Identity Theft

BookCoverImage

 

My new book is available on Amazon.com  Below is an excerpt taken from chapter 5.

“You took away my worth!”

The headlines screamed at me and caused me to slow down and do a double take. I am sure most of us have heard or read about the story of the sexual assault of the unconscious young lady by a male Stanford student. The story has caused outrage and division among people as to what is fair and right punishment. What I find so disturbing from this entire event is the fact that the young lady who was assaulted now believes she has no worth….no value…no voice.

The demeaning assault made against her has formed a dark shroud of shame over her. “Emily Doe” has now become intimately acquainted with dishonor, humiliation and mortification. By her own words, she emphatically states, “the damage is done, and no one can undo it.”

Shame is the belief that one is uniquely and fatally flawed. Most people do not understand the difference between shame and guilt. Shame comes from who we are and guilt is what we feel when we do something wrong. Traumatic events, molestation, sexual defilement of all kinds, rape, and abandonment are all things which can cause shame to come upon a person. The younger the person is when experiencing shame the more devastating it can be.

In the inner dialogue from a shaming event, “Why?” is always the question.

  • Why is my grandfather doing this to me?
  • What is the matter with me?
  • Why am I different?
  • Why am I not able to obtain freedom from some of the things in my life that are wrong?

With questions like that, the answers often look like this:

  • I must be uniquely and fatally flawed.
  • I must be the only person like this.
  • No one understands me.
  • I am powerless
  •  There is no hope for change

To believe one is fatally flawed means “there is nothing I can do about it.” “I am so bad or so wounded that even God cannot help me.” This belief system can spiral downwards quickly and cause people to isolate themselves from the very people who can help them heal from their hidden wounds.

I believe shame is a tool forged by the hand of our greatest adversary, Satan. With it, he wields blows against our self-worth and knocks us down to levels that are near impossible to rise up again. Shame then becomes a barrier that has the power to prevent us from experiencing the love and destiny that God has designed for us as individuals.

Shameful events can and do happen to all of us – some are mild like bullying or name-calling, but others are deeply distressing and crippling. They can come into our lives uninvited or shame can come as a result of some very poor choices. It is what we do with the events, themselves, that determines if and how we can overcome them. The good news is there is someone who can “undo shame.” The harrowing and painful deeds of the past CAN be remedied.

I have counseled and ministered to many young girls and women who have been sexually abused, hurt and molested. All of them come away with a sense that their inward self is fatally flawed and that something is intrinsically wrong with them. All the modern therapy of the day will not be able to permeate the layers of shame and heal their core identity if they don’t turn to the One who created them.

True restoration results from being molded by the Word within, rather than the world without. It starts with believing God’s truths and knowing He is the One who has the power to bring lasting deliverance and healing.

Those events that happened in your life can be turned around and then used to make you into a stronger and better person. When we start looking at our past through the lens of God’s perspective, we begin to realize that even though He did not desire or plan for the hurtful things to happen to us, He has given us His power and grace which will enable us to walk through with our head held high and our focus on Him. It is in these times that we are given the opportunity to allow His character and nature to be molded within us.

In Ephesians 2:10 the apostle Paul states that we are God’s workmanship created, shaped and formed into the likeness of Christ. Our journey with the Lord is just that…a journey. Along the way, He shapes us each day more into the image beautiful of His Son.

The word workmanship in the Greek is the word poiema, which is where we get the English word poem. The idea is that God is the master artist and we are His canvas, His work of art. This is how He sees us.

Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation – above all. When God created man and woman, He stepped back and said “this is good.” When we choose to see ourselves the way our heavenly Father sees us, we can then have the confidence to be successful in whatever we put our hand to.

As humans, we were not created to endure pain. Our Creator had a specific purpose for mankind to enjoy an existence of intense joy and fellowship with Him. He placed Adam and Eve into a beautiful garden of sublime existence where there was no pain or sorrow. It was only when rebellion and disobedience entered the garden through Adam and Eve’s choices, did a profound separation occur. Sadly, this led them to place where they were vulnerable to unseen forces that wanted to steal their true identity.

Bad experiences or painful pasts can negatively affect our present. There are forces of darkness that want us to believe that we are the only ones who suffer with these issues and that it is unchangeable. This is simply not true. Too often our sin and emotional baggage gets linked to what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our personality and identity becomes associated with the things we struggle with.

The strategy of the enemy is for us to believe that we actually “are” how we feel or behave, which is not true at all. Satan wants you to believe things like: you “are” depressed, unhappy, worthless, unable to change, stupid, a failure…the list could go on and on. It is important to realize that our feelings and behavior are situational and we can change them. The truth is feelings and behavior are not who we really are. They might be things that we struggle with, but they are not our identity, or who we are in Christ.

This includes the things that you may think about yourself at a deep level. You might not consciously believe them, but you find yourself thinking them or saying them about yourself on a regular basis. Most people don’t see that there is a direct connection between the way they view themselves and their destiny.

God can and will use destructive circumstances that have happened to work out for our good.  When we give God the pieces of our brokenness and allow Him to hold them in His hand, He will shape them into a beautiful piece of art.

God promises that for every ounce of shame you have encountered, He has a double portion of honor to bestow upon you.  Grab ahold of this promise today and make it a part of your daily declaration as you walk your journey of healing.

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”  Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)

  *** if the above portion of  narrative has resonated with you, reading the entire book will bless you.  It is designed to be interactive in that you can journal and answer questions along the way.  If you are serious about breaking up with shame, once and for all, this book will help you get started.

You can go to amazon.com or our website at http://www.powerofhislove.com to order your copy today!  Make an investment in discovering the true YOU!

 

 

 

 

2017 – REBUILD

rebuildeng

The Year of REBUILDING – 2017

Over the month of December, I have seen in the spirit realm hammers over people’s heads. I have seen saws, wrenches and other tools over individuals that God has provided for them to rebuild their life.  I believe in these visualizations that God is profoundly speaking to all of us.  This is a season of His mercy over us.  Cry out for God’s mercy and allow His grace and love to settle your hearts and establish you.  Submit yourself to the One who created you and allow Him to rebuild, reconstruct, re-erect, and reestablish you.  This is the time, the heavenly re-set has begun!

There is one prayer that our heavenly Father always answer. And that is the prayer of His mercy.  Mercy is not receiving what you and I deserve.  Mercy is God’s love displayed to us in the midst of us being selfish, stubborn, imperfect, prideful and down-right mean.  Psalm 103 is a good portion of scripture to meditate on that exhibits God’s character of mercy.    I am so thankful we have a compassionate and gracious God.

The main reason God is NOT into condemnation is because His goal towards us is transformation. As followers of Christ, we are called to be transformed.  It is crucial that we understand that this transformation happens best in a healthy environment of mercy.  The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2)

In the preceding verse, Paul urges his readers to offer their bodies as living sacrifices as they comprehend God’s great mercy. We see that transformation truly only flourishes “in view of God’s mercy.”

This is my commentary: as we ponder, and think on God’s great mercy, we offer ourselves up to Him, because we know that He is the only one who can transform us.  We can’t “white knuckle” it, and we can’t “try harder.” For years, I believed it was my duty to beat myself up for all the bad and wrong I had done.  These self-flagellations never produced real or lasting change within me.  It was only when I threw myself on His throne of grace, that I was able to find His mercy.  My transformation began as I exchanged all of my shame and fear for His mercy.  Ultimately, all of our desired change occurs in the hands of our heavenly Father who is slow to anger and who abounds in great love.  Robert Gelinas states it this way, “God’s mercy is for sinners, and God’s mercy is also for those who are in pain.”

“Son of David, have mercy on me……”

Over and over as you read the New Testament, you see people calling out to Jesus to impart His mercy towards them. In not one place, can you see that He denied this request.  I invite you to go through the gospels and read of the humble state of men and women who knew to appeal to God’s mercy.  Every time this request is cried to our savior, it was from people who needed to be delivered from great pain and suffering, NOT because of a sin they had committed.  One could say that mercy is God’s grace in action.

The mercy God offers us brings true forgiveness and lasting transformation. It is a change that actually converts our very identity.   Think on this…we are invited to be a part of God’s family as adopted children.  When we are able to embrace this level of identity change, transformation explodes in our life!

One of my favorite verses is found in Psalm 121:5, “The LORD is my keeper; The LORD is my shade on my right hand.” God’s mercy becomes a shade, or a covering over our life.  This allows us to flourish under His love because it is a place of protection and safety.  Here in this place, His garden, we can grow up into all that He has called us to.  We can become that tree of righteousness that was planted and He gets ALL the glory. (Psalm 1:3)

In the New Year that is before us, my prayer and hope is that we would all be nurtured and developed into our true identity, according to God’s deep mercy. May we all get into the habit of praying, “O God, have mercy on me!”

As we enter into 2017 may it be a year for all of us to fully enter into the words spoken in Isaiah 58, “those from among you shall build the old wasted places, you shall raise up the foundations of many generations.” Today, do not delay, pick up your spiritual hammers and tools and place yourself before the One who can shape and form you into something marvelous.

Love, Lisa (#bebrave)

“God remembered us in our lowly state, His mercy endures forever.

He rescued us from all our enemies, His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:23-24,26 NKJV

 

Stolen!

mirror

“YOU TOOK AWAY MY WORTH!”

The headlines screamed at me and caused me to slow down and do “a double take.” I am sure most of us have heard or read about the story of the sexual assault of the unconscious young lady by a Stanford student.  The story has caused outrage and division among people as to what is fair and right punishment.  What I find so disturbing from this entire event is the fact that the young lady who was assaulted now believes she has no worth….no value…no voice.

The demeaning assault made against her has formed a dark shroud of shame over her.   “Emily Doe” has now become intimately acquainted with dishonor, humiliation and mortification.  And by her own words, she emphatically states, “the damage is done, and no one can undo it.”

This saddens me because I know so many believe that shameful experiences have the power to define who we are as a person.   For sure, traumatic events come into our lives uninvited and they can be devastating, but there is something we can do with them.  There is someone who can “undo it.” Those harrowing and painful things done to us CAN be remedied.

Shameful events can and do happen to all of us – some are mild like bullying or name-calling, but others are deeply distressing and crippling. There are forces of darkness that want us to believe that we are the only ones who suffer with these issues and that it is unchangeable. This is simply not true.

Too often our sin and emotional baggage gets linked to what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our personality and identity becomes associated with the things we struggle with.

The strategy of the enemy is for us to believe that we actually “are” how we feel or behave, which is not true at all. Satan wants you to believe things like: you “are” depressed, unhappy, worthless, unable to change, stupid, a failure…the list could go on and on. It is important to realize that our feelings and behavior are situational and we can change them. The truth is feelings and behavior are not who we really are. They might be things that we struggle with, but they are not our identity, or who we are in Christ.

This includes the things that you may think about yourself at a deep level. You might not consciously recognize them, but you find yourself thinking them or saying them about yourself on a regular basis.

I have counseled and ministered to many young girls and women who have been sexually abused, trafficked and molested. All of them come away with a sense that their inward self is fatally flawed and that something is intrinsically wrong with them. I heard repeatedly the fact that they believed they were damaged or defective on many levels within themselves.  I remember one sweet teenage girl had literally carved in her leg the words, “I deserve to die.”  Her belief that she was deeply flawed led her to the conclusion that death was the only escape from her torment.  I am happy to report that this same girl is now a young woman who is living a life of peace, and joy because she has finally found her true value in the eyes of God.  The intense belief of shame can be consuming and excruciating because there seems to be no hope in reversing its condition.  In my humble opinion, it is the worst feeling ever experienced by mankind.

When someone is walking in deep shame, it becomes a wall that separates them from others. The very people whom you desire a connection with are the ones that are blocked access into your true self.  I believe shame is a tool forged by the hand of our greatest adversary, Satan.  With it, he wields blows against our self-worth and knocks us down to levels that are near impossible to rise up again.  Shame then becomes a barrier that has the power to prevent us from experiencing the love and destiny that God has designed for us as individuals.

All the modern therapy of the day will not be able to permeate the layers of shame and reach ones core identity unless they turn to the One who created them. It is what we do with the events themselves, that determines if and how we can overcome them.  When you allow yourself to be fully known by the God who created you, you can be fully loved.  And isn’t that what all of mankind desperately craves – to be loved?!?

As we understand that at the very core of our shame, we have lost our dignity, we can begin to ask our heavenly Father to reassemble the pieces of our identity. Our true self can resurface and restoration is possible.  All the fragmented pieces of our soul are able to be re-assembled back together into wholeness. True restoration results from being molded by the Word within, rather than the world without.

I keep a piece of paper in my bible that has the following statements regarding my heavenly Father. This is what I am convinced of:

He restores my soul – Psalm 23

He heals my soul – Isaiah 61

He keeps my soul – Psalm 121

He knows and understand my soul – Psalm 139

He allows my soul to live – Psalm 119:175

He will not allow my soul to be destroyed – Psalm 16:10

He converts and changes my soul – Psalm 19:7

Once we understand who God is and we see His character and nature, we can begin to see who we are. God does not change and He is not a liar.  What He has promised, He will accomplish.  When we realize that our lives have the ability to be wrapped up in the bundle of HIS life, we can walk out of shame and recapture our dignity.

I think we can all see our world is struggling with a severe case of identity crisis. There is so much confusion.  Am I a woman?  Or a man?  Children are questioning which bathroom to use in school and the very fabric of our society is becoming frayed.  Our culture, perhaps parents, or friends, tell us who we are based on our actions. “I drink excessively, therefore, I am an alcoholic.  I have killed therefore, I am a murderer.”  Or maybe words spoken over you “You will never amount to anything.” You are good for nothing, I wish you had not been born.”

Our thinking has been shaped by our environment, the world systems, and the art, music, and literature around us. Some of us have received more identity from the world, flesh and devil than we have from the kingdom of God.

Religion calls us a sinner – God calls us a saint. Our parents may have called us illegitimate but God says you are my son and my daughter.

What we desperately need is a lens change – a change of perspective

In the bible, knowledge is about experience. Not merely hearing something but, believing a truth to the point where it changes you and your behavior.  Our thoughts line up with God’s word and who HE says we are and we receive His truth as the final word.

When we come out of “this world” and into the Kingdom of God – we need to realize that the mindset of the Kingdom is counter culture to the things of this world – to the mind of Christ.  A Kingdom mindset thinks the opposite way of the world.

We are not capable of fully existing inside of God’s love and power until we fully understand who we are. The great news is, things in the past do not have to negatively affect our present or future.  I beg you dear reader, dive into God’s word.  Believe every word and allow His thoughts and plans to wash over you and cleanse your soul.

We need to “re-frame” our thinking into an alliance with Christ and what He says: the renewal of our thinking is the essence of transformation – Romans 12:2

Upgrading our identity in Jesus requires 3 things:

  1. Receiving God’s perspective of who you are IN HIM
  2. Adjusting our thinking in line with His thoughts over us
  3. (MOST IMPORTANT) Using the same language over ourselves that the Lord God does – so that our confession, declaration and proclamation expands our territory or inheritance in the Holy Spirit.

I have prayed countless times for the young victim named “Emily Doe.” I pray she realizes she doesn’t have to be a victim forever.  She has an opportunity to be an over-comer…an over-comer of shame, pain and loss.  I pray she realizes what the selfish young Stanford boy did to her doesn’t have to remain imprinted on her body and soul.  She can walk out and regain her dignity and self-worth.

Listen! Can you hear it?  There is One crying out…lift up your ears and hear the voice of Him who is calling out through the darkness of injury and agony…. “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

In the Power of His Love – Lisa

Remembering Who You

The Buying and Selling of the Human Soul

No Sale

No two words have evoked more emotion in the 21st century than these:  SEX TRAFFICKING.  Mothers and Fathers around the globe are concerned for the safety of their children.   Entire nations are being internally destroyed by the de-valuing of women, men and children.  We hear about it almost daily in the news.  The statistics are staggering and depressing.  It is becoming an epidemic and the most exasperating part of all – it is happening right under our noses and most people do not have a clue.

For 2 years I worked at a treatment facility that served teenage survivors of sex slavery.  The pain and agony I witnessed daily in the faces of the young girls we served changed my life.  Each girl‘s story was filled with tragedy. Our youngest client was 9 years of age.  Astonishingly, her mother had sold her to pay off her drug debt. The saddest part of the stories were that nearly 100% of the time the girls believed that it was their fault that they were used this way – that somehow they deserved this kind of treatment.

Most of these girls had been brainwashed to believe so many lies about themselves.  Over time, the repeated violence, sex and drugs wrapped them with layers of shame. Apart from the goodness of God, they would be trapped in this web for a lifetime. Seeing the effects of shame in their lives was devastating.  The lack of confidence and hopeless outlook on life opened my eyes to see how the enemy has invaded our culture and has imparted his lies into our youth causing the feeling – my life has no value.

The bible warns us through Jesus’ words that a robber does indeed exists among us.  “Jesus spoke and said, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  I have come so that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10 NKJ

The “thief” has one objective – he wants to weave his web of deception in our minds.  One of his primary goals is for you and me to NOT trust God.  And the second is just as paralyzing: he wants you to believe a lie about who you truly are.  The tool our preying enemy has forged to use against us is none other than SHAME.  Although the enemy can be very deceptive, he is not very creative, since this is the very same tool he used in the Garden when he deceived Eve.  He begins fashioning this weapon as soon as possible and for most, it usually begins in early childhood.  Unfortunately, I have been intimately acquainted with this condition numerous times throughout my own life.  But it was never clearer than when I walked with the girls who had been traumatized by trafficking.

At any given moment, there are two forces at work — Good and Evil. Light verses Darkness.  These forces are pitted against one another and are vying for control of our minds.   There are no grey areas, and this has never been more true than in the arena of sex trafficking.  Becoming acquainted with the stories of these beautiful young girls has convinced me of the forces working in the diabolical minds of male and female pimps.  The enemy of the human soul is continually working to systematically destroy the value of every child and youth today.

“We don’t see things as they are; we see things as WE are” ~ Anais Nin

The bible refers to shame as being like a garment – that is placed on us and we wear it uninformed.  Shame will keep us from connecting with others.  At its very core, shame will isolate you and bury you deep in its darkness.  Your greatest fear whispers, “If other people find out the truth of what I have done or what has happened to me, then they will not accept me.  I am not worthy, I do not belong.”   And the most incapacitating of all….. “I am not loveable – for no one can love me after what has happened to me!”  These are all lies that the enemy wants us to believe about ourselves.

Shame is described numerous times in scripture.  One of the symptoms of shame is the inability to look at someone face to face – head cast down, and no eye contact for longer than a few seconds.  However, the bible also offers a remedy for our shame.  Cry out to the LORD, and He will come – He is described as the “lifter of our head”.  Psalm 3:3-4.   

Our heavenly Father picks up our head so He can look into our face.  When we have enough courage to believe the truth and trust God, our garment of shame falls off.  It is then that we are able to gaze into His eyes and see reflected back to us our true identity.  A son or daughter of God!  The most rewarding days I spent at the treatment facility were the moments when I would see the most downcast girl, turn to her heavenly Father, and realize her true identity.

“Those who look to the LORD for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”  Psalm 34:5 TLB

When someone bravely takes just one step out of the tangled lies that the enemy has woven, God meets you in your mess!  With one word, He can cut through the jumbled thoughts and bring clarity.   As you take each lie to Him, He will speak HIS truth and that is where your true identity will shine!

Everyone experiences shame on some level, at least once in their lifetime, and others will struggle with it continually.  But there is hope!  We don’t have to wear the tattered, stinky garment of shame forever.  We can remember who we are.  By turning to the One who has the power and truth to transform us, we can make a great exchange.

  • Truth for lies
  • Honor for shame
  • Love for hate
  • Acceptance instead of rejection!

Conceivably, some of you may be wearing the suffocating jacket of shame and lies.  Perhaps the thief has snuck in the back door of your life and is holding you captive.  Or maybe you know the effects of not being loved or chosen.  Whatever situation you find yourself in, I know someone who can help you dismantle the lies and give you back your dignity.  His name is Jesus!  Allow yourself to be seen…..deeply seen by Him.  By knowing who you are and valuing yourself as a person God made you to be, you portray the confidence and self-esteem so many long for.

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;  You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.” Isaiah 58:9

I would love to hear any stories, comments or questions you have regarding shame.  Feel free to email me at:  lroitsch@gmail.com

In love – Lisa