Today I Feel – RX for Jessica

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Last night my niece, Jessica, posted the above sentiment on her Facebook status. Before I fell asleep, I managed to comment encouraging her to find Bible verses to counter those feelings. I’ll try to do that in this blog. Here’s her Bible verse prescription for the above ailments that trouble her, and all of us too.

I encouraged her to find Bible verses because I had, and still do have, those exact feelings. I’m sure most of us do. I especially relate to the “ugly”, “like I don’t matter”, “invisible”, and “not worthy of love” feelings, but I will tackle each of them. I have learned over the almost four decades of knowing the Lord Jesus, that He can transform my mind which in turn will produce different feelings than those above.

Today I feel abandoned…I think every human has felt abandoned, lonely and alone. No one truly understands. And that’s a true experience. There are many synonyms for “abandoned”, left, uncared for, forgotten. When I think of abandoned, I think of an empty house, abandoned, like the old Granville house in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. What changed that abandoned, empty house into a happy home? Life and love changed it. In Christ, we have a new life, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!” John 3:16 says we’re loved, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” and John 10:10 says “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Life and love, and to top it off, Jesus says in Matthew 28:20, “…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Never alone again. Amen.

Today I feel ugly…I don’t think there’s a woman in the world who has never felt ugly. We are bombarded with images of unnaturally beautiful women everyday and then we look in our own mirrors…ughh. That may be one of the reasons I have few mirrors in my home. Antonyms for ugly abound: beautiful, pretty, pleasant, nice, attractive. Most of us can’t change our looks, but we can change our inner lives. From there, we can acquire an inner beauty that never ages. We have to admit we’ve got some ugly going on inside. How do we change that? One verse that helps is Psalm 34:5 “They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. When we look at Jesus, we become radiant, we have a spiritual beauty, and from that we get joy. Nothing gets rid of ugly faster than happy.

Today I feel hurt…Hurt comes to all of us. Physical, emotional, mental pain abound in every country, city, and family. Pain: Our great unifier. The opposite of hurt would be healing. Psalm 34:18 assures us, The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” and Psalm 147:3 promises, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up all their wounds.” As we draw near to Him, our hurts will be healed.

Today I feel like I don’t matter…The opposite of this feeling would be we feel like we do matter, that we’re important, that we’re special. The Bible says you matter to God. In the Old Testament, God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” In the New Testament, Paul tells us how God showed us we matter, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends, Jesus loves you that much. Believe me, you do matter to God.

Today I feel useless…This word “useless” reminds me of the debilitating slur some parents would hurl at their children, “good for nothing”. Praise God He’s not that kind of Father. Paul, after he declares we are saved by grace through our faith, says “…we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.You’re not useless, God will use you just where you are.

Today I feel invisible…What’s the opposite of invisible? Visible, of course, noticed, seen, but more importantly, recognized, not just seen, but known. Someone who knows you. David says in Psalm 139,

13For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

He knows all about you because He created you. You are NEVER invisible to Him. Hallelujah!

Today I feel like I don’t belong…Dr. Brené Brown in her book The Gifts of Imperfection writes: “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need in all women, men and children.” We all want to belong to someone or something. Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Jesus adds to this, I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” As Christian believers, we belong to Christ.

Today I feel not worthy of love…I know this one too well. I never felt like I was worthy of anyone’s love, let alone a man’s. Some where deep down I felt flawed, “irregular” like the marked down clothes at Target. I wrote a whole blog about how God transformed my feelings of worthlessness into beloved-ness. All I can say is we need to let God love us, and then we not only feel beloved, but we are capable of truly loving others. Here is a link to that blog: https://fromtheshoe.com/2015/12/05/and-my-soul-felt-its-worth/. Just like the Christmas song says, when Christ was born, “the soul felt its worth”. Thank you, Lord.

So, dear Jessica, here is your prescription to alleviate those “sick” feelings and come back to health. I pray for you that you will come to know the living Christ and be filled up with all the spiritual blessings He is ready to offer you. God bless you, little sister.

Love, Donna

 

 

 

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Vitamin B’s

vitamin b

Like many folks, I am going to be more health conscious this new year. I am going to be more focused on what I put in my mouth. Less carbs, less sugar, more protein, more fat (good fat) and, of course, vitamin supplements. Since I was pregnant what seems like half my life, I had the opportunity to find vitamin supplements that agreed with my system. I never like the bulky maternal multi-vitamin, but I found a good hematinic that upped my iron and gave me what I really needed: B Vitamins, the nutrients that deal with stress and stress related conditions, cause having a boatload of kids is kinda stressful.

However, over the years of my Christian life, I have learned that there are spiritual Vitamin B’s that help alleviate stress as well. My spiritual Vitamin B’s (Bible vitamins) have helped me manage stress, lift depression and, ironically, helped me feel better physically. Here are a few spiritual B(ible) Vitamins that I take religiously:

  • Vitamin B-1:  Philippians 4:6, 7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This wonderful spiritual vitamin taken daily will help reduce your stress levels, protect your heart from worry and bring peace to your mind. Rather than utilize your energy stores in needless anxiety and hand-wringing, you can do other things, clean, perhaps, read a book or discuss with your youngest which Star Wars is the best, an informative conversation I had last night.
  • Vitamin B-2: Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Similar to Vitamin B-1, this vitamin helps rest one’s mind in trust in God. After you’ve prayed, you can rest in Him. This was the first verse I memorized, and only recently have I begun to take it seriously every day. It is a little uncomfortable at first because I have been so used to taking matters in my own hare-brained hands and messing things up, that to let it go and trust Him is a real exercise in patience, restraint and acquiescence. Happily, I have reaped many instances where that patience has paid off.
  • Vitamin B-3: Luke 6:27, 28 – But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” I have to take this vitamin daily, sometimes a couple of times a day. We all have people in our lives that rub us the wrong way, look down at you, even dismiss you with the slight of their hand. Now, there are avenues to express your indignation, but when those avenues are exhausted and you still must live with or work near these folks, this vitamin is essential. This vitamin helps keep your eternal perspective in your temporary circumstances. This vitamin works wondrously with this lovely mineral, Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” – , because Vitamin B-3 is ineffective without acknowledging that  without His strength, we can do nothing.
  • Vitamin B-4: Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” As a lifelong lily-livered coward, this is necessary to my spiritual vitamin regimen. I cannot do anything without this nutrient. Just dealing with adolescents, I need to take mega-doses of this vitamin. I have a couple of kids that can send me into the “depths of despair”, and I must fortify my spiritual and emotional reserves with this wonderful and mighty resource.

I hope you join me this year and focus on better physical health, and give my spiritual vitamins a try, and pep up a petering-out spiritual perspective, prepare for inevitable perplexities or pre-emp potential problems with family or colleagues. These tried and true treats will boost your spiritual metabolism and shed needless amount of worries and cares. Happy New Year, folks!