I had an epiphany.
And maybe it’s something everyone else has always known, but for me this is a big deal. Because it completely changes how I see my life. Completely.
It was one of those days again, the kind where you are crying uncle by lunch time. I felt like the waters were up around me so high, they were just about to crash down on top of me and drown me. Yep, I was overwhelmed and felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.
I reached out to a few friends and asked them to pray.
I have to pause here and just tell you – this reaching out was a big deal for me. It’s really hard for me to do that sort of thing, and sometimes I would rather just not talk to anyone when I’m in the drowning zone. This pulling back, the putting on of the metaphorical mask – I’ve always been like that. The mask is that “nothing’s super great but nothing’s super bad so just don’t mind me. I don’t deserve a minute of your time, in fact I’m ashamed that I’m even having a problem” kind of mask.
This is also called low self-worth, and ladies, if you do this, I understand. I do. I have taken 2013 to be intentional in healing those things that lie to me and say I’m not enough. I am enough, and I’m worth someone’s time. And you are too.
But back to my story.
It was a drowning type of day, and I reached out and asked for prayer and my friend said that she prayed for me and heard, “Don’t lose heart.”
That little phrase comforted me so much in that moment. It was completely what I needed to hear.
But then things got worse. And worse. And the next day I was past the drowning stage, fully submerged in stress and even a little despair, quite ready to lose my marbles. I was starting to – yep – lose heart. I really was. And I didn’t understand how God had told me not to lose heart just a day earlier, when He knew everything was about to get so much worse.
But then it dawned on me. Call it an epiphany or a revelation or a light bulb moment. I had one.
God hadn’t told me through my sister friend, “Don’t lose heart,” because I needed to hear it for what had happened to me. The truth was that I actually needed to not lose heart in the things that were to come. I needed that miracle thought, that encouragement, to come to mind when the things that happened next were upon me.
The way my spirit buoyed when I realized that the encouragement was for what was coming – well, it was miraculous. I could breathe again. I knew that God had me, because he was already preparing me before I knew I needed preparation.
I really believed that I didn’t, in fact, have to lose heart, because the soft and gentle arm holding me up was already there when the bad things happened to me.
So, when you have faith, or a knowing, or a spirit-inspired encouragement that things will be okay, and then they get worse, do you feel disheartened? Or do you see that past encouragement as timely for your right now?
I would love to hear how you apply past encouragement to your right now, to your today.
By Arianne, from Mabel + RivLeave a Comment
Linda Young says
I had just asked Jesus for an advance word for today. “Comfort” flashed into my heart so quickly I thought to myself, “was that You Lord, or was that just me”? I got quiet and quiet and listened again. “Comfort and Joy”.
Hum, “What carol is that from?” I started humming it then it popped, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” let nothing you dismay!
That is confirmation. So cool, since I was just practicing that song last night with the choir for the Christmas program this weekend!
Thank you Lord for saying “don’t let your heart be troubled”. I speak comfort to my people, says your God. (From the Messiah).
Then I open an e-mail where my friend had forwarded to me this in-courage message.
The word “comfort” was in your message. you wrote about how the advance word, “don’t lose heart” was given you and you didn’t realize it was an “advance word”! You started plummeting into the depths because things were getting worse not better. But suddenly the Light bulb hoes on! He comforted you with the revelation that it was for what was coming! God was sating “hold on tightly you were about to take a dive on the roller coaster of life”.
Our pastor prays this benediction, “May you go in the great grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and may you remember that the One who came still comes and the One who spoke still speaks.” Amen! He just did.
Arianne Segerman says
Wow, I desperately needed to read this today. Now. I just cancelled meeting friends for breakfast because I know they will be nice to me and I will end up in a puddle. Last 2 days more than I can deal with showing the strength I always do. I do not like to share me. I wear that mask too. I have reached out for prayer. It is the face to face I can not handle. Maybe I will do a phone call and share that way. A step toward removing the mask. Thank you Arianne.
Oh, Kim, can i give you a little piece of me…what I wish for you to do is to get down on your knees, literally, and pour out your hurt to God, tears and all, and then give him what is weighing on your spirit, give it to him by literally saying, Dear God, I want this heaviness out of me, I can’t bear it any longer, please take it from me. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I trust if I give it to you that I will feel your love taking care of it, so here it is. And then you must believe on your knees in front of your Heavenly Father that He has taken it from you and then keep saying to yourself, LET GO, LET GOD, and BELIEVE IT.
I have done this in my life only a handful of times when I have felt like I could not take any more, and He has taken my heavy heart in HIS hands and lightened my spirit. I just did it about a month ago where I had this dread in my heart and I always pray in bed or talk to God throughout the day in conversation, but this day, mid-day, I knelt by my bedside and did exactly what I shared with you and continued to do my nightly prayers kneeling, and do you know I can’t feel that dread in my heart that way even if I tried to replicate it…I don’t feel it. I believe God will do this for you. And when and if you start to doubt, keep saying to yourself in those moments, LET GO, LET GOD and let HIM!
And please go with your friends, first, if they are good friends, what if God wants to say something to you thru your friends and you don’t let him use them the way HE intends, that would be sad, and secondly, there are people out there who are lonely and have no one asking them, do it for them!! You are blessed in that way, so reconsider, take your mask off, and let God in!! I hope any of this helps you. It is truly from my heart and I wanted to type it a couple days ago for that awesome post where all these women were sharing their pain and then praying for the person before them. I could not believe how much some women have gone thru and have to go thru. But I wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t get to share this. But maybe I was meant to share it now instead! God is Great!…God Bless, Sandy
Sandy, thank you for sharing so deeply and specifically. I have talked with Jesus and he told me I needed to shed my tears. Necessary in order for Him to take me where He wants me to go. And that sharing with friends and others is what He wants. I want to keep my world small and comfortable. That is not His desire for me. He told me to Listen, Trust and Believe.
Your last paragraph, so true. I am not always the one He speaks through. Sometimes I need to listen and hear. I need to Let Go and Let God. Thank you.
Arianne Segerman says
This is beautiful, Kim. Shedding tears is a way of surrender, letting the feelings out is vulnerable and it can be a way to tell the Lord that we are ready for him to heal. Praying for you today as you walk this journey, even the little steps matter! xoxo
You are welcome…praying that you have a Fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year!
My “drowning” phrase from a friend was “keep the faith” — not realizing that as “bad” as I thought it was at that moment, it was going to get worse and has kinda sorta stayed “worse.” But the focus on listening to Him, resting my head on His chest and keeping the faith has sustained me when I felt my faith faultering, invisible, shaking, quaking, and crumbling. Jesus has spoken through my friends to me His words of encouragement and comfort. I will not lose heart and I will keep the faith!
Beth Coulton says
It’s quite cliche-ish but yet I’ve found it to be true; if life was all sunshine and roses, we’d not feel a need for or dependence upon God. Tough times bring us to our knees and to His throne- and if we can allow the impossible times to be teachers in our lives, He will use them to sand off our rough edges and shape us as the winds howl round about us. And after the storm, we find ourselves even better fitted for what’s around the next bend, because there will always be a next bend.
We are wise if we let each trouble mold us to make us more like Him.
Arianne Segerman says
Even last night was another hard night (you know how it is when you are up with a sick baby night after night…eventually it really wears on your sanity!) and was just lying in bed asking God — what in the world? Why won’t you stop this? I felt his response was “look at how well you are handling this”. I almost laughed. It was true, I am handling things better than ever before and I realized that these current trials are a further building up. A strengthening. Praying for you as you weather the storm! xoxo
This is very timely for me, as my husband just had a serious accident and is home recuperating with at least 1-2 surgeries yet to come. The reality of the situation is first, gratefulness that he is alive and that he still has his right foot. Dealing with caregiving and life changing circumstances, for now and just beginning to peek at the climbing bills & understand the insurance game. “Don’t Lose Heart” will be something I need to tuck in close to me and pull out often. Yesterday was one of those days. Returning to a business we have owned for 40 years, and sold as of the 1st of the year but staying on as an employee. So many emotions whirling around and on the edge of tears often, but have to stay focused to get through the day. Even with wonderful family and friends surrounding us, you stillhave to do the work. So, I personally thank you for this. And as the sun peeks over the horizon for the day, I need to get some chores done so I can get to work. Blessings to you today and thanks again.
Arianne Segerman says
Oh Cat, it’s such an overwhelming thing to have such a change in your life as this. I can tell you have amazing inner strength, and I’m praying for you today that the Lord would continue to build that strength and also bring peace and relief along the way. xoxo
Beth Coulton says
I have experienced many times the going through of the difficult times, only to find that when they are over, things get worse. Even when you are praying, seeking, obeying, living close to the heart of God- life can still go very, very bad. It’s like holding onto a thin rod in a hurricane- you just have to continue to hold on because in the depths of your experience you do know that every storm stops in one way or another. It’s the holding on that can get so difficult.
I like this idea of past encouragement applying to future problems- I had never thought of that concept before. But it is wise and it is something to be heeded and applied, because we never know what a day will bring.
Arianne Segerman says
“It’s the holding on that can get so difficult.” <–this. That is so, so true. Thank you Beth!
Lori Johnson says
Thank you for this post. I am in the hospital with my husband. Last week, when he was better and was coming home, we clearly heard God tell us that He knows the way out of our wilderness and would lead us out. Today as he heads for ICU, your post reminds me to believe what He prepared us for and to “not doubt in the dark what He showed us in the light”.
Arianne Segerman says
Oh I love that quote. And gosh, what a roller coaster you guys are on. Praying you find lots of light along the way. xoxo
Candy Warren says
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the Lord.
This morning, In doing a study on waiting, the Lord is teaching me how intricately hope is woven together with waiting. Hope (and wait) on and for the Lord. How blessed we are that He provides that Hope–that He IS that Hope!
Arianne Segerman says
Oh that is good stuff, Candy! Hope woven with waiting. I’ll be thinking about that today. Thank you!
Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Arianne. I can identify with the mask you describe – “nothing’s super great but nothing’s super bad so just don’t mind me. I don’t deserve a minute of your time, in fact I’m ashamed that I’m even having a problem.” Thanks for your encouraging reminder – “Don’t lose heart.”
Wishing you and each one here a hope-filled and joy-filled Christmas!
Arianne Segerman says
Same to you, Trudy! Thank you!
(and here’s to removing those masks little by little each day…)
Through my own tears this morning I opened my email and received such a blessing upon reading “On Not Losing Heart”. Thank you. God Bless you and your family!
As I read this I heard myself. I have the tendency to sink into the same hole when I am discouraged or don’t know how to handle a situation and find it hard to reach out to anyone for help. BUT… I realized that HE is always there with me and all I have to do is hold out my hand to feel that HE is holding my hand and ONLY HE can pull me out of the despair that I fall into daily. OH that I would ONLY TRUST HIM and BELIEVE that he WILL be there for me and he already knows what I need before it even happens. IT is still a struggle even as I write this tears well up because it is a daily struggle. NO ONE sees that side of me BUT GOD.. Sometimes it does get tiring wearing that mask that everything is OK. I would just like to let someone in but am afraid to let it all out.. OH GOD RESTORE MY TRUST…Thank you so much for sharing something that I struggle with too..
Thank you! I cried reading your post…not only have I lost heart….I keep jumping back into the pit….it feels God just left me and I know He didn’t… I know it’s me….never think you’re standing firm-I know this- I preach it- somehow I fell and the getting up has been sooo hard this time…. And I’ve been through some junk but this time I feel so alone and abandoned -like I can’t talk to God…He loves me enough to show me that He is still there…He stills talks to me and loves me….. That is amazing!! It will never get old….knowing that the Almighty God loves me so much even when I’m a stubborn jerk! I think I will make a sign ” DON’T LOSE HEART” I need that! I love God’s word – it is comforting and truth! Thank you everyone! Been in many of your shoes and can relate to so many emotions and feelings…. The ones satan tells us… We aren’t good enough – pretty enough- smart enough-BUT GOD TELLS US THAT WE ARE HIS AND CHOSEN AND LOVED AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL – so glad that while I was still a sinner Christ died for me!!!
KEEPING THE FAITH
Praying for all of you and may God bless each one of you as you trust & obey Him…… Wow well God just gave me those words” trust & obey”
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
I’m a kinda hold it all in until the last moment kinda thing. Then the water works …. but saying this …. it’s gotta be pretty bad. I watch love stories and stuff and cry at that. Is it the stress of the Christmas doing stuff. I just slow down completely and utterly. What can I say.
Hold on to our PRIZE, Christ JESUS our LORD. This is what I do. Hold on.
Thank you so much for your posting, like many others on this site I needed this today. So many things have happen and continue to happen. Sometimes I feel like “hey haven’t you been here before” when I face situations that seem to cycle in my life. However I know that me and my family are in God’s hands and from there no one can take us. I’ve learned that through every situation I face, every season I go through there is something he (God almighty) wants me to learn. Just when I think I can’t take it anymore, I feel him giving me the strength to face yet another challenge. Yet when I’m in the mist of it all I just want to dig a hole in the ground and stick my head in it until it’s all over. But find myself putting on the mask once again. Maybe is the way we’ve been taught, that showing weakness is not from God. Maybe it’s because I feel brokenness just shows that my faith has weakened or that I don’t have any left at all. Only God really know’s, because at this point I don’t even know.
HOWEVER, as long as I have breathe I will continue to trust that the GOD that has bought me this far is not going to leave me or abandon me. I will remind myself “It is well with my soul”.
May God Bless You ALL! Keep the faith, all us women have a very special part in God’s heart. The bible doesn’t say this but he’s let me know.
Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily) says
Almost exactly 1 month before I became chronically ill, my husband was, out of the blue, offered to work from home by his company. Of course we jumped at that chance, and began making all sorts of fun plans about where we would live now that the world was our oyster, and how things would be so great. And guess what… they are.
I am now disabled and living with multiple chronic conditions, and I honest to goodness don’t know how our family or myself would have survived if my husband had not been at home through the worst of those awful first few years.
And God knew that, too. Way before we even had an inkling. It gives me such comfort on the hard days, to know that not only is He aware, He is preparing my way, He is preparing ME.
I always say, it is not the unknown you are walking into, it is simply into your Savior’s arms… you can do that, can’t you?
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Get a grip ! You & only you have the power to change your lives. Stop wishing for an after life that there is no evidence for!
Marisela Delgado says
Andy, I send this with respect, love, and kindness. For someone who doesn’t believe in the Lord and all of His promises, why are you on a Christian website? I think you are searching and deep down inside you really do believe or at least you want to believe. It’s okay to be angry at God. He is a big enough God to handle the anger, bitterness, and even hate that you may feel towards Him. Why don’t you tell Him? Just let it all out. I will be praying for you. Respectfully, Marisela
Thank You sooo much Arianne!
I’m in a really difficult situation and I’ve lost my heart, I don’t know on which direction my life should go and I pray that God will show me what he wants from me.
Thank You for reminding me of my heart!
Marisela Delgado says
Hi, Arianne~ I have had a rough past few months. I cut my leg (a varicose vein) while shaving, it ruptured, left a good-sized wound, which infected twice. I ended up in the ER and was SHOCKED to learn that the 2 weeks that I spent in full bed rest to help the cut heal, I had developed a blood clot that ran the entire length of my leg. SAY WHAT? I went from running every night to full bed rest and that was the result. I was devastated. But, the couple of months leading up the “event” the Lord seemed eerily silent. Like I was in the dark of night, lost. He went to great lengths to remind me that He is I AM and that like Moses, I had been called. Over and over, He gave me Isaiah 41:10. “Do not afraid for I AM with you. I AM your God, let nothing terrify you.” Did you catch it? In the scripture? I AM, I AM. I AM with you. I AM your God. I’ll admit, I got a little scared. The darkness that seemed to surround me and just a feeling that something was going to happen. When the wheels came off, I hung on to that scripture and the memory that He went to such great lengths to remind me of WHO He is. The Great I AM. It still hurt. I still cry. I still had moments of great fear and apprehension. I still had moments of doubt in my faith, in Him, in my future (satan is such a good liar, isn’t he?), and at a very low moment, even in His existence, but He always remains faithful. Keep your faith and pray for me, too. The Lord gave me a word that like Job, this was just a test of my faith before my Promised Land. He has given me a word that He will heal me completely. The wound is healing nicely (we’re starting to see skin come in) and I am back to my running. Be strong and Merry Christmas! Marisela in San Antonio, Texas
Thank you for beautifully expressing in words what I have struggled with my whole life. I understand the withdrawing and wow – your words hit home. This is a treasure to end the year. I am doing the Siesta Scripture memory Challenge on Living Proof site with some friends and ending the year with Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Part of that goodness has been the love of my family, and dear friends, when the overwhelming waves have threatened to pull me under. God is faithful. You have been a tangible touch today. Thank you
It is the presence of the Lord speaking intimately to me that gives life to those words or any encouraging, direction yielding words. Thank God He uses our family and friends and…sometimes strangers…but it is He makes them different than the last 20 times I have heard them. He is the difference.
Yes. I am so sad this morning for a friend of mine who seems to be in the midst of PPD. I *so* understand her pain, because I have been there before, but I’m searching for more words of encouragement to send to her. Perhaps I could just go over and read through this post and the comments to her…. wish there was some way to help more…. feeling helpless to help her…
Beth WIlliams says
I was hit today, of all days. with sadness. A good friend of mine has lung cancer and they had to put her in the hospital due to heart problems. She didn’t look good at all when I saw her. It truly saddened me for the family. That same family lost their father to leukemia earlier this fall and the mother had a minor heart procedure just last week.
Add to that I’m noticing that my father is developing dementia. He is stuck, for now, living alone. Some days he does fine, but others not so. It is soo hard for me to watch this again–had the same thing with my mother.
I have a semi-stressful, busy job and put all that together I just came unwound when I got home. Prayed hard in the quiet of my shower.
A good night’s rest and tons of prayer will work wonders for me.
Thanks for posting!