Posts Tagged ‘lowness’

a green eyed monster

Posted: November 15, 2012 in body stuff, Fear
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I have a friend who seems to have it all. A husband. A house. A baby. She’s totally gorgeous, even remaining radiant throughout pregnancy. She gets good grades. Everyone likes her.

Sometimes that hasn’t been enough for her. Sometimes she has wanted more. She has wanted the things that I have also wanted, and because people like her, often she has got them. Or so it seems.

Not only am I totally jealous, but also insecure about it. So, she is my friend. But because everyone likes her, it feels like everyone else is also in the friendship, in a kind of ten-in-the-bed way that pushes someone out. Somehow, that someone ends up being me.

Sometimes this makes me so angry. Sometimes I wonder what the friendship is really worth if it can be so easily pushed aside, or whether a friendship should be able to be more than one way. But that anger takes me to a dark place.

Yes. Sometimes, my friend could have treated me better, I’m not going to deny it. But then, and more often, I’m ready to admit, it is the state of my own heart that is the problem. Firstly, every time that I compare myself to my friend I’m completely ignoring my own place as a child of God, crafted in His image. And quite frankly, its not surprising that I don’t look beautiful if I’m thinking terrible thoughts. Secondly, I’m totally missing all the good things that are in me, that make me individual.

But even that isn’t enough. These are the cliches that apply to everyone. When our friendship is there, it is a GOOD thing, for both of us. Being under constant attack is undermining that, and also my relationship with everyone else at the same time. Rather than constantly worrying about who I am and whether people like me or not (as that is really what it boils down to) I need to focus on who God is and how I can be more like Jesus.

When my eyes are focussed on God, then, not only will the Attacker have failed in his mission to ruin a good friendship, but also he will have failed to separate me from the love of God. Bonus.

 

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A gift…

Posted: October 6, 2012 in body stuff, Hope
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Sometimes, quite honestly, I wonder what on earth I’m doing. Why I even try. Why get our of bed in the mornings. Why I would dare to speak to anyone – I mean, I never have anything interesting to say, do I?

Somehow then, this makes its way down into my actions and my behaviour. What is the point of doing anything? Why even try to be nice or make small talk? And everything ends up somehow revolving back around me again. A selfish pretence of modesty.

And then I remember. I realise that God is there. That he is in control. And that funnily enough, (and I can never really understand why), he loves me. Even if it might feel like no one esle does at times. That I’m the most boring dinner party guest in the world and that I always seem to get it wrong.

And actually, everything I am, and that you are too, is a gift from God. Every breath that we take. Every hair on our head. All of my body and the fact that it mostly seems to work ok. Even the bits that I don’t especially like myself: the lumpy, bumpy bits, or the wide hips that mean I can never buy jeans right.

It is so different from what I hear in the world around me where nothing ever seems to be good enough and people can be so thoughtless.

But it is the truth.

And it is what gets me out of bed in the mornings.

A bad day??

Posted: June 4, 2012 in Oh dear
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So, having a day when everything feels a little like the above. A day when it seems like everything (even the weather) is against me. Faced with my own company and a to-do list, and quite frankly it is boring. Hence, finding interesting videos.

Think I might try to be creative later – see if that helps remove me from my pit. And in the meantime, I had a little chuckle.

 

Counting my blessings

Posted: March 20, 2012 in Help
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I was quite aware the other day that I have a tendency to be quite negative on occasion. Somehow, in reflecting about life with people I become quite introspective and everything seems to be wrong. And I would say that normally I would be a glass half full person (to the extent that I can seriously irritate those who are not) so it just makes me feel like everything is wrong when it probably isn’t.

So I decided to make myself a little journal, where I would record the good things that happen each day. Not in a ‘let’s smile and pretend that the world is an amazing place right now’ but more in a ‘well, there must be some good amidst all the general rubbish’. And it is an amazing way to record where God is working, which otherwise I then conveniently forget.

My journal has an elephant on it, to remind me not to forget the good things in life. How do you remember the good stuff in all the rubbish of life?

A lament

Posted: March 11, 2012 in Misconceptions
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 1 I am one who has seen affliction
   by the rod of the LORD’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.

4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

 7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
   he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I call out or cry for help,
   he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
   he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.

 13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
and sated me with gall.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for people to bear the yoke
while they are young.

28 Let them sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on them.
29 Let them bury their faces in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let them offer their cheeks to one who would strike them,
and let them be filled with disgrace.

31 For people are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
   or grief to any human being.

34 To crush underfoot
all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
would not the Lord see such things?

Lamentations 3

A few weeks ago, I heard this passage read in a sermon and I found it really difficult. Somehow the idea of God causing suffering didn’t really appeal to me. I know it says later on that the Lord does not willingly bring affliction on to anyone, but that seems to be contradicted earlier on. Life in exile was bad for the Israelites. People were killed and raped and starved and kept as captives… but God brought this on them? What sort of God would that be?

Yes, I know they had sinned. But what sin is bad enough to cause that sort of punishment? As someone who has been abused, I would not wish it on anyone.

And then at that moment, life just seemed to be very unfair. I mean, why me? What had I done? I was a child when it had happened. Maybe I hadn’t always behaved myself like I ought to have done, but this?

So I had a chat with someone wise who pointed out the difference between sinning and being sinned against. So, my abuse was a result of sin. But not mine.

And somehow, that changes everything. I can understand that that is not God’s desire. At all. In fact, He must have been having a pretty bad and sad day when it happened too. But He did not cause it to be.

And He knows that it hurts. But it doesn’t have to any more.

 

 

Sometimes when I feel particularly insignificant, I wonder whether it really matters if I self-harm or not. I mean, who really cares if I have a few more cuts and bruises than normal? Yes, it hurts, but does that mean anything to anyone except for me?

I think I am in a slightly unique yet all-too-common situation of feeling like I am all alone. My parents don’t really get me, and sometimes my friends just feel too far away, or they don’t really know what is going on. Sometimes, it feels like I don’t really even have any friends.

I guess the standard answer to this is that God is always there, and He cares. Trite, yet true. But for me, it is because God is always there, and because He cares that other people care as well. The people I go to when I am in trouble or when I feel like I might do something that I will later regret do seem to care for some reason. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it might be because they love God themselves. They know that it is not His plan that I am hurting, and they seek to do all they can to help me not hurt.

I think it is also unhelpful to think that I don’t have any friends. Because I do. They might not be the stereotype you often see others with or in films where you spend all your time together and tell each other all your secrets and walk along arm in arm. But they are still my friends, and they would be hurt to know that I don’t consider them to be a friend.

So there are people who care on some level or other. And even when I feel like I just don’t care anymore and that I just want to hurt anyway, I know that I can’t lie to them. They care about me enough that they want me to get better and not just to stop hurting myself. They are wise enough to realise that they cannot show that they are disappointed if I do harm myself despite their best efforts, or to feel that it is in any way their fault that I have hurt myself.

And I think that that is what makes me contact them if I am feeling low. Somehow it is far easier to say something before than afterwards having to own up. Even if they can’t help. And getting a response from them makes me realise that someone does know and does care. Which is a constant reminder that God knows, and God cares.

Whom shall I fear?

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Promises
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The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

Sometimes it is very easy to be scared. It can seem like everything is going wrong, and the world is crashing down around you. Sometimes, the desire just to hurt can be there, and you don’t know why, or how to get it to go away.

It’s not that you want to hurt yourself really. You know that you have so much to lose. You know that it will disappoint those who are hoping that you are getting better. But sometimes, it just feels so dark and tense and horrible.

But there is always a choice. There is always an escape. You never have to hurt yourself. And that is because the war has already been won, believe it or not. We fight in the little battles, but actually, the result has already been decided.

Sometimes it seems easier to dwell in the places of darkness and melancholy, rather than stepping out into the light. I know, from my own experience that I am more likely to get low at night, by myself, especially when I am tired. Nightmares come easily. Darkness is not my friend.

But if the Lord is my light, that changes everything. I no longer need to fear the darkness. We know that he is a great God, who loves his children. He fought so that we don’t have to. And so that we don’t need to be afraid.

If I feel low before I go to sleep, I try to remember to pray for God’s protection. That the nightmares won’t come. That I won’t do something daft. Someone once gave me some prayers that help – here is one if you feel you need it:

May the cross of the Son of God,
which is mightier than all the hosts of Satan,
and more glorious than all the hosts of heaven,
abide with me in my going out and my coming in.
By day and by night, at morning and at evening,
at all times and in all places may it protect and defend me.
From the wrath of evildoers, from the assaults of evil spirits,
from foes visible and invisible, from the snares of the devil,
from all passions that beguile the soul and body:
may it guard, protect and deliver me.
Amen.

(from the Church of England Website)

Because God IS bigger. Believe it or not.