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.

 

 

The sound of a closing door

The sound of a closing door is not one we pay much attention to. A saying most of us have heard is, ‘When one door closes another will open’. Then there is the scripture Revelation 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me. These words encourage and give hope.Rev 3 20

 

We open and closes doors every day so the sound of a door closing means nothing to you,  yet there are those that it breaks their heart. It can represent loss, an ending, or rejection. Add the sound of a lock being turned it can make one feel hopeless. That they are not only shut out but that there is no hope of that door ever being opened again.(Which is not always a bad thing because there are some doors that not only need to be shut and locked, but the key needs to be thrown away.) The pain of loss or rejection can amplify the simple sound of a closing door. Then there is the sound of a door slamming shut. Which is usually done in anger, meaning one person has turned their back on another in anger and not just walked out but stormed out leaving the other behind. The one who stormed out may feel like they cannot return because they were the one to leave and no matter what their reason was at the time they may feel guilt and even fear because now they are the one who may be rejected. The one left behind feel not only rejected and hurt, but they may fear that when the door slammed that was the end, and that is not their desire. Loosing loved ones to death or an end of a relationship can leave a lasting memory that the sound of a closing door can reopen the wound that the sound of a closing door can bring.

I had not thought of this before, but while sitting on my porch I heard the sound of a neighbor shutting their door. A sound that I hear often living in an apartment because neighbors are coming and going daily. Yet this morning when I heard the sound it seemed amplified and I even heard the sound of the lock being turned. I don’t know why it made me stop and think, but it did. I go in and out my door multiple times through out my day and when I am on the phone I know the person on the other end can hear the opening and shutting of my door so I try to close the door quietly so I do not interrupt what they are saying to me. Yet today I am thinking of all the ways the sound of what a door makes can mean. For some it can mean security, (This makes me think of the song ‘Shut the door, keep out the devil’) and for another it can feel like they are all alone, shut out and not welcome.

For the ones who feel rejected and shut out there is One who will never leave you or forsake you. He knocks on your door patiently waiting to be let in. He is the one I mentioned earlier in Revelation 3;20.

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Now there is the sound of a door opening. Think about how a child reacts when the door opens and it is their Daddy who just came in. They run to him joyfully and yell ‘Daddy’s home’ and they jump into his arms.

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Now the sound of the door closing behind him means they are safe and they have no reason to fear. For when they are with their Daddy they are not afraid, but are happy and secure. For it is written that perfect love casts out all fear. The love of our Heavenly Father, our Abba Daddy is available to all who receive Him, and Jesus is the door we enter to get to Him.

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God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace

Moods/Spiritual Health/Physical Health

I do not believe that I am the only person that when my health is not good neither is my mood. Honestly do you really feel like smiling when pain radiates from every part of your body? I am currently working in the food service and I know people prefer to be waited on by someone who does not radiate misery. I have learned over the many years of any form of customer service is to put on my cheerful mask when dealing with the customers no matter how I feel. Yet this is very draining, both emotionally and physically. There are many health conditions that there is not a lot that we can do to make ourselves feel better. We endure and suffer through bad days and do the best we can,  yet as hard as we try our moods can very from sadness to full blown depression, and even anger and rage. You can feel helpless because of your condition, which can lead to frustration and aggravation. The company of other people can either bring comfort or agitation. So you may close your self off from others not wanting to feel like a burden. Unfortunately this is not good for you. First you start by isolating yourself only seeing or talking to people when it is absolutely necessary. Then your prayers become shorter till almost obsolete. Cutting yourself off from God. Prayers take more effort and can become even difficult. Now you are miserable and alone and don’t even make the effort to turn to God. He is still there for you but your health and your mood consume you. Once you have gotten to this place it is very difficult to get yourself out.  A good beginning may be as simple as crying out “God help me.” It is easy to let our physical condition dictate our moods, and I understand this completely. I still have this battle on a very regular basis. Sometimes it takes everything in me to even call out the name of Jesus. Then I think about people in the Bible and I read their stories and find inspiration. It was only recently that I had a new insight to the life of Job. He went through loss of children, wealth and health. Then he had friends who basically kicked him while he was down and his wife told him to curse God and die. When we first think of Job and all he lived through we see only his suffering and loss. I now see a man that God trusted even when he had every reason to give up, Job didn’t lose his faith in God. So what ever it is that you may be going through, understand God is not the cause, and that He trusts you, and believes you will endure and not fail. Also remember that Paul tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations. I know reading these words will not fix you and make things better, but you can make an effort not to allow your situation to make you so miserable that you allow yourself to drown in despair. Hold on to God, and do not give up no matter how painful and dark it may be for you right now. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Blessing of peace and health to you all.

December 1, 2015

This is the first time in Four years that I have decorated for Christmas since my mother died and I lost my daughter,without being told to do so. The first year I didn’t decorate at all. My apartment no longer felt like a home since my daughter was gone from my life and for the first time I was truly living alone. I saw that decorating was a waste of time and it would only make me feel worse. Then the following two years I would be asked if I was putting up my tree and I would answer no, their response would be it would be good for me. Of course my response would be there is no point. I am alone and I would be the only person to see the decorations. But my friends did not give up on encouraging me. So I would bring the tree out and that would be that. I am sharing this because even though I have been battling my depression more as the holidays have approached, this time I did not need encouragement. The tree came out, I hung the garland and the lights. I even brought out decorations that I have been keeping boxed up. The penguin was a gift from my mom from the year before she died, it plays Jingle Bells. Listening to it sing brings me joy because it was a gift from her, just as the stocking was a gift she gave my daughter. I can look at these now and not feel the pain of missing them but remember the good times. There is a hole in my heart that no one else will ever be able to fill but now  instead of the dread of missing them that holidays brought, I can now focus on the good memories. 

Winter Blues

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I am not going to be discussing colors, even though blue is in the title of this writing. Winter Blues, SAD(seasonal affective disorder) is something too many people suffer from, and for those of us who deal with depression on a regular basis this time of year is or can be more difficult to deal with. Most people do not recognize this is happening to someone they know for multiple reasons. The person who deals with depression or Winter Blues may be very good at wearing a mask and concealing what is going on inside, end even when asked they simply answer ‘I am fine, or I am okay’ even when they know they are not. They either do not want to burden another with their problems or they do not want to come across as weak or less of a person. This list goes on as well, but hiding it or ignoring it will not make it go away. I know I have gone through all the extremes when it comes to dealing with my own depression. The thoughts that float through my mind especially during this time of year even scares me. I am afraid of the day where I will give into my depressed thoughts. Yet I have continued to fight and keep pressing forward in hopes of a day when I will not feel the dark suffocating force that I feel when depression outweighs my peace or joy. How can I have peace or joy? For one I have learned that peace or joy can be in me in spite of my circumstance or how I feel. It is the calm assurance that no matter how dark and hopeless things are, it is not over and I will be okay. Unfortunately this is not how I feel on most days. Yet this is what keeps me going. I look to scripture for encouragement, as well as people who are supportive and understanding. These people do more than just listen to me, or just sit with me when I do not feel like talking. They don’t pretend there is nothing wrong, but they are compassionate and loving without being overbearing. They do not try to fix me but they walk with me and offer me a hand when I am down and need help getting back up. If I pretended everything was okay and hid my inner battle from them they could not do this. Yes it may seem that I am making myself vulnerable and weak, but it takes a special strength to open up and let the right people in. Depression, blues, anxiety, anger, etc… make us want to keep people at a distance if we even want to see people at all. By doing this we are only letting these things control us instead of us controlling them. I want to live free from these disabling emotions. To do this I have to make a choice daily not to give into them, some days I do good, and there are days when I fail and I let them overcome me. But I do not give up. Not because I did it all on my own but because of Scripture, prayer and people who love and pray for me. Then my important source of comfort and encouragement, Jesus, who died for me to show me how much He loves me, for the Holy Spirit He sent to me to be my Helper and Comforter. (John 14:26 (AMP) 26 But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name[in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.) He is the One who is always with me even when I am alone. Loneliness is a companion of depression because when I am depressed or Blue I feel cut off, disconnected, even when I am in a crowd of people I can feel all alone. To help me deal with this feeling I focus my thoughts on Jesus (Who is the Word made flesh. John chapter .) I think about His words and how they tell me of His love, His peace, His Joy, and His victory for my life. I will not say this is easy but if it was not for His love and His Word I would not be here today sharing a part of myself with you today. I have bad days, it does not mean He does not love me, but it does mean that I am not going through the bad days alone. I like how the church (that is you and me who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior) is compare to being His Bride. Then I think of the wedding vows ‘For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, never to part’, and how this applies to our relationship with Him. He never gives up on us He hangs in there with us when life gets ugly. Do not let the Winter Blues get the best of you. I know depression is overwhelming and you may feel like you cannot go on and there is nothing you can do, but don’t give up. Say a prayer, even if it is only these simple words, “Jesus Help!” Then talk to someone and find help.

Here are some scriptures  and links to encourage you included are a link to Web MD and to the Mayo Clinic. I am not a professional but I am a person who has fought depression and PTSD for many years and I am doing better with help. I hope these will help get you started.

a link for scriptures on the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Helper  http://www.openbible.info/topics/the_comforter

a link for scriptures on depression  http://hopefaithprayer.com/scriptures/against-depression/

Philippians 1:19(ESV)  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

links on depression and Winter Blues

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder

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November 18, 2015

We all have good days and bad. Then there are the in between days. I would have to say that this is one of the in between days. It is not terrible but it is not so good either. My pain level is higher than a normal day and I am fighting frustration and depression.

I am in pain seven days a week so pain is nothing new to me. I have learned to function with the pain in my body to the most part, but even typing away on my keyboard is quite painful. Some may ask then why do it? My answer is because someone else out there may be in their own pain, and thought their pain is different knowing they are not alone can bring comfort or encouragement. I am not writing as way to have a pity party, but to find a way to overcome what the pain does to me.

My body has suffered injuries over my life that never truly healed. So my body is now more limited than most but not as bad as others. (Something I remind myself on a regular basis) Yet when the pain and the lack of body function keeps me from performing even the most simple task, then frustration followed by depression come knocking at my door. Some days I am able to keep these outside, but then there are days I may not open the door but I open a window and they crawl in. Today is one of those days.

I did not plan on letting it in but I did. I woke up unable to do much because the pain had spread from it’s normal place my head arms and back down to my legs where standing is even extremely painful. I live alone so there is no one here to help with even the simple things. So let’s add isolation to the list. I felt terrible about myself and to be honest I feel worthless. I want to give up. I want to go and curl up in a dark room and close my eyes and give in to the darkness.

Instead of doing this I am up and writing. I have spent time in scripture and Bible study. I have written notes of encouragement, and yes I still feel in a child’s term yucky, but the sun is shining in through my window. I am still alive even though this morning I did not want to be. Yet I am now thinking of some people in the Bible who had their moments of frustration, and did not have the strength to go on, like Joseph, David and Job. I am reminded that I am not really alone. God is here with me and He is not done with me. I may look like nothing to the world but I am a treasure in His eye. I may want to give up but He will never give up on me.

So you may feel like life is more than you can bear, and the pain is too much. Do not beat yourself up for feeling this way. He can’t heal you till you can acknowledge you don’t feel good. He is with you always and He cares for you and loves you when days are good and when days are bad. He goes with you through it all.

 

Pain Hurts!

Pain hurts! Pretty simple, you would think. But what caused the pain may not be so simple to describe. Were you hurt by something big that happened all at once, or was it little things that happened over a period of time? Does any of that matter? I do not think so because pain still hurts. Whatever that has happened, or has been done to you, the pain you feel is what has your attention. You feel it. Physically or emotionally the pain is real. It may stop you in your track, or drop you down to your knees, and it may give you reason to lay down and not get up because the pain is more than you can bear. Pain lets you know that something is wrong. It is that big red flashing light telling you stop what you are doing or you will get seriously hurt. It is the warning that says this wrong and it needs to stop.

Pain can cause a tear to roll down your cheek, or you to scream in agony till you have no voice left. It can make you close yourself up into your room cutting everyone out. Pain can cause you to lash out and hit something, like putting your fist through a wall. You may pick a fight for no real reason because of the pain you feel has made you so angry you want someone else to feel pain as well. I could probably write a novel and fill the pages with what pain can cause us to do. If you have ever felt pain you already know what I would write, and let’s be honest you are alive and reading this you have felt pain, and you may even be feeling pain right now as you are reading these words.

Well my words will not take away your pain, but you already knew that. To heal from the pain you feel or have felt means you are going to go through more pain. Facing what has hurt you is not pleasant, it can get down right ugly. To truly begin to be healed from what has caused our pain we have to endure facing the pain. We need to not just focus on what was done but what we did as a reaction. We may feel guilt for things we did after we were hurt. So we are ashamed to face our pain. We should not stand in our own way though. What has been done is done, let us face it so we can move on. No more looking over your shoulder carrying burdens we no longer need to, but living free from guilt shame and pain. The One who taught me this is Jesus. He is my Savior, Redeemer, and Healer. He is the Lord of my life, my heart my everything. Jesus knows pain and He knows suffering. This does not stop Him from loving though. In spite of pain rejection humiliation being beaten and spit upon He loves us, He forgives us and He heals us. It is written  ‘By His stripes we are healed’. All we have to do is receive Him, acknowledge our sins and repent and the love He has for us we can then receive. Then you can find relief form the pain you have lived with for too long.

Take off you mask.

  Years of working in bars and restaurants taught me to put on a mask. The reason was because that customers do not want to be waited on by a sad, depressed, angry or bitter, waitress. So no matter how I was feeling, I had to cover it up with a happy mask. Concealing how I felt because I was there to do a job, and you will not get tips when you appear miserable. Even when I had to serve customers who were rude abusive, or vulgar, I had to laugh and put a smile on my face, and be pleasant to them.

Now the same can be said about people in church. I had heard the term ‘Church face’ and I thought it was an appropriate description. We cover up what is really going on inside because we are afraid of being judged or rejected. We also do not our faith to be questioned. (This does not mean when you are struggling with emotional or other issues you have lost faith, it just means you are human and we have our weaknesses that we individually have to deal with.) Yet one reason for fellowship is so that we can help each other. It is like the wedding vow, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, and for better or worse. The church is the bride of Christ. We are His body, arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes and ears, the list goes on. When we put on our masks to conceal our true feelings, our frustrations, our disappointments, etc… We are closing the door on receiving the loving help we so desperately need. God said it was not good for man to be alone. This was not just for a man and woman to be married. We need each other. Scripture tells us if two are walking and one falls into a ditch the other is there to help them out.

We need to take off our masks. I know that it is scary to expose ourselves and be vulnerable, but it is in our weakness that God is the strongest. One of God’s blessings in my life are the people He gave to me to be my true friends. These are people who I can be real with. They have seen me when I have been at my worse. When I have been so angry that I was intolerable to be around. When I was too depressed that I did not want to go on. They have listened to my screams,and let me cry till there were no more tears to fall. When I have felt that all hope is lost, they have sat quietly, showing great compassion. They do not try to fix me, or tell me what I am doing wrong. They show me they love me by just accepting me as I am. Many times they just sit quietly and listen. Their presence alone giving comfort. When they speak, they use words of encouragement. They never doubt my faith, but remind me that they know how strong my faith is, and that Jesus loves me at all times, just as they do.

I thank God for these friends, who have let me remove my mask without any fear. I can be myself with them, no masks, no pretending. God uses these people to hug me, and hold me, and to speak words to encourage and heal me when I am hurting more than I feel that I could bear. If you take off your mask you will find there are people already in your life who God has blessed you with. who will do the same for you as my friends have done for me. You won’t know these people till you take off your mask though. So take off your mask and see truth. See God’s amazing love for you.

In my weakness

I am told that I am strong

That my faith is inspiring

but in this I do not agree

I would like to say that my faith does not waiver

and that i trust in God at all times

If I did this

I would be lying

Yes Jesus is my Savior

Yes He is my Lord

but I am weak

I have fears and doubts

I feel overwhelmed

and I have no strength to go any further

I want to give up

I cannot hold on

God in His mercy

picks me up

and he carries me

He gives me grace

He gives me love

He is my hope when I have none

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring

but I do know

that even when I want to give up

He will never give up on me

In my weakness

He is my strength

In the darkness

He is my Light

In my despair 

He is my joy

He is my everything

Love and Time

calenders and clocks

Love and Time

We measure times with seconds, which turn into minutes.

Then minutes turn into hours.

Hours turn into days.

Days turn into weeks.

Weeks turn into months.

Months turn into years.

We keep track of time using clocks and calendars.

Yet love does not know time.

It does not have a clock or calendar to tell it what it is.

It is not a schedule to keep or an appointment to make.

Love cannot be measured by time.

It has no birth date or anniversary.

Love is Love

It has been around since before creation.

It was , it is and it will always be.

Even in a world filled with hate,

There is still love.

Love cannot be weighed,

You cannot measure love.

You cannot truly live without love.

It is the air we breathe, and the blood that flows through us.

Love is Jesus

Love forgives what cannot be forgiven.

Love gives hope.

Love restores what you have lost or what has been stolen.

Love gives and wants nothing in return.

Love is merciful and keeps no records of wrongs.

Love gives life and healing.

You may exist without love,

But that is not the same as being alive.

We have been loved since the beginning,

Isn’t it time we begin living to love?

Jesus is love.

He has given us everything we need.

He gave us His life,

So we can live,

Live in peace and live in love.