Imagine someone is completely compassionate with you, no matter your performance, your circumstances, your attitude, anything about you. They never stopped loving you no matter what you did wrong, how little you spoke with them, or how much distance you put between the two of you.
How would you feel?
At ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough.
I think these are things we all crave in our relationships. The real truth though is that no human being can truly provide these things. But, we have good news. Jesus Christ died to take away the barrier we have with Him and we get to have this unconditional love from Someone – He never stops loving us! Never. Not in a big mistake or a small misstep.
Just recently I felt frustrated with myself by a small misstep I made with the Lord. Honestly, I just felt bad for pulling away from Him in that situation. But then, I realized that shame was holding me away from the Lord, and shame is NOT from God! Shame magnifies our failings; God’s love magnifies His compassion for us.
So, what should we do when we realize we have distanced ourselves from the Lord or fallen into sin? Run back into His arms! Don’t wait! His compassion is great in all things, and He loves to take us back into His loving arms. Feel at ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough. Rest in the great compassion of our God.
Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah
Sometimes, life is overwhelming, and we need to step back and take stock of all that’s going on in life and reorder our priorities. Recently, I felt the Lord convict me of striving too much in my mental health recovery. I was focusing on fixing myself instead of fixing my eyes on Him and His presence. I need His presence over everything else – any treatment, therapy session, friend, or self-help book. As I’ve started to make this change, I have felt so much more peace, rest, and hope. I have connected with the One who fills me and helps me make sense of everything in life. Never forget where your strength and your source lies – His presence and His Word. It’s in that place you find wisdom and direction for the practicalities of life.
Lord, help me to keep Your presence first and trust in You to take care of me in all areas of my life.
God has really been working on my heart recently about healing – that healing is possible, at the deepest level, and in every way. My earthly mind tells me a different story, but I choose to trust Him and to believe in the possibilities again. One day at a time. Slowing down, trusting in, and leaning into Him. When my heart hurts, feels lonely, and can’t understand what the heck is going on in my life, I will turn to Him and LET HIM in. This is how deep healing happens. And I WANT the deep healing. Yes, it will hurt. But it totally is worth the process and the intimacy that will inevitably grow with my Heavenly Father who will turn the bitter into sweet. So thankful He turns the bitter into sweet!
To the one struggling deeply to get over a hurt or struggling with mental illness, I understand. Healing may not feel possible. Honestly, that is how I feel right now with my mental illness. I have experienced some healing, but I sense God challenging me that He has more healing for me. I don’t know what exactly that will look like, but my heart is open. And, I hope this post may challenge you a bit to open your heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit, to the possibilities of healing. Healing for your heart. Healing for your body. Healing from the pain.
Lord, grant us the ability to lean into You and LET YOU IN in the hardest moments. It’s in that place, we will encounter your sweet, deep, healing love. We want to be about You and Your Kingdom. Bring us healing, for Your will and Your glory. Amen.
Let the process unfold
As His truth is told
Let the process unfold
As the Enemy’s lies are dismantled
Let the process unfold
As you let your heart be held.
Trust is a process
Do not despise it.
You are on this path for a reason.
Remember this is just a season.
There is hope; there is light.
So keep your head held high
You are safe. You are loved. You are held.
Let the process unfold.
The Lord is my Pacemaker
The Lord is my pacemaker – I shall not rush.
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals:
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency
Through calmness of mind, and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things
To accomplish each day, I will not fret –
for His Presence is here:
His timelessness, His importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal
In the midst of my activity,
By anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness
Shall be the fruits of my hours;
For I shall walk in His house forever.
A Version of the 23rd Psalm
by Toki Miyashin
God gave me the theme of single mindedness this year – focusing on Him and keeping Him first. He wants me to simplify, slow down, and stay there. I have found some progress in this area, but the “staying there” part is hard! Distractions keep pulling me away – or I start searching in vain for the next “best thing” that will make my life better or fix it somehow. I must chose to remember that I already have enough. I have Jesus living on the inside of me. The closer I stay to Him and that truth, the closer I will stay to what He is calling me to do: Simplify, slow down, and stay there.
What is God calling you to do right now? Slow down to listen, obey, and then make the choice to stay in it…as long as it takes.
I have the above saying on an index card on my bathroom mirror. When I get thrown some negative experience or I am struggling with depression, I sometimes feel hopelessness creep in. When I start to feel hopeless, I start to believe that my situation is, in fact, hopeless. We must remember in our life and recovery that feelings are not facts.
All individuals, whether or not they have a mental health diagnosis, will struggle with cognitive distortions at some point. Cognitive distortions are negative, distorted ways we tend to think about the world and what is going on in our life. Our thoughts are not in line with the reality about what is going on (or what God says about us, in fact). Those suffering from mental illnesses tend face cognitive distortions more often. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help aid in re-framing these negative ways of thinking. Here is an example of re-framing a cognitive distortion.
Emotional reasoning is a common cognitive distortion that says “if it feels true, then it must be true.” So, “if I feel hopeless, then my situation must feel hopeless.” For me, hopelessness is a place that I can still sometimes default to after a negative experience or during a depressive episode. Simply having the statement on my bathroom mirror that there IS hope even if I feel hopeless reminds me in those difficult moments that there is, and always will be, hope. That hope is anchored deeply and securely in Jesus Christ. Nothing is too difficult to handle. Nothing that has happened to us cannot be redeemed and used for God’s good.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
May you experience God’s hope today no matter what you are facing.