Tag Archives: one from the archives

{what do you have to prove?}

a week ago my friend Allie said, “remember that blog you wrote on words..?”
it took me a minute.
then a few days later it came up on my Facebook memory thing.
so I clicked over and read.
I first wrote this in 2012!
but the same lesson is still being learned
and the truths just as needed.

grateful for a God that never gives up on me!

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whoever said,

“sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

obviously must have lived life as a monk. a silent one. surrounded by other silent monks.
because if you live. if you participate in community. engage in relationship..
step foot outside your door –
you’re going to, at some time or another, be hurt by words.

words that cut deeper than any stick. hit harder than any stone.

words that wound, and leave scars far longer than physical ones.
scars that scab. but never fully disappear.

funny, how the smallest bump against them can instantly reopen.
and though perhaps the sting not as potent now, still..
you feel your eyes wince, your heart quicken.

and always the whispering doubt, “maybe.. maybe, after all, they were right?”

do you notice how we remember the negative words spoken to us
far more than the positive?

I know, without question, more good and kind words have been spoken to me in my life –
ask me some, and I might be able to paraphrase.
but the mean, unkind words? I can probably quote verbatim.

they stick to you like a spider’s web.
that sense of not always knowing exactly where they are, but feeling them cling.
so you swat, and tug, and pull, because you just.want.them.off!!!

some words stick longer than others. are harder to peel away.

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I know forgiveness is the antidote.

but I’m not going to pretend I always even know what forgiveness is.
I mean, truly is.

I’ve heard it said, it’s a choice. thing is, I don’t always choose it. or want to.

when Scripture says we’re to “do good” to those who’ve hurt us.
what is that? bake a plate of cookies, compliment their hair?
Or is doing good just not doing the bad we might want to?

like, pull up their prized petunias in the middle of the night.
or, the more difficult one that’s way more of a temptation..
slam and hurt them the way they have me.

sometimes the whole “doing good to your enemies” thing can seem so phony to me.
maybe because I’ve been on the receiving end of that at times..
that sense where someone really can’t stand you,
but they’re just going to love you to Jesus anyway!

please. keep your good and just pull my prized petunias.

but for me, I feel before I can even get to “doing good” from a genuine heart,
I first have to grasp what real forgiveness looks like – what it honestly is.
I think I do. but I don’t want it to be just what I was taught. how I was raised.
what I know the right answer is.
I don’t want a life filled with the right answers –
I want a heart that BELIEVES those answers!

that I have been forgiven much, and therefore, need to give it freely.
but pride clouds my vision of self.  

and though forgiven much, yes.
undeserving, yes.
there’s that part inside that still wants to stand up and declare
the other person less deserving.

and having lived in the pit of bitterness, why ever go there again?
the climb out way more difficult than sermons and books make it sound.
but. there’s that part that “wants” to be there. to not want out.
to not let the other person off so easily.
that somehow by climbing out of that pit, the other person wins.

silly thought that by holding on to our anger we can punish someone!!
truth is. they often have no idea.
and we only hurt ourselves more.

they don’t “win.” satan does.

he’s the true destroyer and he’ll do anything he can to do just that to our lives.
I think through the words of others is one of his favorite tactics! 

I’m sure he’d love to see us persecuted more by the world –
but he knows he doesn’t even have to step foot outside most christian circles.
forget persecution from without.
we’re doing a fine job all by ourselves of destroying one another from within! 

I’m always amazed at the number of people I’ve encountered that want
nothing to do with God.. and more often than not, because of something hurtful
that happened to them by another christian.

sad to think that we as christians are so often a TOOL in the hands of the enemy.

and I can just imagine his menacing grin..
how very easy we as christians have made his job of stealing our focus.


I don’t want him to win.

that motivates me out of the pit.
that motivates me to genuine forgiveness.

I don’t want him to win in my heart. in my family. 

this past week as I battled some old wounds,
I saw how slippery the ground around the pits of our life can be.
the lies that somehow the pit is “safer.”
the anger that wells.
the phantom conversations with the critics in our minds..

maybe only one or two, but with them, creating a mass of faces echoing,
“and I’m not the only one that feels this way. there are others.”
and the “others” of that accusation haunt you like shadows in the night.
never quite sure where or who.
but once those words spoken.. yes, they stick to you hard.

I don’t know about anyone else reading this..
but for me, with hurt has often come the need to prove myself.

to prove the critics wrong.
to show that person who thought they were so right about me, they’re not.

but. that’s a heavy way to live. with something to prove.

I can remember times in my life of even feeling I had to prove how
spiritual I was by how loving I could be..
acting as if I was forgiving.

anyone else get that with me?

of “doing good” as I was saying above, but with the motive of “proving myself.”

I guess bottom line, I’m done proving. {or, so want to be}

the irony is that we can spend so much of our lives striving for that person
or particular group’s approval when, if they’ve already judged us, cut us off,
determined we’re not worthy of grace..
all the proving we could do won’t change that!

it all leaves me exhausted.
feeling I must prove myself to those who choose to believe the worst of me.
and I’m tired of living exhausted.

Shayne said to me yesterday, you need to live for {invest, pour yourself into}
those who are going to cry at your funeral.
that narrows the field quite a bit. 

I was recently on my old blog, hutch5, and saw what my last entry said..

“I don’t live here anymore. I live here – grace.to.be.”

and I stared at those words for several seconds thinking. yes, exactly.

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That’s where I want to live. to really live.
that grace to be right where I am..

in all my mess and figuring things out, and wanting to get it right,
but not always doing so.

recognizing where I’m at is okay. because I’m not staying here.
this is a process. every step necessary to proceed to the next –
you cannot manufacture the heart of genuine forgiveness and love.
God builds it.

I truly believe that. over time. a long time. a lifetime really.
of coming back to Him again and again and again..

and there with our scabs peeled and bleeding, and tears streaming,
and maybe confusion and questions –

He, every time, does what He always does –
tenderly soothes and draws us in closer.

is it the pain. the reminders of the pain that are
part of the process of Him drawing us?
I think so. though I don’t like it.  but I see why.

I see that He loves me just the way I am.
but too much to let me stay that way.
and so, He brings change.

He allows circumstances that bring my focus back to Him.
that reveal my true heart condition –
and He is far more interested in what He’s doing IN me,
than what is going on around me!!

He digs up the hard ground of my heart.
tilling newness..
breaking away the old, planting tenderness.
and pain tills the deepest. 

I feel this urge to say that if pain produces that, then I’m glad for it.
but I can’t really say it loud. not yet. just a whisper still.
but it’s there. the belief. though small. it’s there.

right now. I just want to be moldable to His change.
to not, in the process of getting free from bitterness grow bitter at Him…
to question His Sovereignty.
to wonder why He doesn’t change circumstances
or why He doesn’t change the one that hurt me.

trust is hard in places like this.
but all I can do is pick up my own mess and take it to Him.


I desire to live above the noise of past voices.
to grab hold of His joy again that bitterness seeks to steal.
and to feel the light..
the light in places where darkness once filled.

that’s the light of FREEDOM!
and in that light there is no need to prove myself to anyone.

but if something needs to be proved it is this…
and only this.
that no matter how flawed.
how scarred. the pain. the mess of me.

God is bigger!

and because of that,
there is no pit too deep that His grace doesn’t go deeper still.

and THAT is the life I’m holding onto today!!!

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*all photos {but two} credit to Ben!