The wonderful thing about momentum is that you, and others, may notice progress. Exciting, right? The bad thing about momentum is that your progress may be made in such small increments in the beginning that the process causes you angst. Let’s exchange angst for hope as we let this truth soak in:
As we end this week’s study, pray this prayer written by Anita Corrine Donihue (author of When I’m On My Knees), and make it your own.
Dear Lord, hug the little girl within me—the little girl mistreated and abused. Encircle me with Your everlasting arms. Still my silent sobs. Anoint my head with Your healing oil; free me from nightmares of memories. Touch my scars with Your healing stripes. Soothe each muscle that suffered in anger and pain.
I know You suffered, too. Piece together my broken heart. Your heart bled and You died for me. In sleepless nights, wrap me in Your comforting presence. Let me rest in the shadow of You, the Almighty. Hug the little girl in me as You cover me with Your feathers like a mother hen does her chicks. I find refuge under Your wings. Help me to face yesterday (wrong as it was), to forgive as You forgive me, and to look toward tomorrow with hope.
In Jesus powerful, loving, healing name, amen.
Imagine that the memories of the past no longer hold power over you.
Imagine that you see yourself in a brand new way.
Imagine that the gaps left by another person’s actions are filled.
That’s what took place in yesterday’s story. [Read more...]
The retired, always-friend neighbor invited the seven-year-old into his garage for a piece of candy.
Melissa walked into that garage an innocent, trusting girl and walked out scarred.
His demeanor changed in the dark recesses of that garage, and she believed his threats. When he told her to come back the next day, she did.
Even as an adult she felt it was her fault—even her choice. That’s what he told her, and that’s what she came to believe. She spent many years trying to heal herself, or just make herself feel better. She perfected the art of wearing masks. However, on the inside she felt completely unworthy of any good thing.
How can you celebrate success or any good thing if you feel “less than?”
I was mugged at the age of 17.
Some tough girls from a north Houston neighborhood saw a lone girl walking through their turf, and they targeted me. I knew something bad was about to happen, but I was one against many.
I had left my home in Tulsa to spend a couple of months with the biological father I had never known. That day I walked to a small convenience store, and my ignorance of the path I chose was paying negative dividends. After several blocks of trailing and tripping me, the girls circled around me. A few minutes later, I sat on the sidewalk, bruised and scared. They took my purse, a ring off my finger, and my money.
They also took something that had no monetary value, but which meant a great deal to me.
They robbed me of my sense of security.
Sin doesn’t have to keep you from Jesus. In fact, Jesus intentionally walked into the lives of people caught in the trap of sin.
He knelt with them.
He sent them in new directions.
He healed their hearts.
What we learn from this is that Jesus doesn’t shy away from sin. He is your safe place to talk about it, to heal from it, and to find new direction and life. [Read more...]
I was lost. My gas light flickered. It was dark and trees draped over the road creating a spooky corridor.
It was supposed to be a short cut, but it turned into a nightmare. The more I drove the windy and twisting back roads, the more it seemed that there was no way out.
I was stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere and about to run out of gas. I stopped the car, my heart hammering in my chest.
God, help me.
A distant light flickered. Just pinpoints of light.
But it was enough.
I started the car and began to move in that direction. Several minutes later I was on the highway, cruising with joy toward a gas station.
When sin detours you, it can feel like you are lost. A million miles from God. Like there’s no way to return home.
But that’s not true.
I know I have a weakness in my spiritual life that I have prayed about and asked forgiveness for, but I continue this bad habit.
So how do I stop myself?
I talk when I know I should find another way to deal with the situation. I know that Jesus forgave me for my sins on the cross, but it is so hard for me to understand how to stop, and how to forgive myself when I don’t.