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Lisa1I wrote this for one of the strongest women I know upon her graduation from Jacob’s Well this past Sunday. This was her second time at Jacob’s Well, as it was mine. The battle is very real and some of us get wounded and need time for healing before heading back out into the evil and perverse world. She prayed her daughter back into Jacob’s Well and Amber walked across the threshold angry, hurt, and confused. Amber is also at Jacob’s Well for a second time. Watching Lisa feverently pray for her daughter, powerless but not without hope, was the most awe inspiring things I have ever seen. To see the prayer answered and generational curses being broken before my very eyes is a testament to God’s mercy and grace. Happy Graduation Lisa! I was honored to hand you your certificate of graduation! Thank you for reminding me why I do what I do:

Lisa4Lisa, you asked me a long time ago to write something for you and your beautiful daughter before your graduation and you are probably assuming that I forgot. Well, I didn’t. As I sat with my own mother in a small, intimate booth at a restaurant this weekend, I had time to reflect. I could feel her presence next to me and I craved it long before she even uttered the word “goodbye” to me again. I held her hand and watched her tears as we spoke of my own children who we both have yet to see in quite some time. What I realized in that moment is that a mother’s love is like a circle, it has no beginning and no end. Her love for me is the same I feel toward my own children and the same I will feel toward their children one day, even though we are miles apart. It is the same love you feel toward your daughter, her children, and the child she is now carrying. It has no end. We allow ourselves to be bound by the mistakes of the past and the cirlce then changes drastically. One regret leads to another bad decision out of guilt and the next thing you know we are trapped inside of the circle that was once ringed with nothing but love but that is now tainted with the shame of the past.

Lisa2HOWEVER, that circle can be broken and another one completely built that centers around Christ. The spiral of death can be changed again into the circle of life, with one decision based on a solid commitment to put Christ alone at the center of it all. My own mother told me this weekend that she felt guilty for her own behaviors that eventually led to the kink in which I was able to slip through unnoticed, out of the circle of love, into the spiral of rejection, abandonment, and fear. It’s the same guilt I feel about the destruction of my own family and the estrangment of my own children. However, in my mother’s own prayer, as she pushed aside her private regret, angels heard her sorrow and ministered to me in my deepest pit of hell, because of the LOVE. It’s what I see in you and Amber. You both came into this program, you fought for both of your lives, you both fell, the circle was broken, the trust was gone, the co-dependency ran rampant, but the LOVE still remained. It’s the same LOVE that Christ has for all of us.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

You had faith, you held out hope, and you loved until your heart was bleeding. My mother loved me back to life until Christ could do surgery on my heart, and you loved Amber right back over the threshold of Jacob’s Well, until Christ could mend both of you together. The enemy wants you both dead, because together you are a fighting force for God that cannot be stopped. You have a mission that far exceeds anything the world could ever comprehend. Together, you will change lives, see families healed, testify to the saving and transforming power of Christ that can sweep through the generations before and the generations past and put circles back together that should have remained broken forever and into eternity.

Lisa3Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV) – “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Lisa5This is a charge to you and a promise if you obey. Don’t allow the circumstances of life to sway you from making godly decisions, even if you feel as if you are drowning. The life raft is there, a circle thrown in the storm to save you from yourself. Lisa, you chose to put the oxygen mask on first, then you passed it to your dying child before the fire consumed the whole plane. Because of that decision, you both sit here today. I am so proud of you, I am honored to call you my sister and friend, and I can’t wait to see God move in you both to bring others back into the circle of life and love.”