What to do with Pain as a Widow: 2 Critical Keys

The most helpful truth I learned

There’s no way to make death and grief OK. Death is an aberration in God’s universe, and every time we meet it there is suffering. We try all kinds of things to delay it, ignore it, and pretend we can evade it, but not one of us can escape death. Death hurts – a lot.

Grief is many things; loss, loneliness, anxiety, stress, anger, depression, exhaustion, and so much more. Grief comes in waves, and each one is different than the one before. If you’ve lost someone close to you, even caring friends are unlikely to fully appreciate its deep and long-lasting impact on your mind, heart, and life.

I think the best word to describe the impact of death on those of us left behind is pain. What do you do with the pain as a widow? The death of my husband Al last year wounded me deeply. And yet I’m still standing. Some days are harder than others, but I keep going. Some have asked how I can do so. It’s more than simply knowing God, although that’s important.

Several things have been helpful in my grief journey, but there’s one thing I’ve come to know that has made the most difference. And it is this:

It’s not supposed to not hurt.

You could take out the double negative and it would still be true; this is supposed to hurt. This is not OK. And when we as Christians try to make it OK we cripple our own hearts and miss out on the empowerment God would like to gift us with.   Tweet that.

For those of us going through grief it often seems that if we could just make the pain go away everything would be alright. But that’s not what God promises, at least not yet.

And it’s not even true. If the pain would magically go away, so would the memories, the love, the gift of that person in your life. That is true even if the relationship also included suffering.

Pain means we care. Pain means we loved. Pain means this is not the way God intended our lives and the world to be. Pain means our love was deep, our lives are different because of that loved one’s place in it, and their time on this earth changed us forever. Those are good things. Would we really not want to hurt at the death of someone we cared about so deeply?

It’s not supposed to not hurt.

So what do you do with the pain? How do you go on? Can you even go on?

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7 Steps to Freedom from Pornography and Compulsive Masturbation

Spiritual Warfare as the Path to Sexual Freedom

FREEDOM!How do you find freedom from compulsive sexual behavior? What does it look like? What does it take to get there?

I’ve been overwhelmed by your response to my post last week about Dealing with Masturbation and Pornography as a Christian. I’ve heard from men and women all over the world who are crying out for freedom. And I’m here to tell you that God has a way out! There is a pathway to freedom! And that’s what this post is about.

This is not for you if you wonder whether what you’re doing is wrong. It’s not for you if pornography and/or masturbation is not your struggle. It’s not for you if you think maybe you should “cut down” on your consumption of compulsive sexuality.

But if the Holy Spirit has put His finger on this part of your life and said, “This right here; it needs to stop. Let Me have this!”, then this post is for you.

This is for you if you’re sick and tired of the bondage, the hiding, the shame and the guilt. It is for you if you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find freedom. It is for you if you’re ready to fight with everything in your being to experience Christ’s victory in this area of your life.

You cannot be successful in this journey by going half-way. If you’re not all in, you’ll fail. Jesus has freedom available for you, but you cannot do your own thing in one area and expect to win a battle with compulsive sexual behavior.

This means war!

So pick up your sword, get furiously angry at your bondage and the one holding you there, and get ready to do the work ahead of you. As Mel Gibson when he played William Wallace, find the scream in the bottom of your soul and cry out with all your might,

FREEDOM!

7 Steps to Freedom

Here’s what it takes to get there.

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Beating the Holiday Blues – Audio Program

Practical Tips to Survive the Christmas Season

MicrophoneAre you one of the 45% of those surveyed who said they DREAD the Christmas holiday season in some way? That’s a lot of us!

I recently sat down with Evelyn Davison of LoveTalk, and discussed a number of practical ways to Beat the Holiday Blues.

(And a big Thank You to Gene Bender, John Cotner, and The Bridge 1120 for making this program possible!)

In this program you will hear:

  • reasons why so many of us struggle with Holiday Blues
  • what the loss of my husband Al has meant for my holiday season
  • exactly what I have done to find healing personally
  • specific steps you can do this Christmas season in Beating the Holiday Blues – whether you’re facing grief or some other problem
  • how Christmas can help you see the Love Plan that Jesus has for you and your future

LISTEN NOW

In the program, we talk about some FREE resources that will help you Beat the Holiday Blues. I hope you’ll join me!

YES! Help me Beat the Holiday Blues!

Let’s beat the Holiday Blues together!

Tweetables: won’t you help someone else find help to beat the holiday blues?

  • Singing the blues? Get some FREE help to Overcome the Holiday Blues this season.        Tweet that.

How to Deal with Masturbation and Pornography as a Christian

What the Gospel says about Solo Sexual Stuff

Hiding Behind ComputerHow do you handle the solo sexual stuff? How do you deal with masturbation and pornography as a Christian?

I’m writing about this because you asked. You send me questions about this almost every week, and you deserve an answer. As both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Ministry, I’ll do my best to offer you both truth and hope on this topic.

For starters, if the gospel isn’t big enough to have answers for this kind of touchy stuff, what good is it? There is no problem in our lives for which God does not have an answer. The answers may not be simple or easy, but that’s why we’re talking about it.

Pornography and masturbation are not the same. I don’t believe God judges them the same. I’m addressing them together because they often go together; masturbating while watching pornography.

If you’re struggling here I encourage you to read all the way to the end of this article. I’ll share with you a dramatic story of how one person found amazing freedom from her private sexual hell. I know Jesus can do the same for you!

How you are affected

Here are some of the people I’ve heard from:

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No Christmas Tree for Me! (Singing the Holiday Blues)

A Baby is God's opinion that the world should go on!

Holiday Blues at ChristmasIn my neighborhood many families go all-out with Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving leftovers are still in the refrigerator when the blow-up Santas, twinkling multi-colored lights, huge red bows, and evergreen wreaths appear on many of the trees, doors, roofs, and lawns. Tall Christmas trees are visible through living room windows. The only thing missing is the snow.

But I won’t be putting up a Christmas tree this year. I’m not sure I’ll even be able to hang the wreath on my front door. I’m gluing together the broken pieces of the little wooden crèche I’ve carried around with me for 15 years; that symbolizes more how my heart is doing right about now.

You see, this will be my first holiday season without my beloved husband Al. He loved Christmas! We loved Christmas together! Last year we had a really big real tree – and I decorated it while he sat in his chair, too sick to help. We made it out of the house for a Christmas Eve family gathering – barely.

And two months later he went home to be with the Lord.

So you can see why it’s just too painful for me to put up a Christmas tree this year. I’ll do good to get the pieces of my little wooden crèche glued together.

There are still things I’m looking forward to this year. Giving gifts is a joy. There are some Christmas carols that open up the deepest places in my heart. I will be spending Christmas Eve with wonderful family. I love celebrating the amazing gift of Jesus as He entered our world as a baby. It’s just that the heartache and sadness are so acute during this season.

Holiday Blues

Are you singing the Holiday Blues like I am?

Something about Christmas makes us want everything to turn out like a Hallmark movie. Come December 25 everything will be OK!

But you don’t always get a boyfriend for Christmas. Your son or daughter doesn’t always make it home for the holidays. Your grief doesn’t go away; it probably gets worse. A box of groceries and firewood don’t always end up on your back porch. Families don’t always reconcile just because of a date on the calendar.

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