Episode 51: I Can’t See

vision, positioning, deception, truth, healing the blind man, emotional health, mental health, psychology, healing our brokenness, katina horton, episode 51, podcaster, podcasting

Episode 51: I Can’t See
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I think everyone at one time or another have had the following words to come out of their mouths, “I Can’t See”. However, what does that really mean? Well, there are several different circumstances for each of us. Listen to this week’s podcast to find out what I couldn’t see.

vision, positioning, deception, truth, healing the blind man, emotional health, mental health, psychology, healing our brokenness, katina horton, episode 51, podcaster, podcasting
Photo by Adrien Olichon

I Can’t See Podcast Outline

  • Childhood Story
  • Adult Story
  • Recent Incident
  • Scripture Focus
  • Mark 8:22-26

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

Challenge Question:

What are you positioning yourself to “not” see?

Have a blessed week!

Katina

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Episode 49: The Anchor

the anchor, disappointment, discouragement, hope, depression, car accident, resolution, thriving, living, trouble, storms, reality, challenges, car accidents, katina horton, valley of grace, podcaster, lifestyle, podcaster lifestyle ,blogger, writer, podcasting,

Episode 49: The Anchor
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Podcast Show Notes

The Anchor Podcast Outline:

  • Storms and Disappointment
  • When Discouragement Sets In
  • My November Accident
  • My Recent Accident
  • Shifting Our Focus
the anchor, disappointment, discouragement, hope, depression, car accident, resolution, thriving, living, trouble, storms, reality, challenges, car accidents, katina horton, valley of grace, podcaster, lifestyle, podcaster lifestyle ,blogger, writer, podcasting,
Photo by Alexandra Lee

Reflection Questions

What does the word anchor mean to you?

Have you ever had to use an anchor, and if so, for what purpose?

What is the first thing that you do when a storm enters your life?

What emotions do you feel when disappointment sets in?

Have you ever wrestled with the reality of things not happening at the best time?

What resolution can you make when the storms of life seem overwhelming and never-ending?

How can shifting your focus to the anchor change everything?

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma

emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma
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Be Still Podcast Outline

  • Definition of Still
  • Definition of Know
  • Dissection of Psalm 46: 10
  • What Happens With the Combo of Trauma and Constant Busyness
emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation
Photo by Fabio Manuel Neto da luz

Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness, episode 45, Entitled, “Be Still:” The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma on a Daily Basis”

What does it mean to be still?

Being still means without movement, without speech, calm, peaceful, serene.

I like to think of stillness as the act of eliminating busyness and distractions.

In Psalm 46: 10, God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.”

To know means to be aware of through information and observation.  For us to know something or someone, we must spend time with that person or learning about that topic. If we want to know God, we must quiet our spirits, stop the striving, distractions, busyness, and do what is required to be in a relationship with him. If we want to heal from trauma, we also need a stillness to exist.

This stillness required from healing that helps us to know about our mind and body connection, can only happen when we purposefully have 2 things: time and space.

When we are busy every minute of the day, we don’t have time to know our bodies. Our bodies reveal the secrets behind our emotions.  Just recently, and recently being about 3 months ago, I started working a full-time job. After a month, I realized that I needed to tweak my schedule for the weekend.  I had to block out 3 hours on my weekend mornings in order to make sure that I could continue having my time of stillness. Without stillness, it is hard to gain clarity.

Before working full time, I had more time and space for this stillness to occur. Now, since my schedule has changed, i must be more intentional about giving myself margin.

Right before starting work with this job, I had a traumatic event to occur. Along with learning new things at work, and relearning how to drive after 30 years, I was exhibiting “ADHD-like” trauma symptoms, and having a hard time focusing.  I knew that it was only a matter of time till the emotional effects of this event would come out. My system had to be relaxed enough with stillness, and time and space to go through the steps of processing everything that had gone down.

The first symptom that was exhibited was that of nausea. I knew immediately that this was grief. And how was I able to tell that? Four years ago, when I was living at my previous residence , I became very nauseated one evening after eating.  It was the worst case ever.  I thought that I was coming down with the flu or some type of virus. It was also during this time that I had not begun to process any of the traumatic events that had occurred in the previous 3 years.  My system was on emotional and mental overload.

All of a sudden, before I knew it, I ended up regurgitating 3 to 4 times. In between each time, I felt like I needed to cry very deeply. This is how I was able to make the connection that nausea for me equals the need for grief to be released from my body.  At the time, my son asked me about the contents of what I ate that could have made me so sick. I told him that I realized that it had nothing to do with the food that I ate.

When I told my therapist about what happened, she said, “Yes, this was definitely physiological.”  

Another symptom that occurred recently is where my lips started to become numb.  I knew immediately that this represented anger that I needed to work through.  Once again, if I did not have the time within the last few years to process some of the trauma, I would not have had a clue of what was going on.  I probably would have gotten myself all worked up and anxious, perpetuating the problem.

I was then able to go to God and ask him, “What is this anger about? Is it just this traumatic event, or something else along with it?”. Having my time of stillness, and space for reflection allowed me to get to the root of the problem so that I could start healing from, it.   That anger had been coming out sideways for about 2 1/2 weeks.

Music is one of my main go-to’s for enabling me to process trauma , and so when I added more of this into my time and space, I gained even more wisdom and discernment , along with being able to release the grief from my system through crying heavily.

Changes are good.  However, changes are only fully embraced once the old has been grieved. All of the “would haves”, “should haves”, and “not any more’s”. If you are having problems healing from trauma, ask yourself if you are allowing yourself the time and space of sitting in God’s stillness.  The pain, loneliness, and loss have to be grieved. I don’t want to mislead you. There will be pain in this process. There’s no way to go around it. And I promise you, if there was, everyone would be signing up for it. There is God’s grace, mercy, and presence there.  And it is very much needed. It is also in this stillness that our mind, body, soul, and spirit will begin to reveal the answers to our questions. It will help us to lead the way and or continue our journey to a life of thriving.

First, try starting off with one hour of lying down without any distractions and see if you can notice the difference of what this new stillness brings. Initially, it will feel very uncomfortable because you will want to quickly fill up your time with busyness. However, this quiet time will begin to declutter your mind and allow you to get to the root of your issues, along with the help a therapist.

I hope that “Episode 45: ‘Be Still: The Healing Aspect Of Living With Trauma’” has been beneficial to you in some way. If Healing Our Brokenness is making a difference in your life, please leave a review, tag a friend, and give a shout out on social media. God bless! Have a wonderful week!

Episode 42: Lessons from the Vine-Part 1

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Episode 42: Lessons from the Vine-Part 1
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Lessons from the Vine Outline

  • Introduction
  • Scripture
  • Conversation with Coworker
  • Application to our lives
  • Podcast Transcript
lessons from the vine, vine, branches, fruit, no growth, immaturity, podcasting, podcaster, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, emotional health, mental health, psychology
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Good afternoon everyone!

Welcome to Healing our Brokenness episode 42, entitled, Lessons from the Vine”. Have you ever received a lesson from a vine? What about the illustration that God gives us in his word regarding the vine and the branches?

John 15:5 New International Version (NIV)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.



This past week I was talking to a coworker of mine about how the flowers in my front yard, the side of the house, and in the backyard were doing something weird this year. It is as if they were confused due to a combination of lack of sun, cold temperatures in May and June, and a variety of other reasons.

There were 2 flowers that we discussed.  One is a vine, and the other is a burning bush.  The one that I will dissect today is that of the burning bush.  The burning bush sits in front of my house. It literally has 4 different things going on with it. The first situation is that there were some branches were no leaves were produced.  The second situation that was going on was that there were branches with leaves that produced and is thriving. The next situation that is going on is that some leaves were thriving but are now dead.  And the last situation was one in which some of the Leaves had started turning their burgundy color as if fall was approaching already.  I decided to cut off the dead withered leaves.

She brought it to my attention that it could be a perfect illustration for our lives. Here is what God gave me as a lesson from the burning bush. There are certain areas of our lives that are dead.  They need to be cut out. The second lesson is that there are some areas in our lives where we are trying to move too fast instead of going through the process that God has for us. This could be due to seeing others thriving and excelling in their businesses etc.  The 3rd lesson from the burning bush is that there are some areas in our lives that are right on target and maturing properly. The last lesson from the burning bush is that there are areas of our lives where immaturity exists, and therefore, there is no growth at all. These are the areas that God wants to prune so that we can produce fruit and continue to grow.

Which one of these lessons do you identify with? I’m quite sure that we can find a little bit of ourselves in each one of them. Let’s be mindful of the areas that need growth, areas that are moving too fast, areas that are dead, and the areas that are growing in maturity in Christ just fine.

Thank you for listening to “Healing Our Brokenness, episode 42, “Lessons from the Vine”.  God bless and have a wonderful week!

Episode 41: Fear in Control

Episode 41: Fear in Control
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Fear in Control Outline

  • Fear explained.
  • Dread explained.
  • How Fear took over in my life.
  • Repetition of Satan’s Tactics.
  • Podcast Transcript

Good afternoon! Welcome to “Healing our Brokenness”, Episode 41, entitled “Fear in Control”. How many of you have dealt with fear? How did it make you feel? Was your heart racing? Did you feel like you were losing your mind? Was your body shaking?

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What is fear?  Fear is when we are perceiving something as a threat or danger to us.  If you have dealt with any kind of trauma, or have PTSD, you know that the fear part of the brain can get triggered.  And then when this happens, All reasoning goes out the door.  We know what we know, but because the fear brain has taken over, we cannot stop it. What happens is that while the fear brain is in control, you become keenly aware that the fear is irrational and needs to stop. You literally feel as if someone is behind you and after you at the same time. I have experienced this several times. When it happens, I usually get praise music in my head to let me know that I am OK. However, I cannot stop the process of what the fear brain of PTSD / trauma is doing. It has a mind of its own so to speak.  No amount of talking myself down helps me to calm down. I know that I just have to wait it out.

When we think of dread it does not bring about a good connotation. Dread makes you think of something awful taking place, another form of extreme fear within itself.  When I was in my 20s, and I found myself having a health crisis, my life was filled with fear that was out of control, and daily battles of dread of dying because of my health. I am allowed Satan to get the best of me in my thoughts, and in my spirit. Every day, as I waited for my thyroid condition to improve, Satan had me trapped in a foot hold of fear and dread about me possibly going into cardiac arrest and dying before getting to the point of feeling better. 

What made it worse is that i was suffering from an extreme lack of sleep.  When you are going without sleep for so long, it puts you quickly in a category for having a lot of other things to take place. And some of those things include mental health issues, nervous system issues, focusing issues, brain fog, and the inability to cope in general. My lack of sleep coupled with dealing with trying to get my thyroid under control for months made me the perfect bait for Satan to get a foothold.

And what were his lies? His lies were “This is it. You are not going to make it”. Then after a while, I realized that I had gone about 6 months feeding into this mess. I have wasted all of the time that could have been used enjoying myself locked into fear of dying.

As Christians, we are not exempt from dealing temptation and spiritual warfare.  We have God’s promises even when we don’t feel like they are true or that he hears us or even that he is near to us. 

Hear are some scriptures to help you during times of fear that I am currently implementing as I walk through releasing fear in certain areas of my life:

2 Corinthians 10:5 King James Version (KJV)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

Dear God,

Please cover us in your blood from the crown of our heads to the soul of our feet.  Please help us to know that you are near.  You are the same God in every area of our lives, including fear.  Help us to remember this, even when we don’t feel it or can’t see it.  I pray for a covering of hope, love, and peace. 

In your name,

Amen

Thank you for listening to Healing our Brokenness, episode 41 entitled “Fear in Control”.

Missing the Message

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When did you find yourself “missing the message” because you were in a rush? How did it make you feel? What happens when you slow down so that you can take in what seems to be the smallest of moments? These missed messages can be God’s time with us if we allow him the opportunity.

God bless!

Katina

missing the message, video, katina horton, blog, podcaster, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, rushing, anxiety, pausing, self-care
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Episode 36: Sharing in Need

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Sharing in Need Podcast Outline

  • Hunger
  • Value of Food
  • Christian Call
  • Transcript

Sharing in Need

sharing, food, clothes, katina horton, podcast, podcaster, podcasting, food, simple, world hunger, waste, emotional health, sharing, physical health, mental health, psychology
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Good evening! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 36. Last week’s episode, Value of Prayer, can be found here.

There is hunger and lack of clean water in several countries all over the world.  The problem of hunger is so bad that people have lost hope for themselves and their children.  It has been said that the amount of food that we throw away as waste is enough food to stop world hunger.  The thing about being good stewards, when it comes to God, is that stewardship is not just about money, it is for everything that God owns:  “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalms 24:1, NLT) This means our time, talents, our bodies, everything!

When I grew up as a child, we placed value on food, and how we used it.  It wasn’t just because we were poor, but it was also because we realized just how many people were going without food, and in such a desperate need.  In this day and age, we think nothing of having our kids throw whole plates of food in the garbage without blinking an eye. 

As Christians, sometimes we get so cozy in our homes, and the immediate needs of our families, that we forget about our responsibility to take care of the poor:  “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV) It makes some of us uncomfortable to think about giving away some of what we have.  A lot of times, when it comes to clothing, we have the same few pieces of clothing that we like to wear over and over again anyway.  Having a closet full of clothes gives the illusion of false self-worth.

After the day of Pentecost, the Christians were on such a spiritual high from the workings of the Holy Spirit, that no one was in need: “All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing.  And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers,and no poverty—for all who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:32-37, TLB)

What would be required in order for us to have this kind of situation going on now?  It would require a change of heart and a change of mind.  Then our behavior will follow:  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV)   God blesses repentance and good stewardship.

Dear God,

Thank you for what we have.  We pray that you would move in our hearts to do more to help others in need.  We know that we cannot outdo you when it comes to giving.  Please help us to be mindful and sensitive to others who are in dire circumstances, and that if we don’t have anything to give, our hearts will be stirred to pray for those individuals.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness. If the show is making a difference in your life, please refer a friend.

God bless!!!

Episode 34: Surrender

Surrender, emotional health, episode 34: surrender, mental health, psychology, healing our brokenness, podcast, podcaster, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace

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In case you missed last week’s episode, “Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, “Episode 34: Surrender”, is covering the topic of surrender.

Episode 34: Surrender Podcast Outline

  • What is surrender?
  • What does surrender look like?
  • How I Am Learning to Surrender
  • Podcast Transcript

Surrender

When you think of surrender, you think of yielding, giving up control, crying “Uncle”, giving in, waving the flag. Surrender has a negative connotation, but it can have a positive outcome when it’s done in the proper context.

If we had the choice, there are some trials that we just wouldn’t sign up for.  However, God gives us these trials in order to refine us like gold.  These trials will show that our faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold: So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)

Surrender, emotional health, episode 34: surrender, mental health, psychology, healing our brokenness, podcast, podcaster, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace
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One of the worst things that we can do is to think that we have it all under control.  The devil tricks us into thinking that we can fix problems on our own, and that we just have to figure out the right plan, or perhaps we just didn’t do something “enough”. A very tender spot for any mother’s heart is their children.  Oh, how I wish that I could take away the pain and effects from trauma that my kids have endured over the last five years.  However, this isn’t possible. No matter how old they are, our kids’ issues stay on our hearts.  However, if we don’t surrender these very issues to God, then we find ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained.  Of course, because of the mind-body connection, these issues then takes a turn on the fourth area: physical.  They can literally eat us alive with immobility and heaviness of heart.  I have just recently had my moment of realizing that my kids will have to have their own journey of healing.  I can support them.  However, I can’t take on the responsibility of doing the work for them.  It hinders them from growth, and the ability to get clarity on their own. 

Surrender is not a once in a lifetime thing.  If only it was that easy.  It is daily.  In Luke 9: 23, Christ tells us:   “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (ESV)  Focusing on God and his promises helps us in this journey called life.

Dear God,

Thank you for the shining beauty that comes from our trials when we are refined.  Thank you that we can take all of our burdens and our kids’ burdens and lay them down at your feet.  Please help us to understand that surrender is a daily thing, and that we have to put our trust in you.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times

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Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times
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Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • My Situation
  • Podcast Transcript
praying, desperate times, Hannah, blog, blogging, drama, trauma,  children, podcaster, podcast, episode 33, katina horton
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How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed.  You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.  We know that the bottom line is that God is in control.  Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.

This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through.  Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb.  We all know that fear is from Satan himself.  

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year.  As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat.  (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)

Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb:  “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,

then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)

Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit.  She was on a mission.  Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:

Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.  I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)

It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:

Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am

the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.   Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”  And he worshiped the Lord there.

(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)

About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar.  I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position.  I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”  (KJV)

God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days.  As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner.  I was on a mission, and I continued to pray.  My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night. 

Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying.  The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying.  We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk. 

Like Hannah, we needed an answer.  We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first.  And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests.  My prayer was answered thirteen days later.  I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers.  It was soon after.  God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage.  Praise God for his word and his promises!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word and your promises.  Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there.  You never change.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen

Last episode

Episode 32: Surprised by Provision

surprised, abandonment, podcast, podcasting, episode 32, provision, disappointment, psychology, emotional health, mental health, katina horton, healing our brokenness, bread, Moabitess, Ruth, Naomi, Elimelech

Episode 32: Surprised by Provision
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Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline

  • Disappointment
  • Naomi’s Disappointment
  • Naomi’s Surprise
  • My Disappointment
  • My Surprise
  • Podcast Transcript

Surprised by Provision

surprised, abandonment, podcast, podcasting, episode 32, provision, disappointment, psychology, emotional health, mental health, katina horton, healing our brokenness, bread, Moabitess, Ruth, Naomi, Elimelech
Photo by Sheila Pedraza Burke

Disappointment

There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling.  As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction.  Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be. 

Naomi’s Disappointment

That is what happened to Naomi.  She was surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.

Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the famine.  Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.  Elimelech died.  Their two sons found wives and got married.  Then their two sons died.

Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since she heard that they had bread again.  She figured that this might be a small sign of God’s provision.  Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t have any more sons.   Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:

 

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)

The Return

When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:

So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.  (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)

Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself.  They went back for bread.  God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.  He slowly began to reveal his plan.    

Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named Boaz.  They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was recompensing her work for her full diligence:

 

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

(Ruth 2: 11-12, KJV)

When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her about the food.  Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of Boaz.  Naomi knew this was good news:

And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth 2: 20, KJV )

According to the law, a kinsmen could be the redeemer if a relative died.  In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.  However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz.  This meant that he had first pick.  This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.  Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.

And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.

 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)

Surprise

What a surprise!  The women encouraged Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:  

And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.  (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)

My Surprise Disappointment

At the age of 25, I had my surprise disappointment as well.  I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked all the way up to the day before delivery.  At the time, I was the breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in my name.  My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the night.  I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my blood pressure was up. 

This was confirmed when the home nurse came out to check on me.  As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew that it was from lack of sleep.  Four days before my six weeks was up, my son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive

hours.  However, I knew that I would need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would plummet.

I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off.  I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment.  With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call.  I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do.  However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well.  I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.

My Surprise Provision

My son was almost three months old when I took him to his three-month checkup.  After the appointment, I decided to visit my old job, which was five minutes away.  I got caught up with everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work.  I told my old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”.  I replied,” Yes, just like that. End of story.”  We laughed, and he asked me what I thought of working for him again.  I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious.  What a surprise!  

Within two weeks, I was back to working again.  In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different job.  I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting for me at this place.  Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get it. 

Dear God,

Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure what you have in store for us.  In your name,

Amen

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