FAITH OF A CHILD

FAITH OF A CHILD

I love this memory because it was an experience that shaped Ellie’s faith in God.

Hudson has been wanting to use his money to buy the family ice cream. We were having a great time, and in walks a party of 3, but one of the guys had a brace on his wrist/arm. Ellie says immediately, “I have to pray for him.” She made that comment three times while eating ice cream. He got up to the restroom, and the kids grabbed him on the way back. Little fearless Ellie asks if she can pray for him, and his lip starts to tremble. He squats down and listens so intently to their prayers. When done, she asks how he feels, and the tears really come as he says, “I feel so loved.” He takes off his brace, and sure enough, his pain is gone. He broke it months ago, and healing has been a long journey. Nothing like seeing a grown man with tattoos weeping over the wave of love. Whoever said the Kingdom was boring surely has never witnessed or experienced the POWER of a Living God!

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU DO

I shared a post about Ellie bombing a test and having to deal with the shame that was trying to come on her. She was able to identify it and not come under it, but it took her a bit to process. A week later, she put a note on my bed about how smart she was, and it struck me funny. While yes, I celebrate the amazing grades, I wanted to make sure she was staying in alignment with the truth. She came to me puzzled by my note and said, “Yes, I am a good student,” to which I said, “No, that is not who you are.” She was confused. I told her, “Your worth and value are no more in your great grades than when you bombed your test. Either way, you are good.”

We have got to help our children separate their identity from their successes, or else we are doing nothing more than praising them for being performance-driven.

RESISTANCE

We had a Let the Children Fly team meeting and I could sense many people were dealing with spiritual resistance (the refusal to accept or comply with something, the attempt to prevent something by action or argument). As I was sharing my experience, I saw this picture of workout resistance bands wrapped around one’s legs. They can still walk, but every step requires more effort because resistance is set up to oppose their steps. I got the idea to grab rubber bands and put them between our fingers to feel the resistance. I put on some worship music, and we just spent time aligning our hearts with His.

During worship, God reminded me of a story where a man came up against great resistance, but God put up the block for his training and development. When the challenging season was over, he knew his anointing had doubled. I began to process that some resistance is good and from the Father’s hand to develop us more like Jesus. But then I saw this picture of the enemy using resistance and disguising it as being from Him. And that is when God showed me the strategy. Many people are experiencing resistance and simply accepting it, going low, and submitting to the Father when in reality, it needs to be dealt with in the spiritual realm. The more they partnered with the resistance saying, “Well, it is just for my development,” or “It comes with the territory of breakthrough,” they were actually partnering with the enemy who was bringing the wrong kind of resistance against them, their minds, calling, assignments and relationships. What’s the difference? Your level of peace! God’s training, character development, increasing our capacity, and seasons of refinement are not always pleasant, but they come with a layer of peace. Only God can discipline you in a way that still somehow feels loving and protective. If the resistance you are experiencing makes you feel uneasy, unsettled, full of lack, discouragement, or hopelessness, then perhaps it is not more patience that you need but a revelation of your authority to resist the resistance and watch it flee. I gave each team member scissors, and we stretched the rubber bands between our fingers to feel the resistance and then cut it. The bands went flying everywhere, and joy broke out. We all felt lighter and restored to hope and confidence that He will complete the work in us and fulfill the promises over us in His way and in His timing.

NOT ALONE

When I first began life as a single mom, I would wake in the middle of the night, totally paralyzed by anxiety. The best way to describe how I felt is to recall the scene from the movie Titanic when they were in the bottom cabin, and water began filling the room. They only had a tiny pocket of air left and were gasping for that last bit of air before they were fully submerged. That is how I felt, except I had four kids holding onto me, and none of them could swim. It was horrifying to consider which one I had to let go of because I couldn’t carry them all. Talk about horrible! One day, I couldn’t take the stress of being stressed any longer and faced my fear head-on. I realized that the verse in Jeremiah about His plans for a future and hope was my life verse (Jeremiah 29:11), but it also applied to the kids. At that moment, I realized I got five doses of that promise because my kids were minors and under my watch. I finally surrendered all of the panic, worry, and anxiety. I declared, “Father, if it is Your best will and plan for us to be homeless, then we will be the cutest homeless family standing on the corner with our signs.” I was quite serious at the time, and all I can say is that you would not believe the financial testimonies God has produced through our family. They are nothing short of miracles. Supernatural living was birthed through striving to rest in His goodness.

A TOUCH FROM HIM

One of the things I love about traveling and speaking is the ministry time. One touch of God can change a life in a moment. I often spend a great deal of time with God before asking how I can partner with what He is already doing in a particular community, as I never want to come in and just do my thing. At one place over the summer, He said to do ministry time totally different than I was used to (love that!). The Presence was so sweet and tangible. As a minister, you want people to encounter and receive all they can, but there was something that wouldn’t let me move forward. I had to process what He was doing and how I could partner with it while standing on stage in silence. He said, “I don’t want to come in as Fire tonight. I want to come in as a Gentleman. There are people in the room who need to know I am safe.” People encountered a safe Father, and it was breathtaking. It was the simplest yet most profound ministry time I have ever led.

I AM HEALED

Great testimony from a mom in class: “I want so badly to see my children partner with God to be a channel of His love. My eyes are opened to how powerful they can be in the hands of God. I shared with my kids how powerful they are in bringing healing in the name of Jesus. We were planning to go on a healing hunt one morning, but we were running late for church, so we ended up not going for a walk. At night, when I was preparing dinner, I grabbed something really heavy with one hand and hurt it really bad. It was so bad that I couldn’t lift anything with that hand, not even to cut an apple. Before we had dinner, the kids all laid hands on me and prayed, ‘Pain be gone in Jesus’ name. Hand be healed in Jesus’ name!!’ It was that simple yet powerful. My hand was 100 % healed, with no pain at all!!!! I was amazed at how intentional God is in showing our kids that the Kingdom of God is so easy if we just do what He teaches us. God, in His goodness, allowed my kids to experience the power of healing through their own prayer to encourage their little hearts that God wants to use them and that they are powerful in the hands of an almighty Papa God!”

FEELING SCARED

A friend messaged me this: “Last night, our son (age 6), who can feel things in the atmosphere, said he felt scared and didn’t know why. His father explained that other people are afraid of something he doesn’t need to be afraid of. This would normally result in many discussions. But last night, he said, ‘Oh, okay. Can I talk to Jesus about it?’ To which the answer was, ‘Of course, bud!’ He got quiet, the room shifted, and he fell asleep! Yay, Jesus!”

IF A SIX-YEAR-OLD IS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TALK TO JESUS ABOUT FEELING SCARED, WHAT’S OUR EXCUSE? There is a KEY in this testimony. He felt it, talked to Jesus about it, and rested. It’s okay to feel, but we must bring it to Jesus for the rest to come.

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.

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!”

I AM A TEACHER

I homeschooled the kid’s elementary years, so I was used to being their ‘school teacher’ in the classroom setting, but it was years into homeschooling when I realized that one of my primary roles as a mother was to be a teacher. As they were getting older, the tones and attitudes in their speech started to really wear on me. It was not what they were saying but how they were saying it. As I was praying about it, Proverbs 16:24 came to mind, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” I suddenly got this idea to cash in on the science lesson I had just taught on senses. I told them to meet me in the kitchen and blindfolded them. I asked them to stick out their tongue and I put a small dab of horseradish on it. They yelped and moaned. We tried it again, but this time I put honey on their tongue. Yum. That was much better. I shared the verse with them and talked about how sometimes their words sounded like horseradish, but that God wants us to use words and tones that are like honey. We role-played what that sounded like when someone took their toy, when they wanted something, or were asked to do something. I pretended to be them and modeled what kind and sweet tones looked like, and then I molded what horseradish sounded like. They thought it was funny, and we all laughed.

Here is what I want you to see. I was good at teaching science and math, but when it came to teaching principles of the heart to train and equip them, I felt shy and ill-equipped. I was so tired of their tones and needed to do something, but honestly, after the teaching, I remember feeling like it was flat, not deep enough, and I doubted they would retain any of it. I felt awkward and so unsure of myself that it was making a difference. My delivery felt skinny and weak. As the days went on, I would come to them, get down on their level and say, “Remember when I put that stuff on your tongue? How do you think you just sounded?” They had to stop and think and redirect their choice of speech. I began to get the revelation that they were not mini adults and did not need the 12-week course or 2-hour lecture on a subject. They understood me fully, and I had their hearts because I was teaching them through connection and releasing joy through the science experiment. They got it, and I grew in understanding that if I just show up and teach them, they will respond. To this day, with tweens and teenagers, all I have to say is, “That doesn’t sound like honey to me,” and they know immediately their tone was off.

Like it or not, if you are a parent, you ARE a teacher. It might not be of other children or in the classroom, but you are, by God’s design, a teacher of your own children. The more you embrace this part of parenting, the easier life will be for both you and your child. I encourage you to say this out loud a couple of times until it really sinks deep. “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” “I AM a teacher. I proactively teach my child in times of peace how to succeed in life.” Have you received the revelation that to be a parent means to be a TEACHER?

PRODIGALS REVIVED

I see prodigals coming home. I see boys becoming sons. I see anger leaving. I see women becoming daughters. I see those in isolation being embraced. I see the Father with a tear in His eye over His babies. I see JOY. I see people staying up all night long having encounters with Him… again. I see homecoming parties in heaven. I see love. I see FAMILY! I see people being REVIVED.