May 1, 2012

Saying Yes!!

Hi Proverbs 31 Ministries friends! Thank you for hopping over from Encouragement for Today’s daily devotion, When Life Breaks You.

What we want in suffering: an explanation from God. What we receive in suffering: a revelation of God. ~David Platt

There was a gap … It formed when I said no. No to all kinds of things. But this year, I’ve been saying yes. Because life is too brief and God needs me, you, us, to not let it pass us by.

{In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have.
And the decisions we waited too long to make.}

I’m saying no, no more, in order to say Yes.

Yes, Lord, I will take Your hand
Take You at Your Word
Take Your commands

Take a chance on life, love, hope. Because years of saying “no” have led me nowhere.

This is my year of saying Yes. Yes, I’ll be pushed beyond my boundaries, my fears, my laziness. But I know there are things I want to say yes to in the future that will require me saying yes in the present. How about you?

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  1. Thankyou for your amazing word of encouragement. It meant so much and spoke right to me. I will join you to say yes to God who is working in ways I can’t begin to understand, but faith is believing no matter what the outcome , God we will trust you no matter what happens here !!!!!

    • Samantha says:

      Karen, so thankful you’ll be joining me on this year of yes! “No matter what” love it!! xoxo

  2. Annette says:

    I am so there in the ashes and have been for almost a year and a half. Thank you for reminding me that God is kneeling beside me and He will take all this sadness, anger, disappointment, and grief and turn it into something good. I am grateful for your message today!

    • Samantha says:

      He’s kneeling and offering a hand to help up. ““With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26


    • Stephanie says:

      I have lived with the ashes my whole life, waiting for the good to come from them. It is hard to believe there is anything else at this point. Your note gives me a little hope.

      • Samantha says:

        Honored to be a small stitch of hope in the grander fabric Christ is knitting in your heart. xoxo

  3. Thank you for sharing that. Reminds me a lot of myself too. God is definitely working on me though. Your challenge is inspiring.

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for your reminders of God’s promises and a fresh look at why’s of challenges thrown our way. “Beauty from Ashes” What a wonderful vision .

  5. Samantha,

    Beautifully written words of hope and encouragement! Saying YES to whatever God has in store!! Thank you so much for saying YES to sharing your story with the world. Our stories, no matter how painful, will one day be the stepping stones to grace for someone we may never meet.
    God bless you Samantha!!

    In His embrace,

    • Samantha says:

      This is beautiful, Toni! “Our stories, no matter how painful, will one day be the stepping stones to grace for someone we may never meet.” Thanks for this. And for your YES!! What a fun adventure!


  6. Thank you for you wonderful words. I went through something a couple of years ago and although I turned back to God, I still felt the hurt and a sense of betrayal from God. It took me a long time to retutn to trusing God the way I once did but I’m so happy I did. Although I came to the realization of what He was trying to show me, to teach me I still felt the pain of the experience. I prayed about it ant sometimes I still feel the pain of it, but like you I found God next to me holding my hand. So thank you again for sharing your story. When I speak about what I felt no one every seemed to get where I was coming from and I had to go through this alone, but with your story I see that is not true. Thanks again!

    • I know exactly where you are coming from…the devil would have us think that we are in stuff all alone. Thank God for blogs and sharing!

      • Samantha says:

        He really does like to force us into isolation, huh? Thanks for sharing and joining us! xoxo

    • Samantha says:

      Daria, thank you so much for sharing. I too still feel the pain at the most random times. It’s not frequent, and always I have to allow it to lead me back to Jesus’ loving embrace. We’re definitely not alone and I pray you continue knowing that truth and it breathes fresh perspective and hope into your soul. Blessings!! xoxo

  7. vicki (victoria) little waters says:

    thank you

  8. valerie says:

    I want to say yes as well. To everything He offers. I want to let go of any fear or doubt that has held me from my purpose.

    • Samantha says:

      Amen, Valerie! Makes me think of the man who sat by the healing waters. When Jesus passed by He asked, “do you want to get well?” It’s as if the man just simply had to make up his mind. “Yes! I do.”

      “Then pick up your mat and walk.” Was Jesus’ response. That’s what my “Year of Yes” is all about… picking up my mat and leaving behind the fear and doubt. Glad you’re in it with us!


  9. Tanya Turner says:

    Sam, Today’s Daily Devotion, When Life Breaks You, really touched my heart and spoke to my spirit. I’m a domestic violence survivor NOT VICTIM and I have had my share of ashes over the past two years. In the devotion you wrote: “I want to be real. And real is the fact that it’s taken every day between then and now to see redeeming qualities from the heartbreak. To be honest, I still don’t see much beauty from such devastation.” I would like to tell you that the devastation you went through created this daily devotion which BLESSED my heart after the turmoil I survived. Sometimes we don’t see much beauty from what we endure but perhaps our pain and how we allow God to shine through us will touch someone that is suffering. Today is the two year anniversary of my marriage. A marriage that I survived. The flames that engulfed my marriage created ashes for God to make something beautiful for me. Even though my marriage is over, I see through Gods love letters (this devotion) that I will make it. That I will rise above my situation and claim victory. The enermy will not win. Please be encouraged today. Thank you so much for your words. God Bless you!! Tanya <

    • Samantha says:

      Wow, Tanya… you are a beautiful survivor!! Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. What a gift you and your story of God’s faithfulness are!! I’m exited for you as the Potter continues to make beautiful things out of your ashes. Thank you for your delightful encouragement, friend.


  10. Billie says:

    I SO relate! Thank for sharing. I choose to say YES with you
    And get up from these Ashes that the Lord has lovingly been pulling
    Me from. Yes, Lord, here I am, I choose to stand again and follow
    You. Amen.

  11. Samantha,

    What an encouraging devotional you wrote today!! I have those places in my life as well. Thank you for giving me the courage and the opportunity to say “I CHOOSE YES” with you today!!! Lord, I want to walk your walk, not mine. Keep my eyes fixed on You and direct my every step.

    Love you, Sam!!!


  12. Diedre says:

    Thank you for this blog. I want to say yes also. I want to say yes to God and give him my all. My heart, my mind, my soul and most of all my trust. I want him to know he can trust me in good times and bad. I am asking him to strengthen my faith as I know that he has so much more for me to experience through Him.

  13. Samantha,

    I wandered here and followed the link “I Can’t Cook a Lick” to find that the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord. I am so touched that a loving God has carried me through a lot of fire and I have only recently realized I was holding on to his promises with a closed fist. I have had to relax my grip and open my hands and my heart to receive his love for my life. I posted there to give you an idea of my journey this morning. A friend recommended this site to me today because I needed the encuragement. Thanks to you and to Carol I have been encouraged.

    • Samantha says:

      Joy, how sweet you lived out Scripture today. Indeed the Lord does direct our steps. Thankful you connected with Carol/Can’t Cook a Lick. Carol is a daily inspiration to me! Blessings to you as you relax your grip in order to take His hand. He’s waiting. xoxo

  14. Sharon Glasgow says:

    Oh Samantha this is an amazing message!
    thank you for sharing it with us. Wow, what a beautiful artist you are with words!

  15. Danielle Christy says:

    Thank you for your words today. I feel as if you took them right out of my own heart. These past 18 months have been rough, dreams borken, life rethought, but all through it I’ve seen God’s grace and prescence. I, too, am starting to realize that God has other opportunities for me that had I not gone through the last 18 months I would not have been open too. I am saying yes with you.
    Thank you for your encouragment, I needed the daily reminder this morning to continue saying yes.

    • Samantha says:

      Deeeelighted you’re saying Yes with us, Danielle! And oh – so – excited to see how the Lord redeems the last 18 months for you!! xoxo

  16. future hope says:

    What an encouraging word for this day. I have been living through the filter of infidelity. The man I married, was in a relationship with another woman for 3 years. After revealing this information, I waited for 15 months to see a change or a choice from him towards restoration in Christ. He choose his own personal “lifestyle” instead of marriage or our family of four. Having served in the ministry for 20 years, it is difficult to sometimes breathe in this type of internal devastation. The rejection and continual reminders often fog my mind with thoughts of hopelessness and despair. Today, I would like to join you in saying “yes” to God’s word. Saying “yes” to and believing His word instead of what is happening to me or the words of this man who betrayed my trust. Saying “yes” to Isaiah 61:3….”and provide for those who greive in Zion- to bestow on them a Crown of Beauty instead of ashes, the Oil of Gladness instead of mourning, and a Garment of Praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor”. YES!

    • Samantha says:

      Future Hope, I think your ‘name’ says it all. Indeed, there is the Greatest Hope ever, beckoning your heart with hope and healing. Friend, I am utterly sorry for the tragedy and betrayal you and your children have gone through. My pray for you is Joel 2:25, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm.”

      May God give back 10 fold what’s been stolen and lost and devoured, including joy and hope and peace.


  17. Pamela Speir says:

    What an encouraging devotional. I feel like it was written for me alone. Having gone through some things a few years ago I still can’t see the good. I’ve questioned it all a lot lately. So thank you so much for the reminder that God has been and will always be there with me and in his timing He will bring forth the beauty from the ashes!

    • Samantha says:

      Thanks so much for touching base Pamela! It’s a treasure to know He’s waiting there to take the ashes and create beautiful things with them. xoxo

  18. I have enjoyed Proverbs 31 Ministries this past year. I believe we all need encouragement and what a blessing to be able to receive it daily through this website. Thank you for sharing your story and blessing all who have read it. We all have a story to tell of climbing the mountains and valleys in our lives. No matter who we are, we will always have these to face, but it isn’t wonderful to have a Blessed Savior to lean on through it all. I’m blessed today for so much, but would like to share just a small part to maybe encourage someone else. I’m 50 year old and feel I have lived an amazing life. I’m married, raised two beautiful children that a parent could not be more proud of! I went back to school after my youngest child was a Junior in High School. I was a certified nurses aide for 30 years and decided with my husbands encouragement to go on to nursing. So many times in that 4 years I wanted to give up! I went through some unbelievable negative trials, and cried out to Jesus every day, to please take it all from me if it be his will. I cried for peace, hope, encouragement to take one day at a time. Even my RN instructor said, maybe this isn’t for you, why don’t you just let it go. People this was said to me in my last year of nursing and I look back and know with all my heart that the Devil was working overtime! Praise God, that he is the Victor! For I stand today before you all as an RN and work in Acute Rehab where I get to be God’s helping hands of encouragement to all that come in my path! I pray to be what he wants me to do and all that I can be for him. I believe with all my heart when we let go and let God take over our lives, watch out because there is no stopping him! I was the least to make it in our nursing class and I now work in one of the finest hospitals in our area. Don’t stop believing or hoping for something great to happen in your lives! Pray every day to be what God wants for you and just believe! God Bless you all that receive this and remember we always have Hope! 🙂

    • You go, Eve! To God be the GLORY!!!

    • Samantha says:

      Eve, I bet you are a magnificently wonderful nurse and shine Jesus!! Thank you for sharing your encouragement. It’s through Jesus and our testimonies that despair and hopelessness are overcome. Appreciate your heart! xoxo

  19. Trying so hard to say yes in obedience to Christ. Great post.

    • Samantha says:

      His grace is more than enough for ya, friend!! Take that first step and you’ll see He’s already gone ahead and prepared the way. xoxo

  20. I fight, oh I fight against living the “I shoulda” life. I should have had the cousins over, I should have gone to college earlier, I should have taken that job when I had the opportunity. I fight so hard and still live with regrets. All because I have believed the lies of Satan for too long. Yes. Yes, I will join you. I wish I could say yes for my husband and he lives with regret way more than me. It eats at him and keeps him from enjoying today. At least I can say yes for myself – yes to reaching out to God. Every. Single. Day. Yes, to seeing His beauty. Every. Single. Day. Regardless of everything that tries to hide the beauty. I will rest in his promises. I choose to believe. Thank you for speaking helping me to know I’m not alone and for speaking His encouragement. Blessings to you for your year of YES! 🙂

  21. Elisabeth says:

    Your devotion was God’s answer to my prayer this morning or rather my praying/rant. Five yrs ago I prayed, “LORD, please provide my husband a job and we will go wherever you open the door. Please close all doors that are not your will and open the door YOU choose for us so wide there is no doubt.” I never thought that wide opened door and the miracles that enabled our move would lead to a job that has tested my husband’s integrity on a frequent basis (at a Christian college, no less), made me question my relationship with Jesus, made me feel that God is an angry father seeking to punish us for every little sin, financial bankruptcy and other trials and disappointments. Many days I can see the positive. I pray for the LORD to bring peace to daily decisions and wisdom for planning for the future. This morning has been one of the more challenging days to realize that the blessings outweigh the negatives 100:1. Your message, your YES is exactly what Jesus wanted me to hear this morning. I need to say YES to Jesus and no to others’ demands on my time and no to my own perceived demands on my time through guilt. THANK YOU for saying YES to Jesus’ prompting to write this article. May the LORD bless you with wisdom & joy!

  22. Thank you so much for words of encourgement sometimes I tend to forget that all I have to do is reach for God and say Yes Lord. God is always kneeling beside no matter what I may be going through.

  23. This is so right on time. I’m saying yes to the pain of getting broken again so that I can heal properly. My thing isn’t as simple as why I put on 100 pounds, but really WHY?! What happened? What were the circumstances that made me turn on myself and away from the truth that God was there for me all along? For the last several months God has shown me awesome, incredible grace and little signs along the way that promise that I am on the right path. This post was just another one of those signs of grace. Thank you.

  24. Samantha,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve also committed to saying “yes” to God this year! It’s been both amazing and terrifying at the same time. Looking forward to meeting you at She Speaks this year sister!

  25. I loved ‘When Life Breaks You’. I went through a very rough season (7 years) in my life. My husband filed for divorce, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and then 6 1/2 years after diagnosis, I lost my Dad.
    God recently granted me a ‘look’ at some of the whys of my life. My ex-husband would never go to church, so it wasn’t until after my divorce that I became a Christian. My Mom had cancer so that she would not be the only one in the family without it. I know that sounds strange, but she would have felt guilty if she were the only one without it. Because of my cancer I became a more devout Christian. I learned to lean on God. My Dad saw the awesome change in me and decided to start attending church with me. He developed a relationship with Christ. My sister said that she may not have been off work, spending as much time with my Dad right before he passed away, had she not been of work recovering from her surgery.
    I still don’t know why God chose to take my Dad at the time He did and I’m sure I won’t – this side of Heaven. But I now know that I will see my Dad there when I get there.

    And now….I’m saying ‘yes’. I recently felt like God was leading me to go back to school. Everything is falling in to place and I start class at the end of THIS WEEK. I’m nervous, scare, but ver excited. I know that God has wonderful things in place for me with this.

  26. I finally became the pastor I was called to all my life and ministered to thousands…way beyond my wildest dreams. I went back to school in my 40’s to get my masters in ministry degree and off and running in our fast paced church. We then went through a season of much moral failure among the staff, also illegal dealings with the finances, and I found myself in the midst of tremendous warfare. God led me to raise up a small group of women to interceded and we did weekly for two and a half years while the war raged. We saw God in such incredible ways, and gained God through this battle that I would never give that experience back. We have a new Pastor, new staff, new vision, new direction, and I no longer fit…and my health plummeted. I am now on disability and have been in my ashes for the last two years, grieving. But I have recently been saying yes, again…but today was a hard day and I was back to saying no! So, thank you dear sister… I am saying yes to teaching my home study tonight…and I am saying yes to writing a book. Your word was His word to me today…I am grateful.

  27. Brilliant! YES YES YES! You spoke right to my heart with this one. I have bowed out, ran away, isolated myself, and hidden all in the name of ‘no’. All in the name of being safe and secure knowing that with ‘no’ there is no risk, but I didn’t get that there was no reward either. I’ve missed out on my friend’s children growing up because I said no to every birthday party, every cookout, every open house. I’ve missed out on friendships, new and old, because I’ve said no to baby showers, birthday parties, girl’s night out, movies, dinner, and road trips. I’ve missed out on so much because I was uncomfortable at the thought of leaving the safety of myself.
    Alone – there is no fear. I know me. I know what I’m going to say and do. I know that it won’t get sticky. But man! when I say yes – only God knows how that’s going to end.
    Maybe I’ll blog about this too. I’m excited to see where “yes” takes me! Good Luck Sam!!

  28. Dear Samantha,
    Thank-you so much for blessing me and others with your words today. I have been going around for days, weeks, months, even years, with fists full of ashes (really garbage bags full) and I continue to waver between wanting to trade them in the worst way and just falling over backwards into them (like a pile of leaves, only ashier 😉 in a posture of defeat. Trading them in, of course, takes far more effort, but the tradeoff cannot compare to anything. And so I remain humbled as always by God’s amazing grace.
    Bless you.

  29. white knuckles says:

    Fistfuls of ashes… what an image! To finally have an image of how I’ve been living my life – for YEARS! And still, I remain, fingers, tightly clenched, unwilling to release the brokenness, the sorrow, the lost hope, the destruction, the failure that resides within my hands. Hands that are basically worthless now, because all they do is hold on to that desolation, instead of turn over the building blocks to the Lord. I’ve prayed, I’ve cried out, I’ve sang songs of praise, of yearning, begged for forgiveness… I’ve searched for answers, both in intellectual and theological circles, as to WHY I still cling to these ashes, and why I apparently keep the Lord at arm’s length… I WANT so much to release all of this and rest in His promises… but years and years and years of broken promises have conditioned me to believe that promises were made to be broken, and so my knuckles whiten, folding my arms across my chest and I cautiously step back to the corner. Will He really continue to wait and wait and wait? And what’s wrong with me, that I can’t seem to trust?! Why won’t my heart soften?

    • Barbara Ruark says:

      Hold on White knuckles. There is nothing wrong with you. I would say you have been hurt deeply and the comfort of staying the same, as painful as it is, is easier then the unknown. I was just reading about the Isrealites getting to the Red Sea and immediately wanting to go back to the bondage they knew in Egypt because of the obstacle in front of them. We all face obstacle like that at times, so please do not think there is anything wrong with you. God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He loves you and I encourage you to continue to pray and God will soften your heart. God loves you dearly!

  30. Marilyn says:

    Thank you, Samantha, for reminding me of a wise friend’s counsel: God won’t waste your pain and He’ll use it to help other. Pain from years of deceit and broken promises left me struggling to trust and I didn’t realize how it also affected my view of God. Lisa TerKuerst’s “What Happens When Women Say YES to God” got my attention and by the end of the study I took leap: Begin each morning by saying “yes” to God – even BEFORE you know what He’ll say today. Believe me, there were mornings I really stuttered and stammered before praying it, but I always came back to “Who ELSE could I *ever* make that kind of commitment to?!?” No one! God has shown up in SO many unexpected ways. He proves over and over that He IS trustworthy!… He really does care!… He just wants me to BELIEVE He cares… to trust HIM!! It’s been 2.5 years and a rewarding experience like no other!! Blessings to you dear ladies on your ‘YES’ walk.

  31. Cherie Goers says:

    I am saying yes to being a deaconess. I am very insecure and will be working with older women, and I know that God can use me, despite my fears. It made such a difference reading your blog and knowing that I am not the only one with fears. I thank you for your inspiration and reminding me of the promises that God gives us. I think because of my insecurities and fears, I am already closer to God and praying more 🙂 Again, thanks for your blog – I am touched that you share your heart and help to strengthen our faith.

  32. Barbara Ruark says:

    Your challenge to say yes came at an interesting time. I believe God wants me to say yes to truly trusting him. I love the Lord however I continue to try to navigate my life. God wants me to say yes to allowing him to be in total control even when I don’t understand it. I am trusting God to bring beauty from the ashes of my divorce 10 years ago. I have grieved long enough and it is time to say yes to trusting God and knowing he has provided as I have needed and he continues to do so. Thank you for your message at such an interesting time for me!

  33. You always bless my heart Samantha. I’m sure God is smiling saying…”Look at her…she’s choosing to say ‘yes’ to Me.”

    Not sure what God is going to ask of me, but I surrender to willingness and obedience.
    Hugs and love,

  34. What a blessing you were to me tonight as I read both “When Life Breaks You” and then “Saying Yes!”. I have been notorious for using shyness, fears, and insecurities as legitimate reasons for saying “No” to God on many occasions throughout my 56 years of life. As 2012 began, I started reading Kay Warren’s book, Say Yes to God, in response to a stirring within to be totally surrendered to God. You see, my 18-year-old made a bold commitment to go for 6-week mission trip this summer to a Muslim country. He, too, is shy, but responded in obedience with a bold “yes” when God called. At that point, I realized that it was time to “Say Yes to God”. No more excuses. After reading Kay’s book, I started in an online study of the book, Untroubled Heart, and have just begun A Confident Heart. Through these studies, studying God’s Word, an reading encouraging words like yours and others Proverbs 31 writers, I feel like God is equipping me to say “Yes” to Him — to be an obedient and faithful follower of Christ, to study and believe the promises of His Word, to follow Him wherever He leads. Samantha, thank you for sharing your powerful exhortation to say “Yes” to God. Your words remind me of a song that has been on my heart a lot lately, taken from “At the Foot of the Cross”:

    I’ll trade these ashes in for beauty
    And wear forgiveness like a crown
    Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
    I lay every burden down
    At the foot of the cross.

  35. Charlotte Adjepon-Yamoah says:

    Dear Sam, Thank you for your message. It spoke through me and I am joining you to say YES this year.
    Quoting the second stanza of the Methodist Hymn Book 69,
    ”Tis Jesus the first and the last
    Whose spirit shall guide us save home
    We will praise HIm for all that is past
    And trust Him for all that’s to come’

  36. I just got around to my e-mails and your devotional on P31 so speaks of my NOW. thank you for the words and the encouragement we were able to draw from them. God Bless.

    Striving to Live Out Loud~Pamela

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