THIS BLOG IS A COPY/PASTE OF THE LAST EMAIL BLOG SENT OUT...
Your "opens" have spoken!...The last blog on grieving was our most read EMAIL (by FAR!) in the past 5 years of sending them out. Average open rates for emails typically range from 15-25%. Normally open rates for our blogs is around 30%. But the last one on grieving was 50%! That number practically shouted from the screen. What is it saying to you, if you are grieving?
Well, the first thing it might tell you is that you are not alone in your grief. Many, many are grieving because of this last season that has thrown us major emotional curve balls.
It hasn't helped that we've been groomed to isolate during this pandemic. For many it has become a habit and preferred way of life. And unfortunately, a trend to isolate was already developing. Loneliness and social isolation has been consuming culture due to people turning "inward". Communicating behind a screen and through a screen is now very normal. Add shrinking social circles and the break down of family being a "trend" for the last several decades and loneliness is a normal outcome. This of course leads to depression, anxiety, grief, anger, etc.
There are lots of studies on the effects of loneliness and social isolation revealing a wide range of physical, cognitive, and mental health outcomes negatively impacting quality of life. One such study from 2020 can be found here.
.That 2020 report from the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine corroborated what other studies have shown... loneliness is a strong factor for detrimental health outcome including early death. One data point being that there is 29 percent increase in risk of incident for coronary heart disease and a 32 percent increase in the risk of stroke caused by loneliness, and that this was consistent across genders. There are many more conclusions given on detrimental effects of loneliness. Please access the study from the link in previous paragraph if you want to read more.
So even though society is opening back up, many more that maybe previously have not been "isolators" have now been groomed long enough to make it a "lifestyle" choice. Fears looms large for many so they are weighing the cost in their minds of connecting versus not. Unfortunately, they are calculating advantages versus disadvantages wrong, because loneliness can kill.
What would be the statistics now, more than one year after initial lock-downs? I suppose those type of grave reports will be coming out this year. If any of you have any to share, please send me the detail, I'd like to read them. It's not rocket science to conclude that the data would be even more alarming than pre-pandemic levels for loneliness, depression, and anxiety, morbidities, etc.
Fantastic, now what? Well since the readers of this blog are Christian, you know where I would take you, to Jesus of course. But before doing so I want to acknowledge that perhaps the pressures of coming out of grieving and loneliness and loss are more guilt ridden for the Christian versus the non-Christian. Maybe I'm off base on it, but since we as Christians have Christ, I think its easy to feel guilty that we have unresolved sorrow. Unspoken or not, don't we wonder or conclude that the promises of God failed us? Why would the sorrow linger if we really believed? If God's promises were really true?
If we admit that, aren't we making God out to be a sham, a self-help tool that fails?
NO!!! Those thoughts and feelings are lies straight from the pits of hell. "Did God really say...?"
Here is the truth... no promise of God ever fails, Joshua 21:44-45 !!! All of the promises of Jesus are "yes" and in Him, "Amen."
Let's stop on that promise, because did you know that that is an incomplete summary of what the verse really says in 2 Corinthians 1:20? What the verse actually says is "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. That is not a passive promise or just a statement to quote. It requires us SPEAKING a hearty agreement, with our actions from belief lining up with our confession. This brings glory to God by proving all of His promises are true!
If you read 2 Corinthians 1:20 in context, the power of all of Christ's promises being true happens in COMMUNITY, i.e. not in isolation. The chapter starts out with the verses of comforting others because God himself has comforted us. And then right after verse 20, Paul says that God has made "both us and you stand firm", that "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come".
You will not realize God's promises isolating your sorrow from everyone around you. You realize them by opening up, mourning, connecting, comforting others and receiving God's comfort through others.
Loneliness is not a promise of God. Life to the full is His promise, John 10:10. Suffering is part of our walk with Christ. It's pathway is to lead us to comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:5.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed with grief, what bold steps can you take to admit the sorrow? I have prayed God sends intervention and lights a path in front of you, showing you godly people that will comfort you. If you are reading this, please stop and pray in agreement for God's intervention for those overwhelmed by sorrow.
As I sum things up, of course the main message from this ministry to you is always, "talk to Jesus". Open up. Ask Him to help you access your feelings, especially if you don't feel anything at all. Challenge yourself to come into His presence to admit the anger, upset, sorrow, confusion. I urge you to use the podcast episodes to practice developing intimacy with Him on these levels. Find the link to your podcast provider on our host page (scroll down to the "Listen on" column).
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Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"