Category Archives: Crossing Jordan River


GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I?

Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names

Part 3 – eBook 3

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain . . . See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–and to their descendants after them.”

Part 3 is comprised of the third three modules of the book and is Part 3 of the FREE eCourse Bonus on this Web site. They are:

Module 7 – Chapter 12: God is Jehovah-Jireh [The Lord’s Provision Will be Seen]

Chapter 13: Because God is Jehovah-Jireh, I Am Free

Module 8 – Chapter 14: God is Jehovah-Rapha [The Lord is Healer]

Chapter 15: Because God is Jehovah-Rapha, I Am Healed

Module 9 – Chapter 16: God is El Elyon [The God Most High]

Chapter 17: Because God is El Elyon, I Am Salt

M9B God is El Elyon: Most High God

El Elyon is possessor of heaven and earth, who has delivered our enemies into our hand

El Elyon appears (as God Most High) in compound form three times in Scripture:

  • 1. in Genesis 14:19-20
  • 2. as “Jehovah Elyon,” meaning the One who is The Self-Existent Most High One. David, as a shepherd boy on the hills of Judea, knew God Most High and gave praise to Jehovah (Lord) Elyon:
    • “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High” (Ps. 7:17).
    • “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!” (Ps. 47:2).
    • “For you, O Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods” (Ps. 97:9).
  • 3. as Ĕlôhîym, the Creator and Triune God, and Elyôwn appearing together twice.
    • “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me” (Ps. 57:2).
    • “But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes” (Ps. 78:56).

El Elyon How AwesomeSome translations of Genesis 14:19-20 refer to El Elyon, the Most High, as “creator” of heaven and earth rather than possessor. If God Most High created it, does it not stand to reason that He possesses it, including you and me? A young lady named Rosie, a young Christian, found out how true this was when she chose to turn from her lifestyle of prostitution. A former customer showed up at her doorstep, forced his way in, and was not happy when she said, “I’m God’s property now.”

As he raised his hand to strike her, it was immobilized in mid-air. He could not move it and walked out the door. God Most High living in her heart showed her He was above all and demonstrated that to her. She discovered more of who she was, as her enemies were delivered into her hand.

Everything El Elyon does is right and all His ways are just

Everything El Elyon Does is RightThis is what Nebuchadnezzar learned about El Elyon after a long life of rebelling against God. This king of Babylon learned of the One and Only God Most High from Daniel, one of the first citizens of Jerusalem who was taken captive when Judah fell in 605 BC, as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. [Refer to Module 3.]

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that only Daniel could interpret. Daniel and his three friends, as Jewish exiles and because of God’s blessing, were chosen to be trained and to serve in the king’s palace. Daniel told the king:

This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes . . . Your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules . . . Renounce your sins by doing what is right and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue. —Daniel 4:24-27

“Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, ‘is not this the great Babylon, I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?’” (Dan. 4:29-30 emphasis mine).

These words were still on the king’s lips when the exact words Daniel told him were repeated in his ear by the Most High. All the words came true. At the end of that time Nebuchadnezzar raised his eyes toward heaven and praised the Most High, honoring and glorifying him who lives forever and saying, “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:35).

Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity was restored, with his honor and splendor even greater than before. Afterwards, he said, “Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Dan. 4:37).

El Elyon is in total control

El Elyon Total ControlKing Nebuchadnezzar had to learn that sometimes things have to happen to us beyond our control before we comprehend God is for us—that we are not the one in control. The king learned that everything El Elyon allowed to happen was for his own good. Until we have also gone through difficulties and have seen the hand of God Most High work on our behalf, we cannot fully believe or comprehend that “all things work together for good to those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose . . . . What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:28, 31).

“Yes, from the time of the first existence of day and from this day forth I am He, and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I will work and who can hinder or reverse it?” (Isa. 43:13). Is there any way we can comprehend the vastness of how totally “in control” our God El Elyon is? Absolutely nothing can happen to us that is not filtered through His great big, ever-loving fingers.

Kay Arthur says it best, “If God is not sovereign, if He is not in control, if all things are not under His dominion, then He is not the Most High, and you and I are either in the hands of blind fate, in the hands of man, or in the hands of the devil.”[1]

El Elyon is trustworthy and faithful to His promises

El Elyon is trustworthy and faithfulAbram trusted God explicitly, and placed his life and that of his men in jeopardy to rescue Lot and his family, knowing El Elyon would give him the victory. He seemed not to think about it twice. He knew he was in God’s protective hands. This faithfulness and perseverance brought even greater blessings, as the Word of the Lord came to him in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward” (Gen. 15:1).

Jesus tells us the same thing, “Well done, good and faithful servant! I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:21). This is what Melchizedek was saying to Abram by bringing out the bread and wine to bless God Most High, “Come and share your master’s happiness!” This is what communion should be about— rejoicing in the deliverance Jesus’ blood brought.

These rewards are only for the faithful. The children of Israel found that what God said He would do, He did. When they reached the plains of the Jordan River opposite Jericho, Moses ordered a census be taken. Of all those twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army of Israel (see Num. 26), the total number of men was 601,730; not one was counted in the census forty years earlier—except Joshua and Caleb—who trusted God unwaveringly, 100 percent. Two men were the only ones remaining of the older, rebellious generation except for Moses.

Whereas God had not allowed the shortcut to the land on the eleven-day journey from Egypt to Canaan, He did bring them through the Red Sea and the refining heat of the desert, and now, the swelling Jordan River at springtime harvest. He had shaken them until only the faithful remained; and with them, he would drive out the wickedness that was now at it’s zenith in the land. Only those armed for war would now cross over the Jordan to take their position in the land (see Num. 32:27).

Israel’s conquest of Canaan was a physical possession of the land given them as an inheritance, an example to us as Christians to believe El Elyon, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, for all our enemies, not of flesh and blood, to be given into our hands. This is our inheritance. And He tells us, “If you trust me to do this, I will trust you with more.” When He does that, He will show up suddenly, taking us by surprise.

God Most High El Elyon

The following attachment is of the arrows, sword and shield weapons we must arm ourselves with. Referring back to Module 4, when we align our words with God’s word we allow El Elyon [God Most High] to deliver our enemies into our hand. Remember, we will be judged for every idle word we speak; therefore, these are designed to be laminated and placed by the television for daily use  or when hearing bad news.

These arrows and sword weapons were inspired by young Colton Burpo’s words to his daddy in the book, Heaven is For Real. During an operation for a ruptured appendix, Colton visited heaven. Jesus showed him that Todd, his daddy, would fight in the coming battle with Jesus as He cast satan into the bottomless pit. Todd asked his son what weapon he would be using to fight satan and his monsters. Colton said, “You either get a sword or a bow and arrow, but I don’t remember which” (pg. 138, Thomas Nelson, 2010).

# # #

The following Arrows and Sword & Shield document can be laminated into a 5″ x 7″ card. Put on your armor shield every day with the Word of God as your sword and arrows.


[1] Kay Arthur, The Peace & Power of Knowing God’s Name, (Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, 2002) p. 21.

M9A God Most High: El Elyon

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” —Genesis 14:19-20 NASB

From Chapter 1 of this book, we learned El Roi was the One who sought us and found us. He called us by our name, causing us to face where we came from and where we are going. He required accountability for our choices and blessed our obedience. He saw our affliction and heard our misery. It is God Most High who shows us a glimpse of our future and continues to want to be wanted. It is to Him we give our praise, for He has answered our prayers by delivering our enemies into our hand.

God Most High Land

We studied Abraham, beginning with Chapter 15 in Genesis, when God renewed his covenant with him to make his name great and promised to give him a son. Two previous chapters in Genesis before this account reveal more about God Most High. Lot, Abram’s nephew, tagged along on the journey to the land God would reveal. Lot also had many flocks, tents and herdsmen. When they came to the plain of the Jordan, quarrelling arose among the herdsmen on both sides because their possessions were very great. Abram suggested, “We are family, but we need to separate. If you choose to go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go right, I’ll go left.”

Lot chose the best, fertile, green, lush valley of the Jordan and pitched his tents near Sodom. Abram traveled eastward into the land of Caanan. After he was alone, the Lord spoke to Abram, giving him the land as far as his eyes could see—to him and his offspring forever. Abram decided to move to Hebron near the great trees of Mamre.

About this time, war broke out among nine kings, four against five. The five joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (the Salt Sea, also known as the Dead Sea). The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah. “They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom” (Gen. 14:12). Lot and his family were no longer near the wicked city of Sodom, but inside, and now, captured.

Abram learned of the capture, rallied his 318 trained men, and took the offensive against the warring Canaanites and Perizzites of the whole land. He pursued over rough terrain to Damascus, about 200 miles, and recovered all the goods, Lot and his family and all the other people taken captive.

After his return from battle, “the king of Sodom met Abram at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the Kings’ Valley). And Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him a tenth of all.” —Genesis 14:19-20

God Most High Blesses Abram

Abram of God Most High
Abram of God Most High

Abram did not do as he had done so many times before and afterward, to build an altar and worship God in praise. Instead, it was the priest of God Most High who came out to meet Abram. He blessed him, even referring to him as “Abram of God Most High,” refreshing him physically and mentally. Through God Most High’s initiative, He let Abram know He had been there all the time, like the Teacher showing up after a test, and saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The people of the land witnessed Abram’s God as God Most High, higher than all other gods, who gave victory to a man with only 318 men and three neighbors in a surprise night attack. The wicked king of Sodom told Abram to keep the goods and give him the people.

“And Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’” (Gen. 14:22-23 NASB). Abram took nothing except what his men had eaten and gave a share to his men, but only after giving the tithe to Melchizedek, King of Salem—Salem later known as Jerusalem.

God Most High: One Huge Priestly Presence

According to Hebrews 7, Melchizedek’s “name means ‘king of righteousness’; then also, ‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace.’ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever” (Heb. 7:2-3).

This is to whom Abram gave his tithe (where the tithe originated), to one who was like the Son of God, “one huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always” (Heb. 7:3 The Msg). The writer of Hebrews interprets Jesus to be the permanent fulfillment of Melchizedek’s type of priesthood, “For it is declared, ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’” (Heb. 7:17).

One huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always, probably no better explanation of who God Most High is. More specifically, though, who is He? As with the names of God that define His character, El Roi, Elohim, and El Shaddai, the “El” of El Elyon is a Hebrew noun for God emphasizing “might, strength and power.”[1]

Most High in Hebrew means Elyôwn (regularly seen as Elyon). It is a Hebrew adjective originating from the Hebrew word Âlâh which simply means “to ascend, to mount up, to go up, to rise; to grow up; to be lifted up, to be put up; to be led up, to be led away; to rise up; to be high, to be exalted.”[2] Thus, Elyôwn means “elevated, high, exalted, the Most High, the Supreme Being (the true God).”[3]

Who is El Elyon? He is God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, doing everything right and just, in total control always, and trustworthy and faithful to His promises.

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[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990) p. 1710.

[2] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1758.

[3] Ibid.

M8H Because God is Jehovah Rapha, I Am Healed

After working in Texas for a year where we experienced Jehovah Rapha to some extent, Jim discovered the church was in arrears the equivalent of his salary. We knew we had a decision to make. God had given us this promise:

Pink landscape with text overlay:how we experienced healihg of jehovah rapha“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”—Jeremiah 29:11-14

Maybe this was the time God would lead us back home, but where was home? It could be Oklahoma or Kansas. In obedience to God in doing the right thing for the church, Jim resigned. While I was typing his resignation, he received a phone call from an Oklahoma church to come in view of a call for pastor. After turning in the resignation, the church called back and withdrew its offer—due to lack of experience. Nevertheless, we could hear our Shepherd calling us further north.

In faith, we made arrangements to move, holding to another promise:

“So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares the Lord. “I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile . . . I am with you and will save you,” declares the Lord . . . . “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.”–Jeremiah 30:10-11, 17

Two weeks later, Jim received a phone call from Kansas, asking him to lead his sister and brother-in-law’s church services for three Sundays and two Wednesday evenings. It was an interim for the interim pastor position. At first, I thought I should stay behind with the children, but the Lord showed me Proverbs 24:27, “[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside, and get it ready for yourself in the field, and afterward build your house and establish a home” (Amplified).

My parents took Kurt and Francy and settled them in school while one-year-old Matthew stayed with us. After the month in Kansas, we traveled back to Texas to move.

Jehovah Rapha and our baby

Jehovah Rapha and our babyThat night, Matthew grew very irritable, pulled at his ears, and cried constantly. Jim and I prayed for him as we sat in the porch swing. I continued to rock him, and through my own tears, kept repeating the Word out loud, “By Your stripes, Lord Jesus, Matthew has been healed; You redeemed him from the curse of the law because You were made a curse for him on that tree.”

After what seemed forever, which was only about ten minutes, Matthew suddenly settled down and was his happy self again.  Jehovah Rapha had arrived. The same thing had happened with Matthew when he was about one week old. He was fussy, but I didn’t know why. I prayed for him all night long. Later, when examined by a doctor, he said, “This child’s ears burst at one time.” They had healed; he could always hear and never had any trouble with them again.

After moving to Kansas where Jim’s sister and family lived, Jim found a construction job. We still could not say, “We know where we have come from and where we are going.” We continued to seek the Lord’s guidance. When we thought maybe we should go into business and open a Christian bookstore, I was invited to a Successful Living home party where Christian books were the product. Wow! I thought. I’d never heard of this before.

Successful Living’s mission was to take the bookstore to the people, since only ten percent of Christians take the initiative to seek out a bookstore. I signed up as an independent dealer/ distributor, got my kit that contained a few books and put them on the shelf.

Jehovah Rapha and my friend Jack

Jehovah Rapha healingJumping ahead a few years when I was in full swing as a book distributor, Jack D. called me every once in awhile. I special ordered any book he desired. Paralyzed from his neck down with multiple sclerosis, he called me because I delivered to his house. Jack’s friends plastered Scriptures over every inch of ceiling and walls. He trusted God would raise him from his bed with complete healing.

Jack hired young people to care for him around the clock. Many read his inspirational books to him. His front door was left open so they could come and go unhindered. He had a couple televisions stolen from him, but Jack kept forgiving and influencing them for good. He was a joy to be around and his faith in God was unshakable. Friends picked him up for church, taking pains to see he got out of the house to worship His God.

I, for one, agreed with Jack, that God was going to heal him. I discovered a great book by Reginald Cherry, M.D., The Bible Cure. I just knew there would be something in there that would help Jack, if “I would just have enough faith.” Surprisingly to me, Jack said, “You know what spoke to me in that book? It was the chapter about ‘Facing the Ultimate Cure—Death and Beyond.’”

Within two months, Jack was dead. He died of cancer. I learned to try to look at the big picture, remembering God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine, and that we must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God—in a balanced approach. Jack left behind a legacy of faith and love to his unsaved daughters who had to take down every Scripture from the ceiling and walls. To those who worked for him, and to all who knew him—God would give the increase.

Jehovah Rapha and our son

Because of Jehovah Rapha, I am Healed: miracle stories that can also happen to you.

From this experience with Jack, I learned to pray about how to pray when confronted with a friend’s problem. At times, I’d forget, but I never felt it was wrong to believe for the miracle, just to keep in mind that God has His individualized pathway of healing for that person. My philosophy was tested when our son, Kurt, called six months after he married. “Mom, doctors say my aortic valve needs to be replaced.” I didn’t take him seriously; he was always joking about everything. But, he wasn’t this time.

I wanted to ask God for a creative divine miracle, but I stopped, and asked “Lord, how do you want me to pray for Kurt?”

Immediately, God spoke to my heart, if being able to replace an aortic valve with a new human valve is not a creative, divine miracle, I don’t know what one is.

Nine years later, Kurt called with the same message, “Mom, the doctor says my aortic valve needs to be replaced again; it’s worn out.”

“Lord, how do I pray for Kurt this time?” The reply: If a mechanical valve that’s been perfected in the last nine years is not a miracle, I don’t know what one is.

Kurt and his wife Davi had just moved to a city with a great heart hospital two miles from their home in Arkansas. Kurt came through surgery fine, but afterwards, his lungs did not readily operate. He was still on the ventilator three days after surgery. I called friends for backup prayer. At 4:00 a.m., I was telling Kurt about the prayer of authority my friend Jo prayed for him with me over the telephone—repeating her words, “We speak to these lungs, in the name of Jesus, to the fluid to be cleared; to the heart to heal.”

At just that moment, three nurses ran into the room, “What’s going on?” “Nothing, we were just praying,” I said.

“Then, why don’t you pray again.”

I continued to pray, claiming Matthew 18:19 that where two or three are gathered in His name, Jesus is in the midst, and repeating the prayer I’d just prayed.

The head nurse said, “Jehovah Rapha is here,” and then she admitted, “The monitor sounded. We are going to do an X-ray, and see what’s going on.” Another nurse told us about having her hearing restored through a new surgery. We had a praise meeting right there.

The X-ray revealed a wire may have been pulled out of place. The next morning, Kurt was off the ventilator and breathing on his own. Whether or not the wire had anything to do with the fluid, we don’t know, but Jehovah-Rapha was definitely there.

Jehovah Rapha and my past

Jehovah Rapha and GraceBacktracking a few years when Kurt was about twelve, Francy ten and Matthew five, their little brother Hank was born—right in the middle of income tax season while I was working for a CPA. He called me two weeks after the birth offering to pay for my sitter if I would come back to work. I could hardly stand it mentally and physically, but I did. After April 15, I was hired to stay on. One day, the accountant called me in to his office and said, “Ann, you are an air-head; one day you do great work, the next make mistakes. I’ve recommended you as secretary for my church.”

What did he expect from a new mother getting no sleep? Who does he think he is, pushing me off to his church so he can get rid of me? I was devastated.

About the same time, Kurt and Francy made comments to me, “Earth to mom! Earth to mom!”

I felt absolutely worthless, like I could never do anything right. Why did I have to be made this way? That’s when my eyes caught the title of a book on the shelf, Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer. She had read Tim LaHaye’s book, Spirit Controlled Temperament, about the four temperaments, which originated with Hippocrates four-hundred years before Christ was born.

Florence felt the author secretly knew her and her husband, and decided to do more research. The result is her book that describes the strengths and weaknesses of: The Sanguine (The Talker), the Melancholy (The Thinker), the Phlegmatic (The Watcher), and the Choleric (The Doer).

When I read that the Phlegmatic had her head in the clouds much of the time, I knew that was me. But, I also saw that one fourth of the population had to be just like me, and that this personality also had strengths. Slowly, I began to see that Jesus personified a perfect balance of all the temperaments, and that should be my goal, to trust Him to make my weaknesses His strengths, for He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Understanding the personalities not only helped build self-esteem, (or god-esteem), but helped me to understand my husband and children. We bought a camper so we could teach the kids while enjoying togetherness outdoors. When Francy discovered she scored just like me, she cried and said, “Mom, I don’t want to be like you!”

“Then don’t be content to be a watcher, get involved in your life,” I told her, and she did. She picked up a viola at a friend’s house, could play it, took private lessons, and was chosen for the Wichita Youth Symphony. She ran cross country in middle school and high school track meets and now competes several times a year in marathons—after having two sons of her own.

Even then, I did not realize how much more I needed to change to find healing from my past in order to help my marriage survive and to be the support my children would need in the years to come.


Jehovah Rapha, our marriage and life

After about fifteen years of marriage and having learned to accentuate the positive rather than the negative, our marriage was still like a roller coaster ride. Things would go along just great, and then all of a sudden, the peace was sabotaged. Since first seeking the Lord together, marital intimacy seemed out of reach, again and again.

For three great years, I was secretary of that accountant’s church; then, finally eased into the inspirational book business/ministry, holding book parties and placing and servicing family reading centers in grocery stores. I was always on the look-out for a great selling book to put on my racks, when a whole case arrived on my doorstep that I hadn’t ordered—Love is a Choice, written by Christian psychologists, Hemflet, Minirith and Meier. The ordering distributor knew something I didn’t, so I began to order it. It sold out every time.

Jim discovered the book after our worst and almost fatal argument. We were at the bottom of a downward spiral. He went out to my storeroom filled with books on all four walls, picked up this book and read it through. “Ann, I want you to read this book, and we are going to discuss it chapter by chapter.”

“But, I’ve tried. I can’t get into it, and I don’t see how it applies to me, anyway!”

I was to learn it all applied to me; it applied to both of us in similar, yet different ways. Codependency is a word used traditionally to describe children of alcoholics who had not received nurturing and love in childhood. When they entered a marriage relationship, they were unable to give what they had not received. Their hearts were like half-filled love tanks, straining to borrow from their partner to replace what was missing. The couple sought happiness in the other person, not realizing it was something only God could fulfill. Alcoholism is not the only culprit; co-dependency, originating from abuse of children, can be passive in nature—from any lack of nurturing.

During an all-night “discussion,” my Choleric leader husband, with the Lord’s help, opened my eyes to be able to face my past, and to see how it was affecting me. I never talked. I didn’t know how to talk, struggling to express myself in any circumstance. On the other hand, Jim found it very easy to find words. At any confrontation I would leave, never facing anything head-on. Another book helped me see I was just as “guilty”—of anger. I was just holding it in, seeking to punish Jim by not talking to him. But, why did I have so much trouble with this?

My father never talked. At a family reunion late in his life, he spoke to the whole extended family, sharing how he, his twin brother and four other siblings were brought up to “be seen and not heard.” In a chapter he wrote when he was eighty-two years old, and published in a compilation book, His Forever: Stories of Real People Finding Jesus, he wrote, “‘You’ve got to smell like a man!’ These are some of the few words my father ever spoke to me.”[1]

And, so the cycle went. My parents were very loving. I was so blessed to have them as my parents; they taught me about God. Their priority was teaching children in Vacation Bible Schools, at summer camps, and in our church’s Girl’s Auxiliary. Mother taught the Bible to her junior high class faithfully. They overcame many things they lacked and both became published authors, yet both lacked nurturing themselves as children. Mother had thirty nannies after her mother died of Scarlet Fever. When I asked my father about a character in the novel he wrote, he admitted, “She never heard the words, I love you; that was me.”

Before learning all this from my father, I realized I had a self-esteem problem and that I didn’t like myself, and until I did, no one else would either. I made a list of things I had been too timid to do, or not allowed to do as a child. One by one, I did them with my children; simple things like going to the circus. I’d been too timid to raise my hand in third grade when asked if there was someone who had not yet performed a duty that would allow the class to go to the circus. I was the only one who couldn’t go.

Facing these things changed my life. Helping my father with his book and getting it published helped build our relationship. Since then, I’ve been able to relate to my Heavenly Father.



Slowly, inch by inch, I’m still learning to confront in love, to be a helpmate rather than just a pleaser, [learned from another book: Pleasers] to face every situation, to talk to my husband and with my children and grandchildren. I’ve learned God created us (and instituted marriage), not to make us happy (only God can do that), but to make us holy. Healing is a life-long journey; life should be a healing journey leading to absolute wholeness.

[1] James Stuart Bell and Jeanette Gardner Littleton, His Forever: Stories of Real People Finding Jesus (Avon Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2006) pg. 175.




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