To post or not to post…a post about loneliness

Last year, I made a discovery in my own behavior. When I felt lonely I turned to social media. I read, I posted and I hoped for likes. Sometimes I came across a funny video and then I laughed out loud by myself and shared it for others to enjoy. Then I continued to scroll through everyone else’s lives. Even this blog has been a way of reaching out, making myself seen, but not as much as social media was. This blog is also where I want to share thoughts about what I feel are important subjects. Like today…

So, what I found out about myself makes me wonder how many other people there are out there behind their computers, watching, posting and feeling lonely and hoping that someone will like their post and make them feel seen. Who also feel a bit lonely. Maybe they don’t have close friends to spend time with…

I am grateful that I do have close friends! My excuse for not reaching out and call friends, instead of turning to social media, was that usually, I didn’t have the energy to do that. I got through it as I knew my loneliness was temporary and I was looking to the future when I would have energy. Like today. Today I do have the energy. But I wonder how many people actually have the energy but have no friends to call…So dear friends, please know that you can always call me!!

Another issue I have seen with the social media is the constant hunt for likes. The constant search for confirmation. I am so happy I grew up while the world was still small and all I wanted to do was to play with my friends or go to the equestrian center and go horseriding and take care of the horses, that my teenage goal never was to get likes on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, there are good things with social media. For example, I can call my friend on Messenger that lives halfway around the world and have a chat every night. The only thing bothering us is the time difference.

Calling someone gives you a far greater satisfaction than the temporary satisfaction you get from random people liking a post. Yesterday I was on the phone for 3(!) hours with my friend, just wasting time together. It was awesome! Let’s talk more people!!

 

2017 – my best and worst year ever…

If you asked me 10 years ago where I would be today, my answer would have been “Hopefully married with kids and definitely a dog, maybe living in a house but that’s not really important. Most important is that my home is an open home, a welcoming home and a home full of love”

Fast forward to today… I’m worn out, still single, no dog, definitely no house, but I think my home has been open and filled with love throughout the years. And for that, I am so grateful!

As I look back (way back!), and see my life, what turns it has taken, what hills I have had to climb, what valleys I have gone through, I can’t be unsatisfied. If I had not gone through all this, I would not be the person I am today. And I’m pretty happy with who I am.

Sure, the circumstances right now are not ideal. My home is a bit messy as I don’t always have the energy to tidy up, and my sink is full of unwashed dishes for the same reason. The outside of my apartment building is not very nice to look at as there is scaffolding all around. The sound of them drilling into the concrete is not the best sound ever. I would have preferred to have met someone to share my life with.

But if I had not gone through life this way, if I wasn’t worn out, I would not be where I am now. I believe in a God who is caring, loving and want my best. I believe there is a reason for my trials. I believe God is working in me to stretch me and to make me stronger in faith! As I previously wrote here (in the post “Gloriously ordinary“) I think hardship is necessary if you want to grow bravely in your faith and your trust in God.

I was watching an online service from Elevation Church, where they said to choose one word for next year. My word is breakthrough! I believe God will break through in my life. And my goal is to let Him! I want to start next year trusting God fully, with my whole life! It will be a struggle as I have a hard time letting go of the steering wheel but life with God is never easy! I have managed to let go in some areas of my life, now I just need to follow with the rest.

If 2017 was not my worst year ever, I would not have let go at all. This is why it is also my best year ever. And I look forward with hope and expectation to 2018. Here are some hashtags that I have made for next year (for me to remember):

#LoveMe2018 #ImEnough #SeeMyselfThroughGodsEyes

This is a New Years resolution I want to make: to be kinder to myself! To treat me as good as I treat others. To not say to me “you are so bad because you can’t keep your home tidy”, “you are not good enough”, “you are not beautiful enough”… I could write sentences all day. This is all so well explained in Christine Cain’s book “Unashamed”! Buy it!! Don’t let the world keep you down! I will try to see myself through the eyes of God.
I challenge you to do the same!

You take two steps forward and three steps back
On a journey of a thousand miles
And you cry and you pray
But you know at this pace you never will arrive

Well I know in your heart you believed from the start
God had a purpose He knit you together for
But life has pulled at the seams
And you’re unraveling
And you can’t hold it together anymore

But God will, He will finish what He started
No thread will be left unwoven
Nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished
And God will finish what He’s begun

And it may feel like 40 long days in a hard driving rain
Or 40 years in a dry desert sand
But when He’s finished we will see
A beautiful tapestry
And know that nothing has been wasted in the end

Oh, and God will, He will finish what He started
No thread will be unwoven
Nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished
And God will finish what He’s begun

And we’ll stand as the ones completed
By the miracle of His love
We’ll sing of His goodness and sing to His glory
As we tell the story of how

God has, He has finished what He’s started
Not a thread will be unwoven
And nothing will be left undone
Every plan and every purpose
That He has will be accomplished
And God will finish what He’s begun

I know that God will finish what He’s begun

Exhaustion…

So, I don’t know if I will continue to write on this blog. I’m writing this post mostly for myself (a work in progress during the last 2 weeks) but also for anyone else who needs to know you are not alone, we are many with the same problem!

Last post I wrote was while in the US for work last year. A lot has happened since then. I came back in December and I moved into a new position at work. I have been working a lot, too much actually, which leads me to the title of today’s post. I am almost worn out. I’m lucky as I did not hit that wall but I think I came kinda close to it. Probably stared it in the face for a while before actually listening to my mind and body. For a long time this year, I was very tired. I didn’t have the energy to meet up with friends and even play console games was too much of an effort.

It was not only work that came swinging. They started renovating the outside of my apartment building in July and in mid-September, they drilled into a water pipe and caused a water leak in my kitchen. But that was probably just the last nail in the coffin. Sadly, this means they are drilling in the concrete all day long and I can promise you, it is not a restful environment to be home. Luckily, my parents live outside a small town, forest all around the house, and during my full-time sick leave in October, I could stay with them for a while. Oh, the heavenly silence!! Nature is a very healing thing. Thank God for that! For real, thank You God!

When I came home that Monday, mid-September, and realized the whole kitchen floor was flooded with water…I just felt very heavy inside. Empty and heavy. Empty as I had no energy to feel anything. So, I spoke to HR at work and within a week I had an appointment to see a psychologist. She told me to call in sick for the 7 days I don’t need a signed document from a physician and booked a time for me to meet with one. I met with a doctor and he gave me a signed document for 2 more weeks of full-time sick leave.

Also my spiritual life has suffered. Since coming back from the UK last year I was struggling with my faith. For reasons too personal to share in a blog (now resolved though), I felt so far from God and I blamed myself for it. Despite Him being so clear in my life up until Hillsong Conference 2016, I could not feel or see Him in my life anymore. This only got worse as time went by and as work got to me more. I did seek christian council and have had spiritual guidance once a month. But to no avail. Everything was silent and dead. Little did I know then that it was due to me not having the energy to even have faith, to reflect or to confront my own feelings.

Let me just be clear now before continuing this story, today I am well with God and I am very happy again. I have been at the office 25% for 4 weeks gone up to 50% for another 4 and I’m moving to 75% next week. But I had to learn that it’s rehabilitation I’m doing, not work.

Earlier, in the spring, I started to join things in church but I could tell I was not myself. I did not have any inner joy and I think my face/expression was very different from now. I only smiled with my face, not my heart. The last time I was really happy was probably during Hillsong conference 2016. After that, it all went downhill. In February it was so bad, I felt so alone and lonely I could not take it anymore ( no, not suicide!) I got a cat! And boy did he save my life! Mentally I could now cope as I was not alone at home.

The first time I did recognize myself was while visiting a friend in another town while on full-time sick leave. I felt alive again. I felt hope again. Gradually I have been coming back to my old self, gradually I have started to feel that inner joy I know only God can give. The tough season I went through, where I so longed for God to make Himself visible and clear has come to an end and I surprise myself every day now when I actually want to read the word and know even more about God.

Last week I got baptized. I was so emotional both before and after. I was baptized as a child but not through my own decision, it was my parents’. And the theology is that you need to be fully lowered and your whole body needs to be under water. I have done that now. And no, nothing much changed, but I know now, I live not by the old laws but in Jesus’ blood and freedom.

Today I was reading back through my blog and though it’s a bit more personal that I am comfortable with today, I am happy to have these posts from before as I can look back and see what God already has done in my life. As someone wrote in a devotional or a book, remember past wins! That will help you in times of trouble.

I’m still very tired, I mostly have good days, but if I do too much, the bad days come and I’m flat on my back in bed all day. Today is one of those days. I stretched myself a bit too far again. And it’s a struggle every day now, my will against my health. What I want and what I need are often two very different things. But I will eventually get back, but I need to be thinking I’m in rehabilitation state for another 6 months…May God give me strength!

#EmInUS 

So, thought I would write a bit more about my trip here in the US. I have slept my first night at the hotel and had to up the air con late last night. I also had to put on a pair of soft pants and a sweater! 

We had dinner last night at an American restaurant/pub/diner. Had a steak salad and chose the petite size… Omg, it was like a regular Swedish salad. 

Today will be a day in the office. Hopefully I won’t be as jetlaged as I was working late nights back home and tried to stay up until 3-4 am before going to sleep. I guess I will know later today.

#goodmoring 

Gloriously ordinary

I have just come home from Colour Conference London and I am on a high! I’m high on God.

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It has been a few amazing days and I have just loved all of it! This was my first Colour Conference and it certainly won’t be my last. I have never really listened to Bobbie Houston before, mainly because I haven’t been to a Hillsong Church before. I only knew about their music but she is a godly woman and she is soo funny!

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There was a church connected to the Hillsong Family where I lived before but I only visited a few times and never felt at home there. So moving to the UK, joining a Hillsong church had never been part of my plan. The US was where I thought I would end up if I ever moved to an English-speaking country and then I would have thought Atlanta and the North point ministry or perhaps Chicago and then one of the gospel churches. But as we all know, God works in mysterious ways and I ended up here in the UK.

This weekend at Colour I know God worked in me. He shone light on things I needed to see, He lifted my spirit and He put my compass straight again. But I also had some epiphanies.

They were showing some personal stories from women from all over the world. Beautiful stories about how God had come into their life and restored, made new and just saved them. What they did have in common was they had all been though a hardship. Different things but all hardships. Then and there, I realised that I should be so grateful! Grateful that I have not had these hardships in my life.

I have parents who love me and were supportive throughout my childhood. When I wanted to go to a youth meeting in a church about 1 hour drive from home (in the south of Sweden that is quite far away) they picked me up at 11.30 pm as there were no trains or buses going home. I have asked them now as an adult why they did that as I know so many friends never had that. Yes, I wanted to go to a church and I guess they were happy I wasn’t secretly out drinking with friends. The answer I got was, “You demanded it”. Stubborn child hey, guess I know what will await me if I ever get kids…:D

In my early school years I had a teacher who was a racist. I did not have it easy the first 3 years in school with her but I can only be grateful for that time as it has made me want to be an open and welcome person. I don’t ever want people to feel left out, because I have had those feelings and they are not fun to have. Still, this is nothing compared to what others have had to gone through in their childhood. I have had it easy!

This is not a pitty post. This is just something I had on my mind this weekend. I am ordinary, but not just ordinary. I am gloriously ordinary as I am a child of God. As they said this weekend; I am royal, a daughter of the King most high, King over heaven and earth. It is my inheritance to be supernatural but I can be supernatural at the same time as I am ordinary.

I am so happy I have found this church! I had peace about moving to the UK and this is how God speaks to me. I know it is His will when I have peace with a decision. God wants me here right now and I intend to listen. Only He knows for how long but I look forward to the next 6 months, especially if they will be like the last 6! Who knows, it might end up being 6 years. God knows.

Last but definitely not the least: Thank you to all the men who were serving and making this year’s Colour possible.

 

When it doesn’t go my way I know that it is not the end
I’m trusting You have better plans I haven’t even dreamt of yet
I know that You are for me when everything’s against me
I put all my hope in You
Jesus, I will trust You, I will trust You
I know You never fail, I will trust You 
Jesus, I will
Jesus, I will
I don’t know how the story ends but I know that You finished itI’ll close my eyes and just let go and fall into my only hope
There’s safety in the falling when I surrender fully
I put all my hope in You

Jesus, I will trust You, I will trust You
I know You never fail, I will trust You 
Jesus, I will, I will
Jesus, I will, I will

The only thing I know is, God, You’re in control 
in every little detail You are close
I’ll never be alone here in the unknown
The power of Your presence fills my soul

Now everything I know is, God, You’re in control 
in every little detail You are close
I’ll never be alone here in the unknown
The power of Your presence fills my soul

Jesus, I will trust You, I will trust You
I know You never fail, I will trust You 
Jesus, I will trust You, I will trust You
I know You never fail, I will trust You 
Jesus, I will, I will
Jesus, I will, I will
Jesus, I will trust You, I will trust You
I know You never fail, I will trust You
Jesus, I will

 

2016!

Wow!! It’s already a new year…

I can’t imagine what would make this year better than my last. I mean, I moved! To another country! And God is with me! What can be better than that?!

I have some expectations for 2016 that I have told God. I will keep on praying and expecting. Wish I could tell you, but I can’t, not like this, on a blog. If you are curious, ask!

I find it hard to blog about my time here in the UK. Mostly because my work is nothing I want to write about and that makes my weekdays really boring. I go to work, I come home from work, eat something, go online, maybe talk to some friends on Facebook or on phone. It’s really not that different from Sweden except I won’t meet friends in the evening here. And that also makes my weekdays more boring…So, what I can write about are Saturdays and church. I go to worship rehearsals on Wednesdays, I go to connect group/sisterhood on Thursdays and church services on Sundays.

I have met new friends, which is awesome! But that too is not that different from Sweden…I am a social person so nothing new with that either.

Well, one thing that I can tell you is I’m going into London tomorrow for work but it’s too early to justify me staying there and go to a “London on Board” gaming night. And I want to go to rehearsal as well tomorrow as I might have my audition.

Well, here’s to hoping and praying for 2016!