So many people suffer from sadness this time of year. It is mind-boggling to me being that I am one of those who has suffered since I was sixteen years … Continue reading Christmastime Misery to Miracles: My prayer for the sad and lonely hearts this Christmas
Wow. Forever. That’s what I keep hearing every time I think about and continue to tearfully deal with my own brokenness. It’s been almost four months since I’ve written last and a lot has happened in my life since then. First, I celebrated my 4th year of God’s miracle sobriety (thank You, God!). Soon after that, I graduated from Celebrate Recovery’s Step Study (12 Step program). And now I have a brand new nephew who was born on Palm Sunday. A brand new life! Praise the Lord! There’s so much more to celebrate and to be grateful to God for, which I have been. But there is also still so much pain that I’m discovering that is barely reaching the surface. The slow healing process has been all in God’s perfect timing and in HIS way. Not my own. I have to keep reminding myself of that. I finally stopped asking Him “God, why don’t You just reach down and completely heal me already??!!” I mean, He’s done it in other areas of my life like physical healing’s, but with my deep emotional scars…well, not so much. It’s been very slow, and it’s been PAINFUL. Believe it or not though, I wouldn’t want it any other way because it draws me so near to Him and I am learning such life saving lessons that I wouldn’t learn with an instant healing so I am very grateful for that!
I have been walking this incredible emotional healing journey with the Lord for over a year now. I think it has been the toughest part of my journey thus far. I’ve mentioned before in other posts that I really had no idea how broken I was until I was taken back in time so I could figure what it was in my life that caused the depression and darkness and the desire to try to drink myself to death, and learn from it. Going back and digging deep into my soul was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I didn’t think I could ever be thankful for this, but I truly am thankful to the Celebrate Recovery ministry for taking me there. It was definitely the hand of God that led me to that ministry and the timing of it blows me away. None of the healing that I have received so far would have happened had I not stepped out in faith and started their Step Study. I must tell you, I so did not want to be there, but just like at the beginning of my spiritual journey over four years ago, I just kept showing up. God kept showing up too. He still does of course. You see for me, it was more than my dad walking out of my life when I was a young teen that caused all of my issues in life. That was truly a traumatic event in my life that started me down the dark path, but I’ve since discovered that there’s much more to my hurting and depression. There were more traumatic events that took place later on so I can’t blame it all on him. Years of burying the pain helped me to forget about it, but I never really truly forgot about it. You can’t heal what you don’t feel, right? There have been things in my life, even to this day that trigger old painful memories to come back. It’s been difficult for me to admit that I am still broken, but I guess it’s unrealistic to think that the hurts will completely go away some day never to be remembered ever again. Besides, if I don’t remember them, how am I going to be able to help others through theirs? I believe that only broken people can help broken people. So I am going to keep learning all I can in dealing better with the pain so I can get through this and share it with others.
Not a whole lot of people around me know (well, I guess they will now if they read this) that I’m in therapy working on some of the deep emotional scars that have come to surface. I was concerned because I felt myself starting to feel like I was going backwards a bit into depression. I can’t go back there, I just can’t. So after some prayer and seeking guidance from my pastor and another dear friend I trust, God led me to someone who has been wonderful in helping me to overcome the past hurts and tools to help me through new difficult situations that may trigger old ways of thinking so that I can avoid going back into the pit. Just like CR, I didn’t want to go and pour my hurting heart out to a stranger! But I don’t regret one moment of it and I thank God for strong men and women of faith who are therapists! God has been a part of just about every session and I am grateful! Why am I sharing this? I don’t know!! It’s a God thing—I’m just following His lead praying it will let someone else know it’s okay if they need help. God uses everything for good.
Okay, so I’m thinking that my soul will be forever broken while walking this earth and if that’s true, it’s actually a good thing for me. I am embracing the pain. Now honestly, I wasn’t thinking that a couple of weeks ago as I was crying through more pain, but now that my eyes are dry I see it’s a good thing because I will always be dependent on God. It will make Him my one and only desire. I don’t ever want to live this life on my own again, putting all of my hope in people and things of this world. It didn’t work out so well for me the first 44 years of life. It almost killed me like it has killed so many already. This is why I share my life. It is my hope that my testimony will encourage someone out there who is where I used to be.
Friend I’m really glad you’re here reading this. Perhaps you’re someone who is at the end of your rope barely holding on. You may be considering ending it all because the pain is too much to bear. Don’t do it. I’m grateful that I didn’t. God is here and He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He’s just waiting for you to call out to Him. You don’t need an elaborate prayer. You can say something as simple as “Jesus, I need You. I can’t do this on my own anymore. I’m tired. Will you help me?” Friend, He is real and He WILL help you if you ask Him to, so I pray you will. But you must remember it’s HIS when, and HIS way. I just know that if you do this, your life is about to change in a drastic way. Surrender your heart and just trust Him and others (like me) who are walking the same walk. Just take a look at my other stories to see some of the amazing things God has done. I’m taking chances sharing my heart so openly on this blog. I hope it will encourage you to take a chance too. Is it going to be easy? No. But I can testify that it is sure going to be more than worth it.
“Lord, I lift my hurting friends up to you. Please bless them and start the healing process in them. You led them here for a reason, Lord. Bring people like me into their lives so they do not have to walk this journey alone. Bring them people who can help them find hope in You. Bring people to them who will show them Your love. Make Yourself real to them like you have done for me and so many others. Help them to know Your love and that Your gift of life is SO worth living for. Thank You, Lord. In Your precious name Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
Thanks to you all for “listening” to my heart. It feels good to be writing about the great things of God in my life again. God bless you. ♥
I am grateful to God for giving me an amazing desire to share my vulnerable heart with anybody who will listen. I share my struggles as well as victories. God … Continue reading To the Lonely, Depressed, Broken: You don’t have to stay that way…I didn’t.
I read that Psalm recently and it gave me peace and an extra boost of hope. Then I found this photo. There’s something about it that makes me smile, gives me more hope, makes me feel a tiny bit lonely, and maybe a little bit sad all at the same time. I’ve written about loneliness before. It’s not an easy subject for me to write about. I don’t like to admit to people that I get lonely. But I am human. Unfortunately, I made choices in life that led me to my late forties without a family of my own. And…well, it can bring me down once in a while. It also makes me dream what seems to be an impossible dream. Is there anybody else out there who finds that they too are dreaming impossible dreams and perhaps wanting to give up on them? Sometimes I honestly do want to give up. I don’t know about you, but impossible dreams can really make my heart ache. However, I am grateful to know that without a doubt, that what is impossible for me is very possible for God. Knowing that keeps me holding on and hoping in Christ, one day at a time.
I like a true story. Especially when I can relate to it. Here’s one that someone out there might relate to. At least I hope there is, it would be nice to know that I’m not alone. There was a young woman who was so excited to be expecting her first child. So many friends and relatives had started their own families and although she was very happy for them, she felt empty and out of place because she was one of the very few left who was still single and childless. Finally, it was her turn and she had never felt this kind of joy before. Being a mom was something she had been longing for, although she never told anybody about it. It didn’t bother her that she wasn’t married. She had convinced herself that she never wanted to get married so it wasn’t even a thought. The excitement was building. She could hardly wait for the baby shower. She saw herself opening all kinds of wonderful gifts for her baby. For the longest time, she had watched others do it. Now it was her turn—a dream come true. There was so much planning to do. It was the best moment of her entire life. You see, for years she had walked around discouraged from being abandoned by one of her parents. She became depressed, and even suicidal. She felt she was worthless and that her life really wasn’t worth living anymore. That is, until this moment came and she said to herself: “Finally, someone to love of my own. Someone to take care of. I will never stop loving or abandon this child. This is a wonderful reason to be alive.”
Then something happened… she woke up. Yes! It was only a dream! The feeling of disappointment and the complete emptiness and brokenness immediately came back, but much worse than before. The hole in her heart got even deeper and she would spend many more nights crying herself to sleep while wondering “When will the pain ever end?”
I’ve shared a lot of stories from the heart on this blog. Most of them turned out to be about me. Well, let’s add this one to the list. That dreamer was me. It was before the depression became severe and before I became a true alcoholic. Today at the age of 47, the desires of my heart have changed quite a bit. I am very thankful for that. I consider myself too old to start a family now anyway. I know it would not be a good idea for me to try to have a baby of my own and be a single mom. It’s just not something I could realistically do at this point in my life.
The desire that I do have in my heart today I consider an impossible dream. I’ve gone from wanting to have children to wanting to just be a grandmother. May sound funny, but it’s true. Actually, the whole dream is to have a family that loves the Lord as much as I do and wants to serve Him together as much as I do. That would be an amazing dream come true. I always think of the scripture verse, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Right now, I can only say “As for me and…me.” 🙂 I’m really glad I can smile as I write this now. I’ve had some recent breakthroughs with pain I was still carrying. I’m grateful to be doing much better (the Lord always comes to my rescue). Not too long ago, I was in tears thinking about how I got myself here. Anyway, if becoming a grandmother is not an impossible dream, I don’t know what is! I don’t have a husband, I don’t have kids…grandkids are an impossible dream. For a long while now, I have asked for the Lord to take this desire away if it is not of Him. So far nothing has happened either way. When I mentioned that I’ve asked God to take the desire away and He hasn’t to my pastor, she told me that since He hasn’t taken it away that I could start praying for Him to fulfill it! She told me that God is never late and He never teases. She told me to believe. Thank you pastor, I do believe! I’ve got a great pastor. She always has great words of encouragement for me. After a long time of the desire not going away, it didn’t occur to me to pray for God to fulfill the desire. I was honestly too busy seeing the impossible. How can I forget that God always makes the impossible possible when it is something that He needs to happen to accomplish His plan. He’s proven that so many times already!
I spent years in depression, trying to drink the pain away. It is a major blessing to me now, that I wasn’t married and that I didn’t have kids while I spent all that time in that condition. I would have messed up too many lives that way. Now that I’m sober and serving the Lord with my heart, who knows what He will do. He’ll either fulfill the desire or He will take it completely away. It’s a win-win to me. I just have to wait on Him. I have a very blessed life today. When the loneliness does hit, which thankfully is not as often as it used to be, I have learned to keep reaching out to the Lord so I can get even closer to Him. He always fills that void when I keep seeking Him. He truly is enough for me. Another favorite verse of mine is Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.” So true, He is SO good to me.
I don’t know why I felt inclined to write this post. I was trying to avoid it, but I kept getting the “God nudge”. It’s taken me weeks to make sense of it and to write in a way that makes sense, I don’t even know if I am really making sense at all right now. All I can say is that this is all coming from my heart and I believe the Lord is giving me the words. I pray there’s something here that helps someone in some way. Perhaps it is someone who is feeling quite lonely—maybe someone like me who doesn’t have a spouse and/or kids. I just want to encourage you to reach for Jesus first no matter what. You will find that He is enough for you. If you’re single and have a desire to be married with kids someday and it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, pray first asking the Lord to take the desire away if it is not of Him. If it doesn’t go away, then start praying for Him to fulfill it and trust that He will. It will be in His perfect timing. This goes for any desire. In the meantime, let Him fill you with His love and peace and He will take away the loneliness. I can testify to that!
Jesus says to you, “I am with you always…” Friend, He is. He really, really is. I pray that you will open your heart and feel His presence like I do. Thanks to all who listen to my ramblings about such personal matters of the heart. It’s been good therapy for me and I find that sharing my heart and being transparent, although not easy, really does bring wonderful blessings to my life.
May God bless you all and grant you every desire of your heart. ♥
A fourteen year old gang member was shot and killed by a rival gang member. The newspaper stated there was a gun found near his body. He was obviously out to kill or be killed, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I saw a photo of him that I believe was from a couple of years prior. He had such a baby face. Even though he was living a life of crime, my heart grew heavy knowing that another young life had been lost to violence. Someone nearby called him a loser and said his mother was a loser. That was hard for me to hear. It is not my place to judge this mother for where and how she was raising her son. I know nothing about her situation. I can’t help but wonder…does this young mother know Jesus? Did anyone ever tell her about the good news of Jesus Christ? Did her son ever hear about Him? Would he have made the choice to stay out of a gang if someone took the time to share Jesus’ love with him? Questions I will never know the answers to.
I heard about a 72 year old woman who tearfully said that her life is a mess. She said that her children are tired of her and that she is even tired of herself. My eyes filled with tears when I heard that she said there is no reason for her life anymore. Like that fourteen year old, my heart also breaks for this woman. I know what it feels like to think there’s no reason to be alive anymore. The devil is such a good liar. Once again I wonder if anyone has ever shared Jesus’ love with her. Does she have any idea how much He loves her and how He wants her to have an abundant life? Nobody is too young or too old to start living that life with Him! Does she know that??
I am a follower of Jesus and I am glad that I don’t need to know all the answers. I have learned that preaching is not only for pastors and ministers. The word “preaching” used to intimidate me. It doesn’t anymore since I realized that it just means that I, as a believer, should be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost. I can do that!! I simply start out by sharing the wonderful testimony that He has given me. The Lord opens doors for me to do this and He puts the people that He wants to touch through me in my path. It takes time to learn to listen to Him. But if I can do this, anybody can!
How many more souls like the fourteen year old will be lost if we don’t do our part? How many more people like the 72 year old woman will give up on life because they don’t know the Lord’s love? I don’t want to stand by and hope that someone else will do it. Our part is easy, we just need to open our mouths. We need to live our lives the way God’s Word tells us to and leave the rest up to God. I don’t want to be someone who is full of words and no action. I want to be a doer of God’s Word. I’m praying for more willing hearts to join me.
So think about it. How will people know what they have never heard? Can you think of someone who needs to hear about Jesus? This might be your last chance to tell them about Him and how much He loves them. I pray that you won’t let that chance slip away.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that we, Your sons and daughters, speak the words of life with Your fire in our eyes to those who are lost—to those who desperately need to know that Jesus has come to set the captive free. Lord, we need the perfect words. Words that they will hear so they are drawn to You. I pray Father, that we bring glory to Your name in everything we do. Amen.