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How General Harriet Tubman Can Inspire Us Now

Did you know Harriet Tubman was a Union army spy and war hero of the American Civil War?  This information is unsung to many in the American historical narrative.  Instead, we imagine United States Commanders, Generals and Colonels such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, or George Custer.  It is really hard to place an African American face to our instant connotation to the words “Civil War General” or “Army.”

Yet according to www.mrnussbaum.com, “African Americans played a prominent role in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Over 200,000 African Americans, equaling 10% of the entire military force, served in the Union military. 37,000 died fighting for the Union.  Most were escaped slaves who served in segregated units under white officers.” 

In other words, one out of every 10 Union soldiers were African American mostly ex-slaves.  But this was not always the case.  At first, blacks were not even permitted nor seem to be capable of being a part of the army.  This was due to the deep racial perspective that had infiltrated even those in the most northern regions of the nation.

A Divine Act of GOD would have to occur before these men would be seen as safe or competent enough to join forces against the Confederate army, who was at this time seeming to dominate the war.

And that was exactly what occurred.  Fitting to her affectionate name, Moses, Harriet Tubman would, in one sweep reflect the same paramount and heroic acts that Moses had conducted thousands of years before as he brought his people group out of a similar slavery.

The chattel slavery of the Jews was a strong, physically oppressive system, empowering the Egyptians to live strong, lavish lives as the major world power.  Alike the Biblical narrative, Harriet Tubman would find herself chosen to free her people “down by the riverside”.

For Moses, it would be the Red Sea bordering Egypt and housed betwixt the continents Africa and Asia.  For Harriet, it would be the Combahee River of South Carolina. 

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The Red Sea Moses would have crossed with the Children of Israel.

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Combahee River, “as seen by Harriet Tubman Bridge from Highway 17.” www.wikepedia.org

Harriet Tubman had traveled down to South Carolina in the year 1861 (around 46 years of age) with “a group of other abolitionists who headed south to assist refuge slaves who (had) escaped to safety behind Union lines.”  She was known as a nurse, a scout, a teacher and was about to become a famous spy in the Union army. 

She has already escaped from slavery herself, in the year 1849, twelve years prior to coming down to South Carolina in service.  She then freed at least 70 slaves through the same Underground Railroad system.  This heroic act would prepare her for the next purpose in her daring calling.

In the year 1863, two years after having arrived to this coastline in the deep south, she would be used in a unheard of manner as both a female and African American.

Sarah Bradford, a contemporary of Harriet Tubman, agreed to write her biography in Harriet’s latter years.  She was in need of money and facing poverty as a large benefactor to her community.  In Sarah’s book, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, she wrote of Harriet’s “first hand account of the Combahee River expedition” in which Harriet and others would free over 700 slaves:

When our armies and gun-boats first appeared in any part of the South, many of the poor negroes were as much afriad of “de Yankee Buckra” as of their own masters.  It was almost impossible to win their confidence, or to get information from them.  But to Harriet they would tell anything; and so it became quite important that she should accompany expeditions going up the rivers, or into unexplored parts of the country, to control and get information form those whom they took with them as guides.

In other words, the black slaves were being so mistreated and experienced such degradation that they did not trust a single white soul, including the Union army.  Yet they were more than likely the ones made to place the underwater mines (“torpedoes”) into the river.  Their confederate masters would have put them to this dangerous work.

But it would not be long before this would all work against the Confederate army. 

Harriet worked closely with Colonel Montgomery, who also aided the John Brown raid  only four years prior (October 16, 1859).  Largely in spite of Union army hesitancy and general battle practices (lining up in two straight lines to combat), Montgomery and Tubman would lead a covert operation behind enemy lines.

And Harriet had the inside information which only she, a trusted black woman, could receive.

In the spring of 1863 she ingeniously worked with Montgomery to gain two gun-boats with the very first group of black men placed in military uniform.  This would have been unheard of and never seen.  History was in the making.

She took these men across the span of nine separate plantations across the South Carolina border.  On June 3, 1863 they would burn and flood these money making hub of rice fields, destroying a major store of Confederate income.

In conjunction, about 170 slaves were rushed into these boats in a panicky, frantic somewhat humorous scene, also described by Harriet as completely out of the control of their master’s drivers, “In vain, then, the drivers used their whips in their efforts to hurry the poor creatures back to their quarters; they all turned and ran for the gun-boats.”

It was a great moment of rejoicing as she recalled how they “laughed, an’ laughed, an’ laughed.”  These women, mirroring the visual of skilled African women, carried pails of rice on their heads, fresh off the fire, children hanging onto their dresses and pigs brought on board.

They beat on the side of the jam packed boats, desperate to never be left behind to the misery they had been experiencing.  And Harriet would sing songs of deliverance as they responded back with a loud shout, “Glory!”

Mission accomplished.

The masters fled; houses and barns and railroad bridges were burned, tracks torn up, torpedoes destroyed, and the object of the expedition was fully accomplished.

The Confederates were held back as Montgomery arranged black soldiers with guns to shoot off into the woods holding them back in fear.  As if this story could get any more amazing, not one person died in all this warfare, except the Confederate soldier named Fripp.

Because of Harriet’s willingness and great work, black soldier would be admitted into the Union army becoming 1 in every 10 soldiers as they proudly died for the free land we can now all experience.

This is the land in which we can release a huge smile on our faces as we shop in a retail store, looking down, getting our change and seeing the face of the woman of many firsts…Harriet Tubman.  The great pioneer and leader is now on our currency as a reminder of her still relevant words,

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

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The Secret to Satisfying Your Approval Need Revealed

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

Many times we are looking for a father to fill a deep void of approval in our hearts.  We may look to our natural father only to find that he is too busy or doesn’t know how to be the man that can meet our needs.  

We may look to other fatherly figures in our lives to mentor us and fill that void.  A measure of the Father’s love can be shown through these male figures GOD has placed in our lives.  They can be a schoolmaster, showing us a glimpse of the Father’s love, but there is a greater love we all can experience.

This became more real to me than ever before when I lost my senior pastor, who was more like a “spiritual grandfather” to me.  He was a very precious person in my life.  I wept for months on and off after his passing onto glory.

But a few weeks into mourning I was encountered with an amazing revelation from GOD.  It was early in the morning during my typical devotion time.  Open the Bible, grab a pen, a journal and get ready to dive into the Scriptures or listen for His gentle voice.

This time was different.

I tried to pray but only tears would come.  These tears were drops of prayers falling into the bottle of heaven, ready to be heard by GOD.  Then, in the midst of tears, my heart- aching in pain- the LORD led me to the following Scripture:

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is GOD in His Holy habitation.  GOD sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”  Psalm 68:5-6

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a Holy GOD in His holy habitation, the first thought that comes to my mind is not this gentle, sweet fatherly figure ready to comfort me in my pain.  I see this Humungous, Bigger than Life Hero of a King handling world matters.  I don’t instantly imagine this humble, kind sweet man willing to hear out the tenderness of my heart.

So when I read this, it caught my attention, to say the least.  It was one of those Aha Moments when you realize GOD is hearing more than your words.  He is listening to the aches of your heart beat.

I was solitary.

I was alone.

I was saddened.

And I was missing a father in my life.

But He was saying, He would give me something even bigger, better and more potent.  He would replace that void in my heart with His Fatherly tenderness.

Psalm 68 began to minister to my aching heart.  I knew that was GOD’s way of inviting me into a direct relationship with Him as my Father.  I needed this to be a complete woman.

And we can all have these bitter sweet life moments.  True, there is a real loss that comes with the lack of a natural father, but there is a greater sweetness that comes as we allow the reality of the Father’s love to touch our heart.  Our hearts may feel dead inside, empty or like we are missing that approval, but the Father has always been there waiting patiently for us to see His love.

All we have to do is ask Him to show us His love.  Then what do we see?  An eternal, everlasting lover of our souls.  This may take time to fully grasp but it will become more and more real as we dedicate our lives to receiving His love.

Jesus experienced this type of fatherly love.  This love caused Him to be very confident.  He had the Father’s Approval.  He knew that He was loved and Fathered not because of what He did, how well He preached or even His sacrificial death on calvary.  He was approved of and embraced for who He was.

This is the approval we all need from our Heavenly Father as we dig deeper into intimacy with Him.

Approval is “building up or affirming another person, particularly for “who” they are (as opposed to what they do).  It is also met by affirming both the fact and the importance of our relationship with another person.” (Relational Impact, Dr. David Ferguson)

Because Jesus had a clear moment of approval (Fatherly blessing) in His life, He was able to stand in the midst of great rejection by others, confidently declaring who He is without shame.  He consistently fell back on the fact that He was accepted by the Father.  He was sure of His approval and acceptance by His dad, even though His birth may have been considered “illegitimate” by others.

Imagine a 26 year old Jesus, walking up to John the Baptist to be baptized.  John realizes this was not just any man, He was the Messiah and everyone else there would begin to see something different as well.  He is the Beloved Son.

Before Savior (Action) He is Son (Identity).

…and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.  And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased. Luke 3:21b-22, NKJV

In this place, Jesus’ identity is confirmed, affirmed and approved of, it is in His sonship that we can find sonship or daughtership as well.

We are now joint heirs with Christ!

Maybe you are realizing that approval has been missing in your life and you want it; you want to be receiving unconditionally, loved for who you are.

Here is a Special Approval Prayer you can pray over yourself throughout the day, write it down and come back to it in your Intimacy Moments:

“Daddy, Father GOD, I know that You love me, even when I do not feel it.  Yet I find a world of pain inside of me at times.  Other times, I am numbed by this world.  The rejection, the voids of my heart and the need for your love is a constant reminder that I am created to Be Loved.  Not only is Jesus your son, but I am your BeLoved Daughter.  I thank You that you say over me today, “This is my BeLoved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.  Heaven is over me, no longer in a distant way, but Your presence is on my life and You long to be with me.  Teach you, show me, mentor me and disciple me in Your Fatherly Love from this day forward.  In Jesus’ name, power and authority I come to you, no longer having to carry the weight or burden of coming on my own abilities.  In His name I pray, Amen.”

We have prayed this prayer and He has heard!

Are you excited to receive GOD as your Father on a daily basis?  Could you use a refresher in His Approving Love?  I’d love to hear a bit of how GOD is meeting your needs and growing your heart in love!

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New Women, Old Wounds

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

Throughout the month of March we will be focusing on the Concept of New Women, Old Wounds.  Over the past 13 years of ministry involvement I have found myself both healing internally and helping others heal the wounds of their childhood.

This has become a theme in my ministry reach to women and men around me, and essential to our walk with GOD is our mental-emotional health excelling.  In fact, we have found a steady decline in church attendance and the family unit in our nation.

In a time when over 70% of black youth grow up in fatherless homes and the national average of fatherlessness is over 20 million children (33%) we need to learn how to heal from these deep pains of neglect or mistreatment.

Being that I talk with women ages 18-35 on an almost daily basis, helping them through the healing process, I have also found that the pain goes deeper than friendship or adult relationships.  It usually stems back to childhood lacks and needs.

This is why we are taking an entire month to address these needs in our lives!

There is a direct correlation between the pains of our childhood and our adult relationships.

When we realize the connection between our childhood wounds and the current challenges felt in our adult interactions we are able to begin the healing process.

The idea of new women with old wounds is a concept I discovered in the popular Scripture, 1 Corinthians 5:17 but throughout the Bible it shares that when we come into relationship with Jesus we are made new:

We are now new in Christ, we are no longer the old women we used to be but we are born again.  And we are living in  a new covenant, testament or commandment.  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, thaty e also love one another.” (John 13:34)

The new way of living and seeing life, the way to see His Word is through the eyes of love.

This is also the key to discovering healing from these “Old Wounds.”

It is when we see GOD’s Word from the perspective of who He is firstly then who we are secondly that we are healed.

When the LOVE Jesus spoke of in John 13 is given to us by our needs being met relationally, we are filled up to overflowing, a chain reaction of wholeness begins to occur deep within our souls.

We no longer live by a list of rules, although there is nothing wrong with obedience out of common sense or necessity.  There is a more freeing and better level of obedience that comes out of knowing we are loved then freely giving back to the one who loves us unconditionally.

Jesus has made us New with a Grand Expression of His Love.  He has made us a new creation.  He has washed away all of our sins- past, present and future.  This experience and knowledge is freeing, it is real.

It is also our positioning in Christ legally.  We can believe it and know it is true by faith.  As we know it on an intellectual level it begins to change us inwardly on an emotional level and we feel His love.

This is the power of meditation.  Thinking on the truth over and over again creates a spirit and reality of success (The Joshua 1:8 Principle).

The other reality we deal with is that we do not feel, think or see the fullness of our positioning in Christ fully; we are still in a process of seeing the evidence of this truth in our lives.

This is why Jesus died and said, “It is finished” but He also said we are being transformed and conformed to His image.

We must still face real life situations, people and pains that have caused our hearts to be wounded.  We are new women with old wounds that we must address while knowing the finished work is already accomplished on the cross.

Understanding our positioning in Christ will help us receive freedom from the past, using our faith to declare, “The old has gone and the new is here!” 

We are like a beautiful butterfly coming into newness of life, out of a cocoon, yet there is a wound on one of her wings.  We are that butterfly and GOD is removing all of our blemishes until we can fly unblemished in unadulterated freedom.

Wound- An injury that is caused when a knife, bullet, etc., cuts or breaks the skin; a feeling of sadness, anger, etc., that is caused by something bad that has happened to you; An injury to the body (as from violence, accident, or surgery) that typically involves laceration or breaking of a membrane (as the skin) and usually damage to underlying tissues; a mental or emotional hurt or blow

We will discover the layers of woundedness in our hearts and begin to allow GOD by His presence, to unwind the pains of our hearts until we are healed.

Know that this is a 31 day process.  Each day we will pray together, weep together, take communion together and anoint ourselves with oil symbolically representing GOD’s Presence to heal.

Will you join us?

Simply call the prayer line at 712.770.4010; Access Code 256697.

Be Patience, Smile, Expect GOD and Know that He Cares for your every Pain.

Here’s our prayer schedule…
Daily Prayer Schedule:
• Prayer Calls, March 1-31, 6am; Mondays on Periscope (@JadeLee_Now) at 6am
• Resources: The Holy Bible, Journal, Intimacy Encounters (David Ferguson)
• March 1- Introducing New Women Old Wounds
• March 2- The Promise of Healing
• March 3- The Promise of Restoration
• March 4- The Promise of Hope
• March 5- Experiencing GOD’s Comfort
• March 6- New Beginnings
• March 7- Understanding Intimacy Needs
• March 8- Fatherhood Wounds
• March 9- Motherhood Wounds
• March 10- The Wound of Lacking Encouragement (Inadequacy)
• March 11- The Wound of Lacking Acceptance (Rejection)
• March 12- The Wound of Lacking Approval (Disapproval)
• March 13- The Wound of Lacking Appreciation (Criticism)
• March 14- The Wound of Lacking Affection (Disapproval)
• March 15- The Wound of Lacking Attention (Being Ignored)
• March 16- The Wound of Lacking Comfort (Feeling Pain)
• March 17- The Wound of Lacking Respect (Feeling Devalued)
• March 18- The Wound of Lacking Security (Needing Peace)
• March 19- The Wound of Lacking Support (Aloneness)
• March 20- The Wound of Verbal Abuse
• March 21- The Wound of Physical Abuse
• March 22- The Wound of Manipulation
• March 23- The Wound of Failure
• March 24- The Wound of Self Hatred
• March 25- The Wound of Condemnation/Shame
• March 26- The Wound of Guilt
• March 27- The Wound of Fear/Anxiety/Insecurity
• March 28- The Wound of Anger/Resentment/Bitterness
• March 29- The Wound of Hurt/Sadness/Disappointment
• March 30- Old Wounds: The Old is Gone, How to Get Rid of Old Wounds
• March 31- Celebration of Freedom from Wounds (On Periscope)

You can buy my mentor’s book here:

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Do you believe it’s true that childhood wounds can still effect you into your adulthood?  What has GOD showed you about how to heal from old wounds?  Are you excited about entering another level of healing through these prayer calls, GOD’s Presence and His Word?

I look forward to praying with you and hearing your story!

In His Love,

Jade Lee

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Receiving Healing from Childhood Wounds

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

So many wounds occur when we are in our childhood years of life, but oftentimes we are not aware of how this affects us going into our adult years.  Instead, these wounds can remain buried deeply, until we receive foundational healing.

This term came to me years ago, the idea of healing in the foundational relationships of one’s life.  Foundational relationships are those between your biological or immediate family- your father, mother, brother, sister.  This applies even for those who are adopted and for those who never had a father or mother.  The relationship or lack there of can still bring deep hurt causing an orphan spirit to be developed in the person’s life.

Orphan- A child whose parents are dead.  Pertaining to a child so bereaved.  One deprived of some protection or advantage.  (Webster’s Dictionary)

When a child becomes orphaned due to either death of his or her parents in the natural or due to a spiritual lack of protection or advantage, this can affect the child very deeply until adulthood.

This can also occur in relationships with spiritual parents, when a spiritual mother or father abandons, neglects, ignores, abuses or spiritually manipulates that child.  Instead of acceptance and embracive love, the son or daughter may feel unloved and unprotected producing shame, deep pain and/or depression.

It is very important that when we realize this pain has occurred, we are able to go to our Heavenly Father for healing.  Over the past year I have been entrenched in studies on my Father’s love because of the profound need for this in my own life and others lives around me.  It is fascinating to see the differentiation between His love, His expression of love and our own lack of knowing How to express this love to others.

GOD has also brought key fathers into my life to help me see the How to this Love Expression.

The reality is that a father or mother’s heart can be in the right positioning, yet due to each one of our human needs, they do not know How to express that love in a way that meets our hearts.

But GOD shows us How to practically Heal and touch the lives of those who have been harmed, rather than bringing on more harm.  Some of what we have believed to be simply a Spiritual Attack on the church of Offense or Unforgiveness, or the Enemy Bringing Division is in reality a Lack of Relational Skillsets.

There are many Human Needs.  Once we have an understanding of the makeup of humanity and our needs, we are better equipped to meet those needs in the lives of those around us.

These needs are literally found in the Scriptures.  Here are 10 of the key needs we have as humans:

  1. Acceptance– Receiving others willingly and unconditionally (even when their behavior has been imperfect) and loving them in spite of any differences that may exist between you (Romans 15:7)
  2. Affection– Expressing care and closeness through physical touch and through words such as ‘I love you’ or ‘I care about you’ (Romans 16:16; Mark 10:16)
  3. Appreciation– Expressing thanks, praise, or commendation, particularly for who they are (as opposed to what they do); affirming both the fact and the importance of our relationship with another person (Ephesians 4:29; Mark 1:11)
  4. Approval (Blessing)- Building up or affirming another person, particularly for who they are (as opposed to what they do); affirming both the fact and the importance of our relationship with another person (Ephesians 4:29; Mark 1:11)
  5. Attention– Conveying appropriate interest, concern, and care; taking notice of others and making an effort to enter into their respective worlds (1 Corinthians 12:25 NASB)
  6. Comfort– Caringly responding to a hurting person through words, actions, emotional responses, and physical touch; hurting with and for others in the midst of their grief or pain (Romans 12:15 NASB; Matthew 5:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
  7. Encouragement– Urging others to persist and persevere in their efforts to attain their goals; stimulating others toward love and good deeds (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:24)
  8. Respect– Valuing one another highly, treating one another as important, and honoring one another with our words and actions (Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 2:17)
  9. Security (Peace)- Establishing and maintaining harmony in our relationships and providing freedom from fear or threat of harm through expressions of vulnerability, deepening of trust, and the successful resolution of conflict (Romans 12:16,18)
  10. Support– Coming alongside others and providing gentle, appropriate assistance with a problem or struggle (Galations 6:2)

All of us have a need for each one of these, but on varying degrees.  Whereas one person may have a high need for support, another person may need respect.  It is important to note that part of the healing process in relationships is found in knowing these are needs, not merely desires.

For example, if a person has a high need for respect and this is seen as a Weakness instead of a need, we may devalue their need by saying they need to be stronger, more spiritual or have “thicker skin” when in reality, they simply have a true, valid need to be treated importantly.

The sooner we realize this, by meeting that need, their heart is filled with love and we are used to heal rather than tear down.

I have found this is desperately needed in our relationships with one another- as family and in the church unit.

When I did not understand this principle, I would fail to accept people for who they are, “receiving them willingly and unconditionally (even when their behavior has been imperfect)” and I thought I was doing good as a pastor.  If I made it clear they were in sin (which we should do as relationship develops) then surely they would repent!  But what I did not realize was how much that person may have needed Love and Acceptance, In Spite of their Failures.

The very opposite could be true in that situation.  If I love In Spite of Sin, the unfulfilled need causing them to struggle with that sin would be filled and the power of temptation finally overcome.

When our needs are not met, we experience pain.  Pain causes us to default to other “opportunities” to alleviate the hurt.  This can either be in the embracive love of our Heavenly Father or it can be in seeking the approval of man (in an imbalanced way) or it can be in falling into the temptation to sin.

Perhaps you were deeply hurt by a lack of affection as a child and now that need is great or you never received the attention you needed and now there is a deficit in that area.

There is HOPE.  GOD can bring well equipped mentors in your life, spiritual fathers and mothers that know how to heal these areas.  He can use your husband or wife, a close friend or sibling to heal this area.  And, He can heal you directly.

Pray this prayer with me: Father, I thank You for showing me my needs.  I thank you for the confirmation and affirmation that these needs have come from You and I never need to be apologetic for the fact that I have human needs.  Now, I pray that You will begin to heal my heart as my Heavenly Father.  I pray that You will bring the right people into my life to heal the wounds caused by foundational relationships and unmet needs.  I trust You for this process and ask for patience as You grow me, delivering me in your love.  Remove the orphan mentality from my life and bring in a spirit of great acceptance, love and healing to me.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen

Did you pray that prayer?  My heart is with you, desiring to see you comforted as you encounter His nearness daily.

Take time to think about your top three needs.  This is the first step to beginning the healing process in your life.

I would love to hear how this article has blessed you and your thoughts on Meeting Needs to Heal Foundational Relationship.  Come on, comment below and let’s start a conversation that will heal many.  Have a blessed and prosperous day!

 

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GOD Cares About My Feelings Too?

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

For years I experienced a lack of feeling the love of GOD in my emotional life, desperately longing for a touch from the Master’s Hand.  Have you ever known you are loved by GOD in your intellect, yet struggled to find His love in an emotional connection; do you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are His BeLoved?

When we begin to struggle with feeling loved, at least when I have experienced this phenomenon, it has always led me back to man’s imperfection and a misperception of GOD’s Personality.

Feeling His love is extremely important whereas we are made up of 80% emotional intelligence.  The majority of our makeup is emotional.  Unfortunately, we do not always realize this and are sometimes encouraged to downplay our emotions, preferring the intellectual or spiritual approach.

GOD cares about your every emotion and He does not expect you to dismiss how you feel with thoughts of “It doesn’t matter how I feel.  I’ll replace feeling with faith.”  Instead He connects to us emotionally and heals our hearts in love

There is nothing wrong with reading the Bible intellectually or understanding it from a spiritual perspective, but when emotion is removed we lose the heart of GOD for us…Take a look at the following Scriptures:

  • Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
  • John 5:29 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me
  • Isaiah 43:4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
  • Deuteronomy 33:12 Of Benjamin he said, “The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders.”
  • Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

In each one of these passages, GOD speaks to our emotions.  He knows we will experience fear so He communicates that He is with us and we are not alone.  This is the image of a gentle, loving, embracive father reassuring his frightened child.

Have you ever been afraid of the dark, then your father or mother comes into the room, lovingly embracing you?  You can feel their presence and you are suddenly comforted.  This is what GOD does for us in Isaiah 41:10.

Jesus constantly drew us from the intellectual study of the Scripture to a contemporary relational perspective.  He would say things like, “You thought that you would find eternal life in the Scriptures, but you find it in Me, in a relationship with Me.”  You can’t find life outside of emotional connectivity with Me.

This is why it is so important to be connected deeply with ourselves and GOD on an emotional level.  The more we know about who we are and how GOD really views us, the more freedom we obtain in our lives.

Truth begins to meet our emotions, which many times have been deeply harmed and we are made free!

For example, for years I was broken and hurt because of my view of GOD.  Due to no one person’s intentions, but a lot of generational misperception, I was taught to see GOD as a hard, highly driven and highly expectant personality.

He constantly wanted yet another performance out of me and it never seemed to end.  No matter how well I did, GOD overlooked my good and saw my lack, then He harshly rebuked me, giving me another seemingly impossible command.

No matter how well I did, GOD overlooked my good and saw my lack, then He harshly rebuked me, giving me another seemingly impossible command.

This is not to say that GOD never wants anything out of us, nor that we will never go through hardship.  But it is to say that we may struggle to be faithful and committed to Him when we do not have a strong enough emotional connection to His love for us, regardless of our situations.

How can a human who does not emotionally know the love of GOD, does not have a broken and contrite spirit really live in the abundance of GOD?  We are made up of 80% emotion, GOD has given us emotional Scriptures based on His makeup and ours.  We can conclude He definitely cares about our emotional health.

Three of the five Scriptures listed above are from typically seen as prophetic books of the Bible.  When we have a faulty perspective of GOD, we see these books as scary or demeaning, a harsh GOD judging humanity with no grace.

But even in this books of the bible, we experience His heart.  Miss his heart?  You miss the meaning of the text in a historical, current and personal context.

We all long to hear these words from the love of our life, or anyone for that matter, “I’m doing this for you because you are precious to me, when I see you I see you as a valuable jewel.  I honor and love you with all of my heart and I would do anything for you.  No material item could ever be worth a moment in your presence.  I would give even my most prized possessions and many people in return for having your heart.”

This is how GOD speaks to us, His people in Isaiah 43:4.  He addresses our emotions and is determined to win us with His love:

Isaiah 43:4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.

As we read the Scriptures relationally, slowing down to feel His heart, our souls begin to soften in His gentle love.

We realize how patient, kind and sweet our GOD really is, and we are comforted.  This comfort brings healing to broken, wounded areas of our hearts.

I can remember times of my father lifting me up on his shoulders as we walked on the boardwalk of a beach.  These moments were both literally and figuratively the high points of my life.

I felt huge, bigger than I could ever be on my own and my perspective was higher than I could obtain with my constantly growing legs.

I was being paraded around for all to see His acceptance and approval of me.

I was safe.

I was surrounded by His love. 

And no one could harm me because I was “dwelling between his shoulders.

Can you imagine GOD that way?  This is how He relates to us in Deuteronomy 33:12.  Now, let’s read it again in this context:

Deuteronomy 33:12 Of Benjamin he said, “The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders.”

I can also remember times where my heart was so lost, broken and hurt by the mistakes of my father.  I felt all alone.  One particular moment, he came to me sitting on the bed next to me for one reason only. 

I was probably frightened by the sound of his steps, in wonderment of what I had been caught doing now for there were many sins I had hidden from him, but he came, sitting gently by my side only to say, “I’m sorry.”

That will be a memory I never forget.  Those words were comforting and reassuring to my broken heart.

GOD models this same affection for us in our pain promising us that He will turn our mourning (sad emotions of loss) into joy and He will comfort us (when in pain):

Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

All of these Scriptures are really love letters so that we will always know how He feels about us, no matter how stormy life may blow us around in feelings of defeat or hopelessness.

You are worth loving because He has proven to love you by choice, without condition and He wants you to know this with ALL of you, not only in your head, but experiencing Him in your heart.

He is more concerned with this, much to my surprise at times, than He is with how much I can DO for Him.

Like a good daddy, He wants us to feel connected to Him.  This is a sign we are going in the right direction in relationship.

And He will do anything to win our hearts!

This truth fees us from hardened, dry, weakened hearts, full of condemnation, fear, rejection, hopelessness or being overwhelmed.

We begin to think different, believe different and feel different as we meet a Need Meeting, Loving GOD.

Meditation: GOD can cause the impossible to begin to occur in your life, even when it seems absolutely unachievable.  He can and will heal your broken heart.  He will help you in the areas you have not received His love due to false perceptions of Him.  You are loved no matter what you do and nothing you do wrong or right can change that.  This propels us to want to live for Him in passionate pursuit.

My Prayer for you: Father I pray for every daughter (and son) reading this article today.  I thank you that you are healing, restoring and reforming our perspective of who You are.  I pray for a relational, contemporary GOD to be in their lives, rather than a finger pointing, condemning GOD.  And I thank you that whatever they have lost in years past will be completely restored by Your pursuit.  In Jesus’ name!  Amen.

Have you been blessed by this article?  Tell us how in the comments!  We would love to hear from you and your testimony just may help another reader.

Sources:  A Guide to Effective School Leadership Theories

Our Model’s Story:

“I never thought I would be a model/ model because in my mind you had to look the part.. full lips, hour glass, tall and slim, strong bone structure etc. I felt as though i didnt meet the criteria. I was very self conscious about my body, my skin, my hair everything. I was fearful to be around beautiful women becase I didnt think I was beautiful.  But I found confidence in knowing that God accepts me for me 😊.”

-Victoria Williams 

Looking towards the vision GOD has for us in 2017!  Let's rise into faith like never before, like Habakkuk.  He's about to do a new thing and we are excited!

How Do I Feel GOD’s Love?

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

As we are approaching the Month of Love, many may be preparing for the anticipated moment of Valentine’s Day!  Yet, we all too often find ourselves filled with emotion during the holiday season.  This is because love is in the air every which way we look- in the market, traversing the streets, on commercials- we cannot seem to get away from those chilling colors, crimson and white.

This if you are single, of course.  The wait for marriage when trying to live in purity can oftentimes be very difficult.

This is why the entire duration of February we are focusing on how to BeLoved by the Father.  These same emotions are felt as we Know we should Feel Loved Emotionally, but we have yet to find the bridge between our Knowledge and Emotional Life.

Even if you are not lonely on Valentine’s Day, perhaps you are married, happily enjoying your sweet family or living life in bliss…there is still a part of every one of our hearts reserved for LOVE.  This Unconditional LOVE cannot be filled, by our nearest loved ones or distant friends.  It can only be filled by GOD.

Have you ever known in your head Scripture passages such as John 3:16, that Jesus died for you and His Father gave Him for you, yet you cannot seem to find the love He speaks of in your current life?  I can remember feeling this same way a few years past.  Actually, it was over a decade ago, as a collegiate athlete, enjoying the luxuries of a full scholarship to an illustrious Historically Black College.  

Much to my surprise, there were no loosely weaved pullovers, careless sweatpants nor unkempt hair.  Walking into the snack bar or lunch room was quite the experience as whiffs of lightly sprayed perfumes accented well-pressed coiffures and model-like movements quickly passed by your wondering eyes.

The caricatures at this establishment were distinct enough to be on any modern tv-show or best selling novel.  And somehow, I fit in to this carefully insulated world of luxury glam studies.

I was the typical athlete, donning my sweats everywhere I went, and I knew I was good. 

This is me with Jackie Joyner Kersee, the Sports Illustrated for Women Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century and six time Olympic Medalist.

This is me with Jackie Joyner Kersee, the Sports Illustrated for Women Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century and six time Olympic Medalist.

But there was a gaping void in my aching heart.  I could not seem to fill it no matter how hard I endeavored.

And the weight of exams, early mornings, all day classes or excrutiating workouts became all the more heavy as I continued in my studies.  I would finally have an internal collapse, wondering why I was the MEAC Championship MVP, winning races, at the peak of my running career yet so empty inside, longing for more.

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This is me with a teammate carrying our College Track & Field Trophies

This is when I would realize that only Christ could fill this empty placement of my longing heart, no love novel, in spite of how well written…whether on Oprah’s Book List or a New York Time’s Best Seller, could ever play out in my life in such a way that I was fulfilled.

The fancy attire of a 19th Century Jane Austin hardcover would not fulfill me.  The romantic wordplay of the most charming gentleman could never immerse this aching heart.

Only One Man would become my knight in shining armor, had enough charisma, magnetism and attractiveness to convey the type of tender affection I so longed.

And He did just that as one by one, every boyfriend or cheating beau, began to break my tender soul.

On top of the world yet broken inside, I began to experience what it meant to BE-Loved.

It was on this journey that I found the significance of my value.

And the voyage never really ends.  We continue to realize there are many levels of revelation in regards to LOVE.

You are Be-Loved.  The essence of who you are is made to Be-Loved.  This is never determined based on your actions, your behaviors, your thoughts or your capabilities.

Many times we have this misunderstood, believing somehow we can win love from GOD, when we are called to receive His love freely!

A world of performance drives us to a mentality that we must Do Something More to win GOD’s Favor, when He is more concerned with us Being, Receiving His Promises by Faith.

Remember, one of our heroic forefathers, the great Abraham simply believed and in the power of his belief, he would eventually receive.  This was so paramount that GOD took note of it saying, “Abraham believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

What we believe about GOD and ourselves can shape our reality and decisions, but belief is about who we are inside, not what we do on the outside.  Belief is an active choice yet so principle.

You and I can Believe That We are LOVED beyond our own Imperfections!  This is a Powerful Weapon against Loneliness, Condemnation, Fear and Emptiness.

You are LOVED and GOD wants you to feel loved.  He wants to pour love into you like never before.  He wants this to be Your month of Receiving Love.  He is enamored by you and wants to give to you even more than He wants you to give to others.

He is enamored by you and wants to give to you even more than He wants you to give to others.

Do you believe that?  Do I really believe that?

Believe you are LOVED and allow it to be expressed fully!

Believe you are LOVED and allow yourself the full expression of LOVE!

When we think of the word, “LOVE” what is our inceptive thought?  Do we initially think of GOD’s LOVE pouring over our weakened hearts, filling us to overflowing?  Or, do we conceptualize earthly relationships, a cumbersome to-do list that we must fulfill…as our minds begin to weigh down in the seemingly impossible burden?

Unfortunately, I believe the latter is all too often true of us; we believe must Do more and Give more when it relates to our connotation of LOVE.

But in this month’s LOVE CHALLENGE, I challenge you to join me in Receiving Love before you feel compelled to give it; it is in this reality that our hearts become tender, finding grace to give even more.

GOD is LOVE.

The truth that we receive love only from Him is liberating.

It frees us from feelings of exasperation, hopelessness, emptiness and unappreciation.  We are no longer constantly giving and never receiving, feeling condemning lack, overwhelmed with our inability to please GOD or ever do enough.  We no longer, in general, feel UnLoved.

Have you been there before, or maybe you are there right now?

You are always the one giving, giving, and giving while others seem to take for granted your willing nature.

Yet you cannot seem to grasp the essence of tenderness you so desperately need in your own life, a pure and gentle kiss on your trembling cheek, an embracive hug full of “I don’t care what you have done” acceptance, a listening ear hearing out your many thoughts…when will this type of practical love come to me?

When we reach emptiness in this measure, our hearts can become lifelessly cold, numb and giving up on experiencing the fullness of joy promised in the Scriptures.  

But I am encouraging you that it is not over; GOD will cause the impossible to begin to occur in your life, even when it seems absolutely impossible.  He can and will heal your broken or slightly weakened heart.  You are Lovable.  He loves you no matter what you do and nothing you do wrong or right can change that truth!

Meditating (deeply focusing your mind on, in silence, repeating them to yourself quietly) on the following passages in our quiet time can begin to cause us to seek out the Only One who can saturate these abandoned spaces of our souls:

  • You are worthy of everything because GOD gave you everything– John 3:16 For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • GOD wants more than anything to save you from all harm, giving you eternal salvation!– Romans 10:9-13 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • No one and nothing has been given the right to condemn you, because the Only One who Could chose not to; He has redeemed you His very life- Romans 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
  • He longs for you to be at peace and unworried because He cares about your emotional health– John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
  • He is very patient and kind towards you; He is not rushing to see you perish, He wants you to thrive!– 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
  • He has given you a Forever Helper so you will Never be alone– John 14:16  “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,”
  • He has given you a way even beyond your own abilities to come to Him; Never feel that you cannot come to Him, He is gentle, kind and forgiving– John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • He has adopted you as one of His own children and will never leave you nor forsake you; He wants you to experience His love in a deep way.  You are embraced and accepted by Him– John 17:26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
  • He protects you from evil and is your security– John 17:15  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
  • He speaks highly of you to His Father; You are Well Spoken Of– John 17:6-8  “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

There are many more Scriptures we could meditate on until we feel change occurring in our emotions, but these ten are a great start in resetting our minds back on how GOD truly feels.

BeLoved my sisters and have a wonderful week in Jesus!

What helps you know and feel the love of the Father on weaker days/seasons?  I would love to hear your stories and encouraging tips!  Share in the comments below!

esi blog3

Overcoming the Infertility Mentality

Jade Lee

Today I would like to lovingly introduce you to a concept entitled the Infertility Mentality.  This is the train of thought reflecting a place of “stuck” and “quit,” consistently uttering the subsequent notion within your subconscious intellect, “I will never _______.” 

Have Children…Realize My Dreams…Get Married…Be Fruitful…Multiply…Be Successful…Be An Entrepreneur…Overcome this Weakness.

What is the Never we have Received as Actual?

What is the never we have received as actual?

The Infertility Mentality is found in more than the barren woman hoping to have children; quite the contrary, it is housed in the minds of all of us if we are not careful, but particularly in the waiting process.

This one word…Infertility is as a needle-like fastening into a studded wall, threatening to clasp us onto its vertical wood panel, a piece of shameful art for all to behold as we WAIT.

This avoided word consists of a small, equally unwelcomed term, “Infer.”  To gain a more in depth understanding of this place called “Stuck” we must understand “Infer.”

To Infer, according to the Webster’s Dictionary, means “to conclude by reasoning from evidence or premises; deduce,” “to involve or imply as a conclusion: give evidence of.”

This is why we develop an Infertile Mentality, painfully puncturing our weakened hearts: we have concluded by reasoning from the evidence and previous propositions provided that we are glued.

We cannot, will not, do not know how else to Get Out of our current dilemma.

We have the seeming inability to figure; it is beyond us how to get over this persistent hurdle.  Therefore, our reasoning quenches all faith, concluding that this must not be meant to be–our once awe struck dreamy hearts now become deadened and lifelessly drained.

This is the Infertility Mentality.

It is one of the greatest testimonies to our Considerable Need, our Humanity and our Weakness without the evident conceptualization of the Almighty’s Unlimited Power.

Instead, we heed to self reasoning; all that remains is doom to utter hopelessness.  But as we are gently prompted in His goodness, our once enervated souls begin to blossom.

This idea produces fond yet bitter sweet memories of my track and field glory days, those delightful moments of victory.  We would run for miles and miles, in wooded lots, open fields, valleys and mountains.  Yet every terrain would bring with it inevitable challenges.

As we dreadfully walked up to the university 15 passenger hearse, we were being escorted to, my whole body would tense and cringe.  It never seemed to feel any less than a live death process.  And this is Not an exaggerated description. 

Even practices–running up and down, up and down hills that I wished were never created in the mind of GOD–were so painful it would take every measure of mental strength in me to block out the soon-coming portion of my day entitled 3:30PM.

Oh how I would long for it to never come, yet wanted it so greatly that I may obtain the Champion’s Prize.

One by one, we would silently take slow steps up, seating ourselves apprehensively onto the cushioned benches.  The 15 minute trip could never be too prolonged.  You could hear a pin drop as we each gazed out the clear, glass panes thinking of the pain we were about to endure; but not one of us would trade the approaching glory on our team’s horizon.

It was in practices like these, traversing through varying terrains that I learned the Art of Perseverance.  I learned the power of Visualization.  I learned no matter the extent or duration of pain, it would soon have it’s resolution if only I Did Not Discontinue.

There were summations of discomfort in these Glory Days that would bring the most resolute atheist to her knees in prayer, Crying out, “Jesus!” due to a desire for momentary relief.

Self Reasoning and Figuring were not enough to endure in moments like this, we would gather together with huddled hands asking for the Favor of a Greater Power as we pressed into the Impossible.

And these identical principles have guided me through the concept I have introduced today, the Infertility Mentality.

If I do not give up, if I continue, if I endure, if I press in, if I lean on His strength and believe in who He says that I am, then I will see GOD move this Mountain out of my way!

If I do not give up, if I continue, if I endure, if I press in, if I lean on His strength and believe in who He says that I am, then I will see GOD move this Mountain out of my way!

This is the mental disposition of a Champion.

The reality is that inference based on intellect without Biblical truth is rooted in a falsehood.

We will all, at some point, arrive to a situational state of less-than-enough, typically through an unexpected turn in our lives.  But this does not have to be the equivalent of hopelessness nor incompetence.

The favored text, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” is fitting when in this position.

As we absorb this truth beyond our natural or circumstantial reasoning, we are able to obtain FAITH, the substance of things we cannot see, the evidence of the desires we hope for–our faith extends beyond rational conclusion to a Higher Being.  His name is Jesus.

FAITH is not knowing GOD can do it; it is knowing He Will Do It.     

This is the key to overcoming an Infertile Mentality (Believing We Cannot Reproduce nor Be Successful in Accomplishing an Intended Goal).

The reality is that faith is antonymous to inference.  Faith is “belief without evidence.”  This attribute extends beyond our own understanding to visualize what has yet to be materialized.

When we are operating out of an emotional or rational mentality our faith competence level begins to quickly deteriorate, but there are seasons of testing requiring an allegiance to GOD’s Word beyond displayed verification.

Perhaps you have endeavored to stroll upon the raging, troubled waters of your night hour.  For a moment, the sole of your strolling feet tred upon trembling waves as your eyes were entirely set on His. 

Nonetheless, our tired minds wear out of focus as we experience a power beyond this world and we all too soon find ourselves back in this realm of fallen perspective.  Joining the great saint, Peter, mixed emotions fill our expanded souls as we meditate on the wonder of that astounding second.

That was the exact point in time we began to believe at a higher level, while simultaneously refocusing on a lower mentality.  And it was then our minds wondered away from truth.

Near 2000 years ago, 1,987 to be exact, Peter would find Jesus in the darkest hour of the night, immediately prior to the emerging of a new day.  It was on the fourth watch, 3-6am that he saw the Son of GOD joining wondering, terrified hearts in awe of His majesty–captivated by His limitless mastery of even the winds and the waves.

In this hour Peter stood against all odds.

And today, 2000 years later, each one of us can stand; more accurately, walk on water, defying nature’s description of possible.

The noteworthy announcement is: although you and I have tried before, sinking into the ocean of life’s trouble, the reality is we have done what many will never.  We have accomplished the impossible, believing in a Man others have certainly not seen.

If we have been in this pinnacle-like position, we can join Him there again; the same power is readily available in spite of our humanity.

Can you see the scarlet breached palms of the Wounded One extended in endearment, suspending time to summon you back in belief and enwonderment?

He is patiently awaiting our heroic resolution to saunter upon these agitated floods of apprehension, knowing His gentle voice will shatter this ranting tempest, and the light around which we course will shine on a newly discovered day.  We are in Breakthrough.

I humbly invite you to share how you have found joy in life’s seemingly impossible situations?  What were your keys to overcoming the fear of Never Seeing Breakthrough?  How can I lift you in prayer?

Thank you readers for your time and warm thoughts as we jointly seek to  become a little more like Him.

Love & Affection,

Jade Lee 

 

2016 prophecy pic

Encouragement for 2016: What is GOD Saying?

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

It is the year 2016 and I am very excited to share with you what the LORD has placed on my heart regarding this year so it can be weighed against what others are also hearing in prayer. 

2016- The Year of Healing from Foundational Relationships in the first 8 years of one’s life. The Year of Those frozen in pain released from hardened hearts with the love of the Father. The Year of Love- Deep John 17 Relationships with Others. The Year of Double Portion- Double Beginnings- Dreams Restored that were lost and New Beginnings where Hope Deferred has Sickened Hearts. The Year of John 17 Unity Love Manifested in the Body of Christ and a Reset for the Body as we display deeper relationships with one another. ‪#‎2016IsOurYear‬

Please listen to this audio and share in the comments below what is in your heart for 2016, your dreams, your focuses.  I would love to hear from you and agree with you in prayer!

jlo pic31

The Danger of Being a Superwoman

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

There are times when giving your all and going above and beyond can be bad for you without the balance of asking for help or living in community.  When we withdrawal from everyone around us but find ourselves constantly trying to look and be perfect, we live in a consistent stress bubble.

Giving too much without help can cause isolation, anxiety and depression in women.  It can lead to the following cycle in our lives:

Negative Cycle

Superwoman Mentality –> Anxiety –> Withdrawal –> Isolation –> Depression

Instead of finding joy in being an amazing wife, friend, daughter, and career woman; we find ourselves performing well but feeling horrible.  This can eventually effect our health and joy levels as women aiming to please GOD with our decisions.

This reminds me of years ago when I was doing ministry non-stop.  I was meeting with people all day long then going home but failing to stop to eat consistently, take care of my body or enjoy my life.  It was only a matter of time before I faced a breakdown.

I needed help and would be tremendously blessed once I lived in the reality of a Proverbs 31 lifestyle.  The Proverbs 31 woman is an amazing wife, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is more precious than rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

She is industrious and hard working, “She finds wool and flax and busily spends it.  She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up before breakfast to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.”

She is also a business woman, “She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.  She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.”

She is a housekeeper and philantropist, “Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.  She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.  She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes…She carefully watches everything in her household.”

And she is a well respected community leader, “Her husband is well known in the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders…She is clothed with strength and dignity.”

This is a woman of authority, grace, dignity and noteriety; she is very giving and incredibly hard working, yet she is balanced.  She has help from her “servant girls” or “handmaidens.”  This lost art of servanthood and female discipleship helps her lead others into their personal calling on a deep relational level.

She is not worried.  She is not afraid.  She is full of joy, trusting the LORD able to laugh about the days to come.  Because of this she is full of both kindness and wisdom receiving the rewards of her hard work and efforts.

Instead of living in the negative Superwoman Cycle she lives the following way:

Positive Cycle

Proverbs 31 Mentality –> Help Received –> Connectivity –> Fellowship –> Joy

As she asks for help, surrounds herself with others and receives the help she is given, her heart is reconnected with life as it should be; she enjoys fellowship of others and lives in relational joy.

It is here that she finds the freedom from isolation that inevitably surrounds those who give so much they do not ever connect with others.  Many times when we live in such a way we feel like we are constantly giving to others yet feel very alone.  We feel constant anxiety and depression trying to overtake our emotional lives because we are doing too much.

We feel isolated because we are not connected with other people, trying to hold it all together and never showing how we really feel when we are overwhelmed or have negative thoughts.

Maybe you can relate to some of these emotions and want to be free from the negativity cycle.

There is hope from this pit of aloneness as we reshape the way we see being an Amazing Woman of GOD.  Sure, we should be givers but this can also be balanced as we trust the LORD for helpers and the grace to live in community.

Sometimes as we invite others into our lives, like the Proverbs 31 woman, we are actually given more than we receive.  We are given love, peace, joy, and a rewarding lifestyle. 

Maybe you are in a season of life where you need to become one of these “servant women” learning to glean from another more mature woman.  I encourage you to pray and ask the LORD to show you who He wants you to receive from as you are growing in GOD.

You can learn and be helped in many areas in the process!

This may be hard to do but I can assure you that you will be more emotionally stable and happier once you take this step.  You will finally be free of isolation, experiencing less anxiety and no longer struggling with depression that comes from being overwhelmed as a “Superwoman.”

Do you need more of GOD’s Grace to give where you need to give or stop giving and receive where you need to receive more?

Pray the following prayer with me, “Father, I ask you to help me live in a deep relational connectivity with the spiritual mothers and women You are placing in my life.  If I am an older, or more mature woman, I pray that You will help me to find the younger, less mature women You are calling me to help.  I am believing You for the help that comes from living in a Proverbs 31 paradigm.  Please help me find the balance of loving myself and continuing to be an exceptional giver without burn out.  I love You and I am believing You for forward progress in both my mentality and actions for this area of my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!”

Scriptures for Meditation:

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self–controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
 (Acts 9:36)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1)

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

Have you ever found it difficult to stay in a lifestyle where you live like the Proverbs 31 Woman?  In community?  In fellowship?  In a spiritual parenting-daughter relationship?

This can be very difficult and takes a lot of perseverance.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  I’d love to hear your challenges and your victories!

 

Superwoman Myth

Giving Till It Hurts You

Jade Lee {Includes Podcast at Bottom}

Giving Till It Hurts You

Welcome to the season of Gift Giving.  This is the time to Give Until It Hurts.  This is the time of the year we embrace the Holidays in full force thinking of creative ways to buy gifts for each and every one of our loved ones. Our hearts are full as we reimagine years past full of holiday glitz, glistening twinkles on evergreen towers and the starry shimmer in others eyes. The fascination of it all is as warm to us as a cozy cup of warm apple cider by the comforting embers of a fireside or the warm blankets tucked in secret locations throughout our home.
This is what the holiday season is all about and is supposed to be, yet in our real world encounters we find ourselves quietly dismal over the super planning, exasperating chore list and stress of family quarrels.

Isn’t it strange how often we find it necessary to fight off reality in order to present a Hallmark Christmas storyline in our all too often imperfect lives? For me the holiday season has already been strangely filled with stressors, it seems like back to back mountains in front of me as I attempt to be more than human…

It started with an awkward string of real-life events, unexpectedly gripping my life and twirling me around and around until I was spiraling out of any form of calendar, event planning control.

First there is the fact that I am still a first lady, only lady, pastor or minister…you choose which title you prefer. And our church seemed to be on that same downward spiral from my much limited perspective. In a matter of less than a year every single one of the church leaders we had so delicately pastored into ministerial positions one by one moved on to the next assignment in their lives.

Then we received the news that the church building we were renting was going to be sold by its retiring owners, but we sat in life’s hold waiting to hear how the matter would unfold.

But it did not end there, suddenly we gain a call from the owner saying the building is Under Contract. We would have to find elsewhere to conduct our weekly meetings and Sunday services.

But it didn’t end there, all while this is occurring my superplanning brain began to consider the next few months of Holiday Bliss! Thanksgiving was coming, then Christmas, then New Year’s Planning (because everything has to be perfect)…and the New Year’s Eve party, traveling to various locations in different states all while keeping the church afloat from a distance with limited leadership in position.

It all seemed so impossible already not to include the instability of my current housing situation, whereas we lived in a parsonage in the building…yes, the same one we were about to sell.

But it didn’t end there, suddenly my absolutely independent 80+ grandmother collapsed to her last breath right before the Holidays.

And we could not return home because we desperately needed a new vehicle, somewhere to reside and a new church location so everything we worked for in the last 10 years would not slip between our desperately gripping fingers.

All the while I simply wanted to GIVE. GIVE to the people in front of me waiting for Thanksgiving Party Extravaganze. GIVE to my father painfully losing his mother. GIVE to my family through the joy of my presence. GIVE to my husband so he could continue to eat three home cooked meals a day. GIVE to every single member in my church so they would not leave as others hurt or feeling forsaken. GIVE to my GOD by devoted prayer and in depth study of His Word. GIVE to the world around me by making the Right Decisions step by step. GIVE to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram as an example of righteousness to the next generation.

GIVE, GIVE and GIVE some more.

I know I am not alone in the Fascination of Giving.

But my giving would soon prove to turn into Stressful, Pulling Your Hair Out, Wanting to Give Up on Everything Exasperation if I would not learn to Release ALL of these cares to the LORD.

It seems that no matter how many times we circle the same journey with our GPS loaded and car filled with gas, we tend to need a friendly reminder. To STOP GIVING everything away without a refill. To ASK for HELP so we cannot KEEP GIVING anymore.
And to enjoy the Journey along the way as we Trust GOD that He is Really in Control.

There is a Beautiful sequence to this Holiday-Life Madness I have just described and it is so eloquently entitled The Sovereignty of GOD. You see, He really does have our every step in control and it is all in His hands even when our carefully written plans seem to deteriorate before our eyes.

Every Holiday Mountain I have encountered has been solved by the Master Planner, from church residency to personal housing, to visiting my family and speaking at my beloved Grandmother’s funeral. It is in this place of Trust that I can rest and Give A Little Less to Give Where it Matters Most.

I can focus on receiving and I encourage you to do the same.
It is okay to give to yourself through receiving from Him, spending time with your family and then giving to others in whatever time you have left. This truly in the season of Giving but what if this year that means, GOD wants you to give up some Giving to receive His Special Gift for you?

Self Reflection:
Q. How can you give to yourself this season in practical ways? What do you enjoy and how can you incorporate this into the midst of holiday busyness? Is there some hidden way GOD is trying to give to you that may have gone unnoticed?

Stop and Take Notice of all the ways He is speaking Appreciation, Encouragement and Hope to your heart. Maybe there is someone He has already placed in your life to help carry some of the Holiday Burden that you usually undertake alone.

Holiday Meditation:
Throughout the holidays I encourage you to meditate on the following imagery- Imagine Jesus on the cross dying for your sins. In the midst of pain unimaginable He sees you and your reflection is in His eyes. But not only is He giving, He is receiving the joy of seeing you saved, seeing you free, seeing you enjoy your life. He is envisioning you at peace and rest this season. His gift is seeing the blessing of your life.

Now imagine all that you have been giving, the people you will give to this season and Receive the blessing of their lives being changed, the blessing of a rested you to GOD, yourself, your nearest ones and others.

Share Your Story of Holiday Rest:
Is there some way GOD has been helping you do less to do more for your self and those that matter most? I’d love to hear your story and I’m sure it will bless other readers. By commenting in the feed below this post you can help others find rest for their souls even in this crazy-busy world.

How to Overcome Giving Till It Hurts You
Fact: GOD is asking me to give to say no to giving when it hurts me.
Feelings: I want to say no to others but I might experience Rejection or Hurt.
Fall Out: I’ve tried this before but it ended in a fight. I’ve tried this before but I couldn’t stick to it. What if other people think I’m mean or uncaring?
Forgiveness: If you fall or get hurt, at least you fall forward and will know that you put your priorities back in order. You will feel great when you find the balance of giving to yourself and having time to help the people you are really called to help.
Forward Thinking: If I fall, I can get back up. If others reject me, GOD will heal me. GOD will take care of what I cannot finish. If I say no to care for myself GOD says I’m worth it.  As long as GOD approves of me, I am in a good, guilt free zone.

You can also listen to this week’s podcast episode by clicking the play button below or subscribing to my Itunes Podcast, Inspiring Lives with Jade Lee.