Are you walking in the freedom of Christ? What are we refusing to let go of as a result of someone else’s unhealed brokenness? What did someone say or do to us to make us want to keep hustling for self-worth? Why do we continue to void out the cause of the cross? What are some coping mechanisms/survival strategies/weird behaviors have you found yourself in because you are still trying to prove to your offender/person who hurt you, that you are enough? Would love to hear your comments!
Background on Recovery: When you are recovering from PTSD/trauma, it requires a lot of in-depth work. This poem depicts just that. You have to regain your sense of self, learn to listen to your body for its story, and be still with patience as God does his work.
It’s recovery. It’s recovery.
It requires lots of discovery.
What I think.
What I feel.
What my body tells me is real.
I’ll be still.
Know he’s God.
Do the work.
Though it’s hard.
It’s recovery. It’s recovery.
God is there.
In this discovery.
Lessons from the Vine Outline
- Conversation with Coworker
- Application to our lives
- Podcast Transcript
Good afternoon everyone!
Welcome to Healing our Brokenness episode 42, entitled, Lessons from the Vine”. Have you ever received a lesson from a vine? What about the illustration that God gives us in his word regarding the vine and the branches?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
This past week I was talking to a coworker of mine about how the flowers in my front yard, the side of the house, and in the backyard were doing something weird this year. It is as if they were confused due to a combination of lack of sun, cold temperatures in May and June, and a variety of other reasons.
There were 2 flowers that we discussed. One is a vine, and the other is a burning bush. The one that I will dissect today is that of the burning bush. The burning bush sits in front of my house. It literally has 4 different things going on with it. The first situation is that there were some branches were no leaves were produced. The second situation that was going on was that there were branches with leaves that produced and is thriving. The next situation that is going on is that some leaves were thriving but are now dead. And the last situation was one in which some of the Leaves had started turning their burgundy color as if fall was approaching already. I decided to cut off the dead withered leaves.
She brought it to my attention that it could be a perfect illustration for our lives. Here is what God gave me as a lesson from the burning bush. There are certain areas of our lives that are dead. They need to be cut out. The second lesson is that there are some areas in our lives where we are trying to move too fast instead of going through the process that God has for us. This could be due to seeing others thriving and excelling in their businesses etc. The 3rd lesson from the burning bush is that there are some areas in our lives that are right on target and maturing properly. The last lesson from the burning bush is that there are areas of our lives where immaturity exists, and therefore, there is no growth at all. These are the areas that God wants to prune so that we can produce fruit and continue to grow.
Which one of these lessons do you identify with? I’m quite sure that we can find a little bit of ourselves in each one of them. Let’s be mindful of the areas that need growth, areas that are moving too fast, areas that are dead, and the areas that are growing in maturity in Christ just fine.
Thank you for listening to “Healing Our Brokenness, episode 42, “Lessons from the Vine”. God bless and have a wonderful week!
Fear in Control Outline
- Fear explained.
- Dread explained.
- How Fear took over in my life.
- Repetition of Satan’s Tactics.
- Podcast Transcript
Good afternoon! Welcome to “Healing our Brokenness”, Episode 41, entitled “Fear in Control”. How many of you have dealt with fear? How did it make you feel? Was your heart racing? Did you feel like you were losing your mind? Was your body shaking?
What is fear? Fear is when we are perceiving something as a threat or danger to us. If you have dealt with any kind of trauma, or have PTSD, you know that the fear part of the brain can get triggered. And then when this happens, All reasoning goes out the door. We know what we know, but because the fear brain has taken over, we cannot stop it. What happens is that while the fear brain is in control, you become keenly aware that the fear is irrational and needs to stop. You literally feel as if someone is behind you and after you at the same time. I have experienced this several times. When it happens, I usually get praise music in my head to let me know that I am OK. However, I cannot stop the process of what the fear brain of PTSD / trauma is doing. It has a mind of its own so to speak. No amount of talking myself down helps me to calm down. I know that I just have to wait it out.
When we think of dread it does not bring about a good connotation. Dread makes you think of something awful taking place, another form of extreme fear within itself. When I was in my 20s, and I found myself having a health crisis, my life was filled with fear that was out of control, and daily battles of dread of dying because of my health. I am allowed Satan to get the best of me in my thoughts, and in my spirit. Every day, as I waited for my thyroid condition to improve, Satan had me trapped in a foot hold of fear and dread about me possibly going into cardiac arrest and dying before getting to the point of feeling better.
What made it worse is that i was suffering from an extreme lack of sleep. When you are going without sleep for so long, it puts you quickly in a category for having a lot of other things to take place. And some of those things include mental health issues, nervous system issues, focusing issues, brain fog, and the inability to cope in general. My lack of sleep coupled with dealing with trying to get my thyroid under control for months made me the perfect bait for Satan to get a foothold.
And what were his lies? His lies were “This is it. You are not going to make it”. Then after a while, I realized that I had gone about 6 months feeding into this mess. I have wasted all of the time that could have been used enjoying myself locked into fear of dying.
As Christians, we are not exempt from dealing temptation and spiritual warfare. We have God’s promises even when we don’t feel like they are true or that he hears us or even that he is near to us.
Hear are some scriptures to help you during times of fear that I am currently implementing as I walk through releasing fear in certain areas of my life:
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.
Please cover us in your blood from the crown of our heads to the soul of our feet. Please help us to know that you are near. You are the same God in every area of our lives, including fear. Help us to remember this, even when we don’t feel it or can’t see it. I pray for a covering of hope, love, and peace.
In your name,
Thank you for listening to Healing our Brokenness, episode 41 entitled “Fear in Control”.
Would you consider yourself a person of grace and truth, or a person of just truth? What is the difference? Find out by listening to today’s podcast to see what happens when we have one without the other. Remember to catch up on last week’s episode here first.
Grace and Truth Podcast Outline
- Dissection on Relationships
- Applying Grace
- Applying Truth
- The Marriage of Grace and Truth
Relationships are hard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s family, friends, or coworkers, it can be challenging. One thing about relationships is that they require time, energy, grace, and love. When disagreements arise, and they will, we can be so intent on wanting to be right, that we can damage the relationship even more.
God tells us in his word: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NLT) We shouldn’t be foolish, and pretend that the truth doesn’t matter. When we ignore the truth, we train our minds and bodies to slowly downplay the cues they tell us that signify something is wrong. Only applying the truth can also bring in legalism. Because God gives us grace, we are able to extend grace to others. Only applying grace without truth and boundaries leads to being taken advantage of, an out of control situation, and the other person constantly pressing the envelope to see how far they can go. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.” (Ephesians 4:14-15, BSB)
There are individuals in my own life who have hurt me dearly. I cannot ignore the revelation of truth that healing has brought me. At the same time, if I focused only on the truth of these situations, it would make my heart bitter. The truth is, we are all broken individuals, and since we are all broken individuals, we all have sin in our lives. If it weren’t for God’s mercy in eliminating certain people and things from my life, I could very well have gone down that path. Offering grace and truth to people doesn’t mean restoration of the relationship. It could mean grieving what is no longer there, acceptance, and the ability to move on.
We thank you for the relationships that you have blessed us with. We pray that you would give us discernment when it comes to applying grace and truth in difficult situations. Please help us to understand that we are all broken individuals in need of a Savior.
In Your name we pray,
In case you missed my last podcast episode, you can grab it here.
One Bad Apple Podcast Outline
- Influence of Others
- Godly Influence
- Internalizing Things
- Samuel’s Experience
- Scripture Focus:
Researchers state that it takes one “bad” person to ruin five good people. Remember the figure of speech that you were lectured on as a kid when it came time to picking your friends: “One bad apple ruins the whole bunch.” We got tired of hearing our parents and other adults say it, but what they were saying was basically synonymous with Galatians 5:9: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (KJV) Whether we are kids or adults, we must be careful of the company that we keep.
When we hang out with our friends, coworkers, family members, etc, it just becomes natural to start saying some of the things that they say. This is what happens when we are in relationship with anyone. Just as when we are reading God’s Word, and in relationship with him, our thoughts and behaviors will reflect that relationship.
However, if you are like me, where everything that is heard on tv, radio, and by mouth is internalized and leaks into your emotional, mental, and spiritual space, then you’ll find that you must be extra careful. Why? When we least expect it, words that are not our own start entering our mind.
And if we’re not careful, they are coming out of our mouths. I have found myself rebuking Satan many a day when this happens. I will never forget when one of my friends said that
she told her son to be careful with what he allows to come in from other people, because 1) it will go into our minds, 2) it will go into our hearts, and 3) it will come out of our mouths.
Thank you for giving us the gift of relationship. Please help us in using discernment in these relationships, as well as being self-aware of how we operate, so that we don’t fall prey to the devil.
In your name we pray,
Sharing in Need Podcast Outline
- Value of Food
- Christian Call
Sharing in Need
Good evening! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 36. Last week’s episode, Value of Prayer, can be found here.
There is hunger and lack of clean water in several countries all over the world. The problem of hunger is so bad that people have lost hope for themselves and their children. It has been said that the amount of food that we throw away as waste is enough food to stop world hunger. The thing about being good stewards, when it comes to God, is that stewardship is not just about money, it is for everything that God owns: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalms 24:1, NLT) This means our time, talents, our bodies, everything!
When I grew up as a child, we placed value on food, and how we used it. It wasn’t just because we were poor, but it was also because we realized just how many people were going without food, and in such a desperate need. In this day and age, we think nothing of having our kids throw whole plates of food in the garbage without blinking an eye.
As Christians, sometimes we get so cozy in our homes, and the immediate needs of our families, that we forget about our responsibility to take care of the poor: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV) It makes some of us uncomfortable to think about giving away some of what we have. A lot of times, when it comes to clothing, we have the same few pieces of clothing that we like to wear over and over again anyway. Having a closet full of clothes gives the illusion of false self-worth.
After the day of Pentecost, the Christians were on such a spiritual high from the workings of the Holy Spirit, that no one was in need: “All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing. And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers,and no poverty—for all who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:32-37, TLB)
What would be required in order for us to have this kind of situation going on now? It would require a change of heart and a change of mind. Then our behavior will follow: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV) God blesses repentance and good stewardship.
Thank you for what we have. We pray that you would move in our hearts to do more to help others in need. We know that we cannot outdo you when it comes to giving. Please help us to be mindful and sensitive to others who are in dire circumstances, and that if we don’t have anything to give, our hearts will be stirred to pray for those individuals.
In Jesus’ name,
Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness. If the show is making a difference in your life, please refer a friend.
In case you missed last week’s episode, “Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, “Episode 34: Surrender”, is covering the topic of surrender.
Episode 34: Surrender Podcast Outline
- What is surrender?
- What does surrender look like?
- How I Am Learning to Surrender
- Podcast Transcript
When you think of surrender, you think of yielding, giving up control, crying “Uncle”, giving in, waving the flag. Surrender has a negative connotation, but it can have a positive outcome when it’s done in the proper context.
If we had the choice, there are some trials that we just wouldn’t sign up for. However, God gives us these trials in order to refine us like gold. These trials will show that our faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold: So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)
One of the worst things that we can do is to think that we have it all under control. The devil tricks us into thinking that we can fix problems on our own, and that we just have to figure out the right plan, or perhaps we just didn’t do something “enough”. A very tender spot for any mother’s heart is their children. Oh, how I wish that I could take away the pain and effects from trauma that my kids have endured over the last five years. However, this isn’t possible. No matter how old they are, our kids’ issues stay on our hearts. However, if we don’t surrender these very issues to God, then we find ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained. Of course, because of the mind-body connection, these issues then takes a turn on the fourth area: physical. They can literally eat us alive with immobility and heaviness of heart. I have just recently had my moment of realizing that my kids will have to have their own journey of healing. I can support them. However, I can’t take on the responsibility of doing the work for them. It hinders them from growth, and the ability to get clarity on their own.
Surrender is not a once in a lifetime thing. If only it was that easy. It is daily. In Luke 9: 23, Christ tells us: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (ESV) Focusing on God and his promises helps us in this journey called life.
Thank you for the shining beauty that comes from our trials when we are refined. Thank you that we can take all of our burdens and our kids’ burdens and lay them down at your feet. Please help us to understand that surrender is a daily thing, and that we have to put our trust in you.
In Jesus’ name,
Today, I am featuring another aspect in the “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” series. This aspect is that of music. Music can have several effects. It can make you go from feeling relaxed to nervous, anxious, and scared, and then switch over to anger, frustration, and sadness in a heartbeat.
Whether you are suffering with trauma/PTSD or not, listening to music can take you back to twenty years of memories that can feel like it was yesterday. Our emotions get stirred, and if we are not careful, we can start riding the waves. You can start thinking about old relationships and all sorts of things.
When it comes to music and PTSD, it can be both a good and bad thing, depending upon the situation. If the music is loud and harsh, with screaming involved, it can cause you to have the trauma symptoms of irritation, dissociation, and anxiety.
Unfortunately, I have experienced all of these. About five years ago, my son was listening to some metal Christian music. I had to ask him to turn it down, then off. It was just too much. The screaming caused the Fear Aspect of Trauma to settle in. I started to feel unsettled in my spirit, along with feeling agitation and anxiousness.
Whether you are listening to loud or soft music, if you haven’t processed memories that are associated with a particular song, you may not be able to tolerate that song or style of music for a while. You’ll usually know if you can tolerate the song/style because you will be able to listen to it without any problems. If the song is intolerable, you usually end up with bad flashbacks or dissociation.
Just recently, I realized that I am fully able to enjoy gospel music again. Starting in 2013, it became hit or miss. Gospel music is associated with attending a missionary baptist church as a kid, leading the choir with my ex-husband, praise dancing, and my roots in general. In order for me to truly appreciate it again, I had to process the important events that this genre held close to my heart. The events weren’t just from one particular time period. They were spread across years.
Recently, my friend invited me to two gospel concerts she performed in. I felt like I was back in the church that I attended as a kid. I knew that this genre had helped me to place the piece of puzzle of my identity in this area back to where it belonged.
Music from the 70s and 80s is also some of my favorites. When I listen to this music, it causes ambivalence. Why? This time period represents a life of simpler times. I have relatives that were alive then, and no longer alive. Community was food, dancing, talking, and enjoying one another’s company. Sometimes, I find myself dancing and crying at the same time.
The more I listen to it, the better it gets. However, I still have moments of extreme grief from trauma, as well as joy at the same time because these memories will forever be in my heart.
How has the music aspect affected your PTSD? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Surprised by Provision Podcast Outline
- Naomi’s Disappointment
- Naomi’s Surprise
- My Disappointment
- My Surprise
- Podcast Transcript
Surprised by Provision
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse. Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them. He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
(Ruth 2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth 2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons. However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance. Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would plummet.
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes, just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get it.
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure what you have in store for us. In your name,