The Gate Keeper

battle-readyWe’re in a war, and it involves our homes.  I should know.  I come from four generations of broken homes on my mother’s side.  I never knew my own grandmother.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  Proverbs 14:1

I repeated the broken home pattern myself, but unlike my maternal grandmother I refused to abandon my children.

My children did not have an ideal home as the father was missing, but unlike the previous generations, I turned to God and he turned this family around.  He gave me strength, self worth, boundaries and a lot of practical help.  When the children reached their teenage years I was given a second chance at marriage.  The man I married is a good man who loves my children like they are his own.

I put two things on hold while I was raising the children on my own – dating and a career.

Did I earn as much money?  No. Did I have any romance?  No, just temptation.

Was it worth it?  Yes!  I still got to where I wanted to go, my children have safely reached adulthood,  happy and well adjusted.  They are navigating life for themselves now.  I pray to God that the unhappy pattern of divorces has been broken, to be replaced with happy marriages.

I now respect the home maker profession more than any other.  Although I’ve had two careers and now I’m a self employed business woman, I realise it is the most important job you ever get to do.

Satan targets women as they run the most important place – the home.   Mothers have the most influence on children – if a mother is broken and can’t raise her sons and daughters, he wins.

warHe will look for where you are most vulnerable, and tempt you there.  Be careful what you let into your home.

There are lots of sharks swimming in the sea of life, and you don’t always see their fins.

2 Timothy 3:1-9 gives you a list of them.

Here are some I encountered;

1) The narcissist who wormed his way into my home with charm, and destroyed it.

2) Religious wolves dressed as sheep – having a form of godliness but denying its power.  The ones that are easy to spot are the ones who turn up on your doorstep holding Bibles.  Not so easy to spot are the “apostles” who want a percentage of your income as “tithes”.

3) A friend of my daughter who was disobedient to her parents, unholy, and ungrateful.  She tried to get my daughter to shop lift.

4) A gossip who slandered a loved one.  Covered in an earlier post.

1) I invited in, 2) I did not invite in 3) My daughter invited her in 4) Got invited in with a group of people

Have nothing to do with them.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-9 they are described as “the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires …”Tellievision

Ouch, ouch ouch.  I asked myself some tough questions in the next chapter of my story.

Weak willed?  If they gain control, you have been weak willed.

Loaded down with sins?  Is there stuff in your life or family of origin stuff that hasn’t been dealt with?

Evil desires?  Just look at what is on your TV that may sway you, or your child.

So watch yourself.   If you are a mother, you are the gate keeper of the home.  Its dangerous times we’re living in.

Psalm 101 is a great piece of scripture for a gate keeper.  My advice is make it intentional.  Learn it, memorise it, and use it.  If you put it into effect, it will save you a lot of grief.

Also, Gate Keepers need discernment.  You can ask God for this gift.

 

Advertisements

Trouble

Trouble.  This world guarantees it.
Job, a just man who was severely tested, wrote
Man is born for trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.”  Job 5:7

Trouble can be caused by bad people.  The book of Proverbs from the Bible, says;

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.  Proverbs 4:14

Taylor Swift - Trouble

Trouble, the funny version

Taylor Swift sings about it here in her song “Trouble”.   Here’s a 25 sec clip, which my daughter showed to me.  It’s the funny version.

I have warned about bad people in a post called
“Here be Dragons”.

But what if we can’t avoid them, like at work?  Jesus understands trouble.  He was born for it.

He promised “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  Sometimes He’ll take us through it – to test us, or teach us.  And sometimes He’ll take us around it.

My advice; fear God more than man.  By fear I mean “have concern for”.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.  Psalm 34:4-8

This is true, I sought the Lord, and He answered me.  He led me through a bad place, promising it would be a door of hope.  The story is told in my book where I travelled through the Valley of Achor.  Achor means trouble.  Its a place that people on pilgrimage had to go through to get to Zion.  You don’t have to travel it alone.

Hosea 2-14

Soul searching and the three treasures

Do you keep meeting the same kind of person?  The root of this problem is in grief.  We are compelled to repeat something until it is resolved.  The best way to avoid being sad is to be mad, at someone else.  If you had a parent figure who let you down, you find someone else like them, and stay mad at them for 40 years!  We are not people who let go of things by nature.

Heart-decisions

There is a proverb about this; As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.  Proverbs 26:11

People with damaged boundaries are perpetually in a state of loss, all the time.  It manifests as depression, rage, resentment, worry.  Depression can keep you on bondage to the person who feels they own you.  Depression is unresolved grief.  I have heard it said that depression is anger without enthusiasm.

Guilt is rage you’re lying about.  People who are really mad at someone, but anger won’t work, put themselves in the victim role.  We like to blame it on someone else, then we can avoid guilt.  If we’re angry at someone who has manipulated us, we have to ask ourselves, “what did I want from them that gave them the power to do that?”

What I have learned is the problem is never the real problem.

The solution is forgiveness, to let go of destructive people so we can receive.  Let it go, cry over it.  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

We need to take ownership of our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.  These I have learned are called the three treasures.  If you have boundary injuries, so that you can’t take care of these, or you are putting somebody else’s monkey on your back, its because someone has hated your treasures.  Someone wanted your compliance, your going along with something, your being a good student, your helpfulness, your being entertaining or whatever, more than they wanted you to be real, open and grow, and there was a transfer.

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet tells us ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

That’s the human heart.  Deceitful.  Beyond cure.   Not able to be understood.

id ego superego

When I went to back to College to earn my Diploma of Business, the first paper we did was Business Communication.  It confirmed what I’d learned in the years I was rebuilding my life after a marriage breakup and disastrous “relationship” with a narcissist. 

Like an iceberg, most of what affects the soul is submerged.  The decisions we make which are based on our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour are affected by things hidden at an unconscious level.  Isn’t that scary.

God knows how we are wired, even if we don’t.

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives”. Jeremiah 17:10.

The good news is that the Lord is called “Wonderful Counselor” and He can bring to light those secret motives.  We all like sheep have gone astray.  The Shepherd’s goal is to search for the lost sheep and restore souls.

We want to be out of pain, we’re wanting to be in control, we’re wanting love, for the hurt to stop.  We have all these needs that are good, that want life to be better, a hunger and thirst for righteousness not getting answered.

Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

There is nothing more important in growing and recovery than taking ownership in life of your three treasures.  This will determine how you handle everything; finances, work, family, career, body, spouse, friendships, etc.  Boundaries serve as an assistant to protect these three treasures – our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.

Boundaries are freedom and freedom is love.  We will never get there until we get to grips with our own sin, to receive grace, so we can give it away.  The pain leads us to the grace.  We can never understand truth until we have the grace first.

Most of what I have written about here was from a tape I was given on Boundaries, which I made a passing reference to it in the part of my book where I started to rebuild my life.

I kept the notes from the tapes and have put them on the blog so it can in turn help you.  He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4.

The three treasures deals with what the Lord taught me here about the hidden things of the heart.

Butterflies are free to fly

Butterflies-are-FreeThe Lord taught me how to look for Him and see signs.  At the start of my journey He told me to “setup signs and mark the road“.  As a story teller I weave them into my story called “The Kingdom”.  Some signs are easier to see than others.  This sign was a butterfly.

The butterfly appeared before I found the Kingdom, when “Silver-tongue”, the narcissist, told me “You are like a butterfly in a jar.”  I thought he was talking about freedom.  No, he wanted to put me in his jar.

I saw a butterfly on the Solitary Path, and my friend White Flower (who did not know that story) dreamed of me and saw it too (Chapter 25 “The Solitary Path“).  It was flying free and alone.

In this chapter, “Chapter 29 The Butterfly”, I was with Liang and his friends, discussing transitional relationships, when the butterfly again fluttered its way into my peripheral vision.  The butterfly was being held and needed to be let go.

“Other relationships can help to rebuild, but a pitfall is investing too much emotional time and energy into the new relationship. Learn all you can, heal all you can, and stop holding the precious butterfly in your hands so tightly that it can’t fly and be free. The energy you spend holding on tightly to the other person and relationship keeps you from climbing your own mountain and completing your own healing”.

I was trying to use a relationship to heal from an earlier relationship with a narcissist.  Its not wise to do that, and it is not the way of the Kingdom.

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Shakespeare, Othello, Act 2 Scene 3

From experience, the best way of healing is just to be patient with yourself and allow time, and God’s love to get you through.  If you don’t know the Lord, call on his name, for He is near to the broken hearted.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

He is a healer.

He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3  That’s a promise.

You may want revenge after being used.   I know I did.  You will be likely to be so hurt you’ll only make things worse for yourself.  Let the Lord handle it.  He will mete out justice in the end.  Remember, time wounds all heels.

No experience is wasted

FriendsTo everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven,
a time a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them …
Ecclesiastes 3-5.

In my book I wrote a chapter about “Stones,” where I began rebuilding with rubble after a destructive relationship with a narcissist, and some unhealthy friends after him.  I had to rebuild my life on a new foundation.

The friend I met by a swimming pool in an earlier chapter also was going to have to tear down in order to rebuild.  She wanted the same thing for herself and her family that I did.

We began meeting over coffee and praying together with our Bibles open.  We drew inspiration from a book called “Nehemiah”, about a man who God used to build a big protective wall around a kingdom, out of rubble.

I have learned from that time that with the Lord, no experience is wasted.  I am grateful for my nightmare experience with the narcissist because it helped me understand what my friend was going through, and with the Lord’s help I came out of it stronger.  We were able to rebuild standing together, uplifting and supporting each other.

So if anyone reading this is recovering from a destructive relationship, I know what its like because I’ve been there.  With the Lord it is possible to rebuild, even if rubble is the only thing left to rebuild with.   I am blogging for you because the Lord is out there looking for you, and He will restore your soul.  That’s a promise from Psalm 23

Rebuilding with the bricks others have thrown

Successful womanThe King had given me a word to “rebuild the temple”.  He meant “rebuild my life”.

For we are the temple of the living God.  As God has said; “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

It was difficult rebuilding my life after a divorce and abusive relationship with a narcissist.  Where did I start?  Life had to go on even though I was one of the walking wounded.   I had to come to terms with myself and try and figure out what the hell had happened.  I felt like I’d had bricks thrown at me, and all I had to rebuild my life with was rubble and other people’s rubbish.

It happened because I’d lived life on other people’s terms, seeking my worth in their eyes.  Narcissists love to exploit people like that.

I lacked rule over my own spirit.

“He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” Proverbs 25:28

At this stage of the journey, I needed boundaries.  I didn’t even know what the word meant.

What did I have to rebuild with?  Rubble, lots of it.  I got started with the bricks.  I have learned since then that with God, no experience is wasted.

‘Stones,’ a chapter in my book deals with the vision I got from Nehemiah.  He’s a guy who in the Bible who built a wall around a shattered Kingdom.

Coal under pressure

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.  As You Like It Act 2, by Shakespeare

2Corinthians4_8

Exhaling between her teeth, Joanna ticked off the list she was studying. It was a real eye opener when she got to the part that dealt with stress.

They were given a weighted list of all the things that caused stress; separation or divorce, moving house, death, relationship problems. It was part of a compulsory paper she had to study at college called ‘Interpersonal Skills’.

The stress wasn’t over. She had gone through hell this past year, and there seemed to be no end to the grief. She was still dealing with relationship problems from Silver-tongue with his nastiness, her ex-husband with his blame game, and her mother with her regular bi-polar craziness. Divorce and another house move loomed big on the horizon.

Her only escape was study, and the joy she got from her children. The princess was studying part time for a career she planned once the children were at school.  The qualification she aimed for formed the first year of a degree in Computer Science. The thought of a career in her chosen field brought hope for the future.

Silver-tongue enrolled in the same courses.  He kept a jealous eye on her, making caustic remarks if she chatted to any of the men at break time while they watched the second year students play hacky-sack.  One of the second year students was a lean man in his thirties with a handsome, boyish face and greying hair.  He was in the background.  Silver-tongue took all of her attention.

The next day she told her friend princess Eve, an attractive and graceful blonde about the stress list. They were feeding the deer at the Deer Park, over the road from where Eve lived. Princess Eve found it interesting as she was going through her own trials. She listened as she stuck some bread through the fence, then turning to Joanna she said “You know, coal under pressure forms a diamond.”

Joanna grinned wryly. “It had better be a pretty big diamond!”

The King heard her.  He would see what He could do.  Silver, gold and jewels were good but in His Kingdom, wisdom was foremost.

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.  Proverbs 3:13-17