Jesus frees lecturer from feeling abandoned
W had been struggling to draw close to God throughout her Christian life, until she recognised the generational curses in her family as well as the negative effect of her inner vows, which closed her heart to people and to God. As she renounced both in Jesus’ name, she encountered God in reassuring visions. She no longer feels abandoned. Praise God!
I realised that I had difficulty speaking to my father.
I would get very angry and irritated even when he didn’t do anything wrong. I couldn’t control those feelings and felt like I had come to the end of my own resources, so I sought prayer counselling.
As I prepared for my renewal prayer session, I experienced a lot more negative emotions. Later on, I realised that God was bringing many of the childhood emotions and memories that I had repressed over the years to the surface. I also realised that I always felt all alone and had difficulty connecting to others, including to God. Even though I believed intellectually that God is good and that He is always with me, I had trouble feeling loved and feeling assured by people, or by God.
We began my prayer session by addressing the generational curses in my family history.
The prayer counsellors pointed out patterns in my family that I hadn’t noticed before.
First, there was a history of children judging their fathers on my father’s side of the family. In his younger days, my father had judged my grandfather and thought his father was not as good or as successful as he was. I was horrified to discover that this pattern was being repeated in my generation. Now, I too judged my father because I thought that my professional success makes me “better” than my father.
We reap what we sow as the Bible warns (Galatians 6:7). Because my father judged his own father, his children now judge him. If I don’t repent and break this cycle, I too will be judged by the same measure with which I judge others. However, this sin pattern had a far more destructive effect of making me feel alienated from God.
When I judged my father, I also indirectly judged God because I thought God was incompetent for giving me the wrong parents.
In the process, a few lies took root in my mind:
- “God doesn’t care about me.”
- “God abandoned me.”
- “God is incompetent so I know better.”
Because I assumed that God was incompetent, I ran away from God to take control of my own life, just like the prodigal son did (Luke 15:11-32).
We align ourselves with Satan rather than Christ when we think we can trust ourselves more than we trust God. Satan believes that he knows better than God. This is what led Satan to rebel and leave heaven.
I had been struggling to fully submit to God and rest in Him because of these lies. Also like the prodigal son, I felt that I didn’t deserve God and that I should be a servant, even though my Father welcomes me with open arms. I had to repent of having the wrong view of God.
The second pattern in my family is a history of feeling lonely, abandoned or alienated, which the prayer counsellors referred to as the “orphan spirit.”
My grandfather was adopted and he never wanted to speak of his family roots. My grandfather’s feeling of shame and abandonment was passed down through the generations to my father and then, to me.
Even when people around me tried their best to show me love, I still struggled with feelings of isolation, though I had grown up with my parents and siblings. The feelings of loneliness and abandonment afflicted me almost all of my life.
I was led to pray to reject and renounce these lies. The day after, I realized that I no longer feel abandoned, and that I was freed from the need to fill my schedule with activities and meetings.
Because of the pain and loneliness growing up, I was left with a long list of “inner vows” or life principles that I had devised to protect my heart. These included beliefs such as, “I need to always take care of myself,” “I need to fix things,” “I must never fail,” “I must always succeed” or “I can’t be like my dad who is always relaxed and therefore, I can never relax.”
I had lived on “auto-pilot” with these inner vows and consequently remained in bondage to emotional wounds from my past.
As we started to list my inner vows, I was shocked to realize that the list was very long. I had to slowly learn to identify the lie at the core of each inner vow. God never meant for me to live by them because He wants me to live hearing from Him, and His Word is true and good. By breaking these inner vows and repenting of believing in these lies, I gave myself permission to relax, enjoy life, and to stop striving. I am free to make mistakes because God’s power is far greater than any mistake I can ever make.
I was also counselled to adopt new patterns of thinking. For example, because one of my inner vows is to declare that “I cannot fail” or “I must always succeed,” I became very careful in every aspect of my life. Before saying a word or taking any action, I had a habit of researching and analyzing every possible outcome. This took a toll on my mind, heart, and even on my body. I lived in fear of making the wrong decision or doing the wrong thing.
Instead, I now remind myself that God is always with me, that He never condemns me, and when I turn to Him, He is quick to answer (Jeremiah 29:12, James 1:5). Whenever I fail, I can praise God for revealing my weaknesses, and invite God to transform me. The burden now is on God, instead of on my shoulders.
I feel so much relief and rest now that I understand how inner vows can shackle our minds (Philippians 4:8).
However, my prayer session did not end there.
The prayer counsellors pointed out that I also needed to allow myself to feel angry. The Bible allows us to feel anger but commands us not to sin in our anger (Ephesians 4:26-27). I have a long history of repressing my emotions because my parents would get upset with me whenever I expressed negative emotions. As a result, I was prevented from being a complete child. That picture of my parents overlapped my picture of God, the Father.
I realised that I had broken views of God, and I had a broken relationship with my own heart and emotions.
Moreover, because my family participated in occult practices and the worship of Hindu and Chinese deities, I came to see God as cruel and vindictive – which is a description that is more accurate of Shiva or Kwan Kung. I saw God as unpredictable, angry, and quick to punish minor mistakes.
God is humble and gentle (Matthew 11: 28-30). He is patient and forgives many times. Even when the rebellious prodigal son wished his father was dead and went out to squander everything, he was still welcomed home with a feast and celebration.
God does become angry when He sees abuse or violence (Psalms 11:5), but He is always slow to anger (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:5; Psalm 86:15; Jonah 4:2).
In contrast, my parents’ anger toward me as a child was an uncontrollable rage that is destructive. It is right to reject that kind of rage.
I had to learn to see that our Father God does not punish me for doing childlike things, and that Jesus welcomed children. In fact, He told big burly men like Peter or Andrew that if they do not go to Him like little children, they will not inherit the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:3, Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:15).
Because I did not allow myself to feel anger at the childhood pain I unfairly experienced, and because of my inner vows, I eventually closed off my heart. That caused me to feel perpetually lonely and isolated. I found it difficult to form deep relationships with my family, friends, and even the Christian community around me.
I believed that I had to be constantly on guard and aware, and focused on making sure that people couldn’t hurt me.
My prayer counsellors had to wait in prayer for a while before I could say out loud that I’m not a bad person for being angry about what I experienced as a child. I couldn’t truly forgive my parents until I first acknowledged the hurt and anger that was still buried inside.
I had also developed a savior or messiah complex, which is the desire to save myself and my family by my own strength. But, I cannot save my family; only God can. I had to repent of trying to be my own savior, and to return to the Father who has always been waiting for me with waiting arms.
I made the commitment to serve God, and not my family and their wishes – even if those wishes are “good.” Without meaning to, I had made myself a slave to my family.
My family’s emotions and reactions to my decisions or my “success” have become more important to me than what God had to say.
During the prayer session, I saw a vision of me sitting in a dark prison with my family. Jesus was standing on the outside. At first, I couldn’t bring myself to leave my family and come out of the prison. The prayer counselors pointed out that I can leave the prison and stand with Jesus. There, I can pray with all my heart that they will leave the prison too but I can’t leave Jesus’s side to go back into the prison to be with my family because we would all be trapped together.
As I prayed, I saw that the door of the prison was not locked, and that it was very easy to push the door open. The hinges were as smooth as butter.
When I stepped out of that prison, I felt safe and Jesus welcomed me with a hug.
I heard Jesus say that He loves me, and that I am sweet and kind, strong and free, and that Jesus likes me and thinks that I’m funny and cute. It also occurred to me then that God could be freeing my family even now, and it would be foolish of me to stay in that prison when they are in the process of leaving.
I now know that God loves my family more than I love them. Instead of living for the good of my family, I need to live for God. When it comes to my family’s welfare, I can ask God to guide me and give me wisdom to know how to love my family.
Towards the end of the prayer session, I was asked to “go home to my true Father’s house,” just like the prodigal son did.
The vision of a large mansion with many rooms appeared in my mind.
The walls were white-washed brick with red tiles. Pink, yellow, and violet flowers grew up the sides of the mansion. Jesus stood in front and our Heavenly Father said, “Welcome home. You’re here finally. It’s done. It’s finished.” Music played inside and people were dancing in the back rooms. There was a lot of food in the kitchen.
Our Father had prepared a room for me upstairs. It’s a simple room with a bed, cupboard, and desk that has a big window that looks out to a field. The name on the room was “Emancipation.”
There was no hurry to go down to the party. I could go down when I wanted to. Jesus said that He will hold my hand and wouldn’t let go. He said that even if I fall, I’m not really falling. I’m just learning to walk. I can taste and see that everything God does is good.
When I walked downstairs with Jesus, everyone was joyful and happy, and no one was making fun of me. The people here are my new family and there are a lot of them. And I am called beloved.
Now, when I think of God the Father, I see Him as light, free, energetic, fun, loving, kind, funny, bright, and that He laughs a lot.
The prayer counsellors told me that the next time I feel afraid, I can go back to “Emancipation” and talk to God. Later, we realised that “emancipation” is an old legal term. It is an act that frees minors from the control of their parents so that they become independent. It also frees the parents from any responsibility for the child.
It’s been over a month since my prayer session, and every single day, I feel a deep joy that I have never felt before despite having been a Christian for decades.
I feel like a fog has lifted and that I have a supercomputer awareness of God’s presence. I also don’t feel lonely or abandoned anymore. My friends tell me that I’m smiling more and that somehow, I look younger. One of my childhood friends said that I look like a burden has been lifted off of me.
There are still challenges ahead; not every problem in my life has been lifted from me. I sometimes fall back into old thought patterns. I find that I don’t always know what to do with the emotions that I’m learning to feel.
Nonetheless, I realise that I feel excited about what God will do for, and in, me. Walking with God without knowing what will happen next is no longer something I resent. Learning to wait for God to act is starting to bring a joy and freedom that no one and nothing else can bring!
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