>Forgiveness and Thank You’s

>There comes a time where forgiveness is just in order ~ when we look at the scripture and see how often Jesus tells his disciples to love each other and to forgive those that do us wrong it is amazing how little it seems to matter to us. By us, I really mean myself because I’m not trying to judge anyone on this but myself. I have a lot of experience in forgiveness and even wrote a blog a few weeks ago about forgiveness that was one of the best blogs I’ve written about how much of a struggle it is but what a blessing there is in the forgiving.

So that is what I am doing today with Shane West. I am forgiving you, I am releasing the burden of frustration and hurt and pain and walking in forgiveness. There was a day that the very thought of saying I forgive you to the person/people who caused my family such hurt was a joke. In fact, I thought this day would never come. I thought that unless you were in jail and paid for the things you did to so many people that my soul would not have peace. That if this didn’t happen the way I wanted it to, that God was acting a little crazy. That somehow, if He would just make you pay for the things you had done, that my life would be vilified, that I would feel like He let me finally have that WIN you’ve talked about ~ but instead, as I began to pray and to seek His face, I began to understand that the WIN is in the experiences the WIN is in the growing that I’ve done as a child of the King because of the situations that were created by you.
Without these situations, I would not have known how strong my husband is and how much confidence God had in him when he put us together. I would not know that those arms that wrapped around me when I cried could really fix just about anything and when he couldn’t, HE could. I would have never seen how much he loves the children we have together and how he would do anything in his power to create safety and security in their lives. I would not have seen him with tears on his cheeks as we prayed together for direction as a family. Thank you for that.
Without the pain, I would not have known how strong I am as an individual. I would never have seen that hospitality and just plain ole’ loving people is my ministry because after the hurt, it was something I had to fight for. Before last year, I never had to ‘put myself out there’ because it came so naturally. I never really understood or appreciated the discernment gift that God gave me until He started revealing to me what His plan was for my life. I never had to pray that hard or work that hard at trusting God or anyone else, and that has made me seek His face more and more. Thank you for that.
Without the lies, I could have never experienced the full truth in who I am as a person. Watching my children blossom under true ministry and taking a foothold in their gifts has been more than I could ever ask for. Finding respect and confidence in church leadership again was definitely something I thought I would ever see again. Because the lies became so obvious, it is so much easier to see the truth of who people are and I like what I see around me. I love where I am in my life and I’m not going to apologize if that upsets you because I have you to thank for where I am right now.
The path we walked together was some of the best times of my life and the only thing that makes me sad when I think about it is wondering if any of it was even true. That’s the hardest part of your lies, I know there was truth in some of it, I just don’t know or will never know, which part. You will forever be the person that I always wish had turned out different because, you could be so much more if you would only let God fix you. I can say this in all honesty, from this day forth, I will pray you get your life fixed. I will pray that you finally become the man God wants you to be. . .

>Winning Isn’t Everything. . . Or is it?

> What does it mean to win? What is winning? According to Webster winning can be a noun or a verb but when we think of the word how do we read it? Do we read the passive kind of winning like, he won that by his efforts or the active winning like, He beat the pants off that person in whatever he was trying to do. I think that in life, we sometimes get obsessed by ‘the win’ by using the king to checkmate our opponent, by taking the last dollar or hotel your friend has in Monopoly or by diving across the table to get that last spoon and hoping you don’t get your eye put out in the process.

Winning for me is being secure in who I am every day. The Bible says in Phillipians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” ~ Winning for me is moving my life every day toward what and who God wants me to be. The ultimate prize in this life is making it to heaven.

One of the best things that’s happened to my family since moving to Nashville is seeing my children growing in God. They are bringing their friends to church and they are really establishing their own walks with God. Just yesterday, I was having a frustrating day and my daughter brought to mind how Pastor had just taught on Sunday about our testimonies being under attack. Those simple words from her brought me to tears because I knew the word was getting in her. I knew that we are in the will of God and for me, that is Winning.

So in the small things in life, winning isn’t everything, but in the big scheme of things, Winning is everything~ Walking with God and winning the ultimate prize of a relationship with Jesus Christ is what this life is all about!