Removing Shame

Removing ShameShame has no room in the life of a believer. Jesus has covered our guilt and shame. Our past does not define us. The sins that hurt us whether ours or someone else’s perpetrated against are not who we are.

They kept us from becoming who God creates us to be causing us to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms and put up walls around our hearts to guard against being hurt. They kept everyone else out including God.

Addiction, sexual sin, bodily abuse, eating disorders, trauma, neglect, violence cannot be erased from our minds, but we can be free from their damaging effects on our souls.

God sets us free by helping us walk through and process the pain, removing the lies we have believed about ourselves, and offering and receiving forgiveness. This releases us from the bondage of being a byproduct of our past. Through the Sacrifice of our beloved Savior and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we are set free.

We can replant and be rooted in God’s love and grace, but we must let go of the toxic things that keep us from living in freedom, growing and becoming who God created us to be

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Love Seeks The Highest Good For Another

Love Does No Wrong To Its NeighborThe greatest human need is for love. It’s a legitimate need placed in us by our creator. When this need is not met it can create a void so deep we go through life trying to fill it.It causes us to crave the approval and acceptance of others and drives us to engage in imbalanced relationships where we attach to unhealthy, emotionally unavailable people who often abuse and mistreat us. We will often compromise our morals, values, and beliefs for fear of losing them.

This creates a vicious cycle of feeling used, devalued, unappreciated, victimized opening the door to bitterness, resentments, unforgiveness, and hopelessness. The only way to stop the cycle is to get a healthy dose of real love – the love of Jesus. Love seeks the highest good for another. Our Savior demonstrated this perfectly at the cross.

We will never be able to engage in healthy relationships unless we receive the fullness of God’s love. Only His love satisfies. If you are desperately seeking the love and approval of those who continually hurt you it may be a sign that you have not encountered the Love of Jesus in your heart where you see yourself as He sees you – A precious child of the Living God.

When you remove barriers that hinder the ability to live in the fullness of His love for you, it will radically change the people you attract and allow close to your heart. You will desire to engage in relationships that honor God, bless you and seek the highest good for others.

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A Hardened Heart

A Hardened HeartA deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness, can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.

Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive. It’s hard to shape stone.

As long as your heart remains hard you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.

The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”

Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you. When you do that…He will leave His fingerprints all over your heart.

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Forgiving One Another

compassionGod cares about our relationships and wants us to be right with one another. Too often close relationships are torn apart due to hurts, misunderstandings, offenses, pride, unresolved issues, and emotions can run deep, cut at the heart filling us with bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness.

And usually, it’s the relationships we treasure the most that breakdown and cause the deepest pain. Rather than confront the issues, it may seem easier to avoid, blame others and feel justified holding on to our hurts and anger.

Yet God calls us higher. His word says that as much as depends on us to live at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). We need to forgive those who have wounded us and ask for forgiveness when we have wounded others. We will never be free unless we learn how to forgive and release our offenders at the foot of the cross.

We need only take ownership of our wrong doings and leave the rest at God’s feet endeavoring always to extend grace and leave the door open for reconciliation whenever possible. Are you struggling with forgiveness? Sometimes all it takes is to go to Jesus with a sincere heart and ask Him to give you a willingness to forgive, make amends and pursue peace. There is nothing that He can’t do with a willing and surrendered heart.

 

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God Heals All

lipstickEmotional wounds manifest through various negative behaviors – violent rage, severe depression, phobias, low self-worth, perfectionism, controlling, insecurities, emotional dependencies, addictions, etc. But God can heal all!

He restores what is broken, change your destructive thought patterns, and give you an amazing life filled with hope, joy, and the abundant life Jesus came to give God’s people.

All you have to do is ask. He came to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

Do you want to be made well?

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A Time To Heal

a time to healA time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Children who suffer abuse or trauma whether physical or emotional will often suppress their emotions in order to survive. However, the pain, sorrow, anger, and despair are still there and manifest in different ways in adulthood – either through negative behaviors or seemingly good behaviors. Both mask the reality of the painful wounds they carry inside.

Some who shut down their emotions often can’t feel at all even pleasant things such as joy, tenderness, mercy and even love. Sometimes we make vows never to be hurt again putting walls around our hearts.

There may have been a season for self-protection but now is the season for healing your heart. Give yourself permission to feel. It’s time to let go of the hurts of the past. Run to Jesus – The Balm of Gilead who heals the wounds of God’s children. He is waiting with arms wide open to mend your heart and wipe your tears. Do you want to be made well?

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The Roots of Rejection

photo(1)Nothing wounds a heart like rejection. The dictionary defines rejection as “an act of throwing away or discarding someone or something,” implying a lack of value in the person or thing being discarded Nothing wounds a heart more because it strikes at the core of our worth, value, and identity.

Since every human being has three fundamental needs – to be loved, valued and accepted, rejection can result in wounding in the heart so painful that people cannot deal with it. So they suppress it in their mind, stuff the pain away inside, pretend it’s not there and live in denial of their hurts, but later it surfaces in various negative behaviors causing deeper pain, problems, and conflict much like a layering effect.

Rejection can be rooted in our family of origin, peers, those in authority (teachers, pastors, etc.), resulting from verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, troubles in the home, adoption, divorce, abandonment, infidelity, and peer rejection.

Sadly rejection can breed more rejection if the roots are not dealt with. People with rejection issues often feel victimized and place themselves in situations where they are always the victim, whether real or imagined and it sets a pattern that becomes a way of life, Others turn to exhausting ways to feel accepted – people pleasing, perfectionism, workaholic, etc. Others refuse to deal with it all together and check out through, drugs, alcohol, anger, immorality, and other negative behaviors. Unless the root is dealt with, the truth is accepted and replaced –the by-product or rejection will always be rejection.

Despite the rejection of the past, our God can heal you. He can walk into the darkness of the pain and shed His marvelous light on the path of your healing journey. The one who created you and numbers the hairs on your head will never reject you. He wants to heal those painful roots of rejection so that you can live in His acceptance.

 

“I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do: I will not forsake them. “

(Isaiah 42:16)

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The Prison of Denial

tearsThe dictionary defines denial as an unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings. In other words, we run to denial, so we don’t have to feel the pain.  People will often check out or run around trying to fill the void in their lives and run away from the painful truth of their past through negative behaviors and coping mechanisms.

It is heartbreaking to see the lengths people will go to cover their pain. But God says in Jeremiah 6:14 (TLB), “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!” We have fooled ourselves into thinking that denial protects us from our pain. In truth, denial deepens our suffering, because it causes the wounds to grow, fester, get infected and spread. It prolongs our pain and allows shame to take root.

When we don’t deal with the roots of our pain, the coping mechanisms continue to pile on layer upon layer, and our problems get worse not better. There is a saying — we are only as sick as our secrets. Truth like surgery may hurt for a while, but it heals. God promises us in Jeremiah 30:17 that He will give us back our health and heal our wounds.

Living in denial allows hurting people to run away from their pain giving them a false sense of security, but they are in bondage because their past continues to affect every area of their lives.

“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” (Psalm 51:4)

Everywhere we find the word truth in scripture it points to freedom, salvation, and life. It points to Jesus, the Word, the Truth, and the Life. That’s why God desires us to know truth in our inward being. He knows that it’s the truth that sets us free. He further knows the enemy who is the father of lies desires for us to stay in denial because we can’t heal unless things are brought into the light.

Yet we are not alone. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth even the hurtful things that are hidden that need to be exposed so that we can heal and be set free.  Are you ready?

 

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Are You Controlled by Fear of Rejection?

photoAre you controlled by the fear of rejection from others? It’s been said that if we live for the approval of others, we will die from their rejection. People are flawed and carry skewed ways of looking at life and engaging in relationships from the way they were raised.

Often in our brokenness, we go to these same people for approval and our value and worth is at the mercy of what they think about us and they determine how we should think, feel and behave even if they are unhealthy.  Not wanting to lose their love and approval we often compromise our morals, beliefs and often allow others to hurt and mistreat us.

Finding our value and worth in anyone or anything other than Jesus is not only fruitless but emotionally damaging.

Quit putting your trust in man for love and acceptance. Trust in The Lord. You were made in the image of the living God. He loves you with His steadfast love and established your worth in Him.

If you are having trouble grasping this truth, then there is something hindering you from experiencing the fullness of Christ. Go to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to remove the barriers preventing you from living the abundant life. 

Jesus is faithful to pull out the roots that He did not plant and replant seeds watered and nourished by His uncondioanl love and grace that will cause the rejected to feel accepted firmly rooted and planted in His unfailing love.

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A Crushed Spirit

StonesThink of a precious child. Maybe it’s your grandchild, a friend’s little boy, the little girl you teach at Sunday school who God leads you to lavish extra love on.  Now picture someone screaming  “You’ll never amount to anything!” “I wish you had never been born!” “You’re worthless!”  into their innocent little heart. It’s unimaginable that people could hurt a child in such a way. Unfortunately, it happens every day in homes across America. And the wounds in the heart of that little child can last a lifetime. Maybe that child was you long ago.

Often because all the child knows is abuse they will be drawn to people in adulthood who will abuse them much in the same way where control is at the forefront of the abuse.  Angry threats like “If you leave me, I’ll kill you!” Or, “You and the kids won’t get a dime from me.” Both are examples of verbal and emotional abuse and are controlling tactics in abusive relationships

Abuse can also happen without a spoken word – it can be degrading looks, threatening stares, aggressive body language or other threatening behaviors. These actions are meant to inflict fear with great success leaving the person who is on the receiving end with emotional pain that stunts emotional growth.

In some circles even Christian ones people don’t want to talk about emotions and when they are discussed the importance of emotional health and wholeness is minimized. Yet, we know that with deeply wounded people negative emotions are at the center of thinking, feeling actions, and poor choices.

Emotional abuse attacks at the core of a person’s value, crushing their confidence, and chips away at their self-worth, breaking their spirit in the process. God’s word says “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries us the bones. “(Proverbs 17:22)

Stop the cycle. Seek help. God takes broken things and makes them whole. Run to the Balm of Gilead. Jesus is the balm who can heal the wounds of God’s children.

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