A bittersweet life

Life can feel as topsy-turvy as a rollercoaster ride.

One moment we are cresting the waves, reaching for the sky ~ the next we sink deep and plummet to earth with a bang.

Our emotions as changeable as the weather and just as unpredictable.

It doesn’t take much. Just check your phone, tablet or i-pad. See how many notifications, likes, comments, follows and positive responses there are ~ or not as the case may be.

Where’s the stability in a life lived by the varying opinions of others?

We are hardwired for love, security and approval. God put it into our DNA.

He expects us to receive the full approval we need from Him alone. Yet we go chasing empty cisterns when His well never runs dry.

How we hunger for validation. Look for any means to satisfy our appetites. Though, if we look in the wrong places,  it soon leaves us emptier than before.

‘Bittersweet’

Approval, compliments and favour

flow sweet as liquid honey

and we savour their soothing flavour

find ourselves craving so much more

to satisfy a desire inside where we

hide small ~ afraid we’re not enough

Disapproval, criticism and derision

sting brutal, sharp as lemon sour

and we shrink further back

into our shells, craven cowards

who lack a shred of self-worth

in our shrivelled disposition

So we swing ~ from pain to bliss

depending on our mood

and how much, or how little,

we feel loved, cherished and approved

Walls cracked as toffee brittle,

defences crumbling, gaping, split

©JoyLenton2014

“We can be sealed for eternity, Christ-bought and heaven-bound but still live like cowards, locked down by the chains of what people might think of us” ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee ‘Love Idol’

The approval monster is an insatiable beast. Offer him tidbits and he will lick his lips appreciatively for a while, but it won’t be long before he’s demanding a full-blown meal or a veritable feast to satisfy his appetite.

As an insecure child at heart, I have been greatly tempted to seek my worth and value in other people and other things.

Our best and most lasting way to find satisfaction is to see ourselves as we are in Christ. Look in the mirror of God’s word instead of sighing over the reflection in the glass.

When the world says:You’re a failure by our standards; you’re ‘less than’ until we say you’re ‘enough’; you’re rejected, unless you come up higher; you’re unworthy, just because we say so ~ how should we respond?

How would it look to live, love, work and write for an audience of One?

How would we feel if we could truly believe and receive how God perceives us?

I’m not sure as yet. I’m feeling stuck, stalled by situations and problems looming large. Sidelined by sickness. Derailed by doubt.

Yet despite these setbacks, I am choosing to study God’s word, relinquish and demolish my ‘love idols’, apply the biblical precepts, draw help from Jennifer’s book see how to grow into a deeper awareness of how much God loves and pre-approves of me, and discover who I already am in Christ.

And that’s the best way to start ~ with a hungry, open heart toward Him. God is a rewarder of all who earnestly and diligently seek Him.

I’d love you to join me as I chart my stumbling journey into wholeness. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There’s a growing community here  seeking to live pre-approved. Would you join us? I hope so. We don’t have to live stalled lives, stuck in the people-approval trap. 

We can learn to release all that’s holding us back from living fully, freely and joyfully committed to God’s ways.

“He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon” ~ Psalm 37:6 ‘The Message’

Joining with friends Ruth Jennifer and Lyli

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8 thoughts on “A bittersweet life

  1. Oh Joy, I needed this tonight. I’m really struggling with what people think of me. At church, online, in the real world.. and I keep looking for validation in all the wrong places – like you said – likes, retweets, etc. That validation never does come and I can feel my self worth slipping. Thank you for this reminder of where our worth truly lies. I haven’t read Love Idol yet, but I’ve liked the page you shared. Thank you for linking this post up with us xx

    • Ruth, you would love the book. It releases at the start of April at Amazon, UK, but can be pre-ordered or bought elsewhere. I aim to have a free copy to give away when I put my review out. I have lived far too many years enslaved by the opinions (perceived or actual) of others and it is time to discover how to break free from it all. Thinking of you as you battle similarly. Blessings, love and prayers, sweet friend. Xx

  2. Joy, reading of your increased pain, feeling sad for you in this time. I wasn’t sure what M.E is and so i did a little research. I will keep praying for you my friend. A few months back I committed to read Psalm 139 each day and realized i was in such a dark place i kept wanting to say all that loving stuff was just poetic prose – a poets way with words. I started working with a counsellor again, working through old hurts – losses and gradually I began to feel, what i actually knew to be true, but it scared me a bit.

    thank you for your honesty – openess.
    grace/peace
    carol

    • Carol, I do appreciate your efforts to understand my illness and the ways it impacts my life. It’s so thoughtful of you! Sometimes we need extra help and support to work through old hurts and losses, even when it feels scary to allow emotion to come back.
      Thank you for your wonderful encouragement and support. I will continue to pray for further healing for you, my friend. Grace and peace to you. 🙂 x

  3. So close was Ruth’s comment to what I would have typed myself that I’m going to save myself the time and second it lol I’ll add my own thank you though, Thank you Joy for saying (once again) what I needed to hear 🙂

    God bless you

    Kimmie x

    • A seconded opinion is just fine by me! Thank you, Kimmie, for taking time to respond and let me know this spoke to you. Hope you can get an opportunity to read Jennifer’s book for yourself. Look out for the free copy I intend to give away soon! Blessings 🙂 x

    • Diana, I so appreciate you taking the time and trouble to visit and leave a lovely word of encouragement. Thanks very much, friend! Blessings of increasing health and strength to you. 🙂 x

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