October 3 2016

Seeing God As Father

fatherFor most of my life I have held a view of God as mean, distant, judging and condemning, harsh, cruel and hateful. It is the reason I hated Christianity so much. It was the reason I spent a season as an atheist, and it’s the reason I turned to witchcraft. The way we view God is a filter for how we view everything. If we see God as cruel, then we begin to see the world as a terrible place. If we see God as distant, then we begin to suffer in our relationships with others. If we see God as hateful, then we see ourselves as worthless. Everything we believe about God directly connects to what we believe about who we are, and how we behave.

There was a time when I knew God as a child. I had an intimate relationship with Him. I knew His goodness personally. But through many trials and tribulations, that was stolen from me by the hands of the Father of Lies. Thankfully God never abandons us, no matter how far we turn from Him. He never stops loving us and relentlessly pursuing us. God stood by me for years as I cursed His name and hated Him with every fiber of my soul. Yet my spirit knew. My spirit was connected to the Spirit of the Living God, and it always held hope for the return of that relationship I once had.

When I finally came into a place where I was ready to hear the true Gospel message and learn that God indeed did love me, not hate me, I had to start over again with my relationship with God. Or so I thought. I had no memory of every knowing Him, and so to me it felt as though it was a relationship just starting. That is until I saw my husband and son praying for a sign that God was real and getting answers, and I prayed for a sign and God clearly told me I did not need one. I was reminded of all the times I had been walking alone and yet knew there was someone watching me and protecting me. It was not gods and goddesses from my witchcraft beliefs, but it was God the Father Himself, with me every step of the way.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31-32

The more I read the Bible and learned about God, the more I was in awe of Him. He was indeed the Creator of the universe and everything in it. He was a worker of miracles, a healer, and full of goodness. Yet I couldn’t shake the longing to please Him. I was sure that things that were going wrong were because I didn’t pray first and ask God. Everything became centered on doing what God wanted, being in God’s will, and pleasing Him. I started living my life centered around those thoughts and ideas of what would make God happy and how I could do right in His eyes. This is a very common belief for many Christians.

What I did not realize was I was really still operating out of beliefs that God is distant, harsh and condemning. Yes I loved God with all of my heart, but I was not only acting out of love, but out of fear. I was very full of fear, but treating fear as though it was obedience. There is no fear in love, so to obey out of fear is not in alignment with the heart of God. God is not worried about our obedience, He is worried about our relationship with Him, and our hearts.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

Everything we do flows out of our hearts. If our hearts believe that we need to obey because if we don’t it will make God mad or unhappy with us, then we are not seeing God for who He is. That makes God angry, not loving. That makes God’s love conditional, and based on our works and deeds. Yet the Bible makes it clear that we are not saved by our works, but saved out of the pure love and goodness of God. Why would God come in person to earth and live a human life and then die a convicted criminal, even though He was innocent, if He was going to turn around and continue to judge us and keep us at arm’s length?

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Psalm 4:23

What kind of love is that? That is human love, not the agape love that God is. There are not boundaries, no conditions with God’s love. God says, “you are mine, therefore I love you.” It is human love that keeps people at arm’s length, for fear of getting hurt. It is human love that says, you hurt me or disappointed me, now I must punish you.” We don’t know God, so we just start to fashion Him into the makings of what we already know. And what we know has been so tainted by the world, that we cannot possibly fathom the truth of who God is.

It is so easy to read the Bible and get it completely misconstrued. God is punishing and cruel, but Jesus is loving and kind. No. The Bible is a whole story, not two separate stories. The Bible is not just any story, it’s a love story. A story of the lengths that God was willing to go through to show us just how deeply He loves us. Yes, in the Old Testament God had to show us what sin is and how dangerous it is. He had to make examples of some people. Not because they were bad or He didn’t love them, but as a way to show us that sin leads to death, not to life.

We cling to sin as though it is our life boat and rescuer. We don’t even know any better. We walk through this world as though we are on a life boat all by ourselves, and we just keep trying to survive day by day. Yet God shows us with the Bible that as long as we keep doing that, we are going to suffer. So He came down personally from His throne in heaven and became a man, nothing special to anyone on this earth, just to show us that we were the most important thing to Him. Period. There is nothing more important to a Father than His children. Nothing.

“On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.

Malachi 3:17

It was not until I began doing inner healing that I began to know God in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. He began to slowly strip away everything I every believed about God. He began to show me that what I did believe was just based on my experiences with pain and rejection, and not based on my relationship with Him. It wasn’t until I began to heal the dark places inside of me, and allow Him in to bring His truth and light, that I was even able to hear anything God had to say about who He is. Everything was absolutely tainted by a filter of  pain and trauma.

I am no exception. Pain and trauma are par for the course for every human that ever exists. This world is filled with trials and tribulations, and no one is exempt from them. Even Jesus Himself had to walk through extreme pain and rejection. He knows what pain is, and has walked with each of us through it. Yet because we continue to try to float this life boat out here all alone, we cannot allow God in to bring His truth. We are so busy with surviving we don’t even realize we are doing it.

God as fatherRecently I have grown to new levels of intimacy and understand of God, I really starting a conversation with Him about what to call Him. God is such an impersonal name. It can be used for so many things. God is not a thing, He is a being, and a spirit, just as we are. He is our Father, and He is so full of love and compassion for us. We are just so stuck in our own pain and belief systems that we can’t even see that we are loved. We are too full of self contempt and fear to realize that the truth is that God loves us beyond comprehension. He sees us as valuable and worthy. He sees us as absolutely beautiful and precious.

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

Isaiah 43:4

I wasn’t sure what else I could call God, yet I wasn’t exactly ready to call Him Father either. Father was such a foreign concept to me, especially being that I never had a close relationship with my own father. Dad or Daddy sounded even harder to come to grips with, because that is very intimate and really I felt vulnerable just thinking about it. How could I see myself as a little girl and God as a big strong Daddy? I have never even known that. I love my dad, but just like me, he is doing the best he can as a broken soul torn down by this world.

It has taken time and healing, but now I can easily call God Father. As a matter of fact, I refer to Him as Father more often than God. I have started to not see Him as “God” so much, which is so impersonal and distant really, and more as a father. As a father, He created me, He has protected me, provided for me, guided me, nurtured me, taught me, loved me. Those are all things fathers are designed to do. Fatherhood was invented by the first Father ever, our God. When other people call Him God, I think in my head, Father. It is beginning to get harder and harder to relegate Him to just God.

I am in no way taking away from the fact that God is God. He is, but are we really just keeping Him at arms length by calling Him God? It is so much safer to keep the Father at a distance, so we don’t get hurt. If we keep our relationship at just being obedient and doing right, we don’t have to do the work to get to know Him. And if we don’t have to do the work to have the intimacy, then we will never have to do the work on ourselves; healing those dark places that remain hidden within us.

I was very afraid to go to the dark places within me. I was ashamed and sure that God would hate me or be angry at me. Yet God knew of those places the entire time. He knew why they were there, and how deeply they were skewing the entire core of who He created me to be. He never looked down on me, no matter how bad things looked to me. He never was mad, not even for a second. Jesus Christ came in the flesh to become sin; our sin, so we no longer have to. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you no longer have to stay afloat in the life boat all alone. If you take a chance to look up, you will see your loving Father has been with you all along.

“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

December 14 2015

Witchcraft In Mainstream Media

witchcraftIn my pre-Christian life, I had a fascination with witchcraft and vampires and horror for a long time. I remember being a teen and loving the Dracula movie and the Vampire Lestat books. Witchcraft seemed so romantic and exciting! I often fantasized about meeting a vampire and living forever or becoming a witch. A life of witchcraft and romance sounded amazing, and from the books and movies I saw, it was. This fascination never left me, and even as an adult, the shows on my DVR were shows like The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The Following (about a serial killer). I loved these shows and they were the highlight of my week. It wasn’t just TV shows that filled my life, but a general fascination with witchcraft, fantasy and darkness. Our culture has a never-ending stream of shows, movies, books, etc to feed these kind of fantasy worlds. It starts with our children. Disney is a huge proponent of magic, but their magic is safe and innocent because it’s a cartoon. I mean, who doesn’t love Disney? They have been number one for kids movies since they began making movies for kids. And almost every single Disney movie has witchcraft of one form or another in it.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

1 John 5:19

It’s not just Disney that brings witchcraft into our children’s lives. Harry Potter, Monster High, Pokemon, My Little Pony, Every Witch Way, Adventure Time, Percy Jackson, and Mike the Knight are just a few of the programs that is popular right now for kids. These shows all openly have witchcraft in them as a normal part of life. I know I have always had shows about witchraft to watch through the years: Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Game of Thrones, True Blood to name just a few. I never thought much about watching these kinds of shows or letting my kids watch them before I became Christian. After all, I was a witch for a season in my life, and I was pulled in to the lies of  the new age movement and the occult. Magic is good, fun, enchanting and exciting. Who isn’t attracted to it? Witchcraft opens up new worlds to us and new possibilities. Yet when I became a Christian I began to see the world in a whole new way. The veil had been lifted from before my eyes, and the evil hidden in all the world that we see as normal, became exposed for what it was.

It didn’t take long for me to feel very wrong about watching these shows, and let me kids watch them also. Once the Holy Spirit invaded my soul, everything changed for me. I could not watch my favorite show about vampires that I had been following for years without feeling very wrong. I did try quite a few times, but I knew in my spirit that it was wrong and displeased God. Yet everywhere I would go, Christians loved Harry Potter and other shows with drugs, murder and sexual immorality. Honestly that was one thing that baffled me completely. I had lived in the world for so long, and here I was removing myself from it many of the Christians around me were completely immersed in it.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:13

It was a process to really understand how much witchcraft I was letting into my home. It took even longer to realize how much witchcraft I was bringing in just with Disney alone. We bought Frozen and Brave and watched them half a dozen times, not even thinking about the fact that the whole premise of these movies was about spells being cast on people and the effects of the magic, (usually harmful). It was visually pleasing, we were drawn into the characters and the plot was suspenseful and moving. The witchcraft just sneaked right past me! I know a lot of people don’t think that this type of magic is relevant to witchcraft and the occult. After all it doesn’t look real and it doesn’t seem to be based on reality. It’s just fantasy and entertainment and therefore should not be a problem. That is why it is so deceptive! We are not carefully guarding our hearts and minds, but instead just exposing them to whatever the world throws at us. The more we see other Christians watching Harry Potter or Frozen, the more we feel that it must be OK. Witchcraft becomes normal and acceptable, and just innocent magic that is for fun.

Satan will always be there tempting us with something pleasing and delicious, just as he was in the Garden of Eden. He did not tempt them with something awful that would be easy to detect as evil, but instead with something forbidden and alluring. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The next thing you know, Eve was questioning what God had told her, and giving in to that sweet moment of satisfaction. She could have never known that by eating that fruit she would cause her own death, as well as every generation under her. If she could have foreseen how fatal this decision would have been, she would surely have not done it. And it is the same way for us now. Satan is holding out shows and movies full of all sorts of witchcraft, sexual perversion, murder, and the like to our us and our children and asking us “Did God really say not to have anything to do with witchcraft? Surely he did not mean this magic. It is harmless fun!” And we bite into the apple, believing the lies once again.

Magic is a term often used by witches when describing spells they cast. Magic is indeed the same thing as witchcraft. All magic is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary describes witchcraft as the use of magic or sorcery. Witchcraft includes, but is not limited to: harnessing the power of demons to effect change in people, or to gain material possessions; gaining power or wealth; gaining knowledge; reaching or accessing higher levels of consciousness; achieving powers to become like God; hurting other people or hurting animals; getting revenge; spying; protection; and much more.

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11

All magic is of Satan, no matter which way you slice it. Whether it is a witch in a Disney movie, a character in a Harry Potter story, a cute teen witch or a sexy vampire, it is all of the devil. I know that can be a hard pill to swallow! Believe me, I fed myself on this stuff and much, much more for many years. God does not do magic or make magic. No matter how cute or innocent or fun or sexy the character wielding the magic is, it does not make the magic innocent or unreal. It is a portal into your home for the demonic to enter. It is a subliminal message in your mind that magic is good and right. It is letting in the lie that God did not say it was wrong. It is dangerous.

The things that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis are defining and shaping factors of who we are. Even more so for our children, who are so young and impressionable. If we spend more time filling up on the ways of the world, instead of God’s Word, that is how we start to shape the way we think and see things around us. We begin to forget the Truths of the Bible as we feed ourselves the lies of the world. We must be diligent to hold fast to what is good and right and true, according to the Word of God. Even when it is hard, and even when it means being set apart from those around us. I know how hard it is to be set apart and feel different. Yet I am willing to go down the narrow path in order to be closer to my Lord Jesus. What I have found in Him is worth more than anything in this world I have ever had. I have seen and done many things seeking pleasure and entertainment, but none has been as satisfying, as wonderful and as delightful as God Himself.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 34:7

childGod does not look down on you for exposing your children to Disney movies or for watching Harry Potter. He does not hate you because you have let witchcraft into your home inadvertently. It is a work in progress as you learn to navigate the world and all the illusions it throws at us daily. But once you are exposed to the truth, you are responsible to take ownership of the decisions you are making. Don’t let the devil continue to have a foothold in your home and teach your children what he values in this world. Do not be conformed to the world, but test everything instead, to see if it is of God. God didn’t tell us not to participate in witchcraft because He wants to steal our fun, but because He cares about us and He knows the hidden danger in magic. The Bible has story after story of His children who became lost into a world of witchcraft, because they were led astray by other cultures and religions of the day. That is why He is so adamant in His warnings on witchcraft.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8

Pray for God to give you insight and wisdom into witchcraft you have let into your home without realizing it. Repent and ask Him to forgive you for allowing witchcraft into your home, and then be willing to give Jesus access to bring healing and restoration into your home and your relationship with Him. Allow Him to show you what He wants you to remove from your home and why. He loves you so dearly and only wants the very best for you. Jesus died for each one of you, so that you could experience freedom by His blood. You can experience so much more than what you have been, if you tear down the strongholds in your life and bring them before the Lord Jesus Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

September 21 2015

All Consuming Love of God

love of godHave you ever felt alone? Unloved? Unworthy? I know I have. I have many moments in life when I felt I was not only unloved, but unlovable. I wanted to be loved, but never felt that I could measure up to being good enough to be loved. I wanted desperately to feel approval from my parents, but never did. I wanted to know that I was valuable and important to someone, but no matter how many times my husband told me I was, I could never believe it. I wanted to look in the mirror and see someone beautiful and worth loving, but I could not even love myself.

I think many of us struggle with feelings of being unlovable and unworthy. Does that make it normal or OK? No, it does not. It is a lie straight from hell, and I am here to tell you so. If you feel that you are unloved, not worth love or unimportant, you are believing one of the most told lies in the history of the world. The originator of that lie is Satan himself. I am here to tell you about something absolutely amazing, something that is so important that it could change the way you live your life from this moment forward. God loves you with an all-consuming love.

“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Let that just soak in for a moment as truth. I pray in Jesus name right now that this truth would become your new identity. It is very easy to hear the words “God loves you” and not feel any meaning to them. Or to hear about the love of God and not really understand it. Love is much more than a word or even a feeling. It is an act. The love of God has been pouring out on you since the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. Why? Because you are His child, and you were worth paying the price of blood for.

Even when I began to grasp the concept of the love of God, it seemed to hover just far away enough to be out of my grasp. No matter how much I wanted to know the love of God, it seemed still a difficult concept for me. I mean, why would the love of God be so strong that He would actually want to die for me? I am nothing but a mere mortal, not worthy of the attention of affection of God. And even as I began to intellectually understand the love of God, still on a deeper level I could not grasp the true meaning of it. I came to a point where I could say “yes, I know God loves me”, but that was just all in my head. It was a knowledge, not an experience, not a true understanding. It struck me one day that if I did not love myself, then how could I even began to see how great and deep and wide the love of God for me was. My own self-hatred was like a filter in which I was seeing God through. In my mind God loved me, but still saw me as unworthy and tarnished. Oh how very wrong I was. Yet another lie straight from the pit of hell.

Will our human minds ever truly comprehend the vastness of the love of God? I sincerely doubt it. I do however believe our spirit can know far more of the love of God than our minds can. God is not something we experience with worldly knowledge and intelligence. The love of God is something with come to know and experience as we begin to surrender to Him. One thing needs to be very clear though – there is nothing you can do ever, that will make God love you less, or look down on you. No matter how much you mess up, no matter what sin you commit, no matter how hard you rebel against God, His love is still an all-consuming fire for you.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:9-10

I  have done a lot of bad things in my life. I have done drugs, had promiscuous sex, gotten tattoos, practiced witch craft, hurt those I love, yelled at my kids and said horrible things to them. In my mind most of  these things qualified me for not being good enough for the love of God. Once I was saved and redeemed there were many things I let go of. I felt truly forgiven and was able to move on. Ironically from what I would consider some of the “worse” sins, drugs, sex, witchcraft. It was the things that I still struggled with like yelling at my kids or having tattoos of things from my past life that I could not move on from. I would look at my tattoo of a pentagram and see shame that would never leave me. How could the love of God penetrate even that? How could the love of God over look my inability to stop yelling at my kids and be patient and kind. Those are really important things in the Bible! Things I just could not do.

I have found it is very easy to walk in guilt and shame. As a matter of fact, I have been conditioned to walk in guilt and shame for the better part of my life. And no, I am not saying I blame my parents for the way they raised me. I blame the real enemy – the one who has been out to get me from day one. Some may say that sounds paranoid, some may say that you shouldn’t give the devil too much attention, but I say when you see a bully trying to keep you down, to call him out. Stop letting the enemy convince you that the sins you are committing right now are causing the love of God to fall just beyond your reach. It is time for it to stop, right here right now.

This is what God says to you: you are beautiful and dearly loved by your Father. The One who created you has always loved you, and nothing will ever cause me to stop loving you. Not one thing. I have been waiting for this very moment that you would draw near to me, and see how beloved you are to me. You are perfect to me. You came from love and were created by Perfection. Never forget where you came from. Draw near to me, dear child, and know YOU ARE LOVED.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17b-19

Stop dissecting every area of your life where you feel you have made mistakes. Stop looking at your past and seeing how you have failed. You are human, and you will make mistakes. That does not keep the love of God from your life. Nothing can. You can try to shut it out, and believe that you are unimportant. You can walk in shame and let the pain run over you until you are numb. You can believe all the lies that say you are no good. Yet just outside the wall you have built, the love of God is there. Waiting to consume you completely.

Crucifixion-of-Jesus1920I have to say that there have many times in my life that I was abused, usually by someone I cared for or trusted. There were many moments when I cried out “why me?” because I could not understand why I was to suffer so much. And worse yet, why God would let me suffer so much. As I have gone through many inner healing sessions over the past months there is one thing that has become very clear to me. Jesus has always been there, even when I did not see Him, He was there. He did not leave me alone to endure pain or hardship. He did not abandon me because I was making horrible mistakes. No. He was right there, with His angels, doing everything in His power to keep me out of harms way. Unfortunately we have free will and He cannot control that. And the love of God has more than redeemed my pain and my mistakes and indeed made me into a new creation.

So I beg you, stop looking at yourself as sinful and shameful, and start seeing yourself as you truly are – covered by the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. Bought and paid for with the price of His sacrifice. You are a child of the One True King. You are amazing and special in the sight of your Father. Now tell the enemy to stop lying to you in Jesus name, and seek the face of the One who has died to be with you eternally. Let the love of God consume you, and open yourself to the life He has to offer you. Freedom and love in abundance!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

August 17 2015

In Control

controlI have always had a very independent mindset. And when I say that I mean, I needed to have complete control over my life. It’s just me against the world. If something needs to get done, it’s better to get it done by myself. No sense in asking for help because people are unreliable. Not only that, but it’s a dog eat dog world, and I need to fight for what I have and then hold on tight to it, lest it be ripped away from me. It has always been easy for me to feel self-reliant like this, because the world as I saw it reflected this back to me as truth.

When I first met my husband this was exactly where I was in life. I was not going to let go of control no matter what. I remember a time when I hurt my back, but I refused to rest and was cleaning the shower just to prove that I could do it all! Nothing was going to hold me down. That is until I got pregnant and was practically bed ridden. I could barely function and take care of my two younger sons, or the household duties. Suddenly I could no longer be Mrs. Independent, and had to become very dependent on my husband to do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. and work a full-time job. I accepted the loss of total control and relied on him to take care of me and the kids completely. It was a hard pill to swallow, but it brought a softness to my super independent edge.

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10

I guess I thought for a long time after that, that I was no longer an independent minded kind of woman. I had myself convinced that I was a working partner with my husband and didn’t see things with a lens that was so harsh and cold. Well as great as that is to believe, it was just not true. It took some deep inner healing and counseling to begin to see that while I believed I was actually still very wounded and had a big wall around my heart. Brick by brick I had built a foundation of resentment, fear, anger and pain that had become an impenetrable wall. But this wall was not just a barrier between myself and other people, it was also a barrier between myself and my God.

At times I have believed I had a great relationship with Jesus. I felt very confident that I was close to Him and knew Him very well. The truth is that no matter how intimate you get with God, there is always a deeper level you can experience with Him. As soon as you are comfortable, that is a sign you need to take it to the next level. There is no end to the depth of God – and the knowledge we can have of Him. I doubt in our human lives we can ever really achieve a full knowledge of Jesus and His infinite self. And oh how amazing that is! To know that in this life we have an incredible opportunity to continue to know Him and learn about God, His character, His love, and who He is! That in itself I count as a miracle!

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Job 11:7-8

alt-151434_1280I have come to realize that through my longing for control I have actually been playing God in my life, and in the life of those I hold most dear. It is that need to control everything, that I am clinging closely to myself, not God. I am holding on, as though the bottom was going to fall out from under me, if I did not have complete control. And when I felt I didn’t have control – when things were not going the way I felt they needed to – I myself would lose control. As a Christian this is most disheartening, because what kind of Christian freaks out when things seem to be out of their control? That is not Christ like whatsoever. It is horrifying to see myself snap and start yelling at my kids, or just being very irritated or upset with my husband because things are not being done my way. It is a very ugly side of myself, that I am very tempted to be ashamed of, and to hide from the outside world.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

That is exactly what the enemy would have me do. Hide in shame. But is this what Jesus wants me to do? Absolutely not. He asks for me to come to Him, to see myself in the light of His love. Jesus is the Light of the World, and He will cast His light into the darkness of my inner most self. His light reveals the Truth about me – not that I am this evil horrible person, but that I am a wounded person who has spent years building up that wall to protect myself from further pain. It also reveals the things in my past that have hurt me so deeply that I would want to start a foundation based on pain instead of love. And the bottom line is this – I am a sinner, and that is a great thing! Once I can admit and be OK with the fact that I am indeed a sinner – not perfect, but perfectly flawed – I can begin to love myself for who I am and where I am. When I can begin to love myself then I can began to bring the awesome healing power of God into my life.

Shame leads us to hide away, but the power of love leads to growth and nourishment. What do I gain by trying to control everything in my life? I gain worry, pain, sorrow, fear and failure. Are those things that are of God? Absolutely not. They are of my enemy, the devil. Have no doubt that the enemy is working continuously in your life to cause you strife and pain. It is his job! Our job is to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and to lean no on our own understanding. We can never understand everything, or control everything, and think of the freedom we gain in letting that part of ourselves go! We have freedom in Christ Jesus, because He is God and He is ultimately in control.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28 

butterflies-843298_1280I am in the process of inner healing, and partnering with Jesus to take down the wall I have built, brick by brick. I would love to say it is an easy process, or a quick one, but it is not. It is painful to revisit hidden memories or pain that I have stuffed down into the depths of my soul. It is not something anyone really wants to do, is it? Yet I long for Jesus Christ and an unhampered intimacy with Him, far more than I desire to keep hiding behind this big ugly wall. It is through my brokenness that I will find Him, and His vast love for me. It is through healing that I will come to know God in ways that I couldn’t even comprehend before. And it is through giving up having all the control over my life that I will give God the opportunity to really guide me and give me the most amazing gift – freedom to just live and love Him, and to have God’s best for my life. I can never match what God’s best is. It far surpasses my wildest imaginings. I invite you to ask yourself if you too have been placing yourself in the position that God should have in your life. If you have, then do not be ashamed or angry, but rejoice! Rejoice because the Kingdom of God has come near, and He is calling to you!

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Category: Christian Life, My Salvation | Comments Off on In Control
August 3 2015

Identity Crisis

identityMy whole life I have been asking the question “Who am I?”. Even from the earliest years in my life, I have struggled to find an answer to this question. I think many of us spend a good portion of our lives trying to find our identities. As children we don’t worry as much about where are identity lies, because we find it in being a son or daughter. Yet as we enter in to our teen years that question of identity begins to loom over us, to take a stand about who we are.

As I look back now I see so much of my life was spent searching. I was so unsure of who I was. I tried to find identity wherever I could. As a teen I found my identity in being a “rocker” (someone who listens to rock music). I dressed for the part and my life revolved around the music I listened to. It was as simple as that as I let rock music shape who I was. As I got older I could no longer be defined by a simple genre of music. I was more complicated than that. So again I was searching, trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in this big wide world. Or if I even really fit in at all.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

Then when I became involved in the occult and witch craft, I found my identity in being a witch. I fully embraced being a witch and loved it. It was exciting, dark, mystical, romantic, sensual, fun and much more. I was proud to be a witch for many years, until I suddenly found myself pregnant. I have to admit I was in denial for a bit about the fact that I was going to have a baby. I wasn’t ready. I had been playing and having fun and I wasn’t prepared to grow up and be responsible for another human life. But once I gave birth to my son, my life radically shifted, and so did my views on life. I was still very much into witch craft and the occult, but now my son came first.

So once again my identity made a huge shift as I began to see myself primarily as a mother. I was responsible for a tiny little baby and had very little help. My husband at the time worked two jobs and we had no family that was willing to help us out. My whole life revolved around him. How could my identity not solely rest in being a mother? Soon I was eager to get pregnant and have another baby. I adored my son and loved being a mother. I was willing to do anything for him. But when my relationship dissolved a few months into my next pregnancy, my whole world collapsed.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lordthe fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3

I had no stability in my life now. The only thing that was constant were my children and their need for me. It was the only thing that kept me going at all – taking care of them. So it further solidified my identity in motherhood. What more was there to life than just being there for my children, raising them and trying to provide a good life for them? For me, there was nothing. As I got remarried and had more children I also began to home school. So not only did my identity lie in being a mom, but now my identity became a home school mom.

I know many moms get caught up in the identity of being a mom. It often can trump all other roles we play in our lives – wife, daughter, co-worker, friend. For me being a home school mom elevated me to a new level of pride and self-righteousness. I loathe to admit this now, but God has really spoken to me about this in the past few weeks. I have began to believe many lies, such as public school is an evil place where my children will be taught everything immoral and end up doing drugs and having sex. Therefore I also believed that homeschooling is superior to any other form of schooling. That parents that home school care more about their children and that home school children are smarter. I know these are really awful things and it pains me to even type them out.

As a home school mom I was also a bit of an elitist. It was hard to hang out with other moms because they tend to have an attitude of awe towards me, which I never have deserved. I am completely flawed and broken like everyone else. I am not special because I home school, and I will continue to declare that any parent can home school, if they let God led them through it. Homeschooling is for the weak and under educated, because only then can we realize our great need for a Savior to help us through the process. As a home school mom I felt so much pressure to “get it right” because my kids education was on the line. Yet in my heart I knew homeschooling was right. And if parents didn’t feel awe towards my ability to home school, they would scoff at me, because they would never even want to do such a thing. They want a break every day from their children. I guess this just made it easier to feel set apart and different from the majority and that elitist attitude only grew.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3

It is very dangerous to find your identity in any thing or any person. We were not made to find ourselves this way. We were made to find our identity in God. We were made to seek Him with all of our hearts and find ourselves through Jesus. When we start to try to find our identity in things or people we get very lost. We often find ourselves dissatisfied, unhappy and even feeling alone. I know this is true for me. It was not until recently, when my husband and I begin to discuss sending our kids to school, did the light begin to shine into the depths of my home school mom identity. Cracks starting to show in the facade that I had so skillfully hid behind for so many years. Yet the light was a wonderful thing, bringing truth and love into a place that was lying in darkness.

Jesus has spoken so sweetly and so lovingly to me these past few weeks. I am not to find my identity in being a mom, or even a home school mom. I have been walking a path that has taken me away from God, in that area of my life, even though I strived so hard to give it to Him. It was my beliefs that have been hindering me, and these beliefs took root many years ago, long before I began to home school. I am not the only one who loves my children, and who cares for them and watches over them. My Father God loves them so much more than I am even capable of. And He has promised me time and time again that He will never leave them or forsake them. That He will watch over them and uplift them with His righteous right hand, and that He has plans for them that will prosper them. Yet all this time I was so busy trying to do His job, thinking that all the weight of how my children will turn out is completely dependent on me, and the choices I make for them.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16

Yet Jesus is so much bigger than that. He is so much bigger than what type of education my kids get, or what mistakes I may make, or how well I manage my house, or what kind of mom I am. Not that those things are not important, but that I need to realize what amazing freedom I live in as a daughter of the One True King! I do not have to do it all alone. I need to soak in His Truths. I was not made to be a mom, nor a wife, but a daughter of The Almighty! And that is where I need to rest my head, and my identity. That is where I need to seek the answers to “who am I?” and why am I here? I am here to love God, to love others, and to glorify Him with my life. I am not here to raise children and then what? My life is over when they move out? I gave every good thing to them and now I am left with nothing? No! I am to give every good thing I have to Jesus, and let Him take care of the rest.

christ_as_kingWhat a wonderful freedom I have in Christ. What joy soars in my heart at the thought of being able to begin to let go of my children and the fate of their lives. It is not up to me how they will turn out, or if they will even become followers of Jesus. It is up to me to love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind, and let that glorify Him. Through that I will be able to accomplish more than I can ever imagine, in His strength. I no longer need to be in slavery to my identity. I can just rest and be a truly loved daughter of the King of Kings. Hallelujah!

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

 

Category: Christian Life, My Salvation | Comments Off on Identity Crisis