Tag Archives: Discouragement

The slide to despair

It happens quickly.

It happens easily.

At least it does with me.

Discouragement….

Disappointment….

Dejection….

Despondency…

Depression and then despair.

It’s a quick slide from the first thoughts of discouragement to the pit of despair. It happens so quickly that it’s often a surprise to find we have come to utter despair and hopelessness. David battled this just as many of us do. He wrote about it in Psalm 40.

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
David described it well. The slide to despair feels like a slide on mud or wet clay. You can’t get your footing. Then suddenly you are in the pit of despair. Hopeless. Helpless. Alone….or so it seems. Although nothing may have changed in the real world you feel that your world has crumbled into ashes. It’s a difficult place to be. It’s a difficult place to get out of. Unless the Lord helps us we would most likely remain in the pit of despair. Some never get out. But God does help. He does give us the hand we need, the help we need. He does change our song from a dirge to a praise. He does lift us up. If you’re like me these slides to despair happen without warning….for no reason at all…and then you have to deal with the clouds of doom that fog your thoughts. The Psalms were David’s journals as he dealt with his own frequent descents into despair. Here are his directions for those of us in the pit today-
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
If you find yourself in the pit of despair look to the Lord. He will lift you out of the hopelessness. When it seems there’s no way out he will come to your rescue. The slide to despair is an easy one. The climb out is God’s work as we trust him. As one who frequently visits the pit I’m glad for a wonderful God who gives me hope and help when I need it most.
(Thank you, James, for your help this morning.)

In A Valley

I love catching shapes in clouds & the mountains are always beautiful

I’m in a valley. It’s true. Have been for about a month now AND I love it! I do! I’m working in beautiful Salem Virginia. Mountains are everywhere I look. The ride to and from each week has been gorgeous with the color of the leaves changing to burnt orange and bright reds. Megan even asked me when I started working there, what it was like. My reply was, “I’m in a valley,” to which she responded ohhhhhh, niiiiice! I had to smile because I knew that I’ve been wondering about life’s valleys.

Being in this majestic valley has got me thinking lately about “life’s valleys.”

We all go through the valley in life, there is no escaping it. It’s a matter of when. My question to myself has been why don’t I “look up” at the wonderful surroundings when I’m in life’s valley, just as I’m doing while working here in the valley of Virginia? I know that I’m surrounded by a million little things that make life glorious and I also know the valleys are going to happen. So what is the disconnect?

Could it be that I’m so focused on the issues that I forget to look up and enjoy what is around me? Or maybe the discouragement during that time has put a huge cloud over me and I can’t see the beauty that is all about me? Could it be that discontentment wastes my energy and I have no strength to focus on making it through the valley? Why have I never thought of looking up before?

We all have so many blessings in our life that should carry us from one valley to the next but when we are in those valleys – we tend to forget them, so our stay there seems much longer than necessary.

The valleys of life are hard. I’ve been in many of them and do not enjoy them during that time. I’m always thankful for friends I can come to for help, but like many – I sometimes choose not to ask, for fear of being a “burden”.

I faced another closed door a few weeks back. My heart ached with great pain, discouragement and no music was there. Until I poured out my heart in the following words that day, I sat in silence. No singing, no happiness and fighting back the tears from yet one more closed door.

The Closed Door

Sometimes the hurt is too much to bare
Even though you say I can, I feel I can’t share

The Load is heavy, the road is long
The heart is weary and has lost its song

I know there’s hope that never ends
But for now it seems my life won’t mend

I just want to be held, I’m tired and weak
I’ll simply rest in silence, as I can’t even speak

You are strong, I’m not. I can’t even try
I can’t stop the tears from falling from my eyes

This is me, this is all – there is nothing more
Such is my life – as I stand, facing the closed door.

Will I remember this in my next valley? Yes. Will it make a difference? I honestly don’t know. Will I struggle along alone? I hope not. I hope that I will have the courage to ask for help that day, but it takes courage for that, and I’m far from courageous.

What do you think? Why do we not look up when we are in life’s valley? Why do we struggle alone – without asking for help? We have great friendships and tons of resources, yet we choose to limp along through the valley – alone.

Tell me, what is the disconnect?

{{HUGS}} yall


Marie is the founder/President of Spreading Joy Corporation, a Non Profit that is dedicated to reminding others of the simple joy of giving. To find out more about making a difference for others without breaking the bank, more encouraging articles and more about her book Spreading Joy Daily please visit her site at http://www.spreading-joy.org

Whatever The Day May Bring

Whatever your day has brought you – PRAISE HIM!

If it brought you sun, praise HIM – If it brought you rain, praise HIM

If it brought you a bonus, praise HIM – If it brought you an unemployment check, praise HIM

If it brought you a new car, praise HIM – If it brought you news you need a new motor, praise HIM

If it brought you warm hugs and kisses, praise Him – If it brought you despair and grief, praise HIM

If it brought you a trip to your favorite place, praise HIM – If it brought you to the hospital or doctor office, Praise HIM

If it brought you gladness and smiles, praise HIM – If it brought you tears and sorrow, praise HIM

If it brought you peace and harmony, praise HIM – If it brought you uncertainty and fighting, praise HIM

If it brought you encouragement and direction, praise HIM – If it brought you discouragement and road blocks, praise HIM

If it brought you good news of promotion or healing, praise Him – If it brought you heartbreaking news or disease, praise HIM

If it brought you smiles and laughter, praise HIM – If it brought you anger and yelling, praise Him

Whatever this day has brought you, place your hope in the Lord and simply praise HIM

 

Psalm 9:2
I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

 

 

Psalm 34:1
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

Marie Wikle the Founder and President of Spreading Joy Corporation wants to empower everyone to make a difference and give without guilt.

Here is a personal Warm Welcome to Spreading Joy. You’ll find links to interviews, no cost ways to make a difference and other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your heart.

 

We want to rise above the discouragement of high prices, the obstacle of dead ends and the disappointment of our comfort zone. We want to be the change that is so desperately needed.

Where Is Goodness & Joy?

Where is GoodnessThe other day I was talking with a friend that I had not talked to in a while. Knowing that she had been through a deep, horrible loss with the death of her beloved brother, I emailed her to let her know I was thinking of her and praying for her.

Through a series of emails, she made a statement to me that many of us often forget when the pain is overwhelming and the darkness has consumed our days.

She said:

“Goodness does still exist here, you just have to look real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real hard.”

Here, among many other things, is what I shared with her.

“Goodness is still here. The negative overshadows it. Hurt covers it. Pain hides it. Uncover the goodness!”

Pain, discouragement and disappointment can and often does bring isolation. Then the depression creeps in. When that happens, JOY is covered up and because you don’t “feel happy”, the negative emotions take over.

 

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, while Joy is undeniable faith in an almighty God, who has your best interest at heart. We may not always understand our pain, anguish or why we don’t seem to be reaping the goodness we’ve sowed, but we can claim great joy in the Lord as we walk through the hardships that lay ahead.

I’ve had several people tell me that the only reason I can be actively spreading joy the way I do is because things are good and/or that I’m just looking at the world through rose colored glasses.

When I speak of spreading the joy of the Lord “regardless of circumstances,” I speak from experience. Yes, I’m so blessed! Yes, my needs are met and many of my wants are met as well. Yes, I have a wonderful husband, 2 amazing kids and family that I adore. Yes, I have a job to pay the bills and to give support to Spreading Joy with. But yes…I do know pain, hurt and just how dark negativity can make things.

There have been times that I’ve looked up towards heaven and said “seriously???? Lord?? Really?”

There have been times that I’ve sobbed, not just cried, but poured out my heart to the Lord saying, “again??? Must we endure this again?”

There have been times when grief has so filled my heart with sadness that I simply couldn’t get out of bed.

There have been times when I’ve wondered… “when Lord? When will a positive answer to prayer come”

There are things on my “only GOD” prayer list that I look at and wonder can I muster up a grain of a mustard seed sized portion of faith for those needs.

There have been times that my hearts tells the Lord, “I’m sorry, Lord. I’ve completely failed you and I don’t have the wisdom to take the next step”

And as much as I try not to, there are those times when I whisper in my heart, “why Lord. Why? I simply don’t get it!”

 

But I can firmly stand on the Word of the Lord with Nehemiah 8:10 saying the joy of the LORD is my strength. Am I always happy? No, I’m not. But do I have joy through sorrow? Yes, I do.

So, how do we find the goodness and find joy that gets hidden during these horrid times in our lives?

We look for them, seek them, choose them and keep them.

  1. Look for the good. There is usually something good about each and every day. Trouble is our heart is so discouraged that it shuts its eyes to anything but the negative that surrounds the trouble. Uncover the joy that is waiting to be discovered.
  2. Use praise as a weapon. Being openly grateful about the blessings in our world will drive discouragement away. Don’t get me wrong, it may be a fight between your heart and mind, but it is worth it. Praise the hurt away. Sing until the clouds lift from over your heart.
  3. Laugh. I love laughing and sometimes, I laugh at the most inappropriate time, which tends to end up being funnier for those around me. When your heart is in despair, find your favorite cartoons, your favorite funny shows and watch them.
  4. Saturate your day with the Word of God. Listen to the Bible, read the Bible. Find some online preaching. We should be in God’s word daily anyway, but more so when we don’t “feel like it.”
  5. Pray! Surround yourself with the Comforter Himself. God knows your heart, empty it of the hurt that is filling it up and let God’s joy strengthen you.
  6. Do something for others. Don’t let negative feelings about how small “your something for others is” cloud your heart. Just do it. I’m telling you, and I’ll keep telling you – go and give a box of Little Debbie Cakes away or a pack of Reese’s Cups. The smiles will be unbelievable.
  7. Dig deep into your memory. On the days when the sorrow is so great due to a horrible loss and you are working your way through the pain of that particular event, do something powerful and REMEMBER something good, just for a few moments. I know this kind of day. Even though you have great peace and trust the Lord to carry you through, the pain is so great that you wonder how you’ll function. Use the memories of something awesome to remind your heart that “this too shall pass” and just how amazing God’s grace truly is.

 

This in no way is an exhaustive list, but it is things that I do and turn to time and time again.

I’ve been sending out a message on twitter for a while now. I will send it out almost daily as I know different people will see it at different times. It says

JOY…. Choose it today! Look for it today… Expect it TODAY!

 

In the middle of your discouragement, remember the joy is right there too. Your eyes are closed to it because sometimes it is just easier to see the darkness. But remember, even in the darkest night, all it takes is one flicker and that flicker can be seen for miles.

Uncover the goodness; don’t let it slip by you without you grabbing hold of it.

How do you uncover the goodness and joy that is within your reach?

Will you share some of what gets you through the dark times?

What verse or verses get you through?

Inspire someone by leaving a comment.

 

Marie Wikle the Founder and President of Spreading Joy Corporation wants to empower everyone to make a difference and give without guilt.
Here is a personal Warm Welcome to Spreading Joy. You’ll find links to interviews, no cost ways to make a difference and other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your heart.

We want to rise above the discouragement of high prices, the obstacle of dead ends and the disappointment of our comfort zone. We want to be the change that is so desperately needed.