Breaking Up With the Timeline

About three years ago, I stood at the altar, pink bridesmaid dress, curled hair and bouquet of pink and white roses. My friend since high school stood next to me, same dress, shiny wedding ring on her left hand. We were there to celebrate one of our closest friends as she stood across from her groom, making a promise to stay by his side. Right there, in the middle of the most significant moments of her life, a thought dropped into my mind making my heart race:

“Your two best friends are married. You should at least be engaged by now.

We all have an idea of how our lives will turn out. I remember dreaming about it with the same friends that were standing at the altar next to me that day. I felt a strong desire to reach life’s milestones around the same time they did. As time passed, I started to realize this wasn’t going to happen. The sting of disappointment worsened with the feeling that I had failed in some way.

Disappointment turned to pressure. I felt anxious when I saw other people getting engaged or entering into relationships. I felt my heart sink into my chest when I saw baby announcements. Instead of celebrating friends getting married and bringing new life into the world, I became worried about being behind schedule. I started to be mad at God too. I had trusted Him, why was He keeping things from me?

There came a point when I needed to break up with the timeline. At first, I thought it was keeping me on track. I thought it was helping me pursue the happy life I wanted. Although there were certain things in my control, like being social and open to meet guys and go on dates, ultimately I couldn’t control when I would meet the right person. The timeline I was holding over my head wasn’t helping me; it was stealing from me. I had to stop waiting around like my life wasn’t going to start until I met someone, and start living. I wanted my life to be rich and full, not just during my married years, but for all my single years as well.


“I had to stop waiting around like my life wasn’t going to start until I met someone, and start living.”


It’s hard to find words to describe the rest I felt when I finally broke up with the timeline. I realized my goals to reach certain points by certain times were burdens that my heavenly Father never asked me to carry. I prayed what felt like a risky, but necessary prayer: “God, you’re a good God. I believe You will fulfill every desire You’ve placed in my heart. If that’s tomorrow or ten years from now, that’s okay with me. I’m not letting my life be ruled by a timeline. I’m not going to compare my story to anyone else’s. I’m not going to miss out on this season of my life because I’m so anxious about when the next one’s going to start.” I felt the pressure lift off and my soul quiet for the first time in a while.

I now find peace in the truth that I have my own story unfolding, and it isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Even though things didn’t work out like I thought they would, God is trustworthy. He tells us in Psalm 84:11 that He will not withhold any good thing from us, and I stand on that promise. I am learning to rest in the heartbeat of the good Shepherd. He leads me beside quiet waters and makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my very soul. He doesn’t put weight on me but takes my weight upon His shoulders (Psalm 23:1-2, Matthew 11:28-30).

When I feel my anxiety start to rise or like I’m falling three steps behind, I take a moment to picture His face. He’s not worried, and He’s not in a rush. He’s not concerned that I won’t make it to my destination on time, but has peace for me at all times. I breath in deep knowing my trust in Him is secure and he holds my dreams in His capable hands.

-Andrea Alley, Intern

For more on this topic, check out some of our other blogposts:

Seriously Single

19 Lies Churched Kids Believe About Dating

10 Ways to Not Hate Being Single

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AND CURRENTLY INTERNS FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. HER PASSION IS FOR EQUIPPING THE UPCOMING GENERATION TO WALK AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. SHE LOVES CREATIVITY AND DREAMS OF IMPACTING THE WORLD THROUGH WRITING.
 WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

7 Signs of an Unhealthy Soul Tie

SOUL TIES

Sex is a tridimensional experience: spirit, soul, and body. Anytime you have sex with a person you bond with them. Dr. Daniel Amen writes in his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex ‘just for the fun of it,’ yet something is occurring on another level that they might not have decided on at all: sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.”

This is what we call soul ties. Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together and the next day ripping them apart. Of course, wood from the opposite board remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you (and vice versa) for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners.

Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a life-long bond with through a sexual encounter(s), but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. The bond (soul tie) remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

 

THREE REASONS UNHEALTHY SOUL TIES TAKE PLACE:

1. People are misinformed and therefore convinced that sex is strictly a single-dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like.

2. A person (usually the woman) gives him or herself sexually to someone expecting that the intensely intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in their relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her need for intimacy and used her vulnerability to get laid. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody that they deeply resent!

3. Two people commit to marriage and therefore surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a life-long commitment. But later they decide (for whatever reason) that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their being in the separation.

I understand that there are hundreds of other reasons why unhealthy soul ties take place, but I am simply trying to give you a few examples.

 

7 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY SOUL TIE:

1. You are in a physically, and/or emotionally, and/or spiritually abusive relationship, but you “feel” so attached to them that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries with them.

2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you think about the other person obsessively (you can’t get them out of your mind).

3. Whenever you do anything – make a decision, have a conversation with someone etc., you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you.

4. When you have sex with someone else (hopefully your husband or wife), you can hardly keep yourself from visualizing the person you have a soul tie with.

5. You take on the negative traits of the person that your soul is tied to and carry their offenses whether or not you actually agree with them.

6. You defend your right to stay in a relationship with the person that your soul is tied to, even though it is negatively effecting or even destroying the important relationships in your life (husband, wife, kids, leaders, etc.)

7. You have simultaneous experiences and/or “moods” as the person your soul is tied to. This can even include sickness, accidents, addictions etc.

1 Corinthians 6:15 – Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”

 

THERE IS HOPE

There is hope if you find yourself in an unhealthy soul tie. You can never fall so far that you can’t be restoredNew life is available to you by simply repenting and asking Jesus to forgive you. Forgiveness restores the standard in our lives, and you can live in freedom and hope again.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

4 Steps to Overcoming Powerlessness (Part 2)

In our previous blog, we looked at Steps 1 and 2 to overcoming powerlessness: Do the Work of Repentance and Start the Messy Cleanup.  In case you missed it, read it here. Today we’ll take a look at Steps 3 and 4.

 

THIRD STEP: THINK DIFFERENTLY

There are a lot of situations in life that seem hard to overcome because of the level of bravery it takes to actually acknowledge there is a problem. We have all met people with the proverbial pet elephant standing in their living room. These people are oblivious to the elephant—their internal world—but usually are quick to point out the elephant standing in other people’s living rooms.

 

Vampire Victims

To change the metaphor a bit, these people are vampire victims! The victim mentality is one of the deadliest mindsets, because a victim is totally incapable of changing his or her environment. Victims spend massive amounts of time sucking the life out of everyone else because they live in a powerless state of mind. Victims believe that their external world has to change in order for them to be okay. Because a victim is so out of control internally, he or she feels an enormous need to control everyone else.

Powerlessness is the process of giving away ownership and empowering someone or something else as your sole decision maker. You cannot fix something for which you are unwilling to take ownership. It’s simply impossible. Taking ownership for your decisions and your problems is the only way to ever become a healthy person. Regardless of what you have come to believe, you are responsible for your own life and actions. When you give up that right to someone else, you have rendered yourself powerless.

 

Meet Jim and Sarah

Recently, I counseled a couple who typified the victim mentality. Their cry for help came in the form of a Facebook chat. I sat down with my friend Jim and began to assess what was going on. It didn’t take him long to explain to me that his wife, Sarah, was impossible to please. She was a black hole that nothing could ever fill; and worse yet, she was a nag. She had no respect for his boundaries, especially when their discussions morphed into arguments. This usually resulted in Jim punching holes in the wall or smashing things.

“She won’t let me leave the room or give me time to think; she just keeps hounding me,” Jim complained. “Sarah totally controls me!”

My first thought was, Wowza! I’m so glad I’m not in this guy’s shoes! After giving him time to talk and vent, I began to ask him some pointed questions about himself. First I asked what he had done to work on his relationship with his wife. There was a long pause accompanied with a sigh. “Um, I guess I’m here,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Did you set up this meeting, or did Sarah?”

(I already knew the answer to this question, but I really wanted Jim to know the answer for himself.)

“Uh, she did,” he admitted.

Continuing down that train of thought, I said, “Who have you gone to in order to get some help with your relationship?” Thinking for a second, Jim responded, “Well, I talk to my mom sometimes. Actually, my mom found out because Sarah called her. She normally calls my parents when we are hard at it.”

 

Stuffing Pain

At this point, I was starting to see a pattern in Jim’s life. As the questions continued, I found out that Jim didn’t talk to anyone about his marriage, including his best friend. To make matters worse, when I asked him what he does to get rid of his pain and frustration, his response was, “I normally just try to forget about it.” It wouldn’t take a psychiatrist to figure out that Jim’s plan of ignoring his frustration and stuffing his pain wasn’t working! This man was punching holes in the wall and turning over tables in the house.

“Jim, it doesn’t seem like your plan has been working very well,” I said. “What have you done to meet your wife’s love languages?” (I was referring to Dr. Gary Chapman’s research on the five primary ways people express and interpret love— Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.)

Annoyed, Jim replied, “Even if I try, I don’t ever seem to be able to meet them. I’ve felt really frustrated lately trying to meet Sarah’s needs. It feels pretty hopeless.” You could hear in his tone of voice the irritation he was carrying inside.

“Jim, what are you going to do about your marriage?”

“I don’t know. I wish Sarah wasn’t such a mess and so hard to live with,” he said.

It was time for me to give some feedback. “Jim, it doesn’t feel like she is really the whole problem. You have made her responsible for getting help for you guys. She is the one who is contacting your parents and me. You haven’t done anything proactive to work on your relationship other than the things she hounds you about; and you have no process for dealing with the pain and frustration you feel from not being successful.

And finally, you still believe that she is the sole problem in this relationship. I’m not surprised that she nags you, Jim. It’s the only way that you have ever become motivated in this relationship. You have empowered her to be your mother.”

 

Light Bulb Moment

I could see the light bulb exploding in his brain. For the first time in a long while, Jim was beginning to realize that he had given his power away to his wife. She had become responsible for the health of their relationship. As long as he kept this belief system, he would always be powerless to fix what was going on inside of him.

So many people are like Jim. They create a belief system that tells them they are not responsible for the condition of their own life. It is less painful to believe that their problems are everyone else’s fault.

When I first talked with Jim, he had given up on his relationship. He told his wife that he was considering getting a divorce because she was making him miserable. What Jim didn’t realize was that if he spent less time worrying about what Sarah was going to do and more time trying to figure out what he was going to do, he could actually fix a majority of his problems. However, Jim had never taken personal responsibility for his life and marriage, so he was always frustrated and overwhelmed because his peace and happiness were at the mercy of his wife.

Once Jim realized that he had given all of his power away, he was then able to repent for his victim mentality and figure out what he was going to do to get his power back and love his wife. Today, Jim is no longer a victim, and his marriage is flourishing!

I have always said that any time a problem is 100 percent my fault, it’s a good day! I can fix anything that is my fault, but I can’t fix anything I don’t control. The day that you take ownership for your life is the day that you begin to take control again.

 

FOURTH STEP: SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

One of the major aspects of being in control of your life is the ability to set healthy boundaries with people. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” The person who lacks the ability to set boundaries will end up being like a broken-down, pillaged city. A defenseless city gets plundered and has nothing of value left to offer anyone. Personal boundaries are like the protective walls of an ancient city. The purpose of having good boundaries is to protect and nourish yourself so that you can cultivate healthy relationships with others. Without the ability to protect yourself, you have no way to provide protection for anyone else in your life. A person establishes healthy boundaries through the process of defining his or her virtues, values and needs, and then communicating them to the people that he or she is in relationship with.

When you articulate your boundaries to people, they have the opportunity to respect your needs and virtues and protect your relationship with them. And when they value and protect the things that are important to you, the relationship flourishes. This is the process that builds trust between you and others.

Another great aspect of boundaries is the ability to let people know what you can do/will do and can’t do/won’t do. You actually have the right and the ability to set limits with others for the health of the relationship. There are no healthy relationships without healthy boundaries.

One of the things we all need to keep in mind when we are setting boundaries is that the primary goal should be to build stronger and deeper relationships with people. Yes, boundaries do keep some people out of relationship with us when they refuse to respect those boundaries. But the main goal of telling people what we need and feel is so they can do the things that cultivate a healthy relationship with us, not so that we have a valid reason to scratch them off of our friend list.

Powerful people know what they need and what they are going to do. They are able to set boundaries because they believe that no one else is responsible for them. No matter what the situation, they are still able to be powerful and choose their responses, because no one else but God is in control of their future.

 

For more on this topic, check out our podcast from Danny Silk on Boundaries or the book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com

 

JASON VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF FORGIVENESS AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF MORAL REVOLUTION. JASON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE SMALL TOWN OF WEAVERVILLE, CA WHERE HE SERVED AS A WILD LAND FIRE FIGHTER. IN THESE FORMATIVE YEARS HIS PASSIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADING OTHERS INTO WHOLENESS WAS IGNITED. HE CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE CORE TEAM AT BETHEL CHURCH AND IS A SOUGHT AFTER COUNSELOR AND SPEAKER. HE AND HIS WIFE LAUREN HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  

 


Does Siri know you better than your friends?

Who are you connecting with?


 

Did you know that the average person checks their phone 110 times a day?*

 

I was in a bit of disbelief when I heard this, until I paid attention.

 

It didn’t matter if I was in a conversation, eating dinner, watching a movie, or just hanging out- I noticed that people we’re always on their phones. (I wish I could say I was exempt from that group, but I can’t.) But why? The obvious answer would be the plethora of distraction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Temple Run, Candy Crush- the list goes on! But why? Are we really that bored and lethargic that we’ll open Instagram 3 times in less than a minute just to keep ourselves occupied? Or is there something else going on?

 

I think, sometimes, it’s easier for us to be numb than to be sad. Sometimes, instead of dealing with the stress of bills, we watch a show we don’t even follow. Sometimes, distraction is easier than confrontation. Sometimes, instead of calling a friend and asking how they are doing, we check out their Facebook and decide for them. If we’re not careful and we remain unaware of this problem, “sometimes” will lead to “all the time,” and we will find ourselves scared, isolated, and alone.

 

Community matters. Having people in your life that know about the details of your life- the fears, the victories, the struggles, the relationships, the hurt, the promotions- matters! Living on your own, isolated and independent, will only get you so far. You need people who can love you through your messes and celebrate you in your victories! You don’t need 20 people to know everything and having one person is better than no person, but 3-5 is healthy and realistic. Plus, with numbers, you gain the variety of perspective and experience.

 

So, who knows you? Besides Siri.

 

– Anna Weygandt (Intern)

 

* Woollaston, V. (2013, Oct 08). How often do you check your phone? The average person does it 110 times a day (and up to every 6 seconds in the evening). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2449632/How-check-phone-T…

4 Steps to Overcoming Powerlessness (Part 1)

Today, we will look at the first two steps to becoming powerful people and putting God back in control.

We were never created to be a powerless people, subject to the happiness or depression of the environment around us. Rather, our source of wholeness is derived from the author Himself.

God is the only one who can offer us love and security regardless of our circumstances. Placing God on the throne of our lives is not rocket science, but it does require diligence and taking the right steps.

 

FIRST STEP: DO THE WORK OF REPENTANCE

The very first step to reestablish God on the throne of your life is repentance. Repentance roots out inferior and faulty thought processes and replaces them with truth. It’s not only necessary to repent for removing God out of His rightful spot in our lives, but we also need to repent for the reasons why we displaced Him.

It is so important for us to get to the root issues that have caused the faulty thinking in our hearts. This is where most people miss the bus. They are genuinely sorry for their actions, but because they have no idea what is driving them (what the root issue is), they can’t keep their actions and heart in line with their convictions. Therefore, they return once again to their old cycle of thinking.

When we put something in our “God spot,” we must go back and figure out why we chose to do that so that we can truly repent.

 

SECOND STEP: START THE MESSY CLEANUP

After repentance (changing the way we think), we often have to go back and clean up our mess. For so many of us, there is a huge misconception about what cleaning up our mess really looks like. We have been taught through our childhood experiences that the word “sorry” fixes everything. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The word “sorry” doesn’t fix anything. I know this because I have three kids! On any given day, it’s only a matter of time before one of my children acts out in a “not so fun way” to one of his or her siblings. Usually, it’s some sort of short-lived, spur-of-the-moment flair-up about who is going to get the middle seat in the car, or who is going to consume the coveted last GoGurt in the freezer. Kids can always find something to argue about.

It’s tempting as a parent to stop the argument as quickly as possible and with exerting the least amount of effort; the goal is to restore chaos to a manageable level. In our efforts to restore order, it is really easy to say something like this: “Kids, knock it off! Elijah, tell your sister you’re sorry for being rude to her, or you can go spend the rest of the day in your room!” Now, I’m as guilty as anybody else when it comes to statements like that. However, the problem with just telling my kids what to do and what to say is that it’s not really coming from their own hearts. Therefore, any apology they offer is never genuine enough to change their behavior, so the problem still exists.

If our kids are going to change their behavior, they need to be able to figure out why they choose to be disrespectful and then they must want to choose a different behavior so that their “sorry” is productive. It’s no different for you and me; the goal of repentance is not to simply say the words “I’m sorry,” but rather to find the root of the issue so that we can fix the behavior.

 

Part 2 coming soon.

To read more on this topic, check out our Top Healing & Restoration FAQ 

For more from this author check out his podcast: What a Man Looks Like or the book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness

Originally published on  krisvallotton.com

 

JASON VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF FORGIVENESS AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF MORAL REVOLUTION. JASON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE SMALL TOWN OF WEAVERVILLE, CA WHERE HE SERVED AS A WILD LAND FIRE FIGHTER. IN THESE FORMATIVE YEARS HIS PASSIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADING OTHERS INTO WHOLENESS WAS IGNITED. HE CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE CORE TEAM AT BETHEL CHURCH AND IS A SOUGHT AFTER COUNSELOR AND SPEAKER. HE AND HIS WIFE LAUREN HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  

 


Soul Food: 3 Basic Needs for the Soul

I have four boys, and they love physical contact. My days are full of wrestling matches, sword fights, and lego man battles. In the midst of all the playing and running and jumping on each other, sometimes one gets hurt. Oftentimes they’ll brush it off and keep playing, but other times the hurt one will look at me, run over, and fall into my arms, tears streaming down his face. I hold him close, wipe his tears, and tell him it’s going to be okay. After a couple minutes, he’s back up and running around with his brothers again. As his mom, I would’ve liked a little more cuddle time, but he felt good enough jump back into playing. He knew he had a need to be comforted, so he came to me. Once that need was met, he was ready to tackle the world again.

Just like our bodies have physical needs like food, water, sleep, etc., our souls also have needs. Here are three basic, universal needs for the soul:

 

1. Intimacy 

Intimacy is being close, familiar, and usually affectionate with another person or group. One way to remember it is to break it down like this: into-me-you-see. It’s allowing people to see you as you are and love you. If you’re feeling overlooked, overwhelmed, insignificant, or unknown, you might be needing intimacy.

It’s easy to be misled into thinking that intimacy only comes through sexual or romantic relationships. That may be the only way we have experienced it in the past. God actually desires us to be intimate in other ways. Finding ways to relate to people on deeper levels of understanding (not just talking about the weather, but hopes, fears, and dreams), is how we become known. Of course you don’t have to do this with everyone, but to talk about these things with people you trust can be life-changing and meet that need for intimacy.

 

2. Connection

Feeling connected comes from knowing that our story is not an isolated story and that we were born for a reason. We need to know that we are part of something greater, and our story is part of the eternal plan of God. We were not made for isolation and independence; we were made to thrive within a family. If you’re feeling alone, isolated, stuck on yourself, or like no one accepts you, you may be needing connection.

The first place to get this need met is with God. He fully loves and accepts you for who you are. We need connection with others as well, though. We need to interact with people face-to-face, help people in need, celebrate people, and allow them to celebrate us. Ask God to help you find healthy people who can know you, speak into your life, and influence you.

 

3. Comfort

Comfort is the need to be soothed, reassured, and encouraged. You don’t have to be on earth too long to know what it’s like to feel pain, sorrow, rejection, or grief. Comfort for our soul helps us feel safe and secure in unstable circumstances. If you’re feeling pain, sorrow, or stress, it may help to find something or someone to comfort you.

Brace yourself, I’m about to get really spiritual here: maybe finding comfort means taking time for a cup of coffee in the morning, getting a massage once a month, or taking that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Okay, that wasn’t that spiritual, but denying your soul the comfort it needs is not spiritual either. God knows we need comfort sometimes, that’s why He sent the Holy Spirit to be our “Comforter” (John 14:16). Don’t deny yourself comfort, but find healthy ways to make sure this soul need is met.

You may be wondering what all these needs have to do with sexual purity. We sometimes mistakingly identify these needs as a need for sex.


Sex is an easy way to get all of these needs met, but outside of the safety of marriage, it’s not the best way, and can actually leave us more broken than we felt before.


It’s important to pay attention to these needs so that we can take care of them before they escalate to more than we can bear. It’s at this point that we’re often tempted to settle for easy fixes to get us out of pain like porn, masturbation, or a one night stand. Don’t settle for things that don’t satisfy, but learn to steward your soul needs and seek out the One who does satisfy.

We may not be like my little ones, having a mom and dad in our lives to help meet all of our needs, but we do have a good Father looking out for us. We are not orphans. The One who designed us for intimacy, connection, and comfort will be faithful to help us meet our needs. It may not be easy to take the first step and ask Him for help, but just as I held my little one when he ran into my arms, God will not deny His children the comfort, intimacy, and connection they need.

 

Want to find out more about getting needs met in a healthy way?

Sign up for our digital course launching in less than two weeks!

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Finding Freedom from Anxiety

One night, exhausted from a long, hard week of work as an automotive technician managing a repair shop in the Bay Area, I got in the bathtub to relax my tired body while my wife Kathy lay sick in her eighth month of pregnancy on the sofa. An hour or so later, I started to get out of the tub to dry off. But as I stood up, an intense thought hit me: I am going to die!

Like everyone else in the world, bad thoughts were not foreign to me, but this was different. This thought was so strong that it caused panic to rush through my whole being like stampeding cattle! My entire body began to tremble as my heart pounded out of my chest and my pulse raced uncontrollably. All my strength drained from my limbs, and I struggled to get out of the tub. I fell back into the water, shouting desperately for Kathy to help me. Eight months pregnant, she labored to get up off the couch, then she rushed into the bathroom where I lay helpless, scared and white as a ghost. I could barely talk, but I managed to mumble something about having a heart attack. She strained to help me out of the bathtub and onto the couch. Then she ran into the kitchen to call our family doctor, who was a customer of ours at the auto shop. He relayed a few questions to me through Kathy and concluded that I was having a panic attack, not a heart attack. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a three-and-a-half-year journey through hell.

 

TOURING HELL AND CALLING FOR HEAVEN

That first panic attack initiated a constant state of fear in me. Going to work became really tough. It took all the strength I could muster just to get out of bed each morning. All throughout the day at the shop, high levels of anxiety overwhelmed my soul like waves crashing on the seashore in a violent storm. It was everything I could do just to concentrate on my job. As difficult as the days were, the nights were much worse. The panic attacks continued, turning into endless, tormenting nightmares. Horrible images filled my mind as I imagined terrible things happening to me or envisioned myself doing dreadful acts. Although I knew in my heart that these images and thoughts were illusions, they still felt so real. I often wondered if I were losing my mind. I could not sleep much, and I soaked the sheets with sweat every night.

A year passed without any relief. Finally, Kathy and I decided to quit our jobs and move up into the mountains to find a slower pace of life. We relocated to Lewiston, California, a town of about nine hundred people way up in the Trinity Alps. Living in the wilderness was definitely slower than the traffic-packed city we left behind. But it turned out that this only served to heighten my awareness of the rat race that was going on inside me.

As time passed, the fear intensified, affecting every aspect of our lives. I became claustrophobic to such an extent that I had to drive with the windows down in our car (even in the winter) so I would not panic. Although my personality is naturally outgoing, I became reclusive and never wanted to be around people. When friends came over to visit, I had Kathy get rid of them. I could not be in crowds, which eliminated shopping, restaurants, movies or doing anything in public. Although I continued to attend church, I sat in the back and got up to go outside several times during each service in order to reduce some of my crowd anxiety.

 

TERRORIST ATTACKS AND A PRISON BREAK

Two more years passed with no relief. Then, just when I thought it could not get any worse, I began to experience demonic visitations. Demons literally would come into our room at night and torment me. Lights went on and off, and pictures spontaneously fell off the wall! The phone rang every few minutes with people saying crazy things on the other end of the line. I am aware that many people do not believe in spirits, demons and angels, so this paragraph may be a little hard to swallow. But if you are reading this book and have had or are having these experiences, I hope you believe in them now.

Then, early one cold winter morning, something startling happened. The four of us were still living in Lewiston, and as usual, I could not sleep. I got up about 3:00 a.m., wrapped a blanket around myself and went into the living room. I turned the stereo on low and lay down next to the speaker so I would not wake my family. We did not get very good radio reception in the mountains, but I thought I would try to find a late-night talk show to help get my mind off my condition.

Finally, I tuned in to some preacher. The static was so bad that I could only make out about every third or fourth word of his message. Yet, in the midst of the noise, I heard him say something that would forever change my life. He quoted Paul’s exhortation to Timothy: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, nkjv). Then he went on to explain, “Fear is a spirit! Some of you are thinking you are going insane, but you are just listening to the spirit of insanity! Not all your thoughts are your own. Evil spirits talk to you by giving you their thoughts.”

I was stunned! I had been taught that Christians could be mentally ill but could not be demonized. What I did not realize until that night was that I had been educated right out of my solution.

I turned off the radio and asked Jesus what I should do. Immediately I heard a Voice inside my spirit say,“You have been listening to the spirit of insanity and the spirit of fear. Tell them to leave you right now!”

Lying on my back on the living room floor, I said in a quiet but confident voice, “You spirit of fear and you spirit of insanity, get off me right now in Jesus’ name!”

I could not see anything, but suddenly I felt something get up off my body. It physically felt like a lead blanket, the kind dentists use during X-rays, and it was being lifted off me. My shaking completely stopped, peace filled my soul and my mind was clear again. Joy overwhelmed my heart, and I laughed out loud for the first time in more than three years. A miracle had happened in my life, and I was eager to tell Kathy and the world about it.

What I experienced that night was not some kind of spiritual hype or psychosomatic occurrence. I was set free! I enjoyed complete freedom for more than a week. After three years of hell, it was amazing to be filled with peace. My joy returned, my appetite came back and all my physical symptoms disappeared. The demonic visitations left, and for the first time in years, I slept through the night.

Almost three decades have passed since that fateful night when I had lain on the floor in our little house way up in the woods and had found freedom. Over these last thirty years, I have helped thousands of people get free, find solace and learn to live in peace.

For more on this subject, check out my book Spirit Wars.

If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, sign up here: http://krisvallotton.com/

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

10 Ways to Not Hate Being Single

It’s not always easy being single: third wheeling it at the movies, persevering through some awkward dates, and scrambling for a good answer when well-meaning friends and family members ask if you’ve met anyone “special” yet. Although it has its fair share of uncomfortable situations and weekend nights sitting on the couch in pajamas, being single does not have to be the time in your life you barely get through.

Here are a few ways to live life fully and pursue growth in your single season:

1. GO ON ADVENTURES

Travel. Take road trips. There might be a day coming when you can’t just pick up and leave because you’ll have a family, so go places. Take your friends, take pictures, see new things, try things you’re scared of, spend time with people from other cultures, and fill your journal up with stories.

2. DON’T OVERDOSE ON ROMANCE MOVIES AND BOOKS.

There’s nothing like getting totally absorbed in someone else’s life who has a girlfriend or boyfriend, to send you into a whirlwind of sorrow and loneliness. It may not be romantic movies that send you into the whirlwind. It may be certain music, websites, or particular places or environments. Be kind to yourself and stay away from the things that make being single more difficult.

3. DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU COME ALIVE.

Write, draw, paint, exercise, cook, play field hockey, program computers- whatever it is that makes time disappear and makes you glad you were born.


Marriage is a beautiful dream, but it doesn’t have to be the only one.


Pursue other interests. You can even take risks on some of them that would be more difficult to take with a spouse and children, like starting a business.

4. GET DRESSED UP.

Ladies, put on a dress, really cute shoes, and some lipstick. Guys, this isn’t just for the ladies. Take a shower, shave the scruff, pull out your sharpest outfit. When you’re single, there are times apathy can start to sneak in because you haven’t gone on a date in sixty-five weeks and you’d rather sit on the couch watching reruns than try to go anywhere. Getting ready and putting time and effort into your appearance shows you value yourself and you will value whatever relationships you enter in the future.

5. BE NICE TO YOUR FRIENDS IN DIFFERENT SEASONS. 

Celebrate their engagements. Buy presents for their new babies. Don’t shut down your relationships with people because you’re in different seasons. Some day when you’re having your moment, you’re going to be so glad the people you care about are there celebrating you.

6. HANG OUT WITH FAMILIES.

People who are happily married have a wealth of wisdom for you to learn from. Ask questions, play with their kids, and watch how they treat each other. What do they love and what do they find challenging? They’ve been in your shoes and you will probably be in their shoes some day, so let them help set you up for success with healthy expectations for marriage and family.

7. LEARN TO GET REALLY GOOD AT HAVING FUN.

Become a master at enjoying the moment and the season you’re in. There will always be something to worry about or something more you feel like you need. Get good at enjoying your life right now, and you will be able to fully enjoy it later. This is a unique moment in time, and you’ll never be here again. Don’t miss it.

8. REALIZE THAT PROBLEMS DON’T DISAPPEAR WHEN YOU’RE MARRIED.

Married or single, you’re still going to be you. All your problems, addictions, and bad habits go with you. If you’re struggling in the area of purity or sexuality, work through it now.


Get free now.


The reason God gave you a sex drive before you were married is because He knew you’d have to be able to manage it when you are married.

9. HANG OUT WITH JESUS. 

This is the only time in your life Jesus can have this much of your time. One day you might be up all night with a crying baby or running around trying to get your kids to school and you’re not going to have time for a shower, let alone a nice long quiet time with your latte and your bible. Get deeply rooted in His love. Write His Word on your heart so you have it inside you during the busier times in life.

10. LET GOD TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE. 

You’re not beautiful because boys say you are, you’re beautiful because God says so. You’re not a handsome stud of a man because all the ladies love you, you’re a man because God says you are. Get your identity from Him because He knows you, created you, and His love for you is steady, unlike the wavering opinions of people. 

There are more ways than these to make the most of your singlehood. Figure out what works best for you. The important thing to remember is there is no part of your life where you simply have to survive and not thrive. God uses every part our lives to grow us and prepare us for the incredible things He has ahead. Chase after complete freedom and abundant life, not only in this season, but in every one to come.

-Andrea Alley (Intern) 

 

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
 WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

4 More Guys You Should Never Date

MR. WRONG (CONTINUED)

 

Just because we had so much fun writing our last list, 5 Guys You Should Never Date, we wanted to hit you with another list. Your welcome! Here are 4 More Guys You Should Never Date.

 

1. Mr. Jokes-On-You

“Babe, I was just kidding. I’m sorry you took it the wrong way.”

The Mr. Jokes-On-You is easy to date because he’s funny… at first. He gets your humor and you get his, however, it doesn’t take long before you become the but of his jokes. He oftentimes tells you to loosen up, or to not take their jokes so seriously. Listen:


In a relationship, jokes at the expense of someone you care about are called attacks.


No one likes to be made fun of. Especially because relationships are about building trust and support. Anything that does the reverse is only working against your connection. This doesn’t mean you can’t joke around, that would be ridiculous. Instead, take time to discover what you both enjoy. Try watching a funny movie together or going to a local comedy club. In time, shared experiences will begin to transform the things you laugh about.

2. Mr. “Right”

“I see what you’re saying, but…”

The problem here isn’t when he’s right. It’s the attitude he carries because he’s decided to become the answer to all of life’s problems. It’s amazing how much animosity is created in a relationship when someone decides your need for understanding is less important than their need to be right. You can’t argue with Mr. “Right”, and if he’s been at it for a long time then…


he definitely knows how to keep his composure…


while making you look like the “emotional/out-of-control” one. It’s okay, we feel you. The best way to avoid Mr. “Right” is to look for social cues early on. See how he interacts with people he’s not in a close-relationship with. Watch his communication style, and ask yourself some of these questions: “Is he simply hearing or trying to understand?”, “Does he ignore someone in middle of a conversation (especially if that person might potentially be wrong)?”, “Does he always have the last word?”, and “Does he consider ‘dumb people’ an actual people group?”

3. Mr. Insecurities

“Tell me honestly, do you think he’s better looking than me?”

From the simple yet profound words of Mrs. Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If a man doesn’t believe he has something good to offer, then he needs to work that out. That is not your responsibility, otherwise you will become his source of confidence. It may sound nice at first, but give it some time and you’ll find out…


it’s not worth it!


This goes back to the two powerful people spiel I mentioned earlier in 5 Guys You Should Never Date. Just to clarify, it takes two powerful people to establish a healthy relationship, not to simply create one. Anyone can start a relationship and have it look healthy for the first few weeks. What I mean is: two people who know who they are and are comfortable with themselves, know their needs and when not to overindulge, are responsible, and can pretty much lead normal lives by themselves.

The beauty of finding someone who is powerful, is that even though they can reasonably manage their own life, they are extremely confident in the fact that they have chosen to share it with you.

4. Mr. ‘Fraidy Cat

“Why should we get married? It’s just a dumb piece of paper anyways.”

Isn’t the purpose of all this dating to finally find someone to spend the rest of your life with? Marriage isn’t just some dumb piece of paper, or even some whimsical happy ending to your relationship problems. It’s hard work! It literally means, “You can’t leave or I take half of whatever your worth.” A lot of times, the problem isn’t finding a man who will pop the question, it’s finding the balance between freedom and pressure during your dating phase.

To avoid someone who’s naturally afraid of commitment, try establishing marriage as one of your goals early on in the relationship. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you feel your relational intimacy deepening, and other times it’s best when you just can’t keep your hands off each other.


Commitment on a superficial level means no one else gets to have you.


But don’t settle for just that. Challenge yourself to find out what commitment really means to you personally. Pray about it, and when you think you have the answer bring someone else into your process.

 

If you have any of your own dating advice, tips, or dilemmas, then feel free to leave a comment below. Our team would love to give you some feedback.


5 Guys You Should Never Date

MR. WRONG

 

So we’ve all had our fair share of scheming, sketchy exes. You know, those people you run into 5 years later and thank God you got out when you could. But why do we date those people? And how can we avoid making the same mistakes? For the sake of all humanity, or maybe just us single ladies, our team came up with a list of 5 Guys You Should Never Date.

 

1. Mr. Mad Man

“I don’t know why I always seem to lose control. I’m working on it. Just bear with me… I’ll change.”

He may or may not change, but that’s not your problem. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who can’t control their temper.


Managing your emotions is a sign of maturity, and should not be ignored.


Sometimes we get into these relationships unexpectedly because he can handle small disputes. Then we rush to commitment without actually handling any real conflict. The best way to avoid the Mr. Mad Man is to give the relationship time. Try not to snuff rising disagreements, and learn to celebrate your differences instead.

2. Mr. Mama’s Boy 

“I really don’t do my own laundry… or my own taxes.”

Loving your Mom is cute, but there comes a time in every man’s life where he has to leave the nest. It’s true, how a man treats his mom is a clue to how they will treat you, but he shouldn’t come to depend on his mother at the end of the day.


He needs to break up with his mom before he starts dating you.


You need two powerful people in a relationship for it to work well. If only one of you can have the power at a time then you should really reconsider whether or not you’re being his girlfriend or his new mom.

3. Mr. Chronic Complainer

“Do we have to? This is really stupid.”

Complaining is a passive way of letting people know your wants, needs, expectations, and desires. It’s one thing to complain about a messed-up order or waiting in line, but to complain all the time…


Really?


If you’re dating a Mr. Chronic Complainer, sometimes making them aware of their behavior solves nothing. In fact, if you bring it up he’ll probably just find a way to complain about you!

To avoid the Mr. Chronic Complainer find ways to establish short and long-term goals in your relationship. Be open about your wants, needs, expectations, and desires. The next time your man tries to complain, allow them to be honest and upfront with phrases like: “What do you really want?”, “Can you just be honest with me?”, and “I’m for you, just help me understand what you need.”

4. Mr. Why Bother

“I don’t feel like it. Why don’t you do it?”

Being motivated is more than just going after what you want. It means being able to make tough choices because you have a vision for your life and your relationships. Mr. Why Bother is incapable of just that. Most of time, he just puts down others who seem to be going places; all in an effort to down-play their own complacent behavior.


It’s a trap!


Do not get caught up! The best way to avoid Mr. Why Bother is to get moving! Find reasons to get up and go after your own dreams. Nothing scares complacent people more than someone who’s motivated.

5. Mr. Playa’

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Wrong! Anyone who refers to a relationship as a game should be shunned.

Why you say? It’s because it’s easy to love Mr. Playa’. He’s smooth, easy to talk to, funny, charming, and smells great. He’s someone you can take back to your friends and family, and they either think he’s a catch… OR they swear he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Yet, we ignore the latter.


Yes, you have permission to date beautiful people…


but you should never sacrifice the wisdom of your friends and family on the altar of self gratification. Period!  The best way to avoid the Mr. Playa’ is to stop ignoring the people God has so graciously placed into your life.

If you have any of your own dating advice, tips, or dilemmas, then feel free to leave a comment below. Our team would love to give you some feedback. By the way, we know we missed a few so stay tuned!