Pet Peeve: Someone has it worse than you!

I’m in the middle of working on the rest of the Finding Joy in the Trials series. I promise to get some more out soon, but until then I had to share this.  Over the last several years, I’ve seen several memes on Facebook that said something like:

I’ve heard that no matter what you’re going through, someone has it worse.”

Not only is that dismissive of someone’s trials, but it causes people to feel afraid to reach out to those who can be supportive and helpful.  Further, while we are all dealing with struggles, each one handles things differently. What we need during times of stress is uplifting not shaming.

It doesn’t help you to know that somebody has a more dire problem or is more in debt. What you need are answers.  It most certainly can help you to know that you aren’t alone, but the first thing someone needs when they are hurting is to know they are understood and that their feelings are valid.

Can we all agree to be uplifting rather than dismissive? Could we choose to help and support first before we tell someone their needs aren’t important?  Let’s let the first thing out of our mouths be, “I understand” or “I’m so sorry” or “What can I do to help?”

Thank you.

 

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Vlog Series: 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials- Part 5

I pray you are finding blessings in my vlog series so far!  Here is part five of 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials.  This one is a wee bit longer, but it is well worth the time.  Enjoy!

I’ll see ya next week with part six!  If you haven’t viewed the intro or any of parts 1-4, just go up to the Blog tab and scroll down to view any you missed.

 

Blessings!

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Vlog Series: 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials- Introduction

Hi Survivors! I have a TON of great info I recorded for the Facebook group I had going, but they are very long videos. I wanted to make them available to everyone who could use a way to find the joy in their own struggles, but the videos are very long.  The first webinar, 20 Steps to Finding Joy in the Trials was almost an hour long!

So, I chopped it up into bite-sized pieces that are more easily digested and internalized.  Here is the introduction:

The way this will work is: I will be releasing one video with one step to joy each week here on the blog.  So, make sure you come back or subscribe to the blog!

I pray each of these is a blessing in your life!

JoJo

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Praising God in the Storm: Part 2

Now that we understand that finding our joy means praising God in the storm and that requires baby steps at first (and periodically by the way when things get difficult as they tend to do), we need to also begin to think about blessings we may not have ever even noticed.  We can get so caught up in what has happened, should have happened, shouldn’t have happened, and might happen in the future, that we often forget to notice all the times in our lives we should be grateful for all the things great and small that God has done behind the scenes that we never even realized or thought much about.  Doing so can help us to see even more blessings and feel God near when struggles take over our thoughts and feelings bringing a cloud of despair over us.

2. Blessings for worst not happening

In the midst of terrible pain, it’s often hard to see what could be worse and, to be honest, we don’t often care.  We just know where we are now is bad.  However, looking at the bright side can truly make a person thankful because, believe it or not, there are so many situations where we could be worse off.

Food prices up? Praise God that you have the money to buy them.  Health bad? Praise God that you have the time to rest.  Sick? As you pray for healing be thankful it isn’t fatal.  Serious illness?  Be thankful that there is still hope.  And if a loved one has passed away, praise God he is no longer suffering and is with Jesus in heaven.

Now, these things may sound easy to some, but they are not at all easy to do when you are in the middle of a struggle especially when that struggle has already taken a toll on you for many years.  However, if you start small, are consistent and build, your faith will increase, your sorrow will lift and your joy will return even if you aren’t happy about your circumstances.

In the midst of despair, sadness and being overwhelmed with struggle, we may find it difficult to just pick ourselves up by our Christian bootstraps and just “be happy.”  However, these little things have helped me get just one step closer to being thankful and have reminded me that God is there with me and He’s working on my behalf even if I can’t feel Him through all that life throws at me.  I pray they are blessings to you and you can begin to see how you can be thankful and praise God during your struggles as well.

So, do you remember a time when you had a near miss car accident?  A “lucky event” when things could have been so much worse?  Was there a time in your life when things went very well and you didn’t think about how incredible they were and remember to thank God for these “coincidences” that brought them to you?  I sure do!

When we lived in Southern California, we used to drive six hours to visit my folks in ARIDzona.  On one such trip out, we noticed that our brakes started squeaking.  By the time we arrived, they were squeaking kind of loudly, but all the men in the family (with a collective 100 yrs of automotive experience) thought we were safe to drive home and have it taken care of after that weekend.  Well, they were all wrong!

We were driving back on a holiday weekend when traffic was horrendous! It was stop and go (mostly stop) all the way and took us several hours longer than it usually did.  Halfway or so in, the brakes were soooo loud, but they felt fine and so we just kept going.  At night, what much else was there to do? With each time my husband hit the brakes, the sound got louder, the brakes got touchier, and we got more frightened with our young kids in the back of the car.  As we pulled into the driveway of our home, the brakes finally gave out as we coasted into our garage in total safety.

There are many such stories I could recount to you of horrifying things that never happened because God had His hand upon us.  But there are countless other times I may never even noticed when God sent us on a small journey so as to avoid a major traffic wreck or some other such horrific event we never even heard about much less reflected upon.

My point is, not only should we be grateful to the Lord for glaringly obvious mishaps we were spared, but also for all the little coincidences orchestrated by Him in order to so completely avoid tragedy that we never even knew it.

What can you think of that could have been worse, but for the grace of God was not?

 

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Some more “joy” resources from the article vault

So ends the Paul vs Job series here on Life Beyond Surviving, but I didn’t want to let you go without giving you some more “joy” resources.  You see, I’ve been writing about this topic for quite some time. I started over on my JoJoisms blogsite.  I’ve been transferring my most popular articles over to this site, but I’ve written so much that it’s not easy.  It takes quite a bit of time so I’ve been doing them in bunches as these topics arise.

After this series, I thought about how a few of my other articles might be of some value to you.  That being said, here are two articles I’ve written, a bit of what they say with links to the full articles here on Life Beyond Surviving.

1) How to Praise God in the Storm:

There are many devotionals on thankfulness that talk about this so I’m not going to spend much time on it since you’ve probably read enough of them to quote them verbatim. I’ll just say that it’s important to continue to pray and read the scriptures even when we are at our wit’s end and even when we are no longer able to envision that God would help us because, the moment we no longer seek God, we begin to drift away from Him. “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.” -Psalm 119:143

So how do we begin to feel thankful? Well, last week I prepared our hearts a bit by sharing with you what we should remember about struggles. But that often isn’t enough to bring us through from frustration and despair. After many years upon this earth I have found some things that have helped me to become more thankful and bring me to the point where I can praise God during the storms of my life. By the way…I wrote this as much for me as I did for my readers.

1. Start small and build

Thank Him for whatever blessings you can think of, even…

Click the above link to read the rest of the article.

2) What to Remember About Struggles:

Sometimes things that friends and family communicate to us can make our struggles more difficult, but there are things we can communicate to ourselves that can help us during struggles.  Today I’d like us to consider some things that will help us remember that God is not out to get us when struggles come. God isn’t punishing us and that there is a reason and maybe even a blessing around the corner.

Here’s what we need to remember during hard times:

1. Even if we cannot feel Him, God is still with us

We can count on Him to help and support us through the difficult times.  Often we feel abandoned by God when tough times come.  It’s only  natural that we may not feel close to God when we are struggling, but if we can remind ourselves that God has not moved away from us, we might feel Him near.  It’s always harder to find something when we aren’t looking.

It’s almost like when you have a close relative who lives far away.  You can’t reach out and touch them or hug them, but you can still talk to them on the phone, but only if we dial the phone.

2. This struggle may prepare us for an incredible opportunity

We may need to learn something from this horrible experience…

Click the above link to read the rest of the article.

I pray the Paul vs Job series has blessed you and your family and that these additional resources give you more to help you begin to work toward having more joy in your life despite the trails.

 

 

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