Archive for gifts journal

“Just because things aren’t the same, doesn’t mean they can’t still be good.”

These words led me out of grief months ago. Now they keep coming back to me. They feel like the mantra needed for speaking hope into these turbulent times. They feel like the exact roadmap for creating a future that is built on hope, gratitude, and resilience.

“Just because things aren’t the same, doesn’t mean they can’t still be good.”

Things are not the same now. At all. As I’ve said a lot lately, we do need to allow ourselves to grieve that. We cannot paste a smile on and pretend things are OK, or that they will magically soon return to what they were.

Yet . . . the invitation is to believe that life can still be good. The challenge is to actively and consciously look for the good that still exists.

The foundation for this, for me, are certain very relevant promises from God’s Word:

  • The promise that God knows the plans he has for each of us, and that they are plans for good, not evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • The promise that he is always working things together for good for those who trust him (Romans 8:28).
  • The promise that “God is a very present help in times of trouble, therefore we need not fear, though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46).
  • The faith that God is both before me and behind me: “the LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8) and “surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6).

The great hope of faith is that even suffering is not meaningless. That a benevolent, wise God is always at work to redeem what was ruined, to restore what was lost. (Sometimes he restores even more than was lost, though it may take a very different form.)

See if you can test this from your own life. Can you look back on a difficult experience and now, in hindsight, see some good that came out of it?

I’ve mentioned before the tragedy of when my friend and her husband were killed. There was nothing good about that in itself. However, I saw some good come out of it.

For instance, some of what was given to me afterward (e.g., the vision of “King Jesus facing down evil“), sustains me now. I am learning how to deal with grief in a healthy way for the first time in my life, and that enables me to help others. I experienced amazing support from certain friends, which is precious to me. Their example has shown me how to “be there” for others in their pain. I could go on.

I encourage you to take some time to reflect on the positives that have comes from some difficult times in your life. If you’ve taken my earlier advice and started a Gifts Journal, write those experiences down. (You can even label them “disguised gifts.” They didn’t feel like gifts at the time, but now you can see how God fashioned something good out of them.)

my current gifts journal

 

Then, keep the positive momentum going by daily taking note of anything good you experienced in the day. Choose a nice-looking notebook or journal you will enjoy writing in. Make quick notes–just enough to jog your memory later. Your English teacher will not read this!

When you need a pick-me-up during these trying days (I know this has been a roller-coaster ride for me), take out your Gifts Journal and reread the chronicle of God’s good hand in your life.

“Just because thins aren’t the same, doesn’t mean they can’t still be good.” Capture the goodness!

 

Then, please share it! Comment below, or share on the Healing Codes Coaching Facebook page. Let’s together start a chronicle of witness to God’s compassionate hand guiding us through this time. He knows how hard this is, and he desires to bring us joy and hope to strengthen us and see us through to a miraculously Better Normal.

And it you need personalized help with the heart issues that block you from joy and seeing the gifts, please check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com. I’d be honored to be your healing journey mentor.

 

As I write this, many people from all over the world have been “sheltering in place,” to one degree or another, for at least a month.

In that time, we have all been thrown into collective grief and shock, because the changes have happened so swiftly, so totally.

Every aspect of our lives have changed—forever.

Things will never be the same.

We need to grieve that. There are some days when grief looms large indeed for me.

Grief not only for what I’ve lost, but as a Highly Sensitive empath, I also feel the pain of countless others who are suffering.

Suffering the loss of loved ones. Loss of work. Loss of a business into which they have poured themselves.

And I can’t even think of the children who are abused, trapped in homes with parents who formerly could not bear the stress, and who now are at the breaking point.

Or other victims of domestic violence.

For everyone, a way of life has been changed forever, more or less, in one way or another.

How do we cope? Is there any way to come out of this crisis stronger?

I believe there is. If we can embrace the hidden invitations of this strange time, we will develop strengths that we can bring into the “new normal” we will soon, we hope, be able to forge. 

What we need is resilience. Here are two steps  to develop your resilience.

Step One: Find the Joy Amid the Suffering

The first hidden invitation, and a big part of the healing process, is to learn to find joy even in the midst of the suffering.

Joy? In the midst of suffering? Is that possible? Read More→

A friend of mine said something to me I’ve been mulling over ever since.

This friend, Clare Masters, has had incredible health challenges (read her gofundme posts here). Botched surgeries, constant pain, and the pressure of trying to live on $4000/year could easily have stolen her life.

While every day is a challenge for Clare, you would never know it if you talked to her. She is always positive, always looking for ways to give back. She’s the kind of person you want to help out as much as you can. She never complains (though if you ask and really want to know, she’ll be honest), and she’s always looking for ways to give to you.

At a recent hospital stay, a nurse asked her how she is able to stay so positive. Why wasn’t she bitter about the cards life handed her? Read More→

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