The Jesus Bandaid

Giving credit where it’s due, the concept of the Jesus bandaid came to me from someone very dear, an amazingly strong woman named Athena Moberg of the CPTSD Foundation.

The Jesus Bandaid is basically what some Christians like to quickly apply to problems that arise in other Christian’s lives. Here’s what it looks like, you come with a problem, they reach into their handy dandy sack O’ quotes and Scriptures, slap it on the situation and bam! Problem solved! Feel better? Won’t He do it! All you needed, was for them to come with the Jesus bandaid, then it would all be better.

Now of course, I have nothing against bandaids and certainly not Jesus- we are tight- but let’s sort through this in a simple and practical way…

If a person has a physical wound of any sort, we don’t just reach for a bandaid and slap it on, considering it a job well done. That would be stupid and could be dangerous as well. We look at the wound first, don’t we? We inspect it, see what we are dealing with. We look at the state of the person with the wound in order to determine the first course of action. Do we need to go to the hospital? Can we take care of this right where we are, or do we need additional, expert assistance? In no instance, would we slap on a bandaid and leave feeling we’ve done something great, yet people do this to others with emotional wounds too much of the time.

One thing I have learned with this healing journey I’m on, is the clear line of where I and my responsibilities begin and end with regards to others. There’s so much freedom in just that. I don’t have to look at others as having problems I need to try (and fail) to fix.

I can see someone hurting and sit with them there. I can actually do what Romans 12:15 says and rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who grieve. I don’t have to pull an answer out of my hat. I don’t need to jump to that Jesus bandaid. I can just be with them, right where they are in that moment. I can accept them, love them and validate their feelings without trying to fix what’s wrong.

Let me tell you, validation goes so much farther than a bandaid. People want to feel cared for and loved. Most have the ability to say that they want help with fixing a problem if that’s what they need. If they don’t say so, it’s wise to ask first if you know you are one who loves to reach for that Jesus bandaid. Immediately jumping to that bandaid feels dismissive, rude, and in some cases, it can be traumatizing to a person who may already feel traumatized.

I like thinking things through, sometimes probably excessively. I wonder if this bandaid thing stems from a lack of empathy and/or pride. Pride might be at play and make a person feel that their quote or Scripture will fix the situation, right? Maybe… A lack of empathy might be what makes a person just want to get to the solution and leave behind all the rest. Perhaps they can’t empathize with others.

I’m not saying that if you see someone with a gaping, bleeding wound, you’d not take action. What I am saying is, you’d still quickly assess what you’re being faced with, even if the assessment took all of 5 seconds. It wouldn’t be skipped over, in favor of putting on the bandaid and leaving. There’s a process. Let’s not skip any part of it. Let’s truly love others the way we would want to be loved. Let’s validate what can be validated- not everything is valid, but that’s another blog post for another day. Let’s not skip over Roman’s 12:15. “Celebrate with those who celebrate, and weep with those who grieve (TPT).”

Flashbacks

Flashbacks have been a very prominent part of my life since around July of last year. It seems that upon starting this whole recovery journey, a door has been opened that I wasn’t fully aware even existed.

It doesn’t feel like a thing of torment. It feels more like a journey of discovery and healing. With each flashback, I am now dealing with the feelings surrounding each memory. I’m no longer shoving it all aside, pretending it doesn’t exist, so that others feel comfortable.

It feels strange at times to do this when I have been taught to dismiss and ignore my feelings. In so many places, there’s a purveying message that says to leave the past in the past. Forget about the past and let it go, etc.

God is showing me though, that when your past hasn’t been effectively dealt with, it can continue to cause problems in your present and future. I feel very grateful that God didn’t allow me to stay where I was, as I know I would still be there.

Now, in addition to having flashbacks from childhood, I am having some regarding my husband’s recent hospital stay. Because I was on the go, taking care of things for my family, I didn’t have much time to process all that was happening, so I suppose, now is the time to do that.

I’m having to remember and employ the tools I’ve gained over the last year. I must put them to work for this part of my journey. I’m grateful that none of this has caught God off guard. He knew I’d be here at this moment. He planned and put everything in place for me to get through it all successfully. All I have to do is go to Him for wisdom and guidance. I don’t have to do this alone. That is such a relief.

The Illusion of Control

I am seeing things differently now and learning how to more poignantly pray for specific types of people.

The more combative and controlling the person, the more insecure and downright afraid they seem to be underneath it all.

Trying to control others is exhausting, fruitless and simply not our job. I am praying for freedom for people who have yet to realize they’re not God and they can’t fix others by trying to oversee another’s journey. That’s no way to live.

The fact is, we don’t and can’t control much. The only person we ought to try to control is ourselves. Many don’t even do that well, so trying to control others becomes even more of an impossible feat.

Self control is a fruit of the spirit that we should all aspire to.

This is something being highlighted to me these days as I have instances where people try to tell me what to do throughout my journey. Which is almost a sure fire way to see me do exactly the opposite.

I want to live my life in such a way that I am honoring the integrity of another’s path or journey. I am wanting to do this even with my youngest children.

A part of my husband’s journey has included a recent near death experience. Because I walk alongside him in life (although on my own path), I experience some of his journey to a degree.  The same is true for our children.

My sons, my oldest (5 years old) in particular, is crazy about his dad.  At the time of my typing this, my husband has been hospitalized for 5 days and my son asks about him often.

Culturally, the norm would be to shield the child from this experience and push them aside, while the adults “take care of things.”  The idea is that children cannot handle such things. I disagree, and I am not doing this. Simply because this, by default, is a part of my son’s journey, I am going to walk through it with him.

When I have brought my girls to see my husband, my boys, being only 5 and 2 are not allowed in and this of course upsets my 5 year old.  He wants to see his dad too.

I explained to him that his father is sick and is healing, but the rules of the ICU are such that he can’t come in.  Instead, when his father was conscious and alert, I helped him to Face time his dad.  This of course made him happy.  I ask him about his feelings and answer whatever questions comes to mind.  I refuse to leave him in the dark.  I want to honor that this is a part of his journey as well and teach him to process the tough things he’s feeling and going through.  This way, when he is an adult, he will have had practice with such things and won’t be inept and behave in strange or inappropriate ways when life happens.

My dad Gary said these situations bring out the best and worst of people.  It’s so true.  I am solely focusing on what I need to do for my husband, children and myself.  If it upsets another, that isn’t my issue at all.  I am doing what I need to do and that’s enough. I am no longer trying to control others, by trying to make sure everyone’s happy with me and how I am handling things.  I am happy to be free of the illusion of control.

Responsibility

I think of random things. I remember a former friend projecting her words or feelings on me. We were in a disagreement and she said something about me saying I am grown. I hadn’t said that and certainly didn’t feel it.


Actually, I am just getting to a point where I feel like I am a grown woman. I was always responsible. Actually, I was taking responsibility for far more than was rightfully mine. I now understand that I am not responsible for so much of what I thought I should be responsible for, like another’s feelings, behavior, and needs. I thought I was here to take care of those things for others. I thought it was selfish to consider that perhaps I had needs and feelings that I should pay attention to. I thought I was here to make and keep others happy with me and somehow, magically, what I needed and wanted would be tended to.

What a load of crap, not to mention, impossible task, lol!

I can laugh today as I consider things several people, (most of whom are no longer in my life,) said to me, about me, all while very clearly exhibiting blaring examples of their feelings of jealousy and ill will towards me. Yet, I listened and took their “moral inventory” of me to heart.

Where I should have sang, or mentioned that I sing, I was quiet, for fear of being seen as a show off.

Where I should have danced freely and enjoyed myself, I sat, for fear of embarrassing myself because “I had no rhythm, just like my father.”

Where I should have enjoyed doing my 3 daughters hair, I didn’t and thought of it as a chore because, “I braided the wrong way.” I thought I’d make them look stupid.

Where I should have shared stories freely, taking my time, flowing where God led me, I didn’t, for fear of “not getting to the point fast enough.” I didn’t want to bore people.

Where I should have spoken up about my feelings, I shrank back, and criticized myself because my feelings were “wrong and I was being mean.” I was told I am too sensitive.

Where I should have shared my experiences, I kept quiet for fear of making some angry or uncomfortable. After all, I thought it was my responsibility to make and keep people happy with me. I thought I should tow the line, even if it was hurting me (and others).

I’m so happy God didn’t allow me to keep believing these things. I’m so glad He is showing me who’s who in my life, past and present. He’s showing me how to set boundaries and let that show me who’s who. Boundary setting seems to be a problem for toxic people. Today, that former friend would be right. I’m grown and I know it now. I understand more than ever before what and who I am responsible for and for that, I am grateful.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

At the time of my writing/typing this, I have no physical voice. After not having allergy issues for probably 10 years, I have been slammed, hard, this year. I am aware that because of the nature of the journey I am on, I am not functioning in an optimal manner.

In my videos I talk about being tired, having flashbacks, nightmares and more. It’s all par for the course with regards to the journey of recovery I am on.

Things that have not bothered me for a long while (like allergies) or have never bothered me, have started to. I am now asking myself how much of this is ok… How much am I willing to allow? I know all too well what it is to have a voice but not use it for fear of angering others. Having overcome that fear, I have to look at what I can do.

I am doing what I know to do. I am praying and using various herbs to help me through this time of resting my voice and body. Also, in the meantime, just in case the enemy wants to gloat at my voice being lost, I write to remind him that I still have a voice, and I will use it.

I was hoarse beforehand, but I likely pushed too far when I sang at the prophetic retreat and lead a workshop. Not too long afterwards, my voice had enough of my pushing and vacated the premises. Today is day 5 of no voice and I am not digging it at all. Because I am classically trained, I understand very well what I did and why this has happened but it didn’t stop me from shedding tears a few times when I tried and failed to call my daughter’s name, tried to scream and tried to make a noise I make with my 2 year old son when I touch his little nose.

My voice is coming back little by little each day. Every day I am declaring over my voice, prophesying over myself. My voice will return different. It will be stronger than ever before- more resolute. I speak supernatural strength and health over my vocal cords. I will do with these vocal cords, what God wills, and there’s not a demon in Hell that can stop me because greater is He who is in me than our already defeated foe.

I will sing, speak, and I will write, all for the glory of my dear Abba. I will not go gentle into that good night as Thomas Dylan’s poem says. I will boldly fight for what’s mine.

When God Changes Your Plans, Go With It

“God is good” is so much more than a catchy cliche. It’s just plain true. Not because He lets everything happen my way and I have the easiest time in life, but because He gives me what I need and walks alongside me through it all-the fun and the not so fun.

I am grateful that throughout my entire life, at least for as long as I can remember, I have had a sense of His presence. I have always been interested in Him. I’ve always wanted to know Him better. I’ve always been drawn to talk to Him, think about Him, more than what seemed “normal” for those around me.

I know that it is solely because of Him, and not some extra “God sense” I drummed up on my own. He drew me in. It is because of Him that I can share what I am now sharing about my childhood without false guilt or shame. It is because of Him that I can still belly laugh, yet cry out of compassion for a person who has caused me incomprehensible pain with no remorse. It is because of Him that I am not only free because He said so, but I am experiencing that freedom as I grow more intimate with Him and allow Him to tell me who I am, over riding all the lies I have been taught and believed about myself.

He is helping me to access parts of me that I have shoved down because I didn’t feel safe to explore them openly. He is causing exponential growth, not just in me, but others around me as I go through this healing and recovery journey. He is a serial blesser. It is beautiful to witness the growth in others simply because I became courageous enough to share as He leads.

After 23 years together, I am sharing stories with my husband that I have never even thought to tell him or anyone else for that matter, and he is doing the same. We are experiencing so much more together as we are being completely vulnerable, sharing heart wrenching tales from our pasts.

It amazes me how one can have words uttered over 30 years ago, still hurt them, and not think to do anything about it. We think it’s as simple as letting it go and forgiving, yet we unconsciously carry those scars with us as if they are beloved treasures.

I am learning that when the past interferes with the present, work must be done. Old beliefs and patterns need to be explored and changed. Truth must replace lies. Feelings must be processed. Only then can one truly forgive and let go. Even then, forgetting is not in the equation.

I hate “forgive and forget”. God has not called me to that. He is the one who forgets our sin. I don’t have that ability. When I forgive, I no longer hold anything against my transgressor, but to forget can cause a whole slew of issues I am not willing to spear head.

I have been groomed to forgive and forget but that is what kept me in a harmful pattern. With prophecy, I am trained to see the gold, see what is possible, see what God sees and wants for an individual.

In everyday life, it behooves me to pay attention to what is before me. When people show me in action, who they are, I am now intent to believe them. I refuse to just listen to mere words any longer. That has not served me well at all. The kicker is, I saw all along, but ignored what I saw in favor of what I was told.

It behooves me to see a snake as a snake, and not a cute little puppy that I want to lean in to pet. I don’t want to get bit. A snake is a snake, after all. It will do what snakes do. This is simple wisdom.

If a wolf, as in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, dons a sweet granny outfit, but “granny” is sporting a snout, fangs and a tail, I’d be a fool to simply take “granny’s” word. Look at what happened to Little Red.

No. I am not called to be a fool. I am to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.

I will end here by saying, this isn’t at all what I sat down to write about. Lol, I wanted to write about food. I had another title in place and thoughts lined up, but I see God had other plans. 🙂

God bless you Dear Reader.

Invitation In Between Blog Posts

It’s been a while since I have done a blog post but I’m still here, moving forward in this mind renewal process.

I seem to be in a constant state of revelation. I’m learning more about myself. I am finding so much that I was clueless about and other things that I ignored or denied because it was just easier to do what was expected of me in order to keep the peace (for others). It is intense at times but I am glad to be where I am and see things more clearly.

Most of my focus has been on my YouTube channel’s Recover Me! series.

Between recording and publishing videos, taking care of my mental and physical health, and caring for my family, I am pretty much ready for a nap.

I will definitely post as the mood strikes, but in the meantime, I invite you to catch me over on YouTube where I am sharing my journey through stories, laughter, tears and a little singing at times.