Could you be an Orphan Spirit?

You see, Society tries to define us based on our looks, income, marital status, the house we live in, and the list goes on.  Go to any social gathering and you can see it in full action. The questions start with Hi, how are you? What do you do? Likeminded people will gravitate to likeminded people… There isn’t any harm in this after all it is human nature but I want to propose to you there is another way to examine your life.

My question is what happens to people if they don’t feel they fit in anywhere? Where do the misfit, forgotten ones go to belong? Let me assure you, This is a very reality for many people today.

It’s called an Orphan spirit.

An orphaned spirit can be defined as someone who is without a covering. These are people who were not parented in a way that teaches them the safety in being covered. If a child falls, the covering (parent/caregiver) is available to help them cope emotionally with the fall.  If the covering wasn’t there that child learns to cope emotionally on their own too much of this and they will soon develop an Orphan Spirit.  If that child has coped for a long time on their own it can make learning to trust others very difficult and even incomprehensible.

Orphan Spirits live in homes with high incidents of abuse, neglect and trauma. It knows no boundaries or social economic status or culture.  An orphan spirit can develop anywhere.

Orphaned Spirit Characteristics

  • Inability to be comfortable in family environments and struggle with parenting roles.
  • Fight for recognition and compete “to get to the top”. They want to win.
  • Unable to emotionally connect and relationships suffer, either at work, at home, or in the church.
  • Struggle with authority and fear being controlled.
  • Will value the pursuit of outwardly success, financially wealthy organizations, successful families, bigger churches.

These characteristics will choke the important things that matter. They pervert the very thing we are all chasing in this life… Significance…

My story:

I was an orphaned Spirit and in some ways, I still am. Without a family, I was left without a covering. Being the strong independent woman, I am, I hustled to be acknowledged. I did this through pursuing a career as a hairdresser, being a strong independent mum, moral girl who attended church, I could handle anything.  I mean I was responsible, right? I had it together. People told me all the time… Wow, Dani, you are incredible. I swelled with recognition and value. It made so much sense…. I felt invincible.

Suddenly I lost everything…

Are you an Orphan Spirit?

I lost my identity and when that orphan spirit rose up to be appeased but I couldn’t quench her voice anymore.  To explain, an international move to New Zealand precipitated a chain of events that forever shaped my life.  I lost my church, my family, my culture and was living halfway around the world, all my possessions had been sold, all that was left was my pictures and the clothes on my back and my beautiful daughter. I was 23.  Losing my identity was incredibly painful. I had hustled so hard for it. Now, it was gone.

Suddenly, I was that Orphan girl again. I did what I only knew to do.

I fought, but I fought in my own private time thorough surrendering my own agenda.  I cried and prayed, A LOT! It was all I had. If God didn’t listen to me I wasn’t sure I could survive.

He said things to me like:” I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. (John 14:18)” And he did.

What I didn’t know then was that he was mentoring me in what matters in life. Character, unity, freedom, leadership.  It birthed in me the pursuit of self-awareness and the need to carry those who are naked to him through relationships and discipleship.

I wish I can tell you that through that experience that my orphan spirit died easily. The truth is that she rose many times to remind me of what I am not. So, although things got easier my shame cycle could rise easily.  Please understand, an Orphan Spirit needs shame to survive.

Just recently, I learnt to stop ignoring her. I mean she was starved of love, belonging and affection for so long. She yearns to be noticed and embraced. Now I have learnt to talk to her… remind her that God has this and that rejection isn’t the end of the world. I tell her you know what? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve accepted she is a part of me and without her, I would not be who I am today. I’ve learnt to be real with my very close friends about my areas of shame and the beliefs I have that scare me. The more I do that they more she is silenced and shame leaves and I experience a deeper level of healing.

What can we do to help Orphan Spirits?

  • If you identified with some of the characteristics as an orphaned Spirit you need healthy relationships pronto. Security is formed in relationships that account for a heart to heart connection. Pursue Sonship with mentors who can help you grow.
  • Pursue self-awareness. Find out what makes you tick. Get to know yourself and don’t be afraid to share what you learn with people who love you.
  • As a church, parent or organization seek out Orphan Spirits. Be powerful and create unity where you can, open the conversation and care about people that’s all it takes.
  • Pray, believe for freedom for others. I love when Paul says, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible.” (1 Corinthians 10:23). Courage is key here. Be courageous, don’t be scared to fight for freedom. I promise you, you will win!

Id encourage you whether you are in a family, organization or church setting, be real. Go for the heart.  I choose to live a life worthy of the calling God has given me, choosing humbleness and gentleness, bearing patience, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to KEEP the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. In other words, keep connected to those that are disconnected until they believe you. Be who their covering wasn’t and don’t give up until they believe you. That is how we will win the war on Orphan Spirit and help hurt and broken adopt a spirit of sonship.

 

How true Leadership chooses to inspire Hope

This week we are looking at leadership. Before even launching in what true leadership is let’s  analyze what it takes to be a great leader.

A recent quote I read by John C Maxwell was

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

This is pivotal in our conversation about leaders because true leadership inspires hope and centres on the character.  It begs the question Who are you when no one is looking?

Leadership is anyone you have influence over, so if you have people in your world who you care about and are responsible for, you have the potential to be a great leader.  See, few of us are aware of the power we can hold to influence others. For instance, I am a leader to my children.  My greatest achievement is in the way I lead and guide my children and my grandchildren. I see them as my legacy and how I conduct myself with them determines how they will conduct themselves with others. Teaching them the importance of integrity and a strong character is high on my priority list so in each situation I face as a parent, I have this agenda on my mind.

What’s that old saying? Children follow what is caught not what is taught?

Well, I propose to you today that character and integrity are the markings of a great leader.  Further to this, we live in a world where people want to know they matter and are thought about. Within our families, churches and organizations lies this same belief system. I want to belong. In her book, Brene Brown explores this phenomenon of love and belonging as a shame researcher. She says

One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.

How true this is! As a leader the more we create an atmosphere that supports belonging the more successful we can be in achieving our goals.

Let’s look at some influential leaders:

Judges 6 reveals a pretty interesting story on how God pursues leaders with strong character who seemingly have no significance. (oh, how I love how he does that!). So essentially the Israelites (Gods chosen people) made some bad choices and became oppressed by the Midianites. It was that bad they built shelters on the side of mountains and were without food.  They finally cried out to God asking for help. Gideon is sitting there quietly trying to thresh wheat through a winepress. Suddenly an angel appears calling him a mighty warrior. I can imagine in this situation Gideon did not feel he was a warrior!  God tells him that he is going to save Israel. So beautiful, isn’t it? Gideon says, but wait! I’m the weakest in the family…. Why me? God just reinforces “ I’ll use you to strike down these Midianites”, and he did.

This exemplifies that leaders can be anywhere, even on a side of a hill. The makings of a good leader can be explained as having the ability to stand strong in the face of opposition knowing integrity and character wins people over.

Jesus himself constantly illustrated the importance of having strong character in leadership. He illustrated how true leadership requires a servant’s heart.  He washed the disciple’s feet, acknowledged the importance of serving when leading. He instructed the disciples to do the same and so should we.  (John 13).

As I look back over my own experiences I can isolate times in my life when great leaders influenced me. I don’t remember the details of the circumstances but I remember clearly how I FELT. So with that in mind, lets ask some crucial questions:

Do I create hope and accept my team, family, the church as they are?

Do we as a team agree on the directive, goal, mission statement?

Do I advocate for diversity and is it encouraged?

I’d encourage asking these questions. In leadership positions I have been involved in I ask questions a lot. It has helped me to see myself through the eyes of someone else. It very enlightening!

I agree with Maxwell and Brown wholeheartedly. Id encourage you to live vulnerably and increase your own self-awareness because in that discovery you invite wholeheartedly living. As Jesus said ” out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” ( Matthew 12:34).

Remeber love always wins!

Danielle x