Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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      Welcome to the Book Loft, Daphne! Is there a story behind your novel, Mississippi Nights?Mississippi Nights actually began as a story titled One Big Happy Family that I started writing when I was 14. Of course, I was too young to understand life. So the story sat in a box for a long time. Then one day, after many years and many life trials, I remembered the […]
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      Two brothers, one death—the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.Can the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?When Firefighter David Boyette’s fiancée perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devas […]
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      Here at Clash of the Titles, the end of another month calls for the beginning of another Clash.We present to you five brand new novels for your perusing pleasure. Which would you pick up first? Let us know by casting your vote below! Check back here on Thursday, September 4th for the contest results.Big secrets never stay hidden, and it’s the darkest ones th […]
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      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
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    • BOOK REVIEW: FLABBERGASTED BY RAY BLACKSTON
      From the moment I started this book by Ray Blackston I couldn’t put it down. I can’t attribute it to one particular thing but to a gift of combined talents that hooked me. These include his superb writing, keen observations, ability for humor, and a unique story telling style, all from a single man’s perspective.The main character, Jay, an investment broker […]
    • Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel
      When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds hers […]
    • Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship
      Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained RelationshipHere's a bit more about the book.Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it' […]
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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘Donna Pyle’

As Far As it Depends on You by Donna Pyle

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on April 8, 2011

Today’s post first appeared on my blog as part of a series on forgiveness. I am a champion of marriage. ninty-nine times out of a hundred, the marriage can be saved if the couple follow God’s plan and leading. But sometimes, no matter how hard we fight for healing and reconciliation,  the marriage crumbles. Today’s post is for those women who’ve felt the sting of divorce and for those struggling in a dark marriage. Know you are called to do one thing–obey God, with full surrender. The rest is up to Him. 

Donna Pyle, founder of Artisan Ministries, shares her testimony of forgiveness, and the healing that came from it. The Bible tells us we are to seek peace as far as it depends on us. Sometimes, we can do everything we know to do, with little results, but when we follow God’s ways, He promises that we will never go through the painful experiences of irreconciliation alone. And I believe He will bless our obedience in His time and His way.

I also posted Donna’s testimony to remind us all to be quick to love and slow to judge. When you see a single mother, pause before jumping to conclusions and remember, she could be a widow, a recovering victim who fled an abusive husband, or, like in Donna’s case, a woman who desperately wanted to make her marriage work, only to be abandoned by her husband.

TAKING A STAND TO FORGIVE

by Donna Pyle

How could I have possibly missed the signs? Is this actually happening? Those questions flooded my mind as I watched an unannounced nuclear bomb decimate my marriage. The man I had shared 19 years of my life with had treaded a dark path and chosen to walk away to save face instead of save our marriage.

Feelings of betrayal hit me like a two-by-four. I could hardly breathe from the sheer weight of sorrow. Overwhelmed at the loss, my soul cried. My trusting heart lay shattered around me. Difficult days followed. Bone-numbing weariness blanketed my mind and sadness threatened to drown me in darkness. I had been discarded. I was alone. Have you been there?

That heartbreaking morning a year and a half ago began what proved to be the most difficult yet amazing journey of my life. How in the world would I ever be able to forgive such betrayal? It seemed insurmountable. Betrayal is worse than death. It is the willful slaughter of hope.

That horrible day of discovery was cataclysmic to our marriage. I’ll never forget the sound of that door closing behind him. I crumpled under sobs that came from my soul. I had been robbed. Robbed of my husband, my marriage, trust, and love. The loss was devastating.

Thankfully, God put an amazing couple in my life who scooped me up for the night to stay with them. They provided me with love, hugs, and a safe place. They didn’t utter anything profound, they just let me be. Be sad. Be heartbroken. Be quiet. Be a mess. Just be.

When I awoke the next morning after falling asleep out of sheer emotional exhaustion, I got dressed and headed to work in order to let them know I’d be taking off the rest of the week . I needed to start collecting the pieces of my broken life. Before I left my friends’ home, I gave them my wedding ring as a reminder for them to pray for us. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would never wear that ring on my wedding finger again.

In the weeks that followed, it was very clear that my ex-husband was not going to put in the work required to save our marriage. Divorce proceedings ensued. There are almost no words to describe the sadness of the “this is mine; that is yours” process. But I resolved not to fight over “stuff.” He moved the balance of his things out of our home on our wedding anniversary.

It was surreal to drive downtown to the courthouse to sign the final divorce papers. My attorney and I approached the bench, the judge signed the papers, handed them back, and said, “I wish you good luck.” Luck was the last thing I wanted. God was everything I needed.

How do I even begin forgiving all that happened? How does anyone? I didn’t want to forgive at first. I wanted to seek, kill, and destroy him for all the hurt and pain. But I didn’t want to be an angry, bitter person. We’ve all met people like that. The ones that leave us wondering what in the world happened to them that caused them to be like that. So I began my journey toward forgiveness.

I kept a journal from that horrible first day until a month after the divorce. When I got up the nerve to go back and re-read it, I found a startling entry on Day 1: “God, I’m so hurt and angry over what he’s done, but help me to forgive.” I don’t even remember writing that prayer. But throughout some incredible Christian counseling, I learned that was truly my desire.

I learned that compassion characterizes forgiveness. Genuine forgiveness extends from a love that comes from sorrow. I was grieving over what he had become rather than what he had done. Embracing that truth freed my heart, mind, and soul.

When I finally realized that God had worked in me true forgiveness, I texted my ex-husband to see if we could meet. That’s the last step in forgiveness. We have to let that person know they’ve been forgiven. Although he couldn’t bring himself to meet, I texted him his forgiveness anyway. There. I did it!

Even though he didn’t respond at the time, I made peace with the fact that I wasn’t responsible for how he accepted it. I was responsible for extending it. That day began my new life free of heart clutter. I have been able to embrace the life that God has now given me.

Surprisingly, some people may be angry about the forgiveness we extend. There are a few close friends of ours who have asked me how I could have possibly forgiven what happened. Much like the older brother in Luke 15’s story of the prodigal son, some don’t understand extending forgiveness for hurts caused and wrongs carried out. But again, that’s an issue they have to work out for themselves.

My wedding ring has been transformed into a cross-shaped ring of forgiveness, worn on my right hand, inscribed with the words, “FORGIVEN” and “Col. 3:13.” It serves as a reminder of what God has forgiven me and how I am to keep extending it to others.

Unforgiveness keeps pain alive and traps us in the past. Assigning blame or re-living the betrayal proves toxic. Forgiveness allows us to joyfully live in the present and permits us to open our hearts and hands to receive the hope and future that God has planned for us.

If you struggle with unforgiveness, pray for a changed heart—for you. Forgiveness has everything to do with our actions, not theirs. As long as we hang on to unforgiveness, we remain trapped. Seek counseling to work through deep-seated resentment. I did. It works. Then take that step toward forgiveness that frees our heart to live again. God loves you dearly and promises to guide your every step.

*      *      *

Donna Pyle was born in the one-horse town of Kountze, Texas. The daughter of a real estate agent and a homemaker, Donna was raised in south Texas with her three sisters. Donna’s parents instilled in her a passion for reading and new school supplies, which sparked her love for writing. Her father’s frequent job moves made attending church a low priority. At 23, a friend invited Donna to a church service. Six months later, she was baptized and confirmed into God’s family and began her greatest adventure of all with God at the helm of her life.

After 17 years of digging into God Word and learning from incredibly, godly mentors, Donna founded Artesian Ministries in 2007 to teach women how to love and live on God’s Word. As an avid student of Scripture, Donna has written over 17 Bible studies and is currently working on her first book.

As a frequent public speaker, she teaches with humor, grace, and exuberance. With incredible warmth, she draws women in so that they feel as if they’re sitting down together over a cup of coffee and God’s Word. You’ll be laughing one minute and crying the next as Donna passionately conveys just how much Jesus loves each and every precious soul.

Donna has a passion for interdenominational ministry since it so wonderfully and accurately represents the body of Christ. She attends Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX where she serves on the worship team. Donna enjoys traveling, reading, singing, and driving her cats crazy with feather toys.

For more information, please visit: www.artesianministries.org and her personal blog at www.donnapyle.blogspot.com

Posted in Encouragment, Heart and Home, Homemaking, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

 
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