Is Your Past Holding You Hostage?

Your mind reels with memories that imprison you. You rehearse the events like Groundhog Day, each time inserting a new response in your mind of things you wish you’d said. If only you’d told them this or reacted like that. But at the end of your minds’ spiral, life is not changed, the facts cannot be undone.

Have you ever been tormented by your own thoughts?

I’ve spent far too long in this life rehearsing pain from my past. Betrayal, regret, even abuse, and I can’t think hard enough to process them through to a place of peace; they have to be taken hold of and released.

You know you should forgive, you want to. You want your life back. You plead with your own heart to just move on, but you can’t seem to find the freedom you desperately crave. The past is holding you hostage as you realize that you still hold out hope that somehow the memories could be different, but as long as we stay in the place of regret we cannot move forward.

Forgiveness and healing can only happen when we give up hope that the past could be different.

There is a settling in our heart that happens when we embrace the truth that the past is done, it cannot be changed. However, we can change our tomorrows, and as I let the remorse slip from my hands I start to see with the eyes of hope.

Hope is a waking dream. —ARISTOTLE

As if we wake from a long slumber, hope brings fresh eyes and dreams of freedom. Thankfully, these dreams can come true if our hope is in the Father of all life because He has promised to heal our brokenness when we bring it to Him.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalms 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3

I don’t pretend to think that this is an easy or fast process, but it’s the only process that makes us whole.  This world offers many ways to deflect the pain, but I believe that God wants to bring much more than a momentary distraction. He wants a relationship with us that brings healing and security as we discover His immense love for us.

I wish I had some fancy steps that you could take, an ABC of healing that I could throw out to you, but I don’t. I have the scars that remind me that this life is a journey not cut and tied in pretty little bows but instead a path littered with thorns and crosses, prodigals and promises. I can’t imagine trying to walk it alone, I hope you can’t either.

“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT

God created you. He knows all, He sees all, and yet He is crazy about you. He can be found in every moment if we open our eyes and look up.

Got the Winter Blues?

Need a boost of encouragement today?

Check out the latest magazine online:

Click here: Winter 2012

For articles including:
Depression
Starting Over
New Beginnings
Insecurity
Low Self Esteem
Suicide
Escaping the Sex Industry
Grief
and more!

Discouraged, depressed, shrinking back??

Feeling depressed and unmotivated? Struggling with discouragement, been tempted to shrink back lately?
So was Timothy:

2 Tim 1:3-7
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.

4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
NIV

Paul was encouraging Timothy to fan into flame the gift that God had given him, so obviously Timothy had let that gift grow cold.

How? Paul acknowledges that he is feeling fearful and intimidated and then reminds him that God didn’t give that to him, instead He gave him power, love and a sound mind:

2 Tim 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and
of love, and of a sound mind.
KJV

It can happen so quickly!

Look at Elijah, God had used him powerfully to show forth His glory.
(You really should take the time to read the whole chapter, it is awesome!)

1 Kings 18:36-40
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.


37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!”

40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there. NIV

I’d say that’s some pretty powerful stuff!! I think I might be walking on clouds after that, feeling pretty good about God using me so mightily.

But in just a few verses, Elijah gets intimidated by the woman Jezebel and it sends him fleeing in fear.

1 Kings 19:1-5
19:1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,
4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
NIV

Seems so hard to believe that Elijah could be intimidated and running in fear so quickly after such an incredible victory, but I’ve seen it happen in my own life, have you?

Things are going well, you’re walking hand in hand with the Lord and feeling His peace all around you, then you hear something that someone else says about you.
OR, you see someone who represents a painful situation in your life.
OR you compare yourself to another person.
SNAP, you’re intimidated and you start shrinking back.

You suddenly feel inadequate, you no longer hear the Lord’s voice or sense His presence.

I am focusing on us as individuals, but this spirit can be at work in churches and ministries also. It seeks it’s own way and will do whatever it can to destroy God-given authority, usually cloaked in a person who seems very strong in their faith.

Listen again to Paul’s words to Timothy:
2 Tim 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
KJV

The first step out of this pit is recognizing that God did not give you this spirit of fear (intimidation). It is not from God, so you don’t need to put up with it for one more minute. Pray against it, confess God’s word over your life and put off (rebuke) the lies of the enemy. Don’t let them determine one more step in your life.

Second, recognize what God has given you- NO MATTER WHAT anyone else may says…He’s given you power, love and a sound mind.

Third, acknowledge that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. There is a side of this that we must look in the mirror and see. If we let ourselves get intimidated by others, that means that there is a part of us that is more concerned with what others say than with what God says.
Pride causes us to want the approval of others more than the approval of God.
Therefore, repent and choose to look to God for all the love and acceptance we need.
HIS Word should mean more to us than anyone elses.

I pray that if you have been affected by intimidation, you would rise up out of it today! Don’t let the enemy have one more minute of your life by keeping you under this darkness.

Has your husband been a real grouch lately?

Photobucket

Lately it seems that every time I turn around I’m talking with a woman whose family is hurting and it is a result in many ways of this struggling economy.

Ladies, our men were created to be providers, and when things beyond their control happen that leave them unable to do that. it greatly affects them.

Depression is affecting men in ways it never has in the past. Many of them are feeling hopeless with the current financial situations they are in. Feeling unable to provide for their families as they have in the past is destroying their confidence and making them angry.

I’ve spoken with many women lately who are frustrated, wanting their husbands to stop being so harsh with the kids and even withdrawing from the family.

Here is a very alarming article that explains the desperation some men are feeling.
Do Suicides Go Up When the Economy Heads South?

Ladies, we cannot forget that our highest calling is being a helpmeet to our husbands, it is the reason we were first created:
Gen 2:19-22
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
NIV

If someone or something else could be a “suitable helper” there would not have been reason to create us.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our busyness and daily life with the kids that we forget the reason we were first put on this earth.

Our husband’s today need us to be a strong and suitable helper, to be an encourager and show our husbands the respect they so desperately need from us.

You may be feeling that they are not deserving, that they have been is such a horrible mood lately- that THEY need to shape up. Maybe you are right, but that’s not how God wants you to look at it. We as wives need to look in the mirror and ask what we can do to stop the vicious cycle of anger/resentment/disrespect in our homes.

Here is a reminder of the reasons God brought us into our husbands life.

Prov 31:12
12 She brings him good, not harm,all the days of her life.
NIV

Prov 12:4
4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
NIV

Prov 18:22
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

NIV

1 Peter 3:1
1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that,
if any of them do not believe the word,
they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives
NIV

I searched and searched but couldn’t find anywhere that said our husband would fill us with joy or make all our dreams come true….but there was this other man…Jesus

Ps 16:11
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
NIV

The Lord will give us the strength to do what He’s called us to do IF we go to Him for it.

Be a wise woman:
Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
NIV

I know it isn’t easy girls…but our families are at stake.

I’m praying for our marriages and especially for our husbands.
Much love, Sue

Are you feeling blue?

Today is officially “Blue Monday.” There are various reasons for this, from the lack of daylight hours to the timing of Christmas bills. Today has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

Isn’t it good to know that we have so many reasons not to be depressed?!

So how do we get out of a funk if we’re feeling one?

Psalms 68:3
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
NIV

Make the choice to rejoice.
Thank the Lord for all the things He has done. Rejoice in Him today.
He has been good.
Think of all the things we have to be thankful for, they are many.

Prov 15:30
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,

and good news gives health to the bones.
NIV

Spread some cheer, SMILE at someone.
Give a compliment, do something to lift someone elses heart.
Call a friend, drop an email just to say hello.
I promise that it will lift your spirits also.

Got worry??
Phil 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
NIV

Remember that as children of God, the fruit of the Spirit abides in us.
Gal 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,
joy,
peace,
patience,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness
and self-control.
NIV

Can we stay depressed when He has given us so much?
If it was only that He loved us, I believe that would be enough.

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!!!!
Hugs,
Sue

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