Three Reasons Why You Can’t Move Forward

They hurt you. Badly. You feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. You’ve tried to move on and you want to be the bigger person. You want to move forward but you just can’t do it.

You can’t move forward because you keep looking back

“ Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19
It is hard to move forward when the movie reel of what has happened keeps playing over and over again in your head. You can see it like it was yesterday.. the wounds fresh… the cuts are deep. And you keep looking back.
In Genesis, two angels tell Lot and his family to get out of town. It’s a bad scene. The whole town has lost their minds and it isn’t a good place to be. They tell them not to look back. His wife didn’t listen, and when she looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt. She died y’all. Right there on the spot.
When we keep focusing on the past, we can die too. Maybe not a physical death, but dreams, hopes, and joy can die. If we truly want to move forward, we’ve got to stop looking back. God is doing a new thing.. look forward so you don’t miss it.

you can’t move forward because you’re afraid

You can’t deal with something you’re afraid of. Fear is crippling. It binds us up and causes us to do crazy things. Sometimes we can’t move forward because we are just plain scared to. It’s easier to stay in this place. Sure, it may hurt and it may be miserable, but we are used to it. The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt when it got hard on the way to the promised land. They were more comfortable with the idea of going back to bondage, then moving into the unknown before them.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

you can’t move forward because you haven’t forgiven them

I know they hurt you and if I could reach through this screen and give you a hug, I would. Because being hurt by someone is no fun. It can leave us trapped.

“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Proverbs 18:19

When we are hurt and don’t forgive, we build up walls. These walls keep us trapped. It is hard to move forward when you’re trapped in the past. We have to choose to forgive so that we can be free. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Make a choice today to forgive them so that you can be free to move forward.

 

 

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Why it’s Okay to NOT be Okay

We live in an Instagram perfect world. In the culture we live in, it has become increasingly easy to dress up our lives with a pretty filter and witty hashtag. But what do you do when you are really not in a pretty place?

Did you know that it is okay that your are NOT okay? You don’t have to work so hard to look like you have it all together. In fact, Jesus rebuked the ones who did that in the Bible.

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[i] and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matthew 23:25-26

Why do we work so hard to clean up our outsides, while inside we are wasting away?

If you are honest, you are falling apart. Life has gotten the best of you and you don’t know where to go from here. Embrace this place… this is the place that God can do his greatest work.

Embrace this place... this is the place that God can do his greatest work. Click To Tweet

But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:16-17 

What if instead of prettying up our lives on the outside, we ran to Jesus with our messy insides?

 

We are not okay… and that is OKAY. Because in this not so okay place, we can lean into Jesus, knowing that he is our comforter and he will work all of this together for our good.

 

 

Are you struggling with the season you are in? Do you feel like you will never move away from this NOT so okay place? You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

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There is Purpose in Your Pain

Painful seasons are not fun. They are filled with emotions… tears… long conversations.. what ifs.. and why nots..
They are exhausting at best.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a no pain button? Like anytime we started to feel emotional or physical pain we would just press the button and it would immediately vanish?? Someone should invent that.. they would make a fortune!
Sadly, no one has, and the pain comes. It comes without warning and there we stand stuck in the middle of so many emotions and hurting like crazy.
Everything inside of us starts screaming, but on the outside we stand freakishly still.
This feeling of pain has been all too close in certain seasons of my life. One thing that it has taught me is that though all of our pains look differently on the outside, on the inside the hurt is very much the same. The raw, ugly, painful feelings are enough to take us under.
We’re not okay.. and if we’re honest this season is harder than we’d like to admit.
But somewhere in the midst of the hard, painful realities, there is Jesus. Somewhere Between the shouting at the circumstances and the screaming at the pain, his face calms the storm.
Seasons of pain are not easy, but I’m finding that the seasons of pain somehow bring peace. The hurt somehow opens our soul to healing. So even though pain is awful, we won’t fight it. We will embrace the feelings now, so that Jesus can bring us freedom from them later.
And maybe, just maybe, the pain will bring purpose.
I know what it is like to be in a painful season. In the most painful season of my life, I found this perfect little book tucked away in the Bible that literally gave me life through the pain. Habakkuk was so relatable to me during the worst time in my life.  If you are going through a hard season you can snag your copy of m Fifteen Day Devotional: Habakkuk… Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion below.
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3 Things I’ve Learned about Pain

Pain is no fun… like absolutely none at all. It is excruciating and unpredictable… The last four months have been filled with pain that I’ve never known before and they have taught me a lot about what pain is, what it isn’t and how to cope.

I know I can’t be the only person who has been betrayed, broken, and bruised. If you have been in a painful place or are now, I hope these three things I have learned will help you through this season!

Pain is unpredictable

If you had told me six months ago that I would be in this place of pain, I would have probably laughed. The pain that I am feeling is the direct result of being betrayed by the person I trusted the most. I knew they would have never hurt me, but somehow they did.

I would have told you that there was absolutely no possible way that this person would break my heart and I would have been wrong.

The truth is that pain comes without warning.. It’s unpredictable, unpreventable and undeniable. And so… the pain comes when we least expect it and it shatters everything that we thought we knew. Crushes it right to the core..

In painful seasons all we can do is cling to verses like

 “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

Pain makes it hard to pray…

The first month after realizing I had been betrayed it was so hard to pray about it. God had a purpose and I knew he would get me through it but I wasn’t ready to let him..

I was mad…I was hurting.. I was crying.. I was shaking.. I was numb..

I wasn’t okay by any stretch of the imagination. I remember saying things like “I know God has a plan and that he is going to work this out for my good.” but in my heart I wasn’t so sure.

There was nothing I could do to fix it and that was okay.

God gave me my time… He held me when I didn’t know what to pray and he waited for me to be ready for healing. Eventually that day came… It wasn’t overnight.. It was more than a month after the pain started and I finally found myself in that place.. I found myself saying “Lord heal me from the hurt they caused.” and he began to heal me… but that took time too! It was another two months after that until I was finally able to choose to forgive the people who had hurt me.. and I’m sure it will be another few months or years before I am completely healed because….

 Pain is a process…

When you have been hurt deeply and pain becomes such a big part of your heart, it is a process to get to the other side..

There is no right answer.. there is no ten step program to quicken your healing process. There is only Jesus. The process is long and unsteady, but Jesus is stable and secure throughout the journey.

 

Each time I found myself saying “God I’m not okay.” I would hear him whisper “I know baby, but you will be.. I’ll hold you until you are.” and he did.. and he does.. and he will until it’s over. He will give me a word to get me through… a friend to hug me when it hurts..  a light to shine into the darkness… a hope when I feel hopeless.

 

Pain will affect us all at some point in our lives because we live in a sinful world. People fail us… family members die… jobs are lost… husbands leave.. children run..  and hurt enters in each time..

The only sure thing in this world is Jesus. Click To Tweet

If you are going through a painful season, I’m so sorry! I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you I know how you feel.. I wish I could tell you that it is all going to be okay.. All I can really do is tell you that Jesus won’t abandon you here. This is not the end of your story.. walk with him.. Let yourself feel the things you feel, hurt the way you do, and let him carry you to the other side.

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Why I Stopped Walking in my Calling

Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated with your mundane life? You see other people around you and they look like their life is so much more exciting. Their family, house, job, marriage, and even their calling and gifts begin to make you feel inferior. You begin to pressure yourself to be that. You begin trying to conform to who they are… and you begin to feel miserable.

I’ve been there recently. I’ve been trying to fit into someone else’s box. I’m not ever sure why. It just sort of happened. Maybe you can relate.

The beautiful thing about our Father God is that when we begin to start to sway from the path he’s called us to walk, he gently and graciously brings us back. Don’t you love grace?

I began to feel frustrated with myself and if I’m honest, a little frustrated with God. Why is my life not working out? Why do I feel so basic? Why do I feel miserable? Why is this SO hard? (I’m just being super honest y’all.)

This is when God began to speak to my heart. He said “Jordan, your not walking in your calling.” “What? But I’m writing.. I’m blogging.. I’m trying God?” “You know I’ve called you to speak and I’ve called you to pour into your community. I want you to share me through blogging and writing, but I don’t want you to hide behind it.” Ouch.

You see, I didn’t know until this conversation that I had started to hide. I refused to walk in my calling because I got hurt… hurt bad. I was vulnerable with people. I was sharing and speaking. I was putting myself out there.. and they used my vulnerability against me. It hurt. It made me want to run and hide. And so I did. I guess somewhere along the way I just thought it would be safer to share my heart with you behind this computer screen, than  to have to sit down face to face and be authentic.

I stopped using the gifts God had specifically given me… and little by little I began to dry up. I didn’t even know it had happened. But it had.

It’s easy to put up walls, it’s nearly impossible to tear them back down. But here I am… slowly chipping away at the walls I let grow just a little too high. It’s a process and that’s okay. Because this tearing down process, it’s beautiful.. It’s in this place that God is able to speak to my broken, dry places and call them back to life again.

Maybe you’re here too. All dry and shriveled up with walls around your heart too high to climb over. Maybe you’ve been hurt… Maybe you’ve shut down… I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. We can fight through and tear these walls down. It won’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is. But the Lord will graciously lead us back to a place of peace.

~Can you relate to today’s topic? Leave a comment or send us a private message.. We are all in this together!

(Would you like for Jordan to speak at your next church event? Could your ladies benefit from this topic? Email us for more information.)

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When the World Looks Dark and Scary

It seems like every other day there is a new opportunity to be filled with fear. Natural disasters taking place all over… famines in third world countries… shootings… anger… chaos… mass chaos everywhere you turn…

With so many things going on in our world right now, there has been increased talk about it being the end times. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of the end times makes me feel anxious. Not because I’m not excited to see Jesus return, but because of the unknown. The Bible talks about the end days and how bad it will be.

In Luke 21 Jesus talks about the end times.

He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’[b] and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[c] ….

16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[d] 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win

25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[e] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

And it seems like we are in those times. And we get wrapped up in our heads wondering and talking and fearing the end times….

But the Bible also says in Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

And so today as I sit here and see all the news.. and hear all the fear… I’m asking God to speak.

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And He is reminding me…

He is reminding me that He is in control…

He is reminding me that we have an enemy of our soul who is desiring to steal our days with crippling fear…An enemy that knows that our human hearts are afraid of the unknown so he tries to steal our todays with fears about the “end times.”

He is reminding me that he has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.

He is reminding me that He is a good father.

He is reminding me that each day is drawing us closer to Him.

He is reminding me to pursue my purpose every day.

He is reminding me that history is filled with tragic events because we live in a fallen world.

He is also reminding me that Jesus is the hope of the world. We are the carriers of his light.

Tomorrow is never promised, but that doesn’t mean we must live in fear today.

Today is a gift. Today is our time. This is the day the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it.

So today, instead of being crippled by fear, let’s be encouraged in our faith. Let’s be reminded that in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome this world.

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Messy Motives

Have you ever been in a place where the rug gets swept out from underneath you? Your foundation gets shaken and you are left asking yourself what happened? How did everything get so messy? This has been my life for what feels like a century! Lately I’ve been asking God questions. Questions like “How did I get so off track?” “How did I become so isolated?” “Why do I feel so alone?”

Maybe you can relate…

Last night as I was asking God some of these questions he said “Jordan, your motive for walking with me got a little messy. You started to care more about following and fitting in with my people, than you cared about following and walking with me.” Ouch.

But we do that don’t we? It’s so easy to get the lines crossed. We are called to love God and love people.. in that order. But sometimes we get so busy loving the people, that we forget about our first love.

So I started to reflect on the last year of my life… on my underground season.. this messy, lonely season. I realized that somewhere along the way I missed it… the big mark that said this is the way.. walk in it.. I missed it because I was too busy watching all the people walking towards The Way.unnamed

It wasn’t that I was a messed up person, but my motive for following Jesus had gotten a little messy. Was it for fame? To build my own kingdom? For the people I wanted to help? I’m not really sure how I missed the mark, but somewhere I began following the people instead of my Jesus. I got swept up in “the christian walk.”

But then it happened.

 

The time came when the people I had been following hurt me. Broke my spirit. Left me empty handed and confused. I found myself all of a sudden standing on the road I had been walking with no hope in sight… because when your faith is built on people, and then the people hurt you,  you’re left on a lonely road.. confused and abandoned. Where do I go now? What do I do now? I was following Jesus..really I was.. But then it hit me…

If I was truly following Jesus then how did my world come crashing down when the people let me down? If my foundation was Jesus wouldn’t I have been able to keep going after I was hurt?

 

Somewhere I shifted. My foundation started out built on Jesus but then I began to build it on people. The lines got a little bit messy and crossed.

So here I am now.. with a new revelation.. the revelation that when our motives get messy, Jesus never does. The beautiful thing about God is that every time we get it wrong, he gently pulls us back. We are like sheep that wander off… He just gently pulls us back to himself.

Maybe you have been like me… a sheep following the herd, instead of the shepherd.. let’s together take a stand. Let’s decide to follow our shepherd instead of the sheep. And when we hear him say “this is the way, walk in it,” we can walk boldly with confidence, knowing that our shepherd will be ever faithful, solid and strong, always leading us to beautiful places.

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