Tag Archives: suffering

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Fighting for Joy

Hi, friends.

A few months ago, I was sitting in my counselor’s office and asking for wisdom in some personal matters.  She’s a dear friend and always speaks truth into my life. She advised me to obey the whisper of the Spirit and pull away from the blogging world for a while. I’ve needed to involve my heart, mind, and body in other soul-filling endeavors.

Honestly, I’ve wanted to quit writing.  I’ve been wrestling with “do I write?” or “do I just need to stop?” I’ve been talking with the Lord about it for many weeks. . .and He hasn’t given me the go-ahead to stop.Yet, I did feel Him leading me to take a break for a bit.

In recent days, I have sensed the urge to write again and share what God has been doing in my own heart through these last few months. God is graciously revealing more love to me, filling my heart with Himself, and using my story for His good and His glory. He has also been working out sin from within, reframing thought processes, and rooting out anger, pride, selfishness, and the list can continue. Continue reading Fighting for Joy

It’s Ok to Ask for Help

Since losing my mom, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made is to seek help from a professional Christian counselor.

God has used my counselor to speak truth into my life when I couldn’t feel or think truth for myself.

God has used my counselor to encourage my broken heart and offer hope for tomorrow when I felt there was none.

God has used my counselor to assure me that my feelings were normal and understandable in relation to my circumstances.

God has used my counselor to offer wisdom to me in seeking additional helps for healing.

In so many ways, God has used His people (my Christian counselors) to bring help and healing in my life. Continue reading It’s Ok to Ask for Help

When Life Is Hard

I’m sure you’ve been there before. If not, you will be at some point. I’m talking about that day in your life when the bad news comes, life turns upside-down, your loved one dies, or you simply are blind-sided by someone’s decision.

How do you handle those rough winds in your sea? What do you do to avoid drowning? How do you keep breathing when it seems you can barely stay afloat? Where do you turn for help?

A few nights ago these simple thoughts came to mind as I was praying for wisdom in helping a friend who is struggling with her own “hard.” I hope these will be a blessing and encouragement to you today. Continue reading When Life Is Hard

Conference Sessions Available on Vimeo- “From Empty to Full”

 

In November of 2015, I had the privilege to speak at a ladies conference in NC. I have shared these sessions with a few friends in my church who encouraged me to post them on the blog. I pray that God will use these words to strengthen and encourage your own heart. God has certainly been faithful in my own life and continues to move my life from “empty to full.”

In these sessions, I quote and reference from many of the following authors. I highly recommend these books that God has used to bring healing and help to my own life through my journey of grief.  Continue reading Conference Sessions Available on Vimeo- “From Empty to Full”

The Dentist & My Father’s Love

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We were here. Again. For the second time.

Lauryn, with a terrified look on her face, climbed apprehensively into the dentist’s chair. She knew what was ahead. She had been through this before!

Having four teeth pulled was no joy-ride. It was rather horrific to a ten year old girl who struggles very much with fear of pain.

As I gently held both of her hands in mine, I winced in my own heart as she strangled my fingers with her death grip. I knew she was terrified! As her tears began to flow freely into the sides of her hair, my own tears welled up within my eyes. As she tried to resist the pain and endure the struggle to remain in that chair, I thought of how often I try to resist pain. Pain that I know in my mind will be worth it. But pain that my heart can barely seem to endure. Continue reading The Dentist & My Father’s Love

Filled With All the Fullness of God- Part Three

(If you missed part one and two. . .)

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I must tell you that I have had to fight to get from living in empty to living in His fullness. I’m still fighting daily to live in His fullness and truth.

After mom’s death, I had no idea of how intense the battles (and wars) would be that I would fight within my heart for His truth. Grief is such an ugly journey. . . full of many ups and downs.

John 10:10 has become a very special verse to me in the last few years. As I was deeply struggling in my grief, anger, and spiritual questioning, God led me to this verse. Jesus says, “I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” One author paraphrased the verse to read, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I have come to bring them life in its fullness.”

I seriously doubted the truth of this verse for months. My life felt anything but “abundant”. It seemed to me that the devil had won and I would never experience a full life again. Satan is the Ultimate Deceiver! He is downright ugly and plays cruelly! He wants to take me captive. .. and he wants to take you captive. And very often, he slyly pulls our hearts and minds away from the truth by using our emotions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences to pull the engines of our mind and heart rather than allowing Truth to direct our minds and hearts. Our experiences and emotions cannot be our guide. Every event in your life must be understood and interpreted by the Scriptures. For the God revealed in Scripture doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6) Continue reading Filled With All the Fullness of God- Part Three

Filled with All the Fullness of God-Part Two

I’m reminded of the story of Jacob in the OT. Recently I read this as it relates. . .

“A long time ago, a preacher named James H. McConkey asked a friend of his, a doctor, ‘What is the exact significance of God’s touching Jacob upon the sinew of his thigh?’”

“And the doctor told him, ‘The sinew of the thigh is the strongest in the human body. A horse couldn’t even tear it apart.’”

These are the words I’ve never forgotten, what preacher McConkey said. “Ah, I see. The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing in us.” (One Thousand Gifts– Ann Voskamp)

God breaks us in order to give us the greatest treasure—the blessing of Himself! He desires that we be filled with all the fullness of Christ. Continue reading Filled with All the Fullness of God-Part Two

Helping Your Children Grieve with Truth

Tears already fill my eyes as I try to write words here.

Yesterday I sat on my front steps of the porch and watched big tears roll down my oldest boy’s cheeks. I listened intently to the sadness in his voice as he expressed confusion and bitterness in losing his meme- my mom.

“Everything has been different since Meme died. Life has seemed so hard since that day. Nothing has gone right, Mom.” Continue reading Helping Your Children Grieve with Truth

Sympathy Is More Than a Card

This past Sunday, my husband and I were privileged to attend a life class (small group) led by my brother-in-law Ryan.  As we began studying the Word from I Peter 3, our hearts were directed to verse 8.  I Peter 3:8 reads, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

In our discussion of this verse, we came to the word sympathy. Ryan asked the group to share a definition or application for sympathy.

Immediately, my mind thought of a sympathy card! I have given out many sympathy cards to others who are grieving.  Unfortunately, I also know exactly what it feels like to receive one of those cards. After Mom’s death, my mailbox was flooded with sympathy cards.  While I am extremely grateful for each expression of love and sympathy that showed itself in the form of a card, I have learned from experience that Biblical sympathy extends much deeper than just a card! Continue reading Sympathy Is More Than a Card

From my journal. . . .Mother’s Day 2013

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Lord,

I can’t help but think about my sweet mama a lot this week. Wow! Only You know how every thought is filled with her memory! It seems I can’t escape her presence. . ..although she’s not really here anymore.

Sometimes it still seems so unreal that she is now with You. . .but I’m glad she’s safe now and has found her joy again. But the ache of missing her buries deep within my bosom. My chest hurts with the pain of losing my best friend and mentor. The questions of her death run deep within my mind. Continue reading From my journal. . . .Mother’s Day 2013