rss search

next page next page close

Listening and Processing

_MG_3445_edited-1God’s been at work in me lately. He’s been showing me things that have long been buried. This summer I found myself very angry 2-3 times in 3 weeks. My husband remarked that he has never seen me that mad before and what’s going on?  Well, like most of my Christian walk; God and I had a talk in my car and He showed me the anger wasn’t coming from the situation or the people I thought I was angry with. It was coming from all those years of abuse and mistreatment. Well, this was something I wasn’t prepared for.

I sat with it for a couple of days and at a meeting (of all places) a friend of mine was telling the group about his struggle with self-pity all of his life due to mistreatment and abandonment as a young boy. He carried this all his life and God showed him through various people and situations that it was time to lay it down; to give it to Jesus. During his sharing he said “I don’t know, maybe this is for one of you” and I felt my spirit leap; it was for me. I needed to share what was going on with me. So, I spoke up and shared with the group my anger issues and what I thought God was showing me to be the cause. They came around me and prayed for me. Before they prayed I was asked “do you trust me? Do you trust us? Do you believe Jesus wants to take this from you?” and  my answer to all those questions was “Yes”. They prayed for me and that night in bed I couldn’t sleep, I felt free and light and needed to process it.

The next day I took a yoga class, I always invite Jesus into my class at the beginning and thank Him for the ability to be there and do to the poses, etc. 10 minutes before the class was over I started feeling extremely sad, I found myself crying and realized I was grieving my little girl; my little abused girl who didn’t have a voice and didn’t comprehend what was happening and why. She was naïve and innocent to the point that she thought what was happening was normal and happened to all girls; even though it felt really scary and bad. I was grieving that girl as though she wasn’t me but yet the entire time, I knew it was me. But, I’m not that girl anymore so I felt detached from her and I was just really, really sad about what happened to her and I wish it wouldn’t of been. I journaled about this later and thought more tears and grief would come but it didn’t.

The other thing I’ve noticed God showing me is regarding babies. It started with my niece’s water breaking. I was volunteering at a Tapestry event this summer (Tapestry is a organization that helps/serves single girls who are pregnant and can’t afford medical treatment). I was serving there, a place to celebrate and encourage life. During a break I looked at my phone and found out my friend’s wife with cancer was told they couldn’t help her anymore, they were just going to “keep her comfortable”.  The next thing I saw was my niece in California who was close to her due date; her water had broken. I’m at this event celebrating life and my friend is at his wife’s death bed and my niece is ready to create life. I was confused and overwhelmed. Many different emotions at the same time. I broke down and cried, I cried for my friend’s wife and I cried because my niece has always been the one I related to most in my family; she was the only other woman who didn’t have children and now she was ready to give birth. When I saw the first picture of her baby – just “fresh out of the oven” I broke down. I had this strong longing for my mom to be here, to see her new baby. Mom was really close to my niece and would love this moment! I was sad because she wasn’t alive for it; even though I know she knows and sees from heaven I still was sad because she wasn’t here. She would love this! I wanted to share it with her and I know my niece did too. I was sad because if my niece could be a mom; I could’ve been one too. If she could do it, I could’ve done it. I messed up; I missed out. I was so sad, I grieved my aborted baby; I beat myself up for having my tubes tied to prevent another “unwanted pregnancy”.  I was so wrong on so many levels.

Shortly after, a girl I used to work with who I wasn’t really close to had a baby girl. They found out during the pregnancy the baby had some kind of left heart syndrome. Basically it meant the left side of her heart didn’t work, it wasn’t completely formed. I don’t understand all the medical stuff that goes with it, but they were told their baby would need multiple surgeries during her infancy. At the time I remember thinking “are you going to go through with this? Are you going to have this baby?” I thought they should be contemplating an abortion, ya know to save the baby from such a rough life. Well, they went through with the pregnancy and went to Boston for delivery because they are specialists in this syndrome. This little, tiny, innocent, beautiful baby girl was born. The first moment I saw her I regretted ever thinking about aborting her! How could I have even had such a thought! I was ashamed of myself! I had an abortion at 24 and at the time I thought it was the best thing I could do and maybe it was but I’ll never know. My baby didn’t have any medical issues to prevent her from having a healthy, normal life and I aborted her because she was an inconvenience to me! I’m devastated and I feel incredibly horrible for doing such a thing but I did it because I didn’t know any better. I was on drugs and living with someone who hated children, I wasn’t ready.

So, here’s this little infant born with left heart syndrome speaking from God to me with her story. She has already brought God so much glory just by being who she is. She is a fighter and she is doing much better than the doctors expected. She has so many people across the nation praying for her, having fund raisers for her and God is using her to speak to so many people, her parents, me and who knows who else. Every time I read of her progress or her condition on Facebook I cry. I grieve for my aborted baby, my heart aches for this little girl, I want so much for her to be done with her surgeries and be able to go home with her parents. My heart aches for her mom and dad and all they have to deal with. She’s a month old today and they have barely been able to hold her – she’s had surgery and has been hooked up to lines and tubes most of her life. Just lately they’ve been able to hold her a little and she’s been able to wear “regular” clothes. They as a family have a very long, rough road ahead of them but they’re trusting and praising God every step of the way. I’m so sorry for my lack of understanding when I had an abortion. I’m sorry and I grieve for my unborn child. I know God knows best and He knew what He was doing when He trusted me with my little unborn baby. I’m so sorry I didn’t follow through and see her as the blessing she was. I’m sorry I didn’t give children another chance in my life.  Although I know if I had them and didn’t change they would have had a messed up, horrible life.

next page next page close

Freedom from Insecurity

I just finished a 10 week study on the Beth Moore book “So Long Insecurity, you’ve been a bad friend to us” And this is my recap and some of the things I’ve learned. 

Insecurity has dominated my life in ways I never saw. Looking back I now can see where every bad decision and action that I’ve done has been a result of insecurity.  Insecurity was my avenue into bad relationships, addictions and other similar bad choices. 

One of the side effects or “cover” for insecurity in my life is perfectionism. I don’t take correction well, it makes me feel stupid and shame comes with it and reinforces the messages I give myself. I feel I have to be a fit, attractive, competent person. I have to do all things right. If I can’t do something well, I don’t do it. I don’t play whiffle ball at a picnic because I know I don’t do it well. And doing it well isn’t even good enough, I have to be very good, one of the best or I don’t want to do it in front of others. I don’t want to look stupid or uncoordinated; I don’t want to be laughed at; and even if they don’t laugh audibly, I think they’re laughing silently. Some people think I don’t participate in things because I’m shy or an introvert and they try to change me; they think all I need is to loosen up a little to get around people and interact. That’s not it. That’s not even close, it’s insecurity; plain and simple. 

Insecurity is caused by a variety of reasons:

  • Instability in the home. Instability comes from many sources:  layoffs, financial issues, parents that divorced; abuse of any kind (even if it’s not “in” the home), an alcoholic parent, mental or physical illness of a parent, etc. The root of insecurity caused by instability is often the fear that no one will take care of you. You feel as though you’re on your own.
  • A significant loss. This could be the loss of anything you genuinely prize or get stability and self-worth from.  A home, a peer group, a relationship, best friend, loss of innocence (as in abuse) or losing a loved one due to death, etc.
  • Rejection. One of the few forces that can usher females into a season of insecurity with swiftness is rejection. Nothing shouts a more convincing lie about our personal value than rejection. Many times rejection might cause a man to have a string of superficial relationships where he never gives his heart away, and it might cause a woman to give her heart away before she even has a relationship – that’s what I did.
  • Our Culture: the way media portraits the “beautiful” women and none of us can ever measure up to that.
  • Pride: many times we feel insecure because of our pride. We’re not the most gifted people in the world, we’re not the first choice – every time; we’re not someone’s favorite, we don’t feel special, we can’t do everything ourselves and on and on it goes.  

I have several of these that helped create my insecurity. And the bottom line is that we can try and try to change ourselves with positive thinking, trying really hard to change our actions, stuff our feelings or pretend that we’re feeling secure (fake it till you make it). But in reality the only one that can free us from the bondage of insecurity is Jesus.  He came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) and He came to set the captives free (Isaiah 61)! I have a history with Jesus of being set free. He set me free from my addictions and I know He can do it again and set me free from insecurity.  He wants the best for me and He wants me to live like He created me; I’m made in His image and He is not the least bit insecure! 

So, where do I go from here? I have learned so much and become aware. I know that’s the first step is to notice when I’m “acting out” and then I turn to Jesus for help because really, without Him I can’t do this.  Prayer will be a big part of my stepping out of this insecurity hole I’ve lived in. The Bible says the truth will set you free and these are the truths I believe will play a part in my freedom:  I trust you Jesus; I know I’m made in Your image and I’m Your masterpiece, You have crowned me with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:7), I am clothed with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25), I have a treasure on the inside of me (2 Corinthians 4:7). My security is mine to keep. God gave it to me. No one gets to take it from me. 

“(She) will have no fear of bad news; (her) heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Her) heart is secure, (she) will have no fear, in the end (she) will look in triumph on (her) foes.” Psalm 112:7-8

next page next page close

I’m Powerless

This last week has been really crazy for me. I’ve been reminded over and over just how powerless I am. How powerless we all are.

Christian Writing MInistryLast Monday, I was at North Memorial in Maple Grove with Bill. He was getting a test done as an outpatient. While I was waiting for him my niece called and told me my Mom had been taken to the Hospital by ambulance. She didn’t have any other information – just that.

I called and verified that my mom had just arrived in the ER and they were checking her out – they’d call when they had more information. So, when Bill got done we went from North Memorial in Maple Grove to North Memorial in Robbinsdale. The bottom line is that mom has a blood clot in her heart. She’s home now but she has a long road ahead of her yet.

Through this God has been showing me and teaching me many things:
• To live one day at a time; sometimes one moment at a time.
• To be fully present to each moment.
• I am powerless and I have to continually turn things over to Him – that’s been my entire week this week.
• He’s showing me just how precious each moment is and not to take anything for granted.
• He’s shown me the love He has for His children and that no matter how old we are – we’re still His children.
• That He gives us the strength and grace we need for each day – our “daily bread”.
• He’s shown me the importance of family and friends and that they really make a difference in our lives.
• He’s shown me the reality of “we can make our plans, but He directs our steps”
• that ultimately He’s in control. And we – are powerless.

Here’s a “physical heart-snapshot”
One of the cool things He showed me is the complex and unique way He has created us. I was in the room when Mom got an ultrasound done of her heart. At one point the image on the screen was like a little cone head person (you can tell I’m a 70’s SNL fan) I think there was more than one but I could really only see one (because of the size of the screen) and this little cone head person; was praising God! It was kinda like jumping jacks yet not really. It would raise it’s hands in praise and then back down to touch the other cone head person.

I really think it was her heart pumping and the valves letting the blood flow by and then blocking it again. I’m not sure. But to me, in that moment it was cone head people praising God. I just thought – wow, even our hearts praise God with every beat!

next page next page close

There is Hope

I want to share with you that there is hope. When you’re a Child of God – there’s always hope! Paul says in Colossians 1:27 that we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Christ is in us and we can hope for glory – we can!)

I gave my life to Jesus when I was a young child in Sunday school and I fell away – badly when I got a little older. I gave my life to Jesus as an adult when I was 34. At that time, I had been using drugs for about 22 years and was in the process of my 3rd divorce.

I started using when I was barely 13; because I wanted to be grown up, wanted to fit in and just wanted to be cool. My oldest sister Christian Writing Ministryintroduced me to cigarettes, drinking and pot – all in one night. I had been sexually abused by different men from the age of 11 or 12 until about 15. When I was 22, right after my first divorce my mom disowned me and I went into a downward spiral for the next 12 years.

I used men, a huge variety of drugs and partied whenever I could. My drug of choice was always pot, but also included cocaine for about 8 years. I did many other drugs in my life, but these two were my favorites. My goal was to be stoned from the time I got up in the morning until I passed out at night. In the morning when I was putting my make up on, I was smoking a joint; I smoked on the way to work, at work and on the way home and all night long. A typical day for me was an average of 8 joints and that was when I was by myself. Weekends and when I smoked with friends, my usage was up. This didn’t stop just because I gave my life to Jesus. I continued smoking pot and drinking for about a year and a half after I was saved. I did however, quit using men, partying and doing the bar scene.

When I quit using, it appeared as though it was a miracle, a deliverance; it looked like I just suddenly quit cold turkey. From 8 joints one day – to zero the next. But that wasn’t the case; Jesus had been working on me on the inside for the entire year and a half. I knew I wasn’t pleasing Him and I knew He wanted me to quit. I’d pray and tell Jesus that if I’m ever gonna quit, He’d have to do it for me, because I couldn’t do it alone. The thing is, I didn’t want to quit, I enjoyed it. I prayed that He would make me willing to be willing; and then allow Him to come in and do His work. I would always put this tag though on the end of those prayers and say “but please don’t get me busted!” Cause you know how God is and He works that way sometimes when we don’t get the message.

Well, one day, I heard a sermon and I knew it was time. (The sermon was called “Freeze Tag” and it was about the game of Freeze tag that you’ve maybe played when you were young. Whoever is “it” tags the other players and they are instantly frozen and they have to stay that way until one of the other players comes along and tags them – then they are no longer frozen. The sermon related that game to people who get frozen and stuck in certain patterns or behaviors in life. Frozen people in life stay that way until Jesus comes along and touches them and then they’re no longer frozen. That was me, and that was what I needed…I needed a touch from Jesus) I knew God was speaking through my Pastor directly to me in that sermon. But, I didn’t quit that day, or the next day which was Monday. I was gonna to call my Pastor and realized that Monday was his day off and so Tuesday I called him and I told him everything = I just spilled it all out to him and he was so gracious! We prayed together and that was the last day I used drugs.

So, there is hope. Isaiah 59:1 says “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” Surely His arm is not too short to save – he can reach you no matter where you are. If you cry out to him, he will hear you (his ear is not dull) and he will reach you – no matter how far you’ve fallen.

I’ll leave you with this: taken from Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit..”

Our God is a God of hope and we can overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


next page next page close

Growing Pains

Growing painsChristian Writing Ministry
they are so hard,
But such a necessary part
of life

In one year
Seems ten I’ve grown
I sometimes feel
so all alone
in strife.

But in my loneliest
Is when I always
The face of Christ

The arms of Jesus
reach for me
Everyday, but I best see
in darkness

next page next page close

The Pit

You were there when I was numbChristian Writing Ministry
When I was lost.
When I didn’t know where to find…..

I didn’t know where to look.
Going through the motions
seemed so hard.
My struggles just brought
me deeper in the pit.

But, no pit is deeper
than the arm of God.
And You were there.
You met me in my pit,
and sat with me awhile.
And we cried together.
We mourned my losses:
-of hope
-of the future
that “my mind” had planned,
and realized that You directed my path.

Your plans are better than mine,
Your thoughts are higher than mine.
And I put my hand in Yours,
and You are bringing me out of that pit.
And I know there is glorious sunshine at the end.

However long it takes
However many rocks are in my path,
we will go hand in hand
and I will trust You
and follow You completely.
For You know me
and even though You know,
You love me!

next page next page close

Freeze Tag

Freeze Tag

(Please see my article “He Touched Me” for part one.)

One Sunday my Pastor’s sermon was called “Freeze Tag”. When you were a kid, did you ever play the game freeze tag? It’s just like playing tag, one person is “it” and runs around, trying to tag the others, the only difference is once you are tagged, you must freeze in that position. You remain that way until one of the other people that aren’t “it” come and touch you and unfreeze you, then you are free to run around again. Well my life related to this game of freeze tag, as I’m sure many other’s do. At a point in my life I was touched and frozen. The part of me that was frozen didn’t grow up and also didn’t want to feel because of the pain I was trying to avoid. I needed to find ways to numb my feelings. People get frozen for different reasons, either for one reason or for a combination of reasons. I think mine was a combination. I had really low self-esteem and self worth; I had what I call a “soil of shame” and a “root of rejection”. These were brought into my life for various reasons.

“…For you shall forget the shame of your youth…” Isaiah 54:4

When I heard the sermon Freeze Tag something happened inside of me. Monday, I decided to quit smoking pot, I was going to call my Pastor and speak with him about the sermon and realized Monday was his day off. I didn’t call him that day and I didn’t quit drugs, but I did only smoke one joint (instead of the usual 8!). Tuesday came and I got up my nerve and called my Pastor. He was so gracious! I poured it all out, I told him all the things I was ashamed of and how helpless I was to stop on my own. I just wanted to live for Jesus-completely! He talked to me about my concerns of quitting and starting a new life, he prayed with me and that was the day I quit!

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16 AMP

Once you’re frozen in life, you need a touch to get defrosted just like in the game. The difference being in the game anyone other than the person that is “it” can touch you, but in life, it has to be Jesus. He comes and touches that frozen part of you and you’re defrosted. That part of you is now allowed to grow and to feel. It’s a difficult process. Even if you are supernaturally delivered like I was from the addictive substance, there are still a lot of things you have to do in the aftermath of it. For me, the part that was frozen was my emotions; I truly didn’t know how to feel, or what I was feeling. Making decisions was hard; I didn’t know what my opinions were. I cried very easily because my emotions were right on the surface. I wasn’t used to feeling, so when I did feel it was really intense.

“Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman there who for eighteen years had had an infirmity caused by a spirit (a demon of sickness). She was bent completely forward and utterly unable to straighten herself up or to look upward. And when Jesus saw her, He called (her to Him) and said to her, Woman, you are released from your infirmity! Then He laid (His) hands on her and instantly she was made straight, and she recognized and thanked and praised God.” Luke 13:10-13 AMP

This sums up how Jesus touched me. I was frozen in life always looking down, unable to look up because the things of the world held me in bondage. Jesus touched me and I wasn’t frozen any more, I could look up and see Jesus, look Him right in the eye and know that He loved me, He healed me from my infirmity!

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and their sorrows].” Psalm 147:3 AMP

Anyone can be used by Jesus to be “Jesus in the skin” to someone else, let Him use you today. Let Him use your former pain and shame to minister to others. Help Him set the captives free.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” Isaiah 61:1 NKJV

“Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense…” Isaiah 61:7a AMP

“who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” II Corinthians 1:4 RSV
(Continued in my next article “The Battle Belongs to the Lord”)




next page next page close

How Far I’ve Come

Isn’t it funny how God works? He works from the inside out, sometimes it is so slow and natural we don’t even see the change. Other times, He works so fast; it’s a miracle, a deliverance. I’ve experienced both of these ways of God in my life. About 6-8 months after I got saved, I one day noticed I didn’t swear anymore. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened, it just did. When I got off of drugs and drinking it was a genuine deliverance in my life. It seemed to happen quickly, but as I think about it, maybe it was a slow process, one I didn’t even know was going on inside of me until it manifested on the outside.

Christian Writing MinistryI read a book “Tired of Trying to Measure Up” by Jeff VanVonderen a few months after I quit smoking pot. Now I’m reading it again. When I first read the book I thought the author knew me and was writing the book about me. Almost every single word was exactly me! It was the best book; it really helped me to realize what, how and why I have the personality traits and behaviors that I do.

The book is about Christians who live under a deeply ingrained code of written and unwritten expectations and rules that shame them and drain them. It is for the perfectionist, people with low self worth, ones that were abused or shamed and the people who were addicted to any form of substance that allowed them to escape. Mostly it is about shame and how it affects us in our opinion about our relationships our behaviors and ourselves. It speaks about who we are in God’s eyes, what He created us to be, the freedom God’s grace brings and how to recognize what our coping skills are and how they do or don’t serve us in our relationships.

The first time I read this book, a friend borrowed it to me. I remembered the book being so true for me that I wanted my own copy. My church had a sale in the bookstore a few weeks ago and I bought it. I started reading it for the second time. I am only on the 3rd chapter and I can already see how far I’ve come. The opinions, behaviors and characteristics the book speaks of were 98% me the first time. Now, they are still in me, but healed to the point that they rarely show up anymore. My thoughts are different, my actions are different, and it’s a miracle!

“And all of us, as with unveiled face, because we continued to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit. II Corinthians 3:18

“And let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:6

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

If you ever think you are not moving spiritually, look back in your journal if you have one, read a book that described you, ask a trusted friend or pray and ask God to reveal it to you. I know you will be encouraged when you realize how different you are. God usually takes us through life’s lessons slowly and we are continually being transformed into His likeness.


next page

Listening and Processing

God’s been at work in me lately. He’s been showing me things that have long been buried....
article post

Freedom from Insecurity

I just finished a 10 week study on the Beth Moore book “So Long Insecurity, you’ve been...
article post

I’m Powerless

This last week has been really crazy for me. I’ve been reminded over and over just how...
article post

There is Hope

I want to share with you that there is hope. When you’re a Child of God – there’s always...
article post

Growing Pains

Growing pains they are so hard, But such a necessary part of life In one year Seems ten...
article post

The Pit

You were there when I was numb When I was lost. When I didn’t know where to...
article post

Freeze Tag

(Please see my article “He Touched Me” for part one.) One Sunday my Pastor’s sermon was...
article post

How Far I’ve Come

Isn’t it funny how God works? He works from the inside out, sometimes it is so...
article post