…to anybody but the Devil!!!
And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 Amp
I used to lurk around with my testimony, ashamed and fearful that my story might warp another person’s perspective on life. While the Father applies the word to set captives free, the enemy is equally active at working to condemn us, with the same word. There is a power in your story! It is revelation, it is spiritual, it is physical, it is emotional and impacts heaven and earth!
How do I know?
Last fall I was asked to participate in a victims awareness art show called The Me I Want To Be with our local Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program, newly named Rise Above for reasons you will soon understand. This was not a Christian event, but it might as well have been! My story was only one of a multitude of brave testimonials of survivor ship and overcoming. There were many pivotal moments throughout this event that impacted me greatly, the first: telling my story to a normal functional Christian woman whom I greatly respected and admired. The Fear: Will she still love me after she knows my story?
We sat in her yard, and I poured out my story, short version, for two hours. I was comforted by one of her chickens (I’m a chicken mama too, with 16 hens of my own). This little hen would jump into my lap as I retold my story. After the details, we both leaned back at her picnic table, took a deep breath and she went straight to business. No rejection, no eyes raised, no opinion other than the one called Love. We organized a photo shoot first, and then began the grueling task of figuring out how to present the artwork. She gave me full reign and left me feeling as much a part of the artwork as she was, not just an object or subject. But I had to fight for my position because the Father sees us, scars and all, as masterpieces and He wouldn’t let me leave that out! So what did I do? I requested I receive a bio, alongside the artists’! I’ll be honest- there were times shame tried to take hold of me, but I refused it. My face was going to be out there as an encouragement for others and so should my story .
After the photo shoot and a few weeks later I arrived back to her home, nervous and excited. Our friendship didn’t skip a beat. She had spent such time, producing 5 renditions of past and present. Two emerged the victors (You can take that literally!). She explained the first was the story of my survivor-ship.
I locked eyes with myself. The little girl who held so many secrets and told on the devils. I lifted up the painting, shaking a little. I felt like I was lifting up a child; I was. The blue eyes in the corner caught my attention. I was overcome by the complexity of my story and the truth finding liberation through the beautiful brush strokes of my friend. Who’s eyes are those? The question hung suspended mid-thought as my attention was redirected to the next painting. Heather announced my portrait as “How the Father sees you now.”
I was stunned, humbled and speechless. There was nothing to say. The Sword said it all, quite literally. Heather had painstakingly placed significant scripture onto the blade of the sword. And yet again, I locked eyes with a woman I wasn’t yet convinced whom I bore resemblance. Is that really how You see me, Lord?
We collected the artwork and Heather invited me to be in charge of the presentation. I left her house in slow motion, packed myself into my truck and drove away… when suddenly it hit me. Little Boy Blue! I couldn’t slam on the breaks because I was already on the highway. The blue eyes of a little boy sacrificed when I was thirteen to keep my mouth shut. I could barely see the road as I was sobbing.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34
Then I heard the Father say clearly, “Let’s go to Upscale Resale. I have a chair there for you.”
I was jarred out of my sorrow, shocked that He didn’t even mention my sadness. Have you ever had that happen? It’s just like the Father to keep us focused on living! So, I went to the second hand store, found an antique upholstered rocking chair, threw the pillows on the floor, curled up and continued on with my sobbing. Until…
I looked down and wedged between the arm of the chair and the cushion I noticed a blue piece of paper. I worked meticulously until it was freed. And here it is
I sat in that chair, tucked in a corner of the store where no one could see me and read Psalm 18 in its entirety. It’s a long chapter! From start to finish it was my story, every word. I would cry out loud, laugh at the realization that He knew everything, and then I would sigh with relief. I bought the chair by the way! Who wouldn’t!
Then I decided to use the words from Psalm 18 to create a graffiti board using black sheets with white chalk marker. The word of the Lord encircled the watercolor of me, “The cords of death entangled me…the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me…the cords of the grave coiled around me…the snares of death confronted me…I cried to my God for help… As I worked, I had a vision of a video playing in the middle between the two pieces of art work with my young hand reaching up, my adult hand reaching down to grasp hers and the Father grasping them both running on a loop. Heather happens to also be a videographer and after I told her my idea she came over and we filmed my youngest daughter’s hand reaching up, mine reaching down and my husband’s embracing both.
The story continued as Heather created a loop with the images and these words …He heard my voice…he reached down from on high and took hold of me…He rescued me from my powerful enemy…from my foes who were too strong for me…My God turns the darkness to light…It is God who arms me with strength…and keeps my way secure…he trains my hands for battle…my arms can bend a bow of bronze…you make your saving help my shield…and your right hand sustains me.
The most difficult part came when I wrote out the rest. The truth of who I am now. Telling the secret was hard. Being transparent and honest about my abuse was harder. Agreeing with God, instead of the enemy was the hardest!
We all met to set up for the show. Beautiful artwork prophetically informed the atmosphere as we painstakingly hung the artwork, set up easels as the event team prepared tables for fine food and wine. We all left, filled with anticipation, happy that each story had been successfully displayed.
The next morning we awoke with the news of a fire that had completely burned the adobe building where ACVAP had been housed. Facebook photos flooded social media with images of the adobe building that had once housed counseling offices (one where I had my early beginnings as a counselor) ACVAP and a favorite local pub. Phone calls and messages lit up my cell phone with the overall message, “The show is still on”! Thankfully no one was hurt and the exhibit was in a different location.
The event, The Me I Want to Be, was amazing. I watched from the fringes as people walked by the art work, speechless. The atmosphere throughout the show was palpable as freedom and liberty was realized. It was scary at first…what will they think of me…what will they say? I found myself at the end of the show encircled by people, some survivors, who appeared relieved that there was someone like them!
Fire! Today, almost 9 months later, I am birthing this message: Your testimony is a fire!
Your testimony is ON fire! As you profess your story, your testimony, and as you profess how the blood of the lamb healed you a HOLY FIRE is going to overtake the enemy! The All Consuming Fire will overtake the places you have struggled. Those devils that just don’t seem to let go: fear, doubt, shame, condemnation, self-loathing, self hate, visual replays of trauma, chronic physical pains, mental locutions, negative self proclamations, hyper-vigilance, rebellion, violent reaction and action, unbelief, anxiety, any addiction, gluttony, stress eating, bulimia, anorexia, disorders, diseases, tremors; eye, ear, nose and throat issues, kin issues, circulatory issues. All things that have been wrongly established through trauma are undone, rendered nul and void by the words of your testimony! Speak it! Declare it! Believe it! Jesus has come, today, to set captives free!!!
If your heart is pounding wildly, perhaps it’s time to tell on the Devil! Please post your testimony in the responses below or anything encouraging you wish to share! We are speaking truth today!
Rules of engagement:
If you are sharing your story for the first time, please know that that is the hardest step- the first one. It gets easier, I promise. Also, be gentle with you. The Father recently told me, “Take care of you.” That word is for you too.
Do encourage, strengthen and comfort one another! Do not judge, condemn, or give advise. Use your best language when sharing and while your life may have been a graphic novel, you don’t have to be graphic to convey your meaning. In responding to one another, if I see anything other than strengthening going on, your comment will be deleted. We are generating a fire! We don’t want to put it out, so speak LIFE!!!
Disclaimer: This is not a counseling forum, rather it is an informational space where thoughts, stories, and testimonials are used to increase awareness, encourage others and inspire healing! First and foremost, it is a place to hear what the Father is saying about you!
Father, bless the brave and bold survivors who have soldiered on. Bless this day as they profess and declare out loud, their testimony and the beauty of the blood of Jesus. We declare that it is because of Your blood spilled, and not our own strength that we are healed, delivered and free. Jesus, we believe and agree with Your words, from John 14:6 when You answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Thank you Jesus for writing our story! In Your name, Jesus, we pray.
You are the Father’s masterpiece. He has created you NEW in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago! Ephesians 2:10 NLT