Tag Archives: Scripture

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 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!

Flawed and Fallible

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Yup, that’s me. I am a flawed, fallible, and sinful person. That’s why I’m so incredibly grateful for the Cross and what Christ did there for me. Christ’s death on the Cross, and His subsequent resurrection mean everything to me, because without them I would have succeeded in one of my many suicide attempts, and then I would have ended up in Hell. So there isn’t enough gratitude throughout the whole universe for me to express how grateful I am to Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit.

That said, I still mess up on an extremely regular basis.The difference is, because I have Christ in my life, I can ask Him to forgive me according to 1 John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9, NKJV.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently became acutely aware of just how flawed and fallible I truly am, and it’s probably at least partly a result of the abuse from my childhood. If you’ll remember, I’ve said before that the pain inflicted on me when I was little is my parents’ responsibility, but I bear the burden for what happens now as a result. I’m an adult now, so I can’t blame my childhood if I decide to go out and rob a bank or burn down a house (which, by the way, are things I would never do, just so you know). This post isn’t about that. It’s about how I function in relationships.

Relationships are very difficult for me, something that’s fairly common for people who are survivors of child abuse, and especially for people who’ve experienced childhood sexual abuse. The only time I was safe when I was little was when I was alone, so I learned fairly quickly that being an introvert was the best way to keep myself safe and abuse-free. Of course being an introvert didn’t protect me from Harry and his horrors, but nothing could safeguard me from that. God made things easier, however, because He gave me the ability to become multiple, and that saved my life many times over. So even though I couldn’t keep myself free from being abused, at least I could stay alive.

Recently I got into a difficult interaction with a dear friend. She’s probably the best friend I have in the world, and I love her dearly. I will do anything for her if it’s within my power, even to the point of dying for her if need be. She’s been with me through thick and thin, and she knows everything about me.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13, NKJV.

I’ll call her Sylvia for purposes of anonymity and privacy.

Sylvia’s mother died on February 25th of last year, so this whole year has been really hard for her. Most of the time I’ve been fairly good about being available when she needs me, but the last month or so I blew it big time, because I fell into my usual little hermity way of doing things, and in the process I’m ashamed to say I forgot about calling her for a couple of weeks. (I didn’t forget about her; I thought about her all the time, but somehow calling her became separated in my mind from thinking about her, as strange as that seems.) But I just plain forgot about everyone else for a couple of weeks, and poor Sylvia got the worst of it because she was the neediest, legitimately so. It ended up being more like a month because once I realized I’d neglected her for two weeks, it took me another two weeks to get up the courage to reestablish contact. I knew she’d be mad at me ~ justifiably so ~ and I’d have to apologize, which I didn’t mind doing. I was wrong, after all!

I wrote a post back on June 18, 2019, entitled I Would Make a Great Hermit in which I related why I like being alone so much, and why it’s so easy for me to do my hermity thing, so to speak.

So I had a lot of apologizing to do, and Sylvia and I had to figure out how I could change the way I do things so the last month of me neglecting her wouldn’t happen again. We set up a time when I went to see her and we sat down and talked it all out. And we decided that I would text her every couple of days just to say hi, and maybe I would include a funny cat photo with my text (I have a LOT of funny cat pics. I find them on Facebook ALL the time in this Facebook group I’m part of, Episcopal Cats With Problems.) Below is a classic example.

So I think I’ll leave it at that. Every time I look at the above photograph I start giggling helplessly. I think there are nine cats in that box, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how they all crammed themselves in there. One of the things I’m most grateful to God for, aside from the Cross, is a sense of humor, which I know I got from Him, because I know He has one too. I’m sure He laughs every time He sees photos like this just like we do.