Precious

There have been many dark days in my life.  I understand the pain of betrayal.  I have lived where no child should have to live without some basic needs.  I know the fear of being on the wrong end of a gun.  I have been verbally, emotionally and physically beaten down.  

Yet, I now know I was never alone.  I could have been brought to an utter end but was not.  And this was before I knew Jesus.  Now that I know Him, He shows me his love for me over and over again.  And I have a new perspective looking back on those dark days.  Jesus has proven Himself faithful to me over and over again.  He has blessed my life.  Each day, He helps me to move closer to wholeness through Him.  There are no words to express my love and gratitude to Jesus for the peace and hope He has lavished on me.  

Why would He do this for me?  Because He loves me, and I am His.  I am precious in His eyes.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you”        

Isaiah 43:1-4 ESV

My First Blessing

In just a few months, it will be a year since I started blogging. And in that time, I still have not shared my blog with my mom. There is so much I have wanted to share with the world in order to help those who are hurting, inform those who just don’t understand, and hopefully stop those who are causing all of the hurt. While I believe my message is important and needs shared, I worry about how my mom would react to reading my words. She walked most of this path with me. I have also watched her beat herself up over and over again no matter how much reassurance I give her.

For those following my writing, you know that I give all the credit to Jesus for rescuing me and leading me down the path of healing. It is important to remember that God does most of His work through other people. My mom was the first blessing God ever gave me. I have never met another person that I felt could have navigated the challenges we went through.

My mom carries a huge burden of regret in not knowing what was happening and blames herself for not protecting me. But she should not. Being apart of this story, I know better than anyone that she was drowning in her own despair. I will not go into any details about my mom as that is her story to tell not mine. But she was living a life that was not her choosing. We make so many choices in life, and unfortunately, many of them are driven by impulse, pushed on us by others and even just pure foolishness. The decisions we make as youth, when we have the least amount of wisdom, have such a huge impact on the rest of our lives.

At the peak of the darkest time of my life, my mom was trying to keep us alive. She was amazing. She grew our food and processed the deer that were our primary source of protein. Everything had to be prepped and canned to last us the year. She strived to keep as safe, clean and comfortable with the limited resources we had available. She was also the one working to provide for us and was also going to nursing school. She was tireless.

She was also the one who pointed me to Jesus though she may not know that. My father would rail on her all of the time for her faith, but she never denied Him. She would quietly bare the attacks as he would try to tear her down through insults, shouting and throwing her limited belongings. I worry that she counts her silence as weakness. To me, she maintained her ground in the only way she knew how. To me, when I think of my mom, I see incredible strength and love.

And who is worth quietly defending in the midst of constant attack? If Jesus wasn’t someone incredible, why would she endure so much for Him? And in contrast, my father was lazy and worthless. There was no love in him, and he did nothing to support us. He thought he was so wise, but there was never any signs of wisdom, only foolishness. So if my mom would endure so much for Jesus and my father hated Jesus so much, then maybe Jesus was worth seeking. And when I had no strength left to endure on my own, I followed my mom’s example and reached out to Jesus. He did not fail me.

Some, including my mom, may wonder how she could not have known. Consider being responsible for as much as she was – our entire household – which was so much harder than anyone living in normal society can even fathom. When she got home and finished cleaning up after dinner, she was completely spent. And over years and years of personal attack at home, she had retreated into herself for survival. She should carry no blame or shame. She did as much as she could – even more than that really. I will forever be grateful for my mom.

I love you, Mom.