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Accountability… Who Needs It?

My heart hurts, I have a knot in my throat, and I want to cry.


I’ve just learned that a dear friend–one I haven’t talked to in a long time–is now leading a self-destructive lifestyle.


My heart hurts for her. I never would have imagined this. I saw a picture of her today and she looked…totally different from what I remember.



I know she is responsible–as are each of us–for our actions, but I’ve got to wonder… Where where her friends–myself included, her family, her pastor? Did anyone talk to her about the road she was headed? Did anyone even bother to ask her what was wrong? Even more, did she seek out help? Did she feel safe enough to say she was hurting? Did she…?


Dear one, I don’t know the answers to any of those questions. But it certainly reminds me of experiences in my life when I was hurting. Divorce. Depression. Trauma. Illness. Did anyone approach me and ask what was wrong? Did anyone say, “I’ve noticed you are having a difficult time. Do you want to talk about it?” Did my pastors counsel and encourage me? Even more, did I seek out help? Did I feel safe enough to say I was hurting? Did I take down my mask of seeming perfection and share my struggles with trusted friends? Did I…?


Some of these answers might be, “Yes.” Others might be, “No.” And yet others might be, “Kinda.”


Regardless, silence prolongs pain–mine, my friend’s and yours.


“When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long” (Psalm 32:3).



I know it can be awkward to approach someone about their personal struggles, but wouldn’t we want the same?


“Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (Galatians 6:1).



Dear ones, we are not meant to fight our battles alone.


“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble” (Proverbs 17:17).


“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).



If you are hurting, reach out to someone–a friend, family member, coworker, pastor, or a counselor.


If you see someone hurting, reach out. Please come alongside them. Please love them. A hurting person is just that–a real person, someone’s son or daughter, someone’s husband or wife, someone’s friend–God’s creation.


None of us is exempt from suffering. None of us is exempt from temptation. None of us is exempt from falling (1 Corinthians 10:12).


Accountability… Who needs it? We all do.


Come alongside… Are you hurting? What steps can you take to reach out? Do you know someone who is hurting? How can you reach out to them? Will you forward this post to them? Will you love them?


Music to Encourage You to Open Up


Cheerleaders or Killjoys

This week, my husband and I sat on the sidelines of two Christmas parades.


  • Floats.
  • Cheerleaders.
  • School bands.
  • Local businesses.
  • Community organizations.



As the parade progressed, some on the side lines cheered. Others jeered.



I thought of my parade through life.  Who sits on my sideline?



Cheerleaders or killjoys?



Do they applaud, encourage, and motivate me to move forward in my life?


Do they boost me up, energize, inspire, and rally around me?




Do they spoil the pleasure and joy in me?


Do they dampen my spirit, discourage, or hinder me?



Cheerleaders or killjoys?



Even more… Who am I on the sideline of others’ parades through life?



Cheerleader or killjoy?



Do I applaud, encourage, and motivate them to move forward in their lives?


Do I boost them up, energize, inspire, and rally around them?




Do I spoil the pleasure and joy in them?


Do I dampen their spirit, discourage, or hinder them?


Cheerleader or killjoy?


I want to be a cheerleader. I want to encourage others daily (Hebrews 3:13). I want to affirm them more and more as we all approach the end of our parades (Hebrews 10:25). I want to keep building them up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). I want to comfort them (Isaiah 40:1).


And I want those types of people on my sidelines.


Cheerleaders, not killjoys.


Come alongside… Which one are you? What type of person do you have on the sideline of your life? Who can you comfort today? What can you do to change?

Opportunity knocks, but will God open?

God closed a door today.


A little part of me expected it, but a bigger part of me wanted it badly. I still do.


If I’m honest, the opportunity has consumed me over the past several months:

  • I’ve talked about it without end.
  • I’ve daydreamed about it.
  • I’ve dreamed about it.
  • And I’ve talked about it some more.


Surely this is God’s best for me. How could it not be?


But during the past several months, a little voice nagged at me.


Is it really God’s best?


As the months crawled by, I noticed more and more red flags about the opportunity. Still, I wanted it–like a newborn baby reaches for her bottle.


Today, God confirmed my misgivings: He closed that door.


The moment I learned of the opportunity, I stepped out in faith but prayed for God’s best for me. If it was not His best, I did not want it–regardless of the disappointment. He would help me process any sadness; of that, I’m certain. But I did not want to risk walking outside His plan for me.


Today, I learned that opportunity was not part of His plan for me.


This evening, my husband helped me talk through my disappointment. I melted in his arms and cried.


“I wanted it badly.”


He hugged me tighter, and as he did, an encouraging voice from above soothed my soul.


“I have something better.”


The man holding me in his arms was living proof. At that very moment, God used my husband of four months–the one He sent to me, the one holding me in his arms–to remind me that every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17). He brings His best at exactly the right time.



I will continue to process my feelings. But deep down, I sense another door will soon open. God is about to do a brand-new thing. It has already begun, and I’m starting to see it unfold (Isaiah 43:19).


His best is on the horizon.


Come alongside…Have you wanted something so badly that it hurt? How has God responded? How can the verses above help you trust in God’s timing and best for you?

If I text him, he will answer… Won’t he?

After not having my cell phone for two days, I decided I needed to catch up on texting my boyfriend, the love of my life. So once I got my cell phone, I thought I could just get to exercising my thumbs again on the number pad. Not so. First, I had to manually enter my boyfriend’s number because it hadn’t transferred on the memory card from my old cell phone. Not a problem. His was the only phone number I actually knew from memory. (Sorry, mom and dad.) So once I programmed his number, I could move on to texting….


(Oh, some back-story first: My boyfriend had been traveling for work going on 8 weeks, and he was due back that weekend. Earlier in the week, we talked about a story he had written.)


Day 1

  • 10:23 am — Sweetheart, got your message. How I love you, my prince! Can’t wait to read your story. 🙂
  • 1:53pm — Oh, love. How I miss you.
  • 10:27pm — My love… Thank you for all your love and support.


Day 2

  • 6:57am –Benj, my prince… Have a God-filled day, my love, my spiritual leader.
  • 8:34am — Mi amado, cuanto te extraño. Te veo pronto, mi querido. Tuya siempre, Daphne
  • 5:53pm — Hi, sweetness. How I love you!
  • REPLY: 5:55pm — Who is this???? I do not know u
  • 5:57pm — Huh?
  • 5:58pm — Sorry. Wrong number.
  • 6pm — So, so sorry.
  • 6:01pm — Hi, my love. Got something funny to tell ya. :p


Aah, yes…. I accidentally entered a 3 as the last digit, instead of an 8. Sigh. No wonder the love of my life didn’t respond to any of my text messages. No wonder he didn’t mention any of them in any of our conversations throughout the day or at the end of the first night during our usual goodnight conversation. No wonder I felt ignored. No wonder.


Many times, I’ve felt that God has ignored my cries for help as well, dear one. I keep telling Him how much I need Him, how much I love Him and how much I’m struggling – be it physically, emotionally, in relationships, you name it, but I don’t see Him responding. It seems I’m the only one talking, nothing’s changing, and He’s turned His back on me. Who is this? I don’t know you.


But God does know me. And He does knows you, dear one. While we are still speaking, He hears us (Isaiah 65:24). Our cries come before Him and into His ears (Psalm 18:6), and He accepts our prayers (Psalms 6:9). He will not reject us or withhold His love from us (Psalm 66:20). He is near to all those who call on Him, to all those who call on Him with all their hearts (Psalm 145:18). Who is this? Aah, yes… My child.


Prayer: “Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:7-8).



Come alongside…. When have you felt ignored by God? How did you handle it? What Biblical truth can you apply when you feel that way again?


Are we beyond help?

“I would love to talk to someone. I have so many problems. Sometimes, I think I’m beyond help.” That was the response of a Facebook friend to one of my recent posts that I was sharing my testimony at an upcoming recovery event. My friend had asked what the recovery was for. I replied with an explanation of the 12-step program, which led to her comment above.


I don’t know her very well, dear ones, but I admire her. Her first two sentences reveal that she admits she has problems, she can’t fix them on her own, and she’s willing to talk to someone about them. Reaching out takes courage. And on Facebook – on someone else’s wall whom you don’t know too well, I’d say that takes extra courage.


Her last sentence, though, troubled me. Not because I’ve never heard or felt that way myself but because I’ve heard those words all too often from so many people. Once, twice, maybe multiple times in my life, I have felt like a hopeless cause. I remember feeling that way specifically when my husband asked for a divorce. I felt he was giving up on me, that I would never change, and that there was no reason to keep waiting for our marriage to change. I thought I was beyond help.


I felt that way again last year when I was on medical leave from work for six months and my health continued its slippery decline. Medications just kept making things worse. Again, I thought I was beyond help.


No doubt the invalid at the pool of Bethesda felt the same way (see John 5:1-15). He wanted to be healed or else he wouldn’t have been waiting for the waters to be stirred so he could be the first to jump in. But he’d also been there 38 years. So when Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well,” his reply was – now this is the Daphne paraphrase – “I think I’m beyond help” (verse 7).


But he wasn’t. I wasn’t. My friend isn’t. And you are not. God made the invalid well. God has made me well. He can make my friend well, and He can make you well too. No matter how long you’ve been hurting, dear one, God longs to show you compassion (Isaiah 30:18). We are not beyond His help (Psalm 46:1). We are not beyond His outstretched arms (Psalm 136:12). We are not beyond His love (Jeremiah 31:3).



Come alongside…. When have you felt beyond help? What did you do to reach out? Are you there now? What can you do to reach out – to others and to God?


Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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