Category Archives: Pain

Love does not dishonor…

1 Corinthians 13:5
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not dishonor others.  Love is not rude.

Love does not make fun of people.
It doesn’t call them names.
It doesn’t say ugly things about them.
Love does not embarrass and humiliate others.
Love accepts.  Unconditionally.

Love is not self-seeking.  

Love considers others.
It puts their needs first.
It lends a helping hand.
It gives a voice to the silent.
It walks for the weak.

Love is not easily angered.

Love finds joy in situations.
Love looks beyond mistakes.
Love seeks to encourage.
Love speaks calmly.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love wipes away the tally marks.
It doesn’t keep score.
It doesn’t seek to settle a debt.
Love forgives.

This kind of love is unnatural.  It’s difficult to look past the hurt and pain from the world around us.  We want others to suffer as we have.  We want justice.  God wants those things for us as well but He wants so much more than that.  He wants us to find peace, hope, faith, trust and love through Him.  He wants us to hand over our baggage and let Him carry it for us.  
  
Can you love others like God has loved?  I pray we all learn to love like that!
 

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Lack of Understanding…

This week in Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study, from the book, Greater, written by pastor Steven Furtick,  one of the choices of topic to write about was…

1.  For the Good. What are your thoughts on this week’s reflection verse?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV84

Initially, I avoided blogging for this week.  I just couldn’t bring myself to take the time to sit down and write out my thoughts.  My emotions and feelings have been a tangled mess.

27 innocent lives lost.
A 9 year old boy dead after a house fire.

It’s been daunting but I know the feelings I’ve had are nothing compared to the families of those in Connecticut or the mother of that little boy.

I’ve read and read again Romans 8:28 and it’s times like these that make that verse less understandable.

It’s God’s purpose for twenty young children to die?
It’s God’s will for a little boy to suffer?

I’ve watched interviews with some of the parents from Sandy Hook.  They have faith in God.  They believe in Him.  They rest assured their babies are with Him now.

They love God.

“In all things God works for the good of THOSE WHO LOVE HIM”

They LOVE HIM and yet they are left to suffer, tremendous pain, anguish, devastation.

And because I too, love Him, I search and dig, for a deeper understanding because my simple mind just cannot understand this verse when it comes to the tragedies and horror we face.

Then I read…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  Proverbs 3:5 


God gave us this verse because He knew we would not be able to understand.  His plan, His purpose is far grander than anything we could ever comprehend.  There is no explanation we could come up with to explain the good in any tragedy, especially when innocent children are involved.  

And yet…

We will see the good.  
We are already seeing it.

The parents are speaking out.  They are sharing how perfect their children were and how strong they were.  They are sharing their lives.  Without this, I would never have known of them.  I have had the privilege to learn about 27 people, their courage, their strength, their hopes and dreams.  I have seen their faces, prayed for them and poured out tears for their families.  My life has been changed because of them.  Maybe yours has too?!

And this boy, who went to school with my son, who got lost in the dark, overcome by the fire and perished too soon.  He leaves behind a sister, devastated that she couldn’t save her brother.  He leaves behind a mother, distraught that he’s gone.  He leaves a testimony of happiness, smiles, love and laughter.  I did not know him but all I have heard about him was what a joy he was and how he brightened everyone’s day.  What a blessing to hear his story, to learn about him and to give him a place in my heart.

Just as I can’t understand the reasons why these things happen, there were many things in my own life that left me with these same feelings.  Why was I abused?  Why did my father abandon me?  Why did I spend years filled with anger and depression, just waiting to die?  Why does God love me?  Why would He want to use me?  What good am I?

Even after spending most of my life asking those questions over and over, God has shown me time and time again that His plan is perfect.  Many times I planned my life, I chose my direction and yet, He continued to put stepping stones in my path that led me to a better place, a place filled with joy and light, a way out of the darkness.  Sure, there is still pain and a lack of understanding, but there is also faith, hope and love. 

“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”  Luke 1:79

I’m not meant to understand all the things of this earth but it is in Gods plan for me to accept Him, believe in Him and have faith.  I will continue to believe that there is a greater plan than the pain and heartache we see right now.  I have to.  

And that leaves me with…

“…I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

Not even senseless shootings, fires or our own simple minds and lack of understanding.



© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Choosing to Follow…


Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and love like You did
You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me a grateful leper at Your feet

Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours
For days now, these lyrics from Casting Crowns song, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, have replayed over and over in my head.  I can help but think of times when I cast the very stones that have been cast my way.  How sad is it that all too quickly, we move from being torn apart, shredded, destroyed and then at the first glimpse of righteousness, we take it all for granted?!  I am ashamed that I fell into that pit.
Today I pray to never forget where I’ve been, the pain I have felt, the fears that have overwhelmed me, the sight of so much, the evil of the world.  I pray that as God walks with me, He guides me with gentle reminders so that rather than casting stones, I can stretch out my arm to grasp hand in hand another lost soul, for that is where I was and somewhere along the lines, that is what someone did for me.
As much as I have prayed to escape the pain I’ve experienced, to hide from a world of hurt, and to have it all just go away, what worth would all my suffering have if I could not grow from it, use it to better myself, encourage others, and give all the glory to God for bringing me out of such darkness?
I have been reading a wonderful book by Renee Swope, “A Confident Heart”.  In her book, she says, “You can’t go back and change the circumstances or relationships that have wounded you, but you can go back and process the pain with Jesus.”  She also states, “God could use my mistakes and hurts for His greatest purposes if I would allow Him to change me through them”.
What a wonderful thought – God can use me and all my imperfections to glorify Him while at the same time, changing me … for the better!
And with that, let me lead into a topic I mentioned a few weeks ago.  You will see some changes coming.  I have felt over and over a direction for my life and and believe there is a path in which God is clearly leading me and I am choosing to follow.  My head is filled with questions, worries, fears, insecurities, etc. but my heart is filled with an ache for the Lord, a desire to know Him more and to follow His lead, His call for my life. 
In the weeks to come, this blog will merge into a new home.  The domain name will change but this one will link to the new site.  The colors will change as will the name.  I have enjoyed my last year as Morning Glory but I am the Imperfect Princess.  I have and will make mistakes.  I will have to apologize and occasionally admit I am wrong.  I will fail.  I will stumble.  I will fall.  I will say the wrong thing.  I will sometimes deal with things in the wrong way.  Through it all, He is next to me and the best part of it all is He forgives me.  He knows I am not perfect, never have been and never will be but He loves me anyway – I am His imperfect princess!
I pray that you all will follow me on this journey and that you will take away from here all that you need.  I pray that He speaks through me, straight to your hearts.  Please share my blog with others you think could benefit from it :)  My hope is that through this, He is using me and my life to help someone else.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

If all goes as expected (when I finally get the new site domain settled) the new site should be at www.theimperfectprincess.com .  I’m still working on the graphics, logo and such.  Please, be in prayer for me that the direction I am taking is the one I am suppose to take.  God has laid many things on my heart lately.  I pray He leads me and I continue to follow with an open heart, never forgetting the darkness He brought me out of and the Light He shines my way now!

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

God is love…even when we’re not!

How easy is it to disagree with that verse?  There are times when we’re angry with God because we feel there’s no way He could love us.  There are times when we feel hurt because it seems that God doesn’t care for us.  There are times we feel broken because we think God is punishing us.  If we have anger, hurt and brokenness that we feel is brought on by God, then how can He be a God of love?  Why does He allow pain and suffering in our lives?  Why does He cause us to hurt and suffer?

Those are all questions and thoughts I’ve faced many times throughout my life.  I suspect many of you have had those same questions.

God does not cause our pain and suffering.  The broken world we live in is unfortunately full of pain and suffering.  It’s part of being human.  Whether you choose to believe in God or not, you still experience pain and suffering the same.  God wants nothing more than for us to be filled with joy and peace.  It’s in those times of pain and suffering, when we call out to Him, that He hears us, wraps His arms around us and carries us through the brokenness, but we have to let Him.  He doesn’t force us.  He waits patiently, gently guiding us, placing stones in our paths to help us find our way.   He wants us to seek and find Him.

It is often difficult to show Christ-like love to people you feel have hurt you.  I have been quick to respond in anger and frustration many times, even especially with those I love the most.  I have said hurtful words and I have held grudges.  I have embraced bitterness.  I have welcomed anger.

It’s hard work breaking those habits.  I have to try really hard to think about what I say, how my reactions affect those around me, and asking that question…are my words and actions showing the love of Christ?  If they aren’t, maybe they aren’t worth saying and doing.  I don’t want to bring hurt and pain to others, so instead, I find myself much quieter than I use to be (many folks are probably very thankful for that, LOL!). 

That’s not to say that I don’t still struggle.  I do!  I have sleepless nights when I just can’t get people off my mind.  I replay over and over in my head the things I should say, the things I want to say and the things I shouldn’t say.  I debate with myself and God over my attitude, my actions, my thoughts and my feelings.  I struggle every day to find that peace God wants to give me.  Thankfully, life is much more peaceful now than it has ever been.

I think a lot most of my peace comes from His word.  Instead of being quick to speak, I am quick to turn to my Bible and see what God has to say about each particular issue I am facing that day.  Instead of acting in anger or frustration, I catch myself breathing and thinking, figuring out the best way to respond.  I don’t always get it right and there are many times when I still just want to shout to the top of my lungs my thoughts but I am slowly learning to change my ways.

Will you show the love of Christ to those you encounter today?  Will they feel His presence through your words and actions?  Will you embrace the love He wants to give you even in times of pain and suffering?

It’s through those experiences that have brought me to my knees, that have left me empty and hopeless, that have crippled my spirit, that I have come to where I am.  It’s through my brokenness that I have found true peace.  It’s through the darkness that I have found the light.  Through my pain and suffering, I have learned to live.  Before, I wasn’t living .. I was waiting to die.  Now, I am truly living, with a purpose, called to share the glory and grace that God has shared with me. 

Psalm 71:20-21  Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com

Forgiven…

For years, I felt like I was nothing.  I doubted God’s love for me.  I turned away from Him.  I was angry with God.  I felt abandoned by Him.  I felt unworthy.  I felt worthless.  I had no hope.  I had all these “feelings” and yet for the most part, I couldn’t feel anything.  I was numb.

I lived in darkness.

I tried to read my Bible – I physically saw the words on the page but they just weren’t reaching me.  I put away my Bible, time and time again.  I was convinced God just wasn’t for me.  How could He love someone like me?  Why would He waste His love on me?  Why would He bother with me when I was just broken and bitter?

Darkness is crippling.  
Darkness is scary.
Darkness is like sitting on the edge of death without the ability to just die.

Many emotions, thoughts and memories haunted my mind.  I hated the thought of facing another day.  I lived without hope.  I ached for freedom from this life.

I prayed for an escape.  I prayed for the pain to go away.  I prayed for peace.  With every prayer, I really thought God would give me the strength to end it all.  He answered my prayers, but not at all in the way I ever would have imagined.

He cleansed me.
He washed away my pain.
He wiped away my tears.
He held me in His arms.
He assured me of His love.
He promised me a future.
He gave me hope. 

He forgave me.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

————————————————————————————————————————–
When I don’t fit in
And I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ

‘Cause I’m forgiven
Oh, I’m forgiven
I don’t have to carry the weight on who I’ve been
‘Cause I’m forgiven 

Sanctus Real – Forgiven   (official video here) (Sanctus Real website here)
————————————————————————————————————————– 

I am a treasure in the arms of Christ?!  What a wonderful thought!  What a blessing!  I never imagined I could be anything even close to a treasure, much less to God.  He has given me the wisdom to seek Him, the ability to trust Him, and desire to share with others, the work He has done in my life.  He has given me peace.

Psalm 34:17-19  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;  He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Philippians 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 29:11  The Lord gives strength to his people;  the Lord blesses his people with peace.

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you;  my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you.

John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have over come the world.”

© The Imperfect Princess at theimperfectprincess.com