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Dear Friend, My testimony – giving up changed everything.

Dear Friend, My testimony is that giving up changed everything in my life and I want you to give up too! Total surrender was my victory.

Dear Friend, this is my testimony about how I took a failing marriage, bitter heart, broken body and gave up . . .

. . . but giving up changed my life. And I really want you to give up, too.

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I’ve been trying for weeks to find the words to share my testimony and faith, but honestly, I’m scared I’ll say the wrong thing and push you away from hearing more about Christ.

I wish we could sit together, curled around cups of coffee, lean into each other and talk, but right now that isn’t possible, and I don’t want to wait any longer.

Curl up around a cup of coffee and fellowship.

None of us have a tomorrow guarantee.

I don’t want another person I love to leave this life without knowing my savior. Losing you for eternity scares me sick to my stomach.

Dear Friend, I don't know where to start, but I want to share how giving up changed my life! Click To Tweet

Let me borrow five minutes to share my testimony.

So I’m humbly asking you to bear with my clumsy struggle to find words that speak my heart. Please overlook my shortcomings, and try to see Christ in me.

Because I love you, I want to share how I came to realize I wasn’t strong enough alone, and how strong I’ve become from admitting my weakness.

Romans 1:16 ESV  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,

My testimony is that real brokenness and healing is more powerful than my pretend perfection ever was.

While raised in a Christian household,  sins and hurts had turned me away from God. I followed my own ideas of being a good person until I realized my astounding powerlessness even over myself. Faced with rock bottom, I was desperate.

Trying to be a pretty good person without Christ led me to the nuclear disaster another marriage had become.

Being a pretty good person wasn’t enough.

When I kept being a controlling nag and unmitigated perfectionist, making the same mistakes over and over, I realized no human being could save me, not myself, not other ‘pretty good’ people, only God through His son, Jesus.

Jesus Christ was flesh and God. He lived a painful, fragile existence but without sinning, and took the torturous death I deserved, so I could have the hope of an eternity in God’s presence.

My real brokenness and healing is more powerful than my pretense of perfection ever was. Click To Tweet

God built into every human being an ache within us to know Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV  “. . . Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, “

For me, that need manifests as a gaping emptiness, a feeling of never belonging nor being truly loved.

I tried filling that emptiness with books, food, diets, friends, exercise, cigarettes, boys, drinking, marriages, children. Anything to distract me from the painful, empty void.

Temporary fixes never satisfy an eternal need.

Always the hunger pangs for more would return, and I would race towards the next fix.

When I find my soul mate, I will feel complete.

Well, then the honeymoon ended. Even my husband couldn’t satisfy the need for perfect love, though he tries every day.

And the hole in my pretend wholeness reappeared.



When I’m a mom, that will be it.

Even the one longing I clutched for decades (raising a baby) wasn’t the answer. My role in her life is temporary in many ways. I need an eternal identity that will never fade.

When I realized everything is temporary, I needed an eternal identity. Click To Tweet

I’ve wanted to die, hiding from the world, hoarding all the hurts from my struggles with my weight, illnesses and injuries, vanity, and rejection, violence. Nothing ever truly satisfied the deep ache in my heart that I was not enough.

I needed an eternal identity.

Until God said, you don’t need to be enough for anyone else, you are Mine; that is enough.

And His love began to fill my broken places.

Isaiah 43:1 ESV  But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, . . . “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

When I struggle, this verse sings peace to my soul. I belong to Him, the Creator of the universe. You do too, and can hold fast to that precious claim the second you give up trying to do life alone and ask for Him.

He lovingly formed me for His purpose. I don’t always understand what purpose I could have, but I’m astounded by the ways my challenges bring opportunities to share Christ.

Through all my many trips to the emergency room or waiting room or hospitals, I have seen God use those times & give me opportunities to witness. I’ve shared my testimony with nurses, doctors, physical therapists.

Not one of the painful parts of my life has been wasted once I surrendered my life to God’s will.

Despite accepting Christ at six, I didn’t really believe I was so bad I needed saving until I realized my choices and sin had destroyed my life. Then, I just knew God couldn’t possibly want me.

Mark 2:17 ESV  And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Three marriages – I’m still struggling with the shame of how I failed in my prior marriages. I wasted years running in every direction except towards Him.

But God has a fantastic history of using people long after the world deemed them useless: Moses, Sarah, Hannah, Paul.

Then, I thought I had to clean up my life before I could come home.

Every morning, I’d wake determined to live better, be less angry, be more calm, have more joy and peace. And I’d do really great . . . until my feet hit the floor, and it would all implode. I was trying to live God’s peace without knowing Him!

Desperately trying to be good enough for God, but finally so broken by life, I cried, “Lord, I’m here, waiting for you!”

Romans 10:13 ESV  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

A light turned on in my heart. All the times I’d heard God calling me, feeling condemned, He’d been whispering, “just come as you are, Jesus paid it all.”

What took me so long?

Before, I would get angry at religious sentiments. I had decided God wasn’t real. I was just going to live my life. So why did joyful Christians make me so angry?

Deep inside, I felt convicted that I’d been living a lie, hiding from the truth. Thankfully, God put people in my path to redirect my steps as part of calling me home.

Dear Friend, My testimony is that giving up changed everything in my life and I want you to give up too! Total surrender was my victory.

Repentance changes everything.

Repent literally translated means to grieve my sins and change. I wish I could accurately describe the sweet freedom of repentance. Admitting my sins and failures sounds hard and embarrassing, but the GRACE that washed over me still brings tears to my eyes.

Romans 8:1-4 ESV  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

And when I surrendered, God changed my mind, my heart, my marriage, my parenting, my relationships and continues to change me daily.

I have so many stories I could add to my testimony, so many sweet verses I could share, this letter could go on and on, but this song says it all so beautifully.

But what I want you to know is that Jesus paid our price so we can live in freedom. Once we accept His Grace, God sees us through the lens of that sacrifice. We are made pure even though we cannot be wholly without sin while we live.

Still unsure?

You probably have lots of questions, verses you’ve heard taken out of context, or ideas about what it means to be a Christian, but lay all that down for a second.

If you’re hearing God whisper in your heart, “Come as you are,” then come.

I do not believe there is one specific prayer all believer’s must pray, but all believers must accept Christ and prayer is how we speak to Him.

Dear Lord,  I recognize I’m a sinner and humbly ask forgiveness for my sins. I accept Jesus died as a sacrifice for my sins, and I want to give you the rest of my life. Please change and guide me, drawing me closer to you daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You cannot be too bad for God to heal.

When I thought I was too ruined for God, too dirty and shameful, I found this verse. Imagining God cleaning my heart like a treasured vase, I sobbed joyful tears.

2 Timothy 2:21 ESV Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

God loves you deeper than any love you’ve ever known. If you hear His voice or feel a tug on your heart, He has laid claim on you and wants to call you His.

If you’ve read this far, maybe a piece of you wants to be loved this entirely, to feel His presence in your everyday. I’m here to talk if you’re ready.

If you’ve made the decision to follow Christ today, I really want you to find a local church and fellowship with strong believers. Spending time with them and in God’s word is crucial.

I love the YouVersion App because I can change translastions of the Bible with the touch of a button and can follow a reading plan, like the First Steps Reading Plan.

If any of my testimony has resonated with you, whether or not you made a decision today, pick up one of these books written by atheists who became convinced of Christ. They’ll answer questions and help you on your journey.

No matter where you are, no matter who you’ve been, the invitation is always open. He’s calling you in. Come broken-hearted, let healing begin.

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Internet Friends Day

Did you know #InternetFriendsDay is a thing? Yeah, me neither, but the internet has created my tribe of people, holding my hand as I walk through life.

Today is Internet Friends Day.

Yeah, I didn’t know that was a thing either. So what?

The internet has created my tribe of people.

I was about to ignore it when I thought about how God uses the internet to build my tribe of people. Some amazing Godly people came into my life ONLY through the internet. Several churches and ministries are speaking into my life only through the internet.

Some connections are very new, but Godly people, writing and talking and sharing Jesus, and we’re learning each other from completely different ends of the world.

This transient Army life contradictorily brings people into our lives and takes them away. But through the internet, friendships can become as close as sisters because we can stay connected when phone calls are less conversation and more punctuated by emergency parenting.

“No, you can’t ride the cat!”

“Don’t put that in your nose!”

“Poop is not an artistic medium, people!!” (this friend knows who she is)

Some lovely supportive friends are in my life everyday because of the internet. We share what we’re reading, a movie we just loved, what we’re praying over.

The Internet is a window around the globe, creating sisters from strangers. #InternetFriendsDay Click To Tweet

Did you know #InternetFriendsDay is a thing? Yeah, me neither, but the internet has created my tribe of people, holding my hand as I walk through life.

The truth is I am an intense introvert, but I love people. I love teaching and guiding and the loving of people. I just get drained by too much noise and chaos and the wearing of pants and make-up.

While recovering from hip surgery, I felt utterly useless in the kingdom of God. Seriously, all I could do was sit on the couch, uncomfortably.

God, if you can use me in this broken place, please show me how.

Ding. You have a message.

Facebook at midnight. Can I talk to you?

Over the next months, I was the midnight friend and Christian support to several women through Facebook. God said, write, so I did. And apparently a few people read this and even like it sometimes.

Through the internet, I may never hear your voice or even know your real name, but I can tell you how Jesus takes my roughest moments and shows up BIG in my life.

Sharing stories of parenting my tiny tornado while learning to live obedient to Christ might encourage you or help you feel a little less alone on those days you’re crying in the closet hugging a bag of expired Christmas chocolate.

So Internet Friends Day means I’m celebrating you. All those whose lives I get to visit through the internet. All those who visit mine. All those holding my hand as I learn to follow God in all things.

Proverbs 17:17 ESV A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

And this crazy internet lets us do both.

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Are you Best Friend Material?

A need for a best friend is written on our hearts by our Heavenly Father, and He convicts me to focus on the kind of friend I am. Am I best friend material?

Am I best friend material? I’m a good person. I’m loyal and kind. I would have said yes to this question a few years ago.

And I would have been wrong.

God has been walking me through a deeper understanding of friendships and relationships because part of ministering to women is knowing how to love them. I knew how to teach them, how to speak to them, but I needed to learn to just love them.

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

Do you have a best friend or two?

Friendship and acceptance are basic human needs written into our hearts by a loving Heavenly Father, so why does it seem like making friends so challenging?

For me, I had to stop worrying about what kinds of friends I wanted to have, and start thinking about what kind of friend I wanted to BE.

I had to stop worrying about the friends I have, and think about the friend I want to BE. #NationalGirlfriendDay Click To Tweet

When everyone on Twitter is trending #BestFriendDay, do you instantly know the friend you will tag in a glowing social media post? She will be awed by your eloquent words and laugh because she was going to post the same picture of the two of you?

Yeah, that won’t be me today. I wasn’t one of those girls who made a best friend in kindergarten who is still my best friend today.

In fact, I’ve struggled to build deep friendships since leaving my last job. Maybe, the challenge is partially this transient military life, partially my introverted nature. Also, this season of young motherhood and deep parenting limits my time and energy for others.

But I long for those kinds of friends.

I’ve also become convicted that God didn’t give me just one friend, but many if I take the time to really look around my life. And some of the silly social media games we play, end up hurting those who we exclude, even if that was not our intention.

And I’ve realized I have different best friends for different areas of my life.

I have friends who need my wisdom more right now. I have friends who make me laugh more right now. Some friends are super encouraging cheerleaders! Some friends convict and push me deeper in my walk with Christ. Some are just slugging through the trenches of marriage and motherhood with me.

God has planted several women in my life who are not my one and only best friend, but are the best kind of friends, the ones who will drop everything and pray for me with just a text message.

A best friend will stop and pray with you. Are you best friend material?

Over the past couple of years I had to examine my friendships, especially those real heart sisters, and ask myself . . .

Why is she my best friend?

  • I can always call her, no matter the time of day.
  • She is supportive, cheering me on when I am full of self-doubt.
  • I can count on her to take time for me, even when her own life is boiling over.
  • We don’t let trivial stuff interfere with our love for each other.
  • She encourages my walk with Christ.
  • When my life is falling apart, I know she’ll listen, offer to punch someone 😉 , and give me gentle advice after validating how I feel.
  • She genuinely celebrates my joys and successes.
  • No matter what is happening with her, she always leaves room to talk about my stuff.
  • She will drop everything and pray with me or for me. She prays for my children.
  • Grace comes first in all our interactions. She is honest with me when I hurt her feelings, and we work through the issues to untangle our conversations.

A need for a best friend is written on our hearts by our Heavenly Father, and He convicts me to focus on the kind of friend I am. Am I best friend material?

Proverbs 18:24 ESV “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

The number of friends I have that meet all these criteria is tiny, one hand kind of small, but they are my tribe.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that not everyone has TV-sitcom friendships. Women come in and out of our lives for a season. But knowing what I’ve learned about friendship recently, I am convicted that I have missed the chance to build deep friendships with some women around me.

I was too busy looking for a best friend. I missed chances to be one.

Being consumed with being a wife or mother, I’ve overlooked someone who needed a friend. Or I let small hurts or slights be a barrier instead of seeking unity and peace within the body of Christ.

Today, instead of feeling rejected, I want to feel convicted.

#BestFriendDay Instead of rejected, I want to feel convicted! Am I best friend material? Click To Tweet

Am I best friend material?

I want to stop worrying about how many friends I have and focus what kind of friend I am.

Proverbs 17:17 ESV “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

  • Am I a friend people know they can call?
  • Have I learned to let grace season all my interactions?
  • Do I forgive small hurts and continue to seek out friendship?
  • Am I encouraging and supportive?
  • Have I learned to listen as much as I speak?
  • Am I willing to love someone who can’t love me back right now?
  • Do I draw people to Christ because they see Him in me?
  • Do I love them as much as I lean on them?

Deep friendships take cultivating to produce fruit, lots of grace and forgiveness, and devotion to Christ first, then the relationship.

Cultivating Friendships takes hard work to produce fruit. Are you best friend material?

I thank God for the friends I have, because that small handful of ladies make me a better friend, better woman, and better Christian.

And I’m going to continue to seek women who need a friend, whether they can be one or not, and work on being the kind of friend God asks of us as part of His family, whether the relationship is for a season or a lifetime.

Being used by God to love & reach people is always right where I’m called to be.

I think I might just be best friend material, yet.

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Why, yes, we do validate!

Friendship is not for the faint of heart. Real friendship can be messy sometimes if we’re real, honest, and hold each other accountable. Nothing is harder than hearing you’re wrong from someone you really respect and want to be respected by, but if I’m wallowing in pig poop, I need someone to tell me this isn’t the time for a facial!

However, I’ve been known to stand in the poop and try to argue that it’s a spa treatment. God has really been teaching me to listen to the correction, searching my heart for any truth in it. Because I’ve learned that even if the entire message doesn’t apply, there is usually a grain of truth in it. But that grain of truth can rub skin raw like a salt scrub body treatment in the moment. Humility is hard. I want to be right. I want to get things right, so the past 24 hours has been hard. I beat myself up a lot when I don’t things right, but I’m learning.

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends and I had a disconnect. We were both trying to be Godly women, but between text messages, and conversation snippets (talking on the phone around kids, meals and husbands), we both ended up wounded and wounding each other on accident.

She was upset about an interaction during her day. I was trying to be a good friend. I heard the words she used in her message, tried to process what I thought was happening and vowed to give her some time before calling, but when she came to me with her hurt, I rushed in with my opinion. She was still raw, and we talked before she’d really had a chance to process. I had prayed about her situation before talking to her, tried to wait for the right words, but I still jumped in before she was ready to listen, and made some mistaken conclusions about how she was feeling. And because she was so hurt already, nothing I said could be heard with the heart from which it was spoken.

Luckily, we’ve been in the trenches together as teachers, women, wives, moms, Christians, and friends together for a long time, so even in the worst moments of this situation, we were calm and kind, even though we were both feeling like we missed something somewhere.

But thank God for His love that transcends the human emotions of a moment that wants to throw in the towel and quit. His love pushes us to say, “Can we try that conversation again?” Thank the Lord for His word, where we both immediately went in our emotions, and kept coming back from, ready for restoration.

In bits and pieces, between vomit and poop crises and softball practice and big brothers with sharpies, she and I did eventually manage to figure out where each of our hearts were right and what needed correcting in both of us. We were both validated, and also, both instructed. We both got to say, I’m sorry and I forgive you. It really was a beautiful moment in a friendship. We were both able to start over, communicate more clearly, and realize that if we’d both slowed down yesterday to do that in the first place, neither of us would have spent a day feeling upset.

Because we have had these conversations over the past 24 hours, broken into pieces, I’ve been in prayer and deep contemplation about how to talk to her, asking God to show me what I personally needed to hear.

First, I heard, “speak from where you are. You know what you’re thinking and feeling for certain.” When I did that, it we got to the right train of thought, but we still had some work to get to good. So I kept asking, what do I not see?

Usually when I ask Him that, he turns my family into my living object lessons.

Lesson #1 My husband came home from the ER yesterday with a smashed thumb. He dropped a missile on it. (Yes, a missile. Gotta love the army.) He was howling in pain as he tried to ice it. Our daughter tried to show him the ocean-themed get well card she created while he was in the midst of his pain. He wanted to listen to her, to give her proper attention but he couldn’t because of his intense pain. She tried to get louder and louder, but he was trying not to cry, he couldn’t do anything gentle or productive at that moment.

Note to self – when someone is really hurting, they can’t hear anything in their crisis. Just hold on to them and wait.

Lesson #2  I was on the phone (blue-tooth/hands-free) on the way home from our daughter’s softball practice, trying to get some wisdom from another treasured friend to get some insight into how I can better approach people. I’m about to start a ministry with people from all different places in their walk with Christ. I want to make sure I really learn how to love people correctly.

My daughter was screaming from the back seat. I signaled her to stop several times, but she just got more willful, until I did the most terrifying thing a mom can do – I pulled over. I don’t know about you, but my parents threatened to pull over or turn around a lot, but stuff got real when they actually did it. I made it clear that she could not scream while we were in the car, nor while I was on the phone, especially not the double whammy of being on the phone while in the car.

My daughter quieted down, but continued to be upset. When I ended the call a few minutes later, I looked into the kid view mirror. She was still in a puke stained, dirt encrusted softball outfit. Her sweaty hair was plastered to her forehead. She was exhausted from just being her little four-year-old self, and her tiny face was twisted into the biggest sad face ever.

“What is the matter?”

She looked at me and said, “I don’t feel special or loved anymore.”

Whoa! Yes, she IS that dramatic. Of course, I love you, I said, then we talked about what she had been doing wrong, that she needed correction. She agreed that she knows better than to scream and yell at me.

But then she added, “But I don’t feel special or loved when you get mad at me.”

What a wondrous child to be able to tell me what she needed. I told her that of course, she is loved and special all the time, that even when she is at her naughtiest, I love her forever and always, more than the whole world. But her bottom lip quivered, so I told her again. Then I held her leg. I can’t reach her hand in the van, but I can hold her ankle. So we drove home with her smiling happily while I held her leg.

I validated her feelings FIRST, then again. Then I held onto her with all I could, and only then could she hear the correction of her behavior, not who she is.

aha4aiconAh ha! The moral of the story – instead of being able to gently lead my friend to what I was learning in Christ that might relate, she was already in so much pain, then I added to the heap of coals by making her feel criticized, like I didn’t value her, like she wasn’t special or loved, like maybe somehow I saw her as less or broken. Well, no wonder she couldn’t hear me. She was doing her smashed thumb dance, and I thought it would be a good time for a deep philosophical conversation. Why would she want to??

I had to learn how to hear her first, then how to support her, and then ask her “What are you feeling?” “What do you think about it now that you’ve had time to think?” “What are you hearing from God about this?” AH HA!

As soon as I asked her that question, we were back on the right track. She felt really good being able to process what she was feeling, thinking, learning. I could hear growth in her relationship with God, and she could know that I was empathizing with her, not trying to fix her.

Was she wallowing in pig slop and needed me to stop her from giving herself a poop facial? In the end, not so much. Did she need me to be a voice of truth? That remains to be seen. At that moment my behavior wasn’t the most effective. But luckily she was super patient with me and really walked me through a gentler way to get her to come to those realizations herself.

Wow, I know how to use questioning to lead people to finding the right answer; I really feel like kicking myself, but the truth is even when we “know” something, sometimes until the Holy Spirit has opened our hearts, that knowledge is just words. In a very real way, He taught me how to better be an ambassador of love today. Even though nothing I said was wrong or un-Biblical, I learned that I can better choose when or if to say something.

Both of us grew closer to each other and God through going to Him today.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,[a] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Because when we stand and look at Him, he cleans us up by degree. And sanctification, like good friends, is a tremendous blessing from God. Cool-Cat-Cafe-Free-Parking-with-Validation

So hopefully, she knows now, that in my friendship parking garage, why, yes, we do validate here. When examining the muck, I need to ask her what she thinks. Is that poop or chocolate? If it’s poop, let’s find the car wash together. If it’s chocolate, it’s every woman for herself.

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The Butterfly Effect: Handling Rejection as a Christian

Are you good at handling rejection? What should we do when people reject us because of our beliefs and values as Christians? Embrace the Butterfly Effect!

How are you with handling rejection? What should we do when people reject us because of our beliefs and values as Christians? Embrace the Butterfly Effect!

(this site uses Affiliate links-purchases support our ministry through a small referral fee that never affects your cost.)

One early fall afternoon a few years ago, I’d been crying. I had shared my passionate fire for Jesus with a friend, but she didn’t want to hear it. Her marriage was struggling. I shared how my relationship with Christ had transformed my marriage. But all she could hear was more things for her to do when she felt like she was already doing everything.

Not only did she reject a Christian take on marriage, our friendship ended.

Later, I replayed every word in my head. I had tried come alongside her, speak with love, gentleness and compassion, and being real about my own brokenness, failures, sin, and redemption.

But something had gone terribly wrong!

I kept trying to rephrase it, find just the right words, but nothing I did seemed to matter. She just grew less willing to listen. She walked away from our conversation and friendship without even a good-bye.  I was just devastated.
But I realized that handling rejection well has to be part of our walk as Christian women. We are supposed to share our testimony, prepared to also share in suffering for it.

2 Timothy 1:8 ESV “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,”

Trying not to let my hurt derail me, I needed some time with God. Seeking His solace and comfort, I went outside to be alone to pray. My daughter is wonderful at a great many things, but being quiet is not one of them. 😉

“Dear God, I don’t know what to do. How do I deal with this pain? What should I do to heal this fractured relationship? How can I be obedient to you in the middle of this hurt?” Tears filled my eyes as I prayed.

A small orange and black butterfly swooped over my head and fluttered its way to the tree above. Squinting in the sunlight, I looked into the branches, but it was gone. All I could see was a bunch of leaves browning in the late summer heat wave.

Are you good at handling rejection? What should we do when people reject us because of our beliefs and values as Christians? Embrace the Butterfly Effect!

But then the wind rustled the leaves, and the butterfly flickered to catch the cool breeze on her wings. Her vibrant wings shone against the dreary backdrop.

God whispered into my heart that moment.

A beautiful butterfly can be lost among the dying leaves if she looks like her surroundings. Click To Tweet

A beautiful butterfly can be lost among the dying leaves if she closes up to look like her surroundings. It is only when she dares to open as a new creation that her beauty is obvious.

The Butterfly Effect is when we stand out as vibrantly alive in the midst of a dead world.

One tiny butterfly amidst a tree full of brown leaves was all the more beautiful because of the contrast between her and the surroundings.

Are you good at handling rejection? What should we do when people reject us because of our beliefs and values as Christians? Embrace the Butterfly Effect!

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2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Chills raced over my arms. I felt God’s words flow into my heart.

I’m not supposed to look like the rest of the world anymore. I’m not supposed to blend in. God is calling me to stand out, not as myself, but as a witness for Him.

I may not be blameless in the derailment of our friendship. In my excitement and immaturity, I may not have presented my faith with gentleness or waiting patiently for the right time. I’m learning how to best reach people where they are, but she wasn’t rejecting me, not really. For the first time, I truly understood the following verse.

John 15:18 ESV “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

Jesus knew we would need help handling rejection!

I had forgotten what it felt like to be running full tilt away from God, walking away from people who could only talk about Jesus, the darkness in me refusing to be around their light.

Romans 8:7 ESV “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Their light made the darkness in me so obvious. I got angry, indignant, and chose my way over God’s. Thank goodness, He didn’t leave me there!

Ephesians 5:8 ESV “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”

Jesus and the Holy Spirit changed my life, my heart, changed my parenting, and my marriage. I wanted to shout it from the mountains. It was a miracle for my life and family.

Who wouldn’t want a miracle?

People who don’t know they need one. People who have never truly come face to face with their need for salvation and grace.

She couldn’t see God’s blessings in what I was saying. All she could see was the things of this world she would have to give up to follow Christ.

Who wouldn't want a miracle? People who don't know they need one. #butterflyeffect #newcreation Click To Tweet

Most believers will tell you we all have moments in which we cling to worldly things. Selfishly holding onto something that isn’t what God wants for us, we later realize it was holding us back from best things God wants for us.

1 John 2:15 ESV  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Serving God has to be an all or nothing proposition.

Being sold out for Jesus is a decision. When the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to God, and I started to understand grace, my whole heart changed perspective. Letting Him clean up my life is a process, but I had to surrender as master of my heart. And in doing so, I learned that I am such a happier person without the very things I used to think made me ‘happy.’

I would love to tell you this friend has come back and asked me what makes me so different, and maybe someday I can. I can’t say the hurt is completely gone either, but knowing my responsibility is to grow closer to God is comforting.

Are you good at handling rejection? What should we do when people reject us because of our beliefs and values as Christians? Embrace the Butterfly Effect!

I’m learning to listen more, talk less, serve more, know that living differently, loving much, using His butterfly effect is my best witness.

We meet them where they are, not excusing their sin, but loving them anyway as Christ first loved us.

But, I have to choose to spread my wings, letting people see His new creation in me, not let the world pressure me to look like them.

People who are ready, will see His butterfly effect in me. And for those who aren’t, I will plant a seed.

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