MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Something Interesting or Unique that happened last month: 1.)We did our first marriage conference at Rocky Mountain Chapel
Top Praise of the Month: We are grateful to be seeing lives transformed by God’s grace!
Top Prayer Requests: 1.) We are still in need of more monthly support. If only 20 people could give $50.00 a month we could support Mountain Haven and start to be more consistent on the income we give ourselves from service to Mountain Haven. Please pray about partnering with us. 2.) Please pray that the couples and individuals we are seeing would continue to see the power of God working in their lives. 3.) Please pray specifically for couples that are going through painful revelations in their marriage.
Looking Ahead: 1.) We are still working towards finishing the very last room in the ministry home, basement bedroom #2. We are about $5,000.00 from having this bedroom finished (including furnishings) 2.) With another $5,500 we could have the cabinets doors and drawer fronts finished and THE ENTIRE HOUSE WOULD BE FINISHED!
March 2015 Authentic Living
I have just finished reading a memoir that drew me to places that were dark. Painful. Intense. Forgotten. We are told to press towards things that lie ahead- persevere- look to the future. The past is the past and it is better to have forgotten it. Live in today without the shadow of the past burdening us. I wonder if we really ever forget? Perhaps our actions, beliefs, habits and responses find themselves entrenched in a long buried narrative? We think it’s important in marriage to set goals, look to a future together by forgiving and walking in hope. But hope is an expectation and an active anticipation of something greater. To activate hope, sometimes we have to deconstruct our past to see where we are stuck. Where we are stuck is often the place we try to heal problems from. And often the healing is temporary and superficial- or akin to pouring water on a varnished piece of wood- it merely glosses the top and pours off the sides.
If we see life through shame glasses we will perceive those who love us in our lives as an enemy or a negative force. We will continue to reinforce our inferiority by subconsciously recreating situations that allow us to believe that is who we are. Imagine you are in a shop of mirrors; you pick the mirror that gives the image you are most comfortable with. If we feel powerless, we may often react in ways that demonstrate power in order to control, subdue or twist scenarios to fit our worldview. If we are wounded, we work to present our unbroken part to the world but our fragmented self often comes out at home where the most damage can be done. If we are afraid, we will not step out into those places of faith, adventure and the unknown.
In her book “The Gifts of imperfection”, author Brene Brown discusses authentic living. I don’t know about you but this isn’t just a buzz word in our life as a couple, it is a vision statement so to speak. And really it’s a lot about facing our fear, accepting our vulnerabilities and owning our shame. As a believer we are a new creation contending with our very humanity. Let’s explore together the way fear, vulnerability, and shame can be a paralyzing part of each one of our life experiences. Conversely, by recognizing how they operate in our lives and weave their way into our story, they can lose their power.
Fear is a complex beast. There is the palpable fear that you feel in a supernatural situation -one where you can’t quite put your finger on. But fear is more insidious than just that feeling. Many people we have seen through the years suffer from invisible, but controlling fears. The fear of failure, fear of dying, fear of being disliked, fear of not having enough, fear of rejection, fear of disappointing God, fear of abandonment, fear of success, and the deep abiding fear that you just aren’t enough. Every person has a fear of some kind. Our commonality as humans is that we are broken on varying levels. Facing and admitting those fears, especially to those we share intimacy with, can free us from the trap of presenting our false self to our spouse and others. In doing this we can share deep, authentic, honest love with them. I John 4:18 tells us that “Perfect love casts out fear.” In the context of love, fear loses it’s power.
Vulnerability is really about exposing oneself with heartbreaking honesty and unabashed openness. As I discussed in a previous newsletter article the word vulnerability comes from the latin word vulnerare which means to wound. We have all been wounded and there are soft spots in our soul. To continue to live in vulnerability is to live in a place where we allow ourselves to be susceptible to harm. That seems to be the very definition of marriage . The key with vulnerability within the marriage relationship is to see the wounds and attempt not to exploit them. I have a wound inside of “not being seen”. What that means for me is that I need Kevin to remember and acknowledge aspects of my life because I went through much of childhood not receiving acknowledgement. It helps when Kevin will be intentional about remembering and talking to me about certain parts of my life that matter to me. For him I must be mindful of not rejecting him in conflict. He knows that in the past I have ran off and away from him in the midst of arguments and yet he allows himself to be susceptible to that wound by remaining in relationship with me. In our acknowledgment of our wounds we live in that tension between the possibility of re-wounding each other- and the possibility of helping heal the wound through unconditional love.
Shame is like wearing armor while trying to swim. It is heavy, it constantly pulls you down. Shame paralyzes or stunts the ability to change behavior, whereas guilt/conviction allows space for change. Shame can come from multiple sources, and from many places, such as being rejected as a child, being abused as a child, or from starting a self-destructive behavior and continuing in it with no accountability or change. The bottom line is that shame is self perpetuating. It is about identity not behavior. People that suffer with shame hear correction, complaints, and feedback from a place of failure and defeat. This makes change extremely difficult; albeit not impossible. Since a person marked with shame typically suffers from a pervasive self reproach and a sense of failure it is important to remember that “love covers a multitude of sins”. By truly loving our spouse we can ‘cover’ their sense of shame with something far greater. By speaking truth to them over and over- that we see their value and worth- we can challenge them to reframe their identity. Obviously a person who suffers from shame can remain stuck in their paradigm, but the spouse of a person stuck in shame does not need to get stuck with them.
Living with fear, vulnerability and shame is part of the human experience. Authentic,abundant living requires us to look at the role of each of these in our life and the life of our spouse.Yes, we must press forward and live in today, not worried about tomorrow. But to activate hope, to expect that our future can be different- we must deconstruct our past. Understanding fear, vulnerability, and shame and how they have affected our past, and how we interact with them in the present, will allow us to live more authentically with those three very real concepts in our relationship today. Take the time to sit and explore with your spouse today how to truly live in a way that invites authentic conversation about fear, vulnerability and shame in your relationship. In doing that you will experience transformative, honest, present love. The kind of love that challenges your long held habits, traditions, and patterns of relating.
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $3,800.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $4,265.00 Remaining Need: $5,500.00 for the basement. Praise God for provision!!
Thank you to all of our faithful supporters. If you are looking for a ministry to support as we came to the end of 2014, or for the 2015 year please consider Mountain Haven.
It has been an unbelievable year. We have been blessed to minister to couples, families, children and individuals. We have almost completed the ministry home, completed 5 groups, and are looking forward to an even busier year next year. God has been good.
Pray about how to support this effort. Give at DONATE or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well. Thank you and we love you!