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Why, God?

God is so amazing. Each week when I drive to church, I pray that God will speak to me through the message, and I pray for my pastor to see God's will. Amazingly, each sermon speaks directly to the situation I am in that week. I know it is God. There's been too many "coincidences."

Here's some notes from last week's sermon.

The answer to every question to God that begins with "Why...?" is either a) because I love you, or b) I didn't.

(he distinguishes between pain and suffering in that pain is what we physically feel - like burning your hand on a hot stove and suffering is, for example, being hurt emotionally.)

1. Why did You create pain?
Because I love you. God created pain to tell us to stop what we are doing, so we won't hurt ourselves further. He also created pain so we can experience pleasure, and know the difference.

2. Why did you create suffering?
I didn't. He gave us free will, and Satan uses it against us.

3. Why did YOU …

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Those Words

“This just isn’t going to work out.” The dreaded words. The end. It's over. In my years of dating experience, I’ve heard Those Words several times. I’ve also said Those Words a time or two. Whatever partner is on the receiving end of Those Words is undoubtedly disappointed, hurt and saddened, but it’s a harsh reality that many relationships don’t always work out.

The majority of dating relationships end prior to walking down the aisle. But once you say, "I do," you never expect to hear Those Words ever again. But too often, it happens anyway. Families are devastated, hearts are shattered, and covenants are broken.
When you realize a dating relationship isn’t working for you, that’s when you utter Those Words or some variation of them. The thing is, though, after you say “I do,” you no longer get to say Those Words when the going gets tough--even if you feel the relationship isn't working. Every relationship has its ups and downs, marriage more than any other. That’…

Because of Who I Am

Someone posted on Facebook the other day the following:
Why would you fight for someone who clearly doesn't want you? Please let them go. You are valuable, just not to them. I thought about it for a minute, because I indeed fought for my husband when he clearly didn't want me. I fought for our marriage, even when he had zero interest in making our marriage work. He had already checked out and told me point-blank that he just didn't want to work on our marriage, but yet I fought on my knees before the Lord.

Throughout the first few months of our separation, I prayed day-in and day-out. I beseeched the Lord to intercede. I rebuked Satan, and I prostrated myself before the Lord God Almighty. I went to therapy, and I watched sermons online. I listened to every Jimmy Evans podcast I could find. I journaled and devoured God's Word. I wrote my husband scriptures and prayers daily. I soon filled a 100-page journal front and back.

Shortly after he left in June, God told me tha…

Covert Red Flags: The Real Things You Should Be Looking Out For in Relationships

Your relationship with your spouse should be the closest human relationship you ever have. As we are dating, we are assessing whether or not that person could potentially fit into our inner circle. This causes us to be on high alert for red flags. Most red flags are obvious--lack of communication, anger issues, irresponsibility, controlling behavior, abuse, etc. A quick Google search will bring up list upon list of red flags we should look out for. Being rude to waitstaff, not making your relationship public, not caring about XYZ, stone walling, gaslighting, and more can all be found on most lists.

But what about the covert red flags? Those things that are less obvious. My first marriage taught me to look out for the overt red flags like the ones found in every advice column. My second marriage taught me to look out for covert red flags, ones that I never even realized were red flags until I could look back. The entire time we dated, I kept looking for the overt red flags, and there …