Category Archives: Healing & Forgiveness

Sometimes we just don’t know what we left in our wake <3

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We are headed off today to see our John. It has been almost two years since we have been able to visit him on his own turf. I thank God that John has been able to travel to see us a few times, but have mercy. That’s a long time. 

Every once in a while I experience a sucker punch from what this pandemic has taken. I tend to focus on the global impact and then occasionally I think of what we have missed personally. 

While it is not anything in comparison to what this has cost others, it hurts a bit and I have to stop and grieve a little bit for it.

I am sure you each have things…a senior year in high school, a planned wedding that got pre-empted, a job shift that left you reeling, first day of school pics with your kiddos in a mask, a year plus of your family’s story spent far differently than you ever expected…so hugs and prayers for God to show up in the midst of any moments of grief and bring you comfort and hope. 

Now for the thought I wanted to share today with you. 

Recently we were chatting with friends about a fender bender that impacted all but the person who probably caused it. A sudden lane change up ahead set up a chain reaction for several cars as they tried to avoid hitting the instigator. As the injured put their cars in park and dug in the glove box for insurance cards, the car that was responsible drove off around the corner, oblivious to all that had transpired. 

This made me think about a prayer book I have been using called “A Diary of Private Prayer” by John Baille. My copy has been updated by Susanna Wright (which makes me wish I had the original, but that’s just me…I love the old wording of classics.)

The book has a morning and an evening prayer for each day of the month. Since I drag out my devotions with my coffee just about every morning of the year, the A.M. ones are easily done. I struggle finding a routine for the evening though and have been praying for a way to remember to pray those before bed. I know. I know…I could keep it by my bed and do first thing and last each day…but habit is deeply engrained to do with my stack of other readings so…not going to work for me. 

Anyway, to the point of this and the tie-in with the accident I mentioned above, the prayers for evening have prompts for things I would never think to pray about. And as I pondered the car that cluelessly caused all the damage, I realized that often I am that driver. 

Like the old cartoon where one character is eating a banana, throws the peel over his shoulder and causes someone coming behind to slip and fall; I must be aware that without even realizing it I may have been the catalyst for someone else to stumble or be hurt or run into an inconvenience that soured the day for him or her. 

With my words or actions, I may have left damage behind and no…we don’t need to live in a constant state of guilt that this could have happened. But we do need to humbly realize our frailties and flaws are not always what we see and notice. I am rather conscious of many things I do or say that I regret; and there are quite a number of people these days who loudly declare they have been offended…24/7. But what about the accidents I caused that I failed to notice just because that’s life on planet earth?

And so at the end of the day, as I scan back over the events and confess and repent of the ones I can see; I am trying to also remember that I may have caused a fender bender for someone physically or emotionally. While I certainly didn’t do it intentionally, compassion would compel me to ask God if there was anyone I hurt today and ask for forgiveness from Him and healing for that one left in my wake. 

In the manner of what I have been learning about prayer from Baillie; here is a sample prayer to pray at the end of the day before entering into rest:

Heavenly Father, I realize today I may have inadvertently caused someone to be derailed physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

While it was not my intent, thank you for your forgiveness of my errors and flaws through Jesus. I pray you would work forgiveness into the heart of anyone to whom I have brought harm.  I pray You would show up for them to bring healing and comfort and restoration.

Father, I pray for any pain I have caused others that may be remembered and I ask you Lord to reconcile that one to You and to me through the power of Your Spirit. I pray if I have done something that I need to remember and ask forgiveness for, You would remind me.

If the offense should be forgotten by the one I have hurt, I pray that You would bring a blessed washing away of the memory of the act of injury towards them.

Thank You God for your love, forgiveness, mercy and grace towards us. You know what we are made of. Do not let our mistakes and flawed natures divide us but bring us closer to You as we walk in Your strength and healing. 

In Jesus Name

Amen

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Some take aways from “His Mighty Strength”

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I have been dragging my feet about the idea of autumn. It’s not that I don’t love the season because it is probably the one I feel the most energized about. I love the colors, the food, the lack of a significant holiday that I have to shop and attend programs celebrating.

It’s just that change is always hard for me and I have been pining about losing daylight hours and our pretty flowers on the patio. But this morning when I opened the back door and felt a crisp, cool twinge to the air…my heart leapt and I am eyeing our remaining blooms and dreaming of pumpkins and mums to replace them….sigh…there really is a time for all the seasons <3

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So yesterday I promised a summary of takeaways from the book “His Mighty Strength” by Randy Frazee.

I shared one of the biggies already on a post – https://www.laurareimer.net/the-surprising-way-we-can-be-empowered-by-powerlessness-sigh/

Today I am hopefully going to be able to give you a simple synopsis of a few more.

#1 

I don’t know if this is something others have tried to teach me in my years of learning about Jesus, and I certainly hope this is not a false belief but the whole book is based on the fact that Jesus set aside all of His powers and deity to become fully human. 

Now this is not saying He was not God. He is most assuredly a part of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But He did not possess the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of His position when He came to earth. 

Randy Frazee points out that the things He did that were miraculous were done in the power of the Holy Spirit and He was showing us how we also would have access to that same power. When He calmed the waters or performed miracles of healing, it was not His power as a human but the power of the Holy Spirit at work within Him. 

This just blows me away. 

As I read the Scriptures in light of this information, I realized how many times I look at things Jesus did and say…well yeah…I mean… He was God. Sure He could do that. 

I am not sure how I have made it this far in my journey missing the whole point of this, but this information has removed quite a few more scales from these flawed eyes. Jesus was showing us the way to have, as humans, a relationship with God that included private prayer, trusting and believing Him, forgiving, enduring, healing, teaching, encouraging, caring…all the things He did while on earth WITH the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

#2  

He points out that the empowering we get from the Holy Spirit is not just to produce miracles in the way we might think of miracles. And yes, we should be seeing miracles as we activate the power of God given to us as believers. 

He has a list of some very practical ways the Holy Spirit empowers us in the fruits of the Spirit:

To unconditionally cherish and forgive others (love)

To have inner contentment and purpose in spite of our circumstances (joy)

To be free from anxiety because things are right in our relationships (peace)

To forbear under the unavoidable pressures of life (patience)

To act positively towards others (kindness)

To be full of integrity (goodness)

To be loyal and trustworthy to people God has placed in our lives (faithfulness)

To be thoughtful, considerate, and calm in our relationships with others (gentleness)

To restrain ourselves form destructive behaviors (self-control)

Randy Frazee, His Mighty Strength – Nelson Books, 2021; page 162

I don’t know about you, but these are all things I tend to strive for in my own power thinking I should be able to do this. 

I can’t. 

I need God’s power activated in me on the daily to accomplish these characteristics I so desperately desire. And God says…I have given you the Power you need to overcome your own shortcomings and be what I made you to be.

But I have to access that power daily. Frazee reminds us throughout the book that this is not a one and done transformation. As we learn to walk in the Spirit and grow in our relationship with Jesus, we make progress in this. God is always there to help us when we stumble, fall short, forget, stray…He is always with us and for us to grow in grace to be more like Jesus. 

#3

He had a wonderful example of how to pray to release our desire to control when we are realizing we really never had control. 

By using a physical exercise with a simple three step prayer, Randy Frazee has given me a process that is helping me immensely. 

First you tighten your fist as tight as you can, and as you continue to tighten it you talk to God about what your frustration is. I talked to Graham about this when he was angry with one of his siblings so I am going to use that. 

I suggest that he tell God how mad he gets when his brother is unwilling to play a certain sport or game with him. So he talked to God about his anger as he tightened his fist. 

Second, you release your grip, opening your palm upward. As you feel that sensation of all the tension leaving, you pray to release your desire to control the situation. In Graham’s case, we prayed that we know he can’t control his brother’s choices or personality. 

Third, you turn your relaxed hand upside down and empty the situation into God’s hands. So for Graham, we dropped his relationship into the hands of the God who made both of them uniquely different. We asked God to help them to build a strong friendship as brothers and to show Graham how to love his brother even when they were not getting along. We thanked God for having brothers and we let God take the anger and hurt feelings. 

The author of His Mighty Strength points out that this prayer of release may have to be done numerous times before we see any change in the situation, but each time we pray this kind prayer – we are changed and we grow. 

I hope some of these are helpful to you today. 

God bless and I will see you tomorrow <3

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Of broken pieces and being put back together <3

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Hello my friends

The picture above is, or shall we say was, a treasured miniature tea cup from my maiden Aunt Lizzie’s collection. It was gifted to me along with some of the other treasures that were kept in a built in cabinet in the tiny dining room of the modest brick home she shared with her mother on the fringe of downtown Louisville until my grandma passed and she finally found true love in her 60’s and sold the house to move to Vermont.

Whew…that was the longest run on sentence and a record for even me.

But in it is packed a gazillion memories of the home and playing under the dining room table with her tea cups and a button collection that was amazing.

Not only was the cup marvelous in and of itself…I mean seriously…a tiny parrot formed of china that perched on the gilded handle of this miniature delight; it was probably my most favorite of all that she had.

And she had some beauties.

At some point when she was downsizing, she remembered my love of them and gifted me the whole lot.

But as we were packing up our home of six years to move across town to a new home, I bumped up under the shelf that displayed them and they all came crashing down.

Shattered bits of china and shattered bits of a heart that has never done well with change and this destruction of one remnant of days gone by as I watched the home we brought our third baby into get packed up was just too much. I wrapped the broken pieces and carefully stored them in a box to at least keep for awhile.

I have had other pieces of my heart shattered since that day and there are memories that are now broken and marred by life and decisions made by others and myself.

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Which is why these words from David touch my heart.

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him.

2 Samuel 22:21 The MSG

To this I can say a heartfelt “Amen!”

I remember a season I kind of crawled through a number of years ago where I wasn’t quite certain just how much more I could break and still survive.

Crying out to God, I asked Him to relieve the crushing because I was about down to nothing but dust.

And He whispered to my heart a picture of a finely woven net.

In my spirit I sensed His teaching that as I was broken, all that mattered would sift through the smallest holes of refinement and He could then remove any thing that would not surrender to the work He was doing in me.

Pride…jealousy….greed…envy…lust…self…the evil done to us by others and the bitterness it brings…all these are too big to be broken.

But I don’t want those to remain.

They are not God’s character and I only want His character left in me.

So I give Him the pieces…every time…and let Him make me complete.

It’s a good plan.

And way prettier than trying to glue it back together myself.

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Blessings <3

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