Category Archives: Friendship

A New Friend, A Book Review & A Birthday!

Know that feeling when you meet someone and it seems like you’ve known each other forever? I feel that way about Holly Hrywnak. We haven’t actually met in person yet, but we’ve talked on the phone and we’ve connected online quite a bit over the past month (so much that I no longer have to look up how to spell her last name!!)

Holly is a beautiful 30-year-old single woman, and I wrote Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman for amazing women like her. Check out Holly’s thoughts on the book here in her book review. (She’s also giving away a copy of the book, so definitely check out her post!)

Holly says:

It’s like I’m sitting down with a close friend over a cup of coffee and she’s listening to me spout off the things I’ve been thinking about concerning my singleness. She hears the hurt, the loneliness, and the lies. The lies that tell me that I’m unlovable and unworthy of love.

happy-birthday-text-clipart

In other news, today is my birthday! I’m sure you’re racking your brain about what to get me as a birthday gift (by the way, I totally had to look up whether to use wrack or rack and was surprised by the answer! #grammarnerd). Anyway, I’ll tell you what I would enjoy. If you’ve read Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman, I would love for your to share your thoughts by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It’s so easy, and the birthday girl would be very grateful! 🙂

Thank you for all of your support during the release of Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman!

Have a fantastic October 8th!

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Filed under Faith, Friendship, Giveaways, Single Woman Book, Singleness, Truth, Truth Lies and the Single Woman, Writing

Joy in the Morning

I have many friends walking through difficult times right now . . .

Friends dealing with the loss of loved ones,

Friends grieving the end of relationships,

Friends walking through family crisis,

And this friend and her daughter fighting physical and spiritual battles.

These battles are very real. For all of us, the darkness can be quite dark at times.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5b (NLT)

I realize reading this Bible verse isn’t going to fix everything. God gave me this verse over and over during some dark nights. Honestly, it made me mad. I didn’t understand it. Because I woke up each morning expecting my joy (and sometimes, demanding my joy), and it wasn’t there.

God, why do you keep giving me this promise when I can’t find my way out of the darkness?

Looking back, I know that God’s definition of “night” is different than ours. His timing is not our timing. His ways are not our ways.

We don’t know how long our night will last. But friends, God is with us through the darkness and through the weeping.

And he will bring joy in the morning.

It’s a promise, and you can cling to it.

To my hurting friends . . . I know the pain is impossibly hard. I also know we serve the God who makes all things possible, the One who specializes in resurrections of hope. He sees each of your teardrops and keeps track of every single one. The Lord is our Light in the darkness.

Dear Lord, I pray for my hurting friends to cling to your light and your hope in their times of darkness. We know you have already won the battle. We will cling to you and wait for your joy. Amen.

Content Copyright 2012. Allison K. Flexer @ Anointed With Grace.
Photo: stock.xchng. Photo Design by Allison K. Flexer.

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Filed under Community, Faith, Fear, Friendship, God, Surviving the Dark Places, Waiting, Who is God?

In the Midst of Fear – A God Story

For years, one of my very close friends was terrified of flying in an airplane. He had panic attacks on planes—or even just sitting in an airport. Although he owns a very successful business and travel is part of the job, he scheduled his life so he wouldn’t have to fly on an airplane. It was inconvenient but necessary for him. He would drive all the way across the country to avoid getting on a plane. Actually, it was hard for me to understand. As a business traveler, I have flown hundreds of times over the years, and I jump onto a plane just like I’m getting in my car. I’m usually asleep before takeoff.

But we all have fears. We all have areas our enemy uses to make us panic and take our eyes from God. Mine is not flying, but I’m certainly crippled by fear in many other areas.

The real story here comes with one word in the first sentence of this post—“was.” Past tense. A few days ago, my friend told me he gets excited when driving past an airport—so much that he can’t wait to fly again. This is the same person that had trouble breathing normally while driving past an airport two years ago. So, what changed?

With his permission, I want to share an excerpt from a recent email he sent:

2 years ago, I would have cut off one of my fingers before getting on an airplane. [Some close friends] prayed over me about this fear. Through their love and God’s healing power, I have now been on, I believe, 19 flights in the past 2 years. On those flights, I have some of my closest experiences with Jesus. Where else do I get to just talk to a stranger for hours without any interruptions—and where else can I do it knowing only the power of CHRIST even enables me to be on the plane to begin with? I am so cocky, so unaware, so selfish, so nasty most of the time, but that gets stripped away on the airplane as I realize how broken and how desperate I am for Jesus. And when I find him there waiting on me, he fills me with his spirit, and it is amazing what a changed person I become. I am praying that I would realize everyday how desperate I am for Christ, and not just on the days that I am flying.

I wanted to share my friend’s testimony with you because I believe this is where we need to be living—right in the middle of our fears. If we stay in our comfort zones, I believe God has little room to show us the impossible. When we step out into those areas where we don’t think we can survive alone, then God can step in, show us his power, and use us in mighty ways.

In closing, I want to share one more story from my friend. This is from his most recent plane flight:

I was seated next to a guy about my age, who was larger than I am, and tougher.  Much tougher. But he took a liking to me, and we began to share our life stories.  He told me he used drugs daily for 10 years and 2 years ago attempted suicide.  He said he took more than enough to die, and somehow didn’t, and it made him believe God was real and had a plan for his life. He entered rehab. He said he is much better now, still using drugs, but not nearly as much. He has had a job for almost two years now and is relying on God to help him battle his addiction. We shared a ton of scripture with each other, encouraged each other, and prayed together on the plane. It would take a long time to tell you everything he and I talked about in 2 hours, but it was unbelievable. Among the more noteworthy, he said his plan was to use drugs when he got home, but he felt God speaking to him through our time together and he was going to lean on God and not use yesterday. There was so much more amazing conversation and God was at work in both of our lives. I shared with him my fears and anxieties and how I have been captive to those for so long and we both received so much encouragement from God, through each other. It was so incredible.

Giving our fears to Jesus puts us in a place where we’re truly dependent on him. When incredible stories happen, we know it’s a God story and nothing we’ve done by our own power. My friend’s story has taught me to truly believe 2 Corinthians 12:9. Live in those areas of weakness, for that is where God’s power can truly be displayed…

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

What fears can you turn over to Jesus today?

 

Content Copyright 2011. Allison @ Anointed With Grace.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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Filed under Faith, Fear, Friendship, God, Travel

My Mount Hermon Experience – Part 2

Earlier this week, I posted the first two things I enjoyed about the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference I attended in April. Today, I am sharing the third part of my experience.

  • God Moments

God meets me at Mount Hermon—in many ways that have little to do with writing. I met so many new friends this year at the conference and saw many familiar faces from two years ago. God specifically placed people in my path to encourage me. There is no other explanation. For example, every time I turned around, Carrie or Judy gave me a hug and built me up with their encouraging words. Why? I had never met either of them before the conference—yet they became my biggest cheerleaders. God knew I needed that lift because I can be so hard on myself. This type of conference brings out my insecurities and my need to prove my value. But God protected me from myself. And reminded me that my worth is found in him, not my publishing credits.

**Thanks to Carrie and Judy and so many others for loving on me and letting God use you.

Also, today is an anniversary of sorts for me. Ten years ago today on May 13, 2001, I was involved in a terrible car accident. Although it’s not an event I particularly like to remember, I still think about it every May. It happened on a Sunday evening here in Nashville as I returned from spending Mother’s Day with my family. I was the only one injured in the accident. Most people who saw the wreckage of the car couldn’t believe I walked away relatively unharmed. I spent a night in the ER and had a lot of stitches in my arm and head, but nothing that wouldn’t heal with time. Since that day, I have never doubted that God has a purpose for my life. I know that he’s keeping me here for a reason.

At Mount Hermon this year, our keynote speaker was Bill Myers. During his nightly messages, Bill talked about saying yes to God. Bill said, “You only have one life—why waste it doing it your way?” And I completely agree. He went on to say that you don’t have to be smart or creative or even a “good Christian.” You just have to be willing to say yes to God.

I could have walked away from that accident ten years ago and thought, “Whew, what a lucky break that I’m okay.” But I know luck had nothing to do with it. God is in control. He holds all our moments and knows the number of our days here on earth. Since that accident, I have made a conscious effort to say yes to God. Every day, I have a choice. I can choose my plan or his. Ten years later, I’m still thankful for every moment God gives me. And I’m still learning how to say yes to him every day.

What does this look like for you? How are you saying yes to God today?


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Filed under Friendship, God, Travel, Writing