Papa’s Girl.

Redemption

20190928_144737By Stephanie Rochelle Redd

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” ~ 1 John 3:1-3, NKJV

If I was Julia Child, I’d give you a recipe for a casserole. If I was my Aunt Von, I’d give you a recipe for sweet potato pie. Maybe. If I was Oprah, I’d give you your own culinary school. But I’m me, and I can only give you what I got. And what I got are ingredients for digesting cereal serial heartbreak, thanks to a dollop of tear-stained experience with a pinch of hard-won wisdom mixed in.

Surrender. Instead of fighting against the tide (that is, the sovereign will of God and the freewill of others), we can choose to give in and give our freewill, attachments, and broken hearts to the One who calms the raging seas within and around us. (Mark 4:39-41)

Divine order. Yes, individuals and incidents break our hearts, yet – in the God scheme of things – this breaking provides breakthrough to better versions of ourselves, living our best lives. (Romans 8:26-31)

Forgiveness. We can accept who and what hurt us as ‘human’ when we acknowledge that no matter how hurtful humans can be, we are ultimately loved and cared for by a superhuman God a.k.a. Papa. (Genesis 50:15-21)

Faith. Faith is trusting God to heal our hearts His way, i.e. attached to Him, rather than desiring Him to heal our hearts our way, i.e. attached to someone else. (John 15:1-8)

No, my ingredients list is not extensive, but it is exhaustive and, for that matter, exhausting–especially when I try to shake and bake – and manipulate – in my own strength. Further, it’s a hard meal to swallow when we get what we want and we’re still hungry because, aside from what we wanted, what we needed was God all along and all alone.

Thus, the heartbreak.

In order for God to position Himself as *Steffany Gretzinger voice* the King of our hearts, our stubborn attachments to others forces Him to forcibly remove whoever we put in His royal place. However, when we make God “BAE” and put Him before anyone else, then He will make us whole and put everything else in its rightful place in our lives.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33, NKJV

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The God Father

Papa

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By Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Several years ago, I seriously contemplated writing a book about having ‘daddy issues’ and how to overcome them. But Doreen Virtue beat me to it. Plus, in all honesty, I couldn’t write that book from a place of sincerity as my daddy issues remained firmly within my grasp. Since then, though, I have taken a considerable amount of time, conscious energy and continuous effort to loosen my grip and my gripes against my dad, namely, by learning to accept him and his – perceived – limitations as grounds for grooming me to love without limits.

Oh sure, it’s easy to love people when they fit within our ‘love-limits,’ i.e. our conditions of how love should appear. But loving those who smash our limited ideas of love into limitless pieces is where our real work lies and, moreover, testifies to what real love is: Unconditional.

Thank God for a God who loves us without conditions and can, therefore, teach us how to really love others–if we let Him. Although He is all-powerful, God will not force us beyond our limits to forgive. If we are committed to holding on to conditional love and grudges against those who fall outside of our conditions, then we cannot fully behold God’s unconditional love for us.

That’s not to say that we should force ourselves to suffer conditions that abuse our love. No. With God’s grace, we can bypass such abusive conditions – as well as our conditional love – by passing it all over to God for healing.

By passing over nearly 30 years of anger, bitterness and condemnation toward my earthly father to my heavenly Father, I am healing and I am free as a result–healing with the understanding that how people treat me is less about me and more a reflection of how they feel about themselves; free to receive God’s unadulterated and unconditional love, and pass that love on to others, including my dad. Just as important, me healing from my daddy issues frees me to replace that label with the mantle I secretly always wished I could wear: ‘Daddy’s Girl.’

You see, when I finally accepted my dad for all that he can and cannot give me, I was then able to accept God as my “Papa,” whose powerful love gives me what I need and more. Two years ago, Papa hand-delivered the following note to me – at Wal-Mart, of all places – as a testament to how He dotes on me. Now, I’m sharing His love note with you as a testament to how much He loves you too:

My Child, 
You may not know Me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:28-31) For you were made in My image. (Genesis 1:27) In Me you live and move and have your being; for you are My offspring (Acts 17:28) I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake; for all your ways are written in My book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And I brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know Me. (John 6:41-44) I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is My desire to lavish My love on you, simply, because you are My child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:16) Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in Me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:2-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to My heart. (Isaiah 40:11) One day I will wipe every tear from your eyes and take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father and I love you even as I love My Son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of My being. (Hebrews 1:3) And He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins; Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:15-19) His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you. (1 John 4:19) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. (Romans 6:22) If you receive the gift of My Son, Jesus, you receive Me. (1 John 2:23) And nothing will separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:38-39) Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:22-24) I have always been Father and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15) My question is: Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13) I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

 

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Let’s talk about sexuality, baby!

Books

Oh, yes I did.

And no, this is not a work of fiction; this work is very real. In fact, this work is my work.

Admittedly, I still have work to do when it comes to me owning my sexuality outright and out loud. (For me, the written word often picks up where spoken word leaves off.) Yet, I am undaunted in my mission to possess and profess my sexuality. I even wrote a mission statement:

“I am a Divine sexual being. I fully embrace and express my sexuality in ways that are fully aligned with the Spirit of God. I am free from all sexual guilt and shame. I know that my sexuality is a gift from God, and I love, cherish and enjoy my God-given sexuality. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen.”

Actually, it’s an affirmation. And, actually, I’ve done more than write it–I’ve been reciting it to myself two times a day for a year.

To give you some context for these words and my intention behind them, allow me to indulge you in a snippet from the book’s introduction:

“…In reference to my past, the concept of positive self-talk was first presented to me in church – before I was ever introduced to Louise [Hay] – as speaking over yourself. While I was not born in a manger, I was practically born and raised in church. Therefore, the predominant attitudes that I was exposed to in church dictated much of what I defined as positive and negative.

“On the subject of sex, I found the church’s general attitude toward it to be, ‘Just say no.’[1] So, I generally defined sex as negative, along with alcohol and other drugs. You can probably imagine my surprise when, years later, I first heard Louise – a beacon of positivity – speak freely about sex over herself: ‘I am at peace with my sexuality.’[2]

“Actually, I saw Louise’s words written on a Facebook post, but seeing the statement printed so boldly made me feel like I heard her shout it from the rooftops. Louise’s affirmation startled me greatly and affirmed within me what I could no longer avoid—I was not at peace with my sexuality. On the contrary, I was frightened and ashamed of it…”

[1] History. “Just Say No.” History.com, 2017. Web.

[2] Hay, Louise. “Gay and Lesbian Issues.” LouiseHay.com, 2018. Web.

I then go on to reference the rock-bottom of my sexual fear and shame, and the winding and wordy way that the experience led to my Divinely sexual manifesto. Further, I give five points that outline my healing journey as well as the chapters of the book:

Lesson 1: Connect your body to your mind.

Lesson 2: Embrace your body.

Lesson 3: Understand your body.

Lesson 4: Restore your body.

Lesson 5: Enjoy your body.

Why are the chapters presented as lessons, you ask? Because as a student of life, I teach others what I learn as a means of teaching myself. (I told you I still have work to do.) Consequently, I Am a Divine Sexual Being is not just a book, it’s a workbook. 

If, like me, you are also working to rest, rule and abide in your Divine sexuality – as Divinely afforded us by God – and release sexual repression, guilt and shame – as erroneously cast on us by people – then get your copy of I Am A Divine Sexual Being today! (Now available via Kindle and paperback.) Live! Love! Learn!

 

Reflections of Love

Love

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by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

A few weeks ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Life is a class, love is the lesson.” Hmm. That being the case, I’ve been held back in life – more than a few times – by my repeated failure to master love. It’s a good thing then that I am (re-)reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, aptly titled, The Mastery of Love.

“To master a relationship is all about you.” (p. 70)

So far, so good. My ego likes where this is going.

“The first step is to become aware, to know that everyone dreams his own dream. Once you know this, you can be responsible for your half of the relationship, which is you. If you know that you are only responsible for half of the relationship, you can easily control your half. It is not up to us to control the other half.” (p. 70)

On second thought, my ego does NOT like where this is going.

“If we respect, we know that our partner, or friend, or son, or mother, is completely responsible for his or her own half. If we respect the other half, there is always going to be peace in that relationship. There is no war.” (p. 70)

Well, maybe there’s no war in the context outlined above, but my ego feels sorely defeated. Of course, that’s to be expected when we try to claim responsibility for circumstances that exist outside of our control. Still, I – aside from my repeatedly battered ego – feel richly blessed in Spirit. Why? Because whatever lies beyond our control is well within reach of God. (Amen, somebody.)

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:29-30, NKJV

At the risk of adding more angst in the hearts and minds of hopeless romantics and 80’s music fans, love is – in truth – not a battlefield. (Sorry, Pat Benatar.) Love is simply love. Battles only ensue in love’s vicinity when we arm ourselves with fear about our worthiness to receive and reciprocate love, and when we fail to fully recognize the love that exists within us.

“If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There’s no need to go around the world begging for love…We have love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love.” (p. 95)

More specifically, we sometimes don’t see the love inside of us as enough, which can really be translated as: we don’t see ourselves as enough.

The truth is that other people’s love – or lack thereof – toward us does not determine our worth. Even our occasional lack of love toward ourselves doesn’t determine our true worth because no matter what we do, who we truly are remains in tact as a reflection of God – in whose love and likeness we were made – and His Holy Spirit, which lives within us. Nevertheless, what we do – and what we accept from others – can reveal what we perceive our worth to be.

“If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention.” (p. 94)

The good news is that we don’t have to be Le Cordon Bleu-certified to whip up a tasty cuisine of love for ourselves because we are Divinely verified as offspring of love (i.e. God). Therefore, our ability to feed ourselves love is an innate part of who we are as actual beings of love.

So, the next time that we find ourselves on a war-torn rampage for love, may we quickly remember to look in the mirror to find that the love that we so desperately seek is not hiding from us but shining from within us right where we are, just as we are.

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Facebook-icon th If you could use some help uncovering the love below layers of fear-driven failures, join the club – the Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl club, that is – and click the links to follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. Happy Valentine’s Day, every day the 14th!

Whole in One

Worthiness

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by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

I don’t need to watch the hit HBO series Insecure to know what insecurity looks, sounds and feels like–I have front row seats for “The Stephanie Rochelle Redd Show” all day, every day. That’s not to say that I spend every second of the day dissecting and reflecting on my character defects and comparative ‘drawbacks’. Nonetheless, I do spend enough time to know better.

I know better than the tales of unworthiness that I tell myself. I know better than the judgments about my beauty and body that I feed myself. I know better than to terrorize myself with my terrific imagination and terrifying what-if scenarios. I know, I know, I know.

Though, in the immortal words of G.I. Joe, “Knowing is half the battle”. What, then, is the other half? Believing. *Journey voice* “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world…” (She took the red-eye plane going to Maaaauuuuiiiiii.)

The journey from knowing to believing is not for the faint of heart, my friends. The twists. (Ooh!) The turns. (Aah!) The heartbreaking/ego-shattering/limited belief-collapsing travails – and triumphs – that shake us to our very core. (@#$%^&*!) Yet, it’s in these core-shaken places where we are forced, again and again, to confront our inner-knowing of who we truly are.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” ~Genesis 1:27-28, NKJV

Thus, when my humanity – toward myself – is severely tested and I feel twisted, turned and torn, it is then that my Divinity within arises and the God in me is reborn. (Hallelujah!) At the times when I see myself as least valuable and most unlovable, God, through the Holy Spirit, reminds me of my value in Him and of His love for me.

As I allow myself to feel the warmth of God’s love and receive His superior validation, I then steadily recall the truth that my true self is not lacking in any way, despite what my human self may do, think and say. What’s more, in the Spirit, flesh and in truth, I am one whole being.

So, this I know as true–again. But how do I believe it–for real? Well, as I’m learning, it’s really a matter of believing God.

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” ~Genesis 1:31, NKJV

See, I’ve found that if I take people’s word for my worth, then my value in myself will drop just as soon as they drop me. Even if I try to invest my worth entirely in myself, my stock will still waver due to the volatile nature of my personal insecurities exchange. But(!) when I invest all of who I am in the One who made me, knows me and calls me His own, then – and only then – am I truly secure.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13, NKJV

Facebook-icon th If your estimation of your worth is off balance and you could use a new perspective to see just how valuable you truly are, then click the links to find and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. Treasure, that is what you are!

 

Mercury Retrograde makes room

Restoration

Things fall together. (2)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

I don’t know about you, but Mercury Retrograde has been gunning for me. Energies clashing, emotions raging, previous friends becoming present foes. Alas, welcome to the real Star Wars.

And yet, everything’s alright. How can that be, you ask? Well, because…

“He made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning and makes the day dark as night; He calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth; the Lord is His name.” ~Amos 5:8, NKJV

Folks, everything is alright because everything, including Mercury Retrograde, is within God’s jurisdiction. Therefore, everything that you and I are warring against on our present star-crossed voyages is also happening under His watchful eye and, more than that, by His wise command.

In the past, I used to really freak out when things in my life would fall apart. I’d moan, “My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken me?” (I also used to have a bit of a savior-complex.) At any rate, I can still recall the day when life had finally broken the last straw and left me broke, wailing and gnashing my teeth – midday – in the middle of a decently-populated bank lobby. You see, I had put so much trust in my money that when it ran out – and into the red – my trust and my good sense ran with it.

As a Taurus, it makes astrological sense for me to put my trust in earthly things. But as a child of God, I am learning to yield the astrological to the Supernatural and surrender my trust to Him who created both the earthly and celestial realms.

My trust in God didn’t come easy though. (Remember, I’m still a Taurus.) I found that I needed to know more about God and His character in order to really take Him at His word. Hence, I’ve been reading His Word.

For the past few days, I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah, and talk about Mercury Retrograde! What God vowed to unleash on the children of Israel was nothing short of a catastrophe of cosmic proportions. Nonetheless, God gave His catastrophic command to “pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict,” to ultimately “watch over them to build and to plant”. In other words: In order for new things to grow, old things must be uprooted. (Hallelujah, somebody!)

So, when catastrophic energies, emotions and earthly things make you want to holler during this Mercury Retrograde season, shout to the Lord instead and thank Him for clearing out the old in your life in preparation for the new.

Facebook-iconth If Mercury Retrograde is pushing you close to the edge, don’t lose hope or your head, and click on the links to fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram instead. God will keep you from going under.

 

Jesus, take the will

Humility
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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Do you know the song by The Beatles, “Let it Be”? I love the melody but hate the message. That is, my ego hates the message. What my ego loves is not letting things be and manipulating things instead.

I came face-to-face with this ugly truth – yet again – yesterday. The situation was innocent, I was innocent, or so I thought. All I wanted to do was make things more organized and convenient–for myself. So, I took it upon myself to take someone else’s idea of organization and reorganize it to fit my needs.

I didn’t think anything of it until my actions were mirrored back to me – within minutes – by that same someone reorganizing something that I organized. And then it happened: Within seconds, a light bulb formed above my head and shed light on the master lesson I had received from the Master Teacher.

*Charlie Brown voice* Good grief!

What I grieved was knowing that I was the one who started the karmic loop of reorganized noise. What I – and my ego – grieved most was making a direct amends for my originally willful actions because it meant acknowledging that I was wrong and that the other person responded within their rights.

As a recovering perfectionist, I prided myself on being right approximately 99 percent of the time. (Now, it’s more like 90 percent.) In any case, my overwhelming sense of pride can overpower my willingness to fully account for my wrongs.

King Hezekiah of Judah was another person who was mostly right but whose pride in his near-perfection actually seems legitimate, considering that God legitimized it.

“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” ~2 Chronicles 29:1-2, NKJV

King David was God’s benchmark for royal and righteous servanthood. So, the fact that He saw Hezekiah’s actions in the same light as David’s shows just how legit Hezekiah was.

The Bible shows that Hezekiah ordered the cleansing of the temple, which had been defiled by the generations before, and restored worship within it, which is what it was intended for. He also kept the Passover and made significant reforms that refined Judah into the crowning jewel of God’s eye.

But between Hezekiah’s regal reforms and lasting legacy lies the hiccup of hesitant humility. (Ah, the mark of a true perfectionist, recovering or otherwise.)

“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” ~2 Chronicles 33:24-26, NKJV

Hmm. The Spirit is indeed willing, but the ego is weak.

Much like Hezekiah, I, too, suffer from a weak ego that tries to act strong until God confronts it with my undeniable wrongs. And then…I go to pieces. When I finally do fess up, my frenemy-ego then finds all of my faults and tries to act strong against me!

Yet, while the ego is fickle, God is consistent in His desire to reach us by any ego-deflating means necessary. His point is not to cause us psychological harm but to give us emotional support through teaching us to love one another from a place of mutuality rather than hierarchy.

“…For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” ~Romans 3:22-23, NKJV

So, the next time you and I sin and fall short of perfection, we – with our egos – can fall onto “[God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” knowing that if we humble ourselves before Him, He will catch us every time.

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