my name is john

it was friday, november 8, 2019. the alarm went off at 6 am stirring both women to get up and get moving. the conference schedule had two full days remaining, but their food supplies needed replenishing. the quick fix was another run to the local trader joe’s before driving to the conference location.

they made coffee in the room, turned on the tv and began chatting as they got ready for the day. the florida woman took a quick shower while the oregon woman read and posted some prophetic words on facebook.

one of those words reached in and grabbed her spirit as she read it the first time. when her friend was within earshot again, she read it out loud:

“be prepared to be sprung into action. days are quickly approaching when you will be called upon without a moment’s notice. be ready and in a state of preparedness to tackle whatever situation you encounter. it will be somewhat like being an emergency room physician. i am about to vault you into situations where you will have to respond quickly and be fast on your feet without second-guessing yourself. you are a spiritual first responder.”

philippians 4:13 (ampc) “i have strength for all things in christ who empowers me [i am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me; i am self-sufficient in christ’s sufficiency].”  kevin robinson

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photo credit: pixabay

it was a rather sobering word. pay attention to your surroundings and respond as needed. nothing is coincidence.

the women got their gear in order for the day and headed to trader joe’s. armed with salads, granola bars and chocolate, they checked out and got in the car to drive to the conference.

the oregon woman, chauffeur for the week, noted her quickly declining patience as activity behind her prevented them from backing out and leaving. it was an odd configuration for a parking lot, not easy to navigate to the street. as they finally pulled up to the street to turn left, they saw her.

she was on the sidewalk to the left of the car, standing stock-still, almost catatonic. her eyes were fixed in a vacant stare. her left arm was draped across the top of her abdomen while her right arm covered the lower part. she was protecting herself.

her hair was sort of dishwater blond hair reaching past her shoulders. she looked well kept, not homeless. her coat was purple, her leggings black. she just stood there about 15 feet away from the car.

“my god, what’s wrong with her??” both women were shocked as they observed her. something was seriously wrong. the oregon woman looked at the florida woman in the car.

“she’s in shock. something happened to her. from the way she’s holding herself, she might have been raped or had an abortion. the oregon woman rolled down the driver’s window and called out to her.

“honey, are you okay? do you need anything?” the young woman continued to stare off into the distance. both women began calling out to her with urgency. “are you okay? are you hungry? do you need money? how can we help you?”

after what felt like an eternity, the young woman’s head turned toward them to engage. she took a few steps toward the car. her brokenness was heart breaking.

by this time, each woman had pulled cash out of their wallets to give her. now, she was closer to the car. the oregon woman extended the cash out the window to her. “honey, what’s your name?”

her answer stunned them, confirming her need for help. her lips trembled as she answered, “my name is john.” the women looked at each other. tears came to their eyes as they quickly realized they weren’t at all equipped to help her. and whoever john was, well, that opened up more questions than answers.

they couldn’t take her anywhere and they couldn’t stay parked at the exit of the parking lot. they left her there, standing still on the sidewalk, motionless, holding two twenties in her left hand, broken.

the florida woman cried as they drove away. they felt helpless but knew couldn’t care for her further. the oregon woman dialed 911. they could get a patrol car to do a wellness check on her.

“911 operator, can I help you?”

“yes, please, my name is ___________. we were just pulling out of trader’s joe’s at the intersection of ___________.

there’s a young woman standing on the sidewalk, almost catatonic. she needs a wellness check. something is very wrong. we gave her some money, but she needs looking after.”

the operator asked for a few more details and the call ended. as they drove to their destination, jesus spoke up, “you did exactly what I wanted you to do.”

when they arrived at the conference, the oregon woman ran to one of the spiritual mothers who also happened to be a social worker.  after telling the story, the older woman confirmed what jesus had said.

“you were not equipped to help her. i would’ve done the very same thing. it was the right thing to do.”

the prophetic word they received earlier did equip the women for the assignment they were given. they cared, they loved, they provided, they prayed. the young woman would be okay.

it was another good day in the kingdom.

copyright 2019 jane doe productions llc

 

letters for momma

the finer details of momma’s life were hard to grasp, often getting further out of reach anytime she asked more questions. it was still so painful for momma to talk about it all. she was just a little girl when grandpa took her to live with his sister and her husband on the farm in the midwest. momma had settled into country life but from what she heard, family relationships were far from healthy or peaceful.

grandpa had married a second time. momma didn’t have good things to say about her. she used the ‘b’ word to describe her, and she said she was mean. when marriage #2 fell apart for him, grandpa divorced and married a third time. this was the woman she knew as step-grandma.

sorting through the memories in her head, she knew momma grew up on the farm with the big white craftsman style house with plenty of cousins and neighbors nearby. she went to a small lutheran grade school and then public high school, both in the nearby town. aunt and uncle must have doted on her. it had to be so. but what else was there?

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photo credit: pixaby

the letters remained secret for decades, their existence revealed when momma’s three stepsisters came to visit. see unpacking old bags.  momma had her own family now, three of her four children born. the girls were there visiting in part because the momma the four of them shared had died. she’d never been able to see her oldest daughter again.

as the four sisters visited and got acquainted over the span of a month, the oldest stepsister finally asked the question. “didn’t you get all those letters momma sent you?” time must have stopped right there. even now, she could feel the shockwaves go through the air as she imagined her momma processing the question.

“what letters? you mean she wrote to me?” oh, god. how father’s heart must have lurched as he watched his daughter learn that her momma had reached out to her, not just once, but many, many times.

letters had been mailed from various locations where momma’s momma, her new husband and her 3 daughters had lived. both women had been having babies at the same time, odd as that seemed.

it wasn’t clear how soon after her daddy had moved her across the country that the letters began to travel through the postal service to the well kept farm. there were more questions than answers. one thing was clear: momma never got the letters her momma wrote and mailed.

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photo credit: pixabay

this was shock and awe, none of it good. it took forgiveness to a whole new level. the very people momma felt indebted to for taking her in and raising her were the same ones who’d kept her momma’s letters from her. her daddy knew, too. who’d made the decision to keep those letters from her and why?

from a safe distance now many years later, she wondered how could her momma process her emotions and feelings properly when the people she might talk to about it were the same ones who were accountable for the betrayal? all this mess explained a lot. her momma had bitterness, unforgiveness, trauma, betrayal and who knows what else thrown into the mix.

the spirit of religion kept a tight lid on the dysfunction and deception. no one talked about any of it. just keep looking good when you go to church on sunday, and everything will be fine. what a bunch of dung.

and there was her poor momma, sick and broken in her soul from all of it. it broke her so badly that any chance for healthy relationships with her own husband and kids was virtually destroyed. that generation didn’t have the same revelation or tools to get on the other side of this stuff. they had no grid for soul or emotional healing.

fast forward to today. it was still all so much to process. the great aunt and uncle that had raised momma had been grandparents to her. she loved them. uncle had died over twenty years ago, but auntie was still going strong at 101, tooling around the nursing home in her wheelchair with a hearing aid that was seldom turned on.

her own emotions went all over the map. it was easy to see now why there had been so much friction between her momma and grandpa. there was guilt. it explained why grandpa’s death had been so troubling.

momma, i am so sorry. i tell you this in all truth: daddy god loves you, and jesus has been with you in all of the pain and trauma.

your story is not over yet. it’s going to end well.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)

 

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?

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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)