Everyone needs soul-care. I truly did not fully understand how much my soul was wounded and how desperately I was in need of God’s healing touch. Below is the first chapter of my book, Walking with God in the Cool of the Day, that is due to be released in the new year. It tells my story of how I was introduced to this style of prayer ministry (which we call Prayer-Coaching) and the immediate change it made in my life. Holy Spirit did an amazing work that day and He has been so faithful to keep stretching me, pealing back the layers of sin and wounds in my life, refining me for His service. We are absolutely created for relationship with God that is personal and intimate… and through Jesus Christ’s finished work at the cross, we really can find our way back to that type of relationship with Him and break free from cyclical sin and bondage. When I walked in to that prayer session, I had no idea that I had stepped on to the path to my own journey of becoming Simply Whole.
Walking With God in the Cool of the Day
When I was a young mom with three little boys, I didn’t realize it, but I was known for how I screamed at my children. Those sweet, innocent little boys got an earful often from me. It didn’t start out that way; I was just using the angry voice to manipulate them into stopping the fighting that little siblings do… but it evolved into something ugly. I am deeply saddened and utterly embarrassed to admit that it went on for years. Then one day I heard myself for the first time. My voice didn’t sound angry anymore, it sounded hateful. My heart broke. But try as I might to be patient and speak lovingly, mean mommy won the battle of my will most of the time and verbally whipped those boys again and again. I just needed them to get along…. but brothers fight…. and mothers yell….
Then one day God gave me a divine appointment with a woman I had casually known for years. She talked about this new way of praying she had learned that to her, was the missing piece in her Christian walk. That conversation would change my life.
I met with her and another acquaintance that was exploring this prayer technique, and together we began to pray. They asked if I could leave anything with Jesus and never have to deal with it again, what that would be. I said I didn’t want to yell at my kids anymore. And so the prayer began.
“Holy Spirit, what lie am I believing that makes me yell at my kids?”
“I AM ALONE. THE PEOPLE I LOVE WILL LEAVE.” That shocked me; I did not know I thought that!
“Where did this lie come in?”
I got a picture in my mind of the kitchen in the first apartment my mother and I lived in after my parents’ divorce. I was standing at the sink looking out over the dining room, alone. My mom was in her room. She was suffering from severe depression and really just went to work and back to bed each day. My dad was in his new apartment, I assume. My sister was recently moved in with her boyfriend and their baby girl. A lot had happened to and in our family, and at that moment, I felt a new level of abandonment that I had never known before. My circumstances told me I really was alone. My family had all left. And in the sorrow of that moment, the enemy planted a lie seed that grew in the hidden place of my heart completely undetected. The plant that grew from that seed altered my perception of the world. I was changed and every relationship dear to me was tainted by that unperceivable plant; until Holy Spirit pulled back the curtain and showed me this large lie plant that I had been unknowingly tending in my heart. When relationships would fail, friendships fade, people just move on, they were fertilizer for my plant. The enemy would remind my soul that I was alone; the people I love will leave.
Oh but God gave me a fantastic gift when He gave me my husband. He is the perfect man to be my husband. Thank you so much God that despite my MANY faults, my husband’s sense of loyalty and commitment are a strong foundation he lives on. My wounded heart created many opportunities to bait him to leave; he refused to go. I can’t tell you how precious a gift that is to me. My Heavenly Daddy knew my deepest wound and He protected me from it destroying my marriage with this phenomenally loyal man who does his very best to love me well every day.
My kids….? They were another story…or so I thought. When they would fight each other, an unknown fear would rise in me that would pour out of me masquerading as rage. In my subconscious mind I believed I needed to stop the fighting as it was the beginning of the end of our family. They would grow to not want to be in each other’s lives, leave and never return. I would be alone. Those I love would leave.
The revelation of the lie broke its power over me. Through forgiveness of my family members who did actually leave, I was free from the fear of it recurring. All those years ago, my family did not maliciously abandon me. It was never about me. My parents’ marriage was theirs to thrive or fail. My father needed to move on. He was leaving a marriage he no longer wanted to be a part of, not abandoning me. My sister was dealing with her own life circumstances. Moving towards building a new life with the man she loved and the little girl she adored, not away from me. The wound was created by the emotions of that day, not by intentional actions against me. So, I forgave them for how their actions made me feel.
That plant that had grown so well in the dark place of my heart, shrivelled in the light of truth. And forgiveness uprooted it and evicted it from the garden of my heart all together. The wound hole that plant had been growing in was immediately repurposed with fertile soil to love my family well.
The very next day after my prayer time, I sat on the couch in my living room as my boys were playing. As per their usual, they began to fight. I watched as they argued. I listened to their words. I had no compulsion to join them. I felt no need to stop them or scream at them… I felt peace; holy peace. This was a new thing for my family. My husband came in to the room hoping to stop their fighting before I started screaming, only to find me serenely sitting on the couch. The boys stopped and looked at me. The room fell silent. Our family’s normal had suddenly shifted. I shared with them how I had been believing a lie all these years (I mean really; how could a baby, toddler and a preschooler leave me?!) that influenced my actions so completely. But no more; the Truth had set me free and I was free indeed! I wasn’t sitting there battling with rage or fear, trying to refrain from yelling. I wasn’t tempted to yell at all. Our lives have never been the same.
There is a lesson I really want to point out; the lie was self-fulfilling. Had the lie been allowed to continue to thrive; had I continued to treat those boys so poorly out of my hidden fear, they would have left at the first available opportunity. The actions resulting from the belief of that lie would have made my deepest fear my reality. I truly believe that unchecked in my sin I would have created a future where I was alone and the ones I loved left.
Sin. I slipped that word in… Did you notice? My actions were sinful. I repented of them more times than I could count. I desperately didn’t want to partner with rage against my children and treat them so poorly. I would repent. I would resist. I would yell. Repeat. I was bound by a lie that brought me to sin again and again. I am not making excuses. I was responsible for my actions. I partnered with rage. I do not deny my part. But often when sin is habitual, when it is something we find ourselves in time after time, there is very likely a lie seed that has been planted, often in wounded soil, which has grown into a formidable plant that has changed the world for you. Ask Holy Spirit what lie you believe. And after He has pulled back the curtain and revealed your lie plant and you have forgiven the one(s) who created the wound in you, preparing the soil for the lie, give that shrivelled plant to Him and ask Him what He wants to give you in exchange. Whenever we give Him our sin, our shame, our brokenness, He always gives us amazing things in return; Forgiveness, honour and wholeness. I promise; His gift to you will blow your mind. And then as a bonus, His Truth will set you free.
Before Simply whole I didn’t understand my faith
I was guided through many specific areas of forgiveness
I experienced freedom in areas that I had struggled with
I felt like I could open up about my hurt.