Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)
TITLE: You Are Mine
By Judy Sauer
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I clung to this special bond so tightly because home life was filled with conditional love. “Do as I say not as I do” was a regularly pronounced mandate in our house. Growing up with conditional love stings, hurts, and leaves lifelong scars. Much of the sadness I experienced came from living with an abusive step-father. His name is Charlie yet Hitler is more befitting. If I was scared from Charlie’s abusive ways, or being sent to bed without supper – not because there wasn’t food but because he could, or when enduring humiliation because of his disrespect for us as human beings, I could always talk to God, my Heavenly Father, who somehow made things feel a little better, because God was bigger than 6’3” Charlie.
God became my parent; the one I talk to, confide in, and trust to carry me through each day. The Christian song “Trading My Sorrows” has some lyrics based on 2 Corinthians 4:9 “I am persecuted, not abandoned. Struck down, but not destroyed.” This rings true to me because it is how I can differentiate between my evil step-father and my Heavenly Father. While Charlie may have ruled my life for ten years, God won the battle and has me for life.
I often wondered why God allowed such an evil person to be alive. We were under strict scrutiny, treated as if we were in the military, endured inspections, humiliation, and he knew no boundaries in ways of hurting us. His belittling and cruel behaviors shaped my psyche in a very dysfunctional manner: one that is taking a lifetime to reverse.
Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Even in the dark times of my life, I know my heavenly parent is there seeing me through the challenges I face. Because of my childhood environment – living under Charlie’s thumb, I am on edge a lot as if on high alert – like a squirrel that gets easily spooked, and as a result, I have suffered anxiety and depression since my childhood.
Psalm 6:3 explains how I have felt too many times: “My inner self as well as my body is exceedingly disturbed and troubled. But Lord, how long until you return and fill me with peace?” Is that not what a parent should do: calm their child's fears, kiss their skinned knees, and make them feel safe, comfortable, and loved? I know of no better parent than God because he does all that and so much more than I will ever know.
The aftershocks of my step-father’s domination ripple deeply. My life has been infected with not much self care. I often lack respect for myself, and my most common form of exercise has been jumping to conclusions. Bottom line is that my self worth gets tangled with what I do versus who I am: a child of God. This declaration appears numerous times in the Bible, such as in Galatians 4:7 “You are God’s child, and God will give you the blessings he promised, because you are his child.”
Oh thank you Heavenly Father for being the parent I knew could exist and for loving me unconditionally. Even if I never see your face, I feel your warmth and love around me. You blow the wind as if to say “Hello, I am here always.” Words cannot express the boundless gratitude in my heart for your loving kindness and for filling the parental voids of my earthly life. You are mine and I am your’s.
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