Suffering For Christ

I’ve had, as I posted here, cancer and a very hard 2 1/2 months (2010).  It is out of me now, but, then, I fell and had a combination of other pain and problems, which are slowly -very slowly, getting healed.  But, through this whole ordeal,  I felt so alone, though knowing, God was with me.

Sometimes children, do not understand.  They do not understand the physical real pains that plague the elderly.  Though my daughter up here was there to take me home after my cancer surgery (the same day, thank you Jesus), she did not spend time with me, when I needed her badly.  Both my surgeon and I thought she’d stay the night, in case I started bleeding; she stayed one hour. I was devastated.

Now, because of the cancer surgery, my spine which is a wreck, and another internal problem, I cannot lift period.   I have grandchildren that could help me, but, are not given permission, I guess.  I have many senior friends of mine, that are in similar situations.   I was told  to forgive.   Forgive?  I have been forgiving and asking forgiveness for my daughters for 28 years.   Us, that are in the 70’s and older, have different takes on things than the young.   I know that if I judge or do not forgive God will not forgive me.  For in Matt. 18:21 did not Peter say “how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? ” But Jesus said “Until seventy times seven.”  I know I’ll never attain that. (But, there must be unlimited forgiveness (Lk 17:41)…”Moreover if your brother (child, or other) shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone; if h shall hear you, you have gained a brother..”  Many of you Christians out there know these scriptures just as I.   In 28 years of my forgiving and asking forgiveness, then going through all the pain I just have, with no help, love, hugs, or understanding from my Christian….yes, Christian daughters, I broke down this past week, in shear collapse.  Like Elijah under that Juniper tree, I broke.  I felt old, pain, hurt, rejected, and alone.   And I guess, I ask the person that said I need to  forgive (again) this?  WHEN is that forgiveness going to be bestowed upon me?  I know, that’s not a question I’m supposed to ask, but, that’s how I felt.

Looking through my books I received on breast cancer and what I pulled up on the internet, deep pain, depression, and anxiety are all a part of the very aggressive and invasive surgery and biopsies we that have cancer go through.  Family are to be supportive.  Instead, I was yelled at, which drove me to a deeper place of pain.  You know I love people who are in their ivory towers, with all their “happy” lives never having to face the deaths of 2 children as I have, divorces, as I have, abuse, and put downs psychologically, as I have, and have the audacity to sit back and judge?  They are “empty vessels”.  How can you teach/preach if you have not gone through the suffering of others?  How can you possibly put yourself in that place that Jesus saw, with such compassion, unless you know what you are talking about.  And if you haven’t gone through it all? You have no right to voice an opinion.

My tragedies began as soon as I left my father’s house and married the first time by1958, with our dog we loved, getting shot by a shotgun and neighbor in CA, to the later death of my first baby at 3 mos old with respiratory illness.  Then I had my oldest in 1959, a year later, back in NH to get led to my first divorce, which was a huge mistake. I listened to voices that were not God (my parents who did not want their new granddaughter back in CA), when I got rushed to a lawyer.  I then married a Greek man who turned out to be extremely violent, and was even thrown out of a car 5 mos pregnant for my youngest daughter, laying in an alley on a cold November night in 1962, with a broken leg.  A divorce followed after his womanizing and a girlfriend came on my doorstep.  In research thereafter, I found I have anxiety disorder, from post traumatic stress from battered women’s syndrome.  In all I read and in all I’ve researched, with all the psychiatrists, psychologists I later spoke with concerning my youngest son, etc, I would have thought that my daughters would understand. They have turned a blind eye.

By  1976, my mother died, which put me in shock, and by then I was of course working and went back to college nights; later full time.  By 1979 in  a third marriage, (and last) I was to have my last child (5th).  My BJ was born in April 1980, and by the time he was 9 mos. old we were in an apartment fire, and he almost died of smoke inhalation.  The landlords, son (Plumbing and heating) tried to thaw pipes with a blowtorch.  Then I went through a series of desertions by my husband who had panic attacks, who I never knew was bi-polar.  We divorced in 1982.  Then my Dad died in FL and I was stuck in Probate for 2 years.  I consequently fell on my knees and accepted Christ as my savior.  By 1991, my son hit puberty and I had him to a psychiatrist, when he had out of control behavior, who diagnosed him bi-polar.  For 5 years we were in and out of courts, as I begged for help.  He was diagnosed not only bi-polar but oppositional defiant, and dysthymic disorder while 17, in a residential treatment center in MA.  The only place he started to do good.  I also consequently, was on disability in 1994, with severe arthritis. By 1999 at only 19, my son I loved so much with all his problems, committed suicide by blowing himself up with 6 sticks of stolen dynamite. ( He worked for a drilling and blasting company.)  No one then, including my church that buried him, understood my pain, and the horrific nightmares, I had.   I ended up with a mini stroke, at home…in mourning, and GOD got me through it, as I never went to any doctor.  Then, I in 2003 I had a ovarian tumor, and hysterectomy, 2006, an aneurysm in my left eye, and detached retina, receiving a vitrectomy, and later cataract surgery. In 2008, I fell on a squashed tomato in a local grocery store, to so much spine pain.  Now, in 2010 I had breast cancer.  So when someone judge’s me, from your Ivory Tower, and you haven’t gone through what I have, and not only survived, but, OVERCAME, to have victory in Christ, there arises up in me that spirit of righteous anger.

I came home from church and put my usual Daystar programs on, and listened to Pastor Jeremiah, and then Jim Toll and Ed Young.  Ed young touched on this last Sunday.  IE Those sitting up in their “Ivory Towers”.  He said, ” Don’t look at fallen towers with “religious eyes…suffering and bad things happening to good people…for when you are in “religious eyes”, you throw God out”.

“Try to tell someone that was abused,” he said, ” that abuser was dancing to his DNA, or someone that has been raped.  (Bad people have all this in their DNA?) It is a ridiculous interpretation from the Godless.   Jesus in Luke 13:6-9, answers, cut it down.  If no fruit comes from it , cut it down.   We either repent or we perish.  What Jesus is saying is more than simplifying repentance, unless we are filled with what God wants from us, and repent. When things are going super we replace HIM with ourselves, and things and STUFF…The warning is we will perish!  STOP BRAGGING about all your material things, and look at the SUFFERING  and what others might see in that message.  Are we in the Kingdom business?  For when things go “swimmingly”  we forget and are blinded to others who are not in THAT place of prosperity in the material things.”  (Which means nothing anyways.) “So Christ gets pushed to one side, and that’s when the tower will FALL.   The towers are a part of life.  Because we live in a fallen world with fallen people.  We get swept up in EGO and haven’t paid the consequences.  We don’t want JUSTICE only grace.  It doesn’t work that way!  The time to repent is when things are going good!”

I know in the spirit world what is happening in this current younger generation…the 20’s-40’s…for we are an Apostate Church right now.  It is the “me” generation.  I see my friends, one with a husband that cannot walk and in a nursing home, torn apart, with physical problems such as mine, who shouldn’t lift, yet doing it all on her own.  She too, never see’s her children, nor do  they ever visit their father or help her.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. “Matt. 24:7 (few places in the world, if any, will be exempt from these judgments) js Expositor’s Study Bible.  We already have this great fire in Moscow, the flood’s in China, bringing down the stock  market, the earthquake in India, and let’s not forget our own Gulf Oil crisis.  I know we are in the end times, and I know the persecution against Christians, and  our values is under attack as never before.  “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” ( beginning with Verse 11, even though the admonition holds true for other times, it mostly speaks of the coming of the Great Tribulation).  Mark 13:12.  Sometimes, I feel I’m living this now with my own.

For this week, after surgery, and doctors, MRI’s and examination after examination, I was so beaten and tired, I literally slept for 5 days.  I needed encouragement, and what I got was more guilt.  Guilt from what?  My daughters are 47 and 51, and they lead too busy a life-style to even care what I was going through.  I opted not to have radiation treatment, as frankly, I just couldn’t take anymore, and leave it to the Lord.  I researched on line and found out that it is very invasive, and kills the good cells as well as any bad.  I had stage 1 only 1ctm, and 2 ctm and 2 lymph nodes were taken out.  California has some new radiation we don’t, that only focuses on the area that the cancer was in.  It can cause burning, like a sunburn, peeling, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and also the immune system (which my doctor wrongly refuted).  I was in more than just physical pain, but, psychological as well, with NO support in the natural, except my Jesus and my cousin who in all God’s grace, edified and lifted me up.

But, I did not receive the “hope” , “love” and “charity” in counsel, that I so desperately needed.  Encouragement.  For I refuse any more guilt’s and my daughters need to put their childhood, which consisted, too, of abuse from my second husband, and the consequential divorce with his girlfriend on my doorstep in 1969, in proper perspective.  For I overcame guilt’s with hard work back then, and they are now still  blaming me for unmet needs when I had to work and went back to college, yet STILL took them places and they had a decent childhood.  After 28 years, I need it to end with all that has been placed on me.  Forgiveness? YES!! But, what about a little compassion and love for the old mother, that they condemn?   And I know there are  plenty of you mom’s my age out there that are going through what I am.

What happened to compassion?  So I say this to my counseled leader and I hope friend,  “FOR THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION “(GUILT) TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS” (refers back to Romans 6:3-5 and our being baptized into HIS Death, which speaks of the Crucifixion) “WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me FREE!…”  NO CONDEMNATION , if GOD be for me, then man cannot be against me.  I am bought by the blood at Calvary.   I am a child of God.   When I needed understanding and compassion when in so much physical pain…I’m told to forgive which I know and do over and over and over…as Jesus told Peter.   The stumbling-block went temporarily up, for pain has a way of making one caustic.  But, emptiness in time of need, makes one very vulnerable, without someone to edify. Do you know what I mean?

I like Joyce Myers.  You see she herself, admits she went through unspeakable abuse as a child.   I identify with her, for though I had a wonderful childhood and was very  spoiled, had parents that  were Christian, and never drank, but, I made wrong decisions, and ended up with a second husband who was so abusive.   Joyce is not a “quiet” lady any more than I am.  I’d been in the work force most of my adult life, starting to work at 15 1/2.  I loved to work.  I loved to learn, and had good jobs, worked myself  through college classes, and provided for my children (now very ungrateful).   I had to be self-sufficient, am naturally very organized and a perfectionist.  I loved people, and eventually loved integrating to business to business sales.  I liked to compete for that bonus and had no problem handling rejection one iota.  I worked a good deal with men, and always had a business sense, wherefore, I did not fit the criteria of the “at home” mom and ladies teas until my 60’s and I joined DAR.   I had
children to support and was a single mom for 28 years, which included the young son I lost in 1999.  (Bi-polar -another blog).

And I guess a lot of Christian men out there couldn’t take an old independent mouthy woman that had so much baggage to overcome, any more than they could stand Joyce Myers in church.  ” When we have trials, Satan’s purpose is to use them to destroy us,”Joyce said, “but God’s intention is to use them to mature us. ”  I was not lifted up this week, but, put down in guilt’s…My sisters in the Lord who have my very same trials, and are seniors, lift me up and I try to be an “encourager” to them, as Joyce Myers is to me.

I reread some of Joyce’s book “I Dare You”…this morning.  My fight is back now I want you to know.  For Satan you are defeated, and I’m not done yet, even though like my poem “I am me”  others would like to see me dead and in the ground, it isn’t time  yet. She said, in page 287 ” Stability Requires Suffering” , “Remaining stable in hard times when everything in you wants to SCREAM and run, is hard.  Some of you cringed when you read the word “suffering” just above in the subtitle.  It’s no fun to suffer, I know! But in order to be stable, and motivated, and moved toward the things of God, there will be times you must suffer in the flesh to do it.  However, I promise you, each pain you feel is helping you toward your goal.”  I have a problem with a church that does not preach suffering, and only prosperity.  For I do not believe that we are going to escape all of the tribulation.  And for those that listen to this message, it is a wrong message, for the church will be totally unprepared for what is to come.  You can’t teach someone how to stand, and be strong through the ordeals and trials of life, if you deny suffering.  Paul didn’t..neither did Peter, who said to count it all joy.  Kind of hard to do when you just buried your son.

“The Bible teaches us God will continue shaking all that can be shaken until all that remains are those things which cannot be shaken. ” Heb. 12:26-29  “God shakes things until we are no longer “all shook up” by the shaking things.  We are talking about the radical, incredible change that will move our hearts and our minds forward!

Instead of guilt’s and condemnation this week, I need to be lifted up and encouraged.  For I wasn’t trying to be critical and a complainer…I was in pain.  Both physical from surgery, and my fall, and emotional from not having any help nor understanding.  A hug…a positive word on the phone, “Ma I love you “…not an argument started when I was weak 5 days after a lumpectomy, yelling at me for that which I cannot change.  Joyce said, “How thankful you are in the valley’s of life helps determine how fast you  will make it to the mountaintops.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking the grass is always greener on the other side.  If you were on the other side, you would find the grass there must be mowed too.”  So I will not complain, only ask God , what now
if I must be thankful in all things (IThes. 5:18)?

Everyone has a breaking point, and I don’t care how long they have been a Christian. There are times with the trials of life, the weakness and pain that follows a surgery, the lack of peace with God, having to race to all the doctor appointments, etc. that sometimes, just sometimes, you need to be lifted up and edified as Christ does the church.    I fail at this edification more times than I want to admit.  Self gets in the way too, more times than I want to admit.

To my daughters, I quote Joyce again.  “Blame is a waste of time!  Are you trapped playing the blame game? If so, perhaps you need to stop it .”..(torturing me emotionally about that which I cannot change)…  “and start taking responsibility!” Like  Joyce, what happened to me with the abuse, was NOT my fault.  But, God says I can’t use it (Joyce too) as an excuse!  I’m not!  I’ve gotten on with my life..Forgave over and  over, even the abuser.   But estrangement will not cease to be until they let go and let God.  When I’m dead and in the ground, the competition and vie for control will be over.  For abuse begats abuse, and it is all about control.   But, compassion, the agape kind of love that edifies and envelops only comes by laying it at the Cross and letting go.  A  humble spirit, after Christ.

I know that God will not abandon me.  (Heb. 13:5) I know He desires for me.  I have faith, and I believe…I know God wants the best for you. (Jer. 29:11) And I know God wants the best from you and do everything to help us. (John 14:26.

For as Paul said in Romans 12:9 “My strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the Power of Christ may rest upon me. ”  (All believers are weak, but the Lord tends to make us weaker, with the intention being that we then depend solely upon Him , thereby , obtaining HIS strength.) “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities “(because of the end result), “that the Power of Christ may rest upon me. ”  (If Paul needed so humbling and painful an experience of what the carnal nature is, it is evident that all Christians need it.  Whatever weakens, belittles, and humiliates that proud and willful nature should be regarded by the Believer as most worthwhile)…10 “For when I am  weak, then I am strong.”    For I am nothing without Christ ….I can forgive, I can endure, I can still love…yes, I am me, in Christ.  Love me or hate me I wrote, I am who I am…and I make no excuses…I’m opinionated, and I don’t come across soft but neither does Joyce.  And God loves both of us…and got both of us through an awful lot…I shout Glory…As Paul… for I love my Jesus, and though pain may trodden me down,  I shall continue to push towards the mark.  God Bless…I hope this is an encouragement to anyone suffering now. Don’t quit!

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