Introverts… Speak Up!

megaphone2

Years ago, a key person in my life once encouraged me to “speak up” and share my thoughts / ideas. Why? Because they have value. You see, I was your classic introvert. In addition, I used to be in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship for many years. On top of being an introvert and a people-pleaser by nature, being in this kind of relationship proved to be very toxic/unhealthy and disastrous. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship. My heart goes out to those who are or have been. I hope that you have gotten out or soon will. In regards to physically abusive relationships, I credit my parents, especially my dad for instilling in us girls that no one, absolutely no one should ever put their hands on his daughters. Period. And if they did, they’d have to answer to my dad among other males in my family. I was a quiet person, but, if you got “stupid” with me, I’d have to pull *that* girl out of my pocket (so to speak) and “check” you. Don’t get it twisted.  But for many in these types of relationships it’s not easy to just “get out”. I pray that if you’re in such a relationship, you take steps to get out and get into a healthier place.*

But, back to my story. What did happen instead of being in a physically abusive relationship, was that I got into a codependent and emotionally abusive & manipulative relationship. In my opinion, this can happen for varied reasons, which I will likely post about another day. In emotionally abusive relationships, mind games, blaming, emotional manipulation (the kind that always make the perpetrator seem like the “right” one, while you’re always the one to blame) were the order of the day. Thankfully that ended many years ago. I got out of it, but, not without some emotional bruises. When you’re in that kind of relationship, and you’re the recipient of that type of constant treatment, it takes its toll (and takes time and concerted effort to heal). Your mindset is one of defending yourself, while secretly believing that maybe somehow you’re to blame. Or either you’re afraid to speak up, so as not to “upset the balance”, which would in turn cause more drama and perhaps abusive behavior. Even if you’ve not experienced any type of abusive behavior at all, and perhaps you’re just a quiet or shy person by nature, it may be extremely uncomfortable or feel very unnatural to speak up on any occasion because it’s not part of your natural makeup. You’d rather be in the background and/or invisible.

So, when an extrovert tells you to “speak up” it’s a frightening and foreign concept. After all, extroverts tend not to have a problem with being noticed or being on center stage.  But, when a fellow or former introvert encourages you to “speak up”, you listen, because they understand where you’re coming from. The point is that you have good ideas and suggestions. You have important perspectives and questions. The point is, you have value. Your input has value. Don’t keep this locked away. If you have something to share, then you should share it, yes respectfully, but share it. If you have something to ask, you should ask it. If you believe in something, then stand up for it. If folks don’t want to grant your request or agree with your perspective, that’s okay. But, at least do not keep what is valuable bottled up inside. You matter. So be open to the idea of sharing your perspective on varied topics. Yes, in all things use wisdom. There’s a time and place for everything. Speaking up doesn’t always involve being the center of attention, which most introverts seek to avoid like the plague.  You can “voice” your ideas or opinions creatively, by writing, or joining a particular group, or working behind the scenes for some cause, organization or event, and add your input that way.  Behind the scenes people are vital to the success of front-line people.

I now consider myself an intro-extrovert… or what I recently learned is also called an “ambivert”. Definition – a person having characteristics of both extrovert and introvert (and I would add… knowing WHEN to operate in each characteristic). It took some time for me to get to this place. I have my moments where I’m totally in “introvert mode” (yes, leave me alone… no, I can’t (don’t want to) go out…. no, don’t call me … yes, I’d rather stay at home and watch PBS with some delicious food, wine and my thoughts, in my ugly “chill out” clothes, etc.). And there are times when I’m an extrovert (Where’s the party? Let’s go!…. Just tell me when, I’m there! …. Let’s post that on social media … Let me organize an event…. You should go talk to him/her… Ask him/her what they mean by that, … Try that new thing!…etc.). But, my purpose in posting this today is to let you know that if you’re typically not one to speak out, I can relate. And I’m coming alongside of you as a friend saying, “Your voice matters.” You can “speak up” and have your say. Don’t be afraid of others not agreeing with you. It will take some time to get used to this.  This is not a comfortable feeling for an introvert. But, you’ll soon learn that it’s okay. Everyone is not going to agree with you, but, your voice still matters.

Some other personalities would take this encouragement to “speak up” and use it to hurl abusive statements or to blast others in a brash way in the name of “sharing their perspective”. This is NOT what I mean. But, often times, these types of personalities will act in this reckless manner regardless of any warning or counsel. Don’t waste your energy on folks who like drama. And STILL be encouraged to speak up.

*I want to end with this…. If you’re in an abusive relationship, it may not be as easy as “speaking up”, but you can take steps to free yourself from this kind of situation. It’s not easy and it won’t be easy, but IS POSSIBLE. Your life, health & well being is sooo worth it! And if you have children, the lives of your children are worth it! If you can do nothing else, try contacting the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visiting www.thehotline.org. They can help you find a local shelter where you can go. And they can help you create a *Safety Plan* :
“A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.” They’ll help you whether you’re alone with an abusive partner, whether you’ve got children or pets involved, or whether you’re pregnant. I hope and pray that this helps.

Sending love!
~K.D.

Photo credit

@2014 KD Corner / K.D. “Introverts… Speak Up!”

Can’t Go On…

despair

I can’t go on
Oh no, I can’t go on
Every step falters
Weak ankles, trembling knees
Worn out legs, weak hips
I can barely take a step
Without pain
Coursing through my body
Shooting up my spine
Hunching me over

Feeble hands, weak arms
Trembling fingers, head bowed
This life has taken its toll on me
A long and arduous journey it’s been.
Tired.
I’m so tired.
How can I take one more step?
I want to give up…
What’s the point of all of this?

Tears of years of anguish begin to flow
The tears are a release
A release of pent up pain, bitterness and frustration
I’ve asked God “why?” a million times,
With my heart breaking in prayer
Longing to hear His answer, His solution, His reason
For all I’ve had to endure thus far
For all I’m in the process of enduring

The sobs turn into whimpers
The whimpers into sniffles
The sniffles into silence
I sit
In awkward silence…waiting
For his answer.
The silence continues
And with every passing second, minute, several minutes
I get angrier,

“WHERE ARE YOU???”
“DO YOU EVEN CARE???”
I yell at God.

And the violence of my sobs returns
I cry until I can cry no more
Exhausted, I fall asleep
When I awake
My heart still aches
The pain is still raw
With the disappointment that He still hadn’t answered

“Daddy (God).”
I call out to the Lord in quiet desperation
Like a child longing for Papa
With eagerness, yet more humility now than before.
Tears fall from the corner of my eye, one by one, in rapid succession.

“Daddy?”

“I’m here.” His voice, almost audible, resonates within my soul.

Tears flow more readily now.
He’s here. He’s here!
He is here with me.
He’s not left me at all!

Out erupts my verbal barrage of questions
Flowing out like an unyielding stream
Like a small child asking every question under the sun
Desiring answers.
When I’ve asked Him every possible question I can think of – I go silent
Feeling silly for rambling on so, but still awaiting some answer.

Quietly I sit.
Moments pass.
I breathe.
I wait,
More patiently this time.
And just when the silence begins to agitate me
And I start to feel antsy, He speaks again…

“I am here, child.
I’ve been here all along.
I’ll never leave you.”

His voice, unmistakable.
My tears stream.
He’s here.

“Dad (God), I’m so tired…” I confess, halfway pouting and all-the-way exhausted.

“I know. I’m here.” He says.

I don’t get many outright answers,
But I’m assured that I’m not alone.
And as I sit in His Presence and reflect,
He brings to mind a flurry of scriptures that remind me of His faithfulness.
I begin to look up a few of them and begin to be really encouraged:

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future….”

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Hebrews 13: 5-6 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Psalm 23:4-5 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

Jeremiah 2:23-26 – Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. “I will repay (restore) you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, and other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your
God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.”

Isaiah 61:1-4a & 7-8a – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty for the captives and release prisoners from darkness, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning; and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations…Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. For I the Lord, love justice….”

Isaiah 62:1-5 – For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah (meaning – my delight is in her) and your land Beulah (means – married); for the Lord will take delight in you and your land will be married. (I think it’s beautiful how God loves us)

Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Proverbs 31:28a – Her children arise and call her blessed….

Psalm 34:17-18 – The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

John 14:25-27 – [Jesus Christ speaking] “All this I have spoken while still with you. But, the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 16:33b – “…In this world you will have trouble (tribulation); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The Lord impressed upon me to write this today.
If you’ve ever felt this way, or similar, please remember that you are not alone. Though we suffer many things, whether physical, emotional, mental, etc., He is still with us.
He is with you right now, though you cannot see him.
You may not have all of the answers,
And God may not divulge reasons or explanations at present,
But know, believe, trust that there is a greater purpose for your life than what you may see right now.

If you’re in an abusive situation and your life is in danger PLEASE get to a safe place and get help if you possibly can. I pray God’s protection over you and that he would grant you wisdom, favor, and an escape to safety. And that he would hide you from harm. If you need help, call 1−800−799−SAFE(7233). If you need help dealing with alcohol/drugs 1-800-784-6776. For gambling addiction help 1-800-522-4700. For help with pornography addiction, visit this website: XXXChurch. For other struggles you may need or want help with that I haven’t listed, please visit this LINK.  If you know about human trafficking and want to report it, call: 1-888-3737-888.  You are precious. Never forget that.

Be encouraged today!
He is here!

© “Can’t Go On…” KD Corner 2013 All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: Here

One Thing Remains

candy heart

I was going to write a long commentary about love, God & and Valentine’s Day and being single vs. married, etc.  Believe me, I could say a LOT on the subject.  But, I changed my mind about that.  Instead, I just want to do this.  I want to encourage you today if Valentine’s Day is difficult for you.  I’m here for you as a virtual friend to “hold your hand” so to speak, and tell you that even though today is hard, you will make it through.  How do I know?  I have faith in you.

God loves you.  And believe me, I understand if you’re tired of hearing all of the Christian-isms about God & love on Valentine’s Day, so I won’t preach to you. Know that most people (including me) are well-meaning and only seek to encourage you.  And you may need that encouragement.  But, I understand that even though you know that God loves you and you walk in faith daily, sometimes it can still be difficult.  You may long for someone to just … understand.  And if you’re not a Christian, I know that believing in a God that loves you while you feel miserable inside may provide little comfort for you.  You don’t have to…but take my word for it, God does exist and he made you to exist because you’re special, you have purpose, and He adores you.  Even if a lot of awful things have happened to you at the hands of people who were hurtful and abusive and hateful…you’re still here because you have purpose.  And God kept you sane through all of the madness. God kept you alive through all of the craziness because God has a purpose for your life!  You matter!  Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t.

Today, I have resolved to bless others.  Why? Because it’s better than feeling sorry for myself, that’s why :).  There are so many people in the world and in our circle of influence who may need some cheer today.  Maybe you’ve never paid attention before to that co-worker or neighbor or store vendor who could possibly use a bright smile from YOU and a,  “How are you today?” while actually looking into their eyes and really caring about how they’re doing.  Find a way to reach out to others today, even the grumpy ones, if you feel led to.  They may stay grumpy outwardly (but you never know how your act of kindness my have affected them inwardly).

I also wanted to also share this song in hopes of encouraging you.  God’s love is the One Thing that is consistent in my life, the One Thing that Remains:

Words and Video below:
VIDEO LINK (music with lyrics) –> HERE!!! (skip the ad)

One Thing Remains – Kristian Stanfill
Lyrics:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
This one thing remains
This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I’ll never ever have to be afraid
‘Cause this one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love

In death, in life
I’m confident and covered
By the power of Your great love

My debt is paid
There’s nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x2]

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I’ll never ever have to be afraid
‘Cause this one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me
[x3]

Your love
It’s Your love
God I know Your love is never-ending
Your love is never-failing
It’s Your love, Your love, Your love ♥

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

© “One Thing Remains (blog)” by KD Corner 2013

C’mon Trust Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

Let’s talk about TRUST today. Ooh, fun subject I know!  Wait, wait please keep reading. I know just the word “trust” strikes a negative chord with many people. Immediately there comes to mind that woman, man, friend, foe, coach, teacher, family member that was supposed to be trustworthy and they betrayed your trust. It brings a bitter taste to your mouth. Believe me, though I may not be able to relate with your specific situation, I do know what it’s like to have trust betrayed. We live in an imperfect world, full of imperfect people. When someone who we deem trustworthy betrays our trust, it’s a BIG deal! Scars are left. Walls go up. Hurt & wounded feelings remain and it can take years to heal, depending on the situation and our willingness to go through the healing process.

Mad at God

Bad experiences may negative impact on belief in or trust in God. Because our world is imperfect, when we experience the death of someone close to us or perhaps a situation we were praying about that did not turn out like we thought it should, we blame God and cannot trust Him. We feel He let us down. I don’t pretend to be a theologian and I most definitely do NOT hold all of the answers. I can only speak from my own experience. A couple of times, even as a Christian, I felt as though God totally failed me. I didn’t understand WHY those things happened and WHY He hadn’t answered my prayers and WHY didn’t He step in and save the day, and WHY bother having faith if bad things were going to happen anyway, etc. I had a lot of anger and a lot of questions. I still don’t know all of the answers, but, here are a few things I have learned and re-learned. (1) However you want to say it, we live in an imperfect/sinful/fallen world. And because people aren’t perfect (and unfortunately some people are twisted or have major issues) they choose to do bad things to other people. (2) I cannot control another person’s choices or behavior. Pray as I might that God would intervene and make that person do what’s right… God gave that person a free will, and they can decide to do the opposite of what is good or right, even if the right choice smacks them in the face time & time again. (3) For those of you who aren’t Christian, this may not hold much water, but, I’ll share it nonetheless: In the Bible, God never promises that we will not go through troubling times. In fact, He tells us the opposite. He promises that we WILL go through hard times, but that He will be there WITH us to help us through the difficult times.

I can attest to one particularly heart wrenching situation. I received some bad news about a medical situation. Right in the midst of receiving the news, the strangest and most powerful calm and peace came over me. When by all accounts I should’ve been freaking out, I was enveloped in peace. I had always read the scripture that the “Peace of God which surpasses our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” But that was the first time I had truly experienced it. Was that situation automatically fixed? No. In fact, more troubling related incidences occurred afterward. I personally went through a time of anger, frustration, grief and questioning. But, through my lament, I remembered that peace and held on to the promise that one day I would come through this trying time. I did come through it. But it took quite a bit of time. I know that if God had not been there, not to mention supportive friends and family, I would not have come through the situation nearly as well, nor with my faith in tact.

Trusting People Again

Trust is a very difficult thing, especially when it’s been betrayed. And whether your trust issue is with a person or with God (or both), it takes time for trust to be built back up. That person who betrayed your trust will have to work hard to build it back up. They will have to be consistent and patient and understanding. The sad thing is that the person may choose NOT to build that trust again. But, that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to ruin forever your ability to trust anyone. Maybe you’re extremely guarded. Maybe you’re unable to trust right now, and that is okay. It takes time. But, there ARE trustworthy people out there. Just be careful not to equate trustworthiness with perfection…because there are NO perfect people. We all make mistakes. But, there are people, who are indeed good, quality people full of integrity who will exemplify their trustworthiness consistently. The thing that’s hardest to do after betrayal is trust again. Take baby steps. But don’t close yourself off completely from the idea of trusting anyone. You could be missing out on some really great friendships / relationships. If you’ve endured traumatic experiences, it may take a lot of time to heal and even some good quality counseling or support groups to help you work through what you’ve experienced. There is no shame in that. And, if you’ve been hurt by church people let me say that I am so, so sorry! All Christians and churches aren’t bad, I promise. Please remember not to let a few rotten eggs spoil your view of Christianity or church.

Forgiving God?

If you feel as though God has let you down, there’s no easy answer. For ourselves and our inner peace, we may have to go through the process of forgiving God. Yes, I said it.  For all of my Christian friends, yes, God is unfailing and without sin.  But, if we’ve felt let down or betrayed by him, we have to do a work in our own hearts and go through the process to forgive God for wherever we feel He’s let us down.  We have to cleanse our hearts of bitterness.  For everyone,  I’d say to pray sincerely (your prayers matter and God hears them) and read the Bible for yourself. God truly loves you, more than you can imagine. There ARE credible and reliable teachers of the Bible out there. There are radio and TV ministries as well…find the good ones. The more CORRECT teaching you can get about God and the Bible, the better your understanding will be. If you still decide that you hate God and will never trust Him or you just don’t care for Him very much. Okay. But I pray that one day you’ll come to know His immense, intense and unending love for you.

You are loved.
Toodles ♥

Just a few supporting scriptures: John 16:33 and Psalm 34:18 and Philippians 4:7

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prayer of the Wounded

This poem came to my heart. It doesn’t rhyme. Its more like thoughts on a page…rather like a prayer and what I’d imagine God’s answer to be.  Some scripture was quoted and with other things I took poetic license.  But from my heart, this is for all who have ever been wounded by a life changing event, or a series of events or circumstances.  If you’ve ever felt like there was no hope or no reason for your suffering, you’re not alone.  I believe that whatever we endure, we must then turn around and help others. God has not forgotten you, nor has he left you.  I’m sorry for whatever any of you have gone through or are going through. But I hope to provide some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Others have gone through similar.  Let this “poem” represent a collective heart’s cry for all wounded people and let it be a healing salve and a comfort to you in your time of need.

Prayer of the Wounded

Wounded
heart, mind, soul.
Devastated
Like barren, plundered lands.
Abused
Run roughshod over.
Pain
So deep, it’s buried.
When pricked, when unearthed it’s
Excruciating!
I scream!

Heal, Heal, Heal
I say to my soul
The salve is smoothed on
It stings
It gets worse before better.
Bandages, bandages
Change them, reapply salve, wait…

Time
It takes time for deep wounds to heal
Scars
Scars are left
Over time, barely visible.
But they bring to remembrance
A Time
A time of gut-wrenching devastation

Plunder
My soul was plundered
They tried to take it
But I wouldn’t let them.
I fought
I fought hard and
God,
He covered me.
He held out His hand
And he covered the core of my soul.
“No more!” He said.
“No further!” He commanded.
And He picked up the ruins…
The tattered ruins of
Me.
And He cradled me in his arms
My limbs dangling
My body ravaged
My spirit tattered
But my soul, covered by His hand

“I’ve got you baby
I’ve got you
Let me hold you and make you well
Let me heal the devastation in your soul
Let me tend to your wounds
It will take time, my child
Much you have suffered
Much it will take to heal you
But healed you will be
Healed you are
In Me.

Be patient
With yourself
And with others
They may not understand.
But I have set aside a remnant
A few comrades who know first hand
the pain you’ve endured.
They will come along side
And help lift you up, my daughter, my son

Walking will at first be hard
Since your limbs were so weak
But you will regain strength
And be able to walk again
And you will gain more strength
And be able to run again
And you will regain joy
And be able to dance again

Oh thou weary and heavy laden
Come to Me and I will give you rest
And I will give you beauty for your ashes
I will give you the oil of joy for your mourning
And I will replace your heaviness with the ability to praise Me
I will turn your mourning into dancing!
Just you wait and see
I have good things stored up for you
You are my beloved.
You were never alone.
And alone you will never be.”

©  2012″Prayer of the Wounded” by K.D. / http://KDCorner.wordpress.com