Saturday, July 23, 2011

Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50:10

When life is hard and we don't understand, it's helpful to remember the story of Job--and see what we can learn from his life.

Remember him? They man in the Bible who lost practically everything.

Job had some very dark days. He became overwhelmingly sad and began to give up entirely. Hope had faded. He complained about his circumstances and thought that he would never be happy again. It simply made no sense to Job why his entire life had crumbled around him.

Perhaps your breakup wasn’t as bad as Job’s horrible life. But whether your were simply disappointed or downright devastated you may also be wrestling with your own ideas about God’s character.

You may not be able to perceive what God is doing in your life right now, but perhaps, like Job, your question of “why?” will turn to “Who?” as you draw nearer to the One who has the answers. As you come to know God more and trust Him, you realize the one who takes care of the vast universe and all that is in it, also has His hands—and heart—on you.

In the darkest time of Job’s life he learned to see with new eyes as he experienced God, beholding him and coming to a place of radical life transformation.

“So often our primary ambition is to escape pain or feel good or be delivered from a problem when instead we need to keep our focus on the big picture of what God is doing in our life and the lives of others through pain or problems,” said Anne Graham Lotz in Why? “Our principle aim,” she continues, “should be to glorify God, not to be honored or to be healthy or to be happy.”

Of course, being happy or healthy is not a bad thing; it’s just not a first thing. Often we do not understand what God is up to because, well, He is God. And we are not.

There will always be an element of mystery in why God does what He does; we will never have all the answers this side of heaven. But we can rest assured that the One who loves us most, will reveal all that we need to know when we need to know it. And that is enough.

Many times, during or after a goodbye with a guy, I’ve grappled with my own “why?’ questions. We could have been really good together God, why didn’t this work out? And over time and many tears later, I’ve come to a place where I could say to God, “I do not understand, but I will trust You.”
When all else is gone, God remains.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Calm Your Heart; Return to Joy

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:11

Life is messy. We get hurt--or we hurt others. Breakups happen, people disappoint us. Or annoy us. Things don't go as planned. Why, it seems, is there never enough time to do what we need to get done.

But there is hope. The mess of the rain and mud in springtime lead into the beauty and bounty of summer. Fresh, green leaves. Pungent lilacs. Blooming fruit trees and gardens. All that mess led to something better.

This too shall pass. Your day will come. I believe it. Will you!

May God give you HOPE today, perhaps more hope than you've had in a long time--that one day things will change. That they will get better.

May the hard times you're facing lead to infinitely better days ahead!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When Love Ends: Dealing with a Dating Breakup or Divorce

Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
Micah 7:8

Breakups are hard. Whether you’re trying to get over someone who left or you’re the one leaving, breakups are messy, complicated and often devastatingly difficult.

That’s because we’re designed for attachment and connection, not separation and disconnection. Yet, for many singles, our dating lives are a series of hello’s and goodbye’s—attaching and detaching—from our teenage years until we stand at the altar (or don’t). We date and breakup, date and breakup in a crazy-making cycle. Often, people who marry and divorce find themselves back in the same pattern, too.

Whether you dated briefly or for a long time, the loss of love can be shattering. Your mind swirls with questions: What did I do wrong? Why did he leave? Aren’t I worth being loved well? What if I never find anyone like him again? What if I never find anyone again?

One day you’re sad, the next day you’re angry, and suddenly you’re just numb; you don’t feel anything because it just hurts too much to feel. Maybe you feel rejected, betrayed, or broken-hearted. If you’re the one who left him, you may be suffering guilt and shame. Either way, you just want the pain to stop. You want healing and you want answers.

Is it possible to get through this fragmenting process without falling to pieces?

Yes. Thankfully, yes.

Every story has a beginning and an end. This book begins with an ending, the “heart sunset” of your fading relationship, and it ends with a fresh start in the land of new beginnings.

When Love Ends is an integral part of your healing journey. In this four-part book, you’ll follow the cycle of a day, from darkness to light, as an analogy that parallels the healing process.

Twilight is a time of endings. The sun and the relationship are both disappearing, and you learn that, sadly, loss and brokenness are a part of life. Yet how you deal with endings, how you handle the emotional fallout of your breakup, in healthy or unhealthy ways, will determine the quality of your future love relationships—and your life.

is the darkness of grieving your losses. You’ve lost love, friendship, physical touch, and the hope of being with this person forever. You seem to have misplaced your worth and value, and your self esteem (and maybe some self respect) are hiding. Thankfully, God provides “night lights” in the darkness, like His comfort, wisdom and love, to guide the way to the daylight of joy and new beginnings.

As the first fingers of morning inch across the horizon, hope awakens and the light of Dawn (the truth about who God is and who you really are) illuminates your thinking. You begin to see God’s character and learn how he redeems losses and restores brokenness. As you discover your true identity as a dearly loved child of God, you gain greater confidence and learn to make wiser choices in love.

Finally Day breaks and you find that letting go of the past is truly possible. It’s time to move forward into your future. As the sun’s rays shine into the dark corners of your life, you reawaken to important things you’ve forgotten or put aside, like: gratitude, serving others, building friendships and community, and maybe even living your dreams. With renewed vision, you are no longer hiding in the shadows of yesterday. Radiance has returned, and with the light of Christ in you, you are ready to be a light to the world.

If you’ve just broken up from a dating relationship, or are still in the process, When Love Ends is an excellent resource. It provides encouragement and hope along with biblical insight and practical help to get you out of the darkness and back into the light of a brighter future.

Your new day will come. Believe it!