Category Archives for "Weekly Encouragement"
Written By Lynn Waters
Have you ever started planning the day and find you have more to do than you have time to do it? Well, I have. When this happens I look at all the tasks I have to do and then prioritize.
1. I prioritize the “have to do” items.
3. The things that don’t take long to do. I do this because it encourages to me to see my list quickly dwindle down.
4. Then I prioritize the items that will take time to do.
I used this system daily when I was working. I took one day each week to complete the small tasks because I had to research files for information. Handling the small tasks first and then taking on the more time consuming items helped me to accomplish everything in a timely manner, and avoid falling behind. This process can be applied at home or work. With my Spring Cleaning the daily and weekly items are not on the list as this list consists of less frequent tasks. After completing the everyday tasks I look at my Spring Cleaning list and do one or two items when I have time. Eventually everything gets done.
Every year I focus on a certain area. Last year I went through my closets and this year I went through my cookbooks and decided to get rid of quite a few. The year before that I got rid of all of things in the house that I felt we didn’t need. You know what; I have never wanted any of those things back. I spent so many years working and being gone 12 hours a day that I never really did anything but cook, wash clothes, buy food and keep the dust off the rugs so the house looked clean. I had little time for deep cleaning. I am a great planner and like to schedule items to complete each week. I have certain days I clean, days for yard work, etc. Now that I don’t work anymore I find I have things to do every day. I never sit around “twiddling my thumbs” or mindlessly watching daytime TV. Housework is not one of my favorite things to do, but I like a clean house. I have a husband who demands my attention to do things with him and he also makes work for me to do.
I don’t know why God puts two opposites together. I love clean and shiny, while my husband has an office with papers all over the place. I have gotten to where I don’t speak to him about his messes any more, I just pray. Why argue about it. There are much more important things in life than a perfectly clean house. My husband and I always put God first. Our individual prayer time comes first each day and then I like to go on Facebook. Don’t laugh. I find out what my family and friends did the day before and what is happening today. I connect to the world and go through my emails. Then I start my tasks for the day. Right now my husband and I are listening to CDs together, at least one hour a day. No matter what happens during the day, I rarely go to bed with a dirty kitchen. I appreciate stepping into a clean kitchen every morning. When I don’t wash the dishes and clean the counters it is because I am too tired and just want to go to bed. When that happens the first thing I do is wash the dishes so the kitchen is clean before I do anything else for the day.
We all have to set our priorities and plan our time. When you have children it is even more important to do this. This will also set an example for their lives if they are responsible for chores. I had chores as a child and some of them were because I wanted to know how to do them, not because I had to do them. Because I had chores growing up, when I moved out on my own I knew how to cook, clean, wash clothes, iron, and shop for groceries. I had no problems living on my own. I knew I had to get up at a certain time to go to work and to wash clothes and dishes after meals. I had learned how to prioritize by example and by practice at home.
Written By: Remaliah Evans
There are few things that we can always count on in life. One of them is rejection. Cheer up, this gets better. Throughout life your ideas and opinions will be rejected and people may even reject you. Perhaps that is why Jesus warned us that offense would come. Rejection is experienced repeatedly by every person who achieved success. For the sake of this blog, I’ll define success as accomplishing what you have been working toward. I love to read success stories because they inspire me. Did you know the authors of Chicken Soup For The Soul were rejected 140 times before the book was finally published and sold over 125 million copies? Oprah was fired from a news reporter job and a producer job before hosting her own show. Thomas Edison tried to invent the light bulb 1,000 times before he succeeded. Every success story includes failures and rejection. So how is it that these people achieved what they had been working for? Simply put: they got back up.
Proverbs 24:16 says that a righteous [woman] falls seven times and rises again. Righteous means to have a right relationship with Christ, so if you are saved this verse refers to you. When you are rejected, or when your ideas or work are rejected, your morale falls. Enthusiasm falls, confidence falls, momentum falls, or your countenance falls. The solution is to get up. Every time. How do you get up? Good question. You look in the mirror. Not your compact or your bathroom mirror. The mirror of Jesus, the mirror of the word. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In this verse you see that you are to look to the Lord and behold His glory, with nothing in between you and Him. When you look at Him it is like looking in a mirror. As you behold the Lord you begin to look more like Him, and you go from glory to glory.
Here in this verse, God is confirming your identity and your relationship with Him. He is saying look at Me and you will see all of the beautiful and wonderful attributes that I have placed inside of you. Look at Me and you will see all of the ways that you resemble Me. You are looking more and more like your Father, every day. You are My daughter, I created you, I love you, and you are glorious.
The word glory has several meanings; after researching the Greek, here is what I gather: your glory (not to be confused with God’s glory) is the clear display of who you really are, in Christ. The best of who you are. It is when you reflect Christ. James 1:17 says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” All of the good in you- your character, your talents, the way you love people, your creativity- these are all gifts from your Father.
When you are rejected, it is easy to look away from your Father, and accept a counterfeit identity. A counterfeit identity is any identity other than your God-given identity as a daughter of Christ. Rejection tries to steal your identity. Rejection says you’re not good enough, you’re never gonna make it, you’ve made too many mistakes, you don’t have what it take, just give up. When you keep your eyes on the Lord He confirms your true identity: you are loved, you are the apple of His eye, you are light, you are the righteousness of God in Christ, you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, you are worth dying for, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, you are accepted by your loving Father.
Not only does He say this but He shows you! Looking to the Father speaks of relationship and revelation. When you look to Him, you begin to understand His glory and His goodness, and He shows you the glory that He has given you according to John 17:22-23. The next time rejection comes, continue looking in the mirror, look at Your Father and let Him continually show you who He is, and who you are.
Written By Judy Smith
When I was a child, children were strictly disciplined. My grandparents told me constantly to be good. When I misbehaved or disobeyed, I was punished, which taught me not to do that again. It was constantly drilled into my head: don’t lie, steal, curse, treat others badly, or disobey my elders. This was all good.
Did that make me good? Not really. Even though I didn’t do those things for fear of punishment, under my breath I cursed and I was often tempted to sin. I was only “being good” because I was afraid that nobody would want me if I misbehaved. Being good was a way to protect myself from rejection.
My heart was deceitfully wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things.
Psalms 139:23 …search me and know my heart.
Matthew 5:8 …blessed are the pure in heart.
So I spent my life desiring to be good in my heart. I tried to fight the sin nature in my flesh, but it never worked. I was not born again and I didn’t know God’s Word. In 1971 I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and began to devour the Word of God. I knew He said that I was forgiven, but it took time for me to learn to forgive myself. After I received Jesus, I desired His goodness in my life, and I was doing good from my heart. I found myself loving people, I even loved my enemies. Acts 10:38 NIV …how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. After I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I later had another experience, where in prayer and worship, I was baptized in the love of God. Since then love people so much, even my enemies. I want from the depths of my heart to do good. I hate sin and I hate evil. I don’t want to wrong anyone.
I firmly believe that when we have problems, we should not worry. We should continue doing the things we know to do. If we have commitments, we must be sure to keep them. Do not get so caught up with your problems that you don’t keep your commitments or do good. Psalms 37:3 says that we should trust in the Lord and do good, and we will feed on His faithfulness. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness. I have discovered that if I continue to study of God’s Word, continue praying, keep my commitments, and continue helping others, I experience breakthrough much faster. Helping while I am hurting is actually very powerful. We need to give back what we have been given. Love is the greatest gift of God. It is essential according to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus was compelled by love to choose to bear our sins on His body, on the cross. What greater love is there? Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [works] and in truth.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. The desire you have to serve God comes from Him. Philippians 2:13 NLT God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Whether it is because of thankfulness for your salvation, the desire for others to know Him, or through His call for you to live for Him – all of these are evidence of God working in you! Do not question whether you are strong enough, good looking enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do good for Him. And do not fret over your faults or weaknesses. He will provide you with everything you need, and He will do amazing good things through you. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. There is nothing more fulfilling or empowering than doing good. Dear Father God, thank you for my desire to do good and serve you. I praise You for giving me the power to do whatever You call me do. Make me sensitive to the needs of others. Praise You Jesus!
Written By Victoria Aguila
I wanted to talk a little about what it means to THRIVE.
According to Webster Dictionary, the word THRIVE means, to grow or develop successfully; to grow vigorously; to gain in wealth or possessions (prosper); to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. My favorite definition was, “to grow vigorously”. In this season, that is my goal, to grow vigorously, to grow radically. Any growth, however, is good growth. Even if I am growing in small increments, growth is growth BUT let’s ponder on THRIVING.
In Proverbs 11:28, (NIV) the scripture tells us that “those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” We must always trust in the Lord and His riches and glory, not our own. We must remain righteous in the eyes of God (not man) so that we can THRIVE like a green leaf. When I think of a green leaf, I think of watered, refreshed, liveliness, growth. What about you?
Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives us a great description of a growing tree with green leaves and compares this to a man who trusts in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” This portion of scripture is so rich. As we trust in the Lord, we will be blessed and we will be like that tree that is firmly planted by the water and our roots go deep into the fresh wet soil and our leaves remain green and fresh and alive and growing and we will not stop growing fruit.
Psalm 1 is a great chapter. I would recommend reading through it. I enjoy reading the VOICE version but of course you read it in any translation that speaks to you. Psalm 1:3 Voice says this: You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper. I would say these scriptures depict THRIVING. “The righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” (Proverbs 11:28). So that means to me, like a leaf that is watered, like a leaf that is alive, like a leaf that is growing. Let us plant our roots by the streams of Living Water. Water our leaves with the Word of God that refreshes our spirit and progress towards our goal of continued growth. We cannot wither away or dry up but THRIVE both despite and because of our circumstances.
Don’t strive trying to reach perfection; thrive in the preparation. If we are striving (simply making the effort) then we probably won’t achieve the result BUT if we are thriving, we ARE progressing and prospering, and reaching success.
Maybe today you find yourself withering away or as if you have dried up. Maybe you are feeling the thirst for the Living Water to refresh your leaves once again. I have been there! It’s a good thing if we are able to discern that we are withering away or drying up and in need of drawing closer to the stream of Living Water to get refreshed and renewed. We must continue to Thrive. Ask yourself if you are you THRIVING or withering away and then let’s make the necessary changes to be back in alignment and THRIVE.
Let’s pray: God we praise your mighty name and we thank you for who You are. I ask you to increase our thirst for Your Living Water. I pray that you will refresh each and every one of us. As we draw near to you, we thank you that our roots are going deeper and our leaves are getting greener and we are growing in this season. Thank you for the grace and the mercy that you have for us and thank you for your love that draws us to the Sweet Sweet Stream. Be magnified Oh Lord. In Jesus name I pray Amen.
Written By:Remaliah Evans
If you ever wondered who shops at midnight during the Christmas season- it’s me. The stores are peaceful, there are no lines, and the deals are great. But if the price is not clear then I have to know how much? I’ve gone to the register thinking, “oh this little cardigan can’t possibly be that much,” and ended up putting the cardigan back because it IS that much. I ask how much when I am shopping and I also ask myself how much when I am planning and making decisions. Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” I count the cost by asking how much? I want to be a professional writer so I asked myself, what’s that going to take? Originally I told myself that I would do whatever it takes. The problem with “whatever it takes” is that this phrase does not clearly define a plan of action.
Years passed and I gained writing experience but the book remains unwritten, and I am not a professional writer. So then I asked myself, why am I not writing? I was not writing because I did not make it a priority and I did not set aside time to write. I was too busy. I recently heard a story about a minister who knew that he was supposed to write a prophetic book about the coming decade. Well, he waited so long to write the book, that the decade passed! He was not twiddling his thumbs for ten years; he was raising his family, leading a church, counseling, and living life. Yet, the fact remains: he did not make time to write the book. The demands of family, work, ministry, school, and relationships never end, and there are often unexpected events that require our attention. Nonetheless, we make time for what is most important. We start work a few hours early so that we can go to our kid’s 3:00 game. We set aside time to spend with friends, and we make time for church.
So what about that dream in your heart? Have you counted the cost of that dream? Counting the cost will tell you what you value and how much that dream means to you. How much time are you willing to invest? How much will you let go of? What will you say no to? How long will you prepare and train? Are you willing to make mistakes and be embarrassed during the learning process? Will you risk having your ideas or work rejected? Are you willing to leave your comfort zone?
I love my comfort zone; it’s warm and cozy, safe, and less stressful. It’s also eerily idle. There is no growth there. As cozy as it is, it’s time to leave the comfort zone. A person can only sleep in for so long before they finally get out of bed and do something. When we begin to understand how much something will cost us, we can then make an informed decision and plan accordingly. Sometimes the cost is too high, and many times the cost is well worth it.
Written By Judy Smith
2 Corinthians 5:18 CEV God…sent Christ to make peace between Himself and us, and He has given us the work of making peace between Himself and others. Peace starts with us receiving His forgiveness. An important truth is that God accepts you. This acceptance began in heaven with His desire to have a relationship with you. He provided the way to have that relationship through Jesus, and the communication that keeps the relationship healthy through His Holy Spirit. God made it possible for you to be united with Him in peace.2 Corinthians 5:19 CEV God was in Christ; offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And He has given us the work of sharing His message about peace.
We cannot have true peace without believing that He has truly forgiven us, and then the way to peace is making the decision to walk in love and forgiveness toward others. John 14:27 CEV My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.The world defines peace as an absence of troubles or conflict. The world says that we achieve peace by our abundance of strength. “Be tough, suck it up, calm down. “ These tactics are wrong because the absence of problems or being strong do not automatically bring you peace.
You don’t have to be tough or trouble-free in order to have peace. God gives you peace in the midst of the storm. God gives you peace during your troubles, sorrows, grief, and when you’re tired and weak; even when you fail.When we are stressed and troubled, we can call out to Him in faith, trust in Him, and He will send His peace. God gives us perfect unfaltering peace through the protective power of the Holy Spirit. Rest calmly in His presence. Lay your troubles and concerns at His feet, and He will keep you in perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Come on now; lay it all at His feet. Rest calmly in the strength of God. Let Him put His loving arms around you. Listen to His heartbeat. Peace peace, be still. Psalms 29:11NKV The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.
Dear Father God, thank you for the awesome peace you give to those who trust in you. I will not be afraid knowing you protect me and watch over me. You are Jehovah Jireh, my provider. You are Jehovah Shalom my peace, and so much more! Praise You Jesus! Thank you!
Now take a deep breath, and breathe in in your peace.
Written by: Lynn Waters
On New Year’s we make decisions to lose weight and make changes in our lives. In Spring we make plans and clean our homes thoroughly. I always can’t wait to do my Spring Cleaning. I make lists of things I need to do for each room, and then check them off when I have accomplished them. Some of us go through our clothes and get rid of things we can’t wear any more or don’t like. Some even rearrange their closets. We all have things we do to change our surroundings.
What if we did the same things with our lives? We can look at our lives and decide what we want to change. Do we like our job or do we dislike going there every day? If we don’t like it, what do we want to do to change it? Do we
need to take classes and get a degree? My nephew is doing that, online. He doesn’t even have to travel to attend class. He left the job that he no longer enjoyed because his wife was transferred, and he was happy to do this. Now that he is earning his degree, he is able to and then planning to look for a job in their new location. What other changes can we make to in our lives? Some of us have a lot of credit card debt because we spend more than we make. It would benefit us to look at why we spend this money and decide what we are going to do about it.
If we have bad habits that are not good for us we can look at them and decide which healthy habits we want develop, while we do away with the bad habits. Myself, I decided to eat healthier and to lose weight. Not just go on a diet, because most dieters regain the weight. I decided to change my eating habits. This is harder, but I know by doing this I will lose weight, probably slower, but I will keep off the weight because of these healthier eating habits. I also decided to a spend time reading the Bible daily, and to pray more. Maybe you have a lot of clothes, but nothing to wear. Look at what people around you are wearing. It used to be that you never wore black and brown together, but people are doing that today. Also, people wear things that don’t exactly match. I’ve noticed women that wear a big necklace that doesn’t match anything they have on. I have expanded my wardrobe by wearing different items and scarves, which are very in right now. If you go through your wardrobe you will find out that with 10 items of clothing you can create a month’s worth of wardrobe.
I went on a trip and planned my clothes so that I could wear most of them with each other. I had the smallest suitcase of everyone on the trip and they didn’t see how I could do it. But I had planned. I had a pair of pants and a skirt that were the same color. Then I had tops that were different, but went with the skirt and the pants. Plus I had some clothes that were not paired with these so I looked like I had more in my wardrobe. I spent three weeks wearing these clothes and felt quite well dressed. Many of us have a large wardrobe, but only wear a small part of it. Look at the items you don’t wear and decide what you can wear with it. If nothing works, get rid of it. We can look at our lives, just like we look at our closet, and decide what stays and what goes. It is good to look at our lives and make changes.
Written By: Judy Smith
I was the champion of worry. I was raised by my grandparents on a very poor farm and I didn’t that know I was poor until I started school. When that realization hit me, it produced many negative feelings in my life. I was already very insecure and afraid of what was going to happen to me. Fear came flowing into me and I began to worry about everything. This continued throughout my adult life.
Philippians 4:5-9 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.” If we do this, there won’t be room for worry.
FACTS ABOUT WORRY
40% of the things people worry about never happen.
30% of our worries are related to past maters, which Are now beyond our control.
12% of our worries have to do with our health, even when we are not actually ill.
10% of our worries are about friends and neighbors, and are not based on evidence or fact.
Only 8% of our worries have basis in reality, which means that more than 90% of the things we worry about never may never occur.
There are three areas of a Christian prayer life. 1) The prayer area in which “nothing” is written because the Bible says be anxious for nothing. 2) The prayer area with the word “everything” because the Bible says, in everything let your requests be made known to God. And 3) is the thanksgiving area where we are thankful to God. When we live within those three areas, we overcome worry. Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you drink; not about your body; what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Worry is worthless! Live in God’s peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Once we realize that we are struggling with something and we feel upset, we need to start praying and immediately turn the situation over to God, thankful that He will provide according to His will and offer us peace. You and I are not called to a life of frustration and struggle. Jesus came so we could have righteousness, joy, and peace!
Seek His face. Let Him displace worry from the center of your being. Let Him shower peace into the pool of your mind. His nature is to bless, so we must receive with thanksgiving. It is not His will that we function alone. Include Him in all your moments. Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
“Sometimes the Lord calms the storm; sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.” 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. I used to sing of praise that went like this: If I know the Lord is taking care of me, what do I have to worry about? And if I know the Lord is going to see me through, why don’t I sing and shout! Glory Hallelujah Praise His Name. Jesus you are forever taking care of me, what do I have to worry about hmmmmmm? What do I have to worry about!
Written By: Remaliah Evans
The difference between the life I want and the life I have is this: the life I want is all about what I want, it is not about what I need.
How many times have we seen people that seem to have everything? The fulfilling career or ministry, the perfect home, an adoring husband, and their kids are angelic beings. They have the education, and success is their way of life. Yet, they are not happy. We think to ourselves how can Patty Perfect have everything and not be happy?
Well, we do not know if they are dealing with depression, an eating disorder, or an addiction. We do not know if they are workaholics, alcoholics, or suicidal. They are unhappy because they are searching and/or trying to cope to no avail. When we have the things that we thought would bring us joy and fulfillment, but we do not have an intimate relationship with Jesus, we become painfully aware that something is missing, something just isn’t right.
What’s missing? What’s not right? When Jesus is not a part of our daily lives we are missing unconditional love, we are missing acceptance, and we are missing peace. What’s not right is that we have no one to heal our heart and no one to make us whole. And so we search for someone to love us unconditionally. We eat, escape, exercise excessively, or smoke to relieve the pain. All the while Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks.
Jesus is knocking and we are distracted by what we want, distracted by the myriad of people and commitments that vie for our attention, distracted because we are searching for something to dull the pain and meet the need. But the “something” is a Someone. The One we search for is Jesus; He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the lover our souls. He is our advocate. He is our healer. He is our intercessor. He is our Father. And He stands at the door of our heart and knocks.
Then we open the door and we let Him into the living room. But Lord, please don’t go into my room until I can clean it up. Oh and the closet, um, I’ll… there’s no need go in there. Here’s the thing: the Lord already knows what is in our room and in the closet. John 3:17 says that Jesus was not sent to condemn us, He was sent to save us. It is safe to let Him into the dark places of our lives and submit those areas to Him. Jesus brings truth, forgiveness, healing, and peace.
Our relationship with Jesus should grow after we accept Him as Lord and Savior. Colossians 2:6-7 Amplified Version reads “As you have therefore received Christ, even Jesus the Lord, so walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots of your being firmly and deeply planted in Him, fixed and founded in Him, being continually built up in Him…” We need this constant connection to Christ, we have been created to walk with and abide in Christ, and when we don’t, we feel the void.
As I make my list of what I want for my life, God faithfully reminds me to seek Him. I can be the best-selling author, wealthy, married in a mansion and driving my McLaren, but if I have no walk with Jesus, I would not know joy or peace because I would be missing the One I need.
Written By Remaliah Evans
I’m single and I take full advantage of my singlehood. I never have to rush home, worry about dinner, coordinate schedules with the hubby, or try to help my kids with homework that I don’t understand. However I do look forward to the time when my life does include these activities. In the meantime, I’m single and most days I’m fine being single….. until Valentine’s Day rolls around. The minute I see the Valentine’s Day aisle at Wal-Mart, (which is now fully stocked by December 26th!) and the never-ending commercials pushing flowers, jewelry, and heart-shaped fruit, I start rolling my eyes. Here we go, the season where I am reminded that I am alone. As tempting as it may be to throw the woe-is-me-cause-I’m-single pity party, I’m all pity partied out from Valentine’s Days pasts. Plus, it turns out, I am not alone. At times I feel alone because it seems I am the only person I know without special plans for plans for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to get married, like, yesterday. But I am trusting God with my life and for His plans because He understands me, He delights in every detail of my life, (Psalm 37:23 NLT) and He is always with me. (Joshua 1:9)
I am not alone because the Holy Spirit is with me all the time and He is my comforter and ever-present help. The Holy Spirit even shows up to my pity parties! He does not join the party of course, but He encourages me and reminds of the Word and the promises that God has for my life. The times when I’m crying my eyes out about failures, shattered dreams, or a broken heart, He has been there. Not only has He been there but He has healed my broken hearts. There was one particular heartbreak that caught me off guard. I think because I did not realize how much I cared about this person until it was over. So when the relationship ended I told God, “I don’t know how many times I can I have my heartbroken.” And He responded, “I heal your broken heart and each time that it has been broken, I have made it stronger.” Wow. I was stunned and comforted. My natural propensity and defense mechanism was to try not to feel anything. Despite this, God has been healing my heart, helping me to forgive, and teaching me how to love. Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted. (Isaiah 61:1)
When I am still and I listen to the Holy Spirit, loneliness and heartache begin to dissipate because I am in the presence of the One who knows me better than I know myself, the One who knows what I’m going to say before I say it, and the One who FIRST loved me. If wanting to be married is important to you, then it is important to God. If restoring your marriage is your heart’s cry, this is important to God. Luke 12:27 tells us that the hairs on our head are numbered. If God cares about the number of hairs on your head then surely He cares about our relationships. He loves you! I urge you to seek Him and hear his heart and direction for you; you will be encouraged.
God did not design you to be alone. Hence your relationships with Him, family, and friends. If you look at the people in your life, chances are that you will find God has blessed you with at least one or two people who love you and support you. It may be your husband, friend, mom, dad, sister, brother, pastor, teacher, or mentor. So don’t believe the lie that you are alone. Embrace and appreciate those who love you, and love them back. Let’s not be so consumed with who loves us and who doesn’t, that we forget to love as Christ loves us.
Romans 12:15 says to rejoice with those who rejoice. This is some good advice because 1) we all know how it feels to be so excited you think you might actually pop… and then you tell someone your good news and they just burst your bubble. Let’s not be that bubble-bursting person. 2) We also know how good it feels to share good news, and the person you shared with is genuinely as excited and happy as we are. It feels great! I believe that this is another way to give love. Rejoicing with those who rejoice increases our own joy and keeps us connected to others. It also reminds us that we are not alone.
As we approach this Valentine’s Day let’s celebrate each other, and let’s celebrate God’s unfailing love.