SCARS

Scars

FullSizeRender (1)She sat down beside me in the dining room, running her fingers over a scar on her leg. “I love scars,” my 15 year old announced. I sat silently waiting for my deep thinker’s epiphany to tumble out.  She pointed from scar to scar and explained the memories they evoked.  She said, “Scars tell stories”.  From bike chains to dog fangs, spills and falls, she shared the cause of each.  The tales were part of my fair skinned girl’s story.

Scars make us wonder, they make us notice. Scars matter.  At the Dairy Queen a lady stood at the other window.  She was flawless from head to….ankle.  Her ankle bore the scares of what appeared to be several surgeries and her strappy blingy sandals did not hide them. I wondered if she was a runner or soccer player or if she injured her ankle skiing or biking.  What was the story behind her scar?

The scar conversation with my daughter weighed heavily as I pondered about the unseenIMG_1384 scars in our lives.  The wounds inflicted on our spirits, on our souls, on our hearts, on our minds.  We all carry unseen scars that are perhaps to painful to share about.

The scars on my child’s legs and hands are evidence of healed wounds.  What about unseen scars?  Have they healed or has the world picked our scabs so much that our unseen wounds continue to fester and weep? Does she have unseen scars?

Unseen scars manifest themselves in various ways.  People who lash out harshly, judge unjustly, withdraw, overmedicate, hibernate or live in fear might be the walking wounded, nursing scars that have yet to heal.
100_5805Recently, I encountered one of the wounded whose unseen scars compelled them to behave irrationally. The confrontation left me reeling and contemplating a well crafted, scathing and justified retort until my eyes fell upon a scar on my hand.  Swallowing the words and stuffing my anger, the path of peace seemed to be more important than proving my case.  Pondering the unseen scars that led to the raw anger gushed out took the focus off my wounds and put it on their unseen ones.

The bible says: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,” Proverbs 16:32a  Being slow to anger doesn’t come naturally to me.  “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11

Ephesians 4:31 is pretty clear on how we are to handle others: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”  I’m still unsure of the fallout from the angry encounter but one thing is pretty clear when I pray about it.  “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:14.

“I see it on the cross
The nails You took for me
Scars can change the world
Scars can set me free”

Mandisa – “What Scars are for”

I see scars differently now.  I see them as reminders of healing and restoration. Like the FullSizeRender (2)scars Christ bore for us that we might be healed and restored. It’s the unseen scars, the scars still healing that I’m trying to focus on.  Scars tell stories.  When offended, I guess the important thing is to rest in our defense, the one the Lord promises.  To lay the offense at His nail scarred feet.  Let His scars change your world.

 

 

POINT TO PONDER:  Do your scars seen or unseen make you retreat or lash out?  Have you taken your wounds to the ONE who was wounded for us? His scars were for the sake of our healing and restoration what keeps you from laying them at his feet?

Catch us Monday thru Friday at 7:15am EST for #HOPEscope on www.periscope.tv Look for Connie P. Shoemaker or kissedbycreator   You can also watch replays on katch.me search for kissedbycreator .

 

From Wrecked to Reminded

DSC_0260Lately I feel like the ball on God’s ping pong table. As if I am bouncing from one tragedy to the next.  It would appear, if my Facebook page is any indicator, many of us share the same predicament.

On Sunday scrolling through my Facebook feed, I learned of the unexplained sudden death of a healthy sixth month old.  I was wrecked as I read of his mother’s anguished cries and aching arms.  I sucked air in as the tears squeezed4264164845_da35e12f33_z out. I uttered a small prayer for comfort and let the grief settle in for this momma I didn’t even know and the toddler she never would.

Scrolling a little further I read the news that a baby we prayed for regarding an encephalitic condition in the womb was born whole and healthy. I worshiped and praised sharing this answered prayer while weeping for the empty crib and childless mother.

God seems to allow crushing tragedy into our lives or into the life of someone we love, that leaves us wrecked.  Speechless or reeling, grasping desperately at the whys?

  • Why did this happen?
  • Why did God allow this?
  • Why could something so bad happen to this good person?

Mozambique SunriseWhen I sink down and feel the weight of the sorrow or pain and slog through the mire of the unknown; I get to that part where my boots get stuck in the mud.  I can go no further, think no more, no words to say, save for one….Jesus.  I wait.  Much like Augustine when he penned these words:

“In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.” ~ Augustine

 

I wait for the glory. I wait for the dazzle and it comes. Not always quickly. But it comes.

Just that one word.  Jesus.  It is the word when all others fail.  It is the white flag waving at the end of a battered or IV tethered hand or a shaking fist.  Jesus.

And then He does it.  He reminds us of Who HE is.  He dazzles.

It could be a totally unrelated answer to prayer or some miracle coming out of the current tragedy.  He never fails.  His glory is somehow revealed.

It’s like a small pat on the hand of a frightened child or the comfort of a parent waking a childOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA from a night terror.  He reminds us that he is there.  That he is on the throne.  He knows. He sees. He hears. He shapes.

The repercussions of the tragedy continue to unfold.  The tears are still cried and dried.  But the dazzling.  The glory reminds us that we are not walking it alone or unseen. The Glory gives hint to purpose.

While the mysteries of the Why’s may never be answered on this side of eternity.  The comfort of the Who comes.  It comes with dazzling glory.

Perhaps if we share more of the Dazzling with others, even just the daily dazzling it would offer hope to those in darkness – those still wrestling with the Whys.

See, we get prayer requests daily on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope…the requests come in droves.  What about the Answers?  Maybe we need to start just posting our Answers to prayers, our praises for how God shows up daily. The dazzling of glory moments in our day, not just the dark ones.

“Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” – Psalm 96:3

If you’ve followed the story of Joey and Rory Feek, you’ve witnessed the devastation of ovarian cancer on this little country music clan.  In his blog thislifeilive.com  Rory talks about their life quite candidly.  I admire his strength and his faith during this heart wrecking journey.  There is hope in his words…I think he sees the dazzling through his tears because his words bear witness and bring glory to God.  I pray for Joey and their family daily.  I pray for  Dazzle for them.

If you are walking through the darkness.  If you are prayed out, talked out, or tuckered out; say the name of Jesus.  Then wait for it….

The dazzling will come.  HIS Glory will shine.

 

POINT TO PONDER:  If you’ve felt the dazzle amidst a wound share it here, encourage others.  When we see there is a purpose to our pain it gives us strength to endure.

 

Catch us Monday thru Friday at 7:15am EST for #HOPEscope on www.periscope.tv Look for Connie P. Shoemaker or kissedbycreator!  You can also watch replays on katch.me search for kissedbycreator .

 

 

Our God REIGNS…even when it rains!

Weather has always fascinated me.  Currently I am dealing with Rain…did you know?100_5401

1: Rain can fall up to 22 miles per hour.

2: One droplet of rain stays in Earth’s atmosphere for about 10 days.

3: Rain isn’t a teardrop shape,  it’s actually ovular.

4: Every second, 16 million tons of water is evaporated from the surface of Earth.

5: Every second, 16 million tons of water precipitates back onto Earths’ surface (Water Cycle!).

( according to: http://explainers.nysci.org/post/72706480434/5-facts-about-rain-you-probably-didnt-know-1)

IMG_2422Scripture is fraught with references to weather.  There is talk of clouds, sun, storms, rain, snow, lightening, thunder, and of course, the famous one…the flood.  This is one I can relate to currently as the water rises in my basement.  It’s a combination of snow melt and spring rains and a situation that started when our township forced residents make mandatory changes to our septic systems.

The process took all the solid matter like clay, and years of packed dirt out of our back yard and replaced it with new gravel and porous material along with slanting the back yard toward the house, much to our dismay.

Now this current flood is not as bad as ones we’ve had in the IMG_2449past or as destructive because we’ve somewhat prepared for it by storing items in plastic and raising things off the floor and adding second pump. However the clean up is daunting.  Drying out and taking precautions to prevent mold…its all so draining (no pun intended) but as I sit waiting for the waters to subside I think about the fact that Our God REIGNS…even when it rains.

This entire situation reminds me that when we lose the solid – the bedrock firmness of our faith…when we replace the solid truth with porous stuff that is easily moveable our faith becomes ripe for the flooding of the world into it. 

IMG_2391As the world seeps into the crevices we’ve allowed – often under the disguise of “tolerance” with the lies of “just this once” or “I won’t actually do it, just read about it” the leaking makes our truth dank, moldy and repulsive.

The foundations of our faith, just like the foundation of my house are vulnerable to penetration unless we are surrounded by a firm solid wall of protection.  Not only can our faith suffer, but our witness as well.

It’s hard not to get mired down in our soggy wet storms and take our eyes off the SON.  When we do that we are left with just soggy wet feet. Our trials or storms can lead us to grumble and complain which can breed bitterness if left unchecked.  If we keep our eyes on the Son ~ HE will give us the opportunity to turn our valleys into victories.

People are watching.  Unbelievers are watching.  Our children are watching how we navigate the flood waters.  Where is our higher ground?  What do we cling to as the waters swirl around us?  Will our actions encourage others to follow to where we’ve set our eyes?

IMG_2466Ironically or perhaps not I stumbled across this verse today:

The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. ~ Psalm 29:10

Preparing for the flood starts in the heart. One of the ways we can stand firm as the water rises is to seek the LORD first.

As I listened to the rain and saw the water seeping in, despite two pumps working to keep it at bay, I had a choice.  I could let this destroy my attitude and my day or I could ask God to turn it into something that would bless others.

DSC_0090Hopefully this little “blessing” of a reality check will give you the incentive to check the walls around your faith.  How firm is your foundation?  Will it be ready when the flood waters come?

While writing, my playlist hit on this song by Jesus Culture:  Our God Reigns.  If your spirit is in need of a little revival you might want to take a moment, crank up the speakers and revel in the REIGN!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jpf7q4VnRU

Point to Ponder: Are you ready for the rain? How can you show God Reigning in your life to someone who is watching?



Frozen : The Lenten Challenge

We drive through the crowded parking lot, mountains of gray snow at the edges hogging up much needed DSC_0277spaces.  Rachel says, “look at that disgusting snow its so gross and dirty. I am so ready for spring. I hate wearing coats, hats and gloves.” 

Quietly I pray for a new layer to cover up the gray.  White to cover the black.  It was Ash Wednesday. I thought of the significance.  It was the ashes on the plowed lot that made the snow mountains gray and dirty.  Ash mixed with winter white.

Our denomination doesn’t celebrate Ash Wednesday but my Methodist roots and the Catholic neighborhood I grew up in filled me with memories and meaning of what that day commemorates.  Like advent…it is a time of preparing our hearts.

It’s been a long winter here in Western PA.  I heard someone say the other day it had been a long winter in her heart. blog heart ice

Ironically one of the hit movies this year is called Frozen.  I pondered all these icy metaphors and thought about the cold heart.

DSC_0260Like the tiny shoots of grass and daffodils beneath the layer of snow, the cold heart harbors tiny invisible seeds of hope.  What does it take to melt a cold heart?

Love. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy.

These are all things we can give or offer to someone who  is frozen

DSC_0275

 

People ask “What are you giving up for Lent?”  I ponder is it really about giving something up or pouring something out?   What if we use the 40 days to try to thaw the frozen hearts around us? Bathe their hearts in the warmth of mercy. If they are brittle from bitterness … foster them with forgiveness.  Love the lonely and wrap the stumbling with grace.  Take a 40 day challenge to thaw the frozen.  What will you give up for lent?  A bit of yourself?  A bit of your time?

Is your heart the one that is Frozen?  Are you chilled to your soul, unable to pray, seek or ask?  Are you wrestling with the ashy dirty feeling of sin, fear, or regret?  Are you brittle from reaching out and being rejected? Are the windows of your soul frosted up ~ blocking out the SON ?  Do you long to bathe in the warmth of … something…anything?

James 4:8  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Take a 40 day challenge to thaw your frozen heart. Write one thing each day that you are thankful for. Do one small kind gesture for someone else. A smile, open a door, … gratitude will help thaw the edges.

Comment to me or message me and I will commit to pray for you during lent. Let it go.  Allow God to resurrect your life before Easter Sunday.  Are you up for the challenge? Your Creator is waiting to make your story HIStory and your time of testing, your Testimony. Remember, you were worth dying for…that is what Easter is really all about.

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One of my favorite Easter Hymns: For Those Tears I Died.

You said You’d come and share all my sorrows,
You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I
died.”

Point to Ponder: Seek out the Frozen. Look in the mirror. Is your soul ready for spring?DSC_1006


 

 

 

What I learned at Camp

Seneca Chapel1.Bring several warm layers even in April

2.The “Heavenly Storehouses Laden with Snow” can pour out…even in April

3.Don’t forget the sleeping bag or the camera.

4.Camp food is tasty –  don’t start a diet before you head out.

5.Women Rock at Paintball.

6.Lack of outward appearing response has no bearing on INWARD Impact – YAY God!

7.A Zipline can make your age 40 + body, feel older the next day.

8.God not only calms the storms in your life, but your stomach as well.

9.Audiences love a good Super Hero story…especially when it involves BAT GIRL!

And the best thing?

10.GOD SHOWS UP AT CAMP!

 

This weekend was the Anchor of the Soul:  Women’s Retreat at Seneca Hills. Anchor Prop I continue to be blown away by the awesomeness of God and how he can take willing and broken vessels who serve and pour into them until they overflow on others.

We explored who God is and How he loves us.  We examined how the hurts we go through grow us. We looked at things that can harden our hearts which hinders our relationship with God and we learned about how essential hope is to our prayer life and how to be a hope giver.

We UNTIED the knots in our lifeline which keep us from being tethered to the Anchor of our souls and we became UNITED with the only sure thing to keep us from drifting in this crazy mixed up world.

Several ladies came to the true and life saving knowledge that they are daughters of a King.

We sang, journaled, prayed, pondered…did zumba, PraiseMoves and Paintball we ate and learned how to eat Biblically…we shared…we cared…we chatted…but most of all…we worshipped.Worship at Seneca

It was a memorable weekend. Thanks be to God!  If you were there comment on what you took away from the weekend.  Hope to see you again soon!

If you missed it.  Learn how you can schedule the An Anchor for Our Souls Retreat for the women at your church by leaving your query below.  We look forward to serving you!

 

Painting a picture of Transformation

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I could only imagine what the cashier in the convenience store was thinking when I barged through the door covered with paint, dashed to the freezer section and returned breathlessly with mint chocolate chip ice cream.  As I counted out my pennies with green and white splattered hands he (a former student) looked at me quirkily.  We’d been transforming my basement with a coat of paint that resembled mint chocolate chip ice cream and the paint slaves had watering mouths.  Under his gaze I was aware that in the process of my DIY drama I had transformed from the cleanly dressed meticulous teacher into a splattered, sputtering disheveled Bryers junkie in need of a sweet fix.  Chuckling, I briefly updated him on my saga and dashed home to keep the minions running another hour with the sugar rush.

Not just my basement, but so far this year, I’ve confronted numerous transformations or at least the beginning of them.  My college-bound child is transforming from a high school student to a man who will be launched into a Military academy.  My mother in law was transformed into a widow by the sudden stopping of a heartbeat. Cancer has transformed people that I love. God has transformed unbelievers in my life into Warriors for Him.

Pondering transformation and nature, the butterfly comes to mind as one of the most amazing transformations in the insect world. The Greek word for transformation  is metamorphoo (met-am-or-fo’-o)which is why we call what happens to the butterfly Metamorphosis.  In all of its stages from egg, to caterpillar to chrysalis to beautiful winged masterpiece, it undergoes obvious transformation.

I came across the verse below and while I’d heard it and studied it before, the word TRANSFORMATION seemed to really jump out at me.

” And do not be conformed   to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect   will of God.”  Roman’s 12: 2

What does renewing of the mind mean?

Renewing the mind sounds like something we have to do daily.  It has a lot to do about where we focus and what we focus on.  The Bible says to set our minds on the things above:

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the cearth.” ~Col 3:2.  How can we not focus on this Earth, we live here?  Yes, we live here, but we need to remember it is NOT our home.  Our true home is in heaven with the Father.  So we need to keep focusing on our Heavenly Home.

 We are called to focus on spiritual things. Romans 8:5 says:  “For hthose who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, [focus on]ithe things of the Spirit.”

When any species goes through metamorphosis it requires fuel for the process…as do we.  We need to be mindful of what we are fueling our mind with.  If we feed on the “bread of life” or nourish our spirits with the word of God daily, we’ll be fueled up for the transforming of our minds.

And while the transforming of my basement will add resale value, the Transforming of our minds has eternal value.

Point to Ponder: How have you experienced transformation in your life recently?

(Thanks www.lindajackmanphotography.com for these images)

 

A matter of the heart.

Did you know?

* The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.

* You have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your heart

* The heart begins beating at four weeks after conception and does not stop until death.

* More than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day, equaling one death every 34 seconds

The topic of the heart is near to mine after the past two weeks.  Recently, my father in law collapsed at home and died before he reached the hospital. He was 71 “apparent heart attack” reads the obituary.  My husband’s life is forever altered as dad was his friend and golfing buddy all rolled into one. 

I lost my father when he was only 54 due to his 3rd and final heart attack. When I was pregnant with my first child, my mother suffered a heart attack.  My brother in law died at the age of 24 of an Arrhythmia of the heart. And my own brother merely 15 months older than I,  just underwent a heart cath on Tuesday.  To say I have a “history” with matters of the heart is an understatement.

As my daughter and I were driving from my mother in law’s house in Ohio  back to ours in Pennsylvania on Wednesday after the funeral, my husband called me with news that he had been taken by ambulance to the hospital for chest pains. I was 2 hours away still from our house, another 45minutes from the hospital. My own heart sank. I first called on God then the people who needed to manage my life and kids for at least the next 24 hours.

I came home dropped off the dog and the 11 year old, funeral flowers and food, and headed to the hospital where I found an indignant husband anxious to be released. My husband is an athlete. He is in great shape physically working out about 4x a week and competing in triathlons and races via running and biking all year long, and he always has. 

His resting heart rate is 52. His blood pressure and cholesterol levels are amazing and the envy of most of his doctors…yet here he was in the care of cardiac specialists.  After a stress test which he nailed and a night of observation he was permitted to go home.  Apparently the stress of a broken heart can wreak havoc on even the strongest of bodies.  It was diagnosed as an esophageal spasm due to stress. We were given a prescription for Prilosec and sent on our way. 

As I was praying and trying to find a “good” or “GOD” part of ending this exhausting week in the Emergency Room I pondered God’s heart.  Everything we endure has a purpose.  He is so gracious and walks with us through trials. 

In my heart, I felt like GOD allowed this to happen in order to assure Brian’s mom and me that his HEART was PERFECT so that his mom and I wouldn’t even have to worry about him following in his father’s footsteps.    

How like God to know my fears and concerns even before I did and assure me that “all is well”.

Point to Ponder:  In what ways has God given you “Blessed Assurance” about something to alleviate your worries?

Lessons from the Wilderness

(thanks for your continued patience during our do-over of the Kissed by the Creator site)

I am in the middle of teaching a 12 week series on Connecting with the Creator through his creations.  This week as I was preparing my discussion on The Wilderness Speaks, I became keenly aware of the words that describe physical wilderness.  Words like: desolate, barren, lonely, deserted, dangerous, wasteland and void.  Words that at certain times in my life, described my journey through a spiritual wilderness.

Tanzania

In preparing and reading about the impact of Wilderness(physical) in the lives of people throughout Biblical history, it struck a chord that the physical wilderness journey taught similar lessons that would be valuable during sojourns of spiritual wilderness.

The story of Moses in the Old Testament, leading the Israelites through the desert is fraught with tales of their give and take relationship with God. The consequences of their disobedience, repentance and reconnecting with God read like a travel log. Their time in the wilderness was a time of trial and testing. God met their every need in the wilderness from raining down manna to rocks springing forth with water.  It was also during the time in the wilderness that God issued his Commandments, guiding their moral lives. Basically the only way to have needs met is to be in a position of need.  The Israelites would not have been able to fully appreciate the promise land without first experiencing the desert.

I pondered a recent descent into a spiritual wilderness or valley, where I wasn’t seeing a burning bush or getting messages carved in stone, let alone hearing His still small voice. During that wilderness experience I was both disobedient and repentant and though it didn’t seem like it at the time, my needs were met.  There is no way I could fully appreciate the blessings that came from that valley if I hadn’t walked the barren ground.

Another poignant trip to the wilderness recorded in the Bible is that of Jesus where he fasted for 40 days then successfully endured and withstood the temptations of Satan.  Matthew 4:2-3 says “And after He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights He then became hungry. And the tempter came to him and said, “IF you are the Son of God, command these stones become bread.”

Temptations happen in the wilderness. They seem to come when we are at our weakest.  Satan waited until Christ was hungry to tempt him and he tempted him with what HE was thinking about – food.  How often do our temptations come about what is filling our thoughts?

The danger of this temptation wasn’t asking Jesus to miraculously make bread because Jesus did go on to create bread for the multitudes.  The danger of this temptation was that Satan’ proposed this to question Christ’s authority and identity.

Spiritual wilderness can often challenge our identity in Christ because after all we are not “feeling” it right? Satan will use our time in the Wilderness to test “whose” we are and what we are made of.

If our call is to be “Christlike” then it goes without saying that we will not only find ourselves in the wilderness, but we will find ourselves tested and tempted during those times. 

Jesus faced off Satan by quoting scripture. He used a passage from Deuteronomy 8 to refute the first temptation.

 “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word

that proceeds from the mouth of God.”(Matthew 4:4)

Jesus’ response to Satan was an indicator of what he really relied on.  He relied on God, his Father not a temporary fix – food or bread.  We can’t ever underestimate the value of relying on God even when we aren’t “feeling” it.

Satan continued to tempt Jesus during his stay in the wilderness but what happened at the end is the good part. “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:11)

In both accounts, the wilderness was a place of transformation.  Change happened.  The Israelites were free and received their promised land and Jesus was launched into his ministry.

So while in the midst of the Wilderness it doesn’t seem like God is moving, the results are often seen when we emerge – changed, transformed and ready for…

Point to Ponder:

Have you been sojourning in the wilderness or perhaps just returned, what did you learn?

Erosion of the heart

Photo Courtesy of Linda Jackman Photography
http://lindajackmanphotography.com/

The other day I watched rivulets of water from melting snow trickle down my driveway creating ruts. Today in the freezing temps, those water filled ruts have frozen and widened. I watched my daughter navigate these obstacles trying to avoid them on the way to bus.

According to the dictionary….. Erosion is the natural process of weathering and transport of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment or their source and depositing them elsewhere.

Recently, I used the following analogy about erosion to draw a word picture of how our hearts can be eroded by our loved ones, specifically our family members.

Often our loved one never “intends” to hurt us. Reality is though eventually they do actually wound us. They do things over and over which causes ruts to be carved on our hearts. Rarely do we bring this up. We just react. We pull back, hurt back or just ignore both the issue and the offender. We get over it and move on, but the rut grows deeper with each hurt.

Gradually all their stuff (words/actions) washes over our heart and trickles down the eroded grooves widening them. So we hear or feel things based upon it washing over the grooves and picking up remnants of the hurts that are deposited in the troughs.

Eventually everything they say or do…is covered in baggage and offensive. The result is defensiveness which is divisive.

Watching flood ravaged areas, one sees sandbags to prevent erosion and trucks backfilling things as earth is washed away. I pondered how to fill the grooves in my heart left behind by others whose words or deeds have gradually etched my heart and wounded my spirit. People I am forced to interact with daily.

Backhoes would destroy my heart. A sandbag would squash it. Avoiding people is not an option especially when you are related to them or even live with them. How to fix it?

According the Mayo Clinic: “Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.”

Our Creator’s word says:

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 12:25

Forgiveness is an act we do without any action on our offender’s part. It is giving up our right to revenge. It’s our choice and it would seem forgiving is heart healthy for us.

Point to Ponder:
Does the erosion of my heart affect my relationships? What can I do to heal my heart? What choices do I need to make and whom do I need to forgive?


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