I have more material possessions than 95% of the current human population on this earth.
Think of your family. Think of your siblings. Your cousins. Your aunts and uncles. Your Grandparents.
What are they like? Are they thriving? Are they the type of people you’d like to be someday? Do you smile when you think of them?
Generational curses run in EVERY family, because we all carry the heaviness of sin in our bloodlines.
I started asking myself questions several years ago. Does anyone else do this? Ask yourself a series of questions throughout the day?
It is OK to live the life you want. And it is OK to say “no” to everything else.
It is OK to live a calm life, a life free from trying to live up to someone else’s idea of how your life should look.
Are you striving to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength?
Are you striving to love your neighbor as yourself?
Then go and be free, dear one. Because loving God and loving Others actually matter the most in all the busyness of this loud and opinionated world.
Everything else is debatable…
I see you. I see the hurt and the scars and the longing for wholeness. I see those tears and all those nights you spent with something cold and metal against your skin hoping that any sort of release would help the hurting pain escape.
God sees you. He sees you deep deep inside. The things you never speak about. The lies you let define you. He sees it all.
And still he asks us to love.
And still he reminds us that we are only ever here because of Grace in the first place.
Still he bends low and wrestles his way into our brokenness. He is kind but he is also relentless. He is also thought-filled with thoughts of love for you.
The Gospels give us wisdom for dealing with abusers…abusers who never change. You know, the hardest kind.
Jesus met abuse and injustice head on. He did not apologize for setting boundaries or for calling out sin or for reminding an abuser of the consequences of their sin.
He wept over injustice.
He pleaded with abusers to change, to repent.
You know ONE THING Jesus never did??
He didn’t name abusers.
He called them “vipers” and “religious leaders”. But he did not call them by name.
But he did call Matthew and Nicodemus and Mary Magdalene. He named the people who changed…
There is a beautiful and sobering message in this: is your name known?
Will we allow the God of Creation to cast himself on us so fully that he calls us by name? Will we one day stand before a Holy Throne with the ink of our names written boldly before us? Or will we chose to turn our backs and go our own way and miss the face of the Messsiah standing right in front of us?
We aren’t so different from those biblical characters after all. We have that choice too: surrender or succumb.
This is how you treat abusers: the same way Jesus did.
You tell your story and you speak out in love and truth and boldness and you do not make yourself small so that evil can make itself seen.
You speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.
And when you are met with cold stares and hard hearts you weep just like Jesus did and then you turn and shake the dust of their words off your feet and leave them to their sin: because they chose it.
But always you love. And always you bask in the wonder of the Blood that bought you.
And then you turn your face to the sun…because Jesus made you free…and the darkness of all the hate and abuse and neglect and lies and fear and control-tactics and manipulation are behind you where they belong…
Every single good and worthy thing I have ever done has been preceded by fear. A lot of fear.
Fear is a tool used by Satan to debilitate. It is his last ditch defense against God’s will for us, against God’s blessings, against injustice being addressed.
And the lie is that we have to wait for fear to dissipate before we can act.
Except, who ever changed history devoid of fear? When did God ever shy away from showing us a fear-filled hero?
You see, our fear is the stage God displays HIS might upon.
…like Peter stepping out onto uncertain waters
…like a proud Syrian Commander who could not fathom washing in a dirty river
…like a Queen who stepped out in bold humility, in all her beauty and warmth and strength, to move the heart of a stoic King
…like a prostitute who wept before the feet of Jesus in a room full of men
…like a young slave who gained the trust of a Nation and a Pharaoh and healed up the brokenness of a family who hated him
…like a boy who held out his lunch toward the hands of a kind Savior
…sometimes fear does not go away, and you have to step out and stand up and kneel down anyway.
And that’s when God moves the waters. That’s when God heals. That’s when God saves his people, and the hearts of the broken, and the nations and the families who forgot to love in the first place.
That is when God does miracles…
Don’t be afraid of fear: God is just beyond the curtain of it, waiting to do his work.
The past year has been a journey toward Living Well and of learning firsthand that emotional healing doesn’t always come easily.
Sometimes, the people who are supposed to love us most, end up causing us indescribable pain and repeated heartache. Continue reading 12 Things That Happen When You Stop Trying to Please Toxic People