Friday, August 23, 2013

Ten Steps to Turning Your World Around

Did you know that “You ARE an Overcomer?”

Has your faith had such a workout that you feel you’re fighting for your life?  Well, not to put a damper on things friend, but you are.  There is good news though; someone has made sure you won’t go down for the count.

Lately I have been receiving messages and counseling a lot on starting over when you’ve been through something traumatic or life altering.  For some of you, so much has happened that you have given up on hope, therefore, your faith has nothing to support it.  Like my husband would put it, “your armor can’t take another hit.”

I wish I could say that I haven’t experienced that kind of feeling, but I can’t.  Job changes, losses, health, injuries, death, friendships broken, moving across country and other things have stolen joy from my life. Just like you, I could name these instances and gain sympathy from most people, because they have also been through these tragedies.

Hold on - Help Is on the Way

Over the years I’ve been on a quest in search for answers on how to press on when nothing made sense or was going right. 
Continuing in my education I had taken classes, read books, listened to spiritual messages and they have either led me nowhere or to the same place … God’s Word.  There is a ray of hope after all!

After a traumatic brain injury, normal became foreign in our way of living, so I've walked this road in my own life.
I’d like to rekindle the fire of God inside you and bring back hope into your life, with what I have learned throughout the years along my journey. 
Help is on the Way- Michael W. Smith Updated Version

Leaving Normal Life Behind
How do you start over when everything is different? 
Is there something to help us cope with life when there is no spouse or family around, health seems to be in jeopardy, jobs are scarce and the world seems to be falling apart? 

Someone asked me this question, “It hurts too much and I am so lonely.  How do I laugh and live life again?”  Another person said to my husband after a Sunday church service, “I had nothing to do with my birth, I know how to die, but how do I live?”  They weren’t trying to be negative, but were truly grasping at living a “normal” life as God intended, full of blessings, joy and favor.

What we need to understand is that through Christ, we are overcomers. It may not look like it now, but we are. Jesus said so.

 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(1 John 5:4-5 NKJV)

The New Normal: A Lesson in Survival

Let me explain that what you are experiencing right now is called a "new normal."  After we have experienced something traumatic in our lives, we have to learn to live a normal life completely different than we have in the past.  We have to have the boldness to step out without the help of those we once had.

Is this possible? Yes, but it may be hard and take some time.  If you can hold on to this phrase, you will survive and come out better than you ever expected ... “It’s a process.”  Meaning, it won’t happen overnight, but by faith it will come to pass.

For some the problem lies with “self”, that is, expecting too much too soon.  We become impatient with ourselves or other people become insensitive to our feelings and situation.  There have been people that have said, “You should be over this by now.”  Who says?

Let’s face it, “normal” life in your world has been snatched away and not everyone will respond the same way as you do.  Don’t let that get you down.  “Normal” as it was in the past, is never going to happen.  Coming to grips with that takes courage given from God and good support groups in a godly atmosphere. 
So to answer that lady, “How do I live this New Normal Life?” here are some things you can do.

Ten Steps to Your
"New Normal"

Start slow, you don't have to do them all at once, but at least start.
1) Trust God's methods.  Pray and trust God no matter what.  I can tell you from experience; without that trust, you won’t make it.  Don't let fear stop you from making a change. You must have complete trust in the One that is greater than all circumstances.

2) Take a mental break. Allow yourself a chance to heal without questioning everything. Enjoy the little things that come moment by moment as you learn to cast your cares on the Lord.  Remember, you are starting a new way of living, so you don’t know the ropes yet.

“Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7 NKJV)

3) Sing, sing, and sing some more.  Music is the most effective way to stir the heart of man and God.  There is no higher adoration to God than praise, and that’s easy when you sing. I can always tell when my music quota needs to be refilled by the way I react to things.  If you are re-acting and not acting to daily situations, turn on some Christian music and sing.  It will change the way you think and act.

4) Spend time in the Word other than your daily devotions.  Look up passages in the Bible that specifically talk about what you are experiencing.  If you’re not sure how to do that, use a Bible concordance to help you. Study, write the verses down and mediate on them until they become part of your thinking.  I have done this; it works!
Doctors told my husband I would never recover, don't believe them. Get angry enough to believe God's Word over all naysayers. This is what I learned:

  “If we change the way we think,
we change the way we live.”

5) Find a Christian support group geared for that situation. People want to give encouragement, but because they aren't living your problem daily they forget about what you are battling.

Understand that sharing your feelings and experiences in a support group is good, but only if it is within a group of people that have experienced your kind of pain.  Just any support group won’t cut it.
6) Give yourself credit where it is due. You have probably made more headway than you realize.

7) Do something new.  To help us regain our joy, my husband and I purposed in our hearts to do new things.  We have tried projects, ideas and activities we never did before, and found new paths in our journey that were not explored. 
This has opened new doors and friendships into our lives, because we stepped out in faith letting God lead us to the “greater things” He has promised in His Word.  If you allow God to lead you through the valley you will be refreshed.

8) Change your environment.  This may or may not be a dramatic change for some, but literally move.  A new location won’t remove the pain, but a new environment may encourage you to step out in faith so God can work on your behalf.  Pray and ask God if this is what you should do.

Another change may simply be in the furniture or colors of a room.  It has been scientifically proven that colors make a difference in the way we think and operate in life.  What the world doesn’t understand is that colors have an aroma designed by God for our benefit.  We need to use them to encourage calmness, not rage into our emotions.  Remember this sentence, “If you go light (in color selections), you will feel bright.” 

This one may be tough, but God could lead you to leave your job (even in this economy), in order to help you through the healing process.  Be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and trust God to give you favor in another position.

9) Surround yourself with positive Christian people who make you laugh.  Sure you don’t want to talk to strangers or even feel like socializing, but that’s what you need to do if you can’t find any positivity in your friends. Don’t discuss issues, but just “be” part of the Body of Christ.  Learn to laugh all over again and healing will come.  The Bible says it is like medicine, so take a good dose of laughter daily.

“A merry heart does good, like medicine,
 but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

10) Get involved with something.  Dip into your bucket list and go for it. Whether it’s singing in the choir, Bible study, karate lessons, ceramic classes or a night course ... do something.  Get outside of your home and area. Focusing on a new skill will take your mind off the situation and help you deal with your emotions when you are alone. Plus, it will make you physically tired causing you to sleep when you couldn’t in the past.

Whatever you are going through, you can’t give up or give in to the feeling of hopelessness.  I’m proud of how far you have come. You’re going to make it.  How do I know that you will, because Jesus said you ARE an overcomer.  You have inside you what it takes to get through this, no matter what it may be.

Through Jesus, stay in the fight... the good fight of faith.  God said you are not going under.  It’s not hopeless.

The thing is that we forget the promises of God and that He is holding our hand all the way.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:8 NKJV)

The Great I AM is living inside you, so how can you lose?  Jesus is the one Who will bring you through.  Let Him!

Your job: stay in the fight.  satan knows you’re not going under, but do you?  This is your victory … to be an overcomer like Christ said you were.

Don’t quit!
Don't give in!
Stay strong!
It's not hopeless!
Mandisa - Overcomer (Lyric Video)
 Did you listen to the words in that song?  The scriptures declare that "You’re an Overcomer" by faith.  It is a title given to you by Jesus courtesy of the cross.  Child of God, heir, righteous, saint, forgiven, blessed …overcomer.  Believe it.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1 John 5:4 NKJV)

You are exactly where you need to be in this process, and are coming to the other side of “normal.” Be patient.
With each new day that God gives you grace and mercy (unmerited favor), find a way to share what you have learned through this.
Take notes so you see how you progressed and before you know it, you will have overcome.  You have the promise of Jesus that your tears will be wiped away and turned into gladness.
Everyone has reached a low point somewhere along their life’s journey.  You’re not alone.  Someone besides Christ knows what you’re feeling.  God will use your pain for His glory to help others and draw them to Him.  In the process you will be healed and your new “normal” will become a stepping stone to the daily favor of God.
Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.
*Note: The word "satan" is intentionally in lower case, for we give him no authority.
Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.
Image credit if not listed by Google Images Creative Common License
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image source: Help is on its way sheet music.  Leaving Normal sign  Define Normal sign  Christ in you overcomer  Ten Steps sign  Fight of Faith sign  It's A Process sign