|Today, I had to get rid of several strawberries. Usually, when we get them, we freeze them right away so that they can last longer. It had been a few days since I said I would freeze them but didn’t, and now I had to throw away several of them. As I was throwing them out and trying to save the good ones, I started thinking more in-depth about the strawberries. In some weird way, we happen to be these strawberries. Many times, we tell ourselves, I will wait, I will do this tomorrow or another day, and then life happens. The longer we wait, the longer the saving of something good takes. These strawberries could have been saved sooner and enjoyed, but they now find themselves entirely rotten in the trash. Some strawberries had not gone bad, that I did try to save. I did this by cutting the areas that were bad and keeping the good part. I thought to myself, and this is what God does with me when there is something in me that is not good. He is cutting away and pruning what is not right to save what is. It’s hurtful when I am going through a process like this with God, but He sees the bigger picture that I do not. He is trying to save me and not hurt me. With all of this being said, I realize I would never want to eat something rotten, it’s the worst, and it makes me want to puke, so for that, it goes in the trash. We would never eat something that we know is not good for us, but why is it that we consume things that rotten the soul so often? Is our soul not as worthy as our stomach?|
Let me get super personal with you. When I first gave my life to Jesus, I had stopped having sex, but I had not stopped making out. There was a battle in my soul to let go of the old. But I needed to let go to step into the new that God had for me. I remember that I felt God speaking to me and saying, “How do you expect me to use you (Speak through you) if you contaminate your mouth?” Hearing that stopped me on my tracks, and everything began to shift for me from this point on. I was more aware of honoring God and protecting my precious soul.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. Proverbs 8:11
I write to you to remind you that you are precious, and Jesus loves you.
One of life’s challenges that we encounter is forgiving ourselves and others. Many of us, carry the burden from childhood into adulthood. As we get older, the harder it becomes to forgive. Although we genuinely want to forgive, we don’t know exactly how. The moment we feel pain, our instinct is to hold back. Instantly, we decide not to forgive. Discomfort makes the forgiveness process so much harder. Forgiving requires remembering what someone did to us, setting them free, and letting the offesnse go. But how do you let go of something that hurts so bad? How do you let go of something that made you question your identity?
For me, forgiveness has led to tears, anger, sadness, rage, cuss words, and falling on my knees to cry out to God for help.
Throughout my life, I learned to forgive myself for the monster I once was. I learned to forgive my dad who wanted my mom to abort me. I learned to forgive my brother and sister for rejecting me. I learned to forgive those that sexually molested me. I learned to forgive my mom for not being present. I learned to forgive the men that abused my heart.
Forgiveness, is a hard process and I am still going through it. I call it a process because it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and diligence. I think to myself, “Why am I the one that has to pay for something someone did to me?” The part that hurts me the most is facing the ones who did me wrong. Although I forgive them, most times, I don’t receive an apology. Deep inside, we all desire an apology. Some debtors will never admit their debt. I am someone that loves justice. If someone hurts me, I want them to pay. I think this comes from being so hard on myself and lacking in grace. Even though I feel this way, God, reminds me of His Grace. He set His eyes upon me and did not let me go even when I sined. He chose to forgive me and die for me.
Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness. Even though humans sent him to the cross, He chose to love us, forgive us, and gifted us eternal life to not perish. I have forgiven so many people in my life, more times than I can count. But I still have a long way to go. As mentioned earlier, forgiveness is a process for me. However, with God’s help, I know I can forgive.
Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! Matthew 18:21-22
Who am I struggling to forgive?
Does forgiveness come easy for me?
How is not forgiving others affecting my life?
Do I believe in my heart that God has forgiven me?
How do you forgive:
You let go of holding a grudge, you let God into your pain, and your surrender the outcome to God.
Father, I invite you into my hurt and into the unspoken. I ask you to heal me and fill my heart with compassion for those that have wronged me. Thank you for forgiving me and help me accept your forgiveness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Lately my husband and I have been driving by some ecstatically pleasing apartments. I have told him, “Look I really like those apartments.” He said, “just because it looks good on the outside that doesn’t reflect what could be on the inside.” Him saying this caused me to think deeper about what a home is meant to be like, who we are on the inside, and what it means to be good steward of what God give us. Have you ever been in a house that seems cold and uninviting? Unfortunately, I have been to houses like this and it makes me want to leave as soon as possible. On the other hand, homes that provide a more peaceful atmosphere make me feel like I want to stay as long as I can. Homes are meant to be a place in which you feel welcomed, at peace, and a space to warm your soul. A house seems more like a space that is empty, cold, and uninviting.
I have sat and pondered many times why it is that some homes can offer peace and some can’t. While pondering on this thought about homes. My friend Diana came to mind explaining how your car or house looks is a reflection of what is going on in your mind. During that time in my life I was going through so much mentally and emotionally that my room and car always looked like a mess. Once she said that I started being more aware and taking steps to deal with what was going on with my emotions and mind. This helped me to be more organized with my personal life and even organizing the things in my car and room. I share this because when there was no peace in my soul my spaces looked crazy. Eventually I started feeling better with everything around me and everything seemed more at peace.
Going back to what my husband said about, “Just because it looks good on the outside that doesn’t reflect what could be on the inside.” This makes me think about people. How many times have we met people that look good on the outside but yet the more you get to know them the more you realize you know what the inside is not as nice as the outside. Similar thoughts go into where we live, sometimes a home may look great on the outside but is it truly like that on the inside?
I recently heard of a couple who have a church, they began to open their home and invite couples to live with them. I thought to myself why would you do this? You have kids! Aren’t you worried about them and each other. Like what type of people are you bringing into your home? These where my own thoughts of fear. You see so many times we pray selfish prayers and ask God, “Lord bless me and give me more but when the time comes will we be a blessing when someone is in need?”
Austin and I are currently praying for the place we will call our home. When God answers our prayer, I hope it is a home where people feel welcomed, loved, and accepted. A home where they will experience Jesus and not chaos. A home where love runs deep and fear dies out. We are all humans in need of Jesus, a place to call home, and a safe place where we can continue to grow as the people Jesus wants us to be.
There are some great questions to think about your home:
Is this just a house or is this a home?
Is this a cold and uninviting house or is it a home that offers peace?
Is this a home where people feel welcomed and loved or where people want to leave as soon as possible?
Proverbs 3:33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.
My prayer for you: May your home be a place of peace and not destruction, a place where love and peace abound. A place where God’s presence is present.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.