"When I said, "My foot is slipping," Your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:18-19
Not every day can be a great day. Over the years I have learned to be more truthful with my feelings and stop hiding behind the "I'm fine" response which most often translates I am not okay. Saying I wasn't okay seemed to admit defeat or reveal a lack of faith. I convinced myself somewhere along the path of perceived togetherness, it wasn't okay to not be okay.
I think us "strong" girls struggle with this even though we may not see it or want to admit it, but as strong as we are...we still hurt.
My mind would say if I prayed harder, there'd be more Happy. If I listened to worship music and read my Bible a little longer, my circumstances might change which would surely change my heart and mind too. I would never had admitted a bad day for fear of being judged that I was a hypocrite or a weak Christian. How sneaky and manipulative is our enemy.
It took getting stuck in lots of pits and circling the same walls over and over by myself to finally get through them. I've learned to honestly answer, "Not every day can be a great day, and I am not okay, but God is faithful." It is bearing false witness if you say everything's great when it's not. The false joy and perceived peace are not healing hopes. They are deceiving masks.
It also took vulnerability, to allow a few special Sisters inside the walls of my heart and highlight my path focusing on Jesus, my Light.
The Lord tells us in His Word there will be trials and storms. What a prideful thing to equate ourself to God in thinking we can control things. You and I may be able to fake out some people, but we cannot fake out God or those closest to us who can immediately see the shattered twinkle in our eye. I think the Lord gives our close companions a special kind of discernment to know when we are not okay and call our bluff. Those are special kinds of Sisters.
Of course there is the opposite of me out there when someone is a Pity Party for One and all are invited in. They can't fathom anything good cuz the world is evil and there's no good left in anything or anyone. How exhausting it must be to live like that.
People with drama drain me. I will certainly pray for them, but I am not going to enable them and I don't have to spend more than a minute with them either. Hello Healthy Boundaries.
Life is just too short to waste time complaining, contemplating and gossiping. My Mom has always said I wear Rose-Colored glasses but I come by it honestly. I know the Lord gifted Hospitality, Encouragement, Empathy and Compassion into my heart but my Grandma used to always tell me, "Always find something kind to say to every person you encounter." So, here I am born with a glasses of Hope and yet, I still struggled with insecurity and anxiety.
Life isn't going to always be great no matter how we try to create a perfect place. There are seasons our sorrow will outweigh our happy. And God didn't promise us happy. He promised us a Helper. Life gets really hard and sometimes our prayers feel they fall onto deaf ears. We gasp for a breath under the weight of expectations, hopes and dreams that only seem to fade.
So many friends are dealing with huge issues and it's hard even when it's not you. I read comments in social media groups that break my heart and drive me to want to be a louder, bolder Encourager and Light for the Lord, to reach those in dark places at the edge of depletion. I have been on that edge and praise God,
He sent His Helper and His hugs through amazing, honest, warrior woman who knew how to Hug my heart through prayer and accountability. Scripture says together we are a City on a Hill if we all chose to Shine which means, no masks. Does that mean we tell everyone everything? Do we post on social media all our failures, problems, conflicts, insecurities? No. We are wise to pray before we post and ask, seek, knock where our help will come from.
Our God....He is a Mighty Force, Ruler over all Authorities and principalities. Our Lord is a greater force than our finite minds can imagine. He is a real God, a loving Father, Great Counselor and Friend. He is our Rock and Refuge. He is our Anchor Who holds us in place when we find ourselves being tossed to and fro. When the seas roar, He has the power to calm them. (It's the only time you should stay close to a power source in a storm!! heehee!!!)
When we know Who God is, there we find our Hope. Hope strengthens our faith and faith drives our perseverance, which strengthens our joy. No one can do what He can do but He can use us as His hands and feet here on this side of Heaven to bring that Hope Reminder to others. To remind the broken hearted He is near and He knows where we are.
And the most important fact I learned: He is trustworthy and faithful. His love is unconditional and He loves me right where I am, in my insecurity, my anger, my fear, my hurt, my unknowns...He loves me here. Are we willing to surrender ourselves to Him? Do you trust Him to be a Promise Keeper? Do you believe He is Who He says He is?
One day, crashing waves will find their calm and joy will conquer painful sorrow as all the tears are absorbed into The Master's sackcloth. There is a time for everything as Ecclesiastes 3 explains. We will dance but we will also mourn. All in His time.
I challenge you to do more than simply give an Honest Answer. Surrender and Trust Him. Depend on Him. When you trust Him, you will be honest with Him so you can then be honest with yourself, and others because you trust Him more than you trust yourself.
We can find comfort knowing God is Who He says He is and gives us exactly what we need as we need it. You cannot borrow joy, or grace. You cannot create peace. You cannot move mountains, divide oceans, calm storms, or create life from ashes. But God is more than able to do exceedingly more than we can ever imagine. Do you trust Him as YOUR Honest Answer?! Surrender your heart into His...He won't drop you.
Lord, as we cry our salty tears, replenish us with Your Living Waters. Give us the peace only You can. Heal our hurts. Forgive our unbelief. Forgive our forgetfulness of who You are. Forgive us for minimizing Your power of provision and grace in our lives. You are more than we can imagine and Your love immeasurable. Give us favor in the mustard seed of our faith to walk trusting You. Transform our insecurities with Your insight.
We believe at the command of Your voice, healing can come and hearts restored. Lord, heal our broken bodies. Renew our minds and set them on You again. Help our broken hearts beat in the rhythm of Your grace.
God, I pray for those in the middle of a storm, remind them of the Strength of Your Anchor! Send hugs and Help to them and lift them up. Call out to the winds and calm them that You may be seen walking on the horizon. Break their chains and renew their hope in Jesus Name. Grant them peace, revive their strength. Relieve the weight of their sorrows and replace it with Your mercy, new every morning!
We acknowledge You are faithful, steadfast and Honest. Father, we worship You and bow before You asking for revelation of Your Power. Use us and gather us as a City on The Hill. Open our eyes to see what You see and clear our minds to hear wisdom. Give us courage to take off our masks and be a Light for You. Take our flesh and cleanse us. You are so patient and worthy. We praise Your Holy Amazing Name! You are everything to us. Amen!!
"You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever."
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,