September 18 2017

How To Forgive: Steps To Freedom From Pain And Shame

Last week I wrote a post about forgiveness, and I would like to follow it up with a post on how to forgive. Learning to forgive can be quite difficult for some people. It can seem as though forgiving someone is excusing every bad thing they have done to you. However, that is not how the Lord sees forgiveness. Jesus came to set us free from oppression and death, and when we hold on to unforgiveness, we are holding on to the very things that strive to keep us in bondage.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

For some, admitting that there is a problem is harder than forgiving the ones who hurt you. It is much easier to live in a place of strong denial, where you keep a firm belief that everything is just fine; nothing is wrong at all. You are not hurt or angry. You have moved on and nothing can keep you down.

This is exactly the stance the enemy would love you to keep, because it is in that denial that you are kept in his bondage. Forgiving those who have sinned against you is a cornerstone of Christian faith. To forgive is to be set free. We cannot be set free from anger, pain, spite, vengage, rage, etc, when we refuse to connect to those emotions. We tell ourselves they aren’t there, and when we flare up into a rage and someone calls us out on it, we smile warmly and say we’re not angry.

There is no hiding from unforgiveness. It is bondage that allows the demonic to work through us to keep us in pain and harm those that we love and that we have issues with. You may need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you see where you have unresolved issues causing pain, anger, etc.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Step 2: Repent for your anger

Once we verbally admit we are angry, hurt, jealous, spiteful, envious, hateful etc. , then we are ready for the next step, repentance. Repentance means to turn from evil and turn to good instead. Acts of hate, anger, and all the other feelings that come when we don’t forgive are the same as making agreements with the enemy. It is going against Christ in us, and agreeing with our sin nature, which was born out of rebellion and partnership with the enemy.

When Adam and Eve decided to rebel against God in the Garden, they were actually agreeing with the devil and his lies. Therefore, it was like a contract and partnership, which cost all humanity. We do not understand the depth of what sin means until we see it in these terms. To sin is not just to simply do wrong, and that is why it is so important to repent of it. God has already forgiven us, and we do not repent in order to gain His love or approval. We repent in order to align ourselves to the Spirit of the God Most High, and flee from the devil and his ways.

Have the Holy Spirit lead you through the act of repentance. Repentance should be done out loud, because you are making a declaration for the whole spiritual realm to hear. Repentance can be as basic as “I repent for my anger at ____. I repent for all my evil or negative thoughts about ______. I repent for all my jealousy and acts of division towards ____.”

Just be sure to let the Holy Spirit bring all of it to mind. Do not be ashamed at your actions as He reveals them. Your Father in heaven loves you more than you could know. He is not mad at you. He has already forgiven you. He knows your heart and knows you are not evil. You are repenting because you seek to free yourself from the bondage that has kept you in alignment with hell, not because you are bad.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Step 3: Forgive those that have hurt you

To forgive does not mean to permit sin. Forgiveness is the act of extending the blood Jesus shed on the cross to pardon us to those who have done us wrong. To forgive is an act, not a feeling. It is like a verbal contract between yourself and God, allowing His grace and mercy and love to flow freely to you and to those who have sinned against us.

The act of forgiving should be spoken aloud. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with the words. It can be as simple as “I forgive ______ for not being there when I needed them. I forgive _____ for not listening to me. I forgive ______ for stealing from me. I forgive ______ for saying hurtful things to me.

You may still have to work through some of the reasons for your pain, anger, etc. towards others after you forgive them. Often times things that happen to us now are a trigger (something that reminds us of a traumatic event from our past) to unresolved pain from our past. When we have traumatic events happen in our lives, which are wide and variable between different people, we store up the pain deep inside our psyche and keep reliving the wounds when they are triggered.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you work through any unresolved feelings that linger. You may find there are more things that need to be forgiven as time goes on. It is important to be patient and loving with yourself, forgiving yourself just as you are forgiving others. God does not expect you to be perfect, and knows you have done wrong in your life. We all fall short of the glory of God, and that is why Jesus came. We just need to keep surrendering and humbling ourselves continually, so that we can break free from this bondage and grow closer to God.

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Romans 12:14

Step 4: Bless those who have hurt you

Once you have forgiven those who have hurt you, it is important to then bless them. People who hurt are most likely just hurting themselves. We are all broken and living in a broken world, trying to make it through the best we know how. Sometimes we do mean to hurt others and sometimes we don’t. Either way, we all deserve the forgiveness of Christ and the cleansing righteousness it brings.

To offer blessing on those who have sinned against us, no matter how severe it is, is the final act when we forgive. It releases us to move forward and know that we have truly aligned ourselves with the heart of God. His heart is so full of love for every one of His children, and He wants to see each one of us come into repentance so we can be who He truly created us to be. We must not fall prey to pride, thinking that to forgive is enough, and to bless is too much.

By blessing those who have hurt us, we are opening our hearts up to be blessed as well, and bringing the gates of heaven to these people who need Jesus so bad. No matter where they are in life, you can never have too much Jesus.

The act of blessing is as simple as “I bless _______. I bless their life, their home, their family, their finances.” And whatever else the Holy Spirit would have you pray. He may have you pray intercession for them, because they may be in dire straights, and we do not know.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:13

We are not striving for perfection, but for the Father’s heart. As we continue to forgive ourselves and others, we can continue to grow in His mercy and love. We are to be ambassadors of His grace and mercy, and as we forgive, we are doing mighty work for His Kingdom. No matter how hard it seems, you can do this. I have had to forgive the most heinous of acts, on many occasions, and it has only brought me more and more freedom.

Your Father in heaven is so very proud of you and where you are at right now. Keep fighting the good fight of faith, my beautiful brothers and sisters!

September 11 2017

The Power of Forgiveness

forgivenessForgiveness has been something that I have struggled with all of my life. From the time I was born, I was being physically and sexually abused by my family and at the Mormon Church. I grew up feeling worthless and abandoned; constantly lied to and betrayed. I was beaten down for having gifts from God to see and talk to Him, and was taught that I was generally stupid and altogether evil. All these things shaped the core of who I was. Instead of growing into a tender young girl who loved the Lord, and wanted to help and serve others, I became devoid of love, focusing instead on hate.

Hate is a power that has driven me for most of my life. Hate, so I was told, was going to protect me, like a weapon or a coat of armor. It was going to drive away all of the evil, because self hatred would keep me in constant self flagellation. I could drive the evil out of my self, and keep the evil of others away, if I would just use the powers of hate.

I was only a little girl as these penetrating lessons were taught to me. As hard as I tried to cling on to what I knew of Jesus, it was ripped away from me, step by step, until I could no longer bear to even hear His name. Jesus name became a swear word to me, because His name now represented hate, anger, and pain to me. Jesus not only abandoned me, but took part in my abuse, as men would dress in His likeness and tell me they were Him.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:18-19

As I grew, my life constantly reinforced these beliefs of hate. The rejection and abandonment I felt in my own home was enough to leave me feeling utterly hopeless. I turned to attempts of suicide and later, drugs and alcohol, to try to numb the pain that swelled within me. Nothing could truly take away that pain, but at least I could continue to face another day with a crutch to help me hobble through.

It was not only my family and church that reinforced the message that people will hurt and betray you. It was also relationships outside of the home, with friends and boyfriends. Each friendship I had, I ended up being hurt and betrayed. Each boyfriend I gave my heart too, used and abused me. Again and again my heart received the message loud and clear: People are evil and are always going to hurt you. No matter what you do, you must protect and defend yourself.

My drive to hate just continued to grow throughout my life. With no outlet for healing, the pain would just get shoved further down and bottled up. As I entered early adulthood I began having problems with anger and rage. Physical abuse in my romantic relationships caused me to in turn become violent. I had to defend myself from the pain and attacks, and so physical fights became normal with men.

For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:20

I wanted desperately to be free from all of this anger and pain. I tried over and over again to forgive my parents for the abandonment I felt all those years. I wanted to start over and just love them for who they were. It worked for a time, as long as I ignored every longing I had for approval and affection. My parents were just as abused as I was, and they absolutely did the very best they could. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to fill the cries of my soul for the love I so desired.

It wasn’t until I came to a place in my life where I was able to finally meet God again. To remember that He is real and not a God of pain and torment. That led to me being able to take a closer look at Jesus. This Jesus that I had to reject in order to protect myself. As I read the Gospel message of His love, something I had been previously deprived of, I realized, this is the love I had been missing out on my entire life. This is the man I needed but could never find all these years.

I gave myself wholeheartedly to Jesus Christ. I wanted nothing more than to allow His Holy Spirit to transform my broken pieces to a beautiful vessel of His love. However, I was still so very shattered and the pain was still constant. Jesus brought me to a place where I was able to have the grace to begin to see people from His point of view. The grace to begin to love and open up to others in a way I never had before. His love was overflowing through me, and I wanted nothing more than to share it with the world.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psalm 103:8

That is not the end of the story, however. As I began my season of inner healing, the grace to love others unconditionally had to make way for the grace to face my pain. My pain was like an endless ocean, raging like a storm within my soul. As I lay bear all my pain, fear and shame, I came to a place of complete and utter brokenness. All my strength was gone, and all I could do was rely on Jesus to even make it through one day. It was all I could do to keep living.

While some saw this as a sign of disaster, I knew in my heart it was what I needed. I could continue to live in the undercurrent of pain, never knowing when it would swallow me whole, or I could face it head on, with the help of the Holy One, and receive healing and hope. When you have never had hope and get a taste of it, you always want more.

Through my inner healing, the real work of forgiving began. I knew about a lot of pain and rejection in my life, but I had no memories of the worse of the abuse. Once those began to be uncovered I had to dig very deeply to learn to forgive. Forgiving felt like saying everything bad that ever happened to me was OK. What Jesus taught me is that forgiving never means evil become good. What it means is I am allowing Him to be Lord over the circumstances that brought the pain, and then give all the pain to Him.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

I was never meant to carry such a heavy burden on my own. I was never meant to spend a life grieving what should have been. I was meant for freedom and for love. Things that had been stolen away from me in my innocence. All the hate and vengeance and anger I had been using as a weapon did not make me evil. In my heart I only wanted to protect myself from more torment. Jesus had already forgiven me, and so to forgive all the people who had hurt me was only going to set me free.

I no longer had to carry around the weapons of hate. Weapons I had fashioned out of fear and pain, but nonetheless weapons. What I hadn’t realized is that the weapons I was carrying were all actually aimed at me, and being used by the devil to hurt me even more. Once I began to hand over all of my weapons of hate, pain, shame, anger, rage, etc to Jesus, I saw the truth about who God made me to be. I am a light in this world, and a light on a hill cannot be hidden. I was no longer in need of hiding, because Jesus was setting me free.

All of us are carrying around some degree of pain and anger towards others, and self, that we are using as weapons. And just like me, you never meant those weapons for harm, but for protection. Jesus knows your heart and knows who He created you to be. So today, it is time to lay them down at His feet, cast every one of your burdens down before Him, and let the Truth set you free. There you will see what it looks like from a heavenly perception. A place where love, grace and mercy rule, and shame is put to the grave, forever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:10-14

May 15 2017

Hope In The Fiery Trials of Life

hopeWe all go through seasons in life. Some up and some down. Some good and some trying. God is always with us through all of them, no matter what. However, sometimes it really seems like He is much farther away than at other times. Sometimes it seems that He is completely silent when we need Him most. I have had many hard days in my life when I was very sure God was very far away. The circumstances of my life and the suffering I was enduring was a clear indicator that God no longer cared about me.

I think we all go through season in our lives where we believe God does not hear our cries. We look for evidence in our circumstances that God is listening. When we don’t see tangible proof of God moving, we feel abandoned and lose hope. For me, it has been very easy to lose hope. I have been in many hopeless circumstances, and have brought that hopelessness with me into many seasons of my life. What I didn’t know was that even in the most hopeless of circumstances, God is still moving.

I know for many people, they have given up on hope because they feel God is silent. They have been praying and praying and begging God to fix their circumstance or heal their pain, but nothing ever changes. If God is really moving, if God really does answer our prayers and hear our cries, then why do we not see any changes in our lives? Maybe it’s because we don’t know what we are supposed to be looking for.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

Recently I went through a bought of severe affliction in my life. I am no stranger to suffering. I have seen my share of suffering, time and again. However I have taken great pains to go through deliverance and healing, and to give myself over to the Holy Spirit for renewal as often as He has asked. So why then, as a Christian who has been promised an abundant life, was I finding myself once again in the midst of suffering?

At first my affliction wasn’t so bad. As the days turned into weeks, my physical pain became greater. As the weeks turned into months, my physical pain turned into emotional anguish. My begging and pleading turned into anger and despair. I was certain God had given up on me once and for all. If He would not spare His servant, who has been so faithful to to Him, from this kind of suffering, then surely He was no longer listening to me. If God did not care for me, then I had no reason for hope at all.

Even in the midst of my despair I continued to seek healing from God. I have inner healing session weekly, and several times I addressed my affliction. I went into deep places of emotional trauma from past events that were directly related to my current suffering. Each time I was sure it was enough and waited for the healing to come. However, instead of healing I would only see temporary relief and then actually get worse.

I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.

Isaiah 48:10

How does a person go into that level of healing and not get better, but get worse!? I could not fathom it. It only drove me deeper into confusion and despair. As upset as I was, I was unwilling to completely give up on God. While part of me was dying inside, another part of me was willing that I should fight for the truth and God’s promises over my life. So I continued to seek God and answers to why my trials would not end.

Finally, when I could take it no longer, the dam burst open and heaven itself poured out over my heart. I had to be willing to look into the darkness in my soul and see things I never wanted to know, but Jesus met me there. It was in that dark place where I was willing to humble myself, that Jesus was able to open His arms wide and let His healing rivers of Living Waters flow. It was not that He could not before, it was that I had to keep fighting to get to the root of the problem. Without getting to the root, the wounds were continuing to fester and swell through out my life in unmanageable ways.

Many times Jesus has shown me where He was in the midst of my afflictions and trials. Even when my physical being could not detect Him, He was there. God is spirit, and He does not move in the ways of man. He moves in the ways that protect our spirit. Our spirit is eternal, and can either be dammed to hell or have everlasting life in heaven with the Father. If we forsake our spirit, then we will find the consequences unbearable. Jesus is not willing to see that happen, and so behind the scenes, He is working in unimaginable ways to protect and provide that for us.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of destruction pass by.

Psalm 57:1

We have to understand that the enemy is going to do whatever it takes to convince us that God does not hear us, or has abandoned us. That is why we must live by faith and not by sight. Our emotions are going to deceive us because our hearts are wounded and betrayed by the world. If we continue to live by allowing our souls to lead, we are going to miss out on some of the best moments in the presence of God.

God is in the midst of every trial and tribulation in this life. Jesus never promised us an easy life, He promised an abundant life. What does an abundant life look like? A life led by the Spirit of God, and full of His presence, grace, compassion, mercy, hope and love. A life led with trust in our Father and intimacy through His Spirit. Abundant life means the abundance of His Spirit in our lives, filling it to overflowing with all these good things He provides without measure. Heaped on and poured out endlessly, if only we will open our hearts to receive Him.

I did come to a point of total healing in this particular trial. It taught me one very important lesson, one which I gleaned from the Book of Job. When Satan came into the throne room of God, He didn’t ask for God’s permission to test Job. God Himself pointed Job out to Satan. He said “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Job 23:10

Why would God point out Job to Satan, when He knew Satan would want to immediately target Job for destruction? The reason God wanted to bring attention to Job was because He was proud of Him. God knew that although Job had some issues with pride and self worth, He was indeed a true lover of the goodness of His Father God. He knew that through some refining in the fire, not only would Job learn to become humble, but that it would build His faith and relationship with God. He knew that even through the fire, Satan could not turn Job from God. It was simply impossible.

So a testing and refining from the trials and tribulations of life actually bring us closer to God, and further from ourselves, and the plans that enemy has to destroy us. What could possibly be a better outcome? By the end of my trial I was able to cry out, thank you Lord, that you have deemed me a blameless and upright woman of God, who turns away from evil. Thank you God, that you have brought me through the fire and refined what needed to be purified, so I could be closer to you. Thank you Lord that your love is stronger than any testing of the devil, and that in your strength, I will overcome.

Let this be your prayer and cry today. Your Father is standing with you right now. You need only to believe it.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

 

 

May 1 2017

Making Your Way Out of the Pit

pitWhen you are down in the pit, there is only one way to go: Up. I have been down in the pit for a long time. I’m not sure when I first fell into the pit, but it seems like its been more like a rabbit hole, where I just kept falling and falling, endlessly. It wasn’t until I started doing my inner healing that I finally landed at the bottom of the pit. It was where I had a firm place to land finally, and allow Jesus to bring me into safety.

Free falling for my whole life has been terrifying at best. I have never known what was going to happen next, or if I was ever going to be OK. I only knew that everything inside of me was chaos, and everything outside of me was torture. Only Jesus was able to soothe the chaos of my soul so I could stop falling and finally have hope. Hope had been elusive to me my entire life, yet here I am, bringing the hope of Jesus to everyone else. What a miracle He is.

Even though Jesus brought me to a place where I could stop falling, I was still at the bottom of the pit. The pit is just as scary as the endless rabbit hole. It is dark, it is lonely, and your never sure if you will actually make it out. Yet Jesus brought His light into that pit, and that is where hope entered in. Hope said, you are going to make it through this and see that all of this will indeed bring you something good. After a life with little goodness, it was hard to hang on to that thread of hope.

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:4

It was the firm foundation in the bottom of that pit that allowed me the stability to completely fall apart. That may sound counter intuitive, but it was exactly what I needed. I had tried so hard to keep it all together for so long I didn’t realize I was single-handedly trying to hold each one of the pieces of my broken soul in place. Once I was able to let go, Jesus was able to come in, and His Holy Spirit was able to start doing the job I had been doing all on my own; holding me together.

It was only in that place of brokenness that I was able to start giving Jesus my soul, one piece at a time. Once I began to see that Jesus was indeed safe, I was able to hand over chunks instead of pieces. Two years later I am no longer at the bottom of the pit, but climbing my way back out. It has been a long and intense journey, but I am finally on the upside. I am nowhere near done, but I am no longer drowning in the deep end either.

It can be a scary place, going into a journey of the inner most recesses of your soul. You have no idea what you are going to find there, you only know it’s probably going to be ugly. And worse than having to deal with it yourself, is allowing God to see it as well. Who wants to air all the dirty laundry of the dark places they’ve been hiding to the One who created everything? It seems far to shameful and painful to do.

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

Isaiah 61:7

Jesus is not ashamed or afraid of these dark places. He is the light and He brings hope. Without Jesus, those dark places inside our soul are going to flourish instead of diminish. They are like a stagnant pond that mosquitoes breed in and it just keeps growing and growing. If we want to bring healing into our hearts, we need to allow the Son to come upon the darkness and wash it all away; just as though it has never been.

That is exactly what Jesus can and will do, if we would only allow Him. We cannot hide from the King of Kings. He sees and knows all, including our deepest and darkest secrets. There is no hiding from the One who created us, and we shouldn’t have too. Only the lies that we are ugly and terrible keep us from His truths, which will bring us the freedom that we so desperately desire.

I know the pain and shame that come. I know the fear and the denial that they bring. Yet these things are not born of God, nor are they born of His love for us. The love of God will drive out fear, pain, and shame, and bring us into the light. Instead of cultivating a cesspool within ourselves, we grow a beautiful garden. Our garden of trust, and love and truth, that will be a sweet-smelling sacrifice to our Lord.

But now thus says the Lordhe who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 

Isaiah 43:1-2

Love is what overcomes all evil. There is no evil too great for the power of love. God’s love with break down every barrier, slay every enemy, steal back every victory we lost, and reclaim every promise. Our Father wants to do all of this for us, we just have to be willing to walk with Him. He never promised the walk would be easy. What He did promise was that He would be right there, in the midst of all of it, bringing us out of the pit we have endured for so long. I am living proof of it.

So today, look out to the promised land and know that the God who led Abraham into His destiny, is the same God that will lead you into yours. The same God that stopped the sun and the moon in the sky, and brought the Midianites to their knees with jars and trumpets, is the same God who is going to protect you and fight for you. You are not alone, no matter how badly it feels. You are not going to stay in the pit forever, no matter how hopeless you feel. You are a son/daughter of the King, and He is right there with you, right now.

Believe in the hope and glory He has promised you, and fight for it. Never give up fighting to hear His voice, trust Him, believe in His promises, and seek His face. No matter how hard it is. You are worth the price He paid, every drop of it.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
   He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
 It will be said on that day,
    “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
    This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Isaiah 25:6-9

February 6 2017

Gateway To My Soul

soulIt is so easy to feel overwhelmed, like the weight of the war is simply going to crush your soul. There are times when I am attacked relentlessly for days at a time. There is no break, except to just throw myself into complete denial. The enemy is very decisive in his plans against me, and uses many ways to try to torment me. Recently I have had a long battle with a physical problem; my eyes. Not my eye sight, but with my eyes becoming swollen, itchy, red, watery and painful. Basically my eyes were showing signs of allergic reaction. The problem is, there was no reason for this to happen.

Last summer my then 8 year old son begged me for a guinea pig for a pet. He had been asking for one for months, and I was really against it. I am a huge animal lover, and we already have 3 small dogs and a cat. I have never had any type of rodent and I felt that a guinea pig would just be noisy and messy. However, his birthday was coming up, and I could see his little heart was just swelling with love to give to one of these little creatures. So my husband and I decided after much discussion that it would be OK.

Of course my then 6 year old very much wanted one as well. We are suckers I guess, because we came home with 2 little guinea pigs and a cage, etc. I had no idea I was going to fall madly in love with this little piggies! Within a few weeks I was adopting my own sweet piggie. So our house was filled with hay and love. I had no issues, but after time eventually noticed getting a little itchy after holding my piggie.

After a few more months I decided to adopt one more piggie. I couldn’t resist. It was like a gift from heaven. My pets bring me so much joy in the midst of so much war. About a month later my eyes begin to get very red and itchy. Then suddenly one morning, they were swollen when I woke up. It was out of nowhere. I prayed and tried to find out what was going on. My first suspicion is always human spirits or witchcraft. I am harassed almost daily by these things.

My eyes soon became worse and worse, until I could barely open them in the morning because they were so swollen. I tried to treat it as an allergy and make sure to not touch hay, and wash my hands if I held the pigs, and to take allergy medication. There was no relief in the symptoms. I began addressing the issue in my inner healing sessions, and asking for healing prayer at church, because I knew it had to have a spiritual root, since the problem didn’t arise for so long. I went deep where God led me, and addressed issues of self hate and more.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 43:5

If relief would come one day, it would just swell up again the next. I began to become despondent. I began to cry out to God in anger. Why was I continuing to suffer when I was so willing to go into the deep places to find out where I was not  aligned with the mind of Christ, or where I was holding on to hate or needing to forgive. I began to feel that maybe God was punishing me, or that maybe He had given Satan permission to thresh me like wheat. Depression started to overtake me.

The physical symptoms were torturous for me. I already have many daily battles with attack from several groups that harass me and my family, as well as the attack I get from doing my ministry. It was altogether to much for me to continue to deal with daily. Especially when I knew I was continually submitting to the Most High to allow Him to refine me in His fire. I began to wonder if God was going to just keep using this pain to bring me into inner healing constantly. I was very angry.

I cannot tell you how many times I prayed for discernment and healing for this problem. I have had to go very deep in order to really get to the root of this problem. Yes, the devil has used my vulnerability as a means to attack me, but I had to be willing to see and address some very intense personal pain in order to truly find healing for my eyes. A very traumatic experience led me to agree with so many lies about myself, the world, people, and God, that it wreaked havoc in my soul. Yet I had no idea that all of that was inside of me, until my body finally decided to speak up.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

You see, our bodies often communicate with us about deep emotional and spiritual issues that we have never tapped into. Many diseases and illnesses, including mental issues, are rooted in emotional pain or trauma from our past. When painful circumstances happen our lives, especially as children, we learn something from them. Usually what we learn is rooted in a pain identity, that shapes who we are for the rest of our lives.

It does not even have to be something that looks very bad. It could be as simple as having someone embarrass you, or having a parent talk very harshly to you. Every person is different, and what breaks one person may not break the next. Some people are traumatized by a car accident or seeing someone they love get hurt, and that is enough for them to hold on to false beliefs such as God is bad, people will hurt you, love brings pain, and so much more.

You see the world is constantly sending us the message that we are fine, we are independent, and that whatever problem there is, we can handle it on our own. Or maybe with the help from some useful medications. And if we need to rely on God, we are weak. We are worthless. That message is from the devil, who wants nothing more than to kill your soul and steal away your relationship to God. So we don’t look within, because we are too busy trying to be OK.

But we are not. We are not OK. We are broken, we are hurting, we are alone, we are in need. And that is OK! We were created to be whole in an interdependent relationship with Jesus Christ alone. We were created to need Him. We were created to partner with Him. And often times even when we think we are doing good working with God, we are actually only surrendering a small part of our hearts to Him, and keeping the rest for ourselves.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4

The bottom line is, we are afraid. If God is so great that He would come down to earth and die for us, then how absolutely horrible must we be? We must be like tiny little ants that are so pathetic that God had to throw us a life line, but really He is just angry at us for everything. Wrong. So wrong. God only came down, giving up His throne and His glory out of pure and complete love. A love that looks at us, our brokenness, and sin, and says “I love you just the way you are.”

It’s the devil who has convinced us we are worthless. God does not even see us as worthless at all. He sees the shame we carry, and He feels sorrow for us, because that shame was never ours in the first place. It was given to us through horrible life circumstances that the devil hand picked for us so we could be in bondage to his lies and deceptions. God is not even mad at us for one second. He only wants us to see how intensely He loves us, so we can lay down all this burden before Him and just let Him hold us close.

God’s love for us can never be tainted or broken. It does not matter what we do or where we have been. God has unconditional love and acceptance for us. So until we can begin to turn over all the broken pieces of our hearts to Him, we are going to stay in bondage to our brokenness. It takes courage and faith to look inside of our broken hearts and let God in. We know it’s ugly, but God wants us to understand that He makes beauty from ashes. If God can create an entire universe with His words, He can certainly turn us into the masterpiece we were made to be.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever. 

Psalm 23:5-6

So if you are struggling with anger at God, or physical or mental illness that won’t stop plaguing you, or you know that you are just falling apart at the seams and you can’t stop it anymore, then you know this message is for you. It is time to surrender. You have been running for a very long time, and you know it has led you nowhere. Now it’s time to come home. And home is right here, inside of you, where your Jesus Christ is already waiting for you.

He wants to bring you healing. He wants to bring you joy. It is possible for you. Jesus did not die in vain, but to give you life in abundance, and victory. You just have to be willing to fight to receive the gift that Jesus is freely giving you. The devil has been allowed to make strongholds in your heart, and it’s time to do the work to tear them all down. You can do this, if you are just willing to partner with Jesus.

After being so disheartened, God has revealed to me some important truths. While my eyes are not yet getting better, He is allowing this because I need to understand the depth of this issue. There were many events that took place that have trampled on my soul, and understanding these things is going to bring healing so deep that its going to restore gifts that the enemy tried to steal.

Not every healing is going to come immediately. Sometimes it needs to happen in layers. God does not turn His back on us ever. If you have been praying for a miracle healing and you haven’t seen it yet, it is time to press in and allow the Spirit to move you where He knows you need to go.

No matter what, always remember, we are not flesh and blood, but spirits that are eternal. We are going to cast off this bodies one day, and never remember the pain and suffering we have had to endure. So set your eyes on the eternal truths, and on Jesus Christ Himself.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
 So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:1-4