Category Archives: Becoming More Like Jesus

Younger Me Gets Wiser, Part 2

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Welcome to the promised continuation of Younger Me Gets Wiser, Part 1.

As I said at the end of Part 1, I want to talk to Catherine Belinda about the lying we were forced to do throughout our childhood because of Harry’s threats.

Everyone knows it’s a sin to lie. The Ninth Commandment is about lying,

You must not lie. ~ Exodus 20:16, TLB (The Living Bible).

The New King James Version puts it this way,

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ~ Exodus 20:16, NKJV.

So when Harry started telling us we had to lie about what he was doing to us or he’d kill us, he put us between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. And he showed us he meant what he said by playing Russian roulette with one of his revolvers between our legs. At age two there was no way we could have known that the gun had blanks instead of real bullets in it, so we lied because we were terrified of that gun and we were horrified at Harry and his threats, so we became compulsive liars as a result. But we hated having to do it, and we hated Harry for forcing us into it.

I know God hates lying. He always, ALWAYS tells the truth,

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19, NLT.

So in our minds, when we told lies, that meant God hated us. So Harry must have been telling the truth when he said that. It certainly made sense at the time.

But I have to tell you, Catherine Belinda, God does not hate you. He doesn’t hate you for lying, or for anything else for that matter. God doesn’t blame you for lying. He blames Harry, because Harry forced you to do it. You didn’t have a choice, and God knows that.

And the cool thing is, God, in His great mercy, engineered a situation when we were in the fifth grade, after Harry and my mother had separated, that made it so we were able to stop lying. And this situation is a perfect example of Romans 8:28,

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28, NLT.

What happened was this. I was walking home from school one day, and I was carrying a heavy load of books, because I had a lot of homework to do. As I was walking, I heard footsteps behind me, and then suddenly, someone grabbed me from behind, and as he gripped my arm, he hissed, “Ah, I’ve got you!” in a weird, creepy voice.

I gasped and jerked away, and as I pulled away, I half-turned so I could see what the person looked like and what they were wearing. It was an older man with light brown hair, and tan clothes, and he was wearing a vest. Then I ran away, and as I was escaping, I heard him laugh with this maniacal laugh.

With his sinister laugh ringing in my ears, I ran from him as fast as I could, given all the books I was carrying.

My mother had given me strict instructions on the route I was to take on my way to and from school but it was boring, so I hated using it. However, on the day the guy grabbed me, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than finding the fastest route to get away from him. That turned out to be the direction my mother didn’t want me go.

When I looked back I could see he wasn’t following me, so I slowed down and heaved a sigh of relief. By that time I had reached an intersection where there were stores and businesses on all four corners, and up and down both sides of the street. As I was standing there trying to figure out what I should do next, a friend from school approached me. Her name was Amy* (name changed to protect her privacy), and she asked me what I was doing. So I told her what had happened ~ that someone tried to kidnap me as I was about to walk home from school.

At first she didn’t believe me ~ I was making a pretty shocking claim after all ~ but as I continued to tell her what happened, and I described what the guy looked like, she began to accept my story. Then she suggested I go home with her so I could tell her mother what had happened. Looking back, I don’t remember why it was important to do this, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So we went to Amy’s house. The problem with doing this is that getting there required going through an alley that my mother had specifically and expressly forbad me from using because she said it was dangerous. But I didn’t know any other way to get there, so we went through the forbidden alley, and nothing happened, so I decided my mother must have been wrong.

Then we arrived at Amy’s house, and I told her mother about the guy grabbing me, and she asked me if I had told the police about it. I hadn’t thought about doing that, so I told her, no, I hadn’t. Then I asked her what time it was, and she told me it was about five o’clock. That scared me because all of a sudden I realized I would be two hours late getting home, which meant my mother would be really mad at me. So I left and headed for home as fast as I could go.

When I arrived home it was about 5:15, and as expected my mother was steaming mad.

“Where have you been? Why are you so late,” she berated me, because there was absolutely no reason on earth why I should be getting home so late.

“Mom, a guy tried to kidnap me on the way home from school,” I told her.

“Are you kidding me? That’s the biggest lie you’ve come up with yet,” she scoffed at me.

“Mom, it’s not a lie! It really happened! I was leaving school and this guy grabbed me! I was able to pull away from him, but it really did happen. He tried to kidnap me,” I tried to convince her, but it felt like a losing battle, given the amount of lying I’d done over the years. But Harry was gone now, so the need for me to continue lying was no longer there. The problem was, I couldn’t seem to stop.

“Then I should call the police so they can try and catch him. What if he does this to someone else,” she said.

“Call the police? I hadn’t thought of that. You’re right. He should be arrested so he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Plus, I want him to be caught for what he did to me. It was really scary!” I answered.

“All right, I’ll call them. In the meantime, I want to know what happened,” she replied.

Relieved that maybe she was finally beginning to believe me, I began telling her what had happened. I told her about the guy grabbing me by the arm, and what he said to me, and how scared I was, and what he looked like. And I told her about his weird laugh as I escaped from his grasp and ran down the street. Then I told her about running into Amy, but I didn’t tell her about going through the alley or going to her house. I knew that would make her really mad.

“And that’s what happened, Mom,” I stopped, hoping that finally she would believe me.

Then a policeman arrived to take a report of my story. I described what had happened to me, starting with where I was when the guy grabbed me ~ across the street from my school, and what he looked like ~ light brown hair combed straight back with no part, and what he was wearing ~ tan clothes and a sweater vest with buttons down the front.

Then I told him about running into my friend Amy, only I left out the part about going through the alley, and going to her house, because I was afraid of my mother’s rage if she knew I had done those things. It didn’t occur to me that if I had just told the truth about everything it might have made my story about being grabbed more believable, but I was too frightened of my mother’s anger to be able to think about anything else.

Then the policeman REALLY scared me when he said he was going to Amy’s house to see if her story matched mine. Since I knew it wouldn’t because she would tell him that I had gone home with her, I knew I was in real trouble now. It was bad enough to be caught in one of my lies by people in my family, but to be caught by a policeman? The thought of that absolutely horrified me. Even thinking about it filled me with shame and self-hatred. It didn’t matter that the whole reason I lied in the first place was because Harry had forced me into it. To be caught in a lie by a policeman was so unspeakably awful that I couldn’t describe how bad it made me feel, plus I couldn’t tell him why I lied, because that would expose Harry ~ and those threats still loomed large in my mind, even though he was gone.

So the policeman left for Amy’s house, and returned about half an hour later. He talked to my mother for about fifteen minutes, while I sat curled up in a ball in a chair, waiting for the axe to fall.

Surprisingly, my mother wasn’t boiling over in anger. Maybe that would come after the policeman left. Instead of yelling at me she sat down next to me and waited for the policeman to talk to me.

“Amy’s story of what happened was different than yours. You knew it would be, didn’t you,” he asked me.

“Yes, sir,” I mumbled. “I’m sorry I lied,” I added softly.

“Why did you do it?” he asked gently.

“Because I was afraid Mom would be mad at me if she knew I’d gone through the alley, and gone to Amy’s house,” I responded.

“So did someone really try to kidnap you?” the officer asked.

“Yes!” I told him emphatically, “and he really looked the way I said he did, too! Everything about that part of my story is the truth!”

“Okay, then.” he said. “I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson from this. Can you tell me what that lesson might be?”

“That lying is a bad thing to do,” I replied, “and I promise I’ll never tell another one!” I asserted vehemently.

“That’s great,” he responded. “I hope you’ll be able to keep that promise.” Then he said goodbye to my mother and left.

I was feeling a certain amount of dread, because I was afraid that my mother had been nice because he was there. Maybe he had been a mediating influence, and now that he was gone, the axe would fall, and she’d let loose on me with her rage because I’d lied and made her look bad in front of a police officer.

But none of that happened. She was unaccountably nice to me, and she didn’t get angry at me at all. I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall, but it never did. I wanted to ask her why, but I figured I should probably keep my mouth shut and just accept it rather than pressing my luck. Even so, I walked on eggshells the whole rest of the evening, just in case.

After I went to bed, I made a vow to God that I would never tell another lie. I slept very poorly that night, and I ended up in my mother’s bed, because I had nightmares all night long. I kept having this dream that someone was coming to get me, and I could hear chains clanking down the hall, dragged by kidnappers coming to chain me up. It was terrifying! In reality it was the dog’s collar clinking on the floor as she moved around in her sleep, but in my magnified imagination I didn’t know that. All I could think of was that kidnappers were coming to get me with their chains, and they were going to chain me up and torture me because I’d lied to a policeman.

As I look back on my childhood, and on this incident in particular, I can see God’s hand working quite clearly. At the time, if someone had suggested that God engineered that kidnapping attempt, I would have been shocked. I would have decided that God must be a mean ogre who does bad things to kids like me. But my thought process would have been the thinking of a child based on the fact that I couldn’t see the whole picture as God can. God can see the end from the beginning, as it says in the Book of Isaiah,

Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.’ ~ Isaiah 46:9-10, NKJV.

I especially like the way the New Living Translation puts it,

Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. ~ Isaiah 46:9-10, NLT.

What that says is that God could see the end result if I continued to lie (I would continue down that negative path, and could end up in some very dire circumstances if I didn’t stop). But He could also see the end result if He arranged a situation that would help me to stop lying, because He knew that I hated doing it, but that I couldn’t stop on my own. As I said above, it’s a perfect example of Romans 8:28,

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28, NLT.

So, Catherine Belinda, even though it felt really scary and bad when that guy tried to kidnap you on the street, it was actually a good thing that God allowed to happen. God was protecting you and wouldn’t have allowed the guy to do anything more than what he did, because the purpose of it was to get you to stop lying, and grabbing you was scary enough. God wouldn’t have allowed anything worse. The important part was when you lied to the policeman. God knew the shock and embarrassment of that would be enough to traumatize you into stopping. I wish you didn’t have to go through that, because I know how hard it was for you, but it worked, didn’t it? We haven’t lied since then, have we.

That’s the thing about the sovereignty of God, Catherine Belinda. He can see everything that will happen to us over our entire life, while we can only see what’s going on for a day or two. We don’t have the same perspective that God does. Because He can see what will occur over our entire life span from the beginning, He knows what needs to happen at certain points that, to us, might seem really negative because we can’t see the whole picture, even though they’re actually necessary for our life to follow the positive path that God has ordained for it.

And for some people like you and me, Catherine Belinda, because of the abuse we endured when we were little, God had to make some fairly significant course corrections so that we would end up where He wanted us to be. That meant He had to perform a number of miracles to protect us and help us stay alive when we were little, and then once we had grown up, He had perform more miracles so we could be healed from the multiplicity caused by the abuse, and become integrated into one. And the healing process is still ongoing, thank God.

I love you, Catherine Belinda! You were who we all were before we became multiple. You are a survivor! Without you none of the rest of us would ever have existed, and none of us would have survived, because Harry or my mother would have succeeded in killing us. Without you there would be no one to integrate with. I’m so grateful to you, Catherine Belinda, and I’m grateful to God for you! You are brave and courageous and beautiful and wonderful!

Most of all, I’m grateful to God for everything He’s done in me and for me. I can never thank Him enough for all that He’s done in my life ~ for the cross and the resurrection first and foremost, because that saved my soul, and then for protecting and watching over me throughout my childhood, and then for so richly supplying my needs now. And what I’ve said here only barely covers everything He’s done, and is doing for me!

God is SOOO GOOD!!!

Younger Me Gets Wiser, Part 1

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There’s a song on the radio by MercyMe called “Dear Younger Me” (here’s the link to the official YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l70C3ePyIQ). The first verse goes like this:

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,

Everytime I hear it on the radio, I want to tell Little Me, Catherine Belinda, a number of things that she needed to hear back then when she and the rest of my alters were being so savagely abused by Harry, and my mother, and the people in the cult.

I want to tell her not to give up, because she’s not alone. Even though she feels alone, she’s not. God is with her every second of every day. There is hope.

Harry didn’t steal all your hope, Catherine Belinda. It just felt like he did. As long as God is with you, you have hope.

Harry told her that he had to abuse her because God hated her, but that’s not true! That’s a lie! God doesn’t hate her. In fact, quite the opposite is true. God loves her.

God LOVES you, Catherine Belinda!! God loves you so much that Jesus died on the cross for you!

Harry also told her that she was as ugly as if someone had thrown acid in her face. That’s also a lie. God is bigger and more powerful and smarter than Harry ever thought of being, and God thinks she’s beautiful.

God thinks you’re beautiful, Catherine Belinda! And if God thinks you’re beautiful, then you MUST be beautiful, because God created you, and God doesn’t make ugly things.

Harry told you all those lies because that’s how he felt about himself, Catherine Belinda, and he wanted you to feel as bad as he did, so he projected his bad feelings about himself onto you. But remember what I said, Catherine Belinda. Everything he told you was a lie. Everything. Was. A. LIE!! God doesn’t hate you, He loves you. You aren’t alone, because God is with you, so you have hope. And you aren’t ugly. You’re beautiful, because God made you and He doesn’t made ugly things, and He thinks you’re beautiful!

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7, NET.

So, Catherine Belinda, what that verse is saying is that you have a beautiful heart, and that’s the most important part of all. I would rather have a beautiful heart than a beautiful face any time. God created us in His image and after His likeness, and since God doesn’t have a human form, but rather is a Spirit, I believe He created us in the image and after the likeness of His heart, or His spirit.

For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24, NLT.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:26-27, NLT.

The last thing I want to say to Catherine Belinda has to do with the lying we had to do throughout our childhood because Harry forced us to do so, but that will be the subject of my next post, Younger Me Gets Wiser, Part 2. I’m going to publish both posts at the same time, so please be sure to read both of them, my faithful followers!

Every. Single. Day. of My Sixty-Nine Years

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For my whole life I’ve felt younger than my chronological age, much younger, in fact. For much of that time I’ve felt about sixteen years old, regardless of what age I actually was. I think part of the reason for that was because I was multiple, and the managing alter, me, was sixteen when I was created after the gang rape when we were three years old (for an expanded explanation of that read Adulting Is a Four Letter Word, a post I wrote back in September of 2019). And I remained sixteen years old until we were all integrated into one around my birthday in March of 2003, when the body turned fifty. But ever since then, even though my life consisted of just me, Sarah Abigail Kuriakos, with no more alters, I still didn’t feel my chronological age. I still felt like I was sixteen years old.

Then, in the middle of August, I ended up in the hospital for five days because my heart started racing, and it wouldn’t stop, plus I was having a hard time breathing. Being a hospital patient was a very interesting experience in many ways, but the Lord used it. The main thing I got out of it was that I could sense that the Lord had me in the palm of His hand the entire time I was there, every second, even when my heart started racing on Saturday night, and six nurses and doctors showed up in my room with all their machines to get my heart back to normal sinus rhythm.

I was never really afraid or worried because I could sense that God had me right where He wanted me. My housekeeper was taking care of my kittens, and I had lots of people praying for me. So I just kept working at trusting that God had everything under control.

They finally diagnosed me with something called SVT, or Supraventricular Tachycardia, which is a really fancy way of saying that sometimes my heart beats too fast, but the problem arises specially from the atria, or upper chambers of the heart.

Once I got home I thought I’d start feeling better, but that hasn’t happened. People have told me that there’s a recovery period after you come home from the hospital. I don’t quite understand that. How can sitting in bed doing nothing all day, every day be such hard work? Because it’s September now, and I still feel AWFUL. I’ve never felt this bad in my whole life! I’m still having a hard time breathing, and I’m SOOO EXHAUSTED all the time that blinking and breathing are hard!

What it amounts to is, I no longer feel sixteen years old. For the first time in my life, I feel my chronological age. I feel EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. of my sixty-nine years. My joints ache so badly that I can hardly move, in addition to the fatigue. It takes me three times longer to do anything now than it did before because of my aching joints and the unremitting and debilitating weariness.

I don’t want to sound like I’m doing nothing but complaining ~ even if that’s exactly what I’m doing. I just want to get it all down on paper, so to speak, so there’s a record someplace of what I’m experiencing.

And if everything I’ve already mentioned weren’t enough, I have cataracts. My right eye is worse than my left. All I can see out of my right eye is a blur, My left eye is much better, but because my right eye is so bad I have almost no stereoscopic vision.

I feel a bit like Paul when he talked about his thorn in the flesh, which he called a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him,

2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter…. 7And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 7-9, NKJV.

I’ve tried to understand why it seems like my body is falling apart all of a sudden, but I haven’t really questioned God about it, because of the clear impression I’ve had that I’m right where He wants me to be. So I think I’m just going to go with Paul, when God told him,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV.

I know I need God. I’ve always known that. But now, when I’m so weak physically, I need Him even more, but that doesn’t bother me. I like knowing that I need God! In fact, I love knowing that I need Him, because He’s always been faithful, and He’s never let me down and I can trust Him completely. He’s my soft place to fall. So when I’m weak, then He is strong. I’ve never had anyone in my life like that before. So knowing that I can trust God that much is huge for me.

Well, I think I’m done. It’s been a really long time since I posted anything, but a good part of that is because I haven’t had the energy because I’ve been so sick, plus it’s taken me this long to sort out my thoughts.

God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect. ~ 2 Samuel 22:33, NKJV.

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. ~ Ephesians 6:10, NKJV, Personalized.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13, NKJV.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13, NLT.

I use these verses while I’m climbing the stairs to my apartment from my garage, especially when I’m lugging bags of groceries. If I couldn’t recite them to myself, I don’t think I could make it up the stairs. It’s a kind of prayer to God to help me while I’m struggling so hard. And it always works! Thank you Jesus!!

Leaping Tall Kittens With a Single Bound

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I was cleaning out the kittens’ litter box the other day, and heard a funny noise off to my right. So I turned to look, and lo and behold, the kittens had discovered that there was something behind the bathroom door. What dya know! They’d also found the door stop that’s back there, and noticed the lovely boinging sound it makes every time you hit it. So I was able to relieve the boredom inherent to cleaning out the litter box by watching Solomon and Gracie’s antics as they played in front of and behind the bathroom door, which is right next to where I have the litter box set up.

Solomon and Gracie play with each other almost constantly, and when they aren’t playing they’re either sleeping or eating. I love watching them romp about, because they’re so frisky when they’re doing it. I wish I had that kind of energy!

But I don’t. Oh well! I’ll just frolic vicariously through them. They’re so funny when they play together! Gracie will start chasing Solomon, or vice versa, and she’ll charge toward him, at which point Solomon will leap into the air, looking for all the world like he’s spring-loaded. They do that all the time, and it makes me giggle. I’m doing a whole lot of giggling right now, which I’m sure is good for my health.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22, NKJV.

I like the idea of a merry heart much better than a depressed and broken spirit. I’ve had both, and merry is MUCH better. Merry means I’m laughing and at peace, and content with my circumstances. It means God is active in my life, and I’m aware of His presence with me, which is what I desire more than anything.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8, NKJV.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, NIV [Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV].

I love that Solomon and Gracie are part of my life, and are part of why my heart is merry, and I’m so grateful to God for giving them to me! He does all things well, and I love Him so much!!

Two Furry Delights

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I’ve been hoping and praying for a pair of kittens for almost a year, and God has at long last answered my prayers. I am now the proud owner of two 4-5 week old Siamese kittens, a brother and sister pair. Their names are Solomon and Gracie, and they’re no bigger than two tiny mites. They are SOOO CUTE!!! I can practically hold each one in the palm of my hand, they’re so small. I brought them home earlier this afternoon, and immediately they ate dinner, and I then showed them the litter box, to which each of them promptly responded by pooping and peeing.

I can tell you, that made me very happy, because that means that they are both adapting quickly to living with me.

Thank you, Jesus!!

One of the really cool things that I just love about them is that they follow me around all the time. They also like to sleep on me, which I think is perfectly lovely, plus they purr easily ~ something else I had prayed for.

The only problem I’m having with them is that they’re so similar in appearance that I can’t tell them apart unless they’re both standing in front of me. I think I have to go to PetsMart and get two different colored collars so I can differentiate between the two of them. They’re too young to be spayed/neutered yet. That won’t happen for another month, so the solution seems to be two different colored collars.

This is what they look like. I think the top one is Gracie, and the one on the bottom is Solomon, but don’t hold me to that. Regardless, aren’t they cute? I think they’re adorable, and I’m praising God for answering my prayers so admirably.

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The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel. ~ Proverbs 12:10, NLT.

So Solomon and Gracie are a blessing and a gift from God, and I will do my level best to treat them as such, and love them a LOT!! I figure God gave them to me to demonstrate how much He loves me, so I can do no less than to love them back.

Pondering the Imponderable, or Jesus and Physics

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Probably my favorite thing about God is His mysteriousness. There are so many things about Him that are incomprehensible. I think God is so multifaceted and complex that we’ll never come to the end of who He is. We’ll never fully understand everything about Him ~ but that’s the cool thing, and is just one facet of His mysteriousness. We could study God for the rest of eternity and not come to the end of who He is, or learn everything there is to know about Him.

Here’s an imponderable,

When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. ~ John 14:20, NLT.

How is it possible for me to be in Jesus at the same time He’s in me? It sounds like a box in a box in a box, except you’d have to keep switching the Jesus-box with the me-box, putting me in the Jesus-box, and then putting the Jesus-box in the me-box, back and forth, again and again, over and over. It kind of boggles my mind and makes me dizzy all at once. I realize that I’m thinking about it on a physical plane when I should be thinking of it on a spiritual plane, but I haven’t taken it that far yet.

The Holy Spirit suggested an imponderable from the Book of Proverbs, though I’m sure it’s more mysterious and unfathomable for people than it is for God (because nothing is unknowable to God, of course).

There are three things too wonderful for me to understand—no, four! How an eagle glides through the sky. How a serpent crawls upon a rock. How a ship finds its way across the heaving ocean. The growth of love between a man and a girl. ~ Proverbs 30:18-19, The Living Bible.

I like the way that version words this passage, but there’s another translation that makes it very clear that there’s a relationship between the four examples,

There are three things which are hidden from me, yea, four which I know not: the track of the eagle in the air; the track of the serpent upon the rock; the track of the ship in the midst of the sea; and the track of the man in the maid. ~ Proverbs 30:18-19, Jubilee Bible.

I find it interesting that even Solomon had things he found to be bewildering and incomprehensible, and he was supposed to be the wisest man who ever lived, except for Jesus Christ, of course.

And then there’s the unfathomable and imponderable mystery of my own existence. Why was I born, if only to be abused within an inch of my life? I’ve spent many years trying to understand this, seeking God, asking why, asking why me, and just generally demanding answers from God. And as I nagged and clamored louder and louder, I got angrier and more indignant ~ to the point of raging and breaking windows ~ because I wasn’t getting the answers I thought God should’ve been giving me, answers I deserved, because, after all, I had a right to know!

And then something happened that changed everything. I was listening to James Dobson on Focus On the Family, and he said something that startled me, and made me realize that I didn’t understand God at all. He said, “We don’t have the right to hold God accountable.”

I’ve never forgotten that statement, because it revolutionized my thinking, and completely altered my understanding of God and who He is. What I understood Dr. Dobson to mean is that I don’t have the right to challenge God’s sovereignty, which was what I was doing by demanding answers from Him, and demanding that He explain Himself to me.

Woe to the man who fights with his Creator. Does the pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with him who forms it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!” or the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be!”? ~ Isaiah 45:9, TLB (The Living Bible).

As I write that now I cringe at the thought of my arrogance and pride back then, and I’m very grateful for God’s mercy and grace, because I think He must have understood how much pain I was in, and how ignorant I was.

So once I realized that I had been going about my questions in the wrong way, I changed the tenor of my inquiries. Instead of asking why questions, I started asking who, what, when, and where questions. And then I recognized that what I’d wanted to know all along was where God was when I was being abused. And once I started asking these questions, I got answers almost immediately.

And what answers they were! They were life-altering for me, and they showed me that God had been in my life, saving my life, from the very beginning. He had been intervening, keeping me alive, and helping me everytime there was a need, which was all the time!!

It turns out that it was God who gave me the gift of multiplicity. Everytime there was an incident of abuse that was serious enough to require the creation of a new alter, God was there. He placed His finger on my mind ~ my personality ~ in the exact place where He wanted the new alter to be split off, and that’s where the split happened. And then He would tell everyone what to name that alter.

God is AMAZING!! I love Him so!!

Knowing that God had been there the whole time, saving my life, and that He had been behind the multiplicity made what I had suffered easier to accept. I still don’t understand why it had to happen, though I’m fairly certain that part of the reason has something to do with the fact that God can’t go against Harry’s free will. I can understand and accept that. I wouldn’t want God to go against my free will, so why should it be any different for anyone else, including Harry, even at the risk of my life. As long as I know that God was working to protect me as much as He could, I can deal with that. Plus, I get to have a relationship with Him, which is better and more important than anything else than I can possibly imagine.

I’ll get to spend eternity in Heaven learning about Him, and getting to know Him and all His mysteriousness! I can’t think of ANYTHING more amazing and wonderful and marvelous than THAT!!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-11, NLT.

Mothers and Fathers

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Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’m not very fond of Mother’s Day, and neither am I crazy about Father’s Day.

I used to have a problem from the beginning of October till the middle of January, but over the last couple of years God has been healing me so that the time between Hallowe’en and Christmas is no longer such a problem for me, and for that I am extremely grateful. But the deadly depression that used to devastate me between Hallowe’en and Christmas has transferred itself to Mother’s and Father’s Days.

So now I get sad and depressed between May and June, and everytime I see an ad on TV about Mother’s Day or Father’s Day I get all jumbled up and chaotic inside. But I also feel angry, because all the commercials talk about how wonderful moms and dads are, and neither my mom nor my father were even remotely nice, much less wonderful or amazing in any way. I mean, just writing this post is making me feel despondent, miserable, and desolate ~ as well as infuriated and resentful.

Both my parents presented a happy front to the world. Harry made himself out to be a highly intelligent solid citizen who always worked to support his family, while my mother made the whole world love her. The front my mother presented to the world was that of someone who loved everyone, and loved to give of herself to everyone. Everyone thought my mother was an absolute Saint, who could do no wrong, could probably walk on water, and held the walls of the church up, because she was one of its pillars.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My mother did a lot of good things for her church. She was the wedding coordinator, and did all the flowers and decorations for all the weddings and every event her church held for the better part of 40 years. She also volunteered in the church office at least once a week during those same 40 years. And if that wasn’t enough, she sang in the choir, also for those self-same 40 years. The problem was, she was so busy making the world think she was God’s Woman of Power for the Hour that she had no time for me or my sister, and while she was doing all that cool stuff out In public, at home she was allowing my father to beat me within an inch of my life, and rape me repeatedly virtually every day of my life. And when I told her about the abuse memories I was having, and that they were both physical and sexual, her response was,

“Well, I knew something was going on physically, because I saw bruises. If I had known it was sexual, the divorce would have happened a lot sooner.”

When she said that, I thought I would boil over with anger! I wanted to yell at her that children are murdered all the time by parents who are physically abusing them. The idea that she had known that Harry was beating me, and did NOTHING to stop him or protect me in any way made me want to SHRIEK with RAGE!!

And then I knew I had to forgive her. Even though I had every right to be angry, even enraged, at her, I knew that holding on to all that anger wouldn’t help me let go of the pain or put it behind me. Besides, God commands us to forgive. If nothing else, God forgave me, and since that’s true, I can do no less to everyone who’s sinned against me, and that’s a LOT of people!!

“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ ‘Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!'” ~ Matthew 18:21-22, NLT.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:14-15, NLT.

Seventy times seven comes out to 490. I’m sure Peter thought he was being really spiritual when he asked Jesus about forgiving someone seven times, and I can just see his face when Jesus told him that seven times wasn’t enough, that he had to forgive 490 times. 490 times!! You’ve gotta be kidding me!! That’s impossible!! I want to say to Peter, Yes, it is impossible to forgive even once without God’s help. So of course you can’t forgive someone 490 times on your own. You will absolutely need His help to forgive that many times!!

I’ve been able to forgive my mother and my father for everything they did to me. But I’ve only been able to do it with God’s help. I never could have done it on my own. NEVER!!

And I wouldn’t even want to try. I would much rather be fully dependent on God, and grateful for the Cross of Christ and His resurrection, and the comfort and indwelling advocacy of the Holy Spirit than to presume that I could do any of it without Their enabling grace and mercy!

Anything else is pure arrogance and pride, and I want no part of that.

I’ll deal with Father’s Day come June. Once problem at a time!

A Surfeit of Ideas

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Originally I planned to use this post to break my long silence, but circumstances dictated otherwise when the situation with the two kittens came up (read Solomon and Gracie and A Crushing Blow, and Yet I Have Hope for that story). This post came about as a result of realizing I had too many ideas to write about rather than not enough, which is kind of a nice problem to have, if you think about it. But I’ve decided to publish it anyway, even if it isn’t breaking my silence, because I still have all those ideas surfeiting around in my head, and they need an outlet. So here it is in all its original glory, with a little pfft at the end.

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything here, a fact which I greatly regret, but about which I can do nothing. Part of the reason is that I’ve been kind of depressed, though that’s not a very good reason, because being depressed is actually a perfect reason to write, not a reason to not write.

I’ve just realized that another reason I haven’t written anything is because I’m struggling with a surfeit of ideas. In other words, I’ve got so many ideas for things to write about that they’re swirling around in my mind, and geysering out my ears, and through the top of my head like Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.

So I’m having a terrible time picking and choosing which ones to write about and which ones to set aside for a later time, or just plain ignore.

For instance, I’ve been actively looking for a new cat or cats for months, and I could have written about that. I’ve filled out cat adoption applications until I’m blue in the face, and none of them have borne any fruit, so I’ve been constantly disappointed, but I keep on praying, believing that God has the perfect cat or cats waiting for me. I just have to find it or them.

And then Easter was approaching, and I could have written about that. I value the Cross of Christ, and His Resurrection above all else in my life, except for possibly God’s Word, because without those two events I’d be utterly lost and dead. So, seems to me, there’s plenty to write about there.

Once Easter is over, next we have Mother’s Day, and after that, Father’s Day. For years all my problems were centered around the time between Hallowe’en and the middle of January. I would get horribly depressed, so depressed that it was hard to get out of bed. It was even hard to blink and breathe! But God has been healing me on the sly, so to speak, because slowly but surely, without me noticing, the holidays were no longer such a problem ~ something for which I’m very grateful. Feeling that awful all the time was incredibly difficult. I felt almost physically ill, I was so depressed, so I was very glad once I began to notice that I was feeling better around the holidays.

But then I began to observe that instead of getting depressed around the holidays, it had transferred itself to Mother’s and Father’s Day. I guess I should be grateful that I’m not depressed around the holidays AND around Mother’s and Father’s Day!

Blessings for small favors!!

So the upshot of all this thinking is that I finally have something to write about. I don’t know how long it will last, writing about all these ideas milling around in my surfeiting mind, but at least, now I can start.

I have to add an addendum here, however. I’ve just remembered why I didn’t publish this back when I first wrote it months ago. It’s because I couldn’t think of a Scripture verse to use. I’ve committed myself to making God’s Word preeminent in my life. I know God sees it that way, so I can do no less.

I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. ~ Psalm 138:2, NKJV.

I’ve tried, to the best of my ability, with God’s help, to include at least one Scripture verse in every post that I publish. I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded. There may a post here and there that don’t have any Scriptures in them, but they are few and far between.

Because this post is about writing, or rather, about not being able to write, I wanted the verse to be about writing, but I couldn’t think of one. Aarrgh!! I kept wracking my brain and praying for God’s help. And then, last night He reminded me of a verse from Psalm 45 that’s perfect.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. ~ Psalm 45:1, NKJV.

How cool is that! And not only is it about writing, but it’s about praising God! I love the Bible! God has incorporated stuff into it to meet every single teeny tiny need. You are amazing, God!!

I love You so!!

A Crushing Blow, and Yet I Have Hope

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“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5, KJV.

Last Tuesday I posted the wonderful news of two adorable kittens that I was going to be able to adopt. Unfortunately, I found out on Wednesday that I won’t be able to adopt them after all. Needless to say, I feel devastated.

I was able to meet the two kittens on Tuesday afternoon, and was utterly captivated by their cuteness. And in the process I decided on what I wanted to name them; to wit, Solomon and Gracie. What I didn’t know was that, when faced with the prospect of having to give them up to me, the woman who’s been fostering them came to the realization that she couldn’t do it.

It turns out that she was the one who’d originally found them and rescued them off the street when they were newborns, basically saving their lives. That’s a bond that is very hard to break.

So I’ve spent the rest of the week mourning over two furry children that weren’t really mine yet, even though they felt like mine because I’d held them and played with them and named them. In my mind they were mine, so it feels like a death now that I have to give them up, even though I never truly had them.

So what’s next? Well, the woman who found these kittens for me has said she will continue looking for a new pair. She has been a real blessing in all this. Wednesday morning we texted back and forth for almost three hours as she allowed me to rage and cry. She allowed me to have my feelings without condemnation or criticism. All she kept saying was how sorry she was. I finally realized that it wasn’t really her fault, so I told her that. I forgave Vickie (the woman who’s fostering the kittens; I’m changing her name to protect her privacy). I pray that they prosper with her, and that she is exceedingly happy and blessed with them.

As I was going through this, the Scripture verse that kept trumpeting loudly in my mind was Romans 5:5, and I figured it must be God telling me not to give up, and not to be ashamed of feeling sad because it’s just kittens after all; if I’m going to be sad I should be sad about something important (I hope you can sense how far into my cheek my tongue is!); or of being hopeful. So that’s why I quoted that verse at the beginning of this post. So I plan to keep on looking to Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith,

“Therefore 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, looking 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 12:2, NKJV.

I know that He has a beautiful plan for me, and I believe that plan includes two kittens, so I’ll keep on looking for them. I’ve come to realize that I experience loneliness a whole lot more than I’d like to admit, and having cats mitigates that for me.

As I’ve mourned and grieved and cried and prayed and talked to God about everything this week, I could sense that God has a pair of kittens for me. I just have to be patient.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” ~ James 1:2-4, NKJV.

Even though I’ve forgiven Vickie I wish someone would talk to her and ask her if she has any idea just how deeply she hurt me when she changed her mind and took those kittens back. Because actions have consequences, and what’s going to happen when the next time comes? And the time after that, and the time after that? Will she change her mind and decide she wants to keep those kittens too?

I think I can be patient if I know my kittens are coming!

Solomon and Gracie

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I lost my Lily in December of 2020, and I’ve missed having a cat around since then. It’s been a very long time, and I’ve been pretty lonely, even with God to talk to. There’s nothing like a purring cat to make you feel content and peaceful, and since Lily’s death, the closest thing I’ve had to petting a cat or hearing one purr is watching cat videos on Facebook. A paltry substitute, I must say.

Well, all that is about to change, because I’ve applied to adopt a cat, and my application has been accepted, and I’ve found two kittens to adopt. They’re a brother and sister bonded pair, and they’re both Siamese with blue eyes. They’re five weeks old as of last Friday. I can’t bring them home yet, though. They have to weigh at least five pounds before that can happen, plus they have to be spayed and/or neutered, dewormed, and microchipped.

But the cool thing is, I got to meet them today, and it turns out that the boy is a flame-point Siamese! That might not mean much to anyone else, but my last cat, Lily, was a flame-point Siamese, and flame-points are gorgeous cats. They start out white as kittens, and then as they grow, they turn orange. Their ears are orange, and their tails are white white orange stripes. And they have the characteristic blue eyes of the Siamese.

I’ve had a thing for blue-eyed cats most of my life. When I was a child we had an orange tabby cat named Dennis the Menace, and he had bright blue eyes. And because of the constant chaos and abuse in my family, Dennis was my only friend, and constant companion. The only time I felt safe was when I was alone, or when I was with Dennis. He didn’t judge me, and he never questioned anything I said, or called me a liar, or told me I was stupid. He just listened and let me cuddle with him, and loved me. I really think God used Dennis to help keep me sane and alive. He was like an angel with fur on.

I’ve thought a lot about Dennis the Menace during the process of looking for my new kittens, probably more in the last couple of weeks than I have in many years. And I’m realizing just how wonderful he was to me back then. I wish I could meet him again so I could thank him, but maybe thanking God is enough.

The kindness and goodness of God is beyond all measure! That He would make one of the new kittens a flame-point just amazes me. I didn’t tell anyone that I wanted a flame-point. All I said was I wanted a Siamese with blue eyes. Thank you, God!! I love You so!!

So now I have to name them. Up until now the woman who’s fostering them has been calling the girl Dixie, and the boy Finn, but when I was playing with them today, she told me I could change their names if I wanted to, because they’re so young that they haven’t had time to learn those names yet. And they’re SOOO CUTE!! I just had to say that. They’re just SOOO darn CUTE!!

I’ve been thinking I might name the boy Abraham, and call him Abe for short. Or David ~ Dave for short. Or Isaac, or Isaiah, or Elijah ~ Eli for short. I really like Bible names. Or I could call him Solomon. That doesn’t really need a nickname, and I really like the way that name sounds.

And then I could call the girl Ruth, or Naomi, or Abby. I don’t want to name her Abigail because that’s my middle name. Or maybe I could name her Grace or Faith.

Okay. I have to start narrowing it down. I’m really leaning toward Solomon for the boy, and Gracie for the girl. And, as silly as it sounds, I’ve prayed about it, and Solomon and Grace feel right. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, so maybe my Solomon will be a very wise cat. And Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and God has shone me sooo much undeserved kindness and favor, just in bringing me these wonderful kitties that naming her Grace, or Gracie, will remind me of how much God loves me every time I say her name.

I like the sound of that!

Now I get to show you all what they look like! On the right is Solomon, and on the left is Gracie.

Are they not the cutest, most adorable floofballs you’ve ever seen? I’m in LOVE!! When I was playing with them this afternoon, they were climbing all over me, and I felt the craving of my heart being satisfied. After all these months of no cat at all, to have God give me two, and they’re both Siamese with blue eyes!!

The goodness of God just overwhelms me, and my gratitude knows no bounds!!

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19, NLT.

How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!…For the Mighty One is holy, and He has done great things for me. ~ Luke 1:47,49, NLT.