Loss

(Dedicated to my friend and brother, Jerry Arney)

When we lose someone, a lot of times we just don’t what to do next. We don’t know what to say. We don’t know how to act or even feel.

Loss of a marriage is like the death of a friend or loved one in a lot of ways. It is a life leaving us to make sense of what has happened and move on. It forces us to deal with thoughts and emotions that we avoid at all costs. Who wants to experience that?

Today, a very good friend of mine who has been sick for almost 3 years passed away. His name is Jerry Arney and he was someone who I loved as a brother and friend very much. I always will. I will never forget him, though life moves on and eventually I will not give him much thought, and I absolutely hate that. Sorry, Jerry, but that is the human life.

We are usually consumed by what is happening at the moment. Time makes it imperative to deal with what is going on today, which causes us to push the past into the back of our minds. It sucks, but that is what happens.

When it comes to the loss of a marriage, the pain eventually subsides and the business of life, children, a job, friends, and new events require us to have to focus on them. It pushes the past back a little more each day and is a large part of the healing process.

When that happens, it doesn’t say anything about that person you lost or the marriage that did not last. It had a life and it hurts when it is gone.

When I spend less time time thinking about Jerry, it doesn’t take anything away from the relationship I had with him. We shared and invested in our friendship and it means something. The same is with a marriage. It mattered and you invested so much into it, and yet it is gone.

When I think of Jerry, I am going to do my best to remember the good times. We spent a lot more time in a hospital praying and talking than we ever did outside of it. The bad times happened, but I am going to remember how even as he suffered pain and disappointment, he had a love for Jesus that I will always be jealous of.

He knew that someday, he would be healed one way or the other. One day the pain would be gone. And tonight it is gone.

My pain is getting more intense. I miss my friend and brother, I miss his love for his family and God. I miss his love for others, those he shared love with on the the streets and in the detox centers where he ministered to those most people have given up on. But God will help me and carry me during this time. He has before, and he will again.

You have lost a marriage, and it hurts. It hurts bad. You will miss some things that where amazing. You will miss the person that you married, the one who said for better or for worse. You didn’t marry the person you they are now. You lost someone totally different.

The last time I saw Jerry, I knew he was getting tired. He shared many things with me to make me realize now that he had become a different person from the one I first met and grew to love as a fellow man in ministry. He still loved & trusted in the Lord, but his human body was dying.

Your marriage was not the same at the end as it was in the beginning. You wanted it to be different, to be like it was when you first got married, but eventually it died.

So where does that leave us?

As I mourn my friend and brother, I will cling to Jesus, the one who is the answer for my broken heart. He is the only one who can heal it. And he will. I will eventually be able to look back and remember the good times we had, all the wonderful fellowship, and the time spent with our Savior.

As you mourn your marriage, cling to Jesus!! He loves you with an everlasting love. He is the only one who can give you the wisdom, peace, and joy to move forward each and every day. It will get easier. I promise. As you let Him lead and hold you, He will give you a peace that will surpass anything you could ever imagine.

Eventually we will both look back and it won’t hurt like it does now. We may have a scar and a tenderness when we remember, yet it will not stop us from being better. God has plans for both of us. Walk with me as we both move forward with Him.

RIP Jerry Arney

What Next?

What do you do when you look at your marriage, family, or home and all you see is a pile of rubble?  Do you just want to cry and give up?  Is it even worth the time and effort to do anything but just leave and never look back?

Jesus knows.  He sees you right there in the midst of the decay and destruction.  He wants you to know that He knows.  He saw what happened.  He knows how it happened.  He knows how you feel.  He wants to walk through all of this with you.

Allstate says ” You’re in good hands with Allstate”.

State Farm says, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”.

Good marketing, lousy counseling.

God says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”.  Heb 13:5b

God says, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you”.  Psalm 9:10

I suggest you jump into the arms of Jesus and know that God is always with you, not just until a claim is paid and your rates go up.

Healing from divorce and separation is not a simple 10 step plan to wellness.  A fancy flowchart is not going to make you feel any better.

You are on a journey that is unlike any other’s journey that has ever experienced a breakup.  You may or may not have children.  You may or may not have been the cheater or the one that was cheated on.  Every relationship and divorce is different.

It is hard telling you what to do next.  I don’t know what specifics you would tell me about your situation if we could chat over an Orange Ginger Herbal Tea at Panera. (Very good!!)

First, I would give you a hug.  So many times, all people need is someone to be the physical expression of Jesus giving you a shoulder to cry on and a gentle hug to make you know that someone cares.

Second, I would listen to you.  I would let you get it all out.  Tell me how horrible that %@$!^#%@ is and how they have made your life a living hell.  I would be patient and actively engage you as you explain your side of the story.  You need to tell it in a safe and protected environment, getting a release from some of the pressure you feel.

Third, I would want you take stock of what you have and the blessings you still enjoy today. Right now, you are breathing, and whether you realize it or not, that is a miracle!!  God wants you to live and to experience His love while you move through this difficult time.  You still have purpose and a reason to be here on earth.  If you have a roof over your head, a job, children, and other family and friends to be around, then you have something a lot of people do not have.

Fourth, I would suggest whatever professional help you need, even if it’s just a few discussions with a pastor or someone in a care ministry at your local church.  See a therapist (preferably a Christian) that understands not just the mental issues that you are facing, but can address everything from a perspective of your spiritual well-being as well.  We are a 3-part being; spirit, soul, and body  God’s perspective is beyond human knowledge. Why wouldn’t you ask for His help?

Fifth, I would encourage you to be around other positive, Godly people who will tell you the truth in love and walk this road with you.  It is hard to hear hard things about us sometimes, but a true friend that hurts a little is better that someone telling you half truths and just wants to tell you what you want to hear.

Sixth, I would help you to discover a simple, inexpensive stress reliever (not drugs or alcohol). Maybe start using adult coloring books, learn cross-stitching, grab a fishing pole and find a new fishing spot, read a book instead of watching tv, take up gardening, volunteer at church or in the community, or anything else that will occupy your mind on something other than what you tend to stress about.

Seventh, I would encourage you to start dreaming again.  It may seem strange and you may not feel like it, especially now, but if you aren’t looking forward to something positive, you will naturally sink back or remain stuck where you are.  Don’t be the nation of Israel and keep going around the same mountain for 40 years.  Trust in God’s Word and have faith in Him as He leads you to a new land that will be beyond what you could ever imagine.

Eighth, I need you to be realistic.  You can’t change the past.  You can’t make someone love you.  You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do.  People can be hurtful, destructive, and absolutely crazy.  That includes you and me.  We are all human.  You may never know why.  You may never fully understand how God is going to make anything good come from this.  That is okay.  It is not your job to know everything, but it is your responsibility to lean on Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit to fill in the gaps.

Ninth, I would pray for you out loud, placing a hand on your shoulder while I ask the God of the universe to come and invade your life.  I would ask Him to bring His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of you, filling the empty spaces and flowing through every part of your spirit, soul, and body.  I would pray that you are refreshed, renewed, and made new each day as the sun rises.

Tenth, I would tell you the most important thing that I can ever tell anyone experiencing separation and divorce; nothing YOU can ever say or do can ever make you whole.  NOTHING.  Only God and a growing relationship with Him through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus can bring the peace, comfort, healing, love, joy, fulfillment, forgiveness, and life that will bring you a total and complete wholeness.  Everything else is only a simple, partial, fractured feeling of relief until you fully understand the depth of love God has for you.

Don’t settle for anything less than what God has for you.

Accept His love.  Accept His open arms.  Accept His grace and mercy.  Accept Jesus.

I created 31 short prayer videos.  They are based on the 31 topics taken from the Divorce to Healing: 31 Days of Healing and Wholeness book and reading plan.  Feel free to join me as I  pray for you on any of those specific issues or topics. Use this link to go to my YouTube channel.

What do you know?  Maybe there is a 10 step plan….

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

Tears

What is a tear?

Lamentations 1:16 (ESV)

16 “For these things I weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
one to revive my spirit;
my children are desolate,
for the enemy has prevailed.”

 

Does God even care?

Psalm 42:3 (ESV)

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

 

How can I go on?

Lamentations 3:49-50 (ESV)

49 “My eyes will flow without ceasing,
without respite,
50 until the Lord from heaven
looks down and sees;

 

A tear is made up of 4 basic ingredients; water, salt, antibodies, and lysozyomes.

We all know that our tears are made up of water and salt. But they are made up of far more than that. Antibodies are disease fighters and lysozyomes are antibacterial enzymes. Without these two crucial ingredients, irritants and germs can cause you severe problems with your sight as well as other mental and physical issues. You may not be able to see correctly while you get more frustrated physically and emotionally because of the pain and discomfort.

Have you ever cried so hard and so long that you leave wet stains on everything around you as your heart breaks, your soul hurts and nothing seems to help you, but all you can do is to let it flow, snot & all?

I have been there. I remember laying face down on my carpet crying uncontrollably for at least 30 minutes; no Kleenex and no way to stop. It seemed like hours. The pain. The hurt. The despair.

God created you. And in you is a way to healing with all the ingredients needed. It is called a tear.

Water is what carries the healing ingredients. It is essential for life. 55-60% of the human body is made up of water and every living cell needs it to keep functioning. The maximum time an individual can go without water seems to be a week, but the most typical time frame is only 3-4 days. You see how vital water is to our existence, physical and spiritual!!

John 4:13-14 (ESV)

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Salt is an essential nutrient that the body uses to regulate many bodily functions and is contained within body fluids that transport oxygen and other nutrients. It is also essential in maintaining the body’s overall fluid balance. Without salt, your body cannot correctly use the life-giving water that your body needs for life. Salt in the Bible speaks of value. It was used to purify and preserve, and as a way to establish a deeper relationship with others through the consumption of it. Salt values, purifies, and preserves the relationship with the water.

Numbers 18:19 (ESV)

19 All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and for your offspring with you.”

Antibodies are crucial for the body to fight off disease and toxins. What is in our body that needs to die for life to continue must be destroyed, and antibodies do that. We have things inside all of us that need to die, physically and spiritually. For life to continue, we need to constantly battle anything that is not beneficial for us and the health of the whole body.

2 Samuel 22:40 (ESV)

40 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.

Lysozyomes do their part for the body by digesting and eliminating that which the antibodies conquer. The trash, disease, excess and waste are chewed up and then sent packing. Our body cannot be fully healthy if what has been defeated and used up is not removed for good. Just think of all the physical and spiritual good that has been done to bring health to the body. For us to live, it must be discarded and removed completely.

Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

You may be wondering why I went to all the trouble to break down a tear.

Your tears matter and your tears mean something. They speak volumes. They hold hopes, dreams, and relationships that you valued. And God knows. He knows you are hurting. He wants to give you His shoulder to cry on and His arms to hold you at this time.

Psalm 56:8 (ESV)

You have kept count of my tossings (wanderings);
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?

Through your tears, God is bringing forth life; carrying breath and strength (water) that purifies and preserves His relationship with you (salt) while defeating inside your soul the disease that is killing you (antibodies) as you digest and eliminate it (lysozyomes).

Your healing is inside of you. Let go and let God do His healing work in you that needs to spring forth through His glorious living waters.

My next post will share what happens to your tears.

 

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

A Divorce to Healing Testimony: Scott

From Scott, in his own words.

Thank you, Scott!!!

________________________________________________________________________________________

Been reading your devotionals on YouVersion. No truer words than these…
—-
This is the time you need to move on from destructive thoughts and behaviors. It is the time to move past accusations, pain, and fear.. It is time to move into a greater relationship with God and to move into all He still has for you.
—-
The one thing God has pressed upon me since I found out about her affair and when she moved out, was simply this… I must forgive her for ME to heal. It was something I knew, above all else, that I HAD to do!  It took me many prayers, screaming at God, crying out to Him, “God, I can’t do this!  I know I need to, but I can’t. And truthfully, I don’t want to!  But I know I need to.  I need You to help me do this!”
Through this, He changed my heart.  I was given the opportunity to forgive her face-to-face. I did.  She ignored me, changed the subject. But I discovered that it wasn’t about her response… it was about mine. And by being obedient that day when He told me, “Do it now.  Forgive her”  I was set free of so much that was weighing me down.
But then, God taught me something new!  He told me, as I quickly found out, that Forgiveness is NOT a one-and-done… it’s a daily process. I learned to stop saying simple prayers for her and start praying blessings over her!  I struggled with this, but now pray for her job, car, increase, protection, and still most importantly, her healing and return to God.  Even if it is not with me, I pray that I can see her healed and whole.
Thank you for being obedient to God in your ministry.  Thank you for helping others like me.  I have a friend going through a nasty divorce that I have asked to read your devotionals, as well.  Thank you.
BE blessed!
Scott
One thing I have continued to pray is that if I must go through this, that God would allow me to use it to help someone else. I never even imagined that I could do so before I got through this!  But He has called me to reach out to a few people, and I’ve been able to strengthen and encourage them… not because of me or what I did, but because of what God has done in and through me.
I know this won’t be easy to get through, but I know that in forgiveness I have found peace… even though it still hurts.
I literally feel like an amputee sometimes, like I’m missing part of me. I mean I am actually.  But through forgiveness (and prayer) come healing. You cannot have one without the other.  God has been so amazing through this. Thank you again!
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Click HERE for “Divorce to Healing; Survive and Thrive” and share with those that would appreciate the help it provides.

New Reading Plan Released!!

st-thumbnail-title

Hi Everyone!!

So thankful and blessed by all of those who joined us last week for the daily postings of the new Reading Plan called, “Survive and Thrive”.

I just wanted to share that it has now been released on the YouVersion Bible App and you can now have it available instantly on your device.

Click HERE for “Divorce to Healing; Survive and Thrive” and share with those that would appreciate the help it provides.

Again, Thank you all for moving forward in your healing and letting me be a small part of that.

Be blessed!!

Survive and Thrive: Day 7

st-thumbnail-title

Today concludes a series of 7 daily posts that will allow you to Survive and Thrive in your divorce recovery process. It will be available on the YouVersion Bible App eventually, but I wanted to share it with all of you first. May it be the blessing I pray it needs to be for you.

As we wrap up this series, I want to encourage you to do one of the hardest things you will ever have to do in your life. Please, I am begging you to do this one thing….

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD!!!!

The other party is God’s responsibility now. Turn whatever ill feelings you have towards them into prayer for them to God. Pray that they grow a brain, or get saved, or whatever you feel led to pray. Give them to God.

Your children (if you have them) will always have you both as mom and dad. Nothing will change that. You will just not be together, but they need you both to be mom and dad to them the rest of their lives. It may be tough and it may never get better, but realize this and it will help everyone involved.

Do everything in your power to maintain God’s protection, wisdom, and lifestyle in them. When they are not with you, pray for them. God can protect them way better than you can.

Be the parent that loves and cares for them through God’s wisdom. You don’t have to be mean to be strong. Just know that your children are watching. They are smarter than you think. They know right from wrong, and they know if you are doing all you can to be respectful in all your actions.

Taking the high road means turning it all over to God and letting Him direct your every thought, word, and deed. Pray that you can show the love of Christ in all situations. Be the adult in the room.

Seeing you taking the high road will show all those around you that Christ is working and living inside of you. It is a testimony to His goodness. He died for you. Can you take the high road for the good of everyone involved?

Pray today that you will have the strength and courage to treat the other person like God wants you to treat them.

Colossians 3:12-13

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Matthew 7:12

12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Psalms 15

15 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

If you would like another great free resource, enjoy the
available on the YouVersion Bible App.

Survive and Thrive: Day 6

st-thumbnail-title

Today continues a series of 7 daily posts that will allow you to Survive and Thrive in your divorce recovery process. It will be available on the YouVersion Bible App eventually, but I wanted to share it with all of you first. May it be the blessing I pray it needs to be for you.

I loved playing cards when I was young. I can remember playing my dad and beating him not long after he showed me a game. I guess that was when he decided to teach me a new game. He didn’t want me to beat him any more.

Does it seem like you’ve been dealt a bad hand of cards? It seems sometimes all you get are jokers and they are not even wild. When you thought you had a great hand, something happens. You play your cards and you still lose.

Truth is you are dealt some cards, and it is your job to play them to the best of your ability. A professional poker player can play horrible hands and make millions. It is all about how you play the cards that you hold right now.

In poker, you play until you run out of money or chips. Depending on how you manage your stack, you could play so many hands you will lose count. But what happens when you run out of chips?

Describing life and the ‘bad hands’ we get dealt in poker terms is easy. Yet, God wants you to know that you get many hands, many chances to learn, many opportunities to gain wisdom through the good times and the bad. Our job is to learn from them and not run out of chips.

I see our breath being the chips. We may get so close to 0 you play scared, and you play differently when you have a lot of breath (life) left. Sometimes you go ‘all-in’ and get down to your last breath.

If you run out of chips, guess what happens? God will give you His breath (chips) if you ask Him. He will keep you in the game with another hand, another chance to hit the jackpot.

Don’t think the only hand you get in life is the one you are holding. Play it the best you can and get ready for the next hand.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

1 Corinthians 9:24

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

1 Kings 17:14

14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’”

If you would like another great free resource, enjoy the
available on the YouVersion Bible App.

Survive and Thrive: Day 5

st-thumbnail-title

Today continues a series of 7 daily posts that will allow you to Survive and Thrive in your divorce recovery process. It will be available on the YouVersion Bible App eventually, but I wanted to share it with all of you first. May it be the blessing I pray it needs to be for you.

Family and friends mean well. Odds are they have been affected by divorce in some way, possibly going through it as well. But, your situation is as unique as you are.

It amazes me how many people will say “just get back in the saddle” and “I knew they were not good for you since the beginning”. Really, Professor? How do you know my situation? How many of my tears have you wiped away for me?

I know that friends and family can comfort you, but sometimes they lack real Godly wisdom that will give you the help you desperately need.

How many are willing to drag you to the bar or hook you up with their friend, but are unwilling to sit and pray with you? If another divorced person is helping you celebrate your divorce like you won the Super Bowl, that is a problem.

Especially at this time, don’t let others drag you down. Seek God and allow Him to bring you up to all He has for you. Pray, read His Word, and get rooted in a bible-preaching local church.

You need a counselor, pastor, or mentor outside of your family and friend network that can be brutally honest and impartial to help you process what is going on. I believe that your family and others need to be there to comfort and support you, but limit the advice you accept unless it is Godly wisdom brought forth in real love and truth.

Seek a divorce recovery group, like DivorceCare, that will allow you to meet others that are working through the process like you. The leaders will be a resource of understanding and wisdom that you can lean on, being impartial and up front with you. You can help others as they help you in a group setting. It allows you to help understand your specific situation.

Let your family be your family. Let your friends be your friends. Let your pastors, counselors, and group leaders be your wisdom providers. Let God fill in the gaps.

Proverbs 18:24

24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Titus 3:8

This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

Proverbs 11:14

14 Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

If you would like another great free resource, enjoy the
available on the YouVersion Bible App.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: