I don’t normally do this, but I have a word of knowledge for someone. You are in a low or depressed place mentally and that you have temporarily walked away from some things that would normally be important to you. You are in this low place because of a decision that you made, in fact, perhaps woven a tangled web so to speak. As you are in the low place mentally you are turning to things that are contrary to the life God would have for you. God is bigger than the situation that you are facing. Take an action to turn to God and give it to him, surrender and allow him to heal your mind and receive his forgiveness for your actions. God loves so loves you and you are so important to Him that He wanted you to know that He knows exactly what you are going through and understands your hurt. God bless you!!!
Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires. Matt. 5:5
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
What does it mean to be entirely ready? God is a gentleman. He didn’t force his will on you. He waited for you to invite Him in. It has been said that willingness is the key that goes into the lock and opens the door that allows God to begin to remove your character defects. Recovery is not a quick fix, you need to allow God time to work in your life. This principle will not only help you stop doing the wrong thing, but goes after the very defect that causes you to sin. Being willing will help you to be ready for God’s help throughout your transition.
You have spent a lot of time with you old hurts, habits and hang-ups, compulsions and obsessions. When God removes one, you must replace it with something positive or of God’s attributes.
Remember, I wrote a few weeks ago about having a father wound because he left our family for another woman. This wound caused me to fearful in relationships, falsely accuse men, fear that they were lying, etc. When God revealed that wound, I asked him to heal the deep hurt of abandonment and to remove all the lies that I have believed associated with that wound and also the actions attached to that wound AND for him to replace those defects with grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, confidence and his truth. My part in this equation is reverse the embedded pathway of coping for 40 years based on this wound. It is going to take lots of prayer, patience and practice to learn a new way to respond to my future relationships. But God says in his word that I can DO all things in Him, who strengthens me! As I wrote above, being ready and willing allows God to go after the thing that causes us to sin. Until God revealed this wound, I would just continue to respond the same old way, but because he went after the thing that caused me to not trust men and abuse them in my fear, I have confidence that I will see men in a totally different light. Not all men are liars and not all men cheat and not all men abandon ship.
1. Have you released control?
2. List areas of your life that you have been able to turn over to Jesus.
3. Sometimes its hard for us to see the positive changes that God is making in our lives, have you been able to accept and enjoy your growth?
4. What does the phrase ‘easy does it’ mean to you? What area of your recovery are you attempting to rush? looking for the quick fix?
Here is some worship to help you in your quiet time with God….
But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrong we have done. 1 John 1:9
Why admit my wrongs? We gain healing that the Bible promises. James 5:16 tells us to admit our wrongs, our sins to one another. When you confess to God, he forgives you of sins confessed to Him, but in James 5:16 says to confess one to another for healing. Sharing our secrets, struggles and failures with another is part of God’s plan of our healing process. We gain freedom because our secrets have kept us in chains, bound up, frozen and unstable to move in our relationships. We also gain support when we share our inventory with another person. They can challenge you when denial surfaces. Have you chosen someone? Our admission of our wrongs must be to God, yourself and someone you trust.
When I was going through my inventory God would take me to scriptures about His judgment. These were additions to my inventory that He would bring to my mind of certain instances of ‘my part’. God may do this for you as well because we all have a part or a role that we played in our past dysfunction.
I will share this portion of my past and what I am about to share was hard for me to face as well as admit…..as I share this I am embarrassed, and like me, you may have a hard time facing your past wrongs, but it leads to our road of healing.
I was in a relationship that to me was very significant. We were two broken people bringing our dysfunction to each other trying to make something work. Our brokenness created a lot of conflict. One way he dealt with the conflict was division, whether it was removing himself from the room, leaving to stay at a hotel, to finally making good on his threats to finally leave for good. One night I had enough of the division…..he went to sleep in another room. I wanted to make a point that I had enough, so I took a mop and struck the couch he was laying on. The mop broke into pieces and a part of the mop barely missed his face. I am not justifying my actions, but what was happening is that his actions were triggering a rejection wound that I had from my birth. I had been physically and emotionally rejected by a parent and when I sensed I was being rejected, I lashed out in my hurt. So when God reminded me of this incident, I was completely humbled, after the fact I saw how out of control I was. In fact, God said to me, if he had done something like that to you, it would terrify you and you would most likely be afraid of him of physically harming you and you would have trouble ever trusting him. WOW, I cried and cried, I had not been physically abusive to anyone and that was a hard thing to admit, I hurt myself and someone else and I was ashamed and embarrassed. I can’t believe I did that!
Thank goodness for recovery because I have learned a lot about my past, myself and have a greater understanding about my unmanageable behavior. I walked away from that relationship admitting that I was a 50% contributor to all the wrong, I had ‘my part’. I could never admit my wrong doing or make amends to that person because I was asked to never contact them. I admitted my wrongs to God, to myself and to another. My amends to that person was a letter that was never mailed. That will come later in our journey, the amends portion helped me to move on and accepting forgiveness from God and for myself.
We are all subject to sin and have been contributors of destruction in our relationships. Here is where honesty is important, no matter how painful, we must face our part if we want healing. Remember inventory is balanced, it is who has hurt me and who have I hurt? Please find someone you trust and confess your sins and pray so that you may be healed.
What areas of your life have you been able to turn over and surrender to Jesus Christ?
List areas of your life that you are still holding on to, attempting to control on your own power.
Explain the difference in seeing a need for change and being entirely ready to accept positive changes in your recovery.
Its very important that you allow God to replace your character defects with positive changes. What are some positive changes that you could make in your recovery? in your family? in your job?
Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
How are you doing so far? Do you find this process painful? Are you surprised by what God is revealing to you? Are you find you are more clarity?
God so loves you……..I spoke at a prison a few months ago, I was speaking to over 100 broken men, I left them with a beautiful song that God wanted me to share with them and I want you to experience the song too. God was not surprised by you, he knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb and he knew every decision you would make, every failure and every victory and he has great plans for you, it’s not too late for you, don’t quit and don’t give up!
Youtube —I knew what I was getting into by Misty Edwards.
God so loves you………….
There was a time when I would not admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord’ and you forgive me, all my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:3-5
Each time you add to your inventory, you must deal with what was written. Confess your shortcoming, resentments and sins to God, He wants us to come clean. We need to admit that ‘what is wrong is wrong’. Remember, we must own up to sins we discover in our inventory. He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Prov. 28:13
Recovery requires honesty. Working on our inventory allows the light of God’s truth to heal our hurts, hang-ups and habits, we stop denying our true feelings.
It eases the pain. We are as sick as our secrets. When we share our deepest secrets we divide the pain and shame. We begin to see a healthy self worth develop, no longer one that is based on the world’s standards, but one of Jesus Christ. We must stop blaming. We cannot find peace and serenity if we continue to blame. Our secrets have isolated us from each other. They have prevented intimacy in all our relationships. Start accepting God’s forgiveness. We are ready to find the humility to exchange our shortcomings.
I had to inventory something that happened over the weekend. I have made inventory a normal part of my life so I don’t have to write anything down, it is just like an automatic response and it is a very smooth transactional conversation with God. My sister just moved to Florida and she came in over the weekend to drop my nephews off for the summer with my mom….they are all born in May so we also celebrated their birthdays. I heard my sister arguing with someone and I asked my mother and brother-n-love what was going on. I was told she was arguing with her ex-husband and he was angry and threatening to come get the boys and that he was bringing the police. He has restrictive visitation for a very good reason and he was wanting to violate that. I asked what started it……my mother made a comment to me…..well it’s out on facebook ‘excited to see you in 3 days’! That was a jab at me because I wrote that on my sister’s FB……I could feel my anger rising…..I said, so I am responsible for all of this?! My brother-n-love, said no! My sister comes out and catches our conversation and she yells at my mom that I did not do anything wrong and that she told her that her ex has known for 2 weeks that they were coming and my mother knew that. I had a choice…..I could play victim and be passive aggressive (which my grandmother and mother taught me), which means I am mad, I don’t make eye contact with you and I don’t speak to you. YUCK!!! That is an old pattern of my past before recovery. No, that is not the choice I made. I took the high road and asked my mother if I could help her make her famous banana pudding. I was right, but it was not important to be right. At the end of the day, me pushing my point to be right would not give me an extra day living, it would not pay a bill for me…..what truly would I gain proving my point??? God knew the situation and so did I. I chose love instead….it changed the atmosphere by my one decision, it created peace. The word says to seek peace and pursue it. However, later, I had to inventory that. God that hurt me, why does she always look to blame me, why am I her scapegoat, why why why? I cried and asked God to heal the hurt and anger which were the emotions associated with that and to heal any actions associated with that AND I asked him to replace with his love, grace, mercy, understanding and acceptance for her. If I did not inventory that…..the hurt would stay with me and it would come out some place else, such as in road rage or cause me to lose sleep or to take it out on someone else, or eat a bag of chocolate…….we MUST deal with our past and present so we do not revert back into an old habit.
1. What wrongs, resentments, or secret sins are keeping you awake at night?
2. What value do you see in confessing, in coming clean of the wreckage of your past?
3. As you obey God’s directions, what results to you expect God to produce in your life?
4. What freedom do you feel because of the words of Romans 8:1…..no condemnation…not guilty, mean to you?
5. After you complete Principle 4, you will find four areas of your life begin to improve. You will be able to face the truth, ease the pain, stop the blame and start accepting God’s forgiveness. In what areas of your life will each of these four positive changes help your recovery?
I can be more honest with…….
I can ease pain by……
I can stop blaming……
I can accept God’s forgiveness because of…..
Please take time, pray and answer the questions in your quiet time. Also, I am going to give you an additional assignment today….after you have read today’s blog, please go through my archives and read “Confession is Healing” on June 11th.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of this journey with you. I am so grateful that I get to help people by giving back for what God has given me. I pray that your joy is being restored to you and just know literally that your best days are ahead. I had a very important relationship a couple of years ago and I used to pray to God that I would get the best part of them, and I am believing that for you and me……That you are becoming the best you can be. My pastor puts it this way….the best gift you can give someone is a healthy you, that is so true, your spouse needs it, your children need it, your employer deserves it and so will it be true for all your relationships. You are a good gift from God. I love you and so does God.
Search me O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24
I am so grateful that you are working through your inventory. I am going to share another brief portion of my past. I know this can be difficult and I want to be transparent with my inventory in hopes that something will resonate with you or to just give you a better understanding how to inventory your past and present circumstances.
Your inventory may be different, but I had a lot of specific memories as it related to individuals in my past, but also God would give me visions and these visions usually revealed an instance that I would not have remembered, but they had a huge impact on my outward behavior. So what I am about to share was a vision.
I was very young and I was in the kitchen with my mother — I witnessed her telling a lie to someone and then she turned around towards me and she said that I had lied to her and she spanked me.
Now that was a very brief snapshot of my past. When I got this vision, I suddenly remembered some things that my mother did. I remember that she would purchase clothes and shoes and put them in the trunk of her car so that my father would not know that she had spent money, or how much money and on what. I also remember that my mother did that in her second marriage and even carried it to the point that she got a P.O Box and would have all her credit card bills mailed to this PO box…OR she would run frantically to her own mailbox everyday before her husband came home and she would possibly beat him to the mailbox. Looking back, because of her actions, she must have been filled with unnecessary anxiety everyday trying to hide her actions. It’s a lot of work covering up our sin. Are you creating unnecessary anxiety by trying to hide something?
What impact did this have on me? First of all, God was showing me that she taught me to lie by her words and her actions. However, if she caught me in a lie she would severely punish me. How confused I must have been to hear and watch her lie and deceive, but yet punish me for the same thing. The other effects it had on me is that I operated in a curse of lying and I have repeated the same patterns of purchasing clothes and hiding them when I was married. I even did this same thing in some relationships I had. The damage it caused was for me and for my partner… it presented me as someone who was not trustworthy whoever I was in relationship with. Which in turn would affect our intimacy. My part was carrying out what I was taught and I have hurt myself and others I have been in relationship with. I would have never realized that unless God revealed it. The same is true for you. God knows everything about us and he understands what is behind our thoughts and actions. That is why I so love this process, please submit to God and take time and quiet the phone, and tv and anything else that would compete for this precious time with God…..your healing depends on it.
I am going to give you some additional questions to help you continue the process of your inventory.
1. Since accepting Christ as your Higher Power, how has God transformed your mind? What worldly standards have you given up?
2. How have you used denial to attempt to guard your mind?
3. Have you filled or are you filling your mind with hurtful and unhealthy movies, television programs, internet sites or books?
4. How have you failed to concentrate on the positive truths of the Bible?
5. What past activities or habits caused you harm to your physical health?
6. In what ways have you mistreated your body?
7. If you have abused alcohol, drugs, foods, or sex, how did they negatively affect your body?
8. What have you done to restore God’s temple (your body)?
9. Have you mistreated anyone in your family verbally, emotionally or physically?
10. Who in your family do you hold a resentment against? Why?
11. Can you think of anyone to whom you owe amends? Why?
12. What is the family secret that you have kept denying?
13. How can you improve relationships because of your recovery?
14. Prior to recovery, what was your main reason for going to church?
15. How has your commitment to church increased since starting recovery?
16. How would you rate your past participation in church?
very involved, semi-active, sideline member, attender, went on holidays, never attended.
I am so grateful for this program and I get the privilege of taking it to the world. God has commissioned me to get it into prisons to help those individuals cope in society better once they are released. I have also been recruited by a local church to help them roll the program out for their congregation. So far this is what I hear that is very common. Most everyone says that they cannot ever see their life changing, or being without whatever unmanageable behavior they have been struggling with. They are almost convicted by my faith also. Here is what I remind everyone that I speak with. Even I had a starting point, and I was where they were at one time……. I am, and have overcome things that I have struggled with for years. The same is true for you — your life will be different if you commit and cooperate with God and spend time on your recovery — shut out all the things that compete for your time. It’s a sacrifice and we can all think of something better that we would rather be doing…. BUT, sacrifice, which is short term pain, WILL produce long term gain !!!! I love you and so does God !
Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults. No more hateful feelings of any sort. Ephesians 4:31
Last week I gave you an outline for you to begin your inventory. That is the center piece of inventory and you should be adding more and more to that as God is revealing specific individuals to inventory along with the situations and emotions associated with them.
Inventory is a lifestyle for me now. I have been in recovery since 2009 and I still get revelations of my past hurts, the damage and how it is affected me. Also, I inventory present situations. Inventory is ongoing, because recovery gives me new coping methods so that way I don’t run back to an old habit.
Let me give you an example of something present. I mentor a teenager and we get together a lot. About a week ago we talked about her up coming graduation. She has a mommy abandonment and rejection wound and she lives with her father. She did not know if she should invite her mother to her graduation or not. She said if I don’t invite her then she will be mad even though she most like will not come. I told her to take the high road and invite her and let her mother make the decision whether she comes or not. As you can imagine the worst happened. Her mother declined to come and it upset her so much. For days she could not get over it, she was acting out by laying in her bed all day, being ugly to those around her and starting fights and crying. She is like me and has a hard time with acknowledging her emotions. I told her that she needed to inventory that whole event. I walked her through how to write it all down and then reach out to God — God is the ONLY one who can heal our wounds — Lord that hurts me so much, all I want is to be accepted by her and why am I not enough?! I just want her to be proud of me! Why does she love my brother and sister more?! Give that to God and ask him to reach deep into your soul and heal that hurt along with the emotions and actions associated with that hurt. Then always ask God to replace what he has removed with his love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and acceptance. The one lie we believe ‘time heals all wounds’ most of the time we fester and get more and more upset OR we stuff it down and those emotions come out some place else in our lives. Each step of the way, ask God to heal and to replace what he has removed.
This week I am giving you some things to write about. This will help you with your inventory. Set aside quiet time and pray. God knows everything about you and your past, ask him to help you as you reflect on your past and for him to bring to the surface what needs to be dealt with. Remember, being honest is crucial. Facing the truth, no matter how ugly it is, because it’s the truth about you (not someone else) that is going to set you free. This is YOUR recovery.
1. Who has hurt you? How did they specifically hurt you? Go back as far as you can.
2. Who are you holding a grudge against?
3. Who are you jealous of? why?
4. Who have you hurt? How did you hurt them?
5. Who have you been critical of or gossiped about? Why?
6. How have you attempted to place the blame on someone else? Be specific?
7. What areas of your life have you been able to turn over to your Higher Power, Jesus?
8. What areas of your life are you still not putting God first?
9. What in your past is keeping you from seeking God’s will for your life?
10. What are your personal goals for the next 90 days?
11. What areas in your life are you thankful for?
12. In your past, what things have you been ungrateful for?
13. What causes you to lose your temper?
14. What in your past are you still worried about?
15. How have you exaggerated to make yourself look good?
16. Does your walk as a Christian match your talk? Are your actions the same at church vs. home vs. work?
17. In what areas of your life have you used false humility to impress someone?
18. What areas have you been dishonest?
Don’t quit and give up, push through the pain. Just like working out, you cannot grow without resistance and pain. I know several people who compete in Iron Man competitions — talk about pain!! After an event the euphoria so great and you gain this confidence that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Think of your recovery like that — and once you begin to see a progression of change you get encouraged to keep going, just like someone who is trying to lose weight, they lose a couple of pounds and they are excited and it gives them the motivation to push towards their goal — why because they see results, their hard work is paying off!!!
I am praying and believing the best years of your life are yet to come !!!
Principle 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is a crucial piece to your recovery. I cannot stress to you that this needs to be a place of complete honesty with yourself. I understand that its difficult facing our past. Remember, you can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there, whether harm has been done to you or you have harmed others. Your recovery depends on this and you are the determining factor how much healing you receive based on the level of honesty your are willing to have. How do I start? It is broken up into five sections and I will share with you a portion of my inventory to help you.
First and most important: God is the driver of your inventory and you are the passenger. Before beginning your inventory, have quiet time and pray that he reveal ALL wounds of your past. He will reveal people, situations and circumstances. You just get ready to receive and write. I have to say that during this portion you can absolutely EXPECT emotions to begin to rise to the surface. You may experience anger, you may cry, just don’t be caught off guard and don’t run from the emotions, feel them and let them pass. This is tough, there are a lot of layers of hurt and anger and sadness and it has taken a lifetime for them to build up AND you have spent a lifetime running from them. You have probably coped by being controlling, co-dependent, abused alcohol or drugs, developed an eating disorder, self mutilated, have issues with over spending, pretend to be someone you are not, indulge in pornography, become a sex addict, to name a few. It’s time for the SYMPTOMS to stop by dealing with the root cause. Stop focusing on your outward behavior because that is NOT who you are, but trust God for your healing.
My grandfather (dad’s father) was not on my inventory. In fact, I did not realize that I had an issue with him. I can recall experiencing anger for about 2 months. No one had really prepared me for the intense emotions that I had experienced. The anger went on for so long that it began to frighten me. I felt that I would end up in the hospital because of it. I was afraid that it was causing serious harm to my body. One night I had been given a vision of my grandfather. I loved him so much!!! I think I loved him more than my parents. I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. And one day he left our family. You see my grandmother had died when I was 2. He met someone when I was around 13 and he married her and adopted her whole family. He left us. We did not see much of him unless it was a holiday. My world shattered. I lost the person I loved the most. Over time, I just began to protect my heart and it became hardened to him. I was not mad or upset so I thought, I was just ok with never seeing him again. When he was on his death bed I did not go see him because my heart was still protected. When he died I was very upset. That was the vision that God took me to and he showed me that I was so hurt and that I just stuffed it down and pretended that it was not there, metaphorically saying that he could no longer hurt me. That was where all the anger was coming from, for two months it bubbled to the surface. I was shocked at the impact that had on me. If you were to ask me if I was mad at him, I would answer with no, because I did not feel anger towards him. I had to inventory the loss of my grandfather. He left us and I had not grieved that loss because I did not know how to acknowledge my feelings and also, we think that we just forget about it and it will go away and we are deceived at how great the impact the abandonment was. When God revealed that wound, it softened my heart. When I went through inventory he had already passed. I had so much guilt because I wondered if he knew how much I loved him? I regret not being there when he was dying. I miss him so much! I cry always when I think about him and cry out to God to forgive me for not being there and that I hope he knows I love him.
What effects did this have on me? Remember I acknowledge that I most likely loved him more than my parents, I mean I loved him with the greatest love I have ever experienced. Invisible walls went up and I walled people out to a certain degree. I have been told by many people that I have walls up. I never let anyone too close to me because of my fear of you hurting me. It has robbed me of relationships because I have a hard time becoming intimate with anyone, I keep them at a distance. It might even be fair to say that it has caused me to have commitment issues. The past couple of relationships I have had, I remember fear coming up very early and me saying to myself that I have the potential to get hurt and I became afraid. The fear is the wall and its purpose is to protect me. That is a lie that I have believed and the truth is, I am called to Love. In relationships I could never take the high road or love no matter how I was being treated because I did not like the risk of being vulnerable. Now that God has revealed this wound and I have asked him to tear down the walls that I have built up, I am now ready to love and allow someone to get close to me. Love is like entrepreneurial —- that type of person takes great risk because he knows the great reward…..so is love, you have to risk because the reward is great!
Here are the 5 sections to help you begin to inventory your past.
1. The person — begin to list those you believe you need to inventory — I did the same, but God added people because I was unaware of all my wounding.
2. The cause — it is said that hurting people hurt people – what did they do to cause your resentment?
3. The effect — how has this hurtful action affected your life?
4. The damage — which of your basic instincts were injured? social (broken relationships), security (physical safety, financial loss), sexual (abusive relationships, damaged intimacy).
5. My part — What part of my resentment against another person is my responsibility? Ask God to show you your part in a broken or damaged relationship, marriage, distant child or parent. In addition, list all the people whom you have hurt and how you hurt them. Examine me, O God, and know my mind, test me, and discover if there is any evil in me and guide me to the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24.
I am so excited that you are here because I have experienced the other side of inventory, I faced the pain and I am different today, your victory is close and that is what I am celebrating! I pray for strength and courage and that you will be steadfast during your inventory. Running has got you where you are today and I have to ask, how has that worked for you so far?
Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9