My church is currently going through a series on Sex, Love, and Relationships. At first I was not all interested…I was rather bah humbug…seriously? another talk on this? I’ve read every book on the subject, and it seemed to be turning into one of those series, like the oh so popular ones on baptism and the book of Revelation, that make me just want to stay home on Sundays until the pastor has moved on to a new topic.
However, I showed up anyway, and have been pleasantly surprised with the talks, and I daresay I might have even gotten something out of the last couple of sermons. Sigh of relief. No having to dread church for the rest of the month.
Last week’s sermon was on the importance of preparing for marriage. Our pastor emphasized the point that good intentions and sincerity are not what will get a marriage through the tough times like being prepared for those hard times will. Obviously,it behooves couples to get to know each other as well as possible before marriage, and deal with their issues and childhood baggage. As I have reflected on my own marriage, I can certainly see ways that Mike and I could have prepared better, which would have saved us alot of heartache. However, as my mind always does, I moved toward sarcasm and humor and questions that there was no way we could have thought to ask.
If you’re not married yet, maybe you should ponder over these questions…it might save you from a few fights and surprises later on down the road. This might be a little slanted towards women rather than men. :)
1. What is your future spouse’s capacity for change? Like, 180 degree change? When I met Mike, I was a country girl, drove a huge pickup truck, and while I don’t like to describe myself as redneck, I was definitely not what one would call cultured or sophisticated. Mike, on the other hand, was a city boy, and preferred cars, specifically foreign made with leather interior.
Now, eight years into our marriage, it seems we have flip flopped. I’m driving a Camry, and Mike is driving a huge Tundra. He has suddenly taken an interest in guns, archery, and all thing camouflage. I, on the other hand, have tried hard to distance myself from my Gretchen Wilson-esque past as much as possible, and though I grew up on a ranch, I favor gun control and rebuff most of the country music released these days.
Mike’s change caught me completely by surprise….in less than a year, he went from a sports coat wearing, Mercedes driving, golf and fountain pen kind of guy to a Tundra driving, NRA card carrying, camouflage wearing archer. I never saw that one coming.
2. What is your future spouse’s understanding for the rule of toilet cleaning? When I was growing up, my momma taught me to squirt the toilet bowl cleaner into the toilet, scrub the toilet, and then leave it to sit for a while before the cleaner was flushed down. When Mike discovered that this was the way I cleaned the toilets our first year of marriage, he was horrified and declared that the toilet bowl cleaner must be flushed away immediately. I, of course, said, no, that’s not how my momma taught me. And yes, we got into a fight about this. I’m guessing there was some underlying root issue we were really arguing about, but at the time, that poor potty was definitely caught in the middle.
3. What is your future spouse’s pain threshold? This is an area that will really catch a lady by surprise. Men pride themselves on being tough, hard workers, who refuse to let women do certain jobs that they deem dangerous or requiring brute strength. They can work through injuries and pain to get the job done. However, if you head towards a man with a tiny pair of tweezers to get that one stray eyebrow hair that is bordering on two inches long, that same man will cower and run like a little girl. You should know this ahead of time, so that you won’t get irritated when he insists on waiting two weeks to get that hair trimmed when he goes to the barber.
4. What is your husband’s perceived level of involvement in interior decorating going to be? How attached is he to furniture he owned before you got married? This question is crucial. Seriously, we fought over this the first five years of marriage. I went into marriage expecting that I would be the queen decorator of the mansion, and Mike had other ideas. He and I have very definite style preferences, and it took us a while to find some common ground and things we both liked. Furthermore, as a bachelor, he owned some furniture pieces that I, well…I wouldn’t have been upset if they had caught on fire. You need to be prepared for some serious negotiating when it comes to moving your future hubby’s prized possessions out of the house. And, take my advice….if he really wants to keep that huge, dumb sofa that is so yesterday, just let him keep it and simply put a slipcover over it. Turns out, you will never find another couch as comfy as that one to take a nap on.
For all of those married ladies, I’d be very curious to hear about the funny things you wish you had known about your spouse before you married?
Seeking to fully live,
A Super Simple Way to Have Your School Age Child Have a Quiet Time
Now that Xander’s reading has taken off, this idea will work great for him! Can’t wait to try it and see how Jesus speaks to him personally.
The Courage of Not Burying Hope in a Dresser Drawer
So sweetly written, and so sweetly true….
At the end of the day, I am usually very ready to get the kids in bed. I am neither a morning or a night person…I’m an 11 am kind of person. Because of this, my tendency is to want to rush the bedtime routine, hurry through the motions, and make a mad dash for the couch. Peace and quiet…the kind of quiet where I’m not wondering what one of the boys is getting into.
My two youngest boys will collapse into sleep within seconds if I can just get them still for a few minutes. However, my oldest, Xander, wants to preface sleep by laying next to me and having conversations. These usually range from “What are we going to do tomorrow?” to crazy hypothetical situations that I have no clue how to respond to. It generally requires alot of patience for me to lay there and chat, especially when I’ve been talking all day and desperately want a respite.
However, my perspective on these night time conversations changed radically last night. As I snuggled with him, Xander began talking about Easter, and it quickly turned to the real meaning of Easter and Jesus. Over the next half an hour we talked about why Jesus died on the cross, how that impacts our lives today, and the hope that we can have when we die. He continued to ask questions surrounding Jesus, which led into a short discussion about the time when Jesus comes back. Xander remained engaged in the conversation for quite a while, and then, as quickly as the conversation started, he seemed satisfied, rolled over, and said, “OK, Mommy, I want to go to sleep now.”
These are the moments we live for.
These are the talks I’ve dreamed of having with each of my boys since they were born.
These questions are proof that God is pursuing Xander’s heart, and Xander is responding.
When I left his room last night, I was consciously aware of how silly I had been for rushing bedtime in the past. Evening is the time when Xander really opens up his heart, and I need to take advantage of those sweet minutes, even when I’m exhausted. Talking to me at night while snuggling provides closure to the day for Xander, and helps him process what he’s experienced and taken in during the daylight hours. If I fail to respond to him and help him find closure, and direct it to Jesus, I’m doing him a great disservice.
Thanks you, Jesus, for pursing my beloved boys from a tender age, just as you pursued me….
Seeking to fully live,
Chinua Achebe died last week. The great Nigerian Nobel prize winning author wrote Things Fall Apart in 1958, helping to revive interest in African literature. The book shined a spotlight on the effect of Western imperialism on Africa and the breakdown of traditional culture with the influx of white missionaries and oppression from various Nigerian ethnic groups.
I always thought this book and it’s title were a great metaphor for the general happenings in the world. Things tend to fall apart. The scientific term for this is “entropy.” The ordered, if left alone, becomes disordered. The structured becomes chaotic, and as history has shown, every great empire eventually collapses. Everything in the universe will atrophy over time if energy is not inserted to inspire reordering, structure, and purpose.
One of the great aspects of God’s story, I believe, is the redemption of broken things, over and over. Christ generously offers his creative power, again and again, restoring the broken and offering new hope. It’s interesting, knowing this, how we tend towards nostalgia, looking back at “the good old days”, failing to realize that better awaits us.
Though I am familiar with the words of the Bible, sometimes I need the words offered by the “great cloud of witnesses” to remind me that God is faithful, that even though everything appears impossibly broken, glory awaits. So, I look back to words penned by the saints, the ones who overcame, and lean on their trust and faith to guide me back to Jesus.
If you are in this space, and find that things do indeed fall apart, even those things that seemed impenetrable to entropy, consider the words of those who have gone before.
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” -Corrie ten Boom
“Evil is real – and powerful. It has to be fought, not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where WE stand, how we’re going to live OUR lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn’t exist; live for ourselves and wink at evil. We can say that it isn’t so bad after all, maybe even try to call it fun by clothing it in silks and velvets. We can compromise with it, keep quiet about it and say it’s none of our business. Or we can work on God’s side, listen for His orders on strategy against the evil, no matter how horrible it is, and know that He can transform it.”
― Catherine Marshall, Christy
“Surrender–stillness–a ready welcoming of all stripping, all loss, all that brings us low, low into the Lord’s path of humility–a cherishing of every whisper of the Spirit’s voice, every touch of the prompting that comes to quicken the hidden life within: that is the way God’s human seed-vessels ripen, and Christ becomes “magnified” even through the things that seem against us. “Mine but to be still: Thine the glorious power, Thine the mighty will.”
― I.Lilias Trotter
“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom, Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.” Peter Marshall
“If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings.” Adoniram Judson
“The other side of it is understanding the greatness of God, how great God is. If you believe in the
greatness of God, you will believe he will solve the problem and it will be a good solution. That’s where
as Christians we come to the problem with an understanding of God that comes from Jesus Christ. He is
the one who helps us understand the goodness of God and the greatness of God by his own death and his
resurrection and his triumph and his continuing existence. He calls to us and says, “God is good, and God
If we will accept that, then we have a way of approaching it. If we’re just thrown the problem, the problem
is dunked in our lap, and we don’t have any resources to deal with it, the natural response is, “I don’t want
to have anything to do with God.” It’s when you begin to understand the greatness of God as it is revealed
to us and as we love to sing about these wonderful songs we sing about the greatness of God. See that’s an
expression of a God who will see to it that everything comes out right. We have to have that and bear
witness to it between us and in our own minds, or we’re helpless with our suffering “- Dallas Willard
“Well eternity, of course, is a part of the picture. The child who is starving to death in the
Sudan this very moment, when it dies it enters into the presence of God, and it will affirm the goodness of
its existence because now it lives in the presence of God and will do so forever. God’s life is eternal, and
he gives that to others. A little child who dies is in his care. Without eternity, there is no solution to this
problem, and that’s just one dimension. The short thing you have to say is the greatness of God is what
sees to it that eventually everything comes out good and comes out right”.-Dallas Willard
What about you? What words have sustained you, and pushed you to Jesus when it seemed all was failing?
Seeking to fully live,
Linked up at:
I just listened to a segment on NPR talking about the rapid increase in app development for people to monitor data about themselves. A new industry is emerging from this, and sites such as The Quantified Self. People are constantly evaluating stats about themselves, and trying to understand how that mass of information can make their lives better. This is just another example of the technology influx that is helping to steadily increase the pace of life in America.
Technology, longer working hours, massive amounts of media and information, and general discontent are driving Americans harder and faster to reach some nebulous goal. And while we are racing along in our pursuits, we are dragging our kids along, and developing our bad habits and discontent within each of them.
Stress has been studied quite a bit in adults, but has recently been researched more among children, to determine what is causing their stress, and how stress is affecting them long term. The results of these studies are serious, but shouldn’t necessarily be shocking. Either way, they should encourage us to stop, slow down, and think hard about how our busy lives are benefiting or hurting our children both short and long term.
Here are some specific examples:
Stress effects on children begins before they are born. Studies have shown that maternal stress on the fetus contributes to mental and motor delays in the toddler stage, and can also increase the chance for anxiety and chronic stress.
Bergman, K., Sarkar, P., O’Connor, T., Modi, N., & Glover, V. (2006). Prenatal stressful life events predict child cognitive outcomes. Journal of Early Human Development, 9(33), doi:10.1016.
Weinstock, M. (2008). The long term behavioral consequences of prenatal stress. Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, 32(6), 1073-1086.
Stress has been shown to negatively affect memory retrieval in children and increase the frequency of nightmares.
Quesada, A., Wiemers, U., Schoofs, D., & Wolf, O. (2012). Psychosocial stress exposure impairs memory retrieval in children. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 125-136.
Schredl, M., Biemelt, J., Roos, K., Dunkel, T., & Harris, N. (2008). Nightmares and stress in children. Sleep and Hypnosis, 10(1), 19-25.
Chronic stress in children is correlated to obesity and consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and can also impact immunity
Michels, N., Sioen, I., Braet, C., Eiben, G., Hebestreit, A., Huybrechts, I., … De Henaux, S. (2012). Stress, emotional eating behavior and dietary patterns in children. Appetite, 59, 762-769.
Danese, A., Caspi, A., Williams, B., Ambler, A., Sugden, K., Mika, J. Werts, H., Freeman, J.,…Arseneault, L. (2011). Biological embedding of stress through inflammation processes in childhood. Molecular Psychiatry, 16(3), 244-246.
Stress can cause poor decision making in immature young brains, cause family and social interaction problems, and lead to lifelong self confidence and relationship struggles. Research has shown that 25%-33% of all psychiatric disorders stemmed from early life experiences.
Willemen, A., Koot, H., Ferdinand, R., Goossens, F., & Schuengel, C. (2008). Change in psychopathology in referred children: The role of life events and perceived stress. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(11), 1175-1183.
Hodges, D. & Woon, F. (2011). Early life-stress and cognitive outcome. Psychopharmacology, 214, 121-130.
Finally, in cases of abuse, poverty, and high aggression households, stressors are even greater for children, and can affect things such as onset of menarche, brain cortisol levels (that are crucial for proper brain function), and their overall allostatic load (the accumulative effect of numerous stressors on the body over time.)
Blair, C., Raver, C., Granger, D., Mills-Koonce, R.,& Hibel, L. (2011). Allostasis and allostatic load in the context of poverty in early childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 845-857.
Mendle, J., Natsuaki, M., Leve, L., Van Ryzin, M., & Ge, X. (2011). Associations between early life stress, child maltreatment, and pubertal development among girls in foster care. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(4), 871-880.
Towe‐Goodman, N. R., Stifter, C. A., Mills‐Koonce, W. R., & Granger, D. A. (2012). Interparental aggression and infant patterns of adrenocortical and behavioral stress responses. Developmental Psychobiology, 54(7), 685-699.
I encourage you to consider what activities or relationships in your life might be negatively affecting the stress levels in your children. Do you actively monitor the media and information content your children are exposed to? Do you pursue close, bonded relationships with them where they can process through injuries or hurts openly with you? Do you intentionally shield them from people or situations that could threaten their emotional and physical safety?
Two final tough questions. Are you striving to maintain a peaceful and healthy marriage for your kids’ sake, and not just yours? Are you working to slow down the breakneck speed of life, seeking quality and not quantity, and teaching your children contentment with what they have and in God?
I constantly have to evaluate these questions in my own life. It is so easy to maintain the status quo and float down the river in the same direction as every other American, but unfortunately, the Bible and data from the scientific world aren’t lying….if we don’t heed their warnings, we will have to bear the responsibility of many of the difficulties our children struggle with throughout their lives.
Seeking to fully live,
Linked up at:
Mike and I were so excited to move to New York at the end of 2011. Our dream goal was to move to Vermont, but since the only industry in Vermont are things like Ben and Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese, and Lake Champlain Chocolate, we knew that finding a job for Mr. Diesel Engine Guru was going to be tough there.
Driving home from our yearly summer Vermont trip in earlier in 2011, we brainstormed for hours on how we might maneuver a move closer to New England. And on a crazy whim Mike thought of a contact to touch base with that led to his current job out here. Everything fell into place in an unbelievable way for our transition. We even sold our house without having to do a corporate buy-out, which had not happened in our previous two house sales. Wow, we finally had some equity….it was like $3000, but who cared…it was real equity! Granted, to get ready to sell the house we had to remove wall paper from cathedral high ceilings to make the entry way room more neutral, which was awful. Note to everyone…never wallpaper in any sort of way cathedral high ceilings and over staircases. Just saying.
To top it off, Mike and I ACTUALLY agreed on which house to buy! There were no arguments about it or what offer we should put on the house. Jaw dropping! So, we moved our pretty little selves out here, And….within six months we were ready to die. At the end of the first year, I told Mike we could move anywhere, even gulp, Arizona or New Mexico…just get us out of this situation. His perspective wasn’t too far off mine.
Our feelings had nothing to do with New York. We love it here…..the people, the landscape, the CLOSENESS to VERMONT. No, what has been making life so painful is the ever increasing pace of corporate America, passed down to Mike in rapid fire chunks from a certain un-named New England city. That misery, combined with our own brokenness and baggage, the craziness of life with three young boys, the loss of a major support system, and several other factors makes it feel like we are in an impossible situation.
Ever felt like that? Ever felt like you were being directly led by God into a place, and then the bottom dropped out from underneath you, leaving you to second guess all your decisions, your priorities, your basic daily steps to emotional survival?
I don’t like being in this place at all. Not New York, but the place of seeming impossibilities and struggling to understand what is happening.
Last night, I feel like I heard God tell me why he has let so much of the circumstances of the last year come to pass. “Julie…I’m doing this to squeeze the life out of you and Mike.”
Of course, being God, he relayed this to me in a really nice way. But, I think this is true…he’s not trying to ruin my life, but to make me desperate enough in my current life that I will finally completely surrender, and die, and give everything over to him, once and for all. It’s pretty easy to go through life in America without a huge desperation for God, and to fill up the empty places with distractions, media, Christian books, and “doing stuff.” I’m an expert at this, but I don’t want this to be my life legacy. It’s purposeless.
So, I’m trying to be OK with letting God squeeze the life out of me, but I don’t like pain. And the last 10 years have just been really painful…I wouldn’t mind a reprieve. . To take Dallas Willard’s advice, I’ll be honest about where I am, no facades. I don’t want to die, but I want to want to die. I think God can use that as a starting place.
How about you? Have you ever been in impossible situations where you’re only place to turn was God, but turning yourself over to God completely felt like a painful, confusing, slow death? Did you find life on the other side?
Seeking to fully live,
So, do any of you ever shop at Toys R Us, Best Buy, Family Christian Stores, Kmart, the Gap, Target, Lowes, Walmart, or the Apple Store?
Do you buy products from Avon, Bath and Body Works, CVS, the Vitamin Shoppe, or SAMS Club?
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t make purchases from at least one of these companies. What if I told you that you could make your regular purchases from these and a multitude of other stores while getting deals…..and more importantly, earning money to designate to a variety of global humanitarian projects?
If you haven’t already met them, may I introduce you to Pure Charity, an organization that has partnered with hundreds of companies, that allows you to make purchases that send rewards to your own personal giving fund. You can then use this fund to back projects around the world that are important to you….maybe rescuing sex trafficked girls in Cambodia, providing clean drinking water wells to countries around the world, or help start micro-businesses in Honduras.
Or, perhaps you have a heart for a specific humanitarian aid project or NGO and want to get them on the Pure Charity fundraising grid…there are options for that.
Better yet, Pure Charity also supports shopping local, so you can locate small businesses in your area that you can partner with to help grow them while you are raising money for worldwide needs.
Finally, that instant, visual gratification that all we Americans need….we can track our progress, where our money goes, and how our money has helped projects we are backing. A little eye candy incentive, if you will.
I love this program because it is a super practical way for people like me, a busy mom of little ones, or others who can’t go and get involved in projects themselves, to have a chance to directly impact humanitarian needs around the world, and then be able to tangibly track results. Pure Charity has almost made it too easy for us….we have to shop anyway, so why not make our dollars go further?
I urge you to check Pure Charity out, and beware Facebook friends, I will be doing a little stalking by sending you FB invites. At least take a look at what Pure Charity has to offer before you pass up the invitation.
Seeking to fully live,
“Older women…are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
(Titus 2:3-5 ESV)
These days we hear and read alot about the need for women to love and respect their husbands. We are encouraged by so many bloggers to be Titus 2 women, and when I read this verse in the past, I saw only the “loving your husband” and “working at home” parts.
But, the word “children” is included in this phrase. Why? Is it really necessary for older, wiser women to train us how to love our children? As I was thinking on this recently, it seemed like a redundancy….of course mothers (most) love their children. That’s what we do! I think back to the love I felt each time one of my little boys was laid in my arms following their births. I feel certain I would lay down my life for any of them if need be.
So, if loving our children seems like a “duh” thought, why the admonishment for us to learn how do it?
I started evaluating my daily life with my boys, my routines and tasks, goals, plans, etc. I discovered, at least for my own self, that it is very easy to slip into child training mode out of duty, of molding and directing our children so that we have the hope of heaven in them, and doing our best to shape their behavior to make life as smooth as possible.
I came to the realization…all of those can be down without love. We can discipline, teach the Bible, take our kids to numerous activities, and provide for their necessities without real love. And lets be honest, there are some days we aren’t sure if we like our kids…..when the screaming, bickering, and bad or irritating behaviors have pushed us over the edge and we feel like running away.
In the midst of our mothering, it is so easy to slip into the mode of constantly trying to change our children, and forgetting to cherish who they inherently are. (We are all really good at doing this to our husbands, so it’s rather natural for us to extrapolate it to our kids). Some days I get so focused on training a child to work off a rough edge that I forget to love the quality that God created in him underneath that rough edge that makes him who he is. I get so consumed with getting things done during the day and making sure my kids fulfill their responsibilities that I forget to just enjoy then, to accept them completely as they are, broken pieces and beautiful pieces and all that falls in between.
One thing that I hear repeatedly from older women is that we younger moms need to cherish and love the little years. This is a bit of an enigma to me, because right now I feel like it’s most about surviving the little years. Nevertheless, nothing has been more encouraging or helpful to me than spending time with moms of older or grown children, soaking in their wisdom. Just like every other area of the Christian life, motherhood was not meant to be done alone or simply with our peers….community of all ages is crucial.
As I challenge myself, I also challenge you…what can you do to work on really loving your children more? Do you need to engage in more relationships with wise, mature women who can offer godly advice and help? Or do you need to take even a baby step, and get out of the house with your kids, and make mom friends of any age who can help you see your children and parenting from a fresh perspective?
Seeking to fully live,
I used to try and hide all of my secrets, and the junk in my life that made me appear weak. I always struggled to appear confident and sure of myself, and when if that failed, I would be sure to laugh and make fun of myself before anyone else had a chance to. Seemed to take the sting off of rejection a bit. Any of you ever do that?
Now days, I am much freer in opening up my life to people, am much more transparent. In many ways, doing this has been very liberating….I hardly ever stress anymore about whether or not people are going to discover something awful about me that I was trying to diligently to hide. I try to make sure that my personal and public lives are as identical as possible, and that people know what they are getting then they meet me in different settings and circumstances.
The apostle Paul wrote that he boasted in his weaknesses, because of the glory it gave Christ and how it showed His great strength. Recognizing our weaknesses is all about facing reality, what we are and what we aren’t, and acknowledging the broken pieces in us that need divine healing. It also aids in freeing us from judging others, and when something amazing happens in life, it’s alot harder to take credit for it and be prideful, especially when our brokenness is known to many.
However, the honest truth is that revealing your weaknesses to the world can often come back to bite you, be used against you, or be skewed completely out of proportion. Boasting in weaknesses then becomes not a “happy do da day! I’m nothing and Jesus is so amazing and isn’t this wonderful?” kind of boasting, but more of a sacrificial, “I will speak out about my brokenness for the glory of God and good of others no matter how painful it becomes and what treatment may come my way” sort of revealing of oneself.
I know, because I’ve been there. I’ve had honest information that I revealed about myself in good faith turned against me, exaggerated….I’ve been stigmatized by people. I’ve been labeled. I’ve been betrayed.
When this happens, it is so tempting to shut down, close up my heart, and no longer offer my real self to anyone for inspection. Some of the worst things in life are to be manipulated, misunderstood, and stereotyped. I’ve come so close to vowing to wear a facade the rest of my life, suck it up in public, and reveal noting of my inner self to people. I’m tired of being hurt and misunderstood and accused.
But, Jesus steps into these kinds of hurts. And in the midst of my pain and hurt he orchestrates magic…encounters with people that we need and they need us and nothing would ever result from these encounters had we not ripped the stitches out of our raw hearts, and open up ourselves for them to see inside. While some see the oozing, bloody mess of our brokenness, they won’t understand and will judge us incorrectly. But when Jesus sets up the encounter, the other person sees those oozing, bloody messes, is able to see past them and finds evidence of healing, hope, freedom, and grace in Jesus.
Those encounters make it all worth it to me. Let a thousand people judge me wrongly if one person can see how Jesus is making me strong in the broken places. If I am rejected by many because of my weaknesses, so be it, if one person is able to find restoration in Jesus because of them.
Seeking to fully live,