As many of you know I have been working with women for the last 14 years as a Pastoral Counselor. I took the last two years off to take care of my husband who is currently in skilled nursing where he is getting very good care.
As this broken world continues to spiral downward.. many of us are hurting and really could use some help. I have decided to return to the work I love and I am praying that the Lord will send me people to help as He has always done in the past. My own situation continues to be challenging but in the midst of it.. I need to pour out to others so that the Lord can use me as a wounded healer. I decided to post this in case anyone reading it needs to talk through whatever struggle they are having. I am posting this here and on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/aliciasroses/) You can message me on Facebook if you want to connect. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Pastoral Counseling is not therapy and it is not Spiritual Direction.. it may have components of both but it is truly counseling by the power of the Holy Spirit as He brings healing to the brokenhearted.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. ( Isaiah 61)
I like this word.. discernment. It is the ability to tell right from wrong.. truth from error. This is critically important in our present day culture. So many things that are not true are presented as facts.. everyone is an expert. We need wisdom so we can tell the truth from the lies..that is not always easy. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. What that means for us is that there is a source we can go to and we can seek the truth about everything.. if we really want to know it.
Sometimes it is easier to just read something in a book and believe it.. the problem is that it may not be true.. unless that book is the Bible. There are no errors in the Bible, but there are many books that claim they are interpreting scripture.. in reality they are misrepresenting it.. very troubling. Our only hope is to pray and seek clarity from the Lord .. to use the minds He has given us and to realize that His truth is not hidden from us. It is available if we seek it with our whole hearts, minds, and souls.. we need to desire it and to search for it and to make it important enough that we would die for it.
This is not a popular outlook in our narcissistic culture..we are constantly being sold a bill of goods. Our lives are to be filled with comfort.. remember anything goes.. don’t rock the boat or question things too deeply. You may cause division or create conflict if you stand up for what is right.. better to just roll over and be a peacemaker. There are times when there is no way to achieve peace.. relationships are messy and they don’t always end well. Life is complex and the road to the Kingdom is filled with potholes and traps.. we may fall if we are not careful.
So.. let’s be discerning people.. opening our eyes to the truth.. searching for it and believing that God is revealing it daily as we seek Him and His ways. Don’t blend in and don’t fit in.. stand up and speak out. Let’s pray for courage and strength in these times.. God knows we need it.
” When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13)
Today is Valentine’s Day. That means lots of things to people. Traditionally it is a day to celebrate romantic love between a man and a woman. There is nothing wrong with that.. in fact anything that brings people closer to each other and helps us rejoice in the blessings of a relationship that only God could create..can only be good.
There are times however, when it is difficult to celebrate on this day. I’ve had trouble with this holiday for years. I got married on Valentine’s Day 31 years ago and spent 17 years in a very difficult relationship that ended in 1999 with the death of my husband. After it was over, I really did not like this time of year much. There were too many memories that came to the surface because of the way my heart was broken over and over during those years.
Fast forward to 2013..Valentine’s day is here again. This year I am gong to celebrate with my husband of 10 years..the man that God brought into my life so I could start over and the man who has listened and prayed and comforted me over and over again. This is what God did. He took a very broken person and brought someone into her life so she could heal..someone who would never give up..someone who would always give and ask for nothing in return. I am blessed beyond measure..
God’s love for me is the reason that this has happened and He has that same love for every one of you. His heart is for you and His eyes are upon you. He knows your broken places and He will bring people to help you heal. You are not alone today.
From the heart of God to yours.. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Can you believe it? Today is May 11th and Mother’s Day is just around the corner. This year I am celebrating it with my mom on Sunday and with my daughter on Monday. For the first time ever.. I have peace in my heart about this holiday. God has done some deep healing between my mother and I over the last few months. Our relationship has changed and I have changed.. she has changed too!
Keep in mind that my Mom is 90 and I am ..well.. I am a grandmother. It is never too late..all things are possible with God. After a lifetime of confusion, disappointment, anger, and sorrow..things are good between us. We can talk about things and share our hearts.. honestly and openly. We are very different, but in some ways we are similar. Her physical deterioration and isolation seem to have done something deep inside her heart..God is reaching her..and He is reaching me in new ways.
Our mothers have a great role to play in our lives..some do it well and others do it poorly.. no one does it perfectly. Our mothers are human. They are learning and growing as their children grow up and it never stops. My own daughter has been a mother for almost 10 years and I see the way she is changing through the process of raising her children. She is a far better mother than I was. She is dedicated to her children and it is obvious they are thriving. I thank God for the way He redeems everything.
Happy Mother’s Day! May God bless you as you continue to seek Him.
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Even under the best of circumstances..this is true. Many of us lean toward the world of “happily ever after.” We wish that everything would go smoothly and turn out just right. We want to avoid the hard moments..the challenging conversations..the boundaries..we wish we never had to disappoint..we love harmony..we don’t like saying no..we want everyone ( including us) to be happy.
None of these things are possible in authentic relationships. When we are our true selves we will disappoint..we will have to confront..we will need to say no. We can’t meet all the needs of those we love or please them continually. If we try we become co-dependent and unhealthy. We can’t wait to meet perfect people in order to go deep realtionally..because there are none. We are imperfect and so is everyone else. All we can do is dive into the messiness..realize that there is no way around it. We can be grateful for those relationships that are easy and pleasurable and for those that are challenging and difficult.
Our only secure place relationally is in the arms of God. He is always the same..always able to love us and care for us..He won’t surprise us with rejection or judgment. He never turns on us or runs from us. In fact.. He is the opposite. He knows our faults and flaws and accepts us exactly as we are. He makes it easy for us. He is our refuge when people are just too much..when life is overwhelming. He is our hiding place. He is with us!
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
No.. I don’t like this word. In fact I would rather avoid it completely. Some of us are peacemakers by nature..confronting someone can seem like our worst nightmare. We don’t always see eye to eye with one another. There are times in life when we must say something knowing it will cause conflict or at least disagreement. So why bother?
Confrontation is necessary..for change and for growth. Confrontation is a biblical concept. When He was on earth, Jesus continually confronted people with the truth. He did not avoid difficult issues and He was not trying to please people. He brought truth into each and every situation..just read the stories in the gospels. He was not weak or fearful. He was not nice. He loved people too much to cover up the truth or fear hurting their feelings. So what does that have to do with us?
We are called upon to love in that same way. To be courageous and speak truth even when the reaction may be uncomfortable. God’s ways are counter intuitive to us. His priority in relationships is openness, authenticity, and honesty. Godly relationships have difficult moments. Someone’s feelings may get hurt..it an be messy. The alternative is phoniness and hiding. Neither of those things belong in the kingdom of God. He shines light into every dark place.
Confrontation is not a bad word. It can bring healing and restoration to broken relationships. Facing the truth and being willing to deal with it is often the first step in reconciliation. We have the Holy Spirit to help us as we navigate through our relationships. He will give us courage and wisdom. He will enable us..as we ask Him.. to speak the truth in love. If we take the risk of living this way we will experience deeper and richer relationships both with God and others.
” I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”