With These Broken Wings

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I do not respond well to rude or arrogant men. I do not respond well to anything that I interpret as rude, arrogant or controlling especially if it’s a man that displays it. I am not a man hater, nor am I a feminazi. My reactions stem from my experiences with men who repeatedly did not act as a man should.

I grew up with a single mom. My biological father abandoned us when I was only two. When I was three years old, my mother married the man I called “daddy”. For four years I felt the most love and security I have ever known. God blessed me with a man who chose to raise me as his own child even though we had no genetic ties. I firmly believe it’s the reason I love so many children as as if they were my flesh and blood. But my daddy died. And I spent the remainder of my childhood and teenage years being raised by a single mom.

I grew up around alcoholics and abusive men. One of these men screamed at me so much that I vomited. Another took me into a room, turned the lights off and started yelling just to scare me because he knew I was afraid of the dark. I never had a male teacher that I liked or respected. To this day I struggle with male authority because I am simply inexperienced with it.

After my daddy died I longed to feel loved and secure again. My mom did her best and she worked hard to provide for us. I know she loved me and she made a lot of sacrifices for me. She’s the reason I have the strength to persevere through the trials I face as a single mom. But she couldn’t replace the love I lost. She couldn’t give me the amount of love two parents give. After all, that’s humanly impossible. So when I became a teenager I chased after that love through boys and dating relationships.

Most boys I had crushes on didn’t give me the time of day. The ones who did tended to be trouble with a capital T. My senior year, I was blessed to meet a young man who became my boyfriend all through college. He was funny, kind, loving and very protective. He definitely seem to be the answer to what I had been missing. But we were young, immature and hadn’t the first clue on how to make a relationship work. Our relationship eventually ended based on the decision that we were better off friends than in a romantic relationship. When it ended, the void began again.

Over the next few years I found myself drawn to men who had zero desire of settling down and making an actual commitment. They were mostly looking for a woman who wanted to party in various forms. Time and time again I was left disappointed and feeling undesirable. Yet I kept chasing after this desire to be chosen. I defined my self worth based on whether a man would choose me or not. Because I was rarely chosen, I convinced myself I had no value.

Since that college relationship, I’ve had two other long term relationships. One produced my two children. The other occurred a few years ago. Neither filled the void, made me feel loved or protected. Both brought more insecurity than I was able to handle. One was dangerously toxic and consisted of years of being emotionally torn down. The other should’ve never happened because I was incredibly broken and hadn’t even begun healing from the first one. A bird who tries to fly again with broken wings only ends up hurting itself more. That’s exactly what happened in the latter relationship.

Bitterness engulfed my heart like a neglected garden overtaken by weeds. I grew critical and more distrusting of men. I closed myself off to dating. To be honest, I also had some very angry moments with God. Many times I asked God what I did wrong to deserve such maltreatment. After all, suffering can be the result of our own mishaps. But it can also be something that God allows to happen or even brings upon us as part of His refinement process.

Through the years God has tugged at me to begin the healing process. That starts with laying down my brokenness and surrendering my past completely to Him. That is not an easy thing to do. As exhausting as it is to carry around heavy burdens, they’re a constant reminder to stay guarded and work as a shield to keep me from getting hurt or broken again. But God won’t heal me if I’m not willing to tear down the wall and lay my burdens down. He beckons all of us to come to Him, weary and heavy laden, and promises to give us rest. (Matthew 11:28).

Another part of the healing process is confessing my bitter heart and choosing to forgive those who have wounded me. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to forgive the man who abandoned me or the one who yelled at me. I certainly don’t want to forgive the one who cheated, the one who lied, or the one who was only interested in me for “one thing.” I don’t want to forgive the one who continues to text me harassing messages and just recently admitted to “hating my guts”. But want to and have to are two different things. I don’t want to forgive them but God tells me I have to. Not for their sake, I have to forgive them for my own. I also have to forgive them as an act of obedience to God. (Ephesians 4:31-32.) Right now I’m at the stage where I can confess my unforgiving heart and seek God’s help in changing my desire to choose forgiveness.

Once I choose to lay my past down and practice forgiveness, I then have to face my fear of getting hurt once again. This doesn’t mean I start chasing after relationships or become a serial dater. This means I seek discernment in establishing healthy friendships and even professional relationships with men. This also means learning to understand and decipher how men communicate to avoid becoming easily defensive or even shutting down. Too often I’ve assumed the man I think is offending me is like the others from my past. Eventually, God willing, it will mean opening my heart up to the man He will send me who will choose to love, respect and protect me. If that happens, it also means not punishing this man for the mistakes of those from my past.

Lastly-and this one is key-God has been teaching me that no human being, male or female, parent or spouse, can provide the love and protection I truly desire. He is the only One who can. (Jeremiah 31:3; Deuteronomy 31:6) No one I chase, nothing I seek comfort in will ever fill the void I have like Jesus can. Chasing after anything or anyone else is idolatry and God

refuses to have any other gods before Him. (Exodus 20:3)

When a bird breaks its wings, the wings can be immobilized and the bird is ground bound. Although tying the bird’s wings down keeps the bird’s travel abilities restricted, its a necessary part of the healing process. When the wings are healed, the restriction is lifted and the bird can soar once again. When the human heart is broken it becomes immobilized too. It can shut down and even become paralyzed,metaphorically speaking. It’s in these moments we need to allow God to wrap Himself around us and heal us from the inside out. His healing brings wholeness, renews our spirits and strengthens us to soar on wings like eagles.

Currently, my heart is still immobilized because I have chosen the path of self healing instead of walking through the process God’s way. He remains faithful though. He has sent me a handful of kind, godly and selfless male friends who have been encouragers, and helpers. He even blessed me with an older gentleman who treats me like one of his own children teaching me how a man should father a daughter. God never ceases to awe me that’s for sure.

Has your heart been broken? Do you feel crushed? Have you been abused or treated harshly? Do you struggle with relationships with the opposite sex? Are you longing for the freedom of walking in His healing power? Is your past keeping you bitter? Is fear holding you back from letting go or choosing forgiveness? Take a step toward the healing process by simply confessing to God exactly where your heart is, admitting to carrying around old wounds and trust Him to remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

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Humility-A Poetic Prayer

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Lord, Humble me…

When I’m disrespected and called names,

Humble me enough to not hold blame.

When a critic calls me fake,

Humble me to turn the other cheek.

When I’m falsely accused and lied about,

Humble me enough to protest not.

When someone else is promoted in what I’m qualified for,

Humble me to not be jealous and desire that rapport.

When somebody takes credit for my prodigy,

Humble me enough to not seek the glory.

When someone hurts me or breaks my heart,

Humble me to keep bitterness from tearing me apart.

When I’m in need and too proud to be charity,

Let the insistent generosity of others humble me.

If humiliation is what it takes to rid me of this pride,

If personal attacks is what will empty me of this selfish side,

Then let cruel words empty me.

Use the hateful acts of my enemies,

To fill me up with Your humility.

Lord, humble me…

Love Costs Everything

““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“I love you.” A short sentence with three simple words that hold tremendous power. Three words often said too soon, too easily or sometimes even dishonestly. Three words that can fool or heal a broken heart depending on the speaker’s true intentions. They say the tongue is like a swift sword. If that’s true then saying “I love you” is like removing Excalibur from its stone prison.

How do you know if those words are true or false? Look at the speaker’s actions. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 specifically tells us what Love is and is not. Love is PATIENT and KIND. Love REJOICES whenever truth wins. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is ALWAYS HOPEFUL and ENDURES through every circumstance. Love is NOT jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love does NOT demand its own way neither is it irritable nor does it keep record of wrongs. Let me add this: Love does not call names, does not threaten you, does not cheat on you or lie to you and Love will never tell you it hates you. Love chooses you above it’s own needs every single time. It doesn’t make excuses, Love doesn’t blame you and it never purposefully hurts you. Love takes ownership when it makes a mistake. Love protects, provides for, comforts and empowers you. Love commits to you every day.

Love calls you on the phone just to hear your voice. Love surprises you with a special gift or an act of service just because it treasures you. Love is content just being in your presence no matter what is going on around you. Love will share its secrets and cast its burdens upon you and carry yours when you are weary. Love will pray with you and for you. Love will fight for you when you cannot fight for yourself. Love will fight your enemies with you when you’re strong enough to handle the trenches of warfare. Love will speak the truth to you even if it risks upsetting you because its desire is for you is to walk in the Truth.

Love will however, never condemn you. Love will never make you feel less than or set standards for you that are impossible to achieve. Love will always love you for exactly who you are and where you’re at in your life’s journey. Love will also never compare you to anyone else or make you pay for someone else’s mistakes. Love always sees the unique and precious gem that you are and treats you as such no matter what.

Love comes in many packages-parent/child relationships, marriages, friendships and even through extended family relationships. The greatest love comes from God Himself. His word repeatedly tells us how much He loves us. 1 John 4:9 tells us ““God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” God didn’t just send His son because we know that Jesus is really God Himself in human form. Thus, God actually endured condemnation, imprisonment, torture and murder for you and for me. God shows us in John 15:13 just how great of a sacrifice that is-“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” No greater love than to lay down’s one life for another. Does that mean we should all throw ourselves in front of a moving vehicle to show our love for someone? Absolutely not! Does it mean we stop striving to serve ourselves and take on a servant heart toward others? Yes. It. Does. Galatians 5:13 sums it up perfectly. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

God tells us to “…Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John‬ ‭13:34‬b NLT) He also tell us “…let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

‭So the next time you say “I love you” make sure your deeds back up this sentence. Before giving your heart to someone who tells you they love you, make sure they have taken the time to show you love in how they treat you. Please note, “Making love” and “falling in love” are fantasy and romantic notions that only build up false expectations and bring demise. If you can “fall in love” then you can “fall out of love.” It’s this ideology that leads to many break-ups and divorces. It’s an ideology that is based on feeling not consciously choosing. Feelings come and go and can be swayed by circumstances. Choosing love means you choose that relationship, that friendship or to raise that child no matter what circumstances lie before you. Although love keeps no record of wrongs, to protect yourself and to protect your relationships examine the ways you and those you love are showing love to one another. Actions will always speak volumes over words. 💗