When Our Hearts Are Overwhelmed

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions for many. Unprecedented changes hard to accept, violence and injustices hard to stomach, losses in so many various ways that are so hard to process.

Friends, I am so tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally… The storms around me and within me are driving me to deeper layers of pain I dismissed as not as important as others’ pain. I am becoming more aware that I lack compassion for myself and my own pain, the same compassion God has shown me and given me for others who are hurting.

I’m too often white-knuckling my way through life. I easily conform to others’ preferences or try to live up to their expectations rather than acknowledging my own preferences or needs out of fear of their anger, their disappointment, or their rejection. I can’t get past this fear of being hurt again without facing it head on and processing the deep reasons why my body sometimes tightens up and my stomach clenches and my mind says, “Run for your life.” I especially get anxiety, dread, and feel shame heaped on me in situations and around people who dismiss the deep pain abuse victims go through, who don’t support or validate them, and who even heap more false guilt on them, including myself.

“From the ends of the earth,
I cry to You for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for You are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in Your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of Your wings!”

Psalm 61:2-4 NLT

I have decided I need a longer break from blogging to acknowledge and process this mess of emotions storming and overwhelming my soul. I need to pause and allow God to help me heal more deeply. I just know God wants me to step back and allow Him to lead my heart and my life wherever He chooses, even if it means the way will be even more difficult. It fills me with anxiety and fear, but I feel God is nudging me to step past the wall I build around myself and take the risk, trusting He is my ever-present Rock of Safety, my Safe Refuge, and my Shelter.

I don’t know how long I’ll be pausing from posting. And it may be that I will still sporadically post. I’m just so filled with uncertainty right now. But I wanted to let you know. Thank you for your love, caring, and support.

I commit each of you to Jesus who knows infinitely better what we need than we know ourselves. And remember, even if your abuser or others you love don’t believe you or support you, it doesn’t eliminate the truth of your story. And even if others don’t understand why you can’t just “get over it already,” God does understand. He knows the truth and He cries with you and loves you so much.

My Prayer For You

by Alisa Turner

“For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope
May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you…”

April Hope Whispers

“For I know the plans
I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you
and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope
and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

SAFE
by Victory Worship

“You are never far away
Always reaching out to save
My weakness covered by Your strength
And I am found forever safe
I found my fortress in You
And my soul is anchored with You
My resting place is in Your name
Forever safe”

Hope-Breathing Quotes

“I know the world is crazy right now, but I’m so thankful that God knows our names, understands our emotions and is intimately involved with the development of our faith.” ~ Lois Flowers

Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.” ~ John Piper

“Hope is the silver shaft of sun breaking through the storm-darkened sky, words of comfort in the intensive care unit, the first spring bird perched on a snow-covered twig, and the finish line in sight. It is a rainbow, a song, a loving touch. Hope is knowing God and resting in His love.” ~ NLT Life Application Study Bible: Zephaniah introduction

Nature is a Retreat of Hope

““Be as a bird perched on a
frail branch that she feels
bending beneath her,
still she sings away
all the same,
knowing she has wings.”
Victor Hugo

Thank you to my brother John for these beautiful bird photos.
(🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂)

Black-Necked Stilt

Roadrunner with a Lizard for His Lady

As part of the mating ritual, he carried the lizard from tree to tree and made a cooing sound.

Green Heron

Green Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Horned Owl

 

Truths For When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

I didn’t get a post written last week as my emotions felt too raw and needed some processing.

Yesterday I came across an old post. Within it were some truths that encouraged my heart. I’m sharing them again with you, praying they will give you hope through whatever storm of life you are in.

God is God. We are not. We don’t need to make sense out of everything. Someday we will fully understand the bigger picture of all this.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now
what I am doing, but someday you will.”
John 13:7 NLT

The events and circumstances that perplex us can lead us into a deeper faith in God. They help us to rely more heavily on God and His promises. They refine us to be more like Jesus.

“But He knows the way that I take
[and He pays attention to it].
When He has tried me, I will come forth
as [refined] gold [pure and luminous].
Job 23:10 AMP

Bad things happen when people who are given choices choose evil. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or doesn’t care. No evil will separate us from His love.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory
is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing
can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed,
nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

God has the power to protect us from evil, but sometimes He chooses to allow us to break, so we can be led deeper into the brokenness He suffered for us. The more we connect with His brokenness, the more He can use our brokenness to help others who are broken.

“As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people
should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Genesis 50:20

No matter what happens, God’s plans and thoughts are for our good, not for evil. He gives us a future and a hope in Him.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’
says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not
for disaster to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

 The sufferings we go through here are nothing compared to the glory hereafter.

“For I consider [from the standpoint of faith]
that the sufferings of the present life
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
that is about to be revealed to us and in us!”
Romans 8:18 AMP

“Look Up Child”
by Lauren Daigle

“Where are You now
When darkness seems to win
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling…”