Leave Yesterday’s Mistakes Behind




yesterdays mistakes

 

Our past is a huge part of our future…our stories shape us and we become a women of our individual journeys. I don’t believe we can or should leave our stories behind us and think that we can just forget where we’ve been or what we’ve done.

But let’s not let our mistakes or sins keep us from the beauty that God has before us.

The ashes are a necessary part of the beauty, but don’t let the ashes direct us, let hope and trust in the Father direct us.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Revenge Is So Tempting

I may regret this post later. I’m going to be honest. Revenge is tempting. Right now. I’m wedged between tears and anger, vomiting and screaming.

I have the platform to spew out my side of the story and set the record straight. I have publishers that have asked me to share my story.

But as temporarily satisfying as that would be, I won’t. Not now. Not with the current state of my heart.

This verse, gives me pause. It helps me get my head on straight and lifts my chin back up to look in my Father’s face.

“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” Luke 6:27-30

So I’m writing this to you, thinking maybe you can relate. If not today, another time perhaps. And I hope this gives you encouragement to know that you’re not alone.

As I wrote in yesterday’s post:

 “We’re all tired of the cookie cutter Christian woman, we want real. We want honest. We want raw. We want to see the broken bloody parts, only then will we see the power of grace make a difference. We need to know we’re not alone in our messes.”

I’m bleeding today, but once I made the decision to put it in God’s hands, I felt His grace. Peace came back and I know that He is healing those wounds.

As tempting as revenge is, I know it’s empty and damaging. I’ve learned that the hard way.

The most wonderful part of being at this place in my journey with God is that I have such an amazing sense of His love and presence in my life, that even though life can break my heart, it can never take away the peace that an honest relationship with God has brought into my life.

I don’t serve Him to get anything but Him. I didn’t used to be able to say that. Position meant everything, titles ruled my life.

I’ve been considering (for a couple months now) taking a hiatus from all things Praise and Coffee. I haven’t made any decisions about it yet, but it gives me such joy to know that stepping away from Praise and Coffee would not be a step away from ME. My identity is found in the love the Father has for me and no title gives or takes that away. I believe that we all need to occasionally put our “stuff” (ministries etc) on the altar as Abraham did with Isaac and make sure it’s not becoming an idol before our God.

Anyways…

Thanks for listening, any thoughts on revenge and how God has walked you through this temptation?

EDIT: I wrote this today to clarify some of the things in this post.

 

The Effects of Abuse

If you have been abused, I’m so sorry. I wish I could wrap my arms around you. I would whisper in your ear …“the abuse does NOT define you…you have worth…you are precious to God…He loves you.”

I’ve been there.

I was molested as a child.

No, I don’t talk about it much. Only when I feel a prodding sense that someone might need to hear it.

A “friend” of the family took a child whose self-esteem was already dangling by a thread and violently tore it away.

Abusers don’t consider the pain they cause. They are selfish.

They don’t care that they leave a crumpled little girl struggling to understand. Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Where are my protectors?

Can you relate? Maybe your abuse came in a different form. Maybe it was actual bruises that peppered your fragile frame, or maybe the bruises hid quietly behind a shy smile that you painted on when someone started to see the angst in your eyes.

My scars were not visible but I saw them every day. Like a scab that I unconsciously picked at until it bled and I could no longer deny its reality.

Chosen last for the kick ball game at recess. The boys teased me about my crooked teeth. The teacher overlooked me despite furiously waving my hand when I knew the answer.
They all seem like innocent actions, but I knew. I knew it was because I was not important. I belong in the background. I was used. I was only beneficial to appease a demented man’s needs.

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned how distorted my thinking had become.

My heart is heavy for those who through abuse or neglect now turn to horrible self-destructive behaviors such as cutting, substance abuse, bulimia etc. Please if that is you, seek Christian counsel. Sit down with someone who will pray with you and help bring healing, comfort and hope to you.
God knows you and loves you and I am praying for any victims who read this. You were made for a purpose, to KNOW your creator as Father, friend and Savior. You were not made for the abuse you’ve suffered. It does not define you. You are beautiful, you have worth, and you are loved.

I’d love to hear from you.

Bring God Your Brokenheart

Hello friends,
I know that I have written before about God healing our brokenhearts, but I feel that as I read your emails and talk to some of you, it is an ongoing issue for many of us.
I have combined a few of my old posts to hopefully minister healing to your hearts today.

I was talking with a friend once about the battle that takes place in our mind and thoughts. I had been struggling with depression and discouragement after walking through an extremely difficult and painful situation.

I told her how I had forgiven those involved, but I could not seem to get past the pain even though it had been months since it happened. I knew that in my heart I had forgiven, I was even able to see those involved and not have anger in my heart. So why was I still hurting?

I was praying on a regular basis for God to reveal to me if there was more that I needed to do in the situation, but it seemed I was without direction.
Did I really forgive them?
Was I just fooling myself?
I didn’t think so, but still I couldn’t get past it.

My friend spoke to me from the heart of God, she said ‘I think you have forgiven, you’re not doing anything wrong, but it sounds like you need healing from a broken heart.

Psalms 147:33
He heals the brokenheartedand binds up their wounds.
NIV

I knew at that moment that those words were from the heart of God.

It hit me like a fresh wind. I was so excited that I got off the phone with her right away and went to be alone with the Lord. I poured my soul out to Him and asked Him to heal my wounded heart.

Once again I prayed for those that had hurt me and thanked God for completely healing my heart. It was wonderful! I know that He did a deep healing in my heart that day. For weeks I didn’t hurt and joy overflowed in my heart.

But, Satan lurks and waits- sometimes he’s more patient than we are, and a day came when I had an opportunity to once again pick up the pain from the past.

As if I was rehearsing for a play, I re-enacted scenes in my mind of what this person had done, how I would respond and what they might say. Before I knew what was happening, the hurt started to creep back in. This time though was different than all the rest, because I knew that God had healed me and I realized that satan was trying to get me to fall back into that pit of pain and depression.

I stood my ground and started to pray. I cast those thoughts out of my head and thanked the Lord for healing my broken heart.

2 Cor 10:5
Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
NKJV

I believe that if I had continued on that thought pattern, I could have fallen into that pit and started the horrible cycle of pain all over again. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit helped me recognize that attack.

As wonderful as it is when God reveals and heals a heart in this manner, I realize that not all healing happens this way.

I picture some of our pain like a spider web. Our heart can be broken and the effects can affect many different relationships and situations that we don’t even realize at the onset. Then as we walk through this life, different seasons reveal the need for healing from events in our past.

Let me tell you about another time when my heart was broken.

When I was a young girl around 8 years old, I was sexually abused by a friend of the family for over a year of my life. The abuse has affected so many areas of my life. I have since forgiven the man and God has healed my heart, but that does not mean that it is over and done with.

There are still times that fears and pain will come up that I can trace back to this event. When I see it affecting my relationships, I have to address the root of the issue and go to God with it.

When I was a teenager, I heard a speaker at church talking about God healing people who had been abused. He talked about forgiveness being part of the process of healing. I really broke down that night. I prayed for God to heal me and prayed for the man who had abused me all those times.

I felt God’s love and I felt protected. I know that God has healed me because if I saw that man today, I could share God’s love with him. I could tell him that I forgive him. Not because he deserves it, but because I need that same forgiveness from God that I don’t deserve.

I could let my heart be bitter towards him and wait until he begs on his hands and knees for me to forgive him, but that would only hurt me.

Matt 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
NIV

I will not let Satan continue the abuse in me by holding on to unforgiveness in my heart. To keep bitterness in me is to continue being a victim. I don’t want to be a victim ever again.

God healed my heart, and the “sting” of the pain is gone. However, I still remember what happened, I still struggle with trust and security.Thankfully, I now have a relationship with my Heavenly Father that is safe and secure and I know that He will never stop loving me.

The truth of the matter is that life can break your heart. But GOD. He can bind us up and bring healing. He makes beauty out of life’s mud.

Bring your pain and sorrow to Him. Let Him hold you close and heal you.

Psalms 40:2-3
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rockand gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fearand put their trust in the LORD.
NIV

Glory to God for a new song!!!!

I’m praying for you,
Sue

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