Putting on the Armor of God

I believe our tragedies are our shackles until we grieve, and then they can become our armor. It’s so important to grieve our losses after tragedy – grieve who we thought we had, who we thought we could trust, who betrayed us, what was taken from us, and what was done to us… but especially grieve who we once were. When we work through the stages of grief, we come to a place of acceptance. Grieving allows God to manifest His power in our brokenness! The pain isn’t gone, but it’s not tying us down or holding us back… and that is when it can be used as armor! Armor to protect others and love people even more than before!

Today, I choose again to not allow the tragedies in my life to stop me from being all that God created me for. My armor is to protect me from the blows of the enemy, but I remain soft and tender underneath! I will not harden my heart to the world. I will continue to love people and give mercy and give chances. I will listen to my intuition and I will trust the Holy Spirit unctions God has given me. I will stand firm on God’s Word. ♥

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20

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Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Due to a heavy heart and many tears, I had to write a letter to a man who hurt someone I love and dispose of it… it’s so hard not to just shake some people with the truth of their inaction. You have no idea the impact you have on someone else who should be able to rely on you. You don’t just hurt people with discouraging words or physical violence, sometimes the most painful thing you can do to someone is pretend they don’t exist.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Jesus

The Love of Jesus ♥

“If people want us to ‘get over it’ they have to first allow us the room to grieve, get angry, and feel the full range of emotions that come with healing. The very things they think mean we aren’t ‘over it’ are the exact things we NEED to do.” Jennifer Lynne Stuck

I more often have heard the well-meaning “let it go and let God” or “move forward and stop letting it hold you back” or, “think positive thoughts.” I’ve also had the nasty comments of “get over it” or “stop holding grudges” and “get out of the past” but far less than the loving responses from people who genuinely cared and wanted me to feel better. I’ve tried all of these things thinking there must be something wrong with me that I can’t just think positively and change my thoughts, that I’m still dealing with these things after 16 years, maybe I really am holding a grudge… yet I’ve not fully allowed myself to process what was done to me in order to get beyond where I was because of my refusal to look at the truth of what I was feeling. And I’m finally seeing the importance of being real about where I’m at so I can get to that healthy and whole place I believe is awaiting me.

God created us as emotional beings, so our emotions matter. Even when they are not based on truth – it’s feeling those emotions that allows us to get to the truth. I can lie to myself and everyone around me and say I’m not hurting, I’m not angry, I’m not wounded or broken… but I can’t lie to God. And it’s God Who continues to bring me back to the truth of what I’m feeling so I face it and feel it and get through it to the truth of who I can be, where I can go, and what I can do.

The healing process isn’t always comfortable for people to watch and witness – but it’s valuable. For the one healing and for the one watching. The one watching is learning to be uncomfortable in their compassion to act. A kind word, a hug, a “I’m so sorry you’re going through this”, a bit of self-reflection and evaluation, etc. When we see something hard to see like a homeless person, a bereaved parent, a rape victim, etc…. these should all move us to compassion! Instead, many in our society don’t want to think of that happening; many in our society don’t want to believe that things can be so painful that thinking positively isn’t always enough.

The Bible teaches, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 and yet, we forget that compassion is what is honorable, true, and just. We forget that while someone has a beautiful life, they are still living in this world and because of that, sorrows are present. Therefore, sitting with them and loving on them IS lovely, IS commendable, IS praiseworthy!

Encouraging someone to be positive isn’t. It’s not helpful and in many cases it invalidates what they are going through and it hurts them more because they don’t want to be struggling. They want to be happy, whole, and empowered. The only way for them to feel happy, whole, and empowered is the love of Jesus and one way that comes through is by the compassion of His people.