Valentine’s Day + Broken Relationships + Redemption

life, love, matters of the heart

My heart sank as I read a recent article on http://www.nj.com related to the murder of 30-year old, Ruth Reyes Severino and her two children from Salem, New Jersey. The news of this untimely death at the hands of her abusive spouse and the Valentine’s Day tradition of chocolate, cards, and flowers can remind us that this time of year isn’t so “rosy” for everyone.

Ruth Reyes Severino and her two children from Salem, New Jersey. — Photo credit: NJ.com

The work I do often puts me in direct contact with women who are recovering from broken relationships as they long to make a new life for themselves despite the shame and turmoil of their past.

It’s not always an easy journey, but “redemption” of what has been lost is achievable. Below are a few things to remember about “rebuilding” one’s life after trauma – a wound of the heart after having experienced/witnessed a deeply painful or distressful event.

  • Find “safe spaces” to voice the pain of your past. Talking through the difficult things with a trusted friend, counselor, Pastor, or support group can be helpful. Be sure that such resources can provide what you need (good listening, informative, non-judgemental, etc.) while doing your research.
  • Don’t be afraid to intentionally grieve your losses. This is sometimes difficult for people as cultural beliefs about mourning, crying, and lamenting are seen as signs of weakness or unnecessary complaining.
  • Take small risks. Add new activities and pursuits as you are led. Join a gym. Enroll in a class. Plan a day trip or extended vacation. Treating oneself to a solo dinner or movie is not such a bad idea, especially when friends are not available.
  • Remove yourself from unsafe environments when necessary. As in the case of Ruth Reyes Severino, some situations are more dangerous than others. A quick exit plan may be needed in order to protect the livelihood of those experiencing abuse. Staying with relatives or seeking help from a local shelter, police department, or crisis line may prove beneficial to those who are victimized.
Any thoughts or suggestions about the process of “rebuilding”? Leave them in the comments section below.

Reference: https://www.nj.com/salem/2020/02/funeral-services-set-for-mom-2-kids-killed-in-their-apartment.html?outputType=amp

Upcoming event that I’ll be participating in — #TrentonNewJersey

Words You Need to Ditch Right Away

life, matters of the heart

What you see in the mirror always seems to be inferior – even on your best day… Perhaps you are this woman. If so, keep reading…

There are many words that we can use to describe ourselves. What we say has a significant impact – more than we sometimes realize.

 Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

And those who love it will eat its fruit.

For instance, when someone informs me that a certain thing can’t possibly happen for them, I cringe a little because I know that this short four letter word – can’t –  is setting the tone for their next steps if they’re not careful. I absolutely believe in the sovereignty of God as his ways and timing for our existence are in his hands. However, I know that any one of our days has the potential to move beyond the “can’t” word of our speech.

four woman at the conference room

Consider the following biblical passage:

Luke 13: 10-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Woman with a Disabling Spirit

10 Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

What if this particular woman had believed the “can’t” of her life?

  • I can’t go to the synagogue because people might criticize me.
  • I can’t expect anything different than what has already been happening over and over again.
  • I can’t believe any other words besides the negative words around me.
  • I can’t receive healing from Jesus.

That last “can’t” is tragic in itself. What if the woman hadn’t made her way to Jesus’ path (disability and all) when he invited her into his presence?

I’m intrigued with her ability to think beyond the “can’t” of her life. Her tenacity brought a revival in more ways than one:

  • Not only is her physical body revived but her spiritual self is renewed as she glorified God publicly and out in the open. #Revival
  • The usual dynamics of the synagogue and the leader’s rules are challenged by Jesus who is called to set the captive free on any day that is deemed fit by God, heaven, and the perfect will of the One who created time. #Revival
  • God is glorified in an environment where 18 years of suffering is transformed into a testimony of the goodness of a King who seeks and saves his own. #Revival

What “can’t” are you facing at the moment? How can you give it to God and allow him to handle it in his way, timing, and purpose? Is it possible to say – “I can’t, but I know a God who can?“

Life has a way of presenting “the impossible” – which gives us unique opportunities to put some faith-fueled vocabulary and phrases into practice:

  1. I feel weak, but my God is strong and working through me.
  2. I’ve been waiting awhile, but God’s grace is sufficient.
  3. I want to give up, but his love carries me day by day, moment by moment.
  4. This situation is out of control, but God holds my hand through it all.
  5. I’m just hanging on, but my hope is in the One who gives me life – forever.

6F7BA8E0-8D47-46B1-B4CC-9E53D3EA6A00

#DitchCant #SayGodCan #AccordingToHisWillWayTiming
—-

Go beyond the blog – check out Keturah’s latest Bible Studies + Books – CLICK HERE