I like my home, the way I feel safe and secure here. Even living alone, I am not afraid of nights descending as darkness settles in. I used to be, for a very long time.
For monsters were real to my little me inside.
No where safe, unless I was hiding.
Hiding not only from people but even myself.
camouflaging me, from me.
that the Monsters that found me at night be vanquished by day
Or so I thought
So i pretended
Thing is, vanquished need be day and night, else it isn’t vanquished at all
So many in such a vast array of sizes and shapes
old ones from my childhood abuse tat spawned new ones in my adulthood
monsters that were
to become monsters that are.
such was my existence
Such isn’t any more
Oh, they make noise now and again, trying to find me, for such is the nature of all monsters
Yet noise is all it is, nothing more unless I choose to allow it to be
For what I have learned is that these monsters are only as big as I see them to be
They are so far in the my past, it is the shadow of them that causes them to seem so big
Shadows from what was that have no chance is the sun of what is
They are hungry for me
but I am no longer theirs, i am not for sale or taking, or throwing away
i am not going to cower any longer,
i turn my back on them, i stand sure with my Jesus
I shout to them that they can raise their heads all they want, it is good that they do, for it reminds me of all i have been redeemed from
i will thank them for reminding me, i will scare them away with my praises to God
for these monsters are no monsters at all
never ever more real than my Jesus.
“No matter how much darkness you see in the world around you, My Light continues to shine on, for it is infinitely more powerful! Because you are My child, this Light shines not only upon you but also within you.” -Jesus Today by Sarah Young, p. 262
This morning does. A simple dream, puzzled together of past and present, like an awakening.
These times are like rising from a fog, limbs heavy with the emotions of the memories as I must choose.
There are forces within, battling, you see. Past and present swirling about, vying for me.
These are the hardest of hard times for me. How I simply want to go back to sleep, to hide in slumber.
Waking is never easy these days.
Grounding myself in the present is what is needed, the only way out.
Abba is always with me, I have all of my heavenly family watching me and drawing me out, I see them and love them, beckoning smiles and arms held open, inviting really. I always look to heaven first, my true home, my heart’s sanctuary. This is my present truth, that which floods me with emotions that are present to drown out past, the angels sing the glory of our Lord, and I can open my eyes.
Yet, humanity is still where I am, thought I would love to sit at Heavens gates all the day, life calls. I am reminded, as I turn to embrace the day that my Abba has purpose for me here, I am honored to fulfill it and serve Him.
How much I am loved and seen and heard.
Heard being the one He is waking me too now, In the telling.
Someone told me a few days ago that I, “Can tell them anything, that they want me to.” How I have sat with these words. Such a flood of emotions flows from my head to my toes as I savor the, I, Tammy, can tell.
In the telling shall be no more secrets… no more hiding… no shame, no matter the horror…
In the telling I can free the nightmares that haunt me, loose the bonds of then… find release
In the telling lies are shattered that the truth of them burst forth, shiny and bright, dispelling darkness.
I feel these words to such a depth, “I can tell.” It is as a vanguard before Satan that shouts, “I am telling! You have no power, for Jesus loves me and has given me someone to tell! Go away, I am washed clean in the blood of Christ, I am innocent. It wasn’t my sin and it won’t become it!”
In this someones listening I am safe, heard and free of blame. I am given understanding and love, seen as a person not an object. I find that I have a voice, my feelings matter, consequences are not the end of the world and won’t bring me harm.
In the telling I feel so shattered sometimes, the gentlest of touches to take me by surprise, voices to reach me in the fog, as I find it clearing.
For In the telling…
I am rising with the Son.
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
full of the abuse gone by,
the memories invade me
a stream of visits,
a turnstile of arriving,
past remembering of that
my bed to carry my frame…
imprinted upon it.
for I was no form
rather a mold.
shaped to serve their sinful choices.
there was no me there,
I was strong for I had to be to survive…
I was anger and sorrow intertwined,
filled up of others sin
with wrath at the injustice.
I screamed out, in all the wrong ways.
for I was not heard, not seen, a no one to them.
an object to be forced down,
every part of me ground up.
I hated their faces full of leering and wanting and taking always
telling myself that if I curl up tight,
I can make-believe I am be within a womb
I can pretend tomorrow will be new’
that I am in the womb and will be reborn.
but, it never worked
and his toy.
each day a horror I lived
so I became anger at night
indifference by day
i survived, I did
but now I am weighted with the memories
they are like lead drowning me in my slumber,
crashing into my dreams…
then I can be full of truth instead.
I resist the urge to go to where peace is,
to curl up outside, safe…
to be waken in love and gentleness,
to be found this time,
wanted and soothed.
I am going now, instead, to sit and be in Heaven awhile
she knows and is whispering, “Come.”
she will wrap herself around my nakedness
Abba will stand guard.
I can go home now…
it feels as somewhere I have never been,
that now I am.
and oh, how, precious beyond precious, it is.
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.” Ephesians 6:15-18a (MSG)
Anyone who knows me is well aware of my “shoe issue.” I smile as I type this. Smile because I know many of you are doing just that, thinking, “What shoes?”
Now I am chuckling a bit.
Shoes, they aren’t really my thing. I am more likely to be without than with when it comes to them. Oh, I have lots of them, tucked away in a magnificent antique box that I found, perfect with all its cubbies. Thing is, my shoes spend more time there than on my feet.
I do love some of them, how they are comfortable, I don’t buy them if they aren’t! No high heels for this girl!
I just don’t wear them at times.
How could I revel in the walking through the rain puddles if I did? Feel the texture of the earth beneath my feet? I feel so much with my feet!
Yet, I am learning that there are times for shoelessness and times for wearing them.
After all, going barefoot in the snow, as I have often, isn’t good for my health. Caring for my feet requires shodding them in the heat, guarding them from harm.
So, shoeless kind of days are less.
Today, Abba, woke me to this about wearing shoes.
But let me start at the beginning.
Yesterday I interacted with someone who put me on edge. The type of individual who raised a red flag for me as a sexual abuse survivor. He made me very uncomfortable as we rode the elevator, I found myself putting objects between us and guarding my answers to his questions.
Wearing my shoes.
Big Girl shoes.
Safe Girl shoes.
I wore these shoes with confidence.
I felt grounded in my present.
No more barefoot used and tossed away.
This is the pair of shoes I found myself wearing yesterday…
Beautiful to look upon as they were embellished in Christ like gemstones
Yet, well made that they not give.
I wasn’t afraid.
That’s big for me. I have had a lot of opportunities to fear these last few months, and I have found myself on the side of that fear way to often.
I have coward and shrunk back, cringed and claimed false blame…
Yesterday was a no more kind of day…
A shoe one.
I am allowed to guard my self,
Yet, only if I shod myself in this truth,
With gratitude, in awe, and in praise.
Oh, I shall still enjoy strolling barefoot from time to time, splashing through the puddles..
For these feet were made for walking and that’s just what they do!
Only, now they go with truth and love,
Now they walk with God.
Gotta go, it’s raining!
“Put your back into it!”
“Foot Forward, be ready!”
Moves that help them discover their weaknesses and find their strengths.
Defensive moves to offensive.
Fascinating stuff to read that God is using to teach me too.
I woke this morning with something someone said to me once rolling around in my thoughts, “I need you to align your strengths with the Lord, too, not just your suffering”
Today He gave me this vision…
“My Guardian Angel, Angels actually, for I am surrounded of them. How they fight for me. I see them now, in battle, defensive with swift swords and eyes ablaze. They never falling back in fear or doubting the victory will be theirs. The stand tall and true, backs straight and shields ready. Fear does not control them, they know they have the advantage, the power from on high.
Thing is, I see myself as well, and it isn’t a pleasant picture. I am in the center of my defenders, cowering. Down on my knees, head hid as I peek out. I am not viewing my wall of defense as that, rather I shiver, looking for a break to happen. I expect them to fail, am sure that I will be breached.
“You are wrong!”, my Heavenly Warriors shout at me with a mere look.
I cock my head and ponder this, looking down upon me. I see this armor of God I am clad in. It has seemed so heavy that I was unaware of what this new weight was. Not the pain and abuse gone by, as I thought, but my new me clothed to fight. I simply haven’t been putting my back into it, I have been choosing to hide.
“Do it!” the clanging of their swords command.
Uttering a plea, to my Commander and Lord Jesus Christ, for strength, I rise, slowly yet steadily to my full height. I am taller than I can fathom, the mighty coursing of my blood sounds in my ears with each sure and steady beat of my heart. It was I, my fear, that was the breach. Victory is what is happening around me. How I long to taste it as well, put an end to fear and doubt, being used and discarded.
My Lord nods at me as He motions to the fray.
A smile plays around the corners of my mouth as I nod back.
I am ready, I have strengths that are more than my weaknesses and an army to fill the gaps as needed. This battle was fought and won. upon Calvary, the blood shed for me then ensures my path onward, upward and forward.
There is no going back unless I choose so.
I kneel, one last time, here amid my Angels. I kneel in surrender and humbleness before my Lord. I bend knee to He who is worthy and gratitude. I kneel with strength and assuredness as He helps me rise and says, “Go forth, Tammy Anne of God, you are mine, freed to win.”
Written this morning on a napkin…
simply me hanging with me
finding my quiet inner me
as I soothe my turmoil of late
my roiling, tumultuous emotions
they that have me scattered from the pelting
for the storm has passed
I survey the carnage of me
my body is battered
the visible wreckage
of tear tossing sleepless nights
oh my soul!
Is so awakened
The Son having risen in anew places
Flooding me at the cresting of the horizons found
A new Sonrise within me
Today I may be tired
Today may even be long
I will be ok
Because Abba was already
He has taken stock
And made it all alright
I spent part of my morning just now scrolling through the link to a church I used to attend, one I left under duress. I thought that I would like to visit there, just show up out of the blue.
No reason, just because.
Or, so, I thought.
But, Abba, is showing me there was reason.
No, it’s not wrong to want to see old friends, to visit and remember, as long as it’s for the right reasons.
No, I want a soft place to fall toady.
I am ashamed to think that I would sacrifice my Communion time with my Lord, in my Home He has me in here, for this. For arms of old and love gone by rather to be desired more than Mass, more than the gift that the Eucharist is to me.
But, I do.
I want to belong in the way that I have belonged for long. Old connections, remember this and how about when we did that, kind of way.
A soft place to fall, this is the way a blogger describes her home for taking in unwanted, abused children. That the battle still rages for them but bringing them into their home gives them a soft place to fall.
Abuse never gives a soft landing, healing doesn’t much either most of the time.
I fall on face, flat and hard so often
Did lots this last few weeks.
I feel bruised and beaten, weary and worn, I won’t lie.
I am tired
I want to go home
I want daddy to make it all alright and momma to hold me
I want to fall and give up standing
I want to yield
Point fingers at those in the past, “You left me, after promising to help me.”
Thing is, that is all the pain talking, the loneliness seeping out and the past feeding now
So, I won’t visit these friends today, that would just be a band-aid
Instead, I will heed my best Friends call,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matt 11: 28-30 MSG
My Jesus call.
I will come to Him, fall into His gift of the Eucharist, of His life for mine.
I will see Him upon the cross and know, He too desired, then and there, to go Home to Heaven
To fall into the arms of the angels right off that cross rather than bear it,
He didn’t yield and neither shall I, because of Him.
Momma Mary, she took Him off that cross so lovingly, gently and full of sorrow for all He endured.
She will hold me too, today, if I just ask and let her.
So, I will visit my friends, sometime, but when I can with a right heart.
Simply as friends.
Now, I must go and sit awhile with my Papa, God, that my heart be right when I go to Mass soon.
Home there, to Him, His presence and keeping, His arms sufficient, my present home the one He is building.
I am home, always, everywhere, with my God.
I fall into Him alone.
In His mercy and grace He always to catch me.
“Greater is He who is in you (me) than he (Satan’s tool, false belonging) who is in the world.” I John 4:4 KJV
I saw the movie Unbroken today. How I found parts of it more than I could bear to watch, literally to turn away and hide my eyes as I covered my ears. This man bore so much torture and abuse, day in and day out. The knowing it was a true story is what awoke the emotions in me. A few times during the movie I contemplated leaving, yet Abba compelled me to stay, whispering softly that He had a purpose in prompting me to come watch it. You see, I did so quite spontaneously, as I was leaving Mass today. Simply felt like God was saying, rest today and heal and here is where.
As the Lord helped me to cringe less the emotions flowed. I still struggle with feeling, the intensity of it, floods me always, overwhelms no more but still feels so close to doing so. Each crack of that stick I felt, every blow hit home with me. I understood his cowering in defense as he endeavored to shield himself. How I could read the confusion in his expression when doing as asked led to more abuse. The torturing of the mind and emotions as bruised and scarred as the body, as the abuser sought to break his spirit.
Do you see the brokenness before God that upheld him? His yielding the very source of his staying strong?
So it is with me. I am broken, I know this now. My parents choices of sin against me saw to that. How could I grow deprived of the essence of it? I couldn’t, not as I should have. My body matured and left me behind, my mind became my escape that I was lost, a prisoner of a childhood war. Scarred and weary, lost to another’s war.
Yet, just as the American forces came to the rescue of the POW’s so the forces of Heaven have for me. I was never alone, never abandoned or forgotten. This is a truth I know to the depth of me. Many times my angel stood between my abusers wrath and me as God stayed their hand upon me. Much was endured, yes, yet my spirit knows much more could have been that wasn’t. In witnessing the horror of another’s abuse I came to realize this. As his abuser fell apart emotionally I wondered what could have made him that way? I pitied him that he to was a victim to his choices, unknown to him, but true just the same. A truth I must accept in relation to my abusers as well.
He returned home looking much as he did when he left, on the outside, not inside. I too, traversed my childhood presented one way while living another.
As his family came forward they embraced him, they knowing in their hearts that he was more and less than stood before him. Tears flowed for the reunion but surely for the pain and suffering they knew he endured as well. How this has been for me as well, the family of God, earthly to have thrown their arms wide and welcomed me to healing. Taken me in while knowing there is so much unseen that needs love as well.
The greatest of love this man found in Christ he then extended to those who needed it most, his captors. He returned to Japan and sought them out that he might make peace with them through forgiving each and every one. My dammed emotions broke upon reading that, the truth to flood me that God would have me make peace with my abusers as well, within myself for now. Only He knows if more is needed but I leave that with Him for now.
God showed me heaven as He does so oft, brought me home to be with my family of God. Momma Mary, Papa God and my loving Jesus. How oft we sit together and how sweet and precious those times are. He showed me more though, reminding me that I have an earthly family too. The sweetness of His embrace to awaken within me this…
Someday perhaps my parents and I can embrace on heaven’s side. I can know the joy of telling my older brother I forgive him. Who am I to judge their choices, Jesus whispered to me, when He has forgiven me beyond mine.
I am no one without Him, His saving grace, mercy and forgiveness are my redemption.
So I am to extend to others, beginning with those it is hardest to do so with.
Prayer the key, always that opens the doors of my healing to crack this one as well.
Because of and by God’s power with in me and the Jesus’ redemptive blood I will pray for my parents and brother, for all those others who used me, bought me and beat me. It won’t be easy, I am thankful for the journey of my Lord’s life and the power of His Crucifixion example to lead me.
“Father, forgive them, they knew not what they did.”
Perhaps one day I shall experience running into my Momma’s arms, looking upon my Father’s hands as I hold them, Nodding to my brother as our hearts unite as family was meant to.
The joy to be for me, beyond the embrace, in the knowledge that they too have found forgiveness for themselves, yielded to God and been saved.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
Unbroken is a 2014 American war drama film, produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on the 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of USA Olympian and athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini, portrayed by Jack O’Connell. Zamperini, who died on July 2, 2014, at the age of 97, survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber was downed in WWII, and was sent to a series of prisoner of war camps.