Unintentional Hurts

Have you ever unintentionally brought pain to someone that you love and would never want to hurt?   I don’t mean a spouse but a close friend or a family member?

I am not referring to times when we get upset in our relationships and we say things we don’t mean.  I am referring to an action or inaction that hurts the heart of another that we are oblivious to until it is brought to our attention. 

There are two specific incidents that played out in my own life  a few years ago that come to mind.  I was brought to my knees when I realized the insensitivity that I had allowed to cloud my decisions.  In both instances what was done was done and there was not one thing I could have done about it.  That part was stinkin’ frustrating.

What about you? Can you relate?

At that time, I remember drowning in a tsunami of thoughts that were not at all beneficial or helpful. Would the relationship forever be changed? Would they forgive me? Would the hurt I caused deem me not trustworthy? Would they close their heart off to me? These questions left me in turmoil. I was angry at myself. I beat myself up over and over again which was just what the devil wanted me to do. I never wanted to be THAT person, THAT mom, nor THAT friend! Yet, here I was.

Thankfully, after doing all I knew to do combined with much soul searching, prayer  and surrender, I landed on my feet in the place of peace…God’s peace.  

I cannot tell you that both of these relationships moved forward.  Sadly, there were other circumstances beyond my control that drastically changed one of them. The other relationship, after some time, continued to grow and is healthy today. 

I can honestly say that I am thankful for both experiences as I learned so much about friendship, about myself, about God’s amazing grace and about surrender. 

Friend, if you have or are now experiencing this type of relational regret, you have options!   Although your options won’t guarantee a desired outcome, a quick fix nor undo the damage left behind, your response CAN propel  you forward OR keep you stuck in a pit of self-loathing regret.  It’s YOUR choice to make.

  • You can choose to let your heart harden, become defensive, shift the blame to the other person and most definitely lose the relationship.
  • You can blow it off by denying or justifying the unintentional pain you caused which will only make matters worse. 
  • You can “own’ it.  You can choose to sincerely apologize, ask for forgiveness AND fervently pray that God’s grace would invade the situation, cover your mistakes and heal the hurt you have caused.

The first two were never even on my checklist.  These relationships meant too much to me. I unintentionally messed up and I knew I needed to do the right thing while being fully aware that the consequences of my mistakes could be costly.

Facing  consequences can be excruciating and hard for us. Many of us are fixers by design and when we can’t fix something we are responsible for, it can send us straight to a pit of regret and discouragement that is so hard to climb out of. I know, I get it.

Maybe you need to do like I did and  choose the last response mentioned above. Then, take the next step and surrender the whole messy thing to Jesus.  I don’t  mean just say the simple “surrender” prayer then go back to replaying the scenario over and over in your mind and allowing the enemy to take you out.  I mean to truly let it go!

Friend, you cannot control how your unintentional or misunderstood actions will influence the future dynamics of your relationships.   You can’t fix someone else’s heart.  You can’t change their perspective. You can’t heal their pain.  You can’t undo the damage done.  You can’t erase that regrettable moment. 

However, you CAN trust God to do what you can’t! 

Dear one, can I challenge you to believe God’s word in relation to THIS circumstance?

Remember Romans 8:28? Let me remind you. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

As Christ followers, we can be intentional to claim and believe this scripture when we are in the midst of heartbreaking challenges that are beyond our control. We adamantly and courageously hold on to this promise when we are facing difficult and painful circumstances that we didn’t cause BUT what about this situation? What about when WE are the ones who caused the pain, who unknowingly hurt someone? Does this scripture become null and void? I can testify and tell you that your messy and unintentional mistakes are no exception to this promise.

Even though you may not can see good from where you are currently standing, choose to believe God’s word because that is where you will find truth when your emotions are telling you otherwise. I promise you, God can use the unintentional hurt to not only grow you but the one that was hurt, as well. 

In these type of situations, the best thing and most God-honoring thing to do is ask forgiveness to both the ones we’ve hurt and to God and then trust God to take care of doing the mending.

SO, let me ask you….have you asked for forgiveness to God AND to the one you hurt? Do you understand how your words or actions, though unintentional, brought pain? If your answer is “Yes!” then congratulations! You have just had a valuable growth experience! Good for you! Now it’s time, my friend, to shake it off, and let that experience leave you better than you were before!

You see, the devil wants you to walk around defeated and filled with guilt and regret.  What he doesn’t want is for you to experience grace….God’s amazing grace. Whether it comes from the one you hurt or only from God Himself, it is there for you to fully embrace.  Hold your head up, praise God you are forgiven and leave the outcome at the feet of Jesus!  

God’s mercy, grace and love is sufficient for you, for the one you hurt, for me and for all others who have messed up a time or two. 

Relationships are certainly humbling and the best teachers we have. 

Faith step:   After you have done all you know to do, choose today to believe Romans 8:28 for every misstep,  every unintentional hurt, and every relationship wound you may have caused.   

Your Glorious Wardrobe

Weeks before my wedding day, I set out to find the perfect wedding dress. I was thrilled to tears (literally) when the third dress I tried on was THE one.  Honestly, it was not one I would have picked out for myself but the bridal consultant insisted that I try it on. Her expertise was irreplaceable.  She saw what I didn’t.

On the day of my wedding, that beautiful bridal gown enabled me to feel my confident best self as I made my entrance to meet my groom.

Unfortunately, that confidence has wavered since then.  What about you? Not feeling your best self lately? Sister, you are not alone!

The longer I’ve been married, the more aware I have become of the enemies’ strategic plans to strip away the extravagant beauty God has so perfectly designed for each of us to wear.  After all, our God is the ultimate designer and creator of our glorious wardrobe. 

What does our glorious wardrobe actually look like?

In Proverbs, when referring to a woman who fears the Lord, we are told that she is clothed with strength and dignity.  

Strength and dignity are her clothing…” Proverbs 31:25 (ESV)

My dictionary defines dignity as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed.

Friend, if you are a follower of Jesus, then YOU have been clothed with strength and dignity.  

The price for your extravagant wardrobe has already been paid. It was not cheap and will not ever lose its value.  It will never fade nor fray.  It won’t go out of style. It cannot be defined, relabeled or replicated by the world. The value of your wardrobe was settled at the cross.  

It is yours for the taking.  However, you have to choose to put it on. Sounds simple enough but the truth is it takes a strategic and intentional mindset.

Why? Because we have an enemy who holds out a garment of lies for us to put on every single day. The lies we believe will quickly strip away our strength, dignity and power to live the life God has ordained for us to live.   

Fear, doubt, shame, regrets, comparison, negative self-talk, insecurity and disappointments can quickly unravel the beauty that was meant to be ours in Christ.    

What about marriage battles such as communication roadblocks, infidelity, pornography, financial issues, parenting struggles or you name it?  All of these things can cause us to feel that we aren’t worthy of our wardrobe.

The good news is, there are some strategic things you can do that can help you live your life with the strength and dignity that God has given you.

Begin by thinking about what you are thinking about.  Ask yourself if what you are thinking is based on truth or lies? If what you are thinking does not line up with who God is or who You are in Christ, reject it.

Find scriptures to replace the lies.

Ask trusted friends to pray for you. 

 Find a mentor or counselor to help you recognize deep seated lies that are affecting your core beliefs.

Sister, only God Himself is worthy of defining who you are.  He desires to restore to you your strength and dignity. You are valued, chosen, and dearly loved. It’s time to put off those false narratives and rise up as the beloved daughter of God that you are.  

Faith Step: Pray and ask God to reveal to you what you’ve been wearing that is not from Him.  Ask Him to help you put on the strength and dignity He has ordained for you to wear so that you can start walking with God-confidence in your glorious wardrobe today.

The Ugly, The Messy and The Beautiful!

Are you at a messy place right now and your mind wonders if God really does redeem our stories?  Not just when we enter our heavenly home but here and now, this side of heaven?

Maybe you have found yourself on a detour that you never saw coming.  Maybe this very moment you are facing  some unwanted, ugly, painful and unintended parts of your story that have left you wailing on the carpet desperate for God’s intervention.

Friend, can I encourage you to pause for a moment?   Please.  Hit the hold button. Take a break from  your tears, your questions, your doubts and simply let these words take a hold of your heart.

Our. God. Is. Faithful. Always. 

Even now! Yes, even in THIS season, THIS heartbreak, THIS loss, THIS pain.

How can I proclaim this so boldly and confidently? Because I have walked through unwanted chapters in my own life and am now reaping the beauty that God brings as the pages turn.

I am cheering YOU forward. You are not alone!

God has not only redeemed my story but abundantly given me more than I could ask or imagine. Did I say it’s been easy? NO! Did I say the struggles are gone? Absolutely NOT! What I AM saying is that God has brought beauty from the ashes and the brokenness that this messy girl had lived with for so long.

I don’t say this out of pride or arrogance or with a  “look at me now”  mentality….I am sharing this to give YOU a shot of hope. Because  not so long ago, I was on the carpet completely  shattered  and struggling, just like YOU!

Broken, wounded, stressed to the hilt, and ever so desperate.  It wasn’t just one hard thing but many painful things that left me with uncontrollable eye twitches and itchy stress rashes.  Yes, there is such a thing, ugh!

I will not go into details.  After all, I know what you would do. You would do the the same thing that most of us do.  Your kneejerk reaction would  entice you to compare your story to mine and then you would miss the whole point.

What I can tell you is that the above picture represents so much more than a wedding day…but a rescue;  A day when God boldly declared to my heart  that He is well able to redeem and take what the enemy meant to destroy me and my family and make it into something more precious than I could have ever imagined.

It represents the answer to countless prayers prayed by many that I did not even know were praying for me and my family at the time.   You see, it wasn’t just my victory in Jesus but other’s victory and testimony, too!  Those who God divinely surrounded us with who stood in the gap.  Those who loved me, supported me, believed in me and more importantly those with faith-filled hearts who believed that God had GOOD plans for us in spite of how it looked then.  My heart is so thankful.

This is why I am here, to tell YOU that GOD is not finished with YOUR story!

God DOES redeem, my friend! He takes the messy, the ugly, and the broken parts of our stories and creates beauty from the all the ashes.

Remember this; whatever chapter you are in, whatever your life looks like this very moment will soon pass. It is only for a season.  Life will not always be this hard, nor this painful.

You are on the pathway, detours and all,  to greater joy and intimacy with Christ than you have ever known.

It’s okay if you can’t see that right now because God sees it! His plans for YOU are good! When you can’t see clearly and everything around you is falling apart remember, your God IS faithful. That is ALL you need to know.  That’s enough. Jesus is enough.

Stay on the carpet until your knees burn and ugly cry your way through but don’t EVER stop the wrestling.

With God, your waiting time is NOT wasted time…He is creating room in you for the beauty that is yet to come!

Friend, stubbornly hold on to your faith as you hold on to your God.   Follow hard after him…stay obedient no matter what your feelings tell you. Expect God to move! 

One day,  you will see clearly that He never left you even in your darkest moments.  He was cutting away the lies from the past to make room for a NEW season, a NEW beginning that could not compare to anything you have experienced before.

Believe it!

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV) “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful”.