Rest in Me Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 rolls on. Summer is fading into fall and we still are feeling the effects. Strangely, as restrictions have loosened up, life seems to feel heavier. The simplest things, falling asleep, staying...
What Would Jesus Do?One day, early in our marriage, my husband came home from work frustrated. His supervisor was calling the black men he worked with “boy.” My husband recalled standing there shocked and offended. It was clear his colleagues were offended. Yet, no...
We Remember God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should changeAnd though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved…Cease striving and know that...
I can add our vulture family to a very long list of things in 2020 that I didn’t sign up for. I’m sure you feel the same way. But I’m in good company. When I flip through my Bible, I read the stories of many characters for whom life took an unexpected and unwelcome turn. Joseph. Abigail. Gideon. Tamar. Jonah. Esther. Jesus even assures His disciples, and us, that we will have hard things as part of life on this earth.
The open conversations in our culture surrounding mental health have created an environment in society where people feel free to talk about their struggles. For many, this struggle extends to friends and loved ones walking through these very personal battles.
If you find yourself close to someone in their own mental health struggle or if you have a loved one who is having a hard time caring for you, this is for you.
Does anyone else feel that the days have all blurred together lately? Our usual milestones of time passing – birthdays, holidays, vacations, even the first day of school – all look so different. Many of us feel like we are standing in place, waiting for updates, waiting for our current situation to improve. We consider the future often: “maybe in a month” we think, or “by next year.” But when my boys smile, I am reminded that time does not wait. Time is passing even when we don’t give it permission. It is most important to consider what we can do with today.
If therapy is a way to better understand who we are and why we feel what we feel, there is never a wrong time to seek it. Seeing a therapist can be done proactively when stressful events are on the horizon and/or reactively in times of mental struggle. We can seek therapy as a port in a storm, or even simply as a way to touch base with our emotions to keep us running on track.
Most importantly, therapy functions as a time set aside solely to focus on ourselves. It is a time to hear things in a different way and express things it can be hard to admit anywhere else. Romans 12:2 notes that we should not “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God.”
When squirming within the tensions of life, do you ever find yourself praying the Lord would pull back the curtain and show you a glimpse of your future? In the weariness of life, do you ever just want to fast forward the dial to get to the storybook ending you’ve hoped, prayed and worked for?
Loneliness, like other uncomfortable emotions, is trying to teach us something. And the more we ignore it, the harder the lessons can be to learn. Here are three teachable moments I’ve found in times of loneliness.
We live in a polarized world right now, and so many are reacting — and in some cases, overreacting — to situations out of fear. People are feeling a loss of control, and springing from that, an increasing need to regain control. I see more anger, more suspicion, more hiding, more self-protection, and more hostility than ever. And the more I grieve and pray, the more urgency to share my hope with those who are rapidly losing theirs.
In reality, we can learn a lot from emotional pain and suffering. One of the ways we can do this is through the oft-neglected journey of lament. When we lament, we cry out to God, allowing ourselves to feel and verbalize our pain and sorrow in a raw, unfiltered way. Pastor Dave Lomas calls lament a “prayerful response to the reality of suffering that engages God in the context of pain and trouble.”
For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a Bible study on the book of Jude. In this short book towards the end of the Bible, Jude, the brother of Jesus, addresses the recipients of his letter as “those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” Throughout the book, the idea of believers being kept by Jesus Christ is repeated often.
True, you will not find the words “personal boundary” in the Bible. But the Bible does discuss personal boundaries in principle. In fact, each time the Bible talks about areas of your life that you are solely responsible for, or instructs that you say “yes” to something good and “no” to something bad, or when the Bible reminds us that our true identity in Christ is separate than our identity in the world – this is touching on the importance of personal boundaries. Personal boundaries are what define our identity. Imagine them as property boundaries around your home. They exist so that we have a safe space that is clearly designated: this is who I am, what I value, what I need, what I believe, what I feel.