During this season of mediating on this little One in the manger...what Joy did come to the World? Simply, Jesus=Joy. And the Joy of the Gospel is in the answer to this question: Is there anything I have to DO to have eternal life?

Jesus + Something = NOTHING
Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING

We are all Pharisees at heart. Accepting a message that says "you do nothing" is foreign in a world that says 'give to get'. Unlike any other religion (i.e., including Mormonism, the Prosperity Gospel, and all other pseudo-Christian religions); Christianity is NOT based on works. Actually, this concept is the fundamental truth of the gospel. Jesus paid it all on the cross...therefore, there is nothing left for any of us to do to help with salvation. Praise God! What Joy!

Galatians 2:16 clearly explains that we "know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ...because by observing the law no one will be justified." Paul is proclaiming the fundamental truth of the gospel, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained though the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Why would Christ have died for nothing? Without a perfect sacrifice our sins would not be forgiven. We are all wicked sinners, even our righteous acts are like filthy rags before the Holy God (Isaiah 64:6) either we pay for our own sins (through eternal death and separation from God) or He takes the penalty for us (by sending Jesus to die in our place). Through Jesus' death, He exchanged our garment of sin--taking on the full wrath of God--and gave us his garment of righteousness; now enabling us to come into God's presence completely forgiven. So bottom line: We did nothing but sin! That's our work and that is all we bring to the gospel...our sin...sinners in need of a Savior!

Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

Yet another passage explains, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

I could go on and on with passages explaining this FREE gift of God. It's not only in the New Testament but the Old Testament too! God knew from the very beginning in Genesis that he would provide Jesus, our Savior. Do you understand you bring nothing to God? Does it hurt our pride that God needs nothing from us? Praise God, that he does what is best for us and not what we want...or we would be lost and on the road to Hell. Thank you Jesus for paying it ALL of the cross! Thank you for filing us with true joy.

K.J. Nally is a writer, teacher, and counselor. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, concentrating in women's ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. K.J. and her husband, Dustin, have a passion to fight for Godly marriages, spur on teens to seek purity, and encourage men and women to live obediently to their Creator God.

K.J. and Dustin are marriage and individual counselors at Hope Counseling Center through their church, North Wake. They also work with Converting Hearts Ministries,’ a Christ-centered addictions ministry.

K.J. is also a freelance journalist. Check out more about Christian Living at K.J.’s blog, Answers of Truth.

Spring BWI Classes: 'Tis Time to Sign Up!

'Tis the Holiday Season...why not start the New Year off right by registering for BWI Spring Classes? In January, we begin Term 3 of Biblical Women's Institute classes! There are many wonderful and challenging classes coming this Spring.

Look for this new class coming to the Spring Semester and to BWI for Term 4:

Christian Faith & the Arts: An introductory philosophical and theological analysis of the classical and contemporary arts (including modern media and popular culture) and an evaluation of the interrelationship between biblical faith and various art forms.

Term 3 is from January 24th-March 15th

Ministering to Preschoolers
This course provides an overview in how to minister to preschoolers. Special attention will be given to the physical development of preschoolers and how that relates to learning and laying a spiritual foundation. In addition, attention will be given to the areas related to preschool and general children’s ministry in a local church setting.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9pm
Andrea Allard

Old Testament Survey
This course is designed to be an overview of the books of the Old Testament.  The course will include an introduction to the geography, history, and culture of the Old Testament; a study of principles for biblical interpretation; and a brief survey of the 39 books of the Old Testament.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                      
Shane Baker

Church Planting 1
This course is a basic orientation to the biblical, theological, sociological, and practical dimensions of starting new churches.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm

Dr. George Robinson

Planning Events
This course will teach women how to plan events from a Ladies Night Out to Weddings and Bible Studies in the church and ministry setting.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                         
Cindy Bush

Weekend Intensive
Women and Evangelism
This course will prepare women to share their faith with other women.  The apologetics part of the course is designed to assist women heading to the mission field by helping them learn how to evangelize people from other worldviews and religions. 
Friday and Saturday, January 27-28
Christina Middleton

Term 4 is from March 20th through May 10th

Women Mentoring Women
This course will give a basic introduction to a biblical model of women mentoring women. Attention is focused upon how the Gospel forms the foundation and substance for mentor-mentee relationships. A significant component of the class will address structured mentor-mentee relationships in the local church.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                      
 Rachel Woodworth

Christian Faith & the Arts
An introductory philosophical and theological analysis of the classical and contemporary arts (including modern media and popular culture) and an evaluation of the interrelationship between biblical faith and various art forms.
Tuesday Evenings, 7-9 pm
Sarah Sheaffer

New Testament Survey
The course is designed to be an overview of the books of the New Testament.  The course will include a brief survey of the intertestamental period, the New Testament world, the life of Christ, and the Apostolic period.  Due to the brief nature of the course, all of the books in the New Testament may not be covered.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm

Greg Stiekes

Church Planting II
This course is a continuation of Church Planting I.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm                                                                         
Dr. George Robinson

Introduction to Biblical Languages
This course provides an overview of language, concentrating on the biblical languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. The student will compare and contrast the biblical languages to English with a focus on understanding basic linguistic ideas such as grammar, syntax, style, genre, and others. The course will also address issues in translation and introduce students to tools for study in the original languages.
Thursday Evenings, 7-9pm
Lucy Collins

Weekend Intensive
Family Life Conference
This course will help students understand Biblical standards for marriage and how to apply these standards in their own marriage and family life. This class is to be taken with your husband. This class is open to all students and the community. $25 per couple.
Dr. Akin
Friday and Saturday, April 13-14

Weekend Intensive
Christian Doctrine
This class is designed to introduce the student to the broad concepts of systematic theology.  This will be accomplished through weekly required reading in the text book, and through weekly lectures designed to provide a summary of the general areas of systematic theology.
Carrie Gilliam
Friday and Saturday, April 27-28

Weekend Intensive
Ministering to Women in the Local Church
This course is designed to help women know how to begin, develop, and maintain a biblical women's ministry program in a local church.
Chris Adams
Friday and Saturday, May 4-5

Syllabi and other course information may be found on CampusNet as soon as available. You must be registered to see information.

Every day I am reminded to be joyful, reminded by Scripture, my husband, the people around me, and my precious (I’m a little biased) baby girl. Life has drastically changed since adding HG to our family.  I worry a lot.  I get stressed out about things that I would have never even thought to stress out about a few months ago.  My days are full of changing diapers, feeding, and cleaning. At times it’s hard to find joy with my monotonous routine. 

The Lord is gently reminding me that joy is not something I produce, but comes from Him. It is the joy that I have through Christ that overflows into my own life. Looking back at the first month of HG’s life, I see how the Lord has provided a joyful heart for me even when I didn’t realize it. You see, when a baby is crying wailing throughout the night and you have done everything in your power to comfort her, you do not have joy. There is no way you can produce any kind of joy at 2 a.m. after a week of sleepless nights. It is at those breaking points that I have to ask the Lord to provide me with a joyful heart. I want to be patient and love my newborn well, but my selfish heart fights being joyful in those times.

I can distinctly remember one night where I was up with HG, and we were both crying and having trouble with feeding. I remember holding her to my chest and telling her the story of Jesus. I started from Genesis and went through the promise of Jesus returning one day. There was stillness. No crying (from her or me), just a peace. In that moment I was greatly reminded of the joy that Jesus brings us, and of the hope that He gives to me, a lowly sinner, every day. A rush of emotions hit me, possibly some from post-pregnancy wacked up hormones, but the emotion of thankfulness of the Gospel hit me so hard that tears began to fall down my face. 
In Jerry Bridges book, The Discipline of Grace, he talks about how we must preach the Gospel to ourselves daily, not just on Sundays and at small group, but daily. When we wake up in the morning, change diapers, study for a test, cook dinner, and finally lay our heads down at night, we should mediate on the Gospel. Preaching the gospel to ourselves daily reminds us of the joy that we have in Christ. I pray that I would preach the Gospel to myself daily, because goodness gracious I need it! 

Joyful reminders hit me from all over; from a little smiling face, to my wonderful husband, to our supportive family and friends, but most importantly, from the Gospel.  

Laura and her husband L moved to Wake Forest in May 2010.  Once they arrived at SEBTS, God directed their hearts to overseas missions.  L and Laura are in the 2+2 program and will be deploying in 2013.  This past September they welcomed HG to their family.  Laura is a member of The Summit and works part-time in the Women’s Life Office.
Re-blogged from Alison's blog, heperfectlypursues

A few friends and I meet every Wednesday to worship and pray together. This past week, the mood seemed heavy. It had been raining all day, it was freezing outside, and we are in the middle of midterms. It was obvious that we were lacking joy and that we needed to come before the Father to refocus and to cast our cares on Him. We worshiped and got our minds off of ourselves and our circumstances and onto the Lord who is sovereign, good, and wise. After a few songs, one of my friends asked us the question: what gives you joy?  

We all just sat there for a moment and eventually started throwing things out there. Just going to be real, watching Baby Mama brings me immense amounts of joy. It then started to get more specific and personal…We are all thankful that Ephesians 2 describes the reality of our lives. It gives us joy that we were dead in our sin and separated from God when He made a way through Christ for us to know Him and walk with him. We also agreed that laughter and time spent with friends brings us much joy. The kindergarten teacher in our group shared how she loves helping kids learn and obey. The intern at a church said that he loves sharing what God is doing in his life through sharing his testimony. I realized that nothing gives me more joy than helping younger girls walk with Christ.

During my fall break a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to spend 2 days in Chapel Hill. I literally got to sit outside the union one afternoon as younger girls that I absolutely adore came to catch up with me – one after another, hour after hour.  I got to hear how some of these girls that I discipled in college are now discipling freshmen at UNC and they basically told me over and over again about how much they love God. I seriously could not stop smiling the entire day.

I am so humbled at the goodness of God. He gives us gifts and passions for His glory as well as our good – to serve others as well as to give us joy. What are you passionate about? What part of God’s heart and concern for the world has he given you? What present reality makes you mad? What consistently comes to mind at random times of the day or keeps you up at night? What is life-giving to you? What gives you joy?

Whatever it is, pursue it. I’m not kidding. 

Alison Singewald says, "My life consists of God’s perfect pursuit of me and my imperfect yet striving pursuit of Him. I grew up in Wisconsin but am more than content living in North Carolina. I graduated in May 2011 from UNC-Chapel Hill and will forever be a Tar Heel." Alison is currently pursuing her masters in Biblical Counseling and LPC (licensed professional counseling degree through the state) at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.
Reblogged from Alison Lawson's Blog, Footprints
November 18, 2011

The world today appears to be moving at a faster, more hectic pace than ever before, and in the midst of so many obligations, gratitude seems like a vanishing trait, destined for an untimely death.

Perhaps we formally give thanks for a present out of an implicit obligation or because a parent trained us in that habit, but what about other kind gestures and intangible gifts offered to us for which we never consider giving thanks?

I recently spoke on this topic to a group of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). In preparing for the talk, I discovered many reasons for the general lack of gratitude that exists today. I even proposed ideas for overcoming our negligence in this area and becoming more intentional with our thanksgiving.

However, it occurred to me that, in this very busy world, numerous suggestions for being a more grateful person will have no effect if one does not understand WHY it is important to adopt a permanent attitude of thankfulness.

While gratitude may seem “optional,” perhaps we should consider making it a personal “requirement” and discipline in our lives that eventually evolves into a characteristic of who we are rather than an action carried out only once a year on a designated day or out of habit for a specific occasion.

Why? Because gratitude is important and makes a difference!

A thankful person is a more joyful and content person, recognizing and appreciating life’s many blessings rather than coveting what she lacks.

A habit of thanksgiving also improves relationships, including marriages. Showing and telling your spouse how thankful you are for him is certain to make him feel loved and respected, a key aspect to a flourishing marriage.

Additionally, studies have found that grateful families who express their appreciation for one another are also stronger, healthier families. Children tend to be less materialistic, better students, and overall happier. An attitude of gratitude is a legacy parents can pass down to their offspring, potentially influencing many generations!

A grateful heart encourages others. People like being recognized, their talents being noticed, and their gifts being appreciated. A simple “thank you” has potential to brighten another’s day, perhaps arriving when most needed, and be a blessing for all involved.

Most importantly, choosing to have an attitude of gratitude every day honors the Lord. Ultimately, all gifts and blessings are from Him. Complaining and coveting reflects poorly on the God who created us, sustains our lives, and blesses us in ways we may never fully identify or comprehend.

Furthermore, God has given us the best Gift possible, His Son Jesus. A relationship with God through Jesus grants us not only eternal life, but also an enduring peace that sustains us in times of trials and frustrations and enables us to always be thankful.

When we set aside disappointments and instead choose to be grateful every day in every situation, looking for the blessings in life, we positively reflect our faith in God to those around us, drawing others not only to ourselves, but also to Him.

Gratitude makes a difference in our own lives as well as the lives of those around us, while also honoring God who has given us so much for which to be thankful. Giving thanks should not be reserved for one day, or even one month of the year, but should instead be an attitude we adopt and share every day.

“Rejoice always…in everything give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18a

Alison Lawson is married to  Mike Lawson who is the the Director of Campus Security at Southeastern. They have three wonderful boys and thank the Lord for them. Alison says, "We experience both joys and trials, good times and hard times. Our lives are far from perfect, but they are filled with God's goodness and grace. To God be the glory." You can check out more from Alison on her family blog, Footprints.

New Books!

Don't forget that the Women's Life Office is a rich resource for reading and teaching guides. We have a library that you can check out books, DVD studies, and teaching materials. New to the library:

  • "James: Faith Under Pressure," a book by Pam Gibbs
  •  "Raising Boys & Girls: The Art of Understanding Their Differences," a DVD Leader Kit by Sissy Goff and David Thomas and Melissa Thevathan  
  • "Transformed Lives: Taking Women's Ministry to the Next Level," a Bible Study by Chris Adams
  • "Victory in Spiritual Warfare: Field Guide for Battle," a DVD Leader Kit by Tony Evans
  • "James: Mercy Triumphs," a DVD Leader Kit by Beth Moore

Reblogged from "girltalk" a blog by Carolyn Mahaney
by Nicole Whitacre

“Are you consistently keeping your soul happy in God?” It was an unexpected question. If Mark, our pastor and small group leader had asked, “Are you consistently practicing the spiritual disciplines?” I would have given a simple “yes.” But this question required a more thoughtful response. Do I emerge from my quiet time happy? Hmmmm. “In all honesty, I would have to say ‘no.’"
This question that Mark put to our care group several weeks ago was drawn from the personal reflections of nineteenth-century pastor, George Mueller:

“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished.”

It was easy for my friends to diagnose my lack of joy in God, for it’s a common malady. I had unconsciously “shifted from the gospel of grace” (Col. 1:21-23). My quiet times had become a dreary recounting of all my sins from the previous day, a period of morbid introspection over the cause of those sins, and an anxiety over my lack of progress in mortification. No wonder my soul wasn’t happy!
So I decided to, as my dad says, “restrict my spiritual diet;” to stand squarely on the bedrock of my joy--the glorious truths of the gospel. Because, as our dear friend Mr. Spurgeon writes:

“Here in the cross is where every enemy of joy is overcome: divine wrath, as he becomes a curse for us; real guilt, as he becomes forgiveness for us; lawbreaking, as he becomes righteousness for us; estrangement from God, as he becomes reconciliation for us; slavery to Satan, as he becomes redemption for us; bondage to sin, as he becomes liberation for us; pangs of conscience, as he becomes cleansing for us; death, as he becomes the resurrection for us; hell, as he becomes eternal life for us.”

You know what? Now I come out of my quiet time happier than when I went in! I’m still the greatest sinner I know, but I am a sinner clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And that truth, as it sinks in, permeates my soul with joy.

So how about you, is your soul happy? Is it spin around, laugh out loud, grin ‘till it hurts, happy in God? If not, then come with me to the cross. And gaze awhile.

And the Winners are...

Winners of the Diamond Candle Giveaway are:

Tiffany Linquist
Aubry Smith
Stephanie Bates

Please come by the Women's Life Office to pick up your Diamond Candle. 
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 8-5pm/ Friday 8-4pm
Phone: 919-7612340/ E-mail:

18th Annual Toy Chest

Saturday, November 12th at 9:00am... 
Come and Shop at Bay Leaf Baptist Church!

2011 Craft and Bake Sale

Scarves, Ornaments, Hats, Aprons, Cookies, and More!!! Join us this Saturday, November 5th from 9:00-3:00pm for the 2011 Craft and Bake Sale. 

70 Tables of Homemade Goodies!

The Craft & Bake Sale is a wonderful opportunity to support Southeastern's students and families.  Students, spouses and staff will be utilizing their God-given talents and gifts to present unique crafts, delicious baked goods and much more! The event is free and open to the public.  This is a great time to get a jump start on your holiday shopping!  

The Craft & Bake Sale will be held in the Ledford Gymnasium on Southeastern's campus from 9 am to 3 pm.  Directions can be found at  If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Women's Life Office at (919) 761-2340 or  
We look forward to seeing you! 
The Blog Topic is the fall leaves!
  We've just finished a couple months on studying TRUST and how powerful and good our God is. 
Now, for the months of November and December we will be celebrating the blessings of the Lord. 
Stay tuned for writings on Joy and Thanksgiving!

Have a JOYFUL day because of all you are THANKFUL for!

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup" Psalm 16:5a NIV.

I know that I have not always had a "taste" for what's been put in my cup. I look around at others' cups and sometimes theirs look a lot more appealing than mine. I often complain and am unwilling to accept my portion. The life that has been handed to me looks bleak and does not always make sense according to my own desires. 

To a small degree I can relate to Jesus in Luke 22 when He said, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me" (ESV). Yes, clearly my cup is nothing in comparison to what Christ was facing, but I have certainly found myself crying out with that same plea.

Have you?

Are there times that you look into your cup at your portion and think, "Surely not! How can this be, Lord?" Perhaps for some there could be feelings of injustice when our circumstances seem unfair. Maybe we experience hopelessness when our lives look dark. Or we feel defeated when we have tried so hard to do the right thing, only to have our good intentions backfire. 

Pain, disappointment, loss... these are all things that devastate and shock us--yet Jesus did promise us trouble in this world. After all, this earth and our bodies groan under the curse--There is no exemption from suffering and hardship, but what will our response be? Let us revisit the passage from earlier.

Luke 22:42, "'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.'" Jesus accepted his portion and submitted Himself under the Lordship of His Father. In doing so, He experienced great suffering. He loved His Father far more than He loved the taste of His portion. Christ sought first the Kingdom and Glory of God.

We too can learn this response of humbly accepting what is placed before us. Paul said, "
...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need" (Phil. 4:11-12, emphasis added).

There is marvelous grace available for us to learn how to trust Him with our cup and portion. Only HE can provide the strength that we need in order to walk out this life full of the Spirit. Because if we depend on ourselves, we will surely fail.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:26).

Hannah is a Sophomore in the College at Southeastern. She love music and traveling. Hannah is a member at Green Pines Baptist Church. 

Hannah enjoy being a youth ministry worker and worship leader at her church. She comes from a big family of all boys and her youngest brother has Down Syndrome. Working with people who have special needs has become a great passion of hers. She has the blessing of working with an agency that provides services for people with developmental disabilities. 

Ladies, let your light shine!
Become a member of Walking Worthy and share our blog with a friend...then we will enter your name into a drawing to win a Diamond Candle! 

Tell your friends to enter too!
The more members we get the more we can share the Hope we have in Jesus Christ...that is something to shine about!

What is a Diamond Candle?
Well, Diamond Candles was founded in January of 2011. The founders had a desire to make buying candles fun again while at the same time making an attractive and earth friendly candle that you would be excited about having in your home.There is a ring worth $10, $100, $1,000, or $5,000 in every earth friendly, all natural soy candle. Just burn the candle and see what ring you get!! To check out pictures of rings, visit Diamond Candles on Facebook.

And...they have their new FALL scents out! Enter this drawing by becoming a member and have a chance to win one of these awesome scents:

Giveaway Rules: New members please e-mail us and tell us you are now a member and give us the friend's name you referred to our blog. If you are already a member, you will be entered simply by e-mailing the Womens Life Office by November 4th that you would like to be entered and tell us your friend's name that you referred to our blog. All members (new and current) can enter only once. The winner(s) will be announced November 10th. As you tell friends to become members, please encourage them to read blog posts for edification in Christ!

K.J. Nally's blog, Answers of Truth
Oct. 6, 2011

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

Every month was a physical reminder of what happened. Every month my emotions warred against my heart of what I knew to be Truth. Why wasn’t this easier? And why did each month seem to force me on an emotional roller coaster? I felt God’s presence in midst of the storm…why did He seem so far off now? Yet, I know He is beside me, guiding me, holding me up by my right arm. His Word promises He will never leave. He always seeks His glory and the good of those who love Him. Yes, I know that is Truth…help me Lord to believe it.

 These words from Psalm 73 are salve to the broken soul. Honestly, it’s been a tough year. My flesh failed me and then my heart was broken in a million pieces. 

On Sunday, October 2nd it would have been our little baby's due date. Lil’ Bean we called him. I was 9 weeks pregnant when I had a miscarriage—my flesh failed. 

The Story of Lil’ Bean
Nine weeks went by and I was feeling so good. We joked that maybe there wasn’t a baby in my “belly” because I didn’t feel pregnant. Sure, I was tired and ate everything in sight, but I felt great. Excitedly, we arrived at the doctor…it would be Lil’ Bean’s First Picture (ultrasound). As we sat in the room waiting for the doctor, we gave each other a high five and then pumped the air three times toward Heaven, giving God three high fives because this was His perfect work, not ours. We had determined from the first day God blessed us with our baby to have “open hands.” This was God’s little one, entrusted to us to raise Him to be a worshiper of God. The doctor came in and talked for awhile about what to expect and hospital protocol—then it was time for “Baby’s First Picture.”

Silence. This isn’t what an ultrasound was supposed to look like, I thought. Where was my baby? The picture was white with only a small black circle. No heart beat. The doctor didn’t need to say anything, we knew. And our hearts broke. The doctor left the room after a short explanation of what would happen over the next few days. She told me not to blame myself. But, in that moment as my world spun out of control I couldn’t stop the thoughts. I wept in my husband’s strong arms. Slowly I met his gaze and said, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” He knew what I meant and grabbed my tear stained face. “Don’t you dare go there,” he sternly warned. “Don’t you dare take credit for what God is doing.” I knew the truth…God was in control, He was faithful, and He was good. But, could I believe that in this moment?

Yes. I could.

When we lost our baby, we cried to the point of exhaustion. It was so sweet falling in love with our first child. It gave us a small glimpse of how God loves us and how His heart must break when people die before knowing their Father; miscarried for eternity. The day after we lost our baby, I prayed to God for strength to praise Him even when I hurt so deeply. I have never felt the nearness of my Lord like I did in the midst of this pain. And even when I felt emotionally drained and spiritually broken the months that followed, He gave me the strength to praise Him even through the pain. You can read the prayer I wrote to God after the miscarriage here.

We still have moments of sadness of what could have been, but we must remind ourselves of truth; preach to ourselves. The truth is that God is good. He is in absolute control for His glory and our best.

What do we do with pain and trials…When God seems far, how do we continue holding onto our faith? 

We must TRUST.

“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal” (Isaiah 24:6).

Trust that God is true and His Word is Truth (Ps. 53:1; Col. 1:15-23; 1 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12).
Trust that God loves his children more than we can fathom (1 Jn 3:1; 1 Jn. 4:19; Rom. 8:38-39).
Trust that God wants the best for us, just as any parent does on earth…though He is much wiser (Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Pt. 1:2-10; Jer. 17:8).
Trust that God’s way brings Him the most glory (Ps. 19:1; Ps. 108:4-6; Lk. 2:14).
Trust that God never leaves us alone in pain, but holds our hand and walks with us (Ps. 90:10; Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5).
Trust that God will one day take all pain away when we are with Him in eternity (Jn. 16:33; Jn. 10:10; Rev. 21:4).
Trust that God is good…ALL the time! (Ps. 84; Ps. 73:1; Mk. 10:18).

My pain-filled emotions were good, just not trustworthy. I had to constantly go back to Truth - that these trials are making me more like Jesus for the glory of God!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Know God intimately…before a trial hits. Do not blame God or turn from Him in anger, but cling to the one who died for you so that He could comfort you forever in eternity. David said in Psalm 90:10, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Seek Him friends…Trust Him…see that He is good, even (and especially) in times of pain.

These words from J. C. Ryle have brought me much encouragement:

“Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: ‘He who spared not His own Son—but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you except in love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’"

John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

K.J. Nally is a writer, teacher, and counselor. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, concentrating in women's ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. K.J. and her husband, Dustin, have a passion to fight for Godly marriages, spur on teens to seek purity, and encourage men and women to live obediently to their Creator God.

K.J. and Dustin are marriage and individual counselors at Hope Counseling Center through their church, North Wake. They also work with Converting Hearts Ministries,’ a Christ-centered addictions ministry.

K.J. is also a freelance journalist. Check out more about Christian Living at K.J.’s blog, Answers of Truth.