An Update: Being a Submissive & Respectful Wife – 4 years in – The REAL Secret

Here is my number one, life-altering, marriage-saving bit of advice:

Seek the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Stay with me, now.

I realized about a year ago that I was putting unrealistic expectations on my husband to fill my deepest longings and be my source of joy. This caused so much disappointment and bitterness in me that I had lost almost all feelings for my husband. I literally said to God one day, “I have love in my heart for him, but I am not in love with him.”

Our marriage had suffered so so deeply from so many unhealthy arguments stemming from so many unmet expectations. It got to a point where I honestly thought that there was no salvaging our relationship. We both did, and we both admitted it openly.

Yeesh…

The reason we got to that point is that Ethan was never meant to fill my deepest longings and be my source of joyONLY JESUS CAN DO THAT.

So there is it. My words of wisdom.

Seek Jesus with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Ask the Lord to renew and strengthen your love for Jesus, to rekindle it and to set your heart on fire for Him. Ask Him to be your primary source of love and joy, and then watch your marriage flourish, because He will give you the ability to love, forgive, and serve like you never thought possible.

Seeking Jesus FIRST is what really allowed me to start loving Ethan unconditionally.

Doing this freed Ethan from my crushing hopes and expectations. It freed him to be what he is: a broken human being with his own struggles and flaws. He no longer had to be the perfect husband and father all of the time at the risk of me falling to pieces or facing a long and soul-crushing argument with little hope of resolution.

When Jesus is our source contentment and joy, He helps us to love and forgive as He does. We are able to give grace more easily and freely.

Rather than harboring anger and bitterness, the Lord has filled my heart so much that I can actually comfort him and we can quickly and calmly resolve our disagreements. We have reached a level of transparency and honesty and trust that I never ever thought would be possible in our marriage. And I know that is because we have gotten to a point where forgiveness and grace flows freely in our home.

This change did not happen over night, but it did begin with one single prayer of surrender and a renewal of my vow to Jesus – that HE would be my strength, my joy, my peace, my purpose, and my passion. And then it continued as I put Jesus back on the throne of my heart each day, making more and more effort to know Him.

Through the overflowing and never-ending outpouring of love from the Father, I can then pour out and be a blessing to my husband.

Seek the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Being a submissive and respectful wife will naturally follow.

 

 

For the wife of an unbeliever, this is just as or perhaps even more crucial for you. They may not be seeking the Lord, but YOU can. You are responsible for your relationship with Jesus. You alone. You can be a light and a blessing to your spouse. You can minister to them through showing them the unconditional love of Christ in action. That is quite the calling! If you’d like a book with some more encouragement and wisdom, I highly recommend “Spiritual Mismatch: Hope for Christians Married to Someone Who Doesn’t Know God” by Lee and Leslie Strobel. It’s a phenomenal book and has been a great help to me and many I know personally.

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Spiritual Battle[s] – emphasis on the [s]

We may wonder why certain struggles, sins, and battles repeatedly pop up in our path. We may get extremely frustrated and disheartened, thinking that we’ve failed somehow by not defeating it permanently or fully. But as of today, I have a new perspective.

I was thinking over a conversation me and a friend just had about that seemingly ever-present mother’s guilt, and of course then also all the other battles I face, sometimes on a daily basis, that I just can’t seem to have victory over permanently, as I would like to. The same feelings of guilt, shame, self-condemnation, and doubt all came flooding in because of my “weakness.”

Then the thought occurred to me that maybe some battles just fall into the category of “on-going,” and that a repeated battle is not indicative of weakness or failure.

I do believe that some things, once healed, are done. For good. A temptation here or there may crop up, but are quickly doused because of that gift of healing God gave you.

But I believe some are not so quickly felled. Some, we must keep fighting. But needing to fight that battle again does not mean we have already lost or that we are hopeless.

Thinking of it in this way is quite freeing for me. There have been so many days where the fact that I had to fight that temptation again or capture those horrible thoughts again or even confess my struggle and repent again was grounds for defeat and all of those terrible feelings that come with it. Like the battle was already lost just because I had to enter the ring in the first place, even if it ended in victory.

1 Peter 5 came to mind:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I realized that having the mindset of “I beat that already” puts me off my guard. It causes me to drop my sword.

But if the enemy is like a prowling lion seeking out his prey, I cannot stand around sword-less just because I won some fights in the past.

As someone once told me, “We’ve got to pick up our swords and keep ’em bloody.” The battles will keep coming. Whether it’s a familiar foe or a new challenger, we have to have our swords at the ready. We have to arm ourselves with the Truth. The Truth about who we are, but more importantly whose we are.

We are the children of the Almighty God. The God that cannot be defeated. As 1 Peter 5 continues,

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Why Christianity is not a cop-out. Or a crutch.

I heard it again this weekend…

“Christianity is just a man-made philosophy that helps people cope with the fact that they will die, ceasing to exist, and that life actually is purposeless.”

Oh, friend, how far from the truth you are.

To the untrained (shallow) eye, you see people with joy and peace, even in the midst of suffering, which seems to clearly indicate that they have self-medicated with this false  idea to trick their minds into feeling that peace and/or joy. You think they are absolutely silly, or maybe even stupid, to stoop to that level of foolishness to make themselves feel better rather than face the “cold hard truth.” You see a weakling that probably hasn’t even suffered as much as you have and that clearly doesn’t have the mental or emotional fortitude that you yourself poses. They stub their toe and they reach for their crutch and mutter their Christian-isms under their breath to soothe themselves back into their surreal stupor.

But the truth is, the Christian is not suffering as you are. Not anymore. And that makes you angry. They do not feel dead and empty inside, because they are not weighed down by the mistakes of their past, they are not held down by shame or the voice in their head that tells them they are nothing. You rationalize that they are being fooled, when in fact, you are. You are being tricked into thinking that you will be able to numb that pain and emptiness by something this world has to offer.

That something will surely bring you happiness or enough pleasure to last, right? Or you tell yourself that someday when you achieve x, y, and z, you will feel good about yourself, your life, your legacy. But you have been fooled. Those things will leave you wanting, because those things were not made to satisfy your soul, which is where the turmoil and suffering really lies.

You are suffering and you cannot seem to make it go away no matter what you try. There is an emptiness there, a dissatisfaction, and nothing can seem to fill that hole.

See the Christian is not free from suffering. In fact, they have willingly signed up for more than you think. But they have also accepted the cure handed to them, that which can fully satisfy and make all suffering worthwhile, for a greater purpose than themselves.

So do no think that because Christians are not sitting in darkness as you are, that we have taken a crutch or are free from pain. Rather, you have chosen to sit stubbornly in your self-induced pain, while we have exchanged ours for a cross to bear.

It never EVER says anywhere in the Bible that following Jesus will be easy. When Jesus instructs us pick up our cross and follow him, it was not a light-hearted comment. It was a challenge. He was asking, “Do you truly know where this path leads?”

That is… scary. Difficult. Painful. There are people being beheaded for professing Jesus as Lord. There are people being shunned, mocked, persecuted by friends, family, entire communities, for believing Jesus is the Messiah.

How, by any stretch of the imagination, is that a crutch? A cop-out? An easy road?

Seriously. How?

But when you come to know the God that loves you so deeply, that made every part of your being, that saw every evil thing you did or thought or said, but that still loves you and has given you the key to heaven’s gate through Jesus… It is worth the fight. Jesus promises it will be worth it.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” – Romans 8:18

And it is a fight.

Jesus also promises He will be right next to us the entire way we carry our cross. The Beatitudes are not for those who are doing well, they are for those who are suffering as they walk in their faith and trust in Jesus.

When people say “Christianity is a crutch,” I want to say, “No, its more like walking through a dungeon full of blind, sick and injured people that you love, who are  focused on trying to numb their pain with all the wrong medicines (which only make them more sick). In your hand you hold the key out of the dungeon. You extend it out to people imploringly, sometimes begging them to take it, to let you help them escape, only to have them lash out and hurl proclamations of self-righteousness, indigence, and insults at you in fear, mockery, anger, and even hatred. Oh yeah, and then also the jailer is gunning after you, aiming at the target on your back because you’re trying to free his prisoners.”

That’s not super fun.

Not at all, really.

And that calling is not something a follower of Jesus can escape. We are called to share the Good News. The news that there is One who has given everything to save them, that loves them so deeply, that so badly wants them with Him for eternity, that He took the punishment that was rightfully theirs. He took the bullet. He took the beating. He took on hell to give them heaven.

 

And the life Christians are called to is entirely upside-down. The polar opposite of what comes easily.

We are called to love God first. With all of our mind, heart, soul, and strength. Compare that to the person who is their own god. It’s pretty easy to live a selfish and self-indulgent life. It is how our flesh is wired. It’s natural, instinctual. It takes the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to flip that upside down and love God more than ourselves. To accept that your life is not your own to live as you please, that your way is actually not the best way, to seek God’s will before your own. That is the opposite of how people are wired.

Second, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus says the “as ourselves” to give us a gauge, because we are naturally and effortlessly lovers of self, as we have established. Even the people that sit in the pit of self-hatred are consumed with themselves, and in a very unhealthy way, are thinking of themselves before all others. It takes the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to flip that self-obsession upside down and love others just as much. It takes a supernatural act to soften a selfish heart and open blind eyes in order to see the importance and needs of those around us – those that are hurting, that are cast out, rejected, broken-hearted, and struggling. Especially to the point of actually doing something about it.

Being a follower of Jesus is not a crutch. It is a calling to a difficult and even dangerous, but worthwhile, challenge with great reward and everything to lose.

5 Promises for the Persecuted

 

 

The Perfect Parable for a Dating Analogy

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

(Matthew 13:24-30)

The weeds referred to here are tares, a kind of darnel. The most common of its species. It is as tall as wheat and resembles wheat in appearance. They are in fact almost completely identical up to the point where they are mature enough to bare their seeds.

But that point of maturation is long down the road, when its roots have grown deep and have become difficult to pull without doing damage to, or even destroying, the true wheat around it.

The seeds of these darnel are black in color. They are poisonous – causing sleepiness, nausea, convulsions, and even death.

When reading commentary on these verses, I couldn’t help but think of how many traps I fell into while dating. I can’t help but think of all my brothers and sisters in Christ that may be in danger of being lead astray by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I can’t help but think of all my brothers and sisters out there who may be in that spot of uncertainty, where there have been some red flags (enough of them, if they’re being honest with themselves), that are just afraid to let go…

Dating is such a difficult and even dangerous time. I so badly wish I could go back in time and re-do some conversations and stretches of my past, now that I have accepted the wisdom and guidance of the Lord.

Sadly, I cannot.

But for you reading, it may not be too late.

Dating is dangerous because people can easily hide behind mask. Dating is when people are the absolute best versions of themselves, or the version of themselves that they know you hope them to be. They even make promises based on that false self. Some make them in hopes of someday becoming the mask they wear.  Others make promises to secure whatever it is they are hoping for… Another date. A kiss. Sex. Marriage… Whatever their end goal is.

Some people wear their masks their whole lives, unable to accept that they are broken and in need of a Savior. They hide behind their jobs, their stuff, their beauty, their brains, they humor… Anything to keep from really examining the state of their heart and what it would look like to be honest with themselves and with others.

Brothers and sisters, they may be able to fool us and even themselves, but they can never fool the Lord.

The Lord knows the true heart of each human being. He knows their motives. He sees the path they are headed for. God is not bound by time as we are. He is in the past, present, and future constantly.

I implore you guys to take your relationship to the cross. Seek the face of Jesus. Ask Him for guidance and wisdom. Ask Him to make it clear to you what He wants for you.

Remember that every single thing He does for you is out of love for you and those around you. Remember that if He does happen to tell you or show you that that person is not for you, that He has something better in mind. Much better, as He always does.

Remember that if you take that leap of faith and trust Him with your relationship, even to the point of ending it, that He will be there, as close as your breath, to comfort and sustain you.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:3-12)

Remember that no human being on earth can ever love you as much as Christ. Remember that no human being on earth is worth more than Jesus. Remember that no human being on earth can ever give you the true and lasting joy, peace, identity, and purpose that He can.

Remember, you can trust Him.

 

More resources and great articles:

https://relevantmagazine.com/article/missionary-dating-isnt-just-unbiblical-its-selfish/

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-golden-rule-in-christian-dating

http://frankpowell.me/principles-christian-dating-transform-lives-eternities

http://www1.cbn.com/singles/five-red-flags-christians-blinded-romance

When guilt, regret, and shame come knocking…

Sometimes I forget.

I forget that I am a new creation.

I forget that through the blood of Christ, I am made clean.

My blemishes washed away entirely. Not even a scar remains.

No evidence of my life before Jesus is visible in God’s eyes. He looks at me and sees Jesus, because I am hidden in Him. Pure. Holy. Unblemished. Sinless.

 

All because I believe.

I believe Jesus is who He said He was – the son of God, capable of bestowing true forgiveness.

I believe He died for my sins, my shame, my guilt, my regret, my immoral decisions, my selfishness, and my flesh that I am constantly at war with.

Today, I am reminding myself.

But I am not reminding myself of who I am in Christ, but simply of who Christ is.

I have been struggling with such guilt and shame over my past lately. I will get random flashes of my worst decisions in my mind’s eye. To battle it, I have been trying to remind myself who I am in Christ. Of who I am now rather than focusing on who I once was…

But even that is not enough to free me. Because then I see the sins that I struggle with in the present, even as a new creation, constantly reminding me that I, myself, am flawed, imperfect, and desperately in need of a Savior.

No. I have to take my eyes entirely off of myself and focus my eyes on what God sees in me. And that is Jesus. I need to focus only on my Savior.

Without Him, I would be dead in my sins – the sins of my past, the sins of my present, and the sins of my future.

To God be all the glory. For nothing I ever do could earn his forgiveness, and nothing I have ever done or ever will do could separate me from His love.

Praise God that my salvation is not dependent on me living a life worthy of Him, because I simply cannot ever reach that bar. Try as I might.

But because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I am forgiven and made worthy and righteous.

I do not need to dwell on my past.

I am choosing not to dwell on my past.

Today I am choosing to fix my eyes on the Jesus. Who He is.

Because when God looks at me, He does not compare who I am now to who I once was.

He simply sees Jesus.

Praise God! He loves us so that He made a way for us to enter His presence. He made a way for us to walk with Him all our days on this earth if we so choose. Praise God that He loves us so much that He saw our iniquities and sought to reconcile it for us, knowing we could never do so of our own strength.

He loves us, brothers and sisters.

If ever you doubt it, you need only look at Jesus. Look at what He has done for you.

Do not let satan attack you with your past or present. He is only trying to separate you from the love of God. To distract you from your Kingdom work. To make you feel unworthy, powerless, and shameful. A person hiding in the dark cannot bring others into the light.

We do not need to wallow, hide, or punish ourselves. And we certainly do not have to allow the enemy to punish us. After all, the enemy cannot judge us for our sins. He cannot judge at all. God has not given him that authority. But he can accuse. He can mislead. He can distract. He can divert. But only as far as we allow.

Because we, who have accepted Christ, can be hidden in Him. We can wear His righteousness. We can live in power and authority over our accusers (Luke 10).

If we fix our eyes on our Savior and tear them away from ourselves, we can live in freedom. We can rest in Him.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:18]

 

An awesome read:

https://www.gotquestions.org/how-does-God-see-me.html

Before you get an abortion, read this.

 

This topic of abortion is weighing so heavily on my heart. And that is because I now know 4 different couples who have chosen this path instead of life. And now I watch them suffer, and it is all heartbreaking.

I know how much I still struggle with the promiscuity of my past… the shame and regret… and how those decisions, which pale in comparison to the seriousness of the decision to end a life, make me struggle with self hatred. I cannot imagine the depth of their pain. It makes my heart ache for them.

One of them has happened in my own family, and we are the only ones he has told about it, because he fears the response of the rest of his family. He and his girlfriend at the time decided to go that route, out of fear and shame. Fear that they weren’t ready, fear that they couldn’t support it financially, ashamed that they would have a child out of wedlock… This list goes on and on.

They have since broken up, the strain on their relationship becoming too much to bear, the immense guilt resurfacing just by being together, their anger at themselves exploding out in angry fights… He is deep in depression. I am now praying that he does not take his own life, as Ethan has said he has said some things that hint towards him contemplating suicide. It is so terrifying and heartbreaking to witness.

Another of our friends shared the same secret. This friend also said he now sees me very differently. He now admires me for going the “harder” route and is now living with the most intense regret of his life.

But he has no idea. Having a child is tough financially, and it’s more work (gotta feed ’em, ya know?)… But that little girl has brought me so much joy and added such depth to my life. She changed how I see everything and everyone. Parents out there know exactly what I am talking about. She gave me something to be better for. Every day, she wakes up, totters over to me with messy hair and sleepy eyes, she smiles sleepily at me, she gives me a hug, and she tells me how much she loves me. That doesn’t sound so bad, huh?

And there are difficult moments, for sure. It is difficult when our bank account is overdrawn. It is difficult when she is misbehaving. It is difficult when I have to wake up with her in the middle of the night because she had a very realistic dream about sitting on a potty. It was difficult telling people that I was pregnant and unmarried at 19 and was carrying the child of a man whose commitment level was questionable. It was difficult to have people look down on me for being irresponsible.

But that taught me not to cower under a critical eye. It taught me to pull my shoulders back, set my jaw, and decide that I was going to be a good mom. That I was going to do everything I could to give my baby a good life. And now I get to enjoy the fruit of that decision. I’ve got a beautiful little girl that I love with all my heart. I get to hear her belly laugh, get to watch her grow and learn, get to hear her thoughts about Jesus, get to praise God for every step she takes towards Him, get to help raise her to be a good person and then watch her be kind. And she has taught me more about unconditional love and grace than possibly anyone, as she had readily forgiven me for my mistakes and immediately hugged me, smiling, and telling me that she loves me. It is truly an amazing journey.

I truly believe that I did not take the harder route. They have.

Money can always be made. Your life plan may alter, but I truly believe it will NOT be for the worst. Money is not everything. College is great, but it’s also a debt generator (student loans have made my life 100x harder than my daughter. My husband got paid twice as much as I am being paid now, and he does not have a degree (now he is opening his own business), I know a couple that started and own 5 successful businesses, no college experience, the list goes on). Careers are great for money, but they will not fulfill you. Parties are fun, but they will not bring you the joy of a meaningful relationship, like the one between parent and child.

It is easy to walk into a Planned Parenthood and get an abortion, but life afterwords is far from it.

It is one of the greatest lies of the enemy that we face today – that abortion will save you from a difficult path. That your life is easier without another life to worry about.

But the reality is, you will have to battle a deep regret and remorse for an indefinite amount of time, perhaps your entire life. Your mind will randomly stray to that moment in time when you had the procedure or took that pill, and you will think about how old your child would be, wonder what they would look like, what their personality would be like, wonder what your life would look like with them by your side. You will look at other children and struggle to smile because of the sadness. You will struggle with self-hatred, because you have made a choice so selfish in hopes of making your own life easier, but the cost was ending a life.

I am not saying this stuff to make people feel bad, I am writing exactly what those that I know have told me they now feel and what they now struggle with. If you’d like to read more testimonies of the after-affects of abortion, click here.

If you have had an abortion and you are struggling with depression, please seek help. Do not isolate yourself. Dive deeper into church, try to find a small group setting to jump into (recommendation: Rachel’s Vineyard & Celebrate Recovery), find a safe space to talk about your struggles. Seek counseling (preferably Christian, as they can lead you to the Truth, which can lead to true healing). And whatever you do, do not let that decision separate you from the love of the Lord. God love you unconditionally. Truly. Do not let the enemy win. Do not let the enemy tell you you are too far gone. The darkness is as light to the Lord. He wants to save you.Read why.

I know it is scary to have a child when you feel unprepared. But you WILL BE a good parent. God will provide, for He is FAITHFUL. And even married people (also have many married couple friends pregnant right now) who have been TRYING to get pregnant struggle with the same fears – that they will not be a good parent, that they will struggle financially, etc. You are not alone!!! Having a baby is a big deal, but it is AMAZING. You can do it, because Jesus will be right by your side the ENTIRE time. And He’s really all you need.

Some people don’t want saving.

I was blessed to go on my first ever business trip over this past week to New York City. This was a BIG deal for me, as I don’t travel much and live in a small town in the middle of the woods. But I have always wanted to go to the big city, just to experience it.

So I got to wander NYC for 5 nights, just me and Jesus. It was amazing.

Last night, my last night there, I walked from my hotel, across the Brooklyn Bridge, into Brooklyn Heights, had an amazing vegan burger, and walked back. On my way back, there was a man who walked with a severe limp. He was extremely thin, had ragged clothes and hair, and was covered in dirt and grime. He appeared to be homeless and struggling.

As soon as I saw him, I felt an overwhelming urge to ask him if I could pray for healing for him. Not just healing over time, I felt like if this man said yes, that the Lord would truly heal him right then and there.

Now I have never done a prayer for physical healing on the spot before, but the burden is not a new one to me. Usually, I am so terrified that a healing won’t happen that I don’t risk it. I’m terrified that the Lord won’t answer my prayer. I’m afraid that instead of it being an instruction from God Himself to heal by His power, that it is just me feeling empathetic for their suffering. I am afraid to confuse the two, to not have the prayer answered, and to damage any chance they had of believing.

So, per usual, I tried to stuff that burden down and to rationalize it away. But it would not budge. I truly felt like his foot would be healed if I prayed for it to be healed. That confidence was new. And all these verses kept popping into my head, each confirming this feeling in me further.

So I back-tracked to where he was, because I had long since passed him by the time I decided to take this leap of faith. I approached him and asked him his name. He told me and then asked me why I asked. I told him I felt like God was telling me to pray healing over his foot.

He freaked out, you guys. His eyes got super wide and he looked terrified. He quickly looked away, shaking his head and saying, “Oh, no, no, no. I don’t want that,” and immediately started walking away. It was the strangest reaction I have ever seen.

I started walking again, too and said, “Can I ask why?” hoping to understand this man’s reason behind his reaction. He said, “No. Now I’ve got to get to Manhattan, so excuse me,” in a little bit harsher of a voice, though his face was still a mask of fear, and he was now leaning away from me like I was about to strike him or something. So I just shrugged and said, “Okay,” and continued on ahead of him (since he walked very slowly with his limp).

It was bizarre, you guys. This guy was so clearly not on neutral terms with God. There was something definitely going on there, and by the tone and urgency of his rejection, it was not good.

I started tearing up the second I was past him, not because he rejected me, but because he had rejected God. I walked on, wondering why on earth he would be so afraid of healing, of prayer, of such a loving God. My mind began reeling with unanswered questions:

“You WANT to live with that pain? You WANT to go on suffering? What is it about God that is so terrifying or wrong to you? Do you fear the Lord or are you angry with Him? Are you unwilling to give up whatever sin you think will fulfill you more than the Lord? Are you afraid to face the Lord with all of your sin, like I was? 

Or maybe there is more at work here than I can see. Maybe he has demons within him that do not want this man healed. Perhaps if those demons are in him, they are terrified of being cast back into Hell. Dang straight…”

My heart ached for him, now more for his soul than for his physical suffering. Though I am not positive, I have a very strong feeling that this man is addicted to some bad drugs and that there are forces of the enemy at work within him. I have never seen anybody react like that.

But even though my heart ached for him, I walked away with a weight off of my shoulders, because I had been obedient.

I realized in that moment that I would much rather live with the tiny sting of rejection than with the regret of a missed opportunity and the knowledge that I was disobedient. The sting of rejection lasted for only a moment, and it was pretty much entirely overshadowed by shock at this man’s fear of being prayed over. I walked away knowing that I had done what I was meant to do. I felt like I was doing what the scriptures say. I felt overwhelming peace, despite being rejected.

Even though I did not get to see God heal this man right then and there, I did pray for healing for him, and that he would know exactly Who to give the glory to if/when it happens.

God has been taking me on quite an interesting journey lately. I’ve been reading the Word and learning about it more than ever before, and all that I am learning is really challenging me. I’ve also been listening to Francis Chan messages on YouTube (highly, highly recommend him), and he seems to keep bringing up the idea of taking the Bible literally and living in such a way that our stories would be like those in the Bible. He challenges everybody to live more like Jesus instructed His disciples to, bold and powerful, since the same Spirit that was alive in them is now alive in us. He promises that God will be with us when we go out and make more disciples (Matthew 28: 16-20).

This experience also reiterated the fact that a lot of people are going to reject Jesus in spite of Him revealing Himself to them and giving them ample opportunity to believe and be reborn, something I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around. But there this man was, doing exactly what is predicted in Scripture, choosing to not follow Him, choosing not to be healed, choosing to continue with a life of pain, sorrow, addiction, sin, whatever it is he is holding onto so tightly…

God already knows what every person’s ultimate choice will be (hence the names in the Book of Life – those who will choose Him in the end), hence why Jesus often began with “He who has ears, let him hear,” knowing that most people would not truly hear His words. That His words would be falling on both deaf and alert ears. That most of the crowd would listen to his words and walk away unchanged, that they would not do anything about what they heard, that they would not confess Him as Lord, that they would go on living their lives no differently than before He had spoken. So when He says, “He who has ears, let him hear,” he is addressing those whose names are in that Book of Life.

It is crazy to think about.

But, I don’t know what God has planned for this man. Maybe I was the 5th person on that bridge to have asked him to pray for his foot and that’s why he was freaked out. Maybe the 6th person to ask will be the one he finally yields to. I don’t know!

Maybe God used me to plant a seed in his mind, just like my mom kept doing long before I chose to follow Jesus, which I believe was how I knew exactly Who to turn to in my time of need. I don’t know!

I won’t know until Heaven. Maybe I’ll see that guy there. God, I hope so…

All we can do is be obedient to the nudges. To have tender hearts and a tough hides – to be compassionate and empathetic, while not allowing fear or the sting of rejection to hinder or discourage us from Kingdom work. 

I would love to hear any stories of healing, PLEASE comment them below. I would love as much evidence as possible on here that these things actually do happen, that we are meant to go out as the Disciples did, healing people in the name of Jesus Christ. Please don’t exaggerate or embellish any stories! (Note: I have settings for comments to require my approval before they are public, as some comments I receive are quite personal or hateful, so don’t be discouraged if your story doesn’t show up immediately. I’ll get on here as often as I can to get them approved!)

Thank you for sharing and thank you for reading, brothers and sisters! May Jesus continue to make us bold and powerful for His glory!