Tag Archives: healing

5 Reasons I’m Happy To Be Alive

1.  I have good health 

A week and a half ago I turned 24 however unlike any birthday I’ve celebrated previously, this one came with a viral infection that left me so ill walking was too painful and so was lying down. I can put my hands up and say I completely took for granted the good health I’d enjoyed in the 23 years prior, and whilst ill I realised just how much of a blessing good health is. It’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it, but we should actively fight against this general lack of appreciation. If you have woken up this morning with no significant ailments, you have one more reason to give thanks today.
2. My best friend

I’m sorry to be mushy, but during this period of sudden sickness I’ve realised just how blessed I am to have married my bestest friend. While feeling like I was on deaths door, my husband tirelessly looked after me, not complaining about the small fortune he’d spent taking me to Brussels only for me to spend all four days in bed. 

3. My 9-5

After some time away from work a lot of people dread that first Monday back, but I am honestly looking forwards to sitting at my desk. I won’t lie, that is partly because spending the last week in bed has been slightly mind-numbing, but a large part of my excitement comes from the fact that I really really like my job. No, not all aspects of it and yes I too have days where I’m bored, tired, lazy, and not in the mood for the slog but on the whole I’m rather happy to be there. I hear people say work can never be fun but I couldn’t disagree more. Going to work might not give you the joy you feel when holidaying in the Caribbean sun but if you are utilising some of the skills you somewhat enjoy, that’s the best starting place for beginning to love your job. I thank God for leading me to a place where I don’t have to live for the weekend.

4. The ground is orange

Waiting for the bus in the morning breeze has the harsh edge taken off when the ground is a beautiful puzzle of oranges and yellows as the branches selflessly shed their leaves. This morning I just had to smile as I soaked in the season changes that had taken place whilst I was cooped inside. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year, not only is the pressure to be doing something really exciting, that comes with summer, taken away, but it’s just the right temperature to want to do fun things during the day and come home at an hour when snuggling in bed doesn’t feel like a waste of a day but a perfectly viable activity. It’s also a good warm up to the chilling weather that will follow. Yes, winter is brutal but at least God doesn’t throw us right into ice and the snow.

5. Every single person that’s made me feel loved this last couple of weeks

I am so grateful for the support system that surrounds me and continues to go out of their way to make me smile. From the mothering phone calls making sure I am fed and watered and haven’t forgotten to take my medication to the cooked breakfasts and special birthday dinner, I have been so touched by the acts of kindness I have encountered. We can easily dismiss the small things we do for others as insignificant but this week for me has proved the little things can make the biggest difference.

I don’t know what you’re facing today but I hope that you too can find the reasons you are grateful to be alive.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans‬ ‭8:28

Love lots,

Dani

The Lie Drake Told Me

no-new-friends-Story2

Although women generally speak candidly about their trust issues due to their interactions with our beloved male species, all my heartache (okay, most) have come in form of women I once called friends. As time goes on I will fully divulge all the…interesting friendships I have had -the ones I broke and the ones that broke me. To be quite honest, I think I’m the problem. Once I have decided that you and I are on the same team and once the walls I built come tumbling down, I am prone to riding for you, kicking down trees and people for you, praying for you, calling you (everyone that read the call anxiety post knows that this is a big deal) and ultimately trying to make sure that you are living the best life possible.

I am intense (can you tell?) which means until I (recently) learnt how to control the intensity of my friendships a lot of them weren’t very healthy. Over time, I had to learn that if a friendship wasn’t healthy it was okay to walk away;  I had to stop giving myself to people who would never truly appreciate what I was giving them. Walking away doesn’t mean that there has to be an intense burning of the bridge we once walked together, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other anymore, it just means that the nature of the relationship adjusts in accordance with the new expectations both parties have.

So what does Drake have to do with all this?

In 2011 Drake taught me that because of the sheer fact that I would only ever live once, I should do whatever I pleased (I think YOLO is the ghetto version of carpe diem). Since then I have listened avidly to all new Drake songs hoping for a new life lesson.

I was in my room on January 1st 2014, spring-cleaning and suddenly Drake’s ‘No New Friends’ came on. It dawned on me how profound the statement was; Drake had done it again, he had managed to encapsulate a phenomenon in a catchy and sexy way, which would once again tell the masses how to think, how to feel and how to treat people.

 

….Okay, let me be honest…

 

I didn’t clean my room on January 1st and I think I only heard this Drake song in passing coz my sisters are way cooler than me and keep me in the loop.

 

Although Drake’s involvement in my decision-making wasn’t as high as the title suggests, this year I did decide that it was time to pick a team carefully which would involve NO new additions. I looked across all my social ties and picked a few people who had shown themselves to be supportive and reliable for a substantial amount of time, and were therefore less likely to let me down. For these chosen ones, I would give my time, my resources and my heart. Everyone else? Well, if we crossed paths, we could cook it up and chill, but really, it wasn’t going to go any deeper than that anymore.

I was done, bruised in many ways and screaming NO NEW FRIENDS, NO NEW FRIENDS, NO NEW FRIENDS NO, NO, NO.

It went well at first. I was supported, loved, no longer giving myself to people who could potentially hurt me and I had successfully decreased the probability of being wounded. To be quite honest, I was loving life. (I’m not sure if I was actually. Let’s just say I was.) Due to the horrifically beautiful 2013, I was prepared for 2014’s first major hurdle. What I wasn’t prepared for was the team I had so carefully chosen at the start of the year having their own life hurdles to contend with while I was struggling to jump over mine. Where there were once uplifting conversations and text messages telling me that everything was going to be okay, there was only silence. In the silence, I found myself trying to find the balance between understanding the hurdles they were facing and feeling indignant that no one was around to help me get over mine.

SO in this season of self-absorption, anger, hurt and fear I learnt a couple of lessons which I’ll share now, and a few more I’ll share after the smoke clears and I’m running the home stretch.

 

1) Choose your number One

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

Could you do something for me?

Exchange the words ‘chariots’ and ‘horses’ with the names of your two closest friends.

Now read the Psalm again.

Yes, to some degree you can trust in these people to pull you through your storms but at the end of the day, the only friend who will die for you is Jesus. It is that real. We can’t place mere mortals on pedestals and expect them to be there all the time – it is not their job to tend to our needs and ultimately, humans are concerned primarily with their own self-preservation. We are all battling our demons and it is unfair for us to have irrational expectations of those who love us the most and expect them to drop their own issues and come running just because we’ve slightly bruised our knees.

Thankfully, God can handle the weight of our expectations and will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Who do regard as your team? It’s okay to have a team, just as long as God is the most important person on it – everyone else will eventually let you down.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

 

2) God will bring new friends – whether you like it or not

You can scream ‘no new friends’ as much as you like, God is going to bring new people into your life that you are required to change through your perspectives and your love. I know you have trust issues, I know people have hurt you in the past – they’ve hurt me too – but in hiding from new people, we do ourselves a disservice.

Look at all the beautiful friends you have –they were once ‘new friends’. We are changed most by people, the experiences we share with them and the worlds they birth within us, to shield ourselves from these  new friendships is to live a life that is lesser than the one God intended for us to live.

 

3) What about your old(er) friends?

I sat with a friend this week. Although time and distance had passed between us, I thought everything was fine. They weren’t. Her words broke my heart and I sat in the middle of the shopping centre with tears streaming down my face as she revealed to me the depths of her current situation. In that moment, I realised that I had missed the point (once again). You may not need any more new friends but there are people out there that still need you. Your job is to give yourself to old and new friends believing that God is able to fill you up again if you are left empty and heal the parts of you that may be broken during the giving process.


 

I could have written this post about how sad I was that my team had let me down but I think we need to shift our focus from viewing people as sources to viewing ourselves as resources that can be drawn from in times of need. We should seek to lay the trust issues we have accumulated over time aside if we want to become the light that shines for those in the darkness.

 

Lots of light on this dreary day,

Joy

(Can we all take a moment today to pray that it will stop raining? Many thanks.)

xxxxxx