My Mother!

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1.  A wife of 40+ years
2.  A mother of three girls
3.  A grandmother of 6
4.  A great-grandmother
5.  A friend
6.  A Christian

She has made many sacrifices for her family over the years.  She has been a good mom and wife.  She always made sure we had food on the table and clean clothes to wear.  The house was always clean when my sisters and I were growing up.  Today, even with her children being all grown up.  She still looks out for us.  She looks out for her grandchildren too.  She has always put her family and others before herself.

My mom recently told me she wished she was smart and had skills to do things others do.  She told me she wishes she could read better and wishes she could understand the Bible more as she reads it.  She loves going to Bible study on Wednesdays at her church.  My mother may not have the education of most women her age.  She may not always understand what she reads or feel confident enough to converse with others who may be more educated.  But, my mom is loved by Jesus.  She is a child of God.  She is a woman that I’ve watched time and time again organize reunions and church gatherings with great success.  She is a woman that could work circles around most women in a kitchen and a house.  I’ve never seen a cleaner house than the one I grew up in.  My mom is a good woman.  I love her and am thankful for her.  She is the only mom I have and I want the best relationship I can have with her.  Jesus is working on us both.  I pray He helps my mom and I get closer in our relationship.  I want to know my mom better….not just what role she plays in my life.  I want to know who she is and what she dreams for herself.  She is more than just a mother, a wife, etc. She’s a child of God. She matters to Him and she matters to me.

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Moving past the offense….

Have you ever said or done something to a friend or another person for which you had to ask their forgiveness?  Has anyone hurt you and asked your forgiveness? 

Asking for forgiveness is not an easy thing to do and neither is accepting it.  But, it’s important to do.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

I want to share with you a very personal story of forgiveness….

As a young six year old girl, I was taken advantage of in a sexual way.  I was molested by a man who, through common law marriage, was my uncle.  He and my aunt had been together many years.  This act of molestation took place almost every weekend over a period of 6+ years.  You may all be wondering how it began and continued so long?  I cannot tell you that.  All I know is I didn’t understand what was happening but I knew something wasn’t right.  What I thought at first was innocent affection turned into a nightmare.  Each time it happened, I became more afraid to the point where I couldn’t move.  There was a great fear that came over me.  I felt paralyzed in my body.  He controlled me and I didn’t know how to stop him.  Who could I tell?  Who would believe me? 

Well, I didn’t tell anyone for several years.  I was about 20 years old before I said anything.  And, when I did, it was only to protect someone else.  To this day, when I share what happened to me, I can recount every smell, every piece of furniture in the room, what was playing on TV, etc.  This part of my journey is forever sketched on my memory.

So, you are probably wondering how I’ve moved past such great pain? 

How did I moved past this horrific offense to a place of forgiveness?  It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure!

I accepted Christ Jesus as my Savior when I was sixteen years old.  As I grew in the Lord and realized the greatness of what Christ did for me on the cross, I wanted to extend that same grace, mercy, and forgiveness to those who hurt me.  I also knew I needed others to forgive my offenses toward them.  When dealing with the court proceedings with my case against my molester, I was reminded to trust the Lord and not try to get my own revenge.  In doing so I was also encouraged, through the reading of God’s word, to forgive him.  I came to realize sin is sin.  There isn’t a scale by which God measures sin.  We can’t say one person’s sin is greater than another.  Any act against God or outside of God’s will is sin.  There is no BIG sin and LITTLE sin. 

With that said, my sin against another is equal to this man’s sin against me.  So, if I want God’s forgiveness for my sin, I must forgive any and all sin committed against me.  And I did…..

With everything in me, I prayed and prayed.  As I said, it wasn’t easy.  I struggled with feelings of anger and hatred toward him.  I dreamed of hurting him to the point of wanting him to be tortured.  But, eventually I moved to a place of forgiveness.  I confronted him one day.  I told him that he nearly destroyed me.  He took away my innocence and I would never get that back.  As I cried through it, I also shared that I put my faith in God and that God had forgiven me.  I told him that I forgive him as God has forgiven me.  It wasn’t easy to do but I did it.  I don’t wish any ill will toward him.  I pray for his soul. 

To this day I still don’t understand why he did what he did.  I don’t have to.  But, I do have to live in that forgiveness.  Sometimes when I feel bitterness rising up in me for what he did, I have to remind myself that it has been placed at the feet of Jesus.   I don’t need to live in fear of that man any longer.

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