Anna Smit is one of the authors I met in Geneva last year at the writers intensive. She has a heart to see others set free because she has her own story of emancipation.
Below is a picture of her, her daughter, and her mom not too long before her mom died. Anna had the privilege and the trauma of caring for her mom before she lost her battle with cancer, and the experience profoundly affected her.
How Our Stories Intersected
As I mentioned, Anna and I met in Geneva, and I was immediately impressed by her deep connection to Jesus. He oozed from her, actually. She had a long period of being away from the Lord, but some painful circumstances brought her back. She’s written about caregiver PTSD below:
PTSD is not something to trifle with. Trauma has a way of infiltrating our lives, and Anna was no different. However, God chose to intersect her story in beautiful ways. I prayer her reawakening inspires you today.
[There is such a thing as Caregiver PTSD. Anna Smit experienced it & through it Jesus brought her back. #RestoryShow.”]
As in all my episodes, I pray for you at the end. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll walk away from the Restory Show changed and challenged.
A Note from Anna
Anna asked that I add this portion, which I was happy to do. She has some deep insight into healing and God’s nearness. I pray her words bless you.
Recently, I went back and listened to the recorded prophecy spoken over me that I shared of in my interview. I thought the man had told me I had to cling to God in the coming storms. Turns out he never said that: in fact the opposite- that God would be with me. I couldn’t understand how I had misheard him…until God showed me the power of listening to thoughts that are not of Him. I must have heard the word “storms” and frozen- choosing to listen to my accuser’s lies that began to pour into my head, rather than the rest of the encouraging prophecy.
What has helped me understand how this could of happened is something from your book Live Uncaged…
In it you share of a conference where you were asked to write down on a piece of paper what one thing you so badly wanted to leave behind at the altar and pick up one of the pieces of papers lying at the altar (all different Scriptures). I found it such an amazing idea and could see how wonderfully freeing and healing it was for you, so I did it myself, but asked God to give me a verse (He ended up giving 4 because I wasn’t satisfied with just one ). What a powerful eye-opener. Because once again it showed me how powerful these little foxes (lies of the enemy) are!!!
The first verse (every knee shall bow) had me in tears and filled me with lies that told me I struggled with this thing (my need/desire to always be right) because I didn’t want God to come first. But because I know God is good and true I asked Him to give me more verses for wisdom. It wasn’t till the final verse (Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled) that I understood what God was showing me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want God to come first, it was that I was listening to the wrong voices in my head- the second Scripture He revealed was John 10:5 “But they will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” And the third was: John 6:2 “and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.”
These voices tell me that everything is my fault and that what I do makes others suffer. But that if I can show others that I am “right” (good) then I can counter the internal shame. I have to prove my worthiness to them by proving my actions or ideas as “right” (good).
This is especially prevalent in parenting. Like on Monday- we have banned television and I-pad for a week because it has been affecting Emily’s ability to fall asleep at night (her mind is not at rest), but of course Emily was not happy. My response was to internalize her temper tantrum and tears as my fault. I saw myself as causing her pain and I tried to prevent the shame I felt by explaining why our decision to ban was right. So, when of course that only exacerbated things it made me angry. And I couldn’t understand why I was feeling SO angry and at the same time filled with such grief because really I could rationalize her response as being completely normal for a six-year old!! But I desperately needed to be right.
I now see why: I was hearing- “see, it’s all your fault Anna. She’s upset and angry and it’s all because of you. See, you are a terrible parent. She wouldn’t be this upset if you parented her better.” And then I countered this false guilt and shame with questions to turn the guilt away from myself to Emily: “why doesn’t she understand me, why doesn’t she see me, why doesn’t she accept me?” And that fueled the grief and anger in me and my impatient and argumentative responses to Emily.
The little foxes (Pharisees ) were the voices of false guilt trying to stop me from putting safe boundaries around my child (no I-pad or TV for a week). And I listened to them, rather than God’s loving voice, who would have been encouraging me, comforting me and affirming me as a Mommy, not shaming or guilt-tripping me.
See, I realize I still feel responsible for not protecting my brother. So, when others suffer in front of me (and especially because of something I’ve said and done- even if it was a good thing to say/do) I still hear that same voice of blame. “It’s all your fault. You should have done something different.” I see their emotions as something I’m responsible for (their anger or grief). And if I can prove I was right, I can prove I am not to blame for their emotions and worthy of love. But you see, if I listened to God’s affirming and loving voice I’d be able to counter the shaming, guilt-tripping voices and place a safe boundary around my thought world: a wall that stops me from shouldering others’ emotions. I’d be carrying a light yoke, rather than a heavy one. And this light yoke would allow me to feel loved and show love.
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Get on the Show
We’ll be featuring your mini-story at the end of the Restory Show. If you’d like to be featured, record your voice below.