Last year I spent nearly 30 vacation days in my home country and at the end of the year I felt more tired and discouraged about family after than I did at the beginning. So I asked the Lord to help me think about how is the family portrayed in the Bible and what can I learn from this about my own family and my expectations of them. I also asked Him how can I stay in relationship with difficult family members but not continually get hurt? And finally, what does it mean to part of the family of God and how can this help me in making sense of my biological family?
As I prayed and sought the Lord regarding His plans for me this year and what it was that He would have me write down as my prayers for the year ahead I felt him say the word release. Release what has gone before, release old hurts, release pain, release people from unrealistic expectations, release family members from past and even present wrongs. Release yourself from past sin, mistakes, failures and let go of what lies behind you.
Christmas, as the song puts it, is supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ but for many people, myself included, it can be actually one of the loneliest, depressing and most angst-ridden time of the year. The growing gap between our reality and our expectations for Christmas is fueled by saccharine sweet Hallmark cards, endless happy family holiday movies and highly curated social media feeds of family bliss in the festive season. It all just looks so wonderful, so perfect but so far from the reality that we are experiencing.
We singles have a wonderful opportunity to bring Christ back to the forefront of Christmas, to share more of Him with everyone we can around us and to be actively engaged in hosting as well as attending celebrations with friends and family. I thought we shouldn’t be thinking only about surviving Christmas, we should be thinking about thriving at Christmas. More importantly we should be thinking about how we can use the season to share the reason. So with that in mind here are my five ideas for thriving this Christmas.
This is post is really a continuation of my earlier post Who Do You Say You Are? While that post talked about knowing the love of God so that we can love ourselves this post talks more about why Christians should love themselves. I am writing this as one of the most important things the… Continue reading Five (Biblical) Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself
Although I have shied away from writing about this topic I think that this blog will not be complete without an honest discussion of loneliness. There is such stigma and shame attached to loneliness that most of us, myself included, struggle to admit it even to our friends let alone to anyone else.
Two weeks ago I had to say goodbye to a dear friend and colleague who, due to family circumstances had to relocate back to her home country. I felt so sad seeing her leave and I have missed her presence so much since then. As I thought about our friendship, in her absence, it caused me to reflect on why I hadn’t appreciated our friendship more fully while she was around.
The funny thing about having a dream or an unfulfilled longing is that we can become so fixed on obtaining this that we can lose sight of almost everything else. It may be a longing for a spouse, for a child, to own our own home, for our children to be successful, to finally find a meaningful job or perhaps to be financially independent. Whatever it is though when it is something outside of ourselves, something that is not in our control, there is the danger that it becomes an end in itself rather than just one part of our story.
The other day I had one of those mornings where I woke up and the first thought that entered my mind was that everything was still the same and how was I going to get through another day with no answer to prayer in sight. I felt so discouraged and in essence I prayed ‘Lord where are you, why am I still waiting, why are you taking so long?’. I think that one of the hardest things in life as a Christian is unanswered prayer. How, when the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years and the years into decades, do we keep on hoping?
As we continue to wait on the Lord for answers to our prayers we can often feel so discouraged. In 1 Samuel 30 we read about how David and his men returned from a battle to find that their wives and children had been kidnapped by the enemy. David's men were tired and exhausted… Continue reading Five Tips To Beat Discouragement