Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
TITLE: Sunshine, Dark Clouds, and the California Coast
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As an eighteen year old single girl, my new baby became an important reason to stay on this earth. But when he was around four years old, once again, fierce despair invaded my mind and again, I was sitting in a psychiatric hospital as cold as an ice cube. My gift, my son, was my sunshine, but dark clouds rolled over the brightness to remind me that I was still broken. And to remind me that my sunshine would be better off without me. My life was dripping with sorrow. My son deserved better. I was still carrying the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, despair of having my purity repeatedly stolen to satisfy the needs of my perpetrators. I was carrying fear around my neck from being abandoned by people who promised to love me but instead abused me. I was carrying a deep sadness; betrayal had taken its toll. It didn’t just drift away as I had hoped. It didn’t just disappear when my sunshine was born. I believed that I was no good. I believed every lie that I had been told.
But yet again, the Lord let me live. That was the third and final suicide attempt. A spark of hope helped me accept that though my life on earth may be painful at times, I had to stay. I had stay and fight and let the good Lord take me home when He said its time. And I prayed to God to please fight my battles for me. And to please help me be a good mom to my sunshine. I just couldn’t do it alone. And He did. He helped me. And that’s why I’m still here. That’s why I am sharing this with you.
I’m proud to talk about my sunshine again. My sunshine is now a twenty year old Christian Infantryman, serving in the United States Army. He recently came home on his pre-deployment leave. And he and I went on a four day road-trip down the California Coast. His encouragement to keep moving forward and not look back has helped me to heal. He’s taught me not to live in fear. Though I’ve gotten tripped up in my guilt parenting for all I’ve put him through, his response is forgiveness, move forward not back. I have finally accepted his words. I no longer have to punish myself with guilt. He doesn’t want me to look back and waste our present time together. And neither do I. His words ring true, because the Lord has told me the same thing over and over. He tells me these things in His Word too.
Our road trip helped me realize and accept my son’s forgiveness. I was able to let go of the past and finally live and enjoy each moment God had given us together. It was all so spectacular. Understanding that I don’t deserve to be forgiven was beautiful. But with deep gratitude, I received it. Sunshine had rolled those dark clouds of the past so far away from me. I didn’t feel guilty. Instead, I was blessed and honored that the good Lord kept me on this earth when I so desperately wanted to leave. Enjoying the view with clear vision made me feel valued. Not only the beautiful ocean and palm trees, but the view of how spectacular our good Lord is.
I am no longer who I was; I am made new because Christ stepped in on my behalf and I accepted. He handles my grief and also helps me to forgive so that I don’t give power to destruction but instead, let Him handle it. Whispers that I am made new help me along.
The unforgettable road-trip down the California Coast stamped God’s approval on my heart and life. Though I can’t erase the past, He can heal it and use it for good. He always does what is best for us, even when it doesn’t feel good. And He continues to heal us each day. Because the Lord helps me through my pain, I live free, knowing that a trouble free eternity awaits me someday. But that day is not up to me. I trust in the Lord and will rejoice in every day that I'm given. He is in control.
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