10.12.2016

Desperate for Reassurance

If you’ve ever heard me give my testimony, you know part of what I share is being a little girl twirling around next to my daddy, wishing I could know that he loved me.

Maybe in his own way, he did love me. But something was broken in our relationship that left me feeling desperate for reassurance.

Over the years, God has healed my heart in miraculous ways. Through God’s promises I’ve been reassured of all those things I wished my earthly father would have said. I know God’s love for me is deep, unwavering and certain.

But there are still times I catch myself twirling again. Crying out again. Wishing I could feel totally secure. Hating my insecurities. And mad that this struggle I thought was over, surfaces still.

Maybe it always will.

And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

For it keeps me desperate for a reassurance I can’t get any other way. It keeps me desperate for God.

I can hear my husband tell me a hundred times that he loves me and no, my backside isn’t big … and yet I still feel my heart desperately twirling.

I can stand in an arena with thousands of people clapping for the message I just gave … and still feel my heart desperately twirling.

I can conquer my food demons and finally fit back into my skinny jeans … and still feel my heart desperately twirling.

The only thing that stops the desperation, the uncertainties, the insecurities, the twirling … is for the Spirit of God to lay across my heart and make it still. The blanket of His presence and His protection is the only perfect fit for the deep creases and crevices carved inside me.

I don’t know what tough things you’ve been through sweet sister, but I do know this: Brokenness is universal. We all have things in life that trigger deep insecurities and our own personal “twirling about,” searching for reassurance.

But here’s the amazing thing.

While brokenness is universal, God’s redemption is also universal for those who proclaim Christ as Lord. No matter what cracks and crevices we have in our hearts, if we seek the truth of God above all else, He is enough to fill in those raw places.

“Whatever is true … think about such things … And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8b, 9b).

Have you caught your heart twirling, desperate for reassurance lately? Today, spend a few minutes letting these truths fill your mind and seep into those desperate places of your heart:

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you; but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV).

“I pray that you … may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:17b, 18, NIV).

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).

I pray these truths flood your heart with peace like they do mine. Peace that gives you permission to stop twirling and start to live like you are loved.

Because you are.

Deeply. Abundantly. And without end.

10.7.2016

The Rejection Infection

The plastic seats were green. The desks a dirty beige. The perfect pale color to make pencil marks easy to read.

That’s how I saw what was making the group of girls in front of me laugh. They looked at me and then added to Jennifer’s desk art: a frizzy-headed stick figure with huge buck teeth and crazed eyes. I knew even before I saw the name scribbled, she’d drawn me. Me. An awful caricature of me.

It’s been years since I sat at that dirty beige desk. But it hasn’t been years since I’ve had those same feelings of rejection and hurt. Of course, they aren’t from girls drawing pictures. But meanness hurts, no matter what age or how it’s delivered.

You can take the girl out of middle school, but for many of us, you can’t take the middle school out of the girl.

If you’ve been hurt in this way, you know what I’m talking about. If we’re a stuffer type of person, we want to withdraw and get away from the source of our hurt. If we’re more of an exploder person, we want to attack so they’ll feel as badly as we do.

But here’s where things get a little complicated. Jesus flies in the face of conventional wisdom and instructs us, “love your enemies.”

Seriously?

Something deep inside us whispers, “Don’t you dare love this person. This situation is the exception.”

Let the internal battle begin.

But what if I were to assure you Jesus isn’t being cruel or naive in His command for us to love? He’s actually showing us how to get free from the sting of another person’s wounds. When we’re wounded, we can either pursue healing by extending love back, or, we can refuse healing and allow the “rejection infection” to set into our wound.

Here are three things to remember:

The Command

My job isn’t to fix my enemies. My job is to be obedient to God in how I deal with them. And He tells us in our key verse how He wants us to deal with those we would label our enemy.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
(Matthew 5:44).

The Caution

If there is abuse, we must get wise people to help us and learn to love from afar. How? By forgiving the person who hurt us — releasing their offense into the hands of God. By trusting God (and others in authority) to reveal to them their wrong and deal with their actions.

But we must also remember this: Forgiveness and restoration don’t always go hand-in-hand. You can forgive someone but not necessarily do everyday life with them. Ask God to give you discernment to know when and how to love from afar.

The Catalyst

So, back to Jennifer and the hurtful drawing. I wish I could relive that moment with the knowledge I have now. Jennifer drew that picture because of her own insecurities. And while it’s tough to have compassion for someone who’s hurting us in the moment of rejection, it is possible to have compassion for their obvious hurt. Hurt people hurt people.

Dig beneath the surface of a mean girl and you’ll find a girl riddled with insecurities and possibly even self-hatred.

Romans 12:20 says, “On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’” (NIV)

Jennifer was hungry and thirsty for affirmation. And the only way she could figure out how to get it was to make those around her laugh at me.

What might have happened if I were to have walked by her desk and given this desperate girl a drink from the living water? “Jennifer, you are beautiful. Do you know that?”

Not in a million years could I have done that in middle school. But I’m not in middle school any longer.

And now’s a good time to remember that.

9.29.2016

You can help save a marriage before it starts!

In the early days of my marriage I spent many nights with tears streaming down my face, negative thoughts racing through my mind … 

Why does marriage have to be so hard?

Why won’t he change?

Maybe I was meant to marry someone else.
 
Looking back now, I wish Art and I had known what conversations to have and questions to ask as we processed our differences. 

Maybe you can relate and want to help someone else avoid that same heartache? If so, watch this video to see how you can help save a marriage before it starts. 


(If you’re viewing this in an email, click here to watch the video.)

Learn more about how you can become a certified SYMBIS facilitator here. Be sure to use the code FAYZK2Y to receive a limited time 10% discount!