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What to Say to Your Baby in the Womb

1400x1400Preparing to meet your baby is an experience like no other so I wanted to write about it while it was happening to me.  You know how quickly we can forget the details of what it felt like and how we responded to it years later.  But one of the most powerful experiences I have had it bonding with my little princess while she was still in the womb.

I want to share with you what I have been doing and helping others do before getting pregnant myself.  If you want to hear my story I believe it will really bring hope to those waiting on God for a miracle.  And if you know someone trying to get pregnant or get a breakthrough in another area of life this may be a good podcast or video to watch.

Here’s the video & I will add a blog later with more Scriptures for you to declare:

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You Don’t Deserve My Time of the Day: How to Honor when there’s been Deep Hurt

Father’s Day has just passed and with it a myriad of varied emotions for many of us. For some the day brought joy and excitement as we reflected on tender moments from childhood with our dads from being twirled around in their arms to seeing them in the audience cheering us on in little league games or recitals.

For others the day was a painful reminder of the absence of shortcomings of our fathers in the past or present, we instead reflected on phone calls not sent and birthdays missed. Still for others it could have been a bittersweet mingling of the two extremes.

The call to “honor our mother and father” might have either been a welcome reminder, or a seemingly overwhelming demand.

This post is for those of us who may have struggled with honoring their father or mother not just on the recent holiday, but in general. It is our prayer that we would receive healing from the pain that can come from negative experiences with our parents, and be empowered through God’s love to honor them.

Many of us know the scripture that instructs us to “Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).  It’s a beautiful concept.

It speaks of a unique promise our Heavenly Father makes to us to give us a long life in a land He’s given us when we honor our parents. Yet it can also seem daunting for those who may have a strained or complicated relationship with their parents.

Honor is defined as “respect given to someone who is admired” (merriam-webster.com) and “to hold in high respect” (dictionary.com).

But where do we begin when we don’t carry that esteem and respect in our hearts due to painful situations instead harboring disappointment, anger, and possibly even unforgiveness?

I submit to you John 15. Jesus tells his followers to “remain in Him” so that they can bear fruit in their lives:

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).

We cannot manufacture honor within ourselves, we need the grace and empowering of the Holy Spirit. God wants to pour out His love and honor on you today. He knows that we are frail, we are from dust, and cannot do anything unless we remain in Him.

Here are 7 key things to remember in beginning to honor our parents:

1. Begin with receiving God’s honor for YOU! God esteems and honors you so highly he has seated you in heavenly places and adorns you in “robes of righteousness” and “garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10)

2. Know that only God mourns with you for every disappointment or trial you’ve experienced including those your parents may have brought upon you knowingly or unknowingly. He validates your emotions and wants to heal every wound and give you “beauty for your ashes” and “joy for your mourning” (Isaiah 61).

3. God is the only perfect Father, our parents can be used to reflect God’s love for us, but even the most good intentioned parents miss the mark at times because they are only human and are bound to make mistakes sometimes.

4. Our parents need grace just as much as we do. God showers His love on us and even died for us while we were still in our trespasses. His love covers a multitude of sin. Lets extend the same grace to our parents and loved ones. Grace is favor that is undeserved and unmerited. Just as we’ve been given grace beyond our imperfections, let’s show that same favor to our parents through honor.

5. It’s not easy to be a parent. This doesn’t excuse any negative or abusive behavior from any parent, only to help us as children and possible future parents to have more compassion on our parents. Almost no parent purposes to hurt their children. The day their child is born they are ecstatic and filled with love for their child. As the difficulties of life come, demonstrating that love can become harder and harder, but the love is often always still there.

6. Ask for God’s heart for your parents. While we might only be able to see our parents through a lens of hurt, God sees our parents as His children. With the same love He has for us, He has for our parents. Ask Him to give Him His heart for your parents and to show you aspects you can honor in them. Honor begins in the heart, and only God can change our hearts. Ask him to begin a work in yours.

7. It will be a process. Every small step counts. It takes time to build and rebuild relationship but stay encouraged. The call just to say hello or ask for advice, the simple prayer for their life, the card on their birthday, the loving post on their Facebook wall…Every moment of honor is filling a cup of love in their hearts until it will be overflowing. And as you give honor it will be given back to you, “running over.”

We pray this article has inspired you to begin to honor your loved ones, even in difficult situations. Remember God wants to pour into you and doesn’t expect you to be able to honor without first remaining in Him.

He is pouring out His love, His forgiveness, and His grace on you today!

I encourage you to say this prayer with us:

“God thank You for Your unconditional love toward me.Your mercies are new every morning and Your grace is always abounding toward me. I receive Your love and honor and ask You to help me to honor my parents and loved ones today. You know how difficult this is for me, and I know you care about everything I feel and have gone through. I can only do this with Your strength, help me to remain in You. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Please feel free to share your stories of how you have been able to honor those who may have hurt you or how this post has encouraged you. We love hearing from you!

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A Father Who Is Always There for You

Father…when you hear that word what do you think, what image comes to mind?  Perhaps you instantly see a heroic figure, a strong loving protective man, or a kind, gentle compassionate presence.  Others of us may see nothing but an empty, loss presence.  Nothing is there but space and neglect.

Oftentimes the image we see of our earthly father is the same image we imagine when we see our heavenly Father.

And this can be problematic for obvious reasons.

I have a mixture of the two images.  I can remember as a little girl waiting to hear the sound of my father’s keys opening the front door of our miniature, three bedroom two bathroom starter home.  We lived in the ‘hood but I did not have a clue that’s where we lived because I always had a sense of shelter, of sweet protection.

It was home.

Walking outside, playing with my dog, with toys, with nature, running through the wooded lots surrounding us…there was not a care in the world.

And I was in private school with middle to upper class children, mostly very different from me, so there was a sense of safety, even at school.

My father would come home, at least in my mind, every day around the same time.  And when he would open the door I remember running up to him waiting for his embrace.  There was a sense of needing approval and attention.  Then he would swing me up in the air.

It was the moment of delight I longed for daily.

And I’m sure it filled his heart with joy just as much as mine.

This is a beautiful image of father.  Protector.  Friend.  Presence.  Supporter.  Guide.

But we probably all have at least one or two difficult memories of “father.”

Maybe there are days when he does not come home as expected, his countenance is disturbed, he is not the gentle friendly guy you need him to be and you are disappointed.

This is all so real in the heart of a small child.  In fact, it can be magnified.

Both experiences are valid and both are valuable schoolmasters when relating to our Heavenly Father.

What Can We Learn About “Father”?

That dad I described, fun, friendly, kind, playful is a mirror image of our Heavenly Daddy.

He is there, present when we need him, ready to give us sweet gifts.  He wants to give us the gift of His Presence, of joy, peace, patience, happiness, and forgiveness.

Believing in the fact that He will be consistent.  He will never come home in a disappointed manner, He is a safe, secure place to land our hearts.

We can Trust Him because of this unchanging stability.

And we can sit on His lap.  We can talk to Him about anything, our greatest joys, victories, anticipations…our strongest failures, needs and frustrations.

When we see that our Heavenly Father is not a mixture of good and bad, like we humans are…He is All Good, we are finally able to settle our hearts with His good leadership.

He is much like the Prodigal Son’s Father who is there for us no matter what, ready to pour out blessings on our lives.

When we expect him to be the most disappointed, He is not.  Instead, he gives us what we least expect, a huge celebration of the fact that we are Home!

He honors our presence.

We can encounter Jesus around this truth.

GOD Honors my presence.

We have to wonder how others will respond when we show up, but we do not ever have to wonder if our mistakes push GOD away from us, if they cause Him to reject, look down on, or judge us.  He is simply excited that you and I showed up for the party.

A New Way to Encounter Jesus

Have you every went into your prayer time only to feel a heap of guilt like a ton of bricks crashing down on your shoulders?  Then you want to just hide?  And it seems to come out of nowhere.

Am I right with God?  Is He angry with me?  Am I praying right?  I missed my prayer time yesterday.  I am not on my schedule.  I wonder if I’m under His judgment because I haven’t forgiven so and so.  I need to find the right Scripture to focus on.  I need to focus.  I need to spend more time in the Word and put on my Spiritual weapons.  Why am I not consistent?

Ugg…by this point prayer is exhausting.  Because pleasing Him is beyond me.  It is impossible.

I used to think this way all the time and my guess is, so have you.  It is human to base God’s satisfaction with us on who we are, our faulty mentalities about who He is and all the ways we think our prayer life should be.

Yet the reality is that we are way off in thinking God wants all that!  Sometimes he wants a few minutes of us simply accepting that it is okay to vent, to talk to him, to get it off our chest just as we would a friend.  And then to be ourselves, to not feel guilty for the way we prayer.

To stop comparing our prayer lives to others and to know that every little bit counts, is enough and is heard.

When we put down the show and just choose to be, we are starting to go in the right direction.

Let’s encounter Jesus around the Prodigal Son story.

“And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)

Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the story of the prodigal son, but ask Him to refresh your experience of the Father in this well-known story.  Read Luke 15:11-32, where the son demands his inheritance, lives a life of foolish choices, and then out of complete desperation and regret returns home to his father. 

Notice the father’s response.  While the son was a long way off, the father saw him coming.  Imagine the scene of a father who sits on the front porch, scanning the horizon, looking for any sign of his son returning home.

You have a Father like that.  He can’t wait to be with you, can’t wait to run off the front porch and embrace you.

Pause for a moment and imagine the scene of the story, but this time, imagine Jesus running out to meet you.  He is filled with love and compassion.  He runs to you and embraces you because His heart is thrilled to call you His child.

What does it do to your heart to imagine a God who can’t wait to be with you?  Tell the Father about your gratitude:

Heavenly Father, when I imagine that You are scanning the horizon because You can’t wait to be with me, I feel…

When I imagine that You are running to meet me and embrace me with a heart of love and compassion, my heart is moved with gratitude because…

My father would come home and I was in so much anticipation to see him walk through the door, squealing with Joy!  But I hadn’t imagined that he was feeling the same about you.

Could the same be true of our Heavenly Father?  Filled with delight over the thought of seeing your face as He opens the door to meet you!

How has your perspective about your father changed over time?  Maybe you have a God Encounter you want to share to encourage others.  We would love to hear your story in the comments below!

 

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Honoring the Real GOD to Honor your father

JESUS, RESET MY FAMILY LEGACY

Jesus, remind me often of the love You have for me as my heavenly Father.  Let my gratitude for how You love me empower me to strengthen and restore my relationship with my earthly father.

We each have personal images intricately tied to the tender yet powerful word father.  For some, the visualization of father is an always-smiling, ready-to-embrace-you, tender man who instantly promotes feelings of joy and acceptance.  Others remember the massive, outstretched hand that seemed to pull a never-ending supply of candy from his trouser pockets. 

There are also those who hear the word father and conjure up images of a scowling, rumpled brow and disappointed from that seemed to cut the heart of a child desperately longing for expressions of his approval.

And finally, there are others who may simply draw a blank when they try to visualize a father.  As empty as a fresh pack of computer paper, no matter how many pages they turn, the landscape is full of empty memories.  No calls, no visits, no talks with dad.

No matter what impression the word father has left upon our heart, we are reminded of its significant presence in the pages of Scripture.  We are lovingly exhorted to honor our Father in heaven and fathers on this earth (Deuteronomy 5:16).  But how do we honor our father?  This question is inevitable when one out of every three American children live in a home where their biological father is not present.

HOW DO WE HONOR OUR FATHER?

Some Ways Include:

~Take him out to dinner

~Thank him verbally for who is he, acknowledging his value

~Giving him a thoughtful Father’s Day gift

~Listening thoughtfully to his advice

~Speaking highly of him publicly

~Conversing in a respectful tone of voice

~Visit him often, give the gift of time

~Say “I love you” frequently

How to honor our father is a loaded question.  Therefore, we must venture back to ask, “Why should we honor our father?” before we can answer the first.  As Christians, we desire to live our life based on the truth of GOD’S Word.  The Bible is our standard and foundation.  When we wonder why we should honor our earthly fathers, we must first return to the Word of GOD and how it describes the perfect, admirable love of our heavenly Father.

Honoring the real God is the first step toward honoring our earthly fathers.  And honoring God is easy when we are freed from any vision of a harsh, “finger-pointing” God and begin to see a gentle, loving, Father. 

Our hearts are enamored by His unconditional love the more our knowledge of who He is increases.  The more we come to know the true character of our heavenly Father, the more freedom we have as we look at our earthly fathers.

LEARN to Encounter Jesus

“And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 NLT)

Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the story of the prodigal son, but ask Him to refresh your experience of the Father in this well-known story.  Read Luke 15:11-32, where the son demands his inheritance, lives a life of foolish choices, and then out of complete desperation and regret returns home to his father.  Notice the father’s response.  While the son was a long way off, the father saw him coming.  Imagine the scene of a father who sits on the front porch, scanning the horizon, looking for any sign of his son returning home.  You have a Father like that.  He can’t wait to be with you, can’t wait to run off the front porch and embrace you.  Pause for a moment and imagine the scene of the story, but this time, imagine Jesus running our to meet you.  He is filled with love and compassion.  He runs to you and embraces you because His heart is thrilled to call you His child.

What does it do to your heart to imagine a God who can’t wait to be with you?  Tell the Father about your gratitude:

Heavenly Father, when I imagine that You are scanning the horizon because You can’t wait to be with me I feel…

When I imagine that You are running to meet me and embrace me with a heart of love and compassion, my heart is moved with gratitude because…

Today’s Key Takeaway: No Matter What Your Background, you can receive a Fresh Perspective of GOD as a Loving Father.  This will help you embrace His desire for you to honor your father by honoring the Real GOD.

What other ways have you been able to honor your father?  Do you have a testimony or story to share that may bless someone else in the healing process? We can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

From the book, Honor Your Father Reset My Family Legacy.  Order Your Copy as a Father’s Gift today!

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Coping with the Unexpected Foe…Infertility

Jade Lee

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unexpected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth.”

I have been fighting this unexpected foe of infertility knowingly and unknowingly, for over 11 years now.  And it is not an easy battle.  But primarily because of the shock.

You never expect to hear that you are infertile or to not have children.  No, I was not one of those women who sit and think and think and think about having children, how my wedding will be planned, the perfect home…but I did subconsciously assume my life would be #1 Go to College #2 Get Married #3 Run Professionally #4 Live in a Mega Home #5 Have Children #6 Live Happily After.

At first it was not even a shocker that I was not getting pregnant, I was so consumed in my profession- ministry- that I did not think much about it, and I was happy to enjoy the free time of being childless.

But as time went on and on and on, it would be soon that I realized my great desire to mother, after having helped many young women with their birth journey.  I was even helping deliver babies. 

It got harder and harder to not have a “family” of my own.

And then the truth sank in, doctor visits began, reports came back, multiple surgeries came, and I was at a loss for words.  My heart was in shock and shattered to pieces, not because I didn’t have faith but because infertility is a grieving process.

I particularly had a major lack of education on reproductive health and the chances being 1.5 times higher for people of my skin complexion to have children.  Yes, yet another startling statistic regarding the African American community.  Sometimes the question echos through my head, “When will it ever end?” regarding the black plight.

My image of a infertile woman, was a rich, white, maybe celebrity woman walking into a clinic to get an IVF treatment or have a surrogate child.

This is all I had ever seen.  It never even crossed my mind that black women struggled with this issue which is apparently a very strong myth not isolate to my own perspective.

Why do black women face this at a higher rate? 

According to Resolve, the National Infertility Association, “Many of the factors leading to this higher incidence is our hesitance to visit the doctor, as well as higher rates of conditions such as fibroids.  One way to squash this myth is to start talking.  By opening an honest and guilt-free dialogue,w e can step towards removing the stigmas that holds so many of us hostage.”

This is why sharing our stories is so important as we find the grace to do so, and why I so openly am sharing my own faith journey through this sometimes grueling process.

This battle is occurring not only on a first time basis, but secondary infertility grips the wombs of many women unexpectedly.

This simply means a woman has already experienced a full term birth, yet cannot seem to get pregnant sometimes for years after having a child.

This can be as hard or even harder for women because of how shocking it is to go through this difficulty, according to Marlo Schalesky, author of Empty Womb, Aching Heart.

Here are a few facts about infertility that will help you cope with this very painful reality for every 1 in 8 women:

  • Do not allow guilt to become your guide or friend.  When facing this sickness, it is easy, especially in a Christian context to believe you have received the judgment of Michal.  Maybe GOD is punishing me!  Then the thoughts begin to go on to all the wrongs, the sexual immorality of your past, a man of GOD you may have offended.  Resist this urge knowing that GOD loves you unconditionally and although there are consequences for our actions, the finish work of the cross redeems our sins.  He forgives, loves and the majority of infertile women are not being condemned due to sin.
  • Self blame or the blame of your spouse is not healthy nor valid.  When we face a situation that is beyond our control it is really hard not to search for the object of blame.  Starting with GOD, we want to know WHY?  And, WHY ME?  Why do I have to go through this?  Why are all these other women getting pregnant and I can’t seem to get pregnant?  Why isn’t my body cooperating?  What is wrong with ME?  Why does GOD not love me?  Why is my spouse’s body broke? As this storm of questions rage in a woman’s mind, it is important to remind yourself of the love HE has for you even in a plan that is nowhere near what you expected.  At the end of the story, in the midst of the conflict, we will find peace and a plan beyond what we could see.  Instead of blaming our spouse, let’s work together to find the healing we need.
  • Finding the joy of the LORD is an active and sometimes daily pursuit needed in this walk.  We have to press into His joy when we want to give up, wallow in the very real situation of hours of medical situations, hospital bills and challenges.  I came to a point where I had to let it all go, forget about it and get Determined to Enjoy the moments of life I had; I would not allow infertility to steal my life away.  Focus on the blessings in front of you to find a joy beyond your situation.
  • Find a support group.  This may start with your husband, a doctor, even just one friend or an infertility group in your area.  This is going to be needed in a journey that seems to be inconsistent day by day.  We all have our good days and then the really dire ones where we need an understanding, listening ear.
  • Don’t feel guilty to say No.  If you can’t seem to get through baby showers, Mother’s Day, or women’s church groups full of expecting young mothers, it’s okay to say no.  It’s okay to take a leave of absence and do something that will get your mind off of what you do not have because of something beyond your control.
  • Know when to let go of the battle if it gets too much.  One of the most freeing moments in the fight has been letting go but not after a lot of wrestling.  One day I simply decided that I had to give this over to the LORD.  I had to trust Him because ultimately He is the Only One who can cause my womb to be filled.  And I refocused on what He had for me to give to others right now. 
  • If needed, get counseling.  From what I have read and heard, most couples facing infertility will fight depression.  Sometimes this gets overwhelming to a point of needed professional help in knowing how to continue living your life in a world full of new parents, baby aisles (Target, the grocery store) and daily reminders of how your life should be…if not for this frustrating issue.  Many couples benefit from a season of having a listening ear that knows what to say in such a sensitive area (most people do not know what to say at all and say all the wrong things).

There are many more tips I could give you in fighting through this battle but all in all, I am praying for you, standing with you and willing to listen to you.  You are not alone.

If you know someone struggling with infertility or may be going through this yourself, please share this message with them; maybe it will be just the hope they need to press on through One More Day of Faith.

Blessings!

Jade Lee

 

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Discovering A Lost Identity in Africa

Upon leaving the coast of South Africa my heart was full to overflowing. I wept many tears and cried everyday in Africa.  

The tears I cried were an expression of Christ’s heart for a people that has been oppressed, forsaken and forgotten for hundreds of years.  This people is all around the world, identified as the African diaspora.  His heart deeply cares for her wounding and neediness.

I’ve been to Kenya twice and this was my third trip to the continent of Africa. But this particular experience was so deep and rich for me.

It is even more intensified as I am in the middle of in depth research of the history of America’s national racial wounding.  Going back to Africa this time meant more to me than ever before; I soon would realize I was crying tears for an entire people group.

I was in pain over the needs I knew the African American community had and how we were suffering due to generations of mistreatment.  Sure we can forgive and have forgiven much, yet there is oftentimes a lack of understanding of the need for comforting the pain we have experienced.

We had a 17 hour flight to Africa! It was nothing but the grace of GOD that helped us and we made it through jet lag still able to gain

We had a 17 hour flight to Africa! It was nothing but the grace of GOD that helped us and we made it through jet lag still able to gain.

This occurs as we weep with those who weep.  Romans 12:15

I sat with hundreds then with a small group of college aged young adults ready to approach life.  They were at a crossroads without much, no parents, these children were orphans now become adults.

What would they do next?  How would they become successful leaders in their nation?  How would they regain the control of their economy?

Understanding the history of Africa is vital.  Understanding the history of Africa is healing. Understanding the history of Africa is to know the missing pieces of the black community.

And I picked up a few pieces to that lost puzzle, but it was a painful experience.

One specific moment really grabbed my heart and opened my eyes to reality.  I sat in a small room with these recent high school graduates as they shared their viewpoint of GOD.

We split into small groups sharing inspiring stories and helping them move forward in finding purpose (akin to what most young adults their age need).

But as we began to share the African American storyline their eyes lit with interest.  This was foreign information; the shock and deep concern displayed on their young faces gripped my heart and wrung it out until the tears later escaped my eyes.

Our roots run deep into the soil of Africa, a long, lost land that we must reconnect to if we want to fully heal. There are blessings we as African Americans can both give and receive from Africa.

Our roots run deep into the soil of Africa, a long, lost land that we must reconnect to if we want to fully heal. There are blessings we as African Americans can both give and receive from Africa.

They had never heard of a people who were considered and treated as less than humans.  It was heartbreaking to find our distant cousins and tell our story.

Knowing them was like a mirror, we could more clearly see ourselves.  We could see what has been taken from us, in a way, unknowingly.  We were able to see our blessings in America, yet see the little treasures that had been stripped from our identity:

We are just now approaching the age of African American natural hair care discoveries.  We are indulging in shea butter, argan oil, twist outs, coconut oil and lots of hair moisture.  For years, we have had to ReLearn the Basics because we were in survival mode.

How do you focus on hair care, oral tradition, body care and the like when you are traumatized by the rape of a loved one you cannot help, the violent beating of a son you cannot stop, the ripping of a daughter from your very hands, the laws that dehumanize and separate you from the remainder of this foreign land or the covert prejudice that surrounds you in the workplace?

As we heal, we must go back.  There are stories, information that has been casually and naturally passed down from generation to generation in Africa.  It may or may not even be recognized as especially significant until you go and see the differences with your own eyes.

For me it was a different experience.  It was glaringly different than the white Americans who traveled with me.  

And I was marked.

Black women all over the world are beautiful, we shared the graceful message that the gospel brings with these young adult women who just graduated from High School. These women would now receive the identity needed to give hope to those they are called to influence.

Black women all over the world are beautiful, we shared the graceful message that the gospel brings with these young adult women who just graduated from High School. These women would now receive the identity needed to give hope to those they are called to influence.

I was marked with a burden, a blessing, a deep longing to see use healed.  Self discovery gripped my heart as I longed to bring back the lost treasures engulfed by the Middle Passage.  

And this provided HOPE.

The songs of these young adults, the strength I felt encouraged me.  I thought of the strength I have seen many times in the African American Episcopal, Baptists and other black congregations.  The power that only a slave spiritual brings as you hear it sung was identical to the power I felt behind these songs.

The force I felt when only a gospel song is sung was the same force I felt behind these songs.

The strength behind a beat a staccato like war sounds was the same strength I felt behind these songs.

At that moment, we were one.

They were not African and I was not African American.  There was a connection beyond our time that was connected through the fact that we had the same ancestors.  And I was experiencing what I would call HOME.

I felt a sense of belonging that I have yet to feel in the states.

While all the while I knew I was American to the core.

This connection…will be valued forever and the identity I have experienced will heal many as together we discover all the MISSING PIECES it is now to time to collect.  It is time to ReGather.

And through this journey.  We will now heal.

Africa is so gorgeous, the people, the food, the entire experience. As we flew back home, over the Atlantic Ocean my heart was immersed with love, remembering years past...how my ancestors were lost, dispersed on the Middle Passage over this same ocean. And I saw renewal, refreshing, a restoration of a people ready to now Go and Reach the World.

Africa is so gorgeous, the people, the food, the entire experience. As we flew back home, over the Atlantic Ocean my heart was immersed with love, remembering years past…how my ancestors were lost, dispersed on the Middle Passage over this same ocean. And I saw renewal, refreshing, a restoration of a people ready to now Go and Reach the World.

 

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Why Black Mothers Beat their Children as a Cultural Norm

Paige Smith

I’m a mother of a one year old whirlwind of joy and love. As his mom it’s my responsibility to show him this through modeling, teaching, and discipline. Yet as a Black mother the expectation is that I will, rather that I must, beat my child…He’s curious, energetic, outgoing, and fearless. He wants to explore the world, meet everyone in the room, and get on the stage to dance around who ever is speaking or performing. Like any one year old he’s quickly learning boundaries and right from wrong.  What is the best way to discipline him and help him discover these boundaries?

Disclaimer: This article is not to say that spanking your child is never an option in any situation or that sparing the rod is advisory in our opinion.  It is to challenge a system that has been in place since slavery creating unbalanced cultural norms in our own viewpoints of ourselves and how we raise our children in the black community.  Have our viewpoints regarding our own abilities to use corporal punishment without self-control shaped our thinking towards ourselves in comparison to white children?

The “why” behind spanking is what I hope to explore in this article. The roots behind the corporal discipline so embedded in the Black community is one I and I’m sure so many other women want to uncover.

Many would say the answer is glaring after simply turning on the news as headline after headline reveals another senseless young Black death.

We are in a time when innocent Black bodies are beaten mercilessly on the streets, when entire majority Black communities are tear gassed and spitefully called animals by law enforcement, when a social media movement has to be birthed to remind a nation that the existence of the Black race matters.

In light of a society that seems to be ever more threatening to Black lives everywhere, the response of most parents is two fold, both on opposite extremes. One response is to shield their children from everything, raising them in “safe” pristine suburban neighborhoods, screening their music, friends, and even attire from anything too Urban.

Yet another response is one a majority of Black parents take which is to remove the possibility of future police harassment through current corporal punishment. Many Black parents fear the very real likelihood their children will experience some type of profiling or negative treatment because they are black. They respond to this fear through “beating” their children straight, before society can.

I was spanked and so many others of my Black friends and peers were. It was a mark of our childhood that may not have been pleasant but one many of us look back on with gratitude or even fondness. Many of us will boldly stand for corporal punishment and insist because of that physical discipline in our childhood we became better adults.  And to some degree this is true.

Yet as I researched corporal punishment I began to see an unsettling divide between black parents who believed in spanking their children and every other race. In the Black Christian community it was even higher.

Scripture like “Spare the rod and spoil the child” has constantly been referenced in the Black church yet could it be that in a fear of “spoiling” our Black children we have taken up the rod too often?

My point is not to stigmatize Black parents for beating their children, the Bible does instruct us to physically discipline our children. I simply wanted us all, including myself, to ask ourselves if we have overemphasized corporal punishment as a Black community, and to search out the reasons if we have.

Why do black parents feel a stronger need to physically discipline their children more than parents of other races?

NFL star Ray Lewis opened up in an emotional interview how he went to bed many nights with bruises, but continues to say if his mother wasn’t as hard as she was on him the “streets would have gotten [him] the way it got many others.”

It seems Lewis believed he needed more violence to deal with him, to prevent him from becoming another statistic.

A real question is whether his white counterparts at the NFL felt the same growing up. Did they also feel the need to go to bed almost every night with bruises in order to become upstanding men?

Lewis believes his beatings were his saving grace from a life on the streets, leading him on the path to success and stardom, but other Blacks are opening up about how scarring their childhood punishments were.

Stacey Patton, Black BBC writer and author on a book on the intersection of race and corporal punishment profoundly reflects on her childhood:
“As a young child, my adoptive mother stripped me naked and whipped me with switches, belts, hangers, shoes, and extension cords.

She left physical and emotional scars and called her parenting techniques “spankings” or “good butt whoopings.”

Her reasons? Because the Bible said it was right, she loved me, she wanted to protect me from the mean streets, drugs, early pregnancy, and white people who she said wanted to beat me up, lock me in a jail or leave me for dead in the streets…

I ran away at age 12 and bounced around in foster care before landing a scholarship to boarding school.”
While for Ray Lewis he believes spanking made him the man he is today, many like Stacey Patton became who they were despite the beatings.

“Spanking” or beating has become a standard of Black parenting unquestioned for decades but with abuse cases like the Adrian Peterson controversies and heart wrenching stories like Patton’s coming to the surface the harmfulness or effectiveness of uncontrolled spanking has to be challenged.

Asadah Kirkland, author of Beating Black Kids calls spanking a “cultural epidemic” that she believes needs to stop. It has been proven to lead to low self esteem, depression, and even some cases suicide. She urges parents instead of physically disciplining their children to talk to them, get into their world, and show respect to them to also have it given back.

The debate on spanking is one that is sensitive touching cultural, religious, historic and racial areas that can be uncomfortable. Yet for the sake of our children and our future it is a conversation that we need to bring back to the table.

We need to talk about what it means that Black children are beaten by their parents more so than any other of their counterparts of other races.

Are Black children more unruly? More rebellious? More “hardheaded”? This is a notion that is hurtful, dangerous and is rooted deep in the marshes of slavery.

We have to remember Children, no matter what race, are a blessing given by God Himself for us as parents to steward with love and wisdom.

I encourage you to reflect on why you may be spanking your children, is it too often, is it in a controlled environment or done out of a belief that black children need this more than other races to make it; I also encourage you to explore other alternatives in addition to corporal punishment.

Remember, it’s the heart of the matter that really counts. If you’re a parent ask yourself, Why spanking? Do I need to beat my child to show them something is wrong in every incident or am I simply perpetuating what I’ve experienced?

The word of God tells us to physically discipline, but discipline is meant to correct wrong behavior, not traumatize or abuse. Our children are precious gifts, let’s all handle them with the care and reverence we all deserve.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3)

jlo blog78

The Power of Encouragement

Paige Smith

Do you find yourself in a situation that seems hopeless? Are you frustrated by your seeming inability to overcome in a certain area in your life? Is there a difficult situation that you can’t see the end or resolution of?

Life can be full of winding and unexpected turns and we all need a little encouragement sometimes.

Encouragement is that second wind when you want to give up. Encouragement is when someone tells you they see your potential when all you see is your failure. Encouragement is when someone speaks life into a situation that seems hopelessly dead.

It is the genuine compliment on the day you feel the most unattractive. It is is the reassuring “next time will be better” after you’ve failed the test. It’s the “you can do it” in the midst of an impossible situation.

Are you in need of encouragement today?

I will be transparent and say that it was so difficult writing this very article because of the immense discouragement I myself felt as life issues mounted up to what seemed to be insurmountable heights.

I thought, how can I write on the power of encouragement when I myself feel so discouraged?

For the past two weeks in fact I have constantly been fighting the temptation of giving up, calling it quits. For the first time in years I feel like I did in my senior year of high school when I was doing so poorly academically and was so disappointed in myself and felt the disappointment of my relatives so strongly I ran away, leaving behind a detailed letter expressing all of the pent up emotions I had been feeling for years.

This was certainly a time of deep discouragement in my life. Recently I have found myself fighting discouragement yet again. Right now I am almost a year out of graduating and at times it can seem like I am failing, to be completely honest. I know I am not but when someone asks me what I am up to since I graduated (from the illustrious Spelman College) and I respond that I’m being a mom I usually receive wary, unimpressed looks.

Many times I succumb to this pressure of “looking successful” and add that I am also doing freelance writing and helping editing for a non profit and attend a ministry discipleship school. Yet still the waves of discouragement from these repeated subtle encounters can  come.

What has brought the most discouragement today has been the business of my life, feeling like I am constantly sacrificing and serving in hopes of staying in the process, making it to the end..yet continually messing up within my responsibilities and not seeing the fruit I truly desire within myself, my relationships, or my family life.

On top of this I misplaced a huge check the very same day tuition was due for the discipleship school I attend that would have fully covered the cost for my husband and I.

I then realized my seeming frailty was really my greatest strength.

I decided I would write from this place of uncertainty, when everything wasn’t going perfectly, and write the very words I knew someone in a similar situation to mine I would need to read.

Right now my house needs to be cleaned, dishes need to be put away, laundry needs to be folded. Right now I need to call family members and tell them I love them. Right now I have assignments that are past due that need to be turned in. Right now my son is showing behaviors that I don’t know how to address. Right now I…

Maybe you can relate to these struggles. I pray this article will bring intense encouragement to you and I both as we learn the truth of Gods response to us in situations when we feel as if we are failing.

Encouragement is powerful because it declares Gods truth, hope, and love when everything else may say the opposite.

Encouragement isn’t usually given when everything is perfect, when you are succeeding in every area, and are overcoming every trial.

It is given when it doesn’t seem like the person will make it, when the odds are against them, when they’ve lost again or seem to be in the process of losing.

Think of a race. As the runners are jogging along their families and friends will flock them along the sides and cheer them on, helping them realize their ultimate goal of crossing the finish line.

During the toughest parts of the race, that is when the crowd will encourage the runners the most.

In the times when life gets the most difficult, when it becomes undeniable how much we are struggling, these are the times many of us imagine God shaking his head at us in disappointment.

In actuality this image couldn’t be further from the truth!

Rather than condemning us for our shortcomings, God yearns to bring us encouragement in these times of defeat.

God never sees you as a failure. And He never sees your situation as hopeless. He is truth and only sees the truth of who you you are, an Overcomer.

He is also a redeemer and even in your most depressing situations, He sees them through the lens of His own resurrection power.

He is the same God that looked at a pile of dry bones and saw them as mighty army.

Sometimes areas in our lives can seem like a pile of dry bones and we don’t see how they will ever come to life.

What situation is bringing you the most discouragement today, your pile of dry bones?

Maybe it is a subject in school you are struggling in, maybe you are applying for job after job and you have yet to hear back from one. Maybe your job is bringing constant stress to your life. Maybe you and your spouse can’t seem to see eye to eye. Maybe your children don’t seem to be listening to you.

Whatever situation is coming to mind I want you envision God as your biggest fan, cheering you on shouting out words of encouragement and love towards you in the midst of these trying situations.

God is a good father. Just like a great dad encourages their children when they feel they can’t overcome or have messed up, God does the same for us.

Many of us are feeling the most discouragement in situations that are unfamiliar to us. We are like the child who first learns to ride a bike. We clumsily swivel and turn and wobble and are very aware of how much we are not gracefully riding a bike.

Yet what keeps us going in our imperfection is the parent that tells us “Keep going! You can do it!”

Instead of getting off the bike we continue on and eventually what seemed impossible becomes second nature to us and we find ourselves gliding along effortlessly, now confidently doing what before we could hardly figure out how to begin.

Today God wants to bring encouragement to you!

He sees your potential and your coming victory over present trials. He’s written out every day of your life and He already sees exactly how you will overcome. He sees your strength when you only see your weakness, and He is the only one who truly knows who you are since He is the one who created you!

I encourage you to reflect on God’s encouragement for you:

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.””
‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:2-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV

We can find encouragement in the fact that God is for us, even when it seems life is against us.

Even the most terrifying or hopeless situation, when it feels like our foundation, everything that previously seemed secure in our life, is falling apart. In these moments God is there in our midst, ready to help us.

When we are dismayed, God encourages us that He will strengthen us. We may have tribulations but He empowers us to overcome because He has already overcome it all.

If you would like prayer for a specific situation or would like to share an area of your life you need encouragement in, we invite you to share in the comments below. We love hearing from you! We encourage you to share, you never know how your willingness to open up will help another overcome.

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The Importance of Giving and Receiving Relational Needs

Paige Smith

“And the LORD God said, “ It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:18‬ ‭

Have you ever wondered why God, a perfect completely whole being, created humans with needs?

We need to drink water or we become dehydrated, we need food to survive, and our brains can only function without oxygen for so long.

If this level of dependency wasn’t enough many of us have surely realized we need far more than merely food, air, and water to survive, we need love, we need peace, we need compassion–we have Relational Needs.

A Relational Need is a need that is met in the context of relationship with another person.

Relationship expert and founder of The Great Commandment Network, Dr. David Ferguson has found that humans are physically, emotionally, and spiritually complex needing both practical essentials and relational nourishment!

In short, we all have relational needs!

Each person, no matter how young, old, rich, poor, educated, etc. has ten core needs which are:

1. Acceptance
2. Approval
3. Respect
4. Comfort
5. Attention
6. Security
7. Support
8. Appreciation
9. Encouragement
10. Affection

I encourage you to look over this list and even visit the previous article, “Receiving Foundational Healing” by Mrs. Lee in which she describes each relational need in depth complete with Biblical references for each need.

We all have the same ten relational needs, but each person has varying degrees to which they need each one depending on their makeup, personality, and life experiences.

I pray it brings your heart relief to know you are not uniquely deficient or “needy” because you have felt a strong desire for any relational need listed above.

Maybe all your life you have struggled with feeling as if you belong, you may have a high need for Acceptance.

If it is important for others to show they value who you are and not just what you do, you could have a strong need for Approval.

If knowing that you are highly esteemed and honored makes you feel loved, Respect could be a high relational need for you.

For me since childhood l have always needed affectionate words and touch to feel most loved. Previously others and myself might have brushed this off as being too sensitive but now I realize I simply have a strong need for Comfort and Affection.

Previously others and myself might have brushed this off as being too sensitive but now I realize I simply have a strong need for Comfort and Affection.

If it is important to you for others to listen attentively when you are speaking or show interest in your life you may have a high need for Attention.

If you value those in your life who are consistent and reliable and you appreciate planning ahead, Security may be very important to you in relationships.

If you have a high level stress job or are simply going through an unfamiliar or difficult season in life where more is expected of you than you are able to do alone, Support is likely a high relational need for you in this time.

If you are someone who particularly cherishes the kind words of loved ones or when someone demonstrates their gratitude for you, you might have a high need for Appreciation.

If a positive word from someone during a time of discouragement truly makes you feel loved, Encouragement could be one of your top relational needs.

Maybe you have read this list and realized, I have all of these needs! Don’t feel overwhelmed. We all have these needs, the only difference is some have certain particular needs more than others.

Often the very things we have been made to feel are weaknesses or are excessive about our personalities are real needs we shouldn’t apologize for having.

Needs, whether physical and relational, are completely natural to have.

Some of us have been wounded and shamed by others dismissing these needs. We’ve been told that we care too much about what people think, we think too much of ourselves, we’re too sensitive, we’re always trying to get attention, we don’t have enough faith, or we need to be more independent.

In response, we’ve learned to ignore or hide our own relational needs.

Don’t believe the lie anymore that you are too much for having a relational need.

God created you to be a relational person, and has given you needs that can only be met in the context of relationship!

You have the permission to have needs!

And it doesn’t make you weak, needy, or overly emotional, it makes you authentically human!

In December, JLO introduced the Superwoman Myth campaign which still resonates today.

Whenever you feel the pain of condemnation over your emotional makeup and are tempted to label yourself as needy remind yourself that you are not a superwoman (or man). You are not a robot devoid of emotions. You have a mind, body, and soul and we each need loving care and attention.

Acknowledging and embracing your relational needs is a beautiful step to having them filled by others.

Not only that, you will become even more compassionate to others as you realize everyone has a need for relationship. Everyone needs love.

If a particular relational need has been highlighted to you today I encourage you to write it down and share it with your closest loved ones.

Let them know how you most feel loved. Maybe it is when they ask first before using one of your belongings (showing respect) or thanking you if you made dinner (showing appreciation) or letting you know they care about you (showing affection).

This would also be a great time to ask them how they best feel loved. You may be surprised they have a high need for something that is not as needed for you.

Maybe it’s especially important to your loved ones that you keep your word (security), or that you offer to help them in tasks they have difficulty in (support), or let them know verbally how great a job you think they’re doing (encouragement).

Try not to assume what may be a need for your loved ones, ask if possible.

Many have learned to mask their needs and worse, not communicate them in fear they will be seen as weak or over dependent.

Some of the most stoic members in your family might have the deepest need for affection. And your friend who seems to be effortlessly juggling every responsibility, could be in dire need for Support. Your shy little cousin could be the same one desperate for Attention.

Seeing others through the lens of how we can give and receive relational needs will make us far more loving people.

Think of a mother and a new born infant. The bond between the two couldn’t be closer. In fact, when a child is born it already recognizes its mothers voice and midwives or nurses will often put the baby directly on the mothers chest after delivery because the very heart beat of the mother calms and soothes the child as it is plunged from the warmth of the womb into a new, unfamiliar environment.

The baby is completely dependent on its mother for nourishment and sustenance. The mother too needs the child in a sense. Scientists have found as a mother nurses after delivery, she is filled with oxycotin, a hormone that beats off those notorious “post partem blues”.

We’ve been taught to despise dependency, but the truth is where there is need there is value and where there is value there is love.

When we realize how just much we need relationships in our lives we begin to value and love people that much more.

We have all been made in God’s image and we have to remind ourselves in times of isolation that God is a relational God. Even within Himself He operates in perfect unity and relationship as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But above all, God is the essence and definition of Love. All of these relational needs are simply different ways to give and receive love.

If you’ve read this article and realize major relational needs haven’t been met or that you have been ignoring the relational needs of those around you, please don’t be discouraged.

Allow yourself to receive God’s approval for you, acceptance of you, comfort for you, affection for you, respect for you, attention for you, support for you, encouragement for you, security (peace) for you, and appreciation for you! Receive His love today!  (We will write more articles soon on how to do this).

From that place of overflow you will find yourself able to pour into the relationships of those around you who need the manifold expressions of your love as much as you need theirs.

If this post has encouraged or inspired you on giving and receiving relational needs, feel free to share below. We love hearing from you!

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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!