Restoration Project: can’t DIY this one!

The last time I did a giveaway was about 6 months ago for my Birthday.  Instead of receiving gifts I wanted to give them.  This time, I’m going to giveaway a book every Monday for three weeks and announce the winner on Thursday’s post.  This is to celebrate Thanksgiving and how thankful I am for each one of you and the friendships I’ve developed through this blog.

Today I’m giving away Embrace Grace by Liz Curtis HiggsTo be eligible to win, simply leave a comment or subscribe to my blog.  I will announce the winner on Thursday’s post.

Anne and Tonya were best friends and roommates in college. Something drastic happened, and the relationship was severed. Bitterness grew year after year. It was so bad, Tanya wasn’t present when Anne got married.

Years passed and they both opened their hearts to at least being present at the same function among mutual friends.  They talked, and decided to forgive one another.  From there, God intervened and grew them closer to one another, and closer to Him.

Harboring bitterness only hurts us, doesn’t it? It never hurts the other person. So when Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven, He had good reason for saying it (Matthew 18:22). True forgiveness is always for our own good, and a cornerstone to restoration. Besides, when we have un-forgiveness in our hearts, we sin.

The Israelites turned their backs on God by worshipping idols, giving in to sexual immorality and all kinds of sin.  But when they repented, God forgave.

Prostitutes and women living in adultery were forgiven.  Crippled and bleeding women were healed.  Not only did Jesus heal and forgive them, He sent them away in peace and chose to use them.  Most of them went away telling anyone who would listen!

He (Jesus) said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34

Are there desolate areas in your life that need renovating?  This is more than a DIY project!  We need to call in help for this one!

With God’s help, we can flourish and blossom again. We may think the marriage is too far gone or that friendship can’t be mended.  IT CAN!  He can!  We just have to trust God with an inch in the door of our hearts, and give Him room to get in and miraculously change us and heal the hurt. We may not be able to change other people, but we can let God change us!

Sometimes we avoid closeness to God, because we’re ashamed of decisions we’ve made in the past. We can’t forgive ourselves, so we think God couldn’t possibly forgive us.  Try Him. He just wants us to trust Him with it.  Surrender!  ASK Him to forgive. He will!

He is the Ultimate Restorer.  Just like He restored Anne and Tonya’s friendship, He can do the same in our relationships and heart!

Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.  Jeremiah 33:6-8

36 thoughts on “Restoration Project: can’t DIY this one!

  1. juliesunne says:

    Very relevant post, Rivera. Hard feelings and bitterness are often left to fester and grow. A little forgiveness and grace goes along way to restoring relationships. Liz is a wonderful communicator. Thanks for the opportunity to win her book.

  2. JoAnn says:

    I KNOW God as My Redeemer and The Restorer in my life! I know 1st hand the work God did in restoring the relationship between Anne and Tonya. I know 1st hand how he used that relationship to aide in the healing of Anne’s marriage. In talking to others who think their marriage or friendships are beyond repair, it’s the hardest thing in the world to explain how God can take something you feel is beyond hopeless and RESTORE it to some better than ever before. I am humbled to sit here and think of how God has restored and redeemed so many situations I made a mess of.

  3. Lisa Buchanan says:

    this post is so timely for me! I came here to try to win a book and as God would have it He shows up and continues to work on my heart about relationships that need mending within my family. My sisters and I are in a horrible way with each other, and while I have made minor attempts to make mends I am harboring bitterness and unforgiveness. I thank you Rivera for this post and I will be subscribing to your blog and look forward to sharing with you the praises about our relationship being mended! It appears to be an impossible thing, my one sister has me completely blocked from her phone so I can’t call so walls are up all over the place for all three of us but God is bigger and stronger than all those walls and I know He doesn’t want things to be this way!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Oh Lisa, as I read these words, tears came. Don’t give up. God IS bigger! Praying for restoration for you and your sisters. Can’t wait to hear how God mends it, and He will! I know it! Blessings sweet friend!

  4. Jan Meek says:

    Love Liz Curtis Higgs; both her books as well as seeing her speak. Forgiveness is something that we must all do, but is not always easy. But once we do forgive, we feel free. If we choose not to forgive, God says that he will not forgive us. Matt 6:14-15

  5. Laura Rath says:

    Hi Rivera,
    I had the pleasure of hearing Liz Curtis Higgs speak at a conference last month and so enjoyed it. This book is on my to-read list. Thanks for the chance.


  6. Deborah Postlethwait says:

    You are so right about forgiveness. When we hold onto it it only hurts us. But when we release it, with God’s help and grace we are set free.

  7. Caroline McGinnis says:

    I so enjoy your writtings they are so full of what we deal with on a daily basis. When I read this I thought of something I learned a while age on bitterness that is: “Bitterness consumes the hearts of those that carry it.” This saying can be used also for many other things such as forgiveness, etc.. LOL

  8. Courageous Jane says:

    Hi Rivera! I recently wrote a skit about forgiveness and then you wrote this post! I sense a theme and I’m wondering what the message is for me. Thanks for spurring my thoughts once again in the right direction. Much love,

  9. Shelly says:

    What advice would you give to someone whose parents don’t seem to want a good relationship with them or maybe even not one at all? I’m to the point that I feel all graced out because it doesn’t seem to work with them! Critical and easily offended is how I would describe them, and the last attack was the worst! They blew a gasket when they found out I was voting for the other guy (they brought it up) and went on the attack with no consideration for my feelings whatsoever, even to the point of name calling! I asked them three times to just stop it, but they wouldn’t. The political agenda came first apparently. After attacking me and my biblical values, I was in tears by the end and then got asked to not be mad about it. Ugh!! I don’t know how to handle their mean spirit. Conversation is always strained and awkward because I never know what I’m going to get. Tired!

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Wow Shelly, I hear the hurt in your writing, and my heart breaks for you. It’s amazing how this political race in particular has divided friendships and families. I can’t believe it! But the enemy of our souls will use anything he can to divide and destroy.

      No matter the wrong done to us, God calls us to forgive. I tend to think His idea of forgiveness is certainly for restoration of relationships, but more for our own health. Strife, bitterness, unforgiveness all cause health problems, so it’s better to let it go as soon as possible.

      Now, to answer your question about your relationship with your parents. It’s so difficult to deal with defensive, critical people, BUT it’s more hurtful when they are family! While we may not be able to change people, or make them love us for that matter, God can! He’s really the only One who can change hearts! Pray for them.

      Though I have a great relationship with my mom now, we went through a period a few years ago when we argued a lot. Something that worked for me was writing. I felt she wouldn’t hear me while we were face to face (arguing), so I wrote how I felt in a letter. She had to quietly read, and perhaps re-read, my feelings without becoming defensive in a heated argument!

      I hope you find this helpful. I will pray God restores your relationship! And even sooner, I pray you find refreshment and energy in His presence as you take this to Him:)

      1. Shelly says:

        Thank you for your prayers. While I don’t think I could write a letter and send it to them, you’ve inspired me to start a prayer journal, which I have wanted to do for years. I always thought of it more as a “to do” list, but after reading your reply, now I think it would be a good way to more quickly release the bad feelings by writing them down and praying about them. I don’t like holding grudges because I know they are bad for mostly me, like you said, but sometimes the bad feelings linger longer than I would like. I think a prayer journal would really help with that! That might be a more tangible way for me to take it to God and leave it there.

        Still so unbelievable! And I was so disappointed in myself for getting sucked in. I didn’t say anything I regretted, thank God, but I just didn’t like where I let them take me, a place I didn’t want to go! I didn’t see the point to it, but maybe God wanted me there. I wish I knew!

        Thanks for listening and your kind advice.

        1. Rivera Douthit says:

          Yay for prayer journaling! I think that’s a wonderful way to take it to God and leave it there! So thankful God used our conversation here to lead you to do that. Happy journaling, and hope to see you here again soon sweet friend!

  10. Sara Johnson says:

    I love your message here. We are such an instant gratification society. We want to throw everything away when it isn’t easy………. even our relationships. What we need to do is mend them and humble ourselves, forgiving and working to understand each other.
    Thank you for another timely reminder of what God wants from me.

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