Getting Well Part 5 – How to Turn it Around


Time to make a U-Turn.Summer '12 271

We’ve agreed we want to get well. Even though it seems scary and is uncomfortable, we see our need for healing. The reasons we fall into depression make a little more sense. We’re examining our choices, and are learning to ask others for help.  Much of our unhealthiness of heart may be a result of wrongs done to us by others, but in our learning to cope and our follow up decisions, we’ve also been part of the problem. So how do we turn things around?

Healing often requires confession of sin.

I know. We hate to think of ourselves as sinners. The word holds a connotation of Bible wielding fanatics screaming in judgment,

Repent or die in hell, sinner!

We simply have to re-evaluate how we consider sin.

The Bible says that Jesus didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us (John 3:17; I John 1:9) God wants to make a way for us to be with him in relationship because he loves us. Let that sink in. Now consider that when we break off relationship with God by deciding that we are better at figuring out our lives than he (the one who created the universe and us) is, that is sin. Simply put, God is God and we are not. He knows everything and we do not. He wants our good, but we, like stubborn two year olds, often think we know better and we want our way. Now.

The concept of sin is that simple.

So when God talks about repentance, he’s asking us to reconsider. To turn toward him instead of away from him so that he can take care of us and bless us in every situation. Even the bad ones. It’s really as easy as making a U-Turn. Okay, so some U-Turns require patience and a little bit of a tight turn, but you get the picture.

How does this apply to getting well?

If we are serious about wanting to get well, we have to be willing to see things in our life that are sin; simply, anything that is not the way God intended for it to be. Then we must tell God we are sorry for doing or allowing something that is sinful—that’s repenting. We may also need to repent and apologize to others who have been hurt by our sin.

At first, repenting can feel so hard to do.

I remember a situation that occurred when I first began to understand this concept of repentance. I shared some information about a friend with another friend that I had no business passing on. It wasn’t gossip, I reasoned, since I wasn’t being mean or sharing something bad, but I had this awful feeling in my heart, a conviction that what I had done simply wasn’t right. It didn’t add anything to either of my friends’ lives, nor to mine other than making me feel important for having “news” to share. Apologizing was in order, but I struggled with my fear of being wrong (pride), and that I’d be rejected by my friends.

Finally, I gave in to the Lord’s gentle leading and repented—first to Him and then to my friends. I’d like to say the situation turned out beautifully and wasn’t awkward at all, but the truth is that the friend I gave the information to didn’t understand why I was making such a big deal over it and was a little miffed at me. The friend whose story I told acknowledged and agreed with my feeling convicted by my sin, and graciously forgave me with love and affection.  While the situation was painful, God brought such good out of it. I realized a lack in one friendship, and I grew closer to the other friend. And I walked away feeling a freedom I had not experienced in the past.

Sometimes it’s hard to grasp God’s grace and desire to love us without condemnation.

If we can be honest with ourselves about our sin, make a U-Turn in our thinking, and reach out for God’s grace in faith, we will be positioned for better things in life. Getting well is a process, but each step of repentance releases new freedom and healing.  Let’s turn this thing around!

What has your concept of sin and repentance been? Do you have an experience of healing as a result of confessing your sin?

Worth Celebrating?


It’s the small things.

Yesterday, I received word that an article I wrote was published online at Bucket List Publications.  I’ll confess that my heart made a little flip flop of excitement. I ran downstairs to tell my husband.

“That’s great darling! We should celebrate!”

I assured him that I thought one small article written for fun and exposure rather than pay hardly seemed worthy of a celebration. A sense of achievement did fill me with a bit of pride though.

Today, my son sent me a text saying he had read my article and really liked it. Again, I chuckled at how something so seemingly insignificant could mean so much to me.

I replied to his text with:

 It’s encouraging to have something positive happen in the direction you’re headed even if it’s a really small something.

As writers we spend so much time putting in the work: learning our craft, writing, editing, rewriting, making connections, building platforms, marketing our work—and sometimes it seems as if we’re not getting anywhere.

Will I ever make a difference? Will anyone notice? Will my message be heard or helpful?

Then someone puts your words in print (or cyber print as the case may be). A crisp breeze of relief blows through your spirit, and you think Maybe, I am making progress!

Thank you Bucket List Publications for the breeze you sent my way!

 

Do you have an adventure to share? When have you felt a cool breeze of encouragement blowing your way?

For some amazing stories of adventure and extreme challenges, check out Bucket List Publications and editor, Lesley Carter

 

Are You Kidding?


Baby, I want you. IMG_4059

For those of you who have already frequented internet dating sites, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who are still juggling the idea, consider the value of humorous interactions as one of your pros in the decision making process. You wouldn’t believe how some individuals approach the internet dating scene. I suppose it may be equally ludicrous with people at bars, but I can only confess to my experience online.

Let’s start with the men—and  I use men only as the example of my experience, not to be sexist in any way…perhaps women exist who use similar tactics—who in their initial correspondence use the terms: “Oh baby” (Do I know you?); “I want you” (Like for dinner or…?); “I can’t live without you” (Really? What have you been doing all these years?); and “You are my angel” (Sent straight from heaven I suppose).  What response do these men expect from such nonsense? Do people actually reply to those comments?  And what about messages spelled horrifically with no apparent understanding of any language, let alone English? I mean no disrespect, but if you are someone who has been lured by this type of drivel, please know that you were meant for so much more!

Clearly these men are not “in love” with anyone, they simply desire to get something—like money, sex, or a way into the country!

Predators stalking the innocent!

Nonetheless, the possibility of endless pee-your-pants laughter abounds in these situations. One of my friends encountered a suitor that claimed her as his little goldfish, and then referred to himself as a piranha! Really?? Like a girl would be wooed by that line.

Once I was contacted by a Russian scholar-writer-pastor-missile salesman about whom my friend inquired, “Does he do that door-to-door?” We truly didn’t know how someone goes about selling missiles, but we certainly enjoyed a great laugh!

On christiancafe.com, the site I ended up on for about a year, the options for communicating were varied. If you wanted to show interest without corresponding directly, you could wink at someone by simply clicking a button that would send a short general interest message. You also had the choice of either sending a short form email, or a personal email. Generally, I ignored winks because I supposed that if someone was truly interested in me they would take the time to write something.

But when Brendan winked at me, I had already been drawn to him through his profile. Initially, it was his smile that grabbed me, and the fact that he was widowed with three children gripped my heart (more about that in coming blogs). His responses to the questions posed by the site’s profile page delighted and entertained me, and I was so disappointed when I realized he hadn’t finished answering them! So, just a few days after I had enjoyed reading his captivating responses, his wink caused my heart to skip. Really, Lord? Are you kidding me? Really? He’s so far away! Really?? Oh, my gosh.  Beyond thrilled and shedding joyful tears, I took hours to compose an email in reply because of the deep impression on my heart that he might be the “one.” And it turned out that he was.