When Healing Is A Choice

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After my first engagement was called off, I moped, cried, stared into space, cried again, and basically did everything anyone with a broken heart would do.  After several weeks of the same routine, a friend told me, “You have to eventually snap out that phase!  You have to make that decision to move on.” Although it took some time, I eventually did make that choice to snap out of it and move on.

As I go through another process of piecing my heart back together, praying fervently to God to heal me and help me learn to forgive, the Lord has been reminding me of the invalid man in  John 5:1-9.    This man who, for thirty-eight years had been living with his illness, did not once ask for help to get into the pool of Bethesda.  And when Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well, his response was more of an excuse rather than an enthusiastic affirmative.

“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.

-John 5:7

Jennifer Rothschild goes direct to the heart of the matter in saying:

The man at the pool gave an explanation for his situation rather than an answer to Jesus. He blamed others for why he was the way he was.  Instead of just saying “Yes, Lord, I want to be well” he felt the need to say, “But Lord, this is why I am not well.”

We do the same thing.

To be well means I lean on Jesus instead of my old coping mechanisms.

Now, I’m not talking about true diseases like the Retinitis Pigmentosa that caused my blindness. I’m talking about the more serious disease that has nothing to do with blindness — the diseases of self-pity, anger, or resentment that can deeply debilitate me.

Sometimes we actually prefer our pain. We are so used to our weakness, our addiction, or our sin that we don’t really want to be well. We want an excuse to be who we are — stuck in our own weakness — paralyzed by our circumstances.

We sometimes find it difficult to shake off our bitterness, anger, resentment. self-pity and depression, but all we really need to do is make that choice, stand up and head straight to the arms of  Jesus.

Read Jennifer’s entire blog at Jennifer Rothschild – What It Means To Be Well

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Overcoming Rejection

Everyone has had their share of rejection at some point in their lives. How do you deal with it?  Some would have the strength to just shrug it off and not bat an eyelash. Others have the resiliency to move on.   And there are others (like me), who would internalize it and let it affect their whole being.

Sad to say, the way we react to rejection says a lot about our past and about our personalities.  But there is hope for us of the third kind!  Rejection – or our tendency to negatively react towards it – can be overcome.

118HHere are three steps:

  1. Realize that Jesus loves you unconditionally.
  2. Love Jesus more than you love anything or anybody.
  3. Love people as Jesus loves you.

Read Kristina Piatachenko’s full article here .

I Can’t Save Myself

by Morgan Harper Nichols (feat. Mac Powell of Third Day)

No one can accuse me on not trying to make the most of this hand I’ve been dealt.

No one can accuse me of not trying to move past all the pain and fear I’ve felt.

Turns out in the end that all my best attempts could never keep my weary heart from drowning.

I can’t save myself. I can’t save myself. But coming to my rescue is what You do so well.

And when my strength has failed, the story I will tell is how Your love refused to leave me on my own when I couldn’t save myself.

 

The Security Blanket

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Linus van Pelt.  He is the best friend of Charlie Brown from the famous comic strip Peanuts. Linus is known to many of us for having a security blanket in tow anywhere and everywhere he goes.

My son has his security “blankie.”  Not one.  Six!   It started with just one – that one precious blanket that he refused to wash or be away from, which I somehow left in a vacation house out of town.  Not expecting to get it back, I got him a new one, and his grandma got him four (yep!).  So when the owners of that vacation house called to say they found my son’s blanket and would send it back, that made a total of six.

Much as I try, I can’t recall ever getting attached to any particular object as a child or even growing up.  What is the mystery behind such attachments?

Experts who have studied such behavior discovered that such “transitional objects” help individuals cope with change while clinging on to something familiar.    In my son’s case, he developed the dependence on the blanket when I started going back to work and he had to stay home.

It does make sense.  But when and how does it end?

While I try to understand my son and give him the space and time he needs, (after all, aren’t we all on the same boat?  At one point in our lives, we found that one thing or person that we latch on to like a barnacle); and while I am trying not to over-spiritualize this concern,  it is also my duty to give him a reality and spirtual check.

For the rest of us, whether we admit it our not, we also have our own  transitional object.  It could be an actual object we’ve been attached to since childhood.  It could be habits we developed.  It could be material possessions.  It could be careers that we’ve so passionately been building and working for all our lives.  It could be that best friend or spouse that occupied most of our hearts.  It could even be ourselves.

Looking at it that way, I did have my own share of “blankies.”

The bible calls it our idols.    An idol is anything or anyone that can satisfy our longings.  It is anything or anyone that consumes our emotions, time, mind, devotion and being.  It is anything or anyone that we run and cling on to make us feel better.  It is anything or anything that is not God.

Such idols need to be removed from our lives only by the grace and mercy of God.  Through prayer and constant feeding of the Word, God will slowly and surely reveal to us the idols in our lives and provide the strength to remove them.

Reference:  The Herald Tribune

3 Things To Remember When Relationships End

(An article from theprayingwoman.com)

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Not by coincidence or chance, but for a purpose. The reason doesn’t always present itself right away, but usually it is for our good. Sometimes the reason is staring us right in our face but it’s hard for us to accept. Particularly when it comes to relationships or matters of the heart.

Relationships can be rough especially if we try to take matters into our own hands when God has already spoken. When a relationship ends it can feel like the end of the world for most of us. Whether it’s a friendship, courtship, or business relationship, it hurts!

Here are 3 things to remember when relationships end:

Your destiny is never tied to someone who walks away from you. 

Healing is a process. You can’t heal if you’re constantly speaking defeat over your situation. I’ve heard women say…

He was my one true love. I don’t think I’ll ever find someone else like him.

I’ll never love anyone as much as I love him“.

“He was my one shot at love and I think I blew it.”

He was my “soulmate”. There will never be another“.

Does any of this sound familiar? The funny thing is most if not all of the women I’ve heard say this are now happily married, engaged, or in a relationship with hopes of getting married. God eventually revealed His beautiful plan in these ladies lives, but not until they were ready. It wasn’t until they decided to lay their burdens down at His feet and trust His will. It wasn’t until they realized life goes on.

Read the rest of the article at theprayingwoman.com

The Father Knows Best

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!“ (Matthew 7:11)

It is every parent’s desire to give their child the best they can give according to their means. Sacrifices are made most of the time just to give the child their needs, as well as their wants—within reasonable limits, of course.

Have you ever observed how children ask their parents for something they truly need or desire? Children, in all their innocence, approach their parents with full expectation and confidence. How amazing is it that most of the time, children get something even greater than what they ask for? That’s because parents—in their natural inclination to give their children what they think is best—know what to give their children. And what they know is, of course, limited to their knowledge of what is good.

“Father” is an intentional name that God gave us to call Him.

This is an assurance that He will never give us what is bad for us. This is an assurance that He will always give us what will be best for us. As I read this particular passage over and over, a sense of peace and rest settles in me. Jesus encourages us to pray with impudence, showing that our heavenly Father is better than our earthly father for in Him, there is no evil. We take confidence in the fact that God is unlimited in His goodness—free from sin or weaknesses that our earthly father has.

As I further reflect on this passage, I am reminded: my heavenly Father is the creator of this universe; my heavenly Father gives according to His riches; my heavenly Father, who did not spare His own Son Jesus—how much more will He give us the smaller things according to His will.

So we, as His children, should come to Him with childlike faith, with importunity and boldness, in full expectation that our all-perfect Parent will give His best answer.

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Today, God offers you the best gift there is—His loving care and presence over your life through the Holy Spirit. Come to Him and cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.