Siesta Survey for Your Mama’s Insight

Hey, Darling Things. Let me blurt out from the beginning that you guys are so dear to me. I genuinely love this community with a heart full to the brim. Your comments to Sunday’s post drew me in, made me smile, and some of them made me laugh out loud. Per the question, how far was I from the little farm house when the rancher saw me and reported me in certain peril to my man, several miles. Keith and I are still amused by it but we are thankful for such good neighbors. Just when we think we’ve gotten a little more normal, something reminds him and me that we are caricatures that could be fodder for the weirdest sitcom on network television. Shiver. I’m just picturing my character’s hair. And the size of her Bible. And, eewwww, the accent. And picture the double barrel shotgun in Keith’s character’s hand. But, if they show him without a shirt, cry foul because that’s not my man. Never, I do mean NEVER would my man go without a shirt outside the shower. Nor does he respect a grown man that does. (Unless he’s in his swim trunks and those better come nearly to the man’s knees.) He also gives the stink eye to a grown man that wears his shirt open two buttons. That’s not cool to Keith. And if the man has on a gold chained necklace, you best keep him out of Keith’s path all together. OK, Lord, have mercy. How do I get off on all this stuff? It’s y’all that bring this out in me.

Here’s the reason why I’m posting today. I’m looking to my favorite community for insight regarding this weekend’s event and maybe, if any of it pertains, for insight toward the taping for James in May. (Much more on that later because I really, really want to enlist your prayers.) These are my two questions and please notice that they pertain to two different groups among you.

1. To anyone in our blog community: This one’s wide open. Have you ever experienced a painful breakage in a close relationship you had with another believer? I’m especially talking about relationships that you believed at the time to be woven together by the bonds of Christ but something happened that resulted in a fissure. If so, WITHOUT DIVULGING ANYTHING THAT WOULD IDENTIFY YOUR PERSON, what happened? And here’s a really important part of it: did the relationship mend or did you go your separate ways? Please stick to one meaty paragraph because I want to read every single entry. If it’s too long, I’ll have to skip it. Remember, no names or pieces of information that people can track. We never want to dishonor anyone on this blog. So that I can differentiate between answers to this question and those to the next, please start your comment with the word “Relationship.”

2. Limited just to the people attending this weekend’s LPL in Little Rock, Arkansas: I’d love to already have a few of your stories in mind for this weekend. In a compact paragraph, would you please tell me your first name, your general age group, whether you are married or single, and your biggest concern or challenge right now? Please keep in mind that I could very well share it with the entire group as an example of the kinds of things we’re dealing with in our audience so your comment will act as your permission. Please, please don’t leave a comment I can’t share or I could end up getting it confused with the others and telling it by accident. Remember, you are entrusting your personal information to Blonder Than She Pays To Be. Also don’t make stuff up as a trick so you can get a kick out of it when I tell it. Yes, people do stuff like that on blogs and it’s totally lame. Don’t do it here. So that I can differentiate between this answer and the ones to the previous question, please start your comment with the word “Little Rock.” If you are also answering question 1, please do it in a separate comment. This will help me immensely as I peruse the survey.

You guys are rock stars to me. Thank you so much. May all of this information and everything else that happens on this blog ultimately bring greater fame to the powerful, healing, saving Name of Jesus Christ.

Our Lord.

And Savior.

 

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994 Responses to “Siesta Survey for Your Mama’s Insight”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Marty says:

    Relationship:

    I have experienced this — such pain even years later. My closest friend reunited/remarried her spouse (after a divorce.) Her family was not happy and blamed me (because it’s easier to blame someone else?) Over time, maintaining a relationship with me became too much for my friend to handle, I guess. She refuses contact with me. So very hard but I know my Father has a better plan than what I could manage. Friendships require walking on the tightrope of trust – and sometimes the rope breaks.

  2. 2
    KMSmom86 says:

    RELATIONSHIP – We are currently in the midst of a breakage. He is a member of our church and serves in a variety of leadership capacities. He and my husband are deacons; the wife and I are best friends. Our men have never gotten along well and the rift is growing larger because of our children. I am praying diligently that the wife and I remain bff’s in spite of the discord between our men.

  3. 3
    Sarah Marion says:

    Relationship – Had a close girlfriend that stepped away from her walk with Jesus Christ in our teen years causing a strained friendship. She soon moved away and we lost touch with each other. She just moved back to my area, is a STRONG believer and we are renewing our friendship! We are having a blast getting reacquainted and sharing the tough times God has carried us through and the miracles God has brought into both of our lives.

  4. 4
    Andrea Vandiver says:

    Little Rock – Andrea. 23 years old. Married. My biggest concern right now is how to work full time and go to school full time while being a wife who cooks and cleans and takes care of the home. After being separated from my husband for two months, the Lord brought him back to me and began to heal our marriage. Since then, I’ve felt so must pressure to hold it all together. My job provides about 2/3 of our income, so finding a way to do it all and still be beautiful and take care of my body is nearly impossible. I’m still in college and am about two years away from a degree. Oh boy! I can’t even think about how we’re going to manage to have kids! I can’t imagine not being able to stay home with them, but I don’t see how I can do it. Lord help me! Whew!

  5. 5
    Kathy Fraley says:

    LITTLE ROCK

  6. 6
    Jana says:

    Relationship.

    My best friend in high school and I were the type that were drawn together by God. To make a long story short, she began dating a guy who was physically hurting her, and then she tried to cover it up. After a year, I finally confronted her. I told her that I loved her and I couldn’t stand for her to be hurt any longer. She wouldn’t hear me at all and I ended our friendship, included with that was not going to their wedding. After 10 years, she emailed me and told me that I was right, and I was the only friend who called her out on it. Sadly, what it has cost her is a lifetime of heartache. Our friendship was never renewed.

  7. 7
    Kathy Fraley says:

    LITTLE ROCK, Kathy, 50something, married. My biggest challenge right now is realizing how short the time is before Christ’s return and desperately praying for lost family members.

  8. 8
    Carolyn says:

    Relationship: (wish I could say Little Rock, but got to say Clovis!!)
    I became friends with a dear lady and her family some years ago, we instantly bonded – she being quiet and well, I being the complete opposite! We shared so many things of the Lord in common – mostly the passion to know Him better and the deep love of His music and worshipping Him. We felt the Lord had drawn us together, and it was a joy to know that we lived right in the same neighborhood and they began attending our church. I became “auntie” to all their kids and we spent many hours together, laughing, singing, and praying together. She told me many times I brought the “fun” into her home. She did struggle in her overly quiet nature which I soon learned was extreme insecurities as well as a hard marriage to be in, but I never saw that me being in their lives could become a threat or seen as intrusion. Sadly, that is how it “blew up”, with her husband accusing me of some things (that were proven not true), but the damage had been done. It was very difficult to continue to live near them and worship with them, but I sought Godly counsel and did all I could to restore the relationship. It tore me up, and I have to honestly admit that I still have times where I have to take it all to the Lord again or it would derail me. We have come to place where we can worship together, and at least she and I have been able to “be friendly” with each other. The husband has never sought me out to talk it through Biblically with me and my husband, and so I have to leave it there. I am not saying I was sinless – I did see and confess the things I had done, but the hardest part about all this is there is no restoration of relationship. Can I say painful? sigh. I have learned much about relationships/friendships – give and take, hurt and forgiveness, joy and sorrow – and much growth if we let God use us and grow us. I’m in a friendship right now that has just grown from some hurtful bumps, but we chose to work them through because we care about the friendship God brought together, not about being “right”. Wow, thanx for the chance to remember and see how far God has brought me and the joy of His restoring my heart and soul even when the restoration isn’t in the earthly relationship. Giving Him the Glory!

  9. 9
    Shannon says:

    Relationship

    I had a very dear Christian friend. Her family graciously welcomed my family and really lived out Christ’s love for us. My husband and I had struggled with secondary-infertility after our daughter was born, and my friend and her husband had been unable to get pregnant with their second child. One spring, about 1 1/2 weeks apart, she and I found out we were both pregnant. We were ecstatic, living life together, celebrating God’s graciousness. Unfortunately, about 12 weeks into my pregnancy, my husband and I endured another miscarriage. I was utterly heartbroken and severed all ties with this friend for the duration of her pregnancy. My pain and jealousy were so overwhelming, I was unable to reconcile even when her son was born. This past year I became pregnant and was on and off bed rest for most of the year. She kept her distance, but after our daughter was born, she cooked for us and periodically checked in on us. I finally called her out of the blue and begged her forgiveness for the prior years. She was gracious and sweetly said she understood. We certainly aren’t where we were prior to all of this, but God is bringing us forgiveness and peace. Christ always used her to encourage me to seek excellence in my own life. Now he is teaching me forgiveness, gentleness, patience, and reconciliation through her.

  10. 10
    Patty says:

    “Relationship”

    Yes. During a very hard time in my life, my friend turned on me and to be honest, I didn’t react to it in a godly way. We went our separate ways but my heart was broken over the loss of the friendship. Mutual friends sided with this person and turned their backs on me and lied about me to others. Years later we did reconcile by the grace of God. I learned a lot during that season.

  11. 11
    Joyce says:

    Relationships

    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I still remember vividly when you, Beth, first shared that verse through your Beautiful Mind series. I literally wept through it all, while the Lord did some amazing healing. The enemy had taken a strong hold of my mind and took it down a very disastrous and painful path. I ended up ruining a wonderful friendship and ministry because of lies that were planted in my mind. This relationship is still strained. Mended somewhat. But the trust is, understandably, from their heart, gone.
    Beth, your ministry, your life, and just being real has blessed my soul beyond measure. My precious Jesus has used you to speak life into so many corners of my heart.
    Thank you.

  12. 12
    Mollie says:

    Relationship
    I married a believer right out of high school. I believe the Lord has good plans for me. I believe in being obedient to what the bible teaches. I stayed with him for 13 years and 2 affairs. I believed each time, that with all my heart God wanted me to forgive and stay. And i did! God healed me of anger and bitterness. But in January of 2006 our marraige ended when he finally did leave. I questioned everything I knew about God. Everything that I believed was falling apart. I tried to hang on to what I knew. That God loved me and my 2 boys and that HE was all I needed. It was all so very painful and very difficult. I could not understand how God would allow 2 Christians to divorce when I was praying so hard for it to stop. Flash forward 5 years. God has shown me the HE can take care of me. That in obedience there is much blessing and strength. He has given me a heart for single moms and children of divorce (something I turned my nose up at before) and marriage. He has taught me about true forgiveness and what it means to love as Christ loves. (althought I am continually learning more!) I am now re-married and we have 5 kids together. God is so good. In our obedience to our Gracious Heavenly Father, He has meshed our kids together and He is the Rebuilder of our broken walls. Oh how I love the Lord more then I ever could. The key has been much painful obedience and TRUSTING in what I cannot see!

    • 12.1
      Mollie says:

      Could I just add that like Job.. I my ears heard of HIM but now I my eyes see. Also like Jesus commanded the blind man to wash the mud He had made for his eyes THEN he could see..just as the cripple HE told get up and THEN he could walk.. WE must be obedient..THEN we will see HIS glory. 🙂
      I hope this will help anyone who is struggling..just keep on keepin’ on with JESUS 🙂

  13. 13
    tamara says:

    Relationship… YIKES! I am going through it right now with someone whom God put in my life. We drew close during a time (after a move) I had no other close face-to-face friends, but when my life evolved, she grew jealous. She did some things that were potentially damaging to my family within the last year, and I tried so hard to move forward. But in the last several weeks, her behavior has sealed that she is not a sincere friend, and the jealousy and strife rises up inside of her. I got ugly during a conversation that was very heated, and though I apologized for speaking in anger, I am not sorry for finally revealing that I am not buying into her manipulative acts anymore. As far as the outcome, I am uncertain. We are “connected” through our children and see each other all the time, but we have not had a conversation. I have completely turned it over to God. I feel He will work it out in His timing if we are ever meant to be friends, but I just can’t continue to allow her to suck my energy right now. Not sure if this will be helpful to you… I am absolutely loving the memory challenge! I really needed the challenge to help me focus in on God’s words to me this year. It has so far proven to be a “challenging” year, but having these words on my heart has helped out so much during the day and the wee hours of the morning when my head starts to buzz! Thanks so much for all you do in your ministry!

  14. 14
    Brigit says:

    Relationship: Yes, I did have a very close relationship end. It was so heartbreaking to me. I was very close to this lady and one day she just called me up and said that God had told her she was to break off our friendship because I gossiped too much. She never once said anything before that about gossiping. I was so hurt and shocked I cried for days. She was one of the main reasons I had become a Christian-her walk was so close to God and I wanted that in my life.

    We never made up. She is someone in my husband’s family so I have to see her occasionally. I honestly don’t think she knows how bad she hurt me then and has hurt me since.

  15. 15
    JLI says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    About 3 1/2 years ago, I pursued an unhealthy, un-Godly relationship. Several friends, one in particular, tried earnestly to warn me away from it and hold me accountable, but I chose the less wiser path. The relationship itself removed me from my church and my friends altogether for about two years. When I finally “woke up” and realized the relationship was poisonous to me and my walk with God, I WALKED…straight back into the fold of the church that had remained faithful to me even when I wasn’t faithful to them. Another friend had offered me a place to stay for about six months after the “break up”, at which time I healed but also began a relationship that became my marriage. I had hurt her with some decisions I’d made by wistfully pursuing the man who is now my husband. I also lost contact with a dear friend, who at the time was beginning to watch the demise of her marriage. When I finally returned to my home church once and for all, I had some honest and difficult conversations with each woman, apologizing my selfishness and for how I had taken advantage of their concern, compassion and graciousness toward me. I’d so humbled and thankful to say that all 3 relationships have been restored. They are each amazing friends, sisters, mentors, and wise spiritual counselors in my life.

  16. 16
    Tori says:

    Relationship: She understood me better than almost anyone I’ve ever met. And we hardly had problems… but miscommunication and LACK of communication is what (I think) led to our downfall. We never worked it out, we were both hurt and confused. I still think about her frequently and wonder if I could have done something differently. And I still miss her.

  17. 17
    Jen H. says:

    Relationship–A close friend and I struggled through infertility together. Then, after we both became moms years later and I suffered a miscarriage with my 2nd child, we grew apart and had an ugly falling out. We attempted to restore the relationship, but it was never the same. Too many hurtful things were said and the bond of trust was broken. Unfortunately, I’m still harboring some guilt and unforgiveness. Yet, I’m hoping and praying to work through those feelings.

  18. 18
    Jerry Ann says:

    Relationship – yes, with someone during a special emphasis regarding child care. Yes, we worked it out, but the relationship is still strained in regards to the past event. It is like speaking about politics, we just don’t bring it up. Feelings are involved, and it still hurts, but all is forgiven and we work together for the common goal.

    =)
    Have a wonderful Tuesday Momma Beth.

  19. 19
    Ouida (anonymous please) says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    She & I walked down a road together. She trusted me with her pains and hurts and I trusted her with mine. Soon I began to see inconsistensies with what she told others and what she told me. She is married, she told me very unhappily; that God has never released her from the marriage. She told others that her husband was a wonderful godly man. She called me her best friend. She called the others, her best friends. She asked me (a single woman) to move into her vacation home so I would save money on rent. It wouldn’t cost me anything. Each time I prayed about it, a wall would come up …I wanted to say yes. Eventually, afer much prayer and talking with my minister I realized that she wanted to control my every movement. I had to walk away from the relationship, and it has hurt both of us. I have tried to talk with her about it, but since she “counsels” people as volunteer work in her church, she will always counter my feelings with questions–and it becomes a ‘counseling’ session instead of a conversation between ‘friends’. She continually tells me she misses our relationship…I do too, but I cannot trust her to be honest with me.

  20. 20
    Sharon says:

    Relationship

    Several years ago, my husband had best friends (a couple) that we did everything with.
    I made a innocent comment that she took the wrong way and called me on it. I apologized to her and told her that I did not intend it to be hurtful, but she would not forgive me at that time.

    As time went on, we began speaking again, but our relationship never recovered to the friendship level.

  21. 21
    Anonymous says:

    Relationship: I wish I didn’t have to write this entry, but feel compelled to since experience has taught me that there are far too many men and women in the same boat as I had found myself. I think of one relationship which I had thought was straight from the hand of God. It was a friend who encouraged and challenged me at a time when I needed it. Sadly, the relationship went down the slippery slope of extreme co-dependence (and more). By the time I sought help, things were bad enough for me to completely sever the relationship since I had reason to believe that the other person would want to just pick up where we had left off (and not at a good place). I wish I could say that this was a one-time-and-never-ever-in-my-life-again event, but there was a similar co-dependent relationship some time later which had ended on a very positive place, with complete restoration of God’s purposes for the friendship. This person is still a dear friend, but knowing how sly the enemy is, we both have very clear boundaries. By the grace of God alone, and with the commitment to complete honesty to key accountability partners, I trust God that I’ll never go down that path again… And I thank God for the years of freedom!!!

  22. 22

    Relationship. A dear sister in Christ and I were close friends for over 3 years. Our families took vacations together, watched our kids grow together, and so much else. Then she and her family moved out of our city and it was as if our family fell off their radar altogether. Four or five times I tried calling to talk to her about it, but she would never call back. Ultimately, wanting some kind of communication, I emailed her my feelings and she responded (over email) that God was leading her to invest her time with her new friends, in her new city. She said no longer had time for me and felt confident in this decision. I was hurt deeply, but I did not want bitterness to take root and I am working on forgiving her. It’s not an easy process, to completely forgive when the other person won’t admit wrong-doing, but I am prayerfully seeking it daily. We rarely keep in touch now, but I have peace about where God is leading each of our families. And I can say that I firmly believe that God put us together for those 3 years with a purpose, even if the relationship did not continue as I would have wanted it to.

  23. 23
    A South Dakota Lady says:

    RELATIONSHIP:
    My rel’p with my mother-in-law has been damaged in the past year. She’s a very involved Christian; the go-to person for everything. I was excited to have her as a MIL, since everyone told me I should be, until she started to make it clear this was not a mother/daughter rel’p. And then my FIL started saying inappropriate things to me, and kept walking into our house unannounced (daily – aghhh!), and well, things dwindled from there. I tried to bring it up to her, which is not easy for me, and I was told “you must have misunderstood him.” I know these types of relationships are touchy anyway, but it has been pretty disappointing to see it go in this direction.

  24. 24

    Relationship

    My husband and I got into a financial partnership with a fellow believer that we thought was God approved. After some time of trying to make it work we ended it very disappointed in the partner. It broke our trust of that individual and put into question our trust in hearing from God. We have since made an amicable truce with him and have forgiven him in our hearts but are still working on the hurtful consequences of that arrangement. You have truly helped with your words of wisdom along the way as I have done many of your bible studies that were timely for our healing. We still have a ways to go however and the situation is still in our memory bank.

  25. 25
    Belinda Walley says:

    This lady in my former church, I never liked very much thought she thought she was better always kept to herself, comes to find out she had had a really bad marriage and I was judging her from outside not in. This older lady in our church got us together and we just bonded, there was nothing we could not tell each other. We went on retreats together, even on a mission trip out of country, she got very sick and I even held the bag for her to throw up in while on a bus, I mean we were close. I really miss her. She got introduced to this guy, and she really wanted to be married and be happy, but this guy, had lots of baggage, but she had told me she would never divorce again if this didn’t work out she would just live with it, anyway they married and she paid him out of lots of old bills and he had two grown kids that had lots of issues, one thing lead to another until I found he had old bills with the company I work with and she came to me about them, and stated she wanted to pay his part, not the ex-wife’s part I told her whatever, I won’t push it. Then one day she calls me up August 2 years ago tells me she loves me and did some small talk ended with will see you soon. I have never talked with her again. She dropped our friendship cold turkey. We left that church and have moved on, but I still have a void for her friendship in my life. She is still married and seems happy enough, just blows my mind as to what went wrong

  26. 26
    flip flops says:

    Relationship

    Had a very close friend. We did lots together, we even attended church together. Well the church split and so did our friendship…miss her lots. We see each other from time to time but we do not pursue a relationship anymore. So sad!

  27. 27
    E says:

    Relationship
    I had a breakage in a relationship with a friend a couple of years ago. We were close and shared a lot, especially when it came to our faith and our families. However, we had made different lifestyle choices (staying home with kids vs. working outside the home) and she felt very uncomfortable with the choice I had made. Eventually, I couldn’t handle the pressure/guilt and we parted ways. It made both of us really sad and I still think about and pray for her and her family often! But I think it was too hard on both of us to be friends. I had to accept that God called me to love her and be kind to her but not necessarily to be her best friend…that was hard.

  28. 28
    Carrie K says:

    RELATIONSHIP: There are too many twists and turns in this betrayal to recount here as to what happened. But do know that I have never, ever been so betrayed or hurt by a co-heir in Christ. Each day would be a different story or a different personality altogether from this person. Ultimately, she fired me for a complete misunderstanding and my pastor recommended that the fewer words I could say to her the better. We parted ways with the “agree to disagree” attitude. This entire situation that spread over the course of 8 months taught me to 1. expect the unexpected; 2. how to truly forgive someone and move forward as God works out good for those who love Him; 3. it showed me a level of loyalty and support from those also involved and closest to me that I had never experienced before; 4. how to keep my mouth shut regarding this person because 5. God will enact his own justice and that is far more satisfying than anything I could ever manipulate. And even when the justice came, yes, I was content, but my heart had changed towards her to actually feel sympathetic towards her. What a 180 turn! God does change hearts through healing.

  29. 29
    Sarah T. says:

    Relationship.

    Sadness. 🙁 I grew up in a strict Baptist home where emotional health was not, and still is not a big deal. I became a wife and mom and realized (through wonderful Christian therapy and Jesus opening my eyes, and Breaking Free) that there was some major dysfunction. Surprise! 😉 We all have it, so I didn’t crumble under the information. However, 2 of my siblings, didn’t take my newfound boundaries so well. I have made mistakes in my communication to them, and apologized, and prayed, and begged God to help me figure this out. It feels an awful lot like a divorce, like an emancipation from the old.. except, I dearly love those people stuck in the old.. They don’t seem to want to respect my new God given boundaries, and that breaks my heart into pieces. So, while the fissure is still there, I have big hope in a big God! Your “Loving Difficult People” is the Life Today series I have watched on repeat over the past 3 years. It has given me tremendous perspective, and I pray I am not their “Thorny”.. please no!

    Is that meaty enough for ya?? 😉 Hope you are having an amazing day. 🙂

    • 29.1
      Beth says:

      Sarah – thank you for sharing this! Sometimes satan can make you feel like the only one who grew up with not a care in the world regarding emotional health. Thank you Lord for opening our eyes to a whole new world!

  30. 30
    Sarah T. says:

    And man, I use a lot of smiley faces. I’m expressive. I can’t help it. 🙂

  31. 31
    Relationship says:

    Relationship
    I’m in the middle of a painful relationship situation. Both parties have gone through hurtful situations the past few months, but she has decided to withdraw from me almost completely. It breaks my heart to not have that best girlfriend by my side during these moments. I’m allowing the Lord to heal my heart of the hurt so I can try to love her regardless of our situation. I’m learning how to love a best friend without feeling that love in return. I know that the Lord will either restore our relationship, or bring about something greater than myself. He always does.

  32. 32
    Avayd Ann says:

    Relationship: Some 20 years ago when I started the healing journey from childhood abuse that I had blocked from my conscious mind, I shared with my two best Christian friends with whom I was doing life with at the time. We had children the same age, worked together in ministry, were in Bible study together and all loved the Lord. I thought they wee both “safe” to share with and had experiences that would help them relate and be supportive of me on this very painful journey. I was WRONG!! One told me to just “leave it alone and not go there”. I was crushed, as I desperately needed their support, love and understanding. I knew that it is was God’s will for me to work though those horrible memories, so that He could heal and make me more whole than I ever been. So, I went on without them. Years passed and we moved to a different city. Finally I learned that one of them was now dealing with the same thing and she sought my support which I was more than willing to give. Once while back in town, when I saw the other one in the grocery store I actually turned and when the other way. I finally realized I had not forgiven her, so called and said, “Do you remember when you said. . .” She didn’t even remember!! I told her how hurt I had been and that I wanted to ask her forgiveness for the anger and bitterness had I held toward her. She asked for my forgiveness as well. Since then we have seen each other several times, email and talk on a regular basis and share our experiences of parenting adult children and other life experiences. God is so good to often bring restoration to relationships, when both people are willing to do the work of forgiveness and re-building. I am so thankful to have her back in my life. PS Beth, I went to Bible camp and college in Searcy, AR. Those were my “safe” places growing up, so you will be back in the state I hold very dear!! Praying for you as you minister this week-end. Wish I could be there.!!

  33. 33
    Amanda says:

    Little Rock

    Hey Beth,
    I’m so excited to finally get to see you in person this weekend. Your ministry has been a blessing to me for many years. 🙂
    My name is Amanda and I’m 34. I’m very blessed and honored to be the wife to a wonderful man who loves God and is very committed to me and our family. He is also a pastor which adds greatly to our lives…we love our church and thankfully, our church loves us. We have three great kids, two sons and a daughter. In those three precious lives is my greatest concern in life. I want desperatly for them to love Jesus and follow after Him hard. I pray daily that my children will be world changers. That is a scary prayer to pray because you and I both know that the Lord probably won’t use them to change the world from the comfort of home. 🙂 Thankfully those kids are off to a great start…my 12 and 10 year old sons will be heading to Haiti with their dad in just a few weeks while I stay home with our daughter. Some people think I’m crazy for letting them go but I refuse to throw cold water on a fire the Holy Spirit has lit. Please pray for me to be as brave as them…and that I will have peace while they’re gone. So….all that to say my biggest concern in life is to raise counter-culture children…kids that will grow into godly, fearless servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Can’t wait till Friday!!

  34. 34
    jackie says:

    RELATIONSHIP
    i once had a dear friend who attended my church. in fact, her husband was our worship leader. they felt the call of God to move to another church body, so off they went. we stayed in contact for a while, but then didn’t. several years later, i received a call from a mutual friend that she was gathering a group of people to come pray for our departed friend. seems her marriage was on the rocks and her son had married and joined his new brides cult and her daughter had come out of the closet as a lesbian. so much had happened to her in the 4-5 years she had been gone! so i went to the prayer gathering. in the story she told the small group about what had gone on, she made a statement about how she had been told by several counselors that she was mentally and emotionally abusive and that, “well, she guessed she did act that way towards her family”. at that moment, right or wrong, i knew her and i’s relationship was broken. i had been in a mentally/emotionally abusive relationship myself and the scars run deep. but often they are scars no one else can see. for her to admit, in such a glib fashion like it was nothing, that she was abusive, was more than our friendship could bear.

  35. 35
    JulieLynn says:

    LITTLE ROCK

    Biggest problem….Thoughts (mine merging with others)
    This expresses it simply:

    Thanks dad!…

    Once there was a little girl
    Who had a little swimming pool
    And her daddy always taught her-
    To never be a swimming fool….

    All the dirt that’s in the bottom…
    And the stuff that can’t be seen –
    If you exercise a principal….
    -Will make it easier to clean!

    Before you think of leaving….
    (It made it easier for him)
    If she’d circle the perimeter-
    And bring the water to a spin

    When all the water settled….
    The cleanup would be little-
    Just vacuum up the pile-
    That was left there in the middle!

    Later as the girl grew up
    And swam in bigger larger pools-
    She still applied the principal…
    Though she swam with swimming fools

    Without spinning of the water-
    Easy cleanup can’t be done…
    (She thought the motion of great water
    Can not be moved by merely one)

    So she tried to teach the principal
    Whenever all would leave the pool-
    And show them the great benefits….
    Of the water movement rule!!

    Not everyone did think this way
    So she did it all alone…
    (Perhaps maybe foolish swimmers-
    Would learn if they were shown)….

    As she circled the perimeter-
    The laws of physics would soon prove
    That her steady constant actions-
    …….Made the waters move!

    The people didn’t apply it-
    And said “how come I should care”….
    “Besides it’s too much effort-
    And the clean up I don’t share”

    Until one day some fate had struck
    And each person got a pool….
    Though they tried to keep it spotless….
    Had the maintenance of a fool

    The equipment just kept breaking down-
    From all the dirt and grime….
    And cuz it took so long to clean it….
    It was left till there’s more time!

    Pretty soon no friends came by
    To visit or have fun-
    Because everything was such a mess
    And no time to get it done…

    So over to her swimming pool
    The people now would go-
    And they all paid close attention…
    (Because now they need to know!)…

    …..Waters very powerful
    In which many have been hurt
    And some have even died because
    ….The waters full of dirt!

    But circling of the water-
    Takes the biggest to the little….
    And brings it to a resting place-
    And lays it gently in the middle

    Analogy or example-
    But our thoughts are the same way…
    But get your mind and body moving-
    Then there’s more time left for play…

    If you’d exercise this principal-
    And every swirling thought you’d test-
    And put some movement with that power
    ….And let nature do the rest.

    Here’s the moral of the story
    So you’ll never be a fool…
    Pay attention to your thinking
    And what’s swirlin’ in your pool!

    -Kaptain Obvious

  36. 36
    The Apple of His Eye says:

    RELATIONSHIP
    First – Love of my life in high school & college. He was a campus christian minister – but I loved him TOO MUCH. We both knew that he had become a god to me. SO much love on both sides – but not healthy spiritually because he was WAY TOO important to me. The breakup was mutual. We understood there was so much love, but it was not God’s will. Still have love for each other, just communicated again for the first time in 30+ years – but it was just a touch base kind of thing and although unspoken, we each know that we will not continue to communicate further as it is inappropriate within married relationships.

    Second – engaged, I broke it off because I felt like he was letting me be the leader in the relationship and that was SO NOT me or my personality or ultimately what I believed God wants in a marriage relationship and therefore knew that this relationship was NOT God’s will. After 30+ years, he has continued to “stalk” me, still believes that it was God’s will that we should have married, he has prayed for 30+ years for the demise of my marriage and although I have tried to explain to him, befriend him at his request then and again several years ago, it always ends up hurting him because he still believes it was God’s will and I still believe it was definitely not. So I have broken off communication then and now because it hurts him more than helps him to continue to be in contact with me.

  37. 37
    jenn says:

    RELATIONSHIP–when i was newly married, i met a woman who was further down the marriage and family path than i, and we hit it off immediately. for the next 10 years, we did a LOT of life together–led a Sunday School class, shared meals, celebrated birthdays, watched kids, studied the Word, and listened to each other’s hurts and happinesses. we were transparent, vulnerable, and there for each other. when they moved 1000 miles away, i tried to maintain the relationship, but she didn’t have the same needs from the friendship that i did. that ultimately led to me writing her a letter telling her it was too painful for me to continue our friendship that had become one-sided. we did not speak or communicate at all for 10 years, although i tried to rescind my decision years after i made it. last year, through FB, we tentatively started again. i can see now that the friendship we had was unhealthy–she was an idol in my life who i depended on before God, so He removed her. i’m thankful He did, because it was a sin pattern i never would’ve deviated from had he not because i couldn’t see it.

  38. 38
    Kirsten from Houston says:

    RELATIONSHIP: I was married to another believer for 3 years. We participated in the young adults group, I sang in the choir and taught children’s choir, we even taught a 5th/6th grade Sunday School class. Before we married I disclosed that due to a brutal attack when I was younger, bearing children was not likely. 2.5 years into our marriage he could not handle that reality and strayed with another woman who became pregnant. I offered to go to counseling, try to forgive, move forward. But he announced that not only did he not want “this” (me) anymore, but he wasn’t so sure he believed in the whole “God thing” anymore either. He took $600.00 from our savings account, left me to file the divorce, has not paid any debt payments and I have not heard from him since. Not being able to bear children for a woman is painful enough, but being left behind because of it was truly heart-breaking beyond description.

    • 38.1
      JLI says:

      Kirsten, my heart just breaks for you. I truly hope that God has shown you this situation nor its outcome means you are broken, unworthy or any other kind of lie the devil might try to tell you. Perhaps God removed your husband from your life so that you could go on the live THE life He has planned out for you, one that has far more beauty and wonder and joy than you could have had in your previous relationship. Blessings on you, my Sister. I will pray for you.

  39. 39
    Donna says:

    Relationship~ One of my closest sister friends, we’ve been through divorce, cancer, kid stuff, so much together. Dear dear dear friend and confidant…began acting cold, holding offenses against me, hurt me deeply with a specific thing I won’t mention. I kept asking myself (& God) was it me, what did I do? Was so mystifying and sad. Friendship was gone. I was blamed. After many many months of harshness from her she finally gave me the reason: I had hurt her feelings 4 years ago, I had no idea. We talked it out, I asked her to forgive me, we mended as much as possible. But what we once had will never be again. I’m grieving. I didn’t know back then what I did, I really didn’t. And the sad thing is I don’t know how I could have done it over better.

  40. 40
    Sharon says:

    Relationship:
    Yes, I have had a broken relationship with another believer. The dynamics of the relationship go back some 40 yrs. When this person and I even though believers were not walking the walk in fact both of us lived very worldly. Since then both of us are seeking the Lord although not perfect our paths are such. Last year we had an argument and she was really angry, I can’t remember the details but she used my past as ammunition, it was something she knew in confidence. I wanted to retaliate (sp) with stuff I knew about her but I didn’t. I did say something to her that wasn’t nice and ask her to leave my house. We didn’t speak for a couple of months and then she came to me and said she would hate to see my relationship with the Lord broken due to unforgiveness. There has always been tension in our relationship but this took the cake. We are cordial, because of the dynamics, but to protect myself I am cautious about sharing anything. (Hope this is what you are looking for)

  41. 41
    paula says:

    Relationship

    Hi Beth,

    I actually am presently in a season of turmoil in a close Christian friendship.My husband and I are/were very, very close with another Christian couple. In fact, we met them before we were walking closely with the Lord and they certainly had some hand in bringing us closer to Christ. Now you know how “couples friendships” are complicated – in this case “complicated” means the friendship sort of hinges on the incredibly close relationship between my husband and the other man, we’ll call him Joe. Well my husband and Joe presently have a significant rupture in their relationship, because when my husband really needed grace, forgiveness and help from Joe what he got was silence and distance. Silence and distance, he has interpreted as legalism and rejection. This has turned what once was sweet fellowship, into tense superficial interaction. This is currently still happening – so I do not know what is to come. It’s clear that forgiveness needs to happen, that grace needs to abound. It’s also incredibly difficult because I have very little direct control over how it will all play out. My prayer is that Jesus himself with intercede with these men.

    I hope this helps,
    Paula

  42. 42
    Nicole says:

    Little Rock
    Nicole, college age, single.
    My girlfriends and I became the best girlfriends through the Esther study, but life situations have begun to break us apart piece by piece. Being in this almost lonely place has rocked my soul. Beth, sister, girlfriends are important. I miss the connection. I miss being able to truly and deeply open up to these women. We need some restoration today. I am learning now more than ever how important it is to love without conditions. To love and invest even when you may not get that investment in return. The more I try to love, the more my heart fights to be bitter. Beth, selfless love is a tough thing.

  43. 43
    A says:

    Relationship

    I’m in the middle of a situation with a believer/ friend. This sweet girl used to keep my little boy for me when she was a stay at home mom and I worked part time. Our boys are best buddies and I thought we were good friends. (My husband is in the ministry and we’ve lived here for a few years now.) Over the past 6 months there has been A LOT of “drama” among the young moms in our church and I’m coming to find out that she is the source of MOST of it, and I’M the one she’s been talking about (the drama has been generalized so I had no clue that people were even talking about me). Apparently, because her father is a pastor, her mother is the perfect pastor’s wife and I simply don’t measure up. Ugh. I haven’t confronted her because I know from other friends who have confronted her in similar situations that she will deny it. I’m not sure what I need to do so I’m just trying to act like I don’t know, keep my head up, keep smiling and loving the people in our church, and continue to make decisions based on what is best for my family (because my priorities are God, my husband, my children, the church… in that order).

    Sorry if my paragraph is too meaty! I tried:)

  44. 44
    Cynthia Petersen says:

    Relationships were difficult going through menopause for me. We were working together for 13 years in ministering to homeless pregnant women and the stress overwhelmed me. One day I snapped and quit. The relationship between my friend and I seemed broken for good. After praying and crying I felt a release to leave. Closure went well for the sake of the ladies living there at the time. The tension still there with my friend. I was praying, 10 years later I kept in contact with the home. I went back and reconciled with this dear woman. We turned the page on our relationship, God’s grace. Thank You Lord.

  45. 45
    Poptart says:

    Relationships – broken with 2 close sisters in Christ. As I started this paragraph I realized that the 2 fissures that occurred that were very painful and broken, were BOTH over them having issues with my husband. Until they reconciled with my husband, they weren’t reconciled with me. One did reconcile and we have restoration, but don’t live near anymore. One never reconciled therefore no restored relationship. Yesterday was her birthday, I purposely prayed for her all day, and, we just moved physically close to her again… Go God Go.

  46. 46
    Paula says:

    Little Rock
    Paula, 46, Married, Knowing how I should be serving in The Body and acting on that knowledge.

  47. 47
    relationship says:

    Yes! It was and is still very painful. This was my friend who i went to church with,learned to pray with, learn to have a relationship with God with…and so much more. She was the one I felt like we could ask each other that God question that everyone was thinking but no one wanted to ask for the sake of looking or sounding stupid! (O how we laughed together) . Then one day everything changed, her and her husbands bible ‘foundation’ seem to crumble and thier views were more interpretation then Word. Is our relationship mended? No but i believe one day yes…we decided to pray for each other and go our ways. We still talk, not as much as we used to, but i see we have both grown in our relationships with the Lord. And we were able to discuss our beliefs for the 1st time in along time just this weekend. I believe this is another experiance we are learning together we just dont ‘know’ it yet…

  48. 48
    Terri-Ann Gawthroupe says:

    RELATIONSHIP

    My friend and I live long distance, but felt as though we had so much in common. Although both of us have many good friends close by, neither of us had someone with whom we shared so many of the same ideas and interests. While we are both Christian, we share quite varied beliefs in some areas. Then just last month, she sent an email asking why I believed certain things. Believing her inquiry to be honest, I started to engage in a discussion with her. Each response I got from her, however, grew more and more contentious. Disillusioned with organized “church” she has decided to home church her family, and she came out guns blazing, tearing me down by tearing down my beliefs. I was crushed and heartbroken. I tried over and over to make clear what I thought and she kept tearing it down. (Thankfully I was in the middle of your “Jesus the One and Only” study, and your words about rejection and how our attempts to handle it make it worse were timely and much needed words of comfort!) I thought she was trying to engage in a conversation about Christ; what I realized was that she was bullying me, and that Jesus never shared his good news in such a mean-spirited way. For now I have decided to break off the relationship, because her comments brought me so low that I spent 3 days in a depression, feeling so far from Jesus that I couldn’t sing or even pray. I am still working through forgiveness, and I hope one day we might mend such a valuable friendship, but I am able to see that anyone who tears at my relationship with Jesus in such a way is not good for me to be around.

  49. 49
    Cindy says:

    Relationship

    I am still trying to wrap my mind around someone who can profess to love & trust the Lord in all area’s of their life. To have a wonderful relationship where we encourage, share, support and laugh. When my friend receive news that she does not want to hear, she becomes angry, bitter and decide there really is no God.(This is not life threatening news but financial news…what she is not getting in the way of $) On facebook, in person and directly to me they say God does not exist. I am rocked, hurt, praying for her but I am also staying away. The words she uses are rude, crude and just hurt me too deeply to even try to pretend. Am not sure where this will end, I just know that I can not be around her much right now and am seeing a person I no longer like. Questioning a frienship of 20 years.

  50. 50
    The Apple of His Eye says:

    LITTLE ROCK
    Karen, 55, divorced
    All my life I have never felt “enough”….and in this new stage of my life, have come to the stark realization that although God promises to be my everything, my all in all, my husband, my comforter, my constant companion, my friend and to love Him is supposed to be paramount in my life no matter what….even though I have SO MANY problems because I have never in my life felt “enough”….that is exactly what I’ve been saying to God lately when I despair over my feelings of loneliness/isolation/feeling unloved. Humbling, to say the least.

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