Being Broken

When you think of the term broken what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Here are some things that came to my mind.

  1. Ruined
  2. Trash
  3. Destroyed
  4. Unusable
  5. Worthless

I could easily list many more things and you might have some of the same things on your list. Yet these are only the negative thought about being broken. Do you like nuts? I love them. To get to the nut you have to break the shell. Some shells are easier to break open than others like sunflower seeds or peanuts. Walnuts or pecans are are not so easy to break open. You need a nutcracker to get to the good part of these nuts, and if you don’t have a nutcracker a hammer works as long as you don’t hit the too hard. It takes effort to break their outer shells to get to the good part that you can eat and enjoy.

So being broken even though painful can lead to something good for you. The process hurts and is not fun. Imagine you are the nut and you can see the nutcracker coming for you. Then you feel trapped in its grip till you crack and break open. Scary thought. Most of us would run from pain if we knew it was going to happen was going to hurt. Yet if we all ran away from the possibility of pain we would cease to exist. Women would not have babies because labor is pain! Life is going to have some very painful moments. Just as a woman who goes from the pain of labor to the joy of holding her newborn baby, life can take your pain and turn it into joy.

Look at the life of Joseph. his brothers hate him and throw him into a pit, and want to kill him. Thankfully one brother suggest they sell him to travelers passing by. Then he is bought as a slave and goes from slave to prisoner. He lived a life under pressure of attack and rejection. Yet in the end he was lifted above his circumstance and placed in a position where he was able to save not only the people in Egypt but his own people. (Look up his story in Genesis.)

Sometimes we have to be broken to get to the good part of ourselves that is hidden deep within.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

 

 

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Why should I laugh?

It is easy to be critical and judgmental. I find myself doing both on a regular basis. I can justify my judgments and even back some up with scripture. Yet when I am doing this am I trying to point people to the Word or am I trying to use the Word to justify my actions? Another reason to act n this way is when you have been under attack most of your life or feel under attack the automatic response can be to lay down and play dead and pretend there is nothing wrong or to be defensive and attack what you feel is attacking you.

In my life I have suffered abuse, rape, ridicule and a list of other painful events. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, and fight depression, and even tried to commit suicide. If you were to meet me on a good day, and that is a day when the level of joy in my heart out weighs the darkness in my mind you would not guess the level of pain I am in. I have a friend when she first met me, she was drawn in by the level of joy I had that even though I was going through one of the worst periods of my life I could smile and be friendly. She wanted to know how I could be like this, and my answer was Jesus. That even though I had lost what was most important to me, I did not lose my relationship with Him and that through the trials I actually grew closer. did this mean my depression and sorrow left me? The unfortunate answer is no.

So what is there to do? Sing in the rain! Dance through the pain! Then laugh until I cry. I can still laugh even though I hurt. I can laugh at myself. The funniest jokes are the ones I can relate to personally. If all I do is curl up in a ball, pulling the covers over my head and cry, then I remain in the dark. Laughter helps me break the sound of sorrow. Sharing my laughter helps others. It encourages us that even when we hurt we can laugh and find joy in this painful life. People will criticize me and say that I am wrong and some will even say that I am being disrespectful. If I fall down and end up in a puddle of mud I can sit and cry like a child, or I can get up laugh and stomp around the mud. Which is the better choice? By the way I did fall in a large puddle of mud once and ended up sitting in mud that covered me to the waste while working one job many years ago. I had an entire crew witness me do this. I could have sat there embarrassed by my slip but instead I laughed and started a mud fight. Grown adults playing in the mud. It had broke the tension of a bad work day where we working in a bad condition because of what the weather had done to the job site. Instead we ended up laughing the rest of the day and the rest of our work though difficult was lightened by our better mood. So sing in the rain, splash around in the puddles, and lift yourself and others out of the muddy pit you may be in. I am grateful to be able to laugh when I feel so much pain. So criticize me if you feel you have to, meanwhile I will be making mud pies and stomping in the puddles making a splash in this life. It may seem silly and wrong to you but if I can make one person smile and better yet laugh, then I have done good and you cannot take that away from me.

Today’s Thoughts-Joy & Laughter 2/9/2017

This morning has been incredible. I woke up inspired and filled with the joy of the Lord. I even was able to enjoy the sunrise. As the day has progressed thoughts keep filling my mind. I have been posting a series of devotionals by Kay Warren from Saddleback Church and wife of Rick Warren a pastor and author of ‘A purpose Driven Life’. My inspiration for sharing these devotionals is because I struggle with PTSD and depression. I have good days and bad. Learning that joy is not because I have an absence of problems but that in the middle of the dark and stormy days in my life I have the assurance that God is both with me and for me. Since I know that I am not alone in my struggle and that others have their own battles and the need I have to be encouraged I want to encourage others not to give up. I have also battled suicide because my depression has been at times more than I could bear alone but thanks to God I am still here and I have a hope that I did not have before. The joy of the Lord is my strength and He gives me hope to press forward and to hold on when there is nothing I can see to hold on to. I may not be able to see Him as I can see you and you can see me but I see Him all around me if I just open my eyes to Him.

Another thing that I have just started sharing are some jokes that I am finding that are not vulgar but comical and make me laugh.Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Sharing the laughter God blesses me with lifts up my spirit. When I get to feeling down and depressed I try to find things to make me laugh. I will find a good comedy to watch so laughter fills my home. As I begin to laugh I feel the heavy weight of my depression or even my anger lift from me. It is hard to be angry or depressed for long once you start laughing. I have even laughed at myself at times. When pain and anger rises in me and I just let out a blood curdling scream. Then I hear the scream as it comes out of my mouth and wonder how many people just heard me. I live alone and I am physically small (not even 5 foot) but my voice can carry and can be very loud. When I think about the reactions of others who are with hearing distance I begin to laugh for a couple of reasons. One I may have just startled someone without meaning too and they have no idea where the scream came from, and the other reason I realize how ridiculous I must have looked and how God watching me is probably thinking, “There goes my girl again being silly”. Whether that is actually true or not I will one day find out when I get to the place Jesus is preparing for me. I have to confess there were times when I started throwing a mock tantrum in front of a child who was throwing their own temper tantrum and how they stop and stare at me like I am crazy has made me laugh so hard that they too began to laugh with me.

Am I going to continue having difficulties in this world? Yes I am. Am I going to be able to face the challenges and problems I face with a smile and laughter? No would be the honest answer but as I grow in my relationship with Jesus I will be able to do so without having to fake it. Yesterday was actually one of those days for me. I was in and actually still am in a lot of pain due to my back. Previous injuries which I can talk about later flare up and I can barely stand up or even use my hands without excruciating pain. I am in bad enough shape this week that I should have stayed home from work yesterday. My manager even asked me before I clocked in if I was going to be able to handle working. My answer was I had to make myself work because no work means no income and my bills are already more than I can pay. So I made it through my shift and carried out my work duties and served customers with a smile and a joyful voice, and if it had not been the way I was limping and the difficulties I had using my hands no one could have guessed how much pain I was in. It wasn’t until I was walking back to the building after bringing a customer their order and saw my reflection in the door that I had realized that I was actually smiling.  It was not one of my fake smiles I had learned to wear as a mask to cover how I really felt. Years of working with the public taught me that the public does not want someone who looks upset or down serving them. You learn to be cheerful and smile because it is good for business. Yet as bad as I was physically feeling emotionally and spiritually God have given me a glad heart and it was showing. I was so grateful that He had done this for me that it has spilled into this day. I woke joyful and with praise to God on my lips. I tell you that this is a blessing especially since I am not a morning person. I have a spirit of ease about me today and my mood has been lifted.

There are only a couple of days left in the ‘Choose Joy’ devotionals but I will continue to share the things that bring me laughter, to share my laughter with you. So I will close this with a joke and a link to a page on scriptures about laughter. God bless you and fill your heart with joy and laughter.

chose this joke since I shared with you about how I sometimes scream

A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, “Look mate, don’t ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!”

The passenger apologized and said, “I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much.”

The driver replied, “Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver – I’ve been driving a funeral van for the last 25 years”.

link for page on laughter and humor in the Bible

http://biblereasons.com/laughter-and-humor/

 

 

Why Choose Joy?

If you have been following my recent posts, you have noticed I have been posting Kay Warrens devotionals ‘Choose Joy’.  You may be wondering why choose joy? I have suffered from PTSD and depression for most of my life and have even battled with suicide. For the longest time I had confused joy with the feeling of happiness. Learning that joy was more than a feeling has helped me a great deal. Joy is not a life free from pain and misery, or trials and tribulations, but a peaceful assurance that no matter how bad things are, that I will be okay. How can I be okay? It is because that Jesus is for me and with me. That He is my great defender. Jesus is my Savior.

He told me in His Word that the world will hate me not because of anything I do or who I am but because I have Him in me. James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulation. James 1:2-3 (NKJV) (Profiting from Trials)  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Joy does not come naturally to me, I have to make an effort. This effort is making the choice to choose joy. To allow the joy of the Lord to be my strength. Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Reading scriptures encourage me, and praying to God keeps me connected to Him. Reading studies on joy and teachings on the joy of the Lord help. I hope that the devotionals I am posting help someone.

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

This is one of the most difficult thing I have to share with the world. I am not seeking your pity nor do I need your judgment. I am sharing this only because I pray to reach if just one person who is at the end of their rope and is ready to jump of of that ledge.

I cannot say that I understand your pain or what has lead you to this point but I pray that you will stop long enough to read these words that  I am writing.

It will be five years this Thanksgiving when my world had grown so dark and the pain was more than I could bear that I did give up on life. Falsely accused and arrested in the middle of the night just a couple of months prior my world was turned upside down. After a lifetime of abuse and a multitude of wrong decisions I was alone and all the pain I had suffered over my life came down upon me like a crushing wave. I am not a coward but had nothing that I felt that was living for. Alone on  a holiday meant for family and giving thanks all I could see was darkness and feel the loneliness of being cut out of my own life.  I lost my will to live. So with what I thought was going to be my last breath I kicked the stool out from underneath me. The belt I used to hang myself did not do the job I thought it would because it stretched that even though I lifted my legs it stretched until I was literally sitting on the floor. Yelling at God and pounding my fist on my floor like a child throwing a temper tantrum that I couldn’t even do this right. I continued to yell and cry until I heard a voice. It was not harsh or condemning but loving. I heard it say, ‘Are you done yet?’  I know you probably think I was crazy and just hearing things. Obviously my mental state was impaired. I did just try to hang myself. Yet as i heard that voice I know I was not imagining anything. It was real. Though no one was physically in my empty home but myself there was someone who was watching over me. I even knew what they meant when they asked if I was done yet. You see this was not the first suicide attempt I had attempted, but my third. So I responded, ‘Yes Lord I am done. Obviously You aren’t done with me yet.’ Then I heard Him say, ‘Get up. It is not over yet.’

So I stood up and took the belt from around my own neck. I was amazed because how long it had stretched and that not mark was left on my neck. (A little note a couple of years later I tried to stretch that same belt and it did not give an inch, so no one can tell me God is not real.) I still had a long road ahead of me and the trials did not go the way I had believed but even on the final day of court when the rest of my world as I knew it came to a crashing end and though I was innocent of the charges I was still found guilty. I lost everything but my life and my home. You won’t believe this but as crushed as I felt, I heard God speak to me again. He said to me, ‘Can you forgive them now?’ I responded with, ‘Not because I want to but because of You I will.’ Even though not one thing went well for me, I knew God was with me. That even though I was found guilty in the court of man I was not guilty in His eyes and that He did not abandon me even when I wanted to end it all. My mother died, I lost my daughter, but God was with me through it all. I won’t say thoughts of giving up have not crossed my mind since but a small still voice says don’t give up. So as hard as it is at times because the battles I still must fight wear me down that I want to toss in the towel and quit, I know that I can’t. I must finish the race. I have not yet reached the finish line.

I will never know why my life did not end that day or why my previous attempts failed, when others who have attempted the same act are gone. I know that I am no better a person than another. My life is no more valuable than anyone else’s life so why am I still here? To be honest only God knows the real reason. My only conclusion I can come to on my own is to share my story and hopefully reach at least one person who is where I was at, or inspire someone else to reach out to someone who is suffering just to let them know they are not alone and that someone does care. Call them or even better visit with them. Don’t push too hard to get them to talk but be there and continue to be there. I did not immediately share my story but a year later I was part of a church who arranged an event inspired by a number of suicides in the area that happened in a very short time period. I saw lives touched and was inspired to start sharing my story. With the holidays upon us I personally know how difficult it is for anyone who suffers from depression and anxiety or is suffering any form of abuse. You may feel unloved, rejected and alone. The pain may be suffocating and the world may be completely dark without light of hope. I was there and I survived but you may not so please don’t give up. If there is no one in your immediate life that you feel safe to turn to there are others that even though they may be strangers who will listen to you who will give you the compassion that you need and even help. Your life is valuable and you are important. So important that God sent His Son to die for you.

Call someone. Get help. Please do not give up. I may not know you but you are in my prayers and I pray you find the love of Jesus and the strength and comfort He has for you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.  1-800-273-8255  website  http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

HELPGUIDE.ORG

If you’re thinking about suicide, please read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in the U.S.! To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm

1-800-SUICIDE

Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  from any location in the United States:

1-800-273-TALK / (1-800-784-2433)   (1-800-273-8255)

This is only a short list of where you can find help whether you are the one who is struggling or you think you may know someone who needs help please get the help that you need and please do it before it is too late. I know my life choices have been far from right too many times and that I survived but I know that if I try again I won’t survive again. Life is precious please don’t give up because you are precious and nothing can replace you in this world.

 

Being Broken

When you think of the term broken what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Here are some things that came to my mind.

  1. Ruined
  2. Trash
  3. Destroyed
  4. Unusable
  5. Worthless

I could easily list many more things and you might have some of the same things on your list. Yet these are only the negative thought about being broken. Do you like nuts? I love them. To get to the nut you have to break the shell. Some shells are easier to break open than others like sunflower seeds or peanuts. Walnuts or pecans are are not so easy to break open. You need a nutcracker to get to the good part of these nuts, and if you don’t have a nutcracker a hammer works as long as you don’t hit the too hard. It takes effort to break their outer shells to get to the good part that you can eat and enjoy.

So being broken even though painful can lead to something good for you. The process hurts and is not fun. Imagine you are the nut and you can see the nutcracker coming for you. Then you feel trapped in its grip till you crack and break open. Scary thought. Most of us would run from pain if we knew it was going to happen was going to hurt. Yet if we all ran away from the possibility of pain we would cease to exist. Women would not have babies because labor is pain! Life is going to have some very painful moments. Just as a woman who goes from the pain of labor to the joy of holding her newborn baby, life can take your pain and turn it into joy.

Look at the life of Joseph. his brothers hate him and throw him into a pit, and want to kill him. Thankfully one brother suggest they sell him to travelers passing by. Then he is bought as a slave and goes from slave to prisoner. He lived a life under pressure of attack and rejection. Yet in the end he was lifted above his circumstance and placed in a position where he was able to save not only the people in Egypt but his own people. (Look up his story in Genesis.)

Sometimes we have to be broken to get to the good part of ourselves that is hidden deep within.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.