Comfort and Encouragement

Comfort and Encouragement In Heaps of Ashes

Hi friends…

Have you ever gone through something so peculiar and wondered, “Now what the heck was the point of that?” or “What good could possibly come of it?” Has it left you desperate for a word of comfort or encouragement?

I have found myself in this thought process in the past where situations didn’t make sense and all seemed like a giant heap of ashes. We all go through this. Situations can end up feeling like a giant wasteland.

Sometimes, we get to see the point of it all. Other times, we just don’t. It can feel frustrating because we don’t see the big picture.

One time, I felt that a situation was so horrible that nothing good could ever come out of it. Looking back, I see how the sad situation actually kickstarted an endeavor – a goal – which I ended up completing. I don’t believe I would have accomplished my goal had I not gone through the hardship. In the end, other people were helped and comforted. Also, I was strengthened, and I appreciate my new insights going forward.

There can be sweet that comes out of the bitter (sort of like turning life’s sour lemons into lemonade).

Take a look at this beautiful inspirational message from Mildred Page* who shares the following encouragement and wisdom:

“There are some scriptures that are so familiar that we tend to almost hurry by them and forget the benefit and grace they are meant to bring to our lives. Romans 8:28 is one of those verses. It says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Who doesn’t go through something in life that for all appearances doesn’t show any possibility of producing good in our lives? The world is full of circumstances that feel as if after the heat of the trial, all that could remain are ashes devoid of hope.

Let this verse in Romans, and God’s love comfort your heart and bring a peace of mind that no matter what you have gone through or are facing now, God promises that His love will actively work in it and weave his story in your life that will be for your good and bring glory to Him. He will be faithful to work in all things, and that leaves nothing untouched by His sovereign, loving hand.

Be strengthened with comfort and encouragement as you journey through difficult, seemingly impossible times that while God works in it for your good, He will be right by your side, helping and strengthening you, and holding you up.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.'”

“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:3

 “People seldom see themselves changing. It’s like going out in the morning or in the springtime to pick flowers. You pick and you wander ‘til suddenly you find that the light is gone and the flowers are withered in your hand.” – Zora Neale Hurston


*Special thanks to Mildred Page @mildred_page on Instagram; Shared with author’s permission (please do not copy).

Toxic Relationships, Narcissism, Communications, Healing, Conflict Resolution, Christianity, Christian Relationships, Love, Personal Growth, Relationships, Self-Help, Trauma, Betrayal Trauma, Psychology, Social Psychology, Counseling, Church Growth

Toxic Relationships and Conflict Resolution: Confrontation Or Corrosion? Growth Or Poison? Discerning the Difference In Relationships

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Proverbs 27:6

Do we comprehend the difference between confrontation and corrosion? When it comes to relationships, strong and worthwhile ones can withstand healthy confrontation.

Confrontation is uncomfortable yet positively productive.

It leads to more growth, mutual understanding and all in all, a better relationship. Though it is temporarily uncomfortable, healthy and loving confrontation is not corroding to self or the relationship.

Weak relationships crumble at any sign of pressure or stress. This pressure which could be beneficial in the long run is mistaken for toxicity. A true friend will hear you out because they value you as a person. This is the opposite of selfishness. Real friends do not think only of themselves! They don’t think of you as a mere extension of themselves. They are not threatened by your honesty or feelings. They don’t love you for the sole reason that you make them “feel good” at all costs.

Toxic relationships corrode one or both individuals. Instead of addressing issues head on, one attacks the character of the other (gaslighting). This is damaging.

Recently, I was chatting with some friends of mine about this topic. Conflict in healthy relationships cannot equate with poison in toxic ones.

Many are deathly afraid of confrontation.

This stalls their personal growth as well as growth in a relationship. They excuse good relationships as “toxic”, a word that is too common these days. It’s often thrown around at the first sign of discomfort. They confuse personal discomfort with toxicity. We tend to like comfort in our lives and relationships at all costs. We avoid the hard conversations to make ourselves feel good. We stay in our protected bubble. In our ignorance and narrow views, we often lose relationships that could have been amazing. This is tragic!

It’s also a danger to ignore the warning signs of toxic relationships. We have the intuition to know when someone is trying to bring us down and destroy us as an individual, right? Any relationship that sucks the very life blood out of us and disables us from being valuable to our children, families and other friends…needs to go. For those of us who tend to see the good in people at our own expense, we may stay in a poisonous relationship (to our own detriment).

Relationships are supposed to be life-giving, and that includes uncomfortable yet positive growth.

Still, how often do we dismiss worthwhile relationships and keep poisonous ones?

Toxicity can come in subtle, disguised forms of poison.

We all have people in our lives who “multiply kisses” and overdose on the compliments as they try to make us feel “warm and fuzzy” all the time. These individuals avoid the hard conversations. Instead, they let conflict and their true feelings fester. Instead of addressing the issue one-to-one, they let gossip spread. They adhere to the “think positive” (i.e., sweep everything under the rug) movement at the expense of positive growth! This is corroding.

Could it be that these are well-disguised toxic relationships? As the saying goes, “Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.”

They may not be good for us at all. These may be relationships that are covert poisons…ones that should expire.

In healthy relationships, the two parties value each other enough to confront with love.

Yep!

Their mutual respect leads them to engage in the difficult conversations.

When it comes to confrontation and corrosion, God forbid we confuse the two! It would be just as tragic to lose a good relationship thinking it is “toxic” as staying in a toxic relationship thinking it is “good.”

Every good relationship will go through testing from time to time. May we have the wisdom to discern between the tested ones worth fighting for and the corrosive ones worth leaving.

Xx Becky

Related:
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love by Dr. Amir Levine
“On Expired Relationships” by Eggshell Transformations

#toxicrelationships #narcissism #conflictresolution #bible #peace #love #communication #marriage #counseling #psychology #socialpsychology #Attachmenttheory #Amirlevine #eggshelltransformations #imilo