Tag Archives: guilt

Pretty Ponies? A Mother’s “Short Tale”

Yesterday, my daughter asked if she could give one of her ponies a hair cut. We had given a trim to one of her My Little Pony pets before, so I agreed. I reminded her that the pony’s hair couldn’t grow back, and gave her a small pair of scissors, and a piece of cardstick to set underneath.

My daughter returned to ask if she could give another pony a hair cut. “I guess so,” I agreed, while casually mentioning that if she later decided to sell some of her ponies at a yard sale, the other little girls might be looking for long manes and tails. She nodded her head, and then we both shrugged. Who cared about a yard sale? They were her ponies now, and she had a bunch of them. She skipped off to take them to the pony salon; and snip, clip, and shampoo their colorful locks into new hairdos.

After about a half an hour, my normally cheery, confident little girl came into my room, downcast. “What’s wrong, little one?” I asked.

She lowered her head, and her voice slightly trembled, “I don’t think I want to give my ponies a hair cut anymore.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because…”

“How many ponies got hair cuts?”

“About eight…”

“Ohhhh!” I laughed; “Well that’s a lot of ponies. But that’s okay, because you have a lot of ponies. But that’s probably enough ponies getting haircuts.”

But I knew. I could feel the guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnation clinging to her; because it was all too familiar. I was immediately brought back to my childhood; where everything I did was wrong, every mistake was shameful, and no bad choices were forgiven.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

“Wait!” I grabbed her skinny little self and folded her into a hug. “Look at me,” I coaxed. She looked up with sad eyes. Her huge, teary eyes displayed a rainbow of colors; just like her little ponies. “Did you have fun?” I asked. Her head nodded up and down. “Do you like their haircuts?” She nodded yes, again. “Then that’s all that matters, Honey!”

I pulled her close into me, and said “Let’s pray…” But she was already bowing her little head, because she knows Jesus brings comfort when Mommy prays. My hands started at the top of her own long, curly, tangled mane. As I prayed over her soft, sweet head; I combed my fingers all the way down to the bottom of her hair, which ended at her waist.

I renounced guilt, anxiety, and self-condemnations for my daughter, in Jesus’ name. I told the devil to go “sit on a tack” in the name of Jesus, and that he was not allowed to steal her joy. I thanked God for my beautiful daughter and her endlessly creative imagination, along with the ability to try new, exciting things. I asked God to fill my daughter with His Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. I asked God to replace her sadness with  joy and peace.  I thanked God for my little girl and her love for animals, including ponies. I asked God to bless her future and all that it entails! 

After praying, I gave her a kiss, and she ran off to play. It was GONE! The sadness, the worry, the doubt… it was all GONE! That’s because I have the power and authority in Jesus Christ, to intervene on behalf of my daughter, and tell the devil to get lost. I can only do this because of who I am in Christ, and my daughter knows she has this same power and authority within her too.

The situation had not changed. The hair did not miraculously grow back.  But what did change, was the lies. The lies weren’t there anymore. They had been prayed away in the name of Jesus. The devil had lied to my daughter, and tried to ruin her day, by deceiving her, and stealing her joy. I was not fooled by his tactics. We had been here before when the devil had lied to her about her artwork mistakes.

NOT MY GIRL, DEVIL! NOT MY GIRL!

When our children are struggling with a  spiritual attack, the silver lining is that we parents who battle for our children, are already promised a victory! We don’t have to play or put up with the devil’s games; but we must pray, and fight back in the name of Jesus! There’s a battle for our children’s spiritual well being; so saddle up, and giddy up! The Bible says we win the race!

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”  (Phil. 3:14 New Living Translation).

Make your decisions, and ride your race without fear! 

15 Ways to Receive a Mother’s Day Blessing, even if You don’t have a Mom, or are Hoping to be One…

So many hearts find Mother’s Day to be a time of sadness and despair, instead of gladness and delight. Many have lost their mothers due to cancer or old age. Some have been abandoned or abused by their mothers, and are no longer a part of each other’s lives. Some have never known their mothers. No matter the reason, not having a mother leaves one with an empty hole; an ache to be nurtured, a desire to be treasured, a wish to be guided in godly wisdom and unconditionally loved.

Still others hearts are left feeling an empty spot, because they are aching to be mothers. It hurts when desire runs deep, and a woman has so much love to give and yearns to share it, yet it remains unfulfilled. It may be another miscarriage, a long struggle with infertility treatments, or an adoption process which is taking way too long.

But the silver lining is that there is hope for each and every woman; those who do not have a mom to love on them, and those who do not have a child to love. And there is hope for the precious mothers who have loved and lost their children too; children who are waiting in Heaven for their mothers to be reunited with them one day. As we wait for God to fully heal our hurting hearts, we can find joy in serving and loving the mothers who need us…sisters in Christ.

For God works in miraculous ways. As God blesses us, He uses us to touch the hearts of other sisters in Christ. NEVER give up on God; He knows exactly how to bless each and every one of us in His good and perfect timing! He can also fill up every empty spot that no one else on earth can… not even a mother.

Here are 20 ways to receive a Mother’s Day blessing, even if you don’t have a mom, or are hoping to be one…

  1. Bring a meal to a new mom who just had a baby. Stay and hold her baby so she and her husband can eat your delicious meal. In the meantime, get your baby cuddle fix!
  2. Volunteer to pass out carnations to all the moms at church. Seeing their smiles, are sure to make you smile too!
  3. Find a mom who treats you like her own child and give her a gift with a thank you card, telling her how much she means to you.  Or, send a card to a mom you admire, and tell her why. You’ll make her day with the unexpected.
  4. Offer to babysit for a friend who is overwhelmed. Bring a new game or toy with you. Play with the children while she runs errands or takes a nap upstairs! She will never forget it!
  5. Tutor a child in a subject where your mom friend is bumping heads with her own child. Mom gets a break from homework patrol and can bake you all some cookies while the math gets completed!
  6. Volunteer for a soup kitchen. Filling the need for hunger is one of the most important jobs a mother will ever have.
  7. Send some encouraging bible verses to a mom who is struggling with depression. Romans, chapter 8 is a great place to start:  “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1 New Living Translation).
  8. Bring flowers to a Sunday School teacher who loves and treats the children as if they are her own.
  9. Sign up to lead Vacation Bible School or to help coach a kids’ soccer or softball team. It’s a chance to use mom skills which can benefit the whole team!
  10. Look into fostering or adoption. There is an incredible need for children to be loved. So many need emergency care, and many more need forever homes. Sometimes God delays pregnancy, because he wants to gift a mother with more than one child. Many women enjoy the amazing experience of both adopting a child and going through a pregnancy! After all, God has adopted us as sons and daughters through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s plans are amazing!
  11. Thank God for the moms who have been significant in your life. Maybe one of them has even led you to Christ! Ask God to send these mothers a special blessing, in the name of Jesus. Reach out to some of them and let them know you are praying for them.
  12. If you have a grandmother, give her a call to tell her how much of a role model she has been in your life. A personal phone call is a great gift, especially in these modern days of emails and text messaging.
  13. On social media, ask for prayer requests from your friends who are moms. Let them know you would like to pray for them during Mother’s Day Week.  Ask them to message you with their prayer requests.
  14. Take one of your friends, who is a mom, out to dinner one night. Make an effort to really listen to her challenges about being a mom. Offer to pray for her.
  15. Visit a nursing home, and read a book to an elderly mom, or to someone whom might need the loving touch which a mom would bring.

Whether you are hoping to be a mother because you are struggling with infertility, have had multiple miscarriages, and didn’t get to even hold your babies, or are fostering or waiting to adopt; Jesus says you are blessed.

Whether you have had an abortion, and regretted it, and repented and asked God for forgiveness, and are now making your way past the guilt and self-condemnation with Jesus by your side, you are blessed.

Whether you’re a mother who has gone through the trauma of having birthed, raised, loved, and lost your child or children, and face the devastation of their death, which no mother should have to endure; Jesus says you are blessed. He died on the cross while watching his own mother pour out her heart of tears over his suffering and his death.  Jesus understands, and He is The One who will carry your burden and help you through your profound grief and suffering.

For Jesus loves us all: whether we are barren or fertile, orphans or claimed. If you are poor in spirit because of anything having to do with motherhood, especially mourning;  Jesus says you are blessed!  For the silver lining is that God is watching over you. Even if it doesn’t feel like it; God loves you and He wants to heal your heart and take away your pain. For God’s own beloved Son, Jesus, proclaims your blessing in The Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matt 5:3-4

The confidence we have in Christ of knowing we are blessed right where we are, in the midst of our deepest heartbreak and heartache, is a reason for hope. If we trust God, we can believe Jesus when he says we are blessed. It means he is taking care of us even now as we weep, and that he will provide blessings of joy for us both here on Earth, and up in Heaven.

Pray for whatever it is you seek regarding motherhood. If you want salvation for your mother, ask God. If you want truth to be revealed about your relationship, pray for it. If you want healing for your hurting heart, because you miss your mom in Heaven, pray to God and ask Him to comfort you. If you want to have a baby, pray for it to happen. If you want to adopt a child, ask God to lead you to the child who is waiting for you. And if you are among the blessed mothers who have a broken heart, because your child left this earth before you did, my precious sister in Chris;  ask Jesus to comfort you, strengthen you, and give you joy, rest, and peace. He loves you!

My own story involves four years of infertility, so I was already praying for a baby. As we started infertility treatment, since I was getting older, I decided to prayed for twins. So why was I so surprised God gave them to me?! When they were were born 2-1/2 months premature, I prayed for their very survival; I prayed for them to live. God heard my prayers, and He helped my babies to hang on, and to thrive! When one of my twins almost died at the age of three, God heard me pleading for his life, according to the will of God. God spared his life, and I’m forever grateful. God had a plan for my boys to grow up together.  God has brought my children through severe illness and traumatic injuries. God kept my daughter alive when years later, it was time for her to be born, and my doctor found the cord wrapped around her neck. I needed an emergency C-section. Many people were praying for my baby girl, and God brought her to us in perfect condition! Praise The Lord!

I don’t have all the answers to why things happen the way they do, but I do know that prayer is powerful, and that God has a perfect plan for His own children… all of us!  Keep trusting God and pursue Jesus through it all! Remember, you are blessed!

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jer. 29:11


We are NEVER alone or without hope, in Christ Jesus. God will heal us, show us joy, give us love, and provide us with everything we need! 

The Silver Lining is Always There!  Hope for Depression…

This week is a time of great trial, stress, and sadness for a precious family and their friends, who almost lost their lives in a horrific home explosion. They lost everything; their entire home and everything in it. They are faced with critical, life-changing injuries, which will change the course of the rest of their lives. Though a Go Fund Me campaign is in place for them, they need Jesus more than ever, to help get them through this trial. 

At times like these; when hopelessness and despair run rampant, it can be difficult to find the silver lining behind the dark, thick clouds looming in the storm. Of course life itself is a gift from God, and it is a reason to praise Him and give thanks. But sometimes it is difficult to live life; especially when we are suffering, in pain, depressed, and afraid about the future. Still, God promises to take care of us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

I’ve thought about how I would encourage my readers to “look on the bright side,” “think positive,” or “remember the light at the end of the tunnel;” when they are utterly drowning in deep sorrow, pain, and suffering. I know that words don’t help people who feel lost and utterly hopeless, because words didn’t help me either. 

Words don’t help hurting people, when they are too busy focusing on how to navigate their way through the darkness. I know, because I’ve been in that deep, dark, depressed place where I could not see the silver lining, either. The clouds were too thick and dense and dark. I needed to be rescued.  “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Ps. 69:1-2 English Standard Version).  Read: DEEP…A PSALM OF RESCUE…HOPE FOR DEPRESSION.

Words did not help; but truth, prayer and promises did. Truth provides hope. Prayer provides answers. Promises provide relief. They all work together, giving us God’s protection, and helping us to trust God, and grow in our faith. We begin to understand that our Almighty, Holy God loves us unconditionally; and this helps us to feel secure in believing His divine promises, which can never be broken.

We can pray for ourselves, and we can prayerfully intervene for others. Others can pray for us too!  The Bible promises us that God will never reject or abandon us in our time of need. Even if He’s silent, God is always there. Jesus promises hope which leads to healing, joy, and freedom. God promises to be our Rock; our Shelter from the storm, and a source of NEVER-ending protection. 

God’s Son, Jesus, is always lighting the way for us, even when we can’t see him. This is why searching for the silver lining gives us hope… because the sun never stops shining down upon us. The sun is still nourishing us; helping plants to grow, giving us daylight, warming our bodies, and providing energy to us here on earth… even when we don’t see it! The truth is still true, even if we don’t believe it! “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Heb. 11:1-2 New International Version).


God tells us to pray constantly, without ceasing. He promises to provide courage and strength. He promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it! God promises that when we pray together, He is in the middle of us! “‘For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst'” (Matt. 18:20 New American Standard Bible). God promises there will be no more tears or sorrow in Heaven. He promises us so many wonderful things! 

God is a promise maker, He is not a promise breaker! This is why we can put our entire trust in Him, even during our most difficult trials. Because God only tells the truth, we can look forward to the silver lining which awaits us in the next life. Our salvation is an absolute miracle, the greatest gift we could ever hope for, and that in itself… is enough. It’s FREE! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

But… God is also human; He is Jesus… so God understands that Heaven seems very far away from us. He understands that Heaven is simply incomprehensible for our feeble minds to grasp. So… God also has a plan laid out for us while we are still here, waiting to get to Heaven. It’s all meant to save more people, so they can come live in His Kingdom too! In His perfect timing; God transforms, heals, restores, calls, and blesses us… right here on Earth! How incredible is that? 

God takes our tears of sadness, and turns them into springs of gladness. Our depression is transformed to joy. Our hopelessness disappears, and is replaced by faith!  “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” (Isa. 61:3 New Living Translation).

You who are tired and weary of living; God understands! It is not His will for you to be depressed!  Pursue Him, and He will teach you how to grab hold of the lies which hold you down; and renounce them in the name of Jesus! Pray, ask for prayer, and seek out brothers and sisters in Christ who will pray for you. Cry out to God for HELP, in the name of Jesus! He will send you wise counsel, comforting scriptures, and truthful teachings to lead you out of the desert, and into the Promised Land! 

Dear God, please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering today. Remove from us our strongholds, and the lies which persist and plague us. Lord, heal our physical ailments that cause us pain and frustration. Heal our emotional hurts, which cause us depression; due to a build up of guilt, anger, and fear. Heal our mental challenges, which stem from disabilities and hardship. Heal spiritual injuries brought on by abuse and false prophets and false teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray, and we ask for Your will to be done; not ours. We know Your plan is perfect and Holy, and so is Your timing. Thank you that the silver lining is always there! Please bless us, in Jesus’ name!

Be encouraged! God promises to provide light and love for His children; both here on Earth, and in Heaven!

How to Give without Guilt, and Fulfill the Mission of Pleasing God

Sometimes we have the opportunity to bless a reader at The Silver Lining, by meeting a specific need. I believe God gives me spiritual words spoken in discernment, wisdom and love; meant to offer you hope, healing, and encouragement in Jesus Christ. I’d also like to be the hands and feet of Jesus whenever, and wherever he leads me. 

Therefore, in my mission to help others, I may occasionally share a need, where The Silver Lining readers might be led by God to serve, sponsor, or donate food or funds; to bless those less fortunate. These are just opportunities, which I have been led to share. I ask that you participate only if God leads you, and that you will please, first and foremost; pray for the families in need. If you are able to speak to them directly, tell them about Jesus, so you can meet their greatest need… salvation through Jesus Christ. Pray for the family to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your prayers are so important! God hears them and answers them! 

When we witness to a hurting, struggling family, we are attempting to meet their spiritual needs by bringing the love of Jesus to them. But as Jesus ministered to people; he also healed, fed, and clothed them. Cold and hungry people will be too busy focusing on their immediate needs to stop and listen to our witness. It’s important to meet those basic, immediate needs; when it’s in our power to act, and if God calls us to do it. God takes physical needs seriously.

I’d like to share how God might lay a couple different areas of giving upon your heart, by telling you how He spoke to me this week in two different ways: The first opportunity came about when I saw a single mom’s post, requesting clothing for her children. That was an easy one; I had what she was asking for, so I gave it.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’– when you already have it with you” (Prov. 3:27-28 New International Version).


In addition, it’s easy for me to share a message asking for donations to help a local family. That’s what I did, and I look forward to sharing more giving opportunities on The Silver Lining Facebook page.

Another opportunity to give, came from a reader of The Silver Lining, whose relatives were badly injured in a home explosion in Texas. This mission speaks loads of empathy and love to me; because the woman who posted it, is the wife of the dear pastor who baptized me when I was a little girl. This tragedy was personal to me, because it is personal to someone I care about and love. 

Though I already knew Jesus when I was five, my loving pastor made sure I understood I was taking the step of showing my brothers and sisters in Christ that I had made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. This act of baptism allowed me to fall even more in love with Jesus, and to have some security in knowing there was someone up in Heaven who loved me unconditionally. I remember writing, painting, drawing, and reading the Bible a lot after I was baptized. I seemed to have a heightened sense for the simple beauty of blue skies, little birds, sunsets, a new song, and fragile flowers. And though no one else noticed that I was blooming… God did! 

Later, I was honored to have this same pastor, Brother Jarrell Griffin, lead my husband to Christ while we were undergoing premarital counseling in his office. I had thought my fiancé was a Christian, because he believed in Jesus. Yet, he had never been offered Jesus as a gift, nor had he considered having a relationship with him. I watched as he prayed to receive Christ, and it was absolutely beautiful. Going into our marriages as true Christians, would help us get through many of life’s greatest, difficult challenges; since neither of us had an idea of what a healthy marriage was supposed to look like. 

This pastor whom I loved, officiated our wedding ceremony, and I will never forget the joy I had in my heart, to have this precious man of God be the one to marry me to my beloved husband. I’d like to think he’s smiling up in Heaven, upon hearing that I want to offer comfort to his relatives, by participating in a mission to encourage, and help them get back on their feet again. 

The Bible says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

Spruiell Medical and Home Campaign

This fund supports an elderly couple and three visitors who were sleeping in their home, when it collapsed due to an explosion. Praise God, for the silver lining: a miracle, in which all five survived! However, they have endured a traumatic event, and have sustained critical injuries, requiring a long recovery process and the need for much healing. 

The fund is to help with hospital bills and the rebuilding of their home. 

To give, click: GO FUND ME SPRUIELL

The news link is also located at the Go Fund Me page. 

May God bless this dear couple, and their three dear friends. May God bless them with a beautiful testimony, and may He fill them with great hope to bring them through this dark trial. May He bring them joy through Jesus, and may they each experience a miracle at the Hands of God! In Jesus name, we pray, Amen. 


The missions opportunities to help these families, and others, will also be listed on The Silver Lining Facebook page. 
There are many, many needs out in the world today. Your giving is always between you and God. My husband and I talk with each other, and we pray first, asking God if He wants us to give to a particular cause. Sometimes it’s yes, and sometimes it’s no. When it’s yes, we ask God to tell us the amount He wants us to give, and usually we end up with the same dollar amount in mind. If not, we are always very close; in which case we either meet in the middle, or go with the higher number. 

Once we give, it’s out of our hands, and we trust God to do with it as He sees fit. There have been occasions where we felt were deceived into giving. Yet, those occasions have lessened as we’ve sought God’s counsel more and more. We’ve learned from those mistakes, and we know God has blessed our giving anyway, because our motives have been pure. 

We’ve also had occasions where we planned to give, and God put a stop to it, and told us not to do it. It was clearly God shutting the door. Usually we find it’s because God wanted us to give elsewhere. Other times, we don’t know why. Maybe we weren’t supposed to be involved, or maybe it was simply because God chose someone else to do the giving, so they could be blessed. 

In any case, God’s direction is always clear. The devil’s direction is not. The devil nags and gives people anxiety, and false guilt. God doesn’t use guilt to manipulate us into giving. If you’re struggling with guilt over not giving, that’s not God; it’s the devil using false guilt to eat away at your self-worth. The devil likes to try and steal your day with anxiety, and make us agonize with stress over making the right decision. Don’t let him! 

If God wants you to give, He will tell you firmly, and he will use conviction. This means God will boldly, yet peacefully get your attention, when He calls upon you to give. He will provide you with clear instructions on how to give, and He will remind you to follow through in obedience. Once you give, your heart will be light, and you will feel joy at knowing you have pleased The Lord, God.

No matter where, or how we give, our mission is to first please God. We can only do this by pursuing Jesus, and leading others to receive his gift of salvation. After this, all the rest of our giving will fall in line, right where God wants it. Give the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Be a light, and ask God to direct your giving. He will!

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:6-7).


Let your mission be “Jesus First.” God will show you where to give, and He will bless you accordingly… and abundantly!

The Healing Power of an Apology

I messed up. Last week, I hurt a friend’s feelings… a beautiful friend; who supports me, encourages me, and makes me laugh out loud! I threw out some advice which hadn’t been sought, with the hopeful intention of making life a little better for her. She hadn’t asked for it though. She has before, but this time, she hadn’t. A simple, “I love you; I’m praying for your hurting heart,” would have been a much better solution, and we could have waited to chat by phone when we had more time.  It didn’t matter if my intention was good; what mattered was the effect it had on my friend. Instead of making her feel hopeful, it caused her to feel hurt and overwhelmed. And I was truly… sorry.

How would I have known though, had my friend not been honest, and told me so? But first, The Holy Spirit told me. I hadn’t heard back from my friend, and I began to feel a gentle nudge from within, that I should apologize, in case I had upset or offended my friend with my advice, which had been offered in the form of a text; a form of communication which is so easily misrepresented and misinterpreted. I began to hear the verse, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible). I gulped, convicted. I’d probably even been aware of the verse, as I’d been texting. I’m still learning to pay attention to The Holy Spirit.

The difference in being convicted by The Holy Spirit, or plagued by guilt from the devil; is that God is mercifully gentle, but firm. You ache in your spirit for the pain you’ve caused another, but at the same time you know Jesus has already died and taken the punishment for your sins. There is a desire to fix it, and make it right; but it’s not just to selfishly relieve a nagging sense of false guilt (which can go on and on for days after already seeking forgiveness). You want to apologize, because you love your brother or sister in Christ, and you seek to be obedient to God’s commandments.  In righting a wrong, your desire should be for both you, and your friend, to be able to draw closer to God in the process. After all, our purpose in pursuing Jesus, is to become more like him, each and every day. 

When I initially reached out to check on my friend, I found out I had indeed been being prompted by The Holy Spirit to apologize. My friend was hurt and had been graciously processing what I had said, before deciding to respond, which could have made the matter worse. She could have ended up hurting me, when my intention had never been to hurt her. Wise people wait… and pray. Meanwhile, we had still been in communication about other things online. She was still being her supportive, sweet, encouraging self. What if she hadn’t been honest with me? What if she’d just decided to write me off? I wouldn’t have had a chance to humble myself, give her my most sincere apology, and ask her to please forgive me. This is what I did. 

And I can now thank God for the silver lining. For in all this, my friend offered me even more grace, by saying, “There is nothing to apologize for.” Mercy! That’s what it looks like! Of course, I needed to apologize. However, in grace and love, she completely took me off the hook… the hook of guilt, the hook of blame… and the hook of self-condemnation. With one simple act of forgiveness, she displayed the forgiveness which Jesus displays to us each and every day, for all our sins and wrongdoings. Her one act of forgiving grace, offered healing to my heart,  by filling places where forgiveness was not given to me by others. Her sweet, simple act of forgiveness further validated God’s truth; we are forgiven because He loves us, just as we are.

And it is my hope, that my apology brings healing to her heart, by showing her that my compassionate heart cares about her compassionate heart, and that her friendship is valuable enough for me to kick out pride, humble myself, and admit when I’m wrong. I believe our friendship can only grow closer, for it is based in a shared love for Jesus Christ. We have prayed for each other, shared our stories of brokenness and healing, and have enjoyed the blessing of watching our children form a godly bond of friendship too. We have watched them with each other; being kind, laughing, and running free; making childhood memories together! 

Do you need to apologize to a friend today? Don’t swallow your pride; it might come up again later! Instead, renounce the spirit of pride in the name of Jesus. Humble yourself, and apologize to your friend. Yes, you are already forgiven in Christ, but the act of an apology brings healing to hurting hearts, and it draws us all closer to Jesus! “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (Jas. 4:10 English Standard Version).

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Prov. 27:6 New Living Translation).

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!  

Exactly one week ago, was the big surgery day. For a while, I’ve thought the surgery was long overdue, but now I can see that God planned it to be this way all along. I want my family, friends, readers, writers, church, and even very kind strangers; to know that last week God showed up… He heard all your prayers, answered many of them, and more answers are on the way! 

I already know Jesus is the Great Physician, and I know He is a Miracle Maker. I’ve witnessed miraculous recoveries among my own family members. So I know God is good… and I know He shows up. But I needed your prayers, and I want you to know that prayer is powerful! I want the people in my life to know that there is great power in being anointed by your pastor, and your spouse, and any Christian who comes faithfully asking for your healing in the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is because we do the serving, but God is The One showing up. “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord” (Jas. 5:14 New International Version).


I first hurt my back in 8th grade. My best friend and I were choreographing a dance, and as I moved to bend over at the waist, I was shocked to find myself stuck. I couldn’t straighten up into a standing position, so I lay frozen, awkwardly flat on my back, on her bed for a half an hour. I was terrified. She was worried about me, so she said she was getting her dad. I was afraid of her dad, so I managed to stand, while wobbling and leaning against her, and she walked me home. There was no attention given to my injury, and no doctor appointment. I just remember gradually getting better over the next several days, and hoping that this scary event would not happen to me again. 

God must have had mercy on me, because it didn’t seem to be big deal to anyone but me and my best friend, and she couldn’t help me. God gracefully healed me, so that I remained active in gymnastics, volleyball, and cheerleading. I had more problems with asthma, and my bad knees, than with my back. But over the years, my back would give out, and I’d be out of commission for about three days. I got used to it. It was just a familiar part of my life. I finished college, got a job teaching, got married to my husband, and finally became pregnant with twin boys. 

The double pregnancy was in itself, its own trial, forcing me to continuously keep my eyes focused on the silver lining that lay up ahead. It felt like death was at my door; I vomited for five months straight, 30 times a day, losing weight fast. Though my precious boys were very tiny at 2 lbs. 15 oz. and 3 lbs. 5 oz., my back was never the same after that difficult pregnancy, which at 29 weeks, brought forth immense joy… I was blessed with the most beautiful premature baby boys I’d ever seen! 

I began to exercise in order to get back my trim figure. I’d always been skinny, but I was just looking to get back to the size I’d been before my pregnancy. When I threw out my back again, the doctor told me to stop doing the exercises where I had to lie on my back. Unfortunately, this meant most of the ones from my routine, which was actually beginning to flatten my belly. I became discouraged and stopped exercising altogether. I couldn’t go walking either, not until my husband got home from work, and by then we were both exhausted from caring for two babies who continued to fight for their lives. To go anywhere, we had to lug a heart and lung machine monitor for each one, and an oxygen tank for one of them. It was just too much. Even with staggered help and support, our new, little family was so very tired. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt.11:28).


When my boys were two years old, I threw my back out and ended up stooped over, unable to stand straight. People around my small town knew me by my young, stooped figure. Physical therapy got me standing agaian, but it also began years of constant MRI’s and X-rays, physical therapy, chiropractors, pain management, steroids and epidural injections. One office told me they weren’t giving up on me, but they just didn’t know how to help me find pain relief from my herniated disk. A trial run of burning the nerves in my back, showed the right spot had been found, but since the practice run gave only short-term relief, the official procedure wasn’t considered long-term treatment for me. I was so discouraged, because as the lidocaine ran through my body, I was exhilarated to be able to bend over and touch my toes with no pain whatsoever for an entire hour. It was short-lived. 

I headed “over the mountain,” towards the city, where most people from my small town tended to find higher quality care, when facing more serious medical issues. I found a great doctor; one I really liked, who was compassionate, honest, and thorough. He was also truly dedicated, and determined to find alternate procedures in an effort to prevent the inevitable… surgery. I was diagnosed with lumbosacrial and cervical spondylitis; a painful condition resulting from degeneration of intervertebral disks in the neck and lumbar areas, myofascial pain, degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis, and more. There were steroid and epidermal injections, trigger point injections for muscle spasms, and lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy to treat facet joint pain or sacroiliac joint pain caused by my degenerative disk disease. My doctor performed a discogram, and the extreme pain confirmed that my damaged L-5 disk was indeed the culprit, along with the S-I joint. He even injected methylene blue, which surprisingly brought about 30 percent relief, for just a couple months, but overflowed and spilled out, because there was so little room in the shrunken disk. 

After the procedure, my body got chilled, and I had to lie under warm blankets for an hour. I shook, and my teeth chattered. I don’t know if it was shock, or the effects of the procedure, but I knew I didn’t want to ever have a discogram again, or go through anything like it.  There were other possible procedures which we decided against. My doctor didn’t feel confident enough that they would work, and didn’t want to waste my money. I was sent to one of his colleagues for Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments, where so many vials of blood were taken to use my platelets, I lost count. Neither procedure took; in fact one damaged the ligaments in my coccyx area, and three doctors verified it was because mistakes had been made. I had another extremely painful procedure to try and repair the damage. I was basically bedridden for three weeks afterward. I was tired of hurting. All. The. Time.

Right after my precious daughter was born (thankfully I had survived another bout of unrelenting nausea, which left me bed-ridden for four months) my son became extremely, chronically ill with Eosinophilic Esophagitis; a debilitatating disease with no cure. He was my main focus, and I put my own health on hold, as any mother does who earnestly prays and diligently searches for relief for her beloved children. Our new baby girl brought us joy in the storm, a beautiful distraction from the sadness and pain of the sickness. Three years later, God chose to miraculously heal my son, when I was out of state caring for my father who had cancer. It was emotionally and financially draining to be away from my family for three flights out of state that summer. My surgery and our addition would have to wait; for God had something else in mind.

I was away for a sum total of two months, but God is faithful. He healed not only my son, while I was away, but my father too. Both had been anointed and both had approximately 500 people praying for them. God showed me the healing power of forgiveness that summer, and He showed me that my children are in the best hands always… His hands! I went home exhausted, and in chronic pain, but with love in my heart, and no regret. I went back to teaching Sunday School, but finally had to take a break. I’d become very, very sick; unable to do anything at all. I knew I had picked up something serious from being at the ICU at the hospital, and from being sole caretaker for weeks at a time, around so much sickness and suffering. I was right; the diagnosis finally came: a staph infection in my sinuses. I was truly running only on Holy Spirit fumes. 

My back surgery had already been put on hold several times. I was still dealing with plantar fasciitis, which caused severe pain in my feet when I walked. I also continued to battle pain from the degeneration of the two disks in my neck. I also had emergency shoulder surgery, because of rotater cuff syndrome, along with a bone spur and arthritis in my shoulder, which prevented me from lifting my arm above shoulder level. The shoulder surgery was successful, though it required prolotherapy treatment to fully heal. During all this time, I continued to homeschool my children, run to even more doctors appointments for all of us, and teach Sunday School. It seemed there was no relief in sight. I began to wonder if I was supposed to sacrifice my life until I dropped. If Jesus did it, maybe I was supposed to just keep going, even though I felt like my body was breaking to pieces. But how would that be good for my family who needed me?

God told me it was time to rest. He let me know that Jesus already sacrificed his life for me, and I was not meant to run on empty. My husband supported me, and said it was time to take care of myself.  I realized I’d put things off, because I’d been taught to feel guilty for doing nice things for myself. It was so ingrained, I even felt guilty doing the very things I needed to do to save my own life. There’s never a perfect time, yet the time was perfect. I’d already met with several surgeons over the past few years. I met with two more, and chose the surgeon my doctor had highly recommended I talk to, before making my final decision about going through with the surgery. He correctly insisted I needed an expert, someone highly proficient and skilled, experienced and specialized in complicated back surgeries. I was grateful to both of those last two surgeons on my list, who had confirmed a completely collapsed disk, validation that there was nothing there to support the bones which rubbed against each other every time I moved. The rubbing irritating nerves, and my spine’s instability was indeed causing excruciating pain. 

So here I lie, writing while recovering, grateful for the love and care being shown to me in the midst of this trial. I want those who have been praying for me to know God has heard your prayers, and is already giving answers (good ones, because it is the only kind He gives!). My surgeon said the surgery went “perfectly!” Well, Jesus was there, after all, so perfect is a great word choice! My surgeon said I will now be taller, because I was missing a disk before; and adding space has given me more height. How cool is that? My daughter is tall, and I love that I can tell her that I’m now taller too!  

I’m doing well, in spite of being tired and dealing with pain. I’ve had a cage inserted into my spine with screws to hold it together. The cage is made of bone grafting material, which will grow into my own bone.  I’m very, very sore! The site of the injection hurts like crazy, and I can’t twist, bend, or lift more than five pounds. It’s going to take a while to feel like myself again, but… Praise The Lord! He brought me through it all! He even took away my anxiety, which is HUGE considering my past major struggle with the spirit of Fear! “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jer. 17:14).


I’m appreciating all the prayers, along with both the big things and the little things; because little things to me, are big treasures! May God bless everyone who has been here for me; near and far, who has taken time to offer up a prayer for me, and my family, in the name of Jesus. I’m taking you on this journey, not for attention or pity or popularity; or whatever other silly reasons are out there, but because I want God to be glorified in all of this! I don’t even know the end of the story, but I’ve chosen to JUST TRUST HIM! 

I originally wrote this the day after my surgery but did not complete and edit it until one week afterward. I now realize that God has wanted me to rest, while enjoying the love, support, and encouragement from family and friends. He has given me this time to prepare to write words centered around a theme of “healing” during the rest of Lent, and to provide others with hope in the midst of trial and storm. God has even led me to explore and share some wonderful writings from other gifted and talented writers, and I’m excited to see what He is putting together! He continues to provide confirmation via wonderful feedback from brothers and sisters in Christ. What joy it gives me, to be reminded that God is always in control; using every seed we plant to bless and minister to others, and grow His Mighty Kingdom. During this time of trial, God has been showing me the silver lining; connecting me to special people, giving me more ideas for the future of The Silver Lining, and letting me peacefully soak up the joy of how much He has already healed me, how He is healing me now, and the healing He is going to do in my future! It’s been a long time coming, but in God’s timing, everything is, well… just perfect! “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering’ ” (Mark 5:34).

Pursue Jesus! Trust him to heal you emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually according to his good and perfect will. Give God your body, heart, mind, and soul. Don’t miss your divine appointment; The Great Physician always shows up on time! 

Your healing can only begin through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Anything else is temporary, and short-lived. That’s because a good physician finds the root of the problem, and starts there. Jesus knows the answer to all our illnesses and ailments. In addition, he is a Miracle-Maker; someone no doctor on earth can truthfully claim to be.  For more, join The Silver Lining Facebook page, where encourage them, truth, and wisdom are posted every day! Also, visit my website. It is there as a gift to you! When you visit The Silver Lining homepage, click on the topic: Healing. Subscribe or follow, so you don’t miss truth-related blog posts that could lead you in God’s direction, which could actually help to save your life; both eternally, and here on earth! 

Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

The Family that Prays Together…

The Unexpected Joy of Rest

Healing is a Journey

It’s Palm Sunday! Rejoice! 

The Healing Love of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 

The True Sacrifice of Lent and how you can take part

Little hearts during Lent 

When I was growing up, there were only two main religions on the Air Force Base. You were either Protestant or Catholic; there was nothing in between. I wished to be Catholic, because I liked that the children took communion wafers. No one realized that I already knew and loved Jesus, and had it been explained, I would have rejoiced in the partaking of communion. I also liked the way the Catholics made the sign of the cross across the front of their bodies after saying a prayer. I thought it to be beautiful. What I did not envy, was the time of Lent. Here’s where the Catholic children dramatically sighed and rolled their eyes, complaining that they would be deprived of candy or soda, or both… for 40 days up until Easter! We Protestant kids would shake our heads in sympathy, as sticky popsicle juice melted down our chins and arms, on a warm spring day.

Neither we Protestant, nor the Catholic children had really figured out that Lent is the 40 day period of time before Easter, when God’s children take time to repent and pray, and reflect upon the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ; God’s Son who willingly took our place on the cross, dying for our sins. The whole point of God sending a sacrifice was missed in childish translation, covered up by the tradition of giving up favorite sweets in order to prove loyalty and love to The Savior. Children want to be good, please Jesus, and show him that they love him. Children first need to know Jesus loves them, just as they are!

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ “Matt. 19:14 New International Version).

Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Traditions vary, according to region and religion, but traditionally Lent is a 40 day time period of reflection, repentance, prayer, and sacrifice; which begins on Ash Wednesday, and ends the Saturday before Easter, often with a special Easter Sunday feast to celebrate the risen Savior. Participating in Lent is a way for Christians around the world to recognize and remember that Jesus spent 40 days alone in the wilderness of the Scorching Judaean Desert, completely fasting from food. Yes. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus truly went hungry for 40 days and nights to spend time solely with God, his Father, and focus God’s will for his life. This time of deep dependence on his Father would prepare him for his ultimate sacrifice, giving up his very own life to save the world from its sins.

When Jesus was at his most vulnerable, the devil came to try to tempt him. He offered up something pretty amazing; a huge glittering kingdom on a mountaintop… plus the food Jesus so desperately craved, needed, and desired. But the devil is a liar and can’t be trusted. And even if Satan would have handed it over, there was no way Jesus was accepting. His mission would be demolished and destroyed; the very mission meant to save us Christians from the burning fires of hell.

“‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”‘ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him” (Matt. 4:9-11).

Lent as a desire to draw closer to Christ 

If Jesus sacrificed so much for us, Lent is nothing in comparison, but it can give people a sense of walking with Christ, and experiencing (albeit on a much smaller scale) a minuscule taste of what Christ experienced those 40 grueling days. Though it was difficult, exhausting, draining, and seems utterly impossible; Jesus made it through. And in doing so, he was humbled, blessed, anointed, and brought even closer to God, his Heavenly Father.

Whatever Christians may choose to give up for Lent, be it diet soda, coffee, smoking, alcohol, carbs, chocolate, TV, social media, or other; let it be known that all God really wants is the sacrifice of our own lives; repentance of our sins and the laying down of our own desires, wicked ways and selfish gains. God wants us to let go of all the sin, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus! Otherwise, all our sacrifices are in vain. If one is going to participate in Lent, might I suggest sacrificing our time? Because, time given up and given to God, is time given up to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. If we spend more time focusing on Jesus, and less time focusing on ourselves; our little sacrifice will end up doing what pleases God the most: drawing us closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ! What sacrifice could bring The Holy Spirit more joy?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25).

THE Sacrifice

If you do not participate in Lent, or if you do participate, and cave due to temptation, look for the silver lining: Jesus IS the sacrifice. He already paid the debt for our sins. You don’t have to be perfect, or strive for it. When you receive Christ, your sins are washed away, and you remain white as snow. You are washed free of the guilt, fear, anxiety, self-condemnation, and lies that get in the way of your hope leading to healing, joy, freedom, and peace in Jesus Christ! Jesus paid it already for you at the cross! Rejoice! Worship him! Give him praise!

” ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isa. 1:18).

An invitation to take part in The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing…

In 2017, Lent Season is from Ash Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, April 15. Choose to complete some days during the Lent Season, or all 40 days. Choose from any of the sacrifices of time from below. You might want to do one of the choices for many days, or several of the choices for just a few days each. It doesn’t matter how you choose to offer God your sacrifice of time. The key is to do as The Lord God leads. You will be blessed!

Seven ways to take part:

~ Read a Proverb a day. There are 31 Proverbs in the Bible. When completed, read over your favorites for the remaining days, or choose another chapter of the Bible which you feel led to read. 

~ Journal out seven praises of thankfulness each day. At the end of Lent, you will look back on 280 blessings God has given to you! When you’re having a hard day, pull out your praise journal to remind you how much God loves and cherishes you! You may want to continue your journal after Lent. It’s a refreshing revelation to see the gifts God has given to you, penned out on paper!

– Journal out seven prayer requests each day, for yourself, and others. At the end of Lent, look back and see how many prayer requests God has answered! You will be amazed at God’s responses! Continue checking back to watch how God answers your prayers in His own perfect timing… for a reason!

– Journal out seven sins you struggle with, where you need God’s forgiveness. Each day, ask God to forgive you if you have committed any of these particular sins, again. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and ask Him to break down the strongholds of these sins in Jesus’ name. At the end of Lent, look back at the growth God has completed in you, and thank Him for His grace and mercy and forgiveness!

– Pray first. Ask God to lay seven people on your heart for whom to pray. Lift these people up to Jesus each day. If possible, ask them how you can pray for them, and let them know you are praying for them. At the end of Lent, ask God to show you the many ways these people’s prayers have been answered! 

– Pray first. Choose seven small acts of service to do for God during Lent. Though these acts of service may bring joy to people, they should be first and foremost, acts of service to please Jesus. There may be a couple you don’t want to do, but you will be blessed! 

~ Pray first. Choose seven people to bless in small ways. Ask God to lay people on your heart who need it most. You will be surprised at some of the people who come to mind whom you didn’t expect! 

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God bless you, in Jesus’ name. He has risen!

Visit on Facebook to get involved, be encouraged, and share your experiences with The Silver Lining Sacrificial Lent Blessing.

New Year’s Resolutions…or Promises?

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions which are soon forgotten. The feelings seep in almost immediately: guilt, disappointment, discouragement, and regret.  The year has barely begun, and we’re already unable to even start the resolutions meant to bring us a brand new year full of amazing accomplishments. I’m tired just thinking about it! How about beginning our new year by simply praying, and asking God to bless and guide us in all we do? We can thank God for the good gifts He’s given to us over this past year, and commit to putting Him first. We can pray for wisdom and discernment, asking God to help us become more like Jesus. Instead of resolutions, let’s ask God to help us stay on the path He has provided for each one of us. Or, ask Him to help us find our way back to the path if we’ve wandered and lost our way. 

If we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts, our future is secure in our salvation. We know we have God’s great gift of eternal life. But God has more good gifts to give us right now! God wants to heal us, and give us the desires of our hearts. God wants to give us freedom, peace, and joy; as we live our lives here on earth! It’s not His will for us to be fearful, guilt-laden, angry, depressed, bitter, rejected, or abandoned. Those things come from the enemy. God sent Jesus to carry our burdens, overcome evil, and give us victory each and every year of our lives! God takes what is evil and changes it to be used for our good. He also uses it for His glory, in order to grow the Kingdom of God. When bad things surface, they become opportunities for God to heal, change, and grow us into men and women of Christ-like character. For this to occur, we have to be willing to trust God through everything, even when we don’t understand. We have to be patient, believing God has a perfect plan, which He will bring to fruition in His perfect timing. 

God is a promise maker; He is not a promise breaker! Therefore, our hope lies in Jesus Christ, not in resolutions we can’t keep. So, let’s give Jesus our disappointments, pain, and suffering. But we need to give him our hopes, dreams, and joys too! We can do this by trusting God with everything, both the good and the bad. We can believe God’s Word over and above anything else, knowing that Jesus is Truth. We can walk a true Christian walk, in spite of our brokenness and imperfections, by pursuing Jesus each and every day of the year. When all of your New Year’s resolutions fail, and you feel like giving up, look for the silver lining: God’s love never fails! Jesus never gives up on you! We do not need to keep any resolutions to be loved and accepted by Jesus. We just need to take his hand when he reaches for us, and follow him! 

“For no word from God will ever fail.”

(Luke 1:37 New International Version) 

Snow flurries dancing before the silver lining.

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Forgiveness is a Chewed Shoe

“Forgive…

Or, you can choose not to forgive, and get farther away from God.

Usually, if you’re not a forgiver, you’re not a Christian…

Like, if your dog chewed up your shoe… you still love him!”

~Abigail Pelleman, age 7

These were the words my daughter said to me this week, after she overheard me telling her dad that I had forgiven him, but I still struggled over the fact that he had convinced me to throw away over ten years of teacher files. For our homeschool lesson, I was teaching my daughter a grammar lesson on contractions, wishing for some of the games and activities I’d had 25 years ago as a public school teacher.

Several years back, my files had been accidentally stored in the garage, and little critters had visited the box. They’d left a few marks…and I’m not talking about A+’s! Any elementary through high school teacher will tell you about the important of his or her teacher files! The files are a cumulative collection of our college professors’ teacher tips, copies of activities created and shared by ourselves and other teachers, and copyrighted lessons which grant special permissions to reproduce for education or classroom use. I’d hoped to salvage any folders that were hiding and had escaped, untouched. My husband had insisted I should just throw the entire box away; it would be daunting work to go through it paper by paper. I reluctantly agreed, and later deeply regretted it, feeling I’d made a dreadful mistake. I wondered at times, if I should have checked to make sure. It didn’t matter. The files were long gone.

There were other items my husband had convinced me to throw away, including: a fire place mantel, a hutch, and an old favorite beat up desk which was past its prime. These were things my husband wanted to”check off his list,” while the gears in my mind were considering options to repair, sell, or donate. We each had a different approach for getting rid of items we no longer needed. The differing opinions always eventually came again to the surface, as they do in any marriage where there is an attempt at communication. Sometimes these differences rub over the “sore spot” of an old wound from a long past argument. I was discussing the old wound of regret with my husband, as my daughter worked quietly at kitchen table.

My young daughter, in her godly wisdom, knew exactly how my old wound could heal…through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Even if we have forgiven people over past events, sometimes the nick of the old wound brings about feelings of regret. Regret is actually a form of guilt. When regret visits, we need to take a second look, and make sure we have forgiven anyone who has offended us through Jesus Christ. I’d forgiven my husband, which caused me to wonder why I was still struggling with regret. I didn’t realize until much later, that the person who needed my forgiveness most, was actually…me. I renounced the spirit of guilt, in Jesus’ name, for not being able to provide my daughter with those delightful activities from long ago. My prayer worked. And so did my daughter’s. Today, on impulse, I created a brand new lesson. The activity made her laugh so hard, she had tears in her eyes!

During those first days of my teaching career, when I was just beginning to build up that precious box of teacher files, money was budgeted carefully. I’d come home to discover that my puppy had chewed up my brand new leather career shoes and my brand new leather purse. I was not happy! But, as I scooped up the ball of warm, wriggly cocker spaniel, and looked into her chocolate brown eyes, the forgiveness came immediately. The silver lining is that God feels the same way about us! He gathers us into His arms, and covers us with the forgiveness of Christ.

Whether a mistake from the past is real or perceived, we may come face to face with regret. Whether regret comes from old wounds requiring surgery, or just a tiny little paper cut, it all needs to be healed through the power of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Accepting God’s grace and mercy is the greatest gift towards living a hope-filled life of joy and freedom here on earth. Give your past regrets to Jesus: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14 New International Version).

Summary of 3 biblical truths on forgiveness, backed by scripture, based on the words of a young child filled with The Holy Spirit:

1. “Forgive… or, you can choose not to forgive, and get farther away from God.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt. 6:14-15

2. “Usually, if you’re not a forgiver, you’re not a Christian…”

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20 

3. “Like, if your dog chewed up your shoe… you still love him!”

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39