In Others’ Words: Truthful

Do truth MacDonald 10.30.13 Discouragement has stalked my heels of late.

And even as I write those words, I want to back up, hit the “delete” key until that sentence disappears. Start again.

But I am determined to be honest . . . not to garner sympathy, although you all — yes, you, if you are reading this blog — are amazing encouragers.

I could go into the why of the discouragement. I am, after all, familiar with the circumstances of my life. And some of you are too. And some of you aren’t. But here’s the thing: For a kid who was nicknamed “Me too” (among other things) I’m not one for talking about myself.

Yeah, yeah. I’m hedging.

I think the months of back pain … and the trying to overcome it … and the trying to heal it … and the trying to be okay with it … and the trying to pray through it … and the trying to ignore it … and the trying to not be helpless and hopeless … all of it creates discouragement that lingers on the outskirts of my mind. And sometimes gets closer … close enough to stalk me.

And to be honest, sometimes I don’t fight back. I lay in the dark and think this is it … the way it’s always going to be … and I let the discouragement win.

But here’s the truth of it all: I am not a woman who wants to live in discouragement. I don’t want discouragement to take me down. I don’t want discouragement to determine my outlook.

So in light of where I am today … what truth changes my outlook? What truth shatters discouragement?

Nothing can separate me from the love of God. Nothing. Nothing. Not. A. Thing.  (Romans 8:31-39)

And for now, that truth is enough.

In Your Words: What truth do you know that is enough in the tough times? 

Do the Truth You Know Click to Tweet

Choosing Truth When Discouragement Stalks You Click to Tweet

Shattering Discouragement with Truth Click to Tweet

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42 Comments

  1. October 30, 2013, 6:32 am   /  Reply

    Sometimes, ALL I can cling to is that exact thought. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

    • October 30, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      🙂
      Clinging with you.

  2. October 30, 2013, 6:45 am   /  Reply

    I’m praying for you my friend. One truth that comforts and strengthens me is that God loves me perfectly, passionately, completely. Even when I blow it. Even when I fall short. His love for me never changes.

    The other truth is that I am enough in His eyes. I don’t have to be perfect, or more than I am in this moment to gain His approval. I guess that comes back to knowing how He loves me.

    • October 30, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      “… more than I am in this moment …”
      Wow. There’s emotional breathing space in that thought, Jeanne.

  3. October 30, 2013, 6:50 am   /  Reply

    His ways are not my ways.
    His thoughts are not my thoughts.
    On my knees, sometimes I get a glimpse of His ways and thoughts.
    Other times, I simply rest in knowing that He knows.
    This is not my eternal home. I only need strength for today.

    • October 30, 2013, 8:46 am   /  Reply

      Strength for today — good reminder, Mary. Thank you.

  4. Terri Tiffany
    October 30, 2013, 6:59 am   /  Reply

    I will add you to my prayers Beth. I didn’t realize you are going through this. I hang onto the knowledge that God knows my needs. Every one.

    • October 30, 2013, 8:45 am   /  Reply

      That’s an anchor truth too, Terri — that God knows what I need. Thank you for your prayers.

  5. October 30, 2013, 7:02 am   /  Reply

    That’s what it all boils down to, isn’t it? That we have to cling to the Truth, not the lies (little “l) that satan (little “s”) feeds us when we’re literally flat on our back. Praying for you!

    Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
    Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite,
    Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
    The promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”
    – John Newton

    And that’s a gorgeous photo by Rob! 🙂

    • October 30, 2013, 8:45 am   /  Reply

      Beautiful thoughts, Angie. Thanks for sharing the quote from John Newton. I have a passion for quotes, you know. 😉
      And yes, my husband is quite a photographer.

  6. October 30, 2013, 7:04 am   /  Reply

    I’m clinging right now too. I have Romans 11:29—for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable—plastered everywhere. It’s a season I don’t enjoy, but I’m trying to go through it without whining. I’m praying for you!

    • October 30, 2013, 8:44 am   /  Reply

      Edie:
      I understand the whole “I don’t want to whine” part. As my husband and I told our children when they were toddlers: Whining gets you nothing. It’s the balance of being real and being too real … you know??
      😉

  7. October 30, 2013, 7:11 am   /  Reply

    I understand how discouraging pain can be, Beth, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    To overcome discouragement in my own life I’ve had to mobilize a couple of resources. First, I had to revise the paradigm of my faith.

    So many people talk about being ‘blessed; with success and God’s favor, but that’s not really the way the system works. One need only look at what happened to Jesus and the Apostles. Their lives on earth would not have been overly comfortable, and ended, in almost all cases, in agony. They were comforted by the Holy Ghost – not delivered.

    Second – and this is not pretty – I tell myself that this is not as bad as it could get. I’ve seen eviscerated people, and some of these were friends.

    And yet, they lived – but could not be moved, and could not be left to the mercies of a cruel enemy.

    Things could be worse, yeah,

    • October 30, 2013, 8:42 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Andrew. Sometimes the truth is that things could be worse. And they are not. I’ve had friends face the worst — and I actually was spared a “worse” diagnosis a few weeks ago. So yes, embracing “things could be worse, but they are not” can uplift your spirits.

      • October 30, 2013, 9:03 am   /  Reply

        I am SO GLAD that the worse diagnosis was not true!

        I think I speak for everyone ‘out here’ when I say that you are important in our lives.

        Your wisdom is a guide.

        Your kindness is a balm.

        And we want, above all, to see you well and happy.

        • October 30, 2013, 7:18 pm   /  Reply

          Now don’t make me cry, Andrew …

          Thank you for those precious words of kindness and encouragement. Hugging them to myself.

  8. October 30, 2013, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    I’m really sorry about the continued back pain, Beth. Praying and sending hugs, friend. Praying for an end to the pain, and also the discouragement that’s come along with it.

    The truth I cling to when I’m discouraged: God’s got a plan. He’s always got a plan…and it’s usually better than mine. 🙂

    • October 30, 2013, 8:40 am   /  Reply

      Yes, God does have a plan — and it is better than mine, Melissa. And it is usually so, so different from mine. That is not a complaint, either. It’s a beautiful reality.

  9. October 30, 2013, 7:55 am   /  Reply

    My precious Beth, it seems that our minds were in sync with today’s blog posts. Please know I am lifting you up to our Father today!

    I love you in Jesus, friend! Press on!

    • October 30, 2013, 8:39 am   /  Reply

      Looking forward to reading your post, Cynthia. You are always such an encourager.

  10. October 30, 2013, 8:58 am   /  Reply

    I love the MacDonald quote, Beth. Still pondering on it…

    I wallow too often in the ruts and puddles of discouragement. Wrote an essay on it, in fact. It’s something I take out and read some mornings to put my brain on track before I get derailed for the day. Some of the things it reminds me is to (don’t cringe) count my blessings. It’s truth to plug in before negativity takes over. Truth that keeps me from giving the devil a foothold on my thoughts too easily pulled off the path and into the briars of negativity and his deceitful lies. How easily I fall pray to deception. Battling discouragement with truth is so vital.

    One of the other reminders on this “encouragement essay” of mine is to focus on encouraging others. It’s amazing and often surprising what a remedy to discouragement (in me) this can be. Brings me joy. Takes my focus off of ME. Takes idle time from my thoughts and gives purpose to my potentially loitering brain. Maybe even saves a life with that one needed touch or smile, who knows. 🙂

    And YOU are one of the best encouragers I know, Beth. Love you!!

    • October 30, 2013, 7:20 pm   /  Reply

      Camille:
      Knowing your writing, I’d love to see that essay. You are able to change thoughts into such strong words that touch the heart.

  11. October 30, 2013, 9:06 am   /  Reply

    Thank you for being candid and vulnerable. It is more helpful than you know to so many. I know you’re already doing this, but these are the words to a song a student of mine wrote that I’m praying for you right now–especially the chorus:

    Let the Lord Carry You – Tracy Hotston
    The Father knows the destiny of each heart .
    He knows what paths to choose for His flock.
    To all those who sacrifice all to obey His voice
    Will be found in the place sanctioned by their Lord’s divine choice

    Let the Lord carry you. Let the Lord carry you. (Chorus)
    On the wings of His Spirit up into the heavenlies
    Rising unto perfect peace high above life’s storms.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:17 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, dearest Dee. Thank you.

  12. October 30, 2013, 9:15 am   /  Reply

    Your ‘truth’ is encouraging. We are to bear one another’s burdens. Share in each other’s sorrows and discouragements. How else do we know how to pray for those we love? And I am praying for you, Beth. ♥

    I understand the shadow of discouragement all too well. Many days I wonder if grief is always going to cause such darkness in my life. I do see the light of Christ and cling to him. I would drown if not for the eternal hope he offers. But I must be truthful and admit that I lay in bed at night, curled on my side with tears seeping into my pillow and ask is it always going to hurt this much (both my sorrow and my physical pain). One thing that encourages me is when I feel a gentle enveloping and realize it isn’t my earthly husband holding me 🙂

    Excuse the bad grammar…in a haze of PT pain right now!

    • October 30, 2013, 7:17 pm   /  Reply

      Anne:
      I know your hope is in God … and that you lean into him as you walk a path few of us are asked to walk.
      Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement.

      Hugs to you, my friend.

  13. October 30, 2013, 9:17 am   /  Reply

    Oh, poor friend! I’m so sorry about the discouragement you are feeling.

    The thought that lifts me up even when I’m in the pits is “God’s got this.” Philippians 1:6…makes sense in my writing life…and in the rest of it too.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:16 pm   /  Reply

      I’ve watched you stay laser-focused on that truth all year: God’s got this. Love it. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. October 30, 2013, 9:18 am   /  Reply

    He will not leave me nor forsake me.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:15 pm   /  Reply

      Amen and Amen to that.

  15. October 30, 2013, 9:32 am   /  Reply

    Beth, you are an encourager and sometimes encouragers get discouraged. And that’s no fun to admit, but it doesn’t change who you are. You are still and always will be an encourager at heart.

    And I’m sorry you’ve been suffering physically lately. Pain seems to zap the strength out of the best of us. I’ve been there lately too.

    Today I hope you take the day to bask in the wide open spaces of God’s grace. God receives you in your discouragement. He loves you with a perfect and powerful love. And I hope you sense a fresh healing today. I’m praying for your back and for your heart to be extra encouraged. Love you.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:15 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you for that “verbal hug,” Tiffany.

  16. October 30, 2013, 10:21 am   /  Reply

    I was journaling about pain this morning, Beth, and your blog post is very encouraging to me. (pasting it into my journal 🙂 That said, I hate, hate, hate it that you are dealing with chronic back pain. So, with this comment also goes a plea to our Lord for your healing.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:14 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, I wish I could peek into your journal right now, Gloria. I’m sure your words are so insightful …

  17. October 30, 2013, 11:44 am   /  Reply

    I am repeating myself, but it is so worth repeating: You all are amazing encouragers.

  18. October 30, 2013, 12:51 pm   /  Reply

    It’s so hard when pain goes on and on. It wears on you physically and emotionally. Lifting you up, praying for healing.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:13 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you, Pat.
      🙂

  19. October 30, 2013, 12:59 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I love how real you are, and I am so sorry about your back. I am in such a time as this! And it really isn’t one big thing, just a lot of little things that I am allowing to get to me and bring me down. If I react the way my flesh wants me to, I will be confrontational, negative, and destructive. But if I wait on the Lord, and speak His Truth to my heart, then I can take my next step without regret!
    Thanks for sharing. I pray that you find some more long-term healing.

    • October 30, 2013, 7:13 pm   /  Reply

      Angie:
      I love your perspective of wanting to take the next step without regret! Yes! Me too.

  20. Susan Mason
    October 30, 2013, 5:34 pm   /  Reply

    So sorry, Beth. My mom, 79, has been suffering from 2 severe spinal fractures for 3 months now, and I know how tough that kind of pain can be.

    There is a reason for everything. I truly believe that and you may not understand the reason for quite a while. Trust that something good will come out of it all. Pamper yourself as much as you can. Praying…

    • October 30, 2013, 7:12 pm   /  Reply

      Susan:
      So sorry to hear about your mom. She’s in my prayers today.

  21. October 30, 2013, 10:44 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, you’re such a wonderful encourager through your truthfulness, your pain, your compassion, your writing … I could go on and on. Thanks for being honest that life isn’t always peachy. I love you for that.

    I’m praying your pain subsides – this can’t be the end of your story. It just can’t, but it’s a part of your story and I love that you’re willing to share even while you’re in the midst of it. Thank you for all you do for the rest of us.

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