Many times we don't grow up with a good model for behavior. We just do what we have been shown to do from childhood without questioning if it is right or not. If we are taught these habits by our parents, we automatically assume our they know best, are telling the truth and are showing us the best way to live our life. As children we trust our parents no matter what.
I am reminded over and over again how people believe the same lie. That material wealth will bring happiness and fulfillment. I have experienced someone trading my love in for money instead. I have experienced and seen horrific and evil things. I have experienced hunger, homelessness, pennilessness, near death through illness and PURE evil... but through it all I have clung to the only truth that can set anyone free. That none of the things that people spend most of their lives trying to accumulate...be it wealth, approval, status....will ever bring you to a place of true contentment. That one must get to a point of "dying to self" in order to truly experience true living.
When it comes down to everything, people are seeking all these substitutes for the same exact thing. Love, value and approval. It is the very seeking of these idols that pushes away the very thing we desire the most. People sacrifice true love for money, drugs, work, alcohol, social status. Why do we do this? Why do we sabotage our lives? Because we don't feel good enough for what we truly want. We think that if someone found out we had flaws or bad days or secrets, that no one would love us anymore. The truth is...and this is the real truth: Only when we are able to be vulnerable and say, "Yes, I am flawed. I am not perfect. I have weaknesses and secrets" are we able to be set free and experience the unconditional love that we all desire. There is a reason we should "confess our sins to one another and share each other's burdens"....because isolation will cause you to believe in the lies about who you are. That you are loved and valued and that God has given you a bigger purpose to use your gifts not to serve yourself, but to serve others.
To give away your life, you get life in return. I am a wealthy woman with empty pockets because my heart is filled with knowing that God was so misunderstood that He had to come down in human form to sacrifice himself so I would finally believe He is truly good and that He loves me. I Iack nothing because I have friends who know me and have helped me and saved me from death. We have loved each other in good times and in horrific times. There are no masks.
Secrets kill people. I know celebrities very well and I know homeless people very well. They both experience the same problem. Isolation and not feeling loved for who they really are. Their authentic self without masks. Isolation kills. Portraying a perfect life will too. It's only through all of us finally admitting that trying to become gods or worship material gods will never bring us any type of peace and contentment. That when we finally stop seeking the approval of man and only seeking the approval of God, are we truly set free. Nowhere can we be filled with what true love really is from false substitutes. It’s only through knowing how much God loves us that we truly experience the love that we have tried to seek elsewhere. Nowhere can we truly love ourselves unless we know how valuable we are in God’s eyes. It’s only through this love are we able to fully accept the blessings God has for us rather than sabotaging what He already has set before us to receive. He doesn’t send anyone to hell. We send ourselves. A life without God is a life of darkness because God is light. We need nothing more and desire nothing more. His love is so overpowering that it results in wanting to share this with others. This love is the truth that sets people free. "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" Mark 8:36
— Sonserae Leese, June 6, 2018
As I sit here in Southern California in the midst of all the fires that are burning out of control, myself and so many others are asking, “Lord, when will the rains come?” When will the Lord hear our pleas for help? There are times in our lives where our prayers appear to go unanswered. There is no visible change in our circumstances no matter how many prayers we say, how many days we fast, how many prayer requests we send out. It looks as if the Lord isn’t listening or caring about our situation. We automatically assume He isn’t there for us.
There was another time when someone asked, “Lord, when will the rains come?” It was a very long time before that prayer was answered. It was an even more impossible situation than many of us have experienced.
In the days of Noah, it had never even rained before. The earth was covered by a mist that moistened and watered the vegetation. Noah was given a vision that was so detailed, right down to the type of wood and the measurements to build a boat in the middle of dry land without any water nearby. This man continued to work on this structure for 120 years. Can you imagine what kind of faith he would have to have? His own wife thinking he's a fool. This thing called rain that no one even knew about. Yet, he pushed forward one day at a time clinging to the vision and promise God gave him that the rains would come and to be prepared. That is the most important element isn’t it? Being prepared?
We are told over and over again to wait on the Lord. “Wait on the Lord.” “God’s timing is perfect.” I'm sure Noah asked God over and over again , “Lord, when are the rains going to come?” Yet, God is sitting up there saying to Noah, “I’m waiting for you to finish that boat!” The boat has to be perfect without leaks, completely finished so that when the rains do come, everyone involved will be safe and without harm. Any time before the assigned day, the results could be disastrous. “Be anxious for nothing” is imperative when it comes to building a sturdy enough boat to withstand a global catastrophe. If Noah rushed through the job just so he could have the rains come, the preparation would not be sufficient enough for survival.
Instead of us waiting on the Lord, maybe He's waiting on us. In order for his perfect purpose to be carried out, He is having to wait on us to become righteous enough and wise enough to handle the purpose that He designed us for. Anytime sooner, could lead to fatal results.
We must remember that if there are a number of people that are supposed to be involved in the vision or purpose God gave us, our “waiting on the Lord” may be the fact that He is waiting on everyone who is called, to get to a place where they are fully prepared as well.
We can sit here thinking that God has changed us and given us a vision and a purpose and wonder why things aren't happening to move us forward in making it happen now. With any huge vision or dream, it doesn't take the integrity of just one visionary to achieve what God has called them to, but it takes the integrity of many people to make it come to fruition.
I know that God had me go through this suffering for higher purpose. He gave me a clear vision in April of 2016. It was extremely detailed. As I have moved forward trying to make this vision happen through faith and prayers, I have trusted the wrong people to come alongside and make it happen. Unfortunately, the lack of integrity or them giving in to fear has caused moving forward with the vision to be stalled and halted.
Not only that, my trust in people that made promises that they didn't keep, caused me horrible hardship both financially and emotionally. I'm still suffering so much from trusting people who never kept their promises. God obviously needed me to learn some really important things through these painful times.
I might be able to keep my promises, but if I trust someone to keep their promises and they don't, the vision doesn't happen…or the marriage, or the business, or the agreement. This has been the hardest lesson to learn. You can be a person of integrity and keep your promises, but if you continue to trust those who don't, the vision God gave you won't happen. It's just as important to have wise discernment as it is to have integrity.
So, while were waiting on the Lord, He's waiting on us. He's waiting on us to not only be righteous, but also be wise. Only through learning the hard way do we become wise. Only by making mistakes and having failures, do we find out the correct way to do something. Only by waiting on the Lord, is He able to prepare everyone involved before the plans can be made. You might be ready, but that other person involved still has to go through some trials and experiences to prepare them as well.
Only by learning this and clinging to the fact that God’s timing is perfect, are we able to persevere until all the people who are to be involved are fully prepared. Ready to build a boat without holes to withstand the trials and attacks and pounding rain that may come against the vision and those involved. The faith of these individuals has to be strong enough to withstand the storms. They have to have such a faith that no matter what the circumstances, they still believe and stand strong in God’s promises. Like a house built on the rock instead of the sand. It takes much longer to prepare the house for the storm.
So we wait in confidence knowing that God has made the promise that He will see to completion every good work that He has prepared us for. That we just move forward one moment at a time, one day at a time, and before we know it, all those moments turn into days and those days turn into weeks , and those weeks turn into months, and those months turn into years.
When you see something successful already built, it always started with just an idea or a vision in someone’s mind. We forget the frustration and the pain and the day-to-day torment of failures that it took to finally see the vision realized.
When you look at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, people don't sit there and think about all the horrible things that Walt went through to make it happen. His horrible abusive childhood and his poverty living homeless on the streets. Not many people know that the inspiration for Mickey Mouse was a mouse he found that he kept in his pocket, while he was in a back alley eating a sandwich out of the garbage can.
How many times did he feel like giving up? How many times did he trust the wrong people that tried to destroy him and his vision? It's only through him finally going to people that he knew for years that he could count on, that had strong faith in him and his vision to make the dream happen…one day at a time.
So, we sit here waiting on the Lord and He's sitting there waiting on us preparing us for His big purpose and also preparing everyone involved. So stay strong knowing that every day is a lesson and we can choose to focus on hope or focus on letting what happened to us destroy us.
Who are we going to let win? Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy and anyone involved who is focused on that, we must flee from and ask for God’s strength and protection and faith as we cling to what God has called us to do. Just one day at a time.
And eventually the rains will come and we will be fully prepared to withstand the storm and be okay knowing the God kept His promises and always does.
Today would've been my parent's 58th wedding anniversary. Fifty eight years of hell and slavery for my mom. She hit the 50th year mark and decided her only way out was to die. A prisoner in her own home, unable to leave for so many reasons. She had been so used to not having her opinion matter, that she wouldn't know what it would feel like if she just decided one day to act on what she wanted.
I grew up resenting and rebelling against everything my mother represented. She was so weak and so fragile and so sick and so hopeless. Why couldn't my mom just get up be healed and just walk out the door?
So, I lived my life in a limitless way. I made goals and I kept them. I was a thrill seeker. My faith was huge. Whatever I put my mind to, I worked hard and did it. I achieved impossible goals one step at a time. Things that most people would find impossible to achieve, I achieved them with the help of God. I always knew God was with me and giving me strength to achieve these things. Of course, I did put a lot of burden on myself but we must do our part and take responsibility for the things that God does put in our heart.
I achieved success in the film industry and was making over six figures a year. I never questioned my strength or my ability because I just figured that God gives us a brain and He gives us a body and He gives us strength to achieve everything that He puts on our heart. Of course, some things aren't his will but He grants them anyway because He loves us. We have to learn some lessons the hard way, so He allows these things to happen.
So, on the outside, it looked like I was confident and happy and joyful but on the inside I still was trying to earn the love of my dad and try to prove him wrong. He had programmed me to believe I was a failure. That I wouldn't amount to anything. That I wouldn't make any money being an artist. That I'm not good enough. So, no matter what I achieved on the outside, I still felt like a failure on inside because this is what was programmed in my brain from childhood.
So I spent my entire life picking people that repeated these messages back to me and confirmed them over and over again. That I'm a failure. That nothing I do is good enough. Why would I pick someone who would go against my programming? I have no knowledge of what it feels like to be in a relationship where a man is kind to me without an ulterior motive. I have no idea how to accept something different than what I was used to. I have not been programmed to receive anything for free. Quite the contrary. I have been programmed to work really hard giving all my energy, value and money to someone in exchange for abuse in return.
Sure, I met sweet, loving guys in my life who would have treated me wonderfully, but I had no idea how to handle that kind of relationship. I didn’t know what to do. The only relationship I knew that was familiar to me, was one where I deserved punishment for my good deeds.
So, what did I end up doing? I ended up marrying the same type of person except way worse. My father is overtly cruel. Everyone can recognize his selfishness and mean behavior. I would know how to avoid that kind of person. Let’s not forget that Satan comes as a deceiver. He will charm. So I picked someone who appeared to be kind and supportive and accepting but it was the horrible deceptive mask that drew me to him, for that is what I grew up with. This person I married deceived me for many years while lying to me and breaking down every bit of self-worth that I had for myself through lying and accusing me of things I never did. Through smear campaigns covering up his own lies by telling his friends and family things about me that weren’t true. Pretending to be caring while making me sick, stealing, lying and cheating on me, leaving me deathly ill, penniless, and homeless. How did this guy know how to destroy me? On the outside, there was no sign I grew up with abuse. I had achieved everything I put my mind to. My past didn’t dictate my future… but somehow he knew exactly how to destroy me. My naiveté was the fact that I assumed a husband would want to protect, love and provide for his wife. So, my vulnerability included me telling him my dark secrets of my painful childhood. Yet, he never told me anything about himself. I assumed his listening was a kind gesture…but like the serpent in the garden, he listened for clues as to how to destroy me. What I loved, what I hated, what hurt me and what made me happy. He then had the arsenal to either bless me or curse me. He is evil, so he chose to curse me. So, whatever I loved, he made sure he either destroyed or prevented me from having. And whatever hurt me or I hated, he made sure he tortured and tormented me with that. This is the definition of psychological warfare. It’s illegal to do between countries, yet it happens in marriages and families every few seconds in this country.
This is why I know that this is a spiritual battle. That we aren’t dealing with flesh and blood but the powers and principalities of this dark world. The demons within all of us are so clever. They come to steal, kill and destroy and they introduce themselves as charming princes and princesses. If they introduced themselves as monsters, we would stay away from them. However, we are always lured into the dark by the delicious fruit.
We go for what is familiar even if it’s a torture chamber.
How many stories am I going to hear about people growing up in an alcoholic home causing havoc and then they choose drinking to escape from the pain and do the same things to their own children?
So many in the church are deceived. My mom was convinced she was doing the right thing her whole life. Submit to your husband the Bible says. Don't divorce, the Bible says. She's following the rules as she knows them to be true, as to not sin but with every commandment, there are conditions and so many times the church has failed to teach that submission to a husband is based on the commandment that he treat his wife as Christ treats the church and gave his life for her. For this is everything!! If your husband is willing to die for you, that proves his love and his protection and that we can safely submit to him knowing he has our best interests in mind. That he wants to protect us and guard us from harm. If that condition is not there, if that commandment to love and protect your wife as Christ has done for the church, then, the husband will be living out his own sinful nature by serving himself at his wife’s expense. He would not be worshipping God, but would be worshipping an idol. He would be worshipping himself. Women have the sin of Eve. Deception. We believe the lies when someone tells us they are a Christian. Yet, if they are serving themselves at our expense, they aren’t true believers. So many of us have no idea we are actually unequally yoked. Every time we submit to sleeping with them, they are controlling us through demonic means because our spirits are intermingling through the sex act. This is the drug that keeps us captive. The bonding hormone of oxytocin. The result being Stockholm syndrome.
So, what was my poor mother’s deceptive truth for escape from her slavery? What was allowed under the law of the scriptures that she was able to justify to avoid thinking she was sinning and breaking a covenant? It was sickness and death. This was her only way of escape. She was a prisoner for 50 years. No way to dig out from the controlling hand of her kidnapper, my father. She had no financial means to leave. And like a caged animal, after awhile, you can leave the cage door open and they don't leave out of fear.
So many people don't understand the psychological warfare of domestic violence. From the outside looking in, people wonder why someone stays so long. The fact is, they have been programmed to believe this is what they deserve. That they are so void of value, that this is the best they could do and the abuser will make them think that it's a privilege to serve them through all their torture. Even if someone escapes, they have no capacity to live as a free person. They have been conditioned for so long to be a slave, they don’t know how to be free.
This I believe is what happened to the Israelites. Let’s not forget that they were slaves for 400 years in Egypt. They had been programmed to not have their opinion matter. They had been programmed to believe that no amount of hope would break the chains that kept them slaves for centuries. So, when they were granted their freedom, they had no idea how to get to the promised land. For 40 years they doubted God even though He kept blessing them. They were programmed to focus on the negative rather than the positive.
Sixty five percent of homeless women left an abuser. They thought they were finally free, yet their only option ended up being the sidewalk. They don’t have any idea that they can make decisions for themselves or even remember how to do it. They don’t even know who they are anymore. Their identity has been stolen from them. This is what happened to me. I was 12 years a slave. The once independent, free thinking, successful woman I was had been programmed for 12 years to think she had no rights, no way of escape, and undeserving of anything good or kind. I was constantly accused of things that my delusional husband would make up in his head. I was made to feel like I deserved this kind of treatment. I was conditioned well buy my own father. The father who hated me for being a woman because he hated his mother and he never forgave her. I was trying to earn the love of someone who will never be capable of giving in return and I chose someone who is exactly the same way. I'm just as broken as they are but the person I'm abusing the most is myself. Where can one heal on the streets? It is very difficult to have hope and reprogram your brain when you are hungry and tired…so you leave a prison only to end up in another one.
The church, I believe has failed to teach that it is just as sinful to abuse ourselves as it is someone else. Anyone who is caught up in taking care of others at the expense of their own health and welfare, knows that they would never do or say anything to someone else that they are willing to put up with themselves! Why isn’t the church teaching that this is also a sin as well? Yes, we must love like Jesus, but He was tortured and abused so we don’t have to be. We must stop thinking that we can be someone else’s Savior constantly risking our own lives. God doesn’t ask us to be someone’s Savior!
Jesus never really spent much time with people that argued against him. He didn’t spend countless hours, days, years trying to convince the angry and abusive person that He was right. He actually did everything He could to avoid them. Yet, the people that were attracted to Him, the ones that followed Him and valued Him, that is where He spent His time. Why have we been deceived to put up with years of abuse? Jesus went to the cross for us so we wouldn’t have to suffer. Yes, He did say we would suffer, but so much of our suffering has to do with the fact that we allow it!! We are free in Christ! That means we can walk right out the door! That means we don’t have to spend one more moment in a relationship with someone that just wants to put us down and destroy us.
We are so good at enslaving ourselves. We enslave ourselves by allowing abusive people to control us or we enslave ourselves by allowing idols to control us. Money, drugs, sex, alcohol, even work…just choose your idol, and become a slave to it!
The only thing that we are to worship that actually brings us freedom is Christ. We are made to worship only Him so if we choose something else, it will NEVER BE ENOUGH.
This is a great link talking about being married to an evil spouse.
**If this has been helpful to you, please consider donating to help heal those victims of domestic violence live out the purpose God has designed for them. Thank you!***
My dad beat me black and blue since infancy. Even me at 54 he continued to be cruel telling me to drink strychnine and die when I was trying to care for him and take him to the dr. At no time has my kind generosity mattered in him treating me with even any respect. I finally had to cut him off for my own health. I obviously chose similar relationships that were also abusive. The Lord had to do a work in me and that was to love myself as He loves and sees me. I was loving others but not loving myself. Once I started seeing myself the way Jesus sees me, I had to grieve. I had to apologize to myself for allowing a child of God to be treated so badly all of my life. I would do everything I could to protect others against such cruelty, but would subject myself to horrible treatment. I had to repent for abusing a child of God. Myself! Once I started doing this, I allowed God to bless me as well. He fulfilled all the empty places that no other human can. I started loving and appreciating the gifts God gave me and how uniquely made we are in His image. When we allow ourselves to accept God's love for ourselves, He fills us with so much love that it allows us to pour out His love onto others around us. We have endless love for ourself and others through loving and accepting God's love and sacrifice through Jesus. This is how He designed us. Love your neighbor as yourself, not better than yourself. For the Golden Rule is not a commandment but a statement of fact. Until we love and accept ourselves fully through Jesus, we can't love and accept our neighbor as ourselves either. So let the fullness of God's love pour out onto you, overflowing onto others through His grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.