LOVE HAS A FACE

tabernacle

If love had a face, what would it look like?

I read a great quote by Heidi Baker about revival looks like. She talked about how it looks like stopping daily for the one in front of you and looking into his or her eyes.  We have to see the “one’.  If we cannot see the “one”, we will not be able to deal with the multitudes.  If we see the “one”, we will understand suffering, because we will see one child that is dying from cancer. We will see one mother angry that God would take her innocent child. We will see the one widow trying to not lose her faith as she tries to imagine how she will raise up her children alone. We will see one man struggling with pornography and the impact it has on his marriage.  Revival is about looking into the eyes of the “one”  and seeing Jesus looking back at you.

So it seems to me that revival is about an encounter of love. If love has a face, then it has to be our face. We have to be willing to look at one another with love in our eyes and love in our hearts.  The Church needs lovers. It needs people filled with love and overflowing upon all that they encounter.

The Church needs a radical army of laid down lovers willing to see Jesus in the lost and the broken. We need a generation of Christians who are so full of passion and intimacy that they run into the darkness without fear to bring in the lost bride. Those who do not know love hide in darkness. We, who are lovers of Jesus are to hide in the light of who He is. We are to carry his light in our vessels of clay, we are to be tabernacles, the hands and feet of Christ. That is what love looks like. It looks like you and I opening our hearts to the divine life of the trinity and allowing Him to transform us and conceive his truth, life and love into the very tabernacle of our souls and then sharing that love with others.

lost bride

Love is not a mission or a program or a feeling or even an action or act of the will. Love is a person. God himself is love and He desires to form us into little Christ’s so that we can be the face of love to world that  is desperate for love.

So why is it that when we are desperate for love that we seem to be incapable of giving and receiving it? Because you cannot give what you do not have. Why don’t we have it? Because many us have wounds from our childhoods caused by a lack of love or a distortion of what love actually is…

“Wounds caused by a lack of love, or a distortion of love, are often at the root of our brokenness. That’s why we call it ‘healing broken hearts’…healed by a positive experience of love. It is not enough to discover the roots of conflict. We must fill the emptiness with the merciful love that flows from the heart of Jesus.”- Fr. Emiliano Tardif, Jesus Lives Today

People are not perfect. The imperfect a person is the worse they may wound or hurt you. The expression “hurt people hurt people” comes to mind.  The thing is…we must first encounter and receive love personally before we can be the face of love to others.  So if we are not encountering love in the people we meet then it may be because those people are hurting and are in need of healing. People are hurting because of a lack of love and affirmation.

“Love does not start with a good program. It cannot. It starts with being in love, being intimately connected to Jesus. It starts with knowing first that I am loved. I cannot give what I do not have. It is supernatural. It cannot be apart from Him. All living fruit in my life has come only from a living relationship with Him.” Michelle Perry

We need healing so we can hold all of the love that God desires to pour into our hearts. Without healing, we leak like a sieve…the graces we receive from prayer and sacrifice just leak right out of the cracks. The enemy of our soul has us believing that none of this works, God is not real or that prayer and sacrifice don’t matter. The reality is we are barely able retain the graces God is giving to us much less share with anyone around us when we don’t address the places we are leaking.

leaky cup

We don’t need more programs. We don’t need more catechesis. We don’t need to focus on teaching the rules of religion. The “how’s and what’s” are killing people’s love. What we need is healing. We need to seek healing for our own broken hearts so that we can love others better.

love card

 

We are all family. Love desires to see the one in front of you. Love means stopping for the one and making a connection because every person is awaiting your face of love is asking themselves “Can you look past my pain and addiction and love me anyway? Can you see beyond the masks I wear to who I really am? Will you love me even when I disappoint and hurt you?”

I realize that stopping to see the “one” may be a bit frightening for some of you because “seeing” might compel us to become involved and that involvement would surely entail risk. Risk might mean personal cost and this is why so many people wear masks, hiding there pain, their fear and the broken places where they feel thew will be rejected or abandoned. However, I KNOW that we are on the cusp of a major revival. I KNOW that many people are praying for courage and beginning to say yes to the Holy Spirit so they can be the radical laid down lovers for Jesus Christ that the world needs so badly. I know because I am in that army.

What is the key to revival? SIMPLY PUT IT’S deeply and intensely Loving your Neighbor. Radical intimacy is needed because love has a face and it is not something it is someone and that someone is you. Are you so full of passion for Jesus that no matter what you are asked to do you will say yes?

Perhaps you are worried you won’t do or say the right thing. Well the truth is that there may be NOTHING you will be able to do but you can listen to their stories and pray with them. All we need to do is all things in love. Even the tone of our voice or making eye contact in a loving way can be an invitation to a hurting and lost soul to enter into deeper intimacy and this prepares the way for relationship with Christ, when they see Christ in us.

One thing we need to be better at is empathy. Many of us are sympathetic but not empathetic. What people desire is connection and when we are empathetic we connect to something in us that understands the pain or suffering in the other person in a real and personal way and we feel WITH people. Sympathy is a pat on the back and usually starts with words like “At least….” where we try to makes someone feel better or try to make them see the bright side or we say “when life gives you lemons make lemonade!” Well, if you lemons are the death of spouse how do you make lemonade out of that? This short video says all that you need to hear about how and why we need to STOP being sympathetic and learn to be empathetic so that we can honor one another in a more intimate and connected way.

Are you ready to reach out for the lost? Are you ready to be a radical laid down lover for Christ? Well, honestly, sometimes the way Jesus begins is by undoing us so that He can put us back together in a more whole and perfected way. We need to be transformed from the inside out. This happens with our own personal encounter. Encountering does not always feel warm and fuzzy or profoundly healing, sometimes it is more as though He comes and sits on you to make a point.  Sometimes pain and suffering is the only thing that will make us give in and stop running and surrender to Him and allow Him to do His work in our hearts and heal and transforming us so we can radiate love to everyone around us.

radiate

It is not what He is building around us it is what He is building inside of us that truly matters. We need to focus on the eternal things. Everything around us is in a state of decay, houses, cars, things rust and break down but Holy immortal souls are being lost and the Holy Spirit desires to set the world on fire with the burning love of the Trinity.

love looking

If love has a face, it is my face and it is your face and we have to look at one another with love in our eyes and love in our hearts. Who do you need to forgive so that you can begin loving them?

If you desire to be the face of love then pray this prayer right now!

Come Holy Spirit! Father, please come and heal my wounded and troubled heart. I beg you to heal the torments that are causing anxiety in my life. I beg you, Lord Jesus in a particular way, to heal the underlying source of my sinfulness. I beg you to come into my life and heal the psychological harms that may have struck me in my childhood and from the injuries they have caused throughout my life. Lord Jesus, you know my burdens. I lay them on your Good Shepherd’s Heart. I beseech you—by the merits of the great open wound in your heart—to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety.  I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my wounded and troubled heart. Heal, O Lord Jesus, all those intimate wounds that are the root cause of my physical illnesses. Jesus, I offer you my heart. Accept it, purify it and give me the sentiments of your own Divine Heart.

Come Holy Spirit and Heal me. Heal me from the pain caused by the loss, death or abandonment of  my loved ones. Grant me the grace to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that you are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to your resurrection, your victory over sin and death, and your loving presence among all men and women. Amen

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing”. 1 COR 13:1-3

 

 

What Is Trust? Week 1 Day 1

trust

I have received profound healing in my relationship with God through the Hearts A Fire retreat’s written by Fr. Michael Gaitley. 33 Days to Merciful Love is proving to be a beautiful and wonderful book that I believe is a gift to the Church for these times. We are now in a time where so many of us have been wounded by people and sometimes even by the Church herself.

hurt churchWhen the Church is who hurts us, we may be tempted to believe that God is not Good or that we are not good or deserving of anything good. I have met many people deeply and profoundly wounded by the Church. This has created a huge division in our world. I believe this book/retreat is a tool that can begin to heal division and bring all Christian souls together with one uniting purpose; to receive the merciful love of Jesus Christ and then to bring it to hurting souls in our broken world.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (397) it says that “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his creator die in his heart…” lets talk about what this means. First of all we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Male or female we are icons of the truth, life and love of God walking around on earth and we are supposed to be making visible the invisible reality of God through the living our of our lives in union with God. However, when the devil comes and whispers his lies, we can in a sense, divorce ourselves from God and accept the proposal of the evil one.devil liar

Why do we do that? Because the father of lies wants us to believe that God is not trustworthy and does not want to honor our desires.  He begins by planting seeds of doubt. We doubt that God loves us, doubt that He desires to bless us, doubt that he will honor our desires. This doubt leads us to fear. In our fear, we may respond by grasping or taking instead of remaining in a place of trust.  Doubt means to be uncertain, to fear, to be afraid. Why do we plan and strive for what we think will bless us rather than wait for God’s timing or say on the matter? Because we are afraid and we hide ourselves. We turn away from God. Fear-is-a-Liar

Now that we understand that the evil one uses doubt to tempt us to believe his lies, we need to identify what our desires are and where we may have doubts so that we can invite the Holy Spirit it shine his flashlight of truth there and help us to come back into union with God.light

Dr. Phil says “you can’t change what you won’t acknowledge.” This is so true! We must first see where we are being lied to before we can divorce ourselves from the liar and come into union with God and his truth and will for our lives. If we pretend that we don’t need God or that what we are doing is God’s will when it isn’t we will remain miserable, lost and afraid.

By inviting the Holy Spirit in, we expose where the enemy of our soul (Satan) has put fear into our hearts. Adam and Eve were afraid and so they hid themselves. God desires for us to take off the fig leafs we hide behind. He wants us to not be afraid because He promises us that He will always show up. He wants to honor our desires and he wants to heap a double portion of blessings upon each of us. The question is, do we believe Him and what, if any, lies are obstacles to His truth coming alive in our hearts? One way to discover the answer to these questions is to journal. journalWhen we journal we contemplate, we meditate, we hold truth in our hearts and ponder it thus allowing it to be birthed within us. It is in this secret place where the Holy Spirit begins to speak to us. It is as if the Holy Spirit is a flashlight that illuminates things that we cannot see in the darkness. When we journal, our thoughts and emotions as well as our will is engaged and in this sacred place and time the Holy Spirit shines His healing light on the broken places in our hearts, minds and souls. He speaks to us gently there telling us what it is he wants us to know about his love for us.

After reading through “What is Trust” (Week 1 Day 1) I have put together some thoughts and questions to ponder and journal through.

Do we believe God is trustworthy? Are you afraid that God cannot be trusted to honor your heart’s desires?  Why or Why not?

Where have you felt God has not shown up in your life or where do you feel you are still waiting for him to bless you?

Think of one memory in which God did show up or bless you?

What is it that you desire God to do in your life?

Now quietly pray to the Holy Spirit to come and shine a light on this desire and ask Him to show you what He wants you to know about this desire of your heart.

 

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy, Help me better to know the great and unsurpassable goodness of God. Amen

Jesus Heals the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a highly successful television series that has just begun it’s 5th season. Why is it that so many people are interested in shows about Zombie apocalypse or an outbreak of illness creating zombies? Perhaps Hollywood can see what so many of us are refusing to acknowledge. Many of us are the walking dead.  Well to be fair some of us are the walking dead and some of us are the walking wounded. Drug addiction, alcoholism, porn addiction, food addiction, kids killing each other in school, people beheading other people for “God”.  What the heck is going on? It seems like we are living in a world filled with zombies.

What is interesting to me about all of these successful movies and sitcoms is how they parallel our own culture.  It is as if these movies are a commentary on our culture of death. We may not live in the biblical times of leprosy but we certainly live in a time of spiritual leprosy. We live in a fallen world and with fallen people. The new normal is not man and wife with three kids a dog, a house and a white picket fence. In fact, I am not even sure what the new normal is, but it is definitely not the “traditional” family.

The movies we watch that are depicting human beings as zombies, are closer to the truth than most tv sitcoms. We are all in need of healing.  We need to find a means from which to heal our wounds.  We are all wounded in some way. Some of us are living with the effects of sexual abuse or physical abuse; some of us were abandoned by our parents. Still others were emotionally abused or psychologically traumatized by alcoholic or drug addicted parents or even others were ritualistically abused. Whatever the your childhood, chances are you either experienced abuse or neglect yourself or someone very close to you did. The effects of abuse wounds us and it is in through these wounds that we begin to form our understandings and beliefs about who we are, who God is and whether or not we believe in anyone or anything.

The wounds that are inflicted upon us are openings to evil or negativity. Call it what you will, it is through wounds that we are opened up and it is at these moments we can become bound as prisoners to our pain, our fears and the vows that we make to ourselves. We also need friends that we can trust to love us despite our wounds.  We need friends to help encourage us and help us find joy and courage to persevere so that we can go into those dark places and bring healing to them.  The reason why we are struggling in this world is not because we are somehow strange or because we are not faithful or pious enough, it is because we live in a world that has been divided because of sin. Being faithful and growing in holiness can help us in our struggles but unless we address our wounds we may find ourselves carrying a larger struggle than God desires for us to carry by ourselves.

If you or someone you know feels they are nailed to their cross instead of carrying it, then perhaps you are in need of healing.

Here is the Good News! Christ came to restore us! He makes all things new! Am I saying that healing our wounds is as simple as bringing our suffering to Him on the cross? Yes I am. It is not simple or easy to do but it is simple in choice.

But wait a minute…have you been seeing Jesus as some wimpy guy walking around in an effeminate gown talking in gentle high pitched voice? Cause my Jesus is not wimpy, he is B.A.  He will kick some major butt if anyone tries to mess with his girl (that’s me).  Are you seeing Jesus as the laid down lover he is? He is ready and willing to run into the darkest of nights to bring in his lost bride (that’s you).  You just have to call out to him..

In scripture, it says we have a mighty savior that will wipe away every tear and comfort every infirmity and remove every sin for those who believe and trust in him.  Instead of despair we shall have the oil of gladness, instead of shame we shall have double honor, not just in heaven but here in our lives, progressively as grace perfects our nature. The zombies are the sin and the evil in the world and he wants to eradicate it so that you can be resurrected and made new!

Jesus wants your happiness in the world and in the next, he wants to set you free from all that has enslaved you! Everywhere you go he is with you and longs for you to trust in him.  He pursues all of us intensely because of his great love for us.  We are no surprise to God, he knew what he was getting when he made us! You are no surprise to God, I am no surprise to God yet he created us anyways! That is such a consolation!

When our wounds are redeemed and washed clean in the blood of Christ we are made new. The very places you feel the most broken become your most beautiful gifts. He will shine out of your wounds in ways that will not only transform you, but it will transform the people around you. His light shines through our wounds revealing hope and healing.  When we are set free from the healing power of Jesus Christ we are able to retain the graces He pours out to us and we will have Christ to give them in their own thirst.

How can one begin? Pray this prayer. Come Holy Spirit Come. Next ask for prayer ministry. Even Jesus had someone help him carry his cross.  Then, find a healing mass and receive the sacrament of the sick so that your wounds can be healed. The sacraments are means of grace that fills us.  Grace perfects our nature and healing ministry is the means from which to retain this grace so that we can be transformed. It will be through this transformation that the world will be reconciled to God.

For the past 6 months I have had the honor and privilege to be apart of a healing ministry that has been offering a monthly healing mass as well as prayer ministry. People have been coming from all over the state of Wisconsin. If you cannot find a healing mass in your area then consider a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville Wisconsin. We are offering a monthly healing mass to heal and free the oppressed.  If you need deliverance from the evil one, if you need healing for your afflictions then come to the living water! Come be healed! You will receive anointing with oil in the sacrament of the sick, there will be deliverance, there will be healing prayer ministry and you will be given an arsenal kit to take home so as to continue finding healing and freedom. Perhaps you are called to bring a healing mass and prayer ministry to your own parish. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what it is you are being called to do and then ask for the grace to do it. I believe we are on the cusp of a revolution of laid down lovers willing to run into the darkness to bring in the lost bride. I believe that that Army is a Marian Army. Join the revolution. For more information you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TotusTuusHealing

Letting Go

balloonAt first I thought going to a memorial service to say good-bye to Kolbe (the baby I just lost in miscarriage) was that last thing I would do.  The thought of making myself emotionally vulnerable and go back into the wound that I just wanted to walk away from was the least appealing idea to me.  Yet, when the priest at my Church texted to tell me that the cemetery that Kolbe was to be buried at had a memorial service being offered the very next week after losing my baby, it seemed to be an invitation from God. Either that or it was very coincidental that within a week of miscarrying there was a service being offered. Then he told me that the day it was offered was the very day we had a meeting scheduled anyways so he knew I would be free.

I have begun to see these kind of coincidences as ways in which God is gently nudging me in a particular direction.  They are painful nudges, but they are invitations that I have begun to understand as doors God the Father desires for me, His daughter to walk through because He want to take me deeper, closer and farther in my spiritual walk towards Him.

I can refuse these invitations, but I some how know if I do I will be staying right where I am.  A couple of years ago I began recognizing these invitations for the first time.  I did not realize that I was always being invited and had even accepted many of them.  Instead I had thought I was just “experiencing” deeper intimacy here and there, randomly.   Then it happened.  I was in Florida at a Healing Retreat dealing with the shit storm of what is my life and I heard the Holy Spirit prompt me to accept His invitation.  That is when I recognized that I am always being given invitations.  What do they look like? Usually they look very painful.  That particular night the invitation was clear.  “When I invite you, say yes.  If you do, I will heal you.  If you don’t, you will stay where you are.” The Holy Spirit was telling me that even when it was scary and felt like dying that if I trusted Him and said yes to whatever it was He was inviting me to, that on the other side of it I would find healing.  It is as if you are blind-folded and walking through traffic and someone is reaching their hand out on the other side telling you to walk toward them.  As scary as that felt, I still heard Him saying “Trust Me.”

Even now I am having a hard time articulating the intense fear and reservation that still accompanies his invitations.  That invitation in Florida, the one that opened my eyes to see that I am always being invited, changed my life.  I call it my undoing because I was undone, but then I was made new.  

I heard the invitation to walk into the loss of this baby when it would be so much easier to just continue marching forward and get on with my life.  It is so easy to do with all of the things on my calendar.  I could easily slip away from it all and just try to forget.  Yet, here I was standing in a cemetery listening to poems being read out loud by other women who just lost their babies.  The most beautiful part of the ceremony was the moment the woman there handed me a purple balloon in honor of Kolbe.  As it was placed in my hands the tears slipped out of my eyes and down my face.  To hold something in my hands that was for Kolbe broke open the stones I had tried to put around the wound in my heart to keep from feeling the loss.  One of my most favorite songs ever started playing as we were invited to say goodbye in our own private way.

I watched  a mother and three children each take a balloon and tie a note to the string.  They released their balloons together and I watched as she kneeled on the ground holding her children and watching with them as the balloons rose in the air carrying their little notes with them.

Looking back at my own balloon I closed my eyes for a brief moment and I swear I saw Kolbe holding hands with his siblings in heaven, laughing and running chasing after the balloons like children do.  Then I did what I must always do  when I am going to accept an invitation sent to me from God my Father.  I let go.

If It Be Your Will

blake embraceI love this image by William Blake because it speaks of what it means to unite oneself and ones desires to the will of God.  It speaks of reconciliation and of union.  I love the pose of the man as it is reminiscent of the cross, with his hands extended in such a way.  The body speaks a language and this man’s body is saying to me that while he realizes the suffering, the cross that comes when he opens himself to God there is a peace and resting that takes place by allowing God to embrace him.  The fulfillment of all desire can only happen if we unite our desires to that of God’s for us. Knowing this is one thing, knowing it as an experience is and entirely different thing.
Earlier this week I had a song playing through my mind.  It’s a Leonard Cohen tune called “Waiting For a Miracle.” Listening to Leonard if feels as if time slows down just a little bit and my mind quiets down.  It calms me, it transports me out of the chaos of a given moment into an interior life that feels like prayer.  St. Frances said when we sing we pray twice so perhaps music is it’s own form of prayer.  “Waiting For a Miracle” says it all.
I was waiting for a miracle to come.  The way Leonard sings it, with such gentle melancholy expresses the tenderness of desire to have what I want, yet at the same time expresses the sadness of knowing that it would take a miracle.  There is no begging or pleading, just a hope and desire for it.  This has been my hearts song for the past week.
This morning I woke up with another Leonard Cohen song singing itself into my mind.  I had to smile because I felt it was a grace from God that caused it to sing me awake. It was my first thought as I opened my eyes.
“If It Be Your Will” is a song that I have loved for many years.  It is a song I have sung in times where I desired to embrace the will of God and not my own and I prayed for his grace to be poured into me so that I could desire it.  The part that says;
“If it be your will
That I speak no more 
And my voice be still 
As it was before 
I will speak no more 
I shall abide until 
I am spoken for 
If it be your will”
Became a prayer of sorts as I struggled with attacks from people that took it upon themselves to try and destroy my speaking career.   I know that God has the only power to do anything.  This song is my new prayer as I have transitioned into the hardest part of this miscarriage.  I am still waiting, but not for a miracle to come, but for a miracle of life that was created inside of me to make it’s way out.  It is the hardest for me because I wonder what I will see or worse, that I will miss him or her and flush her away.  That is why it’s hardest.  I just want this part to be done so I can transition to healing.
When I reached for my phone this morning I saw the tweet of Pope Francis. As if to affirm that the song that was sung to me as I awoke was indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit, his “tweet” spoke of God’s will being my own.
“The one who listens attentively to the Word of God and truly prays, always asks the Lord: what is your will for me?” Pope Francis
I can thank God for transitioning my heart this morning by a gift of His grace.  I truly know that I want what He wants. I know there has been nothing wasted, a soul will exist for all eternity and his/her name is Kolbe and will be praying me into heaven.
I realized early on in this process that I could offer this suffering to God.  I solidified this during the mass yesterday when I offered my body as a living sacrifice.  I offered my body as an altar upon which to offer this miscarriage as a spiritual sacrifice to God and asked for Mary to give the graces to her priests who offer themselves daily without ever being able to hold the results in their arms.  I asked for the gift of spiritual motherhood to the priests in my life, that I would love them as Mary does.  That I would see them as my sons that need a mother to pray for them, to love them and offer prayers and sufferings for their protection.  I usually never help distribute communion, but I was inspired to do so.
I felt inspired to offer communion and felt the love of my heart being poured out to every person who approached Jesus.  I found myself looking deeply into each persons eyes as they came forward and felt a deep merciful love of Mary in me flow out to them.  I did not look at them as they approached, I would see them.  I would see their goodness and longing and desire to be filled and offer them the living God that is the only thing that can fill that void.
I am in a good place today.  God is Good, all the time, God is Good.

I Grieve

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

SUNDAY, MAY 3:40PM

Before reading this post please listen to The Song “I Grieve” By Peter Gabriel. You can listen to it while you read my blog as it will open in a separate tab.  This song as it embodies the emotions that I am experiencing.  It captures the moment of my life that I am living, right now.  The lyrics are so perfect…  There is something beautiful and something so raw about embracing life even when it means that we embrace the intensity of suffering, sadness and grief.

I am working through my emotions as I experience this miscarriage by journaling here on my blog.  I have a hard time with allowing myself to cry, to feel.  It is easier to numb myself.  I have become quite good at.  When I wrote the last two posts the flood gates opened in a way that I realized I needed.  I only realized it after I opened to feeling the pain. It almost seems like I am not supposed to be grieving.  Some of the questions I get like “how far along are you” is just code for “your not far enough along to be so upset.”

I was almost ready to numb myself through this but then I realized that I really am hurting and if I don’t face into that hurt it is going to come out sideways.  It always does.   Rather than stay in denial, or turn to anger as a means to control my pain,  I am choosing to embrace the pain that comes from feeling everything, talking about it and processing it in the moment.  It hurts.  I still find I cannot stay in the moment with my feelings and allow myself the grief that is just below the surface because life does go on, and on and on and on.  My children need me, my house has chores and there is work to be done.  I keep having to push down the sadness and disappointment and grief.

I will keep updating this one post as I document the process of losing Kolbe.  If you are just happening upon this blog post then you can read the first two posts by clicking the links.  The first one, “I’m Having a Miscarriage” and “Deep Sorrow”  will get you up to speed and I will put headers of the day and or times of the new entries…

Where am I at right now? Well, this image helps to make that clear. Right now I am angry at my body and I feel very alone.

baby miscarriage

I am angry with my body for failing to protect this precious little person. I feel alone because not everyone sees a miscarriage as the loss of a child.  Instead it seems to be viewed as the way the body discards babies that were possibly genetically inferior and “for the best.”  I don’t know why I am miscarrying but I do know that the reality is that I am losing a baby.

So where am I at in the process today? I am still waiting. I have a terrible back-ache, I am cramping but as of right now I am still waiting for my body to complete this process it seems to have committed itself to.  There is light spotting of pinkish brown mucus. It  reminds me of when I would go into labor. The first stage was losing the mucus plug.   It was so exciting to see that process begin  because it meant the long wait to have a baby was finally going to be over.  It signaled that very soon, a baby would be placed into my arms.  It signaled that a process was starting.  It was a sign indicating that a process had begun in which the result would be my child leaving my body.

It means the same thing today but there is no joy in it for me.   There is only grief.  So I will walk into that.  I will grieve.

You Are Not a Disorder, You Are a Person

original art by Christina King

original art by Christina King

You are not a disorder, you are a person.

We are body, soul and spirit.  We must bring healing to our own “Trinitarian” being (in the sense of being body, soul and spirit).   Traditional therapy either wants to give pharmaceuticals or just discuss and manage symptoms of anxiety, thoughts or behavioral issues or perhaps to do all three but not to actually bring healing and restoration for the “whole” person.

Christ says He makes all things new. He promises us healing. Was He lying? Are we expecting too much? Are we giving the cross or God too much power?  I say no.  I say we do not expect enough. I believe Christ really has the power to work miracles.  In fact, He worked miracles of healing and told the apostles that they would do all of the things He did and more! We are called to bring healing and deliverance to those in misery, to be a sign of His power.  Christ desires to restore us.  Our healing is to be a visible sign to the world that our God is an awesome God and that He Reigns in Heaven and on earth.  He makes us whole.  I believe he wants to heal our emotions and our memories, not just our bodies.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things pass away; behold, he is made new.” 2 Cor 5:17

We are not disorders.  I believe many people who have been sexually abused or experienced traumatic childhoods like I did are actually dealing with identity wounds that distort their ability to know themselves and to know God. Being abused has a very real and powerful effect on shaping our identity.  To merely dismiss that and label someone as being “disordered” is, in my opinion, causing more damage and in a sense, keeps their pain and cries for help unheard.

I realize we can categorize and diagnose and give our psychological disorders a name but what good is it to give it a name if you do not understand it enough to help bring healing?

identity wounds Many of our disorders come from identity wounds. How do we get identity wounds? We get them when our true identity is distorted by shame. It may sound contradictory to say there is such a thing as “good shame” but in fact there is good shame and bad shame.

Good shame is felt when we are separating ourselves from God as well as others in a selfish way.  It “prickles” our conscience and in this way it helps us to address a something we are doing that we know is wrong so that we can self-correct.  This “prickling” of conscience is from our awareness that we have just separated ourselves from what is good and true.  This not only helps us shape our morality but it also protects our self-respect.  When we feel “good shame” we become aware that we have lost our innocence, motivates us to correct ourselves and turns us back to what we know is good.

Bad shame is more of an emotional torment and sickness to our very soul.  It is what begins to poison and divide us from within our whole self. All of us have shortcomings and when they are used to ridicule us or to inflict “bad shame”, we tend to believe the lie that we are bad or unworthy and this new “truth” sears into our heart, mind and soul.  We believe the lie that we are inferior, unworthy, undeserving and bad to the bone.  Bad shame causes us to despair separating us from our only cure to what ails us, which is God’s mercy.

The inflicting of this debilitating shame comes from those closest to us and causes the deepest of wounds. When we are children, our beliefs are being shaped, especially our beliefs about who we are as persons. If the message we get is that we are bad or unlovable, it can become our identity.  Identity wounds distort our ability to love ourselves, to love others and to love or know God.

the worse thing we can do to a person with identity wounds is to give them an identity as being “disordered”.

borderline Personality Disorder

 

Lets think about the word “disorders” through the lens of Theology of the Body.  For something to be disordered it has to have been rightly ordered but then gotten twisted up.  When the John Paul II wrote about Original Man he reminds us that in Genesis that Adam was naked without shame.  He had no desire or intention to use Eve as an object of pleasure for his own selfish needs or wants.  They were both subjects of God and saw one another as persons.  When sin entered the garden they were no longer seeing one another as subjects but as objects.  They covered their “private parts” of their bodies in shame.

 

What was good and right became disordered due to sin.  This is the reality of the world we live in.  If this is true then we see we are all disordered in one way or another.  If we are all disordered in some way how helpful is it to give a person made in the image and likeness of God a label of being disordered as if this is their identity or who they are as a person? I am guessing it could be potentially destructive and could create further woundedness.  Let’s call disorders what they truly are, which is distortions of truth from which we base our lives and relationships upon.

We are complex human beings.  The teachings of Theology of the Body helps us to get a bigger picture as to who we are as persons and how we are made to love and be loved as self-gift whereas psychology bases “truth” in disorders or distortions.

Our experiences in and through our bodies shape our understandings and beliefs and those beliefs can bind us up.  We act on our beliefs and if those beliefs are disordered it goes to follow that so too may our actions be disordered. For example when I experienced the trauma of being sexually abused it created a deep wound that penetrated my identity, which distorted my whole “person”. Psychology may have helped me to understand the distortions and behaviors but Theology of The Body helped me to understand my wounds and their effect on my identity. It was this distorted identity that shaped my beliefs and those beliefs caused me to make the choices in my life that I did.

body

Looking at someone’s whole person, body, mind, emotions, memories, spirit etc is what needs to happen if we want a person to reclaim their greatness.  Seeing the whole person as opposed to a disorder is what gives true hope for healing.  Anything else merely treats a part of a person.  Christ comes to make all things new, not part of things new.

For information on finding freedom and healing with what is labeled as “Borderline Personality Disorder” order my book on LuLu  

 

MY BOOK ON HEALING WOUNDS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE IS DONE!

EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS: HEALING WOUNDS AND RECLAIMING OUR GREATNESS THROUGH THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS: HEALING WOUNDS AND RECLAIMING OUR GREATNESS THROUGH THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

Please consider ordering my book on healing wounds from Sexual Abuse.

“EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS: Healing Wounds and Reclaiming our greatness through Theology of the body.

 

You can get your copy by clicking the link.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF “EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS” BY CLICKING THIS LINK

Why Do I feel scared, ashamed, hopeless, rejected, angry or powerless?

suffering

Want to know why you feel so screwed up? Well, it is probably  from wounds created by sin that has you believing a lie in which you have then made vows to do or not do this or that  ever again in an attempts to get control over your pain or fear or distrust or feelings of powerlessness.  How do you fix it? Read on.

(This is a long piece and meant only for those who desire to understand what their root wounds are that are causing such great suffering in their lives due to a life of neglect, trauma or abuse). 

WOUNDS CHART

sin separates

From the very beginning of the Bible sin is defined as separation from God. It is also spoken of as a transgression, which means to violate the law.  Since the law is meant to protect us and the world we live in, we see that sin is not only a violation of God but a violation of us and of all creation.  When we sin we separate ourselves from God, transgress against his will and against one another and against all of creation.  This is the condition we live in due to original sin.

The word sin can also be understood as missing the mark.  Greek archers used the word sin when an archer would aim for a target but miss the mark, they would fall short of their target.  Many of us aim to please God yet we all fall short of the glory of God.

So with these biblical definitions I think we can agree that we are all sinners.  All of us live in that place of struggle in which we miss the mark, transgress upon the will of God and in doing so violate one another and ourselves

So all of us are sinners and our sin has it’s effects by creating wounds.  Sin always wounds.  Our sin wounds us every time.  But we are also wounded by the sins of those around us. So it seems very clear that we have no possibility of living in this world without being wounded.

Sin is like cancer in that if it’s ignored it will grow in our bodies.  As Christians we are called to be the body of Christ.  We are to make Christ visible in and through our lives. We are to be living signs, our families an icon of the Trinitarian love of God revealing truth, life and love to the world.  When we sin, the effects of our sin spreads in three directions thus marring our ability to reveal Christ to the world.

spreads

Sin spreads socially, to all those around us.

When we sin, we diminish Christ’s glory, not that Christ’s glory can be diminished but certainly our ability to be an icon that reveals His Glory can be diminished.  How can someone see Christ in us when our sin is the first thing someone sees when they look at us.

Scripture tells us in Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy that sin also has an effect for generations. Some scriptures say ten generations.  Many of us are not only dealing with our own sinfulness but with sin that has had it’s effects in our families down through the generations. For people who have been abused, simple affection can be difficult to give to their children.  Those children then have difficulty with affection and so you see that the same affects of the sin from abuse has its affects down the generations.

generations

When I began my journey in inner healing and realized my own sinfulness as a result of my wounds I discovered that the same wounds that had been passed down through the generations to me did not stop there.  I realized I was in fact responsible for bringing the same kind of pain to the people in my family.  This led me to become overwhelmed with grief.

How can we prevent hurting our own children? The answer is we can’t.

The only thing we can do is to continue to clean up our hearts. The cleaner our hearts become the better we can love those around us.  It is like our heart is a vase meant for holding flowers but with sin and wounds our “vase” is cracked and holds sludge instead of water.  When we clean out the sludge and allow Christ to heal us, we can retain His grace to love others the way He loves and the water is not tainted with the sludge.

clean

 

The reason why we are struggling in this world is not because we are somehow strange or because we are not faithful or pious enough, it is because we live in a world that has been divided because of sin. Being faithful and growing in holiness can help us in our struggles but unless we address our wounds we may find ourselves carrying a larger struggle than God desires for us to carry by ourselves.

struggle

“There are many kinds of wounds but what they all have in common is that they affect us in such as ways as to give us a taste of hell.” Says  Dr. Bob Schuchts,  founder of the John Paul II healing center and creator of healing retreats in Tallahassee Florida.  These retreats are what I believe have saved my marriage and saved my own children from growing up even worse off than perhaps I was.  While taking his course “Sexual Healing and Redemption” at the Theology of the Body Institute, he spoke of 6 common wounds that many of us carry.  He bases that number off of the Theophostic Healing research done by Ed Smith’s work who lays out 7 common wounds.  Dr. Bob has condensed the list to 6.   He lists them as follows:

wound hearts

1) Abandonment Wounds.  “I am all alone and I will always be alone”.

2) Fear or terror wounds.  “I can’t trust anybody.”

3) Shame.  “I’m unworthy, I’m unlovable.”

4) Powerlessness.  “I have no ability to do anything.  I can’t change anything.”

5) Rejection.  “I’m unacceptable, I’m disgusting, I’m repulsive.”

6) Hopelessness.  “I can’t change anything.”

7) Identity Wounds.  “I am garbage, I am nothing, I do not matter”.

When events in our lives cause us suffering, the devil, the enemy of our soul, comes to us in that moment and proposes a lie to us much like a groom would propose marriage to us.  If we believe the lie he proposes, we are then opening ourselves to him.  This is a foothold.  St. Paul tells us how sin can becomes a foothold using anger as an example.

“Do not be angry and sin in your anger and give the devil a foothold”.

castle

We are either in relationship with God or relationship with the devil.  We are either walking in truth or walking in a lie.  When Eve was in the garden of Eden, the devil came and proposed his lie to her that God could not be trusted, that he was keeping something back from her by not allowing her to eat from the tree of knowledge.  He was proposing that God did not love her.  When Eve ate the apple, she was accepting the proposal of the devil, she accepted his lie and just like any marriage there was fruit that came from her accepting the proposal.  The fruit was death.  When we accept the lies that the devil proposes to us we too our severing our union with God and are uniting ourselves to the evil one.  With our free will, we are chosing to be in relationship with the liar and this foothold we have given him, will grow like a cancer if we ignore it.  Like cancer spreads in our bodies, so too does the affects of the lies we consent to believe in.  These footholds turn into strongholds.

“A stronghold is any pattern of behavior in your life that you know is against the will of God but continues to persist even when you try to change it.” ( Dr Bob Schuchts Anatomy of a wound audio http://www.OnlyPeople.net).

This pattern is a result of the barriers we have built around our heart, brick by brick, lie by lie and vow by vow in an attempt to protect ourselves from being hurt or suffering in some way.  The problem with putting up walls around our hearts is that we keep out the good along with the bad.  We become like a prisoner within a castle and the stronghold keeps us there.  

Counseling can bring us temporary relief, can teach us coping skills and can give us a means by which to deal with the distress symptoms that result from us believing the lies but they cannot change the stronghold or bring it down.  Medication can offer us some relief as well, perhaps helping us manage our anxiety that is related to the stronghold but this is not a chemical imbalance we are talking of.  A stronghold is an action of our free will and unless we take it down with our own free will it will not be moved by medication.  Praying is helpful and is definitely a step in the right direction as God is the one that can help to expose the lies so we know where to start but unless we are using the weapons spoken of by St. Paul then we are only managing the our pain rather than finding true freedom.

 

bound

Dr Bob Schucht’s goes on to say that “Every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God results in a stronghold.” (Anatomy of a wound audio).   So in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of God we can break strongholds.  Without the power of God we are just using our will to do something or not do something.  If we try to overcome stronghold by own own sheer will we will end up frustrated or giving up all together.

 

 

7 deadly sins

They are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. Dr. Bob Schucht’s reminds us that “It is interesting to note that they are dispositions or attitudes of our hearts before they are sins.   These are attitudes of our hearts that orientate us towards sin.   Each one of them has an idolatry of something that exalts itself above God.” (The Anatomy of a wound audio on onlypeople.net).

Anger is an idolatry of control.

Pride is an idolatry of self.

Greed is an idolatry of things.

Lust is an idolatry relationship.

Gluttony is an idolatry of substance to comfort.

Sloth is an idolatry of comfort to avoid pain.

Envy is an idolatry of the status position or privileges of other people.

 

To explain this further let me clarify the relationship of sin, idol, wound, lies and vows.  When the enemy proposes a lie, and if we accept his proposal,  we then turn away from God.  When we turn away from God, we then are turning towards something else.  This “something else” becomes our idol.  If we are feeling powerless, the enemy may propose the lie that “we must be in control or we will be hurt”.  We then accept his proposal and profess to him our vows to unite ourselves to his lie.  Our vow may be “I will make sure I always remain in control”.  My idol is now control and not God.  When I am feeling powerless I no longer turn to God and believing that he will protect me and his hand is guiding my life for my well-being.  Instead, my heart has closed itself to God, instead my new idol of control is what I live by to protect myself from feeling powerless.  I have exalted control above God.  When I cannot control a situation and begin to feel as if I am losing control the result is my anger. I sin out of my anger in many ways and they are the distress symptoms.  You will see my outbursts, my nit-picking, my perfectionism, my passive-aggressive means of manipulating others you will see me rage.

For every wound there is an idol and for every idol we worship we manifest sinful actions.  Every sin has an effect and those effects are usually very visible to the people around us.  (I have made a chart and attached it above to give an understanding ow how they all go together.  I have used the information that I learned at several healing retreats taught by Dr. Bob Schuchts however, I could not find a chart that put together the connection of all of the components to make it easier for people to discover what their wounds are so I created my own.

 

 

We begin to make God’s out of all of those things because we think they will give us some satisfaction yet they are all characterizations of the devil so if we begin to engage in the lies that he tells us, we allow him the very foothold upon which he can ensnare us.

So how are we going to break free from the strongholds?  We must be willing to suffer.  When we are willing to suffer the original thing we were running away from and turn back to God and ask him to help us, then and only then do we acquire the actual graces to practice the virtues necessary in overcoming a particular sin in our life.  If we have experienced abuse, trauma or neglect as children then the powerlessness we experienced in those moments may have resulted in our attempts to control everything and everyone.  Most likely it also resulted in distrust, fear and un-forgiveness.   When we forgive people who have hurt us we then begin to embody the merciful heart of Jesus Christ.  Anger cannot remain where one has softened their hearts and become forgiving and merciful.  Anger cannot abide where a heart has turned to God and begins to relinquish it’s power in exchange for his grace and his will in their life.  

The only thing that overcomes pride is humility.  Humbly acknowledging your pride before God and asking Him to take it away.  If you think you can work on your pride then you are being prideful.  The sin of being prideful or self-justifying comes from identity wounds.  When we grow up in homes where we might not have been affirmed and loved as unique and unrepeatable person we begin to self-justify.  If the only thing we were affirmed for was being attractive, this may become our new idol.  This is vanity which is a form of pride.  When we were only affirmed for being smart we make our intellect or academics our idol.  The only way to overcome these things is to acknowledge that these are gifts from God meant to bring souls to Christ.

The only thing that overcomes our greed is generosity because greed is the control over our possession because of insecurity.  Many people who hoard money or objects (there are even shows on television showing the lives of hoarders) desire to keep as much “things” around them and with them because they have entered into a relationship with objects that are safe and cannot “hurt” them.  Greed is a “distress” symptom of a wound.  We sin in our greed in attempt to stop feeling insecure or afraid about our well-being. We do not trust that God will care for us.The irony is that they are hurting because of the isolation their greed may cause.  This is like a cycle that repeats itself.  The only thing that can overcome greed is trusting in the generosity of God and then becoming generous yourself.  Generosity is saying and believing that you trust in the providence of God. So if you think your issue is greed you are wrong, it is a fear wound and a trust issue.

The only thing that overcomes lust is not “getting yourself under control” and saying  to yourself “I just won’t look at the person or that pornography.” Our issue is a rejection wound.  Out of that place of feeling disgusting or that no one can love you a false idol is made out of disordered relationships of intimacy where the other can not “in-to-me-see”.  Intimacy is about seeing deeply into an other and allowing oneself to be deeply seen.  When we come to see the beauty and purpose of the human person made visible in and through our bodies we begin to heal.  Theology of the Body is the antidote and chastity is lived out because once we understand our sexuality we desire to “speak” a language of love in and with our bodies.  It is then that we can come before God and beg him for purity of our eyes and our hearts and of our bodies.  Chastity is seeing the awesome creation of our sexuality “male and female” He created us.

The only thing that overcomes gluttony is abstinence and fasting.   This can come from shame or hopelessness wounds and so we begin to consume a substance that comforts us rather than go to God and ask Him to fill the hole inside our hearts.  We begin to forget the spiritual life and rely only upon the pleasures of the body.  It is disordering our very personhood.  This often times leads to sloth.

The only thing that overcomes sloth is diligence.  This can come from feeling powerless.  We become bound up in sloth when we believe the lie that we are powerless in some area of our life or in life in general and so we avoid the pain of trying to effect change by being slothful.  It is in being diligent and willing to do the things that God is asking us to do especially when it is difficult that helps us to get free from Sloth. This is a common attack as it has to do with keeping the body of Christ from realizing we are in a spiritual battle.  If we feel powerless and so then give up and become slothful the enemy can make more ground. I would say fortitude and diligence as well as courage and perseverance are important in overcoming sloth.

The only thing that overcomes envy is kindness.  The wounds here can be from identity wounds.  When you grow up feeling that you do not matter and that you are garbage, it is easy to begin hating your neighbor whose life may seem so much better.  Envy is not just desiring your neighbors goods or status it is also believing that they have gotten something that you deserved to have.  Is the reality that you deserve to be seen as good and worthy? Yes, but when one suffers from identity wounds then the lie is that you don’t matter and so envy builds up in our hearts turning it even more cold and hard against others.  When we can be kind to others, be truly concerned for others this hardness softens. When you begin to see that each of us are called into being by our creator, each of us are unique and unrepeatable persons, then we see that our own worth and dignity is God given and are no longer angry about the good fortune of others.

Sometimes we can’t truly choose to become free from something so we may begin by choosing to become free in something else.  We may chose to abstain in a smaller area which will then give us the strength to deal with a more powerful stronghold later.  This helps us overcome the hopelessness of feeling that nothing will ever change.

These are just some of the examples of how sin and wounds and lies work together and how once discovered and the virtues sought can enable us to brings some real healing into our lives.  None of us are any position to judge one another yet I am sure all of us can identify with one or more of these sins.  All of us struggle with these sins and virtue is the way in which we will get free.

Once your identity a sin in your life that you cannot seem to get free from you must then begin to identify the lies that you believe.   You must then renounce those lies and ask Jesus to forgive you for making a false idol in an attempt to deal with your pain alone rather than to open your heart to God.  This is where healing comes in.   If I have truth to undo the lie, if I believe the scripture that tells me that I should not worry about what I eat and what I wear because I trust in God’s providence then all of a sudden I can have security, real security because the stronghold lie begins to crumble.  In asking forgiveness for making a false idol and renouncing the lie in Jesus’ name the enemies power is broken.  Now the drawbridge has been lowered so that the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete can come in and be the divine physician.

So how do we begin? First you must ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you.  God knows what you are ready to deal with and where you must first get free in order to have the strength and courage to press into the other wounds.  If you go into areas you are not ready to deal with it will feel as if the enemy is rubbing salt in your wounds and you may be to afraid or feel to incapable of handling the pain associated with it.

I started with a distress symptom, an area of my life I felt was creating a pattern of sinful behavior that I just could not seem to get free of.  I then asked the Holy Spirit to show me what He wanted me to know about it.  For me, he showed me a memory.  I then asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the lie in my heart that I believed.  I then asked Him to reveal the judgment I had made about God and about the other person.  I then asked God’s forgiveness for the believing the lies, making the judgments and for turning to a false idol instead of to Him.  I then asked God to help me forgive the person for what they did.  As for the lies, I renounced them in the name of Jesus Christ.  It was as if I broke off my union with the enemy  had re-united myself to my true Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.  The effects were immediate.  The peace was beyond anything counseling or anxiety meds or alcohol or food had ever done for me.

When I contemplated the lie again, I laughed out loud because it sounded, AND FELT, so ridiculous.  It no longer had any hold over me.  Who would have thought that freedom would and could be so instantaneous.  This is because it is by the power of God.  So why did this work when nothing else seemed to? Because God does not and will not violate our free will.  He can supernaturally heal us but before that we must first surrender our will to God and invite him in.  It is, to use the castle analogy,  as if we must lower the drawbridge to give him access.

St. Peter says “Anyone who is willing to suffer in the flesh is done with sin” 1 peter

Jesus is the only person who experienced all of the same wounds we have and yet did not sin out of his wounds.  He was abandoned “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”.  All his friends left him.  He was abandoned, yet did not sin.

“He was rejected and despised among men” IS 53, but he did not give into the rejection, he continued to love in the face of that rejection.

He was complete helplessness on the cross, but he chose to surrender his will to the father.

He tasted the greatest despair on him from our sins in the garden and on the cross but he never gave into despair or sloth.

He experienced every single wound in the mystery of creation and chose to be obedient.  He took on every wound for us and the sins and penalties of the wounds and the sins.  He did this for us.  He also identified with us so that we can see that we can identify with him in our suffering and know his compassion for our pain.

Am I saying that healing our wounds is as simple as bringing our suffering to Him on the cross? Yes I am. It is not simple or easy to do but it is simple in choice.

Are you still afraid? Are you still feeling hopeless? Are you still not sure how to begin? Then start simply.  You can say “I can not overcome this Jesus, but you can”.  “I can not bear this Jesus, but you can.”

In scripture, it says we have a mighty savior that will wipe away every tear and comfort every infirmity and remove every sin for those who believe and trust in him.  Instead of despair we shall have the oil of gladness, instead of shame we shall have double honor, not just in heaven but here in our lives, progressively as grace perfects our nature.

Take some time to journal.  Take an area of your life, some place of distress in your life.  Pray and ask God to show you what the lie is that you believe in your heart.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what the root wound and the root sin is. Ask him to show you where it is rooted in term of memory and experience. For some it may be a recent event for others something farther back.

This part is important.  Allow yourself the chance to feel the pain of that.  Bring that to Jesus and ask Jesus to reveal the truth and bring his healing love there.

He who is willing to suffer in the flesh is done with sin!

God will meet us. It’s a matter of walking there so don’t be impatient with yourself.  It is a process and He is not going to give you something that is more than you can bear.

I want to give you hope that as you walk through this, to know that there is such joy on the other side of healing.  It is awesome and worth every bit of the pain you might go through as you look at events or people in your lives that wounded you with their sin.  Keep your eyes, your focus on Jesus.  He is the author and perfecter of our faith.  He will bring you to the joy that He promises.  That may be hard to believe, especially for those who might have been dealing with deep hopelessness wounds for a long time.  Let me encourage you to not give in to sloth, remain diligent, keep going forward even if it is very small steps, that is still progress and you will be greatly rewarded.

This information comes from Dr. Bob Schucht’s work on “Healing The Whole Person” and other great Inner Healing work he provides for those desiring real freedom.  You can find more information on how to attend his healing retreats by going to his website  The John Paul II Healing Center  .

Becoming an “Unbound” B.A.K.E.R.

ropes on wrists

This past weekend I attended the “Unbound Leadership Conference” put on by Heart of The Father Ministries. I was able to meet Neal Lozano, who has written a number of books helping people to find real freedom in Christ by utilizing this very simple and duplicable model of deliverance.

Me and Neal

The word deliverance can scare some people but I like what Neal say’s about it. To say that deliverance is about the devil is like saying that the Exodus story in Genesis is about Pharaoh. Deliverance is about Christ setting the captives free. It is about the power of Jesus Christ that is given to us in baptism, renewed and refreshed through repentance and reconciliation and empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit released in confirmation. However, some of us have not been renewed and refreshed. Some of us have not been reconciled and have not asked for the Holy Spirit to release the gifts of confirmation.

bird out of cage

When we are not free to love and be loved then we are not making the invisible visible through our lives and our example. We are to be the body of Christ, yet some of us are still bound up from the lies we believe, the vows we have made, the judgments of others and when this effects our identities we are cut off from the very life giving source that we must draw upon.

So how do we listen to the Holy Spirit? How do we find freedom? How do we refresh, reconcile and release the Holy Spirit in us and through us?

The first thing we have to do is pray to the Holy Spirit. COME HOLY SPIRIT COME! It can begin with simplest of prayers, really it can.

key whole

Before going through the 5 Keys of Unbound, we need to call upon the Holy Spirit and we need to learn to listen to what the Holy Spirit desires to do in our hearts. If you rush into the 5 keys without the Holy Spirit, the 5 keys can become like the keys you have in your junk drawers at home. You know they open something, but you don’t know what.

Here is how you begin. Call upon the Holy Spirit. Pray for Him to release the gifts within and through you.

I would like to show how those that use the examination of conscience taught in the book “33 Days to Morning Glory” can really benefit by incorporation the 5 keys taught in the Unbound model.

Fr. Michael Gaitley’s “B.A.K.E.R. examination of conscience, when utilizing the 5 keys of Unbound, can be truly effective because you can then hear what the Holy Spirit desire for you to know. Rather than just using introspection or merely “thinking” about your shortcomings or sinful patterns or behaviors.

It is a gentle way to go into what I like to call the “bad neighborhoods” of our past. There may be many things we need to repent of. Where do we start so we do not get overwhelmed? I heard a Catholic Answers speaker say that our pasts are like bad neighborhoods, you would not want to go in there without some protection or you will get the cr*P beat out of you. So before we go looking at all the places we have failed and come up short or down right sinned, let us first begin by having the Holy Spirit remind us who God is and who we are. So we begin with B

B=Blessings

We begin by looking at the places in which we have seen the blessings in our lives. We begin with going to the truth and seeing who the Father is and how He has blessed us. This is our “consolations”. Our identities may have been beaten up by the broken people of the world sinning out of their own wounds and this can cause us to have difficulty with knowing who we truly are. Some of us self-justify, or have shame or feelings of unworthiness, we misinterpret God’s intentions or circumstances in our lives and others just do not believe God desires to share intimate secrets with their hearts alone. Whatever the struggles, we must begin with looking to our consolations and blessings and rest in the truth that God is good and that He loves us as we are, right now, today, faults and all.

A= Ask

Now we call once again upon the Holy Spirit and ask for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds as to what God desires for us to know about where there are barriers to Him, or where we are in need of repentance. This is the first Key of the Unbound Model.

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1. Repentance and Faith

When we ask the Holy Spirit He can reveal the root issue instead of the surface things that continue to plague us. For instance, if we have anger issues, raging when things feel out of control or when someone “attacks” us or our worth, we could think our issue is anger. This is how clever the Father of lies is. Anger and rage is a distress symptom of a deeper issue. The Holy Spirit knows the gentlest way to guide you to truth and freedom and He desires to woo His bride gently, He does not desire to kick in your doors or expose you in shame. When we ask Him to lead us to the root, we then can have our hearts moved by His tender Mercy to true repentance.

He can show us that the anger is a reaction to a lie in our heart, an inner vow we have made that locks His healing truth out or perhaps of a judgment we have made about other people or even about God Himself. Anger is a symptom of an idolatry of control. Control is an idol we use to protect ourselves or manage our fears due to powerless wounds or perhaps even fear bonds formed that cause us to believe that God does not save, or He does but will not save us.

When walked through the repentance key, it is so comforting to hear the words of the Prayer team acknowledging and affirming your fear and your deeper desire while at the same time, asking God to forgive you for your judgments, your lack of faith. “In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask your forgiveness for not believing I could trust you.” “Forgive me Jesus for using control as an idol instead of coming to you.” This “Asking” is a beautiful way to know what God desires to start with. If we merely think about our shortcomings, our failures and our limitations to love, we will soon despair. When we look at our sin without the Mercy of Jesus Christ and can easily be convinced by the father of lies that we are not forgiven, our sin is too big or perhaps our God will not save us. If we do not ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in this, those that do repent may do it out of shame, fear of judgment or to be “good” rather than to find healing and reconciliation. This will not set the captives free, but causes the lies to dig themselves in deeper. If the root wound is powerlessness and fear, then we find other ways to “control” so as to not open to God. Anger is symptom of an idolatry of control as a means to self-protect so you see repentance must come from the heart. It is handing the reigns over to Christ, both of them. If we continue to hold onto one of the reigns, we cannot go in the direction God desires to take us in.
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2. Forgiveness

When we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where we need to forgive we become aware of places we are bound up that we may never have even realized we were not yet set free! He knows all and everything. He knows where pain has caused us to not yet forgiven someone. He knows where we still believe someone does not deserve our forgiveness. He knows where we still desire someone to make atonement for what they did to us. He knows where we are so afraid of dealing with our emotions or anger that we have made unforgiveness and our anger a means to protect our hearts. He sees past false humility to the pride that tries to justify our unforgiveness, He knows where we still do not understand the depths of His ocean of Mercy and He even knows which evil spirits are binding us up of our own free will. The Holy Spirit will gently reveal where we need to forgive, He will lead us there and He will help to set us free.

“In the name of Jesus I forgive my Father for leaving me as a baby and never getting to know me as a daughter. In the name of Jesus I forgive my father for not wanting to be in my life and for not coming to my graduation from high school or college”. In the name of Jesus, I forgive my father for not holding my hand, for not holding me in his arms and for not being there to protect me as a child.”

Forgiveness is not about giving up your rights or even excusing what someone has done to you. It is about allowing God to work it all out to His better good and glory and relinquishing it’s power over you by trusting in the Father. When an intercessor gives you the words, just hearing them said to you out loud is a validation that what was done to you requires forgiveness. When you repeat them, you can feel the healing salve being administered to your heart. It is freeing in that very moment.

K=Kills

What killed or desolated you today? When did your heart drop in your chest from what was done to you or what you had done to someone else? We are not to make major decisions in times of desolation because the father of lies is so good at manipulating our emotions that we are not free to see rightly. When we ask the Holy Spirit to show us the daily desolations, we see where we the wounds of others were at work and it may not have been our cross to carry. We also see the places the enemy is stirring up our emotions to cause us to believe his lies, to make more judgments or vows that separate us from God and in doing so cause us forget that our Father in Heaven knew what He was getting when He made us, we are no surprise to God, yet He so desired us that He willed us into existence despite how He knew we would fail Him. This leads me to the third key.

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3. Renounce

“In the Name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the spirit of control. In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the Spirit of Anger and unforgiveness”. When we renounce, we break any agreements we have made with the liar and turn our faces back to the Father. We are breaking the ties that bind us. I also believe the renewal of our baptismal vows is a powerful way to renounce the enemy and his lies. It is renouncing Satan, his pomps and works and empty promises. Many of us have had relationships outside of covenant marriage or have been involved with the occult. There are tarot cards, Ouiji boards, wearing crystals and more. These things must be renounced. “In the name of Jesus Christ I renounce any physical or spiritual ties with NAME and I take back what I gave to HIM/Her.” Every day we should be going through B.A.K.E.R. with the 5 Keys of Unbound. When we get to the 3rd key, we need to renounce anything that the Holy Spirit has inspired for us to renounce.

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4. Authority

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I command every evil spirit and spirits associated to it that I have renounced and every spirit behind the sins I have confessed to leave me right now and go directly to the foot of the cross”. “Thank you Jesus for setting me free from the influence of evil spirits. Thank you Father for sending your son to save me.” Amen

This is about being set free and Jesus Christ has that authority and power. We, by virtue of our baptism can call upon this power of Jesus Christ and command what we renounce in His name as well as any of the powers and principalities infesting or oppressing us to leave! We need to stand in the authority that we as Christians have been given. Christ said that we would do “all these things and even greater things than this” and He meant it.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12

Greater works? Yes!!! We will be set free so that we can bring Christ to others so that they too can find healing and freedom!

E=Embrace

This coincides with the final key of Unbound. When we embrace the love of the Father we embrace the greatness of God’s love, the gifts He desires to share with the world through our yes, we embrace the Fathers Blessing.

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5. The Fathers Blessing

Did you know that your name is very important? For all of the years I have traveled and spoke around the country I have noticed that peoples names strangely revealed how God was using them as instruments of His divine will. I began experimenting and by telling people (before they told me) what it was that I thought they were doing in ministry. Not only would I be right but when I was wrong it was not because I was wrong at all but it was because it was on their hearts to do but they had not answered that stirring in their heart.

All throughout the bible we are shown that names matter so much that even Paul was renamed to ensure his name matched his calling. Isaac was so named because his mother laughed. All of us have names that were inspired in our parents because of the movements of the Holy Spirit because our name was written on God’s heart before it ever was uttered on our parents lips. At the moment He names us our name lit up the heavens and flashed like a comet through the stars and throughout the entire universe heralding our goodness as unique and unrepeatable persons with dignity, honor and great worth beyond price. I challenge you to look up your name. If you cannot find your name to mean something that reveals your call then email me because I guarantee I can. What is your confirmation name? I have been told we do not pick our confirmation Saint, the Saint picks us. The Holy Spirit attracts us to that Saint because they will help protect the mission in which we have been chosen to fulfill.

The Fathers blessing is something that all of us must embrace because it heals the wounds it fills the empty and formless void so that we can see what was always there but never realized, we have been chosen, we have been called by name.

R=Reconcile

The final examen peace is to reconcile. This is another word for being set free! When our hearts are freed to love we desire to reconcile, to bring healing and freedom to others. When we realize we reacted in a way to self-justify and in doing so hurt someone we love, our first inclination upon healing is to run to them like the prodigal son and say please, please forgive me! I desire to make amends and to restore what was broken between us.

If you have not heard of Unbound I challenge you to discover what has continued to bring me great freedom and healing. If you have not consecrated yourself to Mary I would prayerfully suggest you read my article on why she is the one that helps us to receive our triple portion of the Holy Spirit. If you desire for the Holy Spirit to permeate you, transform you and make you a new creature in Christ, then Mary is the perfect mold from which to pour ourselves into because she formed the body of Christ in her womb.

We are going to set the world ablaze with Fire of Christ’s love! Come and Join me as there are many, many captives that need to be set free. Will you join me?

heart of father

What is Heart of the Father Ministries? It say’s this on their website.

“Heart of the Father Ministries empowers people to reclaim their true identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the Father through Unbound:Freedom in Christ ministry.

Heart of the Father is dedicated to equipping people throughout the world to take hold of the freedom they have been given in Christ and to help others do the same by using the principles of the Five Keys as found in Unbound.

Unbound Guidebok

The Five Keys are taught and implemented at the Unbound: Freedom in Christ Conferences and through a growing network committed to proclaiming this message.”

The 5 Keys of Unbound

1. Repentance and Faith
2. Forgiveness
3. Renounce
4. Authority
5. Father’s Blessing