A child of mine has been making lots of messes lately, which has caused a break in connection with the rest of us. The other night another child was crying in their room out of pure exasperation with their sibling. I knew as a mom I had to be more aggressive spiritually in going after this, but I did not know what to do. Sometimes just opening my mouth and letting others in helps shift something, so I shared it with my team. We ended up putting on worship music to be in His presence. I began to cry out for help. God showed me two specific things I was to do for this child. The one made sense, but the other was switching the kids’ rooms around. My first thought was, “Are you kidding me? Said child makes a big mess and gets rewarded with the room upgrade? Another child, who has been hurt by them, has to give that room up?” My mind did not see the wisdom in this strategy AT ALL, but when you partner with God in your parenting, and He gives you a strategy for your child who is in a hard season, you OBEY fully and completely. The kids came home from school, and we spent the night rearranging all of their rooms. I kept telling my child, “God loves you and knows you. He is so unfair in that He is not giving you what you deserve but what you NEED.” Thank You, Father, that You judge by the scales of Your eyes and not ours.
GOD IS SO UNFAIR!
God’s yoke is light. That includes parenting. If that is not how you would describe your parenting, perhaps something needs to come in alignment to get under His yoke.
Our children have been walking through so much, and I want to share this in confidence that it will help someone else reach their own child.
While sitting at dinner, I noticed a mark on my child’s hand. It was unusual, and I asked about it. They immediately started telling me how no one had done it to them. I have a strong core value about siblings not using their strength to communicate, and they were trying to protect their siblings from getting in trouble, but something felt off. We were laughing on my bed the following day, and I noticed it again. I asked, and their response was almost pleading with me that it was nothing. I let it go, but about ten minutes later, I sensed God highlighting it again. I asked them to show me how it happened as their story didn’t line up. They acted out how the mark happened, and it was almost comical how impossible it would have been to create a mark like that. I knew something deeper was going on. I could discern two things: #1. They were covering up something, and #2. They were worried they would be in trouble. I told them I was not mad and that it wasn’t about getting in trouble but being free from whatever it was. I asked them to get their journal and process the story with Jesus (because they know they can tell Him anything and that He is their safe advocate). I was in my room praying that Holy Spirit would lead them and convict their heart (because we partner together to raise my children). They returned, holding back tears, and told me they made the mark themselves. Since cutting is a serious issue, I was most alarmed. They began to tell me that the other day they felt alone and wanted someone to SEE them (yes, kids can feel unseen when you are together 24/7 in a household of 7). This is a child in pain and not having the maturity yet to fully walk it out.
Children often make messes in their pain. When we only focus on the ‘mark’ or mess, we will miss the pain that is underneath. If we are not alert, we will push the pain further, causing them to want to self-protect, which only traps the pain. I knew they had just experienced adult-sized rejection and radical injustice and asked how they felt about it, and they burst into tears sobbing. The injustice done to them would cripple most adults, and their pain was valid. My heart bled for them, but it allowed me to help them process the pain and bring it to Jesus. They needed to know that Jesus saw their heart (not just their immature way of communicating). Here is the sad part of the story. They got what they wanted – for someone to see them, but with it came shame and embarrassment for what they did. It gave me a priceless opportunity to sit all of the kids down and talk about healthy ways to process our hearts without the price tag of shame. Things like porn, alcohol, shopping, swearing, lying, self-harming, etc., are just flags being waved, saying, “I am in pain and need help.” Our children are also learning how to deal with their pain as sons and daughters.
Intimidation produces shame in the receiver, questioning what is wrong with them. This wreaks havoc on their sound mind because they are battling illogical, unfounded, and absurd thoughts. God gave us a sound mind!
Guilt says what you did was wrong, and the enemy counterfeits by using the tool of shame that says who you are is wrong. We do want to feel the weight of conviction for our mistakes and choices so that it leads us to godly repentance, but we never want to partner with the enemy’s lies of shame over who we are. Shame is paralyzing and incredibly toxic to our systems. It is like drinking acid. God never designed our bodies to hold onto shame.
I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go, but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not require my energy or time. I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase. I finally met with my friend, a professional counselor, and asked her what the problem was that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom. She said, “Shame HAS to blame,” and began to introduce me to shame’s profound effects on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down, and robs us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words), it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all. Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.
When we create cultures of silence, it creates shame in people, and eventually, it will come up as BLAME. I think one of the most unhelpful things a leader can say when someone is processing pain is that they are slandering and gossiping when they are just trying to process their pain. Not everyone comes from healthy backgrounds where they know how to work through their heart splinters, but when someone is trying to heal, let’s not shoot them down with the law of religion.
I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider, and more passionately than you have been loved before. You will watch a video teaching, and I will provide activities and exercises based on the teachings for the rest of the days. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive, so they never have to find themselves again down the road.
You can register here: Moms & Dads – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
I was talking with a mom about others using the tools of control and disempowerment in parenting, and she burst into tears. She realized she was guilty of using them with one of her children and her heart ached, realizing how she had been negatively affecting her child. This is my WHOLE point in doing these posts on disempowerment. The issue rarely lies with the one being disempowered but the one doing it. Parents/leaders use these tools because something else is going on inside of them that makes them feel like they need to protect themselves. Nothing controls and pushes back someone further than disempowering them because it renders them powerless. It is a faulty coping mechanism for something greater going on. Here is the deal – God isn’t mad at the parent/leader who uses these tools because He understands WHY they do it. He sees their fear, anxiety, and insecurity that causes them to feel the need to self-protect. God doesn’t want them to stay that way, but He isn’t mad at them.
“Last night my husband startled me so badly that I became so enraged and punched him, which is unlike me because I’m not much of a physical person. I was so angry I wanted to cry. This morning God revealed to me how I felt an extreme lack of protection from my father. My dad always thought it was funny to scare the living daylights out of me. He wasn’t trying to torment me. He was playing, but for me, the way I am wired, it was torment. I had to forgive my dad for not protecting me and not making me feel safe and secure. Ahhhh!! Sweet relief!”
I will be honest with you and say that two of my children’s love languages are easy for me; I speak their language with ease and fluency. Yet two of them have unnatural languages, even a little annoying to me at times. I started learning more about love languages when I became a single mom, and I assure you the LAST, the very last thing this mama wanted to do was to be childlike and play a game to get that quality time in. Ugh! It was almost painful for me to speak their language of quality time, especially since I was already with them 24/7, non-stop. But my children mattered to me, and God has entrusted me to steward them well. I was learning to lay ME down to fill THEM up. I am a good representative of A SIDE of Jesus, but Jesus has many sides, and my children allow me to become more like Him and walk in greater love as I let their NEEDS grow me into being more like Jesus. John 15:13-14 (TPT) – “For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.”
WISE & EMPTY WISDOM (Excerpt from my book)
I was ticked. Okay, more like mad at hell that these wise men in front of me were clueless about suicide and the hopelessness that consumed me. Their only solution was to have me be babysat by one of my friends for the night and make her promise not to leave me out of her sight. Suicide is a lie. A demonic lie, and they had little to no awareness of how to help me get free. Instead, I was left alone to face the demonic spirit with a babysitter. Did they never consider that I would wake up with the lie the next morning? Would anyone ever understand what was swirling around my mind and heart? Ever??? Suicide is not an emotional issue; it is not solved in the natural. It is not about death; it is a self-hatred issue. A demonic lie has a legal right to speak to your mind because of unresolved emotional issues that have convinced you to turn on yourself. The enemy has a legal right to influence you and get you to do his dirty work in the first part of John 10:10. He wants you dead and is cashing in on your trauma, shame, and hopelessness that has caused you to turn against yourself. You cannot reason with this lie through the mind or emotions. Giving them a list of reasons why their life is worth living is like handing an anorexic a mirror to convince her that she is not fat. While the emotions and mind were a part of ushering in the demonic spirit, it is a spiritual issue and must be fought with spiritual tools. When the church fails to recognize this, it only pushes the despair that there truly is no hope for freedom. Instead of people being fully free, they learn to manage it. That is, until life circumstances create enough pressure to crumble the inferior operating system. If the second part of John 10:10 declares Jesus’ victory over death, then the church needs to be equipped and empowered to help set people free – fully free!
Every child of God should be asking this question right now. “Jesus, what season am I in?” If you do not know your season, you will work against the natural flow of God. You will be burned out, worst yet, taken out. This is a time to be awakened to YOUR season in this hour. For some, it will be silence; for others, it will be using their voice. Some will enter rest, while others will tap into the endurance He built in the previous season. Others will be in a season of healing, while some will be ministers. Some are to post; others are to shut down social media. Some will be on the front lines; others will be unseen.
Seasons build upon seasons. You can’t have a harvest time without a planting season. You cannot enjoy the fruit if you haven’t plowed. All seasons are vital. Your role in this season is important, but you must know the season YOU are in so that you can be the fullest version of yourself. “Jesus, what season am I in?”
Parents often share that, deep down, they are afraid if they say YES to more of God, He will require something of them that they may not want to do (like sell everything and live overseas). I want to challenge this fear-based belief and say that it is more of a reflection of one’s belief about what kind of Father He is. The reality is saying YES to the deeper things of God means you are going to have to enter a training ground of learning how to receive His goodness, kindness, and blessings as a Son/Daughter. And that, for many, is the harder work!!!!