Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

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{2 Things to Remember When You're Having a Bad Day}

For the fifth consecutive day, I woke up to throbbing pain in my foot/ankle. Said ankle/foot hijacked any hope of restful sleep the night before. Maybe you know what it's like to wrangle four pillows, three blankets, and an ice pack while cozying up in bed, eh?  Even my best acrobatic efforts were useless. I greeted the new day feeling the bluest shade of blue. Exhausted. Aggravated. Just flat mad. It took me three seconds, tops, to seek refuge underneath the covers rather than get myself up and out of bed. Why shouldn't I take a day?  That's when my phone chirped. Mumbling something not-so-sweet about people leaving me alone, I rolled over, peeked out of my hiding place and grabbed my phone. I had a swift change of heart when I saw the name on the notification.  I read the words from a dearly loved friend and hot tears rolled down my cheeks - you know,  happy tears - because I held in my hand a perfect, meant-just-for-me tidbit of encouragement.  So, what's a girl to do? I'll tell you.

I. Got. Up.

Maybe you think I'm making a big deal of something that was nothing more than a coincidence? Given my mood that morning, I may have been inclined to think the same. But, God knew that. And so, He was very precise. See, my friend said something in the message that could have been lifted straight from the pages of my prayer journal. An answer, right there on my iPhone. Word. For. Word. The Lord used her words to affirm something I had long been whispering to Him in prayer. The Lord is so very kind. I am grateful that in His kindness He continually pursues us. True to form, there's beautiful, much-needed truth hidden in moments like this. God has something for us to learn, or in this case, re-learn.

1. The words you speak are significant. Scripture says words have the power of life or death, like fruit or poison. (Proverbs 18:21) What's more, the words we speak are a direct reflection of our heart. Scripture also says that. What you believe about others, about yourself, or about any given situation will be reflected in the words you speak. A bitter heart produces biting words. A proud heart speaks words that are critical and judgmental. A kind heart speaks words of encouragement. A grateful hearts speaks words of gratitude. What if we were deliberate in choosing our words? What if we made this request every day:  Take control of what I say, Lord, and guard my lips. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you. (Psalm 141:3, Psalm 19:14) Yeah, what if we did that? Even our worst days will be infused with joy and hope if our words carry grace and truth.

2. God hears you when you pray. He listens intently. Don't forget that. Scripture describes Him bending down to hear our prayers. (Psalm 116:2, NLT)  You know when someone is listening to you intently. They lean in, eyes on you, captive audience. That's it! That's how God listens to us! I have seasons where my conversations with God seem one-sided, I do all the talking, and there is no reply. Those times are difficult. Eerily quiet. My faith works hard during those times, and He is indeed working on my behalf. I love that. When you're having a bad day, is there any better news?

May I encourage you today, sweet friends? What God says, He will do. He hears you and sees you. Don't dismiss the things He's speaking to you because you're in a bad mood or refuse to receive it because it's easier to hold on to what ails you. Sometimes, we'd rather be angry, hurt, or bitter because we feel like we've earned the right.  But, don't wallow. Get. Up. Grab hold of God's truth and keep going.