Introducing the Holy Land Boutique

Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind gift that will bring beauty and meaning to its receiver? The Holy Land Boutique is an online store with a mission: To bring handmade, beautiful, and unique gifts to the world through the empowerment of female artisans in the Holy Land.

The foundation of the Holy Land Boutique is a group of strong women who are passionate about craftsmanship. Each of them brings a unique talent to the greater whole, sprouting a wealth of handmade gifts the likes of which you can find nowhere else. Each piece is created from the place where passion and skill collide, resulting in an unparalleled work of art that cannot be replicated.

The Holy Land Boutique is proudly based in the Holy Land, the very place where Jesus walked. Through their online marketplace, they offer gifts globally, ranging from accessories to arts and crafts, to macrame.

Speaking of macrame, I’d like to highlight their macrame artist, Cedar Hussain. At only 27 years old, she wields skill and artistry far past her years. She acquired the talent and passion that makes her work possible from her father. He was an artisan himself that inspired Cedar with his seemingly endless creativity.

With a lifelong love of décor and organization, she thrives on adding beauty to any space. Through this passion for interior design, Cedar discovered the art of macrame. Practicing for several hours a day, she was able to fuse the techniques she has learned in artistry from a young age into this newfound passion in her life.

She fused her skill with innovation, finding a cost-effective and practical way to produce cotton strands in a variety of vibrant colors. This led to her opening her own macrame shop. What started as a hobby has now become a defining mission in her life. Through her macrame shop, she wants to empower other women to learn this beautiful craft.

The Holy Land Boutique is proud to present her work alongside other incredible female artisans. I pray that you’d give their selection a look at www.HolyLandBoutique.com. Use the exclusive code holyland22 to receive 20% off your order!

Keeping Your Resolutions

2 Thessalonians 3:13: “Dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good” (NLT).

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already almost a full week into 2022! How have your resolutions been going so far?

I’ve been putting forth all my effort into recognizing God’s presence in even the simplest and most ordinary of everyday tasks. It’s been a beautiful and edifying practice that I’m grateful for.

The resolutions you have made are good things. You made them because you want to improve your life, and that’s admirable! There’s always room for us to grow, and we should never settle for staying stagnant in life.

The truth of the matter is that God has created you with unlimited potential. There is a purpose deeply rooted within your identity that God has placed there. To fulfill that divine purpose, you must be at your best in every way possible. Our New Year resolutions can help us to get there!

How? Let’s look for example at one of the most common New Year’s resolutions: to get in better physical shape! At first glance, this may not seem like it’s anything that has to do with our purpose or identity in Christ. But when we dig deeper, we find out that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The truth of the matter is that God has created you with unlimited potential. There is a purpose deeply rooted within your identity that God has placed there.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” To truly comprehend this verse and its deeper meaning, we must look back at the design of Solomon’s temple in ancient Jerusalem.

The temple was a marvel of architecture and beauty. The temple was built with such staggering attention to perfection as a testament to the Israelites devotion to God. Solomon’s temple was built to reflect the glory of God Himself, for in that temple is where they believed God’s Spirit to reside.

The temple was made up of many courts. As you proceeded further into the temple and through the courts, you entered more holy ground. The innermost sanctum was the holiest of all, known as the Holy of Holies. This room was deemed so holy that only the High Priest could enter it, and only on one day of the entire year.

Why was that? Because that’s the sanctum where they believed God’s Spirit dwelled.

When Jesus died on the cross, the Bible tells us that the veil in the temple was torn in two. This symbolizes the truth that the Holy Spirit now resided within every believer instead of the Holy of Holies.

That’s right: If you are a believer, God’s Spirit is within YOU!

That makes your body sacred space, something to be cherished, respected, and taken care of. Just as you wouldn’t defile a church, don’t defile your body either.

See how the New Year’s resolution of committing to better physical health can carry with it deeply spiritual significance? This is just one example of how our resolutions can be so important to keep!

That’s right: If you are a believer, God’s Spirit is within YOU!

But did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail? With those staggering kinds of statistics against us, where are we to find the encouragement, strength, and wisdom we need to see our resolutions through?

The Bible

The Bible is our source of all wisdom, knowledge, and strength. When we need the extra insight or motivation to crush our goals for the New Year, we can find it in God’s Word! Through the Bible, God shows us the deeper meaning behind everything that we experience in life. This helps to instill purpose and identity in us. That purpose and identity will lead us to naturally experience the motivation to better ourselves in every way so that we can be more like Jesus!

Your Relationship with Christ

Our faith centers around our personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus loves us as we are, but He also leads us on a journey of discovering and unleashing the fullness of the potential that God has placed within us. Jesus wants nothing more than to see us accomplish God’s purpose for our lives, and it’s through our relationship with Him that it happens!

Fellowship

God didn’t create us to go through life alone. Being a relational being Himself, God created us in His image to thrive off of relationships with each other. Our brothers and sisters in Christ can provide unmatched support when we need it most. Having a fellow believer to hold you accountable for your New Year’s resolutions can make or break you sticking with it!

Don’t give up on your resolutions. God has placed them upon your heart for a reason. Remember your powerful identity as a child of God, and never stop growing!

Continue reading “Keeping Your Resolutions”

New Year, New Life in Christ

Psalm 23:3: “He restores my soul” (NLT).

2022 is upon us. The last couple of years have been challenging in unique and scary ways. More than ever, we are looking for the comfort of the fresh start we receive at the dawn of a new year.

In preparation for this, many of us have made resolutions. We make these resolutions because they are things that will better our lives. We desire that these resolutions would become the pillars of our new year, signifying the deep change we yearn for in 2022.

While all of these resolutions can be good and helpful to our lives, they mean nothing if we don’t embrace one simple truth: Jesus must be the foundation of our lives! If He is not, every resolution is destined to fail. If He is not, 2022 will not be the year of fulfillment, new life, restoration, and healing that we pray for.

Let’s make some resolutions together. These resolutions will lead us to new life in Christ this coming year!

Invest in God’s Word

The Bible is our manual for life! 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NLT). The Bible is essential for our personal growth. God’s Word has enriched and changed the lives of countless people generation after generation. It can do the same for you!

No matter where we find ourselves in life, we need wisdom, encouragement, and strength. There is no greater source of these things than in the Holy Bible. Through God’s Word, He gives us everything we need to embrace positive change in our lives and step forward into our role as His children. A vibrant relationship with God’s Word will be just the catalyst you need to make true and lasting changes in your life.

No matter where we find ourselves in life, we need wisdom, encouragment, and strength.

Make Time for Prayer

Prayer must also be a daily practice in our lives if we are to further ourselves along our path of spiritual maturity. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (NLT). God gives us this commandment through His Word because He knows that prayer will make us thrive in every way.

Prayer goes hand-in-hand with our daily Bible reading plan. Communication makes relationships thrive, and prayer is how we talk to God! As we read our Bible, we can bring to Him all of our questions and ask for His insight. Doing this daily is an incredible relationship builder with God that will set fire to your connection with Him! Your relationship with Him will be the foundation of the new life you will experience in Christ.

Communication is what makes relationships thrive, and prayer is how we talk to God!

Commit to Fellowship

God is a relational being, and we were created in His image! That means that we were made to do life alongside one another. God never intended for us to go through life alone. Fellowship brings an abundance of blessings to our lives. Going through life with fellow believers brings us encouragement, strength, and spiritual insight, the likes of which we can’t receive anywhere else.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT). Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ can help us become the best versions of ourselves. Let’s conquer our goals for the new year together!

Make the Most Important Resolution

We make resolutions in the new year in order to bring positive changes to our lives. There is no better change that all of us can make than committing to growing closer and closer to God in new and exciting ways!

What’s incredible about this resolution is that when you live it out faithfully, you have the increased ability to tackle the other powerful changes you wish to make in your life. Your invigorated relationship with God will give you the strength, wisdom, and motivation you need to walk in new life in 2022!

While we’ve all experienced challenges in the past couple of years, God is calling us into a season of restoration, healing, and renewed perspective. Are you ready to follow Him on this grand adventure?

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Christ Among Us

John 1:14

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (NLT).

The most meaningful thing we can do for someone is to walk alongside them in life. Whether they are celebrating their most remarkable achievement or suffering through their most challenging trial, our presence makes a difference. The most powerful bonds come into being when we live out our stories in unison with one another.  

As we approach Christmas, I wanted to end the year by reminding you of one of the central stories of our faith: God came down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived among us, experiencing life as we do and leading by example in everything. He walked alongside us, showing us what it means to live. It boggles the mind to comprehend the depth of meaning in this truth, but we will explore it together. 

Jesus Was Fully Human

Jesus didn’t just show up as God cloaked in human form: He was human in every way. He developed in Mary’s womb and was born, growing through childhood into an adult. He experienced every stage of life that we do. Jesus grew up as a child with His parents and then worked His father’s trade as a carpenter before stepping into His ultimate role in ministry. We can find hope in Jesus because He faced the same struggles in life that we do and overcame them: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NLT).

We can find hope in Jesus because He faced the same struggles in life that we do and overcame them.

Jesus Perfected Humanity

Acts 1:11 reads, “Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!” (NLT). When Jesus rose from the dead, He didn’t discard His humanity. Yes, His resurrected body is unique, but He is still human. In overcoming sin and death, Jesus perfected humanity, elevating it as He ascended into heaven. When we trust in Jesus, He cleanses the humanity in us from the sin that taints it.

Jesus Will Come Again 

We celebrate Christmas as a remembrance of Jesus’ arrival into the world. Our understanding of the season must not end there, though, as Christ will come again. What we celebrate is not only in the past but also in the future. In light of this, it is not only a season of celebration but also of preparation. Will you be ready when Jesus returns? 

I pray that each of you experiences all of the joy and peace that this season brings. Hold close the mystery and beauty of God’s truth, and devote time to living in the love of those you hold most dear. Celebrate Christ with family and friends, rejoicing in His salvation and preparing for His return. 

This blog will return at the dawn of the new year. Thank you to everyone who has made this initial year such a success! I am grateful beyond measure. 

May God’s peace reign in your hearts always! 

Why is Advent Important?

This week began the season of Advent, the celebration of the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Different churches celebrate Advent in a variety of ways. You may also have a personal way in which you honor God during this time. There is no one tried and true way to live out this season, but it can be an impactful time of preparation, reflection, and spiritual rebirth. 

It is an old tradition within our faith, but one of powerful significance. There are layers of meaning beneath what it appears to be on the surface. The time of Advent is a season of preparation and anticipation for Jesus’ entry into the world. The word “advent” means “coming” in Latin. 

What we typically see as a remembrance of Jesus’ birth actually has a threefold meaning. What are these three meanings found in this season?

Celebrating Jesus’ Birth

This meaning is the most obvious. Advent is a Christian celebration of the Christmas season lived out through intentional worship practices. There are many ways that Christians live this out in practice, but the idea is the same. One of the most widely spread traditions is the Christmas tree. It is set-up on the first day of Advent as a visual reminder and celebration of the season for many people of faith. 

Remembering Jesus’ Impact on our Lives

Advent can also be an excellent time to reflect on Jesus’ arrival in our lives personally. As Christians, we all have a story of when we came to faith in Christ. Just like Jesus’ entry into the world was the defining moment of human history, His arrival into our hearts was likely the most impactful of our life. Let this season also serve as a reminder of that moment.

Just like Jesus’ entry into the world was the defining moment of human history, His arrival into our hearts was likely the most impactful of our life.

Anticipating Jesus’ Return 

The third and perhaps most relevant meaning of Advent is the hopeful anticipation of Jesus’ return. The Biblical story has not come to its conclusion. Jesus died for our sins, was resurrected, and has ascended, but He will return once more. Acts 1:11 reads, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (NIV). Advent is also a season to humbly prepare for the time when Christ returns to usher in God’s future Kingdom once and for all. 

This Advent season, consider everything this time represents and use it as motivation to deepen your faith. During your time living out your regular holiday traditions, remember Jesus’ presence in your life and the real meaning behind everything that you are doing. Also, take the time to further a spiritual discipline in your life, whether it be Bible reading, prayer, fasting, etc. Advent is the perfect time to recommit to your faith, striving towards a deeper relationship with Jesus!

How Does Faith Change Your Life?

Hebrews 11:11

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen (NLT).

During the formative years of one’s life, most people dream of becoming something like a doctor, teacher, or famous athlete. All I wanted to be was a dad. This desire to be a parent was the primary driver for many decisions in my life. I had felt this calling on my life and knew what path I was supposed to be following. I met the woman of my dreams, and we got married. All the pieces were starting to come together: until they weren’t. 

Our first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage. We were devastated. God had called us to start a family together, but it wasn’t happening. Every attempt that we made ended in heartbreak. We found ourselves without answers, wondering where we had gone wrong. The tragedies before us quickly eroded our faith. 

Life can be tough, no doubt about it. We aren’t always in control of what happens to us. There are times when there’s nothing we can rely on except our faith. In those moments, we realize the real power behind our faith and its ability to take a challenging situation and turn it into something beautiful. 

There are times when there’s nothing we can rely on except our faith.

My wife and I came to a critical decision. We sought answers, prepared the best we could, and took a leap of faith. Together, we entered our third pregnancy. We didn’t know what would come, but we decided to lean on our faith. Our decision paid off in ways we could never imagine. We are now the proud parents of the perfect baby girl. Faith changed our life and led us to our greatest victory. 

How does faith change your life? 

Faith Gives You Confidence

Faith reminds us that God is always by our side, no matter what we are going through. We will assuredly go through trails, big and small, in our life. But faith is the reminder that we never walk through any challenge alone. God promises to lead us to something better on the other side: Never forget that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).

Faith Reminds You of the Truth

Satan is a thief, seeking to steal your joy and security. His greatest weapon against our faith is lies. He slings them at us relentlessly, attempting to break our trust in God and distract us from the truth. He aims to do this because the truth is powerful beyond measure and fills us with love, peace, and joy as we’ve never known. Let Jesus’ words be a reminder always to remember the truth when you are assaulted with lies: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT).

The truth is powerful beyond measure and fills us with love, peace, and joy as we’ve never known.

Faith Shapes Your Worldview

We live in a world where negativity runs rampant and is amplified by social media and the news. This worldview is not the way that God would have us operate. Our mindset shapes our lives and our actions. God desires for us to cultivate a worldview of positivity, love, and peace. We can build this kind of attitude in ourselves through the assurance we receive from our faith in God: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

You hear stories time and time again of how faith radically alters the course of someone’s life. That life-changing faith is available to you as well! All you have to do is let Jesus into your heart and walk a life of faith in God. Jesus wants to enter your life, filling you with a faith that will carry you through even the most trying of times. If you make this choice today, all of the unparalleled benefits of faith can be yours. 

Faith and Fitness: Consistency is Key

Have you ever had that moment when it was difficult to see the impact of what you were doing as it was happening? Perhaps you were working tirelessly in your ministry, exploring every possible avenue for growth. At first, the growth didn’t come, and you figured your efforts were for naught. But then, all of a sudden, the seeds you planted started to sprout. Growth came, and it came in crashing waves. Your hard work paid off after all.

I remember being a new worship pastor at the church I used to call home. Going into the role, I was eager to hit the ground running and bring instant revival to the church. I found out quite quickly it doesn’t work like that. That vision that God put on my heart did indeed happen, but it took time.

Our world is one of instant gratification. We can get what we want when we want it. Modern conveniences have spoiled us, and it has eroded our patience. I find this to be true in my fitness journey as well.

I want to see results, and I want to see them now. When I try a new exercise plan or health supplement, I’m frustrated when I don’t see an instant change in my body. I know better. Real results take consistency and time. The same is true for our spiritual health.

When I run regularly, my cardio improves. I’m able to go longer and faster each subsequent run. I’ve ended up building up a level of stamina that it was hard to picture at first. Running started as a painful test of my will and transformed into a truly enjoyable, liberating experience.

Real results take consistency and time. The same is true for our spiritual health.

The same can be said of our spiritual disciplines. The more that we engage with our faith, the more we deepen it. Let’s take prayer, for instance. It may seem forced at first, and we may grasp for words, but the more we speak with and open our hearts to God, the easier it becomes. That’s when we see the actual results, and our relationship with the Lord blooms.

The act of reading the Bible is similar. Let’s face it: when we begin reading Scripture, it can be strange and confusing. Between the multitude of translations and the sheer amount of time that separates us from what was written, it can take us time to comprehend the Bible’s style and language. When we are consistent, though, we make great strides, and God reveals truth to us as we have never known before.

Recently, I’ve been noticing actual results in my life. My prayers have become more powerful. My Bible reading has become more consistent. I have been crushing my weight-loss and fitness goals. My marriage and family are growing more beautiful by the day. I credit all to God, who continually reminds me to stay focused on my path even when it’s hard to see results at the moment.

Whatever hurdle you face in your life, faith walk, or fitness journey, don’t give up. Stay consistent. Keep pressing forward, and you will be amazed by the things you can achieve!

If you’re interested in reading more about the relationship between faith and fitness, click here!

From Heartbreak to Renewal: Daniel Anderson’s Testimony

Note: The following is the testimony of Daniel Anderson, a friend and brother in Christ. I pray that you read his story. God reached into his life, pulling him from a place of heartbreak and setting his feet on the path to renewal.

2 Corinthians 4:16

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (NIV).

I was in a failing marriage. I had supported and enabled my spouse’s destructive behavior for several years. It finally got to a point where I couldn’t deal with it anymore. It had caused our house to go until pre-foreclosure. Our vehicle was also being repoed, other bills were behind, and she was being unfaithful on top of it. I realized this whole life I built for 14 years was just crumbling apart, and I was falling into this pit of despair. On December 16, 2018, I packed up a suitcase full of clothes and went to my parents. I was done. Over the next several months, I continued to try and work through things with her.

I realized this whole life I built for 14 years was just crumbling apart, and I was falling into this pit of despair.

I wanted nothing more than to save the marriage and restore our life together. I also started praying. It was more like an open conversation at first. I was just talking to God to clear my head, looking to understand what I was going through. Every time, I would ask Him to allow me to make things work with my wife. She and I would talk, and things would start to turn around, but, only for a day. Then, things would be worse than the last time we spoke.

During all these attempts, I started having videos pop up randomly on my Facebook page that were from different churches. Every single video I watched felt like it was speaking directly to me and my situation. They really started to resonate within my heart, telling me that there was something I was missing.

After a couple of months, the realization hit me that God gave me exactly what I was asking for just so He could show me that it wasn’t for me. He had another path that I was supposed to be following. I then found myself seeking out more of these videos and starting to really dig into the scriptures they were using. It was like opening up a door that had been sealed forever to find your best friend standing on the other side, waiting to embrace you. I realized that even though I said I believed in God, I wasn’t living the life that He had intended for me. I was trying to control everything while not being receptive to His message.

It was like opening up a door that had been sealed forever to find your best friend standing on the other side, waiting to embrace you.

I started following Elevation Church online and watching the sermons on Sundays. I started sharing these videos that spoke to me. I figured there were more people out there that needed to hear how awesome God can be. If I was comfortable sharing it and giving Him the praise and glory for what He was doing in my life, others may feel the same way and want to share as well. I just want to be a witness to the amazing things that God can do in our lives.

Click here to read more about breaking free from toxic relationships and finding freedom in Christ.

4 Keys to Effective Communication in Marriage

Proverbs 12:8

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (NIV).

Throughout my entire life, I have always struggled with my perception of myself. I feel awkward in nearly every social situation, and I don’t feel comfortable expressing myself through speaking. It’s been a constant battle for me. My self-identity was often in shambles because I just couldn’t see myself the way that God sees me. 

That all changed because of the empowering words of my wife. The love and respect she has shown me throughout our relationship continually remind me of my value. When I struggle with my self-image, she knows the right words to speak because she has invested in me. She knows how to communicate with me effectively and reach into my heart. We grow closer to one another every day because we have embedded ourselves in each other’s lives through effective communication.

Communication can make or break a marriage. Our words carry the power to hurt or to heal. Unwillingness to communicate also brings with it its own set of consequences. How can we expect to grow closer to our spouse if we aren’t willing to talk to them? We must foster healthy habits within our marriage that cultivate powerful communication. 

Communication can make or break a marriage. Our words carry the power to hurt or to heal.

Here are 4 keys to developing effective communication within your marriage.

Make Time to Listen

Carving time out of your schedule to hear about your spouse’s day makes them feel valued. That simple act of sitting and listening can show your spouse that you care. The effort you demonstrate by doing this shows where your priorities lie. It helps your spouse to know that they are important to you. So many arguments arise from the fact that someone feels like they are never genuinely listened to. These arguments are entirely avoidable, and so is the hurt that results.

I make sure that every day when my wife comes home, I take the time to ask her about her day. I stop whatever I am doing and truly listen. I love her, and I want to be a part of what’s going on in her life. This small gesture goes a long way in being involved in what she’s doing.

Invest in the Things That are Important to Your Spouse

Show your spouse that the things that are important to them are important to you too. I can’t tell you how much of the conversation between my wife and me revolves around the other’s interests that we have chosen to invest in. We have deepened our relationship by investing in what’s important to each other. 

We have deepened our relationship by investing in what’s important to each other.

Being well-versed in each other’s passions in life opens up new opportunities for conversation. I love hearing my wife pour out her heart about things that she likes. It draws me closer to her and shows me sides of her that I would never see if I didn’t make that effort. 

Ask Questions that Spark Conversation

One of the questions I make sure to ask my wife every single day is, “what was the best part of your day?” This question draws me into her day and gives me a great sense of something that spoke to her heart in the midst of it. From her answers, I learn more about what she is experiencing and what moves her throughout the course of her day. 

Never stop learning about your spouse. Little questions like this can help guide you in going deeper in your knowledge of your spouse. 

ALWAYS Treat Your Spouse with Respect

If you have one take-away from reading this post, let it be this one. There is NO EXCUSE for ever treating your spouse disrespectfully. If you have any desire to have a healthy marriage, you will always treat them with respect. Take ownership of the responsibility that your words carry with you. They have the power to either empower or tear down the person you have committed your entire life to. 

There is NO EXCUSE for ever treating your spouse disrespectfully.

God has brought you together with your spouse. Honor that relationship by speaking healing words into their life. Never deepen the hurt that they feel. It is much harder to fix the damage done by stray words than it is never to have said them in the first place. 

Commit to trying out these 4 keys to effective communication in your marriage today. Pray that God guides you along the way, and send your marriage soaring to new heights!

Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships

John 8:36

If the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed. (NIV).

I was in a toxic relationship for years. It’s not something that I’m proud of. It was life-draining, humiliating, and exhausting. I’m ashamed of some of the things that went down. It felt like that cycle of dysfunction was never going to end.

There were words spoken that broke my self-confidence. It happened all the time. Every moment I built myself back up, I got torn down. In retrospect, I hold myself responsible. I was the one who kept coming back and asking for more. There were multiple times that I could have chosen freedom, but I didn’t. I decided to return to my chains.

Even when freedom is right before our eyes, we have to take that step forward to embrace it. We must be bold enough to make it ours. We are often the ones fueling our own bondage. We continually return to the chains that have held us back for so long.

In John 8:36, Jesus tells us, “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed” (NIV). Let His words resonate in your mind. Freedom is within your grasp! Jesus is trying to tell you that you can break free from the cycle. You can break free from the pain. Stop believing the lies, and no longer return to your chains.

You can break free from the pain. Stop believing the lies, and no longer return to your chains.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Why do we do this to ourselves? 

Fear

When we live in a dysfunctional situation for so long, we end up becoming comfortable in it. We are afraid of what’s outside of that reality. It’s fear of the unknown. We start to believe the lie that there is nothing better for us. The most terrifying thought is one of being alone. 

The only answer is to find the courage to break out of our comfort zone and cast aside the lies. We need to embrace Jesus and the freedom He so freely gives. It’s the type of freedom that reminds us we are free to choose life-giving and empowering things. He longs for us to experience this deliverance, but we have the final say on if we accept it or not.

Lack of Confidence

My shattered self-image is what caused me to remain where I was. I couldn’t find it in myself to believe that I deserved better. I took to heart the lies fed to me. I desperately tried to strive towards being something that I was not. I genuinely wanted to please my partner but ended up becoming less and less of who God called me to be.

I devalued myself. I started to become the person that I never wanted to be. My twisted perception of myself started to become a reality. It was a slippery slope, and I couldn’t regain my footing. Ultimately, I was the one allowing it to happen. It took me a long time to be able to see it clearly.

Desire to See Your Partner Change

There is good in everyone, undoubtedly. We see the good in our partner and remember the reasons we connected in the first place. No matter how destructive their patterns become, we want to believe they will change. We desire to be the instrument of that change. Our heart is in shambles because we hate to see our partner in the state that they are in.

If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we realize that it’s up to them to change. That burden is not on you. Ultimately, you don’t have that choice. It’s a tragedy, but something that you must accept. 

It’s up to them to change. That burden is not on you.

Our God is a God of healing. He wants to see you free from anything that holds you back. If you are in a toxic relationship, Jesus wants you to know that freedom is available to you. If you embrace it, there is no need to fear what’s on the other side. He will lead you to true freedom and the chance to retake hold of your life. If you are feeling scared to take this step, let His words in Isaiah 41:10 speak directly to your heart: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).