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When Life Leaves Us Empty Handed: The Power of Resilient Faith

By Lyli Dunbar

God's Brave Women - Lyli's Story


Two years ago, I would jump out of bed in the morning and make eggs for a little person. Then, I’d dance into his room with a cheery “Good Morning” and ignore his loud objections as I dragged him out of bed and into the bathroom. My busy mornings were cluttered with Cheerios and Matchbox cars. I became a first-time mom “on the fly” at age 52, and I had my hands full in every way.


Until I didn’t. One day it all ended as quickly as it had started. I packed up the Hot Wheels and the tiny blue underwear, and I was left with nothing in my hands. My husband and I thought we’d never stop crying.


How do you find your courage when you don’t even want to get out of bed? Sometimes life rips your heart in two, and you end up with empty hands asking God lots of questions.


 

"How do you find your courage when you don’t even want to get out of bed? Sometimes life rips your heart in two, and you end up with empty hands asking God lots of questions."

 

Maybe like me, you’ve experienced a loss that seems incredibly wrong, and you are asking God why this even happened.


We get married thinking we’ll be married forever. Until we are sleeping in bed alone. We raise our kids expecting they will grow up to be amazing humans. But then they create a whole lot of chaos in our lives. We live for the dream of a better job and a bigger house, but then our bank account ends up disappearing. When life isn’t exactly what you signed up for, you have to throw away your plans and trust God has a better one.


 

"When life isn’t exactly what you signed up for, you have to throw away your plans and trust God has a better one."

 

I’m going to confess that I didn’t initially handle my new empty season with a whole lot of courage. Instead of reaching for my Bible, I grabbed a large bowl and ate a whole lot of ice cream while I binged watched YouTube videos. I basically lived in my pajamas for six months.


I finally just started reading a few verses a day because I knew I needed help, but I couldn’t sit with my Bible open and not end up in a puddle of tears. Every morning, I grabbed a dollar store notebook and a pen to write down a verse. I read until something jumped off the page and reminded me God was still God, and He was good.


He was good to empty handed Hannah who cried for a child.

He had a plan for Joseph who was betrayed by His own family and ended up in a jail cell.

He protected Daniel who consistently did what was right, but got thrown into a dark cave with roaring lions.


The more I read my Bible, the more I realized how my empty season was not going to be the end of me. It might just be the beginning of something bigger God wanted to do in our family.


 

"The more I read my Bible, the more I realized how my empty season was not going to be the end of me. It might just be the beginning of something bigger God wanted to do in our family."

 

So, I got out of bed, and I got on my knees. My hands might be empty, but I can still give God my heart. I can still believe He will work things out and bring redemption somehow and some way, in His perfect time.


 

"My hands might be empty, but I can still give God my heart. I can still believe He will work things out and bring redemption somehow and some way, in His perfect time."

 

Wherever you and I stand, we can choose to take heart and find hope. Instead of giving way to despair over our circumstances, we go to Jesus. Like the empty-handed widow Jesus described in the gospels, we can persist in crying out to the Lord and see the Almighty do something amazingly unexpected on our behalf. With resilient faith, we continue to pray and refuse to give up. (Luke 18:1-8).


 

"Instead of giving way to despair over our circumstances, we go to Jesus. Like the empty-handed widow Jesus described in the gospels, we can persist in crying out to the Lord and see the Almighty do something amazingly unexpected on our behalf. With resilient faith, we continue to pray and refuse to give up."

 

Our Savior seemingly lost everything on the way to the cross, but that heart wrenching day was the beginning of our salvation.


 

"Our Savior seemingly lost everything on the way to the cross, but that heart wrenching day was the beginning of our salvation."

 

Your most painful day might just be leading to a glorious resurrection and a new beginning. Your broken heart and empty hands will one day be full in the best way.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story. And by the way...


You are Brave!


No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my empowered email tribe.


AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the book I am writing with Moody Publishers! SIGN UP for more info on my book’s release and availability.


 

About Lyli


Lyli Dunbar’s burning passion as a writer, speaker and Biblical life coach is to fuel a wildfire faith in the weary hearted. She starts every weekday by digging into the Word verse by verse with thousands of women as a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 App and Love God Greatly. A fireball at heart, Lyli is energized by singing karaoke in the car with her husband, reading 12 books at a time, and cooking Cuban food for a full house.


Stop by lylidunbar.com to grab faith fuel for your day or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You’ll love her free downloadable resources including a 30-day Pray Big Calendar.


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