Tag: lament

Are You Having a Blue Christmas?

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In this season of cheer, are you facing a life-altering hardship or major disappointment?

Despite the revelry, parties, and goodwill, are you facing a storm in your life that casts a shadow over all the celebration?

If so, you’re not alone. Dealing with grief can make you feel alone, even when others are grieving the same event.

In acknowledgement of everyone who will have a Blue Christmas this year, here’s a recap of some books I’ve reviewed that give an appropriate acknowledgement to how heavy and life-changing grief can be. You’ll see on the original post for each review that I received a free copy of each book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. (I’m receiving no kickbacks or any perks for mentioning these books again.)

Grief From a Break-Up: Kingdom Single by Tony Evans

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For those making a way forward after a broken relationship, Kingdom Single by Tony Evans could be of help. This book does not focus on how to find a new partner, but on how everyone has great individual worth. This isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but for singles who need to learn how to be alone, it could inspire them to develop themselves even without a partner. This book is appropriate for the younger, never-been-married crowd, not those who have been through a death or divorce of spouse.

Grief Over Anything: The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson

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This is an excellent book about grief because the writer has clearly been through it.  The Louder Song by Aubrey Sampson doesn’t offer any fast solutions to grief, because there are no fast solutions to grief. This would be an appropriate grief book if you’ve suffered a career setback, job loss, illness, or illness of a child. She does not tell you what to do, but explains her own journey.

Grief Over Anything: Braving Sorrow Together by Ashleigh Slater 

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This is another great book from someone who shares her own grief journey. Slater also shares the grief journeys of others.

Grief After Widowhood: Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change by Miriam Neff

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If anyone is an expert at grieving, it is someone who has survived becoming a widow. Miriam Neff turned her grief into a ministry for others that, like herself, lost a spouse. Where Do I Go From Here? Bold Living After Unwanted Change provides practical advice for those in grief.

Encouragement for Singles this Valentine’s Day

Encouragement for Singles this Valentine’s Day

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How are you feeling today, Christian single? Maybe you’re doing pretty good most days with the Christian life. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little encouragement as a Christian single. Just between you and me, I’ll take off my “strong Christian single” mask and get real with you. While I do believe there are some benefits of singleness, and I do enjoy these benefits, sometimes I also get discouraged. Sometimes I just need a big, huge dose of encouragement related to the relationship department. Do you know where I’m coming from, friend?

Here’s some encouragement I’ve dug up for myself that I hope can help you too.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”

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In this well-known passage, the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there’s a time for everything. War and peace, death and life, mourning and dancing. We can even see this in nature – there’s dark and light, high tide and low tide, winter and summer. Some seasons are more pleasant than others, and it’s natural to want the hard seasons to be over, but that’s just not how things work.

What about your hard season of hurt? Maybe you’re asking questions after a tough break-up. That sucks, but it won’t last forever. Your hard season of feeling hurt because you got rejected? Those feelings won’t last forever. Your loneliness wondering where “The One” is? Everybody who has a heartbeat who has found the one they waited for can probably attest that the wait was worth it if they truly found their someone. Waiting is hard, but we can’t escape it. We can, however, try to keep it in perspective, and acknowledge that it’s ok to grieve when we want to.

Psalm 88:1-2 “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.”

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The Psalms are full of words of trouble and they’re relevant to us because sometimes we find ourselves in trouble too! What I love about the Psalms is that they show no matter how much we may wail, cry, moan, complain, agonize, question, or wonder, God is still present. We may not get the answer we want – or any answers at all – but God is still there. If you’re questioning things that have gone on in a relationship that ended or a relationship that hasn’t materialized, God may not give you the answers you want – or any answers at all – but He can be the listening ear for you that will never get tired of listening. This concept applies to not just relationship troubles but any troubles we face in life.

Proverbs 15:14 “The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”

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It’s important to know the truth about who you want to date. Is this person a good person? Is he or she a Christian? Let’s go back to something even more basic – is this person a single person? It’s unfortunate that such a basic question even has to be asked, but we have to be discerning and know that there are people who have no business dating at all that might make themselves available to you. Be wise and know this! Avoid trouble and be discerning!

Be discerning as you go about your quest to find the right relationship. Using the good judgement and wisdom that God is willing to give us can save us a lot of heartache. While feelings can place us on an emotional high, they can put us in a place of being attracted to people who are not good for us. Feelings are not bad but discernment can help us so much more. Discernment can help us separate truth from reality and discernment can help us place appropriate boundaries between people who may not have our best in mind. Some people are takers that will take endlessly with nothing but selfishness in mind. Use discernment to filter these people out of your dating pool.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own  understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

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Relationships can be messy, right? Maybe you’ve been through a break-up and analyzed it all. Maybe it wasn’t you but them that caused the trouble. Or maybe it wasn’t either of you but just a mismatch. No matter how much we may try to use good judgement and wisdom, there can still be unanswered questions that we have to leave in God’s hands. God is so gracious and full of love towards us, and He can use these messy situations to steer us away from people that would be the wrong match for us. God can use these disappointments to steer us onto a better path, even if we can’t see it at first.

Today, no matter what you may be feeling, keep in mind how much God loves you and that you are His treasured child!

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