A week ago today I sat down to hear my friend Jill Anderson’s story and many other gleanings over coffee. It was a gift. Her story showed me even more of the true nature of the Lord and His character…which is the point of any gift we receive.
Right now I am speaking to the Holy Spirit about her and just smiling. I see her walking into any building and she doesn’t have to say a thing and you KNOW that the goodness of the Lord just walked into the building…then she speaks…and you just smile.
I got a word for her:
I asked the Holy Spirit what He meant by that, and this is what He said:
She is my beauty, and always has been.
As I am praying right now for her there is such a sweetness in the room, and I pray that you will just let her story do a work in your heart like it did in mine. She IS the Lord’s beauty, and always will be.
Me: Okay…this is what we talked about last week, so if you could have coffee with anyone dead or alive who would it be? You can choose one dead and one alive.
Me: I think I need to take my shoes off.
Jill: Do it. Here is what is so crazy…it was even before last week that I had read your blog and I was like okay…this is the question she asks everybody. I got to get this one thing right. I would think of an answer and I was like…that is too “Jesusy”…then I would think of something else and be like…Is that a little conceited? I was like, Lord…You are going to have to help me with this. Why am I having such a hard time answering this question? What I really feel He laid on my heart…and I was like…this is super “Jesusy”…and He was like…”Well, that’s Who I am, so what else do you want?” I feel like so much of what the Lord has given you is such eyes, and I feel like I possess it, as well…of every single person…no matter their accomplishments, no matter what, their position in life is like a beautiful story. So…I mean…to have coffee with you is amazing to me to get to know you to get to know your heart and know what the Lord’s done in you and it would be like…even if I was sitting across from Jimmy and Karen Evans and gleaning so much from them and their marriage and their story…it would be wonderful, but to sit across from my husband and to look into his soul and to connect with him….I’m like…how do you measure which one is better? You know what I mean?
Me: I know.
Jill: So it’s like…at first I said “Lord, I would want it to be You.” And He was like well “We have coffee every morning…pick somebody else.” I was like…okay. I feel like it’s not one person because it’s really…I want to meet the Holy Spirit that lives in you. Every person has a different facet of the Holy Spirit in them and so that’s why…I don’t have just one person because the Lord has so many facets….how can you measure one against the other?
Me: You want to have coffee and have that connection. Not coffee just to be here, but coffee to have that heart connection.
Jill: Time is such a big thing in our lives…every minute. People, don’t call me between the hours of 1 and 3 because that’s nap time, and unless I’m calling you…I don’t want to talk to anybody. (chuckles)
Me: I understand!! And don’t come to the door!!!
Jill: NO…I have a sign that says do not ring the bell….there’s a baby…and I’ll hurt you.
Jill: So…at first I was like…is this a cop out answer? No. I could not measure what it would be like from one person to the next saying this was better. I feel like it is just the time invested that would be so great.
Me: I love that!!! That’s perfect. So…what is your story? Because that is exactly what I am doing. It is wanting to have coffee with people and I kind of see people…they will graze by me and then I’m like….whoa whoa whoa…there is something about this person that I could glean. I need to have coffee with them. That is what drew me to have coffee with you, and…so what is your story? Because I don’t really know your story.
Jill: Is it okay if it is the PG-13 version of it? Sometimes it is hard for me to find “good” words to use for things.
Me: (I continue nodding yes.)
Jill: Okay….(laughs at herself) So…grew up in a Christian home but we were Nazarene. Which means there was no Holy Spirit. We believed in the trinity but that was it. It was all works based. I didn’t know what grace was until I was 25. I had no idea of the concept of what grace was. When I was 5 years old I was molested by a family member and from that moment on the spirit of shame was inner woven in me. That started this hidden identity almost to where I lived a life believing I was shame. I WAS shame…that WAS my identity. Disappointment…shame…that’s who I was. I believed it. When I looked in the mirror that’s what I saw and that’s what I believed. That dictating so much of growing up. It led me down….you know I believe that…I’m not a therapist or anything but working with women and things…a lot of women who have experienced some kind of abuse or molestation, they do one of two things: they super retreat sexually to where they are like don’t touch me…don’t hug me…I don’t want anyone; they are completely closed off. Then there’s women that the very definition of sexuality is almost mutated into this disgustingness that they believe that their sexuality is what brings them love. So they give it so freely. Unfortunately that is the road that I took. I just last year wrote my testimony for the first time. It took me that long to let it go. Lord, show me…because anytime I write this out…it’s ugly. It’s a gross story. This isn’t what my testimony should be about. My testimony should be uplifting and encouraging…something that points to your goodness. He drew this beautiful picture for me. It was like this beautiful ribbon that was stringing through the whole thing and tied it all together. He just showed me that in this instance…this instance…and this instance…you were searching for the same thing. “You just had this twisted definition of what love was…you were searching for love, and guess what baby…I AM Love. You were searching for Me…the whole time, and yet didn’t know who I really was.” And I was like….that’s such a good…YES!!!! Oh my goodness!!! It was like this humbling and beautiful….it changed my outlook of what my life was like before the Lord. It changed everything. I had worked through my past and all of that stuff, but it was like…Lord, why did I have to go through that? Yes, you can use everything for your glory…I get it, I get it. But like for real…what WAS it all about? So when He showed me that I was like…SHUT UP…that is SOOO good!! Oh my goodness!!! So it was when…I went through a lot of abuse. I went through a lot of…rape, STD’s, of…you know….so much of my life trying to grasp for love of what my definition of what love was. Skip forward….I was 25…and it was like this beautiful week and a half of the craziest spiritual warfare I have ever felt in my life…over my soul. My mom went on Heart Quest and came back completely different…was like under no sense of shame…under nothing. She was bold, she was confident and I was like oh my goodness because my mom suffered with extreme depression most of my life, so growing up I could never tell her…I did these horrible things, and I don’t know what to do…you know, nothing like that….because it would crush her, and then I would feel worse. You know? I was like….nope not telling her. But she came back and she was like completely different. That week that we were doing the First Conference and James Robinson was giving his testimony, and he talked about his thoughts and about how perverted and horrible his mind was and how he could take the simplest vision of something and it would morph in his mind and it was this horrible thing and he just battled so much before he knew the Lord. I was like….somebody else….I’m not this weird monster…cause that’s what I felt like. How can you look at something and all of a sudden in your mind it turns disgusting? Like…who wants to be that? That’s gross….and I’m a lady. It was so weird, I drove all the way up to go to church in Southlake, and we went to dinner with some friends. My mom’s best friend was sitting next to me and she was like…”How are you doing?” And she’s like one of those people that she can ask like any question and you are just like…bleaahahahaha…(crying sound). Whatever it is…she just knows the questions to ask.
Me: What did you have for breakfast?
Jill: (We are both acting the crying fit out) Ah….I don’t even know.
Me: (melodramatic) It was toast…IT WAS TOAST!!!
Jill: So…she was like how are you and I was like…I don’t know. To be honest I kind of feel like I am these two people, but I don’t want to be either of them. This one is this disgusting monster horrible person, and the other is this fake I know all the Sunday school answers. I was like…I just don’t know. She said, “Have you ever thought that you are neither?” I was like…..
Me: Whoa…have you ever thought that you were neither of those? That just blew my mind.
Jill: Huh? But I’m 25…that’s all I have been all my life, so what? What? I was like I’m gonna need to unpack that…I didn’t even know what unpacking was at that time. I was like I don’t even know what that means. So, my mom and I were going home that night. I started talking to my mom and I started telling my mom about what happened when I was five. I had never said it out loud to anyone ever in my life. That’s how much shame had a hold on me. It had every secret…every horrible thing on lock and key…throw it away…this is not coming out…it will rot your bones. That was what was happening in my life. It was like an outer body experience where you are like get those words back in my mouth…but they just kept coming. My mom was so open and was like…I’m so sorry. The Holy Spirit was like all over my mother speaking to me in that moment. I just shared with her and she was like do you want to just stay the night? And I was like no…this is all like wiggin me out. I just need to go home….have a drink…you know…whew…this is rough. So it was several days and my mom was like…you need to call your dad and you need to have him pray for you. I was like….I’m not gonna say this out loud to anyone else. But she was like…you don’t have to tell him the details…just ask him to pray for you. My dad was living in Libya at the time and my mom was getting ready to go live with him. The next morning which was his evening I called, and it was one of those things where like I was trying to go slow getting ready for the day so I wouldn’t have enough time before I had to go to work and it was like…how do I have 45 minutes? What? So I call him and I was like…I’m going through some stuff can you pray for me? He’s like..”Yeah what about?” And I was like…”It’s personal.” He was like…”Yeah…it’s prayer. It’s always personal.” I was like….”Um..yeah…it’s just personal.” I’m gonna stick with my story.
Me: It’s one of those…”unspoken’s”
Jill: Yeah…so…I go to work…all this stuff. I feel like I need to go stay the weekend with my mom…kind of thing. So, that night I slept at my house…and I did not sleep one minute. Later looking back and the understanding that I have now…there were probably 4 or 5 demonic spirits living in my home, in me…they were there. They were not going anywhere. I was popping Benedryl and trying to do anything to help me to sleep. I literally was like a little kid with the light on. My light on…my Bible next to me singing “Jesus Loves Me”…did not sleep. I was like…I don’t know what’s happening….something is going on. It was crazy. Later I found out that my dad…my dad and the HS are like this (fingers together…they tight)…the Holy Spirit. He was trying to pray protection over me. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this but my dad won’t talk to just the Holy Spirit but he will talk to any other spirit that is impeding his way to be breaking through to what he is trying to do. So he was like, “Who are you…what’s your name and why are you at my daughter’s house?” So he wrote this long email. My mom did not tell him one thing of what I told her. I did not tell him and he wrote my mom this whole email. These are the spirits that have a hold of our daughter…I have been praying but they have told me that I have no authority because she has welcomed them so this is what’s going on spiritually. Anyway, I had no idea. All that stuff just freaked me out, and I go to my mom’s house and I was like, “It was so weird. I didn’t sleep at all last night.” My mom was like..oh no…it is not weird. I totally get it. I know why you didn’t sleep last night. I was like what? She said just read the email…I printed it out for you. I got to my mom’s house and I unpacked my bags and had a snack and did not even look at the email. I was like…I don’t know what’s on that paper…I’m not going to read that. It described everything. I felt more shame because my dad is writing about how the spirit of homosexuality was welcome in my home and all this stuff and how the spirit of shame had taken captive of me.
Me: And he had no idea?
Jill: None. So some family friends came over and they came to just pray over me. I said, “Here’s the deal…I’m real scared. Not about the spirits. I’m 25. I don’t know what it is like to be someone other than who I am. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know how to be someone else.” To them…or if I was in the ministering experience…I would be like…just give it 5 minutes. You’ll get it…let’s keep going. So then…we just started praying…and I had given my life to the Lord like every summer camp….Okay? Re-dedication. Re-dedication. I was like…I will go down and give my heart to the Lord. And he was like…you can’t give your heart to God if you don’t have all the pieces and you have given out all of the pieces to all these other people so we need to go get them back. So…just breaking soul tie after soul tie after soul tie. Then just rebuking the spirit of shame and everything. I remember it to this day October 1, 2007 I sat on my parents couch and for the first time since I was 5…I felt innocent. I felt purity. I felt goodness. I was like…what is this? I didn’t just meet Jesus…I met myself in Him. It was really…I was dead and now I am alive….oh my goodness. It was magical. From that point on I was like….I called my dad and said, “I totally get it! All those crazy people at church that are like WOOHOO JESUS IS AMAZING….THEY ARE REALLY SAVED…THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE. THEY GET IT. THEY HAVE BEEN SET FREE…OH MY GOSH!!!” It was just amazing. So that was at 25 so it has been this amazing journey from that point on. So that was kind of the….I hope that was 5 minutes.
Me: I don’t care. It was awesome. Oh my goodness. How long did it take you to get healing from that because it is a process?
Jill: It is a process but luckily the couple that was there, the husband is a facilitator for Fellowship of the Sword….and that is associated with Quest and Heart Quest. So I literally started my 30 days prep the next day and thirty days later I went on my heart quest. I had 5 days of intense….every area of your heart we are going in cleaning it out and getting rid of it and putting the Holy Spirit in there. We are going in here, cleaning it out, and putting the Holy Spirit in there. I have never had so much anointing oil on my body in 5 days.
Me: I’m sure you smelled great.
Jill: I mean…yes. It’s the best smell ever.
Me: Yes…it is.
Jill: I’m like…whew…smells like the Holy Spirit in here. It was like the Lord knew exactly what I needed. That I needed this intense surgery right after, so that I could just keep moving. It was like what I was talking with you and Sophie about….sometimes that what takes some people years and years to go through because that’s the process…they need it to take that long. I feel like there are some people that He says “Yes..everyone around you takes this long usually to get through this, to get past this. I have other things I need you to do, so I am going to fast forward. Now you are at this place because I have all this other stuff that I have prepared for you.” So that was 2007…I met my husband in 2008. He had just received the Lord in 2007 as well…so if I wasn’t healed, if I hadn’t gone through the freedom that I had gone through I wouldn’t have been prepared to meet my husband. He was living in Seattle and moved back to California and I was living in Dallas and just moved back to California and that’s when we met. It was very much like He had other plans for us, so we just needed to get to the place we needed to be so that we could then start what we needed to start.
It doesn’t matter how old we are. When the Lord renames you….accept it and change. Jill for 25 years saw herself as shame and knew that it was her identity. She WAS shame. Then the Lord called her by a new name…His Pure Baby Girl. All she did was believe Him.
You see, I had names from the enemy. I was Scared. I was Ugly. I was Alone. I was Rejected. I was Weird. I was Stupid. I was the Outsider. All names given to me by the enemy…but not by my God. I am Loved. I am His. He is ALWAYS WITH ME. I am Accepted. I am Included. I am Beautiful. I am Forgiven. I am Strong. I am Pure.
What about you? What name were you given by the enemy? Any name that brings fear, pride, shame, death, pain, and the list could go on…that name is from the enemy. So…what names from the enemy are you buying into? Call them out….and break them with truth and love.
You were planned. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are accepted. He will never leave you like they did. He will never hurt you like they did. He didn’t do that to you. He holds you. You ARE pure. You are beautiful. You are lovable. You are His daughter. You are His son. You are strong. You have a purpose. You are strong and brave. You will change the world. He sees you. He knows you the best. He is your best friend. He is you father or mother. He is your love. He will chase after you with His love. After your worst day of sins He would still choose to get on the cross for you. Your name is now….HIS BELOVED.
Now. What shall we do with this new name? Confidently walk in it like Jill and share your story of how the Lord renamed you. Declare your new name to the world and Who gave it to you.