It is never an easy task to let go of someone you love. It comes with a lot of self reflection and heartache. You see, that's the hard part of being single, when relationships come to an end. Trying to be nice, but still get the closure we need as women. Trying to be strong even when you want to break down and ask why? Not understanding why this is happening...again. It's not easy for me to let someone get close to me, but this time I did. I actually allowed someone in, and gave them my heart, only to experience a broken heart like I have so many times before.

But...as I was driving home, I was very thankful for the long drive. I had the windows down, and the stars were bright. It gave me some time to reflect on a message I heard last night. Priscilla Shirer was talking on how to overcome "stones". One of her points was to see the good stuff in the bad stuff, and that's what I did. When God takes us through trials, that is the time we lean on Him the most. Look at your hurtful situation and seeing what God is trying to teach you. Not having a "woe is me" attitude, but an attitude of praise for the trial you are in. Even though I was sad, I turned up the radio and praised God. I thanked Him for this because I know He is going to teach me more about myself, and make me into the godly woman He wants me to be. This is not an easy task, but going to the Lord with how I was feeling and thanking Him for it, gave me a peace to know that He is in control. Everything that has happened up to this point has been because He wanted it to. As I was praying and worshipping, one of my favorite artist came on the radio, Jeremy Camp, singing There Will Be A Day. This is just one of the many ways God will speak to you. This song says it all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le-TG4sRRiQ

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face.

God always has a plan, we just need to continually seek him through the storms of life and praise Him through everything.


The List

What started out as my "Year of Fun", turned into a year of overcoming a great obstacle in my life. Little did I know this was going to happen, but God had other plans for me (as usual...) It all started early this year in my Community Group. Our study was on Life's Healing Choices and it started with forgiveness. In the last several years, I have learned a lot about forgiveness and have forgiven those that I was supposed to. When we started discussing this, I thought "ok, I'm good...I've got forgiveness down".

Then Session Four and James 5:16 came.

James 5:16 says - Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. The study said that we needed to list our sins and confess them to someone... OH. MY. WORD. I immediately said no. Literally, I told the group that there was no way I was one, writing them on paper, and two, telling another person??? No way. There were too many hurts, shame, and failures to let someone know the intimate details of the hurt that I've held onto for so long. We continued on and at the end of the night one of the girls said that if I did the list, and told someone, it would start the healing process. As I processed this, I wondered what in the world did I need healed from? I had forgiven everyone that had hurt me, so why would I have to do this? Over the course of the next few months, I would look at the bible study book and list on my night stand, and God began to work in my heart that I needed to write the list.

I knew that God wanted me to do this, but my biggest fear in it was finding a person that I could tell all this to, and they would not judge me. When I started thinking about it, the first person God laid on my heart was Beth Clark. So, I started praying about the list in March. Beth was coming back to town and while she was here we were going to try to get together for coffee. This was a perfect opportunity for me to tell her my "list". I was still struggling with even starting it, but continued praying about it. Beth and I ended up not meeting while she was here...WHEW! I really did not want to write my list...

About three weeks ago I was probably as down as I have been in a long time. I was struggling with so much and hurting. I wasn't sleeping at all and waking up every night. One day I came home from work, sat in my kitchen and wrote my list. Putting it on paper and admitting things that happened years ago that caused pain was hard, but I did it. God's timing is perfect and He knew Beth would be coming back into town the following week. Tonda Solomon invited me over for dinner, because she was also having over the Clark's, but there was confusion on the date, so it ended up being just me. Again, God's timing is perfect. Tonda and I talked about so much and it really resolved a few things in my heart that I was struggling with. She will probably never know the depth of what our conversation meant to me, but Tonda has an amazing gift of saying exactly what God wants her to, and it is exactly what I needed. So, she invited me back the following Thursday, when the Clark's would be there.

Beth and I connected for coffee Thursday morning of the day we were all having dinner. She did not know what I was about to purge on her, but I explained the story and that I had my list. Beth, being the incredible godly woman she is, listened as I told her everything. Her response when I was fininshed was an array of bible verses. She quoted scripture to help me see that God's redemption is what I needed, and I had to forgive myself. Something I don't think I have ever done, or known how to do, is forgive myself. After dinner that night, Tonda, Beth and I went out to the porch. We had great conversation and it was amazing to spend time with two amazing women. They both quoted scripture and encouraged me more than they will ever know. At the end of the night, Tonda prayed with me and I burned my list. Yes, I literally burned my list.

All the hurt, anger, shame that I had been holding on to all these years was gone. It was so hard to have to drudge up the pain again, confess it and know I had to let go of it. This whole time I would hold onto those things because that is who I told myself I was, and those were the lies that satan would constantly tell me. It was always that I didn't matter, that I wasn't worth it, look at what I did, why would God ever use me? I held onto these things because that is what made me, me. But it's not. What makes me who I am is God. God should be my only focus, the center of my world, every thought should be taken captive by Him. It is going to be a long process to break the old habits and way of thinking, but I know with God I can overcome anything. The healing and forgiving process starts today.