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Broken Relationships

Broken relationships. They are a painful reality. For some, it is a daily ache that shackles our every step, and for others, it is an ache that shouts and settles throughout time. Universally, however, the holidays seem to ignite and amplify the grief that resides in the hearts and minds of those carrying the cross of someone living in the world but lost from our lives.

Sometimes reconciliation is not possible. Maybe you have hurt someone, and despite your repentance and request for forgiveness, it was refused. Know this; we are only responsible for what we can control, an apology, but not an acceptance.

Sometimes reconciliation is not achievable because the pathology of the relationship is too unhealthy. The loss is still painful, nevertheless. I get it.

Although being reconciled is implausible, relinquishing resentment, retaliation, and further ruin is not. I realize and know that takes time. Often, a lot of time. A lot of prayers. A lot of dying to self and surrendering to the Savior. We cannot make ourselves forget, but we can pray ourselves to forgive. The two things are not the same. Forgiveness does not always look like an active relationship, but it can manifest as an intentional release of the toxicity that grows from the root of resentment.

In some scenarios, forgiveness is not a one-time event.

For some, it takes a daily recommitment. It is painful. I know.

There are other times that forgiveness is possible, but pride convinces us that we are justified staying stuck. It is then easy to find ourselves reasoning, “I cannot do it.” What that statement means is, I will not do it. Forgiveness of tender transgressions requires sacrifice. It demands a figurative death that feels real.

The antidote for my stubborn pride is always the cross.

I can try and run from its reality. I can try to deny its ramifications, but I have not found a comfortable place to hide.

The truth is, I am a sinner who was in desperate need of the greatest act of forgiveness history has ever known. It did require a literal death. It did require bloodshed. It demanded far more than my flesh can comprehend, but Jesus did it anyway. Like a lamb led to the slaughter He was my substitute, and He never articulated a word. No complaints. No poor me. No. Whining.

This holiday season friend, if you are in the league of the unforgiven, have asked for forgiveness from a well-intentioned place and were denied, I am sorry and pray that you find peace. I know the anguish will always be present to some degree, but remember pain is the best tutor, and it’s redemptive purposes are infinite.

And you, dear friend, if you are on the other side of the fence, carrying the weight of unforgiveness, that I sympathetically recognize is not a one size fits all scenario, I pray that your heart would soften because I wish freedom for you.

Sometimes the very things we are trying to escape, we cling to.

Holding on to the pain can oddly feel comforting. It is a counterfeit comforter. I know you must have been intensely wounded. About now you may be thinking; you just have no clue. No, I do not pretend to understand, but I have experienced a lot.

One thing I do know for sure, life is so very short. Once someone is gone, what was not spoken cannot be undone. Sometimes there are no second chances. No do-overs. If you possess the power to release someone, not necessarily reunite with them, I am praying for you. It is so very hard. I. Know.

I am not writing to you because I have gotten anything right. I am writing to you because I have gotten just about everything wrong and I am processing my realities, too.

This Thanksgiving may we all acknowledge the sadness of what is not, and then shift our hearts towards the abundance of what is.

You are loved. All of you.♥️

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A Mixed Bag

Dear friend, You may need to hear this today. It is perfectly reasonable that you are both a masterpiece and a mess at the same time. You may not feel like a masterpiece, but here is the evidence in Ephesians 2:10~ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Yes, it is true you are a mixed bag. So. Am. I. We live in a fallen world, of flawed people, with fluid laws, feeble morals and a fierce enemy who wants us believe to false ideas about ourselves. Not one of us is perfect, but freedom is not found in our perfection, but in the forgiveness of our failures.  You are loved!❤️

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I Will Try Again Tomorrow

Yea, it is the end of one of those hard days when you feel beaten, battered and bruised, sometimes literally. Your heart has been spun up and wrung out.  Emotions have swirled through your body like a tidal wave leaving you feeling washed out, weak and worn.  You have been fighting all day for this person, praying like the persistent widow for that situation, enduring physical pain necessary for healing, and filtering waves of grief and gratitude that amidst it all, curiously still co-mingle.

There is finally a lull of silence with the parting of the sun; your soul settles slightly, and you know you must choose to either concede or conquer the day’s chaos.  Then comes a gentle reminder that you aren’t in this alone.  He’s in the midst of your pain.  He is present with your people, and he is bigger than that situation.

At the end of days like this, I am so grateful that the Psalms are in the Bible.  Many days I am living them as sure as I am breathing; crying out for relief, reassurance, direction, strength and forgiveness.  Then, when the commotion begins to settle slightly I reach deep within to find despite it all gratitude, thanksgiving, worship, and redemption slowly start marching along to the beat of my broken heart.  I take a breath, and each one becomes a little deeper, a little deeper, and finally I enter a state of ailing rest, remembering that tomorrow, should she come, holds new mercies, strength, grace and fuel for the road ahead.

Today must be released to the past, and it is then when I hear the soft but resolute roar;

I will try again tomorrow!

And you friend must courageously commit also to engage again tomorrow with a fresh mind and hopeful heart!  You are loved.

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Not Your Faults but His Forgivness


Psst! You do not have to be perfect today, tomorrow or ever. It isn’t even possible. The more you recognize your shortcomings, the more you are growing in the grace of your Savior. Your freedom has nothing to do with your faults, but everything to do with His forgiveness!! May you find rest in that today, friends.

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Forgivness

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Growing in grace means everyday fragments of me are dying.  Parts of my heart, soul and deeply lodged pieces of me are dying only to be resurrected and made new.

The Lord pursues me with great persistence dressed in a patient countenance.  My current area of refinement has been a long process.  It is still ongoing. I am having to ask The Father for the obedience to surrender that part of me that is clinging on for life with a stubborn determination born of the sinful flesh that dwells within me.

Forgiveness.  It is brutal, and it is a painful death when the scars run deep over a broad span of time.  As I am struggling and wrestling with the Lord through this process, he was so kind to remind me; D’Anna, the first act of forgiveness was brutal.  It was bloody, and there was a literal death. (Matthew 27:32-55).  To deny anyone forgiveness is not to understand what my Son did for you on that day that secured your eternal victory.

When someone wounds you consistently for years, it is like death by a million paper cuts. Each cut chiseling away at your self-esteem, your confidence and strength.  I became a passive victim shackled by fear.  I convinced myself I was the crazy one.  I tried to fight back, but could not overcome.  By the grace of God through some tough circumstances, I was freed from that dynamic of dysfunction.

I have worked for the last six years to overcome the effects, and it has been hard work, but great counselors and friends have prayed, talked and walked with me through this, and it has made all the difference.  Above all, though, it has been Jesus.  He has chased me with an unrelenting faithfulness.  His love has astounded me.  He is so sweet to me, and I deserve none of it, but He lavishes me anyway.

Now, I have been brought to a time such as this where He is calling me to an act of obedience that I do not want to go through. It scares me. I have fallen on my face and prayed as Jesus did, Lord, if this cup may be taken from me, let it be; yet not as I will but as you will. (Matthew 26:39)

It is not often that we have full clarity for handling life’s situations.  However, I have it in regards to this one.  My lack of compliance would be to deny the greatest gift I have ever received.  Forgiveness, when there is no repentance or acknowledgment of wrongdoing, is hard because it is so incredibly costly for me, but Jesus’ death shows me that is right because He sacrificed the ultimate for me.  Therefore, I can do it for Him.

Each time I tell Jesus how unequipped I am for this job, he whispers to me, my grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) That is how I will do this.  I trust His grace will be sufficient for me when I cannot assimilate the courage or desire myself.

Forgiveness without repentance is a dying of self out a desire to obey My Savior, not the sinner.  It means I understand the debt that was paid for me while I was and still am a sinner, too.  It does not always mean we are in a relationship again. It does not mean that person/persons will be allowed access to break personal boundaries and bash my psyche. It means a freeing from the toxic control of my mind from another.  In the coming days as I prepare for this, I continue to trust that the Lord will strengthen me and uphold me with his victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)  My heart is willing, but my flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

Is there someone you need to forgive today?  I know it is hard, but it is holy.  If I can do this by God’s grace, you can, too.  We do not have to be staring at bars to be imprisoned.  I desire to be set free, and I pray for your release, also.