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Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.

Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402

Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.

"Transforming the Lives of Women Who Transform their World"

Healing Beyond Childhood Trauma

Did you know that most people in the US have at least one ACE? ACE's are adverse childhood experiences that not only causes harm to the brain of children it changes they way they respond to the stresses of life, compromises their immune systems and causes other chronic health conditions over their lifetime. According to a CDC Kaiser Permanente ACE Study childhood trauma and ACE places people at risk for depression, chronic diseases, mental illness, financial problems, social problems and becoming a victim of violence and sexual crimes.


Other ACE surveys have expanded the types of ACE's and those findings while not surprising are also noted below. Below are traumatic experiences linked to social, financial, mental, emotional and physical problems. 


1. A family member who is diagnosed with a mental illness or depressed.

2. Witnessing a mother being abused.

3.A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

4. Physical, sexual and verbal abuse.

5. A family member who is in prison.

6. Parental separation or divorce.

7. Physical or emotional neglect.

8. Living in an unsafe neighborhood.

9. Experiencing or witnessing racism.

10. Witnessing violence outside of the home.

11. Involvement with the foster care system.

12. Losing a family member due to deportation.

13. Witnessing a father being abused by a mother.

14.Living in a war zone.

15.Being bullied by a peer or adult.


If you have one or more ACE's you are not alone. Research shows that nearly two-third of adults have at least one. Additionally, the scores are even more revealing. For example people with an ACE score of 4 are twice as likely to smoke and seven times more likely to struggle with alcoholism addiction. Additionally, a score of 4 or more is likely to increase the risk of chronic diseases such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis by 400 percent, while also increasing the risk for attempted suicide by 1200. ACE's is also linked to chronic workplace absenteeism, ER visits, mental illness, criminal justice involvement and increased healthcare costs. 


The higher the ACE score the more likely it is that people with these scores have more marriages, violence, drug prescriptions, increased risk for broken bones, greater struggles with depression and autoimmune diseases. Studies show that the life span of individuals with an ACE score 6 or higher are at risk for being shortened by 20 years.


The impact of childhood traumatic experiences doesn't just go away as people age. Rather, what a person has lived through directly or indirectly leaves bits and pieces. Harmful traces of the past that keeps showing up has the ability to be passed down from one generation to the next causing generational cycles of unhealed trauma and strongholds.


While the brain does not know the difference between one kind of traumatic experienced and toxic stress from the other we are not stuck with stressed out brains, painful memories, chronic diseases, mental illness or substance abuse. 

It's essential that people receive an effective diagnosis from an effective team of caring medical professionals who can create qualified treatment plan so the journey to healing and recovery can begin. 


Wishing you health and wellness,

Patrina M Torres, Founder, Totally Healed International 

NCCA Certified Temperament Counselor, Certified Instructor 

School of Counseling, S.A.C.C. Certified Academic Institution

Website: www.totallyhealedUSA.com

Email: [email protected]


 







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Steps Towards Freedom

Posted on March 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM Comments comments (0)
Are there any situations in your life preventing you from being "you"? 

Underneath all of the junk that life throws our way there is someone really beautiful. That someone is "you". I want to encourage you to know that wherever you are today on your journey there is more to life than what you see. There is more in life for you than what you've experienced so far. 

Perhaps there is some pain preventing you from being who you were born to be. Did you know that we were born to create? I was telling some ladies the other evening that we are born to make something out of nothing. To bring to life that which does not exist. Whether we realize it or  not we are creating something everyday. We do this by our words and actions. On a daily basis we are touching lives. 

We are impacting those we come in contact with. Hopefully when people see us coming our presence is welcomed. Have you ever been in a place and when someone walked into the room there was 
"something" different about them. Perhaps there was a glow on their face.  Maybe you couldn't quite put your finger on it yet it was noticeable.

Are you the light in your home, workplace or community? Are peoples lives better because you're making an investment? It could be something as small as a smile. Maybe a handshake or a hug. Maybe a word of encouragement  Everybody is going through something. 

OK, so I started out asking if there is anything preventing you from being "you". I mean the total you, the real authentic loving life you? If so, here are a few things we can do to step towards freedom.

The first thing we must do is recognize the source of discomfort, frustration, anxiety, anger, or fear. 
Is it coming from the past, present or the future? Sometimes thinking about the future can bring on stress, anxiety and frustration. The key to living a worry free life is casting your cares on God because He cares for you. You may say, "That's easier said than done". 

Truth is that it takes humility to give up worrying. We don't like for our lives to be out of control or falling apart. We want to control things and people. Sometimes you will get better results be totally honest, taking off the mask and saying, "I can't handle this. It's too big for me. HELP!!!"

When life is trying to get the best of you don't fall apart. Don't give up. Don't back down. Don't engage in pride. Pride is the opposite of humility. Pride will cause us to feel like we don't need any help. We don't want anybody in our business or "I" got this. Well, if we really had it going on we wouldn't be worried now would we? Don't suffer when you don't have to. Pray about everything. Worry about nothing. 

Go in your room and pray. Find a quiet place where your spirit can be still and then talk to God. He will bend down to hear you. He will answer you. He knows what you need before you even had the need. Don't try to figure everything out. Don't tell him how you think He should work it out. Open your heart to His will and His way of doing things. He's already working it out. He's able to do more than you think. 

Don't let tomorrows worries cause fear and anxiety. Don't lose sleep at night. You can't drink problems away and you can't drug them away. The problem will still be there. There is a more excellent way.
Live in today. Live in the moment. Ask for more strength. Ask for more help. Ask for more grace. 
If your in need of help identify what the need is and then be determined to have the need met in ways 
that will not harm you, your loved ones or anyone else. Look for more tips this week!!

Bringing Children to Jesus

Posted on February 23, 2013 at 9:24 PM Comments comments (2)
During my morning devotions I read about parents bringing their little children to Jesus. "One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them" (Luke 18:15). I begin to think about the parents. They obviously knew something about Jesus. I don't believe that these parents would have brought their precious children to Jesus if they had not believed that Jesus loved the little children. I also believe that these parents recognized who Jesus was.
 
In other words, these parents knew that making an effort to take their children to Jesus could change their lives, their futures, their hopes and their dreams. It could put their lives on the right path and give them a reason for living. Luke said that the parents brought the children so that Jesus could touch and bless them. One touch from Jesus can heal our hearts, change our perspectives and transform our lives.
 
Jesus is our healer, great physician, redeemer, refuge, protector, provider, deliverer, restorer, counselor and prince of peace.  The earlier we introduce children to Jesus how much better their lives can be. To know that they are loved in a real and personal way by Jesus can make such a world of a difference.
 
Luke 18:15 says, "But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering Jesus".
Can you imagine that? Jesus loves the children. Yet the disciples treated their parents as if bringing
their children to Him would be an inconvience. Well, Jesus didn't agree with their behavior.
 
"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples let the children come to me. Don't stop them. For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children", (Luke 18:16).
 
What Jesus was saying is bring the children here and do nothing to prevent them from coming. And if you want to enter the Kingdom of my Father you would do well to become like these little children. After reading the scriptures I went into my kitchen to make breakfast. While I'm cooking I started thinking about the many ways children are at-risk for not coming to Jesus.
 
In other words there are things that have happened in the lives of children that have prevented them from coming to know God's love for them. So many children today are falling through the cracks but I believe that Jesus wants us to help the children come to Him. He wants to touch and bless them. We must NOT allow the following circumstances to stop children from coming to Jesus. He is our only hope.
 
Children are at-risk of falling through the cracks when:
 
1. There is poverty, low-income and dependency on government assistance.
2. There is violence, anger and uncontrollablle rage modeled in the home.
3. There is a substance abuse problem in the home and no treatment.
4. There is child is a victim of child abuse and neglect.
5. The child has become the parent to the parent instead of being raised as a child.
6. There is no spiritual training, instruction or discipline.
7. There are no values or morals being modeled.
8. The child feels unloved, unwanted, uncared for.
9.The child feels there is no hope for their future.
10.The child has no sense of purpose, direction or meaning for their existence.
11.The parent is physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally abusive.
12.A parent or both parents are incarcerated.
13.The child is made to sell drugs or steal food just to survive.
14.The child is illiterate, not able to read or write.
15.The child has no one who cares about their well-being or shows interest.
16.The child has experienced parental rejection and abandonment.
17.The child is has been experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, molestation or rape.
18.The child is a victim of sexual trafficking.
19.The child has to relocate from shelter to shelter or state to state.
20.The child has know one to talk to or anyone to listen.
21.The child's sexuality has been tainted by through sexual exploitation.
22. The child's identity has been stolen and they don't know who they are.
23. The child's innocence has been stolen.
24. The child lives in a community plagued by crimes, gun violence and drugs.
25.The child has joined a gang to experience a sense of belonging.
26. The youth ages out of foster without proper resources, guidance, support system in place.
27.The child have never met their father.
28. The child is allowed to do drugs with their parents or other relatives.
29. The child has been exposed to pornography.
30. The child is trying to fill the hole in their hearts with multiple sex partners.
31. The child is living in the home with a mentally ill parent.
32. The child becomes pregnant as a student.
33. The child has contracted HIV/AIDS and hasn't shared with anyone.
34. The child is involved with the Juvenile Justice System.
35. The youth has or is at-risk of dropping out of school.
36. The child runs away from home due to problems in the home.
37. The child is forced into prostitution and feels there is no way out.
 
Regardless of the circumstances JESUS loves the children. We must help the children get to Jesus by any means necessary so that He can touch them with His love and grace. So that He can heal them.
 
 
 
 
 

Focus on where you're going

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM Comments comments (6)
Everyone has a story to tell. There is not one person on planet earth that hasn't experienced pain.
It is a part of life. Growing up my mother  use to say, "You don't have to look for trouble because trouble will find you". She taught us to avoid looking for trouble and how to stay out of harms way.
 
Tests, trials and harships has a way of producing something in you that may not have been produced any other way. Recently I shared with someone that not everybody has to go to the school of hard-knocks. We should learn from our mistakes and each other. Those who are not learning are at-risk for remaining where they are. You were not created to be stagnant. You were not born to just stop growing. We must grow. We must change. We must love. We must be people who can be loved. Don't put all of your energy into misfortune, hurt, betrayal, setback and setups. Forgive so that you can live.
 
I'm encouraging you to focus on where you're going, not where you've been. You look much better in your future than you do in your past. You're stronger. You're wiser. You're so MUCH more than a survivor. You are a conqueror. You are an overcomer. You are a leader. You are a mentor. You are a coach. You are a helper. You have something of value. You are a world changer.
 
You really are the one you've been waiting for. On the other side of your story is purpose. Your reason for being. There is greatness inside of you. You were created to make a difference. Someone is in need of what you have. Someone needs to see your smile. There is someone who need to hear your voice. Feel your touch. Hear your words of life. Speak life to yourself. Affirm yourself. Encourage yourself.
 
You are loved more than you will ever know. My prayer is that you will come to know the Father's love for you in a very personal way. Don't allow anything or anyone to cause you to doubt God's love for you.
If you have to repeat over and over, "God loves me" do that. Speak to yourself. Let your spirit hear your mouth repeat words of life. Do this daily. Until there is no longer a question in your mind. Don't allow what you've experienced in the past keep you from opening your heart and mind to His love.
 
Knowing that you're loved can help you overcome things you didn't think you had the strength to endure. Where you are headed is so much greater than where you've been. Do not allow your past to dictate your future. You have a life to live. You have so much to give. And there's so much waiting to be given to you. You are blessed to be a blessing. You're not out for the count. We fall down but we get back up. You're a fighter. You're a winner. You're going to make it. Don't give up now. You're going to be the person you always knew you were meant to be. You're too close to destiny. This is the moment you've been waiting for. Focus on where you're headed it's better than where you've been.
 
 
 

21 Reasons to Join The Innocence Revolution

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 9:02 PM Comments comments (0)
The Innocence Revolution is slated to be launched throughout the World on April 14, 2013. This is a global crusade to end the crime of child sexual abuse. People from all walks of life will unite and energize a coalition or organizations and individuals to sustain a global effort to end sexual abuse of children. 

We are inviting people to participate in this historic event. I believe that this will be one of the greatest healing movements that will ever take place. This is what the world needs NOW. Hope, healing and restoration. It's time to for healing to take place within families. Adults need to be made aware that they can be healed from childhood scars and children can receive healing for crimes committed against them.
We need YOU. We need your VOICE. We need your SUPPORT. We want you to know that you can make a huge difference in the life of a child!!

Here are 21 reasons to consider joining The Innocence Revolution. You should join if you:

1. Want to stop child abuse of any kind.
2. Want to specifically help to stop child sexual abuse.
3. Want to stop manipulation in the federal/state child care systems.
4. Want to stop child trafficking.
5. Want to stop human trafficking (trafficked children become trafficked adults).
6. Want to stop the proliferation of child pornography.
7. Want stiffer penalties for sex crimes.
8. Want to stop placement of children in the custody of molesters.
9. Want to stop the arbitrary alienation of parental rights.
10. Want to protect the children of the world.
11. Want to reduce the number of children and adults addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc.
12. Want to reduce the number of sex offenders and , specifically, child sex offenders around the world.
13. Want children and adults to have a plan of protection against sexual crimes.
14. Want an effective system for supervision & management of individuals on the sex offender registry.
15. Were a victim and want to heal.
16. Were a victim and want to help others.
17. Were not a victim, but want to learn how to effectively help and support others.
18. Want to help children abandoned or abused by the "system".

We'd love to hear from you. Let us know how you want to get involved.  Contact us at [email protected], we look forward to hearing from you!

The Innocence Revolution

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (1)
Are you a survivor of child sexual abuse? You're not alone. There are over 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in America alone. Experts also estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Do you know what this means? In any classroom or neighborhood full of children there are children who are suffering in silence due to sexual abuse.

If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse I would like to invite you to be part of one of the greatest movements that I believe will change the world. The Innocence Revolution, A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse was created to build awareness and launch a global crusade against the crime of Child Sexual Abuse. On April 14, 2013 events are going to be held in cities throughout the world joining all who are interested in uniting to fight to end the sexual victimization of children. We invite you to join us in this most crucial historic event.

The Innocence Revolution A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse will bring together people from every nation, race, color, creed, gender for a united cause. As survivors  we are committed to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. We're dedicated to helping others move from a place of shame to a place of grace. I know what it's like to suffer in silence for over 20 years. Crippled by fear and guilt. When you're abused every part of who you are is affected. Not just your body, your mind and your spirit is broken. 

Child sexual abuse wounds the soul. It breaks the heart of a child. It introduces you to a whole new world that you are not prepared for. The impact of sexual abuse are far reaching. You blame yourself. You have nightmares and struggle with fear and anxiety. You feel angry and withdrawn from the rest of the world. You feel dirty, distant and ashamed. You're smiling on the outside but on the "inside" your tormented and crying out for help. Yet, you don't know "who" to trust with your private pain. You believe the lie that it was all your fault. You hear voices telling you that you brought it on yourself. Lies, lies, lies.

You hate yourself and have trouble fitting in. You do things to win friends. You have mood swings and suffer from depression. You feel broken and have no sense of "wholeness". Your identity is stolen and you live most of your life trying to figure out who you are. Your relationships are dysfunctional because you look for love in all the wrong places. And you don't love yourself. When you don't love yourself you will become a victim all over again. 

The truth is when you're sexually wounded it's hard to find love. And until you are healed you will have problems in your relationships because your view of real love has been tainted through sexual abuse.

Over the years I've had my share of tainted love. And I've come to realize that we were created for more than tainted love. If it's not true love, I don't want it. You can love again. You will live again. You will laugh again and you will dream again. You are a valuable individual. You are unique. You are God's gift to this world. You are something special. You deserve the best. You deserve happiness. You deserve peace. You deserve joy and contentment. You  deserve to live in the light and let your light shine. 

Your experiences does NOT define who you are. There is so much more to you than what you see in the mirror. Do not let the pain of your past dictate your future. It happened, it was horrific, it shouldn't have taken place, but you must not stay there. You have purpose. You have to choose to heal. You have to choose to be made whole. You have to choose to live again. You have to choose to let go of the anger, bitterness, shame and guilt. You have to choose to recover. You can be healed. You don't have to live the rest of your life suffering in silence. It's time to heal and take the rest of your life back. 

Break the silence with us on April 14, 2013. We want you to join us. Support this cause. Let's do this together. We can make a difference. We must all speak with ONE VOICE. We must SPEAK NOW.  We will not tolerate the innocence of children being stolen any longer. We will stand for justice. We will stand for peace. We will stand for healing and recovery.  We will stand for innocent and vulnerable children who deserve to grow up healthy, happy and whole. Join this movement with us. 

If you reside in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia why not plan an event or let's work together. We're planning a great concert, speakers, and more.  If you're a singer, musician, choir, poet or spoken word artist let's connect. Let's launch one of the greatest awareness and healing movements that this world have ever seen and will NEVER forget.  

Email me at [email protected] to say, "Patrina, count me in"!! 

We hope to hear from you today!




God Speaks Through Dreams

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 6:03 PM Comments comments (1)
Are you a dreamer? A few years ago God started dealing with me in dreams. It was during a very dark season in my life. I was going through so much in almost every area of my life. It was certainly a wilderness season. I've come through some tests since that time. But I don't think I've ever been through a season like that one. There are some test, trials or seasons you just don't want to repeat. That was one.

But at the same time can I tell you something? During that extended trial I learned some things about God that I otherwise may not have known. The wilderness is a place of cleansing and purification. The wilderness was my "crossroad". It was the place where I had to make some decisions. Not an emotional decisions just to get me out of the wilderness. I had to make an intelligent decision. I didn't want to stay in the wilderness any longer than necessary. That meant that I had to surrender. 

I had to come to the end of myself. I could no longer blame anyone. I had to take responsibility for who I had become. I had to agree with God that I was wrong and He was right. I had to take the rest of my life back. I had to confess that I couldn't do life anymore. I couldn't wear the mask any longer. I needed some help. I had to say, "Lord I'm standing in the need of prayer. My life is falling apart. I'm a miserable wreck. I'm desperate. I need you. I can't do this anymore.  If you don't come I don't think I'm going to make it."  

The wilderness is where God has me all to himself. And this is exactly where I needed to be. I needed to hear His voice. I needed to know what He thought about me. I needed to know that my life mattered. I needed to know that He was real. And that He could get me out of the mess I was in. I had hit rock-bottom. I had to give up. I couldn't keep running. I had to stand still and let Him rescue me. 

His voice was so much clearer. I became sensitive to His spirit. He never left me alone. Not for one second. In fact, He was drawing me closer through His Word and prayer. He also gave me dreams. These were dreams to let me know about things that would happen in the future. 

I would write the dreams down and pray about them. These dreams gave me direction, warning about what could have caused problems and confirmation about things that I sensed but He wanted me to know the truth about. God spoke to people in the Bible and He still speaks through dreams today.

How should we respond to a dream? In prayer. We don't have to become anxious or afraid. He wants us to seek Him for the interpretation so that He can give us the revelation about what we are to do. Sometimes there can be many things going on in life. So He waits to speak to us when we're sleep.  He wants us to know the meaning of what He is saying. He may give us direction that we will need. He may confirm something or give us a warning. But when the time comes we will know exactly what the dream means. He'll bring it back to your remembrance at exactly the right time and place. 

Scripture says that in the last days, He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh and we would have dreams and visions. We can even expect our children to have dreams. When your child starts having dreams encourage them to tell you about it. You may want to even purchase a dream journal for them. For instance recently God gave one of my sons a specific dream of instruction about how a friend of ours would receive her healing. When my son shared the dream with me I knew there was a message. 

When I shared the dream with our friend she immediately started crying and praising God. And I started rejoicing with her. She told me that it was a confirmation because God had been showing her the same Scripture that He gave my son to give to her in the dream. God loves us so much. Be open to how He wants to minister to you. You can be confident in Him. His Words are true. He is not a man that He should lie. Believe what He's speaking to you. Receive His glorious promises for your life. His promises are true for you today. Ask Him to fulfill every dream He has given you and then trust Him.

Remain Blessed!




Are you worried?

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 6:31 PM Comments comments (0)
Is there something you're worried about? Sometimes we worry, but worry doesn't please God. I'm not suggesting that you deny when there's a problem. That mountain that you're looking at may be staring you right in the face. It might even look impossible. At the same time, there isn't a mountain that can't be moved in your life. Your problems are real. But they are temporary and subject to change. This is why we are told to be anxious for nothing and pray about everything.

Our faith is what gives God access to work in our lives. Faith gives us access to His goodness and favor. This means whether or  not your circumstances agree with the Word of God, you must agree with it. You must believe the Word just because God said it. If He said it, then it is so.

When you believe you don't have to worry about how you are going to take care of your family. You are not going to worry about how you are going to survive the economic crisis or how you're going to pay your rent or feed your children. Pray about everything, worry about nothing. Yes, we are responsible for taking care of our responsibilities. We are called to work so that we don't have to depend on anyone. When we're doing all that's in our power to do then we must believe that He can handle the rest.

Present your request unto God with the utmost confidence that He will answer. Don't hold anything back. Be it great or small. If it concerns you, it concerns Him. You can cast all of your cares and concerns upon Him because He cares deeply for you. Leave your cares in the hands of the Almighty and expect the unexpected. Over the years I've learned the importance of taking God out of the box. Sometimes we box the Creator in. We can't tell Him how to answer our prayers. We must allow Him to work according to His good will and pleasure. Is there anything that's holding you back from trusting?

If so, I want to encourage you to let "that" go so that you can trust the One who loves you so much. 
In God's economy there is no lack. Everything in the world belongs to Him. He owns everything that exist. He promises to supply all that we need. What do you need today? If you're in need of healing for your body, mind or spirit He has the cure. If you need to be revived He will touch you. If there's a relationship that's broken, He can put broken relationships back together again. 

If your heart is broken, He's the best heart healer I've ever known. I have had my share of broken hearts. What makes it so traumatizing is that most times it's those who are closest to you that hurt you the most. If a stranger hurt you it's easier to get over. But when it's people you love, respect and trust it's hard, but it's not impossible. There is healing power in forgiveness. 

When your heart has been broken family, friends or co-workers may try to comfort you or cheer you up but most times it doesn't work. When you feel broken sometimes you can't even eat. When your heart has been torn to pieces and there is no healing remember that there is no pain that Jesus can't heal. Your hurt is real but so is the healing for your hurt. Despite what it feels like, there is a still a Balm in Gilead. 

If you need help with forgiveness He can empower you to forgive. If you're family is going through a very difficult time right now, He's concerned and wants bring healing and comfort to you. Whatever it is, invite Him to get involved with the situation. There's a miracle for you and it's on His mind. Even if He doesn't come when you think He should come, He's always on time. Sometimes delays give you enough time to exhaust all of your resources. This teaches us how to depend on Him in quietness and confidence.

When God is all that you have you will discover that He was all you needed. It doesn't matter who leaves you. He promises never to leave or forsake us. When the hard times come, He doesn't get lost. He's right there holding you together. Keeping you in place. If you're worrying today, don't worry. 

Weeping may endure for a night, but morning time is coming. The sun is going to shine in your life again. Don't you give up. Don't you give in. Don't throw in the towel. Pray until something happens. Nothing happens until something is said.  He wants to give you peace that surpasses your understanding. When you seek you will find. When you ask you will receive. When you knock the door will open.

Remain Blessed!!

 


Are you bleeding?

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (0)
There was a woman in a crowd of people. You can be in a crowd of people and still be wounded, hurting, broken, barren and bruised. This woman suffered for 12 years with constant bleeding. The Scripture doesn't tell us what her name was. May I submit to you that you don't have to a woman to experience blood loss. There are many people today who are bleeding, men, women and children. 

What are some of the instances that can make a person bleed? If you've ever heard word like, "You're never going to be nothing, I hate the day you were born, no one will ever love you, you'll never make it without me, I never loved you, why can't you be just like your brother. If' you've ever been called stupid, whore, slut or any other demeaning word it's likely that you know what it's like to bleed.

If you've ever experienced betrayal, rejection or abandonment you know what it's like to bleed. If you were the black sheep of the family, adopted or grow up in a foster care environment there still may be some bleeding going on. Bleeding is not based on your color, creed, education, race, gender or financial status. Wounded hearts are bleeding hearts. 

Sometimes you can bleed and not really understand. This woman didn't know what to do about her issue. She just knew that she couldn't make the bleeding stop. If life there may be some circumstances that happened without a cause. In other words you didn't cause the bleeding. You didn't cause the trauma or the hurt. It was something that entered your life. You didn't ask for it. But the next thing you know your life has been turned upside down. 

Have you ever found yourself in a place you never thought you'd be? Maybe the marriage that you thought was going to last forever ended in divorce. Perhaps you were next in line for a promotion at work and was looked over. What did you do when the doctor's report came? How do you go on after you've cried and prayed, prayed and cried and your child still went to prison. Maybe you were trying to get pregnant and you finally conceived, and yet lost the baby. Maybe you buried your spouse or a child.

I don't know where you are today, but one thing I do know for sure is all everyone bleeds. We may not always act anything is wrong but we all go through our seasons of bleeding. Where it seems that no matter what you do it feels like the loss is draining every bit of strength that you have. 

This woman didn't cause her issue. Yet she had it hard. She couldn't live a normal life. People talked about her in the community. Many of the women whispered and the men didn't desire her. Because of her issue of blood she would not have made an appropriate wife. She was labeled "outcast". She wore guilt and shame all over her face. She had no self esteem and no self worth. She didn't she things ever changing in her life. Instead of trying to empower her they people judged her. 

When they didn't even know her story. They didn't try to help her that criticized her. This woman was paralyzed. She didn't cause the bleeding and she couldn't stop it. And she had no one to help her. This woman pressed through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus garment. Whatever you have to press through to get to Jesus, press on. You may have to press through some fear or doubt. But press through. There may be some old memories that you haven't let go of, but press through it. You may have to press through religion, but just do it. Make up in your mind that you're going to do whatever you need to do to get to Jesus. He sees your issue. He wants to heal you and make you whole.

It doesn't matter what's going on in your life God loves you. It doesn't matter who hates you, who betrayed you or who turned their back on you God is able. Somebody may have beat you and left you for dead, but God can stop the bleeding in your life. 

Perhaps you've reached out to relatives, friends or leaders and no one seems to have the answer.  Know that God still has a plan. He can stop the bleeding. He wants to turn your situation around. Whatever it is that feels like it's dead in your life, He can bring life and wholeness to that area. Sometimes you won't know that He's really all you have until He becomes all you have. 

I encourage you to cry out to God. Go somewhere in a room by yourself and just begin to tell Him what you feel. Let Him know that you need Him. Get naked before Him. He can handle your issue. Sometimes people can't handle the truth. He can in fact He honors those who are willing to keep it real. If you need to repent and ask Him for forgiveness receive it. He'll forgive you and won't bring it up again.

Wherever you are in your life right now He has a miracle in mind for you. Don't wait until tomorrow. Do it today. Talk to the Father. He's waiting to hear your voice. He invites us to come. Bring all of our cares and concerns to Him. He cares for us and He's going to work it out for you!



Helping Youth Deal With Their Pain

Posted on December 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (94)
Broken homes, broken promises, broken lives. It took everything within me to hold back my tears. My heart was broken as I listened to a young person share her story. I wanted to be strong but at the same time I found myself in the "moment" with her. I could feel her pain, as she verbalized the words spoken over her life. "You're never going to be anything. No one is going to love you. You're going to be just like me". As tears filled her eyes as she expressed how angry and hurt she was, I cried on the inside. 

I wanted to make it all go away. I wished I could make things better. I told her that one day things could be different. That God really does love her and have a plan for her life. Somehow, I wanted to assure her that everything really is going to be okay, but will it? I sure pray that things turn around in her favor.

Many youth are hurting in today's society. There's just no other way to say it. Incarceration, substance abuse, alcoholism, teen parenting, probation, low self-esteem, anger, rage, bitterness, depression, suicide homosexuality, abortion, shame, guilt, anxiety and fear. Many youth today find themselves struggling with issues such as these and more. When I left this young lady's presence my heart was still bleeding. I was trying to come up with ways to help. Thoughts like "What can I do?" raced through my mind.

This morning during my daily devotional & journal writing, I had a thought. The thought was there are no illegitimate children only parents. Children are a gift from up above. They don't request to be born. They don't ask to come here. All children are created by God and born with a purpose.

Therefore, children should expect to be nurtured, loved, guided and provided for. When a parent rejects a child, chooses not to be there or put their child in harms way, it's not the child's responsibility. It's not their fault. They are not to blame. Many children are dealing with the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation. It's time to break the cycle of generational curses and renounce the works of darkness. This is the only way youth are ever going to realize their potential. 

It's time for the family to be totally healed and restored. Children need their parents and parents need their children. When there is healing that needs to take place there is no better time to start than now. In America alone there are over 26 million children growing up without a father in their homes. It is time for the hearts of fathers to be turned back to the heart of their children. 

We need more men like Joshua who will rise up and say, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord". Studies show that youth from fatherless homes account for the following:

63% of Youth Suicides
71% of Pregnant Teenagers
90% of Homeless and Runaway Youth
70% of Juvenile in State Institutions
85% of All Youth Sitting in Prison
85% of All Youth with Behavior Disorders
80% of Rape Motivated by Displaced Anger
71% of High-School Dropouts
75% of Adolescents in Drug Abuse Centers

The answer to this growing epidemic of lost, hurting and broken young people is showing them that we care. Letting them know that they matter. Helping them find healing and recovery. Helping youth rebuild their self esteem and confidence is very important. Being a resource, mentor or guide can help them discover a new path for a new beginning. If you'd like to partner with us, please send an email to [email protected]  Remain Blessed!!






Healing the Soul

Posted on December 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM Comments comments (0)
Did you know that it's possible for your emotions to freeze in time? Our personal growth and development can be arrested, leaving us unable to experience life at its best. There are many adults today struggling with past hurts. Sincere spirit-filled Christians who love God are also in need of healing. It seems that no matter what they do, there never seems to be any lasting change. 

What could be the problem? There is a realm of people experiencing problems that are not resolved by regular church attendance, prayers or scripture. There is an area where Scripture talks about, "infirmities". Somewhere between our sins and our sicknesses we find ourselves dealing with infirmities. We all have a history, a past. The history of or lives represents the autobiography for growth. The history of our lives includes life events that have taken place over the years.

There are memories  of ancient scars and painful hurts that plague your mind. Eating away at the core of your being causing inner and outer conflict. Tragic stains of life that makes everything look discolored and disfigured. You view life, God and people based on ancient events and unresolved tragedies. The pressure of painful, repressed memories are often buried in pain for so long that the rage and hurt that it causes devastating.

These scars are not touched by conversion. Scars just don't go away the moment you accept Christ. Healing is a process, not a one time event. In our minds and emotions the recorded events of our lives are still alive. And they deeply affect our perception, our feelings and our relationships. It affects how we interact with the world around us. It impacts whether or not our world is progressing or stuck.

Christian leaders have often given people the idea that when you accept Christ all your troubles with be over. Yet, Christ told us that as long as we're in this world we will experience trouble. Many people have believed that when you experience the new birth and are filled with the Holy Spirit you will automatically resolve long standing emotional hang-ups, habits and hurts. Can I be honest with you? This is not true. Could this be the reason so many people go to church one way and leave the same?

As important as the gift of salvation is it's not a shortcut to good emotional health. Jesus said I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers. If our soul is not prospering, it's going to be difficult for anything else in our lives to prosper.  There are many who would break the cycle of soul poverty if they only knew how. It is important or people to understand  the connection between memories and images of the past and their Christian walk.

When our soul (mind, will and emotions) is prospering we will experience good emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and financial health. Salvation is not a quick fix for personality problems. There is a deeper work of healing that the Holy Spirit does to bring us from a place of shame to a place of grace. 
This happens over a period of time. Where we are didn't happen over night, so it is with transformation.

We will continue Healing the Soul in our upcoming post.  Until next time, remain blessed!!

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