Hope for Healing

John 14 18

I didn’t know my Father as a child. He knew me long before I was born, but I didn’t meet Him personally until I became an adult.

The father I knew as a child was a hurt, abusive, and angry man. I spent my early years being the recipient of his hostilities.  Since a seed reproduces from it’s own kind, he passed his hurt, abuse, and anger onto me; just as his father passed it down to him.

The trauma of living with an abusive parent manifests in different ways; causing a survivor of childhood abuse to adopt a chameleon personality. I learned to be whoever I needed to be according to the situation. Don’t misunderstand me; it is not that I purposely set out to deceive people, it was a self-protection defense. Growing up in close quarters in fear of the one who is suppose to nurture and protect you can alter your self identity and value.

You see, when you grow up walking on eggshells, you quickly learn how to tip-toe so you will not upset the one you fear. Unfortunately, this skill does carry over into other areas of your life and relationships; it’s a learned behavior. The very thing I ran from, I ran to, and if you have ever experienced long term abuse then you understand what I am saying. I ran-away from an abusive father to end up in one abusive and unhealthy relationship after another. I was so beat down I didn’t know my own worth or who I was; and if you don’t know your worth then you will accept anything.

The pattern that was embedded into me led to failed marriages, depression, anxiety, and an inability to finish things. Where I failed in one area I would try to overcompensate in other areas, leading to imbalance, more failure, self-loathing, deeper depression and guilt. I was plagued with the constant thoughts I was never going to be good enough. I became an expert at self-sabotage.

I share this with you, not to bash my father, because I have long since forgave him. Nor do I seek any kind of pity, because I have learned I am not a victim, I am conqueror. I share this personal information about me to give you hope.

What I have done in the past (and probably what you are doing now) to numb the fear and anger I had inside of me, simply did not work. Healing is for you now and for your future; it is not to change your past. Your past can’t be changed, but you can be empowered to not let your past dictate your future.

There is only One way you can truly be free. Any other way is only a temporary fix and will lead to more heartache.

Allow me to backtrack to the beginning of this post and start over. OK?

I didn’t know my Father as a child. I met Him at a time in my life when I was so low that death began to look like an option. I was weary and tired of being tired. Know what I mean? Have you ever been there?

Yet, there was this quiet inner voice of hope, almost like a whisper, and He told me to not give up. Then His voice redirected my footsteps right to the bookstore to buy a Bible. I have tried everything else and failed, so I figured I will give God a chance. Of course I didn’t understand a word I read, it may as well have been Shakespeare to me. But, He still continued to call me, He didn’t give up on me, He led me to a church filled with people who loved Him and it was there I met my Father for the very first time. Well, it was actually in my car, but God used His people in this church to lead me there.

At the advice of my pastor, I opened my Bible again and read the book of John. It was no longer Shakespeare, it was the voice of God speaking to me. It was as if my eyes had been opened for the very first time and all I could do was weep as I read about His great love for me. It felt as though Jesus Himself was sitting right next to me. Have you ever experienced this?

Can I tell you what the difference was? It was His Spirit!

For the first time in my life, I did not feel alone. For the first time I felt loved.

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What He did for me, He wants to do for you, too. He fully immersed me in His love and bathed me in His righteousness.

All the shame I carried… gone.

The fear… gone.

Anger… gone.

There is something you need to understand. From the foundation of the earth, before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you. All of your days were fashioned before Him when there was none. 

It was, and still is, never God’s will for us to suffer; especially children. You may ask, “Then why does He allow it to happen?” Ah, my friend, you are His Beloved, and because He loves us He gave each of us the freedom of choice to choose to love Him, so we may be conformed into His image. He never overrides our own will; though I can personally testify there have been many times He has super naturally came to my rescue. He has written His law in our hearts, this is what is known as a conscience. Since the fall of man, sin has entered the world and the consequence affects generations, even the innocent. Do you understand this?

The second greatest gift He gives us is the ability to forgive. When you have reached the sweet place of being able to forgive the one who hurt you, then you will be truly free from your past. Please, understand forgiveness does not excuse or justify the wrong, it sets you free from the injury. Forgiveness cuts all ties with what was meant to destroy you. Forgiveness works hand in hand with the cleansing of God to purify and renew you. It brings healing and deliverance and sets you free to be the person He created you to be from the foundation of the earth. It is like taking off the sunglass in a dark room and suddenly everything becomes bright and you are able to see.

When His Spirit helped me to remove my sunglasses of unforgiveness I was able to see who the true enemy really was. It wasn’t my father. It was Satan and the works from hell working through my father. Forgiveness gave me the ability to see my father as a hurting man who carried injury from his childhood and passed it down to me. He is a lost man in need of a Savior, just as we all are before we know Christ. We have all hurt people out of our own injury; it may not have been the same injury that was caused to us as children, but we have all been in a place of needing forgiveness.

For your own soul’s sake, do not withhold forgiveness. I am not saying it will be easy. You may have to forgive everyday until you come to the place where you can say, “It is well with my soul.” You may even need some help walking through this, a Christian counselor perhaps. But, I do know His Holy Spirit can and will comfort  and help you.

And know this, you are never alone. Your Heavenly Father is close to the broken hearted and He has not left you as an orphan.

 Be Free & Stay Free

 

You Can Because I Am

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Her life didn’t turn out the way she planned. Everything was a struggle, from childhood to adult, it was a constant struggle; as if she was under a curse.

All her life all she ever wanted was to be loved.

As a child she would envy other children who had parents who loved them. She wanted to be like the other girls who walked with their heads high and carefree. She wanted friends to laugh with and parents to ask her how her day was.

Of course, she over compensated for the affection she hungered for, her flirts for love and validation only left her with deeper wounds. She was misguided by her skewed perception of what love is, mistaking touch and empty words from lovers as the real; even though, deep inside, she knew…

Yes, all her life all she ever wanted was to be loved.

Years have passed, five husbands and the lovers in between have come and gone. Resolved in her belief that it was too late for her, she settled and accepted this is as good as it will ever get.

Everyday she would go out of her way to avoid people. Her dreams were replaced with shame, regret, and disappointment.

But…

A day, a Man, a God, that changed her life forever!

There He was at the well. The audacity He had to even talk to her. Didn’t he know who she was? He must not be from around here, because if He were then He would know to not talk to her; if He wanted to save His reputation.

But…

He did talk to her!

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He asked her for a drink? Really? The nerve! She had nothing to give and she was on guard because she couldn’t trust the kindness in His voice. There was definitely something different about Him. He wasn’t undressing her with His eyes. He didn’t talk down to her or try to puff her up with flattery and false compliments.

He didn’t even seem to notice her uncomfortableness (even though she was intrigued, there was something about Him) He talked to her with respect and dignity. Ah, yes, dignity… as if she was someone.

She felt drawn to Him, but she needed to be on guard; she couldn’t trust men.

No matter how she tried to talk circles, He brought it back to her; her need.

She learned to never look a man in the eyes. She had been cast down so low she couldn’t even look up.

But…

This man! There is something different about Him. He told her everything about her and for the first time she didn’t feel judged. It was as if He knew her personally and still He was not ashamed of her.

She felt it in His words. She felt it in His tone.

Her eyes went from looking at her feet, across the ground, to His feet and then up, slowly up… to His eyes.

He paused.

She paused.

He smiled.

“I Am.” He said.

It was then she knew… she was looking into the eyes of God!

Her life will never be the same. She no longer looked at her past with regret and shame.

I Am set her free!

I Am wants to set you free, too, Beloved.

Are you at the well of decision? Have you been beaten down? Do you feel like this is as good as it gets? Oh, my friend, there is a more abundant life waiting for you at the well.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Read this and listen to this while you read and let it sink in! There is no chain His love can’t break!

Be Free & Stay Free

Me, JJ, & Jesus

 

 

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The best gift I ever received is JJ; my little four legged buddy. He was just a puppy, barely able to climb a curve, when he moved into our hearts. He is three years old now; I think that is 21 in dog years.

I was never really a fan of small dogs; until now. Perhaps it is because I always viewed small dogs as just little yappers. At least with big dogs you can have some kind of protection. My view has certainly changed since JJ.

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JJ follows me everywhere. If I sit, he sits beside me. He presses himself up against me, or hops on my lap, and there he will rest. When I move, he moves. When I go to bed he follows me into the bedroom and hops on his pillow and sleeps on the floor beside me. He seems to have a sense about him, no matter how deep asleep he is the moment, I get out of bed he is right there beside me following me around the apartment; watching and waiting.

He enjoys car rides; he has traveled across country several times. No matter if it is a short ride or a cross country trip JJ is right there beside me, sitting on the middle console looking out the window, happy to be with me. When he was a puppy my husband and I would sneak him into stores with us, he fit perfectly inside my bag.

drive 9When he can’t go on outings with us, we return home to him waiting by the door for us, tail wagging, smile on his face, and usually with one of his favorite toys in his mouth.

Everyone knows JJ, he is friendly and happy.

This morning JJ was sitting in front of me, his head tilted, looking at me with his gentle black eyes and a smile on his mouth… he had a look of anticipation, yet he seemed so content to just be with me. I had to smile, pat him on his head, tell him what a good boy he is and how much I loved him and then I had a thought; be like JJ.

Stay with me here…

JJ knows I love him. He feels safe and has never experienced anything but love. I supply his needs, feed him, love him, and care for him. He could be spoiled, but he doesn’t know he is because this is all he has ever known. Even when he has been corrected and disciplined he is still confident in my love and care for him. And if we cross paths with a bigger dog who is not very friendly, JJ finds his refuge hiding behind my legs.

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I am learning an important lesson from JJ. His complete trust and faith in me raised a question in me…

The moment he tilted his head and his eyes met mine I heard the question; “Do I trust and love God this much? Is He truly the center in my life and does everything revolved around Him?”

You see, even when I walk in the door without a surprise treat to give JJ, he is still happy to see me. Or when I have to discipline him, he does not cower from me, he immediately jumps up on my lap safe in my care for him. When he can’t see me, he knows I will return and I haven’t abandoned him.

Simply put… he trusts me.

My question to you is… Do you trust Him?

A rescue dog who has been abused can still heal and thrive and learn to trust, in the care of a good owner. (I am in NO way comparing us to dogs, I am just using this as an example. Although I do think we could learn a lot from them) Most of us have been deeply wounded and we carry the injuries like a badge. We are afraid to trust and let go.

But Jesus says, “Trust Me. Come to Me.”

He will never abandon you, He will never forsake you. He will deliver you. He will provide for you. And yes, there is always room for you in His arms and on His lap.

Pray this: 

Father, heal me, lead me and reveal Yourself to me, give me the revelation of You and help me to never stray, but to always stay close to You, not relying on my own sight but in complete confidence You are with me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Be Free & Stay Free 

 

Spiritual Father’s Day

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This is for all the Spiritual Fathers out there and to all the men who answered the call and gave…

You may never know on this side of eternity the impact you have had and the difference you made, but God knows, and the fatherless children know.

Thank you for standing up and being the face of our Father when there was no father. You have never looked more like Christ than when you loved a child that was not your own, or when you came alongside a young man to mentor him, or gave validation to a young girl’s worth.

When you chose to stand in the gap and love, sacrificing time, life, finances, and sleep…

You became the shield between the fatherless and hell; you led them closer to the Father. You taught a young boy what a man is, you helped a young girl know her worth, you impacted a generation for the Kingdom of God. It may have seemed like such a small thing at the time, but believe me… nothing done for God’s children is small or insignificant.

To all you spiritual fathers who may or may not have had children of your own-

Thank you! God Bless you!

I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. -John 14:18

“I will establish My covenant (everlasting promise) between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly [through your descendants].” – Genesis 17:2

 

 

 

 

 

Real Love, His Love

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There is comfort in love; safety and freedom.

What freedom and security to be completely vulnerable and naked, knowing you are loved and cared for, no matter the flaws, because your Beloved loves you unconditionally.

Such love is willing to lay His life down for you, defend you, hold you, care for the things you care for- never looking at your concerns as trivial.

This love holds you when you are sick, walks with you, leads you, and wipes every tear from your eyes. He rejoices with you, celebrates you, encourages you, and loves you for you, because He knows you (even the things you try to hide). He is quick to forgive, never keeping tallies of your wrongs, and sees the best in you.

You trust this love, because He always keeps His promises, He is never late, and gifts to you more than you could ever hope for.

He never rejects you, ignores you, or is ever too busy for you. He speaks tenderly to you, His voice resonates within you, His voice is the sound of mighty rushing waters washing over you with waves of peace.

Every need you have, He provides. Every injury, He heals. His love is the most intimate of all loves.

Accepting and knowing His love frees you to love others; including yourself. It chases away every fear and you rest in the knowing, He is always with you. There is true protection in His love.

My friend, do you know this love? Are you truly experiencing the intimacy of Him? Do you desire His love to wrap around you like a warm hug that never lets go? Because He is here and His desire is for you.

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There is no need to search for people or things to fill this need for love. Even mans best effort is nothing in comparison to Him. Once you know Him and how much He loves you, you will no longer be afraid to let go of some things or people. You will humbly hold your head high and walk with dignity, because when you know the King’s love for you you will reject every thought, anything, or anyone who dares to entice you from your birth right as a daughter (or son) of the King of Kings.

The Lord appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you…” Jeremiah 31:3

Be Free & Stay Free

 

He Is All You Need

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Sometimes people come into your life and you love them… but, they don’t don’t.

Sometimes you see what could be… but, they can’t.

And you are tempted to hold on a little longer, wait and see, because it is hard to let go.

But, there comes a time when you have to just listen and be obedient. You have to walk in the call God has given you, because time is short and you have an assignment.

But, then those fears tip toe in, what if you are wrong? What if you will be alone?

My friend, God is the author and perfecter of your faith. He will finish what He has began. Sometimes you have to walk alone, although you are never alone because He promises to be with you. Can you see beyond what your eyes can see?  Can you see with the eyes of faith

Anything that stands between you and God and the purpose He has created you for, MUST go!

Sure, it may be painful. Sure, there will be tears. But, you were created for so much more. Time is short, my friend, we must be about the Father’s business.

All you need is Him!

Be Free & Stay Free 

 

Why Forgive?

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This is what forgiveness does…

… it frees us!

When we can see the offender as someone trapped in their own nightmare, a victim (because without Christ that is what we are) then we have better understanding.

When we suffer for Christ, we suffer as Christ did, for a people who had no light or understanding.

Forgiveness does NOT excuse the offense, it frees you to move on pass the offense, it breaks the chain of bondage. It is freedom!

Forgiveness is the language of God, It is a blueprint to your future.

Beloved, I know you hurt, but it was not from God. Give it to Him and He will turn it into something beautiful! He promises!

Be Free & Stay Free