“Beloved, Come. I am extending My hand to you. Will you let Me lead you in this dance?”
Proverbs 3:3-6 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight
Graceful was not a word I’d have used to describe myself. In fact, I had visions of me in an adult body but about the size of a large bug. I was running all over the floor trying to dodge everyone’s shoes. “Watch out for me!” I’d shout up there, but nobody would hear me. Nobody listened and nobody saw.
Well, that’s what it all felt like.
Around 1989, the Lord came to me while I was in prayer. He told me of a story about a mother with several children she locked up in a room for years. She would keep them locked in the room because they “told on her” or “embarrassed her” in front of others. She did this for a few years, only opening the door a crack at a time on occasion, and when she was by herself, and they would peep their head out for a short while and then the door would get closed when they started to whine.
As long as they would peep out of the room and be quiet, she would open the door a crack again.
The Lord asked me “What do you say about such a mother?”
And I responded that this woman needed professional help. These children needed to be free, and needed room to grow and most importantly they needed to be loved and nurtured and cared for.
But then the Lord showed me that the children, as they grew inside the locked room, would become angry and destructive. They even found ways to open the window a bit and let in strangers from the outside into their room who would defile the room even further.
Soon, there was so much commotion coming from the room, the mother could no longer conceal her children from her friends. She plotted to suffocate them.
I said “Lord, this woman is a danger! She needs deliverance. She definitely has a mental imbalance, may even be possessed.”
The Lord said to me “The woman is you.”
I didnt understand. But I was listening.
He went onto say the room was my heart. The children were my emotions and the product of what I had done to them over the years.
Fear… hurt…. bitterness…..guilt….shame….indifference….sorrow…..anger…..impatience…frustration…
I locked them away inside the room of my heart and squashed them down because they were too loud and told on me. They embarrassed me. They caused me to lose friends. They ridiculed me and mocked me.
But the Lord said that I was to begin to let them out and give them to Him. To entrust them into His Fatherly care
I asked “How do I do that?” He said “slowly and one at a time. They don’t know Me yet, and building relationships are not hurried.”
So I began to let Fear out, a little at a time. I saw that over time, His response to my Fear, was that of faithfulness. In my unfaithfulness, He was still faithful. In unpredictability, I could trust Him to do as He said He would do. He was Faithful. Fear’s name would change to “Assurance.”
And then Anger stuck his neck out. As I gave Anger over to Him, slowly, The Lord’s responses to Anger were different than anything I’d known or understood. His response to my little Anger was that of gentleness and kindness. It was cool, and peaceful, not hot and unsettled. Anger’s name eventually was changed to Peace.
Bitterness became Sweet as the Lord would become manifested by the sweetness of His Word to me. He would show me my sins and yet in my sins, He drizzled them with honey from His Word of Forgiveness.
Guilt became Freedom. The Lord’s response to Guilt, whenever I would sense Guilt rising up to have his way and overwhelm me with incredible burden, was the truth behind the Cross. When Guilt was younger, he loved to sit upon my shoulders and cover my eyes, while pressing himself down upon my head. As he got bigger and stronger, (and heavier) I could no longer carry him yet he expected me to. Guilt was too heavy of a yoke. I could not carry him. But Jesus said to me Take upon yourself My Yoke. For my burden is easy and my yoke is light.”
Shame became Honor. Shame was only as big as the door I hid it behind. When shame was allowed to come out, and Jesus responded, Shame was no longer met with disapproval and disgust and religious responses. Shame was treated with honor. Not because Shame DESERVED honor mind you. No, Shame had really done some pretty intense, ugly things. But instead, SHAME did not get what it was accustomed to getting, nor did it receive the response it deserved. Shame received the response of honor and over time, Shame began to walk in that honor, with head held high and face forward, not in pride but in humility. Shame could never be humble while it was still Shame. Shames’ name had to change.
Indifference became Passion. “Whatever!” That was about all you would hear from the mouth of Indifference. His nickname was Luke (short for lukewarm) but Indifference was the name given at its birth. Indifference was the easiest one to deal with, I think because he was so mellow and easy going, except for when a response was required. Indifference and Anger were very close to each other. I’d say that of all my little emotions, those two were very close to each other. Indifference caused me very little concern because he kept mostly to himself. Isolated. Except for when he and Anger got together. Seemed like the more they got together, the quieter Indifference became. But he knew so much about Anger and wasn’t talking. As Indifference would emerge, the Lord greeted him with Passion. Not Anger’s type of Passion but a Passion that ignited flames of motivation. Indifference would become a world changer. Indifference found a mission and a vision and a purpose. Indifference became Passion.
Sorrow became Joy. Sorrow was very very depressed. Wounded. Whenever sorrow appeared, my whole body felt bruised, beat up. I could not bear sorrow but I didn’t have the strength to shove her back in the room so I would build up my strength with food. It seemed sugar (and most carbohydrates) helped me to get stronger so I could push her back into her room. I needed joy and LOTS of carbohydrates provided that boost of joy I needed. After all, joy is strength right? But Jesus said there was a better way. When Sorrow emerged, I could allow myself to feel what she felt, only for a little bit. Never NEVER allow Sorrow to come out without the Presence of Love and Joy. When I began to feel bruised all over, I allowed myself to feel what she felt, while the Lord infused HIS Joy which became MY strength to bear her and present her to Him. She was such a little frail thing, with bruises. Sometimes, all I could do was cry “Daddy!!!! I’m hurting. Please please stroke my hair!” Love is gentle when He strokes the hair. Eventually Sorrow became Joy and united with His Joy which became my strength.
Hurt became Mercy. Hurt was different than Sorrow. While Sorrow was very deeply bruised, Hurt’s pain was more superficial. Hurt seemed to look out for Sorrow and divert attention from attack in order to protect Sorrow. It was like this is what Hurt felt he was supposed to do. Defend. I let Hurt out of the room more often than the others because he wasn’t going to let anyone do harm to the others. In fact, it seemed that whenever Hurt emerged, others around became full of care and concern. He just had that effect on people. He was in a way, a safety net. The problem was that Hurt’s judgments were not right and he saw nearly everyone as possible attackers. He was ready to defend when there was no need to. Jesus changed the response that Hurt had come to know and instead of requiring the enabling care giving of others around him, he began to require mercy and that meant that bandages needed to be applied ONLY WHEN THERE WAS A REAL WOUND. Hurt would become Mercy when Hurt stopped looking for care-giving in order to thwart off possible attacks, but was available to apply care-giving and receive true care-giving where needed.
Impatience became Patience. Always had to have it NOW!. She often threw temper tantrums and then demanded her brother Fear join in. She usually needed others to join in with her, just to make her point when she didn’t get her way. She was way out of control. As she slowly would emerge Jesus gave her a different response as He would not answer except with scriptures about waiting but it was not the ones most would expect. Isaiah 30:18 – He LONGS to wait for us. Whenever Impatience emerged, the Lord would say with compassion “Come wait with me, we will do this together.” His Presence brought the stillness. His Presence alone, brought the power to wait. To be still. Waiting with Jesus became easier when Impatience felt comfortable just sitting alone with Him. Impatience would become Patience.
Frustration became Rest. Once Impatience became Patience, it was not hard for Frustration to follow. Frustration was usually in as much agreement with Impatience as Indifference was to Anger. Frustration would easily become Rest when Impatience became Patience.
The Lord wants us not to keep anything back from Him. He takes all our “children” that we keep separated and locked up and held as captives and he frees them, changes their disposition by showing them a different response then they have ever seen, and gives them a new name.
Once these emotions lined up with His Word to them, it was easy for the Fruit of His Spirit to be made manifest in my life because Holy Spirit was right at home.