1. Okay for starters. I am SO not the type of person to say – “don’t feel this way, or that way.” Especially “you shouldn’t feel that way Norm” because look at all the positive things happening… (something I won’t say). That is SO not helpful, when someone “feels” something (positive or negative). It’s like when I really am hurting over being alone in my basement apartment, not sure if I ever will have a family to love me, or even to encourage me and I feel the weight of being a burden to those I love (what kills me most is Sunday’s after church when everyone is going home together). When someone says, “Oh Talia, you shouldn’t feel that way.” It is not helpful. Especially in the moment of discouragement, it only adds to it more. Feelings come and go. I know that. But I/we need to own those emotions, and let it pass. That is my side note 🙂
    As I look at this photo. I see three things.
    I see you, God, and Satan. I see and sense the strong feeling of discouragement in this photo.
    I see it in your eyes, and even in your face this past weekend (sorry!) and I see it when I pray for you. Like I said this morning: “Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9) was what the Lord whispered to me is so sentimental!

    If not me, if not anyone else, Jesus gets this. He understands how you feel. Don’t lose heart my friend. Satan is planting lies and discouragement at you to keep you in the vicious cycle of the thoughts. “Will my church ever thrive? Are they even listening? Did I bite off more then I could chew? Why is there negative feedback or perhaps no feedback at all? Why do I not see any change? Are they getting it? Why does it feel so heavy…?”
    I have no answers. But I want you to know, you are loved immensely so by so many people who wish they could help take part of that discouragement away. And when words fail to speak – praying is what we do know how to do. And know it ‘s okay! It’s okay to dread Sunday mornings. It’s okay to not even have that joy filled heart some days. Push through, day by day, moment by moment. In the meantime continue to look up, it’s Monday and Sunday’s coming. You are that man in the photo, so it feels I imagine. To be pulling the church (how exhausting is that). Satan is saying, just quit. God is saying, Norm. Let go.

  2. Thanks Talia. Wasn’t sure if anyone would respond to this picture.
    Not sure it’s discouragement I am feeling, though maybe. And not wanting to quit either. I do sense God has called me to serve His kingdom. I like your words, “Let go!” That is what I think God is saying to me in this situation. One person should not be pulling the boat alone. By trying to pull alone, we only reinforce the problem.
    I think I need to let go, but not sure what that looks like. Some people might not like it. This is God’s boat, I’ve got to stop trying to be it’s Saviour. This picture struck me as a gentle rebuke to me, I’ve got to rethink how this boat will move forward. Trying to get different results by doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity, I’m told. Our present way of moving the boat is unsustainable. Which means I/we need to pray.
    Thanks Talia, I appreciate your love and support, your honesty and your authenticity. We keep looking up, we keep letting go, and letting God. It’s His boat.

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