Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

The Fiercest Faith for Family

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

If this is true, and it is God’s truth, why aren’t more families living this out? Why aren’t more families restored, rather than torn apart?

The term family comes to mean many different things, these days. Sadly, for many people reading this, it carries the weight of your baggage – hurts from your past and bondage in your present.

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I called this post the fiercest faith, because it takes a fighting faith in Jesus Christ to combat the lies of Satan, trying to destroy your family.

These lies come in many ugly faces, but the most common is the lie, “Forgiveness must be earned. They don’t deserve forgiveness. They must pay for what they’ve done!”

This one lie has ripped apart so many families, the Devil ran out of room in his imaginary tally book of victories.

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However, it’s not too late to fight! If you are experiencing turmoil in your family, in any form or capacity, take up the armor of God and fight the real enemy here – the Devil. Your family member, whether Christian or not, is worth your love, and ultimately, your forgiveness.

Break the bondage, break the chains!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Ephesians 6:10–13 ESV

Take action today! Don’t wait another second, call, text, SnapChat, whatever! Exercise your fierce faith today to save your family NOW!

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“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,”

Ephesians 6:14–18 ESV
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Posted in Living BOLD

A World Without Jesus…

Have you ever imagined a world without Jesus? Not Him, not His Word, not His Holy Spirit, and not His Heavenly Father? Have you really taken time to ponder what all would be missing?

I can tell you this much, it scares me to death how much of our life here on earth, and our promised eternal life with our Savior (as believers in Jesus Christ), would be missing.

Vital aspects of our universe: the breath of life, a designed universe, designed humanity, etc.

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I could go on and on, but can you imagine it? Pure and utter chaos – darkness, the absence of life itself, nothingness.

Yet, we don’t have to live that stark reality, because of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Creator, Sustainer, Healer, and Sovereign King.

So some of you may ask, “Why is our world still so messed up if Jesus does exist?” My answer to you would be this:

“Humanity thought we could do better on our own. We think we can do our lives better without Jesus, and we have screwed up big time.”

BOLD & Beautiful

Below, I have listed various challenges. Pick one that is doable for you, and one that takes you out of your comfort zone. Comment below with your results…we are in this together.

Live BOLD!!!

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“If we took the time to ask ourselves why were are so selfish, and focus more on God, we wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with.”

BOLD & Beautiful

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Here is a small taste of what it means to give up our selfishness for God.

  1. Give up your favorite activity for God this week – TV, eating dessert, whatever it may be – give it up for 3-7 days.
  2. In place of doing your favorite activity, pick an activity focused on God – praying, praising God, reading Scripture (books of Psalms, John, Titus, etc. are good ones to start with).

SUPER CHALLENGE:

Fasting from distractions in your life, that take your attention away from God isn’t too difficult, but here is the super challenge.

  1. If you haven’t already, find and commit to attending a church, at least 3 weeks in row.
  2. If you already have a church, find a prayer/accountability partner, to encourage you in your faith.
  3. If you already have that in place, pray and ask God where in your church could you be serving Him?

ULTIMATE CHALLENGE:

For frequent church goers, the super challenge may be something they do already. Now, let’s step it up to the next level.

  1. Share the gospel with someone, anyone.
  2. Invite someone to church.
  3. Show generosity to someone in need.
  4. Forgive that person who hurt you the most, and tell them your forgive them.

**Post your results in the comments below, I want to hear from you! Let’s encourage each other in our walk – let’s be BOLD!!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, The Bible

To Fear or Not to Fear…

Are you tired of drowning in fear? Fear of anything…of dying, losing the ones you love, being broke financially, and of countless other things? Read on, and break the cycle of fear!

You are not alone. Many, many people, including myself, live in fear on a day-to-day basis. From personal experience, I feel like I am fighting a battle, to fear or not to fear, 24/7.

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You may ask, “How can you be a Christian, yet you live in fear so much of the time?” The answer – because the Devil uses fear to trap us in his clutches.

Fear is the opposite of faith – it is considered the absence or suppression of faith (my own definition). If you are afraid, you are not trusting God will….you fill in the blank.

The following passage is from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, his mentee:

“5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:5–7 ESV

Paul is reminding Timothy of his own “sincere faith,” not piddly, little, wimpy faith – sincere means “honest”, “pure” and “true” (Mish, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition).

The Devil likes to make us think our faith isn’t good enough – so we give into the deception that we need to be afraid of what we lack, instead of having faith in God to provide it.

If we would stop focusing on the lousiness of our sinful selves, and more on the incredible, omnipotent (all-powerful) God, we wouldn’t need to live in fear of anything.

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Fear comes from doubt in God’s ability to take care of us, our needs, and our desires. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I struggle to let God have full reign over my life, and not take control myself.

This is the ultimate deception – do we really have any control in the first place? We like to think so, but I dare to say we have none. God is all-powerful, and we are simply along for the ride, to give Him all the glory He deserves.

That my sound selfish to most of you, but the reality is, He’s God, and He deserves everything we are and everything we possess, because everything is a gift from God.

“4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. “

Ephesians 2:4–10 ESV
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When you understand God’s gifts of life, salvation, of grace and mercy, of provision and care for us – then you will be firm in your faith, to escape the Devil’s snare of fear – and live victoriously, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen!!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Why Keep it to Yourself?

Are you one of those people that hold in your emotions or what you’re really going through? Do you even make yourself stressed beyond belief, and sometimes physically ill or have headaches, etc.? You’re not alone.

So many times in my life, like today for example, have been consumed by emotions: anxiety over anything and everything, sadness over perceived failure in some way, and fear of losing those I care about most because I believe I will never be enough for them to stay.

How long will you or I go on believing these lies from the pit of Hell? Why would we rather believe these lies about ourselves than seek out and believe God’s truth about us?

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“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

2 Corinthians 4:7–11 ESV

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:14 ESV
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“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 5:6–11 ESV

These are incredible truths from God’s Word about us! God tells us that we are wonderfully made in His image, not just any image, His. We are not alone in our sufferings – Jesus suffered for us and with us, and we are also glorified with him in eternity.

Can you picture it – eternity?

I am in such awe when I think about it – perfection forever – can you picture it? What do you picture?

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Just Do It!

Do you find yourself feeling discouraged? Disappointed with life? Worn down and feeling defeated? Are you tired of feeling that way? Me too!

While working this evening, I was talking to a customer, and was surprised to have them quote Scripture to me. This happens occasionally, but I didn’t expect it from this person.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, right?

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The Scripture the man quoted to me was, “Seek and you shall find, …” and he said, “This verse really helps me because I am old, and need His help to find what I am looking for, and that comforts me.”

What a phenomenal, ironic statement. This man was both amused and serious, at the same time.

I complain I don’t have time for such and such list of things to get done, I am not a good enough mom to my kids because I don’t spend enough time with them, I don’t have enough energy to do all the things I think I have to get done.

When in fact, this last week, I made the time to spend in God’s Word and seek Him, I found the time and energy to do just that!

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What an incredibly, amazing God we serve! He not only cares about you and the entire universe, but He cares about what you care about – your purpose, your schedule, your family, your friends, your enemies, etc. You get the picture.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Just do it! Seek God out this week – no if’s, and’s or but’s! NO EXCUSES allowed! Talk to Him, about anything. Pick up a Bible, and start reading the Gospel of John. Pray for your burdens. Praise Him for the blessings in your life. Make the time, you won’t regret it.

JUST DO IT!!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

I Won’t Apologize for Being Me…Anymore!

Do you ever get tired of feeling the need to be someone else? To look, act, or talk a certain way to be accepted? Well I say no more!

The mission and theme of this entire blog site is to inspire people to live like their BOLD – Beautiful, Overcomer, Loved, Designed. That is my battle cry in the war of self-confidence, self-worth, and personal faith in Jesus Christ!

BOLD & Beautiful

I get so tired of the pressure to wear makeup, to hold in my feelings so I don’t ruffle any feathers, to play the part the world sees fit. I have exhausted myself long enough!

No more people pleasing, time wasting, self-torturing thoughts will I entertain. No more overwhelming myself with the demands of others, and will actually put my and my family’s well-being before the masses.

No longer will I try to live in my own power and strength – which I don’t have without God, anyway. My life goal is to live life confident in my beauty, courageous to overcome any chaos the Enemy, the Devil, throws my way, to be assured I am loved fully and perfectly by God, and take pride in being designed by God.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

I want to hear from you! What does it look like, for you, to live BOLD for Jesus? In what area is it the hardest to live BOLD? How can I pray for you as you venture into this life-transforming journey?

I look forward to hearing from you! Don’t hesitate to reach out with you feedback or any questions you may have. Be blessed!

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith, Uncategorized

My Mission of Love

My mission for this blog is to boldly proclaim the perfect love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the lens of everyday life.

BOLD & Beautiful
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“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy or boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

This love is not simply a relationship love or a love between believers, this is GOD’S LOVE! We serve a personal God and we are to replicate His personal love to others, in every relationship.

There are so many, innumerable ways God pours out His unfathomable blessings of love on us, and we choose not to see them. Why, do you ask?

Our pride makes us think we can do life on our own power and strength, when really – our life, breath, and everything else ‘we possess,’ were given by God Himself.

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When we intentionally (and yes, I mean actually make time and effort) to consider what we are thankful for, our outlook on life gets so much brighter.

Try it – every night, think of 3 things you are thankful for, and text them to someone (of your choice), every night for 2 weeks.

Believe me, I have tried this myself, recently, and I didn’t want to stop! I even came up with up to 4 or 5 things, instead of 3, as the days went on.

In addition, I have become more grateful for the blessings God has already put in my life, instead of complaining about what I think I am still missing, to matter in this world.

MY WEEKLY CHALLENGE:

Focus on how much you matter to God, and His perfect love for you, instead of wasting your time chasing the fleeting whims of the world. Try it, you will be surprised. I dare you…!

In Christ’s Love,

BOLD & Beautiful

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

The Pursuit of Significance and Success

If you could be anyone in the world – past, present, or future – who would you be? What would you accomplish? What legacy would you want to leave behind?

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Personally, this pursuit of becoming someone significant is exhausting!

Trying to be the perfect person, perfect daughter, perfect sister, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend…but it’s too hard!

Anybody else in the same boat?

I have struggled with fear for so long, it is hard to know how to live apart from it. However, one of my worst fears is abandonment.

If I am not perfect, people will not love me, and they will leave me all alone.

My Self Talk
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Unrealistic as it may seem, this is my greatest fear, every second.

I can’t disappoint my family members, because they won’t talk to me again.

I can’t disappoint my husband, because he might realize how imperfect I really am, and leave.

I can’t disappoint my kids, because they will hate me, and I will never see them as adults, let alone any grandchildren.

The pressure is suffocating!

So then, what is realistic? What is an attainable form of significance or success in your life?

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The only lasting value you will ever have, is the value you have in the eyes and heart of your Creator, Father God.

He is the one who knows exactly why He made you the way He did. He is the only one who can truly give you the significance you crave, and were made for.

BOLD & Beautiful

What counts as significant, anyway? Well, it all boils down to your values.

There is no greater significance than belonging to the King of Kings. Significance is making a lasting difference in your life and the lives of others (own definition) and success is the accomplishment of your goals (own definition).

By these two definitions, I am significant and successful, but in God’s eyes, not the world’s. By the world’s standards, I am poor, ugly, and will never make it in the real world of success. In God’s eyes, I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what He has planned for me.

There is no greater significance than belonging to the King of Kings, and adopted as a child of God. Trust me.

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Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

The Worry Wheel

Do you feel like you worry more than you should? Worrying so much that your life feels like it’s spinning faster and faster, and you can’t seem to slow down?

A Night on the Ferris Wheel

For those of you who knew me in my college days, know that I’ve ridden on the famous ferris wheel at Navy Pier, in Chicago, IL. This ferris wheel is massive!

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That night, during our college Bro-Sis outing, we all lined up to ride the ferris wheel. Up until this point, I loved ferris wheels, and had no fear whatsoever.

In my group seat was my boyfriend (my husband now) and my good friend from his sister floor. She is from India and she inspires me in so many ways.

Now, imagine the scene…I am at the top of the ferris wheel, with people I love, and suddenly, it stops.

We are stuck at the top of the largest ferris wheel I’ve ever ridden on, and amazingly enough, fireworks light up the sky!

You may be wondering, what is so bad about that?

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Yes, it was an amazing experience, until my friend began rocking our group seat back and forth, shouting, “Look at me! Look what I can do!”

If you knew my friend, you’d know that she was doing this to freak us out!

That moment of joy, amazement, worry, and terror of a sudden death by ferris wheel; I will never forget. In the midst of an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime moment, was shear terror.

How can you feel both at the same time?

The Worry Wheel

I tell this story, because it reflects my life as a Christian. In the midst of God’s amazing creation, blessings, protection, and provisions for me and my family, I worry.

BOLD & Beautiful

I worry if we will have enough money.

I worry if my husband is mad at me or not.

I worry if my kids will grow up to love and serve God, when they seem to hate me at the moment.

I worry I will mess up my kids’ lives.

I worry my husband will grow tired of me, and leave.

I worry I will be abandoned. I worry I don’t fit in.

I worry I never will be enough.

Do you get the picture?

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The more I worry, the more the wheel in my head spins. The more I worry, the more I worry about.

The more I worry, the more I am depending on myself, and the less I rely on God. The more I worry, the more I am trying to take my place on God’s throne.

BOLD & Beautiful

“What? Wait a minute, I don’t do that,” you might say to yourself.

However, I can’t take credit for this phrase. In a few of my past therapy sessions (yes, even Christians need therapy), my therapist reminded me I am trying to control things I can’t control.

When I am worrying, I am worshipping the things I can’t control instead of praising God and trusting Him for His all-knowing (omniscience), all-powerful (omnipotent), good and loving God, who will take care of me – no matter what.

BOLD & Beautiful

Additionally, worry and caring are not coequal or codependent. Caring about someone, does not justify worrying.

Recently, I have been worrying over a friend of mine. One of my closest friends, and yet, I can’t run in and save her. I am powerless to help her out of her current situation.

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Only Jesus is the Savior of the world, not me and not you, either.

Key Scriptures

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:25, 34 NIV

“Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:26 NIV

“But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.”

Luke 21:14 NIV

Wow, that really puts worry into perspective.

Lord, forgive me for not relying on you for everything. Forgive me to trying to take control of my life, when it belongs to you. Help me see your blessings in my life. Help me to trust you more, and be patient, when I don’t see your hand working. Help me be more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Posted in Living BOLD, The Bible

Toxic Relationships

Are you someone who wonders, “How did I get into this relationship in the first place?”

Some relationships are like that, because they are toxic.

Recently, I have been observing current and past relationships in which one spouse dominates the other, in a toxic way.

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Submission

In the Christian community, men like to through the word submission around to mean many different things.

What it is actually talking about is “humble obedience” on the part of the married woman, in the marriage. It is a choice she makes, not a weapon for the man to use against her.

I know there is the stigma only men are abusive, and women can be too. But this post is directly talking about three real-life examples I have recently observed.

With that said, I do believe submission is important in a marriage, but not to the point of killing the essence of who God created the wife to be.

Her unique beauty, gifts, passions, goals, etc. She is just as much a magnificent creation of God, and should be treated as such.

What the Bible Says…

God calls husbands to lay down their lives for their wives, just as Christ has done for the church (Eph. 5:25). This puts submission into it’s true intent, to submit to Christ, and to each other (Eph. 5:21), as Christ did for us, as the body of Christ.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

Ephesians 5:15-30 ESV

Now that we have looked at what God says in His word about this, let’s get to the heart of the issue.

Why Toxic?

Toxic relationships exist because of one thing – sin. Pride, selfishness, power struggle, pornography, abuse, neglect, gossip, refusing to meet the needs of your spouse or family, for your own selfish gain, etc.

BOLD & Beautiful

The list of sins is endless, and so is the number of toxic relationships out there.

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If you are in a toxic relationship, whether it be a dating or married relationship, you are not alone. But you are not doing yourself or your spouse any favors by staying quiet about it.

BOLD & Beautiful

Whether it be verbal, mental, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, or neglect, it is toxic.

Abuse is NEVER Okay

God never wants people to get hurt, even if they have made a covenant with one another in marriage.

BOLD & Beautiful

Abuse should never be tolerated, and is never deserved by the victim. If you are made to feel like everything is your fault – you are in a toxic relationship. Please get help before it turns into more severe abuse.

Don’t let yourself be isolated!!!!!

This is the first step controlling abusers take before they really show their true colors. That way, the victim doesn’t feel like they have a way out – which isn’t true, but the abuser wants them to believe it whole-heartedly.

Keep your friends close and your family! If they disapprove of your relationship, there is probably a good reason for it.

LISTEN!!!!! Don’t tune them out!!!!!

The three examples I am referring to, (two currently married, one now divorced) wouldn’t listen. They rushed into their marriages, allowed themselves to be isolated, and have kept silent…suffering in silence…

Real-Life Story

Let me tell you another story. There was a lady I used to know, from Mexico. She was married and had two sons. For years, she suffered abuse from her husband, and eventually fled to the U.S.A., with her sons, for safety.

However, she never divorced. She stayed separated for seven years. Do you know what God did? He restored their marriage! The husband became a Christian and their marriage was restored, and she forgave him.

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This is possible, but no, this does not happen for everyone.

I include this real-life example, because so many people are quick to divorce, because they crave another relationship to fill the void of the last one.

God does address these issues, yes.

Your Challenge

But I challenge you to heal first, to pursue peace and healing from our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Don’t be a martyr of abuse.

Don’t let your low self-esteem, fear of what may happen, and feelings of failure keep you in a toxic relationship.

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#MeToo #relationships #TheHaven