It’s been hard to post anything lately. I haven’t felt like doing any online “interacting”. When I’m in the midst of a valley, I’ve found I just don’t have the words to say. And, if I do try to write about it, responses to those posts can often do more harm than good. Words can hurt. I remember back seven – Oh my! Almost eight years ago now! – when my dad died, that no one said anything helpful. In fact, some of their words made me feel worse! “He looks like he’s gained weight.” “I told him to watch what he ate.” “He was looking depressed right before he died.” WHAT? Were these people crazy? *shaking head* And then, there were those who patted my arm and quoted Romans 8:28…I can’t tell you what I wanted to do to them.
Here I am, in another very dark valley. I didn’t dare try to pour my heart out online just to read a comment by some “caring” person who might say, “Chin up, you can take it! Be tough!” or, “Been there, done that, lived through it. You will too.” (And then they’re supposed to say, “Over and out, ten-four.” Right? *laughing*
Before you say, “You’re very jaded!” Let me say, “I’m kinda jaded.” I’ve been hurt a few times, and then had that hurt made worse by the words of people who I wish had just left me alone. Only my mother is allowed to quote scripture to me to make me feel better. Why? Because she loves me. Okay, my husband can do it, too. 😉 God’s Words are sacred, and should be shared with true love and reverence. Even if a blogger feels true love in using the Bible as encouragement, it’s hard to communicate that sentiment online to a stranger. A good way to do it? Something like this:
Hey, fellow blogger who is in a terrible valley, I am going through the same thing right now! As I was pouring out my heart to the Lord, He gave me this verse: (Insert Bible passage here and anything else)
That is a kind, understanding and very humble way to share a verse. Well, in my opinion, anyway. 🙂
So, that’s why I haven’t posted. I’m still in the valley, and so far, I’m doing okay. I am finally taking a few trembling steps back into the blogging world by sharing my heart. I recognize I don’t have all the answers, but what use is a valley if you can’t help someone else who might be in it, too? In that spirit, I’m sharing what has helped me:
1. Reading my Bible every day, like always. Even when the Lord seems to be a million miles away, getting in my spot with my coffee is what I do. Many days, I get something. Somedays, I don’t. But I’m always there to try.
2. Praying. Sobbing. Praying. Sobbing.
3. Talking to one person about everything, but not to everyone about everything. I can’t hash it out with a hundred different people. Why? Well, that stirs it up and makes it worse. Not only that, the Bible says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”(Prov. 10:19) I’ve confided in a few very close friends what’s going on, but even they don’t have all the gory details. Only about three people whom I trust with my life know everything.
4. Minimizing social network use. It’s just better for me if I do.
5. Exercise. I’ve said before that I exercise regularly. Well, when the dark days come, my desire is to eat. I’ve really been working to avoid eating for comfort. I’ve also ramped up workout routine. It’s good to sweat!
6. Count my blessings. So many times, the Devil comes along and shines a light on all of the bad. I have to consciously say “I’m going to look for the good.” And I list it. And I smile.
7. Have something to look forward to everyday. For me, it’s writing. Sometimes, I watch a movie after all the work is done. I also like to organize. The key is to stay busy.
8. Control my mind. It’s really all about the mind, isn’t it? Lately, I’ve noticed overwhelming feelings of – well, various emotions – wash over me at odd times. I’ve started pulling out my Bible and opening up to read whatever I find: Psalms, Proverbs, 1 John, Acts, whatever. (My morning devotional time follows a schedule.) It helps a great deal! It diverts my mind onto happier topics and I can resume my work.
9. Remember the cross. When it all seems to be too much to bear and I want to run away, the Holy Spirit reminds me of what Jesus suffered. In light of that, my life is a cake walk.
I have so much to catch up on, mostly photos of the kids for my family. I hope to do that very soon and I hope I communicated my heart adequately. Thanks for reading.