Forgiveness Road

Have you ever asked for forgiveness from someone? If you’re like me, you have and when you do, you expect all to be forgiven. Turn that around though, and someone asks you for it, are you ready to return it as easily as you ask for it?

When I drive to and from school, it’s about a 200-mile drive. Sometimes that drive feels endless. Sometimes I think I’m two hours in and I’ve only been on the road for 20 minutes.

Many times I wish I could fast-forward to when I arrive and I’m comfortable with the people I love and miss.

Other times, the ride flies by and before I know it, I’m 10 miles from my exit.

This is often how I feel about forgiveness. More often than not, it feels like the first example and usually with the same person, even if it was years ago.

Forgiveness has never been easy for me, and maybe it isn’t easy for you either. I won’t lie and say I’m good at it and I’m the first to extend grace because honestly, I’m not. I feel things pretty deeply, especially the hurtful things and I tend to hold on to them with a tight grasp. One that I know will end up suffocating me if I hold on for too long.

I’m sure you’ve had someone who hurt you long ago or even recently. I think we all have in some way. And despite everything in you, you cannot bring yourself to completely forgive them for the pain they caused you.

Something as simple as seeing their name on your screen can ignite all those feelings in a second. I admit that I get angry. I admit that I overreact. I admit it’s harmful to hold on to the anger, that it does nothing for me. But sometimes the passion that rises up in me is the most that I feel toward that specific person and for once it’s something different than numbing the pain.

Forgiveness is a road we all have to travel on eventually. Sometimes it’s the neverending kind where we pass exit after exit, refusing to get off and let go. Other times, it’s a road we take that leads us to the first exit where we leave and move forward.

If anyone tells you it’s easy, I would challenge that or ask them how they got to that place. If anyone tells you it will set you free, sit down and learn from them.

I look forward to the day when I can lay all the anger and frustration down. Where I can take that exit and come to peace with it all. But, unfortunately, that time has yet to come. I’m learning, and each day I’m getting closer to that exit.

Forgiveness is something we all ask for but are so reluctant to give away. Somehow it’s more important to receive than to give and I’m not sure where that began. All I know is that it ends when we take the selfless route and learn to love others just a little bit more than ourselves. But, like anything that takes time, it’s a process, don’t get discouraged by the long drive.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

 

Las Vegas: “You’re in my prayers”… Are They?

 

Everyone is talking about the Las Vegas shooting and it brings up some hard questions.

It leads me to ask “where is God in the midst of all this pain?”

“What is he planning and why does he allow this to happen?”

“How can I even pray about something I feel I have no power over?”

I believe these questions are necessary, even encouraged. The disciples asked questions such as these and we are free to do the same.

However, asking the questions doesn’t make it any easier. This is still something hard to handle, deal with, and understand.

I, unfortunately, sometimes find myself avoiding the topic altogether. I become overwhelmed or I feel a lack of means or authority to say anything.

One thing I do how to do it pray. But not the typical “you’re in my prayers” or “I’ll pray about that” kind of prayer.

Events such as these, make me realize how little meaning those statements can carry. And I say that because I myself, neglect those words.

A devastating event like this (or hurricane Harvey or Maria)calls for more than just a quick prayer to ease your conscious or to check it off your list. This is something that affects so many people today and will continue to do so.

This is something a new generation will read in their textbooks. This is something that will be remembered annually. Something many will mourn for longer than a minute.

So it deserves more than a couple seconds of prayer.

Let this be a reminder of how we care for people and our broken world. Let it also be a reminder to take into consideration the meaning of “you’re in my prayers.”

While I am aware that there are people out there who are magnificent at this, I know there are people like myself who needed a new perspective and a little tug on the heart from God to recognize this.

So, with all that said, I hope you’ll join me in asking these hard questions. But also, in praying consistently, deeply, and with meaning as our country grieves.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

Is Harvey, Irma, Jose a mirror Of Us As Humans?

Is our sin the cause of these natural disasters?

That’s a BIG question, I know.

Recently, I worked on a reading assignment with the book “Where Was God?” by Erwin W. Lutzer. One thing he brings up is the idea that because we are sinners, we now live in a sinful, imperfect environment, hence, the disasters.

“…Paul then connects the curse of nature with man’s sin. He points out that man’s state of sin was his own doing, but God subjected nature to the curse even though it had no part in the decision: ‘For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice.’ Mankind, now tainted with sin, could not live in a perfect sinless environment. So Creation became an impersonal victim of Adam’s personal choice to rebel.”

So, do you think that when we see the devastation that Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katrina, and so many other natural disasters bring, are a reflection of what God sees in us? Or maybe what we should see in ourselves?

Hurricane-Irma-damage-pictures-Caribbean-photos-storm-Virgin-Islands-Bahamas-1059287
http://bit.ly/2wwg3ik

The author also spoke about how nature is both evil and good. After a blistering snow storm in Michigan, the next morning, the sun reflects off the snow creating a glistening wonderland and everything is still and beautiful. Or after a tornado, everything is calm and unmoving. Or we could get really clichè and talk about how rain always comes before a rainbow.

Is this not like us as humans? I can tell you that I have had many days where I feel like those dark clouds: swarming, combining and planning a storm. then, the very next day or even hour – especially after I have some heart -to -heart with Jesus-  I feel like the sun is shining brighter and warmer just for me…

“But we are a mixture of good and evil, and all too often evil takes the upper hand. Nature is therefore a mirror in which we see ourselves.”

I have heard and read many times that nature has no feelings. It doesn’t care. It does not stop for someone we deem worthy of survival, it does not avoid the rich, most developed cities. It doesn’t feel for the poverty-stricken villages. It just plows through hitting and damaging anything that gets in its way.

What Does Nature Have to Do With Us?

So then, what if this is also our reaction or feelings toward our sins? That we are indifferent to them. We don’t care, we just keep moving on damaging ourselves and others around us without possibly knowing or even caring?

It felt like a jab to the heart when I thought about this. The idea that our sins have the potential to create a hurricane inside us and around us and we may not know or care. It’s not an easy topic to think about and maybe it feels like a stretch to some. But it made me think.

With all of these natural disasters hitting so close to home for some of us, it’s important to recognize that yes, we do live in a fallen world. One where nature can destroy just about anything at any moment. However, there is still good. God is still good. These things pass and we rise from it each time until we get the privilege to walk into eternity.

My heart and prayers go out to the people affected by any of the disasters around the world.

I’m interested in how you feel about this author’s opinion… I’m not entirely sure myself but would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)