Tag Archives: #brave

When Our Messes Become Our Message…

Blameless Mess Becomes Our Message

When Our Messes Become Our Message…

Breaking Free Announces Me!

Coming from an experienced beloved who’s walked through her fair share of messes, when we go through great pain and trials, it seems easier to just stay bound and wrapped up in captivity, entangled around comforts of familiarity.

Being a prisoner of fear, it seems every step we take to break free, the paralyzing torment only enhances the strength of our cells of hell.

Traumatic attacks are hard to survive and heal from when our focus is solely based on being bailed out. That includes also the loss of failed expectations, physical pain, emotional scars, and even financial destruction.

Blameless Breaking Free 5

I was asked how I comfortably share the torments of abuse and the shame that lingers while breaking free from that controlling link.

Admittedly, there are times when I get overwhelmed reliving it because it feels like another beloved’s trauma. It’s empowering to share, though, because it’s a reminder how freedom has taken back the power of my voice that was once stilled and lost. 

I try to emphasize that there is no shame in our game; Jesus is His name! There really is power in the name of Jesus when we release the blood stains caused from those fears of judgment and condemnation.

Maybe that’s why my heart burns with desire in being an advocate for those who have lost their voice because I get it. I’ve walked that path. I not only survived, but it made me courageous and confident enough to start a nonprofit organization helping others. 

Change requires a lifetime pursuit understanding and applying what 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 (MSG) talks about. God “comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”

Blameless Breaking Free Announces Me

Breaking Free Announces Me!

I met a beloved once at one of our W.E.A.V.E. support groups. I had only learned of W.E.A.V.E.’s existence after escaping exactly what the acronym defines:  Women Escaping A Violent Environment. I was not an advocate then. I was attending these meetings because I had found myself a victim of a creepy stalker.

Stalkers want what they cannot have…

Even though I had broken free from the chains of physical and emotional abuse, I was still imprisoned with identity and insecurity depravities that needed some fine tuning with the Lord’s direct intervention.

Our Beautiful Jesus brings healing to our lives usually one step at a time!

I’ve learned now to approach the testing of trials with more peace, confidence and clarity as my faith has deepened. Trials are now perceived as opportunities to learn tools that will help equip me with what might be brewing in the future; for example, hope, trust, peace, perseverance, patience, courage, you name it.

The development of my character became profound after I left my violent environment.  Kind of funny how God orchestrates situations at times. Here I had broken free from the cycles of abuse and the Lord introduces me to a woman who I would help break free from her own violent environment. 

 

Blameless Tired Of Being Told

God uses my mess and message to walk alongside of others who are tired of being told what they cannot be and live out who God created them to be.

Genesis 50:20 (NIV) perfectly announces to the enemy our authority claiming victory, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Pondering the power that Genesis 50:20 foretells will remind us that our trials are not meant to torment us or even keep us on our knees. They’re intended to launch us to a completely different atmosphere where we recognize our messes are our messages.

Keeping our messes to ourselves robs others of the blessings that our testimonies offer.

Our momentary troubles are not meant to be gone through alone, much less swept underneath the rug. They’re oftentimes meant to strengthen us.

Conflict births opportunities. It’s possible our tests have come because they’re going to be a part of our testimony.

God wants us alive and present, available to be His powerful and courageous vessels!

I’m going to be brave enough to try and seize every moment of my trials so I can learn wisdom that will help me get through the next mess quicker and stronger.

Max Lucado’s Declaration of Faith is worthy of being proclaimed:

I’ll get through this. 

It won’t be painless. 

It won’t be quick. 

But God will use this mess for good. 

I won’t be foolish or naive, but I won’t despair either. 

With God’s help, I will get through this.

~ Max Lucado ~

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Just Because Beautiful You 1.1

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Victim or Victor? Part One

blameless-at-the-end-of-the-rope 

Victim or Victor?

Silence Empowers Perpetrators

Part One

This piece of Caryn Drexl’s Photography speaks of unfathomable pain and suffering.  It also exhibits triumphant undertones that are not only haunting, harsh realities, but speak victory if one simply dares to look long enough under the torment.  Kind of synonymous with the old adage that a good friend shared last week, “Our churches are hospitals for sinners, not a showcase for saints.”

If churches and congregations are supposed to be safe havens and refuges for the hurt and broken, how can they safely coexist alongside places of worship and be common ground that encourages engagement in healthy relationships?  Can they nurture and develop into communities where we can learn and grow from one another as we do life together safely through prayer, consolation and the healing of our infirmities?

Why is it I cannot be consoled or receive this peace that others receive or flock to?  Why is my spirit so downcast within me?  Is it because my hands are tied and affliction abounds or because it is yet another piece of bravery that valor requires I walk through?

Have our churches become so polluted with sick people who only attend so they can be catered to and loved on while we practice our sermons getting paid through accolades and tithes and commercialization or are we forgetting through our performance-based facades that we are supposed to administer healing through Love Himself in order to be released back into our communities?

The Word teaches that the Body of Christ is meant to be the hands and feet of God while sojourning this side of heaven through love, justice and accountability.  Why, then, are we staying loosely bound and tied, afraid to bravely break free by confronting and speaking up against the actions of a brother from another mother?

Isn’t that what community in the church is all about; loving one another while sharing our experiences in claiming freedom and holding each other accountable for how we do life each and every day, good or bad?  To me, that requires trust that is gained solely through the engagement of communication and the building of relationships

Since coexisting on earth oftentimes requires love, patience, goodness, kindness, etc., communities go through a gamut of emotions similar to victims ranging from fear to denial and maybe even to acknowledgement.  As a society, how can we claim victory when the actions of our leaders compound and make the violation much more worse than need be all in the name of devaluation? 

I personally feel completely violated myself, not so much from the actions of a perpetrator, but the way my complaint was handled by those in authority.  I didn’t ask the Lord to put me on this path or even to take its sting away.  I asked Him to give me courage to be brave enough while being obedient through Love.  I knew this obedience would release the everlasting peace and wisdom that I was craving for, but I was not prepared to tackle this battle after what I perceived was being completely devalued and shut down.

I can handle the person injecting the fear and control, but what about those who shepherd and lead us and are supposed to protect and support us as we press through attacks, not to mention the legalities that accompany it?  What are we supposed to do if we don’t feel as if our backs are covered?  I know that sadly in the world we live today, this violation will happen again, but it does not have to tarnish the spirit of another.

I was brave enough to try and stop the actions through Love before they hurt more people or themselves and the power from my voice was stilled before I even had a chance to share my concerns about what had transpired.  I don’t know what hurts worse, the actions of the perpetrator or the blatant disregard of my value.  Mocking it on the podium is quite shocking.  Isn’t this conduct called denial, sweeping it underneath the rug because no one wants to take the time and deal with it?  Is it the victim’s duty to proclaim victory without the untying of the ropes first?

Being an advocate and a victim myself, the one thing I always try to emphasize and share with victims is that when we keep quiet because we feel no one will believe us or more harm will befall us, or it will just cause a scene in the church, we are giving our violators the power to continue in their conduct.  What might have started out as borderline bad behaviors can quickly escalate into dangerous situations because no one stood up and said, “Stop.  Enough.”

Bad behaviors and boundary breakers will continue to exist and clash in our congregations until someone is bold and courageous enough to bring awareness through Love.  When this conduct is tolerated in our congregations and the victim is ridiculed, this is not the edification and correction process that Paul speaks so clearly about in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

As a matter of fact, how can we effectively help build each other up while being sensitive to all sides until we take the time to communicate?  Have our churches lost that delicate art, sense of communal relationships, in order to be polished and presented with perfection?  I didn’t realize living in an imperfect world being imperfect beings demanded perfection; just saying…

Call me bold and courageous or even crazy.  I like to believe I’m a Beloved chosen to walk out my faith as I boldly confront what my Lord asks me to do.  Call me controversial or even boisterous, but I know where my value and worth derive from.  It is my duty and responsibility as a child of God to talk and share about lifestyles and subjects that are a part of our culture today which are not spoken about and even hushed in our congregations.  God forbid!

Until next time…

Too Blessed To Be Stressed!

Too Blessed To Be Stressed?

Hello!!!

Too blessed to be stressed?  Hello…  If truth be told, even this jovial, hyper-happy spirit would say, “In your dreams maybe!”  Oh, I am by far one blessed woman lavishly surrounded by my great riches; those rare and beautiful gems I call my friends.  Friendships always seem to sparkle and bring life and clarity back to those dull and dreary seasons that need brightening.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Truth be told, though, when your world is spinning out of control and you’re drowning underneath the compounding weight of wickedness and disease, sometimes the force of that power challenges the stability of the connecting links.

How do we stay connected to our powerful source of clarity when we’re suffocating underneath the life of relentless trials and tragedies?  How can we remember that life sometimes clouds and pollutes our very own lenses from the fog that breathing hard develops and living in the wrong neighborhood portrays?

Proverbs 17:22 tells us, “A cheerful heart is great medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  If we can be brave enough to apply this to our lives and walk it out, we will remember not to isolate and that changing the atmosphere is the best medicine possible.  We don’t always have to be happy, that’s not what blessed means.  Blessed means being brave and courageous enough to be present and not withdraw and to love on others when we’re so needy ourselves.

I’m so glad I am doing exactly that because I’m one needy beloved right now.  God has told me to dance while He works out all these painful situations that are lurking in every corner for my protection.  I courageously accepted that challenge and took God up on His Word and will continue to dance no matter what I look like and have fun while I’m still breathing!

If only we could remember to not go at it alone and isolate while the heaviness of life is crushing in on our palpitating hearts.  That’s when the Lord is knocking on the chambers of our hearts trying to get us to open the door so He can sprinkle His Love through sweet friends that will forever hold us up like Aaron and Hur did for Moses when he was too exhausted and in too much pain to keep his arms up and remain steady and strong (Exodus 17:12). 

This help wasn’t just for the benefit of Moses’ leadership, it was to help and protect the Israelites by coming together as a team to defeat the evil army of the Amalekites.  This is the domino effect of being loved on and shouldering some support; communities being blessed.  That’s cheerful medicine!

This is also where we get the freedom to warm up our bodies to dance; you know, when you get to vomit, purge and open the tear ducts raging out of Hoover Dam where your two left feet turn into pure grace.  But just a gentle reminder, whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously immediately afterwards because if you’re anything like me, when Hoover Dam rages, the eyes and face would scare just about anything!

Blameless Mirror Fright

I was asked why I attended my church with all the amazing churches abound.  I had one simple reason, really.  It is called our women’s group.  No, it’s not where you get a bunch of judgmental women together with their Bibles opened sitting in cliques of eight to a table.  Our group sits in one large (huge!) circle and shares real life battle scars that God has redeemed.  Along with our study book, this supports and encourages each other to hang onto the Lord while we share our very own personal stories of victory.

This is where we talk about real life situations such as abuse, addiction, rape, molestation, divorce, marital affairs, not feeling loved or belonging.  We don’t sit around feeling sorry for one another, we gather around each woman celebrating God’s redemption and healing strength while encouraging others going through similar trials to continue walking bravely as we pour love into their souls.

This crown we wear and the royal blood that runs through our veins cost way more than any affliction we’ve ever walked through, but when we can be vulnerable, raw and honest with one another sharing our battle scars and life experiences, God’s grace receives glory because being the hands and feet of Jesus creates unity and belonging that pours wellness and health back into our communities.  This also helps us to be healed of what has held us captive in our imprisonment of shame. 

Our congregations were never meant to be places where the weak come and get catered to and coddled while staying in their afflictions.  They were designed to experience the power and healing that comes from a relationship with our good, good Father in heaven who offers His unconditional love.  His Love brings healing and a sense of belonging with the strength to walk through battles victoriously while sharing our unique stories.  This is how we walk through life too blessed to get stressed and receive that sense of belonging and purpose we all crave.  That’s what is called the Body of Christ; being the hands and feet of God!

Sometimes life throws at us seasons of suffering, but when we surround ourselves with others who love us just the way we are, battle scars and all, and will bleed right alongside of us until they’ve completed sewing the stitches that God uses their tender and loving hands to mend; there’s something unique and valuable about being loved just the way we are!

Until next time…

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