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I haven't taken a Bible Study in a long time - not because I haven't wanted too, the timing has been off. I could do it when it wasn't offered and it was offered when I was busy (same thing I guess). This year I was bound and determined to take one.
The only one offered at our church was 'Breaking Free - Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life' by Beth Moore. The only thing I knew was that Beth Moore Bible Studies for woman were supposed to be awesome. I signed up.
Well, no matter how many times I think I have all my 'past' behind me, something comes along to bring up another layer. I mean I really feel like I have gone over this so many times.
"I didn't remember until recently why I felt so uncomfortable on my wedding day some 20 years ago. I remember looking in the mirror with such disappointment. I had hoped to be a beautiful bride and, although Keith assures me with proper partiality that I was, I felt so much the opposite on my special day. My gown was rented, and I would not wear white because I did not feel pure-scars from being a childhood victim of someone else's problems." - Beth Moore
Oh no - Beth Moore was a victim of abuse as a child. She was in captivity from the abuse. She searched for years and years and years how to free herself from the bondage of it - hence the study came out 1999 - Breaking Free. I don't know much else about her story as it doesn't go into it a lot. Apparently she was the victim of abuse (sexual ?) by a relative I think. Her mom kind of had her own problems and was there, but missing in action if you know what I mean. The only way she got out of captivity from the past was through Jesus.
In this Bible study we're supposed to remove the obstacles in our path, tour the ancient ruins of our lives, bind up the brokenhearted part of us, make beauty from ashes - by letting God be the potter and we the clay - by his unfailing love.
Now don't get me wrong - I believe this wholeheartedly. I get it. All of it. I'm wondering about the other woman - do they get it? There are 15 of us. Last week we could discuss our past if we wanted too. Three of them had ministers as fathers. The other eleven had wonderful childhoods too and had wonderful Christian 'daddies'.
Maybe I'm not as over it as I think I am. I was a bit bitter in my heart. Sorry. I was thinking - what in the world do these woman know about pain and suffering? About abuse? What are they doing here in this study and who the heck picked it and why?
And, why did I have to go through that myself? Why couldn't I have had the wonderful Christian 'daddy' and the mother who was there with me, helping me instead of needing help herself? Why did I lose my brother the nearest and dearest person - the person who went though and survived all this with me? (Of course, the answer I always get is - Why not me? I also know that other people have things they are suffering with - even though it's different than mine.)
We talked about how we 'pay' for the sins of our parents. Being the way our parents were - their parents were - what we learned from them and how we can carry it on to our children. Or if we're blessed enough, we learn to let it go - through working hard and changing ourselves from what we learned.
I can't say I exactly relate to these women. I didn't talk - I didn't know quite what to say. Do I tell them I was abused? I mean the abuse is over. I once was a victim, but I no longer feel like a victim. I don't think of myself as a victim. Has it left scars? Yes, but do they need to know that? Do I need to share that?
The biggest issue I have remaining is the lack of feeling self worth - not all of the time - but definitely some of the time. Liking myself - inner acceptance - me loving and really accepting myself unconditionally.
Well I'm more than being honest today. I have a hard time telling people this and about the abuse. Yet here I blab to the whole world (?) - it's safe. It's hard to tell people.
Now did I pass problems down from my parents - through me - to my kids? Yes! Not the abuse part, but the self esteem part - how could they learn self-esteem when they didn't see it modeled for them? I feel that I taught them to be afraid instead of self confident. I was a perfectionist in my younger days. I was critical (I hate to admit it). So to my children I am sorry. I did my best at the time. Too bad I can't re-raise you now! I'm so much better and have so much more to give. Back then I was on survival mode. So pain and struggling does make you better . . .
So yes, I have grown and changed with age - I think for the better (Lol).
So - my advice to you and to the world is to learn to define who you are for yourself - in fact this is what I really feel - don't even define yourself. Why - what good does it do. Just be whoever you are - that 'went though' whatever particular circumstances you went through.
"We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us." ~ Virginia Satir (or ourself)
Never allow someone else to hurt you by defining you as bad including yourself. Everyone is good in their own way however they are.