This memory showed up because God was bringing me a new healing, and this one feels more complicated than the others. He’s wanting to go deeper and it’s taking a longer process and more time than some of the others. I’m entering it in complete faith that He is going to see me through to the other side though, because of the other healings and places He’s taught me through before, within the last 4 years of my life. It’s an incredible journey!
When I was 16 and first “became a woman”, I was expecting my dad to affirm my new status and celebrate that with me.
“Be sure to use each thing up before you replace it with a new one”, was his response to me. I’m not sure I even felt the deastation then. It felt more like resignation. I haven’t completed each area of healing yet, but here is where I am so far.
The first thing God showed me is that even though my earthly father was not prepared for me, He always has been. God as my Abundant, Prepared, Attentive Father is a brand new concept for me, as far as walking with Him and expecting good things to happen. The healing of my heart and renewing of my mind to see Him as prepared came fairly quickly to me though. Through a conversation with a trusted friend I am in community with, He brought to my memory the scripture:
“God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.” 1 Peter 1:20
I took this truth in and decided to agree with it. Can you believe it?! Our Father God had this plan to redeem us even before He created us, knowing that we would choose to believe lies about Him and walk away from Him. His plan was to bankrupt Heaven to restore us back into relationship with Him - to give us the abundant life that He had originally planned for us. That is love. I feel loved, knowing that! He was prepared to restore me long before I needed restoration. Since this is Who He is, I need not fear that He will not have just what I need at the time I need it. I’m choosing to trust Him, and I will be looking for His provision from now on.
And not only has He already proven Himself by carrying out this plan in His sacrifice for my sin, He consistently prepares me daily for the things ahead of me - whether good, exciting things, or hard things He knows I have to walk through. I’ve felt His hand many times in the songs and scriptures He gives me as I spend time with Him. I can look back in my journals and see how these songs and scriptures that have become stuck in my head have been used to encourage me and keep my thoughts on Him as I walk through family situations or as He brings me through another healing.
As He brings me through these healings, He also prepares me to minister to others who have been through similar situations. His preparation has included the very transformation He brings to me as I break agreements with the lies I’ve been believing and I come into agreement with the truths He gives me. My journals are full of these processes too.
The process is quite simple, but it takes intentionality. That sounds like work, but to one who has worked so hard to keep secrets, stay quiet, and keep myself under wraps in general, this process is quite freeing and brings joy that far outweighs the energy used to keep focus! Here’s a simple overview to ponder for now, and it works well to journal each step of your way:
- In any situation or feeling you have that something isn’t right or good, ask the Lord to surface the memory of the first time you felt that way. Ask Him for the lies you decided to agree with in that moment. It’s our natural default to quickly agree with satan’s whisperings because of our fallen nature.
- Ask for forgiveness for believing those lies instead of trusting God and His truths. Take time to soak in His forgiveness of you. You can also forgive yourself based on God’s forgiveness of you.
- Forgive the people involved who hurt you. Just do it. It’s a choice you make, trusting that God will be your God of justice. He is. You can take those people off your hook and place them on God’s hook so they won’t go without payment for what they did. God sees you and He knows.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you truth you can agree with to replace the lies you’ve been perpetuating. He’ll often bring to mind related scriptures, but you can also Google a term to find related scripture. Yes! The Holy Spirit can lead you through the Internet too! Because He is inside you, you can be confident that many of your choices are directed by Him. You can seek Him for that, and practice it. Test all answers you receive against the truth of scripture, and the tone of His voice as loving. His voice is never condemning, but always leads to a life-giving solution.
- Create one statement from this truth He gives you. Write it on a card and decorate it with colored pencils, gel pens, or Micron pen and watercolors, and hang it up on your bathroom mirror. Repeat multiple times a day for about a month and you will come to automatically believe it! Really! After your first win, you’ll become addicted to the joy it brings, and you’ll want to repeat the process with a new challenge. It’ll get easier over time too.
“God prepared for my whole salvation, and He continually prepares me for my life.”
This is one affirmation written in this current healing. I think I already believe it! I’m going to put it up on my mirror though until it feels completely natural inside!
A surprise prayer has popped up in me that I’ve never prayed before, and I believe God gives us those too. “God, help me be Your Daughter.” I don’t have a script for that. Being a daughter means allowing a father to take care of me. As my earthly father’s daughter, I was too busy helping to support my family, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I felt like we were just surviving. My dad would ask me if he could borrow the money I earned from my paper route, and Mcdonald’s job later, to pay for the lights or water bill, or whatever else, and of course, I would give it to him. I didn’t want to see my family suffer.
I eventually came to realize that I would never get this money back, even though that is what he had promised. How different I could’ve felt if he had affirmed my love for my family, and encouraged me to feel like I had a part in pulling together for their good, but he chose this way out of his own pain and heartache. It’s been one of the things I’ve chosen to forgive. Well, really, I’ve chosen a blanket of forgiveness to cover the multitude of sins, but I’ve done so now out of the realization of my own need for the same blanket. And Christ has forgiven me, thankfully, and so I can forgive my human dad. So that takes care of the spiritual and some emotional pieces. What’s leftover from that is my mindset, that I’m now renewing daily. The neural pathways we create in thinking our thoughts over and over can take time to recede when we stop rehearsing the lies and the new pathways when we start rehearsing the truths.
God led me to watch The Chosen Episode 5 Part II “Unclean” from Season 3. It’s about the woman with the issue of bleeding for 12 years. She had been to all kinds of doctors and spent all of her money looking for a cure, but there wasn’t one.
The burden of rags she carried really stood out to me, and the amount of time she would’ve had to spend washing them. She was also considered unclean by the Law, and was an outcast in that culture. You can see the desperation in her words as she determined to touch only the hem of Christ’s garment, so as not to make Him unclean. I could feel the weight of having to carry her sin, and the desperation of having to do this on her own. She had been rejected by her community.
Her tiny seed of faith was enough to get that physical healing she desired as she was able to secretly touch His robe! And Christ could’ve left it at that physical level, but He didn’t. He wanted the deeper healing for her wholeness. He called out her shame. She didn’t want to be seen and was afraid that she was in trouble with the Law, but He looked her in the eye and called her Daughter in front of everyone! She had touched Him, and by the Law, that meant He was unclean too. So her need was very inconvenient for her and for Him in her mind. Imagine the healing inside of her when He pronounced her clean publicly. She had not shamed Him, and He did not shame her. He restored her, fully, and into relationship with Him, and those around her.
I had gotten to a point in my life where I decided I didn’t have any needs. I could take care of myself, thank you very much! What I didn't realize was that I was just denying them. But when you know your dad is not prepared for you, and cannot seem to hold a job down to continually take care of you, you start making up stories in your head. Satan takes every opportunity of hurt to whisper lies that make sense to us at the time. Lies like, ‘Your dad doesn’t care about you, you must not be worth that much, you’re much too needy for him, it’s better to take care of yourself than to rely on him - you could do a better job of taking care of yourself and this family anyway.’ Those are big burdens to carry as a child, and that’s when I began living life from that place of burden.
But God didn’t create us to live life on our own, and in our own strength. He created us in His image, reflecting His own relational being. He walked with us in the Garden. He asked Adam to form the animals with Him by calling out their characteristics. God was with Him, taking joy in the creativity He had just placed in Adam. He had also placed Adam and Eve in this Garden that had everything they needed, including an environment that would yield to the work God gave them to do - plant seeds of beauty and nourishment so they could multiply in the earth.
It wasn’t until Adam and Eve chose to believe the lies of satan that they were placed in a position of choosing to run from God. They found themselves apart from His holiness, and now could not receive the blessings of their former relationship with Him. Because God didn’t want them to eat from the Tree of Life and be forever stuck in this state of apartness from His presence, He banned them from the Garden. They were left to struggle on their own to plant the seeds of beauty, and the environment did not easily yield to produce abundance. This is where we find ourselves now - outside the Garden.
This is where I came to myself also - struggling to connect with this God Who tells me He provides everything for me. But I thought I could do it myself. It’s much easier than getting one’s hopes up, and having them disappointed, which is really the whole story of how my earthly father fathered me. I could pretty much count on the opposite of whatever he was promising me. Sometimes, as in the case of this memory, he didn’t have to promise anything. Sometimes it was my own desire for something better.
The hope of receiving an affirmation of beauty in my maturing had been completely dashed in his response, devoid of the emotional and physical provision a daughter would need from her father. As I looked back on this disappointment, I heard evil whisper shame into my ear: “Why would you hope for anything more? You knew this man and his horrible track record for giving. Why would you even have thought you could receive more? That was really dumb.”
The good friend I had been sharing this memory with called it out. I wouldn’t have recognized it without her. This is why we need authentic, trustworthy community.
I sucked in my breath when she showed me the lie I was believing - that I had been stupid for actually hoping. Hope is something that God our Father has designed within us. I was acting as a daughter by His design as I lifted my hope to be the Beautiful One He created me to be. My earthly father just didn’t recognize it, and had no tools for responding to me properly.
But my Daddy God does. And this is our task at hand: to take in His truth and agree with it. I am His Beautiful One. I am one whom He thinks about as often as the grains of sand on every shore of this cursed earth. I am one for whom He knows the number of hairs on my head. I am one who can set my face like flint to do His will because I know He will not disappoint me. I will not be put to shame for hoping in Him.
“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7 NLT
And I will not be let down for hoping in HIm. He has already proven Himself. The verse before this says everything about Jesus: “I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6 NLT
He didn’t hide His face. He set His like flint to do the will of our Father, because He knew He would not be disappointed. He gave up His life “for the joy set before Him”. What was that joy? It was us! It was a reunion of a relationship with Him that He knew would restore us back to Him, and back to wholeness - His original plan for us. We are His portion, and He is our prize. It’s a sure thing to hope in Him, and so I open my heart, and I put my hope in Him, and I set my face like flint, determined to do His will.