Monday, May 17, 2010

Ch 19: Hearts Broken In Childhood

I'd like to begin this chapter's homework by stating that we've all gone through different or similar experiences, we've hurt and experienced pain differently and similarly. And the point of revisiting these experiences is with the purpose to heal and break free and not to judge or condemn anyone.

Think about your own childhood. Can you identify an experience that would be characteristic of God at work? Can you identify a handiwork of Satan? How has God used each of those experiences for your good today?

God at Work

One of my "best" experiences as a child were talks with my father. He would encourage me and tell me I had no limits. This opened up my eyes to seeing the impossible as possible. I didn't see limits or difficulties as a child. I saw potential and approached things as challenges to be conquered. The way my father viewed me and encouraged me changed the way I looked at myself. The so-called societal limitations (gender, ethnicity, economics) had no say in my future. My father told me I could do anything I wanted. He instilled this in me. This was the same man that when I was pregnant told me I could join the police academy:) Really to him, there were no limits.

How did God use this for my good today?

When I came to Christ and read the Word, I received it. Everything in it was for me. It was "easy" to believe what my Heavenly Father said about me because I had believed my earthly one. When I look back on those conversations with my father, I see God's hands all over it. Only He could have instilled in me those words that nothing was impossible for me and now that I am in Christ, with Him nothing is impossible.

Satan's Handiwork
My mother quickly became pregnant with me right after giving birth to my parents' second daughter. They were expecting a boy according to my mother because this pregnancy differed so much from her previous one. Maybe the arrival of another baby and baby girl #3 at that wasn't what they had in mind.

Throughout these last couple of days, I really didn't know what I was going to write about. But Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "rejection." I thought on these things.

Growing up, I didn't understand the gap between my mother and myself. But even as a child, I knew there was something there. The enemy used this to make me feel different, awkward, and rejected. I grew up thinking that my mere existence was bothersome to my mother. This only became worse once my parents divorced. I felt like an outcast in my home and often isolated myself. I was a horrible teen and young adult. Often hurtful and spiteful to my mother.

How did God use this for my good today?
Since receiving Christ, I have spoken to my mother. We have asked each other for forgiveness. One of the greatest joys the Lord has granted me is being one of the instruments He used to bring my mother to Christ. He not only reconciled us to Him, but He also reconciled our relationship.

Words can not describe what He's done. She is my sister in Christ. We talk about the Word and pray together. She's my mother whose counsel is valued. She's my children's grandmother and to me she's the best grandma.

Honestly, I would not take back anything from what I went through to have what I have now. My only regrets were the pain I caused her. But Christ and she have forgiven me. Thank You Lord!

Looking back hasn't been easy. One of the things I dreaded was that for the most part, I don't remember a lot from my childhood. But on Saturday, as I prayed the Lord spoke to me:

13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV

So that's what I will do--forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. I prayed that I would only remember those things that bring Him glory now!

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14