Stories that Shine on an Awesome God

Posts tagged ‘abuse’

Provider of Poems

Guest Blog, Poetry, and Photography by JerryAnn Berry

Finding my way to identity while filled with the shame of sin and abuse was like a maze of mirrors. I never knew if what I was seeing was my reflection at all. In the end I realized God found me and He knew where I was the whole time. The past 20 years of recovery are coming to a close. It has been a long journey out of shame and pain, walking into the healing light of God.

Poetry was one of the only ways I could express the situations in which I found myself. When reality had been processed and distilled down to its simplest, most authentic form, poetry was my heart’s elixir. This came through my connection with my Creator as He led me step by step. His view blended with my view, simplified the intense complexities and in the succinct words of a poem I could see clearly, often for the first time.

These three poems are examples of the progressive work of His Spirit mingling with my spirit. They are in sequence of experience and discovery. The last one I wrote this past weekend. Each one has come with new revelation of a God who knows how to touch me and heal my heart. In His presence each experience turns into silent words fitly spoken.

 Jeri's LifeLight Postcard - poem on image of stone hall

Shame, the darkness of not “BEING” right. Satan first introduced it as a subtle thought to the perfect pair that God has just joyfully completed. Not “being” right in the not knowing. “Such a horrible state of being–Not knowing. Such an easy thing to fix.” Satan told the Eden Pair!

And shame was accepted when the satanic reflection was accepted. And change was sought. And God’s perfect work was thrown away for a change of “being” – a new knowledge.

And it seems God went into hiding after that. Not because He wanted to but the shame of not “being “ right made God an unwelcome visitor. Humankind had accepted the reflection instead of what was real. But it wasn’t God that held the mirror.

Jeri's Maze of Mirrors Postcard - Poem on Image of glasses & vases

And now life is full of mirrors.  Lost in a maze of mirrors we turn from side to side banging into the solidity of the deception in our attempts to find escape from shame. Many give up long before they find freedom. Many knock themselves out banging against what isn’t real.

Only as God begins to restore what is real can it be distinguished from the shameful reflections. Only His light shows the way through the mirrors that result in more shame.

We all experience in some way the maze of mirrors that magnifies our shame. We all need to find our way out of the maze and into freedom.

God did not leave us without a way to know freedom. He says it simple and plain. It is in Truth that we find freedom. Not reflected “truth” from any other human, only the Truth that He gives. Truth that is discerned deep within the individual heart and seen through eyes touched by the light heaven shines into the soul.

Positioning is the main tool we have to access this healing. And the starting position is pretty low. Much lower than we find comfortable. Much lower than our protective minds are willing to take. Heaven knew we needed a friend in low places. And so one came and went there in the agony of shame. So we could go there too. And know the joy of resurrection. Today the Conqueror of Shame gives us hope. Only HE knows the way out of this mirror maze.

“He Endured the Shame for the Joy that was set before Him.”

Jeri's Image of the Desert will blossom Postcard

Yom Kippur Atonement
by JerryAnn Berry

With a long list of sins
I come to you
Not because you demand me to eat crow.
But because I know
You hold the fuller’s soap
The refiner’s fire
The Life giving blood.
I can exchange this dead stuff for
Your light
Your goodness
Your joy
Your restoration.
The closer I get to you
The more I see Your goodness.
My stack of “important” sins
Trickles through my fingers
Like sand.
You have forgiven them already.

I just needed to see
You had the way
to put them in the
Bottom of the sea.
Where all sand should be.
No condemnation here.
Only life and the beautiful curl of a wave
Glistening in the Son’s light.

Jeri's image of Hatteras Sunrise

Destiny Designer

 She called me this morning, thrilled to the core.

For years now, most of her calls have been upbeat, but this one was over the top. This one faded other conversations into oblivion.

Over the years we have conversed about her:

        dating debacles         teaching degree           wedding plans

        daughters’ births          homeschooling          married life

     living under construction               divorce proceedings

     nursing degree          heart-wrenching abuse memories

    parents’ deaths       new love          photography

job challenges           traveling dreams          family dynamics

       honest, Spirit-led fellowship and the lack thereof

              God concepts

Three months ago she quit her well-paying nursing job to assist in a non-paying ministry. (click to discover her ministries) Left all except her supportive, patient husband to follow Him.

Left all. Followed Him.

“I just know that now is the time. I’m convinced. This is where God wants me.”

Quit job. Left income-producing, fishing nets behind. Followed Him.

“I’m trusting You, Lord.”

Then she started pipe-dreaming, obsessing actually, over her longing to travel. She researched RV’s and motor homes.

“Why, Lord? Why am I thinking about this? I don’t have the money. I just want to help the fatherless and widows and the abused who are being held captive. So why an expensive RV?”

This morning the Light poured in.

“An RV is how you will help rescue the captives and reach those who are fatherless. An RV will be a safe place for them. From there you will help heal the abused. An RV will take you to fellowships willing to be taught how to relate to the rescued. This, my darling daughter, is your destiny, your reason to be.”

THOSE calls, those other calls over the years, every one significant, had been but mere pieces of her life’s puzzle. THIS one was her fit, her long-sought answer.

Her destiny.

Planned by the Father of Lights. Her Lover above all lovers. The Healer of her fractured life. The Giver of her dreams.

Her Destiny Designer.

Have you discovered your destiny? Share how your Destiny Designer revealed your reason to be.

“For I know the plans I have for you . . . .” Jeremiah 29:11

This is Me and I am Free

“That’s your handwriting,” you say after two decades of no mail.
Terrible handwriting. Too jerky, too tense. I’ve hated it.
But you are glad and now I am a school girl practicing my name.
This is mine. This is me and I am free.
Loops rounding out the tails in letters spilling.
How I form them tells you who I am —
Tells me who I am.
I’d rather write than type.
I’d rather you see my hand working down the line
Caressing the page
Soothing the sounds like musical notes of ecstasy for you to play
And then return with yours.

hand writing

“This is Me and I am Free . . . .”

I was twenty-eight when I wrote those lines. Twenty-eight, with years of wondering behind me. Years of wondering what I would be when I grew up. Not that many people asked. I was a middle child after all, elbowing my way out of the nest packed with three other siblings. Except for mothering, uh, bossing, my younger brother, I was the quiet one trying to live up to others expectations. What I would become seemed inconsequential, really.

In very early childhood there were isolated, yet contemptible acts inflicted on me that I was forbidden to acknowledge. The forced hiding had snuffed my heart’s honesty, teaching it to disown itself.

Well-meaning words that edged me toward denial had also been dropped:
“You shouldn’t feel that way. . . .That’s not what God would want . . . . Just lift the corners of your mouth and make-believe you’re glad . . . . Why don’t you get over it?”

An identity was not easy to come by.

“I am ____________,” was a difficult sentence to finish.

Fortunately, despite it all, I believed in the Great I AM. He knew, without asking, what I would be when I grew up. Throughout my roles of student, secretary, wife and mother, He drew me to Him, letting me get to know Him so that I could know myself.

Then, in my twenty-eighth year, my day of freedom came. I saw my heart’s truth. I walked out of denial. I obeyed Him. Because I obeyed Him, I experienced unconditional Love. It was a Love that I could trust. It was a Love that allowed me to be vulnerable.

So I wrote.

This is me, and I am               free              

All thanks to the great I AM.

 

Have you been freed to know who you are?  Please share how Love has played a part in your freedom.

 “And you shall know the truth,and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

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