Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! (Part 2) Feigned Feminism Friday

Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL.

Feigned Feminism Friday

Modern woman have it all, but according to Dr. Villar, author of Urban Woman Syndrome, we are paying a hefty price. Women or more likely to suffer stress and anxiety these days than men. The stressors in women’s lives are greater than they were in our mother’s time. Whether you work or stay at home (and work), the pressure is greater to ‘have it all together’ in a world that is falling apart.You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of 0ften? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay). You can find the rest of the first article here.

Ready for the first step?

  1. Get up.

Jesus told the man at the pool to get up. Pool guy had let his circumstances define him for thirty-eight years.

There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated andlingering disorder for thirty-eight years.”

Guess what, your circumstances don’t define you. They are not who you are. They are simply where you are.

“What the enemy tries to whisper to us whenever we struggle is this, “If God really loved you, this wouldn’t be happening.”” (Holley Gerth) Not true. We live in a fallen world. People make choices that affect us. This world has sickness, sin and suffering. This world and all it’s circumstances don’t define us. God doesn’t love us less because we are suffering.

Don’t believe the lie the man at the pool believed- I’m not really loved. Nobody cares about me. No one will help me. Lies. All lies.

You are infinitely loved. God loved you and thought of your adoption into HIs family before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1). Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38-39). You are not what you feel. If you feel overwhelmed, stressed and like a failure, those are feelings, not a determination of WHO you ARE. You are loved! Stand up sister and encourage yourself in the Lord. Look up scriptures including those above and memorize them. Hide them in your heart. Make them part of your arsenal. Pull out the weapon of the Word and fight like a girl.

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! (Part 1) Feigned Feminism Friday

What’s the last decision you made completely uninfluenced by others or your circumstances?

Do your circumstances define you and confine you?

If you had total freedom from other’s opinions, your current circumstances and your erroneous beliefs about yourself, what would that look like?

Would you feel freer, act as if you had value? Would you pursue your purpose with vigor instead of fear and trepidation?

What if you walked as if you were truly loved, valued and cherished?

Feigned Feminism Friday

 

Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL. As Bud, my stepfather used to say, “Something’s got to give.” It’s like those people who want a pool (it’s great), but don’t want to do the work of vacuuming it, keeping the patio clean, testing the water, etc.. Point is, if you have it, you have to maintain it.

Modern women have it all, but according to Dr. Villar, author of Urban Woman Syndrome, we are paying a hefty price. Women or more likely to suffer stress and anxiety these days than men. The stressors in women’s lives are greater than they were in our mother’s time. Whether you work or stay at home (and work), the pressure is greater to ‘have it all together’ in a world that is falling apart. There’s more pressure to look perfect for our social media driven society. There is more stress on being educated and have the perfect career in a new age where women have the option to pursue academics. If you stay at home and homeschool, there is an unwritten rule that your house should be cleaner and you should be more organized and efficient than the rest of the female population!

Are you feeling pressure just reading this? Is it overwhelming? This overwhelming stress or Urban Woman Syndrome drives us to survival mode where we fight, flight or freeze.

We should have it all together, right? As soon as we get one step in the right direction of “I’ve got it all covered”, then circumstances happen that throw us into the pit.

  • Divorce
  • Depression
  • Job Loss
  • Parenting a child with special needs
  • A Move
  • A Job Change
  • A New Baby
  • Health Issues
  • Death of a Loved One

Suddenly, all the great things in our life look gray. Feel gray. I know. I’m preaching to the Guire here. Been there. Done that.

You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of often? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley Gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay).

First of all, do you want to get well? That’s what Jesus asks the man who had laid by the pool for thirty-eight years.

“Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anyone to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in it.”

May I tell you something, friend? There is enough pool water for everyone. The water that Jesus offers means you’ll never thirst. There is no lack in Jesus. The lady next to you at church isn’t taking all the healing. There is enough for you too. Say “yes” to wanting to get well. Take a second right now. Just say, “yes, Jesus”.

Next week, join me for number one!

Suffering for Healing

A few years ago, I started some new medications which “will initially give you Flu-like symptoms and make you feel worse.” Thanks, Dr. P…

“Do not get discouraged!” he said, reminding me that I would begin to improve after the initial symptoms.

Suffer- To feel or bear what is painful, disagreeable or distressing, either to the body or mind; to undergo. We suffer pain of body; we suffer grief of mind. The criminal suffers punishment; the sinner suffers the pangs of conscience in this life, and is condemned to suffer the wrath of an offended God. We often suffer wrong; we suffer abuse; we suffer injustice.-webstersdictionary1828.com/

No one likes the word suffering, it means pain, discomfort, sickness. Yet, we have suffering as long we live on the broken, sin-infested earth.
Abandonment afflicts children.
Illness attacks.
Poverty deprives.
Lack leaves hungry bellies and empty bank accounts.

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What is the purpose of suffering?

I have pondered this question much over the years as I have suffered illness and the past fifteen years as I have watched my children, handicapped from wounds of the their traumatic past.

Does suffering has a purpose? That is a tough question to answer. I think the answer is suffering can be used for a purpose. Suffering draws us to God the Father. Without pain and suffering in our lives, we tend to go about our merry way. We don’t see our need for an Omnipotent God. Just as my suffering illness led me to a doctor who had the power to help, me, our personal suffering leads us to the all powerful one.

“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt.”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

We know something is wrong when we are being hurt in body, soul or spirit. That is why God gave us the gift of pain. Pain tells us something is wrong. But, there is more to it than that. First, let me backtrack and say God did not desire that any of us suffer. He intended for us to stay in the Garden of Eden and live happily ever after. When Adam and Eve sinned, that opened the door for the curse and now we live in a fallen world. This present darkness. But, the kingdom of heaven is here and God works all things out for good for those who love the Lord and those who are called according to His purpose.

So, how does God use suffering?

 Today I had a small lesson in suffering. Just a  teeny sip of hardship. I had a craft day planned with daughter, Amerey. Everyone in the family had gone their separate ways. I stayed to finish putting beef and sweet potato stew together in the crock pot. Afterwards, I gathered my things, paints, boards, lunch, etc.. and headed out the door. I loaded up my car and got in. No keys. No keys in purse. I headed back in. Not on the key rack. Not on my dresser. I searched for the next forty-five minutes. I texted the teen who had driven the car the night before (she was skiing) and through a series of texts, she finally came up with some idea of where they could be. Through it all, I prayed. Lord, let your will be done. Let me okay if I can’t go. Help me to do your will no matter what (not always my reaction, so don’t reach out and pat me on the back just yet). Finally found them in her coat pocket which was in her hamper in her room. Hmmm! I know. That was just a minuscule bit of suffering. It was a test. I had the opportunity to be offended. Hot. Mad. It also gave me the opportunity to grow. I could just see Jesus chuckling at me. He knew where they were all the time. The test was maintain peace or fail and blow up. Lots of times I fail. I think I have taken the same test over and over.

We have to suffer to heal:

painful treatments,

denying the flesh,

facing the past,

plowing new ground to sow better seeds,

letting go of hurt to reach for healing.

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Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. James 1: 2-4

Our response to suffering is more important than escaping it. This is a hard, good word. ‘Consider it wholly joyfully’? In most instances, we want to escape pain not be joyful about it.

Give thanks in all circumstances…. I Thessalonians 5:18

All things work together for good…. Romans 8:28

Suffering also gives us the gift of empathy. How can we comfort others if we haven’t suffered anything ourselves? We who have grieved can comfort those who are grieving. Those of us who have lost a parent can feel the pain when others lose one. We who adopt hurt children can minister to them if we have been hurt ourselves. Suffering drives us to the one who endured the cross. Who took our infirmities,our weaknesses, our sin and bore it. He wanted to carry it for us. He doesn’t want us to carry it alone. And we shouldn’t let others carry their burdens alone. We can help them bear it (as long as we steer clear of codependency- that’s another post).


Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Sometimes we suffer so we can heal. Other times we suffer so others can heal. Yet, while on the earth, we will suffer. Isn’t it better to share our sufferings so that others may gain healing?

And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His sufferingif we are to share His glory. -Romans 8:17

J

Suffering

No one likes the word suffering, it means pain, discomfort, sickness. Yet, we have suffering as long we live on the broken, sin-infested earth.
Abandonment afflicts children.
Illness attacks.
Poverty deprives.
Lack leaves hungry bellies and empty bank accounts.

What is the purpose of suffering?

I have pondered this question much over the last year as I have suffered illness and the past twelve years as I have watched my children, handicapped from wounds of the their traumatic past.

Does suffering has a purpose or is it just the result of living in a fallen world where people use their free will to mistreat others?

Last week I started some new medications which “will initially give you Flu-like symptoms and make you feel worse”- my doctor.

“Do not get discouraged!” he said, reminding me that I would begin to improve after the initial symptoms.

Suffer to heal. Where have I heard that?

Jesus suffered the pain of the cross for the joy set before Him.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

We have to suffer to heal:
painful treatments,
denying the flesh,
facing the past,
plowing new ground to sow better seeds,
letting go of hurt to reach for healing.

2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. James 1: 2-4

Our response to suffering is more important than escaping it. This is a hard good word. ‘Consider it wholly joyfully’? In most instances, we want to escape pain not be joyful about it.

Give thanks in all circumstances…. I Thessalonians 5:18

All things work together for good…. Romans 8:28

Those who suffer are able to empathize with others who suffer.


Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5