Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stop It Already

I recently talked to a woman who was telling me about a friend of hers who is struggling with bi-polar. As we stood chatting for a while, she asked me if she could purchase my Walking Healed books for her friend, "because she really needs this." 

Now, I'm not opposed to people buying books for friends who are struggling. I was once struggling myself. I’ve read many books on how to get over various things. I'm also not plugging for sales for my books (although it's really nice when people buy them). However, as one who is recovering from severe depression and anxiety, I also know what it feels like when your friends and family buy you books, place them in your lap and say, "Here. You really need to read this. It'll help you."

I totally get that. I really do. I know you mean well. But just let me talk to all the friends and family out there for a minute who want to help the one they love. Stop it! Stop trying to help. Stop buying the latest self-help book. Stop making the doctor or counselor appointments. Stop suggesting the medications. Stop it already. God bless your efforts, truly. But you are becoming part of the problem instead of the solution. Trust me. Even those of you who are silent, not talking about it because you're afraid you might push 'em over the edge are making it worse.

So what are you supposed to do?

Love them. Love them in their up times. Love them in their down times. Don't be afraid to talk to them, but talk to them like you do everyone else. Don't walk on eggshells around them. And please, whatever you do, don't look at them or treat them with pity, derision, mockery, insults or jokes, or even the statement, “Well, it runs in the family.” 

Be a real person. Be who you are. Let them be who they are. Granted, there are times when you will, or do have to step in and intervene. But use common sense. Use discretion. Use your head and heart, not your mouth.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? ~James 2:14-16, NLT

I’m also not saying to baby them either, because that only enables them to stay in their disorder.
Maybe that sounds cliché or like I’m making a double standard. I’m not. Why not say, "Hey, I know this is tough. Let me walk with you." Maybe they'll be receptive, maybe they won't. Regardless, you've put yourself out there and let them know you care, you understand, you're not condemning them. You're loving them where they're at.

Ask them, “How are things today?” or “How are you today?” They may answer vaguely, “Oh, it’s a day.” They may be afraid to divulge information. They may be too embarrassed to give a truthful answer. So, be observant. Test the waters. Ask simple questions that will allow them to answer or not answer; “Is something bothering you today?” or “Can I help you work through anything?” They may answer with the standard, “Fine,” to which you can ask, “Are you really?” But don’t ask in condemnation or ridicule. Be sincere.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. ~Romans 8:1-2, NLT

There were many times, when I was suffering in depression, I just wished someone would listen without jumping to conclusions or giving advice. I learned really quick not to open up with information about my feelings because people read too much into what I was saying and were not listening to my heart, which was breaking. My feelings and emotions were all over the place, so I couldn’t really express my true self. Therefore I was misunderstood too many times, judged, condemned and even lost friends.

I thank God every day that He healed me. I no longer have these issues, but I also have empathy for people who do. It’s not fun dealing with anxiety, depression, or taking the medications to help with those things. It’s also not fun dealing with well-meaning people who think they’re helping when they’re only making the issues worse. But the most heartbreaking is losing friends because they jumped to conclusions about you and didn’t listen to your heart.

One of the most important things you can be is a good listener. Don’t offer advice. Don’t offer solutions. Just listen. Lend a shoulder to cry on. Be a taxi if you need to be. Be available to answer your phone even in the middle of the night. And if you think a certain book would help your friend, then buy two and offer to read them together. Then be available to discuss what you've read. But don't leave them to figure things out on their own.

See the real person inside that depression, that anxiety, that bi-polar. Look beyond the issue to the beautiful heart and mind that is struggling to get out of that black hole. Throw them a lifeline. Even if they can’t seem to get out of the pit just yet, at least they can hold onto the line until they’re strong enough to come out into the open. Above all, pray for those you care about. Intercede for them. God knows. He hears. And He will answer.

In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. ~Psalm 118:5, NLT

Blessings!

Shelley


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When You Get Too Full of Yourself

Sometimes… well sometimes you just have a little thought pop into your head and you realize, wait a minute, something ain’t right. Yes, I know ain’t isn’t proper. But this gal is anything but proper… especially the last four-and-a-half-years.

Yeah, so I had a little thought pop into my head and I did realize that, oops, I’ve done gone and got full of myself. Not really the kind of full of myself that renders me nasty to others. Just neglectful, if that’s a real word (I’ll check the dictionary later for that one)*. Not only was I neglecting the housework (I’ve never really been very good at that anyway – but I promise I’m not a slob), but I was neglecting the smaller things like paying attention to the little people running around my house, the bigger people talking to me, and …the big one, I was neglecting God.

I used to get up early. I mean really, I’m a night owl so how could I stay up late and then get up early? I was excited about getting to talk to the Lord, that’s how. But lately I noticed that I slept later and later and when I would sit up in bed, I would try to croak out a small, but semi-heartfelt, “Thank You, Lord” as I would also try to get my brain to come up with something else to say to my Creator, my Savior, the One who not only gave His life for me, but saved me and then healed me! How could I possibly be ignoring Him? Yet I was.


I didn’t feel that closeness. I didn’t feel that connection. Yet here I was just days from beginning a ladies Bible study in my home, no less, and I wasn’t quite prepared spiritually for it. I knew I couldn’t just wing it. Nope. These ladies are perceptive if nothing else. Plus, they know me.

Bible study aside, I began to realize that when God changes you, He does it from the inside out. Therefore, people who have known you for long periods of time don’t readily see that change unless you allow it to eep out your pores, your breath, your everything. What’s even more difficult is when those same people won’t seem to allow you to be your new self. It’s difficult to maintain that newness, that sparkle, that excitement that only the Holy Spirit can stir within you.

Still, you must press on.

I guess my point to this madness is that people make mistakes. Just because I’m healed doesn’t mean that I don’t have trying times. It doesn’t mean that my life is perfect. I just admitted that it’s not. It also doesn’t mean that I’m crazy, need to be admitted to a mental ward, or even that I’m mentally unstable. None of those things are true and couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m perfectly stable and sane. I just stepped off the narrow path and my light dimmed a bit – the light that was lighting my path so I could see which way to go.

You know, in Romans it says that none of us are righteous (perfect). Not even one (Romans 3:10). It also states that “we all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) So what are we to do, those of us who aren’t perfect? That means all of us, by the way. What are we to do? Oh, well here’s the simplest part – All we have to do in order to make things right again, not only in our lives but with the Lord is to humbly ask Him to forgive us for the things we’ve been doing. Confess it! Tell Him everything. It’s okay, He already knows anyway.

We think we’re so sneaky, but we aren’t. God sees everything. But the beauty of that is He is not mad at us. No, He’s not. He does love us however, regardless of the junk we have been trying to hide, the things we’ve been doing, saying, thinking, looking at, all of it. He loves us in spite of ourselves.

Look, I wouldn’t lie about this. I can’t. What I can do is tell you that we really can tell God everything and He promises to listen. Even better is that before you can ever begin to utter your repentance, He is already making everything right again both inside and outside of your heart.

“I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.” ~Psalm 142:1-2 (NLT)

Not sure? It’s okay. All it takes is just an nth of faith (that’s smaller than a mustard seed) and an inkling of trust that He’ll do what He said He would and when you utter the tiniest of, “I’m sorry, Lord,” He will hear you and forgive you. Oh, but lovelies He takes it one step further than that. When you honestly tell God you’re sorry and ask Him to forgive you, not only does He forgive but He even chooses to forget all that junk you confessed (Hebrews 8:12). So it’s forever gone! I love that part.

Now then… why are we still hanging around here, wallowing in our self-pity? Excuse me y’all but I’ve got Someone to go talk to.

Blessings!
Shelley


*P.S. – According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, neglectful is a real word. It means, not giving enough care or attention to someone or something. Hm… kinda hits you where you live, doesn’t it?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ya Che Kohan!

Hey Y'all! Shelley here. I'm so excited today because I get to host a guest blogger, for the very first time. I'm so honored and humbled to introduce you to a very special lady named Karen Dame. 

Karen is a very beautiful lady inside and out and has such a wonderful healing testimony. I have been privileged to have had her in my life for the past several years. When God said in His Word that He would give us beauty for our ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He gave me Karen. She is such a wonderful blessing, mentor, friend, and mother figure. One day I hope to talk her into allowing me an exclusive interview to talk about her healing experience. Until then welcome, Karen to my blog! I sure do love you, Mighty Woman of God!   



Ya Che Kohan!
Karen Dame

Karen Dame

As a child I would walk from my back yard, through the neighbor’s yard, to reach Grace’s house. She would sit on the porch of her summer kitchen where she would bake and cook. She had a fenced in back yard and I would follow the fence line to the field, walk to school then take the same path back home.

Grace was an older lady from Lithuania. She always wore her stockings rolled down to rest on top of her shoes, a cotton printed dress with an apron that had two enormous pockets in front. She spoke very little English, but that didn’t matter because I was considered deaf and heard very little. However,I read lips very well.

The aroma of her homemade bread baking would fill the neighborhood. As I would walk along the fence line making my way home from school, Grace would be standing at the gate with a loaf of hot bread for me to take home. Her face was rough and wrinkled, but her eyes sparkled and she had a beautiful smile. As she handed me the bread, she would say “Ya che kohan!” I soon learned to repeat it back to her. Dad would send me over with a basket of sweet grapes from his arbor and Grace and I would make jelly. Some days we would make bread or Golabki (polish cabbage rolls) or paczki (polish fried pies).

Grace showed me kindness. She had such a sweet, gentle spirit. She let me know I was important and just because I was broken (deaf) she loved me even more. She would take her rough hands, place them on my cheeks, kiss me on the forehead and say, “Ya che kohan!” She lived faith, virtue, godliness, perseverance and love. (1 Peter 1:1-7 NKJV)
So was my experience with Grace.

Well time has moved on, quickly I might add, and there are days I’d like to go home again. Now, I am the older woman. I pray I have touched lives as this precious lady touched mine. For I remember a time when I was lost and searching for that fence line to hold on to and follow back home. Seeking for and finding Grace (Jesus Christ) waiting for me, calling, “Ya che kohan!” Reaching out to my brokenness and loving me even more because of it. For when I realized how broken I was, I realized how desperately I needed Him.

Grace is always standing and waiting for you. Always softly, with great compassion saying, “I love you!” Listen, can you hear His voice? He’s waiting to fix your brokenness, to heal your hurts and disappointments. He’s waiting with arms open wide to receive you, waiting for you to come home.

“Ya che kohan!”


“I love you!”



Karen Dame

* Karen Dame lives in Southern Illinois with her husband, Tim and their fur baby, Sophiedog. They have four children and eleven grandchildren. Besides her love for God's Word, which shows in her writings, Karen sings gospel and plays classical music on piano. You can connect with Karen through Facebook, or contact her through email at kdame5396@gmail.com.





Shelley again; I hope you've enjoyed Karen's post today. Please show some love by clicking in the comment box below and leaving a word of encouragement for her. It's under the big, pink flower. ;-)

Love and Blessings!
Shelley


Shelley Wilburn is the author of Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Shelley also loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with Shelley through various social media, available at the links in the right margin, or email her at shelley@shelleywilburn.org.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I Can't Keep Quiet

I readily admit that I can't keep quiet about God healing me. It's not every day that someone who has suffered over forty-plus years with depression, anxiety, and intimidation suddenly overcomes it and no longer has any symptoms of these things in their life. Yet that's exactly what happened. 

I’m not bragging that’s not like me to do. At least, I don’t brag on me. I do brag on God quite a bit. Usually those who don’t know me very well often think I’m bragging on myself when actually I’m just so excited about what God did that I can’t keep it quiet.

It’s kind of like when Peter and John were going around telling everyone about Jesus and all the miraculous things He did in, around, and through them and the religious leaders of the time (they’re called Pharisees) got mad, offended, even jealous and decided to shut them up. But here’s where it gets exciting. Peter and John stood up to everyone, including the religious leaders and told them the truth.

“They (the religious leaders) called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question – we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20, MSG (words in parenthesis are mine)

I absolutely know that God healed me. I make no bones about it. I am healed. I also know that there are so many promises for us in God’s Word and we are encouraged to speak about what He's done for us and to also speak blessings over one another. Therefore, when someone asks for prayer, whether in person, on Facebook, through texting, email, or any other form of social media, I immediately respond. Some of those responses include statements such as, “I plead the blood of Jesus over you,” “I speak healing over you,” and “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you will fall.”

These are just a few of the things I speak. Yet, all of them are true. And you can do it, too. So what does that mean? It just means extending a gift from God that He already wants you to have and all you have to do is accept it and open it up! But so many people don’t.

Very often instead of accepting what God gave us, we turn around and begin to question not only the truth of the words spoken but the validity of them as well. We don’t quickly believe that merely speaking healing over someone will actually bring healing. We question, “what if it doesn’t immediately happen?” Well, what if it doesn’t? Does that mean it doesn’t work? Absolutely not! It may mean something or someone is in the way. Something such as not receiving the healing, or not believing the healing is real or that prayer really works. It could be a number of things.

Our words have great power. How we use them can mean life or death to the person or persons we speak them to and over. If you speak positive around people, then wonderful things can happen. However, if you are always speaking negative, then nothing but depressing, negative, and bad things will hover all over you. 


“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” ~Proverbs 18:21, MSG

Stop!

It’s time to look at what God’s Word says and speak the name of Jesus in, around, and over yourself and those around you and mean it. 

There is such power in His name. There is healing in the blood of Jesus. There is power, provision, blessing and in promise in the blood.

I realize that not everyone is going to understand that. I also know that not everyone is going to accept what I have to say. That’s okay. My calling is to just tell what God has done for me. I’m going to continue doing that. I want to encourage you to do the same. Move forward in whatever God is leading you to do.

I’m so excited about what God is doing! I’m ready to move forward in this New Year. My life has been forever changed because of what He did. And, “whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to [others] rather than to God, [they can] decide. As for [me], there’s no question – [I] can’t keep quiet about what [I’ve] seen and heard.”

Let’s walk healed together!

Love and Blessings!
Shelley







* To read more about how you can find healing and much more Shelley's book, Walking Healed is available in print and eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and  Kobo. You can also go deeper in study with her newest release, the Walking Healed Companion Bible study in print only, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Your Mistake Doesn't Change God's Mind

What if I’ve totally messed up God’s plan for me?!

I’ve heard this quite a bit lately. There seems to be a fear among God’s lovely ones; that means you and me. The fear is that maybe we’ve done such a bad thing that we totally messed up God’s plan and purpose for us. There are a few who are even stating that because someone did something that was thought of as bad by others, that person can no longer be used by God and their purpose is ruined.

What a load of lies.

Lovelies, God is not mad at you. He’s not mad at me. He knows we aren’t perfect. That’s why Jesus came and paid the ultimate price for us by giving His life for us. Why does that seem so hard to believe? Because it’s just so simple, I guess.

I can tell you that for too many years I lived in fear, guilt, shame, intimidation, and the weight of things other people thought were bad. They kept me frozen in a perpetual state of control where I couldn’t function unless someone else thought it was okay for me to do or say. If someone disagreed with me or my ideas I cowered. I eventually would just lock myself away, sometimes physically but most of the time emotionally and mentally so I wouldn’t have to face the truth. Rather so I wouldn’t have to face what someone else called truth. It was in fact nothing but a lie.

The truth is I was living by someone else’s standards instead of God’s standards. I wasn’t living according to the Word of God, nor was I functioning in the calling God had on my life. I was controlled by outside forces. Maybe you are, too.

Until my healing in 2012, I was nearly non-functioning socially, mentally, and emotionally. Then one day I woke up. I made a decision. I trusted God and He healed me and the rest is a phenomenal journey that I continue even today. Do I still have issues? Yes. Do I still have obstacles? You bet. Am I still intimidated by others? No.


Lovely ones, just because we make a mistake doesn’t mean that God can’t use us. It doesn’t mean that your purpose is re-routed to something different. It’s not. God doesn’t go backwards. We do. God stays the same and so does His Word. When we take a detour He simply waits for us to catch back up. But never does God go back on His Word. If He has a purpose for you (and He does) then nothing you do is going to mess that up or revoke it.

Look at Jonah. God told him to do something and instead of going to do it, Jonah ran. He ran in the opposite direction, as far away from what God told him to do as he could. Because of it, Jonah nearly caused other people harm, he got thrown overboard into the sea during a terrible storm, he got swallowed up by a great fish, and spent three days in the belly of that fish (and he didn’t die). What he did do was have three days and nights to think about what he’d done. That gave him enough time to come to his senses and ask God to forgive him.

The beauty of this story is after Jonah repented (said he was sorry) the fish spit him out on the shore, three days’ journey from the place where God told him to go in the first place. So in essence, God sent this great fish to get Jonah and carry him to his original destination. But get this, when God talked to Jonah again, after he’d disobeyed God and made a huge mistake, look what God said to Jonah:

“Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh and deliver the message I have given you.” ~Jonah 3:1-2 (NLT)

If you’ll look at the first chapter of Jonah, God told him in verse two, “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But after Jonah’s disobedience, God still told Jonah to go deliver His message to the people of Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed. God’s Word never changed. His purpose for Jonah never changed. It was just delayed for a bit.

What about you? Has God’s purpose for you changed because of the things you’ve done? No. It’s just been delayed. God still loves you. He still has a plan for you. He has a great big plan for you. That has never changed. God is still waiting for you to turn around. That’s allowed, you know. You’re not too old. So don’t let anyone try to tell you because you messed up God’s plan for you is ruined. They don’t know because it’s not their plan or purpose. Your purpose is yours and only God can give it to you, no one else. Remember that, lovely ones. Your purpose is between you and God.

Now brush yourself off, wipe your eyes and straighten your tiara. Take a deep breath and let it out. You may be a little battered and bruised, maybe a little smudge of dirt here and there but that’s okay. Reach out your hand and grab onto the outstretched hand of God. Tell Him sincerely and humbly, “I’m sorry I’m late. Please forgive me.”

Listen as He lovingly says, “I’ve been waiting for you, dear one. Now let’s move forward.” Then follow Him into 2017 and into your purpose. It’s going to be exciting!

Blessings!

    Shelley



Shelley Wilburn is the author of the books Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. Find her books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more. You can also follow Shelley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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