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Tears, Clarity and the Freedom of it All

Updated: Apr 28


Padre Island, TX; I feel closest to Him by the sea.

Happy Resurrection Weekend 2022! It has been a real resurrection weekend for me of sorts. My schedule ended up cleared for Friday as of Thursday evening. I was disappointed but I believe Jesus wanted this for me. You see I have a hard time sitting still and being still with Him (I'm going to explain why today). Thank God for friends who hear Him, love me, and are obedient tell me the truth with love. I always have been a mover and doer so there are times He clears my schedule. This weekend in particular He knew best, He always does, I just haven't always accepted His best because I thought I knew better. I wanted control, I wanted control of my life and my destiny. I have done this with finances, in love and relationships, and many other areas. I have hurt myself and others. This world will tell you that you are your own god and you deserve to be in charge. It's a lie. If you don't think this thought pattern hasn't leaked into the Church, think again. It's simply in “churchy” and “spiritual” terms. Today, I want to be more transparent than I have ever been. Readers, I haven't been 100% honest with you (or even myself) about my life. I'm not afraid anymore and Jesus has done more to set me free in the last 18 hours than ever before because I was simply still (this was not easy). I will be going through all of this today. I am full of joy that no one can take because they didn't give it to me. You have no idea! This freedom will be the catalyst for the rest of the writing, books, and yes speaking engagements (coming in God's time). I may lose some of you. I can't be worried about

that now. I know the Truth and that same Truth will set you free! The truth in this weekend of stillness was necessary to move into the next phase of my purpose. Here we go!


Sitting Still with Jesus vs. Moving and Doing


To those who know me, sitting still has never been my forte. I have always loved life and was ever looking for the next life experience – sometimes to my own spiritual, mental, emotional,and financial detriment. When I do things, I do them big. This is not always a good thing. I've gotten into debt big. I've believed big lies about myself and others. I've hurt myself and others in big ways. None of this is because I grew up in a harmful home or went to a harmful church. I simply thought I knew better; I knew better than God – this is called the sin of pride. Yes, as Christian I believed that lie and lived from a place of pride for too long. I had not decided what

this faith was about, and it wasn't about me. It has taken years for me to realize this faith is not about me. I kept moving and doing because I didn't want to hear that something might not be a good idea. I also didn’t want to deal with pain. Without any other way to describe this, I was stuck on doing what I wanted to do and asking God to bless it. I didn't want to be still long enough for Him to tell me “No.” In fact, I didn't want anyone to tell me “No, this is not good for you.” As a result, and this adds to revelation I have gotten prior to this time, my former

addictions have recycled themselves for twenty years. It didn't matter if this left me alone and hurting (remember I knew better). I have spent money I didn't have three times (big debt). I have eaten myself into weight that is dangerous, three times. My body can't sustain this again, it can't. I have slept with men (before and after marriage - some of them dangerous), participated in an affair, been abandoned (no surprise here), done things that have hurt me and them, and

perpetuated self-hate after the fact. And the multiple tattoos – a way to feel something because I shut my emotions off to protect myself after an abusive marriage. When boundaries are non- existent in one area of life, they will be non-existent in all areas of life. This is not healthy nor is it wholeness! I want to, no I need to take you on this journey today. I want to expound on some of the things I've said here. I want you to know the lies I believed and the pain that lead me into

these messes (aka sin and poor decisions). And more importantly, I want you to know about the clarity and freedom I have found in Jesus, who never took his eyes off of his wayward, strong- willed, stubborn daughter (characteristics he has been dealing with on this journey). He just kept loving me, even when I didn't love myself – and believe me I can tell you, I have hated myself very much. This has been an 8-year journey out of pain and lies. I want you to know the Truth and Freedom I know. I want to apologize to my readers for my pride, and hiding behind pain so I didn't have to be transparent with you nor deal with it. Fear and pain go hand and hand. I am not afraid anymore. I am walking into my purpose with my Father and there is no better place or no other place I'd want to be right now.


Pouring Out My Heart to Jesus


This all began Thursday night, April 14th, 2022. I had finished doing some reading in two books about scripture I am using for study along with scripture itself. I am specifically studying relationships and how scripture teaches this for men and women (this is not by chance). Anyway, let me get to the point. I was getting ready for bed and I was thinking about men in the Church and men in general. As I've laid out previously, my relationships with men have been rocky at best, some of my own doing, some of their doing – there's enough blame to go around.

However, I am only be responsible for my part. The lies I'd believed about myself over the years, doing my own thing despite knowing better, and an abusive marriage didn't help this problem- in fact it magnified it. This week I also had to admit to myself and stop lying to myself about the sexual abuse by my late husband – a Christian of all things. This was like punch to the gut. Needless to say, I began lamenting to God about how disappointed (actually angry) I was in (at)

men in the Church. I lamented how lazy they were and how uninterested they seemed in the Kingdom. They seemed uninterested in loving their sisters with servant hearts, even their wives. I told God they were in their own worlds – how can we work with this? Frankly, I was disgusted. Stoicism has been one of my downfalls – it just covers for your pain too. I had never let myself feel anything about this like anger and sadness. You see vulnerability is scary and it requires trust – trust I have been working out with Jesus over the last several years. Revelation about men was coming, I just didn't know it yet. Thursday night was the beginning. The tears and

prayers flowed, finally. I am crying now thinking how beautiful this truly was for me. I was finally ready to be vulnerable with Jesus about this. He is patient as always and I fell asleep in peace. Little did I know I had surrendered my heart to the King in a way I had not before. Sleep is the ultimate surrender; thank God he wasn't finished yet. With my mind's second guessing out of the way, He could do his healing work. The morning was coming.



Clarity


I woke up at 8 am on Friday morning April 15th, 2022 and I sat up in bed like I always did and stretched. Something was different. The fog that had been in my brain the night before I fell asleep was gone. My mind was clear – not the kind of clear after a good night's sleep – the kind of clarity that is both spiritual and of the soul. I sat back in bed and listened to the stillness. The sun was shining and the birds singing. The cat was quietly napping at the foot of the bed – unaware of what was happening in my heart at that moment. I woke up Friday morning with 3 distinct revelations (good things come in 3s) and Jesus had good plans for those revelations. I started to cry but it wasn't the same kind of tears. These were tears of relief. Jesus knew. He knew the deepest secrets I'd hid from others and even lied to myself about. He wasn't afraid. He

didn't stop loving me. I didn't have to be ashamed anymore. The game I had been playing with myself was over. I could breathe. I had finally given him the piece of my heart I had withheld because it was so ugly to me. It didn't intimidate him. I was his daughter and all he saw was his righteousness and the covering of his blood (if you are in him, that is all he sees). This has been a long time coming. I had finally made the total connection. Nothing I could ever do would make

him stop loving me. I could not contain my tears. I laid there, the tears and the peace flowing through me. I can barely contain my happy tears now. Now to the revelations and the lies he overturned this day with none other than his love. Take a deep breath friends and exhale. All is well, his love has already won.



Revelation #1: I wasn't only disappointed in the men of the Church; I was angry at and

didn't trust men in general. If I can’t learn to trust men again and let go of my anger,

where does that leave me? What about a chance at an authentic, whole relationship? In this mindset, I’d never believe good men existed and one could honestly love me and do the things the others could not. What is more sobering, it's not a far jump from “no trust” to absolute hate.



This was sobering to me. Not only was it sobering, it hadn't even been conscious. It had remained in the recesses of my psyche because I didn't want to feel those emotions. I was angry because of perceived rejection. Boys (in my own mind) had rejected me in school because they (being the young silly kids that they were then) didn't value intelligence in girls. I internalized this rejection more than I realized. It would inform my adult decisions about men for

years to come. The problem is, it was a lie. They were kids, we all were. I just wanted to be seen, they had no idea. Fast forward 20 years with this lie of rejection in mind. Men to this point in relationships had shown me they could not be trusted – this being because I was not picking good men. I was picking boys (the boys I'd wanted to pay attention to me as a young girl). I won't lie to you or myself anymore. I had red flags; I married my late husband anyway – because I loved the idea of marriage instead of wanting an authentic, whole relationship so it could be a good marriage. I had been in other toxic relationships with men I'd had red flags

about before him, I stayed in them anyway. I can tell you now, hate was coming, but not

because of men in general, because of my own heart issues. I wasn't 100% of the problem in all these situations, however, I brought my own 50% of the mess with the lies I'd believed about me and my incessant need to want what I want. Remember, I didn't want to be still and hear the word “no.” This would take a more dangerous turn as time progressed because lies never let you off easy. This leads me to my second revelation.


Revelation #2: My sexual promiscuity both before and after my late husband died,

including a 3-month affair with a porn addict, and a relationship with a porn addict before

I was married, was a deep seeded desperate cry to be wanted by a man – the young girl

wanting to be seen and loved. My identity crisis was heavily tied to this issue.



This was a hard revelation but it made so much sense. It also explained so many of my

decisions when it came to sex and men and bad choices. Wanting to be wanted is not a bad thing, God put that into all of us. It's what we do with that and what shapes that for us that can become the problem. I desperately wanted to be wanted by a man and I was willing to do just about anything to have what I wanted, including fracture who I was and give my body and identity away. These words hurt to write but they are true. Pain and sin from doing the wrong thing with wanting to be wanted is a mess, a big, lonely mess. I have carried a lot of shame in the past because of how I dealt with wanting to be wanted. These sins and lies just aren't worth it. Like I said, I like to go big and I'm not proud of “big” in this respect. I knew how to not pick men in my brokenness! I am here to tell you, if you think you are seeing a porn addict or you are

or you are sleeping with a porn addict; run. Run hard and fast. They will suck you into their sick fantasies because they live in unhealthy, sexual fantasy. You will never be a whole person to them, you will be an object – an object they aren’t afraid to harm. If you are married to a porn addict, get help for yourself and find out if he or she wants help. If they don't want help, they prove that, and there is zero repentance, it's time to go. Don't you dare perpetuate that evil against yourself! These people are slick and sick of mind. They are good at acting, a lot like an abuser is good at acting. They are master predators and they look for women like I was – hurt, sweet, and unsure of who I was or what my purpose was, they will devour you and they will be cruel about it. The same goes for women porn addicts and don't think women can't be porn

addicts. Another discussion for another time.


I am thankful for two things in all of this: 1) I am disease free (by the grace of God because

“safe sex” is never a guarantee), and 2) I never brought any children into these situations,

including with my abusive husband. I can only imagine what that would have been like for

children in such toxic circumstances. I am not at all saying I ended any pregnancies nor would I if they had come. I am simply saying that would have been horribly unfair to them. My heart desires children but I want them as a result of a healthy, loving relationship so they know what real love is and they don't grow up with a counterfeit. This is my responsibility and that of my partner's. I will leave that up to God.


Ladies and gentlemen, a word on affairs. God does not bring you another person's spouse. If they tell you that, they are lying. The man in this situation was lying to me. I was lying to myself about my sin because once again, I desperately wanted to be wanted. My heart and identity were still fractured. Satan is sly. He knows where you aren't healed and he will use that against you in the cruelest way. He hates you; he is not your friend! Beware!


And now to the final revelation of the day.


Revelation #3: My multiple tattoos (yet another addiction for two years) weren't so much artistic expression as much as they were a fancy form of none other than cutting. I wanted my pain to go away. I needed to feel something because I had cut off my emotions. When you tattoo or cut into your body, you feel something physically but the

emotional pain doesn't go away.


I have 34 tattoos. They are beautiful, yes. They mean things to me, yes. However, they were not simply artistic expression – they were my way to relieve emotional pain, or what I thought would take the weight of the pain away. This didn't even take into account my dangerous attraction to the “bad boy” tattoo artist. How I did not end up in a reckless relationship with him was only by the

grace of God. He was dangerous emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically because of

some associations he had and his own pain. I sometimes think that some of my “running

headlong into dangerous territory” was my way to say, “I got this God.” I didn't have anything. I didn't even know who I was. I had a good guy friend (I have consigned men to the friend zone for a long time unless of course they were broken like me) who tried to get me to see that maybe this "addiction” wasn't healthy. He was a man, he couldn't be trusted or believed about anything serious my hurt heart told me. I ignored his very good advice. He did care and he knew I was hurting. I see this now. I can't take the tattoos back but they serve as a reminder of where I've come from.


I know you are probably thinking this a lot to absorb in one day. I can tell you I was ready to

receive these revelations and surrender them to the King. If I wasn't, he would have not spent the day gently showing me these things. The lies He has overturned this Resurrection weekend no longer hold sway over me. His love and blood are greater than any sin or lie. Now, let's get to the best part – the truth about who I am and Whose I am. No one can take this way from me! No one.



A Fractured Heart and Identity Healed is Freedom and Wholeness


Who I am? I am a daughter of the King, his warrior princess who’s not lowering her sword of truth anytime soon. I am not afraid anymore. He has pieced the fractured pieces of my soul back together with his love. He loves me, he chose to redeem me, he accepts me with joy, I am clothed in his righteousness, he created me, and he is madly in love with me. He wants me! I am tattooed on the palm of his hand. He is the lover of my soul. I am good enough in him. I am in him and he is in me (and I finally understand what that means). I have nothing to prove to any man or woman. I am not my former sin. I am not my virginity or lack thereof. Ladies this is for you, you are not “used goods” or “used up” with no hope – that is a lie. I am not living in shame nor will I pick that mantle back up again. His blood was shed for our shame and all of our sin once for all. I am whole. I am free. My identity is in him and him alone. Only the One who created me gets to define who I am, period. No one, can take this from me because they didn’t give it to me. I am learning to trust my heavenly Father. I am committed to a journey to learn to trust men again so I can stand beside them as a co-heir and co-equal in the Kingdom of God. Ladies, do you what that means? Allowing them to be who God created them to be and do what they do, and me allowing me to be who God created me to be and do what I do. I am not a man and they are not women. And when the time comes, I look forward to meeting a wonderful man who will be a

partner, friend, lover, and my biggest fan; this means I will also be his partner, friend, lover and biggest fan too. Jesus will be in the center of it all; for he is the center of all things in my life now.


I look to the future from a place of wholeness, as I continue this journey, instead of a

place of bitter brokenness. This brings me so much hope and joy! No one can take those from me. My desire is this raw and honest look into my life will give you hope for your own life. The same Jesus can meet you where you are today. He is no respecter of persons. He already knows all about you and loves you anyway – just as he loved me even as I kept running from him in various ways. My hope and prayer for you today is that you will run to him, not away from him. He is our hope! He is our peace! He is our gentle and patient healer. His love has already won for you. He accomplished this on the Cross long ago. He is alive, well, and desires to know and heal you. What do you have to lose? Sin, pain, and loneliness is all you have to lose and those are worth losing, trust me. Repent and cry out to him! He is so very near to those with a broken heart as he was to me, so he will be to you.


I want to close with one of my favorite verses from Romans, Romans 8:38-39 (NIV). The

Apostle Paul writes, “For I am convinced that neither death or life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heigh nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”




Love,




Elizabeth





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