Isolation or Worship?

isolation-or-worship

There are difficulties in this life. We struggle. Some days are harder than others. We each deal with things in our life that have the potential to drag us down.

  • Trying to live up to the word’s standard of beauty.
  • Thinking you’re only as valuable as you are beautiful.
  • Living with the unmet desire to be married.
  • Living with the unmet desire to be a mother.
  • Facing anxiety, fear, and depression.
  • Battling temptations and shame.
  • Feeling worthless.
  • Feeling purposeless.

Those times when God feels so far away, and you feel so alone and downtrodden by the world … I understand. It can be hard.

So what does a woman do in those situations?

I’ve learned a valuable secret. It’s called …

Worship.

During a time when I was battling with intense anxiety and despair, I went outside and stood beside a lake. I opened my Bible to Psalm Eight and turned my gaze heavenward, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth…”

I read that whole Psalm aloud. And this curious feeling came – the quieting of my soul; the stilling of my troubled thoughts. I think the Enemy’s voice was drowned out by my worship of the Most High God.

Another thing I did was pray. One night, when my heart was seizing up within my chest and all my fear suddenly looming over me; I prayed out loud. About my terror of the moment – and anything and everything – for over an hour. I just kept praying and praying, because I felt secure in that. The darkness seemed to recede. The peace of God (it could have only come from Him!) descended on me. I prayed myself to sleep.

Hebrews 4:16

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. The power of Jesus’ name. The power of His Word.

Those are your weapons with which to fight in this battle. Oh, my friends, it truly helped me. I can’t explain to you the peace I felt in those moments.

Here’s another tip …

Community.

So often, in our struggles, we isolate ourselves. I’m here to tell you, DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF! Now is the time to open up, my dear. Open up to God. Open up to family. To friends.

I was away from home at that time, but I sobbed over the phone to my mom, and her voice – her presence over the phone – was like a lifeline.

My friends, you wouldn’t believe how freeing it is to share your burdens. To let people speak truth over you and pray for you.

We need each other. To isolate yourself in your struggles is the worst thing you could do.

So find someone to talk to. A trusted family member or friend. And if you don’t have anyone, please contact me. Let me pray for you and be there for you in what ways I can.

Most importantly, you’ve got to let yourself open up to God. Go to Him. Pour out your heart. Surrender to Him. Trust Him.

So open up to people. And open up to God.

And then … worship.

I know every situation is different, and sometimes all you can do is lay there, curled up on the floor, and beg God to hold you. And He will. I truly believe He will, and does.

But worship is healing. Worship fights a battle for you. Worship draws you closer to God.

Romans 12:12

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Galatians 5:22

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Choose worship. In down times, in dark times, choose to worship. Opening up the Word of God and pouring out praises to your Creator, the Creator, is a powerful thing.

The Enemy can’t stand in the way of that.

Run to your Heavenly Father, and cry out, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

Don’t isolate yourself.

Have a prayer time.

Worship.

Heal & be at Peace

Psalm 103:1-6 & 11-18

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

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Dear Future Husband …

dear-future-husband

Dear Future Husband,

I want to apologize. To say sorry for making it all about me. Perhaps it’s a girl thing—to think when there is a young man who catches our notice: Maybe he’s the one. Could he be my prince charming? –Come to rescue me. Fulfill me. Make me happy. Call me beautiful. Make me secure. Complete me.

Me. Me. Me. I’m sorry. We shouldn’t always do that. I shouldn’t do that. When we see you, we should see a child of God. A young man treasured by the Creator. A temple of the Holy Spirit. A brother. Possibly a friend. Who knows—perhaps more in time? But right now, we should just see you. Not someone who could potentially fulfill all our “happily ever after” dreams, but a fellow human being who has struggles, hurts, and hopes, and needs encouragement and love, just like we do.

I’m sorry. The burden I oftentimes subconsciously plan on putting on you is ridiculous. There’s been hurt in my life, but I cannot put my hope in you to make it right. You can’t fulfill me. You can’t right my world. After all, you are only a man. A good man, I am sure, but a man, nonetheless. Not a god. In fact, because of your sins, God had to sacrifice His Son, Jesus Christ, to save you! The story is the same with me. So, as two imperfect, broken human beings, how could we possibly be able to fulfill the other?

I need to stop having this unhealthy expectation of you, and start putting all my hope in the Lord. Because if I went into marriage like that, it would cause intense unmet expectations and pain and strife. But if we come together, both keeping God as our first love, and placing Him in the center of our relationship, then perhaps it could be something immensely beautiful.

It isn’t all about me. It’s about you. And most of all, it’s about God, and honoring Him in everything we do! Dear future husband, if God plans to bring you along sometime, I want our friendship to encourage and bring joy to the both of us. I want our love story to be beautiful, for me and for you—like God designed the love between a man and a woman to be. I want our marriage to radiantly glorify Him. He is worthy! And His path is very good.

So, I want to do better. For Him. For you. For me.

Faithfully Yours

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 62:5-8

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

*** Note: Originally published on Between the Pages of this Bookish Life, June 24th, 2016.

Heaven.

heaven

You know what? The unknown frightens me. Eternity frightens me. I can’t fully understand the concept of “heaven”, and so it scares me.

But it shouldn’t be that way.

I’m a child of God. I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. My soul is saved, thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and it is marked as His.

Heaven is my home. Eternity is a promise to me.

I don’t know about you, but I hear dark lies whispering to my soul. Trying to steal the joy of my salvation. Trying to turn a beautiful promise into something that makes me fearful.

Remember how to fight the Enemy? We fight him with the Word of God! So I looked up these verses about heaven, to remind myself that my God cares for me. And He knows me. And His thoughts are way, way higher than mine.

Proverbs 14:32

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

2 Peter 3:8-9

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

John 14:2-4

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Revelation 21:4-7

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Colossians 3:3-4

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Revelation 7:17

17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 22:1-5

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Philippians 1:21-23

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.