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Monthly Archives: July 2014

A Testimony – “Touched by an Angel”

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Have you ever been touched by an angel? I can honestly say since I have grown in my recovery and closer to the Lord, that I have been touched by many angels. I probably won’t be able to name them all but I am going to tell you about some of them.

My first angel, I would have to say, would be my husband, John. God sent him to me when I was living on my own, having a hard time with finances, and wanting to go to school. This man, I had only known for three months, decided to help me with my career. We’ve now been married for ten years.

My other encounter with an angel, I would have to say, would be my two boys. They have been the biggest blessing to me and our home.

Before I was hospitalized last year for attempted suicide and depression, Satan had me believing that the only reason why I was born was to have these two boys and that my work was done here on earth, that I was a terrible mother, wife, and friend. Satan tried to make me believe that the world was a better place without me and that God was calling me home. (I really believed this.)

I was so miserable here on earth that Satan made me believe that God wanted to take my pain away by having me commit suicide. God did want to lift my pain, but not the way Satan had said.

God sent another angel my way, my therapist. She is a Christian and I know God put us together for a reason, although I haven’t figured it out yet, but I know and trust Christ to lead me, and us, in the right direction.

The next angel came while I was in the hospital. Dr. M. has been a blessing since day one. She and my therapist have well gone above and beyond the call of duty in the therapist and patient relationship. Dr. M. has spent many nights with me late in her office and my therapist has spent her week-ends on the phone with me to help me through some rough times.

I don’t think people realize the impact that sexual abuse has on a person. You are robbed of your childhood, you have a lousy relationship with your parents, and in my case, family members that don’t believe that someone in my family could do this to me. “I must be making it up.” So I have been trying to function in this world with my family as though nothing had ever happened to me as a child.  Trying to be the perfect wife, mother, friend, a Sunday School teacher, and whatever other duties life has asked me to do. (Does this sound familiar?) Then one day I just broke down and didn’t know why. I just did not want to live any more.

It has taken me over a year to realize that all the people, situations, and places that God has put me in over the past year, that I really am lucky to be here. I have had several suicide attempts. Some really rough week-ends, days just trying to make it through the day. Why? I keep asking God why? And the only reason that I can come up with is that we are all placed here for a reason. We are not to make the decision when our life is to end.

We are not our judges. There is only one and that is God Himself. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone except to me. I am a survivor and I am loved, if not by others, by Jesus Himself. The reason He had for creating me might have been to teach Sunday School for three years and touch a life, or get a job and touch a life, or join a support group and touch a life. Maybe not even to touch a life but change someone’s thinking. Make them smile, give them encouragement when things are not going so well for them. They might not know it but some day they can say they have been touched by an angel.

Because we are all angels in God’s eyes. We were put here on earth to love and care for one another. That is exactly what angels do! And they do it unconditionally without asking anything in return.

I want to thank all the people that God has put in my life. And all the angels He has sent my way. Even though I fought hard to push many people away, thank you Jesus for not giving up on me and for sending more and more angels my way. I know I need all of the help I can get.

I am still very much in recovery. I have a long way to go. I know that I am not alone, that You will be by my side the whole walk and just getting over the hurdle and finding out that there are wonderful people out there wanting to help me, people who love me, support me, and don’t want to hurt me.

Trust is a big issue for anyone who has been abused in any way, shape, or form. The Lord is constantly telling us, over and over again, in the Bible, “Trust in Me and I will lead you to a place of everlasting love and peace.”

The answer is not suicide. That is not our decision to make. The answer is trusting and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

My prayer for all who read this: May you find happiness, peace, and love in this life that God has so greatly blessed us with. It may have started out not being so wonderful, but look at it this way, if the first twenty years of your life was terrible, then make the next twenty years the best that they can be.

Touch a life that may need a little encouragement, we are all God’s angels. He is by no means through with us and He has not given up on us. So please don’t give up on you.

Written by Caroline. Angels by Grace – Dec. 1995

~~~~~

Enjoy the comfort in the words of this song.

If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suepen2paper.com

Blessings to you.

IF ONLY…

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“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen. 3:13

All the way back to Adam and Eve “If only…” has been used to excuse our sins. Eve used the serpent as her excuse, Adam used Eve as his excuse. “She gave me… and I ate it…” (Gen 3:12) In other words “if the serpent hadn’t…” and “if Eve hadn’t offered me…” What would have happened if none of these “if only” excuses had not happened? What would have happened if the “if’s” were used in other ways?

All through the years people have pondered the “if’ only.” We usually use the “IF” for blame. In David A. Seamands book, “IF ONLY” he calls this “the Great Blame Game.” How true that is for even today! No-one wants to take responsibility for their choices or their behaviors. We always blame someone else or something else. The “IF” is complaining, regretting, or blaming.

I’ve done it myself! “If I hadn’t been abused…” “Lord, if you hadn’t given me these parents…” “If he hadn’t told me…”How many times we use the “IF” in complaining or as our excuse for our attitudes and/or behaviors! The Lord said that He can take what is meant for evil and turn it to good. (Gen. 50:20) Complaining, regretting, and blaming is not faith, it is sin.

Take for example the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha says to Jesus when He arrives, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John. 11:21) Sounds like an accusation and complaint to me. Can we relate? “They abused me and now I…” “If only God had stopped it…”

Did Jesus beg Martha for forgiveness? Did He look at her with an expression of, “Are you kidding me!?” Did He say, “If only it hadn’t been so far and my feet didn’t hurt I would have been here sooner?”  No! He turned that “If” into a challenge. “Jesus said to her, “‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

In one of my counseling sessions, it was pointed out that the Lord knows my pain and in great frustration, I blurted out, “But Jesus wasn’t sexually abused!”

So how can He relate to our pain?

*He was betrayed by those He loved. In my post, “What is sexual abuse” I stated that 90% of victims know their abuser.

*Jesus was beaten, spit on, and belittled. Sexual abuse also can involve being belittled by the abuser. Physical abuse is also involved. (I may discuss that later)

*He was hung naked on the cross. Crowds of people staring at Him. How humiliating is that!? Didn’t we feel humiliated?

*His friends fell asleep when He asked them to stay awake and pray for Him. They didn’t listen. Many of us have told someone what was happening and they didn’t listen.

Jesus knows your pain!

So how can we go from blaming, complaining, and regret to healing? First we must look at the past for what it is – the past. We are not being sexually abused now. We must choose to remain a victim or to be victorious. If guilt, shame, anger, hatred, bitterness and un-forgiveness is still a strong part of your life, you have remained a victim. Yes, you survived, but the bondage of victimization is still there. It’s time to let light in. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8)

IF we believe, we will see His glory.

IF we believe the Lord is our Counselor, we will see healing.

IF we believe, He will meet us where we are.

IF we believe, we shall walk in freedom.

~~~~~

 

 

Suggested reading: 51GOmvLGASL._AA160_[1]  It is available at Amazon.com

Discussion: Has starting a healing journal helped you? If not, why?

Assignment:

Ask the Lord to bring to mind the “IF”s” that you have used. List them.

Ask Him to shed His light on each “IF” you listed. What did He say? Write it down.

 

If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you and I hope to see you next week.

http://www.elahministries.com

 

 

Survivors

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S    is for the SOMEONE who cared to stop

      and listen.

U   is for the UNIVERSAL pain we share.

R   is for the ROUGH road ahead. 

V   is for the VICTIM we once were.

I    is for the INSIGHT we have gained.

V   is for the VICTORIES we will win.

O   is for the OTHERS that still suffer.

R   is for the RECOGNITION of our struggles.

S   is for the SURVIVOR in all of us.

by L.  Angels by Grace – Sept. 1995

 

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

Blessings to you.

 

Confronting your Abuser

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Thunder sounded like bombs being exploded. Lightning streaked down, sizzling and dangerous from the sky as its deadly bolts slammed into the ground outside my bedroom walls. Sheets of rain pounded against the windows as though wanting to enter and drown me. Wind whipped through the tree branches ripping them from their trunks.

Suddenly it stopped. An eerie silence hung mysteriously. Not even a bird chirped. The clock ticked loudly in the silence.

I knew. I knew what was about to come and then it came. As the hail pounded against the roof, blasted horizontally against the windows I ran. Grabbing my Bible, my purse, and my dogs I ran to my walk-in closet. Cowering beneath the skirts, shirts, and slacks tears streamed down my face. Gasping from the sobs that forced their way past my lips as the wind howled outside I cried out to God. God I don’t want to die hating my Dad!

It seemed like all of my life I hated the man who was suppose to nurture me, keep me safe, feed me, clothe me, educate me, and raise me to love God and others. Instead he violated me, taught me to lie, to sneak about in the dead of night, to depend on myself and not scream or ask for help. He taught me to feel guilt when I was not the guilty one. He taught me to distrust any who got near. He taught me shame and that I was nothing; not in his eyes or God’s.

God, I don’t want to die hating my Dad.

As the tornado warning horns blared loudly through the trees the Lord said to me, “I want you to forgive your father. Not here in this closet. I want you to go to him tomorrow and forgive him to his face.” I agreed and sighed a sigh of relief when the warning horns finally stopped and I was able to leave the confines of my closet.

The next morning three of us entered my car for the fifty mile drive to confront my Dad. The three of us was not God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It was me, Christ, and Satan. At several points the enemy wanted to turn my car around. “Forget it! You don’t have to do this, he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.” I fought the steering wheel. Again I cried out to the Lord. “If You want me to do this Lord, you better take control of this car!”

He did.

I parked my car under the large Oak tree and began walking across the pasture toward my Dad’s front door. “What do I say, Lord?” I asked as I approached the front door. “I will speak through you. Trust Me child.” The door opened, in more ways than one.

Sitting across the table from my Dad I saw fear in his eyes. He didn’t know I was coming but somehow knew this wasn’t a social visit. “We need to talk,” I said softly. He just looked down at the table. “Why? Why, Daddy, did you do all those horrible things to me for all those years?” I had a sense that the words were not mine. That the voice coming from my lips was from the One who already knew the answers. A defiant look flashed in my Dad’s eyes as he boldly looked up at me and said, “You wanted it!”

I had confronted my Dad once before many years previously. When he said those same words to me at that time, I lost it! I went bolistic and screamed, cussed him, shook my finger in his face, and got nowhere except hating him more. He sat like a stone on the chair and listened. He ignored my pain and then got up and walked out with an air that he did no wrong and it was all my fault.

Not this time! It wasn’t Sue asking the questions. It wasn’t Sue doing the confronting. It wasn’t Sue who would lead this father to the realization that the child, his child, was not the one at fault. Softly the Lord’s words came, “How can a two year old child ask for sex? A two year old child doesn’t know what sex is.”

The Lord, and me, calmly waited for his reply.  “Well I must have been drunk and didn’t know what I was doing!” was my Dad’s next excuse and with each excuse the Lord very calmly confronted him with the truth. When the excuses ran out silence filled the room.

I looked across the table at this man I called Daddy and for the first time I really saw him. I was looking at an 85 year old man who had been physically and emotionally abused by his own father, sexually abused by his Dad, abandoned on a street corner and left to care for his mother and seven younger siblings at the age of seventeen. I saw an old man who didn’t know how to accept love or give love. I saw a man who had been given over to the enemy by no fault of his own.

Looking across that table at the man who now had his head lowered and tears streaming down his cheeks my mouth opened. Jesus stepped back and the words that came were mine. “Daddy? I forgive you. I forgive you for all the horrible things you did to me. I forgive you for all the things that you should have done, that you didn’t. I forgive you for not being the father to me that you should have been.”

My Dad sat sobbing. Through his tears he, for the first time ever, apologized for all the hurt he had caused me.

And then the real kicker came.

Reaching across the table I took his hand in mine and looked at his tear stained face. “I love you daddy. I loved you then and I love you now. What you did was wrong and I forgive you. That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You still have to answer to God.”

The Lord showed me that it is those we love the most that are the ones who can shatter our hearts into a million pieces. I never dreamed there was an ounce of love in my heart for this man I called Daddy.

With God’s peace beginning to flow through me I cried all the way home.

~~~~~

“Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” Jer. 1:9

Assignment:

Read: John 14:27 – Is.26:12 – John 8:32, 36 -Is. 43:2 – Is. 41: 10 – Ps.118:17

Now be still and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to say to you.

If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

Published 2008 (2) May be purchased at http://www.elahministries.com  through PayPal.

Survivor Psalm

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Survivor Psalm

by Frank Ochberg, M.D.

I have been victimized.

I was in a fight that was

Not a fair fight.

I did not ask for the fight. I lost.

There is no shame in losing such

fights, only in winning.

I have reached the stage of

Survivor and am no longer a

A slave of victim status.

I look back with sadness

Rather than hate.

I look forward with hope

Rather than despair.

I may never forget, but I need not

Constantly remember.

I WAS a victim.

I AM a survivor.

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Gift From Within – Reprinted with permission

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

Blessings to you.

To …. From Jesus

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How are you? I just had to send you this letter to tell you how much I love you and care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were walking with your friends. I waited all day, hoping you would walk and talk with me also. As evening drew near, I gave you a sunset to close your day, and a cool breeze to rest you. Then I waited, but you never came. Oh yes, it hurt me, but I still love you because I am your friend.

I saw you fall asleep last night, and I longed to touch your brow, so I spilled moonlight upon your pillow and your face… Again I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk. I have so many gifts for you.

You awakened late this morning and rushed off for the day. My tears were in the rain. Today you looked so sad, so alone. It makes my heart aches because I understand. My friends let me down and hurt me many times, but I love you. I try to tell you in the quiet green grass. I whisper it in the leaves and tress, and breathe it in the color of the flowers. I shout it to you in the mountain streams, and give the birds love songs to sing, I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air. My love for you is deeper than the oceans and the biggest want or need you could ever have.

We will spend eternity together in heaven. I know how hard it is on earth. I really know, because I was there, and I want to help you. My Father wants to help you, too. He’s that way, you know. Just call me, ask me, talk to me. It is your decision…

Because I love you.

                                                                                                                   Your Friend,

                                                                                                                                          Jesus

 

Reprinted by permission and with appreciation to Harry D, Cup, WDBO Radio, Orlando, Florida

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

Blessings to you.

 

You aren’t forgotten guys

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 Girls are not the only ones who fall victim to the evil of sexual abuse. It is true that statistics show that more females are sexually abused than males. According to many of the statistics I researched it is said that 1 in 3 girls are sexually abused by the time they are 16 years old. Those same statistics report 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the time they are 16 years old.

According to RAIN, (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) “10% of children in the United States have been sexually abused.” I must note here that these statistical numbers are taken from KNOWN sexual abuse reports. Thousands of children never report the abuse.  Boys are much less likely to report the abuse than girls.

Males have the same issues of guilt, shame, low self-esteem, self-loathing, hatred, deep depression, and anger as the females but they also have some added issues that females do not grapple with. Masculinity for one. “Be a man!” “Men don’t cry.” Concerns about sexual orientation add to the mix, isolation is prevalent due to a belief that “men are immune to sexual assault.”

RAIN reports that for both men and women of sexual assault, (childhood sexual abuse is sexual assault!) that they will be:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

Our hearts tend to cry for the young innocent girls but when a boy reports he’s been abused he is more likely to not be believed. Our society grapples with a boys violation as not being sexual abuse. Praise God more children are reporting the abuse and more awareness is being made but until a child is believed, regardless of male or female, the statistics won’t change.

As with girls, boys will also blame themselves for the abuse. Boys may have even more confusion due to the unwanted physical response during the abuse. This response (arousal) is absolutely no indication that the abuse is wanted or liked! Distrust is a big issue for both sexes to overcome, as well as problems with intimacy, anxiety, fearfulness, sleep problems, feelings of worthlessness, depression, and maintaining the silence. These are common to both sexes.

Childhood sexual abuse has so many deep and complicated emotional issues to battle with that the suicide rate is staggering. According to the American Association of Suicidology in their 2013 report, “Globally, 18% of females and 7.6% of males committed suicide. One third of these children were under the age of 12.

Shame and guilt are prevalent reasons why adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not seek counseling. Women tend to seek counseling more frequently than men. Men, if they seek counseling, usually do so for depression or anxiety, or, or. They rarely seek it for help with the abuse issues. Until the underlying issues/core issues are addressed guys, freedom from the issues brought about from the abuse is hindered. You can’t fix what isn’t revealed.

Let me emphasize here, You did not want it! You did not ask for it! You are not to blame! A very sick and perverted person did this to you! God knows your pain and wants to heal you. God did not create you to be abused; physically, emotionally, or sexually!  

~~~~~

 

Assignment:

Watch this 27 minute video. (Everyone should watch this video. VERY informative.)

Men – In what ways did this video help you? Writing those thoughts in your journal can help bring greater clarity.

Women – what revelations about male abuse did you learn? Can you relate? How did you feel about what you learned? Journal about it.

 

 

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Ro. 8:1

Suggested reading: Product DetailsA book for men survivor’s, also beneficial to women.

Available at amazon.com

Suggested reading: “Building Walls” – http://www.suespen2paper.com

 

If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com

Blessings to you and I hope to see you next week.