When You Feel Misunderstood

When you share your heart with someone who doesn’t yet understand your suffering,

When someone slips in a comment that wounds you deeper than they intended,

When you feel a pain stronger than you can express,

May you see God’s merciful hands outstretch before you.

May your heart find peace and safety in the One Who understands your pain not only because He’s carried you through it,

But because He’s felt it Himself.

May you be comforted by the One Who has endured every hardship, every heartache, every agony, all to hold you closer.

May you feel the empathy of the God Who loves you in and out, up and down, and every space in between.

May you feel the encouragement of the One who not only endured such pain, but conquered it.

May you know you are not alone.

So hold on to the ones that care deeply, and let them nurture your heart and soul.

And be patient with those who don’t yet understand.

For despite any hurtful comment they may utter, this truth sweet still remains:

Just because someone doesn’t understand, doesn’t mean your pain is any less significant.

May this truth soothe your soul.

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When You Can’t Keep Up

As the world spins around and all the hearts within it seem to scurry about,

As society seems whisked away in the hustle and bustle of a bright and busy world,

As you peak out at the chaos and wonder how you’ll ever keep up,

Let your heart listen carefully for the calm and tender voice that peacefully reminds you,

You don’t have to.

You don’t have to do more, for He has already done it all.

When Christ proclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30), the entire work of redemption had been fulfilled.

He put all striving to rest, which means we can rest too.

So ease your mind, release your heart, and let Christ tell you today what He told the crowds so many years ago,

“This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)

Week 5: Your Hopes, Your Dreams, And Your Life Still Hold Purpose, Value, And Meaning

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

~Psalm 37:5-6

One of the most beautiful and remarkable things about hopes, dreams, and purposes is that they are so much more than a blossoming future, they have their roots secured in our present life. Often times when we look at our dreams, we see the blissfully blooming flowers of all we desire most. We see our plans, our expectations, our wishes and wants. But beneath those precious dreams are something deeper, sturdier, and stronger; our passion. If we think of a dream like a flower, we could imagine that the petals are our hopeful outcome, and the roots are what they grow and stem from. Or, maybe you could think of your dreams as the moon, and your passion as the sun; brilliantly illuminating it. Our passion is what gives life to our dreams. The exciting thing about passion rooting our dreams is that it means even if our dreams look a little different than we expected when they bloom, they still grew from our authentic, open hearts. If we can get to the root of our dreams, we’ll learn a lot about ourselves and may even come up with some new ideas on how to live out these callings in our hearts without over-extending our energy and burning out along the way.

When we get to the root of our desires, we can embrace creativity, expression, and ministry. In order to do this, we have to be willing to simplify and look at our goals more like a journey than a race. When we revisit our passion, we can channel it in new ways that move us closer to our dreams (and maybe even find some new dreams along the way). Here’s a few examples of how simplifying may look.

Maybe your dream is to be a counselor, but what’s really rooting it is your love of listening to others and offering them your empathy and support. Maybe being a counselor isn’t within your energy range right now, but hosting a small support group (in person or online) for chronically ill people is.

Maybe your dream is to have a family, and what’s really rooting that is your desire to love and care for others deeply and consistently. Maybe you aren’t well enough to nurture a child at this point in time, but maybe you are well enough to adopt an animal from your local animal shelter. Maybe you’re well enough to care for an animal that doesn’t need as much attention as a child but still needs a warm and loving home. Or, maybe you’re able to sponsor a child. Maybe you can help provide expenses for a child that needs financial stability in order to thrive.

Maybe your dream is to doing missions work in areas of poverty, and what’s truly rooting that is your desire to care for the broken and hurting in the world. Maybe you are not well enough to travel far and serve, but maybe you are well enough to join a prayer team or fund-raise for a charity or cause that’s important to you.

It can be hurtful to release dreams that are so dear to our hearts, but the truth is, there are so many ways that we can live out our unique purpose in life. We simply have to be willing to let go of forcing our dreams to look a certain way, and allow them to bud and blossom in God’s way and time. They will. And they never stop growing! If God has called you to a specific ministry, He will always provide a way to fulfill it, and many times our current circumstances are preparing us for our future ministry. If we are open and willing to learn, He will fill us deeply and guide us with love and intention.