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COLUMNS

Smile, God Loves You: Frontlines and foxholes

Tiffany Chartier
Special to Texoma Marketing and Media Group

In my lifetime, I have had close relationships covered in armor. We had one another's back. We reinforced the seams of our weakened hearts, mended the wounds of expectation, and stood side-by-side on the battlefield of the mind, body and spirit. Even if these friendships were only for a time that has since been spent, it was time well-lived, well-loved, and well for my soul.

I have gained wisdom from mistakes – most of which are my own. And in this gaining, I lost the need to defend myself to those who choose to judge. I gave my security to God long ago, living my life rather than defending it with what limited energy and time I have been given.

Others may disparage me for a list of my shortcomings, but their list will never be as long or as accurate as the list of my transgressions covered in the blood of Jesus, nailed to the cross.

My sin put Jesus on the cross; His love for me kept Him there.

In my surrender to Christ, I became a ransomed and redeemed sinner. Far from perfect, I strive to be authentically me – a warrior and light for Christ who has dents in her armor and has never won a battle by her own strength.

"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?" – Psalm 27:1

I have been forgiven more than I deserve, and in this admission, I hope it can also be said of me that I am generous with grace and carry no grudge. And for those who have ever felt otherwise because of my actions or lack thereof, I am sorry. I have no standing except by the hands of God and those He has placed by my side on the frontlines and foxholes.

"The greatest distance between two people is a misunderstanding." – Anonymous

Being on the battlefield of life is hard enough but having a misunderstanding with someone with whom you are on the frontlines and in the foxholes with truly drains your energy and blurs time. All involved become susceptible to the flaming arrows of destruction, division, and doubt. The shield of faith cannot protect us when we choose to lay it down in exchange for building walls.

We are often practiced in self-protection and unskilled in openness, forgetting we are most vulnerable when our armor is down and our pride is up. There is little room for God to defend us when we choose to struggle against each other rather than the true enemy. And the true enemy, the Tempter, wants walls to be built so he can isolate us in our wounded state. He wants nothing more than to distance love from Love Himself, light from the light of the world, and hope from faith. In isolation, we become prone to surrendering to self. We focus on the sting of the slap of being wronged, turning a blind eye to the true enemy’s punch that takes us to our knees on the battlefield of life.

In our weakened state, we are positioned in a posture of surrender. But to whom will we surrender? On our knees, the shield of faith we laid down is once again in view – in reach. Will we put on the armor of God and rise or fall into Tempter's paltry plans? Surrendering to Christ, we become authentic believers, ransomed and redeemed. Far from perfect, but strengthened in the nearness of God’s perfect love for us. Because of His love and grace, we stand firm against the true enemy and remain strong in faith.

May we put on the full armor of God, face what the day may bring, and act in the knowledge and truth that God is the Victor. Side-by-side as Believers, we reinforce the seams of our weakened hearts, mend the wounds of expectation, and stand firm in faith on the battlefield of the mind, body, and spirit. May our time together, brother and sisters in Christ, be well-lived, well-loved and well for our souls.

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.