• forgiveness

    The First Step in Forgiveness

    Three years. That’s how long I let the poison stay.⠀⠀

    I once heard unforgiveness is like poison. We drink it, hoping the other person suffers.⠀⠀

    After I left an abusive relationship, I didn’t want to forgive. I feared forgiving the years of complicated hurt would give God the go-ahead to send me back. So instead I held on tight.⠀⠀

    The abuse broke me down, but the unforgiveness locked in the pain. It wrapped around the memories, hardening them in a bitter seal. It encased my heart in in a self-protective layer that kept me from connection. The poison blurred my vision and I saw the world through the lens of victimhood. It pulsed through my veins, with anger bubbling just below the surface.⠀⠀

    The decision to forgive had to start with a renewed trust in God. I trusted Him with small things, but this felt too important to let go. I needed to believe He could protect me and wouldn’t send me back unless it was safe. ⠀⠀

    When I surrendered to this deeper trust, He pulled out the poison. He drew the pain from my body and mind. He removed the scales so I could see clearly again. He showed me I could trust, as He relentlessly pursued me and softened my heart. ⠀⠀

    When He removed the poison, I was finally free. But I needed to surrender to Him fully. The antidote to my unforgiveness was trust. That’s when the work began.

  • weekly prayers

    A prayer for those who feel stuck…

    Sometimes we hit hard patches of life. There are seasons in our journeys that seem utterly impossible.

    Those feelings of helplessness and uncertainty are unsettling to say the least.

    If you are stuck right now- unsure of how to climb out or move through or charge ahead, I am praying for you.

     

    Dear God,

    Right now, I come before you and lift up those who feel absolutely stuck.

    I know YOU know their hearts, Lord. You know their struggles, the wrestling, and the overwhelm better than I ever could.

    Lord, we proclaim that You are our Deliverer- You can pull us up from the darkest pits or deliver us from the quicksand or prepare a way out of the seemingly impossible.

    I pray for those who feel:

    STUCK BECAUSE THEY’RE SINKING-
    Father, in the midst of overwhelm and unhealthy situations, we can sometimes feel like we’re completely sinking. Rather than wrestling to escape the quicksand feeling, help still our flailing limbs and emotions. Guide us out of danger. As much as we want to get out of it in our own strength, we need You. Be our rescuer. Bring helpers alongside of us to pull us out of the pit. Deliver the ones who feel like we are drowning from our sinking situations.

    STUCK IN INDECISION-
    God, when we reach forks in the road, we can sometimes feel swallowed up in indecision.

    For those who are desperate to get out of that fork in the road, help us to slow down the impulse to run ahead. Help us to seek You first and let You lead. Lord, You are patient. Help us to be more like You as we wait for Your steady hand to guide us. Help us not to run ahead of You, but to walk hand in hand down the right path.

    And when we stand frozen at that fork in the road, in fear of making the wrong move, comfort us Father. Help us to have patience until You speak. Give us clarity to see where You want us to step. Help us to hear You clearly. Increase our faith to ask boldly for direction. You are a God who can do impossible things- even get us through this seemingly impossible impasse.

    Even though all options ahead seem overwhelming, we believe You will be faithful to see us through.

    STUCK IN THE DARK-
    Lord, in the midst of the darkness, I pray that You will remove panic. Darkness is scary, and so are the unknowns when we can’t see the way out. Father, help train our eyes to seek out the light. When all we can hear is the lie or insecurity, help train our ears to seek out the Truth.

    When we feel the darkness setting over us again, help us to cling to You as our hope. With you, there is always hope. Remind us that morning will come again.

    STAGNANT & STUCK-
    For the stagnant times, for the days when we don’t know how we got here?
    I ask that You would change the things we don’t have control over or the power to change on our own. Bring life back into what feels dead. Bring hope where we’ve lost sight of the good. Bring Your love where we feel lonely.

    For all of us who are stuck right now, grant us trust in You. Even when we can’t see what You’re doing, I pray that we would trust Your sovereign plan and Your big picture view.

    Speak into our blind-spots. Help us to widen our glance so that we can see the ways You’re working, even if we don’t know the end results.

    Help us to let go of expectations. Remove the pressure we’ve placed on ourselves or picked up from others.

    Help us open our hands to receive Your guidance, and let go of any desire for control– Thy will be done, Lord.

    Grant us patience in the waiting; wisdom in the waiting; trust in You in the waiting.

    Amen.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    And do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He will make your paths straight.

    -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)