full exposure

it had been nearly three weeks since they’d spoken. it was the longest they’d ever gone without any communication.

she’d made the upgrade in her own identity and it caused a shift between them. in the process, the battle had intensified. father was bringing her into higher levels of rest and trust. after the first week of silence, she settled into it. it was all right.

then the direction shifted. she was still  at work one day when she began to see a restaurant they frequented often in her mind. once, twice and a third time she saw it.

then came the phone call from a trusted friend. after conversation, it was clear: it was time to go back into the fray, to fight for him, to fight for them. destinies were at stake.

she texted him once. he read it and did not respond. she sent another, letting him know where she was. silence. then a text response. “what do you want?” she felt his anger.

this was not normal. “what do you mean?” she texted back. then her phone rang. “where are you?” yes. he was angry. and he had been angry for over two weeks.

after some conversation, the reason for his anger became clear. the enemy had whispered lies to him about her. he had believed the worst of her based on his experience with someone else.

 

negatives
photo credit: pixabay

 

the liar had worked hard to make him believe they were exactly the same. they were not. she unraveled the lie and presented the truth to him.

his face grew darker. in his anger, she could see he wanted to believe the lie over the truth. it was easier than admitting he hadn’t questioned the lying spirits with their accusing voices. pride was right there to justify his actions and misplaced anger.

she didn’t pull any punches. “you need to delineate a clear line between her actions and mine. we are not the same. i do not do what she did. if you don’t keep it separate, i’m going to get the crap beat out of me.” she meant it figuratively, but he went off.

“what do you mean? i’m going to beat you up?” she looked him in the eyes over her bowl of nachos. “no. i mean that i will get hurt.”

he sat back in his chair taking in the weight of her words. she went to the restroom. “daddy, I don’t know what to to. i need more grace and mercy over us here. help me.” she went back out to the table.

his features had softened slightly. “how do we fix this?” he asked. she shrugged her shoulders. “wipe the slate clean?” he nodded, adding, “hit the reset button?” she nodded.

nothing felt like it had been reset. the atmosphere was heavy. not only was he sitting on the other side of the table, but so were the demons who’d been tormenting him in recent months. they hung on his shoulders and whispered lies to him. she could see them and hear when they spoke through his mouth.

he didn’t have a skill set for combatting them yet. but he would. and when he knew the truth, it would make him free.

fear, rejection, poverty, infirmity, jealousy and pride. and here they were all together at dinner. no wonder it was challenging to navigate. and deep within this beautiful man was a small boy who needed healing.

they did okay when the conversation centered around what each of them had been doing for activities, how the family was, etc.

pride became impatient with the niceties and began telling her what he would and would not do, ripping on the plans father god had shown them both together.

she stayed still as long as she could, her heart racing as the liar attempted to deconstruct what father had already begun in building them together as one.

when the conversation crossed the line, she put on her coat and set her purse on the table. she stood before him, hardly believing the words he’d spoken. this clearly was not him.

the pain was in her eyes, in her words. she could see that he saw it. his own pain and woundedness was so great, all he could do was take it out on her in the moment.

she looked over at him before she walked away. shaking her head sadly, she said, “you don’t want to let the best thing you’ve got in your life walk out the door.” it was not bragging. it was arrogant. it was just true.

she left. he didn’t go after her. as she walked to the car, she made one remark to father. “i know, i know, i will believe and trust right now that what the enemy meant here for evil tonight, you will make work for our good.”

she got in the car and waited to see if he would come to stop her. he did not.

she debriefed the whole thing with wise counsel. some of this had been father’s doing. he wanted to expose things in the man that had been hidden. she had called them out and brought light into them.

exposure had occurred. the enemy had lost ground that he would never get back. checkmate.

twenty-four hours later, she was exhausted from the skirmish, unfriended and exiled. these were but temporary conditions. she declared victory and full restoration with a song in her heart.

light always exposes the darkness.

 

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

hidden victims

it was monday night. after she got home from work and made dinner, she went upstairs to stream the show she missed on sunday night. father always gave her revelation through the stories and visuals. tonight would be no different.

human trafficking was the topic in the department of state. one nation’s leader insisted it was ‘under control’ within their borders. but this president was willing to take his blinders off for a minute and lend his cooperation if a famous american starlet agreed to attend his birthday party. he was narcissistic, yes, but not unredeemable.

after much back and forth drama, the starlet agreed to go. operations were put in place to protect her and to rescue those being trafficked.

at the beginning of the program, several of their faces had been shown and their voices heard.

their captors were angry that they’d spoken when they were supposed to remain silent. they paid a price for speaking. but their voices were heard. they were now real to the rest of the world.

the state department staff watched in horror as the operation played out. their faces fell as they watched the foreign nation’s ‘police’ allow the traffickers drive away unimpeded into the dark night. the men’s faces were unseen, their names unknown. their identities remained hidden.

the revelation struck her suddenly. the enemy had no issue showing the world the women and girls he had taken hostage in this underworld drama. he let them speak occasionally, and he let them be seen. it added to the drama, the trauma and the fear factor.

but the other victims? they remained hidden.

 

Hidden victims blog
photo credit: pixabay

 

these victims were the men, lost and desperate for father god’s love, his nurturing heart that would fill every void.

the enemy had perverted their need and given them other men’s wives and daughters to satiate the desire. but it was never enough and it never satisfied. it was why they had no problem allowing a truckload of women and girls to suffocate to death.

father showed her the men were just as much victims as the women and children. but the enemy hid them, knowing his game was over when the men were freed from this bondage.

god made men to be the head of the family.

when the men are strong, the families are strong.

 

galvanized heart

the battles are intense at times.

sometimes jesus asks her if she’s glad she came back from the dead the second time. the first time, she had no choice, but the second time offered the choice of going on to heaven or returning to earth to finish her assignments.

she answers his question each time, thoughtfully and honestly. he laughed at her response one day as she rolled her eyes and said, “maybe not so much today.”

other days, he didn’t have to ask, her joy was apparent. occasionally, her answer didn’t come in words, only tears.

in her innocence, she imagined smooth sailing after making the decision to return to earth and finish what father had given her to do. smooth sailing never came. it did, in fact, get worse. quickly.

the enemy knew where to strike, where she was vulnerable. 3 car crashes weren’t enough; there would be 2 more. the physical injuries were nothing compared to the emotional trauma.

the job layoff came. another house was lost. friends betrayed her. the list of ugly happenings grew.

she thought father was mad at her for a minute. he was not.

the enemy, however, was determined to make her believe father did not love her.

she was in the fire, her own prayers answered a little each day. it was not because father was doing things to her, but because of his work on her heart through the bad things.

it was suffering. in it, she was learning father’s character, faithfulness, love, goodness.

when the man she grew to love came into her life, all hell broke loose again. she paused, retracing her steps, wondering if she’d heard right. she had.

something deeper was at work here. it was that thing she’d asked jesus for years earlier.

she and jesus had been at the kitchen table discussing the book of john. the conversation was lively, playful, then serious.

she’d been reading about what he did and what he said about doing greater works than he did. love was the foundation from which he did everything.

she looked at him across the table and spoke.

 

Table with book
photo credit: pixabay

“look, here’s the thing: if you want me to do what you did, and the greater works, then i want the same revelation of your love that john had – or greater, if there is such a thing. i can’t do this without that,” she said, waving her hand across the open book.

in asking, she really didn’t know what she would walk through in pursuit of the prize. she learned to let jesus be enough for her.

over time, father showed her she could be trusted with what was most precious to him: people.

when she stopped fighting the process, it got easier. the human ego is a beast.

she realized she had to lay down her life, all of it, so someone else could be free. even if that someone acted like an arch enemy most of the time. the price was high. she decided to pay it.

over time, the filters came off. the religion came off. the politics came off. the judgments came off. the false identity fell away.

one day, she saw it. it was a fraction of the suffering jesus endured.

she saw enough to get it. any remaining resistance melted away. it was the ‘ah ha’ moment. this was what it meant to lay down one life for another. sacrifice.

she saw the price of her own salvation, layer after layer, along with the sea of people who’d played a role in it, willing or not.

that thing she’d asked for? he gave it to her after all the mess was washed away.

he spoke. “your heart is now galvanized in my love.”

galvanization is the process of ‘adding a protective layer of coating to keep something from rusting.’

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photo credit: pixabay

ask for it.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

bittersweet beacon rock

it was a road trip day with intent. after an hour or so of navigating the winding road through the wild, untamed columbia river gorge, she arrived at the restaurant.

although he wasn’t with her, she felt his presence there. this was a place of promise and destiny for them. she did what she would’ve done if he’d been there: she mingled with the staff and discussed damage to the building by winter storm activity.

after a bit, she ordered lunch and watched customers file in for late breakfast and/or lunch. it quickly got busy and she did what came naturally, jumping in to hostess and help. the owner’s wife arrived and they visited, discussing tentative plans for the summer season. it was good she’d come today.

leaving the restaurant, she walked around the other properties that were linked to destiny. the wind blew hard and cold as it always did in the gorge. she was glad she’d dressed for it.

twenty minutes later, she turned into beacon rock state park. she paid the daily fee and headed out on the trail. light rain fell as she walked. she stopped as she recognized the place where father had dropped the rainbow in front of them just a few weeks earlier.

he began to speak. “this is a place of promise and fulfillment. stand on my word. stand on my promises. i never fail. ”

she took hold of those words and dictated them into her phone. they were rock solid when everything around her was shaking.

then she spoke to him, even though he wasn’t there. “we’ve walked this path together twice. today i walk it alone, but father said the next time i walk it we’ll be together again.”

 

Beacon Picnic table
photo credit: jane doe

 

she kept walking and as she did, the pain in her heart intensified. shaking her head, she asked father, “why is this so hard?” his answer surprised her. “you chose to take a stand, and in that, you upgraded your own vision of yourself.”

she walked for a while then began singing along to adam levine singing ‘lost stars.’ she felt the absence of his arm linked through hers and the tears came quickly. the lyrics were more poignant than usual.

‘God tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young,
it’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run, searching for meaning…’

father continued. “you have chosen to upgrade your level of relationship by requiring full partnership and equal leadership. this will bring the balance you desire and what you both need to walk in and manage what i have for you.

an upgraded relationship means giving up what you settled for in the past. it doesn’t mean you’re giving up on the person – it means they have to choose to come up higher to walk with you where you are.”

she listened, processing as she walked, sang and cried. upgrades are costly. old, stale ways have to be discarded for new effective methods of communicating, relating, showing mutual respect and honor. paying the price means we let go of false safety, comfort and security.

certain things require change. possessing promises is one of those things.

she changed the music over to the verve performing ‘bitter sweet symphony.’ this chorus fit the bill today, too.

‘i’m a million different people from one day to the next,
i can change, i can change, i can change, i can change.’

she put that song on repeat and listened to it all the way home. then she spoke to him in the spirit. “come up here. your leadership is necessary. we have to be in balance.”
she’d felt him so close to her all day. and everywhere she looked, she saw his pickup. wasn’t that always how it was?

she prayed as she drove. she saw the vision first, throngs of men standing at attention in the cloud of witnesses, then gave the direction out loud, “men in the cloud, pray for the men on the ground.”

what followed quickly shifted her view from her own circumstances to that of her country. she saw a great gigantic rug being shaken out across the country, shaking out the lethargy, shaking off the passivity, shaking loose the men so they’d be free to step back into their positions of leadership in family and in country.

when the men are strong, the families are strong.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

the promise remains

the walking/talking and moments of silence continued until they reached the other side of the park where the docks were.

the island was in front of them. they’d seen elk here the last time.

they stopped walking and stood together.

she felt holy spirit all around them. the intensity was so great, she could barely get the words out. but she looked him in the eyes. she began to speak the powerful words holy spirit gave her. she spoke softly but with great strength.

“over time, you will begin to see yourself as you are seen and known in heaven. that is that is what the enemy most fears, because when you begin to live and move in your true identity, when you know…”

her voice broke with emotion as she stopped to compose herself. “…when you know just how much you are loved, you will be unstoppable.”

tears welled up her eyes and ran down her cheeks. holy spirit continued to move in and around them. it was hard to even stand in that place. these words were new to him and he had not often felt holy spirit like this.

her emotion made him uncomfortable, too. she was intense when she talked about father, jesus and holy spirit.

he needed space and walked down the ramp to the dock. she wiped her eyes and watched him from the top of the hill.

she heard the birds screaming to each other before she saw them. following their sound, her gaze moved to her right. two eagles flew in tandem across the water toward the island.

she called out to him so he could see them, too. they both watched them land together in a tree.

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photo credit: pixabay

it was a another sign.

he didn’t know what it meant. but she did.

father’s voice came again, strong, gentle, kind. “the promise remains.”

more tears. more tissues. glory and mess.

after a while, they began the walk back around the park, retracing their steps.

when they had almost reached the parking lot, she looked down to the ground to watch their feet as they moved.

father spoke to her again, saying, “when the walk began, your steps were not synchronized, but by the time your day was ending, you were in lockstep together.”

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

certain things require change

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photo credit: jane doe

she was late running her errand, which meant she’d be late picking him up. she called to let him know. and to ask if she could use the restroom when she got there.

some things never change. “you know, i knew you’d ask me that! the toilet handle broke this morning. you’d better stop someplace else to go first.” she howled in laughter. there was always something wrong with the toilet.

ten minutes later, she was there. responding to the car’s gentle honk, he walked out the apartment door, crossed the street and got in the passenger side of her car.

with twinkling eyes and a big grin on her face, she looked him over. he looked her over, too, with the same goofy expression and cocked head that had made her laugh so often before.

they were uncomfortable for no more than twenty seconds. then the chatter began as though they’d never been apart. in reality, it had been nine months.

a lot had changed in nine months. he still looked like a giant teddy bear, and felt like one, too. he’d had surgery on his leg and had most of the hardware removed. but there had been complications and he still needed healing.

she was continually amazed at all the times the enemy had tried to take him out but never succeeded. that was a testimony all on its own.

they took turns in the catching up until they got to the theatre. once inside, they debated on whether to purchase overpriced popcorn and candy. wisdom won, and they opted for a late lunch after watching, ‘the shack.’

he hadn’t seen it yet. this was her second viewing. she offered him a kleenex as the movie began. he declined her offer and took a hanky out of his back pocket instead. all right, then.

the similarities between his story and the main character’s were too many to count. neither of them attempted to gloss it over. it was the pain of the past that had destroyed what they’d attempted to build.

when she had a break from wiping her own tears away, she looked over at him occasionally to see how he was doing with it all. he was hard to read. she held his hand in the places she knew would be hard for him. some things never change.

then the poignant and profound quote came from papa’s lips as she spoke to mackenzie.

“when all you see is your pain, you lose sight of me.”

she looked over at him again. this time there was no subtly. this time she said, “this” with tears running down her face. he caught it.

they finished watching the movie in silence and walked out of the theatre quietly when it was over. bj’s bar and grill was the chosen location for late lunch. after ordering, more real conversation came.

some conversation unpacked the movie. it offered further explanation of what papa had available to him if he would simply agree that papa was especially fond of him. if he would shift, he could live an abundant life. no, it was not without pain, but he could live well-loved, and that made all the difference.

tears sprang back to her eyes when she said it, but he had to know. “i didn’t leave because i didn’t love you. i left because i was dying. you were so consumed with the pain of your past that you had nothing to give me.”

he answered her slowly. “i guess that’s true.” his own feelings of unworthiness had made him unable to receive, love and cherish the gift papa had given him in her. he believed the lies the enemy told him, without ever questioning their validity.

he took over the conversation with the experiences he’d had with papa since they’d last been together. he talked about how papa was working in his heart, but she heard some lying green mist in his words. self-pity was holding him back from going after a full-on relationship with papa. she heard it. what was at the root?

after lunch, they visited places they used to go together. wildlife was always a shared joy. they watched ducks, geese, an eagle, and an osprey. a sweet little bird sang a melody that sounded like twinkling stars.

as they walked along the path at the nature preserve, he mentioned how the guilt of a rescue worker dying while trying to save him still tore him apart sometimes.

she stopped in her tracks. this was a piece of the puzzle. “wait. this is why your leg is not fully healed. you are judging yourself guilty for what happened to that man, when in fact you had nothing to do with it.”

“yeah, you’re right. it wasn’t my fault. but it really doesn’t bother me anymore.”

“you just said it still tears you up sometimes, so let’s deal with this.”

she saw the demons were opposing this process. after some persistence, she got him to say it. “father, in the name of jesus, i come out of agreement with the spirit of condemnation.” it was a start. truth had been spoken. this was new for him.

he was not used to doing anything that empowered him or made him free and strong. but it was a start, and a good one. she stopped there. it was enough for now.

she wanted to go back, but he encouraged her to walk a little further. she soon saw why. the path that meandered to the far end of the park was under water. in fact, the whole park was almost entirely flooded from heavy spring rains.

the drought was over.

they finished their walk and headed back to his apartment. he thanked her for the movie and for lunch. he had some things to think about.

she prayed he would choose the path of life papa had for him.

certain things require change.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

going to the movies

she called him the next morning.

after some small talk, she told him she wanted to take him to see, “the shack,” over the weekend. he said he’d read some reviews on it. of course he did.

he was smart and well read when he chose. not much got by him.

movie theater
photo credit: pixabay

 

she assumed they were negative reviews and dove in to counter what she thought would be a negative response.

“i didn’t say they were negative reviews. calm down.”

‘i’m sorry. you’re right, you didn’t say that. please forgive me.”

she went on. “it’s important to me that you see this movie.”

his response surprised her. “well, if it’s important to you that I see it, then I guess I ought to go.”

she stopped to process what he said.

well, then. that was a new response.

they made plans to go over the weekend.

she and some close friends began to pray into it.

there would be a good outcome all around.

the world needed what father had built into him.

it was time for his release, time for his freedom.

 

(copyright 2017 jane doe)