Unforgivable

Your words have been on my mind sporadically the last day or so… unforgivable.

I’m not unforgivable. It’s unfortunate that my mistakes are not something you can move past, and perhaps our relationship won’t heal, however you have no authority to condemn me unless you also wish to condemn yourself. I don’t condemn you. I forgive you. Your actions have been deeply hurtful and my hurt as a result has hurt you. I’m sorry for hurting you with how I’ve worked through things. In hindsight I see many other ways I could have addressed my pain. I hope you can move past the pain and find healing, and I hope you know that your mistakes don’t define you. You are a beloved daughter of the Lord. He loves you. As I am, you’re His.

As such, I cling to Him for restoration and forgiveness and I hope you find it within yourself to see all the wrongs you’ve done through the eyes of Jesus: with grace, compassion, and love; that you allow Him to set yourself free from the mistakes you’ve made, and from the hurts done against you.

Only God chooses who is unforgivable. You my sister, are not, and neither am I. God is bigger than our pain, our hurts, our sins, and the wrongs done against us. He’s bigger than any division the enemy has created and attempts to continue to broaden. God’s sacrifice on the cross was enough. Jesus is enough. All we need is Him and to allow His Truth to renew our hearts and minds to transform us.

It’s my continued prayer that we both find His peace as completely and wholly as His desire is. That we keep searching for a deeper relationship with Him than we have and continue to go deeper still. It’s my desire that somewhere along the way we’ll find our way back to one another; healthy, restored, new, and healing.

You see. We’re not unforgivable. We are loved more than we’ll ever comprehend.

I’m still healing and growing up. I might still be hurting, but I love you, sister. I love you. That will never change.

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.

God is Near to the Brokenhearted

There is a common misconception that forgiveness means we do ourselves a favor by letting what happened go. That is not what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is the pardoning of one’s sin – freeing the offender from the burden of what they’ve done and allowing God to encounter them and forgive them upon repentance, in order that they will not be condemned to hell. The results of sin however, still have consequences. While I forgive those in my life who have brought harm against me, it doesn’t mean I don’t have healing left to do. And while I might struggle with forgiving someone, it doesn’t mean it’s preventing me to heal either. Sin can create wounds, break trust, create insecurity, and can cause a plethora of confusion to work through.

Forgiveness is a part of the healing process, but it’s not always the first step in healing. Righteous anger, making a righteous observation of whether to remove someone from their lives, grieving what’s happened and feeling the loss of what was lost, and coming to a place of acceptance with it are all parts of the process as well. For some, their process might be ever so brief, while for others it can take years.

God is aware of the battle inside each person and the conviction to forgive is a great one – when it’s time. The Word says it is better for a millstone to be put around the neck of a man and thrown into the sea to drown than he who causes one of the least of these to sin. Yes, we are to forgive those who have transgressed against us so we too can be forgiven by our Father in Heaven – but let’s not rush to forgive so quickly that we forget to be honest with God about what we’re struggling with. Wrestle it out with Him rather than pretend not to feel those things.

God sees the heart, the wounds and the ache, and He will gently care for that heart and bring it to a place of healing and forgiveness if we allow ourselves to go through the process of feeling what we’ve experienced. God is near to the brokenhearted and will bring them to that place. Let Him do His thing and please don’t force it – it will only cause one to hesitate in their process, doubt the feelings they have, perhaps even themselves, and thus delay their healing, their growth, and their intimacy with Christ.

Tell Me…

Tell me how any of my precious babes ruined my life because I didn’t go to college and don’t have a career. Tell me which one of my kids I should have started choosing abortion once life got more challenging. Tell me which one was an accident, a consequence, a mistake. Tell me.

No?

Then why are we telling women this while they are pregnant? Why are we telling women that they are missing out on life when they find themselves pregnant? Why are we telling them that these babies are just tissue inside of their womb? Why are we telling women that it would be better to end the life of that child than to face the ‘inevitable horror; of being their parent (or choosing adoption).

I’m a better person than I once was because of the lessons I’ve learned as a parent. Has it been work? Has it been tiring? Has it been challenging? Has it been the hardest thing I’ve done at times? I’ll tell you.

Yes. 

But there is such a beauty in seeing life through the eyes of a little one. There is such beauty in seeing myself through the eyes of my child. Giving up everything for my child wasn’t as tragic a sacrifice as people claim because in giving up one thing, I said yes to another – and it was the greatest treasure that no job, amount of money, no relationship, no current crisis could take away from or add to.

You not only end the life of your child when you choose abortion, you end the life of a beautiful part of you that you will never know when you choose abortion.

There is nothing more precious than the gift of a child – not only for the life they’ll lead and the lives they will touch, but for the life you will lead with them in it.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

Just Being Held

It’s getting that time in my pregnancy where I feel the need to begin hibernating from the world. I’ve been learning some new things about myself and it’s been exhausting but exciting, relieving, and has helped given me some direction in where to go from here. I’m so thankful for the intimate relationships I have who’ve been so supportive and encouraging and for my husband’s amazing attentiveness whenever I need him through this time.

It’s amazing the freedom that I am finding as I learn to surrender and let go and, as the song goes, “just be held” by the Father. That song really is a great song that speaks volumes to me this morning. How I’ve felt, the truth I need to see, and the steps to take to move out of that. So empowering!

“Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on”

This really is a great representative of how it all kind of began. I was just going about life, living life as a wife and mom and then bam, suddenly my life was so shaken. I thought it would be quick, I thought I’d work through it and keep going… but instead it was day after day of wonderful, earth shattering, heart wrecking, and intense processing and healing.

“And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go”

I had to just surrender to it… to fight it was more painful. I dove into the arms of the Father and just became real and raw to those in my life. God was so close and friends were supportive and compassionate despite my insecurities that had been established in my spirit.

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held”

I found that the best way to just work through it, was to allow the anger to be felt and the tears to fall. And truly, despite the feeling that my world was falling apart as I became aware of the realities I was surrounded with, I found that it was all coming together… and the most beautiful and healing time was as I let go and was just held.

“If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will”

Keeping my eyes on Him was the only thing that didn’t just take me out. The people in my life helping me to do that, are the most priceless and precious gifts He’s given me. Thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for your beautiful friendship. Chris, I am so thankful to be doing life with you!

“And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands”

I’m still waiting to see the completed canvas of my life, but the bits God is showing me, the bits He’s transforming out of the ash – I’m just thrilled to know it’s all in the Creator’s hands and no one else’s!

“Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who wont let go”

The most steadfast and reliable. He’ll never let me down, He’ll never harm me, He’ll use all things for the good in my life and for His glory. No matter what comes my way, He’s the perfect comforter and I’m so thankful He is leading me through the storms of life. ❤

An Overcomer

The process of healing isn’t in pretending something didn’t happen… it isn’t in developing a thicker skin or in defending oneself by building up a wall to shut people out. One might need to remove themselves from certain relationships for a time or for good, but the process of healing is in sitting with the emotions and working through them. It’s in educating oneself and in the knowledge about what you’re experiencing and learning that there isn’t something wrong with you for having these emotions. The process of healing is what God has designed in us when He created us in His image as a conqueror.

We are more than overcomers in our experiences of the pressure from internal and external sources, that feeling of being trapped, difficult circumstances, when your convictions are being suppressed or if you are experiencing punishment for them, in hunger or thirst, in exposure and vulnerability, in risky situations, and against anyone looking to take our very lives and end the breaths we take (Romans 8:35-37).

It might be uncomfortable witnessing another who is going through their healing process. Still, it is not for anyone to interrupt, disrupt, or corrupt that process. If you don’t know how to help a person who is healing, please don’t hurt them instead. Healing can take weeks, months, years, decades – depending on the circumstance and depending on whether they are encouraged to grieve and heal.

I talk to my kids often about being an encourager instead of a commander. I’m still working on this myself, but demanding someone see something a certain way is not helpful. Instead, it creates fresh wounds of their own during a time when one is already raw and vulnerable. Encouraging someone isn’t flattery either, it’s in loving with the truth that lifts another up – it’s giving them courage to take a step forward in the healing process. Sometimes that’s in allowing the tears to fall, that’s allowing the anger to be felt, that’s allowing them to sit in the stillness and presence of God… sometimes, the encouragement comes in the silence of simply listening, being present, being the arms to hold them.

There is no shame in negative emotions when grieving… we’re real, created in the beauty and love of the Father. There is no shame in the pain and heartache when you’re healing… we are a soft and tender people, created to love – it’s in that same tenderness that we feel love, that we endure pain! There is no shame in feeling broken after abuse… God created us for the freedom from participating in sin and in being sinned against, but the world is full of it. The hope comes in that this isn’t the end of the story. As we walk out our healing in God’s design – to heal in order to overcome; there is strength there when you lean on Him, there is power that is made manifest as you realize your own weaknesses, and it is there that you suddenly find yourself, an overcomer.