Are You Too Hurt To Forgive? Maybe You Don’t Have To

Are You Too Hurt To Forgive? Maybe You Don’t Have To

It had only been a week or so since her death. I was still reeling with emotion. Every cell of my body yearned for her embrace, just as I had as a child. I wanted to feel the warmth of her affection. I wanted to finally see her demeanor light with delight at the sight of me, her daughter.

For the first time in my life, I was suffering unspeakable grief. Without warning my heart would erupt in anguish and my body would writhe in pain from the finality of her premature death and the loss of hope for our relationship.

It just so happened that I was back in California when the sheriff called to tell me of her demise. She was the only one to die in the multi-car crash brought on by a heavily intoxicated driver, battling her own demons.

And it just so happened that I was driving up the California coast en route to see a childhood friend who I hadn’t seen in over 20 years, when the phone rang.

The call ushered in a cosmic shift of sorts. I could feel it. It wasn’t singularly about my mother’s death. It was also about a new season of my life.

Wrapped in the painful pronouncement of her death was the invitation to step into something new. But before I could, I had to die to false hopes harbored from childhood.

At the time, I was living in Pennsylvania with my husband. The sheriff explained that it had been difficult to locate me. He invited me to return to her home. He would allow me access in an effort to locate a handwritten will.

As he spoke, my heart raced and a voice inside bemoaned, “the way that I knew her is the only way that I’ll ever know her”. Despite having not heard it for decades, I immediately recognized the voice. It was me as a young girl and I knew exactly what she meant. Even after so many years, she still entertained romantic notions of a loving relationship with her mother despite having been so relentlessly rejected.

“The way that I knew her is the only way that I’ll ever know her,” meant “but I thought the day would come. I thought she would one day love me. I thought she’d one day hold me. I thought we’d be friends and she’d be proud. I thought we’d eat dinner together and smile at one another. I thought the day would come when she’d want to know me.”

That day never came and it never will.

When I entered her home, my eyes fell to a black and white portrait of my young self. I was taken aback to see a little girl who I longed to embrace. She was darling.

“How can this be”, I wondered. “I thought there was something wrong with me!”

As I gazed at the portrait, I gazed with a mother’s eyes. A wave of protective adoration overtook me. I was loving myself as I had longed for my mother to love me.

As I made my way through her cluttered home, memories overtook my mind’s eye. Familiar smells, familiar furniture, a familiar blanket, a familiar sweater. They all pulled at me, enticing me to return to a time I’d long left. Finally, it was all too much. Acute emotion consumed and overtook me so that I dissolved into a pool of sobs and heavy heaving. My body ached, ravaged by a profound hunger to be desirable to the one who’s affection forever eluded me.

Days later, as I boarded the plane, the emotions accompanied me. I carried them all the way back to Pennsylvania into my safe home, the home I’d worked so hard to guard from my past.

As you can imagine, the trials of her death brought up innumerable unresolved issues. The pain of loss was tortuous, but so too was the pain of aroused memories. Suddenly, I found myself contending with the question of forgiveness.

Forgiveness was something I’d worked so hard to cultivate in my life for the present and the past. Then, one day as I lay on the bedroom floor in grief-stricken meditation, a scene came over my mind’s eye. I recognized it from the ancient classical Jewish and Egyptian texts as Joseph and his brothers. Are you familiar with the story?

Joseph and his brother Benjamin were born to their father, Jacob, by his true love, Rachel. Jacob had another wife, Leah, through whom he gained ten sons.

Joseph was Jacob’s first born through Rachel, his beloved wife and, therefore, his favored son. You can imagine how this made the ten other sons feel.

Jacob blatantly preferred Joseph and Benjamin. He even had a special coat made for Joseph, with long sleeves which implied status and esteem. Only the non-laboring, upper-class men wore long sleeves.

Finally, the bitter ten had had enough. They collectively turned against Joseph, stripping him of his special coat and selling him into slavery for 20 silver coins.

The scene that played before my mind’s eye was of Joseph heavily made up in the royal Egyptian manner, with headdress and thick makeup. The Joseph of my vision was no longer the slave, he was the highly revered second-in-command to Pharaoh.

In case you don’t know, I should explain…Joseph was sold into slavery, just as his half brothers intended. He was purchased by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard. Later, Potiphar’s wife made a false accusation against Joseph that landed him in prison. While in prison, Joseph interpreted several dreams for fellow inmates. It was this gift of dream interpretation that eventually landed Joseph before Pharaoh and into his lofty position as second-in-command over Egypt.

As I saw Joseph in all his royal regalia, I also saw his brothers standing before him. Because I know the text, I understood they were there to ask for grain. There was a grave famine in all the land. Everyone suffered but the Egyptians. Thanks to Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams, Egypt was well prepared for the famine. Joseph perceived the foretelling of the famine in one of Pharaoh’s dreams and took the necessary precautions to prepare well.

What happened next nearly stopped my heart. I was completely undone.

Without regard for his appearance or the opinions of others, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers. With robust wailing that is described as having been heard throughout the palace, Joseph extends his arms, inviting his brothers to draw near to him. I saw him, just as its recorded, postured to embrace his brothers.

In that moment, I understood what the Spirit was unveiling.

Forgiveness!

I cried out, “why would You show this to me? You know I’ve done everything to forgive her. I thought I had forgiven her!”

It was the proverbial kick while I was down.

You see, I understood what was being disclosed…True forgiveness necessarily entails the total relinquishment of self preservation.

Sprawled on the floor, every portion of my being yearned for her mother’s embrace. Truly, every cell of my body craved her elusive affection.

Even still, provided the opportunity, I wouldn’t dare extend my arms to her. I wouldn’t dare ask for an embrace. I couldn’t!

I couldn’t bear to be rejected one more time.

I couldn’t bear to see the visible disdain in her eyes.

I couldn’t bear to see the upturned corner of her lip that betrayed amusement at my frailty.

I understood in that instance that I had never fully forgiven her.

I had never forgiven her for not loving me.

I had never forgiven her for not protecting me.

I had never forgiven her for abandoning me.

I had never forgiven her for hating me.

I had never forgiven her for choosing the men over me.

I had never forgiven her for denigrating my skin color and ethnicity.

I had never forgiven her!

Totally undone, I lay wrecked and ravaged. “Fuck this! I have nothing left to give to this. Nothing! I’ve given absolutely everything to forgiving her and moving on. Everything!”

I felt accused and criticized.

Then a calm overtook me.

Peace tangibly entered the room. Without audible utterance, a message was spoken to my heart…

“I haven’t shown this to you to discourage you. I’ve shown it to you as a promise. You don’t have the capacity to forgive this way. That was never your burden to bear. That’s my responsibility. Let me take this from you. Let me be the One who carries the burden to forgive her.”

In an instant, something broke. The suppressed rage that had burned for decades suddenly quelled and the secret recesses of my heart opened. For the first time in my life, I could access all of me.

So, why should this matter to you?

Because, like me, you’re likely carrying a burden that was never your intended fate. In your humanity, you haven’t the capacity to extend what belongs to Eternity.

Broken and undone on the floor that day, I could not have known that freedom and wholeness lay waiting just beyond the agony.

The Spirit beckons us onward towards incomprehensible fullness. It’s incomprehensible because it’s abundant provision in exchange for our most grievous deficiencies. In other words, we have no frame of reference, no narrative for the profound promise that awaits our arrival.

Press on towards the great joy and good success that is divinely yours.

The Surprising Secret To Greatness

The Surprising Secret To Greatness

Everyone desires to feel important.

Everyone desires to do something valuable with their life.

Everyone desires to feel significant.

Everyone desires to know the secret to greatness.

If you tell me I’m wrong, I won’t believe you.

Everyone desires a position of power and leadership and for good reason…we were wired to do so.

Each and every one of us has a calling on our life. We were created with a specific purpose to fulfill, a mission for our life, and for such a time as this.

It is absolutely true that no one else can do what you’ve been designed to do. Likewise, you cannot fulfill the destined role of another.

Your place of intended leadership is exclusively in the area of your gifting. This is significant because it means that you’ve already been perfectly fashioned and perfectly equipped to attain your intended position of leadership and influence. You and only you can do it proper justice.

The hand of heaven has prepared you for great stature and good success. Your destined success and position of influence will not come at the expense of your marriage. It will not come at the expense of relationship with your children. It will not come at the expense of your sanity or peace of mind. Your destined success and position of influence necessarily includes the security and stability of all that is good and perfect in your life. Why do I mention this?…

There are many “successful” people, holding distinguished positions of leadership who acquired their role at a great cost. That was never their intended fate. That’s the disadvantage of being good at multiple things – you can easily become misguided in pursuit of your purpose and, as a result, fill a position that was never your intended role.

When success exacts the price of one’s wellbeing, then that success was never their intended course. That’s not to say that divinely appointed success comes without difficulty. It simply means that even in the midst of calamity, peace and security reign.

You were born to occupy specific positions. Try as you might, you cannot change this. You cannot change the roles and assignments you’re meant to fulfill. They were designed for you and you for them. May you find peace and a sense of rest in knowing this.

The places you’re meant to occupy are not available to anyone else. So, don’t be jealous of another leader. You can’t be them anyway and you don’t have the capacity to fulfill their assignment. Competition and resentment are a waste of your energy.

Many high-profile leaders love to lord their power over people and use them as benefactors. In other words, they like to control people and, when they do, it gives us painfully intimate insight into their inner workings. Anyone who seeks to control another is insecure in their position of leadership. It’s like they know, on some level, that they were never intended for that role and rather than seek to uncover their true purpose, they resign themselves to the place that has afforded them the seeming value they’ve longed to possess. Why does this matter to you and to me?…

Your position of power and leadership will serve to offer you the reward of a satisfying life and peaceful success. When you’re where you belong, doing what you were designed to do, you won’t fall sway to the perceptions and opinions of others. When you’re where you belong, doing what you were designed to do, you’ll effortlessly reveal the glory that is exclusively you. When you’re where you belong, doing what you were designed to do, you’ll readily become the servant, offering up your gift to the world.

We’re not leaders because others serve us. We’re leaders because we serve, not as subservient slaves but as distributors of a most extraordinary gift.

You become great when you discover your gift, the gift you were born with, and serve it to humanity. This is where leadership is born.

This gift is very complex. It is a fruit, a passion, an anger, a hunger, its a lot of things. It’s that thing that is so intricately woven into the fabric of your being that you hardly can distinguish it. Nevertheless, you must discover it. You must lead with it and you must serve it to the world.

What is your gift? If you’re wondering that yourself, then ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What activities, topics, or issues energize me?
  2. When do I lose track of time?
  3. When do I find myself in a state of flow?
  4. What comes naturally to me?
  5. What do I find easy and interesting?
  6. When am I rewarded?
  7. What am I happy to share with others?

Meditate on these questions, uncover your gift and serve it to humanity.

Motherhood & Your Identity?

Motherhood & Your Identity?

Have you lost your identity in motherhood?

So many people are desperate to find purpose and meaning in life. They search in vain outside of themselves, missing the fundamental guide which is discovering and celebrating their personal identity.

Compound this predicament with the extraordinarily sacrificial role of motherhood and finding the meaning of one’s life can prove a truly daunting task.

Can you relate to this? Are you asking questions like, Is this all that I’m supposed to be doing with my life? What am I capable of? Can I still do that? What do I love? What am I passionate about? What is my destiny? Who am I?

In this age of social media, we’re bombarded with images that convey, “The grass is greener over here. I’ve got this motherhood thing figured out. Looking great and living the good life is really no big deal”. It’s no wonder we long for Jaclyn’s hair and Rebecca’s wardrobe and Samantha’s new car and Jasmine’s extraordinary travels and Elsie’s passionate marriage.

When we discover who we are and how we’ve been intricately designed and purposefully equipped by the hand of heaven to fulfill a distinct calling, we’ll cease gazing longingly at the lives of others.

Really, what social media shows us are the highlights of other people’s lives. We’re privileged with a momentary glimpse and rarely exposed to the monotony of everyday life.

Time spent gazing longingly into another person’s life, is time spent outside Destiny’s design for you. You’ve been perfectly fashioned and perfectly equipped to fulfill your purpose, not someone else’s. So, when you assess your life in light of another’s, you’re actually comparing tulips to tigers or eggs to iguanas. A tiger isn’t expected to expose the same glory as a flower. Likewise, you’re not expected, nor do you have the capacity, to expose the glory of some other mom or woman. In trying to do so, you simply compromise the unique glory that is you.

The first step in achieving or regaining a sense of identity in motherhood is to stop longing for what other women seem to have. Stop wanting to be someone other than your priceless self. The reward and fulfillment of your life is wrapped up in the most authentic expression of yourself.

In case you’re asking, “What is the most authentic expression of myself,” I can tell you that it’s not the job you used to have or the professional title you once held. It’s not the hobbies you used to have time for or the way you used to dress and do your hair. You, yourself, preceded all those things.

You were strategically placed into this moment of history in your gender, with your ethnic makeup and particular gifting to fulfill Destiny’s grand purpose. You were not arbitrarily chosen. You were perfectly chosen. No one else can fulfill what’s been written on your life. No one else can carry it full term. No one else can manage and execute it quite like you. This glory is reserved specially for you.

Everything about you was necessarily designed with the utmost care and precision for the fulfillment of your purpose. This doesn’t mean that you’re impervious to mistakes and shortcomings. It simply means that your mistakes and shortcomings can’t derail your destiny.

Now, back to the question of Have you lost your identity in motherhood?

The answer is a resounding NO! But, you have entered into a new season of your life – a season that could last for decades.

That statement isn’t meant to overwhelm you, it’s meant to expand your vision and perspective. Your destiny and purpose were not put on hold at the onset of motherhood. They simply received greater means through which to manifest the glory that is you. Allow me to elaborate…

The power of Eternity is forever hovering amid the chaotic monotony that is motherhood. Your challenge is to remain open to extraordinary power-encounters even amid the mundane. Destiny seeks to collide with your inherent potential in the most unsuspecting moments of life. Practically speaking, what does this look like?

I’m so glad you asked..a collision with Destiny looks like a big hot mess, like your carefully laid plans have come to ruin and your eagerly anticipated future lies in jeopardy. Destiny is not for the faint of heart.

So many of us are gripped by a sense of inadequacy because we compare the appearance of our life to an idea of what our life should be in light of what we’ve seen projected by others through social media and other large scale outlets. But, the truth is, these constructs (however attractive) are too small to be the extravagantly lavish work of Destiny.

Herein lies another rub of social media – it encourages small dreams and attainable goals. You witness the seemingly attractive life of another mom, compare yourself to her portrayal, and then wish for the life she portrays.

By no means do I mean to discourage your planning and dreaming. Quite the contrary. Have a process in mind. Entertain your vision. Just don’t allow the unavoidable constraints of your human conjurings to degrade the absurdly extravagant plan of Destiny for your life. You, in your humanity, haven’t the capacity to conceive of the lavish abundance set aside for you and the unfolding of your grand story.

Whatever notion you have for your future is, to some large extent, a construct of expectations formed according to what you’ve witnessed in observing the lives of others and, for this reason, it is too small. Honestly, how many people do you know that you can confidently say are living out their destiny? Not many, right? This is true of the people you see online too. Very few people are willing to abandon themselves to the mystery of Destiny’s course and, consequently, live a life much smaller than the one for which they were intended.

Know this, one divine moment orchestrated by Destiny can radically transform the entire fabric of your life and override a lifetime of careful planning. You mustn’t worry. You mustn’t fear that your opportunity has expired. Destiny isn’t done with you. In fact, even now, at this very moment, Eternity is working to unfold extraordinary promise and purpose in your life, which includes igniting your next generation towards the glory that is their future and their promise.

Your everyday moments are preparing you for extraordinary exploits. Your character is being developed in this moment. Integrity is being cultivated in this moment. Your authentic self is being nurtured in this moment. Everything that is truly you is being called to life in this moment. Destiny is examining this moment and gauging your preparedness for your next divine interruption. So, abandon yourself to the work of Destiny in this moment and every other unassuming moment in wait.

This is the second step in achieving or regaining a sense of identity. Brace yourself for the hot mess moments ahead. Prepare yourself today for those divine interruptions set to surface in your life. Cultivate a readiness and a willingness to yield to the mystery that is Destiny disturbing your plans and your goals. And, find comfort in this…your authentic self, the unadulterated you who exists without fear, regret, shame, or guilt dwells safely encased in the glory and promise of all that Destiny has for you.

You are not on this journey alone. Trust yourself and the ones you love to the plan of Heaven and you will find that even the wonders of social media cannot capture and convey the glory that is you and your life.

Before today comes to a close, list five qualities that you appreciate about yourself. Working from the top of the list to the bottom, take one listed quality each night and meditate on it. Speak it aloud three times and then sit in silence. Release your mind’s eye to the hand of Heaven, allowing Destiny to paint the beauty of that quality as it relates to you. Allow yourself to receive a vision or a word, some impression of the beauty that is intrinsically you – your true identity.

Rescue

Welcome back to Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with Sara Wasser.

I thought of you today as a song entitled “Rescue” came over the speakers of my car. I listened to the lyrics and thought, “This is good. I need to share this.”

Set aside 5 minutes today to listen to this song with your eyes closed. Let the lyrics penetrate your thoughts and take captive your imagination so that you can hear and envision the words as a personal message to you from Destiny.

Hear…

You are not hidden

There’s never been a moment

You were forgotten

You are not hopeless

Though you have been broken

Your innocence stolen

I hear you, whisper underneath your breath

I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find You,

In the middle of the darkest night

It’s true, I will rescue you

There is no distance

That cannot be covered

Over and over

You’re not defenseless

I’ll be your shelter

I’ll be your armor

Whether you’re presently experiencing a mountain top moment in life or a pitfall, it’s always good to be reminded of Heaven’s extravagant heart for you. You’re not alone on this journey.

How To Receive Your Prize

How To Receive Your Prize

Have you ever prayed, asking for wisdom, or promotion, or assets and found that your answer came in the form of a process that you had to walk out?

Typically, when we pray, we want to receive the answer to our request – the prize – without going through the course. We want to get the grade without going through the class.

On these occasions, we’ve likely asked for things that we’ve not yet been developed to handle. By going through the process or the course or the class we gain the chance to, not only, acquire the prize, but also experience a process that develops us to the point that we’re better able to enjoy the prize of our request.

Every answer is packaged in a process. Your gaining the prize is going to be based on your willingness to complete the process.

Will you quit or will you press through to the end? Will you finish your course and gain your prize or will you give in to the pressures of perceived defeat and seeming delay?

If you pray for wisdom, then expect to encounter life situations that you don’t know how to handle. Expect to feel overwhelmed and under qualified by the circumstances of your life, at least for a season, as you develop in trusting Destiny to show you how to handle those situations. By the time you’ve handled those challenges, you will be ready for the prize and have newly acquired wisdom.

So, if you prayed for something that has yet to manifest, know that it isn’t being withheld from you. It’s that you haven’t completed the process tied to that prize.

Right now, some of you are in the middle of a process and you’re feeling pressured to quit. You mustn’t quit. At the end of your course, is the end of your faith. The end of your faith is to see the manifestation of what you’ve asked for and hoped for.

Remember, the source of your vision, the source of the dream you hold inside, is also the source of the provision. Destiny knows your needs and your heart’s delights even before you do and has already secured every asset necessary for your life of great joy and good success. Destiny placed the vision inside you and secured the provision for it’s fulfillment. Your role is simply to submit to the vision. Believe in your dream and pursue it with fervor and passion. The provision for your dream will follow your pursuit of the dream.

Destiny longs to see you live your destiny even more than you do.

You asked for wisdom and you received a process.

You asked for finances and you received a process.

Destiny has withheld nothing from you. Just the opposite, in the realm of Eternity, all your assets lay in wait wearing your name.

If you ask for promotion, expect to receive a process that teaches you how to respect small and humble beginnings.

If you ask for finances expect to receive a process that grants you an understanding of how you got into your current financial predicament. Expect a process that brings opportunity to revisit the same financial challenges, allowing you to choose more wisely this time around.

And, if you don’t quit, if you keep the faith, then the manifestation of the thing you hope for will be granted to you and you’ll be ready to handle it.

Are you waiting, now, for an answer to a coveted prayer? Are you waiting on a manifestation? If so, hold on. You’re probably in the middle of your course right now. Press on to receive your prize.

If you’re being pressured right now, if you’re being tempted to quit right now, if you don’t know how far you can go with it, if you think you can’t make it through, then you’re right in the middle of your answer. Finish the course. Keep the faith. Walk it all the way through to your prize.

And, know this…Destiny is always there with you, leading you, enticing you towards your prize. You are not alone. All of heaven is rooting for you.

Sometimes, en route to your manifestation, you will find that what you receive is actually better than what you asked for. You asked small because you believed small, but Destiny knows what’s really intended for you.

Stay strong!

Stay blessed!

How To Manifest Your Destiny

How To Manifest Your Destiny

Do you know how to manifest your Destiny? Do you know Destiny’s will for your life? It’s simple.

Destiny’s will for your life is that you prosper in every way and that your body keep well, even as your soul keeps well and prospers.

What does it mean to prosper? It means being successful in every endeavor of life. It’s having success.

So then, Destiny desires for you to experience success in every way, including your health, even as your soul keeps well and prospers. Your success, then, in any area of life is going to be based on your soul’s success.

What is your soul?

Many confuse their soul for their spirit or they think that the two are interchangeable. They’re not.

You are a spirit, you possess a soul, and you live in a physical body. This is often referred to as the tri-part being of an individual.

Your soul is the part of you where thinking takes place. It’s your place of emotion and reason. It absorbs information from your five senses and crafts your thoughts accordingly.

In turn, these thoughts inform your heart, which serves to craft your emotions and govern most other areas of your life.

Were you able to follow that? Inside your soul is your process of thought which affects every single area of your life.

Similarly, the words we speak determine the way we think and the way we think determines the way we feel. If we feel depressed, then we’ve probably been cultivating thoughts of heaviness and depression through the words we’ve spoken. We can usually trace our emotions back to the thoughts we’ve cultivated and the words we’ve spoken.

Now, why does any of this matter? It matters because the way we think sets the course for our entire life. So, it’s worth asking ourselves, “What am I thinking about? And, how long have I been thinking about it?” The thoughts we dwell on are the thoughts we grow. The things we focus on are the things we strengthen in our life.

If you focus on your past failures, your weaknesses, or your shortcomings then you’re going to grow those things in your life and, consequently, hinder your present success. As a result, your present circumstances will begin to look strikingly similar to past failures and you’ll begin to question your capacity for success. You’ll ask questions like, “Do I have what it takes?” And some of you will conclude, “No, I don’t have what it takes to succeed. Once again I’ve tried and failed. I give up.”

It’s important to know that we have an ally and an advocate in Destiny because sometimes we need help believing in ourselves.

Wrong thinking will lead to wrong living. If we don’t get our thoughts right about who we are, the potential we carry, and the success we’re destined for then we won’t see the manifestation of these things in our life.

Conversely, if we elect to speak according to Destiny’s will for our life, then we will see the manifestation of the success and prosperity authored for us.

The truth is, you’re destined for great joy and good success. Irrespective of your age, irrespective of your story your destined to prosper.

The strongest force in existence is the human will. Everyday we have the choice to align our will with the will of Destiny for our life or the appearance of circumstances through the thoughts we keep and the words we speak.

Destiny says you were born to succeed. You were born to prosper. Will you cultivate thoughts and visions of your success or will you dwell on thoughts of past failures? Will you speak of your inherent potential and unique capabilities or will you speak of disappointments.

For the next seven days, let’s commit to only speak well of ourselves and of our life. Before our feet hit the floor each morning, let’s speak five affirmations aloud over ourselves. And, as negative thoughts surface throughout the day, let’s refuse to give them voice. After seven days, I suspect we’ll see greater evidence of the good success for which we’re destined.

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