“They will say things like “I have been waiting for this forever or I wish I had known you sooner. It won’t just be the son that feels this way, but also the fathering leader. A fathering leader has been faithfully carrying revelation of the son’s destiny within a steadfast treasury that exists deep within his heart.
When the son arrives, so does a sense of finality. Why does finality occur at the beginning of something new? Because the son has already been on a well-orchestrated journey designed to come into a relationship with the spiritual father that will redefine him in every way. Will the relationship change him? Yes. Will it make him less of who he is? No. Will it uncover aspects of himself that were purposefully hidden until that day? Every single time!” (Seasons of Sonship: Invitation, page 14)
I’ve been going through my spiritual father’s book, Seasons of Sonship: Invitation, and I knew when I read this quote that Holy Spirit wanted me to write about it, but at the time I didn’t know what to say. I knew that my spiritual father, Dr. Joshua Todd, had received a prophetic word before we met that God was sending someone to walk out the process of Sonship that he writes about, and two weeks later he met me in a jiu jitsu gym, shared his testimony and evangelized me. I gave my life to Jesus soon after and the rest is history.
But, I wasn’t sure what my “well-orchestrated journey” looked like. I kept praying into it hoping God would give me some revelation. This morning I woke up to God asking, “How do you get an Alaska girl to Florida and keep her there?”
I got an overview of my adult life, and a sense of the enemy and God leap frogging in terms of influence over my life. Satan would bring bad into my life and God would turn around and use it to bring me closer to Him.
Depression and oppression seemed to stalk me from early childhood. If my own thoughts weren’t pulling me toward suicide, satan usually found someone to use to push me in that direction. As I grew older, my desperation for relief from my suffering led me to coping skills like massive alcohol consumption and a search for love in all the wrong places. When the darkness got too dark, I ran.
I was always running, trying to stay ahead of my problems. It felt like if I stayed too long in one place or one relationship, the darkness would consume me. What I didn’t know then was that satan sees the promises on our lives, and attacks us to keep us from destiny. All the suffering I endured was hell’s way to keep me from purpose.
Growing up I was really depressed. I experienced trauma at an early age, and I kept having run ins with people who hurt me. I felt like I didn’t have a voice, and that I couldn’t relate to people. I felt like an unloved outcast. To escape the pain of life, I hid in books. Then I ran away to college.
In college, I started drinking a lot to cope with the depression. I experienced sexual assault. I fell into sexual sin. I ran from the darkness of college by chasing a man to another city, and when his work sent him to Oregon, I followed. In Oregon there was more drinking, more depression, more suicidal ideations, more sexual sin. The cycle of darkness never ended.
Life wasn’t all bad. I found escapes into nature and developed a love of exploring. I discovered a love of dancing. I had a lot of hobbies like hiking, mountain biking, and snowboarding. But even those loves were tainted by an unquenchable desperation for love. I had a hole in my life where God’s love was meant to be, and I was looking for people to fill it.
When relationships didn’t go how I wanted, and all my employment options seemed like dead ends, I met someone from Florida who was in Oregon temporarily for a school. Our interactions convinced me to join the Navy. A few months later, I was off to Illinois for bootcamp, and then stationed in Pensacola, FL for Aircrew School.
After that, I was stationed in Jacksonville, FL and hated every minute of it. It was hot & humid & completely flat. All my normal hobbies included mountains and there were none to be seen. There were more cycles of darkness, even worse this time. More trauma, more abuse – worse than I had ever experienced before. But because I was in the military, I couldn’t run. I couldn’t escape. I was stuck in Florida.
I started training jiu jitsu with my ex-husband. It became an outlet for me to deal with the darkness and abuse I was facing at home. The darkness had never been so dark.
A few months later, I found out I was pregnant. When I became too large and immoble, I stopped training jiu jitsu. While I was pregnant, my ex-husband changed jiu jitsu schools, and the new coach was a Christian.
I had run from God my whole life, and hated religion. With how entrenched in sin I was, all I expected was condemnation. I was already burdened with enough oppression – I didn’t want religious bondage on top of that.
I’d never had a Christian share with me that Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven, we could be set free, and restored and redeemed into a new life with Him. If I’d known that, who knows how much darkness and suffering I could have avoided.
After I had my daughter, I started training with the Christian coach. I felt the sense of family in jiu jitsu start to warm my heart. The prayers became less offensive and more life giving. Although I was still trapped in the pit of darkness, God was sending people to our gym to pray for me. Random strangers would come and speak life over me. God gave them revelation about me they would never have known otherwise.
We had plans to leave the state after I got out of the Navy, but my ex-husband changed his mind. Having no voice in the relationship, I was still stuck in Florida.
I quit jiu jitsu again when the burden of abuse at home got too great. We divorced, and then I was trapped because of custody laws. We had a child together and I couldn’t leave without the permission of him or a judge. I took my case to court, and the judge’s heart was hardened. The second time I took the case to court, my lawyer didn’t show up and the matter was dismissed.
Every time I tried to leave, something kept me here.
My life was stop and go and stop and go. I could never seem to get momentum or go anywhere because satan was constantly pulling me down into a pit of darkness. Trauma. Abuse. Depression. Suicide. It was all I could do just to survive. I would sin to find relief, and that would just pull me deeper down into the darkness and make me more of a prisoner, shackled with chains.
It was in the hopelessness and depression of the loss of my court case I started training again with my old Christian coach, and that’s where I met Dr. Joshua Todd. I couldn’t see it then, but God had placed stepping stones to get me to the place that I was destined to be so I could connect with the leaders and ministry He had in mind for me to be a part of.
From the very first moment I met my spiritual father, the light he carried started confronting the darkness in my life. Holy Spirit used every interaction to start pouring hope and life and freedom into me. After 30 years of suffering, I finally found pieces of the puzzle I was meant to connect with. Just like Dr. Joshua says in his book, “I have been waiting for this forever or I wish I had known you sooner.”
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve asked myself, “Why do I exist? Why am I even alive? What’s the point of living if life is this miserable?” I had no hope. No direction. No life. No sense of identity. Who was I?
It was connection with a spiritual father and entrance into the seasons of sonship that set me on a pathway toward destiny. I’ve been walking it now for almost 2 years, and I’ve seen miraculous levels of freedom come into my life. I traded in sorrow for joy. Ashes for beauty. Desperation for hope.
30 years of being under attack from the enemy had turned me into someone God never created me to be. My personality was shaped by trauma and abuse. Sonship has broken off false identity like links off a chain and revealed God’s identity for me – an identity I never thought possible. That process isn’t over yet, but already the transformation has been radical. Every step forward provides a bigger glimpse of who God created me to be. I discover new aspects about myself that God reveals in the right time. I’ve been purified and cleansed of the things of the past.
Recently I received a prophetic word that said, “You know what it’s like to run from a region. But now you know what it’s like to run to Me says the Lord. And you are much better at running to me than running from something. Gone are the feet of the runner.”
I hated Florida. I tried EVERYTHING to get away. But it was where God was calling me to put down roots, and it was the place I would connect with my identity and purpose.
Stepping onto God’s pathway for me changed everything. It changed everything about my life and who I was. I can look back and see how what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good. Whether I believed in Him or not, He was guiding my steps and orchestrating my journey toward meeting my spiritual father and connecting to FreedomHouse.
There was finality when I connected with Dr. Joshua. The old life was coming to a close and I was stepping into something new. I wasn’t lost in darkness anymore. I had direction and purpose I could run toward. I wasn’t alone; I entered into a love-filled spiritual family at FreedomHouse who poured wisdom and light into me.
I had suffered so much and seen so much darkness that I ran toward the light with everything I had. No matter the pain. No matter the cost. No matter the sacrifice. It was worth it.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”