The day God stepped in

“Hey, God, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to do this thing.  I know it’s something that you would totally not want me to do, but it’s something that I want to do, so, yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and do it.  I’ll deal with your disappointment and my own guilt later, okey dokey?  Thanks.”

“I love you, child.  I know that I gave you free will, and that I can’t stop you from making what will only be a bad decision.  I know you are better than this.  I will never turn my back on you, and I will be here waiting for you with open arms when you are ready to come back to me.”

“Yeah, thanks God.  I’ll see you later.

Though this is not a word-for-word account of the conversation I had with God yesterday, it is pretty dang close.  It was definitely not one of the finer moments in my walk with Christ, but I everyone has moments when they get in the flesh, when they stumble and fall.  When you are on the ground you have two choices as how to proceed.  You can either choose to stay on the ground or you can choose to get up.  Nobody can make that decision for you.  God will let you stay down or he will help you get up, but He will never force you to do anything that goes against your free will, that you don’t want to do.

Mine was not a slow fall, but it’s a fall I have taken before.  Though I didn’t fall as hard as I did a few years ago, it was still a fall.  I know the exact day that I tripped, and that was the day that I started tuning God.

My weakness has always been sex.  I have always been the girl that they guys wanted to be only be friends with.  I was always the girl they went to for advice about their relationships with other girls.  On many occasions they said, “oh, she is like a sister to me.”  Those weren’t really the words a girl wants to hear when the feelings she has toward the guy are more than those of sisterly love or friendship.  I learned that guys wanted to hang out with me if I let them sleep with me.  I had more than my fair share of promiscuous relationships.  It’s not something I am proud of, but it is a part of my history, a part of who I am today.  I can’t change the way the story starteed, but I can change the way it ends.

Thirteen years ago my husband and I got married.  Six years ago I started my first extramarital affair.  It was purely sex and nothing more.  A year later I started my second affair.  There was no sex, but it was an emotional affair.  I could say that it was just as bad as the physical relationship with the other guy, but I believe that it actually may have been worse, because the emotional connection that I should have been giving to my husband, I was instead giving to a man who did not want, nor deserve, that level of relationship with me.

A month-and-a-half ago a new person walked into my life.  Immediately my hormones went on high alert.  I found myself shamelessly flirting with this man.  I was trying to let him know that I was available if he wanted me.  The problem:  I am NOT available at all.  The previous two affairs ended a few years ago.  I finally told my husband about them two years ago (thought I still suspect that he knew all along), and he showed great mercy by forgiving me even though I didn’t deserve it (sound like anyone else?  God, perhaps?)  Yet, fully aware of my actions and not caring about consequences, I was actively pursuing this new person in my life.

One of the worst parts of my previous two affairs were all of the lies that I told to everyone.  Not just my husband.  I lied to friends, coworkers, my son, and I lied to myself.  I told myself that I was entitled to do whatever I needed to do to make myself happy, that I wasn’t hurting anyone, that it was just sex, or it was just two friends getting together for lunch.  I told more lies in those two years than I told in all the years of my life leading up to that point.

Last week, in an attempt to be alone with this person (despite my husband or his girlfriend) I asked the guy if he wanted to get together for a night of whiskey and tequila.  He was having a rough week and I don’t know what I was thinking (yes, I do).  We made plans to get together tonight.  I was going to stay at his house (on the couch) and we were going to spend the night drinking together.

“My chid, you have obviously lost your mind and can no longer think straight enough to protect yourself, so I am going to step in here and protect you from yourself.  You have come too far to go down this path again”

“Thanks, but I don’t need your help, God.”

“Yes, you do.”

“It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade”

This morning I got ready for work.  I made sure to pack a change of clothes for work tomorrow and come comfies for my night of tequila.  I had told my husband that I was going to my boss’s house for a girls night of margaritas.  I was supposed to have a meeting at church tonight, and was fully prepared to lie to my pastor by saying that I was swamped with work and wouldn’t be able to make it.  Everything was falling perfectly into place.  That is until the I saw the person I was supposed to be spending the evening with.  He looked rough.  He looked exhausted.  Further inquiry revealed that he hadn’t slept well last night and was not feeling well this morning.

By the end of the day his eyes were noticeably glassy and he looked like he could simply fall down asleep at any moment.  I told him that he needed to just go home and go straight to bed.  He agreed.  Before I left him for the day I told him that he still owed me a whiskey and tequila night.  He apologized, having forgotten about our plans on top of not feeling well.

“Set me free of the chains holding me
Is anybody out there hearing me?
Set me free”

I walked out to my car, and all I could think to do was thank God for keeping me from doing something that would have been tremendously stupid, from protecting me from my own desires.  God never acted on my own free will.  That’s not how He works.  He will never stop you from making bad decisions.  What God did was arrange circumstances such that my free will never had a chance to act.  He intervened on my behalf because He loves me and didn’t want me to take a fall that I may not have been able to get back up from.

I am not worthy of his love and attention.  My actions over the last several weeks prove that.  But despite my actions, despite my words, no matter how many times I turn from Him and get into my own desires, He is still there watching over me, loving me, and protecting me from my own worst enemy: myself.

How has God protected you from yourself?

Until next time . . .

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People vs. Love

keep out

I was talking with a friend recently.  For the sake of this post I shall name this friend Erin.  Erin is an great friend to many around her.  She is a devoted spouse and parent.  She is a positive influence.  But Erin is wearing a mask.  But, honestly, aren’t we all wearing some form of mask?  We are one person with our family . . . hopefully that is the most true version of ourselves.  We are another person with friends, and still yet another person with our co-workers.

Masks come from a deep-seated insecurity.  Every morning we wake up and put on the mask of the person that we want others to see and to like because we are afraid that the person that really lives inside our skin is not good enough.

Erin is very good at wearing her mask.  Yet as I was talking with her recently she slowly took her mask off.  I could tell that it terrified her to do so, but once the mask was off I was blessed to meet the real woman inside my friend.  She is wounded and afraid.  She is insecure and filled with doubt.  She is beautiful and broken.  She is filled with shame, doubt, and guilt.  But even deeper than that is a desire to rise above it all and make a better life than what she has ever known.  It was an honor to be one of the few people that have truly seen inside Erin’s heart and soul, and because she took that risk with me, someone that she has not known but for a short while, I am indebted to her for her level of trust in me.

I have been where Erin is.  I have lived through ugly things that left me hating myself, doubting myself, and feeling unworthy of anything good in my life.  I have been beaten down verbally, mentally, and emotionally by others and by my own hand.  I have looked at myself in the mirror and hated the person looking back at me.  I have been empty and searching for someone or something that would fill the void that seemed to be nothing but a black hole.

All of that stems from love, though.  An old friend once told me that he gave up on people because they were always walking out of his life.  I was eventually one of the people that walked out of his life, too.  But he was never willing to invest himself into a relationship.  Without that investment from him, people had nothing to hang on to.  He was so scared of being hurt that he built a wall around himself to keep people out and then wondered why nobody stayed in his life.  He was unwilling to make the choice to love, and no relationship can stand with only one leg.  Relationships of any kind are a team effort.

No matter what Hallmark cards and romantic-comedies lead us to believe, love is a choice.  Love is something we wake up every single day and choose to give and take.  Love is not an emotion that magically grows in the heart the way that my sunflowers grow in my garden each summer.  One day we look at a person and we make the decision to love them, to accept their quirks and idiosyncrasies, to take off our mask and be real with them, and maybe even get them to take off their mask, too.  But, conversely, sometimes we wake up and decide to stop loving that person.  Love is a choice.

Here’s the thing though, we can not give or take love until we make the biggest decision regarding love.  We must decide to love ourselves.  The friend with the wall built around himself saw little worth within himself.  He didn’t feel good enough to be loved, and thus he saw himself as flawed and broken.  He didn’t love himself enough to be willing or able to take the risk on loving someone else.  Because of that, he spent a very long time alone and unhappy which made him dislike himself even more.  The only reason I was in his life for as long as I was, and the only reason I made the decision to love him, was because I saw behind his mask.  I pushed my way into his life.  I scaled his wall, and earned his trust, and eventually his (guarded) love.  But love was the reason I had to walk away.

Erin is in a similar boat.  But where the walled-heart friend was unwilling to let people into his life, Erin is open to those healthy and fulfilling relationships.  Erin is unable to see in herself what those around her can see in her.  She is terrified of becoming the person that scares her the most . . . the woman she hates, the woman she can’t forgive, the woman that caused hurt to others . . . the woman she used to be.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t fear becoming the woman I used to be.  There have been times where my past has come back to haunt me.  It has happened within the last couple of weeks, and that is something that I am struggling with, because I know that I am not the person I was three years ago.  I am not the person I was one year ago.  But the person I used to be is always lingering in the shadows waiting for her opportunity to come back to the forefront.  But every single day I wake up and make the decision to keep the old Heather in her place, and I make the decision to love myself more that I loved the things of my past.

In coming to see myself as someone worthy of my own love and the love of others I had to make one gigantic, and nearly impossible, decision.  I had to see that I was worthy of forgiveness.  When I was able to see that and then forgive myself, I was able to go to the people that I hurt and ask for their forgiveness.  My husband was one of those people, and I honestly did not expect him to forgive me, but his did, and it was in that moment that I saw how much he chose to love me, and in that moment I was also able to finally see that I am worthy of being loved.  That is when I started to finally love myself.

Erin is not a bad person.  I am not a bad person.  My walled-heart friend is not a bad person.  YOU are NOT a bad person.  We are all good people.  The thing about people though is that we sometimes make some really stupid decisions.  Those decisions can lead to anger, regret, guilt, and self-loathing.

You are not defined by the stupid decisions you have made.

I am not defined by the fact that I cheated on my husband.  I am defined by one simple and immovable fact . . . I am a forgiven, redeemed, and LOVED daughter of God.  He loved me even when I thought I was the worst person in the world.  He loved me even when I was cheating on my husband.  He loved me in my darkest moments, and he knew that one day I know his love for me and that would be enough to fill the black hole in my soul.  As soon as I was able to accept His love for me I was finally able to see my worth to him, and love myself.

Erin is still looking at herself through her own eyes.  I’ve been there.  But one day Erin will hopefully wake up and look in the mirror and see a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman.  One day Erin will hopefully wake up and see herself through God’s eyes instead of her own.  One day Erin will hopefully wake up and see the woman that God is shaping her to be instead of the woman that Erin is fighting to leave in the past.  One day Erin will hopefully wake up and the choice will be made to love herself.

Do you love yourself?  If not, what is holding you back?  Isn’t it time you look in the mirror and finally see the person staring back at you is a good person, a decent person, a person that is worthy of your love?

chess

Until next time . . .

Spew forth the word-vomit

Forewarning:  I have a feeling that this particular post is going to be a like a geyser spewing forth.  It’s going to be forceful and largely unproductive.  The meanderings of a brain needing to word-vomit.  I don’t really have anything to say, but the fingers have that need-to-write itch.

I am exhausted today.  I am mentally and physically spent.  I have felt this way for a while.  Too many directions.  Too many destinations.  Too many commitments.  Not enough down time.

battery

I got an email from my advisor at school today.  It’s time to register for next semester.  I’m thinking of not registering for next semester.  I am having one of those days where I am wondering if the time that class consumes, and thus takes away from my family, is really worth it.  I am having one of those days where I am discouraging myself with how long I have until I graduate.  I feel like I will never get there, and if I do, I will be too old to even put that degree to work.  I am having one of those days where I am talking myself out of school because of a class I have to take next semester that I know is going to kick my ass, and I am convincing myself that I am not up to the task.  I’m just having one of THOSE days.

An old friend recently reappeared, much to my shock and surprise.  It was not the old friend that I was hoping for.  That ship has obviously sailed.  Yesterday I was alright with that sailing.  Tomorrow I may even be alright with that sailing.  Today, I am not alright with any sailing ships.  I realized recently though that I don’t miss that person.  I miss what that person meant to me, and what he was in my life.  I have no idea who that man is anymore, and he doesn’t know me.  I miss the person that I knew and maybe I even miss, a little bit, the person I was when we were friends.  But there was a reason he left, and that is that.

The amazing reappearing long-lost friend that recently resurfaced had been out of my life, by my choosing, for the past 3 years.  He once told me that when people choose to walk away from him that he is done . . . completely . . . with them.  If they don’t want to be around him, then he reciprocates the feeling.  So that is what I did.  I was a much different person three years ago.  I was struggling with some demons that could not be exorcised as long as he was in my life.  So, I cut all ties.  I turned and walked away with nary a word as to why.

But looking back, I can also admit now that part of me was testing his word.  Would he really allow me, a person he called a friend, to walk away as he said he would?  Would he “chase” me?  Would he call or text to find out why I was not contacting him?  Nope.  He was true to his word.  And that hurt.  It hurt a lot, because I had poured a lot of myself into that friendship.  For him to so easily allow me to walk away, it made me feel disposable, useless, like a friend of convenience.  It reaffirmed my feelings of our friendship being completely one-sided.  So when the amazing disappearing act occurred again last year with my long-time friend . . . same feelings all over again.  Why am I so disposable?  Why is it so effing easy for people to walk away from me?

Because some people are takers.  They will take and take and take until you have nothing left to give them, and then they move on to the next person that is of benefit to them.

That is where my head is today.  I am just a general ball of discontendedness today, and for that I apologize.  I have fallen into my head, because I am exhausted.  It would be easy for me to say that I don’t have the strength today to fight the negativity that the past is dredging to the surface, but that would imply that I rely on my own strength.

My strength does not come from within myself.  My strength comes from the Lord, but today I feel like he’s taken a coffee break in my life.  There are no obstacles that I am fighting to overcome.  I am simply my own obstacle, and I am getting in the way of Him.

Just for the record, I have forgiven both of those people.  They were just using the coping mechanism they had at the time to deal with issues in their life that I happened to be a part of.  I have been guilty of the same thing.  I run.  I am non-confrontational.  Which is why I walked away from one friend three years ago, and allowed the other to walk away from me one year ago.

Anytime I am leading a group at Celebrate Recovery I always tell my girls to find something positive from the past week.  A life can not be spent focusing solely on the negative things.  Life must be balanced.  Positive and negative.  I’ve already spewed forth negativity, so something positive . . . so far I am acing my Social Work class.  Perfect scores on all of my assignments.  Today I was able to use my job to help a friend in a fundraising effort for a need in the community.  My husband is getting baptized on Sunday!

Until next time . . .

Weight on the cross

Look at this cross.

CROSS

How much weight do you think it could carry?

We know it carried the weight of a man.  If you look at the cross you can see his head, his arms, and his legs.  But do you see what is in the center?

Right there in the middle of the cross is the strongest and most overlooked part of the cross.  It is more than the intersection of two boards.  It is the heart of the cross.  It is the heart of Jesus.  It is the intersection of the path of the lost and the road of the redeemed.  It is right there in the heart of a man who loved us so much that he was willing to be hung on a cross and die for us so that we could spend eternity in Heaven with his Father.

So when you look at this cross, see more than two boards.  See more than the nails.  See more than that blood that was shed for our sins.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ arms that wrap around you in your best and worst moments.  The moments when you feel hopeless.  The moments when you feel thankful.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ head with his face turned to Heaven as he prayed to his father, knowing that he was dying for you.

Look at this cross and see Jesus’ legs that carry the weight of not just my sin and your sin.  But the sin of the entire world . . . on two little boards.  All you have to do is lay that sin down at the cross.

You may have already given your life to Christ, but we all still carry baggage.  Addiction, anger, lying, stealing, fear, anxiety . . . something that we have not yet been willing to give up.  You know that the moment Christ came into you heart you were made new.  You are not defined by the sins you carry around.  You are a loved, redeemed, and forgiven child of God.  So whatever sin you are still holding on to . . . even that secret sin that you think nobody knows about . . . now is the time to lay it down once and for all at the cross.

Jesus was nailed to the cross to cleanse us of our sins.  He was the ultimate and final sacrifice for anything that comes between us and God.  So what is still standing between you and God?

There is no sin too big or too small that can not be forgiven.  All you have to do is be willing to let it go.

Romans 3:9, 10 says, “What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’”

1 John 1:8,9 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

ALL unrighteousness.  Even what you are still hanging onto right now.

Take a moment to think about what you need to nail to the cross.  This is just between you and God, but we all have something to nail to this cross.

What is God laying on your heart right now?  What is God saying that you’ve been holding on to for too long and that it is time to finally let go of?

Write it down.  Get on your knees and pray.  Do whatever you need to do right now to get that sin out of you, and confess it to God.  There is nothing that you can say to Him that will make Him turn away from you.  There is nothing that you can say to Him that He doesn’t already know.  He is with you always, so he already knows everything you’ve done.  But to be forgiven you must admit to him.  You must take ownership of what you have done.  Then the slate can be wiped clean.  Nail it to the cross.  Nail it to the cross, and do not pick it back up.

No matter how strong you think your sin is, this cross is stronger.  The love of Christ is stronger.  Whatever sin you are still carrying around, the forgiveness of God is stronger.

No matter how dirty you think your sin makes you, this cross can cleanse you.

Freedom from your sin is found in the intersection of those two boards.

CROSS

Forgiveness is found in the heart of the cross . . . in the heart of Christ and the love of God, because this cross was built strong enough to carry it all.

Until next time . . .

Life is good

It has been over a month since I have posted anything.

Silence.

It is wonderful sometimes.

Nothing new has happened in my life since my last post.  Things are going well.  I’m keeping busy with church, with classes at school (perhaps I did take on a bit too heavy of a load this semester, but I’ll get through it).  Things are staying on an even keel, so I definitely can’t complain.

I am thankful for the everyday mundaneness (is that even a word?) of my life right now.  I work.  I go to class or do my homework.  I watch tv.  I go to church.  I spend time with my husband and son.  Life is quiet, predictable, and simple.  Life is good.

I like the sound of that.  Life is good.

Life wasn’t always good.  I searched in many wrong places for what I thought would make life good.  I searched out the wrong people that I thought held the secret to making my life good.  I wasted a lot of time over the years searching for a life that was good.  It turned out that “good” was always there.  I was searching for better.  I was searching to fill a void that I didn’t even realize existed.  I was searching for the magic cork to seal my empty soul.

Life can’t be good if your soul is running on empty.

But then I found the cork, if you will.  Or, rather, I was found.  That void in my soul was a God-shaped void, and he found me at church one morning in November, 2015.  He tied a string around my heart and pulled me to him.  (That makes it sound like I was a steer that got roped by a heavenly cowboy!)  Then that night while sitting in a gold chair in my pastor’s living room the empty void in my soul was filled as only God can do.  My life has not been the same since.

Giving my life to Christ has not made my life easier.  Birds don’t always chirp.  I am not always walking on a perpetual rainbow of joy, love, and happiness.  But in those moments when life is dragging me down I always know that God is there to pull me back up.  He pulled me up from my darkest moments.

I spent too long in a very dark period.  I hurt the people who were closest to me, all of which is chronicled in the earliest posts of this blog.  I was not a good person.  I was a liar.  I was an adulterer.  I was a sinner.

Today, I am still not always a good person.  But I have God’s love and forgiveness.  I have the forgiveness of those I hurt.  I have forgiven myself.  I am not defined by the mistakes I made.  I am defined by the love that God has for me.  I am a sinner, and I am a loved and redeemed child of God.

Life is good.

Until next time . . .

That day is not today

Abusive relationships . . . when most people think of them they immediately think of domestic violence.  But that is not always the definition of an abusive relationship.

One year ago I sat on my couch and wrote a letter.  I placed the letter in a stamped and addressed envelope.  That envelope went into the mailbox, and a few days letter found its way into the hands of the addressee.  That letter told the recipient that in no uncertain terms was she ever welcome to contact me again.  She is my husband’s ex-wife.

She and I had been friends.  Then she started taking advantage of me, and of things I would do for her and her children.  She is a narcissist.  She suffers from a severe sense of entitlement, and feels she is always the victim.  I wanted to help her.  All I did was enable her behavior.  She also has an explosive temper that would put Mt. Vesuvius to shame.  People like her will take and take and take.  Eventually the more they take the more they want, the more they expect.  There were times when I was unable to do whatever it was she claimed to need.  That’s when I became like the village of Pompeii buried, unexpectedly, under ash and suffocated by toxic fumes.  Later she would cool off and come begging for forgiveness.  She would tell me how important I was to her, and that she valued our friendship so much, that she didn’t deserve a friend like me, and that I was such a blessing to her.

It was the cycle of abuse.  I experienced the exact same thing with my former step-father when I was a child.  He was an abusive alcoholic.  The worst event ended with his offering me a new, pretty pair of socks as a peace offering.

This friendship had me in knots.  I couldn’t express my frustration with her because to do so would ignite her temper.  So I took my anger and frustration out on the closest person . . . my husband.  A year ago my marriage was on the verge of falling apart.  I was miserable.  My husband was miserable.  I blamed her for making me so unhappy.  I blamed him for allowing her to control so much of our life.  I blamed myself for allowing the friendship to dissolve into what it had become.  But I thought, “if I do enough for her, if I help her enough, then she will see that there is good in the world and she will turn around.  It is my duty as a Christian to help those around me, and the Lord put her in my life for that reason.  She never means what she says.  She always apologizes.  She isn’t really a mean person.  She just needs me to fix her, if I can care about her enough.”

Eventually she threw some extremely ludicrous accusations at my husband and then got angry at me for taking his side.  In her anger she threw the same accusations at me.  She screamed.  She yelled.  She made threats.  She called and texted to the point where I had to block her on Facebook, and through my phone provider.  I also had to block every member of her family because I knew that she would use their phones or Facebook pages to try to contact me.  She contacted my friends, and even my pastor, and plied them for information or tried to fill them with the perceived awful things I said or did to her.  When confronted by all those people I told my side of the story and showed them her text messages.

A few months later, under the mentality of forgive and forget, I made up with her.  I can look back now though and see that the truth was that I was weak and didn’t know how to function without that dynamic in my life, as twisted as that my sound.  I told myself that it would be different.  People can change.  A few months should have given us both time to see the errors of our ways.

I set a line in the sand and expressed to her my limits for our continued friendship.  Red flags should have started going up in my head at that moment.  You should not have to say to a friend, “alright, here are the rules if we are going to be friends.”  That is what I had to do though.  Things were peachy for a few weeks, but over the following four months things eventually went back to where they had been, ending with the night she called my husband demanding that I unblock her from Facebook and my cell phone (which I had never gotten around to doing, because my gut told me it was a bad idea . . . should have been yet another red flag!).  That was the night I sat down and wrote the letter to her.  It was a year ago, almost exactly one year ago to the day.

That was an abusive relationship.  It was mentally and verbally abusive.  She ran me down to make herself feel better.  She berated me when she didn’t get her way.  She made terrible accusations when she had no other ammunition.  And then her skies would clear, the hurricane of her anger would roll out, and she would come crawling back, begging for forgiveness.  And the cycle would go on.  Yes, I enabled her behavior.  I needed to do it.  I thought I was doing a good thing for her.  I thought I was helping her.  What I was really doing was looking for validation.  If she told me that I was a good person then that meant I must be a good person.  If she told me that I was a selfish bitch who cared about nobody and nothing, then she must be right about that, too.  So I did whatever I had to do to keep her happy and thinking I was good.  It was safer than the alternative.

I have spent the last year in Celebrate Recovery, predominantly because of her.  I have not spoken to her in a year.  I have forgiven myself for my behavior during that period of my life.  My husband has also forgiven me for the way I treated him during that period.  Our marriage is doing much better, but I am still working on letting go of the anger and resentment I have toward her.  I wear it like a shield, and shield that I want to get rid of, but I am so afraid to.  I am still afraid of her.

Tonight she texted my husband.  She does that occasionally because the have a daughter together from their marriage.  In her text she said that she would like to talk to me so that she can apologize.  My heart immediately began to race.  The thought of facing her still clenches ever muscle in my body.  I told my husband to not even acknowledge that portion of her text, because I know what will happen.  She will apologize and I will tell her that I appreciate the apology but still wish to not continue our friendship and then she will flip her lid.  OR the worst case scenario . . . she will apologize, and the cycle will start all over again.  Because that is how abusers operate.

I have enjoyed this year of my life free of her drama and toxicity, and I don’t want to go back to where I was.  I am still working on healing from what I allowed her to do to me, and I can not compromise myself for her.  She will have to find from another source the forgiveness she seeks.  One day I hope to be able to look at the past and say that I forgive her, but that day is not today.

So, see?  Abusive relationships can happen between anyone . . . even friends.  One beats the other down so much that the weaker one is incapable of walking away.  Like an abused dog always going back to it’s abusive master.  “Maybe tomorrow will be different, because I know they really do care about me.”

Until next time . . .

Overdue confession

It’s been a long time since I have written a personal post.  I could easily say that I don’t know why I have allowed that drought to occur.  But the truth is that I do know why.  So much has happened over the last several months.  Things that have left little time for writing, things that have left little emotional capacity for writing.

I started this blog 3 years ago as a way to release emotions that I could not always vocalize.  Yet, sometimes it’s just easier to shut down and not even try to put anything into words.

I started back to school in August.  Right now I am working on an Associates degree.  I am doing well in my classes.  I enjoy my classes, even if my writing teacher is a bit odd.

My grandmother passed away in October.  It was expected.  But what was not expected was the way some of my family members reacted to her passing.  Her death got overshadowed for me by the way some of my family members turned into vultures.  It made me sick to know that I have to call those people family.  But . . . silver lining . . . on the trip home for her funeral I had an opportunity to visit with a family member I hadn’t seen or talked to in almost 4 years.  So, out of death came reconciliation.

The last few months have seen me struggling in my walk with Christ.  I know he hasn’t left me.  It’s me that has put distance in the relationship.  I make excuses as to why I haven’t been able to get into my bible.  I have too much homework to do.  I need some “me” time.  I have class or have to work.  I’m tired.  I’ll do it later.

Aside from Sunday mornings at church, I have not cracked open my bible in months.  My pastor always says that you make time for what you truly want.  It’s not that I don’t want to grow in my relationship with Christ.  I think maybe I am a bit angry at him right now.

That’s the first time I have admitted that to myself.

This has been a crazy year.  In January I was feeling good about removing a toxic person from my life.  I was seriously considering starting back to school, something that had terrified me for years.  Things were going well at work.  Friendships were secure and continuing to grow.  But then everything that I held as positive in my life started falling apart.  My secure foothold turned out to be of nothing but sand.

Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NLT)


I was a foolish builder.  I put my faith my myself.  I put my faith in friends.  I took control back from God, despite having finally admitted last November that I was incapable of controlling my own life, that I needed God to take control.  I can see now though, that little by little I took it back from him.  I replaced my firm foundation of stone with my own weak foundation of sand.  Little by little that foundation was worn away, and now I feel lost as sea with no land in sight.

Medical problems plagued the station over the summer.  Unrest was rampant in two coworkers, which led to the abrupt departure of both of them.  The one I expected to not get a goodbye from forewarned me of his exit.  The one I put so much faith in, the one I expected a goodbye from . . . nothing.

I’m pretty sure that I am blaming God for taking him away from me.  I got to see that friend come to Christ a year ago.  I was beautiful to see how he blossomed into a strong man of God.  Then just a few months later that man was gone.  It hurt.  I was angry.  I felt abandoned.  I felt worthless.  I have blamed God for letting me give so much of my heart to this man, and then stomping on my heart like a piece of garbage.  But that kind of thinking is not of God, is it?  Nope.

Satan is the only one that would want me to think like that.  He knew he had lost me to Christ, but still found a way to try to keep me from being an effective tool for Christ.  Sadly, it worked.  I have not been the disciple that I could be.  I have been distracted by my own thoughts and feelings.  Heartbreak made me weak.  Anger and self-pity distracted me from the only person I should have looked to in that situation.  Instead, when I should have been looking to God to heal my heart, I turned away from him.  When I should have been searching for healing in God’s word I was not searching for healing at all.  I was allowing anger to harden my heart.  It happens too easily when the heart is weak.  And Satan knew where the weak spot of my heart was.

My heart is still weak.  My heart is still hardened.  I am still hurt and angry.  I still miss my friend.  A small part of me wants to reach out to him so badly.  But then fear steps in . . . what is he rejects me again.  Could I handle it?

I am weak, but my strength lies in Christ.  I just need to turn back to him.  I need to be ready and willing to lay down the hurt and anger that I am holding like a shield.  I need to forgive the man who I always said I could forgive for anything.  I need to forgive myself for turning away from Christ when I needed him most.  I need to ask for forgiveness for trying to control what was never in my control to begin with.

Until next time . . .

August Scripture Writing Plan-Healing

Healing Scripture Writing Plan-August 07-31-16

Healing Scripture Writing Plan 07-31-16 pdf

This is actually the second scripture writing plan I have posted for August.  The first one can be found here:  2 Corinthians Scripture Writing Plan.

The scripture writing plan for July can be found here:  1 Corinthians scripture writing plan

And the scripture writing plan for June can be found here:  Romans scripture writing plan

The plans listed above are based on the books of the New Testament written by the apostle Paul.  I will continue these with a scripture writing plan for September based on Galatians.

I am posting a second writing plan this month because I am struggling with healing from a recent painful event in my life.  I am struggling with forgiveness, grace, and personal healing.  After speaking with a couple of friends recently I discovered that they, too, are struggling with these same issues from events in their lives.

We all desire healing.  We all need healing.  As long as we continue through life with unhealed wounds then there is always a weak spot in our soul that Satan will use to try to weasel his way into our heads.  The best way to heal those wounds, the best way to fight off an attack from Satan, is to turn to God and his word.

I hope that you find healing from anything that is coming between you and God.

Feel free to share this on Pinterest, your own blog, or social media.  I only ask that you include a link back to this post.

Until next time . . .

June Scripture Writing Plan: Day 30 – John 8:1-11

June Scripture Writing Plan English

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

(John 8:1-11, NIV)

(Text courtesy of biblegateway.com)

(Writing plan and image courtesy of swtblessings.com)

June Scripture Writing Plan: Day 29 – Romans 8:1-4

June Scripture Writing Plan English

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

(Romans 8:1-4, NIV)

(Text courtesy of biblegateway.com)

(Writing plan and image courtesy of swtblessings.com)