Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Monday, July 31, 2017

Wounded Women

Wounded Women 

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All my life I've struggled with a sense of not being valuable. It was never very apparent to people around me, never led to stereotypical eating disorders, or promiscuous actions. But it was a perspective I carried with me throughout my pre-teen years until recently, a 25 year old.

I subconsciously considered myself sub-par to most girls. Normally it wasn't too distressing, it was just a fact. I knew I was less, and I figured it was as obvious to them as it was to me. It was “proven” by my inadequacy or my mediocrity. I wasn't good at sports, I had no exceptional talents, my outward looks were only so-so, and the list goes on and on.

As a young person it was easy to ignore. My family was biased toward me and appreciated my loyalty and service. I was worth “keeping” because I had something to give. I was good at serving. I am a Hutto.

But as I grew older, the more painfully aware I became of what I was “missing”. Somewhere in the past, I had curbed my natural behavior of telling stories and being flamboyant, wild, exuberant. I somehow figured drama was taboo and showing your emotions was childish, and I needed to stop being naive and vulnerable. I suddenly became aware that hugging was for children. No-one actually was interested in my stories about the day. They weren't listening. It was embarrassing to realize that I has been so open and real all my life and nobody else had been. I hadn't caught the memo.

So I tried. And I tried hard. I tried to fit into a personality that I thought was acceptable. Meek, obedient, encouraging, sweet, quiet, reserved, deep and mysterious. Subdued. I was envious of those around me who naturally fit such a mold. Why was I so messy? So innately transparent? Why did I crave to be heard? People around me knew how to behave. To open their hearts and filter what came out.

It was as if hearts were music boxes. Most people didn't share their song. But if they did open...out came tinkling melodies. Why was mine loud and jangled? Why couldn't I keep shut? But I tried.

For years I've felt like a failure. I couldn't compose a different tune. So I just kept silent. Even though it hurt. I craved to be heard and appreciated. But rejection hurt more than being silent.

Jesus gently challenged my delusion. I craved to love and be loved. He showed me that He, Himself, the Creator, Savior, loved me. It was such a relief to be loved unconditionally. And He led me to others so I might love them. And it hurt. It hurt to expose my tangled soul and let the music come out. But it was good.

And then I started dating.
And I was suddenly faced with the possibility that a human being loved me unconditionally. Of course God loved me. But He was a little biased. I mean, goodness, He's my creator and He invested himself in me. Jesus loves me, of course. But how could a man love me?

At first I was convinced Jonah was blind. I heard that love does that. If he really couldn't see that I was mediocre it was because he was blind. But that wouldn't last. And it made me sad. Either he was just being polite or this was a temporary stage. My heart would become ecstatic only to be cut short by fear. I've been here before. I've dared to open my heart and let the music out only to watch the notes fall on deaf ears. Expression feels foolish when no-one is there to receive it. Love only ever led me to pain...where was this leading me? Normally I ended up somewhere empty handed and committed to silence.

But from day one, Jonah told me that God gave me value, and he only was acknowledging it, not placing it on me. He claimed I was beautiful inside and out. Captivating. And I would feel like crying. It should have thrilled me, but instead I felt wounded. Why?

One day I found myself looking in the mirror, surprised that I didn't see ugliness. I actually thought for a fleeting moment I was beautiful.

I open, and the all-too-familiar jangled music starts. And I cringe. I am too much. Too wild. Too hurt. To impetuous. Too clumsy. How could Jonah love me....all of me? Why was I fooling myself?

Staring me down was my insecurity. My wound. It was this – Not that I wanted to be loved, but the fact I didn't believe I could be.

This is why I cried when Jonah loved me. Because it was opening my wound. And yet he sought me. He pursued. He desired me. He said he loved my wildness.

Love allows me to stop cringing long enough to accept my jangled soul. It is still a wound. It still hurts. But I'm learning to allow myself to hurt, while allowing myself to believe that I am valuable. So often, wounds leave scars. But Love, He is a balm. And Jonah is teaching me to accept Him.

Every woman has a wound similar to mine. I've been more open about my wound and suddenly I hear others. So many woman don't think they are captivating. They look in the mirror and cringe. They've wrestled with the fact they aren't beautiful. Their music is lovely, but they can't hear it.

I wish every woman could be loved and cherished like me. I wish you could hear someone tell you that you're beautiful. I wish you could bare open your wound and move on. It's relief to let go of a lie. Ladies, you are beautiful. Unique. Intrinsically valuable. Made in the image of your Creator. You are captivating. It's time to rise up and challenge the lies that have beset you. Start believing you're worth loving. Beyond your talents and looks and wit. Just you. The first step to healing is acknowledging your wound.

Now my heart runs wild

Freely passion sings

Now words convey soul surges

Unfettered love won't tame

Fear must yield to love

Hearts must learn to break

Declare a war on habit

And bare your scars to light

A risk to be bold

Accept what is claimed

Though handicapped uncertain

Dare to open grace

God I know I trust

But this time a man

Placed my heart in human hands

Gently he has held me

So love here I am

Go ahead consume

I will not be frightened

This is the path I choose 

Related Post:

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

God's Satisfaction In Singleness

Post by Guest Writer Hannah Herndon on singleness.  Encouraging! 

God's satisfaction 
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In Singleness 

...For she was given all to fleshly lust,
And poured forth in sensuall delight,
That all regard of shame she had discust,
And meet respect of honour put to flight:
So shamelesse beauty soone becomes a loathly sight.

Faire Ladies, that to love captived arre,
And chaste desires do nourish in your mind,
Let not her fault your sweet affections marre,
Ne blot the bounty of all womankind;
'Mongst thousands good one wanton Dame to find:
Emongst the Roses grow some wicked weeds;
For this was not to love, but lust inclind;
For love does alwayes bring forth bounteous deeds,
And in each gentle hart desire of honour breeds.

The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser, 1590

The difference between love and lust, and the avoidance of lust, is something that can consume a girl's time and energy to a great extent. No follower of Christ wants to imitate the fleshly lust that the world is consumed with, and that flaunts itself on magazine covers and in romance novels. We recoil in horror at the thought of being this lady, described by Spenser:

Nought so of love this looser Dame did skill,
But as a coale to kindle fleshly flame,
Giving the bridle to her wanton will,
And treading under foote her honest name:
Such love is hate, and such desire is shame.

But when you have real needs, it can be hard not to think on that "someone". It can make you spend all day constantly thinking, "am I overstepping the bounds in my thoughts?" I don't know how many other girls have this problem, but I certainly have. It isn't healthy, to walk between doubt and desire, fear of sinning and a need that feels unmet.

 "God's love isn't a substitute for a man's, but it is better. It doesn't satisfy in the same way as a husband would, but it is more than enough to satisfy the soul."

I think I have found the key to resolving that kind of thinking, and I wanted to share it here. It doesn't honor God to walk between fear of "overstepping bounds" and the real desires that we all have. Trying to just "repress" those feelings isn't the answer. Neither is telling yourself that you just must go without until God sees fit for you to marry (this can lead to a secret grudge against God, among other things.) Nor is it telling yourself that God can fulfill those needs, and trying to find an outlet for those feelings in thinking about Him. (Although it isn't far from the answer, it misses closely... like just barely missing someone in a game of blind-man's-bluff.)

Yesterday I was doing dishes, in the afternoon... feeling a bit lonely, and having this "feelings struggle" for most of the day. I knew it wasn't healthy. I knew that God had something better for me to do than think on love and lust. I just turned and started thinking about God. I thought of all the good things He's done for me, as His child... given me an eternal hope, an inheritance in heaven that will never fade, and the loving family around me... and just that quickly, the thoughts of the "someone" faded away as I looked on the Lord's face. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" (Psalm 103). I realized what had just happened, and turned in amazement to see the thoughts of the longed-for person fading away, in my mind.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

The thing was, I didn't try to visualize God as a substitute for the love of a man. I've done that many times, and it never worked. I realized that the love of God and the love of a man are two different things. God's love isn't a substitute for a man's, but it is better. It doesn't satisfy in the same way as a husband would, but it is more than enough to satisfy the soul. I realized that it is quite possible to live and be whole without the love of a man, by experience. It doesn't mean that a man's love isn't good or wonderful. It's just an extra thing, optional in the course of life. Not necessary. I felt that I could live quite happily just serving God. Marriage will be wonderful, if I get to have it. But I don't need it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Spiritual Lessons


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My Dad just taught me something on forgiveness. And I wanted to share.

Forgiving someone can be like bringing an account to zero. Kind of like writing off bad debt. But then, sometimes, we have relationships we can't write off. They are still in our lives. But honestly, they are messing up our balance. How do you account for those relationships?

These relationships are normally the ones we've invested in. And somehow, sometime, we are now in the negatives. Something happens. Forgiveness decides on not holding onto that debt. And so, Dad mentioned, how do you fix the books? You put it into "accounts clearing". A Clearing Account is an account you use to move money from one account to another account when you cannot move the money directly. This account normally has a balance of $0.00 because you always take out the same amount that you put in. In other words, it's a way to start back at $0. It's normally also a temporary account. Until you can find where to move that transaction accurately.

I wanted to just write off my hard relationship. Reconciliation is impossible at this point. I craved some sort of closure. And Dad told me to move it to accounts clearing, and to let God figure out the rest. Start at zero.

But how to practically apply that? How to interact with that person? do I interact with people I've had zero investment in? I am cordial. I am polite. I have a level of interest in their life. I'll smile. I'm kind. That's how I'm to act. The negatives are erased. Gone.

Hurt and pride would like to hold some people to their debt. Forgiveness says "you owe me nothing."

Should some people be held accountable for their actions? Should tyrants be defied and abusers exposed? Should we be intolerant of sin? Should truth be irrevocably proclaimed. Does love call for repentance? ABSOLUTELY YES.

Is that compatible with forgiveness? YES. Love, truth, forgiveness, rebuking, provoking, exhortation, confrontation -- all of them are expected by our God. Commands. And we must obey. They are all results of obedience. And they are holy responses.

Spiritual Abuse Part 1
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