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One of my favourite things to do is to wonder with God. “God I wonder if this….. And, God I wonder if that……” One rainy spring evening I was admiring the maple tree in my yard and I wondered to God. “Why do trees grow up, and not down or out?” It seems kind of contrary to the laws of gravity don‘t you think? For if I hold out a pencil, and let go, surely it will fall to the ground. God answered back to me, and although we were both just being silly and romantic this is the funny reply He gave me. My friend, I would put to you that there is a reason why trees grow up with their limbs outstretched to the sky. For even trees know of their maker, their creator. They stretch out their limbs unto heaven hoping to catch even a glimpse of the glory of God.
My name is Jenny Marie. My pa has called me that since the very beginning. “Jenny Marie, how was your day?” Or “What’s up Jenny Marie?” “Jenny Marie, clean your room!” My ma calls me Tiger Lilly, the Indian princess from Peter Pan. To this day she will not tell my the reason behind this nick name, but I think perhaps it is because I was so serious as a child. God calls me his own. That is my favourite name because it lets me know that I belong.
In truth, I have never felt that I belong to anyone. If it were possible for one to be born in a depressed or sad state, I would qualify. For I do not remember when the sadness began, only that it had been there. There were a few events that occurred early on in my life that may account for some this deep sadness.
When I was six months old the doctors decided that I had been born with legs of different lengths. As a result I had a six inch incision in my hip and I was hung upside down in the hospital with a weight tied to the leg that was too short. I stayed that way until my left leg was as long as the right one. I find it an archaic practice, and I wonder at times why the doctors couldn’t have just elongated both legs while they were at it. It’s not easy being 5’3”! In any case, mom and dad took me home in my body cast. They told me, when I was all grown up, that they used to plop me belly down on a skateboard so I could use my arms to wheel myself around the kitchen.
I was sexually abused as a young child by a family member. This went on for ten years or so. This man is not in my life today, thankfully. It is a constant struggle to forgive and re-forgive this man. But Christ is changing my heart. Perhaps these events caused feelings of abandonment, fear, guilt, shame, and sadness which have been reoccurring themes in my life.
I was a rebellious teenager, not obedient to my parents. I made a series of bad choices. I chose anger instead of love. I chose resentment instead of forgiveness. I built up a wall of hate all around me. I chose to console my pain with the things of this world, but nothing satisfied. The voices of these worldly things buzzed around in my head for years, becoming louder than the voice of God. When I experienced pain or hurt in my life, I would turn to anyone - anyone but Him.
There were times where I thought of jumping off my 18 floor apartment building, overdosing on Tylenol, shooting myself (I had the means to). Days, months, and weeks went by when I would wake up and pray to God to take my life. Some days, the only thing that could numb the pain were alcohol and T3’s. I was a train wreck. I hated myself and I hated everyone else.
God has lifted the pain and sorrow in my life. He has restored my mind, and renewed me. He tells me that I have a pure heart. He reminds me that I am the Kings daughter. He reminds me that God uses the weak to lead the strong. Slowly I am beginning to see His purpose for me in this life.
My change began when I met Patsy. She is my best friend and my mentor. I never thought that a church going forty-nine year old housewife with four kids would have much in common with me. I never thought that we could build a friendship so strong, that it could not be broken. I love that woman with all my heart for she was obedient to Christ when he prompted her to reach out to me.
At the time I was in a relationship with an alcoholic man twice my age. Patsy came along side of me. She showed me the truth of Gods love in a way I had never understood before. She provided guidance to me when I needed guidance, she encouraged me when I needed encouragement, she chastised me when I needed to be chastised, and she loved me anyways. She new when to push and when to withdrawal. When to speak boldly when to let me speak. She loved me more than any person ever has, or perhaps ever will.
And under her encouragement I began to grow as His child. I didn’t read my bible, I read His love letter to me – I was enthralled by it. I didn’t have to go to church, I got to go to church. I didn’t pray to Him, I talked to Him like a friend, a father, a husband. I took steps towards obedience. Towards eliminating the sin in my life. And he filled me with the Holy Spirit. He filled my heart with joy and my mouth with singing. He moved in ways that were unfathomable to me. And the more I heard his voice, the more sinful things I wanted to give up in my life. I began to have those days where I’d wake up, roll out of bed and say “Good morning Jesus, lets have a good day today!” Then we’d sit outside on the porch and have a coffee. It may sound nutty, but I learned so clearly, that wherever you go, there He is. He just wants you to take is hand.
Members at church on different occasions have told me that I have the gift of evangelism. And my response is obviously! How could I not want to share this treasure that I’ve found. Jesus changed my life. Where there was sorrow, there is joy. Where there was anger, there is forgiveness. Where there was madness, now there is sound mind. My relationship with Christ has taken me from surviving to thriving and I cannot wait to experience more growth in the Lord.
There are two parts to every tree. The top part which grows in the light with outstretched limbs outstretched and exulting the creator. There are also the roots which live in eternal darkness and reject the truth of Jesus. I choose to be the part of the tree that grows above the soil. Every day I will raise in the morning, reach up towards my creator, and praise his Holy name. Forever and ever Amen.
Sexually abused, sexually addicted, wounds bound, purity found - The Kings Daughter
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Jenny, This is an awesome testimony. Thanks for sharing your heart. In Christ's Love, Julia
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