Closure Is Part Of The Journey

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose.

~ Lisa Blair

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I finally have closure after seven years. Closure from what, you ask? Closure from the dissolve of the school, I reopened, and separation from the people I came to call family. We were a community that cared for and educated over 300+ children (living in an underserved community) annually over fourteen years. When the school closed, everyone scattered, and wounds were deep. It felt that our very lives had been stripped away from us.

[ Fourteen years, seven times two] Something just came to mind as I was typing, seven is a divine number and represents closure, completion, and something finished. This Post is about closure and what it means.

Facing closure is difficult. It requires introspection and forgiveness, not so much about forgiving others, though that is part of it, but forgiving myself because I felt I failed. The reality is I helped many people who have since shared that fact with me. Many of our students graduated from high school with honors and completed college with advanced degrees, students whose destinies were changed because of the school, staff, and caring adults.

Why am I sharing this, you may ask? Everything in life has purpose. Whether it is as grand as opening a school, or due to a perfect storm, closing it. 

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose. God designed our paths long before we were born. He knew our experiences and what it would take to become mature Christians. He knew when and where we would stray off the straight and narrow pathway and when we would return. He knew when we would avoid closure because it hurts, and when we would address it, ready to move on. He is like a loving parent patiently awaiting our return, like the prodigal son.

Does this sound confusing? Well, it is not. The take-aways are: There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 declares, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

* ‭‭Everything has purpose. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Philippians 2:1 TNTV, “God Himself is at work in you inspiring you to want those things which please Him and to work for them.” God leads us you placing His desires in our hearts.

* Some things in life are for a season, others for a reason, and yet others for a lifetime. Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

* We are here to be God’s servants, spread the Word, and impact others’ lives. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The road is not always straight and narrow, and like Paul, God may redirect us in the middle of our travels to assist others before we reach our destination. “Facing a ’closed-door’ can be extremely frustrating. The apostle Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey to share the gospel in Asia, he repeatedly found the way blocked by the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the apostle was stuck in Troas with the sea before him and closed doors behind. How strange it must have seemed to Paul that God would prevent him from spreading the gospel. But he knew this wisdom from the book of Proverbs: The Lord will make a straight path for anyone who chooses to trust God rather than himself (Proverbs 3:5-6). Instead of getting angry or trying to force his way into new territory, Paul got on his knees.” (Charles Stanely, Christianity.com)

So, in the end, closure is another phase of our lives. We begin and end episodes only to start anew, refreshed, and wiser from the experiences we acquired as we live and grow older. We become wiser through studying the Word. The wiser we become, the more mature we become, and when we look back at what we once referred to as a failure, in truth was a gift from God that came to an end. In hindsight, all life events serve a purpose. Our events have a beginning and an ending (closure) and lead us down our path to our destiny. 

“Psalm 37:27 declares that: the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Be encouraged that you can fulfill your destiny by trusting in Him and charting Your course based on how He leads, not your own understanding. As You let Him be the One who orders your steps, you will fulfill your destiny.” (Fulfilling your Destiny. WalkingbyFaith.com)

Faith Is An Action Verb

Some speak about faith, but God commands us to move in faith. Faith is an action verb.

~ Lisa Blair


Faith is part of the Lord’s equation. It demands action. Without acting in faith through deeds, there is no faith. Your deeds activate your faith, otherwise you are only speaking of faith, but not doing God’s Will to serve others in need, at home, work, or walking down the street.

Your faith is powered through love. So, yes, faith requires action, powered by love and activated through the action of your deeds.
Faith is an action verb. We do because the Almighty commands us to spread the Word and help wherever we can.

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:15-17, 22, 24, 26 NIV

Pulled From The Slimy Pit

God’s promises never fail, but all too often we fail to see them. Always survey the fullness of your life and you will begin to recognize the minute, small, and large things in your life.

~Lisa Blair

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God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The Lord will never leave us or forsake us. This verse is one of God’s promises to us. The promise means you will never be left in the slimy pit of the muck and mire of life. There is escape lodged within His promise to never leave us.

In my post, Living Through the Muck and Mire, February 21, 2018, I shared “we have been talking about our dependence upon the Lord and how He works wonders in our lives, not because of anything we do, but because of His unconditional love or us.”

God lifted us out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set our feet on a rock and gave us a firm place to stand. I believe that accepting this truth relaxes the anxiety, fear, and stress that is aligned with struggling in the slimy pit. Being saved does not mean we will not suffer during our lives, it means that we will be supported through God’s promises, Jesus’s death, the Holy Spirit’s direction, and ultimately eternal life and entrance into heaven.

Like so many, I have experienced the trials that felt like mud and mire, or a slimy pit. During those times I did not step back from the situation and pray, the mud and mire felt more like quicksand. In those instances when I rebuked the evil one’s hold and prayed for deliverance and help, God was able to give me peace within the storm. That peace is more than calming, it places you on solid ground.

Once you realize you are on solid ground, resolve becomes more than a possibility, the Holy Spirit provides direction for escape, providing actions to take while in many instances removing stumbling blocks and walls that surrounded us.

Some may say, ‘I live in the slimy pit’, I prayed to no avail. I say, do not give up, do not relax your guard. God is always working on our behalf. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Therefore, since He knows what we must experience to mature as Christians, and His time is not our time, the lesson may extend over a greater length of time than we think it should.

Pray, pray and pray until you see the manifestation of your prayers. Look at all of the things happening around you and to you. Seek to identify the small things God has done. For example, if it was a debt, was the total due reduced, was the payment time renegotiated, did you receive unexpected incoming funds? All of these things are God’s blessings associated with your prayers.

God’s promises never fail, but all too often we fail to see them. Always survey the fullness of your life and you will begin to recognize the minute, small, and large things in your life. Once you do that, you will recognize He always pulls you out of the slimy pit, out of the mud/muck and mire of life’s obstacles and places you on solid ground.

Trials and Patience

God gave us the tools to survive through life’s challenges. Strong faith will allow you to experience peace in the midst of the struggle.

~ Lisa Blair

Trials produce patience and patience is reinforced through faith. If you are faithful, you will experience the joy of the Lord and not become bitter and discouraged through the trial. You will rest in God’s peace and weather the storm.

COVERED IN THE BLOOD

We are covered in the Blood. God gives us the strength to withstand life’s circumstances.

~Lisa Blair

 

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When bad things happen, the devastation is short-lived.  It is a short time because as Christians we acknowledge that God’s time is not our time, and our thousand years is but a moment to God. So, as we walk through devastation we must keep our eye on the Lord, not the circumstances or the length of time we have been walking through it, but on the Lord. The Trinity is our Salvation.

God gives us the strength to withstand the circumstances. Jesus gives us the light and peace to walk through the valley. And, the Holy Spirit gives us direction leading us to the other side.

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Isaiah 43:1-3  Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you will not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Isreal, your Savior.

Isaiah 12:2  Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

Philippians 4:6-7  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

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Psalm 9:9-10  The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 34:4  I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all fears.

Psalm 27:1-3  The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.

Joshua 1:9  Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

1 Peter 5:10  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, Will Himself restore you and make you strong, for, and steadfast.

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Jesus is our Lord and Savior. His blood covers us in all situations. Difficult times test our faith and strengthens our relationship with the Lord. Is your faith strong despite the burdens of life? Do you find rest in His peace that will carry you through? Rely on the Lord to see you through the worst of times and the best of times. He is our only Rock. He is our Savior.

LIFE WITH CHRIST—A MODEL OF LOVE

God’s love is unconditional, He pours in so we can pour out.

~ Lisa Blair

We are to love one another unconditionally, as our Father loves us in our sinful state, without conditions, caveats, or exclusion. We are to have Jesus’s mindset.

Love breaks down walls and gives the giver peace despite the circumstances. We don’t have to like everyone or keep them in our circle if toxic in anyway, but as a child of God we are required to love them as He loves us.

God pours His love into us so we can pour it out into a dark world, casting light and changing the atmosphere. When we reflect chaos and hate, we are contributing to the darkness. When we, like Paul, love everyone as God loves us, our love attracts others who are seeking God and want a relationship with Him. We are the model of Christ. Are we modeling Him or living in the natural world modeling the evil one? Do we love unconditionally, are we kind, do we sacrifice for the good of others, are we patient, trustworthy, faithful, gentle and maintain self-control?

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do we love our neighbors, those around us wherever we go? Are we the model God sets before man? The world sees Him through our actions. Are we modeling unconditional love through our actions or reinforcing worldly values and sel-righteousness? Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians stressing that we are to emulate Christ in all we do.

Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility],”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Daily reminder, recite each morning   Today I go forth (intentionally) modeling Christ.

Images and Scriptures—YouVersion.Bible.com

Resource— Nelson’s Quick Reference. Warren Wiersbe