The Little Secret

Christian inner healing
Photo by Skeeze at Pixabay

A guest post by Karen Castleberry …

Frustration, anguish, and shame permeated my being. How could a seemingly insignificant secret cause such pain?

My nephew moved his family of six across the state line for a new job and a fresh start when illness struck. His wife was taking care of their three little ones at home with health issues. My niece was in the hospital alone. And I couldn’t get there to help. My little secret was exposed. I couldn’t drive on the interstate, or for any distance really, without having a full-blown panic attack.

A coworker tried to comfort me as I sobbed my anguish. She suggested I go to a Christian counselor who is skilled in inner healing. Despite my uncontrollable fear of driving any distance, I was determined to get over this fear. I white-knuckled the 45-minute drive down the interstate to her office. Arriving with numb hands, sweat pouring off of me, and gasping for breath, my journey to inner healing began.

Several months passed, and while I did get a measure of relief, I couldn’t say I was healed. My counselor suggested I take a 12-week course in inner healing and deliverance. My eyes and heart began to open up to God. I cannot remember not knowing about God. I come from a long line of pastors and have been a Christian, I think, since birth. I often envied those that have a distinct before and after testimony, not grasping at the time how blessed I was to grow up in a Christian family.

Over the years my faith in God increased. And a personal relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit slowly developed as I peeled back the layers of inner healing. Learning that God desires to have a personal relationship and is wanting to be invited into every detail of my life was a revelation and a joy. As I studied the Bible, my relationship with God grew and my fear diminished.

Twelve years after my first counseling session I ran into my counselor. She asked if God ever revealed what was the source and origin of my fear of driving distances. Puzzled, I said, “No, He didn’t, but I am able to drive now because I know He is always with me.”

Curious, I asked God what was the source of my fear. Later that day a teacher was describing her experience at the dentist. It hit me that was the source of my fear.

Growing up I had a filling put in nearly every tooth. The visits to the dentist were dreadful. My father’s well-meaning attempt to lessen the trauma only made it worse. We went to a dentist that used what I called goofy gas to calm us while working on our teeth. I was the only one in my whole family who didn’t love it. It made me feel nervous and out of control. The noise of the drill and the light flashing in my eyes sent me into a panic, crying uncontrollably at the end of each session. I was horrified to learn, not long after my last tooth was filled, that my dentist was found dead, in his office, hooked up to the goofy gas.

The panic I felt in the dentist’s chair was the same panic I felt driving on the highway. The drone of the tires, the sunlight flashing through the trees, and the claustrophobic effect of traffic could trigger those traumatic memories. That combination would bring on a panic attack while driving.

I stomped my foot and demanded to know, “Why, God, didn’t You just tell me back in the beginning of this journey and heal me instantly?”

I felt His loving smile and His gentle eyes rest on me as I heard, “My beloved child, you wouldn’t have pursued Me.”

*****

Karen Castleberry is a Missionary of Prayer. She lives with her husband, Gary, and 2 dogs, in a little cottage nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Her son, Jeremiah, lives and works nearby. Karen loves reading, writing, photography, knitting, and all things creative. Her greatest joy in life is spending time with Jesus, her family and friends.

Inner healing testimony

The Ripple Effects of Little Wounds

Christian inner healing
Photo by Skitterphoto at Pixabay

A guest post by Janet Eriksson …

I am always amazed at how much God desires to remove the smallest of wounds from our hearts. I am equally amazed at how much this freedom from a minor childhood incident can change our lives today.

Throughout my adult life, I have undervalued myself in my working life. I also struggle to charge what I’m worth. A friend (a prayer minister) and I were talking about this one day over lunch. I was looking at a particular client writing opportunity, and I was already disqualifying myself, and certainly not wanting to charge a market rate.

“Why do you always undervalue yourself?” my friend said. “You know you can do the work, and you know what it should pay. Why do you always struggle with this? Have you asked God?”

In fact, I hadn’t asked God. However, I had complained to God a lot about this situation, without listening for His response.

She asked if we could pray together.

“Sure.”

God began to show me the root of this problem that had plagued my adult working life. As He peeled back the layers, I saw several incidents of my early adulthood where I had struggled with the same problem. My friend led me in repentance for undervaluing and disqualifying myself. She also prompted me to forgive those who had taken advantage, and especially to forgive myself for selling myself short.

Finally she said, “Why do you always give your authority away?”

Boy, that bumped up against a deep wound because through tears I said, “If I give it away, no one can take it from me.”

“Where does that come from, Lord?” my friend asked.

God showed me an incident long forgotten. I was 11 years old, just starting 6th grade, and I had been with our Girl Scout troop since Brownies. Our troop leader had told our parents she was going to make sure the new 6th graders would be the patrol leaders for the coming year. My mom told me what to expect.

At our first meeting, the troop leader divided us into patrols and left us to choose our patrol leaders. I guess she thought we older kids would speak up and assert the authority she intended to give us. But I was shy and not assertive. A 5th grader took over the discussion and volunteered herself as the leader. One of the newbies said to her, “I pick you.” The 5th grader looked at me and said, “How about I’ll be the leader, and you’ll be the assistant leader.” It happened so fast. I simply nodded. But I was deeply disappointed, really to the point of shock.

We went to our troop leader to tell her what we had decided. She looked at me funny but didn’t say anything. She was the kind of adult who wanted kids to figure things out for themselves. In hindsight, I realized she had wanted me to stand up and assert my authority. That was something I simply couldn’t have done without help. Later when I told my mom, she asked me why I didn’t speak up. It never occurred to her I was only 11, very shy, and didn’t know how to speak up.

You wouldn’t think such a seemingly minor moment in childhood could have such long-lasting consequences. But the wound I took into my heart that day would affect my entire adult working life until, at age 53, I finally prayed with my friend to invite Jesus into that wound. I forgave my Girl Scout leader, my fellow Girl Scouts, my mom for disappointing and hurting me. I forgave the adults for not teaching me how to be assertive and for not helping me to overcome my shyness.

Christian inner healing
Photo by jeffjacobs1990 at Pixabay

I forgave God for allowing the incident to happen. God didn’t do anything wrong, but sometimes we need to forgive Him to release our own unforgiveness that we hold against Him. My unforgiveness against God had grown over the years. Each time I gave my authority away and saw the results (not getting the jobs I wanted, not earning the income I needed), I blamed Him. My unforgiveness against God was even stronger because the Girl Scout leader who had not spoken up for me was a Catholic nun. So she represented God to me as well.

I also repented for giving away my authority that day and many days (years) since then. I repented for undervaluing myself and underpricing my freelance business contracts. I repented for not standing in the authority God intended me to walk in as His daughter. And I came out of agreement with the lie I formed in my heart that young day: That if I give my authority away, that’s better than someone taking it from me.

The change that followed these prayers was significant. I was able to raise my professional prices, to pursue work opportunities I would have shied away from, and to grow in the confidence that I could do jobs I was well trained for and well experienced in. I stopped disqualifying myself and was able to see clearly, “Yes, I’ve done this job before and done it well. I can certainly do it again.”

God is with us in the big things that come against us. But He is also with us in the little things. And those little things can cause deep pain and have lasting consequences. Often these little roots are invisible to us until we invite Jesus in and ask Him, “Why does this keep happening to me?” The answer is often surprising. A seemingly minor incident can be a big deal for a child, and those roots grow deeper in our hearts, affecting our adult lives many years after the incident was forgotten. But Jesus knows, and He desires to free us and heal us, so we can live the lives He intends for us to live.

Thank You, God, for Your love and for the freedom You desire for us.

*****

Janet Eriksson is a prayer minister, writer, editor, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of eight books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches online at https://adventureswithgod.blog/.

Christian inner healing

Wearing a Matter

As many of you may (or may not) know, my son just picked a university!!!  Not without many visits, many explorations, etc. that go along with such an important decision.

Finally, we had it narrowed down to two schools.  One has an incredible sports program, is more than 36 “driving” hours away from our house, and offered him an incredible scholarship.  The second school (and my personal fav) offers an incredible Biomechanics (also sports med but more robotic) program, is only 5 hours away, and offered him an even better scholarship.

In the end, we told McKinley he was the one who was going to have to live with his decision and we would support either.  So, the process began.  I offered advice (as usual).  My suggestion when choosing between one or more options is “to wear it.”

“To wear it” means that on the first day of the week, I “put on” my first option.  Everything for that week lines up with that decision.  Where are you going to school?  Option #1.  Have you picked a college yet?  Yes!  Option #1.  Have you narrowed down your choice of schools?  Yes!  Option #1.  I orchestrate my entire response based on Option #1.  Everything that I contemplate for my future is based on Option #1, for one week.

And then comes week two.  And I change things up a bit.

For week #2:  Where are you going to school?  Option #2.  Have you picked a school yet?  Yep, Option #2.  I keep “living,” “wearing,” “supposing,” “concluding,” that Option #2 is the answer to everything that is involved in my decision.  Option #2 is my answer.

The goal is to see what fits.  Does it feel “heavy?”  Do I feel that this answer “weighs me down?”  Do I have peace with this answer?  I have learned that over time, I can get a sense of peace based on how I feel “yoked” to my answer.

If Option #1 feels heavy and cumbersome, then I take note.  If it feels “unfitting,” I take note.  For each week that I have made that determination, I look for the results.  How do I feel saying it out loud?  How does it feel as my future?  Do I feel peace when Option #1 is my answer?  If not, then I continue rotating my options until I feel peace.

Soon enough, I will be able to determine if my choices are a comfortable fit for me.  If not, I cast them off.  Each time I am wearing them, I am asking the Lord to yoke me with His best for me and my future.

You see, I’ve learned over time that He has a path for me (Jeremiah 33:11), but it’s my responsibility to search a matter out.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “God puts a plan in a man’s heart but He directs his steps.”  For me, I have discovered it’s best to “wear” a matter to see how it “fits.”   Once I’ve “worn” it long enough, I’ll know if it’s God’s best or not.

Thank God McKinley is open to wearing his options instead of just flipping a coin.  I’m looking forward to watching God’s best unfold for him, and the best part is that I don’t have to worry if he made the right choice.  Go God and CONGRATS High Point University. You are gaining a great kid!!!

Inner healing

 

Sabbatismos!

If you’ve been around me for any amount of time, you’ll know that one of my favorite words is “katartismos.”  This Greek word comes out of Ephesians 4:12 and refers to “fitting together in proper order” (referring to gifts, etc. in the Body of Christ).

Another definition of this word (which is my personal favorite) is “a chiropractic adjustment in the Spirit.”  Many of you experienced this during our most recent retreat.  You will also experience it many times during your ongoing prayer ministry sessions.

Today, however, I would like to introduce you to my new favorite word!!! “Sabbatismos!”  (Ref. Hebrews 4:10.)

As you begin to familiarize yourself with me and this ministry, you’ll quickly recognize that one of my goals for you is to learn to rest in the Spirit of the Lord.  That has a two-fold meaning:  1. To live in a place of rest.  2.  To move, and live, and have your being in the Holy Spirit.

This week while reading Hebrews, I came across the word “Sabbatismos.”  Oh!  My word!!!  I can’t tell you how excited I was to now have a word that perfectly describes our goal.

“Sabbatismos” means “living in the Sabbath rest,” which is exactly what we should desire.  Most folks think the Sabbath is only relegated to a day, but in fact, it is a promised lifestyle for us as Christians!!!

Inner healing, sabbath rest, peace
Photo by Javardh at Unsplash

Ideally, we all should grow in our spiritual maturity to the degree that we are completely unaffected by our surroundings, our environment, and our circumstances.  We then can choose instead – and are able – to live in perfect Peace.  (Notice the capital letter that begins Peace – which means we live in the personhood of Peace, promised to us by the cross and blood of Christ, in the promises of the Word of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit).

So, if we know all of that and believe all of that, then we should aspire to live in it.  And that is one of the goals we have in this Journey.  Which brings us to the next point.

How do we choose to live in Sabbatismos?  First, we have to acknowledge that it is a promise of God.  Not only does He instruct us to “take a day of Sabbath” (one day a week), but He also offers us this every day.

For me to learn this process, He first showed me the importance of honoring a Sabbath day.  I realized the difference in my life with just that small shift in my heart and mind.

After I realized the incredible results that the Sabbath had on my life, I started trying to bring that into the other aspects of my life.

Then, I realized this is His desire for me – to live absolutely unaffected by the things in the world.  Ideally, nothing should steal my Peace.  Nothing should affect my ability to remain in Presence.

The second thing He introduced me to was to practice “centering prayer” or “contemplative prayer.”  (They are the same thing.)  This form of prayer requires you to sit quietly focusing on the Kingdom of God within you.

(You can download a centering prayer app to help you with this process.  It’s located under Health & Fitness in the Apple store and is offered free.  You can also read about centering prayer and other contemplative processes in Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline.  I highly recommend reading that book as it offers many of the disciplines that I suggest for growing in this Peace journey.)

The process of centering prayer not only offers the Peace that is promised, but also it actually rewires your brain to peace.  I’ll teach on that a little later, but for now, just trust that any and all forms of prayer re-train your brain to return to the “Joy center” of your brain which is where peace and rest are for you.  I call this “coming back to peace” or “coming home.”

Once you recognize this place is accessible for you, then you can practice it and choose it anytime and anywhere.  Then you will become so familiar with it that you will not want to be anywhere but in perfect peace.

While you’re in traffic you can “decide” to go to peace.  When there is chaos in your environment, you can choose to go to peace.  Before long you will realize that you are living there without even consciously making a decision to do so.

Out of practicing a Sabbath and practicing prayer, you can choose to live in this place of rest (body, soul, and spirit) no matter where you are or what you are doing.  You just have to choose over and over to bring yourself back to peace.

I believe this is the promise of living in Sabbatismos!!!  And we are going to become residents of this promise!!!

 

“Still / Live at Peace on Earth” by Amanda Cook

Questioning Everything

Inner healing, identity, and dark night of the soul
Photo by _Marion at Pixabay

Have you ever felt like one day you woke up and everything you believed was in question? I’m experiencing this right now but am quite sure I am not yet even fully awake. So, not only am I questioning all of the things that I have always “known” for sure, but I am also groggy from the process of getting here. It took a lot of upheaval to get me here.

About three years ago, after a series of very traumatic events, I found myself questioning everything I had ever believed. I questioned myself, my identity, my “calling,” my choices, my beliefs, my faith, and oftentimes, even God. All those things I had always felt so secure in suddenly weren’t. And, quite honestly, I didn’t know how to respond.

In my quest to stop the spinning (envision the little icon on your computer when it can’t settle), I felt like the only way I could get any peace was to be very still and quiet. Before long, quiet was the only thing I desired. I was completely raw inside and out. My brain felt foggy, my body lethargic, and my heart broken. I didn’t know how to get out of this experience.

Generally, when I have had a circumstance of upheaval in my life, whether emotional or spiritual, I would just read all of the books, articles, etc. on how to deal with it. This time I had no energy to read, and if I did attempt to read, I was unable to process information. I knew I needed help, so I reached out to a few friends that I trusted knew me enough to help me navigate this chasm of chaos.

I called on those friends to sit in the darkness with me. I didn’t want to be around anyone very often because I found that conversation was exhausting. However, I had been through depression before and just needed to make sure I was safe, still somewhat sane, and didn’t need professional help. “Taking my emotional pulse” kind of friends. I knew these folks wouldn’t discount me when I needed to rant, cuss, spit, and growl. They had no idea what they were in for. God bless them for persevering. I ranted, spat, cussed, and cried for a couple of years. They were enduring to say the least. Most importantly, they didn’t try to fix me. They just sat with me in my pain.

Sometimes we would sit at the barn with the horses, a stray cat, chickens, and a rooster that I’m sure needed deliverance. Or we would sit by the creek with a bottle of wine. Sometimes Susan would treat us to her homemade cookies and infamous chicken salad. They seemed to be completely content just sitting and listening. Wherever we were, no matter what we were doing or not doing, they seemed content to sit in my mess with me.

I called on another couple of friends to counsel me into or out of this experience that I began to think was a mid-life crisis. I didn’t really want to admit it, but that thought ran through my mind. I didn’t google what I was going through. I just knew it was pain. Deep emotional pain. And, quite honestly, I couldn’t remedy it with the things that had worked before: eating, drinking, art, good music, nature, etc. It just kept hanging on like a bad cold. It affected me like a bad cold too. No energy, stuffy headed, just wanted to rest and be quiet.

After a couple of prayer ministry sessions with friends of mine, I began to understand that what I was going through was called the Dark Night of the Soul. The dark night of the soul is just that – a place where your soul questions everything and the Teacher is quiet. The thing that stood out like a siren was the silence of the Lord. I had never gone for such a long time without hearing, being led by, or enjoying the Lord. Not only did I not hear Him or sense Him, but also I certainly didn’t feel His peace or presence. I thought He had abandoned me at my worst.

So, for three years, almost four now, I have been sitting, waiting, resting, arguing, growling, contemplating, wondering where the Lord is and what His intention is in allowing me to be in this place. I still don’t know. But what I do know is that I am not affected by dumb things as much as I used to be. I have way more sensitivities to the things that do matter. I am more at rest. More at peace. I have more tolerance for “stupid” (the one conclusion from the doctor out of my psych test when I went into ministry was that I had no tolerance for “stupid”). I was perplexed (and still am) as I had no idea I was supposed to tolerate “stupid.” Hey, I was just glad for documented evidence that I wasn’t crazy.

Inner healing, identity, and dark night of the soul
Photo by Comfreak at Pixabay

The dark night of the soul is the process of the Lord stripping you of the things that are really irrelevant regarding the issues of your heart. He wants to bring you out of any of the crutches you have depended on in your relationship with Him. He wants you to give up your faith and give up what works and what doesn’t work. He wants to tear down the falsehoods you believe about yourself, others, and mostly the falsehoods you believe about Him. Take you back to the beginning, so to speak, in your relationship with Him. No pretense, no knowledge, just the decision to walk alongside Him blindly without trying to figure things out. Pulling down all strongholds of belief about your religion, your denomination, your worship. He even took away my interest in reading and studying about Him. I just wanted to be still and quiet. And still do.

I understand that anybody who has asked that the Lord use them to any capacity will go through this, and I did ask that. I have always prayed that I wanted to serve Him more than anything. Now, in hindsight, I question what that means. And what did I commit to?

I used to love preaching more than ice cream. I haven’t been able to do that but a few times in the past couple of years. I have always loved leading a group of folks into their best spiritual selves, and He is restoring that opportunity. But I still long for the old days where I sensed Him, heard Him, and almost knew His will. Or did I?

Now I don’t know much of anything except that He desires that I live in this quiet, restful place even among others, amidst chaos, and even when I don’t feel like it. That’s His best. I am much more observant these days, and I watch folks buzzing around with miserable scowls on their faces. Then I think to myself – Is that what I look like? Is that how I affect my environment? If so, I don’t want to any longer. I want to bring peace and rest wherever I go. Most importantly, I want to love well.

I am in the process of recalibrating, trying to follow the Lord as best I can. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing, but I have the best company (a couple of friends, good prayer ministers, a wonderful family, and a couple of dogs – we finally had to lay to rest the demonic rooster). And if I don’t hear Him, sense Him, or feel Him, I can trust that He works all things to good for those who are called according to His purpose. I’m called, and I have a purpose. For right now, I need to be okay with being still and in peace.

 

Inner Healing Time

A guest post by Lisa Baumgarth …

My life plan was really unleashed at the Center for Inner Healing retreat. I sat in session after session listening to women and one man being vulnerable, broken, authentic and open to healing.

I was in a session that broke off years of lies, inner vows, and a lifetime of walls that had protected my heart. A group of women repented on behalf of the church for how I had been hurt by the church, and then they washed my feet. Really, who are these women? They are God’s messengers into a broken world where our heartache, disappointment, inner vows, and generational sins keep us stuck when sometimes we have no idea why.

After the retreat, I was free – old patterns were destroyed and my relationship and intimacy with Jesus became the focus of my life. I was empowered, encouraged and wanted nothing more than to speak this truth, love and healing into others’ lives .

We are all broken, we are all trying to find love, peace and hope in this crazy world. This retreat set me on a path that I am walking each day now. Kerri and her team are truly amazing people, and the moment I met her, I thought, Now this is my tribe, and it is and has been these past seven months.

God is still in the miracle-working business, and many of our issues in life can only be healed by digging down deep – getting those roots out. The retreat is the place to do this – I felt loved, honored, safe, valuable and by the end I felt FREEDOM.

There is still time to register for the healing retreat that begins Monday, March 18, 2019.

Cobwebs

A guest post by Shannon Tormoen …

One peaceful morning on the retreat, I was having my quiet time down by the lake when something caught my immediate attention. I was looking towards the sun, and through the wooden beams around the deck I noticed cobwebs everywhere between each beam exposed by the sunlight. All the intricate lines and patterns were revealed creating their own specific detailed designs.

At first I was disgusted by the fact that it was cobwebs created by a spider, a creature to me to be feared and that represented evil. I wanted to demolish all the cobwebs to clean what I thought was dirty and destroying my experience and atmosphere on this placid lake that was so peaceful and calming. I then realized one thing that was missing in each cobweb: the spider that created it. The very thing that created this had vacated, but the remnants of its entwining traps were still firmly in place.

I then thought how magnificent they looked with the sunlight shining through them displaying like fine pieces of art. I had to capture it on my camera since I knew God was telling me something profound at that moment.

Inner healing retreat testimony
Photo by Shannon Tormoen

What started out to be a fascinating photo opportunity quickly morphed into a profound revelation from God. It was as though I was being transported back to the days Jesus walked on the earth and was teaching the disciples through a parable. The awesome truth was the God of the universe was speaking directly to me through His creation. He was explaining that the spider which was now gone represented the destroyer of our lives (satan) who comes into our lives creating a cobweb of torment, trauma, pain, dysfunction and destruction. No longer was the tormenter there, but the aftermath it created was completely still intact to the finest detail.

God showed me that when we look at somebody who appears to be dirty, messed up, hopeless, beyond repair that we tend to only look at the destruction on the surface. What we don’t realize is what series of many traumas, wounds and lies in their life created that web.

When Jesus is invited to come into our cobwebs of life and remove the spiders of destruction, His heavenly light can redeem and reflect a masterpiece for all to see and know that God can turn anyone’s mess into a message of hope, restoration and beauty. My eyes and heart have been opened to now see past the cobwebs in a person and look for the gold in them that the Lord wants to see shine.

*****

Shannon Tormoen is from Minnesota but left the cold for San Diego years ago. She is an avid outdoor lover of God’s creation and enjoys exploring new destinations to hike and mountain bike. She loves playing the guitar and singing in the worship band at her church. Her new passion now is helping people get freedom, healing and deliverance from a Christ-centered standpoint. “Freely I have received, now freely I will give.” Matthew 10:8

Inner healing

To learn more about The Center for Inner Healing’s retreats, please visit Healing Retreats.

Love Letters in Your Dreams

I love dreams. I love having them. I love interpreting them.

Most folks have dreams. Dreams are often crazy. Let me rephrase: Dreams often seem crazy. They are, in fact, created in amazing symbolism. Some folks think that in itself is crazy. But in case you haven’t noticed, God is crazy. I mean, come on, have you read His book?

Dreams are an extension of our conversations with God. I often think God gives me dreams at night because he can’t get enough of my attention during the day. (Not proud, but it’s probably true).

Inner Healing and Dream Interpretation
Photo by JR Korpa at Unsplash

This month, our tribe (The Journey) met together to go over dream interpretations. They each sent in their dreams, and they were asked to pray for interpretations for each other. I gave them some pointers to help them prepare. I would like to share these with you, so you can explore dream interpretation.

Rarely do we get the interpretation for our own dreams. God gives us interpretations for each other because He wants us to work in community.

Here are a few pointers when praying for an interpretation for a person’s dream:

1. Prayerfully read over the dream. Ask the Lord to show you anything that would be relevant before you work on symbolism. Look for “plays on words, dark speech, etc.”

Make note of anything that pops out during reading.

2. Take your dream materials (I recommend the book A to Z Dream Symbology Dictionary by Barbie Breathitt, and John Paul Jackson has some amazing resources also) and research all of the symbolism. Type it into your dream in a different color.

3. Now reread the dream with symbolism included. Ask the Lord to give any additional revelation. Try to recognize the tone/position of the dream regarding the dreamer. Symbolism has a negative and a positive slant. Try to follow the “perception” of the dreamer. For example: If the dreamer has a dream of cats, it’s important to note that the symbolism of a cat can be positive or negative, all depending on whether the dreamer is a cat fan or not.

4. Check for emotions/perspective from the dreamer. If you have any questions or need elaboration, call the dreamer for more info. It is always very helpful to talk to the dreamer so you can grasp their emotions, motives, etc. of the dream.

5. Pray again and ask God for the interpretation.

6. Write out the interpretation above the dream in story form. (Leave out specifics of symbolism, notes, etc.)

Present your interpretation to the dreamer, but the dreamer must have a revelatory response to the dream or you may not have the appropriate interpretation.

If the dreamer doesn’t resonate with your interpretation, that is okay. Just present the dream back to the dreamer to take before the Lord for His revelation in His timing. God may want this person pursuing Him for revelation instead of someone else doing the work for them. We very seldom are able to interpret our own dreams. But often, the Lord wants us all to Himself and desires that we pursue His heart for His nighttime love letters.

So, there you go. I hope that will help as you begin the amazing experience of interpreting dreams.

Interested in more experiences like this? We have a Healing Retreat coming up soon (March 18-22, 2019) and would love for you to join us. Or for more info, join our ongoing revelations at The Center for Inner Healing or sign up for our e-newsletter.

God bless and keep dreaming!!!

Lovers v. Fighters

Inner Healing and Identity
Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

I am convinced that whatever our natural instinct is, God wants us to operate in the opposite. Take “lovers” vs “fighters” for example. If you know me, you would know I am a fighter. I’ve been fighting my whole life. History would support that I have been fighting since the day I was conceived. In fact, one definition of my name means “tenacious one, or persevering.” I have to “fight” not to fight.

For someone like me, fighting is natural. It comes easily. But if you’re a lover, fighting goes against every fiber of your being. (And for the sake of this article, the term “lover” isn’t the same as Mother Teresa, Jesus, or Gandhi. It is more a reflection of one who doesn’t stand up for himself or others.) Most lovers can’t muster up a fight for love nor money. You can’t even force a lover to fight. Lovers would rather walk away, cow down (good ole southern term), or even worse, decide to become a martyr. Some lovers finally get up the nerve to assert themselves but do so only passively. Passive fighting to me is cowardly, but that’s easy for me to say. I’m a fighter.

I’m learning as I grow older that whatever I can do in my natural strength is not what God wants. He wants me to trust Him. As a matter of fact, one of His names is Defender. Well, that’s not what I was taught my whole life. I didn’t know Him until I was around my late 30s, so I’ve got a lot of undoing to do. And 50-plus years of fighting isn’t easy to undo overnight. It takes work. Just like I hear it takes work for lovers not to “love.”

I have a lot of friends who are lovers. Exhaustingly so. They just want everyone to be happy at all costs – mostly at the cost of themselves. Most of them have been (or are being) used. Most of them are used up. It’s infuriating to watch. I want to just shake them and say, “Stand up for yourself.” They can’t; they are lovers. Or should I say, they can’t on their own. Which brings me back to my original thought: God wants us out of our comfort zones. Whatever comes naturally for us is the opposite of what He wants for us.

God wants lovers to become fighters and fighters to become lovers. He wants misogynists to become heroes and victims to become overcomers. It’s just the way He is. He wants to take every one of our natural strengths (or for lovers – weaknesses) and turn it around. He wants to empower us to be able to say, “I can’t, in my own strength, but I can, in Him.”

It’s so frustrating, until He defends a fighter who stood quietly. It’s frustrating until you see a lover stand and fight. It’s so cool to see a victim overcome. That’s one of the reasons He came: to set things right. He doesn’t want me to fight in my own strength. He wants to fight for me. He wants to win the battles I go through.

So, what do I get to do? He wants me to be a lover. Hardest thing for me. Kinda like a lover becoming a fighter … goes against every grain of their being. But, then again, that’s one of the many reasons He came to earth – to change the way I think … the way I am.

 

Take Off the Masks and Find Your True Self

My name is Kerri Johnson. For the past 20+ years, I have searched for answers to my own struggles. My lifelong passion has been in pursuit of my true identity and the healing of body, soul, and spirit. Out of those studies, The Center for Inner Healing (CIH) was birthed. CIH is an interactive healing process and a catalyst for helping people come out of the lies they believe and into the fullness of truth and identity.

Unfortunately, many of us spend our entire lives trying to mask who we are. That’s what we are taught. We are taught that we should hide our scars and shortcomings to survive and thrive in this perfect world. Neither of those statements is true. We shouldn’t hide our hurt, and the world is far from perfect. To be authentic, we have to identify our pain, bring it forward, and offer it on the altar of life to be able to be free. Otherwise, pain is our autopilot in everything we are, do, and say.

Pain is a great teacher and has helped us to be molded into who we are today. Unfortunately, no one teaches us how to embrace our pain and allow it to be a directive of the truth of who we are. We often need help to acknowledge our identity and the lessons pain has taught us, and to embrace our testimonies of how we have overcome life. We have to take every circumstance that has come to us, acknowledge the best of it, and let go of the worst.

We can’t cloak ourselves in pain, bitterness, and lies and expect to live a healthy life. We have to take off those issues and come into vulnerability and acceptance of all of the issues of our life and how those circumstances have affected us. Freedom comes in stepping out of the lies and cover-ups. That is where we will find who we are truly meant to be.

inner healing, pain, and identity
Photo by Lars_Nissen_Photoart on Pixabay

With masks off, we are free to be exactly who God created us to be and we are fully accepted. No more secrets, nothing to hide – the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you have no secrets, there is no fear of being uncovered. Everything is out in the open, and it’s all good. You become an instrument of truth, and folks can’t deny truth. As you’ve always heard, “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

God created all of us with a plan and a purpose. With your help, He intends to see that plan and purpose come into fruition. He created us to satisfy His heart – just the way we are. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Far from it. But He does expect us to be willing: to be real, open, honest, and transparent, just like little kids.

Many of us spend a great deal of time doing life. We are living up to the measures of others in an atmosphere where the bar is constantly being raised. That is neither God’s best nor God’s plan for us. Instead, that plan is a diabolic initiative to destroy us and keep us consistently, miserably trying to become someone or striving for something that is not attainable. We have to say: Enough is enough.

We have to realize that we are enough simply because of who we are – bruises, warts, and freckles. We have to learn to accept ourselves and everything that has ever happened to us. We have survived and overcome. God wants to use our stories to help others live in truth. As our authentic selves, we are a unique tapestry of the events and stories we have lived, and in that, we are enough.

Inner healing, pain, and identity
Photo by Klimkin on Pixabay

Often, in the unveiling of our unique, authentic selves, we need someone to come alongside us and help us get back to who we were created to be, like children. Children have no problem walking into a room or relationship with their hearts wide open. As we grow, we start believing the lies about who we are.  Before long, we forget who we are. We forget how to live in freedom and fullness of a healed heart. Life drapes us in counterfeits and lies, so we often don’t know how to get back to that original self.

That’s where CIH comes in. We can help you take off those masks and frauds and unveil your best self. Your true identity is the only place you will find peace, rest, and true joy. Otherwise, you are just like everyone else, walking around in your pretend world, masked and miserable.

So, if you are searching for your true identity and a tribe of wounded warriors, we are here, waiting to come alongside you in this pursuit of non-perfected, real, authentic testimonies and messages of hearts healed. Join us on this great adventure. You won’t regret it.