Ginger

20 Years Ago…My Request vs God’s Plan…Thankfully I Listened.

I recently read a post on another blog (Magnanimity) about the greatest birthday gift the mother could have received….the gift of her child coming to know the Lord as her personal Savior. There is no greater joy then leading ones own child to a saving knowledge of Christ. Speaking as a women, it rivals those brief moments when holding this newborn babe in ones arms after spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get them out……My daughter and I labored for 36 hours……I can say this with some authority. Women love to share labor and delivery stories…..mine rank up there I can tell you ……but that isn’t my purpose at the moment.

I had never planned on getting married or having children. I grew up in a very abusive home…..physically,verbally, sexually….that about covers it I guess. That also is another story that I don’t share lightly. My desire to remain single wasn’t out of a selfish world view of not wanting to live a “ME” only life. It was out of fear. Fear that I would be the stereotypical abused child/adult and in turn repeat the cycle I endured as did my mother and to some degree my grandparents.

I sometimes hear people say, “Wow…You are breaking your families bondage to sin. You are stopping the cycle from repeating itself. You have done a great job.” There is an occasional touch of pity. I don’t want pity. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I want them to see God’s hand at work. I want them to see His mercy and His loving arms wrapped around me. I want them to see that HE and only an almighty God could work the miracles in my life. I always try to explain that, no…..It isn’t me. It is God who is breaking the cycle.

I thought about my children today……I remember at the age of 23 walking into my Doctor’s office and having my very first Gynecological exam. He was Filipino and his name was Dr. G. (I won’t give his full name.) I am about as embarrassed as I can be….He is so short he had to stand on a step stool to do the exam. I had never dated….not in high school and I don’t count the one my roommates in college made me go on…..If you knew the tale you wouldn’t count that one either.

Before the exam started, Dr. G went through the obligatory questionnaire….which I have always found insulting….especially when the answer to some of the questions are no and they have to ask again because they can’t believe they are hearing correctly. NO….I had never been sexually active. I wasn’t thinking about the childhood sexual abuse…so I didn’t even think to mention it at the time. NO…I had never been pregnant nor had I had an abortion. How many miscarriages? Duh..I just told you I had never been pregnant and since I had never been sexually active….there was no way I could have become pregnant. You get the idea…..and I know they have to ask…but sometimes it is annoying. Then we get to the question of “why are you here today?”

I looked at this Doctor and very quietly told him that I wanted my tubes tied to prevent me from ever having children. He schooled his features quickly but you could tell he was a little stunned. He glanced back down at my chart and seeing my age asked me if there was some life threatening medical reason that would cause my death were I to become pregnant. I just told him that I never wanted children. He sat there and hung his head, took a deep breath then explained to me that in our state it is not permitted to “sterilize” a women unless she has had at least 2 children or a pregnancy would be life threatening. Since I did not fall into either category he would not be permitted to grant me my request. Since I had never had a gynecological exam though it was about time I had one so we went through with the exam.

Dr. G finished the exam, looked up at me with tears in his eyes and told me to meet him in his office when I finished dressing. Here I am thinking he has found some kind of cancer and I am about to get news that I am dying or some thing. I had no clue what was going to hit me in about 10 minutes.

I dressed and started down the hallway pausing outside his office door. I took a deep breath then knocked and went in. He motioned me to one of the two high-back burgundy wing chairs he had in his office. I sat down and waited. I had my hands folded together so tightly my knuckles were turning white…..I just sat there and waited for this doctor to probably tell me I was dying. What else was there for me to think when he was sitting there with his head in his hands softly crying.

This dear little man looks up at me with tears in his eyes, very quietly says to me….”You were sexually abused as a small child. Weren’t You?” I had only told my old pastor and his wife and another family that had become a set of surrogate parents to me. I just looked at him not quite sure how I should answer but decided the truth was the best way to go because some how he had figured it out.

I replied, “Yes, I was.” Dr. G said that he could tell from the amount of internal scarring that I had been abused and that I had to have been very young. I told him that my earliest memory was at the age of three. He just looked at me and said that he was sooo sorry. He asked me if that had anything to do with my wanting to have my tubes tied. I told him that it was a small part of my reason and we talked about some of the other abuse I had grown up enduring and my greatest fear of having children and them having to experience that same abuse. Statistics were stacked against me. I had forgotten that those were man’s statistics. Not God’s……

He started to go through his rolodex and pulled out a card. He made a phone call asking the person on the other line if they were taking new patients. He told this person He would count it a favor if they would see me as a new patient. He then scheduled my appointment and hung up the phone.

He gave me the card with the counselor’s number then told me when my appointment was scheduled. I have to admit I was a little surprised that he would assume I needed or wanted counseling. Something inside of me was almost elated….for the first time in my life someone believed me and wanted to help me. I had proof. He handed me hope. It was an arbitrary choice on my part for choosing this doctor. I pulled out the phone book and just started calling until I found one that I could get an appointment with. I had good insurance at the time but all of the doctor’s were booked weeks and in some case months out for new patients. I thought it was arbitrary….but it was God’s plan. He wanted me to see this particular doctor and no other.

I did follow up with the counseling and saw this person for almost a year. I then joined a support group in our county. S.A.V.A.S. Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocacy Service. They run the rape crisis lines and the AMAC groups (Adults Molested as Children). My counseling stopped for awhile but picked back up after the birth of my second child.

My freshman year of college I had finally been so burdened that I had to get on my knees and ask God to take the bitterness, anger and hatred I felt for my family. I cannot for the life of me remember what the speaker talked about that day in chapel. I remember his name. He is currently a missionary. His name is Edgar Feghali. He was speaking in the chapel at the bible college I was attending. I just remember going back to the dorm and crying…for hours. Begging God to forgive me for the sin in my own heart…the hatred and enmity I felt towards all of those who were in a position of authority over me, who were supposed to protect me and yet did the greatest harm. I asked God to not let it be for naught. I asked God to take all the pain, every wrong, every injustice and every abuse and use it to glorify HIM. Allow what happened to me to be used for good…..I still couldn’t forgive though. I had to pray and ask My Heavenly Father to help me see these people the way His Precious Son saw them and loved even them enough to die on the cross for them. I asked God to give me the forgiveness that only He can give….to let me love them the way He loves them.

After praying that prayer…..my whole life changed. I was able to look back and see God’s hand of intervention even during the darkest hours. I had accepted the Lord as a young child…somewhere around 7-9. There are bits and pieces I do not remember and my godly christian counselor feels to this day…it is God who isn’t allowing me to remember everything. I had an awareness even as a young child of those times that God moved people into my life to be there for me. To help see me through some of those times. When I prayed that day asking God to help me love them….it was as if a veil had been lifted……I pictured my self like Atlas of the Greek myths holding the world upon his shoulders. The weight of my bitter, angry heart was much like the weight Atlas had to bare on his shoulders. I know it is probably the wrong imagery, as a christian, to use….but that image is so prevalent that anyone could understand the type of burden I am trying to convey.

God had other plans for my life. I met my husband and we have three beautiful children. One girl (soon to be 14), two boys (almost 12 and the other 10). My daughter wants to write children’s christian fiction and maybe be a teacher and missionary. My older son says that he want to be a piano playing evangelist…..right now I think he would be willing to give up the piano lessons….:). Now that his braces are off he wants my husband and I to teach him the trumpet. Since we both played either one of us can teach him. My youngest son waffles back and forth between being a Marine and a missionary, artist, janitor, cowboy. My response to that one was if he is led to being a missionary…odds are he would be doing all of those jobs. I attribute their desire for the Lord’s things to us trying to keep Godly examples of men and women who have given their lives over to the Lord.

My husband and I are not pushing our kids toward the ministry, but they need to know that it is an option. By the worlds standard of living it isn’t a good paying option but the rewards and benefits are much greater than what the world can offer if that is what they are called into. They know that we will support whatever they want to do as long as they are in God’s will for their lives.

There are times like today, that I sit back and think over the life lessons that we have tried to teach our children. What is important….is what you own? the degree behind your name? the amount of money in you bank account? Or do they understand the principles Christ was teaching in Matthew 6:19-21….

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Is there anything in my life that could be a spiritual hindrance to their lives? Is our life filled with double standards or do we use the one standard…God’s Word? Do we as a family live our lives according to God’s word? Do we provoke our children to wrath?

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I like what Matthew Henry’s Commentary has to say on this particular verse. He is quite verbose but what he says is enough to make any parent think……Basically…it is Parenting 101 in a nutshell.

“The duty of parents: And you fathers, Eph_6:4. Or, you parents, 1. “Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason.” 2. “Bring them up well, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the discipline of proper and of compassionate correction, and in the knowledge of that duty which God requires of them and by which they may become better acquainted with him. Give them a good education.” It is the great duty of parents to be careful in the education of their children: “Not only bring them up, as the brutes do, taking care to provide for them; but bring them up in nurture and admonition, in such a manner as is suitable to their reasonable natures. Nay, not only bring them up as men, in nurture and admonition, but as Christians, in the admonition of the Lord. Let them have a religious education. Instruct them to fear sinning; and inform them of, and excite them to, the whole of their duty towards God.”

My goal as their mother isn’t to raise them up to seek the world. My job as their mother is to raise them up to always seek the Lord. I am not saying that my children HAVE to go into ministry. I want their hearts to be open to God’s direction and His will on and in their lives. In order to do that….I have to sit back and examine my own life.

God wanted these children born for a reason….It is not my choice as to what God calls them to do nor am I privy to the reason for them being given to me….I just know that I must be obedient in my own life and in that obedience I will do as God asks in Proverbs 22:6.

Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Our children don’t belong to us….they are a gift….

Psa 127:3 Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

They are on loan….God is pretty clear on what He wants us to do and how He wants us to raise them and what values we are to instill in them. Am I doing my job….? Maybe not as good as I could or should be doing…..Are there some changes in my life that I need to make? Ummmm…LOTS!!!! Does God expect me to be perfect in raising them? No…He knows I can’t….He does expect me to remove what shouldn’t be there…..I think that is why God gives us children…..He uses them to grow us.

God wanted My Husband and I to have these three children. No one else was supposed to get them…..I ask myself when I look back and see how God moved in my life so that I would have the husband and the children I have ……What is His plan for their lives and am I doing enough?

I have allowed some things to become a hindrance in my life that have brought me down. I realized today that I am not doing my part. I have been a slacker lately. I am sure my children recognize that also…..Today…I had to ask for forgiveness. I have to get back on track…..the path has all ready been marked for me…I just need to travel back to the fork and take the other road. I prayed that God would forgive me and help me to make it right with my children and to correct or help them through what I, as mom, screw up….

I think back to that day in that doctor’s office and cannot even imagine how bereft my life would be had I found a doctor that could have honored my request. Through them I have relived my childhood doing what I missed out the first time… (It has been so much fun..:)..)…sitting and having tea party’s with coco, building bridges with legos, sliding down the slide into the biggest pile of leaves, sledding down the hill in the back yard, sitting up holding a toddler with whooping cough, wiping tears away, catching them when they take that first step and fall, hearing the laughter in their voices as they play together and getting those hugs every night along with the “I love you Mom.” I would have missed the best part of my life.

The greatest joy was in watching them as their hearts became more and more tender to the Lord and His calling them to Him. My daughter accepted the Lord at christian school during chapel. I had the honor of leading my sons to the Lord. I might not have ever gotten to experience that elation with my own children had not the Lord intervened. I am so glad I have traveled the path I have traveled…much of it out of my control but the Lord took care of me and I know He will take care of them. He watches the sparrows. I know He will watch them……

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

(alternative first verse) Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows fall
Why should my heart be troubled, When all but hope is gone?
when Jesus is my fortress. My constant friend is He.
His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.
His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me!

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September 2, 2007 - Posted by | Attitude, Celebrations, Children, Christianity, Faith, Family, Growing up, Just Life, Medical, OBGYN Visit, Observances, Obstacles, Sanity

14 Comments »

  1. Good morning, Ginger

    What an incredible, uplifting post you have written today. I want to say a couple of things:

    1. I suspect that even in your moments of being a “slacker” you exceed the average level of mothering. Don’t beat yourself up too much. We’re all human, and just as it is normal for ocean waves to surge at high tide, then to recede, so also is it normal to have such cycles in our personal lives.

    2. Your story is astounding and I cried this early morning when I read it. What a survivor you are–how strong–how beautiful. When I teach children or address a group where children are present, as I look into their innocent faces, I am often struck by considering who they “may be” and what they may be enduring. I may be staring at the future president of the United States, a preacher, a SS teacher, a missionary. And when I address women, I quite often remind them of that very idea.

    Several years ago after I had spoken at a ladies conference, a beautiful young woman came up to me and introduced herself. I was stung as she told me her story. For years she had attended our Sunday school, and all the while she was being terribly abused by her father..and I didn’t have a clue. I won’t go into the long story, but they were a pitiful non-functioning family, and we knew that much.

    Now, this lovely young woman is a preacher’s wife, a mother, and a recording artist. I was stunned when she told me who she was…and I wept…wept for myself a young 20 something pastor’s wife, who perhaps should have been more discerning…but mostly I wept for that little, lonely girl.
    This lovely person made me feel somewhat better when she reminded me that I had noticed her singing ability and had given her the opportunity of singing special songs at church. (I don’t even remember doing that.)

    I won’t go on and on. Know this: your life touched me today.

    Love in Jesus, our Redeemer, our Master, our Coming King.

    shirley

    Comment by Shirley | September 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thank you Shirley…..part of my doubting is lingering affects of my own low self esteem. I often question everything I do….especially when it comes to my desire to do right by them and raise them to Love the Lord and have a desire for Godly things.

    If it is any consolation to you….most of us survivors were really good at hiding what we were going through. It was a matter of survival. In my case no one would believe me with my abusers stand in the church.

    What a wonderful story about the young lady you mentioned. Sometimes it isn’t the fact that someone rescues us from abuse….but what they see in us like you saw her singing ability….it gives us something of worth in ourselves. Despite all the ugliness around us…someone saw something good in us…..that gives us a lifeline and God is able to take that and use it to help us survive. It’s the kids who never get noticed who feel they have no hope that my heart breaks for……I may not have been rescued from the abuse….but God was there with me and many times carried me through the pain…He used a number of incredible people to help me pull through at times…people who helped yet never knew what was going on….God used you to give that young lady something she needed…in a sense you helped her in more ways than you could know…..:)

    Comment by gingerporter | September 2, 2007 | Reply

  3. No words.
    Just (((((Ginger)))))

    Comment by Elaine | September 2, 2007 | Reply

  4. Ginger, You are a survivor! And you have such a beautiful, giving heart! You are a great mother, doing your absolute best in your abilities to raise your children to love the Lord! I love you! (((Ginger)))

    Comment by missplacedalaskan | September 2, 2007 | Reply

  5. Elaine and Beth…you both are so much like sister’s to me…Thank You so much…I know I am doing okay…but that is my weak area that Satan creeps in and pull me down on…I really have to guard against that. Once in awhile….something will make me think about things…and how much my life has changed….You two and all the other ladies at DY helped me grow even more…..Love you both…Thanks again…((()))

    Comment by gingerporter | September 2, 2007 | Reply

  6. Ginger,

    Thanks for sharing your testimony.

    {{{hugs}}} I have thoughts but… not fluid enough to write down at the moment.

    Comment by songbirdy | September 3, 2007 | Reply

  7. I praise God for you and your family, Ginger. What a glorious testimony to His healing grace. Hallelujah! (((Ginger))).

    Comment by Tresses | September 4, 2007 | Reply

  8. Humbled to have started such a courageous and bold train of thought…what a tribute to the wonder of motherhood.

    Beautiful story, truly.
    Maggie

    Comment by Maggie | September 5, 2007 | Reply

  9. […] Ginger linked to me today, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so honored to be a post starter.  The post was incredible.   I’m speechless, and praise God for making “fruitful the barren places”, according to his word in Isaiah.  What an awesome God! […]

    Pingback by Motherhood Challenges « Magnanimity | September 5, 2007 | Reply

  10. Thank you Maggie for the kind words you wrote about me in your blog……It brought tears to my eyes.

    Comment by gingerporter | September 5, 2007 | Reply

  11. Well written and well learned. Lessons can be painful but when we seek God first, He has a way of blessing our lives in abundance.

    Thank You…..you know that was a difficult time for me. God is always good and forgiving…

    Comment by woundedlily | January 22, 2008 | Reply

  12. Wow. Your story was very powerful.
    And get this – we know Edgar Feghali! We were going to work with him at one time in the Middle East. Did you go to Crown? I saw the link in your sidebar and you mentioned you went to Bible college. My husband graduated from there in 2002. Small world.

    Comment by JenT | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  13. my name is kiruthika. my husband name is ravi. i have two babies. when i marriage as still as i haven’t happy. because he have bad friends and bad behaviers. and he not love with me. anytime drinking and anytime leave with me. i am not happy. but i love my husband very much more than me and the world. now he love another lady. Pls my husband leave with her. i want my husband for me and only for me only. i want my husband without bad friends, behaviers, and drinking. i want my husband only for me only and my babies with love with me. i can’t do anything. pls pray to God for me pls… pls… pls..

    Comment by kiruthika ravi | April 13, 2011 | Reply

    • I am so sorry. I will be praying for your family.

      Comment by gingerporter | July 14, 2011 | Reply


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