Watching my Mother be emotionally abused by my Father which eventually brought on her near-death suicide attempt, led me to internalize my feelings, and put them behind "THE WALL" I built around my heart. My Father was, and still is, the angriest, most controlling and domineering individual I've ever known. I literally felt my Mother's pain, yet attempted to shut myself off from it by physically plugging my ears and running from any and all confrontation.
I became a person who always wanted to please others; to be the best at everything I attempted. I simply refused to pursue anything unless I was reasonably certain I could obtain perfection. So as you might surmise, my endeavors became very limited. To receive love and acceptance, I felt I had to be "doing something" to obtain it. Then being sexually abused by the son of a family friend and having it excused away by my Father as, "Boys will be boys," caused me to further internalize my pain. I came to the realization that voicing it did not bring resolution, nor did it bring love and approval. Because of "THE WALL", I waited years to share the abuse and my subsequent pain with anyone.
I have known God since I was a child through the faithful example of my Mother. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age twelve, and have, since then, had a strong personal relationship with Him. Still I resisted letting even Him into the deep depths of my heart. "THE WALL" I'd built by that time was thickly layered and nearly impossible to penetrate. I had a fear of letting my feelings be seen, so although I never stopped talking to the Lord every day, I continued to keep Him and everyone else on the outside of "THE WALL". I know within my heart that the Lord was watching and waiting for me to turn to Him and lay everything at His feet. Yet, even I could not break through "THE WALL" I had erected around my heart.
Finally, almost four years ago, after having both my strong spiritual examples, my Mother and my Mother-in-law, pass away at relatively young ages, after moving 600 miles from anyone I knew, and after repeated thoughts of suicide, I turned to God, somewhat as a last alternative. I began to read the Word of God daily and allow the Lord to speak to me through it. I could not believe how relevant it was to what I was going through in my life. "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4: 4
I began to journal and that allowed "THE WALL" around my heart to begin to crumble. The Lord was faithful every day to speak to me and to reassure me of His unfailing love and affirmation. He released His purpose in my life and I began, without reservation, to live to please Him, rather than pleasing everyone else. The Lord became the "counselor" I so desperately needed and, believe it or not, I was anxious to go to therapy! He became my comforter, my refuge and my source of strength in every circumstance. I came to the revelation that I didn't have to "do things" to obtain His unconditional love and acceptance.
Now I turn to the Lord, most of the time, without hesitation. I open His Word daily and He is faithful to speak to me no matter the time or situation. I prayerfully seek His guidance in all my decisions. My life is definitely not a bed of roses, but I am able to handle all adversity by praying, reading God's Word and journaling. I no longer allow my feelings to be put behind "THE WALL". Just as "THE WALL around Jericho came tumbling down, so did "THE WALL" around my heart. I now exist to fulfill this scripture:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1: 34
Contributed by Dara Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org Dara is a devoted wife and mother of three. She works as a Cafeteria Manager in a local elementary school. Her husband is the pastor of a non-denominational church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Her purpose in life is to minister and comfort other women. She been through many difficult situations and hope to share my experiences of God's faithfulness through her writings
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