Motherhood, Idolatry?

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In an earlier entry, “The Awakening,” I mentioned a harvest of sowing wild oats.  I gave birth alone at the age of 18 to a beautiful baby girl.  I was alone because I wanted to be alone.  As I mentioned in another entry, I was not about to trap a man, using a baby.  In the nearly six months of adulthood, I’d experienced so far, I was struggling.  A connected awareness was definitely missing in my functioning and it become very obvious to me, but I was unsure what to do.  Things were being done, nothing was going untended, but I didn’t remember doing them.  I had no one in which I dared to confide.  Early signs of MS were beginning to show as well, but I was absolutely certain motherhood was going to change everything.
And did it, ever . . .

I never made a decision, until I made bad ones as an older teen and young adult.  I simply tried to do as I was told and strove very hard to not displease my parents.  I still remember in elementary school, a girl broke her arm and asked me to sign her cast.  I wouldn’t do so without first obtaining permission from my parents.  This is particularly ironic, in that I became a writer, and they are not terribly approving of anything I write.  I grew up very afraid of displeasing my parents while great reverence for the medical industry was strictly enforced.  I remember some very uneasy, queasy feelings early in childhood regarding health care, love and provision.  I was not a normal child, not at all.  I didn’t participate with other kids as a kid.  So often, there was that uneasy, queasy feeling . . .  

The idea was planted very early, that when I was “disciplined,” if my grandparents found out, they would be very disappointed in me . . . My grandparents were awesome, I certainly didn’t want them to be disappointed in me.  I was also taught very young that it was rude and inappropriate to discuss what went on at home, publicly.  So, as strange as I already was, I figured the rest of the world operated that way too.   My mother now tells of the observation I made as a three year old when she experienced some particularly exasperating frustration and proclaimed, “Enough is enough!”  In my three year old insight, I verbalized, according to her.  “Ummm, enough is too much, a little less is enough . . .” 

I chuckle now, but in one of the books I was writing, I was including the Scriptural reference for the Ten Commandments.  To my chagrin, I had already typed Exodus 20:12 for the beginning and was checking for the final verse, when I noticed the verse I had entered as the beginning was actually the fifth commandment.  “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother . . .”  Of course, as a Torah observant Sabbath keeper, I know the first four commandments, but the “rules” of my raising run deep.  

Motherhood did in fact change me, all of me.  Every broken piece of my awareness centered around this precious beautiful baby girl and every broken piece of me was determined to make her childhood so different from her mom’s.  As I discovered the month she turned eighteen, different isn’t necessarily right.  There are any number of ways to be different and still be wrong.  There is only one way to raise a child right, and I didn’t do it.  She was very disrespectful as a teenager and I was desperately hoping it was a phase . . . as it turns out, twenty years later, it was not a phase.  

It wasn’t long after I had come to YHWH and I was praying for this daughter in particular, I was openly and audibly rebuked.  Kneeling before our old burgundy love seat, I was asking Him, pleading with Him, to basically “fix her,” when I clearly heard The Voice.  What I heard caused me to tremble, weep, and seek forgiveness, determined to repent, but unsure as to how.  He simply stated, “Don’t ask Me to fix your god.” 

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Writing

As I write this post, I’m so thankful for something today that I hadn’t really ever considered.  As one of the contributors and I exchanged information and chatted about the publication of the Goshen Gazette, the number of blogs I maintain for articles and guests came up.  I jokingly referred to myself as “the Sybil of the internet.”  That was the night before this site was officially linked to the weekly publication.  When I’m testing the waters, I tend to package the truth in a short bit of wit, or at least make the attempt.  As it turns out, that little reference has brought a real reminder to me.

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I maintain eighteen active blogs with several others for guests and extras, and own seven websites.  I also keep three spiral notebooks perpetually in use and two others, a small one in my purse, and one by my bed for random notation.  As for the perpetual spirals.  One notebook contains my general list of daily plans and thoughts that come to me through the course of my day.  One spiral is specifically for the Goshen Gazette, and the other is for business.   All of this may sound like a lot, but spread over 6 days, it’s simply what I’m called to do.   In cleaning the little things last week, I’m now determined to become disciplined enough to stop using little scraps of paper everywhere and utilize one of my five options, instead.

Why am I boring you with these details?  Please let me share.  Several years ago, in a deep house-cleaning after a divorce [throwing out all reminders,] I began coming across spiral notebooks that contained different penmanship and perspectives, and none of them contained my ex-husband’s handwriting.  I had a young daughter, but I was the only adult in the house at the time.  I was involved in a “battered women’s support group” as my recent divorce had ended an abusive marriage. I shared just a bit of the information with the group facilitator who maintained her cool, but it was clear to see, her wheels were turning.  She asked me if I’d ever been in counseling or seen a psychiatrist.  I then relayed some information from my childhood.  The professional recommendations were then, forthcoming.   I’d known for years I struggled with awareness, but I hadn’t realized what it actually meant.

Since we’d discussed briefly my previous counseling, I decided to see if I could speak with the psychiatrist who had been in charge of my case as a kid.  Sure enough, he was now in private practice, but remembered me.  In our short conversation, he shared that although the circumstances had not aimed at a diagnosis at the time, there was strong evidence of dissociation in the tests I’d taken.  He specifically mentioned remembering some answers seemed like those of a very young child, while other answers seemed to come from a mature woman well beyond my years.  He recommended a specialist in the field of dissociation identity disorder or as it was referred, multiple personality disorder.

From what I read of those first journals, my broken mind was trying to make sense of the confusion and pain.  One of the journals rang of self-deprecating humor, another of making childhood good, still another of man handling . . . or how to avoid being handled.  Through years of secular counseling I wrote to keep track of life and try to connect my existence.  Now I write to publish the Good News of Messiah and share what G-d can do.

I am so humbled and thankful that even before I had full awareness, Abba had full awareness of me.  Long before I could even imagine the mind of Messiah, I was on His mind.  Today, I am so thankful to be blessed with many notes, blogs, and journals, but now, by the grace of G-d, I am aware of them all!

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Like a Flood

A video I viewed this week deeply touched me spiritually.  A friend and colleague posted a 5 minute video that contains intense details.  I was so young when I learned to swim, I don’t remember not knowing how, so water doesn’t usually intimidate me; but this video was another matter, altogether.  A gentle stream had become a raging river of torrential flood waters.  In that short video, he brought the viewers to a close up of a whirlpool, of furious over flow, of water breaking though under the infrastructure, and a deluge spilling over the road creating an ominous waterfall.  The volume of water seemed immeasurable.  He captured footage of potential peril and out and out danger.  In that five minutes, I saw my emotional history.  So many things in my life used to sweep away my hope and peace and eroded my awareness between situations and incidents.

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When I was led to get a computer, I knew it was to be a witness unto Y’hshuwah, on the internet.  The first website I assembled, addressed health from an exclusively spiritual perspective, which I’ve now incorporated into the larger, fuller website addressing many aspects of The Way of Life.   There were many willing volunteers who helped with that early outreach plan, back in 2001, and it has grown, but in the growth, I kind of relegated the mental health testimony to a back page of the website.  That is now changing.  In my salvation and healing, not only did I hear, “Go and sin no more,” but I’ve now also heard, “Share what I’ve done.”

Although my mind was miraculously healed, I simply didn’t know how to function as an “whole” human being.  I wasn’t used to expressing vulnerabiliy outwardly.   Rather than hiding in Him, I didn’t realize it; but I was often times hiding behind stoicism and words about Him.  I wasn’t trying to be dishonest, I honestly didn’t know how to be emotionally trasparent.  I was well aware all those years of taking a Bible Study into a state facility, but for the grace of G-d; that’s where I could have been.  That’s why I went!  I wanted those people to have what I had been given.  I wanted those kids to be spared the mistakes I made as a mentally unstable young adult.  I now realize with operation vigilant eagle in place, I still could end up in some sort of facility, many of us could; but this time it will be because of my awareness, not lack of it!

When I came into covenant with YHWH in Messiah, I had no idea what normal thinking or connected functioning was like.  We are promised the mind of Messiah, but I had no idea how to live life with connected awareness and to express emotion.  Dissociative Identity Disorder or MPD as it used to be labeled, in a nushell, amounts to a mental disconnection of awareness and emotional reaction, when frightened or threatened. It’s the adrenaline fight or flight on sterroids. We know our brain basically functions from different parts for various accomplishments. For example, the part of the brain that is used for language is not the same as the one used for math, or athletics. That’s basically why many that excel in one area, have difficulty in others, and some are simply average in several.

The idea was planted very early, when I was “disciplined,” that if my grandparents found out, they would be very disappointed in me . . . My grandparents were awesome, I certainly didn’t want them to be disappointed in me. I was also taught at a very young age that it was rude and inappropriate to discuss what went on at home, publicly. So, young and trusting or fearful as I was, I figured the rest of the world operated that way too.  Early in my life, although I tried to please, when I failed, the fight or flight kicked in, but only that part of my brain took “flight” while my body remained in the circumstances . . .

The first experience I remember, in praying from my heart, came before the age of four. I knew the standard children’s meal time prayers and bedtime prayer, but I remember clearly, my first spontaneous prayer from the heart. One of my grandparents had given me a little wooden painted plaque that hung above my bed. In my mind’s eye, the image is still clear. There was a white kitten, a pink flower, with a butterfly just touching a petal, and a portion of a Scripture.

. . . for God is love. I John 4:8

 As I laid there beside my bed, nestled in the “hammock” that was created between the wall and the mattress, by tucking the top sheet under the mattress, I offered an audible prayer from my heart. As I look at that plaque, in my nearly four year old “wisdom,” I asked our Heavenly Father to please make me invisible.  Our Heavenly Father kept me through those stormy years of childhood, through the whirlpools, waterfalls, and torrents of my early adult years, until I came to a place of trusting Him more than I feared man.

So shall they fear the name of YHWH from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of YHWH shall lift up a standard against him.  Isaiah 59:19

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Rejection Issue

 

When I was “found” [saved, repented, entered covenant] and my mind healed, it wasn’t long before I realized I had a rejection issue; or rather a fear of rejection issue.  As I prayed about this, I heard YHWH already knew and He was going to change that.  I’ll be honest here, I really misunderstood what He was saying.  I truly thought rejection was going be a thing of the past.  In my spiritual immaturity and zeal, I really did believe I’d be well received by the church.  I also foolishly thought family would be happy to see the returning prodigal.  As you’ve probably guessed, neither of those things happened.  Actually, quite to the contrary.

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The church was not thrilled about my call and family wasn’t open to changing the dynamics of our interaction.  The church had their tradition and although everyone likes to talk about “walking on water,” rocking the boat is out of the question.  When I first realized that, I thought to myself, of the disciples in that ship on the troubled waters.  When Peter heard Messiah’s call, don’t you think he rocked that boat getting out and onto the water?  I’ve wondered through the years if any of the other disciples said anything to him, as he was “stepping out.”  

I realized before Abba would use me in His purpose and plan, I needed to make peace with the family, or at least do what I could.  Realizing I could not make amends, I simply asked for forgiveness and hoped the grudges against my old self would not be held against this new creation.  I soon learned I needed to keep my hope in our Creator, rather than humanity.  I made my apology phone call and went out to see them in person.  It wasn’t a year, before I found myself in an old familiar circumstance, only this time, I saw things differently.  I saw the entire scenario unfold, rather than fragmented bits and pieces.  I was no longer in the position of having to accept the perspective of someone else.  I wasn’t trying to discount the perspective of others, but I had my own connected awareness of the situation that had transpired.  Clearly, this was not going to work well in the traditional family dynamics.  It was also at that time, I realized, they hadn’t been pleased with me, the other way either . . . I love my family, but I don’t think the same way they do, and that has always been a problem that continues to this day.   My sister, on the other hand, has embraced life the way my parents framed it.  I don’t think that has served her well.    

As for the church, my belief in the complete Scriptures doesn’t fit with mainstream American Christianity.  When Paul wrote to Timothy regarding “. . . rightly dividing the Word . . .” many American Christians apparently do not realize that was not referring to the “Old and New Testaments.”  The New Testament would not be compiled for another 300 years.  As for family, the rules of engagement still haven’t changed.  We all have our role in the function of dysfunction, and if one person steps out of that . . . harmony does not necessarily ensue.  Although my daughter has admittedly benefitted financially, she’s recently stated that she knows her grandparents actually reward her for disrespect toward her mother.  

So, here we are twenty years later and sadly, many American mainstream Christians prefer my absence and have stated as much, and family is what it is.   It was 2012 before I understood Ephesians 6:13.  I had done all I could and it was time to stand.  

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

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To Be Used in Healing and Deliverance

I’ve truly longed to be used in a healing and deliverance ministry, for years.  So much so, I walked away from every aspect of mainstream medicine over thirteen years ago.  I’ve made no doctor’s appointments, filled no prescriptions, purchased no OTC drugs, did not even take a trip to the ER when bones were obviously broken.  The latter has happened four times in these 13 years.  I take Exodus 15:26 very literally, and I can also attest to the fact, I was clearly operating outside of the will of Abba when the broken bones occurred.  I didn’t realize it at the time, as it wasn’t intentional disobedience, but rather had obligated myself in the traditional religious teachings of our society.  Every broken bone has served as a wake-up call!  I was still letting go and laying down “what I thought I knew.”

I’ve asked Adonai why we don’t see the healings and deliverances recorded in Scripture.  His answer was simple and to the point.  He said we’ve placed our faith in medicine, psychology, and religious opinion; rather than in He and His Son.  I asked, since I had repented of medicine and psychological counsel, why He wasn’t using me?  He then informed me, if I wanted to see Him do more, I needed to share what He’d already done!   Having written, “Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?” and “Can We All Be Wrong?”  I truly thought I’d done that, but He’s since shown me, my testimony needs to be shared on a more personal level.  That’s when I went to the third person idea, but . . . to be honest, I feared that could actually cause me to forfeit the healing I’d been given.

Giving all glory to Abba, I haven’t had a broken bone since writing “Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?,” but it does seem my MS symptoms have worsened.  I knew in my spirit, though; it wasn’t an attack of the enemy.  Years ago when I’d asked for healing regarding the MS . . . several times I asked, I always received the same answer, which is found in II Corinthians 12:9.
” . . . My grace is sufficient for thee . . .”

In writing “Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?”, I included the possibility that many of our physical illnesses are in fact a manifestation of spiritual issues.  I hadn’t realized until just recently that although His grace has been sufficient, the testimony of my mental health is paramount to moving forward in the ministry to which He has called me and the desire He has placed in my heart.  Many people suffer from what society has labeled, mental health issues, who are either afraid to talk about it, or have settled for medicated management.  I’ve been hesitant to discuss my past mental health, because in a society that considers itself quite advanced in psychiatry, psychology, Christian psychology, social work, and counseling of all sorts; the stigma of a past label remains, even amongst the so called experts.  I took a Bible study into a state mental health facility for several years, and although those professionals made very good money in their careers, they openly admitted there was no healing.  I know otherwise, and I want to share that with others who struggle.
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Depending upon beliefs and denomination, mental health tends to fall into two basic religious categories to be addressed.  Some believe it is actually an illness while others believe it to be demonic.

Regardless of the root cause, YHWH is greater and undoubtedly a struggle with mental health is definitely, bondage.  Consider for moment, the children of Israel.  Their deliverance was from slavery, not demons.  Their plight in Egypt was called bondage, so I’m asking you to set aside religious or secular labels, and especially the combination of the two.  I lived many years a slave to social expectations, and in bondage of family demands and rejection.  The darkness is my life wasn’t demonic possession, but fragmented awareness.  I’ve included a diagram, but I would say a simpler explanation is one of confusion between the secret truth of reality and the social appearance, required.

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The Awakening

 

As I look back over the nearly twenty years of following Messiah, I’ve had several “Ah-ha!  HalleluYah moments.”  The very first thing I heard when receiving the Holy Spirit, was a question.  The question seemed simple, but I had no idea how deep.  “Are you willing to lay down everything you think you know?”

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Although my answer was “Yes,” I had no idea how many errant teachings and religious traditions had been entangled with Scriptural truth.  As it turned out, most of them . . .

Years later when writing “Can We All Be Wrong?,” in 2011, the book was both the summation and the catalyst of what it was to lay down everything I thought I knew.  It took until my 54th birthday in 2012 just before Passover, for me to hear the fullness of the blunt truth.  In one simple question, there was more truth than I wanted to hear, but there was simply no way to deny it.  Y’hshuwah said a lot in question form, while he walked this earth, and Hebrews tells us, he’s the same yesterday today and forever.  He brought back to my remembrance a promise Abba had spoken to me in 1999, that I clearly didn’t understand when I heard it.  I was at the cemetery, when I heard, that I would receive the promise of Abraham.   Y’hshuwah’s question was to the point.  “Do you want the promise of Abraham, without the faith of Abraham?”

The bottom line is, faith is believing, not just what we say, but true faith is to live according to what we actually believe.  The word, “believe” has been seriously misinterpreted and taught in traditional error for centuries.  If we actually believe what G-d has said in His Word or directly to us, it will be demonstrated in our life.  Verbalizing that we believe the history of Scripture is not the same thing as actually personally believing The Word of our Creator.  One of my pet peeves in Scriptural study and discussion, is the over analysis of the people and situations in Scripture, while distancing ourselves from personal application.  We speak as if culture and time afford us some sort of excuse . . . I had to face the fact, although I’d confessed and asked forgiveness, I, like Abraham had an Ishmael to deal with.   In every example in Scripture of the greatness of G-d, His servants stepped out in faith trusting Him, without knowing what the results would actually be, or how they would get there.  We can turn the page in our Bibles and read how it all turned out!  They could not.  Saying we believe in G-d, is clearly not enough, as explained in James 1:19-20 Thou believest that there is one G-d; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

 

From the time I first experience the Christian version of salvation, I knew there was more, but I simply couldn’t reach it.  Since YHWH is eternal, and Messiah said I didn’t choose Him, but rather He chose me, I’d describe my spiritual life as follows.  I was born again at the age of 10, struggled in religion but failed to thrive.  I was “saved” in a denomination that didn’t believe in a separate “filling of the Holy Spirit” as I discovered later . . . years later, in Acts 19.  At the age of 18, it was easy to just walk away from organized religion.  In that move, I discovered I didn’t associate the Creator with organized religion, and what I’d been taught just didn’t make sense when aligned with Scripture.

Just before the age of eighteen, I discovered there was going to be a harvest as a result of sowing some wild oats.  I knew I didn’t want to trap a man in marriage . . . I’d seen that done, and it didn’t seem to turn out well for the man or the child.  I’d wear a scarlet letter before I’d be “that kind of woman!”  Although shotgun weddings were referred to as “doing the right thing,” I simply could not justify using an unborn child to control anyone!  Unfortunately, in my ignorance and rebellion, that become the turning point to spend the next 18 years trying to succeed as a matriarch.  I naively thought, my 18th birthday would finally bring closure to my failure as a child.  The hope of a successful adulthood, didn’t last long . . .

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Forgiven Much

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By the time I came to Messiah in truth, freedom was such a foreign concept; I didn’t have a clue as to how to walk in the freedom He gave.  I’d spent not 18 years, but twice that, under the horrible bondage of failure!  I was a very broken human being, and it seemed the only thing that had held me together was the bondage.  So, the next 18 years following Messiah were amazingly awesome, but also fraught with many unexpected realizations.  I was redeemed and forgiven.  I was a changed woman, but humanity is not as forgiving as G-d.  Probably the primary realization was the fact, I simply could not live up to the expectations of others.  I couldn’t change the past and eighteen more years of being reminded grew quite tiresome.  I’ve been given peace with the fact, many of the wasted years of the past were just that, wasted, but thank G-d, in the past!

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When Abba told me it was time to write my testimony, I was thinking of course, of a book.  to write an autobiography, I considered two approaches, both of which I’m thoroughly ashamed.  First, I considered a pseudonym.  Then the idea came to me to write it like a novel.   A few internet searches revealed that a pseudonym was easy enough, but I didn’t have any peace with that idea, so I considered the novel idea.  The main problem I had with that idea, is the fact, I don’t like to read fiction, so I didn’t think I’d write it so well.  I did think, however; if I wrote factually, but changed all the names, and wrote it in third person, it would technically be “fiction.”   Realizing there was no peace in either of those ideas, reality actually set in.     What I’ve been freely given, I can give freely.   My life is ongoing, as should be, my testimony.  Therefore, it seems only right to write my testimony in a blog, this blog.

The fact that the Creator of the universe changed my life is not fiction, and should not be presented as such.  I’m not the only person who has survived brokenness, only to feel obligated to continue to “serve” in that position, or not understand how to stop serving in that manner.  None of us are getting any younger, therefore; time is of the essence.  People don’t have time for empty words and G-d’s goodness should not be presented to sound like fiction!  There are already enough people attaching His name to their fiction, while calling it truth.  If I’ve learned anything in this life . . . doing the opposite of what’s already done, isn’t necessarily the right thing.  We have enough religious fiction being peddled as truth.  His goodness is too wonderful and His power, too amazing, to package as a novel.

forgiven   Like the woman in Luke 7:47, I’ve been forgiven much.

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