Grief is Like a Ninja

Grief is Like a Ninja!

I realized Thursday night that I had not grieved the death of a friend this year, nor my aunt who died, nor anyone who died really the past 12 months. It may sound strange, yet with so many challenging things going on at once, you learn to press forward and not process everything.

I sat in an empty office with tears filling my eyes. As I wicked them away, I thought, “Why now?!” Grief has a way of showing up at unexpected times.

I had this thought while sitting there, grief is like a ninja. It shows up at these unexpectant moments. The tears flow, the truth of the situation sinks in and you face grief. It’s standing right in front of you declaring, “I will not be ignored.” Your attempts to bury grief, focus on other things, just keep going, is stalled by moments where reality sets in, “I will not see you again until eternity. Oh how I miss those moments with you!”

We do not wallow in grief, we unpack it. We process it. We come to terms with loss, betrayals, and so much this side of eternity. There is an understanding that God walks with us through the seasons. Through it all, God is with us. We are never forsaken. God does not scream at us to “Get it together, suck it up!” There is no harshness in God. God comes alongside us and whispers, “I love you; I bring comfort.”

The love of God is so deep! Vast beyond measure. Jesus comes along to unpack the pain, mend the ouchies, and deposit even greater love.

If the ninja has snuck up on you, it’s okay to process the loss. It’s okay to be fully human. It’s okay to be still and let the tears flow. It’s okay to process and heal. It’s okay to gracefully walk with Jesus and take it one day at a time. The ninja eventually visits less often. You may even find yourself dancing through a memory of a loved one, instead of tears. In the meantime, be gracious to yourself.

You are forever loved!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Soul Sunday Relationship Tips

Soul Sunday Notes: How to Process Challenging Times Without Burning Out Your Friends & Family (14 Options to Process In Challenging Seasons).

I told a relative yesterday who proclaimed, “You should ask for more help. Pride keeps independent people from getting help,” that I never desire to be that Debby Downer, needy person. God supplies all my needs, not people. The first stop for me is God, not people. I talk to God. I cry with God. I seek God. I receive comfort from God. I process with God. I tell God what I need and desire. Then God either puts me on the heart of people who reach out because they are led by His Spirit, or leads me to the right resources/people.

There is no shame in letting people know you are walking through challenges. I will tell you though people grow weary listening to other people’s pains, challenges, and problems. I know what it is like to be the person people think is their 24/7 therapist, counselor, pastor, problem solver, listening ear, crisis manager, and intercessor. They come and drop of their needs on top of my own. I can only do so much and after awhile I feel depleted. I am emotionally spent. Some people, I know if they contact me they want something, need something, or have a problem. They can be overwhelmingly exhausting. I don’t want to be the person people run from because I am constantly singing the dirge or in crisis.

So here are my tips for bypassing being the person people hide from because you are too needy:

1. Seek God first! Gosh God gives the best counsel, support, comfort, and challenging seasons are a great time to go even deeper.

2. Get in the Bible and search for passages that pertain to your current struggle. Pray God’s word out loud.

3. Worship God. Worship recalibrates our perspective and takes our mind off our situation and places it on God.

4. Reach out to people paid to help those in crisis. Many bigger ministries have paid intercessors or prayer teams. Cfan, Joyce Meyers, CBN, and many more have numbers you can call or online portals to submit prayer requests. Gosh, I have been submitting requests to Joyce Meyer Ministries since college. It gives your friends and family a break.

5. Ask God to send helpers, supporters. God knows who can handle your situation and your heart.

6. Take an interest in your friends and family without dumping your problems on them. Celebrate with them if you can. Why? Life is not all about us.

7. Give thanks daily. Try to find something to be thankful for.

8. Recognize your friends and family have their own struggles, bills, lives, and issues. If you constantly dump your problems on them, you can become a burden. Yes, our family/close friends are supposed to love without condition. Yet they are not God. They can not handle constant crisis.

9. Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord. I go find inspirational youtube videos & prayers. I play them. I encourage myself instead of looking to someone else.

10. If your situation is chronic, look for support groups, grief share, or for some-you may need to find a therapist. They get paid to listen to people’s problems.

11. Show up when you don’t have a problem. Add value. Ask how other people are doing and listen.

12. Journal thoughts instead of taking up hours of your friend’s and family time talking about yourself. I can not tell you how many times I prayed God would let my phone die with people who talked 3 hours or more about themselves and never let me say anything. Then after their verbal dump on me it’s “I gotta go.”

13. Understand people need breaks from bad news and you need prayer. Share something positive, add value, ask how you can pray for them.

14. Treat others how you wish to be treated. I don’t enjoy only being contacted for prayer requests, needs, everybody’s crisis. So I refrain from putting my burdens on people. I go to God first. Then where He leads me. I try to add more than I take. Because I understand what it’s like to be the burden bearer for others. After awhile you learn to say no, set firm limits, and tell people to seek Jesus or professional help.

I hope something here is a blessing! God loves you with an everlasting love.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.Com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

Have A Great Labor Day Weekend!

I hope you enjoy this weekend! Labor Day signals for me that Summer is coming to a close. Where has the time gone? Maybe you had a blast this year; maybe it was a challenge. Either way, the seasons are about to change. I don’t enjoy the shorter daylight hours in my region. I do enjoy the concept of change.

I used to hate change and then I was thrust into situations that forced me to change. Not all change is bad.

Life is this gift and if we are not careful we can waste it on things that simply do not matter. You can invest all your time and energy into a job or career that easily lets you go if the economy goes south. You can over give and waste hours of your life helping people while neglecting yourself. You may think you are being the Good Samaritan, yet in actuality you have failed to set appropriate boundaries. You can waste time being someone’s back up plan for when they don’t want to be alone or their other friends are busy or away. If we are not careful, summer can speed into winter and we remain in the same place.

I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting time unless I am resting. I need for life and interactions to have some form of meaning. Why are you at that job? Why are you friends with that person? What are you doing with your life? I ask these questions.

I may be a bit more reflective for a holiday than normal. I simply took some time away from my phone to reflect on life and to have less distractions while studying.

As the seasons shift and change, I asked if I was positioned for my best yes in life with God? Are there areas of my life that need tweaking so I can thrive? Am I connected to the right things and divine alignments, Are there people in my life who are energy vampires who just suck the life out of me? Where do I want to see change? Where does God want to see change?

Unlike a tree, if we see something that needs changed we can do something. One thing I desire to change is ceasing being a hostage to my phone or the whims of people. They are bored, so I must be available. They have a crisis, I must respond. It’s good to turn the phone off sometimes and just be a human being. It’s also great to spend time with people who choose you when they are not bored, not in need, not sick, not lonely, their favorite friend is not available, and they are not in crisis.

Part of living empowered, confident, and free is learning to set appropriate limits with our time, resources, and our lives. Without boundaries and balance, we can easily crash and burn or worse-waste our lives.

Which areas of your life need transition and change? What are you doing about it? Are you a hostage in your own life? You don’t have to be! Is Labor Day an escape from a life you hate, or a day of peace. It is supposed to be a cease from laboring day. Yet it can be an opportunity for reset, some reflection, and refining. What are your priorities in this new season?

I may be deep today, yet my thoughts have been focused more on getting the most out of life. I hope you have a great weekend and count blessings.

As a blessing to readers, both stores are 30% until September 4th! It’s tradition to throw a sale on holidays. If you love the blog, we’d love you support at our book store and/or merchandise store.

Grab books and digital products at empowered-free.com/shop.

Grab t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and home goods at empoweredandfreemerch.com. Part of the proceeds go to help with the homeless outreach and missions. We are raising money currently for a South Africa mission.

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Don’t just survive, LIVE!

Recalibration (What Grief Teaches You)

They say the best way to inspire others is by being transparent and vulnerable. I tried that in Christian community and well…my perspective is as follows. When you are still healing, it may be best to share with a safe community of people. Once you are healed, the story can be shared with others. Why do I say this? Because humans do not always think about the impact of their words before they speak. Some can be in a place of desiring to be helpful and they are actually quite harmful.

I love safe people, don’t you?

I met with a dear friend yesterday for lunch, a mini trip to the spa, and took her on a local tour. One of the things I love about her is her ability to listen without trying to throw a scripture on everything.

She has suffered great loss; I have suffered great loss, and we both know the unintended un-helpfulness of sometimes well meaning people. They say, “You are so strong!” Or “You just need to trust God.” “You know God is working all things together for good.”

I sat across the table from a kindred spirit. Someone who understood grief deeply and did not see it as something to wish away, but something to walk through with God. Some days are incredible and there is great joy. Some days you do not desire to laugh, your heart is full of tears. Some days agony crashes upon you like a tidal wave and you pray earnest prayers for relief.

People around you wish for you to be better. Some will avoid you because they do not know what to say or they don’t want to be in the presence of a person overcoming grief or loss. It is rare to find the ones willing to simply sit on the boat with you, riding out the storm.

Why do we grieve?

We grieve because we have lost someone or something we loved. Love is the reason for the grief. Those who do not love deeply and do not attach, they do not understand grief. Those who have not lost someone they loved, are sometimes clueless how to respond to a hurting person.

God knows how to deal with grief. I also highly, highly recommend grief share and support groups for those hurting; groups where others have gone through loss or are going through loss. Having a community of people who get it is absolutely vital to not only surviving, thriving. I am so thankful for safe people.

Grief has taught me so many things and it has changed me profoundly. Have you gone through a painful experience that changed you?

I am not the same person I was a year ago. I stopped doing things that seemed like a waste of time. I am still refining my priorities.

I stopped caring what people on the internet were replying to my content. I started simply deleting negative and misguided comments instead of wasting time trying to explain myself.

I stopped trying to mentor people who were disengaged, not present, not putting forth effort, and not interested in pulling their weight. I have enough to carry. I do not need dead weight nor to exert so much effort into what is not valued or appreciated.

I stopped worrying about those “friends” who just disappeared. I moved on with my life.

I stopped trying to love people who kept rejecting or misunderstanding love or it was always one sided.

Grief taught me and is teaching me to stop wasting my life on things that don’t matter.

Grief taught me and is teaching me to take one day at a time and some days it is one moment at a time.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me to stop expecting people to get it and be compassionate. I must have compassion for myself. Self care is vital. Expecting people to see a need and respond is futile. I found safe people to ask for help.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me to rest more and stop pushing myself to be strong for others. I am human, not Jesus. I started cancelling volunteer events with no support. I stopped pushing myself to be the only person to show up.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me what matters and what does not matter. It has recalibrated my focus so things I used to do, I refuse to carry with me. I believe grief can be a powerful tool to shift our focus. What about you?

Grief has taught me and is teaching me who my real friends are. It has been eye opening the past 12 months. I am not angry nor offended by people, I simply have relationships that grew closer and some that disappeared.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me the importance of saying no. When people perceive you as strong, they forget you are a human with legitimate needs. So they come with their needs, their wants, their desires, and expect you to be strong for them and you. Well, no. I have said to a few people, “I would like for you to contact someone else.”

Grief has taught me and is teaching me an even greater importance of family. Friends can come and go, but family is so important.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me not to judge my life by the lives of others. “Oh they never have anything bad happen to them, what am I doing wrong?” I have learned grief touches everyone at some point in life. If it is not your neighbors turn now, it will be one day. None of us make it out of life alive or without any challenges.

I have learned I do not have to be strong, just because that is what others desire. I learned there are days I crumble into the arms of God exhausted from grief and I am the furthest thing from strong. I find comfort in being able to just be human. I look at this man named Jesus who was and is perfect in every way. He cried out to the Father in agony, “Why have you forsaken me?” Pain has a way of making the Father seem so far away.

I understand how Jesus felt. I understand how Mother Teresa felt when she wrote in her diary that she felt forsaken by God at moments in her life. It may seem blasphemous to some, yet I see no blasphemy in Jesus. He knew agony, grief, suffering, and His friends went to sleep. He knew betrayal by one of the ones He trained and loved. My encouragement is it’s okay to be human. We were not created to live in such hard place. We were created for paradise and sin brought and brings hell.

Grief has taught me and is teaching me the closeness of God even when He does not say a thing. He speaks in ways that sometimes are not heard, but they mark us. I laugh sometimes because as silly as it sounds, I think God is filling up my Pinterest feed. It’s one encouraging picture after another.

I want to encourage you, those who have suffered loss. I am sorry for the silly and lack of empathy/lack of compassion things people say. I am sorry if you feel you must always be the one towing the superhero line. God does not expect us to pretend loss does not hurt, nor to put on the fake Christian mask, “God is working all things for good! Rejoice in the Lord always.” Let’s be real. Let’s be honest. Some days there may be a song in your heart. Some days there may be tears streaming down your face. Be human. You have permission to be human and invite God into your humanity.

I personally don’t have time for pretend. There are several things in my life/family that require a miracle. I am real, raw, and do not care how others feel about the process.

My encouragement…

God is with us on our best day.

God is with us on our worst day.

God with us is how we make it through the turbulent storms without drowning.

Let’s be real, honest, and inspire others to do so as well!

You are prayed for and so deeply loved!

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

He comforts those who mourn and binds up the broken hearted.

Don’t Miss Out on Confident & Free 2019

I would love to see you in May 2019.

We are devoting two full days to pouring into attendees! We have so much goodness planned. The early bird rate ends Feb 2nd, 2019. Here’s your sweet reminder.

Check out the tentative schedule.

I hope you join us. Have an amazing weekend.

Registration for Confident & Free: Confident & Free 2019 (You can also read speaker bios here).

Coupon Code: EarlyBird

Warmly,

Erin Lamb

Insecurity is Not Humility

Humility is a right assessment of oneself in relation to God. It is not self abasement nor “I am but a wretched worm.” It is not arrogance, “I am better than others.”

Jesus possessed humility and confidence. He could get low and wash feet. He could also stand in the synagogue and declare the words of Isaiah 61. He stated, “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” He stood bold and confident against the Pharisees. He did not shrink back and claim false humility.

The truth is, Jesus knew who He was in relation to the Father. When He prayed, it was with sincere confidence that God the Father heard His plea. Jesus is our model. Jesus is perfect theology.

I am pursuing doing a two day Confident & Free event because I believe God is raising up a company of believers who know who He is and know who they are in Him.

In Christ we are not less than nor better than; we are redeemed children of God. We are joint heirs. We are His workmanship created for His glory. Insecurity brings no glory to God! It is the flip side of pride.

False humility brings no glory to God, “Let’s pretend we are not who God says we are so others think we are humble.” God wants to free us of agreement with the devil. The devil approached Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God.” Jesus knew who He was and responded in confidence, “It is written.”

Speakers for the Confident & Free Event will be announced this month! Whooohoooo! Instead of people coming to listen to me speak at 3-4 sessions a day for 2 days, I wanted to give others a chance to share their experiences with gaining godly confidence and freedom.

God has continued to press into my heart a need for people to see themselves as He does; not arrogant and not insecure. I sense and often see confusion over what it means to be confident and deal with numerous people in soul healing sessions who hate themselves, hide, feel bad about who they are, or a few have grandiose ideas about who they are. God intends we live in balance, and love ourselves in healthy ways. We love our neighbor AS we love ourselves.

We will have 7-8 speakers, 7 sessions, 2 panel discussions (you can ask questions), and a wonderful/intimate prophetic worship team.

The focus of day 1 is FREEDOM. Let’s break out of legalism, limiting mindsets, tear down religious strongholds, get the soul and body healed, dream BIGGER with God. I am carving out space for extended ministry time. Need healing, come! Our prayer teams would love to pray for your soul or body healing.

Day 2 is focused on confidence. What does it mean to be confident? Is confidence arrogance? What does it mean to be loving and bold? We want to talk about how to have an intimate relationship with God, hear and test His voice, step out of the boat with Jesus, properly understand and use authority, and share real testimonies of overcoming with Jesus.

The plan is to pour into those who attend. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is getting people activated to move beyond just going to listen to someone else speak and do the works of Jesus. The works of Jesus are not just for some people or a select elite. It’s for every person who places their faith in Him!

In Christ you can see the sick healed!

In Christ you can share and preach the Gospel!

In Christ you can see people delivered from tormenting spirits!

In Christ you can love the broken!

In Christ you can make disciples!!

You can! You can! Oh yes you can!!

Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” We, those who follow and abide in Jesus, have empowerment by God to do even GREATER! If you don’t know Jesus, come, we would LOVE to share who He is and how much He loves you.

I hope you join us for two days of jam packed teaching, activations (you get to participate-not just watch us do the stuff), worship, laughter, giveaways, ministry time, prayer, equipping, mentoring, and hopefully answering some questions you may have!!

Come party with us for 2 full days and invite some friends. Right now tickets are discounted to $89. That is roughly $10-12 a session. We also don’t plan on taking up offerings-people can donate to a charity represented there or speaker, yet I won’t be passing the plate to cover event costs. You will also have an opportunity to hear about human trafficking and support being part of the solution.

  • When is it? May 17 and 18, 2019
    • Sessions: 9 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm (mid day sessions have more than one speaker)
    • Where is it? 1055 McNaughten Road, Columbus Ohio 43213
  • Use the coupon code: EarlyBird
    • When should you sign up: As soon as possible. Seats are limited and we are already at 18% capacity with registration opening January 1.
    • Who’s Invited: Everyone (yet we will not have childcare for this event). Come and bring your teenager or preteen.

    Godly confidence is for everyone!!

    Love,

    Erin Lamb

    Founder/Owner/CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC

    (Authoring, Publishing, Events, Masterclasses, Mentoring, Soul Health, and Wellness)

    #Confidence #ConfidentandFree #JointheParty

    Revival is Outside Our Worship Gatherings (Stories from the Streets)

    Morning Notes & Stories: True Christianity is More Than Praying & Attending Services/Conferences. The Disciples of Jesus Went Out and Did What They Saw Jesus Doing. Prayer Does Not Replace Action.

    If anyone sees a fellow believer in need and has the means to help him, yet shows no pity and closes his heart against him, how is it even possible that God’s love lives in him?

    Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.~1 John 3:17-19.

    Jesus came and fulfilled Isaiah 61. The Spirit of the Soveriegn Lord was upon Him to do something to help others know God, connect with God, be healed, set free, and delivered. Jesus did not go into the Temple and sit down. He did not just teach people. He did not just hold prayer meetings. Jesus took the disciples out and had them do the stuff. Jesus activated the 12 and then they mulitpled. Jesus actually made disciples who replicated His teaching and actions.

    Revival is a super buzz word. It sounds amazing. I think people believe just praying will usher in this great societal revolution. What people fail to realize is God partners with human beings to accomplish His will on earth and that moves beyond prayer. If my neighbor has no groceries or is starving, my prayers will not get them groceries. I have to either partner with God to meet their practical needs or ask God to send someone else who can.

    I struggle with non participation in circles of people say they desperately want revival.

    Last year I spent a year serving with the city and their initiative for the poor. I was the only born again, spirit person on their committee-that I knew of anyway. I asked them why they did not have more churches involved, there are so many in my city. They stated churches often turn them down and refuse to help-they have their own programs to support. We can pay thousands of dollars to have big name people come preach to us or sing to us, and not help the city with poor??? It does not make sense.

    If all the believers took just one tiny slice of the pie, it could transform a city. Transforming a city trumps filling buildings and having packed out conferences.

    If I am constantly wrecked in the glory of God that does not shift my priorities and heart to care about what He cares about, something is wrong. Either I am not truly connecting with God or I am disobeying God.

    When I talk to people about helping the poor or abused, I will constantly get the response, “I am not called to do that,” or “I asked God and He told me not to support your ministry,” those same people (some not all) will come back with ways I can help support their vision, mission, and mandate from God. People love to give money, not so much the time, service, or feet on the ground.

    I am not asking people to join forces with me on the street. I do ask people to serve somewhere, do something other than consume, take the Gospel out somewhere, go help someone who genuinely has nothing. Jesus was not a bench dwelling passive person. The early apostles and early church were not passive bench dwellers.

    In an age of technology, the Gospel can be shared quickly with hundreds to thousands of people. If cat videos can go viral, why not Jesus? An encouraging text or email is easy to send. Letting someone go first in the grocery line-“God loves you, you go first.” Put blessing bags in the car for the homeless-include an encouraging note or bible. Stop for the neighbor and ask how they have been. Listen when people talk instead of dominating the conversation. Be a great friends instead of a one sided one. Find out what the city is doing to help people and tag along. Start a discipleship group-help people grow in their gifts. There are so many options beyond prayer. If I am starving to death, yes prayer is great. What is better is getting me a sandwich.

    I was out last winter looking for people to feed. As we were in the park, we saw a man go into the port o john and not come out. One of the ladies said, “Let’s check on him.” I was reluctant to go knock on the port o john door. Yet would not let her go alone. The man came out of the port o john eating chips. He stated he was in there to block his body from the wind and cold. We offered him more food and winter gear (socks, hand warmers, scarves, etc). He was shocked someone wanted to help him. He was reluctant to take what he needed because he said there were so many in need. I told him to take what he needed. He was so excited about socks. Socks made his day. I could have just offered him prayer and the Gospel. Yet it was far better to demonstrate the Gospel, “God cares about every single detail of your life, including your cold feet and hungry belly.”

    I was out one night with a team under the bridges. I met this elderly grandma and her grandchild. Since she had no home, her mom dropped off her child at the homeless camp for visitation. It was below freezing. This little girl had on a spring jacket, not a winter jacket. She had the most joy filled eyes. She was happy to be with grandma. I cried once I left them. I cried and cried and cried.

    Love is more than sweet words that escape our lips yet never move us to do anything.

    Love is more than warm fuzzy feelings that drive us to do only what is comfortable for us.

    Love is more than an anthem we sing that never forces us to shift our perspective or actions.

    Love is a verb that moves us beyond talking to doing.

    Can we do everything? No. Can we do something? Yes. It amazes me with all the hats I wear how many people will ask me to help them personally or support what they are doing. There are thousands to millions doing nothing but soaking up teachings, worship, and experiences and going home. Some aren’t even paying attention in services or to lessons. There is more in God and it is not about passive or idle Christianity. Revival involves transformation and transformation requires participation.

    I have yet for God to tell me to do nothing at all for anyone but myself. God highlights people on a daily basis to invest in them. God is generous, loving, kind, compassionate, looking for someone to bless through us. Love looks like someone, Jesus. Love acts like someone, Jesus. Love is demonstrated in our choices and actions-not just our words.

    If you see someone hungry, and you can feed them, feed them.

    If you see someone freezing, and you can clothe them, clothe them.

    If your city struggles with poverty, and you have the means to help, volunteer/serve/be a blessing to the city.

    If someone in your church or fellowship looks discouraged, encourage them.

    If you see someone struggling to pay their groceries, and you can help them, help them.

    If God highlights someone to you that is hurting, reach out. I will say a silent prayer is not as powerful as picking up the phone and calling, “Hey, you have been on my heart. Are you okay? I love you.”

    Love in word only is just noise (1 Corinthians 13).

    God give us your eyes and heart. Help us to see as you see. Help us to move beyond just going to services and praying for revival to going out and releasing your goodness on earth. Light a fire in our hearts for transformation. Transform us from the inside out. Transformed people transform cities. We need Jesus in the places He is needed most, all 7 mountains of influence. Heaven come through us to leave the world better than it was before we entered.

    Warmly,

    Erin Lamb

    OperationGodisLove.org

    Facebook.com/OperationGodisLove