Year: 2014 (page 1 of 2)

Three Things To Do While You Are Waiting For the Sunrise

This article was originally published by (in)courage.me online Christian magazine. 

http://www.incourage.me/?p=164765<http://www.incourage.me/?p=164296>.

My favorite thing about growing up in Florida was the time my family spent at the beach. No, I’m not a sun-goddess. My fragile and freckled pale skin has never stood a chance against the intensity of Florida’s sun-saturated sky, but I still love the beach.

Though I love the sound of the waves and the feel of the sand between my toes, my favorite pastime is to wake early each morning while everyone else is asleep and head out to the beach. With coffee in hand and a blanket draped around my shoulders, I make my way to a vacant beach chair and wait.

I wait as darkness looms all around. I wait, though the wind can cut mercilessly through any warmth from the blanket. I wait, though there is a heaviness in the air, a stillness that seems as intractable as it is dense. I wait.

I wait, because eventually the moment comes when the darkness gives way to a new day. The sky is painted in the most delicate array of color. In that moment everything changes. I wait for that moment, because every single day the sun rises I am reminded that the darkness doesn’t last forever. The light always comes.

For each of us there are times when it seems like the darkness before dawn will go on forever. Each of us will have moments, perhaps seasons, where the struggles of life threaten to overwhelm us, shake us from our safe, familiar bearings, and walk us into the coldest, harshest places.

Light in these seasons can seem so foreign, so other-worldly, so decidedly out of reach. Yet in the darkest moments, light is our greatest desire.

If you have ever felt lost in a season of darkness, there are three things to remember:

Hold on.

Though everything in you feels like there is no hope, Scripture says that, “Joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NCV). Your joy will come. It may not feel like it today, but just as sure as the suns rises every morning, you can be sure that this season will pass. Darkness cannot last forever. Trust that there is light beyond the darkness. Morning is coming. It will be better than you can imagine. You can make it through.

Listen inside.

When you are going through difficult seasons, sometimes your only focus is getting out of the season. You long for relief. If you could, you’d put on your running shoes and run as far and as fast as possible away from the pain. No matter what you’re feeling, try to listen inside. Is there a wound God wants to be healed? Is there a principle God wants you to learn? Is there a way you can use this painful place as a source of growth on your journey? Your healing lies within. His light lies within. Reach for it. It may feel covered and hidden, but it is there. He won’t disappoint. You can find purpose in the pain.

Be compassionate and truthful with yourself.

 Sometimes when the light is dim and hope seems so far away, you might have the tendency to be the most critical and condemning of yourself. Your thinking becomes both extreme and negative. It is crucial that you learn to be compassionate and truthful with yourself. The truth is, though your pain is real, His banner over you is love. His light reaches into the deepest places. He is your light and your salvation. The truth is you are completely loved by God. The truth is you are stronger than you believe.

Are you struggling today in a season of darkness? Do you feel hopeless that morning will ever come for you?

Hold on. Listen inside. Be compassionate and truthful with yourself.

Light is made brighter, more brilliant, when it is displayed against the backdrop of darkness. His light will be made more breathtaking and miraculous against the backdrop of your night.

[bctt tweet=”He can take your darkness and transform it into light. Trust Him.”]

Even in the midst of the darkest nights, there is a sunrise coming!

[bctt tweet=”Even in the midst of the darkest nights, there is a sunrise coming!”]

 

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Six Clues That You Might Be Living Behind a Mask

A few weeks ago, my husband and I attended a Halloween party. In addition to the hayride, the food, and festivities, there was an array of costumes for children of all ages. There were masks, wigs, full-body armor as well as an endless collection of light-sabers, fairy wands and Dorothy-red shoes. Continue reading

Seven Things Emotionally Healthy People Don’t Do

Not long ago, I was sitting with a client who, shock of all shocks, didn’t want to be in therapy. He expressed whole-heartedly that, “Only people with mental illness need a therapist, but anyone with common sense can figure out their own problems.” Continue reading

No Matter How Busy Your Life Is, There Is Only One Necessary Thing

I blink and it is Easter. I blink again and it is fall.

Time passes so quickly, quicker by the year perhaps. What happened to the time? Where did it disappear?

Continue reading

3 Mistakes That Keep Us from Resolving Our Differences

Lately, it seems like I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about the need for “conversations.” In the wake of the Ferguson, MO tragedy, I’ve heard leaders saying that we need to have a conversation about race. I hear politicians every evening on the news talking about the need to have a conversation about immigration, the economy, education, gay rights and a myriad of other topics. I routinely hear parents discuss the need to have conversations with their kids about drugs, sex, and education. Couples describe a tremendous need to have conversations with each other about their relationship, finances, feelings. Continue reading

Why I Don’t Want My Kids To Be Happy

I don’t want my kids to be happy.  Sounds horrible, I know, but it’s true.  Continue reading

What Lies Ahead: Forging a Life and Relationship / Return of the Prodigal, Part 3

If you didn’t read last week’s post, you can catch up at http://lisamurrayonline.com/2014/08/return-prodigal-part-two-happens-god-calls-name/

 

I have these dreams that have been tucked away in my heart for some time. When the darkness steals in at night and I drift off to sleep, I often imagine what lies ahead. How he will grow. How he will build his life. I can close my eyes and envision a young, handsome man, growing strong and sure.

 

I dream that he stays, and that we build a life together. Continue reading

Return of the Prodigal, Part Two: What Happens When God Calls You By Name

If you didn’t read last week’s post, you can catch up at http://lisamurrayonline.com/2014/08/return-prodigal-part-one-youre-waiting-end-long-road-home/.

 

I sat and listened to him fill in the missing puzzle pieces of his life. With each story, a mixture of joy and pain. There is the distinct realization that in every event, every experience, we were missing. Continue reading

Return of the Prodigal, Part One: When You’re Waiting at the End of the Long Road Home

It was the Wednesday after Labor Day. I remember it distinctly ­— a day not unlike so many others before. I was finishing up after a long day at work. It was late. As is my custom, I called my husband as I drove home to let him know I was on my way.

 

It was already dark. I was trying to concentrate on the road as I waited for him to pick up the phone. He didn’t say hello. He hesitated a moment, then simply stated, “You’ll never guess who’s here.” I knew immediately. Continue reading

Four Things Couples Do That Keep Them Stuck

As Avery and Jack entered the office, the tension in the air was evident.  They politely found their respective chairs and sat for a moment frozen in awkward silence. Continue reading

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