It isn’t exact #write28days

I wish that healing was an exact science. Unlike most sciences, there is not a magic ratio to healing that given in the right dose, for the right amount of time in the right combination. It would be nice if it was that simple.

If you knew that given a certain amount of the right medicine that the pain you are experiencing would be over. If you knew eventually, the inner turmoil would come to an end. If you knew that the process of healing would erase any effects of the hurt you went through. But healing is not exact.

There are things that will help in the healing process.  Unfortunately, what works for one doesn’t  always help the next person, even if the hurts are similar in nature.  For some, healing comes quickly.  For others, healing takes years, decades, even a lifetime.  It isn’t exact.

itisntexactHealing isn’t exact, but it is possible.  Sometimes the journey seems harder than the hurt. You have to hold on to the knowledge that the healing wholeness will be worth it in the end. It can feel like you take one step forward and two steps back.  You have to hold on to the fact that you are making progress, even if it is slow.  It can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is.  It isn’t exact, but it will be exactly what you need in the end.

I often look back at my own life and question how I could have made it through.  Although I have not experienced tragedies that others have, I have experienced a lot of things that could have destroyed me.  I know that because oft he work I have done, the things I have seen others go through that are so close to my own journey.  I try to let those people know, I have walked that path too.  Healing, it isn’t exact, it isn’t easy but healing is possible if you want it enough.  

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Ponder This #Write28Days

 

Ponder a verb meaning think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.

Many times, especially when I’m not at my best mentally because I am hurting and broken, I make poor decisions and reach wrong conclusions based on faulty information. How we think about ourself and our circumstances and what we think about our past, present and future can greatly impact not only our attitude but also our actions.

Our spirit can ponder on the things that our soul (mind, will and emotions) is focused on or we can ponder on the things of God.

At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders. Psalms 77:6CSB

Instead, his delight is in the Lord ’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. Psalms 1:2 CSB

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Joshua 1:8 CSBPonderthis

So how do we change what we are pondering and meditating on?

Philippians 4:8 gives us a few things to check our thoughts against.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

When you ponder this, is it true?  Does it line up with what God’s Word says?  If it doesn’t, stop the thoughts, you will reach the wrong decision and conclusion if it is not true.

When you ponder this, is it noble? Will it lead you to a decision that is honorable, and self respecting in conduct?  If not, what would it take for you to be able to walk in self-respect with the decision you will make?

When you ponder this, is it just?  Are you being judgmental?  Will the decision or conclusion you may line up with God’s will?  If not how can you turn your thoughts towards God’s will in the situation?

When you ponder this, is it pure?  Are you looking for fault?  Are your thoughts clean?  If not, how can you reframe what you are thinking about to fine the pure and clean?

When you ponder this, is it lovely?  Would the decision or conclusion you would come to with your line of thoughts be acceptable and pleasing in God’s sight?  If not how can you adjust your thoughts to make them lovely?

When you ponder this, is it of good report?  If you needed to share your thoughts, would they be of good report? Would you want someone to say the same things about you?  Are you offering good will in your thoughts? If not, how can you adjust your thoughts to line up with truth but also offering good will?

When you ponder this, is it of virtue?  Are your thoughts morally good?  If not, how might you turn your thoughts around to give it a sense of excellence?

When you are pondering this, is it praiseworthy?  Would your thoughts cause someone else to give praise to the situation or person?  If not, how can you change your thoughts?

There are times that the things that flow through our mind will not meet any of the criteria above.  The key is to take those thoughts captive and stop pondering on thoughts that do not meet the criteria above. Replace those thoughts with something from God’s Word that will meet  the above criteria.

When we make decisions or draw conclusions on things that we should not be pondering, we stand to made poor choices.  Instead we should let our decisions and conclusions be based on the Word of God and the criteria of what He tells us to meditate on if we can not find a specific Word that directs us.

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Experience #Write28Days

Why would God allow me to experience this?  I am often met with that question.  How a God who is suppose to be good, who is all knowing, and all powerful can permit all the evil that is allowed in the world.  It is so easy to want to put it on Him.  For a long time, I put a lot on Him that really had little to do with Him.  I wrestled with some demons that tried to destroy me as I traveled down that thought path.

God in all His sovereignty chose to allow us free will.  To do anything other, would make us robots.  Because we have free will, people are allowed to make bad choices which often impact good people.   God can use all things for His glory, but not all things are done for His glory.  We experience bad things because evil lives in this world along side of God.    God wants us to choose Him, not be forced to love and serve Him.

God in all His goodness, is reflected in the lives of those who make good decisions.  His enemy, our enemy the devil is reflected in every bad action.  We would not know good how the good things we experience if there was not a contrast to the unpleasant or bad experiences.  Sometimes good people make decisions that align with God’s will.  Somethings good people make decisions that are against God’s will.  Just as some people who are truly evil do at times make decisions to do something good.  Light shines brightest in the darkness.

ExperienceGod in all His wisdom knows what will happen.  He is not surprised by what we experience.  He is right there alongside of us in the experience.  He sees it before it happens.  He sees it happen.  He knows the affects it will have on the lives of all involved or influenced by the experience. He does not exist in time, as we do.  He lives in the eternal.

God in all His power uses restraint.  He must for His word says in Romans 3:23  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  This next scripture is where it gets real when I think about the power that I would like God to use against those  have hurt me.  It tore up my world when I wanted that power to be used against those who do the most vile, unspeakable things.  For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

In His power, we would all be worthy of the wrath of His power.  The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 It is because of His goodness that He does not give us what we deserve.   Instead we need to look for how we can get glory to God in our experiences, not only the good but also those experiences that have broken us.

God is good. God is all knowing.  God is all powerful.  God gave us freewill, and unfortunately that means that bad things will happen because we live in a sin filled world.  God does not cause bad things.  He is there with us in them and through them.  He can use our experiences for His glory if we will turn to Him in our pain instead of away from Him.

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Un-learn the learned #Write28Days

There are many lessons that we learn from being broken that as we are healing have to be unlearned.

unlearnI have heard it quoted that research shows it takes 20 to 40 positives to overcome every negative thing we hear.  Most people are not broken by being encouraged and uplifted by others.  Instead there are negative messages that are spoke for weeks, months, years and decades that have to be unlearned.  Usually there are not people that are going to take the time to really pour in that much positive into on person’s life.  So some of that positive is going to have to come from self-talk.  Going back to yesterday’s post, God’s Word provides a lot of positive that you can use to combat the lies.  Learning what the Creator says about His masterpiece (aka You) is the only way to really be able to know the truth of who you are.

Another lesson that has to be unlearned is the filters by which you have learned to interpret your world.  When a filter is based on false information that is believed to be true, it skews the way you experience the world.  I can share an example from my own life.

When I was about six years old my father was incarcerated for sexual abuse of a minor.  Although at six I knew this information, I didn’t really understand what that really meant.  Up to that point in my life, as a family with siblings eight and ten years older, I was dragged all over the place for their activities – sports, band, church events, etc.   By the time he was integrated back into the house, my siblings were headed out of the house.  What I experienced was no parental involvement in my activities or even encouragement to participate in extracurricular activities.

What my young self did not know is that registered sexual offenders can not be around children.  What I saw was that I was not as important as my siblings.  I thought my parents didn’t care about me as much.  I was dropped off at the door alone if I participated in activities.  Certainly that shaped a lot of my thinking and some actions that were very unhealthy as I sought love and acceptance in other places.  I carried those same thoughts into  other relationships.  I had to unlearn the filter of rejection when I was an older adult with grown children.

Another lesson that has to be unlearned is that you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself.  This can come in the form of walls you build. Or it could be not letting anyone get close to you. Or it could be that you can not depend on other people.  It may come in another form.  Or any combination of these.  These are all lies that keep you from true relationship with others.  These lies allow the one that hurt you continue to control you. Walls trap you in, they do not protect you.  We were designed to need other people, and to let other people depend on us.

We all have lessons that we accept as true that are not true.  These lessons shape our thoughts and the way we interact with the world around us.  However, if healing is going to take place, there are some lessons that need to be unlearned.  Lies that have shaped who we are need to be unlearned.  Misunderstandings that have filtered the way that we interpret the world around us need to be unlearned.  And messages that we need to isolate ourselves for self-protection allow an aspect of control to continue from the own that initially hurt us.  It is not easy to unlearn things so deeply engrained in our lives, but the Word of God is a great place to start in replacing some of those lies.

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

 

 

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Explore the Word #Write28Days

The Bible is the living Word of God. In my own healing process, it has been the single best tool in my journey. Although I grew up memorizing scriptures and hearing the stories found in the Bible, it was only over the past two decades that I have learned that I can apply it to my own life. The Bible has went from being a book that I had to read to one that I treasure having time to really delve in to. Yes, there are still parts I don’t understand or find less interesting, but over the years even some of those areas I have pulled nuggets of treasure from.

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How does the Bible aid in the healing process?

  • The Bible tells us that Jesus died for our complete healing, not just to save us from hell.
  • The Bible reveals the character of God towards us.
  • The Bible reveals who we are in Christ.
  • The Bible reveals the promises of God available to us in Christ Jesus.
  • The Bible lays our how we should live.
  • The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit makes it possible to live as God’s Word lays out.

I started to list out some scriptures, but there are many websites and books that list scriptures that are available. I would encourage you to search out scripture that speak to your situation. You will be surprised what you find.

If you use a book or website to get you started, I would recommend looking up the scripture references in the Bible for yourself.

There is something about letting God’s Word speak directly to you from the pages of His Word. People make errors in typing and translation. We tend to read through the eyes of our own culture and interpret through our personal history.

There are tools like the YouVersion app or websites like Biblegateway.com where you can look at several versions of the same scripture. Another helpful tool is Blue Letter Bible, which has multiple translations available but also has study resources to help you understand the meaning of words in the original language. It can be easy to get confused by all the different versions available and people’s opinions of those versions. Looking at different Bible versions may help you gain understanding as some look at things strictly from word definition (which can change over time). Others look at the original word and meaning it had at the time. Still others look at the overall spirit of what was being conveyed. Look at different ones, and let Holy Spirit speak through the Word.

When you find in your exploration of the Word something that really resonates within you, write it down. Memorize it if you can. Post it where you will see it.

I have journaled Bible verses for over two decades. I am always amazed at how the same verse can speak so many different things to me over the years based on where I am, but the Word really is living. I typically write down the scripture, and then how it speaks to me – how I feel it applies to my life right where I am. Sometimes it is a few sentences other times it is pages. Sometimes I break down the words in the scripture and other times only one word in the verse speaks to me. I end with my response back to God usually a prayer asking forgiveness, thanking Him or asking for help walking out what I have just learned. You can see some on the link above called Growth.

There is no wrong way for you to explore the Bible. It doesn’t have to be hard. You may want to start with just one scripture or chapter. If you have never read the Bible, you might start in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John (the gospels, found in the New Testament). Romans or Ephesians is also a good place to start. The point is, just make a choice to start exploring and let God’s Word work in you and then through you. What do you have to lose?

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Enough is enough #write28days

Only you can decide when your need for healing is greater than your need to hold on to what broke you. You alone can start the journey to healing as you choose to start the healing process.

You are the only one  who can decide when enough is enough.  Only when you are ready to make changes can things change.  Beth Moore writes “Our hearts often translate sudden and dramatic change as either instability or a form of loss.  Sometimes it hits us as both.” Because of this, only when you are ready to make changes towards healing.  Change will rock your world, even if it is a good change.  It will mean letting go of things that you have held on to for too long.  Tearing off things that have held on to you for a long time.

Sometimes people don’t  feel they are worthy of anything better than what they have known their whole life, or since the beginning of the brokenness.  I can only say that you deserve better.  Right where you are, you are enough.  You are enough to say “My enough is enough. I have had enough.  So enough is enough.”

This has little to do with anything above, but it is a story that a preacher shared once, that has stayed with me and I always think of when I hear the word Enough.  I will leave you with these thoughts.

“I Wish You Enough”

I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, ‘I love you, and I wish you enough.’ The daughter replied, ‘Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.’ They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” .

“I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?'” He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough, we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.”

Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye.”

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

 

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Building Community #Write28Days

Building Community can be hard when you are in the broken space, but community is another piece needed for healing.  Many things that break us, tend to isolate us.  Secrets we are told to keep from abuse.  Separation from others in domestic violence.  Relationships torn from addiction.  Shame, blame, guilt are things that keep us from having open health relationships.

Even small changes can create drastic changes in our support system.  A job change can change the people we are used to sharing life with.  As children grow up, the parents that we were often connected with over our children can grow more distance.  Parent’s illnesses, memory and death can create a separation from our normal support.  As families grow, just the business of life can make the support system we grew up with more segregated due to distance and busy schedules.

With all of the things that compete against connection, how do we build community, especially a healthy one?  As a social wBuildingcommunityorker, I immediately think of a tool called an Ecomap that I would often do with people to help the really look at their support system.  For a brief moment, grab a piece of paper and in the middle write ME.  If you want to right under your name, add the area that you need healing to come (You don’t have too, but it can be an added step to help in healing.)  Circle your name and if you added the healing area make the circle big enough to include that.

Then on the same page, start writing down the names of those that you turn to most often.  Include friends, family, coworkers, classmates writing them around the ME circle,  Be specific if you can.  Then add places you frequently spend time where there are others, like work, school, church, the gym, the bar, etc.  Add professional and community support – counselors, lawyers, probation officers, sponsors, case worker, and support groups.   Include anyone or any place that is part of your life. You can put a circle around each of these too.

If you don’t have many circles on your page.  It is okay, do not let your mind tell you that it isn’t okay.  Sometimes having too many people on the page doesn’t mean you have any better support than someone who has it filled.  If you want more supports, than make that a goal you work towards, but don not turn it into a negative right now.  You are working on your healing!

The next part can take a little more time and thought.  Don’t rush it.   You want to really think about your relationship with each of the people or groups listed in the other circles.  You can look at it generally, or if you are ready to start making changes towards healing can look at the relationship and how each of the circles supports your healing goals.  If you feel like the name in the circle is a strong support of you healing draw a solid line between the ME circle ——- and that name.    If sometimes it is a support and sometimes it is not draw a dotted line between ME – – – – – – and that other name.  If the relationship is a source of stress or lacks support for your healing draw a /\/\/\/\/\/\ line between the ME circle and the other name.

If you don’t have any solid lines between you and any of the supports you listed, are there any that are dotted that could be strengthened?  Maybe it is not a solid support because the business of life, maybe you need to be intentional in that relationship.  If you don’t feel they can be strengthened, where might you find people who could support your healing?  You may need to start with a professional counselor in your area or a support group, like Celebrate Recovery (It is not just for addicts!) to get you on the right path.  People in your area can help connect you with other health support systems because professionals are there for a short period and are not meant to be your long-term support.

The other thing to ask about the people that you have a dotted line relationship with, is are there things that you are doing that foster the change in support.  I will give an example, I have a tendency to have very strict boundaries, I am very private (Except when I am not – usually because I am meeting someone where they are trying to help), and I can tend to  drain myself with giving which causes me to retreat more that I should. In addition, I have a hard time expressing my needs in the moment.  This can certainly cause issues as others can interpret those behaviors that I don’t need or want their help, or that I don’t want a supportive relationship with them.   Another example would be a person who wants too much from a single person, where you expect all your needs (Orthe majority of them) to be met by one person.  If you see your part in why a relationship is not as strong as it could be, acknowledge your part, apologize, and work to do better. If you are not able to do this yet, talk to a counselor and start working through those behaviors so that you can learn new coping skills.

Those relationships that are a source of support or lack support need to be evaluated closely.  Some you may need to end.  Others you may need to distance yourself from until you can determine how to handle the relationship.  It may be that you need to heal before you can decide what to do in that relationship.  Still other relationships you may just need to discuss in love how you feel and seek support in learning how to rebuild that relationship in a healthy manner.  There is no right answer for those relationships.  I have had to do each of those at time through my healing process, and sometimes I have had to go back an undo wrong decisions.  I  have thought I needed to break off a relationship and what I needed was time to heal so that I could have good boundaries in my interaction with another.

You may have some relationships that you feel are neutral.  It is okay you have whatI would call acquaintances that you have relationship with but where your problems, nor thiers are really the focus of the relationhsip.  We were made for community.  We were made to need others.  Even if you are by nature more of an introvert, you still need people.  There is strength found in numbers.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

In building your community it is helpful to explore what you already have.  Cultivating what is already a support for you is a great place to start.  Then focusing on what relationships can be strengthened taking intentional action or looking at your own actions to see how you might be contributing towards the level of support you have.  At times, you may need to engage professional support through your community in building your community.  Professinals can help you explore what other resources you may have available, but may also help as you work towards evaluting the relationship you have that are stressful or completely lack support for your healing.  The goal is to build a community that helps strengthen you as you heal.

 

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

 

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More than a number #write28days

When you feel broken it can be helpful to know that you are not alone in your hurt. Understanding that you are not the only one who has walked the path of brokenness can offer a hope in the darkest moments.  The world is full of people who have faced things that could break the strongest person.  Some examples include:

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

According to the National Institute of Mental Healthan estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.1% of all U.S. adults.

According to National Alliance of Mental Illness:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

According to the Center for Disease Control at least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year, and this is likely an underestimate.

morethananumberThose statistics are staggering, and yet still likely under reported.  You are not alone regardless of what you have walked through or are walking through.  So many times abusers, fear, or the culture we live in, rob us of the voice to share our experience and begin the healing.  Yet regardless of how many others are experiencing pain similar to you, you are more than just a number in a statistic.  

There is One who does not count you among the numbers, but instead sees you where you are.  He sees your hurt. He sees the broken space.  But He loves you.  You are precious to Him.  He thinks of you often.  He counts the very hairs on your head.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

You are more than a number. You are a precious person.  No matter how broken you may feel, know that you are not alone in your hurt.  Not because others have experienced similar things, but because ... For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Make or Break You #Write28days

There are decisions that we make every day that help determine the space we live in. Whether we live in the broken space or decide to live in the space of healing is largely based on our decisions. There are times when the decision is made on a moment by moment basis. As we begin to make the move towards healing, those moments of staying in the broken space grow shorter and farther apart. However, if we don’t intentionally make the decision to move towards healing, the natural inclination is to stay focused on the broken space.

As much as we hate being broken, it is  the space we know.  It may hurt terribly, but it is controlled.  Even when in the moment it is not controlled, like in the instances of abuse, we have usually learned the cycle.   It is controlled in that we  know what to expect, even though it is not pleasant.  At times, because we know the cycle so well, we can even expedite the painful, just so we can get through it.

This is why so many people seem to take three steps forward and one step backwards during the healing process.  In the moment wanting to see healing is a motivation for change.  Yet every step is met with opposition, and so turning back to what is known is easier.  Until it isn’t anymore.

MakeorBreakyouMaking the decision to move towards healing can be scary.  Living whole is unknown to someone who has only known brokenness.  Whole is forgotten for someone who has lived in the broken space for too long.  Reluctance to take a step is normal.  Taken a step towards healing when the path is unseen takes courage.

If your still in a toxic relationship, making a move towards healing will be met with resistance.  You may need to proceed with precaution if  there is any concern over safety.  Even in healthy relationships, changes can be met with resistance because as one person makes a change, it forces change on others too.  Make a choice to heal anyway. 

You might decide you need to make small steps, with things you really can control. 

  • You might make a choice to look for positives and meditate on those things throughout the day when the broken space is calling your name.
  • You might make a choice to make a healthy connection with a therapist, a friend, a support group, a local church, or civic organization.
  • You might make a choice to read a book about healthy boundaries or something else that will help you in your healing process.
  • You can make a choice  to forgive and move forward.
  • You might make a choice to do something for yourself.


Only you can decide what step you want to take to begin moving towards healing.  Only you can decide to stop focusing what is wrong and looking towards where you want change to occur and focus on making those steps.  Only you can make the choice to chose courage over comfort and control.  You can choose to make  choices to make you or continue to let life break you.

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

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Joy in the Brokenness #write28days

Joy may seem impossible when your in the midst of your brokenness, but with God, nothing is impossible.  In fact, the Bible says:

JoyintheBrokenness

JOYINTHEBROKENNESS

My brethren, count it all JOY when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2‭-‬4NKJV

So our trials, that bring the brokenness, can be the cause or an occasion for joy.  I can immediately feel the defenses go up, “You have no idea what trial I am facing. There is no way that it will be the cause for joy.” Just because you can count it as joy, does not mean you will experience the joy it will cause in that moment. 

We have an amazing example of how to find joy in the brokenness.  The example is Christ. He was sinless, and yet suffered all that was required to be paid by us, and did it with joy.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3

I can not prove it, but I do not believe that joy was the cross. I believe it had to have been what He knew would come, a restoration in our relationship with the Father.

Joy comes through the testing of faith, the producing of patience.  Christ’s faith was tested and His patience was perfected.  It is only when the work is perfect and complete, lacking nothing that the joy we counted on comes.  You can hold on to the truth that joy will eventually come.

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs. Isaiah 61:7

You might not be able to see the cause for joy in that specific circumstance of brokenness, but I will bet that if you look hard enough, you can find something else to give you joy in the moment.  If you are a follower of Christ, a Christian, the fruit of His Spirit lives in you.  The fruit of the Spirit includes joy.  It is in you, you have to choose to express it.  Scriptures are filled with causes for joy, just a few from the 150 scriptures that mention joy:

The Greek word for joy used in James 1:2 is charameaning joy or gladness.  In the James 1:2 scripture it is the cause or an occasion for joy.  However, in other verses chara also can mean the joy received from you.  If you find yourself in a time of brokenness, make a decision to do something that will bring another person joy.  Be that cause of someone else’s joy.  It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but an intentional one.

Joy in the brokenness will not come easily, but it is possible and available in Christ.  We can hold on to the truth that Joy will come.  We can look to things in the midst of our brokenness where we can find joy.  We can also let other’s receive joy through our intentional actions.  Christ is the perfect example of joy in the brokenness.  He faced the cross knowing that the joy before Him would come, His joy was found in God’s presence, and He made an intentional decision to do something for us, regardless of our choice, that could produce joy in us.

 

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This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.

 

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