Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Timely Talk

It's Tuesday once again and time for Lelia's study of Lisa Whittle's Behind Those Eyes and once again the chapter is hitting me hard. Maybe the hardest yet. I am amazed at how God led me to this study, the timing of each chapter and the work He is doing through it. So onto chapter 8, We are Completely Loved and Accepted Completely.

Like I said the timing of this amazes me as just yesterday I had a wonderful talk with a very close friend. It seems our friendship grows stronger and deeper with each conversation we share and this talk was no different. She has shared the fact she made poor decisions in her past (haven't we all?) and was not proud of that fact (again I think we can relate), but yesterday she shared from the heart. Though I was surprised with the picture she painted of the person she once was, I didn't judge her, my perception of her didn't change and my respect for her has increased. Really in a way I admire her all the more. She did something I'm afraid to do and that has made me think...

And it all ties in with the book we are reading. We have been talking about being real and I have grown tremendously the last couple of years with that, but yesterday listening to my friend I was reminded of some buried pain in my life. Do I think I need to share it with the world? No, but do I need to deal with it? Yes!! As I reflected on our conversation through the night I never once thought negatively about my friend and her mistakes, but Satan had me dwelling on my own.

It's not that I've committed some terrible crime or really broken any law, but feelings of disappointment and disgust came to mind. Granted this struggle took place before giving my life to Christ, but still I can't believe some of my actions. When the mind starts working, some times bad things can happen or bad thoughts anyway. I wondered what my friend would think if our roles were reversed and honestly I know she'd listen, not judge and assure me of God's forgiveness, but yet it's hard.

But during the night I took a step, no I didn't call my friend, well not the one who's words triggered these thoughts instead I talked to my best friend. In the quiet of the night I had a talk with God unlike any I had before. Sure I've asked for forgiveness, but never specifically talked about this and called it by name. And it was good. Just as I had wondered and in a way worried about what my friend would think of me if I told her, I also thought about God - would he be as disgusted as I was? Could he still love me and accept me? Would he still value who I've become even after knowing who I had been?

That's when Lisa's words came back to mind, "And He loves us still, even in our curlers and terry-cloth bathrobes, (and I might add in our poor choices, mistakes and sin) unsightly to anyone else but Him." I didn't have to tell Him any of this - He already knew and He still loved me and accepted me. Though I didn't have to tell Him for His sake, I did for mine and I am grateful I did. My honesty with my heavenly Father simply reminded me of his love and again as Lisa says, "And when you experience it (His love) in your heart, it makes it impossible to settle for love of any other kind."

His love is real and when we're real with Him we experience it all the more. These words make me think of a wonderful Point of Grace song, "Heal the wound, but leave a scar so I'm reminded of how merciful you are." I believe my healing process is beginning and as it does I'm hurt and humbled. It's all another reminder of my sin and brokenness and it hurts to think that's what nailed Jesus to the cross, but it's beyond humbling to think He did that for me.

There's no explanation for that other than a love we really don't understand, but one that we so greatly need. With that love comes acceptance and as Lisa says, "It is the REAL DEAL."

11 comments:

  1. Facing the truth head on is our only way to heal. In alot of places we are told to put the past behind you and that is true but you have to acknowledge that past in order to put it behind you.

    I'm so glad that you were able to talk to your best friend last night.

    Bless you, Cindy

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  2. Thank goodness Christ loves us despite ourselves. Loved this: These words make me think of a wonderful Point of Grace song, "Heal the wound, but leave a scar so I'm reminded of how merciful you are."

    He is so merciful.

    Kristy

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  3. I can relate to what you say here. Our friends can share their mistakes and we don't make much of it. However, when we reflect on our own mistakes, we judge ourselves and beat ourselves up for it. Of course, I think satan has a big part in that also. God tells us when we ask for forgiveness He sees our sin no more. I've been told befor that when we bring it back up, it's like devaluing or making less of His forgiveness...kind of like receiving a gift ungratefully. I don't know if this is true but I do have a hard to burying things as God does. I think we are our own worst critic.

    I love how you said you didn't have to tell God, He already knew. That was cute and made me smile. Kind of like when Lisa said in the book that God already knows that He accepts us but He wants us to know it...really know it.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you've chosen to face your past and begin to heal.
    Paula

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  4. We as humans most be just "disgusting" to God and yet he loves us as if we have never sinned, never spoke his name in vain, never turned our eyes from him...he STILL loves us!!

    I love what you wrote:
    "There's no explanation for that other than a love we really don't understand, but one that we so greatly need."

    Amen, Amen, Amen
    blessings to you Jill!
    Kim

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  5. I too have had that experience with a friend baring her heart and soul to me. And when she was done, i felt free to share everything with her. It was hard, yet freeing to know that God gifted me with someone who was able to listen to me, and love me without judgement. Very rare these days.

    I really loved your post, and how you found the courage to talk to God specifically about the issues in your past. Its amazing the peace that comes when you are finally able to name those things with God... how the fear melts away... in His arms of love.

    Please pray as I fight off a cold, and as I try to just get through a couple of tough days here... this chapter hit home for sure...
    God bless,
    Heather

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  6. I too love the idea of it being the REAL DEAL. God's love is just too great to imagine, isn't it?

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  7. This chapter was wonderful. And your post was the "real deal," sharing your heart. I love this: "There's no explanation for that other than a love we really don't understand, but one that we so greatly need."

    I just don't understand it! But He does love us so...

    So glad to be on this journey with you,
    Darlene

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  8. For years I ran way from truth and I was miserable. I'm not sure why I thought I could hide anything from God.

    Our God is so wonderful and merciful. I love that song(Heal the Wound)

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  9. Jill,
    You have expressed so beautifully what is on many hearts of women -- the deep desire to know we are loved by God no matter what. It's the most basic of principles (and the most beautiful, in my mind) but it is so hard for us to really OWN. So thank you for "talking" about it. I can relate to so much of what you wrote!

    You did ask me a question on my blog I want to answer, and I'll try to keep it brief! :) I think what you are saying is that you want to be real and open but does that ALWAYS mean sharing your every experience with others. If that is the question, then no. It's so important to realize that being real does NOT always mean telling all your business. In fact, sometimes we share things with some fleshly hope of recognition or acceptance, and that is never a good thing. So we have to be careful about this. It is not being hypocritical or "fake" to keep some things just between you and God. And you're right... it is truly only possible to know what and when to share by getting that discernment from God. There is no substitute for HIS judgment and quite honestly, I don't trust myself enough to know what He wants me to share all the time. So I do a lot of praying in that regard! :)

    For instance, though I shared ALOT in the book about myself and my struggles, there are certainly things I did not share. I trusted God completely to bring things to my mind that He wanted me to use in the book and leave things out He didn't want in there. Who knows why, but there were definately things I/He left out. But it wasn't because it was my choice. I truly believe God gave me every word of the book...reminded me of stories I hadn't thought about in 30 years... and used the things He wanted to get His point across. Were there things I could have talked about and sometimes even wanted to but didn't? Yes. Were there a few things I would have preferred to leave out? For sure. But I am daily praying that He will have free reign with my life and can use whatever has happened to me for His glory -- that's the only thing of value in any of my experiences.

    Jill, I always try to check myself before I share things to make sure my motive is right. I have written things I have had to trash because I knew it was just me wanting to tell something and not of God. I always pray and ask myself before I share, "Will this be helpful to someone? Could this be used to help change someone's life?" The key is just to be open and willing to share whatever God wants you to and yet pray for discernment that you will share things only of Him. It sounds complicated, but really, it's just simply a matter of prayer and God seeking.

    Hope this helps! So sorry so long, but you know us writers! :)

    Loving how God is working in you!
    Lisa :)

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  10. Our God is so amazingly loving. I've had those late night talks with Him, and it always feels so peacful when there done.

    Sounds like you also have a new wonderful friendship growing. Thank you for sharing those insights into your thoughts.

    In Him
    Carol

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  11. I hd a similiar circumstance this past week. A women confided her struggle in me and my eyes were open to what I must have looked like, sounded like when I was wearing her shoes. I had to deal with the shame again but kowing that I am loved and acceted no matter what....it kept me from falling back into satans grip of my past. God is so much bigger than it all and I cherish His redemptive grace and the fact that I am now using my story to help that lady not to take the same destructive road I walked on. Amazing. Savor His mercy!!

    In His Graces~Pamela

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