Posts Tagged ‘help’

Not special, but Strong

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are strong. Stronger than you know. Stronger than you give yourself credit for. Strong despite those who left you or hurt you. Your worth is not a variable that someone can thumbs up on Facebook, or unfollow on Twitter. Your worth is grounded in who you are. Who God made you to be. Even on your worst day, after your biggest mistakes, in your loneliest places, you are worth something.

 

No matter how much loss you’ve experienced, rejection you face or road blocks in your way, the fact that you are still here, still alive, still waking up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other and weathering whatever storm life brings, proves your strength! I don’t care if you break down and cry, or get lost in periods of depression or self-hate. I see your strength when you put on a brave face and show up to work on time, smile at a stranger, or make dinner for your kids.

 

Take time to appreciate how far you have come without drowning in the awareness that there is still further yet to go. Notice the wounds that have become scars. Maybe they aren’t fully healed, and maybe they are still tender to the touch, but Praise God for the ones that no longer bleed!

 

This life is hard; but take comfort in the fact that your struggles don’t make you special, because we—individuals all over the world, are with you, struggling together. Your struggle is like a unique snowflake but together we are snow helping each other stay alive, whereas alone we might melt. Today I am praying for you, in the same way I hope you are praying for me. That we keep fighting, we keep surviving, and we keep overcoming.

 

You are strong! Find your strength.

 

 

 

 

A letter to myself

Lose sight of perfection, and get lost in the journey. Be okay with falling, failing. Be okay with scars. Be okay with never being quite good enough. Be okay if the finish line moves with every step you take. As you improve so do the expectations placed on you. As you go high, anticipate harder falls. But when you fall, don’t stay down. Don’t stay defeated.

 

Don’t let sadness engulf you or misery define you. When people criticize you take whatever you can from it, but do not internalize it. Hear it, listen to it, learn from it, and let it go.

 

Don’t let the sadness of a previous day follow you for the rest of the week. Don’t hide yourself from hurt. Allow it to hit you like a wave, then wash it away. Wake up every day and try your best. Brush your teeth, take a shower, and be grateful for another day.

 

Let perspective find you, let joy lift you up. Find a shoulder to cry on, and if none appear, tell your troubles to Jesus. He has the kindest ear, the softest heart, the biggest smile, and a light that brings cheer.

 

You are okay, if not, you will be. The weight you carry will grow lighter as you become stronger. Believe in yourself the way you believe in others. Have faith, love, and hope. Be kind, and don’t forget to smile.

 

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Running from pain

We are always running.

 

Okay, let me try this again.

 

trapped

 

I have spent most of my life running. Running from suffering. Avoiding loss. Trying not to get hurt. Afraid.

 

But Jesus wasn’t afraid of suffering. He embraced it on the cross for us. For me. He lived His entire life knowing how and when it would be over. He knew that He would be separated from all those dear to Him. That no one would fully understand Him, or His purpose. That though surrounded by disciples and the multitude, He would still be alone because they couldn’t fully understand His struggle. Only He knew that He was going somewhere they couldn’t follow.

 

I’ve been so afraid of losing that sometimes I held on to things more tightly than I should have. I lived trapped in a box of fear. Always afraid of getting a text, a phone call, a message that spelled doom for myself or my loved ones.

 

But to live in fear of suffering, loss, sickness, or death, is to prevent yourself from fully living. Negative circumstances and pain is unavoidable. But we don’t have to let hurt change and cripple us. All we can do is pray for strength.

 

Recently I went to go watch a movie that displayed the relationship Jesus has with those of His children who are suffering. In this movie the protagonist not only got to meet Jesus but he got to meet God as well. He began to accuse God of leaving Jesus when He (God) let Him (Jesus) die on the cross. But then God showed the protagonist of this story, His (God’s) own nail-pressed hands. God too was wounded by Jesus’ sacrifice. God told him (the protagonist) that He (God) never left Jesus. Just like He (God) never leaves us.

 

Yes you will face overwhelming circumstances, but God will never leave you. Jesus will never turn His face from you. There is no one better to have on your team. God is more than a mother or a father; he is also a brother, a sister, and a friend. He has your back. He will carry you when you are weak. When you forget Him He will still remember you. I have turned away from God. I felt like He had deserted me. But even as I turned from Him: He kept me, protected me, and He drew me back to His side.

jesushand

 

Sleep

I am encased by this deep fear.
Night after night sleep evades me.
I seek peace but I cannot reach it.
An enemy chases me that I cannot see.

I call out to my Father, but I don’t know if He hears me.
I am wandering this dark forest alone with no one to guide me.
I ask for direction and all I hear is silence.
I seek love and help from those who dwell on this earth with me,
but their aid is lost just as quickly as it was found.

The journey overwhelms me. I fall, and there is no one to catch me.

I call to my Father in hope that He help me.
That He heed my plight.

I want to give up on hearing His voice.
To claim that He isn’t there,
that He doesn’t care.

But I know He is there.
Standing quietly,
looking on lovingly.
Telling me that the night doesn’t last forever.
That light and relief come with the morning.

So I bide my time and wait.
When I can no longer form words,
and a cry is on my lips,
I just call His name,
Jesus, Jesus,
and I find the peace I need to sleep.

Privileged disgust

I’m disgusted by the way I live.

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My dorm room is bigger than some people’s apartments, with a private bathroom and a well equipped kitchen only a few steps down the hall. My fridge is full. In fact it’s overflowing. I cook for myself not because I can’t afford the most expensive dining hall plan or eating club, but because my tastes are so picky I rather cook my own food.

 

I go to one of the best undergraduate institutions in the world, and every day I see evidence of grandeur, excess, and insensitivity to the concept of being ‘less fortunate.’ I have 2 parents in a marriage that has lasted 25 years so far and siblings who are perfectly healthy and well off.

 

My little brother recently asked me whether now was a good time to ask my parents for money. I said “sure, but you know you can ask me if it’s an emergency.” His response: “lol, it’s not an emergency, I’m just trying to see if I can.” I shook my head and laughed. But hey, at least he’s honest. He has never been in dire need of anything. And the truth is, neither have I. I have never wanted something I couldn’t have. Right now, I could literally go into the store and buy anything I wanted. Sure, I might regret it tomorrow. But my debit card would go through, and my check wouldn’t bounce.

 

My friends and I often get together to discuss our woes: the late nights studying, the grade deflation, catching the attention of the most eligible guy on campus, or whether we have the right outfit for next Thursday night. And often I think to myself: ‘Wow. Look at us, and our privileged troubles.’ We get so wrapped up in the little things in life that don’t go our way.

 

Hold on a sec. Let’s pause. I am not by any means implying that we don’t have legitimate problems. No. That wouldn’t be further from the truth. But we don’t have to worry about keeping a roof over our heads, or where our next meal is coming from, or whether we can afford to get basic health care or education. We are not worried about if we will have decent clothes to wear tomorrow, but instead we are more focused on how to wear our brand name clothes in such a way that the Valentino, Louis Vuitton, or Jimmy Choo logo is on full display.

 

Ever since I started working at 17—only in the summers, and never at minimum wage. I would go through the entire summer living on my own, and I never bothered to cash my checks until the end of the summer. Why? because I had saved enough to make do on my own. The concept of ‘paycheck to paycheck’ was just that, a concept. So what’s my point?
It’s simply this: I WKK currently find it insufferable to continually drown in my own selfishness.

 

Let me ask you this. Should the same person who can spend $500 on designer eyeglasses, dissect the pro and cons of giving $1 to a homeless person, because of what they might spend it on? Or should someone who never knew what it meant to be hungry until they decided to ‘fast’ for religious reasons or because they wanted to lose weight fast, hesitate before deciding to consistently donate some of their income to helping the poor?

 

You tell me. And yet the most amazing thing is here in America, my family is considered basic middle class.

How many people, if they unglued their eyes from the newest grand theft auto game long enough, might realize the blessings all around them. Yes, you have problems; yes you have troubles, but know you are blessed.

I know your father died before his time, but thank God that you had someone around to call daddy. I know your house is basic and it doesn’t even have an in-ground pool, but thank God you have a safe place to live. I know your parents piss you off, but thank God you have parents around to continually get on your nerves.

 

You have one life.

And chances are, if you are reading this right now, though its been challenging, you can find 5 things right now that you are extremely thankful for. And that my friend is called a blessing.