Reflections by Cleo.
Did you have a childhood that was wrecked with hardship, abuse, and loneliness? Or maybe you know of someone who experienced it. Perhaps the question had been asked, “Why did this happen to me?” As a child, I went through some of the most horrendous forms of abuse and neglect from those who should have been my protectors. Not knowing any better, the life seemed normal; the duration made it feel that way. Being a child, I registered it as love from those entrusted to care for me.
Amazing, how as an adult, some of the most important decisions of my life ended up being affected by this warped sense of love. Can anybody feel me? Ever wondered why some people settle for relationships that are toxic with abuse, whether it be physical or psychological? Many would leave one abusive person just to allow another one to step up to the plate. Perhaps it can be traced back to this inaccurate and distorted understanding of what real love is supposed to be. So parents, go lightly on your adult children when they make wrong choices… sometimes the tracks can lead back to their beginnings. (Not pointing fingers, mind you.)
Now, in my reflection, I think, “Where was my sister when I needed her most? Didn’t she see me? Was I invisible? What about the scars? Were they invisible, too?” There are always signs of abuse if one had only taken the time to look. For a period of time, after having made a boatload of bad choices, I blamed others for not being there for me. I needed someone to come in and protect me, rescue me, guide me, educate me. But the way I saw it… all had FAILED ME!
Though, thankful for the rescue I received from a loving Savior at 21 years old, I still carried those feelings of resentment and confusion well into my 30’s, 40’s and beyond. But, as always, God saw the struggles that no one else could see. I remember hearing the sweet, soft voice of the Spirit tell me one day, “You Have Become the Person You Needed.” I was pressed to step back and look over my steps as a believer. Surprisingly to me, I had become to others, much of what I needed as a child. God in the quiet, working behind the scenes, made me to be a big sister, a mother, a friend, a counselor to the many people He allowed to cross my path from time to time.
For those who are still on a journey through the muck and the mire of such abuse, there is a book that I stumbled upon in the late ’90s; it helped me to learn forgiveness that I might break the chains from my life and release others at the same time. It is called, ‘Healing for Damaged Emotions’ by David A. Seamands. Stand fast. There’s Hope. God will bring Beauty for Ashes.
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