What to Do in Times of Crisis

Sometimes the only right decision is to stop making decisions.

When we’re in a state of crisis, we often try to fix things with certainty. We want answers.

But this state of being is akin to quicksand: The harder we try to climb our way out, the lower we sink. The only way to survive is to make no sudden movements, to get comfortable with the discomfort, and to find peace without answers.

We can never glimpse the end of a path, but if we squint hard enough, we can see the next step. We squint by being still and quiet for a few minutes every day, through prayer.

We ignore the big decisions, knowing that they’ll make themselves, and we focus on the small ones. The ones right in front of us.

Crisis comes from the word meaning “to sift”. During times of crisis, if we let it all fall away, we’re left with what matters. What matters most cannot be taken away.

And maybe what we don’t know, we’re not supposed to know yet. More will be revealed. So we just do the next right thing, one thing at a time.

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Why Does Loss Happen?

Why does God let us hurt? Why does He bring us people or animals to love when He knows we’re going to lose them?

Maybe because we don’t love people or animals simply because we’re going to have them forever. We love them because loving them changes us. It makes us better, kinder, healthier, more real. Even if people leave us, or animals die, loving them still makes us better.

So we keep loving. Even though we’re going to lose. Because loving teaches us and changes us, and that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to become better lovers and to learn how to be loved. So when we get to heaven, we’ll be prepared for the place where everyone loves each other perfectly.

Control vs. Letting Go

There are really two ways of going about our day to day lives.

Either we’re striving and trying to maintain control (a fruitless effort, by the way, which leaves us exhausted). Or we’re relinquishing control to God, and trusting that He will bring us what we need each day.

There’s a distinct and noticeable difference between how good our days are, depending on which mode of being in which we’re acting.

When we’re striving, the people around us can tell. It says to them that there is something more important which we need to accomplish. Something more important than being present with them and letting God work. When we’re trusting God with all of our needs and desires, we’re at rest. And people around us can see this, too. They wonder how we’ve found such peace within the whirlwind of our daily lives. We’re a living testament of what it’s like to know God.

What it really boils down to, is that all of our striving and trying to gain control, makes the statement: “I don’t trust God.” And that hurts Him.

He’s already proven to us His goodness, grace, and love. Why would we not trust Him to take care of us on a daily basis?

Life becomes so much easier when we learn to let go, and let God. With every single aspect of our lives.

A Woman being pursued is most beautiful

Have you ever noticed how a woman is most beautiful when she’s being pursued? When she’s falling in love…

This is because that’s when a woman’s most important questions are being answered. At the core of every woman are the questions of, “Am I beautiful? Am I captivating? Am I worth fighting for?”

When a woman is being pursued, she lights up from inside because her questions are being answered. Yes, you are beautiful, captivating, and worth fighting for!

Think of Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When Ian finds her and begins to romance her, she comes alive. There’s a new shimmer in her eyes and her beauty begins to radiates from within.

Contrastingly, when a woman feels unloved and not worth pursuing, her inner light dims. She goes about her days hiding her innate beauty, believing that she’s not beautiful or worth it.

What if we could have this glow that comes from our most important questions being answered, regardless of our circumstances?

We can.

In fact, as women, we’re supposed to.

We were designed to be beautiful, radiating, captivating, and worth pursuing.

And guess what? The God of angel’s armies is totally and completely in love with us. He’s pursuing us everyday. He thinks we’re captivating, beautiful and worth fighting for.

The Creator of the universe has already answered all of our most important questions!

If we can truly understand and internalize this truth, then we become free to share our beauty with the world and our inner radiance will never go dull again.

Women of the world, we’re beautiful.

 

A Woman’s Prayer

I’ve just finished reading Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. Highly recommend it. One of the parts that stuck out most to me is a prayer that’s quoted from one of her peers. I’ve written my own version of it below.

(“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Eph. 6:10-13)

I put on with gratitude the armor which you’ve provided me as woman. My need to be pursued and fought for in all of my vulnerability. Thank you for pursing me and fighting for me every day. I wrap in truth my desire to be irreplaceable in a grand scheme of Yours. Help me to be present each day so that I might see what you’re doing in my life and that I may live in the big-ness of your story. Help me to offer life through my beauty and gifts, which you’ve given to me. Continue to reveal and confirm in me what you desire for me to do with these gifts. May today be an offering of love poured out before you on the altar of my life. 

Amen. 

 

Desire

Desire is a funny thing. It can range from a slight want to an all consuming obsession.

But it’s always in our head. And our minds can play tricks on us.

Think about a time when you’ve wanted something so bad and finally got it. It wasn’t exactly what you thought it’d be was it?

For example, I really wanted another dog. I mean really wanted one. The desire almost took on a life of its own- keeping me awake at night, scrolling through photos of shelter dogs in need. Eventually, I got another dog. But I forgot about the totality of what this means. Housebreaking, chewing, barking. Sure, it’s great having another dog, but there are drawbacks to it, as well.

There always are. For everything you gain, you lose something else. And we tend to forget this when consumed by desire. We forget to look at the totality of the picture and how our want fits into that.

I think it’s important to remind ourselves of this whenever we begin to feeling the aching of desire. We can never see the whole picture but we can do our best to look at our wants through a larger lens.

Most importantly, we should be grateful for what we already have and remember that what we have right now, is all we really need.

Imagination and Prayer

As we age, imagination either overtakes logic/memory or logic and memories overtake our imagination. Imagination is the road less traveled but it is the pathway to prayer. Prayer and imagination are directly proportionate. The more you pray, the bigger your imagination becomes.

A good test of your spiritual maturity is whether your imagination is getting larger or smaller. The older you get, the more faith you should have because you have experienced more of God’s faithfulness. It’s God’s faithfulness that increases our faith and ultimately, our imagination and dreams.

God wants us to keep on dreaming until the day we die. If we keep praying, we’ll keep dreaming. And vice versa. In fact, praying is a form of dreaming and using our imagination is also a form of prayer.

The Calm Within the Storm

I received this message in my email recently and was quite touched by it. Wanted to share it here in hopes that it might touch some of you as well.

The Psalmist wrote, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” PS 55:6

dove

Have you ever felt that way? Sorry, there’s no escape! Wherever you go — there you are!

Peace is “an inside job.”

Oceanographers tell us that even the worst ocean storms rarely extend more than twenty-five feet below the surface. Gales can rip the ocean, causing tidal waves one hundred feet high, but just twenty-five feet below the surface the water is as calm as a pond.

storm

The point is this: The only place you’ll ever find peace in the midst of life’s storms, is through an in-depth experience with God.

Korean Christians have a saying: “We’re just like nails. The harder you hit us, the deeper you drive us; and the deeper you drive us, the more peaceful it becomes!”

hammer nail

Part of God’s purpose in allowing the storms of life to blow, is to drive us deeper. Deeper into dependence on Him and deeper into relationship with Him.

Someone said, “God takes life’s broken pieces and gives us unbroken peace.” When you focus on the God who never meets a problem He can’t solve, instead of focusing on the problem you can’t solve, you’ll experience in-depth peace. And you’ll carry that peace with you wherever you go. Others will notice it and seek your advice when they too face trouble.

You see, when you know that the God within you reigns above you, you won’t succumb to what’s around you.

Whom Shall I Fear?

Consider our most common fears. Almost always they revolve around an imagined future projection of our reality.
fear
The problem is, as we create this imaginary scenario and ponder the bad things that could happen, we forget to include God. Not only is this troublesome for us and hurtful to Him, but it’s also unrealistic. As our future stretches into eternity, there is not even one second of it in which God will be absent. Already, our fears are unfounded.

Fear doesn’t exist in the present moment, because that’s where God is. And with God, there is no fear. Therefore, we must do all we can to stay present and not be afraid.

When our mind begins to creep ahead of us, we must make the conscious effort to include God in our imagery of the future; helping us, strengthening us, encouraging us in all things. So that rather than being intimidated by tough times ahead of us, we will see them as the wondrous adventures that they are- times that God and us will get through together.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

We want explanation but what God gives us is revelation.