A mom messaged me, saying that her daughter was believing lies and had shut down. She wanted my help with how to handle it. This is a great example of being led by the all-knowing Holy Spirit and not just checking off a religious formula. I first asked her WHAT the lie was. She replied that the daughter believes the parents are abusive and do not love her. While that is obviously a lie, it is the daughter’s truth. I then asked the mom to ask Jesus what He thought of the daughter’s words. The mom humbly came back to me and reported that Jesus showed her that she was using a tone and responding in a way that was hurting her daughter.
LET HIM SHOW YOU
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.
Someone once texted me something that was dark, awful, and marinated in fear. I told her, “Do not fight that one on your own, but actively turn it over to Jesus’ courtroom to be judged.” We are not to take on every evil of the world, but boy, when we see it, we have the right, honor, and privilege of handing it over to the One who will judge and deal with it according to His Word.
When you see/hear of something that is rooted in the wrong kingdom manifesting on earth and producing bad fruit, do NOT partner with judgment, slander, or fear, as that only strengthens it. Immediately hand it over.
“I hand _____ over to Jesus’ courtroom to be dealt with, and I release (the opposite spirit) into that situation in Jesus’ name.”
Teach your children how to do this as well. It takes the burden off of us, removes us from coming under it, and aligns us with the One who can effectively deal with it on our behalf.
Teaching children about God-designed authority – both under their parents and over the enemy.
How many of you will be with family for Christmas? How many will be giving gifts? Why not give the gift that will impact your children’s children and last into eternity?
Many people will be with loved ones for Christmas yet still harbor judgements, bitterness, and unforgiveness towards them. Most often than not, from legitimate hurts and pains done to them. But nonetheless, we wrap presents of material possessions that will fade away and fail to give the gift of the true meaning of Christmas.
There is a bit of irony that in honor of the Savior of the world, the One who came as a man, took our spanking and gave us every benefit of the Father and called us His own, we celebrate His gift by giving gifts that will eventually find their way to trash or local thrift store, but fail to cash in on the true Gift and give the ultimate gift of being released from accusations, judgments and unforgiveness.
I am inviting you to wrap up the greatest gift you could give your parents, sister, brother, in laws – forgiveness for being human, their shortcomings, lack of being able to give you His best. Forgive them for not knowing who they are so they could treat you according to who you are. Release them from the debt owed that they could never repay on their own. Cancel the word curses you have attached to their backs. Pull out the knives of judgement.
When you do this, it frees them up in the spiritual realm to be dealt with by God and come into greater alignment. They fell short because they didn’t have the greater revelation – few parents intentionally do things to harm and hurt their children. If the eyes of your heart have been opened, you can’t keep holding the blind in judgement for being blind. They couldn’t give you what you needed (and deserved), because they aren’t able to see. They didn’t because they didn’t know. They failed, because they didn’t understand.
Part of freedom is realizing God has redeemed you and from that place of gratitude we extend forgiveness for those who are still in the redemption process.
When I am processing big things like this, I like to make a ceremony of sorts out of it. Grab an empty box and sit by the Christmas tree. Begin to write out the things that you are holding onto against your mother and place them in the box. Do it for any family member that brings you unrest and inner chaos. Wrap up the box, like you would any other present, and place it under the tree as an act of surrender. The swaddled baby came to receive the gift of your heart; He desires to hold the aches, bruises and tenderness. Offer it to Him.
And then prophetically wrap up an empty box for your loved one as a symbol that you are giving them the gift of dealing with the accusations, judgements, unforgiveness and word curses. You are no longer going to feed your heart because Jesus now carries that part of your heart.
They may never know the gift – and all that it has cost you – of laying down what was your rightful inheritance as a child and coming humbly to the One who gave it all up so that He could adopt you as His own.
Dads, go HUG your kids and tell them they are safe.
While fear can be an emotion, more times than not, it is an actual demonic spirit and needs to be addressed. The enemy loves to take an event, even innocent ones, and whispers lies that feel true to the emotions based on circumstances. When we partner with the lie, we activate a demonic spirit of fear to influence us. It looks like this: Mom and Dad go on a much-needed date (normal) and leave the child with a sitter (normal). The child is uncertain about being left (normal), but in that uncertainty, the enemy whispers, “They are never coming back” (lie), and the child partners with that thought as their own, and now fear has a legal right to be there. While the parents return as promised, the lie remains because it opens something in the spiritual realm, not just in their physical minds. The next time date night rolls around, the child is tormented at the thought of being left alone. This is why kids are still afraid of certain things despite telling them the truth over and over. The battle isn’t just in their minds (lie) but is now a spiritual issue. This is why parenting is a verb, and we need to be active in helping our children with their spiritual lives. Lies are resolved through TRUTH. Fear is resolved through AUTHORITY.
Years ago, Hudson was playing with his Legos in his room, and one by one, his sisters joined in the fun. There was so much joy breaking out in his room that I stopped doing my work to join them. I laid on his bed while they all played together, and it was heaven. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Hudson began kicking everyone out of his room. I called him up on the bed and asked what was going on. He wasn’t sure but felt overwhelmed that he had had a sudden flip-of-the-switch in his emotions. I asked if he wanted Jesus to shine His flashlight in his heart to show him what was going on, and he did. The tears began to flow, and he said, “I miss my dad.” All of the fun with Legos with not just one but four other girls triggered that he missed his dad. We were able to walk through forgiving his dad for not being there and asked Jesus how He felt about him. The saddest part of the story is that in the past, I would have normally disciplined him for his outburst against his sisters because he WAS rude, mean, and disrespectful! But his outward outburst was NOT the real issue. His heart was hurting. Do we really want to shut down, spank, time out, and discipline our children when they are grieving their dad? Do they need to grow in maturity with how to handle the hurt? YES! That is called growing up. But we are missing the mark when we place obeying perfectly over connecting with their hearts!
I am asked often with this testimony if I went back and disciplined him for being so rude. NO, not at all. His flesh was immature in getting his hurt out, but once the real issue was resolved, there was no need for discipline. AS discipline isn’t punishment (an eye for an eye) but TO GET to the heart, which God so clearly did. I did ask him to go back and apologize to his sisters for being rude, and it was easy for him to do as he KNEW he was wrong and could do it with ease since his heart was fully seen and heard. Then as a family, we talked about what just happened. Everyone was filled with compassion and kindness for him, and connection was deepened. There is a time for discipline, of course, but the goal should always be to get their heart (otherwise, it is nothing more than legalism, which focuses on outward performance).
Anger, even rage, is a common ‘dirty little secret’ of many parents. Anger is actually an appropriate response for an orphan who has the weight of the world on their shoulders, has to protect themselves, and strive to meet their needs. The answer isn’t anger management; it is experiencing the Father’s love at that moment. He isn’t mad at your anger and wants you to know His love even in those messy places.
“Why are we whispering?” I asked her, sitting in my living room. “Because we aren’t allowed to talk about it,” said my new friend, who reached out to process her heart-wrenching pain. When a culture of honor becomes a culture of silence, it no longer operates as God’s kingdom. The truth sets us free, and sometimes we need to be heard, process, and get wise counsel as we walk out our journey. You DO have permission to talk about your experiences, but HOW you do it and with WHOM is of great importance. If you are sharing to get someone in trouble, you might want to check your motives. If you are talking to change, heal, or align something in you in response to them, godly counsel is not only wise; it is healthy. See Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 11:14, and Proverbs 28:26. I tell parents all the time that, typically, it is not the event itself that creates lasting trauma but how those around them respond to the event. A young boy loses his dog, and another loses his father. The one who lost his father goes on to live a successful, healthy life, but the one who loses the dog remains hurt and wounded. What’s the difference? The one who lost his dad was surrounded by a community that validated his pain and gave him grace and space to process the pain, causing the hurt to get out. The boy who lost his dog was told to “get over it,” pushing the hurt further. It is never about the size of the heart splinter but about how the child was or was not able to process it. This is why God puts children in families and churches. If you can’t talk about your journey, it makes for a much longer walk to freedom. We need each other. Intimacy happens when we present our true selves and allow others to encourage, uphold, and speak into our lives. If a culture of silence is something you have partnered with, it is time to break up with that lie. It’s okay to need to process your journey with others. If we are going to restore order from chaos, we must value truth highly. We do not value honor in itself. We value truth, and honor is the vehicle used to seek the truth. Truth is exalted before honor.
I used to have this cycle where events would tell me that I didn’t belong. I would work it out sometimes rather fast, but it took my time and energy. Cycles can be exhausting and wear you out. I began to see this as unfruitful and pressed in further with the Lord. While it was great I could work it out in my heart, I wasn’t so sure God wanted me to be on auto-repeat with the same situation.
As I asked the Lord, I heard the word ‘cattle prod.’ Growing up around Minnesota farms, I knew what a cattle prod was but felt an invitation from the Lord to study them further. WOW! A cattle prod’s purpose is never to kill or destroy the animal; it is to CONTROL them with the purpose of getting them to MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. I asked God to show me who gave the enemy the legal right to use this tool on me, and I saw my mom. My childhood was full of pain and heart splinters, causing me to move out for good when I was in the 8th grade. But the picture He showed me was when I still lived with my family. Surprised by the time frame, God showed me that my mom would often make comments about me not belonging, or she would say, “Maybe you need to live elsewhere.” This taught me, long before I was removed from the home for good, that I didn’t belong in the circle. So fast forward to adulthood when circumstances gave me the message I didn’t belong; it was like a cattle prod in my side. It would get my attention, and I would stop doing what I was doing and spend time unpacking the hurt and lies. I always found the truth and peace again, but once I realized the root of where this was coming from, I forgave my mom for teaching me I didn’t belong and declared that tool no longer effective. I saw Jesus come to a herd of cows (and had the sense I was one of them). When He scooped me up, I morphed into a little lamb snuggled in His arms. He carried me away from the dirt and manure and brought me to the grassy field. But when He set me down, I immediately tried to run back to the herd. Why in the world would I do that if He just reduced me? He said, “Because it is familiar. You believe you are a heifer, but you are My sheep. The cattle prod is used on those who do not know who they are (identity). It is My job to keep you in the pasture, but I do not use a cattle prod to control you; I use My staff to lead you.”
The irony of the cattle prod is that it always seemed to happen right before something big in my life, and it caused me to not only stop but move in the opposite direction. Hmmm.
HeartWork – Do you have an area of your life where you feel like you get cattle prodded out of the blue, and it takes you days or weeks to find your footing again? Ask Jesus to show you what He wants you to see. Maybe this isn’t so much about you but about the enemy using past experiences to shock you into old cycles. Ask Holy Spirit to bring healing to the area you keep getting poked in and for Him to break the power of the cattle prod. You are not a heifer. You are His sheep!