Love and Support


How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its
Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being.
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too
Frightened
          ~Hafiz

I think everyone is afraid of something. It’s what makes us human. I know people who are afraid of public speaking, love, intimacy, spiders, bees, death, and interviews. The important thing to remember is to never make fun of someone’s fear or discount it in any way. Fear is real to the person experiencing it, and it can be paralyzing in its effect.

The quote above was sent to me in an email today. It made me realize how much I have needed the support and encouragement of someone at times in my life for difficulties I have been experiencing, but the person I reached out to couldn’t give it. We can’t give what we ourselves don’t have.

Sometimes we’re unable to give to others what they need because we are too stressed ourselves. Sometimes we’ve never experienced the quality another is looking for from us; therefore we cannot relate to what is needed. In the process, feelings get hurt, misunderstandings occur, relationships end, and communication breaks down.

To me, that is incredibly heartbreaking. We are all hurting human beings in some way, shape, or form; and we need to be an encouragement to one another. We need to reach out in love and be kind even when we don’t know how to provide what the other person needs. Sometimes just being honest can do wonders. We aren’t always capable of walking in another’s shoes and experiencing life as they have, but we can sit down and listen as they attempt to explain what they are going through. Sometimes they just need to know that someone cares.

When all else fails, a hug speaks volumes. Acknowledging a person’s feelings is sometimes all that is needed. Giving them a sense that they are loved and valued is priceless. When I know I’m loved and valued, I open up like the rose in the poem. I perform better, my outlook on life is brighter, and I feel invigorated.

If reading this post has brought someone to your mind today, send them a quick note to let them know you appreciate them. It may just be the very thing they need to brighten their day.

Come on now … let’s spread some sunshine together!
Lori Lynn

Fear … Is It Holding You Back?


Fight your fears and you’ll be in battle forever; face your fears and you’ll be free forever. — Lucas Jonkman

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. — Jack Canfield

We stopped checking for monsters under the bed when we realized they were inside of us. — Charles Darwin

Fear is only temporary. Regret lasts forever!

Fear is the brain’s way of saying that there is something important for you to overcome. — Rachel Huber

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear is a powerful thing. Depending upon how we view it, it can paralyze us or spur us on to greater things.

I have a dear friend who is terrified of intimacy in relationships. He wasn’t always this way. He met a girl once whom he fell head-over-heels in love with, so much so that it scared him. He had been in love before but never to such a degree that he felt out of control, and it was that lack of emotional control he couldn’t handle. The relationship lasted for about four years, until the girl finally got tired of his shenanigans of pulling away and saying they needed to see other people. She decided that could go on forever and decided it was time to let go.

Now, 25 years later, the girl is back. She contacted my friend, whom she never stopped loving, in an attempt to restore the relationship they could have had if both of them hadn’t messed it up so badly. He wants nothing to do with her, not because he doesn’t still love her, but because he went through hell the first time he lost her and doesn’t want to experience that feeling again. He also doesn’t want to go back to having no control over his emotions.  The thought terrifies him.

I find their whole situation so sad. They both care deeply for each other, but he is so paralyzed by his fear that he won’t even communicate with the girl anymore. Think of what they are both missing out on … perhaps the greatest joy either one of them has ever known.

My problem is public speaking. The thought of getting up in front of people and speaking brings back fresh memories of 7th-grade speech class, when my voice shook so uncontrollably that everyone watching me was embarrassed for me. They were probably just as uncomfortable watching me as I was standing up there in front of them. My fear of public speaking is unfortunate, especially because I’m fairly certain my future dream job will require me to have this skill. I’ve spent my whole life avoiding it, but it’s time to stop running. It’s time to turn around and face this thing once and for all.

I’ve gone back to grad school after 30 years. I absolutely love it! The problem is, I have to do a YouTube interview with a classmate where we each take turns pretending to be a journalist and a PR professional discussing a crisis situation. Doesn’t sound too bad, unless you have an extreme aversion to being on camera. My first thought was, “I’ve got to drop this class.” I immediately rejected that idea because, as I said, I love the class.  My second thought was, “I’m going to contact the professor and tell her I’ll take an F on this assignment.” Unfortunately, that idea seems pretty stupid even to me. I finally came to the conclusion that as much as I hate the thought of actually doing this assignment, I want to get past the brick wall my fear has succeeded in putting in front of me for so many years.  It’s time to break through that wall. I may not like the process, and it may hurt; but I am doing this thing.  It’s time.

How about you? Is fear holding you back from something you want more than anything? What are you going to do about it? I would encourage you to not let it define you. Get help. Move past your fear. Your greatest accomplishment/love relationship/purpose may be on the other side. Don’t miss out! As Joyce Meyer says a friend of hers once said to her, “Why don’t you do it afraid?”

You’ve got this. Get going! 🙂
Lori Lynn

Dear LORD … when we are too afraid to follow through on your best for us, give us a nudge. Help us to visualize what is there on the other side of our fear and to want it so badly that we’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Give us the courage to knock down our brick walls of fear knowing that You are there with us every step of the way. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Life Lesson #7: Don’t Quit


Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. — C. S. Lewis

I know so many people who are struggling … people close to my heart and some not so close.  I’ve noticed, from my own experience, that what exacerbates the problem is looking around at others and thinking, “Why me?”

I’m not sure when I adopted the notion that life is supposed to be problem free, but it obviously crept into my psyche somewhere along the line.  Maybe it’s from all of the books I lost myself in when I was growing up, or perhaps it’s the movies I escape into when I want to remove myself from the cold, hard realities of life.  Somehow in the process my mind skipped over the hardships and only remembered the happy endings.

I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, frustrated, all alone.  I know what it’s like to feel that no one cares, that no one understands.  It’s hard to get out of the rut.  It’s hard to think differently when everything you know is screaming, “Failure!”  It’s hard to get past the voices of Doom and Gloom whispering in your ears.  Spending time with Harry Potter or Frodo relieves my momentary fear and paralysis and makes me think that I, too, can overcome my current struggle.

I recently sent the daughter of a dear friend of mine a poem called “Don’t Quit”.  You can find it here.  I decided it might be a good thing to send my own children, who are facing some tough realities of their own (aka how to afford college when they can’t take out student loans without a parent’s cosignature).

Here’s the thing, though… I’ve learned throughout all of this that there is one thing you can bank on.  Satan desires nothing more than to drag us down, to lose our focus, to make us feel intimidated/inferior/not good enough.  Drown his voice out.  He is full of smoke and hot air!

Don’t waste your energy looking at the people around you.  They are not running YOUR race.  YOU are.  They have their own obstacles to overcome.  Focus on your race.  Stay grounded.  Other people don’t matter in the big huge scheme of things.  What matters is you and God … that’s it.  His plans for your life.  The purpose He created you for.

Keep the faith…

Lori Lynn

Father … when life gets just too darn hard to bear, help us to remember that struggle is preparation for something down the road.  It is strengthening us and building our spiritual muscle.  You have a plan for each of us.  We may not see it fully; but if we continue to trust in You, it will eventually become known, sometimes in the most surprising way.  Keep us strong.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Labor Pains


For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  -Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

As I was walking home from work last night, I got to thinking about pregnancy and labor pains.  When I was pregnant with my three children, especially the first one, I was very nervous about D-day.  I wondered about the pain.  I wondered about the lack of privacy and the vulnerability associated with that whole aspect of childbirth.  I wondered about the unknown.  I had very little experience with children.  I thought back to how, at the beginning stage of pregnancy, I focused on the fear of the unknown and how I was not looking forward to the process of giving birth.  However, as time passed and D-day loomed closer and closer, it amazed me how my perspective changed.  As my body was trying to adapt to growing larger and larger, and sleep was becoming less and less comfortable, I began to think to myself, “Okay, LORD, I am SO ready for this baby to be born.  Can we just get it over with?”  The uncomfortableness of late-stage pregnancy was outweighing the fear.  I was ready to get the birthing process over and done with.  I was still nervous, but I knew God would see me through whatever lay ahead.

So, yesterday as I was walking home, I thought about a similar process I’ve been going through in my life lately.  God is ready to birth a new thing in me, and I have not been looking forward to the birthing process.  I’m scared of the unknown.  I’m thinking it’s going to hurt.  I’m wondering, “What happens if I can’t do it?”  Yet, when God first began talking with me about what He was planning for my life, it was very similar to finding out I was pregnant.  Initially, my heart was overjoyed.  I was excited.  I was filled with hope.  I dreamed about what a wonderful mother I would be and what a blessing this little baby growing inside me would bring.  It wasn’t until LATER that the fear factor (the notion that this baby inside would somehow have to make his or her way OUT) kicked in.

Now, as I get closer and closer to the moment of “birth” in this new season of my life, the uncomfortableness is outweighing the fear.  “It is time,” my heart says.  It’s time to face the fear and get this over and done with.  The end result will be a blessing, even if the process will be messy.

Trusting my Father to help me through…

Lori Lynn

Father, I want to step out in faith with You in this next chapter of my life.  Be with me in the birthing process and give me courage and strength to make it through the messy part.  Fill my heart with joy in the days ahead as you teach me how to nurture and love what You have knit together within me.  I completely agree with the psalmist… “Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

_____

I wonder, “Can any of you relate?”  Are you facing something in your life right now that is a bit scary, that you’re not sure just how it will turn out?