I am writing to those who wish to grow in their faith and maturity now. Growth in faith and maturity involves more depth than a contentment with your stuff. It involves a will-deep accepting of the good, the pauses and the bad- all of it- as God’s will and thus for a higher purpose than we can understand. Because we trust God to be who He is- love, kind, joyful, peaceful, self-controlled, gentle, patient, good, faithful- we know whatever it is is best for us long term. When you can get there, you are lifted by God to a higher plane of existence, to an untouchable faith that keeps you closer to Him. This is a beautiful place to be. Peace and joy rests there. It creates this protection from the elements. They are part of the plan we trust God is working out for His good as well as our good and those around us. ❤ ❤
One big thing about living with an addict, whether you are married to one or there is one or more in your family, you become a forgiveness expert. Now, this isn’t automatic. It took me a while to
1. be humble enough to admit that I was not perfect (when you see someone every day in addiction(s), you tend to compare and feel pretty holy and it takes maturity of humility to admit to not being perfect and thus forgiving. (It helped me a lot with this when a pastor said “Our comparison should never be against other people who are also flawed but against Jesus who is perfect, then we see the need for His grace”) and
2. Be mature enough to know that God will forgive my sins as I forgive those who sin against me and
3. Trust God enough to have control of the situation and yield my control of it,
4. Find comfort and strength in a strong relationship with God, and lastly
5. Realize that forgiveness does not mean enabling as long as they know where we stand and we maintain healthy boundaries (forgiveness is the earthly manifestation of grace which frees rather than enables – they carry obscene amounts of guilt continually and this frees them of more).
All these things needed to be in place for forgiveness to come easy to me. When you decide to stay with the addict, you decide to purposely stay with someone who has chosen to feed their own selfishness and narcissism based on lies and escapism over any real love for you. They decide to be Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. They do love you in their way “but not enough” because of this sin sickness, this self-inflicted denial and escapism (escaping from pain or discomfort or trauma and God). It is humbling and to survive relying on God is paramount to success.
Know that it is always God’s desire to draw everyone close to Himself and so He rewards those who stay with those running from Him and who keep showing His love. He wants them back and appreciated you standing in the gap through prayer, Bible study and loving example of grace and forgiveness.
So we have the extra blessing of opportunities to forgive. As such, we are in a very good position to be rewarded richly by God and also to be able to help other people in the same position or less experienced at it. Anyway, God bless us, everyone. Much love to you on your journey. 😄❤
The terrible triple death loss of my life, three very important deaths in a two month window, one of which was my daddy, happened two years ago. I was depressed and incapacitated the first year after. I know it was a natural part of grief but looking back, I was stuck for a while in deep selfishness and self-pity. It was contrary to my nature to be so. Or was it? Up to then, I have never really allowed myself to emote, except that brief window of loss and anger when my fiance cheated on me and broke up. That hit me hard but before and since, I have always been the rock for others and work, work, work. God has healed me enough to look back at two years ago objectively. And my husband’s brother’s recent passing brought the remembrance back.
I now realize I had left my Lord behind. I was self–involved, self-serving, and self-loathing. My children had a shell of a mother at that point and that is my deep pain I am making amends for now in reformulating my family and putting them first.
The biggest learning point from all that healed trauma and pain is that God’s place in me and my family is first. This means if it is not by the Bible, it is not home here. We operate as if Jesus is right here with us because He is. We worship Him together, talk often to and about Him, so on. Focusing on God has kept me humble, the most important and challenging thing to do always. Then focusing on my kids and husband and mom has reinforced my humble and service. I am dead last and that is exactly as it should be. That is my happy spot. Not because I think less of myself but because God made me such a valuable tool for His kingdom and I want Him to work through me to greatest affect. That only happens when I keep my humble up. Once pride wells up, strength drains. With humble, God fills in and my joy and peace are palpable. It is impressive and constant. I will not trade anything this world has to offer for this beautiful peace and joy God gives me. The healing is complete and sound. I am sorry my pride and will were so strong I had to go through so much to get it. I get it now, praise God. The more you release, the more He gives. Incredible God!😄❤❤❤
Gardens do not thrive unless two things happen… 1. You put effort and resources into it, and 2. God works on and blesses it.
The same is true of our soul. When you feel dry or wilted or flooded inside, not thriving spiritually, it is never (unless it is a test) that God is not doing His part. It is far more likely we are not putting in the effort or resources. For example, not reading our Bible, not participating in church, not serving, not praying. Spiritual growth is not a one way effort, it is a relationship with almighty, loving God. No relationship is healthy without effort from both sides. And when the effort is mutual, it is beautiful and thrives.
So, if you tell me you are going through a dry patch or feel overwhelmed or lack luster spiritually, I will remind you to humble yourself and do your part because God always does His.😄❤
Being a Christian requires purposeful effort. So does being a jerk in many cases. So does running a marathon. So does accomplishing anything praiseworthy. But to hear Father God say “Well done, good and faithful child”, we have to decide to commit purposeful effort into pleasing Him. That includes learning what pleases Him via the Bible, prayer all the time, and meeting together with other Christians for help and encouragement with both of those. It is easy to be lazy, requires very little effort and no purpose. But actually committing is a big deal and a lot of purposeful effort will need to be utilized to get into good habits and stay in close, maturing relationship with our loving God. And eternally- speaking and even right now, that is where we need and want to be.❤
Our church is too tiny to have a VBS program. So we were very blessed to receive an invitation rom friends to go to theirs. So happy about that! My kids went and loved it very much. I highly recommend having your kids and/or grandkids go to VBS (Vacation Bible School) this summer. It is great for our kids to get together with other kids and learn more about the Bible together and have fun and fellowship. Matters so much. We are not made in a vacuum but are built to socialize and fellowship together. 😄❤
My husband and I just had a deep conversation (not unusual). We were discussing who we as human beings are, what we are made of, and what changes in our life. And here is our discussion and thoughts summed up. Here goes:
We (people) are comprised of these parts, in this order:
1. Physical body
2. Our mentality and thought processes.
3. Our soul.
4. Our spirit.
When we are born and as long as we remain immature, we stick with thr physical selves, which can be selfish and always is taking care of staying alive and wants and needs. As we grow and hopefully mature in life, we develop and give prominence and power to the mentality, a higher function which considers others around us also and consequences, memories, etc. Then as we further mature and develop, we give prominence and power to our soul, where we have a greater idea of who God made us to be and our connectedness to the spirit, with built in personal identity in the bigger picture of God’s kingdom. And the highest goal of maturity and growth and development is to give prominence and power to the spirit in intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit/Source of Goodness and Love.
We can screw this up by opening the spirit to evil spirits inadvertently and ignorantly (or willingly) via the physical or mentality. We can and so screw it up by remaining immature.
How do we shift to the goal of spiritual prominence and connectedness to the Holy Spirit/Good/Love? We read the Bible and pray and start to incorporate its values into our lives until we can be humble enough to let God transform us and shift us to this new form. And when it happens, it is beautiful.😄❤