Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fixing your eyes on the "Son" - Week 2

"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along" - Psalm 40:2
Ever gotten stuck in the mud?  I have!  With fall and the rainy season, can come mud and with mud comes the chance of getting stuck.  Back in 1995, summer after my senior year of high school, I went on a missions trip to Papua New Guinea (it was there winter season, which means very hot, muggy, and rainy).  While there, we travelled to a remote village, which required us to drive a long distance on a dirt road with lots of pot holes.   Eventually we came to a steep, muddy hill, that we were suppose to drive up to reach the village.  No matter how hard we tried, that vehicle just wasn't making it up the hill.  The tires spun and spun in the mud.  We would make some progress and then begin to slip and slide back down.  And on top of this, there was a steep ravine on one side with a raging river below.   What a scary moment for sure!   Eventually we did make it to the top of that hill, thanks to the help of many others, coming alongside to help push the vehicle from behind.  I remember getting to the top of the hill and feeling so thankful and relieved.
In May of 2011 a situation occurred, that left me feeling "stuck" in a place of bitterness, unforgiveness, and deep hurt.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn't figure out how to get "unstuck".  Without going into unnecessary details I will say this...I had a "falling out" with a friend, a Christian friend at that.  Shortly after the "episode", I received a letter which made it clear all hopes of reconciliation were not going to happen.  That experience brought me to one of the lowest moments in my life.   It felt like every negative feeling imaginable was put into a blender and then I gulped it down...hurt, anger, bitterness, pain, confusion, unforgiveness, regret, sadness, feelings of rejection, frustration, and a hardness in my heart.
So I spent the remainder of last year "stuck" in that dark place.  It was a heavy burden, with more baggage than I could carry...but I made every attempt to carry it.  If you are a visual person just imagine a person at the airport looking absolutely ridiculous because of their overabundance of luggage.  It weighed me down, it held me back, and it was all consuming and very debilitating.  I couldn't move forward...I was "STUCK".

In early December, when it was obvious reconciliation was still not an option, I began to pour my heart out to God like never before.  I took the focus off of me and began to fix my eyes on the Son.  As I did, the Lord came alongside me and gave me the little push I needed to get unstuck!
The Lord revealed to me that this was not my burden to carry anymore and never should have been mine to carry.  The Lord reminded me that I can not control others and their choices/reactions....only my own.  The Lord renewed my mind and heart and I was flooded with peace.  Oh there is nothing like the sweet, sweet peace that comes from God.

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid" - John 14:27

It would be another 5 months before my prayer was answered for reconciliation and it came when I was least expecting it.  I love the saying, "God is rarely early but He is never late, His timing is always perfect."  The day finally came to talk with her face to face, and although it didn't revive our friendship, it brought the closure I needed. 

As I walked through this painful situation I learned something that surprised me.  Countless other Christian women I know have also endured a broken friendship with a fellow sister in the Lord.  This should not be the case.  I use to head up a ministry for teen girls called "Gutsy Girls for God" and that is exactly what each of us grown women need to be...GUTSY!  Gutsy to extend love, grace, and forgiveness when you have been wronged and gutsy to reach out when you have offended.  Us girls need to stick together, support one another, encourage, bless, and love on one another!  Can I hear an Amen?!

Please do not wait for reconciliation to happen to get "unstuck".  That moment may or may not come.  Make a decision to fix your eyes on the Lord, surrender the heavy baggage to Him, and allow him to do a work in your life NOW!  You will be so thankful you did!

Allow me to pray with you....

"Jesus, you paid the ultimate price by giving up your own life, so that we don't have to remain "stuck" in our sin.  Hardness of the heart, bitterness, unforgiveness, and all the other emotions that come from a broken relationship keep us from ALL that you have for our lives and from being effective in life.  I lift up this special lady to you.  You know her circumstances, you know the pain she feels, the loss, the hurt, the lack of peace.  As she begins to fix her eyes on you, I ask that you would move, heal, restore, and release her from the heavy weight.  Fill her with peace that surpasses all understanding, give her a fresh and new perspective, encourage her heart, and remind her of all that you did for her on the cross.  She is so precious to you and you love her more than words can ever express.  Give her hope in a hopeless situation.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen"

Come back next Wednesday for more in the "Fixing your eyes on the Son" series!
For the Introduction to the series go here.
For week 1 click here.

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