Dear readers, from time to time I ask others to share their stories of faith, hope, and love in order to encourage us all. If you have a story to share, you can find my guidelines under the Connect tab. In the meantime, welcome Julie Arduini!
It was April and I entered my pastor’s office tired, afraid, and angry. The year wasn’t even half over and I was waving a white flag. I was more than overwhelmed, I was burned out and depleted. Picture an empty, stomped on juice box. That was me.
He listened to me spill out my fears and frustrations. Just when I knew God was calling me to leave traditional publishing and start my own writing and speaking ministry, my husband accepted a job offer with the company he’d been working for. Thing was, the new position allowed him to work from home. Full-time.
That was enough change to rock me, but more was on the horizon. Our son was in his senior year of high school and it was more stress than any of us saw coming. There was the high school tasks and the college to-do’s. The financials alone were draining. It felt like there was always something that needed my attention and I was overwhelmed.
Two weeks before his graduation was my husband’s oldest’s son’s wedding out of state. This was an answer to prayer, we loved his fiancée and couldn’t wait for her to officially join the family. But making sure we had all the details set, the budget, everything packed, and yet be ready for all things graduation pretty much when we got back—I completely stressed myself out with worry.
And oh, right, I chose May to re release ENTRUSTED and release ENTANGLED.
So, there I was. Fighting back tears in the pastor’s office, giving him the schedule and wondering how was I ever going to pull it all off. My pastor and pastor’s wife listened without interrupting. When I finally finished, they noted two things.
My pastor’s wife realized when I started a sentence I said, “I’m afraid that…”
My pastor noted that I was putting all the burdens on my shoulders, not the Lord’s. As he prayed, he had a great visual. He told me to picture an arch. To visualize me on one side, and Jesus on the other. If I kept that perspective, I could place every burden on that arch and it would not break. He said I could put a thousand worries and issues on that arch and it will not break.
That image set me free.
I did feel overwhelmed a lot, and every time I ended up thinking about the arch. Not only did we have all those events, I ended up getting sick, I believe from the stress. My father-in-law recently passed. But through each change, I remembered the burdens were not mine. They belonged with Jesus and peace reigned.
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.
“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”
Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.
Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.
Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?
While Entangled is book #2 and can stand alone, if you’d like to read Entrusted: Surrendering the Present first, click here.
You can also enter to win a signed copy of both books at Goodreads through August 29th!