Psalm 25:17 - The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Extreme Make Over. We all can remember the show and how it impacted families. During one week, designers raced the clock to completely renovate a house for a deserving family.
I loved the part where they take the family away to hide them from seeing progress on their home until it was completed.
After the family leaves, the crew would arrive to get to work. Once the remodel was completed, the crew couldn’t wait until the family arrived. When they unveiled the house and walked the amazed family through their renovated home it was hard to keep a dry eye.
What a wonderful picture this paints in our minds of something good coming from tough circumstances.
But what about us? Instead of thinking about a renovated home, think about a makeover for the heart.
There are many things that happen to us that leave scratches and pieces of our heart to go missing. We try to buff out the scratches like you’d do on a car, or we try to pick up the pieces of our hearts and glue them back in.
You may try to fill your life with more things to try to cover up your heart trouble, but in reality, none of it really works to repair the damage.
So how do we heal that broken heart and do a makeover for our hearts? Though most of the ideas from the article, “How to Heal a Broken Heart, and the Science Behind It,” on lifehack.org are in reference to a relationship break-up, they can also apply to other situations that leave your heart broken such as making the choice of either running from the pain or dealing with it.
Though the troubles of your heart may have multiplied whether through loss or a bad breakup, know that God can free you from your anguish and give you hope that your broken heart can be healed.
Philippians 3:13, 14 - Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It is inevitable that life will change. For those of us who resist change it can be as painful as any emotional pain.
Change always brings something new but also something is lost. Coming to grips with losing what we had is the only way that we can truly find peace and happiness.
Change can be caused by people who push their will on you thinking that because you’re “emotionally unstable” it won’t matter if they hurt you.
Events can bring about change such as a divorce which shatters your heart and those of your family, because “you had to always have your way.” What does that mean any way? Many times someone will say this because they can’t come to grips that a failed marriage was partly their fault and not just all yours.
Change can sweep into your life because of your health; both your physical and emotional health can affect how you perceive your world. Having a mental illness wash into your life can make it difficult for you to accept the changes that come upon you.
Change also comes about through the painful loss of a loved one. Their absence brings change to families and their lives, because the loved one may have been the rock of the family and now your family has been left in a million pieces.
Change also arrives when a job that you’ve been good at disappears, because the company you worked for decided to change their organization and your job has been eliminated due to downsizing.
With all of these changes we must learn to shore up our emotional health and face that our lives have hit a rocky season. So what can help us accept change? Find some ideas from the article, “The Secret to Accepting Change,” on mydomaine.com, such as realizing you can't always control things and asking yourself why you are scared of change.
Remember, just as the Bible verses above say, we can take hold of change and move forward if we don’t keep trying to hang onto the past. We must try to believe we can press into a better future which will bring us closer to the goals God has for our lives.
Romans 1:8 - First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
I’ve been bombarded lately with tension and being nervous. Does this mean that I don’t have faith that it will all work out?
Feeling nervous can be related to things that happen which we have no control over or when we have an important decision to make. But when this makes us nervous, in our minds, we can wonder if it doesn’t have a lot to do with our faith.
According to dictionary.com:
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof; belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
To be nervous means highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive; to become nervous under stress; of or relating to the nerves: nervous tension; fearful; timid.
So you can see, being nervous under stress does not mean that you don’t have faith that things will work out. You just can’t see that they will and this makes you uneasy.
As wikihow.com says, “Being nervous is a normal reaction that all humans have to challenging events.” Take a look at some tips on how to not get nervous in their article, "How to Not Get Nervous."
With tips in our tool belt on how to beat nervousness, we can also see that just because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you don’t have faith that things will work out. Wouldn’t it be great to hear that your friends have noticed that you no longer get nervous about everything and that you know how to calm down when you do? I think it would. Let’s give it a shot!
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Psalm 62:3 - How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down--this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
You’re taking a drive in the country when a green meadow comes up beside you. Rolling hills run north and south along the outer edges of the field. You stop your car and get out taking a closer view of the beauty that is laid out before you.
And as your gaze skims across the area you find yourself stopping, when you see a fence line bordering the meadow. Some sections of the fence stand tall in the breeze, as it passes over them.
But then your eyes fall upon a section of the fence that looks older. This part doesn’t stand straight and tall, but leans almost all the way over. The wood is aged with time and bends with the breeze.
You swallow hard. That’s what you feel like – an old leaning fence ready to topple over. Yet, your collection of years has only recently passed by fifty. Somehow you feel so much older.
How does a person feel like they’re older than they are? One reason can be if you’ve lived a hard life. And it is a hard life if you’ve been battling emotional pain for any length of time.
When doing hard physical work, it can tire you, but in a good way.
But if your labor is trying to make it one more day with anxiety and depression, it feels like physical work, but not in a good way.
So is there a way that you can feel younger both inside and out? Yes, there is! The article, “7 Steps to Defy Your Age Inside and Out, ” on health.com has suggestions such as mixing things up by taking a different route home from work or eating foods that revitalizes you.
Remember that old leaning fence? Prop it up with some of the suggestions from above and give it a fresh coat of paint when you start to feel young again. God will smile when you do!
Psalm 10:14 - But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
It is said that a bully can smell a victim “from a mile away.” It’s like as if they just know that you’ve been hurt before and you’re an easy target.
This though can be turned around. From the victim’s perspective they see everyone as a bully, an abuser.
Someone out to get them.
Someone who only wants to harm them.
Someone who can sneak into the victim’s life and slip out, leaving a wake of pain in their path.
But not everyone is a bully.
Not everyone is out to get you.
Not everyone wants to harm you.
There are many kind, understanding and compassionate people. But the victim sees life through dark colored glasses. The color and brightness of relationships are tainted by how they perceive the world.
So how does someone get rid of the victim mentality? Here’s some ideas such as taking responsibility for your life and asking yourself the hard questions in the article, “How to Break out of a Victim Mentality: 7 Powerful Tips,” on positivityblog.com.
Giving up your victim mentality doesn’t mean that the other person gets away with what they’ve done to you. Nor does it mean that other people are allowed to take advantage of you. It means committing what cruel people have done to you to God. He never lets anyone get away with anything even if sometimes it feel like he does.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.