Spiritual touch…

imagesCAQCOBPIFrom then on I was totally in love with Jesus and I knew that I knew that He was totally in love with me.  His character and integrity awed me.  He wooed me gently as I danced for Him in worship.  In that setting, so many things about me began to change.  I didn’t really know it but my family certainly could tell it.  Julie, shhh, I am telling this, lol!

Oh gosh, back in my pre-Jesus days, they share stories of my aggression with strangers that would invade or threaten my space or a loved one’s space.  I was the “keeper” of the space, and was protective, much like having a guard dog.  That does not give you a warm fuzzy feeling does it?  I can assure you, somewhere in the world there are people still bearing tongue lashing scars after encounters with me.

Then in my post-counseling days, if I didn’t have a relationship with you, I probably wouldn’t trust you.  Trust to me was something one “earned” and never received without being proved worthy.  Women really got a break with that, but character and integrity for men – was not given high regard at all – or rather, none at all. My world stayed pretty small.  It is hard to keep your boundaries covered if your world gets too big.

But, it wasn’t until I walked away from not one, but two husbands after a total of 24 years of marriage that I realized I had an issue.  Who sees a pattern with one time?  I could no longer just blame the people around me of having issues, but realized that it was me.  Now I am one of those people, that once they get their mind set on something, nothing will stop me.  Some say that I am extremely strong-willed, some say stubborn, I say, sigh…“I hate it when they are right”.  So God began to open up a door for me…

I don’t know if you have thought of it, but because of my traumatic experiences, I was carrying within me perceptions that controlled me in reactive instances.  While much of my external life had been addressed and had me in a safe healthy place, my internal life was still very much controlling the issues deep inside, i.e., when something would trigger hurt, fear, betrayal, rejection, etc., I would shut down communication and/or gentleness, put up walls and step into PROTECTION mode.  My personality would be more like a porcupine on alert…until me, myself and I determined that it was safe to come out.  Has anyone ever been around an angry porcupine?  Not for long, lol.

But anyway, you do what you do because you believe what you believe.  You continue learned habits, patterns, behaviors, sensitivities, addictions, passions, desires, prejudices, and absolutely EVERYTHING you learned through life – until you learn not to do it.

Now we never get to the place in our God-relationship that He doesn’t reveal areas He wants changed.  There is nothing you can do about that truth. The closer you get to Him it is simply the more He lets you see, not just about Him…but also about you. Though He himself never changes, we will change till He brings us home or rolls back the heavens with a shout and comes to get us.

You can fight Him, but He will win.  The beauty of our life journey is that all Christians are in phases of these changes and revelations.  We pray in them, we praise in them, we worship in them, we serve in them, we teach in them, we outreach in them, and we preach in them.  God doesn’t wait till we are through – because we are never through!  He just uses us when we get to the point He wants.

Oh, wow, I remember so many things when He began to redefine me.  That is what I called it.  When my definitions didn’t match His in the Word, they had to go.  I learned down to my soul, that just because I thought it didn’t mean it was true. My next stories will be these private places that He took me when He laid me on that potter’s wheel…and changed me.  But His hands never left me for one second and His eyes watched me each round that wheel turned.

When I realized that I believed wrong things I was stumped.  I didn’t know what to do.  It wasn’t my fault that I believed what I believed.  Bad things really happened.  Survival skills were how I made it through it all.  I couldn’t undo my experiences. Then, I realized that I had to replace the lies (my beliefs) with the truth (His Word).  I literally went through the Bible and began listing things that I was supposed to believe about problem areas for me – that I didn’t believe.  I made postcards and hung them all around my apartment, I framed them, I read them aloud daily, I memorized them and I slept with my Bible every night.

And day by day, lie by lie, the truth replaced the lies and I no longer was a victim of my wrong beliefs.  I would get so excited when I would see myself respond with my new beliefs!  I would keep pressing when I would respond with my old beliefs.  The Lord spent many nights with me…teaching and encouraging….it was glorious.

Sometimes I just praised, worshiped, and danced – across the bed, the furniture, and the floor.  I had ahold of my Jesus and I wasn’t letting go.  He was rocking my world and would always do things for me that no one else could do…

Now God knew that I remembered the real monster in the dark when I was a little girl.  So when I first moved into my apartment I left some lights on so that I wasn’t in the dark.  But after encounters with God were changing me…I turned off the lights and began to dance in the dark, literally.  Oh, Jesus…nobody gives freedom like You do.

Late one night I crawled into bed, pulled the covers up and whispered good night to Him…and I felt a kiss on my forehead.  Now I don’t care what anyone thinks…I know that He kissed me goodnight…and watches over me still.

Another time, I woke up early one morning and I was surrounded by scripture.  My Bible had finally broken apart in the bed and I was laying all over the chapter of Song of Songs.  How awesome is that for saying, “I love you”?

And then He touched my mind with beautiful stories of encounters with Him.  Oh, if only my words could reveal what my heart sees!  Perhaps tomorrow night I will post one…

But anyway, after a year, well, I wasn’t who I was going to be…but I was no longer the victim, the survivor, the oppressed, the betrayed, or the sacrificed.  I was a Princess and warrior of the King of Kings. God said so.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

For real, the journey wasn’t easy.  But, so what.  I wasn’t quitting!

End of Page 8

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

Supernatural all the way…

131207050324wybe“I didn’t know Jesus wanted us to love Him like that,” is what I told myself as I entered the atmosphere of the new spirit-filled church that my family and I were going to now.  We visited for Easter 2003, visited a time or two after that – and then, never left.  I would watch men, women and children praise and worship God in a way that I had never known – or even thought about.  I was so shy and embarrassed to raise my hands.  I didn’t mind clapping and singing but anything else seemed MUCH too personal or expressive.  I saw Julie help herself to praise and worship, and my parents, and little by little God was nudging me to loosen my restraints.

I am definitely a “watcher”, learning and making mental notes, always studying to prepare for what is ahead.  Nothing in my life had prepared me for the “spiritual” smorgasbord that we found in that small church.  Only thing is…I wasn’t sure when I would want to partake of some of those really personal things.  I was so private.

Altar prayer was amazing.  Watching the people “choose” to have people pray for them up front amazed me even more.  The music, singers and band were more vibrant than anything I had ever seen.  It was all so…so…so…passionate and loud.

I had never received so many hugs in my life – and my own family are some Olympic huggers, lol.  Everyone WANTED to love you at church.  I think that was the difference.  No one cared about anything else but loving you.  I cried the first 6 months I was there.

I watched the pastor on the platform and he loved Jesus all over the place.  He had no pride or shame as far as God was concerned.  He would fall on his knees and have his prayer closet right there on the platform in front of God and everybody.  Well, I guess God was the point!

My eyes didn’t know where to look at first.  But finally I focused on the platform and all the loving on Jesus by the pastor.  I finally began to realize that I wanted to love Jesus like that!

It didn’t take me long to begin to join the church body loving on each other and mostly on Jesus.  It was all such a celebration and open door to enter a literal, spiritual, relationship with God.   They talked a lot about power but just touching Jesus was what I thought about.  I like the thought of my God being a passionate God that wanted to love on me.  I began to receive more and more Word and Spirit teaching and my heart felt like a sponge…soaking up all of it.  I KNEW the Bible.  No problem there.  But they taught me how to speak it with authority and how to believe that it was alive.

I asked a lot of questions about speaking in tongues, dreams, visions, discernment, warfare, etc.  There was just so MUCH I didn’t know!  I had all that scripture in me and it was stirring in my belly wanting me to do something.  I used to sit  far from the front during service…but then we started to move closer and closer to the platform…wanting more.  LOL, any closer and we would have been ON the platform!

Now before I go any further, I want you to know that most of the rest of my stories are powerful, spiritual and touched by the creative hand of God.  God is as real and personal as you will allow Him to be.  For me, so much damage had been done way down in my spirit that I had a destiny appointment that was about to begin.  We are body, soul and spirit, and only my body and soul were nourished.  That was about to change…

I started doing a ladies’ bible study on Breaking Free that summer.  It really was totally intense, invasive and revealing…going deep into the crevices of the heart.  In many ways I was very shy with it, knowing where all I had been…but I was determined.  I was eager for anything that was true.  It cost me a lot of tears.  It rewarded me with lots of insight….and courage.  When I got to the middle of the study there was a section on Song of Songs and learning about totally having a personal love relationship with Jesus.  The instruction was to imagine loving on Jesus, personally.  Now, nothing inappropriate was meant…just totally free and exposed before your God.  I just knew I would get struck by lightening for even saying it – and I didn’t know how to imagine it or ask him.  As a child suffering I didn’t even think He wanted anything to do with me.  I began to cry, afraid of it, then pushed the workbook aside, went to the living room and hit my knees.  With everything in me I cried out to God to love me…and let me love Him…to teach me how to love Him because I didn’t know how…and that I promised that I would give Him all of me…nothing held back…if He would give me all of Him.  I wept on the floor laying my heart on the altar.

A few days later I was heading home from the law firm when I began to have my first spiritual experience – a sensation of God being with me.  I was driving mind you, on the road!  I got weaker and weaker – so much at peace that I was literally melting in my seat.  I remember being aware that something was happening and saying, “But I need to drive home first!”  When I got home, I wobbled up to the door, and went inside.  I collapsed into a rocker I had in the middle of my seating area.  I was totally spiritually aware for the first time in my life!  It wasn’t like I could see with my physical eyes – but I most definitely was aware of His presence with my spiritual eyes.  I knew that He was answering my heart’s prayer from a few nights ago and stepping into my life in a way that I would never forget.  Ever.  I just stayed sitting there amazed for quite awhile.  It just never occurred to me that He would come to me personally.  At one point I had the sensation of Him leaning over my left shoulder and inhaling deeply.  I somehow knew that He had just inhaled the love in my heart.  I don’t know how my lips worked, but I told Him, “I will follow you anywhere.”

Now the evening this was happening was a Tuesday night.  On Tuesday nights we had prayer service at church.  At some point it occurred to me that I needed to go to church.  Eventually I stood up, my legs still shaky, and I picked up my purse to walk to the door.  I opened it to go out, then looked back in my apartment and then out my door again.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  I was going to prayer service to pray…but I was already with Him.  Literally, as God is my witness, I asked Him, “Are you coming”?  I can only imagine heaven laughing about that one.

From that day forward my experiences, revelation, growth, healing, and purposes began to increase 10 fold.  For the first time in my life I realized that I didn’t need to go anywhere to find Jesus, because He was always with me (and you).  I was never alone again – my “Teacher” was always with me and I am a fast learner!

To close out tonight, we will end the Breaking Free Bible Study. We finished the study and I was asked to testify because they knew what an impact it had made on my life.  But since I was too nervous to speak, they let me write it.  At that moment in time, God touched me and I began my first inspirational writing.  I wrote a story about Jesus taking me on a deliverance journey.  My hand shook so hard that I could hardly read it but it didn’t matter, destiny was released and the ladies roared.

After that, everything began happening so quickly.  I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues.  Worship birthed on the inside of me and I began to basically sing along with hand movements.  I learned that I was born to be a liturgical worshiper.

Who knows why God touched me (or you) the way He did.  I guess it all has to do with what He has for us to do.  For me, so much in my mind was painful.  If you ask me, He just gave me beauty for ashes.

I would like to tell you that was all there was to it.  Mercy, for real, that was only the beginning.  My past didn’t give up without a fight, blood, sweat and tears.

This is only the pause of a time out.

End of Page 7

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

Damage and deliverance…

imagesCAYMVT77One September night in 1998 just a few months after my son’s high school graduation, I was working in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on supper.  Zeb and his stepdad were working in Westlake driving dump trucks and I was waiting on them to get home.  Zeb got home first.  His stepdad never made it past the red light.  A man driving a truck with minimal insurance ran the red light and hit him basically head on.  We got the phone call and ran for the hospital.  41 days later he was discharged home with a wheelchair, walker, and nursing care to check on him during the week.  He had endured surgery, ICU for a collapsed lung and rehab for a shattered hip and socket – along with huge bruises and stitches.  We had been transferred from 4 days in Lake Charles to 12 days in Houston back to 25 days in Lake Charles.  By the 25th day, I just looked at the chair that I would sleep in again and cried.

It is so hard to see someone you love suffer; especially when you know the end of the suffering isn’t just around the corner.  It was a very trying time for all of us.  The house had to be transformed so that he could maneuver safely without tripping.  I became legal secretary by day and nurse by night.  Recovery was a 7 month process.  But eventually we got a little breathing space, was able to take him to church, and his faith was still strong.  Then less than a year later they needed to do the surgery again – the huge surgery repair didn’t take and he would need to have the total hip replaced.  So we went around the mountain again…except this time he began to change from all the anger of getting no compensation, retribution or hope. We finally realized that he would be left with some disability. He hated being a victim and he hated the guy that hit him.

We were all enduring the tremendous pressure and responsibilities.  Then unresolved, ignored and overlooked marriage issues began to take over as we began to be divided and fighting against each other.  No longer partners but roommates. No love, just caretaking – and one sided at that.  My health began to suffer, I stuffed myself with emotional eating, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and forced to take many shots and medications, and needless to say, depression arrived up front and center. I ended up on anxiety medication.  I smoked just as many cigarettes as I possibly could.  Then I stayed so sick from smoking until they diagnosed me with chronic bronchitis.

During all this time I was still trusting in God. Trusting but hurting. Praying for strength and guidance but locked in survival mode. My son and my family were a blessing from the throne of God.  When you talk about people holding your arms up…I know all about that.  I am sure many of you know that position too…

One night my husband and I were watching a special program about euthanasia on television and he told me, “I wouldn’t let you suffer if you got really sick and in the bed; I promise I would put you out of your misery.  Oh, I wouldn’t shoot you are anything, I would just smother you or something.”  I don’t think I said anything.  At least I can’t remember saying anything.  I just sat there and the last tie holding my heart together came apart.

All I could think was of all of the time that I had cared for him, kept him safe and protected him as best I could – but if I got sick for long, I might not see morning.  It was over.  I knew our marriage would not survive.  He thought he was doing something honorable because his mom had suffered – but instead he had just killed my heart. I would not live afraid like I had as a child.

A couple of days later at work, the secretaries and I were discussing marriage issues and I told them mine was over.  Shocked, they asked when I was leaving.  I left that night when I got home.  It was Pearl Harbor Day, Dec 7, 2002.  I was 44 years old…and starting over again.

I spent the first month crying, packing and afraid God was going to punish me for leaving.  As a Christian, knowing that I was breaking a covenant, I asked for forgiveness with all my heart.  I wasn’t looking around me for a man; I just was looking up to God.  That’s all I knew.

I moved in with Julie and her family for 9 weeks to save up enough money to move into an apartment.  I was getting less afraid of punishment for leaving and beginning to enjoy the peace and new opportunities.  One night Julie, Jade and I took off to Victory Worship in Sulphur to a healing service.  I had never been to one!  It was totally wonderful!  I didn’t know you could get delivered like that!  I laughed and we ran from line to line getting prayer for smoking, healing and deliverance. We celebrated and received the power of God!  And me, well, to this day I have never smoked again.  Nope, not even a craving.  Now THAT is a miracle!

In March of 2003 I moved into my own apartment – all by myself for the first time ever!  I loved it.  I was off all medications.  I was no longer eating based on my emotions and began to lose weight.  I was healing and happy out from under oppression.  I decorated my apartment and spent time with family and God.  Life was wonderful.  I was still pretty shy from all the destruction and wounding but I was standing taller, day by day.  If anyone asked me about dating, well…they didn’t ask again.

Easter of 2003 Julie had invited us to a new church she heard about.  Jade was going to participate in the Easter program and Julie wanted us to go.  So Good Friday I went and bought some new dye and colored my hair – excited that we were going out to eat boiled crawfish and have a good Easter weekend.  But Saturday morning when I woke up, I couldn’t open my eyes, my head and hair were wet and my pillow soaked.  I managed to get to the mirror and realized that I was allergic to the hair dye and had a chemical burn over my whole scalp.  Fluid filled my face and head to where I was swollen like a balloon.  If I laid my head to one side, the fluid would go to that side. It was perfectly painful and awful!  Everyone insisted I still go to church for Easter service.  So trying to be inconspicuous I went.  As we were walking up to the church doors Jade said, “Aunt Patti, your face is jiggling when you walk!”  I couldn’t believe I was out in public…but I ignored my bouncing face and walked up to the church doors and entered Christian World for the first time.

I just THOUGHT my life had changed before.  LOL, I hadn’t seen anything yet!!!

End Page 6

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

No longer a victim…

imagesCAEMHBQDStepping into the end of the third year in Kansas it was a great summer.  I was getting much stronger emotionally – much less angry – and adjusting my mind and life with proper boundaries and relationships.  Nothing was firmly rooted until I had reviewed it!  I found it totally intolerable to leave anything in or around me related to those “learned” mindsets. If it wasn’t “really” normal and healthy for me…it (whatever “it” was) was gone. Poof!  I think everyone was a little nervous.  I could still be pretty aggressive in that phase of recovery.  But for the most part, life calmed down.

One afternoon, sitting in a counselor’s office, the counselor asked me what I thought of all the changes around me that I had put into motion.  I recall looking at her and saying, “You know, I was wondering, if I continue to cut everyone out of my life that hurts me or causes me pain, won’t I finally end up by myself?”  She laughed and said, “You got it!  That is the whole point.  You are healed and you don’t need me any more.  You can choose to work things out or not.  But you can choose.  People will never be perfect.”

So, I closed the door on that chapter of my life.  I walked away with new awareness and tools for a more emotionally healthy living.  I ended the karate and self defense classes.  We still partied a little…but that would be over for me shortly.  We were all three going to church now.  I began to get out the Bible that I had received as a little girl for my catechism from my aunt.  I began to read what it said when I had an issue that I was concerned about.  I almost left my husband up in Kansas towards the end of our time there. I came very close.  He was pretty threatened by all the changes in me.  I was different and I was more self sufficient.  I felt sorry for him but I wasn’t going back to who I was.  I just waited and didn’t leave. I read the Bible from time to time – not really understanding it – but somehow knowing that there were answers in there somewhere.  I just knew I needed to look.

Within a short time my husband told me he wanted to accept a job offer from back home. Yeah, yeah!  We were returning after being gone five years.  Now back home, my family was thrilled.  I still was not communicating with “him” – I wasn’t ready and I just wasn’t going to do it.  My sister Julie had had a little girl, Jade, that I was so excited to meet for the first time!!  I knew Julie and all of us were still trying to live life with Gavin gone.  I also knew they were all trying to be what I needed them to be.  They were wonderful.  You have no idea…

We moved home Labor Day weekend – Jade’s 1st birthday!  We moved into the old two story family homestead that my grandfather grew up in.  I needed to go back and start all over – and I wanted my son to go to a country school, be able to camp, have pets, hunt, ride 3 wheelers…all that.  Home Sweet Home!

In no time at all we began going to Trinity Baptist where Julie and my parents were going.  I began to read the Bible all the time. Now, I don’t think that I have mentioned that I smoked.  Oh, my gosh, I puffed away each chance I got.  And if I didn’t get a chance, I made one! I had smoked off and on since I was a kid when I would hide and do it.  But anyway, I would puff and read the Word.  It was like I craved them both.  I also don’t think I ever mentioned how much I cursed.  Uhhhh, even my husband would say, “Patti, that’s enough – that is bad for a man, much less a woman.”   I never smoked pot again after leaving Kansas. No going backwards…

After a few months being home, I got baptized at Trinity. It was great enjoying church with family.  Everything was so awesome. Then one day out of the blue in a store, I heard someone cuss – and realized that I didn’t cuss anymore!  I was so excited!  It was a miracle.  No matter what happened…those words just didn’t come up out of my lips anymore.  Other Christians struggled with that but not me.  Thank you, Jesus!  I guess that my mouth was so bad that He had to take it!  How embarrassing…

Having been raised up Catholic and used to someone else talking to God for me, I loved the new way to learn about God.  I read, and read, and read.  In fact, it probably won’t be a great surprise but the Word is where Jesus revealed Himself to me.  I read it cover to cover a couple of times.  We began going to a country Baptist church out by our house and I began leading the youth.  I wrote a Christmas play and we put it on.  I loved to memorize scripture and listen to music.  I loved having a church family and learning what God said and taught.

Then in the middle of this, God finally moved on my heart to forgive the one who’s name I wouldn’t say.  I couldn’t imagine feeling forgiveness. I knew God would have to do it for me.  But God is a Waymaker and He eased forgiveness into my heart.  I just had to be willing.  Restoration began one step at a time…nothing forced…just safely and with God.  And like all things growing, when it gets what it needs, it begins to bloom.  God’s love is powerful and I received a huge miracle.

But then…how many times have you just gotten a victory, revelation or healing when the enemy will aim for the kill?  Oh, yes.  So many of us know his strategy!  And he tried to do it with us too….but God made sure that all anger was removed from me and that forgiveness was firmly in place before an unexpected situation entered the picture.  I honestly hit my knees in gratefulness that the enemy could not use the authority handed to me to make a decision based on anything but a Godly purpose . Our family had more changes that came about and outside intervention…but God used this situation as the finishing touch and not the destruction that the enemy had aimed for.  The abuse was forever ended but God got the glory!

Life went on…our families grew in love…and God shined His face upon us.  Before I knew it Zeb was graduating from high school and we were moving into Lake Charles from the country. I was working at a law firm as a legal secretary and doing well.  We were going to 1st Baptist Church downtown and continuing to grow. My husband and I were doing well.  He was a truck driver.  Needless to say, he was on the road a lot.

I wish we would have known what was on the road that September night as he left work to head home.  But we didn’t … and life changed again.

End of Page 5

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

Husband number 2…

Whew!  Always good to turn the page!  That was some intense stuff on my last post.  But, I just buried it and kept on going.  It is not like I knew that I had issues.  All I knew is that I was 27 years old and free for the first time – on my own as a single parent – and liking it!

I will steer this next season of my life to introduce my second husband.  We were married almost 15 years. We met at a Parent’s Without Partner’s event. I had been “single again” about two years and was working and still going to college. He was almost 12 years older than I was and came from a totally different lifestyle in New Orleans.  He was a tough guy, used to bars and partying, camping and being aggressive if protection was needed.  Since I had no goals of my own, jumping into his life seemed easy enough.  We dated about a year, had a fight, made up and took off to Las Vegas to get married.

Yes, can you believe it?  For real we took a limo ride from the courthouse to the Little White Chapel and got married with music playing out of a boom box.  We were in love but I knew that we had some serious major differences and I stuffed my concerns down deep…that was easy for me.  But, all in all, I was happy, eager to settle down and be a wife again.  You know, being a wife gave me an identity role that I knew how to manage – and his toughness made me feel safe – like he could protect me from anything.  I grew stronger and more assertive in that environment.  We were doing pretty good.

We moved a few months after we got married to Denham Springs with his job transfer and stayed there a couple of years. I partied more in the next 5 years than I ever had in my whole life.  I never had been much of a drinker.  I thought it tasted bad – I just wanted a drink that had fruit in it, lol.  We danced a lot – you have to remember I graduated from high school and then disco rolled in.  My husband drank a lot. And at 30 years old I smoked pot for the first time.  Looking back, I can’t believe that I did.  My nature was to be scared of everything.  But I just slid on in to the new me.  See how easy that happens?

As for being away from home, I really enjoyed being away from Lake Charles and was eager to move again.  After a couple of years we moved to Dodge City, KS and there we stayed for three years.  We were a pretty strong family unit by then.  My son was growing up and doing well. I was working and advancing at the regional hospital there. We were enjoying exploring a new environment.  Oh my gosh!  Tumbleweeds are real!  You really have to sleep in the basement because of tornadoes!  There are coyotes and canyons! There are hail storms, blizzards, wind all the time, and dry river beds. I studied and knew more about Kansas than those that lived there!!!  It was great. Remember, I love to explore.

But other than that, I just shake my head thinking about the rest of it – so much happened in those three years. The first year in Kansas we lost Julie’s youngest son, 2 ½ year old Gavin from a burn accident and our family was wounded beyond anything that we could ever have imagined.  It will be 20 years next week and in any given second those memories can replay.  This, my friends, is where I saw Jesus for the first time.

My sister, Julie, had long been a Christian – having given her life to the Lord in middle school during some traumatic times.  She learned early how to depend on God.  But, I really wasn’t concerned a whole lot about God.  I didn’t think He really wanted much to do with me anyway.  I just didn’t know the journey that we were all about to take.  I got the call about Gavin’s injury just hours after they delivered our new sofa in Dodge City.  Isn’t it amazing that you remember the oddest things?  So odd.  I don’t think anything in our lives was ever the same after that.  My son and I flew out to meet them all in Galveston at the burn hospital the next day.  Thinking everything was going to be fine we were just looking at doing what we needed to.  But it wasn’t that simple.  The injury went bad in surgery and we lost him.  I won’t say all the things I remember in my heart.  But I will say that my sister is an amazing woman with more God in her than you can ever imagine.

I have to say this because experiencing this with her was a life changing experience.  I watched my sister wrap that little white casket with a huge bow for the funeral…as her gift to God.  I saw her love her God so much that my heart (the hidden one) began to crack open.  My life changed forever.  All of our lives changed.  And perhaps many of you know this journey too.  I know your life changed.  God bless you…

After the funeral we all had to go back to our homes and try to live again.  And you do, because living is what we do. But my son and I began to go to church.  It began to be important to me to know where Gavin was…and know that all our family would be together again one day.  I began to learn.  And life went on, differently, but life went on.

But my heart had been cracked open and God had plans for me. Within six months I ended up bringing my son to a counseling agency for some school related problems.  During the intake interview the counselor kept quizzing me about my life.  I kept telling him that everything was wonderful – nothing was wrong in the family besides the loss of my nephew.  He persisted and like a little light going off, I suddenly remembered the secret I buried long ago, and said, “Oh, well there is this one little thing”.  Needless to say, he was totally upset and shocked, I almost laughed.  I became his new project.

There is no need to say that my life changed totally again.  Under the care of outpatient counselors they taught me how to open up and deal with the pain of the past.  I won’t tell you that it wasn’t bad.  It was a total nightmare.  I had so much anger that rose up it scared me…and my family.  I began to take karate lessons, and self defense classes. My husband and son would try to be in bed before I got home because I wanted to practice with them. I became focused on protecting myself – determined to never be a victim again.  I lost tons of weight because my stomach always burned.  I walked so much up and down the hills that several of my toe nails turned black and fell off.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  I broke a baseball bat in half over a picture of “him”.  I didn’t speak his name for two years. I became very aggressive. And I roamed the countryside and thought about running into a telephone pole to end it all.

Whoa now….I know that is a lot of trauma in a short span of time.  But I want you to know (unbeknownst to me) that I know now that God kept his eye on me and I began to heal.  I was still going to church.  I didn’t know Him yet, but I was beginning to seek Him. I stopped watching horror movies.  When I found out that I watched them because I identified with the fear, it grossed me out.

By this time in my life, I was the last person in my immediate family that was unsaved.  But God doesn’t waste anything my friends, even heartbreak.  And that goes for all of us.

Tomorrow I will turn the story to moving home where I would meet for the first time my new one year old niece, Jade.  God’s gift back to us and we learned to laugh again.

Lots had truly happened in my life so far, but finally…there were no more secrets.

My God is faithful.

End of Page 4

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

Going back in time…

 

Wow, when you are 52, going back decades to childhood is quite a trip!  Too funny! But then again, for real, don’t we all sometimes see something that triggers a playful childhood memory?  Do you remember playing king of the mountain, or hide and go seek, or playing in the rain, or riding a bike, or trying to dig up a rabbit hole in the woods?  I can’t help but laugh.  Oh wait; have you ever had a tarantula jump on your bike tire?  I have!  Have you ever jumped off a cliff?  I have!  Have you every “rode” down a Christmas tree?  I have!  Have you ever been attacked by bats?  I have!  Eeek! I can tell you that this is where my spirit of exploring comes from.

There are so many wonderful memories, experiences and powerful things taught by my parents and family. Things that have seeded into my victories as an adult – lessons learned – wisdom passed down.  May I give my son, Zebulon and his children…or anyone I meet a transfer of the blessings from the precious gifts I have retained from my childhood.  I love and respect them all. To this day, I have learned to produce by being constructive because my dad would ask me and my brothers and sister, “What have you accomplished today?”  What honor I give to my parents as teachers.  What encouragement they gave because they always believed I could do anything.

Yes, all that is in my heart!  Praise God!  But “other” life stuff still happens. The enemy always looks for ways to get people to listen to his whispering lies.  Children don’t know that.  They just know who is the boss of them and that they have to trust the people around them to keep them safe.

For those of you who do not know my testimony, understand that this sharing is to show the glory that will come later in my blog story.  This is necessary now for the later revelation to have the true impact that I experienced when God began to restore me in this area.  If you do know of my testimony, I ask your patience as I repeat it.  If you are sensitive to childhood issues, I want you to know that I will only reveal my heart’s thoughts, nothing else.

To begin, I will start my childhood story with the story of another child.  I was in my mid 30’s and had just completed a year of intense outpatient post traumatic stress therapy in Dodge City, KS where I lived.  I was in a setting structured to expose issues buried long ago so that I could learn how to address those experiences.  I got off work one afternoon from the hospital where I worked and dropped by the local grocery store.  I was tired, wired and just ready to get home.  I just had a few items in my hand and walked up to the checkout line.  There was a mother checking out in front of me but as she talked to the checkout clerk she left her little boy in a buggy behind her.  Then I entered the picture. I walked up and stood behind the buggy where he was.  I wasn’t paying him any notice until he began to fuss and complain.  I was surprised and didn’t know what he was fussing about to me.  I glanced at his mom and she wasn’t concerned at all.  He was staring angrily at me and I am sure I just look surprised.  All of a sudden I realized what was wrong with him.  I was too close to him.  I was in his space.  I took two steps back and waited for his response.  He gave me the biggest smile ever. I have never forgotten him.  That is one of those epiphany moments in my life.  That little two year old boy knew his boundaries and was healthily claming them.  I was so proud of him.

I wished I would have had that option.

As a young girl, I learned that there really were monsters in the dark.  I learned that men know how to keep secrets.  I learned about living a lie.  I learned a false definition of love. I learned how to be a sacrifice.  The rapes seemed to happen far away as if I was someone else.  I would dissociate. I hid all the reality deep within me.  I learned to hate myself and never say a word.  Authority figures were the boss and I did what I was told.  I begged God to help me but when He didn’t I thought He thought I was disgusting and didn’t love me anyway.  I didn’t blame Him.  I hated me too.  I learned to live life anyway…very angry deep inside.

When the victim season ended I just grew up and lived like everyone else.  However, there were some problem indicators. I wet the bed till I was 18 years old.  18 years old.  Wow.  I struggled with my weight from emotional eating.  I didn’t share much personally about myself.  Other than that, I was involved in school, ran for elections, bloomed into a young woman, cheered, made good grades, had a boy friend, and worked at a pharmacy.  By the time I graduated, we were engaged.  No one noticed any issues at all.  But I rarely spent the night away from home.  No way.  What teenager brings a plastic sheet with them?  It was always amazing that people looked up to me and wanted their children to have my influence.  I was always surprised.  No wonder, the secret down inside me was always waiting.  As a woman, I just felt numb.

I married my childhood sweetheart at 18.  He was the football player and me the cheerleader.  We were picture perfect and had fun.  I didn’t tell him till many years later about the secret that I hid for so long.  At 21 our son was born – life was wonderful – he was precious!  Then the enemy began to come between my husband and I with betrayal and secrets.  I tried but could never trust again. My heart shut down and we divorced after 9 years.  It was so sad that I never learned how to work things out – that things are worth fighting for.  I just endured till some unknown time frame ran out and then I walked away. I wasn’t afraid to start over.  I just kept going.  As a woman, I still just felt numb.  I had never really let him in my heart.  Truth be told, I don’t even think I had been in my heart.

For the next season in my life, my son and I were together as a single parent family.  We eventually moved into the McNeese family apartments and I went to school during the day and worked as a traveling inventory auditor at night and on the weekends.  I LOVED life.  It was the first time that I had been on my own as an adult.  Bless my son for putting up with me!  I was part child and he was an explorer!  We were both exploring! It was great really. I know that I didn’t have sufficient emotional tools in many ways but we loved each other, we were each safe, we had great times, and we kept growing.  God wasn’t a part of our life yet – but my family kept reminding me that God was there.  I would just think…maybe one day.

It is time to pause…wow, what a journey I have been on in sharing.  Like all of you, we live life as we know it – until we know differently.  I never really had personal goals or dreams.  I didn’t know a whole lot about myself inside.  It had been locked up so long.  I loved being a mother, daughter, sister, friend and student – was loyal, honest, smart – all that.  But personally, me as a woman…there didn’t seem to be an identity.  I had walls up in my life.  I wasn’t open or especially friendly with men I didn’t know.  Rarely did I flirt.  I didn’t know how to assert myself to explore that.  In many ways I was still a child.  I just wanted to be safe.  I just wondered if anyone would ever choose to love me.

To close out tonight, I can so see the video in my mind of the words that I have written.  I pray that you are beginning to see some of it too.  I still have more sharing before God steps into my picture. That is after all, the purpose for this.

I hope that you are connecting with the idea of “roots and reasons” for why you do what you do.  Notice your patterns.  My testimony is more than a story.  I pray that you receive that hidden pain or destructive secrets are alive and fester – working to destroy life.  We need a doctor that will clean out the wound so that it can heal.  Jehovah Rapha is our healer and He does all things in His time.

So be blessed this night and forgive me for this heavy sharing.  Know that the dawn is coming. In therapy I was taught that the only healthy reason we look back is so that we can glean what we need to go forward.  I promise you, you will know the power of God when He gets His hands on all this in the days ahead.

Victory did come for me.

End of page 3

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

This is what happened…

imagesCAH9WLA9Last night I ended Page 1 with an analogy when the Harley screeched to a halt at a cross roads. An ended journey that clearly revealed that life as I normally defined it would be forever changed.  That happened a couple of months ago.  Today, I assure you that the release of pressure and breath of freedom was truly immediate.  My relationship with Christ had prepared me.  You might say, He had already packed me for my new journey.  That in itself, once you learn my testimony, is truly a miracle.

Leaving the job and the church in January…my season to end that cross road had been a long time coming. The beauty is that I left with all the treasures from those many years there as a member and a leader in the flock with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, spiritual growth and strategy, altar prayer counselor experience, teacher in ladies bible study, leader in the singles, and sincere love to those I ministered and served for so many years.  You see, the true value of that season comes with me – the things of the heart from me and from you.  Always know that YOU matter to me.  But the pressure, the infinite details, and all the waste of a spirit, well it truly will become beauty for ashes because my God is faithful.

This journey was prophesied back on November 1, 2009.  Even then God was preparing me.  Some of you may remember the guest Evangelist, Prophet and Singer that came to Christian World, John Ragsdale.  The following prophecy was spoken to me from the platform during service.  It was a particularly painful time for me and God read my spiritual mail for all the world to hear.  My spirit received it all.  I share…

Patti, the Lord says to tell you that your past has prepared you for now.  Not just your training but your tribulation – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Every bit of that has gotten you where you are and is going to help take you where you are going.  And the Lord said to tell you specifically, because they have walked away from you and because there’ve been things that you have walked away from, that this is releasing you into this next time of destiny…this is destiny for you….destiny for you…..

So, God has a plan!  Do you realize that He has one for you?  You see, I believe that we are all born purposely unique to God.  That we are born to do something individually for HIM that ONLY we will do.  It is personal.  Don’t ever doubt that He desires to be up close to you …most definitely in your breathing space…or breathing for you!

I tell you this because I didn’t know it could even be personal between Jesus and I until a little over 9 years ago.  Oh, I had been a Christian for 9 years already.  I had volunteered in ministry. I had studied and memorized the Word of God.  I was a wife, mother, mother in law, daughter, sister, friend, co worker, etc.  But until I walked away from my second husband – I didn’t see that I needed God to transform me to be what He created me to be – that things in me were broken…like stained glass strewn all over the floor. It is amazing that many times we don’t even see that we have emotional or addictive issues or behaviors until we do something more than once.  I never could believe that either of my two husbands loved me.  They tried to tell me but I never believed them.  I didn’t see myself as lovable, worthy or valuable.  I hated my self-definition or should I say, my experience-definition, and forever locked away my heart in a personal prison…missing out on the freedom and beauty of true intimate heart relationships.

I will share many private encounters between He and I in this testimony blog.  I have to share it with you.  I need you to know that He fixes what is broken and if He doesn’t fix it He can replace or recreate it.  He can give you a new mind, new beliefs, a clean heart, purity in the place of perversion, and testimonies for your scars.  You don’t have to be who you think you are.  He doesn’t want you to be.  He wants you to be who He says you are.

We are to be scripturally created.  How cool is that!!!!

Tomorrow I will “begin” the reflection journey of this blog all the way back to the lies spoken as fear when I was a little girl…to the lies believed when I was a teenager…to the false beliefs I acted upon as a young woman…till the day Jesus showed me what He does to lies.  I don’t know how long this journey will take…but each moment will matter.

Bless all of you, have a peaceful night…for God always “gives His Beloved sweet sleep”.

End of Page 2

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

The journey begins…

imagesCAD6F46BIt’s midnight …and I am just now sitting down to write.  I am so excited…for real.  I get to finally tell it like it is…or, should I say, reveal who I am.  Generally, people only see what stands before them.  But they can’t help it; after all, life is just too busy for us to see past the moment we are in.

But not me, right now, I seriously contemplate and focus on myself as I look in the mirror.  Oh my, I am truly grateful for hair dye, red lipstick and flashy bling!  God, thank you for the beauty supply industry!  My future would certainly be less…uh…vibrant…without such additions…giggle.  Oh, sorry, I got sidetracked!

Okay, let me get back to my story.  It is time to open up my memories and heart to the places I have been and to the things that have left their mark in my life.  NOT for the purpose of sharing alone, but purposely to reflect on the things hidden in my past that Jesus had to touch and remodel years later. So here we go…

Oh wait, first let me go ahead and surprise many of you right up front.  One of my heart’s desires for most of the last 10 years has been to get on a Harley and drive cross country by myself.  I am thinking I would have on black knee boots, jeans, big loops and hair (freshly dyed) blowing in the breeze.  The thought of this trip makes my heart twirl…to be free to sight see, explore, and ride the wind.  Wow.

Now this may seem gypsy or hippy-ish to you, and it probably is!  But the truth of the matter is, my body, soul and spirit were “damage” restricted through much of my life – so that when Jesus set me free – I hungered to embrace freedom any way I could!  My mind was set free, my destiny, my purpose, my identity!  (Oh, did you catch it?  I am driving.  I haven’t yet met the man that I trust to drive me.  But that is another story…)  So, on we go.  For the sake of the story line, come cruise with me.

The trip I dream about is all about the wind, hills, open fields, and authority to drive. I have a place to go and a destiny to meet. I feel 16 (going on 53) with the world in front of me!  Time has no meaning, for in the waiting God works His special power.  You know…when He prepares you for the days and years ahead and the choices that must be made. I so understand when His Word says, “…you have been put in this position for such a time as this”.

Back to the trip…  If you would, please focus and get a mental picture of me cruising down a long hilly highway at about 80 m.p.h., simply intent on living life as I know it.  Only thing is, I am going too fast, my Harley is loaded with responsibilities and pressure, I can barely see the open fields anymore and exploring has no available time on my agenda.  Tired of this journey and nearing the end of my map of directions, I come atop the final hill and have to hit the brakes hard.  Rocks flying, I slide to a stop.  There before me is a T in the road, a cross road, or possibly from some perceptions, a dead end – because life as I know it just changed.

Been there?  Can you imagine my tires squealing, heart pounding, and pure adrenaline at the challenge I am suddenly faced with?

For real…I stood up, put the kickstand down, and took off my helmet and glasses.  I shook out my hair…and smiled.  Freedom!!!

End of Page 1

Patti Corbello Archer

Future 101

Future 101 – Introduction

imagescacwfjdx.jpgI am a storyteller!  I love to share experiences, testimonies and my relationship with Jesus.  My first blog is entitled Future 101.  If you have ever reached a cross roads or seemingly dead end in your life and had to start over, come journey with me and let me share with you my life and how Jesus has made me who I am today.

In the days and years of yesterday, I may have known the oppression of fear, shame, betrayal, loss, divorces, mockery, tears, isolation and intense pressure…but let me assure you that God has indeed used these tough experiences along with my “destiny” to catapult me through the door to my future.  I stand here today with extremely powerful treasures.  I now release them to you!

So many times we sit in a church pew and never truly “know” the story of the precious person sitting next to us, so today, I welcome you to come with me…read my story as I share more of it each day.

I pray that you will be touched, inspired and encouraged to then go share yours!!!