Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Will You Love Me?

Have you ever tried to “win” someone’s love? You went out of your way to show them you love them by being there, by paying attention to what they like and surprising them with those things? Have you ever dropped everything to go and help them and yet, you get nothing in return? Your pay back is harsh words and lip service in the way of gratitude. You feel empty and depleted because you realize that nothing you do….nothing you say….can make them love you. You don’t understand because you’ve done “everything” right…they should totally love you, yet, they don’t.

It’s not your fault they don’t love you. You’re not a horrible person but they’ve made you think you are through their actions and their words. There’s several problems in this….you’re desperate for their love so you try to people please your way into their heart. They can’t receive your love because they are broken and can’t see past their own hurts so they only know how to hurt….they actually expect you to give up on them and are fully prepared when you do and they will make you feel bad for it. It will be your fault because they can’t, or they won’t accept the responsibility for it. To do that, would mean they would have to accept they are damaged and in need of help.

No doubt you’ve heard them tout they don’t need anyone and will even say, they’re a good person.  Self-affirmation is the balm on top of their oozing wounds they think they’re hiding from the world.  So before you can hurt them, they will hurt you. It’s a sad state of affairs when you try to pour your love into an empty vessel.  They are depleted because of what ever has transpired in their life.  They know how to assault you and are quite proud of how they can knock you down with those negative verbal punches to your brain and more importantly, your heart.

If you should happen to try and defend yourself, they will lash out harder and then smear your name to anyone who will listen to them.  After all, they need that proverbial pat on the back to let them know they did the right thing.  It’s you who were out of line because how horrible were you by trying to let them know how they made you feel.  Clearly you lost your mind because only they are allowed to dump but don’t you dare dump on them.

Truth be told, they’re not equipped to handle what you have to say.  They are not equipped to deal with your strength.  They are not equipped to deal with your truth…I can hear Jack Nicholson  screaming, “you can’t handle the truth.”  And, they can’t.  So it’s useless, your trying to let them know how you feel, because it’s not about you for them…it’s about them and what you should be doing for them.

And if you don’t know what you should be doing, they will be more than happy to tell you how you.  They will tell you how to you’re allowed to speak to them, how to behave around them and they will tell you how horrible and awful you are when you don’t do things their way.

You’re not allowed to be yourself, so you slap on a mask and pretend to be who they think you ought to be only, you can’t do this for long because being told how to be, how to act, how to talk will bog your soul down and eventually you will erupt in some way.

You were never meant to have someone else tell you how to be you.   It fights against your inner being that just wants to be loved simply for being you…not some version of you that someone thinks you ought to be.

But they won’t give up.  As long as you stay, they will find some way to “beat” you into submission.  Yet, all you wanted was for them to love you.  So, they put you down, rob you of your joy, your confidence and your worth.  They grab onto those things that make you, uniquely you and stuff them in a bag and take pride that they stripped you down so they could dress you up in the chains of their adversity.

I don’t have the answer why this happens.  I just know when it does, at some point you have to make a choice…let go and let God or keep the insanity going.  The pattern will continue to repeat until someone breaks the cycle.  They say people don’t change…I beg to differ.  When God meets you where you are, and you open your heart to Him, change is inevitable, healing begins, and hope is restored.  His Word promises “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” ~~Psalm 147:3 (NIV )  His Word is truth and when you dare to believe in Him, than you can bet your bottom dollar, miracles will happen. Lives will change and glory will be His and His alone.

So, for now, I stand in the gap.  I let go and I’m keeping my eyes on the only one who can resurrecte dead things. I pray for healing, for restoration and things that have been temporarily torn asunder to be healed and made whole.  Because nothing my friends is too hard for God!!  He is King of all Kings and no one, that’s right, no one will love you more than He does.  Dare to Believe ❤

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I gave him permission…

I saw the signs…friends pointed out the signs…I ignored the signs.  I wanted him more than those things I thought could be overlooked or in my mind…fixed.  Surely he loves me enough to want to change those things, why he even asked me to help him overcome his jealousy.

Awww!! How sweet, see, he wants to change.  No, not how sweet.  He asked me to fix what was never mine to take on.  I allowed him to use me as a scapegoat in the moments he knew he would lose control.  I wasn’t helping; I was giving him license to let the monster loose.

The problem here is, I didn’t create his inferior complex.  I didn’t create his insane jealous tendencies.  They came with him; baggage from previous relationships that he hadn’t dealt with but instead brought with him into a brand new relationship.  Of course, they were going to leak into us and I did nothing to stop it, I fed it by complying with his wishes.  But, I was helping him, that’s how I justified the outrageous requests.

It started out small.  He gained my trust by being the “perfect” boyfriend.  I was broken from my previous relationship and so what better way to get over it than by diving head first into another.  Isn’t that what it’s all about these days? Jump from person to person, dragging all your stuff along with you?  Why would you want to take time to deal with things and recover when you can jump onto the next train? Who’s got time for that nonsense?  All aboard the “don’t deal with things” train and let’s see how many bodies I can drag behind me.

Within 6 months we were living together in an awesome house secluded away from just about everyone we knew.  He watched every move I made.  Everything I did he wanted to be a part of.  Awwww!! How sweet was that?!  I mean, after all, I finally had someone who wanted to do all the things I liked.  But after we moved in, he said my friends weren’t so great…those people at my job didn’t really appreciate me for who I was and I should look into getting another one.  All signs.

Friends at worked noticed the jealousy, made comments about them. Oh, I would say, I know, I’m helping him deal with that.  All of a sudden the things I wore were up for scrutiny..where or who gave you that?  I learned to lie.  When I wanted to go home for lunch, he asked me to call him when I left work, call him when I got to the house…you know to ensure I got there safely, call when I left to go back to work and yes, call him when I actually arrived at work.  This was all to “help him.”  Once he knew he could trust me, this type of insanity would stop.

It didn’t stop.  It kept getting worse.  The more I played into his game, the more controlling he got.  He started showing up unexpectedly at the house to see if I was really there.  His anger would flare up over the tiniest of things and I found myself over compensating with every move so as to not anger him.  I was walking around on those proverbial egg shells trying to be “perfect” but it didn’t matter. There was always something.  And yet I stayed…after all, I was helping, right?

He started blocking my path when I would go to leave the room during arguments.  It was a power play.  Sometimes it worked, but mostly, I didn’t tolerate that.  I never had any space to myself.  He was always there.  If I tried doing my crafting hobby, he would eventually call out to me to quit and come sit next to him and watch his shows.  Remember, when I said how cute it was that he liked everything I did?  It was a lie.  After we moved in, all bets were off.

I’d like to say the first time he shoved me down and pulled some of my hair out, I left.  I’d like to say that when the police were called I was told they would arrest him, but I can’t.  See, I pushed him back and now it became a “he said, she said” story.  He could just as easily press charges against me as I could him.  Sad, dontcha think?  So my choice I learned that night, was to let him abuse me and not push back.

To my shock and horror and even embarrassment, I let him come back.  It was pretty good for awhile but my guard was on high alert now.  It was the night he told me I was the worst mistake he ever made after I asked him “what happened to the guy I moved in with?” that I had enough.  I gave him 11 months of my life and I was told I was the biggest mistake he ever made.  That sat with me a long time.  It didn’t matter I had friends who loved me and cared for me and told me otherwise.  I found myself repeating that over and over and over.  But you know what?  That man did not make me.  That man does not define me.  That man did not defeat me.

I don’t know where you are, how far you’ve let him or her beat you down.  I don’t know how much more you’re willing to take.  Only you can decide that.  I don’t know why you think you deserve a love that treats you with such disrespect.  It’s different for each of us that allow “the love” of someone to beat us into the person they think we need to be.  A footstool for them step on.

Funny, he even told me once that when he first met me, he knew I would need to be taken down a peg or two.  And yet, I moved in with him.  I swept all the warning signs under the rug because I didn’t want to be alone.  Because being with him was so much better?  Please, let me live alone as I never want that mess back in my life.  I was made for more.  You are made for more.

That abuser did not make you. That abuser does not define you.  That abuser will not defeat you.  You are not alone.  You are not helpless.  You are a beautiful human being whose light has been snuffed out because your abuser is a coward of the worst kind. A bully who has no self control and only feels empowered by your weakness.  It’s a shame really, because they aren’t happy people.  They’re twisted up in knots and though they might want to change, they choose not to.

And why should they?  They can blame you for their inadequacies.  You become their scapegoat, their enabler and the reason they don’t need to change. Scoff at that if you will, but it’s true.

It takes more strength to leave than to stay.  You have to make a choice and know that you are worthy of so much more.  God didn’t create you for this.  He created you to do the good works he planned for you; not to succumb to a coward who wants to beat you into submission. How do I know?  Because God doesn’t lie and His word says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~~Ephesians 2:10   You can’t do those good works, bound up in chains of oppression.  You have to take your life back.  You have to make a choice.  What are you waiting for?

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I love you more than my phone…

Texting-and-driving

I saw you today.  But you didn’t see me.  As you passed by me in your truck you couldn’t have seen me because you weren’t looking head and eyes up, you were staring head and eyes down.  You don’t know me and clearly you don’t care about me or else your eyes would have been on the road, not in your lap.  You must not care too much about you either but you sure do care about what’s on that phone.

We aren’t taught to drive with a phone in our hands.  We’re taught do drive with 2 hands on the wheel.  If you took your mobile phone to your driver’s test and tried to read your phone while testing to get your license, you would fail.  Because texting and driving…is a fail. It’s also against the law in the state of NY.  But you already know that and have made a conscious decision that you don’t care about the law, you don’t care about you, and you don’t care about me…you care about the phone.  The phone is not a person.  But you treat it like it is.  The phone can’t hug you, kiss you, care for you; all it can do is distract you.  It’s your master.  It dings, you drop everything to see what it has to say.

I don’t care what you do with your phone when you’re not operating a piece of machinery. I care very much that you choose to use it when you’re driving.  Your attention to your phone while you’re driving tells me 2 things right off the bat about you. You’re full of pride and you think you can totally text and drive and be in total control.  This self-deluded thinking no doubt is from having done it multiple times and getting away with it.  You’re also selfish. Yes, selfish.  You care more for what’s on that phone than you do human life to include your own, otherwise you would be looking at the road, not your phone.

I wonder what it will take for you to put your phone down while you’re driving.  Clearly it’s not the law, you break that every day.  Clearly it’s not me.  Clearly it’s not you.  Clearly, if you have a family, it’s not them.  So I’m guessing it would no doubt have to be a tragedy of some sort to get your attention.  Maybe you’ll run over someone’s dog or cat.  Maybe you’ll hit another vehicle and cause a multiple vehicle wreck. Maybe you’ll kill someone..maybe that someone killed will be you.  Maybe when you’re in court listening to the family members of the person you killed sobbing, saying how much they miss their loved one, you’ll care.  For now, I guess we’ll never know.

What you do with your phone is none of my business until you get in your car and decide that the life of me, my loved ones and countless others are nothing compared to what’s on your phone.  I don’t know you, but I care about you more than I care about my phone…because in the end….it’s just a phone….it’s replaceable. YOU are not.  So today, even though I don’t know you, I love you enough to not text and drive.  Who do you love more than your phone?  If you text and drive, the answer is clear…you choose your phone.  You love your phone more than you love life.  Period.  I pray someday, sooner rather than later, you’ll do the same.  Please don’t text and drive.

Please watch the PSA….and if you’re first thought is..”that would never happen to me,” you might want to consider, Proverbs 16:18~~”Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (NIV)   You are not in control, you are not exempt from the consequences of your actions. Playing with fire gets you burned…don’t let texting and driving, get you or someone else dead.

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Losing My Religion

Maybe it’s not a blog post I need to write.  Maybe it’s just putting down all the various thoughts running through my head.  I prayed….maybe not the right prayers…I sought…but didn’t really know what I was seeking or who for that matter I was asking these things of.  People I was surrounded with called him God.  I was a catholic, I didn’t know this God, I knew a religion.  Growing up, I knew how to go to a Priest and report my sins as if a human was truly able to absolve me of my actions or remove any guilt I may have had.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to crap on religion, I’m just saying, this is what I knew.  It was very regimented, being a Catholic.  You had rules, you said prayers, you knew about such things as mortal sins and how you never wanted to be guilty of committing a mortal sin.  Don’t take communion until you go to confession if you have one of those mortal sins you’re guilty of.  Divorce?  Are you crazy?  Birth control?  I don’t think so.  Turn the other cheek, confess, pray, sit, kneel, stand, the signs of the cross, the rosary, the apostle’s creed, Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s…I mean you just knew, like a lemming what came next.  Steps to your salvation almost as easy as 1,2,3 as long as you played by their legalistic rules.

Doesn’t sound very personal does it?  Sounds more like God took a big cookie cutter and just cut us out of the same mold and then plopped us down for amusement.  But, that’s not God.  God is not a religion, He never was, nor will He ever be a religion.  He’s not Catholic, He’s not Muslim, He’s not Mormon, He’s not Episcopal, or Baptist….but what He is, in all those religions…is there.  He is the great I am in the great right now, wherever you are, whatever you’re a part of, whatever you’re thinking, feeling, trying to run from, trying to hide behind, wishing for, praying about, stuffing down, celebrating…there is nowhere that He is not.  He is everywhere and He made you and placed you, right where you are for His purposes.

And He promises…He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Right now, He’s holding His hand out to you, giving you the choice to either take hold or walk away.

Looking back I can see the people He placed around me trying to get me to notice Him, but I didn’t know to notice, and I was too hardened to even care.  But, it was easier for me to reflect on my religion over thinking of a relational God who cared. There are many things your religion can tell you about the way you should live your life according to their rules but there is only one Bible, the very Word of God that shows you, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No religion can ever grab a hold of your heart the way knowing God can.  No religion can change you, because religion didn’t make you. God made you.  He’s the reason or should be the reason for every single step you make, because He is in every single breath you take.

I don’t know what your path looks like.  I don’t know why your life doesn’t look how you think it ought to look.  Maybe it’s because of the choices you’ve made, maybe it’s because you need to walk in obedience, or take a step of faith or maybe it’s just simply because you’ve taken your hand out of His.  Maybe you think God left you, or is angry with you, or you’re angry with Him for taking things or loved ones from your life.  Maybe you think you’re too broken, too far gone, too unworthy, too dirty, too (insert your word here), but I can assure you, you are none of those condemning thoughts because Jesus already took that nail for you.  Why? Because it is written, “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~~John 3:16 (NIV)  It is not written, For God so loved the world He sent His religion…..because He’s not a religion.  God is so much more than a religion.  He is the very essence of your being, your beating heart, your breath, your life.  And He has such plans for you.

How do I know?  Because it is written: “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.” ~~ Jeremiah 29:11

Religion can’t make promises, but God, oh yes my friends…God makes promises.  His Word is living and active and just as relevant today as it ever was, so yea, I’m all about losing my religion and holding onto His promises, His hand, and walking into His vision because He promises it will not harm me, but indeed gives me hope and a future.

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Choose Life

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Every time I hear someone say…”I just don’t understand how someone could commit suicide,” I admit, I cringe just a little.  I guess for those who say that, they’ve never felt the desolation, the isolation, the…just make it stop, so it doesn’t hurt anymore pain.

Did I ever think for a second that I would find myself in such a place of darkness? No.  Did I say the same things about people who commit suicide?  Things like “it’s the ultimate selfish act,” or “there’s just too many places to seek and get help for anyone to get to that point,” or “somebody should have been paying closer attention…” yep, I sure did. So color me surprised when I was inches away from committing that “ultimate selfish act.”

What happened? How did I get to a place where I thought death would be better than living?  Years…it took years.  Too many years trapped in my own head with the same “voices” repeating my failures over and over.  Those thoughts squashed any successes I should’ve held closer and celebrated.

My actions caused me great pain, which led to great shame, which led to, in my head, believing I had only one way out.  No one knew.  I hid it well.  I for sure, didn’t go around talking about it.  I didn’t take any steps to prepare for it, didn’t prepare a will or write a note, it all just came to a head and I just wanted the pain gone.  I didn’t stop to consider anything else.  Nothing and no one else mattered.  The pain was just too overwhelming and I was tired of putting on the “I’m fine” façade.

At the time I was still in the military.  I attended all kinds of training about “how to” help someone or “how to” spot the signs of someone “in trouble.”  Maybe it was in that training I learned what not to show others.  I knew who I could go to, and I knew if I did what it could cost my career if I admitted such a thing.  I wasn’t going to be “that” person everyone whispered about when it came to my mental health.   How sad that I cared more about those things than I did in taking care of me.

Thankfully, my plans didn’t prevail.  God stepped in and showed me a better way.  God helped me see the person He sees and He’s showing me the person He created me to be.  This too has taken years, but I was a hot mess and there’s lots to reverse.  However long it takes, I’m in it all the way to see what He’s planned for me.  “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.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I know whose waiting for me at the finish line….and until He calls me home I will continue to push forward where I’m planted, while He cheers me on.  So while I’m living for today, I want to live for my life eternal.  I’m not perfect, and I’ll make mistakes, but ya know what?  God already knew that and He gives me grace and loves me anyways!!  How awesome and amazing is that?!

Whatever you’re facing, whatever trial seems too much for you, is not too hard when you grasp onto the hands of Jesus.  Claim Him as your Savior and watch what He will do.  You won’t want to miss one second of what He has for you.  This life needs you and believe it or not, someone needs the gifts you have to offer.  Choose life my friends.  Choose Christ!!

Father God I just pray that for anyone reading this, they realize they are not a mistake, that you made them for a purpose and no matter what they have done, You are there with forgiving arms.  Nothing is wasted Lord and nothing is too hard for You.  You are the master and creator of ALL things, including your precious children and this precious child…(insert your name here).   I lift…(insert your name here) up to you Lord and  claim Your love, comfort and peace wash over and in them, right now as they seek you.  You love us so much Lord, You gave Your one and only Son to die for us, to remove our sins, and I pray this precious child understands You love them beyond anything they could ever imagine. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Rascal Flatts – Why

Choose Life–Big Tent Revival

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#Peace~~Getcha some!!

peace-flowers

“#Peace– Is it possible to make #peace with the realities of our bodies?  How?” 

This is one of the topics over at Proverbs 31 Blog Hop for our on-line Bible study Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  There were more, topics but this one reached out to me as soon as I read it. My first thought was a snide….yea, right, sure..let me get right on that #peace with my body train. Mmm hmmm.  Pure disdain in that first thought.  But then I switched gears and thought positively, yea, right, sure…let me get right on that #peace with my body train!! Cuz this is one mentally tired girl from the constant battle in my own head that my body is not good enough!!

When I think of the word battle, I think of a fight between opposing opponents.  My only opponent is my mind.  I’m literally beating myself up.  It’s like when my brother would take my arm in his hand and proceed to hit me in the face with my own hand, saying “stop hitting yourself.”  If you’ve ever had that happen, you know what I’m talking about and no doubt just got a little annoyed.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been losing my own battle because of what?  Numbers on a scale that don’t reflect what I want?  Societal standards of skinny, curvy, fat, or obese…pretty, beautiful, gorgeous or that horrible word ugly?  And those are just general areas.  I could totally dig deeper and start picking on features…like cellulite for example.  Every single one of those things is superficial.  And seriously, who gets to make those standards and then label me anything less than who I am?  

Maybe it was my mom, who to this day, beats herself up and passed it down onto me. Maybe it was the boys who didn’t choose me or the girls who laughed and talked behind my back.  Unfortunately, that’s the type of stuff that can take up permanent residency in a place where it doesn’t belong and in reality, no one but me has the power to make myself feel less than who I am.   

Lysa wrote in her book “I don’t know a woman alive who is completely happy with her body.”  I thought about that and like her, I can honestly say, in my circle of friends not one of them has ever said…I love the way I look!!  That’s so sad..isn’t that just so very sad?  Sadder still, even when I was “skinny,” I called myself “fat.”  Now that I’m bigger, I wish I was as skinny as when I thought I was fat.  My brain is tired of this insanity!! 

The mean girl in me that mentally abuses myself has lived with me for far too long.  It’s time I looked her straight in the face and told her get out!!  You’re being evicted and there’s no other space for rent!!  There’s a new landlord in town and she’s at #peace with the body God so very graciously and lovingly gave to her. 

You see, God is all that and a bag of chips!!  He calls me by name, and says “My Grace is sufficient for you.  For my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-NIV)   So any weakness I have, I’m covered by His power.  That power by the way, raises the dead to life.  Just sayin’  So now I can answer that question of how I can be at #peace with the realities of my body. 

In my own strength, I will never have peace, but given His strength, His wisdom, His love, and His truth, I have all the #peace I want.  I know that if #peace is gone, then I moved.  And I know if I moved, He is still there…always and forever….there!!  Go getcha some #peace and while you’re at it, grab onto the Love and share Him with everyone you can….including yourself!! 

588-know-peace

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#SayWhat

forgiveness-prisoner

I was sitting in the craft room at my computer no doubt doing something of no real value when I felt this nudge….“confess.”  In my head I said “I’m sorry, #saywhat?” I looked around the room as if someone were there whispering from the hallway.  Nothing.  So, I shook my head and went back to what I was doing and then it came again…..”confess.”  My heart started to beat rapidly and I’m pretty sure I was holding my breath when I said in my head, a little more timidly this time, “#saywhat?” and now there was no doubt; God was telling me it was time to “confess.”   

I pondered what I should do about this “nudge” which now felt more like a full-on assault. I knew what I needed to confess was more than just a “little” sin.  In my mind, this was huge, this was “lives” changing and this could never be taken back once it was out there. There were gonna be serious consequences and I played all of them in my mind and none of them were gonna be pretty.  It’s done; it’s in the past, what good could come from any of this coming out now after all these years?  “Seriously Lord, I can’t wanna do this.”

I thought when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, got baptized and started walking in the ways of the Lord, I would just be able to shake off that prison. I mean I was forgiven, right? I was a new creation in Christ and I was forgiven.  Total truth!! Problem was, the Lord forgave me, but the past regrets and fear of one day being found out kept me from forgiving myself and moving forward.  I pushed my chair away from the computer and defiantly walked away. I started pacing the floor arguing the whys, and no-ways of how this was not going to be good for anyone least of all me.  I worried about the past catching up with me and letting the lies be found out by the very people I sinned against. Nope, absolutely no good could come from such a confession.

I don’t know why I argue with God.  He will win when you want to live the life He has planned for you.  What I didn’t know or truly understand was sometimes you will be found in a place where you will have to be radically obedient to what He says.  This was one of those times.

Hands shaking, tears already welling up in my eyes, I sat down to type one of the scariest letters of my life.  You see, I was a wife..not once, but three times.  During those days there was no personal relationship with the Lord there was pretty much only self gratification.  I was a good wife, but, gulp, I wasn’t a faithful wife.  I gave no heed to the commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery.”  So in not paying heed to that commandment, I also broke many more.  I would like to say I didn’t commit murder, but in fact I had murdered a spirit…mine.  I walled myself in; built an emotional fortress, cementing the wall with tears, pain, shame, guilt, anger, worthlessness, and loathing and no matter the forgiveness I knew the Lord gave, I just couldn’t get past what the lies were holding together.  Confess. Confess.  Confess.

It’s true you know….confession IS good for the soul.  It took time to tell all three of my ex-husbands what I had done and no, it wasn’t an overnight feeling of “I’m free,” but day by day the guilt lifted.  God knew what I needed. In my own strength there was no way I could have ever confessed, but He lovingly carried me through and continues to prune the garden of my heart, pulling the weeds and filling the cracks with His everlasting love.  I think I’ll take love over guilt any day!  Best part….the enemy no longer has that foothold in my life.  It’s crushed under my feet and I stand firm on the rock that is my God.

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#UNFILTERED

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