Most of my posts will be regarding my own healing and hopefully will help others. I will use scripture sometimes, but I find my testimony and experience helps give hope many times. If God will do it for me, he will do it for you!
When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I always had a hunger for God’s Word. I wanted to dig for the nuggets and the meat of the Word. I didn’t want just head knowledge, but I wanted to know what it meant for my life. How does this apply? I got into journaling my prayers and study time. I would actually have prophetic visions during these times. It would help me later down the road.
In 2000 we moved from Texas to California and then on to Venezuela. I was excited about the move. The Lord had lead me to go to Therapon and study faith-based counseling. I actually flew back and forth from California to do my studies and some of it I was able to do long distance graduating in October 2001. I crammed two years into one. I learned so much and actually went through a lot of healing of the heart during that time. But there was more to come.
When we got to Venezuela in March of 2002, things were starting to escalate with Hugo Chavez. He really did not want us down there. He was a friend with Fidel Castro which means he was all about socialism more so, communism. He was literally destroying the country. Venezuela is a beautiful place with lots of resources and beautiful people. Unfortunately, he kept the people illiterate and poor. They looked to him as their savior, provider and protector. He told the chavistas that the Americans were their problems. The Venezuelan people who were proponents of capitalism there were oppressed. It was sad. We were told to never shop alone and always have a buddy. You ran red lights at night or you would be carjacked.
One day as I was at a friend’s house, we got a call that there was a mob of chavistas heading towards where we lived with cut-off shotguns and machete’s. Food was starting to get scarce. On Christmas Eve we get a phone call from someone in the company that we needed to pack two suitcases and be ready in two days to fly out of Venezuela back to the States. We would be able to take our pets. So much for Christmas!
The big issue was that my husband would not be allowed to go. Once I found out my husband was not going, I did not want to go, but it was a mandatory thing. Only a handful of men would stay with the project while others flew to the States with their families. I pretty much loaded onto the plane in shock. I had my little Boston Terrier, Zippy, with me, but my best friend and love of my life, was not going with me. I snapped. I didn’t scream or yell or yak my head off. I retreated…I was numb.
We were put on a private jet and flown to Aruba where we waited for a commercial jet to take us on to Houston. Once we got to Houston, we were bussed to hotels to stay until they got us into furnished apartments.
Zippy and I were first moved into a really upscale apartment, but it was dark and there was no sunlight. I need light and lots of it. So, I asked if there was any way to get me into an apartment with more light. They moved me to another complex and I got more light there.
Every time I would get around the other ladies on the project, I would be come agitated and all I wanted to do was get away from them and be myself. Little did I know but I was actually going through traumatic stress disorder. I couldn’t sleep and my mind was just running in circles. I could not focus on reading or even watching TV.
The insomnia got so bad that I actually bought some wine and thought if I could just drink a little bottle that would help put me to sleep. I went to the store and got a little six-pack of wine and drank one little bottle and went to bed. I was up in two hours wide awake again. So, I drank another. Same thing. The next day I knew that the wine was not the answer and I was going deeper and deeper into despair.
I had to get up and dress every day to walk Zippy. One daughter was on the other side of the world and the other was at college. I had to take care of my little furry girl, so I got up every day and took care of myself and made the bed took care of her. We walked about six times a day so I was getting fresh air and exercise. I may have been going through the motions, but I was still doing it.
I was watching TBN but it was only noise. My mind was wondering. The best way to describe my brain at that time is like a ciruit shorting on the lamp. All of a sudden, I heard, “A physician does not treat himself and a lawyer who defends himself is a fool.” I had an awesome friend who had been praying for me. I knew the Lord was telling me I needed help and I needed to do something about it immediately. I called the company counselor we had been referred to when we got back to the States. She referred me on to a counselor who was a retired Methodist minister. He was precious.
The first day I met with him, he could see I was emotionially frozen and numb. He was very kind and gave me time to try to put into words what I was feeling. It was hard for me. Then he gave me a paper with some questions to take home with me to work through. To this day, I cannot find the document I wrote, but I remember most of everything.
Here are the questions I remember.
- What has happened that brought you here today?
- What are you feeling?
- Have you ever felt this way before?
- What happened?
- What did you believe about yourself?
I started typing the questions on my laptop. As I worked on the third question, the Lord started taking me all the way back to age of eight and forward through many events that left my soul scarred and wounded. It was like unraveling yarn when you crochet a chain. It quickly came undone. I had many events from the age of eight to my evacuation out of Venezuela and they all tied together.
What the Lord showed me was the evacuation took me away, more like ripped me away, from my husband. I saw myself at that time holding onto a banister of a balcony. I couldn’t hold on any more. With each trauma that happened in my life a finger would be pried off that rail. Finally, the evacuation was the final thing and I couldn’t hold on anymore. I started free-falling. I had no control over anything in my life and I could trust no one.
My first emotions were that I was angry with the company for not letting my husband fly back with me and I was even more devastated that my husband would even let me go without him. I was actually contemplating not going back to Venezuela. I told him at one point, he needed to decide whether he wanted me or his job. (I know, it sounds dramatic, but I felt that way.) I had major fear of going through it all over again or maybe even worse.
As I worked on my homework and started going through all those painful events in my life, I started praying and asking the Lord why he would let those things happen. This is what I received from him. He saw all those things and he grieved over it all. He told me that as painful as it all was that He could heal my soul if I would just turn all those things over to him. I won’t go into all the things that happened, but may share some down the road. He gave me major revelation about the first incident when I was eight years old which was the root. Once I got the root taken care of, the other stuff faded away.
I needed to forgive my husband first of all and understand how he was worried for me. He didn’t want to stay behind anymore than I wanted to go. So, I forgave him and apologized for being unreasonable and a drama queen.
The basic lie that I could not trust anyone was a lie. With the evacuation that lie got exposed. It had been hiding deep in my soul for years and I didn’t know it! Which also lead me to the revelation that I had not been really trusting God about a lot of things in my life. When I saw this in my journaling, I was so convicted! I asked the Lord to forgive me from not trusting him. I know and believe in my heart that God is faithful. He always has been and always will be. He was faithful in getting me to the right person and getting the trauma writing questions. The Lord lead me to truth and freedom. It was so healing and a great deliverance.
A person who cannot trust is normally the person who is going to control everyone and everything around them. I had been that person. I didn’t want the things to happen to my girls that happened to me, so I was super controlling. I couldn’t trust other people to get things done, so I would just do them myself. I don’t know how people stood me!
I was also on the road to fibromyalgia. The body can only handle so much stress before it starts reacting. Just to touch my skin would send me into shooting pain. As I got my spiritual healing, the body followed. So did the sleep!
I finished out my time with my counselor and was ready to live life again. The numbness was gone …completely. I wasn’t agitated by the other people on the project. I was content. I had peace again. I went back to Venezuela later than the rest of the families by a couple of months. Zippy went to live with our youngest daughter. I just didn’t want to put her through the stress of the plane again. When I got back I started leading a women’s Bible Study in our home with Venezeulan women who spoke English and got back into the ministry. I felt even more empowered to do the belief therapy and had learned some new tools in praying for people. I finished out our time there with joy and many sweet times.
There is a scripture in Exodus where after many years, Joseph meets the brothers who sold him into slavery. They fear that since he is next to Pharoah, Joseph will kill them for what they did to him. But Joseph says something so profound that has stuck with me a lot of times and it is this…
Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
Had Joseph not gone to Egypt as a slave, he would not have been able to prepare for his father, Jacob and his brothers and their families who were suffering a drought. Joseph was able to make a place for his people there in Egypt so they could flourish. And they did!
God showed me in this scripture for what the enemy meant as to harm me, God would use it for good. What the enemy did was to send me running into the Savior’s arms for my healing and deliverance. God would use me to help others the enemy has kept in bondage to his lies also.
I keep a thermostat check now on my emotions. They tell me whether I am being triggered by something that I need to face. Now I know what to look for though my journaling. I had not been through the training in Theophostic prayer at that time. It would be five years later that I would go through the training. The trauma writing document sure lined up with it. Amazing!
If you are dealing with something in your life, I encourage you to start journaling using the questions above. Pray and ask the Lord to lead you to truth and healing. If you need some help send me a note. I have helped people over the phone and by Skype or Facebook.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, …
Rest in Peace Zippy my little travel buddy.
(1995 – 2010)