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This Isn't My First Rodeo

Did you ever go through a situation that was so horrendous, so traumatic, so absolutely catastrophic that you didn’t think you would survive?

And yet….somehow…with God’s help…you did?

It was almost a decade ago when I went through such an experience. I remember being completely devastated—stopped dead in my tracks by the fear that came from another person’s decisions and angry threats.

I cried for days before handing the situation to God and asking for His help. As days and weeks marched on and I waited for the problem to be resolved, it was only by His strength that I kept moving forward.

And then, one day, it happened. Entirely out of the blue, God did a miracle. In the most unexpected way, He ended the situation in my favor. Again, I cried, only this time from gratefulness and relief. Not only had God rescued me, but a short time later, He vindicated me. The enemy’s plot to bring destruction ultimately failed. I survived.

Here’s the funny thing—I barely even think about that experience all these years later. I’ve forgiven the person involved, and honestly, the whole situation hardly ever enters my mind these days.

That was, until I fast-forwarded a few years and came against another person who lost their temper and chose to huff, puff, and make undeserved threats to “blow the house down.”

Only, this time, my reaction was completely different.

After being utterly stunned at the situation (because that will always be my response when someone loses their temper and makes ridiculous threats), I realized that I wasn’t devastated this time.

Instead, I remember thinking, “This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been through this before, and I’ve seen God move. If God can bring me through THAT situation, if I can survive THAT trauma, I know I can trust Him to do the same again.”

You see, it turns out that the massive trauma that I thought would destroy me years ago actually made me stronger.

It taught me to trust God to rescue and to vindicate.

It made me tougher—less likely to recoil at every wind and wave blown in my direction and more prone to remember Who controls the winds and waves.

Because God allowed me to walk through an overwhelming, petrifying season, I now had a memorial stone ingrained in my heart that reminded me that:

"No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,

    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord

    and their vindication[a] from me, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Because I saw God move mountains in this season, today, when I face an obstacle that seems like a mountain, I can remember what God has done in the past and gain the hope and courage I need to face today and tomorrow.

So why am I sharing this with you?

I want to encourage all of you who are walking through an overwhelming, devastating, or traumatic difficulty today.

Yes, I know it hurts, and yes, I know it’s hard. But while you are crying and praying and asking God for answers, I want to encourage you to remember, “This is not YOUR first rodeo.”

Take some time and remember what God has done for you.

When you’re overwhelmed with fear about a physical ailment, remember the times God healed in the past.

When you are petrified by the state of your finances, remember how God provided in the past.

When the enemy comes in like a flood, take a moment and remember the times God has rescued you and helped you through other difficult and dangerous times.

Even when it’s difficult, focus on what God has done in the past as a reminder that He can do it again.

If I’m being candid, I can share that right now, today, I’m putting this into practice whenever I’m afraid of a physical situation Jamie and I are facing. When fear wants to set in, I’m forcing myself to remember all the times God healed in the past, and He can do it again.

What if this IS your first rodeo?

What if you’re a new Christian and you don’t have a history of God’s faithfulness, or you’ve just had a really easy life, and this is the first challenging thing you’ve gone through?

You can hold onto the truth that this isn’t God’s first rodeo.

Throughout history, God has been saving, healing, delivering, and rescuing His people. The Bible contains stories of His faithfulness that you can read to gain hope through difficult times.

As you walk through this difficult time, stay close to God in prayer, stay in His Word, and know He is walking beside you through it all. In His time, He will move on your behalf, giving you a memorial stone to stand on in the future.

He’ll use this time to deepen your relationship with Him, make you stronger and more courageous, and teach you things, including how to rely on Him.

Someday this thing that seems unsurvivable now will sustain you in your next trial as you say, “It’s not my first rodeo…I’ve seen God move before, and I can trust Him to move again.”

Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."

In this book I share my story of overcoming shame, lies, abuse, inferiority, and an addiction to perfection and discovered my significance, my value, and purpose in Christ. But Finding Healing isn’t just my story…in each chapter I share the lessons we learned along the way and in the second half of the book we discuss in depth how the Biblical principles of healing can be practically applied to every person’s life. 

To help you go beyond my story and begin you're own journey to healing, there is the The Finding Healing Workbook--a companion book to Finding Healing. 

 Each chapter contains study questions that can be answered individually or as part of a group study.

Next there are Scriptures to Ponder, a collection of Bible verses related to the chapter for you to read, meditate on, or memorize. After that, it's time to write your story as we've provided space for you to journal what the Holy Spirit has shown you through the study and remember your favorite quotes.

It's the perfect resource to help a small group work through Finding Healing together. Get Your Copy Today!


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