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gone

I purposed in my heart that I would have no expectations during our three day WHOKoinonia event. I spent time with Jesus preparing my heart to be soft and pliable and open, ready for anything. What happened, what is still happening, is a shedding of my skin, of my self, from the inside out. I had given Papa unrestricted access to my heart and He dove right in. He opened all of my doors and walked straight in, inspecting these hidden rooms, categorizing all of my hurts and wounds, and labeling them with one word. Gone. He packed it all up, carried it out, and discarded it. He opened the windows to fresh air, scrubbed the floors and walls, polished the fixtures. He breathed new life into all of my heart, all of my being, until the coating of it left no room for the old, the used, the former, the gone.

The love that now flows is different, transformed, healed. No longer working from a place of offense that gives way to rooms of hurt, mistrust, and feelings of rejection, I am working from…

I used to fear the fire

I used to fear the fire, the refining process, stripping away,  burning away. Even though it left me better, it brought me pain, lingering, overwhelming. I feared I would drown before the end, alone, unfinished.



















I used to fear the fire, but no more. Now... I welcome it, arms wide  complete surrender. I know it brings freedom, purity,  a smoothing of rough edges,  a cleansing of my soul.  And, one day completion.
Well, I know there can come fire from the sky To refine the purest of kings
Even though I know this fire brings me pain
Even so, I’m just the same

Make it rain
Make it rain down, Lord
Make it rain
Oh, make it rain*



Make It Rain by Ed Sheeran





be the good

This (race problems) is a subject that I usually leave alone but I can honestly say that I get it. I get the anger, the mistrust, the questions of racial inequality, the feelings of injustice. Being biracial opens me up to an entire world of bigotry, from both sides of the line. Just as recently as last month, I watched as open prejudices were displayed against my family. Believe me, I get it. Unfortunately, what started hundreds of years ago in this country, still has festering wounds, open sores that cannot heal, continue to bleed. Personally, I believe that the change that needs to happen is not a world wide, nation wide, or even state wide event. It is much closer than that. It is more personal than that. It is me and it is you. One at a time, removing the debris, flushing it out, bandaging it, refusing to stop the healing process, and embracing the final restoration. It is declaring that not one more incident will change our minds, our thoughts, our hearts, our voices, our action…

offenses, Jesus, and koinonia...part 2

In my last post, part 1, I wrote more in poetic form, doing a dance with the words offense and healing. I concentrated more on walls, which were my direct response to having offense. This time, I will speak more directly to the word offense.

When I looked it up, these words nearly jumped off of the page - offense : the state of being offended. This was a state that I knew well, too well. I'm not sure where I picked it up, or why, but I'm also not interested in going through any old garbage to find the underlying causes (unless Jesus directs me to). This is what I do know. My Papa healed me of living in that state, of being constantly stuck trying to work though others words and actions, trying to discern what it all meant or didn't mean.

"A spirit of offense will never let you go. You have to let it go." ~ Julie Meyer 

It didn't matter if I was actually wronged or I only perceived a wrong, the effects were exactly the same. Like if someone trips me or if I f…

offenses, Jesus and koinonia

I am a writer and yet, writing about my Koinonia experience in any great detail has been hard. It was completely and utterly beautiful, nothing that I thought and everything that I needed. All that I can say is that I was healed, not of any physical ailment, but where He knew that I needed it most, in my soul, in my spirit. I cannot pinpoint any real defining moment. I just know that by the end of it, I understood that I would never, ever be the same!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every hurt, every offense, every wound is thrown into the mix. 
Add in my justifications and stir. 
Shape the bricks. Build the wall. 
Separation. 
Me and you. Me and Jesus. 
Add another brick in the wall.

I know walls. I am a master brick maker, expert brick layer. I can build them deep and wide, with efficient promptness, meticulous care. I can take them to dizzying heights, to places that I fear to climb, therefore ensuring that I won't dare scale them. I whisper to my …

enough

"Rebellion is when you look society in the face and say I understand who you want me to be but I'm going to show you who I actually am." Anthony Anaxagorou

The biggest lie that I have ever believed is that I am just not enough.

The second one is that, because of the first one, I am not needed.

The chaos and walls and hurt that I have experienced because of these lies has scarred me. I will forever carry those marks. I suffered so much rejection at such a young age (another story, another time) that the first lie quickly became believable. There must be something inherently wrong with me. I was unacceptable as is. I spent most of my life struggling to overcome my perceived weaknesses, trying to be the Sherri that everyone else wanted. In the process, I was losing sight of the true me, the real one that I was desperate to hide, to cover and camouflage and decorate and make pretty. I have overcompensated. I have downplayed my natural strengths. I have acted out parts that w…

koinonia...preparation

Koinonia. It is a word that we have been using here at WHO a lot, but what is it? What does it truly mean?  When I looked it up in several places, the answer was basically the same. Koinonia means communion, sharing in common, fellowship with one another, "to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia." Wikipedia states : it means communion, joint participation...a gift jointly contributed.

Yes, yes, and more yes! My spirit gets incredibly excited every time that I talk about it.Igetexcited! Koinonia is a state that we should already be operating in every time that two or more of us are gathered. Bible study, small group gatherings, a coffee or lunch date, a chance meeting at the grocery store, Sunday morning gatherings - all of these are times in which koinonia could and should be flowing freely. We are gathering first because of our faith and, from that place in Him, our love and encouragement naturally pour out. We were created to be…

all in...part 2

This process of discerning what being 'all in' entails is one that has been illuminating, productive, ongoing. He is opening my eyes to see clearly, see first how to be all in with Jesus, and then how to be all in with others, to be all in with you. The second only operates effectively when the first is as it should be. As I fall in to Papa, in to His grace and mercy and love and fullness, only then am I able to have a healthy synergy with other Sons, only then can I come together with you in complete harmony, complete unity, in our common goal of advancing our Father's Kingdom. When Papa speaks to me, it is in ways that I understand, in my "papa language", in places and words and music and experiences that I can grasp and comprehend what He wants to say. It is my this. When He speaks to you, it is in ways that you understand, ways that you see, ways that you know. It is your that. Both this and that are from Papa, both are different and yet still His voice, and …

it has a name

Once again, it is in the spotlight. Famous people, youtube videos, the month of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, all of this lending more insight into this issue. or not. Because, I'll just be honest, while I know what the words mean, while I spent years involved in an abusive relationship, I'm not sure that I have any more insight as to the whys - why I didn't leave, why I didn't tell, why I protected him, why I didn't fight back, why I did, why I stayed so long after that first time, why when I finally did leave, it wasn't even a factor in my decision. This is what I do know : it seemed to be all around me at that time. I'm not sure if I ever saw it played out in front of my eyes - more like a perception that it was there, lurking behind everyone's closed doors. It was in the way that they (the guys) acted, in the way that we (the girls) reacted. It was in the motions, the looks, the words that weren't being said. It was always pre…

erasing lines

I love a good buffet. There is an Asian one that we frequent that has an awesome array of ethnic foods, including Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. There are five rows of deliciousness, plus a sushi bar, steam bar and hibachi grill. It is absolutely amazing. Can you tell how much I love this place?

Little J pointed out recently that we seem to be eating less and less each time we are there. I am of the mindset that paying for all you can eat means just that - all I can eat - but I realized that she was right. Not only was I eating less, I was being choosier about what I was consuming. I wasn't simply filling my plate with a little bit of every selection. I was walking slowly, with purpose, selecting the best options, that which I desired most, that which would be favorable for my body. It was no longer about getting my moneys worth, about filling up. It had evolved along with my ever changing thoughts about food, about what is healthy for me and what is not. This journey to eat…

and the honor goes to...part 3

This will be a series of posts in which I honor people who have made an impact in my life, both in my past and in my present. I am blessed to still have some of these people in my life; others are now celebrating with Jesus; and still others are no longer a part of my close circle, yet still made a difference to me. I want to share them with you. I want to honor them. I want them to know how much I love and respect them. The third one is dedicated to one of my very best friends, Casey B.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I met you, a little over two years ago, you were unlike everyone else in my life at that time. You came in like a whirlwind, blowing away all of my insecurities about who I am. You taught me, and still do, that it is okay to embrace the real me, with all of my junk, and faults, and scars;  that being true to myself is more important than being wha…

all in...part 1

This past weekend, hubby, Little D, Little J, and I took a road trip to visit family in Delaware. Our intentions were simple : to connect with family; for the kids to spend time at the beach; to rest and relax; and, for me personally, to spend time with Papa in a nature setting outside of my usual (the mountains). We accomplished all of our goals and I learned another lesson along the way.

My family was extremely gracious. We didn't have to do anything except show up. We stayed at their place where they already had planned a casual schedule of fun activities. We either ate out or they cooked. They drove to our destinations. As a wife and mom, this was unusual for me. I am used to doing the planning, the driving, and lately, even the cooking! At first, it felt awkward, out of character, different. But as I sat back, took in the scenes, holding hands with hubby, and engaging in conversation, I realized that this is what "all in" looks like, feels like, is. I was able to be…

the unbecoming

To know my identity has been a lifelong pursuit, even if I didn't realize exactly what that meant. Growing up, no one talked in church about knowing your identity. In fact, I feel more like we were all given the same identity, a cookie-cutter Christian type of who we should be. That never sat well with me, but I also didn't have any other options. or so I thought. I didn't know that I could simply ask my Papa and He would be more than happy to tell me. I just longed to fit in, to be seen, to be heard, to be someone, to belong. And so, I began to allow others to tell me what my identity was, to tell me who I was. I adapted, and changed, and became what they wanted, what I thought that I wanted, and I lived my life from this place. I never understood that my identity was a Papa-given thing, not what others said about me, not even what I said about myself. Papa gave it to me, before the world was created, before I was created, when I was still a loved thought of His. 

Psalm…

me

Two months ago, I began a serious, everything else takes a back seat, one week search for my identity. It had been four years in the making, which has felt both brief and endless, leisurely and rapid, all rolled up into a roller coaster of the worst kind. or the best, depending on how I looked at it. That week was one of the most amazing one on one times that I've experienced with Papa. I walked away with exactly what I had been seeking : my identity. Me. The me that He had always wanted, that He had desired, thought of, and finally, created. Me. I have it in writing, posted where I can see it, remind myself daily, lest I forget. Me.

Becoming the person I am was so painful that it almost killed me. But I would not trade this for anything.   - William C. Hannan

That four year trip was not an easy one. I've had to rethink most of what I always believed - about Papa, about myself, about others. I've had to lay things down, burn away that which I believed was me. I've had …

wounds for glory

Some would question me, my reasons, maybe even my sanity. Why? Why would I delve back into my past, into deep trenches filled with pain and blood and mistakes? Why would I dredge up memories that hold more sorrow than joy, more tears than laughter? It is simple really. I had to. Inside this chrysalis, in the midst of this metamorphosis, I had to understand the beginning, experience the caterpillar intimately, grasp her reasons and methods and thoughts. I had to know her in order to move on, to evolve, to change, to become. I had to know what to peel off, leave behind, discard. I had to know what to pick up, what to keep, to cherish. From this point in my development, I had to look back, relive with these eyes, with this heart, with His heart. I had to envision it all - the good, the bad, the painful, the happy - in order to distinguish the created me from the made me. Created is what He did when He fashioned me after His heart. Made is what I did when I tried to recreate who I though…

four leaf clovers, tattoos and legacies

Over two years ago, I wrote a post honoring my grandma F., who left this world for her eternal one 20+ years ago. You can read it here to understand the picture of my latest tattoo. This is an update to that original post.



You know how the little things are always appreciated more later in life? That is how I feel about relationships. I had so many in my earlier years, before I really knew what they meant, what those people meant, and now I can only wonder. Wonder if they understood that I was young, that I hadn't lived completely yet, that I couldn't wholly grasp the importance of life and love and what it meant to embrace fully those by my side. My grandma is one of those that I wish that I could spend time with again, time spent looking at her with these new eyes, listening with these wiser ears, talking with her about life from this place that I dwell in now. Growing up, I never, ever felt any judgment or condemnation from her, even though I was living a life outside of he…

uncovered

For what seems like an eternity (really just 4 years), I have been searching the heart of Jesus, trying to find Him, and me, and who me truly is, and living life out simultaneously. No lie, it has been scary and liberating and hard and beautiful and so many other adjectives, good and bad, all rolled up into one ongoing process. To which I hope that there is an end but know that there isn't. And that's okay. What I have learned, am learning, is making me into who I've always been called to be. and that is worth it, so so worth it.

All of these processes, and there seemed to be so many, were teaching, eye opening, life changing. It is in these places, the ones that, to outsiders, look ugly and difficult and painful, that I've been discovering a new side of Papa, one that is so much more than I ever imagined, than I was ever taught growing up, than I ever experienced before. He is my Daddy, a good one, a loving one, who disciplines from a heart of love for my wholeness, …

revolution

Let a war cry go forth that starts a revolution
People overcoming complacency
People overcoming passivity...
Let a war cry go forth that starts a revolution
People abandoning religion
People abandoning tradition...
Let a war cry go forth that starts a revolution
People embracing freedom
Taking land for the kingdom...
In spirit and truth
In spirit and truth*



Five days ago when I first started thinking through this post - freedom - I already had this song in my head. I knew that it would play a part in what I was feeling, in how this week would play out for me, in the direction my own week of freedom would take me. Before a revolution takes place, there has to be a cry in our heads, in our hearts, in our spirits. There has to be something that says 'Enough is enough. I can't do this anymore. I don't want this anymore. I want more. I want freedom. I will have freedom.' It has to move from a silent longing in our soul to a shout, to a war cry that comes up from our very core, until …

because laughter really is the best medicine

So, these past two months have been difficult for me physically as I've had more appointments and procedures than I would ever want. like in my lifetime. I'm not going to lie. I am a big baby when it comes to pain, or not feeling well. Ask my family. I am also one of those classic "self-diagnosing" patients scouring the internet until I am convinced that the worse case scenario is happening to me.  In my defense, I am occasionally right. although I am still alive.

I've been to the dentist five times and now have a two month break to see if their treatment plan is going to work or not. I'm positive that their notes on my chart contain the words "has plenty of tattoos but still an irrational fear of needles" and "have tissues ready" and maybe even "children are less dramatic than this one". On my last visit, they actually had to cover the needles with a tissue because it was causing me so much distress. I've threatened to can…

let freedom ring

This Friday is Independence Day, a day that we celebrate the adoption of America's Declaration of Independence. In this spirit, I have decided to proclaim my own declaration of independence - liberty from the mindset of slavery, of unworthiness, of rejection, of who I am not, and to claim my freedom as royalty, as an heir, as a Son, as who I am; to fully ascertain my true identity, to completely embody it as who I am, and finally, to make it my dwelling, a place from which I make every belief, every thought, every word, every action, every single piece of me line up to this truth - I. am. His. Son!

Now, I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong
But maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day
Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning
My weakness made strong, my whole life long
I don't care what they say, n
o longer astray, it's Independence Day This is His way, it's …

chiseled in stone

tired of the isolation
worn from the effort                                                                
alone, rejected, inferior are written in stone
with their hands, invading her heart
twirling in circles, leg outstretched
kicking out, breaking down the walls
fleeting glimpses of the outside
of truth and freedom and unity
murky deception shouts to stay
encouraging light beckons to come
emerging, arising from the dust
as a phoenix from the ashes
scattered stones picked up, turned over, illuminated
truth exposed, vision restored, fire ignited
included, accepted, loved are chiseled in stone
with His hand and on her heart 




secrets, shame, and sex demons...gone

My journey begins here - going once - continues here - going twice - and now the final chapter :  


And so, I have come to the end. I'm not even sure if it is finished for good, or just for now, but I am optimistic for the former. Honestly, the hardest part of this whole journey was just opening up, being transparent, telling the truth behind my fears, behind my thoughts, behind my actions. Telling my spiritual dad and my hubby was incredibly scary, but the freedom that it released was amazing. Opening the door on that closet of shame allowed in a light that chased away the fears, the humiliation, the doubts. Everything that followed was completed from a place of recovery, almost as if the sharing alone was 75% of the process. This was new, foreign to me and the usual progression of events. I worried that I was missing something, that I hadn't overturned every rock, looked in every corner, dug through every memory and incident hard enough. Why was this seeming so uncomplicated…

secrets, shame, and sex demons...going twice

I don't recall at what age I started feeling like I was unworthy, but I do know that the notion of it has been around for a long time. Those painful moments of rejection (whether real or perceived) started a very tangible, very unsightly vine in my life that has deep roots and toxic fruit. Left unchecked, it has grown and invaded and, at times, overtaken. But no more. no. more. This process has been both hard and easy, good and bad. At times, I'm left saying to Papa, "Is this it? Is this really going to be so simple?" and at other times, crying out, "I'm done. I can't face this one more minute." But He is so, so faithful and I am confident that the end to this process is within sight.

<rejection birthed unworthiness birthed insecurity birthed undesirability birthed people-pleasing>

In order to stop the rejection, I fell headlong into the trap of people pleasing. If others were happy with what I did, who I was, what I could provide, they would …

secrets, shame, and sex demons...going once

I am a wreck. I have twenty minutes to make it to my scheduled appointment with my spiritual father. Is that enough time to grab a Starbucks? Is the caffeine and sugar high really going to be beneficial? Probably not, but food is my drug and right now I need some! I arrive, on time, coffee in hand, shaking like a leaf. I can't even speak. Instead, I hand him my journal, with three pages written out for his benefit. He wants me to put my voice to it, but I simply cannot. The shame is too great. The fear of rejection is too great. I sit huddled, shaking, crying, waiting. Is this the moment, the transgression, the truth, that will send him running? Will he stand by my side as I reveal all of me, transparency at its deepest, unmasked and exposed?

<Rejection. I know it intimately. We go back a long way. I recognize it...and yet, still am surprised at its presence. I long to be free of it...and yet, still find it lurking in the corners of my life. I hate it...and yet, have come to be …

exposing the cracks

*in order to understand this post, you can read this -forgiveness- or just realize that I spent 4 years in an abusive relationship, prior to meeting my hubby.



Conflicting thoughts run through my mind, hot and cold, good and bad, all vying for a moment to be recognized, to be dissected and examined, realized and understood, and finally, accepted. It wasn't all bad, but it obviously wasn't all good either. And I think that this is where the guilt is lurking, rearing its ugly head at the most inopportune moments, in those memories of what was happy, what was good, what was (and is) a part of my life. Because let's face it. It shaped me, changed me, created new things in me. Stuff that should never have happened did, and it has made the me who stands before you now - broken and healed, fearful and fearless, sad and happy, rejected and accepted, loved and Loved. The last one is the best. To know, really know, the difference between the world's love and His Love is the only…

forgiveness breeds healing

The first time I wrote about it was really just a warning, a disclosure of sorts, to the people around me who had been unaware of this part of my life. It was my way of saying, "Hey, this is what I went through. I am not willing to process it yet, but one day I might, so be forewarned : I am an abuse survivor."

Then, in the midst of the biggest process to date (stay tuned for that one later), I realize that it and this one are holding hands, that they are intertwined and impossible to detach one from the other. Ready or not, this one is staring me in the face, demanding that it be walked through, worked out, processed, healed...and released. Really God, I have to go through two of the toughest things, at the same time?! Because I have already discussed the root of my latest fear, this is the one I am writing on, though both are being walked out simultaneously.

I have heard that one way to heal hurts from the past is to go back to that place, relive it in a way, but this time…