††††††††††††††† †of Godís Grace:
The line "He Giveth More Grace" has come to mean more to me as every day goes by.
I was born in Nova Scotia, and it was there around the age of seven that the course of my life would be altered by 3 people. I am sorry that this is long, but it was hard to try to basically summarize my whole life thus far. I pray it will help you or someone you know.
It all started one night when my brother was left babysitting me and my other brothers and sisters. He came into the room where I was sleeping and sexually abused me. This happened off and on for many years. Most of it when he was left babysitting and other times when he would take me into the woods. The fear would begin whenever I heard that my parents would be out or when he would come towards me. I knew what would soon happen.
I cannot put into words what I went through, what I felt, what I thought. As years went by I finally told my parents. But back then it was still pretty much kept secret. I came away feeling as if it was my fault. What parents want to admit that their son could do something so terrible. So nothing was done and it continued and eventually my uncle abused me and then my grandfather.
People that I should have been able to trust, hurt me so deeply. Finally at the age of 13 I was able to put a stop to the hurt and pain. But now my childhood and innocence was gone.
I now found myself trying to please everyone, hoping that if I did everything they wanted they would not hurt me. If I was with someone who like swimming then I like it, if I was with someone that didn't like it I didn't. I became whatever I thought people wanted me to be. I was happy and always smiling on the outside. but full of pain and hurt inside. I tried never to disappoint anyone. I became a peacemaker at home hated confrontations and would always be the first to give in. People soon realized that they could use me because I could never say no.
I was everybody's friend, but in name only. I grew up never having a true best friend. It was soon after the abuse stopped that I was introduced to the Lord.
A cousin invited me to a youth night at her church. It was a few months after starting that I remember one night when they gave an invitation I opened my eyes and saw some go forward and felt that I should also. I accepted that as my salvation.
For the next 4-5 years I was like a basketball bouncing in and out of church. My parents would make me quit whenever I got too involved. When I graduated from high school I decided to go to Bible College to be a teacher.
I had a love to work with children. Of course my parents did not want me to go to a bible college but soon agreed. It was there that the Lord really started to get a hold of my life. Being under the sound preaching of the gospel in college and church.
I soon begin to wonder if I was saved. I would cry myself to sleep wondering if I never awoke, would I go to heaven or hell. I would call friends but always ended up talking about something else. I would write a letter to a friend but would tear it up. In my heart I was saying of course I was saved I was a bible college student, I was teaching Sunday school, serving in the bus ministry. Pride was in the way.
This went on for 3 years. Then one Wednesday night we had a guest preacher at church Dr. Monroe Parker. Well at the end of a powerful message, he gave an invitation and I did not hesitate to get out of my seat and make my way down the isle. I knew I was a lost sinner and that God had sent his only son to shed his blood for me on the cross. There with a professorís wife I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I now have peace and no doubt. Only God knows my heart back when I was thirteen.
I was so new to the things of the Lord. I thank him for saving me and giving me eternal life.
Years went by and I served in church and taught in Christian schools.
Once I went out with someone who after about six months asking me out I finally gave in and went. I should not have as he did not know the Lord, but he was so persistent. It was not long before he tried to take advantage of me. I vowed that from now on I would not date any unsaved guy or any guy for that matter.
I was able to suppress any memories that came, but I had come to fear men, and never wanted to be with them alone. I never dated though deep inside I wanted to but was so afraid.
As time went by it got harder to keep the closet closed on the memories I had more nights when I would cry myself to sleep, because of the pain the memories brought. I did not want to remember.
I always kept myself very busy, this gave me no time to dwell on the past or let any painful memories in. I never dated and when I got a compliment from a guy I was afraid, and soon found that the best way to handle it was to not make myself look nice. I kept myself cleaned and neat but that was it. I gained weight and did not wear flattering clothes.
In the summers I volunteered at Christian camps. It was there one summer that the Lord finally got a hold of me and I knew I needed to get help. I talked to someone about it for the first time.
After camp I tried to get help but it seems no one was able to help and it was hard to admit that something like this happened to me. I did not want anyone to think of me differently. So again I closed the door, and life went on.
I was happy on the outside. I again kept myself busy with whatever I could do.
Then one night I went to coffee with a parent of one of my students and during our conversation it came out what I was dealing with. I found out that she went through similar things, and she encouraged me to get help like she did. I looked into it but it was too expensive and again pushed
The pain was always there close to the top. I was having too many nights of crying. I also had a desire to some day be married but knew that no man would ever want to marry someone such as me.
Time went by, and I again had my life in control. The only thing that gave me joy was serving in church and working with children. They never hurt me and I felt safe. I poured all my love out on them. It became my passion in life.
My friend would once in awhile ask how I was doing; and wondered if I had found help. I kept putting it off.
I had everything in control and liked my life as it was, or so I thought. But things started to fall apart.† I was finding it hard to keep a smile pasted on my face.
I felt alone and lost and wanted what everyone else had but knew I could never have peace from my past.
The Lord started to work in my heart to lead me to B.C., but I kept pushing it away. (I wonít tell all that story). But finally I gave it all to the lord and said lord if you want me to move to B.C. I will go. I don't understand it all. But I claimed Proverbs 3:5-6 - where it says I don't need to understand, but just to acknowledge God in all things and He will direct my paths.
I moved here during the past summer and what a hard time I had. I felt so alone. I had left my comfort zone. I was not working and I had nothing but time on my hands.
I found myself crying to the Lord asking Him to help me. To be with me and stay close to me. I was frustrated with the memories and wanted to give it all to Him but did not know how. I had never felt so lonely, afraid and lost as I did during this past summer. I had no ideal what God had planned for me here. I had no job, no place of my own, no church.
I ask God please give me the grace I need to wait on you. Show me your will for my life. You called me here, you have a reason and oh how I want to trust and follow you but lord I feel like I am at the end of my rope. Please show me your will for me. Shortly afterwards God provided a job and an apartment. He led me to the church where I am now, and as soon as I walked in I knew that this was where God wanted me to serve.
That had all fallen into place but not my past. I was still having the memories that I was pushing down but it was hard. I wanted to talk to someone, I wanted to have peace from it. I needed to talk to someone who did not know me, and could not see me.
I then decided to go into a chat room searching for someone to talk with to share the burden. The Lord lead me to talk with JJ Daniel. She listened as I spoke and shared my pain and what I was dealing with. She said that I could have peace from it. That I needed to give it all over to the lord. We prayed that night and I was able to give some of it to God.
Weeks went by and I was still struggling with it. Then one evening while in church my pastor was preaching on forgiveness and bitterness. I knew I had lots of bitterness. I knew I needed to forgive those who hurt me. Sitting there I prayed and ask the Lord to give me the strength and grace I need to ask for help. He does give us more grace.
That night after the service I went to my pastorís wife and ask her if I could talk with her sometime this week. She came on Tuesday evening and I shared with her my past and how I wanted to give it over to God. That I had bitterness and anger towards the ones who hurt me. She then begin to share with me that she had gone through something similar. We talked and she said I needed to give it to God. But that I needed to give each memory, every pain and hurt to Him.
We then read some passages and I claimed one as my own. Psalm 107:27-30, "They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end. Then they cry unto the lord in their trouble and He bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet: so He bringeth them unto their desired haven."
I knew God could do this for me, that His grace was sufficient to see me through anything. But I had to give it to Him. He would lead me to my haven. He would still my storm. So that night the healing started. I gave my bitterness to the Lord for those who hurt me, and ask for the grace to forgive them. I was able to do it with Gods help. He gave me the grace I need to let the memories come, so I could then give it to him. I cannot tell you the peace that came the calm I felt as I slowly gave over memory after memory to the lord.
Yes it was hard to remember them but once I did and gave it to God He took the pain away. I have now given all the memories and pain and anger over to God. I have forgiven those who have hurt me.
Yes the memories will come but the pain is gone, they no longer hurt me. Satan can no longer use this from my past. Yes it is True, I have found as each day goes by - "He giveth More Grace".
My prayer is that if you are struggling with pain from your past, that you will let God lead you to your haven. He will give you the Grace you need.
God bless you all.†
Garnet / Lynn