The Trap

Bear-Trap

There is a very fine line between humility and self-deprecation, i.e., belittling or undervaluing oneself.  That line is like spring-wire on a trap.  Who’s trap?  Good question.

Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

Humility is realizing my genuine need for God in every moment of every day to fill me with Himself so that I may be all that He created me to be.  Without Him, I am like a light bulb with no power attached to it.  It does not mean the light bulb itself is worthless.

To be blunt, I’m calling God a liar when I self-deprecate myself and call myself worthless.  Father God paid a HUGE price to clear away all obstacles and hindrances that separate me from Him in order that we may spend eternity together.  His actions tell me what He deems my worth. (John 3:16, Romans 8:32)

Where am I going with this?  Glad you asked.

Today is Mother’s Day here in the United States.  It’s a VERY big deal.  It should be, after all Mother’s create space for life to happen in the womb and in the world.

I’ve never had a child.  Enter the trigger wire.  It’s very easy on this day for me to get focused on all the things I AM NOT.  That is the path my enemy would like me to take in order to devour me, steal my energy and my hope.

What’s your trigger wire?  What sends you down the path of focusing on what you are not?  Is it  your health, your weaknesses, your failures, your finances, lost loved ones, unreached goals, the successes of people around you, something else?

Some may say this is a discipline to motivate yourself to be better by focusing on what you are not.  As I type this to you, I see this image of someone digging a deep hole at the start of a race, jumping in and saying this is the place I need to start … rather than on level ground at the starting line.

The bible does tell us to first examine the plank in our own eye, before trying to take the speck out of another person’s eye (Matt 7:3-4).  So it does call us to know ourselves and to be honest with ourselves and with God about who we are – a work in progress that is completely loved by the Creator (Ephesians 2:9-10).

However, Jesus also tells us:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39

 

Did you catch it?  “Your shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF”.  If we love ourselves by belittling and undervaluing ourselves, we are going to do the same to the people around us.  Do you see how that could be a problem???

Fear not … the Owner’s Manual tells us how to live REAL without self-deprecation.

Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray.
Pray about everything.
He longs to hear your requests,
so talk to God about your needs
and be thankful for what has come.
And know that the peace of God
(a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding)
will stand watch over
your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
fill your minds with beauty and truth.
Meditate on whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is good,
whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
Philippians 4:6-8

What those verses look like for me today are:

  • This blog post is an answer to my prayers, i.e., my honest conversation with my Heavenly Father this morning about how I was feeling about myself and this day.
  • I am thankful for His truth that sets me free to receive His love for me, to be able to love myself and to love those around me.
  • I am filled with His peace in exchange for the agitation with which I woke.
  • As I choose to focus on beauty and truth, what is honorable, right, pure lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy, my thoughts are flooded with images of my Mom; the many women I know that are mothers; and the opportunities that have been afforded to me to be the love of God to nurture and create space for life in the lives around me.

Our Heavenly Father can and wants to do the same for you, regardless of what “your trap” may be.

Click picture for slideshow.

I’ve not been myself recently

Because I’ve been confused about who that is.

Time for a little more transparency here.  The Fibromyalgia has been in flare for close to two months now.  You may have heard the expression “running on borrowed time”, well I’ve been running on borrowed energy.  Last weekend, I came to a crashing halt.  I just wanted the pain to stop and I had no more answers.  Like I said, transparency.

There is no way I can say that I enjoy being in that state, but not once in my life has my Heavenly Father failed to meet me when I reach that point.  As I type this, I see this picture of someone drowning.  They are kicking and flailing to do the best they can with their own resources to save themselves, but it’s not until they stop that anyone else can reach them to help them.

Enter my answer, in a most unusual form.

I’m on my couch on Sunday morning, not able to make it to church.  My phone rings and it is my very close friend. She has severe back pain.  Can she come and use my massage chair?  Little did she know she was the answer to my prayer.  Don’t tell me our Heavenly Father doesn’t have a sense of humor 🙂 .

God can and truly does take what the enemy purposes for evil and turn it to His good purpose. (Gen 50:20).

During our time together my massage chair was able to minister to her need and she ministered to my need to find out why “having answers” was so important to me. Through her prayers and questions I saw a moment in my past when I was a young teenager.  I was put to bed for weeks because I had postural tachycardia (think REALLY fast heart rate just changing positions from laying down to standing up) and the medical team had no answers. Enter the lie that life stopped for me because I had no answers.  Add to this the fact that my Father was a surgeon and when he had no answers … life stopped, literally.  No wonder answers have been so important to me and felt so huge.  No wonder it has been so easy for the enemy to confuse me into believing that there must be something wrong with me and that I am flawed because I have yet to find “an answer” to eliminate Fibromyalgia from my life.

As Holy Spirit revealed this faulty belief, i.e., lie that I had embraced unknowingly, He also showed me a vision.  I was standing in God’s hand with Him looking at me from all different angles and telling me “I don’t see any flaw/anything wrong” like someone inspecting their workmanship.  I had to make a choice would I believe my Creator that I am not flawed, or would I persist in believing that there must be something wrong with me.  I was stuck.  Which would I believe – my circumstances or my God?

I wish I could tell you I instantly made the right choice.  Instead, revelation came to me that the truth is when I don’t have answers all I need to do is rest and wait on My Heavenly Father to provide the answers, rather than flail about like the drowning victim I mentioned above.   The truth is with or without answers, I’m safe.  My Heavenly Father will provide. How can I be sure of that?  Matt 6:8, 25-34 Tells me my Heavenly Father knows everything I need before I even ask and He will provide it, so there is no need to worry.

I was out walking the next day pondering all of this and suddenly a flip switched in me “there’s nothing wrong with me” … “there’s nothing wrong with me” … it is the absolute opposite point of view from what I have believed and what I have “heard” every time I hurt.  The pain has been sending the message – there’s definitely something wrong with you.  NO!  The pain is an attack, it is not me.  My Creator wants me to see me the way He sees me – there’s nothing wrong with me.  There is nothing wrong with His handiwork.  (Ephesian 2:10 )

I flashed back to what Holy Spirit told me in 2008 when I had to take medical leave because of Fibromyalgia.  I was feeling like such a failure that the FMS was still present. At that time, my Heavenly Father asked me if the enemy continues to attack, does that make you a failure?  This flashback to 2008 was followed by a vision of England from WWII.  Germany continued to attack England over and over and over and over.  England never gave up, but they needed the help of their allies to destroy their enemy.  There was nothing “wrong” with England, their enemy just wanted them destroyed. Hmmmm … that sounds like my enemy as well who comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

The enemy may want me to be destroyed, but he has already lost.  Yeshua has already won this one for me!   How do I know that?

Furthermore, we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good of those who love God
and are called in accordance with His purpose;
because those whom He knew in advance,
He also determined in advance
would be conformed to the pattern of his Son,
so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers;
Romans 8:28-29 Complete Jewish Bible

My response was/is Holy Spirit help me to walk this out, just as You helped Daniel in the lion’s den.  Right in the midst of the enemy attack, help me to stay aligned with Your truth that there is nothing wrong with me and Yeshua has won the battle for me!

As I write this to you, I realize it is no coincidence the timing of this flare and attack on my identity.  In late February, I had the opportunity to go to a wonderful course by Alison Armstrong.  While I was there, my Heavenly Father provided to me the revelation of who I truly am.  And so, I close today by being myself, my true self, and sharing that with you.

Who Am I

Bone and Marrow

 

The Voyager 1 Love Probe Crosses Last Frontier

My Heavenly Father is continuing my journey into space. To quote Captain Kirk … it is definitely a new frontier 🙂 .

I have been totally “undone” by the truth that He wants to create space in me for rest that includes His taking action to cause me to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect strength; to refresh me; to allow me to take rest; and to create quiet within me as He fills me with calm and patient expectation.  (Matthew 11:28)

Just when I think “I’ve got it now” another facet unfolds that creates even more space for Holy Spirit to reside within me, just as Jesus promised (John 14:16)

In my last post, I asked “do you listen when your heart speaks”.  I hope you do.  But what happens when what you hear seems so bone deep that it feels there is absolutely no way you can be any different than the way you have always been, always thought, always felt.

 That was my question as I was walking recently.  My Heavenly Father answered so quickly, I could almost see Him grinning like He was just waiting for me to ask!!

See, the Word of God is alive!
It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword —
it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit
and joints meet marrow,
and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 – Complete Jewish Bible

I’d never really seen it in such a personal way before.  His word can divide soul (will, intellect, emotion) and spirit (the very breath/life within us created to connect with and be filled by God’s own spirit, the Holy Spirit).  My personal dilemma at the time was what I mentioned in a previous post about not being wanted during my Mom’s pregnancy.  My inner reflections (thoughts), the attitudes of my heart [my choices (will) and emotions] had been so permeated with that experience that I could not recall a time it was not a part of me, definitely bone deep.  Yet God’s Word is so precise it can divide what feels like my very bones, from the marrow (what truly gives life to the bones).

I’m sharing the revelation with you the way it came to me as I walked and captured my conversation with my Heavenly Father on a voice memo on my iPhone.

“You can divide what feels so bone deep to me
and bring the life that You have always purposed.
You can take away my soulish* efforts
(*what my intellect, will and heart can accomplish stand alone)
and fill my soul and my spirit with everything that You have and purposed for me.
Just like marrow is where life comes from,
You can take away the bone, the structure that I have put around this wound
to make my own coping mechanism.
You can replace that structure with life
that grows from the very marrow of who You are
and transplant it into me so the two become one.**
The life that is contained grows new bone, i.e.,
new structure for me to live, move and have my being.***
Life is free to flow all because of Your Word.
Your Word who is Jesus.
It’s just so amazing Father.  It’s so amazing.
I am thankful, so thankful, for how utterly wonderful You are
and how great is Your love.”

Can you relate?  You think you have dealt with an issue in that has deeply impacted your life, e.g., having to perform to be loved; rejection; abuse; addiction; chronic illness that has made you doubt your self-worth; chronic heartache that causes you to withhold your heart from receiving the love that is around you, to name only a few.  Only to have the issue show up again with a slight differently facet or at a deeper level as life unfolds.  Being transparent, I’ve lost count of how many facets I’ve uncovered of not being wanted while in the womb.  It made me wonder can this ever not be a part of me; not be my filter for how I respond to life?  My heart needed to be that real with God so He could be that real with me.  What does your heart need to tell God?

“Continually unfolding the past till all is told.” (Psalm 32:5) is what I hear as I type this. You know what that tells me?  Neither you nor I are failing because more facets surface.  Our Heavenly Father is just not going to stop unfolding the past and setting me and you free until we are exactly that – completely free.  He unfolds rather than doing all the “demolition” at once so that we don’t implode or explode.  How loving is that!!

So I invite you to join me into this journey into space with Jesus dividing bone and marrow; the structures that we build to try to figure out our problems; to protect ourselves; to come up with answers with which we can live.  Grant our Heavenly Father permission to use His Word, Jesus, to cut the ties from the make-do structures we have devised and replace them with the life that He has for us so that we can we thrive and have that as our core.  Allow Him to transplant the same eternal life that filled Christ to be the very marrow of how we exist and thrive as He separates where joint meets marrow, i.e., where we have connected to things other than Him for our safety and supply.

It is a really interesting journey, an on-going journey filled with hope.  I pray you will make the choice to explore the space Jesus has for you!

** –  Romans 11:23-24
*** – Acts 17:28

Do You Listen When Your Heart Speaks?

I heard an interesting statement by Danny Silk of Bethel in his podcast “Expectancy”.  that we need to break off the vow with ourselves that we won’t be OK because “fill in the blank” has happened. 

It raises a question from my last post. If we are tapped into this river of life and it flows up from our roots/core/heart, what happens when we don’t want to listen to our heart because we are afraid of what we might hear?  

Literally a "cross-roads" in front of my house.  To listen or not to listen?

Literally a “cross-roads” in front of my house. To listen or not to listen?

So frightened that if we listen, all we will hear is the pain of loss, grief, hopelessness, and come face to face with the child in us that is crying out for whatever it needs or has needed for longer than we can remember.  We don’t want to hear because we don’t know if we or anyone else can meet that need. 

That is exactly the place to which we need to give a voice.  I can promise you from my own experience doing that won’t destroy you.  How can that be true?  That place where whatever thing or person to which we connected in the past to try to get that need met has failed, God wants to fill with His love (Rom 8:38-39), light (John 1:4-5) and truth (John 8:32) in order to set us free from the ungodly belief the need is unquenchable and unfillable.  You will have to fill-in your own blank on what is your “go to” to meet your needs.  It may be a parent, a spouse, a job, food, control, being a perfectionist or even isolating yourself, to name a few possibilities. You can recognize it by the numerous times you have turned to it and it always ends with the dismal result that declares “no hope”. 

Where those things have failed to meet our valid needs for love; for identity; for safety, to know our value and worth; to be seen just as we are and completely accepted; for connection; for healing for a broken heart – God wants us to let whatever those sources are “off the hook” for being our supply. 

If that source is a person to forgive them for being broken themselves and just not having what we need.  If it is a thing like perfectionism, isolation, control or food to break off the agreement we have made with it that it can keep us safer than God can. If it is a lost loved one, to break off agreement with the lie that allowing God to our heal our heart means we didn’t love them.  Follow that by making the choice to forgive ourselves for choosing whatever else we chose over God and asking God to forgive us for making that choice.  Jesus knew we’d make such choices when he said “forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  Our Heavenly Father’s promise to us is if we confess our sins and ask His forgiveness, He is quick and faithful to forgive  (1 John 1:9). 

Now is when it really gets good, because we are then ready to turn and to give those oh so very valid needs to our Heavenly Father to be filled exceedingly, abundantly above what we can dare to ask or imagine according to His riches in glory. (Eph 3:19-20, Phil 4:19).

Definitely a reason to listen to our hearts with hope!

Unfolding the past – part 2

IMG_0766Photo by:  www.mediawebapps.com

The unfolding continues and with it the creation of more space.   That space Jesus told me He wanted to create in me for rest.

There has been 2 parts of this unfolding.  Seeing what I had done.  Seeing what Jesus wants to do.

What I had done:  

For my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water
Jeremiah 2:13

It so resonated within me as I read this verse that just like Israel, I had turned from the source of eternal, fresh supply of life/water God had created to flow from within them. The Greek word for living waters is more literally like life that flows from the womb in the menstrual cycle, i.e., something that is innately part of them that perpetuates life.  Instead they and I chose, whether intentional or unintentional and for whatever reason, to try to create something “other” to meet our needs.

There has been many facets and layers over many years to the unfolding of this ungodly belief of trying to do enough to be enough to be loved by myself and by God, but I think I finally get it.  I’ve been trying “to do” everything I was actually created “to be”, i.e. do love, do joy, do peace, do hope rather than being loving, being joyful, being at peace, being hopeful.  Big difference and that difference has been wearing me out.  That has been my cistern.

What Jesus wants to do:

Next the angel showed me
the river of the water of life,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Revelation 22:1

A cistern is a tank.  It requires effort to fill it.   Even that does not work because over time the container cracks and cannot contain what is poured in.  Your cistern may look different than mine.  How can you recognize it?  Anything in your life where you rely on your own soul’s power to meet a need, rather than relying on God.  Those symptoms look like constant effort, constant frustration, constant drain of resources and energy to maintain a supply for a need.

It is a classic re-demonstration of doubting the heart of God towards us, just as Eve doubted.  We question if God will withhold that which we need which creates confusion to the point we believe (perhaps unintentionally) that we can/will take better care of ourselves than what the Creator of All will provide for us.  Why would we do that?  Because we want to trust in what we can see and contain [a cistern] rather than in a spring whose source is beyond our comprehension and who does not fit in our “box”; is not under our control.

It results in constant doing in some form or fashion to fill the cistern to get our needs met; rather than being filled continuously, innately, as designed.

Why would our Heavenly Father take the risk of creating something as volatile as free will that provides such a choice for us?  Because just as we want to be loved unconditionally, He wants to be loved unconditionally.  He wants to be our choice.  If there were no choice, it would not be love. It would be control and manipulation.

The river of life that springs forth out of God Himself on His Throne is what supplies life to us; creates life within us and overflows out of us to impact the world around us with the kingdom of heaven itself.  Life begetting life. 

Every person gets there own well.  Can you see it?  Just as rivers flow underground and people tap into them via wells, Jesus is the way (the well), the truth (the tap into the source) and the life (the river itself).  As Jesus told the Samaritan woman, an eternal spring constantly bubbling up within us.  It comes up from where we are rooted; through our foundation.  I don’t think it is a coincidence that it is not a top down filling, i.e., head/intellect first.  It starts with our roots/core/heart.   Then it flows through us to fill and saturate us completely to the point that we overflow.  The Greek for the word “flow” in Revelation 22:1 is actually “to gush”.  We can draw and draw and draw some more and this river will never run out.

The space within that Jesus wants to create within me, within you to be connected to that source has been intended for you and for me since before time began.  Now that is a reason to hope!

As I was driving to work, I "saw" when I had been experiencing.  God creating a space in a dark, crowded place for His light and truth to break through.

As I was driving to work, I “saw” what I had been experiencing. God creating a space in a dark, crowded place for His light and truth to break through.