Lump of Fear

I used to be terrified of being real. Being the real me would expose who I really was, and people would see me and be very disappointed. I felt inadequate to do what was required of me. Fear had me good. Living with someone who reminded me every day of my inadequacies made it even harder to climb over the mountain of fear.

Inadequate:

Lacking the quality or quantity required. Insufficient for a purpose. Unable to deal with situations or with life.

That definition is exactly how I felt, and that was my reality. The Devil had me craftily believing his lies. Or so he thought. For a very long time I believed that I was only who he said I was. Believing this lie caused me to hide and run away from the things I needed to do. I didn’t feel like I was enough.  I felt that God had made a very, very big mistake placing me in the middle of ministry. I kept telling God I didn’t have what it takes. And He reminded me many times that He would give me the tools that I needed. But I was too wrapped up in my own self that I couldn’t understand or believe what God was telling me.

I remember sitting with leaders and speakers in meetings on the platform and feeling as thought I was someone who had been invited to the wrong party. I had no idea what I was doing, and I felt as if I was watching a movie. I was kind of living the motto “fake it until you make it.” I was terrified. But I always put my brave on and did what I needed to do. I felt as I couldn’t speak right, do right, or wear the right things. I remember one of the first times I had to do greeting in Canada at the women’s conference – I nearly passed out. I’m not even kidding. I tried to quietly work for God and stay as much as I could in the background, in my comfort zone not being seen or heard. I loved people, and hoped that just smiling and loving them would be enough because it was the only thing I knew how to do well. I wasn’t much allowed to shine next to my husband either. He kept me in my place, and if I thought I had done a good job at something, he quickly reminded me that it was him all along who’d done everything. Him. Not me. Fear kept me believing that life would never change or get better. I was grasping for air, for freedom, for someone to tell me that I was loved and accepted and that things would get better eventually. 

This is the very place where the enemy of your soul wants to keep you and me. God has placed an eternity in our souls. I knew deep down in my heart that this was not all I was created to be. I had to fight and break a lot of barriers on my way. It takes time and courage to start climbing over to the other side. On the other side of fear is freedom. Freedom to be me, to feel loved not by man but by God. The moment I quit believing the lies the enemy was whispering in my ear and believed the truths of whom Christ says I am, things started to pick up.

You are fully loved and accepted, and nothing and no one can take it away. Whatever you did or didn’t do wouldn’t make God love you any less. You don’t need the approval of anyone else. Just rest in this truth that you are the daughter of the most high God. Always. Period.

I was already invited in. I have a place at the table just with my name on it. I could fully enter all God has for me on the same ground that anyone else can. There was nothing wrong with me. I just had to learn to love and embrace me. To live loved as God’s daughter. Lisa TerKeurst puts it this way: “Live from a deep assurance that you are fully loved, and you won’t find yourself begging other for scraps of love.” (Uninvited, Study Guide pg. 9)

It took a while for you to end up where you are, and it will take time and work to change the patterns of our thought process to get out of where you are. Instead of fearing man, God taught me how to fear Him more than man. This changed everything. If God’s got my back, who am I to fear? If I am walking in His ways, loving and serving Him with all I have, nothing else really matters. If I fail, which sometimes, most definitely I will, He will be there to take me in. I started believing who God really says I am in Him. It wasn’t about me at all, but it was about Him. It wasn’t about my honor or shame; it was about God’s honor. He is who He says He is, and He never changes or fails.

Start believing today that you are loved, forever loved, and accepted at the table.

Jesus is calling you and me out of the darkness and out of the thinking patterns that we are never going to be enough. It’s a lie. You are invited in, and you have a place at the table.


“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.” 2 Samuel 22:17

Road in the Wilderness

Any battle you are facing, if you are hanging on to Jesus, He’ll bring you out. It may last for days, months, sometimes even years; you might get tired, hurt, exhausted, and just about to give up hope… God said, “I will even make a road in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:19)  It really is a miracle to have a road in a middle of your desert, but He is able to do it.  Don’t stop believing until you find your “road,” your way out. Seek God with all your heart. No matter the heartache or the pain you are experiencing, He wants to be the one to bring you out. God wants us to find peace even in the storm. The end to your pain will come, it’s just a matter of time.  I had never felt as close to God as I felt during my wilderness. He was all I had, and I clung to Him. 

This scripture comforted and brought me hope so many times throughout my journey. I kept reminding myself that God has a way out of what ever I was going through at the time.

He will miraculously rescue and pull you out of your desperate times. Sometimes I asked Him, “God, you helped me out of that one, but how are you going to get me out of this one?” Things looked impossible, but that’s the kind of business God operates the best. He rarely works same way twice.

His ultimate desire is to teach us to trust Him in everything in our life. God knows that when we understand this truth true peace, freedom, and joy will start dwelling in our hearts. We become fearless weapons in God’s kingdom. It’s hard, but it’s well worth it.

The situations and struggles that come our way are many times different, so the method of breakthrough will be different also. He never ceases to amaze me. He came through and delivered me or the children time and time again. Situations that looked impossible a year ago suddenly were happening right in front of my eyes. He was making good on the things that He had promised me. Things took unexpected turns, sometimes very painful ones, but the end result was fulfilled promise. Trust God even in the pain. You won’t be disappointed.

My wilderness lasted longer than I ever expected, and as I write this, it’s still going on in some way. You see, we don’t often control how long our difficulties last, but we can control our attitude while we go through it. Be aware that sometimes we unfortunately can prolong our own suffering… I fought God, asking Him many times, “How long is this going to last, and when is this going to end?” My trial was painful and hopeless to go through it with this mindset until I realized that in each difficulty God was teaching me something about His character — who He really is and what He wanted to do in my life. He was teaching me to trust Him. A lot of what you are going through has everything to do what God wants to reveal to you.

Some of the prolonged pains I was having were a direct result of my failure to obey what God was telling me to do at that point.

Obedience is a key of finding our “way out”!

When I let go of things, followed His voice, and did sometimes-hard things — scary, painful things — there was soon a shift in the way God moved things forward. Seek God and find out what hard thing, breaking, or lesson is there to be learned in your wilderness. You see, God uses everything that happens in our life to bring glory to His name.  Don’t think for a second that this life is about you or me. It’s not. It’s about God and His honor. Think about it — whose honor is at hand when the evil prevails in your life? He has promised in His word to bring you and your family out. God cannot deny himself. He is a sovereign God; His ways are higher than our ways, so don’t even try to make sense of everything that’s happening to you. Many times it makes no sense right. Just trust Him in the process. 

This lesson became clear to me one summer night in August 2017. I was visiting my parents in Finland. Because of the midnight sun in Finland, it was only dusk. It had been almost three years since my battle to freedom started. This night I had had it… I left the house at 12 am to go for a talk with God… I was mad. Really mad. I walked to the railway and sat there on top of some tree trunks that were waiting to be hauled away. I cried, yelled, prayed, and cried and yelled some more. I was so mad that God knew the truth of what had happened to us, yet He was not exonerating me. He was allowing my ex-husband to flourish. He was still going about twisting the truth, preaching and speaking lies about me. I said to God, “Where is my honor, and when are people going to see the truth?? This is so unfair to me. How am I going to be anything in Your Kingdom if you are not going to set things right… Then it hit me. Me. My. I. What a fool have I been…Then God gently spoke to my heart, “Your honor? As long as you think this is about you, nothing will happen. When you get that this is about My honor instead of yours, your victory is just around the corner.” Ouch. It was time to repent. It was time to ugly cry. “Lord this is not about me, it’s about you. I am so sorry for being selfish, thinking that I am someone who deserved any honor. I don’t. I trust you fully that my time to come out will come.” One week after this encounter, I received a call that changed a lot of things. And later I received a court document stating that the judge had ruled in my favor.  The document was dated exactly one week after my surrender. Only God.

God will sustain you in your desert. “I will even make… rivers in the desert,” says Isaiah 43:19. He will feed you, give you hope, give you a word, and just enough to sustain you for that day. That’s why you live in today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. “His mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22) Breathe in and breathe out. Your life is fully in God’s hand.

Your struggle will be the one thing that will make you who God made you to be! 

Broken Love

We all have to learn the delicate balance of allowing ourselves to be wronged at times, but not allowing ourselves to be set aside over and over again in a serious relationship. If you allow yourself to be set aside over and over again, it rips you from your self-dignity and self-love. When we are desperate for someone to love us, we start compromising who we really are. That is not what love was meant to do for anyone. Love, real love, is supposed to leave you feeling secure, never earned or worked for. If you find yourself working too hard for someone to love you, you are probably in an unhealthy relationship. When someone loves you, they will come after you. They will find you without you working overtime to make them love you. You are a precious treasure that someone is waiting to find. Keep your gems securely inside, and don’t give them away until it’s the right time.

Here are some truths that apply if you find yourself married or in a serious relationship with a person who continually disrespects, demeans, and leaves you feeling confused. If you’re not currently in an abusive relationship, these principles will allow you to best protect your heart from pain if you are looking for love:

Know your value:

Daughter, know your value. You are loved, forever loved, and accepted. Don’t ever make the mistake I made of trying to work harder and harder for someone to love me. The truth is that if a person makes you earn their love, they are themselves broken, unable to love even themselves. It’s a losing battle, where there are no winners. The love they are giving you is broken love.  It really is the worst thing you can do. You are responsible for no one’s happiness. There are people, broken people, out there who will stop at nothing to hurt your heart. It’s how they live, operate, and survive. They need a supply of someone’s pain to feed their sick soul. They are dangerous people to be in the relationship with because they will slowly, quietly kill your soul. It’s not easy to spot them, and lot of times you don’t see them until it’s too late.

There are people, broken people, out there who will stop at nothing to hurt your heart. It’s how they live, operate, and survive. They need a supply of someone’s pain to feed their sick soul.

Be transparent about your relationship:

My advice would be this: be as transparent about your relationship as you can, and let people who love and care for you the most know what goes on. My mistake was that I hid most of the abuse, which allowed him to continue fully thinking that I wouldn’t ever tell. One of the last things he told me after coming out was, “I thought you said you’d never tell.” He said this with the hurting face, almost like I had broken his heart.  Yes, he had counted on me keeping his secrets, but eventually I had gotten strong enough to tell the truth. I had made him feel that I would never tell people what he had done to the point that he thought he was safe to keep doing what he was doing. Well, it had been 16 years. But he didn’t know that God had, years before, started a master plan of awakening me to do the hard things.

Cover yourself:

People can’t help you if they don’t know.  If something doesn’t feel right, sound it off with someone who has more experience and has your best interest at heart.  If you have a history of making bad choices in relationships, the more important the principle becomes. Cover yourself. Talk to your friends, family or pastor. You might miss important red flags that other people with no emotional ties will see. Be open to admitting you’ve made a mistake. We all make mistakes. Sometimes the pride in us keeps us letting the loved ones around us know what really is happening in our life. Many other reasons such as fear, shame, and love for that person can also stop us from opening up. And know this, you are never too deep in a relationship, or even in marriage if it turns abusive, for you to turn around and say, “I don’t want this.” You have a voice, so use it. You are never too deep for God to help you and pull you out of what ever situation you find yourself in. You have to remember this. It is never your fault if someone decides to hurt you physically or verbally break you down. You chose a beautiful thing to love a person. The other person chose to misuse that love and take it for granted. Don’t blame yourself for loving, but know this:  sometimes there comes a time when you have to walk away and never look back.

Be emotionally healthy:

The best defense for making good relationship choices is that your heart and self-esteem is healthy. If you know this is an area of weakness, it can set you up for a failure. Even if you find yourself a good man who is wonderful, he cannot be responsible for fixing you heart. Many marriages struggle because of this. Find yourself and allow God to fill those empty holes in your soul that no man can fill. Learn to love yourself, seek counsel, read books, go after the things of God, and do what ever it takes to get you heart healthy.

A year and a half later after I had left, I found myself pleading with God to make me whole. My heart was shredded into million pieces and I so desperately wanted to be whole. I didn’t want to be person anymore who begged people for scraps of love. I knew I needed help. It became almost a life obsession on my part. I was determined to find my healing. I was telling God, “Make me whole again.” I was desperate.  I was intentional. And I think that is what God honors. When He sees we are desperate for Him to change our lives, He bends His ear to hear.  I sat for hours outside at end of summer 2016 drinking my coffee and desperate for change in my heart. I studied the word, surrounded myself with loving friends, went to therapy, read books like Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, Unashamed by Christine Caine, and The Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere. I went on a quest for healing.  God really started deep healing process in my heart that no one else could have done. This process was painful because I had to look at myself honestly and find the holes in my heart that allowed a person to degrade, demean, and devalue me for over 16 years. The damage he’d made to my heart was deep. I cried many, many tears. But, oh, the sweetness of life when the love of Jesus started pouring into my desperate broken heart and started to put it back together piece by piece. My life started broken but ended with beauty. It really is beauty from the ashes, from brokenness to beauty!  I love Jesus so much for what He did for me, and this is the reason I write today.

This love and truth is available for everyone.

Nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:39