Being taught that God is our father has left many of us with a false and convoluted perception of who He is due to the way our parents handled conflict and discipline. Some of us grew up with parents who ignored our disobedience and neglected us by pretending nothing was wrong—parents who handled issues and mistakes with passivity, which taught us to undermine authority and abuse boundaries. Others of us had parents who dealt so harshly with us for our failings that we doubted their love for us, which taught us to hide our shortcomings and instilled fear and low self-esteem. Though it’s natural to project our experience with our parents onto our perception of God, it isn’t fitting. It’s inaccurate to attribute these poor parenting styles onto God. If we do this, we risk developing habits of avoidance and emotional withdrawal, or complete defiance. If we cast the broken dynamics of our human relationships onto who He is, we will live in fear instead of freedom, believing we are either “too much to handle” or “too broken” for Him to ever actually love us.

But He is not like our parents. He is neither neglectful, nor abusive. His discipline only seeks to reconcile. This reconciliation transforms us because He confronts us as we are, and embraces us in grace and truth. The healing we find in being reconciled to our Heavenly Father enables us to partake in this ministry of reconciliation because it frees us to forgive in the same way we’ve been forgiven. This equips us to knock down the barriers we’ve built between the broken men and women who poorly parented us—broken sons and daughters. This is the practical, powerful work of Christ’s restorative truth—replacing division with unity, bitterness with understanding, chaos with peace, darkness with light.

LB, The Guts & Glory of Grace  (via yesdarlingido)
I don’t like being forced to talk. I mean everything I say and if i’m constantly talking that kind of ruins the point of communication. I write down all the words that i want to say but I only know they won’t even matter to anyone else. I mean what i say.
Jordan Ibarra (Short stories about love and hate and everything in between)

1. Sometimes it’s going to hurt. You’re going to sit on the floor screaming at the ceiling and pulling your hair and trying to tear your skin off your bones. You’re going to fall asleep with tears burning holes in your cheeks and praying that you won’t wake up. But you will. You will always wake up. Be glad. It’s going to stop hurting.

2. Do things you love. Kiss the boy from down the street because he told your best friend that he thinks you have pretty eyes. Sleep on the floor because your bed doesn’t fit right. Cry because you miss him. Smile because you’re gonna be okay but he’s always gonna be a mess. Laugh until your stomach hurts and you can’t breathe. Fall apart and put yourself back together again.

3. When the boy you love gets drunk and kisses another girl and his words hit you right in the heart and knock the wind out of your chest, try to remember that the world isn’t caving in on you even though it feels like it is.

4. Nothing really matters as much as you think it does.

5. The sky is blue because it’s sad, but the clouds are white because there are still little wisps of hope flying around in the air and sometimes they fill the whole damn sky and that’s how you know it’s all going to be alright.

6. When you were born, I put a barbed wire fence around your heart for protection. Any boy who gets in there is gonna have scraped up knees and blood pouring from his hands. If he sticks around, help him clean up the cuts.

7. When you’re convinced that there’s nothing left inside you, remember that you’ve got the entire galaxy under your tongue and the world in your bones. There are flowers growing from your cheeks, sometimes you just need to water them a little, crying helps.

8. When someone says they love you, believe it, chances are they mean it.

9. Don’t waste your time crying over people who hurt you. You’re giving in. You’re letting them win. And baby if they don’t have you then they’ve already lost, so don’t let them have the satisfaction of breaking you.

10. Try not to grow up too fast.

10 things my mother taught me when I turned 13 (via extrasad)