My Lord, You calm the storm in our lives  –
          You heal with a single word – a single touch.
You comfort, and You guide.
          You amaze us again and again with your grace.
You calm our fears.
          While we cannot always see it, You have a plan for our lives.
When we wander,
          You seek us and bring us safely home.
You command your angels, and they attend our ways.
          Let my voice be heard among all the faithful singing your praises.
I love you, my Lord;
          I love you.
It is my great joy to serve you in this day.
          Please lead, and let me only follow. Amen.

click here to listen: 01-A Healing-Lullaby

LORD, my Savior, the One with the power to heal
LORD, my GOD  –  a heart is broken.   
O Most Beautiful One on high, can you hear my plea?   Are you there? 
Please be the arms that will hold me in safety so I can allow the deep sadness that flows from the hurt.
Heal me, LORD.   Heal me. 
So drawn am I to your love, and yet afraid.  I am as a small child.  
Be the hand on the back of my head as a loving protecting father that will comfort and ease my pain.
Things have happened, LORD, that never should have happened.  
I am stirred to anger.  I marvel that You are able to receive me in my brokenness. 
Just let me be in your presence.
From on high, may a beam of Your light descend to light up this darkness.
I surrender all my worries to Your care.   I release, and I rest. 
Transform me.   Heal me.  Again, I surrender.  Work in me as I sleep.
Let me anticipate with joy the newness of your tender mercies that will come with the morning sun. 
Again, I let go.   Again, I surrender.   ……… Let it be so, my LORD, let is be so.      

“Enmeshment and Personal Boundaries”

The emotional pressure and hurtful/sinful behaviors that abound in an unhealthy family cause the collapse of personal boundaries so that the members grow accustomed to living enmeshed.  The members are often unaware of this taking enmeshment as the norm until a time of personal reflection or healing.  As one enmeshed ego, there is a lack of personal power, responsibility and voice.  Individuals do not learn the skills they need to protect themselves.  The environment is one of “pins and needles” where personal expression is stifled because efforts to be an individual threatens the collective ego mass which usually evolves with one person having the lion’s share of rights and power. Mind-reading replaces communication.  Being all one, statements like “I know what you are thinking/feeling” and “I know your motives” are common. Do you feel a tightness in your stomach when you read those phrases? If so, you need to reconsider this concept carefully.

 People growing up or living in an enmeshed family usually feel an exaggerated sense of responsibility.  One look can ‘cause’ someone else to cry. Expressing an opinion can ‘cause’ someone else or self to be abused.  I even talked with a woman who believed she was able to cause someone else to have a heart attack.

I do not believe this is how God intended us to live.  Galatians 6:2-5 is a wonderful scriptural reference for this topic.  Yes, we are supposed to care for each other and help to carry the burdens of another, but the passage ends with clarity regarding the ultimate responsibility.  “Each one must carry their own load” (Gal. 6:5).  

These beliefs and understandings support personal boundaries:  1)  I am responsible for my own actions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs.  2)  I am uniquely created by God, and I will stand by myself accountable when all is said and done.  3)  I can express love in my own way.  4)  No one else owns me or controls me.  5)  I can figure out how to do things in a way that works for me.   6)  I can think for myself.      

My prayer is that these thoughts will lead you into deeper freedom and healing as you walk with the Lord.  

When people live in unhealthy families, there is a lack of personal safety that can be debilitating. Growing up in an unsafe environment shapes us and establishes patterns in us which we bring into our adulthood. These unhealthy patterns churn out misery and suffering. The worst part is that we often live in unawareness of where the patterns came from and we just accept the belief that we are some how bad, and we allow our relationships to be destroyed rather than realizing instead, that we are wounded and need healing. We can become aware, and we can heal. God doesn’t intend us to be bound as with chains to all the sins committed against us or in our presence when we were children. Nor, does he intend this bondage to be the motivating force in our present that causes us to say with the aspostle Paul ” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is the sin living in me.” (Romans 7:15,17)

As I am seeing clients every week, I again and again find myself addressing these themes of unhealthy living. Over the next few months I plan to use this forum to reflect on these themes. The Good News of the Gospels, which is my great joy to tell, is that by the love and grace of Christ, we can become free. We can be transformed into living the lives God intended for us all along . My prayer is that these reflections will be a blessing to you. Awareness, though often painful, is the first step of a healing journey that both begins and ends with a greater experience of the love of God.

Dear Lord, you give us such a gift when marriage goes according to your plan. Our lives bless each other. But our marriages can become such a source of pain and hurt. For the couple where both are in agony because the hurts are deep and have become patterned, we pray your special presence and protection. Give them the courage to withstand making the conflict worse. Keep them from the temptation to let the tongue set a whole forest ablaze like in says in James. Instead Lord, please fan into a warm flame the pleasant memories they share about the beginning of their relationship. Give them assurance of brighter days ahead so that they will have the support to look at the deeper causes beneath the conflict. Please, dear Lord, grant your tender mercy and love to bring healing in the deep hurt places, so that they can live together as husband and wife according to your plan, a relationship, a love, that gives life rather than diminishes it.

             Dear Lord, we lift this one who is struggling into the light of your love.   Please dissolve the pull that is so strong.   Please break his isolation and restore him again to freedom in your presence.   Be protection and comfort, at the same time.  Bring clear guidance so that he can be led out of despair into life again.   Send angels of mercy to break the grip of the isolation and withdrawal.  Give him courage to reach out.   Break open the way Lord God; bring deliverance.    May he know enough of your love to allow the suppressed emotions to flow and find peace.    Amen. 


The Vine is an ecumenical counseling center that promotes emotional healing with the love and grace of Christ for individuals, couples, families and congregations.

256-270-7399 for an appointment