God Wants You Uncomfortable

God Wants You Uncomfortable

“God, help me, please!”

I believe God loves those prayers. There’s never a wrong time to pray, though sadly it may be the only time He hears from some of us.

Such a prayer might assume, however, that God wants us happy, comfortable, and satisfied. That’s perhaps partially true, especially in the ultimate sense. But the Bible talks at least as much about how important our discomfort is to God. Sometimes God wants you uncomfortable.

“You mean God does NOT want me happy, comfortable, and satisfied?”

God created you for something much more than happiness, at least in the way we usually think about happiness. Our natural concept of our existence is much too shallow, much too tame, and much too comfortable.

Think of a time in your life when you felt the worst. Perhaps you were depressed, or anxious, or lonely. If you’re like most people you probably wanted to stay in bed or veg out in front of the TV. From the outside you might have looked “comfortable,” but you were actually more than miserable.

Now think of time when you felt most fully alive.

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Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Six Things I’d Say To My Younger Self

Advice-for-my-younger-selfI just had a birthday. At my age that’s both good news and bad news. I’m glad I’m still here. (As someone said, it sure beats the alternative!) But it does give an opportunity to look both backward and forward, and think about what I wish I had known when I was younger.

You can probably look back and see some things you wish you had known also. The purpose of looking back isn’t to be filled with regrets, but to let past experiences, mistakes, and pain become valuable for the future. In God’s economy nothing need be lost. Every problem, every missed opportunity, every negative experience, every bad choice can provide fuel to learn and grow. That’s just plain common sense, and it’s also the message of the gospel. In God’s hands all our problems can be transformed into character and beauty.

Here are some things I’d say to my younger self if I could:

  • Don’t worry about what other people think.
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7 Things to Do If You’re Sad

7 Things to Do If You’re Sad

Have you ever cried so hard and so long you thought it would never end? Or have you become so used to your sadness that you can’t imagine ever having a moment of happiness again? If you’re sad there are things you can do.

I know what that feels like. I’ve been there. Over a period of four years I experienced long periods of time when all I could do was cry. I’d curl up in a little ball on the floor of my bedroom and cry. When I couldn’t sleep because I was crying so much I’d walk the streets at night, crying for hours. At work the next day I’d struggle to see through eyes that were sore and swollen.

That was twenty years ago now. Thankfully God brought me healing in some wonderful ways. People who know me now cannot imagine that I was ever such a distressed young woman. Today I’m happy 90% of the time. I love life!

Perhaps you’re feeling sad because you’ve missed out on some things in life you really needed and wanted. Perhaps you’re sad because someone (or many people) abused and misused you, and you feel worth no more than a puddle on the floor. Perhaps you’ve lost someone close to you and you’re finding it difficult to build a new life without them. Or perhaps you don’t know why, but you’re just sad.

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How to Fill an Empty Marriage

How to Fill an Empty Marriage

One more night of feeling lonely while lying next to someone who you had hoped would be your soulmate forever. One more morning waking up frustrated, sad, and hopeless. One more day of looking for an excuse to work late. One more time of wondering how you ever let things get this far. Can you ever fill an empty marriage?

Most people get married to be happy. Or at least you expect to be happy. During the early days of your relationship the world seemed fuller, the sky brighter, and the future full of hope when you were together. But now the marriage you hoped would bring you happiness and fulfillment only seems to make your inner emptiness all the more painful.

“What can I do about an empty marriage?” is one of the most frequent questions I get asked. Wives wonder how they can extract some measure of warmth from a man who seems not to care. Husbands become frustrated and angry over a wife who seems to be a bottomless pit. It can become a sad state of affairs indeed.

In a perfect world perhaps man and woman “should” be able to fulfill each other’s needs completely. Husband and wife “should” provide an endless supply of understanding, friendship, affirmation, and intimacy – in a word, love. But too often we go to the well of our spouse’s heart to get a drink and find the well dry. Sometimes it even appears they are willing and able to provide a drink to others who are thirsty, but can’t do so for you.

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Did Christmas Disappoint You?

Did Christmas Disappoint You?

Feeling Holiday DepressionFor most of us, yesterday was Christmas. The gifts have been opened. The food has been eaten. The Christmas carols have been sung. And now it’s over.

Feeling a little let down? Did Christmas disappoint you?

Perhaps you didn’t get the gift you left a not-so-subtle hint about. Perhaps you gave someone a gift you thought would get a big response, but it bombed. Perhaps the turkey burned, or the pie you baked tasted awful.

Or maybe it’s something much deeper. Perhaps an estranged has child failed to come home – again. Perhaps shuffling children between mom’s place and dad’s place has reopened the wounds of your previously failed marriage – again. Perhaps having to deal with a loved one’s mental illness or addiction, members of an extended or step-family who you don’t like, or the new reality of life after the death of a loved one has left you only empty and spent – again.

Our hope for the perfect Christmas is almost never met. We may try to tell ourselves we don’t have unrealistic expectations, but we can’t help creating them in our mind. And every time we end up disappointed.

And most of all, the failure of reality to live up to our secret expectations leaves us disappointed in ourselves. We see all too clearly our failures as a parent, a child, a friend, or a spouse.

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