When Sadness Hits

I’m sad, heartbroken, and my emotions are once again balancing on the scales between out of control and covered up. The heartbreak of my life has struck once again and my defense was down. The pain came searing through me like a knife through my heart. Why do I ever let my guard down? I’m so much stronger than I used to be but occasionally, when I get too relaxed, it gets through to the depth of me. And knocks me down for a few days.

I’m in the middle of those few days now. The fight to hang onto my sanity is strong as I wonder if this will ever get any easier. I feel as if I’m on the edge of falling into the abyss of heartache, never to recover again. I’m fighting to just hang on. And I haven’t told but one person until now because I’m afraid if anyone says anything to me about it, I’ll start crying and not be able to stop.

As tempting as it is to not write these words because of how crazy I sound, I peck at the keyboard anyway. The words coming out are like balm to my soul as I release some of the pain I feel. I know Jesus is here with me, using this for His good, somehow, someway. But it doesn’t take away the fact that sadness is overwhelming me in this moment.

So how can I shift my thinking? How can I allow God to use this exact moment in my life for His glory? How can I encourage someone else even though I’m broken myself?

Let me shift my mindset:

I want to learn more of God’s heart through even the tough parts of life. In fact, I think we have a more clear picture of His heart during these moments if we take the time to open our eyes and see things beyond ourselves. We can’t see God if all we’re looking at is our pain.

He pursues us. He pursues our hearts. Even when we reject Him. Even when we’re hurt and we are struggling to see beyond our own situation.

There have been many times I’ve rejected Him. He has leaned into me, pulling me to Him, trying to show me that I was pulling away from Him, only to be pushed away even further. I have turned my back to Him, stiffening myself to His love, grace and mercy. I wanted to do things my own way. I wanted to continue lying to myself about how “good” I was and following Him but not really let Him take complete control of my life.

And HE NEVER STOPPED loving me.

It comforts me to know that He knows the pain I feel.  He has been in my shoes and knows the pain of rejection from even His own children. He knows the pain of rejection from me.

Despite not wanting to admit it today, I’m thankful for the lessons I learn through my pain.

From what heartache in your life can you take a step back and look at in a different perspective? Can you alter your perspective to see God’s heart through what you may be experiencing today? Can you shift your mindset with me?

It’s never easy to overcome sadness and pain. Let yourself feel it, walk through those emotions, ask God what it is you can learn from it. Then let Him pick you back up and keep right on going with your head held high.

I’ll be there soon… 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4–8

A Change of Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever been convinced that God is calling you to do something that was scary? You thought long and hard about it and prayed earnestly before finally taking a huge leap of faith to follow Him, only to find out in the end that it didn’t turn out how you thought God had lead you? This recently happened to me. I was scared to make a particular decision but I was so confident it was what God was calling me to do. After many months of relentless pursuit, the end result turned out much differently than I had anticipated. In fact, if you look at it from a worldly standpoint, it appeared as if I had lost and was completely wrong to have started this journey.

In this moment, it’s easy to question God. Was it really You leading me? Was I deceived? Why did it turn out this way? What purpose did it serve? Was I wrong? 

If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I want to know ahead of time how things are going to work out. So when it comes to changing plans, it’s quite often hard for me to change gears. Throughout my life, I’ve had many opportunities to learn how to deal with this innate personality characteristic. In fact, sometimes I think it’s quite possible that God changes the plan for the sole reason of teaching me how to bend and mold into His plan, despite the one I had in my mind!

But in this situation, I’m not certain yet why things turned out the way they did. I do know this: God’s plan prevailed. He called me to make this decision for a reason. He allowed it to work out differently for a reason. Despite what I personally wanted and thought was best, God had a different idea. And though I have questions and tend to be fearful at times, I know I can trust Him with this. 

You see, we serve a God that knows the future. He knows how each decision made in this moment will affect YOUR future. And if you’ve been around very long at all, you can look back in your life and see the impact, good or bad, of one single decision made. God sees this ahead of time and knows what will happen. We don’t. It’s such a simple concept yet so hard to let go of what we think is best in the moment and leave it in the hands of God.

A God whose thoughts are higher than mine.

A God whose ways are better than mine.

A God whose plan is perfect.

Life is a series of decisions. Some are bad and some are good. But if we let God lead us in those decisions, even if it’s confusing at the time, He will take the reigns from us and lead us into an unknown but exciting territory.

I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to work through this situation! It isn’t what I originally planned, but if I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that my own Godless plans only lead to heartache. I may not ever know what would have happened had I not started down that path, but I trust that He had a purpose for it. I serve a God whose plans are perfect! Even if things are hard and painful and even if I don’t understand.

Whatever you’re going through today, especially if God is taking you down a different path than you originally thought, trust Him. It may not be what you thought but He will not let you down. Sit back and watch Him turn this into something far more beautiful and greater than you could have ever imagined!

Think On These Things

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

I was having a rough day. Nothing was going right it seemed and everything I had worked so hard to make progress on was crumbling right before my eyes. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting. My mind was completely on myself and the situation that immediately surrounded me. There was no other perspective besides my own. An altered reality based upon my feelings at the time. I was feeling sorry for myself. I had it so bad! Couldn’t everyone see that?

Have you ever felt like this? Like there’s no one else in the world that has ever been dealt these cards in life? Have you ever just sat down and had an “all-out cry your eyes out pity party?”

I have. More than I’d like to admit.

The other day, my boys and I were in the car and the conversation veered toward them and their feelings about how bad they had it in life. Their parents are divorced. It was not what they wanted and now they have to deal with so much heartache because of it. They are children. It’s a natural reaction and merited feeling. They have not yet figured out how to look on the positive side of things. They don’t realize how much it would help them have a happier life overall.

I’m driving and hypocritically thinking “Can they not see how good they have it? They have two parents who love them and spend time with them. They have now other additions to their family and more people who love them than ever before. God, show me what to say to remind them of what they do have in their life that is good. Show me how to teach them to be grateful.”

God clearly spoke to me that morning. He told me that I could not TELL them anything while I was doing THE SAME EXACT THING. I was the one that needed that lesson.

I’ve had the “poor pitiful me” attitude often since my life took a downward turn through the events that led up to the divorce, the divorce, and post divorce. I’ve spent hours curled up in a ball on my bed crying my eyes out in pain and thinking this is the worst thing ever.

It is good to allow yourself to feel pain and release emotion sometimes. However, to the extent of thinking that this is the worst thing ever and allowing our mind to run wild and free with thoughts of negativity is not what God wants from us.

Completely ignoring the pain and heartache and only focusing on the positive creates a world that is not real. It doesn’t give us the opportunity to analyze our behavior and emotions and begin the heal from what caused the pain.

But in general, God wants us to think on the positives of life. To be grateful and content for the life we do have!

When we shift our thoughts to the things of God and His blessings in our life, we begin to see outside of ourselves. When we focus upward and keep our eyes on Him, we can have hope that we will get through this and come to the other side of it a better person.

We can have confidence that ALL things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

I am convinced that I would not be where I am today without the trials I have gone through in life. It has been bad and I have many times wondered if I can go on another day, but I am on the other side of it and I am more thankful for my Creator than I have ever been. I am more hungry than ever to know God’s heart and to seek Him in my life. I recognize my need for Him in every area and I marvel at His mercy and grace in my life.

I could not have made it to where I am today without Him giving me a chance, over and over again. He has made me new and cleansed my heart and will forever be my God, no matter what life throws at me. How could anyone think “poor pitiful me!” and know that?!!!

I am human and make mistakes and will continue to need a reminder of this. I will fall into the despicable pit of feeling sorry for myself from time to time.

But I must remind myself to think on the things that are true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. 

With God in my life, nothing is impossible!