In all I write, speak and do — all forms of media, all the time — I endeavor to offer encouragement to everyone for finding forgiveness, clarity for getting to grace, and assuring all that forgiveness is possible. That’s why I am thrilled to have my article “Forgiveness is Possible” published in Sweet To The Soul FAITH Magazine’s Grace issue!
This issue of Sweet To The Soul FAITH is about God’s glorious grace… containing 140 full-color pages of faith-based inspiration, including articles, devotionals, Scripture reading lists, recipes, life management, Bible Art Journaling, creative resources and more!
Throughout this issue, tender hearts share about real-life experiences and struggles. Struggles to forgive others and even harder sometimes, to forgive ourselves… also stories of supernatural hope found in the most difficult of times, hope which only God can supply.
• Spiritual Complacency and How to Renew Your Focus
• Finding Freedom from Your Past
• Hanging on to Threadbare Hope
• When Life Seems Hopeless
• How to Share Your Faith Story
• Praying for an Open Door
• Gospel Foundations for Your Finances
• Letting Go of Clutter for Good
• How to Bullet Journal
• So much more!
This is one of the most beautiful magazines of its type I’veseen. The content is truly inspirational. Much food for thought, study and encouragement is reliably found between the covers of this quarterly magazine!
The New Year stretches out before us as a clear slate of fresh beginnings, great opportunities, hopes, dreams and wonders to be discovered…
What do you hope for in your life? The New Year is recognized as the time in our calendar year as a season for everything becoming new again. Fortunately for all of us, fresh starts and new beginnings aren’t scheduled only for January 1st!
Relationships rank high on most people’s priority list, and yet this area remains as one of life’s most daunting challenges. Our days become complicated as we attempt to navigate through issues, desire to deftly address touchy issues and try to smooth over painful moments.
Have you added relationships to your list to focus onin the New Year? Many people place relationships at the top of their list. They begin their initiative armed with all good intentions and great resolve to deal with troubling relational messes.
Often, the thought of approaching a pain-filled area in life causes even the most resolute to freeze in place. Immobilized, the whole situation becomes increasingly more confusing as hurt, deep sorrow and bad memories blend into a chaotic mix. Progress in moving toward resolution comes to a screeching halt. Fear sets in. Where to begin? How to handle this? I just can’t do this!
Seeking to address relational breaks requires us to revisit times and places we’d prefer to keep on a shelf somewhere safely out of sight. In reviewing those breaks, the deep root of a problem inevitably stirs powerful emotions.
It’s difficult to cast aside the happy life we’ve comfortably surrounded ourselves with, to make time and create space for mending a break or to admit a wrong. But take heart! In our walk with Him, God often takes us through life’s dark, rough terrain before we arrive on the other side with Him, where we find true peace and the joy we seek.
How can you embrace New Beginnings in your life and effectively apply them to restoring broken relationships?
Recognize the situation for what it is in reality — not what you think, or how you feel about it. Admit it exists. See it for what it is.
Pray about the matter, all involved and touched by it. Ask God for a clear vision of the problem, and for His guidance in addressing it. He will change your heart in every aspect surrounding this issue! When we change our heart about a painful situation, our eyes see it more clearly.
Seek His guidance throughout. He is always with us. He stands beside us and will bring us through. We have to be willing participants wherever He leads us. We have to do our part — to do the hard things. He makes the way clear for us.
Let your reset heart redirect your mind, acting as a spiritual GPS, directing you where to go. Begin taking steps toward resolution, as the Lord leads you in that direction. His restoration will be far more complete and well beyond what you could ever imagine!
Forgiveness and restoring life’s broken places takes time.
When we want to restore a relationship or fix a problem in life, it helps to remember it is a process. It’s never a one-and-done or easy peasy cure for what ails us relationally. Sometimes it takes a lifetime. But forgiveness is possible.
Let the Holy Spirit lead you in this. Don’t take personal initiative to map out your relational restoration plan or detail this project on your calendar. This is a matter of the heart — carry it with you. Let the matter (and those involved) come to your mind frequently. Allow it to be laid on your heart and cover all with prayer.
Every small step you make toward restoration is a step forward.
Progress is made, moving toward that hope. Realize relationships involve more than “self,” so moving forward (or not) rests also in the hands of other(s). They may not wish to relinquish their control or admit wrong. Our heartfelt endeavors to restore broken places shaped by the Lord’s leading, will us free of our pain.
Hopefully you’re well, enjoying some things missed during 2020.
We’ve missed a lot during the pandemic, haven’t we?
My family and I are definitely ready to enjoy more, although we’re finding the ‘adjustment’ process going a little slower than expected. I don’t know why I thought throwing off that mask and running free would be so easy😄 It sure sounded easier! I remember when living mask-free was easy.
It certainly is easier! I’m so NOT missing disinfecting every.thing brought into our home, quarantining the mail in the garage for a few days before opening it, and suiting up with mask and gloves to go to the grocery store😷 Whew! As ‘experts’ predicted, I can see all this may take time to process, gain some distance from it, and establish new best practices (as needed). I’m grateful for even slow progress through these topsy-turvy times.
Philippians 4:6-7 offers a reminder: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” [The Message]
Feeling “settled down,” after being on high alert for over a year?
If you’re not, take heart. In a recent conversation with friends, they shared after all that has gone into pressing through this pandemic has left them feeling like they’re running nearly on empty right now.
They (probably like you, and also like me) have been caring for others, taking additional precautionary measures to protect themselves (and others), paired with ever-present stresses impacting home, work and life. There have been schooling concerns, virtual classes, graduations, seemingly endless ZOOM meetings, postponed weddings, no church to online church, and more.
That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning while trying to create a safe, comforting, stable home environment amidst the swirling chaos, isn’t it? …and we haven’t even considered all that was entailed with keeping food on the table and figuring out “what’s for dinner” to gather everyone, keeping them fed.
For some, the aftereffect has taken the shape of near burnout. Some are depressed, others are exhausted. So if you’re not feeling well or suddenly realizing you’re not snapping back quite as fast as you thought you would, know you’re in good company. Wherever you are, we’re all in this season together💕 This too will pass.
This is a time requiring our lavishing grace, with reckless abandon.
Just as scripture tells us, I have seen things coming together for good, and I hope you have, too. We always have Hope. We know our heavenly Father uses bad, evil, hurtful things for good. We never know what to expect, nor could we have anticipated the pandemic. No one knew exactly how to get through it, based on experience or great knowledge. But we can rest in knowing that God has all of this. We can walk out our faith every day, trusting in Him.*
*That said, if you or someone you know is depressed or having issues that might require a doctor’s check-up, medical care or attention, please do seek proper professional care to address it. Take good care of you and the others in your life❤️
One thing is for sure: relationships remain important.
These uncertain days have tested relationships — stretching some nearly to a breaking point. Some of these experiences have raised more concerns about forgiveness and created confusion about how to resolve personal issues. I think studies will span the next 30+ years, seeking to understand all the implications this pandemic has imposed upon humanity. I believe the discoveries will be eye-opening!
How about you? What is your top Forgiveness Challenge?