Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

pregnant mom belly and little girl kissing it

Overcome and Adapt

Pregnant mom belly and little girl kissing it.

Men may want better to understand the closeness between a mother and newborn. As much as I love to tell childbirth stories, that’s not the part I found most inspiring.

I knew there had to be a creator as I watched my body grow during pregnancy. I wasn’t doing any of the work other than eating a bit more (okay, maybe a lot more). My hips and ribcage shifted of their own accord. My blood quantity increased. (The only New England winter that I wasn’t freezing was the one during which I was pregnant.) Once the baby was born, my milk supply altered to meet the baby’s needs. I didn’t have to do pushups or eat certain foods to get it to change. My body adapted of its own accord because God made it to change.

We are meant to overcome and adapt.

Not only did God forge women’s bodies to adapt for childbirth, but He’s also given us an amazing immune system. When we catch a cold, our glands swell up, our nose runs, and we’ll cough because our lymphatic and immune systems are warring against a virus. When we eat something spoiled and get food poisoning, we don’t have to tell our bodies what to do. It just starts purging. (I’ll spare everyone the descriptions on this one.)

We often forget that our bodies aren’t the only thing God created to adapt. He made us to adjust emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Paul says, in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” We start as spiritual infants, but we are meant to feed on God’s word, grow, adapt, and become spiritual adults. What turns us into adults? Trials, tests, and temptations. Mature spiritual adults have proven they can overcome challenges and persevere.

Take the story of Joseph, for example. Joseph was an immature young man when he bragged to his brothers about his dream that they would bow down to him. His juvenile boast set off a chain reaction. 

barred window

He was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold as a slave, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, thrown into jail, and then was forgotten. I can imagine Joseph waiting for his father to march through the door and shout, “Unhand my beloved son!” Little did Joseph know, his brothers faked his death. What devastation Joseph must have felt when he realized his father wasn’t coming.

Joseph had to overcome his disappointment, adapt to his new normal, and mature to a higher degree of spirituality before he could go from slave to Pharaoh’s trusted advisor with power second only to the Egyptian king. He got there because he persevered. God equipped Joseph to be able to acclimate to each situation, and in the end, he came out a stronger and more capable person.

Currently, we are all adapting to a new normal. Yes, it may stretch us, irritate us, weigh us down, but lean into God. Feed on His word. Absorb His strength. Spiritually grow because God has plans for you.

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lego man at desk

Alpha and Beta Males Need Not Apply

lego man sitting at desk

There’s a new trend toward having beta males in the hero role of romance novels. If you’re unfamiliar with the term beta male, the Oxford Dictionary describes it as, “A subordinate male, or a man tending to assume a passive or subservient role in social or professional situations.” The opposite of the beta male is the alpha male, a man who assumes the dominant role in similar scenarios. The logic presumes that readers are looking for a sensitive and understanding hero who values the heroine’s views and that alpha males are overbearing, insensitive, and treat the heroine as a trophy.

Personally, I don’t want to write about either a beta or an alpha male. The heroes I want to convey in my books are what I call honor males. This may be a made-up term (I tried a Google search but came up null), but let me explain my honor male by first defining honor. Dictionary.com states honor as a noun is “honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions,” and as a verb “to hold in honor or high respect; revere.” There is nothing in this definition about dominance or submission. It’s the focus on doing the right thing.

Man sitting, back facing

What’s great about novels is that no hero (or heroine) is perfect. The story evolves as the hero overcomes his false perception(s) and learns to do the right thing. In essence, the story is about his journey to becoming an honor male. From the definition of honor, we see two types, what Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness calls horizontal and vertical honor. Horizontal honor is a mutual respect among individuals that is earned and maintained. These are the men who’ve developed trust among their peers by showing strength, courage, and mastery. They know, when trouble arises, they can count on each other. The hero must demonstrate the bravery and tenacity to defend their virtue of honor when needed. Whether that consists of raising a sword and standing back-to-back or hopping on a keyboard and hacking into an evil fascist’s cyber system, depends on your genre of preference.

Firefighter in battle

On the other hand, vertical honor is derived from the verb form: to revere or hold in high respect. It’s not about mutual respect but about showing praise, esteem, and adoration to a position of power because they’ve distinguished themselves usually from the horizontal honor group. These heroes are the captains, bosses, officers, and political leaders.

My all-time favorite honor hero is Jesus. Even though He already held the vertical honor of being the Son of God, He came into the world to rub shoulders with us in the trenches. Because He loves us, He not only took on our limited human form with its vulnerability to illness, pain, and weakness, but he placed all of our sins upon himself. He suffered and died so that our wrongdoings would be washed away by His blood, so death no longer would hold its sting, and we won’t ever have to be separated from our awesome God. Jesus, who holds the honor of sitting at God’s right hand, in essence, transferred value to us, not because of what we’ve done, but because of what He gave (His life) for us.

Now that’s a hero worth writing about.

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child hiding in couch

No Vacancy – Fear isn’t Welcome Here

Child hiding in couch

I’ve had to attempt to relearn factoring polynomial quadratic equations. I say attempt because, after watching hours of YouTube videos, I still couldn’t help my son with his math homework. Of course, my not remembering freshman algebra served as fodder to prove his argument that this kind of math isn’t useful. If mom hasn’t had to use polynomial quadric equations since high school, what’s the point? Why should he?

My boys complain the same about history, “Why learn about the past? It isn’t going to help me in the future.” While I can’t make a great case for factoring equations, I wholeheartedly am a proponent of history. Winston Churchill’s adaptation of George Santayana’s quote says it best:

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

My eldest son, along with quadradic equations, is also studying the effects of WWI and the rise of communism. Of course, I geeked out while quizzing him for tests and wanted to know if he saw any similarities between then and now. My wise-for-his-years son says, “Yes, fear.”

It was one of those heart-sinking moments. He was right.

Museum of Victoria Unsplash photo of people watching soliders pass

Fear was a huge proponent for allowing Stalin and also Hitler to come into power. After the massive death tolls and financial costs of WWI, Russia and Germany were left dangling in uncertainty and economic decline. People sought change and relief from their financial worries. In fear, they fell subject to propaganda and skillful orators who appealed to their sense of helplessness. (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC., History.com, Vladimir Lenin, and Encyclopedia Britannica, The Civil War and War Communism.)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

We must stay alert and be vigilant. Fear is a sneaky foe. Phrases like, Do not be afraid and Fear not are written in the Bible approximately 365 times. Whether God had to repeat Himself that many times in order to get through to us or merely to drive home His point, I don’t know, but we might want to take note.

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can cripple us. I’ve seen Covid-19 turn normal, happy people into paranoid hermits. The longer they remain secluded behind locked doors, the more their fear grows, and the more helpless they become. Fear wants us to lead small lives, but we have a choice whether to listen to the voice of less, the thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, or to listen to the voice of more, Jesus, who came that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). 

I’m not condoning licking microphones or toilet seats like the crazy Coronavirus challenge (an idiotic stunt on the internet to which my boys have alerted me). I’m not even saying take off your masks or gather in groups. We need to be cautious because God wants us to be good stewards of our lives and the lives of others. However, we need to remember we are in a battle. Fear believes God won’t make it right. Fear convinces us to depend upon sources of man-made protection. Fear allows evil to get a foothold as witnessed in history with Stalin and Hitler.

Faith, on the other hand, seeks and trusts God.

Focus on fear, and it will grow.  Focus on God, and faith grows.

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couple embracing

The Musings of a Love Connoisseur

Couple embracing

I love love.
Although this sentence sounds strange and looks repetitive, it’s true. Writing romance novels gives me free rein to study love and people in it. There is nothing more heart-thumping than the moment the hero realizes his life is better with the heroine by his side. When in a grand gesture, the hero sacrifices the one thing he said he’d never give up because her love was well worth the cost or vice versa. It’s the moment when two people battle their demons to find happily-ever-after, within their grasp, and they take the leap.

While romantic love is what sells in boxes offices and books, there’s a love just as powerful and self-sacrificing—a mother’s love. I often had nightmares as a child. I remember repeatedly running into my parent’s bedroom and waking my mother. She’d calm me down and sit with me until I fell back asleep. While I know I appreciated her helping me, I didn’t truly understand the full sacrifice until I had kids of my own who also had terrible dreams, and I’d go and sit with them by their bed. Kids don’t fall asleep that quickly, and at 3 am, when you’re utterly exhausted with a big day ahead of you, one minute feels like an eternity.

Mom holding baby

Mothers are continually making sacrifices for their children, but you don’t find too many books written about a mother’s love. Often, it’s taken for granted, with kids thinking it’s a mother’s job or just how moms are wired. But the love that changes diapers, cleans up vomit, sacrifices their Sunday night to do a forgotten, last-minute panorama project, and loses sleep worrying until they hear their child pull in the drive past curfew, this love doesn’t expect anything in return. In fact, a mother knows the day they endure excruciating pain to bring their child into the world that the goal is for that child to grow up, spread their wings, and someday fly away.

While a mother’s love is special, God’s love is even greater.

Isaiah 49:15 asks what mother would forget the child at her breast? But, it states, even if she might forget, God will never forget you. One of my most treasured memories is sitting in a rocker-glider with my newborn baby boy looking at his sweet little face, feeling the warmth of his little body cuddled in my arms, and thinking there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my precious little man. God’s love is even greater, stronger, and more passionate. It’s the marrying of romantic love where the groom comes for his bride and the sacrificial love of a mother. There is no height nor depth, no angel nor demon, nor any power in all creation that could keep God’s love from us (Romans 8:38-39).

He loves you beyond fathomable because you are that precious to Him.
What an amazing love.


To all the moms out there, happy Mother’s Day this Sunday! 

A special shout-out to my mom. Thank you for staying up nights with me, for the countless packed lunches, and all the spelling words you helped quiz me. Thank you for every moment of worry and every tear shed. Thank you for believing in me, cheering me on, and cheering me up. I love you.

Happy Mother's Day

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purple sunrise

What if the Sky was Purple?

Purple sunrise

My middle son is not black and white colorblind, but he can’t tell the difference between blues and purples. His brothers love to point out when he’s colored a purple sky or when his clothes don’t match. The funny thing is, he’s the artist of the family. He’s shown the gift of being artistically inclined since kindergarten, and it has only improved with age. Now he’s moved on to creating animated characters through software programs like Blender. He’ll sit for hours, drawing elaborate landscapes and detailed creatures where the leaves ruffle in the breeze or fur ripples down the animal’s back.

It’s as if he can see things in layers – the bones or basic structure overlaid with curves and lines, followed by the intricate details that give a drawing life, and lastly, shading and touches of light. He may not be able to tell the color blue from purple, but he has a unique ability to see shapes, shadows, and details in a way other people do not.

God wants us to see differently.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

After leading the Israelites out of Egypt and up to Canaan, Moses sent out twelve men to collect intel on the city’s people, crops, and fortifications. The men went out and came back, stating that it, indeed, was the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. They also brought back a cluster of grapes, so huge two men had to carry it on a stick between them.

Giant fairytale

They also reported back of the great city’s thick walls, mighty fortifications, and powerful giants. Yes, giants. The men shook in their sandals as they relayed how the Israelites appeared like grasshoppers to the Canaan giants. Only Joshua and Caleb silenced the men and said, “We should go and take possession of the land.” However, it was too late. Fear had already begun to spread like a contagious disease throughout the Israel camp. Because of their doubts and fears, the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, and only Caleb and Joshua ever stepped foot in the promised land.

Joshua and Caleb witnessed the same land as ten other explorers, but whereas the men saw giants, Caleb and Joshua saw victory. Whereas the other explorers took into account their human abilities, Caleb and Joshua considered God’s capabilities.

The world may tell us we’re small, incapable, or colorblind, but God says, look out and see victory.

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Good heart vs. bad heart

Battle of the Wills

Bad heart vs. good heart

Are you a willing heart?

It’s one of those questions I wanted to answer with an enthusiastic yes but had to hesitate. A small meltdown I’d had last week came to mind. My children were testing my patience, and I was tired of all this settle-in-place stuff. In full adult tantrum form, I peered up at the ceiling and informed God He needed to return everything to the way it used to be.

 A pang hit my heart, and a quiet, gentle thought passed through my mind, “What if all this brings one soul to know Jesus?”

All of the selfish anger that had my shoulders pinned to my ears melted away. Why should my being inconvenienced take precedence over God moving in a personal way? It’s times like this, when I’m convicted of my feelings or behaviors, that I realize how far I am from being a willing heart. It’s a daily battle against my flesh, seeking its own desires and left unchecked it would spread like fire, leaving not only myself in ashes but also others.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41

There’s an old Cherokee parable about a brave telling his grandson about a battle that wages within people. He describes the sides as two wolves. One is evil consisting of anger, greed, self-pity, remorse, sorrow, guilt, self-pride, ego, jealousy, and lies. The other is joy consisting of peace, hope, patience, kindness, humility, compassion, generosity, truth, and faith. The grandson asks, “Which wolf wins?” and the grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

black wolves

 When Josiah rose to become king of Israel, the people’s hearts had become lax. They had let the temple fall into disarray and had forsaken God. They worshipped idols and other gods. The Bible reads in 2 King 22:2, “He [Josiah] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” He sent men to fix up the temple. As his workers went all Chip Gains on demo day, they uncovered a sacred scroll and brought it to their king. Josiah read it and tore his clothes. His eyes were opened to Israel’s deep betrayal of God. Gathering everyone, King Josiah read the scriptures and the people wept over their misdeeds.

It sounds like a sad story, but one of the many things I love about God is that He likes a happy ending. After hearing the truth, the people of Israel rededicated themselves to the Lord. Because their hearts were responsive and humbled, they not only avoided God’s wrath, God instructed them to throw a party! Once they’d destroyed the idols, they gathered together and celebrated the Passover.

God rejoices when we open our hearts for examination. We don’t need to hang our heads in shame at what we’ve done, or weep at how far we’ve fallen. God doesn’t dwell on those things. He’s washed us clean. To Him, we are white as snow. He wants us to celebrate because we’ve found the way.

We can choose the right path and climb back into his open arms. 

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fruits and veggies

Be Ready for Good and Plenty

fruits and veggies

The definition of insanity is often quoted as “doing the same thing but expecting a different result” (author unknown). My boys have this thing, where as soon as they sit on a bed or couch, they have to remove the throw pillows, dumping them on the floor. Every night before bed, I pick up these pillows and question my sanity, because I’m expecting, one day, they might actually stay there. I can’t seem to learn my lesson nor teach them how to pick up after themselves.

It’s frustrating feeling like something or someone is thwarting your progress toward a goal. While my pillow example is mild, I fought for years against rejection and harsh criticism of my manuscripts, second-guessing if God truly wanted me to write. The desire was there, but how many slammed doors could I run into without suffering an emotional concussion? God, however, gave me just enough encouragement when I needed it to keep going.

More recently, I’ve watched the stock market tank with a sinking feeling and wondered what that means for all of our hard-earned savings. I’ve seen the frustration of a friend who had to cancel the wedding she spent almost a year planning, and the despair of others friends who’ve been laid off from the job they’d worked so hard to hold.

It’s difficult not to feel like the once Olympic-headed, ice skater, Nancy Kerrigan, bludgeoned in the knee and screaming, “Why? Why?” Instead, we’re asking, why hasn’t God intervened?

Do not be discouraged. God hasn’t fallen off the throne.

Take the example of Isaac, son of Abraham, in the story from Genesis 26. He’d grown wealthy and had an abundant flock of sheep, servants, and wells for water that were the envy of the Philistines. So much so that the Philistine king, Abimelek, out of jealousy, ordered Isaac’s wells to be filled with dirt and exiled Isaac and his family. While Isaac was running away from the despotic ruler, a drought came. He dug a well and struck water, but the other herders in the land saw it and argued the freshwater was theirs. God told Isaac to dig another, but the herders quarreled over that one, too. So, Isaac digs another well (mind you this is not an easy task in the desert during a drought), and thankfully, this time, no one thwarts his efforts.

Stone water well

However, Abimelek strolls into town. I imagine it as an old western standoff, eyes narrowing fingers trigger ready as Isaac confronts the king. Isaac says, “Why have you come? Since you were hostile to me and sent me away.” Abimelek raises his hands in surrender because he’s there to make a peace treaty. He’d been watching, and every time they filled or claimed one of Isaac’s wells, Isaac would build a better one. The despotic ruler saw how God favored Isaac, and he wanted in on it too.

It’s okay to be frustrated and question why, but know God has a bigger plan. He’ll use our hardships as a way to reveal His glory to others whose hearts have hardened. God promises, in Philippians 4:19, that He will supply all of our need according to His glory in Christ Jesus.

Need some more examples?

-Elisha has a widow pour oil from a small jar into gathered empty bottles and the oil doesn’t run out until there’s not a single bottle left to be filled (2 Kings 4:1-7).

-Jesus fed a group of thousand with the fishes and loaves that multiplied (John 6:1-14).

-Simon Peter had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus says to throw the nets out again. This time they caught so many fish that the nets began to break (Luke 5:1-11).

-The officials of Capernaum were collecting a temple tax. Peter felt in his pockets and came up empty. Jesus told Peter to cast out a hook, open the mouth of the first fish he caught, and take out the gold coin. Sure enough, the coin was enough to pay the tax bill (Matthew 17:24-27).

Have faith. We are still blessed. Remember, “God’s favor lasts for a lifetime, weeping may endure for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).”

God is good, and He is still the God of plenty.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:31-34

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Architect, designer, and builder meeting over blueprints

The Rebuild Starts Today

Architect, designer, and builder meeting over blueprints

“The rebuild starts today” is the attitude my husband has taken for his businesses. It may be a bit early, but it changes the mindset to start planning for how we’re going to come out of this pandemic. For two weeks, it feels like we’ve been ostriches sticking our heads in the sand. Perhaps it’s time to raise our heads. It’s never too early to strategize about available options and develop a foundation to rebuild, maybe with a new perspective.

Ostrich

How often before March 15th, when asked, “How are you?” did we respond, “busy”?  The world was running, running, running, and then abruptly stopped. In An Echo in the Darkness part of the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers (one of my favorite series), the mother of the hero has a stroke and can no longer talk. Her life changes overnight. No longer a prominent matriarch of Roman society, God reaches her through this suffering and uses it as an opportunity to redirect her focus to pray for the spiritual salvation of her misguided daughter.

It’s time for us to raise our heads and see the opportunities God is creating for us. Maybe we should acknowledge the new shift in priorities. How are we using the extra family time we didn’t have before the pandemic? Or if living alone and can’t see friends, maybe God is giving us a chance to pray more or read our Bible.

Many of us have been glued to the news channels, following what’s going to happen next, which only tends to be bad news, followed by more bad news. In Philippians 4:8, the Bible tells us to dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Easter changes the direction of focus from death to new life. The stone was rolled away. The tomb lay empty. Jesus rose from the dead. This is our opportunity to also rise from the monotony of our deadened mindsets. We hold a chance to be renewed with life.

three crosses at sunset

Let me back up a bit to Philippians 4:1. Paul reminds us to stand firm in the Lord. Not relax, sit, or lie, but to stand firm. In Philippians 4:2, he begs for unity—to be of the same mind in the Lord—not turning on each other, bickering, or nitpicking, but let your gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).

In 4:4, Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” But then he makes it a point to repeat himself to drive it home, “I will say it again, rejoice.” At Easter, we have so much for which to be joyful. The world may shake with fright, but we know Jesus has risen from the dead, and the grave no longer has a hold over us.

We have hope because we have a good God. We don’t need to fear because we have a great God.

In Philippians 4:6, it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We don’t need to worry. Because God commands it, we can toss anxiety away like that moldy leftover smelling up the fridge. Instead, through prayer and praise, we can tell God what has been on our minds, and in Philippians 4:7 God promises that His peace, “which transcends all understanding,” will guard our hearts and minds.

So, rise and rejoice, Easter is here!

Happy Easter and flowers

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Struggle vs. surrender

The Struggle is Real

Struggle vs. surrender words

With my second book, The Merchant’s Yield, launching, I feel like a mother sending my young son to his first sleepover or off to his first year of college (which will happen sooner than I realize). My nerves are twisted in knots, and all I can do is pray it will be received well. You never feel so helpless than when you have to surrender up something you love.

But I couldn’t imagine a better place for it to be than in God’s hands.

Fanny Jane Crosby, the composer of the well-known hymn “Blessed assurance,” was born blind. Not only did she write over 9,000 hymns, but her life was also an example of trusting God and walking by faith. Despite the hardships of being blind, she considered her blindness a blessing:  

Hymnals in church pews

“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” (Franny Crosby: America’s Hymn Queen, Christianity.com, April 2010)

Franny Crosby never started writing a hymn without praying first.

I was recently asked why God wasn’t stopping the coronavirus. Tough question. I mentioned about the earth being cursed. When sin entered the world, so did death, but then an awareness hit me. I questioned if they’d prayed to God to stop it?

At that moment, I had to check myself. Sure, I’d prayed for protection over my family and friends, but had I asked God to put an end to the virus?

James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you have not asked God.”

You better believe I’ve started asking. Can God stop the coronavirus tomorrow? Yes, He could. God’s arm is never too short. Will He stop it tomorrow? That, I don’t know, but I do know the prayers of the righteous avail much, and if we’re praying, God will be merciful.

This, too, will pass, but in the meantime, God will use it to draw His children to Him. The virus is a reminder that this is not our home. We are temporary residents—missionaries on a strange planet. Our home is in heaven, where there is no sickness, death, or disease.

I saw written on a T-shirt, “The struggle is real, but so is God,” and I couldn’t help thinking, how true. I have blessed assurance because I know God is real. He never wastes a hurt, and He certainly isn’t about to overlook this one.  

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Love and hate heart

The Opposite of Love isn’t Hate

Love and hate heart

My middle son had to pick something up from his locker at school, so I drove him during this time of social distancing. As he got out of the car, another boy was entering the school who recognized him. The boy’s face lit up, and he waved with and exuberant, “Hi Jim—” but then he stopped. It was as if he realized he wasn’t supposed to be near people or even speak to them. He dropped his hand, lowered his gaze, and continued into the school as somber as if attending a funeral.

The next day, I made a grocery store run. It was pretty chaotic. People eyed me as if I was holding a knife on them. When I reached to grab an item, a woman who’d been standing nearby jumped out of the way as if I’d suddenly caught fire.

As a business owner, my husband feels like he’s going into battle every day. He’s making tough decisions and doing what he believes is best for the long-term to keep as many people employed as possible. However, not everyone thinks it’s the right decision. He says his days recently have turned into 70% managing people’s emotions and 30% working on the company activities.

We are living in a strange time.

It’s as if other people pose a threat to our existence. However, people are not our enemies. As it says in Ephesians 6:12, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

man sitting alone on bench

Isolation may be the best way to save as many lives as possible, and I’m not saying go against the current protocols, but I think it’s wise to bring to light some things we should be conscious of so that we can protect ourselves from sneak attacks.

It has always been the devil’s best tactic to separate individuals from their herd so they can be easily picked off. Being alone allows doubts to creep in. It’s where a person can be attacked, maybe not by a virus, but by fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. In the confinement of our man-made safe haven, it can feel as if nothing can touch us.

Sometimes, not even God.

But this is a lie.

There is no place we can go where God can’t reach us.

God’s arm is never too short (Isaiah 59:1).

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

Mark Batterson, in his book, Chase the Lion, says, “The opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is fear.”  Even hate can join people together, but fear isolates. Evil does its best to use fear to try to drive out love.

However, 1 John 4:8 reminds us, “God is love,” and God will not be moved. The devil may think he’s winning, but this is when God’s love shines through us, and we see it in greater online church attendance, in Christians who are grocery shopping for those who can’t leave their houses, financial support to those in need, and by texts and phone calls to check in on the lonely.

What opportunities do you have to reach out to those who might be feeling alone and frightened?

If you are feeling alone, please email me. I’d be more than happy to encourage you or connect you to others. https://lorridudley.com/contact/

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