January 13, 2018 – Memories
When I was finally delivered from a twenty year abusive relationship and looked back over my life, I truly believed that I had no good memories. After spending six years in foster homes, two of which were bad and having been sexually abused in one, I was certain there was nothing from my childhood or adult life that would be considered a good memory.
Even after I was saved, the only memories that would come to the forefront were the bad ones and I shared them with very few people because of the stigmas attached to being in foster homes when family members were in psychiatric institutes and being in an abusive situation for so long. I didn’t want to here those who never experienced what I did stand in judgment and ask why I didn’t leave, when they couldn’t understand how trapped I really had been.
Several years ago I met a family, one with close ties to each other. I was privileged to sit and hear their stories, their adventures during their childhood and what they remembered of family events, even though they had been very poor and there had been some abusive situations. I marveled at how they could sit and chit chat about the good memories, how they could laugh as they exchanged stories.
Through them I learned to really start looking back at my past life, all the way back to my childhood and I found that I had some good memories also, Even though my father killed himself, I remember him reading to us every morning from the bible in front of the windows in our basement apartment in Chicago, where all you could see was the feet of people walking by. I was told he committed suicide so my mother would get the money from an insurance policy and could take care of us better.
I remember when he would wheel his chair over to the stove and make us hot oatmeal for breakfast, and have often wondered if he got the salt mixed up with the sugar. I remember him rolling beside me as we walked down to the Newspaper building to see if we could get some scrap paper, because he was teaching me how to write.
The foster homes didn’t hold much good except for two, the middle and the last. The middle or second foster home was an elderly couple who had us for a few months but had to release us back because of medical issues. Ma and Pa Gordon were two of the most loving, kindest people I have ever met. The last one treated me so much like family I didn’t want to leave when it was time to go back to mom.
Listening to the stories of adventures and growing up with this family, I soon discovered that I had many good memories buried in the mire of the bad ones. Today I am thankful to the Lord for using this family to help me see the good memories I do have.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
January 14, 2018 – Fears
We all face fear in our lives. We grow up learning fear from our parents, teachers and peers. Everyone is afraid of something. Some fears are short lived because they are only about certain problems or situations that need to be resolved while some fears are a lifetime companion.
I don’t remember being afraid of much when I was young except for the hot water heater, probably because it was in my bedroom at the one foster home and always made a bunch of noise. In fact I had a nightmare about it choking me and woke with my own hands around my throat.
I was taught fear during an abusive relationship. I was taught to fear the person I was with and taught to fear accidentally doing or saying something wrong that displeased him. I lived for many years in fear of losing my life at the hands of this individual. I want you to understand that my mention of this so many times is not a “woe is me thing” but one of the biggest things in my life that the Lord delivered me from.
I remember my older sister, now deceased, who told me once that she wasn’t afraid of dying, she was more afraid of getting old and having to depend on someone else to look after her. May she rest in peace, but in a way she got her wish because she was only 66 when she passed away.
I can’t say that I am actually fearful today. The news is filled with acts of violence and hatred, and even though we don’t have those problems here, some day it may trickle down from the larger cities and I might have to face things like this, but I feel no fear over it.
We have a larger threat of nuclear war than we have ever had and there are so many that are really afraid. Recently they had a missile alert in Hawaii, set off accidentally and I can’t even imagine what went through everyone’s mind. If it happens it will be devastating but I am not afraid because, like everything else, this is in Gods hands.
There are people, even some close to me that are afraid of dying, even though I am certain of where they are going, it is more a fear of how they will die. I guess I would have to say, if I had my choice, I wouldn’t want to go painfully or from illness, but would like to just go to sleep and not wake up.
Today I am thankful for all the fears that the lord has relieved and look to him to relieve anymore that might come my way.
John 14:14 1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.