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my broken heart

healing patterns with prayer and action

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Abba Father, in Christ I come boldly to Your throne and kneel to worship You.

You, who has protected me from death and the traps of the enemy. You, who uses His power perfectly to bring blessings to each of us in Your timing.

Abba Father, I just want to sit here and drink in Your presence. I don’t want to go back out there. And I’m sorry if my time with You these days have been stolen by my orphan spirit, she who cannot shake this overwhelming feeling of being unloved. It goes so much deeper than bad self esteem. But You know that.

I’ve been loved by You and I’ve disappointed You. Not really. Not the same way I have come to know disappointment. What I know of disappointment is a childish unrelenting resentment that holds a grudge and wants me to hurt until the person I disappointed has stopped hurting.

In my youth, there have been many who never stopped hurting.

I know now that Your disappointment is loving, and that Your discipline is loving. You show us the way because of Your awesome mercy and grace. And this is so far beyond the comprehension of our minds and our hearts.

Father, it’s impossible for You to hold a grudge when I’m turning from my sin. It’s impossible for You to withhold mercy. I’m beginning to have mustard seed faith in the fact that even Your wrath is graceful.

As a child, I was abused sexually, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I’ve often reacted in stubborn anger as an adult to having to deal with the pain of this trauma and how it effected the way my brain and heart and body work. I’ve often found myself stewing in resentment over having to heal. I’ve told my counsellors things like, “Why do I have to be the one to heal? Why couldn’t they do their work? Why do I have to carry all of their baggage and be the grown up?”

I feel like I’m trapped in a cycle of reacting. Still. Because there are still people in my life now that make the choice to lash out violently and maliciously on a consistent basis in response to pain.

Here’s the cycle: something that I do without malice or something that I have brings pain to people I love. They react by lashing out to hurt me – sometimes immediate and hammer-fisted, sometimes slow and cruel.

The hammer fist wants me to react big and loud – the louder the better – and if I don’t, hammer fist keeps pounding until I feel like I can’t take it anymore and react in some way, which finally sates the desire for knowing I’m in pain. As long as it outweighs hammer fist’s current pain, s/he is happy and can move on.

The slow burn never stops hurting and blames me for the pain. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who I am (which only means I am a person who experiences moments of non-pain).

Slow burn likes to subtly humiliate me. S/he likes to ‘win’ the ‘game’ of life by proving to others and themselves that s/he is better than me in all different ways – but especially ways meaningful to them.

In my childhood, I must have learned that getting slow burn back doesn’t work. And I must have learned that reacting doesn’t sate their sadistic needs to inflict pain. Because their pain never ends. And it never will. So, why should mine?

In my childhood, I must have learned to pretend it wasn’t happening. Because doing so gives slow burn the illusion of cover, of privacy, to do their thing. To survive in my home, I had to pretend I wasn’t being purposefully harmed when I was.

Otherwise, slow burn would feel like the plan was ruined. And since slow burn relies on outsmarting people, it wasn’t very smart to do anything that made the person feel like I was smarter. Ever.

This is how I’ve sinned. It says in God’s word that it’s a sin to suppress the truth. And now I see I’m still doing it. I’m afraid of getting hurt, Abba Father. I’m sorry that I struggle with faith in Your ability to protect me. I didn’t feel protected as a child. But I’m 39 now. And I’m asking for Your help to feel protected by You and to have faith in You.

I need You to bring me all in, Abba Father. I confess I’ve been trying to do this on my own. I confess what I’ve tried hasn’t worked. I confess I need Your help.

Please tie my hands so I cannot sin in this way again. Please take from me what I struggle to give to You.

Help me allow You to shelter and fill me with Your perfect love all of the time. Help me to not resist.

Edify Your will for my next steps, Abba Father. Give me the courage to take these steps. I can feel my body curling up, seizing up, not wanting to move forward.

Thank You for everything. The good and the bad, the joy and the pain.

God, as I was praying over sharing this prayer, Holy Spirit convicted me.

Thank You for illuminating the patterns that I have in responding to this pain.

You showed me that after a long tome suppressing the truth of being attacked by someone who needs to feel like s/he cannot be outsmarted, I do get to a point where I cannot take it anymore.

Somehow I say ‘no’ or ‘stop’ and this shows that I know on some level the person is trying to hurt me. The cover of being a loving person who wants the best for me is blown.

And when something shows me that this ‘round’ of torture is over, I gloat. I do. I rub it in his or her face. I do a little dance. I shine the light You gave me so bright, I’m blinding.

This is how I’ve not honoured Holy Spirit. I’m so sorry God. I want to turn away from this sin completely.

To truly honour Holy Spirit would be to shine brilliantly as You will, Abba Father.

Instead, I’ve been pleasing people, not You.

I’m sorry I didn’t recognize this sooner. I’m sorry for the ways in which these delays and my suppressing truth has hurt people I love and have loved. Please forgive me. Please help me know how to make amends with those who you will me to have a relationship with, or to make reparations to.

Please show me how to shine Your light within me as You will, Holy Father.

Help me move from these childish ways and boldly step onto the path You have made for me.

Thank You for Your unfailing and never ending love. Your love is never wrong. And I’m so grateful to have You in my life, that You are willing to bend down to meet me where I am.

I love You so much,

Jenn

setting down my cape

Walking with God

With Your help, I’m putting down my karma avenger cape now. I want to retire it for good. Show me how You do justice, God.

O Sovereign God, Beloved Holy Father, thank You for this glorious day. I’m in awe of Your perfect love and how You bend Your face down to us through Holy Spirit in order to meet us where we are. Thank You for always knowing what I need and for never leaving my side as I grow in Christ.

You answered my prayers today by helping me grow my faith and I’m so grateful. You helped me find Your otherworldly peace through seeking first Your kingdom and righteousness. (It helped that I felt like smiling a lot over the past 24 hours.)

When I went back to the photo of 211 that I took on October 10th, I remembered that it was a Roman’s day. But when I looked up Roman’s 2:11, I felt nervous about posting it, though I didn’t really know why. I tried to reason and fill in the blanks with my understanding, but that just led me down the wrong path.

It wasn’t wholly wrong – I did get to where You were taking me and I did need Hebrews 2:11 as well, because it led me to the bounty of lessons You had for me to learn today. But it wasn’t right because it wasn’t the next step You willed me to take.

I’m sorry that I get nervous and worry about sharing what comes through in Your timing.

Roman’s 2:11 says, For God does not show favoritism.

My list of worries included: both believers and non-believers would think I was rebuking them; I had done something wrong and would find out after I shared the verse; and there was someone specific who would read it and be convinced that I was writing about them.

I worried because I didn’t understand, but I didn’t feel ready to understand, so I didn’t ask.

My heart tumbles ahead of herself all the time. My timing is off because when I’m feeling hopeful I look forward and when I feel anxious I keep my head down or look back. I struggle to keep my eyes on You, Lord, and I’m sorry.

In my bible study homework today, I learned 2 things that have been holding me back from walking in Your will more fully.

I struggle with faith because often the things I feel Holy Spirit puts on my heart are contrary to my understanding (‘counterintuitive’ is my language). But I cannot do Your will without faith. So I prayed for You to increase my faith.

I also read about holding the belief that You avenge wrongs, which to me means putting down my karma avenger cape and letting You take care of it – even when I don’t see how You do this or even that You do this.

On the bus, I thought of what karma means. It’s the consequences of actions taken by humans- which is fully a human thing. Some of us impose consequences onto ourselves. Often as humans we impose our own consequences on those who hurt or offend us and those we love.

I used to do this by telling friends and family what they did to hurt another person. I did that fiercely when I was feeling upset. I doubt most took me seriously. Because who did I think I was anyway? God?

It’s kind of funny now how subtle the evidence of Your existence could be when I was an unbeliever. And how subtle my queries were into Your existence. And there You were all the same, regardless of what I believed and regardless of what others believed.

It’s not funny when we’re seeking You. But it’s funny when we have found You. And I’m grateful for the way You’ve shown me Your humour. Because I miss laughing. And I told You that.

This morning I was seeking You, and I was very serious. It was all business, this quest. I need help having more fun seeking You. But this morning, I was serious and in learning and seeking mode.

You connected the dots between trusting that You are sovereign and trusting You to fight for me and that You will avenge wrongs – which to me means holding us accountable and creating consequences, like every good father (only bigger, more limitless).

I confess that I struggle to trust and rest in the faith that You will avenge wrongs. It’s because of my experiences in my youth. Thank You for helping me work through that. And for helping me to completely forgive those who harmed me in my youth. In my forgiveness I have been able to let go of the reigns. It’s kind of funny that You give me a tiny set of reigns to hold onto, but You know how we are and why and Your perfect love surpasses our understanding.

That’s why part of me was still stuck on making sure the people who did wrong would be held accountable. On a physiological level, it’s an automated response to do something, no matter how subtle, to hold those who harm me accountable as they are harming me. By having a witness, by walking away, by saying ‘don’t’, by creating boundaries, by resisting the subtle harms in a passive aggressive way because it feels so hopeless trying to address things people aren’t ready or willing to see.

But some of that is imposing my will onto others. I don’t want to do that anymore, God. I see imposing my will on others as a sin and I want to turn away from it. Please help me to turn from imposing my will onto others and convict me with gentleness when I am doing this in ways that I can’t yet see. Tie my hands so I can no longer impose my will on others.

Because of some of the ways I have been abused, I understand the violence now in imposing a will onto another’s – even when we do it with good intentions. I want You to please show me a better way.

Yesterday I veered off Your path because of fear, but You brought me back on the path. And You showed me that just because I was slightly off my best path in one area of my life, didn’t mean that was happening in the rest of my life.

And because of what You’ve done through me and in my heart, for Your glory, getting back on Your best path for me is happening quicker and with more fruit.

All I want to do all day and all night is make You proud and follow Your will exactly as You ask me. But I know You understand the obstacles. If You have grace for me, I want to extend compassion to myself as well. I will have faith that my try is good enough when I give it my best. I will ask You for help with faith and compassion toward myself in the sanctification process. I will believe – with Your help – that Your timing is right and that I really cannot do anything to completely mess it up because You won’t let that happen. If I do mess up, it won’t be as painful as it has been. I will trust You – with Your help – to bring me back with patience and gentleness.

Like today! I messed up and I could have been hurt but You protected me.

Up until very recently, I gave cars the right of way no matter what. If I had a green, if I was walking across a parking lot entrance, if I was walking on a footpath – I would always pay very careful attention to the drivers and yield to their aggression and desires and needs. If it was raining, I would wait for a car to turn left on my green. If I was running for the bus, I would stop if an aggressive driver turned left on my green through a no-left-turn intersection during ‘rush hour’.

Not today. I knew drivers were a bit crazy in general today. I was told, and then I saw for myself as I crossed a street, and then I saw the aftermath of two serious accidents.

But only a few hours later, I was running to catch my bus transfer when an aggressive driver turned left toward me as I was walking through an intersection on a green. Yes, it was a restricted intersection. But that driver didn’t care in that moment at all who had the right of way. S/he was upset about something and didn’t seem to care about anything else – including the possibility of hitting a pedestrian, which would mean getting wherever s/he was going a lot slower considering the delay of having to talk to the police.

From my side, I was sick of aggressive drivers ploughing over my free will as a pedestrian to take my right of way, just because s/he reasoned I would get out of the way to protect myself – because they are bigger than me.

Not today. I was feeling just as stubborn in that moment as the driver. And we both ended up kind of sharing the space because neither of us was backing down.

I felt very convinced that I was in the right. It was my right of way. The driver shouldn’t have been turning left. Getting anywhere 2 minutes sooner is never more important than putting another person in imminent danger.

I thought s/he should have more compassion and be less aggressive. I thought s/he should let me go.

But that wasn’t her will. With her free will, she chose to plough through the crosswalk where I was walking, ignoring a no turn sign.

I ended up putting myself in danger because I wasn’t able to focus on Your Sovereignty in that moment, God. It flooded into my mind that being a karma avenger in the past had also put me in danger. And that’s probably at least part of the reason You take the responsibility of holding us each accountable into Your own hands.

I don’t want to get caught up in a battle of wills at all, God, and especially not in ways that will put me in danger.

Help me with discernment please. Help me quickly know what I need to know and understand to discern in these situations, God. Give me a supernatural understanding of Your will for my next steps.

With Your help, I’m putting down my karma avenger cape now. I want to retire it for good. Show me how You do justice, God.

Thank You for showing me how Roman’s 2:11 is connected to Your sovereignty, God, and how that applies in my life.

Thank You for filling me with Your peace and for holding me up in Your grace.

I’m forever grateful for all that You do and all that You are. I enjoyed our time together today, God.

I love You,

Your daughter Jenn

hang up the phone

i’m not hardwired to everyone

Dear God, when phone lines were first installed, everyone was on a party line – meaning three or four, maybe five, houses would share a line. That meant at any given moment, the family in house 1 could pick up the phone and hear conversations between house 1,2,3,4 & 5 without asking permission or doing anything ‘wrong’. It would be in staying on the line and eavesdropping that a person would be doing something wrong.

As a child, trauma bonding hardwired me to people in my house. When I was growing up, I believed there was no phone to hang up. I just thought we were connected and that was the way it was.

As I got older, this belief didn’t change, and I extended it to everyone I was connected to. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it bc it’s how we communicated as a family. It was never talked about. It just was.

I’m learning now, through Holy Spirit, how You, Holy Father, wants me to use these gifts that You gave me.

I want to hang up the phone, God. I only want to connect to Jesus and through Jesus, but I don’t know how.

I think I get tangled in people’s worries and other emotions. You know I have struggled with people pleasing all my life. When I know that someone is upset, my automated response is to comfort them, to help them work it out, to make them feel safe and like everything is okay. I still struggle sometimes, and I’m sorry God, bc I know it’s against Your will.

It is excruciating for me to feel the suffering of others and do nothing. I see it as ‘turning the other way’ and this is something I experienced as a child through those who witnessed abuse, leaving me unsafe.

Holy Father, will You please tie my hands so I cannot sin by picking up the phone. Please keep me from connecting to anyone other than Jesus and only through Jesus in spirit.

Help me see this gift as You see it. Help me understand how to cope with the pain that comes with feeling the suffering of others.

Holy God, please also help me heal all patterns that come with feeling responsible for the suffering of another – suffering that I’m not inflicting but that I can feel.

Thank You for being patient with me as I learn to trust You and become willing to have unshakeable faith. I want to be able to take huge leaps as You will without fear. Thank You for always holding my hand and shepherding me.

I surrender everything and everyone involving this situation into Your hands, Holy God.