There are many, many concerns on my mind these days. They kind of swirl around in the background as I go through my day. I’m not especially so worried that I can’t do all that I need to, but yes, this list is ever-prevalent, just a thought away from giving me stress if I allow it to.
I know that my ways are directed by the Lord. I know that He will provide for my needs and will accomplish all that He desires. I do turn my “list” over to Him. But some days the items on that list almost suffocate me.
Because God loves me and is concerned about my welfare and the condition of my brain, I believe He gives me signs to assure me that He is handling everything I’m concerned about. One of the ways He does this is by “helping” me to see the time of 11:11 on my clock.
For a long time now I’ve been seeing 11:11 on clocks around me (and my phone) and I believe it’s God telling me He loves me and that He is present in my life. I tell Him I love Him too whenever I see that time.
So these past two weeks I have been more concerned (stressed) than usual. The list continues to grow and things mount up. And guess what? For two nights in a row, no matter what my routine has been, when I crawled into bed and turned off the lamp, 11:11 was the time. God really does make me laugh!
I couldn’t have timed it. God is just saying that He is with me. His attention to, and providing of, the details that reassure me are precious acts of love. It’s such a sweet way of letting me know of His presence. He knows I love the visuals!
And then? The next morning I opened my Bible to read and it fell open to this verse I’d already underlined…
“Because you have delighted in Me as my great lover, I will answer your cry for help every time you pray.
And you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble.”
Oh the timing of God’s hand in my life!!
Love and hugs,
Scripture quoted is Psalm 91:14-16 (excerpts) using The Passion Bible translation.
Comment below and tell me what YOU think the 11:11 on the clock means.
Ok, truth; how many of y’all just get stinkin’ lonely right now?
Let me see your hands!
Yep, and it’s one of those emotions that we hide, perhaps afraid if we admit it, there will be a landslide of others to follow. And well they may! But here’s the deal, once we admit that we are lonely, hopefully it will prompt us to reach out to others. And you can be guaranteed that there is a huge, immeasurable cloud of loneliness over the world right now. Isolation is not good for most of us. Perhaps introverts are faring better than those who love to be around people, but not being allowed to choose can take its toll on even those.
What can we do? Lean on each other!!
Loneliness is a room with a door that you open from the inside.
Admit that we need the voice, the face, of another person. No, we can’t leave our homes, but with all the ways to do face time with people, unless you have no phone or computer with a camera, you do have choices. Messaging, texting, old-fashioned email and calling are also choices and create that connection.
Now, because I have two teens in my home with me, you might think that I wouldn’t be lonely (but you do know that one can be lonely even when married or in a group of people, right?). And most of the time I am not, even though there are challenges. My son, who is mentally like a 5 year old, talks incessantly about Pokemon and what they do and who he has evolved into and who he caught–on and on continuously. Every 5 to 10 minutes all.day.long. Yeah, it gets a little tiring and challenging for my own mental health. (And makes writing, praying, and reading a bit tough, ha!) By the end of the day my ears are tired. If it would just warm up a bit here in Michigan we’d be outside more! My sweet daughter is usually holed up in her bedroom most of the day, only coming out if I make her do something or to get food, during which time we connect a bit. Our conversations are minimal because she has always struggled with communicating face-to-face and “doesn’t know what to talk about”. Thank goodness she likes to text! She is a true introvert. But, I do get a couple of hugs a day from them, and I treasure being with them. I am not alone. (By the way this is Day 33 that we have stayed at home. All three of us are at risk, so when they closed the schools on March 13, that was it for us.)
What I long for is adult conversation. The kind where you talk about what you are thinking and look into each other’s eyes, and laugh at the funny stuff. And give hugs and eat together. Good thing I have to stay behind the door when the UPS guy comes by, or else I’d tackle him and say, “TALK to me!! Tell me anything! What is it like on the other side?”. 🙂
So anyway, I found this video while chasing other rabbits, and thought it quite appropriate, especially since the participants are from all over the world, and this loneliness is worldwide.
When my heart begins hurting with the loneliness I feel, I start jabbering to Jesus. He is with me. That’s what His name, Emmanuel, means: “God with us”. Yes, loneliness could take me down a dark hole, (shoot, even writing this is stirring those old feelings) but here’s what I do to stop it in its tracks. I say, “God my heart hurts right now. I miss having friends around me. I miss having someone to love me. I hate being alone. I need to talk to someone. But I know you are there. So will you please touch my heart? I want to be released of this hurt. And show me how to help someone else, so my mind is off of myself. Thank you for your love and faithfulness.”
And then I get busy. I read (something fun to give my brain a rest), cook, walk outside, text or message someone, go sit with my son and see what he’s doing, (as if I didn’t already know! Ha!)
I know that this time will pass, but loneliness is not something new for me. All of my immediate family is gone, and the rest live far away. I’ve had a lot of grief to deal with (loneliness, to me, is a kind of grief), even the loss of close friends when I retired. Perhaps that’s why I have tools to deal with it. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and that sometimes it doesn’t take a while to ease. It does. But I’m so thankful and blessed that I have Emmanuel beside me, walking this crazy journey with me!
The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.
Reach out to others. Especially those you know are alone. My heart breaks for the ones in hospitals and nursing homes who can’t have family with them. And I pray that those who haven’t, in the past, been very attentive to their loved ones in nursing homes, or with their elders home alone, can now understand better the importance of contact with them. I know that when I was in my twenties I sure didn’t see the value of a visit with my grandmother, and I regret it now. Let’s just say that the hardships of the past have given me more compassion.
That’s all for now. Please be safe, stay home, find ways to reach out, and pray for others. And hey, please comment below so I know you are out there! 🙂
Much, much love. (I appreciate you!)
P.S. If you have ever wondered if God loves you, read my post “Does God Know Me?”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be ableto separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I hope you enjoy this most precious video of my speech-and-language-impaired son. I printed out what he is saying (with a little interpretation). I don’t want you to miss a bit of it.
Here is the whole story. M loves Pokemon. He likes to look them up and find videos and information about them. He loves the fact that there are lots of characters. He’s been telling me about them for a long time now, what kind they are, what they do when they get mad, what powers they have and how they can help. While I’m not especially happy about some of them, he is so innocent that their influence hasn’t been detrimental (believe me, I keep close tabs). However, there is a type that I don’t like very much, so I told him one day as he was playing with his two new ones that he should tell them about Jesus. Then they could be Jesus followers. He said, “Yeah. Let’s do it.”
Thus the video.
M: Jesus Christ is the Lord, because He died a long time ago. And I wasn’t born.
Me: so what did Jesus do when He died?
M: People (God) healed Him.
Mom: Yep, He came back again didn’t He?
Me: That’s what makes Him our God and totally different.
M: And, God made the foods to eat. They can help us to stay healthy.
And Noah did an ark, on the boat. *
Me: tell me more about God. Tell them more about Jesus so they know.
M: Hmm, anything? Hmmm, like if the bully kids are hurting you, you can tell God to help.
Me: does He love us?
M: Yes, He loves us with all His heart! And did you know that God knows your names?
Me: He knows all about us doesn’t He?
M: Yep. And you will never be alone. God will take care of you wherever you go. You got to pray to Him.
And if you have nightmares, say, “Be gone in Jesus’ name.” **
This is how God made you that way.
—After the video was finished, he said to the two toys, “So what do you think?”
He told me, “They’re all in!!” so we changed their names to Angel and Helper, because they left their old behaviors behind. And now they are always helping to rescue.
*M is totally enamored with Noah’s ark. We talk about heaven a lot, and he is determined that Noah is going to give him a ride on his “boat”!
**Also, M used to have nightmares a lot (caused by, I’m sure, his horrible beginning). Once he began talking (not until around age 4) and I could understand what he was seeing when he would wake up, I taught him about our authority in Jesus’ name. And He TOOK that authority and told the “dirty faced man in the corner” to leave! We prayed this every night at bedtime for a while. “No more nightmares.” So this resonates deeply with him.
I hope you were as blessed by this man-child’s heart as I often am. God told us when he was tiny that he would touch people’s lives, and I pray that for him all the time.