Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breaking You

Are your relationships the same old story? You know, same story but different face? You enter into a new relationship, expecting different results, only to find "you have been here before"? You have high hopes, but after the bells and whistles have gone your hope falls to the ground to be trampled on.

You begin to think all relationships are like this and you dare not believe you deserve more. You question your own worth. You define yourself based on one failed relationship after another. You become the relationship. You are consumed and soon you are drowning in the sea of lies.

You leave a piece of yourself in each relationship. Every break-up breaks you a little more each time. You grieve the loss, try to put your pieces back together and jump right back into another relationship, thinking this time it will work. This time you will get it right and this person will love you back together. But each piece of you that has been broken leaves you with a hole. No amount of glue from joining with another will put you back together. Because the injury from the past relationship follows you into the new relationship.

You may even begin to think all men (or women) are the same. You even accept the notion this is as good as it will ever get. You adapt. You change. You lose you and become the relationship.

You can not continue to do the same thing and expect different results.

You may not feel it, but you must believe, you are worth so much more. You are worthy to be loved, cherished, respected, and nurtured.

Do not seek your identity in another, but seek your identity in Him Who loves you. Until you know who you are in Him, you will tolerate treatment not suitable for a daughter (or son) of the King. Royalty does not play in the mud with pigs.

Develop your relationship with Jesus before you seek a relationship with another. Let Him heal you. Learn what He says about you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Conversation With My Friend

"I'm tired." She said, tears welling up in her eyes, as she took another sip of her coffee.

We sat at the table in silence; she staring into her coffee and me looking at her. I didn't know what to say to her, I prayed for God to give me words of comfort for her, but nothing came. Maybe she just needs me to listen.  

After a long pause, she took another sip of her coffee, put her cup down and looked me in the eye. I could see the traces of sleepless nights on her face. The circles under eyes made her look older than she was and the puffiness told me she had been crying.

"Why can't I get it right? Why do people always leave me? Am I that unlovable?" She looked away, gazed out the window and I could see a new tear forming at the corner of her eye. "I give it my all, I try to be the perfect person. No matter what I do it is just never enough."

I have known her for a long time. She came from a broken home, abandoned by her father. She married at a young age to an abusive husband, who eventually left her and her children. After two failed marriages, a couple failed relationships, a most recent heartbreak, and years of struggle, my friend sat in front of me and confessed she can no longer go on. "Something has got to give!" She said in a barely audible whisper.

My friend didn't see herself as others saw her. She always saw herself as someone who is... less than. But, what I saw was a strong woman. A beautiful, compassionate, woman. She always has a smile on her face, she loved extravagantly, anyone who came into contact with her became an instant friend. She was beautiful on the inside and out. Everyone noticed her. This always surprised me when she felt as though she were invisible.

I wanted to tell her it is not that she is unworthy, she just chooses unworthy people to give her heart to. I know she does this because she does not see her own worth and what a treasure she really is.

I take her by the hand and I look into her eyes, her beautiful sad eyes. I can feel my own heart breaking for her.

"Don't you ever for a minute think you are unworthy." I firmly tell her. "You are so precious to Him, you are a treasure in His hands. Yes, others have left you and hurt you. But, my dear friend, He will never leave you. He is not angry with you. He has a plan and a purpose for you. Your vision has been clouded, you have not been able to hear Him because of the voices in your own head, but this does not mean He is not near. He has seen everything that has been done to you, and He has seen everything you have done. But, He forgives you, He loves you, and He wants you to give your burdens to Him. He wants you to trust Him with your cares, your anxieties, and your dreams."

I want to tell her to take her eyes off people and focus on Him, because I know her wounds go so much deeper. Only He can touch the depth of her wounded soul and bring the healing she cries out for. But I also know it will require her to completely trust Him and to be vulnerable again. Her trust has been shattered so many times from trusting the wrong people, I wonder if she will even be able to open up and receive His healing for her.

Our conversation shifts to the surface, because this is where she feels comfortable. We talk about our jobs, the weather, the children, anything and everything to not have to talk anymore about the discomfort and pain she is feeling. Both of us are only half way in the conversation, going through the motions of not addressing the obvious need she has.

Thirty minutes later I am watching her through my rear mirror as she drives off. I sit in my car, silent, thinking about the conversation with my friend. And I pray for her. I pray for God to reveal Himself to her and to show her who she is in Him. I pray the motions of joy she portrays to the outside world become real joy. I pray  for her deliverance and that she would turn away from anyone who is not Gods best for her. May she be so focused in the revelation of His love for her, that she will never settle for anyone or anything that is less. Oh, that she would come to the understanding her past is not her future. She is accepted by the true lover of her soul.

Yes, my friend, you are beautiful. You are beautiful because you belong to Him. We live in a fallen world filled with broken people. It was never His plan for us to be hurt, abused, overlooked, rejected. But it happens, sometimes by other people and sometimes through our own choices. The consequence can feel unbearable and suffocating, but it does not have to be the death of us.

Oh, my broken friend, lay yourself at His feet. He will lift you up and in His arms you are safe.

Be Free & Stay Free

Soulish Love

Beware of soulish love. It is not love. It is carnal and of the flesh. It becomes an idol and will seek to exalt itself over God. It is based on "emotions" and "feelings." When the "feelings" of love have run it's course, it will leave you empty. In the end it will destroy you.

Love deposits, it does not take. Love does not make demands. Love is gentle, it does not consume. Love is free and you do not have to fight to keep it. No man (or woman) is your savior.

You may be in a soulish love relationship if:

you are fearful of losing the person
you cannot be honest about your feelings
you feel controlled, or seek to control
you feel shame
you compromise integrity and purity
it is more about them (or you) than it is about honoring God
forgiveness is not easily offered or accepted
after the passion ran it's course, there is no other foundation

Do NOT hold onto this person. Let them go! Repent and ask God to forgive you for your part in creating this relationship/tie. Then seek healing and understanding.

In His love there is no fear. There is never shame, pressure, or accusation. The imperfect you is always accepted in His perfect love.

Be Free & Stay Free

New Beginnings

A love lost is never easy. The depth of the wound can shake you to the core. You are faced with the reality the dreams you shared will not come to pass; at least not together.  The place in your heart that was occupied by the one person, is now vacant. And everyday is a struggle to retrain your mind to not think about them, to plan without them, to let the chapter close. It is hard to imagine this death of a relationship will ever bring forth new life.

Remember, God is always close to the brokenhearted. He will bind up your wounds and bring healing. This time of grieving is temporal. Do not stay there. Though it may feel like it, your grief will not swallow you up. Reach your hand out and call on Him Who truly loves you and will never forsake you.

Do not seek to cast blame, take what was good and leave what was not behind. Walk in forgiveness. We are human; unfortunately in our humanity we do cause, and experience, hurt. Do not seek to self medicate the pain you are feeling. Take it to the Lord. Let Him minister to you through intimate relationship with Him. Only then will you find the healing, wholeness, comfort, forgiveness, and release.

The place reserved just for Him cannot be filled with another and He will never vacate it.

This too shall pass. You will laugh again, you will trust again, and you will love again. You are worthy of love.

Let your eyes be upon Him, take refuge in Him, and He will not leave your soul destitute.
Psalm 141:8

Be Free & Stay Free

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Holding Onto the Promise

John 10:10 warns us that the thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy.  Jesus says He has come so we may have life and have it more abundantly. We must keep watch, because the enemy of our soul wants to do more than wound us, he wants to annihilate us. He is after the seed!

You see, it is a very real and personal battle. The devil roams around like a roaring lion to seek who he can devour. How does a lion hunt prey? He will go after the stragglers, the isolated ones, the weak ones, and the ones who are not aware that he is lurking just behind the bushes. The devil is not all knowing, he cannot read your mind, but he is a good student. He has watched you from day one. He knows what buttons to push. He knows what/who is closest to you and he will use it. He knows the areas you are weak in and he knows your strengths and he will use it against you. 

The devil is a supplanter. He will attempt to snatch up every seed the Lord has planted.

Luke 8:5-8 tells us the parable of the sower and the different kinds of soil.

A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.


We can not do this on our own. Know this. If you try to do this on your own, you will fail. You need the power of His Spirit. You are not wrestling flesh and blood. The Amplified describes it as this:

Ephesians 6:12
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

How do we guard the seed? By taking every thought captive, learn to discern the voice of your thoughts. Do not assume every thought is your own. Do not assume every thought is truth. Do not even trust your own eye sight, learn to walk by faith, because the devil is also the master of parlor tricks.

[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Stay close to Him and remain in fellowship with His people. Surround yourself with those who will speak truth into your life and situation. Know His Word, know His voice, and know His promise for you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

What does it mean love covers a multitude of sins? 1 Peter 4:8

Take a minute and read Genesis 9:21-27

James 5 tells us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed.  Our enemy loves secrets. These secrets (unconfessed sins) keep us in darkness. We cannot truly walk in freedom when we are afraid our sin will find us out. These "secrets" invite fear into our lives. We monitor what we say, we fall under conviction, and we begin to separate ourselves. We cannot have true fellowship with Christ or each other when we are trying to cover our tracks.

What is the remedy? Confession, that leads to repentance.

We know Jesus is faithful and He forgives our sin. Sometimes sin can leave a stronghold. We struggle. The best way to defeat the enemy and win the struggle is to allow yourself to be held accountable. This is why we confess our sins to one another.

This does not mean we must broadcast our sins to everyone. If in your sin you have offended someone, hurt someone, then you must go to the one you offended and make things right (to the best of your ability, make peace. Mt. 5:23-23 

Use wisdom, sometimes it is just between you and God. Remember, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. If you have confessed and repented, you are free and that sin no longer has a hold on you. Christ paid for our sins at the cross, there is no need to carry guilt. You do not have to beat yourself up. You fell down, now get back up, brush your knees off and walk in freedom.

I started this with a question of what does it mean to cover a multitude of sins with love. Yes, it was Gods love for us that brought Jesus to the cross so that we may be forgiven, he took our sins upon Him. I believe it also means, as ambassadors of Christ, when a sister or brother comes to us and confesses a sin, if they have repented, we are to pray for our brother/sister. We are not to gossip, spread tales, or "share" with others. We are to cover the sin in love, with forgiveness, understanding, compassion, and discretion.

Did you read Genesis 9? Shem and Japheth covered their fathers nakedness, their faces were turned away and they did not see their fathers nakedness.

Just as Jesus forgave us, we are to forgive others. Sin entangles us, this is why Jesus came, to set us free from the law of sin and death. Even as He was on the cross He said, Father forgive the for they know not what they do. Forgiveness releases us from the grasp of sin and offense. Forgiveness agrees to no longer hold a wrong against a person. This does not mean there are not sometimes consequences to sin. But, if we cannot practice discretion, if we defend ourselves against the offense of others, if we display the sin of someone for others to see, then we must question motive. We must take inventory and ask ourselves if we are truly walking in love and forgiveness.

No doubt, we sometimes get hurt, and sometimes the hurt is deep. We must find the healing from the hurt through Christ, lest we unwittingly fall into sin ourselves. We should not judge others, or rate their sins. We have all sinned. Christ forgives a repentant sinner,  as He forgave us, so must we forgive others.

It is always best to walk in grace and mercy towards each other. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation.

Be Free & Stay Free

Monday, January 5, 2015


The term covenant means "coming together." In the Bible it is translated in the Hebrew over 300 times. In the Old testament the word is bond. It is a bonding.

In marriage a covenant is intended by God to be a lifelong, fruitful, relationship between a man and a woman. It is a vow to God, to each other, our families, and the community, to remain steadfast in unconditional love, reconciliation and sexual purity, while purposefully growing in the covenant marriage relationship. It is the binding, or establishing a bond between two parties, with the concept of "cleaving" or "sticking together." This is a promise not to be taken lightly.

Marriage is a holy union (Mark 10:9) it is to be held in honor by all (Hebrews 13:4)

Look beyond the emotions and the butterflies; because these euphoric feelings will pass. Until death do us part may be a long time. Love is not always a feeling, it is a choice. Luke 14:28 says, no man builds a house without first counting the cost.

Consider and choose wisely. Ephesians 5:21-33