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?
THE JOURNEY HOME
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.
I wholeheartedly agree with what this mom in class has to share about speaking identity over her child.
“I just love all the ideas for teachable moments! My parents, probably my mom mostly, would always say positive things to me, but it never came back to God. When you think it’s just your mom’s opinion, it’s easy to dismiss the validity, but knowing who we are to God is breathtaking. Having that strong foundation of being able to call out the lies so easily because I know the truth would have dramatically changed my life. I spent too much time believing those lies, and my identity has been weak. I pray that God will lead me to be the parent that can call out the good as beautiful gifts from Jesus and also call out the lies from the enemy so we can throw them out!”
I shared a post about Ellie bombing a test and having to deal with the shame that was trying to come on her. She was able to identify it and not come under it, but it took her a bit to process. A week later, she put a note on my bed about how smart she was, and it struck me funny. While yes, I celebrate the amazing grades, I wanted to make sure she was staying in alignment with the truth. She came to me puzzled by my note and said, “Yes, I am a good student,” to which I said, “No, that is not who you are.” She was confused. I told her, “Your worth and value are no more in your great grades than when you bombed your test. Either way, you are good.”
We have got to help our children separate their identity from their successes, or else we are doing nothing more than praising them for being performance-driven.
God sent His Son, Jesus, so we could connect to Him. He longs to connect with you deeper than your mind could fathom or heart hold. The gift of Jesus is free, yet you gain everything. I have a burning passion to help you connect to your Father and created this resource to help strengthen your spiritual hearing.
Use code: Hear4You. Conversations with our Creator eBook – Let the Children Fly
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.
Take an index card and write words that fit your child: ‘smart,’ ‘loving,’ ‘kind,’ ‘secure,’ ‘special,’ etc. Wrap up that card inside tissue paper and place it deep within a gift bag (or brown paper bag). Do this before you bring it to the children. Now have a stack of Kleenex or tissue paper, and one by one, as you wad it up, call out lies: ‘stupid,’ ‘mean,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘useless,’ etc. As you call out each lie, place the Kleenex ball in the bag. Do 8-10 lies/balls of paper. It’s okay to get crazy and have fun with this (they don’t know what’s coming, and the more they participate, the better the ah-ha moment will be). Now, explain to the child that the gift bag represents the heart that is in each person on earth. Remind them of the mean lies that were deposited into that heart. If a person hears that they are ugly, mean, unwanted, gross, etc., ask how they think that person will act. Keep going until they take out each lie one by one until they get to the truth card. Ask them to open it up and read the card. Explain that each person on earth has something of value written on their heart FROM GOD, their Creator. We are to go around FINDING that nugget of gold in each person. When they walk by someone at the store and say, “You have beautiful eyes,” they are calling out the TRUTH about that person. When they speak life over someone, they are calling out the good!
“Identity” is a very big word with a loaded meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy says. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door – about ourselves and others.
Talk about ways we can call out the truth/good, as well as ways we deposit the lie/bad into someone’s heart. Which one do we want to be?
It is one thing to reject a person because of their looks, style, personality, or character flaws. While it hurts, there is a deeper form of rejection when someone ignores, dismisses, or devalues your destiny because your destiny is the core in which you were knit together. It is not rejecting a part of you, like your personality, character flaws, or weaknesses. It is rejecting the very core of your existence. This is why learning our identity is so critical. We have to know who we are so that when others, who don’t know who they are, speak demonically-influenced words over us, we can stand on His truth about our worth, value, and calling and not cower. The world needs what you carry. You are the answer to someone’s prayer. God knit you together to be a part of His plan for the world around you. It is time to break up with and flush the words and actions done in an attempt to shut you down, silence you, and render you useless.
May I encourage you to make a list of the actions or words that have crippled your ability to move forward? Write down the offense, but also write down the fruit of the offense. Ex: Someone spoke over you that your gifts aren’t good enough (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have partnered with fear and intimidation, which has caused you to shrink back from other opportunities. Ex. Someone spoke over you that they don’t believe in you (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have wandered around from place to place looking for someone to see value in you because you were too afraid to see it in yourself again.
FORGIVE the person for being used by the enemy to put a hook in your heart. HAND OVER the pain, hurt, and regret to Jesus. ASK Jesus to show you what lie you were believing about yourself because of this event. ASK Father God what His truth is about you. INVITE Holy Spirit to teach you how to activate and use your gifts again. BLESS your spirit and tell yourself that you believe in yourself and have permission to carry on. The attack on your calling gives evidence that it is something that causes the enemy fear. It is time to stop partnering with it and get back in the game. The world is waiting for YOU!
Teach them that there is a difference between being humble and allowing people to speak into their lives and give healthy feedback and constructive criticism vs. someone or something being used as a spokesperson of the enemy to tear down what God has built and designed. Give specific examples, such as a friend saying, “Shut up. You are so annoying when you talk,” and a teacher saying, “I need for you to manage your mouth when I am teaching the class.” Both are addressing the issue of their mouth, but one is to be rejected and the other is to be received. How do they know the difference? It is generally tested by peace.
We pray, fast, ask others, do it on our own strength, lean on our understanding… but have we simply asked Him? Learning how to communicate with our Father and hear what He has to share with us is part of becoming a Son or Daughter. This eBooklet will not only strengthen your spiritual hearing but help you teach your children.
The biggest war the next generation will face in their lifetime is the battle over their identity! Parents, teaching your child who they are – who God says they are – the parts that cannot be changed – the areas that aren’t moved or reduced based on circumstances – is a LIFELINE in today’s culture.