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.

Unconditional Love =Forgiveness

Young relationships have a lot to learn about forgiveness and unconditional love. The greatest gift any child could give a parent is when they call and say, “I get it, I understand what unconditional love is.”

So let’s talk about the truth, forgiveness and saying I’m sorry.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

The truth can set us free. I use this statement to discuss the importance of forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness and forgiving.

Recently I ran into my husband with a laundry cart at the Laundromat. First words out of my mouth was, “I’m sorry.” this statement was the nudge I needed to write about forgiveness and how this relates to unconditional love.

No matter the situation when you say I’m sorry you are asking for forgiveness. I have found recently I have been saying these words a lot because even though my words are unintentional I do not like to cause pain to a person. If I see someone hurting, I want to help by wishing I could absorb their pain. So I say I’m sorry you feel this way is there anything I can do to help ease the pain. This is a way of showing someone empathy and compassion.

I have also found that when you show empathy a person is more likely to trust you and will allow you to take a sneak peak into their heart. Unconditional love, allowing the person to have ownership of their feelings which leads to the beginning of healing.

In 2006 I wrote, “Often times this is how forgiveness works, having the power to forgive without being asked is a sign of unconditional love for others.”

Have you ever had to forgive someone with out them asking for forgiveness? For me this was the hardest thing to do in my life. I had a person in my life who was very abusive to me and one day with the help of my loving congregation I learned who to set myself free and I ended up saying out loud I forgive you.  There was a long list of people I had to forgive, those who disappointed me and not being there for me when they should have been. The ones who assumed they knew what I was going through and called me horrible names. I learn my normal was not normal at all, I was living the life of being a victim. one day my Pastor’s wife pointed out to me I was living my life as a victim and when was I going to allow God to take over the healing and move forward. The first step was to forgive my abusers. Once I did this I felt for the first time I was set free. I would make strives to serve the Lord and teach others the importance of forgiving.

Ephesians 4:32 Be Kind and compassionate to one another forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Jesus is our example of mercy and unconditional love as our relationship with Jesus grows we want to become more like him.

Two Point

  1. Ask for forgiveness to be forgiven will allow us to unload those burdens.
  2. To give forgiveness is to be set free.

I building a relationship with Christ we want to be more Christ like. We become a better person by making changes . Remember what God did for us.

John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love”

This example of God’s love demonstrates unconditional love and forgiveness.

We believe that there are sins that are so horrible and we will never find the grace of God’s love however in Psalms 103:12 As far from the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Remember to Say I’m sorry and forgive just as the Lord would want us to do with a spirit of unconditional love.