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)

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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)

 

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.

 

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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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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)