Luke 12:6-7 - Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
There I was. Just driving to work thinking it was another ordinary day. Little did I know that this would be the day my life changed forever.
Many times I wished that I had just called in sick that day. But that wouldn’t have helped, because I couldn’t predict that day would turn into a nightmare.
So here I am living with chronic pain. It doesn’t go away. It’s like as if I’m married to my symptoms. They can pull be down and make me listen to my body. I’m learning, but I still struggle with respecting myself.
I had been on track to go back to college and get my teaching credential. That didn’t happen. Even after surgery, I wasn’t myself. And when I developed a painful disease it hit me, “If I can’t work what good am I?”
Years later, when I was able to go back to work, a chronic disease shut the door on me again and my doctor pulled me from working.
It had been the best job I ever had and I was good at it. Once again I asked myself the question, “If I can’t work what good am I?”
A lot of times when we speak about respect it is in reference to respecting someone else and being proud of their accomplishments. But even close friends and family can lose the respect they have for you, because you no longer can do what you used to be able to.
What we have to remember is that if we don’t respect ourselves how can we expect anyone else to?
Take a look at the Bible verses above. When Jesus was speaking to a crowd he tried to show them the value God placed on their lives. He even knows how many hairs you have on your head. God does value you and wants you to see yourself as worthy to him and to the world.
Each of us, who have been labeled “disabled”, don’t have to stay where we are. Each person alive has something to give back. Some gift. Something they’re good at.
Maybe you’re a good listener and people often call you knowing that at least one person will listen to them. Or perhaps you’re gifted in art, but never had the chance while you were working to pursue it. And you could also become like me – trying to make a difference in the world by sending encouragement through my website, Facebook Group and Twitter.
Though the above actions aren’t always seen as much, they are. Find what you’re good at and go for it. People will begin to respect you again, not because you have a certain job, but because you are an example of an over comer. And most importantly – you’ll begin to respect yourself once more.
Select the link below and learn how people with disabilities still have a lot the world can learn from them.
Isaiah 43:18 - Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
Night after night you try to sleep. But then when you finally do fall asleep, the nightmare appears and the past becomes your present. Yes, sometimes the past never leaves you.
Then there’s the smells that trigger something deep inside that make the scent transport you to another time or place.
Or perhaps a song or a photograph flashes into your mind and you remember.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can make itself known with a cry that comes from deep within.
You slip to your knees and say, “Is this ever going to end? When will I be free from my memories?” This is the face of PTSD.
No one can understand what you’re going through unless they’ve gone through it themselves.
So you close yourself off in your home too afraid of going out into the crowd. Too afraid that something will happen and you’ll “lose control” in public. You see, you may be free from an immediate threat, but even if you are far away from your traumatic experience, it feels like it’s right outside your front door.
Perhaps someone hurt you or you’ve been in a terrible car accident and each time you hear a siren you collapse and cover your ears. The past becomes so much in the present that you can hear the sound of metal on metal in your head and feel the jolt when being struck by another car.
Or perhaps one of the worst of all; you’ve returned from Iraq or Afghanistan and you can’t get the image of one of your friends being blown up by an IUD.
Regardless if you’ve suffered from any of the above mentioned tragedies, the results can be very similar. Nightmares. Flashes of memories. Sounds of the moment piercing through even the darkest of nights.
Depression. Anxiety. Anger. Sorrow. Pain. Indescribable pain follows your every move.
Yet, there is hope. Small seeds are dropped onto the ground; watered by the tears flowing down your face. Shoots of young plants, reaching up and out of the darkness into the healing light of the sun.
Many methods have been developed to help heal sufferers of PTSD. Find some suggestions from helpguide.org in their article, "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)" such as mindful breathing and get moving.
Select the link below to find other tips and read more about PTSD.
Genesis 9:14-15 - Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
According to merriam-webster.com a rainbow is:
A rainbow can be formed in water, crystals, glass, and a number of other objects. But the key in order for rainbows to form is that they need light.
Dark storm clouds don’t form a rainbow. No sun can shine through the clouds until the clouds part and sunlight splashes over the earth.
This too can be how our hearts are. We’re covered in dark clouds, but there is a way to find a rainbow even in the darkest of storms.
Let’s take a look at what a rainbow symbolizes in the Bible. According to answersingenesis.org:
The rainbow is a message from God that he will remember his promise and not destroy our lives, but instead provide us with hope.
Sometimes our lives can feel like we have those dark clouds covering our hearts and we’re in the middle of a deluge of rain pounding on us. The flood waters rise and we can find ourselves drowning in a sea of sorrow.
And though it’s difficult to lift up our eyes, when we do we can see the dark clouds part and a rainbow of hope appears over us. The storm may rage, but it will not destroy us.
So the next time you see a rainbow in the sky, remember that the light of love can appear and form a rainbow, as our tears are touched by the love that God is showering over us.
Psalm 30:11 NLT - You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.
With the holidays upon us it can be difficult for those who have recently lost a loved one. Somehow the glow of Christmas turns into a dark sky.
Everywhere you look you see reminders of the one you lost. Maybe you hear their favorite Christmas song and you remember singing it together. Or perhaps you don’t want to put up a Christmas tree, because the scent from the tree will take you back to funny memories of trying to pick just the right tree and ending up cutting half of it off when you got home.
So what do you do? Turn off the radio or don’t put on a Christmas CDs? Do you forgo getting that tree? And when you’re invited to join others in their homes for Christmas do you come up with a reason to say no?
How do you navigate the waters of the season? Find some tips from psychcentral.com in their article, “Beating the Holiday Blues,” such as realizing that it's okay to feel what you feel.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. The psalmist, David, was going through tough times. He was mourning over his looses, yet somehow his mourning turned into joy; he was able to take off his mourning clothes and pick up clothes of joy.
What does this mean? In biblical times after someone had died they put on dark clothes made out of a scratchy material and even put ashes on their heads. It was a sign to those around them that something awful had happened such as the death of a loved one.
It was significant then that David was able to put those clothes away and not just put on regular clothes but clothes that showed he was no longer mourning publically. It didn’t mean that he wasn’t sad inside. That would heal with time. But he was choosing to focus instead in all the good things in the rest of his life.
It would not be right for someone else to tell you how long you should mourn. That is up to the hurting one. But by looking at this verse, and the suggestions above, we can find the road back to be joy.
May this Christmas be a reminder of favorite songs and putting up Christmas trees, but let’s focus on the happy memories and make some new ones at the same time. I know that’s what I’m trying to do; put away the bad memories and create new moments that will fill my heart throughout the Christmas season.
Many blessings on you and yours this Christmas and throughout the new year.
Proverbs 26:18-19 - Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"
Here they come walking down the hallway at your workplace. They point and laugh at the person who just dropped a stack of files onto the ground.
Instead of offering to help pick them up, the insensitive person just says, “Oops! There’s the clumsy one who can’t seem to complete even the simple task of carrying files from one location to the next. You’re always dropping things!”
As the sensitive person begins picking up the files another person stops to help them and says, “Hey! That’s not professional or kind.”
“Ah, come on,” answers back the insensitive person. “I was just joking.”
Are you an overly sensitive person? Do you take personally everything that’s said to you? Though it can be stressful at times for the overly sensitive person, understanding where they’re coming from helps others to see how their comments might hurt.
On huffingtonpost.com you can find some of the common characteristics of an overly sensitive person in their article, "16 Habits of an Overly Sensitive Person," such as they're more emotionally active and they are more upset if they make a bad or wrong decision.
Hopefully, whether you’re an overly sensitive or insensitive person this post has helped open your eyes to the problem.
Want to find out if you’re an overly sensitive person? Take this test.
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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.