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WHO  AM   I?

    I did not reach my current age without the usual trials and heartaches most of us encounter along the way.  My life has been more traumatic than most children reared in the 40's and 50's,  but certainly less so than many being raised, or more accurately, allowed to grow up in this current age.    I was a neglected infant 7 months of age when my father left my negligent mother, taking me with him.  For the next three years, until my father remarried,  I lived with my paternal grandmother.
    Thereafter I was raised by a step-mother who did not want me and who made it abundantly clear that this was so through all the years I remained at home.  She often told me that I should run away from home while my father was gone.  Mine was not a happy loving childhood.  I won't go into many details as they do not matter except as they allow you to know I was a very unhappy child and teenager who cried herself to sleep many, many nights.  In my hurt I would cry out to God to deliver me from my miserable life.  I was unaware of any response or interest He might have in me.
    Although my step-mother did not love or even like me, and though she was abusive toward me, she gave me a heritage for which I am thankful.  Although we were very poor and everything went into keeping the farm going, the one thing my step-mother indulged in was her love for books.  She  found a way to stretch the money for an occasional classic and for the "book of the month" club.   I learned to love to read.  Through the magic of books and radio, I developed an active imagination, and often delivered myself mentally from the toil, responsibilities and unhappiness of my situation.
    The second thing she unwittingly gave me was an upbringing in church.  Although I did not personally know God at that time, or even know how to go about meeting Him, I got a basic knowledge of the Bible and learned quite a bit about God.  For these two things, in addition to teaching me to cook,  I will be eternally grateful to her.  Except for her dislike and abuse of me, the child she didn't want, she seemed to be a very nice and kind person.  Most people liked her.  Throughout my childhood I tried everything I could think of to make her love me.  I cleaned, cooked special things, wrote her poems of appreciation; it just never happened.
    As a young lady of 16 and 17 years of age I had a suitor who was 5 years older than me..  (We had been seeing each other for two years)  Without my knowledge, or that of my father,  but with the covert assistance of my step-mother, he bought a marriage license and ring and picked me up one night and we secretly  married.  My father never learned of her part in this, and I learned of it only after we were married, when I read a letter she had written my boyfriend about to make it all work.
    I had jumped from one abusive relationship into another.  Whereas she used to hold me by the hair and slap my face over and over (among other things) when she was unhappy with me,  my husband yelled and threatened me with doubled fist, or with a gun.  His jealousy was constant and ridiculous.  I loved him and did everything I knew to do to please him.
    We moved from place to place (in 23 1/2 years we moved 25 times, not from necessity, but because he just wanted to or was driven by personal demons and alcohol).  On one occasion he moved me across the road from my family then forbade me to see them for the two years we lived there.  At that time he began to be physically abusive also, but mostly just very verbally abusive.  He also failed to provide our families basic needs from time to time because of his drinking and gambling.  Often he was in the bars rather than at work, changed jobs frequently, and blamed it all on me.  It was always my fault.
    Having been told throughout my childhood that many family problems were my fault I accepted it from him also.  I tried so hard, yet accomplished nothing, except to have 5 children by the time I was 25.
 
  TRICK OR TREAT
    On Halloween night during our 23rd year of marriage my husband told me that he was going to "run you off, but not before I beat the hell out of you."  Being very drunk he got only one good blow to my face when our youngest daughter and I made it to the car, left, and just never went back.   My departure opened the way immediately for our neighbor's wife to move in with my husband.  She tried to slash her wrists in  our bedroom.  Although we left with only the clothes on our backs, I have always said I tricked him and treated me.
    Although I have left out a lot of details I feel I have said enough to allow you to realize some of what I had been through, not to mention what this type of life did to our children.  I only tell you of these things because so many of you have gone through similar problems and need to know that God can and does care.  He uses all of the problems to grow us up spiritually.  (But more about that coming up)
    The only "love" I had ever known was selfish, hurtful and confusing.  When I was 23 years of age I had begun to take our 4 children to church.  After a few months of hearing the gospel preached "in Spirit and Truth"  I became born into the kingdom of God.  What I want you to understand is the LOVE which came to me from my Heavenly Father after feeling devoid of love all my life.

SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPENED

Having been raised in a rural Presbyterian Church where I learned the Catechisms, and after satisfactorily answering certain pertinent questions, was sprinkled and  joined, I thought my eternal life secure.
                                                                BUT...
    In 1963, after several Sunday's attendance at a small Southern Baptist Church something wonderful happened to me.  One morning as Church was dismissed I suddenly became aware that all was not, as previously thought, well with my soul.  It was as if Jesus Christ himself stood before me and with authority and power spoke directly to me that I was going to hell.  I cried out for mercy, and for the first time in my entire life I felt the peace of God in my heart.  Although my husband continued to abuse me I was able to live with victory in my own heart.  I began to hunger after the Word of God, and in very little time had read the Bible from cover to cover several times.  God's Word became alive to me.  This is something that has never ceased no matter how painful and traumatic were the trials.  How wonderful was the feeling of knowing that I was loved.  In comparison with His love everything else was insignificant.  Once you have tasted and seen that He is good nothing else ever satisfies.  My Lord began to use the trials and troubles of life to teach me to seek Him, and through them drew me closer to Himself.
    I cannot tell you why God did not save my husband in answer to my prayers, I can not tell you why he drove me away from my home of over 23 years, or why he continues to drink and beat his current wife.  He is not dead yet, and I am confident that God will yet deal with him.  Yes, I know divorce does not please God, and it certainly does not please  Christians and other Church members.  Many of them judge and discount divorced people even while their own lives are unpleasing to God.
    After our divorce I returned to school, became first an LPN, then, four years later, and RN in order to support myself.  God's presence, love and guidance were evident as He opened doors for me.  Although times were difficult I learned to rely on God even more.
    During the 8 years I was single I was shunned by long time Christian friends who felt duty bound to let me know that I was out of the will of God or I would have been able to maintain a marriage.  Lost friends tried to comfort me and include me in their worldly activities.  How sad that most Christians seem not to understand the need for "charity" or "love" toward a wounded brother or sister.  I think I was judged as having committed the unpardonable sin: divorce.   Their rejection was even more evident when I remarried.  Never mind that I have been married for 10 years now to a wonderful Christian husband who cherishes me and who is loved by all of my children..  My best friend and prayer partner during the years the children and I were being abused and mistreated no longer wanted to fellowship with me, nor does she.  She said she didn't blame me for not going back to my former husband, but she could not condone the divorce, and certainly not the remarriage.
    I want you to know dear reader, that even through the hurts and trials of life, our blessed Savior will not leave or forsake us, but draws us close to His bosom and cherishes us.  I know He is in my life.  I know He has provided for me.  He can do the same for you.  The whole purpose for this, my testimony, is to let you know that we all have troubles and trials, yet in Jesus Christ we can live in victory.  We must forgive those who hurt us and not allow the root of bitterness to spring up and ruin our lives.  He knows and understands our hurts and allows us to live in His victory.  This is the mighty Son of the Living God who took the keys to death, hell, and the grave from the enemy, and safeguards all who come to Him.  This is the Mighty God who gave up His earthly life in order to share His eternal life with us.  Praise God, what a wonderful, awsome God!
    I currently undergo health problems, but I would not give up this wonderful relationship with my Lord and my God even if it meant I could be healthy, wealthy, and have all my past problems erased.  God has used every hardship to work good into my life.  He will do the same for you.  If you do not know how to let Him work in your life please write or e-mail me.  I will gladly share what I have learned from Him.
    One of my very favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Dear child of God, if you learn only one thing from my web site please let it be this.  God knows about every hurtful thing, every problem in your life.  He uses every one of them to make you like His dear Son, Jesus Christ.  So far as I can determine, once you have learned the lesson God is teaching you with a particular problem then the problem disappears.  Yes, after a brief period of rest another problem usually pops up.  God uses your whole lifetime to prepare you for heaven.  None of the problems that occur in your life happen without His knowledge and intervention.  They all have a purpose, so learn to thank your heavenly Father for His discipline, training and love.  You can trust Him with the outcome.  He just uses satan and the problems he tries to cause in your life.  (please see my poem Rod of Correction on the Christian Poem page of this site.)  Problems and their resolution only serve to make you more confident of HIS LOVE.
 

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