Welcome!

Ever wished you could ask God a question? Wanted his advice on a specific aspect of life?

The fact is, a growing number of people are discovering that we can ask God anything, and he will answer! It’s called listening prayer, and it has become the most enlightening and healing thing in my life.

What you will read here are some of the conversations I have with God about my life and family. God’s answers to me are meant for me and may not apply to your specific situation. But don’t be surprised if you see something that triggers his voice in your own heart. He is longing to speak to you too.

I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge of God, just a heart that longs to hear what he says and share it with others who may benefit. Mostly, I hope to inspire you to listen to God for yourself.

If you are interested in learning to hear God’s voice, check out my About page for a great video to get you started.


Photo Credit: Vic, https://tinyurl.com/jwp7n32.

Featured post

Presentable

August 15, 2014

I’m so tired. Instead of going to church, I wish I could go to sleep.

Why can’t you?

My hair is wet and needs to be styled.

Why?

So I can look good to the people at church.

Why do you care what they think?

Is it wrong to care? Is there not value in being presentable?

Presentable. Yes, you are a gift from me to others, like a present. Are you not then intrinsically presentable?

Even with rumpled hair and no makeup?

Haven’t they seen you like that before, when camping for example? Why is this day somehow different? Why do my people place such a high value on being presentable to others on this day? Is this in the Bible? Where do I say you must dress up for church? Don’t I tell you to rest? Don’t you need a nap now?

Yes, I just don’t know if I can get one with my family’s needs.

Can you trust me on the Sabbath to care for your children a little bit?

Is it really this simple?

It is.

 

God, the Best Father

August 15, 2014

You know how I have been feeling. I’m confused, and I need clarity. Speak to me. I need to hear your voice.

Do you think I am mad at you? That’s what you’re feeling, isn’t it? That feeling is a phantom, not reality. I’m not angry with you any more than you were yesterday when your daughter was afraid you were. Let that feeling go. It is born of spiritual abuse.

Thank you for seeing me, knowing me better than I know myself. You are not angry with me. You’re my Daddy. I am your daughter, and you love me. Thank you for that.

You’re right when you say spiritual abuse is the biggest dragon you have ever fought. You’re beginning to recognize it as the thing that has kept you buried all these years. I know you grieve for the 20 years you have spent in depression, feeling as if this time has been wasted. But NO. It has not been. I WILL redeem it. Every day, every hour of it will be to your benefit. Do you believe I can do this?

Honestly, it is beyond my ability to grasp. But I believe you can do anything.

I will do it, and you will be amazed. As for today, like so many days, you are imagining what must be done and planning for it. So often when you do this, you end the day filled with regret. Let’s not live that way today. Let’s take today as it comes. Will you take my hand and walk through it with me?

Yes. Thank you. You’re such a good Daddy. You know just what I need.


This post is part twelve of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Rafal Olechowski, Shutterstock, https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/mother-holding-hand-her-daughter-spring-100800745?src=JzZfGsKOB8uTHa2xHNPn1A-1-47

You Are Free

August 12, 2014

Thank you for your help yesterday. I was unsure whether I really followed your plan for the day. Sometimes I just did what I wanted. Surely there is a balance. Surely I can sometimes do what I want?

Of course. Do you give your children time to do what they want? You show them balance between their desires and their responsibilities. Sometimes they get out of balance. Sometimes you do too. It’s not an easy thing, even as a adult. What I really want you do to is stop allowing your spiritually abusive background to speak to you about this.

Spiritual abuse says, “If you’re not giving ALL your effort, you’re failing.”

I say, “I don’t need your effort. I want you to be a whole person.”

Spiritual abuse says, “Redeem the time because the days are evil.”

I say, “I am the great redeemer. I am beyond time. I redeem all things for my children.”

Spiritual abuse says, “Perfection is the goal in all things.”

I say, “Be mature enough to realize perfection is not possible. Enjoy my goodness.”

Spiritual abuse says, “When you look back on your life, will you regret this?”

I say, “When you look back on your life, you will see my hand in every day, every moment.”

Spiritual abuse says, “God has a plan for your life, a path designed for you to walk in. Don’t stray from the path.”

I say, “I made life to be an exciting journey! Though I know your life in its entirety before it begins, you have more say in it than I do. That’s the way I wanted it! I give you life and breath and a beautiful world in which to live, and then I revel in what you do with it!”

I am always with you. I always have been. I always will be. Whatever you’re doing, I am there. You are free!


This post is part eleven of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.

The Abused Abuser

May 31, 2014

Only you know all that is going on in my heart and mind today. Only you understand completely. Only you have the answers. God, I need your answers. Please speak to me.

Apologize. If it’s not right for your daughter to do, it’s not right for you.

Okay, I’m hearing you. I have been hearing you lately talk about hypocrisy. My husband and I are hypocrites to our kids. We tell them to speak kindly while yelling at them. We use foul language and tell them not to. I tell them to work hard, but I don’t show them what hard work looks like. We are hypocrites. No wonder one daughter is bitter and the other is confused.

I admit it. I can also admit I feel powerless to change. I don’t feel I can just make myself more patient, kind, or loving. And here we are to the fruits of the Spirit again. You and you alone are the answer. Help, please!

Don’t try to change her. Find out who I made her to be. Do you think I would treat her the way you do? You have been spiritually abusive to her, perpetuating the abuse you received. It’s time to break this cycle of abuse. You must STOP mistreating her and saying you’re doing it on my behalf. I don’t mistreat people. Stop portraying me to her that way. If you stop thinking of yourself as her parent, it will help. I AM her parent. She is MY responsibility. You are to direct her to me. I get angry when my little ones are mistreated. But I am full of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.

Oh God, forgive me! Please have mercy on me! I will change. Lead me in your perfect ways. Make your path straight before me. Heal the wounds that still fester inside me because of the abuse I have received. Break the cycle of abuse. Heal me. Heal my husband. And heal my children. Make us all new as only you can. I place myself and your children in your hands. I take refuge in the shadow of your wings. You are our hope.

Those who put their trust in me will not be ashamed. Meditate on verses like that. You will NOT be ashamed. Let that really sink in.


This post is part ten of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.

Humble or Humiliated

May 25, 2014

I had a disturbing dream last night. My take-away is that when I see others as hating, disliking, making fun of me, I respond with my own anger and hate. A friend of mine said I need new “glasses,” that in truth, people like, even admire me. She said when I see people through God’s eyes, I might be very surprised.

As I work through the spiritual abuse issue, I begin to see people differently. The guest speaker at church yesterday made statements I agreed with and some I disagreed with. Here’s the cool thing. I found myself able to both agree and disagree while still feeling love and respect for him, AND I didn’t automatically doubt or berate myself because of his message. I saw him as a lover of God sharing his heart, not as a messenger from God with 100% truth. This allowed me to find his truth and let it have a place in my heart without being guilted into something untrue.

In the past, I have seen myself as “falsely humble.” It had to be false because according to my faith tradition, no one is truly humble. In fact, all this time I was being humiliated by spiritual abusers and their hyper-spiritual, people-condemning rhetoric.

I’m beginning to see my ideas and opinions are just as valid as those of others. As I validate my own humanity, I am better able to validate others, even those who disagree with me, without feeling threatened by them.

And there is true humility. When you realize that you are infinitely valuable because I made you exactly as you are and say you are good, the natural next step is to see that everyone else is just as infinitely valuable as you are! Your abusers were so full of pride themselves, they couldn’t see the value in anyone different from them. But the value of humanity is in it’s diversity! You love others not because they are just like you, but because they are unique, rare, one of a kind! That, my precious child, is humility.


This post is part nine of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Nasrul Ekram, https://www.flickr.com/photos/inrime_nasrul/997415862.

I Feel Like a Failure

May 23, 2014

Fail, fail, FAIL! It seems everything I set out to do I fail. Is it any wonder I hesitate to set any goals at all? I cannot write here the depths of my sadness and regret, the intensity of my self-loathing.

My husband has been gone on a business trip since Monday. I’ve missed him, but I’ve had a great week. I had planned a thorough cleaning of the house to surprise him when he comes home. Monday we worked very hard, got the bedrooms almost done.  Tuesday we were less motivated, got the girls’ room almost dome. Wednesday I helped one resheet her bed, and after I was so exhausted from fibromyalgia I went to bed for 3 hours. Yesterday was the girls’ school end-of-year party at an amusement park. It was fun, long, and tiring. Nothing got done. Today, my husband comes home and the house looks worse than when he left.

And now the pressure I feel every day, that lifts when he leaves and descends as he returns, is back. I know it’s related to my upbringing, spiritual abuse, and the arguments my parents used to have over the state of their house. It’s also in part from something my mother-in-law said to me once. “The last thing my husband said to me when he left me was, ‘You’re the worst housekeeper in the world.'” Am I going to drive my husband away with my lack of housekeeping? What am I teaching my children? Am I failing them as well? Would they all be better off without me?

I know I should listen to your voice right now, but I’m afraid to. I don’t want deep religious insight. I want this problem to just go away. I want to have physical stamina, a pain-free body, and intestinal fortitude. I want to be young again, skinnier, and not depressed. And it seems all I want is beyond my grasp. I don’t want to fail my kids or my husband, and yet I do daily. Failure perpetuates failure ad nauseum. I don’t want to hear your wisdom right now. I just want to know you care how I feel, love me as I am, and are with me in the depths of my despair.

May 24, 2014

Thank you for listening to me yesterday. After I wrote all that I began to bounce back. Thank you for bringing my husband home safely. It’s good to have him home. He’s even noticed some of the work we did. The kids are so full of excitement to be with him! It’s wonderful to see.

And now I really want to hear what you have to say. Please speak to me.

It’s okay. I do understand how you feel. And I know all the reasons for it. Some came from inside you, and some, MANY, from outside. Your “personality” isn’t now what I designed it to be. It’s full of coping mechanisms you’ve put on to deal with your experiences in the world. Can you give me those coats and hats and mittens and galoshes?

If I do, how do I live? How do I weather the storms?

Take refuge under my wings.

Wow. Sounds easy. Somehow I doubt it is. This will require some thought.

Take your time. Imagine how a mother bird protects her young from a storm. Under her wings they are safe and warm. That’s where you are, safe and warm under my wings.


This post is part eight of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.

Like a Slinky

I refuse guilt. There is no condemnation. But I see the futility of doing things in my own strength and on my own schedule. It just doesn’t work. I know you embody all truth, and even facing my own weakness points me to your strength. Bottom line: you are calling me higher as a wife and mother. Help me. Show me. Point the way.

You’re like a slinky. When I lift you higher, more of you flows down to your children, husband, and home. I lift you up; you pour down. You are still all you, but more of you is available to flow to others. And in turn, I lift others to pour into you. It’s not a fearful thing. It can actually be fun! But it’s my power, not yours; my strength, not yours; my goals, not yours; my timing, not yours. I do it, not you. Just don’t fight me as I do it. Remember there is no fear in love, no fear in me. I am light, and in me is no darkness.


This post is part seven of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: By Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA (All work and no play) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Crucible

April 19, 2014

Wow! Big dream. Lots of images from my past and present. I was plagued by fear. People could easily manipulate me because I was afraid. I heard you say, “liquid character.” What are you trying to say?

Fear is a crucible. People have different melting points, but at some point most people’s character liquefies in the face of fear. I want to raise your melting point.

Uh oh. Sounds really scary, like you’re going to turn up the heat.

Some might see it that way. But are you willing to see me as FOR you, WITH you in difficult circumstances? I want you to be who YOU ARE in the face of critics, in the face of people who want to manipulate you.

How can I tell when it’s people manipulating me and when it’s you molding me?

Perfect love casts out fear. If fear is involved, it’s not me.

So you’re telling me not to fear, but people are about to turn up the heat?

Yes, but fear is the crucible. You don’t have to be IN the crucible.

I don’t have to live in fear, but in love.

What does love look like in this metaphor?

It’s not the fire, or the heat. It’s the light.

Yes! Live in me, in the light, in love! You don’t have to live in fear.


This post is part six of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Dan Brown, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepuzzler/5439493601

Violated in Church

April 20, 2014

Yesterday, my pastor showed a clip of “The Passion of the Christ” in the church service. People all around me were moved, but I was stoic. I’ve never wanted to see that movie. I was really angry that in church, where I am supposed to feel safe, I was being assaulted with horrifying scenes I had successfully avoided to this point. Is something wrong with me? Why do I avoid the grim details of the crucifixion?

It’s just a movie. You don’t want to see Saving Private Ryan or Lone Survivor for the same reason. But you’ve read Lone Survivor and you’ve read the passion. You’re not avoiding the stories. You’re avoiding the graphic violence depicted on the screen. It’s okay. You have a tender heart, so tender that images like that undo you. It’s that feeling you’re avoiding. It’s okay to feel undone, but right now the feeling is overwhelming to you. It’s just a movie. You don’t have to watch it.

Thank you for understanding me and helping me understand myself. As I closed my eyes and tried to block out the violent sounds, I felt so alone and afraid in that dark sanctuary. I felt like I was somehow defective, broken. And I was so very afraid.

I know. I’m angry that you were subjected to that. Boundaries you had set for yourself were violated, and because of where you were and who you were with, you felt something was wrong with you. Truth is, something is really wrong when a person does not feel safe and unconditionally loved in what people call a “sanctuary.” You’re okay now. I’m going to show you how to be who you really are and not be ashamed. I’m going to show you how to stand up for yourself so that no one will be able to do this to you anymore.


This post is part five of a series in which I share past prayer journal entries documenting my process out of spiritual abuse and into the freedom God intends for all of us. To read a synopsis of my story, click here. To go to the first of this series, read Looking Back.

If you feel this conversation is important, please share on social media.


Photo Credit: Jane Fox, original image modified: cropped. https://www.flickr.com/photos/runjanefox/9214235312

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