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What is your verdict?

Today I was convicted in how many times in my own life I have judged, condemned or looked down upon others. Whether they have done something that was not according to my standards. I have been quick to express my opinion, even when the person has not asked for it. Or I have turned my nose up at people. I know I’m not the only one in the world to do this, but the conviction I feel is real.

As I was sitting in class and was reading about different cultures. The chapter discussed about having self awareness when working with people and their culture. As a counselor I have to flow and know my audience and become familiar with their culture. By being open and understanding certain decisions and why they choose certain beliefs, lifestyles within their culture.

The more I read the more I was I raising my nose up as if I was better. I actually said, “Those people need to straighten up and that just won’t work for me”.

I had to quickly tell myself “Get over yourself”. In order for me to be an effective counselor, leader and friend, I have to be able to accept others no matter what”. By putting aside my own opinions, beliefs and not being bias. Or act as if I’m better than whoever.

A perfect example that comes to mind is with my Hispanic culture. Hispanics are known to be late. I’m not saying all hispanics so please hear me I’m saying in the Puerto Rican culture or community. Perpetual lateness has always been acceptable and this is one of pet peeve.

At that moment is when I realized, “What are you talking about sister? “You use to be late all the time and many times have been in a crisis situation that you couldn’t control not being late. I have also made poor choices throughout life that weren’t the best. I quickly said, “Sandy, get over yourself”. Just like that I had to shut down every time she tries to speak foolishness!

I was totally convicted by a book that I am reading called “What if we start over”, by Ricardo & Susana Rodriguez.

Here is what it said,”Keep in mind that by the way you respond to someone’s else sin you can either spark the process of restoration in their lives or create further pain and worsen the wound. Our words and attitudes are decisive. The worst mistake is to judge

My prayer today would be that we are quick to not judge or condemn. That when we do that we are quick to repent and ask the Lord to forgive us.

Jesus laid on the cross and indicated, “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing”. This is the same response we should have with others that we may not approve their lifestyle or decisions.

Let’s mimic Christ in this and ask the Lord to lead us to those who need that unconditional love and compassion as Christ has with us..

Carriers of Hope,

Sandy Cortes

Breathing one Life at a Time!

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Beware of the Signs…

beach-blue-sky-cliff-555709Don’t you just love it when something is being exposed in your life that you never saw the signs?  There were never any inclination that it was coming your way so that you can prepare for it.   Like an “Stay Back” or “Road Work Ahead , so that you can chose to go different route.  If only things in life where that easy right?

My husband and I host a small group in our home for relationships every week.  We have covered this curriculum for many years.  Then the organization implemented a new topic that I had never heard or prepared for prior to that evening.  The topic was,  “Destructive Husbands and Wives.”  It went through things that can occur in a marriage that can be very toxic to a relationship.

It went over 3 types of past hurts: Emotional, Relationships and Parental Hurts that you feel you brought into the relationship.  It went on to cover different behaviors that occur like Criticism, Control, Dominance and Checking Out.  There I was being a sponge and writing away, so I can be ready for recap.  I love our small group because they are so good about engaging and being so personable.

I feel my husband and I have a way of creating a safe environment for open discussion.  So I probe the question “Which past hurt do you feel you have brought into the relationship that has affected it?”  Everyone went around the room and shared and that’s when the impact came without even seeing the signs ahead. It was as if I was seeing a movie being played right in front of me.

The scenario was that I was sitting at a dining room table and my siblings and I were there and I heard the words of my stepdad, “Don’t talk to me I am not your father”.  My father could go months without speaking to me.  SIx months had gone by and not one word was spoken to me.  Then I saw my husband and children when they would be upset and not speak to me.

This is where the behavior of “Checking Out” came full circle.  When someone is checked out they are not present. There physical body is there but they are not engaged.  That is when I heard God say to me,  “Sandy, when life gets overwheming or you begin processing things, this is what you do”.  “You become disengaged and close your heart towards your loved ones and me”. “This stems from what your dad did to you growing up”.

The hazard lights of my heart were flashing and my heart rate began to rise.  This is called, “Emotional Abandonment”  This is when someone shuts their emotions and feelings off because of what they are experiencing.  They abandon the situation that is going on.  This is when I saw how my dad emotionally abandoned me many times in my life.

This is pretty raw and I knew had to share it with our group.  God has called me to be real about my life experiences.  This is why I am sharing this with you as well.  I have been completely undone by this topic. I knew God orchestrated this setup for me.  Maybe throughout my life I avoided the signs, or maybe I saw them but chose a different route so I did not have to face the pain of that abandonment.  But God knew it was the time.

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a time for everything and a season, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and time to build, a time to tear and time to mend.  But through it all God is there every step of the way for us.  God shows up and redirects the route and does not allow you to avoid the signs any longer.

Life Application

  • Have you seen the signs?
  • Have you avoided them all together?
  • What past hurts are you experiencing?
  • What seems to be the ongoing behavior?

IF you feel this ministered to you or know of someone who could use some encouragement, help me spread the word.  Help me be a “Carrier of Hope” for those God is trying to reach.  To Breath Hope One Life at a Time!

God Bless You!

Carrier’s of Hope