Priorities

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Psalm 116:15 | Is It Death?

Today, bound by time, we celebrate my Dad’s Heavenly promotion to Glory. On Saturday, July 30, 2016 Dad saw his Savior face to face for the first time. We can only imagine, he saw!

We experience 2 years –sometimes seeming forever, sometimes seeming like yesterday, yet for Dad it’s been Glory. Glory just to walk with Him. Glory just to bow before His Maker, Glory just to give praise, Glory just to honor Him, Glory just to serve Him, Glory just to adore Him, Glory just to live with Him. Glory!

We can only imagine, He is living it!

Time is nothing in heaven, it has no hold, no influence, no bond, nothing. It’s a different story here on Earth, doesn’t it?! Time has a real affect.

For me, through deaths we have experienced, time and Glory have grown sweeter.

  • Sweeter in its power of understanding. We have such a short time here on Earth and I must be serious about what God’s will is for me and therefore, accomplish it — period!
  • Sweeter in its purpose. There is no greater purpose in my life than to please, obey, love, serve my Lord, none! My life is for His service, not my own!
  • Sweeter in its plan. This goes along with purpose but focused on God. It’s God’s plan, not mine! See, God is not stupid. To think we have fooled God or gotten one over on God is just plan foolishness. To think, as the creation we are better than the Creator, we are wrong. We deceive ourselves. God is Truth, not our opinion.
  • Sweeter in its place. Heaven is my home, not here. Heaven is where my Savior is and that is where I long to go –when my time on Earth is completed. Heaven is also sweeter because those I love who are with my Savior, are with their Savior.

This is my Dad.

  • Avid woodworker, fisherman, traveler, genealogist, hockey goalie, and Philadelphia Flyers fan. Faithful follower and humble servant of Christ. After his salvation, he grew in his faith and love for the Lord. Attended seminary classes and faithfully served in two churches.
  • One moment Dad was serving the Lord the next he was face to face with his Lord.
  • Love & Miss you Dad! Thankful in Christ we are SAVED, HOPEFUL, EMPOWERED!

Claude Ronaldo Proulx, 64, of Mount Aetna (USA) died on Saturday, July 30, 2016 serving the Lord. Born on June 28, 1952 in Brownsburg, Quebec, Canada.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

What If?

What if?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

God’s Got You!

Whatever season of life you find yourself in, God is with you! Keep the FAITH, trust Him. God’s got your back! He loves you!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues [pt. 2]

Today we will look at “part 2” of Norman Wright’s book, Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues. In “part 1” we looked at Relationship Depression, #1 An Out-of-Balance Relationship and #2 The Rescuing Relationship (link given) https://inchristiamshe.com/2018/07/25/5620/ and today we are going to look at:

3. THE “REFORMING” RELATIONSHIP

Another relationship that fuels relationship depression is one in which the other person is not what you want him or her to be, or what you had hoped for, yet you find yourself thinking, But he had such great potential! You set yourself up for disappointment. And you find yourself holding onto false hope for change.

Remember, you can’t reshape and reconstruct another person to this degree.

I’ve seen people in marriages like this. They end up frustrated, critical, and feeling betrayed and hopelessly trapped. They would beg, plead, shout, and threaten their spouse, but to no avail. Discouragement? It’s a constant companion.

Why do people continue in such relationships?

  • Some people feel called to be reformers.
  • They like to reshape others, or at least try to.
  • In doing so they ease the pain of looking at some of the issues in their own lives.
  • I’ve seen both men and women do this to avoid their own problems.

4. CONTROLLING RELATIONSHIPS

Some controllers and perfectionists are always trying to “help others fulfill their potential.” This makes for a relationship that has low potential—when one person is full of anger and controlling tendencies or is a practicing perfectionist. In a marriage the unpleasantness quotient is quiet high.

Perhaps the person you are in a relationship with isn’t a perfectionist but just a controller. You will probably feel the same pressure with this type of person as you would with a perfectionist.

Both men and women use control to protect themselves from imagined concerns.

  • Their use of concern is part of their survival system.
  • They believe that “the best defense is an offense”—the offensive strategy of staying in control.
  • They live in fear of the results and consequences of not being in control.
  • They’re afraid of rejection, abandonment, hurt, disappointment, and of losing control itself.
  • They may also be addicted to the respect, power, or emotional rush they get from controlling others. (they feed off of control)

Controlling tendencies are an integral part of their personality.

Some have even said, “I know I control. But why not?…” That’s sad. It can destroy people as well as relationships.

You may be thinking, I know a number of relationships and marriages where one of them is a perfectionist or a controller. They’re still together. It’s working for them! But is it? “Staying together” is not the same as having a relationship in which both individuals have the freedom to grow, to be all that God wants them to be, and to be comfortable with each other. If perfectionists or controllers can learn to give up these false bases for security, then growth can occur. But the work needs to begin before marriage.

Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues by H. Norman Wright | Excerpts taken from Chapter 8—page 99 to 109. Beware of Relationships that Lead to Discouragement & the Blue


I Corinthians 5:11 says this,

  • (NASB) “But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”
  • (AMP) “But actually, I have written to you not to associate with any so-called [Christian] brother if he is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater [devoted to anything that takes the place of God], or is a reviler [who insults or slanders or otherwise verbally abuses others], or is a drunkard or a swindler—you must not so much as eat with such a person.”
  • (CEB) “But now I’m writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls themselves “brother” or “sister” who is sexually immoral, greedy, someone who worships false gods, an abusive person, a drunk, or a swindler. Don’t even eat with anyone like this.”

 

From Me to You…

  • If you are the one creating a toxic relationship, you can stop, but not in your own strength. Habits died hard, but with God all things are possible, when through Christ that habit is fought, broken, then replaced.
  • Seek out your pastor, or a godly (same sex) individual in whom you can trust that is grounded in the Word themselves and speak with them about your concerns/your sin. Ask them if they would be willing to help you. But most of all be honest about your own sin before God. Confess your sin before Him and ask—no plead with Him to remove and fill you with Himself so that you may love and treat others the way God would require and desire of you.
  • If you are in a toxic relationship, be in prayer about what the LORD would have of you to do. We must understand something here that ALL verbal, emotional, mental, physical abuse are just that, ABUSE! They are toxic!

If you don’t know where to start, seek out your pastor or a godly (same sex) individual in whom you can trust that is grounded in the Word themselves and speak with them about your concerns that you are seeing and ask them if they would be willing to help you. Most of all, be honest (forthright) about your situation, about yourself, and the person with whom you have a toxic relationship with—don’t exaggerate, don’t sugar coat it, be honest with God, your counselor and yourself.

Toxic relationships are everywhere! In the world and among Christians; within “Christian homes” and within those who do not know Christ. It is wrong. It is SIN! It is against God, against His Word, and against everything God desires/requires for us in becoming like Christ.

We need to start calling toxic relationships what they are, SIN! We need to see it as God sees it and stop justifying our sinful behaviour.

What do you do when you think you are in a toxic relationship?

  1. Be in prayer. I mean serious prayer. I mean, get on your knees, fast and pray and seek the Lord, plead with Him first and foremost for guidance and direction, “God show me what I must do!” The Bible says, when you seek Me (God) you will find me, but we must seek Him–that is doing our part, God will do His part.
  2. As you pray, seek the Lord if there be any sin in you. If He shows you, confess and forsake it. If you need to ask another to forgive you, do so. God is in the business of forgiveness. He loves you! But I must also put a warning here: Be very careful here! Own your own sin. We know we all it, but be very careful, especially in toxic relationships to not be carrying or taking on “false guilt”—in other words, do not own someone else’s sins for them. If you have been sinned against, your abuser needs to come to you and ask for your forgiveness (Matt. 18), not the other way around.
  3. If you are in a toxic—physically abuse relationship, seek safety! I know this can be easier said than done many times, but please, no one has the right to treat you, harm you, handle your temple (your body) with disgrace, degrading humiliation, or use you for self-gratification. If you are being physically harmed, call 9-11. You are God’s. You are a treasure. You are not an object to be used. You are God’s masterpiece created in His image — and that goes for whatever “abuse” you may be facing today!!

Toxic relationships influence us in deep, physcial, spiritual, harmful ways. If not dealt with, we ourselves could repeat the cycle. We always come back to what we know IF we do not replace it with the TRUTHS of God’s Word…always!

This is where finding someone who is grounded in the Word of God will be able to help you through those affects. Believe me, I know. The process is hard, joyful, tear-filled, yet if you are willing it so worth every step in the healing process, from the inside–out. I can tell you (from experience) that when that time comes, forgiveness is given to your abuser, (if possible confronting your abuser), the chains, the weight of bondage that you have been carrying will be lifted off. I remember very well my day — when my bondage came lifting off my shoulders. It was like millions of pounds being lifted off and I was free! Finally free, never to return again! The baggage was his to carry, not mine! He was the offender, not me! I never heard a “please forgive me” but I forgave, never looking or clinging back, and by God’s healing power I am free!

Freedom only comes through Christ!

You can have it! The first step is the hardest.

Side note on taking advice from others:

  • Many folks, even well intended folks, have their opinions, but if I may encourage you in something here—seek the kingdom of God above all else! Opinions, when not grounded in the Word of God, lead to confusion and who is the author of confusion, the devil! Stay away!!!!

Keep your eyes, your mind, your heart, your soul in the Word of God—as many times a day as you need! The Lord will show you if you ask Him! Toxic relationships are no laughing matter—they are a serious issue, and must be taken seriously! Dealt with seriously.

  • Be wise in your outside advisors. Find someone whose soul, mind, eyes, heart is anchored to the Word and God and only sees Christ, not their opinion—and you have found a gem! Opinions will only confuse you. God way is best!
  • Find a church where they preach the Word of God. Where you can get grounded and be helped to get grounded in the Word of God. Join a Bible Study that is a Bible Study — one that studies the Bible and is not a gossip center. When you join a Bible Study you should be learning about the Bible, growing in your understanding of the Bible and when you are done…you should know more of the Bible then when you started; building upon each laying of God’s Word in your life, not opinions.

Remember, You cannot free yourself. You cannot free your toxic relationship. Freedom comes only through Christ.

One last glorious truth: Once you have been freed in Christ you are now in a place, a useable God-place, to be used of God to do whatever He so would require—and many times He slowly gives you others so that you may share your awesome life-God-lessons of freedom with others. It’s called, YOUR STORY! He loves your story and it is precious and special because you have said “yes, Lord!” There are so many out there who need to hear God & you!

Blessings my friends. GOD LOVES YOU!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Psalm 141:3

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues [pt 1]

Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues

by H. Norman Wright

Relationships are all around us. We think about them, talk about them, and experience them. We were created to be in relationships, and most of our lives are spent in various relationships. Take them away, and our existence becomes sterile. They have the potential for happiness and fulfillment but also for discouragement and depression.

We need to consider healthy and unhealthy relationships.

  • Where do people experience the most painful rejections?
  • Where is it really easy to become discouraged?
  • What kind of relationships foster depression?

There’s one factor to be considered when examining a relationship, no matter at what level the relationship exists. A relationship is going to be either a depleting or a replenishing one.

A depleting relationship is one in which you are with someone who drains you emotionally and spiritually. It taps into your energy reserves in some way. Being around this type of person is just plain work. At first the relationship may seem workable, but soon it becomes an exercise in depletion and coping. And the result can be discouragement or depression.

Relationship depression is the phrase used to describe the results of a depleting relationship. It’s used to describe the sad or angry feelings caused by relational conflicts and disappointments; it also refers to the absence of a meaningful relationship. Sometimes relationship depression occurs because of our own low self-esteem, poor choices, or lack or interpersonal skills or because of carefully hidden deficits in those we’ve chosen.

VARIETIES OF UNHEALTHY REALTIONSHIPS

1. AN OUT-OF-BALANCE-RELATIONSHIP
This is one where you care more for the other person than that person cares about you. Or vice versa. Either way, the relationship is out of balance. It’s tilting. One pursues while the other wants to pull back. A constant diet of this is unhealthy.

You may think that this contrast in how you respond to each other simply indicates differences in your personalities. Perhaps, but it may also be lack of interest or caring.

It’s difficult to admit that you may care more for the other person than he or she does for you. When you think about it, you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. And then you may rationalize yourself out of accepting the facts, or you may move into a state of denial.

What are some indications that a relationship is a mismatch—that you have a higher level of interest in the relationship than the one you care about?

  • You initiate most of the contact in the relationship.
  • If this in a romantic attachment, you initiate most if the affectionate advances, such as holding hands, hugging, kissing.
  • You’re the plan maker; the other just seems to go along.
  • You sacrifice to do things for the other or make life more agreeable, but you don’t see this reciprocated.
  • You’re excited about the relationship, while the other person just seems to be along for the ride.
  • You talk about your relationship and possible future plans, but this strikes an unresponsive chord with your partner.

If this is the pattern, the initiator’s positive attitude will erode in time, the other’s nonresponsiveness being experienced as a form of rejection.

Could this be just differences in personalities? Possibly. But if so, you can expect the person to be this way for the long term. Is this disparity what you want? Whether it’s a personality difference or the other person really doesn’t care as much as you do, either way, you’ll eventually get weary of being the initiator.

2. THE RESCUING RELATIONSHIP
Some people never tire of being rescuers. They live for it. Yet there’s a problem with that. A relationship is not going to work if either one of you habitually rescues the other.

In a healthy relationship, you want to be there for the other person, and the other person want to be there for you. But a relationship isn’t healthy if you’re the one who is always there for your partner, and he’s like a ghost when you need him.

If you rescue others, what do you expect from them? Thanks, appreciation, perhaps even reciprocation? But in a close relationship, you’ll often find this response nonexistent—especially if your partner is a taker. Why? When you rescue others, you’re exerting some type of control over them. In time they may end us resenting you for it. The unspoken, subtle message conveyed to them is “I’m better than you are, and you’re not capable of handling things yourself.” They could get discouraged and so will you.

Rescuers repeat this pattern with different partners. They seem to be attracted to people who need them. (Rescuers and the one being rescued vibe off one other–it can end up becoming a love hate relationship.)

Next time we will talk about the THE “REFORMING” RELATIONSHIP, CONTROLLING RELATIONSHIPS, then THE TROPHY RELATIONSHIP and THE ANGRY RELATIONSHIP.

Excerpts taken from Chapter 8—Beware of Relationships that Lead to Discouragement & the Blues (pages 99 to 109)


Again, the above information, has been taken from H. Norman Wright’s book called, Real Solutions for Overcoming Discouragement, Rejection and the Blues. This book has been both helpful and encouraging to me, and I wanted to share these thoughts with you from his book. Hope they have been the same for you! Keep the Fatih!


In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the Mouth Speaketh

It never fails…out of the mouth spews what the mind and heart have embedded. If it is filled with bitterness, it spews the rottenness of the flesh. If it is filled with Christ and His Word, it spews Him.

One quote I read years ago said this, “Bitterness is self cannabis.” It eats you from the inside out, and that tongue attached to that mind and heart speaks what it has been fed. But there is another factor that accures, a seared conscience.

  • Matthew 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, bring evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
  • Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasures of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

SIN

Personal Thoughts:

  • What is my tolerance level to my own sin?
  • Do I see myself as a sinner? (a sinner, saved by grace)
  • Does my sin break my heart? Or do I live a ‘could careless’ attitude towards my sin?
  • Do I accept my own sin or do I slap a band-aid on it and call my disobedience my “christian liberty”?

Others Thoughts:

  • How about the sin of others? (…isn’t that judging?)
  • Does seeing sin in others grieve your soul? Does it cause me to fall on my knees in prayer for them?
  • We are in no way to play judge and jury or lord over in condemnation to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ; we are not to be sitting back on our own laurels critiquing every soul we come in contact with. This is not Christ like love.

But I have a question for you, if you saw your neighbor or friend in a burning house, wouldn’t you take whatever measures you could to warn them or help them?

Why certainly you would. You’d be screaming on the top of your lungs to get their attention or wake them up, or do whatever you could to get them out of that danger. You would call 9-11, and get professionals to come in and rescue your neighbor or friend. Anyone of us would.

So, why don’t we care for the spiritual life with the same vigor, response, or urgency for their souls as we do for their physical life?

  • We have bought into Satan’s lies and many of us are okay with it. We take the lie of “no-touchy, touchy spiritual, no-speaky, speaky spiritual” approach to loving our brothers and sisters in Christ when they have fallen in sin or are standing at the cliff of sin taking the steps away from God. This is not love.
  • Are we not to be edifying one another as believers –iron sharpening iron?
  • Are we not to be encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ to be walking in Christ and not self? Or are we to busy trying to not “rock the boat” in our personal or family relationships? We want to live in peace (which we are commanded to live peaceably with all men), but that doesn’t mean we are to not confront, challenge, exhort one another with Christ’s words in love because we love them.
  • The christian life is not a “let’s cohabitating together” for this core at heart is selfishness, not Christ.
  • One who has a vital relationship with Christ does not live in the land of complacency or apathy.

Either way, it really doesn’t matter what I think; it really doesn’t matter what you think, because God sees sin as just that, SIN. That is what matters…period!

  • We do well to take heed to Christ’s example and follow Him!
  • Isn’t Christ’s love just as much as it is righteous or just? He cannot stop being Himself. He cannot violate Himself, His attributes, His character. God hates sin. Nothing can or will change that, but our response should!

Think about the mercies He has lavished upon you; mercies that weren’t deserved, but given anyway because He loved you. Loved you enough to show you that love through His death on a Cross, to redeem mankind (to redeem you and I) because we had a problem, sin. He wanted that relationship restored. He is serious about our sin problem, are we?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Discipleship 101

Wow! if that doesn’t pierce the soul! This is something to personally think about: Am I being, am I living, am I becoming a disciple of Christ myself, so that I may (through Him) disciple others?

Discipleship only happens when one is being a disciple first.

Time to take some personal evaluation!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Waiting on God

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Spiritual Prespective Over Temporal

  • John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
  • Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the Lord your God is the God of God’s and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
  • Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

How is God’s rightful place doing in your life?

Is your temporal prespective trying to challenge or compete with the eternal God? The temporal never wins for God doesn’t compete with the temporal. He is God! There is no challenge…we only think there is.

It is imperative that we develop His eternal prespective — living, becoming, breathing, exhaling God’s ways (as His children). Anything else falls short.

We aren’t on our own life program here on Earth.

As a children of God, you are on HIS!

It’s always good for us to check our spiritual glasses from time to time –to make sure they are clear of filth and recleaned to see only Christ!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the Perfect Church?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Faith

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

[joi] • noun

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Second Chance 101

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Hope When It Hurts {pt 3}

“The Lonely Path to the Summit”

In 2 Corinthians 4:10-12, Paul summarizes all that he is facing in two phrases—he is “carrying in the body the death of Jesus,” but not without purpose, for it is “so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” Following a suffering and rejected Savior in a fallen world will involve suffering—both because the world is fallen and because the world rejects its King. But when we suffer and choose to trust Christ through the trials we face, we are filled with His power and presence, reflecting His image to those around us.

The road of hurt is marked by hope. But we shouldn’t underestimate that this road can, at times, be lonely. It was for Jesus, and it will be for those who follow in His steps.

I have discovered within me a thankfulness for the lonely road I have been given to travel. Walking it has brought me a greater understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and to know him not only as my Savior, but my comfort, sustainer, hope, and strength. There’s something about having our worldly comforts stripped away, and company around us falling away, that allows us to begin to experience the true depth, length, and height of his love for us.

  • Jesus knows the pain of loneliness.
  • He knows the loneliness of being misunderstood,
  • the loneliness of being rejected by his own family,
  • the loneliness of praying in agony while his closest friends drifted off to sleep nearby,
  • and the loneliness of being abandoned by his Father.
  • And he did it all for you.

One day, the road will end, and it will end in the eternal city of God’s people. The loneliness of this world will be washed away in the presence of Christ.

The path is uphill, but the summit is glorious.

EXCERPT TAKEN FROM HOPE WHEN IT HURTS: BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS TO HELP YOU GRASP GOD’S PURPOSE IN YOUR SUFFERING BY KRISTEN WETHERELL & SARAH WALTON

How are you doing today, friend? What kind of ‘road’ are you traveling on right now? You need not travel alone for Jesus knows the load you carry. Have you taken it to Him? Don’t walk your journey alone. Even if everyone else around may fail us, HE WILL NEVER FAIL!

Keep the faith! The road of hurt is marked by hope…God’s hope!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Our Contribution

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

I Wanna Be Different

I don’t wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don’t wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart
I don’t need to recognize, the man in the mirror
And I don’t wanna trade Your plan, for something familiar
I can’t waste a day, I can’t stay the same

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

And I dont wanna spend my life, stuck in a pattern
And I don’t wanna gain this world but lose what matters
And so I’m giving up, everything because

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different; oh-oh

I know, that I am far, from perfect
But through You, the cross still says, I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different, ye-ey

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Oh is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me

Songwriters: Micah Tyler Begnaud / Kyle Lee

Different lyrics © Music Services, Inc


YouTube Link below:
Different by Micah Tyler


This song has been burning a fire in my soul, because I want to be different. Not different for different sake, but because He is worth more than this world; more than my life.

  • I don’t want to live a mediocre life.
  • I don’t want to live in the land of familiar.
  • I don’t want to trade God’s plan for something less.
  • I don’t want to waste a day; I can’t stay the same!

I want to be HIS — all of His! If He doesn’t have all of me, He doesn’t have any of me.

I want my mortal flesh to be changed into His likeness ’til all that is seen is Christ — nothing less, so that others may see Him and know Him, His power and resurrection; this life is to short to fool around with anything less.

I want my life to count for Christ!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Who’s Wearing the Crown?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}