Listen to me. We are NEVER going back (R-rated)…

Let go of the people who say they love you but hold everything against you. Because true love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.

Let go of the people who tear down your dreams with wild words of incapable fears. Because real love always hopes. Continue reading Listen to me. We are NEVER going back (R-rated)…

When Sorry Isn’t Enough: A Christian’s Response

I remembering telling someone once to stop saying sorry to me because they didn’t mean it. And I was tired of hearing it every day.

That simple, childhood realization was the first time I remember distinguishing between an apology and a repentant heart. I didn’t know what to call it. I just knew I was being lied to. Continue reading When Sorry Isn’t Enough: A Christian’s Response

11 Effects of Abuse and the Truths That Will Help You Heal

Abuse is sin. And all sin is a lie. Continue reading 11 Effects of Abuse and the Truths That Will Help You Heal

How to Find Your God-Given Identity in the Aftermath of Brokenness

One of the lasting effects of abuse is lack of identity. Abuse, neglect, abandonment, long-term exposure to manipulation and shame…they all leave you empty and deeply insecure. Continue reading How to Find Your God-Given Identity in the Aftermath of Brokenness

How God Redeems Our Broken Childhoods

Lean in and listen close. God can and wants to redeem your broken childhood.

I spent the better part of my life living in fear, shame, self doubt, and neglect. From the outside, everything seemed pretty ok. But when the doors were shut and the curtains closed, life was absolute hell.

I didn’t know it wasn’t normal.

I thought everyone feared their parents. I thought everyone self-harmed. I thought everyone fantasized about suicide. I thought everyone had debilitating nightmares about their parents killing them.

Sadly, my story isn’t unique. There are so many people who have survived broken and abusive childhoods. And some stories are much worse.

I clung to God through my childhood and adolescence. Praying he would step in and redeem my story. And he did.

It took a long time. And it didn’t look the way I thought it would. Because I had a lot of healing to do. And I needed to learn some hard lessons about my value and boundaries and what a Biblical response to evil should look like.

Are you doubting God’s ability to redeem your story? I get it.

When you doubt. Lean on the stories of those who have gone before you. And cover yourself in the truth of scripture. And do not attempt to heal alone!!!! Join a Christian based recovery group like “Celebrate Recovery” and let people walk alongside you in your journey.

Listen. God doesn’t leave us. He might feel far away, but that doesn’t mean he is. Usually, when we feel God has abandoned us it means we have healing to do in our own hearts – the intimacy with God is gone not because HE is absent but because WE are broken.

Step out in faith. Share your story. Pray brave prayers over your life asking God to heal you. And choose to be vulnerable.

This is how you heal. This is how you let God heal you.

Healing is a choice.

How He Takes Our Brokenness

The last two weeks have weighed heavy on me.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. A friend of mine is struggling with depression. Another precious soul is deeply addicted to illegal drugs.

Life feels broken and dim.

And all the pain and brokenness feels like a wet, heavy sweater around my shoulders that I can’t shake off. Like its stuck to me.

I’ve had to remind myself that God is near. He is here. And fully present. He is not surprised by the grief or the brokenness. And he will not shift himself over to a dark corner to protect his own heart. He leans in, close, and loves with utter abandon.

Life is a journey. And so is healing.

I am learning that more and more. How healing isn’t one good cry and a single release of emotion that somehow equals forgetting all the pain…it is an ever-deepening relationship toward fullness.

And the benefit of emotional healing is joy.

So keep going. Don’t give up. Let yourself feel and grieve and bear the burdens of others – this is a hard and beautiful reflection of the way Jesus leans in so close to us when we are breaking apart.

All love involves risk.

And letting God heal you involves risking your pride and your clenched fists and your anger and the way you put back your shoulders and refuse to be vulnerable.

This is how he heals us: he unfolds the hurts, pours love and truth over all of it, and then slowly takes it from us as we release.

And in our open palms, he places joy…

How to Treat Abusers With Love And Honor Even When They Don’t Change

Deep breath.

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.

Guess what?

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…