Overcoming Trust Issues

Trusting God: The Path to Trusting Your Mate

In this post, the seventh installment in my summer series on relationships, I share the key to overcoming your trust issues in relationships. This article, like the previous posts in this series, is a reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Word cloud of emotions related to trust

Yes, I Can Trust

“Thank you for trusting me…” I smiled when I first read that in an email from Reggie last month. “Of course, I trust him,” I thought to myself. However, it was not always that way. If you know my husband, you might be wondering how I could not trust him.

Freeing Yourself from Past Pain

Tips for Emotional Healing

Since Monday is Independence Day in the United States, today’s post shares how I freed myself from the pain of past relationships. This article is my sixth installment in my summer series on relationships. Like the previous posts in this series, this is reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!

Pain reflected by a dark rain cloud full of negative emotions

Releasing the Pain

“We need to talk,” is a phrase many people dread hearing. I was one of those people. Why? Because such phrases had become a warning signal that I was about to be berated or torn down verbally.

Before meeting Reggie, I fell prey to a man whose chosen weapon was criticism. I not only dreaded the ensuing assault, but I withdrew and became defensive. I would withdraw by shutting down mentally and emotionally. An invisible wall went up between us. If possible, I would remove myself physically or end our phone conversations to limit the criticism. If I could not withdraw, I would become argumentative and defend myself from his criticism.

From Reginald Sanders

Some Brotherly Advice on Relationships

Last week, I began a summer series on relationships. Part One shares how spending time alone with God prior to beginning a relationship prepared me for my relationship and subsequent marriage with Reggie. However, it didn’t provide any specific details on what that looks like. That is provided this week from another reprint from our A Stitch in Time newsletter. In today’s post my husband, Reginald Sanders, provided some of those details in some brotherly advice he gave my cousin.

A Picture of Reginald Sanders

Also, I share it with you this week because this Thursday, June 9th is the fifth anniversary of Reggie’s death. It is my way of remembering him and sharing him. Reginald Sanders is gone, but not forgotten.

From Reginald Sanders

As I said earlier, I’ve been praying concerning you, and GOD and I had a discussion about what you shared. I want you to be encouraged about this note/letter, or whatever you want to term it. After praying to HIM, here’s what I want you to know. Know that this is a very critical and pivotal time for you in your life. You are at a very critical point with God as well.

Love: Want An(other) Extraordinary One?

There is Hope

After a long, cold winter and now an equally long, rainy spring, I am ready for some warm weather and this weekend has not disappointed. It is hot! Summertime hot! Warm weather often turns people’s hearts towards love, especially those currently without a romantic relationship in their lives. Having a great relationship often tops many people’s lists for creating a life they love.

A Picture of Black Couple Embracing

However, past experiences have many of those same people questioning the likelihood of experiencing a great love. So, today, I am starting a new series on relationships beginning with a post on hope of a great love, even another great love. This series consists of reposts from our newsletter A Stitch in Time. I hope you enjoy it whether reading for the first time or second!

For Those Looking for Love:

“What you said gave me hope,” Tara said. She was in the audience the night before when Reggie and I had shared about handling baggage before and during a relationship. Her comment took me back. 

Stumbling Due Your Personal Vision?

Here are Two Strategies for Creating One

Happy New Year! Last week, my friend Joe shared about using what God gives us to create God-honoring designs. Does the prospect of creating God-honoring designs feel overwhelming? Are you stumbling around trying to create one? Maybe you need to have your vision checked. Your personal vision, that is.

Stumbling Due to Lack of Personal Vision?

Why? Well, Isaiah 29:18a (CEB) says, “When there’s no vision, the people get out of control.” The Message Bible translates “the people get out of control” to mean “they stumble all over themselves.” Basically, when you can’t see where you are going, you will go anywhere and do anything.

Sheets, a Magnet, Ministry and New Year’s ?

A creative design connects them together

This guest post is by my friend Joe Shea. Joe creatively designs an apologetic for today and enjoys sharing his faith on college campuses. He is available to lead workshops on evangelism and often speaks at retreats. Check out his website for more information.

What do sheets, a magnet, ministry and New Year’s have to do with each other? Well if you’re not following my logic… read on… there is a design connecting them together…

Sheets, A Magnet, Ministry and New Year's

Sheets

We were living on St. Anthony Street at the time, so I could’t have been more than five years old. I was laying on my parents’ bed and my Dad came in with a basket of newly washed sheets that had been drying on the clothesline in the fresh air outside. He raised the basket up over my head and slowly emptied it out on top of me. I was buried in a sea of clothes and could smell the incredible fresh air locked inside of them. Like a sponge that soaks up and holds water, somehow clothes dried on the line capture the essence of a warm breezy day.

He then laughingly helped me resurface and he picked up one of the white fitted sheets – the ones with the elastic sewn in. He made something that looked like a sail by stretching the corner portion out with both hands and he said, “Now this would make a great parachute.” 

Will Your Circumstances Define You?

How Reggie’s Example Helped Me Answer That Question

This past January, I studied Naomi from the book of Ruth. When the story begins, Naomi is a wife and mother of two sons (Ruth 1:1-2). Two verses later, her husband and sons are dead. In the span of a few verses, Naomi goes from wife and mother to widow and what? There isn’t even a name for parents whose children have died—at least not in the English language. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “There are no words.” There literally isn’t a word.

Graphic of a woman with words describing her circumstances across her face

So, it is not surprising that by the end of the chapter Naomi experiences an identity crisis (v. 19-21). Naomi’s experience raises the question: “What are you going to call or say about yourself when tragedy strikes changing your life and shattering your plans forever?” 

Want An(other) Extraordinary Life?

There is STILL Hope

The topic of the very first A Stitch in Time newsletter I wrote was hope, hope of a great love. Reggie and I were 43-year-old newlyweds. I mention that we were 43 because we didn’t come by our love early in life. We stumbled first, each in our own way, before finding each other. I wrote about hope because I wanted to encourage other people who had stumbled, not just once, but multiple times like me, to not give up. There was hope. Reggie and I were living breathing proof.

Good Things Are Going to Happen

My dream of a great marriage came true. In fact, God gave me exceedingly abundantly above what I asked or thought. I had an extraordinary love. Buoyed by the hope of that love, we began to build an extraordinary life. Nine months into our marriage, we founded our ministry, A Cord of Blue. A year into our marriage, we began trying to conceive. We wanted to add an addition to our happy family. 

What a Difference A Change in Perspective Makes

Finding Hope and Healing Through Letter Writing

This is a guest post by a mentee of mine, M.C.P., who is a breast cancer survivor. She lives outside of Washington, DC.

In August 2012, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Many feelings overwhelmed me as I went through this major “disruption” to my life.

Handwritten letter in an envelope with a red lipstick kiss

I thought to myself, “I’ve been seeking and serving you Lord, not perfectly, but with a heart intended to please you…did I do something wrong? Am I being punished? It feels like a punishment. I’m not married, nor do I have any children yet. You know these are some of the things I desire most. Now, my body is disfigured. Will any man want me? Will I be able to have children? What about the future? Do you love me?”

After several months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiation, I decided to see a Christian counselor to help me deal with the emotional issues that developed as I went through this experience.

The Key to Knowing What to Do

Shifting from Doing to Being

“I lost myself,” stated a former student of mine. That is easy to do following a life-altering event. We focus so much on the doing that the being gets lost. At least, that is what happened to me.

Sign Post with signs in multiple directions when you don't know what to do

The night Reggie died, not wanting me to be alone, my sister asked me to spend the night at her home. I appreciated the gesture, but declined. I needed a minute to myself. I had not been by myself since arriving at the hospital early that afternoon. The outpouring of love from family and friends was comforting, but also a little overwhelming.

I told my sister, “I need to have a conversation with God in the morning” and this wouldn’t be a brief, “pretty” prayer, like the one I had at the hospital with the chaplains, where I was calm and composed. No, I expected this to be one of those “ugly” prayers, where I cried my heart out to God. It also wasn’t going to be quick. I needed some answers and didn’t plan to do anything else until I got them. So, my plan was to get some rest. Then, talk to God.