How are you dealing with isolation? Update

Today, I was thinking about a time when I was full of fear and a deep sense of loneliness.  There was no doubt that there was something seriously missing in my life.  Something that went way beyond my situation in life.  As we are all dealing with the coronavirus, I can’t help but wonder how many people are having the same experience right now – full of fear and loneliness.  Considering the scope and isolation of this pandemic, it must be a lot of people.  Some may recognize that these feelings have been with them long before the virus. Maybe the feelings are just magnified by the chaos in our world.

I vividly remember my days of, well, emptiness.  With every part of my being, I never want to go back to living like that.  Sure, I have moments of fear and loneliness, but it is only because my heart misaligns and I need to refocus.  Refocus?  Have you ever heard the phrase “filled with the Spirit”?  You may know exactly what this means.  Others may think this sounds like nonsense.  Stick with me on this for a moment.  Some things seem like nonsense until we experience them ourselves.  Remember being a child and not listening to advice from your parents.  Later, you discover that they were right, and you think “how did they know?!?”  Experience.

God knows that life on this planet can be hard, and He doesn’t want us to walk through this alone.  He wants a relationship with us.  To have this relationship, He gives us His Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is my constant companion.  He helps me go back to sleep when I wake up overwhelmed.  He helps me calm down when I get stressed at work.  The times I need to refocus are when I forget that the Holy Spirit is with me – when I try to live on my own strength.  I can tell you doing things on my own is not good.  The Holy Spirit fills me with peace, love, self-control and more.  There are still hard days – on my own, I would dig myself deeper into a the hole.  He carries me through.

I get it.  This is hard to believe or understand without experiencing it yourself.  I encourage you to do some investigating.  Here are some suggestions on how you can do this.  I recommend that you try each of these.

  1. Go directly to the source.

Ask Him.  Ask Jesus if He is real and if there is a Holy Spirit.  He loves to talk with us.  Jesus is all about relationship.  Though, it is important to address Him by name.  He wants you to talk to Him directly and not some vague higher power.  

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”
Psalm 145:18 ESV

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Acts 2:21 ESV

  1. Go to the book.

One of the best ways to learn about God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is by reading the Bible.  It explains history, what God is doing, why we need Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and even your purpose in life.  Now, some of it might be confusing at first. Give it time.  I highly recommend starting with a Bible reading plan.  Using the YouVersion app, a great option is Nicky Gumbel’s “Bible in One Year”.  (It is also available as a book).  Nicky Gumbel does an excellent job of introducing each day’s reading and bringing it to life.

  1. Go to Alpha.

The Alpha Course is a series of videos and discussions that give you an opportunity to learn about Jesus and to ask your tough questions.  There is no need to hold back or to hide your skepticism.  In these days of coronavirus, we cannot literally go anywhere.  Fortunately, there are Alpha courses available online.  Nicky Gumbel actually developed this course and his church, HTB, offers an online Alpha class.  It consists of eleven sessions.  Each session includes a video and a discussion area.  To learn more go to http://www.htb.org/alpha.

You might not believe what I am sharing; however, I can tell you my life has been blessed by my faith in Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself.  And truly, you can expect great things – like nothing before in your life.

Edit:  A friend of mine shared this video of HTB’s Easter message which discusses our situation with the Coronavirus, the hope of Jesus, Alpha and even touches on His Holy Spirit.  It seemed like a perfect addition to this post.  I hope you take the time to watch.

Thank you for reading my post.  May you stay healthy and find hope & peace.  Essie

Say No to Fear

God does not call us to live in fear.  As a dear friend of mine said, “fear is not from God.”  God frees us.  Fear enslaves us.  I have been a slave to fear all of my life.  That fear has deprived me of relationships with family, friends, opportunities, hopes and dreams.  No more!  My chains are breaking free.

God made me a warrior.  God has proven to me over and over again that He is there for me – no matter how rough the road gets.

Is fear holding you captive?  Reach out to Jesus.  Share your fears with Him and ask Him to help you let go.  It me be a long journey, but the destination is worth taking those first steps.

“fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God; 

I will strengthen you, I will help you, 

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Breaking the Silence

My fear in sharing comes from past experiences.  Unfortunately, it can feel like the negative consequences outweigh the positive ones.  The biggest fear is rejection.  On the very first day of being rescued, the first question was, “Is she lying?”  That evening with a friend who took me and my mom in, “Did she ask for it?”  From relatives who came to support my mom, “Can we touch her?  Would she think we are trying to molest her if we gave her a hug?”  My earliest positive experience with sharing was with another girl at school.  For me, it was the day I first realized that good could come from evil.  Such elation!  Running back to my relative’s home bursting with excitement.  Angry eyes, “You can never tell anyone about this!”  My joy was shattered and my voice silenced.

Since then, my voice is slowly returning.  Evil wins if the silence is kept.  No lives are saved from despair.  No courage or hope is given to those living in a hell on earth.  No glory is given.  No one learns the devastation rampant in our families while our silence holds.  This is why I will share.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  2 Timothy 1:7