Navigating the Waves of Life | Guest Gretchen Saffles

by | Mar 7, 2018

What are you facing today? "Navigating the Waves of Life" - Guest post from Gretchen Saffles.Week 10 – Celebrating 100 Years of Oswald Chambers

VERSE: In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

OSWALD: “Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. ‘We are more than conquerors through Him’ ‘in all these things’; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, ‘I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation’” 2 Corinthians 7:4. (My Utmost for His Highest—March 7th)


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TODAY’S GUEST: I’m excited to have you meet one of my favorite people, Gretchen Saffles, as she shares today’s “My Utmost” insights. Gretchen is passionate about creating opportunities for women to grow closer to God. I know you’ll love her as much as I do!

{ Don’t miss the beautiful GIVEAWAY at the end of this post! }

How It Spoke to Gretchen…

In 2016, I waded through a spiritual hurricane that tested the very foundation of my faith. Nineteen years into my journey of following Jesus, I found myself drowning in a sea of despair, depression, and doubt.

Where is God? I questioned boldly in the recesses of my heart as the waves of fear overwhelmed me. How can He love me while at the same time allowing me to walk through testing that feels as if it will break me in two? These were the questions that plagued me daily during that dark season.

The years prior to my spiritual breakdown, I’d been flourishing in my calling—writing Bible studies for women, leading small groups within my local church, and speaking at women’s gatherings about the love and hope of Christ. I didn’t anticipate the burnout that would threaten to consume my soul and my passion. I’ve since learned that when we let down our guard, the enemy comes in and exploits our weakness.

The armor of God isn’t just a suggestion in Ephesians 6:10–19, it is the protection God has provided for the believer, and I wasn’t wearing mine.

I had been over-committed for a long time with little to no margin in my life. To add to my already jam-packed schedule, I was a new mama who had been quickly disillusioned by the 24/7 needs of my newborn baby.

And yet, in spite of the warning signs, I refused to slow down, to marinate in the truths of God’s Word, and then unashamedly live them out. My refusal to embrace God’s calling to rest and receive His grace led to some of my lowest moments.

We have all walked through the depths of despair at one point or another. As a matter of fact, we humans will all walk through these depths multiple times in life. It’s as if life comes at us in waves. Waves of mercy, waves of grace. Waves of longing, waves of fulfillment. Waves of answered prayer, waves of tarrying a little while longer. Waves of questioning, waves of standing on what we know to be true.

More difficult waves that have a tendency to knock us flat on our face if we aren’t standing firmly on the solid rock of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The year I crashed, I found myself lacking the strength to stand. I reexamined the very foundations of my faith: Does God really love us? Can nothing really separate us? What about feelings? What about suffering? What about anxiety? What about persecution?

Each one of these questions went back to this choice, a crossroads in my faith: would I convince myself that I was the exception to God’s faithfulness, or would I choose to believe that God is faithful and His love would hold me together when life is falling apart?

Deep down, I knew God’s love was unchanging and wouldn’t fail me, but I didn’t feel it. Sometimes we will walk through storms and be unable to feel the strength of His love, but we can know it is there, just like Paul declared in Romans 8:36–39. Our circumstances and feelings will shift like the sands of the ocean floor, but His love is the steady anchor that keeps us from capsizing.

Oswald Chambers said it right: “Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them.”

Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against—tribulation, suffering, and persecution—are the very things that produce abundant joy in us.”

That year of depression, despair, and doubt turned out to be a priceless lesson in learning how to surf the waves of faith, knowing God’s love will not let me drown. As a matter of fact…

It is in the waves, the trials, the suffering, the hurts, that we actually know God's love more fully, more deeply, more intimately. - Gretchen Saffles Click To Tweet

Now when the waves come, I stand tall and ride them with my Savior leading the way. By God’s grace, we can all become surfers rather than those who sink, all because nothing can ever separate us from His love.

"Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them… A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it." My Utmost for His Highest - March 7th

More About Gretchen Saffles

Gretchen Saffles, founder of Well-Watered WomenGretchen Saffles is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to dig into the Word of God and find their identity and purpose in Christ.

She is the founder of Well-Watered Women, an online women’s ministry that reaches worldwide. She has written several Bible Studies including Redefined: Identity in Christ and Proverbs 31:Women of Dignity, Washed in Grace. She is also the creator of the women’s Give Me Jesus Journal for quiet time.

Through her online ministry she longs to meet women right where they are with the hope of the gospel and ignite a desire in their hearts to know Jesus more.

On any given day you can find her with a coffee cup in hand, a toddler by her side, a message stirring in her soul, and a God-sized dream on her heart. Gretchen lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Greg, and her son, Nolan.

Don’t Miss the Giveaway!!

Well-Watered Woman's "Give me Jesus Journal"Be sure to check out Gretchen’s website. She creates some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. And guess what? She’s giving away her hard cover, spiral-bound Give Me Jesus Journal for quiet time ($30 value). Straight from her shop at Well-Watered Woman to one of you!

Enter the contest three ways:

  1. Leave a comment here at the blog
  2. Find this post on my Facebook page and share it with your friends.
  3. Comment on the post at Facebook 

We’ll announce the winner on Facebook next Wednesday (March 14th, 2019)

<<Read WEEK 9 – “Serving God In the Ordinariness of Life”

Read WEEK 11 – “The Problem of Lust (It’s Not What You Think!)” >>

I’d love to hear from you…What spoke most to you from Gretchen’s post?

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