Despite the repeated trauma, I dreamt so much as a little girl --dreams of peace, love, and joy. (You might be interested in reading 'More than a Conqueror' and/or 'My Looking Glass' for more detailed information about my childhood.) At the tender age of fourteen, the trauma took its toll, my dreams were shattered, my world turned upside down. I was oblivious to love or peace. Joy had no place in my life. Downhill was not an option. I began my adulthood already at rock bottom.
Oh, the trauma continued throughout the bigger part of my adulthood. But it all changed in one moment, a moment when God reached His hand into the deepest of pits and pulled me out, calling me unto His purpose. That moment was the beginning of brand new journey -- one filled with more peace, more love, more joy than anything my childhood imagination could possibly have ever conjured up.
The pastor’s words of encouragement, “He hears you. Have faith.” were a driving force to keep me from giving up on God as a very young child. But things always got worse, never better. I spent many hours on my knees, in my closet, in secret places, crying out. Yes, I finally gave up on Him. I knew He was real. But I doubted that He loved me at all or that He was even concerned.
Years of trauma, drugs, children, marriage and divorce later, I was at the bottom of the bottom. I was walking around blind. I lived in the house with someone I was not married to and, now that I look back, I did not have the capacity of heart to love him. It was unfair to either of us. That house had holes in the floor, a ceiling that hung so low you had to crouch down to get through the room, and you could see the sun through the walls. I’d allowed my adult life to turn into a picture of my childhood that was, in its own way, just as ugly because it was by choice.
The man whom I lived with had a little boy. He came in from playing one day to show me that his arms were broken out. Searching the yard, I went out with a trash bag and a pair of gloves and began to pull up poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac by its roots. I was kneeling there at the edge of a dried up creek bed where the poison had almost completely taken over.
Some years prior, somebody had thrown a set of box springs into the creek bed. When it rained, those rusty old springs worked as a filter and were full with trash, leaves, and twigs. There were diapers, cans, and other garbage scattered up and down the length of the creek bed. Looking up, I noticed the sun filtering through a tree that hung healthily over. The neighbor’s yard was freshly mown and very clean. Their flower beds were lovely. I looked at the winding curvature of the terrain. It could have been such a beautiful place.
For the first time in years, I spoke to God from where I knelt. It was a simple question. I certainly didn’t expect to receive an answer. “Why do people make things You intended to be beautiful so ugly?” It was a still, small voice, not audible, but clear. “Why do they?” I looked back down at those rusty box springs and found something that turned my life around.
Hiding just under the corner was a wildflower no larger than an infant girl’s dress button. It was bright satiny white. The core of the flower, where we would expect to see yellow pollen, was crimson. Almost microscopic, its heart bled red lines onto the white petals. In the midst of all my ugly, Jesus was there. He was simply, but profoundly beautiful.
It’s been a wonderful journey of choice, of the renewing of my purity, more love than I could envision, more joy than life ever offered me, a journey of forgiveness and peace. It was the beginning of multiple precious moments knelt before The Rose of Sharon in gratitude because I’d given up on Him, only to have Him reach His gracious hand down into the pit and pull me out. It was my birthday, the first day of the rest of my life.
JOB 33:29-30 “Behold, God works all these things, twice, yes three times, with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit, that he may be enlightened with the light of the living.”
Read more articles by Joyce Poet or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Your 'birthday' into your new life reminds me that often we need to experience the horrible, low points in our lives in order to reach UP for our Lord - it's then, He can pull us up and out of the depths. I often wonder if I would have had the faith I have today if I hadn't hit a low point and had to depend upon God to bring me back. Praise Him for all our 'birthdays'!!!! Love, Peggy