RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Christ

Wishing I was the Wind – Testimony

Posted on

Wishing I was the wind

Remember back in 1956 the song “The Wayward Wind?” I loved that song! Okay, so some of you weren’t even born at that time and I’m aging myself. But that’s okay.

I remember sitting on the school bus, alone on the leather seat, looking out the window, and feeling totally alone. The words of the song would play through my mind and oh how I wished I could be that wind. How I wished I could just blow across the land and not have to encounter the abuse at home. As the wind, I could go wherever I wanted. I could be strong, so strong I could blow over houses or gently tilt a flower low to the ground. As the wind I would have the power to move mountains or ripple a stream.

I wasn’t living next to railroad tracts, as depicted in the song. I wasn’t grieving the loss of a lost lover. I was grieving a lost childhood. I was grieving the lack of love from a dysfunctional family. “Raise a child in the ways it is to go” wasn’t even thought about. I was being taught all the wrong things about who I was and who I would be. I was taught guilt, shame, anger, frustration, and filled with emptiness. I was taught what I was worth – nothing!

Sadly many people’s perception of their self worth derives from many different circumstances, people, society, families, jobs, how many friends we have/don’t have, etc. For me, actions speak louder than words. Don’t tell me you love me while choking me or punching me. Someone’s actions can relay a message of worth. We all know “that look” from Mom, Dad, husband, or wife.

If we claim our worth by how much money we have/ don’t have, our position at work/ executive or janitor, our weight/ to fat or to skinny, race, beautiful or ugly, harsh words or negative actions, or status in life we are being deceived. Magazines and T.V. commercials all have a message that we’re not good enough.

I remember when I confronted my Dad about the years of abuse, I’ll never forget his words. “You were my tool.” I don’t think anything he could have ever said that could have hurt more. You see he was a diesel mechanic. He had hundreds of tools. All shapes, all sizes. All had a specific purpose. They were placed in a big bright red tool box, inanimate objects that he used and put aside until needed the next time. Their only value was deemed in what they could be used for. images[2]

“You were my tool.” Little did I know that perceived self worth was established way back in the early years of my childhood. In my case it was, “Your good for only one thing.”

It was when I became a child of God that I learned God saw me worth more than a ten dollar screw driver or a fifteen dollar pair of pliers. He saw me as more than a vessel for sex or a punching bag. I was so valuable, “more than silver or gold,” that He adopted me as His daughter! His Son died on the cross that I might have life more abundant, forgiveness of my sins, and that I could spend eternity with Him.

My Dad saw me as a tool, to be used and thrown to the side until needed at another time. God saw me as a precious child who needed a Father. imagesCA7OM3L4

I was received and valued by Christ “…with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1Peter 1:19

Our worth does not come from others, positions, status, or world worth. Our worth is based upon what God created. If He didn’t think we were worth creating He would not have created us! He would not have come to earth as a man, Jesus, to save us from an eternity in hell. He would not seek us out as a lost sheep and carry us back into the fold to love and protect us.

If you had been the only human being on the face of the earth He still would have gone to the cross for you. That’s how valuable you are to Him!

Don’t sell yourself short of how valuable you are. Your alcoholic mother, drug buddies, abusive father, parent that abandoned you did not determine your worth! God and God alone is the only one who determines our value. God see’s you valuable enough to die for you and adopt you as His child. “For you are all sons (daughters) of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:26

~~~~~

“And because you are sons, (daughters) God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6-7

* note: I added (daughters) so no-one feels left out.

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministreis

Blessings to you.

 

Advertisements

Never, Never, Ever, say these 15 comments to a Victim of Abuse!

Posted on

imgres

There’s a difference between still being a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse.

A person that still carries the shame, guilt, unforgiveness, has not healed the emotional issues from abuse, or is still being abused is continuing to be a victim.

The person that can stand tall, speak out with no shame, no guilt, and has walked the healing path is a survivor of the abuse that was perpetrated in the past. It isn’t just having “lived through the abuse.” It is a matter of having walked the healing path and by God’s grace has over come the emotional issues and is walking in freedom from the past.

Many people want to be helpful and many think that their questions and statements are innocent and do not affect those that have been abused, be it childhood sexual abuse or spousal rape and abuse, or physical and emotional abuse.

Over the years I have heard many testimonies of the added pain inflicted upon victims and survivors of these types of abuse. I have experienced many of them myself and I can tell you from experience the survivor of abuse may steal herself/himself for the onslaught of “innocent” questions and statements but these questions and/or statements are knives deeply imbedding in the heart of the one who has survived the horrors of abuse.

Never, never, never, ever say these things to a victim/survivor of abuse: 

1. “You could have done something to defend yourself.” 

Let me ask you how a small child can defend herself against an adult? Or how can a wife defend herself against a husband that is bigger, stronger and wields some object, including his fist, at her? Or a teen girl or boy defend themselves against an angry father or mother? Children are taught to obey! Obey no matter what the parent says to do! Wives are taught to be “submissive” to their husband.

2. “Why didn’t you just leave?”

In the case of a small child, where would they go? A two-year old cannot support themselves, nor a 5-year-old or 7, 10, or 12-year-old. Teenagers? Some do leave and they end up on the street, homeless, the property of a pimp, or within a gang doing drugs, robbing, stealing, scavenging for food in dumpsters, and the Lord only knows what else. Many do not have relatives that will sympathize and take them in. For the grown woman, some are threatened with death if she ever leaves, she has children to consider, a homeless shelter may be a temporary answer IF they are not full, she may not have ever held a job in her life and has no means of support. The list can go on and on and on. I highly recommend the book, “The Walking Wounded: The Path from Brokenness to Wholeness” by Secret Angel for a better understanding of a wife and mother living with an abusive husband.  Available at: www.amazon.com.

3. “Why didn’t you tell someone!” 

Many have, most won’t. With young children some have been told to “keep the secret no matter what!” Many were accused of lying, blamed for the assaults, beaten for “telling such lies,” ignored, threatened with family members being killed (and many other guilt-ridden consequences) Most have been subject to mind control from an early age, manipulated and controlled, blamed for the abuse by the abuser. One of the things I was told over and over as a young child, “Just stay away from him!” At two and three years old I was told, “If you wouldn’t sit on your dad’s lap…” We are made to feel it is all our fault! For teenagers some have been actually thrown out of the house at fifteen or sixteen years old or have run away because no-one believed them and the abuse continued. Some married the first guy to come along only to be abused now by a husband. Victims are seldom believed! Males are laughed at. “Men can’t be raped!” If that’s your attitude then read, “Unhelpful Myths About the Sexual Assault and Rape of Men.” Posted on this blog, June 10, 2015.

4. “Well you should have……” or “Why didn’t you…..?

Unless you have been in our shoes there is no way you can even begin to understand or comprehend the dynamics that are or were going on in an abusive home. To lay this kind of condemnation on a victim is to jab the knife in real deep, smile sweetly, and then twist it!

5. “Did you call the police?” 

Young children don’t know to do that.  Some teenagers do and end up in foster care only to be abused again or bounced from one place to another to another to another. Some, when the police arrive the abuser convinces the police the teen “has some mental problems.” Unless there are obvious bruises and cuts the police will file a report and leave.  With adults, many do but out of a false sense of “I love him” or “He loves me” they refuse to press charges once the police have come. Many do not get that opportunity for the control is so great there may not even be a phone available in the home.

6. “Just get over it! It happened a long time ago!”

There is no way that dagger can be shoved any deeper into the heart of the recipient of this remark. It is one of the most devastating, demeaning, accusatory, condemning and hurtful remarks that can be made to a victim of abuse. Particularly sexual abuse or rape. Which by the way, sexual abuse that involves intercourse is rape!

7. “What’s the big deal? It was just sex!”

This shows total ignorance on the part of the speaker. Sexual abuse encompasses the mind, the will, the emotions, and the spirit of the victim. The ramifications and emotional consequences of childhood sexual abuse can last a life time. In spousal abuse, where the wife is raped by the husband (along with beatings, etc.) the same thing applies. The mind, will, and emotions are all involved and emotional damage can be severe as well as possible permanent physical injuries.

8. “I’m sure they (parents) did the best they could.”

In my opinion, there is absolutely no excuse that can be given for a parent to turn his or her back on a child that is being abused emotionally, physically, psychologically, or sexually! There is always something that can be done or someone who is willing to help. We have had police and laws for centuries. By ignoring the abuse happening is emotional abandonment and anyone who knows or even highly suspects abuse is taking place and does nothing is a co-conspirator to the crimes that are being committed. That means by doing “nothing” you are doing “something” – agreeing with, condoning the abuse.

9. “You just need to forgive and move on.”

Oh, this sounds so Christian! And of course this is done in “love.” Again, it shows the ignorance and total disregard for what abuse does to the victim; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. The emotional pain of the victim is never taken into account with this statement. This statement gives the impression that the horrors the victim has survived are merely minor infractions. “Here’s a band-aid, I’ll kiss it and make it all better.” The knife goes really deep and twisting it hurts even more!

10. “Are you sure it really happened?”

There’s that knife again! Survivors have questioned themselves until they are blue in the face with this very question even though they KNOW it happened. They do not want to believe that someone they trusted and possibly loved would betray them in such a horrific way. It is very difficult to accept the reality of being hurt, betrayed, and used by a loved one. To have this thrown at them turns the knife at least a full turn deep in their heart. Is essence you are calling them a liar and they’ve heard that from many others.

11. “Give it to God and let it go.”

Oh such a simplistic and uncaring statement! Just twist the knife a little more for this is a platitude that many Christians will spew forth when they can’t think of anything intelligent to say. Yes, we seek the Lord, if we are not so angry at Him for not stopping the abuse.  Some beg, plead, and scream to the heavens.  Many victims of abuse carry great anger and through the grace of God we do heal but to tell us to just hand everything; emotional damage, memories, scars, and what we feel to God like we’re handing Him a stick of gum is irrational on many levels. The issues run deep and much emotional damage has been done. Each issue is dealt with in time with God’s help. We can not put an entire childhood or 20 years of an abusive marriage in a box and just cast it off and go about our merry way.

12. “Maybe it was just a bad dream.” 

You have not only stuck the knife in but have slapped the victim hard in the face. In my case, that would have been an 18 year nightmare! When victims of sexual abuse begin therapy, or even before, this thought does come to mind. “Maybe I dreamed it up. It isn’t true.” Again, it is that deep need to not want it to have had it happen. The bruises in spousal abuse prove this was not dream. A night mare in reality but not a dream during sleep. No, we didn’t dream it. We wish we had because we would wake up and it would go away after the 2nd cup of coffee.

13. “Just don’t think about it!” 

Total disregard for the hurt, betrayal, physical and emotional wounding of victim! Absolutely no compassion is being shown. Victims do not have control over what the Lord will bring to mind that He may deem as time to deal with or the memories popping up “out of nowhere.” Walk away from this person! They do not have a heart for your pain and will only cause more.

14. “Well you must have done something wrong!”

In other words, “It’s all your fault!” We’ve heard this from the first encounter, be it as a child or an adult. Abusers NEVER take the blame! It is ALWAYS placed on someone or something else (usually the victim) and the knife is being twisted around and around as it has been sunk very deep into the heart of the victim. The child victim is NEVER  to blame! With adults, there’s no excuse for a man to hit a woman, ever! Or a woman to hit a man unless in self-defense.

Are you ready? Here is the one that tops all that I have heard over the years! Out of the mouth of a youth pastor that had a seventeen year old victim living with he and his wife to escape the sexual abuse at home came these mighty words of wisdom so confidently spoken to me:

15. “A one time rape is more devastating to the victim than continual sexual molestation, they get used to it.”

I’m still speechless!

Am I saying not to talk to survivors of abuse? NO! I’m saying be sympathetic, compassionate, and caring.  If the person brings up the subject, listen before speaking. Think long and hard what questions you may want to ask. If you are sincere in learning more about what we have to face as the results from the atrocities done to us ask if there are any books we might recommend. Don’t give the platitude or outright lie by saying, “I know just how you feel.” NOT IF YOU HAVEN’T WALKED IN OUR SHOES!

Some survivors, like me, are willing to answer even the questions that you never should have asked. But that’s only because I have had years of therapy and by God’s grace and Christ’s healing I can stand up to the intrusive and inconsiderate questions and remarks. Many survivors will wilt, feel condemned, and damage beyond belief can be done. Words hurt! Words can be that knife in the heart!

Many victims of abuse are sensitive, guilt ridden, filled with shame, low self-esteem, angry, hurt, and  pain so deep only God can bring it into the light. Many continue to feel isolated, unloved, dirty, and unworthy of anything positive.

Love them to life!

~~~~~~

Feel free to add additional hurtful comments in the comment box. People need to be aware of how they can help, not hurt. 

http://www.elahministriesinc.com

http://www.SuesPen2Paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Stand Guard – But they didn’t!

Posted on

 imgres

Psalm 25 is a plea for the Lord to guard, protect, forgive, and a statement of repentance.

As a child I went to others when I was being hurt by someone I trusted with my very life. I begged for protection and asked that this person stand guard over me so I would not be harmed any more.

Because of our human nature we do not always understand the voice of our children. I asked to be protected, that this person intercede because I was too small to defend myself, yet I was not heard.

I asked this person to stand guard, to be my knight and to do the battle that I could not. My life was in the hands of others. That’s the way God intended when He placed me within my family. Each parent was to be as a sentry at the gate of my heart. To love me as their child and to make sure I was safe from harm.

As a parent, each has the responsibility given to them by God to raise a child with fear (reverance) of God Almighty. To teach them to love God as well as others, and to be an example of what His love is.

Because they each had chosen a different path than the one that Christ had lain out, this child was not taught what Christ’s love is. This child was not taught that to forgive means that we leave the punishment, the judgment, and the retributions up to the Almighty.

To ask a person that does not know Christ what it means to repent would be like asking someone to explain a passage in the Bible that has never read the Bible.

To repent, is telling the Lord that I will turn away from whatever sin I have just told Him about, that I have confessed to God. To repent, does not mean I will never do that again. It means that I will change my thinking or actions. It means that I realize that those thoughts or actions are not what Christ wishes me to have or to do, so, I will do my humanly best to change. I will do my humanly best to be more like, act more like, think more like Christ does.

With the past filled with abusive acts I must forgive those who inflicted the wounds. I must try to see them as Christ see’s them. That is not easy nor is it possible if I have a heart that is filled with bitterness and hurt.

As long as the wounds from the past are still oozing their poisons we are not able to think about forgiving and as long as we are not able to forgive how then can we repent?

How can I think as Christ does if my heart is filled with anger, frustration, and hatred instead of love? How can I change my present pattern of thinking and acting if I don’t trust even God who created me to love, to love Him as well as others?

In Psalm 25 David is pleading with the Lord to show him how. He is telling the Lord that he is unable to do these things without the Lord’s help and guidance. He’s telling God he wants to change, he wants to repent and asking God to forgive him of his ungodly ways.

How can I ask God to help me if I am mad as the dicken’s at God? If I’m mad at my parent’s, at myself, at the world and at God, whom I feel has forsaken me, I can’t very well forgive my parents, myself, the world, or even God.

When we are mad we are not in love. And when we do not love we cannot repent, for God is love. Remember, repenting is to be more like Christ. How then will I even want to be more like Christ if I blame Him for the abuse I suffered from humans?

Humans are not perfect. They are going to fail a little, a lot, miserably. God doesn’t! Because we are conditioned by external things we look to humans and expect all of our needs to be met. Humans can not do that. God can!

For Christ to be a viable part of our heart we must remove those things that crowd Him out; the anger, the bitterness, those thoughts of “they don’t deserve”. All those areas that prevent us from experiencing love must go.

As David cried out unto the Lord, “To You, O’Lord, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O’ my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me…” (v1-2) so must we put our trust in the Lord. So must we give Him our soul.

For it is our soul and spirit that abuse has hurt. And as long as our heart is filled with hurt, guilt, shame, fear, hatred, and bitterness, our enemies are still triumphet! And it is that triumph over us that is our shame.

How then do we become triumphet over the wounds from our past? How do we defeat the enemy that holds us in bondage?

We do as David and many, many others – we cry out to the Lord. God loves each of us. It is His perfect love that delivers us. It is He who created us to love and be loved that we can reach out to and be heard.

“Teach me Thy way, O’ Lord.”

Psalm 86:11

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Taking the First Step

Posted on

The door slides open easily and quietly and my eyes fall on a stack of fliers lying on the counter top. I walk slowly toward them, curiosity pulling me toward them. Picking one up and reading I see the bold imprint at the top.

CHRISTIAN SUPPORT GROUP FOR WOMEN –

If you were sexually abused as a child, let the Lord help you heal.

As though the paper is on fire I suddenly drop it. Quickly glancing around in hopes that no one has seen me. “No one knows” rushes through my mind as I rush out the door. Leaving the flier behind does not alleviate the nervousness I feel. For the rest of the day the words on the flier keep playing over and over in my mind. Finally I return and quickly grab a flier from the stack and stuff it in my purse.

That is how many women have started the healing process. The fliers I left in the church lobby were soon gone and the first meeting of the support group for women began. Many women had never told of the abuse they suffered as children. They had never sought counseling because to admit to the atrocities done to them as children was so filled with shame and guilt that to even whisper the words was more than they could bear. Without realizing it, the moment they picked up the flier was the beginning of their healing process. God met them at the door of the support group and from that first step inside He loved them to life.

Maybe God is calling you to begin a support group for hurting women in your area. If you’re interested and feel this is something the Lord is calling you to do I’ll be happy to help you get started. I led these support groups for 12 years and know that Christian based support groups are much needed. I know of none being held yet 1 in 3 women have been sexually abused as children.

Feel free to e-mail me at elah501c@bellsouth.net if interested.

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

http://www.suespan2paper.com   http://www.cybersupportgroup.org

Blessings to you.

Turning Your Misery into Ministry

Posted on

Are you kidding me?! Who wants to hear about the miseries I have suffered through life? The old saying, “Misery loves company” is not always true.

“For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow…Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.” 2Cor.1:5-7

God wants to use, and will use, our misery and suffering to help others. The experiences we go through, both good and bad, can be used by the One who knows our suffering.

For many years I suffered abuse from the hands of others. I went through years of therapy and shouted at God many times, “You could have stopped it!” I didn’t understand that God could not only heal all that deep pain but use it for His glory.

Many have suffered in many different ways in this life. Some have lost a loved one. It was when my husband died that the Lord picked me up and stood me before a pastor asking Him to be my Savior. At first I thought He killed my husband to bring me to my knees. I was angry that He would do that! He understood and with love and compassion the Lord showed me He used that opportunity, my grief and suffering the loss of my loved one, to be able to empathize with others who lost a loved one. He used my experience of grieving to be able to feel their pain, to be able to cry with them, and be able to give comfort. My suffering was not going to be wasted.

Some have lost jobs, gone through a painful divorce, have had addictions, lost a child, had an abortion. Pain abounds in this world and God can use each and every experience for His purposes and His glory. I had never been to a support group for abuse victims. I had not told anyone, except my therapist, about my abuse. Suddenly the Lord said He wanted to use me to help others in their pain from abuse. For fourteen years He used my past suffering, my ability through my painful experiences, to be able to relate to, encourage, and lift others up through their pain and receive the emotional healing that God had given me. He’s still using my past experiences and those things He has taught me for His glory. This blog is one of those ways. I give Him all the praise, honor, and glory. I say, “Here I am Lord, use me.” He has and still is in many different ways. Why? Because I allow Him to!

If we will allow the Lord to use what our life experiences are He will use them in ways we never imagined. He will bring us through the pain of those experiences, teach us how to relate to others, bring hurting people into our path, and through us reach out to them in love, compassion, and understanding.

In my wildest dreams I could never imagine a reason, other than just plain out and out evil, for the hurtful things that happened to me. It’s hard to imagine God has a purpose for allowing our suffering and that He can use it for His glory. We ask so many times, “Why?” “Why did …….happen?” We may never know the reason but if we trust Him He will use it. If we look to Him He will heal our hearts and allow our suffering to help others.

What suffering have you gone through that in your heart you don’t understand how anything so hurtful can be used by God? Sit down, right now, and ask Him how He can use those life experiences. You didn’t suffer for nothing…unless you want to do nothing. Allow Him to use you because your misery can become a ministry.

 

“Find that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

http://www.suespen2paper.com   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.