Tag Archives: God’s mercy

Not Such a Wonderful Life. But Jesus.

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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.

God Is God, So He Doesn’t Have to Play God.

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I had an interesting insight on the sovereignty of God recently.

I used to have big problems with God’s sovereignty in my life, because it seemed like it was God’s sovereignty that allowed me to be abused. And it used to make me SOOO ANGRY, because it felt like God wanted me to be abused, and it felt like cosmic child abuse.

I went through a whole seven-year period where I was enraged at God because of that, until I finally realized I was barking up the wrong tree ~ I was asking the wrong questions. I should have been asking who, what, and where questions instead of why questions. And once I started asking the right questions I actually got answers. God showed me where He was while I was being abused ~ which was all I really wanted to know in the first place.

But I realized recently that when someone is demanding that God explain Himself about something He’s done in that person’s life, what they’re really saying is, “How dare You play god with my life!” That made me laugh when I thought about it. How dare God play god with someone’s life? He IS God! He isn’t playing god, He’s BEING God! There’s a significant difference. The Apostle Paul says in Romans,

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? ~ Romans 9: 20-21, ESV.

It seems to me Paul is saying here that God, because He is the Creator, has the right to do whatever He wants with the people He creates, and while those people can ask questions of Him, and pray for answers, they don’t have the right to demand explanations for His decisions.

You wouldn’t like it if your son demanded to know why you were taking him to the doctor’s office if his ear hurt, and then refused to go because he didn’t like the prick of needle from the shot. You would know why you were doing it ~ because the kid has an ear infection that needs to be healed, and if the doctor doesn’t give him an injection he could go deaf, or even die if it gets bad enough. You can see the big picture. You can see the end result, whereas the child can’t. The same holds true for God. The Bible says,

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 46:10, NLT.

I like the way the NIV says it as well,

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ ~ Isaiah 46:10, NIV.

What that says to me is that God knew everything that would ever happen to me before I was ever a thought in anyone’s mind. He knew every decision I would make, and every thought I would think. He also knew every decision He would make about me. The Bible also says He knows the day I’m going to die, something I find quite comforting.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ~ Psalm 139:16, NIV.

The reason I find that comforting is because now that I know that, it’s something I don’t have to worry about anymore. It’s God’s problem, not mine. All I have to do is go through my days doing my best to glorify God in all I do, basing my life on His Word, and God will take care of the rest.

Such a deal!

Bad Days and New Mercies

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Some days are amazing and wonderful, they’re so good. And then there are those days where you wish you’d never opened your eyes, never gotten out of bed.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Even though God’s mercy was evident in many ways (Lamentations 3:21-23), I spent the day feeling frustrated at myself and wanting to scratch my eyes out at every turn. I felt fragmented, to use multiplistic terminology, and like every cell of my body was fighting a battle with every other cell, and with every molecule outside my body. It’s irritating, exasperating, infuriating, disheartening, and aggravating to see that in hindsight. Why couldn’t I have seen it as I was going through it? If I had, I could have prayed and asked God to do something about it!

Hindsight is 20/20. Yeah, yeah. Not helpful!

Thankfully, when I woke up this morning, I felt much calmer inside. I think a lot of what was going on might have been due to exhaustion. I had gotten very little sleep in several days, and I was so tired I could barely think straight. I’m so very grateful that God’s mercies are new every morning:

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:21-23, NKJV.

I am so grateful that God forgets my past and starts fresh every morning! I need to learn to do the same, and I also need to learn to be merciful to myself, because God is certainly merciful to me.