When the Chains Fall Off…Then What?

Broken-ChainsJennifer, (not her real name), came to me for coaching… a broken person, chained to a very unhealthy relationship, unable to break free; trying to make peace with her abusive childhood and years of abuse to follow–in a place she thought she would never be free of, and miserable inside.   

I discerned right away her servant’s heart and her desire to reach out to others that were hurting or needing to know that someone cares.  

You see, God used her past to equip Jennifer to have a heart of not only empathy, but true compassion towards a very broken world, and He led her to seek deliverance from her past.   Her loyalty, dedication, and obedience were so evident for all to see.

378095_526317080764178_826390852_n-3After a few months of coaching,  Jennifer found the courage to walk out of her pain, break all ties with a very controlling and consuming relationship that was toxic to her, and begin her process of healing.  She saw her value in the Kingdom of God and became eager to get on with it.  It was amazing to watch!

Her potential was evident from the beginning and to get to witness her freedom break forth first hand is a privilege I never grow tired of. 

What a joy to watch this woman of such faith and heart truly share the real essence of Jesus wherever she goes.   This week I received the following message from her that I share with her permission.  When asked if she minded if I shared her journey with thousands,  this was her response: 

Well,  to me it is important to keep you posted since YOU had such a big part in my healing process. I wouldn’t  be where I am at this point if it wasn’t for all those sessions. And yes, I’m proud of what I’m able to work on at this point and am happy to let you share with others.  It’s those stories that help the lost ones to see there is a light if they just open their hearts and mind to it!”

 

So here is her report.  For the record this was written while she was recovering from a knee replacement and eager to get on with her business in the “ministry.”

jesus and me“Good morning, thought about you when I was making my weekly to do list.

I wanted to share all the serving opportunities that came my way the last couple of months!

I’m waiting on my first assignment from Hospice and Mary and I are involved in a couple of special events at the church. We’ll be part of an Easter egg hunt at our church as well, and we are helping to feed the homeless at a shelter in the city. This is a great time for the two of us to spend some time together! 

I’m also helping at the food basket and hope we get a chance to feed the homeless here with a hot meal if I can get enough interest. As soon as I can I’m going to check with the Chamber to see what is available and find out if there are others in the community who want help.

I had a lot of time to pray for guidance and different opportunities just presented themselves, all in His timing I’m sure!

Thank you again for helping me out of my hurt and confusion, I’m happy to be part of the world around me!   I forgot the most exciting part cause the dog started digging out of the yard while I was E-mailing you… A few days ago one of my friends from the old church put a request on her Face book page. She started a ministry to go visit and pray with women in jail at the prison nearby.   Well I guess they also write them and I signed up to be a pen pal for a young lady who just accepted Jesus as her savior! The girls got me some stationary a while back and now I can put it to good use!”

Jennifer is finding her completeness in just stepping out and praying for Jesus to allow her to see the opportunities and she grabs them up.  

praying-womanThe opportunities are endless, friends!   The more the world seems to be going crazy the more the church needs to get free of the strongholds that bind them and start looking for those opportunities to be His arms extended!!

What a privilege to  help others  know the love of the Father.  Someone said people who are loved well, love well. And you can help those around you right now in whatever life you’re already in.

 Most true ministry is performed person-to-person in our spare time among friends, family, work contacts or people we know. I believe it is best if we don’t try to make it vocational and try to create the opportunity for ourselves…true ministry is not where you have to quit your day job or leave your kids and husband to go out to a mission field…(though some may be called there). But most true ministry is right where you have been planted.

254865_440342676028286_2145415378_n I’ve known many people who grow unsettled in their jobs or their motherhood and think that it is God leading them into “full time” ministry.  Away from the ministry field of their family standing right in front of them.  This, though, is often laced with a personal need to find fulfillment and feel significant in his kingdom.  And they sometimes DO quit their job and jump into a ministry and then struggle financially trying to figure out a way to do it and pay the bills.

Some people will try to raise support from their friends, or create some kind of product to sell to others, hoping it will finance their dreams. It rarely does. Instead of serving others, they will spend significant time getting others to serve their vision.

A friend once said, “Sharing the life of his kingdom is a way of living first, not a vocation.”

When the opportunity is there, so will the resources be.

What is on your heart today to do for the Kingdom?   Pray for the Lord to open doors for you and then pray you will be alert and willing when He does.   Don’t think He won’t answer.  He is looking for those  he can use in a lost and dying world.  If YOU are broken then find the ministry from someone you trust to help you heal first.  Start your journey today!

If my friend Jennifer can do the work it takes to find her healing and be so thrilled to serve when she has spent so many years suffering and holding her head above water, then you and I can do it too.   He is not a respecter of persons!!

545570_417758148257124_357419294_n (1)Be encouraged, my friend.  Jesus is not done with you yet!

The Empty Jelly Jar and the Little Girl

empty-jar-jam-like-blood-spoon-45563171

The following story was sent to me recently by a client I am coaching.   I use it with her permission…it was too good not to share!

 

”I felt like having toast.  I love toast.

I don’t eat it often- ok I don’t eat it as often as I would like. 

As a middle aged woman, toast is not my friend; however I find comfort in a warm crunchy slice of bread.  This morning is no exception and my desire for toast is magnified by the cold, dark, rainy day today.  Seriously,  it is pouring out. 

I love rainy days,  especially if I can stay inside with my thoughts and of course my toast.

jelly-toastAs my toast is cooking and my mind is all over the place; Fridays tend to put me in a hopeful, dreadful mood. Hopeful that Steve and I will have quality time together even amongst the household chores;  

and dreadful because one day of every weekend “HAS” to be spent with her, you know,  the egg donor person.

I don’t think my brain has got over the Friday thing yet,  but in time I pray the dread will leave and only hope will float (sorry I had to do it).

I went to the fridge to get my favorite Jelly.   I don’t use butter anymore.  I have learned that my beloved toast tastes just as good with just jelly.

The jar I selected was almost empty, I really had to work to get enough for two slices of toast and the funny thing is,  as I was scraping my jar a thought so strong and powerful hit me and made me want to tell you this story.

weeds n jelly jar
Have your children ever picked you wild flowers (I am sure they have) sometimes,  and  it is really just weeds… but they run in to give them to you –so full of love that those little weed flowers appear to be the highest quality florists flowers. 

Usually the stems are short with roots and dirt attached from being yanked out of the ground.

As good Moms we want to display the flowers for all to see and for ourselves as the sweetest reminder we are loved and worthy moms. 

Finding a container for such a short stem can be difficult,  hence the Jelly Jar.  As I was cleaning out the magical fruit inside my jar this morning it hit me so hard; 

I never gave my Mother flowers for a jelly jar.  She wasn’t a Mommy and would have seen them as nothing but weeds and most likely would have had me throw them out.

 It hurt.

picking-flowers-391610_960_720It made me sad, and honestly I saw myself visually like a movie– as a little girl standing in a field with my hand full of wild flowers, roots, dirt and all- lost because I had no one to give my flowers to. 

As I write this I am feeling so sad for that little girl I want to run,  not walk,  out to the field to grab her, hug her and put her flowers in my empty jelly jar.

Is this part of healing? 

These glimpses of what I did not have?  I know we are supposed to look at what we do have and be grateful and,  trust me,  I am grateful.  I was 18  with a baby,  followed by rent,  a car payment,  a job, and a husband  and I had to struggle… and still do, and I am grateful for so much.

Yet,  I feel as if I need to see what I didn’t have with clarity, real clarity…

Not the excuses that have been made… or excuses I have made to cover so much dysfunction and loss.

I don’t think I see not having (money or things) as a very big deal as long as we can have a roof and toast.  I am cool,  haha- seriously I am not a big thing person. 

I am far too emotional and I need relationships… especially ones I can click with in my empathic way,  (gift? still struggling with that).

 I just want someone to give my flowers to for their Jelly Jar. For me it really is as simple as that.  I don’t know why at my age these losses have been more active in my heart and mind.   I look forward to your help in figuring this out.

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200I do think I need to mourn a whole bunch and not for the loss of a Mother,  but for the loss of the little girl, if that makes sense?

I really feel when I can say good bye to the little girl and let her be free,  the mother will dissolve.  My gosh that sounds crazy!

…but I am writing it because it is exactly what I am thinking.  I think I might have been mourning the wrong person all along.  I have always thought if I felt sorry for the little girl I was selfish,  but right this second I don’t feel that at all.  

I think I will go wash out my Jelly Jar and as soon as the rain stops go find some wild flowers for it from the little girl.

Gosh…I am crying and as usual it feels so sad.

But I have had some weird break through this morning.

It’s not my loss of a mother it’s the loss of ME,

217842_397562620306292_898119185_n… a me who was never allowed to be.”

 

Is there anyone out there that relates to this story like my client has?  This is what I felt Jesus saying after I read this.

This is soul wearying.

Because you may have been hurt,— by words that wound you still — that made you regret that you ever opened up.

Words that made you feel even smaller than how you’re already feeling…words that never felt important to those you loved.

Words that make you feel pressured to get over what you can’t get over.

Words that make you feel more alone, standing on the outside of where you want to be: belonging, loved and understood.

It’s then, in that realization, at that moment, you and I chance upon a glimpse into our soul.

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300To the little girl inside us who is broken, feeling cast off and lonely.

Jesus has a way of slipping in his love notes, to reach that wounded child within us….even in empty jelly jars.

Do you feel the  still, quiet whisper of Jesus speaking to the child in you?

There is a place here and now that Jesus has been preparing for us that has  been wounded.

That place is your soul, where Jesus has been doing deep, healing work — because you are valuable.

There is a place in this world for you and, in fact, a wonderful plan, just for you… and there always was…it was just so covered up by pain.

Because Jesus understands us.

Because He loves us as we are.

So go pick those flowers today and allow that inner child to blossom forth in healing and restoration.  Realize that He is always more than enough to fill every vacant and aching place within you with the wonderful essence of Himself.

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n“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.  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 8:36-39

What is an Illusion? And My Chirping Bird….

bird 2The chirping came from directly above my head.  I was in the dining room working on a bible study and there he was, loudly chirping happily from my attic.   I thought it odd that he was in my attic and figured he would find his way out eventually.  He stayed in that one place for a while but eventually he moved to different places in the attic…over my bedroom, the living room, and then kind of landed in my office.  He was so loud that my granddaughter and I spent some time looking for him thinking that he had somehow gotten into the house.  

Then we realized his chirping was coming from the heater vent in my office.  He knew where I was.  I started considering him my pet.   I would worry how he would find his way out and how he was finding food .  

My husband even decided one day to get a ladder and go into the attic and find him to shoo him out, but I wouldn’t let him.  Because I kind of liked hearing his chirping.  It made me happy.  I figured he was eating bugs in the attic.

stock-illustration-18468144-bird-singingOver the time of a few months he became a familiar friend that made me smile when he let his presence known.  

Then we discovered we had termites.   We had to have the house tented and fumigated.   I was so sad that my pet bird may die.   I expressed my dismay to close friends and family and they all sympathized with me.  

And I prayed.

I prayed that Jesus would somehow help my friend survive the onslaught of poison that was about to transcend his home in the attic. 

We had to leave the house for a couple of days and when we returned I waited to see if I would hear his poor little feeble chirping once again, as I knew he would be at least sick from the poison. 

And then I heard him!   He made it through and there he was again, in my office, chirping away. 

And I thanked God.

Such a small thing.

One night as I was showing the ladies of my bible study a You Tube video on a used computer book that had been gifted to us from a friend, the bird chirped.

BirdI was so excited and I said to the ladies,  “Hear my little bird?   He has been living in my attic and even survived the tenting.”

They were looking at me with that “deer in the head lights look”.   I said, “What?”….they said, “you are kidding right?”   I said, “No, he really is up there…listen!”

At that point they literally fell out of their chairs laughing.  Especially when I told them about praying for him.   They then gently told me my little chirping bird was coming from the computer that had been given to us…someone had programmed it to chirp when there were updates.

Stunned!

I was in shock and embarrassed,

and somehow sad…

like I had lost a friend…

sadand when my husband took it out of the computer, I had to say good bye to my friend.  

I was disillusioned.

The moral of this true story?

When you are disillusioned with life it is because you have been living in an illusion.   You created your own scenario and wanted to believe it, even though many times you already know in your spirit it is not real. 

Oswald Chambers said in his book, “My Utmost for His Highest”, 

” Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. However, though no longer deceived, our experience of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others. But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.”

“Illusions are a false way of looking  at whatever  mindset we are in.”

Disillusionment means a loss of false belief.

sb_passiveagressive2To be disillusioned is to be disappointed by destroyed illusions.

Illusions are untrue ideas and beliefs that we acquire along the way. 

My bird was an illusion.  

But on a more serious note, my unreal expectations, or illusion,  that people will never fail me will undoubtedly lead to my disillusionment.

The more illusions we can be rid of along the way  the better.  It is sometimes so hard to have our illusions challenged, that we prefer not to grow any further, and to keep our illusions intact.

We don’t want to accept that people are not perfect.  We don’t want to believe that the world is so opposed to God.   We think we will never know doubt, sadness, or any kind of lack.   If that were so how would we ever  have the fruit of His spirit developed in us and strength of character?

These  illusions can rob us of the fruit which the Holy Spirit wishes to produce in our lives.

Illusions are a false way of seeing things.  Revelation is the true way to allow God to reveal truth to us.

Unhappy-PersonChoosing to live in an illusion is the same as choosing to live in denial. 

If you are DIS-illusioned right now it is because you were living in an illusion over something in your life.

Denial will lead you around Mt. Sinai a few times, until you accept truth.mt sinai

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.)