Take Off the Masks and Find Your True Self

My name is Kerri Johnson. For the past 20+ years, I have searched for answers to my own struggles. My lifelong passion has been in pursuit of my true identity and the healing of body, soul, and spirit. Out of those studies, Transformations was birthed. Transformations is an interactive healing process and a catalyst for helping people come out of the lies they believe and into the fullness of truth and identity.

Unfortunately, many of us spend our entire lives trying to mask who we are. That’s what we are taught. We are taught that we should hide our scars and shortcomings to survive and thrive in this perfect world. Neither of those statements is true. We shouldn’t hide our hurt, and the world is far from perfect. To be authentic, we have to identify our pain, bring it forward, and offer it on the altar of life to be able to be free. Otherwise, pain is our autopilot in everything we are, do, and say.

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Follow the Pain

Have you ever wondered why we go through painful experiences? What purpose does it serve?

First, we need to remember it’s not about us. It’s all about God. When you go through a painful experience, God is trying to bring you to the end of yourself, so He can take over. He wants to stretch you and make you depend on Him. That doesn’t mean He causes the painful event, but He will certainly use it.

Did you know real emotional pain lasts only two minutes? The rest is perceived pain. We have a choice of how we respond to that perceived pain. It matters greatly what you do with your pain. Pain will point you to the path of your healing. Do you want to be healed? Follow the pain.

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He’s All We Have

“All my hope is in Jesus.”

Yeh yeh … sounds religious I know but the older I get the more I believe it. Most days, I believe it. Others days, I just want to chunk it all and hit the road. I am learning that overcoming the mundane can be as poignant as overcoming great tragedy. I think Jesus is more interested in how we overcome the mundane than how we overcome great pain.

Sounds crazy I know, but when I minister to someone who has been through a traumatic event it is easy to identify and address. We can pinpoint the specific time, place, and space of the trauma and the paths of healing are not difficult to navigate.

Navigating life is different. Don’t always know where the pain starts, stops, or often times, why it even exists. Navigating life can often be like hanging on the bumper of a runaway truck.

Bumps and bruises are evident AND we still have to interface with others in a somewhat adult fashion. Unfortunately, we feel like we haven’t recovered from one hurdle when we hear the beep beep beep and sense the back tires of life running over us yet again.

As if life doesn’t have enough surprises coming at us, add to it, people. People are disappointing. I always expect the best. And, I think I have pretty good discernment, the reality is, I am constantly disappointed with people. I expect people to be honest, real, and motivated by good. They aren’t. And for some reason, I can’t seem to remember this about others. The most unfortunate part is scripture says that I don’t have the privilege of guarding my heart. UGH…

I wish people were as easy to deal with as dogs. You know what to expect when you see a dog headed your way glaring and growling. People, not so much. I’m not sure if its cynicism or reality but it seems that most people are out for what you can do for them OR, for how you can better their circumstances. I have a friend that once said “No good deed goes unpunished.” I was appalled that he would say that. That was 4 years ago and I have learned that it is most often true. Sadly.

I’ve always looked forward to growing older. I thought life would be easier. At 54 years old, life is disappointing. Sometimes I think kids on the playground have more of a grasp on life than us Oldtimers. Take my Grand for example, she’s 5. She loves everybody and everybody loves her. She has had a few “meanies” at school and she just recognizes who they are and keeps right on going. Most often she even tells them that they are meanies but then she keeps right on truckin. They don’t seem to slow her down one bit. Instead she just buzzes right on her merry way. I wish I could be like that. I’m working on it. It’s hard (Did I mention sometimes I just want to run?) I generally take meanies personally. Unfortunately. People hurt my heart.

As I grow older I am more determined to keep my hope in Jesus. Even though, sometimes, even He can be frustrating. Even in frustration, I know what to expect from him. Good. Whether I like the path He has me on or not, the ending is good. No other option because He is good and He only gives good. Not like his kids. Some of us are “meanies.” He knows and in the end, He will sort it all out. I just have to recognize the meanies for who they are and keep right on going. On my merry way. Music helps. So if you are on the same path, here’s a song to help you along the way. Just try to overlook the meanies and stay focused. ‘Cause, in the end, He’s all we have.

Crowder – All My Hope

 

“Pain Is a Place Where Your Will Has Been Broken”

“Pain is just a place where the will has been broken.” That is a verse from a song that I heard recently. I can’t get the lyric out of my head. That statement is so profound! It has stuck in my mind lately and prompted me to think about the power of our pain in regard to our free will.

Our will is described as “the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.” It has been my experience that this is most often seen not in our outward action but more so in our lack of choice in action. As Paul describes in scripture … “Why do I do the things that I don’t want to do and can’t do the things that I do want to do?” He is describing a loss of free will. Pain takes away our free will.

You see, when we are young and experience pain we often make declarations like “I will never … or I will always …” These are called “inner vows.” And they are usually declarations made to ourselves out of pain that was caused us by someone else. For example, a little one who is hurt by a parent or authority might say “I will never hurt my son like my father hurt me” only to grow up to find that that statement lends no prevention in the present. In fact, that young boy is now treating his son exactly as his dad treated him, possibly even worse. You see, that young one’s PAIN has caused his free will to be stuck in a dysfunctional pattern of abuse. Unfortunately, this often leads to generations and generations of abuse. OR NOT?!

How do we stop the abuse and have our will restored? First of all, we can’t do it on our own. Only God can bring restoration. But he will. He longs to do that for you and for the sake of your family. Ask the Lord to show you where the pain originated. If you have a pattern of dysfunction in your life and you don’t know why you do it, ask God. He desires that you be healed even more than you do. He will show you when you were hurt and by whom. Once he shows you the source and origin of your pain, then forgive the one that hurt you. As a response to the pain, you vowed AND made a judgment. The word of God says “The way you judge will be metered back to you.” So, because you judged a parent/authority for abusing you, now you abuse.” Once we vow to do something in our own strength God removes his hand. Forgive your abuser. Repent for judging and abusing others. And, most importantly, break your vow. “God, I relinquish my will to yours and I break my inner vow that I will “never …” or I will “always …” Ask God to intervene on your behalf so you won’t abuse. THEN speak a blessing where there has been lack. If you are abusing, you may need to go back to the one you abused, repent and speak a blessing instead. It breaks God’s heart to see any of his kid’s hurting – so break the pattern and stop the abuse. Somebody in your family has got to do it … OR NOT?!