david and jonathan

neither one of them remembered exactly when they became facebook friends. was it four months, six months? it was only in recent weeks that regular communication began. they both caught it. something was happening.

initially, she wasn’t planning on attending the event. there were obstacles, some natural, some spiritual. the natural ones were easy to see, the spiritual not so much. she sensed dark spirits trying to keep her from going, from connecting. one friend lovingly prodded her until she agreed to go. she let go of the obstacles she could see and pressed through the ones she could not. father god would take care of it all.

it was time to go, to meet the tribe in person. and that new friend. there was something there, something important. when the day arrived, she drove north and met with customers she’d grown to love over the years. those appointments went well. now, it was time to meet the new friend and get with ‘family.’

they’d exchanged telephone numbers days earlier, anticipating meeting. the texting began, then the calls to figure out where to meet for coffee. after muddling through disconnects and bad reception, they agreed on a nearby starbucks location.

she got there first and ordered, nearly inhaling the frosty frappachino to counter the heat outside. as she waited at the large table, she observed a man to her left.

he was mumbling and reading stuff that was well, not right and not truth. the book cover said something about the legion of mary, whatever that was. it was legion, all right, that was for certain. interesting. an enemy plant here? what was he thinking? they would pray for him. of course they would.

the liar was shaking in his boots about this relationship. that was obvious. no matter. she prayed in tongues and watched the guy, smiling at him when he would happen to steal a glance her way.

then, the moment arrived. the new friend walked in the door and crossed the room. they embraced like old friends only needing to get reacquainted. after having the baristas craft a cool beverage for her, they both sat down on high stools at the table. the conversation began flowing like water. holy spirit joined them and joy erupted all over the place.

three hours and thousands of words later, they parted company, albeit unwillingly. she had to get to the meeting. what a thrill it was to drive the last few miles and anticipate the joy to come.

after parking, she first met and hugged the precious friend who’d never let up getting her there. then there was everyone else. she was overcome with emotion. it was surreal to see, touch, hug and love so many people she’d only known long distance.

all these relationships spanned from a few months to several years. she had yet to comprehend why she screamed not once, but twice when she saw her friend from the u.k. she’d never done that before for anyone. maybe love just does that.

even with the physical distance, so much of life had been shared heart to heart in telephone conversations and over chat. that epic friday evening was a wash of glory, tears, laughter and worship on a level she had sorely missed for years. she was finally with family, her tribe. and it was good. but someone was missing.

saturday morning came. more teaching, more fellowship, then late lunch at a local restaurant mulling over all the wonderful things happening. she acted on the nudge to call her new friend to come and join them that evening. they agreed on a time, and in a matter of hours, they were sitting together again, side by side this time.  she was on the right, her friend on the left.

the teaching was good, rich, full of life and impartation. then came time for the offering.  she had four one dollar bills in her wallet. the remaining large bills were a gift from the new friend for a trip home to see momma. that was important. she looked at the ones and put them back in her wallet. she had no peace giving the cash. dad spoke. “you don’t need to sow into this conference. it’s my gift to you.” she thanked him silently.

the holy moment

five minutes later, he spoke again. “i want you to give ****** your ring.” she felt the prick in her heart immediately as she slid the two-toned ring off of her left ring finger. it was her favorite, most loved, cherished and enjoyed piece of jewelry.

turning to her new friend, she spoke. “father wants you to have my ring.” it was a holy moment as both women’s eyes filled with tears. they knew what it meant, even while seeing only a small fraction of what he wanted for them, with them.

it was a david and jonathan moment with strong women in the lead roles.

it was covenant, and it was eternal.

Ring 3
photo credit: anonymous

 

Ring 1
photo credit: h.s.m.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)

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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)

 

 

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)