An Encouraging Word

pieToday is Thanksgiving, and once again, I’m spending the holiday alone. As you know, I suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and it isn’t always possible for me to be around crowds. Back when I was in quarantine, adjusting to health restrictions was very difficult. Holidays weren’t a time of joy—they were a time of discouragement. I used to feel VERY sorry for myself on the holidays. I used to throw myself HUGE pity parties because I felt that I was missing all the fun. I have to smile now! Things are so different!!! I ENJOY holidays again. In fact, even when I’m alone, I have a blast! Why, you ask??? The answer is simple. I’ve learned that attitude trumps circumstance any day of the week–especially on holidays.

Recently, I was thumbing through one of my old prayer journals, and I found an entry written on Easter Sunday many years ago. It was one of my first holidays spent alone, and I can remember feeling very discouraged. As I prayed that day, I felt the Lord speak. Here’s what I felt God said:

Oh, precious child, I see and feel your pain and discouragement, but child it is temporary. You won’t be ill forever—that is not my plan or my purpose for you. Remain faithful a little longer and know that I have not forgotten you. I love you. I am preparing a good future for you. Trust me and rest in peace and joy.

Friends, whether you are spending the holiday alone, or whether you are surrounded by family and friends, know that God will be with you today. He will be the silent occupant at your table. He will be there, helping you, encouraging you, and blessing you. Ask for His peace, joy, and love to surround you—and it will.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!!

 

leaves 11“Let not your heart be troubled [Jesus said]. You are trusting God, now trust in me.” John 14:1

No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.” John 14:18

 

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6 thoughts on “An Encouraging Word

  1. How I wish I had read your blog yesterday, Danele. Great blog that might have stemmed the river of “poor me.” But I was too busy drowning in my own pity party. Yep, full-of-laughter and just-trust-God me. Drowning. But like any drowning person, I didn’t keep my plight to myself. On no, I shared the thrashing with my husband. And together we struggled through the day.

    But thank The Good Lord for His grace. And when I couldn’t sleep at 4:30 a.m. this morning I limped to my chair and opened my Bible to Psalm 37. And wept before the Lord for my feeble and deceptive heart and His peace and joy returned when I stopped, surrendered, and altered my steps.

    I had spent yesterday fretting–fretting over what I didn’t have. God says fretting only leads to harm. Harm to myself and harm to others who suffer in the wake of my fretting. Then my eyes saw and grabbed onto David’s words in verse 24: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

    And His love and joy and peace lifted me out of the mire of my own thinking; and I’m so thankful today that His mercy is indeed new every morning!

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    1. Dear DiAne, I’m so sorry that yesterday was painful for you, and I’m so glad that this morning God’s peace came into your heart. Like you, I’m so thankful that God’s mercy is new every morning! There have been so many times during my illness that I’ve had pity parties too. Emotional pain can be horrible. I’m so glad that God always finds a way to meet us when we are hurting the most. I love Isaiah 61:3, “To all who mourn…God will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory.” There have been times when I’ve been so sad, depressed, and hopeless that it didn’t even seem worth it to get out of bed. I’ve had times when I’ve felt that nothing will ever change and that it was worthless to keep trying. But those times ALWAYS pass, and eventually, joy ALWAYS comes. And the joy doesn’t come because of me. It comes because, like you, I decide that I can’t take the pain any more, and I seek the face of God. God’s peace erases all my pain. God’s joy transforms all my torment. God gives hope instead of despair. Even when my circumstances don’t change–I change–and that makes all the difference in the world. I’ve faced my illness in the throngs of discouragement, and I’ve faced the same illness with peaceful joy. The only difference is God. The only difference is me seeking the face of God and being honest with my feelings. It’s me telling God about all of my pain and worries. It’s me asking for His help to get through each minute of each painful day. I’ve learned that God isn’t just a nice idea–He’s a living, powerful force Who LOVES me, Who wants to be involved in every moment of my life, Who wants to take my pain and disappointment and anger and confusion and transform it into peace and joy. I’ve lived my life without God. And I’ve lived my life with God. Like you, I’ve learned that living with God is SO MUCH better! God is ALIVE! And God CARES! He’s just waiting with a bountiful load of peace for each troubled heart.

      God bless you always, DiAne! Thanks for being so transparent. And thanks for being such a great friend! Your comment blessed me deeply! Thanks for speaking so eloquently about the mercy and love of our Lord! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan! 🙂 But truthfully, I can’t really take credit for my attitude. 🙂 My attitude without God STINKS! I’m so glad that God looks at us with love in His eyes and gives us peace, joy, and contentment when we are feeling angry, dissatisfied, and resentful. If I’m anything, I’m a testimony that God can take a wretched person with the world’s worst attitude and make her into someone who can feel content. God’s pretty awesome that way. 🙂 Thanks so much for your lovely comment! It made my day! I hope you have a lovely week! 🙂

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