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  • Writer's picturejoyforministry

Don't Stop Short





It is Thanksgiving week and I am reflecting.


Recently, my husband and I sat down for an interview with a woman who is doing her doctoral dissertation on a specific church experience that we went through. She was interviewing ten couples individually for her research. During the conversation, she told my husband and me that 45% of people who walk through this experience never return to church. I understand why.


Through the past year, I have seen God use this experience and the pain that came with it to help others. It makes me so thankful that God used something ugly in my life for His good. I had that moment when time slowed down and I looked at two roads. One road was to walk away angry and bitter. The other choice seemed even scarier to me. That road led to forgiveness, surrender, and taking the chance of getting hurt again. I chose the second road. And though it has been challenging, I felt God with me, comforting me all along the way. I am so thankful that I still have my love for the church and the people in it. I still have a passion for ministry.


It is Thanksgiving week and I am reflecting.


I had a moment at church today. You know one of those big moments when it seems that God is speaking right to you? My pastor was talking about reconciliation. We tend to stop short of that. We want justice. We don’t see the bigger picture of what God is doing. It is about so much more. We need to forgive. But it goes even further still. We need reconciliation. I have been stopping short. I talk to many people who have been hurt in ministry. They don’t attend any congregation. It grieves my heart. God wants to bring healing, freedom, and reconciliation to that pain and to those relationships. I want to encourage people that it is about more than the hurt. Don’t stop short.


It is Thanksgiving week and I am reflecting.


God takes our mess, our anger, our bitterness, and uses them. Ministry is hard. It can be ugly. If we let offense take root then we are paralyzed. What painful experience do you need to fully let God into? Have you let Him into certain areas but locked others up tightly? Have you stopped at wanting justice but you still need to forgive? Have you forgiven but not pursued reconciliation? Don’t stop. Keep going. Just take one step today. It might just be asking God to help you.

It is Thanksgiving week and I am reflecting.


For the past few months, I have been working on a six-week devotional journal for women in ministry. It is about walking through a storm and seeing how God is FOR you. How He validates your life. How He will stamp you with approval. It is a combination of the verses, quotes, and blogs that helped me in a very dark storm. Never would I have thought God would use the experiences that I went through to help others in similar situations. Only God. I am not stopping short though. I want more. I want reconciliation. God will use your experiences in beautiful ways too. Open your hand to God. He wants every part of you.


It is Thanksgiving week and I am reflecting.



2 Corinthians 5:18-19


18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.


Coming soon...



5 comments

5 Comments


Barbara Ruglio
Barbara Ruglio
Nov 28, 2020

What a beautiful reflection. My hurts are from longer ago and I agree it is possible to find reconciliation. Often it takes YEARS...decades even :-) Sometimes there need to be boundaries but Romans 12:18 encourages us to be at peace with all, as much as you can pursue. And that has given me peace, in all hurts, not just church-based.


One extra step in this process, and there is no rushing this either, is getting to the place where you can ask yourself and God -- What part of this was my doing? What part was me adding to the problem? How was my reactions creating a bigger problem? This part took me a good long time because we naturally…


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Alexandra Woody
Alexandra Woody
Nov 28, 2020

That is beautiful. Defining reconciliation as a peace you achieve regardless of the other person, this healthy and life-a affirming.

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joyforministry
joyforministry
Nov 27, 2020

For me - reconciliation in a relationship means that I can think of that person, see them, or talk to them without feeling the anger or hurt that they caused. I can see good that came from that relationship. I have peace. Is that possible when the other party doesn't want that? Yes I think it is. It is a matter of the heart. Is it easy for me? No.

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Alexandra Woody
Alexandra Woody
Nov 27, 2020

Wow - so happy for you about you authoring this book. What do you mean by reconciliation? Do you mean with the party or parties who wronged you? What if that is not possible? Or maybe you are defining reconciliation a different way.

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Karen Durling Stiller
Karen Durling Stiller
Nov 27, 2020

Beautiful. No experiences are wasted.

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