Tag Archives: recovery

Of Dreams and Nightmares (AYFH wk 37)

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.'” (Psalm 55:4-8)

I wonder if the Psalmist was writing about things that were happening during his waking hours, or if he was writing about the terrors that come at night. Perhaps both, probably both. I’m certain the Psalmist had seen enough violence to be at least occasionally harassed in his sleep by nightmares.

The Mayo Clinic describes Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as “a mental condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

Symptoms
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.
Intrusive memories
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:
Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
Avoidance
Symptoms of avoidance may include:
Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood
Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:
Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
Hopelessness about the future
Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
Difficulty maintaining close relationships
Feeling detached from family and friends
Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
Feeling emotionally numb
Changes in physical and emotional reactions
Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:
Being easily startled or frightened
Always being on guard for danger
Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
Trouble sleeping
Trouble concentrating
Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
Overwhelming guilt or shame

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:
Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

I have had recurring nightmares of one sort or another for most of my life. As a child, I had recurring dreams about a stick-figure man who came to my bed at night, and also dreams of my father jumping off a train to his death or accidentally falling and dying of a head wound. Not exactly normal dreams for a 8-9 year old!

When in my mid-late 20’s (after the death of my father), I began having a series of recurring dreams that were about “familiar but unrecognizable” places … places with labyrinths of interconnecting bedrooms, bedrooms where evil lived. I didn’t dream them every night – and often there would be gaps of weeks or even months between them. At first, I blamed them on yesterday’s dinner. But over time, I began to realize that I was dreaming of the same places over and over and over again. The places portrayed in them so familiar to me that I knew them almost as well as I knew my own home. I would frequently think to myself within the dream, or even say upon waking … “I’ve been there before.” And yet I knew of no places like these, so no – I’d never been there. They were just dreams, right?

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In my 30’s (after finally divorcing my abusive 2nd husband (“T”), determined by the Courts to be a sociopath) I began having recurring dreams of someone/something visiting me at night, using my body for its pleasure. These dreams were particularly disturbing for me on a couple of fronts:

  1. Because they felt like “present day” experiences, meaning these did not feel like veiled remembrances of something from my past, but rather like I was being visited and violated now
  2. Because they were very difficult to wake up from, and therefore they seemed to continue well past the point when you’re awake enough to know that you’re dreaming, but not awake enough to get out of the dream. So there I would remain, in the dream, trying desperately to wake myself from the dream, so that I could open my eyes and confirm that it was only a dream.

In my last post, I mentioned moving with my daughters about an hour’s distance from “T”. In that beautiful coastal community, we found a fantastic church and we began to thrive.

One Sunday, the Pastor Daniel told of two sisters he met doing some missions work overseas. He described how one had been repeatedly violated by a family member, while the other sister (thought to be sleeping) was in the room and therefore a witness to her siblings abuse. Oh the torment of soul she carried, and Pastor noted that one doesn’t have to be the physical victim in order to be abused. As he shared that story, something within me began to violently shake and quake. I found it near impossible to breath, and before he finished I had practically ran out of the sanctuary – barely able to contain myself. “Is that what happened Lord?”, I asked. “Is that what was so upsetting to me at age 3?”

Fly Away
“Fly Away” http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

It is an established truth that my sisters were abused (my dad didn’t deny it, and my sisters had full recollection of it). That they had memories and I didn’t made me somehow feel like I was “a poser” to say I’d been abused too. Hearing Pastor Daniel retell the experience of these two sisters, and my reaction to it, finally gave me courage to say “Yes, it happened to me too, I was abused too.”

I still had questions, for I still had very few memories of my childhood due to dissociative amnesia, but it was another step on the journey to truthfulness.

Thankfully the majority of people don’t have PTSD, recurring nightmares, or other symptoms common to trauma or abuse. But we ALL experience fear. And it is of FEAR, and the power of FEAR that I will write in my next post.

Until then, may the King of Peace overshadow you with His righteous right hand, and grant you sweet sleep.

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

Of Dreams and Nightmares (AYFH wk 36)

I suppose we all have similar wrestling’s when we dare to step out of our comfort zone and attempt to do something ‘bigger than ourselves.’ The last few weeks, a not-so-kind and not-so-small voice has been taunting me with questions like “Who are you to _____ (speak of life and liberty, hope and deliverance)? I know the truth about you.” So let’s just get this out of the way right now: I’m a flawed human. I’ve got junk, struggles, and issues. My life is a mix of highs and lows, failures and successes. And I still deal with many of the things I write about in my blog posts. Why?? Simple; because even though I may have gained a certain level of victory in these areas, we all know that ‘the devil don’t like losing!’ He is always, and I mean ALWAYS, trying to regain territory lost to him – be it 2000 years ago, 20 years ago, or 20 minutes ago.

“And I said, ‘this is my anguish, But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old, I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds; Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God?” ~Psalm 77:10-13

As I’ve been preparing to start this next series of posts on the subject of Dreams and Nightmares, which is really a focused continuation of my chronological testimony (aka “My Story”), the instructions of the Old Testament about ‘remembering’ have taken on new colors of meaning for me.

“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’” ~Deuteronomy 4:9-10

To the enemy of my soul that taunts me for revisiting all these old wounds and places of soul torment, my response is: “I will not forget. I shall remember the works of the LORD, surely I will remember His wonders and of the miracles He performed on our behalf. He has brought us out and given us liberty as promised. Who is so great a God as my God!”

And with that as my confession (proclamation) of faith, let us begin …

Considering all I went through up to the age of 30 (I left “T” just a few months before my 31st birthday), I think it funny that it is THIS subject that brings tears to my eyes. I suspect that’s because by the very nature of dissociation, much of my childhood terrors seem very distant to me and at some level I was still practicing dissociation (or at least I was trying to) during the chaos taking place in my second marriage. As Counselor John once told me, “dissociation was a self-preservation mechanism needed to survive the abuse of my childhood … but the practices that saved me as a child were wreaking havoc in my adult life! I had to grow up and learn how to deal with my life”.

Well, in the early 1990’s, I was doing just that – growing up and learning to deal with my life. I left “T” mid-1991, and while we were in/out of court for another 2-3 years, I was learning to stand up to him; to speak loudly on behalf of myself and my daughters, and to carry a big stick (i.e. the protection of the Father and the favor of Family Court Services who pegged him in about 10-seconds flat!).

By the mid 90’s, my daughters and I were settling down into some resemblance of a normal life. We had a great church family, friends who loved us, and I was on a good career path in selling technical manufacturing services to the electronics industry. Even greater peace and healing came in approx. 1995 (?) when we moved about an hour away and closer to one of my sisters. That extra distance between me and “T and She” meant I was no longer over my shoulder for sight of them in the parking lot of the grocery store, etc. Wow! What a difference.

Eventually I was able to purchase a small house – a sprawling 832 square foot home on the frontage road to the freeway. It was perfect for us and a complete miracle that I secured with a $100 earnest deposit and a promise to buy it in 3 years (I’d love to tell you about that sometime!). Before escrow closed, I made a deal with “T” that I would waive off child support if he would give me a lump sum payment for back support (as I was a little short of funds). Some might think that was foolish – that I should have taken him to court and gotten what was due us. But in truth, I just wanted to be done with him! I hated being tied to him for finances, knowing that he could still jerk me this-way-and-that anytime he wanted just by dinking around with child support payments. Besides, by then I knew I had a Daddy God and Heavenly Husband that was more than able to provide for me! So I cut my ties with “T” and put my total dependence upon my God … best move ever!!

I can’t put my finger on exactly when I first started dreaming again – but I think it was while I was still seeing Counselor John (toward the end of my marriage) because I remember fearing these dreams marked the ‘opening of a door’ to past remembrances and I was terrified of being assaulted in my sleep by recollections of my childhood (and of things that took place while I was in a state of dissociation). I did want to have a better understanding of myself, of my past, and to be truthful about what happened – but if I could do that without remembering details, well that was A-OK with me! Again, Counselor John comforted me with the truth that if memories did come, that I didn’t have to be afraid of them – Jesus would walk through them with me, rather like the Good Shepherd walks through the valley of the Shadow of Death with (accompanying, comforting, and protecting) His sheep.

This first wave of dreams that I’ll write about is what I consider “veiled remembrances”.

THE LONG HOUSE
This dream evolved around a long barn-like structure located on the backside of an unknown property. Once inside and running the full length of the structure, there were a series of interconnected bedrooms – most having adjoining doors so that you could walk from one room to another down the full length of the structure. But there were a few rooms that had other, smaller rooms nested within them. These rooms you could only access from a specific bedroom. There was also a very long hallway running the length of the structure, but the hallway only accessed 2-3 bedrooms – most you had to access by going through another room. There was a time when I could tell you which room belonged to whom, but I have since forgotten. But I do recall that mine was a “nested room”, adjoining to my sister’s room. There was always lots of wandering from room to room in this dream; it wasn’t particularly frightening to me, but somewhat reminiscent of a game of hide and seek.

“Of Dreams and Nightmares” (a work in progress) http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

TRAP DOORS AND TUNNELS
Another sequence of dreams consists of two quasi-connected houses. The first house looked nothing like the house I remember growing up in, but I knew it represented ours. Somewhere in the house was a trap door and ladder that connected to underground tunnels and secret and connected bedrooms. It took me years of dreaming this dream before I could bring myself to open the trap door and go down more than 3-4 steps on that ladder – for I knew ‘darkness’ was down there. But as my heart and spirit was finding healing in the present day, in time I dared to go down further into that creepy underground tunnel. The first bedroom contained several bunk beds and I think I recognized it as belonging to my older siblings. But the farther into the cavern of connected bedrooms you went, the more confusion and evil those rooms emitted– some rooms I refused to enter altogether.

And as for that ‘connected’ house? Even in my dream state I was hyper vigilant to ensure the kitchen door that accessed the shared mudroom connecting the two houses remained securely locked at all times. Something evil lived in or came to visit from that house. I hated this dream!

One might ask ‘what triggered these dreams and veiled remembrances?’

Initially, I think it was the acknowledgement of my own abuse that (you can read more about that here) that opened the doorway for processing dreams and an increasing flow of fragmented memories (as experienced, internalized, remembered from the viewpoint of a very small child). Naturally, they don’t always make a lot of sense, but given my age at the time of the abuse – that seems perfectly reasonable to me. Once I understood that Jesus was present with me even in my veiled remembrances, I stopped fearing these dreams and just allowed my psyche to let go of what it needed to let go of – to process what it needed to process.

“I will not forget. I shall remember the works of the LORD, surely I will remember His wonders and of the miracles He performed on our behalf. He has brought us out and given us liberty as promised. Who is so great a God as my God!”

For those of you who have read along with me these past several months, thank you for listening! These writings have been surprisingly healing for me – or perhaps “enlightening” is a better word. I have never before given my testimony in chronological order, and it has been through the exercise of putting these snippets together in order that I’ve not only gained greater understanding of my past, but I am better able to see the presence of God in my life – my whole life – shielding me, comforting me, calling me, drawing me out, strengthening me, and liberating me!

“When your son asks you in time to come, saying ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statues, and the judgements which the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land which He swore to our Fathers.” ~Deuteronomy 6:21-23

Do you suffer from nightmares or have trouble sleeping at night, either from fearful anticipation of dreams/remembrances or perhaps some form of insomnia? I’m sharing my story for YOU! I long to encourage you with the hope and good news of Jesus Christ; that HE is BIGGER than even your worst nightmare and that He has PROMISED in His unchangeable and unshakable Word to give you (His beloved) sweet sleep! It’s yours, and over the course of these next several blog posts I’m going to share with you how the Lord taught me to take hold of (appropriate) that promise of sweet sleep!
Here’s a simple (but lifechanging) practice you can start working on right now:

STEP 1: Visualize Jesus with you in the circumstance.
You are not alone as the enemy would have you think. King Jesus is well able to transcend all space and time, and it is His deepest longing to be with you and comfort you as you process painful memories from the past, confront trials encountered in your present, and envelope you with His strength and protection as you walk with Him into your future.
When you put your head on your pillow at night, visualize Jesus sitting on the edge of your bed. Worship Him and talk with Him as pull up the covers – and hear His voice speaking back to you – His loving and peace-filled voice lulling you to a state of trusted relaxation. Surrender to His peace, knowing that He will never leave you, and that He has assigned angels to protect you while you sleep (not that they’re needed, because if HE is with you – aint no devil in hell gonna mess with you!). Quiet yourself, and listen for the sound of His heartbeat in the room. Then sleep, my friend. You are His beloved, and He longs for you to sleep in peace.

“…For He gives sleep to His beloved.” ~Psalm 127:2

Many years later, I had another dream – a singular dream – but it was very impactful. I perceive it as being a crescendo moment. But before I tell you about that rather complex dream, I need to tell you about my adult nightmares first.

Until my next post, may He overshadow you with His peace and protection, and grant you sweet sleep.

(Artwork updated 09/08/2018)

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

Of Dreams and Nightmares (AYFH wk 35)

In writing my testimony (see “My story” category in side bar), I wrote in some detail about my recurring childhood dreams and nightmares. Dreams of flying. Dreams of my dad’s death by accident and/or by suicide (I am choosing to call them dreams vs nightmares because instead of terrorizing me, they brought a type of stillness and comfort to me – no doubt an internal processing of the abuse). Nightmares of the “Stick Man” who came to my bed at night and caused me such pain.

What I encountered when I “swooshed” back to that kitchen of linoleum countertops and blue cupboards was a terrified little girl who was in such utter pain of soul and spirit that it just broke me. For the few seconds that I could stand to be in that place of recessed memory, I knew instantly that this pain not from breaking a platter! This pain is from something altogether different. Something I didn’t want to know about. Something I never wanted to experience again.

I wrote how those dreams ceased dramatically around age 8-9 (?) only to be remembered decades later after my dad’s death and during a season of great emotional difficulty for which I was seeking counseling. That is when I finally acknowledged that I too (also, along with other family members) had been violated as a child by my father. And that is when the true healing began; when the Spirit of God was invited to ‘go deep’ and seek out those sacred and secret places of my spirit so that the traumatized and fragmented parts of my heart and psyche could be gathered together into His loving arms and united with the liberated and victorious woman that I was becoming.

The Nightmare that was Mr T
“The Nightmare that was “Mr T”. www puttinghopetowork.com

If you haven’t read my testimony, I hope you will invest the time to do so. Not because there’s anything so special about me! Unfortunately, there are millions of men, women and children who have had or are currently walking through trials and terrors far worse than what I experienced as a child or even during my abusive marriage. But for that very reason, I think it’s worth the read – because whatever devil you are facing (and we are facing a devil of one kind or another every single day of our lives!) – I believe there are nugget of TRUTH and HOPE in my story that can be applied to your situation, today.

TRUTH and HOPE to combat
devils of financial lack
devils of fear and hopelessness
devils of violence and torment
devils of drama-drama-drama
devils of sickness or disease
devils of loneliness and abandonment
devils of PTSD / panic attacks / nightmares / sleeplessness

"Dreams and Nightmares (prelim)"  www.puttinghopetowork.com
“Dreams and Nightmares” (preliminary sketching) http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

And it is of that last group that I’m prompted to address in the coming weeks, because while my childhood dreams and nightmares were finally acknowledged and resolved by the end of my marriage in 1991, it was well after my divorce finalized that I began having recurring nightmares again.

This time of a different nature altogether, and much more disturbing.

So over the next few weeks, or as long as it takes, I will talk with you about my adult dreams and nightmares.

• Processing dreams
• Muffled flash backs
• Veiled remembrances
• Fear-filled dreams of what may yet be

More importantly, we will talk about what the Lord instructed me to do about them so that I’d no longer be afraid to lay my head down on the pillow at night for fear of what I might see/experience in my sleep.  How He taught me to “put my night terrors to bed” once and for all. (pun intended)

Please pray with me about this next sequence of blogs (wisdom for what to include, what to omit, how to address).

It would also be most helpful to understand who I’m writing for, so if you have wrestled with devils of PTSD, panic attacks, nightmares and sleeplessness, would you please drop me a note below so that I can pray for your specific situation and respond with counsel as the Lord leads.

 

But for now, I’m going camping and fishing!  🙂  I look forward to reading your comments and talking with you again next week.

Until then, may the Lord keep you in perfect peace because your mind is fixed upon Him!  (personalization of Isaiah 26:3)

 

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Gone Fishing!  http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

 

 

 

Who Am I (AYFH wk 34)

Believe it or not, I have enjoyed writing my testimony (categorized under “My Story”) the past few months. Not only has it reconnected me with and given clarity to a calling God gave me years ago, but it has also allowed me to connect with some amazing people!

Through comments as well as private conversations, God has opened doors for me to use my voice and experiences to encourage others who are still walking “through their valley of the shadow of death”.

“What happens to you in life does not change the Word of God; but if you will hold fast to your confession (profession) of the Word, it will change what happens to you in life.”  ~Charles Capps

I recently sat with a friend who wept with longing for the “seemingly accomplished” deliverance she sees in my life and testimony (while she is still in the process of laying hold of hers). She might be surprised to know that I wept into my own pillow that night … because there are still many areas in which I struggle with unfulfilled longings and (yet) unmet needs.

Breath of Heaven - Robed In His Righteousness www.puttinghopetowork.com
Breath of Heaven – Robed In His Righteousness http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

Last week I revealed my “Victory Painting”. I think it’s easy (especially, I think, on the heels of my testimony) to look at “Miss Hope” with head bowed down in worship, enrobed in Christ’s Righteousness, being spoken over by the Spirit of God … and think to ourselves …

She made it!
She conquered!
She has arrived! (at the place of rest and rejoicing)

To which I think she might say, “Please don’t look at me that way.”

And to all of you reading this post I also say, “Please don’t look at me that way.”

Meaning please don’t look at me like I’ve now living a life without challenge, without disappointment, without heartache. If you do, not only will you be disappointed when you find out the truth (when you find out that neither my life, nor I (myself) am “all that and a bag of chips”), but it will also short circuit your faith for what God is doing in your life … right now … today!

But neither let us focus on our (neither yours nor mine) shortcomings and current struggle points (or ‘messy spots’).

“Faith is confidence that God’s Word is true, and conviction that acting on that Word will bring His blessing.”   ~Warren W. Wiersby, BE: Mature

Instead, let us look into the mirror of the perfect Word of God, and see ourselves how God sees us. If you are a Christ-follower (have made Jesus the Lord of your life), then guess what … this lovely image of Miss Hope robed in Righteousness, breathed upon by the Breath of God … that’s you too!

Perhaps even more importantly, let us say about ourselves what God says about us! Let us put in the work to “true up” our internal image of our true Identity.  

To the lie that says you are a broken mess and always will be, open your mouth and respond with this:

I am healed and whole in Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

I am complete in Him Who is the head over all rule and authority—of every angelic and earthly power (Colossians 2:10).

I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

I am far from oppression and will not live in fear (Isaiah 54:14).

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).

I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

I am the righteousness of God—I have right standing with Him—in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I have been rescued from the domain and the power of darkness and brought into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).

My life is rooted in my faith in Christ and I overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done for me (Colossians 2:7).

My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit; I belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19).

To the lie that says you are fearful and fragmented of mind/spirit, open your mouth and say boldly:

I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

I have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

The Spirit of God, who is greater than the enemy in the world, lives in me (1 John 4:4).

I am born again—spiritually transformed, renewed and set apart for God’s purpose—through the living and everlasting word of God (1 Peter 1:23).

I have received the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my heart enlightened, so that I know the hope of having life in Christ (Ephesians 1:17-18).

I am merciful, I do not judge others, and I forgive quickly. As I do this by God’s grace, He blesses my life (Luke 6:36-38).

The light of God’s truth has shone in my heart and given me knowledge of salvation through Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

I am not ruled by fear because the Holy Spirit lives in me and gives me His power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).

I have received the power of the Holy Spirit and He can do miraculous things through me. I have authority and power over the enemy in this world (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17-19).

To the lie that says you are never going to change – never going to gain the victory, open your mouth and shut that voice up by declaring:

I am renewed in the knowledge of God and no longer want to live in my old ways or nature before I accepted Christ (Colossians 3:9-10).

I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ Jesus who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works that He has prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).

In Christ, I am dead to sin—my relationship to it is broken—and alive to God—living in unbroken fellowship with Him (Romans 6:11).

As I hear God’s Word, I do what it says and I am blessed in my actions (James 1:22, 25).

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I have everything I need to live a godly life and am equipped to live in His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

“Stand up to your full height; worry can not do for you (grow and mature you) what only faith can do.” ~Jeremy Pearsons

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

I am the head and not the tail, and I only go up and not down in life as I trust and obey God (Deuteronomy 28:13).

I am strengthened with all power according to His glorious might (Colossians 1:11).

I humbly submit myself to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).

I press on each day to fulfill God’s plan for my life because I live to please Him (Philippians 3:14).

“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21 (Amplified)

And all the people said …… Amen!

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

 

 

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 33)

For the 13 weekly posts in which I shared my testimony with many personal details (Weeks 20-32) I had created some rather dark art pieces, to match the darkness of what was taking place in my life during that timeframe.   As I neared the end what I felt prompted to share as “my story”, I wanted to create a new piece – a victory piece.  I can’t tell you how many versions I tried … probably nine or ten … none of them conveyed what I wanted to convey.    After another failed attempt over the weekend, I was getting discouraged.

And then Sunday night, I got another idea.  I actually got out of bed and sketched it out before I forgot.  In the morning, I wet my paints and started framing it out.  Later in the afternoon, I did a little more.  By the following evening, I thought I messed it up and almost tossed it … even began working on a second piece … but a little voice said “keep going” and so I painted a little more and set it aside to see how it looked in the morning.   Surprisingly, it looked far better than I expected so I kept going …

 (there’s a lesson in here)

… and much to my surprise, what looked like such a mess “in the moment” actually dried into something quite lovely.

Would you do me a favor? In your minds eye, would you change the image of Miss Hope so that it is instead YOU who are kneeling down on the plateau … YOU robed in purple, YOU encircled by the Breath of Heaven.

“He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the LORD.  Tell them that I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life.”” ~Ezekiel 37:4-5 (GNT)

Breath of Heaven - Robed In His Righteousness www.puttinghopetowork.com
Breath of Heaven – Robed In His Righteousness http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

“Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”” ~John 20:22

What do you hear the Spirit say to you? Is He speaking to you through the remembrance of certain Scriptures? What loving words is your Heavenly Father speaking to you, over you?

Please share in the comment section what you heard and let it not only be an encouragement for you today, but let God encourage others through you.

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