“Let It Go” Isn’t Just a Song….7 Steps to Surrender

breaking_chains.208145743_std  A few years back, (well,  maybe about 25)  I worked as  a Medical Staff Coordinator  in the Administrative  Department of our local  hospital.  I had worked my  way up from the  Cardiovascular Department  to the one job that no one  else could do, or so I  thought.   I felt pretty secure in my job and as a single mom knew that it could only get better from there..

…until the day I was fired.

I was called into the CEO’s office and let go  due to layoffs in the hospital in general.  The Administrative secretary had convinced the CEO that she could do my job as well as her own and save the hospital money.  (Which sabotaged her own job in the end, but I digress).

Since they were laying off R.N’s due to the cutbacks I became the sacrificial lamb, the big example for Administration to use to show they were ‘suffering’ as well.

This lay off came as a total shock and I just was so unprepared for it that it took several days for me to realize I had no income or job in the future.  As I drove away from the hospital that last day feeling like my life was over, I drove past a huge dirt lot across the street from the hospital. 

“You will work there”, Jesus whispered.

“Huh, what?  There?  On that dirt lot?” I quivered.

Yes, you will work in that exact place, Dixie. Trust me!” He said.


Two years later, after a stint of working in a nearby city at a medical clinic, I was hired as the new Human Resource Manager and Medical Staff Coordinator of a brand new medical clinic built on that dirt corner where Jesus told me I would work.

Looking back I see now I was primed to learn about surrendering all to God because I was convinced that I was indestructible and I fully believed that my job was safe, and that it was forever.  Boy did I need a few lessons.

praying-woman It is usually at the peak of arrogance  that we feel the first blow pointing  towards  true surrender, and we  reluctantly do it because we have to!  Isn’t that God’s patient way with us?    He allows us to come to the fact that  there is just no other choice.

 Here are a few things I have learned  about surrender along my journey that  I share with you…

By the way, it is NEVER easy because we are human.   This is how I learned what surrendering means, the hard way, and the TRUE way:

 

  1. It is usually when there is no other place to turn but to God; we are maxed out of ideas and there is no way out.

 There was no way out.  I had no choice but to once again surrender my life and my fears of not being able to support my 2 kids to God.  Why is that always the LAST thing we do instead of the first thing?

 In the end we have to accept the changes that  happened, that things may never be the same way they were, and that we get to make choices.

Stop fighting the reality that this is real.

We could be OK with it and flow with God, or be miserable for the rest of whatever time we struggle.Mind-clutter

 

  1. Stop murmuring and complaining!

Complaining only diminishes your faith and robs you of your joy…you believe it when you hear yourself saying it.  It makes us pretty unlovely people and we drive others away from us.  Who wants to listen to that every time they are around you?

Someone said that non-complaining is a muscle, and as such, it needs practice. 

So practice your non-complaining muscle.

 What did murmuring get the children of Israel as they wandered through the desert?  Nothing, but Quail up to the eyeballs!

 

  1. Being thankful for what you have, and, here is the key, WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE…..YET!

Know that He always has a plan and isn’t going to let you sink.

Thankfulness is one of the most powerful forces in the Kingdom of God.

If you list just ten things you are grateful for today then suddenly you have “perspective.” 

When you live in a state of thankfulness, you see yourself for what you are,  and sometimes you don’t like what you see and now have the opportunity to change it.

Never underestimate the power of gratitude when you are trying to surrender. It is like a shortcut, it gets you there really fast, and underlies how blessed you are, already.

It’s not easy to think with gratitude when we feel like we are in the gutter…  

..but let’s just get over ourselves already. 

 Life is not easy for most of us.  It is a choice to rise above our situations at every moment of the day.

 

  1. BE STILL and know He is God!

jesus and me Whoa, now this is a hard one  and goes back to our minds  being the battlefield that  either makes or breaks us in  our storms.   Learning to  breath, praise and be  thankful, and simply just be  in His presence, is right  where He wants us.

 Learning to let go of our  fears and let them go to Him and not allow them entrance into our minds anymore is most of the battle of true surrender.

It was not easy, I wanted to scream, list all the reasons why it was impossible, and complain. But I did not.

Amazing!

When we shut up and just BE, circumstances resolve themselves right in front of our eyes.

I practice shutting up all the time now. I know how powerful it is. Talk about the power of surrendering those words of anger!  No room to do that when you are sitting in the presence of God almighty!

 

  1. GIVE UP CONTROL

In my loss of job situation I could not control anything, but I could “intend” to change jobs.  But I was pretty much at His mercy in how it happened.   I searched, but He is the one who directed me to the right places to find employment.  And I did as I learned to take one day at a time and learned to trust instead of fear.

That took a while…I am no different than you are.

With a clear intention I let go of how I thought things were going to happen because I had no control over the “how.”

Sometimes things move way too slow. Sometimes they don’t move at all. We can intend and keep our vision that He is traveling this journey with us and wait for the break through.

Funny thing about the how… when it happens it looks so obvious and is a “Wow, didn’t see that coming”… but we can never anticipate or control it.

 

  1. LETTING GO OF THE PICTURE

I have always been one who tried to fit everything into a picture I had in my head of how it was supposed to be.  It was my place of denial and avoidance.  I learned this mind survival skill as a child escaping my perpetrator who was molesting me.  It was no longer working for me as an adult, but I was still doing it.  I had to stop and face reality.

Sometimes I get what I want.

But the thing that gets me is that what I get is NEVER how I pictured it in the first place.

Funny how that is.cupped hands

As surrendering gets more in tune with God we begin to realize that everything we tell ourselves is just a story out of our own minds, based on our own backgrounds.  His pictures of us are very different and is the very best for us.

The mind labels things and prides itself in knowing. But what “is” with Jesus always happens beyond the ideas that our minds wants to box-in.

 

  1. BEYOND SURRENDERING

Beyond surrendering we understand – at a intuitive Holy Spirit level –and we begin to live life as a practice of being present for what is arising in this moment, surrendering all concerns to Him as they show up on our radar.

This leads to seeing everything as spiritual.  Because this moment, with its infinite possibilities, is sacred.  We are spiritual beings even when we don’t FEEL spiritual.

535697_353910861338135_812640802_n Miracles happen when we go  beyond surrendering and we  incorporate it as a way of life.  Prayerful surrender becomes  a way of life because we  have a subtle appreciation  that this is the moment  where everything is possible.

Just Shoot Me Now! 2 Ways to Heal Shame Wounds

hiding Years ago I was at Santa  Barbara City College to  witness my friend’s  graduation  as an X-ray  Technician.   The campus  was teaming with people that  day for there were many  students getting various  degrees and licenses in their  particular fields.  The event  was outside and  I sat down  on the cold metal chair and then realized I had a while to wait so ventured off across campus to find the restrooms.  

I wore a long skirt that day.  After using the rest room hurriedly I started the long walk back to my chair.  The whole way there people were staring at me weird.

 Some had smirks on their faces and some looked away in disgust.   I couldn’t figure out what their problem was and one time I even shot a dirty look back at some guy, like he had a problem or something.  I passed many people on the way back to my chair and they all looked away when I would smile at them. 

When I finally sat down I felt intensely cold metal on my back side and glanced back.   My skirt in the back was completely tucked inside my underwear and my entire back side was expose to all the ‘millions’ of people that I passed on the way back.  No one had the nerve to tell me! 

Just shoot me now!

I find it very funny now.  Add it to my list of escapades that have provided many chuckles in my story telling on myself. 

But back then I wasn’t as healthy,  and had not dealt with much of my denial and secrets of years past born out of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse.   I sat there the whole event cloaked in shame and embarrassment.  I felt exposed and uncovered the whole day and I felt like a child inside with no self esteem who just wanted to run. 

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 Shame is an emotion in  which the self is perceived  as defective, unacceptable,  or fundamentally damaged.  Shame is often confused  with guilt, which is a related  but distinct emotion in which  a specific behavior is viewed  as unacceptable or wrong,  rather than the entire self.

 Brene Brown says, “Owning  our story can be hard but not  nearly as difficult as  spending our lives running  from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 

Shame is darkness to our soul.   We need to learn to recognize it and then let it go into the light of His presence in us.

 

People who experience traumatic events, mostly in childhood, are prone to shame, particularly if they blame themselves for the event.

 Shame gives you a desire to hide, disappear, or even die.

 Have you ever done anything you’re not proud of, like feigning a headache to get out of a dinner or snapping at your partner in a heated moment? You mess up, like we all do, and when it happens, you probably feel guilty and convicted to make it right.

Guilt is a normal emotion that people experience when they believe they have caused harm or actually done something wrong. We all make mistakes and those mistakes often affect other people, therefore we feel guilt. 

Or there is unfounded guilt, the worst kind.  We could come from a family that used guilt to manipulate us all of our lives.  Such as, “Okay go the movies son, but if I am dead in my chair when you get back, just bury me out back.”

Now that evokes guilt.  Any dutiful son would cancel his plans so that he won’t be responsible for causing Dad to die.  The motivation is guilt.  But that son will carry anger in his heart and left undealt with will be with him through adulthood.

Or how about going to see an elderly parent.  The first thing they say to you is “Where have you been.  Why haven’t you come to see me?”  More guilt.  Instead of rejoicing that you are there now.  The guilt can be so horrible it makes you not want to visit them at all.

 But, If your feelings of guilt cause daily anxiety or are out of proportion to the actual mistakes you have made, you might be suffering from an even more toxic emotion:

Shame.

Shame is what I felt that day I was exposed to the world.

Shame is commonly confused with guilt. People who experience shame often feel bad for every little error they make, and are in a constant state of fear of making more. For this reason they feel fear around authority figures, judge themselves harshly, and have a low sense of self esteem.

Guilt says I have done something wrong.

Shame says I AM something wrong.

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 Shame is toxic.

 Shame can strip away the joy and  freedom that you deserve to  experience in your walk.

 Shame most often stems from a  wounded part of you that was  convinced in childhood that you  weren’t enough. Though this is  not the truth, it may feel that way,  as beliefs that you carry for  decades become your reality.

 Shame can play a very powerful  and negative role in your life, but  it doesn’t have to. God can heal your feelings of shame and you can start living a happier and more empowered life. 

One of the most powerful techniques to healing shame is to practice self compassion.  We need to love ourselves.  How do we do that?

  1. We begin to treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same kindness, caring and compassion we would show a good friend or a beloved child. We find out what God says about us as His precious children and begin to confess that over ourselves in spite of what we feel. We will eventually begin to believe it.  It will sink into your mind and renew your mind to truth rather than what you have believed all of your life.

When we practice this it helps us to feel less isolated and alienated from others. The more shame we feel, the more deficient we feel and in turn, the more separate we feel from others.

  1. Now say those words out loud to yourself. Take a deep breath and really take in those words. How does hearing yourself say those words out loud make you feel? Can you feel your faith grow in your own value in the Kingdom of God.  

The more you practice this the more you will believe it.  Oh, there will be triggers, (like my skirt incident), that will bring back those old familiar feelings, but pay them no attention…pull out those scriptures and start saying them over yourself again.  Sing them over yourself if you feel inclined.   Get them into your spirit and renew your mind!

brokenchainsYou deserve to be free to allow God to lead you into a life of freedom you truly love and to feel worthy of having it.

 

 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Eph 2:10 NLT)

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!   Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.   NLT(Psalm 139:13-15).

 

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  For help with shame issues I would be honored to coach    you into freedom.  You can contact me on this web site from  the home page.

Hello, Fear. I’ve Been Expecting You…Five Tools to Combat Anxiety

dixie1 My journey over the past two  years has been one of disbelief,  then shock, then denial, then  fear, then acceptance, and finally,  faith.  

 But maybe that is wrong. 

 Faith had to always be there or I  wouldn’t be sane right now.   I  have watched God sustain us on  very little work for my husband  for at least the last 2 years and  before that we slowly watched  our work source disappear due to  California’s changes and  cutbacks.  We literally live with no savings and only Him to provide for us.

(You can read about this journey in my new book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, in the warfare section of the book.)

Manna from Heaven.

Well, not literally Manna…yet.   

But envelopes on the door step.   Acquaintances walking up and handing us money.  The givers, giving as my husband speaks at various church gatherings.  And my own income from coaching keeps me floating. It is so supernatural I can’t even tell you where it all comes from.   

My journey as a Life Purpose Coach is amazing too.   God seriously brings in the clients and it has been this way since the beginning of this career.  When my clientele gets low, I pray and ask God for more and He sends them.

All you have to do is let God know you are ready to reach out to people and He will send them.  No stress in that one.    He just sends them.  So, be watching or you will miss the opportunity.

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 What one usually fears, at  the root  level, is a kind of  death. We fear a  death of a  part of ourselves, the  death  of a job, the death of a  move,  death of an income,  death of  ourselves….and the  list goes on.  When we think  of certain big  transitional  periods in our lives, we  often experience a lot of  change.  Change invokes  the death of something in  our minds… the ending of something.

 A change usually requires some letting go of old thoughts, behaviors, people, situations, and ways of being .  And then we can experience the new and fresh.  But if we let anxiety take over we become paralyzed and defeated.

 

The truth is that we won’t actually die, but somewhere within our psyche, we feel as though we are LITERALLY going to die.

 

 Once we get past that initial fear and insert a healthy comforting tool, we can move towards the new. We must, in turn, accept what we most fear.  You have to ask yourself…what is the worst that can happen?  

And within that answer comes reality.  I won’t die!

Here are 5 tools for you to begin to gain ground in this fight against fear.

1.  Admit to yourself that you are experiencing anxiety because if you deny it.. it only gets worse. Face it head on.  Make a decision to not react to it.  Instead focus on deep breathing.   Focus only on the breathing and Jesus.  Picture Him right besides you and breathe in His all encompassing peace, and breathe out the anxiety and fear.   Make sure the breaths are from your diaphragm and not your chest in shallow puffs.    Take a deep full breath in through your nose, making sure your belly expands on the inhale, and out through your mouth, and the belly contracts.

2.  Listen to sweet worship music and focus on the words. Drown out the fearful thoughts.

3.  Whisper the name of Jesus…the bible says that at the mention of that name, every knee has to bow, in heaven and in earth….this means that when you say His name, the enemy of fear can’t stay around…it has to leave…

…fear and perfect Love cannot dwell together.

 4.  Learn to train your mind to be on guard against the thoughts that come from– THE VOICE–and that voice usually comes from our enemy or just our own minds (and past voices that spoke negativity into our lives) where the enemy has planted his imagery of death.

 5.  When you feel the thoughts coming of impending doom, immediately start the breathing, the name of Jesus, and a favorite verse you can say over and over again. And if you need it, put on that music!

Shoulder-Angel-and-DevilTwo thoughts cannot dwell in your mind at the same time.  One or the other has to go.  I choose to eradicate the fear thought.

 

Trust that, no matter what, within your new heart lies the ability to get through anything. Trust Him–He will walk you through it.

So, that is how I have gotten through this death of the old in my life.  I still don’t know what the outcome of all this will be.  But I do know Jesus has a plan and it will unfold when He is ready to show it to me. 

Meanwhile I can’t afford to let my mind wander into the unknown valley of fear for it will lead to a certain death of my peace.

 This is a battle with the principalities and powers of the air, the warfare for my life and the fight is not mine but His.  As long as I envelope myself in Him He will not let me sink into that raging sea.  

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 It is not complicated  though we try to make  it so, don’t we?  

 There is no formula,  no works, no  traditions, nothing that  we can fall back on  that will move us out  of anxiety and into the  peace that passes all  understanding… except His love.

He is Love itself, and He promises that He will NOT ever forsake us.  

….for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,  [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Hebrews 13:5b Amp.

 

I will announce the  winners of the free books on my next blog.  Read the last blog about the release of my newest book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, and comment if you want to enter the drawing!

 

50 Ways to Meet Your Lover!~~ New Book Launch!

50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e139710312732150 Ways to Meet Your Lover, An Invitation Into a Captivating Daily Walk of Intimacy With Jesus, the Lover of Your Heart and Soul

My new book is launched today on Amazon!  Free book giveaway drawn from comments on this blog below!

The story of my life has been the story of a long and passionate pursuit for God.  He always came as the King in my story, and it was always to rescue my heart so I could live as a woman fully alive and completely captivated by my King

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1My most Intimate Stories Written For You. 

Because of a long childhood shrouded in pain and abuse, I pursued my King with all my heart from my earliest years because, somehow, I knew that He held the answers for my worth as a valuable human being.

Did you ever think Jesus could occupy the role of your lover?  Well, this book shows you 50 ways to do so.  What do you long for Jesus to do for you?  What places in your heart are crying out for healing and restoration and beauty?  Have you lost hope?

I see my journey through life as an adventure; a wild, passion-filled, full of love, full of many valleys and deserts, kind of adventure.  I refuse to see my life as mundane and I refuse to allow myself to think of myself as a victim of circumstances.  I don’t care how  hot the fires of a trial may be.

The reason we identify with fairy tales in some deep part of us is because they rest on three great truths: The hero really has a heart of gold, he is usually a Prince or a King, and his beloved possesses hidden beauty and greatness fit for royalty.  I want you to have a glimpse of Jesus’ golden heart.  I want you to know you possess greatness and honor.  This is how He sees you.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nThe King is enthralled with your beauty! Ps. 45:11

This Jesus, this playful, fun, extravagant, and total lover of our deepest desires is enthralled by our beauty.

Imagine it!!

50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, is what I humbly share with you as we pursue this King, Prince, Friend, Redeemer, and Lover in a very real and personal way.  I hope you find it spiritual, deep, honest, transparent, vulnerable, inspirational, and humorous.

If you want to know how much you are loved by God, and if you want a closer walk with Him, I pray that my walk–with all of its peaks and valleys–can inspire you to know these very things, and truly give you joy and laughter along your own personal adventure with God.

I’ve written this memoir-driven devotional — with chapter by chapter daily stories from my own personal walk with Jesus~

~  in soul searching stories of discovery

~  find the real you : explore what feeds your soul

~  discover vulnerability and transparency to heal

~  understand how your personal story can be used to get you to the plans and purposes of God in your life

~  be inspired with faith and hope in never being alone on your journey

535697_353910861338135_812640802_nLet’s Celebrate!

FREE BOOK GIVE AWAY!

I WILL DRAW A NAME AT RANDOM FROM EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS  BELOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS BLOG.

THE DRAWING WILL HE HELD A WEEK FROM THE DATE POSTED.

THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON MY NEXT BLOG

(I will notify you for your address)

 

The Woman Who had No Self Esteem, No Hope for the Future, and No Idea She Even had a Gift…..


50-ways-to-meet-your-lover1-e1397103127321 It is my story.  MY story!  We all have a story.  This is mine.  I  am  getting ready in a few weeks to launch my 2nd book, 50 Ways  To  Meet Your Lover, An Invitation Into a Captivating Walk With  Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul.  

 A SECOND BOOK!   How crazy is that?

 Who knew this would happen in my life.  I could not have  dreamed that the little girl who was a victim of incest, abused by  her spiritual leaders; the woman who endured seeing her  own sweet little girl become a victim of the same travesty; the  woman who had no self esteem, no hope for the future, and no  idea she even had a gift to use for God could be here today  proclaiming to you that God has made me into an Author and a  Life Purpose Coach,

….and yet here I am.

Don’t tell me God can’t use you because of your past.   I am a walking miracle and living proof.   And He uses my past to set others free now! 

Amazing!

You are a walking miracle!!  You may not know it yet, but you are.

After writing my first book, Climbing Out of the Box, My Journey Out of Sexual and Spiritual Abuse Into Freedom and Healing, I learned that it is in our vulnerability and transparency that others can truly relate and be transformed by our stories.   I learned to let my story go for the good of mankind, so to speak.   For I knew if my story could possibly change the life on one person it would have been worth it to me and to Jesus.

climbing-out-of-the-box-by-dixie-r_-diamanti-300x300-e1397103388170

Then I went a step further and realized that even if it was just an act of obedience and I was writing just for Jesus, it still would be more than worth it.  

The surprise was that in writing my story….

I FOUND HEALING!!

And this is why I am such a promoter of journaling your story and thoughts and prayers to God.  If you have coached with me you already know that.   In getting it all out your story begins to make more sense, your life purpose comes into focus, and you find a cleansing of the past like never before.

So, I moved forward in my writing at first never really knowing if it was real.  At first  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was blind faith.  We use the tools and gifting God has given us….sometimes without seeing the completed plan.  He grows us up to reach outside of ourselves to see others walk in the same freedoms.

And that is my goal, really;  To make a difference in the lives of others.

I love to write but I’m not really patient to wait for the plan, the dream, to unfold.  Especially if I have a vision of what I want to put down on paper.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I am excited about it.  I want to do it now and see it published next week.

But then I wait and write.

And wait and write some more.

And then I don’t want to let go if it, again, and wonder why anyone would want t o read my stuff.

Looking at my motives I realized it is not just about whether my book will be a best seller or not, though that would be wonderful.  It is about being me and being true to who I was created to be and to my calling.  God has a plan.  Then I had to face the fact that even if I knew it wouldn’t be a best seller, I would write it anyway, if only to reach that one person who thought there was no hope left.

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04There is a divine journey assigned to just me.   There is one assigned to you too.   It is a journey about reaching out, touching lives, healing hearts and being vulnerable enough with my story that it will truly make a difference in the lives of others. 

I want to flow in His plan and not get ahead of myself.  At least in my heart I do.  My head is a different matter.  It wants everything yesterday.  It’s because I have this dream, and it is not going away.  I have more stories to tell.  They are not going away either.  But when I am writing I have need of patience and I always learn in the process.

Maybe it simply means validation.  When my books make  it into print, it says to me, “Yes, you are doing this right.”  I am doing what I’m meant to be doing.

So, here I am with one book published and one about to be published in a week or two; waiting for them to get in the hands of the right people through social media and word of mouth,

..and being okay with it.

My soon to be released book, 50 Ways to Meet Your Lover, A Captivating Invitation Into a Daily Walk Of Intimacy With Jesus the Lover of Your Heart and Soul  is a compilation of my own personal journey– stories of faith, trial and temptations and humor.   It amazes me that many of you will be reading about my very private times of intimacy with Jesus, and actually growing in faith to the place that if He can do it for me, He can certainly do it for you.  At least that is my prayer.

It’s not as though I have a choice.  I can’t control it, this walk of faith –not if I want to continue upward.  And I can’t control the outcome or the wait.  But God knows and His timing is always best for our journeys. 

He zigs while I zag……I must continue to walk in the light of Him on my journey. It is all about surrendering to the process of growing.

Both books can be purchased on Amazon in a few weeks!!  You can get Climbing Out of the Box right now!

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I Fell Head-long Down a Flight of Unrelenting, Cement Stairs

stairfallWhen Greg and I were first friends and actually neighbors in our adjoining apartments, he was attending an event one day that he needed support from friends while there.  I decided to  go to the event just to support him.  I spent much time on presenting myself because secretly I was interested in getting to know Greg a little better, if you know what I mean.   I had on lovely white slacks and was coiffed just so.  I lived in an upstairs apartment and cement stairs led down to my car.  As I hurried out the door towards my car, somehow I stumbled heading down the stairs and fell head long down a flight of very hard and unrelenting stairs.

I was stunned and shaken when I reached the bottom and, true to my nature, I looked around to see if anyone saw me and then jumped up and ran back up the stairs in denial that my whole body was in pain.  I hurriedly checked the mirror to make sure my hair and makeup was still in place and my clothes were still presentable and then rushed off to the event, ignoring the ache in my leg and that my body was shaking.

I entered the building and took my seat to observe and when Greg saw me he came and sat with me.  I acted so together as I smiled.  But the minute he looked at me he wanted to know if I was okay…we looked down at my leg with the white pants and there was blood seeping through.  I leaned over and pulled up my pant leg and had a large goose egg on my shin and it was bleeding.  I was embarrassed and said it was nothing and that I just fell down the cement stairs between our apartments before coming.  He looked at me like I was from another world.  Greg still tells the story.

This was typical behavior for me at the time.  I was so good at covering the real me and hiding my imperfections and my clumsiness in most any situation.  I had been through a time of great suffering and pain and was still in hiding from my true self.

Restoration Comedy Mask 1Have you ever struggled with the fear of showing your true self to the world?

Do you back off of things you are gifted in and you know it’s because of insecurity?

Would you be surprised to find that most everyone struggles to reveal their true self instead of a masked version of themselves that they feel is a bit more acceptable?

Why do we hide our true selves?  Are we afraid that no one will like us if they knew who we really are?  And, yet, most of us love it when someone reveals their real selves and all of their imperfections because we then start to feel more “normal.”

I had this recurring dream once.  

I would be rushing to get somewhere…didn’t matter where…shopping, school, parties…and I forgot to get dressed and my make up wasn’t on…fear would grip me in the dream and I would be terrified.  I would be putting on eyebrows, and mascara, and whatever but it would never quite stay on me–it would just slip right off; my clothes kept dropping off.  I would find myself in the midst of people totally undone and without makeup or proper attire, terrified and looking for a hiding place but none could be found.  People ignored me and everyone would just look at me as if I was not even there.  There was nothing about me that made a difference.  I was ugly.  I was unacceptable.  I had nothing to offer if I didn’t look the part, according to my own perceptions.  I would wake up from these dreams in a cold sweat.

hidingThese dreams revealed to me my deepest insecurities born out of being violated as a young child sexually, and for all my years after the violation I tried to paint a picture of a very together girl that had a perfect life.  But inside I knew I was ugly and unworthy and full of shame.

It took a lot of energy to keep my true self hidden and I was always drained.

It takes courage to step out into self discovery and the pain of facing yourself. 

Many choose to walk this way for the rest of their lives rather than be courageous enough to face their hidden pain and let it go.

We fear failure and not being good enough or that we won’t fit in.

I believe on our deepest levels we are actually afraid of who we could be.  Who we know deep down that God has created us to be…so much more than we could imagine and we know it in our spirits!

You are a precious child of the most high God!  Keeping your light hidden only robs the world of what God has gifted you with.  As a Life Purpose Coach I am convinced that He has a plan for each and every one of us.  But not all walk into that plan.  Some resist it because of fear.    

2You were born to shine forth His glory in this world.  That glory is on the inside of you.  As you let that glory shine, you give others permission to do the same. 

Think about how you are one-of-a-kind.  You carry a voice…a resonance.  You have a message. The way you do things is totally you.

 Focusing on this uniqueness will help you to succeed in life.  To grow to love your story.  To find joy in the freedom of being you.

It’s when you discover your uniqueness, that you’ll be open to become who you were meant to be.

The real war is in becoming your truest self. 

I know this struggle too.  Many years I wandered, trying to find who I really was and where I fit in.

But through many years of self discovery in my journey with Jesus, I have to say I am absolutely amazed at how much the struggle to reveal the real me has stopped and I am more comfortable and confident to be who I am called to be.

If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will see I have endeavored to be transparent and vulnerable with my own story…as humorous as it sometimes is…in hopes you will relate and also realize I am no different than you. (Well, maybe some of you aren’t as clumsy as I am.)  

It is through this very transparency that my healing has come.  It is through this vulnerability that others have been able to relate to my story, and feel the courage to share theirs.

How exciting is that?

I am on a mission to proclaim the freedom into the world that deep relationship with Jesus provides for those who want to pursue it and to help them find their voice–the very thing He is calling them to.

I am passionate to help people uncover obstacles that have held them back and to walk with them in a new journey they never knew existed for them and one that  they love.  I would love to work with you in Life Purpose Coaching in uncovering more of “you” and the uniqueness you have to offer the world. 

535697_353910861338135_812640802_nMy friends, you are made unique for a purpose.  Finding your voice starts by being fully alive, inviting people in and having relationship with them by being truly you.

It is letting go of the fear that holds you back once and for all and free falling into the arms of a King who adores you!

Give yourself permission to be free to love you and people wherever you go in life, in what you create and in your business.

Be who you were created to be, find your voice and go change the world. 

 

Does Fishing for People Mean I Have to Stand on the Corner and Yell, “Repent?”

526890_497796150276836_1535264190_nOne day as Jesus was walking along the shore of  the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.  Jesus called out  to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  And they left their nets at once and followed Him.”  Matthew 4:18-20 NLT

I don’t have the gift of evangelism.  My husband does and he loves it!  I love people and have a shepherd’s heart, but I am not one to focus on evangelism.  I am called to share daily Kingdom living with those who are interested, and I write, and I have the gift of counsel through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. 

It took years for me to get over the fear that someone was going to make me stand on a street corner and cry out like John, the Baptist, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  

One day I was caught up in a crowd of people in an amusement park and I found myself slip into a different perspective of the people, who, quite frankly, seemed to be cutting off my air as they pressed in around me.  I had to purposely focus on breathing to avoid taking off running and screaming to get out of the park.  But as I stood there in the line of humanity I felt myself rising, somehow, to a God’s eye view of the multitudes.  It was like I was still in my body in the sweltering crowds, but another part of me was lifted up into the heavenlies.

1It was really pretty amazing. 

I perceived in the spirit what God sees when He looks down on earth and the very expansiveness of the amount of people He sees and I knew He knew each one by name.  And for a brief moment I experienced His kind of love for them.  That is how I knew it was Him.  I didn’t know these people from every nation that seemed to be surrounding me.  

It was pretty much blowing my mind.  I felt very, very small as I looked on with Him from His vantage point.  I thought of how our small groups we hang out with think they have it all figured out and have all the answers…and I saw how absolutely bazaar it is to think we have God, the universe and all the people in it, figured out.

Only God knows each and every heart.  Can you even imagine?

“So Lord”, I said.  “What does it mean to fish for people?  I don’t think it means to grab them and scare them into repenting!”

And as is His custom with me, He began to teach.

The common image of a fisherman in our day is of a man with a fishing pole casting a lure into the waters of a stream or a lake. However, such was not the case when Jesus called his disciples.

They caught fish with nets and by experience they found that their best fishing took place at night.

25276_347990456355_4322645_nWe know that this is true by looking at Luke 5:5, when Jesus told Peter to cast his nets on the other side of the boat he said, “Master we have toiled all night and caught nothing.  Never-the-less at your word I will let down the net.”

How did they fish at night?

They used a very powerful and effective method.

Light!

Fish were attracted to light!  Now I was onto something!

Just as fish are attracted to the disciple’s light, God wants people to be drawn to His light shining through His people. The light of every believer is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives.

Paul stated in his second letter to the Corinthians (4:6-7), “For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power of God may be of God and not of us.”

We are not the light—we merely reflect the light of Jesus. 

Now let’s look at what kind of man Jesus was while He walked this earth.  I have heard it said that Jesus was not strolling through the Israeli countryside offering poetry readings.

He was on a mission to rescue a people who are so utterly deceived, most of them didn’t even want to be rescued.

I saw that Jesus talked straight.

Sometimes He’s playful; sometimes He’s fierce; the next moment He’s generous.  As He is so are we in this earth!  This is the beauty of his wonderfully disruptive honesty—you can count on Jesus to tell you the truth in the best possible way for you to hear it.

Could this be one of the reasons why we struggle to spend time with Christ or to listen to His thoughts on our life, world and relationships—because He’ll tell us the truth?

What would it be like to have someone in your life that knows you intimately, loves you regardless, and is willing to be completely honest with you?  Yes, it would be a little unnerving, certainly disruptive—but doesn’t part of you also crave it?

Jesus heals a leper.  He doesn’t ask Him if He is saved first.

What?

He forgives a prostitute.  He just told her to go and sin no more. 

309148_275390375904036_1522969089_nWouldn’t you want to know more about this man?

He dines with tax collectors and in that day and time that was taboo for “righteous” folk.  Would you be intrigued?

Jesus wasn’t concerned with His reputation.  Why isn’t He?

Jesus doesn’t seem to care what people think.  But we know He cares very deeply about the right things.   

What does Jesus’ scandalous freedom in living and relating to others stir up in you?

Jesus sets before us a deeper, truer view of holiness.   

We are in a world full of darkness.  We are the light of Jesus where He has placed us in the this world.  The fish are attracted to light.  The people are attracted to the light of Him in us.  

“What is it you have that I don’t have?”, they say.

And you reel them in as you simply introduce them to source of the light.

Profoundly simple, yet so profound.

All those external “rules of men” do nothing to promote a genuine holiness.  But they do make people Pharisees.

By the truckload.

Remember, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).

The only possible way that can happen is through an internal revolution, a changed heart.  When we have a heart like Jesus’. Bingo!  Open door to share Him in all of His uniqueness. 

The more you fall in love with Jesus’ genuine goodness, which is true goodness, the more you will absolutely detest the counterfeit of a false piety and a shallow morality.  And the more they will swim around the light and grab the bait!

As they did with Him.