Look Outward

Day 4 of heartache

“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” (The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis)

“I spent about three weeks hiding tears all day long.  I was a mess.  So, I started in the Psalms.  I clung to the verses.  They are plastered on post-it notes all over my desk.  And as I made it to Psalm 33 I found out that he was keeping me alive during the famine.  I turned my eyes to see the students and friends around me and I began praying – boldly.  I have seen God radically alter the lives of my kids.  This Sunday I marveled as a girl I have been lifting up to the Lord since late September asked me to stand with her as she decided to be baptized.  I entered the water and joined the Pastor with tears in my eyes.  I was witnessing these students coming from hollow existence into real living one at a time.”

If we want to see our grief melt into joy, the first step is usually to change our point of view from inward to outward focus. The truth of the matter is that joy flows most often when we take a step back from ourselves and notice those around us. Joy comes from blessing and encouraging others, rather than focusing on our own needs. When life is “all about me” it leaves little room for the joy that emerges through loving people.

“When we’re feeling our lowest, helping others actually makes us feel better about our world because it reminds us that the world isn’t all about us. Volunteer with strangers or attend to those family members or long-lost friends you’ve neglected during your adventures in romance gone wrong.” (The Art of Rejection, Hayley & Michael DiMarco)

The temptation can often be to desire that all time spent with friends post breakup be focused on our feelings and the challenges we are experiencing. We definitely need and want accountability in those times to keep us from taking steps backward. However, if all of your conversations are about your breakup, you aren’t doing yourself or your friendships any favors. Remember that your friends have struggles and challenges of their own. Be sure that the conversation and relationship goes both ways. Stay connected and attentive to the lasting relationships that God has placed in your life!

“Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.  For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.  You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.  You let men ride on our heads; we went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance.”  Psalm 66:8-12

Psalm 66 reminds us that God has preserved our lives and that He has been the one to keep us from drowning in our hurt. Our hurts linger because our expectations did not meet up with reality. But “the only way you will be destroyed is if you let yourself be destroyed.” (The Art of Rejection)

Fix your eyes upward and outward. He will see you through.

Following and Listening,