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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
[From my archives]
Good Morning! Last week's blog was about listening with your eyes while listening to others. Today, let's take a moment to ponder how to listen to oneself. What does this look like? Literally.
For me, listening with my eyes is expressed through the acknowledgment and timely response to personal needs. It can be something as simple as pouring myself a glass of water when I'm thirsty or taking a bathroom break at my bladder's first prompting. (I mention this because I've never met a survivor who hasn't, at one time or another, ignored the physicals needs of her body.) But listening also requires me to acknowledge my God-given discernment; intuition, you might say. And this is where Christ nudges me to take risks.
Healing requires truth. It's been almost a year since my husband moved out. Four months before he left, I'd set up camp in the guest room and sought counseling. (I thank God for this--a jump start on healing before divorce court.) The more time passes, the more I recognize how poorly I was treated. And subsequently, I recognize how I minimized my needs, heart's desires, and value, in order to maintain the relationship.
Marriage is a godly covenant. There is nothing godly about abuse in any form. Abuse dulls the senses. Next thing you know, you've become but a shadow of who you once believed you were in Christ. I can see this now. Granted, my feelings are not always factual, but I no longer ignore them. I take them before God, and if He reveals that action is required, then I take action.
The key to "seeing" is to hold what we see before the Light. Ask God what He has to say about it. Renounce the fear that keeps you from having a difficult conversation with another person. And then detach from the outcome.
When we acknowledge and confess what we see in ourselves and others, God will faithfully bring what is skewed, into focus.
"I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them" Isaiah 42:16.
If you're not sure what you "see," just ask.
God, I'm grateful that your eyes do not slumber. As You order my steps today, open my eyes to see one thing about myself that I've minimized in order to survive, maintain appearances/relationships, or remain numb. And God, if I freak out for a little while, may I be acutely aware of your faithful embrace and loving intentions toward me. Reveal the value in me and grant me eyes to see! In Jesus' name, Amen."
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 8:31 AM CDT
Hi everyone! I apologize for my absence. I had a freak accident in my garden and damaged one of my eyes. I'm on the mend--finally (!) and back to blogging.
Peace and good!
Do You Listen with Your Eyes?
I once sat at my kitchen table with the best listener I've ever known . . . in my life. If listening was an Olympic sport the woman would be a gold medalist.
She asked about my life, my circumstances, my heart. When I answered, she listened. She actually listened, which is to say, she didn't check her iPhone throughout our time together or turn the conversation back to herself. She asked a lot of questions. And based on how I replied, she asked more questions.
Who knew something so simple as listening could bring balm to a wounded heart. Balm; in the truest sense of the word. She didn't try to talk me out of hurting--I hurt, for real reasons. She didn't remind me about the goodness of God. She didn't have to. Her unique ability and willingness to listen--revealed the goodness of God. I can't remember ever feeling so validated; relieved, really, to feel so "heard."
When she left. I thanked God for her. I asked for opportunities to learn from her. Later that day, an excerpt from Mitch Albom's book, Have a Little Faith, came to mind. It was extracted from one of the Reb's sermons in 1958. And it's priceless:
A little girl came home from school with a drawing she'd made in class. She danced into the kitchen, where her mother was preparing dinner.
"Mom, guess what?" she squeaked, waving the drawing. Her mother never looked up."
"What?" she said, tending to the pots.
"Guess what?" the child repeated, waving the drawing.
"What?" the mother said, tending to the plates.
"Mom, you're not listening."
"Sweetie, yes I am."
"Mom," the child said. "You're not listening with your eyes."
Today, is about listening to others. Next week we'll explore the importance of listening to ourselves. Healing requires both.
I truly believe when people feel seen and heard by God, it's easier for them to see and hear God.
What is God whispering to your heart at the moment?
You are not alone,
Published on Friday, March 13, 2020 @ 7:54 AM CDT