Scars which Last a Lifetime: Words

Words change a person, for good and bad. Be mindful of the words you use.

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV Beautiful Words Bible 2015 Zondervan pg. 1373) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of Malice. 32) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The emptiness has already consumed her; the goal today was o feel good and beautiful about herself; just a little confidence would go a long way. Each day she would try and look at herself in the mirror before school and tell herself, “I am beautiful!” She would believe it for a moment and then it was gone the emptiness was back. She thought what difference would it make, it didn’t matter what she believed; they always found a way to put her back in place. The harrowing feeling of walking into school each day felt like her form of punishment.

What would it be today? Her skin color, the flash of memory appears. She was maybe in 3rd grade trapped in the bathroom by one of the most popular girls in 3rd grade and being told to go home and have her parents paint her white like the rest of them. She never knew any difference in skin color. She just knew her mother was beautiful and her father was he most handsome man she knew. She snaps back to reality; today is about being a bitch and a whore. As time goes by she comes to the realization it didn’t matter how much she would defend herself; she would never measure up in their eyes.

The more and more she tried to ignore the words the worse they would get. Then it was back to being a wetback, spec, Jehobite slut and on and on… The people please in her personality chose to take it, take the abuse and allow it to consume her. With confidence torn apart and making the worst possible decisions through out high school got her in more trouble with her parents. She eventually allowed men to treat her with disrespect to the point of being abused. She allowed those words to control who she became. Graduation would be the happiest day of life. Or so she thought.

Now time for her to face the adult world. A world which brought her further pain and suffering; she thought the words were bad in high school but she was wrong. the words just cut much deeper. Entering the world of being an adult didn’t help when she looked at herself as being completely broken; unable to stand up for herself. She literally did whatever anyone wanted her to do. If it meant working a certain job which she had no desire to she did it. Oh, they have the most eligible bachelor ready for her to date. She did a good job of hiding the pain if she ever showed a sign of weakness it would be hidden from those who were surrounding her. She would put a smile on her face and proceed on.

She was along enduring constant abuse, who would she turn to. She discovers that if there really was a God she wouldn’t have endured so much pain and suffering only to find herself pregnant; this is going to be one of her greatest challenges being a mom and trying to prevent her children from becoming victims.

Wedding are blissful events; you want to feel good about yourself, there she was walking round with her baby girl and a young man on her other arm as her date. A family  member approached her full of confidence; with a comment that would come back to haunt her not once but twice in her lifetime. “You change boyfriends like you do shirts.” at that moment in time She should have been devastated but in this time she had already endured the worse form of abuse and she needed to be focused for her baby girl so she shrugs it off.

Years later she is going through serious life changes. Her baby girl is no longer a baby, she is now an adult and learning her path on raising a family. She can be described as a real Proverbs 31 wife in her momma’s eyes. When her mom thinks of her daughter she is reminded of Proverbs 31: 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Her mom recalls mentioning time and time again if she only had an ounce of her daughter’s strength what life changing effects there would be. 

November 11, 2006 a day which changed her life forever; the day she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. That day she would begin her infancy walk with Christ. Ultimately what she didn’t realize was God would use her past to learn from. Granted He knew her past He was with her along the way carrying her when she didn’t realize she needed to be carried.

One big lesson of life she would learn is forgiveness not only giving forgiveness but praying that those she hurt with her words would forgive her.

The words echoing loudly in her mind… they won’t stop…”You change boyfriends like you do shirts.” Those words hurt so badly and years later they echo through her head. Shaking and crying on her knees asking God why? The out loud she is yelling asking God, “why can’t I let this go?” Then she hears her self again feeling of anxiety coursing through her body then the words being spoke out loud as if the person was in the room. She would question to the point of almost breaking down then practically in tears she called her daughter. Tells her the story of the message God was telling her and keeps bring up this one horrible memory.

Then the reality hit home for this mom. Years earlier when her daughter was growing up through the teen age years. She repeated those same words to her daughter. She said to her daughter the exact same phrase word for word, “You change boyfriends just like you do shirts.” Tears flowing down her face she drops to her knees while on the phone she states to her daughter, “I pray one date in time you will forgive me.” Her daughter appreciated her apologizing then the full reality of what God was trying to teach her was revealed.

  1. She needed to forgive the person who made the statement in the first place. We do not need to wait to be asked to forgive. We need to just forgive. Especially if you are a victim. By forgiving we free ourselves from being the victim of abuse.
  2. She needed to ask for forgiveness. Healing begins between the mother and daughter when an acknowledgement of wrong doing has occurred.

So often words are like a double edge sword; the monumental effect words can have on a person can be overwhelming which can carry greater scars because they cut into the heart and mind.

Pulling Weeds

One day I was sitting in Village Inn waiting for my car to get serviced at Wal-Mart, the condition set by Chris if I wanted to go to Lansing to see my father.

I was alone, and I just started writing. I always knew what the title of my next blog would be and the subject matter I just didn’t know the direction I was going to have it go in. So here it is.

Every parent has a goal for their children. Here are some of my goals:

  1. Having a relationship with Christ
  2. Falling in Love
  3. Know unconditional love
  4. Enjoying making memories
  5. Have a full and successful life

As parents we can help our children attain some of these goals. The one goal I am focusing on is making memories. Our children have childhood memories these memories can be good ones and bad ones.

I know growing up in a home with multiple children each child will have different memories of how they view the way they grew up. This especially happens when there is a generation gap.

In 2007 my mother passed away from a glioblastoma brain tumor. Having someone close you go through this isn’t easy, she put up a fight and I know in my heart she did this for our family.

Our relationship wasn’t always roses, we were after all, mother/daughter. There was nothing I wanted more was for my mother to just love me for who I was, everything I believed I did  to please her.

In the final days before she died, she told me I would be fine. I know she loved me, there was never a time she wouldn’t tell me she loved me even in a heated moment of anger or should I say disappointment, she would say “I love you, bye” not once did she hang up the phone without telling me she loved me. She told me she did this because if she died tomorrow there would be no doubt that she loved me.

But, it doesn’t change the negative-I remember the tantrums me storming out of the house not understanding why she didn’t like me, what did I ever do to be treated so badly I didn’t get it, these memories flooded my mind. Then I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter how mom was so loving, understanding and supportive.  Before she passed away she asked me what my favorite memory was, I explained it was the night I fell asleep on the living room floor and she laid next to me; wrapped her arm around me feeling Erikah kick. This memory resounds through my mind often; I hold onto this memory because I choose to remember the loving moments in my relationship with mom.

When I think of my mother I also remember how she drilled into my head, “Bad association spoils useful habits.” this is a scripture 1 Corinthians 15:33(NWT) Do not be misled. Bad association spoils useful habits. She always wanted better for me, I didn’t understand this I was a teenager seeking guidance and direction. I saw how strong my mother was when faced with adversity. Then I remember, Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

I didn’t always agree with my mother; however she was my mother and I respected her as my mother. I loved her the best way I knew how. I want to focus on the good memories so I can be free and enjoy those memories. I am working hard on pulling the weeds; the negative memories so I can focus on the good.

My children will have good memories and bad ones as well. My prayer for them is to one day realize I am human afterall, I did falter and fail often but, I did my best to raise them to become the individuals they are today. I pray one day they will reflect and decide to pull  the weeds, focus on the good times.

 

Sing Praise to the Lord

It has been way too long since I last blogged.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about trials, storms, desert and just feeling alone.

My latest Facebook post was about who are we to questions the trials we come face to face with. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul when he was imprisoned the first time because he freed the slave girl Lydia of her demons. What did Paul and Silas do? They would sing Praises to the Lord.

Doing this is easier said than done. I am human after all. When faced with difficult situations I need to remember; don’t become emotional. Listen intently, find the lesson or opportunity I need to learn and always, give the praise and glory to the Lord because he has a message for me. By allowing these things to happen we are putting faith and trust in the Lord. We allow him to help us through any situation we may be faced with. I believe the Lord will carry me through the valley. He is going to find the way for us.

He knows of all our needs. This is why we need to learn and have more trust and faith in the Lord. Sure, we are going to fall but it is an opportunity to grow.

Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Rely on him and remember give ALL THINGS to the Lord good and bad. Seek out the glorious gifts of life lessons the Lord has in store for each of us.

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Lessons from Job

The book of Job is a long and an  interesting read.

Horrible things happened to Job, he literally lost everything. When I say everything I mean everything including his children. He was a faithful servant of the Lord.

There are so many lessons which could be learned from reading the book of Job.

  1. Job remained faithful to the Lord after everything he had gone through.
  2. Job’s friends immediately went to be with him once they heard of the things which happened to Job.
  3. Compassion
  4. Redemption

We remain faithful to the Lord and we don’t understand why things happen to us. Why do bad things happen. If you read the book of Job from beginning to end; you will find out that Job was used as a test to prove a point to Satan. (Job didn’t know this)  We know that the Lord doesn’t always do this but in this example the Lord wants us to know no matter what we are going through we are not alone. He will bring us through the situation.

Job’s friends constantly tried to give him council; he got so angry with them because they were telling him to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness for whatever sin obviously committed against God. Job didn’t need to feel like he was being lectured for something he knew he didn’t do wrong. He was seeking compassion from his friends.

Job 16: Job replied, 2 “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!”

I have felt like my world has fallen down all around me. I have serious anxiety attacks when I feel like I am being judged or people want to make an example of me for whatever purpose they see fit.

I despised being in high school; this was my beginning of being a victim of being bullied. I thought when I left home this type of treatment was the norm for me. Which led to me being emotionally, physically and completely abused and for years I lived as the victim. I had huge pity parties and felt sorry for myself. The best advice my father gave me was to not sit around and feel sorry for myself keep moving forward. It wasn’t how I fell it was how I got myself up that mattered.

During this time, I didn’t get angry at God, I believe I lost faith but, I didn’t blame him.

What I found years later is God would surround me with a compassionate family; my church family. God used my church family to help heal me. They helped me to find a way to forgive; forgiving set me free. He also brought into my life a man who learned over time to love me completely and unconditionally.

I have also realized the Lord blessed me with 3 beautiful children who are now adults who have through the years shown me that they are my redemption. They have taught me that I can have days when my world is falling around me but, the Lord is with me during these times.

In the end because of Job’s patience everything he lost he gained back and he received even greater blessings than before. His friends however were rebuked for adding to Job’s suffering by their false assumptions and critical attitudes.

The prayer I often think of is from Psalms 23 (NIV):

1. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2.  He makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside quiet waters,

3. he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presences of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.