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Posts Tagged ‘grieving lost dreams’

 

Each of them drew strength from the other. We might have done the same if our lives had been stripped of our closest companions, comfort, and convenience.

Poverty and starvation loomed in the future and, desperate, the women were forced to leave the home they’d shared with those who now lay shrouded in graveclothes—the men who once offered love and protection.

Some of you might relate to the Old Testament figures of Naomi and Ruth. Perhaps you’ve been widowed or dealt with the pain of divorce. Maybe you know the struggles of an empty bank account and bare cupboard. The heartache of an empty womb or the imprint of soil wedged beneath your knees as you weep at your child’s graveside.

Emotional pain can drive us to become someone we never imagined we might become; a person coddling and stroking feelings that only grow more intense and hurtful unless given over to the truth of scripture.

In Naomi’s case, bitterness toward God consumed her life and impacted her faith. She said, “…the Almighty  has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (Ruth 1:21 NKJV)

I empathize with this dear lady. I’m not much different. In fact, seven years ago I’d repackaged her words as, “Why me, God? Why my children?”

I once walked in Naomi’s bitter shoes, blaming God for the assaults the enemy sent my direction through various avenues. But there is a way to rediscover hope in a season of suffering. Like Ruth, who affirmed her commitment to both her mother-in-law and God, we can cling to our faith.

Ruth was a remarkable young woman. She’d suffered the same circumstances as her mother-in-law but approached them differently. Rather than blame-shifting or abandoning either her new family or her budding faith, she doubled-down on commitment. Ruth famously said, “Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NKJ)

She might have returned to the comforts and familiarity of family and to the gods she’d worshipped as a child. Instead, Ruth chose the companionship of a grieving woman, a land filled with people who considered her an enemy, and a God who would bless her bloodline for her faithfulness.

Though it may be tattered or worn thin, He is able to increase even a mustard seed faith (Matthew 17:20) and grow beauty through hardship and perseverance.

When we walk through a season of suffering, we have a choice. Will we choose bitterness or faith?

 

A prayer if you’re struggling with faith today-

Father,

Life has been so difficult and my spirit is grieved. Some days, I feel as though my faith lies in tatters and I’m not sure it will ever recover. I know you “have plans to give me a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) and I ask you to help me believe that will mend what is broken and restore what has been stolen. Give me a mustard seed faith, Lord, to trust you in all circumstances and root out any bitterness or other emotion that dishonors you.

In the powerful name of Christ, Amen

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P. S. I often linkup with these other wonderful bloggers.

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Grief strikes at the heart like a viper; striking the revealed, vulnerable areas belonging to its unsuspecting victim–sometimes providing only the slightest of advance warnings. Then, a sudden sting, until the ache begins to settle low. Heavy. Burdensome.

Those of us who’ve impressed a footprint on Earth’s soil have either felt grief’s sharp pang or we will. And, while we assume grief is our enemy, it is really one of the clearest reminders to needing, bleeding, aching hearts that the world wasn’t meant to be this way.

Grief is one of the clearest reminders to needing,bleeding,aching hearts that the world wasn't meant to be this way.#grief#loss#notheendofhope Click To Tweet

We weren’t meant to know the grief of an unwelcome diagnosis.

Innocent children weren’t created to be bought and sold into lives of slavery vacant of love.

Death. Addiction. Depression. None of these were intended for God’s people.

Created as Paradise, this world has borne sin’s twisted power since the rich, sweet taste of what had been forbidden unfurled on the tongues and in the hearts of our first parents.

About Grief and Holy Heartache (and Printable Verses) Click To Tweet

In our grief, we know there is an unacknowledged reality far more powerful than that which is seen. We’re reminded of the grief the heavenly father experienced when his gift to men hung on a tree; bruised and battered as if he were refuse rather than Rescuer. And, because of his incomprehensible loss we receive a promise in process–not fully realized but as certain as the resurrection.

We catch a glimpse of the holy Shepherd's heartache when he wept.#Jesuswept#holygrief Click To Tweet

So we grieve our losses, but not in hopelessness. We are reviled by injustice, but rely on the Judge. We catch a glimpse of the holy Shepherd’s heartache when he wept, but know the victory has already been won.

Maybe you are grieving today. I know it’s painful, Friend, and I’m sorry.

Without minimizing the hurt in your heart, can I gently remind you that He understands? He will be with you whether you walk through fire or travel through the darkest valley. You may not feel as though it’s true, but He will never leave your side. One day soon, this world’s grief will be forgotten and replaced with joy unimaginable as we soak in the glory of Christ with all things renewed. Restored. Reestablished.

I’ve collected a few of my favorite Bible verses to pray over when your heart is hurting. Just click on the link below.

5 Printable Bible Verses for a Hurting Heart

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/ Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Embracing the Unexpected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neither the difficulties or joys of our todays can compare with what we'll experience on the other side of heaven..png

The man at the park glared at me, his expression communicating judgement. What kind of parent are you? Do something about your son’s behavior. Bending low to speak with his granddaughter face to face, he said, “You’re a good girl. You never behave like that little boy.”

Tempted to shout something in my preschooler’s defense, I scooped my son up in my arms to guard him from scrutiny and rushed away feeling helpless; shame and mama-guilt rubbing salt in the wound of unmet hopes and dreams.

I’d known something caused my little one to struggle. To hurt. To fear. And, after several years and a slew of visits to doctors, experts, and interventionists my precious one was diagnosed with both anxiety and a mood disorder.

My heart grieved–and still does–for what might have been.

Years later, a youth pastor addressed a concern with my husband. “I don’t think your boy should spend much time with Sara. She has bipolar disorder.”

The pastor’s response to mental illness stunned us. Fearful of the stigma attached to mental health issues, we hadn’t shared with anyone at church about the struggles our family faced. We’d been right to keep the information to ourselves. Our son had been protected from being ostracized by the people who should have demonstrated love and empathy. By those who could have opened the doors of communication and offered hope and help.

The man behind the pulpit communicated judgement. Mental illness makes someone unworthy and unsafe.

You, too, may understand the burden of watching a loved one suffer. Perhaps your heart aches as my heart does, wondering how God will transform the struggle into something that brings Him glory.

You may have felt judged in area of your life. You might carry a burden of shame you can’t seem to escape. Maybe the dreams you’d had for a relationship or a loved one have been crushed beneath the weight of difficult circumstances.

Oh, friend, the Enemy wants us to be paralyzed by our doubts and destroyed dreams. But, God promises us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Neither the difficulties or joys of our todays can compare with what we’ll experience on the other side of heaven. Complete restoration of lives and relationships. Hopes and dreams surpassed.

1 Peter 5:10-11 (MSG) encourages us with these words,

You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

He has eternal and glorious plans for you, for me, and for those we love. And He, who is the Word, gets the last word.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday

 

 

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