About Us, Hope Redefined, how to help with porn addiction, recovery, Uncategorized

More Than A Piece Of Paper

This past month, I had the honor of receiving my certification from an organization that is committed to training and equipping helping professionals understand betrayal trauma and the impact of sexual addiction. The organization is called APSATS (Association of Partners of Sex Addiction Trauma Specialist). This certification makes me a Certified Partner Coach. Crazy job title to be excited over, right?  

I feel such a pressing on my heart to share why this is such a big deal, not only for me but for the women around me.

The day I received the certificate, I posted on social media my gratitude and excitement about getting to this point. What I didn’t mention was that when I sat back down in the back of the room and tried to contain my excitement, I heard this still small voice say, “Open the folder, Lyschel, and sit with this for a moment.” I have a tendency to run through life and quickly move from one thing to the next – physically, mentally and emotionally. The Lord knows this about me.  

I immediately opened the green folder containing my certificate and I just sat with it for a moment. Within a few seconds, the tears began to fall as I felt the Spirit remind me of all that happened prior to this moment. All of the mountains that were conquered, overcome or walked around to get to this moment.

The first thing that came to mind was my husband. The grief of his addiction is still there. It’s still something I ache over and the reality of what it has stolen from him, me and us. I hate that this is part of his story, and as a result, a part of mine. But man, we have weathered some storms – more like a tsunami quickly followed by a tornado. Some of these storms have been faced together and others I went through all on my own, with God by my side. Every single one of those storms contributed to the moment I was having in the back of this meeting room, looking at this simple piece of paper.

Second, I thought of my children. They have sacrificed for their mom to be able to walk in this calling. There were missed dinners and basketball games, along with a few field trips here and there. While I can wrestle with guilt over missing moments, I also think about the home life they are receiving because of the healing and investment I have made in myself to grow. It’s like they are getting to start from a level up.

Next, my thoughts and gratitude quickly moved to the women who have sat with me over the last seven years. Beautiful faces on the computer in our online groups and hugs received in our face to face groups. I can’t count the number of times women have thanked me for giving God my Yes. This was one more of those Yes moments.

I also thought of the incredible opposition that came from so many places as I have stepped into this space. Opposition from the enemy, but also opposition from other people.

I love the quote Brené Brown uses in her work, Daring Greatly from Teddy Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

This is the kind of wisdom we have to hold on to when we live in a place that requires incredible vulnerability, uncertainty and courage.

I guess you could consider this my acceptance speech. And I do accept this certification with pride, honor and intentionality.

Looking back over my life, I can see how much I’ve learned and grown. I have a love and hunger to care for hurting people that does not make sense most days. I know with confidence that these things were given to me as a gift from God. I wholeheartedly receive this gift and will wake up tomorrow and whisper (probably into my coffee cup), “What’s on the agenda for today, Lord?”

I hope you find this kind of fight within yourself, whatever the area is. I hope you wake up tomorrow, give Him your Yes, and then buckle up for a crazy ride.

Thank you APSATS Board, Laura Hall, Barbara Steffens, Jen Cole, Jeanne, Carol, Dan, Janice and so many others who gave their yeses, too, so we could be way-makers.

featured, friendship, the everyday

Who can hold my heart?

I just wanted to feel the comfort of another. I wept when I realized I didn’t have anyone who was safe or available to “hold my heart,” to catch my tears. I cried out and asked for the friend. “Lord, lay that person on my heart. Tell me who can handle this. Show me who can sit in this with me for five minutes and tell me it’s going to be ok.” I felt hopelessness sweep over me as I ran through my list of friends…all of them would be too busy for my mess. Working, taking care of kids, tackling the crazy season of Christmas. “What’s the point,” I thought. “Besides, I don’t want to burden them.”

As I drove to grab a last minute gift for a friend, I felt the weight of these thoughts. Just as the weight settled on my shoulders, the devil began his antics of whispering “you are so alone, you are forgotten by everyone around you, you are too much for the world, besides you signed up for this work, now you want to cry about it?” As I began to feel my soul agree with these lies, I also felt my spirit inviting me into the big T truths. 

My friend Marisha has this teaching where she talks about the importance of us recognizing little T truths and big T truths.  Little T truths are our reality. In this situation, the little T truth was that I was needing support from others because i was facing a really difficult reality. I desired safe connection with another, I wanted a shoulder to cry on for a minute and someone to hold my face and say “it’s going to be okay.” I wanted someone to hug my heart with their presence and words.  Those were all true things in the moment. And then…and then the Father of Lies showed up on the mental scene and did what he is only capable of doing…he lied.  

If I took Marisha’s words to heart, the only way for me to stop those lies was to battle them with big T truths. The truths that come from our Father. The truths that come from the One who made me, knows me and cares for me.

So I showed up to the shop that ALWAYS soothes my heart and I began the mental steps to remember the big T truths. The truths that I have written out 100 times in my journal, put on my mirror for daily reminders. The truths that are on post-it notes in random places. The truths that have seeped into my soul simply because I kept coming back to them instead of the lies. 

I began thinking on Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

This was so true, I felt weary and burdened. His offer was to give me rest. It was also to take His yoke, easy and light, not the heaviness I was currently feeling. And to learn from Him. Not be scolded for weariness or reprimanded because I have taken my eyes off of Him in this moment. But to learn from Him because He is gentle and humble in heart.  If I committed to learn from Him, I’d find exactly what I was looking for— rest for my soul. A place for my heart to be held. A safe space to lay it out there, surrender the heaviness of it and put on His light yoke. 

I envisioned me taking off the yoke that you’d find on oxen when they are plowing and instead, putting on a scarf. I imagined it was really colorful and beautiful.  I could also imagine the difference in their weight, but what about the difference in comfort and my ability to keep going? I wouldn’t make it far with that huge oxen yoke, but I could move through life easier with a scarf over me.

So as I browsed, wept a little and did my best to focus my mind on the big T’s, my eyes fell on a sign hanging in the shop. The sign contained three simple, yet powerful, words that my heart needed to feel and my eyes needed to see in that moment.

I AM HELD

Milk Moon House

There it was, the biggest big T truth that I needed to feel that day. I am held. At first I read it as a reminder, then I read it a second and third time and began to claim it in my heart. It was big T truth. I AM HELD. I am. And so are you.

The Lord has an invitation for us. His invitation is to focus our minds, body (eyes) and spirit on His truths.

I remember being told this by others or reading it in a well put together bible study so many time. Promise…I have been there. But when I was able to let it play out in my real life…it stuck. And now it’s one of my greatest weapons.

So you know what happened to the Father of Lies as I stood there agreeing with the truth that I was, indeed, held?  He left me alone. He felt the defeat and he retreated. He knew that was not a battle he would have victory in that day. We won! The Father led me out of darkness and we won that day. 

Friend, I left that shop with new tears in my eyes. I left with a bit of a pep in my step and rested my mind on the truth that He’s got my back and He does know all my needs. 

I wanted a tangible friend in the moment, and He was. He met me in that space and He cupped my face with his Spirit, He directed my eyes to that sign and offered me far more than I could have asked for or imagined. He held me and offered me a lighter yoke for me to continue walking through my day.

My prayer is that you let Him hold you, too.

Merry Christmas.


Thank you to my friend Jo with Milk Moon House for being the vessel that the Lord has asked her to be. Thank you for following His lead and creating with Him. She is the amazing artist of this photo.

Thank you Bradley’s for always being the space that others can go and exhale. You create a space like no other. It’s cozy! (that’s for you Joy H.)