Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Forgive AND Forget? (Part 1)

I was the most forgiving person until I really had to forgive. It’s easy to go through the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors) until you have a face to put to that debtor. And not only do you have a face but you have a list of reasons why they don’t deserve your forgiveness and how right you are.

I may be the only one who’s ever experienced this but unforgiveness feels amazing for about a day. I go over the situation countless times, reinforcing to myself how right I am. I call a few people and we discuss the details, continuing to reiterate my rightness and how ridiculous the other person is. It’s awesome. Then the day goes by, and that awesome feeling fades away quickly. It becomes annoying. I obsess over the situation even though I no longer want to think about it. I go from not wanting to talk to the person to not wanting them to breathe the same air as me. People start avoiding my phone calls or if they pity me enough, they answer but keep the conversation short because all I want to talk about is this person and how wrong they are. It’s a terrible space to be in and unfortunately we let too many days, months, and years past by living in this space.

This was a hard pill for me to swallow because I truly enjoy being right; but my quest to be right was leading me to hell (Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses). And sadly I would convince myself I had forgiven a person but every time I got the chance to mentally respond to something they said, it would be filled with:

“Ask the girl who you were talking to while you were talking to me.”

“Go hang out with the friend you ditched me for.”

“Go ask your boyfriend, I’m sure he has all the answers.”

There was a point in my life where anybody could have caught this unforgiveness. Friends, family, guys I was talking to; I did not discriminate. And it wasn’t until recently that a situation had been annoying THE MESS out of me, and God finally asked me, “this is how you want to do life?” Did I really want to spend my life carrying the burden of unforgiveness and risk my soul on top of that?  Of course not!

For me, forgiveness started with praying for the person, like genuinely praying for their well-being. When I didn’t feel like it, when I remembered and got angry all over again, when I wanted to boast about how right I was, I prayed for the person. These weren’t, “God bless __________,” prayers. I prayed for their success, family, financial needs, goals, spiritual walk; I prayed for them like I would want someone to pray for me. And I really did want God to bless them but I also needed God to see my heart and break down this prideful wall I built. As time went on, I found myself not cringing when that person was around. I no longer thought about the situation as much and I was so proud of myself until I realized there was another step: forgetting.

Check back next week to read about forgetting!

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Let forgiveness free you (April 2017)

Tip Tuesday: Figuring Out Life

Freshmen year of college I was trying to figure out life and how to be a figure skater (December 2008)

Freshmen year of college I was trying to figure out life and how to be a figure skater (December 2008)

I recently attended a friend’s art show and it was amazing to see him pursuing his dream. It made me reflect on this past month or so, as I struggled with trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, why God put me here. I had considered not only switching jobs, but a complete career change. I even contemplated going back to school! Whether you’re in your senior year of college and unsure about your major or you’ve been at the same job for ten years and want to do something else, here are three tips to help you while you’re figuring out life:

Let Go

Often times, it’s difficult to take a leap of faith, to leave your comfort zone. I recall clearly praying one afternoon, and God telling me to “let it go.” I knew exactly what He was talking about and I said, “okay.” It hasn’t always been that easy for me. I usually don’t let go unless I have clearly outlined where my letting go would take me. But I got tired of trying to figure things out on my own. I got tired of obsessing over every little detail of my life, feeling as though I would miss something if things did not go according to MY plan (not God’s plan). So I let go. I let go of my plan. I let go of how crazy people might think I am. I let go of what was familiar. I thought about the story of Paul and how he was this man who was persecuting Christians, then all of a sudden became a disciple of Christ. He had to let go of who he was before the road to Damascus, to become the man we know him as today. Paul had been known all over for what he had done to Christians, just as we may be known as the therapist or the basketball player or the homemaker, but sometimes we have to let go of those identities to focus on who God called us to be.

Acts 9:18, 20 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized… And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Trust the Process

Embrace the journey. Stop to smell the roses. People have different ways of saying it but the message remains the same: live life. We spend so much time planning life that we forget to live it. We think if we miss a deadline for an application or we haven’t moved up the corporate ladder as fast as we thought we would, that our lives are over. Once you let go of “the plan,” don’t allow yourself to be consumed with what’s next, enjoy right now. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing. This is not to say we shouldn’t plan for our futures, but we also shouldn’t let the present escape us. You’ve consulted with God and decided you need to find a new job, great! Continue to pray, put out a few applications, look into other careers. Allow this to be part of your day, not all of your day. Take the time to enjoy the parts (or the people) at your current job you do like. If you’re having a hard time getting your mind off of what’s next, pick up that book you bought a year ago, go to that dance class you keep saying you’re going to, take that vacation you’ve been talking about. Keep living. As long as we’re keeping God in the loop, every place we are in life is a step towards where he wants us to be. What we think we want right now, we probably can’t handle right now. Trust the timing, trust the process.

Habakkuk 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Believe God

You know what God told you, but it’s been weeks since you heard it and fear and doubt (the devil), has crept in. You start questioning if putting in your two weeks notice was the right decision or worry if you wasted your time getting those recommendations for your grad school application. Even with these concerns, you know what God told you. A friend of mine posted a quote the other day which read: “Faith and fear both require you to believe in something you cannot see… You choose.” There have been so many times when I have felt fear, and I allowed myself to think I had to believe that fear, but I have gotten to a place where I believe God. God is bigger than fear. He is bigger than my worries. He is bigger than my dreams. And because I know what he told me, I believe God.

Numbers 23:19  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Dream Big: Dream with God

September 2015

September 2015

I am the girl who has always dreamed of her wedding day. One summer, while in middle school, my best friend and I planned each other’s wedding, hairstyles and venues included. I am the girl who has always thought about how she was going to be famous. Growing up, I would tell my grandmother that I was going to be a star and she would ask what would be my claim to fame, and I never had an answer, I just knew it was going to happen. I am the girl who’s always dreamed of life after school. My friend and I would meet up and talk about all the things we would buy and places we would go once we got our degrees. I am the girl who is always trying to find a way to make more money. My younger sister gets tired of me telling her “I’m plotting and scheming my next venture.” I was the girl who thought she had to make all this happen on her own, and didn’t consult God.

You would think, me being the good, saved Christian girl I am, I would know to include God in on these plans, but too often, I forget. I just start making plans without praying about it. I share what I want to do with different people, and don’t even consult God and see if this is what He wants me to do. Matthews 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seek God first. I believe God will give me the desires of my heart (Psalms 37:4) but in trying to make all my dreams come true on my own, I limit myself. God is bigger than my dreams but I can’t experience that if I don’t talk to Him about it (pray).

I recently started getting up half an hour or so earlier than I need to (it doesn’t happen every morning and when it does happen, I’m barely making it, so y’all pray my strength lol), to really take time to talk to God and listen to God. My pastor has stressed the importance of meditating on the Lord when you wake up (Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success) and I can see the impact it has had on my life and my dreams. I like to think of myself as someone who makes some pretty bold declarations and sometimes just simply outlandish claims, then I talk to God and He shows me how He can make it happen and what I came to Him with seems like child’s play compared to all that He plans to bless me with.

As believers, we have access to God through His son Jesus Christ and He’s interested in our plans, in fact, He knows them (Jeremiah 29:11) and wants to help us achieve our goals. As true followers of Christ, we cannot fail (2 Peter 1:5-10). Others will come along and attempt to discourage you and set up road blocks, but be reminded of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). Joseph was a dreamer and there were many instances (his brothers throwing him in a pit, being in prison) where it did not seem as though what he dreamed would come to past, but it did (Romans 8:28). No matter how impossible it seems, no matter how many people tell you no, tell God all about your dreams, and let Him guide you every step of the way. Dream big, dream with God.

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: