Hang in There!

 

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The Saturday before Easter Mary took me on a long trip. We went to visit our older daughter and our son-in-law, and our three adorable grandchildren. Their home is around seventy miles away from our house.

I know that seventy miles from home doesn’t seem like a long trip to most of you, but anything further than our mailbox is outside of this hermit’s comfort zone. I was somewhat hesitant about getting in the van after our last trip to look at a new neighborhood that is being built nearby didn’t turn out so well.

Unlike the newer smooth-driving minivans with wheelchair ramps, we have a big not-so-smooth-driving Ford van with a hydraulic wheelchair lift. My wheelchair weighs about three hundred and fifty pounds, and I weigh about a hundred and sixty-five pounds. So the lift has to raise and lower over five hundred pounds. Using the controls, Mary lowers the lift so my wheelchair can back onto it. She then raises me to the level of the van where I can then back in. Our van and the wheelchair lift are twenty-one years old, but both work well. Usually.

It was difficult for me to look around the new neighborhood because, like every other muscle in my body, my neck muscles are extremely weak, so with every turn of the van, my head swung back and forth. To people following us, I probably looked like a life-sized bobble-head figure. But, other than having a neck ache when we returned home from our brief excursion, everything went fine. Mary just had to get me out of the van and get me back into the house. If it were only that easy.

After raising the lift halfway, I saw a panicked look on her face. “The lift is stuck!” After she pushed the up and down buttons over and over, I concluded the obvious – I’d be spending the rest of my life stuck in the van. We taught our girls never to call 911 unless it was a real emergency. This situation wasn’t like a heart attack or a car accident, but I knew that Mary and her eighty-six-year-old mother were not going to lift me and my wheelchair out of the van. Mary called 911 and explained the situation, telling them not to hurry, but…

Within minutes I heard sirens in the distance, and they were getting louder and louder. As I sat there hoping that God would somehow keep our neighbors from hearing the sirens and seeing the flashing lights, a big firetruck parked in the street and an ambulance pulled in the driveway. Just ten minutes after Mary made that “no need hurry”call to 911, six men and a woman were standing in front of me scratching their heads.

I have an old manual wheelchair in our garage, and they were able to lift me out of my wheelchair and plop me in that wheelchair. They were then able to lift my heavy wheelchair out of the van and transfer me back. We are so thankful for first responders, I just wish they didn’t have to use sirens and flashing lights. I don’t know for sure, but I think some of my neighbors might have gotten a glimpse of me for the first time. Mary got the lift repaired the following day, and it works great now.

This was actually the second time we had to call 911 because of this wheelchair lift malfunctioning. The first time was a scary situation. About five years before this incident, on our wedding anniversary, Mary and I decided we would pretend that we were a normal couple and go to see a movie. Everything went fine until we exited the theater and saw the pouring rain. Thankfully, our van was parked only about a hundred feet from the doors of the theater. Handicap parking is great. I turned the speed of my wheelchair all the way up, and we made a mad dash to the van. Mary quickly opened the doors to the van and grabbed an umbrella to hold over us as she operated the lift. She’s the best!

Within two minutes I was on the lift being raised up to the level of the van where I would quickly back in, and we’d be out of the rain and on our way home. It didn’t quite work out that way. We heard a popping noise when she was raising me up. “That can’t be good,” I thought.

The lift went all the way up to the level of the van, but there was a two-inch gap between the lift and the floor of the van. This has never happened before, the lift is usually flush with the floor of the van. But, my wheelchair is great, I can roll over high thresholds and other minor obstacles like toys that our grandchildren have left lying around. I figured that getting over a two-inch gap would be no problem.

However, I failed to realize that the lift and the wheels of my wheelchair being wet would make jumping this gap really difficult. I still had the speed of my wheelchair on its highest setting, but couldn’t get over the gap and into the van. I tried again and again. I would inch my way to the front of the lift then quickly pull the joystick back. But when the small back wheels hit the gap, the big wheels would start spinning.

I kept trying. The rain increased. Umbrellas don’t work very well when the wind is blowing. We were soaked. “A few more tries and we’ll go back into the theater’s lobby and wait for the rain to stop,” I told myself. I tried again, and the strangest thing happened, something I couldn’t even imagine. Apparently, the engineers who designed this wheelchair lift didn’t envision this happening either.

When I pulled back on the joystick, the small back wheels got stuck in the gap, and the big wheels began spinning just as in previous times. But, instead of the wheelchair going over the gap and into the van, the floor of the lift shot out from under me, sailing over the parking space next to us and landing against a curb. The boy inside of me thought, “THAT WAS AWESOME!” Then, that pesky rational voice in my head quickly took over, wondering: “If the floor of the wheelchair lift just went skidding across the parking lot, what was holding my wheelchair and me three feet up in the air?”

I glanced over at Mary who looked like she was in shock: “Bill, don’t move.” She obviously forgot that I was paralyzed. Trying to remain calm, she explained that only the outside edges of the tires of my wheelchair were resting on the narrow angle iron that used to support the floor of the lift. If my wheels had not been perfectly centered on the lift, the wheelchair and its occupant would have fallen to one side or the other. It turns out that the only thing holding the floor of the lift to the narrow supports was a strip of double-sided tape.

After examining my precarious state, Mary determined that she could not lower the lift because the small back wheels were stuck in the gap and lowering the lift would dump me out onto the parking lot and the three hundred and the fifty-pound wheelchair would likely land on top of me. She called 911, and some big firemen showed up, crawled over the back seat, and pulled me into the van.

I am so thankful for things like wheelchairs, wheelchair lifts, and especially for this computer that allows someone like me to communicate and type blog posts. But I’ve learned the hard way not to put faith in technology or any man-made things.

Was God holding me and my wheelchair up when the floor of the lift shot out from under me?

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

It was so strange to be sitting in my wheelchair three feet up in the air with seemingly nothing under me. But, because the outside edges of the two big tires were resting on the narrow angle iron, there is a natural explanation for my wheelchair being suspended in midair. Therefore, I can’t claim that it was a miracle that the wheelchair didn’t fall when the floor shot out from under me.

However, Mary and I believe that this was a miracle because God has been “holding us up” throughout the twenty-two years of my having ALS. Just when we need assistance, He sends family or friends or, in this case, firemen, to help us.

We know that the life of faith can often feel like we’re suspended in midair. There are times that followers of Christ can feel like God has left us hanging. This is where our faith, trust, and hope in Christ are tested and strengthened.

Hang in there. God has not forgotten you.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Clicker”

 

Carrying the clicker in her hand she enters the room. Several people fill the room and a clank, clank, clank is heard. A whispered groan is heard nearby. Placing her purse in the appointed cubby hole, A Man greets her with a smile.

Her nerves are on a bit of an edge for she knows this is going to hurt, at least she thinks it is. She glances in the direction of the clanking sound and groans under her breath. She’s familiar with what’s causing the sound.

The Man gives her directions and within a moment in time she’s grunting and pushing.

Click One – Click two- Click three- Click four – Click five, she presses on until she reaches thirty.

She gives a long sigh of relief and looks up. The Man is standing in front of her smiling and pointing to the next area she’s to go to.

She sucks in a deep breath and as she hobbles to the next station He tells her she’s  done great. She struggles to follow His instructions that will help in her recovery.

Ahhhh yes, recovery. Her damaged knee is hurting and yet she knows she must endure. She looks about the room and feels a bit guilty. Shoulders, knees, hips, feet, and arms are all being worked on. Many worse than what she is enduring.

Click one – Click two – click three – click four.

As the weeks pass she has come to jokingly call this place the “torture chamber.” Her recovery exercises has been increased in intensity and now she wants to sock the Man. He stands beside her as she presses on; encouraging her, laughing with her when she raises a fist toward Him with a threatening look.

She sits on the table as He presses, at times gently, and not so gently at other times, while He messages “goo” on her injured knee. “I am the I Am,” He states, with a twinkle in His eyes, as she threatens to lay Him out flat, “Trust Me and you shall be healed.”

She lowers her fist.

***

Jeremiah 30:17 – “For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord.”

***

Jehovah Rapha is another name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It means, Lord, my Healer. As we go through the physical pains from injuries or illnesses we can choose to trust not only a Doctor, a physical therapist, or a nurse, but more importantly we are to trust Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. He promises to heal those who trust in Him and that healing can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is not always easy and we must do our part in our healing process and allow Him to do His part. We turn our pain over to Him and trust His promises to bring healing. The small counter; “clicker” as I call it, really helps if you like to chat while doing the exercises in physical therapy.

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I AM – Devotional Style Short Stories – “The Wheel”

Imagine it. The horses are tethered, they stomp their feet in anticipation of a long trek and snort their disapproval of having to wait. John and Tom crawl up onto the driver’s seat as the Man, with spurs jingling, throws open the stage door and takes His seat on the hard wooden bench. John gives a loud whistle as he cracks the whip above the horses and the coach jerks forward.

The day is hot even though the sun has just risen. The Man reaches up and takes His big white hat off and lays it on the seat beside Him as He leans back against the hard wooden seat. It will be a long ride along the dusty path. The wind blows his hair and reaching up He moves it out of His eyes. He can hear John and Tom talking and occasionally laughter fills the air. He smiles and closes His eyes and is soon asleep.

A sudden jolt and dangerous tilting of the coach startles the Man awake throwing Him against the wall. One side of the coach has collapsed and the coach suddenly stops. John and Tom jump down from their perch and Tom wrings his hands while groaning loudly. “What are we going to do?” he shouts while pacing back and forth, spurs jingling, in front of the broken wheel. “Where’s the Man?” he shouts and spins around to see the Man carefully maneuvering His way out of the coach and popping His hat back on His head. In spinning around, Tom catches his pants leg on a spur, and down he goes. He hollers, “Ouch!”

The Man stands for a moment and brushes the dust off His chaps. When He looks up He sees Tom on the ground rubbing his behind.

The Man shakes His head while chuckling.

Tom pulls himself up and runs to the Man, “The wheel is broken, what are we to do? We don’t have a spare. We’re stuck out here!” Sweat pours down his face and he quickly swipes it out of his eyes. Fear has gripped him and the Man gently places His hand on Tom’s shoulder, “Fear not, Tom, I am with you.”

The Man walks to the side of the stage-coach. He stands studiously peering at the good wheel with John and Thomas close behind Him.

“Sit!” the Man says to the two men. “I want to tell you something.” They sit down, Tom easing himself down gently, onto the ground and looks up at Him. “He’s going to tell us a story in the midst of this crisis?” Tom thinks while rubbing his backside. John sits quietly waiting.

“Do you see this wheel?” the Man asks, pointing to the good stage-coach wheel.

Both nod yes. “This wheel represents the body of Christ.” Tom whispers, “Huh?” The Man smiles and then continues. “The spokes are My children.” Tom moves his hat aside and scratches his head. John nods. “Pay attention, Tom!” The Man demands. “Each spoke is equal but each has been given a divine purpose. One has a gift of prophecy, another has the gift of exhortation, another is a teacher, another is a home maker, and another a preacher. All work together to make the wheel, the church, strong.”

The Man reaches over and takes hold of one of the spokes and gives it a good jerk. “As long as these spokes cling tightly to the hub the wheel will remain strong and sturdy. I tell you the truth; I am the Hub that holds it all together.”

“Okay.” Tom states and glances up at the hot sun shining down on them.

“Now let’s go look at the broken wheel,” The Man states.  The two men stand and walk to the broken wheel. The broken and crushed wheel lies tilted on the dirt beside the coach. Splinters and jagged wood protrude from it. The rim is bent beyond repair. It’s useless.

“What do you see?” the Man asks. Tom is quick to reply, “A broken, crushed wheel and we’re stuck out here in this heat.”

“Oh ye of little faith.  Look at it! I tell you the truth, the body of Christ is broken!”

“Huh?” Tom says. John nods in understanding.

“My shepherds are not teaching My Word. They are following the dictates of what the people want to hear. They are accepting evil as good and turning good into evil! Instead of loving one another as I love them they are divided. They are accepting the ploys of the enemy to destroy their faith. When one falls away the others are quick to condemn.”

Tom sits quietly rubbing his behind where the spurs dug in, and John asks, “I’m not sure I fully understand. How does this relate to this broken wheel and the circumstances we are in?”

“Do you not yet understand, John? When one spoke is broken the wheel can still turn, the others offer support. It keeps the wheel from completely falling apart. But when several spokes break it weakens the whole wheel until eventually the wheel cannot move forward.” Pointing to the broken wheel, He continues. “It lies dead in the sand. Just like that! Now what good is that wheel?” He asks sternly.

Tom states dejectedly, “Good for nothing.”

“That’s where my church is heading unless the body repents and comes together in unity. If My children will turn back to Me I will hear their prayers and heal their land but they must stop being weak in their faith, silent in the face of evil, and stand up to the sins in the world or the church will be as weak and damaged and useless as this wheel!”

Tom shifts uncomfortably. He still doesn’t get it and asks, “But what are we to do?” and thinks, We’re still stuck out here.  

The Man turns and points to a large stick in the distance. “Have faith! Tom, go get that long stick over there.”

“What for?” Tom asks, carefully getting up off the ground.

“You’ll see. Just trust Me.”

Tom retrieves the long stick. “Now what?”

“Strike that broken wheel three times with it.”

“Huh? What good is that going to do?”

“Just do it, Tom!” The Man states emphatically.

Shaking his head in bewilderment Tom strikes the broken wheel.

The Man tosses His hat on the wooden seat and leans back as the dust from the spinning coach wheels and the horse’s hooves billows through the open window, When are they going to trust Me!? He thinks and closes His eyes.

***

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will guide your paths.”

***

There are so many situations and circumstances that we find ourselves in that at times we merely stand and scratch our heads wondering. “What in the world are we going to do now? In our flesh (humanness) we try to figure things out and at times we just cannot come up with a solution. If we turn to the One who has the answers we will find life’s problems aren’t as complicated as we sometimes think they are. If we reach out to Christ in those “head scratching” moments, it can become a time of, “Oh wow, why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

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A Little Twist to Matthew 14

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Some of the ladies from my support group and I decide to go on a retreat at the lake. We rent a small fishing boat, nothing fancy or anything like a ship. We row our sun tanned selves out to sea as we sing row, row, row your boat and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Kicked back and relaxing on the smooth blue water the wind begins to pick up.

In a very short time waves start slapping the sides of our boat. The four of us sit wondering, “What’s going on? It was smooth just a few minutes ago.” One lady looks at me, then another. After all I am the facilitator of the group and don’t I have all the answers? The waves begin to get larger. The wind picks up even more.

We sit a little closer to each other but no one says the dreaded words, “I’m scared.” Water starts splashing over the sides. The boat rocks and is getting tossed about. Hands cling to the sides with white-knuckled death grips.

As I sit there wondering what to do I look out over the expanse of the water. Off in the distance I see what I think is a man. A man, out here? I must be hallucinating! I guess I’m not, for the man comes closer. Oh my gosh, I am hallucinating! He’s not swimming out here to save us, He’s walking on TOP of the water! The others have now seen Him, too.

The four of us huddle together. We’re scared more of this “ghost” than we are of drowning. I try to reassure the others, “Don’t be afraid, it’ll be over soon. We’ll all jump overboard before it gets here.” Arms squeezing each other, a death grip, clinging together, we watch as the “ghost” gets closer and closer. “On the count of three we all stand up and jump,” I whisper. Our eyes are riveted to the figure that’s slowly strolling across the water, like He’s taking a stroll in the park on a sunny day, the figure approaches.

Suddenly realization smacks my brain. “This isn’t a ghost! We don’t have to jump to our deaths! It’s Jesus ladies! Hip hip hurrah. Three cheers for the Lord,” I shout. Not thinking we could tip the boat in a split second, we all stand up. Some look closer to make sure I’m not playing some game with their minds. Jesus comes closer and says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (v.27)

With a huge sigh of relief we all settle down. As the wind dies down frowns and tears turn to sighs of relief. But, I still have some doubts. I mean okay I’m sure this has to be Jesus. After all nobody I know can walk across the top of water. “If You’re REALLY Jesus, tell me to come to you, on TOP of the water”, I say in a cocky voice. Jesus just looks at me like, no problem. “Come!” is all He says.

Without hesitation, we four put our heads together. “Are you going to get out of this boat?” one asks me in a whisper while sneaking a peek at Jesus.  Glancing over my shoulder, then turning back to the others, “Do you think I should? I mean, He is Jesus!” Another whispers,”You can trust Him, I think.”

Jesus stands waiting patiently while I make my decision. He knows this is a tough request because He also knows my past. Christ doesn’t say, “Oh come on! Don’t be a chicken.” He just waits. Standing there right on top of the water like it’s no big deal.

Christ has no doubts, but I do! Glancing at Him then looking to the ladies I bravely state, “Okay, but wait a minute. I have to fix my hair. I’ll get a shower cap or something just in case I sink. I don’t want to get my hair wet.”

Jesus waits. I scrounge around the bottom of the boat and finally find a swim cap and pull it on over my head. My mind starts racing. He wants me to get out of this boat! That’s deep water out there! Is He nuts or what?  Standing in the middle of the boat I suddenly feel a tug on my T-shirt. One of the ladies says, “Maybe you shouldn’t do this.” I look back at Jesus. “Are you sure this is what You want me to do?” I ask Him. With a smile that could melt butter He looks at me and never says a word but I can tell what He’s thinking, “You don’t trust Me. You think I’m going to ask you to do something that will hurt you.”

Hesitantly stepping to the edge I place my hands on the boats rim and pick up my right foot to swing it over the edge. I stop. “Maybe I need some make-up. After all, He is good-looking.”  With a quick, “Just a sec,” I jerk my foot back into the boat. Rummaging around again I find a tube of lipstick and quickly slather my lips.

Some may find this quite odd but we survivors are always ready for the unexpected. We learned to be prepared and cautious and not to trust just anyone because we never knew who or what was lurking around the corner or would show up in the dark. But lipstick?

Jesus waits. He doesn’t sneer. He doesn’t tap His foot making little splashing sounds. He smiles and waits with the patience of Job, and waits. My mind races. Maybe I better find a float. What if a fish swallows me? I wonder if there are sharks out here. I glance back at the Man on the water. “Should I really trust this Guy?” 

Finally I gulp and take a deep breath and place one leg over the edge of the boat. “Oh jeeeeez this water is cold!” Bravely I tug at my shorts, take another breath and slowly sit on the edge with both feet touching the water. I hear a whispered, “The fool’s going to drown.” I slowly stand and woe, I’m standing on top of the water!”

All eyes are on me. Intensely I look at Jesus and think, This is cool but I must be nuts! Cautiously placing one foot in front of the other I take cautious steps and suddenly shout, “Hey, I’m walking on water!” Taking more cautious steps I keep my eyes on Jesus. With a little more confidence I get a little spring in my step. Smiling, Jesus is four or five feet in front of me. Love and patience glows across His face.

Wanting to tip-toe and maybe do a little dance I feel wonderful! Keeping my eyes glued to Jesus I feel like this is the greatest thing I’ve ever done but suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see wind coming across the lake and it’s headed straight for me.

Fear grips my belly. I’m not sure what to do. Just for an instant I look toward the wind and in that split second down I go! The cold water engulfs me up to my waist and my face is a picture of terror. I hear the loud gasps from the others in the boat. My eyes are the size of meat platters and I scream, “Lord, save me!”

The words no sooner leave my lips and Christ reaches His hand out to me. “You of little faith,” He said, “Why did you doubt?” (v.31) He helps me to climb back in the boat and the ladies begin to worship Him. I am safe. We are safe. Jesus is here. We all bow our heads in prayer. “Thank you Lord that You are the One we can trust and look to for all of our needs.”

As the little fishing boat gently glides to the shore we continue to praise and worship Jesus. People are gathered cheering and waving as we approach the shore. We each disembark and without a moment’s hesitation begin telling all those we can about how Christ saved us.

“and all who touched Him were healed.” (v.36)

~~~~~~~

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I Should Know Better!

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The night was long with everything under the sun running rampantly through my mind. The pillow didn’t feel right, flipping from one side to the other side my body was taking a beating. Sitting up, laying down, wanting to pull my hair out and scream, rebuking the devil, sleep finally comes.

The new day has dawned all too quickly and dragging my weary body to the edge of the bed I ask the Lord, “What would You have me do today?” I’m hoping He’ll say, “Oh My sweet child, you’re so tired just roll over and go back to sleep. You need your rest.”

Sitting there hoping upon hope, I await the sweet words of the Lord. “Do what I told you to do yesterday,” was His reply. With a groan I go about showering, getting dressed, and shoveling a bowl of cereal down my throat one spoon full at a time.

Grabbing the long list of items I need to get at Sam’s I make my way to the car. “You forgot the C.D.’s” the Lord says. Hands on the steering wheel, motor running, garage door up, “Oh I’ll take them some other time.” “Take them now. You’ll be close to her house.”  You see, I had some C.D.’s and a D.V.D. I needed to return to my friend who lives just a couple of miles from Sam’s, which is a 20 minute drive for me.

I spend a couple of hours in Sam’s gathering up the supplies I need. Those things that are essential for every day living; huge packages of toilet paper that won’t require my making another run to store any time soon. No-siree, I hate shopping so to be able to buy in bulk makes me quite happy. Grabbing the big bundle of Kleenex with several boxes all bundled together pleases me to no end and the family size bags of potato chips last so much longer than the regular size. Essentials you see, and lots of them. With the cart piled high I go through the cashier and head straight for Sam’s hot dog stand. I’m hungry and tired. I plop down at one of the tables and delve into the hot dog and big cold drink. I love their big hot dogs.

I’ve purchased several, quite heavy, 40 count bottles of water and by the time I wrestle those and everything else into the back of my van I’m worn to a frazzle. Pulling out of Sam’s parking lot I glance down and there on the seat lay the C.D.’s and D.V.D.

“Ohhh, I’ll take them some other time. I’m tired,” I say out loud to no-one, since no-one is in the car with me. Or so I think. “No, take them now.” There’s that voice again. My immediate reply is, “I’m tired, I want to go home and get this stuff un-loaded.” “Take them now.”  Irritation is rising within me.  I pull into a small strip mall and grab the cell phone. It rings and rings and finally the voice mail picks up. Happily I leave a message, “Hi, I’m leaving Sam’s and I was going to drop off these C.D.’s but since you aren’t home I’ll do it later,” and hang up.

Backing the car out I’m at the intersection where I turn right towards home or left toward my friend’s house. “Take her the C.D.’S now!”  Slapping the steering wheel and angrily stating, “Oh for crying out loud she isn’t even home!” Whipping the car into the left turn lane I’m fuming. Okay, so I can still act like a child having a temper tantrum. I would like to assert my free will some times! No, lightning didn’t hit me.

Turning into my friend’s driveway her garage door is open, her car backed in part way, and she’s unloading boxes from the back. I don’t apologize to the Lord. She and I stand in the shade of the garage and during our short conversation she tells me something the Lord had just told her that morning.

As the conversation continues all of a sudden she almost yells, “Thank you! I really needed to hear that!” Immediatedly I know the Lord wasn’t insisting on my returning those c.d’s just because I was close by,  but was using me to give her the confirmation that she needed. We had a good laugh, when I wasn’t choking on the words, as I told her about arguing with Him about coming to her house. “You know better!” she laughed.

So many times we think we’re on the same wave length as the Lord and think we know exactly what He is up to. I thought He was sending me there, since I was so close, and was saving me gas and time of having to return later, only to learn that in my selfish desire to go home I would have missed Him using me to give her what she needed right then.

Anyone who has read my book, “Laying Down my Net – A Walk of Faith” is saying, “Sue, you know better!” And yes I did apologize while driving home.

~~~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

 

 

Dealing with Betrayal

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Betrayal can come in many and  various forms. It can be as simple, if you want to call it simple, as someone betraying your trust through telling another what you thought was told in confidence. There is the betrayal within marriages through adulterous behavior. Betrayal can come through domestic abuse. Maybe someone at your job betrayed you by lying to the boss. There’s many examples of how we are betrayed.

In my opinion (and many psychiatrists) the most damaging, deep, and most heartfelt betrayal is through a parent sexually abusing their child. From within the womb we are totally and completely dependent upon our mothers and fathers. Upon birth that dependence grows even more for the child. The child depends on the parents for nurturing, education, love for God, not to mention clothing, food, and housing. God instilled in us love. We are created to love and we do it naturally as a child. We love our parents regardless of anything they do.

Children are taught to hate, to distrust, to be suspicious and to take the blame. They were not born with that negativity. We’ve all seen cases where a child is horribly abused and yet they will protect the parent. It isn’t always that the parent/abuser has threatened them to keep quiet, it’s because of that God-given love instilled within us toward those who God chose to be our parents.

I was asked recently if after having been sexually abused if having my Dad admit to the abuse, if that was emotionally more difficult than the actual abuse. My answer was no, not for me. For me it was confirmation that the abuse really did take place. It stopped all the mind wrestling of whether it happened or not and put an end to the lies that were being told about it didn’t happen. But not everyone can answer that way. It is always very difficult to admit we have been betrayed. Especially if that betrayal was from someone we love.

Sexual abuse/incest is the most damaging of all abuse to a child. It attacks the body, soul, mind, and spirit of the child. The issues that are left from it are so vast it can take years to heal from the devastation. Most abusers will not admit their guilt. Many mothers will blame the victim or deny it happened or choose the husband over the child. Hopefully with disclosure becoming more prevalent that will change.

Who of us want to have to admit to ourselves that those who were given to us by God could do such a thing? Who wants to admit that the man we chose to love for the rest of our lives would sneak around behind our back in an adulterous affair? Or that our best friend would reveal a deep secret we shared, with someone else?

Betrayal will leave deep wounds. Whether they are bleeding wounds that we ignore, or ones that we continue to pick at is our choice. In the case of sexual abuse it may take years to heal those deep wounds. In Psalm 27:10 The Lord says, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Betrayal through abuse , by a parent, is forsaking the child! They have forsaken their God-given responsibility to care for, in a Christ-like manner, for the child that was placed in their care. Mothers and fathers that do nothing to protect the child, a co-conspirator, has emotionally, and in some cases physically, abandoned the child. Christ is there to receive you!

With any betrayal it is hard to “wrap our minds around” what was done. There is hurt, anger, denial, and eventually acceptance. We have a big choice to make. Do we forgive or do we continue to bleed? It can be mind-boggling to think that our own parents could betray us in such a way but if we do not release that hurt, through forgiveness, the betrayal will be like a gunny sack filled with rocks on our back.

With any form of betrayal do we choose to live with a heart filled with hate and bitterness toward those who have betrayed us or do we turn to Christ and give Him our pain? By holding onto the pain, not forgiving, we are bringing God’s judgment against us.  (Matt.5:22) We are hindering our prayers, (Matt.5:23) we’re causing a root of bitterness to take hold, (Heb.12:14-15) we’re allowing demonic strongholds to take hold, (Eph.4:26), and halting our healing (James 5:16).

Freedom from the heart wounds inflicted by an act/s of betrayal is obtained through our ability to seek Christ’s forgiveness and to offer our forgiveness to others.

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http://www.elahministriesinc.com

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e-mail: elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

The Road to Life

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At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but really didn’t know Him. But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me to petal. I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable, it was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said, “Petal!” I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are You taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into an adventure, and when I say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand. I gained love, peace, acceptance, and joy; gifts to take on my journey, my Lord’s and mine. And we were off again.

He said, “Give the gifts away. They’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it. But He knows bike secrets, knows how to bend to take the sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and petal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze in my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do it anymore, He just smiles and says…”Petal!”

Name withheld – Angels by Grace – April 2003

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http://www.elahministreis.com

http://www.cybersupportgroup.org

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.