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Thanksgiving 2017

It’s the day after Thanksgiving & my family is celebrating today.

As I consider all that has transpired since last Thanksgiving, I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve deepened my walk with the Lord more & more. THAT has made the biggest difference of all.

Around lunchtime today, my family will gather in my grandmother’s living room & join hands. It will be as hot as a North Carolina summer day in there from all the body heat & we will share what we’re thankful for. This typically creates anxiety for me, as all eyes will be on me when it’s my turn. I take many deep breaths as the time for me to share comes closer. I steady my insides as best I can. I try my best not to say the cliche things, like family, health & freedom, although I am incredibly thankful for those things.

So what will I say this year?

More & more, I feel compelled to share that I’m thankful for my thorn… all that creates a deeper need in me for the Lord… which is mainly my complicated family situation. The Lord has taught me this year to stop praying for the situation to be fixed. It’s not that I don’t want everything to be fixed… I certainly do. I want the pain to stop, to go away. I want restored relationships. I don’t believe it is wrong to want those things, but I realized something new about how that’s going to happen. Restoration & healing will not happen until our hearts are in a love-relationship with Jesus with an understanding of our calling as “little Christs.” My prayer for my family is that Jesus would make us more like Him, that He would heal our hearts as individuals. I have faith that our individual healings would lead to an overall healing.

So, my thorn. It hurts every day. Some days, I wish it away. I’m ashamed of all the days I beg for a pain-free life. Those days are the days I’m trying to carry it myself.

The other days… the Jesus-carrying-me days… I am grateful for “the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages.”

My pain being an avenue for the Lord’s pursuit of me is one of THE greatest gifts given to me in my life. Oh, that I am worthy of His pursuit.

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Would You Like Your Pain Gift-Wrapped?

My car radio is usually on 1 of 2 stations: 98.3 HIS Radio or 106.9 The Light. I was listening to 98.3 on my way home from work the other day. I particularly like the afternoon show with Erica, called, “The Living Room.” She shared a recorded bit from MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart, talking about his son’s Type 1 Diabetes that he was diagnosed with at the age of 2. He references what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12 about the thorn in his flesh… and his son’s situation really being an inspiration for MercyMe’s song, “Even If.” (I’ve included the YouTube link for the song at the end of the post.) Ever since I heard that bit, I’ve been really considering that passage.

In 2nd Corinthians 12, Paul writes:

7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

 

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

‘A thorn in my flesh’ is probably the most well known translation of The Message’s ‘handicap.’ When I think of a thorn, I think of pain… a small pain, but pain nonetheless.

Paul says his thorn, this source of pain, is a gift. Wait. Whaaaaat? A GIFT? Are you kidding me?

That’s the response I’ve had for awhile now. I couldn’t believe that a thorn could be considered a gift. It seemed absurd, absolutely nuts, & downright crazy. I suppose apart of my response was birthed from a place of insecurity & spiritual immaturity. This mindset obviously made me look bad, because I was NOT in a place where I thought that way about the brokenness of my family. I also recognize that I’ve had to feel & process A LOT over the past 5 years… so it’s not just the insecurity & spiritual immaturity.

Since hearing that bit on HIS Radio, I’ve looked at the brokenness of my family through the lens of Paul’s gift mindset. I’ve asked myself what gifts I wouldn’t otherwise have if it weren’t for this reality of my life. There are many, but there is one big kahuna gift that I felt compelled to share with you all.

I asked Jesus into my heart as a 6-year-old… so pretty much all of life that I am capable of remembering has been spent as a believer. Over all, my prayer & Bible reading habits have been mediocre at best. I’ve heard it said that God uses to pain to get our attention. That certainly worked with me. It took me 3 years after the start of my pain-processing to get back into church. God has worked in unimaginable ways in my life since I began reciprocating the desire to be in relationship with Him & actually pursuing that. I’m reading the Word & praying daily, which has been a game-changer.

I, like Paul, have prayed for the removal of my thorn, for the healing of these broken relationships. I don’t believe I was wrong for praying that. After all, God DOES call us to leave peaceably with all, as much as it depends on us. I had done what I could do to live peaceable with my parents, but they didn’t respond to my efforts. I’ve prayed for restoration. God HAS restored… me & my heart back to Him. I’ve needed that more than I’ll ever need my parents.

Now, I can say that my thorn is a gift.

Every day my dad rejects me is another opportunity to bask in the Word & have it speak truth over how accepted by THE Father I truly am. A gift.

Every day my mom chooses the addiction lifestyle over having a relationship with me is another opportunity to have the ultimate Healer breathe peace into my heart. A gift.

Every minute of my life is spent in those realities, so every minute of my life, I am gifted with a greater need for Him, a greater dependence on Him, a greater understanding of Him. This is a gift, my friends. This is everything.

 

***“Even If” by MercyMe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y

Sister, Sister

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My sister turns 22 today. (She’s the little cutie on the right with the white-blond hair, her childhood trademark.)

As I look back over our lives as sisters, I am overcome with gratitude.

She is irreplaceable to me. No one can ever know my childhood & adolescence as intimately as she does, because she lived those seasons with me. We’ve experienced a lot of happy times together. We’ve experienced a lot of trauma together.

I was a turd big sister. I was. I know that must be hard for you, the reader, to believe. She will never let me forget it. I constantly tried provoking her. I didn’t want her to be around when I was hanging out with my friends. During our parents’ divorce, I once tried convincing her to go live at the other parent’s house.

When I wasn’t busy being a turd to her, being a big sister was the most important role in my life during my elementary-aged years, besides being a student. Our dad had primary custody of us, a rare circumstance, as moms typically get primary or full custody. Spending more time with our dad meant I helped out a lot with hair, getting dressed, etc… ya know, girl stuff, the stuff dads are bad at. I also taught her how to spell my name… another important thing for her to know 😉 When I learned how to spell my name, I’d say, “Do you know how to spell my name? K-A-I-T-L-I-N!” She still remembers that vividly… I know she’s rolling her eyes, laughing, as she reads this… that’s how she tells this story to others.

I’ve known sisters who aren’t very close & I mourn the relationship they never had, because I know what it is to have a sister who is my very best friend. The sweet thing about my biological sister also being my sister in Christ is that where there is death, Jesus always brings resurrection. Through the death divorce brings a biological family, our relationship has grown closer. Through the death emotional rejection from our dad brings, our relationship has blossomed.

Our relationship is priceless.

My sister, my best friend, my roommate, my Maid of Honor… SHE is PRICELESS.

Happy birthday, Tori, ToriTurds, ToriToots, Sharky, Torti.

You are loved more than you know.

Sin Ranking

Have you ever found yourself ranking sin?

Murder is THE WORST. Sexual sin… pretty high up there. Gossiping… not really a big deal. Hating your boss… ehh, don’t we all hate our boss? Lied to your significant other… it was just a little white lie about something that isn’t THAT important… at least you don’t cheat, right?

I’m convinced it’s apart of human nature to compare, to size up, to inflate someone else’s sin to make us feel better about our own sin.

Last night, my Bible Study group started a new study called “Goliath Must Fall.” I bet you can guess the theme… overcoming the giants you face. These giants can be sins, unhealthy thought life, unhealthy emotional patterns, etc. The author asked us to answer one of two questions:

  1. How have you changed in the past five years?
  2. How would you like to change in the next five years?

I felt compelled to answer question one, to expose a giant that I generally kept hidden, a giant that I never imagined would be mine to face. My heart was racing, as I was about to be vulnerable, exposing myself to potential judgment.

It’s been four and a half long years on my healing journey. Four and a half years ago, I moved out of my dad and his wife’s emotionally abusive home. A few days later, my dad went to Afghanistan for seven months. When he returned, he didn’t let me know he was home. You know those sweet videos where a loved one comes home from serving overseas & they surprise their family & they all hug each other tighter than tight? Yeah, I didn’t get that. As far as I was concerned, he was still on an air base in Afghanistan… I saw a picture on Facebook of him with family. That was how I found out he was home. I’d lost a lot of weight at the time (because of my exercise regimen, not at all related to my emotional state). Losing weight meant that I gained a lot of male attention that I’d never really received before. Pair that with complete rejection from Daddy… I became a statistic. I chose it. I chose an impure lifestyle. I knew what I was doing. I may not have been mature enough to really examine and admit why, but I knew I wasn’t choosing God’s best.

Up until my early 20’s, I’d been living as a victim of the emotional rape that divorce and emotional abuse inflicts. I was so busy floating between my biological parents’ homes & flying under the radar to avoid any conflict with my dad’s wife that I didn’t have time to get into boys, the wrong crowd, drugs, & alcohol. Once I was out, the Lord allowed me to go down a new road & experience firsthand the emotional pain that living impurely brings. You see, I’d never really committed a big sin, so this was my first rodeo.

Yes, the Lord allowed to me to choose pain. He knows that gives Him an opportunity to heal, to bring us closer to Him than before.

I used to think that I was generally a good Christian, because I’d never committed a racy, juicy sin. Now, with new eyes, I look around & see that we’re all in the same boat, sinners on this beautiful sea of grace… each drop full of reckoning, revival, & recovery.

While I’ve already admitted a lot here, I have one more thing to share. When you Google the meaning of my name, this is what pops up:

The name Kaitlin is an Irish baby name. In Irish, the meaning of the name Kaitlin is: Modern phonetic form of the Irish name Caitlin from Catherine meaning pure.

I am certain that divine inspiration did not lead my parents to choose my name. My guess is (& I’d be willing to bet money on this) that they didn’t even consider the meaning of the name. This makes me a little mad, I’m not gonna lie. For those that know me well, y’all know how much care & thought I’d put into something like that… I’m SO the opposite of my parents, thank goodness! 😉 God knew, though. He knew that He was going to teach me through the meaning of my name. He knew He’d bring healing to my heart & others.

Just like when Aaron, the brother of Moses, was helping direct the construction of the golden calf at the bottom of the mountain, God was speaking to Moses on the mountaintop about anointing Aaron to be a high priest. He lets us go down that road & His good thoughts about us, His good plans for us never waiver. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences, but His love is still there through it all.

That impure season of my life has taught me much. Sin is sin across the board. Sin is why there is so much hurt in the world. I need Jesus more than I ever realized. Jesus has been waiting for me to run to Him the entire time. People who love me continue to love me even after they know about my biggest regret in life. (This is something I have been particularly apprehensive about.) Lastly, God can & wants to use my biggest regret & my recovery to spark revival in others.

As someone who grew up in the Christian community, this struggle has been extremely difficult to navigate. Please don’t go it alone. I’d be happy to listen, to be there, to pray. Feel free to reach out & let’s chat.

Forgetting Him

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Today, I’m claiming my eternal, divine heritage. I’m claiming it over myself, because I have forgotten these past couple of weeks in the midst of fear, anxiety, pain, stress, busyness, overthinking.

 

Abba Father has welcomed me into His family, no matter the circumstances of my biological family. He loves me with an everlasting, unconditional love unlike any love that could be given to me or by me. 

 

I have forgotten these past few weeks. Forgetting what the Lord has done in my life & who I am because of Jesus puts distance between Him & I. I prayed for forgiveness of my humanity, my ability to quickly forget, my finite mind that can’t see the big picture that He’s weaving. 

 

Awareness is something I need to practice more often. I want to be aware of WHO I am functioning out of… myself or Him. Am I viewing me & my circumstances through my limited, often fearful scope or His loving, all-good, powerful scope?

 

I am walking in the freedom of belonging to His family, of existing in His perfect love always & knowing He’s got me.

 

•Explanation of the weird, but meaningful photo: This picture is a couple years old. I was exiting a blue playground tunnel. I was working for the Y in the After School Program. I’ve always loved this photo & all the meanings it has taken for me. The bright light, my smile, the light reflecting off the top of the inside of the tunnel… This is what today feels like… coming out of a dark tunnel, with hints of light within the whole time, even though I never looked up to see them & joy, joy, joy.

Looking for Lovely

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Isn’t it something when we notice some thing for the first time that we’ve probably looked at or experienced countless times before, but never really seen or been aware of before?

Like the flowers growing right beside where I park my car everyday. Like how my niece has heard my real name said but continues to call me her nickname for me. Like waking up with the ability to see, hear, walk, talk & function independently.

This bright pop of color caught my eye this morning as I walked out to my car to go to work. I wondered how many times in the past week I’ve breezed right past it without ever really seeing it. I wondered how much beauty in my life, tangible items, moments & who people are, that I’d never slowed down enough to notice. How many things am I so accustomed to that I no longer enjoy the beauty & uniqueness that comes along with having those things in my life?

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s cliche… but it’s true… and sad. What makes us not truly appreciate what we have until we no longer have it?

Change has a way of highlighting the things we are most thankful for.

How would the sum of our lives be different if we made a habit out of really seeing & living gratefully, instead of just looking & just existing? How could we impact others by intentionally seeing & expressing to them the beauty of their beings? How would the sum of our lives be different if we made a habit out of seeing the beauty on the front end, instead of change being the catalyst for our gratitude?

The struggle is real…

I began writing this post several (over 6) months ago. I suppose I felt as if it were too emotional of a post to share… something too raw, too much pain seeping out the sides… something I obviously didn’t want to post, but I didn’t want to trash either.

Post starts here:

The struggle is real. My struggle is real.

I’d be lying if I said I always immediately think of what Jesus would do in my struggle. I’d be lying if I said I have forgiven all guilty parties. I’d be lying if I said I have completely anger-free days. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t thought of how much easier it would be to not live this life. I’d be lying if, right now, I said that I’m not struggling today.

While I am immensely aware that my struggle is real, I am quick to forget how real my God is… how much more capable He is of carrying my burden than I am… how He is working all of this, every single detail, for the good… how He has always been in the business of restoration… and so much more.

My emotions are bubbling up today. I am more than ready to bless someone out, but not in the southern woman kind of way… I won’t be saying, “Oh, bless your heart!” I am ready to let those who have hurt me know just how much wrong they’ve done.

I feel… I guess it would be helpful to think a little here… to get a grip on these overwhelming emotions and remind myself of some truth that is never-changing, unlike emotions.

I know

Post ends here. I’m not sure how that last sentence was going to end… Who doesn’t like a little mystery?

Visiting old writing is like digging up a time capsule, cracking it open & finding a younger version of yourself displayed in the items it contained. I see growth. I see movement along the non-linear, kind-of-cyclical path of grief.

I am knocking on wood as you each of you reads this. You knock on wood, too, just for good measure.

I feel like I’ve reached the acceptance stage of my grief journey. Insert sigh of relief here. There. I said it. Did you knock on wood? I don’t want to jinx myself.

I know it ebbs & flows. There will be times when I’ll revert back to “earlier stages.”

Most days, I’m living in acceptance & it feels good. It feels free. It feels lighter.

That’s not to say that I’ve fully forgiven any of my parents, because I haven’t. I honestly have no idea when that will take place. How do you ever fully forgive someone who commits the same deeply hurtful offense against you every single day? Daily, I suppose, is the answer. I forgive them daily… I try to, at least. I recognize that the days when I least feel like praying for them are the days that I need to pray more fervently for them. I think the devil would have me follow my feelings & just live in & out of my hurt, so I try to combat that as best I can.

So, to complete that months-old, unfinished sentence…

I know that Jesus has been the one to bring me this far through the grief. I know that this cross is mine to bear & it’s mine on purpose. I know that God will honor my obedience. I know that my story isn’t over yet. I know God has more restoration to come.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Feelings

The other day, my fingertips flew over the keyboard keys as I composed an ever-so-emotional post about the purpose in who your (my) parents are. Tears pooled in my eyes & I knew I couldn’t post it. I would sound too emotional. Too angry. Too sad. Too all over the place. I saved the draft & so it sits with 6ish other unfinished posts.

When situations are messy, emotions are too. This is a less-than-fun truth to come to grips with. Emotions can be chaotic, deceitful & just downright overwhelming. Emotions need honest evaluating & intentional managing. Both of which most of us aren’t willing to do.

Today’s world pushing the “feelings agenda” doesn’t help us ladies (or men for that matter) learn how to honestly evaluate & intentionally manage our emotions. We are constantly bombarded with the notion that what we feel is true. The end. Period. What a tactful agenda to push when you think about it. Anything goes, each person’s truth isn’t debatable & that creates chaos that often overshadows more important issues, along with other things. End tiny rant 🙂

I can think of numerous instances in which a feeling of mine changed momentarily & then changed again. I’ve felt nervous to share something vulnerable with someone & that faded once I opened up to that person. I’ve felt angry at my fiance’ when we haven’t seen eye to eye & that faded when we found a middle-ground compromise. I’ve felt depressed about an unmoving situation & that faded when I chose to focus on what I could “move” in the situation.

God made us emotional beings on purpose. He created all the emotions we feel, after all. Emotions aren’t bad, but what we do with them can lead us down a path that isn’t the healthiest option. When we choose to honestly evaluate what we’re feeling & intentionally manage our feelings, we’re onto something good! When we choose to let our feelings run the show, we choose less than the best for ourselves.

So, how can we honestly evaluate our emotions? This takes awareness & answering the vulnerable question of, “Is this based on a feeling or truth?” I’ve found myself saying that I don’t like someone without really knowing them. I then ask myself if I feel that way out of an insecurity I have, if they remind me of someone who has hurt me, etc. OR if that person has actually done something that would merit me not being so fond of them. Sadly, more times than not, the root is something lacking within myself (whether it’s confidence, joy, etc.). It is in those moments that I must choose to get over myself & give that person a chance, no matter the vulnerability risk. That is the second part of the equation… intentionally managing the emotion(s).

What this all comes down to is choice. The “feelings agenda” leaves everyone a victim to their feelings & the feelings of others. What a prison-like existence…

Instead, let’s live honestly & intentionally. We have a choice in all of this.

Mama’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you sweet mamas out there!

At work on Friday, many erroneously wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I smiled, thanked them & mumbled under my breath as they walked away that I’m not a mom (yet). It’s the thought that counts, I know.

The more Mother’s Days I live through, the easier it gets to not have a mom who I can find an appropriate Hallmark card for at Walgreens. (Thank goodness I can make my own cards.) The same goes for Father’s Days. My healing journey certainly isn’t linear, so I’m likely to experience some emotional backsliding at times, but, finally, at 25, I’ve started to accept that this, my story, is my cross to bear. It’s taken a lot of tears, prayers (my own & those of others) & courage to talk about & work on the emotional damage.

As I prayed yesterday morning, the Lord laid it on my heart that my mama was chosen to birth me. Even though now me having peace means she cannot be apart of my life, her being my mama was on purpose. It’s tough to acknowledge & accept that, as she has hurt me deeply. I don’t want to acknowledge or accept that sometimes. I would be lying if I told you I haven’t thought it would’ve been better for her to have never become a mother. I know that means these words would never exist & I wouldn’t either. Nevertheless, I must recognize that God’s divine plan was for Wanda Shields to birth Kaitlin Johnston.

Just as the Lord destined for my mama to be my mama, He planned ahead for her lacking. He chose my daddy to be my daddy. He gave my daddy a loving mama, who would love me like a mama. He already had this taken care of before I entered the world. He knew long before I was born that the devil would use emotional pain & prescription meds to take my mama.

I would say I miss her, but I never fully had her in the first place. So I guess I should say that I wish I could have a healthy mama. I haven’t heard her voice, seen her face or been wrapped in her hug in 2 years. Once in a blue moon, I will have a good 5 minute cry grieving her, but then I remember the peace the Lord has afforded me since I told her, in love, that she needs to get better before I can have a relationship with her. I can’t give up that long-term peace for temporary feelings. Now that I’m planning a wedding, a part of me desires to have her to talk to… to share wedding details with, to daydream with about what my dress will look like, etc. It’s tough, y’all. Wedding traditions are growing to be one of my least favorite things, as a child of a broken biological family & an emotionally abusive blended family…

As I mentioned earlier, my daddy’s mama has loved me like a mama. Boy am I blessed to be her grandbaby! I really cannot begin to express my gratitude to the Lord for planning Nancy Jones to be my Mamaw. He had me taken care of all along! (& He’s got you, too! Even if you can’t see it now.) At this point in my life, I say I have 2 moms, but they’re not lesbians. Mamaw & my aunt, my daddy’s sister. I am also incredibly blessed that the Lord planned Kim Johnston to be my aunt. I imagine what relationships I share with Mamaw & my aunt are what daughters refer to when they say their moms are their best friends. I can be real with them. I can ask for advice knowing their wisdom will be sound. I know they love me unconditionally.

I have other “2nd moms” in my life. I feel like we all end up with ladies in our lives who loves us like their own. These ladies are hugs from heaven & they have each served unique mom-like purposes in my life. I am so thankful for each of them… Tina Cook, Amanda Wood-Williams, Deanna Coffey, Henrietta Whisenant, Vicki Graham, Beth Hobbs Smith, Terri Hare, Tammy Gordon & more.

I also want to take a little time to acknowledge my future mother-in-law, Donna Briggs Phifer. Donna, my heart is saddened that I’ll never get to meet you on this side of glory. I’m hoping I’ll get to meet you on the other side. I want you to know that your baby boy is a better man because of you. Kidney disease took your body way too soon, but please know Josh has grown by leaps & bounds because of the Lord’s plan for your life. It wasn’t all for nothing. Everything has served a purpose.

I am sad that I’ll only ever hear stories about you & how funny you were. As I get to know your family & see how much fun they have together, I know that you have left a lasting impact on each of their lives. The love your family has for you has been such a blessing to witness.

While I’ll always be sad that you aren’t here, I will rejoice knowing that your impact on my future husband will trickle down into the lives of our future children. All I hear about you is the joy that you had. While it would be easy to remain sorrowful, I want to live joyfully, in your honor. I want my kids, your grandbabies, to know & remember me as a joyful mama, just as your kids describe you. If my kids have half the love for me that yours have for you, I’ll consider myself blessed.

So while I can’t deliver a card to you now, as I so desire to, I’m asking the Lord to send an angel to you to convey my heart. Trust me, your hand-drawn card would be beautiful with vibrant colors & meaningful words. Happy Mother’s Day, Donna.

Mamas are so important. Often, their everyday tasks, which help shape their babies’ lives, go unnoticed & unappreciated, as the tasks might seem trivial. Today, my hat is off to you, mamas, for braving baby-raising. It takes true guts to do so. I hope you all feel honored & appreciated on this special day!

Sending all my love.

Emotional Byproducts of Rejection Part 2: Drawing Boundaries

Last week, I laid out my journey through the first part of the activity from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. The instructions say to list out the ways rejection make you feel. I filled in the 5 available blanks. (I won’t bore you with a word-for-word rehash, so check out Part 1, where you can see a slideshow laying out the 5 feelings I named: https://merakihealingblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/emotional-byproducts-of-rejection-part-1-facing-your-byproducts/?frame-nonce=44d960cec8)

Blanks filled & heart feeling a bit raw, I moved on to the next task, although I didn’t actually complete it right then. I read the instructions & considered the mini-posters I had already labeled. As an artist, I’m always on the mission to make everything more aesthetically pleasing. I was able to incorporate my desire to beautify using washi tape with the next step in the activity… kind of! And it was more of a side-note thing, not something that the activity asked me to do…

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As you can see in the slideshow, I added one strip of washi tape to each mini-poster. This visual, while simple, has been monumental for me.

I believe you have to create a boundary in your heart & mind between the enemy’s lies & our Father’s truth. A decision must be made. A conscious effort must be put forth in choosing to throw out ideas or feelings that aren’t true, that are from the enemy.

In my case, the enemy basks in my belief that I’m unlovable, because my parents make no effort to show me that I’m worthy of their love. When I root my worth in other people, I come up short EVERY SINGLE TIME. Rooting my worth in the truth of God’s Word has me overflowing ALL THE TIME. The devil jumps for joy when I live my life based on the lie that I’m unimportant. I can easily & convincingly argue that I am unimportant… the people whose DNA make up my physical being choose a life of selfishness over me every moment that I’m breathing. When I hunker down in that dark, hopeless jail cell of despair, the enemy laughs. He knows that the door to this cell is wide open, ready for my feet to cross from hell-on-earth bondage to heaven-on-earth freedom… I can choose to recognize & embrace what the Lord says is true of me or I can continue living with a false identity.

I have often heard in movies this concept of reinventing oneself… move to another town, start over where nobody knows you, wear the style of clothing you’ve always wanted to wear but didn’t have the guts to, go out with all the guys you want to, even the ones who aren’t your type… the list could go on & on.

What if we reinvented the way we see ourselves, not when we look in the mirror, but when we peer into our innermost being, our souls? What if we started searching in the Bible for what our never-changing, perfectly-righteous, all-loving God says about us? And what if we actually lived our lives with the identity available to us as children of God… loved completely, important for the kingdom’s purpose, apart of His family, seen by the Creator of everything, enough through the blood of Jesus?

That’s the identity I want to operate out of… it comes when I draw the line right here & say that I’m done letting the enemy blind me to what God has in store for me.

So, I teased you a bit & I’m sorry… but I’m not. I didn’t actually get to the 2nd part of the activity instructions. A divine interruption happened & I’m so glad it did.