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

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Building History with God (Intimacy with God Part X)



I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,~Jeremiah 31:3. 

I love reading the stories of people’s relationships with God in His word. One of my favorite passages is actually Hebrews 11. It is called the hall of faith. The passage is long so I won’t post it, yet you can read it here:  Hebrews 11. 

The people listed in Hebrews 11 have incredible stories with God. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles with God. God delivered some from and others through. He drew His people with loving kindness. He established a covenant with His people; one He upheld by His power, love, and provision. 

I’ve said this many times and will state again, there are things we can only learn about God through experience

Have you ever done missions? Or a team building exercise? Or gone through a struggle with someone? It knits you together. You learn things about them you would not learn by just reading their bio or even meeting with them for an hour or so once a week. 

God longs to be known by us. 

I was in a Bible study fellowship for a few years with a group of passionate young adults. Many of us ended up on a mission in the Amazon Jungle together in Brazil. I thought I knew the people on the team. We met weekly for Bible study. 

I learned so much about my team and myself those few weeks of traveling in a truck, hiking in 100F weather, handling heat stress, living under banana leaf huts, sleeping in hammocks, bathing in the Amazon River, and being in close proximity. Stories were written down, stories told, intimacy built, laughs had, tears shed, prayers offered, and bonding occurred. 



I learned new things about God on that trip. He wrote some great things into my story…

One that I could preach. I could hear from God in an instant for a perfect stranger. I could survive flying home with a partially dislocated hip. I could lead worship in Portguese. Spanish is my second language, Portuguese is my third (so much to learn). I grew in sharing deep parts of my heart with people on my team. It grew me. I had to rely on God fully. It’s a part of my story with God that’s marked with miracles and wonder. 

God is writing our story with Him.

He longs for the closest promximity and highest priority in our lives. You see, in heaven it’s all about the Kingdom. There’s no marriage, kids to be had, PTA meetings, bills to pay, singles events…it’s His Kingdom. This life, though it’s not marketed as such, is preparation for what’s to come. The relationship built with God on earth will continue on into eternity. Time on earth is the shortest time we will ever live. The greatest covenant and relationship is with God. 

What will be the theme of your story? 

Will it be faith? 

Will it be love? 

Will it be overcoming? 

Will it be the power of Jesus? 

Will you be known as one who walked closely with God like Enoch? Will you get to heaven and realize many people came to know Jesus because of your faithfulness on earth?

Will you encounter God not only as Father as a best friend?

We can learn from others stories and history with God, yet we build our own history with God.  

I love the way God communicated with Moses. I love God. I love who He is. I love being with Him more than anyone else. I desired greatly as a youth to have continual communication with God. At one point in my walk I told Him, “I want to be like Moses. He met with you face to face (intimately)-Exodus 33:11. Your glory passed over him. You spoke to him through a burning bush.” God’s reply to me was, “I meet with you heart to heart.” 

We each have our own story with God.

You see, I am not Moses. We certainly have a better covenant than Moses and the indwelling of the Spirit. My story is my story with God. We meet heart to heart. I’m not a feeler. I’m a thinker. I’m prone to logical/analytical thought patterns and do not rely on feelings for processing. Yet God supernaturally deposits His heart for people into mine. I feel what they feel. I feel what He feels. He moves me through my heart, though my personality is driven to be led by my brain. 

He’s writing a story marked with His radical, passionate, compassionate, and profound love. It’s also a story marked with His power. I’m alive because of His great power to heal, protect, and perform miracles.

We each have a unique and divine purpose. We are carved out of the heart and imagination of God. The good times matter, the challenges matter, the struggles matter, the joy matters. We are a part of a greater story, His story. We join the story of God and champion our King! 

We learn the Book (His word) and allow it to lead us into an encounter with Him. Our greatest need is to know the Author. 

Every situation an opportunity to deepen intimacy with God. What is He doing? What is He saying? Who in His word has experienced something similar? What is God teaching us? How can we cling to Him and grow to know Him better? 

Sweet friends, you are so loved, valued, appreciated, significant, and your story matters! You matter to God.  Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything (talk to and listen to God). One day you’ll look back and smile. Your heart will say, “What a testimony of God’s love, power, and provision.” 

Whether we believe it or not, God is always working things together for the eventual good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). 

Praying for you! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin