Tag Archives: Trust God

Not Such a Wonderful Life. But Jesus.

Standard

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.

Escaping Christmas

Standard

It’s the Holidays again, my least favorite time of year. I know, I know, it’s Christmas. You’re supposed to LOVE Christmas. Well, I don’t. When I was a child they took me to church and told me the Christmas Story, and put me in the choir so I could sing about the Christmas Story. Everything was supposed to be full of peace and goodness and light, and Jesus was perfect, and God was good, and all was well.

The problem was, all that stuff may have been true at church, but the exact opposite was true at home, and it didn’t take very long before I began to see how hypocritical it all was. Where was Jesus when Harry was beating and raping me? Where was God when Harry was telling me that he had to do all this stuff to me because God hated me?

So it didn’t take very long before I began to hate Christmas, and my hatred grew year by year, because the abuse never stopped, and the hypocrisy only got worse as Harry’s treachery and lies, especially about God, made me want to tell God I hated Him back. I mean, if He hated me, why should I try to love Him? All I’d ever wanted was to please Harry, and by extension, God, and it didn’t matter what I did, it was never good enough. All I ever got was more abuse and more vitriol in return for my efforts.

Then, in February of 1972, I became a Christian ~ absolutely the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. The changes as a result of that decision weren’t immediate. I was such a mess that God had to work slowly to heal me, so I didn’t find out until many years later that all those terrible things that Harry told me about God, and about myself, were nothing but lies.

And all those years when I was crying out to God, desperate to know where He was, it turned out He was right there with me, protecting me from the worst of the abuse, and saving my life when death encroached because my mother tried to kill me, or because Harry had threatened to kill me so many times that I thought suicide would be better than having to stay strong against his ultimatums to keep me silent about what he was doing to me. And finally, God was saving my life from my many suicide attempts ~ nine in all ~ because I could no longer bear the weight of the emotional agony that constantly and continuously tormented my soul.

My gratitude to God knows no bounds for what He’s done for me throughout my life. And of course that includes the fact that He saved my soul through the Cross of Christ, but He’s been keeping me alive ever since I was born into this world so that, in the fullness of time, I could come to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

But the reason I hate the Holidays isn’t limited to my own issues. It has a lot to do with the commercialism and materialism that have consumed American society, and which seems to be getting worse and worse every single year. People talk about the true spirit of Christmas, but when you ask them what that means, they spout some folderol about giving to the poor, or feeding the hungry, or helping the needy, or ending homelessness, or… or… or…. And while all those things are important problems that need to be addressed, that’s not what Christmas is supposed to be about.

The real REAL reason for Christmas is to celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human baby so He could go to the Cross and die for the sins of humanity, bringing us back into right relationship with God. He chose to step down from His place in Glory so He could become a peeing, pooping baby, taking on human flesh, experiencing what we go through on an intimate level.

What an unfathomable, unspeakable, incalculable, incomprehensible, immeasurable gift God has given us! There aren’t enough words in the English language to express what a marvelous and wonderful gift it was that God gave humanity!

Yet people seem to have forgotten about God’s most wondrous and amazing gift altogether while they try to best each other by spending more money than their neighbors (gotta keep up with the Joneses after all), and spending more money this year than they did last year on gifts, on Christmas lights (for example, The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC TV), and innumerable other ridiculosities that the devil uses to distract them from looking at, and taking in Jesus Christ, the baby in the manger.

The ads on TV are a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Pretty much without exception they’re about spending as much money as possible on everyone you know. Having the most expensive car, and making sure the people you love have one as well is the way to go, because that’s how they’ll know that you love them, right? WRONG!

Love should NEVER be monetized! Equating love with money is just wrong, and yet people do it all the time!

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago, around December 20th, and I’m finally finishing it after Christmas is over. But that’s another part of my problem with Christmas. There’s this huge buildup to Christmas Day, with nonstop radio and television programming, shopping, cooking, and decorating etc., etc., and once the day has past, it’s like we’ve driven off a cliff. Christmas trees get thrown out, the decorations are taken down, there are no more Christmas movies on TV, no more Christmas carols on the radio, and yada yada yada. One day we’re celebrating, and the next day it feels like Christmas never happened.

All Christmas celebrations stop abruptly, and yet, the reason for celebrating Christmas in the first place, Immanuel, God with us, Jesus coming to earth as a baby to save us all from our sins hasn’t changed. God is still with us. Christ died on the Cross, and was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. All of that is still true, and will continue to be true, because God never changes.

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. ~ Romans 8:33-34, NIV.

Despite my problems with the Holidays, God is good, and He’s so good to me. He continues to heal me, and Christmas gets easier every year. I’m very grateful for that. This year, my two best friends and I celebrated together, something we’ve never done before, and we had a delightful time. One of them is a marvelous cook, so she made the food, and we spent the time talking about the Bible, and about our lives, and our hopes for the future, and how wonderful God is. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I’m finding more and more that I really don’t need much to keep me happy.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6, KJV.

If I can just remember that every year around the Holidays I think I’ll be okay.

Younger Me Gets Wiser, Part 2

Standard

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!!!

Folderol and Tiddlywinks

Standard

The above title is because I can’t think of anything to write about, nor can I think of a decent title. So I decided to come up with the most ludicrous and meaningless title I could think of, and what you see above is that title. I think it fills the bill pretty well. The two words are completely unrelated to each other; nor is either of them related to anything else in my life.

So now to the business of writing, and I think I’ve come up with some ideas. It seems that an absurd title stimulated my thinking, and this post is turning out to be a train-of-thought post where you get to watch my brain work. I could edit it down so it looks all neat and tidy, but this is much more fun!

Last Sunday in church my pastor was preaching from Romans 4, and he had us turn to a verse in Psalms 27,

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” ~ Psalm 27:4, NIV.

As I read that verse, it occurred to me that my deepest heart’s desire is summed up in that one verse. My craving for beauty, and being able see Jesus face to face when I get to Heaven, are all encapsulated in Psalm 27:4.

All of a sudden everything became crystal clear for me as I read Psalm 27:4. I’ve heard of people having one verse that’s their life verse, and I’ve always wondered about that, because I’ve never had one. But now I think I do, and it’s Psalm 27:4. It’s kind a cool realization to have, and I’m pretty excited about it. I feel like it gives a focus to my life that I didn’t have before.

Change of subject. I guess this is kind of a potpourri post, cuz my thoughts are meandering all over the place, and every zig in my zag feels important enough to write about, even though the topics are diverse and scattered all over the place.

My ophthalmologist warned me about a year ago that I would need cataract surgery at some point in the future. The idea of someone, ANYone messing with my eyes fills me with terror, all commands in Scripture to fear not notwithstanding. I know what the Bible says.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV.

And then there’s this,

Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10, Hebrew Names Version.

I like these verses because they remind me that God will always be with me, and help me. Another beautiful reminder is from Psalm 23.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~Psalm 23:4, Hebrew Names Version.

I am an artist, and color is of inestimable importance to me. It’s not as valuable as my salvation is, to be sure, but color is one of the best ways I use to worship God, because His creation is so wonderfully and beautifully colorful. For instance, take a look at this:

This is a Mandarin Fish. Isn’t it gorgeous? And isn’t God amazing for creating such a beautiful creature? And then there’s this:

This is an Emperor Angelfish. Once again, look at how beautiful it is!

And check this out:

This is a Royal Gramma Basslet (I think I got the name right). Just feast your eyes on those vibrant colors! And how ’bout that eyespot on the dorsal fin. That’s a protective feature. God is SOOO SMART!!

The oceans are absolutely littered with fish that are equally as beautiful as these three are. And those are just the marine examples! On land the immense variety of flowers and birds are so incredibly beautiful that it leaves me speechless every time I have a chance to look at them!

Needless to say, I don’t want to lose my vision, especially my color vision, for any reason. I’m trying hard to trust God, and trust that, regardless of what happens, God knows best, but it’s very difficult. Maybe I’m worrying needlessly. I hope I am! But the idea of anyone doing anything with my eyes just freaks me out, and the changes in my vision over the last few months have been rather drastic. I can no longer drive at night, and I’m having a very hard time reading ~ and I LOVE to read! Even doing my cross stitch has been hard, but I’m still trying to do it.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m still looking for a cat, but I don’t know if I’d be able to see a cat to choose it because my vision has gotten so bad.

HARRUMPH!! Patience and shuffle the cards, as the saying goes.

I love God, so I’ll try and trust that He has my best interests at heart.

Boy, is it hard to say that and believe it!!

But this is what Scripture says, and Scripture is where I’ll find Life:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV.