Wow, my childhood. Where should I start. There were times when as a family we shared some lovely and fun times. My parents taking my sisters and I to visit the Statue of Liberty, Bear Mountain, I even have pictures of us at Coney Island having fun on the various rides at the park. I remember my dad taking me to Riverside Park and teaching me how to ride a bike, etc.
But, for many years, the pain and hurt I experienced clouded those memories of the laughs and giggles of those days which I longed for but that would never return.
God had a plan that I was not aware of. He had a much bigger plan...a plan of salvation for my family that at the end of all the hurt would manifest. I am thankful because He was and still is that beacon of hope in the midst of despair.
I would not be aware of that hope until many years later.
This weeks h.w had me taking a long look back at my childhood with the following questions:
Think about you own childhood. Can you identify an experience that would be characteristic of God at work?
As I recall specific experiences of my childhood I can see God's mercy and His love in each situation. Despite the pain of abuse, I noticed I didn't loose the "little girl" quality. I still enjoyed playing with my dolls, having fun playing all sorts of games with my sisters. I would always kiss and hug my mom and tell her that I loved her. I enjoyed many Saturday afternoon's hearing my dad playing his guitar and singing along. That is how I prefer to remember those days.
Can you identify a handiwork of Satan?
I sure can. I can now identify his schemes of inflicting pain. His deceitfulness and desire to steal the joy and innocence of childhood that I would only be able to experience once in my lifetime.
Like Beth mentions in her book, I truly want the Healer to be glorified not the hurt. However, I do remember confessing a certain sin to a church elder and the elder confessed that they had experienced some thing quite similar. I was not glad that this person experienced what they did but I did find comfort in knowing that there was someone else who could relate exactly to the same shame and hurt.
I remember a time which the pain and abuse was to much for my little heart and body to bear that when I was about 10 yrs old was the first of a few attempts to commit suicide. At that tender age I thought there was no hope for situations getting better. I thought death would be the end all to end it all. How deceived I was. Satan whispered in my young ears words of hopelessness and self-hatred.
But God didn't allow for my limp little body to go without air for much longer. The only One who can breathe the breath of life in someone...breathed it into my little body and I recovered strength and life.
How has God used each of those experiences for your good today?
I am able to thank God for it all. I am able to see God in it all. I can see God's purpose for my life and that of my family. For God's glory and honor...I am saved and so is my family.
I do not harbor resentment in my heart for those who inflicted pain. I am thankful that through the blood of Jesus I have access to the very throne of God and I am able to pray and intercede for them.
I live thankful and learn from those experiences especially about how to love my own children and my husband.
I know that in HIM there is hope!!!!!
Thank you Lord because it could've been me... For awhile it was... But You are hear now.... Thank you Jesus!
Oh that we may know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him!
Then He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn...
Hosea 6:3 NLT