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


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

 A SECOND BOOK!   How crazy is that?

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

….and yet here I am.

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

Amazing!

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

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

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

The surprise was that in writing my story….

I FOUND HEALING!!

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

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

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

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

But then I wait and write.

And wait and write some more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

..and being okay with it.

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

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

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

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

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When Feelings Lose Their Power

 

 

waterfall I lost life as I knew it over the course of one year a while back. Of course it was a slow build up to that year, but denial has a funny way of making you blind to what is coming.

(The complete story of this trip into the wasteland of my soul is recorded in my last book, Climbing Out of the Box.)

Through years of denial, spiritual abuse, and unresolved childhood abuse issues, my life broke apart in huge chunks and floated away on a sea of despair.  I lost my marriage, my home, myself, my church, and my children moved out…and did I mention I lost myself?

…all within a few months of each other.

Then I entered the wasteland of devastation and loss and an overload of “feelings”.

How can I describe the feelings?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was like being on a huge merry go round, holding on for dear life, trying to look like I had a grip but my vise gripped fingers were sliding off with every whirl.  It twirled faster and faster until my hands did lose their grip and I was flung off into space with magnitude force into nothingness with no idea where I would finally land.  When I did land I felt like I was smothering in feelings and couldn’t breathe; Kind of like being buried alive.

  • Grief

  • Despair

  • Fear

  • Anxiety

  • Sorrow

  • Emptiness

  • Anger

In the years that followed I was alone with myself and thought I would never recover from the empty shell that was me.

My feelings became my faithful companions until I finally started talking to God.  Boy did I have the questions.

The most fascinating thing to me was that He never left.  He stepped back, though, to give me time to come to the place of realizing all my answers were in Him.  He is always so patient with us.

As I called upon Him in my solitary place, He began to heal my frayed and broken heart.  I was ruled by my feelings at the point of quiet desperation and had been since the beginning of the dirge into blackness.

PeaceHe held me and let me weep when I finally pushed my arms up to my “Abba, Daddy”, in brokenness.

And then the healing began.  I learned so much in the next few years of exile.

One of the things I learned was that my feelings didn’t have to rule me or dictate to me how to act for the rest of my life.

When we call upon Him in our feelings of abandonment and reach deep into our still, quiet heart, where He dwells,

  • Our fears lose their power to control us;

  • Our “out of control” anger loses its power to devastate anyone lying in its wake….and

  • Our depression loses its power to consume us.

Our feelings lose their control over us.

That still, quiet center of us, where He resides, is where we are aware of His presence the most.  Learn how to quiet yourself and find that spot of uninterruption and you will find His voice.

  • He centers us.

  • He is our anchor.

When we call upon Him, we find the power to let go of our resentment and ask for forgiveness.  We can also forgive ourselves and be free.  We can let go of the past and move into the stillness of living large in the here and now.

And then we learn to trade in our profound shame for vulnerability with others, for in Him we are safe; and we trade in our fear of being embarrassed, to finally being transparent.

Our feelings provide the fertile ground of captivity for us.

If we listen to them they will kill our creativity that God wants to use.  They will squelch our love for others and undermine our knowledge of redemption and grace.

What if we just decided to stop listening to our feelings, and started listening to what God says about us; and start focusing in on His still whispers of direction and love?  What if we make a conscious decision to believe we are really hearing His voice and just do it…by faith?

And accepting our feelings as real, for they are very real, but not necessarily true if they become our dictating force and despair.  They can betray us in portraying Gods words as not trust worthy.

It is like a drop of soothing, healing water to accept that our feelings are real, but can be deceptive outside of God’s truth about us.

1510543_680314828697735_1831250127_nI think our shame would dry up and our love would explode and the world would never be the same  again if we can get to this place of truth and freedom.

Where Do You Want to Go to Eat?

 

   man-woman-car      “Where do you want to go eat?” He said.

“I don’t know.  Where do you want to go?” I said

“What sounds good?”  He said.

“Hmmmmm, not sure.  We could go here!” I said.

“Nah, that doesn’t sound good to me.” He said.

“Okay, well, how about here.” I said.

“I’m bored with their food.” He said.

“Well, then YOU make the choice.” I said.

“No, because if I do you won’t like it.” He said.

“I promise to like it.  You just choose.” I said.

“I don’t know where I want to go.” He said.

“Oh for Pete’s sake, let’s just go here then.  It’ll be fine.” I said.

“Finally, I’m starving.” He said.

“The service here is horrible.  The food is not good.  YOU should have made a better choice.” I said.

Sound familiar?

bourndariesHave you ever made a choice and when the outcome wasn’t so good, blamed the results of your poor choice on someone else?    Boundary violations are about not taking responsibility for our own choices and trying to lay the responsibility of those choices on someone else.

How often do we use the phrase, “I HAD to”, or “HE made me do it.”   Whom are we blaming for the circumstances of our lives?

The above dialogue is just a comical scenario that many couples find themselves in often, including me. But the truth behind it is that many of us are afraid to set boundaries in our lives for fear of making the wrong choices as if we are powerless over our own behavior.

We have good hearts.  So, we need to trust our hearts to know when to say no and when to take responsibility for our own choices.  We are not victims.  Whatever our circumstances we can make choices to change ourselves regardless of what others are doing.

We are to love one another, not BE one another.  Learning to respect someone else’s boundaries is vital if we want to know how to take charge of our own lives.

We learn to accept other’s freedoms to say no, and not get angry, feel guilty, or remove our love from them.  When we give others room to say no it sets us free as well.

door matNo one wants their boundaries violated. So why do we allow it? Why do we NOT enforce or uphold our boundaries?  The three main answers are:

  1. FEAR of rejection and, ultimately, abandonment.

  2. FEAR of confrontation.

  3. GUILT.

The truth, however, is that if you don’t learn to put up boundaries for yourself and take responsibility for your choices you only enable others to take control in your life.  You will experience the very things you fear the most as a result and the enemy will come in and devour your self esteem.

Establishing healthy boundaries and enforcing them opens the door for you to step into your authentic self with confidence.   You deserve to be authentically liked, loved, and respected.

If you would like to hear more on Boundaries,  leave a comment. 

“It is for freedom He has set us free!!”  Galatians 5:1

If you’d like coaching on boundaries in your life, contact me:  http://www.reflectionsofgracehome.com/lifecoaching.html

Three Keys to Recognize “Mistaken Thinking”

72502_464513973611156_2101516539_nAs a young believer coming into a new group of believers I was so shy.   I kept to myself though I longed to join other young couples and make friends.  I would watch them gather together and keep myself apart from them because I felt so inferior.  I had nothing to offer them, I thought.  I just have to look good and they will think I am together.   It didn’t work.  I mistakenly thought they didn’t like me.  This was because I always believed I was flawed because I was abused as a child.  Then one day one of the young mothers told me that she would like to be my friend but that I was giving off the persona that I was better than them.  What?   All the time I was dying to make friends, they thought I was snooty because of my little act of sufficiency.    This was eye opening to me.   I decided that no matter how I felt on the inside I would “put on” who I wanted to be.   I started going up to people and act very friendly and welcome them to church, as if I was the director of customer service.  I would stand in the foyer and greet people as if I was appointed the job, which I wasn’t.   People started lighting up when they would see me and I made many friends.    I found out from many of them that they were afraid to approach me.

CartwheelYears later I found myself working frantically for God  to be more acceptable to Him.   I became addicted t o “ministry” to cover my own lack of self esteem.   I had learned to paint the picture of being a worthy person very well.  The busier I became in helping people the more accolades of praise and admiration they would lavish me with.  Their words filled the deep holes in my soul that I so needed to feel important—temporarily, just as any addiction does.  I didn’t understand Grace.  I didn’t really know Jesus intimately.  Oh, I knew He had redeemed me and I was going to Heaven.  But I didn’t know He loved me exactly as I am and wanted to fill those deep holes with only Him.     I was slowly sinking into a loss I was not prepared for.

Pharisee  I was caught up in legalism.   I thought if I worked hard enough God would find me acceptable.  Where did that come from?   Was it correct thinking?   I appeared righteous and spiritual, but inside I was ultimately failing to accomplish God’s purposes because my life was based on outward performance instead of inward change.  Being a victim of incest at an early age I always thought that I was less than everyone else.   I was miserable around people because I just knew they could see my flaws, thus, the constant working to prove myself worthy.

Quite often, from earliest childhood mostly, we are taught something born out of someone else’s insecurity, prejudice, ignorance, or our very own victimizations.  These things form the way we think about ourselves.  It is amazing how we can go a lifetime believing lies and living them as truth, based only on our past injuries.

Shoulder-Angel-and-Devil    Mistaken thinking can interfere with the plan God has for you on this earth.  It can keep you down.  It can keep you stuck in a strong hold that will blind you to God’s plan for you.  We need to unlearn the things we have believed all of our lives in order to get unstuck in areas we just can’t seem to move forward in.

What are some areas you have mistakenly believed and walked in most of your life, or maybe, all of your life?   Here are some examples:

  • I am unworthy of love.

  • God loves me only if I am productive.

  • I need to rescue people in order for them to like me.

  • I am an island.

  • Manipulation works.

  • Don’t trust anyone.

  • I can’t.

  • I am a victim for the rest of my life.

  • Never give up control.

  • People are cruel

  • Self esteem is based on good looks, riches, popularity, or power.

  • I have to be perfect.

  • I can fix people.

  • I must always play it safe.

God desires for you to know who you really are, and realize how deeply He loves, accepts, and appreciates you, so that you can live out the fullness of what all He has ordained you to be. God’s Word tells us that without being rooted and grounded in the love (and acceptance) of God, we cannot experience the fullness of God in our lives.

 

golden-keyASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REVEAL TO YOU THE AREAS OF MISTAKEN THINKING THAT IS NOT OF GOD.

You will be amazed when you ask God to do this and be willing from the heart to listen to Him how quickly he will show you where your thinking is off.

golden-keyIN WHATEVER AREA YOU KNOW YOUR THINKING IS OFF, SEARCH THE WORD FOR WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT YOU AND HOW VALUED YOU REALLY ARE.  MEMORIZE IT AND WHEN YOU GO BACK TO YOUR OLD WAY OF THINKING, IMMEDIATELY PULL OUT YOUR TRUTH INSTEAD!

 Begin to say those scriptures whenever you are tempted to think in your old ways.    For instance, in thinking you are an island unto yourself and the only one you need in life.  The word says to not forsake the gathering of believers together for we need each other.  It is when we isolate that the enemy comes in to deceive us.  We were created for community, not isolation.  We need each other!

golden-keyDEVELOP YOUR INTIMACY WITH A VERY REAL, PERSONABLE JESUS! 

We are who we spend the most time with.  When you really know Jesus in every sense of the word, you become more like Him.  You begin to think like Him!!  Your old misconceptions will change.

PS:  Life Coaching can help you identify your areas of mistaken thinking and transform those areas into “right” thinking, breaking old patterns of defeat.   You might give it a try!     http://www.reflectionsofgracehome.com/lifecoaching.html