Tag Archives: abandonment

A Closer Walk: Victory Over Depression

I had been told for years that depression was simply part of my family’s DNA. I had accepted those statements as fact, without questioning, so the depression I was experiencing didn’t surprise me. Indeed, I had almost expected it. It was part of our family history, like some genetic trait that couldn’t be escaped; could only be feared and endured.

That is what I had always believed.

I was wrong.

Neil T. Anderson quoteGod was beginning to dismantle my erroneous beliefs and this one wasn’t going down without a fight. The battlefield? My mind. My thinking. The grid-system, where all of God’s truth got filtered through my beliefs, to get to my heart.

Somewhere in that crucial 18-inch-journey, truth was getting severely twisted, so that by the time it reached my heart it had no power.

You have probably heard it said, God takes us where He finds us, but He loves us too much to leave us there.

True, true, true.

The love of God through the Holy Spirit, began to tear down my faulty beliefs to show me, the reason I kept losing these battles with depression was because I was trying to fight them in my own strength.

truth vs. lies

I had “carried” the responsibility for my own self-care all of my life—but it was time to lay that burden down—time to let go of the crushing weight of my own self-protection.

  • Letting go of the belief that weakness was a bad thing.
  • Letting go of the belief that surrender to Christ’s Love was to be feared.
  • Letting go of the belief that I was helpless to change for the better.
  • Letting go of the belief that I had no hope of overcoming enemies like fear, abandonment, doubt, and depression.
  • Letting go of the belief that Christ’s Kingdom Power would come without battles.

It was time to embrace The Truth, and let His Truth, embrace my depression.

It was time to start believing in A Conquering King whose Light always, always, wins, no matter how deep the darkness.

It was time to believe that I was dearly loved.

It was time to trust that He could get me through any storm.

It was time to accept His Kingdom Truth when thinking about myself.

I WAS: a child of The Most High God, born into His Kingdom and given an inheritance with power, authority, and might. I was infinitely valuable. I was deserving of love, kindness, and respect. I was loved without limits. I was worthy of being cherished—and I was! ALL that was His, (Christ’s) had been bequeathed to ME!

He had always said it.

Now it was time for me to believe it!

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REPENT AND I WILL RESTORE

Why are My children so afraid of surrender?

Can a drowning man save himself by fighting and thrashing against his Rescuer? (Of course not.) But when you decide to go out in your own strength to fight your own battles?

Haven’t I taught you?

Are you still not clear as to this Kingdom Law?

Sometimes child, I AM so disappointed in My children.

Yes (even you) because you know better than this!

Your battles are not yours; never have been. But the choices, they are yours; always have been!

Truth Encounter

What have I told you over and over again?

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;”  2 Cor. 10:42 Cor. 10:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,

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When you insist on fighting for yourself and with the world’s weapons?

Why are you surprised at the meager outcome?

I AM your strength—I AM!

Come, remember what you have been taught. You are in a war to end all wars! There are cannon flash and explosions in the heavenlies. Great is the storm and conflict between LIGHT and DARKNESS… great is the cunning and stealth of the enemy’s agents.

Victory Over DepressionCome, forget the past—repent and I will restore.

The battle rages, and we (My forces and I) have great need of you. I have created you for just this hour. Put on your armor. Surrender your will and your ways. The battle is Mine ~ I AM your strength! Nothing can defeat My will (except your own willfulness).

Lay it down—surrender all to Me.

Then, you can’t lose!

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“I will love thee, O Lord, MY STRENGTH.”

Psalm 18:1Psalm 18:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

18 For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of Yahweh, who spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said, 1 I love you, Yahweh, my strength.

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REPENT: Original Word: “greek” metanoia.

Short Definition: I repent—I change my mind.

Definition: I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.

 

A Closer Walk: Who Do You See In Your Mirror?

Who do you see in your mirror because how we see ourselves is crucial to advancing the Kingdom of God.

I struggled for years with the image of “conqueror” or “overcomer” because of my early experiences with abandonment. What my head knew, was frequently at odds, with what my heart felt.

cotton candy comfortIt’s all very well to talk about having boldness and courage to advance God’s Kingdom, but if you’re someone like me and your early years were punctuated with criticism, isolation, and rejection, not to mention a lopsided “fire-and-brimstone” presentation of who God is, it’s easy to fall prey to what I call the “cotton-candy-comfort” offered in many of our churches.

It Goes Something Like This…

If you just DO enough for God, if you just GIVE enough to God, if you just BELIEVE enough in God, or THANK Him enough, or whatever your particular brand of “enough” is, then your life will abound with sweet and painless blessings.

I swallowed that stuff for a good long distance until I discovered that it just isn’t Biblical!

The Bible speaks often of suffering and going through rough seas and dark places, and not just for the unbelieving, or the rebellious.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

Many very Godly people go through very dark stuff.

still I shall followRemember Joseph, alone, accused, and abandoned in a prison?

What about Gideon hiding in a winepress, or David hunted and hiding in a cave, or the Apostle Paul ignominiously hiding at the bottom of a laundry basket?

You can make fine speeches all day long about what you believe, or you can declare yourself silly with positive statements, but it is in the darkness of that winepress or dark cave, or at the bottom of that laundry basket where you meet a God who walks with us THROUGH trouble, not far away from it.

I have wrestled over and over again with the concepts of Godly brokenness versus worldly brokenness, and frankly, I believe The Church as a whole struggles with these images too.

You could talk to me about “Christ-in-me” all day long, but that overcoming-truth seldom made it from what my head heard, to what my heart felt, or my eyes saw in my mirror.

looking into my mirror

The Church’s mandate about loving others and boldly advancing the Kingdom gets preached regularly, and it should, but I believe the core reasons we Christians so often fail to carry this through in our day-to-day lives is because a lot of us still carry the cumbersome baggage from a distorted Kingdom-self-image.

That Guilt Gets Translated To Our Intimacy Issues With Our Heavenly Father

Such had been my case.

I was seven years old when my Mother decided to forsake family in search of her longing to be seen as “a professional woman.” Predominantly raised by a father who had extremely exacting standards (that I often failed to live up to) I believed that my failures were letting him down, and that guilt became deeply engraved in how I saw myself.

I was raised by two very broken people who struggled all of their lives with their own defective self-images which meant I came to the conclusion early in my adulthood that God was impossible to please.

Therefore, why even try?

God was perfect. I was not. End of story.

Seeing myself as “a reject” in my mirror had become normal.

Now, here I was sitting in my own personal ash pile with my life in ruins, thus confirming once again my faulty-self as an utter failure, and an unworthy outcast of His Love.

I suppose that’s why God’s tenderness made me so uncomfortable. A critical demanding God I could deal with, but this “Abba-Father” who wanted to come close and get intimately loving and transparent with me, with all my messy issues? No way! It was way too touchy-feely for me.

And so, I kept pushing God away.

But what about our deal?

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YOU ARE BREAKING MY HEART!

Let’s talk about this mindset of yours.

Yes, mindset, because for reasons that are yours alone you refuse to give it up in spite of what I tell you.

Listen to Me again Mighty One.

To Him I am flawless

You are not rejected by Me.

You are not My outcast.

I will never throw you away!

Why do you dwell on the past deeds of others this way?

Why do you keep returning to this pigsty for just one more roll in the mud?

Jesus robes us

I have dressed you in snow-white robes of My righteousness.

I have covered ALL (Yes, all.) of your sins and failures with the red, pure blood of My Son’s heart.

I want you to stop this now because you are breaking My heart. I know your past. I know what others in your past have said and done to you. But, what about Me? What about what I have done for you?

Enough dearest—it is enough.

You are Mine not theirs. Mine!

I decide what you are to be called.

(I decide.)

I have chosen you

Do you hear Me?

Good!

Then listen again and wrap your heart in this truth.

Wash your mindset with righteous words.

Build a new image for your mirror—one that stands on—My love.

You are not an outcast!

I have chosen you and will not throw you away.

a closer walk“But as for you, …you are mine, my chosen ones; for I have chosen you and will not throw you away.”

Isaiah 41:8-9Isaiah 41:8-9
English: World English Bible - WEB

8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend, 9 you whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from the corners of it, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away;

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The Unblessed Prodigal Heart

As a self-confessed Prodigal, I will confess I craved it all of my life.

My father’s blessing.

I would even go so far as to say it was the deepest craving in my heart.

As a child, I longed to make my Father smile.

(It was not a simple task.)

Dad came from Quaker roots with German overtones. In our house “the Papa’s word” was law. Period. No other options. So, to make my dad happy was always foremost in my thinking from as far back as I can remember.

My problems arose when I failed to do so, which was often the older I got. Partly, because my dad was so hard for me to “read,” and partly because he encouraged me to “think for myself” as long as my thinking didn’t conflict with what he wanted from me.

The latter?

Made for days of confusion with even greater conflict.

Question: How was I to think for myself and please my father?

Answer: Most of the time I couldn’t!

I could do one, or the other, but rarely both.

Maybe it was because I was a Baby-boomer who came of age in the turbulent Sixties. By the time I reached adulthood the Vietnam War was in full swing, protests on college campus’ were the rule, not the exception, and funerals of lost boys from the war were becoming a regular event in our small town. I remember “Women’s Lib” as just taking off, and I believed that my parents were dinosaurs, and just didn’t get me. (An affliction of every generation I think.)

In a way, it was true, because my father was a child of what has been called, The Battered Generation. He, being raised during The Great Depression when families had to pull together just to survive from one day to the next. My dad just didn’t “get” my heart-speak, and I certainly did not get his. I believe we both wanted to, but the gulf between us eventually bred a profound and abiding silence that was to last all of my teen years, and on into my adulthood.

Only one time do I remember even coming close to receiving his blessing. I was well into my forties, and I was in the middle of a ten-year marathon, caring for my mom. I had taken up writing as one of the ways to cope with my stress. I was in my home office working on the computer one day, when my father came into the room, stood behind me, put his hands on my shoulders, and began to pray, silently.

I cannot even begin to convey how painful it was that my dad kept the words of that prayer to himself. I begged him one time to share it with me, but he would not, and indeed, he never did.

Those words whatever they were, went to the grave with him, and to my way of thinking, I remained unblessed.

That silence of his became one of the deepest wounds in my soul. Though I wouldn’t admit it for many years and even today (now in my sixties) I write this with tears. How could my dad say he loved me, bless me, and not share those words with me? Was that even a real blessing?

For some of you, the only “blessing” you received from your dad was the back of his hand.

Parents Stories feature...Child Abuse, Familes, Slapping, spank

You not only feel unblessed, you feel like the cursed, and may have been just that.

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For others, you never knew your dad.

There wasn’t a father—let alone a kind and loving blessing from one.

The absence of the father’s blessing can leave empty spaces in our hearts. Big black holes we try to fill up with lesser things in a desperate hope that they will make up for our absent blessing. We go chasing after anything that we believe might alleviate our pain and make us feel truly valued.

I did that for years. I used my work and accomplishment, alcohol, prescription drugs, anything I could find, to remove the hurting in my wounded empty heart.

Ah, but God saw; knew all about my prodigal heart and He longed for me to know:

  • He is a Faithful Father who doesn’t give up on us.
  • He is a Father who doesn’t let go.
  • He is a Father who doesn’t walk out.
  • He is a Father who doesn’t purposelessly cause us pain.

Never.

He shows up for us even when we don’t want Him to. And He shows up determined. He is relentless in His love for us. He speaks. He reaches down, and reaches out, with compassion, with tender love, and often when we least deserve it.

He’s like that—He’s faithful.

He’s the Dad-love, the Dad-kindness, the Dad-blessing, we all desperately want and need, and can’t avoid… not when He’s made up His mind to come after us! And be sure of this, He knows right where you are. Knows everything you’ve done. And still, He is head over heels in love with you.

I believe there is a tremendous power for us, and our lives, in The Father’s blessing. I also believe, there is a deep pain “the unblessed” carry all of their lives unless they receive The Father’s Blessing from above; the one they missed from their earthly fathers. So, please. Believe these next eight blessings are meant for you.

Receive the gift of your Heavenly Father’s blessing.

 

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