At an early age, my trust in God was shaken when I lost my younger brother. His accidental death caused us to lose our childhood, and even our parents in a way. My parents blamed each other, and because of that, their relationship began to break down and splinter. We saw it in the way they treated each other and the way they lived their lives from that day forward.
I ended up marrying an abusive man. He was only abusive when he was drinking. When he drank he became a completely different person. I took the abuse in the form of him beating me. There was one time that he pinned me down and kept hitting me in the face. I started having headaches after the beating and decided to go to my family doctor. My doctor tried to talk to me about the abusive situation I was in. When he realized he was not going to convince me to deal with the problem, he informed me that if I was going to stay in this situation that I needed to know how to survive. I made the decision the only way to survive was fighting back and by fighting back I became an ugly person. When I couldn’t win I would take my anger out on our children. I felt divorce was not an option because of my religion. Even though my life and my children’s lives were falling apart around us. I couldn’t leave him because I felt God wouldn’t forgive me. Once again, I had another reason not to forgive God. After 18 years of the abuse I could not take it anymore, I finally decided to end the marriage.
My children always thought I was constantly angry at the world. I had this anger because I had failed at everything in my life up to this point. My girls thought I couldn’t forgive my hardships and that I was always blaming God when things went wrong. They felt that my anger pushed them away. I would shut down put up an impenetrable wall that only seemed to inflict pain back on the person who tried to take it down. There were many times they couldn’t tell me things they wished they could share with me. Such things as a car accident, a poor choice, a bad purchase, or a terrible break up. They were worried about being judged, stressing me out, and me having ill feelings toward the people in their lives. All they wanted was to share their pain with me, and they were afraid. It was hard for me to just listen and offer support.
In the later part of March 2017, I happen to stumble upon Higher Ground and decided to watch it. I remembered that I had seen the Pilot when it first premiered back in 2013. I guess at that time in my life I was not ready for what it had to offer, and I didn’t enjoy the movie and therefore, I didn’t watch any of the episodes or the movies that followed. As I watched Higher Ground it affected me. I became curious and I decided to see what other movies were available, I found Lost Without You. Watching Lost Without You was my destiny. There was a point in the movie where I found myself holding my breath. It was just one simple conversation between two people that tore down all my prior beliefs about God. My need to always blame Him when something would go wrong in my life. It was during the discussion about God, where Shane says, “The problem is, if God has everything all figured out then, what is the point of praying for anything,” To which Dale responded, “Well, I guess I don’t pray to change God. I pray to change me.” As I watched this scene unfold, I was finally able to find peace of mind.
It was like a light bulb went on in my head---“I needed to change me! I was holding myself back. I was responsible for all that misery I allowed myself to feel. I wasn’t powerless. Happiness is a choice, and even if I am not completely the master of my own destiny, I am the master of my emotions and destination. When I started to look back on everything, I realize how lucky I was. I had three great children, who, despite all they had endured, made something of themselves. I was very fortunate to be able to retire and live the rest of my life the way I wanted to.
One of the things I love about Signed, Sealed, Delivered is that Martha Williamson has a way of leaving hidden messages----like little Easter eggs about God and faith---in her shows that are interpreted by people in different ways. Her movies stay with you long after they have ended, leaving such a deep impression on our hearts. Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen in life. Even if we know that circumstances happen for a reason, that reason isn’t always clear.
Along the way I have found the POstables. This wonderful family who is there when I need them for anything I need. They lift me up when I am down and make me smile. This has made me wake up and see how lucky I am. It’s so easy to focus on how life makes us feel and how people make us feel. But the real feeling should come from within. I can choose to allow myself to be upset, or I can see the good in even the most painful of situations and to make it positive. I have chosen to do that, and I can say it has made such a big difference in my life.
The Living Letters series continues as long as there are stories (or even praise reports) to share, and I'm always looking for submissions. If you would like to contribute something about how Signed, Sealed, Delivered has impacted your life (or even your wardrobe) that you'd be willing to share here on A&D, feel free to email me. Keep the good going and submit yours today!