She infuriated me. The one I called friend was acting much like foe. She was acting selfish, wrong and mean.
How could you? I thought you cared about me. How did I ever get tricked?
Somehow, I had convinced myself that we were in this thing called life together; yet, her actions silently hand-motioned otherwise. She knew what she was doing. And, she did it anyway.
All I could think, at this point was, I need to boot her out of my life, she can’t be trusted, she is not who I thought she was.
I needed to protect myself. You can’t be friends with women walking with scalpels, can you?
Oh, I say that often, because He catches me in my tracks.
But God…he says, love your frenemies: “But love your (fr)enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)
What frenemy do you need to love?
God inspires me to think a new way towards the offender. I pray I can see the new thought process through.
Take a look:
New thought: That injurer is likely just as injured as I. My prayer: God, give me strength to love ____ & their weakness. Amen.
New thought: They have their reasons too; I can’t judge their heart. My prayer: God help me to see their side in the process of all this…
New thought: I need no expectations of man because Jesus met all my expectations on the cross. My prayer: God, may I truly believe you are – enough.
And, while I might not be ready to talk to her; I am ready to grab God’s hand and start processing it all. Sometimes, just taking this small step towards forgiveness is half the battle.
A few weeks ago my Pastor began talking about all things summer. Summer is great and all, but as a single with no kids, my summer pretty much just looks like the rest of the year. My church schedule does lighten a bit. But long gone are my college days where I had summers off. For so many of my friends, however, a summer schedule is a real thing. Summer can be amazing! It can hold endless down time, late start mornings, night owl bedtimes, unhurried rhythms, traveling adventures and untapped brain power.
On the other hand, summer can bring a whole new set of unintended circumstances. I have learned that so much idle and unpurposed time can be just the open door the enemy desires. My Pastor has been determined for our church to not fall into a summer slump or to fall victim to the schemes of the enemy or simply going through the motions. I love that his heart is for us to experience as much of God or more of God than we would during the rest of the year.
Summer doesn’t discriminate, nor does it hold back on the issues of life. Relationship drama, financial distress, all manner of loss, hurt feelings, etc… can all be experienced during these hotter than necessary months. It is just as important to stay plugged in to both the Lord and to community.
Do not forsake the ‘Secret Place’.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
The upside of summer, if your schedule does become laid back, is just that, it’s laid back. There is no need to be somewhere all the time at a certain time. That sounds like the perfect opportunity to dive deep into time with God, even if you have littles running around. My amazing friend Lindsey has literally been living this out with her 4 kids. She is a single, stay at home mom. She has been walking through really hard marital challenges, but she decided to let that bring her closer to God instead of push her away. Then, she made the best decision. She decided to bring her kids along on the journey. They read devotions together along with books about missionaries. They pray and worship. It is beautiful to watch her kids fall in love with the Savior simply because she has chosen to put God first and cultivate an atmosphere of intimacy with the Lord. She doesn’t know where this extra time comes from. All she knows is that He multiplies it as she continues to be obedient in keeping Him the center of her family.
Do not forsake a persevering spirit.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Seeing as how, trials and hardships don’t take a break during the summer, it’s key for us to keep up the fight. The enemy is after our minds and emotions and callings and lives. When we become complacent or too familiar with God and the things of God, he takes full advantage of those moments.
It is extremely tempting to become inactive and forsake our time with God or serving or being committed to the Church. I want this summer to be the opposite. I want to have some of the most intimate times with God. I want to have some of the best times in corporate gatherings. I want to have some of the wildest adventures with community. I want to have some of the sweetest times meeting the needs of those around me.
Summer is not the time to give in to an anything goes mentality. It is not the time to numb out. Now is the time to press in and watch a mighty move of God take place.
How are you or can you keep from numbing out and pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord this summer?
About Karina Allen
Karina is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.
Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”
I’m a wimp. I’ll just say it. Give me a happy ending for Bambi, or give me another version of a baby deer and bunny thumping and safe mamas. My kids all preach the same: “That’s not real life, moooom.” Why? Why do my kids have to be so adultish sometimes? There are those incidences though—in our lives, in our marriage, in our faith—that we have to fight! And not just fight. We have to battle and go to the mat. (Not that I’ve ever gone to an actual mat, but doesn’t it sound brave.)
I’ve discussed this particular issue with my accountability partner. The sin I battled ten years ago, and thought was down for the count, comes back to life and trips me up with a new kind of strength. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.Hebrews 12:1
Sin only grows to weigh us down. We must get rid of it and run with clenched fists and open hearts, because we’re not alone. God’s got this. And there is a happy ending!
When I was a kid (boy that makes me sound old), but when I was young…er, I was trapped by two boys who held me captive on a tire swing. This sounds less than terrifying, I know. But after being teased, taunted, and slammed against the trunk of a tree for a child’s account of forever—I knew I had to either wait it out, or jump. I jumped. Once my body hit the dust and I felt the dirt sticking to my tears like glue, I rallied with a guttural, “Huh-uh!” All I can say is, “Boys do to run like girls. Ya-huh.”
It’s difficult to remember, when we swing in a hole of aloneness, that Jesus is the warrior beside us. And we will not be tormented by the enemy. We are not held captive—but free to sprint and drop weightless to the ground. We can untangle sin and chase the enemy. Why? Because we are God’s child. Also, we are really good at battling…almost too good…like superpower good. And here’s why:
Because Christ fought sin and we won.For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6: 23
Because we can fight in faith and rest in grace. We can approach the battle with confidence. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrow pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nation fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. Psalm 45:4-6 Beautiful. Majestic. Bold. We are sufficient to stand in the shadow of His prize fight. And win!
Because Jesus fights for us. You are from God and have overcome them, for he is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4. And intercedes for us. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Romans 8:34
Because we have the superpower we need. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…Acts 1:8
And because the enemy runs like a girl. “Yah-huh!” And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10…
And also, because God is simply the one writing our story,
Thee Happy Ending
About Beth Deuwel:
Beth Duewel is a wife and a mama of three almost grown-ups. Yes. She is still rooting for Bambi. Check out her book due to launch July 2017, Fix-Her-Upper: Hope and Laughter Through a God Renovated Life. Co-authored by Rhonda Rhea! Her blog, Fix-Her-Upper Life Renovated, is a must see and has lots and lots of happy endings too! She hopes to see you there.
Normally, I wouldn’t venture into the hidden cabinets of your life like this. Yet, today, I feel compelled to do so. Why? I learned the average person has 13 secrets*. This deeply concerns me, because what we keep inside can’t see the light of God’s healing. Instead, it grows, like mold – in guilt, shame, regret, remorse, and isolation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know a thing or two about keeping a secret. I’ve had:
An eating disorder that I tried to (unsuccessfully) hide for a long time.
Financial turmoil in my single years that caught me in a huge struggle.
A bad habit I didn’t want anyone to know about.
But, this is the concerning thing about secrets – it makes Christians feel like:
C. Disowned by God
This is concerning when to share Christ’s love, we need to first be filled with it (1 Jo. 4:19).
Secrets are like glass windows. No one can really see them, but we know they are there. They keep a wall between us – and God. The amazing thing is – he sees right through them. He sees to our heart. But, our resurrected protective glass keeps His love away. We prevent intimacy. This is the problem with secrets.
Secrets make us hear and believe: we’re the bad child, the guilty one, the unloved one, the unforgiven one, the broken one, the burdened one.
Then, we manage our own public relations campaign. We control. We lie. We manipulate. We feel horrible about it all – and the cycle continues….
What are your secrets?
They could be:
– financial blunders hidden under the guise of “No, honey, our bank account looks great!”
– a hidden sexual past that you try to pretend never happened.
– a lie that you cannot bring yourself to confess.
– a hidden relationship or deep longing for someone of old.
– stealing, hatred or simple unhappiness at work.
– self-harm, injuring someone in the past or a traumatic event.
– too much wine, prescription drug or bad habit
– ambition or maneuvers to get yourself ahead
– family secrets, past or covering for others
– a belief you want no one to know
– theft or manipulation that is ever so subtle
– an annoyance with a spouse that has been building up for years
– internal hatred towards a child
I am not here to mark you bad and send you to bed. I don’t ask you these things to chide you in Christ Jesus. I don’t even tell you to – get it over with – and release your worst foibles on Facebook. On the contrary, I just bring these things to you from a point of invitation, not condemnation.
You’re Invited: To a Party of Great Release Where: With God, at your home, in your car, anywhere How: Through a complete unveiling of your heart, will, and intentions When: Anytime What: What is the desire beneath this secret? Ask God for that desire or for a reworking of it. Who: Your Father will heal you
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Prov. 28:13
Healer is ready to heal. Why not take down the glass wall? Let him in? There is no shame in accepting help. There is no burden to coming to God. There are new beginnings. There are new avenues that will open to you. There is forgiveness from others, and wisdom in the waiting. There is hope from God; there is always hope.
*Study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, co-authored by Michael Slepian
This past week, I sat there. There were no texts, no calls and my husband was working late. Everything was dull. Facebook, a vast echo chamber of voices sounding off with complaints, thoughts and little questions posed on colored backgrounds. Empty. TV, a wasteful pursuit of the same old stuff – guns, reality gossip and divisive politics.
I breathed in. I looked up. God, are you here in all this? Sometimes, days just seem – fruitless. Dumb. Wasteful.
And, with this, more questions started flying.
I wonder, are you in this place too, of questioning? Perhaps you are… Let me assure you, there is nothing wrong in the asking, in the pursuing. So that is what we will do here today. We will ask our hard stuff and then we will hear, what I believe is God’s heart back to us….
Where are you, God?
I love you. I’ve always had you, this, a plan. Wait on me and you’ll hear me. Listen for me and you’ll find me. I have not given you a spirit of fear and timidity but of power love and a sound mind. Great is my faithfulness and my ability to change, help and restore. I have a plan. You will find me when you seek me with all your heart. Get ready. This is only the beginning and where we are going no man, evil and the world cannot stand against. Yes, you may encounter hard times along the way, but I am in them and with you. Be not afraid. You will find my joy in unexplainable ways. You will find my peace surrounding you. I am the fullness of all you need. Rest in me. Walk with me and find me. There are days when you won’t know, that is okay. I know and that is all you need to know. Come follow me. I am the way, your way, the truth, your truth and the life, your life.
God, how to I proceed? I need direction.
Wait on me. Listen. Stop and hear. Ask and discover. Seek and I’ll open the door to you. Watch and I’ll appear. Immerse yourself in my mind and I’ll immerse myself in you. Pay attention to the little things. Open the door of you heart wider. Unfasten the fear and the shame that is keeping you from the fullness of my glory. My wanting you to let go of this is never about shaming or guilting you. Do you want to pass it over to me today? Do you want to hand over what you see as condemnation, so I can begin a grand reformation? Why not take off the burden and pass it along. I am teaching you and leading you, but you need to be able to hear me and my Word.
God, why aren’t I doing more for you?
A baby doesn’t run until the training days are done. Often, you think you are ready to sprint before you’re developed. I am growing in you the spiritual muscles to do the things I’ve prepared for you. Daughter, I AM at work. If you will just be faithful in the small things, in the meaningless days, in obedient ways, you’ll find I am taking those underdeveloped places and making them strong, so then we can go and do bigger things. Just think, if you are a baby, or a child and I allow you to pole jump too early, you’ll land on your face. I want you to fly, at my appointed time, in my appointed way. I want you to be ready in full with all my equipping. Here is what you need to know: be faithful in the little and big doors will be opened unto you.
As I asked these questions of God, his peace fell on me. Are there some questions you need to ask of God? He doesn’t hate you for asking; He delights in your pursuit of Him, of truth and of life. Press in. Seek. And, find.
The waitress was nowhere to be seen, my glass was empty, my food was late and my patience was running thin. Where is she?
I bet she is on a smoke-break. She’s probably sitting outside the kitchen, leaning up against a brick wall, scrolling Facebook. Of course, something probably caught her eye – maybe an old friend? A boyfriend? And then, she started to see who he is friends with and what he’s doing. Then she gets intrigued with the latest place he took a vacation and she starts to look up the hotel…and then…
She better get out here, I’m starving, plus the kids are about 10-seconds away from losing it and I am entirely losing my patience.
A woman walks towards me, clearly the manager, I look at her and say, “Excuse me, our waitress vanished and I have no idea where she went and we are starving, need water and are waiting to order. Did she forget about us.”
The manager replies, “This is why I was coming over, you see, she got really ill in the bathroom and is being rushed to the hospital.”
I guess this means she wasn’t smoking.
I guess this means she wasn’t scrolling.
I guess this means she wasn’t sucked up in some Carribean vacation.
And, as soon as I realize what I’ve done, I realize: The second I become judge is the second I pretend to be God.
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how obvious my assumption appears. It doesn’t matter how blatant their disregard looks. It doesn’t matter how meanly they talk to me. It doesn’t matter what their track record is. It doesn’t matter if they look a certain way. It doesn’t matter if they started one way. It doesn’t matter if I feel hurt.
Unless I am them, I can’t judge them adequately. And, unless God gives me a day in their body, I can’t know their heart, their intentions or their struggle.
I have to let go. Not only for them, but for me. Because, otherwise, I’ll be walking around a hot shop of contempt. All that will fly is sparks of rage and malice at the proposed things people are doing and I’ll never live one happy day when I’m in their presence. It’s no way to live. It’s no way to look like Jesus.
I come to terms with not knowing your story or why you displayed rudeness.
I put on pause my impulsive emotions.
I decide to think positive about you.
I remember all that could be going wrong in your life.
I consider how the past has burnt you.
I resolve to let you know I’m here for you.
I turn away from the longing to harbor bad feelings towards you.
I give you the freedom to apologize when it’s right for you – or to never apologize at all.
I wait on God.
I trust he will fight for me while I am silent.
I believe he cares.
I know, we all hit hard days and hard days that make us respond with hard edges. I remember the days when I responded not so nice, or out of fear, or in a need to preserve myself…and I treat the offender like I would have wanted to be treated, maybe better.
I don’t do this now. But I want to. And, in this, I know God will help me see it through, so I can be kind to you when you’re confronting the very worst.
As soon as we walked in the home, a musty, mothball smell hit me. I looked around at sawdust and unfinished projects.
The place reeked of forgotten potential. It was like Fixer Upper gone bad.
While the bathrooms were redone, the floors desperately needed refinishing. The roof and deck were new, but holes gaped in the unpainted walls.
All of it spelled a big fat “no” in my mind, but my husband saw possibilities. I saw a long list of work, but he saw a future home for our family.
Less than two months later, that’s exactly what this abandoned house became. We painted, put up fixtures, and stained floors. We brought lots of love, sweat and tears.
Our family of three eventually grew to a family of five, and we’re still adding projects to a list that keeps growing. When one job is finished, there is inevitably another one waiting. But you know what? We keep pressing forward. Day by day, moment by moment.
When I think back on my first impressions of this place, I see lessons waiting to be learned. I start projects, get distracted and lose momentum. As a stay-at-home mom and writer, I face isolation and loneliness, and then let discouragement convince me to place my dreams on a shelf.
Like an old, abandoned fixer-upper, I forget my potential. More than that, I forget where my potential comes from: Christ in me.
A few weeks ago, I confided in some close friends how I felt shelved and forgotten. Like an old, dusty knick-knack left next to a book you bought but never read. At one point I was brutally honest about how I was feeling and came to God with my troubles. Do you know what I found? Feelings are often liars.
There is a well-known character in scripture who may have felt forgotten by God too. His name was Noah. We read about him and see a hero and a giant in the faith. We picture a man who heard God and stepped out in obedience. And he was.
But there was a period when Noah didn’t hear from God. At least, there is no record of God speaking in him in scripture. After telling Noah to get in the ark and sending the flood, for all we know God is silent.
When I heard this story as a child, I always thought the rain came down for forty days and then the rainbow appeared, but that’s not what scripture says. In addition to the forty days of rain, the waters flooded the earth for 150 days.
That’s a long time to be tossed in stormy waters and hear nothing.
Do you think Noah felt forgotten? He had no one except his family and a bunch of wild animals as his companions. Do you think he wondered where God was?
I know I would have. But God didn’t forget Noah or his promise. Not for one second.
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Genesis 8:1 NIV
Whenever scripture says “God remembered” it means he’s about to take action on his promises. In other words, he didn’t forget or take a vacation. He’s true to his word.
God can use seasons when we feel forgotten to help us remember the Author and Finisher of our faith.
To help us remember our faith isn’t in results or happy outcomes or lack of struggles. Our faith is in a living, breathing person who will complete the work he began.
It isn’t up to us to do it on our own. And aren’t you glad? Our job is to take the next God-ordained step. And then the next one after that.
Even when the waters rise, he is there. He goes with us. And when the sun comes out and the flood recedes, he’ll be there to show us the way home.
Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.
I wasn’t sure what happened. One day we were the best of friends and the next… I don’t know, there was this immeasurable distance between us.
For two years my friend and I were inseparable. Our kids played together, we vacationed together with our husbands and now, I couldn’t explain it but something was terribly wrong.
The person I spent hours on the phone with sharing heartbreak and joy, now wouldn’t give me a minute of her time.
After days of chill between us I worked up the nerve to ask her.
“Is something wrong? Is it me?”
As if she had no earthly idea what I was talking about she coyly answered,
“No, I’m good.”
But something wasn’t good. Something was terribly wrong. I felt like I was left alone in the middle of a dance floor. Abandoned.
And then I felt suckered punched. Betrayed.
She knew all my secrets—where my bones were buried.
As the days went on I prayed to God for answers while I tried on my own to figure out what happened. Every morning I woke up with a big fat knot in the pit of my gut while in my head I scoured each word of every conversation we recently had for a clue.
Was it the joke about the gas station, not knowing which grade of gas to choose? I was only teasing her. We joked liked that all the time.
Was she put off because I gave her advice in the gym? But she asked.
There’s nothing quite as devastating as losing a close friend and not knowing what took her from you.
Every day i grew more desperate for answers. I prayed. I waited. I cried. I prayed. I waited. I bawled. I prayed I waited. I wailed! Why wasn’t God answering my prayer? What could be the harm in answering this prayer?
I never stopped to consider it wasn’t all about me.
Eventually the tears dried up and life moved on. Moved on without answers.
And we moved on—my family, away to another city.
In my heart of hearts I knew God knew what happened between my friend and me and that in and of itself gave me peace.
My ex-bestie and I exchanged Christmas cards for a few years and talked few times. But months turned into years and I came to the realization there are some things perhaps God just doesn’t want us to know. Secrets that are to remain hidden.
Several moves and eighteen years later, my husband, David and I attended a wedding for the daughter of another dear friend. At there at the reception across the room between the coconut shrimp and the carving station stood my ex-bestie. It had been years since we’d seen each other.
I walked over and we exchanged hugs and for the next few minutes did what old friends do when they haven’t talked in years. We caught up making small talk about our kids, husbands and nothing. Around the time I thought, that’s that, the conversation took and unanticipated turn.
“Christy” she said, “I need to apologize to you.”
I was truly taken aback. What is this about, I thought?
She went on.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for ruining our friendship—one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. I’m sorry for pulling away. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time. It wasn’t about you. It was me.”
She went on to explain what had been going on in her heart and why she grew distant. The “what” I didn’t know.
I stood in relief of my 18 year old question and more so marveled at God’s hand-iworkof the process.
In this hurry-up and fix-it world, we want what we want when we want it. All those many years ago I was hurting and wanted answers.
But God is not as much concerned about time as He is about the timing. We want a quick fix. He wants to fix hearts.
He wants to heal us.
He wants to change us.
Grow our character to be more in-line with His. And that takes a providential process.
Maybe you’re dealing with an unanswered prayer right now. It could be a broken relationship or maybe it’s something else entirely. I assure you the moment you prayed a plan was laid. Just because you don’t get your answer right away, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.
Because sometimes it’s not all about us.
“He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by hi sown authority.'” Acts 1:7
Christy is an award winning writer, national speaker, wife, mother, mother-in-law, and first time grandma! She is passionate about helping women see God working for their good in the midst of their circumstances.
When Christy isn’t with family, speaking or writing, you can find her on the tennis court chasing a fuzzy yellow ball. You can connect with Christy on her blog, Joying in the Journey, Facebook, and Twitter
His face said it all: his brows furrowed inward, his eyes squinted and his mouth was as tight as a rubber band ready to explode. My son was angry at himself. In all his 6-years of wisdom, he knew – he’d done something he wasn’t happy with.
He looked up at daddy and said, “I want to go in time-out for 2 minutes – for you, daddy…”
My son’s words got me thinking recently, as a friend offered me unsolicited advice I knew I shouldn’t be listening to. God had already made my steps clear: I was to wait on Him until wisdom came. I knew this was the plan. Yet, as I sat down with this friend and they started talking on and on about what I should do, my heart started to plummet.
Would it really turn out okay? I really should save myself. Is anyone there to help me?
While one minute I was standing strong with God, the next, I was tumbling over with fear. I was buckling in with anxiety.
Ever been there? Ever been sure of what God wanted you to do, only to act out the exact opposite?
I let another’s influence invade a boundary God had established. And, I felt horrible about it.
What do you feel horrible about? What boundary has been invaded in your life, in a way where you constantly beat yourself up? In a way where you feel bad, horrible and no good? In a way where you’re not sure you can ever be nice to yourself again?
Because of what I did, I was convinced God was stripping me of all my good girl medals. It was as if, the row of trophies I’d earned – were disappearing before my very eyes. I was being demoted on his team and I was being relegated to the sidelines.
I could almost see it all happening and transpiring because of my faithlessness. You’re out, Kelly! You’re out! So, I took myself out of the game. I counted myself unworthy. I discounted my standing. I practically said to God, “I want to go in time-out for 2 minutes – for you, daddy.”
Like me, are you keeping yourself in time out – for daddy? Are you holding yourself back to make right what you know you made wrong? Are you punishing yourself?
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Jo. 3:17
If Jesus didn’t come to put us in permanent time out…then why do we send ourselves there? Why do we stay far from the Healer who wants to heal?
If Jesus came to save and not punish,
his procedure is to heal us and not ruin us.
With this idea in mind, we can approach him from a feeling of loved, adored and about-to-be restored, rather than failing and floundering.
When can approach like this:
I am sorry God.
You forgive me God.
I am holy God, in you.
Nothing can change that.
I am blameless in you.
You are leading me a new way.
And then, we realize, we were never outside of his love, but we were always in it and, then, we remember it is his love that heals us every time.