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.
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU
I sat in a room with 80 young kids one night. Oh, my word, the world hasn’t yet seen what God can do with a group of children who are hungry for him. One girl said to her friends that her knee was hurting, and they immediately laid hands on her, and was healed. Her response? “Cool.” At first, I wasn’t sure how to process the flippant response, but I heard Holy Spirit say, “Because the supernatural is natural to her.” So powerful!
I was coaching a mom whose daughter was believing lies about herself. When the mom asked her to ask Jesus, she said, “I don’t hear Him speaking to me.” The mom went on to say she hears Him well when she worships and isn’t sure how to help her ‘hear.’ I encouraged her to have her daughter take the statement she believed about herself and turn it into a song. If it was life-giving, brought peace, and one that people would sing at Church, she could be assured it was a true statement about herself. If the church wouldn’t adopt her song, neither should she. Oh, baby girl, your spiritual ears work just fine!!
Over the years, many business/ministry mentors have told me that I need to have a clear identity statement for my business. I would work on it and get so frustrated that I would conclude it was insignificant. Over and over, this issue came up, yet it left me with the same feelings and frustration and dread. I would get a clear statement only to doubt myself and start over. I was told we could take as long as needed, but this part had to be done before moving forward. Ugh! I asked the Lord the following morning why it was so hard for me, and He so clearly and tenderly responded by saying, “Lisa, your dad never told you who you were, so you are having a hard time declaring who you are.” Knowing that I am a full-grown adult, and my dad is deceased, I asked what I was supposed to do with the lack, and He said, “Let Me parent you in this area.” The next morning, I scheduled a couple of hours in the Prayer House, where He began to unpack, reveal, and declare my business/ministry identity over me. From that moment on, there has been such rich and vibrant clarity of my mission. We have to know who we are in order to do what we are called to do.
I want to share a perspective with you. People often ask me what my highlight of being a part of Azusa Now in LA was. My answer is easy. It was when they showed the video of all the awful things people have done to other humans (school shootings, Holocaust, 9/11, American Indians, etc.) and we began to declare louder and louder, “Father, forgive them! Father, forgive them!” I saw an older African American couple a few rows in front of me, and all I could say was, “I am sorry. I am so so sorry.” They received those healing words with gratitude. It still creates tears in my eyes. It was a highlight for me because the Father was highlighting something to me. I believe God was releasing an anointing to make things right with those who have been hurt.
Fast forward to our first hotel stay when we began our 2-month journey on the road. Every single channel the kids wanted to watch had to do with slavery. As we feasted on this ‘entertainment’ my stomach became sick. I could feel the control, the madness, the loss, the betrayal, the paralyzing fear, the lack of safety, the lack of belonging, the condemnation, and the anger. Humans were treated like animals, only worth their labor and performance, and their hearts were ripped out over and over. Tears poured down my cheeks as I told the kids to turn off the TV. I believe God was awakening this part of our history in me. God has been speaking to me a lot about the spirit of control. We are not wired to be controlled by anyone or anything; rather, we were created to operate out of our free will. It is how He designed us. When we are controlled, especially when it is ongoing, we respond by partnering with a spirit of rejection or a spirit of rebellion. Here we are with the great divide between whites and blacks being highlighted… once again. Could it be that the Lord is allowing pressure so that the heart splinter could be removed once and for all? Could it be that all those years of being controlled by the color of their skin have produced a generational line of rebellion or rejection? Could it be that here we are 100 some years later with a mess we didn’t create but still reaping the fruit of? Could it be that there are strongholds in the atmosphere who enjoy watching humans quarrel based on their skin color? Could it be that while we all have choices, there is a lot more going on in the spiritual realm than we are giving credit to? Could it be that the issue isn’t the color of our skin but more so the doors that have been opened for the enemy to continue to influence? Could it be that the answer isn’t just outward ‘unity’ but more so breaking agreements with the spirit of control, rebellion, and rejection? Could it be that those acting out the rebellion or rejection are actually crying out to be free from the spirit of control that has been in operation in their family line for so long? Could it be that we, white Americans, haven’t yet cleaned up our mess in the spiritual realm our ancestors have made? Could it be that the involvement of police officers is a prophetic statement of the authority we have been given and need to be using, not over humans, but the spiritual realm?
Could we be a generation that changes the world of so many lives that matter by releasing freedom, acceptance, and belonging over them? I think so!
Be sure to check out PART TWO which will give you steps to take in your own home.
We moved to California, but only three of the four children had acceptance letters for the school. We had yet to hear about a spot for Ellie. We were sitting in Hebrews coffee shop when the head of the school approached me and told me there was room for Ellie. I asked her to share it with Ellie directly. Upon hearing the news, Ellie shot me a look and, with her finger in the air, said, “I told you!” and went off to play. It wasn’t arrogant or disrespectful. It was full of faith and confidence that phone calls, lack of calls, now or later, it doesn’t matter. What her Father has spoken is as good as true! It was easy for her to wait because she heard what He said – that she would get in. This was God building her faith! In the future, when she wants something, I would remind her of this testimony and encourage her to have faith for it again.
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.
Some dear friends of ours said they had wanted to buy a home for a few years but were waiting for the Lord to show them who for. They approached us and said they would like to buy a home for us by paying cash. We enjoyed looking at houses together, and they were ready to sign on a new construction home. While I loved the idea for a variety of reasons, AND the home we picked out was gorgeous, I did not have peace. We waited and looked at a few more homes, but I couldn’t do it. When there is no peace, you have to lay down whatever it is – no matter how big or how wild or how big of a ‘blessing’ it is. Peace is my pillar, and I am anchored to it. The moment I asked if we could lay it down, peace returned, and within a short amount of time, God made it abundantly clear we were moving to North Carolina. Could you imagine if I said yes to the immediate blessing and forfeited what He had planned for us? It puts a chill in my spine to think I could have missed out on His goodness for us because I was tempted to grab the comfortable at the moment.
I share this to encourage you to hold onto your anchor of peace no matter what the weather report says. Peace is your pillar!
How many of you were parented in a way you do not wish to repeat with your children? If that is you, please hear this!!! When you vow not to parent like your parents, you fix your eyes on them and what they did/didn’t do. We yoke ourselves to whatever our eyes are set upon. Guess what? You will not be able to enter the fullness of what God has for you as a parent because your eyes are on man, not Him. Dad was intimidating – “I will never make my child feel intimidated”, Mom was emotional – “I will never show my child out-of-control emotions”, Dad was absent – “I will never leave my child alone”, Mom was angry – “I will never get angry with my child”, Dad was dominating -“I will never control my child”. While all of these may be true to some extent #1. You are seeing your parents through the eyes of a child. #2. You are replacing their less-than-ideal parenting with another faulty parenting plan. #3. You will rob yourself of parenting skills and tools and may look and feel like your parents, but it isn’t. The heart and motive behind parenting tools make all the difference in the world. You are using your parents’ choices to guide you, which will not lead you where you need to go. We can only parent fully when our eyes and heart are on HIM. We need to break the vow, “I will not parent like my mom/dad did,” and need to release to them their choices so that we are free to make our own.
I encourage you to spend some time today and walk through the following. Forgive your parents for the ways they parented you outside of the way God parents us. Repent of making a vow not to be like them. “Jesus, I confess I have yoked myself to my parent’s choices. I repent of putting my eyes on anyone other than You. Will You please forgive me?” Don’t just ask for forgiveness, but truly receive His reply. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what was going on inside my mom/dad to partner with that parenting style?” Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees in their heart and what is going on for them. The true fruit of forgiveness is the ability to have compassion for one’s ill choices, not because you like or accept them, but because you have a greater understanding. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what lies I have believed regarding my parenting?” Ask, “Father, will You please show me a picture of how I can model my parenting after You and Your heart?” Invite Holy Spirit to be your teacher. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to show me how to parent after the Father’s heart. Please teach me what it looks like to parent as a Son/Daughter.” Thank Jesus for aligning you so that your children can reap the fruit of healthy parenting that reflects His heart.
“It’s amazing to see how much faith our children have. The other day our son was having pain due to a mouth sore. My wife was going to put something in there before he went to sleep, but he told her not to put anything; that God would heal him. What moved us was when he said, ‘You have no idea what God can do!’ His faith was so strong that by the next morning, he didn’t have pain anymore, and his sore was healed! We were amazed at how God taught us a faith lesson through our son. We need to play more in God’s Kingdom with our children and encourage them to continue believing wholeheartedly despite what we (parents) tell them.”