Isolation and Forgetfulness

I have had a hard time being in the word over the last month due to the affects of a concussion. Between the headaches, dizziness, lack of focus and inability to read for any length of time, my time in the word has suffered. Due to the dizziness I was “stuck” at home unable to drive. I don’t think “man” was meant to be so alone, apart from community. Sounds and light bothered me so I didn’t go to church. I didn’t go anywhere.

courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net

courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net

For awhile the truth that I know was enough, but then the lies came. I didn’t call anyone or ask if they could come over for coffee and keep me company or help me speak truth. I didn’t share my need. I told myself even if I did call they were too busy anyway. Besides I wasn’t so sure I had the kind of friends that would drop everything just because I was feeling discouraged. It is true that my circle of close friends is very small, but the lie is that they wouldn’t be there if I needed them.

If I would have just asked them I am pretty sure they would be there for me. But then I hate that I need anyone. The lie I live with is that to need others, shows weakness. To need others only brings disappointment. Besides what if I did reach out and ask for help and they rejected me! Rejection, abandoned, forgotten and alone are my deepest fears. They are the weak spots in my heart. They are the areas that God continually, with grace and mercy, must remind me of truth.

So, last night as I drove to Church for the first time in a month I cried out to God begging to let me hear from Him. I cried out letting Him know I needed Him. I have been feeling frustrated, discouraged and very isolated. I felt alone and in so many ways I had lost my way out of the lies that my enemy was bombarding me with.

At that moment this thought came to my mind, “If it weren’t for Your Word Lord I would perish.” During the ministry of music I kept crying out to hear from God. Pastor Mathew brought a powerful message on repentance. He reminded me of my need to live daily with an attitude of repentance before a holy God. I can not do this life apart from Him. I am sinful, filled with weaknesses and fear. I need my Savior!

Then during the last worship song God spoke another reminder into my heart. We sang Word of God Speak by Mercy Me and the last part of the song goes like this, “All that I need is to be with You and in the quiet hear Your voice. Word of God speak would you pour down like rain washing my eyes to see your majesty. To be still and know that You’re in this place Please let me stay and rest in Your holiness.”

After finishing the song the words I heard earlier came to mind, ‘If it weren’t for Your Word Lord I would perish.” His Word is my life line, it’s the air I breathe. It is my comfort.

In my isolation I had forgotten that He is enough. His word is enough. I had began to pray for others to speak words of encouragement. I began to look to others to be there for me. I had forgotten that when we look to others they disappoint, they fail us.

God does use others to speak words of truth and encouragement. We do need brothers and sisters around us. But I had forgotten that first I need to go to Him. I need to allow His word to fill me, revive me and comfort me.

He speaks to His children through His word. I don’t always memorize the word the way I should but the phrase God brought to mind was based on this verse in Psalms. “If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.” (119:92)

If it wasn’t for the word of God I would perish. I would be lost. Even if I had a thousand friends speaking truth, encouraging me, loving me, if I do not have His word then I would perish in my affliction.

Where are you today my friend? Is your heart longing for encouragement? Are you feeling alone, isolated or abandoned? His word is your comfort. His word will revive you. May I encourage you to read through Psalms 119?

Go to His word, let it speak to you.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.” (Psalms 119:50)

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A Reminder For The “Older Women”

She sat across from me, tears streaming down her face as she shared her story with me. A story of brokenness and pain. She was a young Christian mom of two precious babies, married to a godly man and yet there was a deep sadness about her. Her sadness allowed me to see into her heart, a heart that loved God, desired to be the woman God created her to be.

WomenTalkingI did not know her before this day and yet her story was all too familiar. It was a story I had heard far too often. It was my story. You see she had gone to others for help, but the advice had all been pretty much the same. “You need to renew your mind.” “You are believing lies. You need to think on truth.”

Before she went any further I took her hand in mine, looked her in the eyes and said, “Oh sweet girl you are wondering what are the lies and what is truth.” With tears pouring down once again she choked out the word, “yes.” Squeezing her hand I let her know I understood. I too had been there. I can still be there at times.

I don’t know if I will ever see this young mom again but my advice to her is the advice I wish I would have received as a twenty something young mom and wife. It wasn’t until my forties that someone finally took the time and invested in my life in order to help me understand the lies I was believing. Lies that I had heard my whole life that sounded like truth. Destructive words that had gone so deep into my heart that they had taken root and grown strong. These are the kind of lies that need help to see. We need others to help us expose them, to destroy them and then to replace them with truth.

There are two things I shared with her that day. There are two things she needs to know and we, as older women, need to remember.

The first thing I shared is that she needs to be able recognize what lies she believes about God, about herself and about her circumstances. She needs those in her life that she can trust to tell her when her thoughts are based on lies. She needs  to be willing to open up and share her thoughts in a safe place.

The second thing I told her is that she must read and study the word of God. His word is truth and the only way to really know truth is to know it for yourself. It’s not a practice that you do occasionally or haphazardly but a discipline that we pursue and seek after. Truth comes when we know and understand the character of God.

But what does this look like in the everyday?

In my life I have a couple of friends I can trust enough that I can call them and say, “Hey this is what is going through my head right now. Am I believing a lie? If I am what is the truth?” These sisters consider it a privilege to walk along with me, there is no judgment. They don’t make me feel stupid, instead they just love me and speak truth. They will take me to the word of God. They have helped me replace lies with truth. They have walked with me through it enough times that today as my knowledge of truth grows it becomes easier to recognize the lies. Lies become easy to spot when we know truth.

I left this young lady with two devotional type Bible Studies to consider doing in her quiet time. Both are written by Kay Arthur called Lord, I Want to Know You and Lord, Heal My Hurts. The first one is a study on the character of God, the second is a study on Jehovah Rapha, our Healer God. Both studies help you dig into the Bible and learn truth for yourself.

A few reminders to those who are leaders, mentors, or the “older women”.

 Do not just assume that they know what lies they believe.  Sometimes it requires getting involved in the messy part of life in order to help see and know the lies they believe loving their husbands and children. We need to walk with them and help them to see the lies and then show them what truth is.

Be patient with the one who is trying to see the lies she believes. Some lies are so ingrained that she may forget and will need constant reminding until she believes truth. Give them the same grace and love that you have received from Christ.

Finally, please, please stop telling them that they just need to “renew their minds” or “take captive their thoughts.” Yes, this is truth. It is what they need to do. Most likely they have heard it over and over . But what they really need is someone to love them enough to show them. They need those women in their life that will walk with them in love and truth.

We, as older women, who pour our lives into the younger generation, need to remember that not everyone understands or sees the lies behind what they are thinking or feeling. How will they know they need to replace it with truth if they don’t even know it’s a lie? So let us love them enough to walk  and talk with them instead of just talking to them.

 

 

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