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Shame, The Tool Used To Silence

Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

“Don’t you ever come near my tribe again”

“The next time I see you…”

“You have delayed your season because of this”

“You’re the reason you’re all alone”

“You are so emotionally unstable…Look at how unstable you are” (After not getting a reaction out of me)

“You have such a victim mentality”

“No one will believe you, you did this to yourself”

These are just a few of the words spoken over me as I broke free from what I believed to be a group of godly people. By the power of the Holy Spirit I did not fight back but rather, He had me speak a promise.. I would now speak against abuse within the church and help people heal from spiritual abuse.

These last words were a tool to manipulate and shame me into silence, The uncovering of true character and motives had been uncovered. Fruit had been exposed and it was rotten.

With a history of childhood trauma it was easy to believe the lies that were sown. Often abusers use things that you tell them in confidentiality and care as weapons later on. You see, these people knew I had just went through another miscarriage, my husband was deployed, and knew I had went through prior abuse within the church. They used they very things I had asked them to pray about and twisted fears and insecurities I had into what looked like truth.

I finally blocked every single person that had participated in this hurt and began to ask questions. Would He actually hurt me with my husband not home? How could a godly leader threaten me over accountability for their own actions? Was talking about my problems and asking for prayer about abuse I had suffered in the past, really a victim mentality? I am really alone right now. But I was just trying to set healthy boundaries. Was this really my fault? Where is Jesus in all this? Is this how God really feels about me?

The Anointing at Bethany is a well known testimony in the bible where Jesus was at the house of Lazarus, Martha was serving, and Mary took the pound of perfume, pure and expensive and anointed Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot had plenty to say:

“Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.”

-John 12:4-6 CSB

Judas criticized Mary’s extravagant worship to Jesus. Like many abusers He shamed because there as a hidden heart motive at play. He shamed her. But what was Jesus’ response to this?

Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” -John 12:8 CSB

Jesus spoke up for Mary. He wasn’t ashamed of her actions and He was not afraid to stand up for her when shame was thrown at her to make her feel belittled. He saw the heart of the matter.

I am not sure where you are in reading this, but I do want to let you know that if you have endured shame being thrown at you by an abuser to silence you, know Jesus’ first response is stand up for you. Spiritual abuse can be confusing because it is someone who is supposed to represent God’s character. We can often relate our abuser’s to God’s character. We can fall for the lies and shut up and shut down. I want to let you know today that no matter what was spoken over you, Jesus is not ashamed of you. His grace, His mercy, and love outweighs it all.

More To Chew On:

-The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18 CSB

-Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

 They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.

 They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
 Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.

You yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me. -Psalm 56:1-9 CSB

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. -2 Corinthians 1:3-5 CSB

Have a prayer request? I would love to pray for you. Click here.

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An Open Invitation To Be Still.

I came across a scripture I had read many times before. Maybe you know it too.

Psalm 46:10 NKJV reads:

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”.

With my eyes barely open and my coffee beginning to grow colder, I read Psalm 46:10 like this:

Be still.

And Know.

That I am God.

I continued to say it over and over and over. Hesitating, I fessed up to the Holy Spirit, “I am not even sure I know what that means.”

With gentleness and wisdom, the Holy Spirit asked me if I would like to find out.  As we began to study together the Holy Spirit revealed that to be still means to cease and relates to the word, rapha. God is also known as Jehovah Rapha, our healer. In other words, to be still means to cease, be repaired, or to be healed. To know, is to know through firsthand experience. The last part, I am God, is to display that God is exceedingly and mighty!  

All together this verse was more than just knowing of God and understanding that He fights our battles for us. To “be still and know I am God” means to cease, be repaired, be healed, through firsthand experience our exceeding and mighty God.

I had memorized this well-known verse many years before. In the stillness of what normally would be a busy morning, I began to see the impact that not being still has had on my life. At times, we can glance over known well passages of scripture without asking Jehovah Rapha to come in and do His mighty work. We go through the motions of our daily quiet time, where it becomes routine and religious. We check prayer, church, fasting, and even reading our bible off our list and fail to experience the transforming power it is meant to carry. All too often we glance over the scripture we have known for years and fail to see what Holy Spirit is trying to speak to us. The very ministry God had gifted to us through His grace becomes an idol. Our busyness can look spiritual and even look good to the outside world, but God knows our heart.

My coffee went from lukewarm to cold. Now, I could visibly see my relationship with God was beginning to grow to be the same way. While it was something that I had never intended, it was the reality of my present circumstance. I began to weep and ask for forgiveness. Unknowingly, I was about to taste freedom that my heart had been desiring. I was about to begin to hope once again.

The Holy Spirit spoke that it was time to stop going through the motions and fall back in love with Him. I had been in the wilderness for a long time. It was in the wilderness and through much suffering that I would be reintroduced to my first love. That morning was a marker to cease from the busyness, repair where things went wrong, and be healed of the hurts I had endured. It was time to get to know Abba again firsthand. It was time to see Him in an exceeding and mighty way that would blow my expectations.

I share this with you today because the same invitation that has been extended to me, has also been extended to you. Our perfect heavenly Father always has a listening ear for your questions. In fact, I believe He not only has an open ear, but desires you to ask questions. There are places in your heart that need to be mended and that need healing. God is not ashamed of where you are and you should not be either. Unlike worldly love that tries to change us to be loved, God loves us because it is who He is. As we get to know Him once again, we are transformed from the inside out.

Let’s boldly join together and welcome in the Holy Spirit to have His way. Let us cease from busyness. Only then will we begin to encounter God’s love and develop intimacy with Him once again.

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Do You Trust Me? (Testimony of God’s Faithfulness During The Unknown)

With many unknowns in the world right now, many are filled with anxiety and fear of what may come next. Thankfully while there are alot of things we do not know, we do have God whom all things were created for him and through him. God does have the answers. We also have the Word of God which is filled with promises to those who believe. We are encouraged to meditate on things that are pure, lovely, commendable, and praiseworthy. The Word of God is certainly all those things. Remember that just as what you digest in food fuels your body, your spirit is fed the same way.

This year, our family has faced alot of trials and tribulations ever before March came along. But through all the questions and sufferings, God’s faithfulness has revealed itself time and time again. The Word of God has came to fruition and our love for God has drawn deeper than ever before. One of the biggest area’s he has shown his faithfulness in is the area of provision. I have wanted to write about this for the past 2 months. But Holy Spirit has made it clear that now is the time to share. Maybe you have lost your job through unforseen circumstances that has been sweeping the globe or maybe you are not sure when the next pay check will come in, or maybe you are a small buisness owner and the numbers are not adding up. This one is for you…

On December 31st the Holy Spirit had led me to quit my job as a Store Manager and write full time. So, on January 21st we were blindsided in more than one way when a man just trying to get home from work, stopping for snacks slammed into my side of the car. We were on our way to church after we had met up for boba tea, it was dry and clear when the wreck happened. There was no reason this should have happened. We crawled out of the car with the help of a woman who ran from across the street and were greeted with the man who I could see was feeling condemned. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, what was in me came out. I proceeded to tell him that we forgave him, life happens, and I didn’t know what his finances looked like, but God would provide. There were alot of unknowns in this moment. There were sirens and lights everywhere. It was cold, I figured that’s why my nose was running. My knee and head were hurting, my husband was sitting on the curb, and our poor Rhonda the Honda was displayed all over Jackson street. I kneeled down and sat with my husband and began to pray the promises of God and his peace flooded over our soul.

The hospital visit will be another post. But we came out with minor injuries other than the concussion that left me a little fuzzy to say the least.

We got the news that Rhonda The Honda was totaled and we were down to one vehicle. The unknowns remained the same. We had no health insurance. How much were these bills going to be? How were we going to get the money? The Lord told me to quit, but should I go ask for my job back? Our car was upside down. Would insurance cover it? Everyone was telling us to sue, but is that biblical? That man needed forgivness and that was surely no way to show him redemptive love. But the Lord continued to meet us where we were at and reveal to us his promises again and again.

I want to share below some of the promises that he shared with us that we declared every single day, sometimes multiple times a day.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV

Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears! Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shame-face again. When I had nothing, desperate and defeated, I cried out to the Lord and he heard me, bringing his miracle-deliverance when I needed it most. The angel of the Lord stooped down to listen as I prayed, encircling me, empowering me, and showing me how to escape. He will do this for everyone who fears God. Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God. Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives to all who turn to hide themselves in him. Worship in awe and wonder, all you who’ve been made holy! For all who fear him will feast with plenty. Even the strong and the wealthy grow weak and hungry, but those who passionately pursue the Lord will never lack any good thing.
Psalms 34:4‭-‬10 TPT (and the rest of Psalms 34)

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Malachi 3:10 NKJV

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord , Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Psalms 121:1‭-‬3 NKJV

God will give swift justice to those who don’t give up. So be ever praying, ever expecting, just like the widow was with the judge. Yet when the Son of Man comes back, will he find this kind of persistent faithfulness in his people?”
Luke 18:8 TPT

Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 CSB

There were many more. As I sought the Lord each time he spoke through his word and prayer. He was going to provide, he knew this was going to happen and he’s already made a way, and if I fixed my mind on what he was speaking, I would be filled with peace.

When we are going through hard times it is so easy to fill ourselves up with junk (social media, the news, what people think, ect.) but it is of great importance that we focus on what God is speaking.

God kept his promises to us. Our car may have been upside down but he answered our prayer to get out of debt and our car is paid in full through the accident. We didn’t have health insurance but our medical bills were paid due to the man at the accident taking fault at the accident through his honesty. I ended up getting paid through the job I quit months after the accident because they never took me out of the system. I called my previous boss and told them that I was still getting paid and he told me that he had already talked to HR and to keep the money and thanked me for my honesty. In turn I was able to share God’s faithfulness to provide with him and how he had been a vessel to provide for us in a time of need. Last but certainly not least, we did not sue but God still provided us money for the concussion and injuries we suffered.

There are a couple things I learned from this accident. One is that when hard times happen, what is in us comes out. We need to be constantly filling ourselves up with the ultimate truth, The Word Of God. If I wouldn’t have been filled up with the word it would’ve been easy to react in anger for the man hitting us. Yet, God’s love and forgiveness shown through to the man who just wanted to get home from work. The second thing that I learned from the accident is that faith is exactly what the word of God says, something we cannot see. We had no idea how God was going to work things out, we just knew he would because we had his promises and we believed he would come through for us.

I am not sure where you are right now or what you are dealing with. However, I know from experience that God is faithful and his word cannot come back void. Your job is not the ultimate provider, God is and he has promised to take care of you. Your health may seem like it is in shambles, but God has promised you not a Spirit of fear, or timidy, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Jesus took lashes upon his back for you to be healed and has promised through Psalms 91 Angel’s on assignment on your behalf.

Things could have turned out way worse in that accident. A concussion from cracking the windshield was not bad in comparison to what could’ve happened. Yet God my hedge of protection was with me and I am now healed of all injuries. Throughout healing from the TBI, I did not feel like myself but God continued to say “do you trust me?”. Today I believe he is saying the same thing to you, “Do you trust me?”. He is trustworthy, he is faithful, and has proved in my life that he can use anything he sees fit to provide. He does not have favorites and will do the same for you.

I challenge you to go into a quiet space and come boldly before the throne, laying all your concerns before him. There is where you will recieve his mercy and grace. Prayerfully dive into his word and grasp on to his promises, declaring them outloud throughout the day. Remember, they cannot come back void. God is willing to give you what you want and need, ask him. He does not do so reluctantly, he loves his children.

Do you trust him?

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Grace Like Scarlett (Grieving With Hope After Miscarriage And Loss) Adriel Booker ~ Book Review

Book Information:

Title: Grace Like Scarlett (Grieving With Hope After Miscarriage And Loss)

Author: Adriel Booker

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 0801075815

Price: On Sale Right Now For $10.38!! (Normally $14.99)

Affiliate Link To Amazon: https://amzn.to/2vForg9

Book Review

Grace Like Scarlett by Adriel Booker has been one of the pivotal tools to healing through the loss of our child. When I thought I was alone and my feelings I felt were out of the ordinary, I read through the pages Adriel poured her heart upon and the testimonies of the other women found within the pages. I was no longer alone, shame was no longer holding me captive, and I was well on my way to healing with Jesus’ hand interweaving with mine.

Grace Like Scarlett is a wonderful guide to help you grieve and begin to heal with absolutely no timeline attached. The pages are filled with grace and God’s love, from the very front all the way to the back. The book is not only memorable but easily relatable in one of the hardest journey’s you could possibly make as a woman.

I love that Adriel admits she is still healing and that grief is different for all of us. She reminds us to not compare our journey’s but to exhort one another. Another thing that I love about this book is that she always brings you back to the only one that can heal, Jesus Christ.

Everytime I thought the storm would consume me, his grace sustained me.

Adriel Booker (Grace Like Scarlett)

I was pleasantly suprised at the amount of tools that were given to not only the grieving Momma but the Father too. I believe the tools she placed in the back are a great bonus to the overall text of the book.

While I have finished reading Grace Like Scarlett for the very first time, it surely will not be my last. Throughout my personal healing journey from miscarriage I will be able to grab this and remember once again that I am not alone and where God is in the midst of all this.

Overall, I give this book a 5 out of 5. I cannot put enough emphasis on how it has helped me heal and brought me closer to God during such a dark moment of my life. Adriel Booker points you to the silver linings of one if the hardest things you may ever endure as a woman, losing a child. If you or someone you know has went through or is going through the loss of a child, please give them this tool. I thank God that he has placed it in my lap to heal.

We love you Tater Tot and miss you every single day. We cannot wait to meet you in heaven. 03.01.2020 is the beginning of a redemption story that has yet to unfold. Loving and missing you always. -Momma & Daddy

**This book was not sponsored or given to be reviewed. I just loved it so much and believe in the words written on the pages that I had to share it with you!

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Impressions From The Holy Spirit-Coronavirus & Everything Else That Breathes Fear

As I see the chaos surround us, my focus shifts to the things above and I am reminded that this cannot end in anything but victory. The coronavirus has everyone running rampant. In my 26 years of life, this is what seems to making everyone go wild. Honestly, I have been one of those people that kept sharing toliet paper memes because I have not been able to understand why people are freaking out.

And then I felt an impression upon my heart from the Holy Spirit to ask him why people are acting like this is it, this is the end. So I did and to my surprise, what he said brought me to tears.

As a believer, I am not in fear but standing in faith. I know that I am protected by God’s angels that are on assignment for me and no plague can touch our home. I am met with peace as my thoughts are fixed on the things above. That we are apart of one big redemption story, God’s plan for humanity. Psalms 91 has became very real and since us going through a miscarriage I have asked God the hard questions, even being mad at God for something he didn’t do and he has never left me. In fact, he has wrapped me with his grace and mercy, leading me closer to his heart.

But as someone who did not always know God, I remember what it was like to feel hopeless and being filled with fear and anxiety of what could happen next. What comes after life? Is this mediocre life here on earth really all there is?

So when there are people who do not know Jesus (maybe that is you) or maybe you do not have a true revelation of who God is, the devil’s agenda is easily tucked away in your racing thoughts that slowly sink into your heart.

God the Father, Abba, is grieved by those who do not know him and that do not have hope right now. He is also grieved by those who do have hope and have not shared the greatest news ever, The Gospel.

All of the fear, chaos, and distraction, has been the same since the very beginning. The devil attacks us with fear to paralyze us from moving forward into what God has for us. He plants seeds of doubt for us to question the goodness of God and then shames us for it later. He is ugly and a cheap shot. But remember, he does not win!

Coronavirus is real and people are really dying, I am not oblivious to this and neither is God. He wants the church to yield to the Holy Spirit, rising up in faith and doing what he has always called the church to do, PRAY, LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, and KEEP AN ETERNAL FOCUS. This can only be done by continually trusting in him and acting in obedience when he calls us to act, dropping all fear of man and acting out of fear and reverence for the one true God.

Going through a time of pain with miscarrying our first child made me aware that pain and fear is blinding to the truth. So if you are in a place of fear or pain, I encourage you to be washed in God’s word and pray in the spirit.

Below are some scriptures to meditate on. They aren’t just words on a screen. This is the living, breathing, and active WORD of GOD. Declare them over yourself and be assured that God is with you.

Scripture To Meditate On:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
-Psalms 91 NKJV

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:14-28 NKJV

For God has not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. -2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drinking anything deadly it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. -Mark 16:17-18 NKJV

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting you are upon him, for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. – 1 Peter 5:6-10 NKJV

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind stayed on you, because he trusts in you. -Isaiah 26:3

Some Other Good Ones:

  • Joshua 1:7-9
  • Ephesians 6
  • Psalms 116:3-11
  • James 1:2-4
  • Luke 21:19
  • Isaiah 43:2
  • 2 Corinthians 1:8-10