You Matter

 

 

 

20180914_072543

This is the message I communicated to my kids today on the way to school, after my son told me about the rejection he received when he asked a peer group if he could be their friend and they flat out said, “no”.

I said; You have value. Not because of who you know, what groups you are in, how well you succeed, what people want to hang out with you, or what natural ability or talent you have. You have significance because, the Creator of the Universe loves you, accepts you, forgives you and you are pleasing to Him. And Whether you do well or you screw up, that is never going to change. There is No One else out there who is you! 

My heart is burning within me to share that with all of you! It is rock solid truth and it will never change. This week has been National Suicide Awareness week in the U.S.  I have been, as I am sure you have been, affected in some way by this tragic choice. I have even had times in my life that I seriously contemplated suicide, because I felt hopeless and useless. That is the deception of deceptions and a lie carried to us by the adversary of our souls. You and I matter! The literature from the  Personal Life Mission course I am participating in right now says it spot on;

No body has your wiring and your history. Nobody! This gives you a unique place in the world and even greater things for your future!

Do you believe it? I do, and I am walking this path of wholeness with you and would love to hear from you today!

#youmatter #thereisnoonelikeyou #significance

My Search For Significance 2

shame-652499_960_720

I told you last week I wanted to do a series on my journey through the last year. Last year at this time I had come clean with  a gigantic failure. Now my failure was noticeable to others. We all have failures, but they are not all noticeable to others. My  husband  and I had many failures that lead up to my “huge” failure and they mostly went unnoticed to others but were destroying my wholeness, our marriage and our family.

Noticeable failure, I have found, can bring enormous amounts of guilt and shame. The shame wants to suffocate you. It wants to keep you in a bondage not unlike the one you just came out of. It took an amazing amount of mental assent to the truth, like non-stop 24/7 self- talk, filling my mind with the truth. I took about 3 months off, as much as I could, just to fill my mind with the truth. Any little rejection from any person would throw me right back into a pit, so I was very self-guarded and did not go out very often. I was acutely aware that I couldn’t stay in that place of hiding, so I was cautious but I also needed to be safe in the loving arms of Jesus to be restored.

Christine Caine said; “shame always wants to re capture you at the point (where you still see baggage dragging) and wants to take you hostage.” I wrote that quote along with now hundreds of quotes and scripture onto art paper and started “postering” our home with them. I would walk around and read them out loud! I was most literally “Not conforming  to this world  but being transformed by the renewing of my mind.” Romans 12:2

I do not know how a person could get out of destructive habits any other way. I do not know how you could mix “a little bit of truth” in with a world that is swallowing it up faster than you can take it in and be transformed. I think that is why it says; “do not conform to the world.” All those “little failures” I spoke of earlier, were seemingly small. Ever so slightly, I was getting loose with my boundaries. They did not start as big leaps into uncharted territory. Mary Kassian says “it comes by creeps, not leaps” and that is So very true! Conforming to the world, it’s desires, it’s pleasure…the “I deserve it” mentality wraps itself around you and the tune turns up the volume in your mind until you are singing along. Breaking these habits takes radical, violent action- it will not happen passively.

I spent another 3-6 months testing the waters of the outside world with my new legs and a growing inner strength. That would only come after significant time reading the Bible, praying and singing. I have taken up the guitar in the last few years and it has been a comfort to me as well as a positive challenge. As I said in my last blog I would repeat these truths; “Julia, you are deeply loved, completely forgiven, totally accepted and fully pleasing to God.” (Search for Significance). One day, after a dear friend read John 8 to me, it was as if I was there with Jesus and He was saying to me, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more- I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus, the savior of the world, told me “neither do I condemn you.”, I couldn’t have a higher authority than that and I continue to keep my eyes completely focused on Him.

I am personally aware how our destructive behaviors can really damage others and I have lamented over these. I first had to walk along side my husband ,who I have hurt the most and who has had supernatural love toward me, so I have seen the pain I have caused first hand. I am not minimizing this aspect of failure at all, but when it comes down to it, all that a person can do is ask for forgiveness and pray fervently that God uses it all for good. I am unable to be responsible for how other people choose to respond but I do hold it close and pray every day for reconciliation in every relationship.

If we keep listening to shame in our failures, no matter “how big or how small”, they will remind us how long we have been carrying them and tell us “you will never be rid of this.” But God wants us to be FREE, He came to set us free from this world and to live with Him and have life more abundantly. He is cheering us on and giving us the strength to “run the race with endurance.” Hebrews 12:1

Believing this is all true, is radical! I have been on this journey and I want to encourage you on yours. My hope is that I reach a light to those struggling in a similar situation and walk the path with you so you are not alone. ❤

My Search for Significance.

search-for-significance-1-05I am going to be doing a series of  blogs writing about the journey I have been on over the last year.  I called it My Search for Significance, taken from the book Search for Significance by Robert McGee, because it was a pinnacle book on my journey. It may not be a consecutive series, but it will be one none the less!

Last year at this time, my marriage, that had previously hit rock bottom was beginning to grow some new life in it. It looked like this;20160922_080045

OK, it looked like this without the flower…the flower is still forming. But through the rock,  despite the elements, against all odds, there was some life that started…as fragile as that spindly root, but there was definite life forming! On the outside, many people had no idea what was taking place on the inside of our family. A few close friends new the ongoing obstacles and trials we faced, but most people, I suspect, thought we were a pretty amazing family. (And we are- praise to God and not to my “Plastic Christian Face;-)

At this point we were separated. It was a Controlled Separation with the help of our Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (we have done a Lot of counseling in 25 years, this is the only kind of counseling I can whole hardheartedly recommend.) I had made a choice at the beginning of the year to face what ever it was that I had to face, to not look for greener grass and to deal with things that I can see now I was trying to escape.

I started reading Search for Significance before this point and it was an extremely important  part of the puzzle for me in my metamorphosis. When I was challenged with the questions of where I find my significance, I found that I really had my significance wrapped titles much more than I realized. For many years I had been  A Good Christian Wife , I was a Hard Working Home-Schooling Mom,  A Worship Leader, A Youth Leader. I went to church every Sunday, I went to Bible Study, I helped whenever I could. Although these are all great and noble characteristics and lead to a level of life and peace,those are things that I did not who I was.

I was digging deep. Who was I and why was my life in such disarray after all of these years of “faithful service.” Well, those are complex questions, and there are a lot of complex answers, but the basis of Search for Significance definitely was my base from which to work off of and continues to be daily;

  1. I am deeply loved
  2. I am forgiven
  3. I am accepted
  4. I am fully pleasing …To God.

I had to understand the importance of this and begin to believe it before I could move forward with in myself, let alone any other relationship.Nothing or Nobody is going to change these truths! Every time I face insecurity I say these things to myself. This is where my significance comes from. Not in what I do, or how well I perform, but in this knowledge. I wrote it on a piece of art paper and taped it to my wall and I said it several times a day. I began to tell it to my children, I began to tell it to my husband and who ever else would receive it from me. I have wrestled with each line of this and have been able to say a truthful, “Yes” to each one.

Just like the above picture, my hard heart started to crack and a gleam of light entered and stirred a system that was there waiting for this photosynthesis! That realization gave me the solid ground I needed to continue in the journey, even if I have stumbled on it.

I wonder if you can relate to, or have been encouraged or challenged by any of my story? I would love to hear from you today. Have a great Monday! Have a great week:-)

 

Some one to blame…..

pointing finger   Connection is some thing that we all need. There are three areas  that will completely destroy that connection and those relationships that we desire if we give them any opening in our lives.  Last week we blogged on shame... Today we are talking about blame.

I can talk about this from a position of authority because, unfortunately, I have mastered it. I have shamed, I have been ashamed, I have blamed, I have been blamed through my choices and then subsequent behaviors. Unless we get to the root of the problem( it doesn’t matter what area of life we are speaking of, friendships, marriage, parenting, work relationships) it will destroy the fabric that seemingly holds relationship together.

Robert McGee in Search for Significance  says; ” Many have been broken by the false belief-those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we all tend to point an accusing finger, assigning blame for virtually every failure. Whenever we fail to receive approval for our performance, we are likely to search for a reason….a culprit….or a scapegoat. More often than not, we can find no one but ourselves to blame, so the accusing finger points right back at us. Self condemnation is a severe for m of punishment.”

Another reason we seek to blame he says; “Is that our success often depends on their contribution. Their failure is a threat to us. When the failure of another blocks our goal of success, we usually respond by defending ourselves and blaming them, often using condemnation to manipulate them to improve  their performance.”

OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!! Oh, I see that in myself with my relationships with my children especially and I have gone to them and told them I have failed miserably here! I also see how I have done that to my husband over the years….it would be so easy for me to shame myself (because I am guilty) but I will choose to forgive myself and instead make very necessary changes.

So guilt is definitely a part of this shame and blame in our lives. Dr. Henry Cloud  in his book Changes That Heal says; ” Guilt and shame too often sends us into hiding. If we have to hide, we cannot get help for our needs and brokenness; we cannot become “poor in Spirit” and therefore be blessed. When grace comes along and says that we are not condemned for who we truly are, then guilt can begin to be resolved, an we can begin to heal.”

So if we are working toward connection and healing in our lives, we need to eradicate shame and blame from our lives. We need to help facilitate healing to others and to ourselves. Easier said than done….we all want to blame some one or some thing when some thing goes wrong, it is our nature. But if we want to live a life of healing and connection with others, we have to walk in humility and understanding.

I want to grow….it hurts. I want to be a person who is full of grace and mercy knowing all the grace and mercy that has been shown to me. I want to encourage you on your walk as others have encouraged me. Has this been helpful to you? We want to hear from you today<3