Finding Safety in the Storm

By Shelley Hitz

Today I felt like I needed safety from the storm swirling in my life right now.  I sensed God say to me that He is here with me and that I can find safety and refuge in Him…even when I feel like everything around me is uncertain and feels unsafe.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

I have a picture of what that “safe refuge” looks like for me.  There may be times when I have to go out in the storm and get wet and cold.  But I know that God is always with me.  He will never leave me or forsake me.  And whenever I need rest, our safe place is waiting for us.   I pictured that safe refuge as a warm inviting cave where I am protected from the storms.  God offers me warmth by the fire to dry off and food for my soul.  He says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls.”

He walks with me.  He doesn’t stay behind in the cave.  He will be with me to give me the strength and wisdom I need to navigate this storm.  Storms come and go and I can’t predict when they will come.

This is a storm that has entered my life.  I wasn’t expecting or planning my dad to be assaulted resulting in a coma and a severe brain injury.  But, now I have to deal with it.  Kind of like floods, wild fires, hurricanes and earthquakes are unexpected disasters that leave behind so much damage.

I feel like my life is in rubble again.  It feels as if my heart is broken and hurting.

Rebuilding After a “Storm”

This is what I sensed God saying to me in my journal today:

“Shelley, you may feel like your life is in rubble again, but realize that I am able to ‘restore what the locusts have eaten’ and I am the Ultimate Rebuilder of hearts and lives.  As we work together at ‘rebuilding the walls’ of your life, there will be a greater and deeper beauty seen in you than was evident before.  I am able to bring good out of any situation…I am about healing and restoring the brokenhearted.  Beloved, your heart has been broken, but as we rebuild and restore the brokenness within you, there will be a beauty that far exceeds anything you could have imagined before.  Trust me.  Hold on to my hand as we walk through this storm together.  Come take shelter with me and find refuge in me.  And surrender your broken heart to me.  I am the Healer and Restorer of broken hearts.”

And so, today I found that peaceful place again.  That safe refuge.  I’m not sure how long this storm will rage, but I do know that I can always find safety in Him in the midst of it all.  And I am given the hope of a promise today.  The promise of rebuilding after the storm….the rebuilding of my broken heart.

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”Psalm 147:3

“He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted.”Isaiah 61:1

finding-hope-in-the-midst-of-tragedy-webThis was an excerpt from “Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy” which is free on Amazon 10/17-10/19/12 here: www.amazon.com/dp/B008RSQFJC. During this special promotion, you can also download 19 other Christian books and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate here: www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com/sale.

 

Shelley Hitz is an author and speaker. Her main passion is to share God’s truth shelley-hitz-weband the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements. Shelley’s openness and vulnerability, as she shares her own story of hope and healing, will inspire and encourage you. You can find out more about Shelley and connect with her online at www.ShelleyHitz.com or invite her to speak at your event at: www.ChristianSpeakers.tv.

Forgiving Those Who Hurt Me :One of the Hardest Steps in My Healing Process

During this month we’re talking about the dangers of hatred and my dear friend Shelley Hitz is here to talk to us about forgiveness. Very timely, enjoy!!

I practiced as a Physical Therapist for twelve years, and therefore know the general process required to heal from a broken bone. First, the doctor will give you a diagnosis via x-ray, MRI or other test. Then, a cast or splint is applied and you are given orders to rest your body part as the healing takes place. For a broken leg, crutches are often needed for a period of time. Finally, the last step is to exercise your joints and muscles again to regain your strength and be able to walk again on your own.

However, when God began to heal my broken heart, this was new territory for me. There is no textbook answer on what the process is for healing a broken heart. However, one of the first steps God took me through was forgiving those that hurt me.

Forgiveness…Often the Hardest Step To Take But Necessary For Lasting Freedom

Years ago, I was at a retreat for Christian women where the speaker shared her story of being sexually abused and the healing God brought to her broken heart. As I listened to her story, a memory from my past began to surface. I could relate to her story in that I was not violently raped and therefore had unknowingly dismissed the incident as simply part of “growing up.” However, when I later shared with my counselor what happened to me in junior high when a boy did sexual things to me that I neither wanted nor knew how to resist, she affirmed that it was indeed sexual abuse.

Feelings surfaced that I did not even know existed…anger, grief, unforgiveness. For the first time, I cried and grieved the innocence that was taken from me that day. As I sobbed, I asked God to help me. And He gently showed me that I needed to forgive the boy that did this to me. Forgiving him did not mean that what he did was right or that I was justifying his actions. It was for me, so that I could be free. I’ve heard it said that unforgiveness and bitterness is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. The only person it hurts is me.

I Did Not Feel Like Forgiving

It took a step of faith to forgive as I did not feel like letting go of my anger and unforgiveness. Not only was my innocence taken that day, but there was a door opened to the enemy in the area of my sexuality. And later on in my life, I became captive to sexual sin. As a Christian woman, I found myself struggling with pornography. Although I don’t blame my choices and my sin on the sexual abuse, I know it was part of the process. And so I was angry and did not feel like forgiving.

And yet, God empowered me to surrender my anger to Him and forgive.

It was a process and not an instant fix. But, as I took the step of forgiveness, God led me down the path of healing my broken heart. I am thankful today that I am free from my struggle with pornography. God is now using what the enemy meant for evil for good – to provide hope to many.

clip_image002Shelley Hitz has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements. Shelley’s openness and vulnerability, as she shares her own story of hope and healing, will inspire and encourage you.

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Shelley has been writing and publishing books since 2008 including the book she co-authored with S’ambrosia Curtis, “A Christian Woman’s Guide to Breaking Free From Pornography: It’s Not Just a Guy’s Problem.” During their book launch on 9/26/12 – 9/27/12, you can download a free Kindle copy and also enter to win over $400 worth of resources. Find out more at www.ChristianWomenandPorn.com