With every new transition that happens in my life there will be immense grief and immense joy. It’s important to make space for both. Growth and change means I have to let go of the old and then grab hold to the new. Sometimes that means I will be weeping as I’m rejoicing.
Agape love is not a feeling I fall into, it’s a divine discipline I choose to grow into with God’s help.
( 1 Cor 13:1-8)
I never have to defend myself when people slander or gossip about me. God will be my defender. Growing in Christ, means also growing to the point where what people say does not have the greatest say. I must keep living and walking with the Lord. The only opinion that truly matters is God’s opinion. Truth will always and forever be greater and more powerful than lies.
I will live out what is in my heart. Who I and others truly are will always be manifested in our thoughts, behaviors, & character. Whatever is done externally is propionate to what is going on internally. The truth of the heart will always be unveiled.
For spiritually healthy relationships to last, we must be willing to humbly be accountable to God and His Word. It is a matter of impossibility to have a truly healthy and God honoring relationship with a lack of accountability to the Word of God.
The goal isn’t to look at others and compare to see what I’m not, but to look to God to find out who I truly am and who He has called me to be.
Sometimes dealing in denial is easier because accepting reality is too painful. However, healing cannot truly take place in denial. Freedom and healing is found in accepting the truth and living in the truth with God no matter how painful that truth may be. Wounds don’t ever heal by pretending they don’t exist, they just get more and more infected.
(Psalm 147:3, John 8:31-32)
I should never apologize for the season of life God has placed me in. There is a season and time for everything. Just because my season looks differently than others, does not mean that there is not purpose or beauty in my season or others’ season. I must embrace whatever current season I’m in with the Lord.
Marriage is a mirror. Every day it gives me an opportunity to humbly acknowledge weaknesses & wrongs and then seek to correct them by the power of God’s love. My willingness and ability to depend on the love of God and the correction of God’s Word is what allows me to love my husband better.
It is never a mistake to do things God’s way and according to God’s Word. Faithful obedience to God will always be rewarded. If not in this life, then surely in the life to come.
The true test of a friend is not just in seasons of suffering but in seasons of celebration. A friend is able to both comfort me and clap for me. Friends have the ability and willingness to mourn when I’m mourning and rejoice when I’m rejoicing. A friend will love at ALL times. Above everyone, the greatest friend I have is Jesus.
Sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is such a great gift, that should be honored and cherished. It’s not just a physical experience but it’s first a spiritual and emotional experience that transcends into the physical. It’s not about performance but about loving, growing, & giving from a place of humility and thanksgiving. What a wonderful blessing it is!
Forgiveness does not always mean re-entry. I can forgive individuals.. sincerely, fully, and still choose not to be intimately connected because doing so is not wise. Just because I forgive someone does not mean I am not allowed to grieve over the pain that was caused. Forgiveness does not erase the hurt, the pain, or the consequences of a situation. Forgiveness does mean I am not controlled or embittered by the hurt or the pain of the situation but I have truly given it to God. God gives me both the grace and space to grieve and forgive simultaneously.
(Col 3:13, Eph 4:31-32)
Repentance has both a certain language and a certain spirit..HUMILITY. When I or anyone else is truly sorrowful.. our words, our behavior, and our attitude will have complete contrition toward God for our sin. No excuses, no blaming, no justifying..just complete contrition cloaked in a heart that pleads for the mercy of God.
(Psalm 51:30, Proverbs 28:13)
Being a Christian does not mean I won’t ever wrestle with fear. Being a Christian means I just learn how to wrestle my fear with FAITH.
(2 Cor 5:7)
God cares about my happiness but not at the expense of my holiness. The goal of life is to be perfected in the holiness of God, not to achieve ultimate happiness on this side of life.
(1 Peter 1:16)
Marriage was designed by God. Therefore, I need God in my marriage in order to be successful. Real success in my marriage is not about obtaining things and financial gain. True success in marriage is every day learning to love the way God loves.
(Gen 1:26-27, John 13:34)
One of the most underrated yet highly needed qualities in a relationship is the ability to say, “I’m sorry and then truly repent of sinful behavior.” No relationship will be able to be sustained without it.
There are seasons and times of celebration that God blesses me and others with. When God blesses us with those seasons, fully embrace them! There is beauty in laughter, joy, and goodness! I should never allow Satan to rob me of seasons of celebration nor feel guilty or bad about the blessings of God. Instead, I should humbly thank God all the more, for He is faithful no matter the season.
The covering of a faithful and godly husband is such a great gift as a wife. To know I am being prayed for, spiritually led & protected, lovingly corrected, and tenderly cherished..is such a divine gift. Praise be to God for men of faith who lead and love the way God has commanded. It truly is life changing!
Friendship is not about comparison nor is it about competition. It’s about God’s love and about encouraging each other to be our best selves for the Lord. Those who consistently or secretly seek to compete with me are not friends. God’s love is not birthed from a competitive or covetous spirit.
(1 Thess 5:11, Ecc 4:9-10)
I should protect my marriage and pray for my marriage. Satan wants to use anything and anyone to destroy godly marriages. However, if God is first and foremost within a marriage, the enemy will always be defeated. A house built on the True LIVING ROCK will always stand no matter the season.
(Matt 7:24-29, James 4:7)
It is impossible to truly love someone and be consistently envious & jealous of them at the same time. Envy and love cannot coexist because envy is the antithesis of love. If someone envies me, they are not walking in God’s love towards me. If I envy someone, I am not walking in God’s love toward them. Envy & ungodly jealousy has no place in a child of God’s life.
(1 Cor 13:4)
It is necessary to be patient with others, but also with myself. We are all on our individual journeys of healing and of growth. No one has it all together, that’s why we need Jesus. Growing in Christ and healing in Christ will take time for all of us. May I be quick to show patience and grace to others, but also show that same grace and patience to myself.
Things don’t happen to me as a Christian, they happen for me. This means whatever triumph or whatever trial, God has the ability to use it for eternal perfecting and for His divine glory.
Apart of maturing in Christ is understanding that I should never allow the actions and behaviors of others to dictate my behavior, but I should always allow God’s Word to dictate my behavior. How I act and behave is my responsibility and God will hold me accountable for it in the judgement.
(Romans 2:6, Ecc 12:13)
Through God it is possible to be hurt and not destroy others in the process. God has given every Christian the ability to handle hurt in a healthy, mature, & godly way. My hurt if given to God, has the ability to heal and not destroy.
There is no reasoning with liars or manipulators. Sometimes the wisest thing to do, is to remain silent. Every conversation is not worth having or wise to have. I nor anyone else cannot force someone to deal with reality or speak and live from a place of truth. I can only make sure that I choose to be an individual that lives and abides in God’s truth, and when I’m not, that I seek to correct it.
I should not and cannot just build a close relationship with any and everybody as a Christian. As a Christian, I should love everyone, but I should not trust everyone nor give everyone intimate access to my heart & life. I must discern and seek God for wisdom. Apart of being a disciple of God is being disciplined, intentional, and discerning in who I choose to do relationship with.
(1 Cor 15:33)
There is so much freedom in both accepting and not expecting everyone to like me. As a Christian, there will be people in life who will not like me simply for striving to be who God has called me to be. However, their approval should never hinder or stop my willingness to be all God has called me to be. When I live my life for God and from a deep place of His love, I will live from a place of freedom and from my God-created, authentic self. All I can say is…. “It feels so good to be free!”
This is me.
Ashley Moneet Ellerbe
Photos by: Jlenz Photography