Keep Going!

Life is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes I feel I’m going to drown. Something inside of me says just keep going. Though it is hard, you are growing. I know what it’s like to be plagued by pain. I know what it’s like to hope for a sunny day. We all are faced with difficult news, how we react and deal with it, we choose. It’s ok that sometimes you are sad. I want to empower you and remind you, you can. You can get back up and face your fears. You can cry and let out tears. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Remember it takes time to train and run. Life is a marathon not a sprint. There will be times of pain when all you do is wince. But there are times where you will grin, and when through the trial, celebrate the win. Don’t give up, fight till the end. Keep going, you can do it my friend.

Transition

In a time of transition so much is changing and there is a lot of logistics and emotions to process. As I work through my own transitional season, I found myself writing this poem. When I read it, it encourages me and gives me hope. I pray it does the same for you.

Lord thank you for loving me where I am. Thank you for being both the lion and the lamb. God you chose to love me before the beginning of time. You speak to me daily and tell me, “You are mine.” Life has been hard and I struggle to understand, why it’s hard to keep going, why it’s hard to stand. 

Life isn’t always easy to talk about. It’s full of pain and often what accompanies is doubt. Why did this happen God; life isn’t fair. The pain is deep inside of me; do people even care? I know that only you can heal the wounds that are so deep. I know that you are with me, when all I can do is weep. 

When I say yes to God I have peace amidst the noise. Following God isn’t always an easy choice. Logically my brain wants to follow the normal path. But I realized following God doesn’t always follow math.” Lord it’s hard to walk by faith when you’re misunderstood. When in my mind I contemplate the would, the could, the should. 

The only way I know how to face my fear. Is to trust God, for I know his voice I hear. People went before me who were mocked and ridiculed. Unfortunately, people can sometimes be cruel. I don’t know how to explain, but his peace it gives me fuel. God is alive and miracles don’t follow human rules. 

I don’t know how to explain what I’m going through right now. I don’t have all the answers; I don’t know how. But I pray for courage and opportunities to arise. I know God knows my pain and that he has heard my cries. 

I pray for courage to walk by faith and not by sight. I know the Holy Spirit will guide me, be my comfort day and night. When I am discouraged I remember all that God has done, and that he loved us all so very much that he sent his only Son. I know God will help me when I make mistakes. Following God’s voice is a risk I choose to take. 

God is my hope; he will not leave, even when I feel alone. My hope is built on Christ the rock; he is my cornerstone.

Hope Through Pain

What do you do when you are in pain? Do you ever feel like your going insane? For so long I fought to try and hide the pain buried deep inside. I know what it feels like to be depressed, but I also know what it’s like to be blessed. I know what it’s like to be physically hurt, but I also know the pain from words that were curt. I’ve been dealing with pain for so long, that sometimes I wonder what I did wrong. I feel like people care but don’t really understand the pain that I’m in and the struggle it is stand. God you parted water for the Israelites to walk on land. You are the Rock on which I stand. The firm foundation under my feet, you’re the reason I didn’t surrender to Satan in defeat. Help me oh God when I am distraught, you’ve been by my side many battles you’ve fought. Thank you for the poems that you’ve given me, they build my faith when I can’t see. You are my hope, you set people free. Draw near to the wounded heal our identity. Deliver us from the grips of the enemy. To you oh Lord praises I sing, for I know that you love me; you’re a good, good king! God you’re a good, good Father and you love me every day. I remind myself daily that hear me when I pray. I don’t understand why I’ve gone through many trials and why the pain of life just seems to compile, but I know that you care that you cried countless times, when I struggled and I asked why oh why?! Thank you for always hearing me when I pray, you hear me every minute, every hour, every day. I pray that your peace would settle in this place and that I would feel your love and comfort, while you pour out your grace. I need you every minute, every hour, every day. You are with me when the sky is bright and also when it’s grey.

Living in Hope in the Midst of the Why

Do you ever find yourself asking questions that leave you with more questions than answers? Well, I’ve been asking questions for as long as I can remember and have often found my questions lead to more questions that sometimes yield answers but almost always render more questions.

Life is filled with events that leave you wondering why. Kids start asking why at a young age. Why do I have to clean my room? Why do I have to do that? The list goes on and on. Adults, however, don’t outgrow asking why. Why did he get cancer? Why was she killed in a car accident? Why can’t I find a job? These are only a few of the difficult questions that may arise.

I’m not here to tell I have the answers to all the why questions, but I do want to encourage you that you can live in a place of hope rather than despair even when your whys don’t get answered.

As I referenced in my last post, I’ve I had a lot of surgeries. I’ve also had a few curveballs thrown that caught me off guard and left me wondering why I couldn’t figure things out. Why didn’t I see that coming? Sometimes it left me feeling like a failure. Other times I thought I was in the zone and had life figured out and then I swung and looked like a fool when I was thrown a change up came but swung as if it was a fastball.

The good thing is I learned humility when I swung and missed or when I tripped and fell when I was trying to go from 1s to 2nd base. If we never make mistakes, how could we learn and grow without becoming prideful? If I had the answer to every question I would be God. I don’t want the responsibilities of God! However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to keep growing in knowledge, truth, and love.

When an event in life leaves you asking why, I challenge you to ask yourself different questions. What can I learn from this? What emotion am I feeling? When did I first start feeling this way? Do I need to take a step back? Do I need to grieve? How can I be an encouragement to others? These are some questions that could lead to others, but will hopefully springboard you into discovering a few answers. When you start looking at how you can grow and even help others, it tends to to take the focus off the pain of the situation and center it on a positive outcome rather than a negative.

One thing that helps me when I find myself swirling in a sea full of whys, is stopping and asking myself one simple why question, “Why are these questions important to me?” Sometimes this shows me I’m frustrated with my own limitations. Other times it has shown me I’m insecure. Yet other times it doesn’t yield any significant direction. No matter the result of my questions, I find myself praying. “Lord I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but help me rest in your love and peace. Help me show grace to myself and others. Help me keep moving forward whether I know the answers or not.”

Knowing that the Lord has all the answers, takes the burden off of me. It gives me hope to keep going when I don’t have the answers to life’s difficult questions.

Hope after Heartbreak

Some days are harder than others. Today was one of those days for me. My faith in God has helped me through many times. I asked the Lord to help me through today and to give me strength to keep going. I was frustrated and had no idea why I was struggling so much. I decided to write and share how faith, hope and love have helped me through many heartbreaks. Below is part of my testimony in poetic form.

I grew up going to church each Sunday. Learning Bible stories and how to pray. Sports were something I loved to do. Then when I was eleven I had injuries too. I broke my leg playing soccer one day, and a week later I fell down the steps at church on Mother’s Day. With a broken arm and leg, I was in a wheel chair. Wherever I went people would stare. I was determined to come back and play. Then I had to have surgery because my leg healed the wrong way. Pins and screws sticking out and in a lot of pain, battling an infection I went back to school on my birthday. A year to the day after the terrorist attacks, an interesting day to be welcomed back. Wheeled into school everyone cheered, I remember trying to hold back tears. That was a very difficult year, I had to learn to walk again and face my fears.

I was able to return and play sports, running up and down fields and courts. When I got to high school I had to deal with more injuries, surgeries and how they made me feel. Physical pain was hard to get through, but the emotional pain caused great difficulty, too. Honestly, emotional pain has been harder for me, because it is something people can’t see.

My family didn’t have a lot financially, thank you to everyone who supported me. My sophomore year of high school I had to have surgery on my wrist, where a plate and 7 screws to this day are fixed. Later that summer I tore my ACL, when I collided with the catcher going after a foul ball. I wasn’t able to play sports my junior year, I struggled with my identity and stuffed my fears. I dealt with abuse but not in the best way, I didn’t know what to do but pray.

I was able to play softball in college for a year, but herniated a disc in my back and was paralyzed by fear. I couldn’t move my foot and had to have surgery, I didn’t know if I would be able to walk properly. I wore a brace that held my foot in place, I’ve had many nights of nerve pain but got through them by God’s grace.

My sophomore year of college I had an infection in my knee, from the screws that were placed there from my ACL surgery. I was on IV antibiotics but was still able to go to school, this was a difficult time for me too. I switched majors and was trying find my identity, I was struggling so much emotionally. Though I knew many people I was empty inside, I never heard an answer when I asked God why.

I suffered with depression, I wanted help. I didn’t know how to help myself. The Lord blessed me with an intelligent mind, but sometimes I felt like I was going through life blind. Why couldn’t I get rid of these lies in my head? I would hear that I would be better off dead. My faith has been what’s got me through many trials. I’m thankful that God loves me as a child. He doesn’t condemn or put me to shame. He knows everything about me; he knows my name.

I graduated college in 2012, and entered again the upcoming fall. In December 2012 I had  brain surgery. This was the hardest season for me. Multiple times I had cerebral spinal fluid leaks. I fought infections and was in pain continuously. I ended up having 4 surgeries and spending 39 days in a hospital in Chicago where all I could do was lay. I tried to stay positive but it wasn’t easy to do. I’m thankful for friends and family that helped me through.

My mom sacrificed much and drove me to class, I had no idea how long this would last. I couldn’t walk on my own, it was so hard. Often I wondered why I was dealt these cards. But I wouldn’t give up, I chose to persevere. It’s a miracle I’m alive, that I’m still here. Other things happened but I’ll only mention one more. I had a car accident that left me very sore. My car rolled going 70 miles per hour on the highway, I can’t believe I was released to go home the same day. I deal with pain and daily headaches, but God’s love brought me hope through all the heartbreaks.

I hope this snippet of my testimony, brings hope to someone who feels lonely. Honestly, I’m still learning how to deal, with my emotions, pain and how I feel. I know that God is healing my heart. He’s been with me through it all from the very start.

God Bless!

Laura