Voluntary Prisoner.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”-Psalm 51:10

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Why is letting go so difficult?

Sometimes it seems so much easier to hold onto something than to let it go.

I have been in multiple toxic relationships that I somehow thought were better to keep than to just let go of. It never ends well, and it usually ends worse than it should have because I just could not let go.

Recently, I have been dealing with toxic friendships.

Friendships that I should have let go of a LONG time ago, that I instead chose to continue with. As with the relationships, they are ending more painfully and way worse than if I had let them when the time came a while ago.

But I chose to ignore that knowledge.

Psychology Today describes a toxic friendship as an “unenviable position of being mistreated by (someone they consider to be) a friend” (Betchen, 2013). You know you are being treated unfairly, but you choose to stay. Even worse, you may even know that you are the one who is treating someone unfairly and you choose to continue to mistreat them. Ever been there? On one side or the other or dare I say…you have at one point or another been on both sides? Me too.

The more we try to hold on, the more painful it becomes. It’s like holding onto a pot as the water in it slowly comes to a boil. It starts off okay, but then slowly it becomes hotter and hotter and more painful.  If we let go as soon as we feel that the heat is becoming too much to bear, and we know that it is not going to get any cooler, we may have some burns but we are not too scarred.

But, if we wait.

We end up with so much pain and horrific scars that never go away. They will eventually heal up, but they will form a scar that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.

God did not make us to be weak people who allow “friends” to walk all over us. He also did not make us to be bullies who walk all over people and still have the audacity to call them our friend. If you find yourself in either boat, it is time to reevaluate. If you know both parties are not willing and/or able to fix it or you have tried and it did not work: let go.

I feel like people think you are only strong if you suffer through things that you do not need to and basically kill yourself trying to save something not worth saving. But true strength is found in recognizing that it is time for endings and new beginnings.

Let it be. & be free.

-Kristin

References

Betchen, S. J. (2013, January 09). Toxic Friendships. Retrieved December 28, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/magnetic-partners/201301/toxic-friendships.

Then You Will Be Happy.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13

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I had a fabulous Kindergarten teacher. I may not remember a lot of things from my childhood, but I remember being in her class more than anything else. I remember the stories she read to us and all the amazing activities we did.

The one story I remember more than the others was the book called “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

If you haven’t read it before, I really suggest you do…but the premise of it is that a gigantic tree takes care of a little boy’s needs/wants for his whole life.

The boy comes to her often as he grows older and says he needs certain things, so she gives him her branches, and her trunk, etc. until she is just left as a stump.

She never asks for anything in return except for him to be happy and even let’s him just sit on her stump when he is old and gray.

She shows this person incredibly selfless love.

& in this story, she reminds me so much of God.

How He gives, and gives, and gives. That all He asks in return is that we believe that His son Jesus died for our sins. That He too, just wants us to be happy.

Selfless love can change the world as long as we are open to not only giving it, but accepting it as well.

-Kristin

Happy December.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”-Isaiah 12:3

santa

Oh, December. How much I have missed you!

This is by far my favorite month of the year. Filled with worship, happiness, joy, Christmas movies, chilly nights, gift giving, and fun.

December is such a fun month. For me at least.

But for some, it is the most dreaded time of the year. & If we are to call ourselves true lovers of Christ, we cannot just act like these people do not exist.

They are the ones who plaster a smile on their face while coping with the loss of their family member and realizing this will be their first year without them.

They are the ones who lash out quickly because their loved one is incarcerated and there is nothing they can do to bring them home for the holidays.

They are the ones who avoid the holiday parties and activities because it makes them feel even more depressed because they feel so alone.

They are the ones who cannot sleep at night because they do not know how they will afford presents for their children for Christmas.

They exist. They suffer. They cry. They break down. They lose it.

Because December is not always the happiest time many of us think it is.

If you know someone who may be having a hard time this time of year, please just reach out to them. Offer a hug. Offer a smile. Offer a hand. Offer a prayer.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus does not always have to be extravagant, sometimes it truly just takes being willing to stand on your feet and hold out your hand.

Let’s try to truly make this one a happy one for all!

-Kristin