The Abundant Life, Part 1

You can overcome a scarcity mindset by focusing on God's abundance.

Today is a milestone. I’m starting my fourth decade today in October 2017. As I begin this new blog series about The Abundant Life, I’m reflecting on both my scarcity mindset in the past four decades, and the way God has abundantly blessed me despite my fears. Welcome to this new series, and I hope you’ll journey along with me in October so your fears can be allayed and your faith can be strengthened.

Decade 1: I was a fearful child.

As a child of divorce, my love tank was never full to satisfaction. Loneliness often haunted me, and fears constantly assaulted me. I dreaded getting myself ready in the mornings, or staying home only with my younger sister on long summer days. I never felt truly safe or secure. I knew God as my Father, but I couldn’t quite grasp this abundant truth:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Decade 2: I was a fearful student.

This photo was taken when I was 20 years old. At that time I was a student at a Christian college almost seven hours from home. I loved my freedom, my friends, and my studies. Yet fears still ate away at me in quiet moments. I didn’t feel thin enough, cute enough, or fun enough to garner a boyfriend, whom I desperately craved. Worries about finances and job prospects kept me stirred up. I feared having to move to a big city to get a job in the arts. The future felt unsafe and scary.

The phrase “never good enough” still resounded in my ears. I didn’t hear it coming from God, but I heard it from my internal judge, whose voice still had too much power over me. I struggled to accept the truth in the passage I chose as my graduation verse:

For he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:9 NIV

Decade 3: I was a fearful wife and mother.

My husband took this photo on my 30th birthday. I am holding a vase of birthday flowers, given to me by a dear Bible study friend. The friends in that small group helped me realize I didn’t need to cling to a scarcity mindset any longer.

As we studied God’s Word together, we shared our fears and struggles as moms of littles. We also shared some of our marriage struggles. In community with other believers who loved the Bible, I began to open my eyes to God’s abundant love for me.

Yet I still struggled with anxiety. These thoughts kept pestering me: Will we ever have enough money, or will it always feel like we’re living paycheck-to-paycheck? Will the world be a safe place for my children when they are grown? Is there hope for my broken relationships, or should I give up? Has time run out on my dreams?

Gently and persistently, God kept revealing abundant truths to me. He used the truth of his Word to replace the fears in my heart, especially with this healing verse:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 NIV

Decade 4: I am overcoming 40 years of scarcity thinking.

This year I took a big leap. Middle age grants you the moxie to break free from the past. Earlier this year I knew 40 was knocking at the door, and I was sick and tired of being unhappy and stuck. I prayed for months and months, and then I knew God was giving me the green light on timing. So I quit my job and took up the freelance life.

If you knew me well, you’d know this leap is out of character for Sarah-the-rule-follower or Sarah-the-control-freak. Sarah who is always afraid.

I changed when I decided to take Jesus at his Word:

I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 NIV

He came for me to have abundant life, not a fearful life. A sad, lonely life of thinking there’s never enough left for me.

I don’t have it all figured out. Are you kidding me? I’m mom to one teenager and two tweens, and I believe the rough rapids are just ahead. Life is not getting easier, and in some ways, it’s getting harder.

But as I look over the past four decades, I marvel at how God has strengthened my faith through each and every trial. He planted seeds and nurtured them to harvest. He has whole fields waiting to be planted in my heart, and the harvest won’t be finished until I’m in heaven, when a perfect harvest can begin.

Today, I am thankful for God’s abundant goodness to me. For his faithfulness and comfort. His strength and security. He shows me everlasting kindness and compassion (Isaiah 54:8 NIV). Moving forward into my fourth decade, I’m shedding my scarcity thinking and putting on a new abundant mindset.

Join me in the coming weeks as we discuss powerful, practical ways to replace a scarcity mindset with God’s abundant truth.

Feeling like there's never enough? God's abundance can transform your thinking.
Questions for you:
  • How has God shown you his abundance in each decade of your life?
  • When did you first open your eyes to God’s abundant love for you?
  • Which verse helps you meditate on God’s abundant gifts?

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  • Amen, amen, amen. I’m in my 6th decade (!) and finally realizing the truth: God promised abundant life. But to get it, I have to take what He gives instead of waiting fearfully for not getting what I want. The more time I spend with God, the more satisfied I am. This year, I read Grace Thornton’s book, I Don’t Wait Anymore, and it helped me look at my need to surrender and trust God. The verse I cling to is one you used, John 10:10.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks for sharing so much here today, Debbie. I really appreciate the book suggestion!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sarah,
    Beautiful post. Know you are not alone. I am in my fifties and I can really say with conviction that I am grasping the abundant life of love God has for me. Even with 5 surgeries under my belt, I can finally say with conviction that God really, really loves me. He delights in me ( and you) in fact. Here is my life scripture. Having lived with anxiety and depression struggles most of my life, I give Him praise for the new song He’s given me….but it’s certainly been a work over time and He’s not finished yet. Loved your post!

    I waited patiently for the Lord,
    and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
    2 He brought me up from a desolate[a] pit,
    out of the muddy clay,
    and set my feet on a rock,
    making my steps secure.
    3 He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
    Many will see and fear
    and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3)
    Blessings,
    Bev xo

    • Sarah Geringer

      Bev, this psalm is what I need to hear today, and I am so glad you shared it. Thanking God for friends like you!

  • Amen and Happy Birthday! It’s sad that we have to muddle through so much error to finally arrive at the truth, but my finding is that I’m more humble and much more patient with the groping efforts of others than I would have been if I had been on a straighter, “prettier” path to the believer I am today.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Michele! I take hope in knowing many Bible greats had to wait decades before a truly abundant life opened up…Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, Hannah, David…I could go on and on!

  • Alyson

    Happy birthday Sarah! He is making all things new! Isaiah 43:18-19 – Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Alyson! That verse is ideal for a past-oriented thinker like me. Thank you for sharing it here!

  • Susan

    We have a lot of things in common (age not being one of them) but we share birthday months (OCT? right?) And, gardening, and I do believe you write as much as I do. xo

    • Sarah Geringer

      I agree, lots in common between us. I am so glad God chose October as my birthday month, as it would be my favorite anyway. Blessings to you friend!

  • Liz

    So so good! Happy Birthday!!! As my husband hurtles toward his military retirement, I can feel a bit of that scarcity mindset creeping in…. But I’m praying hard for peace! Thanks for these thoughtful words to help me keep my focus where it belongs! Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Liz! I liked your post too this week. Blessings to you in you transition!

  • Naomi Fata

    I too had the first two decades of life marked by fear…fear because my dad died when I was a child and from then on there was fear of abandonment, fear of scarcity (which included evictions and many moves) and then in my early twenties a powerful God encounter that changed my life then and has been changing my life every since! As I am growing to trust more and more the God of abundant life!
    PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Naomi! Yes, fear of abandonment has been my main problem, which I feel God is healing with Hebrews 13:5. I am glad that God has transformed your fears into joy! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Karen

    I think what you did here is a great idea. Every few birthdays, it would be great to review where we were in childhood, as teenagers, as young adults etc and spend time thanking God for how far He as brought us. Kind of a modern day equivalent to setting up memorial stones like they did in the Old Testament.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Karen! What a great metaphor! Yes, it is like setting up memorial stones, although I hadn’t considered that until you mentioned it. Blessings to you!

  • Jennifer Carner Gregg

    How has God shown you his abundance in each decade of your life? He continues to show me that He always fulfills His promises, and that He is always with me, and He is FOR me….in a life of feeling alone and unwanted, I’ve known for over two decades {since I became a child of God} that my heavenly Father loves me, accepts me, and is always with me
    When did you first open your eyes to God’s abundant love for you? I would have to say this became a reality for me probably about 15 years or so ago; my husband and I were on again off again, things were a mess, and when it seemed as though my whole life was out of control, the one thing that remained the same was my Rock, Jesus Christ
    Which verse helps you meditate on God’s abundant gifts? I have several verses to recall when I meditate on His abundant gifts, but the ones that come to mind right now are, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”. – Lamentations 3:22-23
    I saw your link at Blessed Transgressions today, I am sitting a row or two below you; this was an amazing post, thank you for your transparency; I hope you have a happy birthday, God bless you

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Jennifer! Thanks for commenting here today. I’m so glad you are sharing your answers with all of us through your comment. Love those Lamentations verses. I will check out your link too! Blessings to you, new friend.

  • Lureta

    I have walked some of those same fears you have experienced. At times they still threaten to invade my heart and mind and I know it is only with God’s help, His word and Holy Spirit, I can remain an overcomer. I am a work in progress but I know as I continue to trust God, I can overcome the scarcity mindset and live an abundant, fulfilled life in Christ. Thank you so much for your post and the encouragement it brings to my heart.
    Blessings

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Lureta! I know, those fears tend to grip hard on our hearts, and we must have God’s help to loosen their grips. I’m a work in progress too, but I love looking back to see how far God has brought me. I am thankful my words encouraged you too. Blessings to you as well.

  • That seals it – we are complete soul sisters, Sarah! Yes, yes, and Amen to this! No more letting the enemy steal our joy in this abundant life! May God take all the years of scarcity thinking and use them for a BOUNTY of blessings for us, our children, our husbands, and whomever else the Lord wants to reach through our lives. Happy Birthday!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi dear friend! I took a break from social media the last few days, to get a bunch of writing deadlines done. What a nice message to see on this Monday morning from you!

  • Sarah, wonderful post! It is amazing how God has shown you truth from each decade of your life. And now He is filling you with courage to share your story so that others will also discover God’s truth to overcome. I so agree with you … as we grow in age and in His truth, we become braver. Blessings, friend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Joanne! Yes, I have grown dramatically braver over the years, and I give God all the credit for it. Blessings to you!

  • This is a beautiful post, Sarah. I know what you mean about having a scarcity mindset. I’ve fallen prey to that myself. I’m looking forward to your series. Sharing this today!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks for sharing, Betsy! I love sharing your posts, and I’m honored you think mine are worthy!

  • Yay! You go girl….

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. So excited for you as you launch your new series!

  • Happy Belated Birthday! I added another 10 years to your list of fear decades. You keep fighting and turning to Jesus to be free. It took me waaaay tooooo long but oh my, it’s the best place in the world. His grace really is enough!! God bless you!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Deb! I am looking forward to all the lessons God has in store for me in the next few decades. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  • This is a great post! I love how you can look back over your whole life and see where God has been at work and how he is shaping you. This sounds like a great series.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lesley! Thank you for stopping by, and I appreciate you!

  • I’m so excited about this series, Sarah! Love your honesty here, there is so much truth and wisdom in your words. Praise God that He redeems and heals us!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Nicole! I hope your home remodel is going well. Looking forward to seeing your rich and thoughtful posts again soon. Blessings to you!

  • Meg Gemelli

    Love. Love. Love. Happiest of birthdays Sarah! My small group and I discussed this JUST last night. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go back to my teens and twenties. God has such special lessons for every decade. Blessings in abundance in your new decade!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Meg! I totally agree…I wouldn’t go back to my teens for anything. That’s even truer now after working in a high school for four years. Hopefully, I can help my own children navigate their teen years better. Thank you for stopping by!

  • Diana Abe

    Amen to this most powerful line “Understanding who we are in Christ and choosing to root our lives in Christ is the only way to establish a fragrant and fruitful life.” Here’s to hoping and praying that I can get rid of my fears soon.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Diana! You are doing so well as a blogger…cheers to your success! I hope that by sharing your struggles and fears online, you will be empowered to have greater faith. Blessings to you!

  • Beautiful testimony, Sarah! And happy birthday! Hebrews 13:5 is a favorite.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Kelly! That verse is such a treasure to me too!

  • Praise God! He delivers us from our default modes of fear … and offers us freedom that’s more than we can ask of imagine!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Linda! Yes indeed…I praise God for being my Deliverer!

  • Yes, Sarah, every decade is used by God to teach us so much! You are growing in his grace and beauty each year and passing along that grace and beauty here at your place. I can only imagine how far God will take you in the next decade and beyond!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hugs to you, Beth…thanks for your super-sweet comment, friend!

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