I believe with all my heart that we can teach children how to effectively deal with the hurts, lies, and offenses that come their way and put the ‘Band-Aid’ businesses out of work in their generation. What if the next generation was taught how to deal with the ‘hooks’ and had no need for the sex industry? What if they had no taste for drunkenness? What if their hearts were so whole that they spent their money advancing the Kingdom instead of nursing wounds?
WHOLE AND FREE
I have shared about my powerful time ministering to the moms at the rescue mission in California. A friend messaged me saying she wished I could come minister to her girls in Colorado. I just happened to have had a trip planned and an evening free so I took Lauren and Emma to minister with me. What a glorious night of freedom for these sweet mamas. I honor them for the hell they have been through and for the ways God is redeeming, restoring, healing and repaying for all that has been stolen. If you want to see God move, sit with those who truly need Him.
I do not mean a bad day, but a season where you weren’t sure you would make it? A season where pain, words, betrayal, disappointment, and discouragement knocked you down so low, you weren’t sure you would ever rise again? Yeah, that season. We must must must forgive the people who are on their journey and say and do things out of an orphan place, but after true forgiveness comes a season of rebuilding what was lost or stolen in the previous season. Sometimes we get thrown into the pit and bound up. Not because of something we have done but what was done to us. It may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility to get back up. So many of you have walked through brutal chapters in your story, and your hearts have found peace again, but in the midst of the battle, you have lost your voice, confidence, and empowerment. There is nothing wrong with you being in this season, as long as you are owning your journey and not allowing it as an excuse to stay down or quiet. The world needs YOU at your fullest, and you owe it to yourself to keep fighting, climbing, believing, and clinging to Him. You will find your voice, confidence, and empowerment again, but with a renewed sense of resolve because you have overcome great odds!
Intimidation produces shame in the receiver, questioning what is wrong with them. This wreaks havoc on their sound mind because they are battling illogical, unfounded, and absurd thoughts. God gave us a sound mind!
Years ago, I got entangled in a relationship and fell into sin. I was raised in the church and knew what God said about it, but I became deceived by believing the lie, “Yeah, it is wrong, but God loves me, and He understands.” I even remember having a thought that God was cool with it because He knew how much pain and heartbreak I had in my childhood. The moment the scales came off my eyes, I was mortified at my choices and how deeply I allowed myself to be deceived. Deception is sneaky because the person deceived does not know they are deceived. That is why the enemy tries so hard to whisper lies of deception.
As the Lord began to build my ministry, I would have significant conversations telling Him I was worried about leading anyone astray. What if I got it wrong? What if I hadn’t yet developed or matured in an area? What if I was responsible for teaching something that wasn’t accurate by error or accident? This plagued me, and I took it very seriously. Since then, God has taught me about my lane and my flow with Him. I only share what He has first shared with me or taught me. I am very careful not to jump on bandwagons and use my platform for my agenda but rather as a place to share and steward what He has spoken. When I see or hear people with very opposite views of what He has shared or revealed with me, I have one response – pray that the scales on my/their eyes be removed. People do not see or understand the things of the spirit because they have scales on their eyes.
If the world today would grasp this spiritual concept and humble themselves and allow Him to lead them to greater truth OR walk in love to pray for those who still have scales on their eyes, we would have a whole lot more unity in the Body. I do not want to be ‘right.’ I want my mind and heart to align with His.
Parents, you are not powerless to help your child! You might need some additional tools, but you are not powerless. Nothing is wrong with you that your child is screaming out for help. Let’s get you some more tools so that you can go after these issues in childhood.
Ephesians 4:6 clearly tells us to get rid of all anger before a certain time of day, but why? I do not think something magical happens at midnight to all those with anger in their hearts; however, I DO believe that when we sleep, we are without natural defense and unable to put on our armor, as Ephesians 6 talks about. Our spirit and mind are very much alive when we sleep, but our active thinking is not. When a child goes to bed with hurts, lies, anger, or offense in their heart, it can open the door to the enemy to produce nightmares, imbed lies, and increases fear and anxiety. If these issues are present, it is better to lose sleep and address it than end the day with it being unresolved. A fantastic way to help a child be at peace before bedtime is by filling up their love tanks, even just for a few minutes, praying together, or playing worship music which calms their heart. Another great way is to play the High/Low game.
High/Low game – When our family endured trauma, it was so important to me to know what was going on inside my children’s minds and hearts. Each evening when I would tuck them in, we would play the High/Low game. I would ask what the high of their day was and then what the low was. Sometimes they would say the most amazing things; the simplest of events was what touched them the most, yet things I totally missed caused the lowest. It helped me get a pulse on their hearts to see what was important to them, but also if they believed any lies or had unforgiveness that needed to be resolved. I would often get another child out of bed to resolve something between their siblings. As the kids enter school, this is an incredible game to play to see what they are carrying around in their hearts.
Have you ever taken a splinter out of a child’s finger? You surely do not want to do it in public. They yell and scream and act like you are cutting off their finger. But once it is out, they run off and play as if nothing happened. Have you ever tried to remove a splinter that has been stuck for a while? The skin closes, leaving it trapped and extremely painful. They are no longer screaming to get it out; they are screaming to protect it. This is what happens when we endure hurts, lies, and offenses as a child that gets ignored, shamed, or dismissed. The hurt, lie, or offense becomes a heart splinter agitating our heart, but instead of screaming for it to get out like a child, we begin to scream when anyone comes close to it because we do not want it touched. We are protecting the heart splinter because it is too painful and uncomfortable. Triggers are simply another word for someone touching that sore spot that reveals where your heart splinter is. No one in their right mind wants a wound to be touched, but the only way to get it out is to put some pressure on it and feel it so that it can be released.
Childhood hurts can turn into adult-sized wounds. Childhood lies can turn into adult strongholds. Childhood offenses can turn into adult bitterness.
Many parents are parenting with heart splinters. They are yelling, screaming, shaming, acting out, raging, controlling, drinking, swearing, and spinning out of control. The solution is not more self-control. The solution is to allow God to minister to that owie that is causing you so much heartbreak and pain and ultimately affecting the way you parent. God wants to tell you that He is not mad at your reaction to the pain and your need to protect yourself, but it is time to let it be dealt with so that you can receive the ministry, healing, and the balm that your heart has needed for so long. How do we do this? First, identify that what you are feeling is not coming from your children. They simply are the ones touching the heart splinter, but your reaction is because something is already in there. Not all issues belong to our children. Some of them are ours. Second, go deeper. What are you feeling beneath the anger, yelling, and control? Pull on the rope and ask yourself, “What am I really feeling right now?” or “What does my heart need right now?” Third, ask, “Jesus, who do I need to forgive for introducing me to _______?” Forgiveness is your key to unlocking the heart splinter because the Cross is the answer for everything. Sometimes we need to forgive for the event (they didn’t listen to me) but also the fruit of the event (because I never felt heard, it is affecting the way I parent my children). It is okay to spend some time carrying your hurt to the Cross. Fourth, ask, “Jesus, what lie am I believing because of this heart splinter?” We have to be able to receive what He shares. We are not just hearing and nodding; we are hearing and receiving it like a gift. Verbally break agreement with the lie, such as, “I renounce the lie that I am _______.” It is super important to replace the lie with His truth so ask Him, “Jesus, what is Your truth?” and then write out whatever He says and declare it out loud over yourself every single morning for the next 30 days. Renew your mind with what He says about it.
While some triggers stem from significant trauma and may require help from those in the Body to process, as outlined in Isaiah 61, many heart splinters are actually quite small but have felt super big because we have carried them around for so long. You are not seeing the splinter from a logical adult brain but from the eyes of whatever age you were when the splinter was introduced (hence why the reactions are often so immature and irrational). Are all childhood owies a heart splinter? NO, not at all. Let me explain the difference. Say a young boy loses his dog, and another loses his father. The one who lost his father goes on to live a successful healthy life, but the one who loses the dog remains hurt and wounded. What’s the difference? The one who lost his dad was surrounded by a community that validated his pain and gave him grace and space to process the pain, causing the hurt to get out. The boy who lost his dog was told to ‘get over it,’ pushing the hurt in further. It is never about the size of the heart splinter but is about how the child was or was not able to process it. This is why God puts children in families. This is why the culture of busyness is a threat to the family (parents are too busy to see or discern what is going on for their child). This is why compassion and validation are heaven’s parenting tools. This is why we must go after connection with our children. This is why partnering with our child’s Creator is so important. Something else I have learned about heart splinters. It is by God’s design that parents help children with their childhood bumps, bruises, and owies, but sometimes parents are not able to do that because of their own heart splinters. By the time we are adults, we need to take responsibility for our own journey and do the hard heart work so that our children do not need to clean up the mess. While you might be craving and longing for someone to come and do it for you, that is not the way it works. You must own your own journey and take responsibility for the healing your heart needs. Show yourself compassion by acknowledging and dealing with the pain once and for all. Christ died so that you do not have to carry this weight around with you anymore. He has answers, keys, solutions, balm, and healing for your journey.
If parents could learn the rhythm of their child’s heartbeat, their world would be changed.
In the natural, things have been hard, overwhelming, scary, and filled with many uncertainties. We all have had to walk that out. But deeper in the spiritual realm, there is a brewing excitement about what God is doing, how He is using this for our good, and what He is doing deep in the hearts of many. This is a season that will shape generations to come.
I am looking for parents who feel a hunger for more. Who wants to go deeper still? Who feels a stirring for more in their families? I invite you to join me for our online parenting JOURNEY class, where we will go deeper, empower you on how to model your home after His, and give you the tools needed for connection, sibling conflict, resolving hurts, and changing the world around you. You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
My daughter was in a funk for a few days and finally asked if we could talk. I took her to my room, and she had my full attention. She told me that she had been struggling and began to tell me with tears that she didn’t think I loved her. I asked her when this started, and she said Saturday. HELLO! Saturday was the day I took her out to get three pairs of new shoes and five new outfits; we talked and connected ALL day. In all honesty, my heart was feeling a little bit defensive, and the offense was creeping up. I kept asking her questions, and she would respond by saying, “I know this isn’t true, but…” Finally, I asked her, “If you KNOW it isn’t true, then why are you giving it room to speak to you?” She believed a LIE, and it needed to be exposed, dealt with, and replaced with HIS truth, which we did. But I began to see something. #1. When our kids are partnering with a lie, it is so easy for us, as parents, to come UNDER it too. My heart was hurt and offended she would even entertain the thought I didn’t love her, which made me feel bad about myself. “I am not doing it good enough,” “I am harming my daughter,” “I am not enough.” These thoughts are shame-based from the pit of hell that sidelines us as powerful, loving, intentional parents. #2. When parents feel guilty, they go overboard to ‘prove’ the truth to make everyone feel better about themselves. I wanted to make a grand gesture to prove my love for her, but then I got the revelation that if I did that, I would be teaching her she could only believe the truth if she saw, heard, felt it (obviously, children need our love to be tangible, but that wasn’t the case here). She needed to reject the lie and embrace the truth that she already knew, not have me PROVE the truth so that she could believe it. We don’t respond to lies; we remove them. She was deceived in her thinking and needed help coming back into TRUTH.