No Wedding, No Love: Life After Heartbreak

no loveWednesday night, I cried myself to sleep. Out of nowhere, it hit me that my dreams of marriage had been shattered once again. I started replaying the moments of excitement looking at rings, searching for a venue, and trying on dresses. I started to think about how I finally had someone who loved me and wanted me as his wife. This marriage was meant to be the validation I needed to prove that I am desirable. The abrupt departure of my father at age five had left me wondering will I ever be wanted and loved. I had come to see marriage as a form of redeeming that piece of me. However on December 31, 2016 we had the breakup of all breakups, and my dream was shattered. All my hopes for us were robbed and ” hope deferred makes the heart sick…” became my reality.(Proverbs 13:12)

I believe one of the greatest pains of our human experience is a broken heart. Its pain is piercing and relentless. With all the strength you possess you try quickly to move past it, but broken things often heal slowly. You are simply forced to endure its pain. Some try to sedate it with sex, liquor, and drugs, but it refuses to leave. Some try to work it away, but the moment you take a break, it’s there. Some try to reason it away, but heartache supersedes knowledge; and you will never truly understand why your heart hurts so bad.

One of my greatest fears was to be where I am now, and that’s on the back side of a failed engagement. I read stories and met women who had gone through it; but I never wanted to be acquainted with its grief.  Now three months removed from it today, I can testify there is life after it. The first 30 days consisted of bitter tears. I wept because I felt like I had wasted my time. I mourned because I loved him. I sobbed because I made the decision to call the relationship off.  I lamented the death of the relationship because I had never been completely committed to a relationship the way I was with him (mind, body, and soul).  I cried because I no longer saw myself part of his dreams.

I would be lying if I said this experience did not rip the fabric of the way I view love. It was almost successful in making me give up on it. I was almost convinced not to love wholeheartedly ever again, but shutting myself off to loving someone keeps me from fulfilling my purpose. We were created to love. Choosing not to do so makes one defective because you are not fulfilling the Great Manufacturer’s purpose for creating you.

During the first 30 days, all I could remember was the broken promises. I had forgotten about all the joy and life our love had given me. Although the flaws of our humanity brought on the demise of our relationship, the love we shared was pure, healing, and refreshing. I learned so much about me, and I appreciate every lesson his love came to teach me. I assumed it was for forever, but I am grateful I was able to experience it in this lifetime.

I am not sure what the future holds for me, and I am quite alright with its uncertainty. I no longer see marriage as the validation I needed to prove I am worthy of love. I rest in the fact that I was created to love, and at the appointed time that love will be received and reciprocated by the man it was created to serve. I am no longer bitter about the outcome, and I am hopeful that I will love again.-Charity Israel

Photo Credit: http://hammerandgem.com/wedding-rings-101-dos-donts-wedding-ring-ownership/

Can’t is Killing Your Dreams!!!

This morning I woke up thinking about the phrase “I can’t.” I thought of how it is often the first thing we say when our thoughts suggest we do something greater with our careers, talents, agility, and etc. Then, I considered how it tends to be an automatic response to any request that would require us to do something beyond what we know we are capable of doing. Finally, I thought about how insulting those words could be to a God who made it possible for you to do anything. For the sake of clarity, I am not suggesting anything ludicrous like becoming the first human fish; but I am saying you CAN do those things you desire that presently appear impossible. Here are five things you CAN do contrary to your upbringing, present circumstances, and in spite of  your inner pessimist:

  1. You can become wiser. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” According to the Bible, reverencing the Lord is the founding principle for acquiring wisdom and knowledge. Once you are in sync with the One who knows all things, believing you can actually do anything does not sound too far fetched. He has all the answers, and He knows how to get them to you. Do not be intimidated about going back to school or starting a new business venture. You have God, everything else can be learned through a book or taught by a teacher.
  2. You can become successful. Deuteronomy 8:18 (NLT) says, “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful…” In this verse Moses is reminding the children of Israel to be mindful of where their success comes from so that they will never take credit for it. If you want success, make it a point to never forget who makes it possible. Once you understand who is your source of success, there will not be a need to compromise your integrity to gain more of it. You simply seek the source for ideas, and give your all to making them a reality in your life.
  3. You CAN get access to great people. Proverbs 18:16 (NLT) says, “Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people.” If you want to come before “great” people keep a gift with you. Whether your gift is tangible or one given to you by your creator, have something to present!  Extend your hands with something to give, and you will be recognized.
  4. You CAN endure anything life throws your way. The Apostle Paul informs us in Philippians 4:11-13,”…I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul gives the anecdote for enjoying success and enduring sorrow in this life: JESUS CHRIST!!! If you want to get the most out of every experience in life take Jesus with you. By the time this life ends, you will not be disappointed because He is our Great Hope!
  5. You CAN be saved.  Choosing whether or not to accept God’s gift of love to you will have an eternal effect on your life. Allow me to give you some insight into making life’s most important decision. In Mark 10, a rich young ruler becomes discouraged by what is required of him to inherit eternal life. He is asked to give up all he owns and give it to the poor. He chose his wealth and walked away. As followers of Jesus watched and probably empathized with the young man  they asked, ”  ‘Then who can be saved?’ 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”’  It is GOD ALONE who makes our salvation possible. This is also the reason why salvation is offered to everyone. Regardless of one’s race, religious background, socioeconomic status, past sins, criminal record, and etc., God will accept you. He is not intimidated by your past transgressions; and he is not offended by your past doubts and declarations of Him never existing. If you desire salvation, YOU CAN HAVE IT!!! Simply pray this prayer or one similar to it:

    God I receive your love gift of Jesus Christ dying for my sins. I repent for everything I have done that displeased you. I thank you for your forgiveness, and I confess you as Lord and Savior of my life. Thank you that I am now a citizen of your kingdom in Jesus name. Amen #welcometothefamily

For the Christian, CAN’T should be removed from our vocabulary.  As it pertains to being successful, YOU CAN! As it pertains to obtaining wisdom, completing your degree, and starting a business, YOU CAN! YOU CAN get through the divorce, unemployment, and the death of a loved one. YOU CAN be forgiven of sin, free from condemnation, and walk in your purpose. YOU CAN love again, marry again, and be completely accepted. You are the child of an amazing God, so you can do amazing things. STOP talking yourself out of what you are capable of doing. God is your strength, and there is no failure in Him. Your success is inevitable, go for it! #YESYOUCAN

Buyer Beware: Three Women Men Should Avoid for the REST of Their Lives

 

11143692_10100142778528272_2591301325955744050_nToday as I read Proverbs 6,  I started to think about the countless men who have fallen for the women of their lustful desires. Throughout the passage, Solomon is imploring his son to stay away from three types of women: the immoral (Proverbs 6:24), the promiscuous/prostitute (Proverbs 6:24, 26), and the adulteress (Proverbs 6:26). As I read I felt the need to echo the author and here are my reasons why:

  1. 1.   The immoral woman will corrupt you. 1 Corinthians 15:33, says “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Both the stories of Samson and Solomon are proof of this truth. Samson loses his strength, and the ability to defend his people because of a hot romance with a woman named Delilah (Judges 16). Solomon, the wisest man on earth, has the most tragic story of all as it pertains to dealing with immoral women. I won’t give the whole account, but here’s the part that makes my point, 1 King’s 11:1-4, 9-11 says:

 Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides the daughter of the king of Egypt he married Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. He married them even though the Lord had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with these people, because they would cause the Israelites to give their loyalty to other gods. Solomon married seven hundred princesses and also had three hundred concubines. They made him turn away from God, and by the time he was old they had led him into the worship of foreign gods. He was not faithful to the Lord his God, as his father David had been…9-10 Even though the Lord, the God of Israel, had appeared to Solomon twice and had commanded him not to worship foreign gods, Solomon did not obey the Lord but turned away from him. So the Lord was angry with Solomon 11 and said to him, “Because you have deliberately broken your covenant with me and disobeyed my commands, I promise that I will take the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your officials.

The wisest man on earth died as an apostate and disgraced his Godly heritage in pursuit of loving his women and appeasing their gods. Both Samson and Solomon lost their way because they opted to ignore the advice of Proverbs 6:20-23. By refusing to adhere  to the advice of their parents to stay away from certain women, one lost his strength and the other left God.

2.   The prostitute or the promiscuous woman will provide you pleasure, but she will destroy your pockets (Proverbs 6:26). She will ensure you have a good time, and make you pay more than what you bargained for. The story of Tamar and Judah is a prime example of how a “prostitute” can take all you have and bring you to shame (Genesis 38). Here Tamar disguised herself as a shrine prostitute in order to have a son and ensure she obtained the inheritance that was hers by marrying Judah’s eldest son. Judah slept with her assuming a goat will be all that was required, and by the end of the story his reputation was the real wage he paid. Loving prostitutes will leave you destitute.

3.   Sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life,” is the warning the writer gives his son in Proverbs 6:26. This death can be in many areas of a man’s life, just ask David (2 Samuel 11). I do not desire to call Bathsheba an adulterer in the traditional sense of willingly seducing a man, but the fact is she was married when David slept with her. As a result of attempting to cover up his sin, David orders Bathsheba’s husband to be killed in battle. He is confronted by the prophet, and God pronounces judgment concerning the matter in 2 Samuel 12:11-13, “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.” David’s decision to sleep with another man’s wife cost him his newborn son and brought a curse of discord between him and his other children (Read 2 Samuel). David did not die physically, but he was spiritually bankrupt (Psalms 51) and he loss his family life. The same will occur to anyone who lays his head in the bed of a married woman.

The Point: I hope you consider this as a warning and way to save yourself from ruin. There will be many of those type of women grabbing for your attention, but you must not get caught in the moment. Even the author of Proverbs forsook his own advice and ended his life is the worst way possible, away from God. Samson’s life glorified God in the end; but I wonder how many victories did he forfeit by being entangled in the arms of an immoral woman. Judah, a well respected man, lack of integrity was exposed before all the people of the town because of sleeping with someone he thought was a prostitute. David too remain close to God after his moment of weakness, but his kingdom nor his family was never the same because of it. Men you have an opportunity to make a decision today to resist the woman that will cost you more than you can afford. They are not worth your gifts, money, ministry, family, or ultimately your life. My prayer is that with every temptation they present you would resist it. I pray you will be a man of honor, integrity, and self-control. I pray that in those moments when her pull appears strong that you would flee both fornication and conversation with her. I know it’s not easy, but it will be worth it. Your future depends on it. I’m praying for you!-Charity Israel

A Failure To Launch

fail2launch

So November 5, 2012 was supposed to be the launching date of Lovelivesfree.com, and today the site is NOT up and running and boy do I feel like a failure. A failure in the sense that I put a date to something, and I missed my own deadline. Missing deadlines seem to be the story of my life by the way. And there is no one or nothing to blame except me and my procrastination. I have committed my time to everything except what I claim to be important. I am annoyed with myself because the goal was attainable, but I did not put forth great effort to see it achieved.

Since I have committed to this project all of my issues have floated up to the surface: procrastination, perfectionism, self-doubt, and indecisiveness. These are all things that I thought I had conquered in my life, but this website has proven they were simply dormant and not dead. And since these are facts of my life at this moment, I am forced to deal with these ugly hindrances of getting a project completed. How can a procrastinating perfectionist that doubts herself and the decisions she makes at times get a website up and running to help people who are just like her? It can only happen by the grace of God, discipline, and a pertinacious commitment to completing the task before me.

But you may be wondering, “Charity what makes today different from the last few months you have had to work on the website?” My answer is “the public embarrassment of having to cancel something people were counting on due to my procrastination. It is the shame of knowing nothing stopped me but myself. It’s the rude awakening that I am my greatest enemy, toughest critic, and naysayer.  It is the harsh realization that I am the culprit that keeps sabotaging my success. And it is the overwhelming desire to defeat the dark side of me.”

This failure to launch has shined a light on the enemies of my soul that MUST be conquered and ultimately destroyed. This website is the Battle plan for victory. As I keep my commitment to seeing this site up and operating, I will be daily defeating the enemies of my soul. I now, after mourning, can dance with much excitement about what’s in store for us all. I am ecstatic about the freedom this site will produce in the lives of others and myself.  Thanks so much for joining me in the journey of finding freedom in God’s Love, great victories are ahead!-Charity Israel

Photo Credit:  http://website101.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/rocket-explosion.jpg