"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, December 22, 2012

H.E.A.L: You're Not Alone (Pt. 2)

Healthy: possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality: a healthy body; a healthy mind. Pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind: a healthy appearance; healthy attitudes.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 

As a country, and a world for that matter, we've become all too familiar with tragedy, trial and tribulation over the past year. Whether it's Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, or Sandy Hook many people are hurting and are in need of help; healing. And as we find our self smack dab in the middle of another Holiday Season many of us are reminded of the unwanted pain we carry around with us. The pain might be center around unresolved family issues, financial pressure, or lost friendships. Others find themselves in the midst of a divorce, the first Christmas since the death of a loved one, and for some, dealing with a strong sense that their dreams are quickly slipping away as evidence of another year coming to an end without little change from past history seems to be a bit overwhelming. 

"I thought I would be somewhere else in life instead of here.",  many say.

Holidays, especially Christmas, can be a traumatic event for many; with the main goal surviving them instead of thriving within them. Many souls are lost, spirits crushed and hearts completely broken.

I know... Merry Christmas to you too. 

I think it's safe to say I could continue with example after example of how people find themselves in complete despair this time of year but I think my point has been sufficiently made; people are in pain, and are in desperate need of healing.

Heal your life

Most people are good at identifying their hurts, acknowledging their pain, and even better at blaming someone or something for their inability to be happy and experience pure joy. As we grow older we soon realize that happiness, and sadness, is often determined by circumstance, and that joy is rooted in deep rooted contentment. Happiness speaks to what I have; joy speaks to who I am. In the end, both are attainable, both are choices and both are unachievable if hurt lives deep within us with no intention on a part of getting rid of it, getting better; healing.

It's said that when a person opens their heart they begin to get better. Opening one's heart will immediately introduces them to vulnerability, honesty and more pain, but if we are to begin the process of healing we have to begin the process being vulnerable, being honest and open to reliving the pain that is associated with that which ails us.

Allow me to share. 

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
-Isaiah 40:8

When a person is to begin the process of healing they're never able to do it alone. For those that have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ know that in times of despair and devastation; in the season of hurt and harm we can go to Him, the One that sits upon the throne and ask Him to hold us in His wonderful embrace. What a beautiful thought. Psalm 61:1-4 states this:

"Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."

and Psalm 62: 5-7 shares these marvelous words with the reader: 

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him. 
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge."

We soon realize that the believer will always find their healing through the power and love; grace and mercy, of God. But if we are at all to be honest with ourselves we also realize that God use's people here on earth to be part and parcel of the healing process for those who are hurting. Recognition is the key word for both the hurting and the helper; those that are full of pain can't heal alone, and they must recognize that truth. Those on the sideline of another person's pain can't decide watch and wave either. They too must recognize that another is in need of help; their help. 

Often times when we see someone waving to us from the shore that is their life they aren't saying hi, their actually drowning, and their trying to get our attention; they need our help.

Who is waving or drowning in your life? 

Paul Young, the author of The Shack, puts it this way: “I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” 

It is through our relationships we are healed. Our relationship with others; our relationship with God. 

H stands for Hope; stands for Help

The key when your hurting is not to lose hope, and the key for those close to the situation, and who have been invited into another person's pain, is to help them never to lose hope. Remember, not everyone that is waving to you is saying hi, some are drowning and desperately need your help. Having hope is important; it's vital to the healing process. One of the ways I remind myself of past hope being rewarded, prayers being answered, and healing from a painful situation is to use my Bible like a journal. In the margins of my Bible in chapters 61 & 62 in Psalms are a list of very specific prayers for change, and for God's favor and healing in different areas of my life. I have a date next to the request representing when I wrote it down and began to pray concerning the certain circumstance(s). Some of the entries have a second date, that date represents when my prayer was answered, but in all actuality that date represents far more than an answered prayer, it is a forever reminder to me that God is faithful, that He didn't abandon me in my time of need, and that He will show Himself again when hurt and healing are needed. My hope is increased when I see two dates next to an entry. It gives me faith and hope for another day. In the end, some entries have two dates; some have one, but both entries were entered with the faith and hope that God see's my need; that He sees my specific circumstance and He will answer my plea in a way that best fits into His will for my life. God always and only wants to offer His best to us, no matter how much we've screwed up or how much we've contributed to our circumstance and pain, no matter how bleak the our reality might be, God wants to give us His best. Jeremiah 29:11-14 supports that truth. Finally, I've come to the realization that it is as important to pray for God to reveal the lesson to me that he wants me to learn in a certain circumstance as it is to pray for a change in that circumstance. We must never forget; God has a plan for our pain. All we have to do is allow Him to share it with us. Don't lose hope. God sees where you need to heal and He will help you... all you need to is ask Him for help. Remember, you're not alone in your need to heal, and your not alone when you travel through the valley that is the healing process. Don't lose hope, help is on the scene; everything is going to be alright.

E stands for Engage; stands for Encourage 
For real healing to begin, and for it to take on deep roots, one must first become engaged in the healing process. You have to decide you want to heal from what ever ails you. Pain, like disappointment, in this life is inevitable, but much like discouragement, healing is a choice. You have to decide you want to heal. In the book of Samuel the reader is introduced to David, the greatest king Israel has ever seen. In the 30th chapter of 1 Samuel David was exhausted and defeated by battle. His troops blamed him for their misfortune and wanted to stone him to death, but scripture recorded David's behavior for our benefit in verse 6: 

"David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God." -1 Samuel 30:6

Different translations of that verse state that David "strengthened" himself. The Hebrew word for strengthen is encourage. We soon realize that David had options at his disposal on how he could handle his misfortune; his pain. David chose to encourage himself and in the process became healed by looking to God as his strength. He knew that God was bigger than his circumstance. David displayed unyielding faith and courage. Before we can become encouraged we have to be engaged, and we can't be healed unless we're encouraged. Often we must have the courage to encourage ourselves, and to encourage others. Again, for those who have been invited into another's pain via a phone call, note or text we have to be willing to become engaged in the healing process. Patting someone in need on the shoulder and saying "I will pray for you" isn't nearly enough. Prayer is important, but we must be engaged at a higher level. Let me state in advance, engaged doesn't mean having all the answers or standing in judgement of the person in need either. What engaged really means is practicing the lost of art of listening, praying for God's direction for the one that is battered and for you as you aid in healing process, and to be unwavering in our attempt to encourage the person that is in need of healing. Be that person that can be depended upon to be engaged in their pain and to be of encouragement to them during their time of discouragement. You can't be their for everyone, but I do believe you will know deep within you when you are to be there for that certain someone. I really do.  

A stands for Act; stands for Attitude
If you sincerely want to heal you have to act now. And the first action that needs to take place is the changing of our attitude towards what is causing our suffering and pain. If someone needs to be forgiven, forgive them today. If you need to go to someone and ask forgiveness don't delay, go to them today. Like David, anyone that has healed from a particular circumstance has at some point decided that they wanted to be healed and thus changed their attitude concerning the situation. They wanted better. Our attitude will always determine our outcome; our altitude. You will only travel as high as your attitude will allow you. Attitude is everything. Many good people choose to wallow in their pain, unwilling to relinquish poor attitudes and senselessly choose to suffer for entirely too long. And when you choose to senselessly suffer everyone you come in contact suffers a little too. Most, if not always, when I write about attitude and the importance of it I write very little. At the end of the day, attitude is always a choice. It's your choice. It's my choice. People will always choose their attitude and there is very little I can say, or do, to change that reality. I will just end with this, choosing a good attitude is always better than choosing a poor one. It's good for your healing, good for you, and good for everyone you come across.

L stands for Life; stand for Love
Love your life enough that you want to heal. The best you; your best life, involves a high level of healing. I know there are circumstances that physical pain can't be extinguished. You might have terminal cancer, were badly injured in a car accident, or your body is being ravaged by deadly disease, in those cases pain is part and parcel of your sad ordeal. But what I'm talking about is the pain we carry around inside of us because we refuse to choose a better outcome. We can choose a better outcome. We really can. Sometimes we have to forgo our right to be right. We have to at times swallow our pride for the greater good. Sometimes we have to simply just move on. I agree that some pain is worse than others, and are very difficult to get over, but at some point we have to choose to live our best life; to be all we can be. Both of those realities takes action on our part, and both are apart of living our best life. Love your life enough to forgive, to seek professionally counseling if needed, and love your life enough to want to heal from what is causing you pain. You can do this. You really can.

Your healing is in God's hand; in your hands.

Yesterday, early in the morning, I received these words from a friend on Facebook:

 Hi Shawn, it has been a while since I've looked at your blog, but felt led to read it today. I was blessed and touched by what I read. I have not been in the best of spirits due to my recent condition and just felt like throwing in the towel.

When I read words like that I'm reminded of why I do what I do. Mybabyroc was started with the simple goal in mind to encourage others. Notes like the one above tell me that the site is going down the right path; right direction. In reading those words I'm also reminded that many people are hurting and are just trying to get through another day. The reasons why people are hurting can be insignificant and irrelevant at times. The names can be familiar or with little social recognition or significance. The people can be wealthy beyond comprehension or living in poverty. No matter the race, religion or gender, no matter if the person is young or old, living with failing health or is as healthy as a horse, the fact still remains that many people are hurting. And it's during this time of year the pain seems to be more intensified. Pain can make us feel like were drowning. It can suffocate us. At times the pain can be incomprehensible leaving us without any hope or notion that anything will get better anytime soon. Pain during the holidays can be cruel and debilitating leaving us empty of any hope; any joy, just an acknowledgement that we are beyond running on fumes; we're empty on the inside.

But wait...

God sees you and He wants to help. He sees how empty you are on the inside and sees where you are right now. He wants to help you. All you have to do is ask.

God is faithful to those who have accepted Him into their heart as their personal savior. God has your best interest in mind and it's deeply entrenched in His heart. All of your pain has a purpose. Simply ask God to reveal it to you. He also desires you to fully heal from whatever is killing you on the inside. That is part and parcel of living the best life that he has planned for you.

Healing is part of His perfect plan for you; for me.

Don't give much attention to yesterday, and worry less about tomorrow, and let today be the day you begin to heal.

Decide today you want to heal. 

Hopefully, you won't be alone in that decision.

sbb 22.12.12



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