Journey Of The Heart

What is your immediate reaction when I ask what is the condition of your heart?

For those who feel their hearts are trapped or even dead, God has not given up.  Don’t you give up.  In the “trenches” that is hard to see sometimes.  But I recently received through a dream the gift of seeing where my heart was many years ago and where it is now. Continue reading

The Ultimate Letting Go

Question #1 for you.  Is there a dream you have that feels so visceral that you just “have to have it”, i.e., without it life is just not enough and you can’t love yourself?

Question #2 for you.  Who does that dream depend on for fulfillment – you or someone else?

I recently had revelation that my answers were #1 – yes, #2 someone else.

Do you see where that could be a problem?

I have prayed, hoped and cried for this dream for so long that I can’t remember life without it.  I finally have my answer and it in no way looks the way I have, until very recently, told my Heavenly Father that it needed to look in order for life to feel complete and for me to be able to love myself and not feel a failure.

Curious?

In tech-talk it is an upgrade to my recent software installment of “letting go without giving up“.  Revelation came that I was unfairly putting an IOU on another person for me to feel complete and to be able to love me and to feel good about me.  Prior to the revelation I had seen this need as what I deserved or an even uglier term “my right” … just being transparent here.

My prayers had all been make this person act this way so life can be good and I can love me.  “This is what I deserve” should have been my red flag.  Did I really want “what I deserve”?  Jesus actually lived, died and rose again so that I don’t get what I deserve!  My mindset before this revelation was a trap and my Heavenly Father loved me to much to answer “on my terms”.

I was crying out in prayer, again, and heard what seems to be a very prevalent theme in my life right now “let go without giving up”.  My response:  say what??  Let go of my right; what I deserve?  Where is that in scripture Father?

My revelation was I saw Jesus in Gethsemane.  He let go without giving up.  He let go of what He deserved, to be seated at the right hand of the Father, and His dream for another way for mankind to be reconciled to the Father.  However, Jesus did not give up.  Rather, He trusted the Father’s way was better than the desire of His heart.  How hard was it for Jesus to let go of His dream and the desire of His heart – He literally sweat drops of blood. 

Jesus at Gethsemane from "The Passion of The Christ" 2004

Jesus at Gethsemane from “The Passion of The Christ” 2004

I was stunned.  I’d never seen it in these terms before.  Not that what I was facing in any way compares to what Jesus was facing, but because of Jesus example I chose to let go of my dream, what I thought I deserved, and the way it had to look, without giving up.  Trusting that my Heavenly Father’s way, however it looks, is better than the way I have (past tense) believed my dream has to look and be answered.

As revelation dawned I asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me for believing and partnering with the lie that another person’s response to me determines whether or not life is good and I can love myself and see myself as a success or failure.  I forgave myself for believing/partnering with that lie and not knowing any better.  I exercised the authority the Holy Spirit transmits to me (John 16:14)  to tell the shame and discouragement that has had access to my life through this lie that it must go and deal with Jesus.  I asked My Heavenly Father to rebuke whatsoever powers and principalities that have had access to me, and those I love through this lie (Jude 1:9).  I asked my Heavenly Father to put the complete work of the cross between all the consequences of this lie and me and those I love and to heal us all.  I thanked Jesus for going first and showing me the way.  How utterly amazing Jesus is!

Do you see the gift here in God’s answer?  I am utterly free to receive the best the Creator of All has for me!  

Free to be defined by who God says I am (Psalm 8:5, Ephesians 1:4) and how I respond to that truth.  That is eternal and does not change.  Whereas my version of depending on the responses of another person relies solely on their choices in the moment.  Hmmmm …. eternally secure or moment-to-moment changing definition.  I’ll take eternally secure please 🙂 .  

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life
Proverbs 13:12

I think of how long I’ve been praying this prayer and filled with this longing.  My hope had been “deferred” to the point of “giving up” because I was not willing to let go of how my dream had to look.  Now LIFE has come and with it JOY!  I’ve been asking for an answer and WOW has my Heavenly Father provided.

But wait there’s more!  (I know sounds like an infomercial right 🙂 .)  Freedom to love myself and to be complete; freedom to love those around me with no outstanding IOU’s; and freedom to hope without constraints. Now that’s a gift!  Top that off with the gift of being able to be “enhanced” by the people around me rather than depending on and demanding from them to complete me.  BIG DIFFERENCE for me and for them.

My prayer for you is that whatever your “must have” dream may be , may you be willing to let go of how it must look and trust Your Heavenly Father has an answer that is beyond what eye has seen, ear has heard or has entered into anyone’s heart, but God has for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).  An answer that is exceedingly, abundantly above all that you can even dare to dream to ask (Ephesians 3:20).

Letting Go from http://www.movingforwardmatters.com/letting-go-of-what-means-so-much/?doing_wp_cron=1411123341.5755259990692138671875

Letting Go from:
Moving Forward Matters

The Mortar of What-Ifs

Life Is Change.001

It takes courage to walk into your freedom.

Courage does not depend on who we are.  Joshua tells us to be strong and of good courage.  How?  Because what God has done before to protect and provide for you He will do again (Joshua 10:25).  Courage finds its source, its strength and its power in God being who He says He is … Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Loving Kindness and Truth (Exodus 34:6) and how He, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is present with us every moment of every day as our Comforter Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby (John 14:16)

My question to you is how much do you want to be free from whatever it is in your life that is hindering you?

Your experience, your current circumstances and the unknown tell you that either nothing can/will change or you could be destroyed.  How do they tell you that … by two simple words “what if”.

I’ve posted previously on grieving over what-ifs, but a recent dream brought revelation of the trap caused by the illusion of safety from the walls of what-ifs we erect around ourselves block by block mortared together by fear.

In my dream there was 4 women in a room.  I was one of the women; the second woman was a dear friend of mine however she was in a wheel-chair as her legs did not work but her upper body and arms were very strong. I did not really notice the 2 other women.  We were away on a trip somewhere but we just kept staying in this one room that was pretty sparsely finished.  The hosts seemed very nice.  I remember checking the locks on the doors as we were talking about going out.  When I looked at the locks they were very simple door handles that could easily be opened by sticking in a paperclip. From the scratches I could tell many people had done exactly that.  As I was trying to push the button on the lock one of the owners (a woman) showed up at the door trying to get in.  We laughed.  I told the owner we needed something like TP and we were going to leave to get it.  She said not to worry she would take care of it.  It felt like OK, now we are stuck here again with nowhere to go.  Scene changes and I say/ask “what about going swimming”? My friend in the wheel chair lights up.  The other women are quiet.  Scene changes and I see my friend lifting herself by her arms out of the wheel chair to support herself against the car to pack for the pool.  My alarm goes off and I wake up.

Over several days I have had continued revelation about this dream and I think the easiest way to share it with you is bullet points to translate the imagery:

  • The 4 women are all different parts of me.
  • Me in the dream is my consciousness, my intellect.
  • My dear friend who in real life is a very loving, giving, strong woman – represents my heart handicapped by past trauma
  • The 2 women I hardly noticed are:
    1.  my will which cannot make a choice and be heard because it is paralyzed by
    “what ifs” mortared with fear of living out a new paradigm I’m experiencing
    2.  some part of me that I have not yet even given a voice.  A part yet to be
    discovered that is as yet silent because of “what if”
  • The walls of the room are all the “what ifs” that keep the four of us in that sparsely furnished place rather than out enjoying all that is available to us on our trip/journey.
  • Going swimming is diving deeper with my heart and my intellect into the new paradigm I’m experiencing, but my will is silent in the dream, not sure about this choice because of being trapped by “what ifs” which keeps me stuck where I am
  • The owner is the Holy Spirit who is trying to get in to meet our every need!

The only thing I knew to do with all this revelation is pray “Jesus help me”.  Small prayer.  Big answer!

What I saw immediately was all the walls blow out and there was so much light everywhere.  It was like Jesus was there  but I couldn’t see Jesus because all I could see was light.  Hmmmm …. I guess I was seeing Him though since he is called the Light of the World (John 1:4).   What I could hear was “Just one step at a time; one step. One step at a time”.  I could see myself take this tiny little step.  I look up at Jesus like a kid would do and ask “Is this OK”?   I feel Jesus nod, feel His assurance and the warmth of His love.  So I bring the other foot up to meet the first.  Then I hear again, “one step at a time”.

But one step at time from where to where?  Any guesses?  

Here’s the revelation:  the locks in the dream – I thought they could keep me safe.  I thought I was safe staying in that sparse place behind those walls and with those locks but I wasn’t safe at all.  It was an illusion.  Anyone could get in and out.  I could see the evidence on the locks themselves.  That has been my experience in life as well, that all my what-if-ing over the years that has stemmed from fear has not been able to keep me safe.  If anything it has caused me more anguish.  The anguish of grieving before something even happens that I wrote about previously, plus what-ifs mortared together with fear are as useless as the locks in the dream to protect me me in any way, shape or form.  All they do is trap me, isolate me, paralyze me and steal yet to be discovered opportunities on my journey.

Like I said … small prayer …. big answer.

Remembering the many expressions of my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and provision to me and combining that with drawing on the courage the Holy Spirit provides I’m taking one baby step at a time into freedom.  Freedom that is built on what-ifs mortared with the light of hope rather than fear (Ephesians 1:18).   I am curious and excited about what I will discover.  Care to join me?

Penny Chenery Run at Life.001

The Joyful Anticipation of Good

As we approach Thanksgiving here in the United States and I was thinking about what to write – the Holy Spirit reminded me of a teaching I heard earlier this year.  It resonated deeply with me that I am soooo very thankful for the joyful anticipation of good.  This expression comes from a podcast by Bill Johnson of iBethel.  I encourage you to go out and listen to the entire podcast (Waiting Patiently in Hope 06/23/13) to be refreshed and set free with the truth it contains.  Internalizing this teaching has had a great impact on me.  I want to share that with you.

Below is what I transcribed into my own journal after listening.

  • Waiting  (Ps 37:7) – is waiting as a hunter waits watchful, to set up am ambush, seeking out and following so that he can apprehend his prey.  That is how we are to wait for the Lord.  Alert, watchful, and seeking out Him, His presence and following where He is moving; because He has promised that when we seek Him , we will find Him!  (Jer 29:13)
  • Hope  – Any area of your life where you do not have the joyful anticipation of good, like children waiting for Christmas presents on Christmas morning, that area of your life is under the influence of a lie.  The biblical word Hope is literally translated as this excited, joyful expectation of something very significant.  I may not know what it is, I may not know when, I may not know how.  But I am not leaving because it could happen at any moment that God is going to do something extraordinary. (Eph 3:20)
  • Patience (James 1:2-4).  Definition:  The independent, unyielding, defiant perseverance in the face of aggressive misfortune and thus to a kind of courageousness.
1962 Diane and Ruth Christmas

The joyful anticipation of good when I was a little girl with my Aunt Ruth at Christmas.

As the richness of this teaching sunk into my soul (emotions, intellect and will) the Holy Spirit came with personal revelation of how it applies to me and the passions of my heart … which you have probably guessed by now is unconditional hope for every heart 🙂

Part of how I live that out is being involved in an inner healing ministry called Sozo.  For those unfamiliar with that word:  “The New Testament word for ‘Saved’ is the Greek word ‘Sozo’ and it literally means ‘To Save, Heal and Deliver.’ When you combine Sozo with Sōtēria, which is the Greek word for Salvation you get the complete meaning. Simply putting these words together you are able to get the whole picture. To be ‘Saved’ means to be saved, healed, delivered, preserved, protected, to make prosperous and to make whole. The word ‘whole’ means to restore, or  that nothing is missing and nothing is broken.

The definition above is what I deem the “technical” explanation.  As wonderful as that is, after soaking in this teaching from Bill Johnson, my heavenly Father gave me this personal revelation of what Sozo is:

What you are showing me Father is Sozo is;
positioning yourself like a hunter looking for prey,
only in this case it is looking for Jesus.
Watching, looking, positioning yourself to be able to take hold
of what You are doing; to follow Your lead.
How do I follow? By definition of patience above:
“The independent, unyielding, defiant perseverance
in the face of aggressive misfortune and thus to a kind of courageousness.”.
Why? Because I have hope; the joyful anticipation of good.

That is what sozo is.
We are seeking to follow You and to find You
and You have promised to be found.
You have promised You will put yourself, as Bill Johnson said,
“in the midde of the road” if we take those actions:
seek You out, look for where You’re moving and what You’re doing
and we go after it aggressively with independent,
unyielding, defiant perseverance in the face of aggressive misfortune
whatever the person has been through,
whatever we’ve been through because we know —
I KNOW, I know, I know, I know – I have the joyful anticipation of good
because I know YOU WILL BE FOUND.
I know You will provide for me, for them
out of the bounties of Your goodness and Your riches in heaven.
WOW that is quite a definition and revelation of what Sozo is.

To cap it all off my sweet Heavenly Father gave me the dream below:

“Consuming Waves”.

I am driving along a coast in a car I later discover was borrowed from someone who lives in the area.  It’s a beautiful day.  Suddenly as I am driving I hear a “roar” and look to my left there is a HUGE wave approaching.  I see it with just enough time to see it before it engulfs me.  I feel absolutely no fear – actually the opposite.  I feel giddy, effervescent, joyful, empowered and child-like as in “do it again”.  Somehow I am floating within the car, but when the wave recedes I am still driving; the road is till there, the car is still running.  Then it happens again.  I am trying to remember if it happened 3 times or more.  This is sketchy but I believe I remember that I was thinking “what if this happens when I bring the group here”?   So I guess I was checking out a new place to bring people.  The scene changes and I am on a deck at a hotel, telling a group of people about it.  I think one of them is my Mom.  I am so excited.  The looks on their faces are ones of fear and almost horror.  There is one particular person, and I get the impression it was their car I was driving and they look very concerned about their vehicle.  I try to convey that it is fine despite the consuming wave.  As we are there on the patio, I start to hear the roar again.  I stop, stand-up look at everyone, and tell them “listen, wait for it”.  The words are barely out and the wave hits the patio.  I remember laughing as I am engulfed.  I wake up.

As I typed the word “roar” I suddenly remembered the blog post I wrote last fall while in Kiawah “the roar of love”.  That’s what these waves are – waves of consuming love.  I just asked You what is “the coast” and heard “living on the edge” – the edge of what I’ve known and what You have for me.  Oh, and the car is “driving” from the power imparted to me by others experience of You and driving it to a new level of experience in You.  Being absolutely overtaken and consumed by Your Presence Your love like nothing I … or “the group I’m leading/guiding” has every experienced.  Father I feel like Mary, Mother of Jesus in this moment in that I hear You telling me this consuming wave of love and Your Presence is something You are imparting to me and wherever I share my experience You will come and consume those around me – the patio scene.  Like Mary Father I do wonder “how can this be”, but also like Mary my heart’s response is be it unto me according to Your Word!!  Your freshly spoken Word that contains within it the Power to accomplish what it declares.  Mary couldn’t make it happen, I can’t make this happen – but You certainly can make this happen … Hallelujah

Crashing waves of love 17 Mile Drive - California

Crashing waves of love
17 Mile Drive – California

Now THAT is joyful anticipation of good!  Just how powerful is this joyful expectation of good?  Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him (Heb 12:2) … because of His joyful expectation of good even in the midst of excruciating pain that would try to tell Him otherwise.  Whatever your circumstances are telling you, the choice is always yours what you will believe.

This Thanksgiving I am so very thankful for the choice to believe in the joyful anticipation of good as I wait patiently to see earth’s sphere permeated with our Heavenly Father’s heart, which is sozo for every life, including mine and yours.

I invite you to come along with me to enter into living on the edge of what we have known and being consumed by what God has for each of us so that we can impart it to those around us and be “the light on the hill”  in Isaiah 60:1-3 that the world so needs at this time.