I Am God’s Wildflower

Luci’s Blog

I was part of the sexual Abuse Recovery Bible Study with a small group of women through the “My Ashes To Beauty” ministry. And when I agreed to participate, I figured it had been so many decades since the abuses took place that there wouldn’t be any new discoveries. Well, it turns out there were things that I had not yet processed, even with all the counseling I had over the years.

I had the opportunity to mourn the loss of a safe and happy childhood and teen years that every girl deserves to experience. One of the things that really moved me is when we shared photos of the timeframe that we lost our innocence. I felt such compassion for the other women’s photos and how precious and vulnerable they appeared at the time of their abuses. When I looked at my photo, I felt such love and mercy for the young adolescent girl, that was me; I shed tears over that. I didn’t see myself back then, the way I now do. I had blamed myself for the abuses and couldn’t see beyond how it defined me. I was reminded over the course of this study that I am God’s precious and adored daughter! And that was definitely a good thing to allow to sink into my heart!

As I got to know the women in this intimate setting and hear their stories, I realized, I’m not alone in this, that others have experienced similar atrocities and it endeared me to them. We bonded in a way that goes beyond a typical group gathering for prayer or Bible study. I got the sense that God brought this particular group together so we could pray for, encourage and show one another that there is further healing and work to be done. The prayers that were prayed over us was like a healing balm that sunk deep into my soul!

Sexual abuse recovery takes time, as we peel away layers of false beliefs and negative thinking which keeps us in bondage and from moving further on the beautiful path that God has for each of us to walk. Not only do we need to continue to grow in Him, but He also wants to use us to show others the healing and forgiveness that is waiting for them, through His love. This study ws a safe place to share and be vulnerable with like-minded women.

His beloved,

Luci

 

Luci’s Story (Part 2) God Blessed My Broken Road

Luci’s Blog

Read PART 1 CLICK HERE

In my last blog, (Part 1) Innocence Lost, I left off having just learned that I was pregnant by a man I knew nothing about, except for his name. He had lied to me, saying I couldn’t get pregnant, but there I was with this huge dilemma. I was a single “carefree” career woman who had no desire or emotional stability to carry or care for a child.

Because of my dysfunctional lifestyle and fear of intimacy in the healthy sense, I had very few friends in which to confide in. And the one woman who I did spend time with was the angry mother of a 10-year-old, unwanted girl; this woman is the one who introduced me to the man who I got pregnant by. When I told her I was pregnant and didn’t know what to do, she said “get rid of it, you don’t want this kid.” It made me so sad, and all I could think about is not wanting to end up resenting and treating my child with contempt the way she treated her daughter. In spite of my strong feelings of uneasiness, I scheduled an appointment for an abortion, at a place called the Presidential Women’s Center. And as I look back on my experience, there was nothing pro woman about this place. They were doing abortions by the score, making so much money on women who were fearful, uninformed and desperate! I remember feeling a sense of despair in the waiting room; there were no smiling faces, no peace or joy.

I was so afraid as I lay on that cold medical table, looking at the equipment around me that would ultimately suck my baby’s life from my womb. It took just a few moments to tear apart the little human life inside that God had so perfectly knit together! I can remember feeling a sense of intense sadness when it was over. I just got out of that dark place as quickly as I could. And I cried for months over this decision. I tried to go back to my life of partying and living as though my actions didn’t matter, but it wasn’t working; I was miserable and empty.

While trying to carry on and live my life in the midst of my hopelessness, God consistently introduced me to faithful followers of Jesus Christ. As they shared their lives, testimony and love for Jesus, I began to open up to the possibility of learning more about this “loving Savior.” I wondered to myself, if this God could love someone like me. One day I asked a woman who had been sharing, to borrow a Bible, and she was more than happy to do so!

As I began to read, I found myself fascinated with God’s amazing Word. I don’t remember what my reasoning was at the time, but I went to the back of the Bible and started reading in Revelation. I was so intrigued, and it all seemed so surreal with the incredible images, angels and the way that John described the Lord Jesus Christ! He was larger than life, so bright, with His white robe and golden sash, white hair and eyes that were like blazing fire! Prior to this, the only way I saw Him depicted was lifeless on the cross with a crown of thorns on His head.

Then I began to explore more of this incredible collection of writings. I went into the Gospel of John and then Romans. Shortly thereafter, while sitting in my apartment, just me and God, I prayed to Jesus, telling Him that if He was who His witnesses said He was, I wanted to KNOW Him! I asked Him to forgive my sins, enter my heart and be Lord of my life. When I sincerely opened myself up, I sensed an amazing change in my heart, my emotions and attitude. I felt an incredible sense of freedom and hope. I could actually sense a dramatic shift in my psyche and felt the closeness of God’s Spirit. It was the most incredible day of my life! I was free for the first time since I was a little child! And this transformation took place, precisely nine months after aborting my little child. Coincidence? I think not. God had a plan for my life, not only to be healed and set free from all the abuse and oppression of my past, but He would use me to lead others out of the darkness and into His loving arms.

That day, I went in a new direction, seeking to know God in every way I could. I began attending church and reading the Bible daily. I read the Gospels that taught me all about how and why Jesus came to earth, to save us from our sins, the second death and eternal separation from Him. As I continued to read on my own and with others, my faith and desire to share God’s love grew. I had a new purpose for my life, and it was sent from Heaven!

The journey with my Lord continues today and will never end; I am His for all eternity! So, the Holy Spirit will continue to mold me into the image of Jesus until the day I go home or He returns. My peace and joy continue to grow as I draw closer the the one who loves me unconditionally! I have forgiven those who hurt me in my past, and I am completely free!

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

 

PART 1 (CLICK HERE!)

My Identity in Christ (Part 2)

My Identity in Christ (Part 2)

(Click here for Part 1 of MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST)

QUESTIONS:

What is your identity? How is it different from when you met and received Jesus as your Lord?

As Jesus walked the earth, teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of God, He validated women and showed them great mercy and respect. He went against the culture they lived in. In contrast, their culture treated them like 3rd class citizens, with few rights or respect. He accepted, healed, loved and taught them. And He is available to do the same for you and me today!

According to Romans 8:17, those who have repented of their sins and received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, become His heirs (which is one who receives ownership of an estate and all that is in it), but in this case, we are receiving the Kingdom of God in all its amazing beauty and perfection. We are precious and loved daughters of the King and will be for all eternity!

I want you to picture yourself dressed in a lavish, flowing white robe, which is the symbol of purity and perfection, and let’s read what it says in Isaiah 61:1-3, which was written 740-700 BC (before Jesus walked this earth).

“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 broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” ESV

God takes our filthy rags, which is a symbol of our broken lives, and He replaces them with clean, white robes or righteousness, comfort, healing, joy, peace and strength!

Isaiah 61:10 “My soul will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Blessings,

Luci

My Identity in Christ (Part 2)

My Identity in Christ (Part 1)

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

When I was a little girl, I remember having an overall sense of happiness and freedom to be a child. But as I grew older and began to develop the awareness of my identity within my family unit and became the victim of verbal and physical abuse, my perspective on who I was began to change.

In my mind’s eye, I was ugly, stupid, and overall, a pathetic girl that no one loved or wanted to be with. I can remember my father saying over and over, “Why can’t you be like your brother or why can’t you be like your sister?” He was referring to the older siblings that had gone on and became successful, in his eyes. Out of his frustration and unchecked anger, he lashed out and made us feel unwanted as he put us down by abusing us verbally. My mother was a quiet, submissive woman with multiple (total of 15) kids to care for. She wasn’t involved in our lives except to care for our physical needs. And the brothers that were still in the home, treated me with great contempt and regularly beat up on me. At age 11, I was being molested by two of my older brothers and by the age of 12, I lost my virginity to a drug-addicted man that was 14 years older, who lived in the neighborhood. He literally took advantage of my desperate need for love and affection and convinced me to cooperate with his selfish intentions. I told no one as I thought they would blame me; I believed in my young heart that it was my fault.

I felt like such a failure, that by the time I was a young teen, I began to medicate with wine and beer, and at one point, I felt so hopeless, I attempted to take my own life! Obviously, I wasn’t successful, but at the time, I believed that I was a failure even at that! I not only felt unworthy to be loved but I also felt dirty and had a great sense of shame that covered me like a thick cloud.

As I grew into my teens, I continued to abuse alcohol, adding hard liquor and was introduced to all sorts or illegal drugs, which I experimented with daily. I lived a destructive life of substance abuse and promiscuity. And at age 24, I committed what I thought was the unforgivable offense by having an abortion, essentially ending the life of what would turn out to be my only biological child. This event plunged me deeper into a sense of self-loathing and emptiness that I had yet to experience. By the time I was 25, my sense of self-worth was in the pit; I had no hope and no purpose for my future.

Then it happened! The Lord Jesus, who had been pursuing me for years through the witness of other Christ followers, opened my eyes to His amazing acceptance, love and mercy for me. And I can remember the sense of hope and love that flowed through me like a rushing river! It was incredible! My self-perspective changed that day. I dared to believe that I could be something more than I had settled into. And I embarked on a lifelong mission to get to know the God who would be willing to die for me, a pathetic, sinful, ugly and stupid girl. It took years of Bible reading, support from other believers in Jesus and some Biblical counseling, for me to accept my new identity as I embraced 2 Corinthians 5:17, which tells us, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he (she) is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Today, after walking with the Lord for over 37 years, having His amazing Holy Spirit living in me, I embrace the truth that I am God’s precious daughter, loved and cherished beyond my wildest dreams! He has given me dignity, self-worth and a future hope. I no longer condemn myself because according to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I no longer accept the attempt of others to manipulate or put me down. I have come to understand that I can have boundaries and stay in control, by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Blessings,

Luci

Read MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST (Part 2) HERE

Luci’s Story: (Part 1) Innocence Lost

Luci’s Blog

I was a happy child, playing outside, rain or shine. I enjoyed going to school, coloring, playing Jax, jump rope, hop scotch and all the things little girls like to do. But my favorite pass time of all was hanging with all sorts of animals I came in contact with in my neighborhood. Dogs were my very favorite; I loved them so very much! I suppose it was because of their incredible ability to give me unconditional love and lots of attention.

The first time I recall feeling something wasn’t right, that the “thing” someone was doing to me was intrinsically wrong, was around age 11. I woke in the middle of the night and two of my older brothers were standing over my bed and had their hands on me where they shouldn’t have. I was shocked at first and then I felt afraid! I couldn’t understand why they were doing this. I was so embarrassed that I just lay there pretending I was asleep. I can’t remember how many times it happened, probably a few. I must have blocked it out. I learned later on that blocking out details of the memory is very common when you’ve been violated. I also recall feeling shame, that I had to hide it and pretend it wasn’t happening. I just knew in my heart, true or not, that I would be blamed for this awful thing being done to me. I don’t know why they stopped but remember being so relieved that they did! As I grew older, I was very guarded since they were still trying to invade my privacy by coming onto the roof of my second-floor bedroom window to see what they could. I so hated that they didn’t treat me with respect.

Then at age 12, I met a man who was living in the neighborhood that was over 21 and a “recovering heroin” addict. He told me he was taking methadone although I had no idea what it was. He was a small man, soft spoken and spoke kind words. It seemed like he cared about me; unlike my brothers and father, who were hurtful and critical. He convinced me to go to his apartment nearby. So, I went and found myself being raped. The strange thing was although I was a virgin and very afraid, he didn’t have to force me. I thought he cared and wanted to be with me. I was starved for affection from a father or brother figure and it seemed he was going to give it to me. I was extremely uncomfortable when he was on top of me. And there was pain when he penetrated. I never saw him after that day. But the feelings of being violated and taken advantage of, stayed with me for a very long time. In fact, these feelings were part of what shaped the way I saw myself. That I was, as an object to be used for pleasure, not to be respected or confided in; I believed I was not lovable nor did I have any worth.

After that incident, I became promiscuous and was easy prey for older boys and men who took advantage of me to satisfy their sexual appetites. I had formed the opinion that if I wanted them to give me any attention, I had to give them sex. Now, I understand, that the only men who would expect a young woman to betray herself in this way are dysfunctional, perverted and selfish.

At the age of 14, I was hitchhiking my way to school, which was common back in the 70’s, when a man picked me up but didn’t take me to my destination. He brought me to his apartment and we sat in his van as he urged me to come in “just for a few minutes”. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to go; I was so afraid of what he might do. Then he said “if you come in, I’ll take you to where you want to go”. I felt I had no choice. I had no idea where we were. So, against my inner voice screaming NO, I went in and he promptly forced himself on me. I cried and begged him to stop the whole time. When he was done, he brought me to my school and dropped me off like it was an everyday thing for him! I couldn’t wait to get away, I felt sick and so dirty! I believed it was my fault and again, I felt so much shame. In my young and insecure mind, I believed I could have avoided it.

I never told a soul, not even the sister who I felt closest to; she took me in when I ran away from home but, not immediately. When I first left to get away from my extremely dysfunctional home environment, I lived on the streets and was exposed to very unstable people. This lifestyle was a hotbed for abusive behavior.

From that time until I was about 16, I was violated two more times, once in the park in broad daylight and twice on a dark road and then in a park (same man). There were other close calls that I was able to avoid but it seemed that every man I came in contact with wanted to take advantage of me and have sex. I had lost hope that any man could care for or cherish me as a person, as a woman.

From the age of 14-24, I can remember having sex with countless men along my journey. In my younger years, I would sleep with them and find myself crying, there were a couple that asked me why but I couldn’t explain it to them. All I knew was that it made me feel so empty and used, like an old garment to be discarded.

At the age of 24, I met a man through a friend who also lived a promiscuous lifestyle. I assume he was attracted to me physically but it was most likely more the case that he saw me as an easy “score”. He wooed me by telling me what I wanted to hear. I was desperate for affection and attention from men. I remember asking him if he had protection and he said he had a vasectomy so I didn’t need to worry. Several weeks later when my menstrual cycle was late, I discovered he lied to me to serve his lustful desire. I was pregnant by a man who I barely knew! I had no idea what I was going to do and I felt like a fool to find myself in such a predicament. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I was single and carefree!

In my next blog, I will share with you, how I met Jesus and how He brought light into my dark existence. How He took this broken woman, who was deep in her sin and shame and loved her and healed her. I am still amazed by His love and grace in my life.

 

Read PART 2 (CLICK HERE!)

 

The Holy Spirit—My Guide & Friend

The Holy Spirit—My Guide & Friend

We receive this peace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If we have given our lives over to Jesus and are following Him we have the very spirit of Jesus Christ living in us! He is always present, interceding and guiding us into truth and peace, in and out of the storm.

What is His purpose? It is that you will live with peace and joy in your heart, knowing that He loves you and nothing will come between you and Him, no matter the situation. It is that you will be made righteous, that you may display the gifts of His Spirit and show Him to a dying world.

Prayer is always God’s plan to connect us to Him but now more than ever, we need to be praying earnestly for God to draw us to Himself and praying about all that’s happening around us.

We have access to the very Spirit of Christ in His Holy Spirit who will intercede for us when we don’t know what to ask for!

~ Romans 8:26-28

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[ the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

“Our prayers are not always answered by a specific action. Sometimes our prayers are answered with a shift in our attitude or in our emotions. After prayers we may find that confidence has replaced our fear, contentment has replaced our desire, hope has replaced our despair, comfort has replaced our grief, patience has replaced our frustration, joy has replaced our spirit of heaviness and love has replaced our anger. I know many of us are shaken by the events in the past few weeks so, let’s look at Isaiah and see how he coped:

When Isaiah’s life was shaken, he responded by looking up. As a result, he had a fresh vision of the Lord. This is the time to look up…from our knees! Let’s ask God to give us a fresh vision of Himself. Because, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear… since He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from…the deadly pestilence…You will not fear the terror of night…nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…” Anne Graham Lotz