Christian Life,  Healing,  My Salvation

Grace To Move Mountains

Grace is not a word I would have ever used to describe my life in the past, and until recently grace has been more of a concept or idea. According to the dictionary, grace is unmerited approval or favor, freely given. That means you don’t have to work for it or do something in particular to receive it. For most of us, I think grace is a foreign concept, especially if it’s coming from God. In Christianese, grace is used often and easily to describe the Christian life, but how many of us actually can apply that same grace to ourselves?

I have never had grace for myself. It has always been about punishment and works. I have been taught to drive myself relentlessly, and all approval is based on how good I think I have done. And in my eyes, it’s never good enough. My daily life has consisted of self-punishment, constantly berating myself until I could really drive the message home: you are a worthless pile, and you don’t deserve anything good.

It was not until this past break from ministry work that I really got down into learning the meaning of grace and how I could apply it to my own life. It started off by understanding that I could no longer base my worth on my works, and by separating myself from my blog and Youtube channel, I had to face a hard truth. I was constantly searching for approval from God and man through my ministry.

He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

2 Timothy 1:9

It’s not that I was doing the work for approval, but it became a way in order to gain favor and approval. If I could write a good blog post or make an interesting video, I was accomplishing something. I had a purpose, a reason to be. I could do what was right in God’s eyes and make Him happy. And I was willing to keep on going, week after week, year after year, no matter the cost, because if I stopped, then I was nothing.

My identity was coming from what I was doing. My blog and Youtube was defining who I was as a person. The truth is I have always allowed life circumstances to define who I am. My job, my children, homeschooling, taking care of my home; no matter what stage of life I have been in. So when Jesus told me to take the rest of the year off last summer, I was floored. Who would I be if I was not working on this blog?

I honestly thought I would be a complete loser; a nobody. I wondered if I had done something wrong if God was mad at me. I feared it was His way of telling me I was a failure, and I certainly felt like one. Yet with nothing left to stand in the way, I was finally able to come to terms with the truth that my good works were not my identity. My identity needed to come from Christ alone, and in order to solidify that, I was going to have to dive deep.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

It is so easy to get caught up in being someone or doing something. We need to be good at just one thing so we can feel important and meaningful in this world, but the truth is so much simpler than that. We already are a VIP to Jesus Christ. Otherwise, He would never have wasted His time to come to earth to live as a man for 33 years and then die a criminals death on the cross. So no matter what you do, whether it is good or bad, big or small, we are always the apple of His eye. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to change that, and that is true grace.

So what we need to do is learn to apply that same grace to ourselves. We need to learn to look at ourselves and see an imperfect and fallible human being and then love ourselves just as we are. We are not too fat, or too thin, too slow or too dumb, we are just perfect where we are, and completely and utterly adored by our Father. True grace means we have kindness and love for ourselves regardless of where we are at in life. Why are we so willing to give grace to others, but not ourselves?

What I have learned through inner healing is that self-punishment and feelings of worthlessness were tied to past events in my life which led me to believe that I was helpless, powerless, and worthless. These events were orchestrated by the devil in order to lead me to a place where I would never rely on God, and instead reach out to him. The devil always comes in disguise as an angel of light in our darkest hour, so that he looks like the hero. That way when he offers us the whole world if we worship him, we readily agree to it.

While in our hearts we desire to please God, circumstances can lead us to believe that God is not enough. For me, it was terrible abuse perpetrated by my father. If my own father could do such vile and wicked things against me, then surely there was no real God. Because if there was a God, and He would allow terrible things to happen to me, then He was not God at all. Those are the moments Lucifer would show up for me. He would come and offer me the forbidden fruit of his love, truth, and identity, and because I was so despised and rejected in my own home, his offer seemed sweet.

It was in these moments of abuse and abandonment that I learned to lean on the false power of control. Control allowed me to punish myself for being bad, and punish others for what they had done to me. Control meant power instead of fear or pain. Lucifer promised to love me forever, to always be by my side, and for a child, these things seem reasonable. When you are faced with decisions of bad or terrible, which do you choose? There is never a right decision.

Control became a crutch in my life, and what I did not understand is that control is a form of witchcraft. It is emotional manipulation, whether you are trying to control yourself or others. My emotions have been the only stability I have ever had in my life. No matter what, I could rely on them to punish and control. Punishment and control were my gods, and through abuse, they were connected to demonic gods.

Control has become such a big part of me, that it integrated seamlessly into my everyday life. I had no idea I had the drive to control at all. It just was there, always relentlessly driving, demanding more. Even though Lucifer came as an angel of light to steal me away, he quickly turned against me to use me as a slave to control. I never felt safe, loved, or good enough. That is where control came in, to continuously drive me and everyone around me.

If I was never safe, never loved, and never good enough, I could just harness that anger against everyone around, including myself, and that’s what I was still doing as an adult. For years I struggled with what I thought was an anger problem. I would snap at the drop of a hat. Every little thing set me off to yelling or screaming, and even occasional violence. I hated this about myself, but no matter what I did, I could not change.

Prayer did not change me, giving my life to Jesus didn’t change me, hiding away from people did not change me. What finally changed me was grace. Grace to go to the place where a helpless child was abandoned by her family to be abused, mistreated, and violated. It was in that place I saw myself for who I am truly am. Helpless to change or control my own life and the circumstances around me, clinging to hatred like a life vest.

It took me a lot of work of inner healing to finally get to a place where I could recognize the abuse I dissociated from in my everyday life, but once I did it helped me immensely in realizing that I never had an anger problem; I had a devil problem. The devil is our enemy and he hates us so passionately he would do anything to destroy us. He starts generations before we are even born, working through our forefathers to bring them so much pain and torment, that by the time we are born, we never really had a chance. At least, that is what the devil believes. He never accounts for God’s grace.

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 Cor 12:4

Grace is what gives us life, helps us love, grows our compassion and mercy on a dying and broken world. Grace is what lifts us up out of the muck and brings us into the arms of Jesus. Grace is the ability to get up out of bed every day and to worship God in a world full of despair. It was this grace that helped me to see the truth of my life, and that truth of my anger. I am not an angry person. I am a broken person who was dealing with pent-up rage from extreme levels of abuse. Once I could see that I am not a bad person, or that there is nomething wrong with me, I could let myself off of the hook.

No more guilt, shame, condemnation or punishment for myself, but instead grace. I don’t have to tell myself I’m too fat, too stupid, a terrible person, not worth anyone’s love. I can just be still in the beautiful grace that frees me from all those things. I could not have grace if it was not for Jesus Christ. It is only His love that could lift me out of a persona created by terrible life circumstances and bring me back to my true identity: child of the Most High God. Loved by the King of the Universe.

Thank you, Jesus, that you are so good. That you would carry the weight of my sin and shame and sacrifice yourself so I would not have too. Thank you, Jesus, that you are so forgiving, loving, kind and righteous. You take unrighteous acts against us and turn them around for our good. There is no other god that would ever do that.

I know how much pain you are carrying in your heart. It has been there for so long you forgot it ever was. Layer after layer of pain was piled on top of it as you walked through this journey of life until you became numb to it, shut it out and threw away the key. Well, I want you to know, Jesus has the key you thought you lost, and He is waiting for you to come to Him to relinquish your pain and sorrow, your fear and shame to Him about your past and your pain. Jesus loves you no matter what. He sees your heart, and He says ‘You are good. You are forgiven.”

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

9 Comments

  • Klara Gaglia

    I just noticed I flagged my email to read your blog post but forgot to do so. I thank God I’ve read it now. So much confirmation and reminders here for me.

    What a blessing you are in Jesus. Thank you.

  • Amanda S

    Beth every blog post I read of yours is so much like my own story. And your most recent video about your family; it’s nearly exactly the story of my own upbringing. You say you had pieces of your memory fully forgotten. I also have that, huge chunks of time where my childhood is a blur. I do remember screaming every night, and perversions of many kinds. But I wonder if there is more underneath all the layers of shame. I want to let sleeping dogs lie as they say, but I’m also praying that the Holy Spirit would guide me into all truth. Even the painful truth, if it would help me grow in Jesus love. I wish we were neighbors beth! I love your story and your laid back authentic attitude. You’re such an inspiration to women moms and Christians. God bless you and your family.

  • Renee

    I always look forward to reading your emails each time you send them out. And I’m especially encouraged today because of you mentioning how Grace is working in your life. I began to learn about God’s Grace a few years ago, but I do still struggle with allowing myself to focus on His working Grace in me and around me.

    I too was abused as a child, sexually, physically, emotionally and mentally by someone who was once my mother’s boyfriend. The Lord has tremendously healed me of it, however, from reading your testimony today I can see some areas in myself that I haven’t allowed the Lord’s Grace to have full reign in.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story of transparency and honesty. It’s helping so many people, including me. One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Revelation 12:11. I believe the Lord showed me years ago that for every time
    I share my testimony with someone, that not only am I helping someone else to overcome, but I’m also helping myself to overcome even more. I believe the same is true for you. ????

    Be blessed, dear sister!

  • LDV

    I am so thankful for your testimony and your Blogs and YouTube video’s. From hearing your experience they help me with more wisdom and insight to learn to better equip myself and fight these spiritual battles with the word of God to heal from my past. God is so good to complete the good work He began.You are light on a hill that will not be covered and you are the salt to the earth. Keep fighting the good fight of faith! And so will I. God bless you sister.