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
Do you ever wonder why difficulties in your life seem to cycle on repeat?
Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other this month. Each circumstance cued my anxiety like clockwork. But when the pressure didn’t let up, it got me thinking. Why does each struggle feel so eerily similar to the last one? Continue reading
Last week I had a scare. In the span of only a few minutes, my world was shaken. Again.It had only been 4 years since my last autoimmune flare. Yet my knee grew twice its size for a second time. Flashbacks of wheelchairs and home confinement flooded my mind, crippling my heart.
This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever. Continue reading
When you think about the future, what emotions bubble to the surface?
I’m pretty sure all my thoughts about the future have resulted in permanent worry lines etched across my forehead. On most occasions the unknown creates anxiety, concern, stress and a host of pleading prayers. Flashes of what could happen combined with a gazillion what if questions flood my mind and threaten to sweep my emotions away with them. Continue reading
Tired of bloating, gas, abdominal pain or bowel trouble?
Reoccurring digestive issues can really cramp your style.
So you look to your doctor for help but he tells you it’s “all in your head” (wait…I thought it was my gut?). He labels you with a confusing acronym (IBS, IBD, SIBO) and sends you out the door.
Desperate for relief, you turn to the natural community. You sign up for an enormous amount of supplements, enzymes, cleansing treatments and spend all your money on whatever promises to heal you.
But what if you try it all and you STILL aren’t better? Continue reading
At some point in our lives we will all experience a tragedy, a physical illness, the death of a loved one or the loss of a dream.
In these moments, doubts and questions will arise. How could this happen? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How am I ever going to survive this? Where is God in all of this?
I have been there. Three times, in fact. Continue reading
I’ve been a Jesus-follower long enough to know that the Christian life ain’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s a journey with mountain top experiences and their valleys below. And in those valleys, the struggle is real. Sometimes in long seasons of suffering, it can feel like God is silent and far away. And you find yourself wondering, Does He see? Does He even care?
I wrote this for a dear one of mine who has been suffering in the sea of adversity; drowning in wave upon insufferable wave. At times it seems unfair. Unjust. Undeserved. Left with a broken heart and a million unanswered questions.
In our darkest moments, it can feel like God has abandoned us. Or that He has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. Or that He isn’t moved by our tears. But just because we feel that way, does not mean it’s true.
Because He is there. He does see. And He deeply cares. Continue reading