Greetings! I hope the last few weeks have been good ones for you. Since I last wrote, we went on a family vacation to Nova Scotia. From there, we came home to finish redoing our daughters room and send her off for her senior year of college.
From the Gettysburg area of PA. it was a long ride to Nova Scotia. We developed car trouble, but were blessed to find someone when we arrived at our destination that could get us back on the road in a couple of days. I fell shortly after arriving, tearing a couple of tendons, and have been babying my foot ever since. Nova Scotia is beautiful, but takes lots of driving to get from place to place.
This school year is already proving to be much less stressful since our daughter is back in the country, and only an hour away. She is in her element, living in an international community house. She is very happy and this makes me very happy.
I have given a lot of thought to these last 4 posts on the enCOURAGEment series. This time I want to look at discouragement and how to combat it. Merriam Webster says discouragement “is a feeling of having lost hope or confidence”. If we are not vigilant we can easily become discouraged by our circumstances. Many of the people I wrote about in this series are fine examples of people who rose above their circumstances, or the way they were feeling, to move forward with their goals.
Rick Warren, pastor, and author of the best selling book Purpose Driven Life has some tips for us on discouragement in his CBN article Some Cures for Discouragement.
In his article he says some of the causes of discouragement are fatigue, frustration, failure, and fear. Living with lupus and other autoimmune diseases offers many opportunities for each one of these things to occur in our lives. For example, I think fatigue is a huge cause of discouragement among many of us, resulting in frustration over what we can’t do, or a fear of failing at tasks we attempt.
Thankfully we do not have to stay stuck in discouragement. There are things we can do to help ourselves rise above. Rick recommends, resting our bodies, reorganizing our lives, remembering God will help us if we ask, and resisting the discouragement. All of these recommendations depend on one thing, us. Unfortunately, no one can do these things for us. We have to choose to be proactive on our own behalf. Nick Vujicic from Life without Limbs and Bill from Unshakeable Hope are prime examples of this.
It would have been so easy for Nick and Bill to let discouragement overcome them. As I follow Nick on Facebook, I read about all the people he is touching on his 2013 world tour, and the dignitaries he has met, and prayed with. He has sacrificed time with his new family to bring a message of love, and hope to those in need. Every time I get a blog post from Bill I am encouraged by his consistent courageous message of hope.
Each one of our situations is different. One thing is for certain, we must rise above our circumstances. We must be courageous, and encourage ourselves in order to move forward with our lives. I have found that as I look to God, He is faithful to help me. His help may not always seem immediate, but He works in my life to bring about what is needed for me to eventually rise above the situation. If you are feeling discouraged, don’t lose hope friend. God IS for you.
Until next time, when we will talk more about encouraging ourselves. Many blessings to you. Leslie Rose K
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer