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“. . . learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”                   Matthew 11:29 AMP


Unrest can take root in a young girl’s tender soul. One sensitive soul like Ava’s. Her momma didn’t intend to plant a seed of shame into her daughter’s spirit when she told Ava she doesn’t look very nice when she pouts. Had her good momma known the power of those words, and how they might stick in her sensitive soul, she would’ve never spoken them.


Ava learned to smile on the outside, to please her sweet momma whom she loved, even if she wasn’t smiling on the inside. After all, she wanted her momma to be pleased with her.


Ava’s momma had no idea she was teaching her daughter to be ashamed of her feelings.

She was just trying to settle her down, but in a bigger sense the opposite was happening. It was a quiet and unseen event, even to her own self, but deep within she begins to deny a tiny part of herself. The part of her that now seems wrong and needs to be hidden.


Hide and seek is one of her favorite games. But this is a different kind of hiding. It’s powered by a small lie that tied into her soul that says, “ Your feelings are unworthy, unwelcome, and unimportant. They should be banished if you want to be valued and loved.” Which she very much wanted.


Sometimes the unrest sinks even deeper into a little girl’s soul like Ava’s did when she was ten, and her daddy questions her decision to go forward at an alter call accepting Jesus into her life. She feels shamed by his concerns and buries herself in her room in her books. Door shut. Pain contained. Shame slides down to her belly.


Ava’s life is good for the most part. Any part that can be seen . . .  her parents love her. Thank God they don’t abuse or neglect her in any way. She does well in school, and gets along with her siblings and friends. However, she’s a sensitive soul, and often withdraws when she’s confused or upset.


Longing for love and attention, Ava becomes increasingly agreeable and compliant.

She agrees to eat broccoli and chicken at mealtime instead of macaroni ‘n cheese, and to keep flip flops on her feet in summertime instead of going barefoot. Ava is relentlessly cooperative to assure herself of the attention and love she craves.


When her daddy criticizes someone, she quietly remembers not to do what he’s being critical of because she believes if she would do that it would diminish her daddy’s love for her. She thinks even being an annoyance to him could jeopardize his affection for her. And she can’t risk the chance of losing his affection. Ava believes her value as a person depends on whether her parents, and most especially her dad, are pleased with her or not.


Though no family is perfect, thankfully, Ava’s family is a solid one. It wouldn’t require much imagination however, if her family was a troubled one, to understand how she could slide into a heap of trouble by following her quest for attention and love beyond the safety of home.


Shame just slips into a soul . . .


Though she doesn’t get into escalating trouble with mounting shame in her pre-teen years, none the less, Ava feels deep hidden shame and desperately needs rest for her soul. She believes her very essence is WRONG. At age twelve she notices her friends changing, her body morphing, and her heart aching. Sneaky lies tie knots continually in her soul, and she crawls inside whatever handy hideout she finds everywhere she goes.


Ava needs rest for her soul. Rest that comes from drinking long at the Fountain of Living Water. Though she’s no stranger to the Fountain, and drinks from it often, still she has unrest in her soul.


She’s clinging to Jesus’ promise:

“. . . learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” Matthew 11:29 AMP


She’s longing for that soul rest . . . but unable to find it.

Until one day someone meets her at the fountain and listens to her story. Even though her story is apparently dull and unimportant to others, this new friend takes interest in her and her story. She listens deeply, and with sincere interest asks Ava questions. How does she feel about that? What comes to mind as she thinks about those feelings? All the while giving Ava her full attention with no sense of hurry or judgement. Continuing she asks, “not that it’s true, but does it feel true that . . .


Ava responds, and her friend asks . . .  may we present this belief to the Lord?


Ava agrees . . .


Instantly, God’s Spirit speaks peace to her soul like never before.  A lie is untied. She experiences the miracle of rest in her soul.


Her friend taught her how to drink long at the Fountain of Living Water. How to drink deep enough to allow Jesus’ gentleness to uncover her inner lies, and then to ask the Holy One what He thinks about her lies.


As He gently humbly pours His wisdom on her, she learns from His heart and is set free from another lie and another piece of shame. She’s being transformed by the Holy Spirit little by little as she uncovers her inner lies and presents them to the Lord for His truth. She’s learning that guarding her heart means eradicating her soul lies one by one, and exposing them to the Light. “for out of (your heart) is the well spring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The new lies don’t have time to burrow and the old ones scatter from the heat of the Son.


Transformation Prayer Ministry is how Ava found rest for her soul. It’s an effective way to process your inner lies and find a healthy and much desired soul rest. You can learn more about it here.


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