I’m delighted Patricia Holbrook is hosting the linkup today! Patricia is faithful in her calling. She is honest and transparent. She has a story that will meet your heart in its dry places.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Patricia’s book, 12 Inches!
The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” Judges 7:7
It was Friday night. I absently stared at the TV, thinking about how lonely I felt. Looking through my phone book, I knew that the options were not good. Friends who would be available on a Friday night would quickly offer me a tour back into my life before Christ… Places I knew not to visit anymore.
My new Christian friends were all busy with their husbands and family. It was me, my TV… and… my Bible. I glanced down and picked it up.
A new Christian, I had heard that Jesus was all I needed, but was unsure of how to let Him fill the void.
I surrendered my life to Christ only months before, and experienced unprecedented joy and peace. I spent the following weeks and months on a spiritual high, attending a new Christian discipleship class, prayer meetings and various church functions.
Yes, I made several new friends, but they were, well… new. And most of them were married, anyway. Loneliness filled my heart on the weekends. That particular weekend was the hardest of all.
As I held my Bible, tears streamed down my face. One of my best friends of eight years had turned her back on me.
Betrayal. Pain. Confusion.
The last drop in the bucket.
“Jesus, I thought you would fill my life, not empty it!” I cried out.
It was there, lying on my couch, that I heard His voice, whispering in my heart for the first time.
“I am preparing the soil for new sowing. For a new harvest.”
It was then that I saw it. I had a vision. As in a dream, I saw a large, bare field. The soil showed places where trees once stood. It was desolate-looking. Ugly, even.
Then I saw seeds coming down from Heaven, falling inside each hole on the ground. And finally, I saw the same field, green and full of beautiful, tall trees.
“Behold, I am making all things new,” I heard.
Twenty Years have gone by since that day…
And I behold the harvest.
I can close my eyes and see the faces.
My husband, our two daughters and wonderful, faithful friends throughout the years, planted in the field of my life. Besides one very best friend from my youth and my immediate family, they are all new.
They all have been planted by Yahweh’s faithful hands. And they have flourished and yielded fruits of joy, peace, love, patience… true friendship. True Love.
I stand amazed.
The vision was hard to believe at the time when loneliness filled my days. When God removed what I thought was true love… and those whom I considered real friends.
He plucked them all, one by one, and left me wondering whether I’d ever feel loved again.
But before He planted a new harvest in my life, He had to teach me to make Jesus my all in all. He wanted to become my very best friend.
Instead of giving in to the feelings of loneliness and depression, I sought His face.
I made the Bible my greatest companion. I woke up in the middle of the night to talk to my Savior and started serving Him at church. And before I realized it, He started planting beautiful new seeds into my life.
God showed me that, just as He gave Gideon victory over mighty enemies with a small army of faithful servants, His children don’t need 10,000 soldiers to win life’s battles.
When God is in control, He weeds out the unfaithful, and fills in the void in our lives with the 300 faithful few.
Gideon was afraid of not having enough. He couldn’t see how he would defeat his powerful enemy with such a small army.
You may not see how your life can continue without a particular person. Or how you can give up your old friends and still have joy. I challenge you to trust Him. Trust that He is weeding out the unfaithful, cleaning out the soil, preparing it to yield a new harvest.
All He needs is your heart. Your surrendered trust.
I promise that one day you’ll stand amazed, as you contemplate the lush green fields that Yahweh will plant on your current bare land. As you give yourself to Him, believe me: He will give it all back to you.
Pressed down, shaken together and running over.
Because that is the kind of Friend He is.
Just trust His pruning. Trust His plucking. He only cuts out what doesn’t belong, anyway.
*This blog post is an excerpt from Patricia’s Book: Twelve Inches: Bridging the gap between what you know about God and how you feel.”
***Comment for a chance to win a copy of the book! Also, share Patricia’s words on social media!
Visit the book page: www.soaringwithHim.com/Twelve-Inches
Patricia Holbrook is the President of Soaring with Him Ministries, author, columnist, blogger, wife and mom. Her passion is to encourage her audience to “soar above life’s circumstances” by the power of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. She writes about making beauty out of brokenness, trusting God in the dark, the blessings of obedience and her love for the Savior.
Among other places, you can find her writing weekly on her
blog, www.soaringwithHim.com. on her weekend column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution www.ajc.com, on iDisciple.org and websites such as Internet Devotions Cafe, among others. Patricia is also a national and international speaker for women’s events.
Get all the Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.
74 CommentsLeave a comment
What a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness and a changed life! Thank you for sharing. May the Lord take your message where it needs to go, Patricia!
Thank you so much, Betsy! God bless you!
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Thank you for stopping by! Blessings to you,
Oh my goodness, this message spoke so deeply to my heart this morning. Thank you for posting this!
Praise God, Tara. I’m so thankful that it spoke to you. Blessings, sister!
This message spoke to my heart this morning. Powerful message thank you for writing this and sharing it! 🙂
Thank you for the encouragement, Susan! Blessings,
This is perfect timing for me, this morning. I know that feeling of watching everyone else connect in their small groups at church, and here I am just lucky to drag my husband along with me to church every Sunday. But He still wants to hang out with old friends …in old ways. It tears my heart in two …and isolates me-because choosing Him is easy. Living it out is hard. But I trust Him!
Oh, Megs! I know it’s hard, but you trust Him! My best friend (whom I mention in this post – the only one who remains from my youth 🙂 came to the Lord before her husband did. He started going to church, but she had to patiently wait 10 years before he surrendered his life to Jesus. Today, they both serve together, counsel couples and, after 21 years of marriage, they are stronger together than ever. Just keep letting Jesus mold you – the result in the life of those around you is worth 1,000 words!
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Thank you for stopping by! Blessings,
Your book looks amazing. I am so glad you turned to God.
Thanks, Maree! I am too! 🙂
This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you! Thanks for the giveaway. Your book sounds amazing 🙂
Thank you, Moriah! I’m so glad it spoke to your heart today. Blessings,
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What a powerful message, Patricia!
Thank you, Jodie!! God bless!
The power of Jesus to change a life – you display it well, Patricia. Beautiful. Thank God for his redeeming work in all of us, eh? We’d be in a royal mess without Him. I love the title of your book, btw. Best wishes!
Thank you, Kristi! Yes, His Resurrection power rises the bleakest life from the pit! Praise Him!!
Really good message
Thanks, Noelle! God bless you,
My daughter was concerned that I was “lonely” but I reassured her that I am not. I, too, speak to my Savior all of the time. It brings me comfort. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Amen, Cassandra! We are never lonely with Jesus. Blessings,
This was a post I needed to read, and probably a book I need to read as well 🙂 So much wisdom in recognizing that God removes people from our lives and brings new relationships, ones which will yield fruit for His purposes. Blessings!
Thank you, Joanne. So grateful when God’s timing is perfect in the life of His children. God bless you, sister!
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God is so good! I am reading this message from many different perspectives! As God is stripping earthly comforts from our life, he is teaching m husband and I that He is all I need. I have faith that he will will restore the years the locusts have eaten! Thank you for sharing your story. I am thankful for a God who will plough down and root out those things in our lives that keep us from knowing and loving and desiring him more!
Oh, Gaye! Do I ever have a testimony about God’s restoration of the years the locust have eaten!! I share that in my book as well. He is sooo very faithful indeed. Thankful for your comment today! Blessings,
These words -> “preparing the soil for a new sowing” are glorious. If only I could keep before me the truth that this is ALWAYS what Jesus is up to!
Amen, Michele. That’s why I tell throughout my book: “Tell your heart to believe”. He never fails us! Thankful for your encouragement!
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Such a testimony, Patricia! I’ve had incredibly lonely, stripping-away seasons too. God is faithful to be our friend, our comfort, our peace, our counselor, and so much more. And you’re so right- He does tend to provide a hearty 300 over the thousands we might think we need. Praying that we cherish Him and those He provides! Your book sounds wonderful : )
Thanks, Bethany! Indeed, In God’s economy, less is usually much more 🙂
Blessings to you!!
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I remember those exact feelings – the fact that my man in plaid didn’t appear until I was 35 made me a better lover of God, a better truster of God and lo and behold, a better wife! (: Still working on that at 29 years…(: I always heard it was 17 inches from head to heart but perhaps that depends if your neck is like audrey hepburns…which I wouldn’t mind at all.
That’s too funny. I’ve heard 18 Inches as well 🙂 I do think it depends on the anatomy for sure. I’m not that tall, so I’m sure mine is 12 🙂
Thanks for sharing your testimony! Blessings,
A beautiful piece of writing. So encouraging to those who are in the situation you describe.
Thank you, Rebecca! Blessings to you!
Patricia, congratulations on the guest posting today. I really loved your story and I can relate to losing friendships, then turning to God for help. Your book looks very interesting!
Thanks, Sarah! God bless you!
Gosh this is full of hope! God’s been pruning me the last few years. I can’t wait to see what He brings me too!
I’m going to check out your book too!
So glad it spoke to your heart, Julie! Whatever He is doing, it’ll be His best! So glad you’ll check my book! Blessings,
Wow, can I relate! Trying to trust and wait in Him. Believe His goodness and faithfulness to me. His love and acceptance of me. After 5+ years, it isn’t getting any easier.
It sometimes is a long road, but He is not only working, He is changing us, molding us. It takes time and preparation to receive His best. Keep on keeping on, sister! Blessings,
I was just having a conversation like this with my 21 yo daughter. She is struggling to feel like she fits… feeling a little lonely and out of place. I had to remind her that my friends, the real ones that I have now, were hand picked by the Father and sown by His hand. I had to pass your word on to her so she could read them and see that it is not just ” mom talking’ , but that others have been where she is.
Thanks for this seed of faith. I am praying for the abundant harvest. 🙂
Thanks for sharing it with your daughter, Dawn. She is about how old I was when God starting “plucking away”. He is so faithful! I did not see it then, but oh, did He ever give me exceedingly more than what I prayed for! God bless you both,
While reading your story about God removing certain people out of your life, I felt a sense of hope that God is still working in my own life. I have been a Christian for a long time and pray plus read scriptures daily, but I thought of your story about talking to God in the middle of the night – pouring your heart out to Jesus and it occurred to me that I may not be pouring my thoughts out to Christ in a trusting way. I seem hesitant to bother Jesus, but that is what he wants each of us to do because we can never be a bother to Him.
No, we can’t, Faith. He WANTS our heart. I used to love waking up in the middle of the night and spend time with Him. It’s a priceless time with the Savior. Thanks for commenting!!
Patricia, such beautiful truths here! I love the word picture you shared about the field of your life. It truly is powerful to realize that God takes the unfaithful from our lives and re-seeds it with faithful people and things. Your story reminded me a bit of my own during muy single season.
Thank you for sharing such poignant words today!
Thank you for the encouragement, Jeanne! God bless!
I enjoyed this post , many times I too have felt lonely. I and my husband are empty nesters and we Pastor a church. As a wife of a pastor, it does get very lonely. Thank you for this post.
Thank you for commenting, Virginia! Ministry can be a lonely place, I know! Blessings to you and your husband!
This is incredibly timely as I’ve searched for ways to convey to my youth group girls the importance of allowing God to weed out the old things from their lives (including people). Thank you for these words, Patricia. I’m interested in taking a look at your new book!
Thanks, Jennifer. I am actually in the process of writing the study guide for it, and hope to have the Bible study ready for the fall. I have a teenager and know that this is a critical time to establish a strong 12-Inch bridge between what we KNOW about our God and how we feel. Feel free to email me to find out more about the study: pholbrook@soaringwithHim.com. If you don’t get the book from this contest, it is available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and others.
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Such hope in seeing these seasons of stripping, as preparation for the new places God plans to plant His people – ultimately with Him, abiding forever. And yet while here, He is soo faithful to restore what He removes. Thank-you for sharing this encouragement, Patricia and for hosting, Kelly! Blessing to you both!
Thanks, Jessica! God bless you!
I read this tonight and thought of my life after my divorce and the barren land in my heart and soul. Thirteen years later, I see the desert differently and the beauty of the seeds sown in my life.
Earlier tonight, I had a conversation with a friend who needs to hear this message. I will share it with her and pray she hears God’s voice in it.
Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing it with your friend, Yolanda!
just a few days ago, a friend came to me and said “God is removing people in her life and although she know its for the best, it still hurts a lot. This just made my day
Awesome, Kamo. Hopefully she can read it too!! Blessings,
“Behold, I am making all things new,” I heard. ME Too!
Wow, powerful moments a must ,can’t wait to read your book. I’ve had people removed from life and tried to hold on to them and so it seemed at the time it was the worst thing ever, as I look back I realize it was for my better, God is so good to me. t.
Reading the header for your upcoming book, sounds like chapters of my own life, of which I still am feeling sometimes…. alotta times actually. I’ve re dedicated my life back to the Lord about 3 years ago. Think about old friends often, and relationships. Have new friends in church, but like your foreward says, they’re new. Often lonely, etc… I would very much like to read your book, when will it be out? Thank you.
Wow!!!! Is all I can say right now. I thought that I’m the only one who felt this way. Thanks so much for the inspiration now I have much to look forward to I love your story. God is so awesome all the time.
I hope know what its like to trust god 100. I say it bt sometimes i doubt. Hes removed lots of ppl in my life recently and i feel depressed and alone ive tried to read my bible bt dont really know what to read or what im suppose to get frm what ive read. Plz pray for me nd my son as we are also homeless.
Beautiful text that reminds us of our existence. His experience of life shows us that we should always, in spite of everything, trust in God.
This is just what I needed! Great writing
This is just what I needed to hear this morning! It just really hit home for me. Someone that I really thought was a friend has just left my life. I think God had been giving me clues that this person didn’t need to be in my life, but I’ve been ignoring the signs. After reading this, I feel reassured that God is weeding out the people that don’t need to be in my life. I just need to now trust Him and believe that He’ll place the right new friends in my life. Thank you and God bless.
As I was trying to gather understanding of some things that have occurred in my life as of recent, God led me to this Article, via that of a simple Google search. After reading your article I have hope, understanding, and renewed Faith. Thank You!
I loved this entire post! I have been going through a season in my life where dating is just not it for me. Every time I pray to God to “remove anyone and anything not needed in my life and welcome what is for me”, another prospective guy leaves without a trace. I am trying my hardest to stay positive and know that this is the right path He wants me on. I am aiming to be closer with my Lord and listen to what he has for my soil and harvest.
God has plucked out my husband, my son, my Mother, my sister, my cousin, and my best friend in a short time. I have been left alone for a reason and I am thrilled that Jesus is my husband and I am looking forward to the new harvest He has planned for me. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and verses as it was truly helpful!