Come near to God, and God will come near to you.
The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.
An uneven sidewalk or a cold stone wall is lifeless until the beauty of a flower makes it home.
Even a rusty fence can be home for a delicate vine.
We all have barren places in our lives. Don’t let that emptiness you feel make you hopeless. There is ugliness in life but there is also beauty. They dwell together.
It’s far too easy to become hardened and bitter, and before you know it, you’ve built a wall of protection around yourself.
Don’t keep the beauty from growing in your life. Let it wrap around the ugliness and diminish its power of negativity, sadness, and hopelessness.
Even devout Christians … should worry about taking theology beyond its limits. Theology is a grounding in ultimate hope, not a formula book to explain away each individual event. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, interpret, explain and solve. But what seems to be needed here is the art of presence …
Allow nature to take its course. Grant the sufferers the dignity of their own process. Let them define meaning. Sit simply through moments of pain and uncomfortable darkness. Be practical, mundane, simple and direct.
– The Art of Presence by David Brooks
Every winter where I live, we experience the “January Thaw”. We look forward to it. The temperature rises to the mid to high 40’s and the snow and ice melts. It’s as if winter pauses briefly for a week before the next blast of cold and snow.
If there is a break in winter’s fury, there is a break for you, too.
Expect relief and wait for it. Just like the January Thaw.
… in someone’s shoes.
And Jesus said to go an extra mile.
We need people to walk with us – and we need to walk with others.
There is a popular saying these days, “be a victor, not a victim”. It definitely wards off self-pity.
But there are times when someone is a true victim. And we need to let them be.
We cannot rush a physical healing. It takes time. Afterward, there may be a scar. Or a limp.
When it comes to a broken heart, we don’t know how to treat it. We want people to feel better and so we may say things that we think are helping. If we would try to remember that injuries to the heart are no different than a physical injury, we will be helping someone who is hurting.
Afterward, they may have a scar or a limp, too.
O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Life isn’t played like a deck of cards. You don’t win by the luck of the draw. Your life is not random.
If you think about life like that you will be discouraged and hopeless. You will wonder why others are getting ahead and you are falling behind.
You will think you are unlucky and have been dealt a bad hand.
But the Bible defines life quite differently. It says that you matter to God and even if you are facing difficult, serious situations, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. In fact, the Bible is clear: God helps us when we’re afraid, discouraged, and hurting. He asks us to trust him.
When there is no one else, God is with you. Embrace the truth!
Trauma permanently changes us.
This is the big, scary truth about trauma: there is no such thing as “getting over it.” The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger: a major life disruption leaves a new normal in its wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.
This is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom, and all — with courage.