I know all too well when we try to tackle problems on our own, it never works out quite like we had visioned. We can save ourselves so much time, energy, stress, and suffering if we would just include God in our walk - daily. If we know better then shouldn't we do better? Why is that so easy to say and write, but so hard to actually do? We can’t be the women God has called us to be if we continue to be more concerned about fixing other people and their character defects than we are about doing the work in ourselves first.
They say hurting people hurt people. Would you agree? I sure do! When the people we love hurt us, God still says we still need to love them. How would our relationships change if we had the same compassion for others that Jesus did? When we are wronged or hurt, we need to leave the consequences to Him. But let's be honest friends, aren't there times when we think we should be the "one" in control? Are there times when you feel you should be the one to hand out consequence papers?
Sadly, that’s NOT our job. We think because we’re directly involved that we have a right to point out faults, weaknesses and failures. Now I'm not talking about the brother or sister who has "fallen" and we should gently restore them, as in Galatians 6:1 which reads; "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness." I am referring to the person who you seem to always be critical of, the one whose bad behaviors you always seem to point out. I'm talking about that person. I've learned the importance of knowing what my role is NOT! God's job is to judge, the Holy Spirit's job is to convict and my job.......well, that's simply to LOVE! We need people to see the example of Christ in us even when they have hurt us. Because honestly, demonstrating the LOVE of Christ is BETTER than any consequence, isn't it? Trust me, God will speak to their hearts in a way that only he can, and quite frankly from past experience he does a MUCH better job too! If you're struggling in this area, ask God to give you eyes to see them as He does and watch what happens.
Heads Up: You do not need to attend every argument you are invited to!! DO NOT give others that much control over you. You are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth and for the way you behave. If you show them Christ first and respond in love, it will usually defuse most arguments or misunderstandings. Don’t get me wrong, I know all too well how hard this is and trust me, it’s much easier to write this than it actually is to do it. It all comes down to our pride people! When we demonstrate Christ like behavior we are being obedient. And when we are obedient, well all I can say is just wait for the blessings!
Don't get discouraged, you will not succeed every time. It is impossible for you are only human, but we do have a responsibility to try and keep the peace....to take the high-road so to speak. You know the saying..... Sometimes it's better to be happy instead of right. "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." - Romans 12:18.
The morning will surely come and we all know that joy comes in the morning right? Tomorrow is a new day . It's another chance for a "do-over!" If you TRULY want to have Christ-like faith, believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can and will answer your prayers. He will surely give you the desires of your heart if it is according to His will. "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4. When He makes you a promise, know that you can trust Him. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is the PERFECT restorer. He will restore the things that are broken in you AND in the people you love. You HAVE to keep that faith and hold on to it ever so tightly…..
Wait with expectancy as in Psalm 5:3, "Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly." If you are going through a season of doubt in your life right now, and you're discouraged that you just can't get it right, KNOW the truth! BELIEVE the truth. Your feelings don't necessarily have to be aligned with the truth. But I can tell you this, the healthier you get those feelings will eventually catch up. Don't EVER doubt the words God has spoken to your heart. Don’t EVER stop trusting God just because other people have.
LISTEN and WAIT with expectancy. When you fall get back up.....brush yourself off......and start again! He loves you too much to keep you where you are.
You CAN do hard things!
I saw something similar to the quote above this morning and I've wanted to write something like this about myself for a long time, I just really couldn't find the words. It's funny sometimes in the least expected moments, God can prune your heart to speak the truth.
Often times when I sit down to write, I have this emotional block where the words just seem to be stuck inside of a jar and I can't seem to get the lid off. I think it's Gods way of reminding me that everything comes from him, in his timing and not my own.
Today, the words flooded my heart as I was driving and I had to pull over to a safe spot and share my heart.
I still hold on to the promises he's whispered to just me and I will still walk with my head held high because I know the truth despite the way I feel today. Despite the voices that tell me I'm not qualified, not good enough, and it's not my time.
I would not be honest if I told you that I don't entertain those thoughts but I do. Eventually, the truth always kicks in and I am reminded of whose I am. And he shows me that with him, I cannot fail. I know God will use me to do amazing things. To reach hurting women that have no hope, to speak truth into the lives of many because of the truth he's spoken to me. God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. And sometimes, we just need to say, "Yes" to the things he's asked us to do, despite the way we feel. Because if it is TRULY God's will for us, our feelings will eventually catch up to the truth!
I have never had a 'green thumb.' I've always wished I did. A few years back, my husband came home to me unloading the car with flowers to plant, and in a playful voice he said, "Oh I see.....more victims!" Sad, but it was true.
Most recently, my husband bought me one of those indoor Aero Gardens for my birthday. You can choose from all kinds of herbs; Thai Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Dill, etc. I was so excited not to have to buy any more herbs to cook with.
He set it all up, programmed the lights, when they would come on and off. He added the minerals when they were needed, water when it signaled to add more and soon I had my own garden. It grew so quickly that I couldn't seem to use what I had. I would frequently give the herbs to friends that stopped by or bring them to work to share.
Recently, I looked at my little garden and noticed it looked a bit scarce. The leaves were barely hanging on, some had dried up and completely fallen off and others looked twig like. I thought to myself, with the easiest garden on the planet and you still can't keep a plant alive.
I opened up the reservoir and to my discovery there was no water! Not a drop. Well, that explains it. In some way I felt relieved that there was a logical explanation. But as I started to think a little more about it, I was sad. It really was me. It was US!
Isn't that what happens to our marriages when we don't pay attention? When we take for granted that our garden will just grow on its own without any water or food? When our phones, our jobs, our friends and the television become more important than our spouses, our marriages suffer deeply. Our spouses really do need those special minerals to grow too!
What could your mineral of choice be this week?
The second part to this "Seasons In Our Marriage" blog is the not so easy one to fix. It's called the "dome zone" and it's the after-effect.........
When the pods are first placed in the Aero Garden they need to be covered with a plastic dome for the first few weeks or so, until the herbs start to bud. Once they get to be about an inch or so, you can remove the plastic domes and allow the light and nutrients to help them grow.
It made me think about what happens to us individually once those dead leaves start to fall off. We want to try again, to move on, to rise above our hurts, habits and hang ups but somehow we feel this need to have this shield of protection around us and we enter the "dome zone." It's a safe place where no one can hurt us. But what we fail to realize is that although growth can be seen in the beginning, if we don't eventually take of the dome, the herb will eventually strangle itself and it is unable to grow. Sometimes we just need to throw it all out there, remain vulnerable despite our hurt and ask God to work on the heart part!
I once read, "comfort zones are nice places to visit, unfortunately nothing ever grows there." This is true in our marriages too. I can definitely get stuck in the "dome zone," and sometimes it can take me longer to get out than most. Even after 29 years of marriage, we're still growing and I'm still learning how to be the wife God has called me to be.
If you can relate to what you've read, please comment on this blog and share your story. One thing I do know is there is strength in numbers and when people share, you somehow don't feel so alone anymore.
Take joy in knowing that tomorrow is a new day. It's a do-over day! It's another chance to get this season of marriage you are in.........right!
Good Morning Friends:
I woke up to reading this devotional at the recommendation from a very close friend.
I love that God has blessed my life with some amazing women. This is exactly what I needed to read. Is it what you needed to read as well?
One thing I know is that I need to "trust the process." Even when I don't know what the "process" is. Just like the Serenity Prayer, "trusting that he will make all things right if I surrender to his will......"
Why do we try so hard to do things on your own? Only to eventually fall on our faces because we chose our will and never included God in our decisions. Pride? I'd say that's my issue. But thankfully he gives us grace which allows us to get up one more time, to try one more time, to trust one more time and I'm so grateful for that.
Listen to that soft, still voice. The one that promised you that new job, that baby you will have, that man he will bring into your life, that sickness he will heal, that Marraige he will restore, that book you will write.
Don't you EVER let another person's opinions of you change what God has whispered to you. No man can stop the will of God. Know that. Trust that. Believe that!
I hope this Devotional touches your heart the way it has touched mine. May it bring you you peace and give you hope.
Happy Friday.......now go make God Famous today!! And share this with someone you love today!
Ciao Ciao. Be BLESSED,
Andrea (Andi), is an Author, musician, speaker and Founder of Transcended Ministries. She encourages women to rise above their circumstances and to trust in God's timing. She is involved in Celebrate Recovery and sings on the worship team at her church. Andi believes no hurt is ever wasted and she longs to bring a message of hope and healing as she shares her story of bold faith. Her story includes her struggle with control issues and co-dependency followed by a separation from her husband of twenty-five years. After a year of isolation and being on her own, she watched God bring transformation, healing, and reconciliation.