Burn-Out…How to Let Go of What’s Not Coming Back

Burnout

 Have you ever suffered from  burn out?    I have and when I  was in the middle of it I didn’t  know what was going  on…until I talked with a friend,  who happens to be a  therapist, and she said it sounded like I was suffering burn-out.  

 I felt like everything was the same as always, but, in actuality I had been experiencing major blows of loss, emotionally, in my personal life….family, and disappointments and lack…that just kept happening with no end in sight. 

 And still is, actually.

 And when this happens we know that we don’t fight flesh and blood but evil wickedness in high places.  But knowing is not enough.  We still feel exhausted and weak.    One after another I felt like my walls of strength were being beat upon by an enemy who is trying to beat me down to the point of just not caring anymore.  

thumb_colourbox1908348 It seemed like everyone else was  experiencing  changes, good  changes, in their lives.  To me,  watching them, I felt as if life was  moving for them  and for me it  stands still. 

 And will it ever change?

 Your head says one thing and your  heart knows better, but you just feel
tired and kind of don’t care anymore.  Even though I know we are on a journey and being at this place is only preparing me for good things ahead it still “feels” tiring.

So, have you been there?  Or are you there right now?

 You just want to go to bed.   Or just zone out in a book.  (which can be good depending on what you are reading.)images (1)

 Here are the 4 things I have found that  is really helping me with this struggle  and I think they may help you too:

  1.  We can’t always control what happens  to us, but we can always control how  we choose to respond. It really goes  back to the choice doesn’t it?

 In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.   Just keep standing and waiting.

2

 “Rejoice always, pray  continually,  give thanks in all  circumstances;  for this is  God’s will for you in  Christ  Jesus.” 

 

 

Remember that your struggles always lead to strength and faith.  Every difficulty in your life, whether big or small, is something God will use to produce more strength, faith and perseverance in you if you let Him! All your pain has a purpose.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

  1. Remember that God’s timing is always perfect.

 God’s plans are almost always different from our plans, but His plans are always perfect! Have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing your own.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

  1. Remember that God will never leave your side.

 You may feel like you’re going through this struggle all alone, but from the moment you invite Jesus into your day and your particular situation, He will be by your side to the end so never lose hope!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave  you nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6 545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1

 I  have had some hard things to let go of  over the last several years. Of course,  embedded within us when the enemy  tries to destroy us, where thorns and  thistles prosper, we earthlings will always  have those things nearby to remind us  that this place in no permanent home. We  long for a better country.

 I believe in God’s faithfulness in raising to life what is dead.   I have seen it and I have experienced it.   Then I remembered the life giving force of Jesus, alive and well in the lives of all those I reach out to in coaching….

…and I thought how sometimes we have to accept what has died or refused to come to life or produce a whit of fruit… 

…and we have to let it go. burned-tree-iran

 Instead of staring at it for months on end as a  monument to our loss, we sometimes need to cut  it down, pile it up, move it out or let it burn.

 Because often God chooses to resurrect something that has died.

 But other times He wants us to call it what it is – dead – and let it go, knowing that He is good. He cannot fail to be good.

 That’s what Jesus said He does with what, over the proof of time, does not remain. It is “thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up.” (John 15:6)

 He “takes away every branch that does not bear fruit” and He “prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

He’s all about the fruit.

 That doesn’t mean you forget. Some things are too big to forget.   But I’m learning to quit begging him to bring back to life those things He wants me to let go of.

 Trying to resuscitate what’s not coming back to life just leaves you out of breath.

 God will not leave us comfortless. He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us fruitless. He will either resurrect the dead or grow something brand new.  tree

 I say this to you with deep compassion and empathy if you have experienced burn out from so many things changing or are just plain  gone….

..if it is gone, let it go.

 And I know with all my heart and all my faith that something new is coming. Both for you and for me.  Nothing stays the same forever. 

We are on a journey and sometimes we have to descend into the valley before we get to the mountain.

I need to give myself space to feel what I feel. And you will surely – as surely as God is faithful and Jesus is the fleshing out of life itself – live to see something you couldn’t have expected. Something hanging on could never have given you.

We’re here too brief a time on earth to spend days on end grieving what could have been. We’ll talk to Jesus about that when we get Home. We’ll have forever then. For now…

Let it go.

So something new can grow.

Water it with your tears if you must but release your fears that nothing but nothingness is ahead for you. Is God your God? As sure as He is, new life is coming.

All the deadness did not manage to kill you.

You are stronger than you thought. Stretch out your arms like mighty branches even if, for now, they’re little twigs.

tree2 It is to your Father’s glory that you  bear much fruit.

When All Hell Breaks Loose Against You

warrior angel 2  The room was very dark as the movie played on a huge screen right in front of my face.  I had never watched the Lord of the Rings series, and since my ankle hurt that day,  I decided to ride the bike in the gym’s movie room instead of the treadmill in another area of the gym.   

I fumbled in the dark and felt my way to just the right bike for me and because I couldn’t see, just coming out of the bright light, finally was able to punch in the right speed and time for my ride.

I had come in right in the middle of the movie but thought it would give me a good idea of whether I would like it or not and serve to hold my attention while I pumped out the miles.

Unfortunately for me I came in right when these humongous, ravenous demon wolf-type things, with what could only be demons themselves on their backs, were attacking the good army and demolishing them with their ravenous, canine teeth that were bloody and black. 

77805_304318676348257_2011093051_o1-1-  The scene went on and on until I thought that I just wasn’t listening to God by picking this room for my exercise routine that day. 

I was dodging and ducking as these demons jumped into the camera with bloody drool dripping.  As I sat there peddling, I couldn’t help but be thinking I had to get out of there.

I needed peace–not whatever this was.

But in the midst of this horror and my attempt to leave the room, God spoke to me.

Ever have that happen?   In the most unlikely place that you would expect, He speaks.

One time he spoke to me in a bar bathroom (I was there for a talent show my friend took me too, in case you’re wondering if I hang out at bars),  and I was shocked at the time….but that is another story.

Dixie, look!”

“I am looking, Lord.  I don’t like it.”

“Look at the warriors in the good army.”

81aa11c0a2c58d757d107cfd4c302d81   So, I watched like He told me to do.

The warriors fought with everything in them.  Every time one good guy was attacked by a demon wolf, (I am sure this dark army had a name but it escaped me), he fought back and with great warfare and managed to kill a great number of them.   But more would come and render some of the slower guys to pieces.  It seems though, that the more the good guys fought the more they were attacked by the demons of hell itself. 

In the end the good guys won and the demons were dead…to only return at a later time in the movie.  I knew Jesus wanted me to see something about my own life in this illustration He was showing me.

Dixie, isn’t this what you have been experiencing in your life recently?”

I began to see what He was showing me.  First of all, He was reassuring me that He knew exactly what I was experiencing and was with me on the journey, but was teaching me more about extreme spiritual warfare.

  Starting about 6 months ago, all hell has broke loose within my personal life and those I love.  Just as one thing was fought through and seemingly won, another thing would happen that would literally shock and sweep me off my spiritual feet.   

I have literally felt each time like giving up on all that I do.  And it seems those wolves are still coming, and the more I battle in the spirit the more they come. 

They want to steal my life. 

They want to make me feel like a failure. 

They want to render me helpless and defeated. 

Just as those good guys in the movie used their weapons of warfare I am more determined to use mine.  I don’t fight by my own power or I would surely die.    The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but are mighty before God for the pulling down of the enemies  strongholds that would seek to envelope me and tear me to pieces.

spiritual-warfare  For the weapons of our warfare    are not physical [weapons of flesh  and blood], but they are mighty  before God for the  overthrow and destruction of  strongholds 2 Cor. 10:4 

 At some point those wolves will get it…they will see they cannot defeat me because I may look “defeatable” but behind me stand mighty warriors of the most high God and they have to get through them first.

In myself I am weak and no different than any of you.   But it is in my weakness HE is made strong. 

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”  2 Cor. 12:9-11

So, I watched the scene in the Lord of the Rings until the battle played out…and the good guys were plum worn out but were able to ride off, alive, and the enemy was defeated, with carcasses of demons strewn over the mountainside.

jesus and me   “You will win this battle, Dixie, because you have learned your strength lies in me.”

Boy, I wish He would tell me how long it’s going to last and when I can see His total deliverance from this time of attack..but isn’t  that what it is all about?

 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Eph 6:10-18

 It is learning to always be on our guard and decked out in our armor so that we find our true joy and deliverance in Him for always?

I will stand strong in Him!Jesus

An Intimate Encounter with Jesus…The Most Transforming Experience of Human Existence.

mary-w-jesus-2   I was driving along a country road one day with a heavy spirit.  It seemed hard for me to articulate to the Lord what I was feeling.  You know those days when you just want to say to Him,

“Lord just hear my heart.”

I began to sing to Him what I was feeling and I kept singing this chorus over and over….

 “Lord, do You see me? Do you hear my heart?”

From the depths of my pain.

After about 30 minutes of singing to the Lord I felt the urge to sing new words.  So, I just yielded myself to it.

 To my amazement I began to sing His words back to my own spirit, right there in the car. 

Yes, that is correct.  He began to sing to me through my own voice. Yet, to me it was directly from Him.  It is hard to explain but definitely a supernatural experience. 

He sang back to me,

“My child,  I see you. Dixie, my child I love you.  I will never leave you. I will perform and deliver.  You will see.”   

I can’t even describe how penetrating His love became to me as His words were delivered to my spirit.

I felt buoyed up and exhilarated, full of joy and hope, and overcome with a love that saturated my very being from the inside to out.

 screen_shot_2012-09-10_at_10.18.10_am  He is our Bridegroom with desire for us and who pursues us relentlessly.

He is our King with power, and He gives us the power to love as He loves.  Imagine it!  We cannot love the unlovely without His anointing to see them through His eyes.  He sees the heart.  In our own power, we cannot.

Did you know He pursues us far more than we pursue Him.   Yet we still struggle with making the time to meet Him.   I don’t know how many times I have known He is sitting at my place of pondering, prayer, and meditation, waiting for me, and yet, I find a hundred other things I must do first.   The whole day passes and I have put Him off again.  

I pray my days of walking past Him grow less and less as I continue to realize that my strength to walk with Him and to fight the battles of my warfare only come from Him and Him alone.

No area of Jesus’ supremacy and power and authority is expressed or experienced more than when His love is manifest in us.   It fills us to capacity and changes us from the inside out!

woman-571715_640  Jesus Himself announced that God loves us in the way that God the Father loves God the Son. The Father feels the same intensity of love for us that He feels for Jesus.

Wrap your mind around that fact!

The God of the universe longs for relationship with you.   He wants to walk and talk with you as He did with Adam and Eve when He created them.  

That is so hard to imagine in our finite minds, but true none the less.

The ultimate statement about our worth and value is that Jesus has the same measure of love and  affection towards us that His Father has towards Him.

It gives us all the right to view ourselves as “God’s favorite”.

This is a gold mine of truth that deserves our focused attention continuously.

 At the last supper, Jesus emphasized this truth to His disciples just before their failures in denying Him.

 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love…These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn. 15:9-11)

Did you realize He said this to the disciples while already knowing they would fail Him?  His love for me and you does not depend on how ‘good’ we are….anymore than your love for your child changes when they are not ‘good’ kids.  He loves you because you are His child.   And you have accepted Jesus which means your unrighteousness has been exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus and He sees you as His precious child.

How do we find this place of divine love and stay there?

  1. Abide:

Stay focused on God’s love.  By abiding, beholding Him, and living in this truth, we position ourselves to experience it more.  Don’t  be distracted from this truth.

Go deep in it…… Surrender to it without resisting or negotiating with God about it.

 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us. (1 Jn. 3:1)

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord… (Jude 21)

  1. Joy:

When we experience Jesus’ love for us, it changes how we feel.  Feeling God’s affection for us exhilarates our hearts with joy—a deep sense of well-being.

Jesus is telling us where satisfaction and emotional transformation are best found.

The revelation of God’s love for us gives us confidence before God, even in our weakness.

It reveals to us our value and dignity in God’s eyes…

Empowers us to walk in deep partnership with Jesus….

It gives our lives relevance in knowing that we are loved, not based on how we perform, but because we belong to Him.

Such love overwhelms me, how about you?

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n   The Bridegroom’s message is about Jesus’ emotions for us, His beauty, His commitments to us,

….to share His heart, home, throne, secrets, and beauty.

An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence.

Jesus is not the religious guy in white robe and sandals that you are afraid to approach or be yourself with.

But He is the Jesus who gave us oceans and rivers, beauty and laughter, sunlight and love……His penetrating love that will transform you.

There are millions who try to relate to Jesus but experience him only occasionally, rarely knowing the joy of hearing his voice, feeling his presence, receiving his powerful, healing love.

We need Jesus, Himself. And you can have Him.

Really.

You can experience Jesus, intimately.

You were meant to.

IMG_1413   You can know the comfort of his actual presence, hear his voice speaking to you, receive healing of your brokenness.

You can live as he did.

 

The King is Enthralled by Your Beauty…My Cinderella Story

 

cinderella_2015_movie_hd_wallpaper_desktop_a8sy2Today I want to address women. 

Men, don’t stop reading because I think you can learn something from this story when it comes to us women, so read on if you dare.

Sometime between the dreams of our feminine youth and yesterday, a treasure has been lost it seems in so many of us, if not all.  And that treasure is our hearts, and how we were created to be.  God has set within us a femininity that is powerful, tender, and alluring.   

ella_and_the_prince_in_cinderella-wallpapers (1)I think every woman secretly longs for that Prince to come riding in to rescue her from the woes of life.  In unveiling the mysteries of a woman’s soul, I find that we were all created to long to be desired.  We all long for romance and intimacy.  He created us that way.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  

It’s just that we have gone to great lengths to satisfy that longing in all the wrong ways.

The longings God has written deep in our hearts actually reveal to us the life He wants us to live.  For so many of us, those desires have gone unmet and long neglected.  Many of us live in fantasy worlds of addictions and men to try to fill that unmet need for escape into being valued and desired.  We try to numb the aches in our hearts.  But our hearts are still there crying out to be set free and to find the life we desire.  

Jesus is the only One who can fulfill our deepest need and longings whether we are married or single.

Last week, my granddaughter Savanna and I experienced a disappointment together when we traveled to a place that we had planned to go, and found we could not continue with our plans due to extenuating circumstances.  As we left to return home, we both began to share our love for Jesus with each other and decided instead of being sad our plans were thwarted, that we would go see Cinderella instead.  

What a plan, right?

Then as we arrived, we challenged each other to see the story in a different light.  We would watch it with the idea that Jesus was the Prince in Cinderella’s story and she would be us.  And the wicked stepmother and the 2 evil step-daughters would be Satan and his evil spirits trying their best to convince Cinderella she was not beautiful, desirable, or loved…but instead a worthless woman who would never amount to anything.  

Hmmmm…how many women really, deep down, feel that way?

Do you long for your own Cinderella story?

Who doesn’t long to rise from her humble past, discover the best in herself, and be appreciated by a true, lasting love.

Yet, her own efforts to fill the yearning often ends in tatters.  And no man can rescue her.

The Cinderella fairy tale provides a powerful allegory for women’s deepest hopes and dreams and the God who longs to fill them.  For all of us who have wrestled with disillusionment, abandonment, our own limitations, and the lies that whisper we’re not beautiful, there is someone who longs for us the same way we long for Him…and if we learn to follow his lead every promise He’s ever made proves true.

Cinderella was a beautiful woman with great potential, but she was bound by an environment and wickedness coming against her, and that constantly put her down and tried to reduce her to nothing! 

One day the Prince knocked on her door.

il_fullxfull.522314485_19nlWe know about the Ball, the Prince and her Slipper.  The Prince never forgot her; she was unique.  He did not give up his search until he found her.   

There are a lot of women today living like Cinderella, bound to situations, living in insecurities and addictions that are robbing them of their peace and joy.

Maybe you have met the Prince of Peace, but you have fallen into emotional bondage or other traps of the enemy.

There is HOPE!

akiane-kramarik-jesus-paintingJesus, the Prince of Peace, knows where you are and how long you have been there.  His desire for you is that you walk in the freedom of His presence and provision and an intimacy with Him that has no end.

I believe that women today are waiting for something external to come along and transform their lives.  We may venture into the world, travel, go to college, or make money.  But underneath it all lurks a wish to be saved, a deep yearning for dependence on a rescuer.  These largely repressed attitudes, I believe, are holding women down because they don’t yet know we already have a Prince standing before us…waiting for us to take His hand.

There are so many parallels in the story of the Prince seeking her out with fervor.  He could not go on until he found her.  He had eyes for only her, and when He saw her He knew she belonged to Him.  

dancing cinderellaHe swept her off her feet.   

We can see this as the church itself in more general terms.  For we are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom, and He longs for intimacy with His Bride.  He seeks us out for relationship with Him.  But we are so busy trying to find that one thing to fill our deepest longings that we miss Him standing there with His hand outstretched for you…and that He is that ONE thing.

But in an even more personal light, as an individual, He has eyes for only you.  Can you even imagine it?

sho123234LARGEAt the end of the story, both Savanna and I were amazed, since we were looking at it from a Jesus-as-our-Prince viewpoint, that when the slipper fit her foot, and the Prince took her in His arms, she knew she was to go with Him…her heart’s desire.  

And there standing on the staircase was the wicked stepmother with a look of shock on her face.  She was looking through the bars of the staircase.  It was the appearance of Satan bound behind bars, defeated once again in keeping the Princess from her Prince.

And the two evil step-daughters?  They were running around trying to look like the perfect sisters all along, chattering and looking like fools…just as the enemy always ends up looking.

Cinderella turns and with a look of fulfillment on her face, simply says to the step-mother and the 2 step daughters, “I FORGIVE YOU”…. 

Powerful words of freedom from the enemy.  No more lies.  She now knows who she is and knew that this was the plan all along for her life.

The King is enthralled by your beauty.”  Psalm 45:11

A few months ago I went to a classical concert with a friend.  The orchestra was lovely and I enjoyed the music but soon became bored as I need more of a visual to entertain me.  Don’t judge me.  I just do.

I decided to close my eyes and let my imagination run with the music. 

And there I was in a beautiful ball gown entering the gates of glory.  My Prince was standing there in the most beautiful tuxedo I had ever seen.  It was white and shimmered like tiny diamonds sparkling off water.  He had eyes that drew me in.  Our eyes met and there was a depth of  love I had never experienced before…as I stood there breathless and in awe. 

He only had eyes for me.

I walked over to Him and His arm was reaching towards me and He smiled.  I took His hand and He swirled me into a waltz that seemed to consume every inch of my being. 

maxresdefaultWe danced around and around and He lifted me higher and higher until we were dancing on mountain tops and over the seas.  The crescendo of the music kept rising to the plateau of complete immersion into Him as it swirled around us.

“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.” Psalm 149:3

 As He motioned for me to look down with his head, there before me was the throne of God glistening with the colors of the rainbow and shooting off ceaseless jewel colored rays of piercing light that overflowed into the atmosphere around us.  I looked into His eyes and the love that filled my every longing was there and that was all that mattered.  I rested my head on His shoulder and felt safe.

His fragrance filled my soul.

I became lost in HIM. 

Oh, the joy of it. 

“The LORD your God among you is powerful — He will save and He will take joyful delight in you.  In his love He will renew you with His love; He will celebrate with singing because of you.”  Jeremiah 3:17

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nHave you met your Prince in this way yet?  He is standing right there.  Open your spiritual eyes and behold Him…….

 

Unhealed Relationship Wounds…The Patterns of Our Unhealthy Choices

Broken-ChainsGeorgia had finally reached the end of her rope when she came in for coaching.  She was on her 3rd husband and could not understand why he was so much like the former 2 husbands who were rageful, controlling and vengeful.  She longed for a peaceful marriage but her feeble attempts to ‘fix’ these men had made her feel like such a failure and her husband helped her along with that by saying that yes, she was a loser in everything she did.

But what Georgia didn’t understand was that she kept seeking her own healing from years of abuse by a rageful father through men that were just like him.  She would just jump into the first relationship that made her feel comfortable– without seeking healing from Jesus so she could walk away from her past and make wiser choices in who she connected with. 

relationship difficultiesThe problem was the men that made her feel comfortable only made her feel that way because they reminded her of her father.  She had this need to repeat the life she had with him– to try to make it come out right in order to fill the gaping hole her father left in her in her growing up years.

And the pattern was bound to be repeated in failed marriages over and over again until Georgia finally found her way to allow the  Holy Spirit into those wounded places.

Unhealed relational wounds drive us to compulsive attempts to repair the damage. Without being aware of it, we seek out people we believe can “fix” what’s wrong with us or help us find a piece of ourselves we feel is missing.

man-crawling-in-desert-dying-of-thirstWe function emotionally like the man dying of thirst who sees a mirage and hurries to it only to find it is dry sand.   His perceptions are driven by his need.

We are rarely aware that something in us wants completeness.  The truth is we long for Jesus continually because He is the one who  has really set eternity in our hearts. Within us, our spirits, we know the answer lies in Him. But our soulish realm, the mind , will and emotions has to be renewed and healed so we can change ourselves from the inside out.

But if we remain unaware of the powerful forces at work within us conditioned by our past emotional injuries, such as our family dynamics and how we responded to it, we can be blind to its influence and seek out the completeness we lack by making all the wrong choices. For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • The codependent person lacks assertiveness and the ability to confront, so she attracts controlling and aggressive people. (Georgia’s case)

  • The rageful person can’t bear to feel emotions that make her sad, so she finds empathic people who won’t confront her moods.

  • The rigid, black-and-white person with walls a mile thick is not able to let go of control, so he seeks out spontaneous, creative people who won’t try to control him.

  • The over-responsible, guilt-ridden person lacks self-care and feels like a loser, so she finds self-absorbed people who care for no one but themselves.

These kinds of responses do not reflect God’s intentions for us in any way. And they don’t lead to healthy or fulfilling connections.

But we are not complete without relationship with Him and knowing Him as our healer from the past.

303161_414645191931368_893377415_nWe have missing pieces— holes in us that we carry from childhood into adulthood.

The path to completeness or wholeness is to find a relational context and healthy relationships within community in the body of Christ…..finding those who you can trust and be vulnerable with and who can help you finish the emotional work that enables you to grow into the capacities you lack and become who you were always meant to be.

The first step is admitting to the pattern and seeking help.

 “You complete me” is a great line from a movie, but it doesn’t work in real relationships.  Another human being is simply not capable of making you feel complete.   Your sense of worth has to come from God and His complete work in your life.   Our pasts to not have to dictate our futures.

That is why most of us need to put less energy into romance and more into personal growth. It pays off later in romance.  I recently saw this posting on Face book that got a resounding “YES” from me.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek HIM to find her!”

Complete people attract other complete people.

We all need relationships that are supportive and caring in order to thrive. And while there can be excitement and drama with a person who follows your old patterns of dysfunction, it will ultimately be exhausting, if not debilitating. Setting boundaries and expressing your needs clearly will not only detract unhealthy people from seeking you out, and make them less attractive to you, but it will also attract people who are healthy enough to be there for you as well.

10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_nAnd that is where the real passion, excitement and God’s love will emerge.

Don’t let unhealed relational wounds or the pain of a past relationship affect your future.

You CAN prevent the past from repeating itself. 

4 Steps to Healing “The Father Wound”

 

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300Caden had trouble just being himself…He always had to wear a mask of perfection for fear of not being accepted.  No one knew the real Caden.  Inside he yearned for love and validation and thought the only way he could do that is be someone other than who he is.  Underneath he had violent anger always brewing.  What is at the root?  His father left him when he was 6 and said he wasn’t ever coming back to live with him again.  In the ensuing years, his father would come to town to visit his new wife’s family and wouldn’t even call Caden.  Caden found out through his friends.  It was a small town.  So, Caden had a split personality.  One side of him was raging, but he kept it carefully hidden…most of the time.  The other side of him was the perfect family man loved by all.  He was a walking time bomb.

Maddy has spent her life yearning for her Dad’s attention, but time and again his attention went to alcohol instead.  She adored her dad, but he was always distracted with his heavy need for a numbing agent because of his own pain and his own father wounds.  When she was a  teen, Maddy’s dad was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and went to jail….now, Maddy lost all sense of who she was in this world.  It took her many years to learn her worth outside of her Dad.  He loved her, but alcohol ruled him most of her life.  He was an absent Dad.

Joyce’s dad left when she was a adolescent.  Joyce was molested when very young by another family member. Her dad couldn’t handle this so left the family to go out on his own.  When her dad abandoned her, Joyce sought male attention through her boyfriends and was led into a world of sex and drugs, and eventually married an alcoholic, which ended in more rejection.  Joyce thinks today that there is not a man that can be trusted.

Tom heard his dad rage at his mom for years.  As a little boy, he would lock himself in his room and put his head under the pillow to try to drown out the yelling.  He became very introverted and quiet.  He isolated himself and was afraid to trust anyone for years.  He began to feel his dads rage and struggled with his lack of direction in life with no role model.  Today he is not sure how he feels about God.

There are many father’s that are physically available, but not emotionally. They satisfy the material needs for their families, but are incapable of fulfilling the need for intimacy and connection in their children. 

Father-holding-child-with-delight-300x300‘Every man carries a wound.  And the wound is nearly always given by his father.” ~ John Eldredge

All of these people I have talked about have a hard time relating to God as their Father…their “Abba, Daddy.”

I, too, for many years, had a hard time relating to God as Daddy– but more to Jesus as my constant companion.  I was a victim of incest by my dad and spent my years growing up avoiding being alone with him.  It is hard to relate to what an earthly dad should be like, or one who makes you feel safe when you are with him.

father-and-child-google-images-300x150A father is one of the most important role models in our lives.  To feel loved and accepted by your dad is vital to you having a healthy relationship with God and with others.  Unfortunately, there are many of us who didn’t have that. 

Does that mean we are exempt from having a healthy relationship with our loving God, the Father ,if we didn’t have a Dad that was trustworthy?  Of course not!

There is nothing impossible with God.  We just have to be willing to do the work!

Some of our deepest wounds stem from a lack of intimacy with our earthly fathers.

64658_465671946828692_1306119874_nIf men don’t seek God’s healing from this wound they will likely repeat this pattern in their own lives with their children.  If women don’t seek God’s healing from lack of intimacy with a safe Dad, they too, will repeat the patterns down through the generations of their families by choosing men that are like their Dads in order to somehow to fulfill her own needs of a dad by repeating the process. 

But, good news….

You have the power to break this generational pattern, starting with your own healing!

If you struggle with understanding and receiving God’s love, it may be related to the internal pain caused by the lack of affection from your father.  The father wound will block you not only from knowing God’s love for you, but also from your ability to love others fully.

But, the good news is, there are some steps you can take to find restoration for your broken heart.  Your past does not have to dictate your future.  Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to be everything we need!

Embracing the Father’s love is at the core of living the abundant life that Christ died for you to live.

hidingAs painful as it may be, you must re-visit the past and find where the gaps are.  Go back to the times you felt rejected or hurt by your dad and face those painful memories.  Maybe he didn’t protect you or keep you safe, or maybe he was never around.  Whatever the case, write down any thoughts you may have. This is an important step towards resolving your pain.

What emotions do you feel when you see the pictures I have posted on this blog site?  Does it reflect what your relationship with your father ought to have been?  Do they make you feel sorrow for what you didn’t have.

When I look at them myself, I feel numb.  I can’t relate to them because I never had that.

Many years ago, I did this exercise in a small recovery group I was leading.

father-and-son-4-300x200We looked at photographs of fathers loving their children.  The room was silent as each woman reflected on her own relationship with her earthly father.

The only sound we heard was the sound of tears and for some you could see blank faces or angry faces.  For the first time ever, many of the women allowed themselves to feel the pain that night because they were willing to imagine what an endearing relationship with their dads would feel like.  They told me later it was a very painful but healing exercise for them.

Try to discover and face the emotions you have carried with you due to the lack of love you’ve received from your father.

Allow yourself to grieve for the little child that was robbed of the rich relationship that comes from an attentive, caring father.  It was a loss you must recognize so you can allow the Lord to now come and fill that empty place.  Here are some steps to help you get there.

1. Step one in your healing from the father wound is to face your pain and to step out of denial.  Admit you have been wounded.

2. Step two, once you can admit that you have been wounded by your father, you can start the process of recovery.

  • jesus-with-children-0408Go to your Father in Heaven and talk to Him about your sadness and pain.  The truth is that He is the only one that can heal the father wound you carry.  He is the only one that you can count on to never fail you or leave you.

  • You can trust Him to carry you through your journey of healing.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the areas of your life that are bruised or damaged.

3. Step 3 is to forgive your dad.

  • This step may be the most painful one, but it is the most critical one.

  • Forgiveness is a process that starts with prayer.  Pray through gritted teeth if you have to, but push yourself to pray and ask God to help you to forgive your dad.  Remember, forgiveness is not saying what you did to me is okay.  It is saying I release you to God so that I am no longer tied to the pain.

  • cupped handsExtend grace to your earthly father for all the imperfections he has.  Forgive him for every pain he has caused you.  Say it out loud.  Cry if you need to cry.

  • If possible, have a friend with you for this step, for support and encouragement.

  • Set yourself free from the father wound by faith and allow your heavenly Father to heal you.

4. Step four is to recognize that only God the Father can fulfill all your needs through His son, Jesus.

  • It’s never too late to let God replace His love for that which was missing from your earthly father.

jesus and boy“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 68:5-6

Take a risk, open your heart and fully grasp the Father’s love for you.  He is your ultimate Daddy, and He adoringly calls you His child.

“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:18

May the Lord guide you and comfort you as you surrender your father wound to Him, and may you be healed forever so that you can live a rich and satisfying life.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children.  Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.‘” ~ Romans 8:15

I want to tell you that despite the depths of your wounds, and I know for many of you those run dramatically deep, that you are not defined by your genealogy. 

As you process and pray through your “father wounds”, you will experience the love and delight of your Heavenly Father.  You are His!  You are the Beloved!  You are precious in His sight!

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n“Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes.  Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love.” 
–Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved.

 

The Gnawing Ache of Our Restless Discontentment

o-WOMAN-WRITING-facebookMy prayer:

“I’ve been in a slump Lord and wondering why I feel bored with my life and finally realizing the One I miss is You.  Interesting because I feel You with me all the time.  But You are teaching me that if I don’t take the time to sit and listen to You, my intimate needs of connecting with you will wane.

You are who I miss.  It is You I need. 

When I can’t put my finger on what I’m lacking, then I can always know it is You.  Oh, for the body of Christ to learn this truth!  There wouldn’t be so many needy people. 

So, here I am my Love.  I long for You in the deepest places.  In the depth of my soul. 

Fill my cup back up Lord.  Fill me up and make me whole.  Give me energy again, and health, and vitality.

Hope and vision.

Thank you for Your patience with me and your long-suffering.  Thank you also for the vision of me as an uncut diamond that You are in process of chiseling away the dark coal–which is causing the light of Yourself to shoot off of me in so many ways. 

Wow!  I can see it!

jesus-christ-widescreen-wallpapers-04As I waited on Him, He replied, Yes, my love it is about your depletion of me.  This is the next step of intimacy.  You already know that I walk with you every moment, but now you must remember that when you are feeling lonely, sad, bored, and have a lack of vision, it is me you are being called to connect with.

Your reserves are depleted when you give out of yourself so much of the time and you get distracted.  You forget to move all distractions out of the way and just sit with Me, so I can fill you up.

I am your very life line.

Instead of turning to everything else, including connecting with people, you must turn to Me.  If you do this, you will find your rest and peace and restored hope for the life I have called you too. 

diamond 2Yes, you are My diamond. The rays of My light shoot off of you as I have been chiseling away on everything that obscures my light.  This will continue to manifest more and more as you walk on in the face of the chiseling.  Your suffering for me has not gone unnoticed and your maturity in rising above the flesh in the many hardships you have faced has made Me delight over you with joy. 

Feel My smile, Dixie.

Feel My love, Dixie.

Feel My presence enveloping you, Dixie.

I love you!”

I have shared with you my most recent conversation with Jesus.  This came out of a time when I was needy and not realizing what it was I needed.

So I asked Him!

Do you stop and just ask Him what it is you need at those confusing moments?  Sometimes we just don’t even think about asking Him what our problem is.

Jesus sees you as His precious treasure…and He longs to have a close relationship with you.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nMore than anything, He wants you to have an intimate love relationship and friendship with Him.  God wants you to spend time with Him and intimately communicate with Him, to enjoy fellowship with Him, to trust and follow Him, and to give your life meaning and purpose by giving you the privilege of joining Him in His life here on earth.

All of humanity, can be defined as a vast, gaping need.  Looking across the globe of this generation, we witness men and women, young and old, throwing themselves into entertainment, recreation, technology, food, music, friends, and a host of things as they grope for the answer to the riddle of why they are alive and seek to silence the screaming voice of yearning in their souls.   

has-gaming-lost-its-humanity-20110927075056174And throw in these troubling times of terror and the unknown of what we will face before we are taken out of here is gripping people with fear…and distracting them from the very One who can give them peace when our world is seemingly falling apart.

No matter how much we buy, who we know, or what fleeting pleasures we experience, we find that none of it can quench the insatiable thirst in the depths of our being.  So it is that day after day we go about panting and groaning for something that will satisfy the desires that dominate our inner man.

sadIt is in the gnawing ache of this restless discontentment so familiar to us all that the subject of intimacy with God finds its significance.

Intimacy is a word being thrown around a lot in our day, both inside and outside of the Church.

 Some of us are afraid of it.

 We all know that we want it because, on some level, we believe that only God can fill that void in our hearts.  Still, for most of us, we don’t know quite how to get it, and what it actually means when we’re referring to intimacy with God Himself.

We must realize that it is not just a certain way of speaking about God, nor is it merely a feeling we experience.

Intimacy with God consists of relational knowledge – we are most intimate with those whom we know at the deepest levels.  Jesus stands at the center of this pursuit because in His face we see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, and that is what intimacy is really all about.

One of the most common disillusions relates to how He feels about you.  From years of various and sundry teachings born out of our organizational churches, deep inside we think that Jesus is mostly unemotional and distant, except for how disappointed He is with us – that is the one feeling many of us are convinced He does actually feel.

Yet, the truth is that His heart is full of love and desire for you.  This isn’t just an idea or a sweet sentiment, but a reality that He put on display in every moment of His life.

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1In drinking in the wild beauty of this Man, your soul will at last find its rest.  This is intimacy, and this is what you were created for – to enjoy and adore the splendor of His glory forever.

So forgetting what is behind, let us press on to know Him.