Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fear Fighting: When Rejection Tears Your Heart Apart

I am so pleased to introduce you to Kelly Balarie, author of the new book Fear Fighting. She has graciously written this as a guest blog. I hope you love her just as much as I do!


I remember it like yesterday: he was the handsome 13 year old. I was the girl who looked like she put her finger in the electrical socket. My hair never was something I could easily tame.

I had my eye on him for a while.
He was so handsome.
He was so funny.
He was so confident.

Now, as I looked at him, he was just standing there on the other side of the room. He looked alone. Sad even? No one was with him. Everyone else was dancing.

I really could ask him to dance.
I could, for once, try to be brave.
There's always a chance.
My dress is pretty.

I mustered my inner beauty and asked him. He looked at me like I was a martian from an alternate universe. 

"Uhh...well, we can't dance because there are parents watching."

I stared. There were parents watching the other 50 dancing children too. It didn't stop them.

His head turned left and right; he was trying to see who was watching. He wanted to make sure no one saw him talking - to me. 

I got the message. Head down, shoulders slumped and mind sure I'd never allow myself to get hurt like this again, I shuffled back to my spot. The seat at the table where no one else was. 

I made a silent agreement, a firm handshake deal, with myself: I'll leave man before man ever hurts me again like this!

This deal still lives. Even, today, I leave man. At first sign of injury, I turn my back on him.

If he has a word of advice, I take it as a sign of criticism and freeze over my heart. If he speaks too loudly, I take it as he's ready to abandon me and I shut my mind down.  If he does something wrong, I figure it is personal; I raise the security walls around my heart. 

I run from man so man can't run me over.

I'm not proud of it. I certainly don't speak aloud of it. But, it's true.

What about you?

Has man so injured you, that injustice plagues you? Nips at your skin? Pulls out the worst of you?

God's pinged my heart with many arrows of rejection lately. Yet, like the loving cupid he is, I think he's allowed me to get struck, so I can read the message of love attached to me.



It reads like this: He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. (Is. 53:3)

You see, God hit me with the truth: Jesus was rejected. Badly rejected.

But, what did Jesus do, in the face of his rejection?

Did he grab all his favorite robes and go hide out in a cave until man could pull his act together? No. Did he stop healing, loving and moving on earth because man was mean and insensitive? No. Did he turn away from loving, remembering the list of dirty laundry we flaunt nearly every day - in his face? No.

He trudged down a road with a back-breaking cross, digging deep into his skin - on account of me. He rode a lowly donkey that made him look like the village-idiot - on account of me. He made his heart available and accessible - on account of me.

Jesus didn't let man's rejection, give him license to reject man. 


And, thank God this is the case. Look at what his alternate approach to rejection accomplished: it saved mankind.

What might we accomplish by responding to rejection - in a different way? In a loving way? In a mercy-giving way? In a grace-building way?

And, most of all, what might we save? Could it be our own heart? Our marriage? Our relationships? Our feelings? Or, most importantly, a special dance with God. 


About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. 

About Kelly Balarie:

Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear at http://www.fearfightingbook.com/.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

... but do you actually believe it?

 My rough journey as a mother to trust God with my children.

When most people come to a crossroads of learning something new or being brought to the jumping off point on a cliff, they are focused typically on one thing. Overcoming fear, anger, addiction or learning to believe God for the first time, dealing with a situation out of your control, or the joy of taking a leap of faith are all centrally focused on the one thing at hand.

This season of mothering that has come is literally testing all of my fortitude and believing God that I can muster. Not in just the normal way of letting go and releasing my grown children like parents do, but actually not fretting and trusting God with them, not meddling and trying to control the situation but allowing room for them to make mistakes and learn, grasping tightly to the joy of my salvation and embracing the new season of life.

Let me give a quick intro to my family. I am married to my best friend of 20 years and we’ve got 4 teenage kids. A 19 year old son, a 17 year old daughter, a 16 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. We knew years ago that this time would come. Like an avalanche unable to be controlled, they’d be growing up, graduating and leaving all within a short period of time.

It’s like merciless crashing waves over my head that just relentlessly keep hitting and keep coming .

We are extraordinarily proud of these kids, they’ve grown to be mature, respectable young adults who respect authority, have a great work ethic and try to honor God with their lives. They’ve got bright futures ahead and I’ve got a nagging feeling in my heart that they aren’t going to live close by. Our oldest, pictured here, is off in 3 weeks to Australia for Bible college. To say that this has caused some heart ache is an understatement. To add to the party of releasing, our 17 year old daughter also will graduate 5 months after that and leave for college in August.

Time is racing ahead of me and is no respecter of my 
panicking feelings.

Life, as we know it, is basically done. 
The season is over and the abrupt halt of it is harsh.

I’d like to be very vulnerable in my raw honesty here because I feel like someone else needs to know about this process and how to make it through.

When the subject of my son going to Australia was brought up, it was a leading from God. We strongly believe this. Too many things aligning, prayers answered, and confirmations given to doubt it. However, when it first came up, my comment was “My son is not going to Australia without his mother coming along to help get him settled so I can see with my own eyes that he’s going to be ok”

Yea.... I said that.
Where, you ask, was my trust in God? Nowhere.... it was no where .
It was residing in my abilities alone.

Fast forward many months later, lots of bridges crossed and prayers answered. The moment where my claimed faith crashed into an unforeseen trial and I have to put on my big girl pants and decide to actually believe God. This is not a fun exercise in trust, by the way. It sounds poetic to say let go and let God, or leave it with the Lord etc.

It is not pretty. Lots of proverbial stomping of the feet, clenching fists, toddler style crying and pouts and finally choosing to surrender and accept that the God of the Bible, the God of the Universe, my Savior and Redeemer actually does sit on the throne.... and I do not.

My husband came to me and said he sensed God was leading us to not go with our son. Not only that, to choose to give that plane ticket money as an offering to the Lord, as an act of faith and trust that He will sustain and care for our son. (Any men reading this can understand the care and trepidation my husband had in bringing this up to me.)

Can you hear the whoosh of wind knocking out of my stomach?

This placed before me so many things to overcome in a short amount of time in order to be successful. 

~Do I choose to support my husband’s direction and leading? 
~Do I do this, but wait in expectation for God to give us the    money back as a blessing for obedience? 
~Do I give it with abandonment not expecting anything in return?
~Can I do this with a heart of gratitude for all that God has done to  restore our family? 
~Is it possible to get my heart and mind straight, remove the anger, indignation, sorrow and frustration and truly walk forward in obedience and faith in God?

Well, it has happened, and frankly all to God’s glory because this isn’t something I want, it is not a path I’d ever choose myself. He has worked nothing short of a miracle in my heart to bring me to a place of not only joyfully giving and overwhelmed with gratitude, but shreds of confidence in His ability to carry my child.

It grows little by little, this trust in Him.

It’s so crazy, I believe God for all the amazing miracles of the Bible, I believe and know personally and intimately how he transforms wretched, broken lives into something beautiful that glorifies Him.

Yet... when it comes to loosening the apron strings.... ALL the way to Australia...deep anguishing struggle ensues.

I have 3 weeks of precious time. We are choosing what we do wisely and with purpose. I am temporarily stuffing the sadness of not having my sweet boy’s face coming up the stairs, bleary eyed in the morning for breakfast and devotions. I am refusing to bawl yet for the things he will miss here at home, and for no more having his deep spiritual conversations and questions. I cannot mourn the longing for the fun we’ve had, silliness and laughter from him that has filled our house. The things that drove me crazy will be the things I miss most. I am stuffing the strangling fear of what- ifs. I am setting panic on the back burner for now.



Lord, help me get through this one day at a time. Drawing on Your never-ending strength alone to sustain my broken heart. I believe You have great things for my boy, and You are good....ALL of the time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

For you...or for them?


1 Corinthians 13:1-3 is the precursor of the greatest description of love written by the apostle Paul.

Verses 4-13 describes what Love is and what it is not. The part I’d like to highlight is the beginning of this chapter in verse one where it says in the NIV version that if we do these things without love we sound like a clanging cymbal.

My reason to highlight this is that so often we skip over what our responsibility is and just want the end product of feeling perfect love. The perfect love itself comes from God alone, we can’t fabricate it or manipulate it into being.

The first verses of 1 Corinthians 13 is our part. It is the part at which we decide to either be driven by ourselves and the good feelings we produce in our mind or driven by selfless Godly love for others.

Most of us have times when we chose to be kind, love someone unlovely or do a seemingly selfless act because it makes us feel good about our selves and it gives us a good story to tell.

Scripture tells us that we are like annoying clanging cymbals, just making noise, having no good purpose when we love this way.

I bring this up because during the Christmas season we often feel obligated to participate in service projects, giving of food baskets, tossing our extra change into the red buckets and participating in angel tree-type projects. For some it’s an obligation out of the “Christmas spirit”, or peer pressure to join in. For others, it warms their own heart to be generous.


What if the entire motive was up-ended and we participated not just during the Christmas season but all year long because of our deep gratitude for what God has done for us and truly out of a selfless heart, wanting only to bless the other person.


What does that look like in real life?

  • -          Pay attention around you and find an actual individual or family that is suffering and quietly or anonymously offer assistance. If it’s monetarily or actually showing up at their home to help in some way, expect nothing in return, not even a thank you, because you aren’t doing it to hear accolades and get a pat on the back, you are doing it out of compassion and love for  them and their need alone.


  • -          In that same vein, if you are blessed with excess funds after your bills are paid, get some cash, write a card to someone in need, don’t sign it, and send it or drop it off without being found out. If you are unsure of who to give to, start by asking your church who might have needs.


  • -          Go to a nursing home and ask the front desk who the residents are that do not get family visitors. Join them for a meal at the home, play cards with them, talk with them and ask them about their life. Invest in someone that can give you nothing in return.


  • -          Go to a coffee shop, buy 4 coffees, deliver to the homeless. To go one step further, bring them a salvation tract. To go one step further than that, do it regularly.


  • -          Google search where your local orphanage is. Call them and find out what they might need. If you have children that have outgrown tons of stuffed animals, donate them. If you love to be creative and make things (blankets, scarves, mittens, hats, paint pictures, etc.) see if you can bless a child or two with a gift.


James 1:27 says pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

This is service to others out of selfless love. 
They can do nothing in return for you.

To adopt this kind of love into your life, marriages and parenting style it requires us laying down our self-centered ideas of love and choosing to put into action Godly love instead.


Choose to love someone this way this Christmas season.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Real Reason for Being Grateful

I’d like to say thanks again to all who spent time reading my Write 31 Days posts. I have never written fiction before and it was a fun experience!

My typical genre is non-fiction Christian living and encouraging believers to walk as we are called.

I took a break for a bit mainly because of the intensity of writing everyday for 31 days. I also was able to visit London with my husband and we’ve got holiday things happening, and I am dealing with sending my son abroad in January to Hillsong Leadership College in Australia.

As you can imagine, this mama’s heart is struggling between being so proud of my son and excited to launch him but also seriously saddened about the hole he will leave behind.

So, switching gears, the month of November is typically reserved for a focus on gratitude. I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective on gratitude.

I’d like to explore verses that speak about what happens when we are grateful. There are scriptures that give clear direction that if we have a mindset of thankfulness it changes our hearts and we receive blessings from God.

Let first look at Philippians 4:6-7, it says
 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Two big things I am going to highlight in this verse.

1) The command “Do Not” at the very beginning. When Christ      gives a command, we need to obey. 
It’s  not a suggestion, if we don’t then we are in sin.
2) You get the peace of God AFTER you do the first part. Do not be anxious, pray and be grateful.


So often we want the quick fix. We want to be able to ask God for peace, or worse we go out and try to find it in the world are then upset and lose faith when it doesn’t happen.

It’s time for us to take responsibility for our part in receiving that peace that we so desire.

Obedience and Thanksgiving unlocks our ability to receive with open hands God’s blessing and promise of peace.

We aren’t going to get this supernatural peace with closed, pouty fists wanting what we want and expecting more of it tomorrow.

We have so much to be grateful for! 
The blessings in this first-world, extravagant country we live in are sometimes embarrassing because of their lavishness.

  • We forget to be grateful for running water, water heaters and unlimited sources of water.
  • We forget to be grateful for isles and isles of choices at our grocery stores.
  • We forget to be grateful for sunrises and sunsets.
  • We forget to be grateful for coffee, ice cream and other indulgent treats.

Instead we build up entitlement ideas in our heads, we insist that we “need”. The reality is most people able to read this have phones, tablets or computers with internet. That alone is extravagant by the rest of the world’s standards. 

We don’t have that many real needs that we can’t just go fulfill on our own.

If you desire peace in your life, the peace that passes all understanding, reason and ability to fabricate, then you must learn gratitude.

I have made a gratefulness list in my journal and I continue to add to it. I read it when I am feeling selfish, self-centered, disappointed, down or sad, when I think I deserve something and especially when I get angry.

Considering God’s riches He bestows on us, there is no reason under heaven for us to refuse to be grateful.

When we express thankfulness, it changes our hearts. There’s something powerful about turning our thoughts from inward focus to outward gratitude. That is why God tells us to do it and then we’ll receive God’s peace that guards our hearts and minds.

Why would we need peace to guard our hearts?

Peace guards your heart from being ungrateful, and forgetting what God’s done for you. When you experience that supernatural peace, you don’t forget it, it marks you, it leaves a deposit so to speak.

The guarding of your heart is against sin, self-centeredness, pride of thinking you did it all on your own, and entitlement. 

When we receive this supernatural peace from God it enables or activates our ability to stay in that place of gratitude and selflessness because we have experienced His power.

I encourage you to take some time this week and make a gratitude list that you can reflect back on when times are hard or you know you’ve got a bad attitude about something.


Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all!  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Second Chances and New Resolve


(This is Day 31 in  write 31 days series. Click here for the title page )

Lisa and her husband stepped into the church office, both feeling very awkward and unsure.

Neither wanted to admit how much work they had to do to repair their marriage, but both had enough resolve to want to stay together. Their first step was to go see their pastor, and probably from there, go to counseling.

They loved each other and loved their children. Things had just been off kilter for a while and caused them to drift apart. They had allowed temptation and sin to come between them. It was time to rebuild and strengthen their relationship so this didn’t happen again.

Lisa was so encouraged that her husband had agreed with her that things weren’t going well and they’d better get help. That spoke volumes to her and showed her how much he cared.

They both listened intently as their pastor started speaking to them about what a Godly marriage looked like. He spoke about both of them working on their own relationships with the Lord so they were healthy and able to work on the marriage and family life together, that neither were meant to fill the other.

That was God’s job, theirs was surrender and obedience to the Lord.

By drifting away from the Lord and each other, it had created gaping holes of need in their lives. Their holes that they were seeking to fill could only be filled by the Lord.

Lisa left so grateful for second chances and the opportunity to fall in love with her husband and Jesus all over again.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for following along on my first “Write 31 days” adventure!

My intention with this series was to open eyes to the attacks and deviousness of our enemy, Satan. When you think that bad things are happening, you feel thwarted, or you battle with the same issue over and over you might be dealing with an attack of the enemy!

Let me just tell you how difficult this became at times! Satan did not leave me alone, I dealt with my own temptations and struggles the whole way through. It seemed that he was not very happy with my attempt to uncover some of his schemes.

I persevered and drew on the Lord’s strength. I knew this was important and that God was going to speak to someone through it.

These three women in my story dealt with many feelings that they allowed to dictate outcomes in their lives.

Mary believed that where she was in life wasn’t the best outcome or future. The reality is that all life has seasons. When you are raising kids, your life goes through so many stages, especially when the kids require more of mom than they do of dad. Mary wished for a different lifestyle. She was not finding her contentment in the Lord and her satisfaction from worshiping Him in her life right where she was at. God’s calling for her life at that moment was to raise those kids and Mary needed to know that there was no higher calling, no greener grass waiting somewhere else. The temptation of a new man in her life comes in as being pseudo innocent and unassuming. Satan has the simplest of ways of infiltrating our psyche and thought processes. We MUST stay vigilant and recognize sin for what it is and choose to follow Christ each and every day.

Lisa was a different story. She and her husband both worked, and she consistently felt not good enough. She felt she had to prove herself every day, that her approval was wrapped up in achievement and her abilities. We are ALL good enough in Christ. He made us each unique and He loves us individually. God is able to provide us with everything we need to succeed in the life He placed us in, all we have to do is ask. We must move our selfish pride out of the way, choose surrender of self, and accept His best for our lives. Lisa also battled with a temptation of another man. Her marriage was missing strength in Christ, just as Mary’s did. Both spouses had a deficit and were not filling it with the things of Christ. When you find yourself in place of longing, emptiness and want, it is typically because you are not seeking Christ first and asking Him to fill your needs.

Anne’s fight was with identity. She struggled to overcome her past and chose to not follow in her parent’s examples. She also battled with an onslaught of thoughts and feelings that the enemy tried to bury her in. I am convinced that the hardest part of recovery for some is their thought life. Guilt, shame, remorse, regret and self-loathing all have the power to defeat and leave us in a place of soul desolation. We can appear put-together on the outside, but inside we anguish. There are 2 very important things we can do as Christians to overcome our battle in the mind. 1) Obey God when He says in 1 Corinthians 10:5 to capture every thought and bring it into obedience of Christ. 2) We have to surrender our weakness and desire to wallow in our pain. Its actually a form of pride and self-centeredness. It might not feel that way, but the attack focuses oneself completely on SELF. It’s hard and we must be diligent. I can speak from experience that it’s an each and every moment activity until you reach the point of overcoming. God will deliver you, it is in His will that you be free! You have to want it and you have to be faithful to obey and do it. It’s not a one time thing. It will be something you experience the rest of your life, but once you practice and know what to do, it will not be as difficult.

Thank you for reading this month, it was my pleasure to explore this and stick to writing for 31 days straight.

I’m planning on November’s blogs focusing on what the bible says about gratitude. It’s not your typical thanksgiving focus, it’s more about the promises God gives when we are grateful and what happens to change our hearts when we are grateful.


See you in November!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Choosing to be a Victorious Warrior

(This is Day 30 in a write 31 days series. Click here for the title page )

Lisa had been working late to complete some elements on her next presentation. She had decided to stay at work to finish it instead of going home, there were so many distractions at home.

She glanced up to see her “him” leaning against her door jamb. She practically had fire alarms going off in her head! She hadn’t realized that he had stayed late, Lisa thought she was all alone. 

It was time to make a choice, this was the threshold at which she’d either cross the line or choose to remain pure.

He asked if she wanted to order in dinner to share. Lisa actually started to perspire…why should this decision be so hard?

Something sparked in her head, like a big warning sign.

Lisa knew better, she loved her husband and family. It was like something was working against her to shove her over the line. Every justification she could come up with suddenly paled next to what she had and what she knew to be right; not to mention the fact that Lisa didn’t actually want to break up her marriage. She just wanted it to be healthy, inspiring, fun and dependable.

From the time he asked about dinner and 5 seconds later she had made her choice. Even though it may be hard, she wanted her marriage to work, she wanted her kids to have a happy, God-fearing family to grow up in and to be able to trust their parents to point them in the right direction.

She knew when she told her coworker no for dinner it was the first of many rebuffs that would be coming, but she knew with God’s help she could remain firm.

Lisa left work that night feeling so hopeful and triumphant! She felt like the Holy Spirit had protected her. Additionally, Lisa felt God had helped direct and convince her to make to right choice.

Now to talk with her husband….



Dear Uncle,

I have encountered the Hosts of Heaven and the power of the Son.

Never before have I been thwarted in such a terrifying manner. 
They were everywhere! I had no hope!

As I began working my way into her thought process, and giving her ideas of fantasy with this guy from work, all of a sudden we were surrounded by blinding light and I felt my body go flying into the next room!

After I came to, I realized what had happened.

They covered her, and I could see her changing the plan I had so carefully crafted.

It would’ve worked, I know it!

I am so tired of being cast away from my assignments! I should’ve never accepted the higher risk ones. 

As I have suspected, the discipline team is coming for me. I hope to survive.

I think I will need easier targets next time. It is impossible to contend with the Chosen Ones when they open their eyes and realize who they are.


Sepitus

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Competing for Worst Wound

(This is Day 29 in a write 31 days series. Click here for the title page )

Lisa and her husband had a chance to have dinner out together, which hardly ever happened! The kids went to grandma’s house after school that Friday, so they agreed to meet downtown after work.

What should’ve been a time to reconnect and nourish each other and their marriage turned into a competition. He talked about all his work projects and Lisa tried to compete by talking about all her work stresses too.

It felt like they were trying to one up each other to prove who had the tougher job. What Lisa really needed was for him to say that he understood and supported her, that she looked beautiful tonight and that he was happy to spend time together. 

Instead he got offended that she acted like her job efforts were equal to his efforts, and so He abruptly changed the topic to discuss the kids.

This didn’t help things much. It turned from one negative thing to another negative, contentious conversation. Neither parent was happy with the behavior of the kids lately and he seemed to blame Lisa.

Lisa suspected it was a direct reflection of their marriage. 

Her husband just wanted more discipline and maybe different daycare.

Lisa felt like it was merely putting a band aid on a gaping wound… their wound.

She was starting to think their marriage may need serious help. She assumed her husband might not be faithful and she knew she was dancing dangerously close to having an inappropriate relationship at work. 

She felt the need in her heart and the sting of the relationship falling apart. She thought he seemed oblivious...

How on earth did it get this far down the path?
What could she do to change it?
Did she really want to change it?
When was the last straw going to be?
Who was she turning into?

Dear Uncle,
At least I can still stir up dissentions in this marriage.

They seem destined to fight! Even if they weren’t on the rocks, I think they’d argue about everything.

 Nothing is ever good enough for either of them!

I have convinced her that he is cheating and so giving her permission to follow suit. Tomorrow at work will be the dangling carrot I give her to step down that path of  acting out the adultery she has in her heart.

Her rationalizations up to this point should tip the scales in my favor when she has to choose to do it.

The man we’ve found to entice her is perfect. He’s unattached and exciting. His attentiveness is what Lisa loves most. After all, it’s what I have convinced her she is lacking the most, acceptance and unconditional love.

Never mind that she’s heard over and over in church and in that wretched book of the Enemy that He Himself provides all the things she’s lacking. 

Since it’s not in her face and she must take it on faith, she doesn’t open her eyes and heart and see it.

Which, of course, is great for me.

I am getting some excitement back that I may be able to salvage my losses with Lisa!

Stay tuned!

Sepitus

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Beauty of Restoration

This is Day 28 in a write 31 days series. Click here for the title page )

Mary and her husband walked hand and hand into the park.

A couple weeks had passed since he had confronted her about the relationship she was starting with another man. They both wanted to fight for their marriage, and chose to put God back on the throne of their hearts and relationship.

Mary had communicated to the friend that she was no longer able to be friends or have any further communication; they had crossed a line that could not be erased.

Mary’s husband had called their church later that week and asked about local counselors that they could seek. They could get in right away, which relieved Mary and they were able to begin the discussion of what broke and how to fix it. They had a road of recovery to walk, but they both realized that it was far better doing it together and with God’s help than trying to figure it out on their own.

Mary was keenly aware of her short comings but also wanted to make sure that her husband noticed what had been lacking on his part also. There was no way they’d be able to repair the damage done without both being willing to admit wrongs and choose to change.

Mary felt the weight lift off her shoulders when she confessed and repented from her sins. She prayed and asked God to renew her fervor to follow Him only. She recognized that she had focused too much on the little things that caused discontentment and chosen to not be grateful.

Her life was so blessed and Mary chose the mindset of thanksgiving instead of complaining. She knew that some things during her day would have to change, like giving God her first and best each morning before the family’s day got going. Getting her proverbial cup filled by the Lord each morning helped her focus better and truly live out her day in an act of worship.

Mary had such encouragement over where they were headed. She knew God could redeem from the pit of sin and that restoration was His specialty. Their marriage was back on track with the Lord as their foundation.

They vowed to hold each other accountable and to never let it slip that far again.



Dear Uncle,

I see what you meant in your last communication to me, that I have not given enough respect to the fact that they are Chosen Ones and have incomparable power available to them.

As you know, I have failed with Mary as well. My last hope is Lisa.

I have lost all confidence in my ability, but will give this one last shot.

I suspect after this is done, you will not hear from me for a very long time.

Humbly yours,

Sepitus

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Glimmers of Hope

(This is Day 27 in a write 31 days challenge. Click here for the title page )

That morning Mary’s husband opened their family laptop to check the news and his wife’s social media page was still open, there was also a chat box open.

It appeared to be some guy she knew. He felt kind of snoopy reading allof the messages but by the time he finished, Mary’s husband felt very alarmed about the state of their marriage.

Clearly his wife was not happy or she wouldn’t be talking to this schmuck the way she was. It appeared that they better have some deeper conversations or they weren’t going to make it. He instantly took blame and wondered how he had failed. However, the emotions competing alongside were hurt and fear of losing his beloved wife.

He sunk into the couch, placed his head in his hands… he didn’t know what to do.  He remembered that Scripture said if anyone asks for wisdom and asks for it that wisdom shall be given unto them.  Quietly, he prayed and asked God for wisdom.  He remembered then that God promised to never leave him nor forsake him.  He remembered that he was commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church, even to lay down his life for her.  He thanked God and asked for strength to approach his wife in a way that would be pleasing to God and consistent with His will.

As Mary walked into the kitchen, he approached her. He didn’t want to make her angry because then they wouldn’t have a good conversation, but he had to ask. Mary sensed something was up, her husband was acting strange.

As he approached, he said that she had left her social media window open last night. She knew instantly what had happened. Her sense of guilt and shame was a heavy weight on her shoulders.

How is it that last night she was so prepared to be deceitful and lie about meeting her friend and potentially cross a very forbidden line and right now the instantaneous knowledge of wrongdoing permeated her whole being.

She was ashamed that she had denied her own husband to spend time with this guy online last night and that she had found her comfort and relief from stress in a glass of wine instead of seeking the Lord and her husband.

Mary felt slightly indignant that he had snooped, but the reality was that she had something to hide and He discovered it, she was the one doing wrong and getting caught.

She dissolved into tears and humbly confessed her sins, asking God to forgive her and show her the way. Mary loved her husband and kids, she couldn’t figure out how she had been so duped into believing that life without them together could be better.

He took the day off from work and Mary called her mom to take the kids for the day.

The had some talking to do.



Dear Uncle,

I desperately need your guidance!

I am just not sure what I am doing wrong! 
I have worked so hard to develop this attraction and distraction for Mary. I have tried so hard to encourage her to be discontent at home! I have stirred lust and longing. I have pushed the buttons of insecurity and self-loathing.

I have stressed her and planted thoughts of not being worthy.
I have then presented solutions to her problems in the way of a new man and presented her with a fix to all her distress, a new future.

WHY has she not taken the bait and fallen yet?!

What have I done wrong??
Please help,
Sepitus



Dear young Sepitus,

I already knew this all would happen. 

We have hoped, here in the ranks, that you would be stronger than predicted.
As I suspected, you were not enough to change the outcome.

One thing you have taken for granted with these assignments and not clearly not respected enough is that they are Chosen Ones.

They are not in our kingdom, they are in His, our Enemy.
Our job was to make them defeated and ineffective.

The Chosen Ones have access at a moment’s notice to the power of the Son of God. His power far outweighs any defense you can put up.

The ones belonging to our world are the easiest targets, they have no access to Heaven. Our only hope is to not have heaven's attention truned onto us.

We thought perhaps you were ready for this kind of challenging assignment, you have proven otherwise.

I have no influence over what they do to you in the discipline department. I only hope you make it through and I can continue with your apprenticeship later.


Your Uncle Savant

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dancing on the Razor's Edge

(This is Day 26 in a write 31 days series. Click here for the title page )

Mary tried to connect with her friend on social media, as had become the evening usual for the last several weeks. He wasn’t around.

Mary noticed how sharp the disappointment hit her. She thought maybe she’d try later on that evening.

The kids went to bed and her husband was reading in bed. He had tried to approach her about spending some private time together, but she made up an excuse and went downstairs. On her way down, she poured a glass of wine, she felt the need to relax.

Their online conversation lately had gotten a little risky, Mary enjoyed it a little too much. She signed on and there was a message waiting from him. Her heart quickened as she gulped some wine. He apologized for missing out on their time earlier, but there was some family stuff going on.

They quickly pushed past the pleasantries and headed into flirting, as was the norm lately. He really wanted to connect over lunch sometime, Mary wasn’t sure how to get a sitter during the day without blatantly lying. Oddly enough, she wasn’t averse to it, she was just calculating all the details so she wouldn’t be found out.

It’s not like lunch together was that bad, it just leads to other questions and she didn’t feel like having to answer for her choices. By the time they wrapped up a 2-hour conversation it was midnight, she had two and half glasses of wine, which influenced her to forget to delete the conversation and log off.

When she went to bed, her husband was actually awake reading still, which completely annoyed her. Mary was hoping to slide into bed without having to answer his questions. 
Well, two things happened.

1- He asked why she had so much to drink, typically they only drank together and on special occasions, and 2- if she wasn’t feeling good enough to be intimate then why did she spend the evening drinking and surfing on the internet? 

Mary could tell he was angry and hurt. 

Time for some back peddling…quickly.



Dear Uncle,

After the devastating loss of Anne, I do feel like I am able to keep control over Mary, at least.

She’s far too engrossed with this internet friend. It is providing the exact distraction I hoped for! She’s invested enough that she’s making excuses, lying and getting defensive about it.

Her husband is going to be caught in the wake of this destruction of their marriage. He has no idea what’s going to hit. Mary is not only being unfaithful, but she will believe that this new guy wants to be with her permanently.

Once the new guy drops her, she will be left empty, bewildered, lonely and unable to cope with her deep unhappiness. 

She will have thought that this was her shot at the life she was supposed to have, but with his rejection, it will further confirm her own low self-esteem and self-loathing will once again set in.

However, now it’ll be terribly worse because she will have not only decimated her relationship with her husband and potentially the kids, but this illusion of a happier future will be dashed and sink her into deep depression.

I will make her worthless to her family.

I’ll update you tomorrow!

Sincerely,

Sepitus