Today, I have no letter. Just a prayer. Kiss me. Flood me. Fill me. Kiss me with Your mercy, and allow grace to flood or overflow in me, and fill me with faith and love for Jesus. In Jesus precious Name, Amen.
Dear Childhood Trauma,
You became a part of me and I didn’t even know your name.
I just couldn’t get over you. You shaped me. You impacted my life, and for a long time, I never even knew it.
Today, when I hear of young girls who have tragically lost their dad, as a result of a senseless murder, I hate it. I pray the trauma doesn’t negatively impact their lives.
I hope that someone, in their sphere of influence, will help them to get professional help so that they can process the trauma in a healthy manner. Don’t let it become a wound, carried around, hidden inside, growing unknowingly that doesn’t heal as it can and should.
Trauma needs to be processed in a healthy manner.
I also believe if you, Childhood Trauma, could speak, you would be screaming for help, too.
Torn by tragedy,
Healed by grace,
Dear Pastor Bill & Pastor D,
I sure do miss you guys and the NCCM (New Covenant Christian Ministries) family. It’s been nine years plus since we moved. Hubby and I still reminisce about the good times had there. I, personally, want to thank you two. I don’t think you ever knew it but my time there was life-altering.
I remember the day we became members. The service was almost over, and the invitation to join had been given, and on this day hubby grabbed my hand. He stood up and ushered me to follow. Inside, I was kicking and screaming all the way down the aisle. Church membership had been on my “will not do EVER!” list. I had been so hurt by the church previously and I vowed to keep my distance. I considered myself “unchurched”. That’s the name I gave it years ago. My definition was simple: A person who has decided to never join a church establishment again as long as they both shall live.
Yes, coming in I was a mess but Grace and Mercy met me at the front door. Time after time after time.
Unbeknownst to me, God’s plan included using NCCM to heal me from being “unchurched”.
During my tenure there, I learned and grew so much. NCCM was the hospital, and you two the primary doctors God used, to heal this one, and change my life for the better, and for that I am so grateful.
May God continue to bless the two of you exceedingly abundantly.
The year 1995. As I walked out of the DMV glancing at my new NC license I noticed an identifier of R. I returned back in and ask what ever could the R stand for? Yes, I truly was that naive.
The R stood for race and interestingly enough, I had been identified with a W, for white, which I am not.
I sat in my car, for quite some time mind you, contemplating whether or not I would go back in and let the woman know she made a mistake. I thought about how the city I lived in, at the time, was predominantly segregated.
I thought about how we were about to buy a home and there was a disproportionate number of people of color qualified but prevented from buying homes. Especially in the areas they preferred. I thought about the treatment I would receive if I were ever stopped by the police. I thought about how I was treated at work. I thought about how I was treated at the grocery store. I thought about the glaring looks of disapproval in an attempt to find a home church. I remembered the conversations I had with school teachers, principals, and superintendents alike because of the injustices my children were experiencing while attending school because they, too, are not white. I thought about why it took me ten months to even decide I would stay in a state that did not embrace me.
I then decided I would leave it. The license, that is.
I no longer live in that state but I still have my driver’s license. I kept it because it was shocking to me that I had to make this decision in order for me and my family to be afforded the same opportunities as others.
I kept it because it reminded me of the injustice experienced because of the race I was born into.
But, I ask, why is racism still acceptable? Why is it is even necessary?
In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist. Angela Y. David.
Forever a foe,
Dear Unbridled Tongue,
Remember that women’s conference? The one where Jennifer Rothschild was one of the keynote speakers? Well, that day, I was ecstatic to be there until I am offended. All because of you, unbridled tongue!
As I sat, at the conference, on the end of a row of seats, one of the volunteers stops to the left of me, and looks down the row I am seated in. At the time, I was the only one sitting in the row. She then says to the women, whom she is trying to seat, that this is the disability section.
I then respond to her letting her know that it is not. She then turns to the ladies and says something like, “Well, you know what I mean.” As if I cannot hear her! Guess she didn’t realize that the devices on my head were cochlear implants and with them I can hear. every. single. word. she. said.
So, as she walks away I begin to tear up. Unbridled tongue, you have done it again. I am offended right up in the church. My mind begins to think on all the other people around me who heard her. I contemplate leaving but I decide to stay although I am now deflated. A few minutes later, a group of women come by, and ask if the seats in my row are taken and happily sit with me. We engage in dialog as if I were as normal as they.
Because I am!!!
The conference starts and lo and behold the theme is none other than “Yes She Can”. Basically, Jennifer speaks about being able to do whatever God has purposed you to do and how every one is fully able. There she stood, on the stage, and little did she know her words were speaking life back into me.
And, sorry to disappoint, but yes, I wish I could’ve found you, unbridled tongue, and flashed the “Yes She Can” card right up in your face.
But in the end, I am guilty of making assumptions, too. I am guilty of saying things that may offend someone without thinking them through. I am guilty of being like you - unbridled tongue.
So, Father, forgive me for all the offensive words I have spoken unknowingly. Please help me to think, before I speak, and for my words to be those that strengthen and encourage. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Tongue tied again,
Many years ago, as I desperately struggled with not being able to forgive, part of what allowed me to break free was this truth:
This is how God showed His love for us: God sent His only Son into the world so we might live through Him. This is the kind of love we are talking about - not that we once upon a time loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. 1 John 4:9&10 MSG
Think about it this way. So, God knew, before I was ever born, all I would think, do, and say, and yet He still made a way for my sins to be forgiven.
When I changed the focus off of woe is me to His love for me, I was able to begin releasing the ‘unforgiveness’ grip on my heart so I could be set free.
I need to ask you a question? Why do you keep coming up in my life? Huh?
Before you even answer, I have something to say to you.
Here is my letter of resignation. I am resigning from allowing you to have a grip on any part of me. As of today, we are done. I know longer work for you. I am free.
That last time, unforgiveness, you almost had me. Who would’ve thought? Me, living my life for Jesus. My Rock. And here you come again. Masked in the form of a painful storm.
Oh, even though it hurt. Even though I hated it. Even though I felt as if it just wasn’t fair, I refused to live in your land. The land of unforgiveness. I’ve visited there before. Heck, I camped there for years. I traveled your streets of bitterness, resentment, so many unhealthy ones, daily. Revisiting the same scenarios in my head. In the past, you have rocked my world. At times making me feel as if I wouldn’t make it. You are a thief. You try and steal my joy and my peace and my forgiveness.
But no longer.
Yes, you are like a cold that appears out of nowhere but I won’t let you linger. Absolutely not!
Even if I must lay out on the floor and cry out to God. Even if I have to scream and shout exactly how I feel. Then. I. will.
Yes, there is so much I still don’t understand. So much I am learning. But you and me, we are officially done.
Goodbye and so long,
It has been over thirteen years since I heard you speak at a women’s conference. At this conference you chose to touch upon a topic that so many women struggle with - identity. At that time, I thought I was the only one.
I still remember the day. The day you asked all of the women, at the conference, to take out their mirror, from their purse, and look into it and write down what they see. I remember thinking, “This lady is crazy!” In summary, the mirror was never my friend. Typically, once we (the mirror and I) finished our morning engagement we parted company until the next day.
So, on this day, my goal was just to make it through the exercise. But little did I know, God would use you, to help me, with a life long struggle.
For the next morning when I woke up and I looked in the mirror, I heard, “I don’t see what you see.” My first thought was, “Good thing!” I then heard words of affirmation spoken and I began to cry. It was on this day, at this women’s conference, that the healing began from my identity crisis that had plagued me most of my life.
I thanked you years ago but I want to thank you again. God used you to change my life significantly and it was on that day I began the journey of seeing myself as God sees me. It was that day I started to love me.
I am still not a fan of selfies but my days of hiding from getting my picture taken have pretty much ended. Keep in mind I said pretty much.
Now, when I reflect on the mirror, what do I see? A selfie I love. That would be me.
Thank You for designing me. I used to think my life was like tapestry only I was inside out. The beautiful parts of me only existed within and the outside was a disheveled mess. Until one day You changed all that. I call that day “The Mirror Experience.” Thank You God for using Elder Genary as a vessel and I pray that You continue to bless her life immensely wherever she may be. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Look Mommy! Look! As I looked up to see what might have the attention of this toddler I realized she was pointing at me. By now her Mom grabbed her finger and pushed it down while whispering in her ear. Whatever Mommy said obviously did not appease the little girl because as soon as she had the opportunity she pointed at me again.
As I passed by the little girl, and her Mom, the Mom’s face was red, I assumed with embarrassment. I waved at the little girl and spoke. After the little girl waved back, I watched her as she slowly put her hand up to her face and pressed on her nose. She meant no harm.
I thought maybe some day I will get used to this. I can shake it off a lot quicker than I used to be able to because I know the truth. I know I am not a mistake. I know God was not shocked or dismayed when I was born. I know I have a future and a hope. I know that when He looks at me He sees nothing but greatness. A funny shaped nose wrapped up in greatness. A scarred face adorned with a precious crown of acceptance and beauty in the eyes of God. Plan and purpose strewn in a banner across my chest.
What if normal and perfect were eradicated as descriptors for people? What if every child, no matter what they looked like, knew just how precious they are in the eyes of God? What if children were told, from birth, that God makes no mistakes? What if they were told this day after day after day after day? Not only by their parents, relatives, friends and neighbors, but also by the educational system? What if it were engrained in them from the time they were born so that difference was embraced? And not called out?
A world of what ifs? But honestly it can be.
In the midst of writing “The Letter Series” this was placed on my heart, and so today I share.
Maybe there are times, when life seems to be so out of whack, we need to remember to insert a comma. We need to take time to pause. Pause and wait on God. Pause and see just what He will do and what He wants us to do.
Help us to pause and wait on You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Hey There! I'm Liz
Founder of Ezra728 with a purpose of creating inspiring messages to strengthen and encourage primarily us gals across the globe. Guys, don't fret. You are definitely welcome, too.