The Beattitudes Last Battle Style

The Beattitudes Last Battle Style

In Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book Accidental Saints, she challenges:

“What if the Beatitudes (in the New Testament) aren’t about a list of conditions we should try to meet to be blessed? What if they are not virtues we should aspire to? What if Jesus saying “blessed are the meek” is not instructive but performative—that the pronouncement of blessing is actually what confers the blessing itself? Maybe the Sermon on the Mount is all about Jesus’ lavish blessing of the people around him on the hill side, blessing all accidental saints in this world, especially those who that world-like-ours didn’t seem to have much time for: people in pain, people who work for peace, instead of profit, people who exercise mercy instead of vengeance.”

In this list of Beatitudes Last Battle style, I wanted to make sure I saw you and conveyed that you knew you are honored. Since this list is not exhaustive, let’s fill in the gaps together. I want to issue these beatitudes frequently. We are designed for this recognition.

So here are the Beatitudes Last Battle style.

  • Blessed are they who stand in the unknown & hope all the same
  • Blessed are they who fear the night.
  • Blessed are the truth-tellers & bubble poppers.
  • Blessed are the silently hurting who aborted and/or relinquished their children.
  • Blessed are those who don’t have the luxury of not-believing in God.
  • Blessed are they who rise and meet the demands of the day, while suffering flashbacks.
  • Blessed are they who mourn alone because they have pain no one can see.
  • Blessed are they who reach out for help, while struggling to know who to trust.
  • Blessed are they who shed tears for the pain of those they know, deliver meals & write encouraging texts.
  • Blessed are they who doubt God & choose conflict over false peace.
  • Blessed are the children who tell what’s happening to them without knowing if someone will care.
  • Blessed are they who have lost family & friends in their efforts to stand up for themselves and/or their children.
  • Blessed are they who have been tender to those hardened by pain.
  • Blessed are they who seek to heal in the dark & in the dust of others’ forgetting.
  • Blessed are they who parent with humility & open hearts after suffering childhood abuse and neglect.
  • Blessed are they who vigilantly protect the innocence of others, after their own has been robbed.
  • Blessed are they who give sacrificially after their generosity has been exploited.
  • Blessed are the spouses, the therapists, the pastors, the writers, the publishers, the attorneys, the parents, the siblings, & the medical community who shoulder—like good shepherds—the wounded and lost lambs of God.
Mary Ellen Mann

Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.

You’re a Freakin’ Awesome Leader, Ladies

You’re a Freakin’ Awesome Leader, Ladies

Excerpt from the chapter, “Your Legacy” From Pain to Power: Overcoming Sexual Trauma & Reclaiming Your True Identity (pages 155-157)

Dear Princess Warriors,

Your legacy is like a one-hundred-dollar bill. It doesn’t matter if it has been wrinkled, and folded or even torn. It’s always worth the same. Your value is inherent, endowed by God. Your legacy is what you choose to do with your value.

Princess Warriors, you are built to lead through connection and investment. Make no mistake that abusers and the evil one hurt you in these very areas so that you would decide not to use these gifts. Reject these lies. Because you are the first and last of your kind, no one in all of history will be able to connect and invest like you.

Daniel Amen, M.D., a widely known psychiatrist, wrote the book, Unleashing the Power of the Female Brain. In it, he discusses the unique capacity women have to be extraordinary leaders. He notes that in general, women are designed neurobiologically to provide the following qualities of leadership:

  • Women have more empathy than men do.
  • Women have more worry than men do and are concerned with the welfare of others.
  • Women have more self-control than men do.
  • Women are more collaborative and are able to bond or show more connection with more agility than men are.
  • Women have greater powers of intuition or gut feeling than men do and are usually correct in their assumptions. (Summarized from Dr. Daniel Amen, M.D., Unleashing the Power of the Female Brain (New York: Harmony, 2013), 41.

We are forces and leaders, which helps explain why the Evil One wants to destroy us. Your legacy starts with standing up for yourself—and this is work filled with dust, sweat and blood. Standing up for yourself is a mighty and often messy act that is necessary if you are to depart from the people who brought darkness and confusion into your life.

I work with too many women who are afraid to let other people down, so they work around the pain of their abuse. They continue to interact with their abusers. They attend family functions where the perpetrator sits at the same Thanksgiving table. They continue to work in an environment where they are sexually harassed. They remain married to their rapist. (Husbands force sex on their wives far more than any of us would like to think.)

Until you stand that you will not tolerate the stealth attack on your soul, you will not be able to empathize with yourself or offer empathy to others. Consequently, your legacy-filled will lack effectiveness. Your power will be limited, and God’s kingdom will not grow in the way only you could have grown it. If you lack self-respect and continue to entertain the status quo, you will not heal. Yet when you bring fear and shame-based behaviors to an end, your legacy will gain traction.

Mary Ellen Mann

Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.

To Be Brave is to Defy the Lies

To Be Brave is to Defy the Lies

Excerpt from From Pain to Power: Overcoming Sexual Trauma & Reclaiming Your True Identity
Chapter 12 “Jesus is the Perfect Model for Love” (pp 144-146)

It requires bravery to defy the temptation to treat ourselves and others the way others have treated us. If I have been rejected, I will be tempted to reject myself, my needs and my priorities. If I have done this to myself enough, I might wish I didn’t reject others, but I will likely sour into someone who rejects the needs and priorities of others.

But when we turn to God, he says, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). I assure that he redeems the lost years.

For years I was told that I was crazy and worthless.

God restored what was lost. He redeemed my life—all of it. Now my life is built on the total opposite of the years when significant people in my life kept negating me. I have to warn you, though, that as you heal, you will realign, change, and sometimes end past relationships. This came as a surprise and a disappointment to me. I had no idea that my healing would end so many relationships. However, there is cause for celebration, because all of my trauma bonds are gone, and God has more than restored my social structure with people who get me and trust that I have something of value to offer to others.

The redemptive work of God, even amid the losses that sometimes result, is brought home to your heart in his promises. I am here to convey that God’s promises are true. “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs” (Isaiah 41: 18).

Think about Jesus’s conversation with the woman at the well in the gospel of John, chapter 4. She was a Samaritan, a woman who had many husbands and now was living with a man. She would venture alone to retrieve water because she was a public outcast in her “impunity.” Rabbis at that time would walk the long way around Samaria to avoid being defiled by the religious and racial half-breeds known as Samaritans. The story of Jesus asking the woman to draw some water for him is a layered story of forgiveness and redemption. It involves ethnic and religious shame and even the shame of a woman who had been alienated within Samaria.

And there is even more going on in this story. Jesus was also redeeming the story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah. Centuries earlier, Dinah was raped by the Canaanite prince Shechem (see Genesis 34: 1-2). As Jesus did a work of redemption in the life of the Samaritan woman, an outcast, he was offering redemption in the life of the Samaritan woman, an outcast, he was offering redemption to all women who have been silenced and shamed after they had their innocence taken without permission.

The Son of God stepped into the middle of the shame—every layer of it—and announced total freedom from guilt. This was not only for the Samaritan woman. Notice that she shared her story of redemption with an entire village at a time when women did not speak in public. J. Lee Grady makes this point, connecting Dinah, the Samaritan woman, and women living today:

Jesus answered Dinah’s cry. . .Jesus, our compassionate Savior, broke both cultural and religious rules to bring His miraculous healing to this forsaken place. He headed straight for the heart of the issue, stood on the ground where Dinah had suffered, and announced freedom. He found a woman who bore the same shame Dinah did. And there, sitting next to the well of Jacob, He poured out His miraculous healing into her heart and set her spirit free. Today, He will do the same for any woman who has been abused. (Fearless Daughters of the Bible: What You Can Learn from 22 Women Who Challenged Tradition, Fought Injustice and Dared to Lead; Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2012; 178-179).

My wounded heart needed evidence that God was paying attention to my pain and to my struggles. I found that God’s promises are trustworthy and they are healing. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49: 15). We are built as physical people needing tangible proof. Look below for ideas to generate the awareness of what and how God is redeeming you where you are today.

Consider these to do’s:

  • Allow God to give you the vision to know what it is you need.
  • Write down the things you need to see happen for you personally, professionally, among your family or social connections.
  • Ask God for the special capacity to detect that he is at work.
  • As a separate exercise: Note and write down whether you have experienced redemption in any other fashion in your life. Did you get the scholarship? The promotion? The opportunity to overcome a fear? Did you get the encouragement you needed when you were hopeless? Did you pray for insight or strength and he delivered on it? Making note of this can provide important data so you can remember your worth to God and continue to defy the lies often left behind from violation.
Mary Ellen Mann

Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.

Gaslighting: How does this happen? What can you do about it?

Gaslighting: How does this happen? What can you do about it?

Gaslighting occurs in a relationship when a person tricks the individual into doubting their experiences with comments such as:

“You’re crazy—that never happened.”
“Are you sure? You tend to have a bad memory.”
“It’s all in your head.”

If your friends, family, colleagues, bosses, professors, roommates, partners respond in any manner that leads you to believe that you should question your judgement, perception of reality, even your own sanity, that person may be using what mental health professionals call, “gaslighting.”

This term comes from the 1938 stage play, Gas Light, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights (which were powered by gas) in their home, and then he denies that the light changed when his wife points it out. It is an extremely effective form of emotional abuse that causes the victim to question his/her own feelings, instincts, and sanity. Once an abusive person has broken down the victim’s ability to trust his/her own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.

There are a variety of gaslighting techniques that an abusive person may use:

Withholding: “I don’t want to hear this again.” “You’re trying to confuse me.”

Countering: “You’re wrong. You never remember things correctly.”

Blocking/Diverting: “Is that another crazy idea you from [friend/family member]?” “You’re imagining things.”

Trivializing: “You’re going to get angry over a little thing like that?” “You’re too sensitive.”

Forgetting/Denial: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “You’re just making stuff up again.” (source: National Domestic Hotline, www.thehotline.org “What is Gaslighting?”

How do Christians tend to gaslight?

Withholding: “You are being faithless and ungrateful when you bring up things from the past.” “Your need to resolve this problem is another indicator of your empty soul.”

Countering: “If you were able to see things with spiritual eyes, you would know that your memory does not serve you well.” “When are you going to learn to forgive?”

Blocking/Diverting: “If you trusted God, you wouldn’t hold onto these sorts of issues.” “You have an issue with forgiveness.” “Your lack of humility and self-righteousness constantly interrupt our relationship.”

Trivializing: “The way you make everything such a big deal shows your total lack of faith to trust that God is in charge.” “When you finally learn to let go and let God, you’ll see why you’re blowing all of this out of proportion.” “A sin is a sin and there is nothing worse about my sins than yours. No one has the right to judge here.”

Forgetting/Denial: “I choose to trust God with those details and if you were a person of faith you would, too.” “If it really happened, God would have spoken to my heart about that, but he didn’t. So until then, I don’t have to respond to your issues.”

When you doubt your instincts within the context of any relationship—with friends, family, colleagues, bosses, professors, roommates, partners, the biggest healing maneuver is to set firm limits. We only have our experiences, which—when broke down—result in 2 things: what we feel and what we think.

If someone does not allow those two things to matter, we are no longer with a person who will accept our personhood. Period. I strenuously urge you to discontinue or avoid that relationship if you have tried more than three times to get that person to accept your experience of any event.

Mary Ellen Mann

Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.

Truth from God that Expresses Who You Really Are

Truth from God that Expresses Who You Really Are

Excerpt from From Pain to Power: Overcoming Sexual Trauma & Reclaiming Your True Identity
Pages 6 & 7 from the Chapter, “Your Personal Invitation”

Ask God to open your eyes and heart so you can start seeing yourself as God sees you. Scripture provides sweet truths that identify how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit care for you, what they see when they look at you, and who you are as an adopted coheir to the throne with Christ. Ponder these truths from Scripture, and meditate on them until you are convinced they describe you as God sees you.

Because I, [ insert your name here ], am in Christ, I am secure.

  • I am a child of God (see John 1:12).
  • I am free forever from condemnation (see Romans 8:1).
  • I am assured that in all things God will work for my good (see Romans 8:28, 29).
  • I am free from any condemning charges against me (see Romans 8: 33).
  • I cannot be separated from the love of Christ (see Romans 8:35).
  • I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God (see 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22).
  • I have been the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to come (see Ephesians 1:13, 14).
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (see Philippians 4:13).
  • I have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of Christ (see Colossians 1:13).
  • I am hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 3:3).
  • I have not been given a spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline (see 2 Timothy 1:7).
  • I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (see 1 John 5:18).

Because I [ insert your name here ] am in Christ, I am significant.

  • I am the salt of the earth (see Matthew 5:13).
  • I am the light of the world (see Matthew 5:14).
  • I am God’s child (see John 1:12).
  • I have been chosen to bear fruit that will last (see John 15:16).
  • I am Christ’s personal witness (see Acts 1:8).
  • I am God’s temple (see 1 Corinthians 3:16).
  • I am a part of Christ’s body (see 1 Corinthians 12:27).
  • I am a minister of reconciliation for God (see 2 Corinthians 5:18).
  • I am God’s fellow worker (see 2 Corinthians 6:1).
  • I am a saint (see Ephesians 1:1).
  • I have been raised up and am now seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (see Ephesians 2:6).
  • I am a citizen of heaven (see Philippians 3:20).

Because I [ insert your name here ] am in Christ, I am accepted.

  • I am Christ’s friend (see John 15:15).
  • I have been justified (see Romans 5:1).
  • I am united to the Lord, and I am one with in spirit (see I Corinthians 6:17).
  • I have been bought with a price and belong to God (se 1 Corinthians 6:20).
  • I am a member of Christ’s body (see 1 Corinthians 12:27).
  • I have become righteous (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • I have been adopted as God’s child (see Ephesians 1:5).
  • I have direct access to the Father through the Spirit (see Ephesians 2:18).
  • Since I am God’s daughter and because God sent the Spirit of his Son into my heart, I can call out, “Abba, Father.” I am no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since I am his child, God has made me also an heir (see Galatians 4:6,7).
  • I am invited to approach God with freedom and confidence (see Ephesians 3:12).
  • I have been redeemed and am forgiven of all my sins (see Colossians 1:14).
  • I am complete in Christ (see Colossians 2:10).

God placed his Spirit into your life not to give you restraints and fear, but to give you power, love, and a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Like a loving parent, the Triune God wants you to integrate his power, love and sound mind into your body. God shares power.

May the Lord bring miracles of insight, strength, protection, and promise to you. Let the victorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, meet you here.

Action Points:

1. Say to him out loud: “Meet me here. Show me you are here. Show me you know me. Show me as soon as possible. Give me the senses to detect you. Amen.”

2. Repeat these verses while you’re in a meeting, a car pool, a class, studying, working out, cooking, walking to your car, driving, showering, before you go to sleep. Your body has a relationship with what you say, even if you don’t believe it. Just like your hormones release as you eat, exercise, sleep and so forth, your body will release strength into your body just by agreeing and saying it aloud. Science proves this. Scripture backs this.

Mary Ellen Mann

Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.

Pin It on Pinterest

0

Your Cart