Why You May Be Feeling Disconnected These Days

Blog post about how divisiveness is driving our disconnection

Lately, interactions with others have felt more like a cold shoulder than a warm hug. Quarantine may be long gone but loneliness hangs around my soul like a morning fog.

These last 18 months have been hard on us all. Though we’ve regained a sense of normalcy, it feels like something has shifted at its core – society and relationships don’t feel the same anymore.

Perhaps this pandemic is just revealing what was there all along: that having friends and having community is not the same thing. That in the past we replaced meaningful connection with social gatherings and surface-level interactions. That the bonds we thought we had didn’t run very deep.

Being physically together yet emotionally empty can leave you feeling very lonely. That’s because loneliness is not a lack of company but a lack of connection. Being disconnected hurts so much because we were created to connect.

These days, I’m learning that hardships were intended to be lived and shared within community. But this hardship seems to be pulling people apart, not together.

If I’m honest, the world does not feel like a safe place right now. The divisiveness is further driving our disconnection. And the church does not seem to be helping. Continue reading

Seeing Jesus in the Storm: Part 1

From the very beginning, things did not go as planned. What had started out as a normal day quickly spiraled into a nightmare. Cloaked in darkness and gripped by fear, the promise of death seemed imminent.

The disciples were seamen. This was their lake. As professionals, they were used to navigating the changing waters and unforeseen circumstances.

But this storm was different. 

Violent winds had stirred the waves into a foaming frenzy. Despite their best rowing efforts, they had made little headway. Six hours of unrelenting stress, exhaustion and willpower had produced only a few miles at best. Continue reading

Navigating Loneliness

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Social distancing while being homebound may be a new experience for many. But for us, this quarantine has been more of the same.

Every year when the weather begins to chill, I give a half-hearted wave to the world and tuck myself in for a long winter nap. I spend the majority of cold and flu season in self-induced hibernation; maintaining distance, vigilantly washing hands, wearing masks in clinics, reluctantly canceling plans with friends. For six months out of the year, being immune-compromised means that my world mostly exists within the four walls of my home.

It can get very lonely. And maybe you’re feeling lonely right now too.   Continue reading

Navigating Anger and Blame

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Adversity, loss and grief are a part of life. And so is getting mad.

Chances are high that you’ll experience anger before this crisis is done. And far too often, anger gets a bad rap. It can be easily mishandled or misunderstood.

Growing up, I believed it was better to “be nice” than to be angry. I thought that expressing any kind of anger was automatically wrong and harmful. So when I was bullied by kids at school, I never confronted them or stood up for myself. Over time I learned to suppress my anger with good behavior and a happy face.

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Navigating the Overwhelm

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Losing your routine, sense of normalcy, employment, social life or a family member is a lot to deal with all at once. It’s like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Life-altering events can shatter your familiar assumptions and expectations about the world; the belief that it is relatively predictable and safe (Bessel van der Kolk). Traumatic events may fragment your sense of self or your belief about God and others. These events and the disruption of your internal world can overwhelm your ability to grasp, adapt and cope with what has happened. Continue reading

How to Successfully Navigate Your Emotions During a Crisis

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Today is day 35 of quarantine. The only escape from the four walls of my home has been the daily walks around our neighborhood. When it’s not snowing. Otherwise my life has revolved around deliveries, disinfecting groceries, catching up with family online, and drinking way too much coffee. There’s only so much I can clean and organize before I go crazy.

If that’s not enough, I’ve been experiencing quite a range of emotions lately. Maybe you have too. I’ve been cheerful, anxious, productive, lethargic, stressed, content, hopeful and heartbroken all in the span of a week. The last 35 days have been a roller coaster and I’m ready to get off this ride.

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60 Ways Jesus Loves You Even If Others Don’t

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