Sunday, I walked into church and nervously sat on the sofa in the lobby. I spoke a few words with Kari and exchanged good mornings and how are yous with other church family members. As I was sitting there, I noticed anxiety bubbling up in my throat and my body started to tremble a little bit. I used to suffer from anxiety pretty badly to the point of full blown panic attacks. And once in awhile, I will still experience one, but for the most part – I
can control have authority over them. (Great sermon on authority vs. control that Sunday.)
I stood to hug a few friends, to make small talk about the weather, and as I sat back down, Kari says, “Momma, are you ok?” “Yes, babygirl, I am ok.” Truth was, I was unsure if I was ok, in that moment. She smiled that sweet little smile and I felt a sense of calm, briefly. She has Jesus in her and it is such a beautiful sight. She is growing into His love and what I see unfolding is this powerful, strong child that is going to lead people into Christ’s love. That is an amazing feeling of pride and joy for me, as a mother, to have.
“We’re ready!” she says. I look up and Erin B. is standing there waiting to usher me back to a room for a private session of prophetic words. I have never had an experience such as this and I did not know what to expect. I just signed up for a time slot, knowing God was guiding me in that direction. I nervously smiled as I got up from the couch and walked with her. As I opened the doors, I was overcome with some feelings that I cannot even describe in details yet I know it was mixed with fear, humility, awkwardness, excitement and to be perfectly transparent – I felt extremely vulnerable and uncomfortable. All eyes were on me for a moment and it was not just sets of eyes from three or four people that I was expecting (I wasn’t told how many were going to be there, I just assumed it was a small group), it was twelve pairs of eyes. Oh crap!
What did I sign myself up for!!??
A lump formed in my throat as I sat down next to the one person I knew the most and felt a sense of security sitting next to him. Erin R. is someone that has this presence of a gentle giant and a heart overflowing with honesty, no matter if it is a little painful to hear, he still speaks truth in a kind way and I have so much respect for him. I sit and sigh. Sighing is my favorite. Not knowing what is about to happen, I quickly say a prayer. Calm me, Jesus. Hold me now.
Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice
-Word of God Speak – MercyMe-
A lovely prayer was said and then the prophetic words were spoken. One after the other, members of my church family –some I knew, some I didn’t – began to share with me what was laid in their hearts. I won’t go into detail about what was said, that isn’t really necessary here, but as they spoke, tears began to flow. I cannot help that I am overly sensitive. I cry at everything – happy, sad, it doesn’t matter. I cry.
Growing up, I was always told I was too sensitive and overly emotional, as if it was a bad thing. I truly hated when those words were spewed to me with the intent of making sure I knew that I had to get thicker skin and that I was wrong for having such intense emotions. I would just hang my head and withdraw. I sometimes withdrew so deeply that I would take razors to my own heart, shredding it to pieces because it was so sensitive. I began to believe that something was truly wrong with me because I felt so deeply.
I’ve always known I was different. Like really different. The way I thought, felt, behaved, loved. It was all different.
Special. People always described me as as special too. This word has since been stained.
Each person spoke with a gentle spirit, revealing things that they could not have known about me. I couldn’t help but cry. These people do not know me yet they are sharing messages that I knew exactly what they meant and why they were saying them. These people do not know me yet they knew me. Only one way for that to happen, friends. Only one way.
When my session was over, I extended deep gratitude to these precious people. I was honored to be among them that morning. I was honored that they were willing to hear and see things for me. They took time for me. Me.
I left the room crying, soaking the tissues to pieces of nothingness. Walking down the hall, Pastor Mark acknowledges my state of being wrecked and jokes, “Did they just beat you up in there?” “Yes, they sure did.” I said as I laughed. He hugged me big. He is so very special. His love is such a beautiful thing. The love and kindness he speaks over his congregation, not just as congregationalists but as his family, his friends. I am so thankful for him and this church. It is like no other. Honestly.
I walked into the sanctuary trying hard to gain composure. I was struggling with that though. All I wanted to do was go somewhere and sob hard. I was internally wrecked. I couldn’t even gather thoughts when my friends were hugging me good morning and trying to have conversations with me. I felt flighty. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I heard and saw everything going on around me yet I felt like I was looking down on myself and I saw a scared little girl while everyone else saw a grown woman. I felt scared. I didn’t know why I felt scared but I did. I felt like I was ripped open and laying there naked, cold and vulnerable. I felt vulnerable. Raw. In the flesh. My senses were foggy.
Honestly, friends, I don’t know what was going on with me in that sanctuary prior to worship. I snapped out of it temporarily as we began to sing songs of praise and throughout Mark’s message. I felt the Lord with me. I felt wrapped safely in His arms all morning. I knew there was no reason to be scared. He had me.
As I was walking out the door to leave church, Kendal spoke a few words to me quickly. I heard every word in a muffled tone. I responded to him though. But what I heard over all the other words was, – as it was loud and clear for me- , “I love you, Trish!” Can you guess what happened as I responded that I loved him too and proceeded out the door? If you guessed that I started crying, you’re a genius!
Look, I am no longer ashamed of crying and being overly sensitive and emotional. It is a good thing to love this deeply, to be touched this deeply, to care this profoundly. I do not look at it as a flaw in my character anymore. It has served me for good more than it has otherwise over the course of my forty-one years on this earth. I quite like that I am a very compassionate woman. It suits me.
You might be wondering why I cried when Kendal spoke those three magic words to me. Some of you may be trying to figure it out (maybe not) or those who know me very well and for a long period of time, can probably say without second guessing…
I am a fatherless daughter.
The pain of being a fatherless daughter is deeply rooted. Deeply rooted. Now, don’t mistake me for talking about God. I am talking about an earthly, biological father. Mine didn’t want me.
He didn’t want ME.
I have stories. Painful stories. And most of them stemmed from or root back to being a fatherless daughter. Sure, I had/have a step-dad, but again, if you know me, you know that whole story there too. Bottom line is when any man with a gentle spirit, who is older than me, esteemed to be a possible father figure, shows me any kind of love and acceptance – my innate reaction is to cry. I cry because it feels good to have a daddy love and accept me…acknowledge me. A man who values a child. Rejection hurts. Oh it hurts so bad. But when it is your own father who rejects your existence and consistently denies relationship with you, it hurts a thousandfold.
I have worked to heal a large portion of this deeply rooted pain. But since I am being brutally honest here, I admit that it will never go away completely. So I cry when a father tells me he loves me.
The rest of Sunday was spent downloading, absorbing, processing the prophetic words spoken over me. It was a profound experience for me and one that is still resonating with me two days later. I have no words for the way it makes me feel knowing that others are seeing-accepting & loving the real me, not the outer shell of me, not the wounded me, not the sinner me.. just me. His daughter- a child of God. My wholeness, my goodness, my spirit. This journey has continued to be remarkable. I stand before you, still stripping the layers of pain that have threatened to take my life, in more ways than one, for so very long.
Shame. Abandonment. Rejection. And so much more.
It is an ongoing process. It is not something that is done overnight, or in a few months with a therapist, life coach or pastor. It is a lifelong process to walk this journey, revealing yourself as you were made in His image, not man’s image – HIS image. Accepting truths about yourself, allowing the hurt to be washed away by the blood He shed. It isn’t easy and I would be lying if I said this has been a cakewalk. It has been more like walking across sharp broken pieces of glass and then hot coals, barefoot. There will be cuts, deep cuts, bleeding, bruising, burns, scars. You will cry. You will be empty. You will be weak. Let it be. Don’t be ashamed.
I reiterate the message I have given to you so many times in the past.
YOU are worthy. YOU are special. YOU are loved. YOU have purpose.
And so do I.
Spread the truth of Jesus IN YOU. Share loving-kindness. Use your life for good.
Dear Father, I come to you today and ask that you guide us all into our true identity, created in Your image. I pray that you will help me use my life to bless others so they can do the same. I pray that LOVE wins every time and hearts will mend through Your divine grace. Lord, be the truth that sets us free. May revelation be born into the minds and hearts of nations to know that we are ONE. We are LOVE. We are Your sons and daughters to bless this earth with the gifts You have given us. May each and every person reading this message be moved into action, to make a difference in this world, to bring peace and acceptance to the hearts of the hurt and abandoned, to bring up the spirits of the depressed and to lift everyone to a higher existence in Your precious name. We have fallen short and Your love remains. You give us eternal life. Let us lay our burdens at your feet and trust. Let us open our souls for You and reveal our strength, our purpose. Use us, Dear God, to bring forth nations of diversity uniting in One family. Give us eyes to see, hearts to feel, and lives to touch, to change. In Jesus name, Amen.
Scripture for your day:
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners – Isaiah 61:1