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THANKSGIVING (SONG OF SONGS) Lesson 16.

Ephraiminthefall HOW BLESSED I AM TO LIVE IN THIS IDYLLIC VILLAGE. EVERY DAY IT SPEAKS TO ME OF THE GLORY OF GOD AND FILLS ME WITH AWE FOR MY CREATOR.

Luci Shaw said, “God has given us two great books: creation and Scripture — and they speak about one another. I see it in the rising sun each morning, as it floods the bay with color, and I think of Psalm 19 and a Bridegroom coming out of his pavilion. I see it in the changing seasons, and think of the complete faithfulness of God. I see it in the forget-me-nots that blanket the woods in the spring and I think of how the prophets cry that we have forgotten Him.

This week is Thanksgiving week, and we will spend the week in giving thanks, often taking a picture from The Song of Songs, reflect on how it is a metaphor for a spiritual truth, and use it as a springboard for prayer. I’ve kept it short, for I know it is a busy week.

I also want to hear your testimonies. To prime the pump, here are a few:

I have always been taught The Song of Songs is only about love/marriage between husband and wife. A veil has been lifted and made me see God’s love in a whole new light…. He calls me to come away with Him, come away from idols, from the false safety blankets I have clung to for so long…

Staci from The Netherlands

 

Until now I had always hoped that He loved me, but now I know…       

Deanna from Ohio

 

 Does Jesus love me? I have been contemplating this question as my “sorrows like sea billows roll,” I have come to see that this question is KEY. Do I believe that He loves me, desires me, even when suffering does not make sense and every alternative is dark? The Song of Songs keeps telling me He does.       

Diane from Canada

 

In the past, I clung to His love to survive.  Now, I’m letting Him hold me, rather than grasping in desperation.  I’m seeing that He really does delight in me — that’s what is still soaking in.  Something else that made a difference:  getting to the end of myself.  Even when I don’t have the energy to hold on, He is holding on to me.

Renee from South Dakota

 

It seems somewhat ironic, that in beginning this study, I was pretty unsure of SOS, i.e., unsure of its poetic nature (not really my thing), unsure of the differing opinions related to SOS, unsure of what the Lord might be up to in having us study this book.  Now nearing the end, I see myself as a different follower of Christ as a result of this study.

Nancy J from Wisconsin

 

SUNDAY/MONDAY

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Share a sentence of Thanksgiving for The Song of Songs with a specific way it is impacting you.

TUESDAY

Our own Elizabeth found this video of Mike Reeves, to whom we have listened so often. It is short, and I think it is a good review, and that you will enjoy it. Watch it today or sometime this week and comment: Link

COMMENT ON THE ABOVE VIDEO:

 

The Bridegroom comes to the maiden “like a gazelle or a young stag leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.” (The Song of Songs 2:8-9)

deer-5

 John of the Cross likened the above to the swiftness with which our Lord shows and hides himself. He usually visits devout souls to gladden and liven them, and then leaves them in order to try, humble, and teach them.”

3. What do you see in this image? And how has the Lord come to you in The Song of Songs? How has He surprised you recently?

4. Use this image as a springboard for praise.

Wednesday

figtreeThe prophets use the land as a parallel to the state of our hearts. Isaiah tells of a vineyard with bitter fruit. Ezekiel writes of hearts of stone. Yet there is coming a day when the fig tree will no longer be cursed, when the dry land will blossom, when we will have hearts of flesh, and when the winter will be past and the time of singing will come. (Song of Songs 2:7)

5. What do you see in this image? How is God making you more fruitful? And what do you look forward to most when all the effects of the fall are reversed?

6. Use this image as a springboard for praise.

Thanksgiving Day! (And let it go into Friday as well — keep thanking Him)

At our table we always ask, “What are you thankful for this year, that you could not have been thankful for last year?” Usually even children can answer this, if they are old enough to understand the difference between this year and last. I also want to break this down so that you go beyond being thankful for visible things, though those are important as well. Here we go — and I’ll answer each here personally to prime the pump:

7. What visible thing are you thankful for this year that you could not have been thankful for last year?

(I’m thankful for two new healthy happy grandchildren — precious babies Lily Grace and Kenneth Steven.)

Your turn:

8. Think about something this year you have been anxious about or tend to complain about — how has God used it for good?

(I am anxious about being a widow in the woods in Wisconsin — yet I am pressing into Him and seeing Him provide me with friends, comfort me that He is in control, even when there is a power outage, and give me sweet writing time.)

Your turn:

9. What spiritual truth from God have you learned or put into practice that has brought healing in your relationship with Him or healing in your relationship with someone else? (Perhaps from The Song of Songs)

(The sense of being loved found in The Song has helped me to better love the challenging people in my life with His love. But I’ll save my story for the first week in Advent!)

Your turn:

 

10. GOD HUNT: How has God surprised you with an answer to prayer, unexpected grace, or unusual timing or circumstances this year?

(He has surprised me with your enthusiastic reaction to The Song of Songs, with your iron sharpening iron as you share your insights. He also surprised me when my daughter Sally moved from Washington D. C. to Milwaukee — just three hours from me!) Your Turn:

Saturday

10. What is your take-a-way and why?

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160 comments

    1. Dee-just sent these questions to Angie..love these! Have a wonderful thanksgiving time!

  1. 5. What do you see in this image? How is God making you more fruitful? And what do you look forward to most when all the effects of the fall are reversed?

    Honestly, I am not sure! He has made me more confident of His Love so I am resting more in Him-although not fully yet until I am face to face and so it seems like I am barely ‘there’. I guess I do know the more I see Him the more I hate my sin because it grieves Him-yet I still can easily cling to my idols! I hate that-just grateful I am AWARE NOW! :))  
     
    I think He develops the fruit inside-I don’t have to paste it on. 😉 I am finding, albeit slowly, that as I keep my eyes on Him-communing with Him daily-He messes with my vineyard and out if it comes a heart that desires to yield to Him and then obeying Him becomes more of a painful delight than a drudging duty-but I am not fully ‘there’ yet-still feel I need so much more deep tending to my garden.
     
    I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago but there is one thing I long for when the fall is reversed-and I am SO with Elizabeth in this.. I so fall short now-and that is loving Him fully as He loves me.  What is awful is that I can ‘say’ this now and it is there deeply yes-but in an hour I can easily become frustrated with someone in my family and I run to my control idol and I behave in my thought life as if He can’t hear my thoughts because I have forgotten Him-this isn’t loving Him! Yet, what turns me around is when I get into His word and/or He brings the GOspel to mind and that speck of condemnation that was creeping in kind of turns around-and of course His love humbles me once again and He leads me into confession and turning. Only I desire that I would more quickly run from my idol and turn to Him and not let condemnation creep in like I so often do-then the destructive cycle begins.
     
    6. Use this image as a springboard for praise.
    Lord Jesus, what would I do without you? I can’t live without you! I am a stumbling, bumbling fool-yet You have made me your Queen. Today help me to rest in You-that I wear your crown of Glory-that You took my shame. I am so grateful that I will never live without you-ever..for you have me like a seal upon your arm and I am Yours-yet I confess that I can so easily lay in my bed too lazy to go with you to my Vineyards and desire more to be with my idols. OH God-I hate my flesh and I hate the state of this fallen world and I long for the day when you will remove Baal from my-from our lips, and you will reverse the fall so that not only can I fully love you as you love me-but everyone whom you have sealed in You will too-the beauty-the light-the delight to come-Oh! God help me to fall more deeply in love with you for I have these ugly hard stones still in my heart-and I can be hesitant to give them to you-and it shows by how I need to grow more in loving others as You do-so help me, I need you. 

  2. Just wanted to sign in long enough to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!    I am about to prepare my candied sweet potatoes.  Then we will pick up my two grown daughters at their home, and we will travel across town to my sister-in-law’s  home — expecting about 30 people there!  I feel blessed and thankful to be included in such a large, loving group!    I might as well be honest and say that I won’t get anything meaningful done on this blog today.  I plan to be back Friday

  3. Harvest Home
    Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home: All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin; God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied: Come to God’s own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home.
    All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield; Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown; First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear: Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.
    For the Lord our God shall come, And shall take His harvest home; From His field shall in that day All offenses purge away; Give His angels charge at last In the fire the tares to cast; But the fruitful ears to store In His garner evermore.
    Even so, Lord, quickly come To Thy final harvest home; Gather Thou Thy people in, Free from sorrow, free from sin; There, forever purified, In Thy presence to abide: Come, with all Thine angels, come, Raise the glorious harvest home.
    ~~Henry Alford, 1810-1871

    1. Hi David-Happy Thanksgiving! Linky still likes you. I’ll try again here Scotty Smith’s Thanksgiving Day Prayer

      1. yippe! it worked! Now go eat Turkey & no more blog working on Thanksgiving 😉

    1. It’s working for me again! I had used it at first fine, and then the last week or so couldn’t post certain links…but it may have been the link itself. Anyway, working again for me now–thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving all!

  4. 7. What visible thing are you thankful for that you could not have been thankful for last year? This question is harder than I expected! It’s not truly ‘visible’ but last year my husband was prepping for a deployment. This year he is not, I am thankful. 
     
    8. Think about something this year you have been anxious a bout or tend to complain about -how has God  used it for good? My husband has been gone a lot since his call to the Army. (23 months in, only 10 with his family.) But now I see God’s hand in my difficult time without my husband, He has graciously and progressively, tho not painlessly refined me. I am thankful. 
     
    9. What spiritual truth from God have you learned or put into practice that has brought healing in your relationship with Him  or healing in your relationship with someone else? The Idol Lies concepts were new to me this last September. These allowed (and are still making) a huge revival and realignment in my heart/spirit. The Song of Songs concepts were the perfect follow up to the Idol Lies concepts because it gave me an in depth study and beautiful truths to ponder and turn to when turning away from idols. These concepts have started healing my relationship with my sons, too.  I am thankful. 
     
    10. GOD HUNT: How has God surprised you with an answer to prayer, unexpected grace, or unusual timing or circumstances this year? See above. We never thought we would be in the military, let alone live through deployment! It is not a unique story, but it is still difficult. God has used all this to completely change my inside life just as much as my outside life has changed. I am a new person, born again…again. And I pray I continue to be renewed. I am thankful. 

  5. 5. What do you see in this image? How is God making you more fruitful? And what do you look forward to most when all the effects of the fall are reversed?
     
    I don’t know what those green things are on the branches…but they are alive, and they give life as I see the bee on one of them. Also, whatever type of tree it is, it has a lot of fruit on it, so it’s a healthy, productive plant!
    How is God making me more fruitful…I can much more easily see my sin and my failures than I can see the fruit. I can see my arguing, fighting, and complaining about the pruning process. I’m having to give up expectations of how I want things to be…I’ve lost what I thought was a good friend…my patience is stretched with my mom having Alzheimer’s.
     
    What do I look forward to? No more barriers…between me and God, between me and others…none of the junk that causes separation, mistrust…just oneness, wholeness.

      1. I should have known that:)))

  6. 7. What visible thing are you thankful for this year that you could not have been thankful for last year?
     
    My nephew Wes and his new wife-and seeing how God is maturing Him so this year.. 
     
     
    8. Think about something this year you have been anxious about or tend to complain about — how has God used it for good?
     
    I was disappointed that we have struggled for so many years trying to find a church home for our whole family-but I have seen Him come in huge ways for our boys and for all of us through the teaching, and new friends we are making in our new church home. 😉  
     

    9. What spiritual truth from God have you learned or put into practice that has brought healing in your relationship with Him or healing in your relationship with someone else? (Perhaps from The Song of Songs)

    What I am soaking in through Song of Songs is His love for me- How He sees me-this just blows me away, and He is helping me to see others as He does and is helping me to Love-take my eyes off myself and onto others. Yesterday at our Thanksgiving meal I so sensed His love for our family members and really just loving on them was beautiful. Here are His words not just to me but to us-that impact me so..Just to see how He loves the church as He loves me..SO stirs my heart to love my brothers and sisters..Anyway, here He is:   :))

     
    My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (He loves to be with me-He finds me lovely even when I hide in the clefts-for He called me out-this so shows His pursuit-His ravaging of us.)
     
    How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of leopards.
     
    You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
     
    How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!
     
    You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem, as majestic as troops with banners.Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me.- (Oh!)

  7. I just watched the Mike Reeves video. It was so powerful. It opened my eyes to the relationship with Christ that I am so in need of. The part that really resonated with me was when he said that salvation is not about getting out of hell and trying to drag as many people as you can with you, but about enjoying Christ and your relationship with him and inviting others to enter in and enjoy him, too. This changes my perspective and helps me to understand what it means to “…have my soul happy in the Lord.”

  8. 7. What visible thing are you thankful for this year that you could not have been thankful for last year?
    My husband has stayed out of the hospital this year — a milestone — first year out of the last five. 
     
    8. Think about something this year you have been anxious about or tend to complain about — how has God used it for good?
    I have worried about our struggling church.  Our congregation had declined so that we were rattling around in a church that was way too big for us, and the maintenance and utilities were causing huge financial problems.   We spent three years trying to sell our building, and finally this summer we did it.  We sold to a charter school, and they let us lease back part of the building.  We have the sanctuary, the administrative offices, a couple of classrooms, the Chapel, and the gym.   So now the maintenance of the building is the responsibility of the charter school which is already saving us a lot of money.   We are still able to let a black start-up congregation use our Chapel. We are still running our ministries, and we provide facilities for Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous to meet.   This is a temporary situation — we can lease from the charter school for up to three years while we decide where and what we are called to do next.  I had worried we might have to close our church, but it appears we are more than surviving — now to discover what God’s plan for us is!
    9. What spiritual truth from God have you learned or put into practice that has brought healing in your relationship with Him or healing in your relationship with someone else? (Perhaps from The Song of Songs)
    From the Song of Songs,  I have learned that God loves us and wants us to live joyful lives.  Also have learned to first make my soul happy — if I can do that by meditating on Scripture and meeting my Lord in prayer — my days will go by so much more meaningfully and joyfully. 

    1. Deanna, how cool that your congregation was able to make arrangements with the charter school as well another “start up” congregation.  I have thought for a long time how wonderful it would be for congregations to somehow share one church rather than each having its own.  I acknowledge that there would be challenges in this, but it sure would be nice for buildings to have greater utilization as well as not so much funds going into building expenses as to other outreach needs.  I read a book recently that talked about living with an “expectancy”…sounds like you are doing just that…i.e., “now to discover what God’s plan for us is”.

  9. Just saw this short video from Keller on my Gospel Coalition page..So encouraging!  Dee has been encouraging us in this way so I thought I would share. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Rebecca. It reminded me of Keller’s sermon on John…that circle of joy…John’s contagious joy that he wanted to invite others into the circle to “make our joy complete.”

  10. What is your take-a-way and why? I have enjoyed being thankful ‘out-loud’ and hearing testimonies from others. It is refreshing thing to sing praises of thanks to God with sisters. There were many perspective widening comments and testimonies this week, too, which I always appreciate.  

    1. Dee, Wow- How awesome is that! He sure does come swiftly doesn’t He! 🙂 

    2. What are Christmas Teas, Dee? Do you prepare the food and tea as well as speaking? I’m intrigued. 

      1. Diane, 
        The Christmas Teas are usually Christmas gatherings put on by a church or a group and they invite Dee to come and speak. They prepare what is needed for the event and then Dee only prepares what she is going to speak on. Great question though!

  11. 10. GOD HUNT: How has God surprised you with an answer to prayer, unexpected grace, or unusual timing or circumstances this year?
     
    1. Well, He surprised us with an unexpected gift from a dear friend 😉 Through her, He helped us in a huge way financially as we were having a very hard month. I am learning to trust Him with provision, and this gift really helped me see that He is indeed ‘peering through the lattice’ at me- He is truly “God with us” and He so cares. 
     
     
    2. Oh and last Sunday, I went to church-just me and the boys-and randomly picked a seat-I unknowingly was sitting next to the parent of a new friend our oldest son has made -when I chatted with his dad after church i found out who he was-and I told him-Wow..this is totally God having me sit here! So I encouraged him with a story about his son and how he impacted my son last week with a simple prayer request for another boy in high school-and how he has impacted my son with his overall kindness and acceptance. I could tell his heart was overwhelmed with gladness to hear the impact his son has made on my son’s life-just by showing Him Jesus’ kindness. 
     
     

  12. Saturday
    10. What is your take-a-way and why?
     
    This is kind of strange, but this study has so helped me with fighting back the evil one and his condemnation when I mess up daily and forget Him. I often forget Him in those times and feel dark and unlovely., This is why I would love to be able to memorize His words to her in song of songs-and some of her descriptions of Him.   
     
    As I was putting up the Christmas tree yesterday-and this is silly-but we have these strings of jewel looking beads that we drape on the tree..and a verse in Song of Songs came to mind: Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.-I guess this was another God Hunt! 🙂 I started seeing the tree a whole new way as Him decorating me with His loveliness. At the same time we were listening to a James Taylor’s Christmas CD and the song “in a bleak midwinter” came on. Here are some of the lyrics: 
     
    In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed.
    The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
    Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day, Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
    Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,The ox and ass and camel which adore.

    Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
    Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
    But His mother only, in her maiden bliss, Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.What can I give Him, poor as I am?
    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;If I were a Wise Man,
    I would do my part;Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

  13. 7. What visible thing are you thankful for this year that you could not have been thankful for last year?
     
    Seeing my oldest son’s life unfolding…22 years old and God has opened doors for him…watching him graduate from college in May; being accepted into medical school and into the Navy…watching him don his white coat at a special ceremony at the medical school in September…watching him pursue his dreams.

  14. Hey everyone – I just went back to the link above to re-watch the Mike Reeves video and I also watched the other sermon by him that is on that page called “Is Jesus a Burden?”
    Has anyone else watched it? It blew me away…in it, he says that it only takes the space of a few hours – one night, to forget what Christ is like… He talks about George Mueller “getting his soul happy in the Lord” and how we must preach the gospel to ourselves. He talks about the antidote to sin being warming our hearts at the fire of the gospel. It really is worth your time to watch! The Scripture he focuses on is “A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.” It certainly helped to re-warm my heart this morning.

  15. 5. What do you see in this image?
    The image I see is green fruit not yet ripened.  If the green fruit remains connected to the plant, it will have the capacity to flourish (John 15:5 comes to mind).  The green fruit is plentiful; each fig has great potential.  As the figs continue to be nourished, each has the capacity to mature into desirable fruit.
    This is similar to individuals/us…God provides each of us a wealth of potential/talents.  To achieve, we must rely on our association with Him and His continual nourishment; we must remain connected to Him.  We too have the capacity to mature and exhibit desirable fruit.
     
    How is God making you more fruitful?
    The Lord is opening my eyes (i.e., mind and heart) to things I have not seen previously.  He is melting portions of my heart that I wasn’t even aware were “cold,” but now realize their true state and the need for melting, lighting the darkness, and destruction of erected walls.  I’m most definitely a work in process and hopefully progress :)…I see God’s hand at work, I see His love for me, His continuous affection…I may drift, doubt, and/or become distant, but He is ever near. 
     
    And what do you look forward to most when all the effects of the fall are reversed?
    As I watch the snow fall gently from the sky covering the outside world of autumn, I think of the gentleness with which Jesus covers me with His love, peace, and righteousness.  I look forward to peace reigning…peace for individuals, couples, families, friendships, political, countries, etc. 

  16. 7. What visible thing are you thankful for this year that you could not have been thankful for last year?  
    Your turn: I am thankful for my granddaughter. 
     
    8. Think about something this year you have been anxious about or tend to complain about — how has God used it for good? 
    Your turn:  I am thankful for the precious moments that my husband and I have experienced in caring for our granddaughter; the special bond that is being established with her living with us. 
     
    9. What spiritual truth from God have you learned or put into practice that has brought healing in your relationship with Him or healing in your relationship with someone else? (Perhaps from The Song of Songs)    
    Your turn:  Words cannot do justice to the work the Lord has done in my heart.  I have gone from viewing Jesus as very much my critic (as well as my Savior) to one that calls me His “beloved”…one who loves me continuously despite my failings, faults, and distances I create…I have such a greater “heart” understanding of the gospel; His truth and mercy.  As others have said…the gospel has finally gone from “head” knowledge to “heart” knowledge…I cannot pinpoint when exactly it happened for me, but I know it to be true today.
     
     
     

  17. GOD HUNT:  In September, my older daughter, Karen, and I were each setting out from our homes to visit a friend who was in a hospital psychiatric ward.  We were both feeling slightly uncomfortable about the prospect — not knowing exactly what we might find when we got there.   We had agreed on the time we were going, with the hope that we would be able to visit with the patient together.   However, we weren’t smart enough to plan to meet somewhere outside of the unit so we could be “buzzed” into the unit together.   The hospital parking garage is huge (I believe 6 levels)  and it was very full of cars.  I breathed out a prayer that Karen and I would somehow get together.  Finally on the 4th level, I spotted a place where there was not one, but two spaces open.   I pulled into one space, turned off the ignition, and noticed a car pulling in next to me — it was Karen!   I would say God knew what we needed before I even asked!!

  18. A simple “I am thankful for…” today…2 days of SUNSHINE!  So nice…just came in from an afternoon walk.  Grabbed the Ipod and headed out…selected a podcast that has been on my player for a while…SOOO glad I did!  A providential choice I might add!  I listened to John Eldredge’s (Free Itunes download)..”Hope in the coming Kingdom Part 1″!  It was like God just walked along side of me and said, “Let me show you the nifty things that I embedded into the center of your heart at the very moment of your creation”.  He can say this to us all…I just enjoyed the moment of personalization!  It is sweet to hear all of your “thank for” lists too…!

  19. My take away this week…is that even though it is American Thanksgiving…through the study this week I was able to work through most of the questions and by the end of the week see those things that I can be so thankful for.  
    I found ways to feel blessed, I have two wonderful kids who will tell me they love me and give me hugs…even though they are adults.  Over the last few months there have been numerous times where there didn’t seem to be a solution to a major issue, then I would pray start a plan and by the end God worked the result and it was better than mine.  I was reminded of that this week with another major issue and I only saw one of two things happening (neither good) and then He reminded me of the past few months when He did His thing, which was not a way I could see at those times and they worked out for the best (at least 3 times since the end of September).  It was Him letting me know that He will work this situation out too…even though I cannot see it.   I was blessed by the comments this week on this blog, I was blessed by watching the Mike Reeves and I was sooooo blessed this morning by a beautiful sunrise and it was like I could hear Him saying “I am here for you”.  I had tears through most of Reeves (I will listen again and again) and every time he mentioned the King loving me so much to take everything that is mine and give me what is His, it really hit home, what I really want that is His, is His heart.  Every time of think of His heart, I smile and bath in the warmth of His heart.  
    My take away is simply that even when it seems like there is darkness all around, I am His… I belong to the King.

  20. This is really ufniptilg *sigh* I dont like that I have this problem and I try to keep things in perspective because I know the world doesn\’t revovle around myself but at times I just get the feeling that everyone is looking at me and judging me for my every mistake, it makes it hard to even interact with people without being even in the least anxious. This is ufniptilg though and I will def turn my problems to the Lord because at this point he is the only one that can help me. Thanks for the post and your helping people like us by just talking about your situations and giving us all courage.