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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
In John 6:12, Jesus tells His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." If you remember, he'd just multiplied five barely loaves to feed the five thousand.
Nothing is wasted in God's economy. Nothing; not broken relationships, broken finances, or broken hearts. Christ gathers the fragments, makes us whole, and multiplies our stories to feed those who hunger for hope. Even in times of physical isolation, we are not alone.
Wherever you stand on the path to healing, chances are you have something to give to someone who's not as far along as you. It's also likely that if you're open to receiving help, God has placed someone in your life willing to come along side you as you continue to grow.
Who can you encourage today? Who will you allow to encourage you?
A word about seasons of isolation:
There've been times in my life when I reached out for help, but it didn't come from the human hands I'd hoped for. Times when I was all but sure I'd go insane from loneliness AND being alone. I've learned that during those times God beckoned for my full attention. If you better relate to this scenario, I encourage you to take the time to talk to God each day. Talk or journal.
Read Bible stories that tell of God's servants during seasons of isolation. Notice how they responded to God. Note the raw emotion they shared, the insight they gained, and the grace at work in their circumstances. Ask God for the wisdom to apply this same insight to your circumstances. And rest assured--isolation is only for a season.
Prayer: God, I entrust You with the fragments of my heart. Each day I move toward wholeness. Guide me today. Help me to recognize there is purpose in my life. Provide opportunities for me to be a source of encouragement to others, and grant me the courage to be obedient to what You ask of me. If You want my full attention, let Your very presence be my comfort. I am not alone. I do not suffer in vain. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Peace and good to all,
Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 @ 3:34 PM CDT
[From my archives]
Good Morning! Last week's blog was about listening with your eyes while listening to others. Today, let's take a moment to ponder how to listen to oneself. What does this look like? Literally.
For me, listening with my eyes is expressed through the acknowledgment and timely response to personal needs. It can be something as simple as pouring myself a glass of water when I'm thirsty or taking a bathroom break at my bladder's first prompting. (I mention this because I've never met a survivor who hasn't, at one time or another, ignored the physicals needs of her body.) But listening also requires me to acknowledge my God-given discernment; intuition, you might say. And this is where Christ nudges me to take risks.
Healing requires truth. It's been almost a year since my husband moved out. Four months before he left, I'd set up camp in the guest room and sought counseling. (I thank God for this--a jump start on healing before divorce court.) The more time passes, the more I recognize how poorly I was treated. And subsequently, I recognize how I minimized my needs, heart's desires, and value, in order to maintain the relationship.
Marriage is a godly covenant. There is nothing godly about abuse in any form. Abuse dulls the senses. Next thing you know, you've become but a shadow of who you once believed you were in Christ. I can see this now. Granted, my feelings are not always factual, but I no longer ignore them. I take them before God, and if He reveals that action is required, then I take action.
The key to "seeing" is to hold what we see before the Light. Ask God what He has to say about it. Renounce the fear that keeps you from having a difficult conversation with another person. And then detach from the outcome.
When we acknowledge and confess what we see in ourselves and others, God will faithfully bring what is skewed, into focus.
"I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them" Isaiah 42:16.
If you're not sure what you "see," just ask.
God, I'm grateful that your eyes do not slumber. As You order my steps today, open my eyes to see one thing about myself that I've minimized in order to survive, maintain appearances/relationships, or remain numb. And God, if I freak out for a little while, may I be acutely aware of your faithful embrace and loving intentions toward me. Reveal the value in me and grant me eyes to see! In Jesus' name, Amen."
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 8:31 AM CDT