First of all, thank you very much for the love and positive feedback on my last post about my sister. Please keep sharing your thoughts with me, as I really appreciate thoughtful, constructive feedback about relevant topics I should write about, and just general thoughts.
Today, I want to share a few lessons I learnt in January. I intend to do this at the end of every month to ensure that we have enough material for thorough reflection come December 2015, and determine how to improve in 2016. We’re still creating that Dream Woman, remember!
Healing- ‘To Make Whole’
I’d like to use an analogy. Imagine that you have a jug that is filled with water. But you want to fill your jug with orange juice. Try as you may, you cannot fill that jug with orange juice unless you empty the water. This, dear friends, is what the Lord has been teaching me for a few weeks now. Please pardon me if you find this post slightly vague, the point is not to share my stories but what I have learnt from those moments of difficulty, and how I am dealing with the situations.
Without further ado, here are a few things I have learnt about dealing with difficulty/ pain/ suffering/ frustration/ whatever describes an unpleasant situation in your life.
1. Share your Struggle (but not with everyone)- While I acknowledge that people are different, I believe that we all need at least one confidante in life. However, we must know the right avenues to talk about our struggles so that they become prayer points, and not gist/ discussion material. Not every friend has to know the secrets of our hearts, and we should only share with people who will help us as we need. Sometimes, we just need to rant, and that is fine. But with more sensitive issues like financial difficulty/ ending an important relationship/ grief, only a few trusted friends that can pray with you should be in the know. Some issues are difficult to hide, of course. For example, say you were in a relationship and then break up. When someone asks you ‘Sister, how is your relationship going?’, you can easily say ‘well, we broke up, and I’m sure that xxx is doing fine’. However, you do not need to download your entire life and relationship history to that person. Save some for Jesus!
2. Ask for Prayer– I sometimes feel like I’m asking for too much prayers, like ‘na only you waka come?’ I ask for prayer for difficult classes, lateness and procrastination problems, my walk with God, Nigeria, and all sorts of things. But I have learnt that it is okay. As long as we are not throwing pity parties and inviting our friends, there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable, sharing some of our problems, and most importantly, asking for prayers! After all, Jesus chose some of his closest disciples to accompany him to the Garden of Gethsemane. Although said friends slept the entire time, the point here is that he still asked for some trusted companions to agree with him in prayer!
3. It is Okay to not be okay– My mother is an incredibly strong woman, and sometimes, I try to be like her by erroneously keeping my emotions to myself. But one event changed my mindset. One night, I was up at about 2am listening to a sermon and praying, but I kept feeling a gentle nudge in my heart to call my mother and speak with her. This was shortly after her mother (my grandmother) had died in her arms. I did call, and she told me that my call could not have come at a better time because she had been crying and mourning her mother and was trying her hardest to pray but just could not encourage herself enough. Since then, I have become more confident in my not always being okay. I cry, and if you know me well you know that I cry a whole lot. But in my tears, I reach out for my Jesus, because He is all I really need!
4.Take Care of Yourself– Really, take care of yourself. Do things that not just make you happy but that enrich your mind and your life. Read books, pick up a new hobby, learn to love your body, start exercising. Do something to keep your mind off the difficulties of your life. Determine to channel your emotions into something positive. It was during one of my lowest moments last year that started this blog, picked up a Christian motivational book, and decided to join the Christian a cappella group on my school’s campus. Today, I am more certain that my experience is not in vain because God is really teaching me the right way to deal with negative emotions!
5. Avoid dwelling in the past– Do your best to find closure and embrace it. Sometimes, it scares us how fast we think we are getting over a person, situation, or event. When my grandmother died last year, I was not sure how I would ever sleep in my room again because of how afraid I was. Yet, today, I can once again enjoy my own company and solitude as I always have. Although I still think of her and all the things that could have been, I am healing because I am letting God heal me. Sometimes, we hold on to our pain so much that we make a home in our sorrows and tears become a permanent resident in our lives. This should not be so. We need to open our hearts and accept God’s healing touch in our lives.
Do you have any ways that you deal with pain? Please share your thoughts with us!
Image from here