During church, we were told to pray for those who needed healing. I asked the Lord what He wanted me to know about a precious elderly lady. I could tell she loved Jesus but was struggling with receiving healing. I began to whisper in her ear how much she loved Jesus and how faithful she has been to Him over the years, and she would nod in agreement. I then began to tell her just how much HE loved HER, and she started to cry, weep, and come really unglued. There are so many Jesus-loving people in our church who have never experienced the personal love that Jesus and Papa God have for them personally! When we train our children to ask, “Papa, how do You feel about me?” We are literally changing the course of their lives. I was a believer for nearly 20 years before I realized the God of the Universe loved ME, not the world, but ME!!
THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE LOVES ME!
- Encouragement, Playing in the Kingdom
We walked through some very refining seasons, and little made sense to me at the time. I was following Him to the best of my ability, and few understood. Not everyone around me was able to stand with me in my journey. I know it was heavy and hard at times, and sometimes we have to endure the reality that no one else can fully understand our world except Him. Some suggested maybe we weren’t to move to Colorado because the journey was so long. Others let me know that the hardship on the kids wasn’t good. I am not sure anything frightens a mother’s heart more than knowing her children are ‘suffering.’ Nothing makes a single mom feel more vulnerable than knowing she is the sole parent making decisions that radically affect her children. This was the hardest, most excruciating part of the process. I went before the Lord and asked Him (repeatedly) if I was missing something that was causing undue hardship to my kids. He said, “Lisa, yes, your children are indeed going through a very challenging season (on top of what everyone else is enduring), but your children will see the breakthrough, the provision, and the outcome. Your children will witness My hand move on their behalf.” Suddenly my countless tears turned into glory and praise to a God who continues to woo and wow His children.
As a mother, what I long for the most is for my children to see the hand of their Father. Psalms 107 speaks of tossing around the waves of hardship and how God brings us through the storm into our safe haven. I was never looking for a house. I was looking for His peace, and we found it!
1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me!
Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey.
Years ago, as I was learning how to play in His Kingdom, I often struggled to balance my hunger for Him and being a full-time solo parent of four small children. I wanted to attend meetings and training, pray for people, give people prophetic words, and be on the ministry team, but I felt like I couldn’t because my children needed me. I felt trapped between my two loves. Then, at church, a gal who barely knew me gave me a prophetic word that I was a conductor of the orchestra. She said God knew my heart longed to play the instrument, but it was time for me to pick up the conductor’s wand and help others play their instruments. I knew at that moment God was saying that I was to empower my children on how to play in the Kingdom and get under them to help them fly. Our world shifted at that moment, and I no longer felt the pull in two directions but poured my hunger into my children. Nearly a decade later, my children travel and minister with me. It has been a dance of giving them opportunities and crossing chicken lines. I watched the fruit of that one prophetic word and felt like I was witnessing my legacy. Tears of utter gratitude came freely that God did not call me to lay down my desires but multiplied them four times.
Many of you know our incredible housing testimony of years ago. It was an incredible faith walk that inspired many to increase their trust in God. The moment our house sold, a wise mentor said to me, “Lisa, now what do you have faith for?” I remember telling him I didn’t want to return to that place of utter faith. It was scary, and I wanted to go back to a place of comfort and security. He encouraged me that God just grew my capacity to trust Him and to take that trust and pour it into the next thing so that my faith and dependence would become a lifestyle and not just an event in scary times. Whoa! I began to journal… “Lord, I have faith in the air I breathe (like seriously, I never worry or think about it. I just do it naturally). I have faith for water. I have faith that You love me. I have faith that I will always have clothes on my back. I have faith that You are my Savior. I have faith that You care about my housing needs. I have faith that You want to raise these children with me.”
I was walking down the areas I already had great faith in and was allowing Him to build my trust for more. One of my greatest responses when life throws me curveballs, ups, and downs, is to ask, “Lisa, do you have faith in God for this situation?” It feels like a renewal of my vows each time. Yes, Lord, I have faith and trust in You for this particular situation.
Do you have a child who is finding their way? Read this glorious testimony from my friend and be encouraged that God wants to and IS working in your child’s life too.
“One of my daughters made messes in her life, and the Lord said she needed her own room. Five other siblings were extremely unhappy with this decision which was to be handled by privately sharing with me their feelings followed by prayer for their sister. I watched my daughter do everything you don’t want your teen child to do. I felt helpless and didn’t see God move. Then one day, when I cried and gave up, He said, ‘Why do you think you failed? Why do you think this has to do with you? Have you forgotten her calling? How will she learn to walk in her calling unless she develops the tools she needs by being in a home with the unconditional love of her mom, dad, and siblings, who will tolerate this season of her life?’ My prayer focus changed, and the way I would see her changed. Within a couple of months, my daughter broke ties with all she was doing after having a major encounter with Jesus. She needed that room so He could visit her and her walls could come down.”
We had ministry students who would come to our home once a week. Our sweet Laura walked in and told us about a friend of a friend who was staying at their house from London. She was telling them about school and that once a week they are with our family. He says, “OH, Lisa Max, doesn’t she have an Airbnb?” and grabs his Bible and pulls out a prophetic card from Ellie from years ago. Teaching and training our children to love those around us bears lasting fruit because it is GOD’S heart we are releasing over them.
Give your heart a voice, process it, and get back in the game! Do not let getting hurt in the church rob your destiny.
We are in a never-seen-before season on earth. I passionately believe God is reviving families back into alignment with His original design and purpose for advancing His Kingdom on earth.
I remember the day I made a big parenting mess. My reaction was strong, and the child’s crime did not justify the response. I was triggered and knew it. Normally situations like that would take me days to overcome all of the shame and profound guilt. My mind would spin about being a terrible mom and how sorry I felt for my children. I felt so inadequate raising them, knowing I was on my own journey. Nothing cripples a mama more than feeling like she is negatively affecting her own babies. But I remember the day well. I made a mess, and this time I could give myself compassion and grace. Yes, I needed to confess my behavior to God and ask my child for forgiveness, but this time I did not go down the rapid river of shame. Instead, I stood my ground in being repentant – admitting wrongdoing – but not condemning myself. I was able to speak to my heart gently and not full of accusations. I could be humble that I was wrong without beating myself up. It was glorious. It was the day I experienced making a mistake without shame.
We are not alone in our parenting. We are not given these gifts only to fend for ourselves. Instead, they have a perfect Father who so passionately wants to help us raise them, heal them, transform them, and equip them to be ALL that He designed for them. Oh, that every family in the world would see that we have a partner in our parenting!