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Stay Strong in the Lord

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Wishing I was the Wind – Testimony

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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

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“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.

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God’s Flashlight

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Many people do not understand the deep soul devastation that happens when children are abused physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and spiritually. Why spiritually? Because in each and every human God placed His spark within us before we were even born.  He knew us before we were conceived. (Jer.1:5) He said we are created in His image. (Gen.1:27) Mom and Dad are just the vessels He has used to bring us into this world.

The genetic makeup of a child is such that each has his own predisposition as to character and personality. How God created him can be altered through abuse because it directly affects how his character and personality will be developed. It can be nourished or devastated. Abuse attacks all that a child was meant to be. His D.N.A. will never be changed but what God created him for can and will be devastatingly changed. We were created to love and be loved, to feel joy, and enjoy life, and above all to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul.

Through my own healing experiences the Lord has shown me much. I call it His big “flashlight” shining deep within my soul exposing those deep hurts, the wounds to my heart, the wounds that seared my thought processes, and so much more.

Through therapy, through much prayer, through dreams and visions He has brought healing in a variety of ways. He dug deep to expose the hurt. He dug deep to expose the falsehoods that had been told to me over and over and over again; it’s your fault, you liked it, you wanted it, you are my tool and I can do what I want with you, if you were good…, you’re worthless, the list is endless and may vary with each survivor but they all attack the personhood of the child. Instead of instilling worth and value and love, – guilt, shame, worthlessness, are being methodically and deliberately instilled in the child.

I mentioned dreams and visions because, in my recovery, the Lord would use dreams where He would reveal certain things to me. For instance, my career as a flight attendant placed me on airplanes for many years. I can relate to air travel so the Lord would use planes and hotels to get His point across. Other times He would use a person/people I knew or pets that I had.

My point is, don’t be fooled by a dream where within the dream there may be things you are familiar with. Because I was on a plane or in a hotel in a dream doesn’t mean I was just having some sort of flashback. If a dream bothers you, keeps coming to mind, or even a small portion of it, pray about it asking the Lord to show you what He is telling you. Write the dream down and then pray about it and allow the Lord to bring a deeper understanding to the wounds that He is touching. Make no assumptions about what the dream may mean. It’s easy to do that but we can miss the deeper meaning and healing.

For many years I had one dream that continually would show up without regard to anything I may have encountered that day, week, or even month. It was a small child’s hand. It appeared to belong to a two-year old child. It was always reaching out with the index finger pointing as though reaching out to touch something. I never understood and finally the Lord, after many years, revealed what it was. The Lord was leading me into the beginning stages of the healing process. Once the Lord revealed what that hand reaching out meant I have never had the dream again. He later revealed, through a vision this time, that the abuse began when I was an infant.

We can miss the magnificent healing powers of the Lord Jesus Christ by ignoring or discounting ways that He can bring about deeper healer within us. Jesus is Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that heals. (Ex. 15:26)

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Trust and Believe

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend

In all you say and do, 

For Christ will take you by the hand

And He will see you through. 

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend

No matter what’s in store;

The Lord will be there at your side,

As He’s always been before.

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend,

With all your heart and soul –

The Master will take care of you,

And help you reach your goal.

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Trust and believe, my gentle friend,

Reach out to heaven above,

And God will smile down on you,

And touch you with His love!

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Written by Hope C. Oberhelman – Angels by Grace – June 1998

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Circle of One

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I’m living in the shadow of yesterday

With dreams I had for tomorrow

But the plans are shattered more each day

As I try to hide the sorrow.

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When life is so out of focus

And my feelings have all grown numb

I think there must be more to life than this…

I’ve become a circle of one.

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Decisions are hard to come by

There’s no trust even in myself.

Yet there’s a will to survive inside us all –

That may be all of “me” that’s left.

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But whatever there is within me

I must turn it into something more.

I can’t live my life for others now

And they can’t see the world from my shore.

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We all have our own life’s story to tell

And not one is worse than the other.

But there must be common ground somewhere

And a balm to ease the struggle.

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Take the good you see in me

And learn from it if you will.

But when you observe the wrong I do

I hope you can accept me still.

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I don’t anchor my soul on anyone else

I want no one’s weight on me.

So I leave my burdens at the foot of the Cross

And Jesus sets me free.

Written by Karen Austin – Elah Publication – June 2003

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The roller coaster of healing – A Letter to Jesus

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Dear Jesus:

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I haven’t wanted to talk to you most of the time during these past few weeks. I don’t feel close, yet I know you’re with me. I don’t want to open your Word or even go to church. “Why?” keeps popping into my mind. Yet I don’t really care why.

I know I’m getting tired of feeling like this. I can’t work, I can’t do the hobbies I enjoy. I can’t serve you as I have in the past or as I should. It’s you that does these things through me, I know that, But I don’t even want to pray, Lord! If I don’t care why, then why am I writing this? If this experience is to show me I can’t do anything without you, I already know that. I want to scream, “So what’s going on?” but I don’t want the answer, either.

I’m messed up, Lord. I’m at a place I don’t remember even being before I became a Christian. Any yes, it’s very obvious that I’m operating out of the flesh. Part of me is screaming, “So what! I am human!” I feel like I’m mad at you and I don’t know why. This feels like the time you used my healing to show others the pain we feel from abuse. Remember that? I was really hurting and you allowed me to go through that in front of others. Boy, was I a real mess then! And I didn’t like that any more than I like this.

I don’t see what the lesson is here. Are you using this experience as a lesson to someone else? Me? I want to shout, “Where’s the lesson!?” But I’m not sure I want to hear the answer. Choices? Consequences? You’ve led me to those type verses the few times I’ve opened your Word this past few weeks. I did read them before I slammed the Bible closed.  Is that what all of this is about? Are you showing me I do have choices? That the “lost” feeling that seems to permeate me now, comes from those choices?

Lord, there’s anger, frustration, agitation. All sorts of negative feelings swirling around inside me. Why? Where does it come from? I care – I don’t. I want – I don’t want. I even feel, “So what?” It’s all inside of me.

I guess it’s up to me now, right? I can ask for your understanding. Ask you, “Why?” Part of me doesn’t want to know, doesn’t care. That doesn’t make sense, either.  I know this relationship is team work. You and me have to work together to accomplish whatever we endeavor. This part of the team doesn’t seem to care any more, yet I do.

Instead of me waiting on the Lord, I think, you Christ, are waiting on me. Waiting until I want your help, want you as an intricate part of my life again. Which, by the way, I never understood anyway. I never deserved you in the first place. So where’d you go? How come you left?

Lord, I know you haven’t left. I have. And I don’t know how to get back, or, if I want to. I gave you my life. You’re my Shepherd. Come find this lost lamb, ’cause I’m scared.

The answer was given in John 1:48-51.

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Name withheld by request – Angels by Grace April 1998

 

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Blessings to you.

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

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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

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Blessings to you.