LITTLE DO THEY KNOW

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imgres“Mary, did you know?” is one of my favorite songs. Did she know what her baby boy was destined for? Did she know how her, “Yes, Lord,” would resound through the ages? Did she know?

I wonder that today about folks around me. I wonder, “Do they know how much they have touched my heart?” Do they know that some of the simplest acts they extend to me reach to the depth of my heart and soul?

I think they don’t.

How could they unless they understand the horror of my childhood?

To understand is to have lived it and I am thankful they haven’t.

Yet they know some, and in that knowing they show and give me so much. Often unknown to them.

So it was today.

A hug, a kiss upon my cheek and an, “I love you,” that, totally took me by surprise. Stopped me in my tracks as I looked in wonder at him.

Simple everyday acts to most, so amazing to me.12208744_10153124353932371_5603922646054908791_n

You see, my earthly father is dying soon. I have been confounded by this, confused in how I feel. Sad at times, for what should have been as a daughter, while empty at others because of what was that shouldn’t have been. Mostly I simply accept that he is passing as all humanity does and I pray that God grant him mercy.

Then today, someone who is a Father to my friend,  treated me with the dignity a father should a daughter.

I am proud of myself that I don’t feel all like I am his daughter, that was a struggle for me in the past. The overwhelming desire to claim someone for my Father and Mother.

No, this is different.

10670081_10153769347959916_6536740439532913225_nI simply cry at the way it felt to feel safe in a father figures arms, safe in the world, loved right, mattering as someone not something.

I feel as though I can’t say this right, I do know, I feel it right.

It is as though it is an it’s alright your daddy is leaving, others here and now, your family of God, we have you.

We will keep you

We will love you

And we will give it all with Christ like love

Safe

Secure

And as love is meant to be

http://fascinately.com/feel-good/2014/11/incredible-performance-of-mary-did-you-know-will-get-you-in-christmas-spirit/

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UNBROKENS BROKENNESS

 

imagesI 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.

imagesI have learned over the years of my healing journey not to question or doubt where I am lead, for the most seemingly pointless, small or random has been pivotal to my progress. So it was today.

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.

This is where he remained unbroken, promising God that if He would be His strength that he survive, his life would be His.                         images

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.

The ending of the movie showed me why God had me stay.   imgres

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.

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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.

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“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.

11181015_800Unbroken 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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unbroken_%28film%29

 

SHADOWLAND

imgresIt seems of late that I am lost, right and wrong to either side of me as I wander in between. An emotional void full of confusion, one that causes me to stop and look both ways and wonder, how does the one bridge this gap?

Oh, I know the answer is Abba. I know He can make it all alright, but sometimes it just seems so difficult. How easy I find it to become lost, to feel as though I am turning round and round, afraid, alone, done.

I share this not because I despair, Papa keeps me from that. I just want to shatter the perception that my writing sometimes leaves with folks, that I am always positive, strong in the Lord. It is rather that God is sure for me, that in my lost times He never loses sight of me or His purpose. Even now, as the tears roll, I know, even as I don’t feel it, this truth, “Greater is He Who is in me, than he who is in the world.”

The world I see when Shadowland descends. For on my right is now, God… on my left, lies then, the abuse. It is so easy to feel that my then was simply Satan, his ground. That is a lie. Oh, I do not deny that he was there in all the dark, murkiness of my endured. What I cling to is this, he was there in the life of others who allowed him his ground. He was not, he is not, my ground.

This is the bridge thru the dark, the pathway that leads from one to the other. I was born right, I am right with my God, so this land I am feeling lost in is His as well. I am not lost, it is simply part of my healing path.

We all have to pass from one side to the other. Each of us will find this part of our journey unique for it is the wisps of our than that lie within, vapors upon the ground of our hearts. Stirred to rise by life lived now, a low-lying fog of missed outs and wants. The way out is simple, is words, difficult in living. Yet, not impossible for our Lord holds our hand. It doesn’t matter if we can’t feel it, it is His gift to us. His, I have been there, I know so I won’t let go, gift.

How as I stand in this between I feel confused. It is for me th little things, at least to most they are but common acts. To me? They hold misplaced fear that so imagesfeeds the confusion. It is as though not only do the shadow of my life reach in but they are reflected in mirror after mirror. Hands and arms over and over and over, reaching out.

I used to be stuck on the wrong side, to think love was only given in pain and using. That the more someone demanded of me, no matter the cost, then the more they cared. They needed me so they must love me. I shouldn’t matter for real love is when one sacrifices self, I became very good at that.

Then my healing began, I ready finally to accept what God had been waiting to give me, til I was ready. The right side of love.

I remember when my first counselor told me he would help me, me, who was such a mess. So many others to say I was too complex. He mentioned how my husband would play a key role, I to give a harsh laugh and say, “He won’t help or care.” I recall saying it without thinking it mattered. Course he loved me because he let me be so much for him, he allowed me to be his strength, to keep him first. I never saw me.

Thus the healing is harder sometimes. A simple truth that is anything but simple. One that could feed despair at even trying to move forward, one that has at times. Or, I can trust my Father, God. I told my counselor back then, that, “We need a plan B cause husband plan A was a no go.”

What God supplied was a plan “G,” Himself.

imagesHe to take on the role of my husband, since mine fled. He to be the one Who sat with me the long and lonely nights full of insomnia. How He washed me in His presence to teach me to want right. Lovingly held me in my tears, gathered them for they matter to Him. He has forgiven me all my failures on this journey, helping me to see I am someone. I am worthy to be loved right. One of the greatest gifts was to traverse back with me into my hell and show me how He was always there, I never alone.

So, now, we are in the Shadowland together. Doesn’t matter how it feels, it is truth. He is the lover of my soul who has done for me more than I could ever have foreseen.

My Shadowland scares me sometimes, the desires I have so strong. Simple ones that leave me aching, weary and worn. My challenge to stay in the truth of the present. You see, I want arms and hands. I want that gentle touch upon my check with a smile sent my way. I wonder how an arm drapped across my shoulder in friendship feels. To hold hands and walk along, feeling the safety of the others. Oh, to have my hair brushed back in love, to lean my head upon a shoulder and simply rest. This is where I become lost and confused. Times when I want to cling to a stuffed animal, ones with arms and hands to fulfill my want.

I do believe my Shadowland is better named, Experience. I want to experience what my abuse stole. My childhood abuse, my loveless marriage, my lost years.

The way out of this Shadowland is to stay in the here and now, to turn upon each creeping tendril and command it to withdraw. To speak aloud to Satan and his minions, “I am my God’s, you hold no ground here. I command you to leave in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, my Enough, unto more. Be Gone!”

I find this hard at times, it to come out more of a whimper, but the power does not lie in me, so it is irrelevant. No, the power is in the blood of Christ, so I leave the rest to Him.

Sometimes I fail, the shadows claim me but God strolls beside me, He the light and love of my heart. I cling to His hand, in love and safety, as He illuminates the way. We walk His path of love, each stepping stone a heart, pushing back the darkness, parting the shadows. When I allow His peace to settle, I find I am resting upon His shoulder, He to gently love me right…

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Shadowland weakened…

Soon to be gone.

LOVE’S HOPE

Today I wear black.

I never really understood the wearing of this for death, yet this morning, as I stood before my wardrobe Abba said “Black.” 

You see, yesterday my mama died. 

I wear it for her, I do so out of respect. No matter what part she played in my abuse, I am called to honor and respect her. I wasn’t sure how I felt at first, nothing for the most part of the day, empty. Then I saw a picture of her someone posted, saw how old she had become, felt for her… Christ love in me the source of that. 

Then I cried. Silent tears running rivulets down my cheeks. Ones the left trails of what could have been. Not just for me but for her also, for us. The bond that never was formed, the memories not created, the family link never forged. I cried for all things lost, mama too.

Thing is, I know it’s ok.

Here is what Papa, God is helping me to understand. 

I spent my childhood striving to be the perfect little girl. Always obedient, quick to respond, forgive every act visited upon me. I did this hoping, childishly hoping, she would love me then, for I sure loved her despite all endured.

Then I became a women, I married, had children and so desired to have my mother a part of my life, surely if I am the one who is always there and goes out of my way for her she will love my children if not me. I loved her still even when that was returned void unto me.

Once I found my past, my childhood abuse, how for a while I didn’t love her. I was angry and torn, my heart to scream out, “Why, Mama, why didn’t you love me, I was but a babe?” How I wondered where forgiveness was, I sure couldn’t grasp finding it.

I didn’t either.

It found me.

Rather, Christ’s love found me to flow through me, that I could forgive.

First came the act of obedience, days to turn to weeks and weeks to months, ones that I spent with Abba, letting Him know I forgave them and left the feeling to Him. One day, so suddenly it seemed, it was there. I visited my Mama in the hospital I told her I forgave her, I loved her, and she told me how sorry she was. We cried together, hugged. The Lord held me back from bringing up the past with her, she was in enough of her own torment then. I left my cherished Bible with her, forgiveness letter inside, as I left. 

Eventually, she came home. I to hear from her that she had to choose and I wasn’t the choice, as she bid me a final goodbye.

So now, she is gone. And the biggest surprise of all to me, is I care. I don’t even think of the past endured, no I simply feel, “My Mama, she is dead.” 

I cry all mentioned before yet I cry to for her, Abba is so blessing me with His presence today, the Holy Spirit gifting me with compassion and understanding. She too had a hard life, doesn’t make what happened right, but I to am a sinner saved by grace.

If I truly love my Father, God… 

If I truly am thankful to Christ for His sacrifice…

If I truly am open to the Spirit’s gifts…

And I am.

Then…

I can do no less than to pray for her, love her now, with all the passion and drive I had pursued her love with.

My Mama is dead, yet perhaps in His mercy, Abba will someday bring us together in Heaven.

Where God is love so love is right.

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My Mama’s death is teaching me this,

I love her not for love lost,

no…

I love her because love is of God, and I of Him.

“Goodnight,  Momma,

I love you so very, very much.

May you too, find God’s colors.”

Your daughter, Tammy