• Tamara Weed

Recently (within this last year) I had someone say to me “I can’t even imagine doing to my family, what you did”. It might come as a surprise to that person that before I made the choice to do what I did, I too, could not imagine doing what I did. The thought of having an affair was not something I felt I’d ever do. I always believed that I would choose the higher ground, and make only the “best” choices. After all, I always believed I was a person of good character and integrity. In the end, I was human and imperfect.

So, did I explain all of that to the person who was attacking me with their dagger of judgement? No. In the heat of that moment, with all of the intensity of emotion that was in play, my thinking was not as quick or concise as I might have hoped it to be. But this isn’t about me.

This is about someone else. Someone else who made a choice to turn to someone outside of her marriage for affection because of the verbal abuse and emotional neglect she was experiencing at home. With alcohol fueling the abuse from her husband, and a mother who beats her down with words of negativity, and no thought to her daughter’s safety, she feels lost and unsure of whom can she turn to. She’s dulled her pain with alcohol, but that didn’t heal anything. She was lonely and hurting and in need of someone to tell her that she mattered; that she was important.

“Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see? Or does anybody even know she’s going down today?” Casting Crowns – Does anybody hear Her?

So she made a choice. Should she have made a better choice? Definitely. Is she a ‘bad’ person? No. Is she a person of good character and integrity? Yes. Slightly tarnished, perhaps, but my answer is still yes. But when we’re drowning, we reach out and grab onto the first thing we see, or that one something we think will help us cope. Booze. Drugs. Another person.

“She is yearning for shelter and affection that she never found at home. She is searching for a hero to ride in, to ride in and save the day. And then walks in her prince charming, and he knows just what to say. A momentary lapse of reason, and she gives herself away.” Casting Crowns – Does anybody hear Her?

We imperfect humans make choices, many times bad, based on emotions, and life situations. All choices have consequences; and many of those consequences span years. For the person in this particular situation one of those consequences is that her husband caught her with the other person. Not a good consequence, perhaps? On the other hand, she can start making better choices.

God is working in her life. HE is the only one that can bring about the healing that is badly needed in her marriage, in her, and in her husband. To close her eyes to the fact that God is inviting her to let HIM work through her, she will remain in an unhappy, unfulfilled, miserable life. Or she can accept the invitation from God and let God do what only HE can do. Does inviting God in mean that the consequences of her choices will only be good? No. There will still be tears and raw emotions and a lack of trust, on both sides. There will be much looking ‘within’ to find the hurt inside that needs to be dredged up, understood, accepted and then given over to God for healing. There might even be a parting of the ways for her and her husband. In the end though, there will be peace and the unconditional love that only God can provide.

The choices we make in this life, and the experiences we have through those choices, are what make us who we are. Life is about learning how to make good choices, and being taught to be fair and honest, and kind; of good character and integrity. It’s about wanting to, and trying to be those things. It’s about realizing that sometimes, despite our best intentions, even people of good character and integrity make bad choices. It’s about understanding that choices aren’t always made when we’re in the best shape emotionally. It’s about seeing a person through their actions and not just the bad choices. It’s about seeing the atonement made for their mistakes. It’s about learning to forgive.

And, to really know how to forgive, one must know God and comprehend the depth of forgiveness and love that HE encompasses through the giving of HIS Son on the cross.

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  • Tamara Weed

“The funny thing about doubt is you can’t control its comings and goings. But faith is stronger than doubt because you control faith.” Gene Ho, Trumpography 2018

So if God gives us what we need, even when we fight it every step of the way, why doesn’t that include an abundance of faith. I mean, we need that, don’t we? For me the answer is double sided. No HE doesn’t just give us faith; we have to seek him for it, and then once we do, Yes HE will give us an abundance of faith.

We ask God for a lot. We ask HIM for security, health, (for us and others), safety, joy, peace, no more pain, healing . . . etc.

God asks one thing of us: To have faith that HE is there and loves us, forgives us, and will answer our prayers. Within that faith, HE expects us to live by his rules, even when he knows we most likely will fail.

You’d think that with all we ask of HIM, we should be able to have an abundance of faith once we seek him out. But we don’t, at least not at first, and sometimes even after we think we do, something traumatic happens in our lives and we lose our faith, or turn away from it because we’re hurting, angry, and mostly because we don’t understand. We question God. How could HE let this happen? We feel HE has failed us, or let us down. We trusted HIM with our faith, but what good is our faith if HE’s going to take our loved ones, or let something horrible happen.

So why do we question HIM? Where did that warm fuzzy, wonderful feeling of joy in our new found faith go?

I believe that because God gave us free will, HE can’t just reach down and give us an abundance of faith. Instead HE wants us to come to HIM through Jesus, and in that journey we learn more about our God. As we learn more about HIM our faith starts out like a seedling, breaking through the surface and feeling the warmth of the sun, and it feels marvelous. Some of us stop there . . . we’ve accepted Jesus into our hearts and we have faith that it’s going to be all good now.

God doesn’t want us to stop there, nor should we. Instead when our seedling feels the warmth of the sun, we should keep striving to learn more. As we learn more, our faith gets nourishment from God, and it grows taller and stronger. So God doesn’t automatically give us faith, but when we strive to know HIM, faith weaves itself into the fabric of our being, and is strengthened by HIS nourishment in our lives.

Satan casts doubts, like acid on our faith, in an attempt to turn us away from God. We can’t control what Satan throws at us, nor can we control when. Satan is always whispering, especially to those he feels are close to God, and we may not hear that whispering every day, but then wham – his whispers get louder and suddenly those acidic doubts start making us feel less than. We can, however, control our faith. When doubt is cast into our life, that’s the time to draw even closer to God; using our faith as a shield against our doubts.

I believe Satan has been working overtime casting doubt within me lately about a certain thing in my life. It doesn’t matter what the specific thing is, but it’s a big part of me and the doubt has been fairly intense. Because of my faith in God, I remind myself that the doubt Satan is casting is false. I am in control of my faith. I have placed every part of my life into God’s hands and God will decide the outcome. Satan doesn’t get to.

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  • Tamara Weed

I was watching a show the other day and one of the lines resonated with me. When I say that, I mean I felt a response within me – that “Oh Wow” moment. I wasn’t sure where it would lead me but finally, here it is. I hope that in some way my response to it resonates with someone out there. So what was the line?

“It always amazes me . . . God knows what we need and will give it to us, even when we fight it, every step of the way.”

There are several different ways, in my opinion, in which this line could have taken me. In the end, because of a story I saw on social media, I felt moved to take it in the direction of forgiveness. Not forgiveness of others, but forgiveness of ourselves.

Have you ever done something that ended up being the wrong thing to do? Have you fallen for a con, when you were sure you were smarter than that? Have you ever made a decision where you wish you could go back and make a better one than the one you made? There are probably a hundred different ways I could ask the question, but in the end the main question that all of the above (and more) make up, is this:

Have you ever needed to forgive yourself for something . . . anything? I’m talking about forgiving yourself for something where people were hurt; Lives were changed.

It’s okay – you can answer honestly while reading this. No one can hear you. I have several things in my life that I need to forgive myself for. One of those things happened way back when I was a junior in high school. To this day I regret what I did. I asked forgiveness from the other person, and was given it. I believe God has forgiven me. But I haven’t forgiven myself.

That begs the question of whether I think I’m better than God. God is the creator and is above everything, so how, if He can forgive me, can I not forgive myself? I think I’d fall back on the answer of, “I’m not perfect (obviously) like God is. He’s the parent that can see how His child could, and did, make the bad decision and all He wants is to let us know we are loved so much. Loved so much that He forgives us, if we ask for his forgiveness.

How am I even worthy of his notice, especially after I’ve hurt someone or more than someone? He says I am worthy, because He made me and He doesn’t make unworthy people. We can choose to be unworthy by the decisions we make and the paths we choose to walk that aren’t His paths for us, but unless we choose to sell our souls to Satan, we are always worthy in His eyes. Even IF we sell our souls to Satan, we are still worthy in God’s eyes, and He weeps for us as we fall. HE weeps for us!

Yet we still have trouble forgiving ourselves.

I still have trouble forgiving myself.

I’m working on that. It doesn’t happen overnight, or even over forty five years in some cases (think junior in high school). As I attempt forgiveness of myself, I remember another scene from a movie called “The Shack” where the father is attempting to forgive. He keeps repeating, as he carries his murdered child, “I forgive . . . I forgive . . .”

So, too, do I repeat that mantra.

So to bring this around to the line in the show – God knows what we need, and will give it to us, even when we fight it, every step of the way. I guess therein lies the path to forgiving ourselves. Stop fighting it every step of the way. Let God’s grace be the path you take in forgiving YOU.

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