Gleanings from a Caring Community

ToNeedHim

In last week’s post, I told you I didn’t want to write, but God nudged me to write anyway and just be honest about being depressed. But even after I scheduled it to post, I was tempted to delete it. “God, isn’t it too much about me?” And yet I felt I needed to leave it.

Last week I was overwhelmed with worry, anxiety, and fear. This week I am overwhelmed at the love and goodness of God and the caring support and prayers of online kindred spirits.

So I want to share with you some of the truths I was reminded of or have been reflecting on because of caring online friends, people I have never met in real life:

  1. Trust your heart, not all the voices that speak against you.
  2. When we talk about healing and forgiveness, we can “think of it like manna – enough for today.” (Michelle)
  3. When you write real, sharing the pain or darkness in your heart, there are people out in the blogosphere who can be comforted, because they feel less alone and more understood.
  4. Even when you feel discouraged yourself, God can still encourage others through you.
  5. Birds are like “a big God hug and reminder He sees me, He is with me, and He will keep me and heal me.” (Hisgirl)
  6. Instead of rehearsing in our minds or words the bad someone has done to us, let’s remind ourselves of what we are to God. (Sita)
  7. God “is bringing you through the pain one tiny step at a time. This is a journey where we fall, falter and fail even as we lean heavy on His grace. It takes far longer than we ever imagine because wounds go deep and need a powerful cleansing and healing.” (Joy)
  8. To God, it’s not a stigma to be depressed.
  9. Depression can be “another stage in the process of recovery.” (Joy)
  10. There are more people whose heart goes out to us than we think.
  11. We can feel God’s love and care through others who show their support.
  12. Jesus is everywhere present and available and longing to help us. He is never confined to church buildings.
  13. When your focus is on encouraging others who are hurting, don’t forget to allow yourself to be ministered to.
  14. God does lift us out of the darkness. In fact, the darkness of night is like the day to Him. So even when we can’t see Him, He sees, knows, and cares.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
Psalm 139:11-12

These are only a handful of what I gleaned from caring comments I never expected and further reflections. I can’t even begin to describe to you the inclusion I feel in a community. How my heart has opened a crack to allow community in. To trust and allow myself to be comforted. It sinks in deeper to me that opening our hearts to others who care, both in writing vulnerably and in accepting encouragement for our own hearts, is part of God’s healing process.

In the past, it was when I opened up my heart to those I thought cared or when I shared the truth, those are the times when I was abused, rejected, or hurt by silence. God has since blessed me with a loving husband and caring family. Then the circle went further as He gave me a few friends that believe me and support me, but sometimes I sink back into that fear and put up a wall of protection. But ever so slowly, God is opening my eyes to see how many there are who truly care who will nurture and encourage us instead of hurt us. Sometimes it may be hard to find a safe community or to allow our hearts to trust again, but I thank God for leading me to a community of caring online kindred spirits. You have made such a difference in my life and in the healing process. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. You are giving me a safe place to be me.

I was tempted to give up writing, but God has confirmed to me that I need to keep on writing from wherever I am. Last week as I started writing anyway, God slowly started comforting me as I tried to encourage others. And now since then I feel so very blessed by an online community of caring kindred spirits.

I also want those of you who read but don’t comment to know I think of you and pray for you, too, that God will fill the empty places in your hearts and give you hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus.

“I thank my God
every time I remember you.”
Philippians 1:3

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”
by Matt Redman

Thank You, God, for caring so much
and for giving us people who care!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

22 thoughts on “Gleanings from a Caring Community

  1. Trudy, I’ve been offline for a couple of weeks so I missed your post. But I wanted to tell you that you have been exactly this kind of caring community to me so many times. I’m so glad you have been comforted and that you will keep writing broken. It’s what we all need. Love to you, sister.

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    1. Hi Stonescry! Thank you so much for your kind encouragement. I know I do care, but I never thought of actually creating a caring community here. I’m so glad you have felt it. I think of you often. Human trafficking is such an atrocity, and I know you have a lot of memory triggers to deal with. My heart aches for you. May Jesus wrap you in His healing arms of endless love and give you strength and peace for each day! Love to you, too, sister in Christ! Hugs!

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  2. Oh how much I love the body of Christ… the communities online that He flows through and speaks through and draws us closer and holds us, heals us, refreshes and releases us once again! I am so glad that you didn’t give up on writing, and that you risked being brave and honest. Thankful that we are neighbors today over at Kelly’s place! Praying for you!

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    1. Hi Karrilee. Yes, what a blessing we have when God flows His love and care through caring online communities. God is so faithful. Sometimes it’s through the deepest pits we get the greatest blessings. Thank you for your prayers! May Jesus hold you, heal you, and refresh you! Hugs!

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  3. “When you write real, sharing the pain or darkness in your heart, there are people out in the blogosphere who can be comforted, because they feel less alone and more understood….”
    Trudy, thank you for always making feel less alone and more understood. You are so safe to ‘be around’. Truly God dwells in you. ((HUGS)).

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    1. Oh Sita. You bring tears to my eyes. I’m so grateful you feel safe to be around me, less alone, and more understood. That is truly the desire of my heart to create a “safe” place for hurting souls. May Jesus give you hope for each day and every deeper healing and freedom in Him! Hugs to you, too!

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  4. Hi Trudy! Wow, those comments were so sensitive and filled with uplifting faith! I can understand why you were so fed by them. God is a wonderful Father who sends His sons and daughters to lift the hearts of His people. He did that with you, one of His precious ones.

    I’m glad that you are ready to write again. We can get so depressed and pushed down by life that sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth the time. But you know, I wonder if that’s the work of evil. Of not wanting the truth to be told, orto stop you from supplying someone else’s heart? Don’t listen to that. Listen to the truth, listen to the powerful Spirit at work in you.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging and enlightening words, Ceil. It touches my heart that you call me “one of His precious ones.” Something I need to remember. The more we want to write Truth, the more the devil fights against us. Thank you for reminding me to listen to the powerful Spirit within rather than the devil’s lies. God be with you and keep you in His tender loving care! Hugs!

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  5. This made me smile big, Trudy! I’m so glad you are feeling better. I can so relate to depression. It’s a dark, scary cloud. I’m thrilled to hear you will continue in your online space here as I always love reading your words. We are so similar in many ways. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and much needed list of truths, my friend!

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    1. I’m so glad you could smile big today, Candace. 🙂 That warms my heart. Thank you for your kindness and caring! Yes, depression is “a dark, scary cloud.” It’s hard to describe the depths of it, isn’t it? So many times God has lifted me up again, and He has also helped me through the means of medication and now through the kindness of kindred spirits. May God hold us up and give us ever deeper healing! Hugs!

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  6. Dear Trudy, this really struck a chord with me. I love your awakening to deeper grace and the riches of community. It’s such a gift, isn’t it? And the reply you gave to Ceil has spoken to me too, especially these words:”The more we want to write Truth, the more the devil fights against us..listen to the powerful Spirit within rather than the devil’s lies.” When I feel less well, I seem to lose confidence in my calling as a writer because I become preoccupied with quantity of output over having quality work with God-given insight, no matter how long it may take to arrive!

    So many minor frustrations multiply in my life, and sometimes I fail to see the blessings wrapped up in the wrangling. It’s easy to forget this too:”When your focus is on encouraging others who are hurting, don’t forget to allow yourself to be ministered to” and its sound sense. Thank you so much for being a safe shelter here for hurting souls! You truly are one of God’s special and precious daughters. I feel privileged to walk this path with you, lovely lady. Blessings and hugs. Xox ❤

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    1. Hi Joy. You have described the feeling I have been having this past week – “awakening to deeper grace and the riches of community.” Yes, it truly is a gift.

      It’s difficult to hang onto our confidence in Christ when our bodies feel so weary and unwell, isn’t it? I love that you remind me of how important it is to be concerned with “quality work with God-given insight” rather than with quantity. Believe me, Joy, you definitely have a calling as a writer. God speaks so much through you to comfort and encourage weary travelers.

      About allowing ourselves to be ministered to is something you once reminded me of, so I will turn it back to you. 🙂 I have been trying to accept it and open my heart more towards it. May we together on this journey hold each other up and together walk as God’s beloved daughters! I am privileged to walk with you, too, Joy. Blessings and hugs to you, too! And may God give you strength and healing in every way!

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  7. Trudy, I’m so glad you didn’t delete your post from last week and that you followed it up with this today. I find encouragement in your whole list, but I especially loved No 3: “When you write real, sharing the pain or darkness in your heart, there are people out in the blogosphere who can be comforted, because they feel less alone and more understood.” As you continue to keep it real, i pray God will continue to bless you through the community of kindred spirits he’s given you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayer, Lois. I’m so glad you were encouraged by the list. #3 really hit home to me this past week. I was depressed and didn’t think I could ever offer hope to others, and yet God used it. It’s hard to write “real” sometimes, but God has helped in times past and He is faithful. May God guide you and keep you in this journey of life! Hugs!

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  8. Trudy,
    I’m rejoicing with you for how God has provided kindred friends for you…who will love and accept you in the messy process of recovery…and I’m glad you didn’t listen to the voices of rejection but instead posted and allowed God and your sisters to speak love and encouragement to you …((hugs))

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    1. Thank you for rejoicing with me, Dolly. Sometimes in depression I want to hide in a corner, but God gave me the strength to write anyway. And in the process He showed me His love and care through you sisters. He also showed me more of the need to truly allow others into my pain. I love to encourage, but sometimes I need it myself. God is so good, isn’t He? May God bless you with hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus! Hugs!

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  9. Trudy, I am so thankful for you and I’m glad you continue to write – even when it is hard. You are certainly a blessing to me and many others – and yes this community is precious! I love that every encouraging comment lifts each of us higher! What a blessing! Praying for you friend, and thankful for your kind and sharing heart! ❤

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    1. Thank you so much for your continuing love and support, Michelle. I’m so awed that God would use me to bless others. I have been blessed by your blog, too, and also others in the community of encouragers for God. This reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” There are so many beautiful people, including you, that do exactly that. 🙂 I’m thankful for you, too! May Jesus comfort our hearts so we may comfort others! Hugs!

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  10. Trudy, I agree with everyone. You have a message to share. Don’t let the enemy of your soul tell you to stop. When you are blessing others with your words and sharing what God lays on your heart, the enemy fights even harder. It is a battle. But God is bigger, We are victors, not victims. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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