Being ghosted. It’s not a term I was familiar with but the moment I read about what it was, I realized that’s exactly what had happened to me. I didn’t have a name for it, but I carried a lot of pain from it. Being ghosted has haunted me.
Sadly, I realized it’s hurting a lot of people even within the church body.
What Does It Mean to Be Ghosted?
Ghosting someone happens when one person in a relationship (be it platonic or romantic) decides to end all forms of communication with the other person.
In my case, a person I considered a very dear friend vanished. Like, literally vanished. One minute we had planned a play date for the following week, the next minute there was nothing. We literally went from communicating all the time to absolutely no response to any type of reaching out.
Yes, we did have an issue arise, but what relationship doesn’t?
It was never something I thought couldn’t have been talked through and worked out. But that was the issue, it’s impossible to discuss anything when all lines of communication are suddenly dead.
What broke my heart the most was that this was someone I trusted. This was a fellow sister in Christ.
I believed her to be a true friend and then “poof” it was like our friendship had never existed. And of course my heart hurt for my children as well, because all of a sudden their close friends had vanished too. They begged to see their friends again. But how does a mother explain that she has no clue when they will get to see their friends because the person she thought was her friend won’t return a text, a call, a message, or anything?
Years removed from when it happened, it’s hard to believe that it actually did. It’s difficult to conceive that a friendship so close could vanish into thin air. At the time it hurt like the dickens. I remember breaking down in the middle of a Bible study one night not wanting to share what was going on but unable to control the tears.
Wise women gathered around me and one asked if a friendship was hurting. I couldn’t even answer initially. Then quietly with these two women, I remember sharing through sobs how I went from having a friend to stone cold silence, how it was affecting my children, and that I wanted to make things better but didn’t know how.
With empathy and love, one of the women asked,
“Would you want your children going through the same hurt you are feeling right now?”
Of course, not!
“Then maybe it’s the best thing because the children will learn from the mother how to treat others.”
Such wisdom took root but it didn’t start to grow until almost a year later. Up until that time, I was grieving the lose of a close friend, one who had not died but was haunting me with her silence, and praying that somehow we could at least talk through things. That never happened.
The Affect of Being Ghosted
The ghosting haunted me and kept me from allowing others in. Because of what happened, I unintentionally guarded my heart from forming deep relationships for a couple of years. Those who had been with me up to that point, I held onto, but others I didn’t initially let in until I realized what was happening.
Through prayer and God’s help, I’ve been able to grow deeper relationships again. God has truly blessed me with some amazing women, who have literally been with me through my highs and lows and whom I’ve been able to encourage and cheer on through their highs and lows.
That is what true friendship is! I’m not sure who to attribute this quote to, but I find it very true:
If you want to find out who’s a true friend, screw up or go through a challenging time, then see who sticks around.
At the Heart of Ghosting
It is only possible to overcome a conflict when we are willing to take down our guard, engage each other in conversation, and listen. It’s impossible to reconcile or fix a situation when we are trying our hardest to avoid it.
Avoidance is at the heart of ghosting. Some think it is easier to quickly say they “forgive” what is bothering them but if the issue is never addressed then the situation can become more frustrating and painful before the other person even realizes what all is going on.
Honestly, the hardest part of being ghosted is being haunted by what happened. Why did such a good friendship have to dissipate into thin air? Why could we not just sit and talk things through? We are both Christians and yet somehow it was “easier” to cut off all communication than choose what might have been uncomfortable and talk to each other.
I believe anything can be worked through. God did a miraculous thing when he redeemed us through Jesus Christ. If God can do that I truly believe with him any relationship can be redeemed.
Why Speak About Ghosting Now?
Several years removed from being ghosted, I can finally speak to this situation without physically hurting. I don’t believe the person who did this is a mean individual or even intended for this to happen. I just don’t think she wanted to deal with any type of conflict.
I’m speaking up about this now because it has become too common in our culture and it’s invading the church. We as followers of Christ should be setting a pattern of how to navigate conflict and difficult circumstances. We will not be perfect at it because none of us are perfect. I know I am not, but we should try.
To Ghost or Not to Ghost
There is a prevalent idea in our culture now that if someone is weighing you down, draining you, not making you happy, or happened to hurt you somehow, or your just done with them, then they are nixed from your life. (I am not speaking of abuse. That is a totally different subject.)
In any relationship there should be boundaries, but we should also expect true relationships to look messy sometimes, if we are really being open and honest with each other. There will be times that conflicts arise, but this idea of dumping people who we have a conflict with goes against what the Bible says. It goes against how Jesus handle his friends who hurt him.
Jesus reaches out to those who are in absolute need and cannot encourage or lift him up at all.
Jesus reminds those who will turn their backs on him to come back and know they are still loved.
Jesus gave forgiveness to everyone. He calls us to do the same.
Jesus reiterates the importance of forgiving and the “limit” on how often we should forgive.
Jesus calls us to resolve any issues that we may have with someone.
Jesus knowing that relationships will face challenges, gives us a road map of how to navigate conflict in Matthew 18.
How can we as a church body teach the world how to resolve conflicts, if we are unwilling to try and resolve issues that come up between our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Prayer Over Our Hearts
Lord, you know more than any other how difficult it can be to deal with people sometimes. With so many different personalities and misunderstandings, the devil loves to create issues where there are none or fan the flame on an issue that could easily be extinguished. He loves to make us think the worst in each other instead of giving the benefit of the doubt. He loves to have us focus on our hurt instead of extending grace and talking to each other to hear the heart of the matter.
Lord, help us not to allow Satan to sneak in and destroy the good you are doing. Help us to individually examine our hearts and if we are hurt to reach out to the one who hurt us. If we are the one that hurt someone else, help us to see it and be willing to acknowledge our part in the problem.
None of us are perfect that is why we need you so much! Help us to extend the same grace you have given to us to others.
In the One who while being crucified asked you to “forgive them because they know not what they do.” – Amen
Each season brings it’s own cravings and fun activities. It also brings many opportunities to do some soul searching, encourage each other and reach out to others! You’ll love these ideas to use either in your own family or gift them to others. We’ve gathered a great list of activities, crafts, recipes, printables, decor and more for you to create a fall to remember!
Let’s start by feeding our soul with a little of God’s fall flavor. McKenzie’s way of digging into Scripture through Bible Journaling is inspiring and definitely brings a new perspective to God’s word.
Sharing God’s love with others is a wonderful way to kick off the fall! Go on a Scavenger Hunt with friends, family or church group. Head out to your neighborhood or one that could use some tender loving care and love on the people there by doing different mini-service projects.
As we look forward to the changes of fall and all the things that we can create, we can pray for the Lord to create a pure heart in us as well!
Kick the Morning off Right!
The first thing you reach for in the morning is coffee, right? Well, that’s my husband. I prefer hot chocolate or a protein drink. But as soon as I saw this deliciously, healthy version of a pumpkin spice coffee creamer I thought of him.
These gluten-free apple cinnamon protein pancakes are so good you won’t even need to drown them in syrup!
These Apple Harvest Muffins are perfect for mornings on the go.
Fall Inspired Desserts
Ever since I was a child, desserts were what I enjoyed creating in the kitchen the most. As an adult, I still enjoy them but so enjoy finding recipes like this healthier apple crisp that chooses to not use refined white sugar, but instead adds an wonderful fall flavor by using maple syrup.
These frosted maple cookies have me licking my lips. I can’t believe I’ve never had these before. Have you?
It truly wouldn’t be fall unless homemade pumpkin pie is included!
Fashion & Home Decor
I’m not one that enjoys shopping for clothes. I do, however, enjoy shopping with friends who enjoy shopping and finding cute things for me to wear. Now that I’ve moved into a warmer climate, I found this post about dressing for fall in a warmer climate to be helpful.
Weclome guest with fall before they even enter your home with this adorable Hoop Fall Wreath.
There are several fall themed signs for welcoming fall into your house.
If you prefer to just add subtle hints that fall has arrived consider adding these 3 accessories
Arts & Crafts
It would not be truly fall without crafts! Craft fairs and festivals are some of my favorite places to visit in the fall. I love seeing all the creativity and finding pieces that are draw in the season!
Engage all the senses with the most amazing apple cinnamon no cook playdough.
This Autumn Hand Print Tree is such a cute way to capture our children’s hand prints and this could totally be made into a card to send off to the first person that pops to mind.
Get the modge podge out and create a peppier fall look by mixing up the bright colors with your pumpkins!
Get inspired by nature to create fun art like this digi-leaf art project!
There are so many wonderful activities to do during the fall. Visiting pumpkin patches is probably the first thing that pops to mind but don’t miss enjoying these other activities:
Visiting an apple orchard and picking your own apples!
Interact with our feathered friends by creating an apple bird feeder for them!
Fall & football go hand in hand. Find budget friendly ways to decorate when you cheer on your favorite team.
Explore nature with the fun fall scavenger hunt.
Make art out of pressed leaves and flowers by making your own DIY Nature Press!
There is something about fall that makes me want to gather with friends around my favorite drinks. Of course, Hot Chocolate will always be my favorite but since this is a fall round up post, I’ll share some others that are tempting me as well.
My Mother’s Quick and Delicious Apple Cider is one people always as about when they come over. It also makes a perfect gift for your neighbors!
One of my favorite fall treats is a caramel covered apple and this Caramel Apple Cider recipe seems to be the drinkable version of that treat!
And if you still need more ideas to dive into fall, check out these posts:
What are some of your favorite fall activities?
What is a new fall activity you are looking forward to enjoying?
Be encouraged by these posts as well!
You’ll Never Know Until You Ask, So Just Ask.
This is what I have been telling my kids a lot lately, especially one in particular. He will start to ask a question, then think through what he is asking, answer it himself based on what he thinks I will answer, and then doesn’t even ask me.
It’s been annoying me, because he starts off with, “May I ask you a question?” To which I respond, “Always.” But then he doesn’t ask.
So once again today, he started the same pattern and I quickly encouraged him in a sing song voice, “Just ask. I might say “no” or I might say “yes,” but you will never know until you ask!”
With a slight hesitation, he asked, “Can we go get a snack at X?
To which I responded: “No, but thank you for asking. I’m thankful that you asked. Now you know the answer.”
Another question was obviously brewing. I could see it written across his forehead in the review mirror. Then, without asking if he could ask he smiled and boldly began:
“Then, can we go to the chocolate factory for a little treat…just you and me?”
Oh, that boy knows my weakness. “Of course, yes. Just you and I will go and get a treat. See, if you have chosen not to ask, we would not have this opportunity to enjoy this treat together. So please, from now on, just ask. You will never get a yes, if you choose not to ask.”
The Boldness of Just Asking
There are many who asked Jesus for things. Some wanted to be healed. Others wanted to follow him.
But there was one man in particular that stands out in my mind because many would have proclaimed he was absolutely unworthy to even talk to the Messiah let alone make a request of him.
This man, while Jesus was dying on the cross, heaped insult after insult upon him. And yet as the hours passed, the insult slinger noticed something different about the man who shared the same fate as himself. He realized that the “King of the Jews” he had been taunting, really was the chosen Messiah. He went from keeping insults to defending him.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Luke 23: 39-41
In that very moment, maybe even with the same breath, after scolding the criminal being crucified across from him, he turned his gaze to Jesus. His boldness skipped just asking, but audaciously steamrolled straight to a sincere plea:
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus’ reply not only reveals his grace, mercy, and ability to read hearts in a way that proves He was God incarnate, but stuns us thousands of years later. The words that are graciously spoken between struggling breaths while hanging on the cross give us hope and remind us to just ask Jesus no matter the circumstance:
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
-Jesus, Luke 23:43
Jesus Wants Us to Just Ask
Ask I pour over the Bible, I see Jesus repeatedly exclaiming the importance of coming to our Heavenly Father in prayer about everything. With all our feelings, hopes, dreams, sorrows, and confusions. When we choose to engage in prayer with God we are in essence entering a spiritual and eternal conversation.
Let’s make the most of it and enjoy the relationship Jesus died on the cross to gift us!
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
-Jesus, Luke 14:12-14
In essence, Jesus encourages us to just ask. He wants us to lean into him, to fear the Lord, to ask his guidance, and to seek his will. He wants to gift us with his abilities and willingness to be bold and it all starts by trusting that he will answer our prayers.
What have you been longing to ask the Lord, but have left unasked?
The blessings the Lord will gift in response to our asking are far better than any chocolate treat that we could receive. As my son and I walked out of the “chocolate factory” this is the lesson I encouraged his heart to hear.
Once again as I am purging, I come across a pile. A pile that will eventually get tossed by someone else, but my hands and heart can’t seem to part with one single note in that pile. It’s a pile of “Thank You” notes and other cards I’ve received. Why do I keep “Thank You” notes and other cards that have come my way?
That is a great question and one I ponder every time I choose to keep them.
Why I Keep Thank You Notes!
1 – First and foremost, it reminds me of people I love.
God has put me in the path of so many amazing people that seeing their handwriting or reading a note that came from them lifts my heart and reminds me of the gift of friendship.
For someone who has been hurt or lost a good friendship, it’s nice to remind the heart what a blessed gift it is and to not give up on being a friend just because I’ve gotten hurt before.
2 – It gives me the opportunity to once again lift those people up in prayer.
Yes, I know I can pray for them anytime, any place, any where, but sometimes life happens. And a gentle reminder will rekindle my prayers for them.
3 – I’m encouraged to write more notes to others.
Writing notes is almost a dying art. We send text messages and instant messages all the time, but how often do we sit down and write a note?
Several years ago, I actually purchased a book to help me write notes better. That book has helped me to venture into the world of blank notes where I actually have to come up with the words. It encouraged me to write sincerely. And so I make more of an effort now to reach out in my own handwriting more often.
4 – Although this is last, it is definitely not least.
It’s probably the most important reason why I keep “Thank You” notes.
There are days that Satan attacks me hard and makes me feel alone. He makes me think I’m a total failure or reminds me of how selfish I can be. He will lead me to a dark place if I let him.
When I realize what is happening, I speak truth to his lies. I remind him my past is not my present and that my heart is to serve God and others and not myself.
Interestingly enough, those “Thank you” cards come in handy on those days. They remind me of all the times I listened to God calling me to serve someone else. They remind me of the power of loving people in simple ways. They call me to pray and ask who needs serving now.
In essence, those “Thank You” notes, lead me back to God and are an encouraging blessing to my heart.
So for all those who have ever written me a note of any kind, know it is in my pile and it still encourages me today.
Who might you encourage with a simple note today?
Glorifying the Lord
In the small details of her daily life as well as the big moments, Mary’s way of glorifying the Lord found favor with the Lord. This favor brought her some startling news. News that filled her heart with joy but brought a reality of being separated and set apart.
To hear the words that you are highly favored and will carry God’s son may have caused initial anxiety in some of our hearts, but Mary humbled herself to the Lord once again saying, “I am the servant girl of the Lord, let this thing happen to me.”
Yet, even though she humbled herself, she still quickly made her way to another who may have been the only one to understand what she was going through at the moment. The only one who could give her the encouragement she needed to hear so she could know that what she had just experienced wasn’t a dream. It was reality. A reality that would cause her to burst into glorifying the Lord even more.
Oh, Lord, may we also humble ourselves to your will and be your servants! May we glorify you in the big and small details of our lives!
Lord, you are holy and know what we need!
When you call us, instead of fighting you, may we be humble in heart like Mary and answer similarly:
“I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Oh, Lord, to have a willing heart to let you lead our souls and lives! That is what we want!
That is how we want to follow you!
In the One who is the ultimate example of how to walk in your ways – Amen!
God your grace is so good!
Not only did you choose to use Mary, your humble servant, but you gifted her heavenly and earthly support.
You knew that a pregnant virgin would gather some negative attention and be challenged, so you gifted her with a relative who was experiencing a similar miraculous event!
Lord, we know that when we trust in you that others will mock us too. Others will try to persuade us that following you is only causing us harm, but you are so good to support us spiritually and physically too.
Thank you for those who boldly walk in your ways and encourage others to do the same. Help us to be one of those who will trust in your ways even when it makes our lives more difficult.
You never promised this world would be easy, but you did promise you would walk with us along this journey.
In the One who walked the road to the cross on our behalf – Amen!
Lord, you know our hearts so well!
Even when we have listened and accepted the calling you have for us, sometimes we need affirmation. It seems like that is what you are doing here.
When Mary greeted Elizabeth, not only did little baby John leap for joy, but through the Holy Spirit, you confirmed a blessing upon Mary!
We can’t help but giggle that the blessing was exclaimed in a loud voice! Surely, Mary couldn’t have been far away. She was standing inside Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home and yet, you spoke loudly to her.
Maybe you needed her to hear you over her own thoughts.
Maybe she had just come from talking to Joseph, who was shocked at the news and didn’t know what to do.
Maybe from the time she left Nazareth to the time she arrived in the hill country of Judea, many thoughts had overtaken her and her heart needed to be reminded that this real and not just a dream!
It could have been any number of reasons, but you made a point to loudly exclaim that she was blessed among women.
Lord, we praise you for the reminders in our lives that we are loved by you and can trust you always.
You are an amazing God with an amazing plan. Your way of doing things is definitely not our way of doing things.
And we praise you for finding ways to strengthen our faith in you and what you are doing in our lives just like you did to Mary through Elizabeth!
In the One who proclaimed, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” – Amen!
Lord, Mary’s song to you is a beautiful reminder of how you take care of those who love you.
She humbled herself to you not only in life but in song. She rejoiced at how you remembered her humbleness and willingness to serve you.
May we remember how you have been faithful throughout the generations and extend your mercy from generation to generation.
We praise you for the amazing gift of life that she carried for 9 months. She literally carried the word of life in her.
Amazingly you have gifted us the Holy Spirit so we may carry the word of life with us too, in a different way, but still we can rejoice because you have gifted us, your humble servants, with such a wonderful blessing.
May we too honor you and choose to give you glory through our times of blessings and difficulties, instead of taking the credit ourselves.
In the One who sealed all who believe in Him and follow His ways with the gift of the Holy Spirit – Amen!
Pray Luke from the beginning…
#prayingluke #luke1 #prayingthebible