As I can I want to offer a fresh word of encouragement sharing from my experience how our Father God meets us in the middle of loving and living out our faith to draw others to freedom. The road to freedom can seem long and hard not unlike the experiences of those living as refugees from war torn nations, those walking out of years of abuse and pain in broken relationships, those facing the reality check that comes with unplanned pregnancy, and the great journey to healing from trauma. I fully believe we are offered so much more than we ever experience as Christ followers. We settle for a life in bondage to the elemental nature of this world and continue to live as Hagar when in fact we are daughters of Sarah.

Galatians 4:31
31 So, brothers [and sisters], we are children not of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

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24 For a true servant of our Lord Jesus will not be argumentative[t] but gentle toward all and skilled in helping others see the truth, having great patience toward the immature. 25 Then with meekness you’ll be able to carefully enlighten those who argue with you so they can see God’s gracious gift of repentance and be brought to the truth. 26 This will cause them to rediscover themselves[u] and escape from the snare of Satan who caught them in his trap so that they would carry out his purposes.

2 Timothy 2: 24-26 [TPT]

Being gentle, being kind...skillfully helping others see the truth.  There are many days when I fall short of consistently, gently leading.  It is hard to daily persevere in the hope that love will overcome the lies, the stubborn foolishness and immaturity that are so evident in so many of those coming for our services.  The disconnect between reality and personal responsibility seems an impossible divide.  The hurts and abuses that have changed thought patterns and responses seem so ingrained they will not change.  The lure of the world's way of thinking and living seems more appealing then the simple, other focused way of living we are offering.

It is only the slow, methodical, gentle, direct and clear responses and requests that begin to soften the hardness and bridge these divides.  The arguments do not often come in word battles but in the overt unresponse to requests, non-committal to plans for personal betterment, and in oppositional actions.  Is my heart really set at seeing another daughter rediscover herself?...The answer is resoundingly yes, but do I have the patience and grace to be the one to walk it out with her?  This answer is also yes, but not in my own strength, not based on past experience and not based on the program and structures in place.  The only way I can live this out is as a follower of Jesus, through the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit and daily yielding to the will of the Father. 

Every day brings new opporunity to gently and lovingly help others see the truth.  Every day brings a layer of unyielded resistance in my heart and opportunity to practice what I want to teach.  Every day brings opportunity to practice the skills of walking with someone in their immaturity with the hope and promise that they may escape the snare of the enemy so they can carry out their purpose.

May the promise of another's escape from the snare of the enemy motivate me to persevere! 

May I allow myself to be gently led so that others can follow! 

May my faith increase to believe that the divides and disconnects can be repaired!