It was yellow. I had prayed for yellow.
Moving day was set, our boxes were packed. A new house, a new marriage, a new job. The future was looking bright.
And then it happened. Something didn’t feel quite right.
Over the next few weeks my energy faltered, and my knees swelled to the size of cantaloupes. It hurt to stand, it hurt to walk, it hurt to move. Continue reading
Many of us put on a good face, but in truth we’re broken and bleeding all over the place. Behind our smiles we battle sadness, insecurity, fear, guilt, mom-shame, negative thoughts, and overcommitment. We feel unloved, unfit, undervalued, and unknown.
How do we cope with all this negativity? Self-love could be the cure.
Or so we’re told.
The holiday season has a way of exposing what we worry about the most. In preparation for the Christmas season, I decided to read through the Gospel of Luke. Recently I came across this all-familiar passage that struck me differently than before.
“Do not worry about everyday life…these things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs…wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:22, 30, 34
Let’s be honest. There’s pressure to put the happy in our holiday.
And if gift-giving, family gatherings, and expectations weren’t enough, we’re told to do it all with a bit of cheer.
But what if you don’t feel merry or thankful? And your season isn’t bright?
This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.
My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.
Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.
Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.
I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading
For some, Valentine’s Day is not always a happy one. The pressure to fit a year’s worth of romance and love into one day comes with its own set of expectations and disappointments.
If you’ve been jaded by relationships, you may feel broken-hearted, embittered or let down by love.
But at the risk of sounding cliche, there is someone who will always love you well.
Jesus loves you. Perfectly. Always. Forever. Regardless.
Maybe you’ve heard it so often that its meaning and impact has faded over time. Perhaps your own wounds, experiences or relationships have tainted your view of God and His love for you. If others have rejected, despised, blamed, ridiculed or abused you, you may fear Jesus will do the same.
But Jesus loves you differently. The way He treats you and interacts with you is not the same way others do. Continue reading
For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?
As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.
Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!
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Terror. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. The ever-looming threat of nuclear war. Just the events in the last month are bound to kick your anxiety up a notch.
And that’s just the global stuff. Add your own busy schedule, work load or family conflict to the mix and there’s plenty to fret about. In fact, more than 6.8 million Americans suffer every year from general anxiety disorder.
If you’ve been stuck in the worry cycle lately, you’re not alone.
I come from a long line of worry worts; three generations in fact. I know what it’s like to worry over health, family, work, safety and the future. I’ve personally experienced trauma and panic attacks. Many times I’ve expected the worst to happen, feared disaster scenarios, and even found myself anxious about being anxious.
At its core, anxiety is really about fear and control. The more we feel out of control, the more we fear. And the more we fear, the more helpless we feel. Continue reading