If you do not forgive, you are only sentencing yourself to prison. So forgive and receive the freedom that forgiveness brings.
Many feel that to forgive means to forget. That is not true. If you forget, all you have done is forgotten. Forgiveness takes place when you know the wrong that has been done and you show mercy and do not hold it against the one who has wronged you. This will not undo the pain and hurt that was caused by the wrong acts of the other. It just means that you are no longer carrying the burden of being their judge. Forgiving someone that has wronged you also does not mean that they will change or even be sorry for what they have done, and that you will continue to let this other person hurt you. You are free to love and be healed. What they do with the forgiveness offered to them is up to them. Some may ever think that they have ever done anything wrong. Your forgiving them will not change this. Still forgive them and pray for their salvation, so that they can experience the One Who came to forgive all who will receive Him, Jesus Christ the Author of Love and Forgiveness!
The time is coming when you will soon be released from prison. You have kept your faith in Me. There are two men who are about to be put in prison. Serve them well as you will be ordered to by the guard. Through this service you will gain your freedom. I will give to each a dream and you will give them the meaning of their dreams to them. One is the Butler to Pharaoh and the other is Pharaoh’s’ baker. Tell the Butler that the vines in his dream represent three days, and that squeezing the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup is his position restored. So that in three days he will be restored to his position. Now the baker will ask you to tell him the meaning of his dream and this is what you will tell him. The three baskets also mean three days, and the birds eating the bread from the baskets mean that Pharaoh will hang him from a tree and the birds will eat his flesh.
These things will happen, and the Butler will forget for a while what you did for him. Yet do not lose hope. I tell you this because then will I give Pharaoh two dreams. They will upset him and he will seek help in finding the meaning to his dreams. This is when the butler will remember what you did for him and he will tell Pharaoh of your gift and what you did for him. When Pharaoh hears what he has to say he will send for you. This is the meaning of his dreams that you will give to him. The two dreams are the same, The seven healthy and good cows and the seven good stalks represent seven good years, of prosperity in the land of Egypt. There will be abundant harvests for these years. The seven sick cows and the seven withered stalks represent the seven years of famine that will follow. He was given the dream twice because it will happen as he dreamed. Then you will instruct him to appoint leaders over the land that during the seven years of plenty they should gather the grain and make store houses to store it in. He will then be prepared when the seven years of famine come. Following this instruction will keep the land from perishing.
When Pharaoh hears these words you will be freed from prison. Then he will give you a position of great authority. For you will be a leader over all of Egypt except Pharaoh there will be no man above you. Through your obedience many will be saved. You have heard my words and now is the time for you to follow my instructions. You have suffered, and now I will be glorified in you.
Genesis chapters 40 & 41
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.
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
Have you ever been at the beach and stood in the water as you watched the waves rolling in? I remember walking out into the water as the waves came crashing upon me. I wasn’t afraid. The bigger the wave the more exhilarated I felt when it would slam into me. Some even pushed me back up on to the shore. some of the waves even stung as they came down on me. When I had enough I would walk out of the ocean and sit on the sand and continue to watch the waves come rolling in. I was happy and at peace.
Unfortunately I do not face the storms in my life in the same manner. I see the trouble and panic. The girl who could stand in the ocean and brace herself as the ocean slammed against her wave after wave disappears when problems arise in her life. No longer planted firmly on the ground, I get tossed around with every wave of trouble that hits me. Something is wrong with this picture. How can I face an ocean wave and feel joy, when that wave could easily carry me off and drown me, but become terrified because of someone or something brings trouble to my life or worse I get myself into trouble without anyone’s help.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
These are just two scriptures on joy,peace and tribulations. There are many more, but I will let you search for those yourself. I list these verses to show how one can have peace and even joy when the world slams against you like an ocean wave. I shared with you how the ocean waves did not steal my peace or joy, even when I saw waves that towered way above my head come crashing down on me. Then on the flip side I shared how the tribulations I face in this world terrify me and unsettle me. Yet in my mind I know I should be able to face the trials and tribulations in my life in the same manner I face the ocean waves. I need to look at the problems coming at me no matter how big they may seem like those waves. Being assured that after they hit I will still be okay, and even peaceful and filled with joy. I need to be able to stand on God’s Word and not fear what ever may come against me. David as a boy defeated Goliath, and Gideon led men into battle with only torches, clay pots and a trumpet and God gave him the victory without even having to fight. If God did this for them will He not do the same for me and you, especially since He sent His son to pay the price for our sins. Jesus redeemed us with His blood, and he would not have done this if He did not plan for us to live victorious, free from fear and doubt. I can no longer be double minded tossed around every time trouble comes at me. I must keep my eyes upon Jesus and trust He will not let me drown in my distress.
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.
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.
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Season change and there is nothing we can do to stop it from happening. Summer turns into Fall, then Fall into Winter, and then Winter turns to Spring. These are seasons which all have their time. People have their seasons as well. We are born, we then grow from infants into children. Then children turn into adults. In the end life for the adult comes to an end. Each of these points are broken into their seasons as well. A baby grows from being an infant into being a toddler, and then the toddler grows into a young child which will grow to be a teenager. Then teenagers turn into young adults which mature into full adulthood. Adults become seniors and well you know what comes next. We are born we live we grow we learn and then we teach the next generation as they come into this world. There are many things we try to change but this part of life will happen no matter what we do. What we can do is use the time, and the seasons given to us and use them to do the best we can. We can live and not just merely exist. We can learn and grow, and then teach others the lessons we have learned.
I do not know what season you are in your life, but which ever one it is, live it, enjoy it and love like you have never loved before!
Yet another sleepless night. Instead of fighting for sleep I chose to spend the night hour with my Heavenly Father. I spent part of the night reading,another part praying and praising Him and another part cleaning and anointing my home. My mood today is surprisingly good considering the fact that I did not even sleep an hour this last night. This I take as a gift from God, especially since I am not a morning person to begin with add a lack of sleep my mood is not usually so joyful. I would also like to report since the other night when I wrote asking other insomniacs to join me in prayer I have had two people contact me and said they too would be praying and will pray with me during the night if we are awake together. I am glad for this because it is turning the sleepless night into a blessing. The more who join us in prayer the more people we can pray for, and together we can also praise our God and praise Jesus our Redeemer, our Healer, our Savior, our Lord. Sleepless nights are becoming less of a burden, and more joyful. I still look forward to peaceful sleep, but taking advantage of every waking moment seeking God and petitioning Him for the needs of others.