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Posts from the ‘healing’ Category

Name Desire

I am participating in Emily P. Freeman’s #mynextrightthing 24 days of writing prompts to celebrate the release of her new book, The Next Right Thing.

Today’s prompt is: #namedesire

 

 

In The Next Right Thing, Emily encourages her readers to ask themselves: “Am I being led by love or pushed by fear?” (p.79). Isn’t it beautiful how even her choice of verbs glorify God?  The enemy pushes. God leads. The enemy is cruel. God is gentle. The enemy numbs our true desires in sin. God releases our true desires in grace. The enemy shames us and steals our voice. God frees us to arise in the light and speak.

 

 

My mother told me she called me Anna from the womb because the prophetess Anna immediately recognized Jesus. Ever since I was little I have seen Jesus in people others haven’t. But in seeing Jesus in these people, I have had a “religious” world look down on me and even question my own belonging in Christ. As a little girl I believed the enemy’s lies, instead of saying, as Jesus did to Peter: “Get behind me, Satan.” I believed what man spoke was right and that I was “wrong”. Not just wrong in my thinking, but inherently wrong in my innermost being, mismade.

 

But since then, God has shown me what HE sees when He looks at me. His Word has come alive in me. I now know that His purpose is threaded through every single fiber of my being and every single part of my story.

 

My name means “grace”. Another way the enemy attacked me as a little girl was to whisper the lie that grace meant explaining away sin. “Oh, he didn’t really mean that. Oh, she was having a bad day.” In agreeing with this lie, I began to believe that God intended for me to let others walk all over me in the name of grace.

 

So, when I fled who I thought was God, but who was in fact an idol, what did God do? He gave me a man who pursued me in love, a man who has never stopped speaking truth over me, over and over and over again. Even when I haven’t wanted to hear it. 

 

This man, now my husband, has lifted so much fear and shame from me and emboldened me to do things I never thought myself capable of. This man deep down taught me that God deems me worthy of love. And that love speaks the truth, defends and protects me and others by emboldening us to speak the truth to each other.

 

 

A truth that says: “Your sin deeply wounds us. It divides and separates us. But look at what Christ did: He took sin upon Himself at the Cross, so we no longer have to live wounded and divided. We no longer have to hide from each other.”

 

Christ speaks: “Come near, for I am He who restores and redeems. I am He who makes all things new. Come out from behind the clefts of the rock and let me cover you in your shame. Let me heal your broken heart, let me balm and bind your wounds. Let me make all that’s broken, whole again. Let me open your eyes to see that all once divided is One.”

 

For love – God Himself – never stops defending His children from the enemy’s cruel schemes. He uses what was sent to steal, kill and destroy, to heal, bind and redeem. To restore us unto Himself, to make us One.

 

Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

 

My husband has become the living embodiment for me of God’s faithfulness to His Bride. He is the fulfillment of the desire my Mum spoke into me from the womb. The truth at work in my husband has freed me to see by faith. To finally name my true desire that has alway been Christ at work in me: to see Jesus. To shake off the dust and deep down know Jesus is before me, behind me, above me, below me and IN me.

 

 

 

 

 

His Voice Us Calls

Healing from trauma is a step-by-step process. In my own process, God has taken me through a four step process, twice. First complete rest and a steady diet of the Word of God, which slowly brought the trauma to be healed to the surface. Then, one trigger after another inducing the symptoms of (Complex) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a time through which I clung to Scripture as my very breath. Then, complete rest in a safe cocoon in which I could walk through therapy that required me to face the traumatic memories of my past and the lies I clung to in those moments behind safe, closed doors, where Jesus entered these memories and rewrote them in the truth. Finally, it has required a gradual reintroduction to triggers in real life, by going places that remind me of the trauma I have walked through. There, God has given me the opportunity to press through the fear and the pain I feel to find Him present with me and to internalize the truth He spoke over me in therapy.

During the most frightening and painful parts of my healing process, I have faced believers, who have both encouraged me forward into the truth, and others, like Peter, who have tried to protect me from the path of the Cross. Likewise, when God called me to leave my legalistic church to enter an extended period of cocooning and rest, away from a physical church building but surrounded in precious fellowship that God provided both locally and abroad, I also met with both truth speakers and with the enemy’s accusations spoken through fellow believers.

Our enemy will always seek to derail us when we are walking into healing and will most often do it, not through unbelievers, but through fellow believers. But even there we can trust God to guide us through to hear and do HIS will.

In my own healing process, Jesus has repeatedly spoken: “Get behind me Satan.” and led me further on the path He has set before me. He has helped me to hear His Voice above the naysayers, and to take a different path from the one I took as a teenager. With God’s help, I am now slowly and surely arising in the truth of my calling in Christ. Oh yes, I still fall back into pain and shame at times, but I now know: “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV). And just so you know: I have been on the other end at times too, as Jesus has turned to me, when I have pridefully tried to “protect” or “heal” others and He has said: “Get behind Me, Satan.”

I will never regret those terrifying moments that came as I chose the path of the Cross, because they are the moments that wrote truth upon the stone tablet of my heart. Truth that now tethers me as I choose to walk toward triggers of trauma again. And I will never regret the year and a half I did not attend a church, but met the church of Christ in my living room and the living room of friends. God truly knew the best path for me and always has. Even my Prodigal path He always purposed for good: to answer my childhood yearning to plunge deeply into His rivers of mercy and grace. I now know, He has never left my side and never will.

I pray that He will embolden us all to (continue to) hear and obey HIS Voice above all others. May we see His purpose threaded through our whole life. May He help each one of us not to become a stumbling block nor a vessel for Satan’s accusations levelled at our brothers and sisters. And where we fall into Satan’s traps, may He lift our eyes back up to Jesus, so that we can lay down the enemy’s accusations and take up our swords of truth. May we be ones who walk in the Spirit of truth and grace.

 

His Voice Me Calls

Rest, they say
Meaning well
They call me halt
Storms they’ve seen
Upon me hail.

And yet I hear
Your still small voice
Lead me come
Tread where waves
And wind me meet.

Voices hold me back
Sink my feet
Down into sand
Of fears and doubts
Surely reason calls me halt?

But then I see
Your hand outstretched
Beckoning my own
Not alone I walk toward
But Abba’s own, clasped and held.

Yes, the wind and waves
They lash and roar
But My Father’s Voice
Is stronger still
Winds and waves “Be still” He calls.

Tears my eyes now fill
My Father He hears and answers me
Hidden fears and doubts He sees
Spirit-led I cast and pour
My feet He treads toward the deep.

Oh yes, my victory
Rests not in reason’s claim
Nor in man’s safe berth
But in God alone
Abba Father calls me come.

Yes, I will rest
Upon My Peace
Upon My Refuge, Rock
His Voice alone
My shield and sword.

Psalm 62:7 NLT
My victory and honor come from God
alone
He is my refuge, a rock where no
enemy can reach me.

Galatians 3: 6 – 7 NLT
And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba Father”. Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.

From “Instantaneous” Healing to Loving, Transformational Relationship

Upon my return to faith as a Prodigal daughter God brought such miraculous healing to me from the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I soaked in my miracle as proof of God’s love for me. I proudly boasted in the steps God had walked me through and saw myself as called to “free” and “heal” others also.

But then, my symptoms began to return. I tried to convince myself what I was experiencing were isolated and unrelated incidents. I brushed aside what I walked through, even as I saw God meet me there powerfully. However, one day all the little triggers culminated in massive waves and I could no longer deny the presence of what I’d prided myself in as being miraculously healed.

Second Corinthians 4: 11 (ESV) says: “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” The return of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was truly God’s gift to birth more of Jesus in me. It hasn’t been, and still isn’t, a pretty or pain-free process because for the new to come the old has to be exposed and laid to rest. 

One of the first steps of surrender came as God called me to leave my legalistic church and to sever friendships with those I was enabling in their sin in the name of “grace”. He took me off my pedestal of pride and exposed me as the one in desperate need of grace. He led me to open and then close online ministries, to expose my own legalistic mindset and idolization of self and serving, so I could learn to embrace true relationship with Him and others again.

It has been and still is a painful process of surrender, of me slowly learning to trust my God. Of me learning to take up my Cross, to face my fears and feel pain again. But I am discovering so much freedom and joy, as God is patiently teaching me how to engage again. How to stop hurting my loved ones by defensively detaching and instead speak the truth for grace to flow. He is teaching me anew to receive His Word in love. In sharing my weakness, confessing my sins and baring my heart openly within the safe boundaries He has laid down for me, I am daily experiencing deeper healing.

God has exposed a hunger and thirst in me for what only He can give me. Not for the cold law that was used to shame and humiliate me in my need as a child and as a returning Prodigal, but the love and compassion of a merciful Father, Friend and Counselor, who sees, knows and loves me like no other. A God who never shuns me or turns me away in my confession of weakness or sin.

I no longer pridefully claim to know the steps to freedom for myself or for others. Like Mary DeMuth, I am learning that “The sanctification journey takes more than instantaneous now. It takes time. It twists and moves and steps forward and backward, in circles and oblongs.” (Pray Every Day app devotional, 31 March 2019). I am learning that God alone can transform and heal me and others, day by day. For only He can transform our formulaic, legalistic mindsets into the humble mind of Christ. Only He can draw us into the beauty and compassionate mystery of loving, transformational relationship with Him and others.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Mark 12:43‭-‬44 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mrk.12.43-44.KJV