Breaking You

face-cracks-portrait-in-photoshop

Are your relationships the same old story? You know, same story but different face? You enter into a new relationship, expecting different results, only to find “you have been here before“? You have high hopes, but after the bells and whistles have gone your hope falls to the ground to be trampled on.

You begin to think all relationships are like this and you dare not believe you deserve more. You question your own worth. You define yourself based on one failed relationship after another. You become the relationship. You are consumed and soon you are drowning in the sea of lies.

You leave a piece of yourself in each relationship. Every break-up breaks you a little more each time. You grieve the loss, try to put your pieces back together and jump right back into another relationship, thinking this time it will work. This time you will get it right and this person will love you back together. But each piece of you that has been broken leaves you with a hole. No amount of glue from joining with another will put you back together. Because the injury from the past relationship follows you into the new relationship.

You may even begin to think all men (or women) are the same. You even accept the notion this is as good as it will ever get. You adapt. You change. You lose you and become the relationship.

You can not continue to do the same thing and expect different results.

You may not feel it, but you must believe, you are worth so much more. You are worthy to be loved, cherished, respected, and nurtured.

Do not seek your identity in another, but seek your identity in Him Who loves you. Until you know who you are in Him, you will tolerate treatment not suitable for a daughter (or son) of the King. Royalty does not play in the mud with pigs.

Develop your relationship with Jesus before you seek a relationship with another. Let Him heal you. Learn what He says about you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Elephant in the Livingroom

A man was walking the grounds of a circus, observing the animals. As he approached the elephants he was confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by a single rope tied to their leg. Obviously the elephants could break the rope and walk away, but oddly, they did not.

He motioned to a trainer nearby and asked him why such a magnificent and strong creature made no attempt to break away? How could it be that such a small rope could restrain such a large and strong creature?

“When they are young we use a similar size rope to tie them and because they are small they cannot break away. As they grow, they are conditioned to think that the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” The trainer answered.

The man was amazed! Imagine, the elephant could break free at any time, but because he believed that he could not, he didn’t even try. The elephant was stuck right there, in captivity.                                elephant

I wonder, if the man had cut the rope, would the elephant walk away to freedom? If he had cut the rope at the stake, but left it on the elephant’s ankles, would the elephant still believe that he was bound to the stake? Or, what if he cut the rope from his ankles? Would the elephant then know he was free? Or would he stay, because it is what he knows? Would he stay because “this is the way it has always been”?

How many of us are like that elephant?

How many are held captive to the ropes of the past?

How many have learned to adapt to the ropes; perhaps even embraced the ropes?

Sure does sound silly, doesn’t it? Imagine the tragic comedy it is when we choose to hold on to the things that keep us so bound up, rather than walk in complete freedom.

There is a phenomenon called Stockholm syndrome. It is a strong emotional tie that is formed between two people where one abuses, threatens, harasses, intimidates, or beats the other. It is suggested that the bonding is the victims coping mechanism, in response to the trauma of being a victim.

As strange as it seems that a majestic creature like the elephant stays chained to a small rope, it is even stranger that a victim should form a bond with a person (or thing/addiction/mind-set) who has taken their freedom away and abused them. Yet, this is what happens, in the spiritual.

We begin to identify with the chains of bondage because we do not know our identity.

We identify to labels. Don’t believe me, ask someone who they are and they will probably tell you their job title; you know, the one word title that describes what we do (or where we have been).

There is ONE who can cut those ropes of bondage from you and give you freedom.

John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

I put emphases on the “if” because it is important that you understand something. It IS Gods will that you be free. He has made all provision for your freedom, through His Son, Jesus. His gift of salvation is free. He will never force it on you. He will also never deny you should you choose to accept the free gift of salvation, freedom. When you accept His Son, you have accepted all that comes with being an heir.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

What does this mean?

I am going to break this down for you in very plain language.

If you have Christ, you are no longer a victim! You are more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthen you. You are to be conformed into His image, you are dead to your past and you are alive in Christ who gives you the hope and the promise of eternal life. You have received forgiveness and you are to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged you, abused you, hurt you and to yourself. Unforgiveness will keep you tied to your past and to your old mindsets. You are no longer a whore hopping from bed to bed, relationship to relationship, you are sanctified, you are pure and you are to offer yourself up as a living sacrifice to the One who has set you free. You are no longer an addict, an alcoholic, an angry person, an inferior person, a victim, an abuser, a fearful person, a selfish person or a self-preserved person.  You are not a fortress within yourself.

Your freedom has been purchased at a very high cost. You are to no longer play in the pig pen with the pigs, you are washed clean with the blood of Jesus. Your future is secure and you are to break ties with the past. You cannot hold onto the past while looking to the future.

That tie that held you for so long is no longer there. That phantom feeling you get of the rope on your ankles is a lie and you must recognize that.

I am not suggesting that this is always easy, because sure enough there will be times when it seems that all hell will break loose on you. But, free people always have a choice. You can choose to believe the lie and risk becoming bound again, or you can choose to believe Gods promise.

Jesus said if you abide in His Word, you are His disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin and a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

Many of us have had painful past. Many of us have been victims of people and/or circumstance that was beyond our control. But that is not what defines us. The past is not where we find our identity. Our identity is found in Jesus.

What is it that holds you back? What do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive?

Confession and repentance is the first step to freedom. Repentance means to no longer return to the rope (sin) that has held you. You turn away from it. You cling to Jesus. You allow Him to bring healing. You do not self-medicate with un-holy relationships or addictions. To many this may seem impossible, to step out of the comfort zone and break old habits, but Jesus said that what is impossible for man is possible with God.

As a free person, you have a choice. You can choose to believe Him or not to believe Him.

God is faithful, He cares for you and He loves you. There is nothing that can separate you from His love. He wants you to acknowledge and walk in the freedom that He has given you. He wants this more than you.

Are you weary? Are you tired of the merry-go-round of emotions? God says come up here. Learn to see through His eyes.

Kick that elephant out of your living room and divorce your past. You have no more relationship with your past. You are a new creation. A holy nation, a royal priesthood, an heir with Christ, a child of the Most High God. Walk in it!

Be Free & Stay Free

Conversation With My Friend

“I’m tired.” She said, tears welling up in her eyes, as she took another sip of her coffee.

We sat at the table in silence; she staring into her coffee and me looking at her. I didn’t know what to say to her. I prayed for God to give me words of comfort for her, but nothing came. Maybe she just needs me to listen.  

After a long pause, she took another sip of her coffee, put her cup down and looked me in the eye. I could see the traces of sleepless nights on her face. The circles under her eyes made her look older than she was and the puffiness told me she had been crying.

“Why can’t I get it right? Why do people always leave me? Am I that unlovable?” She looked away, gazed out the window and I could see a new tear forming at the corner of her eye. “I give it my all, I try to be the perfect person. No matter what I do it is never enough.”

I have known her for a long time. She came from a broken home; abandoned by her father. She married at a young age to an abusive husband, who eventually left her and her children. After two failed marriages, a couple failed relationships, a most recent heartbreak, and years of struggle, my friend sat in front of me and confessed she can no longer go on. “Something has got to give!” She said in a barely audible whisper.

My friend didn’t see herself as others saw her. She always saw herself as someone who is… less than. But, what I saw was a strong woman. A beautiful, compassionate, woman. She always had a smile on her face, she loved extravagantly, and anyone who came into contact with her became an instant friend. She was beautiful on the inside and out. Everyone noticed her. This always surprised me when she felt as though she were invisible.

I wanted to tell her it is not that she is unworthy, she just chooses unworthy people to give her heart to. I know she does this because she does not see her own worth and what a treasure she really is.

I take her by the hand and I look into her eyes-  her beautiful sad eyes. I can feel my own heart breaking for her.

“Don’t you ever for a minute think you are unworthy.” I firmly tell her. “You are so precious to Him, you are a treasure in His hands. Yes, others have left you and hurt you. But, my dear friend, He will never leave you. He is not angry with you. He has a plan and a purpose for you. Your vision has been clouded, you have not been able to hear Him because of the voices in your own head, but this does not mean He is not near. He has seen everything that has been done to you and He has seen everything you have done. He forgives you, He loves you, and He wants you to give your burdens to Him. He wants you to trust Him with your cares, your anxieties, and your dreams.”

I want to tell her to take her eyes off people and focus on Him, because I know her wounds go so much deeper. Only He can touch the depth of her wounded soul and bring the healing she cries out for. But I also know it will require her to completely trust Him and  be vulnerable again. Her trust has been shattered so many times from trusting the wrong people, I wonder if she will even be able to open up and receive His healing for her.

Our conversation shifts to the surface, because this is where she feels comfortable. We talk about our jobs, the weather, the children, anything and everything to not have to talk anymore about the discomfort and pain she is feeling. Both of us are only half in the conversation, going through the motions of not addressing the obvious need she has.

Thirty minutes later I am watching her through my rear mirror as she drives off. I sit in my car, silent, thinking about the conversation with my friend. And I pray for her. I pray for God to reveal Himself to her and to show her who she is in Him. I pray the motions of joy she portrays to the outside world become real joy. I pray  for her deliverance and that she would turn away from anyone who is not Gods best for her. May she be so focused in the revelation of His love for her that she will never settle for anyone or anything that is less. Oh, that she would come to the understanding her past is not her future. She is accepted by the true lover of her soul.

Yes, my friend, you are beautiful. You are beautiful because you belong to Him. We live in a fallen world filled with broken people. It was never His plan for us to be hurt, abused, overlooked, rejected…  But it happens, sometimes by other people and sometimes through our own choices. The consequence can feel unbearable and suffocating, but it does not have to be the death of us.

Oh, my broken friend, lay yourself at His feet. He will lift you up and in His arms you are safe.

Be Free & Stay Free