taking back the name

options were limited and none of them were good. she could run away, but to where and to whom? and who would believe the stories about what really went on at home? did anyone really see her? she felt like the invisible child, even as the oldest.

she heard a voice say, “no one would believe you anyway.” at the age of fifteen, she wasn’t certain who that voice belonged to, but it might be right.

on the outside, their family looked pretty much the same as the other farm families in the area. she never stayed at friends’ homes long enough to know what was real and what was show. one of the neighbor kids had a mini bike that he used to taunt their dog. clearly, there were problems there.

no one heard what happened inside the four walls of the house, or in the barn, or the fields. maybe other farm families were all messed up, too.

she only knew she wanted out. there was no safe place, no haven, no peace. maybe she could go to new york, become a model. anything was better than here. she moved out of the house the summer after graduation. it was too painful and chaotic to stay at home.

a couple years went by, along with a couple of moves and job changes. those were manageable even in her own instability. but then the call came. her mother was hysterical, not making much sense. then her dad got on the phone. something about him having an affair, them getting a divorce. it all blurred together, all the years of fighting, the strife, the fear, the abuse. all of it came spilling out. and it was too much.

now she simply wanted to disassociate and distance herself from all that identified her to the family. it was so broken, such a mess. it felt shameful. their family name was dishonored.

memorial-plaque-1021415_1920
photo credit: pixabay

for months, she thought of different name combinations that would work, thinking she would legally change her name. she never did. but she no longer identified with that family name. it was just too painful.

the pain got worse before it got better. years went by. people died. perspectives changed. and the big move happened. it was the hardest and it was the best. healing came, layer by layer. the more she cooperated with father god, the faster it went.

distance helped. she could be who she was now. no one was looking over her shoulder, and she no longer needed permission to fly out of the cage and be free.

her mother’s health waned, so there was the occasional trip home. the mommy wounds were deep. forgiveness didn’t come so easily; it was a choice of her will, and nothing else. she certainly didn’t feel it. so she just kept choosing it.

the daddy wounds were different. abandonment, neglect, abuse and blah, blah, blah. the list could go on and on if she let it. family members were getting old. people were dying.

and there was the truth that couldn’t be denied: father god had placed her with her parents. he knew what she could and would overcome. and he said he would cause it all to work for her good.

she and the big daddy talked about the earthly dad quite a lot. “i get that he’s never going be the father i would like him to be in this life. you get to do that for me. i’m good with it now. but, i would just really like it if he would take an interest in who i am and what I’m about. for a minute.”  daddy god didn’t say anything. she knew he heard, so she went on with what she was doing.

then, on a friday night, she missed a call from her dad while she was swimming. concern rose quickly. the only time he ever called was on her birthday. did someone die? was the family okay?

she called him back only to get a message saying his voicemail wasn’t set up. well, of course it wasn’t. she shook her head and tried one brother. he didn’t answer. she left a message.

mom didn’t answer. her voicemail wasn’t set up either. what was the matter with these people and their technology? she called her sister, got her voicemail, left her a message.

next she tried her son. he answered, but hadn’t heard anything. “hey mom, i’m always the last to know. they don’t even invite me to christmas until the same day.” they laughed. she promised to let him know if she heard anything.

she called the other brother. he answered. “i haven’t heard anything, so everyone must be fine.” sigh of relief. if he didn’t know, yes, everyone was okay. and the sister texted back. she hadn’t heard anything contrary, either.

this was puzzling. dad calls on a day not her birthday, doesn’t leave a message and no one is dead. something was at work. she could feel it.

the next morning, her father called her back, “hey, ******, i saw you called last night.”

“yes, i called because i saw you called me. you only ever call on my birthday, so i thought someone died. i was frantically calling my siblings, mother and son to be sure everyone was good!” he laughed, she laughed.

then he asked her the question she wanted to hear. “so, what are you up to, what are you doing? bam. there they were, the open-ended questions that gave her permission to share pieces of her life with the man she knew as her earthly father.

she answered him with confidence and gusto, pleasure and delight. as she shared the details of her life, she heard how full it was, how rich she was in experience, deep friendships, location and above all, fulfillment in her relationship with father god. he was the one who made it all work.

her dad’s initial call? it was a pocket dial. but not really. it was really a set up to answer her prayer and she knew it.

when they were ready to end the call, for the first time ever, she blessed him with words he had never heard before, “i bless you and i love you, dad.” “i love you, too,” came his response. she encouraged him. “stay in touch. you can call on more than one day of the year.” she knew she’d have to be the one to call, and that was okay.

she had released him from expectations he could never meet. father god would be what she needed when others simply could not. and it was all right.

in her heart, the family name became honorable once again. she took back her maiden name, and it was good.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

the unwrapping

not long after they met, she began to see layers wrapped around him and weights upon his shoulders and back. the layers were like bandages wrapped tightly around a mummy while the weights were heavy, unbearable yokes.

the heaviness weighed him down and the layers restricted his movement and freedom, robbing him of the joy he had been gifted with in his mother’s womb.

she first experienced his joy at the airport as they waited in a long line. he was humming a happy little tune. she closed her eyes and listened when he first began. she felt herself becoming lighter. her cares were leaving. his joy was spilling over to her.

delighted, she turned to her left to look at him. “what is that?” she asked. he grinned and stopped humming to answer.

“it’s sesame street. the mahna mahna song.” she squealed in laughter. “what? really?? i love it!!” his humming had changed the atmosphere around them. it made her laugh and that shifted it even more.

during shared adventures, holy spirit told her about him. she shared with him what she could.  she told him about his joy, about the power it wielded against the enemy, how it would carry him through storms.

it was infectious with others, too. it broke oppression, pulling them out of their own pit so they could see, so they could breathe again.

she gave him oil to help him sustain his power. it was even called ‘joy.’ she wore it every day to maintain her own joy. everywhere she went, people asked what she had on. it lifted them. they wanted what she had, too.

the enemy knew the power of his joy. he came to steal it, to oppress it, to squelch it. and when the attacks came, he did not have the strength to put it on. his mind was attacked, his sleep was attacked. and it snowballed.

one afternoon, they went on a road trip. she could tell when he picked her up that something was wrong. she prayed in her thoughts. “holy spirit, what should I do?” he answered her quickly. “pray in tongues and touch him as often as you can.” this became her protocol whenever they were driving together.

christmas came. they went away for a few days. the enemy was not pleased he was with her light for an extended period of time. the battle intensified quickly.

she looped the same worship song in the car for three hours as they drove. “nothing is wasted,” by elevation worship. he drove, she worshipped, sometimes weeping. he was being unwrapped from bondage.

they went out for dinner christmas eve. she’d made reservations at one of their favorite restaurants. it had a view. their server seated them at the same table they always sat at. they smiled at each other knowingly. it was ‘their’ place. dinner was lovely.

they ate in silence, listening intently to the family behind them with the very bright little girl and her very british grandfather. memories were made at both tables that night.

later on, they settled in to watch a christmas carol. holy spirit showed her the weights on him again. she placed her right hand on his back in various places, and holy spirit gently removed several of them.

the intercession began soon after. she put on her ear buds and worship music. she took hold of his right hand with her left hand and held it tight as holy spirit moved.

her body shook and she wept silently as healing took place deep in his soul. he thought it was about her, and she let him think so. it was better that way.

the unwrapping continued. soon, he would be completely free.

free to see, free to hear, free to feel, free to live and free to love.

 

unwrapping
photo credit: pixabay

 

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

and so it went

they’d only been together a few weeks, still young in their relationship.

the end of this day found them at the marina for a walk along the river. after the walk, they settled on their usual park bench. they’d had conversations here before.

p1040460
photo credit: jane doe

he’d gotten more bad news. he was hurting. badly. his expression showed it. so did his body language. she could feel his pain.

he leaned forward with his elbows on his knees, head in his hands. she knew he felt defeated, that he had nothing to offer. she knew she would walk with him as he healed and learned his true value.

she rubbed his back lightly with her right hand. after a few minutes of silence, he slowly turned his head back toward her. then came the question. “what do you want from me?”

she drew in a breath and waited for holy spirit to give her words. “i don’t want anything from you until you’re ready. i promise you this: whatever the nature of our relationship,  i will love you fiercely.”

he had never heard anything like this.

she didn’t want anything from him and she would love him anyway. he had no response.

she had no more words. but she’d said it and it was out there.

and so it went.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

access denied

she was out with her family riding bicycles. they were traveling a path representing rich history, riding from boston to lexington as paul revere had so famously done.

this day would also be marked in heaven.

as she rode, she released declarations of freedom and resurrection life to the people and to creation. she released ‘angels of original american intent’ to move, to act on the words she was speaking.

her words were powerful, full of love, purpose, restoration. and they did not go unchallenged.

the enemy sent troops to disrupt the work. it happened quickly. her best efforts to avoid the crash weren’t enough.

she had the wisdom and presence of mind to quickly reach out for prayer from friends. those prayers pushed back the demons’ intent to take her body and pieces of her soul captive.

one friend got on the phone with her and began to pray in tongues. she saw infirmity and trauma trying to enter through her knee. she commanded all trauma to be loosed from her friend’s physical cells. she commanded the ligaments, tendons and muscles to go back into place.

the assignment was cancelled, access denied. indeed, there was movement in the knee immediately. healing was occurring.

 

Access Denied
photo credit: pixabay

as they talked, holy spirit showed them how the plan and attack happened in the spirit. pride stood firmly in the man who wouldn’t give way on the path. his unwillingness to yield gave place to leviathan to twist her body and knee in ways they were never designed to move as she crashed to the ground.

holy spirit brought more revelation: it’s at the point of attack when trauma or injury occur that all demonic spirits attempt to come and attach themselves.

it’s also the place where we submit (accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person) ourselves to god, resist the enemy, and he flees. it’s written and it is what it is. the power and protection available to us in coming under god’s authority is unparalleled.

this authority protects, heals and delivers all of god’s children, redeemed and unredeemed alike, to show them they are loved and cared for without limit.

and the same resurrection power that raised jesus from the dead exists in every redeemed child of god.
our bodies cry out for healing. they’re relieved when they’re blessed and prayed for because they desire to live, move, work and play the way father designed them to function.

there is no force than can stand against authority flowing from love and intimacy with father god.

time is not a factor in this process. god is not in time. jesus moved in and out of it.

he told us to be as he was in this world. this means we can go back to the time of the attack, be positioned at the point of entry and cancel that event. healing and deliverance occur.

when oppression is lifted and the blinders are removed, people see god clearly.

they see he is good. and always has been.

what the enemy means for evil, god uses for good.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

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.

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

 

certain things require change

P1030268
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)