21 May 2017

Transitions & Trusting in God by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Matt & Beth Fehl

Today at Northside Christian Church our Executive Minister Matthew "Matt" Fehl, spoke about transitions, relationships, and  trust as part of current church study on life transitions. I don't know about you, but I'm in the midst of some of my own possible transitions, some of them pretty big for me. Rev. Fehl spoke about how when you isolate yourself you become overwhelmed, when you aren't getting help from others. As someone with a disability, I understand where some of that isolation comes from. When you are unable to do many things that others take for granted as ordinary, and you need help with some of those things, you end up learning that there are many people who do not want to help you. And that rejection can lead to isolation to avoid the upset that comes with people being unhelpful or in some cases downright rude.

I have found, as strange as it might seem to a fully-abled person, that it is often others (emphasizing not shouting!) WITH DISABILITIES or issues themselves who are most helpful! Yup. You read that right. It may seem counter-intuitive, but those who know the eye-rolling and smart-aleck comments one gets for doing things a certain way because of a disability, understands what it takes to be truly helpful.

Rev. Fehl talked about being in relationship and in community and learning to trust one another. I've found on this blog and in my personal groups, such as Pagels' Pals, my readers' group, that it is often the others suffering and overcoming something who are quick to pray for each other, fast to offer suggestions for help, who step into the gap and send private messages to encourage. This blog would not still be going had it not been for Diana L. Flowers, who despite her health issues came forward to join me and what a blessing she has been (we miss Diana here on the blog, but God knew she needed to focus her attention on her condition which had worsened.) Similarly, Teresa Mathews, despite her health difficulties came on board to help encourage others who are overcoming and despite having lost her husband, having had surgery for esophageal issues, having had breast cancer this past year, and a host of other Job-like problems has continues to minister to our OWG blog guests. Our other OWG reviewers who have been with us for longer and some shorter seasons, Noela Nancarrow, Marian Baay, and Bonnie Roof, despite life's difficulties stepped in to encourage others.

In my recent Christian fiction release "Dime Novel Suitor" in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands, my heroine, Caroline Kane, doesn't trust the notion of having a husband come to her via an ad and a mail-order husband scheme. You see, she has some serious trust issues having lost her husband years earlier and her father the previous spring, who left her with her siblings and an inn to watch over. And her older sister ended up being untrustworthy as far as helping Caroline out. My heroine does, however, have some trust in God, even as rocky as that trust is. And God has used a man-made event to bring her what looks like a God-ordained answer  -- it is? Can she trust that God has brought her a possible husband even though it is through something her controlling sister contributed to bring about?

Have you ever had something like that happen -- where God stepped in even when it seemed like something driven by worldly desires? I have. God can use any situation to bring about His will. We have to LOOK, SEARCH, LISTEN, and OBEY when He gives us His direction in life. And we have to TRUST that He will prevail. As Matt Fehl said this morning -- if we can trust God with ETERNITY can we not trust Him with our present situation?

GIVEAWAY: Autographed (personalized if you wish!) copy by Carrie of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (Barbour, June 2017). Any Carrie's question to enter! 

21 comments:

  1. Captivating post, Carrie. The words transition and trust really caught my attention, since that perfectly encapsulates the season I am in. Isolation can come from a number of things. But God is faithful and he never leaves us there. Psalm 68 says he puts the solitary in families.

    God's definitely got my family in a place of transition and a position of trust in others. It is stretching us, and in many ways His sovereign dealings feel like an unlikely answer to prayer. But I am seeing more and more the unexpected fruit of community and restoration of trust.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say those with life challenges are often the very first to help. Whether it's physical disability, heavy financial burdens, mental health challenges, etc., hurting people are often the most compassionate. I'm so thankful the Lord reminds us all how much we need one another, even when it stretches us beyond our natural inclinations. God is teaching me to open up like a crocus after a very hard winter. He is good

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathy! I love what you said about "God is teaching me to open up like a crocus after a very hard winter. He is good." I'm learning to make sure that first my trust in a situation is in God and then letting those people he has put around me to help me have my trust, too.

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  2. CARRIE, WOW! this post is spot-on and is exactly what I needed today.

    I've been in another flare from the sjogren's syndrome for the past three days and not feeling well at all, but through it all I know the Lord is working in my life during what seems to be the trial of a life-time. No matter what I have to endure I want it to be used for HIS GLORY.

    I will be honest trusting is not an easy thing when it seems like there is no end in sight to all that is happening in the Mathews household but just when my faith starts to waver HE always sends me a reminder that HE has my best interests at heart.

    I am waiting for the outcome of all this to be revealed, if nothing else I want my empathy for others to grow. It's one thing to have sympathy for someone that's hurting but to feel their pain and to walk in their shoes is a totally different situation. When you hug someone and tell them "I'm sorry for all your pain" that's a blessing but when you can hold someone close and tell them "I've been in the darkness where you are and by GOD'S GRACE I MADE IT OUT AND SO WILL YOU", there is nothing like it. :-)

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    1. Exactly what you said, Teresa, " when you can hold someone close and tell them "I've been in the darkness where you are and by GOD'S GRACE I MADE IT OUT AND SO WILL YOU", there is nothing like it." Amen Sister!!! We go through those horrible seasons and then God uses that, if we let Him, to minister to others. Hugs, love, and prayers!

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  3. "If we can trust God with ETERNITY can we not trust Him with our present situation?" So true, Carrie! People who suffer understand the suffering. We are in this together! Wonderful post.

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    1. When Rev. Fehl said that this morning, I was like -- wow, that is so true. He's a big big God who is in each situation. We are in this together and we don't need to try to do everything on our own! God bless!

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  4. Very good post. I know that a lot of times those who are going through some struggle are the ones uniquely qualified to help others in similar situations. I like your quote at the end that if we can trust God with our eternity then we can surely trust Him with everyday situations. I don't know why, but I tend to struggle with that.
    I would love to win a copy of this book.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks! When you hear from someone else who has overcome or survived a similar situation, you know you have someone who knows what they are talking about. In my story, that's what my heroine is struggling with -- like you said, knowing God has our eternity but struggling with letting Him guide us in the here and now situations. Will put you in for the drawing!

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  5. Thank you for this post. My husband died in 1981 leaving me with a child in grade school and two newly adopted teen girls. That was such a hard time for me. Now I am 76 and live alone far from my children. God has been so good to give me a ministry through online Bible study and being a small group leader on Facebook. Just when I thought my ministry days were over, He has been so near to me. I love being active for Him. I love being able to serve from my home. Love your books. Thanks for continuing to write.

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    1. Nancy, I'm thanking Rev. Fehl for inspiration for this post and God for giving Matt that word today in church. Wow, I can't imagine going through all what you have gone through, Nancy! I bet you are able to minister to other widows, to mom who have adopted, and more! That is wonderful you are ministering to others. And that they allow you to do so. It takes that reciprocity in a relationship doesn't it? Thanks for the encouragement with my writing, Nancy! blessings!

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  6. Matt's sermon was so spot on today! In fact, all of the sermons have been that way since we've arrived! Darren and I keep saying it's confirmation. And so is your post. All of us have overcome and will continue to overcome with God. With all of our disabilities and illnesses we are overcomers!! I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Him. I'm also so thankful for the group of ladies God has brought into my life via Facebook and now here in Virginia! Hugs and love!

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    1. Yes, for sure, Regina! Matt was really speaking to my heart today. I'm so grateful that God has given me so many wonderful friends who are also overcomers. Hugs and love back!

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  7. Our church is in a transition right now. Our Pastor & his wife are retiring after 52 years of ministry! Not all those years in our church (only 25 of those years), and we've only known him since we moved to our small town in 2008. I've never been a part of bringing in a new pastor, so it's a little scary but also a time to look forward to what God will do through a new minister! We will miss our pastor of course, so it's very bittersweet. They will be moving down to Southern Oregon to be near their kids & grand-kids. I'm happy for them and what time they have left to spend with precious family members (he just turned 80!).

    I know God has our little church in His hand & He knows exactly who to place as a Shepard for our flock!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-order Husbands! Loved your post, it's so spot on!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Praying all goes great during this transition in your church, Trixi, and for your pastor and his family. Wow that is amazing that he preached until he was 80!!! What a faithful servant! Thanks for coming by, Trixi!

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  8. Thanks for this post.
    JoanEC128[at[AOL[dot]com

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  9. What a moving post. Thank you.
    MarionMPC[at[AOL[dot]com

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  10. Thank you for this inspiring post.
    MarilynDKC[at]AOL[dot]com

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  11. I think the post was very "spot on"; if one is dealing with health issues they usually do become more isolated as they simply are not able to get out and keep up social contacts and obligations, and then it becomes a tighter circle. Re the book - the Barbour collections are always excellent reads! dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

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    1. Cathy this is frequently what happens. I sure wasn't able to get out an about much for about six years. Only really getting around more in the past year and in particular these past couple of months.

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  12. A perfect post for this week, Carrie. Thank you so much for sharing. I've been there with transition and learning to trust in a greater way knowing God would see me through. His promise in Proverbs 3:5-6 is an all time favorite after going through a huge transition that changed my life. Yes, it's true those hurting physicially, emotionally, or financially are the ones who will reach out more to others in the same condition. Amazing how some with no issues cannot bend down to help someone else. God sees each little thing we do in His name for someone else. Prayers you are feeling better soon. Hugs and God's healing touch.

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn! Its always a blessing to hear from you! God is so good, thanks for your comments!

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