Choosing the Right Person

One of the most valuable lessons in life is learning the importance of allowing God’s direction and guidance in our significant relationships. Most of us don’t think we need any help in this area, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an integral piece of our overall lives and hugely impacts our relationship with God. Choosing the wrong person will cause us to lose time, resources, and momentum on this journey. Resources and momentum we can regain, but time is lost forever. There’s also the potential injury to our souls, and possibly the other person’s, that could occur when we’ve chosen poorly. In a perfect scenario, we’d ascertain rather quickly whether the person we’re jonesing for isn’t our destiny partner, and we’d cut’em loose with no animosity whatsoever. We’d wish them well and send them on their way with God’s grace. For many of us, that ain’t the case.

We latch on and make emotional investments into people because they have within them something that moves us. But just because someone moves us soulfully, it doesn’t mean they’re our soulmates. Many of us are so busy responding to the situations of our lives that we haven’t taken the time to truly know ourselves better. We haven’t taken out our trusty tools of exploration like brutal honesty and truth to go soul digging beyond the surface. So, nine times out of ten, we respond strongly to someone and go all in, when all they’ve done is simply skimmed the surface of our souls. They’ve touched a note, but haven’t a clue about the whole song, and neither do we.  

Jesus Christ said in John 3:16 (NLT), “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Because of the finished work of Christ, you and I are eternal beings through him. This means we’ll be around for a really, really, really long time. There are parts of us we’ve never known. Our spirits were made brand new in Christ, and a lifetime on earth isn’t enough to explore the wonder of our new creation. We couldn’t possibly get to the depth of all that we are, but God knows us through and through. David, the psalmist, wrote in Psalm 139:1-5(NLT): “1O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

God saw our end before we ever got started. He’s mapped out a plan for us that lays a foundation for you and I to get better and stronger—to tap into the depth of our greatness in Christ, to bask and make ourselves at home in his goodness and love. He’ll prevent us from intercepting this flow if we’ll humble ourselves before Him.

It takes humility to pause and consider the possibility that we’re about to bust a move that’s not in tune with God’s plan. Many us begin relationships without giving this a second thought. Jesus Christ teaches us that the quality of humility is a non-negotiable one when it comes to the Kingdom of God. No matter our ages, we are all children to Heavenly Father, because this is what He created us to be. Make no mistake, we’re extremely intelligent and capable creatures. Ephesians 2:10(NLT) tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God calls us His greatest work, but we must always remember that the creation isn’t greater than the Creator. When we get this twisted, humility goes out the window.

When we cross paths with a person that is right for us, God will confirm it many times if we are patient and humbled enough to seek Him and accept His wisdom. He is very interested in our relationships, and He desires us to be happy. He knows exactly what we need to fulfill our purpose and walk the path of destiny He’s laid before us. Humility begs us to not always trust our hearts but to trust the Lord! Job 12:13(NLT) declares, “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.” He will never steer us wrong.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Choosing the Right Person”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness

“The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?”
Proverbs 18:14 (NLT)

Anyone who has taken steps to heal wounds left from the trauma of domestic violence and abuse can speak to the residual emotional pain it causes. A person can move past the situations and conditions where they were exposed to abuse. We can put it long behind us, but this doesn’t mean that we’re healed and delivered from the effects of it. You can be doing your own thing, going about your humdeedumdum business, and all of a sudden, “WHAMMM!!!” It hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s an avalanche of heaviness that looms over your life like a dark cloud, and it just knocks you for a loop. You can’t shake it, and you can’t explain why you feel so bad.

It is almost unheard of to expect a child, 4 or 5 years of age, to lead a company of soldiers into combat or to go to work every day and support an entire family. Most mature and intelligent individuals understand these are unreasonable expectations for a person so young. It is, however, conceivable that a child could have the mental prowess for extraordinary accomplishments, but he or she wouldn’t have the emotional or physical development to carry out such things. Most of us can certainly fathom the absurdity in placing overwhelming burdens on a young one, but when it comes to the overburdening that we have experienced ourselves, some of us are not nearly as compassionate as we should be.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” One of the reasons that millions fall madly in love with Jesus Christ is because the record of him in the bible testifies of his goodness. He walked upon this earth being both fully human and fully God. He’s our High Priest, and Hebrews 4:15 says that he was tempted in every way that a human can be, but never sinned. This verse tells us that he understands what we go through. He has intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Jesus Christ is brilliant and supremely intelligent. He would not tell us to do something unless it is absolutely necessary for us to get it done. He knows that we’re going to go through things in life that will completely overwhelm our mental and emotional resources. He also knows that the burden of those experiences is too much for us to carry. As a way of preserving ourselves, many of us buried those feelings long ago. We pressed them down deep and may not have realized we did this. The thing is, nothing stays buried unless it’s dead. Residual pain and sadness from traumatic experiences doesn’t die. It must be released, and this is a process that our Lord and Savior will help us walk through.

For years too many to number, believers have suffered sadness in silence. Many were too ashamed to speak their own personal truth about what they’ve endured, and for some, pain is buried so deep that they’re unable to call a spade a spade. Like me, they wake up one morning not wanting to face the day and not knowing why. If you’ve suffered prior abuse or any traumatic event and you’re experiencing overwhelming sadness, it is very important that you know it’s possible to dissipate the dark cloud over your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. My prayer is that you will ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and trust him to divinely connect you with people, relationships, and resources that will bring you into the light and help you stay there.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Sometimes, You Just Gotta’ Be A Ninja

As I stood behind the podium in front of people from various religious backgrounds, I made a statement that is central to the core of who I am as a believer. “We cannot be the same people we were two years ago, two months ago, or two weeks ago. We must be always growing and abounding in Christ—responding to the new mercies of God that greet us every morning.” When I wrote this statement some days before, I believed it to be revolutionary; because discovering the revelation of it truly had been life changing for me. I was in church all my life. I was surrounded by a wonderful community of people who I believed were genuinely committed to me and the other youths they mentored. But as an adult, I became very weary of sameness. I believed there was so much more to life in the Spirit than what I had personally and previously witnessed. I yearned to see God’s power phenomenally manifested in my life, and when it showed up for me, I couldn’t help but tell it.

Standing there, looking at those who had just heard my words, I expected to sense in my spirit a pulling for more. It’s the spirit to spirit tugging that occurs when the souls of folks are captivated. It happens when people hear words that they’ve been waiting to hear all their lives. But as I gazed about, and checked my radar for take-off, it became blatantly clear that they were not willing to travel with me. In fact, most looked at me as if I had two heads. Only just starting out back then, I was bruised and a little bit embarrassed, but the Lord was not finished with me. In truth He had just begun. It took me a while to snap back after this incident, but the Lord was patient, and I continued to pursue Him for more.

This happened some years ago, but we live in an environment that is quite different today. We no longer have the luxury of settling into a posture of letting disappointment run its course. Everything in the world is moving at an accelerated pace, and God is up to something; most of us can feel this in our spirits. What does it all mean? Well, the Apostle Paul reminds us in Hebrew 12:1 that God has given us some fantastic examples of faith to emulate. He tells us that since the Father has given us these extraordinary witnesses, we’d better strip off every weight that slows us down, because like them, God’s given us a race to run. No time to play around because this race is heating up. Our only option is to heat up with it. We’ve got to get busy making sure we’re responding to what the Father is doing.  

The whole business of being an earth-dweller is to respond to God as the sons and daughters He’s made us. When I first understood this years ago, I was excited as all get out! It was thrilling to learn that I’m not here to rest on my laurels in a take-it-as-it-comes existence. In John 5:17,19(NLT) Jesus Christ said, “17 My Father is always working, and so am I. 19 I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” This is our mission—our modus operandi. It takes humility in the form of flexibility to respond to God, because we’ve got to do what we see Him doing. He’s calling upon each of us to break out of sameness and look up. If we don’t, we’re going to miss out.

Time is of the essence. Heavenly Father whispered in our ears years ago to get rid of some things—to do a Jiu Jitsu on those old fears, toxic relationships, and negative habit patterns, so we can respond to Him with the love He deserves. Many of us haven’t done it. And the reason is because we are so strapped in to who we think we should be that we’re not becoming who God destined us to be. We’re out of synch with our identities, and everything around us is a reminder of this. Don’t let the roots of old dead things continue to suck up your good energy. Sometimes, you just gotta be a ninja. Chop em’ off and do it quickly so newness can bloom. Get rid of that stuff. You’ve got a race to run, and you shouldn’t let anything keep you from being all that God has destined you to be. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Sometimes, You Just Gotta’ Be A Ninja”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. ” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

Disappointment is defined as the emotion of sadness a person feels because of the nonfulfillment of their hopes or expectations. As I read the definition, I’m struck by the dichotomy of how simple the definition reads and how severely disappointment can impact our hearts. Sometimes our souls are wounded from it to such a degree that we’re never quite the same. There’s a saying that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” It’s cliché-ish, but oh so true. But no one wants to think about being stronger when your heart is aching, your confidence is blown to smithereens, and the thing you counted on or the person you thought had your back let you down big time.

As survivors of domestic violence and abuse, many of us have learned not to have high expectations. Your mind and heart will respond very surprisingly when they are conditioned this way. We’ll sometimes convince ourselves that God will not help us because of what we’ve gone through. We might make the mistake of thinking that He is punishing us for some reason, or that He doesn’t care enough to rescue us from disappointing circumstances. This isn’t the case at all. 1Peter 5:7 tells us to give all our worries and cares to God, because He cares for us. God loves us, and He wants to help.

Timothy was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, and Paul loved him like a son. Timothy endured disappointment because things in the church he was overseeing were not going the way he had hoped. He was a bit shy, and a very diligent and trustworthy person. Paul said that assignments given to Timothy would be carried out as thoroughly as if he had done them himself. But with this church, Timothy felt overwhelmed and became fearful to execute the spiritual gifts he had been given.

In our daily lives, we may not have the huge responsibility that Timothy had back in those biblical times, but we know how it feels to want something to succeed and yet have it fail. We know how hurtful it can be when those who are supposed to care about us speak negatively to us or behind our backs. It just breaks your heart and you want to crawl under a rock somewhere.

The encouragement that the Apostle Paul gave Timothy is the same encouragement we need in order to overcome overwhelming disappointment. In 2Timothy 1:6, Paul told him to stir up the gift of God that was in him. He reminded Timothy of his obligation to respond to God in faith, and to remember that God had equipped him to confront and overcome any adversity.

Disappointment can prompt us to shut down and close ourselves off to hope and faith; but we must not give in to this. Paul knew human nature. He knew how paralyzing disappointment can be, and he didn’t want Timothy to retreat into the darkness of fear. He had to make him remember what God has given to everyone who walks in Christ. In 2Timothy 1:7(NIV) he wrote, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

God doesn’t want the disappointments and hurts we experience to get the best of us. But He does want us to see the areas where we have allowed our spiritual lives to cool down. He wants us to notice that we might not be praying and talking to Him as much as we used to, or maybe our priorities have slipped; we’re more enthusiastic about what is happening externally than we are about what is happening internally. He’s reminds us to stir up the gift within, to remember who we are and whose we are. Only God can give us a sense of assurance, and when we focus our attention on Him and His promises, our spiritual lives will be strengthened. We can then view the other side of disappointment, and how we’re bolder and stronger for having overcome it.■

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Dealing with Overwhelming Disappointment” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Three Things You Must Know to Change Your Life

The ability to change requires flexibility, and arrogance is not only antithetical to it, but it can cause us to miss the very purpose for which we were born. One of God’s most stern warnings in the Bible is that of steering clear of arrogance. Many people assume that Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, committed the first sin against God, but really it was lucifer, the devil, who did this. Wanting to takeover God’s Kingdom, he sinned against Heavenly Father, his Creator, through arrogance, and he was cast down from heaven. Arrogance was the first sin, and it continues to be as deadly now as it was then, perhaps even more so. Proverbs 16:18 says that a heart full of pride and arrogance leads to destruction, and Isaiah 2:11 tells us that human pride will be brought down, and arrogance will be humbled.

Being arrogant means that a person has an exaggerated sense of importance or abilities. They believe themselves to be better than others. The opposite of arrogance is humility, and spiritually, we know from the example and teaching of Christ that a person cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless they are humble. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:5 that God blesses those that are humble, and they will inherit the earth. We also know from satan’s example that arrogance establishes the root of inflexibility and hard-heartedness. It keeps us from changing into the men and women we are destined to be. It is so catastrophic to our souls because it literally blocks the love of God from entering in or flowing out of our hearts. It is a deadly sin, a death sentence to any legacy of love a person might otherwise leave. As we continue our spiritual journey forward, arrogance should be the first remnant of darkness we release.

1-Know that you are a conduit of His Love
One of the most important truths that we must accept in order to change our lives is that we were created to be conduits of God’s love. There are many successful arrogant people, in fact, it can probably be said that they are among the wealthiest in the world, but a child of light must never, ever use material and financial wealth as a barometer for measuring his or her success. God tells us in Galatians 5:6 that our faith expressed through His love is most important to Him. We must trust God to lead and direct us in even the small things of our everyday lives. We must be purposeful and intentional in activating our faith in this. As we humble ourselves to listen and hear God’s voice, He will steer us to impact the lives of others. It may be in seemingly small ways to our mode of thinking, but it will be ordained and appointed by Him for the furtherance of His agenda in the earth.

2-Know the power of your heart and confession
God will never violate any person’s free-will choice. If He permitted Himself to do this, He would have slapped that ol’ apple out of Eve’s hand. He didn’t. He allows us to do whatever we choose. We self-govern, because we’re made in His image. At some point, we will decide that our decision making isn’t yielding the kind of life we desire, and we need to make a change. If we’re destined for glory, we’ll throw out the welcome mat and ask God to come into our hearts by accepting Jesus Christ as the owner of our lives. He will then make them brand new. We may look the same, have the same mind and same heart, but spiritually we’re brand new, and with this newness comes power!

As God’s spiritual children, we have access to the power of Jesus Christ! It is activated by believing in our hearts and confessing the truth with our mouths. He tells us in Romans 10:10(NLT) “For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” We must open our hearts and open our mouths to God—to trust in His Word with full persuasion and to confess what we believe. It is more than positive affirmations and confirmations. It’s speaking life! It’s saying what God says. It’s having what He says we can have, doing what He says we can do, and being what He says we can be. When this is our conviction, God declares in His Word that He will transform our lives.

3-Know that you have a destiny
Nothing about a believer’s life is random. We have a destiny—a book with our names on it, written by God and kept in heaven. Our mandate on earth is to walk within this earthly natural dimension according to what God has predestined for us spiritually. This is why He commands us in 2Corinthians 5:7 to walk by faith and not by sight, because by faith we receive the things of God. He is a Spirit, and we are His spiritual people. 1Corinthians 2:14 tells us the things of the Spirit are foolish to the natural-thinking-and-believing person, and they are cut off from receiving spiritual things from the Holy Spirit. But we can and should receive from God by faith, so that we walk in the destiny He’s laid before us.

Knowing that we are conduits of God’s love, activating the power of Christ by believing in our hearts and confessing God’s Word with our mouths, and understanding that God has an extraordinary destiny for us will change the trajectory of our lives. Wherever you are in your life, expect to go higher because God will exceed your expectations if you allow Him. Know that He’s working in you even now. Be confident that as you pray and trust Him to increase your faith, He’ll help you to create greater space in your life and heart for His blessings, and you’ll be prepared to receive all that He has in store for you.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Three Things You Must Know to Change Your Life” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! i-font-style:no

Unstoppability

I happened to hear a coach being interviewed recently, and she said something very interesting. When asked about what makes a winning athlete, she said in her view a winning athlete is someone with heart. If an athlete has heart, she explained, they understand how to push themselves beyond the capacity of their physical ability or talent. They tap into a secret place that allows them to exceed even their own expectations about what they can do. They have a track record of winning because of this. Her definition of ‘heart’ equates to what most believers know as spiritual endurance. It defies physical, emotional, and mental limits. Once you know how to tap into it, this race called ‘life’ takes on a whole new meaning.

God talks to us about this race in His Word. There were many heroes and sheroes of faith throughout biblical history, and Heavenly Father referred to them in Hebrews 12:1(NIV) as a “Great Cloud of Witnesses.” The critical piece of wisdom gleaned from them is one that you and I can’t afford to miss. It reveals that the race of life isn’t one we choose, it is one that has been laid before us. This verse tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” God is the Creator of our races and the Architect of our destinies. He tells us with everything in life, to place our total trust in Him.

Sometimes in our relationships with others, we lose ourselves. We forget about the race, the finish line, and the prize; and we convince ourselves that immersing in the love of another human being will fill up our empty spaces, and it will take the place of the race we were destined to run. It will not. No human being is capable of doing this for another person; they can’t do it for us, and we can’t do it for them. We are running towards God’s love. That’s the prize, and we cannot put down the baton until this knowledge is firmly etched in the sanctum of our inner beings.

We were created with ‘heart’ in our DNA. And we must remember that God baked it in our makeup for a reason. It’s not just so that we will fall in love with a quality person. Although this is a beautiful part of life that He allows us to experience, romantic love is too temporary to sustain our destinies. If you can ‘fall’ in love, then it stands to reason that you can just as easily ‘fall’ out of love. Romantic love is yummy, but it will never have the glue that Heavenly Father’s love has. This is simply the truth, and if we don’t run the race with truth, we won’t win. God gives us the ability to develop ‘heart’ or spiritual endurance so that we will keep running even if our hearts are broken. We must have faith that we’ll reach the finish line and receive the prize He has waiting for us.

The common thread in the Great Cloud of Witnesses like Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham and Sarah, is faith. We cannot run our race without faith, and we must know that our faith is going to be tested. We have a spiritual enemy, and he will send momentum blockers. It’s a divisive darkness that works through people to hinder our race. Our mission and assignment from our Master Jesus is clear. It is to be unstoppable, because unstoppability demonstrates the highest quality of God’s love; for He tells us in 1Corinthians 13:8 that love never fails.

An athlete loses momentum in a race the moment he or she looks back at their opponent. The longer we look back, the more we stand to lose. Wisdom teaches us that there will be individuals that betray, abuse, and try to undermine our confidence. And sure, our love for them may cause us to look back, we may even cry a little, but for goodness sakes, we can’t let them cause us to lose the race. Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 18:1 to always pray and never lose heart. We must have faith that God has empowered us through the Lord Jesus Christ. His spiritual endurance is in our DNA. Be confident that if you continue to run this race and keep your focus on God, He will handle the momentum blockers, and He promises to reward you in a way that only He can.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Unstoppability”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Don’t Force a Fit

An abusive relationship can really do a number on your self-esteem, and one of its most damaging residuals is the development of insecurities in our decision making. We question our own judgment when choosing someone who’s right for us because a prior relationship felt so right in the beginning, but ultimately went devastatingly wrong. From personal experience, I know what it’s like to meet a person who looks the part of someone that is a perfect fit, however, this person turns out to be someone completely different than who you believed they were. Sometimes we’re shocked by how far off we ventured away from the “good judgment’ department. This can cause us to develop fear instead of faith when choosing a compatible partner in a relationship.

One of the things that we should all do is pray before we dive into a relationship. I’ve been a Christian a long time, and I’ve made prayer a habit pattern, but praying often doesn’t necessarily mean praying effectively. Prayer is a two-way street. When Jesus Christ taught the disciples the template for prayer, he instructed them in Matthew 6:9(NLT), “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” God loves it when we come to Him in prayer. He loves talking with us, but sometimes we forget who He is, and this isn’t cool. Heavenly Father never forgets who we are. He knows us so intimately that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows us by name, and He would never mistake us for someone else.

He has set a precedent for our communication with Him, and it is one of mutual respect. He respects us as His chosen ones and precious children, and we must have honor and respect for Him; for His supreme sovereignty, divinity, and majesty—for the greatness of all that He is. His Word tells us that He is love. He is perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He is holy, and holiness is a sacred quality. There’s nothing on earth that compares to it. This is who He is, and we must acknowledge our understanding of His identity, because that’s what you do in a respectful relationship. Approaching Heavenly Father with as much reverence as we can muster in our hearts and minds will convey that we are prepared to get down to business. We are prepared to both speak to Him and hear from Him.

1John 5:14-15 (NKJV) says, “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” I was beyond giddy when I first discovered this promise. Like a whole lot of folks, I saw the shiny, sparkling thing and thought, “Oooo, that looks good. Surely God will give it to me if I ask.” I didn’t realize that everything that shines isn’t gold, and just because it looks right doesn’t mean it’s right for me. I had a hard time learning this lesson well.

It also took a while for me to learn to reverence God in the way He deserves. He tells us in 1John 5:14 that we must ask according to HIS WILL. I skipped that part altogether. I’d get partnered up with a fine specimen of my own choosing, and then ask God to bless the relationship. “Please God, let this one be the right one. Please let this one work!” I’d pray. Often the warning signs would appear, but I’d ignore them, thinking that if I prayed enough, God would yield to my will. Nope! Doesn’t work this way.

I didn’t know if the person was always a malicious master of manipulation, or if there was something I had done to bring out the worse in them. This kind of confusion is a direct result of trying to force a fit. I had to learn that God has a plan for my life, and it’s a good plan. So instead of finding the wrong puzzle piece and trying to force it into a place it has no business being, I began to reprioritize my prayers and seek the will of God for my life.

Like so many others, I once bought into certain things that sound romantically hopeful. Sayings like, “follow your heart…” or “you can’t help who you fall in love with” are a few examples. The Apostle Paul said in 1Corinthians 13:11(NKJV), “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The lesson that we should learn is that the more spiritually mature we become, the more we learn to lean on God. With His anointing and blessing, pieces effortlessly fall into place.  We can always have confidence in our judgment and decision-making when we look to Him for guidance and direction, and we’d be wise not to make a move until we receive it.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Don’t Force a Fitwritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!