Loneliness. There are so many different layers. You can be in a crowd full of people and walk away empty, like you’re completely alone.
There’s the loneliness of feeling like you just don’t belong, no matter where you are or who you’re around.
There’s the loneliness of feeling misunderstood all of your life, wishing people could just look inside your heart for a minute and see the person you really are, the person you want to be.
The loneliness of hurting when other people hurt, crying for them, interceding, and wishing you could make their hurt go away, trying not to always fix the problem because you’re a fixer.
I didn’t get to watch the Golden Globes, but when I got off work and was perusing through Facebook before I drifted off to dream land, I saw my newsfeed exploding with kudos to Oprah for her speech during her acceptance of the Cecil B. de Mille Award.
Oprah’s one of those women who doesn’t just throw her words around. She doesn’t simply use her fame to grow her platform and become richer. She uses her platform to share truth, injustice, victories, and more.
I don’t always agree with the views Oprah shares, but I still admire her strength, courage, vulnerability, and tenacity. I want to be like her when I grow up.
This speech. This speech. This speech.
Each year since 2011 I’ve chosen one word to live by – one word I want to define my year. I’ve lived out trust, radical faith, productivity, choosing to say no more, walking with more intention, truth, and rest.
But this past year – this 2017 – I have struggled. My word was rest, and though I was obedient in that for a minute, I kinda started sucking at it.
I struggled hard this past year and the thought of choosing a word for 2018 didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. I just didn’t want to do it. Because I just didn’t.
But if we always make decisions based off the way we feel in that moment, we’ll never get anywhere.
This is a guest post by Kristin L. Hanley. Kristin is a homeschool mom, an adjunct professor, and a Bible study leader. Her book, Navigating a Sea of Emotions
was released in January. To learn more about Kristin, visit her blog
. Kristin and her family live near Branson, Missouri.
My lungs panic, pumping faster than they should while still unable to fully expand. In similar fashion, my heart contributes the backbeat in rapid succession. I close my eyes and cross my arms over my chest, willing myself to calm down. Despite what my brain is trying to communicate, my body doesn’t comply. I’m having another panic attack.
Despite numerous pleas with God, relaxing practices, and even a hot bath, my body still won’t release its anxious grip over me, and I want to scream. Maybe doing so would help me.
Remember being at the beginning of 2017 and so excited about the new year? It’s a fresh start. You can hear the excitement in your voice. You’re gonna rock this year!
Life hits you by February… March… June… August… November…
And you ask yourself, Where did my excitement go? I thought I was gonna rock this year!
When we start pursuing our goals, we usually do so with great excitement and focus, but it doesn’t take long until we hit a roadblock or two. It’s easy to want to quit. I’ve been there. Instead of quitting, maybe we just need to take a different approach.
I’m in the middle of that right now. It’s November and instead of getting discouraged that I only have less than two months to finish hitting my weight loss goal, I’m changing things up and figuring out how to make it happen without some crazy diet plan.
Last month I was struggling with feelings of defeat and I was ready to quit. But I didn’t. And I’m not.
You’re not quitting either, my friend.
You. Yes, you… The one sitting there in a cesspool of shame thinking you’re the only one who has sinned and if anyone finds out your secret you’ll be publicly flogged, kicked out of town, and thrown into a pit of hungry hyenas. I love you.
No, seriously, I do. I love you right where you are.
I loved you yesterday when you snuck to the liquor store to buy a couple of bottles of wine to drown out the pain of rejection.
I loved you yesterday when lied to your boss about why you were late for work.
I loved you yesterday when you bought that pack of cigarettes after 12 years of being smoke-free.
I loved you yesterday when you went back into the arms of an old romance so you could fulfill an empty void.
I’ve heard the story about Moses not being able to enter the Promised Land at least a dozen times. The short version: Moses sinned in his anger, again, and God said, “Okay buddy, I love you and stuff, but because of your actions you won’t get to lead the Israelites into the place flowing with milk and honey.” The end. I could learn a lot of “lessons” from this story, one being.. anger will jack up your relationship with God.
But what if the story doesn’t end there? It doesn’t, my friend.
I started a new Bible study a few weeks ago. My counselor recommended stepping outside of my comfort zone and plugging in with a group of women I don’t know, and since she makes the big bucks to tell me what the jack is wrong with me, I heeded her advice.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with receiving forgiveness from God. I tend to think I have to punish myself before I can truly be forgiven.
I allow shame and guilt and condemnation to spend way too much time in my life before I truly accept His forgiveness.
I was sitting on the porch yesterday thinking, dealing with some anxiety, and wanting to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. I decided to write this song instead.