Drip, drip, drip, the drops of rain fall to the ground causing a ripple effect in each puddle.  We sometimes get disappointed when the weather is far from what we were expecting.  Sometimes we have the same attitude when the rain falls in our own life, forgetting that the rain will help make the flowers grow.  For the past few months it seems that I have had nothing but high wind thunderstorms.  I have ended up in the hospital multiple times because I had tried to commit suicide.  One would think that after the countless fails, it just wasn't meant to happen.  I guess I was expecting life to go differently.  It seems like all my life has been a struggle, and when I finally thought it was all over, the foundation I stood on crumbled.  I have been a Christian for about seven years now, and I thought things were finally looking up.  The problem is, no one ever said life was going to be a cake walk. 

When things seemed all well and good, I was hit with a powerful blow that just knocked me back a few pegs.  I have had a history of being abused, and it followed me and I ended up being abused by someone I was supposed to have trust in.  He groomed me and earned my trust by pushing away those around me.  He preyed on my weaknesses and before I actually knew what was going on, he had already taken this behavior too far.  I felt trapped for four years thinking things might change, but they only grew worse. 

I finally sought freedom, but the information was then placed into the wrong hands.  I had told someone, who I once considered a friend, this news.  She then told her fiance and the news spread like wild fire.  Before I knew it, I was rejected by those who were my church family.  Again I felt like my world had been turned upside down.  I was like Tamar, whose voice was being taken away, and the truth to be buried with her.  The Christian foundation that I had stood on fell beneath me.

I had dealt with difficult things before, but what made this time so much harder to deal with?  Like a game of Jenga, the pieces were taken out and piled on top, leaving holes in its place.  You can only stand for so long before everything comes crashing down on you.  The problem was, I had never fully dealt with the things in my past, because as a Christian you are told that you need to forgive and forget the past; that you have been healed and if you brought it up, you were doubting God.  It was like those days when you were told to clean your room, but instead you just shove everything in the closet or under the bed.  As long as the outside appearance looked good, it didn’t matter that the garbage and junk was tucked away.  You think I would have learned that lesson when I was in second grade having my desk dumped due to unfinished school work.  I faced humiliation, the shame from my parents and teacher, and missed weeks of recess as I finished each assignment.  One day it all comes back, and it is much harder to deal with when that day comes.

At times, I felt like God had left me because I was far from what He wanted.  Some days I felt like I was being punished for being so naive and allowing this pastor to get away with this inappropriate behavior.  But maybe I had actually turned my back on God and tried to deal with things on my own.  I had been impatient with how things were turning out, but God was not.  Like the parable of the prodigal son, I had become the rebel son.  I wanted what I felt I had earned, and then some.  Like asking for my inheritance, I left God’s side to go and take on the world myself.  I was impatient because of the pain it was causing me.  Patience causes pain, and if we are patient with people or the events in our life, it would mean that we had to stay there a bit longer with them.  The father of the prodigal son was patient and gave half his living to his son. 

There was also unmerited mercy granted to the son.  I had tried to commit suicide so many times, that I thought for sure God was going to leave me when I over dosed and wanted to jump off of a bridge.  I was granted mercy and not only lived after my stupid stunt, but I did not suffer from any serious damage.  The father even saw his son from a great distant, which shows that he was looking for his son.  He was expecting for him to return and ran out to meet him.  The son had actually wronged his father, but his father forgave him.  The shame even belonged to the son, but the father took on that shame which caused the Pharisees to see the father as a fool.  But like Psalm 103 and Ephesians 2, He is rich in mercy.  The father also is unlimited in love.  The son should have had to earn back the love of his father and all that he had squandered, but that father saw the repentance.  The son even told his father to make him a servant, but the father would have none of that.  Look at the feast in that story as an honor to the father, for he had made his son a part of the family again.  He gave his son a robe and a ring with the insignia on it.  Our Father has the same love, and we too can have the robe of Christ and bare His insignia.

 I live today because my Father was patient, and still is. He shows me unearned mercy and is unlimited in love.  I not only forgot this, but I also forgot that I am not alone in this battle.  Like in Ephesians 17, Moses needed to keep his arms raised as Joshua fought the Amalekites in order to win the fight.  When Moses was weak, his friends were by his side holding up those arms.  My friends have stood by my side and are holding up my arms.  I wasn't the only one fighting this fight, or was affected by all that was taking place.  I had placed my friends in a hard spot where they too felt helpless and frustrated.  There are people in your life who have stood by your side, and continue to stand by your side as you go through those storms in your life.  Be thankful for them, and remember them in those hard times.  Remember also, that Christ is standing by your side, holding up your arms.    

--A Survivor--