CLING TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

CLING TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

I walked through some deep betrayal years ago and wrestled it deeply with God. I had this mental picture of Jesus holding both of us on His lap, and it made me mad. This person brought me so much turmoil and pain, and I didn’t like the fact Jesus loved them so much (this isn’t my true heart, but it was a moment in my processing the pain). I finally called my mentor because it was making my heart feel unsafe with God. How in the world could He love someone who has brought so much pain? Her response was brilliant and literally shifted something so deep within me. She said, “Lisa, you do not fully understand the picture. God loves this person just as much as He does you because He created them, but God is only on the side of righteousness, and this person isn’t choosing righteousness.”

It wasn’t a matter of whose side God was on as much as it was who was on His side. It was like my hands opened, and I dropped whatever offense, pain, or fight I was holding onto and clung to righteousness. It altered decisions and outcomes dramatically. The question is not “Is God on my side?” The question is, “Are you on God’s side?”

HAVE IT YOUR WAY

Years ago in California, we were having a terrible drought. The summer temps can hold onto 110 degrees for months, and it was scorching the land. Many cursed their city; others prayed for God to intervene. Drought affects more than just our immediate comfort. Many months later, long after the temperatures had gone back down to a comfort level, we had rains that would not let up. It poured for days. It soaked everything and anything in sight. Many cursed their city; others prayed for God to intervene. Yet few connected that perhaps the rainfall was an ANSWER to the prayers prayed months earlier. In fact, the rain not only watered our land, but the experts said it would have taken us nearly seven years to recover from the drought that the rainfall did in one season. We pray, beg, and ask God to move and then complain when He does so on His terms, in His ways. I see a flood of chaos, mess, and destruction all around me, and it is overwhelming, but I also see ANSWERED PRAYERS. We wanted God to rise up and respond to the scores of injustices to unborn babies; we wanted Him to act on behalf of the corruption with our leaders; we begged Him to save our children from being used and abused; we prayed for Him to awaken us. We prayed sleepless nights for churches to cease operating in control. We poured our hearts out for peace and unity in our families and communities. Friends, do not curse the WAY God chooses to answer His children’s heart cries. He sees the sleepless nights, the agony of the mother’s heart, and the cry of His people. Take comfort in knowing that He is God, and this is NOT His first rodeo (have you read Daniel lately?) He is STILL a good Father and knows what He is doing. 

It is hard to know how to pray at this hour. I have found myself often declaring, “God, we bless the work of Your hands and say let Your will be done on earth today despite the discomfort it brings me. We loosen every assignment of the enemy against Your perfect plan. Holy Spirit, cover me with Your perfect peace in this hour, but Lord, have Your way with us!”

SELF-HATRED

JOURNEY isn’t about a moment, a one-time fix, or a parenting program. This is about a journey of going deeper with Him. This precious mama changes her children’s lives simply by being willing to go further in her journey with Him.

“This lesson really revealed a heart splinter of my own that has been festering for two decades. As a child, I had a strong desire to go to the Air Force Academy. Looking back, I know this idea was planted by my father, a pro-military man. Being the youngest of seven kids, I also think there was some pressure to perform for the financial gain as well as sort of the ‘last-ditch effort’ from my dad. I had always been closer to my dad and felt I didn’t measure up to the perfect daughter ideal that my mother had. I would rather be in the barn with Dad than shop for the latest styles at the mall. I wholeheartedly partnered with the lie that I could achieve favor with my earthly father IF I could just get into the Academy. I worked on every piece of my life to make the Air Force Academy a reality. I pushed and pushed to be the best at all things – school, sports, standardized tests, volunteering… anything that would get me ahead and get me in. The irony is I didn’t get in, and my dad never forgave me. This year on my birthday, he mocked and ridiculed me for it again in front of my closest friends. I finally realized it wasn’t about me – my Heavenly Father was carrying me and loving me through a whole decade of self-hatred after that event. I felt abandoned by my family and was in a real state of self-defeat. I tried relationships, alcohol, and eating disorders and all those lies created more hurt and heart splinters. I prayed daily for relief from the sadness, and in hindsight, I saw God was carrying me and protecting me from myself through all those years. As I surrendered my experience, I vowed not to do that to my children. They will know God’s peace, His enduring love for them, and the truth that their worth is from Him and nothing I put upon them. I also see now that I am worthy of His love and that nothing I have done has separated me from His love.”

Parents, I invite you to join the JOURNEY. Your children will thank you for it! Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

 

MY TESTIMONY

My childhood was brutal. It was full of torment, lies, abuse, deep hurt, and confusion. I was in a coma from a drug overdose when my mom died at another hospital of breast cancer. It took me years to unravel the pain and forgive her. It was not until my 30’s that the reoccurring nightmares ceased over the emotional torment with my mom. God did not just have to heal things in me; He had to rewrite ‘normal.’ I no longer have hatred in my heart toward her. I no longer judge her as a person or a mom. I no longer speak ill of her. I no longer blame her for my heartbreak and pain. 

Furthermore, I have not passed on the cycle to my children. Why? #1. God is good! He pulled me out, saved me, and restored the deep places in my heart back to Him. My parents were powerful influences in my life, but God is bigger. They have done many things wrong, but God is a Master of rewriting stories, redemption, and making broken places whole again. He is the ultimate perfect Parent. #2. My mom was not an evil person. If she was a member of Let the Children Fly, I think she would weep at the revelation of her own doing. She did what she did because she was a spiritual orphan trying to parent! Orphans can NOT produce a life of peace and joy. Let the Children Fly is simply the tools my mom needed but did not have to parent me well. God’s ministry through me is my love gift back to my own mother. While I may have lost my mom, I have gained thousands of parents around the globe who get to hear the message that they can partner with God in their parenting and can do things differently with their children. I am passionate about what I do because I have lived the fruit of a life without it.

Get the tools you need to parent your children well! Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

 

MINISTRY LEADERS

I want to plant a seed for you to ponder with the Lord. Does your ministry or area of influence reflect that of mothers and fathers caring for God’s family, or is it set up to function more like managers running a business? The latter will never produce the kind of fruit God wants His family to bear. If we are managers running a business, we will only promote those who make us look good, are excellent at what they do, and make little messes. We will choose people just like us who cause little friction. We will have success and image as the goal, not the journey. We will raise successful spiritual orphans who have learned that performance matters above character and capacity development. Sadly, this promotes rockstars of the hour, but they are not equipped to deal with the long-term weight of what God wants to do through them because they have never dealt with the issues in their foundation. If we lead from the position of mothers and fathers, we will allow God to bring to us whoever He feels best, even if that means a development process for both parties. We will judge our success by the fruit of a life transformed, even if it means there were messes made. We will value what He values, not the world. We will give those under us the gifts of a mother and father, such as being seen, heard, valued, instructed, etc., because a person can only really be their best when healthy mothers and fathers cover them. Managers may win awards and achieve success, but only mothers and fathers gain eternal rewards. Ask Jesus to show you if there is an area of your leadership and authority where you have functioned as a manager rather than a mother and father. Repent. Ask Jesus to show you how to model your leadership/influence after His. Enjoy the fruit He wants to grow and develop through your eternal legacy! 

FEAR OF JOY

I want to share with you one of the most significant revelations I have had in my parenting. It was a game-changer and altered everything within my family structure. Every home we lived in happened to have an open floor plan where the dining room, kitchen, and living room were a large space. The kids were young and closer in age and would begin running from one end of the house and zoom around each room, chasing each other. I am a fun mom. I can handle flying Nerf gun bullets, stepping on the pile of Legos, forts in the living room, and messes made from hardcore playing. But when the kids would zoom in and out all around me, it was like I was fine one moment, and a millisecond later, I was not. I would immediately shut it down and redirect them to something quiet and still, like a movie. There was a season that I honestly wondered if Holy Spirit was whispering in their ear, “Start running,” because it seemed like that was all they did from sunup to sundown, and it was driving me crazy. I was just about to step in when I heard the Lord say, “What are they doing wrong?” I vividly remember responding out loud with, “I do not know, but I do not like it.” That little exchange was like a tap on the shoulder, and I realized that maybe, just maybe, this was not their issue but mine. As they continued, I would sneak into my room and process my heart. I was hearing giggles, joy, and sibling connection, yet my heart was filled with anxiety. I began to see that my response was not matching my reality. I was becoming more and more aware that something deep inside of me was not at peace, which affected my parenting that was shutting them down and redirecting them, and I hated it. I hated feeling so much unrest. I hated not feeling in control. I hated that I had to redirect them so that I could feel at peace. Every time they would start zooming around, I would remove myself and process my heart, which took nearly six weeks – six weeks of laying down my tools of control to keep myself comfortable and six weeks of being radically uncomfortable. Finally, I got the revelation as to what was happening in my heart. God asked what I was feeling, and I said, “Anxious.” Anxious? Why on earth would I be anxious when my children were laughing and connecting? And suddenly, I got a mental picture of my childhood. My three siblings and I were close in age too, and whenever our joy or play began to get ‘out of control,’ one of us would be beaten or shut down. I am not sure which was worse, being beaten yourself or the powerlessness of having to watch your siblings. I began to cry. I could still hear their giggles in the other room as my deep anxiety was being released through the wave of emotions. I heard God say, “When your children are full of joy, you get anxious that one of them will get hurt, so you shut it down to protect them,” but the sad thing is that they are not in danger. It is ME who needed to know we were safe, not them. I got set free that day from the fear of joy.

Had I continued to use my authority to control my children to keep my heart feeling safe, I would, in essence, be teaching them that joy is not acceptable, not through beating them but by shutting it down each time. THIS is how our unresolved issues affect our parenting, and we swing so far to the other side of the pendulum. Jesus is our center and wants us anchored in freedom and wholeness. The deep, life-altering revelation that God gave me is that while I am older, wiser, and more capable than my children, God knit them together, not in MY image to be molded and shaped into a little me, but in HIS image and He uses them to reveal, heal and restore what was lost in ME so I can become more like HIM. I am the adult, but God is my Parent, and He uses my little ones to parent me ALL THE TIME. Now when I want my children to cease zooming all over the place, I am able to use my parental authority as God has directed in peace, not from a place of control and needing them to change their behavior so that I could feel comfortable. There is a world of difference. 

Your turn – What is the biggest and most consistent trigger you experience in your parenting? Go ahead; it’s okay, take a risk and know that you are not alone in your parenting journey of becoming more like Him.

ENCOUNTER HIM

When we face anger, anxiety, fear, etc., it invites us to encounter Him. Many believe you have to be free of such things to encounter God, but the truth is some of the greatest intimacy comes when we invite Him into those messy places.

40 YEAR LIE

 A lady in her 40’s was so paralyzed by groups that she would not attend classes, go to Bible studies, church, restaurants, or anywhere else where large groups gathered. Finally, she could not take the isolation anymore and began seeking help. When they asked Jesus to show her the first time she felt paralyzed by a large group, she recalled the story of when she was just three years old and remembered feeling loved and secure with her large family. They were at her house, and there was a lot of excitement and love, but on a particular day, when she walked into the room, they all hushed really quickly, and she could tell that something was wrong. They all just stared at her, and the silence was paralyzing and awkward for her. For years the question, “What is wrong with me?” haunted her. Jesus showed her that the family was in town for her surprise birthday party and that they were all discussing how they would surprise her. When she walked in, they all got silent, not wanting to ruin the surprise.

Doesn’t that story break your heart? ONE lie for FORTY years! But this is what I want you to see – when the heart splinter (in this case, a lie of “what is wrong with me?”) entered, it was the PARENTS who surely saw a change in their daughter. You cannot believe a lie like that and not have it change how you think, feel and act. Had the parents been empowered to help her, the splinter could have been pulled in childhood.

SURE FOUNDATION

The other night my daughter was ANGRY and lashing out at everyone for the smallest things. Clearly, this was not her, as she is normally sweet as chocolate. The following morning, I asked her to do the dishes, which should have been a four-minute gig, and 1.5 hours later, she was still there. It was time to go, and she still hadn’t finished. I came to her and put my hand on her heart and said, “Babe, I do not know what is going on, but you were not wired to hold onto sin, and something is clearly coming out crooked. When you are ready to talk, I am here.” I didn’t know there was sin, but those were the words that came out of my mouth. She asked to talk hours later and, with tears, began to tell me that she was invited by her friends to vape at school. She declined the offer, but the realization that she had to stand alone was overwhelming to her. I wanted to assure her that it wouldn’t happen again, but the truth is she will have to stand alone and make choices against the pressure of the crowd for the rest of her life. It was a beautiful and tender conversation about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus in today’s world. We talked about the ‘high’ of popularity and the joy of obedience. The next morning at Church, worship began, and I leaned over to her and said, “Sweetheart, focus on this song with your situation in mind. Is He worthy of following, even if it means not vaping with your friends?”  I HATE that she was asked by her friends to vape, but I am SO glad it agitated her soul to the point of being exposed and that God used it to be yet another building block in her story with Him. He IS worthy of it all!

WHAT IS “INNER HEALING”?

The need for inner healing is the space between God’s truth and our reality. The enemy seeks to separate us from our BELIEF in God’s goodness. He can’t touch that reality as the Cross is a finished work, but he can mess with our thoughts about it. We live in a fallen world, and all have experienced hurts and offenses, some more than others. Not everyone is walking wounded – many are free and healed. Christ said to Satan while fasting, “You have nothing in Me – no hooks.” He had no emotional wounds, He and His Father were good, and He carried no lies or shame that the enemy could use against Him. Lies typically enter during an event where something happens that produces negative feelings, and at that moment, the enemy tries to whisper lies to us about God, ourselves, and others. We all know of examples where someone gets bad news and overreacts. Most likely, they agreed with a lie, only to realize later that it wasn’t true. If the lie remains, something will be ‘off’ with God, ourselves, or others. Things like peace, love, and unity go out the window quickly when lies are present. Why? Because that is the purpose of a lie: to steal, kill, and destroy. Steal, kill and destroy what? Our connection with the truth about God, ourselves, and others. Simple, isn’t it? When our soul gets so heavy and wounded with hurts, lies, and offenses, we begin to medicate ourselves with band-aids. Some ways are more harmful than others, but they can include: running away, putting walls up, partnering with fear, becoming angry, lying, turning to drugs, sex or porn, drinking, withdrawing, yelling, swearing, isolating ourselves, etc. While these serve to protect us (otherwise, people wouldn’t use them), the band-aids create a whole new set of issues since getting close to a protected heart can be challenging. You won’t find band-aids in the Bible, Jesus’ ministry, or heaven. They are inferior coping mechanisms that help us to manage the pain of an offense or wound.

So, what is the solution? Allow Jesus to heal that inner part of you that got hurt SO THAT you can be aligned with His truth and walk in wholeness.