Easter Changes Everything!
Have you ever had something occur in your life that put you in a position to fight for what was noble, pure and true? The struggle between good and evil. Spiritual warfare at its finest. But as hard as you try, nothing seems to be working. You need a desperate shift. A God ordained incident to turn the tides and let good triumph over evil.
I was right in the middle of a moment like that and Satan was relentless. He was attacking me and my family from every angle possible. Three distinctly different sources attempting to tear me down, break my spirit, and destroy me so that I would give up on the task God was preparing me for.
But what Satan didn’t realize was that God was speaking to me through the entire course of events that were taking place and I was tuned in. His voice prepared me for battle by giving me strength, wisdom and courage to fight.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that not only did Satan have an agenda, but so did God. God allowed Satan to send three people to attack so that He could refine an area I have struggled with for years.
I suffer from codependency. Codependency is when a relationship is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or addiction). It involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of those who suffer from such conditions. Poor boundaries not only contribute to the problem, but they are the reason for it in the first place. My lack of boundaries to protect myself led me to feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and problems for years and it took being manipulated by three people for me to open my eyes to the damage I was allowing others to do to my soul. My dependency created a need to be liked, a fear of being rejected, and a deep desire to be understood. Even though the relationships were painful and abusive, I found it very difficult to break free from the craziness of it all. My desire to help people paralyzed me to stay right in the midst of the very circumstances that were destroying my life.
Thank goodness for Godly friends. Their wisdom opened my eyes to truth and helped me to set some very clear boundaries. Now those boundaries weren’t taken very well by the perpetrators but that doesn’t matter. All I am responsible for is me. I finally understand that in order to break the chains that bind me, I must learn what healthy boundaries look like and stand firm.
Shortly after taking some huge strides and releasing my struggles to God, He surprised me with a huge blessing…we are expecting! I have always dreamed of having a child with a man that really loves me. Someone to share in the joys of pregnancy, the excitement of new life and everything that comes with that. God reached out and transformed me, opening me up to receive not only the blessing of healing, but the blessing of new beginnings as I journey into the next phase of life hand in hand with my Heavenly Father. The One who loves me more than I could have ever imagined and reminds me every day that if I follow Him, He will take me on a path that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams.
If you find yourself relating to my story, first know that God is right there with you. There is a ministry called, “Celebrate Recovery” where you can find healing from hurts and habits. They meet in local churches all over. Another resource that helped me was a book by Pia Mellody called, “Facing Codependence.” As with any issue we face in life, knowledge is the key to gaining wisdom and wisdom is what leads to making better choices.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray for each and every heart that is reading this with tears streaming down their face. Wrap your loving arms around them to remind them that you are near. Give them Your knowledge and infinite wisdom to break free from the chains that are destroying them from the inside out. I pray that they feel your presence like never before and find true freedom so that the door to new beginnings flings wide open and allows Your light to shine brighter than the sun!
Everyone that has been in a negative relationship should listen to this song. Although it is hard to admit, we all make mistakes and say and do things we later regret. There are times when in an attempt to prove a point, we blame the other person for their bad choices and behaviors instead of taking responsibility for the only person we have control over, ourselves.
If you are reading this and happen to be in this kind of relationship now, hear this…YOU CANNOT CHANGE HIM OR HER!!! I don’t care how hard you try or what you try to do to accomplish this, they won’t change until they are ready. You can’t love them more or be a better husband/boyfriend, wife/girlfriend, mother/father, etc. Trying to save their soul is not your job. That is God’s job and we are not God. I didn’t learn this lesson until I was going through my divorce. I was still seeing the counselor we saw as a couple because I wanted to fix me. So I asked the tough questions and the one that I couldn’t figure out to save my life is where I went wrong. My counselor looked me square in the eyes and said, “You were trying to be his holy spirit and by doing so God couldn’t do His job.” Wow! That one took me months to process and he was right. I was so afraid that we were heading down a path of demise that I was doing everything in my power to ensure that we never reached that place. I shared scriptures, songs, testimonies, anything I could to open up my spouse’s eyes to the path he was taking in his own life. At the time I really thought I was doing it for his well being, but after some soul searching I discovered I was simply trying to fix him so that I no longer felt the negative effects of his sin. Because in my mind, if he was healed everything else would fall into place. I was wrong. I needed only worry about me and my issues. And after closing that chapter of my life, that is exactly what I did.
Sadly, a majority of us learn these lessons the hard way. But there is good news!!! It is never too late to change. Start by taking responsibility for you and your choices. Go to your Heavenly Father and ask for guidance and clarity in the areas you went wrong or could’ve made a wiser choice. Ask Him for forgiveness and apologize to those you wronged if that is what He says you need to do as part of the healing process. Let Him refine you and mold you into the image of Him and remember that He loves you more that anyone else in the universe!
This very subject matter has bothered me for years. Back in 2010, when I was at rock bottom due to several losses in my life, I was told I was depressed and needed to get on an anti-depressant to help me through it. My doctor said it was no big deal and the dosage would be small. He then explained that we would try it for 30 days and go from there. But…that but told me what I already knew. There was a catch. Take the pill and come back so we can wean you off of it. Really? If I have to go through a detox program, I am out! At that point I am just medicating one problem with another set of problems.
If you have read my stories, you know that I went against my gut instinct and took the medicine anyway, or so I thought. I let Satan convince me that I would be fine and I accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills in an attempt to numb the pain God was using to refine me into the person He created me to be. Luckily, God wasn’t done with me yet. I have no doubt that I died that night, only to be saved by my loving Heavenly Father, not a drug!
Now every time I see commercials for medication, I cringe. I wonder at what point did we as a country decide that fixing one ailment was worth accepting a long list of side effects that are actually worse than our original problem? I agree with Matt. Sometimes a little pain is okay to experience. I am not a theologian, but I vaguely recall Jesus purposely placing a “thorn” in the side of Paul, causing great pain. The purpose was so that he would need Jesus and rely on Him for everything.
So what if your current thorn was meant to draw you back to God and instead of going there you turn to medication?
I haven’t been sleeping well.
I’ve never slept well, actually. I’m up late, even though I’d rather be asleep, and I wake often during the night. When I do sleep, I sleep restlessly. I don’t dream. I’m always tired. Sure, this could have something to do with our 8 month old twins, but my sleeping issues developed long before the little ones arrived.
I tell you this in order to explain why I was Googling tips for curing insomnia. I don’t want drugs. I won’t take them. I just wanted some advice. Specifically, I wanted better advice than “count in your head until you fall asleep.” I tried that one a few nights ago; I got to 3, and then I started thinking about Pi. And then I tried to list the digits in Pi, but I could only remember 3.14. And then I started thinking about the movie Pi —…
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I have to admit that there are days when insecurities from my past resurface and it quite honestly shocks me. I guess I think because so much time has passed that I should no longer get triggered by anything anymore, but that is not the case. And sometimes I feel that since I have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father that is so deep, I shouldn’t have those fears anymore. But I do.
They live below the surface, buried so deep that I convince myself they are gone. That is a lie. They are still there and with them lives fear. A fear that is a big fat lie that Satan uses to trip me up. He attempts to imprison me. To take me back to the past where I felt unloved, unwanted, and unworthy of anything and everything God promises to those who love Him.
Today, I choose to refuse. I refuse to listen to the voice of the enemy, for he is a liar. I refuse to believe the lie, for he is the father of all lies. I refuse to let my past invade the present, for God has revealed the truth. He is with me. He loves me unlike anyone has ever loved me. And He will protect me from anything Satan throws my way.
If you find yourself being attacked by the enemy, remember that God is bigger. When He said, “It is finished” he meant it. We don’t have to live as slaves to our hurts or fears. We can choose to REFUSE!!!
I read that you are indefinitely suspending Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty after he quoted the Bible and said that the homosexual act is sinful. I get it, guys. I do. You punished the Christian guy for being a Christian because you got some angry emails from a bunch of whiny gay activists who lack the spine and maturity to deal with the fact that there are still people out there who have the guts to articulate opinions that they find disagreeable. In so doing, you’ve kowtowed to a pushy minority of vocal bullies who don’t even watch your channel, while alienating the fan base of the one show that keeps your entire network afloat.
You’ve got standards, after all. You wouldn’t want to be associated with tasteless and inappropriate things. The people on Duck Dynasty can’t be allowed to run around being all Christian-like. It…
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I shared one man’s take on Santa. Here is another that may help you decide what is best for your family in regards to how you approach it. Both bloggers make good points, which honestly makes me feel good about my choice in one regard and bad on the other. Looks like I will be taking this one to my Heavenly Father in prayer for clarity!
Many of us grew up believing Santa Claus magically whisked down our chimneys and left us gifts below the twinkling lights of our Christmas trees. Some of us have even carried on that tradition with our own children. There are also plenty of families who have opted out of the Santa Claus myth altogether refusing to lie to their children. Some families also remove Santa Claus from their families traditions because they fear this mystical character takes the focus away from the celebratory birth of our Savior, which is a valid concern.
So who is Santa Claus? The legend of Santa Claus begins with Saint Nicholas, a man who dedicated his life to serving God and giving generously to the poor. Saint Nicholas was born in a village in Patara, which is the village now known as Demre, Turkey. His wealthy parents died when he was a young child…
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I’d rather have you hurt my feelings as you help me get to Heaven, then protect my feelings as you usher me right along to Hell. Amen!!!
I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the Ten Commandments. My favorites is the one that says “Thou shalt not judge.”
Oh, that one isn’t in there, you say?
Sorry, it’s easy to forget nowadays, especially in this country where many Christians carry on as though the entire Bible could be summed up by the phrase, “it’s all good, bro.”
In actual fact, there are a lot of urgent truths and important moral lessons in the Bible. Interestingly, almost all of them have fallen out of favor in modern American society. Here are just a few verses that aren’t particularly trendy or popular nowadays:
(WARNING: Politically incorrect truths ahead)
“Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.”
“Before I formed you in…
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Yesterday I was sent a message on Facebook because I liked a friend’s comment announcing she was expecting. Not long after, I received a message stating that it was a game and it was my turn to pick from the list of “lies” to post on my page for fun. I didn’t find it fun or funny to play such a game, so I refused to participate and posted about my opinion on the subject.
Then this morning I find this blog post in my inbox. I think God was trying to tell me something because although I saw one game as ridiculous, this Santa game is one that I have been participating in for years. So I used this as an opportunity to ask those who liked and responded to my thoughts, what their take is on the Santa lie that we continue to tell our children and pass on from generation to generation. I received several opinions on the subject and they range from it being an innocent way to foster imagination to a lie is a lie. I think the most important thing is to know what we are teaching our kids and why we are doing so. I personally don’t want to follow the crowd just because everyone says it is harmless. I want to be proactive. And most of all, I want my children to know that Christ is and always will be the reason for the season, no matter what others tell them.
He is a legend, a myth, a fable.
I hope this isn’t breaking news.
Now, when a myth is passed off as fact, it becomes something else: a lie. In many households, Santa is a lie. He’s fun, he’s jolly, he owns gravity-defying reindeer and enslaves thousands of tiny elves in his icy dungeon; he’s overweight (probably because he eats billions of cookies every Christmas), and he isn’t familiar with laws against trespassing and home invasion. He’s also a lie.
He isn’t just a “story.” Stories — fictional stories — have an ending. They are contained in books and television shows and movies. We do not weave an elaborate web of deceit to convince our children that Snow White really exists, or that Mickey is an accurate portrayal of how mice really behave. If they ask us about the geographical location of Neverland, we’ll tell them Neverland is…
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How did Jesus respond when people sinned against God when he was living on this earth? He spoke to them in love. He met them where they were and took them in when everyone else treated them like outcasts. He gave them living water, Himself, and forgave them for sinning against Him. Then He told them to go and stop sinning. That is the only way to Christ. First the Holy Spirit makes us aware of the sin. Then there is a brokenness that takes place, leading us to ask for forgiveness, to repent. And then Jesus uses His word to teach us His ways and we do what He says, sharing with others what He has done for us so that they can see examples of what it looks like to find a new hope in Christ.
Trying to condemn those around us that don’t know Him will never work. They will only see us as hypocrites, especially if they know us before we accepted Christ into our hearts.
Today I pray that each of us that call ourselves Christians learn to love like Jesus so that we can make a greater impact in bringing those who are hurting to the only one who can truly heal!