Forgiving the Unforgiveable

SONY DSCMy childhood was so painful that I can’t remember most of it. God, in His mercy, allowed only a handful of memories to surface during the many years of my healing process. One memory I had to deal with was about my mother. The hardest part about allowing this memory to surface was that I had to re-live the pain just one more time. I had to feel abandoned again. I had to cry again. However, my desire for healing was stronger than my fear of the pain. I asked Jesus to come with me, and I let the memory surface. I felt again the devastation Mom caused in me by abandoning me to Dad’s perversion. She knew what he was doing. She saw him hurting me, and she just walked away.

Why did God have me deal with this memory so many years after Mom passed away? I couldn’t call her up to tell her I forgave her. I couldn’t ask for her forgiveness for all the anger I had against her.  I had the answer the minute I chose to forgive her. It wasn’t about my mom. It was about me. Forgiving my mom set me free!

So how can we even think of going back to that place of pain? How can we forgive the unforgivable? Maybe we believe we hurt more than anyone else on earth. I know I did. Or we believe that holding onto a grudge really hurts our those who hurt us and our unforgiveness can somehow make them pay for our pain. It doesn’t work that way, my friend. The truth is we only hurt ourselves when we hold a grudge.

Forgiving others is our choice, it’s not about how we feel.  Does choosing to forgive sound too simple? It is. It’s just not easy. It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do! Jesus is the only One who can help us face our pain. He not only helps us be willing to want to forgive, He walks with us every step of the way. It’s so worth the struggle because He heals our wounds forever. I can visit my memory of abandonment without any pain, even after all of these years.

God’s Word says “by His stripes we were healed.” His healing is perfect. It is final. It is complete. God will heal you if you will let Him. Or you can hang on to your pain. The choice is yours.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

Love for the Lost

loveforthelostMy healing journey began when I reached out for help for my two daughters. I was reeling with the reality of Dad molesting my little girls along with my day care children. In getting help for my children, memories started surfacing in my own mind about Dad molesting me. I remembered that Dad told me I was ugly, that I “made him do this”, and the most damaging, “God will never love you!” Seeing a counselor gave me tools to live daily life while I struggled to heal.

Over a period of five years, one memory started reoccurring. Pure terror rushed through my veins, shaking my whole body. I gagged and choked. I screamed inside my head, “l can’t breathe! NO, NO, NOl” Then everything went black. I was an emotional mess for days after. I was so frustrated to be “stuck” at this part of the memory. I begged God to let it surface, heal me, and let me move forward. I believed this memory was the key to remembering my lost childhood.

My friend told me about her Pastor who was trained in a healing prayer tool called God’s Light. I was cautiously hopeful and scheduled an appointment. We started praying and Pastor Darrel invited the Lord to be with us. I opened my heart to Jesus. Not long into our prayer session the choking memory started. The Pastor knew that this was as far as I ever got. I remember hearing him ask Jesus to keep me from “passing out”. Then Pastor asked Jesus to show me the truth. Jesus “ran” a video picture in my mind. Dad and I were in my bedroom in the basement of our home when I was six. I was lying on the bed, choking, and Dad was standing at the foot of the bed. I looked at Dad, and he became a moving double exposure picture. Dad was standing there, and Satan stepped out of him. When I reported this to Pastor he said, “Jesus, now show her where you are”. I looked up from my bed and saw Jesus standing by my right side. He was holding a “dead looking” little girl. Me. I cried out in the present time “Ohhh!” Truth had triumphed and I was finally able to believe; Jesus loves me. Jesus LOVES me!! Jesus loves ME!!!  I felt His love wrap tenderly around me and heal every wound from that episode.

I did not regain my lost childhood memories. What I received is infinitely more precious than memories of a very painful past. Jesus restored my relationship with my Father God. Nothing is more important in my life today. Jesus exchanged my pain for His peace. He wants to do the same for you. His precious, priceless love is for everyone, especially the lost.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Valerie

 

Run. RUN!

runawayrunto

You don’t have to be a child to run away, teens do it, and adults do it as well. Running away doesn’t always mean to physically remove yourself from a situation…you can run away emotionally, spiritually, mentally, etc.

Let’s define the word runaway – a person who runs away; fugitive; deserter; escape; unchecked; rampant. deserting or revolting against one’s  group, duties, expected conduct, or the like, especially to establish or join a rival group, change one’s life drastically, etc. www.Dictionary.com

Wow! That about covers it all, don’t you think? In the Bible we have many examples of runaways. Moses (he did eventually return), Jonah, and Peter ran away too (denying Jesus three times). Have you ever ran away? Have you ever felt like running away? I have, many times, sometimes, I think if I would have ran track I would have been an Olympic Gold Winner.

Sometimes it seems as though life has a way of completely dumping on you. Some things are in your control but some things you have no control over whatsoever. Like a garbage truck to a landfill, it keeps dumping, it becomes too much and all we want to do is escape.

We become consumed with thoughts of running away, escaping, etc. In the midst of the chaos we fail to realize that if we are not running to God, we’re not escaping at all. The Bible tells us that even the very name of God is a place of protection and those who run to it will be safe. Proverbs 18:10 MSG *notice that it didn’t say run away from it will be safe*

Please don’t misunderstand, I am not advising anyone to remain in a place where they are in danger. Your life is valuable.

We also have some examples of those who decided not to run away in the Bible as well. David (as a teen he fought Goliath), Job, and the most important Jesus.

Jesus prayed to God that if it were possible to let this situation (cup) pass from Him. Matthew 26:39 He was referring to the situation in which He knew was coming, His betrayal and each painful and gruesome event leading up to His death. He knew it would be hard to take away the sins of this world and momentarily be separated from His Father. However, He also knew it had to be done to save runaways like you and me. He knew it was God’s will to sacrifice the life of Jesus to save us. He died to prevent me (and you) from being a runaway, to provide a way for us to remain in the unfailing love of God.

Lovies, my prayer is that you simply remain in God.

More Than Conquerors

morethanconquerorsShe was excited to bring in the New Year with her cousins. It was the first time she had spent a holiday without her mom and although she was a little nervous about it she knew she would have a great time.

They planned their own little New Year’s party with plenty of snacks, sparkling grape juice, streamers, and noise makers to celebrate. They all counted down and cheered loudly at midnight. Loud music, sweets galore, and dancing the night away. She had a blast!

Around 2:00am she fell asleep along with everyone else. But someone was watching her, silently waiting in the background.

Sticky hot breath hovered over her ear and she woke instantly. She felt slimy drops of sweat sink into her cheek, fear paralyzed her.

I was in third grade and he had just graduated high school. My life would never be the same again.

It took years for me to overcome this hurdle in this Christian marathon I call my life. My heart had to be conditioned, just as a runner has to condition her body to physically prepare for the race.

That terrible incident continued to torture me throughout my childhood and followed me into my adult years. Flashes of that night constantly harassed me. Sounds and smells sometimes triggered the unspeakable images of that awful night. Those disgusting memories even pursued me in my sleep and tormented my dreams.

I became tired of being a prisoner of rape. It wasn’t enough that my innocence was brutally stolen from me but now I was being held captive by it and reliving it over and over again. I sought help from the only one who has the power to free me forever – my GOD.

Have you ever read about Tamar? Tamar was King David’s daughter, (David as in David and Goliath). She was raped by her stepbrother (King David’s son) – read 2 Samuel 13. She had a story similar to my story, someone in her family, someone she loved and trusted betrayed her with such disgrace.

In 2 Samuel 13:20 the verse ends by saying that Tamar lived in her brother’s house, a desolate woman. A desolate woman! She was a princess for crying out loud and she lived the rest of her days hiding out in her brother’s house a desolate woman?!

I determined in my heart that I would conquer rape and rape would NOT conquer me. The Bible agrees in Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Because of Christ’s love and because He already conquered the world, He made us MORE than conquerors! You are MORE than a conqueror!

Let’s pray…

Lord, King of kings, I thank you for everything you are doing in my life. I am forever grateful for the life of your son Jesus Christ. You are all powerful o mighty God! I ask that you strengthen me today. Free me from this prison. I know that situation was not my fault. Guilt is a trick from the enemy. It is not Your will for me to be a desolate woman. You are my Father, my King, which makes me your daughter, the princess, more than a conqueror. Thank you for revealing to me that I am more than a conqueror. From this day forward I will no long live like a prisoner but like a princess, who has been freed and because of the love of my Lord I am able to be more than a conqueror. I love you forever and always. Amen.

God’s Plan, Our Purpose

godsplanourpurposeIsaiah 14:24
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. NIV

Droplets formed on the rim of her brow and she clenched the life in her belly. Her body quivered while uncontrollable sobs escaped her petrified soul.

Again…he spun the barrel of the gun, gave a quick flick of the wrist and pressed it against her temple.

He enjoyed the game of life and death, also known as Russian Roulette.

Before I took my first breath, while in the secret most inner parts of my mother’s womb, evil attempted to murder me at the hands of my father.

This was the first of many attempts on my life, but my God had a plan and a purpose that would not be thwarted by anything or anyone according to Job 42:2 which states:
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. NIV

God can do ALL things. There is nothing He can’t do, including preventing a bullet from leaving its chamber. Although we may sometimes forget there is (absolutely) nothing He can’t do, don’t you simply love being reminded of what He can do (and has done)? The world is full of miraculous displays of love and power that can only be accredited to our majestic Lord and Savior.

God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, not even death can touch us without the Lord’s consent. Isaiah 46:10 says “I make known the end from the beginning…I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ The Lord has made it quite clear that He is in control and His plan and purpose will prevail. Not our plans, not the plans of those who hate us, not even the plans of those who love us, but only the Lord’s plan will stand. The Bible states in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This Scripture gives me peace during the unsure moments in life. God Himself is quoted saying His plan is not to harm us but to prosper us, to give us hope, and a future.

Let us pray…

Heavenly Father we love you. We absolutely adore you. We believe with all our heart that you can do all things. We believe that you have a plan and purpose for our life and no plan/purpose of Yours can be stopped by anything or anyone. You are all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere all the time, there is none like You. I trust that Your plans are what’s best for me and you are not out to harm me. Forgive me for the times I’ve doubted You. Forgive me for the times I’ve thought you didn’t care or love me. From this day forward, if I ever doubt, please bring Your loving words back to the forefront of my heart to remind me that Your plan is one of hope and prosperity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

When the Smoke Clears

smokeToday is a day similar to yesterday and the day before and so forth. Life has become dull and predictable and you’ve become comfortable with the mundane. It’s the same ole thing, day in and day out, until one day right in the middle of your mediocrity, it happens….

A quick eye blinding flash, a deafening noise that leaves your ears ringing, your world quakes and you stumble. You try to regain your bearings but you’re unsteady and dazed. You fall. Your senses are stunned and you try to shake it off and get up but you’re overwhelmed with confusion, panic, and terror all at once. The paralyzing fear grips your body preventing any logical thoughts from entering your mind. You want to scream but the sound is trapped somewhere deep inside you.

You close your eyes tightly and hope this is all a bad dream. You may even pinch yourself as a last resort in your quest for proof of a dream. You open your eyes and nothing has changed. As your stomach knots you come to the sad realization that it isn’t a bad dream, it’s real.

This is how we feel when a BOMB has been dropped in our lives. The BOMB can be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, bad news from the doctor, the discovery of a spouse’s infidelity, etc. It can be anything that drops in your life unexpected, leaving you completely floored. (Notice how similar the after affects are when a BOMB has been dropped in your life both literally and figuratively.)

When a BOMB has been dropped in your life it’s hard to remain calm but it’s necessary in order to think through your next move. Don’t mistake remaining calm for holding everything inside. If you’re hurting, take a minute to cry if you must. After you’ve had a minute to get yourself together, it’s time to get to business.

When the smoke (from the BOMB) clears, take a deep breath and call on the name of your heavenly Father.

In Psalms 107:27b-29 the Bible says that in their peril their courage melted away.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

This Scripture encouraged my soul when I read it! God knows us extremely well. When we are in a painful position our courage does have a tendency to vanish at times. As mentioned in the beginning, we stagger and often fall when a BOMB is dropped in our lives. However, no matter what disaster is upon us or chaos surrounding us if we can muster up enough strength to cry out to God He will bring us out of distress.

Psalms 34:17 says the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles and again in Psalms 34:19 it says that the righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. God didn’t say that He’ll deliver us from a few or some of our troubles, God said ALL of our troubles, every single one of them.

We may not know how or any other details for that matter, but sometimes it’s not for us to know everything, allow God to handle the details. Desperately depend on Him because when the smoke clears He’ll be the One who can save you.

Let’s pray…

Heavenly Father there is none like You. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same You are greatly to be praised. I am forever grateful for your loving kindness and tender mercies. Lord will you help me to depend on You during my distress? Help me to trust that you will deliver me from every single trouble I encounter. I am standing on your promises Lord. I love you with all that is in me. My soul glorifies You and You alone. I’ll always praise Your name. Amen.

White Flag – I Surrender

Heavenly Father, I’m holding up my flag, I surrender. I’m truly convinced that your ways are better, I’m not on the fence. You set captive souls free, you forgive my sins, you died for me. I’ve been captured by your love, I’ve been captured by your grace, I’ve been covered by your blood. I was wrong but now I’m right. You hold me down, Jesus here’s my white flag I surrender right now.

I’m set free, you’re such a sweet Savior. I found real love, and you’re my real love, I’m not going to escape but I’m going to stay, I’m captured now, but so set free, I finally know where I’m supposed to be. I raise my hands, I get on my knees, there is nothing like the day you captured me, Lord. There is no one greater, I don’t need another savior. I open up my heart to you . I believe that you, raised your son from the dead, with all power in his hands. I know that if I should run away, then you’ll pursue me with love and grace. You have a plan to love me forever and though I mess up over and over, all I want to do is please you.

Jesus please forgive me and every sin I’ve committed and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior, personal best friend, my 1st love. Here’s my white flag because I surrender. Take control from this moment on and be the anchor to my ship. Jesus, here’s my white flag, I surrender. Amen.

White Flag-I Surrender/Sinner’s Prayer (remix) ~by T (age 16)