Tag Archives: Freedom

Do we protect our wounds?

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I was chatting with a friend the other day about how many people I run into who want to “face their giants” or start “unpacking their baggage” and yet even though commitment is made, when the time draws near, they run as fast as they can in the other direction.

I personally have been working through stuff since my early 20’s. When we are kids, and stuff happens, we draw conclusions about each memory and how it defines us. The problem is when you are a child, you have a child’s mind. Often times, the conclusions we have drawn and attached to our identity are incorrect, and yet we walk into adulthood with a skewed perspective and a wounded heart and spirit.

Then, most unfortunately, we continue to live out of this wounded perspective and wound others with our words, selfishness, and actions that are all in the name of protecting our wounds.

Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. He came to set the captives free and heal the wounded. But most of us declare with our actions that we don’t want what He offers. We declare, even though I am wounded, I know how to be this way. I am afraid of the healing process because it would be unfamiliar to be free.

My friend described it like this to me: A woman broke her hand off, but was so afraid of what the surgery might do to her, that she just covered it up, and started doing everything with her other hand. And although it completely limited her ability and caused her much pain, she knew what it felt like to have a wounded hand, and she knew how to operate around it, and she just assumed this was how her life turned out.

SO MANY OF US ARE WALKING AROUND WITH COVERED UP WOUNDS. We have learned how to operate around that wound and have just accepted that this is the way it is going to be! PLEASE STOP! You DO NOT have to have a limited experience of life. There is hope for healing.

Speaking from personal experience, when I was in my early 20’s a close friend asked me, “You have a lot of baggage, and the question is, are you going to unload it now and enjoy life at a higher capacity, or are you going to carry it around with you and let it hold you back and drag you down for the rest of your life?” When it was phrased like that, I knew the choice was obvious, “Let’s face this stuff!”

My experience of healing is perpetual. Hard life stuff flies at us ALL of the time. We are constantly needing to process painful things with the perspective of love. I CANNOT PROCESS with the perspective of love when I am deeply wounded. Like it or not, my main job becomes protecting my wound at any cost. I hurt others when I am wounded.

So, I am writing this today in an attempt to love you. When I am set free, I am free to love, honor, and value others right where they are at in their process. Healing is a process, it is constant, and it is worth it. Every step of the healing process produces eternal fruit that will become a blessing to everyone you encounter. It is so much bigger than you, and you so desperately need to let go of the identity of your woundedness, and say yes to the journey of becoming whole. The Lord will not leave you, you do not need to be afraid, it may not be as hard or arduous as you are imagining.

A great place to begin is just asking the Lord, “What wound in my heart am I afraid to face?” Ask Him if it is time to get some help, maybe a counselor, coach, or close friend who walks tightly with Jesus. Ask Him to help you, to give you courage, to give you strength.

Please choose today to stop adjusting to being wounded, and to start facing the hurt places and receive healing and freedom.

God is FOR YOU! He is WITH YOU! NOTHING is too hard for HIM! and YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Lord Jesus, we need you now more than ever before. Come, draw near, and illuminate our hurting places that we have attached  identity to. Lord, help us to catch a glimpse of what it can be like to live in wholeness, to allow you to heal our brokenness. Lord, I ask that you supernaturally give us courage to take one small step towards healing today. When we want to run away, teach us how to turn back to you and stay the course which you are calling us to. We admit that we need you, and we are terrified of what we may find, and yet I hear you whisper that we do not need to be afraid because what you have for us is better than anything we can imagine. Lord, I choose you, not any other identity, today! I love you Jesus, and it is in your name we pray! Amen!

Well Loved

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I’m so impressed this morning about being God’s daughter.

We took my son to Disney World last night as a last minute decision to catch some rides and see the fireworks. I LOVE spontaneous FUN. I was in my element. AND to top it off, we did his FIRST roller coaster! And the first time he rode in the “race cars” with his Daddy. I found myself so exhilarated to watch his face and see it through his eyes. I have never known a joy this grand, and it constantly expands! How can this be? He was truly mesmerized by the fireworks. He could not peel his eyes away. As I watched his eyes, and the sparkle in them, seemingly down into his spirit, I was undone with love. How did I get this opportunity? Who am I that the Lord would allow me such gifts?

Then this morning when Brendon woke up, as he does every morning, he finds me and sits with me for  awhile. Last night, I slept with a mask on (green at that), and that was the first thing he noticed. He knows my face so well ,because we have a deep love relationship, that the first thing he said was, “On your nose? Water, Mommy, wash it.” I delighted in his discovery, his solution, his revelation. I was so drawn to watch every movement of his mouth as his little voice shared the desires of his heart. I noticed how he was grinning to one side because he was expressing a bit of humor. My heart leaps at his presence. It is so delightful to be his mommy. I just LOVE everything about this human being. EVERYTHING. Even on his bad days ( we all have them) my heart explodes at watching him learn, and turn from behavior that does not fit into our atmosphere. It is so incredible!

So, back to being God’s daughter. As I was enjoying Brendon so much this morning- just minutes ago- the Lord said, “I delight in you just the same! Come and sit with Me. Check my face out, is there anything new? And you would know, because you know my face. Daughter,I love to watch you discover. I love to watch you become. I love to watch you learn where not to go and turn from it. I rejoice over every piece and part of who you are because you are Mine! It is good to be your Father. I love you daughter.”

This is true for you too! You are His son or His daughter. He delights in you. He is undone by your expression. He is watching you in adoration. He wants you to know that you don’t earn this love, you are loved just because you are His. His love IS NOT contingent upon your choices. Nothing can separate you from His love. I challenge you to slow today. Slow your mind, your spirit and sit with your Father a while. Look for His face, check it out. Discover, experience, and receive His love for you. He sings over you. YOU ARE WELL LOVED in every moment, every circumstance, every place. NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING can separate you from His love for you!

 

Found in Him

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For the past nine weeks, the Lord has been asking me to wake up at 5 am to spend time with Him. I have been trying to by setting alarms, picking 2 days a week as a starting goal, going to bed a little earlier, and yet I have been totally unsuccessful. This has been incredibly frustrating and has caused such a looming sense of disappointment and failure within myself. I have even moved to have friends hold me accountable, begging them please pray that I can do this, I want to do this, but there seems to be some major disconnect, and it’s not happening. I mean, the God of ALL CREATION wants to meet with ME and I cannot get myself out of bed!!!!!!!!! When you ask people who are crazy about Jesus and they love the Jesus in you to pray, crazy ( and awesome) stuff starts happening!

On Sunday, during worship, I had this vision on Jesus and I. It was like no other experience I have EVER had. Him and I were laying on a picnic blanket together. We were sharing secrets. My head was on His chest and I could feel and hear His heart beating. I was so safe, so captivated by His presence, and nothing else mattered. It was like He was saying, ” You and I have been best friends for so long, but I want to move into a deeper relationship. I want to reveal more of myself to you. I am desiring for you to love me fully and give your whole self over. Will you let go of control and really allow yourself to fall into my love?” To be honest, this was so different than any interaction I have ever had with the Lord. But it stirred up the deepest places in me that I didn’t even know were there. I had those crazy emotions I did when my husband and I were just getting to know each other. There is excitement and anticipation and this longing to be together more. I felt so seen, so vulnerable, so pursued, so loved.

And then…….I pushed away.

Have you ever had this experience? Where you have this deep, vulnerable moment with someone and it’s amazing and then just a few hours later, you are feeling so exposed, so uncomfortable, so seen, that the reaction is to pull away so you can go back into hiding? That is how I have been treating Jesus. So He took this opportunity to reveal to me my fear of fulling allowing His love to carry me away. He has been revealing how much I am holding on for dear life and allowing the river to rush by and  the current is brutal because I am clinging to the wrong rock and getting beat up. He is asking me to let go, and to go all in with the current of His rushing river of life. He is showing me that I do not have to know where I end up, how I get there, or what it all looks like, I just have to know Him.

I must confess: I am AFRAID. He has revealed that I AM AFRAID TO BE FULLY KNOWN OR SEEN.

Yesterday I had someone come over sort of unexpectedly and my house was not at peak performance, it was more in it’s natural, lived in, state. I felt exposed and honestly looking for disapproval, or rejection, or surprise but I found none of that, I only found acceptance. The Lord showed me later in the day that I often clean up before I am seen. I only like to show what looks put together, shiny, clean, everything in it’s place. I do not like the messy to be made known. I shared this later with my friend who replied, ” I do not want you to have to clean up any part of you before you can share it with me. I love you right where you are at.”

I AM LOVED IN EVERY STATE. I can be fully known, fully seen, in any condition and still be loved and accepted. I am not sure if this is as strong for you as it is for me, but until a few days ago I did not even know I was hiding. Because I love the Lord, and I want to know Him more. Because I love you all and am willing to say what He asks me to say for your benefit- I am choosing to be seen, exposed, vulnerable. I am choosing to become more genuine, transparent, real. I am afraid to be seen, but I LONG to be seen.

In the vision I spoke of earlier, I saw myself fully melt into Jesus. You could no longer see me, just Him. It was the safest I’d ever felt and the most real image I’ve ever seen of who I want to be. That is my deepest desire; that I would be found in Him. So I have made a decision. I’m letting go of control, here and now. Loosening my grip on the pretty and perfect and choosing the real, the genuine, the messy. Where will this lead? I am not sure, but Jesus is who I Am following, will you join me?

P.S. a little progress to celebrate- it is 5:02 am and I am about to publish this post! Praise the Lord, I have broken through!

Well Done- heard by which Father?

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The Lord has really been speaking to me recently of being “others” focused. I have heard this message many times spoken by men, but when the Lord actually begins to stir this in your heart-there is something more convicting- more heart breaking, more freeing, more….more. Let’s consider how “other’s focused” the Lord is. He gave everything just because He loved. We are called to be His reflection. We are called to suffer for this purpose. We are not called to never sacrifice, never get dirty, never be uncomfortable. When did this life, this american dream, become our gospel?

Honestly, I find myself wanting to crucify anything that will get in the way of the comforts of my life that I “can’t live without.” Ouch! It hurts to say that out loud. No, Lord, do not ask me to sacrifice THAT, I can’t possible live without my….. I’m sure we could all fill in the blanks. But what if our lives could have more purpose, more effect, more legacy? Would we be willing to “do without” so someone else could benefit? Would we be willing to consider others as better than ourselves, not because of their merit or character, but because the scriptures instruct us to do so? Would we be willing to let the love offering that we have received from what Jesus so freely gave pour out of us generously onto anyone who was in need without first sizing up the situation as to if it’s just too messy to be involved with?

Thank GOD, Jesus didn’t deny me because my situation was messy. Do you know where I would be without my savior? I would be dead. I could not have forced life this many years without Jesus because without Him I was walking dead anyway. He rescued me from the pits of mental despair that had come to claim me. He threw me a life preserver, He pulled me out of sinking sand, He placed my feet upon a solid rock and gave me a reason to sing. HE GAVE ME LIFE! How can I not give Him my life in return? What did Jesus do for you? What is your response?

I’m not saying all of this to shame blame you into giving more, doing more. I am just wondering, who is this Jesus we claim to belong to? What are the “rules” of being part of this family? Don’t you know all families have “rules” or a “code of ethics” that you must abide by to receive their approval and acceptance? Jesus made it clear in the scriptures that his family was no longer his earthly mother and brothers, but it was anyone who was doing the will of the Father. What is the will of the Father? To love God with everything you’ve got, and to love others as much as you love yourself. Which family will get your legacy. Will it be, “I’m so proud of my son, He’s worked hard, has lots of money in savings, has adequate insurance to cover every possible thing that might happen, has a huge home, nice cars, and two beautiful children that are set to become the next generation of doctors and lawyers!” Or will it be, ” Well Done, good and faithful servant, you have loved well, and in you I AM well pleased.”

Again, I’m not saying that having a good job, savings, insurance, and awesome successful kids is wrong, I’m just hopefully pointing to that IS NOT the pinnacle of life. The ones in the Bible who were acclaimed suffered greatly to save a people. The message they carried cost them. They were scoffed, persecuted, hated, uncomfortable, imprisoned, beaten, murdered. Do you think the call has changed? Or maybe we water the message down so it won’t seem so offensive or hurt anyone’s feelings. Which Father are you serving? Which legacy do you choose to live your life, your one life, creating?

Friends this is hitting me like never before. Trust me, I WANT a bigger house.I WANT a trip to Europe. I WANT a nicer car. I WANT more money in bank. I WANT my cable TV. I WANT expensive, nice things. Oh man, I can’t tell you how much I WANT those things. I can’t tell you how often I have complained because I don’t have MORE things yet, and took time to maybe point a finger of blame on who has slowed this process down in my life. I mean, how come so-and-so seems to get everything I WANT! OUCH! How can that be a heart full of giving? How can one so full of me, me, me and blame, blame, blame, be a heart fully surrendered to an all out , gave-my-own-son-so-that-you-may-live, God?

So now I am beginning to wonder, what can I sacrifice? What can I live without? What can I give away or sell so that my income is freed up to give? What can I do with my time? What can I do with my words? What can I do with my gifting, talents, abilities to bless, encourage, motivate, and equip others to be living in their God given purpose?

This does not feel good. I am not writing this from a place of, “Oh, hey, over here, check me out, I’m the girl who blesses and humbly does without for the sake of Jesus.” No WAY! even writing this, my flesh is saying, “NO! don’t put it out there….you will have to start living it.” But the time is now. I have to stop striving  for the “American Dream”, and refocus my life on the legacy I am called to leave because I belong to Jesus Christ. With a knot in my stomach I declare, “The time is NOW!”

Galatians 2:20

The Message (MSG)

 19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Lord Jesus, we need more of You. Lord, quiet our hearts from all the acceptance messages, approval addictions, deadlines, bills, American culture stuff that we constantly bow down to. Lord, I ask that with a clear heart and mind You will begin to show each of us the particular plan and purpose you uniquely created us for. Show us how to step out today in faith for Your glory and as a direct response to Your love. Who is it we can come alongside of today, expecting nothing in return and help to carry the load for a season? Lord Jesus, it is all about You- we desire to genuinely reflect You on the Earth, that You would be made famous through our lives and not ourselves. Teach us how to live, teach us how to love, in a way that You would be proud of and pleased with. We need more of You Lord! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

High Places

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Habakkuk 3:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

So what I am reflecting on today, is that when I depend on the Lord to be my strength, I will not be paralyzed by terrible things, but able to make spiritual progress. AND that in the kingdom of God, a “High” place, is a place of trouble, suffering, or responsibility? When I asked why, He showed me how loaded with opportunity those places are. The choices we make in the midst of suffering or trouble are the very defining moments that can propel us forward into our destinies, and get us Unstuck. Are you willing to go to “high” places? Are you willing to trust in the Lord’s strength to be able to make progress instead of pushing forward in only what your strength allows or just continue to stand still? Whew, so much to contemplate this day!

The Lion is not afraid

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This is a season of acceleration in learning. Learning comes mostly by experience. He is teaching me so much in this awesome hands on course we call life.

A few months ago, I was chatting with my mentor, and she brought a word to me from the Lord. She began teaching me the difference of intervention(which is what happens once it all falls apart), and interception (which is stopping it before it gets to far.) She taught me how the Holy Spirit, who is alive in me, wants to intercept the plans of my enemy for which the purpose is to destroy and/or  distract me from walking in the fullness of who God created me to be and fulfilling my Kingdom assignment on the Earth.

She went further to help me understand how I need to tune my spiritual ears in and ask Him about everything. By asking Him to help me intentionally listen more carefully, He is revealing truth ahead of time,and by choosing to obey even though I didn’t understand fully, He has kept from a few disasters. The sole purpose of my enemy is to kill me, BUT I have Christ in me….and He came to give me ABUNDANT life. This means as I listen, I am learning( learning-just learning-I don’t always get it right-but in process) to say no to bad things, and good things, and yes only to God things.

What do I mean by God things? I mean when I ask Him, “Is this what you have for me right now?” If He gives a green light, I continue to walk forward, Yellow I wait, Red I stop. There are so many good opportunities to do good, but God has specific opportunities for each of us always, which align us with the right people, put us in the right direction, and fulfill our purpose.

The next thing ( and I believe these are linked), is all about identity. I am learning how important it is to know who God says we are because when an attack on your identity comes, and you know what is true, you will not be defeated, destroyed, or devastated. When I am agreeing with lies, then the enemy can find agreement in me and tackle me all of a sudden.But when I ask Jesus consistently, Who do you say that I am? Who am I in you? And I allow Him to build me up in my core, my foundation is stronger when the storm comes. I will be found standing on my Rock, who CANNOT BE SHAKEN!

And finally the Lord  revealed Himself to me on Sunday as the most majestic, most powerful, most fierce Lion I have ever seen. He laid in front of me and said, “I AM the highest. No one preys on Me. And I have you. You are in Me. You have nothing to be afraid of. I have you covered in protection.”

The very next night, this Monday, I find myself in an emergency room watching my husband crash. His blood pressure and oxygen levels were dangerously low. The nurse had a crash cart placed right outside of his room just in case. For a split second, the attack came. I saw Brendon and I with no Troy, my eyes filled up with tears, and devastation was about to take a seat in my spirit.

BUT……

Because of being aware of interception- I heard the Holy Spirit say- THAT IS NOT TRUE! Think on only what is true-look Troy is alive right in front of you.

The Lord just the day before promised me as I was in Him, He has me covered in protection. Because I was fully confident in the truth of that aspect of my identity, the LIE of death and fear of the unknown could NOT find agreement in my spirit and was KICKED OUT before destruction,devastation, and defeat could get comfortable ruling my emotions.

Instead, I was able to stay calm and peaceful. I was able to pray and be strong for my husband in his moment of need. All of the fruits of the Holy Spirit were abounding in the midst of chaos. IT WAS AMAZING! And the only reason I’m sharing this is because as this is becoming my new normal response to the surprises of life, I am left AMAZED because I know it is only by the grace of God that I have authority to step into being an OVERCOMER. It is only because of the love of God, and the very real presence of the Holy Spirit living in me, that I have been blessed to have dominion over my emotions and allow the Truth to lead me instead of how I feel. This is not shared so you can think I’m some amazing, spiritual person. I simply want you to know this is available to all of us. I want to share the goodness of God, so you can be spared from unnecessary attacks and defeat in your lives. I’m sharing this so we all can step into our Christ given authority and identity as OVERCOMERS so our children and their children would know how to stand up and believe in who God says they are!

This is revolutionizing my life- will you join me? for your sake and for all of those who will come after you?

 

Marked by Rest

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Lives marked by rest. This is what the Holy Spirit has been sharing with me. How can this even be possible in our culture? We have this idol we worship called “Urgency”. We get a text message or a push notice or an email comes through, and we  have accepted a lifestyle where there are no boundaries, no healthy working hours, no free down time, no 100% available to my family time, no quiet time with Jesus time. We live in a culture where everything can happen faster, but nobody has any time for anything. WHAT IS GOING ON?

And the Holy Spirit presses, lives marked by rest. What is rest? Isn’t resting lazy? Where is the the balance?

As I am asking, He has really been showing me some awesome stuff (and I know I am only just stepping into this revelation)!

Rest is a lifestyle. Rest is possible when we trust. When we trust in the work of our hands to provide for our needs, we cannot spare a moment to rest. When we trust in Jehovah Jireh, my provider, there is  room for God to show up and show off. When what I believe is , I have to work hard for everything that comes my way, it is still a slave mentality. Under grace,  I work as a servant and receive blessings as a child of God. For if I only get what I deserve, what is obligated as my wages, I would be broke, dead. But in Christ, I’m walking into blessings and favor and opportunity. I do not need more than what He has for me, which is why I can rest, because I am learning to trust.

I do not need more stuff. I do not need anything right now that I don’t have. I do not have any real needs that aren’t being met. The only thing I need is more of Him. I need deeper revelation of His ways, His Kingdom. I need more time in His Presence. I need to be full so I can empty out love to be filled again. The revelation of what I “need” changes more every time I choose to enter into rest.

Rest becomes a lifestyle as I recognize the reason I work is not for gain, but to serve, to love. I do not work because I have needs that aren’t being met. I work because I am called to love those individuals and I have a gift to impart to them, and most often they turn right around and impart a gift to me. I work because I have been given giftings and talents from God and find fulfillment and blessings when I operate out of what He has given me. I work with excellence because the One I am representing, the One who sent me, deserves to be honored. I work because it is a Joy to bring glory to my Father. I do not work for wages, I work to bless, to give. But Jesus always provides, not my work, not my labor.

The other part of rest I am learning about is, although I come from a place of rest everyday, there is also a place for a day of rest. A day where the only thing to “accomplish” is to rest, restore, remember. A day set apart for FUN. A day when all of the hats I wear, all the the things I do, all of the work I have been trusted with, rest also. On this particular day a boundary for me is no cell phone, no making appointments, no receiving or handling emails or texts. It is a day where with my family, and with my Lord I want to be fully available. There is so much rest that comes from not being pulled in many directions at once.

I’m finding that the other six days a week are less stressful, less overwhelming, less monotonous. There is more sense of purpose, fulfillment, excitement, and joy when you know there will be a break, a real break at the end of a full week. Also, I’m experiencing how important it is to not let life continuously hit you at the speed of light. There are so many things that happen in the course of a week and a Sabbath allows for time to process and deal with what flew at you, instead of carrying it into the next week, month, year, years, life. How incredible is our God to know how important rest would be for us, that in His infinite wisdom He chose to first model it for us Himself! He is soooo AWESOME!

As I previously mentioned, I am just beginning to learn about a lifestyle of rest. Rest begins in perspective, choosing to see, trust, and believe that God is providing, not my work. And rest additionally comes in the form of a day completely set aside from the normal pace and rhythm of busy. He says, “I want my children’s lives to be marked by rest.”

Hebrews 4:11The Voice (VOICE)

 11 So let us move forward to enter this rest, so that none of us fall into the kind of faithless disobedience that prevented them from entering.