Monday, January 21, 2013

"Help me to Forgive"

Ever been hurt by someone that you really love? This isn't some type of "drive-by" hurt as you're driving and someone beeps their horn at you & gives you a middle finger. But this is someone you have cultivated and developed a relationship with & they HURT you. I mean really hurt you. To the point.. where it completely questioned your relationship with them. So.. what do you do when you get wrecked like this? I mean, you love Jesus. You go to church. You try to live for Him. You said that you forgave that person. But the thought of them still makes you roll your eyes. You don't know how to let go of the pain even though you verbally forgave them. They cheated on you. They abused you. They talked about you. They stole from you. They left you. They ruined your trust. They really messed up. They really broke your heart. Do they KNOW how bad they hurt you? Do they KNOW the pain they have caused in your heart? You felt like you were a good friend, wife, husband, or whatever else and you don't feel like you deserve that treatment.

I have experienced that pain. Some of you have gone through some really deep rooted pain that I will never understand. I could never totally understand your shoes because I didn't have to walk in them. Although I had my own share of hurt and pain-- I do know this: as Christians, we can have a different perspective in the midst of our hurt. Remember, you are NOT like this world. Your standard comes from the Lord so your RESPONSE to the hurt must be different. This doesn't mean that you have to run and be best friends with the girl that stole your boyfriend or the woman that crossed you the wrong way because God can reveal certain things in people as a warning to you. What do I mean by warning? As I mentioned before.. everyone cannot be your friend. Some relationships are seasonal and you cannot afford to bring people that are unqualified into the next season of your life. Does this mean you hate them? No! Does this mean that you should try to open a door in that relationship because it's the "right" thing? No! It means that you should be God-led in who you surround yourself with but be QUICK to forgive them. And let me throw this in there.. just because you miss a person.. doesn't mean that they are supposed to be in your LIFE. We must constantly check our emotions to make sure that they are in LINE with where God is taking us.

I'm telling you that you can forgive whoever hurt you. You can seriously from the bottom of your heart let it go. How? Because Christ forgave YOU. That may sound like a cliche but how is it that we are so humbled and broken before God over our own sins against Him and we want immediate freedom from whatever.. but the second somebody wrongs us; we hold onto that hurt. "They need to PAY for what they did, right?" What if Christ made you pay for the way you treat Him? You would never rest as you carried around a burden of guilt. And most of you carry that burden around. You don't think that Christ really forgave YOU so you aren't really forgiving anybody else. When you refuse to forgive other people, it's like you are drinking poison, praying for someone else to die. That poison is getting into your blood stream and it's eating you alive from the inside out. And all the while.. you think that you are charging someone else for the way they hurt you-- but not only did they hurt you, but now they're living rent-free in your head. And most likely, that person isn't even THINKING about you or what happen. They have moved on and are going about their life and bitterness is eating you away. You see them on facebook and they're so happy.. and seeing their life. Seeing them makes you even more bitter.

How is it that you believe in forgiveness for yourself but refuse to give it to anybody else? How is it that you hold yourself to a higher standard as if forgiveness only applies to you and nobody else? How is that we want Christ more but we hate our sister or brother in Christ? How can we move on in our "ministries, callings, purpose" or whatever else if we are carrying all of this BAGGAGE?? Sis & bro.. GOD wants your HEART. So before you run & try to start a ministry you need to run & sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him HEAL your broken heart.( Psalm 147:3)

Jesus said we are to forgive others “seventy times seven” in response to Peter’s question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" (Matthew 18:21-22). To fully understand what Jesus was saying, we must look at the context of the whole chapter, for Jesus was speaking not only about forgiving one another, but about Christian character, both in and out of the church. If you read that chapter, Peter, wishing to appear especially forgiving and "righteous" asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. The Jewish rabbis at the time taught that forgiving someone more than three times was unnecessary so Jesus had to clear it up! (referring to Amos 1:3-13 where God forgave Israel’s enemies three times, then punished them) By offering forgiveness more than double that of the Old Testament example, Peter most likely expected extra praise from the Lord as he appeared to be forgiving & loving. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, which was WAY beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have SHOCKED the disciples who were listening. Although they had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than in the unlimited terms of grace. I believe that most of us are still stuck in the terms of the law. Saying, I'm going to forgive you this many times and after that-- that's IT! After that, I will NEVER forgive you. Can you do a heartcheck to see if there's anyone in your life that you've intentionally refused to forgive? Are you waiting for someone to "earn" your grace?

By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times-- He was saying there IS no number to how many times we can forgive. We as Christians with forgiving hearts not only do not limit the number of times WE forgive; we must continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as they do the first time. WE are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us, and it is He who provides the ABILITY to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over. So  it's NO longer in YOUR ability to forgive whoever hurt you! It's in CHRIST'S ABILITY. The Holy Spirit will HELP you!  You have to stop trying to forgive everyone in your flesh. It just won't work. You may be reading this and think that it's impossible to forgive someone. You're RIGHT. In your own way of thinking.. it IS. But through Christ, you can truly let it GO.

Let's check out a few scenarios! 

1. Some of you may have been betrayed by a a spouse or a friend. What do you do? How do you forgive and trust your spouse again after the hurt?
Answer: You should learn to have amnesia in your marriage or friendships that are God-ordained. This doesn't mean you throw everything under the rug and never address everything.. it just means that EVERYTHING doesn't need to be addressed every 5 minutes you are offended. Maybe it's not them.. maybe it's you. Do you give God a chance to check you OR are you too busy popping off at the mouth? God can & WILL heal your marriage. You must adjust your mindset. You cannot just quit everytime it gets hard. You will get hurt. You will have rough days. But if you get through those tests then things will get better, you'll grow closer and it will get EASIER.

In the cases of cheating, your goal should be reconciliation. Both sides need to come together, repent, get counseling and get focused on Christ again. If your husband continually cheats on you even after the several attempts of reconciliation, he has abandoned the marriage. He has forced a divorce. I don't recommend staying a marriage a marriage with continued adultery or constant physical abuse. You STILL have to forgive him, but it doesn't mean that you HAVE to stay married to the man as he cheats on you or beats you.

2. I forgave that person.. BUT I still don't have good feelings towards them. What do I do?
 Answer: Forgive by faith. Some of ya'll need to by faith.. forgive someone and then just ask God to help you think good thoughts towards them. Pray for them every time their name pops up or if you see them. Whisper under your breath that.. "God, I pray for so & so- that they may know you and your power. May they walk in your ways and obey you in everything they do." You won't be bitter towards them long because God will really change YOUR heart.

3. My boyfriend did something to really hurt me. What do I do, do I stay?
Answer: Let's be clear- if he cheated on you or something-- I don't recommend sticking around because a ring won't change his mindset. You're obligated in a marriage to AT least attempt to make it work. In a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship you are getting an opportunity to check a person's "get down" out aka fruit of the spirit. Again, we must always be God-led in our relationships but if your man is always lying.. and it's always SOMETHING.. and he's always trying to sleep with you.. and its.. this or that-- a "rang" aint gonna change him sister. You'll be checking behind him for the rest of your LIFE. Now, this is not "formula." All of your relationships should be God-led as I said before.

4. My parents hurt me. How do I get through the pain when I have to see them or a family member?
Answer: I totally understand! Whew! I know how that can be! I have been in a situation where I was hurt by a family member and first I took it to the Lord and asked the Lord to help me to forgive them. I forgave them by faith and I reached out to them to talk the situation out. I didn't feel like we were ever on the same page concerning this situation. I still felt hurt in my heart about the situation but I was determined not to give up on the person. I continued to call them, just to check up on them and prayed earnestly that God would soften and change their heart hearts to Him. Now, it's like nothing ever happened. It's pretty amazing. Not only have I forgiven them, but now we're moving forward and growing in our relationship. I knew that it was a relationship in my family that I couldn't just CUT off. I knew they were supposed to be in my life. There was no question.

There are some situations where you have to pull away from family members & stand up to them. In this situation, I felt like I had to stand up for what had happened. My standards and values come from Christ alone and no other place.

Regardless of your situation, remember this:  

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

Just a few fun reminders!

1. The sold-out Pinky Promise Conference is this week! ;-) Please keep us in your prayers as we are planning the final details and the ladies are coming in town! :)

2. My book is selling like crazy! I'm so thankful for all of you that have supported! Check it out here: My New Book! Pink Lips & Empty Hearts

3. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 10,000 ladies that have joined! Join here: 

4. To purchase cross rings, fabulous shirts, purity rings & all that other good stuff-- go here: Pinky Promise Store

God loves you like crazy!

Heather Lindsey

(One of our maternity photos!) :-)

Monday, January 14, 2013

My New Book!! "Pink Lips & Empty Hearts"

Ahh! I'm so excited!! I just finished my very first book! It's called "Pink Lips & Empty Hearts." The Lord placed it on my heart to write this book YEARS ago but I didn't fully start writing it until December of 2011! Here's a snippet of what the book is about:

An invitation for every woman who’s ever felt like she isn’t good enough, pretty enough, saved enough, content enough or doing enough.

Like millions of women, Heather Lindsey wanted to have it all together. But as life continued to go on, she found herself searching to fill her insecurities with temporary voids and ended up broken, rejected, exhausted and frustrated. Desperate to let God change her from the inside out—she shares her story, struggles and triumphs as she went from having Pink Lips & an Empty Heart to having Pink Lips and a Heart that is completely surrendered to God.

In a society where women are encouraged to portray a certain self-image, Heather challenges women in saying that it is not enough to just get dressed up and portray a “perfect appearance” when deep down, you’re empty. As a result, we try hide who we really are from everyone, including God.

Join Heather Lindsey as she offers witty, fresh advice that you would expect from your best friend over dinner. Compassionate and practical, Pink Lips & An Empty Heart is a step-by-step guide that teaches women how to:

Be content whether they are single or married
How to develop a deep, intimate relationship with Christ
Resist the desire to compare your life to others
Prioritize their day to day life busy schedule
Develop in the gifts that God placed inside of you
BONUS: Practical tips on hair, beauty and other money saving resources

I'm working on a 90 day devotional, a mommy/maternity book packed with recipes & tips on staying fit while pregnant and another book-- in which I will share after I finish the other two! ;-) You can find the book here:

 God loves you like crazy,

 Heather Lindsey (My maternity shoot from this past week! 8 Months Pregnant!)
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