About the Author

Arianne is a mom of three boys and a baby girl. She lives in Phoenix, AZ, and sifts through the Legos and fluffy cloth diapers hoping to one day catch up on sleep. Her heart is healing and thriving from living life as a mom of kids with autism and...

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  1. In the Word of God grace and love is a commitment, not based on emotions. That comes with maturing in God’s Word. For millions of Americans, it has nothing to do with hurts, but the inability to be able to get out, to find that community. We are told of the Sheppard who left the 99 and searched for the 1. There are 12 churches in our small town and the only outreach they have is to the nursing homes, yet we are a town of retired folks who cannot get out and are not in the nursing home. I have called to ask for visited from every single church in 27 years I have had only 3. I am not the only one who has the need of the community of churches to be active in my life. I have tried to visit churches but it seems trying to get in the door is the easy part and I am not able to always get up their steps. It is not hurts or extending grace that keeps people from community, it is the fulfillment of the book of Acts that is not happening in the churches today. The teens are suppose to do community service in order to graduate, the churches have come up in ingenious ways to help them get these credits, but none of the ideas have to do with helping the elderly or shut-in. Many who are homebound need the friendly hand of fellowship and help with everyday things. Until the body of Christ acts on these silent hidden request I will continue to post about the need, it has nothing to do with hurts but basic need and one of those basic needs in order to thrive is fellowship in Christ with human hands.

    • Eileen,

      I agree totally with you. If my dad doesn’t come to church one week I will visit him one day that week & call him every other day just to make sure he’s ok.

      I feel churches should do more for homebound people. Our church does communion weekly. We offer, if anyone asks, to bring communion to your home or nursing home.

      I wish more churches would consider having their youth visit homebound people.

  2. A church leader who’s been very influential in my life coined the term “premeditated forgiveness.” Like you said, this doesn’t mean not standing up for my convictions… but it does mean that when someone in my spiritual family hurts me, instead of closing my heart toward them out of hurt, I choose to fight back TOWARD them. Fighting TOWARD openheartedness, TOWARD trust, TOWARD understanding one another’s hearts. For me, this looks like a willingness to HAVE the difficult conversations to resolve the issues that I’d otherwise rather shove under a rug….in love…. fighting toward restored trust with those the Lord’s put before me to do “life together” with. I’ve had to do more than one of those conversations lately. SO not easy for a natural conflict-avoider. 🙂 But God is faithful to show up in those convo’s.

    This isn’t the easy stuff. But it’s real LIFE, community, family. This is how God has called us to BE together. It’s so hard sometimes…. but so much more than worth it. 🙂

    Really liked this post. Thanks for keepin’ it real. 🙂

  3. I learned once that to fully forgive means to “wish them well”….to want them (the offender) to succeed, prosper, have a good life.
    When I’ve been hurt in community – well more than once – I often left confused and doubting….certainly not wanting them to prosper and grow.
    A few years ago I learned a new way to pray that works as well as in a church as it does a workplace, or family. I pray, “Lord, change me; change them; or change the circumstances.” Often it’s me that gets changed, but sometimes God changes the circumstances – or maybe “them” – whoever “them” may be. To be honest, I don’t look for their changes…they aren’t mine to measure.
    Thanks for such a great post, to address something that doesn’t get talked about in positive light often enough.
    blessings!

  4. I am trying to with all that I am, but it’s hard when your in the midst of your husbands affair, and the other woman being married and a christian, and hurting her husband too….when they continuinely know what they are doing is wrong….I forgive in the midst of it all, but being trapped by certain circumstances at the moment makes it very hard. I have to die to self everyday, knowing when he comes home from work there is no love, no talking, no laughter. My heart breaks, I feel so sorry for him, knowing we could of had a wonderful life together….But I will do what the Lord asks of me, it’s not easy by a long shot, but I trust in Him completely for what’s to come in my life….and I’m really working on the Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness part….So please pray for me, that my heart will not become hard and bitter.

    • WOW reading your post, my heart breaks. I, too, am in the same boat. Yet my husband and I are now apart. I keep praying for the strength to forgive, yet when I see him I feel the hurt over and over. I say all the time, what a wonderful life we could’ve had. I guess somewhere deep down, honestly, I keep thinking God will intervene and stop this separation/divorce. How can this pain be his will? Then I think, this wasn’t God’s will, they chose this behavior on their own free will. God has a purpose. Stay strong and don’t allow yourself to become hard and bitter, like me. 🙁 One day at a time ~ let go, let God.

    • Praying for you and your husband. May God change the circumstances or your husband’s attitude.

      God Bless@!

    • Praying for you and your husband. May God change the circumstances or your husband’s attitude.

      God Bless!@

    • Robin,

      Praying for you and your husband. May God change the circumstances or your husband’s attitude.

      God Bless!@

    • Robin ((hugs))

      Praying that Jesus would draw you in close, balm all those deep wounds, and be your protector right now. That is so, so hard. Love to you. xoxo

  5. I had my own “Grace” experience last week. Well, I have them continuosly throughout everyday….but I blogged about a big one that snapped me out of my funk.

    I’m learning….
    The best way to give grace is to recognize how much of it I need myself!

  6. Very well said! I don’t know why we are surprised when our spiritual family hurts us. It’s just the same as our physical family. No one can hurt us as deeply as family. But family is family and we forgive and move on. It doesn’t mean that there are no scars or that our hurt doesn’t matter. It just means that we will ALWAYS continue to love family no matter what.

  7. Oh my, I just had this conversation with a friend the other day. It is so easy to want to run away from those that hurt us. But we, women of deep love for God, knew that we had to do the harder thing. We need to give grace again and again. Christian community is hard at times, there are times when we must love people we don’t even like, but that is where Jesus is and that we know is best.

  8. What a beautiful post. Isn’t it reassuring to know that we aren’t the only ones that struggle with this? It is reassuring to me anyways. Sometimes it is hard to forgive and offer that grace when we are hurt, but life is so much less bitter when I do.

  9. I saw this hurt go on in my own little church. An older friend’s wife died. His brother-in-law died also at about the same time. This fellow began seeing his then sister-in-law. People at church made comments about it and he and his girlfriend just stopped comming to church.

    The sad fact is he was an elder in this church and a respected family man. I don’t see where they did anything wrong. Just 2 older people wanting to be together and have fun.

  10. Owwwwwch…are you guys, like, reading my life story right now or something??? Because you’re kicking my butt. In a good way. This particular topic is something I’m really wrestling with right now. It has become an unfortunately natural tendency for me to hold onto grudges long and hard. God and I are working together on that.

  11. This convicted me today. I’ve been holding on to some bitterness toward a church that hurt me and a lot of people close to me. It is very difficult to have the Body that is supposed to be teaching and loving you to suddenly be your enemy, but it is true that forgiveness is something Jesus demands of us. Not just outward, but to cleanse my heart of the anger that is only causing pain and injury to my soul. Thank you for your post!

    • I was in such a similar place, Beth, which is actually what inspired this post. It is SO HARD. Praying that you can feel the benefit of forgiveness, how it does really cleanse your soul, and that you’ll enter into a new season free of that pain. xoxo

  12. In my journey I have discovered 3 books that have been helpful, I thought I would share them here: THE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY CHURCH, EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY SPIRITUALITY and THE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY WOMEN. I pray these books will encourage you in your journey.