When God’s People Cause Pain

Note from Author~ To be clear, this post is not written in an attempt of revenge to those who have caused harm to my spiritual growth. It is written with the only purpose of reminding those who have been wounded of God’s promises and how we should react.

 

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Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat within my gray-walled room. “How could they, God? Why did they fail to show Your love during this time?” It was one of those bone cold, Colorado days when I had been informed of the actions of some Christians in my life. Their actions had, in fact, been soul-crushingly painful, causing distrust to build up within. Their actions brought about no desire to go back into a church building, let alone trust any Christian again. Walls were quickly built around my heart as I attempted to protect the broken remains of myself.

We have all been hurt by Christians in one way or another, whether you trusted someone in your weakness and were trampled upon, or you asked a leader for guidance and they failed to shepherd you, or you received a harsh word from a Christian friend.

As I have walked through heartbreak caused by other Believers, the Lord has graciously brought to remembrance a few points about Christians.

  • Christians are not perfect– not your parents, not leaders, not even yourself.
  • It is helpful to remind yourself that they fall short daily just as you do.
  • Remember the times that you have caused heartbreak in others.
  • Even with the pain, you are commanded to not forsake meeting with other believers. (Heb. 10:25)C
  • If another caused your hurt, please approach them and inform them of their actions. Often the most hurtful wounds were unintentional.
  • If they are unwilling to work towards restitution, either forgive them and move on or Biblically handle their reactions. (Matt. 18:15-17)
  • You are not ‘married’ to one church. If a church is not willing to walk in restoration, you have freedom to change churches. I found a community and loving Christians that I would not have found if I was ‘bound’ to the previous church I was attending.
  • If a church is unwilling to make restoration and continue causing harm, it is not spiritually healthy to stay within that church body. It will cause emotional and spiritual harm to yourself and to others under your charge.

Some practical ways to bring about healing when you have been hurt.

  • Don’t run from God just because His children have burned holes within your soul.
  • Use this as a step of learning how NOT to treat others.
  • Read and pray all the more.
  • This is a time that the enemy wants to bring about lies. Be on guard against anger, bitterness, and resentment of those who have harmed you.
  • Write a letter to the person who has caused pain. You may or may not send it to them. However, getting your thoughts on paper can often help bring healing and forgiveness.

 

Be willing to be open with others again. This can be one of the hardest things to do. We, as humans, are often afraid to be genuine, especially after our backs have been stabbed. Yet this is where true freedom and trust can be found again.

 

Photo Credits- Jesse Mockler

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The Cry of My Broken Heart

KLH (7)

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.” (Psalm 107:10-16)

Jesus is a Chain Breaker. He is a freedom bringer.

You may not see the dawn approaching. However the sun will rise.

You may not see the chains broken.Yet the time will come.

You may not be witnessing the salvation of nations. Nonetheless He is moving.

You may not see healing. But He is bringing healing.

Rest my soul.

Photo Credit- Jesse Mockler

 

He is Not Going Anywhere

dancer

Dance… It brought freedom to both my body and soul. It was the perfection that inspired me. Calling me to attempt combinations repetitively until perfected and even then more perfection was to reached.

Yet one day, dance was snatched from my hands and with it, my dreams. There are moments that even now, I close my eyes and imagine the sensation of a plie’s at the barre or performing a grande jete across my studio’s blackened floors.

This morning I ran across a video by Casting Crowns entitled, “Oh My Soul.” Within this song, a beautiful dancer performs a dance along with the lyrics. Amazingly, the song contains the declaration of my soul as I have journeyed through losing my lifestyle of dance. It was encouraging to hear this song play on repeat throughout my day.

Here are the lyrics to one of my new top favorite songs. Enjoy and know that whatever trials you are trudging through, you are not alone.

Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone

Here and now
You can be honest
I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out
‘Cause this is the valley
And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones
And there will be dancing
There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone
This much I know

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down

I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
Can He find me here
Can He keep me from going under

Oh, my soul
You’re not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone
Oh, my soul, you’re not alone

(Image from Google)

When the Struggle is Real

 I struggle with sin. Yes, I do! The girl that grew up in a wonderful Christian family. The woman who volunteers with three Christian organizations, and has been a Christian for 12 years.
 I still battle the struggle; the agony, the soul-crushing, strength-sapping desire to live fully for the Lord. Yet, at the same time,  I am driven  to fulfill the longings of my evil desires. A battle rages within: to obey or not. “Does it even matter?” I demand out loud as the image of the sin flashes within my mind.
We have all been there. The moment where all time stands still, as though holding it’s breath waiting to see how a Christian answers in the battle of sin.
The Bible does directly address the problem of sin in a Christian’s life.
1. Let us lay a foundation for sin. The Bible clearly states that all have sinned. Not 50%, or even 75%. ALL! 100% of us have fallen from God’s perfect law. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
2. The Bible also promises that if we confess our sin as being wrong  and turn from our evilness, then HE WILL forgive us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) 
Friend, I can imagine your thoughts at this moment. “Yes, Eliza, I know. I grew up hearing these words. Weren’t those verses for nonbelievers? Were they not for those people wanting to be saved? I have asked for forgiveness, find myself sinning over and over.”
Dear Friend, 1 John 1:9 was not written to unbelievers, and I find that encouraging. It was written to believers by the apostle John. Secondly, I think that we should discuss the difference between Christians who sin and nonbelievers who sin. The difference is not that one group sins and the other doesn’t. The change is when they sin. A person who has the spirit of God within them is grieved by their sins. They will continue to attempt to break free from the cycle that they live in. The Christian is not content to live in sin. (Proverbs 24:16)
On the other hand, a nonbeliever does not have any fear of God and His wrath. (Romans 8:13) A non-christian will not repent of their sin. They will instead cling to their sin, not wanting to change.
Friend, when sin knocks on your door, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Yet, if you fail, which you will, may this encourage you: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
I wanted to leave you with this verse of encouragement, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
Keep fighting, girl, and know that Jesus isn’t letting go of you.

Why I Write

Growing up a simple child, many creations had formed within my mind. I would much rather be playing in my room, designing new worlds, than to be outside with my older siblings. At the age of 9, I found a place where I could use my words to craft other lands. When I wrote, I found my voice within.

Lately, I have been contemplating why I should write. Because if there isn’t any use behind it, then why do it? Why do Christian authors spend hours upon hours typing, then deleting and rewriting words?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to all those questions. However, I do know the why behind my writing.

  1. God is a Writer.

He made the choice to preserve history and His law in writing. Not in artwork or in a film, but within a book. In writings inspired by His Spirit. I know that in the Bible times, they couldn’t film or such. However, God, who could save anything in any way that He wished, decided to do so through the human use of written words.

  1. Jesus calls Himself the Word of God.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, ESV) For some reason, though I don’t claim to know why, God made the choice to be a word.

  1. Words have an amazing power to build up or tear down.

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,and set on fire by hell, 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:5-10, ESV) Brothers and Sisters, let us write unto our King and to build up others.

This is why I write; I write to inspire. I write to encourage. I write to inspire others. I write to build others up, and I  pray that I write to spread His Word.