Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
~ Robert Luis Stevenson
Author Archives: Kirsten
I know I haven’t been on here in a long while. What’s the old saying?
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder…”
I have recently felt led to start a new blog. I really enjoy movies, tv shows, and books. I’ve often wondered how I could combine my love of God with my love for entertainment. Over the years I’ve written some Healing Thoughts that have used movies, tv shows, or books as the starting points for discussions on healing. I’ve enjoyed writing these articles for our newsletter. And our readers seem to have been able to relate to these articles on a deep level.
So, I had the brilliant idea the other night to start a blog that did that very same thing. Here is a link to my newborn blog:
His light slices through life’s fog
a lighthouse to those lost at sea
we carry out burdens in our hearts
He desires to carry them on the Cross
we are trapped in our guilt and shame
He offers freedom from condemnation
will you let Him be your Light?
© 2013 mychainsrgone, all rights reserved
Photo Credit: fanpop.com
And I am the One Who wove the lyrics and the melody into the fabric of your life. So, My child sing My song ~ Jeanie Miley
I think of each of us was born with a unique song in our hearts. It is the song God intended for us to share with the world. That song that dwells in our heart is nurtured by the way we love and the way others love us. Over time the notes of our song join together to form a melody that we sing as we live our lives.
In a perfect world everyone’s heart song would flourish. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world that tries to steal our songs before we have a chance to sing. Sometimes others actions rob us of our songs. Sometimes our own actions steal our songs. And sometimes it is a combination of others actions and our own actions.
Regardless of whose actions are to blame many of us are walking around with our heart songs silenced by the pain that we carry. Here is part of a poem I read that talks about the seeds of song in our hearts:
…The fertile soil of my heart watered
My seeds of song as they sprouted
Leaves reaching for the light of love
Blooms spread open in song
Then one day a shadow stranger
Paid a visit to my heart garden
He blocked the light of love
Stealing lyrics from my song blooms
The stranger crushed the petals
Blowing their dust from his hand
The lyrics scattered on the wind
Lost to my heart’s perception…
The scattered petal dust of my song
Awaits the return of the light of love
That has the power to change petal dust
Into the seeds of song once again
As I read that poem I thought how the “shadow stranger” could be an addiction, a disease, depression, an unhealthy relationship, a lost job, or any number of negative circumstances that cause us to stumble in life. While the stranger is determined to destroy what is good in our lives he is not ultimately successful. Because the “light of love” has the power to heal what was destroyed and make it whole once again!
That is the hope we can have in the Lord. He is the “Light of Love” that heals us…making us whole. He is the One Who takes what has been destroyed and makes it brand new! The Lord is the One Who gives us our new song to sing!
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:3 NLT
Photo Credit: free-hdwallpaper.com
One summer, when I was a camper at Little Wohelo, I somehow landed the job of taking care of the goats. I was in charge of feeding them, grooming them, rounding them up at the end of the day, and cleaning their pen. It didn’t take long for the goats to begin to follow me everywhere I went. They came to know my whistle, my routine, and which cabin I lived in for that summer. They would jump around excitedly whenever they saw me or heard my voice. Whenever, I went to an activity I had 3-4 goats on my heels.
While goats can be cute when they are behaving they also have another side which can sometimes border on mean if they don’t get their way. Most of the time the goats were simply mischievous by nibbling on my camp uniform, bumping up against me, or running the opposite direction when I called them. But let them decide they were going to be belligerent and you better watch out! I got headed butted, knocked on my behind, and kicked numerous times that summer. They were always sweet as can be after one of their belligerent tantrums.
The goat’s tantrums normally came on the heels of some form of discipline by me. Whenever a storm came I would frantically try to round them up before the clouds opened up. I knew by looking at the sky that a storm was moving across Lake Sebago, but all they saw was the day turned windy. So, they had no desire to return to their pen when it wasn’t feeding time. More than once I had to grab one of the goats by the scruff of the neck dragging them to the barn next to their pen. This normally resulted in a hard head butt by the aggravated goat! It would keep head butting me as it tried to escape back out to the open. Needless to say, I became a master at dodging goats’ heads that summer.
Unfortunately, as I think about that summer I realize I’ve had my own days of acting like a goat too! I go along all peacefully as the Lord feeds me through Bible Studies and Sermons, as He grooms me into the person He created me to be, and as He cleans up my life messes through healing. I’ve learned to recognize His voice. I follow Him where He leads me. And when He calls me I come.
Then suddenly, the Lord starts leading me somewhere I don’t want to go because I’d rather be doing what I had been doing before He interrupted me. I fight Him. I even contemplate hiding, running, or simply ignoring Him. What I don’t understand is that He sees the storm (the bad situation, the hurt that lies up ahead, or the relationship that is about to explode) that is on the horizon. He knows where I will be safe even though I fail to see that He is trying to help me. So, I fight Him. I dig my heels in wanting to do things my way…not His.
I’d like to say that I only acted “goat-ish” once or maybe twice, but I’m a stubborn kind of gal. So, I’ve tried to do things my way more times than I care to admit. I’ve come to realize that if I would just follow the Lord when He suddenly starts leading me away I would save myself loads of frustration. God will never lead me someplace that won’t eventually end up being better than the place that I reluctantly left. I have come to trust that He truly does have my best interest at heart.
My prayer is that the longer that I walk with the Lord…the faster I will follow Him whenever He leads me someplace new!
Written for Healing Thoughts newsletter 1/08/13
I recently read that in order to train circus elephants, to stay chained up and captive behind flimsy fences, the training process is started when the elephant is just an infant. They chain the infant elephant knowing that it isn’t strong enough to break free. After initially testing the bonds of the chain the infants tire – growing resigned to life on a short chain of limitations. The elephants grow accustomed to living within the boundaries of their chained (imprisoned) existence. Due to this conditioning, grown elephants can be restrained by a small rope because they don’t know that they have the strength to break free.
I found the whole scenario with the circus elephants fascinating! Imagine a creature that can weigh anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000 pounds restrained by a small rope – simply because they don’t know they have the strength to break free!!!
That flummoxed me. Until, I remembered a dream I had awhile ago:
I was sitting in a prison cell curled up in a fetal position. As I sat up I noticed that all four of the thick cement walls lay in ruins. Looking down at my ankles and wrists I noticed that the shackles that had once imprisoned me lay open beside me. Long thick iron chains lay shattered on the cement floor of my prison.
I was completely free…no shackles binding me…no chains imprisoning…no walls containing me. Yet, there I sat in the middle of my demolished prison making no move to escape.
Then I heard a soft whisper inviting me to stand up, open my hands to receive, and walk out of my life long prison ready to embrace the freedom that God had already provided for me.
I, like the circus elephants, had grown accustomed to living within the boundaries of my imprisoned existence. My prison was a set of unhealthy behavioral patterns that had kept me shackled. After years of trying to break free, I had resigned myself to living with the confined limitations of those detrimental behavioral patterns. I remained a captive in that behavior prison long after the Lord had set me free because I was focused on escaping under my own strength – which I knew was struggle in futility!
After that dream, I realized that I only had to have the strength to be an active participant in the healing that God had done within me. He had done the hard work through “divine demolition”, but I had to stand up, receive my freedom, and walk out of my prison.
I encourage you to visit the Healing Ministry for a time of prayer with one of our trained Prayer Ministers who will join you as you receive God’s gift of freedom from whatever has imprisoned you. Leave that demolished prison behind you…you are no longer a prisoner!
So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men],
then you are really and unquestionably free.
John 8:30 (AMP)
Growing up, we had a family tradition that the Birthday person got to choose exactly what they wanted for their Birthday dinner. This was one of my favorite traditions. I would pretend to think long and hard about what I wanted to have for my Birthday dinner. And then I’d choose the same thing every year! Brie Burgers, steamed artichokes, and pierogies.
I thought my parents were crazy the first time they gave me an artichoke. All I saw was a vegetable that looked like a tree with pointy barbs at the end of the leaves. Why on earth would I want to eat that thing?! But both my parents promised that I would enjoy it.
I can still remember intently watching my dad as he showed me how to eat an artichoke. He started with the outer leaves working his way to the softer inner leaves. I vividly recall the next part. He looked at me saying that the prickly part that came next had to be completely removed. He told me not to eat that part under any circumstance. He then explained that I had to go through the prickly part to get to the artichoke heart. This he informed me, was of course the entire goal of eating the artichoke…the best part saved for last!
I discovered that eating an artichoke is not a quick adventure…it takes time. I learned to be patient when it came to artichokes. I found out that the only way to get to the heart of the artichoke was to go through the prickly part. And finally, I knew that the time it took to work my way to the heart was worth every second!
Inner healing is a lot like eating an artichoke. The first couple of times that you meet with a Prayer Minister you work on some of the outlying issues (outer leaves) that have gone on in your life. These are normally the less intimate issues of your life. Then once a rapport is built between you and the Prayer Minister…trust blossoms. You begin to open up feeling comfortable sharing things (inner leaves) that you’ve only trusted to a few individuals. This is often where people stay for awhile – the place where many semi-intimate wounds and issues have built up over the years. Next comes the dreaded prickly part of our lives – the areas of our lives that have been off limits to everyone. These are the places that we have tried to avoid for years because they bring up painful memories. To go here means that we will often be stretched beyond our comfort zones.
It is at this point that we have to trust that God is leading us through that prickly part for a good reason. It is for our ultimate good…not harm. It is because God knows that once those prickly parts of our lives are healed and removed that we will be able to get to the heart of the our healing…which leads to wholeness.
If you are in the process of healing remember to have patience with yourself as you work your way towards the heart of your healing. God will be with you from beginning to end – especially in the prickly parts.
The road to wholeness is an adventure…it is not necessarily a quick one…but it is worth every second!
If you refuse to address the wounds you bear they will shape and form
the weapons the enemy will use against you in the future.
Pastor Isaac Hunter (Summit Church)
As a child, someone once told me that people really didn’t want to hear about others pain and problems so it was best to keep quiet. I internalized that idea to mean that pain was to be kept private and probably should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, I ignored any pain that cried out for me to address it. I chose to ignore the gamut of signals ranging from physical to emotional pain. And I embraced the idea of that a “strong” person was supposed to put on a good front for the public.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that the pain was my “early warning system.” My pain was a symptom of a deeper problem within me. Fr. Al puts it this way “…pain that is crying out in some way to let us know that there is sickness somewhere with in us…pain signals that we have something within us that needs to be healed. It is vital to us that we listen and seek the origin that it might be healed or removed from our lives.”
Pain tells us that there is there is some sort of wound festering inside of us. That wound might manifest itself physically, emotionally, or mentally, but to ignore it is detrimental to our becoming whole. My refusal to acknowledge my pain allowed that wound to infect me body, mind, and spirit.
It wasn’t until I was a recipient of inner healing, at the Healing Ministry, that my inner wounds were acknowledged/addressed enabling me to experience freedom from the pain I had carried around most of my life. Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t choose to address all the wounds that needed to be addressed. There was still a small part of me that clung to the childhood ideology that somethings were just too awful to discuss with anyone…even a Prayer Minister.
I learned the hard way that those wounds I refused to address would become the very weapons that the enemy would use against me. The enemy is NOT creative he will push the same buttons that he’s always pushed to get under your skin. When I ignored the pain from my unhealed wound I opened myself up to the continuous taunting of the enemy. He pushed my buttons over and over again…the same ones that had been pushed my entire life.
The only way to break free from this pattern was to address all my wounds so that the enemy could no longer use those wounds as weapons against me. It can be a scary proposition to address those painful wounds, but the resulting freedom is worth it!
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.