Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Olympic Boyfriend: Falling in love with a dream

While watching the Olympics tonight, somehow my husband and I got on the topic of falling in love. 

It's amazing how enamored society gets with the Olympics, but more so, with the Olympian athletes.  There is something very appealing about these young men and women.  Hard working, dedicated, fit, good looking athletes who are in the national spotlight.  There is something just so "dreamy" about them, isn't there?  The truth is, my husband and I know people who are completely obsessed with these people on TV, cheering for them, following them, supporting them, and ultimately idolizing them.  People who have pretty much fallen "in love" with these celebrity athletes from a distance.  Athletes and celebrities, movie stars and musicians, story characters...and even coworkers.  People are falling in love with them every single day. 

I think there is something about the invisible that makes it attractive, something about the unknown that is appealing.  Something about keeping people at a distance, that makes us want them even more... 

Which explains why so many men and women today are falling in love with a dream.  Someone that doesn't really exist.  Taking the character of someone they don't really know and adding the story they created that doesn't really exist.  Falling in love with a dream, falling in love with an idea, falling in love with a lie. 

The dangerous thing about this concept is that it is not contained within the walls of innocent Hollywood crushes.  It goes beyond that, and begins to take the form of fantasy in other areas of life.  Fantasy in living in what could be, rather than living in the reality of what actually is. 

From pornography, to affairs, to toxic relationships.  In each of these you will find men and women, imprisoned within the confines of a dream.  Stuck in a life they make up with people who don't actually exist...

The married man who glances at the beautiful office secretary, mentally engaging in a relationship with her...forgetting her flaws, neglecting her deficits...

The housewife, trapped in the fantasy and excitement of her romance novels, leaving her own reality behind...

The young woman stuck in an abusive marriage, making excuses and living for the dream of who he could be rather than acknowledging who he actually is....

The young man, fascinated by the beautiful images on his computer screen, growing numb to the beauty of the real woman in his life...

There is something powerful about living in a dream, but there is something even more paralyzing about it. 

When we live in a dream, we lose sight of what's real. We exchange our realities for something that can never actually exist.  We live for what could be, and end up missing what really is.  And in the end...we are led into disappointment, disillusionment, and destruction.   

We set ourselves up for failure by seeking to find this thing that doesn't actually exist, setting expectations that cannot actually be met by ourselves much less anyone else. 

When we live in a dream, we stop really living.  

Though it might not be as easy as a Hollywood romance, real life and real relationships are well worth the investment.  With the help of God's grace, forgiveness, and selflessness...they can flourish into far greater than a simple dream, because they can become your magnificent reality.   

Close your eyes to the temptation of fantasy, and instead, allow yourself to be freed into the reality of the here and now.  Allow yourself to truly live. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Real Relationships: Waiting on God vs. Dating

"I've heard it said you should wait on God.  Should I "wait on God" to find me a spouse, or should I get out there and date?"

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

So, what does it really mean to wait on God?  I received this question recently, and it made me stop and think.  Though I'm now married, I remember going through these exact thought processes during my single years.  But beyond that, I think I've found myself back and forth between the pendulum of waiting on God my entire life with pretty much every major decision I've had to make.

Finding a mate.
Searching for a college.
Pursuing a career.
Living in the right place.
Joining the right church.

I've always found it hard to know what it practically means to wait on God.  Do you just sit around and wait?  Twiddling your thumbs?  Praying 12 hours a day?  Memorizing Scripture, or better yet, looking for secret codes in bible verses?  I remember a season in my life in which I would open my bible to any random page, look through the words and hope I could find a secret message from God.  Hoping He would help me out a bit, give me some direction.  Waiting on God may include some of these things...but...

What does it really mean to wait on God?  How does that look in our day to day lives?

More than anything, waiting on God is a state of the heart.  It's an emotional place of peace, security, and trust.  It's an internal acknowledgement that He is in control, that He cares, and that His plans for my life are good...really, really, good.  It's living with an awareness of His goodness, and living with confidence, not afraid of the obstacles that might come our way.  When we wait, we acknowledge that there is a level of power that is beyond us.  More than we can do.  And we rest in the peace that He is filling in the details.

But waiting on God does not mean that we live passive lives...waiting for Him to magically bring that job, that spouse, that college or career to our doorstep.  It requires the ability to "do" in the here and now, with an emotional realization that our future has already been "done".  We need to pursue these thing we want, though we should never be consumed with these things.

So, in light of dating, what does that mean?  It means...get to know people!  But more importantly, get to know yourself.  Find out who you are and what you need in a significant other, and then take the time to interact with people who meet those standards.  Don't be afraid to invest in people- but remember- you will never lose or have regrets if you give only what they earn from you.  So give slowly.  Give wisely.  Give maturely.  Give with discretion.     

But most importantly, give your heart to the One who knows more about it than you do.  Let Him have your emotional world as you seek to discover your physical world.  Do your best...and He'll take care of all the rest. 

For more on this check out:  Fake Faith: The Myth of Waiting on God


Sunday, July 22, 2012

5 Lies I wish I'd known while Dating:

Oh, the things I would change if I could go back in time.  I'm sure we've all felt that way at some point or another.  For me in particular, the whole area of love and relationships is one that I wish I could go back and "tweek".  There was so much that I wish I would have known, so much I wish I could have done differently, so many lies I wish I wouldn't have believed.  But I can't go back...and you know what, that's okay.

Because through the process of finding true love I've learned a lot.  My eyes have been opened to a lot of the beliefs that hindered me through my dating years and through that process have been able to encourage others.  The following myths have done a lot of harm in the lives of many young adults, mine included.  Let me tell you what I've learned:   

1.  If you're too picky you'll never get married:  A while back (and I'm talking...a long while back), I had a dozen roses shipped to my house by a guy who had taken an interest in me.  Not sure if it was my frizzy hair or bad make-up that attracted him (you ever look back at those pictures and wonder how you ever walked out of the house looking like that :)  Anyway, it was a sweet gesture from a decent young man, but to be frank, I wasn't interested.  Thankfully, I was at a healthy place in life and it didn't take long for me to know that he wasn't the right fit for me. So, rather than prolong the whole thing, I told him. 

I'll never forget this day, because at the end of the conversation he made sure to tell me that I would be an old maid some day with how picky I was about dating.  Now granted, he may have spoken out of his disappointment, but the truth is, he isn't the first person who said that to me during my dating years.  I can count numerous men and women who have uttered those words in my presence, whether geared toward me or someone I know.  People I love and trusted, who really believed that you could miss out on marriage by being too choosy.  Seriously?  Since when is taking the time to make the biggest decision you will ever make in your life considered picky?

Looking back, they were ALL wrong- and I'm thankful for it.  I am so glad I didn't settle, and waited for God to send me the man who is not perfect....but perfect for me.  He's the right fit, and I knew it in my heart more and more each day as we dated.  It was natural, it was easy, it was for real.  Don't let yourself believe this lie, and trust your heart.  Because marriage is a decision you live with for the rest of your life.

2.  You should only date towards marriage:  I used to be a firm believer of this.  You know, the days of reading books about "courtship" and "kissing dating goodbye".  But, eventually, my misinterpretation of it got me in trouble.

There was a season in my life that I really looked down on the concept of "dating around" and thought that if I was going to date someone, I better be pretty darn sure I was going to marry them in the end.  Because ultimately, that's the goal, right?

But deep down, the fear of failing in a relationship was actually driving me...and the fear of failure can be a very paralyzing thing.  For me, it paralyzed me into staying in a relationship that I knew wasn't right for me...for far too long.  Just because I was afraid to fail.

Looking back, I see failure after failure in my relationship history.  But I still see God's hand all over my past.  He comforted me, guided me, stretched me, and taught me more than I realized then.  So even when relationships don't work out in the end, it's not simply failure.  Sometimes, it's fate, freedom, and a future that's far beyond your scope in the here and now. 

3.  All the "good ones" are already taken:  Some people fall on the totally opposite end of being "too picky".  I've had the unfortunate opportunity to interact with men and women dating some pretty unqualified - that's an understatement- individuals...all because they think it's the best they can get.

People tend to end up with someone who they believe they deserve..and sadly, for some people, their view of themselves causes them to think they deserve very little.

I look back at some of the people I invested in, and see a sad reflection of the view I had of myself.  I'm thankful that God slowly transformed that view, allowing me to believe I deserve...not just good, but the best.

Change your beliefs about yourself...and then wait for the best.       

4.  Getting into a dating relationship will "ruin" your friendship:  This phrase is used to often in the dating world, but now that I'm married, I don't even really know what that means.  Here are some thoughts I have about this phrase:

You're supposed to marry your best friend.  Someone you connect with deeply on an emotional, spiritual, social and physical level.  A friend who you can laugh with, talk to til 4am, and cry with...but also have the freedom to do absolutely nothing with.  So, if you have that with someone of the opposite sex...maybe the friendship is the first step of something bigger.  That's the best case scenario.

Worst case scenario, a friendship doesn't ever blossom into the stage of romantic feelings...and the friendship changes.  In my opinion, that's still a good thing.

Let me explain.  When I got married, the friendships I had with the opposite sex changed drastically anyway.  When he became my priority, I had to guard my marriage by setting up boundaries with guys...and distancing myself to an extent.  They were no longer carrying the role they used to carry, because they were not my husband.  He was the only man that was to carry certain roles in my life.  So like it or not, your friendships with the opposite sex will always change...either now, or later when you meet your soul mate.  The deep friendship you have with your spouse should never be shared with someone else.  If your friendship changes's less you have to deal with later.   

5.  Marriage will solve your dating problems:  I meet people all the time who think the issues and arguments that keep tripping them up in dating will magically disappear when they are married.

But for some reason this rule is never applied to other things in life.  Things are what they are, and we expect them to stay that way.  "It is what it is" has never been more accurate than it is in the world of dating.

When I meet with couples in marriage counseling, so much of the time the things that they are dealing with, the traits are driving them crazy, the habits that they can't seem to get control of are all things that began to take root even in their dating years.  Things they ignored, things they wished away, things they made excuses for.  Fast forward 5, 10, 15 years and these things are magnified more than ever.  Marriage is the pressure cooker that brings them to the surface. 

So, don't rush marriage as the solution, but seek to find the solutions in your dating relationship- if a solution is to be found, it will be there.  Because at the end of the day, "it is what it is".  So make sure it's good.

Dating is a great season to get to know yourself and to experience relationships with others in hopes of finding true love.  Don't let these lies hold you back, but strive to achieve a healthy perspective.  Trust God first and then trust your heart.  The truth will be right around the corner. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Real Relationships: How Deep Are You? Three Levels of Communication

Proverbs 24:26
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.


It's a pretty big deal to most people and one that I've received a lot of questions about.  It's essentially what relationships are made of- but ironically, it's the one thing many people have no idea how to do.

I once read an article by my good friend and coworker Steve, describing levels of communication.  I loved it so much that I use my own form of this model in a lot of my counseling appointments. 

You see, to every relationship there will always be the potential for three levels of communication. 

Level 1- Facts:  This is the by far the easiest level.  It's the form of communication that focuses in on the facts, and zooms out on the self.  It's one that is so basic that it can involve even a complete stranger.  "What's the weather like outside?"  "What did you do today?"  "Who won last night's game"  It comes in the form of superficial facts- the who, what, where, when, and why's of your life.  No vulnerability, no depth, just facts. 

Level 2- Ideas: Level 2 takes you a little deeper.  It's a little more of you involved in the conversation because it acknowledges your opinions and your ideas.  Your likes and dislikes.  It's a little harder to engage in this kind of communication, unless you feel some sort of power within a relationship.  Because in level 2, you are letting down your guard just a tiny bit more.  Instead of just talking about last night's score, you talk share about your favorite team.  Instead of just telling the facts about your day, you share your hopes and dreams for tomorrow.   

Level 3- Feelings:   I think this is my favorite level.  It makes sense though.  As a counselor, I find myself engaging in level 3 hour upon hour with my clients and their families.  Level 3 is the deepest level, digging right into the heart.  It's the part of communication that digs through the surface of level 1, and then burrows into the depths of level 2 until it finds it's way to the most vulnerable place of all.  It takes a lot to identify and acknowledge feelings.  And it takes even more to share them.  Fear, embarrassment, insecurity.  Joy, excitement, surprise.  Sadness, anger, and hurt. 

This is the level that most relationships are missing.  This is the level of which most communication is lacking. 

It's amazing how many clients I see who identify that they've never really engaged in level 3 with their loved ones.  That it's awkward and uncomfortable, unnatural and difficult. 

But in order for relationships to be significant you have to go deep.  And in order to go deep in have to do the work.

Don't get me wrong.  You can't live in Level 3.  I know sometimes I wish I could.  My husband will sometimes joke with me after a long conversation filled with "feelings" talk that we've been in level 3 way too long and that it's "Time to come up for air, Deb..."

But you know what, he's so right.  Level 3 can be exhausting if you don't have balance.  Sometimes you have to come back up to level one, because that's what life is made of essentially.  A healthy relationship knows the value of every level of communication, and will work it's way through the levels all throughout the day.   

So go grab your loved one, and practice digging deep into the 3 levels of communication.

Happy Talking :)

*Send in your Real Relationship questions to to get your question answered in the series before it ends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Real Relationships: Is it okay for a woman to initiate a relationship?

Ephesians 5:21
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ...

I received a great question for the Real Relationship series I'm writing, by a young woman wondering whether or not she should share her feelings with a young man she has feelings for and can see a potential for a future other words, is it okay for the girl to initiate? 

Maybe I like this question so much because it is one that I have struggled with in my dating years...up until I met the man I married.  I pretty much grew up with the belief that a woman should never initiate a relationship, that the man should be the one to step up, take charge, and be a leader when it comes to discussing these sort of things.  It was the "Elisabeth Elliot" mentality (though I love that woman's heart, old fashioned as she sometimes may be!) that gives the man this role from the start of the relationship and all the way through. 

I think there is something truly romantic about this way of thinking.  Deep down most women have a desire to be swept off their feet, and into the arms of a man professing his undying love for them.  It's the fairy tale story in which we are pursued and chivalry is eternal.  I think deep down we all think we want this kind of relationship, in which the man leads the way with emotions, and the woman follows suit.  It's what Hollywood movies are made of.

But to be honest, I think it sounds better than it actually feels.

Let me explain.  I used to believe I wanted a "take charge" kind of man who initiated our relationship, our spiritual life, and pretty much the direction of our entire relationship and marriage.  Sometimes called a "leader" I think I misinterpreted the definition of that word, as though it translated into "boss".

My actual marriage is very much different than what I imagined it would be.  You see, I had a certain picture in my mind because of all the dating books I had read in which the man "led the way" and "took charge".  But to be honest, as I grew and matured I realized that my personality would never lend to such a one-sided relationship.

I'm not married to a "take charge kind" of man, but I AM married to a "leader" in every way.  We have a relationship in which we are both equal parts to the equation: challenging each other, correcting each other, sharpening each other, encouraging each other and "submitting to one another".  We have a mutual relationship- respecting and honoring each other as equals...

And I see the roots of this stemming back to our dating relationship.  Let me remind you: what you see in dating, you will 100% of the time see later in marriage.  We both shared our feelings with one another- I remember initiating the initial conversation about our relationship, and he followed suit with words and then with action.  We kept communication open the whole way through, and that's really important when it comes to dating.

So the short answer to this question is (in my humble opinion): yes, it's okay to share your feelings if, and only if:

1.  You have prayed a LOT about this relationship and feel the Lord's leading.
2.  You see lots of healthy things in the person that you are interested in.
3.  You have felt interest on their part toward you: (Ask yourself, why HASN'T he initiated up to this point?)
4.  You are okay with getting the answer "no" because that is always a huge possibility.  (And then you are okay with letting it go after that rather than making excuses to bring it up again in 2 months...just to "see where he's at now")
5.  You understand that how you act, react, and interact through dating is very indicative of how you will act, react, and interact in marriage.

And on a side note, if you are planning on initiating a conversation- you better expect a response.  It doesn't matter who starts the relationship with the first word, but it does matter that both people are continuing the relationship through their actions, feelings, and words from that point forward.  

Hope that helps, and thanks for the awesome questions.  Keep them coming at, with "Real Relationships" in the subject line.  

*For a biblical example of this, check out the story of Ruth...  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Real Relationships: How Do you Deal with Insecurities in a Relationship- Part II

We're discussing one reader's relationship question of how to deal with insecurities in a marriage or relationship.

Last post explained that the first step in getting rid of insecurities is dealing with Yourself and your negative beliefs.

But the second step is dealing with Your Partner.  This is by far the harder component of the two because it involves a person whose behavior is ultimately not in your control.

When you're in a healthy relationship, trust is something that is built and continues to grow as it is earned.  You give the opportunity for trust to develop by communicating with your spouse, sharing your hearts, feelings, needs and desires.  They earn trust by responding to these things and reciprocating.  You share your boundaries and wishes, and they uphold them out of love and respect.  You strive to meet their needs and they strive to meet yours...putting each other first.  It's the way Jesus taught us to love.  When there is trust in a relationship, there you will also find freedom.  Not jealousy, not control, not selfishness, not manipulation...but freedom. 

But what happens in a relationship when trust is shaken?  Though many times our insecurities in a relationship stem from our own skewed perspectives and fears, sometimes our insecurities take root because of the actions and behaviors of our partners.  Boundaries are crossed, promises are broken, and feelings are disregarded or disrespected- bringing pain and heartache along side. 

It's  normal for these kind of actions to cause a breech in trust...and for cracks to begin to form in the relationship- because the foundation for any relationship is trust.  

I once got an email from a man who was worried about the boundaries his wife was displaying with another guy.  To some, it may have seemed innocent, but to him it was crossing the line and he was worried about their marriage.   He wasn't sure what to do and he felt that with each passing day of not doing anything, the gap between him and his wife was beginning to grow. 

I encouraged him to share these feelings with his talk to her about what was hurting him, and to get vulnerable with her.  He couldn't control her actions, but he could genuinely communicate his needs and desires, and give her a chance to respond accordingly.  That sounds easy, but for some people that is tough stuff.  They are afraid of sounding weak, silly, needy...or insecure, and in their desire to mask their pain they allow their silence to cause damage that may have been prevented had they shared their heart.

Change is possible...when you give it a chance. 

But sometimes, no matter what you say or how you ask...things don't change.  Boundaries continue to be stretched beyond the limit and promises broken.  Trust cannot be maintained in this environment, and insecurities may be a symptom of a larger problem in a relationship.  When this is the case maybe it's time to consider getting therapy...if both parties are willing.

And if not, maybe it's time for you to seek help on your learn how to set boundaries that you can control and react to these kind of behaviors in a way that is not enabling to your partner.

You can never control your partner...but you can always control how you react.  Insecurity is a poison, and it isn't something that should be tolerated.

Deal with it by setting limits with yourself...and setting limits within your relationship. 

Don't forget to send your relationship questions to with the title "Real Relationships" in the subject line to take part in these question/answer posts!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Real Relationships: How do you deal with Insecurities in a Relationship?


How do you deal with insecurities in a marriage?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the next few posts will be focused on answering some of your questions about relationships (marriage, dating, and pretty much any relationship topics.).  I've asked my readers to write me with any relationship questions they want answered or discussed through this series.  This was one of the first questions submitted for the "Real Relationships" series and I want to start with it because it's a question that a lot of people deal with in relationships- whether married or dating.

Insecurity is the seed of discontent.  It's like a poison that seeps into a person's heart and mind and begins to fill them with confusion and doubt and fools them into believing they have no control.  I think it's a poison that we have all dealt with at some point, because it attacks in so many areas of our lives- relationships included.

I want to tackle this question by looking at two components to insecurity within a relationship: Yourself and Your Significant Other. 

Yourself:  What kind of counselor would I be if I didn't start a topic like this with the most influential person you will ever know-yourself.  So much of insecurity can only be dealt with by looking inward at your heart.  There comes a point to which no matter what your partner does or doesn't do...insecurity can still thrive, if the seed of it inside your heart has not been removed.  So you have to start there.

A lot of our insecurities as human beings stem back from our wrong beliefs about who we are.  Wrong beliefs can be placed on us from the time we are children and all through our adulthood by parents, friends, family, sinfulness, and even ourselves.  These beliefs shape the core of our view of self, and in turn how we act, and react to the world around us.  They are the filter that take in our reality, and if our filter is dirty...everything we see will be blemished as well.

When we live with insecurities, we can and will interpret anything and everything with a negative perspective.  This can taint the relationships that we are in, causing us to assume that our partner cannot be trusted, or has negative intent...when really, the culprit is our tainted views of ourselves.

I knew someone who had a really hard time with this.  She struggled with insecurities and negative thoughts and feelings about herself from her weight to her looks to her personality deficits and character flaws.  She magnified these weaknesses and eventually began to believe others did so as well.  These things slowly began creeping into her relationship with her husband, and she began to interpret all his actions as putting the spotlight on her insecurities, though he was only trying to encourage her and help her grow.  These interactions began to ware on their relationship and formed a barrier of mistrust and doubt between them.

I don't want to oversimplify such an important topic, because it's not like a person can just wish these negative thoughts and feelings away and like magic they are gone.  Years of negative build up might take years of removal...but with God's help, and our efforts...miracles really can happen- even in our emotional worlds. 

The process of dealing with our insecurities takes self-reflection, lots of it...and hard work.   Work to identify and then replace these negative thoughts and beliefs with the particular, God's truth.  It takes some serious energy to actually start believing this stuff, and seeing ourselves from the perspective that God wants us to be seen. 

For some, these insecurities run deep, and the help of a professional counselor is necessary.  For others, surrounding yourself with people who will speak encouragement into your life, getting real with your beliefs about ourselves, and starting to open our eyes to how God sees you will be the first steps in the process  You are valuable and worthwhile, according to Him...and it's time to find that out for yourself (Genesis 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Romans 8:1, Psalm 139, Matthew 10:31...).

Start dealing with yourself and your own insecurities as the first step...because at the end of the day, you are the only thing that you can control.   

*I'll tackle the next step to dealing with insecurities in my next post: Your Partner

Friday, July 6, 2012

Real Relationships:

I'm really honored and excited about the attention both these blog posts and my magazine articles are receiving lately.  Not surprisingly, topics having to do with relationships (marriage, dating, etc.) have been a huge hit.

There is something about relationships and connecting with others that hits the core of who we are as human beings.  Our God is one of love...and in order for love to exist, relationships must be present.  We are drawn to relationships, ultimately, because we are drawn to a God who made us to connect in such a way. 

With regard to relationships, my readers have bombarded my email inbox with questions and thoughts in response to the articles they have read both here on my blog and via Relevant MagazineSome of the stories you have shared and questions you have asked have both inspired, moved, and challenged me, and I want to expand on some of that feedback.

In light of this, I'm starting a relationship series called "Real Relationships".  For the next few months, my articles and posts will be commenting on some of my readers questions on relationships and I will be answering through the lens of my personal life and love, as well as my experience as a professional counselor.

If you're interested in taking part in this series and potentially having your question answered or thoughts shared, email me at, with the title "Real Relationships" in the subject line, so I know that I have permission to share your thoughts or question.  All things shared will be anonymous, unless you specify in your email that you'd like to be mentioned.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog via email or follow me on Twitter (@DebFileta) to keep up with the latest thoughts and questions!

I'm excited to hear from you, and dig even deeper into some of these topics.  God has thought up a marvelous design for relationships, and hopefully through this series we can each align our lives and relationships a little more in tune with His plans. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

What To Do With Your Pain:

Matthew 9:21
"She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."

I was reading this passage in Matthew 9 last night, and was struck by the faith of this woman.  I never thought about her condition before, but in other passages of scripture it describes her as a woman with a bleeding disorder, who had been bleeding for years upon years.  This was not a small thing.  I don't know why but I never before realized the struggle that this must have been for her.

I can only imagine the debilitation of such a disorder in the time where modern medicine and medical conveniences didn't exist.  Just getting out of her house must have been a feat, much less taking the time to find and follow this man who claimed to be able to heal and forgive.

She believed that she would find comfort in the presence of Jesus, and she did whatever it took to get close to Him.  It may have cost her embarrassment, humiliation, and shame- but she sought after it as though it were her final hope.  And ultimately, it was. 

That's faith. 

Faith that was recognized by Jesus. 

I can't say that I understand the struggles and difficulties that come with severe and chronic illness, but I do understand pain.  I may not have experienced physical pain like so many have, but I have definitely experienced emotional pain, relational pain, and sometimes even spiritual pain.

I was struck by the faith of this woman...because I know what it feels like to be in pain and need a healer.  But it's easy to want healing...and a whole other thing to seek it out.

I am challenged by her diligence, and her drive to find Jesus, to follow Him, and to touch Him.  I want that for my life.  You see, I believe He has the power to heal, to cleanse, to fill...but I fail to seek Him, to follow Him, and to touch Him in my life.

I want that kind of faith.  A faith that doesn't just believe...but one that acts on my beliefs.  

Maybe you too are dealing with some sort of pain in your life, in need of a healing touch.  Maybe your strength is gone, your body is weak, and your mind is confused.  Maybe you believe in a God who can heal, comfort, and transform...and take that pain.

Be diligent to find Him, to follow Him, and to touch Him.  Make time for Him in your day and invite Him into your pain.  Let your beliefs bring you close to the God who heals...and allow yourself to be made new in His presence.