THE JOURNEY HOME

THE JOURNEY HOME

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?

TRUTH ADJUSTMENT

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!”

I AM IMPORTANT

“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!”

PERFECTIONISM

Do you struggle with wanting to do things perfectly? Some personalities are wired towards this bent, while others have been taught only perfect counts. If you can stay in the lane of being HUNGRY instead of perfect, it will bear the fruit you desire because it is about His ability, not yours.

BEING A DAUGHTER

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.

RIGHT VOICES

Children who grow up with the wrong voices inside their mental bubble carry them around for years, shaping who they become. We can empower our children to reject lies and protect who God designed them to be. Proverbs 4:23.

CURSING MOMS

Mamas, are you cursing your body? It is hard to raise daughters with healthy self-esteem when you model cursing your own body. My mom had four kids close in age and didn’t like the way it affected her body. I was secure and confident growing up with my body; however, the moment I had kids (also four close in age, including twins), I immediately turned against my body and felt like it was ‘ruined.’ I was intentional about building up my daughters and their self-image. God began to show me that what my mom taught me, by cursing her own body, is that motherhood ‘ruins’ your body. I was simply modeling that belief onto my children. I entered a season of greater self-love and acceptance for my body, which has miraculously produced life. I want my daughters to feel beautiful now AND after they become a mom. It isn’t about praising them but modeling acceptance for myself.

***This isn’t just for daughters. When moms curse their own bodies in front of their sons, they are teaching them that there is something wrong with a woman’s body, which we surely don’t want him to transfer to his wife someday.

TENDER LEADERS

Christians can often see/feel the spirit behind things yet are so ill-equipped in discernment (the ability to judge well), they respond negatively to the person instead of the spirit realm. To expect acceptance would mean to violate what they are seeing. People often attack the behavior, but what they are really standing up against is the spirit that their spirit knows is not right. We hurt people when we attack them instead of helping them. Those who have walked in isolation and believe the enemy’s whispers about their identity are fed up with believers who were powerless to help them, failed to validate the deep isolation and then demanded outward performance. If it is a spirit issue then the church should be ones to HELP and instead we have been the ones to accuse, blame and shame. Let me use this word picture. If a child is being tormented by a spirit of fear and reacts to it with yelling and crying the parent will FEEL the spirit in fear in operation yet they don’t always have eyes to discern (the ability to judge well), but they can feel it (and without discernment it normally riles up the parent too). Getting mad at the child, disciplining, isolating, scolding them or telling them to ‘stop’ is pointless because it isn’t just about their less than pleasant behavior, as in bad character. It is about something going on in the spirit realm that is influencing them. They need HELP to resolve the issue in the spirit realm before their behavior will change. The enemy’s goal is outlined in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” He comes to STEAL community (isolation), oftentimes in our own homes, he then whispers lies to KILL their identity (who they were created to be) and then DESTROYS the thing that we all long for – community and connection. The church should be a safe place to resolve spiritual issues, but because they have been so ill-equipped to discern the spirit and have focused solely on behavior modification, we have actually furthered the agenda of tolerance and acceptance. We have forced the world to accept what we have not been able to respond to well and help resolve. There is a time to rise up as parents and leaders in our authority, not against the child/person but the spirit behind it. Parents need to be equipped with tools to walk in discernment when this spirit is in operation in their homes. Children who are being influenced by this spirit need HELP to resolve it.

SONS & DAUGHTERS

You can’t fully explain to a single person what married life is like. They have to experience it for themselves. Nor can you fully explain what childbirth is like, as one has to experience it to understand it. You also can’t fully describe to a spiritual orphan the deep PEACE, JOY, and HOPE available to Sons and Daughters, for they have to experience it themselves. It isn’t to be experienced by what one does but by who they believe in. Faith activates the experience!

GOING AFTER IDENTITY

I have said all along that God parents us as we parent our children. Here is another excellent example of that. My daughter is wired to need one best friend with whom she can connect deeply (just like her mama). We have known this for years, and she hasn’t quite broken out of her comfort zone yet to help foster that kind of friendship. She met someone she saw great value in and attempted to reach out to her. The person’s response was nothing short of rude and unkind. When she told me about it, I took a deep breath and began to ask Jesus for the strategy to help her walk through this. I invited her to talk to me and began asking questions. She was able to see the lack of kindness and that it could have been said better. I asked if it hurt her heart, and she said these powerful words, “Mom, how can I be hurt by someone I don’t even know? Her rudeness isn’t a reflection of my heart to reach out to her.” And then instantly, I heard God say, “Lisa, this is YOUR issue, not hers.” I hugged her, went to my room, shut the door, and processed it with the Lord. He began to show me that while I don’t feel that rejection today, that is how I felt at her age as a young 13-year-old (not so much from peers, but from family, which shaded my view of my sense of belonging anywhere I went). I don’t have the capacity to know what it feels like to be 13, endure a hard interaction and keep my identity intact. While seeing my daughter whole and rather unaffected, it ministered deeply to my own heart. I asked God to highlight and reveal to me in the days to come any time I project my teenage heart onto them and their experiences. There is going to be so much goodness coming out of these high school years, both for them and myself. 

Note to parents of younger children: Going after their identity, discerning lies about their worth and value, and calling out good character when they are little PAYS OFF! All of your sowing will reap a harvest in due time.

GOOD ENOUGH

Do you find your worth attached to your performance? During one of the teachings from the online JOURNEY class, I asked if they had parents who called out the good in them as a child. Many did not, but for those who did, the response is always something along these lines, “Yeah, they called out the good, but it always seemed to be the good about what I DID, not who I was.” When we dish out praise based on behavior/performance, we are teaching children that their performance pleases us and dictates their value. That is not what God says or how He operates with us. He LOVES us because of who we are, not what we do! So why not try it today? Ask, “Jesus, when You look at my child, what do You see?” Write it out on their mirror, on a piece of paper. Be creative and have fun; you have permission to connect with them!