April 6, 2019

I told Him I’d rather die than live in fear for the rest of my life. So He led me to a dead place — an ugly, dark, barren, crushing, disappointing, lonely, dead place. But He led me there not to leave me but to plant me for my fruitful future.


 

April 5, 2019

I recently saw these words from Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...”

I’ve read how silversmiths will hold a piece of silver in the flame for as long as it takes to see their own image. When they can see themselves, they know it’s time to remove the silver from the fire.


To be held in the flame by God until His image is clear is a difficult place to be. He’s not in a hurry, but He is watchful. He won’t see Himself until the impurities are burned away, so He’s looking closely for Himself because, when He sees Himself, He will know its time to remove me from the fire.

Being brought face-to-face with how unlike Him I am is a painful journey. How can I ever look like Him in how I handle rejection, abuse, false accusation, slander, etc...? I’ll never reach His perfection.

That is, I won’t reach it on my own. James 1:5 instructs, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” (ESV). This verse follo...

March 4, 2019

“If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on everyone who didn’t hurt you,” (author unknown). I’ve seen this quote a lot, lately, and I believe it’s a true statement. But consider the following perspective.

Physically injured people bleed on those who are helping them. They can’t help it. But those who mend wounds don’t blame bleeders. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, firemen—they all understand getting bled on is part of their job.

The same is true for emotionally injured people. Just like those who have been hurt physically, people who have been hurt emotionally can’t always heal themselves. They need help from others. And those willing to help will often feel the brunt of what hurt the one they’re helping. Though we should work hard, when we’ve been hurt, to not turn and hurt others, we tend to be weak when we are weak. So, when reaching out to help, we should be prepared to give grace. Mending wounds can get messy and being willing to help is risky. But the result of bearing hurt fr...

February 16, 2019

I’m thankful for endurance — in my marriage, in my parenting, in my physical struggles, in my emotional struggles, in my spiritual struggles.

Without endurance, I wouldn’t be in this moment enjoying the blessings and victories of my journey thus far.

In my weakness, God’s strength has been made perfect. I’ve had a lot of weakness along the way, but I’ve experienced a lot of God’s strength. So, even in the midst of current struggles, I celebrate God’s strength as it continues to be made perfect in my weakness. That is endurance.

Are you struggling? Stop focusing on others’ perspectives of your struggle and focus on God’s strength. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over, so stay committed to enduring to the end.  

February 10, 2019

I’ve followed his lead as he has followed His lead.

I trusted in his ability to hear His voice even before he had the chance to prove himself to be a listener and a hearer.

I’ve followed because I believe God gives good gifts, thus, I believe the gift I’ve been given is a good one. As I trust the gift, I trust the Giver of the gift.

I’ve not always been an eager follower. I haven’t always understood the big picture. I don’t like what I can’t see. Nevertheless, I have followed, in spite of my lack of understanding.

My following has brought me to scary and painful sections of the journey — parts I didn’t expect nor seek. But I turned to the gift for guidance on how to work my way through and have kept trusting and following. And the good gift from God has kept listening, hearing, following, and leading — and holding my hand while showing me the way.

I have my own desires from God — a calling — a purpose. But I’ve chosen to put the gift first — to follow his calling and purpose — to follow hi...

February 2, 2019

In case you’re wondering...

Yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead (referenced in Genesis 37:25, Jeremiah 8:22, Jeremiah 46:11).

There is a healing balm if you won’t reject Him. Jesus wants to heal the broken hearted. (See Psalm 34:18, Luke 4:18; NKJV.)

But the healing balm is applied when you open up and let Jesus in to see and touch your wounds. It’s not a “shout it out” kind of healing, but, rather, healing that comes from daily, relational, conversational meetings with the healer. It’s messy and takes a lot of courage to experience.

So, yes, there is a healing balm in Gilead. You just have to be willing to let Him do His work.

... in case you’re wondering.

February 2, 2019

I can’t claim to have already overcome, but I am growing fruit through the overcoming process.

Through this process I have discovered that it is easier to forgive hurts from the past than it is to forgive hurts happening in the present. This is true for me because I’ve learned how to separate myself from the past. However, I have not mastered separating myself from my present. And to forgive in the present requires me to make decisions today that demonstrate forgiveness. This means I have to live in ways that will make me vulnerable to continual hurt. I can’t build walls of protection when I know from experience that more wounds are most likely coming my way.

Maybe you’re arguing with me about my right for boundaries. If so, my response proposes a different definition for boundaries. Boundaries should not be put in place for the purpose of protecting myself from hurt. Those boundaries have never proven successful for me because I still feel hurt when people are hurtful. Rather, bound...

November 25, 2018

My husband is encouraging me to start a live connect group. I’m curious to know if any of you would be interested in being a part of something like this once a month. If I do it, I would like for it to be a conversational venue about the same kinds of topics I write about in my blogs. To allow for conversation, it would need to be limited to about 15 people each time—so the first 15 to respond to the invite when I send it out each month would get the link. If this is something you would like to participate in, leave a comment. Thanks.  

October 31, 2018

While in the midst of the chaos caused by a series of negative life events, I found myself focused on survival—fighting to breathe and stay alive spiritually. I was terrified. So much of what had become a valuable part of my life had been ripped out from under me.

I finally found a place to land, and I’ve noticed how this more stable moment I’m living in now has given me a chance to process what I couldn’t process before. For these past two years I’ve been grieving my losses and doing a lot of thinking.

I’ve recognized that it is very difficult to find the good in people who have hurt me. I’ve also recognized that it is easy to validate my hurt feelings. All I have to do to validate my hurt is tell others about how bad I’ve been hurt and how badly the person who hurt me behaved. Both saying the words out loud and hearing the agreements come back to me make my hurt feel justified and strengthened. It also makes the hole in my heart grow bigger.

As I’ve experienced my own behavior, I’ve th...

October 27, 2018

When driven to pray in the midst of hurt, the go-to prayer tends to be focused on hurtful people stopping their behavior so the pain for those being hurt will end. That is true, at least, for me. But, in my experience, every time I start praying that prayer, I am the one who ends up being changed.

Now, after so many experiences with this, when I find myself driven to pray for my pain from hurtful people to end and for hurtful people to change from hurting me, I hear the words of the right prayer in the back of my mind. Yet I’ve also noticed my resistance to praying the right words. I should be praying for God to change my perspective, but I don’t want to change my perspective. My flesh says changing my perspective isn’t fair. Why should my perspective have to change when it’s others who are engaging in wrong behavior?

The truth is, there will always be hurtful people who come my way who will never change. I can’t change them. Neither can God change them if they don’t want to change. But...

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