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Shame, The Tool Used To Silence

Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

“Don’t you ever come near my tribe again”

“The next time I see you…”

“You have delayed your season because of this”

“You’re the reason you’re all alone”

“You are so emotionally unstable…Look at how unstable you are” (After not getting a reaction out of me)

“You have such a victim mentality”

“No one will believe you, you did this to yourself”

These are just a few of the words spoken over me as I finally broke free. By the power of the Holy Spirit I did not fight back but rather, He had me speak a promise.. I would now speak against abuse within the church and help people heal from spiritual abuse.

These last words were a tool to manipulate and shame me into silence, The uncovering of true character and motives had been uncovered. Fruit had been exposed and it was rotten.

With a history of childhood trauma it was easy to believe the lies that were sown. Often abusers use things that you tell them in confidentiality and care as weapons later on. You see, these people knew I had just went through another miscarriage, my husband was deployed, and knew I had went through prior abuse within the church. They used they very things I had asked them to pray about and twisted fears and insecurities I had into what looked like truth.

I finally blocked every single person that had participated in this hurt and began to ask questions. Would He actually hurt me with my husband not home? How could a godly leader threaten me over accountability for their own actions? Was talking about my problems and asking for prayer about abuse I had suffered in the past, really a victim mentality? I am really alone right now. But I was just trying to set healthy boundaries. Was this really my fault? Where is Jesus in all this? Is this how God really feels about me?

The Anointing at Bethany is a well known testimony in the bible where Jesus was at the house of Lazarus, Martha was serving, and Mary took the pound of perfume, pure and expensive and anointed Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot had plenty to say:

“Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.”

-John 12:4-6 CSB

Judas criticized Mary’s extravagant worship to Jesus. Like many abusers He shamed because there as a hidden heart motive at play. He shamed her. But what was Jesus’ response to this?

Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” -John 12:8 CSB

Jesus spoke up for Mary. He wasn’t ashamed of her actions and He was not afraid to stand up for her when shame was thrown at her to make her feel belittled. He saw the heart of the matter.

I am not sure where you are in reading this, but I do want to let you know that if you have endured shame being thrown at you by an abuser to silence you, know Jesus’ first response is stand up for you. Spiritual abuse can be confusing because it is someone who is supposed to represent God’s character. We can often relate our abuser’s to God’s character. We can fall for the lies and shut up and shut down. I want to let you know today that no matter what was spoken over you, Jesus is not ashamed of you. His grace, His mercy, and love outweighs it all.

More To Chew On:

-The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18 CSB

-Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

 They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.

 They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
 Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.

You yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me. -Psalm 56:1-9 CSB

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. -2 Corinthians 1:3-5 CSB

Have a prayer request? I would love to pray for you. Click here.

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3 Book Recommendations For Those Battling Infertility And Have Endured Pregnancy Loss

One thing that has brought me great comfort is hearing of other people’s journeys through infertility and child loss. It often feels lonely and shame tries to wrap us so tightly as we attempt to navigate life from a place we never thought we would be in. After reading several books and devotionals over the past couple years, I wanted to share them all in one place for you to find. In hopes, that maybe you too, will have a safe place to ask questions, find comfort, and see you aren’t alone in this.

My Favorite Recommendation- Unexpecting By Rachel Lewis

I love this book for the sheer fact that you hear from both husbands and wives throughout the pages. This book made me realize that I was rushing through grief with busyness and not allowing myself to feel the weight of losing our children. It has great insight for those, like myself, who battle infertility and have had multiple child losses. Unexpecting is a masterpiece. Lewis covers many topics such as, questioning faith, mental health, caring for your body, understanding boundaries, parenting after loss, pregnancy after loss, and handling grief triggers. The author and stories of other women who have endured child loss are displayed throughout the pages with raw emotions and empathy. Unexpecting is broken up into four sections, Loss, Lament, Love, and Legacy. Each section ends with journal prompts. I cannot rave about this book enough. It introduced me to be able to hold space for my grief, understand my husbands perspective, and brought deep healing to my soul that desperately needed it. Unexpecting is a book I would recommend to anyone who is dealing with infertility or who has dealt with losing a child and/or multiple children through pregnancy loss.

My Favorite Devotional- Grieving The Child I Never Knew By Kathe Wunnenberg

Grieving The Child I never Knew was a devotional I picked up a couple months into grief. Kathe’s devotional(s) for each day are short but very thought provoking. Grieving The Child I Never Knew made me confront the children I truly lost and the unhealthy coping mechanisms I was using to avoid the pain. There are questions that are after each day that help you have self-awareness. From the cover to the pages filled inside are full of gentleness, wisdom, and healing. I would recommend this devotional to someone who wants to take small steps. The days are impactful but no overwhelming to someone who is either new to grief or like me, who had a very hard time with dealing with the actual impact of child loss.

My Favorite Book For Those Battling Infertility- Longing For Motherhood: Holding Onto Hope In The Midst of Childlessness- Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

Longing For Motherhood is one of the best books I have found on infertility so far. It was equally convicting as it was comforting. Oftentimes infertility and lack of motherhood can feel like an identity or an ailment. Chelsea talks about this with wisdom and elegance. She touches on the loneliness we can feel in longing for motherhood, the heartache that comes with motherlessness, and brings freedom and healing to those who may have been hurt by the church in the midst of infertility.  

A Gift From Me Let Love Be My Motive & Studio

I pray that each of these resources bring you hope and healing. I do want to add that here at Let Love Be My Motive, we also have been creating stickers, bookmarks, and other gifts for you. If you have lost a child or are battling infertility, you can email us at letlovebemymotive@gmail.com for a free gift or can browse our shop here.

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The Great Warning Of Apathy Through The Book of Jonah

I was reading the Book of Jonah this morning and Jonah’s heart posture stood out to me in greater measure than ever before.

(If you haven’t read the Book of Jonah, I encourage you to stop reading and go do so. This will help tremendously as you continue to read. )

What I came to see was that after Jonah had reluctantly obeyed God and after Jonah had been shown mercy, He had a really hard time dishing out to Ninevah what He has just been given. In fact, Jonah was angry at God for forgiving the people of Ninevah so much so He wanted to die. But, God came back with a question and I believe it is important for us to ask ourselves too.

We need to ask ourselves this question, do I have a right to be angry about this? Or is this what God has ordained?

We should never look at someone angrily because of a repentant heart. It doesn’t matter the weight of the sin, God looks at murder, gossip, and a white lie all the same. It is sin that needs to be forgiven. And truth be told, we all have fallen short and are in need of forgiveness.

You see, Jonah had became apathetic towards God’s own work-God’s people. We can learn from Jonah’s example that it is important to watch ourselves for pride or a biased expectation in the way we believe things should go. We must watch when we attempt to take place of God in judgment if we are not looking through the same heart of love God has for who He has created.

Rather, we should have an eagerness to willingly obey God and trust Him for whatever results obedience may bring. He desires no one to perish. We must look at everyone through eyes of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

If we cannot do this, we must check to see if our hearts have grown cold towards the very thing God loves most, His creation, His people.

When we are going through conflict we should remember these two things:

1. As God asked Jonah, do we have a right to angry about this? (See Jonah 4:4)

2. We also must remember the heart of the Father.

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalms 86:5 NKJV

Unlike the example of Jonah, let us willingly obey the Lord without reluctance or apprehension and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, give what God has delighted to give us.

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A Call To The Bride Of Christ: What To Be Watchful Of In This Season

As I have been praying and receiving more revelation from the Lord, He has been extremely adamant on The Body Of Christ repenting from a couple different things that reject His Authority.

1. Greed/Idolatry of Money

“No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:24 CSB

2. Gossip

For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and you may not find me to be what you want. Perhaps there will be quarreling, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.
2 Corinthians 12:20 CSB

3. Lack Of Teaching Of Sound Doctrine

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:3‭-‬4 CSB

Repentance is not a bad word. In fact, as we confess and come towards Him with boldness, we are able to recieve the grace & mercy that we need.

May we each purposely invite Holy Spirit in every day to take inventory of our hearts!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 CSB

See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalms 139:24 CSB

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When Simple Obedience Doesn’t Feel Purposeful

As I began to search the scriptures I saw how important not only hospitality is, but simple obedience. We often hear about the stories about miraculous healings and a lame man’s friends ripping off a roof to get to Jesus. But, what about day to day obedience? Does this really make a difference too? We are in a day in and age where there is a lot to be seen, which can make us question if what we are doing is truly important in retrospect to the kingdom of God. You know, changing the endless amount of diapers, being extra friendly to the cashier that seems to be a little moody, leaving a gift to your postal worker, and loving those who seem to hate you. Will these seemingly “little tasks” end up to be important to God?

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.” -Mark 14:12-16

I would like to challenge you to see that Jesus spoke two things that could be easily overlooked in today’s society…A man brought a jar of water to the city to meet the disciples and the owner of the house had an upper room readily available for them to use.

Simple Obedience.

I wonder what would have happened if either of them overlooked what God had asked them to do. Would there have been a last supper if the man thought it was silly to go to town with the jar of water? What if the man of the home did not feel like having guests? Would he have missed the Messiah?

Because of likes, follows, and social media platforms, comparison often creeps in to whisper the lie that day to day life is pointless. How could cleaning up crayons off the wall for the 3rd time this week possibly bring people closer to God? Instead, Holy Spirit see’s you raising up the next generation of an artist who likes to color outside the lines. We question, how could this conversation help this man who is homeless? Yet, the conversation you had with him birthed new hope to live another day.

Life often give us ‘take this jar of water to the city’ moments. I have come to find that there is such a great reward of intimacy with Abba through these tasks that aren’t glamorized and often overlooked. The next time the enemy whispers the “pointlessness” of where God has you, look back at the man with the jar of water who ushered in Jesus and the disciples to the last supper and remember the room the homeowner had prepared for them. Where God has you and what He asked you to do may seem simple, but in His eye’s it is of great importance. Let our heart beat for days of simple obedience. Let us yearn to not overlook the simple tasks that make an eternal difference.