unpacking old bags

she was just a young girl when the other three girls showed up for a month-long visit. they were close to her own age. her mother called them her stepsisters. this was new information. what was a stepsister and why did her mother have three of them? and who was this other ‘momma’ the four of them referred to? was that her other grandmother?

Luggage Old
photo credit: pixabay

the girls’ arrival opened up the past, like old luggage surfacing at will after having been buried on purpose decades earlier. as the bags were opened and unpacked, the walls of the old brick farmhouse became privy to long held secrets. nothing would ever be the same. tensions flew between elder relatives. conversations were held in hushed angry tones while pointy fingers accused and placed blame. her mother and stepsisters were caught in the crossfire.

years had passed since that fateful visit. she hardly remembered any of it now, save for the trauma of her infant brother rolling off of the bed onto the floor. she’d spent the better of part of the past thirty years (the last five in earnest) trying to piece together the events of her mother’s life. she hoped to better understand why their relationship played out like it had. sometimes it helped to have understanding of the timeline of physical events to see the spiritual cause and effect – and vice versa.

clarity made it easier to forgive, to discard unreasonable expectations. the two went  hand in hand, both were necessary for emotional, mental and physical healing to occur.

it was time for another epsom salt bath, seeking more revelation. that was generally how it worked. the combination of the salt and soaking music opened up her vision like nothing else. holy spirit showed her stuff.

this bath led to a new ‘seeing’ of her mother. an old familiar black and white photo came to focus in her mind’s eye. she saw herself as an adorable toddler holding on to the edge of her pretty dress standing by what might have been her grandfather’s fancy car. in a moment, the little girl in the photo took on the face of her mother at that age.

this image of her mother was not easy to see. she was a little girl, vulnerable, born into a family of broken adults. she knew what happened to momma at that tender age. it was as though she’d been thrust into the part herself. she had asked to see what happened and here it was.

there were issues. momma’s own daddy was broken and drank a lot. momma’s momma was young and her momma said she was too young to be tied down with a baby and a husband. this piece puzzled her greatly. what was going on between this mother and daughter and why would a grandmother reject her little granddaughter? how far back did this root of rejection go?

her memory went back to a phone conversation she had with her momma on a lunch break walk. momma recalled their house in portland, sitting in the breakfast nook eating  with a view of mount hood out the window. she knew if momma remembered mount hood, she remembered other events, even if she didn’t speak of them.

back in the past, divorce proceedings took place in court. after that, her momma’s daddy took his little girl away from her momma across the country. she would never see her momma again. her heart was broken.

this explained in part why she had been unable to love. she’d been torn from her own mother when she was just a baby. that trauma alone kept her stuck emotionally. she’d had no tools to heal, no one to share her grief with. she got stuck there.

and then there were the letters. that is another story.

love your momma even if she can’t love you back.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

he is glorified

it was saturday morning, the first day of the long holiday weekend. waking an hour later than normal, she went downstairs to make coffee and breakfast. a few minutes later, she was back at her desk to eat in her room with a view. it was a feast: coffee with bacon, eggs and a lemon ginger scone from her friend’s bake shop on etsy.
the deer were grazing in the backyard, a multitude of birds singing over them. yellow finches flitted from tree to tree as a crow teetered on the very top branch of a cedar tree. it reminded her of an angel that was perhaps a tad too heavy for the top of the christmas tree. what a good, good day. creation was awake.
“holy spirit, you order my day. i give it to you.” she scrolled through her facebook feed as she ate, responding to messages and posting the words holy spirit gave to her to encourage others. at times, she wondered if it was good use of her time. little did she know.
during the past week, she’d observed an increase in communication with a friend who lived on the opposite coast. they posted comments back and forth. she kept reading, typing. breakfast was excellent, her plate empty. had bacon ever tasted as good as it did today? maybe not.
the little nudge came, the knowing, barely perceptible, but it was there. “call her.” she rose to get her phone from the nightstand and returned to the desk. scrolling through the contacts, she found that she still had her friend’s name and number. the scent of lavender essential oil wafted through the air. it was soothing and grounding as she called the number.
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photo credit: nathan leblanc
her friend didn’t answer the call. instead, voicemail answered with no identification as to whom the number belonged. hoping for the best, she left a message, explaining that she was prompted to call her friend, but apologizing and blessing if the number now belonged to someone else. she ended the call.
going back to facebook, she messaged her friend, telling her she just tried to call, but not sure she had the right number. then she saw the ‘why’ in her call. the messages confirmed the purpose.
friend: “was in gas station most likely the time u called was struggling not to buy cigs. then god. jesus whispered ‘i will, i am helping you. i will help you. you don’t need a crutch. you are healed. took me by surprise how fast the want left when i took his hand. thank you for reaching out to me.” 💚💜😁😁😁
jane doe:”wow!!!!!!!  that was the why!!!! 
i’m an ex-smoker, love.”
friend: “oh wow wow double wow!!! that’s papa!!! 
not smoking is like learning a new language
the urge was intense
his whisper, ‘i will help you.’ over taken in jesus love here. thank you ****** for calling.
i just heard it. and the time is the same time i was standing at the counter 💜💜💜💜💜
wow!!!!!”
jane doe: “you will not be enslaved again in a yoke of bondage. ❤ 
 this would make a great jane doe story. i can write it just from what happened today.
you are not identified and he is glorified.
send me the time of the call.”
she had walked this path to freedom with jesus. she knew. she came alongside her friend with strength to push back that yoke of bondage.
friend: “what a good dad. as he said i will help you. that’s when u called.
12:09. 
i am free this started few weeks ago progressively. I was listening to the birds, water sounds of papa’s creation.
not identified and he is glorified. 💜💜💚💎🍴
i’m so thankful you called. he was working this encounter from the start today lolol.
jane doe: “yes. i was in tears and prayer almost from the time i woke up. and he drew us together more closely this week so we would be in tune with each other. i saw that before today. please put any other details you want to share in here, and i will craft them into the story.”
friend: “Need a min. lol
I seem to talk better than writing here.”
New number so you have it *** *** ****. he is glorified. crying in his love.
jane doe: “got it!
i love what he did between us today!”
friend: “i was just going to tell you that. i love what he has done between us today. powerful love. and we didn’t even know at the time. i’m blown away by the way. in awe of grace. you really called at 9:09.”
can’t wait to read he is glorified. i’ll write later a little more of what was happening.
the timing is father all the way. i told him, i think i think better smoking father my brain doesn’t seem to work as well. words coming out when i hadn’t processed, thinking before i spoke all week. lol wow wow wow. how did this come together today? i’m crying 💜🐦 hope you get to see wonder woman today.”
Papa had swooped into time to rescue his girl through another daughter. on one coast, it was 12:09 pm, and on the other it 9:09 am.
the timing was perfect.
who’s your daddy?
(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

authority and submission

it was relatively the same conversation on a different day, this time via telephone.

he was complaining about the demons in the apartment. it was the same lot that lived there before her arrival and after she’d left. the older residents had likely invited a few new ones by now.

the latest round of harassment and victimization included an apple thrown across the kitchen, cupboard doors opening and slamming shut with a new stunt thrown into the mix. one of them had taken his laptop and chucked it on the floor when he wasn’t home. this act of destruction required a trip to the big box electronics store for repairs.

she shook her head, listening in frustration. the demons had never messed with her. when she was around they’d fled to dark corners and closets.

he went on, wallowing in self-pity about the bad things they were doing to him. it was a ploy for sympathy. of course it was. she bought it for a minute and began praying for him.

he listened as she began, “father, i’m seriously tired of listening to all the crap the enemy is doing to _______. she began to take authority over the enemy but something wasn’t right. she stopped.

she turned her attention back to him. “you know, we’ve had this conversation multiple times. you were made for so much more. you were not made to live at this level in this misery. if you would fully come into your identity in jesus, you wouldn’t have to put up with this crap.”

he said nothing in response to the truth he was hearing. he never did, never engaged in this part of his salvation. self-pity had a louder voice again this go ’round.

they finished their conversation and she went on with her day. same old story. she shook her head. it was another reminder of why they weren’t together anymore. choices and free will. sigh.

two days later, she saw a post by graham cooke on facebook. her eyes grew wide as saucers when she read it. not only did the light bulb go on, it blew up.

papa graham offered this wisdom: “process is where we discover god at work in our lives. it is where we submit to the work of his hands. process is everything. there is no growth or maturity without it.

if we do not submit to the process, the enemy will not submit to us. the process is the foundation for our obedience, which results in our authority. there is no authority outside of our submission.” (from qualities of a spiritual warrior by graham cooke)

authority courthouse
photo credit: pixabay

there it was. she knew this was spot on. there is no authority outside of our submission. she’d been through process learning obedience. she had been granted authority and father god continued to increase it. it was the reason stuff moved when she was around.

merriam-webster defines authority as 1. power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior, and 2. freedom granted by one in authority.

submission is defined as 1. the condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant, and 2. an act of submitting to the authority or control of another.

as she mulled over graham’s words, holy spirit added to it. “submission is also a choice to trust, to receive love, to have full on relationship with papa, jesus and me. it’s believing we have your best interests in mind always. it’s believing we are always good.

it’s submitting to being and living as the new creation that you already are. to remain locked into your former identity as a dead man only produces more death.

sure, papa’s children will go to heaven, but they will not experience the righteousness, peace and joy of our kingdom here without submission, without the process or the journey.

becoming a manifested son or daughter is a choice. you cannot rule and reign with jesus outside of embracing your son ship.”

who are you? the new man or the dead man?

what is your identity in jesus?

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

waking up

it was a saturday morning. her son slept in while she rose early to have coffee and time with father god. it was her usual routine nearly every day, coffee and worship before anything else.

she went into the kitchen to make breakfast for the two of them. buster the cat took his place on a stool opposite her across the counter. he liked to observe what his ‘mummy’ did in the kitchen. she was the only mum he’d ever known, the first living creature he saw when he opened his eyes as a kitten.

with breakfast going on the stove, she called to her growing teenager to come downstairs. it wasn’t long after her call she heard his footsteps on the stair treads. his face was ashen when he got to the main floor. he was upset, nearly in tears.

“honey, whatever is the matter?” “mom, i had two dreams last night. one them really shook me up.”

she was silent as she waited for him to gather himself. when he was seated at the table, she quietly encouraged him. “tell me.”

“well, the first one upset me the most. i’ll tell you that one.” and he began to describe the dream to her.

“i saw this field with all these huge rocks in it. except the rocks weren’t rocks. they were people all curled up, sleeping. and they needed to be woken up.

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

some of the rocks (people) woke up real easy when someone touched them. others took more effort, like they had to be shaken. and the last group was very hard to wake up. it took a long time. it was like they were dead.” his voice trembled.

she drew in a breath, then asked him the question. “which group were you in?”

“i was in the last group.” her heart cried inside, but she said nothing. instead, she served them breakfast and they continued to talk about the dream. she knew what it meant. she saw it in the future.

it was specific to the next awakening father god was bringing to his beloved humanity and creation. it was the manifestation of the sons of god. it was the restoration of all things. father had spoken to her about this on their walks.

now, her son had gotten a glimpse of what some of it would look like. and it would not be easy. it would take love, patience, grace, all those gifts father had given to his people.

when he was done eating, he went back to his room to write the dreams in his notebook. she kept those dreams tucked away for safe keeping. the one with the rocks was especially important.

years went by. she’d moved across the country. she gave the recordings of the dreams back to him during the packing process.

more years went by. it was time for the awakening to begin. it began slowly at first. she heard the sound, a great rumbling from the deep ocean waters on the west coast. she heard it in her spirit and felt the vibration as she drove highway 101 south, the coastal highway. it was the anniversary of asuza street, a monumental spiritual anniversary.

two more years passed. holy spirit reminded her of her son’s dream of the field of rocks that were really people. she asked her son about his dreams, but he didn’t remember them. she felt some sadness. part of the dream had come to pass. but all was not lost.

it was time for the people to wake up, for creation to wake up. the ones who were already awake ran quickly to awaken the ones who were light sleepers. they jumped right up and ran to wake up others. and so it began.

as she talked with her son on the phone one night, she talked about her adventures here in her new home, how they reminded her of narnia and all they learned from father god watching those movies.

he was silent as he listened to her tell stories with passion and excitement. she asked him, “don’t you remember?”

his response caught her off guard. “no, i really don’t. you do sound like you’ve lost it, though, mom.” he laughed a little bit.

then she remembered his dream again. he was in the group that was the hardest to wake up. so she would love him and remind him who he really was until he was fully awakened.

are you awake?

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

 

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.

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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)

 

 

being seen

it was the first holiday weekend of the summer. it was unseasonably warm. temperatures hadn’t been this high over memorial weekend since 1995.

she had no spectacular plans for the long weekend, save for some reading, rest and a swim. on saturday, she went to the marina for a few hours to sit in the park with a book on the physics of heaven.

she found room under a large tree with others who were enjoying the day. kids squealed from the cold water as they ran back and forth through the sprinkler in the play area.

she settled back in her lawn chair to finish the book she’d begin 1 1/2 years earlier. the chapter she was engrossed in revealed the laws of quantum physics as they related to the power of words. it explained infinite possibilities with both words and intent. fascinating, weighty stuff.

she could only read one sentence at a time, and often had to re-read it several times to absorb the content. her efforts were complicated by the swarms of box elders bugs flying around her head. they began to land. all around her. in her book. on her head. all over her body and the chair. they didn’t bite, they were just annoying. the one that flew down into her shirt required special extraction.

she commanded her angels to keep the bugs off of her. it helped a little bit, but not entirely. as she swatted the bugs away, a young man came flying over the railing above her. he landed in front of her chair and ran down to the picnic table where his mom and younger sister were sitting.

he appeared to be nine or ten years old, quite a handsome young man. he had a lot of energy. he came toward her opposite the sidewalk and began to climb up the concrete wall and over the railing to the deck above. to her dismay, he began to jump from the railing to the concrete below. it was a good ten foot jump. and really not safe.

she watched him without watching him. who was he putting on the show for? he was not careless. he was good. gymnastics would be a great outlet for him. still, this was not safe. she commanded angels to keep him from jumping. his activity decreased but did not stop.

what was going on with the angels? the bugs didn’t stop landing on her and this kid was still performing his circus act. she looked at him more closely when she thought he wasn’t looking. his face was sweet, innocent. there was something else, too. she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

he began to jump from the top of the railing again. when he landed hard on the concrete just feet away from her, she could stay silent no more. “honey, i need you to stop jumping from up there. it’s not safe. i don’t want you to get hurt.” once a mom, always a mom.

he looked at her as he caught his breath. that last jump had knocked his stuffing loose. his expression shocked her. instead of being angry, he was relieved, almost happy.

someone had paid attention to him, cared about his wellbeing. he looked at her, saying, “okay,” as he nodded his head. then he got up and ran over to his mom at the picnic table.

well. that was just odd. he didn’t get mad at her for speaking up. he obeyed what she asked. he’d been acting out for attention, any attention.

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photo credit: pixabay

he felt loved when he was seen. when she asked him to stop so he wouldn’t get hurt, he felt cared for. he mattered to her. his well-being mattered.

and it didn’t matter if this mom wasn’t his. she just cared. and she told him.

his daring jumps were the only way he knew to get attention, to be seen. he didn’t have to break an arm for her to say something to him, to show him love and care.

people act out in many ways to be seen. desperate for love, yearning for someone to say, “i see you. you matter. i love you.”

any attention is better than no attention. so someone might show love.

(copyright 2017 © jane doe)

reconnaissance and refreshing

her life had gotten out of balance with too much work and not enough play. it was no secret she was a type a, often needing friends to give her permission to slow down. she’d given herself a day trip to the beach, sensing jesus beckoning her with his hand. it was time.

when saturday morning arrived, she slept in an hour or so. when she did get up, she went about her preparations quickly and purposefully to have a full day at the beach.

coffee in hand, she packed the car and drove down to the highway, turning right to go across the mountain pass. only half a mile down the road, her car seemed to steer itself into a u-turn in the middle of the road. now, she was headed west taking a different route to the same destination.

this was the second time in a month she’d done a u-turn in the middle of the highway. at least there were no flashing lights in her rearview mirror this time. that was a different story. the prompt to change directions did signal that something was afoot.

 

Megler Bridge
photo credit: pixabay

memories began to flood back as she thought about the other times she’d been on this highway with him. she thought of the places they went. there was the coast guard museum, baked alaska on pier 11, that crazy long, high bridge that crossed into the next state. they were good memories but she wasn’t going to those places without him today.

today was about rest, refreshing, anticipating good things to come. they would begin again right where they left off, but better than before. they would be stronger as a couple. father said so. he knew.

previous dinner conversations at baked alaska came back to her. how he watched her expressions as she talked about seeing them in the future, hand in hand jumping off a cliff filled with joy and excitement. it was great vision for a great life. they’d eaten there three times. three was a good number.

oh nuts, she missed him. and she was fatigued and burned out. tears came to her eyes. father said, “when they come, let them come.” she nodded. she knew what was being worked out in each of them was best.

she took one deep breath and exhaled. and another. she did it until her shoulders began to relax. after driving about 45 miles, the tension begin to lift off of her.

the drive was peaceful. it was early, not too many people were out yet. in the distance, she saw the fog drop down to kiss the tops of the mountains. it was delicate and breathtaking. father was a master at romancing her through creation. he never failed to win her heart.

she was within city limits when she saw the black, unmarked law enforcement vehicle pass her in the opposite lane. it wasn’t a local leo.

no road trip was complete without some undercover work. something was going on in this port city. whatever that something was was going to shift from darkness to light.

she went into tongues, and the revelation came quickly. human trafficking. this is a port city, of course it would be that.

like deborah had done in the old days, she judged this activity as unrighteous work of the enemy, commanding it to cease and desist in the name of jesus.

she released light into the darkness commanding all these hidden things be exposed. then she called to the prodigal sons to return home to their father. he was waiting for them, loving them right where they were. she released angels to release all the captives.

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photo credit: pixabay
her work done, she drove on to the beach to meet father, jesus and holy spirit for the day.
(copyright © 2017 jane doe)