Forgiving Hearts

I’ve been so to read & keep up with current chapters of A Confident Heart. I take it slow, look up the stories surrounding the bible verses in the book, & meditate on them. One part spoke to me louder than others. It stayed in the front of my mind the strongest. The other day, I learned why…

A high school friend of mine just received news that her biological mother was not doing well. She posted, “I have not been a part of her life for a long time for different reasons. They are not sure how long she has. She has cirrhosis of the liver and emphysema. She has been sick for years. The doctors did not expect her to live a year 5 years ago. I know that there is a reason she is still here. I am not sure if its because there are things that need to be said or what. I am not sure if she knows our Lord and savior. I have so many questions with not many answers. I just pray that what ever I am supposed to do I do. I do not want to live with regret. Please pray that I will do what the Lord wants. Also, please pray for her, that she would find peace and do what she needs to do.”

I felt it was time to share my story & messaged her privately (not everything is meant for the world). FRIEND, I am by no means trying to persuade you one way or another. But hear my story & decide for yourself. My Mom was an alcoholic and we rarely got along without having harsh words or bitter blow ups. It was more than just the alcohol, but I won’t pester you with the details. The point is, I didn’t feel loved or feel like I loved her. I did love her, but it never felt like the mother-daughter love that I expected to feel. (If that makes sense). Point is, even when she was dying, I felt we both pushed each other away. The night before she died, she had a smile moment of clarity (cancer was in her brain & she had trouble staying conscious) she squeezed my hand, nodded, & said “I’m ok. I love you”. This took nearly 5 minutes for her to say. I tried to talk to her more, but I couldn’t get her to stay awake. She died a few hours later. My advice is this. Death is final in this world. If you feel you need to tell her something, maybe God is trying to tell you “now is your chance”. I still cry & ache nearly everyday missing my mom. Not so much for what was but for what I wanted. I wanted to love her like my kids love me. She is your mom. Love her & tell her goodbye. Maybe your love & Gods light shining through you is what she needs if she’s not saved. I’m so I’m rambling, but I felt like I should let you know my experience. I am praying for all of you. Take care Sister. The book of Isaiah was really weighing on me today. I guess you’re exactly who God needed me to talk to. I don’t want you to have regrets & what ifs. If I could do it again, I would say so much more. I know the bitterness is there & it IS hard, but I strongly urge you to pray & then find closure for both of y’all. Don’t wait til it’s too late like I did. Trust me when I say, it’s a terrible, crushing weight of regret. Pride got in my way. I’m glad telling you means a lot. It means so much to me to get it off my chest. I love you girl. Take care.

She responded, “WOW! Sounds just like my story!!! Almost exactly! I just want to make sure I say my part and dont want to regret anything. my children do not know her. which is so sad. I am upset with her for the way she chose to live her life but I can only do my part. We are going to florida on the 22nd of November anyway, but I am trying to decide if I should go sooner. Thank you for telling me your story, it really means a lot! I for sure do not want to carry that weight around. Who knows may God wants me to tell her about him? I just want to make sure I do the right thing. Thank you for listening.”

PLEASE…. I ask for extra prayers for her & her mother & her whole family. I pray they all find peace & forgiveness in each other through Christ. Thank you so much in advance.

Confident Heart Ch. 1 Answers

Bible Study: Proverbs 31

Book: A Confident Heart by: Renee Swope

 

1. What is your earliest memory of doubting yourself or feeling insecure?

+++Wow! Talk about a ton of memories coming all at once. I reckon the first one that came to mind was when our grade had a class play. (I think it was 5th grade). Anyway, there was one kid that had something negative to say about everyone who had to audition for various parts, even himself. I was terrified when they called my name. I broke down and told them that I couldn’t do it. The teachers were so tired by then, they just skipped over to the next person. I used to love plays and acting, but to get me to do something like that took a lot of courage and confidence, which was something that I was very low on.

2. Has insecurity ever kept you from doing something?

+++All the time. Job searching was one. I would browse the “Help Wanted” ads and skip over several because I didn’t feel like “I was good enough.”

3. Describe how it makes you feel when doubt whispers:
“I can’t do this.”
“Things will never change.”
“My life isn’t going to get better.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I might as well quit.”

+++It made me want to stop reading and not pick you this book again or answer the rest of the questions. It made me feel like I was going to fail because I wouldn’t be able to do anything. It was a gateway to other thoughts as well…
“You’re a terrible mom and wife.”
“You’ll never gain anything in this Bible Study.”
“Your husband is going to think your answers are stupid.” (As well as anyone else who reads this)
“No one who reads your answer to these questions can relate.” Etc…

4.Describe what happens in your heart when you read God’s words:
“Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed” (Isa. 49:23)
“See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isa. 43:19)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28)
“All things are possible to [her] who believes” (Mark 9:23 NASB).

+++I feel my heart swell and tears stinging my eyes as a smile spreads across my face. =)

5. What do you think hinders you most from living with God-confidence on a consistent basis? Is there a promise listed above that speaks to your greatest need right now?

+++Self doubt.
+++”Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed” (Isa. 49:23)and  “All things are possible to [her] who believes” (Mark 9:23 NASB) These 2 speak to me the most right now. I feel safer and more in control at these words. At His promise.

6. How would you describe a woman with a confident heart?”

+++Strong. Happy. Beautiful inside and out. Joyful. Optimistic. Loved.

7. Read Jeremiah 17:7. (Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.) What does this verse promise and encourage you to do? Think of one situation where you could live in the power of this promise and describe what that would look like this week.

+++It encourages me to want to do more for God. To make Him happy and proud of His daughter. In raising my kids to be more Christ-like. Teaching them to let go and let God.

*****Even if you haven’t read the book or this chapter, how would you answer these questions yourself?*****

 

A New Beginning… Bible Study

Back when I was in High School, I had attended a few Bible Studies with friends, but they never lasted. Some Bible Studies were just on a specific topic or during a certain season, like Summer. But they always ended and I always wanted more!!! 

Then life happened. Sad excuse, but that’s just the way it was for me. I drifted from church and from God. I gotta admit, my depression continued to get worse. But anyways, enough of the sad part… now the exciting part.

I recently discovered on online site, http://www.proverbs31.org. Let me tell you. It has been a wonderful blessing to me. I started reading the online devotionals, and before I knew, I had read about half a years worth of devotionals, and I still couldn’t get enough. I found that they were starting a new Bible Study called A Confident Heart! It sounded like something that I could really enjoy. 

Sure enough, here came the old me… “why bother?”
“You’ll never stick with it.” 
“You never do.”
“It says ‘Confident’… not exactly something you’ve had much of.”

Well guess what? This time, after a good bit of mental debate, I decided to jump in head first. At the last minute, so to speak, I decided that I would join. I would stick with it. And I will put my all that I can into it. However, I also decided that my husband and children still come first, but that I would still find time to make for the Bible Study. I’ve told a few friends about it, but I’m not sure if any want to join. It won’t stop me from sending them regular updates, because I know that they enjoy any chance to read and learn about God.