When I say Chip Dizard is a God-send, I mean that before I even began to pray about building a new blog, Chip was already sending me information on why and how to do so. He was even willing to share with me tutorials and to answer the silly questions I had on a daily basis. If you haven’t seen on of Chip’s videos, you’re TRULY missing out. This fella is multi-faceted, but today we celebrate his fatherhood of three very precious, very lively little girls.
It’s amazing what fathers can do!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chip.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Teacher. Mentor. Husband. Father. Video Director/Editor. Co-Founder, Web Video Chefs and Praizevision.com. Also check out http://www.ChipDizardWeddings.com.[/author_info] [/author]
[dropcap style=”font-size: 45px; color: #55cfbb;”]O[/dropcap]ver the past few years I have really enjoyed Mac products. Macbook, Mackbook Pro, Ipod, Ipad, IMac, Iphone, etc; I just love the way that they work! A few years ago Apple came out with an upgrade that allowed you to take off apps that you would have open. You could now close down your twitter app or your weather app. You could close down the ESPN app or a game app that you had open that allowed your battery not to drain as fast as well as allow your device to run faster! So that once you close out things that you no longer have use for it allows your device to run a lot smoother.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.consideringthelily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/noah-wash.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Noah Washington is a pastor at Bladensburg SDA church in Bladensburg, Maryland. Join Noah for relationship tweets every Thursday on Twitter using the hashtag #RTalkThurs. For more great posts visit Noah’s blog http://www.washsworld.blogspot.com.[/author_info] [/author]
I can’t help but to liken this to many of our relationships. One of the reasons that some of us are stuck, stagnant, and extremely slow with moving on is because we have so many people, or apps, that are open in our lives that have not been closed. There are relationships that we have had in our past that we have become attached to so much that even though the communication, recreation, and interaction between us and the other person may have ended…our attachment to them continues to be open. Something still jumps in our spirit when we see their picture on Facebook; we still catch an attitude when someone tells us that they have seen the person with another person; and we continue to think in our minds what we may be doing with the person if we were still dating them.
Some of you reading this have been thinking to yourself: why am I having such a difficult problem moving forward in my life, my relationships, and in life in general? Why is it that I sabotage relationships? How come I only feel normal when people treat me negatively? Why am I attempting to move forward while still attached to my past??? May I suggest that even though two people have physically gone their separate ways doesn’t mean the relationship has ended.
Before I give some solutions on how you can truly move forward, let me give some suggestions on why many of us cannot move forward:
The relationship ended sooner than we wanted it to. We thought that this was the person that we would marry and spend the rest of our lives with, but instead of a wedding they walked away. Instead of a marriage, you guys moved apart. So you can’t move forward because you are still mentally thinking…what if?
You guys got physical in the relationship. During the relationship, there was not just hugging and kissing, you guys actually engaged in sexual activity; maybe even on a regular basis. Scripture teaches that sexual activity leads us to becoming attached to another person. That’s why the Bible even cautions people who are married-to agree on when they will abstain from sexual activity for times of prayer and then return to it. Engaging in sex with another person is meant to be addictive, that’s why its best reserved for married couples. However, with couples who are unmarried, you may not be able to move on because you are still attached to the other person.
There was some type of abuse in the relationship. Some people can’t move on because there was sexual, mental, emotional, or physical abuse in a past relationship. This may cause a person to either withdraw from having future relationships OR jump into many relationships. Some people pull away from relationships in fear that what happened to them will happen to them again while others seek out many relationships in hopes to find that one person that will treat them right! Still there are others who won’t allow themselves to move forward in a healthy relationship because since there was so much abuse they strangely only feel comfortable in an environment that allows abuse to continue, these people are extremely hard to love because when you love them…they kick you so you can kick them back because abusing them allows them to feel normal.
This is not an exhaustive list, but just a few things that won’t allow a person to move forward. Now, let me offer some things that a person can do so that they can positively move forward.
To fully break free, its probably best for the time being not to communicate with the person you need freedom from for the time being. You need time to heal, and oftentimes healing will not take place if you are still communicating with them. If you continue to communicate with them, you continue a “what if” cycle in your mind about a future relationship with them.
Lay before the Lord!!! I honestly believe that the only way to be fully free and move forward is to lay it before the Lord. Ask God for forgiveness of anything that you did in the relationship that caused problems. Ask God to remove the unhealthy connection that continues to attach you to the person. While I believe God’s power can, the breaking point usually doesn’t happen after we lay this before the Lord on one occasion. It happens after continued prayer, fasting, and dedication to His will and way!
Don’t get in another relationship until you a free from the last! There are countless people who believe that they can just jump into one relationship after another. Since you are often not free from the previous relationship, you bring the attachment from the last relationship into the present relationship. So much so, that the person never meets the real you…they get connected to the countless number of people who you are attached with.
[quote]Jesus told the Jews in the first century, whoever the Son sets free will be free indeed! Don’t you want to be free today? Allow Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to free you in mind, body, and spirit so that you can be all that he has destined to be![/quote]
Blessing us this week is my beloved cousin, Demontae Edmonds. Demontae shares several mini-sermons via Facebook and email during a week’s time, so I decided (with his permission) to pass this post along because it is so relevant to the CTL mission. I pray this post blesses you. And as always, comments are welcome and wanted!!!
Last night while in prayer God impressed upon me to write on the subject of “Overcoming Loneliness.” Often we hear Sunday messages on faith, salvation, tithing but there is a legitimate issue people wrestle with called loneliness.
First, being alone does not necessarily mean that one is lonely. Loneliness according to the dictionary is a condition where a person is “affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone.”
God does not want anyone to struggle with or be defeated by loneliness. Many people hate to have this feeling and place themselves prematurely in wrong relationships in an attempt to overcome these feelings. BIG MISTAKE! Just because you are with someone in a relationship (even a marriage) does not mean that you may not still wrestle with loneliness.
A second definition I found for loneliness reads, “destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, or support.” Many have found out the hard way that even after marriage their spouse may fall short of their expectations. This is especially true if they married a person God has not intended for them or an immature spouse. If your spouse does not know how, try, or care about fulfilling emotional and physical needs for attention and companionship you may STILL suffer from loneliness. Even worse rejection, hurt, distrust, low self-esteem etc. may result from a broken relationship. Add these with loneliness and you have an emotional wreck.
To help you avoid falling into these traps and overcoming loneliness I prayed and asked God for some points to share:
#1 REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Our natural mind and the enemy (Satan) often try to trick us to believe we are alone and also the only person dealing with certain situations. This is certainly not true (see 1 Kings 19:14). Proverbs 18:24 tells us, “There is a friend who sticks CLOSER than a brother.” This refers to God Himself. He is always watching us, with us, and for us. We are often unaware of this and He is the last person we focus on. The more you recognize and “in all your ways acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:6), He will be that much more real to you.
James 4:8 says, “Draw close to me and I will draw close to you.” The more time, energy, and devotion you spend toward God in the Word, prayer, and casual conversation He will draw closer to you. This means He will reveal more of how ACTUALLY close He is. This may come through dreams, visions, discerning His presence, His taking away loneliness, grief, depression, etc.
Both of these acts require faith. When you first begin to confess “God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” you may feel nothing at first. But over time “by faith” the reality of this truth will become more apparent in your life. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a “Comforter”. Because God created your heart and mind He is the ONLY person who has the blueprint to them. He knows exactly when and how to comfort you and re-energize you even when you allow yourself to get beat down, defeated, discouraged, or wresting with loneliness.
#2 DISCERN YOUR GOD-SENT RELATIONSHIPS
We are admonished to be friendly & kind to everyone but not everyone can be our friend. There are specific people appointed by God for you to be in relationship (friendship) with. You cannot get to your destiny without them, and they cannot get to theirs with you. There is a mutual dependence. God specifically chose Prince Jonathan for King David. They loved each other like brothers. God specifically chose twelve disciples to accompany Jesus. We see this throughout the Bible.
Many times people struggle with loneliness but neglect to trust God that there are specific people He has already hand-picked for their lives. When you pray, trust God will send these people into your lives. Very often we miss them because they may not look, talk, or think like you. They may come from very different backgrounds and have different interests but there will be common ground that will serve for a higher purpose.
In the Book of Ruth, Ruth lost her husband and had a choice to start a new life or remain with her mother-in-law. Our minds would say leave and start over, Ruth. But she chose to “cleave to Naomi” her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:14). After losing a spouse or leaving a bad relationship a person is often vulnerable and sensitive. She chose to stay in friendship with someone who she had known and trusted through the years. Often there is security and comfort in familiarity. The story ends with Ruth marrying the right man at the right time, and he was gentleman and very WEALTHY! So it worked out for her.
Many miss friendships because of defensive walls that are up due to past hurts, fear of being rejected or judged, or simply they don’t know how to be a friend themselves. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly.” This means there are some things you need to do on your end to make and maintain friendships like not being jealous of others, not competing, showing humility, avoiding selfish actions, not being condescending, and not backbiting. Also, don’t wait on the other person to initiate friendship. You must, “show yourself friendly.”
#3 GET & STAY CONNECTED WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST
Hebrews 10:25 commands us, “Forsake not the assembling together of yourselves.” Another version reads, “Don’t stop meeting together.”
What better place to make friends than a place with people with the common ground of Jesus Christ as God and that have the same belief systems? In theory anyway… lol. That is the way God ordained his earthly kingdom. Often God will use someone in the Body of Christ to comfort us or meet our needs of companionship, finances, inner or outer healing, etc. No one can grow into their full spiritual potential being disconnected from the Body of Christ.
#4 A GIFT FROM GOD
Being alone is not always negative. Often it is a gift of God. Only when we are alone can we discover our true identity. Moses discovered that He was to be deliverer of Israel from Egypt when he was ALONE on the backside of the desert and encountered the burning bush. Jesus spent 40 days ALONE in the wilderness when He begin to walk in the power of the Spirit and perform miracles. John the Baptist was “in the desert places [ALONE] until the day of his showing.” Many others throughout history have discovered their potential, identity, strengths, weaknesses, life goals, and vision for the future while in their time of singleness or solitude. You can be alone but not be lonely. Enjoy your gift from God UNTIL……..