I recently had the blessing of being able to go to a couple of beaches and see these beautiful natural sights….it does the heart and soul so much good to see this beautiful creation, especially after all the time spent indoors over the past long while. I hope you are able to spread your wings and your heart a little more this year, and take courage as you step on into 2022. I know a lot of people will still be feeling anxious, yet you only need to take one step at a time, one day at a time, have courage and learn to be all that you were meant to be. Take care, stay safe, and wish you love, health, and Shalom in 2022.
You’re not alone. I’ve said it throughout my self care series’ since this all kicked off early 2020, and I say it again: you’re not alone.
I believe that someone out there, or perhaps many of you, needed to hear that today. Sometimes we allow our worlds to grow small, we focus on the big stuff we’re going through or the things that are happening in our lives, and it can feel like we’re the only ones.
People are experiencing this in different ways, and yes, there are some people out there, some of whom may be in your life, who are doing great – or seem to be. Yet for the vast majority of people, this is not necessarily so.
Some of you are really struggling, and I hear you. I just want to send out a word of encouragement to you to keep going. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gone through some big and painful stuff before. And you know what? I got through it, and so did you. We’re still here, and we still have to keep going.
If you’re doing well just now, remind yourself that someone in your life probably isn’t and take a moment to reach out to them, to lift them up in some way, to be kind. Kindness matters. It changes things. It could even be the difference between life and death. Be kind. Reach out beyond yourself.
If you are finding things tough at the moment, try to identify a healthy solution that might help you make it through your days a bit better.
You might want to connect to some grief counselling, or look for online support, or have someone you can phone, even if it is a helpline, if you are facing Christmas and the holiday season alone. You could reach out to someone, and break the cycle of isolation that you might be in.
If you are doing well, try not to ‘overshare’ this in a way that makes much of your good times to the detriment of others. Be mindful that some people are really going through a lot just now. Can you reach out to do something for them?
If you are stuck in a rut of boredom, try to factor some routine into your day. Do something creative, write, pick up an instrument you haven’t played in a while, go for a walk in the fresh air, draw, cook, get moving. Maybe it’s a good time to do some decluttering? Read a book. There are so many little things we can do, even if for 5 minutes at a time that can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression and boredom. If you need to make sure you check in with someone so that you’re not facing a potential crisis alone.
Keep going, keep taking the next step. Maybe we can’t make a lot of plans right now, but is that such a bad thing? Can this season be one for spiritual growth, for working on or overcoming some deep seated issues, psychological barriers, emotional pain or traumas? Can you become more patient in your day to day life, more appreciative of what you have got rather than chasing the next thing that you would normally do out in society? Can you grow in compassion and empathy for other people? Can you slow down and appreciate the extraordinary in the ‘ordinary’ moments of your life and day?
Keep going. If you’re feeling like you want to give up, recognise that you have possibly absorbed some lies or negative thinking potentially about yourself or your situation. Believe me, I’ve been there. Do you think you’re not good enough, not strong enough, unable to take the next step? Think again. You are worthy, you are precious, you are special, unique, one of a kind, able. Able to do the next one thing. Keep going.
Don’t give up. Life is a lot of little moments and you have persevered through them all so far.
We really can’t do life on our own, and sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to realise this. I was there as a child when I was ‘bullied’, verbally, emotionally, physically and psychologically attacked by peers on so many sides that I felt I was nothing, and it broke and crushed my spirit on the inside. I believed so many lies about myself and absorbed the bad feelings such that I could not see a way out or a reason for going on in the pain, the intense pain of a child suffering and helpless. Guess what? I kept going. I called upon God from the depths of my soul and He answered me, He sustained me, kept me going and gave me perseverance even in pain. When I was 20 I called upon Jesus, and wow, did He answer me. I didn’t know much about The Living God before although I knew God as an unknown Power and Guiding force in my life before that, but when i called upon Jesus as The Living God, I chose Him, my whole being was flooded with immense love and joy and peace – indescribable and supernatural. This Is Real Love like no other. I was also thrust into a spiritual battle. It was not something I expected at all, but it was more real and tangible than you could imagine. We are being lied to and oppressed by things unseen every day, and only in Christ can you have the Victory – you may not ‘feel’ like it for a while, even for years, but in Him, and only in Him, you have Victory and ultimate love and freedom.
He Is The Way, and perhaps you have been led to read this very blog post for such a time as this. Maybe you didn’t realise that all the answers you are looking for in life are actually available to you, even in this world that seems to be falling apart there IS a God Who comes among us, Who can dwell within you by His Spirit and comfort you with a Peace like nothing the entire riches and love of this world can offer you. His Name Is Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us. Incredible. And He has a place for you. There Is more after this life ends, and He Is The only way for that to be eternal peace and love.
Keep going. And if you know Him, if you know His Love and love Him in return, keep calling out to Him for refreshment, strength, and everything you need to love and honour Him moment by moment, keep interceding for others. If you don’t know Him…yet, know that this is not fiction nor religion nor vain hope or futile belief without reason…there IS a Real God Who can come into your life if you ask Him sincerely from the heart, He can make you a new person from the inside out, wash away your past and either instantly or gradually heal your broken heart and transform your mind as you replace the lies you’ve believed about yourself with The Truth that you are precious and valuable to Him and He died for you.
A lot of this might not make sense, might seem counterintuitive, even illogical. Perhaps you are resting your laurels upon your pride or superiority that everything needs to be measurable or provable by ‘science’. Science is not antithesis to God. All the laws and order of the universe are subject to Him. Yes, the world is chaotic, but we have been told about this beforehand. There is evil in this world, a world in rebellion to Light and Love and Peace of Jesus. God makes things new quietly from the inside out, and He will make all things new. One day you will realise that what these ‘crazy Christ followers’ have been going on about Is actually real…I just hope and pray you will know this in the fulness of His Love for you.
There is Light and darkness, and we are born into darkness. Only Christ can set us free and save and deliver us. This Is Real. I know. I used to think Christians were deluded or hypocritical and that I was somehow more ‘spiritual’ but I didn’t realise how blind I was to the Truth, until I encountered The Living God for myself and the Incredible tangible Love and Power He revealed to me.
So keep going. Don’t give up. Jesus IS a Real Person, He Is for you and will be Emmanuel, God with you if you ask Him to. You will still have trials and struggles, but you will have a God Who will Love you and hold you and help you through it all. He Is Glorious, many of us have glimpsed His Glory have tasted and seen His Love in tangible ways, and one day we will see Him Face to face and all our longings will be fulfilled in His incredible outpouring Love, Perfect, Pure and Redeeming us from all that Is dark within us.
Until that day we are in a spiritual battle, so we keep going. Look to Him. He Is very real. He Is Powerful and He Is Gentle – He can handle you, in your stubborn pride or in your brokenness, right now where you are. He Is The Living God, not a fairy-tale. Once you have encountered Him, you will know. Humble yourself. Ask. Ask Jesus. He Loves you. x
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
Photo by J carter on Pexels.com
We all need mental resilience to make it through this life. For some of us, this has been a great battle when it comes to our self perception.
Once upon a time, you were born, a precious, adorable, beautiful and wonderful little baby, full of hope and promise. Perhaps like me, you are blessed to be loved by parents who wanted you. Yet, even if you sadly didn’t have that love, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about the fact of the miracle of your birth, the wonder of your life, and any person of sound mind and heart would declare the truth that you were born a precious, loveable, beautiful little baby, worthy of love, and to be cherished, regardless of the hand in life or circumstances you were dealt.
Each and every baby, every life is…
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Just in case you need to hear this, or hear it again ❤
That’s a tough question. Not because you don’t know the answer, but because the answer may be very painful. I could write reams about this life issue, and about the longstanding effects, but I want to keep this short and write about just a couple of aspects, in the hope of reaching out to someone, somewhere who might be suffering with the effects of bullying, whether past or present.
If you find yourself in the quagmire of victimisation of any kind, particularly if this happened / is happening when you were / are young and haven’t had the years of growth through adulthood to build up any kind of resilience or more positive reference points (although bullying in adulthood can be severely impactful too), the chances are high that aspects of your identity have been bruised, broken, fragmented, belittled, crushed or torn apart in some way. It took me a…
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Well, it’s almost Christmas, so why not if you feel so led, consider giving a child a gift by getting involved in Operation Christmas Child – you can even send a pre-packed shoebox by donating online if you can’t manage to do this in person.
I trace the contours of the moon with my eyes. I once thought she was my ‘guiding light’, but I was so lost then. I cried out to You, but the skies were sealed to my desperate pleas. Muffled in silence I quietly wept. The despair was potent in the mere thought that there could be life without You.
People came and went, not caring. They didn’t need the moon, nor You or anything beyond that real and solid thing in front of them there, in that moment. I would rather die. Or be as if I had never been. I was suffocating, desperately longing, but You were not there, or so it seemed.
At a cross roads yet again, led by the aching of my soul, to find and to Be Found. My heart was shattered glass within me, I bled inside, and there…
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We can only move through our days one step at a time.
I think back over the past couple of years since the pandemic started, and realise that I got through all of the days that I had been worried about. And if you are reading this in the here and now, then so did you.
Previously, I had been going through some health challenges, which I have written about on this blog, and thankfully I got help for those before the pandemic so that by the grace of God I didn’t have to go through those at the same time.
When lockdown started in the UK in March 2020, I was on my own, living alone in my flat. I managed to be extremely productive despite all of the stay at home orders, and I worked from home (from my own computer initially), helped out with some volunteering from home in telephoning people who were shielding to see if they needed help, wrote a lot of blogs, exercised, cooked, cleaned out my spare room, tried to encourage other people and got creative. I did a few pieces of work that were related to helping the workplace adjust to covid regulations by doing some bits and pieces of ‘research’ into best practice in other parts of the UK and Europe so that these could feed into health and safety measures in the workplace for those who still had to be there.
Somehow, I managed to really dig deep and do well through those days, weeks and months, even in complete isolation, but it was hard not to have any human contact, face to face conversations, or hugs. Yet technology was a great gift, and more than that my ‘Good Shepherd’ Jesus Christ walked me through.
Now however, for many of us, the picture has changed. For some people, the pandemic and changes have not bothered them as they have their own settled family units and have just been carrying on with life. Many people seem to be moving through the phases of their life largely unaffected by things.
But for others, there has been a lot of uncertainty, and worry too. Maybe you are one of these people. Maybe things don’t seem so ‘settled’ or secure or certain for you as you move through your days. And maybe worries about the future are getting to you.
I started to feel the stress and worry when after months of lockdown and isolation, I then had to emerge into society to collect work equipment. I got through those days.
We move through our days one step at a time. Try not to worry too much so that you can’t do anything useful for today, do try where you can to pray and plan for the future, such as applying for and getting a job, or for taking steps to improve your health, or whatever the situation for you may be, but remember you can only do so one step at a time.
As you do so, you will realise that’s how you’ve got through all of your days, and that can help you remain productive.
We all have questions about the future but worrying about it won’t help get us safely there.
by Hazel Straub Each one has the gift of 24 hours each day, of their life. What do you spend your time thinking upon? Do you meditate on God and his goodness and his incredible love for you or do you think about yourself, flaws, and the difficulties you have? Does pride or humility rule, […]Glorify The Lord With Your Life! — Pure Glory
When you’re going through a traumatic experience, you’ll know it. When it comes back later in life as complex PTSD for example, you’ll know it. When you have to determinedly work through daily battles with anxiety, depression, and trauma because it is so debilitating, you’ll know it.
But do we always know when we are healed? I’ve had to go through a number of years of sheer ‘hard work’, grit, determination and putting everything I have into getting through the day – survival.
I have several posts about these, in fact, I began writing my blog during a time when I was recovering from complex PTSD and severe clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder and needing to get proper help with it. Prior to that those were scary times for me – I had some severe adverse experiences particularly in the first two years of secondary school from verbal abuse, peer rejection, physically being attacked in school (I was quite little, and very terrified), racism and other stressors going on at the time. I was broken and hurting and my hair fell out in a patch, I hated myself and wanted to die.
As an adult I started reexperiencing these traumas as if they were happening right then and there, it was terrifying and my brain felt like it was ‘exploding’. I had different stressors built up in adulthood too and the childhood school ‘bullying’ (such a tame word) resurfaced and crippled my daily life. It was a hard, scary and painful and terrifying time for me but I pushed on.
Now, however, I realise that things don’t come to mind nearly as much and if they do, I can handle them. I’m less concerned with the past as I am with the present, and I’m not overwhelmed by the past negative identity that was pressed upon me. I’m not in constant mental or emotional turmoil or pain, and I don’t have the need to keep telling my story.
Perhaps the pandemic has me thinking of how we don’t know how much time we have left, but even so traumas don’t just ‘go away’ because something immediate is happening. Life may not be ‘perfect’ but I don’t think I’m in such an intense ‘survival’ mode anymore and I thank God.
He has brought me a long way, and healed some inner wounds that doctors or medicine alone cannot touch.
I have done a lot of persevering too, and I need to continue to be ‘transformed by the renewing of my mind’.
When I started this blog 4 and a half years ago, I was struggling and in a painful place. I don’t know how much time I have left on earth, who does, but I am not where I once was. I’m not in constant pain. I may be living in a confined existence in the pandemic with my personal circumstances, but I’m not living through intense pain anymore – praise God ❤
Childhood traumas are probably the most painful to overcome, when you relive them it seems so unfair after having done everything to just survive, but perhaps the fact that they have faded into the background after decades of being something to overcome is proof in my life that things can improve.
Perhaps it’s only in realising the things that ‘used to’ hurt us so much don’t have such great a hold on us anymore do we come to a gentle and perhaps gradual realisation, as we begin to live more in the here and now, that maybe, just maybe, we may be ‘healed’. ❤ x
Another one from the early days of the pandemic which might help you stay on track. xx
The news is all around us, and it’s hard to avoid. I have an anxiety disorder and complex PTSD and clinical depression and I have been working hard over the past few years to get stronger and to really make progress in this recovery and wellbeing journey. However, like many of you, the news and the uncertainty of Covid-19, and the reactions of other people, can add to those inner feelings of anxiety and unease. Last night, after chatting with my family on the phone, I spent some time just laying down and listening to healing Scriptures, and I woke up in the morning feeling His Peace – the Peace of Christ – so that when I read the news it didn’t really shake me. I remember the times before I knew The LORD in experience, I couldn’t find any true and lasting relief for my anxiety and often crippling…
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