I say this in love, but you can’t verbally beat up someone who knows who they are. Why? Because the words don’t stick. They may sting but do not wound because a true Son and Daughter know who they are. The degree to which negative, harsh, or false words spoken over you hurt is because you are still learning who you are.
STICKS AND STONE
Declare this over your child, even when they are struggling and making messes. “I speak over YOU today there is still room for you at the table. Your messes are part of the growth process. There is still room for you. God has not weakened His gaze or affection over you. You have permission to be on your journey and learn as you grow! We live in a performance-based culture that values your A+ and rejects you for getting a C. God values your process and journey of becoming the full expression of who you were created to be. Break agreement with any voice telling you otherwise!”
Teach the children about the sun, stars, grass, and trees. Who made them all? God did. OOH and AAH over His mighty creation. Then tell them that there is one thing that He loves more than anything else He has ever created and ask if they want to see it. Spend some time making a big deal out of it. When they can’t hold onto their excitement any longer, bring out a mirror and let them see themselves.
In the days to come, remind them often of just how valuable and important they are to Him.
Nothing turns a sweet mama into an angry grizzly bear faster than partnering with the orphan spirit. The spiritual orphan believes lies such as, “I am all alone,” “No one cares,” “No one sees me,” “No one listens to me,” “Nothing I do matters,” “I am insignificant”… While your child may be doing something to trigger you, they aren’t the real source of your anger – your thoughts are! Next time you are ready to blow, try this, “GOD! I am really angry right now. Would You please reveal to me what LIES I am believing?” Then ask, “Father, what is Your truth?” He loves showing up in our mess and isn’t mad at our anger!
I was struck by this question, “When did you stop being a daughter?” When I was 16, my mom wrote me a letter saying, “The umbilical cord is broken between us. I no longer care if you chose drugs or no drugs, straight A’s or F’s, success or failure, life or death.” I knew at that moment I was on my own and no longer had her heart or covering. It felt scary. I was unofficially adopted into another family and was invited to address the father as ‘Dad’. We were all sitting around the dining table at the cabin, and I said, “Dad, can you please pass the corn?” and he responded with, “I am not your dad.” I felt something shift deep within my body and excused myself. I went to sit on the dock alone and realized my hope and dream of ever being attached to a family had just shattered. It has taken me decades to find my way back home to my Father’s heart, and I am still discovering more areas in which I am invited to let go of fear, shame, and control and just let Him embrace me as His daughter. Each new morsel of His love feels like I have found HOME all over again. He is such a good Father. What about you? When did you stop being a son/daughter?
Sometimes I think I could write a book titled MY DESTINY (almost) KILLED ME! I am opening up a window into a part of my journey to see some of the lessons God has taught me along the way. May it encourage you in your journey!
I have wrestled these past years deeply with managing Let the Children Fly. Is it a business? Is it a ministry? Many would say it is both. Yet as others attempted to empower me on how to GROW my platform, it only increased my inner agitation. There is an insane amount of pressure in the Body of Christ to create and establish something by the labor of your own hands. Years of seeking wise counsel would tell me how to increase and grow my ministry, yet I could never get peace about it. Until recently, when God told me why… I never set out to run a business or lead a ministry. Growth organically occurred AFTER I stewarded what He gave me. To grow my platform outside of my intimacy with Him felt scary, even risky. It’s like working with a publisher before the book is finished. We can only faithfully steward something within our capacity. God isn’t about increasing the platform. He is about increasing capacity to steward more of what He wants to give you, and IN THAT, the platform increases naturally. To do it the other way around is nothing short of pride. It will not reap a true harvest. God will never give you a platform in your name.
Banning Liebscher once said, “Do not go after being the most elegant speaker. Go after the anointing and authority. The first produces fame; the second produces transformation and eternal fruit.” Everyone wants a platform, but few survive the resistance training between the audience and the stage. There has to be a process, a journey. Before you can carry the weight of a platform, you must be refined in key areas of weakness, or the stage will crush you. It is God’s mercy not to elevate you beyond your capacity. He isn’t denying you; He is protecting you. Everyone has patches of ice they slip on, and God wants to teach you how to endure things without falling. This is a process of growth that takes time. God is a master at growing people for the long term and is not interested in fifteen minutes of fame. He wants fruit that will last into eternity and later generations. Fruit takes time to mature. The Body has lost the art of serving others for no other motive than helping someone else succeed. Not everything needs to be turned into a marketing or financial funnel to profit you. Social media is a power that exposes what is inside us. If a sense of significance comes from the number of likes, we are partnering with a dangerous pit. While the temporary high of the ‘likes’ feels good, it leaves us feeling empty. There is nothing wrong with social media as long as it is from a place of being a Son/Daughter. Our motive is everything. Some people do not have a calling to reach the world. They have a calling to change the world of a few people well. You will be rewarded, not for what you grew, but for how faithful you were with what God has given you.
I was lamenting to God once about the world’s value around numbers. The pressure that says you are only as good as your followers. I had an intimate time surrendering the pressure to God and being okay right where He has me. The next day I woke to a message from Facebook saying they helped me clean my group up and deleted **2K** people from my group. Gulp. I felt the loss for a moment and knew deep down I was okay because the numbers (+ or -) do not define my faithfulness, worth, or value. The pressure broke off, and I refused to let it drive me.
You can’t find your calling/destiny until you first have discovered your new identity as a Son/Daughter. To give you your destiny before you know how to operate in your calling would be a recipe for disaster. If you want to know your destiny, first learn your true identity. Finding your calling is one thing – overcoming the battle to remain in it is another. God isn’t looking for the most significant person, ministry, or platform. He is looking for YOU to be faithful in stewarding what He has given YOU. You contribute something on earth today that is vital, and you can’t afford to waste it on anything outside of where He has you. There is only one Kingdom ROCKSTAR, and His name is Jesus. He didn’t come to promote but to steward well all that His Father gave Him to profit others, not Himself.
In your mind, picture your bathroom mirror with steam all over it. Slowly pray the following prayer and then watch and listen to what you hear Him saying to you.
“Lord, if You could write any word to describe my identity in you what would it be?”
Now ask Him to wipe away the steam so that you can see yourself in light of that word.
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
My daughter woke up early with me, so we went on a date to grab drive-thru coffee and ended up at the bookstore. I noticed a book about the lies young girls believe and handed it to her. She spent a great deal of time browsing the contents and finally put the book down. I asked her why, and she said, “Because I don’t believe lies.” There was such an anointing on what she said. She was not saying she has never believed a lie, nor was she saying she is 100% lie-free, but she was right to say she doesn’t believe lies. I have taught my kids what lies feel like, and they have begun to self-govern when lies are being entertained in their minds. Lies always remove your peace, make your mind spin like crazy, and create feelings of anxiety, worry, and stress in your heart. When my children are feeling this, they know how to ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing?” and they know how to ask Him for His truth. Can you imagine what this generation would look like if they knew how to stomp on the lies that come to steal, kill and destroy?
“One night a boy came to the group for the first time. He had some special needs but was accepted instantly. We were talking about our hearts and had a gift bag that symbolized each child’s heart. We talked about how our hearts can become hurt when others don’t speak life to us, or we accept lies from the enemy. We gave examples of things that may have been said to us, hurtful things, and ripped off some black construction paper to fill our bags. Holding the white gift bags up, you could see a lot of dark inside since they were filled. I explained God created us ALL with treasures in our hearts, and when all of those hurts remain, we need to let Him heal our hearts. Each student threw out all of the ‘hurt’ and found a wrapped present at the bottom (they had no idea it was even there!). They ripped open their presents and were thrilled to find some sweet treats, as well as a bunch of notecards with special messages inside of what GOD says of them! Mason’s face grew hopeful, and He collected all of his notecards, shoving them back in his bag. He didn’t want to lose any of them as he said they were his treasures. I asked Mason if he thought there were any hurts in his heart that he needed God to take out, to which he quickly responded, ‘Oh yes! Definitely!’ I asked him if we could pray for him, and he agreed. God’s power was so overwhelming as we all laid hands on Mason and agreed for a healed heart. His countenance was so encouraged when we were finished. He told each student & helper he loved them as he left and asked if he could hug everyone. This is what it’s all about!”
It is your inheritance as a Son or Daughter to be FREE from the fear of man. The fear of man is taught. Children are born trusting and carefree. Through experiences and instruction from adults, children are taught to fear man.
“Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the fear of man? I chose to forgive _____ for teaching me (directly or indirectly) that man is to be feared. I break agreement with the fear of man and no longer give it space to influence my obedience, choices, and peace. I declare I am a child of the Creator of the universe, and He has my back. I am covered and protected. What can mere man do to me when God is on my side?”