When He Whispers My Name

jesus-womanGod longs for you to know that He is more than enough in your troubled times.   He desires you to rest and fully embrace that where you are is exactly where God plans for you to be. 

Even in situations like you have never faced before.

It  has taken me so long to be able to write again.   I was frozen in time it seemed–for the last  3 months of 2015.   But the last 2 weeks I could feel it rising up within me again and now I think I can verbalize somewhat of what I have learned in the very hard and trying year of 2015.

I have learned that when I feel like my faith has been shaken to the core that I become~

~stunned and “shell shocked”…

sharksThat it’s a tumultuous venture, this walking by faith. At one time or another, you encounter the completely unexpected followed by the unthinkable.

 

And when it happens, the impact of it brings you to your knees, able to utter only one desperate word – “Why?”

It’s an intense battle when you’re that overwhelmed. First there’s shock and anger, then comes denial, 

 “This can’t be what my loving Jesus has planned for me – not me, not His beloved child.”

 thumb_COLOURBOX1908348You wonder why God doesn’t see that you need a different outcome. Perhaps if you just go slow and lay out the alternatives for Him – each and every one of them – you’ll help Him figure out how to reverse what’s been put in motion… 

But…..

 He whispers my name~~and I feel His presence~~and it is more than enough.

  • When I finally realized that our steady income from investigations was gone for good due to California laws, and if we were to survive in life it would be a miracle…..

He whispered my name…akiane-kramarik-jesus-painting

…and said that I was to take no thought for tomorrow for He would sustain us as a mother sustains her babies life by giving it sustenance from her own body.   He would be our life giving force.  From that day forward we watch daily as He brings in the finances we need from various sources.   He never fails and I have found I can just rest in it and not have to be hyper-vigilant and afraid that maybe today it won’t happen. 

Philippians 4:13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

  • When my precious daughter had a ruptured appendix and I stood over her bed, helpless, watching her in agony as a result of poor medical care, and fear wanted to grip my heart and squeeze the life out of it;

fear

He whispered my name…

..as I stood there over her bed I felt His hand on my shoulder and his voice in my ear saying, “Dixie, I have this, she will be okay.”

I John 3:22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

  • When the horror and shock and fear came when my ‘adopted’ son was in a freak accident, while intoxicated, that took someone’s life ….the father of my grand kids…and I had to tell my babies that their daddy was going to prison. 

  • As I sit in the court room weeks on end gripped by anxiety, unable to breathe– and watched the judge, moved with compassion for a lone veteran gripped with PTSD, miraculously lessen his sentence…  I felt Jesus in the fire with me and with him…and I knew God had a plan.


mary-w-jesus-2He whispered my name….

His plan has unfolded, in the midst of the pain,  in opening huge doors of prison ministry for my adopted son and has brought healing to him in areas that was never able to be reached…but in the midst of the deep valley He has found a very real Jesus.

426__550x413_jesus-and-peter-walking_on_waterI Corinthians 9:8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.

  • When my father, (who molested me for years) on his death bed, told me he could not forgive ME for exposing  “our” secret to my mother and that I ruined HIS life…and Mom’s life, before she died.   Realizing there would be no closure with my abuser before he left this earth– when my picture was always of his saying how sorry he was for his crime against me and my little girl.  There I was, sitting in his hospital room, with, strangely, no one around, next to his bed, while he told me he could not forgive ME


Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200Jesus whispered my name
~~ I felt Him in the chair beside me and felt His breath tickle my ear as He whispered, “Dixie, I’m right here and I am not going anywhere.  Just lean into me.”    I knew I could endure the pain and shock of it all.  It was the last conversation I had with Dad. Jesus’ presence got me through the funeral of confusion and distress at being so removed from all feeling,  just numbness,  as my husband performed the ceremony.  

Matthew 21:22,23  But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.

  • When I read my parents trust sent to me after my dad’s death, and realized that in 2006, my mother and my father stated that they, in full disclosure, and with full knowledge did NOT want their daughter, Dixie, to have one thing that belonged to them; I felt the ultimate abandonment and full force of their anger towards me for stopping my father from molesting again after he molested my daughter.   I was the black sheep of their family and was pretty much hit with it on their deaths.   I had to admit to myself, finally, that I didn’t want their “things” but what I had wanted was their love, and would never find it here on earth.

487580_424694517593102_1292768395_n (1)He whispered my name~~ “Dixie, you have a new name that I have given you.  I will be both mother and father to you. I take the sting away of their earthly rejection. This is the end of years of torment for you and though you didn’t hear what you needed to hear from them, you will hear it from me and I am more than enough for you.”

Ephesians 3:20,21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

And you know what, HE IS more than enough.  Better.  No comparison.

God wants you to know that He is so much bigger than all the desperate and tragic situations in this life. He wants you to know He is always with you and for you.

His blessing isn’t found in what He gives or takes away. You find it as you abide in Him. 

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Ask Him to align your heart with His. Believe His Word. Trust Him. 

Count it all joy.

In my journal to Him, He speaks to me too…in one recent one Jesus said to me,

“Don’t count on what you feel but continue to allow me to fill you where you are lacking and believe Me when I say, I know what you lack, and I am more than enough for you…..I am doing a work you cannot see!”

 

Embrace Him as your absolute EVERYTHING.

 

He is, indeed, all you’ll ever need.

 

He whispers your name~~

“Come Away With Me, My Beloved”

jesus-and-me

“I know everything about you, Dixie.  I know what you have need of.  Sometimes there is a battle going on over you that you sense but cannot see.  You are a danger to your enemy.  You are strong in me and he doesn’t like it.  My warriors are very busy on your behalf.  Always remember, I Am never too late.  My timing is always perfect, even if you can’t see why you had to wait.  I love you.”  ♥ Jesus

It’s really hot on the central coast of California right now.  I really don’t like the heat and I don’t do well in it.   Contemplating keeping cool, I am reminded about the day my husband and I decided to go walking on a well known, beautiful beach path that we often frequent.    It was warm when we decided to go but since it was by a beach we figured it would be bearable.  About 3 miles into the hike we were walking in a stretch of sun that was beating on us unrelentlessly, and the temperature was climbing to almost 100.  We both were so hot and could find no shade or relief.  

I said we needed to pray that God would send angels to rescue us somehow.   I really think Greg was just pacifying me but he agreed to pray with me to ask the Lord to send an angel to rescue us.    After all, the bible does say His angels are there for us who are heirs of salvation.

Isn’t that us…aren’t we the heirs?  

Do we think to ask for their bidding?

So, there we were, sweating and trudging, thanking God for an angel to fly us out of there.

Man_Driving_a_Golf_Cart_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_090521-024124-050042And then it happened!  We heard a sound behind us and turned around and there was a golf cart with a guy driving.  He pulled up beside us and said, “You two look like you could use a ride.  Hop in.”   We jumped on back with much relief and he then drove us right up to our car a few miles away.  

Now we could have said, “No thank you, we are waiting for an angel!”    But no, we both knew this guy was the angel sent by God and we told him so.  He chuckled and drove off. angels

There is always refreshing at the end of our suffering.  No matter how long or what kind of suffering there is…. that refreshing comes from Him alone, in whatever form He wants to use.  We cannot box God in.

At times the presence  of the resurrected Jesus penetrates the usual walls, and the One whom “no one has seen or can see.” is, for a moment,  felt, in the most unexpected ways. (1Tim 6:16)  The conditions can dramatically differ.  No location or mood assures it.  No worship center, event, group or speaker always has it.  There is no formula.  God’s tangible presence can be sought but it can’t be planned or harnessed into our preconceived notions…because it is not of man.

We can’t poke the Holy Spirit into a box, either…the word tells us that;  Pentecost_by_purple_whirlpool

  Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it will go next, so it is with the Spirit. We do not know on whom he will next bestow this life from heaven.” John 3:8 NLT

Did you ever read how He fell on all those folks on the day of Pentecost? 

“As the believers met together that day,  suddenly there was a sound like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them and it filled the house where they were meeting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on their heads. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they didn’t know, for the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2 Amp

 

Well, they were pretty swept away weren’t they?  Why can’t we be?  Because we don’t expect it.  Start expecting!!

Wild, isn’t it?   Something God is doing around us– is happening to us.   This is not something mystical.  This is something spiritual. 

Let’s not get so paranoid of the mystical that we shut ourselves off from biblical spirituality.  God can do what He wants.  He never works contrary to His word, but He can never be boxed in either.   We think we have Him figured out.

We don’t.

jesus1He is exciting, extravagant, humorous, and oozing love.

Because love is who He is.

My point is that God is ready to show Himself mighty on our behalf at any given moment.  But we must live in a sense of expectancy that He will show up supernaturally when He wills it….and even in those times where everything seems mundane and we haven’t heard from Him for a while, He will honor your faith in continuing to keep on expecting.  

You will not be disappointed.

One day, I was feeling Him pulling me away to Himself.  It was the most delicious feeling ever.    We had an appointment to meet and I couldn’t wait.  I don’t feel like that all the time.  I wish I did.  But I don’t.  But this day I did.  My husband was leaving on a hunting trip, it was raining, and I couldn’t wait to head to my special place by the window to just talk to Jesus. 

Me: ” I feel the call to come away with you my Beloved Savior.  As my thankful spirit begins to rest in You, I can feel your pull, the relentless pull to sneak away with You….to reunite with You in this way; to draw close to Your bosom; like the Lover you are–my blessed Redeemer, Lover, Friend, Confidant, Comforter, Encourager, and Guide.  Lord, I can’t imagine what you have for me now.”

 545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1When I finally got there–where He was waiting–I was immersed immediately in a love and presence I can’t describe.  I couldn’t talk.  I could only sit there in the soaking presence of Jesus.  When I finally could talk all I could do was praise Him and worship Him in all of His perfectness.  I wish I could describe this supernatural experience better.  It is like the highest high ever…nothing can compare to Him immersing you into Himself.

Jesus says:  “Oh Dixie, I have plans for you.  Hold on to my presence, for I am here.  Don’t trust your emotions–let go of what you think you want and let me give you what I know you want… what I want.  Let me show you what it is.  Let me love you and give you a different perspective and outlook.  I have so much more for you.   You see into my Kingdom much of the time–You feel my heart and you love like I do, (most of the time, smile).  Until I bring you into my arms for our first dance, in person, face to face, I shall dance this faith dance with you on earth and you shall see the remnants of my presence that far exceeds anything you ever thought of.  Enjoy Me.  I am here.  I hold you and I perform on your behalf because you know how to call on Me.  I love you, Dixie.

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nMe:  “I respond to the call of my Groom today.  I dance with you Lord in the spirit…..and I find peace in Your presence.”

Remember, Jesus is not a respecter of persons….but He does respond delightfully and extravagantly to those who are willing to press into this kind of relationship with Him. 

I urge you to take that step of faith today!

Feeling Undone in His Presence

loveHave you ever been so overcome with the intimate love of Jesus that you feel totally undone?  

Over the past many months, through some great emotional trials, I have leaned into Him… like in a wine press.  

And you know what?   He actually became my strength.   The hardest  times in our lives are the very  times He most reveals Himself. 

 Have you noticed that?  wine-29741_640

Well, I guess we do know it is because when all is going well we really don’t lean into Him quite as much as when we are desperate for relief.

I am just talking to you today from my heart.  

Every issue you may deal with in life, if you would only allow Him into it, you will find extreme comfort, growth, and an intimacy with Him that will stay with you forever…why?  Because once you experience it you won’t want to lose it. 

Nothing compares to it..nothing!

Recently, I was very anxious about something that I had to do and the outcome for someone I love.   I fervently sought Jesus for His peace to flood me.   I was relentless to find His presence in the midst of my fear.   I pressed into Him and would not stop.  I figure if he says His strength is found in my weakness then I needed to believe it and literally not stop until I felt it.

Because I was sure weak!

jesus-womanAnd right when I needed calm most, it happened.   It felt so foreign in the face of what was happening.  I slept like a baby in His arms.   I had no doubt He was right there.

Then, He started talking because I was so in the realm of listening to Him.   He speaks to us all the time, by the way, but we aren’t listening; or we explain away what we hear, not believing that God is actually speaking to us.

Every night I pray before sleep taking authority over the enemy bringing in evil or fear into my mind and dreams…I, with the authority He gives us, post sentries (angels) over my unconscious mind while sleeping, to not allow anything in that isn’t from God.  It works every night.  

mary-w-jesus-2While in this trial, however, as I went to pray, before the words were out,  I clearly heard Him say to me;

“Yes, Dixie, I have already posted My sentries over your mind tonight and no evil or fear shall overtake you.”

Well, now that was different….He knew my prayer and already answered it before I asked and spoke it back to me!   How awesome is that?

“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!”  Isaiah 65:24 NLT

This was one time I wasn’t doing all the talking…I shut up and listened. 

He then began speaking to me about the present situation and told me that He was actively involved in the outcome and that , “He had this.”  Every single time I started to fear and take the anxiety back, I clearly heard Him say to me,

I have this, Dixie”……or  “Take a breath, Dixie”  “Lean into me Dixie.”…..  all day that day, His words were constant in my spirit.

It took everything in my will power to stay focused on Him alone when everything around me looked like it was crashing and I knew, that once again my faith was being tested with emotional pain like I seldom experience, and I found that He was more than enough.

Going back several years ago when my life came crashing down around me and it seemed all was lost and I thought my life was over….I even thought my relationship with Jesus took a hit that might never come back…even in that darkness and agony, I found Him there. 

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300Or I should say– He found me there.

And He said, “Nothing will separate me from you, Dixie.  My love for you and my faithfulness to you will become the most important thing in your life, even when all else fails.”

And there He was, ready to lead me into a world unknown to me then, but I found it was just the beginning of a new season of my life with Him….before I taught about Him…now I really know Him–intimately.

When our hearts long for Him alone,

When our souls thirst for Him,

When the yearning inside of you moves you towards Him,

…and you know that He knows the secrets of your heart and nothing is hidden from Him,

and He sees deep inside of you and every part is revealed,

And still He chooses to cherish you,

His love will dissolve you…

and you will feel undone in His presence.545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1

Do you desire this kind of relationship?   Believe me, if I can find Him in these places, then so can you.   Would love to hear from you about your walk into His secret place……….

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38 NLT

The Merry-Go-Round of Codependent Relationships

 

11_06_13_web
“In the park we step on this bright shiny red merry-go-round. Everyone is happy and ready for a lot of love, fun and a great future.”     

 But then something happens.  A pattern has emerged.  There seems to be something very binding about your relationship.  You feel like you are in prison and you can’t get out.

 Codependency is living the myth that you can make yourself happy by trying to control people and events outside yourself.  A sense of control or lack of control is central to everything you do and think.

 Psalms 139:14 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are unique.  You have dignity and worth.  As you grow in this knowledge you will no longer need to use your codependent behavior to make you feel alive and worthwhile.  You WILL recover………

 There has been a lot of confusion on what real love is.  On the surface, codependency sounds like “Christian teaching.”

  • Codependents always put each other first before taking care of themselves. (Aren’t Christians to put others first?)

  • Codependents give themselves away. (Shouldn’t Christians do the same?)

  • Codependents martyr themselves. (Christianity honors its martyrs.)

But true codependents aren’t really healthy,  giving people.   They learn to get their validity from other people rather than from Jesus!  And they hinder those people they try to “fix” in their lives and their walk with God. 

 It is actually the opposite of God’s love!

 Broken-ChainsIn its broadest sense, codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors, or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control inner feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control or the lack of it is central to every aspect of life.  

Then Denial, Delusion, Justification, Rationalizations,

Reverse Projection… emerge…these are all signs and symptoms of a co-dependent and addicted personality…”

 Jesus taught the value of the individual.

 He said we are to love others equal to ourselves, not more than ourselves. In fact, it is the 2nd commandment after loving God with all your heart, mind, and body.

  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”Mark 12:31

love

The love of self forms the basis for loving others in the truest sense of the word.

 The differences between a life of service to others and codependency take several forms. Motivation differs.

  • Do you give your service freely or because you consider yourself to be of no value?

  • Do you seek to “please people?”

  • Do you act out of guilt or fear?

  • Do you act out a need to be needed (which means you actually use the other person to meet your own needs)?

 In their book, “Love is a Choice”, Drs. Hemfelt, Minirth & Meir” state that “Codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors, or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control, or the lack of it, is central to every aspect of life. When it comes to people, the codependent has become so elaborately enmeshed in the other person that the sense of self— personal identity — is severely restricted, crowded out by that other person’s identity and problems.”

 I see signs of codependency in many clients who come to me with relationship problems…they are worn out and exhausted and feel trapped in a relationship that makes them feel totally controlled.

The Lord has shown me that when we can’t put up our personal boundaries and we continue to rescue people by rushing in when they have a need and become their Savior, we are actually not only deceiving ourselves, but we allow the other person to make YOU their Jesus instead of them learning to turn to God to meet their needs.   

talkingwithjesus That’s a big order to fill.   Can you do what Jesus can do for them?

  In fact, we enable them to continue on with their neediness in our lives and drain us of our energy-while we take the place of Jesus….and they never get their needs met.

 There will always be another episode of control if someone doesn’t get off of the Merry Go Round and say “enough of this.”

Merry_go_round When no one gets off,  the Merry Go Round spins faster and faster until it is out of control.  When the  crisis is over then everyone is remorseful and say their sorry until the next ride.  And it begins again.

 When the addicted person continues the same behavior over and over again expecting a different ending, and we make threats or promises that we don’t keep… it is insanity.

 Someone has to keep their promise and follow through in order to stop the Merry Go Round.  

 This is not about confrontation, this is about stopping the cycle.

 You are aware that you do this but you have gotten away with it for so long that you have developed a false power.  In the midst of your pain.

 Do you see these tendencies in yourself?  Or in someone who is reaching out to you?

 Have you asked  God to bring this into the light so you can deal with it or help someone else?

 You know as well as I that it is never easy to expose darkness.

But if you want freedom again, you have to get off the Merry-Go-Round once and for all.

 So, from a believer’s standpoint here are some truths that might help you.  freedom

 If you will take this issue to Jesus, you will find that:

  • We have worth simply because we were created by God.

  • Our self-worth is not based on the work we do or the service we perform–but on what Jesus so freely gives us.

  • Our service is to be an active choice. You can learn to “act” rather than “react.”

  • Our faith shows how to live a balanced living and how to take care of ourselves.

  • As you seek His wisdom you will learn to choose balanced behavior rather than addictive behavior and to allow others to be in charge of their own lives

  • You can learn how to set and hold healthy boundaries and to set limits for yourself, not allowing others to compromise those boundaries.

  • You can actually learn to help others in appropriate ways, by allowing others to act independently, rather than making others dependent on you.

  • You can  learn to be God-directed and free from compulsiveness, knowing that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, brings the ultimate results.

 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Gal 5:1

 (If this blog has left you feeling like you need help with codependency tendencies  in your life, you might want to consider Life Coaching!  Contact me through my home page.)

 

Can You Consider It Pure Joy?

your plan When I posted this picture on face  book a few days ago it so resonated  with my soul–my life has been so like  this illustration and I know yours has  too….the more I thought about it  however, the more I kept asking  myself if I, indeed, can consider my  life pure joy.   Or have I been caught up in looking at the depth of pain and the depth of trials and sometimes pure craziness in my life, and thought, “Why the heck me, Lord.”  Have I not sown into your Kingdom?   When is my time coming? 

Yes, I am really being transparent here. 

“Haven’t I served you all my life?  Why so much suffering.  Starting from my childhood of abuse and ending up here, years later….still struggling for a reprieve.”

Woe is me. 

Don’t we just get so wrapped up in ourselves sometimes?

de-windstoot-the-gustI like what Michelle Perry says:   “Storms are invitations to dance  with Jesus. When you get high  enough above the squall, even the  most turbulent storm has beauty.  And every storm has lessons.”  Michelle Perry!

 The scripture is actually in James  1:2-4:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The answer is yes, I have, at times,  been caught up in feeling sorry for myself at times and even justifying my right to do so.

We have these preconceived notions in our heads as to how our lives will be, and when it doesn’t fit our pictures we feel frustrated and defeated.  Have we ever considered that the Lord has a different plan for us than what we thought?

freedom Maybe the very trials we are in now  are what is training us for the  journey right into His plan for us in  the next season……

“And let us not lose heart and grow  weary and faint in acting  nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9

Jesus tells us over and over in this life we will face many adversities and trials and temptations.

We cannot get through this life without Jesus, friends.  I don’t know how people who have no trust in Him do it.  Do they just give way to fear?  

Yes, I think so.

Without our faith in Jesus to guide, protect, and rescue us…without Him to rush to in times of pain and grief….without knowing His extreme love for us, who do we turn to?

And what about this scenario?  When it looks like everyone around you is being blessed and seeing the fulfillment of God’s blessings in their lives and yet, you are still struggling and nothing is happening.  What do you do with that.  Well, in Psalm 37: 1-11 it says:

Do not trouble yourself because of sinful men. Do not want to be like those who do wrong. For they will soon dry up like the grass. Like the green plant they will soon die. Trust in the Lord, and do good. So you will live in the land and will be fed. Be happy in the Lord. And He will give you the desires of your heart. Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it. He will make your being right and good show as the light, and your wise actions as the noon day.

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEiSo, we hold on and bear up under the pressures of life and make a choice to put on perseverance…which is a fruit of the Spirit that He freely gives us when we ask for it.

We WILL reap what we have sown if we don’t give up!

And look at this as Psalm 37 continues:

Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans. Stop being angry. Turn away from fighting. Do not trouble yourself. It leads only to wrong-doing. For those who do wrong will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord will be given the earth. 10 A little while, and the sinful man will be no more. You will look for his place, and he will not be there. 11 But those who have no pride will be given the earth. And they will be happy and have much more than they need.”

 Do we believe this?  This is why we have to be diligent in His word and in talking to Him. 

It boils down to a choice.  Not a feeling!

I choose to believe that in due season I will reap if I faint not…

I can feel it in my very bones.  How about you? 

Are you ready to give up? 

 Hebrews 12:2 in the Message says it this way: “ Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!10997005_10206299093105369_4155483824397253812_n

Confronting the Elephant in the Room

elephant in the room Because I am an advocate that  stands up for those who have  been victims of childhood  abuse and….

 Because I am a healed  survivor of my own past of  childhood abuse….

I once again feel the need to speak up on behalf of that group of people that even the church tries to shush up…because the disclosure is so uncomfortable for them…so it is easier to sweep it under the rug and pretend we don’t know these things are happening every day.

When are we going to start confronting the elephant in the room that most will ignore and pretend it is not there?

Silencing victims by saying that this shouldn’t be talked about, or should remain within families, says to a victim that this is something to be ashamed of.

 That they are in fact damaged goods.

woman-praying-clipart-LcKdoepEi When these crimes are called out and discussed in a public forum, the offender alone should bear both the responsibility and the shame. These matters need to be discussed not only for prevention, but also for healing.

 Victims need to be heard. They need to be believed. They need to know that what happened was not their fault. We bear witness to their suffering when we give them a voice.

 The only way we can ever hope to stop abuse is if we are willing to talk about it and admit that it happens.  We need to allow them to speak out!  To be transparent without fear of reprisal or shame or embarrassment. We also need to acknowledge that the Christian community is not exempt from this horror.   But it is not something that is often spoke about or expose within the church gatherings.

 I believe this will change.

 As Ann Voscamp so adequately puts it, “Because People of the Church are to be those who stand up so safe places open up, who lead by always going lower, who expose and confront abuse everywhere they find it, so the hope of the Gospel can be of use anywhere it goes.

Because People of the Cross are to be witnesses for the suffering, and responders to the victims, and testifiers of Truth, no matter the cost, no matter the risk, because Christ is The Truth — and where there isn’t Truth, there isn’t Christ. Why ever hide or cover-up the Truth?”

And to those still walking in their victimhood:

10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_n Our wounds from childhood  abuse bring messages with  them…they have a common  theme of “your worthless, you  have no value, you are a  flawed person, no one will  love you, you are ugly” ….

 And when those wounds were delivered to you with such pain, they felt true. 

They pierced your heart. 

So, you accepted the message as fact.  You embraced the worthless verdict on yourself. 

The vows of silence we made as children act like a deep seated agreement with the messages of our wounds.  Because it was all about survival.   There was nothing else that could penetrate that agreement with our pain.  The vows we made acted like a kind of covenant with the messages that came with our deep wounds. 

light and darkness And it is a deep hole of darkness.

 We know that the word tells us where 2 or 3  agree on a matter it shall be done.  This can  work in the negative as well.  When we, as  victims of our past, set ourselves in agreement  with the enemy that there is something wrong  with us, we begin to live in exactly that place.

Those childhood vows are very dangerous things.  They change the course of our life.  

We have to renounce the messages as lies ….it is the way to unlock the door to Jesus.  Agreements lock the door from the inside.  Renouncing the agreements unlocks the door to Him….

birdcage to Jesus…

 He will move into those  heavily veiled places within  our soul and be there with us  in that place of pain and  abuse…..and deliver us and  heal us from the past.  I don’t know how He does it.  But I can attest to the fact that He does.

Because he did for me!  

(If you want to read my story of being a child victim of incest, you can find my memoir “Climbing Out of the Box.” on Amazon.) 

To you precious abuse survivors reading this:

Never forget that there is hope for healing. Although life after trauma is messy and working through the pain is difficult, it is absolutely worth the fight.

May you rest in the hope of a God who cradles his wounded children in his arms as his own body is wracked with tears for the suffering you have endured.

And He will heal you to the point that the past will not affect your future.

38477_137112636323023_6691527_n He will feed His flock like a shepherd:  He will gather the lambs in His arms,  He will carry them in His bosom and  will gently lead those that have their  young. Is. 40:11

 Jesus I give myself to you.  I give my  life to you.  I surrender me…totally  and completely.   Forgive all my  hurtful ways.  Forgive my self-  protecting ways and all of my chasing after other comforters.  Come and be my savior, healer, my love……

(If you are a survivor of childhood abuse and haven’t worked through the steps to healing please contact me for coaching on my home page above or leave a comment here.)

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.