Everytime I watch It’s a Wonderful Life I feel sad. During the course of the movie, George Bailey finds out that he made a tremendous difference in the lives of every single person he came in contact with throughout his life. Now, you would think that would make me happy for George Bailey, but all it really does is remind me of this nagging feeling I’ve had for years that I haven’t affected anyone’s life in any significant way at all.
God showed me the other day that the persistent, unrelenting feeling that’s been tormenting me most of my life is actually something Harry (my biological father) told me everytime he abused me. It was kind of a litany: he told me he had to abuse me because God hated me; he told me I was as ugly as if someone had thrown acid in my face; and now it turns out he also told me I would never make a difference in anyone’s life, and I should never have been born.
Wow!! I should never have been born?? That could be part of the reason I was so suicidal over so many years, and why I tried suicide so many times.
In the first place I forgive Harry. And then, it makes me feel incredibly sad for him, because I think he told me all that stuff because that’s how he felt about himself.
I know what it’s like to feel that bad about yourself! It’s a terrible and unbearable weight that consumes you, and it devoured me to the point that I tried to kill myself nine times. Thank God none of my attempts succeeded!
I’ve often wondered why Harry projected his pain onto me. He could have put it in so many other places, so why me? Why not my sister? But no, my sister was the fair-haired child in my family, and she could do no wrong. I, on the other hand, was the family scapegoat. Of course, if you told my parents that my sister and I had those roles they would have hotly denied it. I know because I tried to tell them. My mother always maintained that my sister and I were treated equally and fairly. She could never see any inequality in the way we were raised. Anytime I felt like Mary got preferential treatment, my mother said I was exaggerating or imagining it. On the other hand, there were a few times where Good Ole Sis complained that our grandparents were favoring me, and my mother always believed her, and then protested mightily that it wasn’t fair. So yeah, there was definite inequity and unfairness between me and my sister, if for no other reason, because my parents were blinded to the truth of it, so it kept on happening again and again and again.
As I said above, I forgive Harry, and I forgive my mother as well. I also forgive my sister for any opportunities she took advantage of when our parents treated her better.
Thankfully, I know God always treats me fairly. I am so grateful for that fact! He is abundantly good to me, and I never have to worry about being treated unjustly or unfairly, because that’s not who God is.
43“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. ~ Matthew 5:43-45, NLT.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to end this post, because if I stop now it’ll be ending on a negative note, and I don’t want that. It won’t be helpful to my readers and it won’t be helpful to me. The cool thing is, I saw my therapist yesterday, and he helped me by putting a whole different slant on everything I’ve said here. He’s so good at doing that! He told me that I was completely wrong in thinking that I haven’t made a difference in anyone’s life. He reminded me that keeping this blog is helping other people, and I hope that’s true. It’s certainly my desire. My goal here has always been to educate people about the horrors of child abuse, and in particular child sexual abuse, and to show that, as terrible as it is, if you were a victim of abuse you can still have hope. With God all things are possible. And beyond that, my intention in everything I do, my raison d’être, so to speak, is to bring glory to God, and express my gratitude to Him for everything He’s done for me. I love what German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) did. At the top of every composition he wrote, “Soli Deo Gloria”, which is Latin for “Glory to God Alone”.
I always worry, because as far as I know, I’ve never led anyone to Jesus. But maybe I’m looking at the wrong parameters. Maybe God has a different way of judging these things. I’ve published 159 posts for this blog, which sounds like a lot to me, but in the overall scheme of things maybe it’s not, I don’t know.
My greatest desire has always been to please God, but the area where I feel the most hopeless is the perception that it’s impossible for me to do so.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6, NKJV.
But then I think about my life as a Christian, and the fact that I’ve persevered in seeking God all these years, no matter how bleak things looked, no matter how horribly depressed I was, and I realize maybe that’s what faith is all about. Someone without any faith wouldn’t have persisted in pursuing God over the fifty-plus years that I’ve been a Christian. Someone with no faith would have given up a long time ago. And McT (my therapist) reminded me, as he’s done several times before, that over the years of his seeing me, the one constant that he remembers about me is that I continue to seek after and pursue God no matter what.
So I will continue to follow after God, because it’s the best thing I can do. My fondest and deepest desire is to go to Heaven and meet Jesus face to face, and know Him as He knows me now. There is no higher goal as far as I’m concerned. I will persist in reading and studying God’s Word, because it’s the best way to learn more about Him, and to make my faith grow. And I will continue to seek more healing, because I want to reach for God’s best and highest. But no matter how healed I am, I will never stop needing God. I will always need Him every second of every day, because without Him I can do nothing.
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV.
4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:4-5, NKJV.