Forgive Them, They don’t know any better…

Forgive Them, They don’t know any better…

There will come a time when we all will be hurt by someone. When this time comes, you must learn to forgive them. Some people just don’t know any better.

But how can they not know better? Well, they don’t realize that they’ve hurt you, because they are too consumed with themselves and what it is that they want. They are full of pride.

The Bible tells us that pride is the evil way.

The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the Lord includes the hatred of evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate.” - Proverbs 8:13 AMP

Forgiveness is hard, but it will release you from emotional ties to the person and to the situation. Forgiveness is your healing. It shifts the focus off of them and onto yourself.

Staying focused on them and what they did to hurt or offend will keep you in torture. Despising them will only keep you from your healing.

Keep them at a distance. Guard your heart. Set boundaries and pray for them. Is it hard to pray for those who hurt you? Yes!! But through God’s strength, you can, because his power is made perfect in our weakness!! (Read 2nd Corinthians 12:9).

When someone dismisses your value, disrespects you, or makes you feel invisible, Forgive them!! Pray for God to reveal his truth to them and open their eyes. Pray that he will cause them to realize their mistake and repent. Pray that they would accept salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and choose to follow him.

Don’t dwell on the way they left you feeling. Trust that God has gone before you. He knew this would happen and he is redirecting you in order to protect you. The desires of our own hearts are generally not his best for us.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Psalm 37:4

Many people take this scripture (Psalm 37:4) out of context. I know that I have. There was a time when I read this and thought it meant, if I follow God he will give me the desires of my heart. But, as I grew in the Lord, I learned that my interpretation of this word was incorrect. It was not about what I wanted or desired. It was about God’s plans for me and what he wants for me.

When we “delight in the Lord” we have righteous desires. Delighting in the Lord means we are aligning ourselves with what God wants for us. And isn’t that far greater!? God is our protector and he knows what is best for us far more than we ever could imagine!

“Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.” He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you.”Psalm 91:1-4 GNTD

Father God, Thank you for loving us and protecting us. You are our refuge and we thank you for keeping us safe from the dangers that we do not see. Father you created us to love and fellowship with others, you created us for relationship. Father God, when we are left hurt or confused by others who cause us to feel unworthy, disrespected or just not enough, remind us that your plans are far greater than anything we could ever desire or imagine for ourselves. Help us to trust in you Lord. Change our hearts and our desires so that they are one in the same with what you want for us. Remove anything that is not from you from our lives and our paths. Lord, give us the strength to pray for those who hurt us, because we know that many times they are not aware of what they are doing. And in the times that they are aware, we know that they are far too weak to do the right thing. We thank you that our strength comes from you Lord. We know that we can do all things through your strength alone. Strengthen us so that we may always do that which is right, and that which is your will. Father, we thank you for your protection and for your redirection. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Growing with you, Sandy

Following Christ, One Failure at a Time

Following Christ, One Failure at a Time

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

I get tired. I get angry at myself for failing God and end up feeling like I’m a failure to him. I think to myself, here we go again. I made another mistake, I let him down. I gave into my flesh and said the wrong thing to someone who got to me. I regret the way I handled that situation, why didn’t I stop and think first? I lost at the challenge that I was faced with, why am I so weak? That was a test from God, why didn’t I realize it?!

Why is it so hard to live in obedience sometimes?

Let’s think of our children, toddler age for example… When they’re off in their own little worlds of curiosity caught up in exploratory fun, are they set out to disappoint us? Are they even thinking of us? When we find them covered in paint on the kitchen floor or find our walls full of the art they drew, do you think it was easy for them to stop and think on how mom or dad will react? When they are throwing a tantrum because they are upset that they can’t have their way or get what they want, are we loving them any less?

No matter how many mistakes they make or how many messes they leave for us to clean up, our love for them doesn’t decrease. Depending on our own mood that day we may get a bit frustrated, but we clean up the mess they made, maybe put them in time out as a consequence and lecture them as to why they are not to do it again. But, we don’t see them as a failure. They are still our children who are our pride and joy whom we love endlessly.

God loves us just the same. We are all his children. He cleans up our messes, allows consequences in hopes that we will learn from our mistakes, and he loves us still. He knows mistakes teach us and grow us in our calling. He desires for us to learn from mistakes so that we can become who he created us to be. He could never see us as a failure.

So today, if you’ve made a mistake, don’t think less of yourself and don’t give up. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. You are not a failure for making a mistake, the Lord knew that would happen. Continue to follow Jesus and know that you will make another mistake, and more than likely more will follow after that one. And he will still be there loving you through it.

God’s desire is that we repent and draw close to him when we fall short. Just as we teach our children to apologize when they do something wrong, Jesus wants us to come to him and do the same. Admit that we fell short and that we will try to do better in the future. Just as us parents know our little ones will make many mistakes as they grow, God knows the same of us. He knows we live in a fallen world and therefore we can never be perfect.

He doesn’t care what we did or how many times we have made that same mistake. He loves us unconditionally & just wants us to repent and call on him. Nothing is too big or too small for God. He is there always with arms wide open pursuing us to come home.

“But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved! God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” - Psalms 18:16-24 MSG

Father God, We thank you for loving us unconditionally and being there with open arms no matter how many times we fall short. We thank you that no matter what we do your how many times we do it, you will always welcome us back into your loving arms. Father, it is so hard for us to remember not to carry the weight of shame when we mess up or do things that are not pleasing to you. Remind us, Father God, that you desire to be the strength in our weaknesses. Remind us, Oh God, that you have a calling over every single one of our lives. Help us to see that no matter what mistakes we make you do not want us to turn away, and you desire for us to draw closer to you. Holy Spirit, when we are going through struggles and hard times draw us in and bring us deeper into praising our Savior. Reminder us Lord never to run, but instead to fall at your feet and submit to you so that we may be covered in your unfailing love. Lord, we thank you for never giving up on us. We love you & we honor you Oh God. In Jesus name, Amen

Growing with you, Sandy

Do you want to be Happy?

Do you want to be Happy?

It’s time for me to pull over and let the Lord drive.

Last year, I was in this place, feeling as though I was just stuck. I felt paralyzed and unable to move. Confused, scared and not knowing which direction to step in, I’d walk around with a heavy heart daily. I’d wear a fake smile when I saw people so that no one would ask what was wrong. And when they did ask how I was, I’d say “I’m doing good”.

So here is my truth; I wasn’t doing good, but I wanted them to believe I was. I didn’t want to appear weak so I thought I had to present myself as having it all together. I didn’t want anyone to know I needed help to get “unstuck”.

I’m hard on myself when I make mistakes and I hate disappointing others, so much so that I fail to set boundaries for myself. If I’m being honest, up until a year ago I had no idea boundaries were even important.

I’ve told myself, God is with me so I can endure anything [Because with God we can]. I’ve told myself that I can handle anything that comes my way. But if that is the case, why are there times that I feel as though I can’t carry the weight? And why are there times it feels as if my own heart is about to burn right through my chest?

I think some of us have been in this place of pretending. Not for the world but, pretending for ourselves. Because if we were to admit that we needed help, or if we were to let go of the circumstances hurting us, to ourselves that would be giving up, and giving up is not supposed to be an option. At least it never was for me.

As circumstances arose in my life, I coached myself by telling myself that giving up is only for the weak. I told myself, “If you are strong, you must be able to endure any type of pain.”

As I grow and draw closer to God, I am beginning to realize that I was in denial. Because as I was coaching myself to “endure”, I’d been allowing the pain to slowly break me to pieces. I had to self reflect and ask myself, “Is that really how I want to live the rest of my life?” The answer was clear: No it is not.

I want to be happy.

I want to smile and feel the joy that only peace can cover us with. But how do I get there? I don’t know how to fix what is wrong. I’ve tried. I don’t know how to make others see my heart, I’ve tried that too.

I always end up trying in my own strength. But why? I know that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness [2 Corinthians 12:9], so why was I stopping him from showing up? Why was I stopping God from showing me his power?

I knew the answer: It was because of fear.

I was comfortable holding onto what hurt me because I feared facing reality.

When someone or something hurts us, we need to step away from it. Otherwise, we will never begin to heal.

Living in daily pain blinds you. You become so used to being hurt that you believe it’s wrong for you to stop the hurt, because if you do, you’re either giving up or you’re going to hurt someone else.

Hurting someone else is the absolute last thing you want to do, so you cope and you endure.

But sometimes it takes loving ourselves to stop the hurt.

If loving yourself enough not to let someone hurt you causes them to label you as selfish or self-centered, you have to be ok with their label. You have to be willing to accept that their opinion of you is “theirs” and theirs alone

Do you want to be happy?

If so, accept that you will not find happiness in an unhappy place.

Accept that pain and happiness cannot coexist.

Accept that there are some who are incapable of showing love to “you”, even when you love them.

Believing in someone will not guarantee they will believe in you. Being kind to someone does not mean they will be kind to you.

So know this…

It’s ok to walk away from what is breaking you. It’s ok to have a boundary. Letting go doesn’t make you a failure.

Will it be easy? No. Will it hurt? Of course! Will it take time to gather up the strength to make the decision to do it and then follow through with it? Yes! For me it took years to get to where I knew I had to let go and let God take the control.

Are you in this place? Is your relationship with a close family member, friend, partner, or work superior hurting or diminishing who you are?

Be strong enough to realize that living in pain is a cycle that must be broken. You may not know how to break it or what direction to go in, but you don’t have to. Surrender yourself to God’s lead and take him at his word. He wants us happy.

Staying in pain or constant discomfort will not bring you happiness. It is time to stop just existing. We will always have struggles in life but we must choose not to allow them to keep us feeling stuck daily.

It’s time to enjoy the life you were blessed with and start to live! Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Make the choice to be Happy and let God handle it🙏 It is a choice you will never regret. Get out of your way and ask Jesus to lead. You must guard your heart in order for the healing to start.

Allow God’s truth to change you and restore joy to your life. Choose to be happy!

Growing with you,

Sandy

Father God, Thank you for loving us even when we feel unlovable. Thank you for standing with us through doubt and uncertainty until we are strong enough to surrender our circumstances and situations over to you. Thank you for never giving up on us and for waiting for us to place our lives in your hands. Jesus you pursue us even when we try to live without you in our own strength. You love us through our bad choices, downfalls and when we are stuck in our valley. Thank you for never giving up and for showing me what unconditional love truly is. Father, tonight I lift up anyone who is struggling in a dark place which they feel they cannot come out of. Father, I ask that you restore the joy in their lives and reveal to them that your grace is sufficient for them and that your power is made perfect in weakness. May they seek after you in their valley, oh Lord. May they surrender it all at your feet Lord and place their trust solely in you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

This is my Happy now!

A mind that leads to Life and Peace

A mind that leads to Life and Peace

I’ve been battling frustration lately, over things I have no control over. When I am frustrated or upset, I talk out loud; this is one of my biggest flaws.

Have you ever done that? Talk to yourself out loud, complaining to your self? When I do this others can hear what I’m saying and often take offense to it.

Complaining out loud can make a situation worse, because even when you aren’t trying to offend others, it can and does happen.

Can anyone relate to this? Have you ever gotten so frustrated that you become blind to your own behavior and say things aloud that can offend another person? If so, you are not alone and neither am I. But let’s be mature enough not to justify our actions. For we should never meet evil with evil or bad with bad. We must be wiser and do better.

I disappoint myself when I allow my frustration to get the best of me and allow it to shift my mood into one which is cold. I’m human so people I care about disappoint me and frustrate me, that’s normal, but I know I need to learn to manage my frustration better. I don’t want to be an ugly person with an ugly attitude, that’s not who God called me to be.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In Romans 8:6, God’s word says that to overcome reacting in our flesh, we must allow the Holy Spirit to to control our mind and lead us. Funny thing is, when we are angry we tend to forget that we should be relying on God to lead us. But when we do it without the Holy Spirit, just where does replying based off our emotions get us? No where better.

Tonight this is my prayer:

Father God, help me to be mindful enough to get alone in your presence when I feel myself becoming frustrated rather than letting that frustration consume my mind in the moment. Holy Spirit fill me and lead me so that I may be obedient to your will and your purpose for my life. Holy Spirit allow your peace to come upon me in those moments and redirect my actions. Help me to seek your lead rather then behaving like someone I don’t want to be. Father, I know I have no control over others. But by your spirit Lord, I can try to control my own actions. Help me to seek you and to grow and overcome. Strengthen me and cover me in your peace. In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 🙏

Growing with you,

Sandy

When You Feel like A Failure

When You Feel like A Failure

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to write. Words have always come easy for me when written. Verbally, I can’t articulate my thoughts as coherently, so finding words to express myself in a face to face conversation can be a challenge sometimes. I’m not quite sure why that is, but I think it’s partially due to the fact that my brain is constantly overthinking. Since my mind is always racing with thoughts, similarly of course, my heart is always full of the emotions my thoughts bring forth. Writing allows me time to sort and organize my thoughts and feelings.

I started this blog to encourage others and to share my own person journey of growth. To show my readers that God doesn’t expect perfection and that we should never feel alone or unworthy. But, somehow along the way I felt like I became a failure to God and I lost my voice. My words became utter confusion and I was incapable of writing anything that I felt would bless another.

A Christian is a follower of Christ and as Christians we strive to “Live like Jesus”, but as humans we will always fall short.

And I did. I became pregnant in December, 2017 with my 2nd child out of wedlock. The church teaches that sex before marriage is a sin and due to that I felt unworthy. I knew God loved me, but I felt that I failed in following him the way he desired I should. I always thought that you were supposed to be married to have children. Yet in my search for love as an unwed woman, I gave birth to two beautiful girls who are 21 years apart.

You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13

The birth of a child [new life] is one of the most beautiful treasures you will ever experience.

My girls are my world. There is no greater beauty to me than their lives. But, the enemy took hold of my mind and caused me to feel like I was a failure since I was unwed. I was at the end of my senior year in high school when I became pregnant with my firstborn, and with my second daughter I’d just turned 39, an age which I held myself accountable due to wanting to do it “the right way”.

After raising my first daughter as a single mom, I told myself that I’d wait until marriage if I were ever again blessed with the opportunity to have a second child, but it didn’t end up that way for me. I became pregnant and had my second daughter out of wedlock as well.

Did that make me a failure? Did it mean I failed God? I felt that way. But I longed for a bigger family and to have more children, so although part of me was scared and felt that I failed God again, having a new life growing within me made another part of me feel as though a hunger was filled.

My second pregnancy occurred at a time when I thought it would never again happen for me. At a time when I’d just found peace and the acceptance that I was only meant to have one child. Or so I thought…

Internally, I was happy at this chance to be a mom again, but fear consumed my mind. I battled thoughts of failure over not setting the proper example for my then college student. My feelings of being a failure to God and my daughter stole my ability so show my inner joy.

So many thoughts consumed my mind; would I end up a single mom again? Would this man and I ever get married? Was this the man God intended for me to build a family with? Would my daughter be angry with me? Would my daughter see me as a failure for teaching her one thing and then doing another? I was not leading by example.

My mind was so loud and I felt no peace. But I knew I had to be strong. Despite the internal battle going on, I knew God was with me and that he had a plan I couldn’t see.

My partner could not understand this spiritual battle I was having within and so my battle caused strain over our relationship. At a time when I should only display happiness and gratitude, I didn’t know how to.

As months passed my new precious baby girl grew in my womb. The first time I felt her move I knew that she was “life” and that she was meant to be here. Her life was precious and I realized she was not the result of my failure. She was a blessing.

When she was born I knew from the moment I set my eyes on her that she was my gift from God. My reminder that life and love are gifts from above. And just because they don’t come in the perfect package we expected them in, that doesn’t mean we should feel shame.

No one is free from sin. We are all flawed. So why did I battle with feeling as though I were less than another woman just because I was not married? Perhaps it was because my sin was visible for all to see while others hide behind their’s. Perhaps it was because I thought people would think there was a “way” to do it.

On this journey of becoming a new mom at the age of 39, I had to learn say, “So what!!” I came to see that I had to loose some close friends in order to be reminded that God didn’t think I was a failure. He loved me just as much as he ever had.

I ‘d been allowing guilt and condemnation to hang over me like a cloud, rather than just asking God to forgive me for my human weakness and to bless my precious gift. In the hospital, the first night I spent holding my little angel Caasi in my arms, I did just that. I gave God praise and thanks for this second chance to be a mom again. And I vowed to teach my baby girl of the Lord’s unfailing love and to always seek his will for her life as she grew.

Through loosing the bond with friends I thought were dear to me, I was reminded that no human on earth has the right to label another a failure. They aren’t the author of our story, and you know what else, neither are we. So I praise God today for his grace, patience and unfailing love.

God has the final say. And he loves us without conditions and has a plan for each of us! Jerimiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Today I know just how blessed I truly am. I wasn’t a failure for having my daughters out of wedlock. I was chosen by God to be a mother. He has purpose for my life and for the lives of both of my precious daughters. My joy overflows as I watch both of them grow into who God created for them to be.

ℝ𝕖𝕗𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟: Have you ever felt like you let someone down and failed them? How did you handle those feelings? Negative feelings are hard to process and many times we are far harder on ourselves than anyone else is. We all have goals and expectations for our lives. The next time you feel you failed at meeting one of these goals or expectations, try not to allow fear or condemnation to consume you. Remind yourself who you are, whose you are and just how strong you are with God.

Special Note to Mothers:
Never forget that being a Mom takes strength, devotion, dedication and sacrificial love. Motherhood is both an honor and a blessing. When God chose you be Mom he gave you a purpose. Purpose that is greater than anything you could ever imagine. The purpose of motherhood is to love like Jesus: Moms love sacrificially and focus on our children. When days seem hard or near impossible, call upon the Lord. He will equip you with the strength needed to endure your situation. God blessed you with Motherhood because he knew you were capable and worthy of being called, Mama. Life is precious to God. Thank him for this calling and enjoy the beautiful journey!

Father God,

Thank you for your unconditional, unfailingly love. Father thank you for the gift of life and the gift of motherhood. I lift up anyone right now in this moment who is battling feelings of failure, fear or feelings of unworthiness. Remind them today that you did not call us to be perfect, but you did call us to seek you as our savior and to allow you to lead our lives. Father remind all who are hurting that you will work all things out for their good if they seek you and call upon your name. Remind them that all life is precious. Strengthen and renew their spirits, Father God, so that they may walk in freedom and experience your love to the fullest.

In Jesus name we pray,

Amen.

Growing with you,

Sandy

 

 

 

Broken with Purpose

Broken with Purpose

This has been a trying year for me. I have experienced anger, sadness and disappointment after having people test both my character and my faith.

I created this blog to be obedient to the calling on my heart and share experiences in order to encourage others and share with them God’s unconditional love for all. I knew that sharing personal experiences would mean having to be transparent, and frankly, this meant opening myself up to negative criticism.

When you share your faith with the world there will be individuals who will criticize or judge you because they either disagree with you, dislike you, or feel that you’re not good enough to offer encouragement due to your mistakes. Read more

Made Piece by Piece….

Made Piece by Piece….

We ALL have to start somewhere. Everything begins with a piece.  I don’t know about you, but there are many days which I feel all over the place – as if my life is an unorganized mess. That can really be overwhelming. I mean it literally feels as if my mind runs nonstop!!! Many times my mind literally jumps from one thing to another causing me to feel like I am not equipped to do anything. It is in these very moments that I need to stop, take a deep breath and slow down. Always easier said than done, but I am finding that when I take the time to be conscious of the chaos and re-center my mind, that is when I am capable of being most productive. Tackling things one at a time is the only way to truly give your all to the task at hand.

We live in a culture where we all want everything to happen immediately, especially when we are overwhelmed. But being impatient causes us to disregard the importance of the step by step process and many times is what prevents  us from finishing what we start.  Let’s think of a puzzle for example:

A puzzle consists of many different pieces which fit together to create a big picture.  Like a puzzle, we all have our own unique roles to play in life.  God created us each with a specific purpose in mind.  In a puzzle if you try to insert the wrong piece no matter how many ways you try it, it will not fit.  In life, if someone else tries to do what God created us to do, results will not be the same  – no one else will be the right fit to do what we are called to do. Read more