Hello, Jolene Navarro checking in from the Texas Hill Country. I love dancing in the rain. I strive to find peace in the eye of the storm. But sometimes the smile is fake, the heart is broken, and the knees are bruised.
There are times when burdens feel too heavy to carry alone. There are seasons in our lives when we wonder how we will get up and do it again. Loved ones are sick, the financial responsibilities are greater than our income, the job drains your soul instead of feeding it.
Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.– Matthew 11:28
The big ones bring us to our knees. As people of faith, they have us turning to God in our weakness and hopeless.
As I write this, my life is full of blessings. I’m living I life I didn’t even dream possible. But there are times that small stones are flung at me, they fall away, after all, they are like the tiny mosquito. They pester me until I can’t enjoy the beautiful sunset over the river. If we let them, they will take away the joy.
These little dings make me feel ungrateful if I complain. Really, others have real reasons to cry. But those small hits add up. Why does one hurtful comment stay with me and become a worm in my brain? It drills in deep until I forget about the words of encouragement, the praises, and accomplishments? Why does one failure remove the shine from the five victories?
Whenever we step out and risk capturing a dream the world will be ready to chase us back into hiding. Forcing us to retreat back into a safe place. A safe place of comfort, without risk – without serving our purpose.
I’ve recently had a serious of unrelated events that undermined my confidence, made me doubt that I’m living in God’s will. Like I said earlier I live a pretty optimistic, upbeat life. I do believe God has us and even in times of sorrow we can find the joy. Oh, but there are times I let the mosquitos take over and drive me crazy.
Maybe in today’s world, we are just expected to be and do everything to everyone all the time and if we are not on the top somehow that puts us on the bottom. No one wants to be on the bottom, right?
But as always God has an answer for that too:
But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.– Isaiah 40:31
As I struggled with self-doubt, I realized I had been in such a rush I had not taken the time to listen to God. To be still in his presence and listen. I remind myself to start the day with him and finish the day with him, and all the in-between will be right by him.
I love writing Christian romance because it lets me explore my own weakness and the basic drive in humans to make mistakes and try to get it right. We are all messed up somehow – turning to God and finding our purpose is a great journey to take.
In Texas Daddy coming out in stores July 16th – ebook Aug 1 – Nikki, the heroine carries a heavy burden, a secret she has hidden from her family. Now she is forced to come home with her father and sisters, for the first time in ten years. The burden of that secret gets too heavy to carry any longer.
When she decides to fully trust God and stop living a lie, she is risking losing the life she wants. Faced with the truth of her past, Adrian, the hero, must decide if he can forgive or hang on to his judgment and face a future without the woman who has made him love again
I fell in love with these people struggling to get it right.
Through reading and writing, I get to see the journey unfold in other lives over and over again. It helps me remember how important prayer is and trusting in God for all things.
So this morning as I sit and listen to the birds and watch the sun ascent over the hills, I find the peace that I am a child of God.
I will make mistakes. So not only do I need to accept forgiveness but I need to give it – even when not asked for. This is how God will lighten my heart and let me find joy in the everyday trials we face. I need to be the light of God’s love.
Do you have a go-to Bible verse? A favorite work of fiction that lifts you up? Maybe you have a favorite place to hear God. Blessing to you and yours.
Jill Weatherholt says
Beautiful post, Jolene. As I just mentioned on Seekerville, my go to verse is Proverbs 3:5.
Your Texas sunset photograph is stunning.
Thank you. I love that verse. :)
Hi Jolene, your photos are beautiful and I value your message, thank you for sharing. I love Isaiah 43:2- God promises that we will walk through hard times, BUT, He will be with us, He will guide and strengthen us. For me, being outdoors is refreshing and renewing- to get away from emails/phone calls etc. and just enjoy what God has created and be reminded of my own insignificance in the whole of God’s creation- yet He still died for me!
Yes I feel more connected outside also. Thank you so much for sharing. <3
Breath taking photos, inspiring thoughts and heart warming scriptures! While working full time as a high school teacher, caring for my family and aging parents, when life was filled with deadlines and stress; the verse that kept me going was Isaiah 40:31! The image of soaring above the mundane and having stamina to fulfill daily responsibilities. God is goood. Thanks for sharing, Jolene!
Oh, that is a beautiful verse! Thank you.
I love the quote with the picture of the rainbow! My go-to verse is Romans 8:38&39. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God in Christ our Lord!
Amen! That is so true. Thank you for sharing.
Teri Wilson says
Beautiful post, Jolene. xoxo
Thank you. <3
Jessica B. says
One of my favorite verses is Ephesins 3:18-19. Your pictures are gorgeous.
That whole passage is one of my all time favorites! So happy you enjoyed the pictures. My kids say I have a problem – I have been known to stop the car in the middle of no where to take them.
Jackie Smith says
I claimed for my recent back surgery…..Ephesians 3:20 He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all I ask or think…and wow, was I delighted when my Physical Therapist told me yesterday “You have graduated from PT”. I was having PT from recent back surgery. God is good!
I am off to pre-order your book!
Thank you! Ephesians 3 is one of my all time favorite passages. I’ll add you to my prayer list – I had back surgery 13 years ago – no back problem since. Keep up the PT! Yay on getting to the point they said you graduated.
Julianne Archer says
Thank you for this post. I have several go-to verses, one is listed above, depending on the situation: Eph 4:2; Prov 15.1; Rom 15:13.
Ephesians is just so rich. Thank you for giving me more go-to for my prayer time.
God is our peace in the midst of the storm. God bless. Thanks for the encouragement!
Truth! As long as my eyes are on him, I’m good. Thank you.
Sherri G says
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I’ve heard if a customer is satisfied with his service, he may tell 1 person. If a customer is dissatisfied, he’ll generally tell 5 people. It seems to work that way with things that happen to us or are said about us also. We tend to disregard the good and dwell on the bad. It can really affect our self-confidence. Also, I know in my case, as hard as it may be to forgive someone else, it’s generally even harder for me to forgive myself. But thankfully, we have a God who always loves us!
Yes. That is so true. My character deal a great deal with accepting God’s forgiveness- I might struggle with that myself. We beat ourselves up when we fall short. It’s hard to believe in the scope of God’s grace and mercy. <3 Thank you for stopping by
One of my favorite places to hear God is in the quiet of the day and night. I have learned that when I turn off the t.v., radio, computer, or anything else that makes sounds, I can open my heart and soul to listen and hear God. What a blessing!
The world is very loud. I love to sit in the silence…hearing the creations of God. I just have to remember to sit still. Thank you.
Marylin Furumasu says
Thank you for your honest post. It is so true, we can be overwhelmed by the “Big” stuff, and yet the “little” ones are the ones that bit away at us until we’re weak and vulnerable. I hope and pray your days will be filled to overflowing with God’s peace and strength.
Marylin Furumasu says
OOPS.. I forgot to mention my go to verse:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
When I learned this years ago I don’t remember the version, but I liked how that version said it:
“In all your ways Acknowledge Him, and He will Direct your paths.”
I’m always striving to know where God is leading me.
Beautiful verses. Thank you. It is the little stuff we let get to us. I think know I don’t have to understand has helped me the most.
Thanks for your post, it came in good timing…
Also made me remind of a verse that was once always on my mind and I forgot most recently: Isaiah 55:8-9.
God’s timing is always good, right? I had not planned on my post being about this, but as a prayed this moved me to write about my doubt and belief that God loves me through it and is bigger than the world.
Merrillee Whren says
Jolene, you quoted mine, the passage from Isaiah 40. Great post!
Thank you so much. And thank you for sharing. <3
The scripture popped in my mind as I was first reading your post (trials):
James 1: 2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Not sure what’s so joyful about trials in our lives other than God will use them to test our faith and help grow it. Never easy going through something, but if we remember it’s for our benefit and allow God to stretch us a bit, the reward is great :-) I also am realizing that if I am going through trials, I must be doing something right…lol!
So true – that is why I love the philosophy of dancing in the rain. I don’t understand but in all things we must praise Him and find the joy he can provide. Trials are how we grow. It’s what I use in fiction also – lol – sometimes I think the best fiction is really about true life.
It won’t let me post a long comment so I need to do two posts…sorry!!
A verse I just shared on another blog is so good to remind us that no matter where we are, God is ALWAYS with us:
Psalm 139: 7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”
So, like what I need to do at times, I need to remind myself that even if I don’t FEEL like God is there or cares for me, He does and is!! He’s promised to never leave us or forsake us. We can cling confidently to that promise :-)
So happy you posted both! Great reminders and lessons