Vultures of Vulnerability

Vulture circles overhead. Victim unaware. Fatal attack. Read on, to discover how to avoid becoming a victim unawares to your own vulnerabilities.

Have you ever watched a hawk or eagle circle around the sky, before swooping down to attack it’s prey? The circling seems long, slow and ever so deliberate. The attack: swift, ferocious, deadly. 

I liken this to our experience of vulnerability. We, the prey. The vulture: our own thoughts, the hurtful words or actions of others (intentional or otherwise), particular dates on the calendar that leave us feeling weak or threatened, and of course, the devil himself. 

Each one of us has areas in our lives where we may be more vulnerable than we’d like to be. Often these come from insecurities, painful losses, grief, or unfulfilled longings/dreams. Generally, they speak of places where we need healing, hope, freedom and security.

It’s easy for an unprepared animal to fall victim to the bird circling overhead. It can’t defend itself against what it doesn’t realise is there. 

As people, we’re fortunate to have some ‘meerkats’ on the lookout to warn us of potential dangers (Have you seen how they look out for one another and send out an alert signal when danger is present? If not, go check them out at a zoo or jump online and find a video.  They’re pretty fabulous!). 

Back to us… You might recognise when your thoughts start spinning out of control, or when the words and actions of others have left you feeling vulnerable. You may know that particular dates on the calendar are hard for you (possibly a holiday or an anniversary of an event). You might know the voice of the devil who taunts you with his lies, telling you that you’re not enough, or that you deserve what you’re going through, or that you’re unloved and unworthy. 

So… be prepared. Have an action plan. This way, you’ll be ready to spot the vulture before it attacks, and you can be on the defense. 

Some simple ideas:

  • Pray for strength and comfort. Ask others to pray for you too. 
  • Read your Bible and study what God says about you, your worth and the good plans He has for your life. 
  • Turn off the lies and step away from the reminders (you might need some social media free time). 
  • Get with good people, rather than isolating yourself. Plan a celebration or gathering with loved ones, so that you can turn the painful into something beautiful, special and memorable. 
  • Give thanks! Count your blessings. Look to the good. Be grateful! 
  • For the longer term… seek help – consider how you can strengthen yourself, deal with issues from your past, and move into the future secure in who you are, healed and whole, and brimming with hope (a confident expectancy of the good things to come). 

I’m a girl growing more victorious in the midst of my vulnerabilities. 

Xx

Photo credits: 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/grayscale-photo-of-vulture-perched-on-rock-formation-2265252/

Photo by Ivan Cujic

https://www.pexels.com/photo/meerkat-97823/

Photo by Paul Daley

© Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing, http://www.girlgrowing.com

Overwhelmed

When everything seems too much… you are barely surviving… overwhelming pressure mounts… Help is here.

Lately I’ve encountered a number of people who have been feeling overwhelmed at things they or those they love {family & friends} are going through in life.

I know the feeling. I’ve been there before.

This afternoon, I closed my eyes and pondered some things. I thought of the crisp white pages I write on, the seamless marks left on the paper or screen, the organised layouts.

I thought too of the early writers of the Bible. I imagine their writing experiences were a little different to mine. I picture manuscripts dusty with sand, blood spattered and tear-stained as the scribes wrote not only the inspired words given by God but at the same time their own experiences of life in all its rawness {His words, yet their story too}.

I believe the narratives we read, were recorded because these people were just like us, and we need to hear them. Their stories contain ‘endings’, whilst our own lives are only part lived out and not yet finished. We need to know how God ‘ends’ things.

//Overwhelmed// but God//

Esther… overwhelmed by responsibility. But God… saved.

David… overwhelmed by shame. But God… forgave.

Job… overwhelmed by grief and loss. But God… restored.

Hannah … overwhelmed by the desire to have a child. But God… responded.

Moses… overwhelmed by insecurity. But God… provided.

The woman caught in adultery … overwhelmed by fear. But God… showed mercy.

Jonah … overwhelmed by his calling. But God… enabled.

But God…

But God…But God…

But God…But God…

Those words are so reassuring. When all seemed hopeless, God: saw, heard, came, comforted, provided, encouraged, redeemed, loved, and made a way.

Not only is He all these things (amazing as they are!), but also, Jesus is one who empathises with us. He’s been here before, fully man, well acquainted with being hated, rejected and despised; entirely understanding of sorrow, suffering and grief (Isaiah 53:3).

If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that He is…

Immanuel – God with us

El Roi – God, who sees

Elohim – God, our strength

Jehovah/Yahweh Jireh – God, our provider

Jehovah/Yahweh Rapha – God, our healer

Johovah/Yahweh Shalom – The Lord, our peace

El Shaddai – God, all powerful

Jehovah/Yahweh Rohi – God, our shepherd (protector)

Jehovah/Yahweh Tsidkenu – God, our righteousness

Cry out, as David did,

“Oh God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!” (Ps 61:1-4 New Living Translation).

Know that,

“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath” (The Message version), “The Lord is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope” (Contemporary English version), “The Lord is close to those who have suffered disappointment. He saves those who are discouraged” (Easy-to-Read version), and “The Lord is near to the heartbroken. And He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin) (Amplified version) (Ps 34:18).

Be encouraged!

Love,

A girl growing xx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Jim Jackson at https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-man-young-lonely-48566/

©Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing, http://www.girlgrowing.com

Same same but different 

People watching – I love it! You too? You can learn so much from observing.

Lately God has been showing me how ‘same same but different’ we are.

People…

Different ages, genders, sizes, shapes, cultures, beliefs & family backgrounds.

Different levels of education.

Different degrees of poverty and wealth.

Different skills, gifts & talents.

Different life experiences.

DIFFERENT

Yet, we are so ‘same same’ also.

I recently sat in a quaint gingerbread house store/cafe and exchanged smiles with a young mum. Picture this… a classic old, studded leather lounge chair, seating two tiny Asian toddlers (lost in the expanse of this huge chair), both excitedly indulging in gingerbread biscuits. The little girl daintily savouring every morsel. The small boy digging in, icing all over his face. I watched and smiled. So did their mum. And then we smiled at one another. Different people (one a mother, another with a mother’s heart) both appreciating the joy found in seeing children delightfully happy. Same same but different.

It seems pretty obvious that we are similar yet also unalike. So, why write about it?

I’ve been leaning in to God to understand the importance of not overlooking the obvious. I believe it’s so easy for us to be wrapped up in our own busyness, to the point that we neglect to really ‘see’ others.

God has been challenging me to see the ‘same same’ and to come alongside people where they’re at.

Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].
Romans 12:15 AMPC

What ‘same same’ can I relate to?

Same need to be valued, appreciated, loved, encouraged.

Same need for comfort amidst grief, trouble and trials.

Same experience of frustration, loneliness and disappointment.

Same understanding that life isn’t always easy.

Same ‘I get how the unexpected throws you’-ness.

Same some days you just need a hug or a shoulder to cry on.

Same need for victory and miracles.

SAME SAME

I know the reality that as people we can’t change or fix everything for everyone and nor can they do this for us. I also know the immense blessing that comes when someone empathises and shares the load a little.

A memory comes to mind of a time I was heartbroken and I visited a good friend, who took me in her arms, hugged me and said, “I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry you’re going through this”. My circumstances remained the same, but the burden eased.

Just this week I did a similar thing for a little boy who cried as he told me that a good friend of his mother’s had committed suicide. I hugged him. I told him I was sorry. I told him I knew how hard it is to deal with something so unexpected. In some ways, I felt a bit helpless and useless – that he’d come with such a big problem, and I was doing so little to help. But God reminded me that I was doing what He required.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
Isaiah 61:1

Let’s be people who see the ‘same same’ and make a difference. Do the little things.

Hug the hurting.

Listen to the one who needs to be heard.

Stand beside the person needing a little extra courage.

Cry with the one overwhelmed with heartache.

Speak truth to heal the wounds left by the careless words of others.

Help (bake, clean or whatever they may need).

Be present – just be there – be with your family member or friend who needs some support.

And having done the little things, pray. Pray. Pray. Pray some more.  For our God can do the big things. And we all, ‘same same’, need Him & His love.

Xx

That girl… you know the one… she’s ‘same same but different’ to you.


Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Scott Webb
https://www.pexels.com/photo/art-artistic-beautiful-bloom-311458/


© Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing, http://www.girlgrowing.com