Monday, 29 June 2015

Sometimes friends let you down. And it sucks.

I don't cope particularly well with disappointment. I don't think feeling disappointed or let down is wrong per se, but I do know that dissolving into a puddle of tears when things go askew isn't always the best reaction. 

I am gradually building my resiliency though and learning to cope more naturally with the ups and downs of life. We will always experience disappointment in this life, we will never be fully satisfied... Otherwise why would we need God? 

Still, when friends let you down it hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. And on that note I'd like to share a recent experience with you.

A group of Christian friends from uni had arranged to have dinner and see a movie over our mid-semester break. Naturally this was all organised through Facebook but as I had recently deactivated my account I planned to call one of the invitees prior to the movie. I know right, verbally communicating to organise an event. How quaint.

Anyway I was pleasantly surprised to receive a text from the host, filling me in on the finalised details. I say "surprised" because this particular group of Christians can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to following through and really seeking to love and include others. 

Now I don't know exactly what happened that night. I know I was a little late (my bad) but in the past friends would wait or call to see where you were, or you would call them. I didn't have any credit on my phone (my bad again) and that made things tricky but hey, I had betted on finding my friends and had gotten used to not being plugged into my phone all the time.

My friends were nowhere to be seen. 

Unable to locate them or a payphone I decided to go home. By myself. In the dark. Via public transport.

You get bonus points if you made this face upon reading of my daring antics. 
At this point in the story about a million other things could have gone wrong, beyond the initial (mildly crushing) disappointment of not being able to find my friends. Part of me was questioning my judgement but I prayed and asked God to "help me."

This was a somewhat vague request. Without articulating my thoughts to Him I had various answers to that prayer in mind, including (a) "help me" find my friends, (b) "help me" find a payphone and (c) "help me" not to burst into tears in public and (d), which was becoming increasingly more urgent as I walked to the nearest busstop, "help me" not get into some serious trouble with some unfriendly strangers. 

The Lord heard me and answered my prayer.

The bus arrived shortly and I arrived at the station just in time to catch the next train. Dad even picked me up from the station (I know where the payphones are in my suburb ;)).

The next hour was spent alternating between crying, rationalising with myself, getting angry with God and a mix of all three at once.

I know that might sound really bad but please believe me and all the professionals involved that I am getting better. Even when I feel like my life is a complete mess apparently this is not the case and only my negative perception. Because that's never skewed my perception before... *cough*

So what did I learn from all this? Firstly, I can cope a heck of a lot better with life's curveballs than I could, say, six to twelve months ago. Secondly, the Lord is faithful to me and answered my prayer even if it wasn't exactly the answer I wanted (i.e. find my friends, and have a smashing time despite the intial disappointment). And, as a caveat to the first one, I coped because God was with me. Oh boy did I feel let down by my friends but He didn't leave me. And He never will. 

What about you? Have you had a similar experience? How do you cope with the disappointment? 

Photo credit:
1. Antranias via Pixabay. Public domain.
2. James Vaughan via Flickr. CC license
3.  Kaboompics via Pixabay. Public domain.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Why I'm (temporarily) quitting Facebook

Image by AdorkableAznBunny. Used under CC license.

Ah, Facebook. The silent blue giant that lurks on our phones and computers, slowly sucking all joy from our lives. At least, that's been my recent experience with the one of the world's most popular social media sites.

The only other time I have deactivated my account was during my final year of school. By the way, if there's any students reading this I highly recommend having a final year Facebook break. It's a huge distraction and no, you cannot effectively study and be on Facebook at the same time. Such practices have a significant negative impact on your ability to concentrate and absorb informationTrust me, you have enough distractions without checking your Newsfeed every five seconds. 


I'm not in my final year of school and I didn't even have end of semester uni exams this time around (my condolences for those of you still studying. Now stop reading this and get back to it! ;) ). So, why give up the big blue monster?

It was making me miserable. Regular readers of this blog will know I have my "off" days. While I try not to make rash decisions when I'm feeling bad I decided I needed a Facebook break during one of those "off" days. 

Image by dugg simpson. Used under CC license
I realised it was exacerbating feelings of loneliness and despair. The despair was particularly acute when seeing updates from some of the causes I'm passionate about and seek to support. I was being fed constant reminders of how harsh and cruel this world is and I felt powerless in the face of all the suffering.

In direct opposition to these stories were updates from friends about all the good (or bad) things happening in their lives. Facebook allows us the create a perfect, happy image of our lives. Or to vent about our frustrations and pain (perhaps through blogging hmm? :P ).

So on the one hand I was constantly being told how great life is while on the other being made aware of some friend's struggles, and the crises occuring around the world. 

I took all these cares and burdens on myself and it was having a significant impact on my mental and emotional wellbeing.

Recently I have been made aware of my rebellion against God. While I'm not going to go into details in this post my rebellion has been making me miserable and I imagine taking on all these burdens was a symptom of my sin. 

So while quitting Facebook is only treating a symptom it is at least removing a significant temptation. The temptation is to maintain control of my life and create my own kingdom instead of relinquishing control to God. 

Instead of entrusting these burdens and cares to The Management I declared myself king because I needed to maintain control, I needed to hold onto these burdens. Why? Because I did not trust God. 

Again I'm not going to go into all the nitty gritty of why I haven't been trusting God but I hope you at least understand that control stems from rebellion, and this can make you miserable, anxious and afraid. Freedom is found through repentance and forgiveness. 

Image by geralt. Used under CC license.
Lord, I'm sorry for my sin [naming the specific sin helps. Do not let shame trap you anymore]. Please forgive me and help me to trust you more. Today I commit [make the choice!] to trusting you and letting you be Lord of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, 15 June 2015

What to do when you feel like giving up

Tough day? Tough week maybe? Heck right now it may feel like a tough life.

Sometimes we feel like this little guy
Image by Sachin Sandhu. Used under CC licence.

We've all been there at one point or another. Mental health professionals are quick to tell us that highs and lows are a normal point of life. And it's true, Jesus didn't promise us an easy ride.

"I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble..." (John 16: 33a). So what do you do when you feel like giving up? 

First, take a breath. Just breathe. Breathe in, hold . . . . . breathe out.

The short, shallow breaths caused by stressful situations can make it harder to think. Our brain starts to think that we're in real danger and our "fight/flight" response starts pumping us full of adrenalin, which is great if we need to run for our lives but less helpful if we need to think critically. There's a good summary here, with all the fun technical terms. 

Ok so that probably hasn't made the problem go away but now your brain is enjoying some much needed oxygen and you may be feeling calmer and able to think more clearly.

This image seemed appropriate.
Image by dasroofless. Used under CC licence

*Sarcasm powers activate*

I find I have something of a flair for drama. No don't laugh, I'm serious. I can turn anything into a world class melodrama in five seconds flat. I should win an Oscar, I'm telling ya. It's me and Merly Streep all the way.

*Sarcasm powers deactiviate* 

The truth is, if you're still reading at this point then we can safely assume you are not dead and thus still able to take action. And maybe you wish you were dead but please keep breathing darling.

You are here for a reason. Your life is not shaped by this problem. And you can overcome it.

Don't tell me you "can't " because when you say that you are not only calling me a liar, you're calling Jesus a liar. 

"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23: 19)

So when Jesus, the Son of God says: 

"But take heart! I have overcome the world," (John 16: 33b) and that, "...we are more than conquerors through [Christ]" (Romans 8: 37).

Then how is it that you cannot overcome? How is it that you are the exception to the rule, God's rule, that He will never leave us nor forsake us? 

God does not lie. Jesus does not lie. So if Jesus says you can overcome this he is telling you the truth. Maybe the way out isn't obvious right now but he is never ever going to let you go.

Image by brett jordan.
Used under 
CC licence.

I know it's hard right now but you're still here. And you are here for a reason. You are precious and you are loved. Don't give up because God isn't giving up on you.

Sometimes, when the Rejection Monster comes to visit, I worry that secretly everybody hates me. Oh I know it sounds ridiculous but the feeling can be very, very strong. That's just it though: it's only a feeling. The truth, the evidence is friends and family who love me dearly and a Saviour who died for me.

Remember: God does not lie. Period. 

God bless and have a wonderful week. Let me know in the comment what you do when you feel like giving up. For example, a friend of a friend has a shower because it feels like she's starting the day again :) 

Monday, 8 June 2015

I'm on Goodreads! And some thoughts on life

Hello there blogging world.

I am now on Goodreads. I never intended this to be a book review blog and I'm happy with how things are going buuuuut...I really like reading.

Sooo pretty... Must have books!
Image by timetrax23. Used under CC license.
So I compromised and set up a Goodreads account, yay!

If you would care to connect with me you can view my profile here:

And, more in keeping with this blog, I also have a few thoughts (just one really) that I'd like to share with you.

I've been quite down the last few days. Mum suggested a trip to the library, partly to get me out of the house (the couch/my bed were my new friends) but also because she knows I enjoy reading.

Now this isn't anything groundbreaking but it really helped me just to get out and do something. And libraries are nice, cool and quiet. Not too stressful right? So it worked out well.

I also had a bit of fun finding books according to this summer reading challenge I found on StumbleUpon (oh I have an account there as many distractions). It's from a few years ago but I checked out the author's blog and she still ones a challenge every summer and winter.

You can find the current challenge here. It's a little late for me to join now but something to keep in mind for the future eh?

And if you've been having a hard week too maybe there's something nice you could do? You sit out in the garden, go for a walk, have a coffee with a friend. It doesn't have to be a big thing, just something to get your mind off things for a while. And always remember that Jesus loves you and is with you in the messiness.

Lots of love,


Friday, 5 June 2015

An appeal on behalf of a friend

Yes I'm about to ask for money. 

Ok now that's out of the way allow me to outline the situation for you. My friend, Eva, has recently encountered a fairly significant snag in funding for her studies at university.

As an Australian citizen we are entitled to government "loans" (it's not really a loan, exactly, anyway that's not important right now) to pay for our university studies. My friend is, however, a Permanent Resident. Her university, Notre Dame (note: prounced Not-ra Dame if you're an Aussie and not Not-er Daym ["said in exaggerated American accent"]) was kind enough to waive her fees, due to her family and living situation, until she was able to become a citizen.

Next Eva, beautiful girl that she is, went on a mission trip to help victims of typhoon Yolonda in the Philippines. What she didn't realise is that one needs to renew Permanent Residency status every four years should one desire to travel overseas.

The result is her citizenship application being pushed back until a later date and Notre Dame requiring that she now pays her fees upfront...To the tune of $5000. Ouch. To top it off she only found out now, two months before semester starts. As a recently married woman $5000 is a little hard to come by.

Eva is a woman of great faith and believes that God is calling her to use her studies for the furthering of His kingdom. I support her in this and that is why I am asking you to consider making a donation.

You can view her Go Fund Me page here:

Thank you for your time. You may now resume your day ;)

Need motivation to give? Just see Matthew 25: 35-40.
(Image by contemplative imaging under CC license)

Josh Duggar and forgiveness

Far, far away in the mystical land of Oz more than a few articles have been circulating about Josh Duggar and his family. I expect US news channels have been talking about little else. Part of me wants to stick my head in the sand and wait until it all blows over but I've been sufficiently irked that I feel the need to write this post.

Firstly, I do not speak as a victim of sexual abuse. For that kind of insight I recommend Joshua Roger's post

Secondly, I do believe that God can forgive all sin by "the riches of grace" and the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1: 7). And I expect we're all on the same page that Joshua Duggar did commit sin.

Forgiveness is found in Jesus.
Image by geralt under CC license

Thirdly, I do not agree with Christians saying that "he should be executed!!!" and baying for his blood. I do not believe in the death penalty (see my post on the Bali 9) and I think we, as Christ's followers, can do better than this. Ask God about it sometime:

"It is mine to avenge; I will repay." (Deuteronomy 32: 35a)

Some writers, such as this Geeks Under Grace post, go as far as to celebrate the testament of Josh Duggar's life as an exemple of redemption. I struggle with this, I really do. I think it comes across as insensitive to the victims and ignores the gravity of the situation. While I do not believe that was the author's intention it's hard to read it and lash out emotionally (note: I do not recommend this. Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit [Galations 5: 23]).

Yes, Josh Duggar can and has (to the best of my very limited knowledge) found forgiveness and freedom in Christ. But that does not mean he shouldn't face the consequences of his actions through the justice system (no I'm still not going to say that we should execute him).

To face the court of law, albeit an earthly one, is the right thing to do in my opinion. The girls may not want to press charges (statute of limitations aside), and that is their choice, but they should have the option. It doesn't mean that their brother isn't forgiven by Christ or even that they themselves don't love him. 

I am reminded of an episode of Press Gang, "Something Terrible," in which one of the characters discovers a young girl is being sexually abused by their father. This character shares his concerns with the main character and editor of the student paper. They decide to run a special edition on child abuse and are brainstorming some of the questions or concerns they should address:

Spike: I'm worried about my dad.

Colin: What?

Spike: Maybe I still love him. I mean he is my dad. What's going to happen to him?

Colin: If your dad loved you then he knows he shouldn't be doing this, he knows he's harming you. And if he can't stop doing it on his own, then he needs someone to stop him.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I strongly agree with Joshua Rogers in saying that sexual abuse should not be dealt with internally (within the church): go to the police (which the Duggars did), do not cover it up, do not sweep it under the rug. They can find forgiveness and redememption in Christ while still allowing justice to be served.