(Photo taken from Pinterest) 15 years a go, the day the word “terrorism” became a regular part of America’s vocabulary. The vocabulary of every generation changes, but my children seem to bear a heavier burden of words and phrases then … Continue reading
Have you ever given yourself a death sentence or felt as though someone else has?
Has there ever been a time when you have done something, been ashamed, committed a wrong, and thrown yourself into your own prison?
Have you committed yourself or someone else to this death sentence?
Whether you have wronged someone or been wronged yourself, one of you might have, unknowingly been committed to a death sentence. You or someone else have done something that has caused such great pain that your lives will never be the same.
For the one who caused the pain, they feel forever sentenced to their wrong doing. It is as though anything they did before or will do, that might have been “good”, will be forever erased because they will constantly be known by their stripes. They will always be seen behind the prison bars and sentenced to a life of “death” to who they once were and forever chained and known by their “sins”. They daily encounter remarks or actions that are like lashes, continually beating them down, reminding them that they will never make an escape from the cell that they are in.
For the one who received the pain, they forever sentence themselves to the other person’s wrong doing. They put themselves behind the bars of their own fear, hurt, insecurity, and self doubt. They refuse to free themselves from pain that has placed them there. They hold so tight to the sentence that has been given to them that they can not see a way out. They feel so alone, weak, and hurt that they become enveloped by the cell that has been placed around them.
Before we begin to drag ourselves, or lead others, to the execution chamber, we need to know, or be reminded, that someone has already paid the sentence. Our “death” has been taken care of and our freedom has been paid for in full. No matter how far you have fallen, how greatly you have been wronged, how deeply you have hurt, Jesus Christ has gone to the execution chamber in your place and your sentence has been wiped from your records.
Jesus Christ died on the cross in order to pay the costly price for those hefty wrongs we have committed. He has shown us grace, love, and mercy by dying for us. Once we have accepted that, knowing it is nothing we have done but it is everything He has done, our sentence has been wiped clean.
So if He has taken our death sentence why are we still held up in that prison cell? The bars have been opened and we are still sitting in the cold, empty cell, alone in our imprisonment. The guards are gone and yet we refuse to leave, move, or accept our freedom. Why? We are our worst enemies. We are our prisons. We are our Wardens.
Stop looking down! Look up! Jesus is there, waiting to free us. Take His hand and escape from that prison cell. You have been set free! You no longer have a death sentence, you now have pure and beautiful freedom that only Christ can give.
Enjoy the warmth of the Son, you have been set free!
Remembering those that lost their lives.
Remembering those that lost loved ones.
Remembering those that went into battle for our country.
God never leaves us.
God never forsakes us.
God is in control.
God has us in His hands.
God never forgets.
God is our comforter.
God is our healer.
God is our protector.
God is our father.
God was there.
God is here.
God will be there.
Psalm 119:114 “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”
Forgiveness, what does that mean?
What does forgiveness look like?
Who truly forgives?
When I think about forgiveness, I have to ask myself, “Do I forgive?” I mean of course I say the words but do my actions follow through with what I have said?! As much as the person that has wronged me needs to make sure their actions/words are pure, I need to make sure that mine are as well.
Forgiveness doesn’t change the circumstance and doesn’t erase the pain and choices that have come with the actions. Forgiveness frees me, and the person that has wronged me, from the chains that have come with the circumstance.
What does forgiveness look like? Forgiveness looks like Jesus. Jesus died for me/you on that cross and forgave me/you of our sins and that is what true forgiveness looks like. Now, am I Jesus?! Of course not! I am a human, filled with sin, who fails constantly at life but am trying to learn from Him daily so my forgiveness will not look perfect.
So how do I do this forgiveness thing? Some things that I have learned forgiveness not to look like is where I can start.
-Forgiveness does not rear up in anger whenever it feels like it.
-Forgiveness does not give the silent treatment.
-Forgiveness does not keep a mental record of wrongs to bring up for another time.
-Forgiveness does not make verbal or physical jabs.
-Forgiveness does not keep emphasizing the weight of the situation over and over again.
-Forgiveness does not slander the other in public.
So how do we do this forgiveness thing? Some things that I have learned forgiveness to look like are where I can end.
-Forgiveness means to pray for those that have hurt you.
-Forgiveness means to help the other with whatever struggle they might have wronged you in.
-Forgiveness means to encourage them.
-Forgiveness means to protect the situation from future harm. Not by building walls but by believing that God, who began a good work in you and in them, will be faithful to complete it. Trust Him while creating boundaries but not walls.
-Forgiveness means to love them as God has first loved us.
Forgiveness- spread the wealth!
October 15th, today is the day when the world recognizes the loss of infants and babies to death, too soon (“pregnancy and infant loss awareness day”). Of course as mothers, we recognize that loss every day. I am one of those as I know many very close to me are as well. If you have had a miscarriage, a still born baby, or a baby that only had a short moment on this earth, let me tell you, you are not alone! You are not alone and they are not alone. God is holding you and your babies in His arms, in the grip of His grace and He won’t let go. I have the hope that I will see my baby again because I have hope in a God who has promised me I will.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
I am sorry for your loss, pain, and for many of you empty arms, but if there is any smidgen of hope to be had, put it in the Creator who hasn’t forgotten or overlooked you or your baby, knowing you will be reunited once again, with your faith in Him. You are and always will be a mother whether you miscarried a child 6 weeks along or 6 days old. I do believe life begins at conception!
“….and to think, the first thing he saw when his little eyes opened was the face of Jesus.“- Author unknown
Romans 5:2-5 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces … Continue reading
You are never too far, too late to be changed by God. There is hope! He forgives, changes, and transforms.
You have never fallen too far for God to love you, rescue you, forgive you. There is hope!!
At the beginning of April, we had the loss of our third child due to a miscarriage. I was just around 8 weeks so the news of the pregnancy was still new and fresh. Word had trickled out already of the exciting new arrival. I have been receiving words of congratulations and inquiry of the due date even up to today. People have looked at my stomach, confused as to why they haven’t seen quite a bump yet or due to the wonderful pooch I currently have, they say comments of admiration of the pregnancy belly when it is really just the fat.;)
Through all of these congratulations and awkward stomach admiration I try to quickly save as much “face” for them as for myself and I tell them that I am no longer pregnant and have had a miscarriage. There are some times where I am completely fine and I try to make the other person not feel awkward about the moment. More often than not, in the circumstance, I want to run, hide, and have someone else explain to them what has happened.
Today, while at church, a woman came up to me and looked at my stomach with question in her eyes. I explained quickly, before anything was said, that I had a miscarriage. She looked at me with sympathy beyond measure and explained how sorry she was and accompanied it with a gentle hug. Those words and that hug spoke volumes to me because this particular woman had just lost her son to suicide a few months a go and here she was comforting me on a loss of a child. Wow, strength in the midst of weakness and the power of connection between friends! What comfort that moment brought me when I was just choking back tears because I just had to explain the loss moments a go with someone else.
I was thanking the Lord for that moment we shared though it was brief. As we sat down in church we had some friends come up to us and sit on either side of us and then we turned and another couple decided to sit behind us. We were surrounded by our friends. It happened immediately and none of it was planned by any earthly measures. Funny we actually all attend different services and never sit together. We proceeded to sing a song, “How Great is our God” by Chris Tomlin. Sitting there, thinking about the woman I had seen a moment a go, looking at our friends surrounding us on all sides, and singing one of my favorite reminders of how great our God is brought me to tears. In the midst of the heartache of loss, God wrapped his arms around me and there I found comfort in His arms. Here He is, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and He still finds those times to let me know, little me, He is there and He is in control. Where do you find your comfort? Look for those moments and let them be a treasure to you!