The following post is one that was created a year ago on another website. It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote it. At the same time, the realization that it was a year ago also helps me to think about the difference in what was happening then: family members were still alive, freedom to go and do things without wearing a mask, less anxiety, fear, and collective trauma, and more predictability. Even with all of this, there is one thing that has remained the same. And that one thing is a good, loving, merciful God. Sometimes it is hard to accept this fact when things are not progressing in the timeline that we’d like. And guess what? He can handle that too.
Here is the post:
This past weekend I got a chance to do some reading, relaxing, doing home projects, watching movies, and embracing some stillness. One of the two movies that I watched was entitled, “Sweet Inspirations”. This movie can be found on Pureflix. I haven’t been asked to review this movie. I found it enjoyable, relatable, and the fact that the movie had an emphasis placed on real-life issues.
You got a chance to peek into the lives of several different movies. There were so many themes highlighted in this movie. I am going to name the ones that stood out to me: relationships, domestic abuse, marital issues, art, our passions, family time, community, and women’s health.
Dissection of Passions, Gifts, Talents
The theme that I will dissect is that of our passions/gifts/talents. When it comes to our passions/gifts/talents, it is so important that we are regularly doing activities that pull them out. If we are not creating/expressing ourselves, it can lead to feeling unfulfilled, purposeless, and depression. God created each of us with unique passions/gifts/talents. No two people have been created alike. When we are creating according to our passions/gifts/talents, we are showing contentment, gratitude, appreciation, and good stewardship over what God has given us.
One of the women in the movie realized that she stopped living and doing what she was created for and passionate about in order to please her husband and participate in his business. It is important to help others. However, we also become the best version of ourselves when we do what we were created to do first. Then, we can use this energy to help others to walk into their passions.
Food for thought:
What have you been created to be passionate about? How easy is it to walk into it? Or, is it more tempting to allow others to force you into their passions, or are we forcing ourselves into theirs?
There is an art involving in breathing. To breathe is to let go, release the stress, and give your mind time to reflect on what your mind, body, and soul tells you. This poem does just that. It helps you to stop and focus on what breathing does for you along with helping you gain a better perspective.
Zephaniah 3:17 (CEV) The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.
Matthew 11:28-29 (GNTD) “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.”
When did you find yourself “missing the message” because you were in a rush? How did it make you feel? What happens when you slow down so that you can take in what seems to be the smallest of moments? These missed messages can be God’s time with us if we allow him the opportunity.
Why are we so afraid to step into our calling? There are various reasons. However, when we see and feel the freedom that it brings, we will wonder why we ever resisted displaying and embracing that irresistible mission.
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 29: The Power of God. Have you ever seen the Power of God in your life? Well, today I am going to give two examples of his power at work. First of all, let’s do some a little dissection.
Dissection of Relationships and Our Brokenness
Whether we are at church, work, or in our neighborhoods, it is important to cultivate relationships with people. Sometimes, in the process of doing this, people become jealous, or they turn on us for no reason. If there is a reason, it is one that doesn’t make sense to us.
However, since we are all broken, we all do things that are characteristic of our sin nature. In a few of these instances, there are times when the people who turn on us are toxic, and the best thing to do is to setup boundaries. In many cases, this may involve little to no contact at all. Prayer from a distance is the best way to go.
My Witness to the Power of God
When I was going through my divorce, my ex-husband’s behavior got so out of control and toxic, that I had to setup a boundary that he could not come back to our marital residence to visit the kids for some months. They could walk out to the car to go with him.
However, that was the extent of it. What led to this decision? His behavior was so out of control during one particular visit, that it cut through my soul and crushed my spirit. It was also during this time that my grandmother was dying in the hospital. I ended up having an emotional breakdown of sorts and was hanging on by a thread.
All correspondence was done via email for a while. What I didn’t find out until later from my son, is that he had decided he was going to come in anyway. However, as the Lord would have it, the first time that he attempted this, his car broke down. Every time that he decided that he wouldn’t follow the paperwork from the court for his financial obligations, his car would break down. My friend joked with me and said that she would never cross me. I said, ” Why?” Her response was that once I started praying things happened.
Saul’s Witness to the Power of God
Saul became jealous of David because the women sang songs about how David had slain ten thousands and Saul had slain thousands. Saul’s anger got so out of control, that he decided that he would kill David. He sent his messengers ahead of him to find out his exact location.
As God would have it, his messengers ended up prophesying. They entered the place where Samuel and his prophets were praying and prophesying, and God caused this to happen to them. Saul sent messengers out two more times. The same thing happened. Finally, he went himself, and God caused him to be filled with the prophesying spirit. This was done long enough for David to escape.
When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Talk about the power of God moving! When we do the praying, God does the acting.
We thank you for your grace. Thank you for having our backs when we are literally up against the wall from our enemies. Please help us to remember to set boundaries and pray when we are surrounded by toxic people.
Anxiety is something that we will all face in life. The causes of anxiety and the solutions for dealing with this common problem will vary from person to person. Listen in to Episode 19 as I discuss this topic.
Episode 19: Podcast Outline
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
David on Anxiety
Solutions for Anxiety
Good morning! Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness podcast. Today, you are listening to Episode 19: Anxiety!
Picture this scene: I was in 7th grade, and at the time, I enjoyed competing in oratorical contests for fun. However, because my mother was a single parent, and had to work, she was never able to come to see me compete. I should have been grateful that she was working. However, I got caught up on her being there. She finally decided to come. However, she forgot to forewarn me. I was on the stage, and she waved to show me that she was there, and my mind went blank after the first two lines. I could hear my words trembling, and feel my whole body shaking intensely. She hadn’t done anything wrong, but my lack of preparedness for her coming totally threw me for a loop.
When we hear the word anxiety, all kinds of thoughts come to mind. Anxiety is normal in certain cases. For example, recently I was waiting for the test results from a mammogram, and as I was listening to the person on the phone, I became anxious as I proposed what her words would be and how I would react to them. Anxiety can sneak upon us as we get ready to take a quiz, and it can cause us to forget everything that we were going to say.
Anxiety can be debilitating. This type can often be hereditary and would fall under the column of anxiety disorder. That means that if our grandparents and parents have suffered from anxiety disorder, then it is a high chance that we could be dealing with the same issue. When we suffer from this kind of anxiety, it is something that we had no control over.
Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
There is, however, another kind of anxiety that I am going to discuss. This type of anxiety is from the things that we place on ourselves. Examples of this is trying to fix problems that we don’t have control over. We try to control our adult children and the mistakes that they make in their lives. There is a desire to control whether or not people will accept or reject our uniqueness.
We try to control whether the job that we have had for over 15 years will be the job that we retire from. Do you control the discipline that God gives to a family or friend in regard to their sin, and in the process, we began to enable the individual? When we try so hard to control, it only makes us more out of control. This eagerness to control creates an addiction within itself. This is what the devil doesn’t tell us. We don’t know until it’s too late.
Another type of anxiety that we place on ourselves is that
of making changes for the sake of coming out of vicious cycles. For example:
Stacy notices that she has an anxiety attack every morning in regard to
getting out the door and getting to work.
Reasoning: Every morning Stacy
stays in bed until 30 minutes before it’s time to leave to go to work. She has to rush to put makeup on, get her
breakfast, and pack her lunch. Stacy
knows what is behind this problem, but she fails to make the changes. Stacy is self-sabotaging.
Scheduling is another type of self-inflicted anxiety. This is the area that I am guilty of, and starting to make progress in. We pile as much as we can into a given day. The more things we keep adding to that list, the more things will be added to our list of anxiety about. The first thing that we don’t consider is exactly how long it will take to get each thing done. There are only so many hours in the day.
If we work outside the home, those hours are shortened. Unless we are God, there is no way that we can get all those things done, but we try. Sometimes it is possible to get those things done, but we have used this time up on social media, or doing a little bit too much relaxing, only to start the vicious cycle all about again.
The last type of anxiety that I would like to discuss is that of trauma-induced anxiety. Unfortunately, this kind is one that I am very familiar with. One kind of trauma anxiety is created from having to be in hypervigilant mode all the time. The other part of trauma anxiety that I have noticed for myself is that I might have a flashback or a trigger of something.
Then, what happens is that my mind may start to think about the details and feelings that this event caused. I push the thought away, thinking that maybe it is unimportant, only to realize later when it resurfaces, and continues to occupy my emotional and mental space, that it is something that I need to deal with. However, since trauma wants to be in control, it will cause you to start self-protecting, and then rationalizing why you shouldn’t talk about this thing.
You think you’ve somehow outsmarted trauma, but it outsmarts you because when this event keeps coming up, it usually causes anxiety to go from 0 to 1000 in your body, while the flashbacks are occurring, and what you don’t realize is that avoidance of discussion of this event is keeping the physical energy in your body, and delaying the healing at the same time.
I learned this the hard way when I tried avoiding talking about seeing my father abuse my mother in our apartment as a kid. I kept delaying and delaying, scratching off on my therapy notes, and saying, “Nope, not this week!” Weeks turned into months, and then finally when I couldn’t take it any longer and started feeling the impulse of swinging and punching at its peak, I did the best thing that I could do. I talked about it with my therapist. It got worse before it got better.
Now, when those feelings come up, I pretend like I am
kickboxing in order to release the energy from my body. Before discussing this event with my
therapist, I would zone into worship music to calm the impulses. What I didn’t realize is that the energy
needs to leave your body.
We ask God to help us with all kinds of things. However, we forget to ask him to help us with
anxiety, and to get to the root. In
Psalms 139 David reminds us about how God knows everything. We can’t hide anything from him. His presence follows us.
139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 2
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar. 3
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me. 6
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. 14
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. 15
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with
many colors] in the depths of the earth. 16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 18
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 [a]O that You would
kill the wicked, O God;
Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. 20
For they speak against You wickedly,
Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22
I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts; 24
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
What are some helpful ways to reduce anxiety?
Taking a deep breath in and out
Meditating on worship music
Sometimes medicine, along with everything lifted above.
I pray that you have heard something here today that has
The book Broken Pieces was released a few days ago. The poem that I wrote, which is also included in the book, can be found here. In this episode, we are dissecting the reason for the name, the chapters, and the overarching theme of the book. The introduction of the book will be read to help give listeners insight into wh Broken Pieces is really about. Does the issues resonate with them? And if so, how to seek ways for God to glue these pieces back together.
Broken Pieces Introduction Podcast Outline
Introduction of the Book Chapters
Reading of the Introduction
Bible Verse to Focus On:
King James Bible The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The last poem that I wrote was entitled “Inner Circle”, and it deals with the conflict of deciding who to allow in your inner circle. Today’s poem is entitled Boundaries. It can be difficult to implement boundaries, but when you do, the payoff is rewarding. As with anything, the first step is always the hardest. God bless!
It’s where you end and I begin.
Leave them out, it becomes sin.
I respect you. You respect me.
When we leave them out, our rights will flee.
Bible Verses to Meditate On:
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
The last poem that I wrote was entitled “Faith Without Works”. You can find that poem here. Today’s poem, Broken Pieces, deals with the emotional process of deciding to enter the door of healing: the closed door represents survival mode, and open the opened door represents the door of thriving.