Tag Archives: Life

Withdraw in Prayer

“But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:33 NIV)

I found the above verse in yesterday’s devotion for dieters. Since the verse was taken out of context, I decided to read the entire chapter. Proverbs is in the Old Testament, which to me, who knows very little about the Bible, mostly means it’s based in fear. Before Jesus, people were taught to fear the Lord, and those who did so were seen as wise. That’s also what this chapter seems to say.

However, this particular verse is quite positive. The author of the devotional uses it to make the point that, when we are troubled, we can and should turn to the Lord in prayer.

As I wrote in an old reflection, Jesus himself suffered human temptation. There were, like the author of the devotion for dieters says, also many times when he was persecuted. He didn’t answer in destructive ways, either by attacking the people who persecuted him or by giving in to temptation. Rather, he withdrew and prayed.

The people of the Old Testament may have had a hard time turning to God, because God hadn’t forgiven humanity yet. At least, if I lived in the time of Proverbs 1, I’d not be led to turn to God for guidance that easily, despite what is written in the last verse. However, through Jesus, we can be assured that a loving God will guide us and help us overcome the pressures of life and our human temptation. Jesus knows what it’s like to be under pressure and he also knows what it is like to resist temptation – successfully. By turning to our Lord and Heavenly Father when under stress, he set an example.

Willpower, as I said last month, is the will to turn over the reigns of our life to God. We don’t have to do this thing called life alone.

I have been doing okay’ish in the eating disorder and self-harm departments lately, despite having been under a lot of pressure. In part, this is because I’ve been withdrawing from the pressures of daily life more. That still doesn’t mean I’ve turned myself over to God. I withdraw into ordinary things, like books, writing, pampering myself with body care products, etc. I don’t say this is wrong, but it isn’t doing anything but temporarily distracting me from the pressures of life.

God can help us truly overcome our suffering. He teaches us to pray and, as is written in Proverbs 1:33, listen. If we listen for God’s guidance, we may realize that He will take care of us. I’m not there yet. I’m working on it, praying about it though.

Healing Quotes: Looking Fear in the Face

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We are often afraid of what the future might hold. At least I am. Today, I don’t feel like taking the leap and preparing for living with my husband at all. I’d rather choose stability, even though ultimately, standing still means going backwards in life.

When I look back at my life, I often tend to look at my life experiences with a level of sadness or anger. How much more will life hand me, if I’ve already been through this?

Another way of looking at it is, I’ve been through it and survived. This means I am strong. If I’ve been able to handle what I have, why won’t I be able to handle the next hurdle in life?

Another thing is, of course, that uncertainty is scary, but without taking risks, we won’t go forward, and without going forward, we slide backward. I believe I read it in this book I mentioned of poems by a rape survivor, but not sure. Wherever I read it, I read that there are generally two kinds of people in life: those who warn you about all the risks of following your dreams, and those who encourage you to take the chances that following your dreams will present you with.

I have generally been trying to stay on the safe side, not taking risks but thereby not taking chances either. A few of the chances and risks I took, have not turned out well. For example, I went to university in 2007 and fell flat on my face. Then again, does that mean that taking chances and risks is altogether bad?

I took the chance and the risk of transferring from the city institution to my current small town institution. It hasn’t been an altogether good choice, but opportunities have arosen from my taking this chance/risk too. For example, day activities are generally better here than in the city institution.

I tend to choose stability over opportunity, but maybe that needs to change a bit. I’ve gone through a lot already and survived, so doesn’t this indicate that I am strong enough to handle the future?

Random Questions #TuesdayTen

Today for Tuesday Ten, people are answering ten random questions from the 100 random questions list. I love these questions. Would love to answer them all, but it’s Tuesday Ten and besides I’m too lazy, so here are ten.

8. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? I last went outside to go to my husband’s car so he could take me to our home. This was at around 3:15 this afternoon.

10. Do you remember your dreams? Usually, yes, but I don’t always realize they were dreams. Sometimes I dream that I checked my E-mail and then when I really do check my E-mail, I’m surprised at the number of new messages. Yes, I do dream about checking my E-mail!

17. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I’d love to live in the United States just so that most people I know online would live in my country. The health care system in the U.S. sucks though, so I guess I’d go for the UK.

27. Type of music you like most. Country.

36. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? No, but to my defense it has fifteen strophes. In school, most people learn the first and sixth strophe. I can however barely remember the first as I write this.

58. Do you believe in love at first sight? No. It took me almost eight months to decide I wanted to be in a relationship with my now husband. I do believe people can be attracted to someone at first sight, but love is something much deeper than sexual attraction.

73. What do you do most when you are bored? I’d like to come up with something that doesn’t make me sound like the laziest creature on the planet. Go on the computer, read, listen to music… Truth is however most of the time I go into bed and sleep.

76. What did you want to be when you grew up? A writer or a teacher.

85. What kind of books do you like to read? Autobiographies, true stories (mostly from doctors), and juvenine fiction.

99. What is most important in life? Happiness, oh duh.

The Golden Spoons

A Can of Choices?

There is a Dutch TV show where a high school class meets so many years after graduation. At the beginning of the show, a survey is discussed which the former students have been sent in preparation of the show. One of the regularly returning questions is whether life just happens or it’s a can of choices. Most people say it’s a can of choices, and at least cognitively I have to agree.

With the idea that life is a can of choices comes the possibility of looking back at life and wondering “What if”. If life just happens, this is meaningless. I mean, you can wonder what if life hadn’t dealt you the cards it dealt you, but it isn’t like you’d have any influence on it. This is easier sometimes. At least there’s no need for regrets or guilt. You could be angry with God, fate or whatever you believe in, but at least you’d know that you couldn’t have done anything different to make life not as it is now.

Then again, seeing life as a can of choices has the advantage of you being able to do something about your life. In this sense, the “What if”‘s can drive you to make different choices for the future.

I often wallow in wondering what if. What if I’d gone to university straight out of high school instead of to blindness rehab and independence training? What if I had not gone to my university city at all, or had gone into supported housing out of independence training. What if I hadn’t agreed to be hospitalized when I was in a crisis. What if I’d gone to any of the numerous supported housing options that have come up over the years instead of staying in the psychiatric institution. What if I hadn’t moved to my current institution and had stayed in the one in my university city? What if I’d moved into living with my husband when we rented our apartment? What if I’d actually finished the two Open University courses I didn’t complete? What if I hadn’t stopped blogging in 2011?

The thing is, I can look back to the past and regret the choices I’ve made, but at the time, I couldn’t look to the future to see what life would be like in 2014 if I made the choices I did or didn’t make. I can only try to make better choices now. Like, I did start up blogging again last year and continue to try Open University courses. This however will not be a guarantee for a better life. In this sense, life just happens to some extent.