Tag Archives: Encouragement

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In feeling it, over and over and over again, we have withdrawn into ourselves.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.


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.

Henry, James, and Elanor’s Birth Story

As I’ve been told, “It may not be easy for you to get pregnant, but the Lord certainly blessed you with fast, easy deliveries”.

a Natural Childbirth Story of Triplets at 34 Weeks @JessicaMWhite.com

12/21/11 – Wednesday

I felt fine all day. My MIL came and gave me my second betamethasone (steroid) shot. I organized with her that on Friday morning she would take Ave so that I could get presents wrapped and a few things done around the house before Christmas Eve. In the afternoon I made pizza for our dinner that night, but didn’t eat much. Ave went to bed and all was as usual. I joked with Matt that I was going to wake him up in the middle of the night, to tell him my water broke.

12/22/11 – Thursday

I got up to pee around 12:40 or so….every time I get out of bed I always think about my water breaking, for the simple reason that that’s what happened with Ave. I went pee, stood up, and felt a squish feeling (kind of like a wet finger in a balloon)…very tiny, nothing much. Then I started trickling and it stopped, then some more and stopped. I just kept saying “No! No! No!” over and over. I grabbed a towel and went in our room, threw on the lights and told Matt, “I know I was joking about telling you my water broke, but umm….I’m serious it did”.

I just stood there on the verge of tears shaking. I couldn’t even dial the hospital, Matt had to call them and tell them all that was going on. They told us to come on up. A few minutes later they called us back, “We just looked at your chart. We want you to drive to O-town, they’ll transfer you via ambulance to AMC: Are we doing a vaginal delivery or a c-section?”; “Umm, I don’t know”; “We’ll talk when you get here.”

I just laid in bed while Matt talked to people. Then we called my parents (6 times before someone answered) and told them we were going and bringing Ave to them. We got to their house around 1:30 and left Ave with them.

We got to O-town around 2am. They took me right in. The doctor who delivered Ave was on call; she checked me out, they put the babies on the monitor (they are not equipped there for triplet pregnancies), and started IVs. I was having minimal contractions, but nothing that was even registering, and my cer.vix was still closed. We were there for about an hour before they were ready to transport me.

We got to AMC around 4:30. I’d had 3 contractions on the ride up, but nothing that was much. More like my stomach grumbling with hunger pains than contractions. As soon as they got me in a room at AMC they started me on the monitors, another IV. There was no noticeable contractions so they figured I would just hang out at the hospital until I actually went into labor (a few days?).

At 5:30 a doctor came in and actually checked my cerv.ix, which was now 4cm. It was looking like baby B (Ellie) was engaged and had pushed baby A (Henry) out of the way. We were just hanging out in the room, contractions getting a bit stronger. It was hell….they wouldn’t let me out of the bed or eat or drink because of the possible epidural and not knowing if we would be having a c-section or not.

We met with another doctor around 6:00am, Dr. K: He was AWESOME! If I could have him deliver all of our kids I would, he was that great to work with. He came in and checked me, then started talking about a vaginal delivery. He was telling us about his experience with multiples and breech extractions, how he felt completely comfortable with doing this (even without an epidural). We spent about 20 minutes just talking to him.

He is the reason why everything went so smoothly and we had a vaginal delivery. He recommended having the epidural to avoid the general anesthesia in an emergency, and in the event someone didn’t move the way they should and he had to manually extract a baby. It was agreed that I would have a minimal epidural dose, because I was not at all keen on it, and Dr. K didn’t really feel it would be necessary.

At 7:30 he came back in and checked me and I was already 5-6cm and the babies were moving down. They were waiting for a c-section to get done before they started prepping me, but my body was not going to let them take their time. He suggested starting the epidural ASAP; by 9am I had been tapped and they started a slow drip 15 minutes later.

{ Getting scrubbed in and ready to deliver these babies }

They started pytocin around 9:40 or so since my body was doing everything it was supposed to but my contractions weren’t keeping up with the rest of my body (probably because of the epidural).

By 10:10 they had wheeled me into the OR and I was scared…I’ll admit it. Here I was having a vaginal delivery of my babies at 33 weeks 6 days: This was not where I wanted to be, not what I wanted to do, and I was still {kind of} freaking out about a vaginal delivery.

I wanted a vaginal delivery, but it really rather worried me, because I knew all that could wrong. We’d scheduled a c-section because I was much more nervous about going through with it than I wanted to admit. It was kind of a “nice idea”, but not something I expected to have happen.

Dr. K got everything prepped, I moved myself over to the OR table, he got situated and turned away to prep something else. My favorite MFM was there as back up, Dr. J, then in walked Dr. C (the one who had wanted me to reduce the pregnancy and got mad at me): I looked at Matt and said “watch the personalities”.

Dr. C immediately started taking over, getting ready to reach up in, and pushing Dr. K out. Thankfully, Dr. K looked at him and said “I can do that”. They looked down and Henry was already crowning. Dr. K yelled out, “We have a head!” and everyone flew into a tither. Henry Charles was born at 10:20 am.

They waited a few seconds to see if B would pop down, but nothing was happening. They did a quick ultrasound which showed that the next one in line was breech and not moving down. I had 3 doctors all reaching up my hoo-haa and pushing on my stomach, trying to move babies down (I was VERY glad for that epidural….that happened with Ave’s delivery too, but that was one doctor, with tiny hands, for a few seconds).

At 10:26 they finally got a grip on James Matthew and pulled him out feet first. They had to go back in and pull C out…Elanor Susan was born at 10:28, feet first.

Henry Charles

Born at 10:26 am, weighing 4lbs 13.5 ozs and 19.2″ long

James Matthew

Born at 10:26am, weighing 5lbs 3ozs and 17.75″ long

Elanor Susan

Born at 10:28am, weighing 4lbs 9.5 oz and 17.75″ long

Henry immediately let out a cry when he was born, I burst into tears to hear his little voice above the doctors and nurses. James didn’t make a peep until after they had suctioned his mouth, and then only a small whimper.

Elanor didn’t do anything…they immediately whisked her away since she was struggling to breath and after a few minutes of several people working on her she was finally breathing better. I briefly got to see James and Elanor before they whisked them out of the room. I never even saw Henry, because the OR wasn’t big enough for 3 NICU teams.

I asked the nurse if I had any tearing, which I didn’t (I did with Ave, but she was 8lbs 4.5oz). Afterward, they got me completely cleaned up and moved back to my room. It was just time to wait now. Dr. K came in and de-briefed me about everything. What was interesting was even though we were all annoyed with Dr. C’s intervention (he ended up leaving immediately after they were born), Dr. K was very professional: We all KNOW Dr. C is a great, skilled doctor, particularly with vaginal births, it was a blessing to have him there in case something happened. He’s just not very personable.

Thursday night I just sat in my hospital bed, completely in awe. We couldn’t have planned or asked for a more perfect arrival of our little ones! We knew God had a plan all along and that it would be amazing, but to see how it all played out was just mind blowing…I’m still struggling to wrap my head around it.

Dr. K was such a blessing, we never even discussed a c-section. I really just followed along with his opinion and advice. He knew from my chart that I was interested in a vaginal delivery, but we never really discussed whether it was an option or not.

I do think, that if it wasn’t for him, I would most likely have had a c-section (as that is what my MFM would’ve felt comfortable with): I am beyond thankful I didn’t. I googled Dr. K Thursday night, he’s only a 4th Year Resident: He’s already a phenomenal doctor! {Yes, I will admit it, I think on some level I have a definite crush on him…it didn’t hurt that he was rather cute too :-) }

The entire experience was MORE than I had hoped or even thought it could be. I had my favorite MFM there, Dr. J; I had 2 doctors that were awesome and I absolutely loved; a nursing staff that was fantastic throughout the delivery. I had my husband there supporting me and taking pictures (he actually got better pictures this time than with Ave’s delivery).

If I had gone even a week or two more then I seriously think a vaginal delivery would’ve been out of the question. Also, Ellie had only gained 3ozs since our last growth scan 10 days earlier…it was time for them to come out. It was just an absolutely INCREDIBLE experience.

I will probably be forever in awe of God’s absolute and total control over every single detail of my labor and our babies’ safe delivery. Every single detail was worked out down to the absolute perfection of every tiny detail. Our God is BEYOND awesome!

{ Our first family picture: Christmas 2011! }

You can also read my natural triplet birth story at RedeemingChildbirth.com