Tag Archives: Encouragement

Fighting Against Satan’s Efforts to Keep Us Lonely: Countering the Devil’s Plot

Fighting Against Satan's Efforts to Keep Us Lonely

Fighting against Satan’s efforts to keep us lonely is no small undertaking. In my last post, I gave some ideas of how we can show grace to others and extend the hand of friendship to them. But what do we do once that’s been done; once the other person has reached for your hand too. Oh boy.Fighting Against Satan's efforts to keep us lonely: Countering the Devil's Plot @JessicAMWhite.com That’s when it can get so much scarier {bet you didn’t think that was possible!}. It’s not just casual and smiling and being nice anymore, it’s being real, and that can be so impossibly hard. It’s one thing to be “Fine” with each other, it’s another thing to allow someone into those parts of ourselves that we are too afraid to share.

I’ve realized that my interests and skills, can have a God glorifying purpose.

I love planning things…anything: So often though I’ve had no one to plan things with or for. I decided to take a leap, to invite a few ladies that I feel as though I have a budding relationship with and ask them if they would like to do things together, without our lovable littles. OK, but why? Why put all this effort in to trying to spend time with other women? Women who you may or may not actually “click” with.
I found this great post last week.  I could not have said it better. We were created for community. Not only because we were made to spend our time in the company of others for our own pleasures, but because we need the accountability. We need others who can lift us up when we’re struggling, congratulate us when we’ve done well, and call us out on it when we’ve made some bad choices, and through it all, love us anyways.

We were not meant to stumble through this life trying to do it on our own. We will fail. We need God. We need Jesus. We need each other. Having each of these will make this life a little more meaningful, a little more bearable, a little more worthwhile, and a lot less lonely. By leaning in to other women in our lives, we are leaning in to Christ and what He desires for us.

Though one may be overpowered,  two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

If we don’t make the effort, take the chance, we don’t know who we could be finding.

And you know what, even if you don’t find that kindred spirit of Anne & Diana legend, you’ll find someone. It may be the next person that we need in our lives, or just maybe someone who needs us in their’s. If we don’t take that first step bravely in truth, we are turning away from God’s glorious plan for us and His Kingdom.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.
It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

Anne Shirley – Anne of Green Gables

If you haven’t already, I challenge you to seek out one or two people in your own life and pursue them: You might be pleasantly surprised. If you have, I’d love to hear how it turned out.

The Devil’s Snare: How Satan Uses Loneliness to Keep Us from God

Losing Loneliness Part 2 The Devil's Snare @JessicaMWhite

Satan uses our loneliness to keep us from God. After my post last week, about my struggles with loneliness, the outpouring I’ve received from readers as well as those in real life has been incredible. One of the commenters summed it up best, “Our pastor was just at our house last night. He said one of the biggest issues with the young moms in the church right now is loneliness… it’s not just you.”

After reading all the messages that people have been sending me, I realized a few things: I’m not alone in this {which I already knew}; it’s more prevalent than I realized; and this is borderline epidemic. Satan uses our loneliness to keep us from God The Devil's Snare @JessicaMWhite.com

People who I believed to be most definitely NOT in this category, are.

But, if we’re all desperate for a true, deep, intentional friendship then why don’t we have them? Why are we all struggling with this if we’re not the only one who wants it? Why are we A-L-O-N-E?

There is a simple answer, but of course it isn’t that simple….Satan. If he can keep deep, intentional friendships from happening, it is that much easier for him to attack us in our lives, to win us away from Christ, to keep us alone and at his cruel mercy.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:20


God created us for relationship, with Him, with Jesus, with others. If Satan can keep us all apart then we have allowed him to begin to pull not only ourselves apart, but every one of our relationships, including the church. If we stand alone we cannot worship the Lord the way we are called to.

This is so much easier said than done, isn’t it?

Fear. That’s what makes this so hard.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of bitchiness {and yes, I am intentionally using that word}. We have all felt the nasty looks, comments, and judgment from other women. Whether it was in elementary school, high school, college or the supermarket last week. It may even have come from other Christian women. Regardless of the when, where or how, we have ALL felt it.

Satan uses our loneliness to keep us from God The Devil's Snare @JessicaMWhite.com

In feeling it, over and over and over again, we have withdrawn into ourselves. We feel safer alone than to put ourselves out there one more time, knowing that we {more than likely} would once again be slapped in the face and our souls clawed at. It hurts. No one wants to hurt like that. The pain of loneliness is bearable, comfortable, expected, so much less humiliating than the pain of cattiness.

While I still don’t have the solution to this problem, I do have some ideas as to what we can do.

Be kind, none of us know all the details of anyone else’s story;
Be appreciative, if someone has done some thing that touched you {a card, a hug, a minute of time} let them know you appreciated it;
Reach out to others, whether they look like they have it all together in the friend-department or not;
Show grace, none are perfect, particularly when put on the spot, we don’t always say or do things the best way
{I know I’ve often said/done something only to be haunted later by how someone could have misunderstood me};
Pray, that no matter what we say or do or how someone takes it that God will use it for good.

 

Others in This Series
I. Giving Loneliness a Name
II. The Devil’s Snare
III. Countering the Devil’s Plot

Giving Loneliness a Name

Losing Loneliness Part 1 Giving Loneliness a Name @JessicaMWhite.com
The hardest part of loneliness is admitting to ourselves that we need friendship. I’ve been struggling with something. I’m not even sure how to explain what it is, but I guess the best word for it is loneliness. I’ve struggled with even writing this post for some time. It isn’t any thing that someone has said or done that has made me feel lonely and I certainly don’t want someone to take this personally.

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.  ~Douglas PagelsLosing Loneliness Part 1 Giving Loneliness a Name @JessicaMWhite.com

One of the most incredible things for me at Allume was Saturday night. Listening to Ann Voskamp speak, and worshiping the Lord with a room full of women. Crying arm in arm with a friend I hadn’t met until a few days before and hadn’t spent time with until we sat down for dinner. I have never experienced anything like that in my life. I have never, EVER cried on the shoulder of a friend. I have always been the strong one, the one who played bodyguard and comforter. No one has ever been those things for me.

I think knowing that something like that could exist, has added to my loneliness.

Allume, while wonderful: Life does go on afterward and ended up being a lot like high school graduation, when everyone has the best intentions of keeping in touch. But it just doesn’t happen. Life resumes and keeps soldiering on.

I’ve tried, but so often I feel as though in real life we are all way too busy and most women have no desire, or time, to gain a friend.

People always tell me that they wish they were better at keeping in touch: The bottom line is whether it’s a priority or not. I try very hard to keep in touch with people and usually end up feeling hurt.

It’s so easy to become wrapped up in our own every days.

I struggle when I meet new people with putting myself out there, following up, and then wonder if I come on too strong, when I haven’t heard from them in a while.

I’ve started going to a Mom to Mom group at a local church. The kids go too, and they get to have some fun play time with other kids. The group has certainly helped, a bit. I enjoy having a couple of hours to spend time in God’s word with other moms. But it hasn’t gotten rid of the loneliness. I’m the new kid on the block. Everyone there is already a friend to the rest.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Matt is my best friend…my absolute best friend. But I have been searching for a best-girl-friend for decades. I’ve been praying for at least the past few years. I’m not kidding.  In elementary/middle/high school and college I was always a floater, trying to figure out where I fit in best, who I could really make a connection with, and it just hasn’t happened.  I’ve often felt I’ve entered groups in which the friendships are already established.

I have {literally} a couple of friends that I’ve known forever, but unless I’m the one intentionally seeking them out for lunch-dates or emails, the friendships would most likely end. That’s hard, because I feel like the problem is me. And it may be. But I kind of wish someone would tell me that. Rather than me keep banging my hand against the wall.

So….

I’m not writing this post looking to share my pearls of wisdom as to the solution of this problem nor am I seeking pity. Just sharing my struggle with finding a meaningful, intentional friendship with someone that I just “click” with, because I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels lonely.

Others in This Series
I. Giving Loneliness a Name
II. The Devil’s Snare
III. Countering the Devil’s Plot

Desperate {a Review}

While at Allume we received a freebie pdf copy of Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s new book, “Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe”. desperateI downloaded it and swiped through a few pages, before deciding I really didn’t want to be bothered with reading it on the ipad. I could tell there would be a lot of things that I would want to highlight.

And I was right.

Can you see there? Just how many pages are dog eared, so that I can easily find my notes and annotations?

Going in to this book I had thought to myself, “I’m not desperate. I’m a relatively well adjusted mom. Of course there are always ‘those-days’ but I’ve got it pretty together.”

Oh my. Such words for my heart. I have been struggling lately, not so much with being a mom, but with other things….which will be another post. I’ve never really given Sarah Mae much thought before; yea, she’s the co-founder of Allume, but beyond that I’d read her blog a few times and that was all. Sally Clarkson was about the same; I started reading her book “The Mission of Motherhood” prior to Allume because I knew she would be a speaker and that was about it…and that was what I knew about her.

I have to say, “Desperate” was wonderful. It was like being a part of a conversation between Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson on dealing ]with the every day of being a wife, homemaker, and mother. It was hearing Sally’s wisdom of years of {awe-inspiring} mothering, applicable to my daily life. I kept reading this book and thinking, “I so want to share this with every single mom I know. How many copies could I justify buying to hand out?!”

Whether you feel DESPERATE as a mom or not, READ THIS BOOK. There is wisdom to be gleaned from its pages and comfort for hurting hearts.

A Body Worth Loving {coming to terms with the postpartum body}

Coming to terms with the postpartum body doesn’t come as naturally as it should. Awhile ago, Lisa-Jo Baker posted about loving your post-baby body for the sake of your children, especially daughters. Lisa-Jo responded to my comment saying:

“TRIPLETS??? Girl, your body deserves a medal. You should break out into song every time you see it in the mirror. Your body is a HERO!!! Give it something delicious right now. For reals.”

And I do.

I think quite frequently about my body and what it accomplished. That my body was just the way God designed it to be, for these three precious babies to have been born as healthy and as big as they were, despite being 6 weeks early; to have been able to avoid having a c-section.

I look at my stretch marks that go well above my belly button and the skin that hangs below where it should definitely have stopped, and I’m in awe of it. That these three babies were cradled in there for months. That these babies were born with no health issues, despite having been sharing a womb with 2 others.

Then I look at my body the way the world does, the way we all judge ourselves: I see a flabby stomach, that still looks like there could be a baby in there when dressed; I see arms that are much too soft, particularly for lugging 4 kids around all day (at 14, 18, 19, and 30 lbs each); I see thighs that rub and have their own tributaries of stretch marks, without thinking that those legs are strong and able to run after these kids, up and down stairs countless times a day.

A Body worth loving coming to terms with the postpartum body

I think to myself, “You weigh the same now as you did just before these three kids were born” and I hang my head in shame. Knowing that an over abundance of cookie dough, avocados and cheese, and a lack of true exercise are the cause of it.

I waver, back and forth, between loving this body that has brought forth life 4 times in 2 pregnancies, and despising the “curves” that I have yet to figure out how to dress in a flattering way. When I figure out how to love this body 24/7 I’ll let you know, but I somehow think it’s going to involve a lot more time with God and a pair of sneakers.