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

facebook_1519157803699 (1)


The Best Revenge

When Elizabeth Smart (age 14)  was returned home after being repeatedly raped and tortured by her captors for nine months of “living hell”, her Mother, (we all know our moms love us more than anyone on this planet) spoke the most profound statement to young Elizabeth.  She could’ve stuck her in therapy for the rest of her life, allowing Elizabeth to victimize what happened to her for the rest of her days (no one would’ve blamed her).  Instead, she empowered her only child.  She said, “Elizabeth, what you’ve been through is terrible, and you may never feel like restitution is made, but the best punishment you can give them is to be happy.” 

Elizabeth is now happily married, spiritually secure, and a thriving advocate against pornography and abuse.  She is helping other girls recieve healing. 
 While I believe strongly in not labeling myself a “victim”, (I was in an abusive marriage for 6 years);I also believe recognizing what abuse has happened, is absolutely necessary to begin the healing process.  How could Elizabeth help others if she refused to give her testimony?  How could she relate to young women if she wasn’t willing to admit what this man and his wife did to her?  Joyce Meyer who is a public figure and advocate for abuse surviviors was repeatedly raped and manipulated for almost her entire childhood (ages 6-17), and guess what her biggest testimony of healing is? Her ability to recognize and confront (her Dad) what happened to her was “Not OK”.  Then, she forgave him, and even took care if him in his ailing years. It seems in the Christian culture today, we want to ‘break free’ from the chains of bondage, quickly, never willing to recognize what occured was…’Not OK’.  We’re  skipping an essential step in our healing process.

If you have been hurt, abused, or manipulated; (haven’t we all in some way?) why not talk to God and tell Him…”That…what happened to me, was Not OK.”..And begin your proecess of The Best Revenge…Get better, heal, and be happy!

 Psalm 124:2

What if the Lord had not been on our side when we were attacked? When they were angry with us, they would have swallowed us alive.


The Key to A Worry-Free Life! 

By:Christine Varichak

If you have ever had a panic attack, or know someone who has, it’s a pretty terrifying experience! You feel like you’re trapped in a prision that’s your own body, ridiculed by fear.  Panic attacks come in 3 Phases:
Phase 1) Sumpthin’ Just Ain’t Right…

You struggle to fall asleep but wake up early, trouble focusing on the tasks right in front you, possible stomach pains or trouble with bowel movements (constipation or diahreah), headaches, possible facial ticks, overall feeling of unease.

Phase 2) Something is definitely wrong! Queasiness, light-headedness, feeling of being trapped, migraine headaches, overwhelming feeling of indecision, panic, and unease.

Phase 3) Possible fainting, constant feeling of distress or nausea. Incapacitated, unable to move or function.  You may be unable to get out of bed without feeling faint, Abnormal breathing, heart palpitations, hair loss. The above phases 1&2 magnified.

After reading all of these horrific symptoms, would you believe me if I told you your mind is TRYING very hard to tell you something?  And your body is simply reacting… Well believe it or not, these symptoms are NOT to be ignored! Or medicated!!! They are the smoke billowing from the volcano…Indicating serious combustion is on its way!  The phases listed are based on my personal experinece, so I know first hand how horrific it is to experience any and all of the listed symptoms. I am pleased to say I am now free from experiencing Phases 2 & 3, and rarely experinece even Phase 1.  If you want to be free as well…read on!

Ok, so first of all, pat yourself on the back for reading this article!! I remember feeling hopeless and depressed as a result of not getting the help and understanding I needed.  I learned that stress is the #1 killer in the U.S and if I kept going down this crazy road I would eventually check myself into the looney bin, or else just hop on the crazy train…We can all imagine our own version of what that looks like.  For me: self medicating with alchohol, and who knows what else…Not caring for my kids, walking away from my faith, etc. We all know what our own version looks like, for some people its over eating, over exercise, video gaming, working overtime, binging on Netflix, or vacationing.  None of these things are helpful because the underlying problem that’s causing the panic is lying dormant…much like a volcano…ready to blow!

So how do you stop these symptoms from attacking you?  Start with the source by asking yourself these 3 questions:

1. What am I fearing?

2. Is this a valid fear?

3. Who can help me?

For example:

1. I am fearing I do not have money to make my bills this month.

2. Yes.

3. God, and His representatives.(Brothers or Sisters in the Lord).

I used this example because it was my biggest fear…”lack”.  Not having enough, my mind would immediately travel at lightening speed to: food-stamps and homelessness, and my kids being taken away from me.  What’s your lightening thought?  Is it that if you mess up again at work you’ll lose your job?  Then end up disappointing your family, losing your house, wife, and kids?  Embarassed that you couldn’t cut it?  All of the lightening thoughts are presumptions…The fact that you may lose your job may be valid, but the lightening assumptions that follow are NOT valid.  We cannot presume what’s going to be the result of our faults and failures at every turn. That would make YOU God, last time you looked in the mirror, were YOU the creator of the Universe?  If yes, go ahead and call that looney bin now…

Be sure you are actually writing down the fear to see if it indeed really IS vaild (something like 80% of our fears are completely invalid to begin with); making us feel ridiculously comforted when we write down that we think secret agents may be following us, or we are living in a house that’s haunted! Lastly, list  2-3 supporters who aren’t going to critisize you, or your choices, but lift you up and give you the tools you need to minimize the panic, not feed it!  You do NOT want a sympathizer like your Mom who is going to encourage you to go get on pills to help you. But rather, a Christian who has seen a battle or two and has scars to prove it! This could be a Pastor or Christian Counselor, a friend, or leader in your local church. You probably won’t have to look far to find someone who can overcome panic as it affects more people than we are willing to admit in the church.   

Ok, you have written down your valid fear, and a couple of people who can help (with God’s help)…now what? An expert on panic attacks, Patrick Doyle (check him out in YouTube) says to “conquer whatever is knocking at your door first“.  The Holy Spirit will show you one fear at a time, and as you get quiet before Him, the root of why you’re fearing that thing;  and how to trust God that He will help you (The Holy Spirit is our helper) will become clearer.  Remember Jesus is the Prince of Peace, not the condemner.   He will show you how to  Cast Your Care on the Lord. I had a valid fear…several actually, over and over again, usually first thing in them morning, tapered off throughout the day, then again in the evening. As I continued to do this simple ten minute practice (I even closed my eyes and pictured the care being given out of my hands and at God’s feet) I got free-more and more every day!! I stopped waking up with heart palpitations and began waking up grateful to be alive and excited to spend time in the Word of God. He doesn’t want us to have fear, He died so we wouldn’t have to experience  fear ever again.  Jesus said:  “The thief comes to steal, and to kill and destroy, but I came that you would have an abundant and rich life.”(John 10:10)  Experiencing panic is on no level, by any means abundant, or rich!! So why not lift up that volcano, see what’s under there, and get FREE!!!


That’s What Being A Single Mom’ll Getcha…!

If you are one of those people who thought (or said) “I’ll never get a divorce, I could never do that to my kids!”…Join the club. I, too was a participant in judgement concerning divorce, re-marriage, and…well everything and everybody who lived a life I felt was shameful.  The saddest trait about a judgemental person is the one person they judge the strictest is themselves.  And that’s what I did when my Parents divorced. I remember judging my mother (mostly) and feeling betrayed that she didn’t ‘try hard enough’ for my brother and I.   Low and behold a mere eight years after voicing my judgement, I was the one;  with head in hands, trembling with fear every night, wondering how I was going to make it. How could I protect my kids?  How was I going to work, when my youngest (9 mos) was still in diapers; and my oldest (4 years) was more confused by the hour?

After separating from my husband, I began taking kids into my home for a little cash, and assessing my finances. I was in $20,000 debt (all in my name…groan).  I had no college degree, no clue of how to pay a gas bill, or even change a flat tire. I had gone from my parents home straight to a man who took care of all those things. How would I know car insurance has to be paid or you can’t drive? I remember getting so anxious because I had so many bills.  Not only did I have no way to pay them (I was broke) but I couldn’t even if I had the money!  I didn’t know much about money at all.  Like how much it cost me to live with such commodities as: healthcare, a cell phone, or reliable tires.  Talk about clueless and over-reliant!

Fast forward three years and not only do I manage my own finances with ease, but I now help other women with theirs.  I have steady income, and a place to live comfortably with my happy, healthy children who are thriving. I’ve learned to set and maintain relationship boundaries, and communicate effectively. However, not unlike all breakthroughs, are the “nuggets” you can pass along to other single moms in the same spot you were in:

Nugget #1

Trust God, Leave the consequences to Him.

Psalm 118:8 says: It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.”  Clearly there is a BIG warning here that there will be times a leader, priest, parent, spouse, sister, or trusted friend will be contradictory in their advise to you. They will think they are “helping” you. But in fact, the only place our trust should fully be given to,  is God.  The next verse further warns: v9: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”  

Nugget #2:

Your body has physical limitations.

I wish I could be the soccer mom that totes my kids in a mini van to ballet, baseball, dance, flute lessons and the like- every week day…But it’s just not gonna happen.  In addition to working a couple part time jobs, I am responsible for my two kids, keeping my house in order, driving to Dr’s and dentists appts, homework, laundry, dishes, trying to keep us all happy and healthy, pay my bills, manage time with my family who lives an hour away, and the list goes on. All by myself I do these things that are made for TWO people. I’m doing TWO people’s jobs…every day and night. When the kids get sick, we single moms dont have a partner to hand us a puke bucket or change Billy’s bed who just vomited, and bathe Suzie who just had diahreah all over the bathroom the floor.  You cant do it all, but what you can do is really amazing.  Create a fun, easy going, loving atmosphere at home.  A place where laughter resides, and warmth grows. A place that’s nice to come home to after school. A place the neighbor kids wanna come. (They don’t care if your meals are from Pinterest, frozen pizza is better!)

Nugget #3

Don’t compare!

I remember feeling like the kids who lived with their biological parents (married, normal) were so much better off than my brother and me.  But in the end we have so much character, and gratitude for the small things in life that others don’t appreciate. We didn’t take vacations very often, and I really appreciate getting to go places, now. What others see as a necessity, for me it’s special and unforgettable. I also remember feeling when my divorce finalized that my kids were getting jipped out of the father-child relationship every child yearns for.  But now, in truth they have grown to depend on God as their Father.  Pslam 68:5 says “A Father to the Fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  My children can go to God with a need their earthly father cannot meet, and recieve from the hand that created them.  They wouldn’t have known this relationship except through the loss and disappointments their dad brought them.

Be encouraged, woman of faith!  Look to Ruth, Naomi, Sarah, & Mary as your examples, and know that the God of all creation says you are worth more than rubies!


Standards In Relationship


In the past year my friendships have revolved, evolved, and dissolved. So much of what has happened has been the result of my asking the Lord to edify me, and my relationships. I am in shock of the changes that ensued as I continue to pray for this. Every single relationship in my life has changed in some way this last year. How I see relationships beginning, how I perceive them to continue, and how I have directed them to end, in some rare cases, has been the result. If you have ever had to “break up” with a friend, or change the demands a friendship had, you know how this feels. If you’ve never had to do these things that I’ve mentioned, you might be asking yourself where do I stand in my relationships? How does the Lord perceive each relationship in my life, and are these relationships lifting me up, or pulling me down? I’ve listed a set of questions that can be answered with a simple YES or
NO… although for women this might be an area where we want to answer “yes but… ”  Adding an explanation as to why we feel that way; but try to just answer briefly and honestly. This simple yes or no should be what matters. Every relationship in your life, whether you want it or not, is either lifting you up and pulling you to the destiny that God has planned for you… or it is pulling you down to the pit of delusion and destruction. For example, I used to have several friends who gossiped on a consistent basis. I’m not talking about sharing their heart in an effort to seek God’s will, and receive God’s counsel and wisdom, I’m talking about “did you hear…?” Things that had absolutely nothing to do with me.  People that did not concern me, and events that were none of my business to know. Many of the things that these people told me poisoned how I viewed individuals in my Church, and my ability to love them as Christ loves the church. I had to make a decision to cut them out…To say “Yes!” to God (in the case of relationships) often means telling people NO.
Here are the questions every Christian should ask themselves about every relationship they have.

Does this relationship…
Help you to meet the potential calling God has for you?

Edify you, or sharpen you in a gentle but firm way?

Meet your needs spiritually?

Qualify as a friend among other friends? In other words are you proud to call this person friend?

Does this individual seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance on a consistent basis?

Does this individual lead you in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Does this individual hold the same standard that you do in…
Church attendance
Loving others, and forgiving our enemies?
Tithing, and giving?

Is this individual quick to receive correction from you in cases that you have approached them in a loving way based on the Word?
(It’s okay to disagree on some minor issues, but the things but I mentioned in the question above on the major issues such as: (purity, prayer, church attendance)… Does your friend hold you accountable in these areas?

Is this individual hypocritical? For example: Do they claim to be pure, yet they will date unbelievers? Do they claim to chase after God, yet go to bars to have fun? Do they claim to have a heart after God, yet consistently criticize you? These are all examples of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a big red flag that this individual is double-minded! James warns us that the double minded are unstable in all that they do- (James 1:8)

Does this individual sow into your life? You might think that this is a selfish request, but I have friends who are single moms, with no savings, and living check to check, who sow financially into my life.

Do you see this individual opening their heart to you; not just to vent but to really seek wisdom?
How does this individual honor and respect their authorities? EG Parents, Pastors, Elders in the church? I cannot stress this enough, because how this person treats their Elders… is how they feel about God! I have personally seen people who call themselves Christians, slander, gossip, and even get Pastors fired, because they did not like receiving correction. I understand that in some rare cases of spiritual abuse we must consult a trusted Christian elder to seek advice on how to move forward, or possibly move away from a church that’s not administering the Word correctly…IF that’s the case… but in NO case should there be a disrespect spread to other members, or blatant offense being spread about your authority. I knew a couple who went from church.. to church… to church…and eventually just got a Pastor fired, then decided to plant their own church!  The damage that was caused was astonishing.

Does this person protect you loyally? A friend is always loyal.( Proverbs 17:17)

If you have found that the answer to any of these questions are NO, or perhaps several were answered with a big NO, I caution you to follow what the Word teaches : “Above ALL else, guard your heart, for out of it springs life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Step back from this relationship in order to protect the most essential element God has entrusted you with…your heart… Understand that when we separate from unhealthy relationships, God… if we allow Him, will replace, and replenish those bad relationships with healthy ones. They may be few, and far between… but I would rather have one or two amazing girlfriends who I can trust and love, and they will stand in the gap, and pray for me, then to have 20 girls going behind my back and gossiping about me, never lifting me to the place I need to be.. but rather Tearing Me Down.