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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)

TITLE: Letting It Go
By J. C. Lamont
08/27/04

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Though raised in a conservative Judeo-Christian family, a pastor’s kid, and home-schooled, inside the walls of the house my parents called home, the God of love, was nowhere to be found.

God was a judge who had no patience for Christians who didn’t follow the rules. The Bible was used as a weapon against me. My interest in listening to the radio, wearing makeup, dating, and having unsaved friends was considered “worldly” and made me “lukewarm”. I was home-schooled because, according to the Bible, children are fools. Disobeying my parents was rebellion and, according to the Bible, God sees no distinction between rebellion and witchcraft. According to the Bible, God could not hear my prayers because he could not look on sin.

Needless to say, the Bible became my enemy.

At 17, I left home and for 7 years completely walked away from Christianity. Other than witnessing if the opportunity arose, I lived by the 10 commandments and nothing else. I could count my church attendance on one hand, never touched a Bible, and rarely prayed. What was the point? God couldn’t hear me anyway.

At the lowest point in my life, I developed a deep interest in mythology and mysticism. Every Sunday I would go to the local bookstore and read books in the café. I read cutesy spell books about how dandelions could make you happy and how certain scents invoked peace. I didn’t see it as a religion; to me it was simply a harmless hobby.

At first it seemed to fill the void that was inside me, but in order to continue filling that void, I was forced to plunge deeper and deeper. One Sunday, the book I picked out had a pentagram on the inside cover and I realized I could go no further with this hobby; yet I still felt so empty inside.

I walked around the aisle and was faced with shelves of Bibles. For some reason the cover of a Bible Handbook captivated my attention. With charts, graphics, and contemporary captions, it highlighted the basics of each book in the Bible. Something in me severely wanted that book.

After reading halfway through the Old Testament, I saw God’s unrelenting forgiveness as his children renounced him and worshipped other gods. Yet each time they repented, He welcomed them back with loving arms. This was not the God of my parents; this was a loving Father who desperately wanted me to love him back.

I stopped reading that handbook; it wasn’t enough. I bought a Bible and read it like a fast-paced novel. The same obsession I had with mythology, overnight transformed into an addiction for God’s Word. I couldn’t get enough. I even started craving Church. More than anything, I craved God.

Within a year, the wounds of my past were healed. Though the scars are still there, and ache from time to time; no longer am I haunted by my parent’s condemnation. No longer do I doubt God’s love for me. No longer do I believe He can not hear my prayers.

What have I learned in life? I have learned how to forgive, how to release bitterness, and how to let go of the past. Most importantly, I have learned to believe in God, in His promises, and in His unfailing love.

The tears never wiped
The ‘good job!’ never praised
The love that was refused
The hurt disregarded
The needs never met
The time never spent
The thoughts never listened to
The house that was never a home
I’m letting it go

The pain that was caused
The cries that were ignored
The cruel things said
The lies that were told
The blame that was laid
The anger taken out
The dreams that were crushed
The emptiness created
I’m letting it go

All these years later
The walls that built up
Around my broken heart
Bitterness that blackened
My empty soul
Self-critical thoughts
That controlled my mind
Open wounds that would not heal
I’m letting it go

The God that I knew
The condemning judge
Who cared only for rules
And couldn’t hear my prayers
When I was abandoned
Took me gently by the hand
And showed me His love
Unconditional love
He’ll never let me go

My Father who made me
Who called me His own
Healed those bleeding wounds
With loving fingers
He sutured my soul
The scars left behind
I hope will show others
Lost and abandoned
Why I’ll never let Him go


Member Comments
Member Date
Al Boyce08/30/04
I particularly liked this passage: "With loving fingers
He sutured my soul
The scars left behind
I hope will show others"

Thanks for sharing the testimony and the poetry.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/30/04
What a testimony - and what a lesson learned! How awesome that you have been able to put that behind you and know the truth! That "something" in you that severely wanted that book was definitely the Holy Spirit, faithful to complete the good work He started in you!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Blessings, Lynda
L.M. Lee09/02/04
what a great testimony. I know many a mother and dad who pray their kid will find their way back to God like you did.