Tag Archives: rejection

When You Have an Absent, Abusive, or Abandoning Father… God Cares

Fathers are meant to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. So what happens when a father doesn’t fulfill his responsibilities? Emptiness happens. Depression happens. Doubt happens. Confusion happens. Children lose their way.

A neglectful father leaves his children to fend for themselves. They may have to fend for food or clothing, or they may have to fend for attention or guidance. Boys with neglectful fathers are known for being angry. They have missed out on having a man teach, lead, and guide them. Girls with neglectful fathers are known to look for love in the wrong places. They missed out on the protection, comfort, and safe haven a father should provide for them. Neglectful fathers are selfish and lazy. They don’t make an effort to ensure that their own flesh and blood will live as healthy, warm, and self-assured human beings. They aren’t there to meet their children’s deepest emotional needs, and they aren’t even aware that their children have needs at all.

Children of neglectful fathers are also often responsible for their younger siblings at home, when they have their own schoolwork to complete, and their own jobs to attend. They often work multiple jobs while going to school, so they can take care of themselves. They are so focused on survival, that they don’t even get a chance to find out who they are, or what they want to gain out of life. Their goal is to be self-sufficient, in order to leave home as soon as possible. It takes a long, long time for these angry, lonely children to heal. Some never do… unless they find Jesus.

A physically and emotionally abusive father cannot protect his children. He can be abusive in a variety of ways, and he can be abusive both directly and indirectly. A father who beats his children into submission by using physical power and fear, is not a good father. A child would be better off without him. A father who hits his wife, and not the children, is still an abusive father, causing his children confusion, anxiety, fear, helplessness, and vulnerabilility. He is teaching them sinful patterns that they will take with them and use on their own children, unless intercepted by The Holy Spirit.  A father who turns a blind eye to the fact that his wife abusing one, or several of his children; and does nothing about it, is also abusive. He is an accomplice to his wife’s cruelty for allowing it; for not taking his rightful, godly place as head of the household to make it run as God planned. He has neglected his responsibilities as a father. Physically and emotionally abusive fathers are self-centered, and dangerously angry. They lack self-control and self-esteem. Children who have physically and emotionally abusive fathers are children who run away, quit school, get caught up in addiction, have teen pregnancies, and don’t finish school.

A father who abandons his children leaves them as orphans. He may abandon them by physically walking out of their lives, or he may abandon them emotionally by “checking out.” He may spend all his free time on the golf course, or he may actually spend it at home in front of the TV set; never even getting to know his children at all, even though they live in the same house as he does. The abandoning father is selfish and self-centered. He thinks about, and cares only for himself. The children of an abandoning father grow up and move away, without ever having a relationship with their father. There is no relationship, because one never existed in the first place. Abandoning fathers often find themselves bewildered as to why their children never call or visit, but their children know the truth: their fathers walked away from them a long time ago. Some fathers physically walked away from their children and never looked back. These fathers are complete strangers to their children, and vice versa. But all types of abandoning fathers are still unknown to their children, even if they pop back into their lives “once in a while.” The abandoning father has missed out on the greatest gifts in his life… his children.

Neglectful, abusive, abandoning fathers have often come from neglectful, abusive, abandoning parents themselves. The pattern can repeat for generations without having been broken by the power and authority of Christ. The Silver Lining is that The Holy Spirit is able to grab hold of the heart of a father who is listening for God and searching to make things right and good. When this father pursues Jesus, God begins to put a stop to the toxic patterns. Jesus can break these bad, sinful patterns any time he is invited into a father’s life. Jesus can heal any of our wounds left by an absent, abusing or abandoning father.

When Jesus is invited into our hearts and minds, we are given power and authority over the pain, rejection, and lies which have been taught to us as children. God can heal us from our broken pasts. God helps husbands in Christian families to become good husbands and wonderful fathers for their children, through Jesus Christ. Jesus creates true, long-lasting change within the fathers who belong to him. He offers complete forgiveness, wipes away sin, and helps Christian fathers to become more like him each day.

Jesus also helps us to forgive our earthly fathers who have hurt us; helping us to turn them over to The Holy Spirit. This allows us to walk forward with God with a clean heart, so we can live our lives without pain, focusing on His calling for us, instead.  Jesus can even teach orphans how to be good fathers to their children on earth. Jesus also restores broken relationships between children and their fathers who have hurt them. But God must be at the center, because Jesus is the only one who can truly heal our deep wounds. This is because sins are only cleansed by his blood, and forgiveness is only offered through him.

For those with a father unwilling to allow Jesus to restore his heart, God is a Holy Father to us all. God can, and will, fill that void with his infinite love. The Bible tells us that God promises to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. God is able to redeem our lives from the pit. He helps broken fathers make amends with estranged sons and daughters when all seems lost. God creates a new generation, and He makes all things new. Fathers, let Him lead you; and show you how to be the godly, loving head of household you were called to be. Then your family will be sheltered under His great and mighty wings.

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17 New International Version).

Whomever you are, know that God is your Heavenly Father, and that He knows you and loves you; both eternally and unconditionally. Call upon His name, for Jesus is the answer:  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Invite Jesus into the center of your family, and experience the presence of the Holy Father of us all!

“And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).


Invite Jesus into your heart today, and change the generation of your family and its future generations!  HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

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DEAR DADDY, PLEASE DANCE WITH ME! (FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE: AN OPEN INVITATION)

ADOPTED BY GOD, NEVER ALONE! 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, GOD!

When the Tables are Turned, is it Abuse… or Righteous Anger?

The table was shoved over in a fit of rage when I was around eight. There’d been a bit of squabbling at the table, as happens between eight-year-old and four-year-old kids, but nothing out of the ordinary. It came as a complete shock. It was apparently the last straw; the one that broke the camel’s back. The flimsy card table in our tiny Italian kitchen was suddenly flipped over. There was a scream, and tomato rice soup was flying everywhere. What just happened? Our entire lunch was on the floor; the table upended on its side. And suddenly it was silent.

As I surveyed the red creamy soup splattered all over the walls and in puddles on the floor, we began to cry. My little sister started yelling, “My tooth! My tooth!” In a flurry of activity, we ran to kneel on the floor beside her and look into her mouth. Fear. Had the table smacked her in the face on its way down? Then, suddenly relief, as the discovery came… “It’s a piece of rice! It’s just a piece of rice!” 

I guess it was the relief, because it surely wasn’t joy, that brought the nervous laughter. Suddenly we got the impression it was not so bad after all. In fact, it was all quite funny. But it was actually only funny, because we were trained to believe it was so. The brainwashing had set in long before. I knew what to do. I was supposed to laugh along; make light of the situation. That way no one would get mad… and I wouldn’t get into trouble. And then we could all put a smile on our face and pretend it had never happened. 

What was that after all? Was it abuse, or was it righteous anger?

Well, let’s compare it to another scenario from a time long before. Instead of little kids bickering at the kitchen table, there were money changers in the courts of God’s Holy Temple. And they weren’t innocently sitting at tables eating their lunch. No. They were sitting at tables exchanging foreign money. And instead of having a little argument to top it off, merchants were also selling sheep, cattle, and doves to be sacrificed. Instead of children facing an angry woman, the merchants and money changers came face to face with an angry man… an angry man who just happened to be the Son of God! 

Jesus didn’t shove a flimsy table of food to the ground; he shoved multiple tables, scattering tons of coins: here, there, and everywhere! If that wasn’t frightening enough, he created a whip out of cords, and sent the animals running hither and dither from the temple’s courtyard! Merchants and money changers were in his Father’s House, and Jesus was mad as a hornet! Did you know that Jesus yelled too?! “To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market’ ” (John 2:16 New International Version)!

What was that after all? Was it abuse? Or was it righteous anger?

Well, if you had to choose which situation to witness, which one would you pick? I know which one I would choose. For the silver lining is in knowing that my Savior is good, and perfect, and pure. Though the scene with Jesus was extra dramatic, I would have surveyed the whole scene with peace, instead of anxiety. I would have sat on the sidelines knowing that his corded whip was not for me, nor the righteous anger, nor the disciplinary action. I also wouldn’t have been forced to fake laugh, and pretend I was okay. This is because my confidence is in Christ. My Savior knows what he is doing, has a purpose for it all the time, and it is always good.

I can see myself as a small, skinny eight-year-old girl, about the age of my daughter, sitting on a wall in the courtyard. I’m watching Jesus; glad that he is clearing the temple of the bad guys. I’m sitting in my ratty brown robe, barefoot, swinging my legs against the stone wall, waiting for him to finish his work. I can hardly wait for him to toss down the whip and head over to me. Everyone is gone; the merchants, the buyers, the money changers, and the animals. It’s just me left.  As he comes towards me, I bow my head, but it’s not out of fear. 

It’s out of reverence. It’s because I know he’s getting ready to pull me into his comforting, warm embrace of unconditional love. My head is down because I know his hand is going to touch the top of my curly auburn head, and he’s going to say, “I love you, my child. There’s nothing to fear.” But I’m not afraid anyway. And when I look up into his beautiful, dark face, and smile into his kind, brown eyes;  I nod my head. I can’t talk, because I’m overjoyed. But he understand me. He can read my mind. He knows I’ve remembered. He knows that I, just like “His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17).

Prayer: 

Dear God, turn the tables in my life. Where I am weak, make me strong. Cleanse my mind of the lies I was taught as a child. Fill me with The Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the truth. Instead of bitter anger, help me to continue to forgive those who have sinned against me, just as you have forgiven those who have sinned against you. Remove the deceit from those who have become blind to the truth. Bring instead, wisdom and discernment, to those who seek Your Face. 

Years later, I’m on fire for You, Lord. My speech, and my body have experienced the shaking strength of righteous anger, and in it I did not sin; just as you my Savior, did not sin in the temple courtyard. I am zealous for you, Jesus. I’m zealous for others to make their home with you in Heaven. It consumes me, and I don’t care if the world hates me for it. Even if I’m the only one left sitting in your courtyard, I will wait for you to come get me. I want to live in your house forever. I want my home to be wherever you may be. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your eternal love. 

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11).

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Jesus is Your ONE WAY Ticket to Heaven! Don’t Deny Him! Get on Board! 

Come on, Christian Believers… Rise up! You have to make a CHOICE! You can NOT serve two masters! Either you’re with JESUS all the way, or not at all! You can’t say you’re a Christian, and then tell other people it’s okay to worship whomever and however they choose! That’s NOT witnessing! That is denying the power and authority of GOD as the ONE and ONLY GOD! If you’re telling people you are a Christian, but you’re appealing to the masses by telling others it’s fine if they believe in another deity, or fine to participate in religious practices which are directly OPPOSED to God’s teachings; I’ve got some bad news for you… you are NOT helping the lost get to Heaven! Don’t make the mistake of denying Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for you, and gave you salvation!

Denying Jesus due to ignorance:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ignorance as: “the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.” Ignorant does not mean stupid or foolish. Being ignorant just means we’re unaware of a particular topic, or have not been educated on a specific subject. I’m intelligent, gifted, and talented in many different areas. So are you. But when it comes to Calculus, I’m completely ignorant. I know nothing about it, have never been educated in this type of Math, and frankly; I really don’t care. But one area where ignorance is NOT bliss, is the matter of receiving your salvation through Jesus Christ. Being ignorant in this area will cost you your very life… after death! 

So don’t be foolish; get educated about the truth today. Let Jesus save you now: HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!  If you have been living with the belief that everyone gets to Heaven their own way; through various religions, journeys, and beliefs, I need to break the news to you… You have been believing a LIE! For the Bible says: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him’ ” (Jn. 14:6-7 New International Version).



Denying Jesus due to confusion:

Confusion is not from God; it’s from the devil. If you’re already saved, but have still been led to believe that there are alternative ways to get to Heaven; you’re living in denial of the truth. You need to renounce the lies you’ve been taught, so you can do what you were called to do, when you made the decision to give your life to Christ: Tell others about Jesus! Why would a true Christian be so selfish and self-centered, as to keep God’s Good News all to themselves, without telling another single soul?

If you have received Jesus, yet don’t believe your life will ever get better, you are in denial of what Jesus can do for you! If you are saved, yet believe you are perfect, you are in denial of why Jesus died for you in the first place! As Christians, we must continuously repent, apologize, and ask for forgiveness often; or we are living in denial of what it means to be a Christian. Ask the Holy Spirit to impress the truth deeply within your heart, so you will know, without a doubt, that Jesus is the ONE and ONLY way to eternal life.

Denying Jesus by refusing to follow him

Some people don’t want to give up their bad habits and fleshly desires. But Jesus is here to change our hearts. When we follow him, our earthly desires will give way to holy desires. Some people choose the world, because they feel they can’t attain perfectionism, but this does not mean we aren’t supposed to try living like Jesus. People choose many sinful things, believing these evil things will satisfy them. But these evil things only lead to more evil things. The truth is, people are really looking for peace, purity, and perfection; and unless they choose Jesus, they are living in denial of the one and only path that will take them there.

If you have accepted Jesus into your heart, yet purposely choose not to live the life of a Christian, you’re denying the truth about what your salvation means. Salvation means we have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus, and have decided to follow him. The Holy Spirit impresses this upon our hearts: We are to live our lives in continuous repentance, by asking for forgiveness of our sins. We are to live in the world, but not be of the world. We should pursue Jesus and desire a relationship with him. Jesus wants a relationship with us! “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’ ” (Matt. 16:24).



Denying Jesus by pleasing the world:

To be comfortable telling others that whatever floats their boat is great for them, when we know the TRUTH… is a SIN! It is a LIE; and people who die believing that lie, are going to end up in Hell! You’re not doing anyone a favor by sharing your faith as a Christian, while at the same time, telling them it’s acceptable to delve into world religions, which do not teach that Jesus is the one and only way to God! That is to deny the very foundation, the ROCK, of Christianity… God’s Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ! Christianity is the belief that JESUS CHRIST is THE ONE and ONLY way to SALVATION! Would we set a plate for our child’s lunch, yet not fill it with food? Would we buy a friend a favorite book, with all the pages torn out? Would we put our teen drivers into a car without any brakes? Of course not!  So why would we offer them a religion lacking the crucial, key component they need to experience healing, joy, and freedom on Earth? Why would we offer a religion lacking hope and truth in Jesus Christ… the one and only way for them to get to Heaven? Why?

If you know that Jesus is the one and only way to eternal life, and you believe this to the very core of your being; why on earth would you encourage your loved ones, and the people you care about, to go about practicing any religion they choose? Is it to prove tolerance? Is it to prove you’re a well rounded, open-minded person who gets along with everyone? Is that why some parents let their children flounder in the dark, believing the lie that they shouldn’t “interfere” with their children’s religion? While we cannot force our children to choose Jesus, don’t we love them so much we want to offer them the most valuable gift of salvation? Is It a Gift?  Yes! Withholding your witness to please the world is a LIE from the devil. Ask God to remove this lie in the name of Jesus, and to remind you that sharing the truth about Jesus is the most loving gift you can ever give… It leads to eternal life!  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matt. 7:13).

Denying Jesus due to strongholds:

Jesus knew his disciples had human weaknesses, such as fear. This is why the night of his betrayal, Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter, along with all of the other disciples, vehemently disagreed. But when Jesus asked his disciples to be on guard in the Garden of Gethsemene, they fell asleep! When praying for God’s will to be done, Jesus, overwhelmed with sorrow, was so distressed over what was yet to come, that he sweat blood! Yet he still asked for His Father’s will to be done. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and then badly beaten by the Roman guards, his disciples were overcome by fear; they ran away, abandoning Jesus. They forgot to trust Jesus their Savior, who had faithfully kept all of his promises to them.

If you’re letting fear or other spirits control your actions, you’re denying your God-given power and authority to overcome strongholds through Jesus Christ! You’re denying the fact that your very best friend in the whole world is able to spiritually come to your aid during trials, and give you miraculous victory! Peter allowed fear to take over, even though he had witnessed so many miracles of Jesus; including his own amazing experience of walking on water! When two servant girls recognized Peter as having been with Jesus, Peter twice denied it; he even denied knowing Jesus at all. “After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.’ Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’  And he went outside and wept bitterly”  (Matt 26:73-75).

Denial of Jesus as THE Authority and Power of God:

Do you know “The Man?” If you have a relationship with Jesus, you will understand that anyone and everything in the entire universe comes under the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Every human, animal, and spirit must bow to him. Even if one chooses not to believe in Jesus as the one and only way to Heaven,  it’s still the truth. We can not create our own truth…  God is Truth! Someone might choose to believe night will never come, but it’s coming anyway; just as one can choose to believe Jesus isn’t real, but he’s coming back anyway! And Jesus comes with rewards… or consequences. We can choose to willingly worship God through Jesus, and be immensely blessed; or we can choose to ignore the truth, and end up living in hell for eternity. The Holy Spirit lives within true Christians, and provides wisdom and discernment against the world’s lies. Lies go against scripture, and they cause our spirits to feel “unsettled.” We need to seek wise counsel from our elders, look for answers in our bibles, and pray for God to continuously reveal truth in His timing.

If you are a Christian, and realize that you’ve helped to pass on false teachings of other world religions as being an alternative path to Heaven, you should feel conviction in your heart from The Holy Spirit. Get on your knees in repentance, and ask God to forgive you for living in denial of the fact that Jesus, and ONLY Jesus died for you; and that ONLY GOD’s SON is capable of wiping away our dirt, grime, and SIN. Forgiveness can only be given to us through Jesus Christ, and ONLY the blood of Jesus can cleanse us, and make us holy, and white as snow. Without being cleansed of sin, we can NOT enter Heaven, because sin is what separates us from God. It would be impossible for us to live in Heaven with Jesus without being washed clean! “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Denying Jesus because you’re ashamed of the gospel:

Let’s say you know fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you, and will keep you trim, healthy, and fit. Yet, you know a lot of your friends really like candy, and they want to be trim, healthy, and fit too! Your friends are very ill from eating just candy, and they never eat any fresh fruits or vegetables. You know the fruits and veggies will heal them, but you’re afraid you will be rejected for your advice; after all, you don’t want to offend them. So, you decide to tell them that if they choose to believe that eating sugary candies will help keep them trim, healthy, and fit; that they should keep on doing it In addition, you never even bother to tell them that eating fruits and vegetables will give them their desired results. Even worse, you have an entire vegetable garden and luscious fruit trees in your back yard, growing in such abundance, you can’t even harvest it all!

Wouldn’t you want to volunteer your nourishing, fresh food to your friends to help them get well? Especially when there is enough for everyone? Don’t you want to help them? Why are you not helping them? What if you find out that the candy eaters are dying from lack of the nourishment, and your nutritious fruits and veggies could have saved their lives? Would you tell them now? … Or, never? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).

Denying Jesus by not pursuing him as our Master:

Of course when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, the most brilliant gift is getting to spend eternity with him in Heaven! The silver lining in serving only Jesus Christ as our earthly Master, is that our prayers are offered to The One who can really answer them! Jesus changes us, forgives us, gives us strength and courage, talks and listens to us; Jesus has a relationship with us! No other prophet, deity, spirit, religion, or false god can provide us with any hope on earth, or the joyful gift of eternal life when we are gone!

If we pursue only Jesus, we won’t get confused about where to go when we come to a fork in the road. Do we really want to get lost in the forest, or take the longest path when we are searching for the truth?  If not, we must pursue only the truth! We must choose Jesus! Choose Jesus, and stay close to his side. God offers us protection, refuge, and shelter from the storm! No other prophet, deity, spirit, idol, or false god can fulfill God’s promises. The devil will use the things of the world to deceive, manipulate, trick, control, tempt and tease you. He flashes shiny material goods, feel-good passions, money; and he lure his victims with lies about the grass being greener on the other side! He even comes disguised as Christianity, which is why we need to choose one master, and follow only Jesus! The devil’s plans are all meant to destroy you, and ultimately lead to your demise and destruction! ” ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24 NIV).

Get on board, Believers! Don’t deny yourself a one-way ticket to ride the train of truth! Hang on tight when it’s going full speed! Don’t jump off when it slows down. Pick up as many people as you can at all the stops along the way! You will be amazed at the glorious perfection which awaits you at your final destination!

There’s only ONE WAY to God, and it’s through Jesus Christ! It’s a free trip to Paradise, and we can stay forever!

The Silver Lining is Always There!  Hope for Depression…

This week is a time of great trial, stress, and sadness for a precious family and their friends, who almost lost their lives in a horrific home explosion. They lost everything; their entire home and everything in it. They are faced with critical, life-changing injuries, which will change the course of the rest of their lives. Though a Go Fund Me campaign is in place for them, they need Jesus more than ever, to help get them through this trial. 

At times like these; when hopelessness and despair run rampant, it can be difficult to find the silver lining behind the dark, thick clouds looming in the storm. Of course life itself is a gift from God, and it is a reason to praise Him and give thanks. But sometimes it is difficult to live life; especially when we are suffering, in pain, depressed, and afraid about the future. Still, God promises to take care of us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

I’ve thought about how I would encourage my readers to “look on the bright side,” “think positive,” or “remember the light at the end of the tunnel;” when they are utterly drowning in deep sorrow, pain, and suffering. I know that words don’t help people who feel lost and utterly hopeless, because words didn’t help me either. 

Words don’t help hurting people, when they are too busy focusing on how to navigate their way through the darkness. I know, because I’ve been in that deep, dark, depressed place where I could not see the silver lining, either. The clouds were too thick and dense and dark. I needed to be rescued.  “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Ps. 69:1-2 English Standard Version).  Read: DEEP…A PSALM OF RESCUE…HOPE FOR DEPRESSION.

Words did not help; but truth, prayer and promises did. Truth provides hope. Prayer provides answers. Promises provide relief. They all work together, giving us God’s protection, and helping us to trust God, and grow in our faith. We begin to understand that our Almighty, Holy God loves us unconditionally; and this helps us to feel secure in believing His divine promises, which can never be broken.

We can pray for ourselves, and we can prayerfully intervene for others. Others can pray for us too!  The Bible promises us that God will never reject or abandon us in our time of need. Even if He’s silent, God is always there. Jesus promises hope which leads to healing, joy, and freedom. God promises to be our Rock; our Shelter from the storm, and a source of NEVER-ending protection. 

God’s Son, Jesus, is always lighting the way for us, even when we can’t see him. This is why searching for the silver lining gives us hope… because the sun never stops shining down upon us. The sun is still nourishing us; helping plants to grow, giving us daylight, warming our bodies, and providing energy to us here on earth… even when we don’t see it! The truth is still true, even if we don’t believe it! “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Heb. 11:1-2 New International Version).


God tells us to pray constantly, without ceasing. He promises to provide courage and strength. He promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it! God promises that when we pray together, He is in the middle of us! “‘For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst'” (Matt. 18:20 New American Standard Bible). God promises there will be no more tears or sorrow in Heaven. He promises us so many wonderful things! 

God is a promise maker, He is not a promise breaker! This is why we can put our entire trust in Him, even during our most difficult trials. Because God only tells the truth, we can look forward to the silver lining which awaits us in the next life. Our salvation is an absolute miracle, the greatest gift we could ever hope for, and that in itself… is enough. It’s FREE! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

But… God is also human; He is Jesus… so God understands that Heaven seems very far away from us. He understands that Heaven is simply incomprehensible for our feeble minds to grasp. So… God also has a plan laid out for us while we are still here, waiting to get to Heaven. It’s all meant to save more people, so they can come live in His Kingdom too! In His perfect timing; God transforms, heals, restores, calls, and blesses us… right here on Earth! How incredible is that? 

God takes our tears of sadness, and turns them into springs of gladness. Our depression is transformed to joy. Our hopelessness disappears, and is replaced by faith!  “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” (Isa. 61:3 New Living Translation).

You who are tired and weary of living; God understands! It is not His will for you to be depressed!  Pursue Him, and He will teach you how to grab hold of the lies which hold you down; and renounce them in the name of Jesus! Pray, ask for prayer, and seek out brothers and sisters in Christ who will pray for you. Cry out to God for HELP, in the name of Jesus! He will send you wise counsel, comforting scriptures, and truthful teachings to lead you out of the desert, and into the Promised Land! 

Dear God, please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering today. Remove from us our strongholds, and the lies which persist and plague us. Lord, heal our physical ailments that cause us pain and frustration. Heal our emotional hurts, which cause us depression; due to a build up of guilt, anger, and fear. Heal our mental challenges, which stem from disabilities and hardship. Heal spiritual injuries brought on by abuse and false prophets and false teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray, and we ask for Your will to be done; not ours. We know Your plan is perfect and Holy, and so is Your timing. Thank you that the silver lining is always there! Please bless us, in Jesus’ name!

Be encouraged! God promises to provide light and love for His children; both here on Earth, and in Heaven!

Healing Wounds of Narcissism… a New Beginning

The Silver Lining is all about finding hope and encouragement in Jesus, so you can be healed, and find the freedom and joy God wants you to have! For the joyful month of April, The Silver Lining theme is: HEALING. After all, Easter is a celebration of new beginnings; new life in Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for our sins, and then miraculously arose on the third day; ALIVE! I will be sharing godly truths, to spread awareness about the kinds of lies, beliefs, and teachings, which can interfere with the healing of our wounds, whether they be; emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual. Some of these wrong life lessons are learned from toxic people; others are learned from our situations and the broken world in which we live.  As we renounce lies we’ve learned, and leave damaging situations and worldly teachings behind us, our wounds will become like old faded scars, barely visible; a story from long ago. We can then go on to live a joyful life, which is pleasing to God. In His timing, we will grow stronger, and more courageous in Christ, and find ourselves more eager, and able, to help others heal too! “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5 New International Version).

One serious topic we will continue to explore, is NARCISSISM; which can get in the way of your healing even when you are doing your best to follow Jesus. Why? Because NARCISSISM, also known as EXTREME SELF-CENTEREDNESS; is a SIN, based upon lies the NARCISSIST puts into the victim’s head, and the heads of everyone else with whom the narcissist comes into contact. A narcissist is one who is engaged in self idol worship. If you’ve been the victim of narcissism, you need Jesus more than ever to heal you, and undo all the damaging abuse that was done to you. You need Jesus to show you the TRUTH; for the insidious spirit at work within narcissism needs to be revealed by THE HOLY SPIRIT. At  The Silver Lining, we will learn about the lies and spirits at work in narcissism, and how you can battle them. We will learn how to identify a self-centered, narcissistic personality, and we will focus on the miraculous healing Jesus can do in your life; emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Pet. 3:5-6).

If 1 out of 25 people are thought to be so extremely self-centered they are considered to be narcissists, imagine how may people need healing from lies, manipulation, control, slander, confusion, and abuse? And with so many people who do not even know Jesus, imagine how much pain people are carrying around each and every day, and how many open wounds never get healed? All this, because people do not realize how much they need Jesus, and how he IS the silver lining we all so desperately need! He is THE SON shining bright beyond our dark stormy, cloudy trials! The abused need him, and the abusers need him. Everyone’s lives can be made new through God’s Son. Jesus is THE ONE and ONLY answer! Share the truth! Look for the silver lining…there is HOPE on the horizon! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor. 5:17)!

Below are some past blog posts and articles to get you started, in gaining a better understanding of the deceitfulness of narcissism. For more posts, and related topics, visit my homepage, and click on the topic: Narcissism. There are also related topics, such as: Spiritual Abuse, Suffering, Deception, Self-Condemnation, and Rejection. You can also go to the tab: Blog Posts, and tag search: narcissism, narcissist, self-centeredness; and any related words of interest. You can also go to the tab: Articles, and do the same search; for different, and more in depth material on the same topic. Visit, and ‘like’ my Facebook page for daily encouraging updates on healing, joy, freedom, and much more! You will also find wise posts filled with truth, by other brothers and sisters in Christ, who are rich in knowledge of the scriptures, and topics related to healing, narcissism, and God’s great grace, mercy, and love! May God bless you, and heal your hurting heart, in Jesus name!

A NARCISSIST’S DAMAGING IMPACT…HOPE FOR THE HURTING

NARCISSISM: BATTLING A SELF-CENTERED SIN

LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE


You do not have to remain bleeding and bruised! Jesus came to heal your wounds, and give you brand new life in Him! Say, “YES!” Rejoice!

The Family that Prays Together…

Yesterday marked one week into my recovery from back surgery. God announced His goodness by giving me a beautiful, sunny spring day to enjoy! I was so happy and excited! My twin young men cleaned off the umbrella table, and untied the chairs which had been stored for the winter, hoisting them effortlessly onto the back deck, so I could sit and breathe in the fresh, clean air. My daughter was suddenly more interested in her school books, which were filled with clocks, verbs, and Venn diagrams. She cheerfully grabbed her pencil, because we were going to have school outside for the day. I gazed at the breathtaking view of our backyard, thanking God as I soaked in the blooms on the pear and cherry trees. My favorite was the brilliant cobalt of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which will be barely visible when the trees become dressed in their shiny, green summer leaves. 

What a lovely day for my daughter to play on her swing set, and jump on the trampoline. It was ideal for my husband and me, as we walked down the driveway, for my first outdoor excursion since the surgery. Perfection! NOT! … Because Christian families who pretend that everything is perfect and merry all the time are… well, quite frankly… lying. For suddenly there was strife and squabbling, unexpectedly, out of the beautiful deep blue. There was anger, pride, rudeness, and a black cloud where the sun had been shining only moments before. And then from Mom (yeah, that would be me) there were some not-very-nice-words,  and no… not the tears! There can not be tears from Mom; she never cries in front of anybody! She learned it years ago… people don’t care about you… so do not let them see your tears! For if you do, ferocious wolves will rip you to pieces! But suddenly I didn’t care that they saw the tears. I knew I was hurting inside and out; and I needed to cry, even though the tears made me vulnerable to… (oh no!)… REJECTION!  Brave, courageous, strong Mom, had succumbed to a sobbing, inconsolable mess of… tears

But this time, I recognized the attack for what it was… a spirit of strife. I also recognized the lies: The day was NOT ruined, my family was NOT going to let me deal with this alone, this was NOT my family from childhood; so my precious family here at home was NOT going to make fun of me or be mean to me for crying, and the devil was NOT going to ruin this day for my family or me! I pondered the truths: This is my family who supports, encourages, prays for; and loves me unconditionally. This is my family who helps me run my blog: proofs and edits my drafts, rescues my computer crashes, updates my computer, gives me ideas, creates special images, poses for my photos, and patiently gives me tons of time… while I write my blog! This is my family, and they support my ministry, as I do what I love! They are on board with me, and I am on board with them! We are in it together

We gathered for an amazing dinner; one of my all-time favorites; chicken tacos and chocolate chip cookies, which had thoughtfully been prepared for us by my sweet friend, Rita. We told the devil to “Get out of our home, and off of our property, in the name of Jesus.” You see,  even my little girl has the power and authority to tell the devil to get lost. Why? Because we are God’s children and we have… privileges

Because we recognized the evil spirits, which had come to do battle on the land God gave us, we were prepared to fight. We repented of our sinful nature, asked God and family members to forgive us, and repaired some issues which needed to be dealt with, so that our bond will remain unbroken, and more closely knit than ever. We are a family unit, which God has put together for a reason, a purpose, and His calling. We cannot afford to ignore the fact that there is a spiritual battle each and every day, with the intention of destroying each one of us, and ripping our precious family apart. That old saying; “The family that prays together, stays together,” is true! It’s our family… and it can be your family too! We are a force to be reckoned with, a bond which is to remain unbroken, because God is our Father, and we are His children. 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9 New International Version). This verse applies to marriage, but it applies to our children too. Because, when it comes time for them to leave us and create their own families, we will also be grateful for the ones God has chosen to be a part of our lives, and we will fight for them too. Hence, our strength in numbers will be even greater, and there will be even more love to go around! 

Pretending everything is perfect isn’t doing anybody any favors. But knowing who is at the center of your family, and keeping Him there… IS! The rest of the day was filled with the sweetness of apologies, forgiveness, relief, comfort, laughter, laughs, cuddles, and hugs! We also repaired something that had broken down in our family… a way of communication which was, in actuality, hurting everyone. But it wasn’t something that could just simply repair itself. It is something that requires the never-ending mercy, grace, forgiveness; and unconditional love of Jesus Christ; who is alway invited to our table, and welcome in our home. For we are children of God! 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).


#knowyourrights  #eliminatestrife #childrenofGod #Jesusbemycenter

Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Unexpected Joy of Rest

Follow or subscribe to The Silver Liningso you don’t miss the posts on the topic: healing; including an article on how to help your family heal and keep a close knit bond with one another. One or two encouraging posts will be delivered to your inbox each week.  God gives me wisdom and truth to share with you as a gift. The only way to receive it, is to open it; just like receiving Jesus’ free offer of salavation ( except that’s waaayyy better!). So please open your email from me, while you enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and think about how it relates to your own life. If you feel it will benefit a friend, feel free to forward the link. Leave me a comment or send me a message to let me know your questions, thoughts, or prayer requests. I care about you; yes, even you whom I do not yet know; and I want to use my life experiences and the words God whispers in my ear, to give you hope for healing too!  Your heart needs to heal in order to have the life of freedom, peace, and joy God intended for you to live! Also join my Facebook page,and please invite your friends to receive daily inspiration and encouragement through Jesus Christ! 

The Silver Lining Facebook page also contains giveaways, fun contests, prayer requests for others, and relevant information by other gifted and talented writers. You may share the direct link, but please help protect my work from copyright infringement, by not copying and pasting in any form.Thank you! You may submit your short, three-paragraph piece of writing under “visitor posts.” If it meets the positive, Christ/centered mission of The Silver Lining, it will be noticed; and the piece will be approved, and shared. For those interested in guest posting on my website, I am meticulous in what I share with my readers, so please first subscribe, and read at least five posts, before messaging me about contributing as a guest author. Also, please understand this may take some time, as others are waiting for their guest posts to be published also. Thank you! God bless you all, in Jesus’ Holy Name!

She’s a Little Runaway: A Journey from Rejection to Acceptance 

As a teen, I lived in Alaska, in two different houses, over a five year period. I snuck out several times from both, and ran away from each one. Some of these times were known to others, and some were not. But of the two times I felt the most desperate need bolt, the most desperate run away attempt was the least successful. Maybe it was because I seemed to run backwards. Perhaps it was a mix of fear, false security, guilt, and concern over leaving a loved one left behind, along with worrying what my friends would think; but running away became a more desperate desire, yet I seemed to fall further and further from my goal of making it happen. 

In any regard, not making that final run, was definitely not because I had suddenly decided home was a safe place to stay. It was more like the jail door was open, but a tornado was whirling at the front door. Which option was best for me? Years later, I now know which option was best…the tornado by far. It might have landed me some place safe, like the baby you read about in the news, who is scooped up into a tornado’s belly, and vomited safely into a dresser drawer two towns over; safely sleeping. After all, Dorothy survived a tornado, and while on her journey, was kept safe from lions, tigers, and bears; and also from the witches and the flying monkeys sent out to destroy her. But unlike Dorothy, the phrase, “There’s no place like home,” meant something entirely different to me.

The first attempt at running away came out of sheer desperation to leave the role of scapegoat I had been assigned by my family. I couldn’t take it anymore, being blamed for everyone else’s problems. As the scapegoat in a family reeking with dysfunction, I was tired of being the excuse for everyone else’s issues, problems, and bad behavior. Sure I was an imperfect teenager, fully capable of mouthing off and being selfish, but not to any extreme some would be led to believe. I was a good kid; compassionate, intelligent, and funny. Why wasn’t I loved? It was never enough, so I kept trying harder to prove myself, and I was about to break. Being labeled a “problem child” subtly causes a shifting focus, which is exactly the intent; for the idea is to blind others to the truth of the real chaos lying underneath, and to distract them, so denial can go on and lives of sin can continue without inspection. 

I’d given up on getting attention or love, but I still hoped to remain under the radar, undetected, left alone to live my own life in peace. But that wasn’t about to happen, so I became angry. I began to rebel, because I knew it couldn’t be all my fault. I knew the truth and began to fight for myself, because I realized no one else was going to. “A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel” (Prov. 18:19 New International Version).

However, it was getting harder and harder to see the truth, when the fiery darts kept coming. Though I was saved, I didn’t yet understand how to defend myself with prayer. The phrases were aimed at me, over and over: “Why can’t you do anything right… Why can’t you be more like (someone else)… What is wrong with you… Why do you have to ruin everything?????”  These were the lies which years later, I would learn to renounce in the name of Jesus. I still have to pray against them today, but they come less often. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16).

How could it be only my fault when my thumb was smashed black and blue after being slammed in the doorframe, and then my face slapped afterwards for cussing from the pain of the “accident.” And even worse, was when that cold hand forcefully slammed down flat dead center on top of my head; HARD. There was actually a witness then, but when everyone is trained not to tell, even adults remain silent. Reporting it doesn’t even cross your mind; it would likely be futile. Who would believe it? For, those things just don’t happen in families that go to church on Sundays, where girls wear pretty dresses, and invite their friends to come with them, because the family is a positive influence and a good example. 

Like any hurting teen, I believed if I didn’t protect myself, they would break me. I refused to be broken, not realizing I was already constantly gluing the precious broken pieces of myself back together. And that’s what l was doing… holding on to all my broken pieces, the night I was done being blamed. Of course no comfort; only condemnation, was offered that dark night when I shouted, “Then I’ll leave!” There was no reassurance of love, or a reminder that I was wanted, a gentle plea to stay and talk and pray about it. Instead, I was told that if I was going to go, I would have leave my coat behind, since I hadn’t bought it with my own money.

On Elmendorf Air Force Base, it was less than 30 degrees that evening, and pitch black outside. I had nowhere to go. But it took me less than a second to make my decision: I shoved off my new white downy coat with sporty blue stripes, threw it to the floor, and ran. I ran out into the black night, looking to the left and looking to the right. The icy clean air took my breath away. I ran towards my best friend’s house, but knew that would be the first place I’d be expected to be found. Her home life wasn’t stable either. It wasn’t an option. So I wandered. I wandered far past anywhere my friends and I ever wandered, even by our independent standards of doing whatever we wanted and going wherever we felt like going. I ran to warm up, but I slowed as the wheezing started. I was an asthmatic; just another way I’d caused problems for everyone else. I blew on my frigid fingers, and I scratched at the welts raising up under my jeans. I would get them when I got cold, due to a protein in my blood which reacts starkly to frigid temperatures. I didn’t realize then, that I actually suffered constantly from cold urticaria, which can in severe instances; cause low blood pressure, anaphylactic shock, and death. 

I still didn’t want to go back. At the same time, I’d seen the footage they show all the military families upon first arriving to The Last Frontier: “Scary Survival Videos.” At 14, I was old enough to know that hypothermia was a reality, and frostbite was serious business, where I could actually lose my fingers and toes. This time, I had no runaway friends to be my hypothermia partner so I could keep warm, and I was never going to do that “naked hugging sleeping bag survival skill” anyway; not unless I was left for dead on a mountaintop. I don’t remember if I prayed,  but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.



I’d wandered for at least a couple hours, and I was far away from home. I knew I needed to get warm, or my body could be permanently damaged. I had on tennis shoes, instead of boots, and there was snow and ice on the ground. I didn’t much care about living right then, but always in my mind, was a loved one I had back at home, and being a teenager, I was also worried about my reputation, even among my friends. They would ask me why I ran away. I’d been trained not to tell family secrets. I’d been trained to pretend I came from a perfect “Christian” family. Who would believe me? It was too much anyway; a mountain of madness which no one would understand or believe or care about, and many don’t; even to this very day. Telling them would be impossible. Now I’ve gained enough wisdom to know that some things are only revealed by God in His perfect timing. 

That night I found myself at the chapel, and was mortified to find a friend of mine was there too. He sang with the adult choir, so he was often up at the church. I didn’t want him to see me, but it was too late. He was an intelligent, kind boy, and our mutual friends had mentioned he had a crush on me. Maybe he wouldn’t tell anyone. As far as I know, he never did. He asked me what I was doing there, and if I was ok. I shook my head, and took a deep breath, so I wouldn’t cry. He didn’t know how bad it was at home, but I think to this day, he knew about one of the secrets. His eyes said he knew. He wanted to ask more questions, but seemed to understand I couldn’t answer them. When I said I had to go, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently shook me. His dark eyes looked scared. He said the M.P.’s (military police) would come looking for me, and everyone would find out I had run away. He said I would freeze to death if I went back out in the cold. And finally, out of wanting to help, he convinced me to call home. 

When I made the call from the church, I did it on my terms. I’d learned a thing or two about manipulation and control tactics. I’d been taught well. My terms were that I’d tell where I was, but there would be no talking about it, and no punishment. If the terms were broken, I’d run away again, and I’d tell people why I was running. The terms were agreed upon, and the ride home was just as cold, if not more frozen, than the air outside. I was surviving. 

The next attempt at running away came out of a desperation that had turned to hopelessness, and the plan came down to no running away at all. I was found out before I even got a chance to get out of the house. I’d spent too long packing in the bathroom, and refused to open the door even when a hole was punched halfway through it. If there’d been a window, I would have exited. But with no escape in sight, I stuffed my school bag into the lower shelf of the bathroom closet, put some towels on top, and exited the bathroom. After hearing about how it was my fault that there was a hole punched in the door, I shrugged and announced that I was going to bed. I slid under the sheets in my clothes. I’d have to wait until about 1:30 or 2 a.m., because darkness in Alaska doesn’t come till then during its super short spring and summer months. 

My bag was packed with a few necessities, my tiny teddy bear, and about $100. The car keys were on my dresser, since I drove to school each day. The car wasn’t really mine, so I’d have to drive somewhere and leave it with a note, saying I was sorry and that it wasn’t stolen. I planned to drive from Eagle River to Anchorage, and then park and walk until I found a hotel. I KNEW there were some areas that were dangerous, like 4th Avenue, where everyone warned you never to go. But I was headed that way, because I thought it was the last place anyone would look. I never got there. I never got anywhere that night. 
The door to my bedroom flew open, and my escape bag was swinging back and forth before my eyes. I was shocked, and my heart sunk. I was completely deflated… hopeless. I must have raised suspicion by staying too long in the bathroom, packing up my things. My key set was whisked up from my dresser amidst angry shrieks. I’d be taking the bus next day to school, which I hated. I lay in bed that night with my tiny brown teddy bear, tears soaking his curly fur. I’d never get out. I don’t remember if I prayed, but I do know God was with me, protecting me and loving me.

Though I managed to move out of my house quickly, because I was snapped up for a teaching position immediately after graduation, I never really got away until my husband and I moved from the state of Texas, out to Virginia where we didn’t know a soul. It was especially hard to leave a loved one back home, and I missed my friends. But being on my own was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I began to write my prayers in a prayer journal, participated in a bible study, and pursued Jesus in peace. All my life, I’d been bashed over the head with a bible and forced to go to church, with scripture used out of context to guilt and shame me. I was a victim of spiritual abuse, and was running from God, because I thought He was always watching me from the sky, waiting to condemn me and punish me, and tell me what I was doing wrong. I was afraid of Him, and angry with Him too. I was now discovering the joy of having a relationship with Him! My eyes began to open up to the truth for the first time in my life, and God’s teachings showed me that everything I’d been taught was completely upside-down… and completely wrong. I do remember that I prayed! 

God moved me more times with my husband. Then God moved me more times with my children. Many things happened during those moves, and I’ve had many homes, but instead of running away, during each of my moves I have learned to draw closer to Jesus. When I start to run away, he doesn’t let me out of the door, without first insisting that he loves me and doesn’t want me to go. 

Whenever the pain becomes too hard to bear for those who have been running and running all their lives looking for a little bit of love, there lies ahead the silver lining: One ends up desperately running straight into the arms of Jesus! And in that most desperate time, the running away will stop, before you even realize it. Why? It’s because Jesus has been waiting here for you the whole time, with his arms outstretched, already wrapping themselves around you! I discovered that Jesus had been holding me in his arms the whole time, crying tears when I cried tears. He was waiting for me run in his direction and cry out his name, so he could save me. He is doing the same for you. Though I was already God’s child, I hadn’t understood the power and authority I have in Christ Jesus. I didn’t realize that I was loved by God, unconditionally, without condemnation or judgment. 

We don’t need to run away from Jesus, for he does not reject us! He loves us in spite of our imperfections, and in spite of our sins. We can run into his everlasting loving arms, and he will greet us with acceptance and unconditional love each and every time. If we forget how much he loves us, and start to run away, we can always turn back, repent, and ask him to forgive us. He will help us to battle the negative lies we have been falsely led to believe, and heal us of our guilt, fear, and anger; which will then banish depression; leading us to freedom and joy! We will discover that God is not far away up in the sky, but right inside of our hearts, and He’s been loving us our whole entire lives! For there really is “no place like home” when your eternal home is in Heaven with Jesus Christ. 

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:20).


My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).

If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful, you may like PAST PATHS… AND OTHER THINGS TOO PAINFUL TO MENTION.

Write to the author, and find daily encouragement to give you hope, as you heal and find freedom and joy in Jesus Christ at The Silver Lining Facebook Page. 

Past Paths… and Other Things too Painful to Mention

Last night, via Google Earth, I “traveled” along several paths, remembering how I’d been left alone so many times, since the tender young age of four. I retraced the steps I’d walked in solitude, in both Europe and the U.S. I was shocked at the realization of having wandered so far from home so often. In awe, I stared open-mouthed as the miles were mapped before my eyes, showing how far I’d trekked on foot and ridden my bike, with no one knowing my whereabouts. Google Earth showed me my instincts had been more than correct: It truly is a miracle that I’m even alive!

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about the normal sweet freedoms of playing Hide n Seek till dark with all your friends, and the sweaty summers of childhood sprinklers. I’m not even talking about riding your bike around the neighborhood with the wind in your hair, or roller skating up and down the sidewalks and scraping up your knees. Those were things many children from the seventies and eighties enjoyed when kids were expected to go outside and play until supper, and then go back outside and catch lightning bugs till bath time.

I’m talking about the lonesome life adventures I remember in somewhat mixed, but fine detail, simply because I have a memory like an elephant. As a four year old, in Germany, I tried to avoid the teenagers. They made fun of the younger kids and called them names. I was on the monkey bars with a friend when I discovered I’d stepped in “doggy doo doo.” I knew the big kids would jeer at me and tease me if they noticed, so I didn’t even tell my friend. I remember standing at ground level, wishing my apartment wasn’t so many flights of stairs up away up top. I kept my stare focused on one of the teen girl’s colorful toenails. It was easier if I just blended in. I’m talking about being four years old, and leaving those monkey bars behind, to accept candy from a stranger behind a tall white stucco wall. The other kids warned me and my little boyfriend that a witch lived there, but we thought she was just fine. She smiled at us and urged us to take the sweets. The candy with sprinkles won me over, and there was an added benefit; it wasn’t poisonous!

I found myself being left with adults I didn’t know well. When I was five or six, I was left with an old lady I’d never met before. Once again I found myself being urged to accept a “treat.” Though I told the woman I was allergic to peanuts, she insisted I could just pull the peanuts off of the Cracker Jacks and just eat the popcorn. But she was not pulling the wool over my eyes. I had some worldly wisdom by now, and I didn’t think peanut crumb dust would turn out well for me (I chose to stay hungry). As I grew out of training wheels, I quickly mastered the art of riding my bike. I found myself in trashed, parentless houses, with friends of classmates, who made mud pies. On the base, I rode down suicidal hills with my feet over my handlebars, praying to God there wouldn’t be a car at the bottom, because there was no way to stop (God graciously answered those prayers for me). These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

I moved to Italy, before third grade, where I had to walk and cross several streets, including a main strada with lots of tiny, speeding cars disobeying traffic rules. My heart jumped into my throat the day a stray dog began curiously sniffing at my lunchbox. I thought about dropping the box and making a run for it, but God sent me an angel. Just as my heart was about to leap into my throat, the threatening dog suddenly turned and walked away (Thank you, Jesus!). As if that wasn’t frightening enough, I survived the landlord’s giant German Shepherd guard dog, when it got loose and pressed up against my chest, barking and salivating in my face. (I think God sent me two angels that day!). At eight years old, I escaped from a gang of ten Italian bullies chasing me on bikes, screaming at me to give them MY bike, as I pumped my skinny long legs as fast as I could. I screamed at them in Italian, calling them liars. I told them my bicicletta was a girl’s bike, and that no one else had one like it. That bike was my trusty friend for many years, keeping me company on my soul adventures.

During that same time, I was left for a couple weeks with a strange family, where the parents punished me for things I didn’t do. It was scary and confusing, just like it was when we moved onto the base. I had been learning that many parents couldn’t be trusted, and here it was no different. A man was angry with the boy who had slapped his bratty daughter on the leg with a toy. After chasing my childhood friend into a ditch, the man flipped him over his head, high up into the air. In horror, I watched as my nine year old friend landed flat on his back. I muffled my screams; would I be next if I was seen? I ran until my asthmatic lungs gave out. Police were called, and I was terrified as always, that somehow it was my fault. The military police assured me I’d done nothing wrong; they just needed to know what I’d seen. These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

When I look back at my first official dentist visit at age 11, like most dental appointments, it wasn’t fun. We’d had quick checkups on the military base through school, but we moved a lot, so I usually missed those. I had to get four fillings, and I was only in middle school. It didn’t seem fair (especially since I’d obediently chewed the cherry red tablets that showed you how to brush correctly). I wish I’d known about floss, because I probably would have thought it was fun. After all, I wanted braces, and needed them, but I didn’t get those either. Instead, I got head lice from constantly having unwashed hair. Dirty hair had previously been an easy fix; I was just supposed to hurry up and grab a scarf for my head before catching the bus.

The same year of the lice, was the same year of me getting embarrassed by my p.e. coach telling me I needed to purchase a necessary important undergarment. How mortifying. I thought she was being mean by pulling me aside and whispering to me, but years later I realized she was doing me a favor. As a sixth grader, I continued to ride my trusty purple bike everywhere. I even rode it four blocks away, in order to bat my talcum-powdered eyelids at a boy (I created my own makeup, since I wasn’t allowed to wear any) just because it was nice to be noticed and told I was pretty.

Teachers tried to help me in middle school. They told me I was smart and talented. They told me to enter my art and poetry in contests, and I won. When I started to go into anaphylactic shock at school, from an allergic reaction to the school cafeteria spice cake, the nurse frantically tried to help. She searched through the cabinets in vain, but sadly informed me there was no emergency medicine in the office. When help finally arrived, it came in the form of a pill, and a quick dump off at home, instead of to the hospital. I scratched in agony at the donut-sized welts which entirely covered my legs. I moaned from the nausea, and tried to fill my air with lungs. I felt like I was trying to breathe through a straw. These things happened, and more things, and other things too painful to mention.

It can be hard coming face to face with neglect and the realization of having been on your own from a young age, and the understanding that things were not what they looked like to other people. It can be lonely having to carry things you weren’t meant to be burdened with as a child. You can easily feel lost, hopeless, and abandoned when you look back at times when no one was there, and no one cared.
Sometimes it looks pretty on the outside; you’re told to quickly put a bright yellow scarf over your greasy dirty hair, you’re told to smile pretty getting out of the car at church but you want to cry because everyone was fighting and you were the target again, you’re told to care for another child when you’re still only a child yourself, and you do it because you love that child, but no one is loving and caring for you.

It’s easy to be tempted to look back and wonder where God was when you were lonely, isolated, neglected, abused, and abandoned. It’s tempting to get angry and wonder why you had to be afraid, condemned, and depressed just for being alive. It can be especially tempting to allow hopelessness in, and wonder if God will be there for you in the future. But the silver lining is God loves us, in spite of everything we’ve been through. Jesus cried when we cried, and he held us up when we couldn’t stand on our own. Jesus wants to fix the brokenness, heal us, and use it all for God’s glory! Jesus is always here for us!

I hurt about the little things. I hurt about the big things. And I hurt about the other things too painful to mention. But I have to trust that God knows what He is doing with my life, even when nothing seems to make sense. I don’t want to be that person who walks away from God, especially when He’s getting ready to do that great big glorious thing in my life! After all, He’s already done some pretty glorious things for me! God has given me a family to love, and my family loves me, and fills up the empty, broken, lonely places. So whether people are for me or against me (and believe me, there are plenty against me!) God is FOR me! He loves and cares for me, and He can teach me how to love and care for myself. God has taught me to love and care for my children the way I should have been loved and cared for as a child. How great and glorious is that? I’d rather have everyone against me with God for me, than everyone for me, with God against me! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31 English Standard Version)

The painful things are healed by the forgiveness, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ. God has done wonderful things, is doing amazing things, and will do many more wonderful, amazing things too glorious yet to mention…

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4 ESV)

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Distracted, Rejected, NOT Dejected! 10 Truths

I learned a tough lesson this week, but God proved Himself ever Faithful! There are “Christian” ministries out there with people who claim to know and love Jesus, but when faced with Truth, people who have been wandering off of God’s path, will stubbornly dig in their heels, and refuse to budge. They refuse to invite Jesus into the middle of a controversy, and insist on being in charge. Unwillingness to follow Jesus, makes a familiar, well-beaten worldly path look easier, when God’s Word tells us the path to Him is narrow and difficult to find. ” ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14 New International Version).

Truth: Only when Jesus is invited into the middle of our relationships, ministries, and lives; will we be able to reap the benefits of his compassionate grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Sometimes there is a biblically based need for placing boundaries in order to protect our safety or well-being. Other times, we may try to mend a situation several times, without success, which results in the inability to reconcile. In these cases, we forgive in Christ, and move on. But, when Christians turn their backs on genuine brothers and sisters in Christ, who come bringing truthful messages meant to save people, help them grow, and steer them onto the right path; it is the same as turning their backs on Jesus and his message. People living in lies tend to become uncomfortably stubborn; clapping their hands over their ears, shouting at the top of their lungs at the same time; doing anything to shut out the truth. Refusing to listen to a messenger sent by God to help people avoid heartache, danger, and deceit; is the same as refusing to listen to Jesus. It is to reject God’s own Son. ” ‘Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me’ ” (Luke 10:16). 

People like this may indeed be saved, and headed towards Heaven, but they aren’t walking the straight and narrow path that Jesus walks. They step off a little to the left, so they can allow in a small lie here, or a small lie there. They stumble to the right, so they can promote their religion or cause in the name of Jesus, yet he can barely be found among it, if at all. They might even fall completely off the precious path, because they’ve been blinded by pride. If they don’t make their way back, they stand as hypocrites do, preaching to people to walk the path, as their own feet walk in a different direction, all while leading others to destruction. For God’s Word says: “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Prov. 4: 26-27 New International Version).

I’ve been here before. Why God, has it happened again? Why, when I believed myself to be among sisters in Christ, did I become deceived? Were there red flags?

“Why yes, yes there were,” said God. I humbly realized He wouldn’t have allowed me to be in a situation, without giving me warnings. So I asked my God to show me the good that could come of this situation. I asked Him why I had allowed myself to become distracted again, by what I had perceived to be a “good Christian cause.” He gave me these words I’ve penned, and He revealed several truths; some of which were revealed through my family members:  

Truth: “You need to spend your time wisely; it is part of learning to be compassionate to yourself. 

Truth: “Not every work with God’s name on it, is really God’s work, though some of My truth may be there. I can work My glory through anything, but that doesn’t mean I want you there.” 

 But I thought I knew this! I don’t usually jump to get involved.

“No, my child, you did not yet quite understand. For you rushed in, and you didn’t listen to the still small voice; your own voice, that told you something was wrong. You didn’t listen to your still small voice telling you, that you’d decided on doing only certain things assigned by Me, but then you took on something else. You consulted me, but were impatient in waiting for my reply. You also didn’t remove yourself from the situation earlier, as I waved red warning flags before you. You forgot to check in with me, until push came to shove. You didn’t get out when you realized you were behind in the ministry I gifted you with; the path which I’ve assigned you to walk. You got distracted. Yet, even though you waited until the last minute, I’m not only going to help you, I’m going to make a brand new and better thing from it all!” 

God was right…as always! I hadn’t yet learned this. 

Truth: God wants me to only do just what He asks me to do.

Truth: God believes in me, and loves me, and has given me my very own ministry! 

Truth: If I help somebody else with their mission, and it even slightly deviates from the path of my own mission (where Jesus shines first and foremost ALL the time) then God doesn’t want me in that other place!

Truth: Getting involved in a ministry which does not fully align with God’s truths He has revealed to me; may distract, delay or even bring my own ministry to a halt. 

Truth: It doesn’t matter if anyone stands with me as I go forward; it only matters that God is standing beside me. 

Truth: God gives me the people I need most to support and encourage me along the way; no more, and no less. And I am never, ever alone. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31)?

I’d been distracted and rejected, but not dejected. The experience of having been treated badly was nothing when compared to the relief of knowing you are headed back onto the exact path God has laid out just for YOU; that place where you find peace and joy and comfort in knowing you’re using your gifts in just the right way God intended!

Truth: The silver lining is seen by those walking the path of Truth, because in walking true, the lies are easily trampled under our feet! For Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:19). When you walk the steep and narrow path, you’re not afraid of the sharp incline that lies ahead, because God will lend you His own strong hand, and He will pull you up to the mountain top! As you stand there hand in hand with Jesus, he will look down at you proudly, and smile. I can’t wait to look up into his shining face, and nod, saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim.4:10).

Prayer: God please forgive me for when I stumble off of the path you created just for me. Help me to follow Jesus and not get distracted. Jesus, I love you! Hold my hand; I don’t want to let go of you! 

“I have decided to follow Jesus…

No turning back, no turning back…

Though I may wander, I still will follow…

No turning back, no turning back…

The world behind me, the cross before me…

No turning back, no turning back…

Though none go with me, still I will follow…

No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?”

Lyrics attr. S. Sundar Singh

Hindustani Melody

Public Domain


Stumped by Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a command given by God. Since Jesus forgave us, and died for our sins, we must forgive others. Though it’s true that forgiveness allows our offender to be released from guilt, sadness, and pain; forgiveness is necessary for us to be free from the roots of bitterness. If the roots of bitterness are not pulled up from the ground, the roots will grow deep and thick underground.

Like a stubborn old tree stump, we will remain, yet we will no longer bear fruit. Instead, the ugly ol’ stump will end up standing alone in the exact same place we wanted to plant a live, nourishing fruit tree. Removing bitterness allows for the removal of other strongholds such as: lies, fear, rejection, anger, selfishness, and more. It’s the doorway to healing and freedom!

Just think about it. If you’re mad at somebody right now, he or she may not even be aware of it. This person may be going about having a wonderful day, with no clue you’re sitting home seething about what that person did to offend you. Meanwhile you’re getting nothing accomplished except for building up a higher wall of resentment. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re okay with what that person did to you; it just means that you’re releasing that person to God.

Forgiveness brings us closer to God, because forgiving people helps us to become more like Jesus. It’s how God prepares and perfects us, in preparation for bringing us home to live with Him in Heaven. We need to forgive people in the name of Jesus. Why? Because we can’t do it all by ourselves. Also, the forgiveness which comes from God is supernatural; it can take our hearts places we never imagined…all for our own personal healing…and better yet, for the glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom!

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be friends with your offender. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat for abuse. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to reconcile with someone who is unable to have a healthy, godly relationship with you. In fact, it may be that somebody actually needs to ask forgiveness of you. You can still forgive that person. Forgiveness just means letting go…and letting God.

Is there someone you have been struggling to forgive? Just pray: “I forgive ( name of offender) in Jesus’ name.” Then go about your day, and let Jesus work on your heart.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Col. 3:13 New Living Translation