“Why Wait?” Part 4

WHERE THE HURT BEGAN

This is a hard subject that most people don’t want to talk about.  I have to bring it up because it is part of my “Why Wait?”  Some scars are so deep that your mind has blocked them out.  These scars will make you think, act, and live in a certain way.  You sincerely believe that this is just who you are, and it may be, but it is not normal.  Your behavior was created by an event that has not been healed.  Even if you do remember it, you are still powerless to act differently until you are healed.  For me it took a very long time.  If it were not for Jesus, I probably would have never remembered it, let alone let Him heal me.

Remember I said earlier that I lived in Widen, West Virginia, till I turned eight.  Now that small mining town, at the time, literally had one road in, one road out.  My earliest memories consisted of my Dad, in whom I placed my full confidence, to maneuver the windy hill that led into Widen, on your way down from the main road.  As a child, the billows of dust that surrounded us, blinding my view of the road, never worried me.  I trusted my Dad completely.  Looking back I wonder if he even saw the road.  I believe he had driven it so many times; he could have taken that road on blindfolded.

My Mom stayed at home making “housewife and mother” her occupation, even though she had a brilliant mind, and, no doubt, could have been anything she desired.  She chose to raise her children, along with taking care of a woman that lived next door, Miss Macy.  In Miss Macy’s household were her brother and two of his sons.  The oldest, I think, had to be in his late teens.  The youngest shared my age group.

Because my Mom cared for Miss Macy this sent us often to her house on an errand.  I was at home most of the day since I hadn’t started first grade.  So I ran a lot of errands for my Mom, when she wasn’t able to go over, mainly to give Miss Macy her groceries or give her a bottle of medicine.

One afternoon my Mom asked me to run something over to Miss Macy’s.  Very willing to do what my Mother asked, I skipped my way over to her house.  After dispensing the medicine into her hand she told me to go out the front door because they were working on the back one.  So I took the short walk to the living room.

I didn’t like going through the front door because the living room, which had no windows, kept that room shrouded in darkness.  But, being obedient, I made my way to the door.  As soon as I stepped into the room, my skip was interrupted by a man’s voice.  I heard my name.  I stopped.  I looked into the corner of the room but it was very dark.  I knew the voice, so I wasn’t afraid.  To lure me over to the corner, he told me he had some candy for me.  We’ll, I wanted the candy.  I stepped over to his brother’s little red wagon.  I remember seeing something but I didn’t know what it was.  He asked me to sit on the wagon with my legs on either side if I wanted the candy.  I did.

Now, at the time this event took place I did not have a clue what was happening.  I don’t even remember feeling like I did anything wrong.  He asked me to sit down, so I did.  He said he wanted to play doctor.  His brother had already introduced me to the game called, “Doctor”.  When you went to the doctor’s office you took your clothes off.  I concentrated on the lollipop he gave me.  I liked lollipops.  After a minute, I remember being in pain.  I started to cry that it hurt.  He told me to be quiet before his aunt, who was in the next room, heard me.  He let me go.  He had tried to penetrate.  He was not successful.  If Miss Macy had not been in the next room, I’m sure I would have been raped.

This happened twice.  As a child I didn’t remember from one day to the next what happened.  But, on the third time I had to go over to Miss Macy’s house it was different.  At first I didn’t remember the events that had taken place, so I still skipped over to her house for the errand, but as I left, going out again by the front door, I stopped dead in my tracks when I reached the door way.  Fear gripped my heart.  Was that older boy there?  Did he wait in the dark corners of the room?  I looked until I was sure he was not there before I continued on my way home.

Even now as I tell this my hands involuntarily ball up into a fist, and I want to cry for the little girl that I was.  I heard someone say once to talk to the child within you that went through that event.  Again, I talk to the five year old Adrian and tell her as she enters the room, “Adrian, it is okay.  You are not to blame for what he did.  He cannot hurt you anymore.  You were just child.  You don’t have to be afraid of him.”  I don’t talk about this very much.  Healing takes a long time.

Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I can tell you that that memory buried itself deep within me.  I would not recall what happened to me until after I turned twenty-three.  I’m sure any psychologist will tell you that a traumatic event will lie dormant   in your subconscious until it surfaces, if it ever does.  My subconscious mind knew of the fear that came from being molested along with the physical pain, which began to show itself in my teen years.

In the meantime, life continued on as usual.  We moved to my grandmother’s house in Stonewood, West Virginia, where I started third grade.  From third grade until I reached fifteen years I liked all nationality of boys including African American’s.  I visited my sister, in the big city of New York, when I was in fourth or fifth grade.  One of her friends had a little brother about my age.  I remember he had the prettiest brown eyes.

They planned for me to attend a church camp.  We sat on the bus together.  I had never had a boyfriend before.  I liked boys, but it never went any further.  I didn’t have any idea what it meant to have a boyfriend, unlike the kids of today.  Besides, in Stonewood, most of the boys I knew were Italian.  Their mother’s would never allow their sons to like an African American.  The other boys in my neighborhood were my cousins.  I let this boy hold my hand.  I remember feeling something.  Holding his hand just made me feel funny, like something was wrong.  The fact that all the other kids on the bus were laughing at us might have played a part, but really the feeling went much deeper.

In contrast to this, when I was in fourth grade, there was a blonde haired, blue eyed boy in my class that sat beside me.  I thought he was so cute.  One day during our music lessons, this boy reached out for my hand.  I responded by giving him mine.  We sat holding hands, swinging them between us while we stared at each other, smiling and singing.  I remember our teacher looking at us but I don’t remember if she said anything to try and separate us.

There was no fear.  I liked holding his hand.  No one in my class laughed, snickered or made crude remarks.  We enjoyed talking to each other and innocently holding hands.  There was a good feeling connected with this.

My next segment is going to unveil the mystery of the subconscious mind and how that buried memory came out in full force during my adolescent years.

“Why Wait?” Part 3

 

God has spoken to me on several occasions over the years telling me that He has someone for me and I was not to look.  Now, I don’t know if He really has someone for me or if I am to remain single and He is the one for me.  But, if He does have some man, He will bring him into my life at the right time.  He really didn’t want me to actively look for a companion.  I really didn’t listen.  I looked.  I wanted.  God said “No”, over and over.  I cried, a lot.   I know God intervened several times separating me from some man who I thought should be the one.  I can tell you in every one of those moments, I was not listening to God.

I believe that for some God chooses the one they should marry.  Other people are given the privilege to choose their own mate, hopefully letting God guide in that choice.

In the Bible, God made a mate for Adam, (Genesis 2:21-23).  He didn’t have a choice.  He didn’t go hunting for someone.  God led the servant of Abraham to find a wife for Isaac in Genesis 24.  It is a beautiful story of how God chooses a mate.  He didn’t have to go out searching.  Isaac took her in and loved her.  When you allow Him to guide you in your choice, He will put the love in your heart for that person.

Joseph was given a wife by Pharaoh in Genesis 41:45.  Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”   Choose with wisdom and much prayer.

Marriage, to me, is not like picking out what clothes or shoes to wear because it will make you look good.  Even if you are given the liberty to choose, it should be done with extensive prayer, because, unlike picking things to wear, this choice will affect the rest of your life and your children’s lives.

How many people do we know, Christian or not, that marry on impulse because of sexual attraction, money, status or ethnicity, only to be divorced later.  I don’t know that person’s heart, but just from being on the outside looking in, I don’t believe that they prayed much about their choice.

Life is hard.  Marriage has got to be hard.  I am by myself most of the time, and at times, I get on my own last nerve.  So, I can imagine that living with a person of the opposite sex can be challenging because it’s a closer relationship than just having a friend.  You are living together day in and day out, literally connected as one.

Because life is hard, marriage isn’t easy, and most people are going to get married, when should you start praying?  I personally believe that it is never too early to start.

Here’s a little story of a time when I tried to give this message to a youth group at my church.  I remember being asked to give a Bible Study in a fairly large youth group.  At twenty-six I was still emotionally seventeen, for reasons I will explain later, so I fit in perfectly.  But, being older, I wanted to find a mate so I picked a Bible study on the importance of praying for a mate before you even think about seriously getting married.  I picked scripture to back my little sermonette.  I can still remember looking at the blank faces staring at me.  One young man made the statement in the middle of my lesson, “I’m too young to think about that.”  He probably was right.  I really felt like an idiot, though, talking to them about what they should do before they were even ready for marriage.

The message was a burden on my heart.  I wanted them to see the importance of prayer.  Laying a foundation of prayer for the one God might bring into your life, whether you choose that person with God’s guidance, or God has a specific person for you, it’s never too early to pray for them.  Whether anyone in that group of young people listened to me, I don’t know.  Well, here I am again, much older and I pray a lot wiser.

Now I’m coming to my own experiences to give an example of why I needed to wait for God to bring that person.  I have had very hurtful experiences in my life that went deep into my soul causing me to think and act in a certain way. For years I didn’t have any understanding of why I felt the way I did.  How could I ever have a healthy relationship when I was so wounded?

Maybe God, in his mercy, wants people to wait so He can do some spiritual surgery, removing the deep-rooted emotional scars.  We have to completely trust him because some hurts may be buried so deep that you don’t even realize it is there.  That is what happened to me.

Even after God revealed it to me, it still took twenty years to be healed enough that it did not affect my thoughts or reactions.  Other hurts, from my high school years, that penetrated deep, have not been completely healed.  I know I will have to live with some of the decisions I made every day of my life.

I can imagine my life, if I had married, with deep wounds that had not been healed.  At some point in the relationship all those hurts would have surfaced causing problems.

There are couples out there that marry for one reason or another before God completes the work He wants to do in them.  Sometime during the years of marital problems they realize what has been buried for so long.  Finally, God is able to heal.  During, or after, the healing process they suddenly realize that this man or woman they married is not right for them.  But children are now in the middle of this relationship.  If they divorce to find someone that is the best, they now have children, who did not ask to be born, having to handle a hurt that may never leave them.  This is a very important reason for “Why Wait?

My next segment will uncover some of the deepest wounds that affected my emotions and life choices.

“Why Wait?” Part 2

I have lived; I’m sure, more than half my life time being the ripe old age of 57.  I’ve never been married.  What?!!!  I get a few different reactions to this; most people just can’t believe that I have never been married. When I was younger, like in my 20’s, 30’s, and even early 40’s they responded with, “Oh, someone will come along.”  Or, some well-meaning friends tried to tell me, “You are too picky.”  Then the next question used to kill me, “Well, do you have any kids?”  To me, the question after you say “No, I am not married” sounds a lot like this, “Well, do you, at least, have any kids to show something for your life?”  When your answer is “No”, to this, most people look at you with pity or that look of, “What is wrong with you?”  I’ve even had children ask me if I had any kids.  When I said, “No”, they looked at me with some confusion as if to say, “Why not, you are old enough to have kids,” as if there is an unwritten law, “You must have children.”

Now being over 50 with never having been married is maybe acceptable, sort of.  But being over 50, never married, and no children is just seen as abnormal.  It seems that you don’t have to have been married; you just have to have children, if you are a woman, or something is wrong with you.  At least that is how most of the world makes my peer group feel.

So “Why Wait,” you may ask, or “Why Wait” for what?  My journey of singleness has given me the answer to that very question.  What I have seen in so many marriages in the church urges me to write what I know to be true.  Waiting is what Christians should do.  We are waiting on the second coming of Jesus.  We wait for God to direct us in all things from buying the right house to buying the right car.  We bring our petition to the Lord, and then we wait for the answer.  Oh yes, sometimes we run ahead of God doing things in our own way which is where we get into trouble.

One of the most important decisions we will ever make in our life is who we will marry.  So since most of the world will get married, shouldn’t you bring that most important decision to God and then wait for him to answer?  Wouldn’t it be wise to talk to God about that dashingly handsome, gifted, muscular, “he-gives me-goose bumps,”  man of God you saw in church, or if you’re a man, that curvy, blond haired, blue eyed woman that smells of sweet flowers and smiles like an angel that you met in Bible study. (Just make sure your Bible studies are in a group.  I’ve heard of a few one-on-one Bible studies/prayer meetings with the opposite sex that turned into a vertical one on one meeting, if you know what I mean.)

Would you listen if God says, “No, wait, this person is not the best for you?”  Would you dare to discipline your body and all its urges?  Would you say, “Okay God, I will wait”.  I remember couples that said, “This is the man or woman for me.” They marry and within a year or less they are heading for divorce court, sometimes with children that have to deal with the anger and hurt for years.

Divorce is ugly and it leaves a lot of scars on everyone involved.  God wants us to be wise when choosing a mate.  Try listening to His voice and be willing to be obedient when He says “NO”.  Usually there are clear warning signs that this person is not suitable for you.

Well, I did wait and am still waiting for the promise I believe God has made to me.  Has it been easy?  Not even a bit.  Some of the time I spent begrudgingly as I watched all my high school, Bible College, Co-workers, and church friends get married, have babies year after year, decade upon decade, while I still waited.  I’ve seen my nephews, nieces, and cousins grow up get married have kids and some of their kids are having kids.

What is a woman to think?  I sometimes questioned myself.  God, am I not good enough?  What is wrong with me?  Why doesn’t anyone want me?  How long, oh God?  How long?  I did have to come to the realization that if God said, “Never,” than never it would be.  That took a lot of years and way too much heartache before I was able to say that and mean it.  But the desire for a companion never left me.  I knew deep down inside that God had made a promise to me when I was in my twenties that He had someone for me.  Once I reached my 50’s that promise started to look bleak. I had a time of faltering but in the end God’s promises are yes and amen.  So, I wait.

People today don’t want to wait for anything.  We live in a microwave, instant meal, fix it now society.  How many of us switch lanes at the grocery store because the line you have been waiting in is taking too much time?  I am guilty. Computers are much faster today than ten years ago or how about the time before computers when you waited weeks for a letter to arrive with news.  You had to visit the library scouring through scores of books in order to find the information you needed.  Let’s not even mention the time we spent waiting before the telephone was invented.  Technology has made us an instant society.

Today our modern conveniences are a blessing and a curse.  The blessings are obvious when we can have what we need quicker.  The curse seems to be that we become spoiled and to some degree lazy when we get things easier and faster with little effort on our part.  We transfer all of this quickness to how fast we think God should answer our prayers.

The point is since everything is available now, why should I wait for the right man or woman when the one in front of me feels right, right now.   Hey, I know what it feels like to want to be loved by someone who puts you before any other human being.  I also know all about the hormones raging out of control.  I learned all about sex in my teens. Notice I said sex not love, two very different things that may or may not be joined together.  You can have either one with or without the other, sex without love or love without sex.  Try giving all of that to God.

He does speak to us.  We just have to tune our hearts to hear Him, using the Word of God as our guide.  If you think God is speaking to you to steal something or that it’s okay to go out with a married person or to have sex outside of marriage, then I’m sure you have heard wrong!  See Exodus 20:14, 15; Hebrews 13:4 which gives us direction concerning these matters.  The Bible is pretty clear on these subjects.

The Bible however, does not direct us to the person that is best for us.  It’s not written anywhere, “Cynthia, you should marry so and so”, just like the Bible doesn’t tell you to join this company on a business venture, move to this city or join this church, yet these are still big decisions that can affect your life, like marriage.  For instance I have known several people who, again, swore that God told them this woman or man was the right one, in spite of their drinking problem, anger issues or were not a Christian.  Second Corinthians 6:14 says; “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers”, Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”  If that person does not have a relationship with Jesus and you do, how can you walk the road of life together?

As an outsider in these relationships, whose heart had not been affected, the signs were clear to me.  I have been told by a very wise woman to guard your heart before you give it away because once you give it away it is so hard to break from that person no matter how bad they treat you.  I have seen ones being snared when they don’t guard their hearts from the man or woman that showers them with gifts, always wants to be alone with them, keeping them apart from family and friends, never showing them who they really are.  That problem surfaces its ugly head the day after they say, “I do” at that beautiful façade of a wedding.

I feel for women and men that fall prey to that overly kind, affectionate person.  Maybe not all the time, but from what I’ve seen, these types are often controlling to the point of smothering who you are.  I have also seen them turn abusive, physically or verbally, after they get married.  My point is, there seems to be signs that were given before the nuptials that should have sent the other person running in the opposite direction, so guard your heart, be still before God and be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Other things in life should be chosen using wisdom, Proverbs 20:1 tells us, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler and whoever is led astray by it is not wise”.  Proverbs 22:24 says: “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.”  It may not be sinful but it will be a snare for your soul.  There are many snares and traps in this world that will bring troubles when we do not use wisdom to keep ourselves from them.  I have found that when I rely on the Spirit of God to direct me I can avoid snares and traps around me.

“Why Wait?” Part 1

 That’s an interesting question.  So you might ask in return wait for what?  I will be looking at this question and describing to you exactly what I mean by “Why Wait?”

I have wanted to write about this for over ten years. Finally being able to do it is amazing to me.  Blogging has been on my to-do list for the past three years.  I did try it once with the wrong approach and maybe the wrong timing at any rate I never came back to it.  I’m here now to share things of an intimate nature that in more than one way shaped my life.

First, before I divulge the reason for “Why Wait”, I just want to say since I’m new to blogging please, be patient with me.  I’m sure as things roll out, I will get better, or at least that is my hope.  I’m a new writer.  Yes, I am a writer, albeit a new one.  So Blogging is going to be an exercise in learning.

Second, I am a Born Again Christian.  What is that you may ask?  Everyone is born physically, your first birth.  When you repent of your sins, ask Jesus to live in you, He forgives you of your sins giving you a new life, the spiritual.  Now I am born again by the spirit of the Living God when He called me to himself through Jesus Christ.  He gave me the faith to believe that Jesus is His Son who came to this earth and lived a sinless life and died on a cross for my sins so that I don’t have to die that spiritual death and be separated from God for eternity.  Through Jesus Christ I have access to God and He has given me eternal life.

A wonderful thing happens on the inside when you surrender yourself to Him.  So all my life experiences center in God and how He has worked in me.  When I write He is always included.  Whether you know Jesus as your Savior or not I think you will be able to relate to my experiences.  I know the world full of people who have had the same things happen to them but maybe not the same effects.

I will start by giving you some background information on me.  It’s important for you to know that in first grade Jesus sought me out and made me His own.  An evangelist came to my grade school class in Widen, WV and was granted permission to talk to our class about Jesus, (Imagine that happening today!)

Growing up in WV in the 60’s and 70’s as an African American had many challenges.  I remember one time in particular I accompanied my best friend to church.  I was happy she invited me.  She went to a nice big church.  She left me by myself sitting in the foyer.  I really don’t remember why.  I watched as all the grown-ups filed by making their way to the pews.  I remember feeling a little uncomfortable because no one said hello.  One man looked over at me as he passed by and no doubt voiced a lot of other people’s thoughts when he said, “What’s that n****r (the offensive “N” word) doing here?”  As a third grader this confused me.  I had been told God is love and He loved everyone.  If God loved everyone and these people were in church surely they were like God and loved everyone too.  I expected to be received with love.  I did not get what I expected.  Instead I was confronted with words of hatred.  His hateful words caused me to question God.  Oh, I still went to church, for a while, just not to hers.

We moved to another city by the time I was in fifth grade so I attended the Methodist Church up the street from our house with my best friend.  I was skeptical by that age but still wanting something.  While I sat in Sunday school one morning I remember asking the teacher if the stories in the Bible were real because there were some very incredible things that were happening.  She replied, “No, they are just stories, I remember thinking” Then why are we here?”  It kind of reminded me of the time I was told Santa Claus wasn’t real after years of believing in him.  I felt stupid and foolish.  So what was the difference between them?  At this point I began to shut down.

My best friend and I never went back to Sunday school.  A couple of years later we decided to go back to church because the new Pastor was young and good looking.  We went to look at him, sit in the balcony, laugh and eat candy.  We even joined the church at his urging.  He came by my house to personally give me a Bible with my name on it, but by this time all my interest had died. I walked away from God, the church and all of that religiousness after his visit.  Those church experiences left me empty.  I turned all my affection, satisfaction, happiness, and joy to the things of the world resulting in eight years of hurt and pain that could have been avoided had the treatment  been different or questions asked been answered correctly.  I can say now that God still had a plan and a purpose.

I entered High School with low self-esteem which made me prey to my own desires to be beautiful and loved.  Not knowing how much God loved me I looked for it in every boy I liked. My teen years unfortunately splattered my life with deep hurts that can only be healed by Jesus.  I graduated High School about the time the “Jesus Movement” hit big.  God kept sending people to me everywhere I went.  I wasn’t running as hard because deep inside I wanted what I saw in these people, Love.

My brother Jimi lived in Hollywood, California for several years, with our Uncle Chuck and Aunt Nancy who had become Born Again Christians.  So, Jimi came back to WV, no doubt to tell his family about Jesus.  Well, I did what any sinner would do.  I ran.  I ran from WV to San Francisco, CA to live with my sister, Sharon, and her soon to be husband Phil.  I can honestly say God was hot on my trail.  When things did not work out there I actually prayed with every curse word you can think of.  God heard my prayer and sent me to the one place I tried to avoid.  My Uncle Chuck and Aunt Nancy had the only door open to me.  God will move you where he wants you. God pursued me; I surrendered after a year of being stubborn.  Oh, what a wonderful thing.  My three years in Hollywood laid a strong foundation of faith.