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.   

Live Loved

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Live Loved……….

I am still trying to wrap my mind around this as I type.  I will try to explain.  Each year I pray and seek God regarding my “word” for the year.  This seems to be a trendy thing to do now days but I can testify to how richly and hugely God has used this in my life in recent years.  It’s a powerful thing! I have found it to be so much MORE than just claiming a “word” for the year.  It helps to keep my easily distracted brain focused and gives me an anchor to hold onto, especially in the difficult and challenging moments.   You see, I don’t just look at it as a word but I also gather scripture references that magnify what God desires for me to embrace in whatever season I may be facing. However, this year I truly struggled with what my “word” should be.  I had a list that I brainstormed but none of those words seemed to jump out at me like times past.

On a side note,  one of the changes that I had been praying for in 2020 was that I would experience complete freedom from my past.  How many of you know that God, in His great mercy, can and at times, does rescue us physically AND relationally. However,  we have to prayerfully and intentionally not allow ourselves to remain bound mentally and emotionally? Right?  Easier said than done!  In my case, I have triggers that rise their ugly heads from my past that I am having to confront. SO many triggers that seem incredibly silly, nevertheless, they are real for me.  I can tell you, our past can indiscriminately effect our today and tomorrows if we don’t get a grip.  It is altogether ridiculous when you take a step back and see them for what they are.  Even though they are real and my experience with them includes automatic panic with a knee-jerk racing heart beat and lump in my throat (PTSD?) …they are dumb! Yes that’s my word for them…ha!! God in His AMAZING GRACE and MERCY rescued me….took me OUT of the pit that I had lived in for years and yet here I am STILL dealing with the aftermath of what was..ugh! Dumb! I believe it’s the enemy’s way to keep us in the yuck that God has freed us from! I have been adamantly praying that in 2020 that I would have wisdom and insight as to how to handle them more victoriously as they come.  You see, obviously before I was remarried, these recent triggers lay dormant as I was not in such a relationship.  The truth is, some healing can only come as we are forced to face our emotional hangups.  Getting remarried has been my force.  It’s been abundantly beautiful in some ways and extremely hard in others.   I have, most assuredly, had many growth opportunities that I did not even realize I needed, ha!  Some progress can seem slow and get downright frustrating.  This messy girl is thankful that God has blessed me with a sweet husband who understands grace because he has experienced it in abundance for himself. He is patient and graciously helps me face and walk through these triggers in a safe space.  The thing about triggers is they can come at any moment, out of now where, and trip me up.  TO say I dislike them is an understatement, but my dislike for them does not make them go away, by no means. However, my obedience to Christ in my messy moments, CAN!  Maybe this is resonating somehow with you and if so, please hang with me.  We can all have things from our past that distracts and seeks to destroy the very freedom that Christ has already given to us.

Back to my “word” for 2020.  My husband and I chose to take a week to pray and fast to start off our new year.  I was anticipating that one of the things that God would reveal was that special “word”.  A we ended our fast, I still had no clue.  Though I was feeling disappointed, I continued to believe it would come. That was on a Friday night…fast forward to Sunday morning.  I was waiting to leave for church and it hit me….YES!!! Thank you, Jesus! AND it makes SO much sense though I can’t fully comprehend the magnitude of it at this moment.

Live loved…..

I understand about living loved by God and what it looks like to walk that out.  Such a precious and life-giving, life-changing revelation.  That Divine knowledge has been my lifeline and saving grace throughout (okay, maybe I haven’t fully comprehended ALL that entails in my human mind as I still get tripped up at times,  but I have understood it enough for His amazing love and grace to be a difference maker in my life!) However, it is living loved within marriage, by my spouse, that gets me tripped up and entangled in all kinds of anxiety and insecurities.  As I have mentioned before, love to me within marriage meant pain.  It meant that my heart was never safe with my spouse.  It meant that after a heart-breaking reveal, it would be just a matter of time before my heart was broken again.  I was taught by my wounds that things weren’t always as they seemed and that there were always secrets lurking in the darkness. It meant there was no trust.  It meant half truths, if any truth at all.  Subsequently, I never fully experienced the love that God ordained to be shared between husband and wife.  How do I know this? Because of what God has allowed me to experience now! Like wow!! My NEW normal has been a huge beautiful adjustment and my heart, at times, is still trying to catch up and walk in it’s Truths. THAT, my friend is why this is extremely exiting to me!

Sweet friends, God doesn’t miss a thing! This challenge to “live loved” has touched my heart in ways that words can’t express.  I do NOT have to live less than loved any longer by my spouse.  It’s like God is revealing to me that it’s okay.  My heart is now safe.  It’s a NEW season, a NEW day and God is doing a NEW thing!  No more toxicity.  No more betrayal.  I am free! I can breathe.  I can relax.  I can let go of marital fears and doubts,  suspicious thinking and ENJOY this life that God has so blessed me with.  AND peace, such sweet peace.    I can “live loved” as I am abundantly loved by God AND deeply and affectionately loved by my husband.  It’s going to take work on my part.  New thinking, aggressively taking thoughts captive that are attached to the past, and embracing every sweet and beautiful thing about living in freedom.

My husband, since I met him,  has declared over and over that he wants to be beautiful for me.  Honestly, when he first shared that with me,  I thought it sounded strange and I did not quite understand what he was trying to say.  But now, I get it! He has certainly taught me and continues to teach me what it looks like AND feels like too experience love, God’s way! God is so good, ya’ll!

I am striving to embrace this “LIVE LOVED” life as I detach from toxic mindsets. Maybe you need freedom, too? Maybe your story is different from mine but you still have ugly, messy “stuff” from the past that is battling to keep you bound.  Can I encourage you today?  Don’t give up! Keep pushing through….keep wrestling!  A trigger moment does not make you are a failure or any less spiritual.  God understands why you are the way you are! However, His love for you will not leave you that way nor abandon you to battle alone.  Maybe you need some outside intervention.  Maybe you need a mentor to come along side of you.  Maybe YOU need a “word”, an anchor of sorts to hold you steady with scriptures to combat your triggers.  Maybe YOU need a divine and/or renewed revelation of how very much GOD loves YOU!! Sweet friend, pray and seek God and wait for His answer.  He knows what lies ahead of you and He will graciously equip you to rise above all that desires to hold you captive. LIVE LOVED and know that greater is HE that is in YOU than all the yuck, the lies, the deceit, the wounds, the losses, the betrayals and the disappointments of your past! Rise up, sweet sister!! God has amazing plans for YOU!!! You are extravagantly and completely loved! Now go and live like you believe it! By God’s amazing grace and power, we CAN do this!!

1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

Song of Solomon 4:9: “You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”

Proverbs 30:18-19: “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.”

 

You’re Going to Be Okay!

 

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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 eternity?  Maybe you have found yourself on a detour that you never saw coming.  Maybe you are facing this very moment some ugly, difficult and untended parts of your story that have left you face down on the carpet desperate for God’s intervention.

Friend, can you just pause for a moment from your tears, your questions, your doubts and hang with me for a moment?  Our. God. Is. Faithful. Always.   I get it….. your circumstances may NOT be okay!  However, YOU’RE going to be okay! How can I proclaim this so boldly and confidently? Because I have walked through those kind of chapters and am now reaping the joys that God brings as the pages turn.

The pain in my eyes that I had for literally years is now gone and has been replaced with precious peace and radical relief.  God DOES redeem! He takes the worst parts of our stories and redeems and truly creates beauty from the ashes that may surround us.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Is. 61:1-3

If you need hope this very moment please read the above scripture again.  Pay attention to every word.  Do you see it?  Heavy words like brokenhearted, captive, darkness, prisoner, the grieving and all who mourn are the ones being addressed in this passage.   Friend, if any of those words describe who you are or where you find yourself on this journey, your heart can be FULL of hope! You’re going to be okay!! Why? Because Jesus came for YOU! He has already made a way for you.  Your ashes are no match for His abundant grace.

February 2, 2019 represents so much more than my wedding day…but a rescue of sorts.  A day when God boldly declared to my heart as well as others that He is well able to redeem and take what the enemy meant to destroy me and my family and make it so beautiful.  It represents the answer to countless prayers prayed by many that I did not even know were  praying for me and my family.   You see, it’s not just our victory in Jesus but other’s victory and testimony, too!  Those who loved us, supported us, believed in us and more importantly those who believed that God had good plans for us in spite of how it looked then.  My heart is so thankful.  My prayer is that in sharing this it will give YOU a shot of hope because at numerous times, I was wondering and struggling, too! Broken, wounded, stressed to the hilt, and ever so desperate.  It wasn’t just one hard thing but many that left me with eye twitches and stress rashes…..but God! No, things did not happened as I had prayed but God took me on a path that has been paved with amazing grace and beauty for ashes.  If you are wondering if this could ever happen for you my answer to you is a resounding and confident YES!!! It is so hard to believe when your heart is filled with pain and you can’t see clearly for the fog that surrounds you. I get it. I really do. I promise you, our God is faithful.  He sees you.  He invites you to trust Him as He is working out the future that He has for you and those you love.

So my friend, whatever chapter you are in know this;   it’s only for a season.  Many times we have no control how long our painful seasons may last  but you can be assured that God’s timing is perfect and purposeful. You, my friend, are on the pathway to greater joy and intimacy with Christ than you have ever known.  Stay on the carpet, ugly cry and let your knees burn.  Don’t ever stop wrestling. 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! He will sweet sister, He will!! Your waiting time is not wasted time…He is creating room in you for the beauty that is yet to come!  One day,  you will see clearly that He not one time left you 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 experience before.

Psalm 27:14

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.  Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the lord.