To say this past spring was stressful, would be an understatement! For our family, it was one of those taxing seasons of life where we had several major life stressors hit us all at once. It felt like my life was caught up in a demanding whirlwind and although I tried to hold things together, I was not sure how I would get through it all.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever been at your breaking point with everything going on in your life? Have you ever thought you might not survive it?
During this stressful season of life, I worked late one Friday night and picked up a chicken sandwich on the way to Ellie’s soccer game. This restaurant has THE BEST BBQ sauce, so I asked for a side of it to put on my sandwich.
Yeah, that was a BIG mistake!
When I got to the field, the game had just started. I was super hungry and could hardly wait to enjoy my delicious chicken sandwich! I sat down, unwrapped my sandwich and opened the container of BBQ sauce. At that exact moment, out of nowhere, a soccer ball came flying off the field. It must have been traveling at lightning speed as it headed straight for me.
The soccer ball hit the BBQ sauce container and then it hit me upside the head, sending sticky gooey BBQ sauce all over me! To make things even more entertaining for all those standing nearby, I was wearing a white shirt!
It was not a pretty sight!
I was covered in BBQ sauce. It was in my hair, on my neck, dripping down my arms and all over my white shirt! To make things even more fabulous, there are no bathrooms at this soccer field, only a couple of porta potties each with their own hand sanitizer dispenser inside.
Are you kidding me?? Hand sanitizer is useless when it comes to cleaning up BBQ sauce!
So, as the BBQ sauce is dripping down my body, There are no paper towels anywhere in sight and NO RUNNING WATER!
It…was….totally ….awesome (insert sarcasm)!
Normally if this kind of thing happens to me, I can laugh it off and roll with the punches. Not this time.
Remember, this happened at a time when I was already mentally and emotionally drained. I did not have a positive, “can-do” attitude. Instead, I was feeling very low and overwhelmed with life.
Being hit in the head with a soccer ball and bathed with BBQ sauce did not improve my emotional stability!
I really don’t know how, but I managed to hold it together through the BBQ sauce immersion. People around me tried to hide their laughter because they felt so sorry for me. I remained calm but if you could have peered into my soul, you would have seen that I desperately wanted to cry.
Sticky and gooey, I watched the game, but near the end of the game, it started pouring rain like something I would imagine happened during the days of Noah and the flood. We quickly packed up our chairs and ran as fast as we could to the car, but by the time we got there, we were drenched!
I looked like something out of a horror movie. The rain caused my black mascara to run down my face, there was mud all over my legs from running in the rain and don’t forget that my white shirt was stained with dark red BBQ sauce.
It was not one of my finer moments.
We made it home safely in the torrential rainstorm and when I walked in the door, I could not hold it together any longer.
I fell completely apart.
I found a place to be alone and I cried like a baby. At that moment, for me, life felt too hard. It was too much. I felt like I was going to break!
It has been a couple of months since the BBQ sauce incident and do you know what happened?
I did not break. Instead, I survived.
Eventually, the stressors of that season of life settled down and life slipped back on track.
As I write to you tonight, I want to share with you a few things God reminded me of as I think back to this spring:
First: Life is stressful and there will be seasons of life that make you feel overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed does not make you a bad Christian. It does not mean your faith is weak. It means you’re human.
When those tough seasons come, you and I need to run towards God, not away from Him. We need to remind ourselves of who HE is, soak up His Word and stand firm on His promises. He is always with us. He will strengthen us! He will never leave us!
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Second: When life feels too hard, it’s ok to cry. Throughout God’s Word, Godly people cried out, expressing their emotions of sadness and despair. Faithful men like King David who poured out his heart to God when life was hard. Blameless men like Job who grieved and mourned over his life’s tragedy. Even our Lord Jesus who, in the Garden of Gethsemane, cried out to the Father as He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish.
My friend, you and I both know that life is not always rainbows and sunshine. Life is hard and sometimes it feels overwhelmingly hard, but our God is good all the time! God wants us to lean on Him and trust Him at all times (and that includes the hard times).
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Third: Never EVER bring a side of BBQ sauce to a soccer game, especially if you plan to sit near the field. Take it from me; just eat before the game.
Grateful for you!
THURSDAY, JUNE 16th First Wesleyan Church High Point
1701 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC
Meet and Greet Ticket holders: Doors open for you at 5:15pm. Parking attendants will direct you on where to enter the venue. You will be provided a delicious meal from Above and Beyond Catering and ice cream from Brusters of High Point! You will have reserved Gold Circle Seating during the event.
You will have photo opportunities with Natalie and Joy so bring your cell phone/camera!
General Admission Ticket holders: Doors open for you at 6:00pm. Seating is general admission. Event begins at 7:00pm Event will end by 9:15pm
For additional questions about the event, you can contact Sandy Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right now, we do still have limited tickets available for purchase at the door for $25.00!
We can’t wait to see you there!
Ocean Isle Beach (OIB) is a quiet, family beach community where folks drive their golf carts on the roads and where life seems to slow down a bit. It’s a small quaint place that Bryan and I enjoyed taking our children to when they were younger.
OIB is home to one of the sweetest ice cream shops around that serves the most delicious homemade strawberry ice cream. I mean to tell you, it is yummmmmmy!
Years ago, my cousin Adam, and his family, vacationed with us at OIB for a week of fun and sun! As we prepared for our trip down to the coast, I told Adam and Candace about the things we could do at OIB. Of course, I mentioned this fabulous ice cream shop and the delicious strawberry ice cream. I remember telling Adam it would be the best strawberry ice cream he had ever had!
Sure enough, while on our trip, we made our way to the ice cream shop and out of all the flavors available, Adam chose strawberry. Smart choice!
I just knew he would love it as much as I did, so I paid attention as he took his first bite. His expression was not as joyful as I had hoped it would be. I wanted him to tell me how fabulous this strawberry ice cream was, but instead, he just told me it was good. (Insert shock!)
GOOD? What did he mean, good? It is fantastic!
Adam and I have laughed about this strawberry ice cream story many times since that OIB trip. When we talk about it, he jokingly says, “Joy, you over-promised and under-delivered.”
What about you? Have you ever over-promised and under-delivered?
Maybe it wasn’t about how wonderful a flavor of ice cream was, but maybe you told someone you were going to do something and then you did not do it. Maybe you told a friend you would be somewhere and something came up so you were unable to go. Maybe a coworker asked you to pray for them and you said you would, but then you forgot.
Maybe like me you have had good intentions and you really wanted to stick to a commitment that you made, but life got in the way and you backed out of your commitment, letting someone else down.
From time to time, we break promises. We don’t follow through. We are not true to our word.
We over-promise and under-deliver.
It happens to us all.
Lately, God has been reminding me of how important it is for me to do what I say I am going to do! He has been reminding me that I should be careful not to overcommit myself to things I do not plan to stick to!
He has been reminding me that I should be a person of my word and that my integrity is vital to my walk with Him.
Talk is cheap! Living out my faith takes action!
Jesus emphasizes this point through the parable of two sons:
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “’I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. ~Matthew 21:31a
The first son did not agree to go work, but he changed his mind later (another version says he repented), and he went to work. The second son said he would go to work, but then he did not go.
Which son pleased the father?
When you and I fail to keep our word, it affects our trustworthiness. It causes people to lose respect for us.
It also affects our friendships. Friendships are typically based on trust and it’s almost impossible to trust someone who does not keep their word.
My friend, you and I need to be people who are trustworthy. We carry the name of Christ. We are to be like Him!
People should be able to count on us! When we say we are going to do something, we should not need five reminders to do it! If we say we are going to do it, then we need to do it!
You and I are human and of course none of us are perfect, but that does not give us an excuse to repeatedly not follow through on our commitments.
God’s Word is clear that our words matter! We are accountable for our words—all of them!
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” ~Matthew 12:26
Let’s be ever-more cautious to be a person of our word. When we make a commitment to do something, let’s be determined to stick to it!
Well, I know you have a craving for a delicious scoop (or two) of strawberry ice cream! If you get the chance, make the drive down to Ocean Isle Beach and enjoy some at the local ice cream shop! Regardless of what my cousin Adam thinks, there’s a good chance it will be the best strawberry ice cream you’ve ever had! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
For more about keeping your word, check out this link: https://www.openbible.info/topics/keeping_your_word