Were you blessed to be born without a comfort zone?

It’s not easy having chronic illness, is it? Nope. It’s not something I’d wish for nor is it something I’d wish upon even those who “done me wrong.” I’ve written several times before about how I’ve found blessings inside the struggles: joys that were there inside the trials right along side the pain and fatigue. However, what I never wrote about before is how the struggle itself has strengthened me and my faith as nothing else could have!

Just like how working out builds a strong body (unless you have chronic illness lol) or how an athlete trains to be strong enough to win the big race, our struggles can strengthen us and mine have!

I’m sure you’ve seen those memes on social media about how “Nobody ever accomplished anything while in their comfort zone.” “You gotta get out of your comfort zone if you expect to do anything with your life!” Well, I’ll bet you were thinking, “I have chronic illness. I don’t HAVE a comfort zone!” And you’re probably right!

If you’re one of us (chronic illness/issues sufferers), you don’t think in terms of comfort. You think in terms of what is the least painful, the least energy zapping. You just work to make sure your pain or fatigue or discomfort isn’t as bad as it could be because there isn’t any real comfort inside the Chronic Illness Zone, is there?

Well, this got me thinking that so much of my life has be filled with not only pain and fatigue, but difficulties of various kinds. I was blessed to be born without a comfort zone. I was a painfully shy kid. What’s the worst thing for a shy kid? Having to meet new people! But that’s exactly what I had to do every few years. New town, new state, new school, new neighborhood…

I couldn’t look people in the eye when I talked to them. Shy people usually stay in the background: The Comfort Zone of the Socially Awkward. But not me! I couldn’t. I was always the new kid. The one dressed different, the one who called jeans “dungarees.” The one who pronounced SePULveda Blvd as SepulVEda. The one who was 4′ 10″. The one who had a NY accent in Virginia. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

And shyness wasn’t the only area of my life that was difficult either. As I’ve shared many times here on Life Beyond Surviving, I’ve had chronic illness and other chronic conditions most of my life. What I haven’t written about much is all the other ways in which life has been challenging for me.

I’m one of the only Christians in my family. I’m of Jewish heritage, but most of my family is either atheist or agnostic. Some are/were Jehovah’s Witnesses. It has always been a bit challenging at family gatherings.

In the 33 years we’ve been married, my husband and I have had quite a number of issues to deal with. My husband was born in Mexico so we’ve had some issues with racism and early on in our marriage we had some financial issues we had to overcome.

Several years ago he lost his permanent job and he’s been doing consulting work ever since. It is rather challenging, especially when the economy isn’t doing well or, say, a pandemic hits and jobs aren’t as plentiful. He’s had a lot of times in between assignments where we had to find alternative ways to make extra money.

Once, during a year of his unemployment, we had to work quite hard in our own business buying HUD homes and reselling them to real estate investors to fix up and resell. It was especially difficult to invest in real estate this way because HUD doesn’t like investors and they made it increasingly difficult for us to make a profit, but we persevered. We did earn a living doing this for a while.

We also worked for a while selling our own products on Amazon until we found that Amazon, while a FABULOUS platform for buyers, is very biased against sellers. I was constantly on the phone with a lawyer trying to resolve oversights where Amazon allowed scammers to spoof our listings and then sell subpar versions of our products or send none at all to the customer.

I’ve had to work 10x harder than most at just about everything. Maybe you have too. And yet, I’d still say I was blessed to be born without a comfort zone because I never felt hard work was an option. It’s just part of life. Knowing that made my adjustments easier because most of achievement is mindset, isn’t it?

Not having ever had a comfort zone has benefited me greatly because I assume I’ll have to work hard…at EVERYTHING! I expect it. I plan for it. I embrace it. Life with challenges has taught me to endure, but also to see the joy not only in what hard work brings, but in what hard work does. It builds character and it builds trust and faith in the Lord to bring you through just about everything the world can throw at you!

I’ve said it before. God uses everything for our good and we can use everything for our own good as well. Just like the butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon builds strength in its wings, our own struggles build strength in US. I choose to look at life’s struggles and difficulties this way and it has helped me to see more of the joy in life and build my own strength to be who I need to be while I’m doing it.

God is my comfort zone. What say you?

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I have chronic illness. What’s a comfort zone?

I wrote this quite a while ago back on another blog, but I had to go looking for it because I kept coming across these memes on Facebook and it got me thinking about this again. Here it is as I wrote it many years ago:

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Comfort Zone: I had to look that up because I wasn’t familiar with the concept.  I might have misplaced my comfort zone.  I’m not sure I ever had one.  This is something I often see online or mentioned in high-powered, self-help books and seminars:

“Ya gotta step out of your comfort zone or nothing will ever change in your life!”

“Nothing great was ever accomplished inside your comfort zone!”

“If you want to achieve incredible things, you HAVE to get out of your comfort zone!”

Where exactly IS my comfort zone? I’d like to claim this piece of real estate.  In fact, I’d like to vacation there on a semi-permanent basis.  I’ve been searching for it for the past 35 years, but I never have located it.  I don’t remember ever being there, even as a kid.  The only thing comfortable or stable about my life has been how often it changes.

Two weeks after I was born in Colorado, my family moved out of state.  Florida was a two-year engagement, New York was an eight or nine-year gig, but part one was in the city for a while, part two was on Long Island for five years and part three was across town for another two.  I did an 18-month stint in Virginia followed by several years in California.  From 1977 to 2008 I lived in seven different California locations.  I never saw my comfort zone there or in the desert heat of ARIDzona where we were for 5.5yrs and, so far, it hasn’t turned up in the 10 months we’ve been in the deep freezer of Indiana either.

I was always the oddball in school. I was the new kid on the block who liked to read, was very shy and didn’t know why the guy at Dairy Queen on the corner was the butt of all the jokes. I was the one who didn’t know how to get around school, couldn’t find her way to the mall or understand the latest fad.  I wore the wrong jeans (which I called dungarees), had the wrong purse (which I called a pocketbook) and didn’t even know how to pronounce the names of the streets (SePULveda which my family pronounced SepulVEda for the first few months in southern California). Try using the “wrong” terms or pronunciation with teens and see how comforted you feel.

In college and just afterward, this shy gal had several sales jobs.  I sold real estate, pay telephones, videos and teddy bears.  Sometimes I had three jobs, but I wouldn’t describe any of them as comfortable.  It was a bit scary and not only because I had to talk to people.  Some of the people I had to talk to were in a part of town that was downright scary and the business owners didn’t easily give me any credibility.  Ever try to convince a Middle Eastern male business owner to take you seriously when you’re a 5′ nuthin’ female?  Not comfortable in the least.

I did time: 8 years in customer service. Got off for good behavior. LOL  If you think that job is easy, remember how many people call customer service because they are HAPPY.  But all that aside, a co-worker, for reasons unknown to mankind,  decided I was a threat to her moving up in the company and took it upon herself to trash my work and reputation to the entire office.  She stood up in the middle of the office and yelled at me about how I was doing a horrible job and how I was trying to keep her from getting promoted.  Management came out and, instead of stopping her, they just watched. Later on, we were both called into the office where they told me that I was on thin ice there.  ME?

She began putting notes in all my files accusing me of poor performance and talking about me to all the staff.  I was eventually told they wanted to demote me. I told them they could fire me, but I wouldn’t take a demotion.  I never retaliated as God told me to do what was right. 

Later on, I left the company because I started my own business and could work from home and be with my daughter.  A year or so later, I went back to visit a friend there and was told that the gal who trashed me had a nervous breakdown in the ladies room after they all realized what she’d been doing.  Trust me, that wasn’t my comfort zone either.

I made many decisions that either weren’t very popular or were not easily understood.  I was challenged to prove why I homeschooled and the fact that it wasn’t illegal or immoral.  I was the only Christian in my family. Not a comfortable topic of conversation.  In addition, I had to justify why I had my own business instead of getting a secure job with a steady paycheck like most people did.  I worked my tail off at my business and built it up to where I was earning $3000/month only to have the bottom fall out of the economy in 2008 and virtually wipe out my income.  Comfort zone? I think not!

You all know how our first year here in NW Indiana went. If you don’t, you can read it here.  The weather outside is frightful and thunderstorms are not delightful…or comforting.

Then there is the matter of dealing with chronic illness. I know my readers are intimately familiar with this one! If you don’t know my story, you can listen to my video here.  Chronic illness often leads us out of our comfort zone, if we ever had one.  We struggle to do things most people take for granted.  I talked more about this in my recent post, Looking Back: I Used to Run.

So all this to say, I think many of us who struggle with chronic illness or other chronic issues can’t find our comfort zone, but we wish we could! We wish we were comfortable, but the pain is too severe.  We wish we could live at ease, but we struggle just to get through the day.  How many of you would like to find your comfort zone?  What would you do there?

For many years I was frustrated that I wasn’t afforded a comfort zone until I realized that God is my comfort zone.  He strengthens those of us without a comfort zone.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28,  Sounds like a good comfort zone to me.  How about you?

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War Wounds

This is an article I wrote a few years ago after I had a revelation about how young boys think about their scars. It changed my perspective and I thought it might help someone else out there. I share it again because it’s worth repeating!

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Ever notice that boys love to show off their war wounds?  They eagerly relate the stories that came to create their scars–each in his turn trying to top the other’s story.

Women don’t do that.  In fact, we tend to hide our scars. We cover them up with clothing, makeup, and embarrassment.  It becomes a source of stress that someone will notice and that we will have to apologize for it.  We desperately look for ways to keep our wrinkles at bay, our skin from sagging and crinkling. We take sometimes drastic measures to keep thin, to lose weight, to cover up our widening hips.  In the dark of night when nobody is watching, we may cry over the person we once were and can no longer see in the mirror.  We look at our bodies and despair over what has happened to us.

Well, I’ve decided to take a page from the Men’s War Wound Playbook. I choose to look at my scars, premature aging, turkey waggle, and car accident deformities as a sign of strength that declares to the world that I lived through all of that and I’m still here to tell the tale.  Somehow that makes me bold instead of weak, an over-comer instead of a victim.

Most of my scars are in areas of my body only my husband and I will ever see, but one of them is now proudly displayed on my neck where all can see.  Some day the scar might fade and the lump may finally disappear completely, but for now, here it is in all its glory.

The first is a headshot of me with my laugh lines (well earned) and my turkey waggle and a hint of my parathyroid surgery war wounds.  The following two show more detail of the latter.  

The last one is a picture of my hand after the car accident and shows how my middle finger now likes to cozy up to my ring finger upon making a fist.  I sure am unique, right?  I’ll bet none of you have the same combination of war wounds.  

Won’t you join me?  What’s the story behind your scars?

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What CAN you do? – Part 4

So we’ve talked this month about how to think less about what we can’t do and more about what we can. We’ve discussed ways to focus more of our energy on things we are already doing for others close to us. And we’ve gone through ways we can do little things to increase joy in those we come in contact with on a regular basis.

This week, I want to share a bit about what we can do for strangers. I hear you out there. You’re thinking, what can I do for strangers when I can’t even get out to go visiting or even grocery shopping? Well, it’s 2019 and there are lots of things we can do!

Remember a few weeks back when I gave you a list of ways and places you can find to do things for those you are closest to? Well, let’s look at that list again because most of it can help us bring joy and uplift those we don’t know:

Numbers one and two were job and kids. Well, those are probably where you come in contact with folks you know. Here is the rest of the list and how you can impact those you don’t.

3. Church?
Is there a ministry you might join at your church? Possibly something your unique set of talents and interests or experiences are suited for?

4. Online ministry?
Is there a ministry you’d like to start or get involved in that is online? Like me, you may have time though not be able to get out on a regular basis.

5. Online business?
Is there a business you might start online? An online business can not only give you something positive to strive for but bring in some kind of income.

6. Art?
Is there an inner artist inside you? You might start using those talents for others or use it as a business.

7. Writing?
Do you have an inner author you’d like to let out? Is there a novel in you? A children’s book? A testimony you’d like to share?

8. Blogging?
Would you like to blog about a topic near and dear to your heart?

And here are some others:
9. Social Media connections?
Some folks are on social media to connect with friends and family who don’t live close by. Others are on to share about a cause. Some of them are those who want to promote a particular ministry. If you have a desire to support others, you can do that online and make connections with people on Facebook groups, Twitter, or just from your own Facebook profile page.

10. Asking to pray with someone going through a hard time?
Have you ever run into people who you can just tell are having a hard time? Maybe at the grocery store or at your son’s baseball games? You can make a point to pray with them, help them, or just listen to them.

11. Reaching out to those in need via text, social media, email?
I had a friend who moved away a while back. Not only couldn’t I travel to be with her, but she was busy and didn’t have time to talk on the phone. I made it a daily practice to send her a short inspirational text.

You may not be able to help someone financially, physically, or by being with them in person, but you can reach out through electronic means to be a light in their world.

If you have enjoyed or been blessed by this series, please consider sharing it on your social media or with friends in an email. You’ll be fulfilling one of the ways we’ve just discussed!

God Bless!

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What CAN you do? – Part 3

This month, I’ve been sharing my four-step process for getting past the thoughts all chronic illness sufferers think: here’s all I CAN’T do. First, I shared about how to find ways to think less about what we can’t do and more about what we CAN do. Last week, I shared how you can ask yourself about what you’re doing now that you can put more of your energy toward. This week, I’m going to share how you can find ways to do for your immediate family and friends.

Just as everyone has a unique set of talents given them by God, each also has a unique set of limitations given to them by chronic illness. Despite whatever limitations you may have, there are things you CAN do for your family and friends that you may not have thought about before. Now, some of these things you may not think are important, but I guarantee you they are to your family and friends! Here’s what you CAN do for family and friends:

1.Being an example:
I’ve read that it isn’t what happens to us that matters, it’s how we react. I’ve written about this principle in many of my Art of Eloquence communication materials because it isn’t the fact that you mess up a speech. It’s how you handle that mistake that people react to. People forgive even a colossal mistake you make toward them if you handle it by apologizing and seeking to make it right. This principle is even more powerful when you deal with trials by trying to find the good inside them.

You can be an example in your job, to your kids, at church, in your ministry, in your business, through your artwork and writing or blogging, to your social media connections, and with those, you come in contact with.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told how I inspire others by my outlook on life despite having lived through so many medical, financial, and other trials.

2.Pointing out the joys
I have made it one of my life’s missions to point out the fun, humor, and joy in the things I see or experience. Being uplifting isn’t only or always just showing the beauty of God’s world, but can be just giving the world that is full of tragedy and trials just a glimmer of beauty, or a little giggle.

It’s a gift God has given me to see the humor in things. So, I create memes and post them on social media with the lighter side of the trials I go through and the funny side of almost anything that I see.

If you don’t have the inclination for humor, why not post pictures of the beauty that is in this world? You can share them from anywhere you are and bring a little joy into this fallen world that is filled with darkness and tragedy.

I can’t tell you how much a little giggle can mean to someone who has had a tough day…or someone who has had a death in the family. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s true. I ran a very large Facebook fan page. All I did was post purple memes and pictures every day. That’s all.! I have received private messages from fans telling me how my little purple memes helped them through their husband’s death. Their husband’s DEATH! My little purple pictures in the midst of their grief meant that much to them. Facebook recently took away my admin status about a month ago. I haven’t been able to post since. However, that page has grown by over 200 fans and I continue to get messages from fans who miss my posts!

3.Sharing your artistic talents: writing, artwork
If the Lord has given you a talent for writing or painting or drawing or calligraphy, this can bring so much joy to others! Post your work on social media. Start a group or fan page for it! Invite others over to see your craft work. Put it on YouTube.

I had a friend here in Indiana. I met her a short time before she moved away, but she had an incredible talent for music. She wrote piano instrumental music for the glory of God and it was gorgeous! She shared it once as worship before church service and she invited me over to hear her play several of her works. I was going through a tough time then, but for a few hours, I was inspired!

You have been blessed with some talent. Explore it. Share it. Both you and those you share it with will be blessed!

Next week, I’ll be back with the final post in this series.

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What CAN you do? – Part 2

Last week I shared with you my first step in focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t. The next step in the process of asking yourself what CAN you do is to ask yourself what you are already doing that you could put more of your energy into.

There are a few reasons this helps:
1. It gives you a purpose and that gives your life meaning.
2. It allows you to put your focus more on positive things.
3. The less free time you give yourself, the less time you will find your mind wandering to negative thoughts.
4. The less free time you have, the less time you have to dwell on what you can’t do because you’re doing great things!
5. The more you do for others, the more joy you will feel and the more you will know you are not useless!

In order to put more of your focus or time into things that give your life more meaning, you may need to focus less on things that don’t. Do you have a task you’ve taken on that you don’t need to be doing? Did you start a side business, but have no energy for it? Have you been doing something you thought you needed to continue, but the Lord has been asking you to give it up? Now would be the time to review and make changes in order to do more of what already brings you joy and gives joy to others.

To that end, what are you doing now that you could put more of your energy and focus into?
1. Job?
2. Kids?
3. Church?
4. Online ministry?
5. Online business?
6. Art?
7. Writing?
8. Blogging?

Well, that’s it for step two. I’ll be back next week with step three!

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What CAN You Do? – Part 1

Chronic illness takes so much away from you that your thoughts often dwell on what you can’t do anymore. I can’t work. I can’t go out today. I can’t clean the house. I can’t do for my kids. I can’t help the church. I can’t help a friend. I can’t feel useful. And that right there is the cause of sadness and even deep depression.

But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve felt that way myself, but I have developed some habits that have helped me to get out of that funk and feel useful which, in turn, increases the joy I feel day to day.

It all started with a question I asked myself. “What CAN you do?” You see, I had many times when I felt like I was too tired to DO anything. Too brain fogged to THINK of anything. Too overwhelmed to make any sense. And yet, I always found SOMEthing I could do that would make a difference, that would be positive, that would be of value to…someone, anyone.

There are four parts to this process and I’m going to cover one part per week this month. The first step is to think less about what you can’t do and more about what you CAN do. It sounds simple. It’s not. It is the hardest step in the process, but it’s worth every effort.

So many devotionals I’ve read and so many of the PMA books out there are like the Just Say No campaign. Just think positive. Just be thankful. People have it so much worse than you! Well, it may be true, but it isn’t helpful, especially when you’re in the throws of despair or you are still grieving the loss of your old life.

But there are several things that can help you to begin to think this way and here they are in no particular order. Do the ones that speak to you. Use the ones that you can and see if you can start others later as you begin to heal from the overwhelm.

  1. Start a gratitude journal
    You don’t have to publicize it. Just write down one thing each day that you are grateful for. One new item each day. Then, after a week, look back on it. After a month, after a year… The more you see in your journal, the more you realize just how blessed you are even if you do have big things to deal with.
  2. Find the humor in life’s other struggles
    I can’t tell you how many times I have had little weird things happen. These little weird things didn’t always seem really little to me at the time. But later on, I found them to be much smaller than the illnesses and conditions I face and so I now see them as not as important. I see them more as inconveniences that are kind of funny…sometimes at the time!
  3. Compare the size of the other struggles to your big ones
    If you can’t find the humor in the other struggles that come along or you still get upset when things are compounded by all life’s glitches, you can try comparing the big struggles to the little short-lived ones.

    You’re already tired and in pain, but you go to the kitchen to make dinner for your family and the oven knob falls off in your hand. You pick up the pot and the handle falls off. About this time, you’re probably thinking that someone is out to get you.

    You’re frustrated and angry, but what if you could stop and think about the size of these issues as compared with your bigger struggles, the size of your love for your family, and the blessings you have despite the problems you are in? What if you looked around and asked yourself, “Where’s Alan Fundt? Am I on Candid Camera? What if you saw the humor in it. What if you skipped to the part where you put the handles back on and that problem was solved?
  4. Think about how the Lord might be leading you to better things
    My husband was fired several years ago from a job we moved to Indiana for. We had to move out of the house we were going to buy. Because of that move, my new doctor wanted to check to see if a huge fibroid I had in my uterus was still there–even though in all likelihood, it was gone due to my age. The fibroid was gone, but a cyst on my ovary was found instead. Surgery to remove that cyst and the fallopian tube attached to it revealed a rare and aggressive cancer in its infancy.

    If it were not for that series of events starting with that job loss, I’d be dead now. Sometimes bad things lead to good things. Sometimes we are privileged to know about them. Sometimes we are not. So, if you don’t see it, just think about how it MIGHT have benefited you. It sure did for me!

Remember, this is the step that takes the most time, but the good news is that you can do them simultaneously with the other steps…which I will discuss in the coming weeks.

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When I’m down, I look up to my Creator

About a month ago, my husband was working a ten-day streak at a temp job 82 miles from home. Our son was visiting and it was Sunday morning. We only have one key for the car I drive and though my husband left the car for us, he forgot to leave the key so, we weren’t able to go to church or to the store to buy groceries.  It was my last day with our son before he had to go back to college and I was in more pain and fatigue than usual due to a Fibro flare.

Sitting at my computer working for my clients’ social media accounts, I “penned” the following because it suddenly occurred to me that the things I was praying ABOUT were the very things I was praying FOR not too long before.  It received so many responses from people who said they needed to hear it that I decided to share it here so folks could always find it if they needed it.

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When I am worried about my husband having to drive 82 miles one way to work, working ten days straight, leaving at 5:30 am and not getting home til 9 pm, I am reminded of when I prayed to the Lord because he was out of work for months.

When I am sad that my son is leaving again to go back to college, I remember how I prayed that God would keep him safe in utero and how the Lord performed several miracles during his birth.

When I’m lonely because my daughter lives in another state, I think back on the time when the Lord healed her completely after a virus had caused an enlarged heart valve.

When I’m frustrated with how tired I am and the pain I feel, I’m reminded that my God had given my surgeon the idea to take out my fallopian tube during a routine surgery for a simple cyst and found cancer in its infancy that is almost always found too late.

When I’m down, I look up to my Creator and marvel at His blessings for me.

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Do you hurt when you travel? I have an idea!

I’m taking a break from the monthly video series to bring you this Fibro Travel Tip.  You see, over the Christmas holiday, I had to travel to my Sister-in-Law’s house to visit my Mother-in-Law who is 93.  She used to travel to us, but she can no longer handle the plane trip and being in a home that isn’t suited to an elderly woman who needs help with showers and such.

While it was a lovely time being with my husband’s family and getting caught up with their lives, it took quite a toll on my body.  Here’s why:

To get to the airport, I first had to travel a half hour by car with a stiff ride on Indiapotholedled streets.  Next, I had to wait in line to drop off the baggage and then in the TSA line. The plane seemed exceptionally tight, even to my husband and son. I’m only 5′ tall and it was so cramped on the plane that even I couldn’t cross my legs!

After the 5-hour plane flight, unable to change positions, I found myself just about crying almost to the point of being sick from the pain.  Head in hand, I tried, unsuccessfully, to alleviate my neck pain which had traveled into my arm, back, jaw, and my left eye.

Arriving at the San Fransisco airport meant that I had to walk all over the airport. First was a stop to retrieve our luggage. Next, we had to take an elevator up, then walk a bit, then an elevator down, then walk some more, then take an airbus on a rail to another part of the airport where we could get to the rental car area.  I think we took all possible modes of transportation that day except a boat!

After getting the rental, we still had to travel three hours plus by car to get to Sacramento where my in-laws live.  So, by that time the only part of my body that didn’t ache was my left pinky toe!

On the trip back, I had a bizarre encounter with the SF TSA.  You can read that hilarious story by clicking here.  Just before getting on the plane, my back was killing me so I took some ibuprofen.  And just like that, I wasn’t in nearly the pain I had been on the trip out!

I will NEVER again fly without first taking some ibuprofen!  Even if I still have more pain, at least it will be MUCH less! In fact, I’m going to be doing this even on our 1.5-hour car rides to and from my son’s college.

If you think this might work for you, I’m glad to have been of service!

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Two Things We All Need When in Struggle

There are two very important things we all need when we are in crisis.  They are vital, but they are not at all common.  These two things are needed even more so when in trial and God says no. Those two things are prayer and practical advice.

When we struggle, when we are in trial, when life seems bleak and we are not sure how we are going to handle something that has been dropped in our lap or slapped across our face (as it sometimes feels), the first thing we need is prayer.  We need to petition the Father for comfort, for strength, and for help.  That prayer usually comes from us…the person(s) in need of the help.  But when that prayer comes from a friend or group of friends, it means so much more.

Prayer is a powerful thing. And corporate prayer is even more powerful. It’s what helped me give birth to my son through a series of miracles that ended with an incredibly healthy kid who rarely gets a cold.  It’s what helped my doctors find pre-cancer cells they never would have found until it was too late as most women with Fallopian tube cancer have experienced before their untimely death. It’s what delivered my daughter from heart issues to be healed inside of a month where the doctors expected either a death sentence (if she were born with it) or years of recuperation at best if it were the result of a virus…NOT ONE MONTH!

Praying for someone is amazing, but praying WITH someone can lift someone’s spirits and ease their burden so much in that few minutes it takes to come together in prayer.  Just knowing someone is willing not only to say they’ll pray, and pray in private, but to pray in their presence is an amazing boost to a weary soul.

Prayer is amazing, but often God uses prayers to bring about the practical things that are needed for His struggling children THROUGH the actions of others.  If someone is in need of $100 to be able to meet his rent and someone offers him that $100 as a gift or even as a  loan, that is an answered prayer.  If you can be the answer to prayer for someone, that is truly an amazing feeling.  And it doesn’t always take money.  Sometimes it can take the form of a meal, a shoulder to cry on, a phone call to a friend who may have a job opening, a gift of time or service, or a discount on a product or service desperately needed.

James 2:15-16 says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” 

Who can you pray for today? Who can you pray WITH today?  How can you be an answered prayer for someone you know who is hurting today?

 

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