Move on – forgiveness is the key

don't waste your time looking back on what you've lost move on

I saw this sticker today and I knew God was talking to me. When we hit a rock bottom in our marriage and I wasn’t sure if we would ever get back together, I though it was the hardest thing in my life. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than that except death. At the moment I was preparing myself to get divorced God stepped into and spoke His word. And that word changed everything over night. I knew the only way to go was obedience. That’s simply my heart. I love God and when He speaks I will follow.

I thought surely people around me would be happy about our restoration and about my decision. Many of them were, but not everyone. That decision cost me a lot. Things which mattered the most to me suddenly were closed because of this decision. Some long lasted friendships ended because of this. My dreams and things where I had given my last 10 years and my carrier didn’t exist to me anymore. I felt the bottom of my life was suddenly disappeared. I thought I had focus, but suddenly I was wondering aimlessly. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was happy God finally spoke into my situation, but the price felt so huge, almost impossible to pay. I couldn’t understand it. At the moment I the most needed a friend to walk with me, I didn’t have the best one anymore. The pain was unbearable but I couldn’t do anything. I knew God spoke to stay with my husband and He showed there would be a blessing in that. I had learned God will never abandon and He surely is trustworthy, but those didn’t take my pain away. The lost was huge and even though I did have some other friends, they weren’t as close as the best one.

I do realize there are perhaps other things I don’t know about that caused this situation. This is my part of the story and my focus is not put anyone down. The main thing isn’t who or what, but how did I go through it (and still am going) and what God did and is doing. :o)

It has taken for awhile to get my balance back and see that there is the future in Christ. It doesn’t help me at all if I keep looking back and grieving about what I have lost. That is gone and won’t come back. I still don’t understand, but rather than looking back I have decided to keep walking and focus at this moment, NOW. My life will continue and it’s not depending on people, but God. I would love to have everything, but as one friend said I am happy I have followed God and saved my marriage and my family. That alone is a blessing. If I keep looking back on the things I have lost, I won’t see things I have gained. By doing that I will loose this moment, my now and all good what it’s bringing now. It’s time to grieve, but then it’s time to let it go. It doesn’t mean I won’t have hard days and hard moments still. But even though I do have them I choose to keep walking.

images-40Forgiveness is a great key to let go of the past. It’s amazing thing, but it’s the progress where I have to deal my heart again and again. Every time I face something which reminds me about my past, I choose to forgive and let go of it. It’s not always easy, but it’s my choice. I know there are greater things before me because that is the promise of God. For everyone of us. It doesn’t matter what has happened in my life or in your life, that is what God speaks over us. His way is always from glory to glory. And the key is forgiveness. Just let you past go and see what God will have for you now and in the future.

I’m looking forward new things. It’s like a sunrise after long dark winter in Finland. It’s bright and brings joy and colors whit it.

kuva

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Five Minutes Friday: SMALL

It’s Friday night and time to join with FMF to write. More details are here. The prompt today is SMALL. There is so much to say about this little word, but I can’t say all in five minutes. Here it goes…

SMALL

I met one friend today and we talked about my life. I told her how hard last few months have been and how I hit a rock bottom. How I felt some people betrayed me. She asked some questions and I answered. Then she took a white board pen and started to draw something. When she was ready she asked “Are you ready to hear one question? It isn’t an easy question, but I really want you to think of it.” I nodded my head.

Is there anything you would like to thank for those people?

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In one moment that small question changed my whole viewpoint. This small question took my focus from what had been done to me into all good what had been brought into my life by those people. Just few words and how powerful they were. Those words were like a big hand which lifted me up from one place and moved me into another. It shifted my whole view. Things which mattered few minutes ago, didn’t really matter anymore. I started to see things via God’s eyes, not via my own. I realized there is always a bigger picture no matter what will happen in my life. God is always faithful and trustworthy. Every season in my life brings something good and something to be grateful for. And whatever happens nobody can take those away from me.

Just a small question and so powerful.

Stop

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Every change brings a shift – smaller or bigger

DSC09795I’m packing boxes and thinking. These are not boxes of my own this time, but for other people to send their stuff after them. This work is very familiar. During my life we have moved countless times before kids and with them. I have also helped people to move, wrapping their stuff into boxes, packing their furniture and move them from one place to another. I have helped some churches to move. I have been part of founding them. And not just physically but also on the paper. And I have also been the one to shut them down. I should probably run a business like this by now. But I don’t and probably won’t.

Every move shifts something in our lives. Something will always end with the move. And something new will start. Even if you don’t move too far from the place you are living. It just happens. With the move, some doors will close and others will open. These boxes I’m packing now indicates a total shift for me. Everything shifted by our move and by these boxes. It feels like my ‘old’ life ended and my ‘new’ life started. For most of the people around me it all looks the same. But it isn’t. Everything has shifted even though the location changed only 4 kilometers. It all shifted in the realm not seen.

One friend used to say ‘to really see you have to change your position sometimes’. I thought I knew what it meant, but now I at least know more than I used to know. My eyes have opened totally and what I’m seeing is Life before me. Just few months ago, all I was focused on was everything else than Jesus. I thought it was all about Jesus, but now I realize it was still about ministry, me, my destiny, my call and my future. My focus and my effort were for all that. I didn’t see it and my intention was to serve God.

Truth is that all that comes before God is an idol. If it’s a program or ministry or what do I get from this or how this will open the door for me or is this going to take me into my future, it’s an idol. Behind those thoughts is me, not God. If I put all my trust on Him and I really live in Him trusting that He will do  all good for me because I love Him, I don’t have to worry about my future, my destiny, my tomorrow. Those all are in Him and under His control.

The more I’m packing, the more I’m getting free. Yes, I’m having tears in my eyes on some days. The last season was full of great things and experiences. It was full of many things I had dreamed about. It had a hope of the open door in it. And especially it had a friendship I never thought I would lose. I do go through emotions, but that’s human side of me. Alongside of my sad emotions I have joy and peace. I know I’m exactly where I suppose to be. I’m in the right place and in this right place I know God is with me. I don’t have anything to show to anybody. I was part of the ministry. I was a leader. I was a teacher. I was a chair man. That’s all gone and I am not that anymore. Any of it. But there is freedom to be me. Those things used to define me. I tried so hard to be all that and more feeling always I wasn’t quite enough to be any of them. Not that it was said to me. It was this internal feeling inside of me, which forced me to try more and to strive. Now I have to learn to be me. I have to find what means to walk through every day life without any props to prove anything to anybody. I know it’s very good place to be, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, it’s actually the best place to be with the Lord. And there is freedom to meet new people. And let them know me, not me as a minister, as a leader or as anything else. I see richness in it. It’s not always clear and sunny, but I see Life.

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On the other day one friend said to me. “I see how you are growing as a leader.” Those words hit me a little bit later when I was thinking something else. She knows my situation and she wasn’t saying it at all to make me feel good. She knows I’m not a leader of anything right now. But what she said to me was about my nature. It was something greater than I have heard in awhile. And it did make me smile. God is doing His work in me and for that I don’t need anything else than Him.

Some thought for today. If there is change going on your life, just know God is there with you. Trust Him and don’t be afraid. I keep hearing “go with the flow”. And I believe it’s for you as well as it is for me now.

Five Minute Friday: Visit

Every Friday (I know it’s Saturday and I’m late) this writing community gathers at Lisa Jo Baker’s place.  Everyone writes without editing for five minutes about one prompt. You can click here and see more info. Welcome and join into this awesome group of writers. Write and you will be encouraged and you will grow as a writer. This Friday the prompt is

VISIT

Go.

I have always loved visits of my friends. When we lived in the small town, we never called and made any schedules when to visit. We didn’t make big plans but just stopped by and sat and ate together. Sometimes there were many of us, sometimes just few.  Sometimes we shared and had deep talks, sometime it was more cooking, relaxing and having fun.

In the summer time when there was a midnight sun and night felt like a day, we stayed until morning and just talked, shared and relaxed. It was so empowering and full of life. Somehow we made through the next day at work never feeling tired.

I don’t know when or why but over years all have changed. We moved into the big city, capital, and a style of living was totally different.  If we wanted to visit, we had to make a plan. It wasn’t stopping by. Sometimes we tried, but either people weren’t’ home or it wasn’t good timing for them. In a hard way we learned a lesson and stopped doing it.

I like to make plans, but more than that I am empowered by surprising visits of friends. In them there is no expectations and it just goes with the flow and with the moment. There is flexibility in those moments.  I miss those ‘old’ days and I think it still should be like that.

Stop.

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Beauty of the Journey – it will get brighter

I’m driving to work almost every weekday. It has been this same road since August 2012. It’s 37 km to drive and mostly I’m just driving and thinking or listening something. This time of the year mornings are still dark and only things you can see are lights of other cars. By the time I have been getting off it has been twilight. But this week has finally been different. The sun has been up, sky has been clear of clouds, there is finally little bit snow on the ground and daytime is hour longer than SONY DSCit was month ago. Believe me, in Finland it makes a big different at this time of the year. 

Today while I was driving and view was phenomenal, I was thinking my own life. It has been dark, very dark lately. Mornings have been hard to get up, not just because of darkness, but because of heaviness I have felt. It’s easy to choose to start things new and it’s easy to say this year will be different than last year. And it will and already is. Totally. But change doesn’t immediately take away all you have gone through in life. Some things have to be dealt before lightness really comes.

SONY DSCWhen I was looking those remarkably beautiful frosty trees I was thinking how much I have beauty in my life. Yes, things has happened and they have hurt and tried to hurt me deeply, but there is still so many wonderful and beautiful things in my life which I just ignore too often. I could drive whole 37 km to home without seeing any of those trees OR I can drive and enjoy the beauty of my journey. I can see all variations of white and green in different lights. The more I see and recognize it, the more it blesses me and brings me joy. And that happens in my life too. I can ignore all goodness or I can see it and let it bring me joy. Life is multidimensional and even if I’m going through hard times I can enjoy my life and I can have joy and peace.

Too many times we forget this secret of life. And sometimes I personally want to forget it. Sometimes it would be so much easier just let it all go and just wallow in my own pain and circumstances. But then I would miss all the beauty. It is there whether I see it or not. It changes every day as this road I’m driving. It’s never the same. Everyday light makes it different depending on many little factors. One day can be cloudy and next day so bright that you need sunglasses. It can be snowing when I leave and before I get home sky can be clear and sun is shining. Everyday there is something beautiful if I just keep my eyes open. And whatever I go through in my life, I know God is with me and for me and His word is true and everlasting. His promise is that we go from glory to glory and all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according of His purpose. This is just a journey. I haven’t arrived and won’t in this time. But if my focus is on the end I will miss whole journey which is full of life with all kind of flavours. I have missed too much because my focus has been too far and because of trying to be something I wasn’t meant to. I thought I had it all figured out, but we don’t. God is God and we are human. Finding that place in Him as human brings me joy and peace and then I can enjoy my journey. I wish you can too.

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Five Minute Friday: FIGHT

I heard about this blog challenge awhile back. I felt I wasn’t good enough to link my post here, but last year pushed me against the wall and I’ve realized I have only this one life to try different things and to stretch myself. I’m happy Lisa-Jo Baker started Five Minute Fridays again and when I saw it, I decided to jump in. So here it is.

GO

I have been fighting a battle in my life. And now I’m just realizing I haven’t always fought the right fight. I have given years and years for a dream and for a vision which I did believe was the right one. I am not saying it wasn’t important, but I do realize now that I almost lost everything else beside of it.

I thought that because God is suppose to be The One in our life, then everything about God should be number one too. And after Him comes rest of my life. It’s religious, but I realize my life has gone that way. I almost lost my marriage because of this mindset. I went so far out there to follow a vision I believed God gave me, that finally He had to stop me and bring me back into Him. Not into the vision, not into the picture about Him, but back into Him to really see what’s important in this life.

Sometimes we just think life is black and white, when it’s all these colors. There is fight to fight in our lives, but it’s the best for us if we pick the right one.

STOP

I have to admit I couldn’t get out all I was thinking, but because of rules I will not add or edit this. I also didn’t rewrite it even I was really prompted to do that. This is very good challenge for my English, but I do love challenges. 

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Reality – my life isn’t perfect

I haven’t been writing in English lately. I have focused on writing in Finnish and if you can read it, you will find it here.

images-47For the last six or seven months in my life, there have been many ups and downs. I have to say, it’s been mostly downs for me. I hit rock bottom in my personal life last spring. Unfortunately it stopped me right in my tracks. Day by day, I lost myself in guilt and discouragement. But what the enemy means for evil, God will turn for good. It doesn’t mean I won’t go through rough times. It means that I’m not alone when I go through them. When I am going through these times, which voice will I listen to? Do I listen to all the lies of the enemy or to the word of Truth from the Lord? Unfortunately, I did listen to lies. I did let my emotion take over. 

My emotions and feelings felt like quick sand. There was no firm foundation underneath my feet. The more I moved, the deeper I sank. The more I appeared to be drowning, the more I focused on myself and my own situation. Life seemed impossible. I simply do anything to help myself. Yet, I tried so hard that it was killing me.

We have everything we need in Christ, yet we are human and many times we react as human beings do. In my past, I tried to be the perfect woman, wife, and mother in a religious way. I had to be up, positive, and always victorious, regardless of what I felt inside of me. I didn’t feel free to be myself, to show my real feelings and doubts. I was hiding behind that perfect facade and people around me didn’t really know me and what I was going through. I have to say I didn’t really know myself.

My perfect facade broke down and I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to be real and admit that my life wasn’t perfect as I wanted to believe. I faced the reality of my humanness. I am not created to be perfect. During those months of pain I became Me, not anybody else.

Up to this day, life is not always easy, but I have to say I’m grateful for all I have walked through and will continue to walk through. I am grateful to God that He opened my eyes to see my reality, clearly. I’m also grateful that I have friends, not many, who stuck with me. They have encouraged me, listened to me and challenged me to keep walking each new day. More coming……