frail refuges

“Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!” 
– Psalm 139: 7-8

I used to do this thing when I felt rejected where I would retreat. I would either leave the setting that I was in or (if I was stuck where I was) I’d physically find a way to retreat into myself. You could find me tucked deeply into corners, or if I couldn’t find a corner, I’d retreat into myself. I’d pull my knees close to my chest, and wrap my arms around them, and wait for the rejection to pass. If it were REALLY bad, I’d even lay my head on my knees to take a moment to breathe.

 For a long time, I considered that posture my safe place.

For a split second, I could silence the world. I could hide away from everything that was happening around me, all the things that hurt, and the disappointment I constantly felt from not feeling protected or defended by God (ultimately, not feeling loved).

That season’s passed, & the Lord has taught me a lot about His love and the frailty of my refuge. It provided a sense of comfort for a while, but it never healed. This post isn’t necessarily about rejection (that’s soon enough), but I’ve been reading over this passage from Psalm 139 for a few days, and it’s reminded me of those days of that false refuge.

In whatever ways you’re coping, God wants to encourage YOU that the He sees you.

– Wherever you run, He’s there (verse 7)
– If you’ve made sin your lying place, He’s there (verse 8
– If you take refuge in isolation & darkness, He’s there.
– & even in the darkness, His hand will still lead you and His right hand will still hold you (verse 10)

He’s not even intimidated by our limited knowledge of darkness, and He never looks away in the middle of our pain or shame.

”It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you,” (verse 12‬, MSG)!

Your refuge can’t heal you,
Only the One that you’re turning from can.
He loves you. He’s waiting for you.
and despite what you think, He still thinks so highly of you.

“Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:17, MSG

letting go of the box.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.

almost a year, to be exact.

But it’s been good and necessary. I took time (& still taking time) to process all of the things. (Trust me, the things in my heart did not need to be processed on anybody’s blog! Lol!)

The one thing that I do know is that the Holy Spirit is shattering/has shattered this box that I’ve put God & myself into.

I’ve always hated the fact that I seemed to be someone who was always processing something within her heart, but “the process” will forever be happening in my life. It will forever be happening in all of our lives, and it doesn’t always have to look a certain way. If it’s one thing that I’ve recently learned, it’s this: God can use the most unconventional measures to show you His hand in anything.

He invites us into unconventional measures. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so no human being might boast in the presence of God. So that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1: 25,27-29,31)

So, during this time away, the box that I’ve grown accustomed to has gotten too small for the gifts and talents on the inside of me. It’s gotten too small for my voice.

I don’t know what all is going on, but I do know this: I’m only 27 and I don’t have to know it all.

I don’t have to be in control. I don’t have to fear.

I don’t have to have an inkling as to where He has me, or where He’s taking me.

I don’t even HAVE to have a promise.

So, this is me,

& this is a bit of a re-intro back into blogging.

a plain & simple life.

“… a plain and simple life is a full life,” (Proverbs 13: 7b)

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I recently moved home, and the best way that I can describe it is that everything is slow

…but, it’s not a bad thing. I enjoy slow.

I like the quiet of the mornings, and the afternoons kissed by dazzling sunsets.

I like the feeling of having something to do, but having nowhere to go where I have to rush.

That’s what it is! I like that I don’t have to rush. I feel like rest is attainable now.

It’s funny. Although I do not have kids, I do live with one (she’s 9), and I’m understanding the significance of small victories. I used to read captions about parents who were excited that their child only cried for 45 minutes instead of an hour, and wouldn’t stop to think twice about it. Although my sister never really cries, I now understand the significance in small victories.

It’s getting excited because there’s been a compromise in family conversations on what to buy at the grocery store.

It’s a clean room.

It’s getting to sleep in past 7 AM.

It’s monkey bread and orange juice at a neighbor’s for small group on Wednesday mornings.

It’s having the strength to pray.

It’s a renewed mind and the small moments of growth that shock even me.

While I do miss the “city” life of Birmingham, I want to soak up as much of the slower pace as possible before going back.

Running, but not Worn

“A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”(Proverbs 13:7 MSG)

This scripture is becoming a life verse for me. The Lord has been talking to me about rest for a while now. At one point, I’d fallen into the trap of thinking that busyness equated significance: “If I don’t have enough stuff on my plate, I’m not doing enough. If I’m not doing enough, I’m not enough. I must do something to prove that I’m not just sitting around idly. Literally, any [good] thing will do!

Towards the latter half of 2017, I really started to feel a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pull back and to rest. I was actually a little relieved because not only was I was on the brink of burn out, but I literally longed for rest. I’d never been good at it, but I kept feeling this yearning to learn to live a slow life. However, I also knew that there were a lot of things in my schedule that wouldn’t allow me to rest, but the Holy Spirit slowly started revealing that rest had a lot more to do with my heart than my schedule. Over a few months’ time, I started to learn what rest looked like.

  • Rest meant intentionally seeking the presence of God, while simultaneously allowing God to define distractions in my life (which actually included my second job, and pulling back on being in so many small groups!).

  • Rest meant embracing healing while being reminded of my identity. (A plain and simple life is a full life, not a showy, pretentious one that is reaffirmed through pride.)

  • Rest meant being intentional with my time. It was (& still is) a busy season, but He’s taught the importance of intentionality.

  • Rest meant allowing the truth to settle in that real rest is only found in the Lord.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him,” (Psalm 62:5 ESV)

Real rest is only found in the presence of God.

Brady Boyd says is so well, “Recently I heard a pastor in Maryland talking about the difference between amusement and rest. We tend to do one better than the other, and the one we do well is not rest. Case in point: last year my family and I went to Disney World for a full week, and I came back more exhausted than before I left. And I was really tired when we took off. I may have escaped the stressors of daily life, but had I even rested at all? This is what God is hinting at here, that restfulness is tethered to the state of our souls.”

Can I tell you what happens when we learn to truly rest in the Lord?

Our identities are restored to us, and fruitfulness flows from us.

Heidi Baker writes, “I watch those who have learned the mystery of the secret place too. They understand that when they seek more time with God, they will bear far more fruit and will have the grace to keep running, even in the midst of great pressure. They thrive over the years because they have earned to abide in the realm where we are called to live.” 

We can use other outlets to relax, but there is only one type of rest that produces fruitfulness. In past experiences when I thought of rest, I typically thought of only my spirit being refreshed, but the truth is that ALL fruitfulness flows from rest. So, when we take time to sit with the Lord (even if we feel like we’re sitting too long, or that we have a list of things to do), fruitfulness flows from it. He gives strategy as to how to make our to-do lists a lot easier and He gives wisdom in how to operate out of areas where we’ve found difficulty. It’s time we realize that we can have a CRAZY schedule in a busy season, yet still be refreshed and thriving enough that we can RUN yet not be worn.

I’m learning to live from that place: Running, but not worn.

Coffee Dates

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. 

They will soar high on wings like eagles. 

They will run and not grow weary. 

They will walk and not faint.”

(Isaiah 40: 31, NLT)

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I love the faithfulness of the Lord.

Have you ever had a promise from Him?

I have. Plenty of them, actually. I’m walking in some of them, and some of them I am waiting on with a heart of expectancy.

I wrote in a previous post, “You will not miss out on your own needs or promises. As we take care of Kingdom business, God will take care of ours.”

Here’s one of those many stories.

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Isaiah 40: 31 flashed through my mind as I was putting on my finishing touches. I was moments away from meeting with an old friend for coffee. I had no agenda. I had no idea what we’d talked about, and I was beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I asked her for coffee. A thought became an action before I had a chance to process fear and a week later, I’m praying that we can make it through coffee without someone leaving the conversation feeling defeated. 2016 had not been an easy year for our friendship, and we could count on one hand how many times we’d been intentional on meeting and talking over the past year. Over that year, and especially in the last few months, I’d found myself worn out with believing for restoration. It was like a played-out record that wouldn’t stop, and I was tired of hearing the same song. The Lord kept telling me to look to Him, and to pay attention to what was in front of me. I’ve got it, Lord. Keep pouring. Keep writing. Keep serving. Keep leading. Keep resting. I’m okay with all of that, and I know that You’ll restore it all, but I need grace and Your strength to make it through this moment right now. So, that scripture landed in a tender place as I prayed it for myself and my friend before walking out of the front door.

 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts

And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

   so my ways are higher than your ways

   and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,”

(Isaiah 55: 8-9, NLT)

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be somewhat analytical. I like to figure it all out, or at least have some type of plan concerning what I have figured out. But, that’s not the type of God I serve. He’s the “You live from time, I don’t. Trust Me when I say that it will all work out. You cannot see what I am doing, but keep praying and keep believing. What does My Word say? What have I told you?” type-God. So, in the midst of it all, I did what I knew to do: Keep praying, believing, and trust Him as I moved forward, “The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger, (Job 17: 9, NLT)
. I knew that as I stayed focused on the what God instructed me to do, He’d work everything out in the background.

& He did.

My friend and I met and we talked. We talked about life, jobs, and school. We even laughed a little.

 I don’t know how it happened, but in forty-five minutes the Lord restored hope to places I didn’t even know it was lacking. It amazed me how a seemingly bad (& I do mean BAD) circumstance was exactly what He purposed for us to experience His love in a deeper way.  We ended coffee with a few next steps concerning our friendship, and we agreed to start fresh and move forward. For a split second, after I got in my car, I still could not fathom a God that loved His children so much that He would purpose a year the way that He did. I will probably never know why everything happened the way it did, and in hindsight, not only does it not matter, I’m glad it all happened. The end result was worth it, and that coffee date was so much more than coffee. It was a glimpse into an eternal God’s thought process.

  • He showed me how in one year’s time He’d expanded my capacity to love beyond myself, and introduced true love the way that the Bible teaches.

  • He reminded me of every personal decision I’d been led into over the past year [concerning my calling] that wouldn’t have happened had I not been forced out of complacency.

  • He showed the both of us that even in the midst of all of the pain, chaos, and not understanding, He’d purposed it all, and that He is trustworthy. He knew what He was doing the entire time, and He knew who to use to accomplish the purpose. (He’d actually shown the both of us, and we didn’t fully understand at the time)

  • He proved that He is Jehovah Rapha and that when He heals and restores, He doesn’t restore to our definition of what restoration is, but to what He originally intended for it to be.

  • More than anything, He reminded me that it was so much bigger than us. There were people who were (& will be) touched because a group of friends were able to walk in obedience and share a testimony of how we healed and gained greater intimacy with the Healer during a tough season.

“ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NLT)

So, be encouraged. Concerning the past year, as I started to seek Him, the desire for restoration began to fade. Not that I didn’t want it, because I did, but because I wanted what He wanted more. A few months before coffee, I’d actually settled in my heart that I would be okay if I’d misheard Him and He never restored it.

The next step He’s asking of you may not seem like the logical step towards what you want, but as you move forward with whatever God is telling you to do, know that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11: 6b). As you take care of His business, He will take care of yours. You cannot outdo God, and He does not forget His promises. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him.

I Was the One

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?” (Luke 15:4)

I love the feeling of knowing that I’m stepping into a different season! Especially when I’m stepping out of a harder season.

I was praying a few days ago, and You took me back to a video I saw months ago of Melissa Helser speaking about the necessity of seasons. As clear as day, I heard you say, “Do not misinterpret my tone or the season I have you in. Season of barrenness can be quiet, but they will always bring clarity. The season you’re in is one of rest, and while it is quiet, it’s not to be mistaken for a season of barrenness. In your season of barrenness, there was a work that I had to do in you. I had to break up the fallow ground in your heart, and there was a lot of fallow ground. Although it was an extremely hard season for you, it has set you up for the next season, because seasons of barrenness will always produce seasons of harvest.”

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing;  now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19)

As I kept thinking about what You said, I kept wondering why would I misinterpret the season I was in. CLEARLY, I was walking in a new joy and wholeness that hadn’t been there for a while, and I didn’t think that I was carrying beliefs from an old season into a new one. But, It clicked when I remembered You speaking to me a few weeks ago. I was sitting in a night service, and I was tired because I had to be at work at 6 AM. The speaker wanted to pray for everyone, but I wanted to go to sleep. In the midst of my irritation, I heard You say, “Calm down. I haven’t forgotten you.”

BOOM. Plain and simple, there it was. Although there was something new that You were doing, there was a small fear that my life was forever doomed to “finding joy in the hard/hell places.” I’d settled into my heart that I’d either be last, or worst, forgotten. That small seed had been there from the moment I stepped out on faith three years ago. I expected my life to look one way, and because it didn’t, I started to believe a lie, and that lie hit its climax when I moved a year ago.

Pain has a way of really distorting reality, and Satan really is a liar. Gradually, that lie flowed deeper into our relationship, and just as gradually I ebbed further from You. When my relationship with You wasn’t okay, neither was anything else. Best friends couldn’t fix it, and money couldn’t fix it. There were certain things that I knew You’d had shown me, but instead of praying about them, I talked about them. I gave Satan exactly what He needed to attack, and for too long I truly believed those lies about You, the situations You’d placed me in, and the people You’d placed around me.

But, I was wrong.

I was angry.

I was proud.

I hated You.

I isolated myself from the people You placed around me.

I heard You say, “Let them love you,” but my heart was so hard towards You that I couldn’t even see them.

I hurt them, and I know that I hurt You.

Then, You sat me down.

I never thought I’d be on that side of the Gospel. I never thought I’d need someone to rescue ME! I mean, I’d always considered myself part of the ninety-nine, but never the “One,” never the prodigal. But to You, there was no such thing as a “little” wandering.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me (Psalm 139: 5).

You put me in a situation where I couldn’t run anymore. You recklessly pursued me. You never let up. You walked with me through that season of barrenness, and You provided no way of escape from Your love. You hemmed me in on all sides and laid Your hand on top of me. You gathered every piece of my heart, and You healed me and made me whole again, and I thank You for that.

———–

On this side of healing comes maturity. In any season that we’ve walked through with a hardened heart, it’s almost impossible to interpret anything correctly. You cannot understand what God is doing when You don’t trust His heart towards you. You won’t trust His motives, and you won’t trust the motives of those placed in front of you. (Trust me, pride and pain will try to convince you otherwise. I would know) As mature believers, as we are healed we have to choose God’s perspective on what’s really real over what we believed to be real.

So, I challenge you to ask the Lord (as you’re walking into new seasons, or still walking in your own) to dispel the lies that pain convinced you were truths. It’s possible that you can have a wrong mindset concerning a situation that you were convinced you were right about. Humble yourself in preparation for what He’ll tell you, receive your full healing, and do whatever you need to to make it right. He’ll lead you to the truth, and you won’t carry any baggage into a new season.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139: 23-24)

How I Learned to Forgive

This morning I was prompted with the question, “How did you learn to forgive?” Without even thinking about it, my response was, “I had to learn how to love first.” (This is where I should let you know that in NO way am I saying that I am perfect at loving people. LOL! I am most definitely not! I am learning, and sometimes failing, every day.) However, I did choose to learn love, the Biblical way, and it’s one of the greatest things the Lord has done in my life. The world will teach you that Biblical love is stupid: you’ll look stupid, you’ll feel stupid, you’ll feel silly. To a certain degree, the world is right. You will feel silly and maybe even stupid, but over time, and from personal experience from being on both sides of needing and giving love, I’ve learned that it’s an honor to freely show people the love of God.

First, I had to learn that love is a choice, not an emotion. Same as forgiveness. You CHOOSE to love and forgive, regardless of how you feel. There were many mornings where I would have to say, “No! I’ve already forgiven them. My flesh doesn’t feel like it, but I love them. Father, help me to see them the way that you see them.”

Second, I made love practical. I used the dictionary and this amazing study to write out what stuck with me. So, copied straight from my Bibles, the dictionary, and my favorite study:

Love is patient: Able to accept delays, problems, or sufferings without becoming annoyed or anxious; long suffering. It doesn’t lose its temper saying, “I’ll give you one more chance.” As we are humbled by our own sin, we learn to be more patient with others.

and kind: Having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature; To withhold what harms and to give what heals; Love is not giving everyone what they desire or want. Love is kind but tough.

Love does not envy: feelings of discontentment or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck; True love desires the success of others. The cure for envy is to pray for the success of those you are envious of. To pray for them demonstrates love, and envy and love cannot exist in the same heart.

Or boast: Not big-headed, but big-hearted. When we brag, we display insecurity and spiritual immaturity. The more spiritual gifts we possess, the more loving we’ll be, the less we’ll brag. We have to humble ourselves before Christ and people.

It is not arrogant: Having an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities; Grasping for power; Always considers themselves exempt from the requirements of mere mortals; Arrogance disrespects others. We are to serve others and to be gracious to them.

Or rude: Offensively impolite or ill-mannered; Love does not “tell it like it is.”It does not verbalize all its thoughts, particularly if they don’t build up. There is a graciousness that is involved. Love never forgets courtesy, tact, and being polite are lovely things.

It does not insist on its own way: Love is the very antithesis of self-seeking. It is not dominating or stubborn. It listens well and does not talk too much. It is always willing to defer to others.

It is not irritable or resentful: Love does not come with a “Handle with Caution” sign. It is not touchy. It is not given to emotional outbursts, petty annoyances, and doesn’t get under my skin. We don’t HAVE to get irritated if we’re exercising love.

It does not rejoice at wrongdoing: Love is righteous. It takes no joy in evil of any kind. It is not drawn to evil. Psalm 37 tells us that “the Lord will bring our righteousness to light as the noonday… For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.” Being honest, I used to think that this scripture meant that the Lord would strike down whoever crossed a boundary concerning me! Lol! You cross me, you cross God! Lol however, it’s important to remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against demonic forces. (Ephesians 6: 12) In every situation, we are all children of God, and He never wants to embarrass or “strike down” anyone. What He will do, is bring to light the times the enemy was at work in the situation. Love doesn’t hope that the person is exposed, but that in both your life and in theirs, the Lord lifts the veil to see truth in the situation.

Keeps no record of wrong: Love is not bookkeeping of offenses, waiting to be settled.

Love rejoices with truth: Love must conform to the truth of the Word of God. Truth and love go together.

Love bears all things: Carries, supports; “Bears all things” in the Greek means to “cover something”. It is compared to a roof; a covering of protection to keep out things that are hostile. “Love covers a multitude of sins,” (1 Peter 4:8); Love protects reputations. It doesn’t nitpick. It doesn’t criticize in public.

Believes all things: Accepts something as true; Always trusts; People will always become what you believe about them. Choose that they are innocent until proven guilty. Believe the best, not the worst.

Hopes all things: Never gives up on people, despite the circumstance; Never loses faith, despite their shortcomings; Has faith and expects the best.

Endures all things: Suffers something painful or difficult patiently; Hold positions, even to death. Holds fast to people; Perseveres, even in the face of rejection.

Love never ends: Love is an eternal gift. That is POWERFUL in itself!

Heal With Love.

These three words have never had as much relevance in my life as they have now. Seasons have come and gone, and there have been times when the Lord has asked me to let some relationships go. There have also been times when the Lord has blessed me with very dear relationships, and unfortunately, those have also gone downhill. Some of those relationship losses were easy to cope with, while others were painstakingly hard. But, throughout them all, I’ve learned how to lean into God, allow Him to break pride, and heal with love.

Prayer is key. Healing never looks the way we want it to look. Sometimes healing means praying for the other person to keep move forward, even if you can’t be there to celebrate with them or encourage them in their endeavors. Prayer causes us to truly die to our flesh and come to grips with the ultimatum, “It’s either what we want, or what God wants.” We can’t have it both because God is going to lead us into some very painful things to pray. It will test our level of patience. It will reveal the ugly things rooted in our hearts, but ultimately, it will get us to a place where we can pray the purest prayers, rooted in love, and truly be okay with the outcome.

“Love is patient, love is kind,” (1 Corinthians 13: 4a)

Don’t tolerate pride. During the healing process, the Lord has walked me through extremely hard moments of vulnerability. Nothing kills pride and hastens the healing process more than humility and vulnerability before the Lord. Pride has two extremes: It either wants to constantly remind you of how badly others have hurt you, or it tries to convince you that you’re okay and that it didn’t hurt. Tolerating either is not okay. Those painful thoughts are going to come because… well, it hurt! However, healing comes in those moments of humility. To God, you recognize, “Father, this situation really did hurt me. It hurt so badly. Pretending like it didn’t doesn’t make me tougher. It only helps to build barriers. Because I know that forgiveness is a choice that is not based on my emotions, I choose to forgive all those involved. Heal me in the deepest parts of where hurt has resided. I give you permission to touch and heal the root of the pain. In Jesus’ name, Amen. ”  Pride is not your friend, and it’s not “protecting” you. Not only will pride create a divide between you and others, but it will also divide you and God.

[Love] does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud,” (1 Corinthians 13: 4b)

Ask God to silence the wrong voices. During healing, this is crucial. Just because people love you doesn’t mean that their heart is always in the right place to speak. Sometimes another’s “love” (or their need to defend us) can cause them to speak/act from their flesh. In those moments, the voices we’re allowing to speak into us are actually reaffirming pride that the Lord is trying to break. Often times, they’re helping us to keep rehearsing the offense. Ask the Lord to highlight voices that aren’t helping you to heal. Then, ask for boldness to walk away. When God does a healing work, He’s not just working on the problem at hand, He’s healing the deeper root issues, as well. Wrong voices have the power to help you to keep rehearsing the offense without ever actually dealing with it. Ask God for help. He’ll give you the grace. 

Love is warfare. “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes,” (1 Corinthians 13: 7 NIV). Love always protects the other person involved, and for me, the Lord has been showing me that that means that I will protect their name and their character. I won’t talk bad about them, entertain a bad thought about them, and I won’t allow others to either. Love is making the choice to trust what God says about people, and not what our distorted reality says about them. I was praying recently, and the Lord told me that, “love is warfare.” Not saying what you really want to say in the heat of the moment is warfare. Standing still, not giving into what the enemy wants is warfare. Choosing God’s perspective is warfare. Speaking life is warfare. It makes the enemy so mad when we choose to not give into conflict, even when conflict is coming at us. 

Learn to let the relationship go. This has been the hardest for me, personally. Frequently, I’ll be bombarded with thoughts of, “No! I’m believing for restoration! The Lord can restore!! You’re not fighting hard enough! You’re just going to let it go? Just like that?!” Letting people go doesn’t mean that you are giving up on them, or on what God can do. It’s an incredibly, brave act of love that says, “God, I cannot do this. We had all of the knowledge as to how to fix this, yet we STILL couldn’t make this work. I choose to give this to You to do what only You can do. I choose to relinquish control.” 

Keep moving forward with a pure heart. While the previous was the hardest for me, I know that for some, this may feel like the hardest thing. Satan wants to tell you that you’re abandoning the person. He wants to lie, and tell you that they’re not moving forward, and that they’re going to be bitter with you for doing so. Or, he’ll try to convince you that it’s some type of competition. So, yes, you can move forward, but the goal is to beat them in life. Regardless of the tactic, it’s a lie. Of course moving forward isn’t always easy. The lies will come, and sometimes looking ahead makes the days feel like an eternity, but it’s one prayer at a time. 

It’s dispelling one lie at a time. 

It’s leaning into God, one step at a time. 

It’s trusting that God is going to take care of you. 

It’s trusting that when He says, “Don’t defend yourself,” that He is your vindicator. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12: 9)

Keep your love on. Their actions shouldn’t determine yours. It doesn’t matter if the person never wants to talk to you again, or if they hate you. Even when it’s hard and you feel stupid, keep your love on. Seek God on whether or not it’s His will for that relationship to have a place in your life in the future. From the purest place, pray for them. Trust that God is doing a work in them just like He’s doing in you. Ultimately, it’s the old saying, “Healing isn’t for the other person. It’s for you.” When you allow the Lord to show you how much those relationships shaped the good in you, it’s hard to turn your love off. It actually helps you to love them, and others, in a greater measure. It helps you to heal. One day, you’ll be able to see them without your heart skipping six beats. “Love endures (suffers something painful or difficult, patiently) all things,” (1 Corinthians 13: 7).

Be patient with yourself. Don’t rush it. Trust the Lord’s timing. I think sometimes we are so “big picture” focused, that we grow impatient, not allowing God to heal us fully. When you’ve been hurt, it’s a natural reaction to want to act out of fear, anxiety, and throw up walls of defense. You may think you’re completely healed until you see the person. There’s no need in beating yourself up because you went out of your way to ignore them so they couldn’t see how badly you were hurting, but you should be more realistic with the timing of your healing. (Haha! You may need more than the one week of healing you’ve set for yourself!) However, it’s in those moments that we truly get see God be God because He’s close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18)! Lean in on His perfect love that casts out fear. 

Again, it’s one day at a time.

Is it going to hurt some days? Yes. Sometimes, badly.

Will you still miss those people? Of course.

But healing comes so much faster when we allow God to do the work.