Victim of Violence

 I witnessed abuse when I was young. I wasn’t the recipient of it but I saw my cousin emotionally and physically abused. I was young, maybe, 6,7, and 8. I knew it was wrong and bad and I wanted to rescue her, and my aunt, from it. But, I couldn’t. I was to young. This left me with emotions of failure. The abuse continued and I had failed as her rescuer; hence, I was worthless. What good was I and what type of man would I become. I loved my cousin but was powerless to saver her. So, I distanced myself form her because I didn’t want to feel like such a failure around her. My mind and intellect tell me that I was too young and that it wasn’t my fault. My heart remains somewhat unconvinced. That was 30 years ago.

I became a person of achievement to cover up my feelings of inadequacy. I felt that if I achieved success and status, that I was worthy. Achievement and success gave me self worth. It didn’t really work. Even when I had won some athletic awards I would sit among other athletes feeling like I didn’t belong with them. The only person who wasn’t convinced of my self worth was me. I became an alcoholic. When I was buzzing, I was ok with me. This was the legacy of the men in my family, using alcohol to cover up for inadequacy and feelings of self-worthlessness.

My approach to God had been very similar. I had a radical experience with Jesus that delivered me from alcohol but not from my own self inadequacy. I figured that God would love me only if I “achieved” in the kingdom. I became a worker. Laboring so He would love me and doing ministry so He would accept me. Any ministry I did had an ulterior motive of acceptance. I was working to be accepted by God.

All of this recently changed. During the Feast of Tabernacles I received, what the old Methodist called, a “second blessing.” During a time of worship I was so filled with God’s love that my achievement based mentality was destroyed. It was amazing. God spoke to me gently and to told me that I was loved by Him regardless of my works and regardless of my failures. Psalm 23 really spoke to me and I read it several times each day for the rest of the feast. “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord fore ever.” I was chasing after God’s love and the entire time, He was pursuing me with His love. Please see the post “The security of Love.” for what God spoke to me over the rest of the week.