friendship, the everyday

Who can hold my heart?

I just wanted to feel the comfort of another. I wept when I realized I didn’t have anyone who was safe or available to “hold my heart,” to catch my tears. I cried out and asked for the friend. “Lord, lay that person on my heart. Tell me who can handle this. Show me who can sit in this with me for five minutes and tell me it’s going to be ok.” I felt hopelessness sweep over me as I ran through my list of friends…all of them would be too busy for my mess. Working, taking care of kids, tackling the crazy season of Christmas. “What’s the point,” I thought. “Besides, I don’t want to burden them.”

As I drove to grab a last minute gift for a friend, I felt the weight of these thoughts. Just as the weight settled on my shoulders, the devil began his antics of whispering “you are so alone, you are forgotten by everyone around you, you are too much for the world, besides you signed up for this work, now you want to cry about it?” As I began to feel my soul agree with these lies, I also felt my spirit inviting me into the big T truths. 

My friend Marisha has this teaching where she talks about the importance of us recognizing little T truths and big T truths.  Little T truths are our reality. In this situation, the little T truth was that I was needing support from others because i was facing a really difficult reality. I desired safe connection with another, I wanted a shoulder to cry on for a minute and someone to hold my face and say “it’s going to be okay.” I wanted someone to hug my heart with their presence and words.  Those were all true things in the moment. And then…and then the Father of Lies showed up on the mental scene and did what he is only capable of doing…he lied.  

If I took Marisha’s words to heart, the only way for me to stop those lies was to battle them with big T truths. The truths that come from our Father. The truths that come from the One who made me, knows me and cares for me.

So I showed up to the shop that ALWAYS soothes my heart and I began the mental steps to remember the big T truths. The truths that I have written out 100 times in my journal, put on my mirror for daily reminders. The truths that are on post-it notes in random places. The truths that have seeped into my soul simply because I kept coming back to them instead of the lies. 

I began thinking on Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

This was so true, I felt weary and burdened. His offer was to give me rest. It was also to take His yoke, easy and light, not the heaviness I was currently feeling. And to learn from Him. Not be scolded for weariness or reprimanded because I have taken my eyes off of Him in this moment. But to learn from Him because He is gentle and humble in heart.  If I committed to learn from Him, I’d find exactly what I was looking for— rest for my soul. A place for my heart to be held. A safe space to lay it out there, surrender the heaviness of it and put on His light yoke. 

I envisioned me taking off the yoke that you’d find on oxen when they are plowing and instead, putting on a scarf. I imagined it was really colorful and beautiful.  I could also imagine the difference in their weight, but what about the difference in comfort and my ability to keep going? I wouldn’t make it far with that huge oxen yoke, but I could move through life easier with a scarf over me.

So as I browsed, wept a little and did my best to focus my mind on the big T’s, my eyes fell on a sign hanging in the shop. The sign contained three simple, yet powerful, words that my heart needed to feel and my eyes needed to see in that moment.

I AM HELD

Milk Moon House

There it was, the biggest big T truth that I needed to feel that day. I am held. At first I read it as a reminder, then I read it a second and third time and began to claim it in my heart. It was big T truth. I AM HELD. I am. And so are you.

The Lord has an invitation for us. His invitation is to focus our minds, body (eyes) and spirit on His truths.

I remember being told this by others or reading it in a well put together bible study so many time. Promise…I have been there. But when I was able to let it play out in my real life…it stuck. And now it’s one of my greatest weapons.

So you know what happened to the Father of Lies as I stood there agreeing with the truth that I was, indeed, held?  He left me alone. He felt the defeat and he retreated. He knew that was not a battle he would have victory in that day. We won! The Father led me out of darkness and we won that day. 

Friend, I left that shop with new tears in my eyes. I left with a bit of a pep in my step and rested my mind on the truth that He’s got my back and He does know all my needs. 

I wanted a tangible friend in the moment, and He was. He met me in that space and He cupped my face with his Spirit, He directed my eyes to that sign and offered me far more than I could have asked for or imagined. He held me and offered me a lighter yoke for me to continue walking through my day.

My prayer is that you let Him hold you, too.

Merry Christmas.


Thank you to my friend Jo with Milk Moon House for being the vessel that the Lord has asked her to be. Thank you for following His lead and creating with Him. She is the amazing artist of this photo.

Thank you Bradley’s for always being the space that others can go and exhale. You create a space like no other. It’s cozy! (that’s for you Joy H.)

friendship, from the wife, HER Voice, pornography addiction, recovery

Dear Friend,

I want to start off by saying that your friendship is so important to me. You mean so much to me and my family. We have shared many memories and laughter together. I treasure you.

Support For Wives

Because I value our friendship, I wanted to share some of my needs as I am navigating through this new nightmare in my marriage. Nightmare may sound like a dramatic word choice but when I awake each morning, I’m certain it’s all a nightmare. I keep hoping I’ll awake and this will have only been a bad dream, but then I realize I am awake and this is my reality at this time.

I want to be gentle and kind in my words, but I also want to be honest and real. Forgive me if my pain seeps into this letter. My world is spinning. I’m uncertain who is safe and who is not. And I promise friend, I want to believe you are safe but I’m not completely sure of anything these days.

When we met at the coffee shop today, you said, “Let me know if you need anything.”

Inside my heart I shouted, “I need a redo. I need this to vanish and never come back. I need a heart transplant because the one inside my chest is shattered into a million pieces.”  But I know you aren’t capable of tending to any of those needs. There is no redo and only Jesus can heal my heart.

Maybe it would be helpful for me to let you in to see what I’m facing and how it’s unfolding every day. Perhaps this is too much. Goodness, I don’t want to be “too much” for one more person. But I want to be honest. Honesty is SUPER important to me these days. After losing all sense of honesty in my marriage I find myself really needing everyone around me super honest with me and I’m a little too honest with most of them. I should probably apologize to that store clerk from yesterday. But I didn’t know how to answer the question “how are you today” when she asked, so I was honest.

Friend, I know you desire to be a good friend in this season and you are probably at a complete loss. After all, you have never experienced something like this.

I feel completely alone most moments in my day. I walk the hallways at church, work and life with a face that is not mine. It doesn’t reflect the reality on the inside. I’m broken, hopeless, and drowning in the tsunami of emotions that hit me every 5-7 minutes. I feel like I have something gagging me on the inside. I can’t utter a word to anyone. There is so much fear and confusion. My husband is a good man, he is kind. Most people probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told them. Others would immediately judge him and think he is a pervert or question why I am still with him. I wrestle with all these thoughts. It’s so hard when the world outside is pressing up against the wobbly world inside of me.

I struggle to have clear thoughts and stay on task. My mind is always racing and I am exhausted. I’m exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is hitting me from all places. I’m barely sleeping. I am close to running out of tears, I have cried so many in the quiet of my shower. My mind never stops and I’m wrestling to see God’s goodness in any of this.

I’m struggling to make it through basic tasks, and when I am able to complete the everyday necessities, I am wiped out and just want to lay in my bed.  I’m not depressed…or am I?  I’m trying…or maybe I’m not trying hard enough? I don’t trust myself anymore, and I’m really struggling to trust that God is taking care of me in all of this.

So friend, what can you do? What can you offer? What do I need? I can’t say I really even know all of my needs.

Perhaps I could use help with completely basic tasks like dinner for my family. I could use help with kids while we try and pick up these pieces in counseling or over really hard dinner conversations. I could use a surprise visit that lets me take a break and be with my thoughts for an hour in a quiet place while someone else handles the needs of life. Or even something as simple as showing love and concern with an unexpected hug or phone call, a listening ear, or a text that just reminds me that someone cares and is praying for me. Prayer. I really need prayer.

But here is the reality… I won’t ask for these things. I don’t know how and I don’t really know I need any of it. From what I have been told he needs to be in support groups, have an accountability partner, and/or maybe do some counseling. Once those things are done, I hope we will be good and that he will walk away from this sin. But I don’t know what to do with me in the meantime. Please pray I will look to Jesus and rely on Him to steady me, to comfort me, to hold me up in all this. My world has been shattered and Jesus and I are working on putting the pieces back together while he is working on his part.

I’m thankful you are my friend. I’m not sure how great of a friend I will be for a while. But I promise I will try when I can. I’m thankful for your grace and love.

Love,

Your Hurting Friend