To the discouraged heart

dis·cour·aged /disˈkərijd
adjective
having lost confidence or enthusiasm, disheartened.
 
If you told me you have never been discouraged in your life, I’d probably laugh at you. We are all doomed in some way, shape or form to encounter discouragement. It’s “life.” 
 
As a child, we begin to experience being discouraged by being told “no.” We get let down by not getting to play on the playground or not getting that toy we so badly wanted. For me, it was not getting to play with my lincoln logs.  These ‘no’s” were always a bummer and left me feeling sad and most likely in tears. With time comes age and new realizations, right? Why were we told no to certain things? Was it for our safety and protection? Could it be that our parents thought it was in our best interest to tells us no? 
I’ll get somewhere with this, stick with me. 
 
Growing up, I was also denied of love, affection and confidence. It wasn’t a hard “no”, but one that silently wounded me over time. To say my parents intentionally denied me of those things would be a false statement. To say they were young, naive, and broken people themselves, would be a true statement.
I often wonder what the walls of my childhood home witnessed of me as they watched me live in such a toxic environment. It was those walls that had front row seats to the birth of my anxious, discouraged life. 
 
“No, that trauma you faced was not easy,
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow”
By: Russel Kelfer 
 
Time flies, right?
To make things quick, fast track 10 years later and dozens of disheartening situations, I found myself wholeheartedly seeking after Jesus. The one who says “Let your heart not be troubled, Trust in God and also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I’m going.”
 
Let down after let down, I was left to discover these words. “Let your heart not be troubled.” In another translation it says, “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you?” Trusting this invisible God, was and is no easy thing. Especially when you never experienced what it meant to trust your earthly father.
However, the idea of the Fathers home in that scripture, in comparison to the home that built me, seemed much more promising and safe. 
 This was no easy way out, as I tried to “let my heart not be troubled.” However, my perspective on a life of full discouragement went from dim and dull, to seeing it in light of Jesus and how it could somehow, someday benefit me as His child.
 
Months ago, I experienced the dumps. I want to say it was as deep and dark as the pit Joseph experienced when being betrayed by his brothers. But I think that might be a little much. It did though feel like that. Loneliness and betrayal were two things Joseph and I had in common and discouragement if you will. Have you ever turned off a lit candle by placing the lid back on it? It loses oxygen and the flame begins to dwindle. That’s what happened to me. Life was sucked out of me and the flame I did have dwindled, as betrayal befriended me well.  I felt like I had the word “REJECT” stamped across my forehead. My heart hurt, my world felt like it was falling apart. There were days I was hanging on by a thread, trying to not lose myself or hope. Left high and dry and discouraged, I remembered that’s what my whole life has been, and doubt crept in. I wrestled with the Lord, I questioned, I cried, I yelled, I cussed, I forfeited him. I didn’t know what to do or how to cope. I didn’t want to believe that God was good, when other believer(s) really did some damage in my life. How could He be? You see I learned that being this discouraged can bring you to a place of deliverance. What I mean by that, is that you have no choice but to get over the hurt and pain. I realized you can’t dwell in it forever or you will live a miserable life. I had to discover my own heart, my own motives and my own faults. That is no fun process, and requires the smashing of your pride. This process may even require a professional. 
 
“No, that trauma you faced was not easy,
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow”
By: Russel Kelfer 
 
 
 
 
galatians(idea)
 

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