Hannah...I know Jesus has met me here, another morning validating His work in my life. Reading this I couldn’t help but think of all the different ways you’ve encouraged me to do just as Jesus spoke to me this morning. He is more real to me today than He has been in a long time. The beauty is - I don’t even care ‘why’ my winter happened, or looking for ways to develop a strategy of preventative maintenance - NO! I just know ‘apart from Him I can do NOTHING’.
I want to thank you again for the work we did together a while back. It was powerful and helpful and God is amazing!
My mom’s stuff is not my stuff!My kid’s stuff is not my stuff!My husband’s stuff is not my stuff! God gives me the ability and privilege to choose. Satan grooms, pushes, drives us to choose before we know what is happening. God helps us to untangle our enmeshments that wound our souls and the souls of those we love.
The Lord significantly used my time with Hannah to deal specifically with my fear of man and my fear of abandonment. These issues have both played out significantly in my family of origin and at the time with my husband’s role as senior pastor of one international church and associate pastor of another international church. My family and my husband love me and a real threat of abandonment wasn’t there; the pain came more in the sense of being overlooked when someone else had something bigger going on. Which in my case, happens quite frequently. Even though this part of my journey isn’t finished, I’m a little excited in the process. Excited to walk with God as my family stuff continues to come up. Excited and humbled to maybe be a part of His healing for them. Most of all, I’m excited to grow closer to Him and to reflect Him more and me less.
I decided to seek a counselor and Hannah was who God led me to. As a man, I was not really excited about going through counseling with a woman, but the Lord made it clear He wanted Hannah to be my counselor, so I contacted her, and we began a journey into some pretty dark and hidden stuff in my soul and heart. As we worked together, the Lord began to show me the lies I had believed about myself and Him. I grew up with a mother who rejected me, and a father who was passive and emotionally distant. My emotional concept of God was: there is something very wrong with me, so I need to perform to receive His acceptance and love, if I behave in a way that pleases Him, He might be willing to give me His love and approval, occasionally, but only if I am consistent (the relationship is all on me, what a load to bear). Self-effort, shame, performance and condemnation was the foundation of my relationship with God. I hated myself and lived with an ongoing inward anger and resentment toward God and women that was hidden deep in my heart, but growing like a cancer.Over time, as Hannah and I unpacked the emotional bags, Jesus began to reveal the false identities and beliefs that had kept me mentally and emotionally tied up and imprisoned. Slowly I handed Him all the idols I trusted in, instead of running to Him each moment. He began to reveal to my heart, who He really is: a loving Papa father who doted over me and thought about me every moment of every day, whose love is unconditional and based solely on who He is, not what I do or accomplish. My acceptance was based on my new birth in Christ, and now I was His son. He was not my mother and father with their flawed version of love (though I know now they loved me the best that they could, considering their own hurts and hang-ups).The story isn’t over, I’m learning to live with an unknown illness and its effects (though some of the symptoms have improved for which I am grateful) while abiding in Jesus each moment with thanks. And I haven’t arrived yet in my concept of God as a gracious, amazing, loving Papa Father and Jesus as my very life. I find myself defaulting back to old identities and beliefs, running to idols that can’t help, and each time my Papa Father takes my hand and says, “come dance with me Scott, I love you!” I’m learning to receive His overwhelming, abundant, extravagant love and grace in Jesus, abiding in Him as MY LIFE, not asking Him to somehow help me do better. I’m learning to forgive Scott for all his past junk, and to love him in the moment, as one created in God’s image. How strange it is to love the person God made me to be, instead of loathing and despising myself, and to experience Jesus each moment who is my rest, rather than living in constant anxiety and fear.