I’m addressing this to all you atheist’s out there. I’ve heard every argument around, after all I was not always a Christian. Once in my younger, past life. I too shared your sentiments. God, I was even a “lefty” and voted for JFK. I spent a short stint too, as a feminist, although I wasn’t very good at it. I rebelled young, as most youth did, and I paid a price. So, I’m giving advice to youth, for I earned the right to do so. I came on my knees to the Lord 27 years ago (1982)now, after the death of my father, having to handle probate in FL and NH, and the desertion of my 3rd (yep, 3rd) husband, with 3 kids grown, and 1 baby 3 years old. So, I know what I’m talking about. When you read this blog and want to criticize me, and my beliefs, I’ve already gone through it. But, I not only survived, I have overcome! And let me tell you atheists, it cannot be done in “self”.
I watched sometime back on C-Span a meeting of women at Harvard University speaking on women and International Freedom. I listened as host Swanee Hunt spoke of Croatia and an old woman named Sophia, who’s job it had been to ring the town’s bell. When the soldiers marched in, they shot at the church and shot the bell down and it lay on its’ side. But, everyday this woman still grabbed the ringer and pulled the heavy weight to still ring this bell. She saw it as a symbol, not to focus on your own circumstances, (as now with this economy) and to have “victim” thinking, but to rise above it.
Before my son died October 31, 1999, I thought I had already gone through all the pain and suffering there was to endure. I was so wrong. We never know what lies ahead and as I wrote this from my book, “Restoration Road”, my healing was still in process. I had seen my first baby die when I was only 19 of SID, when she was 3 months old. I endured battered women’s syndrome in my 20’s to my 2nd husband, and abuse, then desertion with my last at only 41. I should have stayed married to my steadfast stable non drinking first husband, as he was my first love and we were married under God in church. However, I was young, and made a deal with the devil, so to speak. For my father in his control, wanted me and my 2nd child to stay here, and not go to California, and when my husband went out there to look for a job, my father marched me to a lawyer. Just like Eve in that garden, I too, was manipulated. I have to take responsibility too, but, in my decisions, married the 2nd control freak to escape my father’s domination. My father was never abusive, just overprotective and thought til the day he died he was right.
Lastly, in the 80’s and 90’s I went through all my youngest son’s impulsivity, and ADD as well as later being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder to end in his suicide in 1999. Through it all I had to face estrangement from some family members, friends that rammed, Christians, that refused to acknowledge mental illnesses or understand, and none that showed compassion. I locked myself up in my grief for 3 1/2 years, writing, painting, mourning, sobbing, praying, asking God to help me….trying too, to forgive my son. Others that I thought were my friends and babysit my son young, never even sent a card never mind go to the funeral. They were Christians! Did I want to give up? Does life sometimes seem unfair and more than you can bear? Do you get angry and blame the God you can’t acknowledge? What about all the families that have suffered in the 9/11 attack of terrorism? How many actually blame God for our misfortunes? How many like the fools I saw on tv actually were ignorant enough to blame our own government calling it a conspiracy. Could you actually heal from all that loss without God? Are we being judged?
I enclose this poem my son’s counselors had sent me after the funeral. I value this and hope you find it helps.
I ask God for strength
And God gave me brain and brawn to work.
I asked God for courage,
And God gave me danger to overcome.
I asked for love,
And God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors,
And God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted,
I received everything I needed!
I heard a teaching by a young pastor once, that love isn’t love unless it is given away. Luke 10:25-37. Today’s world and youth do not know what the word “commitment” means. That is sad. Jesus showed compassion; most of us do not know the meaning. You don’t receive until you give. I never escaped the fire in this life. I had to go through it. The lessons learned from being thrown in that pit, isn’t pretty or easy. I don’t believe in escapism. To me that is what atheist’s do, is rely on self and escapism, whereby they do not have to be accountable for sin, or to others, never mind a higher being. My son’s suicide cost me a mini stroke after I buried him too. I wanted to die with him. If it hadn’t been for 2 little furkids, as my cousin calls cats, who I needed to care for and my Lord, I may not have made it. But, I did. And your reading my testimony and my faith.
America had been under a terrorist attack, and we have become so complacent, and selfishly have forgotten that horrible day. For a brief time, America got on its’ knees. How shallow we all really are. Life’s furnaces are very real. It is anything that comes to destroy our lives; sickness, unemployment, temptation, sin, death, divorce, as well as tests and unhealed relationships including dysfunctional families. When the fire rages, we have a decision to make. We can compromise by getting so discouraged and giving in and giving up and throw aside our hope, or we can believe in the God that loves us and listens to us and will help us. How can ANYONE rely only on self or all this New Age hogwash? Oh, my house is on fire, and I’m trapped in the bedroom, “self, please save me!” What hogwash. And that actually happened to my first mother-in-law. She died in a fire in her bedroom, and I can only hope and pray she cried out to God.
We all go through persecutions of some sort. Stick it out. God healed me, gave me forgiveness, and blessed me. I’m no different than anyone else, nor better than anyone else. I am nothing, without God. I’m just the messenger. An act of nature can destroy a home, as in all the hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. A child in this day of violence can be shot in a school supposedly safe. We never know whether it may be our last day on earth and should live accordingly, and it isn’t “live everyday as if its your “last”, but, giving of ones self and showing our love, not selfishness. Our families can be destroyed, and our homes, but, not our spirit. My prayer is that this country comes together. My prayer is that we stop the racism, anti-semitism, and hatreds. I want to see patriotism back. I’m sick of “reality ” shows, and the lies of Hollywood and fakes, idolism, now, Michael Jackson. And look at him. His life..A scared man that was abused as a child and never grew up, who couldn’t trust a soul, was used, and hid from life and had no God to call out to. What a shallow waste of talent! I want to see youth grabbing ahold of values, (not the influences of Hollywood) and learn ethics, taking responsibility for their actions, and to restore the wounds. I would not have made it without God in my life. Pain is pain. Self and easy fixes, money, can’t put it out without deep bitterness, but God can. I wrote this poem in 2002, in which title is in 1 Corinthians 15.
I Am Me
You, who have denigrated me for so many years,
With your insolent breath of hateful lies,
You may cut me down with threats,
But, still I overcome, I am me.
Does my tenacity and determination upset you?
When you stomp on me and still like a tree, I stand?
When for years adversity was ridiculed for my destruction,
Your persecution failed, I’m still here, I am me.
I have known tragedy, losses and death,
Wars, thirteen Presidents, assassinations, global threats, and the sun still rises.
Wracked in tears, I have been through devastation and pain,
Hatreds and deceit, yet I prevail, I am me.
Does my will and perseverance offend you?
You, who would like to see me broken or dead before God calls?
For my soul is only weakened for a time by tears,
Then I gird myself up for war and the next battle, for I am me.
Your words are like a sword that cuts a heart,
Your eyes like cold steel in penetrating hates,
Like Cain, you’d like to see me dead and in the ground,
But, like a river, I keep springing up, I am me.
For through hell, I still dance with stars over me like gems glistening,
Does it surprise you that I keep coming back again and again?
I survive, and my light continues, GOD raises me up, I overcome,
I sing in joy at my afflictions of the past, I am me.
The moon shines at night sometimes showing the shadows of the past,
Reminders of pain that has trodden my soul,
Yet, I make no excuses for my path in this life,
I’ve become deep like an ocean and still love, I am me.
For as an ocean swells and the waves run wild,
So is my being and determination to ride the waves,
I weather the storms of life in spite of hates,
My end is far from near, for I still taste life, I am me.
I leave behind raw memories….
I leave behind broken relationships….
I leave behind hates and death….
I watch instead the sun rise in glorious brilliance of gold….
I bring myself as an offering to God the next day to unfold,
I am me…
copyright 6/2002 Restoration Road