This was not an easy week-end for us.  Financially, things have been stressful and we came to a point these past two days where we absolutely did not know where the money was going to come from.  My husband was especially worried.

I think it’s one thing for me to worry, but I get really afraid when I see my husband worry.  I see him as my rock, my strength, my…covering.  And he is.  But he is not my God.  To put the burden on him alone to be my everything is wrong.  He can’t possibly live up to my needs, especially when most of the time I myself cannot put my finger on what my needs are.

So, this weekend I purposed in my heart not to allow fear to enter into my mind.  For my husband, I decided to be calm and to place my hope and trust in God instead of him.

Instead of wringing my hands, I opened them and lifted them in surrender to God.

Instead of expecting my husband to lift me up, I lifted him up.

Instead of stirring my husband’s worry with my anxiety, I reminded him that God is faithful.

Instead of complaining, I prayed.

Instead of laying blame at my feet or his, I gave thanks.

Instead of quarreling, I laughed and delighted in the touch of his hands as we prayed together.

I physically felt the tension and the burden leave my shoulders and my heart.  I had no idea how God would come through, but I knew that He would.   Sunday morning we went to church and oh, his arms as they drew me close, heads down while we prayed, not separated by our fear, but united in love and faith.

I admit I was not perfect…there were times of weakness.  But when I stumbled, I didn’t stay down.  I got back up again and continued to lay this burden on Jesus.  And this morning, I was able to call my husband to give him the happy news that God had indeed, come through for us again.

So today…I give thanks for

31.  Instead of’s

32.  God’s neverending and never changing faithfulness

33.  The opportunity to point to Jesus and tell my husband, “I told you so.”  In a good way of course.🙂

34.  Hearing the wonder renewed in his voice

35.  His laughter

36.  Watching God tenderly display His love for my beloved

37.  Grocery store sales

38.  My job

39.  Intimate moments when he whispers, “I love you.”

40.  Marriage

41.  God’s ability to make us stronger through trial

42.  God’s ability to draw us closer to Him and to each other through struggles

43.  The deep and fathomless ocean of forgiveness

44.  Music

45.  Skype

46.  Hugs from my sixteen year-old son

47.  Coming home to dishes washed, laundry folded, without needing to ask

48.  Seeing the first signs of daffodils poking up through the ground

49.  My sisters at Foothills Worship Center

50.  My sisters at Nehemiah Church

There are so many things going through my head right now about this conversation on marriage that we are having.

I don’t think I have anything to add that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll relate a small revelation I had last night while sitting on the couch with my husband.

It’s a simple thing really, but it is kind of far-reaching for me.  We were sitting there, watching a show that we both enjoy.  As we sat there, he was caressing my forearm.  Nothing sexual…just sort of letting his fingertips go back and forth.

Normally, I would have taken it as being a signal from him.  And there may have been any number of negative reactions that I would have had.  None that I would have outwardly allowed him to see of course, but inside, yuck.

Last night however, I did something that never would have occurred to me before.  I relaxed and allowed myself to feel his touch AND feel pleasure from it.  I stopped worrying about what might or might not be expected later and just simply let myself be in the moment.  To be honest, that little caress made me feel…cherished.  My heart melted and oh how quickly the “possibilites” for later became desirable.

It was then I began to realize how little I allow myself to feel pleasure from my husband’s overtures and advances.  I saw that I am constantly in defense mode.  I began to notice this subtle and seductive tape playing over and over in my head that told me I’m not pretty enough for him.  I’m not good enough, skinny enough, sexy enough…you get the picture.

I was a little shocked.  I honestly had no idea how deeply into my subconcious that style of thinking had affected me. 

I could go on about this, but I think you know what I’m talking about.  Probably because the Lord has been prompting you in this area.  Well ladies, may I join in with His sweet voice and encourage you today to simply stop?  Today when you’re with your husband…stop your brain.  Allow yourself to feel his love and affection.  Stop worrying about your worth.  Love never worries about it so why should you?

Father, You are from everlasting to everlasting.

You drench us in mercy

We wholly and utterly belong to You.

Today, we give thanks for…

11. Weekends

12.  Appalachian mountains

13.  Tender words

14.  Mama’s chicken

15.  Daddy’s love

16.  Unrelenting grace

17.  Respite from winter’s hold

18.  Old movies

19.  Doctors

20.  Provision that is always just in time

21. The Word made flesh

22. Kay Arthur

23.  Pastors and their wives

24.  Friends for whom the word hardly does justice

25.  Healthy children

26.  Understanding

27.  Compassion

28.  Bloggers who have destroyed my complacent world

29.  Macs

30.  Comfy pjs and soft slippers

Roughly two weeks before my 21st birthday, the Lord sent me a gift.  She came into the world with barely a sound, and I remember the first words I said were “Thank God, thank God.”  Strangers cleaned her and wrapped her in blankets as the doctor continued to work on me.  She had her fist shoved into her mouth and I got to see one precious pink finger before she was whisked away to the nursery.  Five hours and many grandparents, aunts and uncles later, I finally got to hold her for the first time.

That night as she lay sleeping beside my bed in her crib, I remember how stunned I was.  The pregnancy (thank You Lord) and birthing had been easy.  But now, her whole life lay stretched before me.  How exactly, was I supposed to be a mom?  I remember wondering, will I have enough love for her?  Will I be able to love her above and beyond myself? 

As I lay there wondering and worrying, she made a sound in her sleep.  It was a tiny whimper, as though she could sense my doubts.  The sound literally went straight to my heart. A feeling of fierce protectiveness came over me so strongly that I was taken by surprise.  I bent over her and softly whispered, “It’s ok…mommy’s here.”  After that, I had no doubt that I would give my life for her.

It’s funny thinking back now, eighteen years later, on the doubts I had.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love her enough…and possibly, that’s true.  Because now I’m faced with how to love her enough to let her go. 

There was another woman, long ago and far away faced with my same dilemma.  Unfortunately, her time with her child was much, much shorter than mine.  She had her precious baby boy with her for three perfect months.   She and her family were slaves in Egypt and a vicious king had ordered the deaths of all male children born to her race.  She had hidden her son as long as she could, but the time had come to let him go.  Perhaps you’ve heard of her.  Her name was Jochebed and the son she loved was Moses.

Her story can be found in the first 10 verses of the second chapter of Exodus, and a few small footnotes to the story can be found scattered in Exodus, Numbers and Hebrews.  A short story, but a big lesson. 

Hebrews 11:23 tells us that Jochebed acted on faith.  I remember my first night in the hospital with my daughter, and I can imagine how desperate Jochebed must have been.  Her actions show that she loved this boy very much, but to keep him would have meant certain death for him and possibly for her whole family.  So she had to love him enough to let him go, and entrust him to the hands of the Lord. When she placed her precious boy in the basket and set it among the reeds on the Nile…she had no angelic herald giving her assurance that he would survive.   I think she simply believed that if God was big enough to deliver her people out of the hands of Pharaoh, then He was big enough to care for one small baby. 

And that is the promise that I am holding to.  This woman-girl that I am releasing to the unknown, has a Father watching over her every step.  To keep her, would be to kill the promise and the purpose that God has for her.  That’s far more dangerous to me than any unknown dangers lurking in the shallows.   And didn’t we all face those same dangers ourselves?  And wasn’t God big enough to deliver us?

He was/is/and will be big enough to save me.  He was/is/and will be big enough to save her.

Today I woke up unsettled and out of sorts.  I had set my alarm to “pm” instead of “am” so I was late to work.  The sky was dark with clouds and the weather person was calling for more snow.  Snow for a state and a people who are used to mild winters filled with sunny days.  Not good.

In the car hurrying to work, I try to figure out what is wrong.  I know I’m being ungrateful because God has richly blessed us in ways I never would have thought possible.  I mean, who cares if it’s sunny or snowing, raining or dry?  God has moved mountains and showered us in His goodness…why should the state of the weather matter so much?  Shouldn’t it be easy to praise and worship this loving Creator who fearlessly sacrificed His one and only Son for me?

Like a petulant and fretful child, I park my car in the lot in front of my building.  I move to get out (I am late remember?) and I hear the Spirit whisper, “Pray.”  I bow my head for a moment and ask the Lord to grant me grace for today, and then I take a deep breath and let it go.  A scripture comes to mind,

 “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,
         And cold and heat,
         And summer and winter,
         And day and night
         Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 NASB

What does this mean?  It comes from the story of Noah, who had to endure 40 days worth of continuous rain, and then six months of floating on the aftermath.  Shut up in an ark with his wife and in-laws and countless animals…may I just say, it’s no wonder that one of the first things he did after hitting land was to go out and get drunk.  No disrespect intended, but I believe the man had earned the right to tie one on.  I’m sure many of you will disagree with me and that’s ok. 

Getting back to my point, I believe the Lord was reminding me that Spring is on its way and to trust again in His faithfulness, just as Noah did.  Humbled again by His willingness to comfort a spoiled and contentious child, I relaxed and allowed Him to lift up my head. 

Now I’m headed to the nearest liquor store.  

Oh, I kid.  

I know it’s not Monday, but I’m doing this anyway.  Today I’m thankful for:

1. A slightly bent sense of humor.

2. The faithfulness of God.


4. Warm coats.

5. Space heaters.

6. Sunshine.

7. Computers.

8. Cousins.

9. Pop-tarts.

10. Phone calls from my husband.  



Have you ever had a gorgeously simple concept suddenly crystallize in your head?  And then, instead of letting the organic beauty of it wash over you, you try to gussy it up with fancy words or hollow emotions?

Yup.  Me too.

My thought was about leaves.  Fig leaves, actually.  You know, as in the fig leaves that Adam used to cover himself after his fall from grace?  Crazy isn’t it?

About as nutso as poor Adam, bare as an egg all his life, suddenly trying to cover up his lost innocence with the glory of a tree.  I mean, if trees have glory like humans do, surely it’s their foliage right?

Imagine how the leaves, once vibrant with life, were carelessly torn from their source and the creation is suddenly forced by Adam’s hand to be party to his sin.  Feel Adam’s distress as he clutches the leaves and the strange, savage feeling of his heart racing out of control while wave after wave of shame and realization rush over him.

The Voice that once was like music filling his entire being with joy, now instilled nothing but jagged, searing terror.  His breath gasping, he desperately tries to hide the source of his shame.  The Presence fills his senses and instead of leaping and dancing and laughing and singing and fellowship, there is the buckling of knees, the bowing of the head, the horrid rending sound of separation.  His eyes see differently now and the Glory that he once gazed upon in boldness and love, now pierces and blinds.

“Where are you?” Trembling finger raised, the blame thrown…the crown of regret and the mantle of death settle their crushing weight on his shoulders.  The pain of it must have been crippling.  Although I would like to believe (as would most of us I suspect) that I would have behaved differently…I know I would not.

I know because I do the same thing today.

Cowering, trembling before the Voice that calls me to fellowship, I grab a leaf.  “Oh, Father, I can’t.  You remember I’m afraid of intimacy because of how I was raised.”

The Presence compels me to sing and to dance in joy, but instead I grab another leaf because I remember how someone somewhere told me I look silly when I dance.  Another call, another leaf.  The weight and the toil of trying to cover up what is already known is choking the life out of me.

Yes, Adam and I are very much alike.  A thought pops into my head.  I wonder why the one who walked in the cool of the day with his Creator, didn’t simply just drop the leaves and man-up. 

I hear the Voice say quietly, “Hmmm, yes, why don’t you?”

And there it is.  All of this…stuff.  I understand.  So simple I want to smack myself in the forehead.

Let go of the leaves.

 The Lord has been gently trying to pry my fingers loose not to expose my shame to His derision and disgust, but to His grace and mercy so that it can be cleansed away.  As I stand before Him covered only in the assurance of Christ, fear leaves me.  While I’m not proud of my sin, I’m no longer afraid to admit that it is my fault and mine alone. 

Being honest with myself and with my Lord gives me the strength to turn away from attitudes and habits I was enslaved to, because I understand now that if I am the one at fault, then my past does not hold power over me any longer and through Christ…I can change.

I unclench my hands and all my excuses wither and blow away in the cleansing wind of the Holy Spirit.

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we  lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”  1 John 1:5-9 NASB

My porch has become my favorite “room” in my house. It overlooks a tiny glade in which deer, foxes, rabbit, raccoons, squirrels and birds (oh my the birds) hold court and captivate my heart.

It has become my habit to sit on my porch and steal a few moments to myself each morning before the day truly begins. Nature has always had a way of calming the restlessness in my spirit, and today was no exception.

My life at this time is heading in a direction that I really have no desire to go. My time, my sweet, precious, time with my children is dwindling downward. I’ve known in my depths that this time would come, but always, always I could say, “Oh that’s still years away.”

Now that time is at hand. The dreaded 18th birthday is in less than two short weeks and mere months later, my life will be altered completely when she moves away. And today, my son, my baby, got his permit.

He’s right on his sister’s heels.

My family will always be my family…I know this. I know it. It’s not like anyone is dying. And yet a death of sorts is occurring. My children will remain my children, yet my family will not be the same ever again. A separation is happening and it is terrifying.

And so, this morning, I came to my little porchside sanctuary again, seeking solace in the lessons that creation teaches me about God. I was not disappointed.

The light was making headway against the darkness as the earth strained and turned toward the sun. I spoke and said, “I don’t like the direction I’m headed in Lord.”

The sky streaked with subtle pinks and blues. The only answer I felt in my heart was, “Look. Watch the parable of the light.”

The dark shadows were fleeing the light. What had once seemed mysterious and hidden was made clear and beautiful as it was bathed in the glory of the sun. The secrets of the night were not suddenly and harshly outed, like when we enter a dark room and flip the switch. Rather, everything was revealed slowly, lovingly, tenderly, and …relentlessly. Once again my soul was touched by God’s mercy and patience. I was reminded of how He carefully and completely loves us. So much so that in preparation for the separation He knew would come when He created us, He painstakingly poured every drop of His character into our natural environment; effectively creating a clear roadmap for us to follow as the memory of Him and what had been in the Garden faded through time.

Yes, Jesus has come (Praise God) and He is the only Way. Yet still, we forget. And still, creation is there, patiently testifying and giving glory to the Creator.

And today, it has once more taught me that while my life might be crowded with shadows of the unknown…light is always the victor over darkness, and all I have to do is be patient and watch as all that was hidden is made glorious and beautiful in His unfailing light.

He wasn’t famous or rich or powerful.  He was a regular guy with what many would have called an “ordinary” life.  His hair was as white as goose down, and his hands were worn and wrinkly with with age by the time I knew him.  He always smelled the same, like soap and Copenhagen.  His voice was slightly raspy and he always had a hug and a ready smile for “his girl.”  He had a fondness for soft drinks, which, in our neck of the woods were called ‘dopops’. (Pronounced ‘doh-pops’.  I have no idea why I felt the need to explain that but there it is.)   His love for them earned him the nickname and it stuck for the rest of his life.

Like most of his generation, he’d lived through the terrible poverty of the Great Depression, signed on to serve his country in WWII, then came home to settle down and raise his family.  Unfortunately, times were never easy and the middle-class prosperity that most were enjoying after the war always danced just out of grasp for him.  Probably because he enjoyed his beer a little more than most and spent nearly as much time at the local pub as he did at home.

He gave his life to Jesus late in life.  Already in his fifties, there was a revival going on in town and for reasons that are unknown to me, he decided to go.  He told me once that there was a woman there giving her testimony.  He was sitting in the back and could feel Jesus calling him.  He said he kept wishing the woman would hurry up and shut up so he could get out of there, because the call was growing stronger and stronger and making him miserable.  Finally, he couldn’t resist any longer and he went forward…and never looked back.  Though he still enjoyed his beer after he met Jesus, it never again controlled his life, and he never got drunk ever again.

The man loved to drive and there were many times when I was small that he’d drop by my house, pick me up and take me with him on his rounds to visit various members of his family.   Really, it didn’t matter where we went.  He always ran into someone he knew, was related to, or used to know.  He loved people, and loved to talk.  If he came to visit us wherever we were stationed at the time, you could be sure he would leave the place with the 411 on just about everyone he came in contact with.  He truly never met a stranger in his life.

Perhaps it was the fact that he was still a “newborn” when I came along, or maybe it was that since my dad was in the military, he didn’t get to see me as often as he got to see his other grandkids.  Whatever it was, there was something special between he and I.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to realize the importance of it until he was gone.

He always made me feel as though I were the most important person in the world and nothing I said seemed silly or childish to him.  He was the first person to tell me I could sing, and he declared to the entire family that I belonged in Nashville.  

There was absolutely nothing I had to do to earn his love or affection.  It just was, and as much as I soaked it in like the Sahara soaks up the rain, I also took it for granted.  He just was and would always be to my mind. 

He died in 1995.  The loss to his family, to me and my cousins is still felt today.  While we can now smile and laugh at the “Do you remember whens…” it still cuts the heart that he is gone.  I told you that there was something special between he and I, and there was.  But honestly, there was something special between him and all the grandkids.  He loved us all generously, without expectation of return.  He loved us just because we existed.

It was through him, his love, his prayers, that I came to Christ.  Through him, a silly, nerdy, insecure girl was made to see that she had been created for something far greater than she had ever hoped or dreamed.  It would take years to explain him and my pitiful words have painted only the faintest shadow of who he was.  To you who read this, I can say he wasn’t a perfect man and to you, had you met him, he would have just been a sweet old man with a weakness for buffet-style restaurants.  But to us, his family,  he was a sure, steady and unfailing conduit of Jesus’ never-ending love and kindness. 

If it is possible for those who are with Jesus now to look down upon the earth and see those of us who still remain, I pray that he can see how much this girl loves, misses, and pines for him still.  I pray that he can hear my whispered, grateful “thank-yous” and that he knows how dreadfully sorry I am that I didn’t realize the enormity of the gift he showered on me everyday.  I hope he knows that I’m safe in Jesus now, and that my son has his same easy manner and quick smile.  That Jessie’s boys are as smart and precocious as she ever thought about being, and that Miss Quincy Grace is exactly everything her mother ever wished for in a little girl.  Jeff has outdone us all and is living out the dream and changing hearts and lives all over the world, and that my daughter is (can you believe it?) soon to be eighteen and has made me realize what it was that kept him up nights praying over us all.  That his prayers were finally answered 4 years ago when my Daddy (his son) gave his life to Jesus and he and my Mama are still serving and learning about Jesus every single day.  I pray that he knows and understands that his example of Christ’s love lives on and is touching an untold number of people to this day.  Most of all, I pray that he knows his life counted for something and that he was anything but ordinary.

Well yesterday’s topic(s) were fun weren’t they?  Such a bright spot of sunshine!

And so…we continue.  Because obviously I love nothing better than to muddy-up issues that are already in official quagmire status.

Yesterday I made mention of healing as it pertained to me. After reading the post again, I thought perhaps I should elaborate on something.  I have made it to the “other side” as it were, in my particular circumstance…but I don’t mean to infer that I have all the answers or that I have “arrived.”

We’re all works in progress.  My progress to this point took years.  YEARS.  I used to speak about the time I spent pondering my pain and my rage as wasted time.  I don’t feel that way today.  Jesus reveals Himself to all of us in His own good time and in His own wisdom.  None of the time is wasted.

Also, I don’t want anyone who is still on the path to healing to think of yesterday’s post as some sort of judgement against them because they aren’t where I am.  I think I said it yesterday, but I’ll say it again…these posts are in no way meant to condemn or criticize.  They are meant to encourage and to let people know that healing and freedom is entirely possible this side of Heaven.

Forgiveness is not optional in the sight of Heaven…everyone has to receive it and in turn, extend it.  But the timing of it I believe is in God’s hands, and many times (maybe all the time), it goes hand in hand with healing.  There were many, many days when I would scream out to God “JUST HEAL ME ALREADY!”  But in His infinite wisdom He ignored my crying and worked (and continues to work) in His own time. 

Some of you may still be reeling with the shock of what you’ve experienced.  You may be sitting there, rigid, jaws clenched, hands fisted, tears starting as you stare at this screen.  Perhaps the thought of forgiveness to you right now is like a sword rending your heart into a thousand jagged little pieces.  I used to think,”Lord, please don’t make me,I can’t do it.” 

The Lord’s steady determination to re-fashion us into His image is sometimes painful and frightening, usually because at the time He is re-fashioning us we haven’t really learned to trust Him yet.  Hannah Hurnard described it this way in her book Hinds Feet On High Places:

Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible–terrible in its determination to allow nothing unblemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved

Once we hand ourselves over to Jesus, He is gently and patiently relentless in His quest to remove anything in us that doesn’t belong there.  Including unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, rage…and on and on.

Unfortunately, there is no formula to this process.  The basics are the same for everyone…”Love your enemies, pray for those who despitefully use you” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  But how do we get from hate to love?

I can only tell you my experiences.  For me, it really began with understanding that forgiveness was first and foremost really about setting me free.  I had no idea how much power I was still giving to “the enemy” by harboring rage and bitterness.  The unforgiveness was keeping me bound, because I couldn’t let it go.  Memories, pain, nightmares, unexplicable rages, depression, the desire to die…all were feeding off of my need to nurse my wounds.

Once I began to realize the harm I was doing to myself, I began to do the grunt work.  I won’t lie.  It was not easy.  There was a lot of two steps forward and ten back.  There was a lot of gritting my teeth and saying “As an act of my will I forgive, I forgive, I forgive.”  Also, I did none of this on my own.  I had friends, my church, my husband…all of whom God had ordained to pour into me at just the right time with encouragement, love, understanding, and sometimes…a good ol’ kick in the pants.

The second real milestone came the day Jesus revealed to me that unforgiveness was tantamount to my spitting on His sacrifice.  Seriously.  I was shocked.  I didn’t understand what He meant.  But He showed me that He had not only died for me, for the sins that I had committed…but for everybody’s sins.  Including those that had been perpetrated against me.

Basically, I was saying to Jesus that His blood was big enough to cover my sins, but not really big enough to cover others.  This may sound odd to your ears, but I would ask you to search the word and pray about it.  As I said, this is my experience and there are no formulas.

After this, bit by bit, step by step…the Lord did miraculous things and opened my heart and freed me from the burden of vengeance, judgement, and justice.  Those are all His to do with as He pleases.  In other words, I was finally able to come down off the cross and allow God to be God in this circumstance.

Another milestone came when I found myself able to recognize that these perpetrators were in many instances, preyed upon themselves as children.  I suppose you could say God enabled me to see that these people are just as broken as I am. 

There’s a lot more to it, including accepting responsibility for my sins and choices made in an effort to cope with all the lies I had swallowed.  I won’t go into anymore detail except to say friend, do whatever you have to do in order to forgive.  However long it takes, don’t give up.  You receive so much more than what you give away when you forgive.

You receive yourself back.  Be blessed friend.

*NOTE* I reiterate that these are my experiences.  I am not an expert on theology nor on forgiveness.   If any of what I’ve said sets off a “trigger,” please seek out help immediately.  Call a trusted friend, counselor or Pastor…someone who can talk you through it.  If you sense a desire to do self-harm…please contact your local suicide prevention line, or call 9-1-1.

Pardon me while I hack and sneeze at the layers of dust around here.

Wow. It’s been a while.

Hi. Uh, my name is Shayne and I’m a fair-weather blogger. Meaning, I only post when I feel like it. Or when I read other people’s posts and feel an irrepressible urge to beat a dead horse voice my opinion. I’m sure there are other, more technical terms for what I am, like lazy or undisciplined, but those terms seem so un-friendly.


As I stated earlier, I’m posting today in response to a conversation that has been started by Ragamuffin Soul.  I’ve linked twice to the page because it’s a rather serious conversation that deserves more than just one passing glance.

I want to talk today about my beliefs on three or twenty subjects.  I cannot promise you answers, but by golly I can promise you one long post.  So go ahead and grab a snack or pee or whatever ’cause once I get started, I’m not making any pit stops.  Sorry.  That’s just the way I roll.


 I’ve heard this word bandied about in main-stream media and of course, on the Mecca of daytime T.V., Oprah, but I’ve never really paid much attention to what the word actually means.  Quite literally it means to make someone a victim.

Deep stuff, right?

But let’s think on this a minute.  What is a victim?  Well I’m glad you asked.  Merriam-Webster defines a victim as:

: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent <the schools are victims of the social system>: as a (1): one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions <a victim of cancer> <a victim of the auto crash> <a murder victim> (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment <a frequent victim of political attacks> b: one that is tricked or duped <a con man’s victim>

I don’t know about you but I found the first definition kind of interesting.  Especially in light of the above-mentioned post on Ragamuffin’s blog.

Honestly though, I’ve never liked either of these words.  To me, they imply weakness and give way too much power to abusers or oppressors.  They are labels that tend to sap people of their God-purchased right to healing.   I say that because I’ve never met a healed person who called him/herself a “victim.”  I mean, I’m not “injured” or “destroyed.” I am not “adversely affected” nor am I “subjected to harsh treatment.”  (Unless you count Saturdays in the fall when my husband glues the T.V. remote to his hand and forces me to endure copious amounts of college football.) 

I am healed.  Which brings me to my next topic.

Healed  (Shocker right?)

The good ole boys at Merriam-Webster define my present state this way:

a : to make sound or whole <heal a wound> b : to restore to health
a : to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : mend <the troubles…had not been forgotten, but they had been healed — William Power> b : to patch up (a breach or division) <heal a breach between friends>
: to restore to original purity or integrity <healed of sin>

While I agree with the first two definitions…the third is what I really am.  I have been restored by Jesus’ power to original purity and/or integrity.  I have been healed not only of my sins, but the sins of others against me.


I will not lie to you.  It took me a long time, a very long time, to come to this realization…and I did not see it on my own.  So my post here is not meant to be judgemental or self-righteous, it is meant to encourage. 

I made it to the other side.  I never thought I would or could, but somehow, Jesus made it happen.  I used to scoff at people like myself, and you may be scoffing at me right now.  “Well you just have no idea what I’ve been through.  It’s all fine and good for you BUT…”

Hey, sweet friend…can I be honest with you here?  “Buts” can kill.  “Buts” can help us nurse our pain and our rage , and they can help to imprison those that Jesus came to set free.

Ach, I know what I’m saying is painful.  I know ’cause I’ve lived it.  I did NOT want to let go of all my “buts.”  They gave me an excuse to wallow and didn’t require any type of change or growth on my part.  I loved my “buts.”  (Please notice I am not saying I love/loved my b-u-t-t…that’s a whole different case of bananas) 

Fortunately, Jesus loved me more than I loved my “buts.”  He patiently and gently pried my fingers loose from them until I trusted Him enough to let go of all of it.   And oh, friend…friend…my life is wholly and completely changed.  And you know what?  I would not change one day of my life.  Not one.


Now then, why was I healed?  Am I special?  Did the circumstances of my childhood rate some sort of extra attention from the Father?  Surely they did right?  Five different sexual abusers?  Who could blame Him for giving me a little bit of extra attention?  Don’t I deserve it?

*sigh* As much as I would love to believe that I do, the answer is simply no.  I’m healed for the same reason any other person is.  For His Name’s sake. 

I don’t have time to go into the whole theological discussion here, but basically “For His Name’s sake” means that a long time ago, God made a promise to Abraham.  A big promise…a blood covenant.  And the whole salvation/healing deal really boils down to the fact that God is simply keeping His promise.  He swore by His name that He would keep His end of the bargain and to renege would mean stepping down from the throne.  And lemme tell ya, that ain’t gonna happen.

What then?

Why am I saying all of this? (I told you this would be a long post)

As I’ve mentioned, a conversation was begun in which two very important questions were asked.  Is it possible for a child molester/pedophile to be redeemed and healed?  And if so, what then?

For the most part, we as the church have decided that no one, not even a child molester, is beyond redemption or healing.  It’s the “what then?” that we’re having problems with.  Why?  All of us have a “what then?” time in our life.  It occurs right after we’ve been re-born into these new creations that the world has labelled “Christians.”  It’s the same for everybody.

So what’s the problem here?  Why is this group of people different? People say that there are different levels of consequences here on earth for different types of sins, so that’s one reason.  But also, it’s just out and out fear.  And fear has no place in a believer’s life.

Here’s my thought on the “what then?” portion of a repentant sinner who has manifested in the form of a child molester.  Same as for everybody else…give them intense induction into the Word.  Discipleship training.  Careful instruction and watching over until he/she exhibits the fruits of the Spirit.  Spirit-filled counselling.  Most of all…unconditional love.  Which would include stepping out of the way and allowing Jesus to totally heal in His time and His way. 

If we do this, and do it right, we won’t have to worry about our children since the Holy Spirit will watch over the situation.  That doesn’t mean that He won’t give us responsibility to oversee the newborn for a time…maybe a long time.  But I tell you eventually, if we allow Jesus to work, that person will no longer be a risk.

I realize that many of you will disagree with me, and you have that right. 

That is, one of you might disagree with me…as that’s likely to be all that will read this post.

I’m going to continue to talk about this for a few days…I have other thoughts but I need more time to flesh them out since they might be considered a bit harsh.  One final thought though…if you are reading this, and have ever perpetrated a criminal act upon a child, or are thinking of doing so…please know that I do not defend nor do I make light of what you have done or what you may be thinking of doing.  The harm done against the child is incredibly insidious and far-reaching.

If you have not repented of your actions/thoughts, I beg you do so now.  Jesus truly does love You and understands You in ways that You cannot possibly comprehend.  Also, if you have not done so, please seek help.  Not just for the child’s sake, but for yours.  Trust me, the pain you inflict on the child will be nothing compared to what you will be inflicting upon yourself. 

More thoughts later this week.  Possibly.  I am after all, a fair-weather blogger.