily grow discouraged in this life. The trials do seem to overwhelm us at times. But Lord we thank You for sending us such wild and wonderful gifts at just the right time. I pray for my sisters and brothers who are struggling today. Will You lift their eyes to You, to look up to Jesus and see the beauty of His giving for them? We will rejoice in Your glory, and we will bow in Your presence, our only true help.

In the name of Jesus, Your son,

Amen.

~~~~~

If you would like to learn more about our book click here to see the beautiful page that our dear friends at Chronic Joy Ministry have created for it. All profits go to support them and their many resources for those with chronic or mental illness, and the families or caregivers of those who love them.

If you prefer, you can click here to be taken directly to the Amazon site for our book.

And now I’m so excited to announce that the winner of last post’s giveaway for a free copy of our book is Kristen! (I used the random number generator at Random.org to find the results.) Congratulations! I will be getting that in the mail to you soon.

Thank you to all who have been so supportive along the way. You have encouraged me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus as we walk the pathway He has set before us. May God bless you and keep you. And may we all continue on this journey to learn more of what it means to truly abide in Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

I lift up my eyes to the mountains
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:2 NIV

I am linking with: Grace&Truth

27 thoughts on “A Continuing Story: Abiding in Him

  1. Love this story, Bettie. God’s kindness is so precious. I was only just saying this morning to another blogger that thankfulness springs up through God’s kindness opening our eyes to His precious gifts through the hardest of trials and sharing an example from my own life, so to re-read your story of the goose appearing is just such sweet affirmation. Oh let our living [in Jesus] continue to spill over into thanksgiving through all the trials we meet.(Colossians 2:7c MSG).

    This bit in the article you shared is truly so much a part of your book’s story: “In the same way, the Celtic believers in the British Isles believed that the Holy Spirit is unpredictable, upsetting the status quo and leading people toward a new adventure with God.” What adventures you had, and what adventures you have led others of us on, in encouraging us to heed the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Thank you for this sweet encouragement today. May God bring fresh encouragement your and your family’s way today.

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    1. Oh Anna, amen! It truly is His kindness that stirs our hearts to look up and to spring forth with thankfulness! I’m so grateful that you have shared such precious Holy Spirit promptings with me too. Even the confirmation to share this story as God brought you to those geese on your walk too. Our Lord is so amazing, even in the hardest of trials, as you shared. I appreciate all of your prayers and encouragement so much, for myself and for my family too! Love and hugs to you my dear friend. ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much Regina! It’s good to hear again from you too. I’ve missed these dear chat times so much. And I’m grateful for the openings that God sends now & then! Blessings to you dear sister!

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      1. I read your book in one day! What a blessing it is for me as I struggle for healing from back surgery and endure physical therapy. I enjoyed each scripture and prayer, as well as the wonderful stories of triumph over so much. Thank you for writing this book. It is so needed. I will do a review on Amazon as well.

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        1. Oh Regina, I am so blessed that God blessed you as you read! You’ve brought tears to my eyes as I think of you dealing with pain now too. May the Lord bring you His help and relief. And thank you so much for leaving a review also! Love & hugs for you!

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  2. I love how God works, Bettie! He always sends His comfort at the right time when we need it the most, many times through His creatures, right? That article and that Celtic Tradition is so interesting. Thank you for telling us the significance of the cover photo. So meaningful. As I read your book a little at a time so I can ruminate the truths and reflect on the questions, I am amazed at how even though I have read the story by bits through blog posts, the truths are hitting home deeper. So encouraging. Isn’t it something how at different stages in our lives, something that didn’t strike us before hits home? Thank you so much for sharing God’s story in you in book form! And thanks to Chronic Joy to put it in their hearts! Love, hugs, and blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, I had not heard of that Celtic tradition either. But it truly is amazing how God uses His creatures to send us His comfort, right when we need it the most. And yes, I agree with you so much about the way that something will suddenly strike home at a different stage of life. It almost feels like God saves His lessons and connections until the time is right. Thank you for being one of those connections, dear Trudy. God let our paths cross at just the right time! I am so blessed that God is using our book to stir your heart in Him. Much love & hugs to you dear friend. Xoxo

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      1. Hi Bettie, I love your post sister! As a Scot I count myself as a Celtic Christian; I was heavily influenced by Celtic stories of the past saints in Christianity. I certainly had a wee smile to myself as I enjoyed your discovery of the significance of the goose. Incidentally if you are interested I recommend the Celtic music of a group called Iona. God bless you today sister 🙏

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        1. Oh dear brother, what a joy to know that you are part of that beautiful Celtic family in Christ! I’m so blessed that this post brought a smile to you. And thank you for the music recommendation. I’m definitely going to check that out! Blessings and prayers for you today.

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  3. Bettie,
    What a God-ordained story behind the cover of your new book. I love how God weaves details together! As I told you before, my very favorite word when it comes to Christ is “Abide.” Being someone who is used to doing, striving, earning, etc., the concept of “abiding” stops me in my tracks and reminds me it is about what God has performed and will perform and I just need to draw close and abide in Him, His power, and His strength.
    Beautiful post and cover.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Dear Bev, I am so thankful that we can share that love and meaning of the phrase “Abide in Christ” together! He took me thru that process of learning to still in Him too (& continues it even now!) Thank you for sharing your heart here. You’ve touched my heart so deeply. Blessings and love to you too! ❤️

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  4. Bettie, this is so beautiful! It brings tears to my eyes. God is so good, and how precious to send you that goose! I am looking forward to reading your book and now the cover photo will speak to me too! Thank you for sharing this story!!

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    1. Dear Donna, oh I’m so blessed that the Holy Spirit touched your heart as well through His words here. He truly is so gracious to us. I pray that you are blessed this week in His presence!

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    1. Oh Dear Paula, I’m so grateful God brought you comfort here. I’m so sorry about your latest diagnosis of Trigeminal neuralgia. I deal with Occipital neuralgia, so I sure feel for you! Praying blessing and relief for you today dear sister!

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    1. Thank you for your precious encouragement that means so much Jennifer. I know you have experienced His moving in your life as well, so your words are especially meaningful to me. Blessings and love to you today!

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    1. Oh I sure understand about getting distracted, Lynn! It’s easy to miss those small comforts. But I’m so glad that He finds ways to nudge us to look up! Your photography does that for me also! Blessings and hugs for you today!

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