GOD REDEEMS

GOD REDEEMS

God woke me early and revealed something deep within my heart. By the time I was done, I was in complete awe over the revelations and His love that redeems every part of my story. Hours later, a couple came to me for parent coaching. When I asked what they hoped to get out of our time together, the dad began to explain the EXACT same situation with his daughter that God had spoken to me about hours earlier.

I want you to see this – God is sufficient to redeem all things. It is who He is, but how GLORIOUS is it that we get to partner with Him in our parenting so that we can help our children deal with owies IN childhood, so that hurts don’t become adult-sized woundedness, lies don’t become adult-sized strongholds, and offenses don’t become adult-sized bitterness. KUDOS to this dad for doing the hard things so that his daughter doesn’t need to reap the fruit of it for years.

HURT IN THE CHURCH

Have you been hurt in the church? Of course, you have. Why? Because we are FAMILY, and family is made up of human beings on a journey to becoming more like Him. Hurts, mistakes, and choices make messes, sometimes big ones. The point is not that you got hurt. The issue is: #1. Understanding the PURPOSE of the hurt.  #2. What do you DO with the hurt? Why are we talking about this? Because nothing affects the next generation more than having parents who endured hurt in the church and are nursing wounds, confusion and pain and who have AMPUTATED themselves from the Body. We are talking about this because that is what HEALTHY families do. They talk, they get real, and they address what is attacking the family SO THAT they can deal with it, mature, and overcome it. Honor has been interpreted as silence, which is the enemy’s tool to keep pain trapped. You don’t need to take your hurts to social media, but if you want to heal, you have to be honest with yourself and God about your pain. 

I created this video teaching to address this issue. As you walk through this, I realize there will be things to process, so I have taken the time to cut this hour-long teaching into bite-sized segments, which can be found on our YouTube channel. You can simply listen to it if you do not have time to watch this. Either way, honor your own heart by giving it a voice. 

Click here to find the segments: Lisa Max – YouTube

DO YOU TRUST HIM EVEN IF…?

Excerpt from my book:

I was sandwiched between my pursuit of trying to help the kids with their deep owies and yet still trying to keep the bridge from burning fully with their father. I was struggling with letting them go to his house for the weekend, knowing it would only reap more trauma. Part of the problem was that we did not fully yet know what kind of trauma was happening, just that the kids were having strong reactions and saying things that were pointing to some very upsetting possibilities. My friend asked me, “Do you trust God even if something happens?” My immediate answer was, “NO! No, I do not.” I mean, I loved Him, and He was my Savior, but trust Him with my children? Oh my. That stretched a level of faith in me I had not yet tapped into. Her reply was both upsetting and convicting. She said, “That is the problem, Lisa. Unless and until you resolve that God is big enough, even if things happen to your children that bring pain, you will spend the next 18 years wearing yourself out trying to play God in their life. Resolve this issue first and then make a decision in their best interest.” This was perhaps one of the most painful yet defining moments in my parenting and one I have to ask myself repeatedly. Do I trust Him even if _____?

FREEDOM FIGHTER

My favorite day of the week was going to the rescue mission and mentoring the moms. I drove away with tears streaming down my face out of pure compassion and love for them. When you see someone – really see THEM – not their choices, messes, or failures – you can’t help but love them. They visibly look different every week I show up. They are becoming Daughters and fighting hard with the tools of heaven for their families. I got permission to take them to see the movie Harriet Tubman with me one week. We all have a FREEDOM FIGHTER inside of us, and these moms are giving it everything they got. There is a calling on their lives to help others find the freedom they are experiencing. I am so proud of each of them.

SELF-CONTROL AT THE LIBRARY

This is how I taught my four toddlers how to grow in self-control during story time at the library. I figured it was an excellent place to train them because no one would notice either way. I sat them down at home and talked about the librarian. I asked Lauren to stand up and share the story of her birthday party. As she was talking, I began to interrupt, wave my hands, hang on her, and be super silly. Then I asked Emma to stand up and share what she had for lunch, and I did the same thing. Yes, we were all laughing hard, but we talked about how awkward it is to be trying to share and have people be disrespectful and rude. I role-played being the librarian reading a book. I taught them how to fold their hands and zip their lips. We talked about how we can be crazy loud monkeys at the park, but a library is a place where we use self-control and show respect. I was armed with training and ready to test it out. Before getting out of the van, I reminded them of the rules and what I expected. I praised them ahead of time, letting them know I believed in them. We entered, and chaos broke out as expected. A couple of times, they began to get up, and I would fold my own hands to model for them what I expected. If they were talking, I would motion to zip my lips, point to my ears, and then intently listen to the librarian. If they attempted to get up, I would give a firm no-no motion with my head. If one ran away, I would go after her and pick her up and set her back down. I would whisper that we are listening to the story. It took us three weeks before my children fully understood but let me tell you, the JOY they brought to the room was priceless. I noticed other moms trying to get their children to start listening, too. They got to enjoy the story because they were taught how to pay attention and show respect. I also had them go up to the librarian at the end of each story time and thank her for reading to them. The first time she had a tear in her eye and said, “I dread story time each week. It is the worst part of my job. Thank you for noticing my effort.” I don’t know about you, but as a mom, that isn’t okay with me. By the time school started, they were way ahead of the game because we had already gone after knowing when to be still and quiet and how to listen when adults are teaching/reading. It is training like this at an early age that sets them up for success down the road.

YOU ARE ENOUGH

When you can’t receive God’s truth about you and partner with the lie, “I am not enough,” you will think that you aren’t enough and then act like you aren’t enough. When you act less than enough, your children get the fruit of a parent who isn’t enough – two generations in one with a single lie. Rise, dear one, and reject whatever feels, sounds, and looks true and walk in what IS true. You ARE enough, not on your own, but because He lives inside you, and you are His. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who taught me that I am not enough?” Forgive that person for teaching you a lie about your worth. Write out the words, “I am not enough,” and then rip it up, shred it, burn it, flush it, stomp on it, crumble it, toss it. Whatever you need to do to prophetically tell that lie, NO MORE! Then ask, “Jesus, will You please teach me about my worth and value that was inherited when I decided to follow You?”

DAUGHTER GOOGLES

I ministered to a 20-year-old mom who said with tears streaming down her face, “Lisa, you gave me Daughter goggles. Suddenly all I can see now is the orphan spirit in operation, which makes me so hungry to act like a Daughter.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I like the sound of that. And then we prayed for the gift of discerning identity to be activated in her life. She is a force to be reckoned with and will be used mightily in the Kingdom to give others Daughter goggles.

COURTS OF HEAVEN TESTIMONY (SIBLING CONFLICT)

Like most families, we have our share of sibling issues, but something about it has always sat funny with me. It was like I could feel something working against them but could never put my finger on it. Their tones and attitudes toward each other don’t reflect the gift that they have been given. I called a family meeting and had them close their eyes. I told them we were not asking Jesus this time, nor did I want the right answer. I wanted an answer that reflected their heart. I asked them to give me thumbs up or thumbs down if they would feel something in their heart if they walked into a room and saw me in it. Everyone gave thumbs up. I asked them how their heart would feel if they saw their sister, a few thumbs halfway and one thumb down. I asked about each person, and their answers broke my heart. I was thankful for their honesty, but it pierced my heart deeply. I had them close their eyes again and asked them to give me thumbs up or down if, when they walked into a room with their peers, they felt awkward and like they didn’t belong. Each of them sheepishly put their thumb halfway or all the way down, almost surprised they were exposed to this truth of their heart. I would say all my kids are popular in that they are well-known and liked by adults and peers, yet their sense of belonging was under attack because of how they were functioning as a family. Children get their sense of belonging from siblings, not Mom and Dad. If we tolerate negative sibling connections and bullies in the living room, we are setting them up to feel isolated even amongst a crowd. I brought out the whiteboard and began to draw out our family line and how each generation has been influenced and affected by rejection. To the best of my knowledge, it started with my illegitimate great, great, great aunt who was fed rejection daily by those who called themselves family. After that, each generation hosted profound rejection between mother and child with favoritism towards one another.

I mapped out that my children will get married and have kids roughly in 2030. Their children will have children in approximately 2060, and their grandchildren will be around in 2090. Just like our ancestors of 100 years ago have affected their generational bloodline, so will they until the year 3000 – what a sobering thought. Our choices today affect future generations. We have been given a gift of life, family, and knowing Christ’s redemptive work and are called to steward it well in our lifetime. It was time to break it once and for all! We began to work as a family on our court case regarding the lack of sibling love. We argued that it violated God’s command to love each other and did not glorify His name to have such disunity. We searched for verses that backed up our case and took time to stand before Jesus, asking for forgiveness for the way we have partnered with the generation curse and allowed it to bear bad fruit. I had the children move to the same side of the room as if it were a real courtroom and had them repeat after me the court case before the Judge who judges all things. It was super powerful for all of us. One of the children heard the Judge’s gavel hit the bench, and with that, we rested our case. We put on worship music and sat in His presence together as a family. I encountered a flood of emotions as I felt the release of the conflict and was filled with His redeeming grace. Instantly I noticed a difference in the way they treated each other.

COMMUNION

Look at this precious testimony from a mom embracing taking communion together as a family.

“We had out-of-town company get to our house last night, and we didn’t do our normal evening family devotions and communion. My kids went to bed, and I was up talking with company when, an hour later, my 7-year-old daughter came out of her room, didn’t say a word but went to pour herself juice and break bread for Communion. She sat at the table like this and prayed while she partook. Then she came and hugged me and simply said, ‘I felt like I needed to do this.’ And went to bed. My mama’s heart burst.”

PARENT HEART WORK

Get out your journal and recall the last time you had an above-average reaction to something your child did. Ask Jesus some questions and allow Him to minister to your heart. Do not be introspective; instead, ask and listen to what He has to share. 

Ask, “Jesus, was this their issue or mine?”. If it was your issue, ask, “Jesus, what was my heart feeling at the time? What made my heart so uncomfortable at that moment? When was the first time I felt that emotion? What did my heart need?” 

Use these questions the next time your child triggers you and allow those uncomfortable moments to be the times you are molded to be more like Jesus. We don’t want our wounds or lack to parent our children. We want to parent from a place of wholeness and freedom. Understanding this is important because we often react to our children who aren’t doing anything wrong. Yet our reaction, out of a wounded or hurt place, teaches them that it is not okay to be who God made them to be. Allow Him to parent you through your child! I am proud of you for doing the hard things so that your child doesn’t reap the fruit of our wounds.

SHE IS DIFFERENT

I took my twins on a day trip to go shopping. I had an allotted amount in my mind that I wanted to lavish on them. I envisioned spending the whole time focusing on them and making them feel seen and special. The first two stores were on my list, and I zoomed in and out at record speed, knowing we had a lot of ground to cover. We went to Forever 21, and two hours later, Emma was ready for the dressing room. There was no place to sit, so I camped out on the dirty floor as the girls giggled, tried on their clothes, and came out to show me. An hour later, Emma is still putting on her fashion show, and I am growing agitated. I rebuked my inner attitude and told it to be joyful (it didn’t work, but I tried). I have never been so excited to leave a store. We entered the next one, and the same thing happened. The first 30 minutes were fun exploring the store, but an hour later, Lauren and I sat there with her pile of selected items waiting for Emma to come out with outfit #88. I released my frustration by commenting, “Are you almost done?” with a tone that communicated I wasn’t enjoying this as much as she was. I felt like I was going to lose it and heard the Lord say, “Go ahead, but you will have to clean up your mess.” As I sat there processing the mess I was about to make (and weighing if it was worth it), I suddenly saw clearly that this wasn’t a case of Emma doing something wrong but about us having utterly different shopping styles. God showed me a picture of releasing my frustration in a way that communicated to my daughter that there was something wrong with her and that she needed to conform to make me comfortable. I realized this is how young girls shut down and turn from their true selves. They are raised to keep mama happy and deny their true selves to keep connection and peace. This is never a child’s job description, and we need to be super careful we are managing our hearts so that we don’t unintentionally shut down our true selves. Suddenly, I noticed that Emma came out of the room with her original clothes on but still had a pile to try on. Her entire demeanor was different, and the joy was gone from her eyes. I asked her why and she said, “It’s okay. I realize I took too long,” but her real heart was sad and disappointed. I wrestled with managing my own frustrations and caring for her heart. We sat on the bench outside the store, and I began to tell her what God had shown me. It was uber important for her to see that her style of shopping stretches me to the core, but that didn’t mean her way was wrong. She was NOT in sin or disobedience, nor was anything wrong with her. She would have giggled the entire time if she had been with peers. However, I explained to her that shopping with me meant she might need to tone it down a bit, not because it was wrong, but to honor those around her. I checked in with her a couple of times to ensure she wasn’t partnering with lies or feeling like something was wrong with her just because I am wired differently from her. I gave her examples of times I have stretched others and had to learn when to tone it down to honor them while still being true to how I was created. It is a dance of learning how to manage our hearts and parenting our child’s hearts.