Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Your Love Never Quits~ January 20, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 11:54 am
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This blog has a stat tracker that keeps me in the know on site traffic. While not elaborate, the details include: number of visitors, the posts that were read on any given day and the most informative, search terms that led readers to my site. There are two search terms that I see frequently. The first, “Valerie Rutledge blog,” (thank you, by the way, to whomever follows my writings specifically). The second, and the one I want to address today, “you never loved me.”

It shocks me how often this phrase appears. Each time it grips my heart, seizing it up for just a moment. While I hope that finding their way to my blog ministers to them and brings healing, it pains me to know how many people are suffering in this capacity. I imagine downcast faces, sitting in front of a dimly lit screen, seeking answers for why they’ve found themselves in a loveless relationship or perhaps one which has recently ended.

My heart aches for you, that you’ve found yourself in this place of searching, trying to understand what went wrong. What did you miss or could you have done differently? The pain that comes from love that’s been lost is real and deep and incomparable to any other.

While I sincerely wish I could bring healing to your broken heart or answer the burning question of “why,” I cannot. What I can do is point you to a love that never fails. I can introduce you to the One that will never lead your thoughts down the path of “you never loved me.” His name is Jesus and a relationship with Him is a sure thing. He will never leave you nor forsake you. When you stumble or when you screw up monumentally, His love for you is steadfast.

I am not so gullible to believe that this will erase whatever pain you feel in this moment, when your heartbreak is fresh and the grief comes in waves. But I pray it soothes your soul, like the warmth of the sun as it kisses your skin or the familiarity of a trusted friend’s embrace. Let the Lord’s love mend your broken places today and know, sweet friend, that I am in your corner. IMG_1918

 

~Eyes Open, My Love~ August 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 10:04 am
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303db061470732e00637018689917ac8When things get real, my first thought is to shut my eyes tight, plug my ears & sing “Jesus loves me” at the top of my lungs. It’s not very practical, but my inner child just wants to avoid the unpleasantries of this life. Then again, I am a grown-up now and as nice as it would be to pretend I’m a princess living in an elaborate castle, the reality is I’m a mother of 5 who scrubs toilets daily in a humble brick house with scuffed up floors.

I know it would be easier if we could close our eyes. We wouldn’t have to see the horror that plays on the news every single day. We wouldn’t be able to read the collection notices that keep coming in the mail, further evidence that our financial situation is in a rapid decline. We wouldn’t have to watch our loved ones suffer with life threatening illness that makes us wonder if there is a God and if so, why won’t he intervene.

You know what else happens when we shut our eyes to life? We miss the ‘aha’ moments, when God shows up and miracles happen.

For every violent war story that fills the tv screen, there’s another of love in the midst of turmoil that restores our faith in humanity. When the numbers don’t make sense and it would seem that all hope is lost, God takes what we would call financial ruin and uses it as a testament of His provision for His children. As we watch sickness ravage the body, God brings healing in one of two ways: he calls his child home where pain & suffering cease or he does what only he can as the ultimate physician and makes the body whole again.

There is a song by Need to Breathe that inspired this post, “Keep Your Eyes Open.” Take a look at my favorite verse:

Just past the circumstance,

The first light, a second chance

No child could ever dance the way you do

Tear down the prison walls

Don’t start the curtain call

Your chains will never fall until you do

We could close our eyes to the world around us and avoid all the ugliness but in doing so we will also miss the beauty of God’s hands at work. No matter how bleak your circumstances, it ain’t over til God says it’s over. Focus on that instead of your worries for a change.

 

 

 

~Thanksgiving~ November 28, 2013

Gratitude

This past month, several friends have been taking part in the month of gratitude by posting each day what they are most thankful for on social media.  I have participated and listed things ranging from the people that I am most grateful for all the way to something as simple as a hot cup of coffee.

Today, I want to give thanks for what I often take for granted, my Lord.

He is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides.  When I look back over my life, there are many times when I should have hit bottom.  There have been countless times where finances weren’t just low, they were nonexistent, and God would send us a blessing by way of a brother or sister in Christ, a break from one of our debtors or an unexpected job opportunity.  As I sit here today, we may not have all we want, but God has provided us with all we need and for that I give him thanks.

He is Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals.  Immediately my thoughts take me back to this time last year when Peyton was in excruciating, unexplainable pain.  I have never cried out to God like I did during those weeks, and He came through.  Just last night, both my little girls were restless because of irritating coughs that kept them from laying down peacefully.  I started to jump up and grab the cough medicine and changed my mind.  Instead I prayed and asked God to touch my girls, to take away the cough and bring them comfort that only the Great Physician can bring…and off to sleep they went without another sound.  His healing may not come in the ways we would like or in the timing we would prefer, but it is available to those who call on his name.

He is Abba, Father.  As a parent, I know the lengths that I would go to for my children.  As a Christian, I know that it still pales in comparison to what God has done and will do for me.   He is not some distant, uncaring God.  He is near to us and loves us with an unfailing love that is difficult to comprehend.  In a world where love is often hinged on meeting expectations of another, God’s love is unconditional.  When I am at my most unlovable, He still opens his arms wide and invites me to run into them.

So today, I give thanks to the one who is at times overlooked for all his goodness.  I will praise the name of the Lord, for He alone is worthy of my praise.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.

(Psalm 100:4 NLT)