Tag Archives: Loneliness

30 Days of Gratitude-Day Three

emerson1This is Day Three of my Thirty Days of Gratitude. Are you doing it, too? Are you working on your attitude of gratitude?

It’s not too late to get started. 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I’m grateful for my story. And I wouldn’t change any part of it if it meant I wasn’t here right now where I am in my relationship with Jesus.

That’s a stunning statement. 

The halls of my past echo with pain, loss, laughter, adventure, death and destruction.  Broken dreams and battered hopes litter the floor like garbage strewn across an open highway. And woven through it all is love and tenderness and friendships.

The elements of my story probably sound a lot like yours. After all, this is the stuff of the human condition. We break and then we break each other. We do better when we know better, but until that time we bump along, bruised and bandaged. 

Perfect performance may be the banner you waved, too, to cover all that up. I carried mine pretty high and pretty proud. I was so good at pointing to that banner that no one knew it wasn’t a part of me. Performing for love as I like to call it. 

Can you relate?

When I became a believer I had to unlearn a lot of stuff. I had to unwind all the tapes in my head that said I had to be perfect to be loved. That all the bad things were my fault. That I’m responsible. That I’m damaged goods.

I had to even unlearn some mental disorderliness. 

I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to do that on my own. My power, which is so weak, wasn’t needed for this project. The same power that rose the broken body of Jesus from that wooden cross is the same power God used to rewrite my story. And as He rewrote my story, He gave me the courage to talk about all the broken bits. And the broken bits gave others courage too. My story grew out of the ashes of regret into one of hope and victory. And as I shared that hope and victory, others rose in hope and victory too. Together we became brave as we ripped off our masks to reveal the radiance of Christ shining through our broken bits.

No more mask wearing! We don’t have to wear them anymore…

Honest. Open. Authentic. Transforming. That’s who we are. Oh, and adored by God just as we are.

They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11

Yes, our story can do that. Our story can save lives. But it’s not really our story, is it? It’s God’s story written in and through us that does the saving. The power of God is displayed through the stories of His people. 

Shouldn’t we be telling more stories? 

Even if your story is still in the making. Even if it isn’t tied up with a pretty little bow yet, please tell it. Encourage someone today. The struggle is real, but we are all in it together. The more we hear that we are not alone, the less alone we feel. That is what community is all about. People walking it out together.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

What are you grateful for today?

Who Are You?

untitled_by_marinacoric-d6dev4nWhen we look at ourselves, we often see the flaws.  When God looks at us, He sees the perfection of Jesus, not our hang-ups.  He sees His workmanship.  His Word tells us that we are made in His image.

The world may have trampled us and left us bruised and bandaged, but the Lord redeems us. He proclaims that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are made on purpose, for a purpose. We are his royal priesthood, belonging to Him, made to declare the praises of the One who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.

In order to be called out of darkness, we must have been in the darkness. God doesn’t redeem us as an after thought. He’s not an accidental God.   He allows us to go through the dump knowing that He will use our deepest pain for His greatest calling, for our greatest joy. He doesn’t waste a hurt.

If you’re going through something right now, that may not be of great comfort.  You may be angry that Jesus would allow you to hurt so deeply.  How can someone who supposedly loves you so much allow you to hurt so much?  I can tell you that I understand that question.  I have experienced loneliness, loss and hopelessness.

My life verse is Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Notice the word “all.” Not “some” things, ALL things!   This verse is a promise.  I have experienced this truth profoundly in my own life.

Take a look at the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.  The caterpillar goes through an amazing journey of change and distortion to become the butterfly.  It actually consumes itself in the process!  Is it possible that you are that caterpillar called to the beautiful life of the butterfly?

When we keep our eyes on things above, not on the things of this world, we can get a glimpse into the mysteries of God’s promises.  Our challenge is to know God’s Word. His Word is where we draw our strength and hope.  His Word is alive. His Word changes us.  His Word speaks to us and transform us into the butterfly.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

 

 

 

 

Only the Lonely

I have spent the majority of my life feeling lonely.  This may be hard for a lot of my friends to believe, after all, I earned quite a bit of street cred as the life of the party over the years.  But if you have read any of my other posts like, Rebirth or Prison Break, you know that I also ran quite a racket as the Great Pretender.  I could throw on the party mask at the bat of a fake eyelash! I could whoop it up with the best of them and careen headlong into the wee hours of the morning like a party pro.  That doesn’t change the fact that I was lonely.  In fact, that party persona was a symptom of the desolate loneliness that consumed many of my days.

I remember some days where I would just lie on my bed and cry.  My husband would come in and ask me what was wrong and I would just cry and say, “I don’t know, I just feel so alone.”  He would hold me, and I would get the sense that he felt helpless, which made me feel even more alone and isolated.  How could I feel so black and not know why?  The despair was suffocating me in those dark moments; imprisoning me in its twisted embrace.

All of my thoughts became so distorted as I struggled to recall all the positives in my life, my family and all the people who loved me and whom I considered friends.  None of it mattered, not then.  In those moments, only the loneliness mattered.

I have since realized that loneliness is a choice.  Now, I understand that when one is depressed, or has depression, choices can seem or be out of our control. But the prevailing sense of loneliness, for me, became a choice.

Why would someone choose loneliness?  It seems absurd.

I am in a Christ-centered intensive recovery program called Celebrate Recovery . Some people mistakenly think this group is only for people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction.  Not so.  This program is an amazing program that aids in one’s recovery from habits, hurts, and hang ups.  Well, I think that about covers the whole population!

As I was answering the question, “Do you believe loneliness is a choice?”  God revealed to me the following answer…

Yes, for me loneliness became evidence of my worthlessness.  I think I CHOSE loneliness for that evidence.  It supported my belief that there was no hope, no one who could really understand me or fully love me.

WOW!  It was a light bulb moment that illuminated so much of the destructive and untrue thought processes I had lived with for so long.

The day, almost three years ago, that I received Jesus as my Savior and opened my heart to the love that He had been waiting to pour into it, was a victory over loneliness!  The cracks in my heart were filled as I experienced a radical transformation!  Now as I evaluate the past emptiness, He shows me how far He has brought me.

He will do the same for you…He’s waiting for you.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Blog by Heather Murdock