When All Hope Seems Lost

When All Hope Seems Lost

Truth. Where do we find it? It’s nearly impossible to know what is true these days. There is so much corruption, disinformation, deception and bold face lying going on, it’s easy to lose hope. Piled on top of this, is the obvious censorship being imposed upon truth tellers and those who are desperately seeking truth. It is easy to lose hope. Prior to sitting down and writing this blog God reminded me to:

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

(Ephesians 4:2)

As a therapist my goal is to provide a path to healing built upon hope. I wanted to share with you what keeps me strong when all hope seems lost. In a nutshell, it’s my faith. Jesus said,

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. I am the way, the truth, and the life.

John 14:1 & 6

The source of truth and foundation of hope is found in what is unseen NOT what is seen.

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.[a] While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. (2 Corinthians 5:1-7)

For we live by believing and not by seeing.

2 Corinthians 5:7

I’m aware we all have our losses and this perspective is not easy. I only want to encourage you to have faith in Gods long term plan. God’s Word is unchanging. Jesus is still the same, yesterday, today and forever. Looking for hope from the world is a hopeless endeavour. Let God be your hope.

Blessings,

Stacey

Confronting the Guilt and Shame Based Agenda

Confronting the Guilt and Shame Based Agenda

Every day we are confronted with the same dilemma. A choice. A difficult choice. A choice that will inevitably pit ourselves against someone who have made a different choice. Why do we make the choices we choose? Decisions are difficult. They require wisdom, courage and conviction. I don’t know about you but there have been several times over the last year when my choices have been criticized by those who have made a different choice.

I have always believed that each person has a right to their own opinion and their own choices; the right to make our own decisions. I also believe we have a responsibility to respect another persons opinion even if we disagree. Lately it seems more and more like this right to our own opinion is one sided. I’m not going to identify which side are disrespecting my opinions or decisions. I will leave that up to the reader. The truth is, there appears to be an all out effort to guilt and shame those who do not support and agree with the public message. For example, if you don’t agree with mask wearing or getting the vaccine you are just an uncaring, insensitive jerk. We have fondly identified these shame makers as “Karens” or “Maskholes.”

I have personally been labeled an “asshole”, “jerk” and “unloving.” I’ve been told to “believe the science” even though the science is different depending on the subject matter. Science sure has become politicized and opinionated. I would love to trust the science, government and medical leaders. Sadly, the evidence over the last year have only validated my distrust.

How do we weather this storm of division?

It’s not easy.

Most often we make decisions based on two sources of data: emotions and/or expectations. Both are valid and important sources of information. The problem with emotional decisions is that our feelings often lie to us. Emotional decisions are often very misleading. The issue with expectations is our inability to please everyone. There will always be someone who holds a different expectation. So we cannot go through life trying to meet everyones expectations. The trick is learning to screen those emotions and expectations through our core values. The problem is we don’t all share the same core values.

Are you clear what your core values are?

If you are clear what your core values are those values become your guide. Not your emotions or the expectations other have of you. I have three core values that inform my decision making: Faith, family and integrity. I refuse to make decisions that require me to compromise these values in any way. The problem with making value based decisions is that not everyone will share those values. So it is inevitable we will meet people who reject what we hold dear. That’s okay. It really is. It means that sometime we have to let those people go. We have to allow them to live with their own decision while we live with ours.

Never allow anyone to shame or guilt you for values that are different than theirs. Stand up for your values because if you do not your life will be miserable. There is nothing worse than bartering away your values for a facade of acceptance and love. That’s not acceptance. That’s called coercion. Guilt and shame are being used to coerce people into submission.

It’s hard. It really is. But, your values are far more valuable than acceptance. The bible says, “You are in the world, NOT of the world.” My friends, the world is trying hard to coerce us into a concept of worldly subservience.

I for one, REFUSE.

Blessings,

Stacey

The Power of Presence

The Power of Presence

Todays devotion reminded me of Jesus message, “I am with you always.” Presence is a power our world seems hellbent on eliminating.

It was not that long ago (11 months) when we would have heard that people spend too much time on social media, too much time on their phones, too much time on the gaming console. We would laugh at the silly selfies and at each other when we realize we are all on our technology while sitting in the same room together. We would be together but not really present.

Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

It’s amazing what can happen in eleven short agonizing months. Now, all of a sudden we are told to stay home, don’t have friends and family over, and basically live our entire life in isolation on social media. Hmmm. Even school is online.

When I was in bible college, I spent an hour every day for an entire semester sitting with palliative care patients. Most often these were folks unable to speak. You would just sit by their bedside and read a book, watch television or talk to them. The silence was so awkward. But, in those times I learned the power of presence. The power of just being “with” someone.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Human being are not created to live in isolation. Social media and technology is toxic to human development. It stagnates growth, empathy and connection. We need people to be in our life.

Children especially depend on social interactions. Social interaction is a primary source of identity development. Without healthy social (in person) interaction we struggle to know who we are in this world. It is in those social interactions (at least in part) we develop a concept of self. The division, in many ways we see going on in this world is creating more long term damage than Covid19.

We live in a world where we can be more connected than ever but we are so apart.

I thank God every day Jesus is a fundamental part of my life. I try reminding myself that no matter what Jesus is with me. But you know what. It’s not enough.

There is a story of a little girl who had a bad dream. She awoke crying out for her mom, “Mommy mommy, I need you. I had a bad dream.” Her mom replied, “It’s okay, Jesus is with you.” The little girl says, “I know Mommy! I need someone with skin!.”

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Yes, Jesus is with us. Praise God! But, God knew how important it was for us to have someone with skin. That’s why God created Eve!

Have a blessed day!

Stacey

I want More

I want More

The concept of wanting more is a common distortion many have. A client I am working with said this about their life,

My life is defined by More. More sales growth, more profitability, more freedom, more time away from work, more time at work, more coaching the kids, more relaxing (looking for relaxing time), more time as Mayor, more planning for retirement with wife, more thought about future political office, more, more, more. 

Provided with permission.

DO YOU WANT MORE?

The truth is, less really is more. There are those of us who are simply chasing time and shoulding themselves into a chronic anxiety disorder. Sure, the “I want more” approach to life holds several benefits but at what cost? You simply cannot be “on” all of the time. Eventually your body will shut down. Chronic stress and tension built up over time leads to several negative physical, mental and emotional consequences. It is inevitable. All that time, chasing time, only to lose it.

The more on you are, the more off you will feel.

Stephen W. Smith, The Jesus Life

Consider yourself challenged to reflect “more” on the “less is more” concept. If you really want more out of life we need to define what less looks like. Less driveness mean more health. Less perfectionism means more flexibility. Less people pleasing means more sanity. Less avoidance means more solutions. LESS REALLY IS MORE

So, if you really do want more try incorporating more less. Sit back, enjoy a cool drink a hot cup of decaf coffee and enjoy the moment. Stop trying to create more of everything and everyone. Be quiet. Be still. Be patient. Sit with yourself a while and feel more of you!

Stacey