The Toughest Love

I stayed.

I prayed.

For decades.

But finally I knew the marriage was dead and draining the life from both of us. And the only way for either us to have a chance at surviving was to create a necessary ending.

Even though I know that, for me, leaving was the only choice left and became a matter of survival – sometimes the “what if’s” and “if only’s” begin to drop anchor on my soul.

I see friends celebrate anniversaries by sharing social media posts about how they stuck with it through the hard times and prayed and fasted through the tough spots…. As I keep scrolling, I start wondering…. Should I have prayed more? Should I have endured more? Improved myself more? Fasted more? Covered the house with more anointing oil although the place was pretty much slick with it?

But I have to step away from the shoulds about the past or they will shroud my present.

So I blogged the blurb below as a reminder to myself and hopefully an encouragement to others….

You prayed about that decision like crazy. You probably even delayed what your God was telling you to do because of what other people were telling you to do.

Now…. let’s give ourselves the grace to move freely forward. Leaving the “would if’s” and “should of’s” and that piece of ourselves wrapped up in that other person in the hands of our Maker.

Move forward: Not because you are perfect. But because He is and you are in Him.

To my fellow pilgrims on a faith journey: It is so important to remember that our righteousness (right standing with God) is not up to us – it’s up to Him. If we try to be perfect in our own efforts – it will never happen. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll just turn overwhelmed and lethargic at the impossible feat and just give up. But if we truly grasp the grace that our Maker chose to wrap us in the righteousness of His own Son, we’ll skip forward like a happy toddler with nothing to prove to a doting parent. We will want to run forward because of the knowing that even the most wavering of steps brings a smile to the face of our Father. And we are His. No matter what.

What would your warning label say?

This “What would your warning label say?” question floating around social media triggered a lot of thought (and, of course a new blog post) in me this morning.

My warning label would say, “Stronger and more complicated than meets the eye.” – A “still water runs deep” kind of vibe. I think I’ve been sized up more than once in my life as the quiet compliant one; someone others might be able to mold into whomever they want or need her to be. But those who made those assumptions were often later caught off guard by the stubborn fierceness of a complicated soul.

It’s a good thing our Maker is not surprised or put off by our warning labels. I’m thankful that my #GoodGoodFather is big enough to handle this big personality with even bigger dreams and ideas sometimes hidden beneath a thin layer of quiet and calm. Know this friends: however foreboding your fictitious warning label may be to others, God can handle all of you – and very much wants you to place all of you in His hands so He can.

What God REALLY wants from your prayer life may surprise you!

We may have been taught to pray pretty and powerful sounding prayers.

But God’s admonitions to Job’s piously praying friends demonstrates that God can handle – and is even pleased by – our raw and honest prayers and wrestlings with Him.

“After GOD had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, ‘I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.’” – Job 42:7-8 MSG (The Message Bible Paraphrase)