When sin hurts your heart

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I’ll never do that.

Have you ever said that? Maybe even as you looked at another person whose sin was hurting their heart or family.

And then you do it. It’s not what you wanted. Some days you aren’t sure how you got there, but you want out.

If you are part of the Proverbs 31 OBS study of The Mended Heart, you met Sarah this week. She’s a real woman. A beautiful woman I knew as a young girl.

She suddenly had no idea who she was anymore.

She was one of those who said, “I’ll never do that,” and yet here she was.

Her hidden affair didn’t stay hidden and she wanted to shrink from the gaze of those who loved her, and whose hurt couldn’t be hidden.

She wanted to hide from judgment when she went out for groceries. She knew what people were thinking.

She could barely breathe as she looked at the damage on the hearts of her family.

What do you do when sin has hurt your heart?

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Timothy Keller, author and theologian, says, “Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves. Joy-based repentance makes us hate the sin.” [Read more…]

#livefreeThursday – Anchored in Him

 

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UPDATE: This post was originally about my beautiful friend, Bonnie and her son, Ollie. During the night last night, this little guy went to be with Christ. Will you pray for this beautiful couple?

I’m sitting here this morning with a heavy heart for a precious friend. Sometimes it’s hard to put the words down what it feels to experience great loss.

Just this past week my own family experienced loss. It took our breath away.

Where do we turn?

God is the Source of strength in our hard places. When our world collapses beneath us, we are not without strength.

We are not swept away, forever lost.

We are anchored by our faith in Him.

It makes no sense in the natural. You are experiencing the heartbreak of your emotions, or crying a thousand tears.

Yet you and I are held close in those hard places.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

 

We are anchored by His Word.

We are anchored by His presence.

We are anchored by joy that makes no sense in the natural.

We are also anchored by the incredible strength we find through each other. Praying for one another. Love each other. Lifting each other up.

And incredibly, though your heart is heavy, our spirit can be light.

Maybe today you need to feel anchored.

This prayer is for you.

Thank you, amazing God, for your strength and comfort and power over our hard places. Thank you for the woman reading this today who feels that she is drifting, swept away. Hold her tight. Hold her close. Let her know that You will be her strength. 

Suzie

If you are joining in today’s #livefreeThursday #linkup, I’d love to hear about a time you were anchored. What does that mean to you? How do we do it? What scripture held you close during a difficult time?

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When the church hurts your heart

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Is it possible that the church can hurt your heart so profoundly that you question God? 

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Sometimes something good gets in the hands of people and we mess it up.

In this week’s Proverbs 31 Ministry OBS reading of The Mended Heart, I shared Amy’s story. She was a pastor’s daughter who grew up under legalistic and harsh parenting, all wrapped up in theology.

It was confusing. It created fear in her relationship with God because she feared her dad. It caused her to wonder if she would ever be good enough for God.

Maybe you identify with Amy.  [Read more…]

#livefreestory: Restoring my dance

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Meet Julie Sunne, a beautiful mama and woman of incredible faith. She has experienced loss on a level that takes my breath away. Just this weekend someone I love experienced this loss and I was blessed personally by Julie’s story.

Restoring My Dance

Julie Sunne

Long ago, I thought I knew what an abundant life looked like.

I believed abundance rested with the way my days played out in this dance of life.

A “good” life as defined by an enjoyable job, adorable family, comfortable home, relative health was an abundant life.
Yet it didn’t take long for that definition to be shattered and for me to be left grasping for something that made sense. [Read more…]

Hang tight, healing is a process.

Are you following along in the Proverbs 31 Ministries online study of The Mended Heart? It’s not too late to jump in with 23,000 other women.

Though healing might not seem like a light-hearted topic, there is a lot of laughter, encouragement and growth going on.

To find out more, check out Proverbs 31 OBS Current Study.

#livefreeThursday – I’m expecting! #linkup

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I’m expecting!

No, not in that way.

Yet I’m am expecting and that’s wonderful, and hard. Really, really hard. Two months ago during prayer God placed a number on my heart. I’m not a numbers girl.

I don’t count people, but see them one by one.

I don’t count or measure to determine success. How many people are at an event, or not. I don’t count my books, my friends, my Facebook likes.

I don’t count what I own or what others own, but consider it all His.

But there it was. That number. That thing He wanted me to believe in BIG.

So I weighed it.

Is it of eternal value?

And it was. That sounds churchy, I know. But the benefits went beyond chalking up a win. . .  to something that lasts forever.

Is it scriptural? 

If it goes against what I find in the pages of the New Testament, then I table it. It’s not for me. But it didn’t.

I waited on it. 

Rather than leap into it, I wait. That might be one night. That might be one hour. That might even be a few seconds, if it’s something that needs action in the moment.

I let it sink into my heart. It didn’t go away.

I believed it

Oh, this is where faith had to walk in because I didn’t see it then, and I don’t see it yet. That’s when we might start trying to convince God that what He said can’t possibly be true.

Is there anything too hard for me, the Lord? Genesis 18:14

But I choose to believe. I don’t know what this is going to look like, or even what He has in mind, but I’m expecting because He’s God and He spoke it into my heart.

Maybe you are in that place of expectancy too.

Especially when it comes to healing your heart. You are reading the words in the book and following this study and they haven’t quite felt real yet.

But you know He said them so you hold tight and you believe.

Maybe like me, the reason that you struggle is that you thought it meant today.

Like.right. now!

Part of expectancy is watching it unfold. It’s seeing that it’s His hand and not our own. It’s unclenching our fists and letting it play out according to His plan.

Are you expecting? I’m so glad.

Let’s expect together!

Suzie

It’s not too late to join in #TheMendedHeart #p31OBS study. Over 20,000 women from around the world are believing together. We are lifting each other up in prayer. We are encouraging each other.

Sign up here.

Download the first three chapters here while you wait for your book.

Hey, and it’s #livefreeThursday so lots of women are coming around the table to talk about, “I’m expecting!” I hope you check out their blogs and what they have to say. Share your thoughts. Come on in and take your place around the table.

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Letting down our walls — {{Twitter party}} #giveaways

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I’m already hearing from you and it’s only been one day.

Some of you feel God is asking you to let down walls. You say that you want all that God has for you, but letting down walls makes you feel vulnerable.

I hear you. I promise.

When you let down your walls to trust again, you will be vulnerable. . . but you are also free.  

Hard to imagine, right? [Read more…]

Imagine waking up with a mended heart

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You’ve been trying to heal for a long time.

Maybe you even look like you have it all together on the outside.

Maybe those closest to you know — because they love you — that inside you’re a mess.

Sometimes people say things like this:

Just get over it.

Stop talking about it.

Do something. 

And you try, because it’s what you want it way more than they do. [Read more…]