I survived unforgiveness. Now Iím full of Peace, Joy, and Love. If you would like to know how, read on...I was born down South in a very small town. There were six children in my family: Three boys and three girls. I was next to the youngest. Our family was very poor. My mom was in bad health and was sick a lot. My grandpa and grandma on my momís side lived close by, and my grandpa grew a very big garden every summer. He helped us out a lot by giving us fresh food from the garden. I loved my grandparents very much. I think some of my best memories are of spending time at my grandparentsí house. I donít remember having very many friends because we were always kept busy at home. At a very young age, my two oldest brothers and my oldest sister quit school and went to work. I remember staying at home from school a lot with my other sister to help my mother. I had a baby brother at home too. Back then, we didnít have all the modern things we have today. All of the washing was done by hand, then hung outside on a line to dry. Everything had to be ironed. It seemed like we always had work to do. I donít remember ever spending the night with friends or having friends spend the night with me. We never got to know anyone very well because we were always moving around from place to place.
When I was eight or nine, we moved two thousand miles from our home to go out west. It was a very big and busy place, and it was such a change for us. The school was much bigger. We were used to going to a little country school. Being so far away from my grandparents was also very hard. Making new friends was another difficulty I faced. It wasnít long after moving out West that my nightmare began. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, which later turned to physical abuse. I was abused by a family member, and I didnít feel like I had anyone I could go to or talk to. I kept it to myself and tried to pretend it never happened. I tried to forget. There was so much hurt, fear, shame, and emptiness. I had so much bitterness inside.
I never did very good in school, and I didnít have any confidence or self-esteem. At the age of sixteen, I quit school. I also lost my grandpa. That year, I met a wonderful young man. Two years later, in 1962, he became my husband. Everything that had happened to me as a child affected my marriage. I talked to my husband about the abuse that took place when I was a child; he loved me very much, but he did not know how to help me. I started smoking and would get up in the morning and smoke one cigarette after another. I tried again to put everything in the back of my mind. I tried so hard to forget. My first son was born in 1965. In 1966, I had another son. In 1967, I had a daughter.
We moved to Indiana in 1971 and had another son in 1974. In 1989, I started to go to Jubilee Worship Center. I will never forget it. It was in February, and it was very cold outside. I was feeling a tug at my heart. I was not living for God. The Lord was dealing with me, so I went to church. It wasnít long after I started going to church that I knew I needed God in my life. I asked God to forgive me of my sins. That was when the heavy weight was lifted. Jesus came into my heart that night. I also was delivered of my 28 year cigarette smoking habit, but God wasnít done with me yet. I still had something to let go ofóunforgiveness in my heart. I had heard many sermons about forgiveness, but it never hit me until one Sunday morning in 1994.
The pastor came and asked me to evaluate his message, and I agreed to. His message was on forgiveness. For the first time, I listened. God had a reason for me to evaluate that message on that morning. That message was for me. God spoke through that message, and He said, ďHow can I forgive you if you wonít forgive others? Forgive those who have hurt you.Ē I realized I needed help. I did not want my adulthood to be destroyed like my childhood was. For the first time, I knew I wasnít alone anymore. I went to my pastor for help, and he prayed with me. He gave me a book to read. It was called ďThe Wounded Heart, Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual AbuseĒ. My healing started through prayer and the Word of God. I asked Jesus to forgive me and to help me forgive others. God does not require perfect growth overnight. I have a wonderful pastor who took the time to help me. I had the best counselor in the world, Jesus. I now have peace, joy, and so much love for others. I donít fear anymore. I have all of this because:
1. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake.
4. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
I am a survivor. My life has forever changed. A few months after I was saved in 1989, my husband was also saved. God is so good.
Friend, if you have been abused, mistreated, and hurt by others, donít let the past rule your future. There are some things we just canít forgive or forget on our own strength. Call out to Jesus right now. Ask Him to forgive your sins and help you to forgive those that have hurt you.
This real life story was taken from the popular witnessing tool - evangelistic book REAL LIFE STORIES made available by STEP BY STEP WORLD OUTREACH MINISTRIES.
I SURVIVED UNFORGIVENESS
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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