Letter for a Rainy Day

I found this letter I had written myself for a “rainy day.” You know, one of those days that nothing seems to be going right, depression begins to set in, and you can’t seem to focus on God’s goodness- no matter how hard you try. Perhaps it’ll help you for a rainy day too!

Dear Carrie,

You must be in the middle of a horrendous rain storm. Hail, lightening, severe wind, stinging rain, and dark clouds surround you. Don’t give up! The storm will pass. Sunshine is on the way!

While in the midst of this storm there are a few things to remember:

  • The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

  • Guard your heart, but don’t lock it up.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs 4:23

  • God will be faithful to complete what He has started with you. He hasn’t quit. Don’t you quit either!

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6

  • Let go of control. God’s got this!
  • If something hasn’t gone right, try again!
  • Do you need to change your perspective? How is this storm good for you?

Even when we don’t understand what God is doing (and this horrible storm) we can still trust His promises.

Breathe!
Breathe!

Do something right now that will fill you up.

Smile, even though it hurts. You are loved and appreciated.

Old Hat, New Hat

“I think I’ll go get a new hat,” she said one day. “One that fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone will just adore it!”

So, she set out in search of the perfect hat.

At the first store she found a purple one with bright yellow feathers. It made her feel like royalty. She wore it around the store for a few minutes, but it didn’t feel quite right. It didn’t feel like her. So, she moved on.

The next place drew her to try on a creme colored derby hat with a beautiful red ribbon around it. This one made her feel fun. But again, something didn’t feel right. And again, she moved on.

She thought for sure she would find one at her favorite hat store just another block down. She walked excitedly toward it.

When out of the blue, she ran into an old, dear friend. They chit-chatted a bit about family, life, the weather, and the upcoming bazaar at church. Her friend asked what she was doing in town today.

“I’m hunting a new hat,” she said. “One that fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone will just adore it.”

“Oh,” said her friend somewhat confused. “You mean like the one you have on?”

“What? This old thing? I’ve had it for decades!”

“Well,” her friend said, “I think it suits you perfectly. It fits just right, is pretty, colorful, and everyone adores it!”

“Hmmm,” she thought. You just might be right.

How often do we feel like we are in a rut and decide we want something new, or want to change who we are, or change what we look like? And we might “try on” all sorts of new things: this diet or that diet, trendy clothes, a new job,or even a new town. When in fact, who we are in our core to begin with is what feels comfortable. It’s being true to ourselves and not conforming to the ways of the world. Not believing the lies that we’re not enough. Not believing the media that we have to look this way or act this way to be cool or be the best friend.

So often we try to run and hide from who we are. Because it’s scary to face the deep down. The hurts. The what if’s. The I wish I wouldnt’s. Know this:

God created you perfectly! Just as you are! No piece or part of you was a mistake.

And when we go and try to change that we’re telling God he made a mistake.

Sigh.

How many times have I been guilty of this very thing?!?! (too many)

So, how can we honor who God made us?

By believing we are enough. Just as we are. We are loved. We are cherished. And more than we could ever imagine. Believe.

My Story in Songs

Before I was a health coach, before Ignite Life, and before courage, God spoke to my heart.  He told me, “I want you to encourage women with your story.”

My first reaction was NOOOOOO!!!! Anything but that!

But, I have had the experience of saying no to God and know what happens.  And I didn’t want to experience that again.  So, over the past four or five years God has been preparing me to tell my story.  He’s given me opportunities to tell small groups of people and a few friends and family.  And now he’s asking me to go public with my story.  Sigh.

And if you know anything about me you probably know part of my story:  the depression, anxiety, food allergies, etc.  But you might not know the rest of the story.

So, while I wait for him to guide me in exactly how He wants me to do that I’ll offer a few sneak peaks.

Music is huge in my life.  It moves my soul like nothing else, and it is a form of worship for me.  During the last ten or so years there have been some songs that I clung to during different periods of time that I think help you see where I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  These songs also give you a glimpse of the goals I had during those times too.  Take a listen and see if any of these songs resonate with where you are in your journey.  I’m including a few lyrics that specifically spoke to me during those times.

“Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann

“Truth is I’m tired, options are few, I’m trying to pray, but where are you?  I’m all churched out, hurt and abused, I can’t fake, what’s left to do?  Take me to the king, I don’t have much to bring, my heart’s torn into pieces, it’s my offering.”

 

“Awesome” by Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago

“My God is awesome.  He can move mountains.  Keep me in the valley, hide me from the rain.  My God is awesome, heals me when I’m broken, strength where I’ve been weakened, praise His holy name.”

“Marvelous Light” by Ellie Holcomb

“With years of keeping secrets safe, wondering if I could change, ’cause when you’re hiding all along, your heart can turn into a stone, and that’s not the way I want to go”

“If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli

“Truth is harder than a lie, the dark seems safer than the light, and everyone has a heart that loves to hide, I’m a mess and so are you, we’ve built walls nobody can get through…”

“Shoulders” by For King and Country

“I look up to the mountains, Does my strength come from the mountains?  No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven and earth, and the mountains”

“It is Well” by Bethel Music

“Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see, and this mountain that’s in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.  It is well with my soul.”

And I continue to have songs that resonate with me more different weeks or seasons.  What song or songs do you cling to?  What songs give you hope, peace, comfort, support on your journey?

What about forgiveness?

Yeah. What about it?

Forgiveness is all about letting go of hurts and pains of the past.  Letting go of that story.  Letting go.

Take a few deep breaths…

Now tune into your mind and heart and see what past hurts you’re holding on to.  Take some time here, and just trust what comes to mind.

Forgiveness doesn’t right the wrong or make everything okay. What is does is free you from the imprisonment of that pain. What is holding onto that pain doing for you? Is it making you happy?  Bringing you peace and joy?  Providing for you?

It’s probably just causing you some negative side effects.

What is holding onto that pain doing for the person who caused that pain? Probably nothing. They might not even know about it, or remember it.

There are three steps to transforming old wounds and hurts.

2018-06-11 14.36.011. Tell the truth.

Telling the truth is a magical healing tool.  Take time to notice when you hold back from telling the truth in any situation:  at work, at home, at the post office, or restaurant…

Begin to be brutally honest with yourself and others about what you really want.

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:6

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (NIV)

2018-06-11 14.36.412. Forgive

Who do you need to forgive in order to to heal?  And remember, you’re honoring step number one which is to be honest.  Perhaps, you might even need to forgive yourself.  Forgiveness is the key to liberation from being a victim.  Forgiveness is a choice.  Most times a very hard choice.  And sometimes forgiveness is like an onion – you just have to make the choice to forgive and keep peeling the layers away each and every day until the feeling finally comes.

 

Matthew 6:15

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NIV)

 

2018-06-11 14.37.463. Be grateful

When you have an attitude of gratitude your life is already abundant.  I like to say, what you appreciate appreciates.  In other words, focusing on being grateful for what you currently do have and love in your life opens you up to more of what you love.  Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.

 

And gratitude is a practice.  Especially for those of us prone to depression – like me.  I have found that if I take even one week off from my gratitude journal practice, I begin to slip ever so sneakily back into the depths.  This is a non-negotiable practice for me.

 

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (NIV)

 

What hurt or pain are you finally ready to let go of and forgive?