Category Archives: Swift Expression

Unquestioning

This post is in response to the Blog Challenge by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. This is my entry for number 1.

If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to the owner of the original Blog Challenge (as stated above) to abide by copyright laws.
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Unquestioning

Image Credit: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/ conception-through-birth-pictures.htm

When does life begin?
There seems to be some confusion…
Does it begin at conception?
Or is it true that life is mere circumstance — just a chance?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a  fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://themahoganyway.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/six-weeks/

How can we deny the baby’s humanity
When only six weeks after conception,
The child has a face,
And a heart that beats
A heart that will one day love…

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/Normal-Pregnancy -and-Childbirth#slide3398945

How can we not call
This precious one “Baby”
When at only twelve weeks
He sucks on his thumb
And yes — even feels pain?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/media/2009/07/21-week-fetus.jpg

As time marches on,
Baby changes and grows…
With all organs in place,
By her twenty-first week,
She clings tenaciously to life!

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/ Normal-Pregnancy-and-Childbirth#slide3398926

As Baby’s second trimester comes to a close,
She yawns and she stretches
And hiccups and kicks,
While she sucks her thumb.
If she were born now, this child could live!

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/ Normal-Pregnancy-and-Childbirth#slide3398969

As Mommy’s belly expands and it stretches,
She knows this is no tumor or parasite…
The evidence is clear, leaving no doubt
That within the depths of her womb
Human life is unfolding…

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: Huffaker Photography

And now the time has come,
This tiny human is ready to be born…
But what if now, after all of this time,
Mommy suddenly changes her mind?
Does this child have no rights?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Who are you?

Who are you? This is the catch,  you can’t say:

  1. your name
  2. your occupation (including students), or anything else that you spend your time doing
  3. your relationship to others (e.g. I am the daughter of so and so, or I am the friend of so and so)
  4. anything that you own or possess

Your answer has to define who you are from the inside, not with reference to anything external, including other people (or pets!), or how you pass time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Credit: http://www.fuentesevangelism.com/holy-spirit-by-power5.jpg

I am a Spirit-filled woman of God, who has been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not because of my own goodness (because I when I met Him, I was anything but good), but because of His goodness and mercy. I was created, as all people are, for the glory of God, and it is when I am glorifying Him, that I am most fully who I am… the Spirit-filled woman of God… me.

I am a woman of great joy, as is anyone who has been set free from a prison of fear and pain. I walk in that joy at all times, even in the midst of physical pain, because even in the midst of all that pain, I know that it will pass… that there are others who have suffered far more than me… that one day, I will feel no more pain… that in my weakness, His strength is made perfect… This is who I was created to be, and joy is an integral part of who I am, again, not from my own merit, but because this is who God created me to be.

Photo Credit: http://media-cache0.pinterest.com/upload/25473554112709347_d0j2UHoa_b.jpg

I am forgiven and forgiving. Because I have been forgiven much, I am able to forgive much… There are times when I am extremely angry… when someone hurts me or someone I love… when I see the victims of tragedies… when I see injustice… when I witness sin in me or in someone else… when what is right is called wrong, and what is wrong is called right… But I am able to forgive the men, women and sometimes even children, who commit these sins and atrocities, because I too have sinned and fall far short of God’s glory, and if He forgave my sins, then how can I not forgive the sins of others? 

I am loved and loving. Because God loves me, I am a woman of love. I love those who love me back, and I also love those who hate me. I love those who treat me kindly, and I also love those who have hurt me, abused me, rejected me, cursed me and treated me unfairly. I don’t like what they have done to me, but I love the people, not because I’m a great person. Believe me, if you knew me, you would see my flaws, and how I have struggled to love those who have “done me wrong.” I am a woman of love because I am loved by God. Do you know that even when I was in the midst of my deepest, darkest sin, He loved me? Oh, and get this… He didn’t just tolerate me or say He loves me. No, He loves me passionately, knowing what I’ve done, and what’s been done to me. He loves me with a love that is indescribable, and He wooed me with His love, and I couldn’t help myself. He sent His only Son to pay my death penalty for the sins I had committed. I fell head over heals in love with Him, and the funny thing is, the deeper my love for Him grows, the deeper my love for others grows.

Photo Credit:
http://thrasheradoption.blogspot.com/2012/02/mommy-who-jesus-loves.html

In summation, who am I? I am a Spirit-filled, joyful, forgiving and loving woman, because Christ changed me from a spiritless, melancholy, unforgiving and bitter woman when He gave me new life.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: Sweet Little Lies

Swift Blogging Challenge: Sweet Little Lies
When (if ever) is it ok to lie? And why (or why not)?
If you’re brave enough, share an example of a lie that you told which you thought was necessary. Give details.

I’ll probably come across sounding like an old prude for saying this, but it’s true (no pun intended)… I believe that it is never okay or good to lie. To understand my reasons for feeling this way, you must first understand that I grew up in a house of lies, and for much of my life, I lived a lie.

I know that a lot of people claim that not everything is black and white, and that there are a lot of gray areas, but that isn’t how God created me. I do see things as right or wrong, good or bad, black or white. For me, to drift over into those “gray” areas is to compromise my faith and my integrity, and so, at the risk of being branded “intolerant,” I will tell you some of the many reason why I believe it is wrong to lie, and why I believe that there are no such things as “Sweet Little Lies.”

As a Christian, I look to the scriptures to show me how to live, and here are just a few of the scriptures that talk about lies:

  • The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful. (Proverbs 12:22 NIV)
  • I will not allow deceivers to serve Me, and liars will not be allowed to enter My presence. (Psalm 101:7 NLT)
  • Good people are guided by their honesty; treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty. (Proverbs 11:3 NLT)
  • Do any of you want to live a life that is long and good? Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from telling lies! (Psalm 34:12-13 NLT)

That’s just a small sampling of the many scriptures that speak against lying, and for me, as a child of God, at this point in my life, that’s reason enough to be against lying… But my reasons don’t end there.

You see, I’ve seen firsthand what lies can do to a person… to a family… to a culture… to a nation… to the world. As I said at the beginning of this post, I grew up in a house of lies, and I know the damage that lies do. As a child, I told so many lies that I often deceived myself as well as others.

I can remember my mother beating me until my back and butt

Tell me, tell me, tell me lies, tell me sweet ...
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies… (Photo credit: marciespics)

bore bruises shaped like the imprint of her hand, because I told so many lies. “If there’s one thing I hate,” my mother would scream at me in rage while she beat me, “it’s a liar!” My heart used to break every time she would shriek those words at me, because it was just another reason – a BIG reason for why I was so unlovable.

And here’s the crazy thing – I really hated lying, but I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone, but it’s true. I started off lying out of fear, but then the lies would grow, because when you tell one lie, another lie has to follow in order to keep up the pretense, and it doesn’t take long before it grows out of control.

I remember feeling so guilty when I would lie to my parents, to my teachers, to my Sunday School teachers, to my sister, to my grandparents and on and on and on and … you get the picture. And then, there was my mother and father… If I wanted them to love me, (and I did) I had to lie to earn their love… only they couldn’t really love me, because I was lying, and if there’s one thing they hated, it was a liar. Do you see what a vicious circle lying creates?

And then there was this other thing that really disturbed me. My mom and dad lied. I remember the first time I became aware that Mom lied. I was only around 7 or 8 years old, and I heard Mom say, “Jesus Christ,” not because she was actually talking about Jesus, but because she was using His name as a curse word. A few days later, we were riding in the car, and I asked her what taking the Lord’s name in vain meant.

"Everybody Lies"by: ersen-t
“Everybody Lies”
by: ersen-t

They had talked about that at vacation bible school, and this little girl didn’t know what they were talking about. Mom very seriously replied that taking the Lord’s name in vain is a terrible sin, and we must never do that. “You know how some people say ‘JC’ and some people say ‘GD’?” she asked me very seriously, looking at me in the rear view mirror, as I solemnly nodded my head yes. “Well, you should never ever do that, because that is very bad. Mommy might cuss, but that’s one thing I would never say,” she continued.

“Mommy, that’s not right. You’ve said ‘GD’ and ‘JC’ before. I’ve heard you,” I promptly retorted, remembering that she had just said that a few days before.

“No, you have not ever heard me say that,” she replied quite sharply to me, and I started to argue back, because I knew darn well I’d heard her say that, when I caught the look in her eye… You know, “the look”… the one that says, “You’d better shut your mouth before I slap it.”

“Oh,” I replied quickly. “I’m sorry Mommy. You’re right. I didn’t hear that.” There! I lied again, in order to protect my mother’s lie, and in order to protect myself from receiving a beating.

The other big lie that sticks out in my mind happened when my dad molested me. After he left the house, I had called Mom at work and told her what he had done to me, and she said we would talk later, when she got home from work (3-1/2 hrs later), and she told me not to say anything about what happened to my sister, because I wouldn’t want to upset her.

Stop the Lies
Stop the Lies

That evening, when she got home, she sent my sister to our room with me, while she talked with Dad. Now, let me just give you a picture of how I was thinking and feeling. During the 3-1/2 hours that I waited for my mommy to get home from work, I had everything figured out.

You see, I knew it was going to be hard for us to live alone, without Daddy, but I was going to help Mommy. I was going to start doing better in school, and I would do all of the cleaning, and help her take care of my little sister, and even though it would be hard, I was going to be a good girl from now on. I was going to stop lying and arguing with my sister. In fact, I was going to protect my sister, and the three of us were going to be very happy together.

When my mother entered our room a little while later, she sent my sister out of the bedroom, and shut the door, so we could speak privately. “Did your father have to beat you because you got in trouble today?” she asked me. I looked at her, startled. That wasn’t a question that I had expected. When I shook my head and said that I had not been in trouble, she responded, “I just talked to your daddy, and I didn’t let him know that you told me what he did to you. I just told him that you called me at work and said you were afraid of him. Then he told me that you got in trouble today and he had to spank you, and that’s why you’re afraid of him.”

I looked at my mother in disbelief. “This is the woman who hates liars?” I thought.

“I told him that I didn’t want him hitting you anymore and scaring you, and he said he won’t. He’s really sorry about what happened, and he said that it won’t happen again, so I’ve decided that we’ll stay for now, but if anything else ever happens again, you let me know, and we’ll decide what to do then. Also, I don’t want you to say anything to your sister, because that would just hurt and upset her, and you wouldn’t want to do that would you? And don’t tell anyone else either, or you could destroy our family.”

Numbly, I nodded in agreement, as she went on. “Now your daddy said he wants to talk to you and tell you he’s sorry, because he loves you, okay?” What could I say? What was I supposed to say?

Dad entered my room a couple of minutes later, and I’ll be honest with you, I don’t remember much of that conversation, except that he too instructed me not to tell anyone or I would destroy my sister and our family. I remember staring at both him and mom, and thinking of all of the beatings that I had received from their hands for lying, and now, look at the two of them. We were living in a house of lies, and I bought into their lies, hook, line and sinker.

I believed the lie that I was the one at fault. I believed the lie that I would destroy our family if I spoke the truth. I believed the lie that by continuing to lie (oh the irony of it) by burying that dark secret deep within me, I was protecting my sister. I believed the lie that everyone else’s happiness must be protected at my expense.

http://uturntograce.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/1-truth-with-grace/
http://uturntograce.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/1-truth-with-grace/

Can you see why I hate lies? Can you see why God hates lies? He hates lies, because He knows how they destroy the lives of men and women.

Is there such a thing as a “sweet little lie” or a “white lie”? Let me share one more example for you before I close. When my children were little, I taught them to believe in Santa Claus. When I say that I taught them to believe in Santa Claus, you should know that I went all out with it… My husband would wet his boots, and we would place a hand towel on the floor, by the chair where Santa would sit to eat his Christmas cookies, and my husband would step onto the towel with his wet boots, leaving Santa’s boot prints etched in the towel. And then, I would sprinkle gold glitter, also known as “Christmas Magic” all around where his foot prints were. Then, if we were blessed to have snow, my husband would make “reindeer tracks” and “sled marks” in the snow, (or the dirt when we didn’t have a white Christmas) while I followed behind sprinkling “Christmas Magic” quite liberally on the ground.

My children loved Christmas, and they were so excited to wake up on Christmas morning and discover all that Santa had left behind. This lie didn’t feel like a lie to me, and I guess I would have even told you that it was a “white lie” or a “sweet little lie” at the time, until the day came that the truth about Santa Claus was revealed to my son.

My son loved Santa Claus, and he believed in him with his whole heart, well past the age when other children believe in Santa. He was between 11 and 12 years old, when I revealed the truth to him in a very ungentle, unkind way. He was being disrespectful as many children that age are, and I accused him of being unappreciative of all that his dad and I did for him, to which he obnoxiously replied, “You and Dad never do anything for me or get me anything. Santa Claus and Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, and Grandma and Grandpa are the only ones that ever give me anything.”

In my anger, I responded, “Well who do you think Santa Claus is?” My son’s eyes got great big as I continued, “There is no Santa Claus. Your dad and I have given you everything.” As I confess this story to you, I have to tell you, that this was one of those times in my life that I am deeply ashamed of, and as the tears welled up in my son’s eyes, my heart broke, and I was very sorry.

As tears flowed down his face, my son questioned me, “You mean you and Dad lied to me about Santa Claus?” he cried. When I tried to explain that it wasn’t really a lie, that we did it because we loved him, he just looked at me in disbelief. My explanation suddenly seemed pretty lame to me, because as I looked at it through his eyes, it became very clear to me, that the fun we had given him was based on a lie, and then he asked me a question that broke my heart, and caused me to see why God hates all lies.

“What about the tooth fairy? Is she real?” I shook my head no. “What about the Easter Bunny?” Again, I shook my head. “What about Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse” (click this link to see what he was talking about)? again, I shook my head no. “Are God and Jesus even real, then?” he asked, and the weight of what I had done fell hard on me.

You see, when we deceive someone, even with good intentions, we cast doubt on all that is good and true as well. I don’t want to be a part of any lies anymore.

http://uturntograce.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/1-truth-with-grace/
http://uturntograce.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/1-truth-with-grace/

So, am I telling you that I never lie anymore? I can honestly say that I try very hard not to ever lie, but there are times when I mess up and lie. That is when I go before God and ask for His mercy and forgiveness, as well as asking Him to help me to change. I don’t ever want my lies to be the cause of someone doubting the sovereignty of God. I don’t ever want my lies to harm anyone else, ever again.

Therefore, please don’t ask me to lie for you. Don’t ask me to deny the truth. Don’t ask me if I like what you’re wearing, if you don’t want to hear the truth. Can you understand why I say it is never good or okay to lie?

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: Back In Time

Swift Blogging Challenge: Back In Time
For this part of the Challenge, you need to write a letter to yourself in the past, i.e. to yourself when you were younger. So it’s like you’re writing back in time.

And the letter is for the purpose of giving yourself some much-needed advice. You can choose any age, it doesn’t matter. The important part is the advice that you would give to yourself and why.

I just have to tell you, that when I read this challenge, my heart started pounding with excitement. The most difficult thing for me in this challenge was determining at what age I should speak to little me. I wanted to make sure little me was old enough to understand and remember my advice, for the time when she (I) would most need it.
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Dear Cheryl,

This is a very special birthday letter to a very special girl on her eleventh birthday. I know what a wild imagination you have, so it won’t be difficult for you to believe what I’m about to tell you. The person writing this birthday letter to you is you, when you’re forty-one years older. :)

Stop rolling your eyes like you know it all! This isn’t a joke. I heard that giggle slip out. :DIt’s okay. Go ahead, smile. I know what you’re thinking, because even though I’m fifty-one years old, (fifty-one is not as old as you think it is), I am you, and you are me. I’m not doing a very good job of this, am I?

Listen Cheryl, I know you really want to share this letter with someone to see if it’s for real or not, but please don’t. I’ve been given a unique opportunity to write this letter to you, for the purpose of giving you some advice. I was told that I could choose to give you this advice at any age, so I really had to think about how old you should be when I share this with you. I didn’t want to talk to you when you were younger, because I knew you wouldn’t understand, and I didn’t want to wait until you were too old, because some things are about to happen to you in a very short time, that are going to change your life, and I want to help you.

You’re still wondering if this is for real or not, aren’t you? Okay, just to show you that this letter is really from you as a grownup, I know about the report card you erased last marking period, and even though you try not to think about it too much, you’re really starting to get scared, because they’re going to find out about it next week. You believe me now, don’t you?

Oh honey, I know how scared you are, and I know you don’t want to think about it, but I need to give you some advice that’s going to help you when everything happens, okay? Cheryl, l want you to do what I tell you, no matter how hard and how scary it is, and I want to share something really, really important with you.

First of all, let me share the really, really important information with you, okay? Cheryl, you know how you feel like nobody loves you? Well, that isn’t true. Somebody very important loves you, but you don’t believe it, because you don’t love yourself. Do you remember the first bible verse you learned when you started riding the church bus? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

"Crying Inside"By ElenaR
“Crying Inside”
By ElenaR

Cheryl, I know what you thought when you memorized that. You thought God loves everybody else but you. You started thinking of all those “nasty” things you did, and you felt ashamed and dirty, and you thought there was no way that God could love you. But Cheryl, you were wrong. God does love you very much. Jesus loves YOU. He really does. Cheryl, He knows all about those “nasty” things you’ve done, and He knows about your “nasty feelings,” and He still loves you. You’re shaking your head right now, because you want to believe it so badly, but it’s so hard to believe, isn’t it?

Listen, Honey, God isn’t like your mommy and daddy. You don’t have to earn His love. Nobody can earn His love, no matter how good they are, but Cheryl, He knows about your report card, and everything else, and He loves you. You need to know this, because some really bad things are going to happen soon, and you’re going to feel like you’re all alone, and that nobody loves you, so just remember this. Jesus loves you, and so do I.

Cheryl, next week, when Mrs. Murray sees your report card, don’t lie about it. This is very important, and I know you’re really scared about it, but no matter how scared you are, tell her the truth. If you lie, everything is going to be so much worse for you.

Cheryl, Mrs. Murray is going to call the principal, and they’re going to send you to Mrs. Wainwright’s office, and she’s going to ask you a lot of questions. Listen to me – when Mrs. Wainwright asks you if you’re afraid of your mommy and daddy, tell her the truth. Don’t lie to her. She isn’t being nosy, and she’s not trying to get you into more trouble. She wants to help you, but she can’t help you if you lie to her. She’s going to ask if Mommy and Daddy beat you. Don’t lie about it. Tell her about the beatings and the punishments. Tell her how you’re not allowed to leave your room except to go to school and church. Always tell the truth, Cheryl, no matter what.

I know your mommy and daddy told you that if you tell anyone about your punishments and the beatings, that you would destroy the family. Sweetheart, they told you that everything is your fault, but that is not true. Everything is not your fault, Honey. Do you understand? You are not a bad girl, and you are not the reason why they are so angry. Sweetie, I know you’re afraid that there is something really wrong inside of you, and that you are just as bad as Daddy John. Cheryl, Daddy John was not a wicked man. He had a lot of hurt inside of him just like you do, and just like your mommy and daddy do.

You don’t know who you are yet, but I promise that one day you will know, and you will not only like who you are, you will love yourself. You will come to see that you are beautiful. Did you know that you are created in the image of God? You are funny and sweet, and full of love. And you know how you read all those books, and how you make up stories where you strong and courageous? Cheryl, you really are strong and courageous.

You know how I said that Mommy and Daddy have a lot of hurt inside of them? Well, honey, that’s why they have so much anger all the time. You see, hurting people hurt other people, and Cheryl, your Mommy and Daddy are going to hurt you really bad. They‘re going to say that you brought this on yourself, but believe me when I say that this is a lie. It is NOT your fault – not even a little bit. They are going to tell you not to tell anybody about what happened because it will hurt your sister, and you will destroy the family, but that is not true.

They are the grownups, not you, and they are supposed to love you and your sister and protect you. It is their responsibility to do what is right and to protect their children from harm. It is not the responsibility of a young girl or a teenager to protect her family from danger. It is the parents’ responsibility.

Cheryl, next week, when Mrs. Murray says, “You erased this report card,” don’t lie about it. Tell her the truth, and when she and the principal send you to the nurse’s office and Mrs. Wainwright starts asking all of those questions, tell her the truth. Tell her everything, about all of the beatings, all of the punishments, all of the bad names they call you and tell her about how they curse you. Don’t lie about any of it, and don’t hold anything back.

Baby, if you do what I tell you, you won’t destroy your family. You just might save them and yourself. I have to go now, but I want you to remember these things always:

  • Somebody does love you – Jesus loves you very much.
  • You are not bad, or ugly, or stupid, or too lazy to breathe, or worthless.
  • You are lovable, beautiful, very smart, worthy, and you will amount to something — you will be a success.
  • You are very strong and courageous.
  • Everything is not your fault, and you did not bring any of this on yourself.
  • Always tell the truth, and start by telling the truth to Mrs. Wainwright, then tell Mr. and Mrs. White and Mrs. Kern. They care, and they want to help you. You can save yourself and your family by telling the truth.

I love you Cheryl, and I know that you’re going to grow up to be a good person. You are going to get married, and you are going to have children and grandchildren. Honey, all of those things you’ve dreamed about, being an author and being a lady preacher — you’re going to do it all and more! God bless you, and remember Sweetheart, tell the truth. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NLT)

Love,
Cheryl

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: Hole in My Soul

Swift Blogging Challenge: Hole in My Soul

Cover of "Feel"
Cover of Feel

Robbie Williams has a famous song called “Feel”. One of the lines in the song is –
“There’s a hole in my soul, you can see it in my face …”
Think about that, and write whatever it makes you “feel”.

The truth is that everyone is born with a hole in their soul. There’s an empty space within every man, woman, boy and girl that longs to love and to be loved, and throughout our lives, many of us will try just about anything, we will do just about anything to fill that void. Now some are quite adept at hiding that vacuum within them, choosing to wear a mask to hide the pain and the emptiness within. Then there are others, who find it impossible to hide that abyss inside. They are the ones whose faces are marked by their barrenness.

I used to think that I was the only one. I think that many times, we tend to feel like we’re all alone in our pain, and that no one else could possibly understand how we feel, at least that’s what I thought. But you know what? That is one of the biggest lies from the very pit of hell. The devil (yes, I do believe in the devil) wants us to feel isolated and alone, because then he can be about his work… you know, stealing all joy and hope from us, killing us, and destroying us.

Can I tell you something? There is not one single person on this earth who has not suffered from this soul hole. It seems pretty bleak, doesn’t it?

http://www.joytimesfive.com/2011/04/his-grace-my-god-shaped-hole/
http://www.joytimesfive.com/2011/04/his-grace-my-god-shaped-hole/

Don’t worry. Things are not as bad as they may seem. Did you know that God created us with that cavity? That chasm is supposed to be there to make us hungry. You see, when we get hungry for something, we start looking for ways to satisfy that hunger.

Now there are some who will try to numb the hunger, with drugs and alcohol, but they can never seem to get enough to completely numb the pain of the empty place within themselves, hence the need for more and more and more… Others try to fill the empty space with other things, toys, trinkets, cars, people, lovers, different religions, etc. But while all of those things are nice, still, deep within them, this hole remains, hollow.

This hole within each person begins to gnaw away at them, and some become depressed, melancholy and even suicidal because nothing they try can take away the hole, which seems to grow larger and deeper as time goes by. While still others become angry and frustrated, and some become violent, cruel and sadistic. And their hole shows on their face. And while the masked ones continue to wear their masks, the pain of their gaping hole makes it harder and harder to keep the mask in place, and it slips from time to time.

And even though this hole causes more and more pain to each one, they refuse to get off the main highway, where everyone else is traveling, and try walking the narrow road that leads to life. The thought of giving up those other things that they have tried and failed to fill the hole up with seems far greater than actually attaining the only One who can truly fill that empty space.

http://lizbydesign.blogspot.com/2011/04/daddy-place.html
http://lizbydesign.blogspot.com/2011/04/daddy-place.html

Meanwhile, there are those who are so desperate to fill that void, that they are willing to walk the narrow road – oftentimes alone! And you can recognize these people when you look into their eyes. For you and I both know that the eyes are the window to the soul, and when you look into the eyes of these people who have forsaken all else to walk that narrow road in search of glory, you see life. You see joy within them. You can see the love in their eyes…

And though the others who still carry their holes may curse them, and hate them, though they may do all sorts of evil things to those whose holes have been filled, you still see the love of Christ flowing out of them, because even though their holes have been filled, they remember how it felt to walk around with that horrid void, and so they have compassion for those who still carry that pain…

Look at me. There used to be a hole in my soul, and you could see it in my face. But now, that hole has been filled. Can you see it in my face? Can you see the love and the compassion I have for those who still carry that hole?

I know how to find that narrow road that leads to the One who can fill your hole, and if you’d like, I can show you how to get there. Won’t you come with me and get your hole filled?

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: Look into Your Eyes

Swift Blogging Challenge: Look into Your Eyes

Look at yourself in the mirror. Make sure the mirror is big enough for you see your whole face, and do this in broad daylight. Look yourself straight in the eye and don’t flinch. Say out loud (don’t look away) “I am a good person. I am a good person. I am a good person.”

Write about the experience. Was it easy? Did you struggle? Could you do it? If not, why not? If you did, how did you react? Serious? Laughing? Sad? Did you tell yourself, this is silly? If so, why do you think you said that?

Write it all down, and share!

This exercise brought back memories to me… memories of another time when I stood in front of the same exact mirror, uttering words very similar to these. What a difference fifteen years can make… What a difference God‘s healing grace makes.

Mirror mirror...
Mirror mirror… (Photo credit: antkriz)

Fifteen years ago, when I stood in front of the same mirror, telling the person who stared back at me that I am a child of the Most High God, and that I am worthy of His love, I struggled to look at the woman staring back at me from the mirror. I was instructed to look beyond the woman that I was then, and look back to the little girl locked inside of me, and tell her that she is worthy of love, and that loved her… I was told to retrieve pictures of the little girl that I once was, and to talk to her and show her the mercy that I showed other little girls.

Unless one has struggled with self-hatred and low self-esteem, you can never fully grasp how difficult this assignment was. I remember looking into the eyes of the little girl that I once was, as though I was the third person, looking into the eyes of someone who was not me, and talking to her. I remember the hatred and contempt I felt as I looked at the pictures of this child with my counselor.

When my counselor mentioned the pain and the innocence that was stolen from this child, I remember snarling back, again, as though the little girl in the picture was someone other than myself, “She was never innocent!” You see, I blamed the little girl I once was for all of the sins that had been committed against me. I blamed myself for the beatings I received. I blamed myself for the rejection by my parents, my teachers and my classmates. I blamed myself for causing my dad to molest me, because I had never been innocent.

eye
eye (Photo credit: Ricky Justus)

I could not bring myself to believe that this little girl was ever good, ever innocent, ever worthy of love, and I could not bring myself to believe that I, as an adult was good and worthy of love. And then, I remember visiting my counselor one evening, as we again spread my school pictures before me, and my counselor covered all but my eyes in each picture. As I looked at the eyes, who could have been anyone’s eyes, I could see pain in each of the eyes, but that pain was mingled with hope… except for one picture.

As I looked deep into these eyes, I saw death. It was clear that this picture was taken after I was molested by my daddy. In the eyes of this picture, I saw that all hope had died. Gone were this little girl’s hopes and dreams that had prevailed throughout all those other years despite the beatings and despite the many rejections and ridicule. In all that this little girl (I) had suffered up to this point, I had always retained some hope for the future, but after the final betrayal from my daddy (I had always thought of my stepfather as my daddy), and my mother’s refusal to protect me (“Because,” I thought, “I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love”), my hope had died, as evident in my eyes.

“Cheryl,” my counselor wisely said, “look at those eyes. They could be the eyes of your daughter,” and she was right! My daughter very closely resembles me. “What would you say to that little girl, if she was your daughter? Would you blame her?”

augenblick
augenblick (Photo credit: westpark)

Suddenly, it was as though a dam burst, and with that bursting of the dam, all of those years of bitterness and anger I had directed at myself washed away, as I saw that poor hurt little girl, who tried so hard to earn everyone’s love, but always fell so far short. My heart broke for the little girl I once was, a little girl who had once been innocent. I felt a rush of love for Little Me, who longed so desperately for love, and yet I wasn’t even able to love myself.

Now, fifteen years later, as I look into the mirror, I do see a good person. I see a woman who may not be beautiful in the world’s eyes, but in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of those who love her, she is truly beautiful, from the inside out. I see a woman who loves deeply, and who is deeply loved. I see a woman who has overcome many obstacles in life, by the grace of God and by His mercy and love. I see a woman who has been called by God to share the hope that I have found with others, so that they too will see how much God values each person, and so others will know that if God loved me enough to set me free from the pain of my past, He can surely do the same for them, if they will allow Him to do so.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Swift Blogging Challenge: 3, 2, 1

Swift Blogging Challenge: 3, 2, 1

This is a 3 minute writing challenge. The 6 minute writing challenge is actually quite a well known technique to help people develop their writing skills. Six minutes of writing would, however, be too long to leave as feedback, I think. Well I suppose it depends on how quickly you type; but let’s make it 3 minutes instead.

So, I would invite my readers to choose one of the following three topics:

  1. Something that you are afraid of.
  2. A hobby or activity that you enjoy (keep it clean, please!)
  3. An idea, theory or opinion that you strongly agree with.
photo credit: zenonline via photopin cc</a
photo credit: zenonline via photopin cc</a

I don’t know if this counts as a hobby or not, but one of the things I love doing is ministering to people. I especially love ministering to female inmates at the county jail near where I live. I usually go there once or twice a month, depending on the schedule, and have a church service. There are times when the women can be quite rebellious, while other times, they are very open to the message. Sometimes, they are sad and depressed, while other times they are belligerent and angry. Still other times, you the Spirit of the Lord quickens within me as I’m ministering to them, and they begin to openly weep as the Holy Spirit speaks to their individual needs. My desire is that these women would be set free and delivered from the chains that bind them. I minister because they are not only bound within the walls of the prison, but within the walls of their own minds as well, and my heart’s desire is to share with them the hope that I have found in Jesus Christ.