The Very Best Thing

I realize that I’ve had quite a few heavy posts lately and that usually reflects that I’ve had a hard month. It really had its ups and downs. But today I’m feeling truly blessed!

On Sunday, I went Prayer Summit at my church. If you’ve never hear of it, basically it’s a huge prayer meeting. I’m sure there are well over a thousand people attending from many different countries, languages, and denominations. I was just overjoyed to be a part of so many people worshipping together. And it’s times like those that I really get a different perspective.

I’m sure that if we had all come to search for something we disagreed on, we’d find as many opinions as there were people in the room. But we weren’t there to focus on those things. We were there because we agreed on ONE thing. The very best thing: Jesus. And the love that flows when we focus on worshipping Jesus together is unlike anything else.

Too often the body of Christ is so consumed trying to figure out how to all agree on everything that we really forget how much we have in common. Jesus! Our Hope, Our Life, Our Saviour, Our Righteousness, Our intercessor, Our friend!

And yet there’s this struggle among believers for unity. And I truly believe it’s because we talk too much and don’t worship enough! How can I tear down, gossip about, judge my fellow brothers and sisters if my eyes are on Christ? How dare I focus on the negative things in the very people Christ DIED for?!? How dare we fight over foolish controversies and ideas?!?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about ignoring or turning a blind eye to evil and injustice…but really, how easily am I willing to tear down a brother or sister in Christ?  Over political views? Over child rearing? Over fitness or eating habits? Over a wrong attitude they may have? I shamefully admit that all too often, I’ve been quick to point out the flaws in other people. But why? Why do we insist on turning on each other, rather than walking beside each other in humble love? Why do we insist on always being right? Why do we continue to think the worst of others? Should we not rather in holy fear focus our own imperfections and give others the benefit of the doubt? How often do we actually see what’s going on in their hearts anyway?

And here’s something remarkable: When we come together to worship, we suddenly don’t feel like those little things matter anymore. It is here we come and find peace. It is here we come to be made whole.

What is it about worship that binds us together? Why do I look over beside me and see a complete stranger worshiping and feel like I’m beside family?

When we worship it is actually an expression of our reverence for God. And when we stand before a Holy God it complete awe, suddenly we can’t help but begin to feel very small. So far are we all from God’s perfection that all our sins are comparatively equal. And then looking at this perfect Jesus, who lavished his great love on us, dying for us and continues to care for our needs so tenderly everyday, how can we say I’m not willing to love my brother? And it’s here where our differences don’t seem to be all that important any longer: All made in his image, all dearly loved by God.

And he says: “This is my command to you, that you love one another.” He doesn’t say just to love those nice to us, those who look like us, those who agree with us, those who smell nice, or who are fun to be around. Love one another. I’m pretty sure that means everybody.

And with all the hate in the world today, it’s especially important that we don’t follow those patterns. Please dear brothers and sisters, we have so many opportunities everyday to speak life or death to each other. Choose love.

There’s a song I used to sing in church. I wonder what would happen if we stopped just saying the words and started living them:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” -Jesus Christ

 

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Finding Joy in Hardships

Joy is easy…when times are good. But what about during those darkest of times, when everything you dreamed of comes crashing in?

Joy is easy…when times are good. But what about those darkest of times… those days, weeks, months or  even years where you find that everything you dreamed of comes crashing in?

These past few years have been the hardest years of my life.

Now if you know my story, that’s probably a bit hard to believe. But what about your teenage pregnancy?? What about the loneliness of losing all of your high school friends as they went on with their lives without you? What about the months you watched your son suffering in the hospital, wondering if he was going to live to see his first birthday? What about the time where your spouse lost his job and you had no idea how you were going to feed the three young babies depending on you? Harder than those days? Yes. A hundred times…yes.

It hasn’t been the outward kind of hard, where everyone can see what’s going on and rushes in to help. Our health is great, our finances have been good, our marriage is doing well. These are things we so often take for granted until they’re gone. Losing a loved one, failing health, money struggles, or a rough marriage bring very dark times as well. But these aren’t the type of hardships I’ve faced this past year.

I was quite suddenly faced with a totally unexpected confrontation, during a very difficult season of my life. This brought about a dark feeling of rejection that I can’t, try as I may, find the words to explain. Maybe it’s hard to explain because I’m not free to tell the whole story… just vague little pieces to protect those involved. I think only those who have felt so hurtfully accused, deeply rejected and so utterly confused as to WHY, could fully understand what I’m talking about. But the hardest thing wasn’t that it happened…it’s that was happening for over a year. For months, I went to bed almost every night with my pillow soaked in tears, wondering if I would ever again lie down with peace in my heart. And for the most part, I carried these burdens alone – desperate to talk to someone, anyone who would listen…but my heart was torn because it involved those I loved SO dearly, so I kept silent.

My life, to the very core, was being shaken. At one point I truly believed that I had lost the favour of God on my life. I began to do everything I thought I could do to win his favour back. I tried so hard to admit all my faults, to confess and confess and confess, to not be defensive, to take the blame, to restore the peace…and through it all, I began to let go of something very important; my joy.

My joy was gone. Somewhere along the way, my eyes had turned from looking at Jesus and I began to focus on the problem. Like Peter among the waves, I had stepped out of the boat in full confidence; only to lose sight of the fact that I was never meant to walk on water…I was simply supposed to look at Jesus. When I realized this, healing could begin.

Here I was faced with one of the most difficult questions to ask during a trial: How can something like joy be found again…even if your circumstances haven’t changed?

The first step was to recognize the devil’s lies. I realized that I can’t do works to earn God’s favour. Period. God’s children receive his favour as they look to him. And when we have our eyes on him, he loves to pour out his favour.

I also had to let go of the way I wanted things to turn out. I felt that if I just did my very best, if I prayed hard enough…then God would make things better. As it turns out, God never promises to make the road easy or better. He does promise to work everything for the good of those who love him. And I needed to trust this promise. As soon as I was free from focusing on my problem, I could fully turn my attention to pleasing God.  Then and only then, could I follow the steps HE wanted me to take.

The final piece in my journey to rediscovering joy was found in the book of Philippians. If you haven’t read it before, or even if it’s been a while, read it. It’s a true gem. Here is a book written by a man almost 2000 years ago, who had been through so many trials. At the time he wrote it, Paul was in prison, facing a very lonely future, a trial which could’ve led to his death, and hearing of people against him actually preaching – all while he sits under house arrest. Despite all this, the letter is one of the most joyful and thankful books of the bible. Instead of complaining about the negatives events that surround his current circumstances he chooses to see the positive side of things. He also shares two secrets about finding joy and peace that I began to cling to:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace…” Philippians 4:6-7

Pray. That much I had done. Telling God what I need. Check! Thank him. Thank him! Thankfulness is part of the secret to having the peace of God in your heart. And I began to thank God, even in my pain. Declaring his goodness out loud is SO POWERFUL! As I began to thank God, day after day, I slowly started to see some good things that had come out of my situation. And then, the final secret to joy:

“…I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

I can have joy because he gives me strength.  

This realization, that God wasn’t just watching me suffer from the sidelines – but actively walking through the fire with me and holding me up, brought me great joy! Every painful moment, he was there. Every night I cried, he was holding me. And in my weakness he is beside me, giving me strength. I am not alone. Now that is a reason to have great joy!

“In your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

 

The Prejudice of the ‘Tolerant’

I woke up this morning to see a barrage of news articles about President Trump’s inauguration. It may be that I’m young and never bothered to paid much attention to politics until the past few years, but the one-sided screams of those claiming to be the most tolerant were more deafening than I had ever heard them before. In fact it was so blatantly obvious that the articles shouting “Our Anti-American President” (Globe and Mail) and “Donald Trump’s presidency will be ‘hopelessly conflicted’, corporate governance expert says”(ABC news) were completely biased, that I felt compelled to respond. Now… before you call me a narrow-minded Trump supporter, I would like to share a few thoughts on the election – which I’ve been completely silent about, while the media could focus on nothing else.

I am Canadian and wasn’t qualified to vote during this controversial election, and with my Canadian ‘lets all just get along’ attitude, I was actually really, REALLY glad that I didn’t have to. Because to be honest, after much thinking about who would be the best, or as more suitably stated – who was the lesser of the two evils – I realized I couldn’t make that decision.

I wouldn’t have voted.

There. I said it. Most people would disagree with my decision. Both candidates were corrupt; an embarrassment to the country. I felt sick to my stomach whenever I heard Donald Trump talk in his disrespectful and proud tone, and Hillary lied through her teeth constantly, covering up her mistakes with more lies. I’m also extremely pro-life and she’s extremely pro-choice. That is enough to lose my vote. It was a lose-lose election and my conscience wouldn’t have allowed me to stand for either candidate.

Now I am NOT AT ALL the type of person who just doesn’t vote. In fact, I have been such an advocate that we all NEED to vote, that I even voted once while I was in labor (Bahaha!! True story!)

I was embarrassed to read the opinions of some of my fellow Conservatives; many getting on the conspiracy bandwagon, making racist comments about immigrants, and a few even hailing Trump as a saviour. He’s not a good man. He’s just not. He’s not a man I would want my children around. He’s not patient, he’s not kind, he’s boastful, he’s easily angered…basically if you read the definition of love according to the biblical passage in 1 Corinthians 13, he’s everything that love is not.

Yet, the more the mainstream media began to speak against Conservative voters, calling us racist, bigots, uneducated, and basically every other thing I stand against…the more I saw why people wanted to vote for Trump. They weren’t voting Trump in, they were voting the Media out. You can not lump all Conservatives into one group and accuse them of stereotyping, without being stereotypical yourself. And here, the left leaning Media, who truly saw themselves as being the most tolerant of all people, were being very, very narrow-minded. There are MANY reasons that people voted for Trump, and I can assure you that most of them had nothing to do with race, or gender or fear mongering, as we were accused of.

CBC News was one of those who took the left leaning stance, from column headlines stating, “Concerned Canadians eyeing Trump’s swearing-in with apprehension” and “Inauguration to usher in a ‘ringmaster president’ and much uncertainty: Chris Hall” And my favourite, the opinion article they published titled: “The U.S. descends into brutality as the real life Archie Bunker is sworn in as president” by Neil MacDonald. You can read the full article here.

Don’t know who Archie Bunker is? Neither did I. Apparently I don’t watch as much racist garbage as Neil MacDonald does…nor do I stereotype a whole group of people according to what a television show portrays them as.

Archie Bunker is quite simply a character from a show called “All in the Family” that aired in the 70’s. Oh…no wonder I hadn’t heard of him, I wasn’t even born during the time it ran. MacDonald does a fair job in explaining that in the show, Archie was a Conservative, racist, and quite simply a jerk. MacDonald refers to the shows racial slurs as humorous, and since I’ve never watched an episode, I’ll have to take his word on that…Isn’t it interesting though, that I, being a Conservative do not find racist jokes humorous at all? Hmmm…He goes on to explain that Archie’s educated and LIBERAL son-in-law, Micheal, who’s not racist at all, really puts light on the distinction between Conservatives and Liberals. Wait. What? You’re basing your entire belief about all Conservatives based on this T.V. show?

He goes on to say: “Conservatives reading this will at this point have already stopped reading, having decided that this is just more lying by the dishonest elite media, which is in the thrall of the elite radical left.”

So, I guess based on these stereotypes I must not be a true Conservative then, am I?

“But wait!” You may say, “What if he personally lived in a Conservative town and learned from bad experiences that they were all racist? Then he’s not being stereotypical!”

Here’s a direct quote from the article: “In Bethesda, Md., where I once lived, I cannot remember having met a single social conservative or gun advocate. The Tea Party was regarded as aliens. Those people lived in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Bethesda, where they shun liberals in exactly the same manner, avoiding any social contact, despising from afar. And this is their moment. They’re not just ascendant, they’ve beaten the living daylights out of liberals, urinated on their bruised bodies, sliced off their ears and poured sugar into their gas tanks.”

This my friends, is stereotyping at it’s finest. Neil MacDonald said he had not met a SINGLE conservative where he lived, yet he seems to know them all so well as he goes on to despise them from afar.

This garbage was published on CBC, who by the way has just happened to receive $675 million dollars in pledges from who else but the Liberal government. If that doesn’t scream out bias, I don’t know what does. Still, there are those who deny that this government-funded news source is biased at all. Think about how much power the media actually has. Egged on by the media, the Liberals actually have been lead to believe that Trumps Presidency means the end of America’s values.

And just what values do Americans believe in?

Peace – Ironic, though that the angry mobs of Liberals that are ‘protesting’, if you can call it that, have created more destruction and chaos than the man they are calling the agitator. He’s literally done nothing as president yet.

Freedom of Speech – But wait….what’s all this news I hear about Trump supporters being brutally attacked? Where’s their freedoms? And I begin to see why the Republicans voted the way the did.

Democracy – or ‘rule by the people’ as it means in the greek language. We all get to vote, a president is chosen by ALL the people, and we all accept whoever is elected. Here’s where the ‘not my president’ slogan really confuses me. Ironically, it was also used by Democrats toward president George Bush. Could it be that the Republicans are actually more true to democracy than the Democrats themselves?

Yet, the media has managed to create more division then ever crying, ‘But Trump didn’t win the most popular vote!!’ Hmmm…and here I thought the Conservatives were supposed to be the uneducated ones. The Electoral College is used in the election for a very good reason, and if you don’t understand why exactly it’s so important, you can watch a short informational video here.

It turns out that the only thing that’s Anti-American is the mainstream media itself.

This isn’t an article to bash Democrats. I will never lump all Democrats into the same group. Not all Liberals are stereotypical, not all Liberals are for gun control, not all Liberals support abortion, not all Liberals are for raised taxes…just like all of us Conservatives have different beliefs and reasons for the way we vote, I know you do too.

I just wrote this because the media has been encouraging this division and its time for them to stop. Just stop. Call your people to stop the riots. Stop the name calling. Stop the fear mongering.

America, I’m cheering for you. Come together as a people, united under one nation and stop tearing each other down. Republicans, Democrats, you are not enemies, you’re on the same team. Start acting like it. Don’t attack those different from you, LOVE them. Find someone who voted opposite of you and do a random act of kindness…shake their hand, talk to them, listen to why they believe what they do. You might be surprised that you actually agree on somethings. If all else fails, buy them a Timmies…oh wait, you’re not in Canada…I guess Starbucks will have to do.

Every Small Voice

I feel it’s best to tell the tale of how this page got it’s name,

My mind it searched for something different, but all things sounded the same.

There seems to be nothing new anymore,

every songs been sung, every written word.

We’ve seen it all, it’s all been read,

there’s nothing that hasn’t already been said.

Yet I’m still one tiny life amoung them all,

my voice, it matters, though ever so small.

The most damaging voice is not the loudest to speak,

Nor those who shout from the mountain peak,

Nor those in the spotlight so strong and bold,

Nor those who spew hatred, hearts ever so cold,

Nor those who twist the truth into lies,

and turn a pure person into an object to despise,

It’s not those words spoken directly to kill,

nor is it the noise of those with stubborn will.

The most damaging voice is those who don’t speak at all,

Those who know what is right, but refuse to recall.

Those who withhold the good from those who deserve it,

who see the truth, but refuse to preserve it.

Those who see a wrong done, only to turn away,

Never standing up to evil, but walking the other way.

Those who witness a bully hurting their peer,

but turning aside and trembling in fear.

For there’s little harm just one person can do,

But those who stop them are far too few.

And the less evil’s resisted the larger it grows,

until we think the land is full of darkened foes.

But if every small voice would stand up and call out,

The earth would but shatter from such a loud shout.

For each person alive must make the choice,

To just stay silent or to use their small voice.

 

Reconciliation

As I read her response to my message, tears spilled out of my eyes. “Well, that’s it!” I thought, “Another beautiful friendship in my life fading away….”   Then she wrote these words: Can we meet for coffee?

Three hours later I came out of the coffee shop, joy on my face, my heart at peace and my friendship not only restored, but better than it had been before. My friend taught me a lot about reconciliation that day.

Reconciliation. It can be really REALLY difficult. In an age where we prefer to communicate over short texts and messages, yet we’re so busy we don’t have the time to meet face to face, keeping strong and meaningful relationships can be a huge challenge!

I always thought I was a great communicator, but I’m beginning to realize that maybe I’m not actually as great at it as I’ve believed. When someone says something hurtful to me, I always felt the the best thing I could do is to brush it off and think the best of people. And sometimes that really is the best way to deal with offence. Forgive, move on. But with close friendships it actually doesn’t work that way. Words cut a little deeper, because the person saying them means a great deal to us. Before we know it, tension can grow between us. The longer we tend to ignore these things, the deeper and more confusing they become as more offences are added to the previous one. One of the things my friend taught me was that we need to deal with our hurts NOW. And as I thought about it, I realized that it’s actually a very biblical concept:

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

This is really shocking because what God’s saying is: Worship can wait, forgiveness can not. In fact God knows that if we come to him with unforgiveness in our hearts it will affect the way we worship, it will affect the way we see Him, and it will hinder our prayers. Another verse gives us even more insight as to why God wants us to immediately make things right:

“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Staying angry gives satan a foothold. This has been proven VERY true in my life. In fact, this weekend I realized how another one of my relationships has been severely damaged just because we WAITED to talk. The longer I waited, the more I dwelt on the negative things that had happened, the more I started to believe the lies in my head:

“She is so selfish”

“She does this often to people, I bet this is why her other friendships have suffered”

“She’s just so hurtful, she doesn’t even try to show grace”

And I started making a very common mistake…in listening to my thoughts and the lies inside my head, I began to assume the other persons thoughts about ME. I think we all tend to go down this path and it’s incredibly dangerous to assume peoples motives and thoughts. Because more than likely we’re wrong.

Maybe this is old news to most of you, but it’s new to me, and learning new things comes with a challenge: Is there anyone I need to make things right with, RIGHT NOW? This may mean cancelling plans, awkward phone calls, and difficult coffee dates. And maybe you’re thinking: I HAVE tried to make things right, it just didn’t work out! Believe me, I understand this FAR more than many people may realize. But one thing I now realize that in my trying to make things right, I have often waited too long. And when we finally met, both of us had come with our lists of things we had spent that time thinking about each other…rather than meeting quickly and hearing what the OTHER person has to say. So I guess this means that I have to make that effort again, differently this time…and right NOW.

Pursuit of Beauty

This isn’t really a new post, I know many of you have already read this, so if you have you can totally ignore this, I won’t be hurt.

A while back on Facebook, I shared a poem I had written after having a heavy burden on my heart for quite some time. A few of my friends and acquaintances were falling into eating disorders that they called “healthy diets”.

Now I’m not talking just about eating well, exercising or taking care of their bodies. I’m really encouraged when I see people making healthy lifestyle choices. It encourages me to do the same! But these women were starving themselves. And trend diets and fitnesses began to really bother me. I mean, they’re ALL over the media, speaking to women as if a fine figure is the best thing that they have to offer the world, the best thing they can offer to their families. And so, I began to wonder why this bothered me so much…was it jealousy? Was it guilt? Or was it because there is something very, very wrong with being consumed by fitness? And as I pondered these questions, the words to this poem came pouring out onto the page.

There is SO MUCH talk about healthy attitudes towards food these days. And most of it is geared towards women (although it is increasingly becoming geared towards men as well). The truth is, letting thoughts of food consume your life isn’t having a healthy attitude. Unless you have an allergy, questioning everyone about every single ingredient in the food they make for you is a REALLY unhealthy attitude to have. If you think about food all the time, you’re either eating to much of it or not enough. Both are equally damaging. And so…if you read this poem and see pieces of yourself, I challenge you to ask yourself what is most important to you and what do you want to be known for, your body, or your heart?

Much Love – Heather

Pursuit of Beauty
By: Heather Bergen

She pushes her plate aside, eyes resigned.
He feasts like a king, never bothers to mind,
He's never been pushed, never been told,
For fat or slim; they still like him.
She wakes up before them and paints up her face,
Her workout begins, her pulse starts to race.
Long past her goal, a new goal is found,
Just a little bit more, just another pound.
Her face once full of warmth and life, 
now is hollow and cold.
The cheeks once flushed grow ever pale,
the eyes once bright grow weary and dull.
She forces a smile flashing perfect white teeth, 
that hurt from the treatments if she touches a sweet.
All the beauty that masks the beast raging inside,
Fixing only what fades, while neglecting her inmost cry.
They like her less, even less than before,
Maybe once she's shed just a little bit more...
Dear Child, fading slowly, you were fine as you were.
They tell you otherwise, but what do they know?
They too are lost in a struggle they've always known,
Their size is the measure for the worth of their soul.
Look up, Beautiful one, and seek out the truth,
Outward beauty is common, it's not hard to find,
Breathtaking it is, but it withers like grass.
The rare beauty you long for is not found in a store,
it can't be 'put on' or bought,
it's worth much much more!
It's in a gentle free heart, so patient and fair,
A face full of grace, hands eager to share,
It's in a voice so sweet full of life bringing words,
Or arms strong and tough, but willing to serve.
It's in love that pours out, expecting none in return,
It's a harsh word held back, and gentleness learned.
It's scars that speak volumes of making it through,
In wrinkles that earn the respect they are due,
It's in the bright stretching lines on a new mothers skin,
It's in the way a little child mischievously grins.
True beauty is what the world seems to pass by,
True beauty is what the world tries hard to hide.
But the rarer it grows, the brighter it shines.
Dear Child, you must choose what you want to pursue.
Will it be true beauty within, or will the outside of you win?

A Heart That’s Free

Today, two of my kids were fighting (I know, BIG shocker there! Yes…my kids fight occasionally too…) 😉 We were going through the usual actions of figuring out what happened, who was all responsible, and apologizing, when suddenly it occurred to me: none of my children were actually sorry for what they had done! And even harder to accept was the fact that NOTHING I can do will make them sorry for their actions. I mean, they said sorry, because I was telling them to, but in their hearts they felt completely justified in their actions toward each other. It’s why some days it seems like the fighting, the hitting and the yelling never ends. Discipline may make them outwardly obey and long talks may make them understand, but I can’t FORCE repentance.

Repentance. It’s not a very hot topic these days. Actually to tell you the truth, I’m not sure that most of us even know what it means. And it’s too bad, because repentance is actually a very beautiful thing. As a believer, I am called to live a life of continual repentance, not just once, but day after day. It doesn’t come naturally. In fact, it is one of the messiest and most humbling things I can think of.

When I was in high school, I began to make really bad choices. To this day, I’m convinced my choices in themselves weren’t the issue. The issue was that I had bought into the lie that my choices had no effect on others. In fact, I believed this so strongly that I began to feel that nobody had any right to tell me what I could and could not do, since it didn’t concern them AT ALL. What did it matter to my teachers if I didn’t show up to class…I wasn’t directly hurting THEM. What did it matter to my parents if I got drunk…it didn’t really affect THEM, did it? And so it goes with anyone who travels down that road: The deeper we fall into destructive paths, the more desensitized we become…and the more blind we become to how hurtful and selfish we can be.

Finally, one night at a very destructive party I had snuck off to, something terrible happened. It happened to me. I got drunk and two men I had never met before slept with me. They were TWICE my age. And I felt like I deserved it, because after all I had made so many unwise decisions that night. And I felt hardened to it. I wasn’t even that upset, but here’s the thing that got me: my parents were. They felt pain FOR ME. Not just anger or frustration. I had caused their pain and their pain wasn’t selfish pain, they hurt FOR ME. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, repentance started at that moment; realizing the pain I had caused and feeling remorse. And behind the remorse came action…I never got drunk again.

Shortly after this event, a very sweet and BEAUTIFUL lady heard about my situation and wanted to meet me. She spoke of God and even though I had grown up in the church, I had heard all the stories, I had even prayed the prayer and sang the songs…I met Jesus for the first time. And I said yes to him.

A few months later, my boyfriend and I discovered we were pregnant. It wasn’t a shock. But since I now knew that my decisions didn’t only affect myself, I knew now was the time to change for good. I went to a Christain School and the principal at the school was immediately notified about my situation. He told me that in order to stay in the school I was to a) go to a crisis pregnancy centre for counselling and b) stand in front of the school and announce my mistake. “Whoa! Just a minute…” some of you may be thinking, “That’s not right! It’s completely unfair and humiliating!” And many of my friends thought so as well at the time. But here’s the thing about true repentance: it’s humble. 

I no longer cared for my rights, I just wanted to make things right.

This is repentance. It’s not pointing fingers, trying to pass off the blame. It’s not making excuses. It’s humbling. It’s sometimes embarrassing. And it’s definitely not easy. But since God LOVES a repentant heart, he becomes our hiding place. As we uncover our sins, he actually covers them for us.

So I agreed to those difficult terms, and you know what? The night before I was to speak, God gave my principal a dream and he came to me the very next day saying that he would read my statement for me. And as I sat back in my seat and listened to him read it, I felt completely free.

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7