It seems I’ve done quite a bit of reading over the last several months. I suppose that’s winter in Ohio for you. I thought I’d take some time to share my thoughts on one book in particular; In Due Time: Hope & Encouragement in the Waiting by Caroline Harries. This book made a significant impact in my spiritual walk. I underlined, wrote notes, and dog-eared so many pages. I need to apologize in advance for the length of this post. I just had so much to say, and I needed to give the book its due. I highly suggest this book to anyone looking to deepen their faith and walk with the Lord.
In Due Time: Hope & Encouragement in the Waiting
Oh, my sweet friend Caroline from In Due Time. I stumbled across Caroline’s blog a little over a year ago and was inspired by her story. She and her husband, Colby, have been expectantly awaiting a baby for 5 years. I was first struck by her unquestionable faith and trust in God and his timely deliverance. Despite statistics, diagnoses, and endless opinions, Caroline and Colby stay obedient and faithful to the Lord, and believe fully in God providing their miracle babies.
I had the unique, and might I add divine, opportunity to meet Caroline in person last year at the Gateway Pink Impact conference in Fort Worth, Texas. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life – I know that may seem dramatic. But truly, God had the whole thing planned out. Nearly 10,000 people – and I run into a blogger who I randomly began following months before. It was also like meeting a famous person – eeek! Ever since that encounter, Caroline and I have stayed in touch. I was thrilled when I found out that she had written her very own book, and was becoming a published author!! (See, I DID meet a famous person). I honestly couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy – believing the Lord had given this amazing opportunity for Caroline and Colby to share their story to an even bigger audience.
I was so excited about sharing the news of her book that I purchased 7 copies for my family and friends to give as Christmas gifts – yet I neglected to buy my own copy! (Duh). My initial thought was, “oh, I’ll just read one of the books I purchased for my family, and then wrap it up.” But when I received the books I instantly knew that would not be an option – I needed my own copy to bend, write in, highlight, etc. Fortunately, Caroline reached out asking how I had purchased my first set of books. I told her I bought them from Amazon. Much to my dismay, Caroline explained she would have given me a much better deal had I ordered them from her directly (duh again). Oh well, I just ordered my own copy from Caroline and received a special note from her inside – perfect!
In Due Time: Hope & Encouragement in the Waiting is a 60-day devotional – each day is filled with scripture, personal stories from Harries, and questions to ponder regarding your own season of waiting. ‘“How long, O Lord, how long???” The reality of life is that we’re all waiting on something. Marriage. Babies. Jobs. Healing. Family restoration. The list could go on and on… Seasons of waiting on the Lord can be hard, discouraging and exhausting. Perhaps it’s only been weeks or months. But for some, the wait has lasted years.” Though Harries’ book is inspired by her own season of waiting on babies – she makes it completely applicable for each and every one of us. I saw a strong parallel to my waiting and desperate desire to be healed from OCD in the rich truths packed into the pages of this book. I was inspired, encouraged and convicted.
Caroline convicted me from the moment I opened the book. In her ‘Note from the Author’ and ‘Acknowledgements’ section, she vulnerably displays just how obedient, faithful and trusting she is in the Lord’s plans for her life. “I wish this book was written on the other side of my wait, but that was not the case” (Harries, VIII). Even though she knew her book wouldn’t have the “happy ending” readers would anticipate, she obediently pushed through and wrote her story regardless. I like to believe that this is all part of God’s awesome plan – he is going to grow the Harries’ audience to a much bigger capacity, greater than they could ever imagine, and then at the perfect time, they will announce their news and hundreds, maybe thousands, of people will see their faithful testimony and grow in their own faith!
Harries goes on to acknowledge Christ in a way that is so humbling to someone who has been in their own season of waiting – growing impatient and frustrated with God’s timing. “Most importantly, I am thankful to my Savior, Jesus Christ. Although this hasn’t been an easy process, thank you for giving me the words to write. Thank you for taking me through the storms and using my weaknesses to display your strength. It’s been an honor to use my darkest time of my life to bring light and truth to others” (Harries, X). Ever since I read this, I have actively tried to pray those same words, so that they will become the truth of my heart. And finally, toward the end of the book, Harries packs one more convicting punch, “But I would hate to be so focused on what I don’t yet have that I miss out on all the blessings that I do have . . . The only way that you will find true contentment is if you fix your eyes on Christ” (Harries, 111). Wow, so convicting and so good! I pray that Christ alone becomes my main focus, not because I desperately want answers and healing, but because of who HE IS.
In Due Time: Hope & Encouragement in the Waiting provides an excellent reminder of how powerful our faith can be through Jesus. “Do you realize your faith has the power to move mountains . . . [but] remember that although faith must always be present, it’s never your faith that causes the mountains to move; it’s always God . . . [so] stop fixing your eyes on the mountain and start fixing your eyes on the One who can move the mountain. Start commanding your mountains to move . . .” (Harries, 2-3). “Faith is only a necessity when you don’t have what you are believing for . . .” (Harries, 14). God intended for us to solely rely on Him alone. Without trials, pain and desired dreams, we would never have a reason to depend on him and grow our faith. We were created for this very thing, ‘God has given you the privilege of approaching him with your requests as you “ask anything.” When you do this, you show that you love and trust him and that you take him and his Word seriously”’ (Harries, 117). Find the freedom in the ability to seek God for all your heart’s desires and see what only He can do!
Caroline deepened my understanding of the partnership God wants us to have with him. “. . . he doesn’t want you to do this alone so he gives you an opportunity to partner with him . . .” (Harries, 91) “God desires to partner with you and reveal the direction that he wants you to go” (Harries, 105). We are not alone in this life. He is always there, ‘. . . God “daily bears you burdens”’ (Harries, 18). We just have to let go of the tight grip we have on our lives and place the control back into the rightful owner’s hands. If we fully place our trust in Him, He will direct our steps. “God is on your side . . . Nothing that happens to you . . . is a surprise to him” (Harries, 23). “. . . you are his beloved child . . . he will never abandon you . . . he will protect you no matter what trial comes your way” (Harries, 85).
Harries mentions the power of words and the importance of proclaiming God’s promises numerous times throughout the book. We tend to speak death over our situations, “I will never overcome this”, “God just isn’t on my side”, “the doctors say there is no possible way” – proclaiming these words over ourselves just deepens the negative hole we’re in and allows Satan to have his way with our emotions and beliefs. Instead, we must speak life-giving words over ourselves and proclaim the promises of God! Before this book, before Caroline’s impact in my life, I was guilty of speaking death over myself. I never knew how to proclaim God’s promises – because, honestly, I really wasn’t quite sure what His promises were. But I was so inspired by her that I opened my Bible immediately and sought out all the promises I could find.“. . . it’s time that you start believing and acting upon God’s promises for you. God’s promises are true . . . God will fulfill his promises. Our God is a faithful God, and he never goes back on his Word . . . [so] Stand in agreement with his Word . . .” (Harries, 76, 77).
As I mentioned earlier, Caroline does an excellent job of intertwining her personal season of waiting while still making it completely applicable for each of us. I found such inspiration and hope for my own season of waiting. Her words made such an impact on my heart.
“He desires to bring complete justice to every situation that you are facing. He longs to bring deliverance, healing, restoration, redemption and victory. He wants to take any area of your life that contains dysfunction or disorder and restore it back to its original intent. And the best part is that when your wait is over, you will receive a predetermined blessing from the Lord” (Harries, 25)
‘. . . even though [your desires/dreams] “may seem slow in coming… it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed” . . . he is waiting for the perfect “time for it to come true.” . . . you will experience your breakthrough’ (Harries, 37)
“Jesus paid for you to live in complete freedom and his Word brings the truth that is needed to set you free from the sin that enslaves you, as well as the bondage that you are currently living in . . . the more you fill your life with God’s truth, both Jesus and his Word, the more freedom you will experience from the trials and bondage you are currently facing” (Harries, 52, 53)
“Nothing is ever too hard for God . . . He wants to take those situations that seem so far gone and breathe life into them . . .” (Harries, 66).
“. . . God does care about every one of your desires . . . God doesn’t get frustrated or tired with your prayers . . . approach him as if it were the first time you ever prayed . . . he is always acting on your behalf and answering your requests . . . He knows your heart’s desires . . .” (Harries, 119)
Yes & Amen my friend!! This is just a taste of what In Due Time: Hope & Encouragement in the Waiting has to offer. You must buy this book! I promise you will be filled with hope, inspired to persevere and convicted to change.
Caroline has graciously offered a 15% discount for anyone who purchases her book using the code “brokenbutadored15“. Be sure to get your copy now!