What’s really scary on Halloween is never knowing Love…Final post in the First comes Love series Day 31

DISTANT VIEW

Today is the Lord’s day, like all the others.

It’s also Reformation Day when long ago Luther boldly proclaimed truth in his 95 Thesis.

And then there’s this house up the hill boasting a haunted horror scene on the front lawn, complete with ghoulish cries and shrieks which I hope doesn’t scare little trick or treaters tonight.

But do you know what’s even scarier?

INDIAN CORN

Millions of people the world over do not know how much God loves them.

And their hearts and lives are slowly dying, all dark and howling.

Their brokenness cries in the night where memories haunt and lies taunt and they are unaware that Love’s arms long to hold them.

With a love that will never leave, a love that is free to all of us, no questions asked.

But it cost Him everything.

Giving it all at Golgotha, up there on that hill, the place of the skull.

Bleeding His last drop and asking the Father to forgive us for we truly know not what we do.

And it wasn’t our Lord hanging there scared. Powers of darkness shook seeing Love conquer sin and death.

Jesus taking the keys to Hades with Him and giving us the key to Paradise.

But the lost, how we stumble from our sins before we see the Light burning brightly on a hill, or hear the voice gently calling, still and small. And easy to miss in our noisy lives where too much busyness swoops in and swallows up our peace.

Yet the Prince of Peace, He is the Way…

And Love is pure and unending, no strings attached no matter where we are in our lives or what we have done in the past or how others have hurt or violated us.

Simply put, God loves you and me like crazy. And nothing can ever separate us from His love.

OLD TREE

And He is waiting for you to open your heart to Him.

Embracing Love which brings healing to our hurting. Changing our lives in ways we can’t even fathom. No, it won’t make our lives problem free, but it will allow grace to be our constant comfort in times of need, trouble and sorrow.

And Love sets us free to become the people we were created to be, fulfilling our purpose.

INSIDE

But so many people are in the dark about how much they are loved.

Hurting, shamed and scared, with a skewed perspective on God.

Like I once was. Believing or rather not believing that there even was a God.

And if there was, He was surely unsafe and scary like the priest in black vestments, or another even closer to me.

Wrongly thinking that to have love in my life I needed to prove my worth by being perfect, pretty and smart all the time.

Believing punishment was sure to follow, failure was not an option, exhausting my limited resources. Yet fail I did. Many times along the way. Repeating cycles of sin and fear and shame.

VINE

It frightens me to think of all those folks not knowing truth and living a half life like I did.

Shuttering and quaking under a dark cloud, wondering if there is life after life, and crying in their beer as they recount their sins too numerous or heinous to mention, shackled and shamed.

Or so angry and unforgiving about how they were hurt or used in the past, shutting out the pain with drink or food or sex.

Living in a dark and grimy jail cell, never understanding the Christ died to set us free.

No longer bound by fear and anxiety, lacking hope, trying to make ourselves right before we cry out to the Righteous One for help. Listening to lies full of hate. Alone and lonely, believing there is no way out.

SQUASH

Christ made the Way.

So on this Lord’s Day of October 31 let’s share the Love and treat people with a sweet dose of truth.

Letting them know that the evil trickster who hates us all — simply because we bear the image of the Holy One — is a defeated foe with limited powers.

Standing firm in the light of Love that shone in the star over the cave and went all the way to the Cross and back just so we could live abundantly free.

And from the pages of the ancient words, a love letter written to each one of us personally, scripture upon scripture shares His great love for us.

Ponder those words, and pass them on to others.

FIRE BERRIES

God revealing Himself to us in Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Colossians 1:15

God dying to take away our sins. And rising from the dead and sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven praying for you and for me, today and everyday.

Holy Spirit, as comforter, guide and counselor in our daily battle against darkness. And Father, always Father, knowing best and loving us with an everlasting love.

And the greatest treat on October 31 or any day of the year is coming to God humbly.

Asking His forgiveness.

Thanking Him for dying to take away our sins.

Receiving His forgiveness and believing in our hearts we are set free.

Seeking grace to forgive those who have hurt us.

NEST RAFTER

And then giving up control of our lives, letting go, one day at a time.

Hearts freeing as never before.

Future full of hope…

~sheila

 

Today’s post is the final post of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

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When love leaves too soon…Day 29 First comes Love series

SUNRISE-2B

Did she know when the sun rose that day that it would be their last chance to greet the dawn together?

Did she think as they walked the dogs and the sun warmed their backs, that their bed would grow cold before the next morning?

As she prepared dinner, did she realize that she would be cooking for one from then on?

Did she have the faintest idea that what is appointed unto us once was about to occur? That his smile, his voice, his arms around her would vanish unexpectedly?

That they were sharing their last meal, last word, last prayer, last kiss together.

That without warning, he would leave her, going on ahead.

One moment breathing here on earth with the love of his heart, and then his next heartbeat in heaven.

And him, ever reaching up for Christ, and now in His presence, in glory.

Sweetness shared in marriage this side of the veil, now a collection of snapshots and memories that will not fade. And her heart aching lonely without him, never forgetting.

And her Maker who is the husband of the widow, wrapping strong arms around her tenderly, wiping away her tears until one day He will wipe away every tear. Easing her pain with his everlasting love, holding her forever.

Tomorrow is not promised…

And this gives me pause with truth ringing profound yet sometimes overlooked as I run to and fro in the land of the living, racing through this precious gift.

Forgetting that life and love, it is all so fragile. We are only a wisp in the wind.

And while love never fails and God’s love is forever, our loved ones can pass from our arms to kiss the face of God in the twinkling of an eye.

It’s easy to forget, take for granted, or even casually toss aside all we have been given. Sometimes the mundane and monotonous daily grind grinds our hearts to pulp that stops pulsating Love.

Life becomes a gray blur and we become blind to the rainbow of blessings that color our lives. Especially our relationships with loved ones.

JESUS LOVE

But love, true love, is a rare and precious jewel.

Multi-faceted, it shines in the darkest of moments. But that light can fade when we forget to nurture and nourish it.

And because this priceless gift cost Jesus everything we must give it our all.

Taking each day one day at a time.

Being thankful in all the moments.

Remembering to slow down and show and tell our spouse that we would do it all over again, taking that vow, because they are that important to us. After God, they are our lives.

Other loved ones, too. Family and friends, always letting them know in ways small and large that they are never far from our heart.

And then pouring out our hearts and our lives with love good and true.

Love that always says it’s sorry and always forgives, and never gives up. Love that is patient, kind and gentle, keeping no record of wrongs which in the end will seem so very trivial.

For Love flows from above, and Love bled out red to color our lives bright with joy like no other.

A gift.

Hold it most dear, and share it with all…

~sheila

Today’s post is Day 29 of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

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An open letter from an abusive step-dad {or any parent} asking forgiveness when he truly surrenders his heart to Love…Domestic Violence Awareness in October–Day 26

SORRY MAN

[October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. And while most abusers NEVER STOP, those that truly give their hearts to God can. These words are shared as an open letter to all of us who have been abused, for regardless of what our abusers do or do not do, we must forgive in order to be free and heal. (And if you are in an abusive situation, get out now — CALL National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-SAFE (7233) ) PLEASE SHARE THIS POST on your social media sites. It could help set someone free. Thank you.]

My dearest child,

I failed you. And I have acted wickedly for years.

Hurting you time and again with words and actions and stupid, extreme punishments that I wrongly said were God’s will.

And nothing can take back all the wrong I did.

I am so sorry. Please forgive me.

I was twisted and selfish and that’s not an excuse, but it is what it is.

And I tried to love and follow God, but didn’t do it well because in my brokenness I couldn’t grasp how very much God loves me. And without really having His love in my heart I couldn’t truly love another.

I didn’t realize how broken I am inside.

You see, I also was wounded when young. By my dad, and mom. And then by a step-dad who thankfully didn’t last too long. Just long enough to add to my messiness inside.

And I let all this pent up rage, fear, frustration, and confusion mix with alcohol and substances, and then it came out all mean and cutting.

And feeling bad and sad, I only forgot my pain when hurting someone else.

When hurting you.

I know it’s all sick and sinful, and half the time I wasn’t fully aware of how dangerous I was, and I am so ashamed of myself.

But God.

For only He can truly heal me. And you, too, my sons and my daughters.

So I have given Jesus my heart and asked Him to forgive me.

And for the first time in all my years of going to church and putting on the Sunday morning face and then coming home and acting out all crazy to you and your mom, I realize just how awful I have been to live with.

And how I have never acted in true love towards any of you.

And it didn’t matter how many Praise Gods I uttered in the pew, or scripture verses I could spout, I was nothing but a stinking, nasty mess behind closed doors.

But God.

He never wastes our hurts but uses them to make us more loving when we surrender to Him.

And somewhere mixed up inside I really did want to give you the life I never had.

One with a mom and dad in a solid marriage, loving God and each other passionately, and this providing a strong foundation that would help you grow into honorable men and women with hearts that long to be good for goodness sake.

But I didn’t hit the mark, leaving instead black and blue marks on your heart and elsewhere. Just like my dad did.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

And words from a former victim helped me see myself in the face of the abuser, God showing me how violent and abusive I have been.

I am sorry. I have been so wrong. Please forgive me.

And I know you don’t believe me today, for I have said I am sorry before, even publicly admitting to others that I can be a brute.

But this time something inside me has changed and I can’t even put words to it for it is all so new.

I know that God loves me. Really loves me. And He’s not like the god my parents threatened me with. Or I threatened you with.

How sorry I am for teaching you about God all wrong.

With more legalism than love, sharing doctrine and rules and church regulations, modeling for you the characteristics of a selfish, wounded man instead of portraying for you the sacrificial love of Christ.

His love that is unconditional and everlasting, gentle and kind, never giving up on any of us.

Because I finally get that He really loves me, my heart feels lighter, full of true love.

I have hope.

And I have forgiven my old man all the times he beat me. My mom, too, for not standing up to him, but she was afraid of him. I choose to forgive myself for hurting you, although I am working through a boat load of self-loathing right now.

But God.

And in trusting God, my heart will heal and I will keep letting go, letting Him have His way with me.

And asking God to bless those who have hurt me, and those I hurt, setting us all free with love that heals.

Big drops fall from my eyes as I write these words. My heart pierced by my sin and abusiveness towards you, my precious sons, my darling daughters.

And I promise that I am a new man in Christ and I will never again raise my hand to you, or my voice with angry hate-filled words.

I beg you to search your heart one more time.

Please consider forgiving me. And then seek God for your own healing.

And if you will, and when time and love allows me to earn your trust, I pray that we can rebuild a relationship that is really what God would have it be.

I cannot change one second of the past, but I can work hard at recovery, receiving His amazing grace every step of the way, and making our tomorrows full of love and healthy relationship.

I ask God to help you forgive me and let go, for when you do the depression, anger, resentment, fear, shame, humiliation, negativity, angry acting out, mean words, hurt feelings, isolation, lethargy, procrastination, lack of hope, will begin to lift and leave you — one day at a time.

And my words may sound trite and only time will prove them true. I provided you an early life of dysfunction, fear, extreme control and abuse. And while I remember what it was like to be scared and hurt as a kid, I don’t know what you went through in your heart of hearts during the chaos I caused.

And my remorse would drive me crazy if not for Him and I will always live with the fact that I inflicted great pain, but because of grace I will not be held back by it any longer. Instead I go forward to help others.

LOVE-SHOULDNT-HURT 2

I am so sorry I hurt you.

Like that time on the steps out the front door, and your leg getting hurt when I shoved you.

Or that night of so many when I argued with Mom, and then ran down the hall banging on your door and waking you dazed from a sound sleep. And you so very frightened, crying “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”

Or the time on vacation, when you were playing and didn’t come quickly enough when called and in my impatience I lifted you up over a stone wall and your tummy scraped.

Or the countless times of extreme punishment for not cleaning your rooms to rubric perfection, and me a dictator over a tiny candy wrapper found under the far side of your bed and you being made to go to sleep an hour early for a week.

Or being forced to finish a second hamburger that you really couldn’t .

Or sent out for hours in the hot sun to rake the woods and clear the back edge of the yard, with me standing over you like a prison guard seeking absolute perfection and ready to punish for anything less.

Or all those horrible words and names I called you, belittling your personhood.

Or making you sit in the punishment chair for hours over some stupid, minor infraction.

It was all so crazy and I was so crazy and I am sorry I hurt you and didn’t protect you as dads are supposed to. I was so wrong. Please forgive me.

And the worst of it was I did it in God’s name, saying that He didn’t want me to spare the rod. But God is not about punishment, but about saving us from our sins and loving us. I defiled God’s good name, pushing you away from Him who loves you best of all.

And I hurt your mom in front of your tender eyes and hearts.

Always screaming and cursing and calling her stupid, and that she must submit to me. And hitting her when she didn’t. And she was broken too, even before we married, and so afraid.

So please forgive her, too.

As a man of God, I take full responsibility for everything that happened in our home. Husbands and dads are called by God to guide their wives and children in love.

But I was such a jerk.

I modeled, son, how to hurt a woman just because a man is stronger and he can.

And I taught you, daughter, that it’s okay for you to allow a man to push you around, using and abusing you.

And then I strutted like a peacock proud when you did something wrong, condemning and judging when I had no right, and myself all the more guilty.

And Jesus, He NEVER wanted for women or children to be abused, or men.

Submission is given in love to a man who truly serves and sacrifices for his family, with love and respect a two way street. Her respecting as he loves, and him loving as she respects, and round and round a healthy cycle goes with more and more good.

And God loves men and women equally, and submission is one to the other out of reverence for Christ. And men are to be servant leaders, laying down their all for wife and family, never seeking to control just because they can wield power over those weaker or smaller.

But I was messed up, my children, and took you along for the crazy ride. And no amount of words will ever change the past.

I am so very sorry. I was so very wrong. Please forgive me.

And this dark chapter cast a shroud over your childhood, impacting your heart with wounds that will linger until handed over to Jesus for complete healing.

Wounds that can make you limp through life – living only a half life – coloring dark your world and marriages and potentially infecting your own children some day.

And only God can truly heal our hearts, using the pain of our past for good purposes.

My prayer is that you will continue to open your heart to God, thinking deep and discovering for yourself who He really is and how much He loves you and will never leave you.

And I pass along to you today some very good advice that an older and wiser man recently gave me.

***Pretend you have never heard a word about God, good or bad.

***Read the gospel of John and then the other three gospels, asking the Spirit to reveal to your hurting heart who God really is and how deeply you are loved by Him.

***Ask Him to fill your heart with healing love, really knowing Jesus.

***Then seek Him for the true purpose of your life here on earth – loving God and others with your whole heart.

As men like me lay down their lives to follow Christ truly, the terrible and repetitive cycles of abuse will end.

So I stand before God and say, “I am sorry, Lord, Forgive me. I want to change and stop abusing. Break the bad of my past with your Love.”

And I pray that no matter what you experienced growing up with me that you choose Love which sets you free to truly live the wonderful life God has planned for you.

For without forgiving you will remain a prisoner. Your life will lack, those you love will suffer, and true joy and peace will be elusive.

You, my sons, and you my sweet daughters, are wonderful and amazing and God has great, good plans for your life. I love you, my children as never before. Thank you for forgiving me.

Now go BE FREE in Him who died for you and bless others with the gift that is YOU.

Love,
Your very sorry dad

[October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. And while most abusers NEVER STOP, those that truly give their hearts to God can. These words are shared as an open letter to all of us who have been abused, for regardless of what our abusers do or do not do, we must forgive in order to be free and heal. (And if you are in an abusive situation, get out now — CALL National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-SAFE (7233) ) PLEASE SHARE THIS POST on your social media sites. It could help set someone free. Thank you.]

 

 

Today’s post is Day 26 of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

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Their love saved my life – Day 23 First comes love series {Domestic Violence Awareness in October}

PRINCESS

PRINCESS SHEILA

PRINCESS CARD

[October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST on your social media sites. It could help save a woman’s life. Thanks.]

They wanted me to know how very much I was loved.

And that I didn’t have to stay in an abusive second marriage.

So they hosted a birthday party fit for a princess ten years ago, the day I turned 44.

The day after  I got up the courage — finally understanding the danger my sons and I were in — and took decisive action to have a deeply wounded and highly abusive alcoholic removed from my home by the sheriff’s department.

“You should have done this sooner, Mom.”

And there will never be enough words to let my boys know how sorry I am that I didn’t.

How I wish I never married a man that I knew somewhere deep inside — including right before I walked down the aisle – was bad for me, and them.

How much I regret the poorest choice of my life and the pain it inflicted into their young lives, leaving scars to this day.

But the past is the past and God’s grace works healing in all of us when we choose to cry out to Him for help and then forgive those who have hurt us.

And sometimes it means forgiving more than once when something triggers a memory.

And forgiving ourselves.

Yet redemption is found in the very things that hurt us the most as God uses them to draw us close to Himself in unswerving allegiance.

But it still hurts and takes time to work through.

October-is-Domestic-Violence-Awareness-Month

Recently I was speaking with a woman and we were sharing about our pasts. She couldn’t understand why a woman would stay with a man who abused her.

And unless you’ve been in a situation like I was during those three years that didn’t end soon enough, you probably can’t understand either.

Researchers have found that some people are more likely to become the victims of domestic violence than others, sharing these characteristics:

  • Poor self-image.
  • Puts up with abusive behavior.
  • Economically and emotionally dependent on the abuser.
  • Uncertain of his or her own needs.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Believes wrongly that he or she can change the abuser.
  • Feels powerless to stop violence.
  • Believes jealousy is proof of love.
  • Grew up with abuse and thinks it is normal.

While both men and women can suffer domestic abuse, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95 percent of the assaults on partners or spouses is committed by men against women.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I share my story so that other women may know that they can leave.

Help

Maybe you know a woman and suspect she is being abused. I urge you to speak up in love. You just might save her life.

Tell her that there are safe people and safe places for her and her children. And that the time to leave is NOW before she winds up a statistic in a morgue and her children become part of the system.

Or maybe my words are resonating with you today. And maybe you need to make a phone call …

National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Maybe you are married to an abusive man who may or may not abuse substances and may only abuse you with words, not fists. And you keep telling yourself that he doesn’t hit you, as if that makes the control and verbal assaults more acceptable.

Maybe you walk on eggshells believing that if only you were perfect he would stop hurting you. If you were thinner or prettier or cooked better, that he wouldn’t hit you.

But no matter how hard you try he doesn’t stop.

Maybe you saw your mom put up with abuse and you wrongly learned that this is okay.

Perhaps you think it the godly thing to stay in a marriage — that is really no marriage at all — and allow your children to witness and learn abuse, or be abused themselves.

Maybe there are days when he acts like Mr. Wonderful being kind and gentle and lavishing you with good gifts. And you think he is changing — until the next time his anger rises and you have to run for cover.

Perhaps you keep hoping that things will be different and he will become your Prince Charming.

But he never does. Statistically, only one percent of abusers ever change.

Or perhaps, like me, you feel like you will let God down after all the other mistakes you have made.

And maybe your pastor tells you something like mine once did:

“No matter how harshly he treats you, you must submit because he is your husband.”

Or clergy chastises you — seeking to control — for being “overly emotional” and threatens to call child protective services.

And you are so afraid because he is the pastor and he has authority over you that you keep your mouth shut and keep taking the abuse.

Yet God says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and pastors are set as guardians over their flock.

But sometimes men — or women — in places of authority abuse the power of their office.

And it is said that hurt people are the ones that hurt other people and maybe they were too.

Maybe an uncle sexually abused a boy who grew up to pastor a church, doing so with absolute control.

Or a mom burnt her son with cigarettes when he didn’t listen the first time and the pain made him hurt mean like a junk yard dog and when he played the role of step-father he did so with anger and legalism, not love.

POINTED

Maybe you are reading my words right now and you recognize that YOU are the abuser.

Truth be told, anyone can abuse another in any way. With my mouth in anger I have abused, using words to cut and destroy.

We all have a propensity towards evil that can only be overcome by Love.

LOVE CARD

But a decade ago, on that birthday that was a turning point in my life for the VERY. MUCH. BETTER! some of the dearest Christian siblings poured out love overflowing to a birthday girl lost who didn’t have a clue what true love was.

Who didn’t really know God for herself, testing the scriptures, but believed the men to whom she had handed over control of her life.

And because I believed a lie, I lived a lie.

And in fear and shame kept secret how awful the whole mess was and making excuses. But black and blues speak louder than words, and a Christian sister seeing.

And a question that was the beginning of my awakening and escape from the brutality and violence, both at home and in my church.

So that birthday long ago we gathered, me and my boys, and these friends carving out time from busy schedules and family responsibilities to show me how much God loved me by showering kindness and affection.

And you know who you are and I can never thank you enough. And there are others, both near and far, who weren’t at the party but who acted in love to help me and my children. Thank you all and God bless you always…

EW M

CB FT

GH JJ

JJ LH

These dear saints, and others, breathed life into this scripture:

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:35

They breathed life into me by loving on me.

And when I went home later that blessed evening, I found him stewing from too much vodka, asking me where I had been.

A gentle answer that night kept away his wrath.

And I didn’t sleep a wink, barely breathing from the pounding of my heart, knowing that when dawn broke I would give myself the best birthday gift I could.

Freedom…for me and my sons.

~sheila

[October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST on your social media sites. It could help save a woman’s life. Thanks.]

Today’s post is Day 23 of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

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Love cuts the chains that cut our hearts and sets us free…Day 21…October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month

SANCTUARY 1

SANCTUARY 2

Hung over from too little sleep and a night intoxicated with lies, I struggle in prayer this morning.

Sitting alone in my little sanctuary at home, the sun streams warm through windows bare and a great expanse of blue smiles down, but I am not happy.

And sweat profuse mingles with tears until I am washed in a saline shower from His fount of Love.

This challenge confronted, Holy Spirit by my side, has been simmering on the back burner of my mind since the day after my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

And even longer.

October 9 marks the tenth anniversary of me giving the boot to a man who abused with his lips as well as limbs, and who injured my sons with his words, actions, edicts and extreme control. Those details are a story for another day as October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. {And if you are in a bad situation and need help, call this confidential number 1-800-799-SAFE (0r 7233) or check out this website.}

So I get divorced from the man who hurts us, and a decade passes, and there are still certain days when a deeply unsettling spirit of unforgiveness and resentment hovers over my heart, chaining me to a past that God wants me to let go of.

Completely.

Now letting go doesn’t mean that magically I have no recollection of the awful abuse, but means that no longer will my life be controlled by it.

Not even a little.

For Christ died to set me free. And heal my heart through a relationship with Him. BREAKingmeOUT into an abundant life here on earth as well as eternity with Him.

My life is wonderful now, but the taunts of the bully beaten by the Cross cause me to trip.

And when I allow myself to tangle in post traumatic stress over events that are over and can no longer hurt me, I am not living free.

And I think that must make God, who is a good Daddy who loves me and you like crazy, very sad for Christ’s love at Calvary cost Him everything.

So my prayers spill onto paper for 14 pages.

God shows me why unforgiveness towards my former abuser creeps in. Underscoring all, I hold myself in unforgiveness, utterly responsible, bound with guilt and shame and tormented by thoughts that my actions brought pain and sadness to my sons.

Yet they tell me they have forgiven me.

Telltale signs of their wounded childhood hearts poke through, and coming from a broken family of origin myself, that was the last thing I want to pass on.

And I can’t let go that I failed them, ruining everything.

Bad mommy.

Punishing myself unawares, I hold resentment towards me that festers deep and fractures wide where Christ wants to heal.

For certain days lo these ten years!

JOURNAL

Stooping my shoulders and filling my eyes with tears that drench my couch all night long.

Only today is a new day full of God’s tender mercies. And He stirs memories because it’s time.

Time to let go and let God and leave the past in the past and live fully in the gift of each moment of this precious present.

And when all is said and done I share my story with a friend and share these words with you, feeling so much lighter.

No longer carrying something He long ago took away.

Asking His forgiveness for all my unforgiveness.

And for holding a ton of guilt and resentment.

And for falling prey to the enemy’s lies of condemnation.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:1

And then I ask myself to forgive myself.

And that is when the little girl lost inside starts weeping, and my heart goes out to her and I hug her close and tell her it’s okay.

For God works all things for good.

Even my sons’ brokenness is being healed each day as the good work He has begun in them — and me and you — He is continuing to complete.

So I write them each a letter ready for sending with one last sorry for the pain I brought into their lives when my foolish, broken heart didn’t trust God enough to hold me through the long, dark nights.

And I urge them to choose forgiveness all over again, searching their own hearts and releasing whatever God shows them.

For that is how Love cuts that chains that cut our hearts and make them bleed, causing us to limp painful.

And that is when Love sets us free…

~sheila

Today’s post is Day 21 of a #31days series called First comes Love…

All the posts in the series can be found here. And so you don’t miss a single one, please subscribe here.

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