Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘listening to God’

Doing “Honest Business” With God

SOURCE:  Rick Warren

The First Step to a Clear Conscience

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT, second edition).

The first step on the path to a clear conscience is to take a personal moral inventory or a personal spiritual assessment.

You need to sit down with God in a quiet space by yourself when you’re unhurried and say, “God, I’m going to do business with you. I’m going to make a list of anything that’s between you and me that’s wrong in my life. Help me to see the things that I know are wrong and the things that I don’t know are wrong.” Ask God to clear your mind and reveal your sins.

You can pray Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (NLT, second edition). You’re saying, “God, turn your spotlight on my inner self. Find the stuff in me that’s entangled me and that’s holding me back.”

It’s important to take your time. Don’t rush it! Don’t say, “God, I’ve got five minutes for you to reveal every sin I’ve ever done.” Take your time. Write it all down.

Why is it important to write it down? Writing makes it specific. Thoughts disentangle themselves through the lips and the fingertips. You speak it, and you write it. If you haven’t written it down, you haven’t really thought about it.

Let me ask you a very important question. How serious are you about wanting God’s blessing on your life? Enough that you’re willing to be gut-level honest? Are you willing to be honest with God? Are you willing to be honest with yourself? Are you willing to be honest with other people? Or are you just going to live in denial? Denial and God’s blessing do not go hand-in-hand.

If you’re serious, then you’re just a step away from liberation! You are one step away from a feeling of joy and purity that you’ve never experienced. You are so close to freedom from the habits and hurts and hang-ups that are messing up your life.

Don’t procrastinate. There is nothing more important in your life than to have the blessing of God. Take time today, get alone by yourself, and do a personal spiritual assessment. It will change your life!

Can You Hear HIM?

SOURCE:  American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)/Tim Clinton

“The holy and most glorious God invites us to come to Him, to converse with Him, to ask from Him such things as we need, and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him.” -Andrew Murray

Conversations with my kids. One of the highlights of every day. Sometimes it is “guy talk” with Zach over dinner, in the gym, or on the way to school. He rarely gets out of the vehicle without a quick prayer spoken over him, followed by a “love you dad” thrown over his shoulder.

Megan and I talk and text every day. Granted, it is often a short phone conversation as she is studying for a college exam, or working on a class project. Usually she calls just to hear me tell her I love her. But even those few minutes are sweet precious moments of joy poured directly into my heart.

I simply cannot imagine going days or weeks without connecting with my children.

God desires no less with His children, which we are — “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”John 1:12 ESV

What’s interesting is that in the English Standard Version of the Bible, the phrase,“The Lord said” is used nearly 300 times. Add to that the similar wording, “The Lord spoke” and the number goes to almost 500.

I believe God wants us to know Him and to be in touch with His ways. Personally. Intimately.

Of course He speaks to us first and foremost through His Word. The Bible is the eternal, unchanging love letter given to us by our Heavenly Father “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

The Hebrew writer declared “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two—edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV

It is interesting that God didn’t just speak to “special people”. He even spoke to everyday broken people like Hagar (Genesis 16) and Ananias (Acts 9).

In Jonah 2:10, God even spoke to a fish!!

Consider the following verses:

“Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” Isaiah 50:4 ESV

Today, if you hear His voice…” Psalm 95:7 ESV

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…and they will listen to my voice.” John 10:14-16 ESV

God is speaking. Can you hear Him? Maybe His voice is drowned out by the noise of what really doesn’t matter. Are we so busy asking for our “needs” that we fail to hear “I love you” spoken by God?

God connects with us through His Holy Spirit. Romans 8:16 ESV reminds us that “The spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God…”

Jesus reassured us that the Holy Spirit would come to be our “helper” and to “teach us all things.” John 14:26 ESV

He often also pours into us through other Christians — “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador…” Ephesians 6:19-20 ESV

Get someplace alone and quiet with God. Meditate on His Word and pray. Let Him speak to your heart. Come to Him with a spirit of expectation. Let Him fill you with His grace and truth.

Listen to the Spirit call. Surround yourself with others who are apt to teach you the Holy Scriptures and the things of God.

It will turn your life around.

Whose “Whisper” Are You Listening To?

SOURCE:  American Association of Christian Counselors

The Sound of a Low Whisper

Instead of concentrating on your problems and getting discouraged, focus on God and meditate on His promises for you. You may have fallen down, but you don’t have to stay down. God is ready, willing and able to pick you up. -Joyce Meyers

If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows, then we must starve eternally. -C. S. Lewis

Highs and lows.

One minute we experience a victorious spiritual breakthrough and are on the top of the world.

The next minute the raw realities of life assault the very core of our faith.

As if that isn’t enough the evil one loves to then whisper in our ears… “What a loser”… “You really can’t do anything right can you?”… “God isn’t listening”… “You will never be used”… “You’d better run for your life”… “God isn’t really there for you”…

And too often we believe him.

Elijah understood this. Under the rule of King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel, the children of Israel had turned their back on God and worshipped Baal. In a bold attempt to turn the people’s hearts back to God, Elijah calls the prophets of Baal to a contest. A sacrifice was prepared and Elijah challenges, “And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:24 ESV)

The deceived prophets cried out to Baal all day and no fire fell. Elijah then takes his turn. He prays to the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel…then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering, and when all of the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord He is God; the Lord He is God.’” (1 Kings 18:36-39 ESV)

Elijah experiences a stunning victory.

A short six verses later, Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah “by this time tomorrow” (1 Kings 19:2 ESV). Then “he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life.” (1 Kings 19:3 ESV) Elijah sits down under a tree and asks to die – “O Lord, take away my life…” (1 Kings 19:4ESV) and then falls asleep.

His triumph turned to discouragement – discouragement to depression – and depression to despair. What a turn of events

A quick scan of Elijah’s predicament can be best understood as the HALT syndrome. He found himself:

Hungry… he physically stopped eating

Angry… mad at God

Lonely… traveling in the journey alone

Tired… collapsed into sleep

Just when we think God isn’t there — that He has abandoned us – that the whole world would be better off without us – God is ready to meet us at each point of need.

Consider what happens next – – – An angel of the Lord wakes him up, and gives Elijah this simple instruction – “Arise and eat.” Elijah looked and there was “a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he “arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” (1 Kings 19:5-8 ESV)

If you’re in a pit it just might be that you need real food and sleep.

Then notice vs. 12 – God lovingly reaches out to His servant. He doesn’t leave him hopeless – He speaks in the “sound of a low whisper”, reassuring him of his presence, power and provision.

The all-powerful God is also intensely personal.

In times of despair we must slow the process and lean into his voice — listening and obeying as He conforms our will to His.

God may perform great miracles; more often, however, He is quietly at work in the hearts and souls of His people, speaking words of truth and comfort.

Listen and follow Him.

It will turn your life around.

A Distant Whisper (from a pursuing God)

SOURCE:  John Eldredge

When the young prophet Samuel heard the voice of God calling to him in the night, he had the counsel from his priestly mentor, Eli, to tell him how to respond. Even so, it took them three times to realize it was God calling. Rather than ignoring the voice, or rebuking it, Samuel finally listened.

In our modern, pragmatic world we often have no such mentor, so we do not understand it is God speaking to us in our heart. Having so long been out of touch with our deepest longing, we fail to recognize the voice and the One who is calling to us through it.

Frustrated by our heart’s continuing sabotage of a dutiful Christian life, some of us silence the voice by locking our heart away in the attic, feeding it only the bread and water of duty and obligation until it is almost dead, the voice now small and weak. But sometimes in the night, when our defenses are down, we still hear it call to us, oh so faintly-a distant whisper.

Come morning, the new day’s activities scream for our attention, the sound of the cry is gone, and we congratulate ourselves on finally overcoming the flesh.

Others of us agree to give our heart a life on the side if it will only leave us alone and not rock the boat. We try to lose ourselves in our work, or “get a hobby” (either of which soon begins to feel like an addiction); we have an affair, or develop a colorful fantasy life fed by dime-store romances or pornography. We learn to enjoy the juicy intrigues and secrets of gossip. We make sure to maintain enough distance between ourselves and others, and even between ourselves and our own heart, to keep hidden the practical agnosticism we are living now that our inner life has been divorced from our outer life.

Having thus appeased our heart, we nonetheless are forced to give up our spiritual journey because our heart will no longer come with us. It is bound up in the little indulgences we feed it to keep it at bay.

(The Sacred Romance , 2-3)

Take Time To Listen

SOURCE:  Living Free/A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him by Dr. Mike Chapman.

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.” Joshua 3:9 NLT

Communication is a vital key to every relationship.

And so it is with our relationship with Christ. Intimacy with God is not possible without communication.

When we pray, we talk to God.

When we listen, God can talk to us.

Unfortunately, most of us spend all our prayer time talking to him, never taking time to listen.

God speaks to us in various ways:

Through the teaching of the Bible. Through Scripture “explosions.” (This is when a verse literally jumps off the page and speaks to us.) He speaks through a “still, small voice” in our hearts and minds. And sometimes he speaks though other people or through circumstances—in these cases, the message will usually be a confirmation of something he has already told us.

Consider this … 
How do we know when we are hearing from God, not the enemy or even our own imagination? First, God comes openly with peace, never causing fear, anxiety or guilt. Second, his message will always line up with Scripture and will build faith. And third, his message will result in more love and more power in our lives—not in confusion.

God loves you and wants to communicate with you.  Learn to listen!

Lord, teach me to hear your voice. Help me to talk less and listen more when I pray. Help me to hear clearly from you as I read the Bible. And throughout each day, help me to be more open to hearing you speak to me no matter what else I’m doing or where I am. Teach me to listen. In Jesus’ name …

God’s Assurance

He Himself has said . . . . So we may boldly say . . . —Hebrews 13:5-6

SOURCE:  Oswald Chambers

My assurance is to be built upon God’s assurance to me.

God says, “I will never leave you,” so that then I “may boldly say, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

In other words, I will not be obsessed with apprehension. This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I will remember God’s words of assurance. I will be full of courage, like a child who strives to reach the standard his father has set for him. The faith of many people begins to falter when apprehensions enter their thinking, and they forget the meaning of God’s assurance— they forget to take a deep spiritual breath. The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.

What are you fearing?

Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it— you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ’The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.” Are you learning to listen to God before you speak, or are you saying things and then trying to make God’s Word fit what you have said? Take hold of the Father’s assurance, and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you . . . .’ “

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be nonexistent. But remember God’s assurance to us— “I will never. . . forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote?

Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

How Do You Spell Relief?

Learning to let your pain lead you to God

SOURCE: Kevin Miller/Discipleship Journal

Have you noticed that life is difficult? It certainly starts with difficulty—for both the mother and the baby. And the end is often difficult. Recently I stood vigil with a friend at his dying father’s bedside. A plastic tube snaked from an oxygen outlet on the wall to a mask over the father’s nose and mouth. The stenciled black letters on his hospital gown rose and fell with every gasp.

Between that beginning and that ending, each of our lives brings some degree of difficulty, some level of pain. Early on we discover ways to soothe ourselves: get a good grade, make somebody laugh, dress up and receive compliments. Soon enough, however, we graduate to more adult methods of relieving our agonies.


We’re all familiar with socially unacceptable avenues for numbing our pain such as alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Yet we may fail to recognize the less obvious “medications” people use to handle life’s disappointments.

Applause.  A Christian musician told me, “On stage you can get the feeling of excitement, the feeling of being larger than life. The lights are on you and people are appreciating and admiring you. You really start to like that experience. It tells you, ‘I am somebody.’ And you can’t get enough.”

Adrenaline.  We can pump up our adrenaline to cover our pain by watching frightening movies, driving aggressively, or booking our lives full of activities. Anger also can bring a rush of adrenaline, making us feel stronger and more in control. Anger can become a defense, an energizer, and even a friend.

Food.  Ah, the pleasure of eating hot corn on the cob with butter melting into it. But food was not given to drown our sorrows. Jan Christiansen confessed in one article, “I’d been hungry for pizza for days. . . . Yesterday was a bad day for me. One thing after another hit me until I found myself in a ‘blue funk.’ . . . It was late. I was depressed, and I ordered pizza. . . . I turned to that food to ‘make it all better.'”

Shopping.  Acquiring more stuff is a useful anesthetic. We can get a surge of pleasure from searching for and then owning something new. I recently stood over a display case filled with PDAs, staring dreamily at the Palm Tungsten with its sleek anodized aluminum case. I nearly started drooling. Later I wondered, What was that about?

Achievement.  Several years ago, as part of a spiritual–life assessment tool, I asked three people who knew me well—my wife, my prayer partner, and my teenaged son—to fill out a feedback form. All three ranked me low on the same statement: “Shows an inner contentment even when things go wrong.” I was surprised, since I see myself as even–keeled. But all three told me, “When work is going well, you’re doing well. When work is not going well, you’re moody and upset.”

Guilty as charged, I realized. I’ve said my identity is based on God’s love for me, but much of it is really keyed to my performance.

My pattern looked like this: Driven to excel and be recognized, I would take on too much. Then when the work began to build, so would the stress. I’d start to think, It would feel so good to be completely caught up. The fantasy of completion (and perfection and accomplishment and reward) would build until I’d dive into my work and stay up till 2 or 3 a.m.—or even dawn. Instead of feeling tired, I’d be flying higher than a kite.

I told myself that I was just a high achiever, someone who pursued excellence and wanted to provide for his family. While there was some truth in that, something in me was taking a good thing such as work and twisting it with indulgence.

Whether it’s through shopping, eating, working, or something else entirely, we want to feel better. Yet the underlying pain remains, because life is difficult. We have no reason to expect otherwise. The Bible doesn’t portray people who were free of suffering, least of all Jesus. Even when He was a toddler, people tried to murder Him. He was abandoned, unfairly judged, and cruelly executed. We’re told Jesus was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Is. 53:3).

No, we can’t erase life’s pain. There’s no shortcut to avoid it and no end run around it, so we try to ease it.

God’s–Eye View

We may think it’s OK to medicate our pain as long as our “medicine” is socially acceptable. But God doesn’t look at it that way. God sees us turning to this thing when we’re down. God sees us looking forward to it. God sees our hearts going after it. God sees us asking this thing to tell us, “It’s OK, it will be all right, you matter,” though these are words only He can speak to us. God is not fooled; He sees that our “medication” has become an idol. Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God, explains that “an idol is anything you turn to for help when God told you to turn to Him for help.”

In Jeremiah, God cries out:

My people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!

—Jer. 2:13, NLT

To grow closer to God, we need to recognize when we have slipped across the line from enjoying something to using it as an idol. We need to stop soothing our pain through ways that were never meant for that purpose.

Don’t underestimate the difficulty of this process.

My wife, Karen, a counselor, once worked with a client who couldn’t control his anger. His outbursts were affecting his wife, his children, and his coworkers. Karen wanted to find out if he could even conceive of living differently, so she asked, “What would your life look like if you got rid of your anger?” He sat silent for a long time. Then he said, “If I get rid of my anger, what will I have left?”

You won’t want to give up your “helper.” But when you say no to the false help, you can say yes to something even better. Henri Nouwen said in an interview,

I cannot continuously say “No” to this or “No” to that, unless there is something 10 times more attractive to choose. Saying “No” to my lust, my greed, my needs, and the world’s powers takes an enormous amount of energy. The only hope is to find something so obviously real and attractive that I can devote all my energies to saying “Yes.” . . . One such thing I can say “Yes” to is when I come in touch with the fact that I am loved. Once I have found that in my total brokenness I am still loved, I become free from the compulsion of doing successful things.

We have to find something incredibly good to replace our chosen pain reliever. Obviously, “something 10 times more attractive” is God. But many Christians would say, “I’ve been having quiet times and doing all the right Christian things, yet I’m not finding my relationship with God powerful enough to deal with my pain. What do I do?”

Coming Clean

The decision to turn away from false help isn’t one of simply adding more “right things.” Rather, you must take the path that leads you into the pain.

Admit your pain.  Few people acknowledge the amount of pain they carry or how heavily they’re medicating it. I know people in their late 40s who still are unaware of (or unwilling to face) the scars they carry.

One friend says, “My family had this idea that we were the perfect family—and we were a good family. But the myth that we were perfect kept us from being honest. . . . It took me years before I could look around and say, ‘My sisters and I are all carrying pain.'”

Health begins with honesty. Are you willing to acknowledge your pain, listen to it, and let it lead you to God?

Confess how you’ve been medicating yourself.  Almost as difficult as acknowledging pain is admitting how you’ve been trying to manage it. Are you willing to confess the ways you have asked a created thing to tell you you’re OK? Harboring an idol is not just a lovable weakness, a little mistake, or a bad idea: It’s serious. Joshua urged the people of God:

Fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped . . . and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.

—Josh. 24:14–15

God is all that your idols can never be: your Creator who will rescue you.

Break the escape cycle.  Medicating pain usually follows a predictable cycle.

  • Stress.  Your day goes badly; your week goes sour; the argument gets out of hand. Pressure builds.
  • Fantasy.  You start thinking about this thing that makes you feel better. You imagine how good doing it or having it would feel. The fantasy grows.
  • Indulgence.  You give in: You eat too much, visit the porn site, rage at the kids, buy the PDA.
  • Release.  You feel better.
  • Guilt.  The relief doesn’t last. Almost immediately, you feel regret and guilt. You pledge to try harder, but then stress mounts, and you repeat the cycle.

You have to halt the cycle early to break the pattern. When you feel stress building, you must exercise your will to turn to God rather than continue toward the thing that brings relief. This will require some preparation. Ask yourself, “When am I most likely to feel stress? What would remind me to notice that stress rather than unthinkingly move into the fantasy stage? What would it look like to break the cycle by bringing that pain to God?”

Open your life to others.  Your idols have rewarded you (while damaging your soul). To continue turning from them will be difficult. You need relationships to help you see the hand of God at work in your life.

Meeting with a friend over a weekly sack lunch helped me greatly when I was trying to break the cycle of using work to feel good. As we talked about our lives and prayed for each other, I gradually realized, Tim cares about me even when I’m messed up. And then I began to understand, God must love me like that too. Just as Henri Nouwen predicted, tasting the sweetness of God’s love began to “free me from the compulsion of doing successful things.”

Listen to God.  Scripture is as essential to our spirits as food is to our bodies. We need to hear what God is saying as we read the Bible or worship. Sometimes God also speaks through a caring Christian friend.

Listening to God sounds simple, but we may resist opening our spirits to Him. Why? Once we’re quiet, we feel—sometimes for the first time—the extent of our pain. The rage, the sorrow, the loneliness flood our souls. One writer describes this as “bearing our pain in God’s presence.” It takes courage. Persevere, though, for the word God speaks is the only thing powerful enough to soothe our pain, give us hope, and free us from idols—as I found out several years ago.

The Other Side of Pain

I was jet–skiing on a lake in Wisconsin when I suddenly noticed I was about to hit a high wake from another boat. I felt a slam on the side of my head and seconds later realized I was underwater. When I came to the surface, I felt dazed and nauseated. Soon an intense, heavy headache began.

I went home and read from the Mayo Clinic Family Health book:

About a third of all persons with concussion have a combination of symptoms . . . for some time after a head injury. In addition to headache and dizziness, these symptoms may include insomnia, irritability, restlessness, inability to concentrate, depression, or personality changes such as moodiness.

This became a prophecy for my life.

For several nights I couldn’t sleep for fear of drowning, so I lay in a fetal position on the sofa, unable to control my thoughts: What if I have permanent damage from this accident? What if I can’t concentrate or handle my job? What will Karen do when I’m unemployed? Will she still love me?

I was like a caged animal, scared and wide–eyed.

On the fourth morning, I went to the emergency room, where I sat in a little stall under the fluorescent lights, feeling alone. And then I had a very clear sense that Jesus was standing next to me, His hand on my shoulder. I began to weep in relief and gratitude just to know He was with me.

The doctor put me on an anti-anxiety medication that made me calmer . . . for a little while. I’d be sitting in a meeting at work and suddenly feel as if three Dobermans were charging me. Breathing fast, I’d repeat to myself, Don’t run from the room. Don’t run from the room.

I went to a psychiatrist. In the waiting room I eyed the other unfortunates pretending to read magazines. “You may be here because you need a psychiatrist,” I wanted to yell, “but I don’t! I can pull my life together anytime I want. It’s just that I . . . uh . . . I . . . ”

The psychiatrist put me on a different medication that immediately calmed me. Yet the thought of each day’s work would still slay me. Before, work had energized me. Now the sight of a calendar clogged with appointments made me feel as if I had to empty Lake Michigan with a spoon.

I could see in people’s eyes that they were worried about me. One day a coworker asked how I was doing since the accident. I admitted, “Well, I’m having some problems with dizziness and anxiety attacks.” His lips tightened. Was it concern or disapproval?

Finally Karen said, “Look, you have sabbatical time built up. Why don’t you take two weeks off?”

I balked because I knew everyone would ask about it, and I couldn’t say something such as “I’m going on vacation,” or “I have some writing to do.” How could I say, “I need to get my head back on straight”?

I had always trusted my mind and my ability to work; now I was weak and unable to handle one day. I had always wanted to look good in front of my bosses; now I felt humiliated. My idols of excellence and recognition were being dismantled. All I could do was hope in God and cling to Him.

One day my then–11–year–old son, Andrew, handed me a piece of paper with a Bible reference on it. “Here, Dad. I was reading and thought this was for you.” I looked it up and read,

Therefore, thus says the Lord, “If you return, then I will restore you—Before Me you will stand. . . . For I am with you to save you and deliver you.”

—Jer. 15:19–20, NASB

Each night I read those verses, repeating the words, “I will restore you.” I hung on to that passage like a drowning man hanging on to a life preserver.

God kept His word. When no one could truly help me or understand what I was going through, God loved me and decided, for His purposes and His glory, to restore me. Over the next few months I gradually regained my strength, composure, hope, and balance.

How well I know that hearing from God is the soul’s only hope. With what difficulty I came to realize that my idol of achievement had to be crushed so I might worship God alone.

In life, you and I are going to feel deep, deep hurt. Our instinctive reaction will be to numb that pain. But life and wholeness come when we decide not to dull our senses, but to listen to our pain and let it lead us to God. In His presence, we can say yes to something 10 times greater: His love.

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