Strongholds-Lies We Believe

Although the majority of my posts are about abortion, adoption and infertility, I want this blog to be about the whole person.  Because the choices we make in life are often dependent on how we were raised as children, how we see ourselves and how we think society views us, I want to talk to you about strongholds.  Mental strongholds are lies and distortions we believe about ourselves, things, opinions, reasoning’s and offenses. So, I’m going to tell you about a lie I believed about myself and how it shaped a huge part of my life.

Infertility mimics a slow agonizing death.  The emotional and mentally draining wait each month hoping you’re pregnant usually ends in despair.  It can and does, consume all of who you are if you allow it.  In my post, Adoption An Answer For The Pain.  I share my hopeless feelings about my miscarriages and the way I perceived myself because of the infertility.

At the time, I didn’t realize my response to my inability to have a child was related to issues I’d had most of my life.  Poor self-esteem from being the “fat child in class”, and a teacher who in front of my entire 5th grade elementary class, continually, openly criticized me for having a weight problem.  I never told my parents what was going on.  I was too ashamed.  When you’re in 5th grade, you think teachers are always right, and this was proof that I was not “good enough, not worthy”. That year created a major emotional scar and a lie I believed about myself took root in my mind.

This was 1965.  Eventually, my mother found out, and God bless her, did everything she could to have the teacher removed from the classroom. During the process we found out the woman had been moved around from school to school with similar problems of verbally attacking certain students she particularly didn’t like for various reasons. (not just weight)

When people met me, usually I was told something like this, “You’re so pretty, what a lovely smile, your blonde hair is beautiful.”  But then they glanced down, below my face to the rest of me and the look on their face said it all.  “If you’d just lose a few pounds, you’d be acceptable.”  What I saw in their eyes was, “You’re not good enough”.  The teacher’s critical attitude securely reinforced this same belief.

I made friends when I could shove the lie down deep enough, but the pain always lurked just beneath the surface, threatening to jump out and tell everyone how unacceptable I believed myself to be. I share this with you because what we believe about ourselves and our circumstances has a major bearing on the choices we make in life.

When I speak to you about abortion, I stress how much God loves us.  How He made each of us unique, with special gifts and talents to expand His kingdom of light on this earth, and be a service to others.  Strongholds keep God’s light from coming through us. The lies we believe distort how we see things and judge our circumstances. They argue against who God says we are, His creation, formed in His goodness and glory and how very much we are loved and valued by Him.

Strongholds are open doors, opinions satan can use in our lives. We need to close these doors, slam them shut, lock them up and throw away the keys.  The lies cloud our perception about what God is doing and thinking about us and others.  When you don’t agree with God, you empower satan.  Lies form attitudes in our life and keep us from seeing our responsibility in situations. The spiritual side of ourselves becomes clouded, and we justify the sin in our lives and the choices we make from that belief as if they are “OK”.  The lie that abortion is legal, therefore it’s not murder and acceptable to do is a stronghold in our thinking about the value of life.  Satan uses this untruth promoted by our law and society to destroy life before the baby has a chance to be born and become a part of God’s family on earth. When you want to not be pregnant, it becomes a lie you can embrace to justify changing your perceived dreaded situation.  Strongholds take your mind to a place of negativity and hopelessness.

God says we are His precious creation, His children.  Believing abortion is acceptable keeps us from embracing God’s truth, and instead we believe our actions are justified.  Strongholds are the exact opposite of what God wants to happen, His knowledge about you and your child’s destinies and purpose.  Acts 17:26 (NIV)  26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Strongholds are not demons.  You don’t cast them out.  You pull them down and out of your mind using God’s word.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5  New Living Translation (NLT)  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to pull down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Ask for God’s help.  Use His word to take your thoughts captive to who Christ says you are. Pull down the lies you believe. Ask Him to speak His truth to your mind.  Repent for the falsehoods you’ve thought were true about yourself and your life.  Ask God to show you how He sees you and your child.

Donna

Walk In The Light In Front Of You

During my work week, I spend lunch times reading, praying, listening to my favorite music, or to the radio.  Today as I flipped through the stations, I heard a minister say, “You know those old lanterns didn’t cast much light.”  I remained on that particular station and listened to a few more minutes of his story.  He said when he was very young, he would follow his dad down a road in the countryside that didn’t yet have electricity in that area.  His father held an old lantern in front of them to see where to walk, and as long as he followed his dad, he was safe, and didn’t get lost.  The lantern only shined light at their feet, and did not show them the road beyond.  They had no idea what lay ahead.  Was there a ditch, a bend in the road, a washout, an animal or snake?  They could only see far enough to walk the path right in front of them.

I changed stations to catch some music, but couldn’t put the minister’s lantern comment out of my mind.  The Holy Spirit nudged my heart and said, “That’s how the Father leads you most of the time.  His light to guide your life path, but always wanting you to stay close to Him for safety and direction, and when you do, you make it to the destination He’s leading you to.”

Wow, how many times in my life has that been the case?  Almost every day!  God lights our path with his word, during prayer as we ask for guidance or help, the Holy Spirit speaks to us if we keep our heart towards the Father.  Sometimes, He lights our path through people and circumstances, through pain and joy.  These are just a few of the things that come to mind.  He may use nature-His creation, or a song, artwork, a book, but something illuminates right in front of us.  I love that about God, when my light bulb comes on and I say,” O.K., I see what you’re doing, now.”

I believe God gives us dreams and prophetic words to help guide us, but usually, it’s the constant truth of His word, prayer and the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

I wish He’d say, “In six months, this particular thing is going to happen, so get ready, or, next year you’ll be at a different job and there will be a new child in your life.”  We think that would be good, if God just audibly told us our future; but we would worry, try to manipulate details and avoid doing other things He wants us to do.  Being human, we’d probably mess it up.  He knows our frailties, and He wants us to get to know Him.  We can only do that by spending time with Him, talking, worshiping and LISTENING.  So, for our good, Father God knows to shine light on the path just at our feet, and trust Him enough to follow along behind to the destiny His great love has provided for us. 

Besides, how many people would hear God if He wanted to give you His long-term plans for your life?  I’m sorry to say, not very many.  Being able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit takes a personal decision to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Even after that, it takes time to recognize His voice, which is usually “still and small”.  You need a repentant heart, and the genuine desire to seek God’s face and get to know Him.  It’s something I seek in my life.  I ebb and flow.  I feel close and far away, but I know His Spirit lives inside me, guiding me, loving me, and like a good parent, chastising me when necessary.  Unconditional love.  

So, when something happens in your life you don’t understand, or when you make choices you wish you could reverse, or choices you shouldn’t have made, He’s there, moving the lantern, saying,”It’s alright.  I’m here.  Follow My light. I love you, and if you’ll ask, I’ll forgive and cleanse you.  Don’t be afraid.  I have a plan.  I KNOW THE ROAD AND I’LL LEAD YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.”

Donna

Giving Up Fear

Republican Paul Ryan, the United States Congressman from the first congressional District of Wisconsin, told a reporter during an interview that he gave up fear for Lent.  This was during a time his highly debated budget proposal plan was being presented to the House of Representatives, and due to it’s tough proposals on reducing government entitlement spending and downsizing the country’s deficit, the Congressman knew he would be politically and personally attacked by Democrats and Republicans, and that the news media would attempt their own textual and verbal assassinations.

The reporter asked him if the was serious, and was he doing it? The Congressman answered, “I’m working on it.”

Although the reporter appeared both amused and puzzled at his answer, the practice of taking hold of, or releasing thoughts and our response to them is not a new premise.

The bible states in 2nd Corinthians 10:5  KJV “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”   God’s word, the bible, says without faith it is impossible to please Him, and that He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind, Romans 8:15, Hebrew 11:6.

Thoughts and imaginations originate in our mind, the same place fear attacks us.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Therefore, it’s not from God.  Father God is not double-minded.  He cannot and would not give us something He has already said does not please Him and that He told us is NOT from Him.   If it’s not from God, it’s from satan. Don’t take that fearful thought or temptation.  When it comes, recognize it for what it is.  Say, “NO!  I’m not going to receive this. Go from my mind, now!”  That’s one way to cast it down and get your mind back into captive obedience to God, who only wants good for you.  Then, ask God through the Holy Spirit to give you His peace, and thank Him for loving and caring for you in every area of your life.  You need to do both, tell the thought to go and ask God for His help.  Throw it out and replace it.  The more you practice, the easier it becomes and the less satan will bombard you in that area of fear or temptation. 

Because of our human nature and the world’s culture around us, our minds will always be assaulted with ideas that are not in line with God’s good plan for our lives.  He created each of us to live in this time and place, giving us talents, personalities, strength, compassion, abilities and determination to carry out His destiny and unique purpose that only we can bring to the earth and others around us.

Fear cripples, destroys and kills that destiny if we allow it to take up residence in our heart and mind.  God gave us a way out through His son, Jesus Christ.  Everything we need to live a victorious life is found in Him and His magnificent love for us. Give up fear by kicking it out!

I can’t end this post without encouraging women who are afraid the baby they long for will never be, or, by reaching out to women in a different position, who think if they don’t abort the child they carry, their own life will be destroyed.  Who’s telling you that? 

Not God . . .

God gave you the desire to have a child, don’t give up on the dream that came from Him. Tell the fear to go and start rejoicing and praising Him for whatever way He’s going to bring that child into your life! 

Abortion is not Gods plan. He gave the child life, so He wouldn’t tell you abortion is the answer.  It’s part of your destiny to give birth to the baby you carry.  He may choose another home for the child and a different path for you to walk, or He may show you He wants you to raise the child and for the two of your lives to be entwined as family.

Email me, or write.  I will answer, help and pray for you.  God is good.  He’s hope and mercy and loving kindness.

Donna

Tears Soften Your Heart

The hectic lifestyles we lead make it difficult to support healthy relationships.  Often, we give everything to our jobs, meetings, churches, volunteering, hobbies, our children’s activities.  Being everything to everyone.  We arrive home exhausted, just wanting some space and down time, and we’ll do almost anything, to, just for a moment, disconnect.  We head for the television, computer, music, exercise, food, alcohol or whatever we use to comfort ourselves.

Doing, becomes a way of life and taking time to sit alone in the quiet with our thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears can be a frightening destination.  So, most of us file away the idea of stillness for another day, and go on with life as usual.

Unfortunately, we cheat ourselves from experiencing a wonderful part of our life, and from developing and nourishing the most important relationship of our existence.  Knowing God and His heart for us.

God created us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  How do you create intimacy with your spouse?  By spending time alone together talking, asking questions, learning about what each of you want in life, sharing your hopes, dreams, your dark moments and seeing how that person responds towards you about them.  Sometimes you simply sit in the silence, drawing strength from just being together and the love you have for each other.  You can’t wait to be together, and making the other person happy is most important.

That’s the same relationship God wants to have with you, and it can only happen by spending time alone with Him in the quiet.

With God, the difference is, He already knows everything about us, and that fact alone can keep us from seeking Him out.  His great love for us woos and calls us to His side where He longs to show and tell you what He knows about you, loving us enough to forgive the bad when we ask Him, and share with you how He sees us through Christ Jesus.  We are His marvelous creation, each  unique and made for a destiny all our own.  God wants us to return His love, freely given, freely expressed.  He wants us to ask about His heart.  What does He want from us, what will He share about Himself with us.  It’s a relationship that takes our time and effort because it’s so worth having.

He promises to never leave or forsake us.  He waits patiently for us to talk to Him, to share our hearts and shed our tears, tears of joy, tears of pain.  Tears He gave us to keep our hearts soft and pliable.  When your heart is hard towards a person, there is no intimate relationship.  Take time for the quiet everyday. Give God a part of the day we give so much of to others.

Matthew 7:7 tells us if we seek Him we will find Him.  Even our seeking is His idea; that’s how much He loves us.

Donna

 

 

God’s Promises Are Yes & Amen!

Father God, You teach me what is good for me and lead me along the path that I should follow.

If I listen to and obey your commands, then peace overshadows me and flows through me like a gentle river and righteousness rolls over me like waves in the sea.

You have written my name on the palm of your hand. Those who trust in you will never be put to shame.

Contend with those who contend with me.  You are for me and nothing can stand against me.

Expose areas in my life that need Your healing and restoration.

Your promises are yes and amen!

You are God, You do not change.  Even my love for you is because You loved me first.

I long for You because You long for me.  I desire to know You because You woo me.

Nothing of me.  All is You.

You breathed on me and in me.  You spoke my destiny over me as a promise You cannot break.

You placed the seeker voice in my heart to find my purpose, to find You.  I finally see your promises and You are the same.

I try to let go, forget the past, knowing I’m blessed by Your mercy and steadfast love.

Accelerate Your Holy Spirit’s work in me to catch up with where You want me now!  Breathe on me again. Let You winds blow over me shrouding me in Your smoke, Your fire, the heady essence of You, God.

Your word is alive for the present.  The past is here for the present.  You are Your word and Your word is You.  I will peel away the layers, to see You.

Change me permanently.  Change me on the inside, where You live in me.

I love You Father.  Thank You for loving me first.

Donna

 

Hope-God Revealing His Heart To Us

If you read my post, Adoption-An Answer for the Pain, I wrote about my feelings of failure.  Failure as a woman, failure as a wife, failure as a christian because of questioning and blaming God for my inability to conceive or carry a child to term.  By the time I miscarried my first child, I’d completely given up on myself and God.

Mercifully, He didn’t give up on me.  Through His son, Jesus Christ, He continued to love me, to protect my heart and to forgive me. Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” That’s God’s promise to us.  He was still there, all the time, loving me in spite of my feelings about Him, my circumstances or myself.

Pain, mental or physical, shuts you down and gives you tunnel vision.  All your focus is on the pain and the reasons for it.  You ache for relief, and after a while, you’ll do anything to stop it.  When I became a christian, I asked Jesus to forgive me and be my Lord and Savior.  He did, and the Holy Spirit came to live inside me.  There aren’t enough words to express how grateful I am for that.  The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our teacher, our encourager, and so much more. It’s the Holy Spirit who accomplishes God’s purpose in our lives.

When you hear someone who has a true relationship with Jesus say,” God told me,” what they mean in almost all cases is they heard the Holy Spirit inside their spirit speak to them.  I know, He speaks to me and I speak to Him.

I was a christian. . . an immature one, when I lost my first child after so many years of trying to conceive.  But, after some time passed and I’d had a chance to grieve, the Holy Spirit applied His healing oil to my broken heart.  At first, the unbearable weight of loss lifted enough for me to realize I would live through this and that realization freed my paralyzed spirit.  Eventually, numbness dissolved, and feelings of abandonment by God disappeared.  I’d wake in the night thinking about God and His love for me, and with that, hope, which I’d been certain had vanished from the earth, raised its beautiful face.  I asked God for forgiveness, which He gave, but like the good Father that He is, He gave me so much more.  He infused my heart with His love.  Hope and faith in that love allowed me to rest, to finally let go and trust His good intentions towards me.  With complete certainty, I knew God loved me and that He’d placed the desire in my heart to become a mother.  He’d planned my life before He created me, just like He did for you.

I share this to tell you, God created you to have a  personal relationship with Him.  He will not stop pursuing you.  He wants you to cry out to Him for help and hope.  That is a prayer I guarantee He will answer.  I will pray for you.  See my contact page for info.

His love for us has no measure.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Donna

 

The Heart Of A Warrior

I love my sister very much, and she loves me.  Yet, as siblings usually are, we’re very different.  She’s the oldest and I’m the middle child.  Those positionings alone bring vast differences to the table in how we view life, ourselves as women, and how we approach God.  She’s bold, unafraid of the spotlight, actually thrives on it.  I’m just the opposite, and quite comfortable being in the background.

As a child, I viewed her as confident, strong, unafraid, and I wanted to emmulate her.  I still see her that way, but life and age opened my eyes and I see her struggle with who she is and what she wants to become, sometimes wondering if it’s too late, and will her dreams ever come to fruition.  She’s just like you and me.  Who hasn’t struggled with those issues.

I tell you these things because how we view ourselves and others, is probably, not how God sees us.  I discovered this truth as my journey to walk with God and really know His heart, took giant steps forward in the fall of 2009.

In September of that year, I took three days off from work to fast and be alone with God.  I remember being so excited as the time grew near.  I told Him more than once, “Just a few more days, God, and we’ll be alone together.  Three whole days and you can tell me anything you want.  They’ll be no distractions, no schedules, no interruptions.”

My time with Him was wonderful, but some of the things He told me and showed me, blew me away.  I cannot reveal all the details, but the picture He painted of how He saw me was not the same view I had of myself.  To say they were opposite would be a huge understatement.

I told the Lord I was a very unlikely candidate for the purposes He had just called me to.  He laughed and said,”Man, (being me) looks on the outside.  I see your heart.  You have the heart of a warrior with the feet of a dancer.”

As a christian, I believe fasting and prayer go hand in hand.   I do not, and have not fasted as often as I should, but like all the things I’ve learned along my spiritual journey, you just keep moving forward.  The old is gone, and each day all is new.  Remember when you’re tempted to drown in your guilt and unforgiveness, that Jesus died and shed His blood for you.  Receive that gift and apply it to your heart.  His sacrifice will wash you clean, but you must believe and ask for it.

Me, the heart of a warrior?  Of myself, it seems impossible, but the things I’ve done in the last two years are things I thought I’d never do.  But God knew. . .

I think I’ll trust His view of me.  You can trust Him, too.

Donna