13 April 2014

Overcoming in the Desert Seasons by Tamera Alexander

Author Tamera Alexander
Overcoming in the Desert Seasons
by Tamera Alexander

Do you like deserts? Not desserts, mind you, those are much easier to love. But deserts. Specifically, the desert times of life. Those seasons in our earthly journey when our hearts feel dry and empty, purposeless. When our spirit can grow weary due, perhaps in part, to a prolonged illness or injury, to trials or troubled relationships, or maybe disappointment in a career. Those times when there seems to be no end in sight to the "soul drought."

I’ve experienced those seasons in my life. I think we all have. There’s a verse I came across years ago during one of these times, and since then, God has engraved it on my heart:

"When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness..."
                                                                                                            (Exodus 13:17-18a)

Did the same phrase jump out at you that jumped out at me that day? "God did not lead them along the main road…even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land."

Why on earth would God purposefully make the Israelites go the longer, harder route? Why would he keep his chosen people wandering in the desert? When we travel, don’t we typically opt for the shortest route? Why wouldn’t God do that too?

Because He knows something we don’t. About us. And about the journey.

In the past, when I’ve been in those desert seasons, I’ve asked God why I'm there. Rarely have I gotten an immediate response, mind you, if I get one at all. So I push on, just like you do, through the responsibilities and obligations of life, seeking God’s face, listening for his voice.

One such desert time for me was watching my mom suffer from metastatic gallbladder cancer. Her journey from diagnosis to stepping into Jesus’s arms was brief. Only six months. And traveling that road with her was one of the most agonizing––yet most precious and beautiful––times in my life. Odd how often the most beautiful experiences also involve moments of excruciating pain.

In writing A Beauty So Rare I drew upon many of my own desert seasons, specifically when writing about Eleanor Braddock and her relationship with her father. God showed me yet again (with the benefit of distance and perspective), how faithful He is. How intentional his love is. And how he always has our best at heart, even when our hearts are breaking.

I’ve learned we ought not let our circumstances teach us theology. God is faithful. He’s sovereign. Always. And if we’re in the desert, we’re there because he’s either allowed it, or designed it. It’s not pleasant, the desert. It’s prickly, irritatingly sandy, and it burns. But God has proven over and over to me that I’ll be better for the experience in the end. My own heart grows more pliant in those times, and I become more like clay in the Potter’s hands, which I so long to be on a daily basis.

So when you’re empty inside and feel your loneliest, remember you’re never alone. God sees you. He loves you. These desert seasons are training grounds. They’re heavenly-orchestrated detours intended for our eternal good. And even though it may not feel like it, God is still guiding each and every step, because we’re on our way to the Promised Land!


Continued Blessings!  Tamera

www.TameraAlexander.com
Thank you Tamera for sharing with us on OWG!  Readers we have lots of giveaways this week. We were all waiting so patiently for Tamera's new release and "A Beauty So Rare" was worth it! This lovely Christian historical romance will be on my best of 2014 reads.   

Giveaway: (This week, we have a paperback and ebook copy of A Beauty So Rare, a Starbucks $10 card, a pink surprise giveaway and Tamera is offering a signed copy, too!) Answer the Q--What has helped you during a season of soul drought? For extra entry entry "Like" Tamera's FB page and put FB on your comment. Leave your email address so we can contact you.

94 comments:

  1. I think I am in a desert season right now, Tamera, after having had foot surgery and it is not progressing as quickly as I'd hoped. Discovering that I could have pain up to a year afterwards (not mentioned by the doctor!) has given me a desert mentality as I am now forced to rethink my post-recovery plans. But God will show me, as I wait on His direction. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Physical injuries affect not only our bodies, as you well know, Carrie. But our souls as well. I'm praying for you, friend. For swift and full healing and for God to restore your body completely. But until he does, and as he leads you through this desert time, I'm praying abundant blessings appear in your path. For unforeseen springs of water that he'll cause to rise up before you at just the right time, and for moments of intense fellowship with him that often come only when the "routine" of life or health is taken away, and we're far more aware of him and what he's doing in our hearts and lives.

      Thanks again for inviting me to share this week with you gals.

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    2. TY Tamera! I find now when I'm in the Word with Him that I do feel like He is really speaking right to my heart! I will take those blessings--may it be as you pray!

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  2. Thank you for sharing the scripture! One moment at a time. With the help of our Lord we can make it through!
    Wendy
    wendyshoults(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Amen, Wendy. Even though he often leads us the "long way home," it's worth every step because we're centered in his will. Thanks for sharing!

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    2. Wendy, I know you are going through such a horrible time right now and will keep praying for you. Am glad you got your scooter but am praying you'll get your stair rider, too!

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  3. First of all, thank you again for being with us, TAMERA, and for sharing your wonderfully encouraging post with us.

    Like Carrie, I have been in a desert season for quite some time, and felt the tears well up in my eyes as I was reading your post. And I intend to read this over and over again, until I get it in my spirit that God has allowed this desert season to come upon me for a purpose that only He knows. I have been very discouraged today, so talk about words fitly spoken! Thank you for your obedience, and if this post wasn't for anyone else today it certainly was for me....well, and CARRIE. :)

    I have loved your books since the very first one I ever read, TAMERA. And this one was certainly no exception.

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    1. I think Tamera is ministering to the OWG team this week, Diana, and we sure need it!

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    2. Diana, I'm so grateful God brought us together on this journey, and I really appreciate your kind words. My seasons in the desert have become some of the most precious times in my life. I used to think I would bypass them if I could. And even though I DO NOT LIKE THE PAIN of those seasons (didn't want to you to miss my true feelings ), the fellowship I share with the Lord is so much sweeter and dearer because of those times. And honestly, Jesus underwent extreme pain and loneliness while he was here, and talk about "desert times" as he was on the cross. He promises pain to his followers, so why should I expect to avoid it? He said, "In this world you WILL have trouble (emphasis mine), but take heart, I've overcome the world!"

      So, would I forego the desert times, if I could? I sure don't like them and still pray that God will shorten their duration, but I DO like what he's doing in my heart through his extraordinary grace and mercy because of them.

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  4. Thank you, and bless you, Tamera and Carrie, I so needed to hear those words today. Romans 5:3-6 helped me through a difficult time in my life, years ago. I cling to that scripture now. I would love to win a copy of this new book, the cover is gorgeous, so I'm off to Facebook now to "like" Tamera's page.

    Debby Lee sanddlee(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Romans 3 And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
      4 And patience trial; and trial hope;
      5 And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.

      I don't pray for patience, Debby! But when we go through these trials, God sure does use it for our good!

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    2. Thank you, Debby, for sharing. I love the book of Romans and have clung to so many of those scriptures, too. Thanks for the complimentary words about the cover. I've got an "insider's look" at the seamstress who actually made that dress and will post it on my FB Page this week!

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  5. I can definitely relate to being in a "desert" since the death of my husband 4 years ago. I do pretty well of hiding things when I'm in public, but it's tough when I come home ALONE and try to deal with it. I've also had several medical issues since then (2 serious surgeries), almost died from numerous, massive blood clots all over, and just recently, another major medical diagnosis that concerns me. It's easy to write about, but hard to talk about or deal with. The thing that gets me through each day/night is knowing that even though I feel all alone, I'm not - God is with me every step of the way. He shows me he's with me in "little things" that I've ever so grateful for. I repeat my favorite verses as needed and pray without ceasing. I know that God has his hand on me, and that comforts me.
    I "like" your facebook page. Thank you!
    FB
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Susan, So sorry to hear that you are having yet something new to deal with. Praying for you! So glad you are able to teach again.

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    2. I'm praying for you as I type this, Susan, for God to comfort you and to pour peace and warmth into the lonely places in your heart. I've not lost my husband so I don't know what you're feeling, but I have lost a parent and that was a special kind of pain. I'm sure that the pain of losing a husband is even more intense. Bless you, friend.

      Sometimes when I wake up in the mornings, I'll linger for a moment in the quiet and wonder if this is the day that we'll hear the trumpets sound and that we'll see the clouds rolled back "as a scroll." When Mom was near the end here, I leaned close and whispered over and over, "When you see Jesus, you run for him for all you're worth. We'll be right behind you."

      And I mean that. As long as this road often feels in this life, we're right behind them. And (as the book of Revelation teaches) they're praying us Home.

      P.S. Susan, have you read Randy Alcorn's HEAVEN?

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  6. For me, there's always something from Scripture that jumps out at me during those hard times, either to convict or encourage me or both! Thanks for the chance, I liked Tamera's FB page too. My email is elise(underscore) jehan(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lisa! His Word is living and active, for sure!

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  7. Wonderful and encouraging post, Tamera. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Marian. Blessings, friend!

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  8. Each step we take, each breath we breathe, God is with us. Each happy experience, each sad occurrence, God is with us. He is our strength, He is our protector, He is our Father. At our lowest points and our toughest times, God will see us through and we must hold on to that. I truly believe these words and these words and beliefs get me through my deserts. Tamera, your post is beautiful as is your book. Just by reading the words you and Carrie write, I know that you two ladies have beautiful souls and live for God. Thank you both for the talent you share, we are better people for reading your posts and writings. Thank you so very much.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Bless you Melanie, for sharing your encouragement. It is when we are at our lowest that we are fully reliant on God. A few years ago, when I was so sick I thought I may not make it, I got so very close to Him. He really was my closest companion and I knew I could trust Him, no matter what.

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    2. Melanie, your words are a blessing to me, as is your faith that shines through them. I'm so grateful God isn't like me. He never wavers. He never sleeps or slumber or grows weary. And he's able to meet every need of mine (and yours) according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. What a promise that is! Thanks so much for sharing, friend.

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    3. This is such a beautiful cover of your book. I would be thrilled to read it.
      oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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  9. I have been in the desert the past 18 months with health issues.....have always been so strong/healthy...no pain, but this hit me and I have been in the desert. (back, facet joint syndrome) Scripture, prayer, sermons, Christian books and wonderful blogs (like this) have helped me so much! I am thankful for all of them. I feel better today than I have in all those months.
    Love Tammy's books (have read them all but this one)...thanks for the giveaway. I don't do FB stuff.
    Praying for Carrie, Diana, Susan and any others commenting today who have special problems.
    Blessings~~~
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. Praying for you Jacki! So sorry for your suffering--may God give you relief and may He hold you close through all of this. Hugs!

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    2. Jackie, I'm covering you in prayer as I write this and am also thanking God for your gracious spirit, so generous and kind. Have you heard the song NEVER ALONE? If not, here's a link for it below. I thought of the words, for some reason, as I read your note.

      I listened to this song over and over as I wrote To Whisper Her Name, and the Holy Spirit really ministered to me with its promise from the Lord. We truly are never alone.

      Never Once:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1bXG4WIesA&feature=kp

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  10. There are a few things that have helped me tremendously. Psalm 23 Reading the book of Job and saying the Serenity prayer. The footprints poem is helpful because it reminds me that I don't have to be strong all of the time. It is OK to say no. God is with me and will carry me. FB fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. Such rich encouragement, Jan. Thanks for sharing about Job. One of my favorite verses that really ministers to me during the hard times is Job 42:5 "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you."

      Before the trials, Job says he had *heard* about God, but after the trials (through them and because of them), he had SEEN God. Wow... Talk about a testimony.

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  11. FB I know I am in one. Its been over two years of trying to find my joy, find those things that really make me happy and that really matter. Many of you know that my husband suffers from mental illness and we spent 5 month alone without him last year, Well again he is gone and its hard for Me , even if the kids take it in stride and my husbands own actions have caused the kids to feel better at times when he is away. I know that in alot of areas Daniel and I miss Mark. Its not fun to be alone when your not a loner. I try to remember that daily the Lord is with me and I am not alone, but that doesn't stop the pain and hurt I feel inside. God knows my heart and I am not sure where he wants me to go , live or what to do , all I do know is that I need to trust him and do what is right and follow his ways. So many tell me to just give up and move on. That is a hard thing. I have been here in my past, but that doesn't make it any easier for me now. Somedays all I can say is Lord help me... My health is giving me issues as well, Edema in my feet and legs, hands and arm. I turn next month. I just want to be well and happy and to care for my kids. Prayers appreciated. Thank you Tamera for your words today.
    Love and Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    www.faithfulacres.net
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. Praying for you, Linda, and for your family.

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    2. Linda, I'm echoing your prayer for God to make you well and happy so you can take care of your precious kids. I'm also praying that God will show himself to you in a mighty way, and that he'll give you strength to overcome even in the midst of this desert season.

      A blog I'd love to recommend is Grace for a Grieving Heart. Sandy lost her husband through suicide some years back, and she's walked a painful and difficult road, to say the least. But oh, what a joy-filled and faith-filled woman she is. You'll love her. If you visit, please tell her I encouraged you to stop by. She'll be thrilled to connect with you.

      Grace for a Grieving Heart:
      http://graceforagrievingheart.com/author/sheppard/

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    3. I am going to stop over to Sandy's today. I have my hard days and just need to slow down to do whatever I can that the Lord gives me. Today that is laundry, dishes, some baking maybe and read a bit. But I am listening to music Hopesong to be exact, they area married couple who serve the Lord in Song and ministry. Its brightened my morning even if tears do come. I am so thankful for sisters who pray for me and my family. I can't tell you how very much that means to me. I am loved and blessed by our King and I am trying to rest assured in that and that alone. I am praying that the Lord will bring the right person to fix my van, so that the children and I can get out to Church somewhere, Dr, Dentists ect. Just to visit my parents and go have fun at the park or go see my daughter also. He is able and that is all I know. Tamera someday if and when I get back to TN, we need to have coffee or lunch. I usually am in or around Perry County, Linden TN. My son and family live there. I was there for 5 years and I so miss it and the farm I was leasing back then.
      Without full repentance of sin, I do not believe my husband will be healed and his condition gets worse. I grieve a great loss of not having my best friend and companion by my side. Its great... All I know is that I feel in limbo . Death is a finality in many ways but dealing with mental illness just doesn't have a closure unless healed, its painful for Me and though my little ones seem ok and have adapted, its taring my heart apart, Lord help me, because I cannot do anything of myself. I am so greatful for the close friendships I have with the authors I influence for and online friends and they are all actually family as each is a brother or sister in the Lord. God is Great !!! He alone is Faithful !
      Hugs
      Linda

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  12. The first thing that helps me through is my daily prayer time and my Bible reading Another thing is my faithful friend of 34 years who 'wears her faith on her sleeve' so to say, she is a true example to follow. I met her and she and her husband became our friends and he soon became our pastor. Now they are both like second parents to our kids and all of our grandchildren call them grandma and grandpa.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. So wonderful to have Christian friends who bless us! And that Bible time and prayer time are precious!

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    2. Amen to being in the Word, Wendy. One of the biggest blessings in my life has been Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). It's really been a help for me in the accountability department and in my commitment to being in His Word more faithfully.

      And yes to having close brothers and sisters in Christ. God knew what he was doing when he created the Body, didn't he!

      For those wanting to learn more about BSF, visit here:
      https://www.bsfinternational.org

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  13. I 'liked' Tamera's FB page!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Tamera, this is very timely. I too have been going through a desert time (for many years actually), I have many health problems and it seems that each year another one is added...to the point that I had to quite nursing and go on disability in 2008. Neck surgery in 2009 and two back surgeries-one in 2009 and the other one in 2012.....now both knees need replaced--first one to be done May 29th.... Just getting over bronchitis/pneumonia, which has totally worn me out.
    But the Lord is faithful!! I know if it were not for Him in my life, I would not have made it this far. I listen to praise and worship music all day and love God's Word, especially the book of Psalms.....and the devotional Jesus Calling. Praying for others is a blessing and ministry.
    I love your books and this cover is beautiful. I can't wait to read it.
    I am already a friend on facebook.

    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice@comcast.net

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    1. Tina, no wonder you are flat wore out! Need to continue to keep you in prayer! I can't imagine having to do all that esp. the knee replacement surgeries. Yet your faith stays strong and you are an inspiration to many! Big hugs!

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    2. Tina, bless you, sweet sister. What you've endured! You're such an encouragement to me. I'm praying for you, for God to heal and restore. And to give you a special "love note" from above, just for you!

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  15. Blessed be the name of the Lord! Times of affliction and suffering leads to our sanctification and holiness. Thankfully, his Holy Spirit is within us to provide strength and perseverance for the race.

    Your books have some of the most beautiful covers! I look forward to reading A Beauty So Rare.

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    1. Anne, you have to read this book--it is so good. You'll be blessed by it. You are such a blessing to me, dear friend!

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    2. Anne, you're so right. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith! Thanks for your kind words about my books, and I hope you enjoy A Beauty So Rare!

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  16. Seasons of soul drought are often very exhausting. I feel like I don't have any energy to think. Being able to look back at highlights I have made in my Bible and favorite Scriptures really helps me during these times. kosterbind (at) gmail (dot) com *I am a FB fan

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    1. Kelly, I write in my Bible margins, too. I record dates and names and situations so that as time passes, and I move from season to season, I'm able to see where God has led me and praise him accordingly. Because frankly, sometimes I flat forget all the ways He's been faithful to me. : { And I need to be reminded. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. The constant encouragement of family and friends has been a cup of fresh water in those desert places. And the daily times in the Bible are a necessity.
    I am a FB fan!

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    1. Oh so true, Kate. Time with loved ones freshens the spirit in amazing ways!

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  18. TAMERA, thank you SO much for sharing that timely and inspired word of encouragement with everyone here! And again, a huge welcome to OWG!!
    I feel like I'm in a dry season too - mostly due to time restraints and especially health. I do strongly feel His presence often, when I am in communion with Him.... I guess I have ever since I had a 'mountain-top' experience a few years back.. I know I just need to make more time with Him. I think this will sound a little crazy... Part of me feels like if I give Him more time, I'll only desire more and more time with Him, and then I won't have time for anything else! Lol, crazy I know.. ;)
    Love, love, love ALL your books Tamera, THANK YOU so much for the reading pleasure you bring everyone.

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    1. Noela, what a precious confession and one that, I'm sure, makes God smile. A prayer I've prayed for years (and that was the seed of my novel The Inheritance) is "Break me, Lord, until I'm wholly yours." I used to pray that prayer with one eye open, watching for what God was going to do to me next. : )

      But through the years and because of his grace, my trust has deepened. I won't say that I never occasionally wince when praying, "Your will be done, not mine," especially when I really, really, really want what I want (just keepin' it real), but I know in full confidence (along with you) that abiding in Jesus, and Jesus in me, truly is the meaning of "being filled to overflowing."

      Thanks for the kind words about my writing. Appreciate you reading!

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    2. Praying for you dear friend. Hope you get better hugs.

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  19. I have liked Tamaras fb page!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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  20. Even today I felt like I was drowning in sorrow, really for no reason. We have been missionarys for ten years and some days I'm just so tired and miss my kids and grandkids so much. We started the day at the spanish service on stateside. I was early and went to sit down, listening to the music melody since I still can't get spanish..much. A lady just sat beside me and said...do you the words to this song just say...God has the last and final word. I looked at her, tears in my eyes and said...that's right..He does. The Lord just dropped her beside me when I wasn't listening to him.

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. The Creator of the Universe sees you, Melody, and he knows the contents of your heart. Every desire, every pain, every unwhispered fear or longing. And he could not love you more. I'm praying for you and the sacrifice you're making as a missionary, and am asking the Holy Spirit to guide your steps. And I'm thanking him BIG TIME for sending that precious soul to minister to you today.

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  21. I have liked Tamaras fb page!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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  22. TAMARA thank you so much for this beautiful reminder that it even in the desert GOD is right there watching over us. I have been going through a lot of sickness lately and it gets pretty discouraging when I pray and things don't change, but just when I think I can't take anymore and I want to sit down and have a pity-party GOD shows up and lets me know everything will be ok. He is so good!

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing talent with the world! You are certainly a blessing!! :-)

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    1. God's timing is always perfect, isn't it, Teresa? Even when it sometimes feels S-L-O-W to us. He's orchestrating everything behind the scenes and will use every tear, every pain, every joy, every triumph to prepare us for eternity. Praying healing and wholeness for you, sweet sister.

      And thanks for those kind words about my books!

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  23. I find that there is so much joy to be had. You just have to be open to it.

    FB

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. So right you are, Mary. The apostle Paul demonstrates that so well in Philippians, writing with such incomprehensible joy...while unjustly imprisoned. May we imitate him as he imitates Christ, just as he encouraged us to do.

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  24. Really worshipful songs always help me during the "soul droughts" I've had though granted they've been pretty small since I haven't gone through too many hardships in my life
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Music really does minister to us, doesn't it? I feel the same way about worship songs, Abbi. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Hello Tamera and my OWG gals. It always lifts me up to come to this site. These girls are awesome with their encouragement. You mentioned Never Alone. That has always been one of my favorite songs. And, I always loved one of the old songs, He Never Promised Us a Rose Garden". So true. He said we would have many trials through life. And as most everyone I've had many desert times. Losing so many family members by my age has been so hard., but can be expected. My parents have been gone many years, and now 4 of my 7 siblings are in Heaven also. The youngest of my sisters above me was the first in my birth family, and she was only 47. It was so hard for we were so close having been home more together., Then 4 months later my dad. Even all of my brother in laws are all gone. Now it is happening in my kids generation. There were also 2 babies besides many miscarriages, including me. I've had back and knee problems so long that it is an almost all of the time thing and I have just learned to live with it. But, really thank GOD for the good intervals I have. Also I always tell others when I'm complaining that it could always be worse. I would rather have the pain than be Paralyzed and not be able to feel. That helps me. But sometimes it makes me feel so guilty for my youngest daughter and her 23 year old daughter have bad stomach problems and have for years with no Ins. And, the daughter has the same back problems as me, and started earlier. As a mother I'm always wishing I had a magic wand for them. :) My youngest brother has had skin cancers for years, but now some that are the bad ones on his face and head. Has had several surgeries already and when I called him yesterday to tell him my step-daughter's husband died Friday, had just turned 60 last month. He told me he has a new one with more surgery coming. My son just had surgery for Prostate cancer on Thur. but doc thinks he will be ok. It will only be 2 years in June that my oldest daughter's hubby died sitting on her couch after just talking to her. Really hard for her. Then I recall how many miracles GOD has given to all of this large Lloyd family through the years. We have a very large prayer chain when needed. I was not in the hospital except for baby births until 2009. Now have been in 4 times since then. Signs of a heart attack but had all of the scans and tests and never find the reason, so most times don't go. My kids fuss at me always for that but I told them I have every sign they tell you to watch for so can't run to the doc every time. but during those 3 years also had many spells of nausea and woozy heads, so got where I really didn't want to go anywhere except church. I've been trying to make myself get active with my going again, but still having trouble with that. You see, it doesn't bother me to be home like it does some unless just have a big one. So if GOD wants me to go, then I will just go. I do have special scripture that are said more often but can't always remember where located anymore. Think that means I need to study my Bible more. Right? But I know GOD is always there and will see me through it according to HIS will. Sorry talked too long. I have already liked Tamera's FB page. And, Tamera, your books always sound so good that I wish I could afford to just buy them, but my pocketbook isn't large enough. And I always love the beautiful covers. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, we love you here at OWG and you will always be so special to us! You are such a sweetheart. In fact, I think you are a person whose life gives testimony of how God can refine you through trials and draw you closer to Him. Hugs and more hugs!

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    2. Maxie, I'm so grateful you shared all this with us. I've read through your comments three times so far, praying as I went, and asking God to meet your every need. I appreciate your honesty and your desire to do God's will no matter what. You're a precious soul, as Carrie said above, and I'm praying you'll feel God's intense presence and purpose in your desert season.

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  26. I keep trying to post her, but forget that posting from my iPad is a pain in the rear--so I am NOW on my laptop. Maxie--you are such a sweetheart. You remind me of my mother. She has now lost all of her sister (there were 7 girls and 1 half brother) and my dad a few years back. She also loves to read, so I pass many of my books on to her or her to me, except now they are mostly on Kindle app. (((HUGS)))

    Like others, before me, I love to listen to worship music when I am going through a desert. It seems they always know how to touch my heart in a way I am needing it at that point.

    A scripture I hang on to during those times is I Cor. 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you (substitute me) except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can endure it. NIV

    I discovered this verse when I was a teen and was 'fighting' with God about whether I should have a non-Christian boyfriend...I bet you can guess what God's answer was., and i am so GLAD I trusted Him on that--that guy has know spent time in jail, and I now have a wonderful Christian hubby who treats me like a Queen.

    I have already liked Tamera's site...and OWG knows how to find me. ;-)
    Vicki

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    1. Mwahahaha Vicki, yes we do know how to find you! Glad you were obedient to God!

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    2. Vicki, I praise God for your obedient heart and your desire to please him. So often we're tempted to think that God is trying to punish us or withhold something marvelous from us when really, his desire is to protect us and give us something FAR better. Better beyond our wildest dreams! I'm SO grateful you listened to his voice. Blessings to you, friend!

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  27. Always great insights from Tamera and this blog. I already have her latest book so just wanted to post about the importance of detours. Just like our characters discover that the worst time of their lives turn out to be the best opportunities for God to work things out, that's the way it happens in real time, too. Thanks for your wisdom!

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    1. TY Fellow Hartliner! Glad you enjoy the blog, Jane! I agree--God works in these hard times.

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    2. Hey Jane! Blessings to you, friend, and thanks for your kind words. Thanks for visiting!

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  28. Getting on my knees and praying through it has helped in the past. Fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Reading The Bible and God revealing something new to me has also helped. There have also been times when a really good Christian book has been the instrument to which rain comes and ends the drought. :)

    FB

    Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez
    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

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    1. Amen to all those things, Amanda. So very true. Hugs to you, sis!

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  29. Listening to Christian music has helped me a lot. Even if I'm not really hearing the song, it is still feeding me:)

    FB

    marceerodgers (at) yahoo (dot) (com)

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    1. Marcee, I just listened to "When Mercy Found Me" --that song inspired a novella I wrote and it really speaks to my heart. Hugs!

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    2. Marcee, I love my worship music, too. And I'm grateful I live in a day when I can carry 2,000 praise and worship songs with me wherever I go. What a blessing!

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  30. Thank you for this blog post. I needed to read this today. The following was so important to me when I read it
    "So when you’re empty inside and feel your loneliest, remember you’re never alone. God sees you. He loves you."
    When I am feeling so lost and alone I contact a dear friend and ask her to pray for me and usually have a nice long talk with her. I could use some prayers right now. Have something going on in my life that just leaves me so heartbroken. I can't believe how cruel some people can be.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl Baranski

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    1. Cheryl, I'm so sorry for the hurt you're feeling right now. For the heartbrokenness. Yes, people can be so cruel. While I don't know the details of your circumstances, please let me share something that helps me at times when I'm struggling with the way someone has treated me. I try to remember who the REAL enemy is. People are never the enemy. Not ultimately. Satan is the enemy.

      Satan is the father of lies and divisiveness and chaos. Our Lord is the author of truth and unity and peace. And that's what I'm praying for you right now, for that peace to fill the corners of your heart, to crowd out any desire for retaliation there might be. Especially as we remember (with this evening, as Passover has begun) that Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, uttered not a word when he was condemned to die. How he held his tongue, I'll never know. How he resisted calling upon the legions of angels who stood poised at the ready to rescue him is beyond my comprehension.

      His love is amazing. His love is life-changing. And His love helps us to love others who aren't in the least lovable. Which, no coincidence, is when he first loved us. :)

      Southern hugs, friend,
      Tamera

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  31. Hi, Tamera & Carrie!!

    Such a timely post for SO many people right now - including me, as I come to grips with a diagnosis of cancer for the second time. Thank you for your reminders and scriptural confirmation. I would be so lost if I didn't know God was in control and believe there was a purpose for everything!!

    Would love to read "A Beauty So Rare" - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    FB

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    1. Oh Bonnie, a diagnosis of cancer for a second time… Bless you, sweet sister. And yes, our gracious God is in control. Nothing escapes his view. As Chuck Swindoll says, "God never leans over the balcony of heaven and gasps!" He never says, "If only I'd known that was going to happen to you then I would have been better prepared." Nope. God is working for good in EVERYTHING that touches our lives.

      As I often remind myself, nothing touches my life that doesn't first filter through the loving hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. A difficult truth to accept, especially when faced with cancer (for a second time!), but know that we're gathered around you, right beside you in prayer, and we're asking God to guide your every step. Much love, friend.

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  32. I think my desert would have to be not having my grandma, my dads mom. I am so glad that she is in Heaven with my Gramdpa. I miss hearing her voice and talking to her. But I know that God had his planes for my a Grandma.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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  33. Thank you, Tamera - your beautiful, healing comments to everyone on this blog post have really touched me and brought me to tears!! I know God used you to comfort everyone!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Blessings to you, Bonnie. And much love...

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  34. Tamera and Carrie,

    I have faced some desert times in my life and a very rough time in my life I wrote the following words. I hope they will bring hope and encouragement to others. by the way I am a fan of both of you and have liked on facebook.

    Have you ever been in the desert? A desert is often barren. It can seem very desolate and lonely.
    Perhaps there are times in our lives when we feel like we are in the desert. We feel all alone and
    wonder if anyone cares. But even when we are in the midst of the desert, there can be beauty and
    life.

    Many times beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some find great beauty in the browns of the
    desert. Others find it to be drab and ugly. At times when we are going through the desert times
    in our lives, the way we look at the circumstances will help. We can look at them as horrible
    times or we can look at them as something that God has allowed to teach us many lessons. We
    can look on them as a time to walk closely with the Lord and see His beauty even in the midst of
    difficulties. It all depends on how we look at the desert around us.

    Some years the wild flowers in the desert are more spectacular than other years. The years where
    there are more flowers are the years when there have been more storms and rain. It is the storms
    of life that can bring about more beauty in us. The storms and rains must come. Even though
    they are painful at the time, beauty will follow.

    The above paragraphs were written on the first day of my trip across country as I was moving
    back to North Carolina to start deputation all over again. On that day I had driven through
    Death Valley National Park. The beauty of the dessert was such a thrill to see. While I was
    driving through the park, the Lord gave me the above thoughts. Little was I to know at the time
    what storms the Lord would have for me ahead.

    I miss the times of walking in the desert near my home in Nevada. I would carry a stick to
    protect from any snakes that might cross my path. The dessert was a place where I could walk
    and be alone. It was often a place I would go when I wanted to talk to the Lord or pour my
    heart out to the Savior when I was feeling great concern about others or the hurt others had
    caused. On these walks I would find great solace and comfort from the Lord.

    I have learned through the storms that have come across my path that God is with me even in the
    storms of life. I can choose to accept the storms as something God has allowed for a season to
    bring out His beauty and His glory through me. There can be a comfort and rest in knowing He is
    in charge and He knows what is best. Just because a storm comes into our lives it does not
    necessarily mean it is because we have sinned. It may be just to make us bloom and help us grow
    in the Lord.

    When you are in those desert times and the storms are coming, remember to rest in the Lord
    knowing He is right there with you. He is working in you to bring out the beauty and His glory in
    you. We can be thankful for these times as well as the times when the flowers are blooming,
    knowing that the storms are what brings the beauty.

    wwchildren at gmail dot com

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    1. How beautiful, Wilani. Bless you for sharing your heart and the truths God has shown you. They're so precious. As are you!

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  35. Working on having a forgiving heart has helped. jksfamily5@gmail.com

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    1. Yes, Susan, so true. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. My husband broke his neck in the beginning of 2010 and my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the end of 2010. Needless to say my soul was as dry as the desert. I gave them both to God and said, "you handle it" and He did. My husband is a walking miracle and my Mom was healed 2 years later when God called her Home.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com
    FB

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    1. Janet, your words touched me, as did the trusting faith that shines through them! Much love, friend. And PTL for your husband's healing. And your precious mother's too...into Home.

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  37. What helps me in the desert times is doing even more of what I try to do anyway: reading God's word, praying, and listening to Christian music. Sharing with trusted friends (and their prayers for me) also helps. I just keep on keeping on with faith. I appreciate what Tammy shared about her desert times and the verse that helped her.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Amen to all you listed above, Pam. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  38. I have found the Psalms help. I've stood on the promise "to heal the broken hearted" often. I am a fan of Tamera on FB. I am looking forward to reading A Beauty So Rare. I loved the first Belmont Mansion book. My email is rttl@mosquitonet.com

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    1. The Psalms are so wonderful and like a healing balm! I've loved all of Tammy's books but I agree the first Belmont Mansion book was great! Blessings!

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  39. Great post, Tammy. I love "we ought not let our circumstances teach us theology." So true!!

    Love,
    Rachel

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  40. I'd never volunteer for the desert, but without it my faith doesn't grow, nor does my compassion.

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  41. Thanks for sharing, Tammy. I would like to say that living through the deserts isn't fun, but I certainly have learned to lean on the Lord.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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