Guest Blog by Misa Leonessa Garavaglia
So many challenges have confronted us these past six weeks. Three car engines are toast. Health issues are draining our energy. Sinus infection, migraine, recovering from ankle reconstruction surgery, and illusive sleep are plaguing my body. We are nearly drowning in medical bills.
My computer got very sick and needed replacing and we got ripped off from a private party on Craig’s List when we tried to buy a new one.
All four people in our immediate family were nearly in fatal accidents within three hours of each other in a single day. The box containing hundreds of dollars’ worth of my printed literature has completely disappeared.
The Beyond Abuse Radio magnets were stolen off of my car. The list goes on…
On the other hand, my radio show is attracting wonderful guests and the episodes are bringing healing and freedom to many. My work with people one on one is thriving. Individuals are being deeply touched by God and becoming transformed. We have recently found a church home after decades of bad church experiences. My marriage is healing, my family growing closer and friendships becoming deeper. The work that God is doing in me and through me is bringing me great joy. I am privileged to have a front row seat to watch miracles unfold before me. My own walk with God is stronger than ever. My roots are growing deep into His love for me. His presence with me is often a strongly felt reality…
But yesterday I felt overwhelmed.
In my morning prayers I cried out to God. I hit the wall I have often hit before. Once again the belief that I am not going to be taken care of raised its ugly head. It is the LIE that I have battled since I was a child. Growing up with an emotionally abusive, alcoholic father and a mother with mental illness influenced my unconscious belief system. Suffering sexual abuse as a child also hammered the nails of those beliefs into my soul.
No one is looking out for me besides me. I must take care of myself. I must protect myself. There is no one else to depend on. It is all up to me.
Lack of trust and the need to be in control were signature characteristics of my early adulthood. During the challenging early years of parenting, God impressed upon me the gift of His rainbow. Every time I would see a rainbow I was deeply touched by a reminder of God’s faithfulness in His promises to me. It was like being kissed by my Creator. Each time I saw one, I would stop in my tracks to thank God for His promises.
Yesterday I saw a beautiful rainbow right outside my back door. In my anxious state I didn’t pause for even a second to hear God’s voice. Instead, I ignored it and kept trudging along through the cacophony of physical pain and financial worries that surrounded me and infiltrated my energy, stealing away my joy and peace.
I continued to throw myself at my “to do” list and propelled my body forward. I had to be somewhere soon and had hair and makeup to deal with.
Then I saw something I have never seen before. It was a triple rainbow. I have never three rainbows in a row. It got my attention. I called my husband outside and we got our cameras and snapped some photos, commenting on the brilliant beauty spanning our backyard. I finished getting ready to leave and climbed into the borrowed car to drive to my meeting. And then it hit me.
I had been totally detached from God. There was no reminder of promises when I saw that first rainbow. God called and there was no one home. The line was busy, full of anxiety and the activity of my attempts to catch all of the unraveling loose ends in our lives and do something with them. I had plowed right through His message literally written in the sky in front of me.
As I drove down the road my mind finally paused and I heard it.
“I am here. I have heard your prayers. I know your needs. I will never leave you. I have not called you into this work to leave you without the resources to do it. I am going to take care of you. It may not look like that right now, but it is the truth. You can trust me.”
In my mind’s eye, the God who lives inside me reached out His invisible hand and rested it upon my head. He looked me in the face and spoke of His deep love for me.
Yes, I had plowed right through the first rainbow.
So He pulled out all the stops and sent me three more.
It was okay that the first one escaped my attention. He knew the difficulties I was dealing with and there was not an ounce of judgment there. No, instead, He was willing to send something downright spectacular to capture my heart.
I finally made the connection. The tears welled up and fell onto my cheeks. It wasn’t up to me to take care of myself.
Yes, I have to cooperate with His care for me and do those things that He moves me to do.
I have to see the value in me that He sees and obey His voice when He leads me to eat well and exercise, to pray and to rest, to work when it is time to work, and to play when it is time to play.
But it all comes from His desire to protect me and create the thriving life that He intended for me to live. It is from His heart that all of my needs are met, not my self-effort to figure it all out and then make it work.
This morning I felt God moving me to do some art journaling. I painted a triple rainbow nestled in our little valley of redwoods that graces our backyard. As I was finishing my painting, the music of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” sang out from Pandora.
“Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then oh why can’t I?”
When the song was over, another familiar tune began to play. I belted out the words:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
I don’t know when I will have a car to drive. My headache and ankle pain are still with me. The finances, computer, and other problems have not gone away yet.
But it IS well with my soul. The reason that it is well is that my soul is known and loved. I am being held in the tender embrace of my God and He IS taking care of me. And He sent a triple rainbow in my own backyard to prove it.
(Songwriters: Harburg, E Y / Arlen, Harold
Somewhere Over The Rainbow lyrics © EMI Music Publishing)
(It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford)
(Picture of rainbow created by Misa.)
Misa’s Bio: Misa Leonessa is a life coach and spiritual director specializing in trauma recovery, relationships, communication and spiritual growth. She has walked the path from surviving to thriving herself, and has a passion to help people heal from childhood abuse and those who are committed to pursuing greater relational, emotional and spiritual wholeness. Misa is the producer and host of Beyond Abuse Radio where she shares the wisdom gleaned from her own journey and she facilitates workshops and conferences for individuals ready to break patterns of fear and self-protection to find their new inheritance of life, love and joy. Misa has 2 beautiful daughters whom she home schooled from kindergarten through high school and has been married for 27 years. She lives in the Santa Cruz mountains of central California with her husband Lou and her dog Gizmo. Misa loves to write, walk in the Redwoods, and kayak. She also enjoys growing flowers, singing, and artistic expression. Misa can be contacted at