Shadow Of Victory

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

March 31st....The Long Straight

This will be my last entry re the abuse "thorn" so I guess you can all slacken the knuckles and relax a bit before we gather any more speed for more twists and turns on the rollercoaster.

To round it all up and ensure nothing is left unsaid it is important to understand just how far I have come over the years and how God has worked in me is always good to stop and give time to praise God and give thanks and I have much to give thanks for......but before I do....

Forgiveness is a huge issue for anyone who has known trauma and abuse.....several people over the years ( non believers ) urged me to report and press charges.....but I knew that this wasnt the way God wanted me to go...altho I am full of admiration for anyone who has the courage to do this. As most of the perpetrators were nameless and faceless and some incidents were over 45 years ago the chances of me even finding them alive were pretty small anyway. The "world" talks about justice and vengeance but I know that in the "word" God promises that "vengeance is mine" and that "mercy will triumph over judgement"...and God also says "He will restore the years the locusts have eaten " .

There is something inexplicable in showing mercy.......when I have prayed forgiveness prayers over the years I have known immense liberation in my spirit....and on several occasions over the years I have come face to face with 2 of the abusers and have known a peace that "is beyond all understanding". It is hard to explain how when at a wedding reception I was seated almost next to one of the people who had abused me ...who I hadnt seen in 24 years and .....he looked at me and he KNEW.....he looked totally ashamed and like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car he was deeply afraid.....of exposure ....of repercussions.....and altho we didnt have a good old chinwag I enjoyed myself with all the wedding fun and he was utterly miserable.....You see releasing him into Gods hand ....letting go of the hurt and pain and and showing him mercy ...the hold he had over my spirit was broken ...I was free ...yet it was obvious he wasnt.

Another amazing act of God happened when I was in the middle of a 6 week session of counselling and we were dealing with one of the most painful episodes and totally out of the blue as I wasnt in touch with this person and hadnt seen nor heard from him for a long time...I received a letter that started...

"Dear Irene....this letter comes 34 years too late but ...." and he then went on to say he was admitting the abuse and asking for my forgiveness..!! I couldnt believe Gods timing on that one and in truth it brought a closure to me that God must have known I forgive is one side of a coin ...but to then have the person who has sinned against you ask you to forgive them brings a depth of healing that is truly unknowable apart from God.

In all of this I do want to point out that relationships arent always "restored"....none of the people who abused me are my bosom buddies....but I can be in the same room as them and not think about it....I can even write a Christmas card and not curse under my breath...and on occasions (not often..) I can even ask God to bless them and save them .The "restoration" I believe God promised me of the "years the locusts have eaten" is of a different nature and not all to do with the abuse.

The restoration of the years the locusts have eaten for me cover every area of my past.....from a broken home with divorced parents...God has enabled me to have a marriage that is built on "the rock"....from losing two brothers to suicide God has given me 3 children who are all still alive and well and definetly kicking.....from moving from house to house and school to school God has blessed us with being in the same place for 25 years (albeit Bracknell and not the seaside ggrrrrr)...from never feeling loved and not really thinking I was able to keep friends for long...I have friendships that go back decades and even friends who I have known for 36 and 49 years respectively.....yes thats you Sandra H and Caroline M friends here in Bracknell who love me ..."whatever".....from growing up completely unchurched and not knowing His presence God has called me by name and is showing me daily how much He loves and cares for me......from thinking I was of no use as I was too broken God has used me again and again in the church community I belong to....truly a restoration worthy of praise.

Recently Yvonne S. gave me a word from was RESTITUTION.....and she explained that she believed that a "time of restitution" was coming to me.....not restoration...but restitution ...and although I am not clear on what this means I eagerly wait for the fullness of what God is doing....

And finally.....Ephesians ch 3 v 20...says this

Now to Him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than we could ask or imagine ,according to His power that is at work within Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever...Amen

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

March 25th Hanging upside down

I have never in my life been on any of the newer roller coasters...nor do I ever plan on going on one...but I can guess that when it goes looping the loop that everyone hangs on tightly...and screams.....well hang on tight and scream if you need to.!!

It is so difficult for anyone who has not suffered abuse to understand how it affects the spirit...and for this reason I haven't really spoken too much to friends over the years. I spent a lot of time talking and praying with counsellors who were Godly women and gave me amazing support but I still never felt that they truly understood the depths of the hurt ...pain and suffering. The healing I have received over the years has been hard fought for and costly in terms of vulnerability that I consider myself to be a "hero"!! For soldiers who get wounded and then go back into the battlefield they are awarded medals and accolades...well...anyone who has fought this battle deserves medals and accolades too and God has many times whispered into my heart that I am hero.!

Lets look at the wounds that are inflicted on a child....when abused....I did a couple of modules in psychology that were very helpful in understanding the process but still trust that God has His doctorate in all sciences of the mind ...soul and spirit .He is the healer of our souls and the one who sets us free...In Him we have redemption and it is through Jesus Christ that ultimately we are set free.

Every time someone touched me wrongly or I was subjected to abusive situations I shut that I mean that I blanked out what was happening in the physical realm and let darkness fill my mind and conscious thoughts. For long periods of time during and immediately after I would be silent and pretend to sleep...I would lie extremely still....and press my eyes closed...I would hold my breath and clench my teeth and hold every muscle paralyzed ...afraid to move in case the person either thought I was awake or that they would begin it all again. If the person then left the room I would curl into a tight ball and see how long I could hold my breath for and counting the seconds under my breath. Usually I would wet myself as I would be frightened to get out of bed. If the person remained in the bed I would "disappear". This was the worst possible thing that happened and is the most difficult to explain.

By "disappearing" I became invisible and could leave myself behind....I guess the modern day psychology would call this "detachment" and it really doesn't describe fully the immense consequences that disappearing can leave behind. Every time I did this a small part of me was "left behind" as I grew up I wasn't complete. At ages 3...then 7...8...9 and 10 and later 14...fragments of me were lost somewhere in the darkness. As I grew up into adulthood I would find myself behaving even now I find myself "sticking my tongue out" at men in a sort of laughing kind of way..but it is really the small child in me creeping out at times .

At times of healing as I was prayed for it would involve forgiving the people....and this can take time as different layers are can involve deliverance as when the darkness is empty of God the enemy can fill it with demonic influences. But the most significant times of healing where when I was encouraged to face the anger...release it ...and allow the pain and hurt to surface. To be told again and again that I was dirty and horrible and smelly and be hurt and punished and then ignored over and over again can cause tremendous pain and the most horrific lie that can ever find its way into a child's memory is that somehow or other it was "all my fault".

A wise and wonderful counsellor prayed for God to touch the "sore bits " of my young child's spirit and over a period of time I was able to cry.....and I don't mean gentle drips of water coursing neatly down my cheeks....I mean...deep gut wrenching agonising moans from somewhere deep in the darkness...I am talking snot and gunge and eyes swollen and too painful for my lids to close ever again...I am meaning the inability to breathe but existing on gasps of air snatched into my lungs in between fresh onslaughts of "death" being brought back to life...of Gods love touching every small and hidden part of me...of the blood of Christ washing me clean of all the "dirtiness" This in actual fact happened to me several times over the years as I went back to do battle and has been the most significant part of the healing process. I would say that forgiving people is one of the strategic steps in the healing but the dealing with the anger and recognising the depth of pain is also of great importance.

As I continued my journey into freedom I began to realise that I was holding on to some of the "stuff" times I would receive prayer or recognise Gods prompting to pray but I would be reluctant to let anyone help me. I began to talk to God about this and ask why was it that I was holding back and I began a fresh journey into "finding myself"...I was without identity...I had a lot of labels attached to me (anyone interested in labels have a listen to the Mothers day preach on the Kerith Community Church website as Catrina did a good job talking about this )....My labels looked like identity was wrapped up in these words..

A victim
A survivor
A product of a broken home
An unwanted child
An abused child

All of these labels were spoken to me at one time or another and in fact there were many others that I will talk about later and my identity was completely warped. I will be sharing about my journey of discovery as I began to rip the labels off me that were never intended for me ...and seek out what was the truth behind the lies.
Stay with me....

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

March 24th Looping the Loop

Hang on tight whilst I take you on a may not be a pleasant one so feel free to skip this entry....but better yet read on and see God at work.

I have shared about abuse being one of the major scars in my life and without going into details let me run through what "the enemy" and the fallen world can use to damage Gods precious creation.

From age 3 right through to age 14 there were many small events that taken in isolation may not have caused much pain but when seen one on the other the ultimate end result is a broken spirit in much need of Gods healing. As I have already one raped me ...the incidents were all inappropriate touches and this happened possibly about 5-6 times by several different people and some completely odd happenings which seemed irrelevant but still deeply affected me.

so.....let me mention the seemingly odd the park where we all played a man exposed himself and offered money to touch him....nowadays we would have all gone home screaming to our parents and police would have been called...but 45 years ago..the friends I was with thought this would be a good idea and we ended up with ten shillings which was a fair amount of sweets between us all !!! A relative at one of the many houses we stayed in tried to come into my room one night and the cousin I was sharing a bed with had locked the door as she told me he came in regularly and she wanted to stop we huddled together under the blankets for an hour or so whilst he rattled the door knob and tried to persuade us to open the door.I got up one night in a strange house (remember I explained that when my mum left my dad we ended up going from one set of friends or relatives to stay for different lengths of time ) and I wandered into a bedroom where 2 people were engaged in a sexual act....and later in this same house they engaged in this in the same bed as I was in when they thought I was sleeping.

I am not going to go into any other details re these events but I will mention some of the consequences I have had to work through. I thank God that despite all of this rubbish filtering into my soul during my childhood...I did not become sexually promiscuous which often happens with abuse.....I believe wholeheartedly that God brought Chris into my life at age 18 to prevent me going down that road....even though neither of us were Christians at that time.

SB the pastor of our church recently did a series of sermons and one of the topics he covered was "sex"...he stated quite freely that sex had got better with his wife over the years than what it was in the beginning. I believe that Chris and I would say the same and as God has brought deeper and deeper healing to me then I can certainly say it is much better....My lovely daughter will be cringing now I know...when the kids were younger we referred to mummy and daddys sex life as
"swinging from the chandeliers.!!"..ask her about it and she will likely swot you one.

But...I do still carry scars from all that has happened...none of which directly affect sex.!!! It is weird I know but as I have continued to seek healing over the years I have come to terms with the "scars" and have accommodated them. You may ask ..why dont you keep on asking..keep on seeking.....keep on .....but I have reached the stage in this last 3-4 years where I am not going to carry on digging around. Its a bit like surgery or an accident....especially if left with a scar or a limp just adapt and as time goes by it loses its importance. I want to spend my time concentrating on enjoying ALL that God has done rather on thinking about what He maybe hasnt yet done. He may well in time to come .....change that in me but for the moment I am at peace.

Consequences such as ..Beds ..Doors...Bodies....Sleeping.....I are thinking ..what on earth is she wittering on about.??!!

Beds...When we go away we now choose to book a hotel rather than stay in other peoples houses...It sounds a bit silly but unless I know the bedroom is private and has its own bathroom etc I wont sleep well...
Doors..I have to sleep facing the door.....this has caused much hilarity over the years with us moving beds all over the place so I can sleep well....when we book a holiday cottage ..its the first thing I do is sort the bed and move it if needed...
Bodies....cant sleep with anyone other than Chris (not that I would ever want to anyway)....gave up trying to share beds with girlfriends over the years at conferences etc...I have a funny story to tell about one Spring Harvest when mistake meant I had to sleep in a double bed with a friend for one night.!!,,and forget stuff like sleeping on bed sofas in other folks living rooms .
Sleeping.... I must have loose and light covers on ..nothing tucked in and all my nighties must be floor length and I cant sleep curled up into Chris....I am also a night owl and can delay going to bed till late.

This is interesting for me to revisit some of these "scars" I am so used to them that I dont often notice and have adapted them into my life.......and feel at ease about them...I guess everyone has various adaptions for many things in their lives.Any kind of trauma will carry some post traumatic consequences which can be so devastating that recovery is almost impossible...but we have a Great and Sovereign God for which the "impossible becomes possible" and over the years I have experienced that He has done much more than I could ask or imagine.

I will finish here by giving God praise...and glory and blessing and honour..Psalm 18 says it all...let me share some of the truths here

"The Lord is my stronghold...He is my shield ...In my distress I called to the Lord ...I cried to the Lord for help...He reached down from on high and took hold of me and drew me out of deep waters...He brought me out into a spacious place and He rescued me because He delighted in me. The Lord lives.!! Praise be to my rock. Exalted be my God my saviour."

May God bless you ...

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Thursday March 19th...Small Detour

I was going to carry on with the looping the loop on the rollercoaster but I decided to have a small detour....As I think I have mentioned I have been a part of the Inspire Ministry....mentoring...and have had the benefit of meeting with CH every 2 weeks since the beginning of the year. I am fully convinced that everyone at some point should have a mentor...maybe at different seasons in their lives. When Chris and I became Christians we had a couple who "walked alongside " us (unofficially )mentoring us for about 5 years and I know they had a huge influence in the early years of our journey. So I was looking forward to getting into the same kind of relationship ...knowing that THIS season would be a good time to have someone alongside me.

We have been reading the book ..."Having a Mary Heart in a Martha world" and this last chapter was all about WORRY.....I had been quite smug as I went through it and decided I was not a worrier.!!!...and was kinda thinking the evening would be a bit of a doddle.....Yet God sees deep inside our spirits and knows everything about us and even when we think we are doing okay .....He knows different. As we began to pray together my eyes filled with tears...I decided I could control this and sniffed quietly and wiped them away. CH had her eyes closed and wouldnt even realise I was crying if I was clever......

I got myself together and we carried on praying and next thing I knew I was a goner.!! couldnt keep it under wraps any longer and just had a good old weep..all the time saying "but I am not a worrying person" . I realised that whilst I may not have "actively" been trying to solve things I was still deeply troubled by stuff. I guess as I have also recently had a shingles attack too that could possibly have been a clue (!)

I have decided to list my "worrys" in the hope that "better out than in" and perhaps you may be tempted to pray for me. None of the areas I am worrying about can I actually do anything about so I have to learn to lay them at the foot of the cross and allow Jesus to bear the burden for me. I think that if you are a"fixer" then we like to think we can fix it all up and I fall into that category of a planner...
a doer ...and a fixer...and perhaps I can learn that sometimes I just have to let it go and let God.

The main "worry" has been Chris work situation...his company is about to be liquidated and he has been under threat of redundancy for about 9 months...Chris has been working for this company for over 30 years and at 57 we didnt want him to be in the job market...(more of this in another entry)...linked to that is the fact that we have quite a bit of debt hanging over us and several years ago we entered into a 5 year IVA..of which still has over 2 years to go (more of this in another entry too) for a long time I have obviously been worried about what would happen and as we know quite a bit about IVAs and what happens it could possibly have meant we would have gone bankrupt and lost our home.

Financially we are on a very tight and supervised budget....and this last 3-4 months we have had huge unexpected outlays....if its not the car needing 300.00 extra work its both cars needing MOTs and taxed and insured all in same period of time....
PLUS 3 x trips to Scotland for 80th birthdays and diamond wedding celebrations,last December ...this month and April too . One friend recently made the suggestion that we dont go to Scotland for these family celebrations and I found myself weeping even more at this thought...we had been the stupid ones who had made such a mess in our finances in the past and now we were in a situation where the entire Mooney clan would be gathering and we couldnt be there because we couldnt afford it. I cant NOT go....its the parents and at 80 this may be the last chance we have to be with them and ALL the family together...neither of them are in good health so we have "found " the money by using my tax account ...only got to find that in July...but hey ho..I can "worry " about that then.!!!

My final "worry" that I was smug enough to think I had it covered is my sweetheart of a daughter....she and her gorgeous hubby are facing some difficult times and ...(you know even as I write this sentence the tears are dripping on keyboard....) and as her mummy ..everything in me wants to wrap her in my arms and kiss it all better...(pause to wipe eyes and blow snotty nose,)...When I am powerless to fix...what else can I now do but kneel at the cross and cry out to our great and sovereign God...and then TRUST HIM.....this is what I must go back to spiritual school to relearn again and again.....Trust Trust Trust.....

So....maybe now I have a new thing to add to my worry list...even more personal be kind to me please...hee hee....

May God keep you free from worry and may you me.....learn to "cast all your cares on Him...because He cares for you"

Normal blogging will be resumed next hang on tight .

Monday, 16 March 2009

Monday 16th March SCARS

I am deeply grateful for your comments....and emails....and knowing you are walking with me on this journey makes it less lonely. I am also grateful for RB and her often something of what she shares will prompt me or bless me or encourage me. There is a link on her blog to a podcast with Mark Batterson talking about "Scars" and it just confirmed in me what I was going to share in this entry.

Mark shares from Psalm 107 ...."let the redeemed of the Lord say this"...or "tell their story" and encourages transparency in our lives.He says that "transparency breeds transparency " it will open up the way for healing . My prayer is that as you journey with me in my transparency that you also will know both transparency and healing.He also talks about foundations....and if the foundations in our lives through childhood and early life are faulty than the "building" will never be secure.

I remember 20 years ago in the excitement of laying the foundations for the new Kerith Centre we were all appalled to discover that the foundations were wrong and we had to dig them out and redo them ...the architect was almost crying as were we all as it took time and money to do....but we knew the 1000 seater church would never be fit for purpose if we didnt fix it .!!

When I became a Christian I soon realised that the foundations of my life were well and truly wrong and that I was definitely not fit for purpose and so a complete re-modelling was required for me to be the woman that God had originally planned me to be. I like to use the analogy of much of my walk towards wholeness has been as if God has had to "operate" on me.!! He has cut out of me the anger...the hurt...the guilt...the shame....the bitterness....the humiliation....the fear....the loneliness..the insecurity....the inability to believe.....He has fought a long and hard battle with my inability to accept His Love.....and I can stand firm and fulfil the scripture from Psalm 107


If you follow my analogy re will understand when I say that each time I allowed God to touch the painful times of my opened up a wound I had just ignored that over time had become took time to bathe the wound...cut back the infected parts...maybe inject some painkillers or antibiotics...and then some stitching was required and inevitably although those wounds are 100% healed they have left SCARS....are you still with me???

Each episode of abuse had to be dealt with seperately...each person who had wrongly touched me had to be forgiven (sometimes over and over again as different memories were uncovered) ....each and every last piece of anger..shame...fear...guilt....humiliation....despair....every negative aspect of my spirit that was lying crushed deep inside had to be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.....I am not talking "day surgery" or "outpatient clinic " here I am talking "intensive care"...Friends who walked with me during some of my darkest days will tell you of the many times I almost gave up.....ask Chris...he refused to give up on me....if you were one of those friends who stood by me...THANK YOU.....

There were also times when I just had to "discharge myself against medical advice"...dont you love my analogy.!! In the midst of all of this I had a marriage...3 children couldnt deal with it all in one burst of spiritual hospitalisation....perhaps that is why I said at the beginning of this blog that it has taken me many years...this wasnt because I stopped believing God could heal me...or I was being disobedient...or avoiding letting God into my was twofold...

Firstly ....I needed to be Irene...wife... mother ...friend..I needed to serve in part of the school run and cheer my kids on in their football and gymnastics. Secondly I needed time to recover and let the wounds heal over....some of the wounds were easier to deal with ..some were extensive and some were downright hard work and kept re-opening and getting re-infected.

One of the reasons I wanted to share this blog with folk is that I misunderstood the process of healing....for a very long time I assumed God would also take away the scar tissue...some divine plastic and cosmetic surgery would leave me with an unblemished skin.....but anyone who has had any kind of surgery will know there is always a scar..even the most precise surgeon will always still leave a mark..I love the story from scripture of Jacob..who wrestled with God....and was left with a limp (Genesis 32 )I like to think I have wrestled with God and even said to him ..."I wont let go until you bless me "(heal me) and the scars I still have are not something to be ashamed off...or to keep seeking healing for..they are just a part of what God has done in me...I am comfortable with them...they no longer trouble me.

I hope I have made sense in this rambling..I hope the analogy hasnt been too obscure and you have understood what I have been trying to share with you. My next blog entry will be the part of the rollercoaster that is commonly called the loop the hang on tight and keep those knuckles tightened and whitened. Scream loud if you want off.!!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday March 13th;Update

I have struggled to get on to the blog for a few days...I seem to have less time than before having been ill and then away for weekend but I have a relatively free couple of days so hope to update and move on.

I thought to update on the boundaries I set myself after the week of prayer and fasting at end of the hope you will rejoice with me where I am doing well and then hopefully pray for the areas where there hasnt been signifcant changes.

My bible study is doing has been a sustained time of reading and enjoying scripture...possibly the longest unbroken time for many a year...laying aside fiction reading and telly watching has also been significantly less....I think I said I could read 2 -3 books a week..well I am only on my 3rd novel in 9 weeks.!! We also made the decision to get rid of our SKY I probably only watch a couple of programmes now.I have also succeeded in walking our dog almost daily...and boy is he looking quite svelt...he was about 5 kilos overweight but I reckon he has lost it...and is enjoying a new lease of life...

I am praying daily for my children...especially for Catriona....and also for Chris...but wish I could find more time to actually pray WITH them rather than just for them....and bedtimes....usually well before midnight...but I do sometimes still read till fact last night both Chris and I were still reading at 1am.!! we must both have been at a good bit in the book.....Finally...I still struggle with healthy eating and confess to feeling a mixture of guilt and anger as well as despair...I think this is one of my "thorns" to be unpacked at a later time in my journey here on the blog.

I am so enjoying being involved with both Exposition ...the writers group within church which is beginning to stretch and challenge me in my writing....and to mix with others and share in what they are writing is a huge privilege......and also with the Inspire mentoring ministry. I have been meeting with my mentor every couple of weeks and together we have been looking at our lives and reading through the book...about Martha and Mary.....It is hard to put into words how valuable I have found this mentoring ....Just to have someone willing to care for pray for me support encourage challenge listen to a very special gift......

I will close here and hope to blog tomorrow and continue on my "rollercoaster" ride. Are you still hanging in there with me....or have you jumped off when it slowed down....keep me company otherwise the thrill isnt the same ..LOL...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

March 5th Knuckles .!!

My knuckles are well and truly tightened and whitened and here I go....

The word ABUSE has a very powerful and emotive effect on most people in todays culture. Going back 4-5 decades I am not even sure it was a word and I certainly hadnt thought about the events and circumstances of my young life as being "abusive".We hear the phrases...emotional abuse...physical abuse...sexual abuse newspapers ,on television, in films and magazines and in the many books being written about it.
We also use and hear phrases such as "victims of abuse" and "survivors of abuse" and I can honestly say that I never think of myself as a victim nor a survivor...I am just who I am ...yes I have been shaped by events and still live with some of the consequences but I have been given a new identity through faith in Christ and no matter what happened to me I am no longer defined by the past.

Abuse is explained in the dictionary as ....bad effect..bad purpose..maltreat...incorrect or improper use ..unjust or corrupt practice. I dont think any of these explanations can even begin to define or explain the "meaning "of abuse.There are also so many levels of abuse and for myself...I had convinced myself that what had happened to me so many times over the years wasnt abuse and yet I know now without any doubt that it most definitely was. Okay I may never have been raped...I may never have been beaten physically with a belt...I may never have been locked in a cupboard with no food....I may never have been burned by cigarette ends and all the other awful events described in so many books but whatever is done to a child that is unjust or corrupt is still ABUSE. My aim isnt to focus on the abuse but to share how the consequences can be far longer lasting and more damaging than the actual event itself

Perhaps if someone asked 50 people who had known abuse in their lives to give a definition of how it had affected their lives..I am sure there would be so many different responses but I believe there would also be some very important similarities. I would hesitate to put words into other peoples mouths but I would suspect that there would be words and phrases like the following....

Losing control of life
Fear of exposure
Feeling of being lost and alone
Guilt....blaming myself
Lack of trust
Inability to love
Fear of dark
Fear of intimacy
Suicidal feelings

And many more.. the self harming /anorexia/addictions that can find their roots in childhood abuse, coping mechanisms that people can adopt to take the pain away. This blog isnt going to be a manual or a prescriptive list of this hugely involved topic is hopefully going to be a light into the darkness that can and does permeate into our souls when abuse happens.

One of the main reasons I have for never really thinking I was abused was an event which happened when I was about 8 years old...I have said I wouldnt be going into details so please dont panic..I only share this to explain the rationale behind my thinking. I had a very good friend who had both a mum and a dad living with her..I loved spending time with her family as I didnt have a dad living with me and not only that but her mum didnt work and was around after school with custard do-nuts....this was in the days when kids came home from school on their own to empty heading to this family after school was heaven to me...As time went on I would have sleepovers and they were just the best thing !!! Lovely dinner with puddings and sometimes a board game...I loved her...and her mum and her dad..I felt a little bit like an adopted sister . When it was time for bed my friends dad would "tuck us in" and inappropriate touch would happen...I didnt have any idea of what dads could or couldnt do so assumed this was a normal part of a bedtime routine.
Once I asked my friend about it and she just laughed and said he does it all the what else could I think other than ..okay ..thats what dads do..!!!

You can see how lies build upon lies and how I began to believe that this was acceptable, thus ensuring that all the events that happened in my childhood were all part of ordinary life. Add to this the fact that I moved homes so many times and attended so many different schools and never really got any chance to build relationships and in answer to the question that a Christian friend asked me a few years ago.."why didnt you tell anyone?" The answer is quite simple...WHO WOULD I HAVE TOLD??...My parents were already dysfunctional.....there was no adult that I trusted and I had begun to believe a lie that this was what life was like in families.!! Abuse thrives in the dark...the isolation....the fear....the lies....

But I know that Christ came to seek and save the lost...those in dark places...those who live with fear...and pain and hurt and rejection....Christ came to give hope to those without bring freedom to release us all from show us that we can trust Him....I know that My Redeemer Lives and no matter how dark my childhood was ...once His light began to shine it was only a matter of time before I opened up the wounds and asked Him to bring healing. His love is the only antidote to the abusive chains that can hold us captive.

I am well and truly on the hang on with me and we will see where we go....only dont ever expect me to try this again..!!!

Monday, 2 March 2009

March 2nd Roller Coaster

Good morning on this bright and sunny Monday morning....Spring is definetly in the air...daffodils can be seen on the road sides and green shoots are budding on the trees. So...why am I feeling like a dark winter night??

The purpose of this blog is to be as honest as I know how to be....and not to give a false representation of who I am. I have long since discovered that life is a bit like a rollercoaster...once you commit to getting cant easily get off!! until the ride is finished. I have discovered that writing is a bit like that ....this blog may well be like that too. There will be times when I am hanging on with knuckles tightened and whitened...other times when I am waving my arms in the air going...whoo hooo...times when I am sitting shellshocked by the twists and turns and then times when I am just waiting for a lull in which to jump off .

Those of you who know me well...and Chris and my kids will tell you...I DONT DO fact I dont really do theme parks...look for the lone woman propping up the rails with everyone elses coats and bags and thats me....waving aimlessly at small dotty people hanging upside down and thinking....IDIOTS...who would willingly get on one of these monsters?.....

And today I am asking myself....why have I willingly got onto this particular kind of I some kind of IDIOT think about sharing my life with all its ups and downs and twists and turns and the good ...the bad and the ugly. To share the times when I am hanging upside down and hanging on by my fingertips....when I would much prefer to only share the exciting parts...the huge adrenalin rushes ....the mountaintop experiences...the "God has intervened" loops.....

As I was praying this morning ....I could see the rollercoaster car being winched up the hill...anyone seen the Pepsi Max at Blackpool? just know the long haul up to the top is scaring the pants off the folk sitting in the car....Ha...they may be looking calm and cool and chatting and giggling...but their hearts will already be beating double fast...their bladders will already be sending "help" messages....their stomachs will be asking "will I throw up or not" their minds will be thinking.."is my last will and testament written"

Today I think I am on that long haul....I know that some of the stuff I may be sharing on this blog will be scary for me to write..and may even be scary for you to read....but I know without a shadow of a doubt that "writing is my best chance of happiness". When I explained about the title of the blog...and why I had called it "The Shadow of Victory" it was to let you know where I may sometimes be....and today I have realised that coming under His shadow....finding His protective covering...seeking out a place to rest for a time...not asking for answers or expecting anything other than time to just be doesnt make me any less is at times a good place to be and altho I started todays blog by asking why I felt "like a dark winter night?" it was purely a rhetorical question.....its not a bad place to be...and whereas I used to struggle if I was not always on the I realise that God gives us His Shadow at times to rest and feel safe......

Wherever you are on your own prayer is that you will know how to get the very best out of the ride.....