So ask yourself this question...are you a peace keeper or a peace makerYou stumped? Well let me give you some clarity to see where you fall in this answer. A peace keeper is a person that will often avoid confrontation. A peace maker embraces confrontation to make peace. The series we are in at church is called getting past your past. The first week was breaking the labels that bind us. The second week forgiving those who hurt you. The third week was apologizing to those you have hurt. We have one more week to go and man this series has hit me right between the eyes like a bullet that contained a dose of reality. Beprepared this is a long one....get a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the read.
As most of you know these past few months have been a huge roller coaster (I know who am I kidding as I am a woman with hormones and we are always on a rollercoaster..lol) So many changes in our lives as a family. If you don't let me shed some light. Since February it has been huge milestones. Jay and I hit 19 years of marriage, our only child turned 18, Hunter got accepted into OU (University of Oklahoma), we got orders to DC, We hit 19 years in the air force, try to sell our first house we have ever bought (might I add huge attachment to this place), Hunter graduates and we get to leave him behind in August. So in a span of four months life was sent down a path of drastic changes. So you ask why the tanget...hold on getting there.
With the first sermon, breaking the labels that bind us... my name is Tiffany and I am a doormat (that was the fill in blank for me). I have learned over the years my compassion to truly help people came with a price. It came with the label of doormat. Just ask her and she will help you and you get what you want. After so many times of that and when I truly needed people rather it be with listening or Jay was deployed and I could not do some stuff, no one was ever there or they were to busy. Over and over starts to leave someone with a bitter taste in there mouth about "friends and people in general." So on the flip side I decided to just depend on me and well that did not go so well. I starting shutting people out, became very insecure with who I was and became bitter. To say that, that went over like a lead balloon was a understatement. The once happy go lucky big personalitied short stature person was a person with no cares. Let me tell you what that landed me...depression, missing the big and little things in life, just plain miserable. So as I started really looking at things from a Godly perspective what were my motives? To fit in, to get people to like me, to buy there love, to prove myself worthy...yep. I knew that I was truly never happy or secure with who I was due to several things...the main thing lacking in a relationship with my father....clarify my heavenly father. When we truly become open to the fact that we do NOT have to prove ourselves to Him or to anyone else things got better. I came to a conclusion that HE loves me know matter what. He loves me in spite of my faults, my motives etc. When you truly start to "GET IT" and put it into practice everything behind what you do changes. Your fitting in becomes I don't want to fit in I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Another words I want to stand out but in a good way. So from many years of heartache, selfish motives, or I don't give a crap attitude to know what My God says and feels about me...my name is Tiffany and I am a Girl4God. Now that does mean I am perfect, nor does that mean that I never have selfish movtives or become insecure with who I am...nope that just means I am human and sweet Jesus that died on the cross for me bridges that gap. Whew that was a mouth full or a blog full but that was the bullet between the eye of the first message.
The second message...well that is another story. Forgiving those who hurt you. Some of you have heard my tesitmony and some may not have. Life growing up was not easy and as a adult was not any easier as baggage followed me everywhere I went. I choose not to go into those details as this time (without the blessing of sharing it from people involved) but it took me lots of years to find out what true forgiveness means. At the age at 24 we started attending a church that three ladies where key to my starting the forgiveness process. I will never forget them and have thanked them in my later years for pouring into me. Janet Brennan, Amber Tipton, and Shawn Schilling. The listened to me, they understood as some of them had first hand experience with it. The loved me unconditionally. As mature as I thought I was wow I look back and I so was not. I was a young mother trying to figure who she was, raise and kid as well as be a wife. I had only been married for 6years and Hunter was just getting ready to start kindergarten. I was a basket case. I had emotions all over the place trying to deal with so many issues. However these ladies had poured and poured into me. Janet Brennan said something so profound that I would never forget...she said you are still like a child in a corner calling out for help and no one is listening. I never understood what the truly meant until I started having a relationship with God. I would always cry out why me, when will this vicious cycle of the highs and lows go away. For the next year they worked with me, poured God into me. After years of dealing with the baggage I truly gave it to God. Man watch out when you do that. He will make you deal with it like nobodies business. Well he did. My past affected my parental skills, my role as a wife. I did not know how to cope. When I was 32, Nov of 06 did I get a apology that changed not just my life but someone elses. I was at that point to look at someone and say I forgave you a long time ago and it is time for you to forgive yourself. Man that was FREEING!!! From that point on things in my life have been so different. Although I still have a lot of forgiving to do in other areas I truly know how awesome it feels to forgive and I mean FULLY forgive. Now if I could work on the other 45 million things I need to forgive on..lol I have a quote that I use that I was so excited when Craig said it last week...when you forgive you set the prisoner free and that prisoner is yourself...oh yeah baby, that my friends is a true statement.
Now onto week three...apologizing to the ones you have hurt. So that is where you need to fill in the blank are you a peace keeper or peace maker. The greatest enemy to peacemaking is pride, the greatest friend to peacemaking is humility. To come to someone and say I have done wrong can you forgive me...requires oneself to be humble. Humble gets mistaken in a human world as weakness, you might be subject to a haha I told you, you where wrong, and bet you don't ever make that mistake again. How many times have you heard those words said to you? Over and Over right. This particular week we had family in for Hunter's graduation and we all went to church. My dad and stepmom, my mom and step dad, Jay's mom and stepdad and Aunt Lisa. It was amazing. My parents have been divorced for 20 years and sadly some forgiving has not happened. To have all of them together was great but to have all of them together at church with my family was precious. This sermon really made me think of some really tought letters I need to write. As I sit here I think about how I need to humble myself to some situaions and I pray that God gives me the guidance.
Week four and the last one of the series was getting past your failures. Although we had a different pastor speak at each experience it was still the same message. How do we get past our failures? We got through life looking back at our past mistakes. Well through the love and accepting Jesus into our hearts we can get past our past. Our past decisions, mistakes, thoughts, actions etc..you name it God can do it. In the illustration our sweet Youth Pastor Abraham Wright said...We are like a etch-a-sketch. You make a mistake shake shake shake you erase it. With God you make a mistake you ask for forgiveness and shake shake shake it is erase.
Now I don't know what this blog means for you but when it means for me is I do NOT want to be a peace keeper. I want to be a peace maker even if that means confrontation that might stir up some hard feelings. But in the end with God and seeking Him for his guidance where can it go? If you are truly seeking God's will it make not go the way we might think but it will go the best way possible...God's way.
I have to ask again...are you a peacemaker or a peacekeeper?
What label binds you and how do you plan on breaking it?
Do you have anyone that you need to forgive and what are you waiting for?
Do you need to ask someone to forgive you?
Do you realize that your past failures make you who you are today and they can truly be left in the past?
Today I am Tiffany and girl4God. A girl that loves that she has a past because it has made me EXACTLY how God wants me to be today. A girl that loves her husband and son beyond words. A girl that loves her family so much. A girl that works and strives hard everyday to be the hands and feet of Jesus. A girl that wants to be a friend that is remembered for the love of her heart for Jesus. A girl that has a huge smile and laughs often because we are NEVER promised a tomorrow. A girl that many joke about being five foot tall (or short lol) but when I worship my Jesus with hands out stretched I feel 10 feet tall and so close to my Savior. Today I am Tiffany and girl4God...who are you?
until next time....