Un-forgiveness.

Forgiveness

Have you ever been hurt? Have you ever been lied to or talked about? Who’s ever had a reason to be mad at someone or something? I mean… I think if we’re honest, we all have had reasons to be angry with someone.

So my topic I want to talk about with you all is forgiveness. It’s is an important action that can lead to a place of greater healing and peace. Forgiving, and letting go of anger and resentment, has even shown to benefit a person’s physical health. Whhhhhat??? So you’re saying if I don’t forgive someone I can have crappy health?? Yep. Basically.

However, as we all know, forgiveness doesn’t come easily.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote “Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” That’s intense, but so true..

I know I don’t want to live that way so I have a few points that I feel could show us in what way we could be harboring un-forgiveness so that we can address it and find healing to move on.

  • Forgive others

It’s so easy to hold onto grudges. Especially if you have to see the person who hurt you often. I understand how hard that can be. It’s like every time you see them you have a sick feeling in your stomach.. Like “do I really have to see them right now?” Do you know what they did to me?? Do you know what they said or how they treated me? I mean… CMON…. I have every reason to be upset and have an attitude. I shouldn’t have to be nice to them.

On the other hand, have you ever been in this situation and felt that nudge in your heart to say hi to them, to help them if they need it, or to reach out to them even though they hurt you? That’s the Holy Spirit trying to lead you into forgiveness.

Choose to let it go. Choose to love them even when you’re upset. Just because you forgive them doesn’t mean you’re saying what they’ve done to you is ok. It just means you’re choosing to be mature and make the choice to move past it and not let it effect your life.

  • Forgive yourself

THIS ONE RIGHT HERE. This one gets me. I’m my own worst critic, I think we all can be, but it’s caused me to really harbor unkind thoughts about myself. I didn’t really notice it for a few years. I would think a few mean thoughts about myself here and there. “You’re a failure. You’re awful. How could you do that?” “You’re a bad mother. You’re a bad friend.” The list goes on and on and on. These thoughts have resulted in a lot of self esteem issues. Until one time I heard a sermon about forgiveness. At the end of the sermon the pastor had asked if anyone needed prayer. “Raise your hand if you need to forgive someone?” No. Not that one. I forgive others easily. “Raise your hand if you need to forgive yourself” HOLD UP. WAIT, WHAT?? That’s a thing? Like you can have un-forgiveness towards yourself? I checked my heart to see if this was something I felt spoke to me. Immediately I started to tear up. I realized this was something I had been doing. Something I still do to this day, but I’m trying to change that.

This is when talking to yourself in a positive way is HUGE. I’m a good person. Im strong. Im in the right place at the right time doing the right things. Im a good mom. Im a good friend. Ive been doing this daily and have already noticed a difference in the thoughts I’ve had, or better yet, haven’t had.

  • Forgive God

I’m going to go out on a limb with this one… I don’t mean forgiving God because he needs it. I don’t mean forgiving God because he’s done ANYTHING wrong to need your forgiveness. I’m talking about forgiving God because you need it.. I’m sure there are times in your life where something has happened and immediately you’ve questioned God. “Why did you let this happen??” “Why did they have to die?” “Why did they have to break up with me or leave me?” “Why did I have to lose my job?” I’m sure sometimes when we ask those questions to God… they may go un-answered and it can cause those unresolved hurts to have un-forgiveness towards God that is completely misplaced but happens more often then we realize.

This is when we have to ask God to forgive us for our unforgiveness towards Him that he doesn’t even deserve. Trusting in him that he has all the answers and he knows whats best for you.

I want you to take a moment to check your spirit. We learn in church about the Holy Spirit and how he lives on the inside of us, so lets apply what we’ve been taught and look inward for a second..

Ask yourself, in which way could you be harboring un-forgiveness? 

Am I having trouble forgiving my spouse, my friend, my pastor, my family? Did something happen that I haven’t let go of and it’s causing me to have a bad attitude towards that person? NO? 

Is it possible I’m having a hard time forgiving myself? For the things I didn’t do or the words I shouldn’t of said. Maybe it’s the thoughts. NO?

God hurt me. He didn’t answer my prayer and give me that hot Australian man who wears flannel and has a beard… (totally joking with this one, if you could hear my voice right now you’d laugh along with me lol) He didn’t keep my sister from dying. He let that person walk out of my life and I just can’t believe He would do that to me.

Which one is resonating in your soul? You don’t have to tell me. That’s between you and God. Only you can let go of unforgiveness and move past it, you can’t expect anyone else to do it for you.

“Oh if they would do this then I’d forgive them.” 

“Well if I’d stop making so many mistakes I could forgive myself” 

“If God would just give me what I’ve been praying for then I would be happy and let it go.”

NOPE. 

There’s always going to be a reason to forgive someone, because we live in a world where we get offended by everything. And once you forgive 1 person… a few days later you’re going to have to forgive someone else. It’s a never ending cycle, but the quicker you are to forgive, the easier it will be when those offenses come your way.

Forgiveness could change your life if only you’d allow God to come in and heal you. Don’t put it off. I want you to live a life set free from all unforgiveness and I know God does too.

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The Love of God

Have you ever felt unwanted, unimportant, or unloved? 

Think about babies who have been aborted. What would they hear being said about them? What would they say? What if they could see what is being done to them or feel the pain of rejection?

Seven years ago, my life changed when I got pregnant at 18 years old and was confronted with the decision of abortion. The first time it was mentioned to me by the father of the baby I shut it down, thinking that was the end of it. Until I met with his parents where I was surrounded by the same question… are you going to get an abortion?? When I said no I was then told I was never allowed to show my face around their son again and that he would have nothing to do with the baby. They continued to try and persuade me. “You won’t regret it, you won’t even think about it again.” “It’s not a big deal” the mom said, “I did it.”

I thought about it for a millisecond, if that, and knew in my heart that I wanted to keep my child. I wanted to love her. I wanted to be there for her. No matter how unwanted she was by anyone else, I needed her; without even realizing how much I actually needed her.

Before even meeting this child of mine, I wanted her. 

I tell you this story to relate this back to God. If I as an 18 year old, single mother and living in sin could want that love for my child, that chance to live… how much more do you think God, the one who sent his son to die for you, wants those same things for you??

No matter how unwanted we may feel, or unimportant people may tell us we are…. God doesn’t see us that way.

  • God created YOU
    • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalms 139-13
  • He has chosen YOU
    • “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” – John 15:16
    • “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love.” – Eph. 1:4
  • He has a plan for YOU
    • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

He created you. He formed you. He calls you by name. He knew all the mistakes you’d make and all the wrong turns you would take and still… HE WANTS YOU. He has a plan for YOU.

He takes all of those feelings of being unwanted, unimportant & unloved and trashes them. He tells you he loves you. Unconditionally. It’s not based on anything you’ve said or done; it’s not based on who you are or aren’t. He loves you more than you could ever comprehend or even imagine.

In Romans 8:38-39 it tells us “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s loveNo power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So I challenge you.

When the enemy comes knocking at the door of your heart and mind trying to weasel his way in and tell you that you’re no good, unimportant and unloved… speak Romans 8:38-39 out loud and remind yourself of the promise found in that scripture. Tell the enemy to back off because the God who created the Heavens and the earth also created YOU

NOTHING and NO ONE will ever separate you from God’s love.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Aibileen Clark “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

AND DON’T FORGET IT.

Entering the Unknown

Type. Erase. Type. Erase.

That’s how it goes when I try to write new things. My brain goes ’round and ’round trying to figure out what I want to write about. Whether I want to write about my joys or my struggles, my child or myself. I always want to be an open book and share my heart with you guys, but sometimes I have so much to say and don’t have the right words to describe how I’m feeling.

Ok, now I’m babbling. Shut up, Heather. Focus. Breathe. Type.

I had my daughter when I was 18. When she was 3 months old I went to work and she went to daycare. It’s been like that the majority of her life and she’s now 6. There have been months where I have been without work so I was able to stay home with her, but most of the time she’s been in the care of someone else and that kind of bugged me. Someone else spends more time with my child during the week than I do. Someone else is loving her, drying her tears, picking her up when she falls, and teaching her what I’m not able to. I’m grateful for it, I really am, but I also hate it.

The last few months all I had thought about was wanting to be able to stay home with her somehow. I wanted to spend more time with her. Before too long she’s going to be a teenager and things will be diferent. (ugh, the teenage years scare the crap outta me) I’ve wracked my brain and stressed myself out. Should I quit work and stay home with her for the summer? Should we travel and see the world? Should we move and experience something new? Can I find a job and work from home so that way I’ll have more time with her? Can I do this? What in the heck should I do??? SO many questions and each of them unanswered, not sure which way to turn or what route to go down. I get tired of making decisions on my own. Like, what if I make the wrong one? What if I get off track and fail? Of course, our minds are our biggest battle fields. The ones where we can build ourselves up but also tear ourselves down.

I know there are so many moms out there that desire to do things differently. Many work normal day jobs and are completely content with it. Some moms stay home and take care of multiple children. Others work from home successfully and get to be with their children. Others are forced to work because they have no other way of supporting their family and no matter how badly they wish things were different…..they suck it up and keep working because if not who else is going to put food on the table?

Which SUPER MOM are you? 

I’m the last one. The one who worked 8-5 and thought of all of the others things I could be doing. The one who missed all the school parties she begged me to attend. The one who looked at her daughters daycare schedule for the summer and saw all the fun things she would be doing without me because I was tied down by work. The one who had to put off so many Dr. appointments for fear of losing my job. The list goes on and on. I may sound silly and irresponsible or lazy, but I’m really not. I just look back at the last 6 years of my life and realize how much I’ve missed out on and how much I haven’t been able to do because I’ve always had to be at work or I wouldn’t be able to provide.

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO’S STRUGGLED WITH THIS?

Sometimes it feels like it, but I’m sure that I’m not.

So a decision had to be made. What decision did I make? Did I suck it up and keep working a job I hated? Did I quit my job in hopes of finding something else I could do from home to support us? Did I move away and start somewhere new? So many options and such scary decisions.

Well the first decision I made was to leave my job. The opportunity became available and after praying about it I decided it was time for me to leave and step into a new season. You’re probably judging me right now, and that’s ok, not everyone will agree with decisions I’ve made. You may be curious as to what’s next for us and I would have to admit that I’m right there with you, very curious as to which new path me and Teag will go down. But for now, I’m home with my child and that’s what I’ve wanted most. I’m able to see family and go to Dr appointments and run errands and do things that I was rarely able to do before because of the limited time I had when working.

Don’t get me wrong, working ISN’T a bad thing. It’s a good thing that develops a good work ethic, character, and discipline…. but it was sucking the life out of me and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I HAD TO MAKE A CHANGE, even if it was a scary one.

So here’s to crazy decisions and being unsure as to what the HECK i’m doing. Here’s to trusting that God will direct my steps and provide the perfect opportunity for me. Here’s to spending an unending and tiring amount of time with my kiddo. 

HERE’S TO LIVING. 

 

Follow along to see our (scary, but beautiful) journey. 

Eat or starve? Keep it down or throw it up? The struggle many face, but few talk about.

You know how sometimes there are things in your life you kind of forget about until someone reminds you? Well yesterday morning I had one of those moments. The words, “Hey, can I ask you a personal question?” always makes me cringe a little, fearful of the question that follows it.

Sometimes I share too much and other times I don’t feel like sharing enough. It’s the personal questions that make me uncomfortable because I have to admit failure and faults I’ve faced in my life; it reminds me of heartache and tears.

Anyways, back to the question. It was definitely a loaded one, an unexpected one that I rarely talk about, but this was the gist of the question….

“I know someone who’s struggling with anorexia. She’s a Christian, but she so badly wants to be thin. Her mom is scared. What was the turning point for you?”

B-A-M! I was brought back to a 19 year old girl who struggled daily with this issue. I don’t really remember when it started or how it started either. I just remember that it started slowly, but eventually progressed into a very large issue. First, I skipped meals and began eating less and less. The sure signs that I was starving myself were the nights where I would start getting dizzy and feeling sick because the little amount of food I had eaten that day. During the beginning I still tried taking care of my body. I would run and try to workout at home, which did help with weight loss, but at this time I didn’t see the story that was starting to unfold because of the choices I was making.

The rarely eating then formed into throwing up once I had eaten. At first it was here and there. I had convinced myself that what I had eaten made me feel sick to my stomach, so of course I had to throw up to make myself feel better. All I knew is that I wanted to be skinny. I would see people I hadn’t seen in a while and they would always say, “Man, Heather! You’ve lost weight.” I was so proud, but little did I know that those same people who made those comments were the very people who were concerned with the amount of weight I was losing and how sickly I looked.

The throwing up only got worse. Months had gone by and I started doing it more and more. What started out as a once a day thing ended up being an after every meal thing. My love for food had faded and my fear of food had formed. I was afraid to be fat and it was a REAL fear. I couldn’t stand the thought of it. I was afraid to eat because I thought everything I ate would make me gain weight, whether it was healthy food or not. So everything I ate was forced to come up.

I remember the days I would be hovered over the toilet and the thoughts that would pop up in my head, “If you keep doing this and you’ll be worse off than you were before you started.” “This could kill you.” also the times my daughter walked in on me and the fear of her possibly doing that one day because she saw her mommy doing it. It was a combination of thoughts that would run through my head. Even at a size 3 (which I hadn’t been since maybe Junior High, maybe???) I was still unhappy with myself. I thought I could still lose some more weight. It was a toxic, scary cycle.

So you may ask, “What was your turning point Heather? Tell us already!” My turning point was those scary moments where I realized that what I was doing could possibly end my life and cause pain to others. I was so broken and so blinded. For years I honestly didn’t realize I had a problem, but the longer it went on and the more I thought about it I realized that I in fact did have a REALLY big problem.

What I did next I believe helped change my life. I confessed. I told a few people who were closest to me what I had been doing and for how long. They held me accountable. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without being asked questions when I came out. It made me so mad. I was annoyed and angry that these people wouldn’t leave me alone. I mean, I told them I quit, they should leave me alone right? Wrong. I needed that. I needed them to ask me, even if I didn’t want it. I needed someone to care enough about my life that they would go to great lengths to make sure I wasn’t hurting myself anymore. I had a friend who reopened my eyes of my love for food. The food I used to be scared of, she helped me realize that they weren’t so scary at all.

It took a while for me to get over the fact that I felt the need to vomit after every meal. There were times even after I quit that I had eaten (binged) and would go into the bathroom because I felt guilty. It happened less and less and over time it stopped happening altogether. I still struggle with thoughts about my weight, I’m pretty sure everyone does to some degree, but I was tired of letting myself be controlled by it.

It’s been years now and I can proudly say that the desire to throw up after I eat has left and never crosses my mind. Not until someone is bold enough and decides to ask me about it.

I’m not sure who’s reading this, where you’re at in life or whether or not you struggle with this. Either way, I want you to know that it’s not worth it. Every minute you starve yourself or every trip to the bathroom you take isn’t going to change who you are at the core. You have to make the decision inside your heart to change the way you think about yourself and I truly believe that with time those desires will eventually fade away. Talk with someone close to you so they can hold you accountable. Trust in God and he will hold your hand as you walk through it.

Say this out loud.
I AM BEAUTIFUL.
I AM STRONG.
I AM NEEDED.

Don’t let the lies of the enemy ruin your life anymore. You’ve got this, you can overcome it.
I believe in you!