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

Five Minute Friday: Write

It’s Friday again and time for a FMF. Learn more about it here. Today’s prompt is

WRITE

I love to write. I have been writing since I was a child. Writing was my way to process different things in my life. It was IMG_4529the way to see what I was really thinking. And it still is. Sometimes I just let my fingers write letters. And those letters are forming words and words are forming sentences. And the more I’m reading what my fingers are writing the more I see what’s in me. And what God is speaking to me through my words.

Writing is like pealing an onion. I start from one place and I don’t always know where I am going to end up. When I’m writing I’m following the path I don’t always know before hand. It excites me and brings me joy. I don’t make plans how to write and I don’t have a target. I have thoughts and those thoughts are living their own life.

Writing is a gift. And it’s a gift everyone has. It’s not a privilege for few but it’s for everyone. It’s a way to communicate and express ourselves. It’s a way to tell stories and capture and save memories. It’s a way to come together and share.

Everyone can learn to write and can grow in it. It takes some courage to just jump and write. But it’s worth it.

Click here to read what others have to say about “Write“.

Five Minute Friday: Hero

It’s Friday and time for Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday prompt. I’m happy to be part of this wonderful group of writers who writes every Friday only 5 minutes about one given prompt without editing. The rule is that after publishing you just go and read what others have posted before you and encourage them.

And here it GOes…

HERO

I see this little shy girl. She was too shy to talk to anybody but family members. She was determined and she knew what she wanted, but she didn’t make a number of herself. Her preschool teacher told me she didn’t want to push her to step out if she wasn’t ready. The teacher wasn’t sure how far to encourage her without pushing her.

I thought she would be the one who wouldn’t fly too far out from the nest. That she would be the one to stay close and choose a safe way. That she would never really take risks but go in the middle. She wouldn’t rock the boat, but still live a wonderful and full life.

But she is the forerunner. Yes, she is the firstborn, but that’s not the reason. What she has gone through at her young age, has brought out strength and perseverance. She has a courage to chase her dreams.  She was the one who spent five weeks alone overseas in a  family she didn’t know and who didn’t speak her native language, when she was only 15.  After that she has travelled, stepped out, tried new things again and again. She is still young, only 20, but it seems the world is her home and she is not afraid to face new challenges and new nations, languages and circumstances. I’m very proud of her and I can see where ever she is going to settle down one day, she is going to do it by choice, not by fear.

STOP

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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.

Click here to read what others have to say about “Visit“.

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Time to go forward, but one glance over the past

In the beginning of the last year, 2013, I knew 2014 would bring a shift into my life. I didn’t know what would it be, but I knew it was coming. I had high hopes. There have been promises I have waited for so long and I was hoping that finally something would manifest in my life. But I didn’t know what year 2013 was going to bring with it and didn’t have a clue what kind of shift was waiting for me.

I have been married 26 years and all those years my husband has had an addiction. There wasn’t any third person between us, but this addiction was. I didn’t know it when we got married, but one day it was revealed and it hurt deeply. And it kept hurting me all years. You may ask why did I stay? Well, good question and I am not happy to say that reason was religion. I was taught that divorce is one of those mortal sins. I also made a vow when I was 17 that I would never divorce in my life. I wouldn’t let that happen to my children what had happen to me. When this addiction was revealed I was pregnant and I felt I was forced to stay. I didn’t have any way out. To stay wasn’t my choice, because I didn’t feel I had any options. I was ashamed to tell that to anybody. I felt I was in the prison.

I tried to ignore it. I tried to be a good Christian wife. We talked and argued about our relationship. There was no trust, just hurt and pain. He tried to cure himself and find some help, but it seemed nobody was either willing or able to help. And I wasn’t any better. My attitude was terrible. I still felt I didn’t have any other option so I took it all on him. I had a sharp tongue and unfortunately I also used it a lot. Hurt in me caused me to hurt him. I wasn’t happy and joyful, so I didn’t want him to be either.

During the years I started to know God’s love and grace and it took place of judgment and fire of hell in me. I realized that God wasn’t as I was taught. He was loving and He had good thoughts about me and He would never abandon me. On the time I was getting rid of religion we also hit a rock bottom. And because I knew God now I was ready to separate without any condemnation. Children were still quite young on that time, so we after long talk decided to stay together, but he promised to seek help.

Years went by, he wasn’t free and year ago we hit a rock bottom even harder than before. On the last spring 2013 he moved out and I stayed with almost grown-up children. We talked all through with them and together and I personally felt there wasn’t any other way to go than that. No promises anymore. No empty words anymore. In me there was nothing left to trust or hope. Staying wasn’t an option, but separating didn’t feel good either. I was overwhelmed by feelings like failure, shame, quilt. It brought ‘what ifs’, regret, which was deep. I started to think I was the reason for everything. What if I caused all this and his addiction and all troubles I was going through. What if I never got married? Was I truly so blind in the first place that I didn’t see or did I see, but ignored? I didn’t even know who I was. And even thought I knew God’s Grace I wasn’t sure if God really would stay with me and accept me if I took one more step and got divorced.

Some people around me were saying that I still had to give a chance for him. Others said that I should finally start to live my own life and be free from all pain and hurt and from him. I didn’t know who to listen and even God was silent. I cried, prayed, asked, begged the answer from Him, but didn’t hear anything. Other people were ready to speak into my life what they felt God was saying. I didn’t hear anything. So I started to listen and believe what they said and started to move toward divorce. On the fall I started to deal that in my heart and cut all off which was about him. We took three months when we didn’t talk or see hardly at all. It felt good and I felt I was free. During these three months we had quite great water damage in our apartment from above. Because of it there was great repairs coming and we weren’t able to stay there on the same time. We had to start to look other apartment but it wasn’t easy to find.
And we were in a hurry. We had to move as fast as possible so that they were able to fix all.

Suddenly there was this one amazing apartment in front of us. Big, but reasonable. Good location. Only thing was that I wasn’t able to rent that all by myself. There were two options: take this apartment and move back together OR move into something smaller we had with kids. (We already had too small apartment.) One friend asked me how it was possible that I changed my opinion over night. It was all God. I was getting ready to divorce and move on, but God stopped me. He brought this amazing apartment in front of us and asked if I would trust Him and give Him this year. He had been silent until this moment, but now He asked me to trust Him and have faith on Him. He reminded me that He told me in the end of 2012 this:

chosen 2

So after this encounter with God I made a choice. I chose to trust Him, not man. I chose to put my faith on Him, neither on me nor on my husband. I simply made a choice to follow God and it meant going into this apartment and giving Him a chance. God asked me to see my husband as He sees him, not through my pain and hurt. Just to see him. God didn’t ask me to trust my husband. Just to see him as God sees and keep seeing that way.

With this decision I lost some friends, very good friends. I also lost a dream I thought was ready to take off. It was a price of my choice to follow God. Judgment and condemnation were there again. This time because I chose to build, not to destroy. It took me through pain and hurt again. I can only say that last year was one of the hardest years in my life. I think it was the hardest. Constant pain, hurt, rejection, condemnation, judgment was always there where ever I turned. Shame and quilt was next to me reminding about my mistakes and causing me to regret so many decisions in my life. But it also brought out me. In the end I realized that no matter what I do there will always be those who stay with me and those who won’t. I can’t count on people, not even friends, when it’s about my life, which I’m living. Only those who stay with me through ups and downs and really love me can really speak into my life.

In the end of year 2013 and beginning of this year I realized that all I had was shifted. Everything. My life wasn’t the same anymore. And that brought me peace and joy. I knew all would be great with God. We are still living a short of separation in separated rooms, but taking care of all together. There is peace in the house and we both are ourselves putting trust on God. We are not perfect, but human loved by God. We are building little by little. This is only thing, which is left. And actually even this has shifted. It’s a new year and it brought us into a new place, literally.

Forgive me this was so long. Most of you my readers and followers don’t know me, so I decided to write this to sum up where I’m coming from. It’s all past and I will continue only with the present and the future. It was the hard year and it didn’t dramatically change better on the New Year. There are still days of pain and hurt, but there are also days of joy and peace, which I didn’t have last year. I’m thankful. This is my life and I have learned it’s the best to live my life, not anybody else’s. It’s the best go on with my own expectations, not with anybody else’s.

Go with the flow

go with the flowLately I have been feeling like I am hitting the wall and can’t get through it. I have tried my best and yet I’m hitting this wall. God led me on this path, so how come I can’t keep walking? What’s wrong with me? So I kept trying and pushing and trying to press through and only getting more tired and frustrated but the wall was still there. Sometimes as humans we are like that. God leads us unto the path and we in our mind think it’s for us forever. But trust me, it’s not.

So am I saying that God who called you unto one path has changed His mind when He leads you unto another path? No, that is not what I mean. God doesn’t change His mind randomly. His is faithful and trustworthy, but His ways are not our ways. We as humans like to make everything firm and stable, but that’s not God’s nature. He wants us to walk with Him and follow Him, not assuming anything, but going as He leads and trusting Him.

Back to my own life. Couple years ago I started blogging in Finnish first. After one year God spoke clearly that it was time to switch from Finnish to English. In my mind I felt I had arrived. What I mean by that? I though that was the destiny of my blog. Now I would only write in English and would only grow in that. Hmmm…. it would had been my way. But not God’s.

So I was hitting this wall with my writing. I didn’t feel there was any flow in my writing and it was work rather than joy to do. Finally after me hitting this wall awhile God was able to speak to me. Why? Because I have learned to turn to Him when something doesn’t work. I’m not trying by myself too long anymore. I used to do that. If God spoke about one thing and later on the path I felt things didn’t go well, I kept pressing and pressing. I was firm it was my fault that things didn’t go well or didn’t flow, but I tried my best to fix things and to get them flow again.

So what did God say then? He said it was time to start writing in Finnish. What?? My first question was “What did I do wrong? Did I fail and now I am back to square one? Why?” I am grateful that I have learned to know God’s grace. Even I had those thoughts I wasn’t under quilt or condemnation. I was simply asking and God started to reveal Himself again.

When we are in Christ there is flow in Him. When I am walking with Him in this life, I’m moving as He is moving. If I try to keep walking where He is not going, I will hit this wall and there is no flow. I by myself and by my own effort will try to get things flowing and try to get through this wall. But it’s impossible for without Christ I can do nothing. I heard these words “Go with the flow in Me”. When I received His word for me and I accepted this change He is doing in my life, in that moment I got my joy back and my passion back. We have these own hopes and wishes and dreams about our lives and calls in Christ, but sometimes we just can’t figure the path out. We think we can. We think we know the whole picture and we are so smart that we are able to do it all. But we aren’t. We are depending on Him and only Him. And I have to say I rather yield and submit to Christ and walk on His path with passion and joy, than try to follow that old path by myself even it seems more what I hoped for.

When I submitted myself and put my trust on God, He was able to show me more His love toward me and why He is leading me on this path. It’s not the same path, though in my mind it was. In my mind I was going backward  to writing in Finnish. But in God’s mind I was going forward. Do you see the difference? Although we think God is leading us back into something we did before, it’s not quite that. Sometimes there is a purpose to do things again, but not always. God’s timing is different than ours. And His timing is perfect. Before writing in Finnish was learning process for me. Now focus is different and it’s time to let Finnish people to hear the sound of Grace in Finnish.

I will occasionally write in English so the best way to know about new posts is to follow this blog. I will start the other one for the Finnish blog. I will let you know more about it later.

The best thing in this life is to go with the flow in Christ. There is Life and Joy and Peace for He is all that and more.

Movement in Grace

The_Movement_by_tonyeliehI will use this verse again.

Matthew 11:28-30        28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me– watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill- fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (The Message)

This verse is becoming more Life to me every time I read it. It says so much. For awhile I have felt that some people who preach about God’s Grace make me feel like there is nothing for me to do anymore. That I will just go about the life and everything will come to me just when I need it. That I am just going to enjoy all blessings and lay on the air mattress like in the lazy river in the water park. Simply doing nothing.

I’m not saying I have to do something to earn something from God or to prove anything for Him. No, that’s not what I try to say. Yes, Christ Jesus did it all and it’s called finished work of the Cross where we can’t add anything into that. But I still believe we are created to move and walk in Christ and grow in Him and learn from Him. It’s called relationship where we walk with Him and work with Him as He leads, not as we think He may want us to work. Or not as I would love to work and walk. In this relationship it’s not about me, but about Jesus Christ. He says “walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.”

Sometimes I think so many of us have been burned out and worn out on religion and dead works so much that now we go to the other end and we don’t let anything set any kind of lines for us. Even well meaning guidelines are like a red cloak for bull. We are so afraid that someone puts a yoke upon us and leads us under bondage again.

Just thinking of one seed put into the field. There is constant movement going on when that seed takes moisture into itself from ground and starts to break a shell. How roots start to grow and finally seed starts to grow up and toward the sun. I’m not a farmer, but just thinking the process. That doesn’t happen without any movement. Or when spring comes after winter, all branches suddenly get hit by the sun and warmness it brings. There is movement when they start to grow and if you put your camera to take pictures in the chain you could see that movement. It’s life!

Jesus said also in John 15: 4-5    4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5” I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. (The Message)

Again He says make your home in me, abide in me. In Him we will have this movement and grow and mature and bear fruit. It’s not of ourselves. We can’t produce anything from us. But we are not dead branches in Him. We are full of life, His Life, and life stays never still. Jesus was never still and put. He moved as Father led Him. And now we are in Him and He is living in us. So even everything is done for us and given freely for us without any effort from our part, there is still movement in grace in Jesus Christ which we need to learn.