“I came to Lisa because I was finally ready to admit something that was extremely painful. There was an apparent disconnect between myself and my oldest daughter, and I did not love her like my other child. Something in my life held me back from embracing her wholeheartedly. I remember holding her as an infant and not bonding with her; fear would not allow me to snuggle and kiss her. I was terrified of her dying of SIDS. As my wife and I met Lisa, she walked me through a beautiful process with the Holy Spirit of identifying when I first let fear into my life (before this session with Lisa, I hadn’t even considered this incident in 30 years). I was now able to forgive the family member and be set free from living under fear. That night right before bedtime, I sat down with my oldest daughter, looked her in the eyes, and said, ‘I have something important I want to tell you. When you were first born, I was so afraid that something bad could happen to you that I put up a wall of protection around my heart. Do you forgive me for not loving you with my whole heart?’ She said yes, and we hugged. I honestly don’t think that we have ever embraced like that in the seven years of her little life. Not only did the wall come down in my heart, but the wall in her heart came down. Presently my daughter and I are experiencing new levels of peace and freedom that, up until then, I had been jealous of. I have grieved for these moments, and now we are becoming whole.”
My daughter woke up early with me, so we went on a date to grab drive-thru coffee and ended up at the bookstore. I noticed a book about the lies young girls believe and handed it to her. She spent a great deal of time browsing the contents and finally put the book down. I asked her why, and she said, “Because I don’t believe lies.” There was such an anointing on what she said. She was not saying she has never believed a lie, nor was she saying she is 100% lie-free, but she was right to say she doesn’t believe lies. I have taught my kids what lies feel like, and they have begun to self-govern when lies are being entertained in their minds. Lies always remove your peace, make your mind spin like crazy, and create feelings of anxiety, worry, and stress in your heart. When my children are feeling this, they know how to ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing?” and they know how to ask Him for His truth. Can you imagine what this generation would look like if they knew how to stomp on the lies that come to steal, kill and destroy?
A sweet friend who I have known and loved for over 20 years sent me a private message telling me that one of my posts did not bring her peace. My first thought was that I should remove the post out of love for her, as I would never want to be responsible for increasing someone’s fear. But it didn’t sit right with me. I held onto it for a few hours waiting for direction from the Lord. Finally, I heard Him say, “Peace is an inside job,” and I marinated in that truth all day. While we are to test all things according to His Word, the truth is someone’s post, the news, circumstances, and hard trials do not have to rob us of our peace. This is a spiritual muscle that many have been tested in lately. Are you keeping your peace, guarding it at all costs? Flex your muscle that says, “I am unmoved by anything other than the hand of God and remain anchored to His perfect peace!”
After having the world shut down for so long, many thought once everything is opened, all will be well again. I took the kids for a drive-thru lunch and noticed cars parked in a lot that has been bare for months. I soon learned that the local stores were opening. With three teen girls, we clearly needed to join the party and do some shopping. We exited the car, full of giddy joy and excitement. Our masks were on as we waited our turn in line before entering. We grabbed our cart, and something profound happened. The atmosphere was intense. It was eerie, unpleasant, and super heavy. All of the girls reported this weird feeling of being in trouble (fear). There was little joy in shopping in an atmosphere like that. We left, and as I pondered it deeper, He showed me this. The oppression was never about the economy closing, the inability to be out in public, or the lack of shopping. The oppression was about the SPIRIT BEHIND IT. If that is not dealt with in each of us, it will remain, and we will continue to carry it around with us. Opening the stores will not resolve it because it isn’t a financial issue but a spiritual one. Yes, it manifested IN the natural and HAS affected our economy, liberties, freedoms, etc., but we do not do battle in the natural when it is a spiritual issue. Oppression is a spiritual issue and can’t be fixed with tools in the natural any more than one can put a band-aid on a broken heart or rebuke a broken bone away. We have to have the right tools for the issue. What to do? Keep breaking the tension with fear and in your own heart. As believers, we can be in perfect peace everywhere we go.
My daughter was having an unusually rough day, and I kept catching her sneaking things, which was so out of character for her. We asked Jesus to shine His bright flashlight in her heart, which provoked her to ask me the meaning of her name. I showed her a fun book where she could look it up. Once she found it, she began to cry and said, “Oh, I am so glad! I thought my name meant deceiver.” I was shocked, but as I listened to her, I realized she had misunderstood something someone had said. She then partnered with the voice/thought that told her she was a deceiver and guess how she acted that day. We then asked Jesus what her name meant to Him, and she heard “hard worker.” Guess how she started acting since she heard that.
Here is the mental shift: my old way of parenting would have disciplined her for sneaking things and not being honest. While that is something I would want to deal with, it wasn’t the issue. The heart issue was that she believed a lie about her identity. Her joy and peace returned when her identity was secured in the truth.
1,000’s of people have been affected by my life because the forces of darkness were not successful. Death came knocking hard and almost won. Many years ago, I was slipping into a coma enduring 76 long hours alone, slowly dying. It would be another full day before I was found. Hell thought it won that day. The enemy thought he succeeded in killing a life that didn’t appear to matter much to anyone. A heart that hurt more than it loved. A mind that was tormented by lies of utter unworthiness and despair. I took more than I contributed and shared my brokenness with anyone brave enough to try and get close to me. But God… But God saw the value of what He created! But God knew the plans He had for me! But God was confident in His power! But God knew my day of salvation was near! But God decided life was better for me! But God sent His Son to die for ME! But God knew it would be the final blow before I began to rise up like a lioness! But God knew that my ache would turn into my roar! But God knew my future included pulling others out of the pit! But God, He had four precious babies in store for me! But God knew the lies were just that – lies! But God sent people in my path to help me! But God knew my pain would turn into worship! But God was aware of what He was doing in me! But God knew I would be His weapon of destruction against the forces of evil that almost conquered me!
Baby, I do not know what you are facing today, but the same God who moved in my life is MOVING in your life. Keep going, for He is not done with you yet. He trusts Himself with your journey.
Such a sweet testimony from my friend taking our Moms & Dads class on being seen, heard, and valued.
“While spending my time in prayer doing my homework assignment, He showed me that my daughter was doing something behind my back IN THAT MOMENT. This has never happened before. So, I rushed to her, and instead of coming down hard on her or shaming her (ways I have parented before), I asked Jesus to help me, and we walked through getting to her heart. It wasn’t anything huge, but it was dishonest. At the end of the conversation, I told her I wanted her to be honest so she could feel heard. I was given a great opportunity to try and use these gifts, and I feel like it went well! Thank you so much!!”
What I LOVE about this testimony is that she did not see her daughter as a liar but as robbing herself of using her voice to be heard. EMPOWERMENT!!!!
Someone needs to break up with this false ‘protector’ as this mom shares: “I feel like I always used fear to protect me. Like it’s a deceptive tool the enemy used against me. Instead of me putting my trust in God, I put it in fear to keep me safe. As I’ve grown, I’ve seen how fear is actually a form of witchcraft because it is a form of control. Control is the absence of trust and faith in God.”
I received this from a mom who took our online class: “DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!! If you’d have told me two days ago, that my teen daughter would talk to me till 1 am in the morning, I’d have said it was impossible. If you’d told me that my defiant, self-harming, oppositional girl would also hold me tight and hug me for almost a full minute, I’d have cried, longing for you to be right. If you’d told me that this self-proclaimed atheist girl would tell me that she is ‘giving God another shot,’ I’d have wept, thinking that day would never come. YES… all those things happened last night. I was the hopeless person on this FB page all the time. Some of you have supported me so much through this hard journey and remember my girl. I just HAD to take time to write here that THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!! She is still proceeding with caution, and I am parenting her with SOOO much grace and mercy, and love. DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!!”
My friend shared: “Our oldest was having a hard time tonight. Overtired, over being quarantined, whatever the reason, he was really struggling. My husband swooped in and gave him a hug that lasted probably 5 minutes. And all was well in the world again. As parents, knowing when a timeout or other discipline is needed is a skill. Or when it’s time for a long, wordless, healing hug, I’m thankful to witness my husband parent our kids this way – and I’m grateful that the Father of heaven also parents us with such kindness.”