I sat in the room on the couch, waiting for her to return with my cup of water. During our last session, she had asked me to journal three things I would like to work on. I obediently prayed and wrote out my thoughts in my journal. During that time with the Lord, he revealed to me some areas of deep bondage. He showed me strongholds that have insidiously wrapped themselves around the very core of my belief systems. Strongholds that had robbed me of joy. Strongholds that robbed me of the joy of parenting. Strongholds that resulted in worry and fear about my children.
Growing up, I was the oldest child in a very dysfunctional family. My father was an alcoholic and my mother did the best she could. To reduce my father to one word really isn’t fair. He was so much more, but sadly that word diminished him. A better definition might be a lost man on the run from God. Be that as it may, chaos played out in our home. At a young age, I was expected to take care of my baby sister who was four and a half years younger. I have very vivid memories of babysitting my toddling baby sister when I was only six years old. I remember one day standing at the bottom of our road, tears streaming down my face, as I watched my parents drive away. Utter fear and panic clutched at my throat as my father’s warning rang in my ears, “You better not let anything happen to her.” Hours passed and there we were alone. I better get it right, or it’s my fault.
I have many memories like this. Some include her actually getting hurt and me being blamed, and one includes her actually dying and me blaming myself. Something doesn’t have to be true to be believed.
She started our session in prayer, and to my astonishment, prayed the words of revelation I had written in my journal. She prayed that I would stop carrying the burden of responsibility that I had assumed as a child. That I would stop playing God, and starting trusting the One that IS God. That I would stop trying to make up for what happened to my sister.
She asked me to take a walk through the hallways of my heart. Craving freedom, I agreed to trust her and imagined the inside of my heart. There were many rooms. She told me she wanted me to notice the big room off to the side, and walk into it. Immediately my heart started racing. I didn’t want to go into that room. I knew there was something scary in there. I knew I would be facing my giants. After several prayerful moments, I got the courage to walk in. She told me to notice the wallpaper. All over, in every font and size, was the phrase “I’M RESPONSIBLE!” Those words filled the entire room in dizzying repitition.
I heard her say, “Now I want you to tear down that wallpaper.”
No! I can’t! Who would I be if I weren’t responsible? Wait, what? Who would I be?
I had built my life on lies! The lies of the enemy. He had convinced me that I was responsible for the outcome, that if i didn’t get it right, disaster would strike. I had been fooled! The lies had cost me. I had paid the price. Others had paid the price.
She prayed me through and I began to rip down that wallpaper. I ripped and ripped and prayed and prayed. We prayed God’s truth in place of those lies. Strength and power rose up as the lies were smashed by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was powerful, and it was just the beginning of my desperate journey to really trust God. To trust Him with everything. I will not offer my children on the altar of the sin of my soul- the sin of not fully trusting God.
What does your wallpaper say?
I encourage you to let Jesus carry your burdens. He will give you rest for your soul.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I’m coming, Jesus.