Forgiveness 

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Forgiveness.

That’s a tough subject for many, especially when you’ve been deeply hurt. A big part of my story revolved around the wrong definition of what forgiveness meant. Questions led to fear and that fear led to beating myself up over and over again unknowingly leaving the door open to more hurt. 

What is forgiveness? 

To make a choice to pardon or release someone based on a wrong they did…that’s forgiveness. It’s doesn’t at all mean that the wrong was justified or that it never happened. Some think that to forgive is to admit that what someone did wasn’t wrong. That you, the one hurt, doesn’t have a reason to be hurt or offended. That they, the offender, is off the hook. Wrong! There are consequences, but we are not always the one to determine what those are. It is NOT a get out of jail free card for them…it’s for you. To be free from anger, resentment, bitterness, and pain. It’s a gift you give yourself. 

I was taught that just so long as they said “sorry” that was enough. Well, that’s not enough for me and I found that’s not enough for God either. He requires more, a godly sorrow that leads to repentance and a change of heart and actions. 

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Proof is what I like to call it. How many times have you asked for forgiveness and turned around and did the same thing again? Or, someone has said sorry only to turn around and repeat their behavior? We must live by Gods standard, especially if we hold others to them. 

What isn’t forgiveness? 

Forgiveness is not shoving things under the carpet. Forgiveness is not forgetting it ever happened. That’s denial and avoidance. Doing this hides us from the truth and closing the door on our healing. Pain left unhealed blinds us to our future. We can’t move forward because we are always looking back. 

Forgiveness doesn’t have to establish a relationship. This is where so many people have it wrong. They think to forgive is to allow that someone back in your life. In some cases this will happen and relationships can be restored. Sometimes, relationships are altered and require strict boundaries, if not a temporary or permanent separation. Take abuse for example. Should someone who is being abused allow the abuser access to them just because they apologized? Or should there be boundaries that limit relationship and access until a pattern of sincerity and changed behavior is proven? 

Sadly, so many of us don’t know how to forgive and begin the process of healing because we have been misinformed. 

Forgiveness is a choice. Gods word tells us to forgive so that we can be forgiven. 

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Although we may never do what someone has done to us we are not perfect. We too, are human. Imperfect. It’s a process. We are a process. It took me a moment to forgive and years to walk out the process of healing. It took a moment to ask for forgiveness, but time to learn a new way. This is a process that if we can walk it out no matter the pain, we can be free, eventually.  Free from the stains we caused and free from the stains that others have left behind. 

I don’t pretend to have it all together. Many days I have to remind myself that it takes time. Being quick to forgive is hard, but freeing. Knowing that I need Gods forgiveness keeps my heart pliable to truth…Gods truth. 

I pray Gods truth would be louder than our past hurts, lies, and misunderstandings. My desire is that we can move forward and experience healing, healing that leads to freedom. Freedom that helps us set others free! 

Em ❤️ 

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Heart to Heart 

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So, the other day my hubby and I were having a heart to heart. Love those with him. He is usually very quiet, so the conversationalist in me rejoices in these moments. Since the cancer diagnosis {9 months ago} a lot has changed, mostly our perspective. How we live and why. Trauma does this. It rearranges, subtracts, and adds to life. We don’t get to choose the unexpected, but we can choose how we respond to it. 

It’s easy to become cynical. Angry. Bitter. That’s the path of least resistance. Looking for the good and purpose requires more thought, time, and effort. People usually quit before they find it. Fatigue sets in. Hopelessness drains hearts. Lies steal futures and then our choices destroy us.

We make excuses for inexcusable things just because of what has happened to us. Life. Family. Struggle. We give it all to much credit for all the wrong reasons. I am guilty of glorifying the pain and the ones responsible for it. A huge part of my life was lived being hurt by those hurting from others hurting them. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to end now! 

Cancer is not an excuse, neither is abuse, rape, poverty, violence, or any other horrible thing the enemy throws at us to become one who victimizes others and ourselves with our poor choices and thoughtless actions. 

Choice. It’s a beautiful, fragile, powerful thing, yet we don’t always handle it with care. I’ve learned that not making a choice, is a choice. When we choose to sit back and do nothing with the life we’ve been given it’s a waste of the potential we have inside of us. 

You see, our life doesn’t end at the end of the struggle if we still have breath. Purpose can be born out of the struggle if we don’t grow weary and trust that God is faithful to complete what he started in us. 

This was the heart to heart we had. What are we gonna do about where we’ve been? The good. The bad. The ugly. It all matters. Can we become people who allow God to use our struggle, pain, and past to be expamples of what hope and victory look like? I pray we can.

I want to blaze a trail of hope for my children and generations to come. I want and need my life, all of it, to count. I won’t accept it was all for nothing. When God said, all things work together for the good of them who love him and are called according to his purpose, I believed him!! And now I have to partner with him to see that purpose revealed and lived out. 

No more excuses. No more causing pain because we hurt too. Enough is enough. We have lives waiting on us to be who we are meant to be. You are someone’s example, blessing, and trailblazer.  Don’t quit now! Be the someone you needed and I promise you you’ll find your purpose. 

There’s no going back to the way things were. Honestly, I don’t want it to. Why? I’ve learned what it is to be strengthened in difficulty. To rely on God with every fiber of my being. I’ve seen miracles happen. Hearts transformed. Cancer won’t become our excuse. No, it’ll be our launching pad that propels us closer to our purpose!! 

Em ❤️  

Thy Will Be Done 

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What is the will of God for you? Some of us have no idea what that is. We live by our emotions. Our situations drive us and lead us down into a ditch of despair. 

When Mike was first diagnosed with cancer I heard this song “Thy will be done” by Hillary Scott. Powerful song. As I was singing it the Lord questioned me…what is my will? Do you even know what your singing? I had to stop and think. The scripture of when Jesus was teaching the disciples to pray came to mind…thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What is heaven like? No lack. No tears. No pain. No sickness. I had been praying…IF it be your will Lord heal Mike 😳 why do we pray that way when God tells us clearly in his word what his will is? It is his will you be healed. Be prosperous. Live in peace. We rely on our emotions and not enough on the word of God. 

We have have the power and authority as children of God to speak things that are not as though there were. Speak. Declare. Call down the promises and word of God into your situation. Believe he is able to honor his word. No more believing lies. Don’t allow doubt, fear, and unbelief to be your guide. We have something greater…Gods word to lead us into all truth!! 

What Are You Waiting For? 

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Imagine a child on the edge of a pool, ready to jump, with their father waiting with open arms to catch them. Now picture 20 minutes later and that same child is still waiting to jump. By now the father has said many times over…I’ve got you, just jump already. 

How many times has the Father told you to step out, to jump, because He’s got you? 

What would you do if you knew that you’d be ok in the end? 

I’ve been that child. Full of fear. Intimated by the water. Afraid I’ll drown. Unsure that I would be caught. We all have those fears that hinder our progress. They scream loudly and echo lies in our ears. Sadly, we believe them and have grown accustom to their voices. We no longer challenge or silence them. 

Years ago I was given a dream that I whole heartedly believed. A passion began to stir in me and I walked in the truth that I was someone with a purpose. Along the way life hit me hard. Decisions I made. Other people’s decisions. Situations that came and stayed longer than expected. All of it became more than I could bare and I caved under the weight of it all. 

I stopped believing the dream, I stopped believing I had purpose. 

Have you been there? Are you there now? Can I whisper some truths to you friend? 

That dream, passion, desire, and promise is still alive in you! How do I know? You’re still alive!! All those moments, weeks, and years you feel have been wasted have created depths in you. What the enemy meant to distract and derail you the Lord has used to your benefit. Your God has sown his truths deep in you. He’s changed you. Although you may feel numb, you have transformed through the pain and become strong, beautiful, and a force to be wreckoned with. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to move closer to the edge of your destiny and put your foot in. Write that story. Go to the gym. Take a class. One step at a time and soon enough you’ll be all in. It’s not easy to overcome what holds us back, but today we need to take a step closer than we were yesterday. It’s a process. It takes time, but I have faith that with God on our side and a promise in our belly we can accomplish anything! 

It’s All Good 

When my husband Mike was first admitted in the hospital I stayed the night with him and had a dream. I dreamed that a friend was administering meds to him. This friend is a pharmacist so it didn’t seem odd. When I had parked the night before I didn’t realize I had parked in front of a cancer center named…Roger S. Good. It also happened to be the name of my friend in the dream. As I left that morning I saw the sign and wept. I knew the Lord was preparing me for the road ahead, cancer {Acute Myeloid Leukemia}, but I was to know that it would be good. How could cancer be good?! The cancer isn’t good, but the results and outcome would be. Today after a series of out of town transfusions we were transferred to a local center…Roger S. Good! We walked in and I couldn’t help but cry {still crying as I type this out} Jesus amazes me. Although we are still walking this out, today was a reminder of what he said months ago…it’s good. Lord let it be as you have said. I trust you to work this out for our good, for the good of our family, for the good of your purpose. 

I pray for my friends reading this that their current struggle is being worked out for their good. Remind them of your promise, your love, your goodness. 

Romans 8:28…And we know that all things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Not This Time Around 

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Today as I was enjoying my breakfast I was confronted with a piece of my past. Why does that sting so much? Makes me just wanna crawl back in bed and stay there. Memories flooding my mind and taking me back to a place that I never wanted to visit again. A place of shame. Guilt. Regret. 

What do we do in these moments when you’re taken by surprise by your own actions? 

Run? Hide? Deny? 

I wanted to do all these things. Instead, I put my big girl chonies on and said “oh heck no, not today!” 

I was reminded that I am forgiven. That I have a choice to do things differently. What once was is no longer. I can’t go back and undo what was done but I can do what I should’ve done then, today. 

Gods mercies are new every morning and today I needed an extra dose. I got it in the form of a gentle soul who whispered grace to me. She reminded me of how far I’ve come. When all I saw was shame she saw me. She echoed the redeeming voice of God. No condemnation. No judgement. 

Couldn’t we all use that? 

Let me be that voice to you today. Let these words bring comfort to your heart. The Lord wants you to know… 

  • You are forgiven.
  • You are not defined by your failures. 
  • You can choose today, right now, to go a different way. 
  • He will give you the grace to hold your head up high. No shame. No guilt. Just freedom. 

Choose today to live in the freedom of his grace. He is kind. He is redeeming your past for his glory and your good! Now go and pass on his grace to someone who needs it! 

Em ❤️ 

I wanna be a Hero! 

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“Don’t buy the lie that you can become a hero without ever engaging in the battle.”

 Lisa Bevere 

Good morning my friends!! If there is one thing I’m passionate about it’s the truth. Knowing it. Believing it. Living in it. Telling it. In my house we do superheroes all day, everyday. Every superhero movie I’ve ever watched {there’s been A LOT, remember I have 4 boys} there was battle. In the end good wins {love that} but never before engaging in war. We will have to fight through the bad days, the struggles, the generational curses, the lies, the shame, the regret, and whatever you may be facing today to earn hero status! Victory is already ours, but we have to fight!! How? Don’t believe the lies of the enemy when he comes charging at you with your past. When he throws darts of shame your way. When he whispers lies of defeat and doom in your ear. Fight back with the word of God that says you are more than a conqueror! You are the righteousness of God! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world! You are loved. You’ve been chosen. We have to arm ourselves with truth to win! We must know it, believe it, and USE it! I want to be the hero of faith in my family, my community, that stands up to lies and sets the captives free…Don’t you?

What Now? 

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I couldn’t sleep. You would’ve guessed it was me going back to school the next morning. My heart was heavy for many reasons, some I couldn’t even articulate. 

When a season comes to end and another one begins we have a choice to make. Do we hang on kicking and screaming? Or, do we embrace the journey to come and decide to walk in it rather than outside of it?

I decided last night to walk in it. 

Homeschooling my youngest two boys was a lot of work, stress, and joys that made me proud to be chosen to be theirs. What started out as a necessity turned into a privilege. I would do it all again…mostly. Many days I questioned myself and my ability to be what my kids needed. Was I smart enough? Patient enough? 

Gods grace covered me during this emotional time. He continued to tell me over and over how he had equipped me to be their teacher for this season. I knew it wouldn’t last forever and it didn’t. Today, I dropped my babies off at public school after two years of being homeschooled. What an emotional mess I was. As I drove away I tried to convince myself that I was good. It’s time I told myself. My mind wanted to go to Target and walk each and every aisle as I sipped my latte but my heart ached as a chapter was closing. 

Would their teacher be kind? Patient? Would they make friends? These questions and more filled my heart. Again, I had a choice…trust God to cover and keep them or be filled with anxiety.

I chose to trust God. 

He knows what my children need, who they need, and for every other detail…He’s got them covered too. 

I made it to get the latte, of course, but that was as far as I got. I pulled up to the house and just sat there with this thought…What do I do now? I felt like I literally didn’t have a purpose. Wanna know what I did? I swept and mopped the floors. I did laundry. I actually watched some tv. 

I realized it’s ok not to have a plan and be in transition. That’s where I am…in transition. Gods grace walks us through the every days of life and equips us for the task at hand. I was filled with tears as I felt the hand of Jesus just hold mine and say…It’s gonna be ok. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. 

Wherever you are today, in whatever situation, let me encourage you. Allow God to unfold tomorrow out for you in his time. A new season is blooming and so will you. In time we’ll discover what we are called to next. In the meantime…go to Target and get a venti latte! Live it up! You don’t know when it’ll be time to get back to work! 

Blessings, Em 

Remember…You’re a Force to be Reckoned with! 

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This past weekend we went to the movies. I usually don’t watch these kinds of movies, my vote was for Dory!! However, during the movie the Lord began to show me some things. I saw a new generation of women rising up and taking their place. I saw the misfits and discouraged in their callings and gifts coming forth to realize they’re not crazy but in fact have a purpose. He showed me how we cower because of pressure and try to become what the world wants and in the process forfeiting who we are. Others have intimidated and used our gifts for their own gain and my heart was stirred as I watched women be degraded, silenced, and pushed aside. I’ve been one of them! Silenced by fear and rejection. Pressured to change who I am. Intimidated and used by those whom I loved and respected. Pushed so far into a corner, I lost myself that is until Jesus said enough is enough! Oh ya! Go get em Lord! It’s time we realize who we are, why we are here, and be brave enough to walk it out. I won’t rest until every women knows the value they hold in Jesus. You are not a mistake, stupid, useless, helpless, too far gone, ugly, fat, too old or young. You were created with a purpose! Your past is just that, the past. I know it hurt. Heck, it darn near killed you, but let it serve as a reminder that YOU ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH! You’re still standing! God is for you! Take heart and move forward with courage, power, and a God who never loses!! 

Another Way 

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Hi y’all!! It’s been awhile since my last post and life has been crazy good and a lot has changed for our family. We have moved from Texas back to California. My husband decided to follow his dream and go into business for himself. Many mixed emotions which brings me here to today’s post. Have you ever thought…ok, that didn’t go like I thought it would? THAT didn’t go as planned?  

I’m a really spontaneous person. I don’t mind the last minute calls for coffee or retail therapy. My world doesn’t swirl upside down if something last minute comes up, but I can tell you with a firm certainty that I wasn’t prepared for this change in plans. 

When God said go we went with no plans just faith. It was crazy. Bold. Courageous. My husband and I had visions of what we thought this new season would be like. We dreamed together. Our hearts were open to all the wonderful things to come. We would soon see that things weren’t going as we thought they would. For 5 years that would be the motto of our life. It caused such disappointment and frustration in us both. I had to really dig deep and search myself, God, and hope to find some peace, some purpose. I did. HALLELUJAH {in my choir voice}! More than I ever thought imaginable God used these last five years to accomplish HIS purpose, not mine. I only had to be open to go his way. 

This is where the struggle is. Can we let go of what we thought it should be like? Do we remain angry and bitter at God because of our own expectations? Are we really being obedient if all we want to do is lead and be in control? It’s a battle we will have to forge through if we ever want to get to the purpose of Gods heart for us. We can’t simply dig our heels in and not budge in opposition to the will of God. I mean we can try, but is that really how we want to be? 

Imagine Joseph from the bible. He had dreams that were God given and I’m sure he had the shock of his life when all went the opposite way. Little did he know, little do we all know, that the will, plan, and purpose of our lives are being cultivated in the unknowns and unexpected. This is where we are trained. Healed. Rid of anything that will cause us to lean on our own understanding. Old mind sets. Our past. This is the preparation for the purpose and there is no other way out, but through. 

There is much grace in this place if you are willing to walk it out with Jesus. His plans are good. His heart is for you. Just because things didn’t go as you planned doesn’t mean God or you failed. Proverbs 19:21 NLT says…You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. This is actually one of my favorite verses because it reassures me that Gods got my back. 

So, don’t put a period anywhere just yet and most certainly don’t use ink when writing out the vision of your life. Things change. Be open to go another way. You’ll be amazed just how much more that God has for you. Exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you could ask, dream, or imagine. This is what we have to look forward to…mind blown! 

Blessings, Em ☺️