Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Different Perspective on the Duggar Situation

I have only been watching the Duggars for a couple years.  I have been fascinated with their lives and their family.  I admit I was pretty shocked to hear that Josh Duggar molested his sisters when he was a teenager.  I have read many comments online saying what a slimeball Josh Duggar is/was and how their family is in a cult and that Josh's victims will be ruined for life because of his abuse.  I have read that he has apologized and his sisters have forgiven him.  From what I have read online, people have said that they couldn't possibly have forgiven him, that they were coerced into saying they did to protect their family image.  All of this may be true, I don't know the Duggars personally, so I can't say.

But I do have a few things to say on the subject.  Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.  And I have read reports citing as many as 1 in 3 women will be abused in their lifetime.  So, these are high numbers.  Chances are good that if you are reading this, either you or someone you love has been sexually abused.  And it is my belief that these statistics are low because many instances are never reported.

Like many of you, I was sexually abused as a child.  It was by a babysitter.  I didn't report it because I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, and of course, there was shame about what I had done/been forced to do.

I am not going to lie and say there were no repercussions.  It was a secret I didn't want brought up for years and didn't even tell my parents about it until I was an adult.   And I probably wouldn't have told them ever if it hadn't been revealed by my sister who also was abused by this person..  I didn't want them to be hurt or maybe think they did something wrong by allowing this person to babysit for us.

 Psalm 61:1 is one of my very favorite verses in the bible. It speaks of Jesus and his redemption:

 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Ah,  friend-- good news to the poor means that Jesus died for your sins and mine have been forgiven by Jesus.   He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world.  When I accepted Him as my Savior, my sins were forgiven and placed on Him.  No longer am I dead in my sins, but can know they are forgiven and will have eternal life with my Savior.

I have given my life to Christ and with it, all of my hurts.  That includes the pain of sexual abuse. Jesus says through the prophet Isaiah that he was sent to bind up the brokenhearted.  Psalm 147:3 says: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Sometimes, people who are sexually abused are held captive by the memories of what they endured.  I am not saying that is wrong.  I think it is a natural reaction.  Satan would love for us to be bitter about what happened and let it ruin our relationships.  He is a deceiver and a destroyer.

I have completely forgiven my abuser.  When I think of her, I feel no malice.  I only feel sorrow for the fallen world we live in that led her to hurt me in the first place.  I pray for her salvation and that she has repented of her sins and has given her life to Christ.

 I believe that if Josh Duggar has TRULY repented of his sins and humbly asked forgiveness, the Bible tells me:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

I don't know if the Duggar sisters have truly forgiven their brother.  But I know that it is possible with Christ's help. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Clenched Fist

I was listening to a podcast by Adrian Rogers today.  He is a pastor who has gone on to be with the Lord. His sermons are still broadcast in a program called Love Worth Finding.  He told a story in today's sermon about a little girl long ago putting her hand in a very, very expensive vase.  Very quickly, she discovered that her hand was stuck!  Her parents tried to get her hand out.  They used oil in hopes of coaxing her hand out, they pulled, and tried all kind of things to get the girl's hand out of the vase.  But alas, her hand was truly stuck. In the end, her parents had to break the precious vase to get their daughter's hand out of the vase.  When they did, they discovered that their daughter's hand was in a tight fist.  They asked her why on earth she didn't just open her fist, for surely her hand would have slipped right out of the vase with her hand open!  The girl replied that she had been holding onto a penny and didn't want to lose it.

This is such a marvelous picture of the mindset of man.  First, for the unbeliever--they hold onto what they see as valuable and miss the wonderful treasure that is the kingdom of God.  Nothing on this earth compares to the riches that God gives to his children.  The unsaved person says, "I like my life just the way it is.  I have great things--a family, a house a decent job and I am generally a happy person."  when they don't realize they could have so much more!

Faith in Jesus guarantees that we will spend eternity with Him.  In a sinless, perfect world.  That is a beautiful thought considering the ugliness of the world we live in. You have to be seriously checked out to have not noticed the state the world is in right now.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power."

Really look at that list.  Doesn't it resemble the people in our world today?  We are living in end times.  Believe it.  I could give you twenty reasons why this is true.  But that list is very clear.  Don't give up eternity for the penny you have clenched in your hand.  Open your hand and grab hold of the Creator of the universe who died so you may have life!

Part 2, The Clenched Fist of the Christian coming up.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tough Subject

I get so used to helping Drew do every day things that I forget how much he is growing up. Today at school while doing his work, Drew said "if God is mad at you, you will die."  His aide and teacher were surprised and asked where he heard that. He said, "Pastor Jim". Now I know that's not exactly what was said, but that must be the conclusion he drew from the sermons he listens to.  So, I asked him about it. At first he didn't want to talk about it. I said, "Is God mad at you, Drew?"  He said, "No, I was good!"  

Drew knows what punishment is and has even recently started using the word, especially when he thinks his brother needs it. 

I said to Drew, "Do you know how when you do something bad, you get a punishment?  Well, Jesus took our punishment for all the bad things we do. Remember how Jesus died on the cross?"  

 "Yeah, poor Jesus!" he said. 

I said,  "When Jesus died on the cross for us, God was mad at him for a little bit. But Jesus didn't stay dead. He came back to life and showed us that God is not mad anymore.  When we die, if we believe in Jesus, we will be with Him in heaven."   

He said, "And Jesus is in my heart."  I said, "is Jesus in your heart?" He said, "Yes. And Kevin, too." (Kevin is his friend who he sits with every week)

Not sure if I handled the conversation properly, but it tells me he is listening and starting to figure things out on his own. Looking forward to more God talks with him. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Could I forget my kids have Fragile X? Probably not.

I read a blog post earlier about a mother of a son with Down Syndrome who had a cashier make an ignorant comment to her about prenatal testing.  The mama set her straight about how it woudn't have mattered whether she knew in advance (in her case, she did) about her son's diagnosis or not.  She just loves her son so much that she forgets he has Down Syndrome.  I can relate to the "wouldn't have mattered" part of her line of thinking--the other part, not so much.  It was a nice blog post.  Maybe my kids are more severely affected than her son is--I don't know.  It really doesn't matter.   But it made me question myself.

Eric and I have talked before and commented that people really have no clue what our lives are like day to day.  I have told people about some of the rituals and routines we go through daily, and they are most often befuddled by them. 

I was lying in bed this morning, and I heard Drew stirring.  I thought, "I can't do it today.  I just can't deal with his shower."  How many parents think that about their fourteen year old? He never wants to take a shower.  I get that some fourteen year olds don't like taking showers.  But for the most part, you can reason with an eighth grader. For him to get in the shower, I have to go through a crazy ritual where I say, "Come on, you are so stinky!You need a show-wer!" and have to sit on the toilet and say, "Oh dear!  Scoop's pooping!  Oh Scoop!  That's disgusting!"  (Scoop is a Bob the Builder character)  Then I have to stand outside the shower to help him wash all his parts.  All the while, he is grabbing my wrists and shoving me away, saying, "No showers!  I HATE showers!"

That is one small example of a thousand different rituals we do every day.  I know I need to teach him to shower on his own.  Both boys need to learn to be independent.  I should not still have to wipe butts.  But, sometimes the thought of the process of teaching them to take a shower independently, or wiping themselves is daunting.  I get overwhelmed with all the steps in the process then forget the whole thing!

When I was lying in bed waiting for Drew to get up, I thought, "Lord, I am weary.  Heavy laden comes to mind. I know your word says, 'Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' I thank you that you always do this.  Help me to be a good mama to my boys and help me to be patient with them." 

Do I forget my children have Fragile X Syndrome?  No, not really.  It colors every part of our lives.  But, what is more important to me than the fact that they have Fragile X is that the God of the universe knew them before I did and loves them even more.  He has a plan for our lives and is working it out for His glory. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

My baby is FOURTEEN today!

It happens every day.  Kids get older in a blink of an eye and moms are left wondering how did he get so old?!  That is what I am wondering today.  Drew is fourteen years old today.

I love the above picture.  I had no idea what I was doing with that baby in my arms, and by the way he was looking at me, he wasn't too sure, either.  

But, we must have figured it out somehow, because here is all handsome, happy and half-grown. Happy Birthday to my sweet Drewy-boy!