God doesn’t want to fix you. He understands why you grab ahold of control to feel safe. He wants to encounter you in that place so that you no longer have a need to control.
My son was invited to play airsoft guns with a friend’s husband. He was super excited and talked about it non-stop. Yet the morning of, he was really unkind to his sisters, wasn’t listening, or following through on things I had asked of him. It was a continued battle all morning. Finally, I told him he could not go. The moment I shut it down I heard God say, “Removing his heart’s desire is not the key to his heart.” I instantly took back my words and have pondered this a great deal since. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance, not withholding, punishing, or communicating we have to be ‘good enough’ to have our desires met. The key to the testimony was discovering what was really going on and not just seeing his bad behavior. While my son’s choices that morning could have been from some form of rebellion in his heart, I believe it stemmed from his profound excitement to bond with an adult male over the activity that he loves the most. He lives with 3 girls and a mom 24/7 and has a natural longing/desire in his heart for male connection. He talked about it non-stop all week long. The morning of he was growing impatient for the big moment to arrive. He was like a child the night before Christmas. He is still a child and lacked the maturity to steward his impatience well. I am all for discipline, correction, and training, and yet there are times we care so much about righting their wrong and fail to see the bigger picture of their heart. The Kingdom of God does not ‘punish’ for age-appropriate immaturity. When I first said he couldn’t go his entire body sunk and it pierced his heart. If my goal was ‘punishment’ I did it. But the moment I said, “God just told me that I was wrong to take away your deep desire to go,” he broke down in tears. We talked about his excitement and impatience and how he behaved that morning. He was fully repentant and said he was sorry to his sisters and me.
Here is the glorious part – then I got to connect the dots for him that Father God sees his heart and wants to fulfill those desires. Do I REALLY want to shut my son down for not being able to control his utter excitement over getting this deepest desire fulfilled? That is where partnering with my son’s Creator is so key – we don’t always know what is going on in their hearts, but He does. There is a time to discipline, a time to say ‘no’ and there is a time to look deeper at the bigger picture!
Years ago, God told me to go back to a situation that was familiar to my childhood. I went, and the entire week felt fruitless. I couldn’t come up with a single thing that created movement or fruit, and it bothered me. I sat on the dock watching the sunrise on our last morning with tears in my eyes that somewhere, maybe I missed the assignment and was truly grieved. The entire trip seemed so pointless. Until I heard God say this, “Lisa, I brought you back to the same situation you were in as a child, not because anything has changed, but to show you how far I have changed you.” I wept tears of utter gratefulness for the incredible movement deep inside of me over the years. Sometimes God allows us back in previous situations or seasons simply to give us a view of the good work He had done in us. Thank You, Jesus, that You are faithful to finish and complete the good work in our lives. Take a moment today and ponder your younger self; a year ago, five years, and twenty years ago. Allow Him to show you just how far He has carried you.
I hear this ALL the time – a person falls radically in love with Jesus and has excellent ‘quiet times.’ They get up early and spend tons of undivided time with Him, and they have a close relationship. The kids come, and soon those quiet moments together give way to sleepless nights and the demands of their new addition. As time passes, the relationship suffers, and they begin to feel exhausted, dry, and burned out. They begin to feel guilty for not investing hours into their relationship with God, which only makes them feel worse. The time we spend with our children in this season is 24/7, but there is a Biblical command to let them leave and cleave to their future mates, meaning our 24/7 relationship will transition into a new way of connecting and relating, yet the love and relationship are still there!
Could it be God intended all along for our time with Him to be transitioned, as well, when the baby comes? Do we not think that God KNEW that our relationship with Him would change when He gave us the gift of our child? Instead of feeling guilty that your former way of relating to Jesus isn’t working, ask Him to show you what the NEW looks like.
“Jesus, I miss our times together. I miss knowing You and feeling Your presence. I miss our deep connection. Will You please show me what our relationship and time together look like in this season?”
Be blessed with the fact that your relationship is growing, changing, and being transformed into something NEW!
What is your number one parenting question right now? Ask Jesus and learn how to partner with Him in parenting your child – together! He alone knows what they need more than 100 earthly wise men. So give it a try, and then spend the next 18 years strengthening your partnership with their Creator.
When I was younger, my little sister hurt her face falling off of a swing and was rushed to the ER for stitches. My mom left me behind, blaming me for it, even though I had nothing to do with it. The shame was paralyzing. When I was working through the memory, Jesus left the room (if you know anything about inner healing, you know that you want Jesus to enter the room, not leave it). We asked Jesus where He went, and I saw Him marching down to the ER. He said these powerful words to me, “I was your advocate with your mom and defended you, but she didn’t listen to me.” Tears of validation rolled down my cheeks as I realized HE saw the truth of what happened, and that Holy Spirit WAS ministering to my mom as they waited in the ER. Sadly, she wasn’t able to humble herself to His leading. I firmly believe had she been able to do so, she would have come back and made it right with me and attempted to restore our connection. Instead, it became a watershed memory that introduced me to the crippling lie that something was wrong with me.
When we mess up as parents, blow it, misunderstand our children, or get triggered, it is so important we let Holy Spirit minister truth to us so that we can clean up any messes made and not be used as instruments to wound our own children. Holy Spirit, I give You full permission to be my child’s advocate!
Can anyone relate to this mom’s experience?
“I am so beyond grateful for your friendship and teaching! Because of what you have shared/taught, I was able to reach my baby girl’s heart through a temper tantrum, and in doing so, God was able to reach mine through my internal tantrum.”
I was able to score cheap tickets to Florida and decided I would take the kids for some R&R and splashing in the ocean before school started the following week. The following morning I woke at 3 am pondering our trip. While it ‘looked’ fun, I had no joy. I got out of bed and began to process why going to Florida was not bringing any joy whatsoever. The joy turned into NO PEACE. It wasn’t fear, but simply no peace or joy on it. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy; I have used these as my pillars to lead me. I canceled the trip. And then I see this… A double hurricane isn’t my idea of joy either, God. Thanks for leading me so well.
Shhhhhhh! LISTEN! HE KNOWS HOW TO LEAD HIS SHEEP.
God spoke to me years ago and said, “The same spirit you are encountering in the church is the same spirit that was in operation in your childhood. The reason it is so painful is that you endured it in childhood but did not overcome it.” It was so true. When my mom passed away, I no longer encountered that spirit with her and never learned how to defeat it. When I was faced with it again in the church, God was teaching me not to endure it, as I did as a little girl, but to rise up and defeat it. While I have no authority over someone else’s free will, I had all of the authority given to me by Jesus to demolish that spirit from operation in my life and coming under it. After God spoke this to me, this is how I responded: I had to first discern that it was a spirit and not me. Then I had to discern what was the spirit in operation. I asked Jesus to give me the strategy to defeat and overcome that spirit. I am intentional about releasing the opposite spirit. Where I wanted God to save me from it, He wanted to teach me my authority in Him.
Rest is not being inactive. Rest is the position of our heart after we have released something over to God and left it in His care. We cease taking matters into our own hands and operating in self-sufficiency. We hand over the transaction to Him, and at that moment, we are in restful confidence He can act on our behalf. We rest in the assurance that He is able, capable, mighty, willing, powerful, and active in our lives. Simply put, spiritual orphans can NOT find rest because the world’s weight is on them to self-provide, self-protect, self-defend, and self-secure. But as Sons and Daughters, we have a Father who is alive and well and wants to help us. Have you ever sat on an aircraft and watched people attempt to put their luggage in the overhead compartment? They struggle to lift the weight of their carry-on above their head while juggling their coffee, trying hard not to hit the person in front of them. Along comes a flight attendant in full confidence in their ability to help lighten the load and get them situated. Have you ever watched a child struggle to tie their shoes or fasten their pant button? They get frustrated easily with their lack of ability. A loving parent comes alongside them and, with ease, eagerly helps them. The Father is like the flight attendant wanting to carry your load. The Father is like a loving parent wanting to help in your time of need. Rest is not simply doing nothing. Rest is releasing your burdens for Him to do something.
HeartWork – “Jesus, I surrender and hand to You my burden of _____.”
God wants you to walk in wholeness because you will naturally parent out of that place of hurt or freedom.