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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: Through the valley of the shadow of a soul's death
By Janice Gibson


Who am I? Am I the embodiment of the painful things said to me as a child?


For years I have believed this… I thought I should not live or have any value because my mother did not want a wanted a girl, and I was the only girl of eight children. Those words rippled through my life jarring my self view and causing emotional brain damage even the most skilled surgeon could not begin to repair.

I thought I was not worth spending money on to cover very basic needs. I was not worth a birthday present or new shoes for school. I was not worth womanly necessities when I blossomed into woman hood. I was not worth even the words happy birthday on my 16th birthday party.

Daily silent messages screamed that I had no right to exist, so how dare I have needs be they material or emotional.

I thought I was an inconvenience to every one, why would someone be kind and gracious to me? ? My mother made it clear I just got in the way and was too much trouble!

I thought my creative abilities were there to be crushed and ridiculed. Why would someone crush something that made me feel alive?

Was I a problem child, was I wild, using drugs and alcohol… Never. I was quiet and creative and a bit stubborn, but who isn’t when their soul is being crushed before it can even be born.

When my brother was molesting me I told my mother, her response “Oh that’s not true. Now go back down with your brother and leave me alone.” I was about six

When the neighbor was raping me repeatedly; “That’s not true! And if it is, it’s all your fault, and you deserve it!” that was her response this time. How could she blame me for a man acting on his sick impulses?

I died! There was no memorial service; no grieving, no words of love or acknowledgement of missing me.

I died inside!

No one makes note when someone dies inside, no one even reached out, they abandoned me. They may have been physically there, but concern for my soul was absent.

Occasionally, someone at church or a teacher would try and peer into the cracks of my soul, but I was ashamed, I would run and hide. I did not know how to be loved.

For decades I felt so unlovable I felt untouchable, going for many years without even a hug. Before the age of 18 I remember two hugs, those two people also told me they loved me once each… they were the two cruelest people in my life. I knew it was not love.

I knew enough to know love was bold, not a painful bold, but a quiet gentle bold. My father showed me some of that, not with words or hugs, just in his eyes and his gentle spirit. He never saw how my mother treated me, his own soul was entombed in pain from her words too.

I grew up a sad and lonely child inside.

I learned a lot from my mother… a lot of what not to do.

Now I am the parent, I have one son! He is the joy of my life and I have learned how to be bold in saying no to repeating what I was raised in. The Lord showed me that if I do not have the courage and strength to deal with the emotional luggage dumped upon me by my mother and others that hurt me deeply in my childhood, that I would multiply it and pass it on to my son. I will not do that!

So it’s time to loose some luggage… generations of luggage!!!

I’m down to a small handbag, and written upon the face of it is a message; “Courage is fear turned into motivational momentum!”

My son knows he’s loved; I show him and tell him every day. I am so blessed to be his mom! I could never praise the Lord for how much he has taught me as I have traveled through the valley of the shadow of a soul’s death, my soul.

Now resurrected; joy and light enveloped with love and laughter exude from this soul of mine that was once crusty and lacking life. I am no longer sad and lonely… I am blessed!

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Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons09/08/07
A very sad beginning to one's life if this is a true account. I would have liked to have seen(or read) where or when the love of Christ permeated the MC's soul and replaced all the ugliest that had been placed there. That was the only thing missing, a few typos but other than that a good job.
Dee Yoder 09/10/07
I'm amazed by the strength God must have instilled in you to be able to endure all this pain. And your happy ending makes me grateful the Lord can always redeem the things done to a child in anger by giving His total love and healing to that battered soul. God bless you for being so open and honest and for sharing your heart-felt story.
Joanne Sher 09/14/07
Congratulations, Janice. Your entry has placed 8th in Level 2. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards