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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

There was a time in my life when all of the abuse and abandonment of my childhood came home to color my judgment and trash my will to go on. I had said yes to God’s saving grace earlier in my life and the Lord only knows how I would have turned out without that decision. I often say that I would be in a tube top in a trailer somewhere in Tennessee with six kids from four different husbands, trying to stop smoking, and figure out how to buy a pick up truck! 

The church I was in loved me even though I didn’t know how to love myself. They believed in me and encouraged me to go to college. So I studied hard to be college ready. Their belief in me was empowering, but all the while life at home continued to get worse. My mother had many more monster mother moments filled with horrible names for me, accusations that I would never amount to anything, peppered with bouts of physical abuse. It was hell on earth. If I didn’t have the church to escape, I would have had no hope. 

Getting an education, making something of myself, and getting as far away from Tennessee and I dared to go by attending college in California seemed to be the answer. I held on to that hope, but despite the fact that I was a good student, my head was still full of the self-doubt that my mother’s anger perpetuated. No one in my family had graduated college except for one aunt who became a Navy nurse. But my mother’s anger alienated us from that family, so I didn’t have my aunt’s encouragement. I had instead the stinkin’ thinkin’ of an internalized parent:  “How stupid can you get? Any idiot could figure that out? What is wrong with you? You’re not going to amount to a hill of beans. Who do you think you are anyway?” and on and on, ad nauseum.

One night during my second semester, alone in my dorm room, the messages from my mother won and I tried to kill myself.  “Who did I think I was anyway that I could rise above my upbringing and actually make it through college. I couldn’t hack it. Who was I kidding?”  (I made straight A’s my first semester, mind you.) But that wasn’t enough to quiet the doubts that had been embedded since I drew my first breath.

 The biggest mistake I made was giving my mom’s voice a priority. In the emergency room in the violence of throwing up charcoal and ninety-nine aspirin, my mind saw a violent vision of hell’s flames. “Wait a minute.” I thought to myself. “This isn’t what I want.” Finally my soul could hear the gentle voice of Jesus. “I’m here. Are you ready to take my hand and stop going it alone.” I felt the strength of His hand grab mine, and then I fell asleep.

 I woke up the next morning in a hospital room. The first thing I woke up to was sanitized walls and white everywhere. It looked bright and I thought, “Heaven, I made it!”  But it wasn’t heaven and now several decades later I am so glad because I realize all that I would have missed. Oh, it took some time to get there. I spent some quality time in a counseling office and my patient and understanding counselor, Ron Cline, helped me to regain perspective. Finally spending time with God instead of neurotically obsessing on schoolwork restored my hope. 

NOW I RECOGNIZE ALL THAT I WOULD HAVE MISSED—my dear husband of now 42 years who is truly a good man; a beautiful family that keeps growing; a career of helping people who are lost and lonely just like I was; and the chance to build a church that seeks to love people the way Jesus did.

HEAR ME, DON’T CHECK OUT. YOU’VE GOT THE STAY TO SEE HOW THE MOVIE TURNS OUT. There is hope. You can find it on line here. There are talented counselors in your area. There are churches that will love you even when you can’t love yourself.  Life will get better, trust me.

 

 

Comments

June 17, 2018 @04:44 pm

Linda...I'm glad you didn't 'check out. You never can know the impact (or even the spark) your life has given to others who are in the dark place...Gods Love.

Susie
June 13, 2018 @06:52 pm

A wise woman once told me that hurt people hurt people. So happy that you survived and I am sending you a million hugs for the way your mother treated you.

Kristen
June 13, 2018 @06:51 pm

Bless you, Kristen. I believe you. My mom had a dad who treated her the same way. My goal was to break the chain with my own kids. And I receive those hugs:)

Linda N.
June 12, 2018 @06:10 pm

I shared on my FB page. I know it will help a lot of people.

Andy
June 12, 2018 @06:09 pm

Linda. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing. This needs to be broadcasted. So powerful. Love you very much!

Jodi
June 12, 2018 @06:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your testimony Linda. I had a time too where I was going through that myself. My mothers haunting words. "You'll never make it on your own" The kids were 2 and 4. We had just moved here starting our business I was in the bedroom with a gun in my hand husband walked in. That definitely was God intervening. I was 38 God had other plans for me to meet Jesus.

Penny
June 12, 2018 @06:06 pm

Beautiful! Proud of you for being LOUD AND PROUD FOR OUR KING – GREAT JOB…..such a touching story to give hope to others….. God Bless you!!

Jannai
June 12, 2018 @06:03 pm

With tears streaming down my face, I thank you.

Elaine
 

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