Heart Splinters

Resolving hurts, lies, and offenses

GET THOSE EMOTIONS OUT!

My heart is heavy for the parents facing hard things with their children. I want to encourage you with the following: #1. ANGER – Be mad, let it out, and process those emotions. Scream in a pillow, journal, beat the sandbag, go for a hike, vent to a friend – whatever you have to do to GET THOSE EMOTIONS OUT! You cannot afford to carry the weight of those emotions with you. Get them out so you can let them go. #2. GRIEF – Many of you are grieving. Grieving for your family, your child’s heart, the plans for the year, and your ability to juggle it all. This is real and must be acknowledged. Grab your journal and begin, “God, I am so sad that…” #3. HOPE – It is hard to be anchored in hope if you carry around a lump in your throat, are ready to explode, or feel like a victim. Processing your emotions and heart will help you move into HOPE. Hope is anchored in THE truth, not the facts our circumstances scream at us. Declare the TRUTH! God has not left you. You have what it takes to not only survive but thrive. You will know what to do (because He lives inside of you). 

God has keys and strategies for your situation. He works all things out for good, He sees your world, and He cares. He has a solution – ask Him! It is going to be okay. Your child is going to be okay. YOU are going to be okay! 

ANGRY OUTBURSTS – SAD, SCARED, LONELY

Has your child had increased outbursts of anger? This can be a very challenging thing to parent because of the mess anger can make emotionally and with connection. However, I encourage you to ask Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see what is UNDER the anger. Typically, under anger are the emotions of being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to show you, you will be able to minister to their real heart instead of just managing their behavior. 

P.S. This isn’t just for kids!

CROOKED GRIEF

Does your child have an increased issue using hurtful tones and snapping words? If so, it could be GRIEF! Children are grieving. They have lost the world known to them. They have lost what was important to them. They have lost what is familiar. They have lost connection. They have lost their sense of belonging (which comes from peers). Managing their behavior is only helpful if their behavior is rooted in their flesh or ill character. If their behavior is because of grief, we must help them process their pain. Pain is messy, and we must be willing to see what is really going on in their hearts if we want them to overcome this very challenging season. How? Children respond well to VERBS to help process their hearts. Ask them to draw a picture of how their heart feels. Set up daily phone calls with someone outside of the family. Create a zoom call with their favorite classmates. Let them email or text their teacher. Buy them a special stuffed animal to cuddle with when they are sad. Let them see their friends! Create a special party for someone they haven’t seen in a while. Buy them a journal to write how they feel. Set up a time for them to spend the night elsewhere. Ask Holy Spirit what their heart needs!!

NOT MY MAIL

This is an excellent post from my friend Michelle.

“In the last week, I have heard the following come from the mouth of children: ‘I have anger issues,’ ‘I am emotionally unstable,’ ‘I am stupid,’ ‘I am not valuable,’ and ‘I hate myself.’ A mailman delivers mail based on a label with your name and address on it. You would never accept mail with someone else’s name and address. So, why are kids accepting labels/mail that isn’t theirs??? BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TAUGHT WHO THEY ARE!!! Welcome to the ‘NOT MY MAIL’ tool… The kids decorated their own little mailboxes (I purchased these from Michaels Craft store for $1). They decorated their mailboxes while I wrote things on little pieces of paper to act as ‘mail.’ I allowed them to ‘practice’ accepting or declining a mail delivery. I wrote things such as ‘I am a world changer,’ ‘I am loved,’ ‘I am ugly,’ ‘I am stupid,’ ‘I am not popular,’ etc. They would take the ‘mail’ and stick it in their mailbox or say, ‘No thanks, that’s not my mail,’ and not accept it from me. Too many kids are taking on labels and identities that do not line up with the way Heaven sees them!!!! ‘NOT MY MAIL’ helps to teach the kids what to accept and claim over themselves. Listen to all the ‘I have…’ and ‘I am…’ and ‘I can’t…’ statements that come out of your mouth. Take some time to flush false identities/labels and receive your true identity and move forward into your true identity! No more accepting mail that isn’t yours!!!!”

FEELING DEPRESSED?

Do not be so quick to assume something is wrong with you. Depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain. The only way to resolve depression is through medicine. Oppression is a spiritual weight that we can come under when the enemy is trying to take ground in an area. The only way to resolve oppression is through your authority. Both look, sound, and feel the same. How do you know? Walk in your authority and see if it shifts. 

“I command all heaviness to leave me now in Jesus’ name. I break all assignments against me by the blood of Jesus. I invite You, Holy Spirit, to come and fill my mind, emotions, body, and atmosphere with Your peace, power, love, and clear mind in Jesus’ name.”

HELPING EACH OTHER FIGHT – SLANDER

“When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks. 

So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like: “Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him. Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation? Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away ‘all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander’ (Ephesians 4:31)? How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure (Proverbs 22:1)?” In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:30). 

Proverbs 26:28 – “The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims.” Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander. In an age of social media, that lacks the functional information-spreading restraints of past eras, let us be all the more slow to post (‘slow to speak’ – James 1:19) analysis, speculation, and commentary on information about another person or group, even if it has become public in our slander-saturated culture, that might eventually prove slanderous. 

“All the serious biblical warnings about slander still apply, which should make us all, especially those of us with ‘platforms,’ tremble.” – Jon Bloom. 

HELPING CHILDREN OVERCOME TRAUMA

Trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Think for a moment about your child’s life back in 2020. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but within a short time, your child was thrown into a whirlwind of being home 24/7. Not being able to see friends or go out to the park, learning without peers, sitting in front of a computer, many faced hours alone as their mom and dad still worked. Some went without food, increased sibling conflict, missed birthday parties, felt fear all around them, not being able to go to church or their favorite store, and then the anger and violence that was unleashed in nearly every city. Most adults can’t comprehend all that is going on, much less a child whose brain isn’t fully developed. Folks, this is trauma. Add another layer of what was released in the atmosphere and the paralyzing fear, worry, and anger that slimed people without notice or warning. Kids feel it too.

While I am not trying to create a doomsday post, there is a reality that this past season has been brutal for some children. The events themselves do not bring damage to children. How adults respond to trauma can make a challenging event a lifelong wound. Your role is KEY! #1. Know your child’s love language and fill it DAILY! Five minutes of intentional “I see you” can fill their heart. #2. Connection – Talking, engaging, asking questions, hugging, smiling, listening, etc. Merely hanging out 24/7 is not the same as actually connecting to their hearts. #3. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that increases our will to fight and endure hard things. Dance parties, giggles, wrestling matches, dinner in the living room, tickling, being silly, special treats, dancing on the bed, or splashing in the rain. Your child NEEDS joy!

I know it is hard to give when you are enduring the same battle, but your response in this hour matters. Help children overcome by filling them up with love, connection, and joy, which are heaven’s tools to overcome. 

BLACK & WHITE – PART ONE

I want to share a perspective with you. People often ask me what my highlight of being a part of Azusa Now in LA was. My answer is easy. It was when they showed the video of all the awful things people have done to other humans (school shootings, Holocaust, 9/11, American Indians, etc.) and we began to declare louder and louder, “Father, forgive them! Father, forgive them!” I saw an older African American couple a few rows in front of me, and all I could say was, “I am sorry. I am so so sorry.” They received those healing words with gratitude. It still creates tears in my eyes. It was a highlight for me because the Father was highlighting something to me. I believe God was releasing an anointing to make things right with those who have been hurt.

Fast forward to our first hotel stay when we began our 2-month journey on the road. Every single channel the kids wanted to watch had to do with slavery. As we feasted on this ‘entertainment’ my stomach became sick. I could feel the control, the madness, the loss, the betrayal, the paralyzing fear, the lack of safety, the lack of belonging, the condemnation, and the anger. Humans were treated like animals, only worth their labor and performance, and their hearts were ripped out over and over. Tears poured down my cheeks as I told the kids to turn off the TV. I believe God was awakening this part of our history in me. God has been speaking to me a lot about the spirit of control. We are not wired to be controlled by anyone or anything; rather, we were created to operate out of our free will. It is how He designed us. When we are controlled, especially when it is ongoing, we respond by partnering with a spirit of rejection or a spirit of rebellion. Here we are with the great divide between whites and blacks being highlighted… once again. Could it be that the Lord is allowing pressure so that the heart splinter could be removed once and for all? Could it be that all those years of being controlled by the color of their skin have produced a generational line of rebellion or rejection? Could it be that here we are 100 some years later with a mess we didn’t create but still reaping the fruit of? Could it be that there are strongholds in the atmosphere who enjoy watching humans quarrel based on their skin color? Could it be that while we all have choices, there is a lot more going on in the spiritual realm than we are giving credit to? Could it be that the issue isn’t the color of our skin but more so the doors that have been opened for the enemy to continue to influence? Could it be that the answer isn’t just outward ‘unity’ but more so breaking agreements with the spirit of control, rebellion, and rejection? Could it be that those acting out the rebellion or rejection are actually crying out to be free from the spirit of control that has been in operation in their family line for so long? Could it be that we, white Americans, haven’t yet cleaned up our mess in the spiritual realm our ancestors have made? Could it be that the involvement of police officers is a prophetic statement of the authority we have been given and need to be using, not over humans, but the spiritual realm? 

Could we be a generation that changes the world of so many lives that matter by releasing freedom, acceptance, and belonging over them? I think so!

Be sure to check out PART TWO which will give you steps to take in your own home.

BLACK & WHITE – PART TWO

Please read PART ONE first.

You Have Work To Do!

If you have a white lineage, I encourage you to go before the Lord today and ask for forgiveness on behalf of your family line, heritage, and ancestors for any way they participated in the dehumanizing, abuse, and control of black people in the name of slavery (through purchase or attitude). I encourage you to ask for forgiveness for any way your family line has partnered with the attitude and belief of supremacy and hierarchy based on race. 

Gather your children and talk about the issue of race. Talk about how it would feel to be excluded your whole life simply because of your hair color. We owe them their history, even if it isn’t always pretty. We owe them the truth so that they can be empowered to change their world. Have them write out an “I am sorry” card and offer it to Jesus. Have them write out declarations and speak into the atmosphere that we are all equally made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28). 

If you have a black lineage, I encourage you to get before the Lord today and ask for forgiveness on behalf of your family line, heritage, and ancestors for any way they have come under the spirit of control and partnered with rebellion or rejection (victim spirit) in defense. I encourage you to spend some intentional time today forgiving those who have caused you and your family line harm, hardship, and cruelty. This will not be won naturally because we are reaping the fruit of the strongholds created generations ago. Each person must do their own part to clean up the mess we were handed, put their stake in the ground, and declare we will not tolerate this any longer.