FEAR KNOCKED

FEAR KNOCKED

My son got an invitation to go on a friend’s boat. I had peace and said yes. However, several hours into it, I realized it was the same lake a sweet friend’s husband passed away at. We also had a recent story in the news of a nine-year-old that drowned in the same location. Fear was knocking loudly, and I began to rehearse all these different scenarios and thoughts in my mind. Suddenly I realized nothing had happened, and yet I was reacting with my emotions as if it had. I identified it as the spirit of fear, told it where it could go, and slammed the door. Just because fear knocks does not mean I need to answer the door!

JESUS WAS THERE

My near-death experience didn’t include any bright lights. In fact, it was the opposite. I grew up going to church but didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. While I remember the vivid details like it was yesterday, there are no words in the English language to describe what hell is like. Words like fear sound like a picnic compared to reality. It was torment. It was without hope. Imagine weights on your feet and sinking to the depth of the pitch-black ocean floor slowly with the keen awareness that no one is around, and no one ever will be, yet you are so aware of your lack of hope. We don’t talk about hell much, but it is a very real place. When God says He sent His Son to save us, He wasn’t kidding. My experience fuels my passion every day to give parents tools to bridge their children, not to a religious belief, but a real relationship with a loving Father who cares passionately about them. Salvation matters. 

After I became a Christian, I wrestled deeply with my profound experience with hell. It bothered me that I could never erase that part of my history. My mentor asked me where Jesus was during that time, and this intense religious spirit rose up within me. I was deeply offended that she even suggested God was in my messiest, darkest, most sinful moment. He was too good, too pure, and too holy to stoop so low. I was taught that God is on one side, sin and mess are on the other, and the two don’t mix. She showed me Romans 5:8, which says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us *while* we were still sinners.” The Word broke that religious spirit off of me, and I was now willing to ask Jesus where He was in my darkest hour. I saw a picture of my hospital bed and all the life-saving tubes connected to my frail body. I saw Jesus sitting in a chair at the end of my bed with the palm of His hands over His eyes. I couldn’t believe it. HE WAS THERE!!! My mentor sensed He had more to show me, and when we asked, I saw Him slowly pull His hands down and saw His face soaked with tears. Tears flowed freely that day as I realized He was there in my darkest, messiest moment! While seeing Him there didn’t change an ounce of my reality, it changed the entire interpretation of the events. He spared my life even before I was ‘saved’ and cared deeply about my pain. You can’t have an encounter like that and not be marked for life. Friends, HE IS THERE! It is okay to ask Jesus where He was in your darkest hour.

BALANCE

Sometimes parenting with Holy Spirit is funny. I just praised my daughter for NOT sharing with her sibling (and meant it). Emma is my second twin, and her whole life, we have had to go after her using her voice, saying NO, and setting boundaries. She is my child who will freely give you the shirt off her back and socks, too! She is also the child who will have tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. Once, her twin sister asked if she could have one of her birthday presents that was still wrapped, and Emma said, “Sure!” It has been a long road of teaching her how to listen to her heart and respond accordingly. YES, I want my children to share, but not at the expense of becoming a doormat. YES, I want my children to obey, but not from a place of being double-minded. YES, I want my children to put others first, but not at the expense of losing her true self. So, one morning, when her sibling asked to borrow her phone for the day, she said, “No,” I pulled her aside and praised her. Where her twin has had to learn how to be more kind, thoughtful, and caring towards others, Emma has had to learn to be kinder to herself. 

“I AM BUILDING HER TESTIMONY”

God said, “I am building her testimony,” – My daughter wanted to try out for a sport that was important to her, but she called me asking if she could skip it and come home. Everything within my mama’s heart wanted to tell her no and make her do hard things (because I knew her heart wanted to do it). But I heard the Lord say, “Let her come home. I am building her testimony.” We went for a walk and talked about it. I began asking her questions about what had happened and what her heart was experiencing. We talked about risk and how there is a chance it may not end well. We talked about other things she attempted in life that did not end so well, which made her laugh. She realized she had the capacity to handle it if it didn’t turn out the way she hoped. I then asked her, “Is the fear of risk greater than the disappointment of not making the team because you were too afraid to try?” She began to see it as a risk but worth it. We created a plan to help empower her. While I could have ‘made’ her do it, her faith would not have been built. She will forever have a brick in her testimony wall of how God walked her through her fear of taking a risk.

EYES BACK ON HIM

I witnessed a healing miracle. Maybe you need one too. A girl was plagued with a fever that would not let up. As I gathered the kids to pray, we all sensed her joy would return, and I heard that it was from being super sensitive to what was happening in the world. I called the dad to share, and he said he just heard the Lord say she was “sick to her stomach” (emotionally). They dealt with her anxiety and focused her eyes back on Jesus, not the storm, and within MINUTES her fever broke. The next day a friend mentioned that her back was still hurting from mowing the lawn. I got a picture in my mind that she was carrying emotional weight around, so I asked her to ask, “Jesus, am I carrying something that You want to carry for me?” and AS SHE PRAYED, the pain reduced.

When we are not processing our emotions fully for whatever reason, it can affect our physical body. Disease is a breakdown of our physical bodies, but long before there is a disease, there is a lack of EASE (harmony). God made our mind, body, and spirit to be in perfect harmony, working together. When parts of our body are out of alignment, it will affect other areas. We speak healing and freedom to your whole mind, body, and spirit.

What about you? Have you noticed an increase in physical symptoms, aches, and pains? Ask Jesus if you need to release some emotional trauma or stress that your body is holding onto.

SPEAKING LIFE

I absolutely loved reading this comment from a mom taking our JOURNEY class. 

“After taking the online class, I am already seeing so much of the Kingdom being released in our house. Our mindsets have changed, and our language has changed. I was getting impatient about the kids getting their shoes on as we were trying to get out the door, and my youngest son (6 years) said to me, ‘Mom, are you speaking life right now?’ Be still my heart -THEY ARE GETTING IT! (And props to him for calling out ‘impatience’ and asking if I wanted to claim it. Now I have accountability too!)”

DO YOU KNOW THE GOOD NEWS?

Share this with your children and let them know it is okay to be brave and bold.

“My son Preston was at school today, and a girl his age (10) asked him if she could share with him the Gospel (good news of Jesus Christ). He responded, ‘I already know the Gospel, but yes, tell me…’ She told him how Jesus died on the cross for his sins… How cool is that?”

HE SEES ME

I love Monday mornings. I have the house to myself and crank out a ton of work! The Lord said to go to the prayer house and just sit with Him. It took me a moment to lay down my agenda, but here I am. Someone walked up to me and handed me a note containing a prophetic word so spot on, so big, so encouraging, and life-giving that all I can do is sit here in AWE. He sees me. The prophetic is a coffee date with Jesus. Take a risk today and ask Jesus what He wants to say to someone around you.

TREASURE HUNTING

I am sharing this testimony from one of my spiritual daughters:

“When the girls and I have some free time, we like to do what we call treasure hunting. We ask the Holy Spirit where to go to find someone that needs prayer. Today before our mission, I told the Lord I wanted to witness a real impact. For someone’s life to be completely changed (well, don’t be surprised when you get what you asked for.). We walked where we felt led at Walmart and ended up in an aisle face-on with my children’s father, who we had not seen in 9 years. Clear as day the Holy Spirit said that’s who you’re here to pray for. Umm, really, Jesus? You know our history, right? We said hello. Did some very minimal catching up and asked him and his now wife if we could pray for them, and they willingly received prayer. (For those of you that don’t know our story. Karina and I walked away from everything we owned when I was pregnant with Val to leave an abusive, toxic relationship and find safety). I truly believe this was a divine appointment. Never in my life have I felt the presence of God as strong as I did at this moment. His peace was definitely present. You know God has done a work in your heart when you can extend grace to somebody when they least deserve it. I am sharing this because I want you guys to witness that the power of God is real. If you knew me nine years ago, then you know this encounter would have been restraining order number four. My heart has truly been transformed, and to be honest, I’m still pretty shocked. What happened today was with strength I cannot take credit for. I would like my prayer warriors to agree with me in prayer for him and his wife to have shelter, find a successful treatment center, as well as some accountability to walk beside them. He told the girls he would be around again someday when he’s clean. I am proud of him for being honest and respectful.”

BOSSY BOY

A mom came to me desperate over her son being bossy to his siblings. She was tired of co-parenting with him and, after a year, had tried everything; spankings, timeouts, yelling, discipline, and reprimands, yet nothing seemed to break through his behavior. I asked her what happened a year ago, and she began to tell me the story of the night the police came and handcuffed the dad and took him away for doing something ‘bad.’ I can only imagine the atmosphere in the home that night with confusion over losing their dad and all the mother’s emotions. Even if the mom hid her visible feelings from her children, they still felt the atmosphere. I asked her if her son was being bossy, as in a negative character trait, or if he was trying to save his siblings from doing something terrible that gets them taken away too. He felt the weight of responsibility and feared that bad behavior equals being removed from the home. Sometimes our child’s ongoing negative, annoying, frustrating behavior is rooted in something else. In this case, the child was believing a lie that it was his job to keep his siblings in line so that they don’t get removed from the family, too. I think he is a hero and a brave brother. As parents, we need to discern how to parent what is really going on with their hearts and not just the outward behavior.

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.