Healing in the Chaos

Hey there blog family!

For a long time I didn’t blog because I wanted to ride the storm and when I was triumphant and won the battle then I would tell you guys. However, it’s been a very long and heavy storm. But my mind changed recently when I read something on Instagram. It said

The Book of Psalms is great because it shows you that you can praise and glorify God when life is good and when life is bad

Source unknown.

And that’s when I thought to myself “if King David wrote half of the Psalms whilst in a majorly low place and it has has yet to stop helping people overcome their struggles, why should my blogging stop because I am in a low place?” Especially, since the premise of this blog is to help people with everyday Christian life. And what’s more Christian than the struggles that arise?

So in saying that. Let’s jump into it.

Have you ever been in a situation where something drastic has happened in your life and finally after processing everything you now think to yourself “yup, now it’s time to heal”. But in that moment the devil is just chucking every type of fiery dart at you?

At first you managed to dodge the first few but now it seems like they’re all being thrown all at once and now it’s just mad chaos?!

Your job, bills, friends, family, even church folk, are being used as these darts and all you can think is “God, how? Why?! How can I heal from my previous messes in such chaos?”

If we’re being completely honest with each other, this is where I am currently and it’s the most frustrating place I’ve ever been in my life so far. It’s like every time I start to find my feet again there’s a gust of wind throwing me off my feet and back into a hurricane of hurt, confusion, anger and so many other emotions. And I know I’m not the only one who is, or has been, in a season like this.

You start to wonder “what kind of stressful test is this? And how long do I have to endure this for?”

Unfortunately, we don’t know how long these tests will last. It could be a month, a year or even 10 years! I mean if we look at the story of Job he went through it for months and months (this doesn’t necessarily mean it was less than 12 months, meaning it could have been a year or so).

Job is a perfect example of someone who continued to cry out to God, stay faithful to Him whilst in so much chaos! I mean my guy lost his belongings, he lost his job, his properties, his animals were either dead or stolen, all of his kids died, he got sick, was made homeless, was ridiculed and everybody and their nan’s thought he had become crazy! Then his wife told him to “curse God and die”. (Job Chp. 1- 42)

I mean that is a lot!

We all face problems that can take a major hit on us, where it does feel like your entire world is just coming to an end. I mean the mere fact that Job’s wife said those words could have been playing on his mind all those months low-key. He could have been contemplating on cursing God and taking his own life but his faithfulness in God did not allow him to take the words his wife said to him to heart. Instead he rebuked her right there and then.

But Job replied “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”

Job 2:10 (NLT)

And he’s not wrong. Sometimes God gives us situations just for the purpose of growth or to have a testimony that can touch others. Even just going through the book of Job now I am being touched by his testimony and I’m in awe of his faithfulness in God. Which is funny because it’s not my first time going through this story.

It’s a hard truth sometimes God does allow us to go through some things to grow us. Whether it be character flaws that need changing for the better, insecurities that need to be weeded out of us, strengths that need to be birthed in us or even just so our testimony can help someone who is going through a situation we have once faced one day.

In saying all of that, I know it doesn’t make the situation easier or the chaos any less. I’ve had days when I just wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits on my Christian journey but God’s previous faithfulness and my fear of having the world beat me up (again) stops me every time. I get frustrated with God and start saying some mess to him.

Like “hello! But what are you doing up there on your cloud? You can’t see me suffering down here?”

As faithful as he was to God, even Job got frustrated as any of us would do when we’re in a pit of endless hurt and chaos. Plus, God was being silent and we all know that never helps when we are continuously calling and crying out onto God to help us.

If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court. I would lay out my case and present my argument.

I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed.

Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain?

NLT
Job 23:3-4
Job 23:8-9
Job 24:1

However, even in these hard and frustrating tests God is always by our side. As silent as He may be during this season he is still here with us. With you.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43:1-3

Job went through so much (42 chapters worth of torment) and even in that God later on blessed him twice as much!

When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before! …

So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. …

Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died an old man who had lived a long, full life.

Job 42:10/12-13/16-17

Imagine the amount of people living at that time just thinking “wow, this is Job now? Look at how God has blessed him after all he had been through. He has more than what he had before.” And for months he was seen as the rich fella on the streets who lost the plot after he lost everything and pretty much got every illness under the sun.

Another person I think of, in terms of persevering in a continuous testing seasons, is someone I randomly came across on Instagram last year. Her and her husband have been struggling to have a baby for years! And finally at the age of 40 God blessed her with triplets.

Yes, I said it. Three beautiful baby girls were born after years of her and her husband staying faithful and continuously praying for God to do His thing and He really did. X3! And people say miracles don’t exist or were only for biblical times.

Perseverance, faithfulness, patience and endurance. Those are the things we need to continuously pray for during this season. As well as our relationship with God to be strengthened in this time because sometimes, hard times cause us to have a lack of faith which then leaves us open to falling back into old habits and backsliding.

We need to run towards God, more so now than ever! Running away will only lead us to the world and into the grasps of Satan. And I don’t know about you but I ain’t about that life and I ain’t trying to be about it no more.

As I got half way to writing this post, I truly believe tests like these, where you are uncertain of what exactly the test is or if it was a consequence of sin as Job also questioned, are God’s way of seeing which way you will go.

Will you be like a leaf in autumn and fall away from God to parish and wither away in the hands of the world or will you be an olive branch that holds strong to the root which provides you with nourishment, even in times of drought?

Have a think about that.

The suffering might be happening right now. But I will leave you with this, before gold becomes pure, it has to go through almost 2,000°F (1,093°c) of fire. Think of this season as you being purified in this moment as you stay faithful in God.

But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.

Job 23:10-11 NLT

Let’s heal through the chaos together and come out of the fire as pure gold.

That’s all she wrote …

It’s Ok

‘Sup you lot!

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week, so I thought I’d speak on getting to a place where you can be open with your feelings. Not just with people, but with God and yourself.

I wanted to write this post for people who are sensitive like me, people who feel like their sensitivity is a major weakness that they keep their emotions to themselves, too afraid of being called too sensitive that they hide a lot of themselves.

I wrote it to uplift those who have been branded as too sensitive, so that they can see the positives in their sensitivity because we all know that holding in our emotions can be so detrimental to ourselves, which is not good for our mental health at all.

So I hope you can gain confidence in this post by seeing the positives and know that God is a God of all things, including sensitivity.

Last week, I started to feel a little bit low and I wasn’t really sure as to what it was that got me down.

Now for me, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be completely open regarding my feelings with myself and sometimes others, which people may find weird because I’m also the most open person. I’m an oddball I guess.

When I was growing up I was super sensitive, I’m still sensitive today just not as much, and people used to always think and see me as the ‘sensitive one’. I was called a crybaby and too soft and this stuck with me and continued to play around in my head.

One day when I was 14 years ago, during my depression, I was in my music class and one of the boys in my class said something, I don’t remember what exactly, and one of my friends at the time replied with “don’t say that you’ll just make her cry again” and everyone, including my friend, started laughing.

I was so embarrassed but I held everything together and decided to go home early, without waiting for my friends. As I got off the bus I let it all out and cried as I walked home, using the alleyways so I didn’t bump into anyone. I started praying to God “why didn’t you make me this way? I don’t understand, why didn’t you make me strong? Why did you make me weak?”

When I finally got home, no one was home so I went straight into my bedroom, changed into my pyjamas, closed the blinds, got into bed and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Once I had stopped crying I made a vow to myself that I will never cry again.

Ever since then I have had trouble with actually knowing how I feel and managing my feelings. Sometimes we make promises with ourselves that are detrimental to growing our relationship with God. These promises put a barrier in between us and God because they’re not from God. Some people know them as unholy covenants or unholy promises.

I know that sometimes it’s hard to be open, trust me, but sometimes in order for us to be better, in order for God to help us overcome thing and be better, we have to let our guard down and be vulnerable.

God made me to have feelings, and yes being sensitive can be a negative but it can also be a positive.

I’ve googled and found many positives of being highly sensitive. Here are my top 3 for you:

1. You’re highly considerate.

2. You have high levels of empathy and you’re deeply moved by other people’s emotions.

3. You experience positive emotions more deeply.

Being sensitive is not a bad thing. You don’t need to fight your feelings, you don’t have hide your emotions away. It’s ok to admit you’re not ok. It’s ok to have feelings. It’s ok to feel down and out, and not know why. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok.

I had to say that to myself the other week. I’m so adamant that I don’t have to cry and I’m ok, but all I’m doing is putting a big mask and hiding myself from God who’s probably looking down at me like “you’re clearly not ok and you know that I know this. So come to me and lay it at my feet.”

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

– Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

I had to admit to myself that I was not ok, cry it out and pray to God about what I was feeling in that moment.

I know it’s ok to cry because even Jesus cried.

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

Jesus, the Son of God, who has healed many, who was a great leader, also cried. Feelings come from God. If we didn’t have feelings we would be emotionless robots, which is not from God, which would mean we were not made in his image.

If you need to cry out to God, then do it! He will hear you.

The righteous call to God and he listens; he rescues them from their troubles.

Psalms 34:17

Instead of making unholy promises that will create a barrier with God we should cry out to him, in our most deepest, darkest and saddest times. He is listening always.

It’s ok to have raw prayers with God when you’re literally in bits and you’re just asking why. The same way you can be honest with friends, is how you should be honest with God in all areas.

Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord and said “What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me?”

Exodus 17:4 (GNB)

In all his frustration Moses cried out to God. It’s ok to speak to God through all the frustration you’re feeling.

We know God has feelings. God showed love, anger, disappointment, compassion, joy, just to name a few. So don’t condemn yourself if you’re ‘too sensitive’, see the positives in it.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭(MSG‬)

Take this passage and apply it with your high levels of empathy. Your sensitive can be more of a strength than you know.

I hope you’ve been able to find some sort of confidence boost within this post.

Remember always be open. Don’t let anyone say that you’re too sensitive without remembering the positives that come from being highly sensitive. Remember it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to admit that you’re not ok.

God is listening and he’s always around, it’s up to you as to how open and vulnerable you want to be towards Him.

Stay blessed, stay safe

That’s all she wrote …

Day 9: Stop. Breathe. Think

Inhale.

Exhale.

You ever stress so much that you just can’t breathe sometimes?

Like you can’t find your keys and you’re late for work, so you’re running around the house trying to find your keys in a hurry and you’re panicking to the point you get super frustrated and feel like the day is ruined and all of these thoughts are just running through your head and you can’t seem to stop them?!!

When these situations occur, the blood boiling, shorter breath, kind of situations you need to realise that this is how you’re feeling and react in a positive way.

Stop. Breathe. Think.

Something I find helps me a lot because I’m a natural stress head.

It’s not good for your health to be frustrated constantly, it’s bad for your heart, your blood pressure, all sorts!

These are the things I like to do when I’m angry, frustrated, bloods boiling and my breath is near enough to nonexistent:

Move away from the situation! That could be leaving the room to go elsewhere, if it’s someone, or something in that room, that’s making you feel that way, or leaving the library if it’s an assignment. Or even going on a bathroom or tea/coffee break if you’re at work. (If you’re allowed to do that).

That being said if it is someone who made you mad, go cool off elsewhere then come back when you’re not heated and talk about the situation. Not in a way that will make everything heated again though, because you’re just playing yourself. Just make sure the problem is 100% solved.

Don’t want to think everything is fine when you’re actually angry deep down.

Go for a walk! I love going for walks in general, it’s good exercise and the fresh air is great especially when you’re feeling negative emotions. But if you can go somewhere with great scenery. Makes you appreciate life a bit more.

For example, I live not too far from a country park, sometimes I go and walk around there, or for photography of the nature there, or feed the ducks (yes I’m that person [also don’t feed ducks bread please, you are killing them. Feed them wheat/corn/oats instead, it’s healthier for them, thanks]).

This just takes your mind off the situation that made you angry and you calm down.

Count to 10! Inhale … exhale .. 1 … repeat. That’s how you should count. Again because your concentrating on your breathing and the counting, you don’t have time to think about what you were mad about anymore.

Listen to calming music! For me it helps sometimes. I think instrumentals helps a little bit more than songs with lyrics because sometimes they can reflect how you’re feeling and just make you feel worse. Or sometimes you just want to think but can’t concentrate before of the words.

Do yoga! If you can. Don’t get angry and start doing yoga in a Costa or Starbucks, although Starbucks might love it, it’s probably best to do it in the right environment. But yoga is so calming, not gonna lie. Feel like a whole new person after yoga.

Plus you spend about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to do some next poses your body may not be used to, you’re not even angry anymore.

And lastly…

Just breathe. I have a few meditation apps (exploring which ones best for me) and it’s all about controlling your breathing, thinking about your breathing and calming yourself.

It’s similar to the counting but you have someone talking in the background with a calming voice, every so often.

I always feel better after meditation. Like a weight has been lifted, once my eyes reopen.

This went from resolutions for me that you could also use, to self-help guides, haha!

Anyway, I hope you’re all getting something from this series so far.

With that being said,

That’s all she wrote

F A R I E L L E. N