“You can’t. You are a single mom.” I will honor those involved by not sharing details, but I have been told this on more than one occasion over the years. The first time was when God called me to go on a mission trip. I had no desire to go, yet He began to speak to me so clearly that I gave Him my ‘yes,’ and within a week, all the funds came in. I was told, “There is no way God would call a single mom to go.” Those words stung! I beg to differ. Jesus always went after the weak, the sick, the broken, the least of these, and those overlooked. It isn’t the ‘less than’ part that qualifies a person. It is what Jesus does IN the weakness. Our weakness simply becomes the ground in which we are aware of our need for Him. No one needs to convince a solo parent (or their children) that God’s best is a family with both a mother and father, but it is incorrect to disqualify someone based on weakness alone. Judge them based on what God does through the weakness. Man may need a perfectly polished resume to qualify you, but God does not.
LOOKING THROUGH GOD’S EYES
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2).
If this speaks to your current situation, read on. Why in the world would you count it joy when your world is crashing down around you? If there is something IN you, such as an unresolved hurt, lie, or offense present, trials will touch on those places already inside of you, making the problem feel bigger than it really is. God allows the trial to purify those places that He wants to bring greater healing and freedom to. This is an invitation for us to encounter a loving Father in that place and get the healing our heart desires. If the issue is truly someone else’s that is affecting you greatly, the trial allows us to grow up and mature into better mothers and fathers to those around us. To become more like Jesus in our responses, beliefs, and tools of heaven. Count it pure joy, brothers and sisters, when your world feels like it is crashing down because God wants to meet you there and walk with you through the trial, perfecting you in every way.
If you look at my childhood and you look at my anointing, it would make sense that there would be an intense training ground in the process. I have yet to see a SINGLE trial over the past 25 years of walking with Him not turn into a touchpoint where He met me in that broken, hurting, or confused place and did not do a good work. Let God walk with you through it to the other side, and regardless of the circumstances, you will never be the same.
Teen boys are awesome and so much fun. I love that Hudson is growing into a man of bold character. HOWEVER, he is still a minor in my home. Doing this dance of ‘almost-a-man-but-still-a-child’ and has, at times, lacked some humility. It has been a bit of a challenge to teach him how to be humble without stepping on his new muscle of manhood. Recently I was at my wit’s end with his constant gray-haired wisdom, hurting our connection. I asked Jesus for a creative way to get to his heart without squelching it and waited for the revelation. I was out driving with the girls when the revelation came (oh, parenting with Jesus is so much fun). I texted him and told him to come out when the girls returned. He jumped in the driver’s seat, expecting to talk, but I told him to start driving. He was okay on the side roads, and I instructed him to go ahead and turn left (onto an incredibly busy intersection with blind corners), make his way down by the grocery store, and go south on the highway. He began to tell me he wasn’t ready (which he wasn’t), and I assured him it would be okay if he listened to my voice. He lamented, and I encouraged him. Finally, he began to beg me not to make him do it because he knew, in his own estimate, he wasn’t ready for the highway. I looked him square in the eyes and said, “That, my son, is humility. That is what I need to see in some other areas. You are growing and maturing, but you are not all-knowing and ready to take on everything. With some things, you still need my help and instruction.” Now, whenever he gets ‘overly wise,’ I simply ask if he wants to drive on the highway, and he knows immediately that it is time to dial it down a bit. Jesus is so much fun!
Your spouse was only half of the problem. Your response to their unloving ways is what God wants to reveal and heal so that you do not take it with you in your future. Please read that sentence again.
You might not like hearing this; neither did I. But it ended up being one of the greatest GIFTS and I want to give that gift to you.
Your triggers are your friends!
I knew my husband was dead wrong (I could even prove it in the Bible). But my responses to him were over the top (“above average,” as my pastor liked to say). I soon realized that if Jesus were married to my husband, HE would be able to respond in love and peace no matter what He was doing. This revelation didn’t make me feel condemned for not being perfect. Instead, it made me realize how UN-like Jesus I really was, and I hungered to be more like Him.
A mentor friend so graciously told me, “Lisa, every time he sends you to the moon (in anger), use that to go after healing in your heart.” I did just that. He would trigger me, and I would sit with Jesus to find the root of why that was a sore spot for me. I would pull the root, if so to speak, and my reaction was less and less the next time he did the same behavior. Soon I began to see myself unaffected by his less-than-kind choices. There is such power in becoming healed, and we can use those trigger points in our favor to help usher us in greater healing and wholeness.
This is perhaps one of the most fascinating things about God and mankind. He knows what parents/leaders need and lack, so He sends children/people who carry it better than they do. Yet often times parents/leaders use their authority to protect that part of them that needs to come into alignment instead of allowing God to yield their heart through that person. They build walls, shut doors and disempower the very person God sent to BLESS them. The nature of conflict does not disqualify a person. Often times the conflict is just revealing something isn’t in alignment, and God wants to parent the area the conflict is revealing. It is what you do with the conflict that is God’s desire and plan for your life. Your areas of greatest conflict with a child/person could very well be the area God sent that person to touch in you so that it can come into alignment. Disempowerment and control kill the process for all parties.
I love how God sets us up for success as parents. My daughter was really hurt by someone and needed some room to work through the messy emotions. After we were done processing, the verse of the day popped up on my phone and read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Instantly, I heard in my spirit that I was to apply that in this situation and said, “Do not be overcome by an orphan but overcome the orphan by being a Daughter.” Spiritual orphans operate differently than Sons and Daughters, even in pain. There was a profound shift in her when she realized the other person’s choices were not a reflection of who she was. Teaching our children WHO they are is critical to helping them navigate life.
When I was younger, my little sister hurt her face falling off of a swing and was rushed to the ER for stitches. My mom left me behind, blaming me for it, even though I had nothing to do with it. The shame was paralyzing. When I was working through the memory, Jesus left the room (if you know anything about inner healing, you know that you want Jesus to enter the room, not leave it). We asked Jesus where He went, and I saw Him marching down to the ER. He said these powerful words to me, “I was your advocate with your mom and defended you, but she didn’t listen to me.” Tears of validation rolled down my cheeks as I realized HE saw the truth of what happened, and that Holy Spirit WAS ministering to my mom as they waited in the ER. Sadly, she wasn’t able to humble herself to His leading. I firmly believe had she been able to do so, she would have come back and made it right with me and attempted to restore our connection. Instead, it became a watershed memory that introduced me to the crippling lie that something was wrong with me.
When we mess up as parents, blow it, misunderstand our children, or get triggered, it is so important we let Holy Spirit minister truth to us so that we can clean up any messes made and not be used as instruments to wound our own children. Holy Spirit, I give You full permission to be my child’s advocate!
You can’t take the parent out of parenting. A parent’s journey matters because they will naturally parent out of that place.
The orphan spirit has anger and fits of rage, which makes sense when the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. However, for many people, it isn’t an anger issue – it is an orphan issue. They have not yet had the full revelation that Christ died to rescue us from the orphanage and bring us into the Father’s palace. We don’t need to operate as spiritual orphans anymore and can truly rest while He manages the world around us for our good.
My son was invited to play airsoft guns with a friend’s husband. He was super excited and talked about it non-stop. Yet the morning of, he was really unkind to his sisters, wasn’t listening, or following through on things I had asked of him. It was a continued battle all morning. Finally, I told him he could not go. The moment I shut it down I heard God say, “Removing his heart’s desire is not the key to his heart.” I instantly took back my words and have pondered this a great deal since. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance, not withholding, punishing, or communicating we have to be ‘good enough’ to have our desires met. The key to the testimony was discovering what was really going on and not just seeing his bad behavior. While my son’s choices that morning could have been from some form of rebellion in his heart, I believe it stemmed from his profound excitement to bond with an adult male over the activity that he loves the most. He lives with 3 girls and a mom 24/7 and has a natural longing/desire in his heart for male connection. He talked about it non-stop all week long. The morning of he was growing impatient for the big moment to arrive. He was like a child the night before Christmas. He is still a child and lacked the maturity to steward his impatience well. I am all for discipline, correction, and training, and yet there are times we care so much about righting their wrong and fail to see the bigger picture of their heart. The Kingdom of God does not ‘punish’ for age-appropriate immaturity. When I first said he couldn’t go his entire body sunk and it pierced his heart. If my goal was ‘punishment’ I did it. But the moment I said, “God just told me that I was wrong to take away your deep desire to go,” he broke down in tears. We talked about his excitement and impatience and how he behaved that morning. He was fully repentant and said he was sorry to his sisters and me.
Here is the glorious part – then I got to connect the dots for him that Father God sees his heart and wants to fulfill those desires. Do I REALLY want to shut my son down for not being able to control his utter excitement over getting this deepest desire fulfilled? That is where partnering with my son’s Creator is so key – we don’t always know what is going on in their hearts, but He does. There is a time to discipline, a time to say ‘no’ and there is a time to look deeper at the bigger picture!