“Picture from my Goofy Challenge in January 2015. Running and Disney allow me to express the joy that God intended for us all times.” Lisa
I am delighted to share my first guest blogger, Lisa Stickel, with you all!
Lisa is 46 and resides in White House, TN. She started her blog runningat40plus in May 2010 primarily as a running and healthy lifestyle page. Over the last year her page has turned into sharing her faith and walk with God through her personal struggles and her divorce. In her words she writes about “trusting, obeying and thanking God in all circumstances in order for joy and peace to center me in the storms of life instead of fear and anxiety.”
Lisa’s recent messages describe her divorce after 23 years of marriage. She found a relationship with God later in life. She never allowed him to be the center of her life in her past. She explained, “I have been hit these past 15 months in all areas of my life (marriage, health, kids, business, etc.) and had several dark months where anxiety almost brought me down. The uncertainty brought a lot of fear. I kept seeking God like never before and He has shown up like never before. The storms will come. Our job is to trust, obey and thank God in all circumstances.”
When I asked Lisa to explain how her story will help others she explained, “I can say that I have experienced Satan attacking my family in every way and looking back I saw God’s protection around my boys and me that stops me in my tracks. God is in control even when we don’t acknowledge Him. I don’t know the specifics yet on what God wants me to promote because I have so many experiences that I know people deal with but no one wants to discuss. I can’t even list the topics at this point due to the divorce. All of my experiences though will help other women, especially Christian women, understand how God intended a marriage to be, divorce and even issues when single.”
I’m sharing below her latest blog entry but I invite you to click the link to her page as well to read more! runningat40plus.wordpress.com
Also, connect with Lisa on Twitter and Instagram @stickelcpa
Stacey ~ iamalive
In Complete Awe of God’s Love for Me 10/31/15
by Lisa Stickel
The theme of my blog when someone comes to it is “Running and an Overall Healthy Lifestyle.” When I opened my blog to post tonight I realized there have been no running posts for the majority of 2015. Been completely focused on surviving during my divorce process. Filed for divorce 14 months ago. So I feel my posts have focused on my mental health which is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully I will get back to posting about running soon.
My life right now consists of God, work (owning own business), raising my two boys, running and exercising. If I am not focused on any of those then I am sleeping. So this also means my schedule often times depends on Clayton’s schedule since Mayson can drive. Tonight, being a Friday night, had no clue what the plans were. In my dreams, I was hoping for a night on the couch doing nothing. When I picked up Clayton from school at 4:00 he said he wanted to go to the football game. You would think sure no big deal. Well we live 30 minutes from school so I had to drive him home, let him get ready and drive him back to school. I said ok and immediately thought of what I would do while he was at the football game. I found out the new movie, Burnt, with Bradley Cooper, started today so my plan was to go see that. Asked some friends to go but they were busy so I was still going. Then I stared calculating times and the movie would not be over before the football game. Bummer.
So at this point, I start feeling bored and lonely. The majority of my friends are married and the boys are at the age they don’t want to hang out with me (which is a good, normal thing for a teenager). My mind starts wondering to all the things I should do in the couple of hours I have. I go to NY Pie for their house salad and it is packed full of people. I order my salad to go and eat it in the car. By the way, the best side salad around. Then I decide to go to Barnes & Noble to look around. I needed to get a book for my bible study and really I had time.
When I am browsing the store, I start feeling bored and lonely again. I notice I am the only person in there alone on a Friday night. Sigh. Well I continue to look around. I go to the bargain section and find two Joyce Meyer books. “Living Beyond Your Feelings” and You Can Begin Again.” Both hard back books were $5,98. What a bargain! So I pay for the books and go sit in the store and start reading the book “Living Beyond Your Feelings.”
I knew God had ordained tonight as soon as I read the first quote on the dedication page and the first chapter.
“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf.” Jonatan Martensson
I didn’t realize that I could surf with my emotions. Instead, I had the attitude that I was on a raft that went all over the ocean. The first chapter then goes on to discuss not allowing our feelings to control our lives and that as a Christian our emotions are our number one enemy because they prevent us from following the will of God. After I got through the first chapter and got in my car to go get Clayton the weight of what God just did tonight hit me like a ton of rocks and I started crying. They were tears of thankfulness for God not giving up on me and that He is healing me in His time…..not mine.
See I realized at that moment that my life has been completely controlled by how I felt at any given moment and thought this was normal. My emotions are all over the place depending on what is going on at the moment, who has done what to me, etc. Yet, I have spent a life time of not dealing with my emotions because so much easier to throw myself into work and boys and not feel things. Yet, God says I will not advance on my journey until I start living by His principles, not emotions.
I really have no idea how this will work out because I have saturated myself in God’s Word these last 14 months and sought Godly advice from friends. I know I should go to a Christian counselor (even been told by friends this would be good) to deal with buried emotions but I have no extra money since I am the sole provider for me, boys and then some. So I turn to God, friends, and running for therapy and now I bought a $5.98 book that God used to break through to a very deep place I have held locked for way too long. I have also dealt with anxiety/panic attacks and there were several months during the divorce process where I really thought I was going to lose it. But then again, I have no time to throw in the towel to all the thoughts that the enemy is using to bring me down. I have Mayson and Clayton depending on me so that gives me the strength to keep it all in check. Had even been told by a friend that I was not stable which I thought was a horrible thing and so untrue because I run a successful business and manage to juggle most of the balls in the air. Yet, they meant that my emotions have been managing me and I realized that tonight. Sometimes the truth hurts.
I do know this from 1 Peter 3:3-4:
Joyce says this in her book: “God says that if we pay excessive attention to how we look and ignore the hidden person of the heart, then He is not pleased. It would be far better for us to work with the Holy Spirit to improve our thoughts, emotions, attitudes, imaginations, and conciences. If in the eyes of the world a woman is considered beautiful and well-dressed, but she is filled with anger, unforgiveness, guilt, shame, depression, and negative, hateful thoughts, then she is bankrupt spiritually and unattractive to God.”
OUCH! I am so much better than I was 14 months ago with these things but I realized I still have a ways to go. To do this, I am going to have to make a conscious effort daily to die to self and my selfishness and do God’s will for my life. God is good. All the time. Tonight left me speechless and in complete awe of God’s love for me.