Freedom from the Prisons We Create - Encouragement Café - December 10, 2015

Freedom From The Prisons We Create

Café Menu for Thursday, December 10, 2015

Today’s Special is:  Loving and Living like Jesus

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Aj Luck

Main Ingredient:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 NIV

For years I felt trapped.  Imprisoned by my own heart and mind.  Sitting inside an invisible jail cell, one that I created and locked myself.  I was angry.  Hurt.  Afraid.  Bitter.

Choices that were made led me to where I now found myself.

Smack dab in the middle of an abusive marriage.

In the beginning I chose not to truly see what was going on.  I felt as if I could fix him.  I tried with words.  They backfired against me.   I tried with actions, they were laughed at to my face and definitely not received.

The harder I tried, the worse things appeared to become.

My heart broke repeatedly.  I didn’t understand.  How was this happening and why was it spinning so horribly out of control?

Curled up into the furthest corner of my bedroom closet, I buried my face into a towel pressed onto the carpet and began to sob my prayers out before my Creator.  I didn’t want to be bitter, angry or hurt.

I felt so broken.  I knew God was the only one who could make me whole again.  I continued to cry my prayers out for months on end, in screaming silence.  Hiding from my then husband, and under the wing of the Almighty I claimed to serve.

It took many tears but I finally realized that I had the key to this all along.  Forgiveness?  Power of my words?  Love generously?  Clearly I wasn’t able to do any of that on my own.  It was going to be through God and God alone.  I finally surrendered my hurt and allowed God to love and forgive through me.

The marriage dissolved despite my efforts, but I was able to walk out of my prison free on the inside knowing that in my weakness Christ strength is perfected in and through me.  Forgiveness is always about freeing us to love the way God has intended all along.

Take Out:
When you find yourself in a situation where everything in you wants to REACT inhale deeply, exhale these words, “Jesus I need you” slowly and intentionally.  Be slow to speak then RESPOND how you feel would benefit both parties.  This could be by keeping silent, agreeing to disagree, give a compliment or offering a soft word to turn away potential wrath.  Know in these moments, you are not alone.  Your Heavenly Father is right there with you, enabling you to do, what you simply cannot in your own strength.

Dear Heavenly Father, there are often so many times that I want to try and fix things, people and even situations.  Lord in those processes, I tend to lose the essence of who I am supposed to be in You.  You sent your Son as a perfect example how to live this life here on Earth.  Send your Holy Spirit as a gentle reminder whose I am and that You are with me always.  Give me the strength to love like You, respond like You and inevitably reflect You to the world around me.  Without You, I will surely fail.  With You, together may You be glorified in all things.  Amen.

© 2015 by Aj Luck.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 10 December 2015.