Turning Trauma Into Trust


By: Christine Baskin

To me, rejection feels like being pushed off a cliff.

I am often reminded of the events which have hurt me the most since my new life as a believer.  The most traumatic, were from the people I trusted most.  The more I trusted the person, the harder the fall.

After my divorce, entering into a new Church was one of my worst fears. I’d been rejected by my leaders, and by my Pastor. I contemplated staying home, and studying the Bible on my own for a year, moving out of state, all to cover my shame, and to prevent having to explain what I felt was my biggest failure.

I ended up in a at a church service where the Pastor was preaching Acceptance.  “If you’re here today, and you’re wondering if this is the Church for you, God is saying, “YES”.  This is where you belong.”   I got my answer that day.

But I was still licking my wounds from the last Church.  Afraid to trust again.  Fearing this Pastor would let me close to him, then push me away.  He would see my flaws, and then be disgusted with my sin, my past.  I wouldn’t even sit near the front lest I be seen by him. I’d go home and cry my eyes out.  I literally didn’t want to ever meet this pastor, just come late, leave early, and talk to as few people (outside my two girlfriends who went there) as possible.  Then one day, my friend dragged me over to meet pastor’s Wife.  To my surprise, I really liked her.  She didn’t look down at me because I was a single Mom, with nothing to give.  She didn’t view me as a burden, a failure.  Quite the opposite -she welcomed me.  That Christmas she presented me with a gift that really Blessed my family during what is normally a very difficult season.  I insisted to myself, I still did not have any interest in meeting her Husband.  I would let him preach to me, but I wouldn’t form a relationship built on any kind of trust.  I wasn’t ready to be pushed off another cliff.

Each week I attended, my heart swelled with gratitude for the Pastor.  I knew he was led by the Spirit because of his preaching, and the fruit of it became evident in my own life.  I studied the notes, and began to grow a hunger for God’s Word I hadn’t had in years.  I began to see the habits of Jesus played out in my own life like never before.

I began to see in this man walk out forgiveness, humility, and righteousness.  He wasn’t perfect (none of us are), but I noticed the way he always made a point to reach out to the people in the congregation no one else seemed to take note of.  He wasn’t interested in the popular, the rich, the handsome.  He wanted the poor, the humble, the meek.  The man who swept the floors was just as important to him as the guest speakers.

One day he noticed me, and I shook his hand.  I remember feeling scared, but welcomed.  He spotted me each week, and made a point to come over to me.  The divorced, single Mom.  I often felt I had a big red “D” stamped to my forehead, but he never seemed to notice.

I began to respect what I knew about him, also what I did not know.  I know that in some ways, I would eventually get hurt, as it happens with every relationship here on this side of Heaven.  I realized the closer we get to people, the more risk for pain is at stake, but also the most reward.  The more we invest, the more the return.  The more seed that is planted, the bigger the crop.  I began to plant down seeds of trust, willingness to get hurt, vulnerability.

As I grew in my relationship with my Pastor and his Wife, I began to see their strengths and weaknesses, and I’m sure they’ve seen mine.  I began to feel comfortable making new friendships in the Church.  I didn’t feel judged.  Day after day, my trust grew, and I no longer feared being pushed off the cliff.  I realize now,  I’d been standing on the edge, expecting to be pushed.  Who wouldn’t?  Rejection is tricky like that.

In the end, his redemption comes.  Not overnight,  But it comes all the same.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is Job.  I know, its weird…  But I love a good redemption story! Even when all hope seems lost, Job was recompensed twice what satan had stole from him. Job 42:10b says “..the LORD made him prosperous again, and gave him twice as much as he had before.” v12, “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.”  I love that Job replied to the Lord in v2, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”  It wasn’t God’s plan to torment Job, it wasn’t even his idea.  God knew that what fails here on earth, what seems lost, can always be renewed if it’s God’s plan.  And better yet, if we stick with Him, it will be better!

We see things from an earthly perspective, God sees from an eternal perspective.  God sees the rejection, and pain from your past, and He’s saying to you right now, “I am bigger than the hurt.  I am stronger than rejection.” No matter what your belief system is, all faiths can agree that love truly is the strongest force in the universe.  God IS love, and His son (Jesus) accepts you!   Isn’t that the gospel?  Every pain, every scar, every gaping wound is redeemable by Jesus!

The Savior of the world doesn’t want you to run away from Him, rejected and pained by the weights of this world.  He wants you to come to Him: the brokenhearted, the rejected, the shamed.  No shame is too heavy for him! No sin is too big!  He already carried it with Him to Calvary.  He already died for it.   Your rejection was no surprise to Him, but He desires to restore you, and turn those ashes into beauty.  If you’ll come to Him, and ask Him, over time, He will restore your soul.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord

A Psalm of David 23:1-6

It always comes down to our faith in God, not man that thwarts us into God’s will for our lives.  Because I trust God, what can man do to me?  The next test of my life will surely be harder, as each stretch of my faith takes me closer to His glorious Kingdom.  But I know that as God has redeemed me once, He will surely do it again!



How To Forgive Your Abuser

By : Christine Baskin

Step 1. No longer see yourself as a victim, but rather a SURVIVOR. Which, if you’re reading this…you are indeed a SURVIVOR!

You may not feel like much of a survivor, you may be battling depression, anxiety, nightmares, or just re-playing events over and again in your mind from what happened to you. I thought it was healthy during my separation (for a season) to process-through, or replay the events that happened during my marriage; and that would help me to understand my ex’s choices. But I was wrong. It was like digging up old graves that brought nothing but sorrow.

Forgiveness is easier to achieve when we stop replaying the events, and begin to renew our minds to who we really are. Don’t call yourself a victim, instead begin to speak what God says about you. For example, when you wake up in the morning, before your feet touch the floor: declare a promise of God. For example you can say, “Greater is He (Jesus) that lives in me, than he (Satan) who is in this world.” I can tell you from experience, with each promise you declare, you will feel better!

Step 2: Choose Joy

My 5 year old daughter says, “You’re not making me happy right now.” Whenever I tell her No, or refuse her another brownie. It’s actually become a habit I intend to nip in the bud. After a week or so of guilt, GOD whispered to me, “Tell her it’s not your job to make her happy. She must choose it for herself.”

And so must we.

You cannot count on your spouse to make you happy. You cannot count on your pastor or friends to satisfy you. Setting standards on man that only God can fulfill is not only unfair, but unrealistic. We must choose to be joyful every single day and understand that because God is indeed Sovereign, He allows us free will to make that choice. Choosing Joy doesn’t mean walking around smiling all the time or pretending like nothing’s going on. Joy is simply trusting God through every circumstance, depending on Him for everything, and knowing that He will pull you through any situation and you will be better for it. Joy is something we can certainly ask God for more of- because it is available- and it is abundant IN Christ.

James 1:2-4 Reminds us,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be complete in your faith, lacking no good thing.”

Step 3 . Recognize the source of your abuse

I was so angry for so long at my abuser that I literally began to pray that God would wipe him off the face of the Earth. I know most Ex-Wives have prayed this once or twice (Christian or not).

We are reminded of the words, those horrific words spoken over us. They follow us around like a stray dog. For some of you, you remember broken bones or bruises, or midnight visits to the hospital. And your children may even remember you being beaten or verbally ridiculed. Some of your abusers were parents who you trusted with your life, yet they robbed you of that trust and took advantage of you. God understands.

I can promise you that if you are in a position that you have to have contact with your abuser, choose to love him as God has loved you in this way: See him as a creation of God, tormented by an enemy (the same enemy you have), yet he is not strong enough to fight back.

The one thing I can say is that if you choose to release your abuser, you will begin to see that the source of your pain is not from the man himself-but from the Devil.

Those slanderous words and accusations, were not from your abuser. They were from the source of all hate , jealousy, envy and strife -They were from Satan himself. Attempting to steal what’s most precious inside of you: your joy, your faith in God, and your faith in yourself. If he can steal those three things he has won. Don’t let him win! Don’t let him steal another second of your joy that God has freely given to you! Don’t let him steal another tear from your eyes! Next time there is a slanderous text message or a nasty email simply delete it, cast your care on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), and go about your day. We can choose to not allow Satan to steal more than he’s already stolen.

If we choose to live in misery, it’s like opening our purse and asking for someone to rob us every day. Who wants that kind of life? I certainly don’t. Choose to forgive in small steps everyday. This may cost a few months, or years, of conscience effort, journaling, and prayer, but it will be worth it in the end and God will give you the reward!

If Mammy Ain’t Happy….

Googie lifestyle

I dedicate this blog to Carolyn Petitgout and Erica Havekost, the hardest working Moms, and women I’ve ever known.

I had no idea what mothering would be like until I was pregnant with my first son. The fast, hard reality of my body no longer belonging to me was a truth I wanted to sweep under the rug. Yet my ability to do Pre-Pregnant things were fading every day. E.G., wearing a bikini, eating and drinking whatever I wanted, having the energy to take a shower…All things I took for granted.

I’ve found that after being a Mom for nearly 9 years that there are some truths we Moms need to keep written in stone (if they never have been, they should be!)…

Truth #1: Give yourself Allowance To Fail

The perfect Mom DOES NOT EXIST!! We Moms secretly compare ourselves to other Moms, her purse, her home décor, whether she has dishes in the sink when we come over, to see if she ‘has it together’…The reality is that The Perfect Mom doesn’t exist. We Moms will sometimes build up a façade of how perfect we think a better version of ourselves would be like: if we just lost 15 pounds, or made more of an effort to cook healthier, or if we only had more energy to volunteer….Your check list would grow even if you lost the 15, volunteered every week night, and cooked all organic. We will always have an inner checklist, I’m asking you to put it aside, and focus on one probable goal, then give yourself allowance to fail multiple times before you reach it. Start small, then grow into that goal until you’ve reached it. Then know that in different seasons, you may drop the ball, and again have to renew your motive for reaching that goal.

Truth #2: Make every day count, not perfect.

Lets face it ladies, we always feel better when we wake up to a clean kitchen, shiny bathrooms, no toys on the floor, etc. But just last night when I was supposed to be doing dishes, I got caught up in a tickle war with both my son and daughter (a rare entity), and enjoyed every second of it. I took an extra few minutes to enjoy what God has given me, and relax a little, rather than rush to clean. The kids ended up in bed a few minutes later than our schedule dictates, and the dishes never got done, but I had an important revelation: What’s the point of being a Mom, if I don’t relish a single minute of it?

Truth #3: The Hardest Job of All Is…

Being a Stay at Home Mom for 8 years, then returning to work. I can proudly say that staying home with my kids was SOOOOO MUUUCHHH harder than working in an office. I kind of knew it would be easier physically to sit at a desk, versus chasing a poopy toddler, and nursing a crying- teething baby all night; but seriously, you moms who stay home never get a moment to relax. Because even when baby is napping, you’re on-call! You have to jump outta bed the second that baby wakes up, and it never ends. I was emotionally spent after a few short years, but really wanted to stay home a long enough for my daughter to enter preschool, which I did. When I returned to work and got to converse with actual adults all day, do tasks that didn’t feel menial (changing diapers, going to the park, cooking macaroni and cheese for the thousandth time), I felt much more appreciated, and a sense of purpose welled up inside me, that as a Stay At Home Mom I never got. You Moms don’t get Thank-You’s, or pats on the back, or promotions! You get bloody nipples, and stretch marks, and need Starbucks just to make it through dinner. You Stay At Home Moms deserve metals of honor, and so much more…You truly have the hardest job of all.

Blog Written By: Christine Baskin

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C’mon Right Wing….

By: Christine Varichak

  After blogging since around the middle of last year, I’ve now become a pretty avid blog-reader; which ironically was never an interest before I actually began writing.  Now a whole new world of people with opinions…political opinions has been made public, permanent, and widely invited.  My research;  scrolling on Facebook, shows that Americans-whether left or right wing…Hate each other.  Not in the Let’s throw tea into the river sort of hate, the I literally want you to die hate.  Which makes me wonder…What are the Republicans (yes I am one) doing wrong, and what can we improve?

  So, fellow right wingers…The following list is comprised of logical advice to those who genuinely want to use social media, and even your personal relationship, as a platform  to witness truth.  Spoiler alert, this is NOT a religious argument…just plain old common sense.

1) Stop Protesting abortion clinics, gay parades, and Target.  Jesus never knocked down the doors of the murderers, or adulterers. He invited them to dine with him.  The Lord wants to save babies, and preserve our rights to our dressing rooms, and bathrooms- true; but He also never controlled people.  That’s not the Christian agenda. 

2. Stop hating on social media.  So you wanna be on social media as a modern day Christian? Sigh.  Ok, then use it as a platform to speak love and life, not hate. You are an ambassador for Christ (his representative), so be cautious…because yes people are watching you. People are out there every day without hope, without the Lord, and they’re waiting for you to live as a Christian, not just say you’re a Christian.

3. Don’t comment unless…When people on Facebook, the Fox News App, or Twitter, leave their feedback on how horrible the Trump Administration is…Just let sleeping dogs lie.  Otherwise you’re inviting an argument, which the book of proverbs says is a trap and a snare.  

 Good luck fellow Republicans, remember that the Lord is compassionate to us, lets remember to love others just the same.


The Best Friend You Will Ever Have…

By: Christine Varichak

  So you have a friend who’s going through a difficult season of life, they call you up for a venting/crying session.  Ok, this friend is a woman.  Men don’t call friends to cry…vent yes, cry…no.  I’ve recognized the best friend I ever had gave me the best advice ever…Nothing. She literally listened, and let me sob it out. Because no one can come over to my house (I’m a single Mom of 2) and teach me how-to’s for every problem going on in my life right now.  EG:Managing my life with two kids.  I’ve come to realize the most dangerous friend you can have is the “fixer”.  You know the type, the “Tell me the problem so I can tell you what I would do if I were you” friend.  I can say this because I am a recovering fixer.  This friend thinks she is helping everyone, but is helping no one.  She wears herself out dolling advice she is in no position to give because she’s not you…

  Now don’t misunderstand me, no one needs the “whiny girl” friend. Calling five nights a week complaining about her dumb husband, or terrible boss, unruly kids, etc.  That’s a hot mess…Or as I like to call her…the whiner baby.  I remember because yes, I am also a recovering whiner baby.  

  The ideal for us, ladies, is to be a good friend so that we have good friends. Listening to one another, leading our girlfriends right to the source who can really minister to us, God.  As much as we see sister Sally and her seemingly perfect family who have it all-together; offering us advice on how we, too can be perfect…the answer should always be; “Lets pray and take this to The Problem Solver, The Holy Spirit”.  That’s where the breakthroughs come, and when we get delivered at the end of the day.


What Real Confidence Looks Like

In·se·cu·ri·ty: Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself, lack of confidence.
  When Melania and Donald Trump were interviewed in 2005 on Larry King Live following their very public January wedding, LK unapologizingly asked the question, “Do you worry about other women wanting Donald?” Melania, without batting an eye, responded;  “No.  I know who I am.  If a man doesn’t want to be with me, why would I want to be with him?  Goodbye, and good luck.” 

 I believe women all too often base their value on how men have valued them.  I believe now is the time to beg the question, “Who are you?” For me, I always battle what my “status” is, versus who I really am. EG, Single Mom, divorced, sister, friend, etc.  But in the scope of eternity, or even 20 years from now, my status will be different. So, I’m basing who I am, on what I do.

I’m here to tell you, none of our ‘stautuses’ define who we are, or who we are going to be.  

The voice of insecurity tells us we are never enough until we DO.  Until we perform.  God says we are either In-Christ, or we aren’t.   There’s no in-between, no purgatory. No category for “considering your options”.  The apostle John says, “Yet for all who did receive Him (Jesus as Lord), to all those who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  We are children of God if we believe in Jesus as the resurrected King and Savior of the World.  All we have to do… is believe.  True confidence comes from Jesus and His Word (the Bible).  What Jesus says about us conquers every good and bad thing we could ever do. The apostle Paul explains in the letter to the Church of Ephesians, “For He (Jesus) predestined us for adoption to sonship,  in accordance with His will and pleasure”.  Jesus died and was resurrected so that those who were once strangers to him, would be fulfilled and confident in themselves because of their Sonship in Christ.  The question is, do you believe?  Until you believe, there will always be identification with your do, and never who you are.  


Why Hillary lost…And how TRUMP will win a 2nd Term

I know I know…Bold much?  But I am confident Trump will win a 2nd term…And here’s why!
I remember November 9th like it was yesderday…and seeing the voter’s results come in- with my morning coffee (No I didn’t stay up all night).  I wasn’t shocked, or even surprised…Because I knew why Hillary had lost.

1) Our NEED always wins votes, not our Want.  Americans are smart. I’ll say it again, Americans are smart! We may not always know why we need what we need, but we know we need it! For example I know I need food to survive.  I don’t know the specifics of what exactly happens when I eat, or how my body digests food, but I know if I don’t get enough of it I’ll die.  America had been starving for 8 years, and we know why.  America knows she’s in trouble, and giving out more handouts, bailouts, and “free” healthcare failed.  Period.   We need jobs, factories, good doctors, and help with our budget and deficit; the hammer to come down on ISIS, and other terrorists invading our country.   We’ve lost our original vision of why America was made to be The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave to begin with. Trump fit the bill to restoration. As a businessman, and not a politician trying to stroke the American people, Trump gains our vote of confidence every time. 

2) Enough compassion already!  Hillary’s campaign really screwed up when they advised her to throddle the “compassion pooch” for as long as she could ride. The final debate was a massacre on Women’s Rights as we know them. And coming from a woman…That’s  a pretty sour pill to swallow.  She thought the outright support of aborting full-term babies (which are 50% women!) was the legitimate path to winning women’s trust…All she did was instill the original bad taste in our mouths toward the Clintons…Kinda the same taste (we women) had when she stood behind Bill as he lied to the American people about his affair.  So much for women’s rights…

3) She is a bully…And not a very good one. Reports came flooding in on every news station, women’s talk show, and even SNL wanted a piece of the “Trump takedown” pie…But Trump kept talking about what he was going to change, and how to make ‘America Great Again’.  When he attacked Hillary it wasn’t for her views, but the lack of work she has accomplished according to what she promiced as Senator.  She had already failed in so many of the promices she originally made, and was often double-minded in what her stance actually was…She left many voters confused by September, and worst of all, doubting she could really change anything about America. But rather, to keep implementing what Obama already accomplished in the Dems’ eyes. This didn’t make her a new, hot commodity, but rather a lying policitican, who will sink to the sewer to take Trump down.