How to Navigate a Waiting Season

Human hand cutting the impatient word

My daughter is a “champ at the bit” girl – the type of girl who wants what she wants – right now. She’s impatient and struggles with bossiness, and it’s a struggle for me whether I can lovingly, patiently guide her or will I lose it and get impatient over her impatience? (How many ways can you explain patience before you just want to bang your head against a wall? Clearly, I still need help with patience!)

I look at my baby girl, and it’s like I am looking in the mirror. I’ve been known to hit the steering wheel when delayed in traffic. Worse, she’s seen me grumble at the store because there was only one checker, and I had to wait. This is an area I have to work on, and I am recovering from impatience (very patiently, of course!).

My recovery from being impatient would start when Scott and I were trying to have a second child. This waiting period reminds me so much of the long season Sarah (Abraham’s wife) went through.

She deeply desired to have a child and had lost patience. Sarah would take matters into her own hands instead of waiting on God perfect timing. Her foolish attempts ultimately resulted in massive amounts of suffering.

Sound familiar? Oh, how many times I attempted to make something happen in my own strength and didn’t wait on God. (No, I didn’t learn from Sarah and Abraham’s example.) Those long months trying to conceive caused a head-on collision with destructive behaviors like impatience, envy, and doubt.

We deeply desired to have a second child. Because of my age and health issues, I was high risk and knew I could face severe issues, including death. The natural circumstances seemed extreme, but I didn’t care. I often thought of Sarah as she had been promised a child just as I had been given a baby name, and I thought God was telling me another child was in my plan.

Sarah grew weary and insisted Abraham make a child with Hagar. This ultimately caused her great pain and torment. Why did she do that? Her advanced age (Genesis 18:11) was all Sarah could see. There was a lack of trust that led to her mistrust and impatience. She wasn’t looking at God and His promise… rather she zeroed in on all the negatives.

That’s exactly what I did. I wanted what I wanted, despite the great risk to my health. We listened to the advice of doctors rather than the voice of God. Rather than trusting the Lord, we pursued medical procedures without asking God what He wanted us to do. There was great suffering as three times we conceived and miscarried. With each loss, faith waned and fear took root.

Our impatience became the lens to which we made our decisions, and we began to engage in fear faith. We focused on the days of my cycle more than we focused on the peace and joy of the Lord. And as a result, we never conceived again after the third loss. We’ve had to spend a lot of time healing, accepting and repenting. The damage that was done to our marriage is still being worked out to this very day.

Sarah would get her child. For us, it was a blessing that would not come. But through this tragic season in my life, I gleaned some wisdom I’d like to share now:

Patience is possible!
I first learned that I have no real control over my life. I am here at the delight of God, and it’s the Holy Spirit within me that provides the strength to do what is required.

Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty or annoyance without getting angry or upset. The King James translates it “longsuffering.” A patient person is slow to anger because they rely on God to provide comfort and self-control. I thank God that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, a freely given gift! Once I learned how to use the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, my days became a lot calmer and less stressful.

I see impatience as sin – a result of fear or believing a lie that God will not show up for me. It was a serious lack of trust on my part that had to get dealt with!

Our timeline is not God’s timeline
We’ve become a fast food, instant gratification world. The enemy has us convinced that if we are not being blessed immediately, then God is not for us. How many times have you felt God must not be listening to your prayers? Why shouldn’t God deliver promises on our time frame? Doesn’t He want us to be happy?

Of course, God wants us to live a life filled with contentment, but while we adhere to seconds, minutes, hours and days, God does not. 2 Peter 3:8 explains that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”.

 I realized in my hard season of waiting, that I demanded God’s resources without honoring or respecting His timing. However, God wanted something greater from me… a trusting heart, so He had me walk through a trial in order to get me out of my own way. Surrendering and accepting His timing and plan, I was able to learn how to live in hope and keep peaceful while God works out my problems.

Periodically, I have to ask myself, “Am I merely giving God my long list of ‘I wants’ or am I really listening and accepting what He desires for me?” God has a perfect plan, and I must be willing to let it unfold according to His way, timing and purpose.

Sometimes, that is rough for me, but I’ve learned God’s plan is always better than the best plan I could conceive.

Waiting seasons are faith-building seasons
Hebrews 11:11 tells us it by faith that Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she believed God to be faithful in His promise.

I had to accept the reality that I was no Sarah! Even though I had every reason to trust God, I allowed the fear of being “old” to trample all over my faith.

I didn’t rest in God’s promise. I didn’t stand on Luke 1:45 as I had when I was blessed with my daughter. “Blessed is she who believes what is spoken will be accomplished.” I was impatient and did not stand firm on my faith!

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty while praising God in the midst of the waiting. It is trusting God even when everything looks grim. It is silencing the accuser by taking every negative thought captive.

Waiting seasons are opportunities to grow.
Isaiah 40:31 says that those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. I don’t know about you, but I want to soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.

The key to being able to soar is growing in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 16:13 charges us to be on guard; to stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Think of a waiting season like boot camp… we must surrender to God’s commands. We must be trained. Any good sportsman or warrior has perfected their craft over countless hours of practice and training.

There is a choice to be made in any waiting season, and the choice is this: Will you squander the opportunity to grow or allow the Lord to guide you into His purpose for you?

God’s not waiting for us to be perfect.
Waiting seasons don’t end when we are perfect and get it all right.

Imagine this: Sarah laughed in unbelief when, at 90 years old, she heard an angel tell Abraham that she would become pregnant (Genesis 19:12).

Even worse, when she heard the Lord inquire, “Why did Sarah laugh?” To that, she quickly denied her laughter even though He knew she had laughed. This poor woman mocked God by laughing at God’s plan for her, and then she lied to Him!

I’ve made more mistakes than I care to count. However, God, who had great esteem for Sarah, looks at you and me the exact same way! He loves us and desires to bless us despite our failures and poor choices. Yes. It’s true that I didn’t get blessed with a second child; however, through these years I have watched God bless my marriage, my daughter, my business and our finances in ways I could have never imagined.

I will sum it up like this: waiting season sometimes require us to learn a lesson or rid a sin before God will move on our behalf, but it’s important to know that God does not expect perfection from us. It is Satan who tells us this ridiculous lie. Don’t believe it!

Waiting seasons help us realize He is in control.
The concept of fully relying on God became a reality in my life as a result of this painful journey.

I love the way Elisabeth Elliot, author of Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control, put it when she wrote, “I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

While Satan tries to tell me, “This is the only life you’ve got… live it up,” I’ve learned that my life is not my own. All that I am and will be are because of God. This truth enables me to leave behind the control freak mentality.

Waiting seasons can be a time God desires us to rest.
Waiting literally means remaining inactive or stationary. It is the act of staying in one place or remaining inactive in expectation of something.

In Matthew 11:28-29, God invites us to go to Him when we are heavy laden, and He will give us rest.

I’ve grown keenly aware of where I am striving or thriving. God promises I will find rest for my soul if I will rest in Him. It’s when I am able to recognize that I am striving that I am able to see that I have surrendered my place of rest and picked up old bad habits such as impatience and fear faith.

Patience is a choice.
I have a golden opportunity standing before me. As a mom, I am required to train my daughter up in the way she should go. I am to model what a Godly woman looks and acts like. My daughter will see me fail time and time again to be the person God calls me to be. I could get impatient and give in to shame, or I can keep trying.

I get to make a choice whether to show my daughter patience when she is at her worst. Will I choose: love or fear; good or evil; right or wrong; patience or impatience. I thank God that He’s there to guide me. I am grateful His mercies are new every morning as He shows me patience over and over again through the grace He lavishes on me. My prayer is that I can show even a minuscule amount of that patient love to my daughter.


Who’s talking to you?

Young woman thinking with blackboard

When I was introduced to my Savior, and He truly became the Lord of my life, making sense of the Scriptures and finding a community of like-minded individuals became a priority. My husband and I sought out more than the Sunday message and joined a “life group” as we desired to have mature Christians around to keep us focused on forging a solid relationship with our Father.

The years we spent with the incredible members of this group were blessed. The depths of faith, the wells of hope that sprang up, the encouragement and gentle teachings were exactly what we needed during a rough yet exciting season.

One night there was a discussion on how vital it was to consult God on every single decision. Some gave the impression that even in the simplest of choices, such as what to have for dinner, they pressed into the Lord. I remember this conversation well because it was one that the enemy grabbed hold of to use as an accusatory weapon. Comparison was tormenting me trying to convince me I was not “Christian” enough. It made sense to consult God on major decisions. We had been pressing in to get clarity on whether to do IVF or wait on God to heal me to conceive a child on our own. I also wanted God’s direction on His plan for my life. But truthfully, I had not on a daily basis asked God to advise me in meal planning. I had not asked Him whether to take the highway or go the back roads to church.

Consumed with worry that I was not doing this whole “Christian” thing right, I believed the negative voice that said I was going through the motions of a believer, but in reality, I was a fraud. I desired to be like the those I admired in my group, so I made the decision to ask God permission to do anything and everything. I was determined to see Isaiah 30:21 ring true in my life. It would be my ears that would hear a word, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

I am not trying to trivialize or belittle the fact that the Lord first and foremost be our counsel in our everyday lives. I was in a prison of my own making because I allowed some ridiculous comparison to warp my thinking. I was acting crazy asking God ludicrous questions, and when I heard no answer, I got upset. Why couldn’t I hear God? As time went on, I was convinced that something must be wrong with me!

­­I can’t remember how long it was before I finally heard Him, but when He did, the words spoken were ones I would never forget.

It was lunchtime – a perfect time to ask for guidance! There was a PotBelly and a Pei Wei next door to each other. I asked, “Father, where should I eat? Whatever parking spot is closest to the restaurant, I will know that is where you desire me to go.”

As I pulled into the lot, there was one spot available. It was literally between the two locations. (Smack dab in the middle!) I took the spot, threw the car into park, and asked the Lord, “Why?”

I sat there for a few seconds when I heard a soft voice say, “Child, I gave you a mind and a will to make choices that make you happy. You decide what you want to eat. You’ve missed the whole point. I don’t need you to ask me about every trivial thing. I want you to commune with me and trust me with your life.”

I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. I learned that day that I can and do hear His voice. I also learned that I needed to stop comparing myself to other Christians and focus solely on my relationship with God. And by the way, I enjoyed every bit of that PotBelly sandwich!

Not long after that tasty lunch, God would teach me how important it is press into what He is saying. Right after my daughter turned one, she was scheduled to have some blood work and x-rays done. She had been chronically ill, and we were trying to figure out why. The doctor requested we go to Cooks, and I heard the Lord caution me, “Wait seven days.”

I remember thinking this seems like a nutty thing to do, but I was really focused and hearing God and receiving what He was saying.

The morning of the seventh day, Averey woke up with a high fever. I spoke to the doctor who cleared us to go to the hospital and proceed with tests. Not a pleasant afternoon, but we got through it.

We were home about 15 minutes when the phone rang. It was the allergist calling with instructions for us to immediately take our daughter back where the emergency room staff would rush our daughter into CT and then possibly surgery. She explained the x-ray revealed a possible Peritonsillar Abscess, which is typically fatal in babies.

After the CT, the doctors were stunned. The abscess was at the very beginning stage and could be treated with a short hospital stay and a long course of high-dose antibiotics. No surgery would be required.

God gave me instructions to wait. I could have ignored the prompting, but waiting saved my daughter’s life. I learned one valuable lesson: If He is asking me to do something… Do it no matter how odd it seems.

God’s desire is to have a deep personal relationship with each one of us. God can comfort, guide, warn, caution, advise, counsel and commune with us on a daily basis, but we must understand the ways God speaks.

Whether you are new in your faith or attend a church that does not teach about hearing God, I am going to let you in on a little secret: God is always talking. We just have to tune in and adjust our frequency so that we can hear. Here’s how:

  1. Reading the Word. God speaks through His Word. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” I had been given a word from a stranger that I would have a natural child. I was battling with doubt after multiple miscarriages. God knew I needed an anchor – something to keep me grounded. That lifeline would be Luke 1:45; “Blessed is she who believes what is spoken will be accomplished.”

    God spoke volumes through that Scripture and kept me focused on the promise and not my natural circumstances. I declared those Words daily until God healed me with no medical intervention and blessed us with our beautiful daughter.

  2. Be still and know I am God. It is recorded in the Gospels that Jesus would wander off to spend time with His Father. He would withdraw to places alone and hear His Father’s instructions (Matthew 26:36; Mark 1:34; Luke 5:16).

    I’ve learned that God likes me a lot and wants to spend time with me. “Quiet time” is simply being intentional to have talks with God just like I have coffee and conversation with a close friend. There are no hard and fast rules to what this looks like. How I spend time with Christ is up to me. If you want to hear the voice of God, make the effort to talk with Him and then allow ample time to sit quietly so you can hear Him speak.

  3. Pray without ceasing. Billy Graham said, “Prayer is simply talking to God, and the most important thing I can say about this is that God wants you to talk to Him! He loves us, and He has promised to hear us when we pray.”

    In the years of waiting for a child, I learned the value of consistent, intentional prayer. Praying became a part of my daily activities as much as bathing and eating. Praying is what draws God close, so the more you pray, the more opportunity there is to hear His voice. Some ways I use prayer in my life include:

    • Offering God my day first thing in the morning is a daily surrender by inviting Him to have His way in my life.
    • Giving praise for the blessings I see happening around me.
    • Seeking His guidance on matters that arise and making petitions when needed.
    • Asking for and accepting forgiveness daily – repenting of my sin and giving God the opportunity to give me the loving correction.
    • Thanking God for the daily bread I received all day and for the sweet sleep and pleasant dreams that will come.

If you are struggling to hear God’s voice, here are five steps to help tune in:

1. Expect a gentle wise spontaneous thought instead of a loud booming voice

The Holy Spirit speaks directly to our souls bearing witness to the truth, convicting us and encouraging us. These thoughts often sound like our own voices yet the wisdom and knowledge go beyond spiritual maturity.

2. Not your will but His will be done

I had to lay down my pride and controlling nature and get over myself. Once I came to Him with a posture of surrender and told Him I desired to have His will in my life, I was transformed. Ask God to talk you about His perfect plan, and then follow His instructions.

3. Connect with the Holy Spirit

While the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, we constantly need to be made aware of His presence. This is the key to enjoying the overflow of His peace, joy, and love. I connect with the Holy Spirit by first entering into a time of praise and worship. Others meditate in the Word of God while some prefer to go into an extended time of prayer.

4. Free your mind from the drama of the day

It’s hard to hear the voice of God when there’s a grocery list rattling around in our minds. Replaying the events of the day or forming tomorrow’s task list won’t do it either. But shifting away from stresses and to-dos of the day allows us to quickly feel His presence and tune into His voice.

5. Keep a journal and reflect on what was written

I love to journal and taking time to ask if what I hear lines up with Scripture. If it doesn’t, I throw it out because it is likely that I heard the voice of the enemy.

Keeping a journal and reflecting on what you hear is a great way to develop your discernment. The Bible tells us we are to take all of our thoughts captive into the obedience of Christ, which is not easy because we can often get tripped up in our own fleshly desires, emotions and feelings.

If you are not sure your word was from the Lord, ask Him to give you confirmation through a friend or even a stranger in the church. You’d be amazed at the ways God will let you know what He needs you to know.

Most importantly, remember this… you do not have to be an elder, pastor, prophetic voice or leader in the church to hear God. Every one of us is capable of hearing God’s voice. Give it a try and see for yourself what a blessing this can be in your life.

Divine Encounters

tired passenger

I had just taken a sip of my Starbucks tea when a young woman plopped down beside me. I could immediately tell this girl had a good heart, was full of mercy and had a call on her life to help others.

We were both patiently waiting for our planes to board. There was some idle chatter going on among the others in the waiting area, but there was something about this woman… I knew this was going to be a divine appointment.

Not long after the Holy Spirit began speaking about this girl, she looks up at me and says she’s been in Peru volunteering at a children’s school. I feel like God is showing me her heart as she talks about how these kids suffer from disease and poverty. I’m impressed at this young lady who sees through all the bad circumstances and can tell the children are happy, despite their environment. Exposed now is her mercy and heart for others. What would the Holy Spirit do next?

She’s a pretty girl, black hair, little to no makeup. Behind her glasses, I begin to see there’s sadness in her eyes. Something deep inside of her that is dark and haunting. I knew right then I was supposed to talk to her about the love of God.

I inquired, “Are you a Christian?” She answers, “yes,” but I can tell she doesn’t know Him well. She’s from the North, and she shares with me her thoughts that people from the South are more Godly than those from the North. I’m giggling inside when she says, “I wish I was a better Christian – like my good friend who I deeply admire.”

I smiled and said, “We will both spend our entire lives growing and learning how to be like Jesus.” I explained that the beauty of being transformed into the image of Christ – is that until we take our last breath, we will stay in the process of being “sanctified.”

She was only nineteen. She began to share details of her life with me, and I am in awe of the bravery and courage she displayed. She pours her heart out to me, and God showed me He created her to be a warrior. She was fierce. I felt strongly she’s been through some serious battles in the natural, but also in the supernatural. She’s come face to face with the enemy… she just didn’t know it.

She was telling me about being bullied in school. Her self-confidence and self-esteem suffered and then was obliterated by her parents who told her she was weak. She had watched me tell my daughter she was amazingly smart and savvy, and she said to me, “Don’t ever stop telling her that she is smart.” My heart broke.

She confessed she’d gone through a depression and had a stay in a mental hospital. I shared that the Lord was telling me she was bipolar… just like my husband was. Shocked, she looked up at me and asked, “Was bipolar?”

I smiled, and said, “Yes. Was bipolar. God healed my husband a couple years ago.” I explained how Scott had gotten better as we trusted and declared the truth of God over our lives. She’s staring at me. I could tell the enemy is telling her I am totally full of it, so I explained that Scott went from needing a high-dose cocktail of multiple medications to now being on a tiny dose of an anti-anxiety pill.

Before she could say a word, I went on to say, “I know the Lord has healed you too!”

I can tell she’s puzzled as the enemy is in her head. She asks, “God made your husband and I this way, so don’t we just have to accept it?”

And with that, I shared with her the good news of Jesus Christ, and how God secured our healing and perfect health when He sacrificed His son. I told her there was nothing about her that wasn’t perfect in God’s eyes. I praised Him for He was a good Daddy who would never purposely make anyone sick. I asked her, “Do you feel your depression is a part of you?” She nodded. She’s resigned herself to thinking it’s just who she is… depression defined her.

I looked her dead in the eyes. Quietly I told her our meeting was a divine appointment because God wanted her to know something, and as sternly and as seriously as I could I rebuked that lie off of her in the name of Jesus. I declared, “God loves you,” and shared the wonderful news that because she was created in God’s image, she was not wired to be depressed. God created her and each one of us to be happy, loved and full of peace. I went on to say that Satan was tormenting her with sadness to keep her from walking into God’s plan for her life.

I continued, “You’ve got a great call on your life. You’ve got a heart for others and will one day serve God in a major way.” She lit up. She would be a teacher. She would touch many kid’s lives. She would make a difference.

Then I shifted topics to explain how Satan operates. He is sly and subtle, dropping thoughts in our mind – negative, destructive thoughts – designed to hinder us from being close to God. He sneaks around waiting for his opportunity to strike, and his weapon of choice is the nasty thoughts that pop into our mind. I cautioned her to the fact the voice sounds like us. She’d never hear a scary male voice, and because of that, it’s easy for us to claim the lies and make them our truth.

She’s listening. She’s interested. So I continue.

“Do you believe we are made in God’s image?” She nods. “Do you believe the Word of God is true?” She nods. “Then you accept that you were created in His image?” Her response was, “I guess so.”

“Is God capable of being evil in any way?” She looks at me. I ask again. “Is God capable of being evil in any way?”

After a slow pause, she says, “I think, No.” So I continue, “So if He is not capable of any evil, then how could He be responsible for your depression?”

There’s another slow pause. I can see her mind churning. She’s zeroed in on me – Am I for real? Am I going to crack? But as I sit there with a peaceful smile on my face, the light bulb begins to come on.

To drive the point home I explained how Satan torments with unloving, critical thoughts – ones that demean and devalue us, that divide us from God and that destroy His plan for our lives. I also warned her the enemy uses accusing thoughts to get us to blame God for the bad things that happen to us.

I spoke against the lies that filled her thoughts – the ones breeding life into her depression. I declared over her that she had been given the power to trample over all evil, and I told her the Word is clear when it says in Luke 10:19, “Nothing by any means shall harm her!”

She looked up and said she wanted to be healed. I explained that all she had to do was have faith Jesus was her Savior, and fully believe in the power of the cross! I said, “You have been fully equipped with the Spirit who dwells in you to defeat all evil. While the battle against the devil would always be in your mind, God has all ready given you victory by the sacrifice of His Son.”

I went onto to explain that our job as Christians was to discern good thoughts from those needing to be instantly trashed. “2 Corinthians 10:5 advises us to take all thoughts captive and bring all negative thoughts into obedience with God’s Word,” I said.

I asked her if she had ever heard the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 that says, “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but have been given spirits of love, power and a sound mind.” When she said yes, I encouraged her to declare that loudly over her life every day.

Knowing my time was now short, I encouraged her to get into a good church and said, “Dive into reading the Gospel, and let the Word become the lens to which you view life through.”

When the time came for my family to board the plane, I stood up. I told her God loved her, and if she listened God would talk to her in many different ways… a stranger in the airport, a paragraph in a book, a conversation with a friend, or through a Bible verse.

I ended by explaining that God had more to say to her about who He created her to be and encouraged her to spend some time listening. I prayed a quick blessing over her and said goodbye.

Just before we walked off, she grabbed my hand. She looked at me and said thank you. And as I tailed off, I said, “Don’t thank me… thank God.” I wished her well and headed to the gate.

I love God encounters. I’m always on a treasure hunt when I am at the mall or at the airport. I love watching God’s light shine in a dark place in someone’s life. I’ve had many of these conversations over the years. There’s always a common theme as each person believes something about God and/or about themselves that has warped their thinking. I take no credit for what happened this day, but I so do love getting to be a truth bomber. I love opening someone’s eyes to God in a new way. I love watching Him come forth to touch someone’s heart. I love witnessing the moment there’s a shift in their thinking… whether it’s a lie that’s just crumbled, or it’s a shift in their perceived identity.

Treasure Hunt Challenge:
Next time you are out buying groceries, ask the Lord to highlight someone in your path that you can encourage. Take that leap of faith and watch God use you in mighty ways to bring Him glory!

More on Depression:
I also feel it is important to speak to the many who struggle with depression and sadly accept this fate as God’s plan. You feel defeated and believe you’ve been left to deal with this hurt all on your own. I’m here to set this straight.

The exciting truth is God has a plan for you. Plans created to prosper and not harm you! Plans that are designed to give you hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11)

The Word is clear in that you will face trials, but it is never God who causes the trial. John 10:10 warns the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but also encourages because Jesus Christ came to give you life abundantly!

It’s important if you are struggling right now with depression, that you understand God wants you set free. Depression is oppression. It torments and is NEVER from God.

The Bible is also clear that victory is all ready yours. Isaiah 53:5 says, “It was by His stripes we were healed.” Jesus healed every one of us when He died on the cross. It’s not something we are waiting for. You do not have to beg and plead for God’s will to show up. Healing is a finished work.

This is great news! You can be healed. You can be happy. You can be free. You can be all that God has called you to be, and that’s a promise that can never be broken!


Father God, I thank you that you have great plans for each and every one of us. I thank you for creating us to do your good works and creating us in your image. Father, I am not encouraging anyone to abandon treatment or stop medication, but I know your Son died so that each and every one of us can walk in health and wholeness. I am asking you, Father, to show those who are struggling with depression and mental illness that way out of this bondage. I pray that the enemy can be defeated in this way from being able to torment those who deeply need to feel your love and joy. I pray this truth will resonate with those who are hurting and lost, and they will begin to seek you out in new and exciting ways. I pray you receive all the glory for those who receive healing and for those who are out sharing your truth with this in communities they live. Giving you all thanks and praise… in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

“Stop It Right Now or Else!”

When we were kids, my parents had this small car. It was a two-door, and five of us piled in this automobile everywhere we went. In the back, the three kids were crowded together like fish in a tin can. And every so often I’d get tired of my little brother poking me or invading my space, and I would begin to yell at him. From the front, I’d hear my mom scream, “Stop it right now or else!”

I think every adult can still remember what it felt like when they heard the stern calling of their name. Hearing the loud firm, “Kimberly Anne” coming from the downstairs was enough to send shivers down my spine. It was in those moments that I would swallow hard in a state of panic, as I knew punishment was coming my way.

My parents were awesome, loving people. They were trying to teach us rules were ways to keep up protected. They also wanted us to understand breaking rules had consequences because we could get hurt or something worse. They wanted us to be happy and be safe, and I always knew that was their motivation.

But as soon as I heard my name being yelled, an intense wave of fear would wash over me… the fear of punishment. No kid enjoyed psychological warfare of a parent letting you know you were in trouble but saying he or she needed to think about what the consequence would be. There’s nothing worse than spending the day fretting the inevitable with a giant knot in your stomach.

Would it be the belt to my behind? Would I be locked in my room like Rapunzel never to be let out of the house again? Would I be forced to eat liver and onions for the next month? Yep, my mind could really drum up some pretty awful scenarios as the enemy would try to convince me that my parents were the absolute worst, and I was the poor little victim of the mean, bad mom and dad. Dread could create some pretty awful scenarios… the lectures, the disappointment, and punishments, most of which never happened.

I can remember daydreaming about running away because the horror that awaited me would surely be far worse than living on the streets forced to eat crawdads from the creek down the road. The best part was imagining my parent’s regret. I could see it playing out just like The Christmas Story when Ralphie shows up blind from soap poisoning after his parents punished him for having a foul mouth. My parents would someday grovel for forgiveness too when they realized the error of their wicked ways.

In truth… I was a pretty good kid. I very rarely got in trouble, but my sister broke the rules a lot and would cause my parents to make some strict boundaries with her. She was three years older than me and watching the trouble she’d be in made me scared to do anything wrong.

The sad reality of this style of parenting was that while it did in lots of ways ensure compliance, it also came at a price because it was only out of fear that most kids followed the rules. It wasn’t because the child wanted to be a good person, respected their parents or just had a passion for the law. No… the truth was that no kid wanted to have a red sore bottom if caught. I was good because I wanted to be at the skating rink instead of grounded, so even as a young girl, I knew being good and following my parent’s orders were the means to get to my desired end.

The sad thing is though that this way of parenting mixed with no real solid Biblical teaching growing up led many, like my husband, to think the Big Man upstairs was a harsh punisher just waiting for us to screw up. Scott knew God loved him like his parents did, but the fear of being struck down by thunder for his sin was a bit overwhelming.

For me, this warped thinking in adulthood led me to believe all the bad things going on in my life were the result of God punishing me. It was a warped old testament view of life that kept lots of distance between us, and Satan liked that. The enemy had accused God of being a mean, harsh and scary dude, and I bought it like I’d bought a cheap, knock-off purse. So when I struggled with infertility and recurrent miscarriages, I blamed God and that led me to a point in my life where I hated Him.

When I was finally introduced to Jesus Christ and had my eyes opened to the truth, I saw the error of my warped thinking. I had been duped into believing a terrible lie when the reality is that God is anything but a punisher. In fact, he is nothing but a protector and redeemer!

With the coming of Easter and the celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior of the World, I am reflecting on God’s ultimate sacrifice and how much He must have loved us. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

I can’t even wrap my head around such unconditional love. The pain God felt, the tears shed and the agony of watching every drop of blood and the drawing of His son’s last breath. I can’t process how painful it must have been for Abraham to haul his son up the mountain believing he was being told to offer his son as a sacrifice. I am not debating whether God was testing him or not. I am merely putting into context how it must have felt to be a parent forced into choosing to watch their only child die. Being the parent of one child… I don’t know how I could make that choice.

But our Heavenly Father did. Romans 3:25 tells us God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin and watched his Son die a horrible, terrifying death. And because of this ultimate act of grace, we are set free from sin’s ultimate punishment… death.

God is a good parent. His rules and laws are for our protection. He wants us to be safe just like my mom who yelled at me to keep my hands away from the hot stove. If I disobeyed her and touched the burner, my finger would pay the price. This is the same with sin. God knows that sin opens the door to the enemy to come steal, kill and destroy. He takes our peace, robs our blessings, causes us to get sick and destroys our hopes and dreams. Let’s not get it twisted… the enemy is the real punisher.

The most amazing benefit of God’s ultimate sacrifice is the victory we now enjoy. We do not have to fear the enemy, nor do we have to dread making a mistake because Jesus took our place and received the punishment for our sin! We just have to look up to our parent and say, “I’m sorry.” When we do that… there is no penalty or punishment to pay because Jesus paid it. There is no need to run and hide or continue to sit the stronghold of dread. There is also no need to view God as harsh. Rather view him as a God filled with grace and mercy. For His sacrifice and His Son’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven conquered sin and the devil for good!

I like to imagine God said to Lucifer, “Stop it now or else!” And when he didn’t, Jesus stepped in and rendered the devil the ultimate punishment.

Happy Easter!

The Cavities in Life Are Not God’s Fault


When I was young, I got a cavity. I wasn’t nervous sitting in the chair with all the silver tools around me. After a few deep breaths of nitrous the nurse swabbed some numbing cream on my gums. A flash of anxiety washed over me as I glanced at the large needle heading towards my mouth. There was the stick, the sting, and boom – the worst was supposed to be done.

Moments later I noticed a look of concern on my dentist’s face. The room filled with tension as he began to shake my right cheek.

My face went numb, my tongue was double its normal size and my right eye was now closed. My cheek, now swollen to the size of a large softball, was sadly turning black and blue.

Apologetically, the dentist explained to my dad that I had a tiny mouth, and for the first time in this seasoned dentist’s career, he accidentally shot the Novocain into a vein.

The result was I couldn’t enjoy solid food for a couple weeks. From my forehead to my neck, it looked like I had been beaten up and the relentless teasing at school took its toll on me. This trauma took about a month to heal physically, but the emotional hit would affect my life for decades.

Dr. Bettis didn’t mean to cause such trauma as he only wanted to care for my teeth. This was an oddity, not a planned attack, but I blamed him and now feared every dentist in the world. They couldn’t be trusted and wouldn’t protect me. I would battle irrational anxiety that, by my 20s, kept me from being able to walk in an office for a routine cleaning for nearly a decade.

I finally went to the dentist, and much later I realized I saw God how I viewed the dentist. It’s easy to point the finger and blame God for the bumps and bruises, the hard times and the things that happen to us that just are not fair. It’s easy because the voice of the enemy is relentless in his pursuit to get us to doubt God’s goodness.

Accusation is a nasty evil that if not careful, can warp the way we view God. It can be very subtle often using an element of truth to set us up to believe a counterfeit truth. These lies hinder your relationship with God, work to tear down your identity in Christ, and open the door to other strongholds like bitterness, anger and fear.

I fell victim to the enemy because I was not cemented in the Word. I didn’t truly know God’s character or my identity in Christ. I saw Him as a punisher and accused Him of making me pay for mistakes.

I thought of God as I thought of the dentist ­– unsafe and not to be trusted. Why? Because I believed God was responsible for all the good and bad that happened in life. This lie absolved me of owning the poor choices I made, but worse, it took the blame right off Satan. It was God who looked like the bad guy. By all appearances, He was against me, but nothing could be further from the truth.

These accusations would nearly destroy me by the time I hit 40. Satan blamed God for all he was doing to wreck my life. And I ate up every bit of it and grew disappoint in God. This also kept me in denial because I couldn’t see where I bore any responsibility for the mess.

I stewed over all the unmet expectations I placed on God. I wanted what I wanted and when I didn’t get it in my timing, accusations against God surfaced, such as:

  1. He did not hear my prayers
  2. He was not for me
  3. He wasn’t a good father
  4. He was a punisher

So many lies swirled in my mine because I didn’t understand it was my job o take the destructive thoughts captive and defend the Father. The negative thoughts fueled my pain and kept me from forming a solid relationship with God. I was convinced He was responsible for all that was wrong in my marriage, my job, my health, etc.

We had just lost our fourth child, and accusation led me to develop a fear of the Lord that was ungodly. I also felt abandoned by the One who said He’d never leave or forsake me.

I held God responsible for killing my babies as I had come into agreement with the accuser’s grandest lie: God is responsible for all that happens in life. I felt like He didn’t protect them to punish me, and I thought I must not be worthy to be a parent. This destroyer was killing my dream of raising a child, crushing my spirit, attacking my relationship with God and slowly tearing up my marriage.

As a result I rebuked God. I was so angry at Him that I no longer saw a good Daddy, but only saw perceived abuse. Accusation was stealing my peace and joy, making me an explosive mess in my home and robbing me of enjoying the pleasures that come from a man and wife creating life. Accusation was opening door to many other strongmen to come and wreck me. Envy, bitterness, rejection, complaining, control and manipulation… Those were just a few.

One day I found myself on the floor of our church crying to God to take my pain away. I had heard our pastor declare, “What grieves God most was bitterness and iniquity of sin.” He made an alter call, and I flew out of my chair. I was dying inside and wanted a way out. As I walked to the front I felt like a voice was telling me my iniquity was bitterness, and it needed to be ripped out of me. Then I was smacked with the reality I was guilty of accusing God because I didn’t trust His timing.

I repented and renounced all the agreements I had made with the devil. Bitterness with God stemmed from the lie that He killed my babies, but the Word says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Envy was the result of the accusation that God was blessing everyone but me because I was a bad person. Anger was the by-product of placing expectations on God when Satan twisted the verse that says, “Ask and it will be given to you.”

It was wonderful getting set free. The Lord showed up in a mighty way and filled me with peace. He plucked that envy right out of me, and I was no longer afraid of Him.

This was the beginning of a journey that culminated in the holding my daughter in my arms a year later. It was the full expression of Phillipians 4:4-7.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If you think you are being attacked by an accusing spirit but are not sure, take a look at the following checklist and if these characteristics apply:

  1. You are suspicious.
  2. You project fear and analyze others motives, including God’s.
  3. You are bitter.
  4. You do not trust others.
  5. You consistently believe the worst.
  6. You are easily offended and/or can create an offense.
  7. You make rash judgments based on limited knowledge and misunderstandings.
  8. You turn away from relationships and fellowship even after there has been repentance.
  9. You zero in on the flaws, weaknesses and evil in others while tending to exclude the good.
  10. You live in denial and always find someone to blame.

If you feel like you have been participating with accusing spirits after reading the list above, simply repeat the following prayer out loud:

Father God, I thank you that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ. And it is in His mighty name that I recognize and take responsibility in my life and in my generations for all accusation. I repent for and renounce participating with all spirits of accusation against God, self and others. I release all my guilt, shame, fear, mistrust, judgments and offenses and ask God that you fill me with your peace, love and truth. I ask for forgiveness and receive my forgiveness for participating in and serving accusation. I thank you Father for your mercy and grace. Give me the wisdom to discern your voice and the ability to recognize accusing thoughts so that I can take them captive. In Jesus name, amen.

Next steps:
If you’d like to learn more about Satan and how he can use spirits of accusation to cripple you in your life, click here and listen to the teaching on accusation.

Your Grace Is Enough

Blue shoes standing at u-turn point

There’s nothing sweeter than listening to your child rocking a car seat concert as she’s belting out “Your grace is enough,” along with the Veggie Tales. It’s a precious moment to absorb her unconditional love of God as she’s squealing through the verses. I am consumed with her child-like faith, and I’m pondering what grace really means.

As the song draws to an end… Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are talking when Bob announces “grace means unmerited favor.”

No offense to Bob the Tomato as I do believe God’s grace is enough, but his declaration seems off. A check in my spirit tells me that definition was not right, but sadly I didn’t understand why.

It wasn’t long after this drive I sat in some healing training from a well-known west coast pastor. I was taking in every word, and he blew my mind when he declared, “When we are born again, we are made brand new.” Yes! That lit me up!

He continued comparing believers to top-of-the-line Mclaren bikes proclaiming “we are not re-furbished models when born again.” It made sense to me – everything from the past, present and future was wiped clean. We are now spotless and righteous. Perfect in God’s eyes. Yes! I was now out of my seat!

But then he continued. He said there were no generational iniquity, no curses and no strongholds affecting our lives because we were born again. He said all of this had been taken care of on the cross. And I thought to myself… this is clearly unmerited favor. This must be grace.

A month or so later, I was teaching a group of women about healing when I literally felt a punch to my gut. One question went through my mind… If what that man said is true, then why are we in need of healing?

I’ve been a sold out, hard core follower of Jesus Christ for nearly the last decade. But this “new model” battled with high blood pressure, infertility, recurrent miscarriage, massive female problems including PMDD. I also dealt with bouts of insomnia, a blood clotting disorder, acid reflux, serious stomach problems, chronic sinus infections as well as bone issues that had led to two major surgeries in five years.

How was this possible if I was a “new model” when I gave my life to Jesus?

September 2014 was a real low for me. Instead of traveling to Japan on my first mission trip, I ended up in surgery to repair a badly damaged left foot and ankle. My arch fell, tendons shredded and my ankle was nearly out of its socket. I had spent the better part of a year praying for a miracle – living with chronic pain – determined that this “Mclaren bike” would be healed. I would see that unmerited favor and have my healing miracle.

Instead I sat on my couch for the next six months mad as a hornet. Where was my unmerited favor? Where was my new foot? Why did I now have metal screws and a fake arch in my body?

It became a mathematical equation I just couldn’t solve. A plus B just never added up to C. I was no longer buying what Bob the Tomato (or that pastor) was selling.

Unmerited favor. That’s a great concept in theory, but Satan, the father of lies, has done an excellent job penetrating into the church body at large a misconception that is leading many to perish to due a lack of knowledge.

Here’s why: If grace is automatically given to me when I accepted Christ, and if God showers me with favor no matter what I do, then it stands to reason that I do not have to do anything to receive it. I do not have to read the Word. I do not have to pray. I do not have to follow God’s laws. I do not have to rid the sinful patterns in my life. I do not have to do anything more than raise my hand in church and declare Jesus is my savior to be guaranteed a one-way ticket to eternal life.

I realized sitting on my couch that I expected a lot from God. This idea of grace being unmerited favor had warped my understanding to the point that I was pulling a Janet Jackson with God… constantly asking him “what have you done for me lately?” Not literally… but deep down… that’s exactly what I was doing. I wanted His portion of the Covenant, but I had no real idea of what my part of the equation was supposed to be.

By the end of 2014, my life was spinning out of control. My health, my marriage and my finances were all a mess. I was struggling in my church chasing after emotional experiences. I felt like my world was collapsing around me. I knew something had to change and so did God.

A family friend suggested my husband and I visit Son Rise Church and Ministries. There we met a pastor who would begin to open my eyes to the true Gospel and what was missing in my life.

I was gently shown how Satan had me convinced I was not bound by Jesus’ teaching (repent and sin no more). It was okay to fudge the rules – because God was full of grace! This lie was undermining all that Jesus did for me on the cross. I, without knowing, was belittling the sacrifice God made because I assumed we are not guilty no matter what. I tried to be a good person, but I was in no way living a life of repentance.

See, this hyper-grace message, being taught all over the world, emphasizes the grace of God with the exclusion of vital components such as confession of and turning away from sin. Because we have been forgiven, there is no need for a believer to ever confess sin. This warped concept says, “When God looks at us, He sees only as a holy and righteous people.” It completely leave out the truth that our choice to sin opens the door to the enemy and places us under his law.

This hyper-grace lie blinds many just like me to the damage of generational iniquities and curses in their lives. This lie tells believers they are not responsible for sin, and sets up what we are dealing with today – A world full of supposed legalism. Even worse, a day and age when to stand up for your religious beliefs turns you into a hater. It is causing a generation of God’s children to say, “If I live my life how I want but am a good person, surely I will go to Heaven.”

Sadly, this unmerited favor idea of grace is nothing more than the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jude 1:4 that said, For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

The Bible also warns us against this messed up idea of grace. Romans 6:23 says, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Dont you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6)

But if grace is not unmerited favor, then what is it?
The Word does teach us that it is by grace we are saved. But Paul also said that it was by faith that we were saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Grace, as un-deserved favor of God, rests in the truth of Colossians 1:27 which says “Christ in us. The hope of glory.”

True New Testament grace is not unmerited favor. It is someone (Jesus Christ) or something (Holy Spirit) that provides help – That someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping. It is through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us that we can do that which, in our own strength, we would not be able to do.

Merrium-Webster defines grace as unmerited divine assistance given humans for their sanctification – a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.

Grace is the power of God working in us giving us the ability to turn from sin, to defeat iniquity and strongholds and to courageously defeat the enemy. In our own strength, our flesh has no ability to overcome sin. But the grace of God, that is His Son Jesus Christ, found us not guilty, paved a way for us to be with the Father, provided an inheritance for us full of riches and fruit and restored the ability for us to live a Garden of Eden life.

Paul explains this gift of grace, as the ultimate sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, which reconciled us to God. Jesus did not cancel the laws His Father wrote. He did not say go and live an immoral, wretched life while tasting and eating my good fruit. Rather He gave us the Holy Spirit, by way of His Son, so that we could keep His Commandments – ultimately defeating the sin that is destroying so many of our lives.

Grace is the vehicle by which God strengthens the church. Our job is to seek at all times to become like Christ, having faith that while our works can produce nothing, the Power of God working in us will help us attain the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. On a daily basis grace conforms us more and more to the image of Jesus.

This sanctification requires Christians, as Paul commands, to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). And Romans 6 tells us how. We are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies or to be tempted to evil desires.

“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14).

God is the one who does the work of making us more like Christ. We participate in that work by continually turning away from sin and demonstrating faith by obeying God’s commands. The Holy Spirit plays a vital role because as we walk in the power of the Spirit we “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).

Having my eyes opened to this truth made the Bible and especially the Gospel come alive in my life. For the first time, the equation had an answer that added up to something amazing – summarized in Galatians 2:20.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

The more faith I had in dealing with my mess and the deeper I delved into daily practice of repentance, the more I was able to rid the bitterness, anger, accusation and fear from my life. For the first time in my life, I found true freedom. When I got out of my own way, took up my cross and began to follow Jesus rather than chase an emotional experience, miracles sprang forth in every area of my life.

I’ve been healed of everything I listed earlier in this blog. I lost 40 pounds as I shed the weight of carrying around the shame in my life. My relationships with my daughter and key family members improved drastically and my marriage… well let’s just say that a couple on the brink of divorce, both of whom would admit that there was no love left, are acting like newly weds. The fighting in my home is gone and in its place is joy and peace.

I am honestly blown away at the work the Lord has done in my life. Both my spouse and I have seen major increase in provision. I’ve grown in ministry and seen some incredible miracles spring forth in the lives of those around me.

The more I repent, rebuke and resist sin, the more I am willing to stand up to the enemy and say, “No, you have no claim on me or my family,” the more I am seeing the blessing of Abraham manifest in my life and in my family’s lives. This is the true product of grace.

If you are struggling in any area of your life – in your spirit, soul and body, in the work of your hands or in your relationships – I urge you to ask yourself one important question. Are you seeking repentance on a regular basis? If not, I invite you to seek God and give it a try. If what you are currently doing is not working, step aside and allow grace to finally come in and work on your behalf. I promise you won’t be sorry.

Pray and Ponder:

  1. What are some areas you are currently struggling with? Ask God for forgiveness and watch Him go to work on your behalf. If you are not sure what true repentance looks like, click and listen to Pastor John Aldridge’s Eight R’s to Freedom teaching.
  1. Have you been operating under the idea of hyper-grace? If so, ask God what true grace is and let Him speak to you.
  1. Do you need healing or freedom in any area of your life?  Click and listen to parts 1 and 2 of Biblical Foundations for Healing.





When Drivenness is Destructive


From a very young age, critical voices influenced how I viewed myself. I was drowning in a river of negativity with thoughts that began with “You’re not (fill in the blank)”.

Good enough. Smart enough. Talented enough. Pretty enough. Qualified enough. Creative enough. Innocent enough. Skinny enough.

Enough. Enough. Enough.

I recall hearing this voice for the first time when my family moved. My parents were proud to call themselves homeowners while I felt forced to leave the life I enjoyed to start the last year of elementary in a new school filled with strange faces.

Fifth grade was a hard year for me. This school was night and day different from my old one, and I felt like a fish out of water. While I did make friends, this was a lonely year.

I think this is where I began to strive for perfection, as I believed I would be liked if I was the best in class, a great Girl Scout and a stand out on safety patrol. I was driven to make the best Valentine’s Day box, get straight A’s and excel at skating. I worked hard at being perfect, but in the quiet of the night, the voices in my head seemed to get louder. “No one will like you.” “You are boring.” “You will never fit in.”

Sadly the very next year, I started junior high, and the cycle repeated – a new school across town, kids that could reject me, and a new set of fears to deal with. These thoughts devalued myself until one day I believed the negativity. “I’m a hag.” “I’ll never be popular.” So many lies filled the pages of my diary. I began to feel tortured inside.

My way of dealing with the lies in high school was to prove them wrong. I was driven to be the best in everything – newspaper, drill team and honors classes. No matter what I did, I excelled at it. I fought to silence my mind, trying to convince myself of my worth, but I felt the only way anyone would notice me, like me, and/or love me was if I exceeded expectations in every area of my life.

Sadly college was more of the same. No matter what I did, I’d hear the nagging voice devaluing me even though I was a sorority officer and yearbook editor, making good grades and sustaining great friendships.

My third year in college, I experienced love at first sight. We began dating, and I twisted myself into knots to be exactly what I thought he wanted me to be. I was frustrated because I was becoming someone I didn’t like as I devalued myself – crossing many boundaries I didn’t really want to. Eventually, my heart was broken when this man cheated on me. Rejected and heartbroken, I shut down emotionally. While I was cool on the outside, I was a raging mess on the inside.

The worse the thoughts got, the more driven I became. I graduated and began a job working for a magazine. I twisted my stomach in knots, stressing over the pressure to write that perfect feature. Not only that… I excelled at graphic design even though I had no formal training.

I quickly rose in my career, but despite the success, I only saw what I lacked. I defined myself by my job title but wasn’t satisfied until I was promoted. The pressure I put on myself to exceed expectations led me to have stomach problems and insomnia.

My personal life was worse. I had no concept of value, which set me up for heartache and pain as I tried to be someone I wasn’t. My self-esteem and confidence dove to an all-time low as the next man I loved told me I was fat, alienated me from his friends and often took his bad moods out on me. The more I tried to please him, the more I got hurt. This was a toxic relationship – a cocktail of mental and physical abuse.

For several years I endured the highs and lows of this affair. It tragically ended when he slammed his head into my car windshield, but you’d think I was the one cracked as I was destroyed. I should have been happy to see him gone, but I believed no one would ever love me.

My shattered heart and desolated self-image could not handle another trauma. But sadly, I was date raped by the very next guy who came into my life. I was in such bad shape that I actually thought this was my fault as I had put myself in a bad situation that I should have known better.

Shame consumed me. I was plummeting into a deep depression – trapped in a cycle of people pleasing and performance anxiety as well as unhealthy attempts to meet the expectations of another. I was making co-dependent decisions based on my need to be needed, to be validated and feel worthy. But all I was getting out of it was destroyed.

Eventually, I spent time in counseling and found a measure of healing. My life would ebb and flow between the peace that came with being alone and the chaos that came with dating someone that was no good for me.

It would be another 15 years before I would summon the strength and courage to silence the accuser for good when I began to sit in a Bible church pew instead of sitting in another’s expectations of me and began to let God’s Word permeate through my heart and soul.

I meditated on the reality that I was saved by God’s grace and not on the basis of works. Romans 11:6 began to open the door to freedom as I realized the truth –God loves, accepts and values me… just the way I am.

My Heavenly Father desires a relationship with me and has great plans for me based on His heart and His view of me. I could not be perfect enough or good enough to ever deserve such a gift.

This was revelation! My value was no longer dependent upon other people’s opinions. My worth would no longer be defined by men or by job title. What I thought about myself was not based on how skinny I was, how long my hair was or by the expensive purses I carried.

Worthy by definition means having merit, or value; good and deserving of respect, praise, or attention; having enough good qualities to be considered important and/or useful.

It’s sad all the years I was tormented. The more I strived for anyone to define me as worthy the worse my life got. Sadly I failed to realize God’s Word had plenty to say about my worth.

Once I knew that His view of me was the only one that mattered, I began to flourish and grow comfortable in my own skin.

I was made in the image of God who said I was more precious than silver and gold. God wrote about the days of my life before I was born. God chose me as His child before the foundations of the earth were formed to serve an important purpose in His Kingdom.

Coming into this reality changed my life in profound ways as some health issues and high blood pressure disappeared. My marriage improved as I stopped the co-dependency and the need to be “right”.

I discovered a piece of wisdom that has transformed my life: while it is okay to pursue excellence, any drivenness or perfectionism bread out fears, low self-worth and other negative reasons should instantly be recognized and dealt with.


Are you looking for love in all the wrong places?
Just like I did, there are many determining their self-worth based on what other people say. This results in us developing unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drivenness, perfectionism and people pleasing.

Here are signs you might be struggling in this area:

  • You believe if you excel at home, at work or in life, others will accept and love you. This belief causes self-doubt and frustration when expectations are not met.
  • You are careful not to hurt someone’s feelings and place everyone’s feelings above yours.
  • You tend to look around and compare yourself to others. You can be super critical of yourself and typically believe you are less than, not good enough or will never measure up.
  • You have a difficult time opening up, being vulnerable and sharing your feelings with others due to an intense fear of perceived failure and rejection.
  • The word no is not in your vocabulary, and as a result, you resent and harbor bitterness when others say no or you engage in things you didn’t want to.
  • You have a lot of one-sided relationships and can tend to feel used.
  • While extremely critical of yourself and others, you often take criticism poorly by getting offended, defensive and angry.
  • You often feel like nothing you do is good enough, feeling continually dissatisfied, depressed and stressed.


You can be set free!
Healing begins when you can recognize these destructive patterns in your life and begin to allow God’s truth to replace the lie that you are not valuable enough to be loved. When you can accept God’s love based on grace and let go of the destructive “works” mentality, God can begin to heal the tender places in your heart.

Accept the truth that your value and worth were determined by God when He sacrificed His Son. It was this price (Jesus on the cross) that makes you worthy. In fact, it’s this ultimate price that makes you (and me) priceless.

When you know your worth through the eyes of the One who loves you completely, no one in the natural or the spiritual can make you feel unworthy.

Unfortunately, the enemy will continue to chip away at your value. When you begin to hear the negative whispers again, speak the truth of Galatians 2:20 out loud.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

If you are ready to silence the accuser by tuning into the loving whisper of God, simply repeat this prayer. After, be encouraged to dive into the Bible and ask God to highlight verses that define you!


Pray loudly:
Father God, I thank you that you are the Lord of All. I thank you that you gave me my identity. Daddy, I only care about hearing all that you say I am. I ask you would silence the negative, condemning voice in my mind and change my frequency to hear your voice clearly. Father, I desire to seek approval from only you… not from my friends or family. Keep my eyes focused on your plan for my life. Help trigger me to stop when I begin to fall into my old patterns of drivenness and perfectionism. I ask Father for you to forgive me for engaging in codependent behaviors that have been destructive in my life. Father, I thank you that you sacrificed your Son. Thank you for showing me just how valuable I am. I thank you for healing my heart, my soul and my spirit as I come into more of your loving truth. Father, I declare – You are my source… the only One I need. My life is yours to have your will. May my life bring you honor and glory, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Questions to pray and ponder:

  1. What do you think about yourself – honestly? Would these thoughts line up with God’s view of you?
  2. Are you able to discern when Satan is invading your thought life trying to convince you that you are not worth?
  3. Do you struggle with perfectionism and drivenness? What are some ways you can stop this destructive pattern?
  4. What are three Bible verses confirming your value that you can declare loudly every day?

It’s All His Fault


“There’s no hope for my marriage, he’s never going to change.”

I’ve uttered that sentence a thousand times believing one massive lie… If he would change our marriage would be better, and I would be happy.

See I was a type A, want-what-I-want woman, who married at 35. I had many years of living alone to get set in my ways. Simple things like how he folded the hand towels drove me crazy. Why couldn’t he just do it the way I like it?

The man I dated was romantic, catered to me and cared about what I wanted. He swept me off my feet, and I fell deeply in love. But once married, things quickly changed.

A month into our marriage, Scott sunk into a depression and became a man I didn’t recognize. His wounds and dysfunctional coping patterns reared up, and the selfless man I dated was now a stranger – self-centered, withdrawn and cruel.

We started therapy, and life got better for a while. But several miscarriages, fertility issues and added pressure took our marriage from bad to worse.

Miserable, I felt abandoned. Scott declared regularly, “I don’t care about you.” I was certain he didn’t love me. I adored the man I dated but didn’t care for the stranger sleeping beside me. Deep down I knew my marriage was a mistake.

Many lies filtered through my mind. “I’d be better off alone.” “He’s never going to meet my needs.” These caused me to stop seeing the man God created Scott to be. I zeroed in on ways he didn’t measure up. All I saw was how he let me down. It was all his fault.

As a result I grew volatile. In righteous anger I’d sucker punch him verbally. I tore him to shreds with cruel words, but believed I was not the problem. He needed to change – not me!

In 2009, I sternly announced, “I want a separation.” I couldn’t take another second of Scott’s issues and his unwillingness to change. I had a growing baby in my belly and was convinced we’d be better off without Scott.

At the same time a friend raved about the book Love and Respect. I read it and implemented the principles the author suggested.

For months, I affirmed Scott. I never raised my voice. I sought forgiveness for what he said I did wrong. I truly gave this 100% effort, but Scott was blind to my effort. I wasn’t safe. He didn’t trust me. He held grudges and disconnected even though I was doing my best to connect.

As a result, anger turned to rage. Respect went out with the trash, and I flew off the handle. I wanted him to suffer the way I was suffering. I was belligerent and full of malice. I hated him.

In therapy, a counselor steered me in the wrong direction. “Get over your judgment about divorce and stop seeing marriage as a covenant,” she explained. “Scott broke the marriage contract, and you have every reason to leave.”

She said, “God would not want you to be this unhappy.” And with that, I planned my exit strategy, but God had other plans.

Tensions were thick, and we walked around on eggshells. I was miserable, but when I prayed asking if I could leave, I’d hear, “not yet.” That obviously made me mad. He wasn’t fixing my marriage!

There was no intimacy. We talked of superficial things like “what’s for dinner?”

The disconnection kept things peaceful, but also kept us broken. We no longer hugged or kissed, and I swore the lack of intimacy was his fault. Our marriage would ebb and flow between disconnected peace and world war. We were both battered, but neither had the strength to leave.

But shortly after our fifth anniversary, Scott changed. He confessed admitting he didn’t care the first years of our marriage, but now he did. He’d attempt to hold my hand, and I’d pull away. I deemed him a liar, and knew we’d never make it our sixth anniversary, so why bother?

However, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and six became seven. Seven became eight. We had serious problems, but Scott was trying

In 2013, God got a hold of me after I was consumed by unloving spirits. I hated my life and my marriage… filled with bitterness and accusation. I only saw what was wrong when God commanded, “I want you to affirm your husband 10 times a day.”

My first thought was “never gonna happen!” Convinced he didn’t love me – I wasn’t willing to put myself out there, but God armed me with strength and power (2 Sam. 22:33). I obeyed.

I struggled to think of two positives. “Thank you for going to work and paying bills.” But slowly, the effort paid off, and my perspective shifted. He’s funny, smart and witty. He’s an incredible dad. Kind. Sensitive. He’s a servant. He desired me to be happy.

The problem was my critical nature, need to have my way and anger were out of control. I felt I had a right to be mad and wore the victim hat proudly, until one day I took a good look in the mirror and realized:

• I was angry with myself – not Scott or God.
• I didn’t hate Scott. I hated myself.
• I needed help.
• I had to change. I realized for the first time – it wasn’t all his fault.

In 2014, I walked into Son Rise Church and Ministries, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ came alive in my life. I focused on ridding the matriarchal spirit and dealing with my junk through repentance and deliverance. Strongholds were replaced with truth. My happiness no longer depended on what Scott did or didn’t do. The major revelation was God is my helper, and Lord Jehovah sustains my soul (Psalm 54:4), not Scott.

I fixed my eyes on God and nothing else. I separated myself from sin and laid the worst parts of myself before Jesus Christ. I took responsibility for what I had done in the marriage. I began to take my thought captive. I sought forgiveness and let the Holy Spirit fill my wounded soul.

My life looked like Psalm 37:40 – the LORD shall help me, and deliver me: He shall deliver me from the wicked, and save me, because I trust in him.

I did trust God, and in May 2015, I experienced a radical encounter while attending healing training. As I felt horrible chest pain I heard, “I’ve fixed your heart. It’s no longer broken.” The pain faded into an unspeakable joy and peace I had never known before. I was touched by God and radically changed.

I forgave Scott, God and myself. I left the past behind and desired to start fresh. I knew I only had control over how I reacted to my spouse. I could pray for him but had no power change him. But even more I ditched all expectations of change, as they were the result of assumptions, judgments and accusations that were nothing more than sin.

The truth was simple: I can’t depend on Scott to meet my needs because that job belonged to God. I can be happy in my circumstances no matter what Scott brought to the table.

I gave Scott space to adjust to his new wife. This wasn’t an easy process. My past behaviors were thrown in my face, as I had not been forgiven. He wasn’t buying that I had been radically transformed. But as days turned to weeks, weeks turned into months, it became clear I was different.

Peace washed through our home for the first time. While I’m not perfect and can fall into old patterns, I quickly recognize what’s happening and shift my behavior. I changed and as a result, my marriage improved.

No matter what Scott was or wasn’t doing, I refused to make a laundry list of shortcomings. I refused to engage when he picked a fight, and I prayed my marriage would continue to improve.

And God was faithful as Scott realized he needed help and started his own ministry. I was now safe, and Scott the room to focus on him. I stopped trying to be the priest of the home and allowed him to rise. I submitted.

Together we are on guard for the spirit of offense. We think before reacting out of our emotions. We give each other the benefit of doubt. We talk, laugh and enjoy life more. What’s disappeared? All outbursts and the need to punish were gone. We became partners – we were finally becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

Six months after my miraculous encounter I heard myself say three words I thought I’d never say again, “I love you.” And the thing is… I meant it.

What a testimony to God – we happily celebrated our 10th anniversary back in April. I never thought we’d make it, but with God all things are possible.

In Genesis 12:1 we learn God, who desires to lead us by the Holy Spirit, would like to lead us in to many things… one of them being a happy covenant relationship with our spouse.

I hate the fact that the enemy convinces Christians that divorce is the only option. We have a marriage crisis in our country because too many believe the enemy’s lies instead of adhering to God’s truth.

Marriage is a divine snapshot of the relationship between Christ and his Bride, the Church. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one,” (Mark 10:7-8).

I feel like we finally ditched the contract mentality and understood for the first time the marriage covenant is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.

My marriage is a testimony to the power of the Word of God being applied. Scott is learning to lay down his life in sacrificial love and protection. And I am learning to shed the type A personality – willing to submit to his leadership. I also have seen the fruit that comes from building up a man rather than tearing him down with critical words and unrealistic expectations.

Today I love Scott for the man he is and the man God made him to be. I no longer long for the man that courted me but enjoy the one that walks through the door at night. Divorce is no longer a word in my vocabulary.

A friend, we have known for years, recently came to the house. As we were leaving, I said “Bye babe” to Scott. Stunned she exclaimed, “That’s the first time I’ve heard you speak endearingly to him and about him. You were always so cold in the past.”

And with that, God whispered, “Good job, faithful servant. I’m proud of you.” Now I look in the mirror and like whom I see and that fills my heart with so much joy.

If you are struggling in your marriage, I urge you to pray this out loud:

Father God, I thank you that you have only good things planned for my marriage. I pray all of Satan’s strongholds will be broken, and my marriage will be saved. Help me Father speak life and not death over my spouse. I pray for restoration and not separation. I pray you draw us to connect and not withdraw. Father, I thank you for reminding me to fix my eyes on you and not on my current circumstances. I thank Jesus Christ for restoring the blessing of Abraham in our lives, and I am grateful this blessing included covenant relationships. Father please help both of us have faith that this blessing is a gift… ready to receive right now I pray the accuser be silenced, all expectations town down, and all bitterness disappears now in might name of Jesus. Renew my love and help me to see all the amazing qualities my spouse has. I lift up my marriage so it can flourish and not flounder in Jesus’ name. Amen and Amen.

Questions to ponder:
Are you harboring resentment, bitterness and refuse to forgive your spouse? If so, repent and ask the Holy Spirit help you in this area.

2. What negativity is the enemy speaking over your marriage? Are you convinced things would improve if your spouse changed? If so, get with God and let him lead you into the truth.

3. What areas of weakness do you need to work on that could help improve your marriage?

4. Are speaking life or death into your marriage? Your words matter! Start praising your partner and speaking life into your marriage by focusing on the good instead of the bad.

Additional resources:
For further information on the Matriarchal and Patriarchal Passive/Control profiles, visit and listen to the great teaching by Pastor John Aldridge of Son Rise Church and Ministries.

Don’t Count Out the Holy Spirit


I had just moved into a town house in a new city. It was not a good time in my life – just my dog Mickey and I starting over after a long relationship suddenly ended. Four days into unpacking boxes and adjusting to this new reality, I parked in my drive to find landscapers left my back gate open.

I instantly knew Mickey was gone. He was a runner and couldn’t resist wandering off. I drove around for hours along with a friend – each in opposite directions until the sun set. There was nothing more we could do. I was devastated.

All sorts of horrible thoughts drifted through my mind. Thoughts like:

  • He’s lost in a new city.
  • He couldn’t know his way back as we’d been there less than a week.
  • He’s been run over, hurt, stolen.
  • I’ll never see Mickey again.

Many tears were shed. I had all ready lost so much – I couldn’t bear to lose my dog too.

Around 10 pm, I headed upstairs and climbed into bed. I was exhausted, but I knew I wouldn’t sleep. I believed in God, was saved, but wasn’t really living my life as a born again Christian. But something inside prompted me to begin to speak out loud what I wanted to happen. I asked the Lord to bring my dog home, and then I began to declare how.

“God, please bring Mickey home. Let him walk through the open gate and burst through the dog door. Let me hear the jingle of the nametag against his collar. Let Mickey come flying upstairs safe. He will jump on my bed. I will hug him and hold him tight. He will be covered in red mud, but I will not care. Thank you God for bringing Mickey home.”

I said this loudly between wiping tears and blowing my nose. I was praying without ceasing for the first time in my life. I was heartbroken and needed a miracle.

About 11:30 pm, I was barely awake but still mumbling my prayer when I heard a man whistling (the way you would to get a dog to come to you). Faint at first, the sound got louder and louder. I sat up confused why I was hearing a man outside my second story window. But just as soon as I did, Mickey burst through the dog door, flew up the stairs with the tag jingling and jumped into my arms covered head to toe in mud! It was the manifestation of my prayer!

But who was whistling? I ran downstairs out the front door. No one. There had to be a man. I opened the back door to find nothing but the open gate. I knew the whistling was not my imagination – I heard it, but no one was there to be found.

I gave Mickey a bath when it dawned on me I had a supernatural encounter. I had not heard a man, but for the first time heard the Holy Spirit. It was by His power my prayer was answered.

Interestingly enough His whistle comforted me and gave me hope. In that moment I felt I wasn’t alone and like someone was listening and responding to my fear and pain.

Right there on the floor of my bathroom, I began to thank God for what had happened. I was moved and desired to know more. The Holy Spirit had met me where I was at and blessed me abundantly.

I knew things about Jesus and God. I had sat in Bible Church long enough to grasp them as two very distinct parts of the Godhead; however, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the Holy Spirit. Just the words “Spirit” or “Ghost” caused confusion for me – I had the “Casper the friendly ghost” view of Him rather than understanding His place as the third person in the Godhead.

I think many can identify with me as the enemy has done a great job of perverting our perceptions of the Holy Spirit reducing Him to merely a “symbol” and not a living entity. In fact, the Christian Post* reported

58% of all U.S. Christians believe the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a symbolic reference to God’s power or presence.

The Barna Research Group** conducted a study of 1,871 people from across the 48 continental states and found most Christians don’t think the Holy Sprit is a living force. George Barna, Barna Group founder and book author commented, “Most Americans, even those who say they are Christians, have doubts about the intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world.”

Even more disturbing is that 47% of those who agreed the Holy Ghost is only a symbol also agreed the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles, even though the Word clearly describes the Holy Spirit in great detail.

Do you see the problem here? Satan has successful discredited the Word of God to the point deceived Christians are picking and choosing parts of the Bible to fit nicely into their idea of life. If it doesn’t feel good or make sense… throw it out.

It’s actually pretty ridiculous when you stop and think about it. We love it when our pastors preach about how much God loves us, but when they dive into anything that goes beyond our comfort zone, we shut down, stop listening and judge them harshly. We’ve become a feel good society and will reject anything that threatens it.

The Holy Spirit has gotten a bad rap, and it is time that we as Christians realize that He is an important and vital part of the trinity… of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit is alive! When we give our lives to Christ and are born again, the Holy Ghost breathes life into us. He dwells in us and works through us. He is the way we can be conformed into the image of Christ, because apart from His power, we are able to accomplish nothing good. His work is to bring each of us into a deeply personal relationship with Jesus so we can have access to our Heavenly Father.

It time to wake up! If we believe the Bible is true, then we must see the Holy Spirit as more than a symbol. He is the power by which we are healed, delivered and set free. He is the voice guiding us, protecting us and comforting us. The Holy Spirit tends to all our pains, brokenness and sorrows.

Jesus was led by the Spirit to face 40 days of temptation. The Spirit empowered Jesus to be the sinless man, as Jesus Christ did nothing apart from what He was told to do. The Heavenly Father was able to speak with His Son through the Spirit with in Him after He was baptized. If the Holy Spirit can do all that for Jesus, consider what the Spirit can do for you?

Jesus understood the power of the Holy Ghost and promised to send the Holy Spirit in His place. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever.” (John 14:15-16) That helper is the Spirit of Truth.

Jesus goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will live with us and will be in us. Is this not irrefutable proof the Holy Spirit is more than a symbol?

Jesus relied on the Spirit when He walked this earth, and we must follow His example. We must continually welcome and embrace the Holy Spirit into our lives, be thankful for His presence and surrender control over to Him.

If you invite Him into your heart on a daily basis, here are some of the amazing things the Holy Spirit will do in your life:

  • Speaks to you (Acts 8:29, 11:12, 13:12)
  • Imparts eternal life (Rom 8:10, 14)
  • Sanctifies you (1 Peter 1:2)
  • Comforts you (John 14:15, 2 Corinthians 1:4)
  • Bring you peace (John 14:27)
  • Empowers you with gifts (Acts 20:28)
  • Guides and leads you in your everyday life (John 16, Rom 8:14)
  • Convicts you of sin (John16:8)
  • Shapes and molds you into the image of Christ (Roman 8:1-17)
  • Helps you pray to the Father (Romans 8:26)
  • Assists you in understanding the Word of God (Hebrews 4:2)
  • Testifies about who Jesus is (John 15:26)
  • Prevents you from going somewhere or doing something (Acts 16:5-7)

If you are sick, hurting, financially strapped or struggling in significant relationships, it is time to realize you are in a spiritual battle, and it must be fought by spiritual means. You cannot defeat Satan on your own.

The good news is you’ve got a champion living inside you – the Helper. Jesus said we would be enabled to do even greater works than He did (John 14:12-14). If you are waiting for a miracle, desperate for a prayer to be answered, consider God may be waiting on you to trust that Heaven comes to earth by our union with the Father and Son through the Holy Spirit.

For all the skeptics and close-minded folks out there, the Holy Spirit occupies a lot of space in the Word. In fact, there are 38 unique names for the Holy Spirit in scripture. Be encouraged to go through the Bible and get to know the person that is the Holy Spirit. This revelation will change your life and help you access your God-given gifts.

Who couldn’t use a little more joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, happiness and love in their life? God’s ultimate goal is for us to be so filled with the Holy Spirit’s fruit we continually pour the goodness onto others.

Refuse to let Satan keep you and others from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying a fulfilling relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you are ready, repeat loudly the following prayer:

Father God, I love you. You are worthy of all thanks and praise. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice and victory over all evil. Father I ask forgiveness for believing lies about the Holy Spirit and ask to receive the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit may your presence in my life be like air I breath. I need you to guide me, comfort me, lead me, protect me and teach me so that my life would reflect the glory of God. Thank you for the good fruit that you give me as a free gift. Assist me to stay keenly aware of your presence every second of the day. May my life be filled with your power to combat evil and overcome sin so that I may be conformed into the image of Christ. I desire more of your goodness, seek the abundant blessings you’ve planned for me and want to feel more of your love. I thank you I have not been given spirits of fear, but I have been given spirits of power, love and a sound mind. It is only through you Holy Spirit that I can know Jesus Christ and access the Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your baptism and the gentle way you work in me to transform me so that I may live out God’s plan for my life. I pray for more – May Heaven invade earth and miracles abound. In Jesus might name, Amen and Amen.

Questions to take you further:

  1. Have you believed the lie that the Holy Spirit has no place in today’s Christian life? If so, repent, seek forgiveness and ask to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
  1. What ways do you see the Holy Spirit is or could be working in your life?
  1. How different would your life look if you allowed the Holy Spirit to flow through you and out of you?
  1. What are your spiritual gifts and how are you using them in your life?


* Most U.S. Christians Don’t Believe Satan, Holy Spirit Exist by Jennifer Riley, Christian Post Reporter, April 13, 2009
* Research Study Conclusions found at

My Timeline to the Truth – Christians Will Face Hard Times


It was a pleasant surprise. After suffering two miscarriages and then battling infertility, I found out I was expecting.

2007. The year I looked forward to with anticipation. But the excitement would fade into sadness by March 2008 as I lost twins – one in the first trimester, the other in the second. I went through the first few stages of grief but got stuck in anger. I was furious with God and blamed Him for killing my babies. I screamed and placed unreal expectations on my husband to the point our marriage suffered. My controlling nature kicked into overdrive, and I refused to stop and grieve.

2008. The year I went from fertile to sterile. As summer faded into the colors of fall, I lost another child. I developed an infection that destroyed my tubes, and they needed to be removed. It was like a bullet piercing my chest when the doctor said, “You are now sterile and will never have a natural child.”

An ugly voice began to rattle around in my head. It was a quiet murmur – only loud in my mind. “God’s to blame.” “You are not worthy to be a mom.” “It is your fault you lost all the children because of your bad past.” “Your husband is going to leave you for a younger woman.”

I stewed on these and other lies until I believed them. Over time I grew bitter and felt all kinds of shame. I was overflowing with envy and swimming in a planet of regret for all of the bad choices I made in my past.

I hated life and everyone who had a child or who was pregnant as well as the Lord and myself. Honestly, I don’t think nothing could have been worse unless I lost my lift, but many times I thought dying would be easier than living in this hell.

2008. The year I came to the end of me. I had no idea how to manage this wilderness season. Charting my own path was leading me to lowly places. I needed a way out of my pain, and began searching for someone… anyone that would help. I had no idea the one who would reach down and pull me out of my pit would be Jesus Christ.

I handed over the reigns and surrendered my life to Him. I was saved. Accepting Jesus was the best decision I made, but it also gave the enemy an opportunity to trap me into another lie. “Now that I am a Christian, my life will be perfect.”

I was convinced the “prosperity gospel” was true! After all, 2Peter 2:9 said the Lord knew how to rescue the godly from trials. I knew for sure I was godly… I sat in a pew on Sunday, waved my hands in the air at worship and began to pray (which was giving God a laundry list of all the things I wanted Him to do for me).

Looking back now, I know my decision to follow Jesus was based on the lie that everything would be great. After being saved, surely He would fix all my problems. I was convinced He would make my life perfect.

2009. The year I learned Satan is a liar and finally accepted my life would never be perfect. It wasn’t long before the truth knocked me off my pedestal, and it dawned on me I was anything but godly. When I opened my eyes and looked at Christians around me, I realized that they weren’t perfect either. After all, everyone had problems. Some were battling cancer. Many had divorces under their belts. No one could escape having a little drama in life, and I was not going to be the exception.

It makes me angry that Satan has convinced the world that to be a Christian means we can’t have blemishes. The world looks at our mistakes mockingly and judges us based on our weaknesses.

His Word gently guided me to the truth. I am a God-loving, Jesus freak who has issues. I am not perfect. My life will always have ups and downs, highs and lows. I will face trials in triumph and in defeat. I will be tempted, and I will sin.

Through Romans 8:28 God taught me all things work together for good when I love my Father and works toward His purpose in my life. I occurred to me every time the enemy attacks me and I fall, God redeems it by drawing me closer to Him. He teaches me many lessons that take me to a better place spiritually.

2009. The year I harnessed the power of scripture. I had been given a prophetic word – I would have a natural child. And even when my reality told me a different truth, I chose to declare Luke 1:45 loudly and sternly. “Blessed is she who believes what is spoken will be accomplished.”

I believed, and I did indeed receive. I held my precious baby girl and thanked God for His promises are true.

2010. The year I knew I would never stay in a bad place. This year was rough. I was suffering from postpartum depression and hanging by a thread for most of the year. I also suffered a miscarriage and dealt with a very sick baby. But God was faithful and helped me get through.

1 Peter 5:10 is such a comforting verse because it taught me that even in my worst moments God would be there for me. “But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.”

I learned through the next several years that while I will stumble through the wilderness from time to time, God will always equip me with what I need to come through.

2011. Two miscarriages while my daughter battled with a deadly abscess and endured her first surgery. I had also had major neck surgery that kept me flat on my back for nearly three weeks.

2012. Daughter faced another surgery after nine months of strep.

2013. My amazing Aunt died. I battled for eight months through painful tendonitis in my right foot and ankle.

2014. Left ankle tendon shredded and resulted in major surgery that kept me from walking for nearly six months.

Clearly, Satan’s done his best to keep me wandering in the wilderness. But the good news is God takes everything… the good, the bad and the ugly and fashions it for good. I’ve learned how to use my worst moments to testify to the goodness and glory of God. The more transparent I am the more I can help others battle through their traumas.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Revelation 12:11)

It was in my worst years… my worst moments… I found my true voice. It wasn’t the one rattling around in my mind. It was the voice speaking from my heart.

2015. The year I put Satan on notice, sought repentance and deliverance and saw major healing in my life.

I stepped into ministry as associate pastor at Son Rise Church and Ministries. I understand so much more than I did back in 2008. While my life will never be perfect, the closer I get to Jesus the more I get to experience the perfect love of my Father. And that’s perfect to me!


Questions to pray and ponder:

Are you struggling in your walk with Christ because life has not turned out the way you thought? Maybe it’s time to repent for placing God in a box and surrender all of your expectations over to Him.

What is your testimony and how can you share it with others to bring glory to God?

Who do you blame when things are going wrong in your life? If it is God, maybe it’s time to stop accusing and start trusting.