My favorite song...

I love Miranda Lambert. When you see me driving down the road singing, with the windows up... at the top of my lungs... know that this is probably the song I am belting out. Tears streaking my make up... snot running.



Last night for the first time in years, I returned to the church of my youth. It was a very familiar place, although it appeared much bigger than I remembered. The lighting was different, and who occupied the seats, but you could feel the electricity of God. When I sat down I picked up a pen and began to write on the pad I brought. I feel the need to share with you this morning what I wrote to Him last night.

Lord, I can feel you here.
My heart dances in my chest with anticipation of your divine presense. Lord, I learned to throw up or blow up in this house.
Lord, rhema - please.
Refill the empty dry places-
Welcome me back in to the house the way of the Father & the prodigal son. I don't claim to understand this season of our lives- but Lord I know that there is something in me that just needs to dance for you-
I reject the fear of rejection. I reject the orphan spirit. In the name of Jesus!
I am so tired of feeling disqualified and disposible.
Lord, I know that you have a purpose for me - Lord - Lord - Lord
Lord Jesus - only you.

As I sat there and poured this out, there were emotions and revelations. I have lived a long life of rejection. I honestly believed for most of my life that I was disposable. That my life counted for nothing... I lived that out loud with my actions... and I dwelled on it with suicidal thoughts through my late 20's. I didn't realize until last night that I also dealt with an orphan spirit. I am thinking that we dealt with some of it maybe while I was going through my restoration healing sessions. I remember maybe addressing it. However, last night it resounded in me. I tied it all together for the first time.

The only conditional love I have ever known here on earth, has come from people who didn't have to love me. There are family dynamics that I won't go into here... but both my father and my mother chose others over me. No condemnation - just revelation. I was pushed to the side for circumstances. Somewhere in me, I realized that I was disposable. I lived with a "I will never be good enough" thought pattern, I still do. I have dealt with it in my marriage, I have dealt with it when coming into ministry.

I feel as though I have no real roots. I think that is what happens when you don't grow up around extended family. My core family growing up were nomadic. There is no family land that has been in the family for generations. My grandparents relocated to Florida, then my parents followed. I don't have a sister, my brother is ten years younger than I am. Somewhere that family connection didn't form. Everything seems so compartmentalized to me. My parents, my mom, my brother. No unity, only discord and strife. There is no connection with aunts, uncles or cousins. There is no heritage, no tradition.

I don't think I put all of that together until these last 24 hours. Even within the church. The only place that I ever dug into and established roots, disqualified me. You take someone who doesn't know to how to connect, and put her continually in new enviroments, what she begins to do is stay disconnected.

I believe that this is the revelation into the root of my pain. I have floated above the surface until someone has wanted me. Sexually, intellectually, emotionally. In those relationships, I still walked away empty, the rejection, the abandonment... an orphan with no where to call home. I dread holidays at my parents house because I am always feel like an outsider, like everyone is doing me some huge favor by allowing me to be here. There is no connection.

This is just the beginning. Of that I am sure. You can't heal what is in the dark. God brings this like this into the light so that they can be examined.

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
Psalm 139:1-6&23-24 The Message




Lean Into It

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? Matthew 16:24-26 The Message

Had a great talk with my mentor this morning. We were talking about "leaning into pain" in order to ease it. Don't flench and clench it just makes it worse. I think that is what this passage means when it says "Don't run from suffering; embrace it". As I have allowed my tears to fall, as I have leaned into instead of defending from my pain, I have found that the purging has become easier. Not to say that it didn't look like I had marshmellows under my eyelids this morning but I fell lighter. I never do things gracefully it's not who I am. I am the cat with the claws in the doorjam every time God tries to take me somewhere new. I never see it until I have already clawed everyone up around me though.

What I have found is that God is wanting to revisit some rooms in my life that have left lingering pain because I just shut the door on them and moved on. I did the forgiveness, I said a prayer, but I never dealt with my emotions of the event. I never fully quit blaming myself, and although I am really great at accepting my responsibility for an event, I am not very good at receiving forgiveness from or for myself. So what I see God doing is taking my hand into these spaces and saying, "Do you see me there, standing next to you? Do you feel my hand embracing yours? You weren't there alone, I was with you, from the very beginning."

I wish there was a simpler way. I wish that somehow I could just set fire to the building and it would all be over. I want to run, but I can't. I have to allow Him to finish the deliverance that he started when He began pulling at my root of shame. I believe what His intention is at this point is to do the same thing with my pain. So that when I look back, I will be able to see the good, I will be able to see the blessing and not just be paralyzed by the pain. I didn't realize the extent of pain that hovered just below the surface. Therapy, ministry, nothing ever touched it to this level before. This is to my toes.

I want to love my children with all of me, not with holding any part of myself because of my own pain. I want to love my husband in the same way. More than that, I want to love God with a reckless abandon and not through a pain filter. I want to fully receive His love for me, so that I can fully love Him back. For that reason, and that reason alone, I submit to the process. I surrender to the cleansing... and I walk around with Preparation H just below my eyebrows.

Be blessed. Love always wins.


And all the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Today is my middle son Adam's 12th birthday. Amazing how life keeps moving and I continue to do my Mommy business even as everything else seems so up in the air. I spent yesterday with tears on the brim of my eyes all day. Finally, someone asked the right questions and it was able to pour over. I rode a stationary bike for 30 minutes to sweat it out and then used the shower to hide my break down. Being a single parent isn't an easy task. Despite that I am married and that my children have a father... being the only parent day in and day out is a daunting task. My children are very resilient. I am amazed by their flexibility and their ability to just keep moving.

Being here is like being confronted with my past at every pass. I went to a funeral last week for a long time family friend. I could see the shock in some of the eyes that met mine. I did not turn out the way that they expected I would. I was the wild child of the bunch. I am not that anymore. It is amazing the places that shame can find you. It took me days to figure out the funk and where it came from. Then there are locations that remind me of past pain. Those are the ones that sneak up on you. I am afraid to drive around with my children too much because sometimes the pain is so overwhelming that the tears just fall. All of these emotions that have been stuffed for so long are sitting right below the surface. My defenses are down and they keep squeezing out. I have had so many Ahha! moments that the pieces have finally fallen into place that sometimes it's hard to keep up with the revelations. It's changing me. Again.

My prayer lately has been that I would be able to look at my past without feeling the shawl of shame resting on my shoulders, and without the knife of pain in my heart. I am not there yet. There is only one way to reconciliation... especially with oneself. I have forgiven so many but have held so much judgement for myself. I have lost faith is so much. My marriage, the church, my parents, my country, my security, my hopes & dreams... There isn't much left but a faith that everything that I have been taught about the Trinity is true. My hope is only that there will be a "coming forth" and that God's will is for all of this to be worth it.

No one but God himself, with the redeeming work of Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit is going to be able to put me back together in His design for me. I have to believe that He didn't intend for me to live with so much pain in my life. I have to believe that when I laid it all at the altar and said, "I surrender", that He in that moment took my welfare into His own hands.


Sunshine through the cold...

There is nothing like a crisp cool day that is full of abundant sunshine. One of the best things in the world. So simple and yet so perfect at the same time. I am a Florida girl. I love it here. I love everything about it... including the fall weather that my NC counterparts would say is summer temperatures. There is something about open skies, that makes me feel a little less clausterphobic and like I have room to spread my wings and fill my lungs fully.

We found a great little church here. I had lunch with the co-pastors yesterday. So humble, so kind, so open to this woman in transition. So willing to hold up my arms, to encourage through this "leg of the journey". How appropriate a response. I am having to learn to trust God in the strangest of places. I am having to learn to be open to whatever he lays before me. I am having to learn to transfer the weight from me to Him. I am learning to put my faith where my mouth is. Learning that there is no crutch other than Him that I would choose in my life. If I can't have Him, I don't want anything else.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the woman that I have become. I have spent a lot of time sharing the heart of a woman that had held everything inside for so many years. My parents are meeting the woman for the first time. This honest, truth seeking... unafraid, confident, woman. Sometimes we don't realize how strong we have become, how broken, how "poured out", until we have to tell someone that used to know us when we were so full of it.

I am hoping that I will have more time to write again. I am trying to find the voice inside of me again. She has been silenced with tasks and transition, but I truly believe that she has a lot to say from a new perspective, from a softer heart of understanding. I hope to truly talk about the things that bother me... to not live in fear and shame for the the experiences but be willing to talk openly about how God used those circumstances to mold me and shape me into a new creature. How He continues to do so. That's my heart's desire.

Because truth brings healing...