When the Earth Drops Out From Beneath Your Feet Part 2

His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts,
(Isaiah 55:9 NIV).

 If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. I would have a little girl who would be twenty-one years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s twenty-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic because of a car crash at a tollbooth when she was a toddler.  Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s twenty-one-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.

But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends have ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration. Sudden glories fill and spill from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.

Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts. One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.

Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus. Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places. Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers about middle C.

I hope you read my last devotion…part one of this story. If not, you might want to go back and catch up.

Steve and I were terribly disappointed when we felt stranded in a new city with no job and no income. However, after the doctor changed his mind about Steve joining his practice, we never went hungry. I worked six days a week in various dental offices, and Steve filled in where he could. Then three months later, a situation opened up in a very desirable part of town with one of the city’s most respected doctors.

Steve was offered a wonderful situation in which to begin his career. If we had written out the best-case scenario ourselves, it would not have come close to what God provided. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

After a few years, the part of town in which we originally planned to set up Steve’s practice became a rundown thoroughfare, and that doctor faded away. However, Steve’s practice continued to grow and grow and grow, until we had to move out on our own to expand. We experienced God’s provision and protection through the twists and turns of uncertainty.

Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? [tweetherder]He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease[/tweetherder]. C. S. Lewis notes:  “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”  We are ever the students. He is the teacher still. [tweetherder]Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives[/tweetherder]. And those miracles are a sudden glory.

A year later, I sat thanking God for His provision, and I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I had doubted God. Ashamed that I had fussed at Him. Ashamed that I had thrown a temper tantrum when I didn’t get what I wanted when I wanted it…and I’m so glad I didn’t.

“I’m so sorry God,” I prayed. “Please forgive me.”

That’s O.K, He seemed to say. Happens all the time. Now, I want this to be a lesson for you. You’ve got to trust me.

Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”  Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.

Let’s Pray

Lord, I’ll admit that sometimes I don’t like how the story of my life is going. There are some chapters I would love to go back and edit. But the reality is, You use it all. Even fairy tales have villains, darks forests, and big bad wolves. But I know, oh I know, how my story ends. “And she lived happily in the hereafter with the Prince of Peace.” I thank You for the storyline that gets me there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do You Think? 

Can you think of a time when it looked like the earth fell out from beneath your feet, and later you realized it was all in God’s perfect plan for your better good?

What did Joseph say to his brothers who sold him into slavery and told their father he was dead? Check it out at Genesis 50:19-23.

What does that tell you about Joseph’s perspective on the bad things that happened in his life?

If you’re willing to trust God in the confusion, leave a comment that says, “I’m trusting God!”

Want More? 

Today’s devotion was taken from my newest book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Disappointments are chock full of miracle moments…or at least they can be. If you need to have your eyes open to glory moments where God makes His presence known, then this book will help open your eyes to see Him, your ears to hear Him, and your heart to experience His love… even in life’s most disappointing times. And if you need a boost trusting God during those dark times, see our Girlfriends in God devotion book, Trusting God – a 12-week devotional that will strengthen your faith.

52 Responses to When the Earth Drops Out From Beneath Your Feet Part 2

  1. Roslyn Wright January 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    I’M TRUSTING GOD IN THE CONFUSIONS OF MY LIFE!! I often tell HIM, LORD, I don’t know how this is going to end, or when this situation will be resolved, but I Know that I am Victorious, because YOU said so and I am proving as YOUR Word says to do!!

    Thank you for this opportunity to say that!

  2. Tiffany January 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Genesis 50:19-23.19 “Gad will be attacked by a group of robbers. But he’ll attack them as they run away. 20 “Asher’s food will be rich and sweet. He will provide food that even a king would enjoy. 21 “Naphtali is a female deer that is set free and gives birth to beautiful fawns. 22 “Joseph is a vine that grows a lot of fruit. It grows close by a spring. Its branches climb over a wall. 23 Mean people shot arrows at him. They shot at him because they were angry.

    What does that tell you about Joseph’s perspective on the bad things that happened in his life?

    I think it means that Joseph realized that when he may have encountered bad things in his life it only proved that he was doing something GREAT.

    And i realize that every time I am on the pathway to greatness /to fulfill the purpose God has set out for me …trouble appears, but I am learning now to trust God always because He is GREATER than me His thoughts are GREATER than my thoughts and His ways are GREATER than my ways….so I must leave it all at the altar for Him to deal with as He pleases….it took me some bad decisions and this devotional to truly realize this. But I’m glad I did now than later.

  3. Michelle Klemm January 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    This writing was divinely sent for me! My husband and I opened our own auto repair shop 4 yrs. and 4 mo. ago and in a matter of a few weeks have lost it all. In addition my family have turned their backs on me because we have to file bankruptcy which will include loosing the rental property my parents have lived in and not even paid 1/2 of the monthly payment. My husband and I provided them with a home because it was the right thing to do. Now that the money train has ended they have all attacked me – never once thinking about what my husband and I are loosing. We are loosing our home too and are forced to move to another state for my husband to make the most money he can as a Master Technician with a large chain of shops.

    Sadly, I have questioned God. I just didn’t understand why He would let this happen. We treated our employees like family and never ever sold a customer anything they didn’t need. We never lied to our customers and we stood behind all the work we performed. Due to the treatment my family is giving I changed my phone number and am walking away (my Christian counselor has encouraged me all year to cut my mother out of my life – she is toxic and very emotionally abusive).

    God has reminded me that we are sometimes put in places for a reason or a season and in our case it was both. We were able to do work on people’s cars who were elderly, widowed, or very poor – at no cost to them – they would have never gotten that help at any other shop in our town. If it weren’t for our business my husband would still be an alcoholic or worse – dead. We made some wonderful friends while there that we wouldn’t have otherwise made. Most importantly my husband got saved!!! The people who played a big role in this happening I would not have met without our business. My husband is approaching 4 years of sobriety and will have been saved a year in April. I could never put a value on my husband’s soul!!!

    Are we loosing our material goods? Yes, but those are replaceable. Do I have my parents in my life? No, but they were toxic people so there’s far less drama in my life and no more abuse (I have been physically and emotionally abused my whole life). Do I know where we are going to end up? No, but my Father in heaven does because he is NEVER taken by surprise. I am convinced that in God’s time we will get back the things we have lost but we have a very rocky road left to travel. I choose to believe that God’s “got this” and rest in the peace and assurance of his word. I would ask that those who read this add us to your prayer list. I am so glad I happened upon Girlfriends in God because this writing certainly confirmed what God has been telling me all along. God bless and keep you!

  4. Tina January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I am faithfully trusting GOD!!
    For healing
    Leading
    Guiding!!

    Happy Blessed New Year!!
    Tina

  5. marisse January 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    I am trusting God!!!

  6. Jackie January 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Todays devotion really hit home, especially after my husbands comment on our way to work this morning. He was totally disabled from 6 months after our marriage until a few months ago. The doctors told him he would never work again, yet he is now working. When he first decided he would get off the medicines the doctors had him on and then was finially able to search for work in an economy where people were being laid off not hired he applied for a job at Hostess. The man there was very pleasant and appeared very favorable to hiring my husband. In the interium, while he was praying and hoping for the job there, he applied for another posiition. Well he again hoped beyone hope for that one, and once again it did not come to pass even though the interviewer told him he wanted to hire him but a superior wanted to hire a friend. We were both getting pretty disappointed as we continued to struggle on my paycheck alone. Then a phone call came a month or so later, from another division of the same company he had previously interviewed with. He got the job and then Hostess announced their bankrupcy. He was talking this morning how God had him wait for this job to come along, as if he had been offered and accepted (which he would have) the job with Hostess he would now be unemployed and have missed out on the job he now has due to timing. God’s timing is not our timing and God’s ways are not our ways yet HIS ways are always the right ones. It is had to be still and wait upon the Lord but when we do the rewards are so much greater.

  7. Esther January 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m trusting God even if I don’t like this chapter of my life right now. I’m taking some space to think about a relationship to see if it is what God wants for me, or if He has a different plan for me. I’m obeying God, because He wil never leave me.His will is to bless me with all the heavenly blessings. His ways are better than mine.His thoughts are better than mine. Thank you for the inspiration God puts in your heart so we can move by faith. Blessings.

  8. Rita January 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I am trusting God with my life, during both good and bad times;

  9. Misti Langley January 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    i am trusting God

  10. Sharon January 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    I’m trusting God

  11. Deborah January 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I’m trusting God. He is ever faithful, even when things are uncertain, I know He has it all in His hands and He will work things out for my good.

  12. Sandra January 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m trusting God !!!

  13. Debra Friedman January 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Dear Sharon…

    Yet again, a home run.. I am having to trust God like never before!!!! I don’t understand all of it, but the One thing I do know, is that what the Devil meant for harm, God will work out for my good and His glory!!!!! Easy, nope, did it have to be this way?? nope again, but I have learned how much I am loved, well in my small mind, anyway, how much Mercy God has on His children, that there is Peace in the midst of some very awful and difficult circumstances. that God is not done with me yet, and that the end of the story in this life has not yet been written….. It may be written in Heaven, but in this life, it is still unfolding…God knows every detail, every why, every where for, He has made provision for every mistake, misunderstanding, lack of grace, (on my part), need of Grace, (again on my part) and for the allowance of Truth to be measured out as I need it and am ready for it… To God be The Glory, great things He has done!!!!!!!

  14. Lynn January 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    I’m trusting God. Amen!

  15. pam January 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Trusting God in and through the confusion!

  16. Yvette January 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Happy New Year!! This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. One week in a half before Christmas my fiance walked out!! Talking about my Earth bottoming out?? He left, I didn’t see it coming, he hasn’t discussed with me why he left, nor do I know why he left!!! All I know is that my Christmas present were some Tears and my New Year’s were some of the same. Talking about questions? I’m full of them..Like Why did he leave? Will anyone ever love me? GOD why did this happen? I prayed about this…He was looking for me..

    All I know is that my children played a part although their adults but we conquered that so I thought..Bottomline is my fiance is a wonded man, whose been hurt so much that the first sign of trouble he runs. He’s been so hurt by his mom and previous relationships that obviously he leaves when he thinks he’s going to get the short end of the stick. I don’t know…

    Again, these post have not only come on my street but directly to my house. Yes, through my hurt, tears, and pain I’m trusting GOD that if GOD sent him to me. He (GOD) will bring him back to me regardless to how stubborn he may be.

    Thank You for sharing,
    Yvette

  17. Bobbie R, January 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    I loar my wonderful husband who was surely a gift from God…I am struggling with the grief..I have not failed to trust him because I hear so many things about Gods plan..It seems to be the only thing that comforts me…Praise him…

  18. Temi January 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m trusting God.

  19. Carolyn R January 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I am trusting God …

    Creator of all things, faithful, and true; whose steadfast loves endures for ever and ever! Amen!

    I don’t have to know the why behind the Most High’s Hand … Just that I can trust God’s Pure and good Heart in all circumstances. May I always have praise in my mouth!

  20. Joshua Ndugga January 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    “I’m trusting God!” for direction in everything

  21. Colette January 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    I’m trusting God!

  22. Grace January 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    “I’m trusting God!”

  23. ellen luney January 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Im trusting God for everything in my life

  24. RUTHONA WASINGER January 3, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    I’M TRUSTING GOD!!!

  25. Lisa January 3, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    I’m trusting God! Sometimes we need a reminder.

  26. Jenny C. January 3, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    I am trusting God in 2013, that’s the desire of my heart. ~ Jenny C.

  27. Nancy Beneteau January 3, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Sharon back in 2010 we moved further away from my work. I tried everything to get a job closer to home but was having no luck. One day in May of 2011 I was planting my garden and had just finished all my flowers.(still had the veggies for the next day) and was coming down the patio stairs when I fell. I had sprained my ankle really bad. Silly I tried to work the next day(I was a cook in a nursing home at the time). I couldn’t bare the pain and ended up at the emergency clinic. It took 4 months of doing nothing and 3 months of physio to get me back to normal. It struck me one day that this wasn’t just an accident happening. I had been praying for God to give me career direction. I wanted to change careers that was in His plan for me. I wasn’t happy, and after 20+ yrs in the hospitality field I was beaten up and getting warn down. My fall was a message clear as day from God. He wanted me to slow down and take care of myself. He also wanted me to know he has a plan for me. A short time after the fall my husband came home with an idea for work for me that blew me away. You see I’ve always wanted to do home daycare but circumstances never allowed. Well that night when my husband came home and told me he was giving in to letting me do home daycare, was yet a second message from God. God spoke to me so clearly then and he has been bringing me children, whose families are split, or adopted or have some need for subsidized care.
    I’m still blown away today at how my prayers were answered about help for my career change, what my purpose was, and a job where I could stay home with my boys and still make money to meet our needs.
    I’m still struggling but knowing i’m going down the path God designed for me is my inspiration.
    i truly am trusting God! He has been so good to me.

  28. Shirley K January 3, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    I’m trusting God for everything in my life that isn’t making any sense but I am trusting Him! After losing my husband seventeen months ago and not knowing whether I should sell my home with three acres, etc and not knowing where to go, whether to rent or buy and handling all the confused thoughts and fears in my head trying to figure it all out..I am making a decision to trust God to lead me as I don’t know where I belong and not having anyone to depend on except God! I am asking Him to bring a Godly mature man to become my husband in the future and together we leave this home and downsize together. Also, that together we can serve God. I know that marriage is a harder route to go but I desire to have a mate to walk with and ask that you pray and agree with me. Thank you and God bless you! I am truly blessed from your articles! Bless you for writing them!

  29. Marion Shaw-Harris January 3, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    I am trusting God! It’s been a long road…but I’m learning to lean ,learning to rest on Him ,to rest in Him -Finding more power than I ever dreamed!

    ”Tuning in” to these devotions when i do is definately a blessed reminder that i can trust and hope in God to provide DAILY BREAD AND LEAD ME BESIDE STILL WATERS.

    Even NOW I feel empowered because I’m meeting God as I meet you on this page.

    Psalm 121 to rest on.

  30. Grace-yi January 3, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    Thank you Sharon for your honesty! It’s just what I needed.. Things not making sense to me.. Good has given me so many dreams since 2005 such as run my own biz and write and produce songs to bring hope to the broken generation.. and many has not even come to past. Every job I’ve applied for, no reply. my own business( freelance multimedia specialist) not sustainable.. music.. not getting out there.. mainly I feel not good enough..

    however I’m thankful to God for His provision..

    so I am trusting God in His time the dreams He’s given me will come to past!

  31. Mary Louise Smith January 3, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    I am trusting God!!!!

  32. Rycki January 3, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    I’M TRUSTING GOD!

  33. Antoinete January 3, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    Beautiful and on time. Thank you for sharing. I’m trusting God!

  34. Rita January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Hmmm, this write up is timely and so helpful. My husband and I put all our money in an investment we thought we got God’s approval. I for one fasted, prayed and kept checking with God at every stage only for it to fail. I wept sore and also sang praises amidst the tears, i thanked Him for providing the finances, for protection and preservation (we made plenty trips and no case of accident or theft recorded once), my boss approved all my days off and leave just to ensure the success of the deal program without argument to the wonder of some colleagues (i realised then there that there was always always something to be thankful for). I think that did the trick cos I got over the whole hurt without any anger to God or man. I’m trusting God, learning to live one day at a time and enjoying every second. Life is just too short to be miserable….

  35. Candy January 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    I’m trusting GOD!!! No matter what the situation may look like. I serve a faithful God 😀

  36. Natasha January 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I’m ABSOLUTELY trusting God!!! <3

  37. LISA jOHNSON January 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I read both parts of the devbotional.. I eagerly awaited ( not really, i was impatiently waiting for the next part from yesterday) LOL I thank God for devotions like these, as we navigate through the tough times. THIS WAS SO ENCOURAGING TO MEEEEE, I CLIPPED A FEW LINES FROM IT AND POSTED IT ON FACEBOOK!!!! My favorite part and the fuel for me was the part: “A year later, I sat thanking God for His provision, and I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I had doubted God. Ashamed that I had fussed at Him. Ashamed that I had thrown a temper tantrum when I didn’t get what I wanted when I wanted it…and I’m so glad I didn’t.” Why are we so like children … lol having face many tough days, and continually seeking His Glory over and over, I am encouraged to be content in the state I find myself ( Paul is hard-core, but he was a man that was forgiven much so much was required… just like me)I am so grateful for your testiment of Faaith, and your nakedness before God, It is an awesome example to broken women, letting them know that God is alive and active in their lives, if they would receive Him.THANK YOU… HOPEFULLY IT MADE SENSE TO YOU I GET ALL EXCITED, AND SOMETIMES I RAMBLE, BUT GOD BLESS THIS MININSTRY, AND EACH WATCHMAN IN IT. iNDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY

  38. a fulbright January 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you for sharing….you have helped so many women…so I am trusting in the great I AM. Reminds me of Psalm 119.

  39. Connie Kovach January 4, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Sharon, thank you for this devotion. The three of you have been ministering me for years now and I so appreciate it. I am in a season of yuck right now and I have been in close co tact with God regarding these lessons that I thought I got already. I sadly admit that I have been asking why? However the biggest question I’ve asked is what? What can I do to help the situation? What am I not doing? Today I felt The Lord telling me to release it all and to confirm it I opened this devotion. Your words cannot ring more true, who am I to question. Things don’t make sense, however, trusting a God based on faith doesn’t make sense to most either. That’s what faith is. Thanks for taking the time to write this personal journey if yours. By the way if Carol in your devo is Carol Kent, she is the one who led me to
    Christ 🙂
    Connie

    • Sharon January 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      That is amazing!

  40. Eita January 4, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    I am trusting God!!!!

  41. Sherry January 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m trusting you Lord. That you will cause to live, move and have my very life in you.

  42. Sharon January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I am trusting God. Sharon you are a God send and a breath of fresh air to this weary soul. I am reading your book Sudden Glory and love your style of writing. God bless.

  43. Luverta January 5, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    I’m Trusting God.

  44. Amy January 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you for this devotion. It couldn’t have been timed better. I work at a church and we buried a 16 year old girl on New Year’s Day and a two year old on January 2. I was so “mad at God” and questioning. The two year old had been adopted and our pastor said at the funeral that the boy in his short life had become an ambassador to many for adoption.

  45. Sylvia January 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Last year, at the age of 62, my world was ripped from under my feet. My husband was unfaithful to me and he wanted an end to our marriage. In Germany, as the house was in my husbands name, that meant not only losing my husband but also losing my home as I had to move out. Being English this came as a big shock. So not only did I have to find myself a new home but also one for my ageing parents , one of whom has dementia. It has been an incredibly tough journey but I know the Lord has been with me all the way. The journey has many twists and turns and it is not over yet. I am trusting on God to continue to be there with me and bring me through this very difficult experience to a place of peace and contentment as only He can do.

  46. Donna January 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Im trusting God ??

  47. Joy Books January 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    I am trusting God! I trust Him with all my heart! I trust Him with my adult children and their children. I trust Him with my husband’s books. I trust Him with all that I am, with all that I have and with all that I’ve committed to Him, past, present and future. I trust God!!!

  48. dannie January 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I am trusting GOD to show up and show out. He knows the trials, heartache, and pain I am going thru. I only ask that he give me PEACE BEYOND.
    Bless your Holy name, JESUS

  49. Lillie December 21 January 11, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Thank you for this exercise! I needed to do this! I repeated twice.

  50. Kimberly January 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Dear Sharon, thank you for sharing how God suffers with us. I know Jesus entered into our world of suffering to suffer for us as well. I have daily migraines and I keep trusting that God is using my pain for some purpose. Sometimes it is hard but He comforts me always. Please pray for a friend who is divorcing because of her husband’s infidelity, and for me as I minister to her. I’m praying for God to speak through me and comfort her.

  51. marqueen April 17, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Im trusting God because my way just doesn’t work and im going to have faith that every thing that occurs in my life will one day be used for his glory.

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