Image courtesy of Shari Lilly Flynn

Monday, June 19, 2017

{ Life IS NOT a bowl of cherries }

As a Christian, we want to think that life is just going to be the proverbial "bowl of cherries" if we try our best to serve the Lord.  There are some who will try to tell you that your life should be full of prosperity as a Christian but the Bible tells us quite a different story and I choose to believe God's word.  The last seven months have been very, very difficult ones for us. Not only the physical pain that Pappy has endured since February of 2016 (actually long before that, but that was when he was injured) but the emotional strain it's taken on him, especially since he was "let go" from his job last November. It's been a struggle, Y'all.  I think one of the most difficult things I've endured, besides watching him hurt physically and emotionally, is the disappointment of people backing off and not offering a kind word of encouragement to him. Not being a man, I don't completely understand what he's going through.  I've prayed for another man to come along side him and lift him up and encourage him.  Now, don't get me wrong, there have been a few.  Maybe part of the "problem" is what a private life we try to lead and don't like to ask for any kind of help.  I'm not talking about financial help (although there have been some awesome family and friends who have stepped up there), but emotional support.  As much as this has affected Pappy, it's taken a toll on me, also. I'm an emotional eater and that's one of the areas of my life that you can see with your own eye it's affected because in times of stress, I seek food as my comfort (God's working on my heart, there, Folks, to turn to Him). I've also had several bouts with my battle with depression and I've noticed in pictures just how tired and haggard I look.  And, I cannot honestly tell you that it's not affected our relationship, too. 

Why am I sharing this?
Because I've learned that just a simple statement to somebody like you realize they must be going through a hard time, but you're praying for them will make such a difference in their day.  I have a precious friend at church and occasionally I'll get a text from her, or a comment on Facebook, or even a card in the mail from her and her sweet husband that we're in their prayers, or she'll write our names on a prayer card at church.  Surely God gives others the wisdom and discernment to realize a friend or family member is struggling.  Can you not tell when you're around others if they're mood is down? Please don't let that observation go without acknowledgement.

This truly isn't a pity party, Folks, because I know that I am so blessed.  As I look back over these last 7 months and see the "it's not odd, it's God" things that have happened I realize they've  been nothing short of a miracle.....
only things that He could have ordained because of the timing.  I'm just asking that each of us open our eyes to the hurt that others are going through and maybe think back on a time that we've been "wounded" and step in with an offer to help in whatever way the Lord directs our hearts.




I promise tomorrow's post will be upbeat, 
but felt God nudging my heart to share something more personal with you today.

HOPE your Monday is truly full of many, many blessings!

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for your open honesty, Deb. All too often we fail to acknowledge the hurt we see in others' eyes...we tend to avert our eyes and try to wiggle away without saying anything, when maybe a hug or a word of encouragement would make all the difference in the world. I know how you feel...have been there myself...and I pray that my own personal struggles have helped to make me more conscious of the struggles in others. But I know too often I don't follow through with what I know I ought to do. I appreciate you sharing this with us. I wish we lived closer and we could be 'real friends'...you know what I mean... in person friends who can really give a hug and whisper a prayer in your ear...and visit on the porch and share a cup of tea or coffee...and the men could visit and get acquainted and encourage one another. Praying for that special person to come along in your hubby's life and be a true friend to him...someone who can just lift him up and brighten his day with true friendship and the love of Christ. God is able to bring the right person at the right time. Praying for you today...and for others around us who may need a similar "boost" in spirit today. (((hugs)))

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  2. This is a beautiful post. We are not promised care-free lives, but I am so thankful for God's Presence here and now...my glory and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3. David wrote that when his own son, Absalom, had gathered the people against him.

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  3. Mrs.Debbie, thank you for opening your heart to us today and sharing the struggles that you and your husband are going through. It's not easy opening up to others, esp when you are always focused on others struggles, concerns, and needs. I personally know what that's like myself with struggles. I don't want others worrying about me, instead I'd rather worry about you and them. It does get depressing when your hurting or see those that you love hurting, esp when those around you don't lift you up with a kind word or prayer in tough times. A simple "I'm praying for you" or "You are in my thoughts" can go a long ways when your hurting physically and emotionally. You have ALWAYS been a ray sunlight on my hardest days. I know that no matter what you truly love me just as I truly love you with all my heart. It breaks my heart that you all are hurting. God has a plan for you both and right now is just a storm that will pass by. Love you both and you are in my prayers

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  4. Mrs.Debbie, thank you for opening your heart to us today and sharing the struggles that you and your husband are going through. It's not easy opening up to others, esp when you are always focused on others struggles, concerns, and needs. I personally know what that's like myself with struggles. I don't want others worrying about me, instead I'd rather worry about you and them. It does get depressing when your hurting or see those that you love hurting, esp when those around you don't lift you up with a kind word or prayer in tough times. A simple "I'm praying for you" or "You are in my thoughts" can go a long ways when your hurting physically and emotionally. You have ALWAYS been a ray sunlight on my hardest days. I know that no matter what you truly love me just as I truly love you with all my heart. It breaks my heart that you all are hurting. God has a plan for you both and right now is just a storm that will pass by. Love you both and you are in my prayers

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  5. I can relate to what you said and your situation in so many ways. I understand how you are affected as well as your husband, and I thank those that will give you a word of encouragement. I have one special friend that does that for me. Our children dont even understand, and they have their own lives, and I realize that. Just know....I will pray for you and your husband and that God will wrap His arms tightly around both of you and give you the peace you need right now.

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  6. Oh Deb, this immediately brought an old favorite hymn of mine to me "Because He lives I can face tomorrow". Thank you for being so authentic. Oh does encouragement go a long ways. Praying for you both my friend and I am praying the Lord would place someone in Jack's life that will be a strong encourager for him.We all need encouragement and sometimes it may be more while at others times less. I tell the ladies in class a lot that if they have ever been encouraged then to NOT forget what it was like and to encourage some one else. Please know I love you and prayers are abounding. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  7. I think God watches to see if we will be there for one another even in prayer.
    I'll be thinking of you both and praying for the very best for you.
    If I was there I'd give you a big hug.
    Much love...

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  8. I thought of the very same hymn that Cindy mentioned. I was just singing it this morning as I walked. : )
    Know that I will be praying for you.

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  9. Thank you for this encouraging two-edge sword! Truth always brings to some degree "sharpness" but on the other side it brings a healing ...I am one of those that has a heart full of wonderful words ....How is this post encouraging because somehow Christians weave this image of "no pain" "no suffering" a bowl of delicious tart cherries to relish if we are "true believers" ...and your opening up and sharing, displaying a truth that we the believers do struggle with pain and suffering. WE do need each other, a kind word, a small token of thanksgiving, a brave moment of honesty to others,...the "point of your sword" for me is "Rhonda stop thinking that I cannot benefit another" ...those wonderful words are "boxed up" b/c I have convinced myself I have nothing to offer another ...my words are but words ....but the words are the evidence of love and understanding from the heart. Many times I will think to post something of encouragement, pick up a small token of thanksgiving and then convince myself oh no one cares! Your open honesty stings me this morning b/c others do care, others do need my wee portion of love and caring. God did not create us to be loners....It is like I have all the mechanics of a car horn but unless I press on that horn there is no sound to alert or draw attention ...our words are the sound of the heart's horn ... I know crazy comparison but that is what I see ...when the pressures of life, the hardships of life, the pain and suffering of life presses on my horn ...then I by God's marvelous design should sound off love, compassion, tenderness, kindness ...encouragement to the Body of Christ. Thank you Deb, for sharing .....you do not know how many times I shop and find "owl" gifts that I think I should get that and send it to Deb but I talk myself out of it always thinking 'Oh no one really cares' ...YES THEY DO ....Love you so much Deb ...we have never met in person but I have such a love for you and I know if we never meet here on earth we shall embrace each other on the other side! Much love to you Deb

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  10. I was gone most of yesterday, Deb, and just now reading this. I understand what you are saying. It is, as followers of Christ, our calling to help, to encourage and be there for other believers. It hurts when we are in pain or need emotional and spiritual help. I have been there! Life as a Christian is certainly not a bowl of cherries. I remind myself of all the old testament men like Paul, Peter and others how their life was full of troubles. It was a test of their faith and it is ours too! Every day is a new day. Keep looking upward!
    Praying for you and your family.

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  11. Mrs Deb - as I read this, the Lord pressed Habakkuk 3:17-18 into my heart. "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines: even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!"

    Please know that you are Loved. And lifted in prayer.

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24