Loneliness

Christmas is a time of good cheer, excitement,  expectancy, warmth, busyness and feelings of joy surrounded by family and friends. But for some, it can be a time of extreme loneliness.  Loneliness can be described as a feeling of emptiness in the pit of your stomach when someone you love has left you either through death or broken relationships. You may feel abandoned, unwanted, or unneeded as if you’re all by yourself when you are actually surrounded by all kinds of people. You may feel like no one really cares.

These feeling can intensify if you begin to believe that your loneliness is a result of something being wrong at a core level with you – that you are somehow unacceptable, unworthy, don’t measure up, or unlovable.  When this happens, you may feel hopeless and have nothing to live for. Your pain can erode your self-worth, and drain you of strength.  Loneliness puts a huge wall around your heart and prevents you from allowing others in including God.

When you feel as if the entire world has abandoned you, and that no one understands your pain and sorrow God’s Word promises that the Lord is with you and He will never leave you.

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.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

In your loneliness and despair, have you distanced yourself from the Lord?

It is never too late to draw near to Him again. You are His precious child. And when you return to Him, you will be welcomed with open arms. You will have heartfelt joy when returning home to the shelter of God’s unconditional love and acceptance. You are never alone!

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The Grace Sifter In Relationship Conflict

Every person has a learned pattern of behavior when dealing with conflict.  Some lash out; others become critical, defensive and sarcastic, while some retreat like a turtle and avoid conflict altogether.  None of these patterns work towards solution and even create more conflict adding layers of bitterness and resentments causing hearts to get hardened and broken intimacy in relationships.

What’s God’s solution when conflict in relationships arises? GRACE! You see people model what was modeled to them. If they attack, they were attacked. If they are critical, they were criticized.  If they avoid, stuffing and avoidance were the names of the game growing up. These patterns are brought into relationships and affect those we love. It’s important not to personalize the wrongful reactions of other people. It has more to do with their faulty filters and less to do with you. Grace understands this.  It can build a bridge to healthy relationships.

God’s word says “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Instead of getting angry and replying in kind commit to sifting every conflict through a grace sifter.  Nothing gets through unless it contains grace.  Just like a flour sifter catches big lumps of flour that will ruin a recipe – nothing critical is allowed to sift through that will ruin our relationships. There is nothing wrong with the flour it’s just the wrong consistency. Likewise, conflict issues are legitimate and must be addressed and dealt with. But it’s our negative reaction to conflict that needs sifting through the filter of grace.

The next part of the recipe calls for seasoning with salt. Salt is a preservative. If your conversation is full of grace – allowing for faults and imperfections of others – it preserves relationships and brings peace to our lives. This is the perfect recipe for healthy God-centered relationships. Let’s get to cooking with grace.

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Colossians 3:14

 

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Healing the Wounds of The Past

knees4We all go through struggles and hard times. Life is not fair. There are times of sadness, despair, and regret.

The Psalmist paints a picture of someone trapped in an emotional downward spiral. Everything seems overwhelming and yet, in the end, they were able to say that there is encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us.

There are two types of trauma that bring the kind of despair that we read in today’s passage. There is the trauma of “not getting what we need” , and then there is the trauma of “getting something that we should have never received.”

The first is the result of neglect and abandonment, the second from abuse. But the good news is that God hears us in our despair, and He can help us.

Life brings each of us inescapable traumas that block maturity. God’s redemptive activity comes to us in two ways: He brings healing to our traumas, and adopts us into His family. Both ways boost us through our blocks to maturity, along the way to wholeness, With these boosts, we will be able to live from the hearts He gave us, our true identities will emerge, and our relationships with family and community will be characterized by joy.

Today, praise God for His healing. It is there for you as you bring your pain to Him. Also, praise God for His family. It is through the fellowship and love from each other that we are made whole and can experience the joy He has for us.

“Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” – “Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the LORD hears the cries of the needy.”

Psalms 69: 1-3, 32-33 (NLT)

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Emotional Healing

hearts3Emotional pain is the scourge of the heart and soul. Emotional pain eats away at our humanity. Emotional pain is a burden taking away the quality of our life and most assuredly our emotional pain weighs us down. When we are burdened by our emotional pain we need to lighten the burden. When we hurt, we need a way to take some of the weight off our heart and soul. There is a way to lighten our burden of emotional pain. The way to lighten our load is to tune into the upward pulling force of Jesus.

If you let Him, Jesus is always pulling upward upon your heart. If you let Him, Jesus is always pulling upward upon your burden. Jesus, in His love, is always pulling your burden upward toward Heaven. Jesus is now with you and He is now supporting you, guiding you, and giving you hope as He pulls you upward.

In our emotional pain, we need hope things will change. If there is one supernatural ingredient Christ brings to all of us in our pain, it is hope. Jesus did not come to our world to push you down but to pull you up. Now, take your emotional burden and hold your burden out to Him. Hold your burden out so His light and love can shine into your heart. As you hold your burden out in front of you, watch as Jesus comes and places His healing hands of power upon your hurt…and see His light and love pulling your emotional hurt over to Him…lightening your load, lightening your burden, and lightening your pain.

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Only God Completes You

colossiansEvery human being is born with three basic God-given needs for love, security, and significance. When these needs aren’t met it creates a void begging to be filled. Wherever there is a void, it is going to be filled with something even it’s destructive.

Because basic needs, especially for love, weren’t met this causes people to have faulty core beliefs about themselves and therefore often settle for relationships that are emotionally unavailable and imbalanced which creates conflict at all levels leading to emotional pain and frustration.

It’s not your job to fix someone else. It’s not their job to fix or complete you. It’s God’s job.

Only the One who created us has the power to change, fix, complete, and satisfy us with His unfailing love. Don’t set others up for failure to do what only God is able to do. You will live with constant disappointment.

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Emotional Pain

thorn-heartOften people who are experiencing emotional pain have difficulty expressing their feelings in a healthy way. A common cause is buried feelings due to loss or past hurts.

Ignored or denied feelings won’t go away. They are buried alive, deep inside your soul, where they fester and create an infection that produces poison in your body.

As long as emotional pain continues to be suppressed and undealt with the symptoms will only get worse such as relationship conflict, unhealthy behaviors, depression, addictions, and all sorts of other coping mechanisms that wound the heart and separate us from self, others and God.

That’s why it’s so vitality important to face your feelings.
Bring your heartache and hurts, your anxiety, your fear, and frustration to Jesus. Pour out your heart to Him and receive His comfort. He alone understands the depth of your hurt and pain. His word assures us in Isaiah that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with our grief. Hold on to the assurance found in His Holy Word…


“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “
Hebrews 4:15-16

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