Episode 43: The Big “D”

Episode 43: The Big “D”
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Have you ever been divorced? Do you know of someone who has been divorced? When you found out that this person was divorced, did you treat them differently? Today’s podcast is entitled, “The Big “D”, and that “D” stands for divorce. Click above to listen to the latest podcast episode.

It has been said that divorce is worse than death.  There was a time when the word divorce was taboo.  Older television shows reflect these ideas.  When children mentioned that their friends’ parents were getting divorced, they were shushed by their parents, and/or the parents came up with an excuse as to why Johnny or Susan couldn’t play at the neighbors’ house anymore.  They were outcasts.

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Prior to getting divorced, I heard someone use the phrases “It’s no big deal.  People get divorced every day.”  This is true.  However, what is also true is that you don’t have people lined up to tell you the real impact from divorce.  Divorce leaves lifelong effects in every area:  financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc.  Basically, there is no table left unturned.    

Grief experienced from divorce can be draining.  With this pain, you must grieve the loss of the marriage, the loss of the family as a unit, and then grieve that part of your identity that is being taken away.  There is no magic formula for the intensity of the pain or the amount of time that it will take to heal.  My grief so far tends to run in spurts.  The grief might be off and on all day for three weeks, and then there is a month break before it starts up again.  I have had other women tell me that theirs was every day for two hours for the length of anywhere from two to five years.

There are some individuals who have gotten divorced because of severe abuse that has gone on for years.  In Malachi 2:16, we are told, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” (NASB)

Others have gotten divorced as a result of extramarital affairs:  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made

at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.   And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19: 3-9)

 It is possible for God to heal marriages from any situation, even the ones listed above.  However, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that one person can fix the whole marriage.  As individuals, we can only do our part.  We cannot be the Holy Spirit for others.  I am a planner.  I like organizing, analyzing, and figuring things out.  I thought that if I could just do A, B, and C, things would be fine.  If things weren’t getting better, it was because I hadn’t figured out the right formula yet.  Satan led me to believe that I was responsible for the entire relationship. 

He led me down the path of dishonoring God, and disrespecting myself and children “all in the name of love”.  The best thing that we can do is pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then in turn get professional help for ourselves.  It is easy to pass judgment upon others who are considering divorce.  However, the truth is, only the individuals involved in the marriage are aware of the severity of the situation.  I stayed in a toxic situation for twenty years.  Thank God for Him getting a hold of my heart and mind.  We can pray the same thing for others whom we know of that are walking in this path.

Dear God,

We thank you for your word to go to when we are unsure, and don’t know where to turn.  Please help us to help others by sending them to your word and prayer when it comes to decisions about divorce.  We also pray that we would not pass judgment upon others when they are going through divorce because we don’t know the whole story.  Only you do.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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Episode 35: The Value of Prayer

prayer, value, the value of prayer, healing, healing our brokenness, Jesus praying, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living, katina horton, podcast, podcasting

Episode 35: The Value of Prayer
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In case you missed our last episode on surrendering, you can find it here. Today’s episode is Episode 35: The Value of Prayer. What are some of the things that you value in life? Why do you value them? Have you ever thought about prayer having value? Tune in to our latest episode to find out why prayer should be at the top of our list.

The Value of Prayer Podcast Outline

  • Necessity of Prayer
  • Examples of Prayer
  • Praying for Our Children
  • The Act of Praying Over Food
  • We Can Pray Alone
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness. Today’s episode is entitled, “The Value of Prayer”.

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Photo by Brodie Vissers

Value of Prayer

Prayer is necessary in developing our relationship with God.  Sometimes the hardest part about doing anything, including prayer is getting started.  Satan fills our hearts with so many excuses as to why we aren’t doing something, when the bottom line is that once we are willing to start, God can give us the desire, strength, and perseverance to finish: “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 1:6, BSB)  Jesus’ prayer life was a perfect example of the who, what, when, where and how’s of praying. 

Luke gives us an account of the impact placed on one of Jesus’ disciples from watching him pray, and witnessing John teaching his disciples.  He wanted in on this action:  “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.  And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. “(Luke 11:1-2, ESV) When we pray with earnest hearts and conviction, it rubs off on other people, and they want what we have.

Jesus showed us how to pray for our children:  “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” (Matthew 19:13-15, NIV)

When our children are little, there are so many ways that we can pray for and with them.  We can place them on our laps and pray for them, and as they get older, we can pray for them even as they are sleeping.  Sometimes I have found myself praying with my kids before they leave out the door on the way to school, or as we are literally pulling out of the driveway to begin our day.  There is no better example of showing that there are no restrictions when telling our children about God, his goodness, and his Word than in Deuteronomy 11: 19-21:  “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”(NKJV)

Jesus showed us how to pray over and give thanks for our food.  He showed us that even though he was the one distributing the food, the fact that he had it to give himself was God’s grace:  “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.” (Acts 27:35, NIV) 

The two fish and five loaves of bread multiplied after he said the blessing.  This was a pure reenactment of the story of Elijah and the widow at Zarephath.  Jesus showed us the results of what the power of praying and trusting in God with the little we have can do:   “And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.  (Matthew 14: 19-21, NIV)

Jesus showed us the importance and power of praying with others.  Luke 9:28 tells us, “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.”(NIV)  There is something about experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirt as we pray with others.

Jesus also showed us the importance of praying alone: “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”  (Matthew 14: 23, Holman)  In order to avoid suffering burnout and spiritual emptiness, there is a need for us to pour into ourselves before we can pour into others.  Once we are filled up, we are ready to go out and serve.

Dear Father,

We thank you for your grace and power of prayer.  Please help us to remember that prayer reaches the doors of heaven, and changes things.  We also ask that you would help us to get into the habit of developing a routine for prayer, whether it is by ourselves or with others. 

In your name we pray,

Amen

Thank you for visiting Healing Our Brokenness, and if this episode has blessed you in any way, please tag a friend on Social Media, share it, review it on Itunes, and pray for the show as well.

Until next time,

Blessings!

Episode 34: Surrender

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Episode 34: Surrender
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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

Surrender

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)

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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.

Dear God,

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,

Amen

Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times

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Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times
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Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • My Situation
  • Podcast Transcript
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How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed.  You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.  We know that the bottom line is that God is in control.  Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.

This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through.  Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb.  We all know that fear is from Satan himself.  

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year.  As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat.  (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)

Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb:  “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,

then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)

Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit.  She was on a mission.  Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:

Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.  I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)

It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:

Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am

the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.   Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”  And he worshiped the Lord there.

(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)

About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar.  I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position.  I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”  (KJV)

God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days.  As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner.  I was on a mission, and I continued to pray.  My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night. 

Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying.  The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying.  We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk. 

Like Hannah, we needed an answer.  We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first.  And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests.  My prayer was answered thirteen days later.  I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers.  It was soon after.  God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage.  Praise God for his word and his promises!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word and your promises.  Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there.  You never change.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen

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Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2

emotional health, mental health, psychology, spiritual health, katina horton, podcasting, podcast, blog, author life, scornful, prodigal son, Jonah, bitterness, resentment, cynical, sin, anger

Episode 26: The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2
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In case you missed last week’s recording, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 1”, you can find that here. Today’s recording is Episode 26-The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.

The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2 Outline

  • Reflection on Part 1
  • Dissection of The Older Brother
  • Jonah’s Rights
  • Our Rights
  • Solution
  • Closing
  • Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Part 2.  Today’s recording is episode 26:  The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2.  Just as a quick recap from Part 1, we discussed the fact that Cynicism has several factors that lead up to its brokenness as a state of mind:

Reflection on Part 1

Those factors are:

  • You have experienced a lot of issues with betrayal.
  • There are historical patterns of things not working out in your favor, or working out in a way that is undesirable to you.
  • You get to the point of seeing too much and hearing too much to think that things will be different.
  • Most of the people that you trusted let you down.
  • The few times that you thought things would turn out good, they turned out bad, and you lost faith in believing that things could be different.

In the case of the two stories that we are going to look at today, the two biblical characters carried out the sin of cynicism because of two main reasons:

  • The historical pattern of character of the authority figures.
  • The lack of legalism that existed for these authority figures.

The two men that we are going to dissect is Jonah and the older brother of the prodigal son. 

Their reasons for cynicism contradict the normal factors.  Cynicism set in with both of these men because of the recognition of the good qualities of the father and God.

Dissection of The Older Brother

  • Let’s explore the story of the prodigal son first.
  • The dad was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

After the prodigal son returned home penniless, hungry, and exhausted from wild living, the father could have greeted him with judgment, coldness, and distance.  Instead he accepted his son, welcomed him with a grateful heart that he was safe and sound, and embraced him for who he was. 

The fact that he ran to meet him to diffuse being shamed by the community was a bonus.  It showed the son that he was going to be welcomed.  There is nothing worse than messing up big time, and not knowing what other Christians are going to say as you reenter the house of God or run into them while you are in public.

Luke 15 tells us:  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The father knew that hitting rock bottom was enough of a consequence for the younger son.  He didn’t need to enforce further punishment.  He also possessed enough self-acceptance that he didn’t worry about being embarrassed in regard to the reaction of the community.

Oh Self-Pity

The older son dwelled on his sin of cynicism that is evidenced through dialog that is filled with scornfulness, bitterness, and resentment.  He felt that he had been failed.  He didn’t focus on his younger brother’s condition of going from “lost to found”.  Along with his cynicism, he was filled with self-pity and envy: Luke 15: 28-31 reads:  “28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

The father tried to get the older son to go in twice.  We are left wondering what eventually happened.  Did he stay outside and continue to sulk?  One thing this clear about the brother’s dialog is that not only is he resentful, but he is filled with broken thinking.  Two words suggest broken thinking when resentment is present: “always and never”.

Our dialog goes something like this: 

“I always have to clean the house.”

“She always gets to do something special.”

“I never have the opportunity to do anything.”

Nine times out of ten, these statements aren’t true.  If they are true, there is some type of dynamic that has been setup that needs to change.  Or, perhaps, the financial situation has changed that allows you to do more for the younger child than you were able to do for the older child.  Whatever the case may be, broken thinking is present.

First-born children tend to be rule-followers.  With that thought in mind, the older son definitely felt that he was cheated since he was the “rule-follower”.  However, one thing about rule followers is that they can get caught up in being legalistic because they follow the rules.  God is more concerned about our hearts than checking off boxes to say that we did something.

Let’s explore the story of Jonah.

Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to warn them about their sin and God’s judgment for their sin if they continued going in the direction that they were going.

Jonah decided that he knew best, and so, he skipped out on the trip altogether, and took a boat ride to a different part of town.  God had a fish to swallow Jonah.  And Jonah prayed inside of the fish for God’s mercy and grace, and the fish released Jonah. 

Let’s discuss the character of the authority figure in Jonah’s story.

In Jonah’s story, this figure is God.  Not surprisingly, the dad in our first story is actually a representation of God.

What are the characteristics of God that Jonah was familiar with?

  • God was gracious, merciful, slow to anger, kind, forgiving, accepting, non-judgmental, long-suffering, and compassionate.

In Jonah’s story, Jonah was bitter, resentful, and cynical because God proved that his heart was all of those characteristics that were just mentioned.  It was okay for God to have all these attributes when it came to saving him.  However, it wasn’t okay for him to possess them when it came to saving the Ninevites.

 

God gave Jonah a chance to get it right.  He sent him to Nineveh a second time:

 

Jonah 3 King James Version (KJV)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of theLord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Part 2

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

The Ninevites didn’t have to suffer consequences because they repented right away: 

Jonah 4: 10 says:

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Like the older brother in the prodigal son story, Jonah was so angry that he didn’t know what to do with himself.  God tried reasoning with him.  Unfortunately, Jonah wasn’t haven’t it.

His cynicism showed up in verses 1-2, when he basically said, “See, this is why I didn’t do what you told me.  I know this is how you would respond.”

Here are his exact words: “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

God told Jonah that the people were lost, just as the father tried to help his older son to understand about the prodigal: 

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Jonah 4: 7-11, KJV

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Jonah and His Rights

Jonah pouted outside of the city underneath the tree just as the older brother pouted outside of the party celebration that was going on inside for the prodigal son.  Both men felt that they were right.  Both authority figures tried reasoning with them twice.  Both were caught up in anger, bitterness, resentment, and cynicism.  And both missed out on blessings because of it.  But why?  They ignored the sovereignty of God.  We have all been in both of their shoes.  WE know best.  WE know what justice should look like.  WE can play God and have mercy and grace poured out on us, and others should not.  When we don’t adhere to God’s plans, his timing, and his will, we trade whole faith for broken pieces of bitterness, resentment, and cynicism every time.

When cynicism becomes our brokenness, it becomes our idol, and we began to scorn God directly and indirectly because of our trials and other peoples’ success.  This is how Satan works.  If he can get us to lose trust in our faith due to our trials, others’ brokenness, and the hurt and pain of “church hurt”.  Then, he has got us.

Solutions

So, the question is, how do we get out of this sin.  Prayer.  Lots of it.  Cynicism is spiritual like all other sin.  Getting grounded in our identity.  Getting rid of our broken thinking.  Changed thinking equals changed talking and changed talking equals changed behavior.  Accept that God is sovereign.  Pray and ask God to help you to be able to trust again, knowing that we can’t live in this world without it.  It takes time to heal, but it is possible.  Trust God’s sovereignty and plans for our lives.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s episode.  Thank you for listening, and if today’s episode has impressed upon your heart, share it with a friend or coworker.

God bless! 

Episode 24: Hurting People

healing, brokenness, emotional health, psychology, mental health, hurting people, author, blogger, blog, podcast, podcaster, katina horton, valley of grace, intentional, unintentional, David, Ziklag, Amalekites

Episode 24: Hurting People
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Hello everyone!  I hope that you enjoyed your Resurrection weekend!  In case you missed the last podcast episode, you can click here to catch up.

Hurting People Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • Hurting People Hurt Unintentionally
  • Hurting People Hurt Intentionally
  • David and His Hurting Men
  • How to Stop the Cycle
  • Podcast Transcript

healing, brokenness, emotional health, psychology, mental health, hurting people, author, blogger, blog, podcast, podcaster, katina horton, valley of grace, intentional, unintentional, David, Ziklag, Amalekites
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Good morning!  Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 24: Hurting People.  We have all heard of the phrase “Hurting People Hurt People”.  While some of us may not like the phrase itself, it is the truth.  God gives us freedom in truth.  We are all broken.  We live in a broken, fallen world.  Because we are broken, until we mend and glue together the broken pieces of the puzzle to our family’s iniquities, we will continue to intentionally and unintentionally hurt others.

Unintentional Hurting

We unintentionally hurt others when we live with unhealed brokenness from the wounds of our past, sin, pain, and pride.  Our unhealed wounds bleed out onto our immediate and extended families, coworkers, and Sisters and Brothers in Christ.  A lot of times, when we are broken, we become so self-absorbed in our own pain and wounds, that we don’t even notice that other people are going through things themselves.

We make vows that we will never be like our family member or other person who inflicted pain upon us.  However, if we are not going through some form of healing, whether it’s seeing a therapist, coach, or seeking self-help through books, we end up being just like them.  Our kids start learning dysfunctional patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms for pain.  We hurt them with our pain, and then they learn how to live their adult lives by what they see us doing.  We continue to pass down this vicious cycle.

My Family’s Pain

Upon moving to my last residence, my kids and I had suffered so much trauma.  And it wasn’t just that we had suffered trauma.  We were trauma bonded through some of the events that had taken place.  Because we were all dealing with an extreme amount of pain, initially we could only see ourselves as the ones who were the victim.    Each one of us blamed the other person and put on the persona of being innocent.  In actuality, each one of us had hurt each other unintentionally.  We were blind to the truth.

Before moving from my last residence, I began taking serious steps of dealing with the trauma that I had endured in my life.  Not only did I begin to deal with it, but I learned how to be vulnerable.  And I had to learn the difference between vulnerability and surface vulnerability.  When surface vulnerability occurs, you tell stay on the surface, only telling people what you think they want to hear so that you don’t look like the “broken one”.

Intentional Hurting

When we intentionally hurt others, we make sure that other people are going to pay for what someone else did to us.  If we were invalidated, then we make sure that everybody else is constantly invalidated.  If were abused, then we abuse.  If we were judged and criticized, then we make it our mission to judge and criticize others.  If our beef is with something that another male or female did, then every male and female will have to pay.  We turn into bashers.

Application

For example, I was watching a television show, and on the show, one lady was trying to run a smear campaign on her former brother-in-law because he had operated on her sister, who had cancer and died.  It had been discovered that negligence hadn’t taken place.  However, she kept making her point that he would pay for what he had done.

Another female character told her that making her former brother-in-law pay for her sister’s death wasn’t going to bring her sister back.  She had wounds that she needed to heal.  She had pain that she needed to deal with.  Blame blinds us to facing the truth that we are hurting.  Blame works as a comfort pacifier and prevents us from seeing what the real problem is.  Making others pay definitely doesn’t change the truth.  It doesn’t right what was wronged.  It doesn’t stop our hearts and souls from bleeding out.  It only makes matters worse.

David and his men had been out on a mission.  They returned to Ziklag, only to find it burned, raided, and the women and children taken captive.  They were all in such pain, that they almost killed David.  Killing David would have only provided temporary relief.  At the end of the day, whatever we use to numb our pain will only be temporary.  Our problems are still there.  We have only added to the depth of them.

Let’s listen to the story in 1 Samuel 30:

 

“1 Samuel 30 New International Version (NIV)

David Destroys the Amalekites

30 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them but carried them off as they went on their way.

When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”

“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

 

How to Stop the Cycle

 

  • When we are in pain, we take out hurt and hearts to Jesus.  He is the only one who can help us to sort through the mess of our past.
  • Take responsibility and sign up for therapy and support group where we can be held accountable.
  • Refuse to give in to the enemy’s plan to isolate ourselves.
  • Listen to good preaching.
  • Read self-help books.
  • We are intentional about not making ourselves targets for the spirits of self-pity and blame.
  • Pray and ask others for forgiveness and patience as we wrestle through the pain and wounds of our past.

 

Thank you for listening to Episode 24: Hurting People!  Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling

opposition, opposition against your calling, push, negativity, inner circles, relationships, emotional health, psychology, physical health, spiritual health, brokenness, healing, encouragement, testing the spirit, katina horton, podcaster, podcast

Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling
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opposition, opposition against your calling, push, negativity, inner circles, relationships, emotional health, psychology, physical health, spiritual health, brokenness, healing, encouragement, testing the spirit, katina horton, podcaster, podcast
Photo by Frame Kings on Pexels.com

Opposition Against Your Calling Podcast Outline

  • Analyzing Calling
  • The Effects of Our Calling
  • What Happened to Me in My Calling
  • Nehemiah and his Calling
  • Solutions for Opposition
  • Podcast Transcript

 

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Episode 22 of Healing Our Brokenness.  Today’s Episode is entitled, “Opposition Against Your Calling”. 

 

Analyzing Calling

How many of you have been told by God that you were destined for a calling?  You went through the steps of walking in that calling until Satan started to shame you with your personal struggles, and what your present reality is, rather than God’s truth.  That is what has happened to me as well.

When life’s disappointments begin to scream at us from every direction known to man, we start to second guess what it is that God already promised us.  As a matter of fact, when God spoke your calling over your life, the promise was so strong, that you could feel God’s peace over you.

God is not a liar.  His word will not return unto him void.  However, we are not in charge of the timing.  But, because we don’t see God’s promise coming to fruition right away, we allow the enemy to shame us with doubt and negative views of God.  We detach ourselves from seeing his provision, faithfulness, and goodness while we wait.

The Effects of Our Calling

When God puts a calling on our lives, it can bring out the best or the worst in people.  Some people will cheer you on and confirm the calling that has been spoken to you clearly about.  They might even offer to help you with anything that you need to get started.  These are usually the ones who will pray for and with you and walk through the entire birthing process that God has placed upon you.

But then we have the second group of people.  This is the group of people who will try to do everything that they can do to discourage you from stepping into what God has already told you is yours.  I have had this to happen to me unfortunately.  They will spew out everything that they can possibly think of in the area of negativity.  There will be subtle hints of how you should do something else.  Or hints of your current status not being representative of anything close to your calling.  They might make comments about your clothing or physical appearance.

Unfortunately, in my own personal experience, I had all three of the above instances to occur.  I noticed there was a pattern that occurred.  As I celebrated each small accomplishment, there were suggestions that I should do something else.  It took me a while to catch on.  What becomes dangerous, and something that we very much must watch out for is when people will use the Holy Spirit to speak into what you are supposed to do, and it is not lining up with what God has told you.  God does speak to other people.  However, if it is in direct contradiction with what we have been told, we need to be careful.  The scriptures tell us to test the spirits.

One thing about negativity is that when it gets into your head, it becomes like a disease.  It is easy going in, but not easy getting out.  Your mood will shift from one of being upbeat to depression until you start noticing where the source of this negativity is coming from.

What Happened to Me in My Calling

When everything fell apart in my life in 2018, and I started the beginning of my job trials, Satan tried to convince me to stop following the steps of my calling.  However, now that I look back, his work was so evident that he decided to have almost every single appliance in my home to break down one after the other.  It was unbelievable.

Then, within the last week, as I was coming to a place of acceptance of letting God direct me in my next steps, and on a spiritual high from this “new place”, once again, Satan showed up in trying to prevent me from doing my calling.  Out of nowhere, I had major problems with my printer.  Then, I narrowed it down to realizing that the issue was just with my laptop.

Then, I thought, “Oh Great!”  I found myself getting upset because it took several hours away from productivity for the day.  I had already had two days where I couldn’t do as much work since I wasn’t feeling well, and this particular day, I was ready to get things done.  However, the printer was not.  I came up with a plan to tackle it later and kept going.

What Happened to Me in My Calling- Part 2

And the enemy kept going.  I had three blog posts to get done, and two podcast recordings to complete before the week was out, and my blog’s website had a three-part glitch.  The technicians fixed two problems and gave me a workaround solution for third fix so that I could get back to working.

The temporary fix caused about six other problems.  At this point, I had to pray.  I admitted to the Lord that I was really angry at this point.  I asked him to help me not to sin in this anger, and to work through the problem.  Sometimes we just have to get honest with our feelings.  He was already aware of what was going on.  The six other problems resolved by this morning, and I am still working in a temporary editor until their developer fixes the bug.  But God is good!  Satan didn’t totally cripple me from doing what I needed to do.  However, there was a lot of frustration along the way.

As Nehemiah and his people tried to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, they faced a lot of opposition.  Like with myself, people tried any and everything in order to get Nehemiah to come down from building the wall.  Sanballat and his crew even sent a false prophet to Nehemiah to make it seem like the Lord had given orders.

Commercial

Let’s listen in on this story:

Nehemiah 6 New International Version (NIV)

Nehemiah and his Calling

When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.”

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:

“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem[b] says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

Scripture Part 2

10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”

11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.

14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Opposition to the Completed Wall

16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

 

Just like with Nehemiah and myself, Satan will send anybody and anything to stop you from doing what God wants you to do.  He will send your kids, your family, your friends, appliance and technology failure, etc.  Anything!  He will send people to us to have us to waste five hours that could be invested in getting things done.  Or better yet, waste five hours surfing on social media, and then for sure you aren’t going to want to do anything afterwards.

Solutions for Opposition

How do we combat the opposition against our calling?

  • Be aware of patterns of behavior in others in others that cause depression and sadness through the spirit of negativity.
  • Prepare yourself to do some exchanging of your inner and outer circles.
  • Know that if at no other time, your calling will be the time when it will be clear if you will have to let some friendships go.
  • Test the spirit to see if what was prophesied lines up with what God promised you.
  • Keep yourself prayed up and encouraged in the Lord. There are many times that David had to do that.
  • Persevere with consistency and give yourself grace along the way.
  • Be honest with your feelings when opposition comes your way.

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 22: Opposition Against Your Calling.  I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing.  God bless!

Episode 21: Approval Addiction

valley of grace, healing our brokenness, podcast, katina horton, podcaster, healing, brokenness, trauma, trials, ptsd

Episode 21: Approval Addiction
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In case you missed our last podcast episode, you can catch that one here:

Podcast Episode 21: Approval Addiction Outline:

 

  • Dissecting Approval Addiction
  • Analyzing People-Pleasing
  • Perfectionism’s Trap
  • My Issues with Perfectionism
  • Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing
  • Solutions
  • Podcast Transcript

 

approval addiction, podcaster, podcast, katina horton, mental health, spiritual health, physical health, energizer bunny, psychology, author, writer, poet, blogger, blogs, people-pleasing, perfectionism, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, valley of grace blog, episode 21, season 2

Approval Addiction

Good afternoon!  Welcome to Episode 21:  Healing Our Brokenness.  Today’s Episode is entitled, “Approval Addiction”.

  • Dissecting Approval Addiction

Perfectionism and People pleasing are more acceptable words to say.  It sounds better and makes us feel better than to tell someone that we suffer from approval addiction.  Saying the words approval addiction makes us want to cringe.  However, the deeper issue of these two sins is the need for approval.  When it comes to the brokenness that occurs in our lives, either we tend to follow in the footsteps that this emotion caused, or we will do the exact opposite.  People pleasing and perfectionism stem from rejection.  If we are rejected, then the natural thing to do is to 1) disappear, or become invisible, or 2) to make sure that someone sees me.

  • Analyzing People-Pleasing

First of all, we will examine the sin of people pleasing.  When it comes to people pleasing, we are focusing on doing the things that people want us to do.  If it gets to the extreme, where we are so trying to keep everybody happy, that we have literally lost our own sense of self in the process, that’s when we get to the point of waking up one day, and then asking ourselves,  “Okay, what do I want?”

I have done everything that everyone else wanted me to do.  How do I live outside of this? For example, If there are 50 people in a room, and we took a survey to see how all fifty of these people thought that we should style our hair, we could possibly have anywhere between 20 to 50 answers.  What if we decided to follow their advice, we’d be going around just like the energizer bunny, worn out, and a tired, hot mess.  They would be happy, but we wouldn’t be because we have decided to forego being true to ourselves.  We have lost a sense of what we value and hold true to ourselves.

  • Perfectionism’s Trap

The next sin that we will examine is that of perfectionism.  I was abandoned by my dad at age 11.  I felt rejected.  Since my mom and dad were no longer together, and we were total opposites, and I had to have some kind of conclusion to come to in a child’s mind, then I felt rejected by her.  Thirdly, I had a situation where I stood outside of the Baptist church that I grew up in, and one teenager said to another, “Her mother is so beautiful.  I wonder what happened to her.”

To a teenage girl, this is devastating.  Mix it in with the fact that I already had double issues of rejection from my parents, as well as physical insecurities.  It rocked my world.  I internalized what was said.  And then, I was setup on the course for dating and then marrying my ex-husband, who had his only brokenness of being controlling, manipulative, emotionally abusive, serial cheating, and the list goes on.  I endured a 20-year marriage of this.  And the question is, since I had grounds for divorce, why did I stay so long?

  • My Issues with Perfectionism

The above two reasons that I mentioned:  extreme insecurities about my appearance and the three-part rejection issue.  He was able to keep me in his back pocket so long because of my low-self worth.  And, unfortunately, in my brokenness, I allowed it.  It wasn’t until about three years ago that I got to the root of my perfectionism/approval addiction issues.

God was gracious and merciful at the time.  Secondly, he showed me how it played out.  I was the rule follower.  The “good girl” in grammar school and high school.  Katina didn’t get into trouble.  My perfection played out in winning spelling bees, high grades in school, and performing in oratorical contests.  I loved doing all these things.  However, there was also recognition for doing all these things.  Instead of choosing to become invisible, I chose to be seen.

Because of my ex-husband’s brokenness, he pretended like all I had to do was a few things and we would get back to the way that things were.  What I didn’t know in the beginning is that I could do 50 things, or 1000 things, and the relationship was never going back to the beginning.  I had been love-bombed, gaslight, devalued, and being groomed for discard unfortunately.

Perfectionism went from one area of my life to every area as I tried to fix him and give structure and control an out-of-control person.  Who was I fooling?  There was a two-way street going.  I was on a mission to the fixing what he needed, and I took the devil’s bait of getting my self-worth from him instead of God.  We will never be filled by another individual in an area that only God can fill.   And if you are dealing with someone with his type of brokenness, they will just keep adding to the list, making you think, “if only you do this”.  Trust me, it will never happen.

  • Moses’ Issues with People-Pleasing

Moses had the same setup from the Israelites.  He led the

people out of Egypt as God had told him, but then all of the

needy people were coming to him for everything. 

Here is the scripture taken from Exodus 18: 

Jethro’s Advice

“18 Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner[a] in a foreign land”), and the name of the other, Eliezer[b] (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 

And when he sent word to Moses, “I,[c] your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.

10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”[d] 12 And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 

16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good.18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 

19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 

22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.26 And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.”

What happened to Moses is kind of like having your children say, “Mom”.  You answer and then it turns into fifty more times.  And to be honest, by then you are aggravated, and ready to run away or ring someone’s neck.  It gets played out real fast.  However, like in my relationship, Moses had his rejection issues from birth, and then his life in Egypt that were never resolved.  He got caught in people pleasing/approval addiction.  He could help the people in their neediness, and they could help provide him with the approval that he craved that should have been filled by God.

What happens?  We get tired after a while.  Emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological exhaustion takes place on both sides.  Codependency sets in, like in me and Moses’ situation.  Bottom Line:  We can’t give people what they need.

 

God is telling us like he told Martha, “Come, sit at my feet.  Rest in me.  Fill your soul with spirit-filled activities.  People are never going to be enough.”  He is a jealous God.  And he is jealous of our people worship.

He keeps telling us: “Come unto me all ye that labor, and I will give you rest.”

 

When we choose people pleasing and perfectionism over God, then we choose to settle for broken pieces of shame, other people’s expectations, rejection, unworthiness, and unacceptance.

  • Solutions

So, how do we start the recovery process from approval addiction?

 

  1. We remind ourselves that our identity is in Christ.
  2. We speak to our soul and tell it, “God loves you!”
  3. Remind ourselves that Jesus was despised and rejected so he can identify with our pain.
  4. Christ is enough, and we are enough in Christ.
  5. Rest in God.
  6. We tell ourselves the follow statement:

“We are all broken, and so when we look to others for approval, we are getting approval from everyone else’s broken lens.”-Katina Horton

Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness: Episode 21: Approval Addiction.  I hope that you have been able to have some takeaways to add to your healing.  God bless!

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie

just a little white lie, lying, truth, author, blog, blogger, emotional health, healing our brokenness, hereditary, katina horton, mental health, podcast, podcasting, PTSD, self-inflicted, valley of grace blog

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie
Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...

 
 
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If you missed the last episode, you can grab it here. Today’s episode deals with something that we have all found ourselves doing. Click and take a listen!

Episode 20: Just a Little White Lie Podcast Outline

  • What are we lying about?
  • Two Stories of Biblical Lying
  • Podcast Transcript
just a little white lie, lying, truth, author, blog, blogger, emotional health, healing our brokenness, hereditary, katina horton, mental health, podcast, podcasting, PTSD, self-inflicted, valley of grace blog
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Hello!

Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness.  Today I am featuring “Episode 20: Just A Little White Lie”.  Lying is something that we have all done.  When we lie, and someone calls us out on it, our response is usually, “Oh it’s just a little white lie.  Everybody lies.” 

So, what are some of the things that we are lying about?  Sometimes when we lie, it is to spare hurting someone’s feelings.  Other times we lie to make ourselves look good, or as if we “have it altogether”, when we don’t.  When we enter the church doors on Sunday morning, and we are greeting other Sisters and Brothers in Christ, and they ask about our status, we are afraid to tell them “Okay” or “Not too Good at the Present moment”, or “I’m going through trials at the present moment, but I know that God is good.”  Forbid if we get real.  No, we have to say, “Really Good” or “Good”.  Or better yet, “ Fine.”

The last one was one of my favorites until I saw how jacked up that made me feel afterwards.  If I was not fine at the time, and I tried to outwardly act like I was happy go lucky, my emotional and mental state knew that something wasn’t matching up.  It would actually cause me to experience the trauma symptom of having dysregulated emotions and depression.  Go figure.  

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A few months after I started noticing that was happening, I read a psychology article stating that it makes your emotions harder to control when you do this.  Not that we should wallow in self-pity or anything, but when you think about it, we are one way, and trying to signal our emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay.  The answer is “No” to that one.

r emotions and body to do a quick 360 degree turnaround and be okay.  The answer is “No” to that one.

What else are we lying about?

We lie about our jobs, the kind of cars that we drive, our marital status, and whether we were at home when someone tried to reach us.

When we’re at work, and the ladies or men are in a huddle talking about their kids and their extracurricular activities, material possessions, or their socioeconomic statuses, we lie about ours.

When we are in our church small groups, we lie about our woundedness for fear that everybody else will have lighter sins and issues than us.  We don’t want to look “too broken”.  We have to look as close to Jesus “perfect” as possible.  When we lie and head to the perfection side of things, we actually cause someone else to miss their opportunity to know that they are not alone.  Not only that, we quench the Holy Spirit , and miss out on our blessing.

No matter where we are, we find ourselves lying about our intentions to others.  We come to them, telling them one thing.  However, our agenda is another.  In a lot of cases, the person that we are lying to is totally unaware of what is going on.  One thing about being actively in the pursuit of lying, there is always someone who witnesses what’s going on.  And if there isn’t what the other person doesn’t know, God knows.  And such is the situation that occurred with David.

David was on the run from Saul.  He was without food and weaponry.  He went to Ahimelek the priest and lied to him about his intentions. 

David at Nob

21 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David made the assumption that lying to Ahimelek would prevent Ahimelek from getting in the crossfire of Saul’s hunt for David’s life.  What David didn’t anticipate was the fact that Saul’s right-hand man, Doeg, the Edomite, would be hanging around Nob, witnessing the whole transaction that occurred between him and Ahimelek.  Therefore, Doeg was going to give Saul the report according to his perception of what he saw. 

David underestimated the demonic forces that he was dealing with.  If Saul was willing to kill his own son, what would he do to someone who wasn’t? So, what ended up happening?  Just as we are thinking, Doeg tricked on David.  Basically, he said something like this, “Saul, guess who I saw over in Nob, getting Ahimelek’s blessing?”

Here is the scripture of how it played out: 

Saul Kills the Priests of Nob

Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side. He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”

But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 Ahimelek inquired of the Lord for him; he also gave him provisions and the swordof Goliath the Philistine.”

11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelek son of Ahitub and all the men of his family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.”

“Yes, my lord,” he answered.

13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”

14 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? 15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”

16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.”

17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”

But the king’s officials were unwilling to raise a hand to strike the priests of the Lord.

18 The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.”So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the swordNob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.

20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”

 David’s lying caused Ahimilek, and all of his household, except for one, and all the other priests of Nob to be killed. 

Stewardship Lying

The last thing that I want to talk about are the lies we tell about our stewardship.  When we find out others are giving more money than we are, we tend to lie about how much we are giving.  When it comes to lying about stewardship, we are lying to God, not men.

If we were able to, we would go back in time and ask Ananias and Sapphira about this.  The Christians over in the book of Acts were on fire after being filled with the Holy Ghost.  They operated on “one accord” at the time.  If there were any brethren in need, they would sell their additional land, and then offer it up to the disciples.  No one was without.  Ananias and Sapphira sold some of their land. Their desire was to keep back of the money for themselves.  They could have expressed this to the disciples, but they didn’t.  Selling your land was an act of the heart and will.  It wasn’t a force situation.

The thing is, they wanted to appear super generous like everyone else.  Unfortunately, their lies caught up with them, and then cost both of them their lives:

Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

And so, the question that I will leave you with is this, “What “little white lie” are we telling that could heap disastrous results?

Thank you for listening to another episode of Healing Our Brokenness.

Episode 19: Anxiety!

ptsd, self-inflicted, hereditary, anxiety, mental health, emotional health, blog, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, valley of grace blog, healing our brokenness, katina horton,

Episode 19: Anxiety!
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Anxiety is something that we will all face in life. The causes of anxiety and the solutions for dealing with this common problem will vary from person to person. Listen in to Episode 19 as I discuss this topic.

ptsd, self-inflicted, hereditary, anxiety, mental health, emotional health, blog, podcast, podcasting, author, blogger, valley of grace blog, healing our brokenness, katina horton,
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Episode 19: Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • Normal Anxiety
  • Clinical Anxiety
  • Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety
  • Self-Inflicted Anxiety
  • Trauma-Induced
  • David on Anxiety
  • Solutions for Anxiety

Good morning!  Welcome to Valley of Grace’s Healing Our Brokenness podcast.  Today, you are listening to Episode 19: Anxiety! 

Introduction

Picture this scene:  I was in 7th grade, and at the time, I enjoyed competing in oratorical contests for fun.  However, because my mother was a single parent, and had to work, she was never able to come to see me compete.  I should have been grateful that she was working.  However, I got caught up on her being there.  She finally decided to come.  However, she forgot to forewarn me.  I was on the stage, and she waved to show me that she was there, and my mind went blank after the first two lines.  I could hear my words trembling, and feel my whole body shaking intensely.  She hadn’t done anything wrong, but my lack of preparedness for her coming totally threw me for a loop.

Normal Anxiety

When we hear the word anxiety, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.  Anxiety is normal in certain cases.  For example, recently I was waiting for the test results from a mammogram, and as I was listening to the person on the phone, I became anxious as I proposed what her words would be and how I would react to them.  Anxiety can sneak upon us as we get ready to take a quiz, and it can cause us to forget everything that we were going to say. 

Hereditary Anxiety

Anxiety can be debilitating.  This type can often be hereditary and would fall under the column of anxiety disorder.  That means that if our grandparents and parents have suffered from anxiety disorder, then it is a high chance that we could be dealing with the same issue.  When we suffer from this kind of anxiety, it is something that we had no control over. 

Trying to be Sovereign Anxiety

There is, however, another kind of anxiety that I am going to discuss.  This type of anxiety is from the things that we place on ourselves.  Examples of this is trying to fix problems that we don’t have control over.  We try to control our adult children and the mistakes that they make in their lives. There is a desire to control whether or not people will accept or reject our uniqueness. 

We try to control whether the job that we have had for over 15 years will be the job that we retire from. Do you control the discipline that God gives to a family or friend in regard to their sin, and in the process, we began to enable the individual?  When we try so hard to control, it only makes us more out of control.  This eagerness to control creates an addiction within itself.  This is what the devil doesn’t tell us.  We don’t know until it’s too late.

Self-Inflicted Anxiety

Another type of anxiety that we place on ourselves is that of making changes for the sake of coming out of vicious cycles.  For example:  Stacy notices that she has an anxiety attack every morning in regard to getting out the door and getting to work.  Reasoning:  Every morning Stacy stays in bed until 30 minutes before it’s time to leave to go to work.  She has to rush to put makeup on, get her breakfast, and pack her lunch.  Stacy knows what is behind this problem, but she fails to make the changes.  Stacy is self-sabotaging.

Scheduling is another type of self-inflicted anxiety.  This is the area that I am guilty of, and starting to make progress in.  We pile as much as we can into a given day.  The more things we keep adding to that list, the more things will be added to our list of anxiety about.  The first thing that we don’t consider is exactly how long it will take to get each thing done.  There are only so many hours in the day. 

If we work outside the home, those hours are shortened.  Unless we are God, there is no way that we can get all those things done, but we try.  Sometimes it is possible to get those things done, but we have used this time up on social media, or doing a little bit too much relaxing, only to start the vicious cycle all about again.

Trauma-Induced Anxiety

The last type of anxiety that I would like to discuss is that of trauma-induced anxiety.  Unfortunately, this kind is one that I am very familiar with.  One kind of trauma anxiety is created from having to be in hypervigilant mode all the time.  The other part of trauma anxiety that I have noticed for myself is that I might have a flashback or a trigger of something. 

Then, what happens is that my mind may start to think about the details and feelings that this event caused.  I push the thought away, thinking that maybe it is unimportant, only to realize later when it resurfaces, and continues to occupy my emotional and mental space, that it is something that I need to deal with.  However, since trauma wants to be in control, it will cause you to start self-protecting, and then rationalizing why you shouldn’t talk about this thing. 

You think you’ve somehow outsmarted trauma, but it outsmarts you because when this event keeps coming up, it usually causes anxiety to go from 0 to 1000 in your body, while the flashbacks are occurring, and what you don’t realize is that avoidance of discussion of this event is keeping the physical energy in your body, and delaying the healing at the same time. 

I learned this the hard way when I tried avoiding talking about seeing my father abuse my mother in our apartment as a kid.  I kept delaying and delaying, scratching off on my therapy notes, and saying, “Nope, not this week!”  Weeks turned into months, and then finally when I couldn’t take it any longer and started feeling the impulse of swinging and punching at its peak, I did the best thing that I could do.  I talked about it with my therapist.  It got worse before it got better.

Now, when those feelings come up, I pretend like I am kickboxing in order to release the energy from my body.  Before discussing this event with my therapist, I would zone into worship music to calm the impulses.  What I didn’t realize is that the energy needs to leave your body.

We ask God to help us with all kinds of things.  However, we forget to ask him to help us with anxiety, and to get to the root.  In Psalms 139 David reminds us about how God knows everything.  We can’t hide anything from him.  His presence follows us.

Psalm 139 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.

Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.


Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
11 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”
12 
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.

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13 
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
14 
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
16 
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].

17 
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 
[a]O that You would kill the wicked, O God;
Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 
For they speak against You wickedly,
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 
Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 
I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.

23 
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

What are some helpful ways to reduce anxiety?

  • Taking a deep breath in and out
  • Meditating on worship music
  • Prayer
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Sometimes medicine, along with everything lifted above.

I pray that you have heard something here today that has been helpful.

God bless!

For last podcast episode, click here.