Posts Tagged: comfort

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

 

Do not underestimate the power of thanksgiving in combating depression! I like the idea that petition and praise help to shape my concerns into prayers rather than despair. Many times I start to spiral, but when I turn to face God, I realize how capable he is. Nothing is impossible for him. as I thank him for what I know he will do, my load is lightened.

We are petitioning the king of the universe! Acknowledge who he is, that he made each of us so unique and placed us in our circumstances for such a time as this. We matter to him and as I relate to him in prayer it becomes easier to see that he relates to me. Nothing can separate us from his love–a fact so worth taking the time to become convinced of.

 

 

Patchwork Quilt of Comfort: Wrapping up in the Holy Spirit

John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

In the wee hours of grief I read notes of remembrance from friends, family and acquaintances, written on Jonathan’s Facebook page. Your patchwork squares of memories, scripture, and comfort from the cross, got me through those first nightmarish days. Many of your notes are now recorded on the quilts sewn together by quilters in my church. I can literally snuggle into prayers, scripture and memories.

THANK YOU!

Squares from notes left at the funeral.

Squares from notes left at the funeral.

God is a god Who Embraces, Get Used to It!

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 5A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 6A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. . .

Philippians 3: 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

I am not just a survivor of suicide, I am a survivor of abuse. When you have layer upon layer of trauma quirks are bound to follow. I can give hugs all day to others, but struggle to accept an embrace. At the core is a desire for control. God is a god who embraces! When I began my relationship with Jesus this was a major issue between him and I. It is one thing to invite Jesus into your heart and it is another to allow him to take up residence. When Jesus embraces, I am faced with a God I cannot control. For many years I have squirmed in his arms, not sure I trust his justice, his love, his passion and compassion for me. But lets face it, his character will never fit into my arms. He embraced me from the cross before I was ever born!

When I had my miscarriage, God went ahead of my loss to prepare comfort. Natalie Grant’s new song “Held” had just come out, and I remember thinking what a comfort it would be for those who experience the loss of a child. A month later I miscarried. I listened to that song over and over allowing my heavenly daddy to hold me in a way I had never allowed before. I found out more about his character in those moments and came to see, in this world I will have troubles, but he has overcome the world. This is a season that I must once again settle into. I need to be held by God and his people.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary has a fabulous take on Lamentations 3:1-10:

To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must end in disappointment.

My world keeps changing. The question is, will I shake off what lays in the past and lay ahold of the one who has embraced me. Because God is a god who embraces and he gives us the opportunity to get used to being held.

Battling Impusliveness in Grief and Depression

Yesterday was intensely hard from the moment my eyes blinked open, and today is not. That is the strange thing about grief, it doesn’t always have a rhyme or reason in its approach, it just is. Days like yesterday are happening less and less, but they sap the life out of me. It is the feeling that I cannot go on in this reality. Have you carried the weight of those days?

They are very dangerous times for those of us who battle depression. Impulsiveness can lead to self medicating the pain in some form or fashion. While my impulsiveness has matured through disciplined practice, it has not lost its voice. So what to do in such moments?

1. Let others help. Don’t battle alone. Took the kids to a play date with a friend.

2. Seek out laughter. It is good medicine. One word… trampoline!

3. Cry. It is okay to mourn. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

4. Keep away from sharp objects. This is crucial when impulsiveness tries to back door its way into depression. Slam that door shut by removing the option for hasty decisions.

5. Pray. The Lord will never leave you, nor forsake you. That has given me more strength to make it through the hardest days; days my own will power cannot sustain.

6. Be thankful. Thank you for your prayers, for reaching out into my darkest hours. Lord, thank you, when I cry out, you hear my plea and give me your strength in my weakness.

(As an after note. My mom just called to see how I was doing. She reminded me that yesterday was the day I put my son in the ground. I never consciously acknowledged the significance. Maybe there is a rhyme and reason for the intensity of my grief yesterday.)

Give Impossible Circumstances to the God of Possibilities

Turning My Page

Impossible Circumstances are no match for

Edgar Allen Poe dug up Annabel Lee . . . or so the ghost tour guide in Charleston, South Carolina wanted us to believe. Often times we take bits of truth, such as Poe wrote a lot about dying women and he is shrouded in mystery and blow them up into legends.

Behind Poe’s poetry on death was a real person, who himself may have been stuck in grieving and trying to figure out, is death the final blow. His father abandoned him, and his mother died when he was only 3. His siblings were split up and his foster family was tumultuous at best.

He did not have guidance into firm and secure adulthood and, I believe, became stuck in an impulsive and impetuous childhood as an adult. He tended to alienate others because he had a sharp tongue and used it often. Drinking and gambling became two of his fallbacks when life was not going his way. He could neither manage success nor enjoy it. Poe’s life seemed destined to fail. His final words were reported to be, “Lord, help my poor soul.” 

We have a real enemy who loves to attack our children. Jesus warns that the punishment is severe for those who harm our children (Matthew 18). Some of us have been born into abusive families, some of us endure hardship after hardship, and some of us have chosen our own destructive path. I am working on reading the Bible cover to cover this year and one thing is clear: GOD IS NOT LIMITED BY OUR CIRCUMSTANCES! From Adam to the end God turns the darkest of circumstances around. Rahab the prostitute is in the lineage of Jesus, Joseph the slave, saves his family who sold him into slavery, Roman occupation into the stage for a cross, a death, and a resurrection.

Poe, like many of us, could not see the possibilities beyond his circumstances. I tell you the truth, not even death can stop us! Jesus’ enemies thought that by cutting off the head the disciples would fall apart. They were almost right, the disciples could not see past their fears or the grave. But, when Jesus arose and continued ministering and preparing the disciples, this band of rag-a-muffins became a powerhouse of restoration to the sick, poor, lost, hungry and all those whose circumstances seemed impossible! So, don’t think for a second that what you are experiencing is beyond hope.

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.