Orphan

WEARING MAKEUP

I am often asked at what age a girl should begin to wear makeup. In response, I share our journey. Lauren and Emma were 12 years old when they asked me if they could start wearing makeup. For one, I said yes, and for the other, I said no. I asked each of them, “Are you walking as a Daughter and want to put on mascara because it is fun and you want to enjoy it? Or are you walking as an orphan who needs mascara to feel beautiful?” There is a world of difference! If it is the latter, I am not helping my daughter’s beauty by encouraging her to use makeup (or anything else) to become her false identity. I took the one shopping to buy her first cosmetic product while I worked with the other one to know the beauty of her worth and value FIRST, and then we went shopping. Both girls know who they are today and do not need makeup to feel beautiful. They are able to enjoy it as a Daughter and feel secure with or without it. 

LEADERS ON A JOURNEY

I messed up big time, and it wasn’t the first. And it probably won’t be the last. Sigh! The older I get, the more I see people, especially leaders, hurting people not because of their wounds but because they fail to have the revelation of who they are. It isn’t their wounds that hurt others. Their lack of walking in their identity, their power, and the fullness of who God created them to be has hurt others. I call this orphan leadership. Years ago, I was starting to lead people on my team, which was a new experience for me. As much as I wish God would perfect us before letting us put our toes in the water, He often puts us in situations, knowing full well they will stretch us, allowing us to GROW in our capacity. I roared when I should have remained silent. I disconnected when I should have fought for them. I assumed when I should have listened. I jumped when I should have waited. I blew it, and I hurt them. On one hand, I was justified as a leader for dealing with the issue that needed to be addressed, but it would take me nearly two years before I could see my contribution and where I needed to become more like Jesus in my leadership. OUCH! The process was painful. I wanted to reach out to this person but had a million reasons why it was too late and would just be weird. I kept hearing God say, “There is no expiration on forgiveness.” I sent them a message of ownership for my part and asked for their forgiveness. I could barely get through their response with the tears in my eyes. They wondered if I had missed them as much as they had missed me. The presence of God is strong when there is unity amongst His children. 

Friends, is there someone you have hurt and need to make it right with? You WILL be reconciled with your spiritual family one way or another, as there is no strife, pain, and disunity in heaven. But here’s the deal – you give God glory and honor by reconciling with someone ON EARTH that you can’t give to Him in heaven. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me if there is anyone I need to make something right with and ask forgiveness?”

PALACE LIVING

Orphan parents cannot raise children in the palace. They must know who they are first, and God is always eager to welcome us. 

A gal shared this in class: “Wow, Lisa! God is indeed using this mentoring class to uproot some lies and hurts that were hidden in my heart that I wasn’t even aware of. Your words are so powerful, and Holy Spirit is using them to do an extreme makeover in my heart. I read your post while waiting for my daughter during her gymnastic class. Holy Spirit grabbed my heart so strongly that I had to leave the room and go outside for a good cry. I realized I had an orphan spirit because I lacked my earthly father’s affirmation. I was trying so hard to earn my Heavenly Father’s approval with my performance and constantly striving for excellence. I couldn’t contain my tears; I was crying out to Abba Father, for I knew He wanted to heal my heart and fill me with His love and grace to the overflow. I asked Father how He would do it because I saw a big giant hole in my heart, and it felt impossible to be cured. But Papa whispered the word ‘beautiful’ over and over to me. ‘I am making something beautiful in your heart.’ I may not understand it, but I believe that today He started a process of healing in my heart. And I say ‘YES’ and ‘AMEN’ to what He is doing in me.”

LET IT HURT

Sometimes life just HURTS. I always tell my spiritual daughters, “If you are going to walk as a Daughter, you are going to have to learn how to feel hard emotions.” Orphans run to things that numb their hearts like a shot of novocaine (porn, shopping, anger, social media, gossip, busyness, checking out, denial, eating, rage, etc.)  As Daughters, we need to learn that pain is okay. It reflects our hearts and how we experience life. We need to practice feeling the pain and, in the midst of it, running into HIS arms, crying out to Him. We can tell Him: “It hurts,” “I am sad,” “I feel lonely,” “I am disappointed,” “I am scared,” “I feel anxious,” “I need help,” and then WAIT and rest in His ability to not only care for your heart and wipe your tears but to move on your behalf. 

Psalm 56:8 (MSG) – “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.”

ADOPTION PAPERS

Responding to life as an orphan is normal. It is what we were born into. But once we become a believer, we are instantly adopted into a new Kingdom. While the adoption papers are complete, some of us need the REVELATION of what that really means so that we can forgo our previous operating system. We will spend the rest of your lives learning what our adoption really means. 

DAUGHTER GOOGLES

I ministered to a 20-year-old mom who said with tears streaming down her face, “Lisa, you gave me Daughter goggles. Suddenly all I can see now is the orphan spirit in operation, which makes me so hungry to act like a Daughter.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I like the sound of that. And then we prayed for the gift of discerning identity to be activated in her life. She is a force to be reckoned with and will be used mightily in the Kingdom to give others Daughter goggles.

DO NOT PLAY THE GAME

As a parent, how does this story make you feel? Johnny walks up to his younger sister, minding her own business, punches her, and then tells her she doesn’t belong in the family. OUCH! What if mom walked in and got all the other siblings against Johnny, making him feel like the outsider, as if his bad attitude meant he no longer belonged? This is the recipe for some serious family dysfunction and pain. Johnny’s behavior clearly needs to be addressed because it is not in alignment with God’s heart, but he is operating out of being an orphan and needs the love of a Father, not rejection. This would not be okay in our family and should not be okay in God’s family. Can’t you see? It is not a gay/straight, John/Beth, He said/She said, Kanye/Church, Pastor/Flock issue. This is a dividing issue from the enemy bent on destroying God’s family. DO NOT PLAY THE GAME. Do not pick sides. Do not pick a winner because if there is a winner, there must be a loser, and we do not treat family that way. 

There are only two camps of people – those who are Sons/Daughters and those who are still operating as orphans (even Christians can be orphans). If Johnny does not have eyes to see his sister’s worth, then he needs a revelation from God. The Bible says people cannot see because they have scales on their eyes. Isaiah 44:18 reads, “They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.” Your prayers that the scales from a brother’s eyes be removed will be more effective than your social media posts against him. If you are taking sides and have not prayed for the scales to be removed from his eyes, then you could very well be just as guilty of participating in dividing God’s family. We are ONE family. ONE Body. If a brother and sister argue, they need love, not sides. I ache over the words spoken against family members, but I want to be an agent of restoration (through prayer), not further division. Which side are you on? Neither! We are on the same side, serving the same God as ONE Body.

ORPHAN SPIRIT

The term ‘orphan spirit’ is a little misleading in that it is not a demonic spirit that can be resolved by using your authority over it, like a spirit of fear or rejection. The ‘orphan spirit’ has more to do with the POSITION of a believer and which kingdom they are aligning their thoughts with. We are all born spiritual orphans because we all fall short of His measuring stick and have disobeyed. The Good News is that Jesus took our spanking for our mistakes, messes, and disobedience. For those who humble themselves and accept this profoundly kind free gift, He gives to us in exchange our adoption papers and the right to be included in His Father’s house and enjoy everything that is available to Him. It is like one big giant slumber party in the palace where there is plenty of food, joy, and laughter. Except the party does not end the following morning. We get to live like that for the rest of our days on earth. However, the process of discovering our full adoption takes a lifetime of exploration. The Bible calls it sanctification, which is the process of being set apart for His purposes. The moment we believe we are justified or adopted, there is a process that comes with learning to become a true Son or Daughter. Let’s say it this way. You were born into the foster care system and lived in a group home until God walked in, looked you in the eyes, and declared that He wanted you as His own. From that moment, He is your legal guardian, but it takes some time to learn how to walk as a Daughter and Son and leave the orphan life behind. My hope is that you will take a few more steps toward your Father and live out what Jesus has made available to you, His Kingdom!

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.

ORPHAN VS. KINGDOM PARENTING

God created us to be fully alive, deeply accepted, and belong completely. The aftermath of the fall is that man became a spiritual orphan separated from God and wandered around life, feeling profound feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. The Good News is that Jesus came to restore us back to that place of deep security with the Father. We can accept Christ yet still be wandering like an orphan striving, begging, and doing life on our own. Imagine a child digging through the dump fending for themselves and meeting their needs for food and clothing all on their own day in and day out with no rest in sight. Now picture a palace where the table is always set, and there is a room with your name on it. When we become Christians, we get the honor of living in the palace, yet some enjoy the view and go back to the dump laboring daily to meet their needs. It is impossible to raise a child as a Son/Daughter in God’s Kingdom when you occupy the dump yourself. If you want to raise them in the palace, you have to enter yourself.

Orphan Parenting is when we parent our children from the place of isolation, abandonment, self-protection, striving, loneliness, self-sufficiency, and lack. We are modeling to our children how to live like an orphan, not from Kingdom reality. 

Kingdom Parenting stems from a confidence that you are more than enough and God is doing a good work in YOU; therefore, there is no need to compare yourself to others. You are fully aware of the journey and process the Father has you on because you are intimately walking it out with Him, and you trust Him that He knows best. 

The following list is NOT a pass/fail. It is the JOURNEY of becoming more and more like Him. Everyone starts out as an orphan, and we will spend the rest of our days on earth discovering, realizing, and embracing the love of our Father. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel insecure about themselves, their performance, and their worth. They are competitive with others internally and are jealous of others’ success because it reminds them of their lack. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters know they are loved and, out of that place, feel deeply secure to take risks, adventure out, and explore new things. When they see someone else gain what they desire, it gives them hope for what is available. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans cannot rest because they have to constantly be doing ‘good’ in order to feel worthy of His love. They are agitated when children are joyful and carefree because they do not feel they have the right to relax. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are able to experience the Father’s pleasure over them even when they are resting and are able to be at peace knowing He is well pleased with who they are, not just what they do. They welcome the joy children release. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel a gaping hole in their heart that is painful. They strive to fill it with outside sources (shopping, alcohol, porn, social media, etc.), but it only leaves the hole bigger. They often get annoyed with the confidence of a child who operates without the gaping hole. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are strengthened by intimacy as they have allowed Jesus access to the aches and pains in their hearts, which position them on solid and secure ground.

Orphan Parenting – Orphans have a deep drive for success, but with the goal of feeling worthy or good enough. It puts them in the driver’s seat of their lives at all costs. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident in the plans God has for them and are led by the Holy Spirit to lead them on a life adventure that is full of favor, open doors, and eternal fruit. Their definition of success is measured by obedience, not popularity, ‘likes,’ or bank accounts. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans use people for their gain and advancement. They see people as stepping stones to their own agenda. They see people as an opportunity to network. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters serve those around them to build them up, following Christ’s example to serve and have a high value on connection. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans are annoyed by children and see them as a hindrance to their agenda who drain them of their time, energy, and resources. They respond with dominance, fear, and shame to control the child’s behavior to meet their agenda. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters understand the foolishness and immaturity of a child and respond with love and healthy authority. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans are often angry and full of rage out of ongoing fear that they cannot control the world around them. They have high levels of anxiety and worry. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident that their Father is in control of all things and has the ability to work all things out for their good. Because their circumstance does not define them, they are able to respond in peace and not react. 

Orphan Parenting – An orphan only feels as good about themselves as their outward appearance, clothing, number of ‘likes,’ material possessions, etc., allow. Orphans are always the first to get the latest trend and are constantly looking for praise and applause from others. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are deeply affirmed by the Creator of the universe that He has created them to be unique and have immeasurable value to Him. They are secure and confident because of their relationship and intimacy with Him. 

The ONLY way to cease acting like an orphan is to embrace the love of the Father and accept the invitation to act like a Son and Daughter. It’s already been paid for. All you have to do is receive.