The following is a writing I have never put "out there" before. Here are excerpts; numbers 17 through 23 from "55 Reasons;" a piece I wrote nearly 12 years ago (now.) As you can most assuredly guess, they are 55 reasons...not to give up. Accompanying them are a series of photos to calm and to reassure. (I wrote this during and after a very difficult time in my life. They helped me pass through a firestorm of bad circumstance...)
(Asheville, NC church door)
(Small mountain waterfall somewhere near Boone, NC)
17. R-E-L-E-A-S-E. Find and offer up your (own) individual 'release valve' and allow God to show you the mechanisms and the coping strategies for releasing negative energy, tension, all fear and every intonation(even...) of self-doubt. Release guilt. Face your past and release past memories that haunt you or bind you up. Release your anger from the past. Apprehend help in this process if you require it friend. There is no shame in this. We are all 'in process' (a little 'Wayne Dyer' here; :) how right he was...)
Finally, release your fears one by one-both the large 'monster' fears and the creepy-crawly ones.You must face your (own) fear friend. Own it. Face it. And subdue it.
Recognize that God Himself designed you with such a release valve; He designed you with purpose, a set place and to here be released... to be... made... whole. Fully functioning and fully... 'released' in your wholeness. To be released is to be made whole.
(Photo of a tree my husband took)
18. Recognize that man was born for adversity. From each day itself, there will arise trouble, that will be sufficient for the day in and of itself. This is how life works. I want you to ask yourself this- if trouble arises each and every day, and man was born for adversity; is there not something inherent within each one of us that would equip us or enable us to overcome trouble?? To be catapulted to individual greatness...on the wings of trouble (even)? Think about it. I contend that <trouble> is all about recognizing who you are...
Have the faith required to believe God... that He (alone) is sufficient in and of ((Himself.)) He will meet you at the point of your need... and that He will deliver you out of the midst of all of your trouble.
(There is a fourth man in the fire friend; even when the heat gets HOT.)
(Photo of a front yard rose in Boone, NC entitled "Inner Flame.")
19. ROLL it. A very wise kindergarten teacher taught her class; when the burdens of your heart are heavy; let Jesus roll the burdens of your heart away. Let Him ROLL the STONE away today (from your heart)... instead of giving up to the pressures and the burdens of life that you carry, cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you.
(Hawk's Beak, as seen from Blowing Rock, NC)
20. Help someone else whom you can regard as being WORSE off than you. I know that it sounds trite.....and f-a-r t-o-o simple, but it is truly an effective strategy for pulling yourself OUT of the quagmires, the rocks and the crevices of life. Help someone else friend. And you will be helping yourself (too.)
21. Are you (overly) stressed and well...really and truly burnt up and fried out? You must take the time for important enjoyment and to de-stress in life. This is an essential key to happiness that one must employ (to overcome.) So- take a trip! Walk the beach or the forest path; behold the sun, the moon and the stars or a simple flower. It is a thing of beauty. All of nature sings praise. It can help you find a song of love that pervades all of nature (a heart song really...) and of admiration, too. Take a moment...to be refreshed and to be renewed. All of nature will cooperate with you friend.
22. Remove the red flags of life. Are there issues and problems that you CAN deal with...but haven't?? Have you begun to procrastinate?? Remove these obstacles (those that you can) and you will find r-e-l-e-a-s-e. It's like you're snagged on a rock... begin again... today, to float the current of life.
23. Find an eddy in the current to rest. Perhaps God is speaking "Rest" to your soul, friend.
(Cool mountain stream near Boone, NC)