Photo credit: Pinterest, Tony Evans
Beautiful friends, I might have one more post in me for the Spiritual House series. However, stay tuned for a new series upcoming-Abiding & Walking out Sonship. We need to know who we are as children of God.
Today, I hope to impart hope from my journey. You’re reading words from a person who understands brokenness and the wilderness. I walked through abuse (verbal mostly), sickness, loss, betrayal, persecution, persecution from Christians, abandonment from my biological father, rejection from peers, rejection from family members, and so many things I won’t drudge them all up. My heart has been broken so many times; by family, in ministry, by friends…by people who claimed to love God.
When people say to me, “I wish I had your relationship with God or your life is so good,” I want to say to them, “You don’t want to go where I’ve been and walk through what I have walked through with God.”
My life has been walking through whatever I have been called to minister to. Like Jesus, I’ve had to walk it out. I went through many years of devastation…Needing miracle after miracle…Cheating death over and over…Living under persecution for almost a decade, praying, fasting…crying out for a miracles.
God didn’t always deliver me from. He delivered me through. There’s so much of my story you’ll have to hear in the Suffering with Christ book I’m working on. There’s not enough space here.
I don’t glorify suffering. I do think people need to know all of life with Jesus isn’t skipping through parks of roses. If you suffer, it doesn’t mean you don’t love God or have enough faith.
I feel I walked out of the wilderness in late 2012. Battered, bruised, tired, over trauma and near death experiences, over phony church love (yes I said it-I was tired of being beat up by Christians and imitation love), exhausted, wounded, discouraged, grief striken, and fed up. I had walked through both parents having cancer, my own sickness, too much church drama, losing a parent, losing “friends”, perpetual harassment at work, and so much more. I was done…
How do/did those wounds heal? God.
1. Forgiveness: forgive the people who’ve hurt you. Many of them don’t know God’s love. There are people in your church community/life who do not know the love of God. They can’t give what they haven’t received. You forgive (release them to God-don’t gossip, don’t seek revenge) and keep connection with God. If you’re upset with God, talk to Him. He’s not afraid of pain or you.
Pray for those who hurt you. Their greatest sin is against God. They need Him and to know Him.
2. Seek God.
My major healing didn’t happen with a SOZO, a pastor, a conference, counseling, or reading a book.
The healing began with God. Over and over He would meet with me and heal one part of me then another. Some progress was quick. Others slow and painful. I was like a person who had been backed over repeadily by a semi truck and every bone broken.
I was saved and sad. My soul was sick. Abundant life is in His word, yet I wasn’t seeing it in the people around me.
The mentality was, “As long as my spirit is okay. I’m saved. I am okay.” This is false. We can be saved, on our way to heaven and miserable because we are filled with unbelief, fear, anxiety, depression, despair, insecurity, without lasting joy, or hope.
Jesus paid for the whole person to be healed and restored!-Saved, healed, and delivered.
God is the Source of abundant life. Get to know God personally. Intimacy with God is crucial.
Quite a bit of my wounding came from other Christians who were either insensitive, ignorant (unlearned about dealing with people who had lived through trauma or abuse), unloving (let’s throw a scripture on it), wanted to be grief buddies (let’s be broken together), critical (if you were truly saved, this would not be happening to you), or they avoided or ignored me (this isn’t my problem-go see a counselor-I’m only called to love those in my circle-get your needs met elsewhere).
So I’m a huge proponent of going straight to God.
There are some great Christian counselors, pastors, people. I’ve peer counseled, led people through deliverance/inner healing. Yet I tell people to continually seek God. I’m only human. I am limited. God is not limited. He can do more in a moment than I can in a lifetime.
Pray and ask God who you should confide in. Some people aren’t concerned, they are nosey or miserable too and want company. Some are not equipped to handle other’s brokenness.
3. Learn the voice of God.
This key kept my mind. You have no idea the warfare that raged on for years because I didn’t know how to fight. Fight from victory! God already won.
In life I need His voice. God saved my life so many times through communicating with me.
I learned through His still small voice, dreams, visions, impressions, etc…He encouraged my heart, mind, emotions, spirit. His word is incredible. That’s where we started. He would speak the word to me.
The most comforting thing He showed me during a horrible time was an open vision of me sitting on His knee. In the vision He pulled up movie scenes from my life. He pointed and He acknowledged He was there. He showed me that no matter what I faced, my Papa God was always going to be there. Some things in the last few scenes nearly tore my world apart. He stood with me. He let me know ahead of time, “This will hurt. This will shake your world, yet I am there.” In that vision I was a little girl. And that’s how I view myself now, a little girl on her Father’s lap.
I live under the waterfall of His voice! Intimacy; listening…abiding.
What is He teaching me about Himself during this trial or season?
4. Forgive the Process
I’d love to say through it all I’ve been this fierce warrior of faith. I’d love to say I’ve applauded God every second of the process. Nope. After my discipleship group (some of them) turned on me, lied, gossiped, betrayed my trust…and my pastor at the time eluded to the fact I had an idolatry problem because I was wounded from being betrayed by people I’d given my entire heart to for 3.5 years….Not to mention both my parents got cancer during that time, and I was being persecuted at work. I completely shut down. I closed my life off to anyone other than God and my immediate family.
During that time with God, I had to forgive the process. Did God cause all these things? No. Did He allow them? Yes. Is He using it for His glory? Yes.
5. Soak in His love; Find hope in His word.
Soaking is my favorite thing. It’s focused time with God. It’s resting in His love. I soak with worship music or none at all. I invite God to speak, minster to my heart. Wow! He deposits so much.
His word is filled with life. I do declarations and pray the word of God. I speak to my soul. I speak to my spirit. I highly recommend investing in saying what God is saying over your situation.
“God Your word says, where Your Spirit is there is liberty!”
6. Understand it will hurt and you will grieve.
I mostly grieve with God because He understands how to deal with me. I sometimes grieve with others but not very much. Sometimes people, though well meaning, leave you feeling worse.
7. Pray for healthy, loving community.
The worst thing I found in seasons of pain and suffering was the wrong community. It’s worse than no community. We tell people to be in community, yet if it’s not rooted in true agape love and centered on Jesus it can be a disaster.
I hate it when people say, “hurting people hurt people” so don’t stay away from those who do bad things. If every time I see you I punch you in the face and say, “Hurting people hurt people,” you’d stop coming around me. At least I hope you’d confront me and say, “I love you but this behavior is not okay. Stop or I am distancing myself until you learn self control.” There’s a huge difference between being easily offended and staying in an unhealthy place.
God longs to connect you with believers who will love you!
I’m super thankful for my current church. There have been times I’ve gone in hurting and without me asking someone would come pray for me, share a word of hope, or prophetic word.
There are great churches everywhere. Find your tribe! Pray for God to bring in people who love like Him. There are some.
God longs to be the primary person to meet our needs. He also wants to love us through people. He sets the lonely in families. You are not alone.
Well, I’ve given you lots of words. I hope you know you are loved! I’m praying for you (not just saying that). If I can make it, and it was so challenging, you can too. I have more JOY today than I’ve ever had. I laugh more than any of my friends. 😄 God heals! Yes indeed.
One thought on “It’s a Journey (Notes from the Wilderness)”
Good morning my dearest friend. I pray an open heaven for you, in Jesus’ name
This is so powerful, sorry for all that you went through. I don’t know how to thank you for imitating Jesus. What could I do do be of help, assistance, encouragement for you? Oh Erin, I can’t imagine how you felt, eventhough I have had and going through some pretty tough times right now, only you know how devastating those times were for you – can’t compare. My hearts desire is to never allow someone to feel alone, specially when they are in the wilderness. It’s so easy to say, “aww that’s to bad, I’ll pray for you,” and then walk on by and never pray for that person.
This email has dug deep into my soul Erin, I totally understand. I just have to keep at it one step at a time with Jesus. Trust, rely and cling on to Jesus. Days are good and days are so sad, so alone (eventhough I know I’m not alone), God will in His perfect timing.
You know Erin, the other day I was crying and I said, “nope Maribel shake it off and go to bible study and worship the Lord.” I did go, I have to thank you Erin (how you imitate Jesus) because I thought of you, and that motivated me to shake it off. I have to continue on on this walk, regardless of how I feel. Point blank, I don’t know where to go from here, but I know that I will abide and He will guide.
Erin thank you + a zillion more thank yous. Appreciate you