PRAY FOR MY DAD

PRAY FOR MY DAD

I have been camping out in these testimonies of God’s goodness with the next generation and am undone by His power and goodness to them. Two younger ladies came to me asking for prayer. They shared how their relationship with their father was strained, and wanted prayers. I thought they meant for reconciliation and began to pray accordingly, but they interrupted me to say, “No, we want prayer for Jesus to give us the keys to our father’s heart.” Another gal who has battled self-harm for years due to her father’s alcohol consumption and believing the lie she is rejected asks Jesus why he needed alcohol. She heard, “Because he feels rejected by his parents.” She wept as she realized he was battling the same lie she was plagued with and wanted Jesus to give her the keys to his heart. Another gal asked to meet with me and shared some of her dad’s choices over the years that brought the family a lot of pain. When we asked Jesus what her dad’s heart needed, she began to cry as Jesus showed her he felt like a failure and ashamed. She realized she had punished him and how it was causing him further hurt. She asked for forgiveness, and Jesus began to give her the keys to mending that relationship. We ministered to a boy who said, “All these years, I thought my dad was just mean, but Jesus showed me today that he has a heart splinter from his own journey.” This is so powerful as kids move from victim to empowered. Hurt to authority. Walls of self-protection to love. Jesus loves restoring the family and does not look down on a child due to age. They have the same size Holy Spirit as their parents and can be powerful weapons against the plans of the enemy to destroy the family.

MY YES

I knew God wanted me to write the book HEART SPLINTERS – Resolving Childhood Issues in Childhood. But I was walking through a season of deep discouragement and feeling disempowered. It is super hard to feel confident in your calling and put your voice out there when feeling disempowered. The manuscript was always a work in progress on my desk, but I was dragging my feet. I saw a Facebook post about a well-loved husband who had committed suicide leaving behind a precious family. While I had not met them, we had many mutual friends, and it rocked our community deeply. His wife shared her raw experience on social media, and it came across my news feed countless times.

One day, I saw it pop up again, but I kept scrolling since I had already read it. I so clearly heard God tell me to go back and reread it. I did, unsure of what He wanted me to see. I heard Him tell me to print the picture of this family. It was so strong that even though my printer was out of ink, I went to the local drug store to obey. I felt a little odd holding a picture of a family I had never met and who was going through so much tragedy, but I held the picture in my hand and asked, “God, what do You want to tell me about this family?” and He said, “This is your YES – this is why I want you to write HEART SPLINTERS. People are perishing without this information.” The tears were instant as I fell out of my chair on my face, and wept for hours. “Oh, Jesus, forgive me for partnering with being disempowered. Forgive me for walking small. Forgive me for not opening my mouth. Forgive me for laying down what You have called me to pick up. JESUS! Use me to tell Your sheep there is hope. Let what You did in my life, and the lives of my four children serve as a testimony of what You can do. Light and life always trump death and darkness.”

And with that encounter, the manuscript was finished.

PROCESSING YOUR HEART IN A HEALTHY WAY

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.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU

Emma had a bit of a rough day, and I knew her heart felt tenderized. The following morning, I made an effort to really see her and gave her a long good morning hug. I began to call out the truth about who she was. When I said the words, “There is nothing wrong with you,” she let out a big sigh and relaxed in my arms. I realized what she needed the most was to be affirmed that SHAME (something is wrong with me) is a liar, and she had permission to ignore it despite the evidence making it feel very true.

FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN

I have said for years, “Parents, do the heart work so that your children don’t have to clean up the mess.” This mom is willing to do the hard work for the benefit of her grandchildren. Breathtaking.

“Jesus’ flashlight (tool) was a breakthrough moment for us. The concept of heart splinters helped my children to see what was going on. Their delight in knowing Jesus wants to take it out so they could be healed was tangible and beautiful. I do feel like it is quite the growth curve for me based on the parenting that was passed on to me, but I am committed to doing the work. I envision what their lives as adults will look like as we address these things in childhood, and should they become parents themselves someday, the jump start they will have to navigate this with their children.”

IT WORKED!

I cannot get enough of these testimonies of moms learning how to partner with God in their parenting! 

“We were sitting on the couch, snuggling together before bed, and my daughter, all of a sudden, looked towards the playroom and said, ‘Mommy, I feel scared.’ I asked her why she felt scared, and she said she was scared of the dark over there. I asked her what she saw, and she said, ‘bad guys.’ I wasn’t sure what to do, so I asked the Holy Spirit to help me, and I felt led to ask Jesus to shine his flashlight on her heart to show her where the fear was coming from. She didn’t even seem like she was listening, but I asked her, ‘What did Jesus show you?’ She said she saw us in the camper, and we were snuggling on the couch, and the bad guys came to life. IT WORKED! She just turned four, and Jesus took her back to a memory over six months ago! I was so excited Jesus spoke to her! I felt led to ask her if we were watching a movie (because fear often enters through our eye gates with movies), and she said yes, but she covered her eyes when the scary part came. I’m not sure what movie we were watching, but we are very careful that we don’t watch anything scary, so I’m guessing that the spirit of fear twisted something, and she felt afraid. We repented and said sorry to Jesus for not protecting our eye gates, and we asked Him to forgive us for watching that movie, and He said, ‘Yes, I forgive you.’ Then we took the fear out of her heart and threw it at Jesus’ feet, and asked Jesus what He wanted to give her. She said peace. We asked Jesus and the angels to come and make the bad guys leave our house, and she said she saw 20 angels! I don’t know if she actually saw 20 angels, but she definitely saw something angelic come and make the bad guys leave because the fear was gone, and I got my joyful little girl back!”

Friends, get your copy of our Heart Splinters book and become empowered how to teach your children how to defeat the works of the enemy and usher them to Jesus! 

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

HAVING A BAD DAY?

Do you have bad days? Want to learn how to flip them for good? Be encouraged by this testimony from a mom. 

“The kids have been at each other all week long. I have felt tired and overwhelmed and just wanted a break. The other night, it had reached terrible limits. My patience was so thin. So, when my middle child, usually one so full of delight, ran away from me in a fit of anger that was so unlike her and hid in her room, I was angry. The Lord whispered to me, reminding me that this was a special moment. I listened to Him. I went up to her, and though she turned away from me, I sat next to her and hugged her. I asked her what was wrong, and she shared. I began to ask her if what she was feeling was true or a lie. She identified it as a lie. Then I reminded her that God never lies. I asked her where the lies were coming from. And from there, I spoke the truth over her. The truth of God. It was such a beautiful moment. One that had been so charged with anger only minutes before had become a time for me to affirm my daughter.”

TEEN BOY BRAIN

Teen brain is a real thing. Teen boy brain is a very real thing. I asked Hudson to write down five things he wished everyone understood about boys his age. Here is his unedited reply.  

That most of the dumb things that I do aren’t on purpose. 

Just because I was involved in the conflict doesn’t mean that I am the one who started it. 

Be slow to anger. 

Just because I did something wrong, don’t push me away.

Guys have feelings, too, so don’t ignore them.

NOT JUST FOR PARENTS

One of my spiritual daughters shared this sweet testimony of ministering to a young gal. Our JOURNEY class is not just for loving your children but all of His children. 

“Hi Lisa, here is a testimony I wanted to share with you. The lessons I have learned through Let the Children fly helped me lead her to Christ for this healing. This girl is not a mom yet and is struggling with some insecurities and lies that she believes. So I walked her through writing down those lies and tearing them up, stomping on them, rejecting the lies, and how to instead accept God’s truths, as you taught me in the JOURNEY class. Here is her testimony on what that did for her: ‘Hey! So I finally had the guts to do it last night. I wrote down all the lies and things that kept hurting me in my mind and flushed them down the toilet. It came out to be about six pages worth of crap. It took me a while to get the courage to do it. The crazy part is that I wrote it in a red marker, and about halfway through ripping it, I realized that red represented Jesus’ blood. I was just choosing a marker, and I chose the red one. I was praying while doing it. I feel so much better now like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can accomplish and do what I am called to do now. It sounds cheesy, but I feel free now and confident in myself and the Lord. It’s already been a blessing that He took those lies and stomped on them! I’m so excited to live! To truly live freely! No more bondage!’”

HELPING CHILDREN OVERCOME TRAUMA

Trauma – a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Think for a moment about your child’s life back in 2020. Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but within a short time, your child was thrown into a whirlwind of being home 24/7. Not being able to see friends or go out to the park, learning without peers, sitting in front of a computer, many faced hours alone as their mom and dad still worked. Some went without food, increased sibling conflict, missed birthday parties, felt fear all around them, not being able to go to church or their favorite store, and then the anger and violence that was unleashed in nearly every city. Most adults can’t comprehend all that is going on, much less a child whose brain isn’t fully developed. Folks, this is trauma. Add another layer of what was released in the atmosphere and the paralyzing fear, worry, and anger that slimed people without notice or warning. Kids feel it too.

While I am not trying to create a doomsday post, there is a reality that this past season has been brutal for some children. The events themselves do not bring damage to children. How adults respond to trauma can make a challenging event a lifelong wound. Your role is KEY! #1. Know your child’s love language and fill it DAILY! Five minutes of intentional “I see you” can fill their heart. #2. Connection – Talking, engaging, asking questions, hugging, smiling, listening, etc. Merely hanging out 24/7 is not the same as actually connecting to their hearts. #3. Joy releases a chemical in our brain that increases our will to fight and endure hard things. Dance parties, giggles, wrestling matches, dinner in the living room, tickling, being silly, special treats, dancing on the bed, or splashing in the rain. Your child NEEDS joy!

I know it is hard to give when you are enduring the same battle, but your response in this hour matters. Help children overcome by filling them up with love, connection, and joy, which are heaven’s tools to overcome. 

Validation – recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile. Validation is not trying to move someone out of their space but giving them permission to be where they are at.

It is saying things like: I am sorry that _____.” “It is not okay that _____.” “It makes me mad that_____.” “You didn’t deserve that.” “That must have been so hard when_____.” “Man, that stinks!” “You are so much more than that.”

REJECT SELF-REJECTION

Self-rejection is lie-based thinking and often starts in childhood when life circumstances ‘prove’ the lie to be true. Children can partner with lies about themselves, such as, “I am fat.” “I am a loser.” “No one likes me.” “I am a mistake.” My face is ugly.” “I am too small to ever be good at sports.” “I am not acceptable.” “_____ disqualifies me from ever fully belonging.” “I will never measure up to my big brother.” “If I were a boy, my dad would accept me.”

These are lies that feel true because the circumstances around them serve as evidence. They then partner with the lie as if it were the truth, giving the lie a legal right to influence them. Lies are just thoughts, but what makes them so damaging is that our thoughts and beliefs dictate our behavior. Proverbs 23:7. All of the above statements are LIES. When a child believes a lie about themselves, it is like a splinter in their heart, and they begin to act it out because it is NOT supposed to be there. If all we see is their outward behavior and aren’t digging a little deeper into the WHY of the behavior, we can serve to push the heart splinter in further. We want the lie out, not for it to be masked with perfect behavior. The less-than-pleasant acting out is pointing to the splinter that needs attention. This is not a parenting formula or 1,2,3 step program; it is about PARTNERING WITH THEIR CREATOR, who knows exactly how to search their heart and reveal what is going on. Say Johnny comes home, slams down his backpack, and declares, “I hate math!”. Parents often rush to correct little Johnny that we don’t use the word ‘hate.’ Instead, perhaps we could pull on the rope a bit more and discover what is going on underneath his newfound passion for hating math. “Buddy, why do you hate math?” and he says, “Ms. Jones is mean.” Keep pulling on the rope with validation and questions, “Oh no, how is Ms. Jones mean?” “She called on me today and I got the answer wrong and the whole class laughed at me. I am so stupid.” BAM! There is the lie. Hating math wasn’t agitating his heart; the lie of “I am stupid” was. Again, this is where parents want to rush in and remind Johnny of his intelligence, but the lie is not in his mind; it is in his heart. This is where he needs an ENCOUNTER with His Father to remove the lie. While *I* know the truth that God didn’t make him stupid, that is *his* truth. So, I ask if we can ask Jesus for his truth (after, of course, we have walked through forgiving the teacher for putting him in a position that made him feel vulnerable and unsafe and his peers for laughing at him). Jesus always shows up with His PEACE and TRUTH, which is what sets us free!! This is where parenting becomes a partnership with their Creator and where God takes what the enemy meant to harm and uses it for GOOD! The world has yet to see a generation who grabs hold of the hurts, lies, and offenses in childhood and destroys them IN childhood. His heart SHOULD be agitated if the enemy is whispering lies about his identity. His behavior and less-than-ideal vocabulary about ‘hating’ math were simply signs pointing to the heart splinter that was speaking a lie about his identity. A child who has never been intentionally taught the TRUTH of who they are will have an easier time biting the bait of lies about their worth and value. As parents, we have the incredible honor of teaching our children who they are and building them up in His truth. Identity focuses on who God says they are – worthy, valuable, important, lovable, belong, etc. – and not just what they do, such as good grades, sports, or excellent outward behavior. 

So let’s review: A child who is partnering with turning on themselves is believing a LIE. A child who believes a LIE will act it out with less-than-ideal behaviors because the heart splinter is agitating their heart. You can pull on the rope with validations and questions to be on the lookout for a HURT, LIE, or OFFENSE. Once you identify the hurt, lie, or offense, you help your child walk through forgiveness and then ask Jesus for His truth. We can help children resolve childhood issues IN childhood so that childhood owies don’t become adult-sized woundedness, childhood lies don’t become adult-sized strongholds, and childhood offenses don’t become adult-sized bitterness. Look for ways to intentionally speak the truth over your children about who they are. “Do you know that God loves you even when you mess up?” “You are so important to God; He even knows the number of hairs on your head.” “God created you to look like Him.” “God wants you on His team.” “This family wouldn’t be the same without you.” “You are perfect just the way you are.” “Know what I love most about you? EVERYTHING!” I declare the lies revealed and TRUTH to reign in your homes!

Self Rejection – YouTube