ENCOURAGEMENT, MOTIVATIONAL, RECOVERY

Don’t Give Up On Yourself

Quitting On Monday

I think that the easiest day to lose hope is Monday. When the week starts, it should be full of great possibilities, but the reality is that Monday is the day the cold hard truth usually slaps us in the face. It’s the day we are forced to stop pretending that everything is great. We often need to go back to work and leave our dreams behind again. It gets hard.

It isn’t just work though. The whole world will come against you sooner or later. Maybe it will set up a pattern all your life. Things and people that you count on will be snatched away from you. Just when you feel the most secure, something will happen that will set your world on tilt.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

Quitting On Tuesday

Maybe it’s Tuesday that makes you want to quit on yourself the most. The struggle to get through Monday has taken its toll, and you just don’t have anything left. Hard things happen, and you don’t feel like you are equipped to deal with them anymore, if you ever were.

At first, when the hard things happen, you may want to give up on God. It’s easy to throw the blame on the Almighty. He is ultimately in charge. But, when you think about it, you realize that God hasn’t failed you in any way. You may begin to ask yourself if you have failed God.

Being Angry With God

It’s hard to always stay positive in a negative world.  I get that. I really do. I’ve had my share (and more) of tragic circumstances. I have not handled much of it very well. I did not turn to God in my pain and loss like I should have. I turned away and blamed Him instead. At least I did for a while.

It was when I was the angriest at Him that I realized that I still believed in Him. Of course, believing isn’t enough. I also had to get to a place where I remembered that He was good and that He loved me. I had to realize that He still had a plan for my life, even though my own plans had crashed and burned. Coming to that point was the hardest after I buried my 16-year-old son. This kind of loss makes you question all that you have ever believed.

Perfectly Imperfect

During my trek through the chaos and confusion of the worst of my grief, I learned to see the world in a different way. What was ordinary to me before became extreme. Casual beauty became exquisite when I realized how temporary it all is. I learned to focus on the smiles of my children and to take in every breath that they breathe. I learned that the imperfections that I once saw as flaws are what makes something beautiful and unique. The world irrevocably changed for me, but it wasn’t all good.

What Our Children Face

I looked at our world and what we have made of it. Sin and ugliness have run rampant through our societies. The children that we bring into the world are forced to grow up in fear of what tomorrow will bring. If they are living unaware of the potential danger of the future, then they are ill-equipped to face it. On the other hand, to tell them what it may be like is a betrayal of their innocence. How do we know what to do? How do we tell them that the walls protecting them are made of glass?

The problems we face seem to be insurmountable at times. Human trafficking, the threat of war, and the divisiveness of our country due to political affiliation, religion, race, and economics to name a few. We get mixed messages from the media and don’t fully understand what the truth is and how to teach it to our children. Like my Mama always said, “Babies don’t come with blueprints stamped on their butts.” Do we protect them with the truth, or protect them from the truth? I don’t know.

Who Failed Who?

All I know is that God didn’t fail us. That leaves the obvious answer. If He didn’t fail us…. We failed Him. With that realization, hopelessness can start to creep up on you.

Depression. Anxiety. Feelings of worthlessness and fear. The idea that you can never get it right because you never have before. The overwhelming sensation that you are about to drown in your sorrow, anger, and helplessness.

I’ve been there more than once. If you have ever felt like that, you aren’t alone. Don’t give up on yourself.

A Life of Abundance

Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came so that we would have abundant life. An abundant life is a life full of meaning and joy. That is the kind of life that God intends for you to have. He didn’t say that you can only have this kind of life if you deserve it and never do anything wrong. He didn’t say that you’ve got to operate in a realm above the human realm to create and achieve this life for yourself. He simply said that He came so that you could have it.  

Your abundance is found in God through Jesus Christ. No matter what the world throws at you. No matter what Monday brings. It doesn’t even matter if you need to leave your own dreams behind. Whatever heartbreak you have faced has not changed the truth. Grief and loss can’t take away what Jesus came to give you. Your abundant life is in Him. Not in yourself! Not in your circumstances. Not in your loved ones, your dreams, your hopes. Abundant life is also not lost in the outcome of a failed plan or dream. What an eye-opening thing to finally learn!

The Freedom to Keep Trying

This doesn’t mean that you should quit trying to achieve anything on your own. It means just the opposite! Now you are free to pursue your hopes and dreams without the fear of failure because your worthiness and your abundance was never meant to be found in any of your personal accomplishments anyway. You are free to love with all your heart because death can’t steal your hope! You can dance in the rain because no storm can wash away the sacrifice already made for you.

Your Focus

Take your focus off yourself. That’s not what your life is supposed to be about. All you could ever hope to be can be found in your relationship with God. Yes, I said it. It’s not about you. You may be dangerously close to quitting on yourself. Don’t do that. The problem is relational. Pursue a relationship with God if you want to add meaning to your life.

 Matthew 6:33 says to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” If our focus is on Him, where it should be, and off ourselves, our lives will be full, and everything will fall into place just the way it’s supposed to. If our focus is on ourselves, we will always experience chaos and a feeling of off-centeredness because we were created for Him and by Him, and not to be self-serving.

The Truth

I believe that this is the truth that we should teach our children. If we want to equip them to be warriors in whatever battle comes their way, we must first introduce them to the source of their hope and life. We need to teach them as we learn ourselves that our identity should be first understood as a “child of God.” Whatever is next is not only secondary, but it’s also temporary.

Here’s what I believe to be the truth: the things you do for yourself on this earth are going to die with you anyway. The only things that you leave behind are what you do for other people.

The Prize

Knowing that my abundance is in Him is just the catalyst that I need to keep going, to keep plugging away and staying in the race even when it feels like I’m defeated. I can never be defeated if I’m running the right race—the one for His kingdom and in His design. It’s easy to fall back into the temptation of seeking to define my worth by earthly standards and how I feel, but the actual cold reality is none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that I keep my eyes on the prize.

This is the link to this post on Medium.

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ENCOURAGEMENT

Go Buy Yourself a Shovel

shovel
It may be time to start digging up the real you!

https://images.pexels.com/photos/296230/pexels-photo-296230.jpeg?cs=srgb&dl=backyard-blur-close-up-296230.jpg&fm=jpg

So much pressure. This world comes full of it. Pressure to conform, pressure to excel, pressure to be different. Trying to wade through all of that can be overwhelming to say the least, especially when your life seems to depend on it.

At least your financial life.

What I’ve learned since I started writing is that I don’t really care if it brings me money. Well, let me clarify that! Making money is great, and I’m not going to ever turn it down. But it’s not the be all and end all of this writing thing.

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

I write because it’s in me to write. Does that make sense? I was born to write–to dig down deep and get my feelings on paper. For years I thought that my ability was a gift that I was supposed to hoard for myself. I didn’t realize that the only real way to keep something is to give it away. Then I thought–well, I’m too old to start now!

You Probably Don’t know Everything You Need to Know

It’s a learning process. And at my age I should know everything already (right?), but for 30 years I’ve just been sitting on all these words. I never made a real effort to share them with anyone else. My story needed to be shared. My words may help someone else through the darkness, or encourage someone who struggles.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Now I don’t expect that I will normally dump my business on you this way, but I decided to go ahead and let you know that technology also sometimes mystifies me. Maybe that’s an age thing? I think sometimes that my four year old grandbaby can do more with it than I can. There’s always more to learn!

The Best Rewards are Not FINANCIAL

Having the wrong motivation was frustrating the creative process until I realized I wasn’t writing for money, but for the pure joy of giving something of myself for the benefit of others. It seems crazy, but it’s the absolute truth. I don’t write for financial gain. I write to share hope, insight, humor, and joy with others.

So, tonight I’m making changes and eating dark chocolate. I’m finding peace and comfort in helping other people. Money will never satisfy the need I have to make a difference. Here’s what else I’ve learned as I’ve been digging through this process:

It’s NOT About AGE

It doesn’t matter how old you are. If God’s given you a vision for your life AND the ability to pursue that vision, you don’t have the right to throw it in His face and say, “I’m afraid, so I’m just going to bury this over here until You come back.”

We aren’t “fine” accepting a mediocre life just because it’s easier than stepping out of our comfort zone! We aren’t “okay” if we’re making excuses or creating chaos to avoid taking charge of the situations we find ourselves miserable in. It isn’t our best life if it’s one someone else has created for us!

Your SHIP Hasn’t SAILED!

Photo by Larisa Birta on Unsplash

At my age, it would be easy (and expected) for me to say, “Oh well, I could’ve been more,” or “I could’ve…but that ship has sailed now!” Well, it HASN’T sailed for me! I still have dreams, and I believe I can make those dreams come true.

Are you going to let fear stop you? In the words of a person who I once knew, “YOU CAN’T BE SCARED ALL YOUR LIFE!” The only way to know if you can do something is to try!

It’s YOUR life and YOUR dream!

I don’t have to be stuck in someone else’s definition of what my life should be! I know what God has put on MY heart, and that is to pursue a ME that is better than the ME I used to be, so that’s what I am going to do.

My dream doesn’t diminish anyone else. In fact, the Bible says that no one lights a lamp to place it under a basket, but puts it on a stand so that it lights up the whole house (Matthew 5:15). The thing that light diminishes is darkness.

Some People Won’t Approve

If you’re doing what God has called you to do, it may scare some people. The closer you get to achieving your goals, the more they may think you don’t need them anymore. The ones closest to you may realize that in order to remain a part of your life, they’ll have to step up their own game!

If you’re being discouraged, consider that maybe the one who’s being negative has accepted the lies society and culture have thrown at them since they were old enough to catch! Remember that you can’t control other people. All you can do is work on you!

Photo by N. on Unsplash

It’s Not Too Late

It isn’t your job to try to convince anybody to get on board with your dreams and plans. NEWSFLASH! They don’t have to! You just use what God has given to you to do what He wants you to do. Live the life you were intended to live. If you’ve forgotten your vision, or if you’ve buried your dreams, go buy yourself a shovel and start digging. It’s not too late.

To read this story on Medium: https://medium.com/@allisondivinebridges/go-buy-yourself-a-shovel-33a461bb60c4