Testimonies

Look what God has done

PEACE IS AN INSIDE JOB

A sweet friend who I have known and loved for over 20 years sent me a private message telling me that one of my posts did not bring her peace. My first thought was that I should remove the post out of love for her, as I would never want to be responsible for increasing someone’s fear. But it didn’t sit right with me. I held onto it for a few hours waiting for direction from the Lord. Finally, I heard Him say, “Peace is an inside job,” and I marinated in that truth all day. While we are to test all things according to His Word, the truth is someone’s post, the news, circumstances, and hard trials do not have to rob us of our peace. This is a spiritual muscle that many have been tested in lately. Are you keeping your peace, guarding it at all costs? Flex your muscle that says, “I am unmoved by anything other than the hand of God and remain anchored to His perfect peace!”

WHAT’S MY NAME?

My daughter was having an unusually rough day, and I kept catching her sneaking things, which was so out of character for her. We asked Jesus to shine His bright flashlight in her heart, which provoked her to ask me the meaning of her name. I showed her a fun book where she could look it up. Once she found it, she began to cry and said, “Oh, I am so glad! I thought my name meant deceiver.” I was shocked, but as I listened to her, I realized she had misunderstood something someone had said. She then partnered with the voice/thought that told her she was a deceiver and guess how she acted that day. We then asked Jesus what her name meant to Him, and she heard “hard worker.” Guess how she started acting since she heard that. 

Here is the mental shift: my old way of parenting would have disciplined her for sneaking things and not being honest. While that is something I would want to deal with, it wasn’t the issue. The heart issue was that she believed a lie about her identity. Her joy and peace returned when her identity was secured in the truth.

BUT GOD…

1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me! 

Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey. 

MATURING MOTHERS

Such a sweet testimony from my friend taking our Moms & Dads class on being seen, heard, and valued. 

“While spending my time in prayer doing my homework assignment, He showed me that my daughter was doing something behind my back IN THAT MOMENT. This has never happened before. So, I rushed to her, and instead of coming down hard on her or shaming her (ways I have parented before), I asked Jesus to help me, and we walked through getting to her heart. It wasn’t anything huge, but it was dishonest. At the end of the conversation, I told her I wanted her to be honest so she could feel heard. I was given a great opportunity to try and use these gifts, and I feel like it went well! Thank you so much!!” 

What I LOVE about this testimony is that she did not see her daughter as a liar but as robbing herself of using her voice to be heard. EMPOWERMENT!!!!

FALSE PROTECTOR

Someone needs to break up with this false ‘protector’ as this mom shares: “I feel like I always used fear to protect me. Like it’s a deceptive tool the enemy used against me. Instead of me putting my trust in God, I put it in fear to keep me safe. As I’ve grown, I’ve seen how fear is actually a form of witchcraft because it is a form of control. Control is the absence of trust and faith in God.”

DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!

I received this from a mom who took our online class: “DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!! If you’d have told me two days ago, that my teen daughter would talk to me till 1 am in the morning, I’d have said it was impossible. If you’d told me that my defiant, self-harming, oppositional girl would also hold me tight and hug me for almost a full minute, I’d have cried, longing for you to be right. If you’d told me that this self-proclaimed atheist girl would tell me that she is ‘giving God another shot,’ I’d have wept, thinking that day would never come. YES… all those things happened last night. I was the hopeless person on this FB page all the time. Some of you have supported me so much through this hard journey and remember my girl. I just HAD to take time to write here that THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!! She is still proceeding with caution, and I am parenting her with SOOO much grace and mercy, and love. DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!!”

WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

One night we drove through our old community, walking down memory lane. There is something so fun about hearing your child’s childhood memories. I pulled into the DQ drive-thru to continue our ‘remember when’ discussion. Across the street from the DQ is a large lake that people walk around. And I was undone by a particular memory and how it shaped my family. Years ago, when the kids were all under seven years old, I read a book about the children in Africa and how they were sad they didn’t have unity amongst the believers and decided to do something about it. I was interrupted with questions about our own community as Holy Spirit was stirring something up in my children for the unity of their own town. I began to ask them questions about what we should do. I let it be 100% led by them. They wanted to write to all of the church leaders and invite them to a unity prayer walk around the lake, which we did. They prayed over the envelopes before mailing them. They wanted to make prayer signs and put them around the lake for things to pray for (unity, the leaders, and families). They wanted to unite the believers as lovers of Jesus despite their differences. God gave us a glorious sunny day; they walked their little legs around the whole lake and hammered the stakes into the ground. And waited and waited. In the course of five hours, only FIVE people showed up. One stopped along the way and appeared to be reading the signs and responding. Three walked right by and didn’t even notice. They watched from the other side of the lake as one took the time to destroy each of their signs, tossing them on the ground. As we walked around the lake to pick up our trashed signs, I felt such a profound mix of utter discouragement and disappointment but an odd sense of growing JOY. We endured a silent car ride home as I cried out to the Lord to show me how to steward the events with the children who so clearly were led by Him and cared about the unity of their community. I called a family meeting to allow them to process. They did not see a lack in their efforts but a lack of unity, which was all that mattered. They began to pray with an incredible passion for their city. The Lord spoke to me later and said, as a mother, I can’t use the measuring stick of FRUIT or QUANTITY in training my children to follow Him. The ONLY thing that matters is OBEDIENCE! We obeyed whether the entire community showed up or none. We followed HIS leading, which paved the way for us to respond to His voice countless times over the years to impact our community. It taught us that we live for an audience of ONE. 

WEARING MAKEUP

I am often asked at what age a girl should begin to wear makeup. In response, I share our journey. Lauren and Emma were 12 years old when they asked me if they could start wearing makeup. For one, I said yes, and for the other, I said no. I asked each of them, “Are you walking as a Daughter and want to put on mascara because it is fun and you want to enjoy it? Or are you walking as an orphan who needs mascara to feel beautiful?” There is a world of difference! If it is the latter, I am not helping my daughter’s beauty by encouraging her to use makeup (or anything else) to become her false identity. I took the one shopping to buy her first cosmetic product while I worked with the other one to know the beauty of her worth and value FIRST, and then we went shopping. Both girls know who they are today and do not need makeup to feel beautiful. They are able to enjoy it as a Daughter and feel secure with or without it. 

OUR JOURNEY

Who moves in the middle of a worldwide crisis? GOD DOES!! Many of you are asking for the back story of our move, and I finally have a moment to share. It is really quite simple. I didn’t have the grace to stay. At the same time we went on lockdown, our landlord asked for the house back so they could move into it. We already had tickets to Colorado for spring break, so instead of canceling them, we moved them up and spent the first several weeks of lockdown in Colorado, giving me lots of time to think, process, and pray. We were due back in Redding on Easter evening, and I could not do it. I would cry every time I thought of returning, and it felt so heavy. It was so strong that we changed our tickets to a later date. The following day I sat with the Lord wanting to process whatever was in my heart, and I so clearly heard Him say, “The grace has lifted” (from our season in Redding). There was never a decision. I never weighed the pros and cons or made an intellectual decision on what was best for our family. If God has given me the grace to endure a season that has cost me something dearly and deeply and lifts that grace, then the decision is simply to follow Him. I told the kids, and within days, we met with our landlord to confirm our move-out date. It happened very fast, mainly due to moving in the middle of Covid, the landlords moving back in, and the kids being on online learning already. We will continue to process our hearts with this massive transition for our family, but one thing I know for certain is that when God leads, it will be good!

GOOD NEWS

God has been highlighting my son to me for months now. Something just wasn’t quite right. I didn’t know if it was hormone issues, a heart splinter, or something else. I would cry out to God to reveal what was going on, and slowly the picture came into focus over a period of about six months – He isn’t a believer! There was a noticeable difference between him and the girls with attitude, interest in spiritual things, and even joy. God began to show me that when they were little, and we were going after hearing God’s voice, I would say to them, “Where does God live? In heaven? Out in the field? No, He lives in your heart,” but that isn’t actually 100% true. It is true that Jesus passionately loves us, and we can hear His voice and even play in His Kingdom, but each person must choose to receive Him and invite Him into their hearts. I believe the Lord allows children/us to play in the Kingdom so that we will enter the Kingdom, but playing in the Kingdom isn’t always the fruit of salvation. Matthew 7:22. I was keenly aware I could not go to my son directly and tell him, “Hey, I don’t think you are really a believer,” as that would have crushed him. I waited. I prayed. I cried out, and I waited some more. I knew God was after His heart and needed to let Him do the work. I continued being alert to His leading. It isn’t that my son didn’t know God, he did. It was that deep inside, he knew something was missing. He lives in a culture where kids are powerful, heal the sick, and hear God well. While my son was able to still participate in these things, he was keenly aware there was a space between his relationship with God. Others were modeling what he didn’t have. While it should have created hunger, instead, it created a wall of separation, and he felt exposed. It is hard to stand up against a culture and say, “Hey, I am not experiencing this!” We came home from church, and chaos broke out. I gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy some alone time. I sat in the living room asking God what was going on, and He told me to invite Hudson to sit with me. We sat face to face, and I could see the anguish in his eyes. I began to ask him about the space between him and God. A large teardrop fell, and I knew this was the moment I had prayed for. I asked for forgiveness for not clarifying when he was younger that someday he would need to make his own choice if he wanted Jesus in his heart. Such a sigh of relief validated his confusion over the months, perhaps years. I explained fully what salvation means; he was a sinner and has fallen short, Jesus died on the Cross for HIM, and Jesus longed not just to talk to him but actually reside and live inside of him. I passionately believe salvation isn’t just for the soul to enter heaven someday, but that salvation is for our mind, body, and spirit. We began to pray and ask Holy Spirit what parts of his mind, body, and soul needed healing. God had me ask if it was hard for him that his earthly father is very kind, even provides well for him, but doesn’t touch and interact with him. The tears began to pour out, and I asked, “And do you feel that way with Father God? That He is good, loves you, and provides for you, but that your heart longs for Him to touch, encounter, and embrace you?” With tears and the sweetest tenderness, Hudson became a Son!