Does it ever feel like your prayers bounce off the ceiling? There have been times I’ve wondered if my prayers make a difference. It seems everyone goes through experiences when it’s easy to be discouraged. Disappointments and injustices can knock the wind out of you. But little things still matter – like receiving a text, a notecard, a phone call, or even just a hug with the message “I’m praying for you often.” Knowing someone prays for you really helps. And it takes things to a new level to remember – someone prays for you always!
If you’ve ever experienced sadness in the holidays, you know how hard it is to jump into cheer and celebration when your heart is hurting. Sometimes sadness is because life is hard all year, filled with losses, bad news, declining health, broken relationships. At times you can’t even pinpoint why you feel sad. Melancholy lingers even when you are grateful for many blessings. But Christmas is still going to come. So if you are sad, how do you get through the holiday sadness?
If you were to stand in the middle of a busy intersection of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, you’d get significant impressions. Besides being concerned for your safety, you’d also notice it doesn’t always go well. The hair-raising screech of tires and squeal of brakes in a near miss of cross traffic. A motorcycle driver almost clips you with his daring zig-zag around another car. A pedestrian pushes through and almost knocks others over. Someone does lose grip and drops a package. Then there’s the motorist in a hurry and blazes right through a red light. You are almost run over as a bicycler whips by you. On top of all that, there’s the airplane overhead much too low for comfort. You haven’t even thought about a possible pick-pocket.
Pause! Right now stop what you are doing. Put your hand over your heart – or place your fingers on your wrist to find your pulse. Be ever quiet and still as you feel the beat of your heart. That steady beat keeps you alive. Can you imagine how ineffective your heart would be if it was a stone heart?
Loneliness Affects You
So many people struggle with this human condition. It affects everyone, from individuals who have no one to count on, to those who have suffered a terrible loss, to those who have been mistreated. However, loneliness also affects people who have a life partner, a dear friend, or a group they’ve been welcomed into. The condition of loneliness grabs hold of all hearts at some time or other.
Loneliness seems to have mushroomed during this pandemic. From the initial lock-downs to continued social distancing. Even just “masking” seems to interfere with connecting. It’s as if we can’t really “see” one another. Read More …
Ever Hear That Voice In Your Head?
Have you ever been tempted to think you are no good? Less than? Not worth as much as someone else? Do you know who is planting those ideas in your head? Your enemy. And it just so happens your enemy is also God’s enemy. That puts you in good company. Did you know you can decide who is the voice in your head? If you choose to, you can side with God and hear His voice. After all, He IS on the right side – the winning side. The voice in your head doesn’t need to be the enemy. It can be Jesus.
If you had to summarize your life in one nutshell sentence, what would you say? Perhaps you would talk about your background, schooling, and degree. You might mention family. Some would talk about career. Others would reflect on additional things they cherish. You might talk about very real struggles that have changed your life. Boiling life down to one statement is hard. But if you had to do it, what would you say?
Christmas has so many wonderful moments. Unfortunately, strands of loss and grief alter Christmas joy for many people each year. Approaching Christmas is hard when your heart is breaking. Depression in the holidays is a real thing.
Depression is experienced by many people during the holidays. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Life is hard. You may have had a terrible loss, a deep disappointment, a health issue, or something else that has pierced your heart this past year. It’s possible the painful life event even happened some years ago. You are not unhealthy for still feeling the sting, but you may need to find some healthy responses to move forward and be a balanced, hopeful person.
It is a terrible feeling to be stuck in the corner. Trapped by problems. Maneuverability seems so limited. Fear starts to do its work. Many times life feels like this. No matter how hard you’ve tried to do your best and make good decisions, sometimes you are just stuck in the corner. What options do you have in this place?
Life is hard! How do you get through it all? When too many painful seasons chain together, we start asking serious questions. Most people’s questions flow out of losses, disappointments, and pain.