Without Stain

By: LeeAnn Witzigman 

I started my day with a call from my daughter who’s spending a few weeks with her father in another state. It maybe lasted 30 seconds, but that was more than enough time to understand and capture all the things she didn’t get to say. For the rest of the morning, something about that phone call haunted me and as the hours ticked away, a slow dark cloud began to move into my heart. By lunchtime, I could sense a very old trap of the enemy being set before me, so I began to pray.

I felt the powerful surge of God’s love move into the room and override my refusal to recall every word my daughter had said earlier. Soon, I thought I heard her strained voice again inside my soul as the Holy Spirit started to translate her words back to me, but this time it was spoken with my own voice from 12 years ago. A swell of tremendous pain swept over me instantly, even though I knew I was held in my Father’s arms of mercy and deliverance. I clutched onto His embrace as the words began to swirl around me and it was getting harder to breathe. Then a rush of memories of the young woman in the dark closet making phone calls in hushed voices, void of all emotion, and desperate for someone to rescue me surfaced next. I could actually smell the fear and hopelessness again and braced myself for the buried tragedies that were getting ready to emerge. The next few minutes were a mix of weeping, head shaking, purging, and exhaustion. Jesus was sweeping every corner of that dark closet and leaving no unspoken word behind. For every moment of past terror and fright, He exchanged for grace and laughter. For every confession of forgiveness and repentance, He extended joy and freedom. He undressed my hidden shame and didn’t cause a scene about it. Then He took my guilt and cast it as far as the east is from the west. And from all the suppressed pain and sharp stabs of remembrance, He brought forth beauty from those dusty ashes.

The trap is to believe the lie that I am the cause of suffering for my daughters at the hands of my ex-husband. I hate to admit that I carried that ugly and heavy burden for too long. Sometimes the enemy changes the wording or makes the timeframe of that lie seem like forever. He even eavesdrops on all my precious phone conversations that I deeply savor and tries to fill in the blanks when we say goodbye with speculation and suspicion. I should know better by now, because his tactics are weak and transparent, but a mind that momentarily forgets the truth of God’s word combined with a heart that sits anywhere else except at the victorious right hand of Jesus, can’t be trusted.

In the Lord’s gracious timing, I discovered this quote from C.S. Lewis that perfectly describes the revelation and healing I experienced today:

“God, who forsaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”

So, I’ve changed my prayers of pain into praise for the One who has removed EVERY stain. Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 6:11 – “But now you have had every stain washed off; now you have been set apart as holy; now you have been pronounced free from guilt; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 5:27 – “So that He may present the church to Himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.”

1 Timothy 6:14 – “That you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”



The Hugs That Break Your Heart

By: LeeAnn Mora

My daughters spent Thanksgiving week with their dad in another state. While they’re gone, it’s typical that my phone calls go unanswered and usual that I never get to speak with or see my youngest daughter, Kara. So, when we picked them up from the airport Sunday evening, we started the recovery phase of our life cycle: rebuilding and reigniting the flames of love in the hearts of our children.

Kara didn’t talk at all for hours and when it was time for bed, she was unsettled and restless. In the middle of the night, she woke up and came into my room to lead me by the hand to her bed. Over the next few hours, she must have given me a hundred hugs. It broke my heart and filled it all in the same moment. They were full on, wrapped around me, never letting go kind of hugs. I’ve never been embraced like that before and yet I knew exactly what she was communicating with me. Sometimes, I turned to face her and was overwhelmed by the joy in her smile. Other times, I didn’t have the strength to wipe my tears, so I held her even closer in response. As I lay there overtaken by gratitude and unraveled by the magnitude of her non-verbal love, I felt someone else in the bed with us. It was Jesus and He was whispering into my soul the intimate knowledge of these sacred moments between a mother and her child … and that He once gave His own mother the same heartbreaking and heart revealing hug before He endured the cross.

Like Mary, I was tucking away these precious hours in my heart, while also being aware of the mystery of it all. A warmth came into the room as I recalled the Bible verse that details the first miracle of Jesus when He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Mary was so sure of the supernatural ability of her Son, because she had seen it for herself His entire life. She had cultivated a home where impossibility did not exist and the atmosphere of her family was a cocoon of Heaven here on Earth. She raised her children with the innermost care of who God declared they were, and she protected their God-given destinies with all of her heart. As Jesus grew in favor and wisdom and stature with God and man, Mary was right there as each prophecy was unfolding and coming into full life in the fallen world. Before anyone outside of their home had seen a single miracle of Jesus, Mary had already compiled books of them in her heart. Before Jesus touched and healed the multitudes, Mary had held those same hands and felt that healing power inside of a boy the world would not understand. Of the many astonishing records of the life of Jesus Christ we can read and now experience for ourselves, Mary had the very first eyewitness position. And if any mother who has ever lived has felt the pain and pleasure of a hug from their child, it is certainly Mary.

I woke up this morning holding onto a gift, both in the flesh and in the spirit. My heart was held so tenderly that I know last night is sealed somewhere high above me. I believe Jesus came near to remind you and I that He cares deeply about how we are mothering our children. He showed me that His mother knew things about Him that only God could have revealed to her and she defended those holy truths until the triumphant end. He encouraged me that I will continue to see miracles and healings and supernatural answers to prayer inside my home and that what He is doing in my family cannot be harmed by human attacks. I sense there is a rumbling in our children’s bedrooms and an awakening rising within mothers and fathers. And I know Jesus is joining the embraces we share with our children and turning any heartbreak into savored glory!


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